Believers Obedience in The Only Living God: Jesus is Lord!

For when he dies he can take none of it along; his goods cannot follow him down
Psalms 49:18 (The Israel Bible™)
כִּי לֹא בְמוֹתוֹ יִקַּח הַכֹּל לֹא־יֵרֵד אַחֲרָיו כְּבוֹדוֹ
KEE LO b’-mo-TO yi-KAKH ha-KOL lo yay-RAYD a-kha-RAV k’-vo-DO
Learn Hebrew!יֵרֵד [yerayd]VERB: Go downThe Bible relates that after Solomon (Shlomo in Hebrew) becomes king of Israel, he has a dream. In his dream, God appears and offers to grant him one wish. Instead of requesting wealth or long life, Shlomo humbly asks for wisdom so that he can properly judge the people. God is pleased with his decision, and rewards him not only with wisdom, but with wealth and honor as well. Upon waking the next morning, he comes to Jerusalem and offers sacrifices, expressing his gratitude to the Lord (I Kings 3:5-14). In making his request, Shlomo demonstrates that he understands the message of this verse: Those things that most people chase, wealth and fortune, are the most fleeting.
Exclusive Footage of the Fire At Mount Moriah
Terrorists sought to attack worshipers at the Western Wall below when they fired an incendiary that stuck the trees on the Temple Mount, causing a fire that has not happened there since the Second Temple’s destruction in 70 CE!

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Dear delana ,

Have you ever known someone who put up a barrier that prevented true communication? Sometimes when talking to certain people, I’ve felt like there was a wall of cold steel between us. In moments like that, I find myself wishing the person could open their heart just a little. Do you know why this happens? Oftentimes, it’s because that person has a poor self-image and is afraid to let others see who they really are. But God wants—and has provided—so much more for His children.

What do you see when you look in the mirror? Your self-image is the mental picture you paint of yourself. It’s important to develop it correctly, because how you think, feel, speak, and act flows out of it.

The shaping of your self-image began very early when you were a baby, and continues throughout your life. Your mental self-perception is influenced by the words of others as well as your own experiences. But because our hearts are self-deceiving (Jer. 17:9), we’re prone to a distorted view of ourselves. The only one who truly knows and understands us is God. By going to His Word, we’ll gain the right insight into who we truly are.

Paul is an example of someone who had a balanced self-image. We catch a glimpse of this in 1 Corinthians 15:8-10. After listing those who had the privilege of seeing the risen Christ, Paul declared with humility that he was the last one to see the Lord. What was Paul’s journey from an earlier, distorted view to this more accurate self-perception?

Before his conversion, Paul had too high an opinion of himself. He had reached the top tier of Judaism and was confident as a Pharisee that his obedience to the law had earned him God’s approval and acceptance (Phil. 3:4-6). He was so convinced of his self-righteous beliefs that he persecuted the church. It took a visit from Jesus on the Damascus road to open Paul’s mind to the truth that he was a sinner in need of a Savior.

After, Paul humbly adjusted his self-image to a more accurate assessment. He said, “Whatever things were gain to me, these things I have counted as loss because of Christ” (Phil. 3:7-8). When he wrote to the Corinthians, he described himself as “the least of the apostles, and not fit to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God” (1 Cor. 15:9).

Now, you might think Paul must have had a terrible self-image at this point. How could he possibly get over the guilt of what he’d done? Perhaps you feel this way about yourself. Is past sin dogging your steps, dragging you down into discouragement, and distorting your selfimage? Do you let your failures shape how you see yourself? If so, learn from Paul’s example.

Paul viewed himself as God saw him. He didn’t let past failures shape his identity. He left them behind so he could pursue Christ. At salvation, Paul became a new person, all due to God’s grace: “But by the grace of God I am what I am” (1 Cor. 15:10). Paul didn’t develop a self-loathing attitude once he recognized his sins. Instead, he saw himself through the lens of biblical truth.

That’s what God wants for every believer. We don’t have to live the rest of our lives with a distorted view of ourselves, living in bondage to a low or high self-image. The Lord wants us to have a balanced perception based on Scripture. Ephesians 1:3-14 tells us how God sees us. We are His chosen, beloved children who are redeemed, forgiven, and lavished with grace.

Finally, Paul lived in his new self-image given to him by God’s grace. He didn’t rest after salvation, but kept pressing forward to become the person God created him to be and accomplish what he’d been called to do. Paul said, “His grace toward me did not prove vain; but I labored even more than all of them [the other apostles], yet not I, but the grace of God with me” (1 Cor. 15:10).

The purpose of a balanced self-image is not just so we can feel good about ourselves and relate well to others, but so God can use us as He desires. He’s transforming us into His Son’s image (Rom. 8:29) and accomplishing His will as He empowers our love, service, and obedience.

Many things distort self-perception—guilt from past sin, criticism, failures, and comparison to others are just a few. But these are not true markers of who you are. In Christ, you are a new creation and have been given a new self, made in the likeness of God. That is who you truly are.

The way to develop a balanced self-image is to saturate yourself with God’s Word. Learn what He says about you. Then begin living in those truths by faith, knowing that God is the one transforming you into Christ’s image. He’s working in and through you so you can serve Him effectively, interact with others in an open, godly manner, and see yourself as He does. If you’ll take hold of His truths and let them shape your emotions and behavior, you’ll discover the true you.

One of the first Scripture memory verses that our children learned was “Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right” (Ephesians 6:1 KJV). Most people expect that children should be taught to obey, however they rarely understand that obedience is for not only the children, but for everyone.

nullIn our ministry we teach Biblical Parenting classes and the definition and Biblical concepts of obedience are taught during the “Discipline – Part 1″ class. Obedience is often confused with submission; however, the two words differ in this way:

  • Obey – The Biblical word for “obey” comes from the Greek “hupakou” which means to listen attentively; by implication to heed or conform to a command or authority. This word conveys the idea of actively following a command. There is no choice in the matter, it is to be done whether one agrees with it or not. Obedience is involuntary.
  • Submit – The Biblical word “submit” comes from the Greek “hupeiko” which means to yield; to passively surrender to an authority. Submission is similar to obedience but in this case one might question what is being commanded. Submission is voluntary. 

When is it a good time to start a Devotional? The beginning of the year? Tomorrow? How about RIGHT NOW!

The Gospel Project takes men and women on a chronological, Christ-centered journey through the storyline of Scripture.

Our 13-session summer study is All Things New.

Examine the life of Paul and discover how through all the adversity, struggles, and persecution that he experienced, Jesus was present, powerful, and in control, just as He is with all believers.

Therefore, we can live in grace, strive for unity, defend the faith, and obey our Lord, overflowing with His love for us.

Why obedience is important to God. In our daily life, we know that obedience is a very essential habit one should abide to in our homes, workplaces and in the communities in which we live. In simple terms, obedience is compliance with an order, request, law or submission to another’s authority.

In our daily life, we know that obedience is a very essential habit one should abide to in our homes, workplaces and in the communities in which we live. In simple terms, obedience is compliance with an order, request, law or submission to another’s authority.

The bible also talks a lot about obedience as it is seen in many scriptures.

Children are asked to obey their parents in Ephesians 6:1 as this is the right way to behave as a child in a family. “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right”

In Colossians 3:18, Wives are also called upon to be submissive to their partners as this is fitting with the lord. “Wives, submit yourselves to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord”

Husbands too are asked to treat their wives with respect in 1peter 3:7 which says, “Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers”

We see in Philippians 2:8 that even Jesus showed obedience to death and death on the cross. “And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death even death on a cross” hence why the bible stresses it an essential part of the Christian faith.

Mathew 16:24 teaches us that as Christians, the fact that we deny ourselves from many worldly desires and choose to follow Christ, that is obedience. “Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.”

The book of John 14:15, reminds us that through obeying the 10 commandments, we show our love for Jesus. “If you love me, keep my commandments.”

Jesus also tells us in John 14:23 that in the same act of love for him, we must comply with whatever God has commanded for it is our duty to do so.

“Jesus replied, ‘Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them.”

However, Jesus condemns hypocrisy in the act of obedience to the law. Speaking to the Pharisees, he said that despite of our deeds, without Christ, even our best and most righteous works are as “filthy rags”.

“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean. 28 In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness.”

As Christians, we are asked to obey the law of Christ which is the law of love as it is seen in John 13:34. “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another”

Jesus also asks us to love our neighbors as we love ourselves for this is the second greatest commandment that he gave to his disciples.

“And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

In Galatians 6:2, we learn that when we love God and obey him, we naturally have love for one another. “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ”

Let the World Know:                                    

Satan’s Sway

Why do police apologists suggest citizens “just do as they ask”? Are they recommending we surrender our constitutional rights to the police whenever they detain us?

There seems to be a growing view that Americans have the right not to be arrested and do what ever they please.

This is just not True. We have rights not to be unreasonably stopped and a range of rights in how we interact with the police. However, if the police have a warrant, you have no right to not be arrested, even if you think the warrant is wrong, doesn’t apply, you didn’t hit her that hard, etc.

Additionally, if the police have probable cause, then they can arrest you, even if you don’t agree and even if ‘you didn’t do it’.

Finally, if they have reasonable suspicion, they have every right to detain you long enough to either determine they do or don’t have probable cause. If you exercise your right to not talk to them, it can take quite some time to establish if they do have probable cause (and detaining you in their car or at the station is fine).

A classic example of this recently played out in Texas. A women says she is beaten by her boyfriend and he had just left the building as the officers arrived. She gives the typical poor description of a scared person (mid 30s average height, race and hair color, wearing shorts and a green t-shirt). They note they saw a guy jogging away from the building and driving down the road see a guy shorts, fluorescent t shirt matching the rest of the characteristics. They stop and detain him (no force and nonresistance) and ask him his name. He knows his rights and refuses to answer. 30 minutes later after trying to get him to tell him his name and trying to get the women to be clearer about what color green was the shirt, they decide to load him in the car and take him to the station to figure out if they have the person.

