Sex Trafficking: Experiencing Restoration, but Still Running

My very smart sister is getting a Masters degree in Social Work. She’s very passionate and learned about sex trafficking. Plus, she spent three months in India working in a restoration house for rescued women. I continuously learn and receive inspiration from her.

She appreciated this article and thus, I thought it ought to be shared here. It’s a good reminder that fixing a circumstance doesn’t necessarily heal the heart issues. This is the same with individuals as it is with nations etc. For example, the toppling of a dictatorial government does not bring a nation into instant health and wholeness. There is still inner healing needed. Much of one’s inclination to run, to return to old ways, and to rebel against kindness is in one’s broken sense of identity. When true identity and value is felt, actions and perspectives will shift too.

What do you think about this?

 

Middle East Monday: Freedom for Palestine & Coldplay

There is much rumbling in the Middle East these days: the conflict in Israel and Palestine; and the rising of ISIS in Iraq are both horrible events that I soon hope and pray will end.

In the midst of such clamor, some are using their public roles to raise awareness. One such example is the band Coldplay. Check it out. 

Coldplay

“I loved the reactions when I told Christians I was a Playboy porn producer” – ARTICLE

Recognizing that people are often drawn to the secret things people hide, I genuinely hope those who read this article don’t do so simply for the sake of voyeurism, but in order to be truly affected by a look at the awful realities of the porn industry. Then, I hope people are radically impacted to make a change.

A change begins with one person. You can be part of the solution. Will you?

 

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Tell girls, “You’re pretty BRILLIANT” not just “you’re pretty.”

This video is good. I don’t agree with some of the emphases, but the overall message is golden. I remember being INCENSED as a kid when it seemed like 95% of the compliments I got were about physical appearance. I recognize that many of those people were well-meaning, but it was very unbalanced. For me, I was a straight A student and had a plethora of other things I worked hard to accomplish, learn, and understand. THOSE were the things I was most passionate about. THOSE were the things that truly made me ME. Those were the things I invested copious hours into. It wasn’t the prettiness of my dress or the beauty of my little girl curly hair, it was my inner roar – my vision, my desire to change the world and my willingness to do it, my imagination, my creativity, and so forth.

I’ve since calmed down to where I can appreciate a compliment about physical beauty (toward me or toward someone else) – and I do think there is worth in that, not based on society’s standards of physical beauty granted, but based on being able to see the true glory and physical beauty in every single person. It’s great to recognize beauty in architecture and it’s great to recognize beauty in people too. However, it’s infinitely valuable to look beyond the surface and cherish, encourage, and celebrate people for who they truly are.

Let’s re-think the way we talk to girls in particular, shall we?

World WReligion Wednesday: Dhammakaya Buddhist Temple Has Room For 1 Million

One of my favorite quotes about faith is, “All truth is God’s truth.” Saint Augustine said it. It gives joy to discovering the realities of some truth in various religions. For example, the focus on inner peace in Buddhism is a real asset. I don’t agree with Buddhism as a whole, but I cherish the appreciation for peace. There is something to be learned there. Anyhow, Buddhism now has a temple with room for a million people! Check it out!

Dhammakaya Temple by Constantinos Catsoulis on 500px

When my husband told a kid that he’d also have a strong wife: another adven-nurture moment come to life!

My husband is a truth-speaker. He loves to proclaim his love for me as well as my great value. He also loves to inspire others toward the power of marriage. My heart exults over these things about him. 

A couple weeks ago, we were in San Francisco, walking with my parents. Along the sidewalk where our feet were finding their way, pleasantly parallel to the embarcadero, there was a wooden curb of sorts to our right. It was essentially a 3×3″ piece of timber, about 8 feet long, used to keep people and things from negatively effecting the construction project underway to our right. We noticed a boy, about eight years old, trying to figure out a way to walk on that beam. My husband encouraged him that it was possible and hopped up on it, using my right shoulder for balance.

“See!” he said, “It’s easy! You can do it too! For me, my wife gives me the strength and support I need to do this and many other things in life. One day in the future you can have a strong wife too, who helps you accomplish great things you couldn’t do on your own. Right now, your mom might be able to help you walk on the beam though. Okay, bye!” 

 

The moment was priceless. 

Travel is innately better with this man by my side. We give each other great strength, supernatural strength even. Whether navigating Qalqilya in the Palestinian Territories or enjoying the sunny wind of San Francisco, we get to bring our co-strength and inspire others, even whole cities, with it. Ah, travel! It nurtures our souls, yes; however, we also get to nurture souls wherever we go. 

There is adventure, which we love; and there is ADVEN-NURTURE, which we thrive in! 

Go find some adven-nurture today! Let us know what happens! 

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Middle East Monday: How powerful is YOUR passport?

I lived in Israel and the Palestinian Territories for three years: 2006-2009. I knew there was a global inequity regarding the utility of certain passports. I knew mine was more of a door-opener than many. This reality was made painfully obvious by the restrictions placed upon the Palestinians I lived amongst. Most of them were unable to LEAVE the Palestinian Territories at all. They couldn’t go into Israel proper, they couldn’t get visas to other nations, and this greatly influenced their worldview, their concept of identity, and their sense of injustice.

Likewise, when I was in Baghdad in 2011, I talked with a number of people with a similar problem. However, for many of them, it was a matter of emigration. They wanted to leave Baghdad and they could not get a visa etc to do so. Thus, they were stuck in a war zone. That is absolutely awful. Can you imagine the sense of powerlessness, desperation, and hopelessness one might feel? Daily, friends and family are dying from acts of war and terrorism. You worry about your family, your kids’ safety, and your family’s income in the state of national instability. Not only that, you are exhausted from the daily journey of normal activities which could find you unwittingly at a bomb site, harmed or even dead. That is a very rough life.

Ironically, the following infographic doesn’t represent the Palestinian Territories! That is a further indicator of the lack of awareness about the issues therein.

So, wherever you are from, be thankful for the mobility you have – even if it is limited. Moreover, open your mind to have more compassion and understanding for those who are without some of the simple options you take for granted.

ALSO, what are you going to do with YOUR passport? It’s a key, you know. A key to new places, new spaces, new faces. It’s a courier train, taking your ideas from your norm to someone else’s norm. It’s a library that flies. It’s a thing of wonder, possibility, and beauty.

It’s a pass to other ports. Enjoy it. 🙂