Fighting Insomnia part 2. Standing Against Slavery


NOTE TO READER: This blog entry is long, but please have patience and read it all. Also, watch all of the videos as they bring the point across. This is a serious issue and must be spread to bring awareness.
I have used material from The A21 Campaign as it speaks very well for itself*

My words are in this blue font.

For a change I will start with a definition of another word of a disease that causes us to backslide as Christians. We become complacent and sometimes get too comfortable in our own faith that we forget about the other people around us.

complacency

com·pla·cen·cy

1. a feeling of quiet pleasure or security, often while unaware of some potential danger, defect, or the like; self-satisfaction or smug satisfaction with an existing situation, condition, etc.

When you think about slaves, what comes to mind? How slavery was once upon a time acceptable in America? Something written down in history books that happened in ancient times?

It’s happening now!

We either didn’t know it’s happening or have grown complacent and unaware of our surroundings. Today, we currently have  over 27 million slaves in the world. Who knew? Or better yet, who cares, right?

Last year, I was just as unaware as many of you might be to the human trafficking that is one of the fasting growing and profitable business of our time. People kidnap young women in multiple countries and sell them for sex (prostitution) among other things. I went to a Christian conference (World Mandate)  where I heard a great woman, Christine Caine speak about an organization that fights human trafficking in the world. I will let the A21Campaign speak for itself… Watch the video below to ‘walk in her shoes’.

In her shoes…

The Problem:Human trafficking is an organized criminal industry that affects every nation. While the statistics can seem overwhelming, it is important to remember that every number represents the life of a victim. The A21 Campaign has recognized a significant need in the region of Europe, and is committed to combating this injustice through rescuing one life at a time.

The Solution:

The A21 Campaign is comprised of individuals, organizations, government officials, and people like you who are committed to abolishing injustice in the 21st century. Our goal is four-fold:

§ Preventpeople from being trafficked

§ Protectand support those who have been trafficked

§ Prosecutetraffickers, and strengthen legal responses to trafficking

§ Partnerwith law enforcement, service providers and community members to provide a comprehensive front against trafficking

 

Here are 21 ways the A21Campaign put together that you may help fight against the slavery:

The battle against human trafficking cannot be fought by one person, but requires all of us to come together as one and stand for justice. Together, we can make a difference.

1. WRITE A LETTER

Grab your stationary and pull out a pen! This simple act is an incredible encouragement to survivors along their journey. But don’t be surprised if it has a great impact on you too.  Try it and see what we are talking about. Click HERE for more information.

2. MULTIPLY YOUR PENNIES

Everyday changes can make huge impacts in bringing an end to slavery. By simply altering daily choices and saving money, you can become a partner with us as we bring an end to slavery. Instead of ordering a large coffee, opt for a smaller size and save those pennies!  A few small changes for us can help bring about lasting change for a survivor!

3. GET SOCIAL

That’s right, we want to be social with social media. Whether through FacebookTwitter,YouTube, or Causes, you can find ways to connect with us for updated information, as well as quickly share information with friends, family, or people you just met. It’s the easiest way spread the word, as well as to stay connected to freedom fighters all over the globe.

4. GET SMART

No, you don’t have to go back to school or write a term paper to become educated about trafficking. Thankfully there are many ways for you to learn and uncover the ills of modern-day slavery. We’re making this easy for you and including some of our favorite resources! Take some time and get informed.

Recommended Website Resources:

§ The Problem

§ News Room

§ Download the United Nations toolkit to combat trafficking

Recommended Reading Material:

§ The Natashas: Inside the New Global Sex Trade – by Victor Malarek

§ Terrify No More: Young Girls Held Captive and the Daring Undercover Operation to Win Their Freedom – by Gary A. Haugen and Gregg Hunter

§ Not For Sale: The Return of the Global Slave Trade–and How We Can Fight It – by David Batstone.