At this moment they have reasonable suspicion (leaving the building at the right time, matching a very broad description). If they knew he had the boyfriend’s name they would have probable cause and if they new he didn’t then the reasonable suspicion goes away. The fact he won’t give his name (which is his right, but is a crime to lie about) probably makes them more suspicious.

He then doesn’t understand his rights and think he has a right to resist going into the car and either a drive by of the women for her to ID him or to the station so they can figure out who he is. Of course there is a tussle (but by now there a 4 cruisers and about 8 cops). Eventually they figure out who he is (not the boyfriend) and they eventually drop the resisting and assaulting charges and everyone goes their own way.

999 times out of 1000 the police are acting within their rights and yours. But just because you think you shouldn’t be stopped or arrested doesn’t make it so. Even worse is when people who know they have arrest warrants out resist and are injured/ killed or injure / kill police (as has happened in a number of high profile recent cases)

Note – there are others of course where the police have screwed up or been criminal negligent/incompetent. But these are the tiny minority of incidents. More generally the police are overly aggressive, but the people they are dealing with are often overly righteous/aggressive.371 viewsView 3 upvotesSubmission accepted by D. Weed33Add a comment…Justin ThomlinsonJune 14

Great answer with a clear example to help teach a point. Thanks.

You did mentioned something that I need help to understand. It has to do with detainment.

If I read about detainment I see that you have a right to be detained only for a relativy short time and can have the expectation you will be.

JUNE 2, 2021

What is the first thing you should do in a crisis situation?

One day as I was reading John 14, 15, and 16, the Lord began to give me the answer to this question. In John 16:1, Jesus says, “These things have I spoken unto you, that ye should not be offended.” According to Mark 4:17, when a person is offended, Satan takes the Word of God from them.

In other words, when you are offended, the Word of God stops releasing its life-giving power in your life. When you take offense, when you get hurt, the Word stops operating. The Lord said, “These things [John 14, 15, and 16] have I spoken unto you, that ye should not be offended.”

Jesus said this to His disciples the night before His crucifixion. In John 13:32-33, Jesus said He knew all things that were going to come upon Him. He knew all things that were going to come upon His disciples too. He was totally aware of the situation. He came to His disciples to give them some last-minute instructions before the most trying time they’d ever experienced in their lives. It surpasses anything that you or I ever have or ever will encounter.

These disciples were literally the people Jesus was going to use to establish His church and overthrow Satan’s kingdom. Therefore, I believe Satan threw every bit of discouragement, doubt, confusion, and torment he had against them. It was a crisis time. They had forsaken families, careers — everything — for Jesus. And they were in a situation that was going to test their faith, that Jesus was the Messiah even.

Jesus said, “I’m speaking these things to you that you should not be offended.” In other words, if the disciples had taken heed to what Jesus told them here, they would not have been offended. They could have rejoiced during that very trying time.

So John 14, 15, and 16, in capsule form, is everything you need to know in a crisis when your faith is being tested. If this doesn’t apply to you at this moment, hang on — it will. Every one of us needs to know this. We need to be schooled in these precautions before the crisis hits. When a crisis hits, your very first reaction — the first thing you do when Satan attacks — usually determines the outcome.

Not long ago, I was reading a book called Terror at Tenerife.

It reminded me of what we’re talking about here. This man, Norman Williams, was in the accident on the Canary Islands in which two huge 747s crashed on the runway and burned. Only a few people out of 500 or more escaped. The rest were killed.

It was miraculous how Williams got out. He looked at the people on either side of him, and it was so hot, the flesh just melted off of them. They became skeletons instantly. He said that people who were normally nice — little old ladies sixty or seventy years old — yelled things so vile it was unbelievable. He couldn’t describe it. The things that were hidden deep in their hearts came out in a crisis situation and bothered him more than anything else.

But what came out of his mouth was different — he’d been seeking the Lord. He had agreed with his mother before he left on the trip that he’d be safe. The first thing to come out of his mouth was his faith that God would protect him. He had a huge fireball come right at him, but he wasn’t burned. Then a landing gear came flying at him. He just caught the thing and threw it off. There was an explosion right above his head, and the plane, ten feet high at that point, was torn open. He jumped up right through that hole, even though he was fifty years old and overweight. God supernaturally delivered him.

Norman Williams didn’t have time to sit back and ask, “Now let’s see, what should I do in this situation?”

Your first reaction is going to determine the outcome in a crisis situation. Seldom do we have the luxury of sitting back and looking at things. The attitude you have when Satan comes against you is going to determine the final result. If you can get a hold of this truth, it will revolutionize your life. I’ve been teaching this everywhere I go, and I’ve seen more results out of it than anything I’ve ever taught. It’s based on simple truths from the Word, but if you get established in them, they’ll keep you from being offended, and the Word of God will produce in your life.

In John 14:1, Jesus says, “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.”

Now this is so simple that you can miss it. It’s very profound, however. The first thing you have to do when Satan comes against you is to make the decision that you are not going to let your heart be troubled.

If you were to diagram this sentence, the understood subject is “you.” You let not your heart be troubled. God gave you the choice. God gave you power over your heart.

Again, this is so simple we often miss it. The vast majority of people I deal with who are attacked by Satan don’t really understand this. A lot of them believe that in a given situation, there is no way that they can help but to be depressed and discouraged. They justify emotions that are contrary to God’s Word. But this is a command as much as any other command in the Word — as much as “thou shalt not commit adultery, thou shalt not steal, and thou shalt not kill.” It is a direct command from the Lord!

So the very first thing you have to do is say, “I am not going to let my heart be troubled.”

In 1987, a number of my friends were in critical situations. One man had terminal cancer. During a trip, he became so sick that he was hospitalized, and the doctors said he would never live through the night. After hanging on for a week, the doctors allowed him to rent an ambulance and come home.

As I travel, the biggest problem I encounter in the body of Christ is discouragement and depression. At least three-fourths of the people I deal with constantly battle these emotions. There is no excuse for it — there are reasons, but no excuses.

We’ve gotten to the point that we think these kinds of emotions are normal. A lot of people try to resist and walk in victory, for a brief period of time. They have bounds, or limits, to how far they’ll go in believing God. When certain things happen, such as someone dying, they say, “Well, how could you expect anybody not to be discouraged or not to grieve?”

Well, I guarantee you the Lord Jesus Christ has borne our sorrows and carried our griefs! That’s not to say that you don’t miss a person, but there is no justification for getting into grieving which becomes destructive.

His wife called me and said, “He’s not expected to live through the night, and he wanted you to pray.” She put the phone to his ear, and I said, “Don’t you dare die until I get there.” I went over to see this man, along with my associate Don Krow. We began ministering to him nearly daily for about three months. We would go by and just share the good news of God’s Word with him.

It was amazing what the Word did. When we first saw him, he couldn’t move or even hold a phone to his ear. Finally, he began walking around, eating, and even getting about in the car. The Word of God worked. All I did was share very basic principles from the Word with him.

During this same period of time, a woman in Monument, Colorado called. She was critically ill and was supposed to have surgery in three days. She was given no chance of living without surgery and less than a 5 percent chance of living with it. I shared the same truths with her and she lived. Praise the Lord!!

Here were two totally different people. The man, already baptized in the Holy Ghost, fervently seeking the Lord; while the other had never even heard of the Holy Ghost. Two totally different people, with totally different circumstances, yet both of them needed the same truths from God’s Word. I had taken many different things the Lord had taught me and applied all of them to these crisis situations, and the results were miraculous.

I began to pray about this, “Lord, it would sure be nice if all these different truths were compiled in one place in the Bible. Then I could just teach people from those scriptures on what to do in a crisis situation.” The Lord answered that prayer by leading me to John 14, 15, and 16.

What you’re reading is the result of what the Lord taught me through those scriptures. May God bless you in reading it.

We know that we are of God, and the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one.
1 John 5:19

 Recommended Reading: 1 John 5:18-21

Why are our public universities, the global media, the global economy, and the governments of the world gripped by wrong thinking and godless conduct? Why is the persecution of Christians reaching unprecedented levels? Why are people screaming at each other on television, and why has pornography overtaken our technology?

It’s because the whole world is under the sway of the wicked one.

He is the father of lies (John 8:44), the power of darkness (Colossians 1:13), the ruler of this world (John 14:30), the prince of the power of the air, and the spirit that works in the children of disobedience (Ephesians 2:2). His craft and power are great. But, as Martin Luther said, “Though this world with devils filled should threaten to undo us, we will not fear for God has willed His truth to triumph through us.”

We are the children of God, and He has provided us with all we need when we face spiritual battles. Let’s be armored up, prayed up, and filled up—so we can stand up.

Our Commander in Chief has already won the war, and He wants us to get in on the victory every day that we live.

David Jeremiah

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 Read-Thru-the-Bible: Job 25 – 30

“Surrounding the throne were twenty-four other thrones, and seated on them were twenty-four elders. They were dressed in white and had crowns of gold on their heads” (Revelation 4:4).

There is much speculation as to who the 24 elders in Revelation are. As you can see, they are seated on thrones, dressed in white robes, wearing crowns. Whoever these elders are, one of the things you notice is that they are constantly entering into worship. null

“Whenever the living creatures give glory, honor and thanks to him who sits on the throne and who lives for ever and ever, the twenty-four elders fall down before him who sits on the throne and worship him who lives for ever and ever” (Revelation 4:9-10).

The question now arises – who are these 24 elders in Revelation, and what if anything do they symbolize? We’ll start by looking at the number 24.

Is There Any Significance in the Number 24?

The number 24 has significance in the Bible when you look at where it was used and what it meant, both back then and possibly during this time. In 1 Chronicles 24, the descendants of Aaron, who were the priests in Israel, were divided into 24 sections to determine the order in which they would minister before the Lord. In 1 Chronicles 25 the musicians were divided into 24 sections and they were responsible for worship in the house of the Lord.

It’s possible the 24 elders were a symbol then of what was to come. When you read the opening chapter of Revelation, notice how John describes us as kingdom and priests. 

“Grace and peace to you from him who is, and who was, and who is to come, and from the seven spirits before his throne, and from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood, and has made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve his God and Father — to him be glory and power for ever and ever! Amen” (Revelation 1:4-6).

