Passion's Path

Words that can make a difference

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Modern Day Slavery

Posted on November 12, 2014

The last time you were at the mall buying some of the latest fashions, did it ever cross your mind of to ask who was actually making the clothes behind that designer label? How about shopping at the grocery store? How about the latest and greatest electronic gadgets? I have to be honest I haven’t given it much thought other than if the quality of the product will hold up or not. Well last week  my eyes were opened up to what is behind a lot of the goods and services we buy here in America. New Life Baptist Church in Yoakum, Texas had the privilege of having Dr. Tomi Grover come and present a detailed look into the world of Human Trafficking. Dr. Grover is the founder of TraffickStop.org and is the author of a very informative book on human trafficking entitled “Compelled” which she released in 2013.

Dr. Grover began her presentation on Human Trafficking with some alarming facts such, as Human Trafficking is the second leading criminal industry. Human Trafficking is modern day slavery and is happening right here in America. Over 200,000 people in the U.S. every year are taken into slavery. 20,000 of those are foreigners who are trafficked into our country. 180,000 U.S. citizens are taken into slavery here in a country that is supposed to be free from this type of activity. 50% of those taken into bondage are children. 27 million people worldwide are slaves today. The two types of trafficking are labor and sex. As I alluded to before the types of things we purchase come at an extreme cost. The clothes we wear may be being made by someone who was once living free just like you and I. The Sex Trafficking industry is made up of porn and prostitution and is the direct result of America being sexualized through consumer products. Dr. Grover described to those in attendance the way a slave trader or pimp will trick young women into prostitution. The pimp will take the role as a loving boyfriend who will buy the young naïve girl things to show his fake love for her. He will then ask her to prostitute herself to repay a debt for him. The young girl will do it because she doesn’t want to lose the love of her new and older man. This poor girl is then trapped into the Sex Trafficking world all because she thought she was truly being loved. The other type is the porn industry and it is attacking our young girls and boys by telling them what their bodies should look like to appeal to the opposite sex. The porn industry sales sex and America is buying it up at whatever the cost. There is a global demand to have sex with children. Yes, you read that right and it gets worse. Did you know that America is the number one place in the world in which people are coming so they may live out this evil desire? Pornography and child abuse are stealing our children’s youth. These crimes need to come to a stop.

This is with a doubt a Public Health Awareness Issue that we must respond to. Dr. Grover quoted William Wilberforce when he said, “You may choose to look the other way but you can never say again that you didn’t know.” After reading this article you will definitely be unable to say that you didn’t know there was a problem right here in the State of Texas. Dr. Grover details out a four-tier plan in her book. The first step is Prevention. We must put a stop to our children being sold into prostitution. We must put an end to porn. Step two is Intervention. We can help advocate for changes in laws which permit these crimes to be possible. The third step is Education. We must first get edified ourselves so that we can go tell others about what is going on with Human Trafficking and how we can be part of the solution. The final step is Restoration. Once these victims are rescued from the clinches of hell they need a place to go so they can heal and be restored. We hear so many times when dark things like this occur, where is God? Why would a loving God allow such things to happen to good people? One of the first things Dr. Grover said in her presentation was that America has a “love” problem. God doesn’t have a problem with loving us but on the other hand it us who often push God away until desperation sets in or say we don’t need any help at all. Human Trafficking is a desperate sin that needs God’s love so the rescue process may begin. Dr. Grover made it very clear that God is concerned and He is responding. In Exodus chapter 3 God says, “I AM seeing, I AM hearing the cries of my children, and I AM compassionately responding.” Dr. Grover said, “We are God’s A team!” God’s response is to send us in to serve as His healing agent. Human Trafficking can be stopped and it starts with YOU! “The very first thing we must do is Pray”, said Dr. Grover.

In closing, I highly recommend Dr. Tomi Grover’s book “Compelled”. The book is filled with so many resources to help get you further informed on the issue of “Human Trafficking”. I also suggest you visiting her website: www.traffickstop.org to get more detailed information. You can also visit www.TomiGrover.com.

Richard Crain

American Christian

Vote!

Posted on November 4, 2014

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Vote!

