Laurie Stewart

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

I loved my recent trip to Iowa to get sworn into the practice of law. I loved seeing my sister and her family. I loved cozying up by the fire with my husband for a rare moment of rest. I loved finishing Joel Rosenberg's new book The Tehran Initiative. I loved the snow. I even loved the cold.

As Christmas approaches, I am reminded once again of the Reason of the Season---God became flesh and dwelt among us in the person of Jesus Christ. He was born to die. For us. For me. Not because I deserve it. Not because I am worthy. I don't deserve it and I'm not worthy. And yet, Jesus died for me so I could be saved from the penalty I deserve for my sins, that is, death.

Thank you, Jesus, for revealing the Father to us, and for giving us the Spirit to guide us and empower us to do what we could not do on our own. Apart from you we can do nothing. John 15:5 Through you all things are possible. Phil. 4:13

With Love From Berkeley

Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up. 1 Cor. 8:1b

Berkeley...What comes to your mind when you think of Berkeley? I used to think of the 1960's Free Speech Movement of course. But now I think of my daughter, who has chosen to live there for the next four years pursuing a Bachelor's Degree at the university.

John and I visited her at college this past weekend. It was Parent's Weekend and it was a blast. Not only did we get to catch up and find out all about college life, we toured the campus, ate delicious food, attended interesting faculty seminars, visited art and science museums, and made a quick trip to San Francisco.

We fell in love with Berkeley.

Yes, it is still a progressive town, but the university is a bit more tame these days. However, it still manages to makes the news occasionally.  Just Google the recent "Diversity Cupcake Sale" and find out about the on-campus Republican protest to affirmative action. The opposition tried to stop them. But hey, isn't this Berkeley after all? Isn't this the one campus that should fiercely defend the right of Free Speech? Ah, this is where the rubber meets the road and progressives reveal their true agenda. Only certain kinds of speech are free. So much for "tolerance."

Universities and colleges used to be the marketplace for exchanging ideas, stimulating discussion, and promoting critical thought. Now it is a place for propaganda and indoctrination. Well, I have a message for the students...Keep thinking! Test all ideas. If you search for the truth, you will find it.

"The truth will set you free." John 8:31b

Coast of Spain

It is nice to have a few short days in Spain to vacation before heading back to the United States. This photo is a lovely view of Calpe, Spain, where we were fortunate enough to spend one night with a lovely Dutch couple. They took us to a lovely restaurant, talked about the Spanish and Holland cultures, and shared many wonderful stories of their travel adventures. It is wonderful to meet new friends!

Sagrada Familia

Have you ever landed in a foreign country where you couldn't speak the language, didn't have the currency and got lost? Well it happened to us after we arrived in Spain. After we rented our car in Barcelona, we followed directions of the car rental people and headed south---the wrong way! We found ourselves trapped on a road with no escape and were forced to pay a toll. Since we didn't have any foreign currency, we were able to use our credit card. We tried to ask someone how to get back to Barcelona but no one spoke English. We finally found a way to turn around and head back, paying the toll again! John found a gas station where we tried to ask for directions. Again, no speak English. So we did the first smart thing---we bought a map! We figured out where we needed to go and headed there. Instead of taking 20 minutes to get to our hotel, it took 3 hours. What an adventure!

We saw many interesting things in our short stay in Barcelona but the highlight was the Sagrada Familia, an enormous Catholic church built by Gaudi. John and I decided it looked like something out of Gotham City in Batman meets cartoon. Unusual just doesn't begin to describe it.

God's work in my life

"O Lord, you are my God; I will exalt you and praise your name, for in perfect faithfulness you have done marvelous things, things planned long ago." Isaiah 25:1

This morning I was blessed to share my testimony with the students at early morning chapel. What a privilege to speak following their worship time. These students know how to worship! Can I take them home with me, please?

Later, after John finished teaching his afternoon class, we had some girl time! That meant heading to the local mall for coffee with the girls. (No shopping this time.) Except it really is too hot here to have coffee so most of us opted for cold coffee drinks. Yum! When they closed up the shop for the start of shabbat (Jewish sabbath which starts on Fridays at sunset), we headed back to the lobby of our hotel to continue our conversation. Mostly I shared about my experience in ministry, marriage, and travel. But it was also an informative briefing time, as I talked about the local customs, politics and security. Really neat gals. Our time here seems too short.

