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”

Updating Post!

It’s been a difficult few weeks for Israel, but thanks to your help, we have been providing ongoing support to many who have been suffering here. Your generosity is greatly appreciated and I wanted to share with you some of our activities over the past few weeks.

April concluded with a devastating tragedy unparalleled in Israeli history, as 45 people were killed and 150 injured in a deadly stampede at a Jewish festival, as many of you know. The Israel365 Charity Fund immediately got to work to support the families, being the first organization to distribute funds to the bereaved families, who were all extremely grateful for your assistance. I am also very proud that we were the official sponsor of the memorial commemoration for the families at the Western Wall and you can see videos and photos here.

With over 4,000 rockets launched at Israel during the recent clashes with Hamas, it’s abundantly clear that Israelis need more bomb shelters. 25% of the population lacks access to shelters which presents a dangerous risk and extreme emotional distress to those with nowhere to run when the sirens start blaring. Israel365 is working with Operation Lifesheld to quickly place a bomb shelter where it is needed most, and we will keep you updated when we have selected a location.

In commemoration of Holocaust Memorial Day, known in Hebrew as “Yom Hashoah,” we sent flowers to all the Holocaust Survivors who participate in the Israel365 Memory Clinic for Holocaust Survivors. This year, in addition to remembering the 6 million Jews who perished in WWII, we also remembered the 900 Holocaust Survivors in Israel who passed away this year from COVID-19, and as always provided for home repairs for several precious survivors. If you haven’t yet seen it, you can watch this powerful video of Rabbi Tuly standing in silence along with Holocaust Survivor Mrs. Miriam Bitton.

The real heroes of Israel are the brave men and women of the IDF who have been protecting us on the front lines. The Israel365 Lone Soldier Center provides a home away from home for many of our soldiers, thanks to your ongoing support. We did as much as we could to assist the soldiers on the front lines and when I ran into a few soldiers having dinner at a local hamburger restaurant I immediately told the waitress that I’d like to pay for their meals, and watch their heartwarming reaction here. I’d also like to thank our monthly partners, Helen and Lauri Weissman from Finland who shipped dozens of thick, protective socks to our IDF soldiers, who were so appreciative, not only for the socks, but for the love and prayers from Christian friends around the world.

While Israel scored a military victory on the battlefront, the real war today is being fought online, social media, and the mainstream media – and that is a war, we are sadly, losing. We have therefore been working nonstop on getting the pro-Israel message out through Israel365 News and our various Facebook pages. We arranged for an important webinar “What can I do to help Israel today?” that was seen over 40,000 times online and even helped organize a local rally in Columbus, Ohio featuring a rabbi and a pastor who put aside their differences to work together for Israel. I summed up my feelings on the importance of Jews and Christians working together for the Times of Israel which you can read here. We have much more planned for “Faith-Based Advocacy” in the near future, and of course, we will keep you posted.

MEET THE WINNER OF THE ISRAEL365 RAFFLE DRAWINGOne of the nicest moments of the past few difficult weeks was when we drew the raffle to see who was the winner of 2 free airplane tickets to Israel. When the lottery winner was revealed, Kris Brose from La Crosse, Wisconsin made a surprise announcement, which you must watch here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o9z023QF3p8

As always, none of these important activities would be possible without your steadfast support and commitment to the Land and the People of Israel. Thank you, Todah Rabah for standing with us.

Shalom,

Good morning Delana, 

You may not realize it, but…you’re being lied to. 

The culprit is none other than the master manipulator himself: Satan

He—and his deceptions—can be hard to spot. Far from the cartoonish red-horned and pitch-forked depiction we all know so well, he masquerades to trick us into thinking he’s anything other than what he really is: the archenemy of God who is bent on destroying as many people as he can before his ultimate demise. 

Today, I want to help you discover the truth beneath the devil’s mask once and for all—by sending Unmasked—Revealing the Truth Behind Satan’s Lies as my thanks for your generous support for the ministry of Turning Point today. Inside, all is revealed—

  • Satan’s Identity: Discover the names given to Satan in Scripture and how they reveal who he really is.
  • Satan’s Origin and Fall: Learn how Satan went from being “very good” to being “cursed” by God as a result of pride.
  • Satan’s Strategies: Gain knowledge about how Satan seeks to deceive Christians—including disguising his true character, twisting what God has said for his own purposes, and others. 
  • Satan’s Vulnerabilities: Develop strategies to exploit Satan’s weaknesses and put on your spiritual armor to defend against his attacks.
  • Satan’s Doom and Destiny: Find out what will happen to Satan at the end of the age—and how he has already lost! 

If you’ve ever wanted to know “Who really is behind Satan’s mask?”…this handbook is for you. 

When his mask comes off, it’s not a pretty sight. But you will discover that you have nothing to fear because, know it or not, Christ has already won the war. And His victory is one that you can experience today if you only understand how.

Please, let me show you today! Request Unmasked as my gift of appreciation for your generous online support now.

Satan is on the prowl—“like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8). But you and your loved ones can be ready to fight back and resist the enemy’s attacks with the truth of God’s Word. 
 
God bless you,

There is a great encouragement in these words: “We are more than conquerors.” Not just that we are conquerors; we are MORE than conquerors in Christ. That means we win. Against everything, we win. How is it that we win? We win because, once we commit to Christ, nothing can take that away from us. Paul declares, “Nothing can separate us from the love of Christ.” NOTHING. What a wonderful promise! There are so many things that separate us from the ones we love on this earth: death, divorce, bad blood, conflicts of all kinds. How reassuring to know that our relationship with Christ will never be breached and that through Him, we will be victorious conquerors!

