“Therefore Stay Awake—For You Do Not Know When the Master of the House Will Come.”

According to the FBI

  • The average age at which girls first become victims of prostitution is 12 to 14. It is not only the girls on the streets who are affected; boys and transgender youth enter into prostitution between the ages of 11 and 13 on average

According to The Covering House

According to Abolition Media (Internationally)

  • 27 million people are involved in modern-day slavery across the world
  • 32 billion – Total yearly profits generated by the human trafficking industry
  • An estimated 1.2 million children are trafficked each year

Last night I finally gave into two separate, but like callings from God. Every couple moths for the past year or so I have been compelled to speak out against the Sex Trade, and advocate those groups attempting to put an end to it, and rescue the victims of it.

A couple of weeks ago I found a song that talks about how we, as Christians, are called to harvest the Earth for God. To sow, and reap. And how it is now time to start harvest because The Master is coming soon. In essence its a call to action hidden in a catchy song, but it’s one that won’t soon depart any authentic Christians mind.

The song is The Harvester – Brandon Heath.

It’s time to wake up America!!

AS CHRISTIANS WE ARE CALLED TO FIGHT THE INJUSTICES IN THE WORLD!

For all the ways God has blessed us how can we sit on the sidelines while others around the world, and EVEN IN OUR COUNTRY are getting their freedoms taken away by either poverty, or by others selling them as if they (HUMAN BEINGS CREATED IN GODS IMAGE) are mere cattle.

“14 What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that17 So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead18 But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.19 You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder20 Do you want to be shown, you foolish person, that faith apart from works is useless? 21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up his son Isaac on the altar?” James 2:14-21

It’s not just faith that saves us! SAVING FAITH PRODUCES WORKS NATURALLY!!! It’s a cause and effect relationship. Why would God save us if He knew we sat around and watch our BROTHERS AND SISTER being forsaken?

Last year I had the honor of meet a couple of amazing men from a group called Destiny Rescue. They are committed to fighting Child Trafficking, Slavery, and Sexual Exploitation all over the world.  They speak out against, work with governments agencies, and even go in a actively rescue victims out of the situations they find themselves in.

They are just one group out of many that are created to fight this injustice. But without support and help ultimately these agencies will never succeed.

As far as I’m concerned only God has any right to not care. But HE DOES CARE! Do YOU?

As a Christian YOU are commanded to be a light in the world, to live as Jesus did, to fight for equality, and to speak for those who can’t. Are you? Are you being a voice for the millions that are stuck in any of the injustices in the world? Or are you sitting at your desk, in a heated house, wearing new clothes, surrounded by a loving family without any worries about those down the road who don’t have any of that?

Psalms 82:3 “Defend the weak and the fatherless; uphold the cause of the poor and the oppressed.

Micah 6:8 “He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God”

Matthew 7:12 “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you

Luke 10:30-37 “In reply Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. 31 A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. 32 So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. 34 He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. 35 The next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’36 “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?”37 The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.” Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”

James 1:27 “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.”

1 John 3:17-18 “If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person?18 Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.”

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The #M2GT Giveaway

Six:11 Ministries

Here it is!

The #M2GT Giveaway, sponsored by Six:11 Ministries and Simply Youth MinistrystartsTODAY!!

It’s been about a year since my book was published, and I continue to be amazed at how God has used this small book to bless others, and start an important conversation within churches and homes. Every week I hear stories from parents and youth workers on how our ministry (Six:11) and our book (Ministering to Gay Teenagers) has helped them better understand God’s heart for gay individuals – especially teens.

The message of God’s redemptive love for those with same-sex attractions is spreading. Stories of churches changing their mindsets and ministry approaches to the gay community are being shared. Parents are learning how to deeply love their gay children without fear. It’s amazing what God is doing! And not just through our ministry, but through numerous ministries who…

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God’s Unexpected Gifts

As most of you know, last year (2012) I was deployed to Afghanistan until August of that year. This meant training started in Sept of 2011, requiring lots of traveling. Well due to the timing of our departure out of country and Christmas we were allowed to take some time off and go home to spend time with our loved ones before we walked in hell’s front door. 

As expected we were all excited to go home and were anticipating the time for the buses to arrive at the Mississippi base to take us away. Most of us had headphones in listening to music that reflected what we had been through in some way, while the others stood around “smokin and joking” as we call it. The songs we listened to varied from love songs, rap, and songs that got our blood pumping. There was one song that in particular struck my mood at that time and the whole bus ride home to Ohio I listened to it. The more I listened to it, the more I thought about by girlfriend at the time, and honestly the more I prepped for the trip that would be coming way too soon. 

We got home safely and spend the time with loved ones and living life like only a soldier about to be deployed would. Fast forward to Christmas Day. I gave Amanda a ring and made her my fiancé. 1 week later I left to go back to Mississippi. Within 2 weeks I was on the other side of the world. But it was that bus ride back to Mississippi that really stuck out to me. It was way too early in the morning. We had to report to the Armory somewhere around 4 am, so my family and Amanda went out to Walmart (for some reason) and to get breakfast. (That is one of my favorite memories from when dad was alive). 

Well I got on the bus and instantly put my headphones back in…that same song. Playing over and over, the whole way. It made me think of my new love, and those I was leaving behind. 

