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Saturday, January 28, 2017

Women's Rights

According to the PBS article by Gretchen Frazee (, Terry O’Neill, the president of the National Organization for Women, said that the January 22 March for Women’s Rights is about “women’s rights that are very much imperiled by the policies President-elect Trump appears headed for.”

What are the N.O.W.’s goals for this year? According to Terry O’Neill:
  • stopping the repeal of the Affordable Care Act (health care)
  • protecting women’s rights to abortions
  • preventing the privatization of Medicare
“Organizers of the Women’s March on Oklahoma, which is expecting more than 2,000 attendees, have more specific policy goals in mind. ‘Our three main policy directives fall under health care, women’s economic empowerment, and domestic violence,’ said Lindsey Kanaly, the march’s lead organizer. The group wants to boost the percentage of women in the Oklahoma legislature, for example, stop lawmakers from passing laws restricting abortions, and reduce the state’s female incarceration rate, which is the highest in the nation. ‘Regardless of who takes office every four years in Washington D.C., there are some real things here in Oklahoma that need to change,’ Kanaly said.”

I was told that some pro-life feminists were actually turned away from the March for Women’s Rights and told they weren’t needed. Let’s not kid ourselves: the women’s rights agenda is pro-abortion. Yes, there are other issues on the table, but mostly the March and the agenda for the N.O.W. is all about “women’s health care,” which is code language for unlimited abortions for any age, at any time, and at any stage of pregnancy.

Most women are in favor of equal pay for equal work, for ending gender discrimination in the work place, and for the freedom to have important careers. Those laws are already on the books!

Most women agree that domestic violence and human trafficking must end. Laws to empower and protect women in these situations have been made, and more needs to be done. We need more awareness and more accessible help lines and safe houses for girls and women.

But, this March for Women’s Rights is mostly about encouraging abortions. It’s about paying for the murdering of children with our tax money. It’s about funding for all kinds of killing children—selective abortions, partial-birth abortions, killing embryos in the name of science (as well as just trashing them), infanticide, and even selling baby body parts in a horrible new business.

N.O.W.’s Terry O’Neill said in an interview with U.S. News,  “Abortion, no less than contraception or any other aspect of reproductive care, is a common and essential aspect of women's health, which helps prevent the heartbreak of women dying from complications of pregnancy and childbirth.”

Most statistics that I saw said that the death rate during or after childbirth is between 17 and 18 mothers per 100,000 births. While the death rate has risen in recent years, and no one seems to know why, it is still relatively non-fatal to have children. I figured out the percentage, and it is 0.017%.

Statistics from (originally published in that “The risk of death associated with abortion increases with the length of pregnancy, from 0.3 for every 100,000 abortions at or before eight weeks to 6.7 per 100,000 at 18 weeks or later.” Let’s not forget that each abortion also involves the certain death of one or more human beings besides the mother. We should also take into consideration the guilt and trauma that many women experience post-abortion.

That “women’s rights” would include freely slaughtering babies seems past belief. That feminists would actually promote abortion and say they’re proud they killed their own children is more than I can fathom.

The Bible has strong language for even accidentally causing a miscarriage: If men strive, and hurt a woman with child, so that her fruit depart from her, and yet no mischief follow: he shall be surely punished, according as the woman's husband will lay upon him; and he shall pay as the judges determine (Exodus 21:22).

One of the Ten Commandments clearly states, Thou shalt not kill (Exodus 20:13).

And there’s this poignant verse: Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? Yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee (Isaiah 49:15).

God’s Word tells us that children are a blessing. They’re important.
  • He maketh the barren woman to keep house, and to be a joyful mother of children. Praise ye the LORD (Psalm 113:9).
  • Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward (Psalm 127:3).

My heart goes out to some of my friends and to others who have had abortions. No one knows like they do the damage they suffered and how much they sorrowed over losing their children. (One friend confided to me that, ever since her abortion, she’s had dreams of a faceless baby.) Thankfully, there is forgiveness and healing for everyone in Jesus Christ.

My heart breaks for the between 54 and 58 million babies killed by their mothers since the Roe v. Wade decision. These children never had the opportunity to voice their opinions. They never  knew their mothers killed them, either. These babies never had any rights, because their "personhood" and their lives were taken away.

