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Bob Fife’s Experience: Gaining Freedom

March 17, 2017
Gaining Freedom

Bob Fife Shares his Experience Gaining Freedom

I don’t know if you have an itch to be perfect, but I do. I was a straight a student in school, and I worked so hard not to make any mistakes.  That tendency to long for good grades has snuck into my everyday life. I cannot bear to err.  And I know I fail all the time. The older I get, the more I am aware of the wickedness that resides in me. I wish it was not there.

Romans 3:23 says “For All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Everyone agrees none of us are perfect, but some have a leaning toward different sins. Sin separates us from God, but the consequences of some sins are more extreme than others.

Either way, we can become snared in sin and be unable to free ourselves.

In 2 Peter, the apostle speaks of false teachers when he writes:  “They promise them freedom, but they themselves are slaves of corruption. For whatever overcomes a person, to that he is enslaved.” This verse makes it clear that a person can become a slave of sin.  Fortunately, the Apostle John shares you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

Bob Fife was enslaved by homosexuality for twenty years. His book, Out, tells his story of breaking free.

Learn more about Bob here.

2:10 Did the church reach out to you as you entered the lifestyle?

3:10 What was your family situation growing up?

4:38 What was your relationship like with your father?

6:20 I understand you were molested as a child.

9:00 A lot of people believe a homosexual cannot claim faith in Christ. Tell me how you did.

10:35 What keeps people in the lifestyle?

11:44 What was the catalyst that brought you out of perversion?

13:45 You said the homosexual community has conditional love. Can you explain that?

 

Bob Fife

Abuse, Authority of Scripture, Commitment to Christ, Crying out to God, Emotions, Freedom, Grief, Heart of the Matter, Hope, Rape, Restoration, Waiting

Overcome Abuse: Rewriting Emotional Script

February 4, 2017
Rewrite your emotional Script

Overcome Abuse: Rewriting Emotional Script

You can overcome abuse, and we are going to talk about how that’s done.

The mind is incredible. God designed us so we can access our memories and relive events. As we do that the emotions wash over us again as if it was happening in that moment.  In fact, that’s one reason Worry is bad for us because we imagine something bad happening and our bodies respond as if it did happen. All the negative chemicals start flowing through our bodies. Those bad chemicals can make us ill.

Ladies, If you’ve lived very long, you’ve been through heartrending stuff, you’ll have baggage. Stuff from the past that weighs you down and impacts your actions and even reactions.  What can we do about that?

2 Cor. 10 5 says, “We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ,”

Today we are going to talk about how you can implement that verse and how Scripture can help you heal:

I have Becky Harling with me, and she wrote, Rewriting Your Emotional Script

2:25 Why pray Scripture? Isn’t that magical thinking?

3:12 How can God heal you with the Word?

4:00 How can we be ‘poor in spirit’?

5:30  We need God.

6:45 How is letting go different from being a victim

7:50 Why would God make you wait?

10:25 God suffers too. Is that correct?

11:40 Hard times make you grow.

Learn more about Becky here.

Becky Harling

 

 

 

 

 

Church, Commitment to Christ, Communication, Design, Dreams, Freedom, Heart of the Matter, Keeping our focus, Ministry using your gift, Walking by Faith

Overcome Fears Holding You Back: Realize Your Full Potential

February 1, 2017
Realize Your Potential

Overcome Fears Holding You Back: Realize Your Full Potential

You are a special creation with a unique gift to share. Don’t allow fears to hold you back:

We live in a consumer-driven society, and it’s very easy for us to see the church as something that serves us. We already have our hardware store, our grocery store or maybe a farmer’s market, an appliance store, a place we buy clothes. We decide what we might need and go looking for that. Unfortunately, we approach a church exactly like that.

 

I’m going to turn that on its head because I firmly believe that every Christian should have a ministry.  God speaks of us as a holy nation, a royal priesthood for his own possession. Yes, we should attend a church that has a great doctrinal stance, but its a place we can reach out to others.

 

Romans 12:3 For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned. For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function,

 

Did you notice that God doesn’t want us to get proud or self-centered? Instead, he wants us to focus on what we can give to the body.He gave every believer a spiritual gift and God wants us to use that right where we are. We are an essential part of the church body as a whole. We aren’t the whole body, but if we don’t function, the body would be handicapped, just like you’d be if you lost an eye or a foot. Your gift is essential and brings a needed skill to the body of Christ that only you can give. What a great prescription for emotional health. Valuable but not the most important!

Cynthia Cavanaugh wrote Unlocked: 5 Myths Holding Your Influence Captive. She’s going to share how we can find our ministry.

2:00 What are you trying to address in this book?

3:20 How did Rahab manage to lead from a place of uncertainty?

6:20 How can we overcome brokenness?

9:20 Share about being authentic.

Visit Cynthia’s website here.

Reach Your Potential

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bible Study, Church, Commitment to Christ, Communication, Doing Family God's Way, Educating your children, Family, Freedom, Guilt, Heart of the Matter, Home Atmosphere, Making choices, Ministry using your gift, Parenting, Prayer, Rest, Walking by Faith

Parenting Guidance: Raising Disciples at Home with Melissa Spoelstra

January 20, 2017
Raising Disciples at Home

Parenting Guidance: Raising Disciples at Home

Dr. James Dobson wrote a book called, Parenting isn’t for Cowards.  What a true statement. What an incredible feeling to hold your first baby in your arms. It’s a miracle! You examine all the fingers and fingernails. And the sweet little feet. I was a registered nurse and I checked all their reflexes. Such an experience. I had five children and I found it overwhelming each time. But I also felt the weight of reasonability. You know that your choices will profoundly impact the baby’s future.

I took psychology classes as part of my nursing, and it was impossible not to notice how many things get blamed on parents. There’s so much to think about.

I can recall wanting the very best for each baby, but I was taken aback by how different each child was. With my first two children, I said I had opposites, and then as I kept having children, they were different too. How many opposites are there? They have different needs and respond differently to every situation. I was intensely aware that I needed godly guidance. I had a disabled child, and after all the experience I had, I needed the Lord’s help.

Deuteronomy 6:7 You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.

What a command! That verse is enough to make you nervous.

Melissa Spoelstra wrote a book called T0tal Family Makeover, and she’s here to share with us.

Raise Disciples at Home

Melissa Spoelstra

 

 

 

For Melissa’s Website click here: http://melissaspoelstra.com/

 

 

 

 

2:40 You state your kids are NOT your report card. Explain.

5:55 How can you have spiritual conversations with your kids?

8:25 Explain the ‘question game.’

12:40 Questions about pain in the world.

13:40 Teaching the Bible

18:00 Teaching your child to serve.

Church, Commitment to Christ, Dreams, Finding Meaning, Freedom, Goals, Heart of the Matter, Leaving a legacy, Making choices, Ministry using your gift, New Year's Resolution, Walking by Faith

Prepare for the New Year: Make Your Life Count For God!

December 30, 2016
Make Your Life Count

Prepare for the New Year: Make Your Life Count For God:

Have you ever thought about the end of your life? When you look back over all you’ve done, how will you view your choices? After I married, my husband talked about that a lot. At first, it seemed grim. After all, we were in our twenties. Over time, however, I changed my mind.  Psalm 92 says, “Teach us to number our days that we may have a heart of wisdom.” Such good advice!

As we enter a new year, this is a great time to consider our purpose in life. Consider  Romans 12:3: “For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned.”

This verse commands us to have sober judgment, which means to think clearly about ourselves. I find it easy to be self-centered and to feel as if life revolves around me, but that’s not true. In fact, this passage tells us to acknowledge the measure of faith God has given us. If you keep reading Romans 12, you’ll discover Paul moves into spiritual gifts. He describes the church as a body and individuals as members. When you come to Christ, He gives you a spiritual gift. That’s the measure of faith Paul speaks of. When you think correctly, you realize your value in relationship to the rest of the body of Christ. The head needs the hands to do its bidding and feet for movement and balance. The body of Christ doesn’t have useless parts.  You have a special gifting for your time that no one else can fill like you can. You aren’t the whole body, but a valuable part of the whole. (What a great recipe for self-esteem: doing God’s will.)

So how do you find your purpose, your gifting? Poppy Smith is my guest. She wrote: Go For It! Make Your Life Count For God. She helps women uncover their gifts and live up to their potential.

3:00 How can we live on purpose?

5:00 How does God prepare us to be used?

7:05 His shaping.

7:40 How can we learn what we are best suited for?

Learn more about Poppy Smith here.

Go For It

Poppy Smith

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Abuse of Authority, Anger, Authority of Scripture, Bible, Bible Study, Commitment to Christ, Dreams, Encouragement, Freedom, Heart of the Matter, Hope, Ministry using your gift, Rights, Standing for your faith, Truth, Understand our culture, Walking by Faith, Worry

Worried About the Future? Christians Know the End of the Story

November 4, 2016
Revelation on Fire

Worried About the Future?

It’s really easy to worry about the future, but Christians know the end of the story. Several years ago on a Saturday morning, my husband slid into the floor and had a grand mal seizure. Wow! What a catastrophic event. In an adult, a seizure is a medical emergency.  We suddenly went from normal living to crisis mode. A sense of unreality came over me as I discovered my husband’s illness was very serious.  For the first few days, I stood by his bed and watched as doctors tried to treat his complex problem. Ultimately his full recovery took four years, and those years unsettled us all. In the same way, we live in a rapidly changing world. Events come at us so fast. These unbelievable events seemed impossible a few years ago. If anyone disagrees or questions, that person receives a nasty label. Intolerant. Bigot. Hater. I keep reminding myself that I live in America where we are supposed to have freedom of religion and freedom of speech. Many in the church are rattled and frightened. This election season had passed in a similar fashion. Americans are angry because no one listens to them in Washington.

I cannot imagine facing any of this without God. During that time when my husband was ill, the Lord sent me to the book of Daniel while I taught a class. There the Lord revealed that Daniel’s greatest dream was for his people to return to the land with a restored relationship with the father. However, God knew that wouldn’t happen in Daniel’s lifetime, so God allowed Daniel a peek into the future. Daniels greatest longing would come true, but not while he lived.

As Christians, we don’t wield control, but we can be assured that God does. The book of Revelation reveals God’s plan for the future, and we can be confident, regardless of what we see going on. God will accomplish his purpose.

My guest is Dr. Ken J. Burge, Sr. He has written Revelation on Fire a Bible study on the last book of the Bible.

2:15 Not everyone in the church believes like you do about the future. Can you give reasons why hold your position on future things?

5:00 Describe your Bible study method

9:15 Revelation said these things will ‘shortly take place.” That was written over 2000 years ago. What does that phrase mean?

11:00 What does the text mean when it says people will be blessed seven times?

12:00 Can you give reasons why you believe in the rapture of the church?

14:00 Who were the people in chapter 3 who are praising the lamb for redemption?

Learn more about Dr. Burge here.  Find his book here.

Revelation on Fire

Ken Burge

Anger, Bible, Boundaries, Commitment to Christ, Communication, Doing Family God's Way, Educating your children, Emotions, Encouragement, Family, Fighting in Marriage, Forgiveness, Freedom, Home Atmosphere, Parenting, Respect, Rest, Trust

Fight with your Spouse and Grow Together

September 2, 2016
Fight or not to fight

Fight with your Spouse and Grow Together

Someone actually advocates fighting? Wow. You’ll love their answers.

“The wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable.” James 3:17

When you got married, you probably had stars in your eyes and romance in your heart. Many of us didn’t think much about the happily ever after part, but I grew up thinking peaceable meant hardly any conflict. Here’s a story about that.

We’ve all heard of the Victorian Age, and you probably have bad feelings about that time period. Well, Queen Victoria and her husband Albert were believers. That might surprise you, but they deliberately chose to set an example for the nation.

Victoria grew up in a home without a father. Her English father died when she was an infant, and her mother wasn’t particularly wise about getting along with people. Because her mother hoped to be regent when her daughter ascended the throne.

Victoria thought that no conflict was the goal in marriage. And she was queen. So when she married the man she loved, Prince Albert, she was in charge. And she gave him nothing to do. Plus the British constitution had no role for the prince consort. Well, it wasn’t long before Albert was quite frustrated.

The good news is that Albert was a strong believer, and he set a goal of ministering to his wife/family and the people of Britain. Their beginning was rocky. Victoria would get upset and scream. She was famed for her temper, but he was gentle and firm.

Not authentic, but it represents what actually went on. There’s a story told about Albert locking himself into a room. When she knocked he would ask who is there. If she said the queen. He wouldn’t allow her in. After a couple of years, he was able to convince her he had a better way. And together they built an incredible marriage which was the envy of Europe.

My guests today are Ron and Deb DeArmond. They wrote the book, Don’t Go to Bed Angry.

3:04 What gave rise to the book?

3:42 Leaving your baggage

4:35 Arguments in the DeArmond house

5:10 Their parameters

5:40 How to set parameters

6:40 Recovery from a heated discussion

8:20 Listening actively

9:00 Knowing how you process information is key

12:00 How to ‘table’ an intense discussion

Abuse, Anger, Boundaries, Communication, Dating, Deceit, Doing Family God's Way, Educating your children, Emotions, Encouragement, Family, Freedom, Grief, Heart of the Matter, Hope, Human trafficking, Living through heartache, Mothering, Parenting, Rape, Truth

Slave Across the Street: Human Trafficking

June 10, 2016
slave across the street

Slave Across the Street: Human Trafficking isn’t across the world.

 

Cynthia: This is Cynthia, and you are listening to Heart of the Matter radio for women who want to obey God in a less than perfect world. The Bible says you will know the truth and the truth will set you free. But there are women in our world, and even close by us, that are not free. Today I have with me Peggy Sue Wells, who wrote The Slave Across The Street. She is an author of over a dozen books, has seven children of her own, and she also homeschools.

