Cool things have been happening. Continue reading
I will start this post by saying that today was a very good day. I picked up my friend who has survived a great deal of trauma Continue reading
She used to be a sturdy branch, proud and blossom-bearing.
Now she is a piece of firewood, split with an ax and used to warm a man for a moment.
She stares from the backseat down a crowded freeway and ponders the irony of that word.
Cut from her life-source, now unable to bear the weight of fear, it gets so heavy that it crushes young bones.
It leaves her whiskey-scented, terribly fragmented.
At the Border
She recalls the shaky voice of her Sunday School teacher, Mrs. Ray, “all things work together for good” and asks herself if this journey could be included in the glorious idea of “all things”.
Good, at one point surrounded her; it is now a speck on a mountainside with no road leading to – or from – it.
Her one piece of ID is taken. Soon after, another piece is stolen, never to be returned. This one, much more sacred – a blend of body, mind and potential.
Her eyes watch the signs blur by and the pavement turn to gravel to dirt
An unsuspecting field her suite, flowing curtains made of wheat
A client tries, her eyes to meet as she lets them close, recalling a song her Mamma lulled, “turn your eyes upon Jesus”.
She waits for things of earth to grow strangely dim.
Split with an ax by one more of hundreds.
Wholeness is a far-fetched dream of which she cannot afford to let go. There would be but one option left.
Stories of rescue, of raids and redemption resound with hope just palatable enough to grasp in her small hand.
She opens her eyes and discovers what was clenched in her hand: the corner of a stained sheet. Could have sworn she was in a field.
Knuckles turn white from this plight. If her spirit weakens any more, her hope will be reduced to a thread, spinning and taut.
She hears a wrinkled woman humming a hymn & the words come back to her.
Its truth thickens the thread.
She recalls when that freeway used to be a free way, summons the courage to imagine a listening, loving God and wonders if anyone is praying to him on her behalf.
And just in case they are not, she whispers, “I still believe in you. You are all I have. Free me. Please.”
– I parked right by an Ambulance & walked over to the driver, told him we needed a medical emerg. person onsite and he wrote down GEORGIA with AMR (@ 793-8240) who I need to schedule that with – said she was great to work with, and to mention his name. He told me to tell her he said to give me a really good ‘deal’.
– Walked by 6 people in their 50’s-70’s who were standing in Pioneer Courthouse Square, holding hands, praying. I waited for the right time, and then offered them some postcards & said briefly what the Walk was about. They were happy to take them, & said they have been called by God to come to the Square ev. Mon & Wed. @ 12:10pm to pray for city and other things. And they told me they would pray for me, this event and the planning team too. I was so encouraged by this little group of faithful believers in the Lord. The leader told me he could tell I loved the Lord because he saw joy in my eyes. That made me smile.
– LM for Mayor Sam Adam’s assist. who I supposed passed it along to someone else in his office who called me back saying that she will begin looking into my two requests! This is great news for the homefront! :
1.) to help me find a highly visible place to hang a banner to advertise the Walk
2.) to set up a video recording of the Mayor saying something in support of SCTNow (since he can’t make it to the Walk)
– Heard back from a recycling receptacle co. who works w/the City (‘sustainability’?). Was referred to a very professional man who is in charge of providing these receptacles for non-profit events in Portland…and that this service including signs for these receptacles, is FREE. YEAH! I will call this Eric tmrw.
– LM to ask a friend to borrow his truck to transport all the tables, chairs and tents – ALL donated by City Bible Church (WOW) from their facility to the venue (may need to do this at like 6:45am Oct. 2nd).
– Rec’d approval for the 2 donated banners’ layout (3rd layout try). I’m HAPPY with both! So grateful. I was hoping for 6 weeks prior to the walk, but I’ll take 3 weeks prior. 🙂 It’s all free publicity. I do hope these two banners can be completed by this weekend – the 19th; I want to bring one with me when I speak Sunday at Horizon Community, & have it above my registration table. 🙂
– Drove all the way across town to meet with an Artist from Granada, Joachim to exchange a painting of his for a tax donation-receipt re: out SCTNow Art Auction I’m thinking of naming, “Art in Action”. http://mcmillangallery.com/paintings.html … only to realize after waiting and not hearing from him that I remembered the date wrong – actually thought it was THURSDAY most of the morning. So felt pretty dumb. But at least we’re still going to meet … tomorrow!
I was able to make it back in time to hug my amazing son Braylon Emmanuel, at the bus stop.