I genuinely feel sad for those who take pride in being "Nasty Women" (their term, not mine) and actually promote "guiltless" abortion. I feel sad for those who used vulgar language and threats at the March for Women's Rights. They don't know what it's like to feel valued and loved, to be feminine, and to enjoy being a woman as God designed them. I feel sorry for them.

Women’s rights? Freedom?

Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you,
Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin.
And the servant abideth not in the house forever:
but the Son abideth ever.
If the Son therefore shall make you free,
ye shall be free indeed (John 8:34-36).

I don’t know about you, but this is the kind of freedom I want!

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Guest Post: How to Prevent Abuse and Human Trafficking

Today's post is the second by Kimberly Rae on the subject of the trafficking of persons--today's slavery. I know you'll find this information challenging, and this post will make you more aware and ready to prevent it. Thank you, Kimberly, for sharing your burden for exploited people and for all you do to help women and children! God bless you! (If you missed the first post--on how to recognize trafficking--please scroll down. It appears after this one.) Today's post begins here:

It’s great helping rescue trafficking victims, but how much better if we can prevent trafficking before it happens! Prevention is possible, because traffickers and other exploiters exhibit certain characteristics that are recognizable. They groom their victims, and grooming techniques are something we can learn to recognize.

One major factor in preventing human trafficking and other forms of exploitation like abusive relationships and even prostitution is preventing childhood sexual abuse. There is a huge overlap between all of the above and people who were abused sexually as children. Even in chosen prostitution, a large majority of women surveyed said they were abused as children. Many said that was a factor in their choice to prostitute themselves. As one victim said, “At least I get paid for it, now.”

Why is this such a problem? To help, first we need to understand the mindset of a victim. For a victim of childhood sexual abuse, the line between good, healthy relationships and abusive relationships is blurred, because for him, the concept of love is associated also with abuse. If he does not learn to overcome, he's forever vulnerable to future relationships that combine love and abuse. Traffickers know this, and they target the vulnerable. We need to learn to recognize the vulnerable and help them overcome so they do not remain targets.

How do we do this? First, we need to teach our children to find their worth in Jesus Christ, so they aren’t looking for it in dangerous places. The Internet is a major workplace for traffickers. They used to have to go into inner cities and look for runaway children, but now they can just spend their days on Facebook, Snapchat, and a hundred other sites where kids and teens are posting selfies and asking for approval and validation.

We often think of trafficking being someone snatched at the mall and taken away, but abductions only account for 11% of sex trafficking cases. A large percentage offers something the victim wants, like that exciting modeling job, or a place to stay if they run away, etc. However, the majority, 51%, is the trafficker pretending romantic interest. He offers love. There is a psychological aspect to grooming that is worth studying.

Traffickers may use these needs in a recruitment process similar to this:
  • Identify the need of the child
  • Fulfill the need
  • Remove any other sources of need fulfillment 
  • Exploit the child’s dependence for need fulfillment by forcing them into prostitution.

In regard to preventing childhood sexual abuse, and thus preventing trafficking and other future exploitation, grooming techniques an exploiter will use are:
  • Befriending the child and their family to slowly gain trust.
  • Giving gifts, money, trips, and/or performing special favors for the child.
  • Offering to babysit, including sleepovers and overnight trips.
  • Encouraging harmless secrets, laying the foundation for future sexual secrets.
  • Taking pictures/video of the child.
  • Saying the relationship with the boy or girl is special.
  • Communicating with the child excessively; texting, emailing or calling.
  • Inappropriate language and/or telling dirty jokes.
  • Playing body contact games with children; tickling, backrubs or wrestling.
  • Making alcohol/drugs available to the youth.
  • Introducing pornography to initiate sexual interest or normalize the behavior.
  • Desensitizing the child through nonsexual touching, “accidental” touching of privates and/or walking in on bathroom or dressing time.
I hate even thinking of that list. I hate to think that there are predators among us, and I'd rather walk away and tell myself it’s not real. But ignoring the problem won’t make it go away. Statistics say that one in every four women and one in every six men have sexual abuse in their past. There are wounded, vulnerable people all around us. There are vulnerable children in our churches and schools and on our playgrounds. We can make a difference with rescue and prevention if we learn to recognize the signs and then keep our eyes open for them in our world. We could be the one to stop trafficking before it starts, or rescue a victim before he reaches his five-to-seven-year life expectancy as a trafficked victim.