Welcome, Peggy Sue.
Peggy Sue: Thank you, Cynthia. I appreciate the time to be able to talk with you.
Cynthia: Now, The Slave Across The Street is a story, a true story, about human trafficking. Can you define what human trafficking is?
Peggy Sue: Absolutely. The Department of Health and Human Services has defined it this way. They say sex trafficking is where commercial sex act is induced by force, fraud, or coercion, in which a person is induced to perform such an act and that person is not eighteen years of age. So it can also include recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision or obtaining of a person for labor. There’s other types of services, which we’ll talk about that later on in our interview here.
Modern day slavery, that’s kind of what I really want to focus on. Because that’s what we’re going to see. That is something that consists of different aspects, including labor and domestic slavery, debt bondage, child soldiers, child brides, organ trafficking. There’s some international adoptions that are connected with trafficking. Prostitution, and sex trafficking of children and adults.
The way this works is that the traffickers gain complete control over a person’s identity or individuality through mental, physical, or emotional abuse. Normally all three. They tend to really target children, so these children are not capable of the ability to make a lot of choices that we would have. They are easily manipulated. And so they use threats and manipulation and coercion until the person submits.
Shared Help International states it this way, and I really like this definition. They say traffickers are pimps who use violence and psychological manipulation to control girls, then they convert their bodies into cash. So this is a compelled service and the victims feel that they must do what they are told, and they feel that they are unable to leave, and if they attempt to run that the people that they love will be severely harmed.
The traffickers are experts at breaking the will of their captives. They do not function with a moral compass like you and I do, or like their victims do. And after breaking the will of the victim, then they groom the victim for upcoming acts of trafficking that they’re going to have them to do.
This works generally with a traffic victim will only live like two to five years, that would be the extent of their lifespan, so this is why we want to make sure that we can get a handle on this and stop it right away.
Cynthia: How prevalent is this in the world?
Peggy Sue: You know, in the United States alone our figures show that there are a hundred thousand children that are being trafficked in the United States. And it’s in all countries. Right now it is considered the number one crime internationally, and the statistics that I saw recently said that there are more slaves, catch this, there are more slaves in the world now than there have ever been in human history.
Cynthia: Wow. When I was in my teens, I was about nineteen, twenty, my mother had me take a bus in downtown Chattanooga. I was in nursing school at the time and I was working over the summer, and she didn’t want to drive all the way downtown to pick me up. So I had to catch a bus at the end of the day in Chattanooga, and I was approached by a man I did not know. And he came to me and he said hey, how are you doing? And he was so friendly that I assumed I knew him, but I wasn’t sure. He asked how I was doing and I told him, and he asked me what kind of job I had, and I said well, I’m working right now as a secretary. I’m actually in nursing school. And this man actually proposed that I come and work in his massage parlor.
And by that time I began to get a feel that this guy was not honest and I did not trust him. And so I just told him I wasn’t interested and got on the bus and took off. But I realize now, looking back, that I was probably approached by a pimp.
Peggy Sue: Absolutely. You know, you already used one of the key terms right now, when we’re going to say where to find these in our neighborhood, massage parlors. We find our victims, here in our own communities, in our own backyard. We find these gals in bars, escort services, houses will be set up as brothels. Nail salons, ethnic restaurants, massage parlors are on this list, which is what you just brought up. Agricultural camps, construction camps, hotels.
And then I have two sons that were in the military. When I’m writing the book they said Mom, you know this goes on on military bases. And I was just like please tell me that it is not our US men that are using it. And they said Mom, are US men overseas, they’re the ones that have the money. And I was just brokenhearted. I was so sick about that.
Cynthia: So who are the three players in the human trafficking triangle?
Peggy Sue: First player is going to be the trafficker. So that’s the man that talked to you, that you met when you were getting on that bus. What he does is exactly what you are describing. He comes up, he’s real friendly, he kind of takes you off guard. They do that with children, with young girls. And the girls are completely unaware that they’re being groomed.
The second player is the girl. Usually it’s girls, 75% are girls. There are boys that are trafficked as well. But 75% are female.
And then the third player, and I think this is the key to getting trafficking stopped, the third player is what we call the john. And that’s the guy who goes in and pays money to actually have sex acts with these girls.

