Friday, February 3, 2017

Challenged

This is a blog post I wrote for XP Missions on one of the places in life I am challenged lately . . .

http://www.xpmissions.com/challenged/

Is not this the fast that I have chosen; to loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the bands of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and that you break every (enslaving) yoke?
Is it not to divide your bread with the hungry and bring the homeless poor into your house – when you see the naked, that you cover him, and that you hide not yourself from (the needs of) your own flesh and blood?
Then shall your light break forth like the morning, and your healing (your restoration and the power of a new life) shall spring  forth speedily; your righteousness (your rightness, your justice, and your right relationship with God) shall go before you (conducting you to peace and prosperity), and the glory for the Lord shall be your rear guard . . . And if you pour out that with which you sustain your own life for the hungry and satisfy the need of the afflicted, then shall your light rise in darkness, and your obscurity and gloom become like the noonday.
And the Lord shall guide you continually and satisfy you in drought and in dry places and make strong your bones.  And you shall be like a watered garden and like a spring of water whose waters fail not.      ~ Portions of Isaiah 58 (Amplified)

This portion of scripture has been challenging me lately.  Sometimes we think that when everything is in order, we are feeling super anointed, our careers are stable, we have a bigger house,  our ministry or our families are perfect, and all provision is available, THEN we can minister to the needs of those around us.  I’m fascinated by this portion of Isaiah 58 where it talks about “dividing YOUR bread with the hungry and bringing the homeless poor into YOUR house.”  Also, “And if you pour out that with which you sustain your own life for the hungry.”  This infers that it is not out of your bounty, savings account or surplus, but out of that place of “here is what is in my hand,” “here is what is sustaining me.”  Giving out of right where we currently are, whether well fed or hungry.   I love it when I see and hear stories from my family and friends of how they have opened up their lives and homes to those in need.  Now, of course this must be governed by the leading of Holy Spirit, but I love the stories where Holy Spirit leads and there is a good and fruitful outcome.  The Bible even talks about us entertaining angels unaware (Hebrews 13:2). 

I love how XP Missions is continually guided by the Lord in their rescue of women and children, feeding those in need, educating and coming alongside those who are hurting.  I love how they go after wickedness and dark places and set the oppressed free.  In prayer and in practical demonstration.  I love how they have shared their bread and clothed the naked.

In this area I am challenged continually.  This Christmas, a lady stopped by my house (while I was away), and spoke to my husband.  She wanted to know if our guest house was available for her to stay in.  She was in crisis and looking for a place to stay.  When, my husband told her our guest house was in use, she said it would be no problem for her to stay on some property she owned in our region in her newer truck with her dogs. At the time, our foster kids where here and we had divided the kids up into the guest house to sleep.  It was almost Christmas day and we were full-blown in the festivities of the season.  My husband had me call her back and I explained to her that our children were staying in our guest house and I would not be comfortable with a stranger staying with them.   She said she was a school teacher, grandchildren of her own and she totally understood.  She would be fine staying in her truck. 

I was disturbed as the nights were in the 30’s and it was cold.  I would drive down to where I thought she was staying at night and could not find her, so I would pray for her.  I could not shake feelings of great concern for her, so my husband and I decided to offer her our office.  It had the space for a cot and we have a very comfortable large couch in the office, private French doors and it was warm.  This would put her right in the middle of our lives over the Christmas season.  I must admit, I was not comfortable with a stranger spending Christmas with us, as we are more of a private family.  My kids were not happy about the situation, but I could not shake the need to reach out to her.  So, I called her and offered our office to her, as it was warm and comfortable and access to a bathroom.  She graciously declined and said she was fine.