The Bible tells us to defend the rights of the poor and needy (Proverbs 31:9). We as believers have so much more to offer than just rescue; we have eternal life without exploitation, a perfect relationship with a Father who will never do them wrong, a family of believers where they can be accepted and belong, forgiveness, and peace. God loves every victim and potential victim. He loves justice. Jesus said He came to set the captives free (Luke 4:18).

When we fight trafficking, we are part of that.

For more information on trafficking and how you can fight it, go to

For information on whom to contact if you suspect childhood sexual abuse, and printable coloring pages for prevention with children, go to

Friday, January 20, 2017

Guest Post: How to Recognize Human Trafficking

I've asked Kimberly Rae to share with us about a difficult subject. You may wonder why we're even talking about such a topic. It’s because Christians should be involved in caring, rescuing lives, and pointing needy women and children to the Lord. I believe these guest posts by Mrs. Rae will help us to open our eyes and watch for signs that children have been exploited. The least we can do is call and report suspected trafficking. May we make a real difference for those who need someone to care! Thank you, Kimberly, for sharing your burden with us!

Award-winning author Kimberly Rae lived in Bangladesh, Uganda, Kosovo, and Indonesia before a health issue brought her back to the United States. She lives with her family at the base of the Blue Ridge Mountains, where she writes and trains others about fighting human trafficking. Rae has been published over 200 times and has works in five languages. Her series of suspense/romance novels on international human trafficking (Stolen Woman, Stolen Child, and Stolen Future) are all Amazon bestsellers. She has also authored a new series, Shredded and Shattered. (You can read my review of Shredded, here.)

People care about human trafficking and want to make a difference, but many have no idea how. Would they be able to recognize a trafficking victim if they saw one? And if they did, what could they do about it?

I’m here to help. Let’s start with after a person is trafficked. You might see a trafficked victim at a rest stop, gas station, motel, or large event like a football game. (See my video on Trafficking and the Super Bowl on YouTube.) Here are some major warning signs to look for.

Warning Signs That an Individual is Being Trafficked:
  • Signs of physical abuse, such as burn marks, bruises, and cuts
  • Unexplained absences from school
  • Less appropriately dressed than before
  • Sexualized behavior
  • Overly tired in school
  • Withdrawn, depressed, or distracted
  • Brags about making or having lots of money
  • Wears expensive clothes, accessories
  • New tattoo (Tattoos are often used as brands. A tattoo of a name, symbol of money, or a barcode could indicate trafficking.)
  • Older boyfriend or new friends with a different lifestyle
  • Talks about wild parties or invites other students to attend parties
  • Shows signs of gang affiliation (wears gang colors or symbols)

Traffickers Often Exhibit These Characteristics:
  • Jealous, controlling, and violent
  • Significantly older than female companions
  • Promise things that seem too good to be true
  • Encourage victims to engage in illegal activities to achieve their goals and dreams
  • Buys expensive gifts or owns expensive items
  • Is vague about his/her profession
  • Pushy or demanding about intimacy
  • Encourages inappropriate sexual behavior
  • Makes the victim feel responsible for his/her financial stability and is very open about financial matters.

If you see something that doesn’t look right, call the Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-373-7888. (They are the 9-1-1 for human trafficking.) Sourced by the Polaris Project, the Hotline has access to law enforcement all over the country and can work in over one hundred languages. You can call with something you’ve seen, even if you aren’t sure it’s trafficking. You can even text them anonymously.

Stay tuned for Kimberly's next post about protecting young people and preventing trafficking. It's important!

Monday, January 16, 2017

You're a Mother Forever--Or Not?

Mom says to her fifty-year-old son, “You have to obey me, because I’m your mother.” A different mom tells her thirty-six-year-old daughter what to wear, where she can go, and what time to be home.

Once a mother, always a mother?


And no.

You will always be your children’s mother, even if you’re eighty and they are sixty—exactly the case with my parents and me. My own “children” are in their thirties, married, and parents themselves. I am still their mother.

But, we’re going to talk about mothering. When does it stop? Does it stop?

Are you always responsible for your kids? Can you always boss them? Do they have to obey you?

I can’t tell you how many marriages have had issues over in-laws. His mom won’t let go. Her mom meddles. Parents pop in unannounced or call at 7:30 a.m. on Saturday mornings—the only time their daughter and son-in-law can sleep in. I even heard about one mother-in-law who decorated the house for the newlyweds! (I’m sure she thought she was helping.)

