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Posts tagged ‘prayer’

We Will Still Trust Him | by Linda Brendle

Last night as I lay in bed trying to sleep, my mind was anything but peaceful. The recent news of Afghanistan, Hurricane Ida, and school and business closings for deep cleaning due to COVID along with more new prayer requests for loved ones who are suffering from serious illnesses had my thoughts spinning like a hamster on a wheel. I finally fell asleep quoting Psalm 23 to myself.

This morning during my quiet time, I picked up 31 Days of Prayer by Warren & Ruth Myers. As often happens, the prayer for today was just what I needed. One paragraph read:

“Day by day, may I rest my faith in Your tender love and Your infinite wisdom – Your deep, unsearchable wisdom. With quiet faith I trust You for health and healing, confident and expectant. But keep me from demanding, from clenching my fingers around what I think is best for myself and others. May I honor You by affirming, ‘Our God whom we serve is able to deliver us, and He will deliver us. But even if He does not, we will still trust Him.’”

The quote is a paraphrase of Daniel 3:17-18 before the king threw three young men into the fiery furnace because they refused to worship the idol he had made. May God grant you that kind of faith today regardless of what kind of furnace you may be facing.

Blessings,

Linda

What you can do to fight human trafficking | by Linda Brendle

January is Human Trafficking Prevention/Awareness Month, and yesterday I posted an article about Cecilia Abbott, First Lady of Texas, who recently announced a statewide interfaith “Week of Prayer to End Human Trafficking” on Jan. 11-17. The article included daily prompts for those who choose to participate. Today I’m following up with some suggestions about what you can do after you pray.

Even though I knew child trafficking existed, in my mind it was a remote evil until I heard a presentation from an organization based fifty miles from my home who rescues girls and sometimes boys who have been trafficked. Since then I have written two novels in the hope of raising awareness about a tragedy that exists, not just in foreign countries or huge cities but in the towns where children you know and love play and go to school.

One of the most common questions I’m asked about my books is why on earth I chose to write about such a dark, heart-wrenching topic. I have a long, involved explanation, but basically the answer is that I want my readers to understand that sex trafficking is real and that it is here and now. I also want my readers to know there are things they can do to fight sex trafficking. Jesse and Mrs. G are a couple of my characters who exemplify some ways to help, but not many of us can offer cover-up tattoos or manage a rescue ministry. Everyone can get involved, though, and that’s why I’m sharing this post.

Educate yourself:

Here is a list of just a few organizations that fight sex trafficking. These websites and many others are good places to read about the extent and reality of this crime. And there’s always Google or whatever search engine you prefer.

Volunteer:

These organizations always need help. Each organization has a different list of needs, and whatever time or talent you have to offer can probably be used in some way.

Donate:

In addition, they always need money. If your schedule is already full, maybe you can donate to the cause.

Politics:

Maybe politics is your thing. Find out if there are any initiatives on the table to get more funding to fighting sex trafficking. Write your governor, senator, congressman, county commissioner, anyone who might have some influence to either propose or support such an initiative. Research other attempts to fight sex trafficking and throw your support behind them.

Finally, get involved one-on-one:

Personally, I’m not a big picture person. I prefer to try and reach the vulnerable before they become victims. I believe in working with kids one-on-one to make them feel worthy enough that they won’t fall for the schemes of someone like Eric, the trafficker in my books.

My church has active programs for children and youth that include Adventure Club and nursery for children, special programs for youth, and Sunday School and camp for all ages. All of these activities provide opportunities for adult volunteers to spend time with the kids in groups and also one-on-one, taking time to look them in the eye and say, in actions and sometimes in words, “you are important” – “you matter.”

Not into church? That’s okay. How about sports teams, cheerleading, FFA, all the many secular organizations for kids that always seem to be looking for coaches and team parents, adults who will give their time. What about becoming a mentor? Contact the counselor at a school in your area and make yourself available. I’ve been a mentor since 2014 and have been visiting with the same young lady for almost seven years. 

