Abolish Slavery

70% of North Korean women and teenage girls are being victimized and sold as sex slaves. When one family member tries to escape North Korea, 3 generations of that family are murdered.

Joo Ri was sentenced to over a year in a forced labor camp where she was barely fed, and forced to work more than half the day without rest. Experiencing such ruthless treatment only made her crave freedom more, and immediately after being released, she took to the border again. This time, however, she was unsuccessful. She was caught attempting to cross the border and sentenced to more than 3 years in a re-education camp.

There, she was stripped of her name, hit, slapped, punched, beat, kicked, hung by her wrists from the ceiling, and pushed into a water well, the water level sitting over her knees, where she was forced to stay for a month. In order to survive, she ate bugs and leaves, but she still lost all of her hair and all but one of her top teeth due to starvation.

After being released from the re-education camp, Joo Ri went back to her hometown so she could recuperate and gain back her strength. During this time she had more than seven people, from friends to secret police, spying on her at any given time. Unable to give up the desire for happiness, but now fueled by anger and resentment for the people who had done so much wrong to her, Joo Ri snuck out in the middle of the night, making her sixth attempt to cross the border. This time, she was able to make it into China, and by a stroke of luck, connected with LiNK’s network.

Help people like Joo Ri escape North Korean at libertyinnorthkorea.org


Yeonmi Park also speaks about her experience escaping North Korea:

Abolish Slavery

70% of North Korean women and teenage girls are being victimized or sold as sex slaves. When one family member tries to escape North Korea, 3 generations of that family are murdered.

I heard that if North Korean women refused to get married in China, then they could be sold to brothels or sex websites so that the brokers could receive payment. At that point, I realized that I was trapped and I didn’t have any other choice but to be trafficked. The second broker told me that I could escape after living with my Chinese husband for at least six months. If I escape in less than 6 months, the brokers that sold me would return my bridal money to the Chinese husband.

Every time I went to a town, many old Chinese men gathered around me to bargain my bridal cost. I felt so ashamed. I was being treated as an animal and not as a human being. The North Korean broker finally found a man who was willing to pay the amount the broker wanted for me as a bride. I couldn’t even communicate with him because I didn’t speak the language. I remembered looking at the broker’s face. She seemed to pity me. My whole being at the moment was filled with so much bitterness, hopelessness, and sorrow toward everything in the world. I felt like I was losing everything including my own body to someone I didn’t even know. I was only 18.

Help people like Joy at: libertyinnorthkorea.org

Please pray that China stop forcing North Korean refugees to return to their home country, that this dictatorship comes to an end, & that God releases His wisdom into governments around the world about how to approach freeing and protecting the North Korean people.

Sons of God

There are two words for son in the NT: teknon & huios 

Teknon describes ‘babies, or immature sons’. Like when your child is born and you can’t tell them apart from the other babies in the hospital nursery without nametags. Or when you first accept Christ, but you don’t look any different than the worldly people around you.

Romans 8:15-16 – we have received the Spirit of adoption, the Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children (teknon) of God

Huios describes ‘mature sons’. This is when someone recognizes a childs character or characteristics to match that of their parents.

Romans 8:14 – for as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are the sons (huios) of God.

Hebrews 5:8 – (Jesus) was the son (huios), yet he learned obedience by the things which he suffered.

Jesus was a huios son, one that portrayed the character of God. He learned that obedience through the things he suffered.

1 Peter 4:1 – since Jesus suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same mind, for he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin.

We know we are mature sons when we crucify our fleshly desires instead of allowing our fleshly desires to control us/crucifying our spirit. Spiritual growth is a function of neither time nor learning, but of obedience.

~ The Bait of Satan, by John Bevere ~


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Natural Father vs Father God

notesWhile visiting friends at the beach, I went to a Sunday service that blew me away. Coast Community, in Gulf Breeze, FL, preached it much better, but since I used this for staff devo at my new job, I figured I’d share it with y’all too 🙂

Click here to download FREE, print ready, fill in the blank sermon notes. Preview:

 



1. God is
Our Father

What person on the planet got here without having a father?

– Mal. 2:10 – Have we not all one Father? Has not one God created us?