Does the Bible address this? Yes, it does. I think we can find some valuable guidance about being grown children and being parents.

For adult children:

  • Honor your parents. Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise (Ephesians 6:2).
  • Grow up. When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things (1 Corinthians 13:11).
  • Take care of your parents in their old age. (Matthew 15:3-6)

For parents of grown children:

  • Be there as an advisor. Hear, ye children, the instruction of a father, and attend to know understanding (Proverbs 4:1).
  • Be a friend. Her children arise up, and call her blessed (Proverbs 31:28a).
  • Be a godly example. Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ (1 Corinthians 11:1).
  • Influence your grandchildren in a spiritual way. We will not hide them from their children, shewing to the generation to come the praises of the LORD, and his strength, and his wonderful works that he hath done. For he established a testimony in Jacob, and appointed a law in Israel, which he commanded our fathers, that they should make them known to their children: That the generation to come might know them, even the children which should be born; who should arise and declare them to their children: That they might set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments (Psalm 78:4-7).

Some practical tips:
  1. Encourage adult children to live on their own and support themselves financially.
  2. Treat adult children as adults—even if they act like children. Let them make their own mistakes and have their own life experiences.
  3. Give advice when asked for it. Don’t preach when it’s not asked for. Keep communication open and free, not condemning or criticizing.
  4. Ask before volunteering to help.
  5. Give a married couple time at the beginning and end of the day. Don’t call too often either. Be considerate of their schedule.
  6. Love your children—always, unconditionally.
  7. Pray for your children, their spouses, and their children. Never give up praying. This is the best thing you can do for them.
  8. Love your grandchildren and look for ways to impact them for Christ. Can you give them a meaningful gift? Can you share about Jesus in a natural way—Christmas, Easter, birthday, etc.?

Once a mother, always a mother? Yes! 

God bless you as you effectively mother your adult children.


Thursday, January 12, 2017

Does God Plan Our Lives? If We Mess Up, Does It Have a Domino Effect?

Does God really map out our lives? Does He have a master plan for every detail? We know He sees our whole life as if it had already happened, and we understand that in God’s sight our short life is like a mere appearing and disappearing of steam: Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away (James 4:14). Yet, God cares! Jesus said, But the very hairs of your head are all numbered (Matthew 10:30).

So, does God really plan my life?

In the Bible, it’s obvious that God called certain people for special tasks:
  • And I will make of thee (Abraham) a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing (Genesis 12:2).
  • Thus saith the LORD that made thee, and formed thee from the womb, which will help thee; Fear not, O Jacob, my servant; and thou, Jesurun, whom I have chosen (Isaiah 44:2).
  • For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end (Jeremiah 29:11).
Except for special persons in the Bible—Samson, the prophets, John the Baptist, Jesus Christ, and the Apostle Paul—an exact life plan isn't revealed. Even when God foretold what people were going to do—David, for example—sometimes they didn’t always obey Him. They messed up. (In David’s case, he was guilty of adultery and murder.)

I’m not sure if God has a master plan. Maybe He does and maybe He doesn’t. But, we know that He expects us to walk with Him daily, communicate with Him always, and be completely dependent and satisfied in Jesus.

So, what if you mess up? What if you've already messed up? For one thing, you have lots of company. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him (Jesus) the iniquity of us all (Isaiah 53:6).

No one has ever been without sin. Everyone sins. But God doesn’t want us to live like that, so He provided a Savior, Jesus. And he (Jesus) is the propitiation (substitute payment) for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world (1 John 2:2). It’s for us to call out to Him to save us. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved (Romans 10:13).

Once we’re saved, the Bible assures us that our sins are forgiven. Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool (Isaiah 1:18). And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more (Hebrews 10:17).

What if I know the Lord and still do something wrong, think sinful thoughts, or omit doing what I know is right? If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9). Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded (James 4:8).

The Lord wants us to know His will. It’s revealed in His Word, the Bible.
  • And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God (Romans 12:2).
  • For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure (Philippians 2:13).
  • Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is well-pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen (Hebrews 13:21).

The Lord works in us as we walk with Him and follow His will. When we mess up, we can ask forgiveness and cleansing. Repentance is key. The word repent means to turn around and go in another direction. True repentance means turning from sin and going towards God and holiness and purity. We let God show us our sins, and we confess them, get them forgiven, and then we try to obey Him. It’s a lifetime learning process.

