Thursday, October 08, 2009

No Moisture for Perseverance

Some fell on rock, and when it came up, the plants withered because they had no moisture. ~ Luke 8:6
I have only one plant in my house because I am terrible about watering them. This morning I felt like God said I'm not so good at making sure I get watered myself. Oh, sure. I attend church weekly. I'm in a small group. Bible study and chatting with God are a natural part of my daily life. So why did I want to quit all the good stuff I'm involved in and just exist like a fake piece of greenery yesterday?

When the one plant I have starts getting brown edges on the leaves, I know it's lacking moisture. No matter how much determination that little plant may have, if it doesn't get water, it won't survive.

The same is true for me. Moisture comes in different ways. I'm an introvert (yeah, really I am). My mistake is thinking that all I need to persevere, is more solitude. Truth is, solitude is like fertilizer for me. If I don't get moisture with the fertilizer, I burn out.

Over application of ... just about any fertilizer ... can easily lead to soluble salts injury.
Excessively high soluble salts hurt garden plants by causing root burn.
The burning reduces the ability of roots to absorb water and nutrients. ~

Moisture flows into me through other people. As much as I would like to sit quietly reading all day or hide behind my laptop like a cut flower, I need to experience the Holy Spirit flowing through me to and from others. That doesn't happen with just any group of people and those who stir the Spirit in me sometimes surprise me.

The point is we need moisture and we don't generate that moisture in ourselves. God has designed us to need each other. He created us to be part of a complex root system. Jesus prayed that we would be one just like he and the Father are one (John 17:22).

As much as I would like for my struggle to be about whether I want to keep my roots deep into the intellectual element of God's word and personal relationship with him alone, that's not the question God posed to me this morning. His question is more like: Am I willing to get the moisture he routes through others so that I can persevere?
"A plant is only as good as its own root system" ~ The Mustard Seed Landscape and Garden Center

Sunday, October 04, 2009

"Renting Lacy - A Story of America's Prostituted Children" by Linda Smith with Cindy Coloma

I have been reading about human trafficking for about a year. Like most hot topics, there is a broad spectrum with plenty of statistics; then there is the details that move a person to action - or at least the desire to act.

Linda Smith's previous book, From Congress to the Brothel, was eye opening for me. This book is... disturbing. Yes, disturbing, as true stories of young girls being used for pleasure and profit should be. Disturbing in a way that will not allow me to live my life the same after having this information.

Nancy Winston, a Shared Hope International National Awareness Board Member, put it this way: "Once you know, you can no longer not know!"

This book will introduce you to a world that might seem fictitious. You will learn terminology that you would like to think is only used in a Hollywood movie script. You will meet young girls whose life has been taken yet they continue to survive a brutal existence. How they got there. How it could happen to your child or your child's best friend. And perhaps most shocking, you will meet those who pay for sex and the ineffectiveness of procedures currently in place to stop the crime.

Smith and Coloma have written this book in the form of a novel which allows the reader to get to know the characters and picture the scenes. Commentary is added at the end of chapters to help the reader understand the reality of the story. This atrocity is happening in communities throughout the U.S.  The Foreward quotes a police commander as saying "the only way not to find this problem in any community is simply not to look for it."

You will see implicitly in the story and then explicitly in the Commentary:
  • "Why is it in America?" 
  • "How Children Get Abducted"
  • "How Does It Happen?" - how are children persuaded to do what they do
  • "Who Buys a Child?"
  • "Who are the Children Trafficked for Sex?"
  • "What's Happening in Our Legal System?"
  • "Why Don't They Leave?"
The book ends with hope. Hope which comes from the story being told as well as what organizations such as Shared Hope are doing and what you can do. The final pages list "Next Steps" which call for a change in laws and a change in the general populations perspective of this crime.

If you only read one book a year, make this the book. It's 163 pages that will change the way you think each time you see the picture of a child on a missing person report or hear of a runaway. It might even cause you to truly love the children around you more.

You can receive a free copy of this book with a donation to Shared Hope International. Please, make a donation. Help prevent, rescue and restore women and children from the commercial sex trade industry.

the mission:
PROCLAIM the good news; HEAL the sick and oppressed; BRING JUSTICE
~ Luke 4:16-20

Anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing (John 14:12)
~ Jesus 

Copyright 2005-2010 Lisa Biggs Crum
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