I continued to have a lack of peace surrounding thoughts of her.  I walked over to her property and could not see her truck from the road, so I prayed for her.  I kept asking the Lord what I could do for her.  Then I remembered our pool bath.  So, I called her back and told her that since she was camping if she wanted to use the bathroom and shower, she could have our pool bath during her stay.  I never did hear back from her.  I figured she must have returned to her family and spent Christmas with them. 
We celebrated Christmas, thankful for warm and cozy family time. After the first week in January, I got a call from a neighbor sharing that there had been a death on our road, a lady had been found with a truck and dogs. I was in meetings when I got the call, I left the meeting with my heart sinking and tears filling my eyes.  This had to be “her”.  I called my husband and he began to research.  I called the police detectives and left a messages.  Was it a homicide?  Suicide?

We confirmed that this was indeed the woman who had stopped at our home over Christmas. We found that there was no criminal activity surrounding her death. It sounded like a suicide situation.   

My heart and my daughter’s heart just wept, everyone in our family was heartbroken.  What could we have done differently?  Had we handled this situation right?  I replayed the conversations and voice mail interactions in my head and found peace in feeling that we had done what was right.  But, what I had failed to do, was be more aggressive with the continuous prodding’s of my heart.  I wanted to walk onto her property, through the brush and find her.  I wished I had kept calling her and checking in, even when I did not get a response. 

I’m learning to lean more into Holy Spirit when he puts situations and people on my heart and does not lift them off.  Isaiah 58 says that, “The Lord shall guide you continually”.  Not, only am I challenged by Isaiah 58 to open my life up and let God pour me out to those He puts on my heart, but I’m also moved by His response to us . . .

Then shall your light break forth like the morning, and your healing (your restoration and the power of a new life) shall spring forth speedily; your righteousness (your rightness, your justice, and your right relationship with God) shall go before you (conducting you to peace and prosperity), and the glory for the Lord shall be your rear guard . . . then shall your light rise in darkness, and your obscurity and gloom become like the noonday.  And the Lord shall guide you continually and satisfy you in drought and in dry places and make strong your bones.  And you shall be like a watered garden and like a spring of water whose waters fail not.   ~ A Portion of Isaiah 58

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Parenting Teens Summit

My Teen & Pre-Teen
I have signed up for this Summit and would like to invite all who are parents, grandparents, guardians and those who work with teens to watch with me.  It starts today and is all virtual on-line and best of all it is FREE.  Raising teens is such an honor, a challenge and an utter joy.  In our home we are sobered by the thought that if our daughter, who is fifteen, leaves our home for mission school or college immediately after high school as planned, we only have 3.5 years left with her in the home.  We want to do the best job we possibly can in raising her, so an event like this is definitely on my radar.  Join Dr. Ravi Zacharias, John Eldredge, Roxanne Stone, Dr. Timothy Keller, Daniel Fusco, Dr. Kara Powell and many, many more starting today . . .

http://parentingteenssummit.com/home?affiliate=83

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Poplars . . .

For I will pour water on the thirsty land, and streams on the dry ground;
I will pour out my Spirit on your offspring, and my blessing on your descendants.
They will spring up like grass in a meadow, like poplar trees by flowing streams. 
~ Isaiah 44:3-4

I have been meditating on different parts of the book of Isaiah lately and receiving the promises of God for Israel into my life also. I know that God is the same yesterday today and forever (Heb. 13:8). I know that all the promises are "Yes" and "amen" in Christ (2 Cor. 1:20). If God can/will do it for Israel, He will do it for me. :-)

I love this promise in Isaiah 44:3-4 - I take it as my own that God will pour His Spirit out on my offspring and His blessing on my descendants. They will spring up like grass in a meadow. Have you ever seen grass spring up? Because we live in the desert, it is more common than ever to see grass "spring up". We will have these warm, desert sunny days, in spring, mixed with a monsoon rain and following them grass will grow and will literally "spring up". To me this is a picture of my children (springing) leaping, rising, and thrusting forward or suddenly be released in the Holy Spirit.