§ The Road of Lost Innocence – by Somaly Mam

§ Ending Slavery – by Kevin Bales

Recommended movies (for mature audiences only):

§ Nefarious (2011)

§ Human Trafficking (2005)

§ The Jammed (2007)

§ Trade (2007)

§ Taken (2008)

§ Lilya 4-Ever (2002)

5. INTERN WITH A21

All around the globe we have teams of people working hard in the fight against injustice. You can join in and fight alongside teams in the following coutnries:

§ California, United States

§ Thessaloniki, Greece

§ Kiev, Ukraine

§ Sydney, Australia

For more information, visit our internship page and apply today!

6. BE A BILLBOARD

Not only can fashion express who you are, but it can also represent what you stand for! In our online store, you can find fashionable attire and accessories to start conversations about human trafficking. Whether it’s a shirt or a wristband, wear it proudly and be ready to let others know why! (Warning: It’s a good idea to complete #4 before you become a billboard.)

7. SEND STUFF

Who doesn’t love giving gifts to those in need? This is a great opportunity to for you round up some friends or purchase gifts to women in our care. We’ve seen new clothes to hygiene packs, toothbrushes to hair care come to our facilities and each gift goes directly to women in need. To send items (or gift cards) to Greece or Kiev, click hereand ask about our current needs.

8. PRAY

Human trafficking is nothing short of evil, but don’t underestimate the power of prayer.  Whether you opt to pray on the 21st of every month, or the 21st hour of every day, prayer is important! If you would like to obtain a prayer guide, please click here to download or contact us to request a hard copy.

9. SHOW YOUR STUFF

Write a blog about why we should fight human trafficking; paint a picture and display it publicly; use a sports event to raise awareness and funds; write a song or talk about human trafficking at a concert; create a short film and post it on www.youtube.com. Use what you do best to make a difference!

10. READ HEADLINES

Being informed about human trafficking in the news prepares you to engage and discuss circumstances that are currently happening. Click here to visit our newsroom, or pickup a newspaper and read about what is happening right now.

11. START A STUDENT REVOLUTION

Join thousands of students around the world who are locking arms and taking a stand at their school!  Start an awareness group at your local high school or university and get your friends involved in spreading the truth about human trafficking to your community. For more information on A21 abolition groups, or to download abolition resources, click here.

12. PARTY WITH A PURPOSE

Grab your friends and throw a party! But not just any party—a party with the purpose of informing those closest to you about human slavery. We provide the brochures, the short films, a party-planning guide, and all you have to do is bring your friends! This can be done at any time, but you can join up with thousands around the globe who party with a purpose for our annual KEY2FREE campaign. Click here for more information on hosting an abolition event.

13. UNITE AND CONQUER

United we stand, divided we fall. Our core values rest upon the collaborative efforts of those in the fight against trafficking. Together we are stronger than when we are separate. So enroll your friends and enlist your classmates in the fight for freedom! Together we can stand against the injustice of slavery – whatever you do, don’t do it alone!

14. WRITE FOR THEIR RIGHTS

We believe everyone has a voice to be heard. By lobbying your local politician, you can advocate for those without a voice. Often times adjusting laws and policies surrounding the issue of human trafficking can make it easier to identity and convict traffickers in the court of law. For more information on how to inform your elected officials, check outwww.polarisproject.org.

15. FAST ON THE 21st

Fasting is simply as personal reminder throughout the day of your commitment to see breakthrough in injustice. On the 21st of every month, join people all around the world and fast for the work that is being done to fight the injustice of human trafficking.

16. INCORPORATE THE CORPORATE

Many companies are now partnering with nonprofit organizations for seasonal moments of giving back. If you work in the corporate world (or know someone who does), ask if A21 could be considered as part of the contenders for a partnership program, matching funds or a sponsored charity. We all need some corporate friends as many can lend their influence to the fight against trafficking in the corporate world!

17. MAKE VIDEOS VIRAL

We love spreading the word about human trafficking through visual storytelling. The best way to get the word out and gain momentum is by sharing the video with our friends, who will in turn share it with their friends, and their friend’s friends! You can help us spread the word by making our videos go viral. Click here to see our latest videos.

18. LINK LOCALLY

Find out who’s in your area and link up with them! That’s right, there are other people in your area who share your passion in abolishing slavery. Whether it’s a local task force, or a student group that is hosting an event, join them and stand together in the fight for freedom.

