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Living through heartache

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Spiritual Warfare: Persevere with the Armor of God

April 12, 2017
Persevere with the armor

Spiritual Warfare: Persevere with the Armor of God

We are in the midst of a war, how can we find the stamina to keep going? Let me tell you a story.

Let me tell you a story. I have a disabled child and I homeschooled. I took him in for evaluation and the person I used recommended I take him to professionals several days a week for therapy. Leaving that lady’s office, I wondered how I could follow her instructions with my four other kids. I chuckled to myself that I would have to put somebody up for adoption, something I’d never do.

This child’s issues broke my heart every day. When I tried teaching him the simplest jobs, he collapsed into brought blood-curdling screams. “I’m stupid. I’m stupid, I’m stupid.” For instance, teaching a child to count is easy. You pick up blocks and say one for the first, two for the second.The only problem was my son couldn’t do that. Picking up a block required he use his fingers with the right amount of pressure. It took too much concentration.  Saying the numbers in the right order, sequencing was also terribly hard. He could never do the two things at once. I never did do what the lady recommended.

I hired part-time therapists and worked on their goals until we met again. However, it was an inch by inch proposition whenever I taught him anything. He had neurological issues due to his seizures, and he could not concentrate. I had three seconds if I held my face to his, almost touching his nose. That makes teaching really tough. Many mornings I prayed fervently in my bedroom before I went downstairs to work with him.

As wives and mothers, we will face challenges. Where and how will we find the courage and perseverance to stick to the task? Katy Kauffman is my guest today. She has written a Bible study based on 2 Timothy, and it’s about perseverance.

2:50 What does God have to say about not giving up?

3:50 Describe perseverance for Jesus.

5:00  What do you think of Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane prior to his crucifixion?

6:10 How can we deal with those who reject Christ without being preachy?

8:00 What does the heart of a warrior look like?

Katy Kauffman

 

Learn more about Katy here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

[tweetthis]Helmet of Salvation: Protect your mind[/tweetthis]

[tweetthis]Don’t forget your armor today, Christian[/tweetthis]

 

Bible, Christmas, Christmas holiday, Communication, Depression, Emotions, Encouragement, Family, Grief, Heart of the Matter, Hope, Living through heartache, Love, Redemption, Rest, Restoration, Time, Walking by Faith

Cynthia Ruchti: Christmas and God’s Restoring Love

December 23, 2016
restoring Christmas

Cynthia Ruchti: Christmas and God’s Restoring Love

Psalm 51:12 Restore to me the joy of Thy salvation, And sustain me with a willing spirit.

  We celebrate Christmas because God came to earth as a baby to die for our sins. That’s a pretty huge event, very worth celebrating.For many people, it’s a painful time. You may have sustained a loss during the year or miss someone who died years ago.  We don’t often think about Christmas and restoration in the same sentence, but my guest, Cynthia Ruchti wrote a book, Restoring Christmas. What an interesting concept!  I looked up the word restore and found it occurred about seventy times. (depending on your translation, that may vary.)

After giving the matter some thought, I agree with Cynthia. Jesus came to earth to be our redeemer. He came to pay the price for our sins so we can have restored fellowship with God.  But what about all those other hurts we experience? Cynthia shares her heart on heartache during Christmas.

 

1:45 Share the basic story of the book

5:35 Did any event in your life prompt this story?

12:10 Talk about restoration for those hurting places.

19:50 Jesus is close to the broken-hearted. Share with people who may be there this year.

21:25 What about folks who are stumbling through Christmas with sadness or depression?

[tweetthis]I can’t unravel, I’m hemmed in hope[/tweetthis]

[tweetthis]Christmas is all about God’s love[/tweetthis]

Restoring

Cynthia Ruchti

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Learn more about Cynthia here.

 

 

Bible, Commitment to Christ, Death, Emotions, Finding Meaning, Heart of the Matter, Leaving a legacy, Living through heartache, Perseverance, Putting Others First, Walking by Faith

Defying Death Defines Life: Consider Your Legacy

November 18, 2016
Devying death defines life

Defying Death Defines Life: Consider Your Legacy

Facing death can make you serious about life. When the Apostle Paul faced death, he wrote the following words: ” I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that Day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing.” (2 Timothy 4: 7-8 ESV)

Have you ever considered what you might think on your deathbed? What would you be glad you did? What actions would you like to change?

Several months ago, I started seeing double, and as a retired nurse, I was afraid. I couldn’t think of any illness that wasn’t quite serious that would produce those symptoms. I hurried to my doctor, very glad he could see me quickly, and I prayed for God’s presence.  It made me think seriously. Am I loving others enough? Or Am I too selfish? It’s easier to ignore a little jam stuck to the countertops when life and death issues emerge.

Today I have two guests, one is Paul Perkins. He’s a banker from Missouri who has had severe health issues and died several times. His tortuous journey included a kidney transplant and a heart transplant. He’s telling his story along with Anita Brooks. Anita Brooks had her own near-death experience. She’s an author and speaker who assisted Paul with the book.

2:15 Paul, how did facing death change you?

3:50 What lessons stuck?

7:30 Anita, what got you through hard times?

10:00 Paul, you received two organs.  How does it feel to have organs that belonged to someone else?

12:05 Anita, how does it feel to be an organ donor?

13:25 Anita, what was the recovery like for you?

15:45 Share how these experiences gave you courage

Learn more about Paul here and Anita here.

[tweetthis]What will your legacy be?[/tweetthis]

Death Defied: Life Defined

Bible, Commitment to Christ, Crisis Preparedness, Crying out to God, Emotions, Encouragement, Family, Heart of the Matter, Laugh, Living through heartache, Making choices, Organization, Praise, Prayer, Responsiblity, Rest, Safety, Stress Reduction, Trust, Worry

Crisis Preparedness

August 13, 2016
Don't Panic

Crisis Preparedness: Don’t panic

I don’t know if you’ve ever had a time when you felt panicked, but I have. My youngest son is disabled. With numerous overlapping issues, he’s severe. I was homeschooling him, and I saw intelligence despite his barriers. A series of events led us to seek complete testing. The idea of testing bothered me because I worried how well he could perform  with the number of problems he had. In  time found a neuro-psychiatrist who came highly recommended. The doctor administered test over a few days.

At last came our final appointment. My husband and I would meet with the doctor for test results and a final diagnosis. That was the scariest day.  The diagnosis he received would impact him for the rest of his life.I can recall my heart pounding and my chest tightening at the thought of driving to the office.  I survived by praising God. All day I sought the Lord. I praised him for the air conditioning in the car, the blue sky, the car, the fluffy clouds, the dress I had on, my favorite color. Those prayers kept me calm enough to hear what the doctor had to say.

Think about the words Paul wrote in Philippians four: “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and thanksgiving make your request known to God and the peace that passes all understanding will guard your heart and mind in Christ Jesus.” Those words are easy to say. Doing it can be much harder.

Today I have Maureen Pratt. She’s written a book called, Don’t Panic, which teaches how to prepare for a crisis.

3:00 The story behind the book

5:00 Living through tornado

9:45 How do you react in a crisis

11:45 If you are hyper focuses

12:20 Deep Breathing

18:00 Spiritual preparation for a crisis

19:20 The role of friends

21:20 Crisis preparedness kit

26:00 How can a crisis be a good thing?

Don't panic

Maureen Pratt

Learn more about Maureen here.

 

Tweetables:

[tweetthis]Prepare for a crisis[/tweetthis]

[tweetthis]Learn how you react to a crisis[/tweetthis]

Anger, Authority of Scripture, Bible, chocolate, Church, Commitment to Christ, Communication, Crying out to God, Death, Emotions, Encouragement, Family, Grief, Heart of the Matter, Living through heartache, Love, Parenting, Praise, Trust, Truth, Walking by Faith

Healthy Grief Processing

July 1, 2016
Carol McLeod

Healthy Grief Processing – Carol McLeod is my guest today. She’s an expert on grief processing after losing five babies.

