Imagine dipping a fragrant, blossoming red rose into a vat of slimy mud, then pulling it out and letting it dry. The next day, and the next, repeat. Day in and day out, the mud caked petals would soon fall and the essence of the beauty would be stolen, yet the flower’s core remains. Its’ DNA is still a rose, but circumstances have drastically altered its’ future.
No metaphor can truly exemplify the torturous, yet profitable, treatment endured by young girls and boys ensnared in the human and sex trafficking web. Yet during Super Bowl week, leading up to the Big Game, the sex trade industry will be at a fever pitch, despite the freezing temperatures. While sports lovers enjoy the “ice bowl,” many other men will be rolling in limousines, literal mobile brothels, or shacked up in hotels dipping roses into mud.
It’s a sick and twisted example of a broken male culture. Men acting worse than animals buying in to each other’s uncontrollable desire to spoil the innocence of youth for their selfish short-term satisfaction.
“New Jersey has a huge trafficking problem,” said Rep. Christopher H. Smith (R-N.J.), who is co-chairman of the House anti-human trafficking caucus. “One Super Bowl after another after another has shown itself to be one of the largest events in the world where the cruelty of human trafficking goes on for several weeks.”
Recent news agencies reported that New York and New Jersey law enforcement are bolstering efforts to address this dirty trade that goes behind closed doors. Even airlines are training personnel to lookout for possible pimps and victims. But I’m reminded of Sodom and Gomorrah, two cities overrun with sexual temptation, lust and sexual appetite and other wicked behaviors. No measure of law enforcement could save these cities. I wonder if the same is true of the heightened level of sex trafficking that comes with every Super Bowl game.
This is a pass-along blog to the woman or women in our lives. I started Every Man Ministries to help awaken the sleeping giant in our world -- men. But women are so critical to life and to my mission I thought I’d dedicate this one for the girls.
Throughout my career of studying men in the Bible, counseling men in rehab, authoring materials for men, pastoring men, speaking to thousands of men and leading my own family, the more I realize our enemy wants men to be distracted from what really matters. Our faith in God, our values to love Him, love others, and to shepherd His family as the spiritual leader are all under attack. Many of today’s social illnesses are due to a breakdown in the family and lack of having an active dad at home.
Men matter. But unfortunately, many men take their armchair stance and avoid getting in the game to make a difference.
My goal is to start a movement of men who are unafraid to address battles at home and in their private worlds; men who openly and actively seek teaching about issues men face every day. My strategy is to use current worldly culture and give it a spin to learn God’s perspective. Every Man Ministries supports men who are following Christ, or investigating Him, while on their journey battling tough topics typically not shared in open forums. We provide the largest library of video teaching from today’s best contemporary teachers and make it available online anytime, anywhere.
But we need women in the game too! While men watch videos from our Media Vault and read our blogs, women may be wondering, “What's in it for us”?
Here are a few things you (men and women) should know about Every Man Ministries, and how it will benefit you:
The Olympic Games symbolize a world of cultures coming together in peaceful assembly to compete. Even as news of bombings and terrorists threaten to dampen the spirit of peace, the Games will continue to bring the world together, winning the peace. Why? Because there is a higher purpose which prevails over lesser conflicts.
while the Games bring peace for a few weeks, we all have conflicts to resolve at home, at work and in our relationships. Winning the peace is absolutely important to God. Jesus is even named the “Prince of Peace” and peace is a fruit of the Spirit of God that blossoms when we are following God’s ways. Peace is mentioned in the Bible more than 200 times, often used as a greeting and instruction. For example:
- “Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.” -- Psalm 34:14
- “Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification.” -- Romans 14:19
Jesus said in John 13:35 that “...Everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” So, we have a mandate to win peace and show love. Remember, God allows disagreement to provide the necessary pressure required to develop our character and grow us up. There is a purpose behind conflict and pressure.
God knows conflict is inevitable. But He also knows destruction resulting from conflict is optional.
It’s always easier said than done, right? The enemy also uses conflict and lies to confuse our minds, and too often we say things we don’t mean, and speak before we think. Wars have started and ended with words. So how do we defuse the bombs that blow up relationships?
As we move through the new year, here are a few guidelines for how to resolve conflict, win peace and find God's desire in disagreement. But first, we have to assume:
Both people, or parties, must want peace between them. If one person would rather fight to be right, or just fight, rather than find a resolution, then it’s impossible to move forward.
With more than 1.11 billion users, Facebook has become a staple in today’s modern culture, a revolutionary social and marketing tool, massive industry with its own vernacular. Let me add a new phrase, the “Facebook Fumble”. This is one with devastating repercussions.
By nature, Facebook was designed to connect with old and new “Friends.” It’s like having a high school reunion online, anytime. You can “Like” people, photos, comments and corporate brands and receive regular “Posts” on your “Wall.” You can create “Groups” of individuals with similar interests. You can also “stalk” others from a virtual distance by viewing photographs, comments of others.
Facebook is so ingrained into our society it’s even one of the fastest ways to spread news, outrunning the television and media outlets to breaking events. These days, people wake up to the morning cup of jo and read their Facebook before other news sources.
I call it the “Facebook Fumble” because more than a third of divorce filings last year contained the word “Facebook,” according to a survey by Divorce Online, a UK-based legal services firm. The American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers says 81% of its members have used or faced evidence plucked from Facebook or other social networking sites over the last five years. And, 66% of the lawyers surveyed cited Facebook foibles as the source of online evidence with 1 in 5 adults reported to use Facebook for flirting.
Facebook is one ball you don’t want to drop. It can bring you down. It can ruin the “trust” in a marriage, and lead to affairs -- virtual or physical.
Here’s the rub: While Facebook is a great social networking tool -- and one I’m involved with -- it has the power to expose the cracks in men’s character.
Tips to Avoid the Facebook Fumble
It’s inevitable and universal, as soon as Christmas winds down and December 31 appears on our phones, we all face a new year with new opportunities. Many are resolving to lose weight or gain greater income or set some other goal, typically requiring will power and time management skills -- both of which often fade within a few weeks.
If God were writing our resolutions, what do you think He would come up with?
I think God wants us to make “time for a change.”
Throughout the Bible, we see that God is a God of change. He’s the ultimate game-changer, a change-agent that changes things, people, hearts and minds.
But it requires a slight, but powerful, paradigm shift of the rudders steering our energies and expressions. We’re all given the same amount of time, and as hard as we try, our calendars often have more control over our schedules and lives than we realize. We get caught trying to do more within our allotted days, leading us to fatigue and frustration when we can’t check off the items on our list.
God doesn’t have the same time management problem we do. He’s “omni-everything.” He is The Great I am, who was and is and is to come. He’s the Alpha and Omega. What really matters if we look through His lens that’s not restricted to a clock? How should we use our time in His mind? What does God consider effective use of our time?
From His vantage point, life is more of a question about priority and perspective, not time -- a life of meaning, not efficiency.
The Bible says our lifespan is like a “vapor” that vanishes quickly.
“Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, and spend a year there and engage in business and make a profit.” Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away.” -- James 4:13-14
After reading that, you can feel that God is way more concerned about meaning rather than urgency or efficiency. He wants us to do the meaningful things now, because we may not have time tomorrow.
Instead of making a list of resolutions and trying to cram more into your day, consider making just one. Make time for a change. Here are a few suggestions: