Who will be a friend to child prostitutes paralyzed by fear and guilt?

•September 13, 2009 • 1 Comment
Who will be a friend to child prostitutes paralyzed by fear and guilt? Who will come to carry them when their spirits are broken and their bodies are strung out on drugs? How will they believe in the invisible God that wants to be their friend, when they see no friends in the people visibly around them?

Belonging in community is an important theme throughout the stories of Jesus, but many of the stories make a distinction between community that is alive in the Spirit and community that is constrained by the Law. In a community of the Spirit, words, actions, passions, and desires begin to line up and result in true worshipful response to God. In community based on Law, people talk about doing things in line with their passions but then they never find the time, energy, motivation to do them. Community held down by the Law often gets in the way of the transforming power of God. To be a friend to the oppressed children trafficked in our city, we must, as a community in the Spirit, worshipfully and obediently carry these children from their context of oppression straight to the feet of Jesus regardless of how difficult or inconvenient that might be. Then they will see the invisible God at work in us, be reconciled through the power and presence of Jesus, and be healed.

“One day as [Jesus] as teaching, Pharisees and teachers of the law who had come from every village of Galilee and from Judea and Jerusalem, were sitting there. And the power of the Lord was present for him to heal the sick. Some men came carrying a paralytic on a mat and tried to take him into the house to lay him before Jesus. When they could not find a way to do this because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and lowered him on his mat through the tiles into the middle of the crowd, right in front of Jesus.

When Jesus saw their faith, he said, ‘Friend, your sins are forgiven.’

The Pharisees and the teachers of the law began thinking to themselves, “Who is this fellow who speaks blasphemy? Who can forgive sins but God alone?”

Jesus knew what they were thinking and asked, ‘Why are you thinking these things in your hearts? Which is easier to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’? But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins… .” He said to the paralyzed man, ‘I tell you, get up , take your mat and go home.’ Immediately he stood up in front of them, took what he had been lying on and went home praising God. Everyone was amazed and gave praise to God. They were filled with awe and said, ‘We have seen remarkable things today.’

- Luke 5:17-26

If A Child Prostitute Dies, Who Hears About it?

•September 12, 2009 • Leave a Comment
If a child prostitute dies, who hears about it? If we fail to to see them when they are alive, then we will fail to see them when they have died. Perhaps we don’t see more resurrections in America because we fail to truly value human life. If we do not value the breath of the living, why should we have hope for the quickening of the dead?

“As [Jesus] approached the town gate, a dead person was being carried out — the only son of his mother, and she was a widow. And a large crowd from the town was with her. When the Lord saw her, his heart went out to her and he said, ‘Don’t cry.’

Then he went up and touched the coffin, and those carrying it stood still. He said, ‘Young man, I say to you, get up!” The dead man sat up and began to talk, and Jesus gave him back to his mother.

They were all filled with awe and praised God.”

- Luke 7:11-16

Stop Child Trafficking Now

•May 8, 2009 • Leave a Comment

My friend Brian Audia at Surgance has connected me with a group called Stop Child Trafficking Now, or SCTNow for short.  They are mobilizing teams of military trained professionals to monitor to bust sex trafficking rings — bringing to justice both the suppliers and those who are demanding child prostitution.

To support the cause, the are hosting benefit walks in major cities all across the country on September 27th.   SCTNow would like at 1,000+ people to walk here in Vegas, and I think they can count me on being one of the 1000+.  I can already imagine people from all different backgrounds out there with me. It’s fun to think of the church people and prostitutes both coming out to protect children from slavery. I can also imagine casino workers and strippers and government officials and small business owners; agnostics, Christians, Buddhists, and atheists.  

The founders of SCTNow are Ron and Lynette Lewis. Both are dynamic speakers on the evangelical Christian circuit, who desire to use their influence to motivate people toward change. Samples of their talks can be found on their websites and podcasts, and I’ve enjoyed what I’ve listened to so far.

This is just a brief look at what SCTNow is doing.  I hope you’ll do me a favor and check out www.sctnow.org. Then come back and let me know what you think. Would you walk on Sept 27th?

Life Update: 1Q 2009

•April 23, 2009 • Leave a Comment

It’s been a while since I’ve updated this blog, and I wanted to take second the buckle down write get something out to you all.  In the least I can write life update, and at best I will tell you something is encouraging, or useful, or the insightful.

Here are a few highlights of what I’ve been doing since Christmas…

- I took a trip to California to visit friends of the family. I had a fantastic time visiting, and even took a day trip to Napa.  It was slightly rainy, but the grey was overshadowed by the beauty of the late winter green of the valley.  I’ve had an interest in the viniculture for months, and it was SO fun to see the vineyards in person.  I’ve sense bought three merlots and three cabernet sauvignons, which are the beginning of my own small vineyard.  The vines will take years to mature, so I tell my friends that I’m on a 10 year plan… For more practical immediate purposes, I’ve also planted vegetables in my front yard.