19. WALK IN HER SHOES

It’s been said that you never know someone until you walk a mile in their shoes.  Whether it’s literally walking a mile in high heels, or doing something a bit different such as rowing across an ocean, climbing a mountain, cycling across the country, or simply organizing a run for awareness, we want to encourage you that your sweat can make a difference to help stomp out human trafficking!

20. DEMAND NO DEMAND

Human trafficking leaves a footprint. The shoes you buy, the chocolate you eat, the toys you play with might very well have been made by a modern-day slave. But if we don’t buy the products, there will be no demand. Demand no demand! Take this test and see how many slaves work for you: http://slaveryfootprint.org

21. SUPPLY THE SOLUTION

The truth is that every single one of us is wired to be able to bring a truly unique solution to a very real problem occurring today. This list of 21 things does not end here. In fact, it does not end at all.  The reality is that if you want to make a difference in the fight against human trafficking, you can. If there is still breath in your lungs and a beat in your heart, you have the opportunity to add to this list!

This is powerful stuff. Your sister or friend can be one of these girls. If you’ve seen the movie TAKEN, you saw a glimpse of how human trafficking works. It is 2012, a year to bring change to others around you… a year to come out of your Spiritual Insomnia and make a difference for the Kingdom of God. I encourage you to show your support by buying and wearing A21 t-shirts, bracelets as well as their necklace. My bracelet has gotten some people’s attention and I was able to introduce them to A21Campaign. For A21 Products, visit http://www.thea21campaign.org/zen/

In conclusion, I have one more video for you to watch. I pray that it moves you as it has moved me. We simply cannot be Christians and just stand by and let these things happen. God bless you.

By the time you finish reading this entry and watching the videos, 40 humans were trafficked!!! Make a difference. Give them freedom.

*Videos and material used in this entry with permission from www.thea21campaign.org

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Fighting Insomnia part 1: For the Poor

In a previous “Christians… Insomniacs?” post (CLICK HERE), I mentioned how we comfortably slipped into a complacent Christian mode where we tend to go through the motions which may be attending church… perhaps leading worship…etc but we feel an empty void. We feel that we need to do more for the Kingdom of God. Well, I’m here to introduce one way that I get my religion on. Wink wink.

Now as you read the verse below, focus on the bold part…

James 1:27 Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.

Some people don’t know where to start with that. It’s difficult for most Americans to get out of their comfort zones to tend to the poor and needy so there are some simple baby steps to take. All it takes is a little financial dedication and internet access. One of the organizations I will introduce is an organization that was introduced to me by a close buddy. Gospel For Asia.

Here is how the president of the organization puts it:

A message from President and Founder K.P. Yohannan

Eternal Perspective

In our busy lives, it is easy to be so preoccupied with our own dreams and pursuits that we lose our eternal perspective. Both the joys of heaven and the crying needs of a lost world can seem unreal and far away.

But the harsh reality is that 2.7 billion people of our generation are still unreached with the Gospel. What answers are we prepared to give to the living God when He asks about the blood of these multitudes on our hands?

A Great Privilege

Today, we have the great privilege of helping them come to know Jesus. If we will commit to live for what is eternal, this generation can be reached with the Gospel.

Through the Eyes of Jesus

I pray that Gospel for Asia will become like a bridge, giving you the opportunity to walk away from your own preoccupations to the harvest fields of Asia—and see the perishing multitudes through the eyes of Jesus.

May you allow God to use your life to change the destiny of millions through your prayers and partnership with our national brothers and sisters. A hundred years from now, you will be glad you did!


Dr. K.P. Yohannan
Founder & President of Gospel for Asia

If you want to read more about how this organization came to be, I recommend Dr. K.P. Yohannan’s book, Revolution in World Missions. Click here to get the book FREE and begin getting involved in making a difference in South Asia.
This is a great way to get started doing something that will make you feel good about yourself and about what you’re doing to promote the Kingdom of God. This might be one of the things that will snap you out of the Spiritual Insomnia that has deeply penetrated the Christians.
I pray that the Lord moves everyone’s hearts to give what they can to help people around the world, whether you support G.F.A. or other organizations and that He blesses each and everyone of you abundantly. God bless you… and there will be more Fighting Insomnia articles to come…
This is first of a few series of blog entries that I will get into details about several different organizations that are working. The Kingdom of God has lots of work to be done, but very few to do it (Luke 10:2). Subscribe to this blog and feel free to comment as we will cover this series of Fighting Insomnia and others to come. God bless you abundantly.
Your brother in Christ,
Moses M.
p.s. Romans 15:29 (NIV)
I know that when I come to you, I will come in the full measure of the blessing of Christ.
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Fighting Insomnia Series… coming soon.

