As I posted yesterday, my friends have a ministry they are starting called “She has a Name” to reach out to, and find, those stuck in sex trafficking. This is all their thing and I have nothing to do with it other than to support it because I agree that this has to become more important. Behind Miami and Portland (OR), Toledo is the largest supplier of child sex victims. There’s even a premium paid for children ranging in age from 6 months to 12 years. I want to challenge you to make this picture your profile picture until Monday. Click on the image and save it to your computer. In the caption, link back to one of these links. Again, this isn’t my ministry and I don’t gain anything from your support. You can also go to their page, scroll down to the bottom and share it on Facebook yourselves!
Underage sex trafficking – Modern day slavery. That’s what it equates to. Up to 200,000 girls 11-17 are lured into the sex industry every year (Shared Hope International stat). I’ve shared some links at the bottom of the post about the Super Bowl this year and the expected 10,000 prostitutes that will be “shipped” in to fill the needs. I say all of that to share with you about The Shocks. I’ve known them for quite a while. I started working with Kevin in 2004 and his youngest two kids were the ring bearer and flower girl in my wedding. They have always had an incredible passion for anything they felt called to do, whether or not they really wanted to do it. She Has A Name is one such passion that has taken a hold of who they are. I work with teens and many (most) teens have no idea sex trafficking even exists, let alone that it happens with people their age. It comes at a time when it’s making national headlines because of the Super Bowl being in Dallas. Texas is second, behind California, for this trafficking so there is much more commotion this year than in years past. If you’re interested in learning more about what’s going on with their ministry, check out their blog (click on their name above) and to find out more about what’s being done at the Super Bowl to help fight this abuse, follow any of the links below.
It’s time once again to step back and enjoy the sounds of left vs. right and right vs. wrong. It doesn’t really matter though, there are lots of talkers but not many takers. I’ve heard lots of “It’s our duty as Christians to stop global warming” and “The Bible doesn’t mention global warming”. There are Christian scientists/leaders who say manmade global warming is real and Christian scientists/leaders who say it’s not manmade. It turns out, this snowstorm either is, or isn’t, caused by manmade or non-manmade global warming or climate change. So, for argument’s sake, let’s assume there is something we could do to adjust things. Let’s start, shall we?
1. Let’s cut our dependence on oil and fossil fuels. A typical 42- gallon barrel of crude oil yields about 20 gallons of gasoline and 4 gallons of jet fuel. What products come from the other 18 gallons? Here are 144 of the more than 6,000 products.
|Solvents||Diesel fuel||Motor Oil||Bearing Grease|
|Ink||Floor Wax||Ballpoint Pens||Football Cleats|
|Bicycle Tires||Sports Car Bodies||Nail Polish||Fishing lures|
|Cassettes||Dishwasher parts||Tool Boxes||Shoe Polish|
|Motorcycle Helmet||Caulking||Petroleum Jelly||Transparent Tape|
|CD Player||Faucet Washers||Antiseptics||Clothesline|
|Percolators||Life Jackets||Rubbing Alcohol||Linings|
|Skis||TV Cabinets||Shag Rugs||Electrician’s Tape|
|Tool Racks||Car Battery Cases||Epoxy||Paint|
|Mops||Slacks||Insect Repellent||Oil Filters|
|Roofing||Toilet Seats||Fishing Rods||Lipstick|
|Denture Adhesive||Linoleum||Ice Cube Trays||Synthetic Rubber|
|Speakers||Plastic Wood||Electric Blankets||Glycerin|
|Tennis Rackets||Rubber Cement||Fishing Boots||Dice|
|Nylon Rope||Candles||Trash Bags||House Paint|
|Water Pipes||Hand Lotion||Roller Skates||Surf Boards|
|Shampoo||Wheels||Paint Rollers||Shower Curtains|
|Guitar Strings||Luggage||Aspirin||Safety Glasses|
|Combs||CD’s & DVD’s||Paint Brushes||Detergents|
|Anesthetics||Artificial Turf||Artificial limbs||Bandages|
|Dentures||Model Cars||Folding Doors||Hair Curlers|
|Cold cream||Movie film||Soft Contact lenses||Drinking Cups|
|Fan Belts||Car Enamel||Shaving Cream||Ammonia|
40% of our CO2 emissions come from making electricity. If we, as Christians didn’t consume half of what we did, and lived within our means, the percentage of energy used would fall. Are we really ready to cut our artificial medical devices and sporting goods, just to save the earth?
2. 33% of our CO2 emissions come from our cars and our materialistic need to have things from all over the world. So buy local. and see if you really need whatever it is you think you need. Then there’s the farming issues but I’ll leave those for the next few posts.
3. Methane gas – Although it only lasts in the atmosphere about half the time CO2 does, it’s 72 times more potent in the 20 year average. Where does it come from? animals, agriculture and Arctic seabeds. Cows raised for food emit 16% of the methane given off annually and 21% of the CO2 produced annually. Not to mention the clear-cutting of rain forests to raise cows and plant their food, which leads us to…
4. deforestation – Whether it be for paper products, homes or clearing room for agricultural needs, forests are being cleared at an alarming rate. There’s no need to build homes in this country. Nearly 11% of homes in the US are sitting empty.