Nobody wants grief. Truly! Like many of you, I grew up in America. All my life I expected good things. WE had the freedom to pursue whatever career we wanted, and I had dreams of being gloriously happy. On the other hand, the church taught we would face heartache. I heard that, but I’m not sure I really believed. My husband was the same way. He even commented how he was tired of singing about the ‘Sweet Bye and Bye’ while ignoring the ‘nasty now and now.’

However, the longer you life, you see heartache and sorrow. I can say now the Lord has walked me through some grueling times, things we never dreamed we’d face. Now I sense the brokenness of our world. It’s shocking the intensity of the pain we see. God designed us to live in a perfect work, and we ache when we see tragedy.

My husband calls Romans chapter eight ‘Groaning 101.’ “For we know what they whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth until now. Woe! you talk about childbirth, and we ladies can relate. That’s serious pain. And yes, that’s our world.

But the Apostle Paul wasn’t finished. “For I consider the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed.” (Romans 8:18) That’s a pretty huge contrast. The sufferings, however hefty they may be, can’t outweigh the glory we will have. What a statement. We all need that hope.

Here’s a guide to topics you might enjoy in the interview:

How to be attuned to God: 2:20

J0y Defined: 3:50

Healthy Grief: 6:5

Process your grief: 7 :25

David’s Grief: 8:5 Seconds

Broken Heart: 6:40 Seconds

Carol’s addiction: 13:45 Seconds

Life in Layers: 11:32 Seconds

Listen to Carol McLeod below:

Speaker, Bible teacher

Carol McLeod

You can pre-order Carol’s book here.

Tweet:

[tweetthis]God is close to the broken hearted[/tweetthis]

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
Bible, Commitment to Christ, Communication, Crying out to God, Emotions, Encouragement, Family, Freedom, Heart of the Matter, Hope, Living through heartache, Making choices, Perseverance, Responsiblity, Second coming, Standing for your faith, Walking by Faith

Navigate Deep Waters

February 26, 2016
Navigate deep waters

Navigate Deep Waters:

Our world is changing fast. It reminds me of a World War II movie I saw. An SS man roughed up a citizen and told him to learn the new laws or else. That’s not far from our situation today, especially with the recent death of Antony Scalia. Regardless of how we vote, we feel as if we have no voice in our government, and we worry that we’ll be told what we believe isn’t legal anymore. It’s easy and even tempting to become victims, or simply to give in. I’ve heard people talk about going with the flow. In Scripture, however, we are called to make choices. Joshua lined up the Israelites as they readied themselves to enter Canaan. He said,  “Choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell…” That’s a powerful command. He didn’t want them to be passive.

We aren’t, however, the first generation to face hardships. In particular, World War II was a dark time in history. Nobody wanted another global conflict. Too many men died in the Great War, and peace at any price sounded good. (Remember that speech by Neville Chamberlin?) But when Hitler swallowed most of Europe, people began to realize the tyrants overseas wouldn’t go away.  Today we face spiritual warfare that rivals that war. Conflict in the spiritual realm isn’t new either, but the intensity we see worries us.

We’d all welcome good news.
Today I have Sarah Sundin. World War II is her favorite era, and she completed extensive research on the living conditions of that time. She wrote Through Waters Deep, regarding the opening of the war. Listen to her lessons from history. Enjoy!

Author

Sarah Sundin

Learn more about Sarah Sundin here.

Anger, Bible, chocolate, Church, Commitment to Christ, Communication, Crying out to God, Emotions, Encouragement, Family, Freedom, Heart of the Matter, Hope, Laugh, Living through heartache, Parenting, Prayer, Stress Reduction, Walking by Faith, Worry

Too Blessed to be Stressed

January 23, 2016

Too Blessed to Be Stressed

I could win an award for worry. Years ago, when I attended nursing school, we studied various diseases while learning how to care for each type patient. As I read over the symptoms, I would swallow hard and remember having all those things happen to me. I’d decide I had that particular disease. After worrying over every malady we studied, I saw the pattern and tried to stop.

But I didn’t stop worrying, especially during those early years of marriage. If my husband was a little late coming home from work, I would imagine him in a smashed up car on the side of the road. He’d be dead every time. And then I’d envision the police coming to my door. At times when he was very late, I would think about what I might wear to his funeral. By that time, my emotions would be so intense, that I’d lose it when he walked in the door. The worry turned to fury, and I wouldn’t want to talk to him.