You could possibly draw a correlation of these verses back to those verses in Chronicles.

Who Are the 24 Elders in Revelations?

The truth is no one knows exactly because they are never actually given names. The Bible is not clear of their identity, but there are some things we can learn from Scripture that can lead us to some speculations or possibilities of who these elders are or what they symbolize.

The first thing to consider is Revelation 4:4. As you read the verse, focus your attention on what they are wearing and where are they sitting. 

“Surrounding the throne were twenty-four other thrones, and seated on them were twenty-four elders. They were dressed in white and had crowns of gold on their heads” (Revelation 4:4, emphasis added).

1. Where Are The Elders Seated?

You will notice the 24 elders are seated on thrones. To sit on a throne is a seat of power and authority. In the Bible one of the things we are told is that we will reign with Christ. Ephesians even mentions that we are seated with him in heavenly places. So this could simply mean that the 24 elders are a reference to the church. More specifically the overcoming, victorious, and raptured church, because these scenes are playing out during the Great Tribulation. null

“To the one who is victorious, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I was victorious and sat down with my Father on his throne” (Revelation 3:21).

In addition to this there are two other things that would lend me to move in the direction that the 24 elders represent the church.

Dressed in white – The 24 elders were all dressed in white and wore crowns on their heads. To be dressed in white, especially a white robe, is symbolic of being clothed in the righteousness of Christ. The only ones who will ever be clothed in his righteousness are those who have been redeemed. You see this mentioned in other parts of Revelation.

“Yet you have a few people in Sardis who have not soiled their clothes. They will walk with me, dressed in white, for they are worthy. The one who is victorious will, like them, be dressed in white. I will never blot out the name of that person from the book of life, but will acknowledge that name before my Father and his angels” (Revelation 3:4-5).

Wearing crowns of gold – One of the things believers are promised is the crown of life.

“Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him” (James 1:12).

Since the 24 elders are wearing crowns, that could be symbolic of the crown of life, which again would point to the elders being the church.

Another Thought on the 24 Elders

There is another possible idea or symbolism tied to the 24 elders. Some scholars would say the 24 elders represent the 12 tribes of Israel combined with the 12 apostles, representing how God has bridged the gap between the Old Covenant and the New. Again, since the Bible is not clear who the 24 elders are in Revelation, these are just ideas that can help you possibly understand who they might be or represent.

Are The Elders Angels, or Heavenly Beings?

Some would argue these 24 elders are angels. I would shy away from that idea and move to precluding these are not angels for the same reasons I mentioned above. Angels may be dressed in white, but they are not clothed in Christ’s righteousness. Angels also do not sit on thrones, nor are they awarded the crown of life. For these reasons I believe it is safe to say the 24 elders of Revelation are not angels.null

Where Else Are the Elders Mentioned?

Aside from chapter four, the 24 elders are mentioned in various parts of the book or Revelation.

“And when he had taken it, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb. Each one had a harp and they were holding golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of God’s people” (Revelation 5:8).

“All the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures. They fell down on their faces before the throne and worshiped God” (Revelation 7:11).

“And the twenty-four elders, who were seated on their thrones before God, fell on their faces and worshiped God” (Revelation 11:16).

“The twenty-four elders and the four living creatures fell down and worshiped God, who was seated on the throne. And they cried: ‘Amen, Hallelujah!’” (Revelation 19:4).

It is hard to distinguish definitively what these elders will do in the book of Revelation. We know certainly that one of the things they will do is worship around God’s throne.

As you can see, there are different opinions surrounding who the 24 elders are in Revelation. Honestly, we won’t know for certain now. The best we can do is gather as much information as we can and come to the best conclusion possible. We should not let this lead us to argue and debate, but to listen and learn. We won’t know who these elders are right now, but we will know then and at that time, it won’t matter who was right.

Dear Delana,

A short while ago, I had to suddenly leave an online meeting with our branch leaders as sirens sent most of Jerusalem into bomb shelters when rockets streamed in from Gaza.

Early reports suggest a barrage of rockets was fired at Jerusalem, Sderot, Beit Shemesh, and Ashkelon.

Now is the time to stand with Israel.

Here’s how you can respond:

  1. Take time to pray for the safety of the Israeli people and for our staff in the Land.
     
  2. Support our Israel in Crisis Fund which will enable us to respond to the needs of Israelis as events unfold.

Clarence L. Haynes Jr. is a speaker, Bible teacher, author and co-founder of The Bible Study Club. He has spent more than 30 years serving the body of Christ in various capacities and has just released his first book, The Pursuit of Purpose. If you have ever struggled trying to find God’s will, this book will help you discover the different ways God leads you into his perfect will. To learn more about his ministry please visit clarencehaynes.com

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John 17:20-23 > “Neither pray for those alone,

We have only begun to scratch the surface in the fight against human trafficking. If there were only one soul still being trafficked, our fight against this atrocity would continue, but the ugly truth is that there are millions. We have much work remaining.

We are called to be an example in our society, to guide others in the way of the Lord, although the virtue of society has gone out the window. We are meant to live by example in everything we do.

Christ like character includes being honest, loving everyone (even those who are hard to love), being kind and having self-control, to name a few.

1. Love

We all have different opinions on things and different views, but we have to love each other regardless. This includes people from all walks of life, no matter what their skin color is or what situation they are in. People desperately need to see the love of Christ shining through us.

1 Corinthians 13:13 says, And now these three remain; faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

2. Honesty

We have to return to honesty. Nothing ever good comes of lying and people still do it. We need to take the high road and be honest in everything we say and do.Proverbs 11:3 says, The integrity of the upright guides them, but the unfaithful are destroyed by their duplicity.

The most loving act between a husband and wife has been degraded to just a ‘feeling’. Sexual immorality has destroyed Christians and non-Christians alike and it is heartbreaking. It destroys people mentally, and emotionally. Purity and its benefits need to be revived again in our society.1 Corinthians 6-18-20 says, “Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body. Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit,who is in you, who you received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price.Therefore honor God with your bodies.”

4. Trust

There is a great lack of trust in society today in many areas. As Christians, it is important to cultivate a community of trust amongst our friends, believers and nonbelievers alike. We need to know that we can trust one another with our problems, secrets and concerns. Non-believers need to know they can trust us with their problems and issues as well, to know they will not be ridiculed or judged.

Titus 2:7 says, “In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness.”

5. Kindness

In the era of the world wide web, social media, and the way we live today, kindness is hard to find. It is more common to digest the negative rather than the positive. No matter how hard the situation, we need to act in kindness. We need our brothers and sisters to be able to count on it and non-believers to know where they can find it.

Galatians 6:10 says, “Therefore, as we have the opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially those who belong to the family of believers…”

6. Faith

It is hard to keep the faith in difficult situations. It is hard not to lean on your own thoughts and feelings at times. But we always must remember that the Lord knows what is best and will help us avoid any snares on the path we are on. We must always put our faith in Him when it comes to the path He puts us on.

Proverbs 3:5-6 says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and he will make straight your paths.”

7. Hope

It is hard to find hope in the times we live, there is always something terrible going on somewhere. We need to restore our hope through prayer that even the smallest things will get better and to constantly read and trust in His Word too.

Romans 12:12 says, “Be joyful in hope, be patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.”

8. Charity

We live in a very self-centered society.  I think it is important that we bring back charity in the sense of having concern for others. Everyone thinks of charity as the donation they give at Christmas time. But charity is so much more than that. It’s cleaning out your closet and donating it to a free clothing giveaway. It’s making a meal for a family during a hard time. It is lending a listening ear to someone’s troubles or encouraging and speaking life over someone in a way they have never heard before. Charity is more than just a monetary donation, it is a way of life. 

Hebrews 13:16 says, “And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.”

9. Responsibility

In this sense, we are all responsible for our actions. When consequences are rendered, we need to take responsibility. We need to set the example. We need to show people that we are not perfect and that we make mistakes too.

Galatians 6:5 says, “For each one shall carry his own load.”

10. Compassion

Believers need to teach our society compassion. There are many people who have fallen on hard times and many more to come. It breaks my heart when people lash out with statements like “Oh, he must be out on the street because he’s on drugs.” or “She must be on the street because she is an alcoholic.” Yes, sometimes this is true, but not always. Sometimes people lose their jobs or their homes. Sometimes people suffer from mental illness and can’t function in life due to either not being on medication or not being on the right balance of medications. Our society is so quick to judge one another. We as Christians need to set the example and have compassion for all people.

Galatians 6:2 says, “Carry one another’s burdens, and in this way you fulfill the law of Christ.”

*(Image Credit:unsplash)

I’ll never forget the time I talked to my baby sister about premarital sex. She was a teenager and I was a college student, and I’d been burdened by the need to do my (big) sisterly duty for a while. We were driving to the mall one day and came to a red light that I knew from past experience took a solid five minutes to cycle back around to green. So I open my mouth and tried to share my heart. 

I was raised in church and had been active in my youth group before I went off to college. Long before I plunged in with my sister that day (praying the light wouldn’t change too soon), I’d decided I was going to wait on sex until I was married. I didn’t make that decision out of guilt or fear but rather with the hopeful conviction that, in temporarily denying myself some pleasure, I was gaining for myself long-term blessings. 

Now, as the mom of one teenager and one young adult, I’ve had many more conversations about sex before marriage (none of them at traffic lights). I’ve tried to present God’s call to preserve the intimacy of “knowing” each other for within marriage not as His tight-fisted order against something bad but as His open-handed offer in favor of something good. 

Our Christian kids are often told not to have sex before marriage “because God says so” or “because the Bible says so,” and it is true that God’s Word on a matter—born out of His goodness, love, and wisdom—is all that is required for us to be called to obedience.

But before waves of hormones and attraction and opposing viewpoints from the world and peer pressure and curiosity and natural desires crash in, we as parents do well to equip our kids with a more developed conviction about what, exactly, they’re waiting for when they wait for marriage. 

As I’ve tried to encourage my children to choose to save sex for marriage, I’ve packaged these 5 Scripture-supported gains as worthy gifts. 