If there is no demand, then we don’t need a supply. So I would love to see that if we could come and have incredibly nasty laws for the johns, so that those guys will go you know what, it is not worth it. It is so not worth it, I am not even going to go, I am not even going to go do this, then they could have girls available but if nobody came, nobody was available for the supply, if there was no demand, then there would be no reason for a supply.
Cynthia: Now, can you give you some explanation as to why this person did not continue to approach me? I mean, I was suspicious, very suspicious. But still, I would have expected him to keep trying.
Peggy Sue: They look for somebody who’s very weak, somebody who’s vulnerable. And I’ll tell you, here’s the thing that’s very valuable about getting the book The Slave Across The Street, and of course this is available on Amazon. You just click on there, there’s the book. You can go to my website, www.peggysuewells.com and you’ll find The Slave Across The Street there. You click on it, it’ll take you right to Amazon to the website. And you want to pick up The Slave Across The Street.
It is the true story of Theresa Flores, who was an upscale Detroit teenager, and for two years she was caught up in sex trafficking. She was a girl that had been moved every two years due to her father’s employment. So when she comes into this new area she’s wanting to fit in, she feels a little bit nervous, and what is she going to do in this new c
ulture where everybody else knows each other and she doesn’t. And she’s a teenager and she’s hoping to be able to make friends, and maybe to have a guy think she’s cute, and that sort of thing.
She wasn’t getting a lot of attention at home. She had very busy parents and that sort of thing. And so what they do is they test the waters, and they are looking for girls that are hungry, girls that are needy, girls that are that type of vulnerability. Somebody who’s confident, somebody who’s going to stand up for themselves, somebody who’s going to move away again, they’re not going to go there.
Runaways are incredibly vulnerable for this type of situation. But the girls that are trafficked are very vulnerable. They’re not confident girls. They’re people that have a need, and these guys find that need. They just go to it, they just zero in on it like a target, and they sense it and they go.
Cynthia: I’m sure I’m not easy to trip. So maybe they saw that in my face. I don’t know.
Peggy Sue: Absolutely.
Cynthia: So what does it look like? How common is this?
Peggy Sue: It’s common. I lived in South Carolina for awhile and on Hilton Head Island we stared the Low Country Coalition Against Human Trafficking. So thrilled with the people that got together and said we want to do something about this. So they networked and pulled together all of the resources from the police to the FBI, to all the other para-church groups, the churches themselves, got together with the schools. Anybody that had an interest and said you know, we’re going to gather together and then we’re going to educate the community and we’re going to do what we can.
So as they educated the community as to what to look for, here’s what happened. There was one young man who does pest control, and so he went out to fumigate around a restaurant out there. And off to the side of the restaurant, back behind the restaurant, there was this little shed, and there was all these people crammed in there. And he went whoa, that’s a lot. So he went back and he told his mom. He’s like Mom, I was at work today, I had the weirdest thing that I saw. And she’s like you know what? I know what that is.
So she was able to get in touch with one of the police officers that works specifically with our group. They went out there, and sure enough, this was where they were holding these people that were being trafficked and they also had them working through the restaurant.
We had another one where it was an Asian restaurant, and again, these were people that were in the group and they were noticing that when they would try to have a conversation with these little waitresses in this Asian restaurant, the girls would not meet their eyes. They would not have a conversation. They would not speak with them. They seemed very scared, they seemed very cowered.
And so they kind of started glancing around, and over by the kitchen door where you go from the dining room into the kitchen, one of the workers, a guy, was standing there. And he had a bag of ice and he just kind of kept pounding it into his hand, the palm of his hand. So she said you know what, that’s not okay. So again, she let our authorities know. She said this is odd, I just want to let you know. Not trying to be weird, but you might want to check it out.
So sure enough, they went in, and then they’re very calm about it. They don’t suspect everybody. But they went in and they said yup, that’s exactly what was going on. What they were using to control these girls would they would beat them with bags of ice. So for this guy to stand there like that, he was letting them know don’t say anything to anybody because I’m watching you. So they were able to rescue those girls as well.
And then we had this wonderful lady in the northern area, little older lady, and same thing. She’s not a tattletale at all, but she noticed some people had moved in across the street from her and they had a little girl. She watched and she was so excited, there’d be a little girl, maybe she could make cookies for her and all that. Several weeks went by and this little girl never came out to play, she didn’t go to school, but there were all these cars that kept coming and parking and then they’d leave. And they’d come and they’d park, and then they’d leave. And there were all these strangers and they’d come and go, and come and go.
So she did the same thing. She called the local police and she said you know, I don’t tattle on my neighbors, I’m not one who spies on them. But she said you know, I just have this funny feeling about what’s going on. It seems odd to me. So they did, they checked it out, and sure enough this little girl was being trafficked. So they were able to step in.
Cynthia: So they had captured a little girl, using this little girl for people to have sex with. Correct?
Peggy Sue: Correct. That is correct.
Cynthia: That’s despicable.
Peggy Sue: It absolutely is. So that’s why we can look in our own area, and once we start being aware of what to look for. Another gal was getting her nails done at a place and she asked to use the restroom, and they were a little snippy about her using the restroom. But they’re like okay, fine, and they kind of pointed her back down there. So she went down, there was a door on the side that was cracked open, and as she peeked in as she walked by, you just kind of glance in, there was a mattress on the floor. And she thought, well that’s odd. Why would somebody have a mattress in a nail salon?
So, same thing. She was able to ask around about it, and they said you know, that’s generally what we see happening. We’ll find a mattress in a nail salon or a place like that, where we have people that are brought in from other countries. And then they’re brought in, their identity is taken, and they’re told you can’t speak to anyone because you’re here illegally and if you say anything you’re going to go to jail. So they’re afraid to speak up. Like I said, there’s a lot of intimidation that goes along with it.
Now, the lovely thing about The Slave Across The Street, when you pick up that book, is that it tells Theresa’s story and she’s a rare glimpse into human trafficking because she was a victim and yet she’s been able to come not only survive it, get out of it, and then she’s been vulnerable enough to tell us her story.
And so that’s what we read in the first probably two-thirds of The Slave Across The Street. There’s a lot of redemption there. People read her story and they tell me I read it in twenty-four, maybe forty-eight hours, because it’s so riveting you just keep turning the pages, what’s going to happen. And we go with her into every situation. But it’s not so graphic. I mean, you know what’s happening, but it’s not so graphic that you can’t have your high-schoolers read it. It lets you know without being ridiculous.
And then the last part of it talks about this is how to recognize it in your community. This is how to protect the community that you live in. This is how to protect the community that you’ve built by raising your family here. And so she’s got all these wonderful ways of doing that.
And then she talks about how to see it and making sure that your children are protected, making sure your children are wise and being aware of what they’re doing. So there’s a lot of great information for every reader. I think every parent should read this. I’ve had aunts and uncles say give me that book, I really care about my nieces and nephews. They’ve picked it up.
So the awareness is there, and I have to say, when people have come to me and said we’re just going to educate the girls, we’re just going to let them know what to look out for. I have to say you know what? That’s not the solution. Because none of these girls wanted to be where they are. They were tricked, they were coerced, a lot of them were picked up and kidnapped off the streets. They’re not there because they were stupid.
The people that come and take them are cruel and they’re evil. So it’s up to us as a community to be aware of what’s going on in our community and to protect our environment.
Cynthia: Wow. I know I couldn’t put the book down. I was just going to read a little bit and then drift off to sleep, and I kept turning pages. And I actually felt terrible the next day because when I did fall asleep, I had bad dreams. It was very gut-wrenching to realize that this is happening. And it’s not in another part of the world. It is in your neighborhood that people are doing this kind of stuff.
And that’s when the story of my own situation came back. I thought well, I was suspicious then, but the story laid out for me I thought oh my goodness, this was something super dangerous. I sensed it, but I didn’t think about it much. I kind of dumped it in the back of my mind and went on. Mercy. It’s just horrendous.
What are some things that parents can do to educate themselves so they know how to handle this?
 
