|8 months of growth|
Friday, February 21, 2014
Thursday, January 30, 2014
|Wearing Destiny Threads|
Just one bite...
I knew it was wrong
Celebrate the victory!I remember this next moment as if it were yesterday. I was a senior in high school and was watching another video by myself hoping not to get caught. Years of knowing it was wrong, yet pushing the thought aside so that I could continue in my sin was about to end. I was watching the video and then I realized something...I was crying. Right there in the living room I broke down and cried like I had never cried before! In the moment of sadness I cried out to my Savior, "God, I don't want to do this anymore!" I have no idea how long I laid on the floor crying, but in the moment of silence before I stood on me feet I knew God was with me. I guess I expected His rejection and punishment, but I felt His grace and peace. I didn't hear an audible voice nor can I explain how I heard it, but I clearly heard God in my heart say, "Celebrate the victory!"
It was a marathonI figured with a moment like that I was instantly cured, but I learned that old demons die hard. I wanted to stop looking at pornographic material, but I kept finding myself going back there. I began to feel defeated again and wanting to just give up when I remembered what God said, "Celebrate the victory!" Instead of focusing on how many times I messed up my senior year with my secret problem, I began focusing on how often I did NOT mess up. I began celebrating each victory with God and focusing my life on Him even more. I was transparent in my prayer life, and I included Him more in my thought process. By the end of my senior year, and mostly through the help of God, I laid my problem at the foot of the cross for good. 20 years now, I haven't viewed pornography! That isn't to say that temptation isn't lurking at every corner of my life. I am bombarded with opportunities to lustfully gaze at commercials, ads, magazine covers, internet images, etc. But I rely on the commitment that I have made to God not to go down that road again...I'm celebrating the victory...and it is truly freeing!
What does this have to do with sex slavery?I might have been a 6th grade kid when all this stuff began, but I can clearly remember the effects and affects that pornography had on me: an unsatisfying lust for more. It caused me to take risks that a "normal" person wouldn't take. It is a cycle that never plateaus, but only continues to spiral downward out of control. I believe in my heart, though I don't have the evidence to prove it, that a man (with no pornographic influence) doesn't just decide one day to fly overseas to have sex with a child. That simply doesn't make sense. I believe that a young boy who is influenced by pornography will continue to seek more and take more risks to that point that MIGHT lead him to engage the sex slave market as an adult if he doesn't get help. I also believe that our sex education in schools is getting it all wrong when we are encouraging children as early as 10 to "explore their sexuality" and discover who they are sexually. What a tragic thought! This thought makes sense in the arena that we descended from animals. A better thought is this: we were designed by a loving Creator to explore the pleasure of sexuality within the parameters of His design. That means we exhibit self-control as we keep the "marriage bed pure" (Hebrews 13:4). After all, one of the fruit of the Spirit is self-control.
What should I do?If you are struggling with pornography, there are great resources available today to help you with that struggle. Covenant Eyes and XXXChurch are innovators in this area. Don't be afraid to ask for help. You are NOT alone in this battle. If you know me, I would love to talk with you about your struggle as well as equip you with some tools to see you though it. Finally, parents: talk with your kids!! They are flooded daily with internet images, school buddies who send them text messages, and smart phones that open a gateway to infinite pornographic material. If you talk with them, as awkward as it may seem, they are listening and they will respond. Let me know how I can pray for you!
As transparent as I can be,
In Christ's love,
Friday, January 10, 2014
I usually try to avoid articles that make me extremely upset, but from time to time I come across one that makes my blood boil. Tonight I was reading an article from theblaze.com that completely disturbed me. Here's a summary of the article: a woman bought a tablet at a flea market in which she discovered child pornography on depicting the man she purchased it from with an 8 year old; she took the evidence directly to the police only to be told to come back in four days when the investigators were back from vacation. ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! Why did it take 4 days for them to even look at the evidence to make an arrest?! I have a theory: many people don't take this issue seriously enough. Well, I'd like to introduce you to a group that I have recently discovered that take this matter very seriously. They are called Operation Underground Railroad or O.U.R.
These Guys Don't Mess Around
Get Involved & Spread the Word
Sunday, January 5, 2014
|Feel the Resolve|
2014 is here. My beard is six months old. Slavery still exists. Three simple, yet real facts. I have six months left on this journey of growing my beard to grow awareness of child sex slavery, and I'm already feeling like it's going too fast. Obviously I'm not going to stop my efforts to see slavery end when I shave off my beard, but I wonder what the next six months will produce? So, if you are a New Years Resolutions type of person, I would like to challenge you to make a resolution to do the 5 following things in the next six months:
- Share this blog with as many people as you can! Use Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to direct people to it. Use the hashtag #SlaveBeard when talking about it.
- Make a donation to Destiny Rescue or Rapha House. It can be a one time donation, or better yet commit to a monthly donation for a year,
- Buy a tshirt from Destiny Threads www.destinythreads.com and wear your support.
- Buy a gift for someone you know from the Rapha House online store. It could be a shirt, hand bag, wallet, or various other items. Be sure to tell the person you bought it for the story behind it.
- Pray at least once a week (pick a day and make it a habit) for the workers of Destiny Rescue, the workers of Raph House, the survivors they have rescued, and those still trapped in slavery.
2013 was a great year in many ways, so let's not lose momentum! Let's stand up against this horrible evil until all the children are safe in the arms of those who will show them their the value and love!
Tuesday, December 17, 2013
Thursday, December 5, 2013
Have you ever been the victim of identity theft? I have...multiple times. Once I was using a company calling card in LAX and someone videoed the number as I used it. They called the Middle East several times before we knew about it. Both my debit card and credit card have been compromised, costing me around $9,000 in fradulant charges. Even my Walmart online account was once hacked, and I paid for someone's Microsoft points...multiple times! Having your identity stolen stinks immensely and definitely causes great difficulties in life. But what I have experienced is truly nothing compared to the children whose identity has been stolen by the reality of sex slavery.
Identity Theft at its Worst
Each child that is currently being held as a sex slave has a very real identity. They have a past that probably holds very fond memories compared to what they are facing as you read this. Some of them had wonderful friends and beautiful families. Many of them at the very least had the pleasure and identity of simply being a child. Sex slavery has taken all of that away and left them as nothing more than an object of lust or an empty shell of the life that once embraced their childhood. Their identity has been stolen and needs to be restored.
Restoring Their Identity
This scenario would have a horrible ending if it weren't for people like you who care enough to take action. Though the hell they currently live in seems insurmountable, there are heroes who have dedicated their lives to restoring the identities of these precious children. Destiny Rescue not only goes into the red light districts to save these children from brothels, but they stand prepared to take these children in and give them a home and hope. Rapha House does a remarkable job rehabiliting these children while letting them know that they are truly loved and have value. As both these incredible organizations educate the children, show them their Heavenly Father, and teach them a trade, they are actually restoring the true identities of the survivors of sex slavery. Exciting, isn't it? You can be part of the process, too!
- Spread the word about Destiny Rescue and Rapha House
- Buy merchandise made by the survivors
- Purchase a shirt that educates others about Destiny Rescue and Rapha House
- Sponsor a child that has been rescued
- Make a donation to these groups to ensure that they can continue to restore what has been taken...the identities of sweet, innocent children!
Monday, November 25, 2013