Dear Delana,

May 5th is Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women Awareness Day (MMIW); a movement to bring recognition to the disappearance and murders of Native women and girls.

Today, we acknowledge the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women epidemic which has especially skyrocketed during the past year.

The U.S Department of Justice finds that American Indian women face murder rates that are more than 10 times the national average, and going missing at a rate of more than 5,000 every year since 2016.

There are many factors contributing to this raging epidemic against our sisters ranging from individual to societal, and therefore many intersections at which this devastation multiplies.

Today, we encourage you to make a difference with your attention and awareness for Native Women.

THE FACTS ABOUT HUMAN TRAFFICKING IN AMERICA; The truth from a SURVIVOR!!

Human Trafficking: by Delana Forsyth

Dear Delana,

1600 Daily

The White House • October 21, 2020

Democrats want to abolish ICE. President Trump wants to help ICE abolish human trafficking.

In 2018 alone, more than 23,000 human trafficking victims were identified in the United States. Of these victims, 65% were women. More than 1 in 5 were children.

It’s a “level of evil that you would never believe is even possible in a modern age,” President Trump said in January. “The level of evil is incredible.”

President Trump has joined law enforcement officers to fight for the voiceless and end this scourge of modern-day slavery in our country. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)—which Democrats have called to be abolished—has arrested more than 5,000 human traffickers over just the past three years.

“I want to thank ICE. They have been incredible,” President Trump said.

Rather than dismantle law enforcement agencies, as the far left demands, President Trump has doubled funding for the Department of Justice to combat human trafficking.

The President also signed the largest DOJ grant package in history to stop trafficking. It included, for the first time ever, grants to provide safe housing for survivors.

All told, since taking office, President Trump has signed nine pieces of bipartisan legislation that target human traffickers, both domestically and internationally.

This week, the Trump Administration released its National Action Plan to build on these important steps. It lays out a strategy in three parts: prevention of trafficking, protection for victims, and prosecution for the criminals who fuel this evil industry.

In January, President Trump recognized the 20th Anniversary of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act. That day, he signed an Executive Order on Combating Human Trafficking and Online Child Exploitation in the United States. With that order, he created the first-ever White House position focused solely on ending trafficking.

Americans also heard that day from Bella Hounakey, a survivor of trafficking whom President Trump invited to speak at the White House.

“At age 13, I was brought into this country. I survived trafficking, along with 19 other girls. Afterwards, I was placed in foster care, but this negative experience in my past should not wholly define who I am today,” she said.

“Today, I am a college graduate. Today, I am an American citizen.”

Last fiscal year, ICE initiated 1,024 human-trafficking and forced-labor related cases. These actions led to 2,197 criminal arrests, nearly 700 convictions, and, ultimately, the rescue of more than 400 victims.

📖 The Trump Administration Is Fighting the Evil of Human Trafficking

Under President Trump, our First Americans are being put first again!

President Trump is committed to honoring the heritage of America’s first inhabitants, our Native American communities. To that end, his Administration just released a plan to continue partnering with Native Americans to build a brighter future for all people.

The plan, titled “Putting America’s First Peoples First: Forgotten No More,” outlines President Trump’s core principles to fight for these communities:

  • Respecting tribal sovereignty and self-determination
     
  • Promoting safe communities
     
  • Building a thriving economy with improved infrastructure
     
  • Honoring Native American heritage and improving education
     
  • Delivering better health outcomes

President Trump’s policies will add 51,000 Native American-owned businesses and up to 196,000 new jobs for tribal communities. In addition, tribal entrepreneurship will be supported through growing opportunities for access to Federal contracting.

With a priority on education, Federal investments will be increased in tribal colleges and universities, and $10 million is pledged to support the creation of new tribally operated charter schools. Federal funding will be doubled for the improvement of quality Bureau of Indian Education schools and other education options, as well.

The plan also continues to prioritize the important work of Operation Lady Justice, President Trump’s task force to address missing and murdered indigenous persons.

MORE: How the White House Is Seeking Justice for Native Americans

Photo of the Day

President Trump disembarks Air Force One in Erie, Pennsylvania | October 21, 2020

The White House · 1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW · Washington, DC 20500 · USA · 202-456-1111

May 5th is Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women Awareness Day (MMIW); a movement to bring recognition to the disappearance and murders of Native women and girls.

Today, we acknowledge the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women epidemic which has especially skyrocketed during the past year.

The U.S Department of Justice finds that American Indian women face murder rates that are more than 10 times the national average, and going missing at a rate of more than 5,000 every year since 2016.

There are many factors contributing to this raging epidemic against our sisters ranging from individual to societal, and therefore many intersections at which this devastation multiplies.

Today, we encourage you to make a difference with your attention and awareness for Native Women.

I have been doing research on human trafficking for many years. everything that I am write is the truth, things i have seen and experienced. Human Trafficking is an American problem as well. I worked in New York, when I was 20. the first day, I had only been there a few minutes the owner made me have sex with him. This had been in the lower east side of New York, You don’t say no or you could find yourself, dead, or next to dead. By that time you wish you were. It’s not just the sex you get into, you have to be numb to all of this, so you start use drugs. Both go together no matter what. Human Trafficking occurs for many purposes.  Most women and children are trafficked for prostitution, some for marriage, and many are exploited. Women who are trafficked for domestic labor often end up being sexually exploited as well. This is not just a problem for women; many children are trafficked for adoption. Of any means everything to many poor countries. In these countries it has become increasingly high, especially in Africa children there are being trafficked for organs. There are enormous difficulties in producing accurate assessments of trafficking.

∙    The International Organization of Migration (IOM) attempted to estimate numbers of trafficked women in Europe for the European Union and concluded that accurate numbers were not possible.

∙    However, the United Nations estimates that trafficking is about a 5 to7 billion dollar operation annually. There are about 4 million (people) persons moved from one country to another and within countries.

∙    The U.S. government estimates that 50,000 women and children are trafficked each year into the United States, primarily from Latin America, Russia, the New Independent State, and Southeast Asia.

∙    Child sexual exploitation has grown especially in all countries, but especially in Asian and Latin America countries. Travel agencies, hotels, airlines, businesses,and so called, child protectors are often involved in sex tourism.

∙    Some child sexual abusers seems to think that they can avoid AIDS, if they have sex with children, but more often, they seek out children because can be made to fulfill the abusers demands.

∙    Organized crime is certainly involved in trafficking, but in many cases trafficker and pimp are small-scale operators who are husbands and boy-friends of victims. 

∙    Women trafficked into the United State, for example, often through other transit countries or across borders. The women are trafficked by cars, bus, boats, and planes.

∙    The condition of trafficking range from force or coercion to deception. Abuse of power, or abuse of a victim’s vulnerability. Many women are deceived into thinking they will work as domestic, waitresses, dancers, and models. Others are sold outright and moved around from place to place. Some know they will engage in prostitution but have no idea of the conditions that await them. Many are women whose vulnerabilities are preyed upon. The majority of women in prostitution have been sexually abused a a child.

∙    Once in the county of destination, women are held in apartments, bars, and make shift brothels where they service multiple men a day.  Many are raped, beaten, and confined under the worst of conditions.

∙    In most countries, various factors make it nearly impossible for trafficked women to seek assistance and to testify i against traffickers and other exploiters. These include death threats to their families, conditions of isolation and confinement, the violence and control within the sex industry, constant movement from place to place within a strange country, fear of deportation lack of shelters, no one will talk. 

∙    Many of the women I’ve interviewed, could talk about their troubles, but none of them would give their names. Many of these women I have worked with, in New Jersey, just about every dance club would have dance girls from other countries in them. They would tell me stories. 

∙    The most vulnerable are the women that have children. 

∙    I would do anything just to be with my children. (To be a mom and know.)

∙    Trafficking affects mostly all countries, and although not all have not been treated equally, there are countries, transit countries,and countries of destination, with some countries that are in crisis, no one cares about the poorest countries that are being affected the most. There are three categories in general, economic, social, and political crisis are more likely to turn there heads just to make money on that trade. For example the Philippines and Thailand, are countries are making sure they have plenty of women for the sex tourism. I have seen these girls get abused. 

∙    A few places tried that crap with me. Some of the owners would try to have sex with me and I would need to a hire body guard to watch my back. I’ve have picture taken of me for the internet. There is no discrimination about how they use, no one is safe. I’ve had owners take me in back rooms pull their privet parts out, and push me head down for me to have oral sex with them. Most times i was could walk aways, but there had times i knew i could not get away. either i give in or be beaten and raped at the same time.  I myself have been gang raped, It had been my firt day on the job. (I think my so called agent set that up. The shame I felt for years, and sometime i still do.) 

∙    The definition of Globalization and the sex industry,

∙    Globalization of the economy means it becomes an industry without borders. Large and small net trafficking works across borders, actively recruiting girls and women, especially from villages, city streets, and transportation centers.

Human Trafficking in the U.S.

by Delana Forsyth

i have been doing research on human trafficking for many years.

everything that i write i the truth.

things i have seen and experienced.

This was not an easy story for me to write. 

I must admit I hesitated to share some of my life experiences I feared the worst.

Of people’s rejection. I really don’t care any more what people think, this my healing point. It may break your heart to see it happening in other countries, it hurts even more that it is happening here and no one is doing anything about it. I was born an American and lived here all my life and never realized I had been a slave too. Human Trafficking is an American problem as well. I worked in New York when I was 20. the first day, I had only been there a few minutes the owner made me have sex with him. This had been in the lower east side of New York, You don’t say no or you could find yourself dead, or next to dead. By that time you wish you were. It’s not just the sex you get into, you have to be numb to all of this, so you start use drugs. Both go together no matter what. The violence is bad when you fight back. i learned after a while just to give in, don’t fight it can get you killed. We are only begun to scratch the surface in the fight against human trafficking. If there were on only one soul still being trafficked, our fight atrocity would continue, but the ugly truth is that there are millions. We have much more work remaining. Human trafficking exists in every state and nearly every city. If you look hard enough, in our nation’s small towns and in the countryside. In short the U.S. has a problem. We can all help by standing to stop this. I lived in Scranton, Pa all my life. My region consists of small, sleepy country, and towns. On the outside of town we have large farming communities, even the country roads there are not safe.