Peggy Sue: One of the gals that works with the federal authorities in these trafficking issues, she did a symposium for us down in South Carolina. And she’s got daughters, and they’re grown and they’re on their own, and she said to them you have to watch the movie Taken. And her daughters just oh Mom, it’s just your job, you’re being silly. And she’s like watch the movie. You just need to understand what my concerns are.
So finally her daughter did. And her daughter called her back, and she goes okay, Mom, I get it. Because when her mother wanted her to understand living in another state, working where we know she was a single woman someplace else, she said please always let someone know where you are, where you’re going to be. Just have that accountability. It was just kind of a visual.
And sometimes that movie has helped people understand a little bit of what we’re talking about. Particularly for people that are very visual learners.
And then understanding what it looks like and where to be looking. And to know what the environment’s going to be that’s going to be kind of a hot spot for that. I’ve seen, there’s a group of truckers that are very vigilant against this because they know that girls are trafficked and brought to truck stops. And so there are some incredibly noble men that are in trucking and they are watching for that. We’ve had several girls rescued because these men will see these young girls there and they’re like you know what, I know they’re not supposed to be here. So we’ve had several girls that have been rescued because these men are watching for that.
They’re aware that the places that make a location susceptible where you’re maybe going to be seeing more trafficking is an area around a border, along an Interstate where there’s a growing immigrant population. And we have a lot of refugees that are coming into the United States, and they’re finding different communities where they can settle in. And they’re not always really aware of what’s going on. There’s the language situation for them, so if they can get plugged in with church groups right away they can help them be able to understand how to learn and function here in our community in safe ways. That’s a good thing.
I know our area here in Fort Wayne, I mean who knew? We’ve got a large Bosnian population that’s come here, and so our churches have reached out to them and set up community centers. They’re helping them so that they are able to plug in and not be taken advantage of.
Proximity to large universities. International corporations, agricultural industries. Again, we talked about military bases. And then along coastal waterways like what we had down in South Carolina. The sea islands down there, there’s a hundred and seventy islands down there. They used to do a lot of pirating. This is a different kind of pirating.
So it’s kind of just being aware of what are the factors that make a location susceptible.
 
Cynthia: Well, in the book it described a girl being approached like I was, and sort of groomed in the sense that she came to trust someone. Then they began to exercise control. Can you talk a little bit about how they control these girls?
Peggy Sue: Yeah. In Theresa’s situation she, again, very needy, wanting to fit in, wanting somebody to like her. So this boy starts paying attention to her. Then it’s like here, let me give you a ride home from school, even though she knew she wasn’t supposed to she went with him. Then instead of taking her home he takes her to his home, and then she knew she shouldn’t go in but he’s like oh just come in for a minute, I’ve got to get something, I want to get to know you better and then I’ll take you home.
And of course then he gives her a drugged drink, and then he rapes her. And then a couple of days later when she finally picks herself up and goes back to school, he gives her a manila envelope, and there are photos of her. This had all been planned out ahead of time. So while he was raping her one of his cousins was there taking photos.
Now, these 8×10’s, on those photographs, you can’t tell whether it’s a rape or whether it’s just consensual. And of course, there is the blackmail. If you do not do now what we ask you to do, we are going to show these to your parents. We’re going to post them all over the church. We’re going to post them all over school.
And again, you’re talking to a young girl. Not somebody who’s going to be able to stand up and say knock yourself out, go ahead, and call their bluff. This is a child; it’s someone who’s really feeling like they’re vulnerable.
Anytime she did maybe say I’m not going to do what you want, or have a little bit of hesitation, her dog would be taken away and was killed. Then she saw her brother be threatened. So she ended up feeling like she was responsible for the health and even the lives of her family. And so that’s the kind of thing that you’ll see happening.
There’s always this incredible coercion where the stakes are so high for the victim. They feel so responsible to protect the people that are precious to them. That’s what they do. They are doing what they can to protect other people.
Cynthia: And what got me was that this was going on for two years and her parents did not know until finally she got in a situation where a policeman brought her home when her parents thought she was in bed. So the whole thing was happening while everybody else was going to school and nobody checked up on her to see if she was where she was supposed to be. It just went under the wire, completely. And it just blows your mind.
Peggy Sue: And there were two things that went along with that. First off, her parents were not particularly tied in. And that’s one of the things I love about Theresa, and you as a homeschool mom, me as a homeschool mom, one of the things that we always say is be tied in with what your kids are doing. Be aware of where they are.
My friends that have their children in public school and have them in private school, we always tell them stop in once in awhile. Absolutely show up at their PE practice, or pull in one day and sit in on their class. Show up during lunch and surprise them. But you need to be the one who drops them off at school, pick them up. You need to be the one that takes them to their band occasions, their sports events where they go. You be that parent that is around that knows who their circle of influence is, who knows the people there that they’re hanging with and they’re hanging around them. You be the home that everybody comes to, because that way you’re able to make sure that your children are protected.
Theresa didn’t have that going on in her life. Some of the people when they would maybe, like some of the school people, maybe would be a little bit suspicious, but they were also being threatened. The other thing is who would, on the face of the earth, imagine such a thing would go on? Which is another reason why her parents, even when the police brought her back, they couldn’t fathom it. They couldn’t accept it. So even when the police brought her back and suggested this might be happening, they dismissed it. They’re like that’s not possible. They just could not imagine that such a thing was going on.
That’s the other thing; it seems so fantastic that some people just don’t follow it. So it is so important for us as parents, and I know parents a lot of times will send their kids to bed and then not check on them again. We’ve all heard stories. I mean, my aunts will tell me stories about slipping out of her bedroom to go hang out at her friend’s late one night, and she said her mother found out and the next morning there was a very large cactus planted right outside her window.
But the cute thing about that was the mother was aware. And the message was clear. You know what, baby doll? You belong in bed at night, not out on the street, and I’m aware, and I care about you. And so as parents it’s very important we check on our children throughout the day, throughout the night. Know where they are.
We have to be involved with them. We have to know who they’re talking to on the Internet. We now all have cell phones, and so our children have phones. We have no idea who they’re talking to on their phones. We need to check those regularly, see who’s on their contact list, we need to check their histories, we need to have conversations with our children, who are you talking to.
The computer that they are on needs to be in the common area of the house so that, again, you know who that they are conversing with over the Internet. There need to be times where the Internet is off because you’re just doing homework. You need to have nannies on your computer so they don’t get into sites that they’re not supposed to.
I do know of a case where there was a man who got on and just groomed a girl over the Internet, then managed to meet up with her somewhere else. And she was a very young girl, he was far older than her, and we had the same situation with her. So it’s very much we as parents, because our children are young, they’re immature, we make goofy decisions as adults, you know. But a child needs guidance; they need a parent.
We parent our children longer than any other species on the planet, and it’s because as humans we need that extra guidance. As parents we need to make sure we are involved with our children, know where they are, give them guidance, instruct them, teach them, and help them to know how to make wise decisions and to stay out of things that are not going to be safe for them.
 