But the next part of this verse really touched me, "like poplar trees by flowing streams." My children are likened unto poplar trees. A poplar tree is an amazing tree, in that, it can be planted and used in a wide range of climates and soils. One of the many uses of a poplar tree is phytoremediation (taking up heavy metals to purify polluted soils) of degraded sites, rehabilitation of fragile ecosystems and forest landscape restoration. My children, full of Holy Spirit, have a purifying and rehabilitating nature that can be placed in various circumstances (climates & conditions) and release a restoration into that atmosphere. Simply put - my kids will stand tall, pulling out all the toxins and pollution of the society around them and release redemption and restoration into the climate of society. This is a beautiful promise.

Sometimes at high altitudes, Poplars are the only trees that can grow and they will be planted to provide a protective barrier from high winds and make a community livable. Wow! They also are able to absorb nitrogen arising from intensive livestock farming. This cracks me up because we live in cattle farm country and dairies. Sometimes you walk outside and that is all you smell. So, it's fascinating to think of my kids as carbon sequestration tools. :-) Taking the toxins out of the atmosphere around them and standing tall in the power of the Holy Spirit.

So, today, this is the prayer for my children (and you can join me for yours): "God, please fill my children afresh, with the fullness of Holy Spirit and may they walk in great blessing. May they spring up and leap in the fullness of Holy Spirit and restore and redeem society around them. May they shift atmosphere's and make communities around them livable, and free from toxins. May they pull out and remove from society, impurity, and rehabilitate communities and nations. And may the stream of Holy Spirit, like that of Ezekiel 47 come upon them and overtake them and release them into life abundantly, growth and fruitfulness. For this is the heritage of the servants of the Lord!
He will be like a tree planted by the streams of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also does not wither. Whatever he does shall prosper. ~ Psalm 1:3

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Family

My Family
If you have followed my blog for any length of time, you will notice that it is all about my FAMILY with intermixed thoughts and comments. :-)  Some of you have followed the journey of my husband and I sharing a bit of our marriage pain.  My blog was actually started seven years ago, when I felt God nudge me to start writing a blog with lots of articles on God's grace - His power and ability in us.  At the time my husband, John was not walking with God, and I felt impressed to blog on my "thoughts" that would inspire him in his journey back to Father.  My blog has changed sites and a lot of the old content is archived.  It has now morphed into pictures of family and my God thoughts, but I am thrilled beyond words to testify that seven years later, not only has my husband fully returned to God, but he is walking in freedom from sexual addiction and wants his story to testify to God's redemptive goodness. 




I wrote a chapter in a book, recently released entitled, "Family".  An edited short version of this chapter was in a magazine article I shared several months ago on this blog.  This book has various authors sharing insights on the Family.   It will be a great read!  I am so totally for the Family as a bedrock for our society.  

The chapter in this book feels bigger than just a simple chapter.  If I had been asked to write a chapter on any other subject, I would have whipped it out and been done and moved on.  But this chapter was such a huge place of vulnerability, exposure and came with some wonderful support and some not so wonderful judgments.  I must admit, I don't know if I ever would have written such a vulnerable, raw chapter if John, my husband, had not strongly encouraged me and for anyone other than Patricia King.  I trust Patricia and know she hears from God and she felt impressed to ask us to write some of our story.  I have followed Patricia King for over 17 years.  I trust her prophetic insights. Adore
her heart of Love.  I'm inspired by her tenacity and drive that continually has her as a Front-liner and Pioneer in new territory.  I am thankful that she has mentored me for years through her teachings.  Many times when I could not articulate clearly what I felt God was impressing on my heart, I would pick up a teaching from Patricia and she would put words to concepts and truths that God was unveiling to me.  I love this lady and am honored to be one of the chapter-authors in her new book.