Every year starts with resolutions for some, goals for others. I, for one, set goals to meet by the end of the year because resolutions always fail (at least for me). I have been reading daily devotions and tweets and it seems that many Christians have gotten motivated in this New Year with one particular objective. It’s time to start investing in something with no risk of losing anything but gaining everything. As everyone knows, investing anywhere on this earth is risky and there are chances of losing everything. That, however, is not what investments we are all looking towards.

Malachi 3:10 states “Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the LORD Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it.” (NIV)

I don’t know how seriously everyone takes on the “tithing” business but from previous discussions with other Christians, we came to the conclusion that churches could sponsor more missions and help more widows and orphans if the Church (meaning body of believers) would just give 5%. Most give less than that. The Bible asks us to test God. Give Him 10% of your earnings and see how He multiplies your blessings. Rick Warren wrote on this subject beautifully and stated that we could either trust ourselves and pay our bills with the 10% or give it to God and trust that HE will pay our bills.

Over the next few months, I’m launching a new series, Fighting Insomnia. I will present organizations that fight this Christian insomnia. We walk by others and watch suffering on TV and like the priest, we walk by. We need to learn to stop and help like the Samaritan. I pray that through these posts, God will open your heart to sponsor an organization or a few and help financially. I do strongly believe that the first organization you should support is your local church. Put your money to work for the Kingdom. That investment will not fail and leave you with nothing. Don’t trust me on that… Trust God.

(to be continued…)

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Christians… Insomniacs?

You’re probably wondering what in the world this is about… why write on Insomnia? Many sources claim that more than 50% of Americans suffer from insomnia due to stress, more so for women than men.

Unfortunately, spiritual insomnia seems to be at its peak. A thought that has been on my mind a lot is about something Jesus said in Luke 18:8 (second part of the verse), “…when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?”.

Everywhere we look, the ‘faith‘ Christians now have is nothing more than motions. We see talk without action. James 2:26 clearly states that ‘faith without deeds is dead‘…period. Less people are reaching out to others in this self-centered world and coming up with silly terms like “I don’t believe in religion. I believe in relationship.” While that may seem like a legit comment, the Bible contradicts that. While the Bible states that “If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless.” but then goes on to say “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.

So do you believe in Religion… or are you self-centered? Do you get the new Android or Iphone? Perhaps yet another purse, shoes, suit or tie? Or do you feed and clothe the poor? I am not judging the items above, just simply making a point.

This spiritual insomnia has hit most if not all Christians. A friend of mine at a Bible Study mentioned a term he used for this insomnia… “comfortably numb”. That’s us when we watch TV and see African children starving and simply change the channel without the slightest guilt that we COULD help but will not help the orphans and widows of this world. You might feel defensive with these comments, but it speaks as much to me as it does to you. I’ve been complacent. I’ve had the spiritual insomnia. We’re humans… but we need to bring awareness to this spiritual insomnia.

Jesus gave us a parable on insomnia. In the parable, all of the bridesmaids (or virgins depending on which version you use) fell asleep. All 10. Refer to Matthew 25:1-13.

People have predicted that Jesus was going to return at the time of the persecution of the church not long after He died and rose again…and many times after that. In this lifetime I, myself have heard people “predict” when He will come again (even though nobody knows the day but the Father) and because The bridegroom was a long time in coming, and they all became drowsy and fell asleep (Mat.25:5). Simply put, Jesus predicted this day would come. The time where we’re so focused on us (our lives, our careers, our families…etc) that we forget why we are here in the first place. Someone obviously helped us Christians become Christians. As a thank-you to them and our Lord, we should pass it on and help others come to Christ. Don’t talk the talk. Everybody is full of talk these days (especially in beloved Washington D.C.) and nobody wants talk anymore. People want the WALK. People want to see proof of our faith other that our blabbering about it. The orphans and widows should be thanking God for us and our support instead of starving to death. Christians can and need to wake up and make a difference in this world. Stop preaching and start supporting. Stop judging and start loving.