– Gen. 1:27 – God created mankind in his own image

God made the natural to explain the supernatural. We wouldn’t be here if we didn’t have a natural father, as we wouldn’t be here without God, our Father. Now, everyones fathers may have a different level of involvement; many people have a close relationship with their father, while others have an absent sperm donor, or worse–one that’s abusive. Our earthly fathers, whether for good or bad, shape our views of the heavenly father. Because of this, we must seek to see God, in truth, for who He really is; separating who He is from what sinful man has taught us about him. He’s not just father of Christians. He’s father of all mankind. We all have the ‘genetic’ nature; however, we don’t all have the nurtured character, which only comes from relationship with the father. Since there are so many broken homes in America, most of our views of relationships are skewed. One myth, we tend to believe, is that:

Myth: God is unreasonable

– Gen. 3:1 – Satan said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from ANY tree in the garden’?”

Satan wants us to believe that God doesn’t want us to have ANYthing, but that’s not true. Most of our earthly fathers gave us gifts, but one Christmas, did you have something you desired that you didn’t find under the tree? Are we grateful for the things our Father has given us, or do we let that one thing drive us away from him? Is it unreasonable to give us an ENTIRE garden, and yet ask us not to eat from a single tree? Is it unreasonable to create sex for our enjoyment, and ask us to not have sex outside of marriage? No. His laws are for OUR benefit, not His. He knows that sex can damage us, cause deep grief, that many people would commit suicide over the loss of relationship, and many would not be able to connect whole heartedly to their spouse after having sex before marriage. Remember that:

2. God is A Compassionate Father

– 2 Cor. 1:3-4 – Blessed be… the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction

Is God only good to Christians? No, He’s good to EVERYONE.

– Ps. 145:9 – The Lord is good to ALL: and his tender mercies are over ALL His works.

We just saw that God created everyone, so you understand that you’re a work of God, right? This verse tells us that his tender mercies are over ALL of His works. Now, sometimes we don’t feel like we’ve had much of that tender mercy. When you’re seperated from the Father, it’s easy to misconstrue who He is. When we decide we’re tired of being seperated from our Father, and we seek His face, we find out that:

– Lam. 3:22 – His compassions never fail

– 1 Tim. 6:17 – God… richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment

But the child who is away from the Father believes the myth that:

Myth: God is unreliable

– Jam. 1:17 – Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or change.

How can God be unreliable if he never changes?

– Ps. 59:10 (TLB) – My God is CHANGELESS in his love for me

Changeless in His love for me? I thought if I messed up it meant I’d be abused, beaten, and called ‘worthless’? I thought if I asked a question it’d be seen as challenging his authority, worthy of the cat of 9 tails? You mean even if my earthly father was a gracious one, those few times he didn’t tend to my wounds doesn’t even portray God? My God is changeless in His love and His compassion never fails? Do my beliefs line up with that?

– Gen. 3:4 (TLB) – “That’s a lie!” the serpent hissed.

– Ps. 33:4 – the word of the Lord is right and true; he is faithful in all he does.

– Rom. 11:29 – God NEVER changes His mind about the people He calls and the things He gives them.

His decisions aren’t based on our ability to do right or wrong. And God doesn’t do things without reason; if he gave you life, it’s because you have a purpose. This verse promises us that we can’t mess it up. He will always fulfill and redeem the purpose on our lives.

– Rom. 12:2 – Don’t conform to the world’s way or beliefs. Instead, renew your mind, so you know what God’s will is and what His character is like.

His will is always good, pleasing and perfect; giving us a future and a hope (Jer. 29:11).

Instability in children’s lives causes insecurity. We should all be secure children, since our heavenly Father is changeless. He won’t turn on the winds of emotion. The only way to renew your mind is to hear, study, believe, and apply the word of God. We must renew our mind, to believe that:

God is an Attentive Father

– Luke 12:7 – even all the hairs on your head have been counted!

– Ps. 139:16 – Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be

He wrote down every second, of every day, of my life?! That sounds attentive!

– Ps. 56:8 – You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book.