- I have not been writing as many church reviews, because responsibilities at my own church have increased.  My blog has fallen prey to the typical tension between breadth and depth. Where previously I was able visit a variety of churches, my constant movement prohibited me from being able to build into the lives of the Christians in my own community.  For the time being, I must focus there, and will be unable to write church reviews in the near future.  You will probably see a shift in focus for this blog, but I hope you will still find the information here at Sexy Religion to be an interesting read and helpful resource.

- I’ve been taking computer programming classes for College of Southern Nevada, which has eaten into my time energy.  The basic Java and SQL skills that I learn this summer will help me to work with programmers in the future, and help me manage any future website projects that I see on the far horizon. 

- My friends and I have been volunteering on a business startup called Grace Village Vegas. It’s a for profit venture that seeks to give 30% of it’s profits to mobilize volunteers and workers for community development.  It also hopes to establish standards of the excellence based on Christ-like values. GVV is committed to challenging its employees toward love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, kindness, gentleness, and self-control.  The business is still in the very early stages (it’s still working through the incorporation process), but they have already started planning community development projects. I’ll probably be volunteering for these projects, so I’ll keep you posted.

Alright, my lunch break is about over, so I better say goodbye for now. I’ll try to post again sooner rather than later.

Christmas Service Guide 2008

•December 23, 2008 • Leave a Comment

My apology for the initial format of this post, but I’m glad to include the information. I hope it will be helpful…

Central Christian (Henderson)
1st Service Date: 12/23/08
Service Times: 5:30P, 7P
2nd Service Date: 12/24/08
Service Times: 2:30P, 4P, 5:30P, 7P
Website URL: http://centralchristian.com/henderson/
Sermon Theme: A Vintage Christmas

Hope Baptist
1st Service Date: 12/24/08
Service Times: 3:30P, 5P, 6:30P
Website URL: http://www.hopebaptistchurch.com/
Sermon Theme: (Unknown)

International Church of Las Vegas (ICLV)
1st Service Date: 12/24/08
Service Times: 7P
Website URL: http://www.iclv.com/
Sermon Theme: (Unknown)

South Hills Church Community
1st Service Date: 12/24/08
Service Times: 4P, 6P
2nd Service Date: 12/28/08
Service Times: 8:30A, 10A, 11:30A
Website URL: http://www.south-hills.org
Sermon Theme: Silent Night Heard ‘Round the World

Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton
1st Service Date: 12/24/08
Service Times: 4P, 7P, 9P, 12A
2nd Service Date: 12/25/08
Service Times: 6A, 8A, 10A, 12P
Website URL: http://www.lasvegas-diocese.org/parishes_st_elizabeth.html
Sermon Theme: (Christmas Liturgies)

St. Joseph Husband of Mary
1st Service Date: 12/24/08
Service Times: 4P, 7P, 9P, 12A
2nd Service Date: 12/25/08
Service Times: 8A, 10A, 12P
Website URL: http://www.stjosephhom.org
Sermon Theme: (Christmas Liturgies)

St. Thomas More
1st Service Date: 12/24/08
Service Times: 4P, 6P, 10P, 12A
2nd Service Date: 12/25/08
Service Times: 8A, 10A
Website URL: http://www.stmlv.org
Sermon Theme: (Christmas Liturgies)

Club Christ: A Brief Introduction by the Las Vegas Sun

•December 15, 2008 • Leave a Comment

Club Christ, an Christian after school program for kids of North Las Vegas, was featured in the Las Vegas Sun this past week.  I hope you’ll take the time to read the article:

Club within, an island of calm, safety, helps children find path to success

I’ve spent some time at Club Christ helping kids with their homework and going on a couple field trips. The way they handle their outreach is straight forward and honest. No qualms are made about why they are there: They love Jesus, they love these children, and they believe that Jesus is the best thing for these children.  In a neighborhood once known as “40 Block” because the dominant gang would mark its territory with the vodka bottles, Club Christ has been not only a symbol but a real presence of grace and peace.

I may write more about Club Christ later.  For now, I want to make sure you didn’t miss the Vegas Sun article.

Christmas Church Guide 2008

•December 11, 2008 • Leave a Comment

Jesus and SantaThe Christmas Church Guide 2008 is coming. It will include the Christmas Service Schedules for many of the churches that have been mentioned in previous posts and pages. Check back soon for the full details.  In the meantime, I enjoyed this video from Central Christian:

Jesus & Santa

 
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