In conclusion, I leave you with a verse from Matthew 25:10.

“But while they were on their way to buy the oil, the bridegroom arrived. The virgins who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet. And the door was shut.”… Wake up and get ready.

I love you all and God bless you,

Moses Moldovan

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There is a Better Plan… God’s.

The divorce rate currently stands at 50% (average according to DivorceRate.com). There are heartbreaks occuring left and right. Although “divorce” is happening within married couples and older people this post is aimed to you young ones. I observed over the years and in my own experiences that we tend feel a “need” to be in relationships starting at young ages, i.e. 14 – 17. Our first mistake is setting ourselves up for failure by “falling in love” at young ages when our lives are still the responsibilities of our parents and not our own.

I’m not judging, I’m just pointing out some harsh reality. Girls (as well as guys) change their ways of thinking around 18-20. They tend to become either more serious or less and with that, their standards for the opposite gender change as well.

Let me simplify: if you’re young and in a relationship, you are most likely going to end up in tears and “depressed” (if there was a word that would describe a lesser version of the word ‘depression’, I would use it here… it’s not really depression). I recommend for people in this position to read “When God Writes Your Love Story” by Eric & Leslie Ludy.

What we lack, and by “we” I’m referring to the younger Christian generation is trust in God. We don’t trust Him and we DEFINITELY would never admit it so that a brother or sister in Christ won’t judge us, but we don’t. It’s plain and simple. If you’re a girl or boy running from heartbreak to heartbreak, I’m talking to you. I was 15 when I had my first “crush” and felt that need to be in a relationship. Ever since then, there have been heartbreaks like dominoes falling. I would “trust” God to find me a wife after HIS own heart and lead me to her, but then I would go running around looking for girls and being “Mr. Confident” to impress and attract the ladies to me. God had His plan laid out in front of Him and was probably shaking his head watching me wander from left to right, from heartbreak to heartbreak.

After a heartbreak over four years ago in September, I went to a Romanian Pentecostal Convention in Arizona. I had my plan out in front of me. My plan was that I get at least 10 chicks’ numbers, lead them on and then break their hearts one by one. God saw that. I did not get all 10 numbers but I did get a few. My plan failed but I remember one night at the convention I sat outside with my brother, some friends and of course girls. One girl walked by that caught my attention but it wasn’t a girl from our “group”. My first reaction was “wow, she’s beautiful!” all of this in my head, of course. But then the player inside of me took over and after giving her an elevator look as she walked away and thinking I won’t ever see her again, I let the thought go. (I will kill this story though to tell you that the beautiful chick I saw was going to become my wife in a few months… keep reading and see how God put this together.)

After the convention, my plan was the same. Keep hooking up with those numbers. Not even a month after the convention, I got a message on royouth.com from a girl telling me that one of her friends has met us (my siblings and I) and that we were cool and that she should have met us. The mystery girl and I kept in touch for a while afterwards and not surprisingly: I got her number! Around October, we started talking more frequently. Something struck me about this girl. Then I found out what it was when I received a picture from her of her and a friend at the convention. It was the mystery girl that walked by and away! I didn’t think it was a coincidence. Something inside me clicked and all the other girls and numbers disappeared!

We got more serious and eventually became boyfriend/girlfriend. We met the April of the next year and fell in love instantly. I have prayed to God to either remove her or stick her to my heart according to His will. She was stuck like superglue. Over the years, problems arose within the church I attended which affected my faith and slowly, we put God out of the equation. Without God, there is no equation: hence a breakup that astonished people. That’s why I tell people all the time, ALWAYS KEEP GOD IN YOUR RELATIONSHIP!