Why I am no longer "Pro-Choice"

I used to be "Pro-Choice." I used to be a feminist. Not any more. Why? A few years ago (while in law school actually) I learned to think and to reason. I learned to use my God-given brain and ask questions and search for truth. I stopped blindly following everyone else's agenda.


Yes, truth. You see,  I used to buy into the post-modern definition of truth, that truth is relative--Your truth is true for you but my truth is true for me. But I wanted to know. If there was an objective "truth" to be found, then I wanted to find it.

I found it. 

Jesus said, "... for this reason I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me."(John 18:37) And "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." (John 14:6) If we seek Him, we will find Him. (Rev. 3:20)

Jesus is the Truth

So what does Jesus have to do with the abortion issue?

Well, if Jesus is the truth, and if everyone on the side of truth listens to Him and obeys Him, and if He is the only way to the Father, then I decided maybe I should find out if there is a truth about the abortion issue. 

The question is, like the line made famous by Jack Nicholson in the movie A Few Good Men, "Can you handle the truth?" 

When I surrendered my life to follow Christ in the late 1990's, I didn't instantly lose my feminist pro-choice ideas. It look time for the Lord to work in my heart. But I continued to pray for God to show me His truth on the matter. I was prepared to follow His truth and conform my life to His truth. This was contrary to what I had been doing as a prodigal daughter running away from a loving Father, conforming my truth to fit my life.

One summer day in 2001, while visiting the National Cathedral as a tourist in Washington D.C., I heard a poignant sermon by a Catholic priest. He brought up stem cell research and Psalm 139.

"For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be." Psalm 139:13-16

I got it! God alone is the creator of life. He created each one of us, specifically and purposefully. Once this really sank in, I began to wonder, "Why in the world do I believe a woman has the 'right to choose to terminate a pregnancy,' to end a life that God alone created?" I shuddered to think. Why did man/woman think he/she can destroy what God created?

Then I remembered who was the Destroyer (Rev. 9:11). I sure didn't want to be aligned with this Destroyer. I wanted to be aligned with the Giver of life.

When you come to know the truth, it will set you free. (John 8:32) 

Now I know the truth, I am free from the "pro choice" lie. I choose to align myself with the Giver of LIFE.

Who do you align with?

How I Came to Believe...

           Recently someone asked me if my testimony was posted online. I realized it wasn't and decided it was a very good thing to share.  I hope you are blessed...

        When I was 8 years old, my parents took my sisters and me to a new evangelical church in Des Moines, Iowa. That first Sunday visit was the first time I heard the Good News about Jesus Christ. I believed and accepted Jesus as my personal savior. As my family continued to attend church, my younger sisters and I become involved with various youth activities and musicals. 
          After graduating from high school, I moved to Southern California to attend a public university where my worldview was instantly challenged. I was not equipped for the battle. Initially I boldly defended my conservative Christian views. However, influenced by carnal sorority life and liberal Hollywood politics (I was an acting major in the Theater department), eventually I came to embrace progressive feminist and socialist ideals.  
I got married, graduated, and moved to the Los Angeles area so I could pursue the dream of becoming a Hollywood actress in film and television. It was a short-lived tepid career, to say the least. Those were my prodigal years.
Eventually we moved back to Orange County where I pursued acting and producing Theatre. I gave birth to my beautiful daughter. Soon after, I found myself a single mother, hurting and searching for answers to difficult questions.  Secular counseling, self-help books, and a return to the dating scene failed to provide answers. Lost and confused, I decided to go to back to church and see if God had anything to say. Did He ever! Within a year I was involved in my first Bible Study. I fell on my knees and surrendered my life to Christ.
 Since that time I developed a deeper relationship with God through His Son Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. I love to study God’s Word, pray, and worship.  I have been honored to lead several Bible Studies which have resulted in good fruit and beautiful fellowship.   
My newfound commitment to follow Christ led me to pursue a dream always on my heart, to go to law school. Many folks now ask me how I made it through law school as a single mother. It is “by the grace of God.”
After passing the bar and practicing law for some time, I met a wonderful man, John Stewart, who became my husband. I became his partner in law and ministry. Our hearts desire to serve the living God, whether defending religious liberties, sanctity of life or traditional marriage, or helping others resolve conflict through Christian Conciliation, or traveling to other countries to teach and train leaders. My greatest prayer is that in surrendering my will and my life to Christ, that I will humbly be used to accomplish the Father’s great purpose for my life.