End Modern-Day Slavery

Today’s a new day! Freedom is something we all want and everyone deserves. No one would prefer not to be free. Yet, there are an estimated 40 million slaves in the world today. This brutal criminal enterprise generates an estimated $150 billion annually. Every minute of every day, people are being sold into slavery — and it is possible to stop this crime against humanity. I know it’s possible to stop slavery and trafficking in our lifetime, but the anti-trafficking movement needs more people to join the fight. Will you join the fight to end human trafficking? Someone’s life is depending on it. ~OC

I Am Wrecked…Again

Once again I am wrecked by what I see happening in Atlanta, Virginia and Minneapolis. I keep believing that one day, I will wake up and not hear about another person of color being victimized by the actions of a person filled with hate or a person quick to judge. But sadly, that seems like a dream. But hey, I am a dreamer.

So I will continue praying for my brothers and sisters of color. Praying that as you walk down the street, people will not clutch their purses or bags a little tighter. Praying as you visit a place of business, you will not be hassled. I pray if for some reason you are pulled over by the police, you will be treated with respect. I am saddened that I have to pray this prayer every day for my brothers and sisters of color. But I will not stop praying. I will not stop speaking out against injustice. I will continue to stand with you. ~OC

Take the Pledge

As I reflect on the unrest in America, I think about the powerful pledge from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. As we celebrate MLK weekend, I wanted to share his pledge of non-violence. Here is Martin Luther King, Jr.’s pledge of non-violence:

I hereby pledge myself- my person and body-to the nonviolent movement. Therefore I will keep the following ten commandments:

1). Meditate daily on the teachings and life of Jesus.

2). Remember always that the non-violent movement seeks justice and reconciliation-not victory.

3). Walk and talk in the manner of love, for God is love.

4). Pray daily to be used by God in order that all men might be free.

5). Sacrifice personal wishes in order that all men might be free.

6). Observe with both friend and foe the ordinary rules of courtesy.

7). Seek to perform regular service for others and for the world.

8). Refrain from the violence of fist, tongue, or heart.

9). Strive to be in good spiritual and bodily health.

10). Follow the directions of the movement and of the captain on a demonstration.

I sign this pledge, having seriously considered what I do and with the determination and will to persevere.

As I read the above commitments, I think about all the heroes that lived out those powerful commitments in 1963. America was dealing with major unrest, as Dr. King and so many heroes marched peacefully for civil rights. Yes, peacefully. So the question is, will you take the pledge? I have personally committed to living out these commitments. Will you? ~OC

I Will Stand Up. I Will Fight.

As I watch the news and scroll through social media, I see a lot of pain and injustice in the world. At times it can seem overwhelming. How in the world can I make a difference? Can anybody relate? Even though I cannot do everything, I can do something.

So, I have decided I will continue to stand up and do something. I will Fight.

I will continue have real conversations with other people wanting to truly make a difference in this world. Not just talk about the issues, but take some real action. I will surround myself with others who want to fight. I will continue to get educated. I will continue to listen.  I will Fight. 

I will continue to take the time to see the pain of others. I will not pass them by with a “I’ll pray for you.” No, I will stop and pray for them in that moment. I will not allow people to walk through their own crazy beautiful journey alone. I will Fight. 

I will continue to fight for the victims of human trafficking. I will continue to bring awareness to this horrible crime. I will continue to listen and learn. I will never believe I am an expert. I will continue to speak out. I will fight. 

I will continue to fight for civil rights. When I see injustice I will speak up. I will continue to listen and learn. I will take a stand even when it’s not popular. I will fight. 

I will continue to share my story and faith. God has blessed me with a story to tell. A story I must tell. I will never be ashamed to proclaim Jesus as my Savior. I will continue to respect the faith of others. I will fight. 

I know some of the things I believe in and stand up for are not popular with everyone. That’s okay. I gave up trying to be popular a long time ago. I am more concerned about living a life that is pleasing to God. Living a life of service. I will continue to Fight. ~OC

Dear Church Body

Another mass shooting. More hateful and racist tweets by some of our political leaders. Another day filled with hate in America. Where is the outcry from the Christian Community? Where is the Church?

Dear Church Members, this is not the time to be silent. A prayer for the victims of a mass shooting during Sunday service is appreciated, but is not enough. Where are we the rest of the week? Where are we when some of our political leaders are spewing hateful comments and tweets?

The Church and its members should be the leading voices against racism. Christians should be on the frontlines against any type of hate. Now is the time to be bold. Now is not the time to be silent because it doesn’t fit your political agenda. Christians should be about doing God’s work, not the work of a political party. The world is watching the Church and the Christian Community. What side of history will we stand on?

There are roughly 300,000 churches in America. There are 1,020 active hate groups in America. Which voices will be the loudest? I pray my fellow Christians will drown out the hateful words and actions of these hate groups with the love of the gospel. I pray my fellow Christians will speak out when our political leaders spew hateful rhetoric. I pray my fellow Christians will speak out against all forms of hate and racism. Once again, I will ask what side of history will the Church and its people stand on?

I pray my fellow Christian brothers and sisters do not feel I am attacking the Church or Christians. That is not my intention. I love the Church and my fellow Christians. I believe we should be the ones demanding better from our leaders. We should be the ones standing up against all forms of hate and racism. We should be the Peacemakers.

You’re blessed when you can show people how to cooperate instead of compete or fight. That’s when you discover who you really are, and your place in God’s family. ~Matthew 5:9

“I hope the church as a whole will meet the challenges of this decisive hour.” ~Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

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