Homework is never fun, but researching for a novel about sex-trafficking is heart-searing, brain-cleaving, stomach-punching yuck. What drives the demand? That's the part I simply can't understand. The numbers are traumatizing, but they're not just numbers. They are children. The average age that a child is initiated into sex-trafficking in the US is between 12 and 14 years of age. In one recovery program, the average age of initial child sexual abuse was 8. Human trafficking
We celebrate our Emmanuel. God became human, and human history changed forever. The creator of the universe became a vulnerable newborn. He wrote our story and wrote Himself into it. He created us to think and decide for ourselves. Knowing we would reject Him, He created us anyway, much the way a couple decides to have a child despite the risk that their child may not always like them or agree with them, but they choose to love anyway. The Divine transcended time and space an
I see a lot of disturbing words on social media, a lot of arguments reduced to name calling. Reasoned discussion is abandoned for argumentum ad hominem, personal attacks. Rather than listening to opposing views, we vilify our presumed opponents with generalizations and broad-sweeping, hurtful words. Enough. Really. Enough. Can we not have enough respect for those with whom we disagree to let them speak, to let them breathe, to let them have a voice, even a hostile, bitter voi
I dreamed of finding a hidden treasure. My backyard was the world. A rickety trailer, the rusted bed of an old pick-up truck, was my mighty ship. I was the brave adventurer battling the stormy sea and all who would dare breach my path to the buried treasure. My world was simple yet rich. It was my world. I conquered, and I ruled. No one could stop me from finding that hidden treasure. Things change. We grow up. But deep inside there is a brave adventurer who still wants to co
Sometimes it feels like we are drowning in a sea of words. It doesn’t matter which side of the Titanic you’re standing on, each side wants to blame the other, meanwhile the ship is going down, down in a spinning sea of words. But these words didn’t set the ship off course. These words are the overflow of our hearts. We have become arrogant in our course. We fight for control of the vessel, all-the-while we are building an iceberg with our cold, cutting words. Words can build
Where was Jesus during my storm? Didn’t He care? Didn’t He know the storm could kill me? The boat was practically on its side, but He was asleep at the controls. I was getting blasted by waves and couldn’t even stand on the deck. How was He sleeping? Did I wake Him? Did He startle? Did He reach for the controls? No! I shouted, “Wake up! We are going to die!” He rubbed His eyes. “Why did you wake me?” Are you kidding? We are dying! You were supposed to be controlling the boat.
Why does this symbol cause “all hell to break loose?” A middle school student is prohibited from wearing a cross necklace, a gift from her grandmother.
A university buys a church building. Before any other renovation, the cross is removed.
A city council removes a small cross from a church on the city’s seal to avoid offending anyone except those offended by its removal. Around the globe, the stories become more severe: churches burned, homes destroyed, people displaced, ab
I pause to remember the pilgrim that I am, a wandering heart, wondering what promise the world has to offer, whom to trust, what to believe, where to settle this soul. I reflect on Governor William Bradford and “the saints” who settled on Plymouth. This new world was not their destination but their temporary refuge. They fled the oppressive rule of The Church of England. They wanted to worship God free from the constraints of human construction, to return to a simpler worship
"People are illogical, unreasonable, and self-centered. Love them anyway.
If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives. Do good anyway.
If you are successful, you win false friends and true enemies. Succeed anyway.
The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow. Do good anyway.
Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable. Be honest and frank anyway. The biggest men with biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest men with the smallest minds. Think
"Prison is a test of faith. I was always worried that the storms of this life would break the ship of faith, but when you stand in the steadfast ship of faith, the storms are like a nice breeze. Nothing can break the ship of faith. These walls have created more fervor for me to love others through sharing the Gospel, but more than that, the walls have deepened my love for my Savior. I feel the prayers of all who are praying for me. I hope to one day meet each one of them face