So God wrote the book on my life, before I was ever born, and knew all the tears I would shed? God is love and love only exists in freedom. Our freewill causes us much sorrow, as we chose to go the wrong way–a rebellious life away from our Father and his rules. Maybe it wasn’t us that made the wrong choice? Maybe it was our family members who were choosing to do wrong. God doesn’t take away our freedom, in fear that we’ll make the wrong choice. He allows us to make wrong choices, but He’s grieved right along side us. But your tears are so important to Him that he saves every single one. We can’t believe the myth that:

Myth: God is unconcerned with me

– Jer. 17:9-10 – The heart is… desperately sick; Who can understand it? “Yet I, the Lord, search it out

– David said in Ps. 139:1 – you have examined my heart, God, and know everything about me

– Paul stated in Rom. 8:27 (MSG) – He knows us FAR BETTER than we even know ourselves

God calls us his beloved. While human infatuation statistically lasts 12-18 months, God has a sleepless and lasting infatuation lasting through eternity. While we sleep, He’s up all night thinking of us:

– Ps. 139:17-18 (MSG) – How precious it is, Lord, to realize that you are thinking about me CONSTANTLY! I can’t even count how many times a day your thoughts turn toward me. And when I waken in the morning, you are still thinking of me!

God isn’t using up all those thoughts condemning us or judging us… he is in love with us. Every thought is praising us, building us up, and watching our steps as His plan unfolds–insuring that the enemies plans are turned toward our favor

3. God is Gracious

– Eph. 1:4 – we are blameless in His sight

– Heb. 4:16 – Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

Some of our fathers probably got mad at us during our time of need. They blamed us or left us to figure things out alone. Perhaps, in their eyes, we couldn’t do anything right. But it’s a myth that:

Myth: God is unpleasable

The truth is that God has accepted you (Rom. 15:7).

– Rom. 8:28-29 – GOD works all things together for the good of those who love Him

GOD works all things for our good, not you work all things out for your good… becuase if we try to work things out, Satan would be at the core of it, working all those things together for the bad. The Bible says, if you aren’t for God, you’re against Him (Luke 11:23). God has a plan for our lives, just as Satan does. Satan’s plan is to steal, kill, and destroy everything in our lives, while Jesus’ plan is to give us a future, hope, and work everything for our benefit. We can mess up a lot, but God never leaves us. It’s us that choose whether we are going to talk to the Father that’s right beside us, or if we are going to give Him the silent treatment. If we choose to return to the Father and get to know him for who he really is, He will work all our mess into something beautiful. But we have to surrender to His authority and allow Him to take control. His laws aren’t burdensome (1 John 5:3).

– Col. 1:22 – when you return to the Father, He reconciles you… without blemish and free from accusation

Luke 15:17-24 – When he came to his senses, he said… ‘I will set out and go back to my father’… But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him. The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate.



Prayer:
God, thank you that your ways are higher than our ways; and that you don’t mimic or resemble the world. Instead you call us up to heavenly places, where peace and love reside. You know our pains, experienced our weaknesses, and always have us on your mind. Free us today of any lies or myths our parents and culture have burdened us with. Take us back to the places of pain, and let us see them with new eyes… asking you to show us where you were in that moment. Let your spirit show us, and set the captives free, loosing our hearts to love you and others in a greater measure. Continue to reveal your true nature to us and help us accept the fullness of your love, acceptance, and pleasure in us; knowing that every single thought, you have about us, is good.

Judging the News

Do not judge by appearances – John 7:24

If you hear… anyone saying… then you shall investigate and search out and inquire thoroughly – Deut. 13:12-15

The Lord said, “The outcry… is so great and their sin so grievous that I will go down and see if what they have done is as bad as the outcry that has reached me. If not, I will know” – Gen. 18:20-21

Judge according to facts, never by appearances. Taking a snippet of anything, out of it’s original context is asking for a major misunderstanding. I’m sure you’ve had someone take your words and twist them into something you didn’t mean, or had someone enter the conversation at the wrong time–just in time to hear something that sounded off as a standalone comment. We are told to investigate, search out, and inquire THOROUGHLY before we draw conclusions. We have to see the whole picture first, and we don’t get that from a video snippet. God set the example, when He went Himself to investigate things instead of relying on the report of humans or angels!

Jesus replied, “Man, who appointed me judge… between you?” – Luke12:14)

Jesus, the only truly righteous Judge, even refused to judge in situations where He was not yet in authority! It is for the justice system to decide matters of justice. You have the authority to go to the hearing and protest at that time if you feel the trial was corrupt.