And we pray:

Lord, I am encouraged to know that nothing will separate me from Your love. You have promised me this and through Your love and steadfastness, I am more than a conqueror! Amen.

Thursday, May 13, 2021

The Commission of the Church

“For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe.”

—1 Corinthians 1:21

One thing that both believers and nonbelievers have in common is they’re uptight about evangelism. Nonbelievers are uptight about being evangelized, and believers are uptight about evangelizing nonbelievers.

However, if we want to grow as Christians, then we must go into all the world and preach the gospel. We call this the Great Commission, and we find two variations of it in the New Testament.

Mark’s gospel states it this way: “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature” (16:15 NKJV). And in Matthew 28 we read, “‘Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.’ Amen” (verses 19–20 NKJV).

So where is Jesus calling us?

He’s calling us into the world. He’s calling us to go to all people everywhere. Because the primary way people come to Jesus is through hearing the gospel.

Who is supposed to do this?

All of us. Jesus directed these words to all of His followers. Everyone is supposed to do this—not just the so-called professionals such as pastors, evangelists, and missionaries.

And what are we supposed to do?

We’re supposed to preach the gospel.

So here’s my question for you: Are you doing your part to fulfill the Great Commission?

Jesus commands us as His followers to share our faith. But honestly, for some Christians, this has become the Great Omission instead of the Great Commission.

The commission of the church isn’t to wait for the world to show up. Rather, the commission of the church is to go to the world.

Share this today:

Daily Devo

As the days go on I will be updating many of my posts. I have been writing for so long, I keep finding notes on top of notes.

God Bless y’ll

Fear seems to come easy these days. It marches all around us through media, sickness, shootings, and news stories that make the heart feel sick. It doesn’t take much for a heart to be gripped with fear and live in a state of unrest. If it’s not all the big stuff that harms the heart, it’s the personal things. Like – how will I pay the bills? How will my marriage survive? Am I messing up my kids? What if I never get married? Will I ever feel worthy or measure up? What if what I do is never enough? null

While we all wrestle with our own fears, there is one common place we can run to when fear gets ahold of our hearts. God’s Word offers truth, promises, and prayers as remedy to cure the heart of the uneasy worry that seems to wreck us. 

Grab hold of one of these verses and claim it as your prayer and battle cry this week over your fear. There is no better place to find hope and help than God’s Word! Choose a verse and say it out loud in the presence of the fear that feels overwhelming to you. 

1. A Verse for Late-Night Fears

“Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in You” (Psalm 56:3).

When my mom would tuck me in as a little girl, this was the verse she would give me. I’ve carried it with me all these years and find myself praying it often. If you are struggling with those late-night fears, get ahold of this one and claim it as yours. Say it, mean it, and repeat it. 

2. Remember That God Is with You Always

“Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand” (Isaiah 41:10).

God is the only one who can hold you up through the fears of life. While friends change, and family passes on, God stays the same. He is steady and strong, always holding onto His children. Let God hold your hand and proclaim the truth about who He is and what He does. God is with you even now. He is where you will find strength to make it. 

3. Suit Up and Stand Firm

“Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil” (Ephesians 6:11).

If you feel like you are being attacked on every side and like you can’t get out of the constant flow of struggles, this one is for you. Suit up for battle. The battle is bigger than what we see. But God is bigger than what we face. You can make it through the fear, but only if you put on the right armor.null

4. Sing Praise in the Storm

“The LORD is my strength and my shield; My heart trusted in Him, and I am helped; Therefore my heart greatly rejoices, And with my song I will praise Him” (Psalm 28:6).

There is never a wrong time to give God a song of praise. If you are feeling afraid, weak, and alone, lift up this song of worship to our mighty God. It’s not time to stop singing. It’s time to sing louder. If you don’t like to sing or feel like your voice isn’t worth hearing, turn up the worship music in your home or car and let the music minister to your heart. 

5. God Is Your Light in the Dark

“The LORD is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear? The LORD is the strength of my life; Of whom shall I be afraid?” (Psalm 27:1).

Sometimes it is good to remember all God is to you. He is your light in the dark. He is your strength in weakness. When fear rises, raise up your light and your strength. Not in an “I can do it” battle cry, but in a “God will do it” victory cry. The battle is not about us, it is about Him. When we change our focus to all He is, we begin to see a glimmer of hope.

6. Remember That God Is Bigger Than Your Fears

“There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love” (1 John 4:18).

When we live in the light of God’s love and we remember who we are and whose we are, fear has to leave. Dwell on God’s love today. Grab hold of this verse and tell yourself the truth about the fear you hold or the fear that holds you. God is bigger than the fear. Let Him take care of you.

. A Verse for When You Can’t Go On

“From the end of the earth I will cry to You, When my heart is overwhelmed; Lead me to the rock that is higher than I” (Psalm 61:2).

There are some fears that captivate the heart so much, it is difficult to function. This prayer is for you if you feel like you don’t have words, don’t have strength, and feel like your hope is fading. Rather than pull the covers up over your head another day, get out of bed and remember your Rock. He is mighty and He is stronger than what you are going through. 

8. Cry out to God

God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble” (Psalm 46:1).

When you feel alone, like God is not listening or near, your heart needs to be reminded of the truth. Don’t stay stuck in a cycle of pity and seclusion. Cry out to God and remember He is near. 

When we pray God’s Word over the fears of life, we find freedom from fear. God is stronger and able to conquer your fears, but you have to use the right tools. It’s not our strength or might or power, but it is His. He is the one who will help us through every storm. 

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

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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.

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Human trafficking in Ohio – Wikipedia

More resultsWhat are the top cities 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.

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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:

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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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