Most people know Oklahoma Baptists are against abortion. And Marsha Cook is certainly one of those people. But Cook, wife of Pottawatomie-Lincoln Association Director of Missions Russell Cook, isn’t just against abortion, she is for life, whether it is preborn, newborn, children, adults or the elderly.
As such, she has begun a project to let people know that Oklahoma Baptists value life. Cook wants to “Blanket the State” with the Gospel while providing practical gifts that will remind people that they are loved.
The idea took seed when the Cooks visited McLoud, Emmanuel, and were confronted in the lobby with a baby crib filled with fleece blankets, disposable diapers and other baby items.
The ladies of the church told Cook they fill the crib every year to participate in the “Sanctity of Human Life” effort and then donate the items to Oklahoma Baptist Homes for Children’s Hope Pregnancy Centers.
Cook asked for the pattern for the fleece blankets displayed in the crib, thinking the Directors of Missions’ wives might like to make them during craft time at their annual meeting. Many of the wives are in the midst of becoming grandmothers, and Cook thought they would enjoy making the blankets for their grandchildren.
“But it wasn’t long before God stretched my thoughts,” said Cook, who is also a member of the BGCO’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Committee. “As I considered all we had talked about in our ERLC meetings, I realized the fleece I held in my hands could be used of the Lord in a simple, yet mighty way. What if we could encourage people across the state to make these blankets for our Hope Pregnancy Centers, our children’s homes, ministries to battered women and children and our retirement villages and nursing care centers?”
That’s when the term “Blanket the State” came to Cook.
“We could ‘blanket the state’ with a special message to every age group-the preborn, newborn, children, teens, adults in need, seniors-telling them they are made by the Creator God and are loved by His Son, our Savior,” said Cook. “And we could use them as a way to show and tell the message that Christians love the God who values life-all life.”
Cook said as people wrap themselves, their newborn infants or tiny children in the cozy warmth of these blankets, it would be a constant reminder of the message that comes with it.
“As a woman walks out of a pregnancy center after receiving a positive report on a pregnancy test, what more could help her think, ‘This is a baby inside me,’ and what more could give her something soft to cuddle during a difficult and perhaps lonely time in life than the soft, comforting fleece?” asked Cook. “Or, how about a senior adult in a nursing care center who is rubbing his or her hand on the softness that has been tucked around him or her in the wheelchair or bed? That person may be in pain or may be lonely or just plain tired, but could that softness remind them of precious memories of days gone by? Could it bring them a sense of being loved, even if they can no longer express it?”
Cook shared the idea of the blankets with the directors of missions’ wives at their August meeting at the Baptist Building, suggesting they, in turn, could take the idea to pastors’ wives who could introduce it in churches across the state. The DOM wives were given fleece to make a blanket while at the meeting.
While blanketing the state with the blankets, Cook wants to make sure the Gospel is presented at the same time by including a permanent message attached to the blanket.
She said she envisions sewing on a label from “Blanket the State Ministries,” and including a Bible verse, perhaps Psalm 139: 14, “I will praise thee for I am fearfully and wonderfully made . . .”
“We plan to include a standardized card each time a blanket is given, briefly explaining the ministry and the love of God,” said Cook. “We also plan to attach a sew-on patch which will show a brief Scripture and an ID of who the blanket is from. We do not want the blankets to be distributed without the card and the patch, if they are to be a part of this organized effort.”
Cook said she is currently working on a design for the patches, and is hoping to find a donor to finance the cost of the patches.
For more information on “Blanket the State Ministries,” contact Cook at 405/275-2088, or e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.