Not surprisingly, this area attracts convention and other gatherings, as ell as wealthy(some very wealthy) individuals looking for upscale and resort living. If human trafficking can happen my ton it can happen anywhere. NO community is immune. I have read many stories and seen many lives ended because of human lust for sex. Most of which are tragic. Human Trafficking occurs for many purposes. Most women and children are trafficked for prostitution, some for marriage, and many are exploited. Women who are trafficked for domestic labor often end up being sexually exploited as well. This is not just a problem for women; many children are trafficked for adoption.

∙    of any means everything to many poor countries. In these countries it has become increasingly high, especially in Africa children there are being trafficked for organs. There are enormous difficulties in producing accurate assessments of trafficking.

∙    The International Organization of Migration (IOM) attempted to estimate numbers of trafficked women in Europe for the European Union and concluded that accurate numbers were not possible.

∙    However, the United Nations estimates that trafficking is about a 5 to7 billion dollar operation annually. There are about 4 million (people) persons moved from one country to another and within countries.

∙    The U.S. government estimates that 50,000 women and children are trafficked each year into the United States, primarily from Latin America, Russia, the New Independent State, and Southeast Asia.

∙    Child sexual exploitation has grown especially in all countries, but especially in Asian and Latin America countries. Travel agencies, hotels, airlines, businesses,and so called, child protectors are often involved in sex tourism.

∙    Some child sexual abusers seems to think that they can avoid AIDS, if they have sex with children, but more often, they seek out children because can be made to fulfill the abuser demands.

∙    Organized crime is certainly involved in trafficking, but in many cases trafficker and pimp are small-scale operators who are husbands and boy-friends of victims. 

∙    Women trafficked into the United State, for example, often through other transit countries or across borders. The women are trafficked by cars, bus, boats, and planes.

∙    The condition of trafficking range from force or coercion to deception. Abuse of power, or abuse of a victim’s vulnerability. Many women are deceived into thinking they will work as domestic, waitresses, dancers, and models. Others are sold outright and moved around from place to place. Some know they will engage in prostitution but have no idea of the conditions that await them. Many are women whose vulnerabilities are preyed upon. The majority of women in prostitution have been sexually abused a a child.

∙    Once in the county of destination, women are held in apartments, bars, and make shift brothels where they service multiple men a day.  Many are raped, beaten, and confined under the worst of conditions.

∙    In most countries, various factors make it nearly impossible for trafficked women to seek assistance and to testify against traffickers and other exploiters. These include death threats to their families, conditions of isolation and confinement, the violence and control within the sex industry, constant movement from place to place within a strange country, fear of deportation lack of shelters, no one will talk. 

∙    Many of the women I’ve interviewed, would talk about their troubles, but none of them would give their names. Many of these women I have worked with, in New Jersey, just about every dance club would have dance girls from other countries in them. They would tell me stories. 

∙    The most vulnerable are the women that have children. 

∙    I would do anything just to be with my children. (To be a mom and know.)

∙    Trafficking affects mostly all countries, and although not all have not been treated equally, there are countries, transit countries,and countries of destination, with some countries that are in crisis, no one cares about the poorest countries that are being affected the most. There are three categories in general, economic, social, and political crisis are more likely to turn their heads just to make money on that trade. For example the Philippines and Thailand, are countries are making sure they have plenty of women for the sex tourism. I have seen these girls get abused. 

∙    A few places tried that crap with me. Some of the owners would try to have sex with me and I would need to a hire body guard to watch my back. I’ve have picture taken of me for the internet. There is no discrimination about how they use, no one is safe. I’ve had owners take me in back rooms pull their privet parts out, and push me head down for me to have oral sex with them. Most times i was could walk aways, but there had times i knew i could not get away. either i give in or be beaten and raped at the same time.  I myself have been gang raped, It had been my firt day on the job. (I think my so called agent set that up. The shame I felt for years, and sometime i still do.) 

∙    The definition of Globalization and the sex industry,

∙    Globalization of the economy means it becomes an industry without borders. Large and small net trafficking works across borders, actively recruiting girls and women, especially from villages, city streets, and transportation centers.             


https://www.utoledo.edu › hhs › htsjiWeb resultsHuman Trafficking and Social Justice Institute – The University of Toledo
People also search fortoledo humantrafficking 2019human traffickingtoledo mallwhy is ohio a hub forhuman traffickingthe federal trafficking victims protection actof 2000 identifies two forms of trafficking:why is ohio a humantrafficking hotspothuman traffickingcincinnatihuman traffickingin ohio by countyhuman traffickingconference 2020 dates

People also ask

What city in Ohio has the most human trafficking?

More resultsWhy is Ohio a hub for human trafficking?Ohio is particularly vulnerable to human trafficking because it has both large urban centers and rural counties and a large transient and immigrant population, as well as five major highways with easy access to other states and Canada. … 1,032 Ohio children are victims of human sex trafficking every year.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org › wiki

Human trafficking in Ohio – Wikipedia

More resultsWhat are the top cities for human trafficking?

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What is the #1 state for human trafficking?

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More resultsWhat are the stages of human trafficking?

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How many cases of human trafficking are in Ohio?Ohio Human Trafficking Cases 2014 – 2018Ohio Network of Children’s Advocacy CentersChild Welfare (SACWIS)No. Victims Identified (2017)9223No. Victims Identified (2018)17248No. Victims Identified (2019)24238Total (2014-2010)741258

Human TraffickingOhio has ranked as high as fifth among all states in total reported human trafficking cases with Toledo being identified as the fourth highest ranking city in the nation for recruiting victims into the illegal trade. Everyone has a role in ending human trafficking. Feb 10, 2020

We have only begun to scratch the surface in the fight against human trafficking. If there were only one soul still being trafficked, our fight against this atrocity would continue, but the ugly truth is that there are millions. We have much work remaining.

This story is to help regular citizens (if you can find one), understand what human trafficking is, how to recognize it, and what to do about it, without fear, when they see something that just not right. Human trafficking exists and is every real. It’s in every state across America, and in every city, small town, etc. no one is safe. But we all can do our part, talk about it LOUD. So the traffickers know we have eyes looking for them, and we all can stop this human slavery and demand on sex.

I was born and raised in Scranton, Pa. Only about 15 minutes from the beautiful Mount Pocono. NASCAR comes here twice a year, to Long Pond. My region consists of vacationing from New York or Jersey. We have large farming communities as well. Most people know each other. Small mom and pop stores. Most of the Poconos are known for Honeymooners and tourism, 365 days a year. If you ever visited Pennsylvania you’d know why. There is so much to do there. 

I have witnessed and experienced human trafficking for many years. This is not an easy story for me to write. I must admit I feared the worst, I hesitated to share my experiences. I feared rejections from loved ones, but I don’t really care anymore this is about me this is my healing point. It may break your heart to see human trafficking happening in other countries it hurts even more that it’s happening here in America and no one is doing anything about it. I was born in American and I am very happy President Trump has put the ban at our borders. We may not be able to stop the grouse exploitation, but he can help slow it down.

My hope is that this story saves some child or woman, yes young men reading this article. Yes they are victimized as well. I pray it encourages all of us to love as we want to be loved and willing to help. Fight against human trafficking and beyond. I’ve written stories I’ve seen and heard, stories that have broken my heart and, I suspect, will yours as well. It certainly broke my heart when I learned about what happened in other places around the globe. But when I understood what was happening here in America, in this country where I live and which I dearly love, I knew this is where I was called to make a difference. I have lived my entire life up and down the east coast of the U.S., and never realized that slavery still exists here. I am in agreement with others that are in the fight to stop human trafficking we need to speck out. None of us can be all things to all things to all people. We all will not last long if we go around kicking in doors of brothels and grabbing pimps by the neck. That will get us killed or near death. But those with a story to tell can fight back by telling your story. Writer’s with heart listen to the ones willing to talk. Because most of us who are writing these stories have been a victim of human trafficking. We can guide the victim to get help and let them know we are willing to help. Most of us can work to improve legislation, call the authorities when we see something that look suspiciously like human trafficking, and network with anti- trafficking organizations and agencies. By doing these things, we can take a stand together. We will save lives in every community in American. Once you realize how pervasive this tragedy of human trafficking is, I encourage you to get behind one or more of the an it trafficking groups, especially in you own city or town, and support them, volunteer your time. Just go set watch and listen. 

Unfortunately, the truth is sometimes worse than what you might imagine. Some stories have good endings, some not so good. 

How many people don’t think about the sale of human beings happening right here in America. If you consider the possibility of human trafficking within the borders, our assumption may be that it’s confined to Las Vegas, New York, Los Angeles, and other cities. Even those who recognize that human trafficking is as much as American disgrace as an international one sometimes don’t realize this crime don’t just occur in big cities. Although human trafficking has certainly been discovered in large urban areas, it can flourish in upper-class suburbs, rural areas, and even small towns like the one in which I lived.

Human trafficking happens in up-middle-upper class neighborhoods where business internationally  “invest” in domestic help, who upon arrival in America can become modern slaves. In search of cost-effective workforce, resort communities, hotels, and country clubs sometimes unknowingly hire agencies that are actually fronts for slave labor.

In places where regular conferences are held-including but not limited to political and business conferences- as well as at large sporting events, sex trafficked individuals are made available because traffickers know there are consumers with money who will buy them.

Even church elders have unwittingly supported human trafficking. That’s why I am presented with the reasonable (and sometimes, I must confess, not completely reasonable) opportunity to enlighten folks about the modern slavery that’s around us, I take it because I know the extent to which this problem permeates our land. It’s prominence here makes sense if you think about it. Human trafficking follows money, America, being the richest nation in the world, start D’s to reward traffickers with some of the highest profits anywhere. 

It may come as a surprise to learn that the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children estimates that well over one hundred thousand children are trafficked every year in America alone. While many of these young victims are runaways or foster children, others are from shat would be considered “good” families and have been lured or coerced in human trafficking by clever predators.“These predators are particularly adept at reading children and knowing what their vulnerabilities are.