I am so incredibly touched by the many lives that have walked with John and I on this journey to recovery out of sexual addiction.  First and foremost I am thankful to Jesus for His constant companionship. Holy Spirit for His truth that anchored me.  Father God, for His unending love that surrounded me, and for the times I just needed to crawl up on His lap and have a good cry.  Secondly I am thankful to so many family members, sisterhood and friends who came alongside us, opened their homes to us, supported us, did not pick sides between us and pushed to see God redeem something beautifully.  Thank you!  You know who you are and just let us know if you want your own personal copy of the book "Family".  And of course, thank you to my husband, John, for allowing me to share some of his story.  He is a king in stature and so humbly allowed some of our journey to be shared with the world.

So, with high hopes that those who read our chapter will look past the pain and into the HOPE that Jesus offers, here is the book:

http://store.xpministries.com/products/family-book-ebook-various-authors?variant=29070123657

Here is a little excerpt from the end of the chapter . . .

We are the new covenant temple of God and God is so totally for our families to be rebuilt, restored and renewed into their original intent and purpose. He has an inheritance free from shame, a double portion and everlasting joy to bestow upon our families.   He is looking for a people who will turn to Him with all of their heart and with all of their soul and with all of their strength, just like King Josiah of old. Josiah did not find his identity in his grandfather or father.  He pursued an identity in His Father God and it changed a nation.   We and our children, have been purchased by the blood of Jesus and are of a pure and spotless bloodline.  We have the DNA of our Daddy God and great grace, through all that Jesus purchased, that enables us and our children, to be fully victorious in the society around us.


Let me invite you to lift your eyes and set your gaze high.  We model for our sons and daughters a kingly anointing, like that of King Josiah and invite our children into a place of non-tolerance for immorality.  As King David said, in Psalms 101:2-3 “I will be careful to live a blameless life . . . I will walk within my house with a blameless heart.  I will set no vile thing before my eyes.”   The Family Mountain is worth fighting for and we fight from a place of rest, knowing who we are and who our Daddy is.  The family mountain is in need of being rebuilt.  It takes one life at a time, fully devoted, fully surrendered and yielded to the Father, willing to respond to the question, “Do you love me?” with a resounding “Yes!”  And I will be love on the earth starting with my family.  


“They will rebuild the ancient ruins and restore the places long devastated; they will renew the ruined cities  that have been devastated for generations.  Strangers will shepherd your flocks; foreigners will work your fields and vineyards.  And you will be called priests of the Lord, you will be named ministers of our God.  You will feed on the wealth of nations and in their riches you will boast. Instead of your shame you will receive a double portion and instead of disgrace you will rejoice in your inheritance.  And so you will inherit a double portion in your land and everlasting joy will be yours.”  ~ Isaiah 61:4-7

Sunday, January 22, 2017

2017 Prophetic Insights

I love the things God stirs in us at the beginning of every new year.  I love to quiet myself to hear Him and then find that what He is speaking to me, He is also speaking to many others.  It's so fun to be a part of the Body of Christ on the earth and experience Him together.  I hope to get some time to sit with a cup of tea and blog on what God has been speaking to me and stirring for this new year soon.  But for now, I would like to invite you to this event today . . .

Tonight, Patricia King will be sharing live, in person, and on webcast, prophetic insights and words for 2017.  The webcast is free and worship starts at 6:00 pm Arizona timezone.  I would love to invite you to join me (I will be serving at this event) and many others as we hear what is prophetically stirring in Patricia and Roberts spirits for 2017! 


Monday, January 2, 2017

Christmas Moments


Christmas sometimes speeds right by and before I know it I am dropped into a new year and wishing I could rewind and capture some photo moments.  So, that is exactly what I am going to do. :-)  A little rewind and share a few family moments with you from Christmas.

This year we did not go back to Oregon or have extended family here, so even though we missed them all, we made special memories with just our little brood.  Johnny & Julie have been here, from Washington, for a couple weeks over Christmas and we are loving time together.
 We had a quiet Christmas and a simpler Christmas than years before. People touched our lives in deep ways that I would be unable to explain on my blog but let me just say, rewards are waiting for some dear ones in heaven. I have pulled out a few photo memories . . .



