Tuesday, March 6, 2012

You Should Be Ashamed!

We live in a sex-saturated society (That's a new thought, right!?). There are sadly too many ads that use sex appeal and sexuality to sell products. Recently there is a Commercial for a liquid plumber product that uses the concept of a porno to sell a gel that unclogs drains. Really, America? You need seduction to sell LIQUID PLUMBER??? 

Does anyone else see a problem with this ad? 

I think it is extremely disappointing that so many find humor in that ad. They think its edgy and funny. Would people be outraged if the gender roles had been reversed? I haven't heard much controversy come up with this commercial, but I would speculate that had it been two women plumbers and a man lusting after them, the ad would have stopped. Am I the only woman, or person, offended by how they exploited those men's sexuality? Am I the only person saddened by the overall acceptance of the women's lust after the grocery store employees/plumbers? Do men feel offended or objectified at all by this ad? They should. No one should be objectified like that. Shame on those who call this a good thing and think its harmless fun! I researched to see what has been said about the ad. Most blogs and articles I read were praising the ad for being so sensual and funny. 

 I am not going to ask what has this world come to? Because I am not surprised at the ad or at the reaction of people, but it still saddens me and makes me angry at the attitudes of people and the praise of immorality. At the very least, God's people should speak out against this sin and make certain that their lives reflect God's view of sexuality. "Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect." Romans 12:2

Monday, March 5, 2012

40 Days Fast for Freedom Week 1 Reflections

There are a few local ministries hosting a 40 day fast to raise awareness about CSEC (Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children), and encourage intercession on behalf of trafficking victims and perpetrators. It began this past Monday (2/27). I thought I would post some relfections from the next 40 days as a way to track my thoughts and anything God shows me during this time.

I am not fasting from food. I am fasting from my usual evening activities that take away time I should be in prayer and reading my Bible. I have recently been in the habit of watching TV shows on my computer and snacking right before going to bed. The whole time thinking "I should be reading my Bible and praying, but this TV show just started...I'll pray later". Later turns into never. Instead of filling my mind with senseless (although very funny) entertainment, I should be filling my heart, mind, and soul with the Word of God.

I started reading the book of Joshua about a month ago and decided to stick with it during the fast. I finished reading the book last night. Reading the book of Joshua has been a good reminder of God's power and sovereignty. God works in ways that surpass human comprehension and ability.
  • God caused a whole city to crumble with the sound trumpets and shouting (Chap. 6)
  • He made the sun stand still long enough for Joshua and his army to defeat their foes. (Chap. 10)
  • Israel fought many battles and God provided victory for them. (Chaps. 6, 8, 10, 11)
I also noticed in these chapters that although it was God working and accomplishing His will, the Israelites still had to work hard and fight with all their might. It takes work and diligence to follow God. We rest in His sovereignty, but this rest is an active one. God doesn't tell us to sit back and watch Him work. He tells us to join Him in the work and He shows what we can do to serve Him.

Thinking of this in context to fighting injustice reminds me that even when I don't see how victory is possible, God is a mighty God who garauntees victory. Even when there are many battles to fight, God is with us and has commanded that we not be discouraged (Joshua 1:9).

I have thought alot about the whole "now and not yet" philosophy. We now are saved and given new life, but its not yet fully realized. We are given victory over death and garaunteed everlasting life with God, but we do not have that new life in its fullest yet. So for now, we battle against sin and the darkness of this world (a darkness we find in our own hearts far too many times). This victory we have in Christ is not an excuse to wait for His return, but use that hope to drive on to continue in the fight against injustice until He does return.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Parting is such...a mess

Its my last week at work. Two days down, three more to go. It is bittersweet to leave Safe Families. I will miss my clients and the volunteers. I am, however, excited to see what happens and where I go from here. I feel almost schizophrenic, or like I have a split personality. I switch from feeling confident about my decision to wanting to reverse and take back everything I said and did. And I go back and forth all day.

There is a small part of me that is freaking out on the inside. So many thoughts and doubts race through my mind all day long. Did I do the right thing? Will I be able to get a job soon after I finish at Safe Families? Was this really what God wanted me to do? Was this really what I wanted to do? Is it okay to leave a job (with good benefits) when I don't have a definite plan? I have peace, but also turmoil. I trust God to provide, but am afraid of how He will provide. It might be uncomfortable and I don't want that. This whole process has shown me how much pride and selfishness still rule my heart.

Leaving and saying goodbye is good and right, but very difficult. My personality naturally shies away from confrontation or anything that is not easy to handle. I automatically feel responsible for other people's reactions.

The thing I dread the most about leaving my job, or leaving anything, is actually closing that part of my life and moving on. Closure can be so permanent. Telling the volunteers and my clients that I am leaving and will never talk to them again has been the most difficult thing about leaving. Not because I am heart broken, but because it is not easy to say goodbye. I am not sure of their reaction or what they will think.To a certain degree, I feel like I am abandoning my clients. I felt a similar way when it was time to leave India and go back home. I wanted to promise the kids I would be back and I really hoped to return one day, but what good is a promise when you cannot honor it? I want my clients to know that although people come and go in their lives, God is ever present and never forsakes.

