Monthly Archives: June 2014

Human Trafficking

There are more slaves in the world today than there were during the transatlantic slave trade. explains:Human Trafficking

The latest global estimate according to the International Labor Organization (the United Nations agency that deals with global labor issues), calculates that nearly 21 million people are victims of human trafficking worldwide. Roughly 4.5 million of those victims are trafficked for the purpose of sexual exploitation.

Many people are unaware of the modern slave trade.  Women and children, and even men in some cases, are literally bought and sold like products.  In one of the best documentaries ever created on this topic, Nefarious: Merchant of Souls, one brothel owner in Amsterdam compared it to ordering a pizza.

Some people in society actually argue that prostitution is an issue of women’s choice or freedom of expression. Nothing could be further from the truth. It is largely about slavery, greed, manipulation, and control.

I spoke about this topic shortly after learning about human trafficking.  To become more aware of this issue, you can listen to the audio of my message and read the notes.  However, I would strongly urge you to watch the Nefarious documentary and check out the ministry behind the documentary Exodus Cry.

Christian Maturity

Christian MaturityGrowing up.  That term can be used to mean a lot of things to a lot of different people.  In this lesson I seek to uncover why it seems many Christians never make it past the most basic levels of maturity in Christ.

This is a touchy subject, because no one ever truly wants to admit their own immaturity; however, it is something that we all deal with in our walk with God, and something that we all must outgrow.

Although I’m sure many of us can observe those around us, and even our own selves if we are willing to be honest, and recognize the fact that we may not mature as quickly spiritually as we do physically.  Some of us still struggle with the same things after being Christians for many years, yet others seem to grow up very quickly.

Why is this?  That is the question I attempt to answer in this lesson, and I believe it begins with gaining an understanding of the beings that God created us to be.

Biblical Preparedness

Biblical Preparedness  A couple of years ago I started thinking a lot about self-reliance.  You know, being able to take care of my family even if the economy takes a turn for the worse, or if the power goes out for a week, or if I lose my job.  There is a lot of great information out there about practical ways to prepare for your family, and then some crazier “hollywood-ized” presentations of “prepping” that would lead you to believe that being prepared to take care of your family has to come with a conspiracy theory, or paranoia, or maybe even a little bit of craziness.

The more I studied about prepping, the more I began to be concerned with whether or not my concern was rooted in fear or a lack of trust in God.  So, I began to search out this topic in scripture and found that–not only is prepping found all throughout the Bible–it is actually an act of faith to be prepared.  God honors preparation.

This lesson teaches a Biblical perspective on prepping, and endeavors to give Biblical grounds for why Christians should see physical preparation for hard times as an act of faith in God to do what He has always done.

One scripture that I’ll add here that I believe is always great to meditate on when it comes to prepping would be:

Luke 12:15-21 (NIV)

15 Then he said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.”

16 And he told them this parable: “The ground of a certain rich man yielded an abundant harvest. 17 He thought to himself, ‘What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.’

18 “Then he said, ‘This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store my surplus grain. 19 And I’ll say to myself, “You have plenty of grain laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.”’

20 “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?’

21 “This is how it will be with whoever stores up things for themselves but is not rich toward God.”

Bible Study: Fire Inside

There are many ways in our walk with God to have fire and passion stirred up insideBible Study Fire Inside of us; however, absolutely nothing can replace the power of the Word of God to stir our hearts to burn.  When we actively seek understanding from Jesus as we study the Bible, then we absolutely burn inside–whether we immediately recognize it or not.  The disciples on the road to Emmaus experienced this.  After realizing that they had been speaking to the resurrected Christ, they looked at one another and said “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?”

I originally taught this lesson in 5 parts, but here the audio is presented in one lesson with the original notes provided split up into days.  Here are the topics covered:

  • Day 1: Why Study the Bible?
    In this lesson I discuss the main reason to study: to know the Truth, and the truth is a man.
  • Day 2: How to Study the Bible
    In this lesson I explain the main differences between Bible Study and Devotional Reading.
  • Day 3: Creating a Bible Study Action Plan
    In this lesson I discuss why many of us don’t study the Bible, and offer 4 main types of Bible study that provide an easy entry point into Bible study.  I also provide information about many helpful study tools.
  • Day 4: Journaling (Pray-Reading the Scripture)
    In this lesson I give direction on a commonly used technique for truly seeking truth and engaging with the Holy Spirit while studying the Bible.
  • Day 5: Practice Journaling
    In this lesson I give further advice on specific ways to read through a passage of scripture to get the most out of it: Repetitive Reading, Emphasis Reading, and Negative Reading.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on the teaching, or to answer any questions you have.  Leave comments below.