Cynthia: Well, I never told my mother that story. I guarantee you if I had told her she would have picked me up every day from school and taken me home. But she never dreamed that would happen.
Peggy Sue: Now that’s fascinating, Cynthia because that’s you have just absolutely put your finger on exactly what happens with victims. Because what happened in that, what was the shame involved that you didn’t tell your mom? You see?
Cynthia: I wasn’t ashamed. I just wrote it off and never thought of it again, because I didn’t feel like I was in danger because I said no to him.
Peggy Sue: Got it. Got it. A lot of girls get approached by something like that, and they’re just so embarrassed they don’t say anything, and then it’s allowed to escalate.
Cynthia: All those years went by and when I read the book that story resurfaced, and I thought I was in more danger than I realized.
Peggy Sue: You were. And praise God that you were protected in that moment. And, like Theresa said in her book, as she was going along, it was towards the end of her two years, she saw them starting to groom another girl at her school. She knew what it looked like. And the same thing with you. This man approached you, you said no, but he was going to be looking for somebody else.
So we need to really be in prayer that people are going to be safe, God will intervene.
Cynthia: And keep an eye out for this kind of stuff. Because I would never have been concerned about my girls. We were there most of the time, we homeschooled as well, and there were times we let them have freedom. But we generally knew who they were with and what was going on. We had our antennas up all the time. So the Lord took care of us.
But no, I would have never been that concerned had I not ready your book. I just never would have dreamed it being that common.
Peggy Sue: Yeah. And our lifestyles are so much busier now. And again, we used to be so much more connected as families. We had more situations where there are more moms, perhaps, at home more often. Maybe they work part-time, maybe they’re full-time at home, we have more moms that are out. Presently right now 50% of our children in the United States are expected to live in a single parent home sometime before they reach age eighteen.
So when that happens, what goes on there? We have one parent who’s left, the other parent who’s trying to keep this family clothed and fed. So they end up going to work. And so generally we end up with children that are spending a lot of time unsupervised. And that’s not a good recipe either.
With our prior we had a phone that was sort of connected to the wall, or we had our little ones that we could carry around. But it was the home phone. So when it rang, even if your kid picked it up, you heard one side of the conversation. You knew who your child was talking to. We don’t know that anymore. They’re texting, their phones are quiet, they’re under their pillow at night. We don’t know. We have to really make a big effort to be involved in our children’s lives in order to help guide them, so they make good decisions.
Cynthia: Right, absolutely. Well, I have just been so blessed by this conversation and I know that this is information that people need for their own children. So where can we find you, Peggy Sue?
Peggy Sue: You can get ahold of me very easily and send questions or comments through my website,www.peggysuewells.com. Also, if you want to get The Slave Across The Street, you can find it on my website there, they’ll be able to hit the button and it’ll take you straight to Amazon to order it. Or just go straight to Amazon and the title that you’re looking for is called The Slave Across The Street. It will say Theresa Flores on the front of the cover, because it is her story. Peggy Sue Wells is the writer, I’m on the inside, because again, I wrote her story but it is Theresa’s story.
Theresa does speak occasionally. You’ll see there will be conventions and symposiums going on about trafficking. You’ll catch her speaking there. You’ll see her during the soaps. They put soaps with the hotline for trafficking, the sticker on it, and they’ll put that in hotels. They’ll go into hotels like during the Super Bowl and they’ll take posters in and say hey, we’re going to leave these posters for you. These are forgotten children, we’re sort of looking for these kids, and they’ll put the posters in there. A lot of the hotel people will say oh yeah, I know her, she’s in here all the time. And then they’re able to go oh, awesome, we found this girl, we’re able to rescue her.
Once you know Theresa’s name you’ll be able to occasionally spot her out there because she’s an advocate for being involved with stopping trafficking.
Cynthia: Well thank you for doing this, because this is something that’s needed. And I appreciate knowing more about it so that we can be aware. Blessings to you.
Peggy Sue: Thank you. Thank you so much, Cynthia.
Cynthia: Listeners, we would like to hear from you. Give us your feedback at cynthia@clsimmons.com
Slave Across the Street