5. Chemical fertilizers. Nitrogen rich fertilizers are used more and more. Nitrogen oxides have a 300 times more heat trapping capacity than carbon.
I could go on to explain more about how these 5 things contribute greatly to the problem but most people don’t want to hear it. Actually, most people don’t want to change. One thing that would substantially reduce all five of these would without food. It’s two-fold. First, stop eating so much. Our country is already obese and it’s not looking any better for the next generation. Secondly, eat organic, locally grown, vegetarian foods. I know, that crossed the line, now I’ve stepped on some toes. It’s crazy to think that our insatiable appetites would cause us not only to destroy ourselves, but destroy the planet as well. Not eating meat is comparable to switching from an SUV to a hybrid. I know, it’s easier to tell other people to change than to take it personally and actually make changes ourselves. So, try this, cut meat nearly all the way out (As Americans, we consume 92 pounds of meat a year. The global average is 22 pounds) and what meat you do buy, make sure it’s local, organic and pasture raised. If it’s not, don’t eat it. Period. As for other foods, buy local when you can. I know it cost’s more, but we need to make desperate changes now to try to stave off an earth melt (or freeze)! As
global warming climate change advocates would say, there isn’t time to waste!
“The matter is quite simple. The Bible is very easy to understand. But we Christians are a bunch of scheming swindlers. We pretend to be unable to understand it because we know very well that the minute we understand we are obliged to act accordingly. Take any words in the New Testament and forget everything except pledging yourself to act accordingly. My God, you will say, if I do that my whole life will be ruined. How would I ever get on in the world? Herein lies the real place of Christian scholarship. Christian scholarship is the Church’s prodigious invention to defend itself against the Bible, to ensure that we can continue to be good Christians without the Bible coming too close. Oh, priceless scholarship, what would we do without you? Dreadful it is to fall into the hands of the living God. Yes, it is even dreadful to be alone with the New Testament.” – Soren Kierkgaard
This one hurt a little to read. It’s been floating around several blogs I follow lately so I went and found the most full quote I could find and there isn’t much I can say about it.
As I said yesterday, a 7th grade girl is reading through the bible in 90 days. The two excuses I hear most often are, I don’t have time and I don’t understand it. Well, if you wanted to make time, you could.
But the second excuse was harder for me to diffuse. It can’t be stated any more clearly than “We pretend to be unable to understand it because we know very well that the minute we understand we are obliged to act accordingly.” I’m not saying that Christian scholarship isn’t important. It is important to know our faith and to understand the theology of it. But that doesn’t excuse living a Christ-like life. It doesn’t excuse not showing Christ to others. It doesn’t excuse our materialistic tendencies when there are people living all around us who are in desperate need of basics. It doesn’t excuse our chosen inability to be selfless. It doesn’t excuse our desire to be comfortable. Instead, if we were to truly pour ourselves into understanding and applying even the basics taught in the bible, we would see that we are called to be Christ-like influences, selfless, generous, uncomfortable and sacrificial. Unfortunately (to too many), most of what we would learn about Christ wouldn’t make our churches bigger or lives better in society’s eyes but make them smaller and more radical… but who really wants that.
What does it look like to set your standards according to what God wants us to have? It’s a tough concept but we took some time going over this so students had a better idea of what they should come to expect in a relationship. (even if it’s not anywhere in the picture right now!)
I was looking for images of the chart for reading the bible in 90 days and I came across this. As you have probably seen, I’m not really a fan of “Jesusizing” secular brands. I did, though, attempt to do the P90X program a few months ago and I think I put more energy and effort in to being successful with that than I have ever put towards my spiritual discipline. This is a problem. So I started reading through the bible in 90 days and stopped making excuses on why I couldn’t do it. I realize that some of you may see that as extreme. Maybe it is, but why is that bad?
As I’m thinking through this, I saw that a good friend of mine had just posted on a similar topic so I thought I should link to it!
What kind of excuse is “I don’t have time”? If you wanted to make time for it, you could. I wish people would stop making excuses and justify why they don’t take their faith seriously. For me, it was realizing I was able and ready to clear out an hour and a half of my daily schedule so I could go work out. Yet, at no point in my life, had I been willing to take even a third of that for a 90 day stretch. That’s why I took the 90 day bible challenge. I knew that I wouldn’t be able to go after it by myself so I asked a few people to go for it with me. I ended up with around 75 people say they would go for it. I don’t know how many are still on track but if a 7th grade girl can do it, I don’t see any reason anyone else can’t! I don’t mean anything against her when I say that but the other excuse I hear after people realize the ” I don’t have time” one is shot is “it’s too hard to understand”. So again I say, if a 7th grade girl can read it…
So here’s my challenge. I don’t care if you read the whole bible in 90 days but at some point, you have to make SOME time for the bible. 15 minutes a day gets the bible done in a year. If someone can find time to read a Harry Potter book in a weekend then they can’t tell me they can’t read the bible in 90 days or a year. It’s time to prioritize and align what’s important in your heart and mind to what’s important in life. It could be that it is aligned and you know that reading the bible means things have to change and, well, as Thomas Gray wrote, ignorance is bliss.
Earlier in the nine weeks, we went through 1 Corinthians and there were some ladies upset with how their roles were being portrayed so we spent some time off and on talking about what that meant and then in my last week, we talked through it in more detail.