I can still remember the first time I voted and honestly to this day, I feel like I voted for the best President that has ever lived during my existence on this earth. In Mrs. Neeley’s 5th grade classroom I voted for Ronald Reagan. I don’t really remember why I was so drawn to him but today I could definitely say it would be because the man stood up for America and meant what he said. Now my vote didn’t count that day but every year after that I remember enjoying the opportunity to cast my vote in the presidential classroom elections and I was even more thrilled when the candidate I voted for was elected to office.

Today isn’t Election Day for president but it is a very important election day nonetheless. Today we will find out if the Republicans can over take the majority in the Senate. The Republicans already have the house majority and early indications predict them gaining more seats today at the polls. During the last few weeks of the campaign trail the candidates have made their final pushes on what they stand for. They all seem to agree there needs to be a change but we already have had six years of change from the White House and a lot of Democrats are distancing themselves from the current President. Republicans have a huge opportunity to gain the upper hand and if they do, hopefully they will bring policies that will bring true “change” for the betterment of the good ole’ USA.

There are many issues on which I’m taking with me to the polls today. I want the candidate that I vote for to help get the economy under control, to tell the government to leave my guns alone, to stay out of the pulpit, to say no to abortion, declare that marriage is between one man and one woman, put an end to ISIS terrorists, protect our soldiers and help our veterans and to seal our borders. These things are very important to my family and I believe to a lot of other Americans as well. I am lead to vote by what God tells me is important to Him. Psalm 33:12a says, “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord”. I’m praying today that America will obey God with their vote and become “One Nation Under God once again”. For many years people were denied the right to vote but it seems now that we all have the right to do so, some of us don’t take advantage of that privilege. Some are too busy, have no clue or aren’t that interested in where our country is headed. It is our duty and our right to vote. Every vote counts! If you don’t vote, why should anyone take the time to listen to you complain about what is going on in this free country? May your vote be heard!

“If we ever forget that we are One Nation Under God, then we will be a nation gone under.” – President Ronald Reagan

Richard Crain

American Christian

Tebow Time!

Posted on January 10, 2012

Tim Tebow regularly wore scriptured eye-black while playing football. High-res version
  Luke 23:34a says, “Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.” I wonder if Tebow has prayed this after he reads some of the Twitter, Facebook, or other comments media sources have reported on about his behavior on the field. The main comment that inspired me to write this blog was Terrell Suggs negative statement about God being on Tebow’s sideline during games. Suggs went even further in saying he didn’t need God on his sideline. At the time I read it I couldn’t believe someone would even say something like that about God because I didn’t think he would want to offend his teammates who might be Christians. Suggs plays for the Baltimore Ravens and I believe Michael Oher is a Christian. (Michael Oher from “Blind Side”) There have been other players around the league who have said that Tebow is going over board in sharing his belief on the field and in the media room. I have read some other Christian blogs that have said he’s a little too much. I have to state for the record how can someone, if genuine, go too far in demonstrating his or her love for Jesus Christ. Jesus died for us! I think we should shout it out daily in the streets! I completely believe Tim Tebow is a devout follower of Jesus Christ and how he acts on and off the field is the way he truly is at home. We as humans can get on each other’s nerves in the way we act or demonstrate our love for things. I saw a couple a weeks ago where the big running back on the Giants scored a touchdown against the Cowboys and then stood in the end zone humping the air. No one lost their mind about this crude behavior. Most fans would call it a touchdown celebration dance but I would beg to differ. My four year old was watching the game with me and has started imitating everything he sees these guys do but luckily for me he missed this act of “dancing”. All I’m saying is if we’re going to tolerate this type of celebration that only brings glory to self then how can it hurt for someone to give glory to his God in a very humble way be a problem.
“Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.” Luke 23:34a
   I know there are a lot of other good Christians who have a quieter approach to honoring our Lord but I don’t think Tim Tebow has had a choice in the attention he’s gotten. If you don’t like hearing Tebow give thanks to Jesus you have a choice to turn off your TV or don’t follow the Denver Broncos at all. The media snaps shots every time he does something. Tebow isn’t scheduling press conferences and preaching sermons. He is just showing up playing the game and if you put a microphone in his face he’s going to give credit to our Lord Jesus Christ and I’m going to tell you right now if the Cleveland Browns start winning Colt McCoy will be doing the same thing. These young men understand the platform they have been given and that’s to give glory to the one who gave them eternal life. It makes me feel good to have Jesus’ name in the headlines where it rightfully belongs. I think this young man has done a wonderful job in how he’s handled himself under this spotlight. I’m definitely a Tebow fan and I can’t wait to get my Tim Tebow jersey to where all over the place. I had a student tell me I was on the Tebow Bandwagon and I told him I love people who stand up for Jesus! I don’t know if the Broncos will defeat the Patriots this weekend but if they do Tebow will give all glory to God and his teammates before he takes any credit. The eyes of the NFL will be on the Broncos and Patriots this Saturday night and for the first time some people might find out about Jesus Christ because of a football game. Isn’t it funny how God can take someone who’s not suppose to be in the QB position and make it work beyond belief of so-called experts. Win or lose on Saturday night God will be glorified! Passion’s Path is a great place to take a walk!
The Word breathes life!
The Word breathes life!

