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Great Day Addendum

Stop the Traffic

Stop the Traffic


 

“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

 

“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

 

“The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’” - Matthew 25:34-40 NIV

Five years ago this week, my then 9th grade (now Sophomore in college)daughter Ellie and I were asked to attend the Florida Governor’s Cabinet meeting to be a part of/support a resolution announcing/supporting National Human Trafficking Awareness Month. We were asked to attend primarily because of our involvement in raising some $40,000 in 2012 to help build a Human Trafficking shelter in Mumbai, India.


Over the past 7 or 8 years, this issue has grown into a passion of mine... primarily because is first became a passion of Ellie’s and to some extent, Abbie (my now Senior in High School).


What began with a chapel service that Ellie attended in 7th grade that crawled into her heart and soul has grown into helping raise funds for a ministry and shelter for girls in Greece... to raising funds with our church for a mission shelter in Mumbai, India... to planning mission trips to Mumbai.... to being able to briefly share with the Governor and Cabinet about the Human Trafficking issue... to whatever else God may have on the horizon.


Some facts about Human Trafficking:

  • 1.2 Million children are being trafficked every year; this is in addition to the millions already held captive by trafficking (UNICEF)
  • Each year, it is estimated that 600,000 - 800,000 men, women and children are trafficked across international borders (Some research places those number even higher) and the trade continues to grow.
  • Every 2 minutes a child is being prepared for sexual exploitation (UNICEF).
  • Almost 300,000 AMERICAN children are at risk for trafficking into the sex industry (USDOJ)
  • The average age AMERICAN girls are first victims of sex trafficking is 12-14 years old (USDOJ)
  • The total market value of illicit human trafficking is estimated to be in excess of $32 Billion (UN Press Release 6/2/08). That’s $32 Billion in transactions a year in 2008, which means it is even higher today.
  • There are girls as young as 5 and 6 years old in the U.S. that are forced to do sexual acts for economic gain by their pimp (USDOJ).
  • An estimated 30 Million people are held in slavery, with statistics estimating that 99% of these victims are NEVER rescued.
  • Trafficking in women and children is the second largest global organized crime and gaining.

The question is, what can we do about it? How can one person (child or adult) make a difference?


In my mind, it boils down to three areas... three ways that we can effect change:

    • Pray
    • Give
    • Go

Pray. Pray for these children and young people. Pray that somehow, some way they can find a way out or that someone will find them and remove them from their situation. They need a hero.


Pray that they will come to know Jesus... come to know hope.


Pray for their families... and the families that could potentially be tricked into giving up their child.


Pray for the organizations that are on the ground striving to find a way to end slavery of all kinds, especially human trafficking.


Pray for the people who are kidnapping, stealing the lives of the children and doing such atrocious things to them. Pray that they will see the ills of their ways and that they just plain stop (or are stopped).


Give. Give to aid organizations and shelters. Many are Christian based organizations that need funding to make a difference. many have missionaries on the ground in places like Mumbai, India; Athens, Greece; Atlanta, Georgia; St. Louis, Missouri; Miami, Florida... and all places around the world. Some are based out of International Ministries in the Baptist, Methodist and Presbyterian churches. Some local churches are even sponsoring missionaries and shelters around the world


If you have interest in giving, I can help you connect with some folks who are making a difference... to folks who would be grateful for whatever you can give.


Go. Go to Mumbai. Go to Athens. Go to Ethiopia. Go to Zimbabwe. Go to Atlanta, St. Louis, Miami, San Francisco, L.A., New York... Go and help shelters in these areas that are working to remove these young women, boys and girls from the industry. Go help them learn a new trade. Go give them medical care. Go give them hope. Go be the light in a dark, dark world. Go be the hands and feet of Jesus. Go.


 

“Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’

 

“They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’

 

“He will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’

 

“Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.” - Matthew 25:41-46 NIV

Thanks.

Keep the Faith... Carpe Diem


Foolish Memory

 Foolish Memory


 

“We are fools for Christ’s sake, but you are prudent in Christ; we are weak, but you are strong; you are distinguished, but we are without honor. To this present hour we are both hungry and thirsty, and are poorly clothed, and are roughly treated, and are homeless; and we toil, working with our own hands; when we are reviled, we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure; when we are slandered, we try to conciliate; we have become as the scum of the world, the dregs of all things, even until now.” - 1 Corinthians 4:10-13 NASB

Have you ever been foolish... done something foolish?