Peggy Sue Wells

 Peggy Sue Wells
Boundaries, Commitment to Christ, Doing Family God's Way, Educating your children, Emotions, Family, Freedom, Heart of the Matter, Home Atmosphere, Leaving a legacy, Parenting, Porn, Responsiblity, Safety, Technology, Understand our culture, Walking by Faith

Family Internet Safety

May 27, 2016
Family Internet Safety

Family Internet Safety

Family Internet Safety begins with living unselfishly. You might wonder how I put that together. Let me explain.

Several years ago, my husband and I took a trip with my oldest daughter. At the time, she was young enough that either my husband or I carried her a lot. During that journey, the weather was much cooler than I anticipated, and I didn’t pack warm outerwear. While out visiting the sites, and a lady walked up and said, “She needs to be wearing a sweater.”

I immediately rubbed my arms to generate some warmth and said, “Yes, it’s chilly today.”

But when I turned to look at the woman who spoke, she wasn’t staring at me. She had focused on my daughter who sat in my husband’s arms. How embarrassing! First, I’d made the mistake of leaving warm clothing behind. Secondly, a lady was worried about my daughter, and I assumed she was talking about me.

At that moment, I got an idea of how self-centered I was. I should have been thinking about how the cold might impact my daughter.

 

Scripture teaches us to be ‘other-centered.’ That is, God doesn’t want us to live to meet our own needs. Instead, he wants us to consider the other person, and as parents, we should be considering our children in every decision we make. I believe that’s one of the biggest benefits parents receive. If we go about our job the right way, we become more mature because our focus goes to our children. Other-centered thinking is healthy.

 Of course, Jesus is the ultimate example of unselfishness. Even though he was God, he came to lay down his life for us. The humility there still jars my thinking every time I ponder it. God chose to put aside all his prerogatives to allow himself to suffer and die. How much more should I be doing the same thing?

As parents, the internet and any device connected to the web offers our children a portal into pornography. Boys and girls can see images they are not old enough to view. Many become addicted, and that includes women. This practice is so damaging to marriages, families, and children.

Mike Genung has a ministry to families in this area, and he’s going to give us a few tips on Family Internet Safety.

Family Internet Safety

Mike Genung

You can learn about his ministry here.

Bible, Church, Commitment to Christ, Communication, Finances, Freedom, Goals, Heart of the Matter, Love, Missions, surrender, Walking by Faith

New Money Mindset Combines Freedom with Loving others

April 15, 2016
Money

New Money Mindset Combines Freedom with Loving Others

Money is an uncomfortable topic. I have an acquaintance. I believe she stopped going to c because the pastor asked for money one too many times. I don’t know about you, but I can be tempted by money. I’ve always hated to back up when driving. A year or so ago,  my husband bought a car with a rear camera that shows behind you as you back. I have to admit feeling envy over his rear camera. And I can justify it, I’m so bad at backing up. That drive to get the latest iphone or techy device tends to hang over us, me included.

The Lord brings this verse to mind often: “look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.” (2 Corinthians 4:18) My focus needs to be on eternal things, things that last forever. The latest invention will be old in a week and useless in a few years. Things we cannot see will last for3ever. With that in mind, my husband and I have deliberately chosen to live so that we have a surplus to give to the kingdom.

Here’s a testimony from the church at Macedonia: “We want you to know, brothers, about the grace of God that has been given among the churches of Macedonia, for in a severe test of affliction, their abundance of joy and their extreme poverty have overflowed in a wealth of generosity on their part.  For they gave according to their means, as I can testify, and beyond their means, of their own free will.”  (2 Corinthians 8:1) The church there in Macedonia wasn’t rich, but they gave anyway. Awesome!

Brad Hewitt is my guest. He’s co-author of New Money Mindset. He shows how you can choose your attitude toward money and control your money rather than allowing your wants to control you.

Financial advisor

Brad Hewitt

Learn more about Brad here.

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