If we mess up, does this mean we’ve spoiled His whole plan for us? I don’t think so. God shows us in the Bible that He is quite willing to give people second chances. (Examples: the Samaritan woman, the woman caught in adultery, Thomas, Nathanael, the Apostle Paul)

There are, though, dire consequences for certain sins. If it’s illegal, one might need to pay a fine or go to prison, or both. If it’s immoral, sin affects relationships and families. One could also suffer health problems because of sin (HIV, STDs, etc.). Another consequence for sins (such as gambling and overspending) would be financial.

Still, there is forgiveness for any sin at the feet of the Lord Jesus. Confession and true repentance produce forgiveness and peace.

What is God’s plan for my life?

Being confident of this very thing,
that he which hath begun a good work in you
will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.
(Philippians 1:6)

Sunday, January 8, 2017

The Family Happy Meal: Five Tips for Making it Truly Happy

Our grandchildren range in age from almost one-and-a-half to just-turned six, all boys, and all in differing stages of learning appropriate behavior. We've enjoyed time together during the Christmas holidays. We’re watching—what a joy to be grandparents!—and observing as a normal meal becomes a teaching experience, sometimes accompanied by tears. Once in a while, a child gets carried out to chill while the rest of the family continues the meal. Some of the children enjoy eating. Some still find it a necessary evil. We see our own family mirrored in these adorable little people.

My husband thinks he’ll write a book entitled “The Happy Meal.” I figure I’ll settle for a blog post.

I highly value a meal with family. I believe it provides the perfect setting for teaching children.
  • "No, you don’t bug your brother when he’s trying to eat."
  • "You don’t hit your brother."
  • "Don’t feed the dog while eating."
  • "Sit nicely, and eat your food."
  • "Enjoy eating what is set before you."
You’re learning normal table manners in a pleasant setting—even if some of the teaching experience isn’t exactly to the child’s preference.

I believe every family faces some of the same challenges. Some children have texture issues. Some absolutely dislike certain foods. Others love everything and want to eat all day long. Every child needs to learn acceptable table behavior. It’s part of growing up.

In a few years, the “Happy Meal” will truly be happy. No one will turn up his nose or host a marathon eating session. Every child will sit nicely and not bug his brother. No one will feed the dog from the table. The kids won't show the contents of their mouths while chewing. All will have learned from very small what is acceptable. The training time will be over, and meals will be fun, nutritious family times around the table. They will be cherished in the years to come.

Do you have young children? Here are five tips for successful “Happy Meal” training: 
  1. Be patient. “Rome wasn’t built in a day.” Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it (Proverbs 22:6).
  2. Be sensitive to each child’s needs. Some have genuine issues with textures. Learn which foods are problematic, and help your child with them. Be alert for food allergies, too. Also understand the capabilities of children at different ages. For example, our one-and-a-half year-old grandson isn’t yet able to handle the same rules or sit for the amount of time our six-year-old grandson can.
  3. Be consistent. What behaviors are permitted at your table? Which are not? Make sure the rules are the same every day.
  4. Be an example. Sadly, some parents are clueless when it comes to table manners. Their own parents didn’t teach them correct behavior. Even if you do know the rules, get a fun manners book for children, and read it with them. I personally like those that have drawings, so the children can visualize what is and is not acceptable. (It also reinforces what Mom and Dad say.) Make sure you model good behavior to them at every meal.
  5. Give thanks. Jesus gave thanks for food (Matthew 15:36; 26:27; and many others), and in the early church, they gave thanks for their food (Romans 14:6; 1 Corinthians 10:40, among others). The Lord’s Prayer gives us the model of thanking God for our daily bread (Luke 1:3). I believe that it is correct to thank God for our food—as a family and individually. It acknowledges the Giver and Provider.
I can guarantee that your “Happy Meals” will get happier as children learn to eat properly and actually enjoy being around the table with your family. They will look forward to the family mealtime and will thrive physically, spiritually, and emotionally.

The family meal plays an important part in family bonding. When God talked about blessings on the family, He compared the family unit to a house and said that the children would be like olive plants round about thy table (Psalm 128:3b). Teach your little ones, and you will enjoy happy family meals as they get older. You’ll be proud to take them to friends’ homes and out to restaurants.

Whether therefore ye eat, or drink,
or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.
(1 Corinthians 10:31)