But human trafficking in this country doesn’t just take place where sex is sold. Labor trafficking, which occurs on the street, in homes, factories, in fields, and any number of other places, is also big business.

Warning Signs of Human Trafficking

Since human trafficking is often a crime that is hidden in plain sight, it is important to be aware of its warning signs. Some indications that a person may be a victim of human trafficking include (especially in the case of women and children):

Appearing malnourished

Showing signs of physical injuries and abuse

Avoiding eye contact, social interaction, and authority figures/law enforcement

Seeming to adhere to scripted or rehearsed responses in social interaction

Lacking official identification documents

Appearing destitute/lacking personal possessions

Working excessively long hours

Living at place of employment

Checking into hotels/motels with older males, and referring to those males as boyfriend or “daddy,” which is often street slang for pimp

Poor physical or dental health 

Tattoos/ branding on the neck and/or lower back

Untreated sexually transmitted diseases

Small children serving in a family restaurant

Security measures that appear to keep people inside an establishment – barbed wire inside of a fence, bars covering the insides of windows

Not allowing people to go into public alone, or speak for themselves

These warning signs are adapted from information provided by the Polaris Project and its National Human Trafficking Resource Center and Innocents at Risk

Human trafficking is happening all around us.

Victims are often hidden away, but it is possible you will encounter individuals or situations of concern. Knowing how to ‘spot the signs’ could save lives.

The indicators below should be considered together and even if you are able to apply one or two or even three of the indicators to a person they are not necessarily trafficked. However, if you have any suspicions about human trafficking in your area you should report it.

Department of Justice Will NOT collect DATA on Native Human Trafficking Victims,

Resist calls to collect more data on trafficking of Native Americans despite pressure from advocates for Native Women and key members of Congress.

According to the department of federal authorities prosecuted just two trafficking cases in Indian county between 2013 and 2016. Only one of them resulted in a conviction.

The number pales in comparison to the 1,000 – plus cases that were prosecuted in other jurisdictions during the same time. It also flies in the face of a consistent stream of reports which show that Native Americans, especially women and girls, are victimized at a higher than any other racial or ethnic group in the United States.

Yet the department isn’t able to explain the disparity because federal agents aren’t required to determine whether a trafficking victim is Native American. And it doesn’t plan on collecting that data anytime soon.

“If it’s voluntary information, great, but we’re not going to mandate that,”

Tracy Toulou, a descendant of the Colville tribes who serves as the director of the Office of Tribal Justice, told the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs. 

According to Toulou, finding out whether a victim in Native American could end up hurting Native Americans. Service providers that receive federal funds shouldn’t be forced to collect the data because he said it would have a “chilling effect” by making people more reluctant to come forward. ” WE don’t want to do anything that’s going to keep a victim from coming to our victim services providers and getting the services they need,”  Toulou said,  who is a career employee, not a political appointee of the Trump administration, which did not send a more higher-level official to the long-planned hearing.

The explantion stood in contrast to the stance taken by another federal agency. Jason Thompson, the deputy director of the Office of Justice Service at the Bureau of Indian Affairs, said he hasn’t heard concerns about collecting data on Native Trafficking victims.  “BIA-OJS, as of 2014 does collect that information in our basic crime reporting,” said Thompson, who is a citizen of the Cherokee Nation. Like Toulow, he is a career employee of the federal government. 

The lack of data limits the way in which the federal government can help a victim, according to Nicole Matthews, the executive director of Minnesota Indian Women’s Sexual assault Coalition.

Be aware of these coalitions, most are fronts may trafficker are the sponsoring these coaltions. The University of Toledo has had conference’s for the past 17 or 18 years. And, yet Toledo is number five.

I would like to raise money to build a Human Trafficking safe house for all who need help all over America. To protect those who don’t how to protect themselves, no matter who you are, because Human Trafficking does not discriminate. I know that better then anyone.

Pray for the Day!

The forehead is one of the most prominent parts of the body. In scripture, the forehead is a metaphor for boldness. It is also symbolic of destiny and decided identity. A mark on the forehead in the Bible generally represents something good or bad.

One example is mentioned in Exodus 28:36-38, which says, “Make a plate of pure gold and engrave on it as on a seal: holy to the Lord. Fasten a blue cord to it to attach it to the turban; it is to be on the front of the turban. It will be on Aaron’s forehead, and he will bear the guilt involved in the sacred gifts the Israelites consecrate, whatever their gifts may be. It will be on Aaron’s forehead continually so that they will be acceptable to the Lord.” This passage refers to Aaron’s garments. He was the best-dressed man in the world and the fact that seal on his forehead is a reminder of God’s glory. It is also symbolic of the chief priest’s allegiance to God.

There are a few references to foreheads as a symbol of Israel’s stubbornness against God. We also see foreheads mentioned in two significant but tragic biblical stories. One is the story of David and Goliath. Goliath was brought down by David’s slingshot, which hit him directly in the forehead. There is also the story of King Uzziah, whose foolish attempt to take over the role of the priest in the tabernacle following warnings and rebukes resulted in an outbreak of leprosy on his forehead.

A more positive example of a forehead reference can be found in Ezekiel 9, when God was carrying out judgment in Jerusalem. In this chapter, we see God sparing those who grieved about sin just as God did. They received a unique sign on their foreheads to preserve them. Ezekiel 9:4-6 says, “And the Lord said unto him, Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof. And to the others he said in mine hearing, Go ye after him through the city, and smite: let not your eye spare, neither have ye pity: Slay utterly old and young, both maids, and little children, and women: but come not near any man upon whom is the mark; and begin at my sanctuary. Then they began at the ancient men which were before the house.” This is a biblical symbol of allegiance. You can choose to stand on one side or the other.

In the New Testament, when God is getting ready to pour out His wrath, He says, “Do no harm to the earth or the sea or the trees, until we have put a seal on the foreheads of the servants of our God” (Revelation 7:3). This mark on God’s people was there to protect them from judgment, similar seen in Ezekiel. In Revelation 9, a judgment is released with the destruction of locusts that were there to destroy mankind. However, it was not there to destroy all of it. Revelation 9:4 says, “…only the people who do not have the seal of God on their foreheads.” This seal is one of ownership, protection and belonging to God.

One of the most recognized examples of a mark on the forehead is in the final book of the Bible, Revelation. It is referred to as the “mark of the beast.” Many refer to the mark of the beast as the devil’s number, but it is much deeper than this. The central passage that references the mark of the beast is Revelation 13:15-18, which says, “The second beast was given the power to give breath to the image of the first beast so that the image could speak and cause all who refused to worship the image to be killed. It also forced all people, great and small, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hands or on their foreheads, so that they could not buy or sell unless they had the mark, which is the name of the beast or the number of its name. This calls for wisdom. Let the person who has insight calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man. That number is 666.” Other references to the mark of the beast include Revelation 14:9, 11, 15:2, 16:2 and 20:4.

The mark is a seal for the followers of the Antichrist, along with the false prophets who serve the Antichrist. The false prophet is the second beast and is responsible for getting people to take the Antichrist’s mark. This mark will go directly on the forehead or hand. Some believe that it will be in the form of vaccines or medical implant chips. This has caused many people to fear doctors and vaccinations. They wonder if the government is conspiring an attack against us? This is not the mark of the beast. We know this because the mark of the beast can only be given to those who worship the Antichrist.

Ultimately, there are two marks you can get on your forehead as a Christian. The mark of God or the mark of the Antichrist. As believers, we should desire to have God’s name metaphorically marked on our foreheads. There is no greater name. Wearing God’s name sets you apart from others and indicates who your allegiance is to. When God’s mark is on your forehead, there is no room for the Antichrist to place his mark on yours. Make a bold statement for God by proclaiming His glory to those around you. Once we choose God’s mark, we are forever changed. Our lives will never look the same. If you want God’s seal on you, repent and claim Jesus as your Lord and Savior. There is no greater mark than this.

Elijah, a biblical prophet is one of the most interesting characters in the Bible. His life was colorful. God used him during a really important time in Israel’s history to oppose a wicked king and to bring revival to those people. Like many other characters in the Bible, Elijah’s life was not without its challenges. His life was filled with turmoil. There were times when he was decisive and valiant, but there were also times when he was fearful and uncertain. He also demonstrated victory and defeat, trailed by recovery. He recognized the power of God, but he also knew the pits of depression. His life was devoted to the work of restoring true worship In Israel. Ultimately, Elijah urged the people of ancient Israel to turn from sin and to return to the true God and his message is just as important for us today. Elijah’s admonition that God’s people faithfully serve Him with their whole heart is just as relevant now as it was during his time on earth. Here are six things you may not know about Elijah in the Bible.


Ferdinand Bol/WikiCommons

Elijah Was Chosen By God

Ferdinand Bol/WikiCommons

God uses ordinary people to do extraordinary things. Similar to many of the prophets of the Bible, Elijah didn’t seek to be one of God’s messengers. Instead, God chose him directly for the position. When he was called, Elijah didn’t hesitate to take on his mission, even though it appeared his life would be threatened by the wicked king. Elijah set out at once for the capital city of Samaria to deliver the announcement to King Ahab. Then God sent Elijah into hiding as the drought dried up the streams and withered the crops of the nation (1 Kings 17:7-15; 1 Kings 18:1). Elijah was chosen to confront the followers of Baal simply because he had a relationship with God. In addition to confronting the prophets of Baal on Mount Carmel, he also performed many miracles: providing an endless supply of flour for a widow and raising a young boy from the dead.

Elijah’s name means “my God is the Lord.” He came from Tishbeh in Gilead, but little is known of his family or birth. While many prophets of the Bible are introduced with information about family lineage, this wasn’t the case with Elijah. This shows that his selection by God was divine. He came out of nowhere to do the extraordinary at time when he was so desperately needed. Only God can do that.

While we don’t know a great deal about his life, we do know a lot about his nature and character. Elijah was attentive to God’s voice and walking in obedience to His Word. Through this, Elijah found encouragement, reward and victory. Like any human, he struggled with his own frailties, but he was still used mightily by God. Our Heavenly Father uses us for those same purposes.

