Archive for September, 2010
“Wisdom and money can get you almost anything, but only wisdom can save your life.” Ecclesiastes 7:12 NLT
I love to watch the Summer Olympics. My favorite part is watching the track and field events, mostly track, no field. When I was in junior high, I was on the track team. I ran the 100m sprint, 200m sprint and the mile relay. My coach said that I looked like a prancing horse when I ran. After all, I was one of the tallest girls in my class and I was finally proud of my long legs. I took it as a compliment and ran my best in every race. My team did very well those few years that I ran and even though I never won any individual awards, I was honored to be a part of a successful track team. My zeal for running waned tremendously as I grew older. I never got it back and to this day, I can honestly admit that I hate to run but I must jog to keep my heart healthy, so I do…sometimes.
I remember that before a track event our coach always told us to drink plenty of water so that we’d stay hydrated and eat carbohydrates for energy. If we didn’t, we’d get dizzy, have leg cramps and basically would be no good for the race. You see, you must ‘prepare’ in order to run a race well. I wonder in our own individual spiritual race how many times we approach the starting line unprepared?
Proverbs 3:21-23 declares “My son, preserve sound judgement and discernment, do not let them out of your sight; they will be life for you, and ornament to grace your neck. Then you will go on your way in safety, and your foot will not stumble.”
Sound judgement and discernment are medals that are ours when we walk in wisdom! I find that extremely exciting! Wisdom is the footwear that each of us needs to wear in order to run the race God has for us. The road may not always be flat and the route may not be easy. In fact, you can bet it won’t. God warned us that we would face trials, adversity, and attacks; therefore, we must choose our reactions wisely and be prepared. We must keep running when tough times come. So, how do we do this?
First, we ready our hearts by hydrating ourselves every day with the Living Water of God’s Word. Next, we feast on our Daily Bread through worship, and last, we rest in the shelter of the Most High by investing time in our relationship with Him. This is the fuel we need to replenish us with faith, hope and encouragement. God has given us everything we need to run the race. It’s up to us to prepare so that we gain victory in the tough times and finish strong!
“No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.” Hebrews 12:11
I admit it! I love watching those legal shows. You know, the ones about people getting justice. I’m a justice-kind-of-girl. I get it honestly, though. My father was a police officer for 23 years, so I grew up always wanting for him to get the bad guys and put them away. My mom has been a legal secretary for many, many years and she’s always been fascinated with the legal system and how it works. She had high aspirations to become a lawyer, but never pursued it. In fact, I have entertained the thought, as well. I love discovering facts and helping prove a person’s innocence, but I wouldn’t do so well in the lying department or helping a guilty client.
Although, I have a high regard for justice in our legal system; the ones that I am most concerned about in receiving their justice are the children who have fallen victim to trafficking. Some of their parents have sold them into the industry for money or they have been kidnapped. My passion is to spread awareness and raise funds to help stop this most tragic crime. These precious children have had their childhoods stolen from them. Can you imagine not experiencing all the fun and exciting things you did as a child? Some of the joys that I experienced as a child like taking a trip to the zoo, going to see a movie, playing hopscotch, jumping rope, making mud pies, building houses out of pine straw, making animals with play doh, my first happy meal from McDonalds, and celebrating my birthday have been stolen from these precious children. They are kept in a tiny little room in a run-down building. They share this room with many other children who are required to service as many as 20 clients a day.
The statistics are horrendous and unfathomable. Child trafficking is a $32 billion industry! The majority of suspects involved in the trafficking process are nationals of the country where the trafficking process is occurring. 52% of those recruiters are men, 42% are women and 6% are both men and women. In 54% of cases the recruiter was a stranger to the victim and in 46% of cases the recruiter was known to the victim (from the International Organ. for Migration). According to UNICEF, as many as 2.5 million children are subjected to prostitution in the global commercial sex trade. 300,000 children in our very own country are at risk every year for commercial sex trade according to the US Dept of Justice. That’s right. This unspeakable crime is happening right under our noses, in our own backyard. The Denver and Dallas airports are two of the major hubs for transporting trafficked children. It’s time for us to become proactive and do whatever we can to stop this.
When I first heard that this was going on internationally and also in the US, it was overwhelming. It shook me up. It wrecked my heart. I cried a lot. I began to pray and ask the Lord how I could get involved. I searched the web for a trusted organization that wanted to stop this horrific crime. I came across Stop Child Trafficking Now founded by Ron and Lynette Lewis. I read all of their information on their site and then asked our Missions Pastor what he thought of them and then I looked at their website and their board members and found that one of my husband’s new friends was on the board! Our Missions Pastor agreed that they were legit.
I was so excited to get involved! This organization raises awareness and funds to send special operative teams into the places where this unthinkable crime is happening so they can arrest the predators. Stop Child Trafficking Now “believes strongly that to eliminate this crime the demand for children must end. That’s why SCTNow seeks to destroy the source. SCTNow believes that by putting predators behind bars, we can Stop Child Trafficking Now.”
When we, as concerned citizens, simply decide to do something it ignites the power of one life. You can make a difference as one. I made a choice to partner with SCTNow to be a voice for the ones that have had theirs stolen. This is what excites me!! No longer can we sit and cry and hope that something will change. We cannot just dismiss it and think that someone else will deal with it or that it’s just too overwhelming. Where’s the justice in that? Where’s the compassion? Those children still have hope that someone will rescue them. How can we take away their last bit of hope?
You can do something. Think about all of your friends and everyone that you come in contact with every day. If you would just tell one person and that person told one person and so on, think of the damage we could do to destroy this billion-dollar industry. Just about everyone wears a silicone bracelet to show support for a particular cause. I went online and bought 20 white bracelets with Be a Voice…Stop Child Trafficking embossed on them to hand out to people who want one and also, to give as an extra little trinket in a birthday gift. That’s just another way to spread awareness. You’d be surprised how many people do not know anything about child trafficking.
Also, to help raise funds, SCTNow is sponsoring a community walk around the country Oct 2-3rd. Please visit www.sctnow.com and check out where the closest city walk is located near you. Last year over 8,000 people participated in the very first annual walk and raised over $600,000 to end child slavery. That’s pretty remarkable, isn’t it? Just think…YOU can be a part of that this year! The power of one life is truly amazing when you realize that you really do have the power to do something extraordinary with it.
Together, one by one, we can have Justice For All.