It was a packed day, but still I have nagging thoughts of what things are yet undone. Maybe the small volunteer team can pick up where I left off on the route. If I continue to return to all my to-do’s all day long, every day, I will break under the pressure and do what I usually do in those times – just sob. Or in worst cases, have a panic attack. Sometimes I have to force myself to push those thoughts out of my ever-spinning brain so I can have a good chunk of time & focused attention on my family..or on praying. So many people I know of right now, need prayer.
I really want a date night with my husband, without thinking about this event. He’s never been busier w/his small business either. So we are in new territory – the both of us are up every night on our laptops til 12-1:30am. But there is always a light: We are both tryin to make sure we celebrate one day off a week…with no technology…no work…no TV & sometimes no cell phone…it’s usually Sundays. God is helping me to prioritize every part of every day. Again, new territory. I’ve always struggled with time management, but this is a whole new ball game! Ricky is so great about being there for me, being patient, and giving me gentle reminders. A couple times in the last few months, they were not so gentle. But for good reason. I was out of balance and his frustration was honest and well founded and helped me evaluate my schedule & make some needed changes…like: many days of the week now, I do not have my laptop to even be tempted to work during the day. I don’t watch TV (which I’m glad is not a temptation), so these days I basically force myself to do housework, make meals and (not force myself on this next one… but) spend some time on FUN activities with the kids like fishing, live concerts in the park, cheap matinée’ movies, swimming or hot tubbing (like this afternoon with Braylon), going on a walk or out to ice cream…or watching his favorite show right alongside him.. tonight it was, the Discovery Channel’s Man vs. Wild! Or Angel’s choice yesterday was a movie, “Wild Animal Babies”.
I am planning a road trip for the 3rd weekend of Oct. for us 4 to drive down the Gorge & over to SE Washington … Walla Walla. Visit relatives, fish, roast marshmallows on an open fire pit, & just soak up God’s beauty – the beauty of a close knit family & of His nature in the fall. It is so amazing. I’m also planning on attending a live concert w/my mom, to see one of my favorite artists of all time, perform THIS month, on the 28th…Harry Connick Jr. I can’t wait!
I can’t believe the Lord is utilizing me the way has so far – and will be the rest of the year. It literally would knock my socks off if I had any on. He has opened so many doors for me in this new ministry to help put an end to child slavery & forced prostitution, to sing again -at church (after October, mostly but I am singing a solo Sept.26th already – a wonderful song of hope and vision-casting!)… and to just share about His goodness & faithfulness to friends. I’ll end this long-winded post with the lyrics to the song I will be singing. It really does encompass my whole reason for living right now. I long to have God’s kingdom come and his will be done right here in Portland, as it is in heaven…and I strongly believe in the vocal declaration of these things he has already said are his will – that are YET TO COME, YET TO HAPPEN – believing for them and rejoicing in them before they arrive and when they do, WOW. What an even greater story to tell, to brag on our Lord to everyone – yet one more example of His never ending love and faithfulness. CHECK out these lyrics below.
~ Do it Lord ~
by, Tommy Walker
I see your glory, covering the earth Lord
Just as the waters, covering the sea
I see the millions, coming to salvation
I see revival, fire in the land
I see the lost, nameless ones remembered
I see the widows, shouting out your praise
I see the friendless, loved and cele brated
Orphans fullfilling Lord, your calling on their lives
Do It Lord, do it lord
Do it Lord we are praying
Do it Lord, do it
That your glory may be seen
I see forgiveness over taking hatred
Pride and prejudice, now giving way to love
I see depression replaced with joy and gladness
And Satan’s lies, now bowing to the truth
Do It Lord, do it lord
Do it Lord we are praying
Do it Lord, do it!
That your glory may be seen
This is our prayer oh God
This is our desperate cry
In these days that were living now
Let your kingdom come
Let your will be done
I see the brokeness of families, brought to wholeness
I see the prodigals, running home to you
Father’s hearts, now turning toward their children
And the children’s hearts, turning toward the fathers
I see your Church, all rising up in power
Laying down their lives in unity and love
I hear the sound of every tribe and nation
Giving glory to Jesus Christ the Son
The words of this song were written through the eyes of a (fictional) 16 yr old girl from Russia. A nameless girl who was tricked into travelling to America, “the land of the free and the brave”, for a better job & life, yet fell victim to the 2nd fastest growing industry in the world, human trafficking. These are the thoughts I imagined her to think after nearly 3 yrs, held & forced into a life of survival sex, by one man and his organized ring of traffickers, pimps and buyers of children.
