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!
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.
Let me intro this by saying that I never made the list when I was in high school or college. I wish I would have but I never though of it. The point of it is to help teens think through what they’re looking for in someone. Way too often, after a couple breaks up, one or both parties say “I don’t know what I was thinking”. Well, hopefully this will alleviate some of those thoughts. Wouldn’t it be helpful to know what you’re looking for BEFORE you start dating someone?
I think students do have an idea of what they want in another person so let’s get it on paper! When it’s written down, it’s much harder to justify things because it’s right in front of them. They should make a list of things that this other person must have for them to even think about dating them. First though, the student has to be single and not chasing after someone. If they are, then their list reflects that person way too much (which isn’t always bad). With a clear mind, they can be more honest with themselves about what they want. Some lists are really long so I have the students go back after they make their “must-haves” or absolutes and condense it to 5-10 things that the guy/girl must have to even be an option. Now, the must-haves aren’t things like “tall” or “tanned” but things like “solid faith”, “respectful of my parents”, “extremely patient”, “caring” or “can lead me spiritually”. That’s the first half.
The second part is to make a list of deal breakers. Are there things that are unacceptable to you? Disrespect, addictions, deceptive… This list doesn’t have to be a certain length.
Believe it or not, one student did the list and realized that the guy she kind of liked didn’t make the cut but the guy that I was pretending to set her up with did make it! If students have a decent relationship with their parents, it can be good for the parent to make a list of the things that they would want their child to look for in a boy/girl. Students are often surprised that the lists are actually very similar. It opens up conversation to what is important in relationships. Even if they are too young to be dating in your opinion, this exercise can be very helpful in getting the conversation started.
I have seen that students settle for what’s good enough. I have used this concept to teach students that they are good enough to get what they are looking for. If some boy/girl doesn’t make their list then they know that they would be making a poor choice and they are better than that. This list is fluid. Things can be added or removed as they get older and value things differently but it’s important to change the list when emotions can stay out of it.
This is also a great time to get into what the Bible says are important virtues and values that should be looked for in another person. The intent of this exercise isn’t to show why a girl is better than a guy or vice versa, the goal is to establish a base for what God expects from His children in the relationship realm. If a guy is making progress in an area and is trying to improve, it shouldn’t exclude them from making a girl’s list. The same goes for a guy and his list. We have to be willing to extend grace but not if there is no growth or change in someone.
Lastly, sometimes students say that they don’t know if someone will “make the cut” because they don’t know them well enough. Then why would you date them? So, get to know them and what they’re all about before you just start dating them.
I don’t like people “Jesusizing” secular brands. I was working on something else and started to get slightly annoyed (again) when i ran across a whole bunch of these shirts. Let me start by saying that when I was in high school, I had a Jesus shirt. It wasn’t a Jesusized brand but it still had a huge picture of white Jesus on it in a dress knocking on a door. That being said, here are a few of my daily annoyances.
This might actually be the most accurate Jesus shirt out there. All you have to do is push the button, or raise your hand, or turn in the card and you get to go to heaven! Don’t worry about the life change or the Fruit of the Spirit or actually putting Christ first, just push the button and you’re all good!
James 2:22 “You see, his faith and his actions worked together. His actions made his faith complete. 23 And so it happened just as the Scriptures say: “Abraham believed God, and God counted him as righteous because of his faith.” He was even called the friend of God. 24 So you see, we are shown to be right with God by what we do, not by faith alone.”I suppose we shouldn’t get carried away with what the Bible says though, that wouldn’t work as well on a tee shirt.
I’m thirsty for some delicioso orange Crush. I wonder where I could get some… Wait, what do I see? Jesus is a tasty, bubbly orange soda? Why, I’ll take two! Who couldn’t get friends to want Jesus if it was that easy.
Transformed… Why would you need the shirt then? Wouldn’t those around you already know that? It’s kinda like wearing a shirt that says I’m a Christian. You shouldn’t need a shirt to tell people it’s true. It should be clearly seen by your choices to do things through the lens of Christ.
“So I was walking by and saw your shirt and at first, I thought maybe it was those Reese’s Cups. Now I see that’s it says ‘Jesus, King of Kings’ I think I want that too.” Maybe it’s just me but I fail to see any true value in wearing these kinds of shirts other than it is a good way to pay for an over priced shirt. Here’s the last one, I don’t think it needs any comment…