Fresh into the breakup, I did the LAST thing I expected to do. What I was expecting to do was to go crazy and probably do something stupid. What I did do: I got on my knees and prayed. I didn’t want to but I felt the need to. My future wife and I were broken up for a little over a month, but that month felt like a year to me. That was the time I got closer to God again – the way it SHOULD HAVE been from the beginning. I read the Bible daily and we often hear people telling us that the Word will speak to us. I’ve heard that concept being made fun of by youth over the years. It’s true. You won’t know it until you are at the point in life where you’ll need it. So trust me, learn off of my skin and others. If you wait for it to happen to you, you’re going to hurt.

The Word encouraged me on and on, but I didn’t see the possibility of getting her back. It was impossible… to me. That comes back to lacking trust in God as I have mentioned earlier. With God, all things are possible.

On the way to work one night, deep in doubt and depression yet hanging on to every thread of faith that I can hold onto, I prayed and asked God ‘what do I need to do?’.

My radio was on K-love (Christian station) and before a song played, the radio host mentioned how the song was written. The lead singer and his wife have been having problems in their marriage and counseling did not help. Finally his wife came to him one day and told him what she needs him to do, “Lead me”. And then their song “Lead Me” (Sanctus Real) came on and that was my light bulb. God had that whole message and song played for me as the answer to my question. I needed to lead her so that if SHE falls, I will be there to catch her. I needed to strengthen MY faith so that when life’s speed bumps come our way, I will be there to overcome them. In order to be able to do that as a future husband, I need to rely on God and be strong in Him. That way my wife will be able to lean on me to strengthen her faith.

That song gave me hope but things were still not looking good. A revelation (Romanians refer to them as prophecies) from someone with the gift of prophecy revealed that she is mine and that I need to build a house on the rock for us and woe if I build it on the sand. (For those who are confused, I’m not talking about a real house. I’m talking about laying the foundation of faith for me and my future spouse)

That was the confidence booster. Before the breakup, I got a ticket to go to Arizona and I was debating whether to go or not. My family advised me not to (fearing I would come back to Texas a wreck). After the revelation, I decided to go. I was confident that God has indeed spoken.

Before the breakup, I became a godless man. I knew God was out there but it didn’t bother me. Sin didn’t bother me. Drinking once in a while didn’t bother me. In that month I was battling myself on and on how to CHANGE. I wanted to prove to my woman (at that point it was ex) that I have changed and I am only aiming and wanting the best for her and for us.

When I got there, I didn’t fear at all (which shocked me). She saw the change and by the end of the trip, she was my girlfriend again. We took communion together in church. It felt amazing!

We were back together again, but things were not fixed. The wound was still open. Doubt and lack of trust still existed. We slowly healed those together.

One of the prayers that comes to mind was asking God for ONE miracle. In that month, I prayed that God not only brings us back together but that the engagement is back on and that we marry earlier in the next year. In exchange, I promised to glorify God’s name with this miracle and that I will tell people how mighty and amazing He is.

I was asking for the “impossible”. In September, we got back together and our Thanksgiving weekend engagement happened. The wedding planning began shortly afterwards!

In a few months, I will be marrying my best friend. The mystery girl from the convention… The one that GOD has created for me.

To summarize, once again I’m going to tell you all to TRUST IN GOD! He already has your spouse picked out and your future in His plan. Trust Him! Read the book “When God Writes Your Love Story” for more specific information on this. Every story is unique. When I talk to Gabriela, we both agree that the breakup wasn’t pleasant but it HAD to happen. God was tossed aside and our love was forced. God is love and without Him, we fall in love and like a spark, it’ll extinguish and we’ll be left nothing but with bitterness and without God.

When a guy or girl breaks your heart, I know it’s hard to hear but GET OVER IT!!! God has a better plan. Maybe the heartbreak is your wakeup call because you departed yourself from Him. You will look back and say as I have, “WHAT WAS I THINKING?!?”

Me and my soon-to-be wife are very compatible. I found a perfect quote for us, “We are like a candy bar, half sweet/half nuts”. We’re silly and could drive each other crazy but we’re best friends, trusting and loving. There is nobody out there better for me than her. She was everything I wanted/needed and more.