It took me a long time to understand how my thoughts produced anxiety, but I finally learned to pray about my fears and think about good things. It’s still hard, even today. Like a dog licks his wounds, I want to focus on the part of life that’s not right.

Philippians 4:6 says, “do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

Further along in the chapter, it says, “…whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

I believe God put those verses there just for me. As I grow older, I’m learning more and more ways to handle stress the right way.

Today I have Debra Coty with me. She’s a delightfully funny lady who has written a book called Too Blessed to be Stressed. She’s going to share her heart with us so we can even chuckle a little as we let go of anxiety.

She has a cookbook, Too Blessed to be Stressed Cookbook. This month her readers are competing in a contest to lose weight. You can learn more about Debora here.

Bible, Cancer, Commitment to Christ, Communication, Death, Emotions, Encouragement, Family, Family Dinner, Freedom, Grief, Heart of the Matter, Hope, Leaving a legacy, Living through heartache, Love, Parenting, Prayer, Trust, Truth, Walking by Faith, Worry

Love a Dying Friend

January 9, 2016
Jill and Kara's story

Love a Dying Friend? What a tough assignment! But let’s start at the beginning of the problem.

All of us, realize something is wrong. We live in a world of disappointment, sadness, sorrow, and misery. However, God designed us to live in perfect world, without pain. We can share times sorrow left us devastated, empty and alone.  Even those of us who grew up in healthy families can share deep hurts. For instance, in ninth grade I took Spanish. To master the language, my friend and I wrote each other notes. Someone ridiculed me in front of an entire class for that. That’s nothing compared to what others have suffered, but it was pain. I was embarrassed and devastated.

My grandmother moved into our house when I was young, and I suffered verbal abuse at her hands. She made me feel worthless and useless. I could never please her. Even now at times I feel like I don’t measure up.

Ladies, I believe Satan finds a way to leave an ugly mark on us all.

Romans 8:22 – 23 For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.

I feel that groan, and I’m sure you do also.

What a blessing when someone comes alongside as a friend and shares that pain. I think about that passage in Hebrews three that says “But encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called “Today,”

Today I have Jill Buteyan. She just completed a book called Just Show Up.  She walked alongside a dear friend suffering with cancer and she gives advice on how to do that.

Learn more about Jill’s friend here.

Learn more about Jill here.

Her facebook is here.

Twitter: @JillLynn

Author Jill Buteyan

Jill Buteyan

Bible, Christmas holiday, Church, Commitment to Christ, Emotions, Encouragement, Heart of the Matter, Hope, Leaving a legacy, Living through heartache, Love, Praise, Prayer, Trust, Truth, Walking by Faith

Consider Mary, Jesus’s Mother

December 25, 2015

Consider Mary, Jesus’s Mother:

Today I want you to put yourself in the shoes of Mary. Imagine with me. Picture the angel arriving. In many places in Scripture, people displayed symptoms of shock when an angel appeared, so it’s pretty incredible to see the supernatural. The angel started off by saying Mary was highly favored and said that she will be the mother of the promised Messiah. Wow! Imagine how that felt.

Think of all the frustration she faced when she informed her mother and father she was  with child. Maybe they guessed when she got back from Cousin Elizabeth’s house. Either way it wasn’t fun. Imagine her concern about  Joseph hearing the news and not understanding. Can you picture relatives rolling their eyes and saying they’d never heard that excuse.

Think about how she felt while riding to Bethlehem on a donkey when she was about the give birth. Nothing feels comfortable when you’re nine months pregnant.

Imagine how she felt giving birth in a stable and wrapping the child in whatever cloth she had and placing him in a manger. Remember that a manger was a feeding trough for animals. Not pretty and clean. Ugh!

 

Today I have Christy Fay with me, she wrote Reclaimed: uncovering your worth. It’s a Bible study about five women in the genealogy of Jesus.

What kinds of things had the Lord done to prepare her for this time?

How did he use these events in her life?

How does this impact our lives?

Learn more about Christy Fay and her ministry here.

Author and Speaker

Christy Fay

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