When I look at the magnitude of child trafficking, I sometimes feel like the old man in the starfish story. A little boy was at the beach after a huge storm and there were millions of star fish washed up on the sand. They were drying out in the sun and would soon all be dead. He walked along picking up one after another and throwing them back in the water. An old man was walking toward him, watching what he was doing. When he came close, he said, “Son, you’re not doing any good. There are too many for you to make a difference.” The boy smiled and picked up another small starfish. As he threw it into the water, he said to the man, “I made a difference to that one.”

I hope I make a difference with what I do at the church and at the school, and I hope I make a difference with what I write. I also hope each of you will look for ways to fight trafficking. If each of us does something to help one starfish, we really can make a difference.

Blessings,

Linda

Texas First Lady to host week of prayer to end human trafficking

A recent article from the Hill Country Journal:

Texas First Lady to host week of prayer to end human trafficking

Austin – Texas First Lady Cecilia Abbott today announced the “Governor’s Response Against Child Exploitation” initiative will host a statewide interfaith “Week of Prayer to End Human Trafficking” on Jan. 11-17.

The week of prayer coincides with Human Trafficking Prevention Month in the state of Texas and serves as a call to action to the faith-based community to unite in prayer, learn more about human trafficking, and discern opportunities to prevent exploitation and support survivors.

GRACE will launch the Week of Prayer to End Human Trafficking through a virtual interfaith event on Jan. 11 at 6 p.m. on Facebook. The event will include remarks from state officials, prayer, and a panel discussion of faith leaders and members of the Office of the Governor’s Child Sex Trafficking Team.

“The Governor’s GRACE Initiative is working closely with communities of faith all across Texas to help prevent human trafficking an bring hope an healing to survivors – and the Week of Prayer to End Human Trafficking is an important part of our efforts,” said First Lady Cecilia Abbott. “I urge Texans of all faiths across the state to join us in prayer and action so that we can put an end to human trafficking once and for all.”

GRACE is a collaboration between the Office of the Texas First Lady, CSTT, the Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS), and a diverse group of faith leaders across Texas that work together to develop effective strategies to end human trafficking. The initiative launched in December 2019.

Daily Prayer Intentions for the Week of Prayer include:

Monday, Jan. 11 – Pray for an end to human trafficking;

Tuesday, Jan 12 – Pray for survivors to find healing;

Wednesday, Jan. 13 – Pray for all those working on the front line to support survivors;

Thursday, Jan. 14 – Pray for all those working to bring traffickers and exploiters to justice;

Friday, Jan 15 – Pray for an end to demand and societal factors that lead to exploitation;

Saturday, Jan. 16 – Pray for discernment on the actions you can personally take to address human trafficking.

Texans can use the hashtag #TXPraysToEndHT on social media to share their support for the Week of Prayer to End Human Trafficking. To coincide with the announcement, the First Lady released a video encouraging Texans to participate in the Week of Prayer.

Blessings,

Linda

It’s Getting Real | by Linda Brendle

Published in the Rains County Leader on March 24, 2020:

cancelledLast week I published a light-hearted list of ways to use surplus toilet paper. At that point, COVID-19 had not really touched my day-to-day life. It’s true that we had altered our anniversary getaway plans from a trek to Florida to see friends and on to Kentucky to see The Ark and the Creation Museum to a quick visit to Louisiana to say hello to David’s sisters. I also had to do my weekly mentoring at Dairy Queen instead of the school since Spring Break had been extended, but other than that, my life was pretty much unchanged.

