5/27/11

I'm Featured Today!!!

Check out Destiny in Bloom to read my piece called "Walk with Dad". I pray God will use it to speak to your heart! Please leave me some "comment" love over at DIB:)

5/25/11

WILL THE SILENCE WAKE YOU?

Just last night, the lights went out. The house grew dark and my crusade on a computer screen came to an abrupt end. The silence after the power outage was almost deafening. In our house, we all sleep with "sound machines" on (you know, the ones that sound like a fan running) and because we live next to a highway that's full of trucks by early morning, we keep them pretty loud. Since I was the only one still awake at a late hour, that's the murmur I was typing to...sound machines:) As I sat in a pitch-black-hush, I listened to see what would happen next. Not thirty seconds later, I began hearing a moan from the back room followed by panic. One kid awake. Minutes later, crying from another room. Two kids awake. Footsteps down the hall. Husband awake. Nearly all of us, now in search of light. We all ended up piling in one bed, where we were soon joined by kid number three. We talked and laughed. But when we stopped, we noticed how intensely quiet it was. That's when I said, "The silence woke everyone up!" and as soon as I said it, I knew it was golden.

You see, just the other day, I saw something that will haunt me for the rest of my life. It was a documentary film played at the International Film Festival that focused on the sex trafficking industry. It contained raw, heart-wrenching interviews and some hidden-camera footage taken by a very brave woman journalist. The name of the movie is "The Price of Sex" and I encourage you to see it if possible. I will warn you...it is not a Christian film. There are a few images and a few words that really could have been left out, but overall it was tastefully done considering the subject matter. And if you do go see it, you may want to take some tissues!

Even days after viewing the film, I still find myself trying to wrap my brain around the images I saw, the pain that I heard. It seems surreal and unimaginable that at this moment, there are literally MILLIONS of women, children, and even some men who are living evil's perverse nightmare. Truly, it makes me sick to my stomach...and outraged...that any human being can enslave another and think that it is permissible. Our daughters...sisters...mothers...brothers...uncles...aunts...nieces...nephews...friends...all over this world are trapped in rooms that have become literal prison cells of hopelessness, torment, and utter despair. And listen to this, out of the MILLIONS who are living this nightmare, only 1% percent ever manage to escape. ONE PERCENT.

What does this mean? It means simply this, those who are enslaved today have no voice. They are literally used and abused in SILENCE...in closed-off rooms...in dark basements...in filthy brothels all over this world...suffering, thinking no one cares and that they would be better off dead. Thus, it is my prayer that as you read this...

THEIR SILENCE BECOMES LOUD ENOUGH TO
JOLT YOU OUT OF YOUR SLUMBER (much like the story above)
  SO THAT YOU BECOME FULLY AWAKE AND AWARE
THAT THIS IS HAPPENING ALL AROUND US.

We cannot let this happen on our watch!!! Is this the legacy of our generation? Is this to be a part of what we will leave behind? God forbid.

Please watch the following videos and then scroll down to read about ways that you can begin to pray for SLAVES around the world.





You have a voice. 

Please use it to pray.

  • Pray for a worldwide awakening to this problem. An eyes-wide-open-we-will-not-allow-this-to-happen-on-our-watch kind of awakening!
  • Pray that the victims of human trafficking realize they are not alone and that they find hope in Jesus Christ.
  • Pray for those who work in the trafficking industry...that they experience a shocking slap of reality that somehow clearly shows them the evil they are committing. Pray that they can no longer stand to see women, men, and children abused.
  • Pray for the Lord to protect any who are being recruited (lied to/drugged) at this very moment.
  • Pray for governments to enact tougher laws against traffickers and all who help them.
  • Pray for an end to the high level corruption in governments around the world. Pray that they can no longer profit from allowing this crime to be committed.
  • Pray against the lust and greed that fuels the sex-trade industry in the first place.
  • Pray for organizations/non-profit agencies who are working feverishly on all aspects of this problem.
  • Pray for the abolition of slavery in our generation.
  • Pray that the Lord will continue to remind YOU to pray for His will to be done on Earth as it is in Heaven.
 
May the silence forever remind you of those who have
no voice.



5/14/11

Aching for the Rain



Just the other day, I went to a women's conference looking for God and He met me there. A small part of me needed to rest. Another huge part of me needed a vacation from my mommy duties (i.e. my ears were tired). The whole of me needed to go far away from obligations, expectations, and titles. I needed to be recharged, refreshed, and loved on. And when His presence came, with all it's heaviness and glory, all I could do was weep. I felt like a sponge in the middle of a vast dessert aching for the rain to come. It came in torrents and waves and filled me to capacity, readying me for what's next. So now, I'm walking around all drenched in His love and I would happily drown in it if I could. I've said it before (read my post called "Nothing Compares") and I'll say it again...the presence of the Lord is my addiction. Nothing this world has to offer could ever compare to it...to Him. One small taste of what He has to offer ushers in a paradigm shift in a life. Those who choose to partake of Him will never be the same.