Elijah prayed to God vehemently. His prayers were bold and he called on God to do the miraculous. His requests weren’t small – He prayed for a drought in the land, prayed to raise the widow’s son from the dead and called down a fire from heaven to consume the offering on Mount Carmel. The Bible tells us, “At the usual time for offering the evening sacrifice, Elijah the prophet walked up to the altar and prayed, ‘O Lord, God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, prove today that you are God in Israel and that I am Your servant. Prove that I have done all that is at your command. Immediately the fire of the Lord flashed down from heaven and burned up the young bull, the wood, the stones and the dust. It even licked up all the water in the trench!” (1 Kings 18:36,38). We see through Elijah’s life that prayer is truly powerful. His life reminds us that if we trust in God through prayer, it will make a significant impact.

Depression is often triggered by life circumstances and can really pull you into the pit. There are numerous biblical references to depression. Scripture describes the struggles of people who suffered with depression even though they were faithful servants of God. These men did not suffer primarily because they were sinners. They suffered because they were human and were susceptible to severe pressures.

Elijah grew depressed when he was rebuked while he was anticipating a moment of triumph. His lofty hopes were crushed; he became sick at heart. Up until this point, Elijah had been the epitome of spiritual courage. He now collapses, runs away when Israel most needs his leadership, possibly missing the chance for national repentance and turns suicidal. He suffered from spiritual depression – a specific kind of depression that is related to commitment to God. Elijah’s depression, along with many other biblical characters, alerts us to the fact that being committed to God does not necessarily exempt us from being depressed.

When the false prophets of Baal were dead, Elijah’s life was threatened by Jezebel, the wicked wife of King Ahab. As Israel’s queen, she brought the worship of her god Baal, influencing King Ahab to worship Baal and set up idols in Israel (1 Kings 16:31; 1 Kings 21:25-26). God’s prophets who bring messages of warning are often hated and accused of being the cause of such suffering. Jezebel and the false prophets of Baal hated Elijah and they did everything in their power to catch him. In a moment of human weakness, Elijah was deeply discouraged. But it wasn’t long before God reassured Elijah and sent him back to face King Ahab. Elijah was sent to deliver the message that Ahab and Jezebel would both die a humiliating death because of all the wicked deeds they refused to repent of (1 Kings 21:20-24).

We can learn about the message of the final Elijah by studying the mission of John the Baptist. Gabriel brought a message from God that a prophet was coming to announce that Jesus was the Christ, the long-awaited Messiah. John the Baptist was the prophet, and Jesus declared that John was an Elijah-like figure, in addition to one who would come later (Matthew 11:14; Matthew 17:12). An angel declared of John’s mission: “And he will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God. He will also go before Him [Jesus] in the spirit and power of Elijah, ‘to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children’ and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready a people prepared for the Lord” (Luke 1:16-17). Ultimately, John the Baptist’s ministry was marked by “the spirit and power of Elijah” fulfilling the prophecy of Malachi 4:5-6. James uses Elijah as an example of prayer in James 5:17-18. He says that Elijah “was a human being, even as we are: yet he prayed that it wouldn’t rain and it didn’t. Then he prayed that it would rain and it did. We see through this that the power of prayer is in God, not within our human nature.


Many people think that the prophets were morally or spiritually superior to us, and it’s easy to think of Elijah in this way. But the truth is, he wasn’t. Like us, Elijah needed correction, encouragement and the knowledge that other believers were standing against Baal too. Elijah wasn’t exceptionally spiritual or superior. He was completely human. But what made Elijah extraordinary was his complete commitment to the Will of God. Elijah gave all his energy and heart so that the world would know the one true God. God uses the ordinary to do the extraordinary.

Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek all these things; and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all.
– Matthew 6:31-34 (Revised Standard Version)

Examine yourselves to see if your faith is genuine. Test yourselves. Surely you know that Jesus Christ is among you; if not, you have failed the test of genuine faith.”

2 Corinthians 13:5 (NLT)

An unexamined experience is worthless.

There are people who are 50 years old who haven’t truly lived 50 years. Instead, they’ve lived one year 50 times. They make the same mistakes over and over again because they never stop and extract the lessons. They never ask, “What happened in this last year? What can I do differently so that I can live life better going forward?”

The Bible says you should take time to review your life: “Examine yourselves to see if your faith is genuine. Test yourselves. Surely you know that Jesus Christ is among you; if not, you have failed the test of genuine faith” (2 Corinthians 13:5 NLT).

When you examine your life experiences, look for two things:

Look for benefits. What have you really enjoyed in your life? Don’t just say, “I really enjoyed that job.” Ask, “What was it about that job that I really loved?” Don’t just say, “I really liked that class.” Ask, “What exactly about that class did I like? Why was it so fulfilling to me?” You’ll get little clues about where you should be headed with your life.

Look for patterns. Particularly, look for patterns in your failure. When you fail, you tend to do it the same way every time. So, look and ask, “Where have I failed in the past? What patterns do I keep repeating?” Don’t look for patterns so you can beat yourself up but because you want to be different.

If you ignore the mistakes of your past, you’re likely to repeat them. This was the problem with the Israelites when Moses led them out of Egypt. Their trip to the Promised Land should have taken only a few weeks, but instead it took 40 years because they refused to learn from their experiences and from the tests God put before them. Each failed test meant one more lap around the desert.

The Bible says in Job 32:7, “The longer you live, the wiser you become” (The Message).

That verse is a possibility, not a promise. There are people who are old and foolish. Wisdom does not automatically come with age.

But wisdom is possible for anyone. No matter your age, maturity comes as you let God teach you through the everyday experiences of life.

Talk It Over

  • We have lived through an extraordinary year. What are some specific experiences from the past year that you have learned from? How have you seen God work through your circumstances?
  • How has failure helped you mature spiritually, emotionally, and mentally?
  • What would you consider as evidence of maturity and wisdom in your life?

The post To Grow Wise, Examine Your Life appeared first on Pastor Rick’s Daily Hope.


For Mother’s Day, please tell me more about the “ideal woman and mother” in Proverbs 31. I see that it was written by King Lemuel, but who was he? I’d also like to know more about his description of his mother and what it means today.

Thanks, Leticia

Dear Leticia,

Proverbs 31 is often taught—by a man—like a report card to see how well a woman measures up to certain standards. That’s a rotten shame!

This proverb clearly shows us how to value and appreciate the things a wife and/or mother does for her family.

Its author, King Lemuel, summarized his mother’s teaching and character in this echoing word of praise: “A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies” (Proverbs 31:10).

First, it’s important to note that no one knows the identity of King Lemuel (mentioned in Proverbs 31:1).

However, one thing seems clear, Solomon certainly was not the author of Proverbs 31. It’s hard to imagine this chapter being written by a man who had 700 wives and 300 concubines.

In no way did Solomon exemplify a monogamous, godly husband and father. On the other hand, it’s clear that King Lemuel did.

Don’t consort, with prostitutes; they’ll decimate your life. Stay away from wine and never allow yourself to get drunk and thus forget decency and justice. Don’t pervert the rights of all the afflicted. Protect the rights of those left desolate. Maintain the rights of the poor and needy.”

Now, let’s look at her qualities further and note how the “ideal” picture King Lemuel’s mom offers in the second section of the proverb may be putting undue pressure on moms. Best of all, let’s agree that no mom should be expected to be perfect, and that all are beloved.

She Is Praised by Her Husband (Proverbs 31:11-27)

The ideal woman is noticed and praised by her husband for her character, activities, and behaviors. I’ll summarize his praise for her:

I have found: a “diamond in the rough.” She and I have a maturing partnership. She’s great at milling the grain, cooking, washing, making the meals, nursing the babies, and making the family’s clothes. She plants a garden and harvests the grain. She seeks wool and flax and works with willing hands. She obtains food for our family at any cost.

She gets up before dawn and makes breakfast. She buys real estate on which she cultivates and sells the crops for a profit. She works out to get strong muscles. She makes sure that all of her purchases are profitable. She cares for the children.

She keeps her lights burning all night. She utilizes the spindle to make clothes for her family. The clothes that she makes are fine linen and purple. She gives to the poor and needy.

There were no malls, no microwaves, and no TV dinners back in those days. Perhaps the equivalent today would be “supermom”! But keep in mind that this is an ideal… it’s something perhaps to aspire to … but it’s not a chronicle of a real person.

Her Children Rise Up and Call Her Blessed (Proverbs 31:28)

Based on the rest of the chapter, I can imagine her children rolling out of bed without her needing a cattle prod.

I can imagine her children actually dressing themselves and brushing their teeth without a reminder. Her children’s rooms are not trash dumps, and they can actually get from the bed to the closet without needing a GPS.

On the way to church, they happily jump into the car, telling mom how pretty she looks, and how glad they are that she is their mom.

Is this realistic? Think about what your family life is really like…

Is It Too Much that She’s Mayor of the City? Probably! (Proverbs 31:28-31)

In her day, women were just not given many opportunities. So, there’s absolutely no way she could have been mayor, dispensing wisdom and judgments at the city gates where important messages were read, disputes were settled, and prophets delivered their messages.

Nevertheless, I can imagine that if she were alive today, the “Proverbs 31 Woman” could definitely be a Supreme Court justice!

She obviously spent some time at the city gates because her husband talked often about what a great wife and mother she was. She was greatly praised. Everyone knew who she was.

But Without a Doubt, She Is an Idealized Woman

As I have considered this proverb over and over, I’ve realized that no woman is this perfect!

She hardly ever slept or took a nap. That’s just impossible. Not even the Proverbs 31 woman has time to do all the things for which she is praised.

Years ago, my wife, Julie, and I were attending a marriage conference. We were given a worksheet with a number of biblical injunctions describing how good or not-so-good our parents were as we grew up.

When we were asked to exchange the analysis of our parents’ parenting styles, I realized I had idealized my mother. She was a great mom; however, she wasn’t perfect.

As is the case for all of us as human beings, she did many things very well and some not so well.