Judge nothing before the appointed time – Luke 12:14

Goodness knows, we have some corrupt government, but that does not make them all corrupt. If they are proven corrupt, sentence them. If they made a mistake, then FIRE them like you would a doctor who messed up:

Bring it out in the open and deal with it… Hold this man’s conduct up to public scrutiny. Let him defend it if he can! But if he can’t, then out with him! – 1 Cor. 5:3-5

Doctors and cops, have stressful jobs and stressful decisions to make. Mistakes happen. Rarely is a death with corrupt intention. These people don’t take killing someone lightly. A cop can go 20 years without shooting a person, then one day has to pull a gun and weep over the loss of life–being forced to make this decision.

Research the facts, instead of jumping on the bandwagon of hearsay:

  • Cops killed nearly twice as many whites as blacks in 2015. ‪#‎DoWhiteLivesMatter‬? Data compiled by The Washington Post shows, 50% of the victims of fatal police shootings were white, while 26% were black. The majority of these victims had a gun or “were armed or otherwise threatening the officer with potentially lethal force.” Although more whites were killed than blacks, The Wall Street Journal, 2009 statistics from the Bureau of Justice Statistics reveal that blacks were charged with 62% of robberies, 57% of murders and 45% of assaults in the 75 biggest counties in the country, despite only comprising roughly 15% of the population in these counties; meaning even though blacks comprise the majority of criminal, whites comprise the majority of deaths. MacDonald also pointed out that blacks “commit 75% of all shootings, 70% of all robberies, and 66% of all violent crime” in New York City, even though they consist of 23% of the city’s population.
  • More whites and Hispanics die from police homicides than blacks. According to MacDonald, 12% of white and Hispanic homicide deaths were due to police officers, while only four% of black homicide deaths were the result of police officers. More so, a police officer is 18.5 times more likely to be killed by a black, than a cop killing an unarmed black person. However, according to WSFA, Montgomery Black Lives Matter is asking the police department to let citizens police their own neighborhoods instead of sending in white cops, even though we are now witnessing something called the “Ferguson Effect” in other cities, as murders have spiked by 17% among the 50 biggest cities in the US as a result of cops being more reluctant to police neighborhoods out of fear of being labeled as racists.

Our unrighteous judgment, suspicions about racism, and refusal to let cops do their job is about to cause even higher rates of murder in Montgomery, and other cities in the nation, that already struggle with this crime.

How long will you defend the unjust and show partiality to the wicked?… all the foundations of the earth are shaken – Ps. 82:2,5

The world will be a disaster zone as long as we continue to judge in favor of the wicked. When a criminal has a weapon, or is trying to attain a weapon, the police have the right to take action. America needs to understand the role of police. They will try everything they can to arrest someone without shooting them, but when forced, they shoot to kill. That means unloading a full clip. In the case of criminals who are hopped up on drugs or adrenaline–who don’t feel pain and continue to rush people despite being shot–it is even more justified to shoot these people until they quit moving.

We cannot defend criminals. We can however, wisely and righteously, bring corrupt government officials to justice when all the facts are well researched and presented–proving the matter. We should be rioting that Hillary Clinton was guilty of treason and yet not charged, and is being allowed to run for a higher position, not rioting that a cop shot a criminal who was about to pull a gun, or over the number of times they were shot. Some of the cases over the years could be corrupt, but they are not all corrupt.

Some government officials didn’t want to actively patrol heavy crime areas even decades ago. They allowed drug cartels and gangs to do their thing. Now, many of those criminals are the very ones trying to blind and deceive our nation with racist talk and lead us into orgies of unbridled sin (riots). Our news stations after decades still refuse to tell the whole story. Our citizens are unspiritual, untaught, and unjust in their judgments. It’s a perfect storm of all the things that have gone unchecked through the years.

Yesterday, a black cashier ignored me while helping two black customers behind me. As a white girl dating a white cop, there’s no way to hear about a handful of hate crimes without opening my ears to similar situations. While I do not believe this was an issue of race, but perhaps an issue of crowdedness, I do understand how a race that experienced 250 years of enslavement can easily listen to promptings of suspicion and assumption. If I, a christian who has not experienced much racism, am tempted, how much more will the world and those with much experience be tempted? God however, asks us to base everything on truth, and calls listening to suspicion and assumption a sin. When we act on the suspicion or assumption that something is a racial issue, we only perpetuate racism. It’s only when we take those thoughts captive, and choose to act out of a Holy Spirit that the cycle of racism ends.