Time for my personal confession of one of my foolish moments.


I remember watching my oldest daughter and her team play in a certain high school basketball game, and for the most part controlled myself and my referee-itis, and really didn’t say much or yell all that much...


That is until there was one certain bad call that just seemed to crawl all over me... The official was once again slow getting down the floor, thus was out of position to make an offensive foul call against one of our girls, who was driving to the basket to score.


Now, for a basketball novice, an offensive foul is usually called when a defensive player establishes position in front of the offensive player and absorbs the contact from the offensive player. Normally, in that instance, the offensive player initiates the contact. It’s not usually an offensive foul when the defensive player runs underneath the offensive player and is initiating the contact... especially when the offensive player is already in the air trying to score.


The funny part is, I know my voice can be loud and carry... but not any louder than most fans/parents at a game (much less on that call). However, my timing tends to be impeccable in that somehow when I do yell, I can find that momentary lull in the crowd noise... thus allowing my voice to seem louder and carry further.


So, when a call is made by an out of position referee on a call that really is a tough judgement call, it’s easy for that official and anyone sitting below me to hear my wrath and encouragement to please try to be in better position and hustle down the floor to make a better call next time.


Though my “instructional request” was funny at the moment (and right), that’s where the regret for my foolishness lies. I disappointed myself. I was foolish. I was right for the wrong reason… Though nothing bad occurred from my commentary, I was wrong.


I only wish that I was more of a fool for Christ than I was a fool at a basketball game.


A fool with a heart willing to truly give everything to Jesus regardless of what the world around me might say or think.

A fool willing to risk embarrassment to share my faith with a lost friend, co-worker, acquaintance, family member

A fool willing to take up my cross daily and follow Jesus.

A fool willing to die to self and live for Christ.

A fool less worried about myself and more worried about others (even referees).

A fool willing to go therefore.

A fool for Christ.


Keep the Faith... Carpe Diem


“For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” - 1 Corinthians 1:18 NIV


I Don't Know... Just Trust

I Don’t Know… Just Trust

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding;think about Him in all your ways, and He will guide you on the right paths.” - Proverbs 3:5-6 HCSB

There are so many things in life that I don’t know... or don’t understand.

Why bad things happen to good people
Why Hurricanes, Floods and other natural disasters claim and harm so many lives
Why people with issues have access to weapons
Why so many good people seem to be looking for work while others with weaker skill sets have/maintain jobs.
Why people get sick and suffer
Why one leader wins and one loses.
Why things work out the way they do.
Why one night sleep comes easy, and other nights it does not.
Why sharing our faith is so hard
How a country can turn its back on its heritage based on Christian values for the values of the few and the loud.
Why we allow history to continually repeat itself
Why we do the things that we do.
Why I always seem to wrestle with these questions (and some far deeper and darker) when sleep is restless and difficult

But then, somewhere in recesses of my heart and mind, I’m reminded of today’s verse.

Reminded to Trust in the Lord with all my heart and to lean not on my own understanding.
Reminded that His ways are not my ways (and my ways are not His.)
Reminded that there is sin in this world that has corrupted the hearts and minds of His creation.
Reminded that sometimes this sinful creature makes poor choices that effect/affect the lives of people and the world around them.
Reminded that God loves me (and us) anyway. In fact, He loves us so much that He sent His one and only Son to live and die and live again for us... so that we might be saved... so we might have life and live it abundantly... so that we might know peace and hope... and forgiveness and mercy... so that we might know love.

And all we have to do is trust and believe.

There’s that word again... Trust

Keep the Faith... Carpe Diem

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding;think about Him in all your ways, and He will guide you on the right paths.” - Proverbs 3:5-6 HCSB


My Dream

My Dream

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” - 1 Corinthians 13:13 NIV

“Jesus loves the little children. All the children of the world. Red and Yellow. Black and White. They are precious in His sight. Jesus loves the little children of the world.”

My dream begins and ends with love...

Loving the Lord with all our heart, soul, mind and strength

Loving our neighbors as ourselves

Loving as we are loved

Loving the poor, the weak, the brokenhearted and the down trodden

And putting that love into action... just as Jesus put His love for us into action on the cross.

In love, there is no room for prejudice, hate, abuse, divisiveness, or taking advantage of others.

In love, there is room at the foot of the cross. There's room at the feet of Jesus.

My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command.” - John 15:12-14 NIV

May this dream come true… and become your dream too.

Keep the Faith... Carpe Diem



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