Trust in God. Hand Him the pen to write your love story. God bless you.

Moses

 

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What have you done this year?

The whistle blew! The game started. At the indoor soccer complex in Dallas Texas, a scrimage between the Waco youth and Dallas youth took place. Team-mates shouting for passes… Running til they couldn’t anymore. Then the game stopped. Everyone fell silent and walked to the middle of the field. It was 11:55pm on 12/31/2009. Everybody huddled together to pray to God with thanks for blessing 2009 and to guide us into the new year of 2010. That was how I spent my New Years a year ago.

Although the memories give me a brief smile, another thought crosses my mind. What have I done this year? What have I accomplished?

Many have lost their jobs in this weary economy. Others have gotten promoted. Some have crawled their ways out of debt while others scrambled to do anything possible to keep food on their tables.

….but what have you done for Christ? What have you done for the Kingdom of God?

Have you fed the hungry? Have you clothed the poor? Have you sponsored an orphan or supported a missionary? Have you talked to a non-believer struggling to find the very thing they’ve been missing, Christ?

 James 1:27a tells us “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress…”

One of the most popular New Years resolution I’ve heard from Christians is “to get closer to God”. Have you gotten closer to Him? Or did you lose faith and adopt the “Once saved, always saved” belief that is a “Christian” excuse for not wanting to repent? The scripture clearly tells us:

1) Romans 6:1-2 “What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?”

2) Ezekiel 18:21,22,24 “But if a wicked person turns away from all the sins they have committed and keeps all my decrees and does what is just and right, that person will surely live; they will not die. None of the offenses they have committed will be remembered against them. Because of the righteous things they have done, they will live. But if a righteous person turns from their righteousness and commits sin and does the same detestable things the wicked person does, will they live? None of the righteous things that person has done will be remembered. Because of the unfaithfulness they are guilty of and because of the sins they have committed, they will die.”

Did you slip into that mentality and blend in with the world to camoflauge yourself? If you may have noticed, I only quoted the first part of James 1:27. The second part tells us “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.”

2011 is just around the corner. Change could be there, all depending on you! Are you going to risk another year without God? If not, are you going to proclaim His Gospel to friends, family and coworkers as well as strangers? Are you going to feed an orphan and look after a widow?

Change all starts with you and I. Not the government. Make 2011 the year of Godly change. Shine your light to everyone. Pray for others. Focus on others in this “all-about-me” world. When the last moments of 2010 come around, bow your head and pray. Ask God to guide you and to lead you. Without Him we are nothing. With Him, we are everything! I pray that next year will bring happiness to you all and closeness to Christ. Amen.

~Moses

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Christmas: The real reason for the season

Christmas time is right around the corner. Everybody is running around hectic trying to get their Christmas shopping over with. There are people flooding the stores, pushing their way around to get what they need. Then you have the atheists telling us to celebrate reason.

I on the other hand want to tell you all to slow down. In this high-speed country and time we’re living in, sit down. Take a deep breath (or a few) and bring out the Bible. For some of you, you might need to wipe the dust off of it. Do you remember the story of Christmas? Or is it distorted with reindeer, elves, Christmas trees…etc.?

For those that don’t have too close of a personal relationship with Christ and don’t study the Word enough, I could put the story into a few sentences for you.

We were drowning in our sin and had no way out. Salvation seemed impossible. The son of God had to come down and live among us and die for us. A baby was born, destined to be tortured and killed despite of his innocence. Christmas is the happy side of the story. “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only son….” John 3:16a (NIV)

And then the sad part that saved us “But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.” Isaiah 53:5 (NIV)

He did not come down here to earth to make our lives comfortable. He came to suffer to put our sins above his own well-being.

This Christmas, keep having fun! Put up the lights and the trees! Give gifts! Remember that the reason for Christmas is that God gave us a gift over 2,000 years ago bundled up in a manger. Give Jesus the time that He deserves. Remember to keep Him with you this Christmas. Don’t forget He is the reason for the season. He is the reason we put up lights and the tree. He’s the reason we give gifts as God gave us His Son. Greet everyone you meet with “Merry Christmas” and a smile.

God bless you all!

-Moses

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