But, with closure to one part of life, comes a chance to start a new part. I see potential in my future to really move forward with missions and further involvement in the fight against sex trafficking, whether state side or abroad. With this new chapter starting, I have time to focus on furthering my education and having time to minister at my church. I have wanted to get more involved and now I have that opportunity. I think God is also using this time to grow me and prepare for future endeavors where I will have to go out of my comfort zone and do what is right, what needs to be done.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

My Sweet Refuge

Below are the lyrics to a song "Dear Refuge of my Weary Soul". I sang this a few times at church, my sister too. I think often of this song. The words communicate so well how I feel at times when there is so much hurt around me and in my life. 
1. Dear refuge of my weary soul,
On Thee, when sorrows rise
On Thee, when waves of trouble roll,
My fainting hope relies
To Thee I tell each rising grief,
For Thou alone canst heal
Thy Word can bring a sweet relief,
For every pain I feel
2. But oh! When gloomy doubts prevail,
I fear to call Thee mine
The springs of comfort seem to fail,
And all my hopes decline
Yet gracious God, where shall I flee?
Thou art my only trust
And still my soul would cleave to Thee
Though prostrate in the dust
3. Hast Thou not bid me seek Thy face,
And shall I seek in vain?
And can the ear of sovereign grace,
Be deaf when I complain?
No still the ear of sovereign grace,
Attends the mourner’s prayer
Oh may I ever find access,
To breathe my sorrows there
4. Thy mercy seat is open still,
Here let my soul retreat
With humble hope attend Thy will,
And wait beneath Thy feet,
Thy mercy seat is open still,
Here let my soul retreat
With humble hope attend Thy will,
And wait beneath Thy feet

Thursday, May 20, 2010

There is a reason I live in Altanta

I came home last night from church and my mom told me she recorded part of the news program for me to see. She told me they did a story on child trafficking that is happening here in Atlanta. I posted the link on my FB page, but I will also post it here. Atlanta is a hot spot for child trafficking because of our major highways and airport. There is easy access in and out of Altanta. The city also has more strip clubs per capita than Las Vegas, according to Alesia Adams, who works for the Salvation Army as a local service coordinator against human trafficking. That is horrible! Here is the link to the news story...atl child trafficking
Fighting this injustice has been my passion since freshman year of college when I learned of child soldiers in Uganda. As I gained more information about human trafficking, my passion grew. There are many times I want to ignore it. God keeps reminding me it is here and getting worse. Most people who know me know that I am passionate about this, but even with the passion, I struggle to be active. Recently, it has been difficult for me to sit round and do nothing. I have to believe there is a reason I live here in Altanta and have this passion. With most horrific stories I hear, I pray about it but nothing more. This I can't shake off. I have to do someting, I must do something. God keeps sending me information to remind me and keep the passion ignited. There is reason I am here at this time.

Monday, April 19, 2010

I have decided to research the different views on manhood and womanhood and write about my findings. I want to take this time to get any questions you might have or suggestions of reading materials. I want both good and bad. It has always been enjoyable for me to read up on a subject and see both sides before making any final judgments or forming opinions of my own. This will probably be a multi-part blog.

I am mainly going to do this for my own growth and understanding. I actually do not care how many read this and give it thought. I hope who ever reads my blog is encouraged and challenged. I care about what I say, but not about how popular my blog is.

Okay, backing away from that tangent, I have a few resources already in mind: The Bible, John Eldridge and his wife's books, a book on womanhood by Carolyn McCulley. Any other suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Also, if you have questions you would like to be addressed, please let me know via this blog or Facebook.

Thank you, Reader!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Precious Little Lambs--Part Two

 Psalm 23:1-4
1.The LORD is my Shepherd; I shall not want.       
~God is the best example we have of a good shepherd who cares for His sheep. Because God is our Shepherd we are assured we will never be in want. He meets our needs.  
2.He makes me lie down in green pastures.
   He leads me beside still waters.
~Sheep need a Shepherd to lead them to good things. Sheep will not go out looking for clean fresh water or for green fresh grass, they will stay in one place until they die if not guided by someone.
3.He restores my soul.
~Our Shepherd gives us rest when we need it.
He leads me in paths of righteousness
   for his name’s sake.
~I can't imagine being lead in paths of righteousness as being pleasant for sheep who are not righteous. We are not familiar with the path God leads us down, but He is there every step of the way, guiding us sometimes firmly, but always lovingly.
4. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, 
 I will fear no evil,for you are with me;
 your rod and your staff,
   they comfort me.
~Shepherds never really rest when with their sheep, they must always look out for their safety. Our Shepherd protects us so we have nothing to fear. The next phrase "your rod and staff they comfort me" is a little strange. A shepherd's rod and staff are not just for protection from predators, but also to correct the sheep when they start going astray. Sheep need to be prodded and pushed to make sure they go the right way. That is not comfortable for the sheep, but how comforting to know that our Shepherd does this for our good and to keep us close to Him. 

Sheep are usually thought of in a flock, hundreds of them together as one unit. As Christians, we are one Body, THE Bride of Christ. Perhaps sometimes we feel alienated by this, we are part of something bigger than ourselves which is good, but we must not forget that we are still individuals who have personal relationships with our Shepherd. Jesus tells a story of a shepherd with a hundred sheep (Matthew 18). One sheep gets separated from the flock. The shepherd leaves the ninety-nine and goes after that one sheep. Jesus uses that parable to show that we are collectively one Body, but we are also individually, God's child. He cares for us as a Church and as individuals. Never think for one moment that your personal life does not matter to God.