Give an Answer

Posted on November 26, 2011

     I was hosting a youth gathering at my home recently where I showed them a recorded message from Francis Chan. In the message Chan talked about how we receive so many messages and do nothing with them. He gave the analogy of telling his daughter to clean her room and she didn’t do it until about the fourth time of being told. He said what if his daughter came back like we do with how we treat the word and direction we’ve been given by God’s word. “Dad I wrote down what you told me about cleaning my room, Dad, I memorized that you said to clean my room and finally Dad, some of my friends and I are going to start a three-week study of what it would look like to clean my room. This is a funny analogy but it is so true about how we avoid what the word of God is telling us every time we read the word or a message from God. So many times we just take the word and read it but do not take action steps in following what God has spoken into our lives. In Mark 8:34, Jesus tells the crowd and His disciples to deny themselves, take up the cross, and follow him. In this one verse Jesus gives us three specific commands to do if we wish to be true followers of the way, the truth, and the life. For me we really can’t proceed with reading any further without dealing with this one verse of scripture. First, Jesus’ says to deny ourselves and He means more than just denying ourselves from personal items and desires. We’re to deny ourselves to the point that we see the will that God has for our lives. It’s like the Brandon Heath song, “Give Me Your Eyes” so we may have a glimpse of how God truly intends for us to see things.

     Secondly, Jesus wants us to take up our cross and not just sometimes. Your true cross can’t be put down when things get tough or when you think it’s too hard to continue any further with the weight upon your shoulders. When my son was in the hospital with an unshakable strain of flu it was without a doubt the most difficult struggle my family ever had to face. I spent most of the time of his stay in the hospital by myself while my wife took care of our remaining family back at home. I look back on what my son had to be thinking and how I was trying to strong for him. As my son’s condition continued to deteriorate it came to a point where they wanted to intubate my son once again and he looked at me in the eyes and without saying a word, he said no. I went down the hall to call my wife and to pray about this difficult decision. The numbers the doctors were giving for his survival were not favorable so through prayer I allowed my son to make the decision for himself and God gave me peace about it. The Holy Spirit never left my side during the whole ordeal. My son carried his cross to the point of death. He never got mad at God or asked why was him that was dying. My son actually looked at me and apologized for getting sick. God used this young man in so many ways it’s incredible. (Many future blogs will include more of his story) He never put his cross down or denied that Jesus was the Lord of his life.
     Finally, Jesus says for us to follow him. It is time for us to take the scriptures that are written in the Bible and really absorb what is being said through them. The gospel demands a response and not just a click on the like button on facebook. Following Jesus will be the most difficult thing you’ll ever have to do but at the same time the most rewarding. I’m not talking about following Jesus in the current state of just feel good messages where people just want goose pimple feeling but following a cause that will cause the hair on the back of your neck to stand up and get you out of your comfort zone. We need to quit Americanizing our savior who died on the cross for our sins. The God who is calling you to action isn’t going to give you suggestions on how to live but give you undeniable commands on how to live. If your life is feeling boring or mundane then you’re not following Passion’s Path.
I’m not a great writer but I think we all have something to say that matters.
I hope you enjoyed the first installment of Passion’s Path.
God Bless you all!

  

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