Thursday, September 30, 2010

Fair Trade Friday - Nightlight

This edition of Fair Trade Friday sends us over the sea to one of my favorite countries...THAILAND!!!

Ahhh, I love Thailand. The people, the food, the culture, the villages. What I don't like about Thailand...the prostitution. It's big and I mean BIG over in Thailand. People will travel all the way to Thailand just for the sake of participating in sex tourism. And in the process lives are destroyed, value is stolen, and God given purpose is not being fulfilled. There are many ministries throughout Thailand that do outreach in the bars and try to give the women working in the bars a better way of life. One of those ministries is one that I have actually considered applying for an internship with. It is called Nightlife Ministry. I will let them speak for themselves in describing their purpose. It is as follows:

- Build trusting relationships through bar visits. Raise awareness about the risks of working in the sex trade and educate women about avaialble resources.
- Provide assistance and intervention through emergency shelter, rehabilitation/counseling, child-care and basic necessities to both national and international victims of trafficking and prostitution.
- Provide economic alternatives and leadership development through employment, job training and life skills training at NightLight Design, Co., Ltd.
- Offer educational opportunities while on the job and support continuing education through scholarship assistance.
- Intervene when children are solicited for prostitution. Work with guardians to protect at risk children.
- Introduce women and children to the love, mercy and healing power of Jesus Christ by giving them opportunities to grow strong in their faith and become influencers who impact their communities.
- Educate the public, including Thai and foreign, religious and secular, on the physical, psychological, legal and economic consequences of prostitution and trafficking. Encourage their involvement in advocacy and follow-up care.
- Equip and train leaders, visionaries and catalysts from around the world with resources and skills to combat trafficking and prostitution in their own communities.
- Set up global networks to assist in the repatriation of trafficking victims.
- Address the demand side of the sex industry through advocacy, outreach, counseling, referral, and intervention.
(This information was pulled from their website here)

Their store is full of all sorts of pretty things. Below are a few of my favorites:

(It's a Christmas ornament. How lovely!)
(These earrings are in their wood collection. I love them.)
(So classically pretty.)
(I love the color of these earrings.)
(This is a cute little pendant charm. I love the simplicity of it.)
These pretty things and so much more can be found at their store website here.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Sleepless ramblings

It is 2:45 am and I can't sleep. I think that there was a point when I was actually sleeping, but now I am not. I woke up around 1:45 and read this blog, which led to this blog and now my heart is too awake to be able to sleep. So I thought I would share about how God has been leading me to moments of insomnia lately.

I often wake up in the middle of the night as a stirring from the Lord. Sometimes He wakes me up with it on my heart to pray for someone. Other times, I wake in a state of worship because I had been worshipping in my sleep. There are also times when I am just jolted awake with a revelation of Him and how He sees me (He did that a week and a half ago and it was really cool). And then there are the times that I can't get to sleep because God just wants to spend time with me.

There have been many times over the years that I have had these sort of middle of the night experiences. However, a few months ago I realized that I had been missing the intimacy that I used to love so much with my middle of the night God time. I think it was because there are many times that God would wake me in the middle of the night and I would have a bad attitude about it. My response would be "God, can we get this over with so I can go back to sleep." (Yuck, such a stinky attitude). The result of the bad attitude was a loss in that intimacy. God simply did not wake me up much anymore.

As my heart for the deep intimacy has returned, God has responded. The truth is, I really do want God to wake me up with the things on His heart and to be able to pray into them in the middle of the night. It reminds me of the phrase in Song of Solomon 5:2 that says "I slept but my heart was awake". It has become a prayer of mine that my heart would remain awake while I sleep.

I love that God wakes me up because He just does not want to wait till the morning to spend time with me. Or perhaps, it's that He knows that I will not give Him the time that He wants in the morning (ok, I feel challenged and am going to work on that). I can't sleep right now, but I know that God is going to give me everything that I need for tomorrow. That's just the way He works.

I will finish up this post, read my Bible some, journal, and maybe get back to sleep around 4 or so. Remarkably, I will have more energy tomorrow than if I had gone to sleep at 10. God's just good that way. So, here I am Lord. Let's talk. What do you want to share with me these early hours of the day :-)

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Starvation and mini earth

I have been thinking a lot lately about the term "I'm starving." It seems that in our society a mere grumble of our stomach will find these words coming from our mouth.

You know, it kinda bothers me. Because really, we are not starving. The very fact that I write this on a computer and that you are reading a computer screen means that we are quite well off. We get hungry, but usually within the day we do something to satisfy that hunger (or at least we have the choice to).

The truth is that we are blessed. Blessed to the point of being spoiled if we allow our blessings to go unrecognized. There are so many people all over the world that know what real starvation is. They know what it means to have real hunger. As for me...I have no reason to ever have the words "I'm starving" come out of my mouth. I might be "hungry" or I might be "fasting" but I am by no means starving as a result of not being able to get food; and that is a reality for hundreds of thousands across the earth.

Count your blessings. If you have a hard time getting started, let me help.
#1: your next meal
#2: the roof over your head
#3: the clothes on your back and in your closet
... and the list goes on and on and on...

I am not trying to be a downer or make anyone feel bad. I am simply challenged and sharing my challenge with all who may care to read. There is a reality described here that we too often forget.

Check out this video for a visual of how completely blessed we are ... and appreciate all that you have:

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Who is he?

He frees.
He redeems.
His mere presence demands that the enemy must flee.
To speak his name commands the light to drive out darkness.
He has overcome sin and poured out his blood as a loving, atoning sacrifice.
He lifts my head and clothes me with beauty.
He sweeps me off my feet and calls me to walk with him.
He is truth.
He is light.
He is love.
He is my Jesus and I am madly in love with him.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Fall favorites

I love fall, like REALLY love fall. I love summer too and rave about it, but fall is definitely my favorite and here are just a few reasons why:

FOOTBALL (Roll Tide!)

Pumpkin Spice Latte (I love it!!)

The changing leaves and cool crisp weather...ahhh

The fact that as fall comes, I just feel the urge to make something. Creative juices flow.

Speaking of making things: carving a Jack - o - lantern and roasting the seeds (yum!)

Bring on the fall!!!

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