In the last seven days, though, I’ve seen almost all of our church activities cancelled for at least two weeks: AWANA and Student Ministry, Home Group Bible Study, Ladies Bible Study, Sunday School, Morning Worship, and Sunday evening study. Along with those cancellations, many events bit the dust: the SISTAs Fund Raiser Bake Sale, AWANA Photo Scavenger Hunt, and the Student Ministry Spring Retreat. Secular activities and events including the Friends of the Library March meeting and the Semi-Annual Book Sale scheduled in April were cancelled. And as of Monday, the Senior Center will pass out Grab & Go meals but will be closed for all other purposes – and just when David and I are beginning to see results from our workout routines, the gym has closed for at least two weeks. (more…)

No Fear | by Linda Brendle

Published in the Rains County Leader on January 23, 2018:

No FearNo Fear t-shirts, hoodies, and energy drinks were very popular from the mid 1990s to the early 2000s. The shirts usually featured the No Fear logo along with a slogan. Some quotes were more edgy than others, but most were related in some way to extreme sports or danger of some sort. I thought of the No Fear products Sunday morning as I listened to Pastor Jason preach about The Lord’s Prayer. (more…)

Pee Wee Football – It’s not just a game! by Linda Brendle

Published in the Rains County Leader on September 13, 2016:

wildcat-pawSunday was 1st Down and a Season to Go at my church this week. Pastor Jason is one of the coaches of the 5th and 6th Grade Rains County Wildcat Pee Wee Football Team, and he invited his players, coaches, and their families to come to Believers’ Baptist for a Continental breakfast before joining us in the morning worship service. In honor of the day, the boys wore their team jerseys, and everyone else who had a t-shirt from a favorite sports team wore it.

There was a festive air in the church along with lots of smiles as twenty plus young men filed in and took their places on the front rows of the section where our youth usually sit. Lots of proud parents and siblings filled seats around the sanctuary, and the ushers brought in extra chairs to accommodate the overflow crowd. The morning proceeded much as I had expected, but what I didn’t expected was to be totally impressed by the way the team members conducted themselves and by the obvious connection between the team and the coaching staff. (more…)

Lessons from the Storm | by Linda Brendle

Thankfully, our fallen limbs weren't nearly this big.

Thankfully, our fallen limbs weren’t nearly this big…

Friday night’s storm left its mark on the Brendle homestead. When we looked out the windows Saturday morning, we saw several fallen limbs and more standing water than most Texas homeowners see unless a water line has sprung a leak. After breakfast, David went to check out the damage. A few minutes later he stuck his head in the front door. (more…)

A to Z Challenge Theme: The Names of God | by Linda Brendle

A2Z-BADGE-0002014-small_zps8300775cThe right-hand margin of my blog site has been a little cluttered lately. The first new item to appear was the count-down to my cover reveal followed by the cover itself. Now I’m counting down to my book trailer reveal. In all the confusion, the badge announcing my participation in the 2014 A to Z April Blogging Challenge may have been lost. (more…)

I’m Going to Camp: Can a Week Make a Difference? |by Linda Brendle

summercampI haven’t been to camp in a very, very long time, but I’m going next week. The last time I went, it was to G.A. camp (Girls Auxiliary), and I was a teen counselor. This time I”ll be more of a grandma counselor, but that’s not the only difference. Instead of helping to supervise a group of girls, I’ve been assigned to two pre-teen campers. I’ll shepherd them through 5 days and 4 nights of swimming, games, crafts, devotionals, and lots of other fun and inspirational activities. This will probably be foreign to them. They’re both in the foster system, and they’ve both been a victim of child abuse. (more…)

One Body – Many Parts – How Hard Could It Be? | by Linda Brendle

From: Zeology The Art + Science of Sleep

From: Zeology The Art + Science of Sleep

I missed my Friday post, partly for the same reasons I’m writing instead of sleeping at 12:30 in the morning and partly for other reasons. First, we were out of data on our WiFi card and our new month didn’t start until Saturday, and even though I have unlimited data on my new iPhone, I wasn’t sure I was up to blogging on a three-inch keyboard. Second, we spent the morning winding up our New Year’s visit with David’s mom and the afternoon driving home. I intended to write on Saturday, but then the real reason kicked in – I was preoccupied. Several months ago our pastor asked if I would consider coordinating a one-day ladies’ conference our church was planning to host. If I had said no right then, I might have posted a blog on Friday, and I might be asleep right now. Instead I said I would think about it and pray about it and let him know. (more…)

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