Friday, June 27, 2014

The Enemy at Work

There are not degrees of sin—sin is sin. I know that. But sometimes, when sin looks like pure evil…well, that’s harder to swallow.

Last week, I wrote about a presentation I attended on human trafficking. I watched as the speaker, a senior criminal investigator, paced while answering questions and I heard his attempt to temper his words. When a woman spoke up about the evil going on, he stopped, paused, and said there were times he felt he was looking right into the face of the devil himself.

I can’t imagine the horror he’s seen and I wonder how he’s able to sleep at night. I want to cheer for him and thank him for fighting for what’s right and for helping those who can’t help themselves.

It’s not new this evil. Satan has been at work since the beginning…tempting and enticing us, luring us with promises of wealth, fame, satisfaction—and lying to us.

To continue reading, please join me at 5 Minutes for Faith...

In Christ,
Laura 

Note:
The National Human Trafficking Resource Center is a national toll-free hotline, available to answer calls and texts from anywhere in the country 24/7, every day of the year.

Call 1-888-373-7888 or text HELP or INFO to BeFree (233733) to report a tip, connect with anti-trafficking services in your area, or request information and training assistance.

I have posted a companion post Human Trafficking in the United States, with a little bit of what I learned about human trafficking, including what anyone and everyone can do and links to resources.

Linking up with Faith Filled Friday, Counting My Blessings


Sunday, June 22, 2014

Letting Go of Normal

I haven’t written much about my One Word for this year. It’s Let Go. I know, that’s two words. But that’s what God gave me before 2014 started. Believe me, I double and triple checked with Him. I didn’t like what Let Go might mean, so I wanted to give Him a chance to change His mind. Obviously, He didn’t.

In a way, I think now I’m glad for the warning because it has been a year of letting go…and adjusting to change.

It’s been letting go of schedules—well, mine anyway, for God’s. Have you noticed that God’s schedule rarely coincides with yours? Yep, it’s an adjustment.

It’s been a year of not knowing for sure if we’ll be at school or work, how many doctors we’ll see, or when healing will come.

His schedule, not mine.

It’s been letting go of normal. I didn’t quite realize how much I appreciated a normal day until they were gone. Normal seems boring until you miss it.

Normal was grocery shopping and not having to read every single label. Every. Single. One.

Normal was not having a clue what maltodextrin is and wondering if it’s safe or not.

Normal was not knowing that wheat-free is not the same thing as gluten-free.

Normal was not understanding that gluten intolerance is different than celiac disease.

But now I know…and we have a new normal—a celiac, gluten free normal.

I’d always thought it would be the worst thing ever, but it’s really not. There are so many more gluten free options than I thought there would be, and I’ve had friends help who are already on this gluten free road.

It is, however, quite an adjustment. It’s not just buying different food. It’s making sure there is no contact with anything containing gluten, because with celiac any exposure can cause illness. Exposure only takes moments, but healing can take days.

I’ve let go of not thinking about this at all, because now I’m thinking about it all the time. It’s our new normal.

Let Go has really been the word for this year so far. Only 6 more months to go…

In Christ,
Laura 

Photo credit: Stock photo: dandelion in the wind


Sunday, June 15, 2014

Human Trafficking in the United States

I recently attended a disturbing presentation on human trafficking in the United States. Disturbing isn’t the best word here because it’s way too mild. I’d already been hearing some of the statistics, so I wasn’t completely shocked—but what I felt was sick and sad…for the victims and because of the evil in our world.

I knew what I was walking into. Before I left, my husband asked me why I was going when I knew it would upset me. I said I had to go—I didn’t want to go, and at the same time I knew I couldn’t not go. That’s the best I could explain it.

We hear so much about human trafficking in other countries, but friends, it is here too—where we live, where we raise our children, and where we value our freedom.

In this post today, I want to share a little of what I learned—not to upset you, but to bring the same awareness I needed. (Click on the links for more information.)    

- Human trafficking is a form of modern-day slavery. More people are enslaved in the United States today than any other time in history. Victims can be male, female, minors, or adults. Female minors are most often primary targets for exploitation and trafficking.

- Cases of human trafficking have been reported in all 50 states of the U.S.

- Worldwide, human trafficking is considered to be one of the fastest growing criminal industries. (The drug trade is still first.)

- The National Human Trafficking Resource Center is a national toll-free hotline, available to answer calls and texts from anywhere in the country 24/7, every day of the year. 

The hotline is operated by Polaris Project (www.polarisproject.org), a non-profit, non-governmental organization working exclusively on the issue of human trafficking. (Click on the link to find so much more information.)
Call 1-888-373-7888 or text HELP or INFO to BeFree (233733) to report a tip, connect with anti-trafficking services in your area, or request training assistance, general information, or specific anti-trafficking resources.
What we can do:

- Pray for the victims, the police, task forces, and all who are trained to rescue the victims and apprehend the traffickers. And even…for the traffickers—that they might come to know God. Our God is the God of miracles, and we need miracles to stop this evil.
Rescue the poor and helpless; deliver them from the grasp of evil people. Psalm 82:4 NLT 
- If you see something that does not look right, say something! Call the police. (Don’t worry about being wrong.)

- Do not approach or attempt to intervene. Call for help.

- After calling 911, call the National Human Trafficking Resource Center at 1-888-373-7888.

- Report what you see, not what you think is happening.

- Find out where your state stands on human trafficking laws. Contact your legislatures to support efforts to end human trafficking in your state.

For more information, visit Polaris Project. For state specific information and resources, visit the State Map page at Polaris Project, and click on your state.

In Christ,
Laura