5/10/11

If it dies...

I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, Unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains [just one grain; it never becomes more but lives] by itself alone. But if it dies, it produces many others and yields a rich harvest. John 12: 24 (Amplified Bible)
 
Just the other day, S and I studied this verse as a part of her homeschool curriculum. God seems to like this verse:) It's funny how He keeps bringing it to my mind. Let's see, like when I start thinking things such as, "Why can't I just have ________ like everyone else?", it pops up in my head. Or when I think, "Lord, please don't ask me to share this or that with someone because I don't like being that vulnerable. I don't want them to think I'm stupid/conceited/overzealous/inadequate/prideful (you know these excuses, too...just fill in the blank)." Or this verse might pop up regarding something simple that I feel I want to complain about, like the thirty-ninth time I've had to stop what I'm doing to go help one of my children do something I find unimportant at the moment...like untying the knots in their Barbie doll's dress or finding some ponytail holders so they can fix each others hair. You know, THAT kind of stuff;) I don't know about you, but I find it really HARD to die to myself and my desires...like gritting my teeth and clinching my fists and having a screaming fit kind-of-hard!!! Still, I hear the sweet Holy Spirit whisper to my heart, "unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies..."...and He doesn't even have to complete the verse anymore...cause I get it. Immediately. Die to self by coming under complete submission to Him and HE WILL BRING THE INCREASE AND MAKE MY LIFE SO MUCH MORE.  Like a kernel of grain falling into the ground, dying, and growing up into a beautiful plant that produces more plants...something of much more worth than it was before. 

YES...I WANT THAT!!!

Then...I find myself humbled....thinking of all He did for me...dying so that I might live. And here I am with all my excuses feeling little and small and amazingly selfish. And I resolve, once again, to be a living sacrifice as the Word talks about in Romans 12:1. Moment-by-moment and breath-by-breath, relying on His strength alone, my flesh will be conquered and death will come...

...and then I will live
to yield a rich harvest
for His glory.

Please watch this video...


 "Here I am, take me, as an offering..."

What about you??? Are you gonna die, too???







5/5/11

The Place of "Not-Knowing"


Just the other day, my husband found an old video. It was of my first daughter's 2nd birthday party. As I stood watching part of the video, I admired the amazing cuteness of that precious girl on the screen. She looked like a little princess in her pink party dress, which was adorned with balloons, ribbons, and a "2" in the middle of her chest. Oh, but then came the part where I was on camera. Groan. Aside from the obvious fact that I was much skinnier back then (grrr!), I was immediately hit with one single thought, "I wish I could tell that girl (me) what's coming. I wish I could encourage her just a bit that it's all gonna be ok and that in the end, the result will be worth it." Wouldn't that be GREAT if we could somehow encourage our future selves about what's around the corner?! Not so that we could blab every detail, but so that we could just assure ourselves..."It's not gonna be fun, in fact, you're about to walk through some really hard times, but things work out beautifully, trust me! I can't wait for you to see it!"

Yeah...that would be awesome...

or would it?

Really...would it???

Once I truly thought about it, I realized the "not-knowing" is what has molded me into who I am today. The place of "not-knowing" has been my classroom. In fact, it has kept me dependent on the ONE Who Matters Most. It has had me on my knees...weeping, begging, pleading, and finally leaving "it" in His capable hands. The "not-knowing" is what has driven me to trust...to have faith...to hope when all hope seems lost. And the end result may or may not be what I had hoped for, but the Lord weaves His beauty and His glory into it, always making it better than what I had hoped. In the end, His decision is always the right one, whether I deem it be or not. And frankly, it's the process of going through, the process of making it to the other side, where some of the richest treasure is to be found! It's the resistance and the struggle and the learning to give it all to God that makes warriors out of babes. If anything, I have learned this...when I try to fix everything in my life, I fail miserably. When I give it to the Lord, I always win!

Do I have battle scars?

Yes.

Are there things I don't understand? 

Absolutely. 

Does it keep me from running to the Lord when I find myself in the place of "not-knowing"? 

NO. 

The Lord told His servant Paul: "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." (2 Cor 12: 9)

You and I, my dear friends, are wise to take up the same declaration as Paul: "Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong." (2 Cor 12: 10)

True strength will always be the result of a life broken before the Lord.

And the place of "not-knowing" is where the wise declare, "Break me."