Stop “The Candy Shop”

I discovered this outrageous truth while at a conference in Atlanta. The statistic was that there are over 150,000 children in the sex trade industry… in the U.S. alone. That is among the 27 million individuals worldwide being sold into slavery for the purpose of sex trafficking. I was horrified at these statistics as you are no doubt feeling the same way as you read this. Below you’ll find a trailer to a movie coming out that creatively exposes this horrible truth. Additionally I’ve included links to organizations where you can learn more, and join the cause to do something about this tragedy. As the church, inaction is not optional for us… Luke 4:18, 19

www.stopthecandyshop.com – Coming movie website for “The Candy Shop”

www.streetgrace.org – A grassroots movement to end children’s sexual exploitation here in the U.S.

www.TheA21Campaign.org – The A21 Campaign: This group’s vision is to see the sex slave industry abolished in the 21st Century.

Click here to join The A21 Campaign on Facebook and stay updated.

 

John

P.S. – Don’t ignore this. Allow yourself to get uncomfortable about this…

Hiding from God

My oldest child, Emilee, is cut from the same cloth as her father. She is rambunctious, energetic, playful… and dramatic. She got in trouble the other day, and when I called her to come to me she knew it was not to congratulate her on a job well done. Instead of going to her father, she chose to run to her closet and hide behind a row of hung up clothes. Needless to say, I was less than enthused about her decision. I went to her room, pulled her from the closet and dealt with her disobedience. As I stood her in front of me and talked to her, I told her that no matter what she’s done, no matter how bad it’s gotten, or how much she thinks she has disappointed me, she can always come to her daddy. That I love her so much that she can always come to me. Her infraction was minor. But it was compounded when she ran from me and chose to hide.

Obviously, I found my four year old’s behavior childish and a little on the amusing side. But sometimes I do the same exact thing to my Heavenly Father. I know I’ve blown it, or maybe neglected to do what I know He wants me to do. Instead of running to my Father – the One who can forgive me, remove the guilt, and empower me to change – I run to the closet, tuck behind a row of clothes, and hide from God… or so I think. The amusing thing about my daughter, is that I know exactly where she’s at; her hiding is useless. And so are my efforts to pretend God doesn’t see me acting like my four year old. Instead of crying out to Him, I stop praying, and I get into a spiritual funk of going through the motions. Nothing changes when I run from God. In fact, the stress gets compounded. Things always gets worse the longer I run from Him and avoid dealing with the heart issue.

Maybe you’ve been running from God for awhile. Maybe even so long that you don’t even think that He would want you back. But would you believe today that He loves you so much that no matter what you’ve done, no matter how bad it’s gotten, how much you’ve been hurt, how much you think you’ve disappointed God, you can always come running to your Father? Romans 8 says it best…

31 What shall we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us? 32 Since he did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won’t he also give us everything else? 33 Who dares accuse us whom God has chosen for his own? No one—for God himself has given us right standing with himself. 34 Who then will condemn us? No one—for Christ Jesus died for us and was raised to life for us, and he is sitting in the place of honor at God’s right hand, pleading for us. 35 Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? 37 No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.38 And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. 39 No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.

John

Why I love Church

   I love our church, Edgewood! My wife and I have been a part of this church family for only a little over 2 years, but the church has made us feel like family. The crowd from our Saturday night worship experience is especially near to my heart, as these are the people that I worship with week in and week out. These are the people that I more often get to see bring friends to hear the Gospel. This is where we get to see life-change happen. A few reasons I love my church family would include:

  • The willingness of our people to receive God’s Word, even when the message is challenging their status quo.
  • The genuine attitude of worship that is often so palpable in our worship experience.
  • The smiles and warm greetings that take place before, during, and after our service.
  • The many volunteers that setup, teardown, run, play, lead, greet, ush, serve drinks, design graphics, edit video, watch the little kids, teach the big kids, and so on – many of whom worship at one of our Sunday morning services.
  • Our leaders’ creativity, passion, and commitment to the success and growth of our church.
  • The consitent enthusiasm of our church family in worship, hearing God’s Word, bringing others with them, and even in their generosity.

Edgewood is a great place to make relationships, grow closer to God, serve others, and be a part of a move of God ithe Quad Cities. I love our church! To see more about our church, check out www.edgewoodbaptist.net or to see more about our Saturday night worship experience, The Awakening, go to www.qcawakening.com

John