Lemuel’s mother was not perfect either.

So, let’s keep our expectations in line with reality. When the expectations are too high, the pressure can be unbearable.

Love Mom by Meeting Her Emotional Needs

Listed below are the top ten emotional needs we all have, as surveyed by Great Commandment Ministries. Every one of us, whether we recognize it or not, has all of these needs and even more.

1. Acceptance

2. Affection

3. Appreciation

4. Approval

5. Attention

6. Comfort

7. Encouragement

8. Respect

9. Security

10. Support

Think of some practical and creative ways that you could meet one or more of these top ten needs for your mother or wife.

Maybe you can plan one way every day to meet one of these ten needs for ten days. Or maybe you can prepare a basket of them at once.

Let me give you an insight: Could you imagine that if you never received acceptance, affection, appreciation, or comfort, or whatever, from your parents, that they didn’t receive any of those things from their parents either?

It’s hard to pass on what you have never received.

Maybe you could work up the courage to meet some of those needs in your mom this Mother’s Day. One day she may reciprocate.

Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all. Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised. Honor her for all that her hands have done, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate (Proverbs 30:29-31).

Though we experience every kind of pressure, we’re not crushed. At times we don’t know what to do, but quitting is not an option.”

2  C O R I N T H I A N S   4 : 8  (TPT)


The words above are powerful… “Don’t quit!” They set the tone in your heart that will create change in your life. Living with this attitude will mark you and propel you into an amazing future. So, join Richard tonight as we let the Word of God transform us into the mighty finishers God created us to be!Add us to your calendar today by
clicking one of the blue buttons below.

ADD

Often when we find ourselves awakened in the middle of the night, worry, fear, and struggles can press hard. Peace feels far away. It’s difficult to even think with clarity, too many thoughts and feelings are swirling around in the dark.

And it’s in those very moments when we most need to pray, that often we can hardly find the words.

God knows.

He understands.

And He is close.

His words are living, active, and powerful. They are the only thing that can bring us true peace in this life, whether it be through the brightness of day or in the darkest of night. If you’ve found yourself there recently, struggling to sleep through the night, here are eight powerful verses and prayers to help you focus your heart and mind on God:

ADD

It’s no surprise that mothers are celebrated. With Mother’s Day in the not too far future, our thoughts turn to the women who raised us. Hopefully, you were blessed with a nurturing caregiver. Mothers exemplify all levels of character traits. There are, most assuredly, the typical ones.

Helper, healer, comforter, and teacher are some of the gentler terms applied to mothers. Fierce, warrior, protector, and guardian are perhaps downplayed as not as feminine by tradition, but definitely rooted deeply in the hearts of passionately invested mothers.

American culture has a unique relationship with motherhood, stemming from the traditional versus feminist battles that both herald and hesitate when it comes to the mantle of motherhood. But in truth, any woman who is a mother, knows there is a place for them to be praised and rewarded wherever they fall on the scale of womanhood. Motherhood is, plainly put, heroic.

I love to look for examples of motherhood in entertainment that portray it both positively and something to be celebrated. Looking into the archives of cinema, and even into more recent cinematic releases, we can find a fabulous lineup of such stories that both portray mothers as deep-hearted nurturers and as the mama-bear defenders that they are.

Here’s a list of seven movies that celebrate mothers. Movies that will leave you touched, challenged, inspired, and maybe even more protective than you expected:

1. The Sound of Music (1965)

There is no doubt you’re instantly wondering why this movie takes the top of the list as a movie about motherhood. But what I love about a very unspoken of, but highly apparent element of this movie, is the mother’s heart seen in its main character, Maria.

The way that she embraces seven motherless children into her heart and her world, and eventually accepts the mantle of mother over them, is the epitome of a mother’s love. She sacrifices not only her ambition for the sisterhood in the Church, but also her own safety and security under threat of a Nazi regime. She will do what she must for children that are not even her own, and she will do so willingly and with passion.

If Maria VonTrapp is not on your list of cinematic mothers, a rewatch of this movie is a must.https://buy.tinypass.com/checkout/template/cacheableShow?aid=IKC2tj9wpu&templateId=OT3SKL6M9UJB&offerId=fakeOfferId&experienceId=EXJ2NKOOJ36R&iframeId=offer_35f1ce245b1aa83d45d6-0&displayMode=inline&pianoIdUrl=https%3A%2F%2Fid.tinypass.com%2Fid%2F&widget=template

2. Yes Day (2021)

This new release from Netflix is all about mom.

A great family movie, you’ll relate more than you expect to Jennifer Garner’s role as an adventure-seeking, fun-loving, goofy woman pre-child, who has now morphed in a mom who is constantly worried for her children’s safety, repeatedly saying “no” because of life’s responsibilities, and finding it difficult to laugh when life’s stresses suffocate joy. After making a deal with her family that she can get through an entire day of saying only “yes” to her children, the viewer is taken on a journey with her.

Through the stressors of raising a teenage girl, to the precocious energies of elementary aged children, any mother will identify with the struggles to balance parenting with relationship-building. And the ending is guaranteed to leave even the most hardened of mothers choked up.

3. The Blindside (2009)

In the Blindside, Leigh Anne is the example of a fierce mother who champions her children. Only, Michael isn’t her child. He’s not even her ethnicity. Michael is a homeless, African American teenager whose unstable environment lends toward a future not filled with much hope or inspiration.

But when Leigh Anne and her family bring Michael in, and eventually adopt him, she not only becomes his mother, but she becomes his life coach. Pushing him, urging him toward success, she believes in his abilities both on and off the football field. Unwilling to go easy on him, she’s able to dish out some good old Southern mama scolding, along with some tender moments all moms will relate to.

A story of adoption, this movie will touch a mother’s heart as they watch how belief in a child can loft that child into greatness not only in life, but greatness of heart.

4. Mom’s Night Out (2014)

This movie is a comedic take on the typical stereotypes of moms who can’t leave the house without disaster following in their absence. Join three mothers who are desperate for some time outside of the home.null

It’s only three hours, and they get to dress up, have food served to them instead of doing the cooking and clean up themselves, and best of all? Girl time! But the dads are left to make sure the house (and the children) don’t fall apart, and you can only imagine what a movie starring Patricia Heaton, will dish up in that scenario.

Imagine what could go wrong, and this movie will probably top that. It’s a fun movie that will leave you chuckling long after the last scene.

5. Stepmom (1998)

A heart-rending movie, Stepmom, starring Julia Roberts and Susan Sarandon, takes the viewer on a journey that will compel and touch a mother’s heart. Divorced, with two children, Jackie (Sarandon) is quite opposed to sharing them with her ex’s new, younger girlfriend, Kelly (Roberts).

Most mothers will relate to Jackie’s reticence, and the ensuing arguments and confrontations may be all too familiar for some maternal viewers. But, when Jackie is faced with a life-altering health diagnosis, she’s also faced with the inevitability that Kelly will be the one to usher the children into adulthood, with Jackie only a memory in their hearts. The movie will take every mother from either background through a wrenching vortex of emotions.

Dry eyes will not be a thing with this movie, but a heartwarming ending will leave you celebrating both moms and step-moms as exactly the people they are: mothers.

6. Maid in Manhattan (2002)

We cannot forget the hardworking, self-sacrificing single mothers, and in the movie Maid in Manhattan, we see just such woman, played by Jennifer Lopez. Typically touted as a rom-com, a lot can be missed if you’re not looking out for it in this movie. But when viewed with the lens of looking for motherhood to celebrate, the layers in this movie become far deeper than just a love story.

A hotel maid, Lopez’s character does what she must to raise her young son. This is very evident when you see her sacrificing even her own happiness in order to make him her priority. When she meets a politician and is mistaken for a socialite (she’s caught trying on an expensive dress she doesn’t own), she explores a relationship. But this single mother will not forgo her son for the sake of even her biggest dreams of love, and while the ending is the preferred fairy tale ending, seeing the relationship between mother and son thrive and survive is perhaps the most underrated but satisfying part of the entire film.

This movie is PG-13, so maybe celebrate with your older children or as an adults-only movie night.

7. Bird Box (2018)

An honorable mention goes to the movie Bird Box, starring Sandra Bullock. While this movie is not for the faint of heart and falls into the thriller genre, motherhood is the primary motivation in this film, with Bullock’s character’s only goal to save her child and an orphaned child entrusted into her care.

Unable to open their eyes for fear of loss of life by almost supernatural creatures, Bullock’s character spends the majority of the movie blindfolded. She traverses life-threatening and at times, violent circumstances, to usher the two children to the one place left where safety can be had with eyes open. Not a family movie by any means, this movie does explore the primal instinct of a woman to protect a child, and how a mother will go to any means necessary to save their lives.

If you prefer an edgier take on motherhood and an awakening of your inner mama-bear, then you will soak up every emotion that Bullock dishes out in this heart-pounding film from Netflix.

It’s great to see the entertainment industry continue to provide us with classics, current films, and even the more apocalyptic genres that show motherhood as something to be held sacred. There is a bond between mother and child, whether married or single, and as mothers, the set of emotions that come with that bond are so often undefinable in words.

Only on the screen can we witness testimonies—if fictional—of that eternal tie we have to our children.

So this spring, as Mother’s Day approaches, take the time to celebrate the mother in your life. Regain perspective by watching a classic, a comedy, a love story, a drama, and even an apocalyptic-type thriller.

And remember, never forget to celebrate the mother in your life, whether by blood or by choice. Even Hollywood recognizes the cherished value a mother brings to our lives, as they bring it to the screen.

Here’s to you, Moms. You heroes who fold laundry, traverse the corporate ladder, struggle to make ends meet, exist on little to no sleep, spend days away at conferences for work, or who simply never get a day off. Take some time out and watch a good movie that celebrate YOU.

Often believers talk together about the decaying state of world and the Second Coming of Christ. Invariably, at some point in the conversation, someone will say, “The Lord must be coming back soon. It certainly can’t be much longer, can it?” We may be the last generation before the return of Christ, or many generations may yet follow in the plan of God. In either case, the same truths apply.

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