Moral of the story is that God used a single song to keep those feelings of love and commitment kindled in the depths of my heart. No matter how mad I was, or how hurt I was, whenever I listened to that song Amanda came to my mind and that unending love refilled my heart. Even to this day that song has the same effect. It rekindles those memories and makes me remember exactly what I felt during those times and what love for her should look/feel like.  Even though the song is by no means a Christian song, or even a song I’m willing to post on here, God still used it as a way to remind me about what our love started off as, and what it should be like. 

Thoughtful Reflections

The first week back at school always proves to be a very thought provoking week. On this first week back I’m focusing on how much my life has changed in the last year; from fall 2012 to fall 2013. This process of thought was brought on by the haphazardly scrolling through the photos in my phone. As I started flipping the pictures down and worked my way to the top of the list, older photos started to arise. As I started to see shots of trees and hunting areas I noticed a few that I had taken a blackmail. Those photos were of my dad, dressed in camo, holding a large white mushroom that stood out among the trees while we were “deer hunting”. At that time I started trying to remember exactly when we went out hunting, to no avail. But a realization hit me right after that thought. “That had to have been 1 to 2 months before he died”.

I have gone 9 months without my best friend, after spending 12 months without him, ending just a few months earlier. Just the thought makes my stomach churn. At the time the pictures were taken it never crossed my mind that in under 2 months I’d never be on another hunting trip with him. The fact is in fall 2012 I didn’t spend much time at all with my parents, particularly my dad (unless we were hunting). Most of the time we kind of avoided each other. But deep down we knew the other loved us. And that’s all that mattered.

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

Relying on God

 

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Part of being in ministry is listening to God….all the time. So when you decide to explore a life option and God steps in and says not to do it, you should listen.

In June I decided that I couldn’t afford to go back to school, start a family without first paying off some school debt. So I applied for a full time job in a factory. To my relief they didn’t call….until 3 weeks ago.

The call happened, the interview happened, the orientation happened, and then the first day of work happened. Everything was going good until the 3rd day of work, and that’s when God happened…

I was spending some quiet time with Him and He said that I wasn’t where I needed to be, and how if I’m doing what I thought was right to provide for myself I wasn’t fully relying on Him. It was also that time that I was told that I needed to go back to school and let God deal with the worry about the debt. The verses about storing up treasures on Earth instead of Heaven poured through my mind.

Early the next week I was again prompted to spend time with God. This time it was so He could reiterate what He said the previous week about me attempting to provide a steady future on my own and how that wouldn’t glorify Him. But there was a new message as well, the message that if I know what God says and know what He is calling me to do but I don’t do it immediately, it’s disobeying God and is seen as a sin. That hit me hard. How could I claim to be a Christian and a Pastor, yet blatantly disobey God in order to make myself and my family happy? I couldn’t…..so I did the one thing that I didn’t want to do. I put the money, and the happy family behind me and bowed down before the King of Kings, and The Provider of my needs in humble obedience.

I’m reminded about the first disciples and how Jesus called them to Him. They heard God speak, dropped what was in their hands, and instantly left all family, money, and security to follow the One Who Brings Life.

 

My prayer is that more people in todays world recognize the calling of God in their life. I pray that as we hear God we aren’t afraid to drop everything and focus solely on Him. He alone can, and will, provide for all of our needs if we choose to fully rely on Him.

Strength in Weakness

Strength and weakness. Such a simple saying, but the implications can be monuments. In trying times you can find strength within the weakness you feel if you know where to look.

The way God moves in things is so amazing, yet it’s normally in the things that go wrong that I see God more. I hardly ever see God in things that go perfect, mainly because I am too busy looking at myself for doing such a good job.

But what I need to remember is that it’s Christ IN me that makes things go well. That being said, as genuine Christians, we need to start looking within us at the Spirit that is able to do so much more than we are able to do on our own.

“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” 2 Corinthians 12:9

4/4/12

Here I sit, on the edge of a wall staring at a fountain in the middle of campus. It’s 9:47 pm and I should be doing homework, but I can’t. Today is a special day to me, and many more like me. It’s a day that nobody can take from us. Sitting on this wall I realize, once again, how alone I am. The memories and feelings start to flow out from the cracks they have slid into, and back into plain sight. I think it was this time last year that I learned not to cry at death, but to let my anger overrun it. You can’t cry or show sorrowful emotion if you’re waiting for an opportunity to “make things right”. Never before in my life have I felt the emotions run through my veins, and God willing, I never will again. I don’t remember the exact time, or even what our mission was, all I know is we weren’t at our base when we finally heard the news. Not too long after my convoy drove past the part in our city a VBIED detonated in an attack against my brothers, and if I dare say it, friends. We were used to just barely missing attacks and at first I don’t think it hit me, but when the finally news reached us, and we headed towards home, I wanted nothing more than to kill anyone in my way. I knew hat I had a “switch” that I could control my urges with during the deployment, but in this instance it wouldn’t turn off. I couldn’t stop wishing I could hurt “them” like they hurt “us”. I know it’s not the Christian thing to think or even admit, but it’s true. As we were controlling the ECP of our base in order to give our other brothers a break, due to the situation, I remember hoping another attack would happen. I wanted to be the “hero”. It wasn’t until after everything calmed down and went back to normal that I realized I needed to change my thinking. Through lots of prayer and wrestling with myself and God I finally found my balance and my “switch” started working again. But as I reflect on what today means to me and the significance it plays in my life, I can’t help but mourn and even let’s some of that resentment back out. I want to cry, but there are no tears, I want to yell, but have no words…but those 3 KIA and 5 WIA will never be forgotten by me or any of their other brothers and sister. 4/4/12 OEF, A Day That Will Live In Infamy.