Sunday, August 31, 2014

Victoria Osteen? What About Her? What About Us?


*This post has already become one of my most popular since it was written.  If the post has been a blessing or of interest to you, would you kindly bless me with a comment and a blog following? Thanks in advance!

Imagine you were human. Imagine you make a mistake and publicly say something that is incorrect or highly controversial. Imagine your brothers and sisters all over the world begin to mock you, disparage you, and even call you demonic. Imagine that you and your family are barraged by social media with every kind of foul and vicious attack. Imagine how you would feel, being persecuted by the very people who should love you and pray for you. 

Jesus himself told a group of religious men who were ready to stone a woman caught in adultery that the one who was sinless should cast the first stone. Even these pompous men dropped their rocks. Yet this is a lesson we apparently have not learned. 

We love to throw our rocks from the comfort of our computers, never considering the repercussions of our actions to those we stone with our words. We even love when others pick up stones and throw with us- sharing our disparaging words, meme, or video. We call it "going viral." 

Yeah, it's viral. Like a contagious disease spreading it's poison. We do exactly opposite of what Jesus taught us by His words and actions. And then we condone our behavior saying we must judge one another lest others be deceived by the one we disparage. 

I can hear someone saying, "But that one has a higher accountability.." That if we care about the body of Christ, we must be watchmen...My Bible tells me to examine MYSELF. To take the log out of my eye before trying to remove the splinter from someone else's. As imperfect as I am, I have enough work to do right here in this heart before passing judgment on others. 

And the spirit of our stones thrown is not one of love. There is little or no love anywhere recognizable- at least in most of the posts I've seen.

I'm writing to myself first and then sharing with you! IMHO- it's time for those who call themselves believers in Jesus Christ to repent of this sin. We need to stop falling prey to what I call the Internet Cesspool. Stop making excuses for gossip and slander. God is not pleased and the world looks on and laughs at us. 

Now imagine again you are a human who makes a mistake. Imagine swimming in a sea of prayer, love, and forgiveness, encouragement and godly exhortation. Imagine thousands of hands lifting you to your feet after you've fallen. Imagine having your biological family being covered and protected by your spiritual family. Imagine what that would look like to a watching world!

If you are called by His name, then seek His face, turn from your wicked ways, humble yourself and pray. And let's start looking a little more like the One who loves us by being a little more like Him. 

Update: Here's a link to a great video by Clayton Jennings regarding the same issue. It's worth the time to watch.

https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=729360307101778&fref=nf

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Why I Won't Do the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

Believe me when I tell you that my heart is tender toward those who battle ALS. As a nurse, I had patients who suffered tremendously and their end was more than difficult. I’m glad the challenge has brought light to Lou Gehrig’s Disease and has raised so many millions to combat it. I’m really happy to see so many Hollywood and sports celebrities taking part. I hope and pray the money raised will go directly to helping those who are struggling daily with ALS, and I pray even more that better treatment and a cure is found.

But now I need to explain why I won’t participate. For the past three years, I’ve been working on growing an organization to help young ladies who have been the victims of domestic sex trafficking. (That means American girls trafficked in our backyards by American perpetrators.) In brief, part one of our vision is to build a short-term transition house to assist young adult survivors with independent living and leadership skills so that they can become healthy, productive leaders in their spheres. 

Part two of the vision is a long-term safe house for minor victims that will help them become victorious overcomers. We will be the first not for profit organization to accomplish these goals in a faith-based setting in the state of NY where thousands of girls and young women are trafficked annually. Currently, there are very few places that have direct services for this overwhelming number of trafficking survivors. Many end up in jail, detention centers, or large residential treatment centers simply because authorities have few options for them.

The great news is that we just received our tax exempt status! Now we can finally write grants and raise funds so that we can do what we must to help these girls. Until recently, anything we needed to do with and for the girls we currently work with came out of my pocket. Legal fees for incorporation and the non profit status included. To fulfill the vision, we will need several million dollars just to get started. 

So while ALS is a wonderful cause and this challenge has brought so much good to the fight against it, my passion and fight must stay focused. With that, I will take the $100 for not pouring ice cold water on my head (Those who know me know that I HATE being cold!!!) and put it into Sparrow’s Hope for Girls’ bank account. And for the very first time, it will be tax deductible! 

Thanks for understanding.