It’s in 3/4 time (a waltz). The verses’ tune is soft, w/a heavier evanescence-feel on the chorus & tag.
Chains of Shame
if God can forget all the chiefest of sins, surely He has forgotten my kind
i think it’s been 33 months since my innocence, but i’ve lost all sense of time
dreams, aspirations, love, education, plans for a future and hope
like my body, they’re stripped of their meaning; beaten, now bleeding, almost a joke
how.. could.. i be… so stupid?!
i cant believe who i’ve become since i believed him
theres.. no… way out now!!
out of this darkness, out of these chains…of shame
chains of shame
to free the (underground) oppressed, cover this nakedness, and offer poor wanderers rest
нарушите эти цепи позора (pronounced: “lou-doo-shut-slites-itz. shay-pee-pah-zorah” meaning, “break these chains of shame” – in Russian)
Is.1:17-18 Learn to do good.
Help the oppressed.
Defend the cause of orphans.
Fight for the rights of widows.
“Come now, let’s settle this,”
says the Lord.
“Though your sins are like scarlet,
I will make them as white as snow.
Matt. 25:37-40 “Then these righteous ones will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry and feed you? Or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 Or a stranger and show you hospitality? Or naked and give you clothing? 39 When did we ever see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ 40 “And the King will say, ‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!’
6 “No, this is the kind of fasting I want:
Free those who are wrongly imprisoned;
lighten the burden of those who work for you.
Let the oppressed go free,
and remove the chains that bind people.
7 Share your food with the hungry,
and give shelter to the homeless.
Give clothes to those who need them,
and do not hide from relatives who need your help.
8 “Then your salvation will come like the dawn,
and your wounds will quickly heal.
Your godliness will lead you forward,
and the glory of the Lord will protect you from behind.
9 Then when you call, the Lord will answer.
‘Yes, I am here,’ he will quickly reply.
“Remove the heavy yoke of oppression.
Stop pointing your finger and spreading vicious rumors!
10 Feed the hungry,
and help those in trouble.
Then your light will shine out from the darkness,
and the darkness around you will be as bright as noon.
11 The Lord will guide you continually,
giving you water when you are dry
and restoring your strength.
You will be like a well-watered garden,
like an ever-flowing spring.
OK, I have some great news – well, for me, anyway – Head over to my personal fund raising page for Stop Child Trafficking Now and see! Last week my goal was to raise $100, and now, my goal is $300…and people just keep on givin’! I am so excited about how people have been supportive – I feel so honored…but I’ve got to keep the goal higher, so if anyone reading this would like to contribute, don’t fight the urge. Girls all over the world, even here in the Austin area, will see freedom again, in time, as a result.
I have ONE more week til I lace my tennies for the Austin Walk on the 26th. If you’d like to help my lil efforts get bigger & bigger…even pass my newest goal, $300 (to be used to assemble & deploy special operative teams made of highly-trained military veterans with a new, driving purpose), head on over to my page:
& jump on board…or register to lace up your own shoes along with me, as I WALK to Stop Child Trafficking Now. Thank you soooo much!!!
In the last month or two, I’ve been moved and stirred up and curious about the issue of child trafficking. It started after Ricky & I watched Taken, then we saw a video about the reality of the crime in the US, while we attending a concert in downtown Austin. Then I read a blog post about it entitled “God of Justice…Or Is He?“, by Brad Ruggles.
FINALLY, I was invited to a Tea Party where the founder of Stop Child Trafficking Now, Lynette Lewis, along with an Austin PD specialist in this field & 2 other activists spoke out against this crime & with ways to help stop it.
I’ve learned so much…like how children are lured & taken & held against their will, for years. I learned how this industry is growing fast in the US and that 25-30% of all US cases are in Texas. All I’ve learned & more can be found at SCTNow.org.
Why should I care?
I care because I love children. Many people say that their innocence & childhood is being taken from them, but I believe they’re still innocent – they are not suddenly guilty. And they’re still experiencing childhood, only filled with fear, abuse and manipulation. They’ve been tricked & not cannot escape. I care because God cares. He has unbelievable, impacting potential for every single person, and if a person’s life – her dreams, self-esteem, purpose, body image, emotional & physical health, etc. – can be sabotaged at youth, that amazing potential is never reached!! The way these children now see themselves, the world and their Creator is perverted. That intended potential will never be reached. This grieves me deeply.
I want to do something, even if it seems small to others, to help children remain safe from anyone who aims to sexually abuse & exploit them for profit. I want to…and I will.