Be sure of this: The wicked will not go unpunished, but those who are righteous will go free. – Prov. 11:21

It is a Biblical principle that the righteous not be condemned as the wicked. It’s a principle that runs throughout the Bible from start to finish! We cannot condemn all white cops because a couple mess up.

I admire my white cop boyfriend for his ability to handle high stress situations, and treat people with equality. He makes people that look like his grandparents put their hands on the steering wheel/seat when he pulls them over, just like he does someone he suspects, or knows, has committed a crime. He became a cop because he wanted to help protect everyone, and make his hometown a better place.

Thank you God, that YOU protect the righteous and watch over them, and guide their hand in battle (Ps. 144:1). Continue to see America free from racism and corruption. Help us weed out unrighteous rulers in a manner that is honorable. Raise up more judges, teachers, senators who will not take bribes, who judge with discernment, and want to do their job to the best of their ability out of respect for you. Raise up more people who want to lay down their lives for others, who want to pursue and rid America of criminal activity instead of letting it engulf certain areas, who are able to discern who is dangerous and innocent regardless of color. Provide us with more training for both cops and the general population to avoid mistakes. Help us come up with a system that protects the innocent, condemns the wicked, does not cave to human opinion, and is completely unbiased, in Jesus name.

The American Dream: Early Retirement

The american dream is to be able to live without working. Aren’t we all trying to figure out a way to retire early? Don’t forget to work generosity into your living expenses both now and during that retirement:

Luke 12:15-21 – … I’ll say to myself, “You have plenty of grain laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.”’ “But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’ “This is how it will be with whoever stores up things for themselves but is not rich toward God.”

What if retirement looked more like helping homeless people as a full-time missionary in Hawaii, instead of sitting alone in your lake house deteriorating? Having a purpose helps keep you alive, happy, and blessed. Remember to be rich toward God by helping others.

My friend summed it up better: Retirement doesn’t have to be a selfish time devoted only to our personal pleasure. It can be the time of our life when we have more free time to volunteer to help others, spread the Gospel, and make the world a better place.

However, I’m not telling you to spend everything you have, or stop saving for retirement:

Prov. 21:20 (NIV) – The wise store up choice food and olive oil, but fools gulp theirs down.

Prov. 21:20 (NLT) – The wise have wealth and luxury, but fools spend whatever they get.

It’s wise to save for retirement. God wants you to do that, but we have to remember who gave us the ability to store up that wealth, and remember those who might not have the same opportunities.

Those who store up and never give, will lose everything; but those who store up to give, God blesses with even more:

Mal. 3:10 – 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 there will not be room enough to store it.

God has the biggest storehouse of all. It fills all the heavens! So it doesn’t matter how big your storehouse is, or how much money you have, as much as what you do with it. God is always giving and blessing us!

Deut. 28:12 – The Lord will open the heavens, the storehouse of his bounty, to send rain on your land in season and to bless all the work of your hands.

Be wise and start saving.
Be wise and start giving.

Luke 12:15 – life does not consist in an abundance of possessions

Matt. 6:19-20 – “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.

1 Timothy 6:17-19 – As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy. They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life.

Lack of Communication

Lack of communication is a killer

In Daniel chapter 2, King Nebuchadnezzar made a decision to kill all the wise men under his authority. Giving into the fear of communication at that point, would have been a silent agreement to go to the slaughter. Daniel instead of fearing, asked the timeless question: why? Our ‘why’ can save lives, but it needs to be from a place of wanting to understand the persons heart, not from a place of challenging.

There will be a point when your child disagrees with you, and you may want to scratch it off as rebellion. However, a parent that is willing to ask ‘why’ and listen to their childs heart, can save their life. A parent willing to navigate the hurt in their child’s heart instead of calling a disagreement rebellion, can save their lives. I’ve watched many friends make the decision that they did not want to go to college; most of them later regretted it. I’m sure they thought, ‘I’m tired of school’ among a plethora of other reasons. Instead of their parents letting that be the end of the subject, they could have said, ‘Do you plan on having a job? Would you rather make $10/hr or $30/hr in exchange for the same amount of your time?’ Honestly, any amount of wisdom/healthy communication we can give our children will help save their lives. 

Next time remember: It’s not rebellion, it’s an opportunity to strengthen your connect and impart wisdom