One thing that we did that we have not done before, was cook the Christmas meal together. There was this sweet sense of accomplishment among the kids in knowing that this was food that they had prepared.


On Christmas day, after eating, we did something new.  Simeon decided that we were going to go on a Polar Express Train ride for Christmas this year - in our SUV. :-)  The "train" ride would be complete with hot chocolate, pajamas and popcorn.  My husband dressed-up in a conductor suit and held a lantern welcoming the kids on board.

We gave the kids golden tickets for access onto the "train" and John boomed out "All Aboard!!"  Thus, the beginning of our adventure riding the train, drinking hot chocolate, listening to Christmas music, taking cookies to the four different fire stations in our small town and viewing Christmas lights.  So fun!!  The kids loved it and it was a great memory for all.  By the time we made it home on Christmas night, Johnny was fast asleep curled up with pillows and blankets in his "train seat".

"When Jesus spoke again to the people, He said, 'I am the light of the world.  Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life."   ~ John 8:12

During the Christmas season, God usually gives me a Christmas word or focus. This year, it was a prayer that I had been praying the months prior over my region, "God, please bring everything hidden into the light" (Luke 8:17 and Ephesians 5:13). We live in a place called, Hidden Valley.   When I would pray LIGHT it was as if Holy Spirit would land on that word.   When I pondered what exactly this LIGHT was that was exposing hidden places I realized I had been praying JESUS into my region.  John 8 & 9 speak of Jesus being the Light of the world.  I began to have an excitement and expectancy for my region.  An expectancy that things that were "hidden" would not just be found out (lawlessness, injustice, etc.) but that there was this incredible LIGHT being released into dark places and bringing order and justice.

"Through Him (Jesus) all things were made; without Him nothing was made that has been made.  In Him was life and that life was the LIGHT of all mankind.  The LIGHT shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it."  ~ John 1:3-5


When I am praying, "In Jesus name, everything hidden come into the Light!"  I was thinking, drug dealers being exposed by Border Patrol, child abusers being found out, wife beaters and murders (recently there was a murder on my road) coming to justice,
conviction for sin, provision for neglect and lack, etc.  All this is good, but even greater are things being exposed, found out, justice being brought AND JESUS shining His LIGHT into those places.  When Jesus shows up, peoples lives are changed, reconciled, healed, forgiven, etc.

"Praise be to the name of God for ever and ever . . . He reveals deep and hidden things; He knows what lies in darkness, and light dwells with Him."  ~ Daniel 2:20 & 22

 So, I would begin to pray that everything hidden in my region, in my life and other places, would come into the LIGHT this Christmas.  I was really praying that hidden places would come into Love, salvation, healing, deliverance, freedom, hope . . . Jesus!  Come Lord Jesus, Come!
"The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned."   ~ Isaiah 9:2





Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Foster Care & Sex Trafficking

Our house is full of activity and great joy.  Johnny & Julie have arrived for a couple weeks for Christmas.  There are beach towels strewn from the icy cold pool to the house, the dog is on the trampoline with the kids, there are loud footsteps over-top the house as the kids play on the rooftop deck, lingering conversations at the dinner table, yummy smells of the kid's favorite foods filling the house, soon-to-be Christmas baking - life is rich!  I'm sure I will post a few pictures in the days ahead.  We are thankful for eight years ago opening our lives to a little boy half dressed eating out of a cold spaghettiO's can and a little shy girl with blond straggly hair carrying the weight of the world on her shoulders.  Here is a blog post I wrote for XP Missions this December.

I remember the day very clearly. I was listening to missionary Heidi Baker on the CD player, and I was talking to Jesus about what love looks like. I felt like the Lord said, “Will you take Breanna into your home”? I was taken aback, as my kids were young, my marriage was rocky, and I did not know how to bring another child into my life; but how could I say anything but “YES” to Jesus? I had a beautiful home and space for one more child. Little did I know then, that with Breanna would come two siblings, and that our lives would be changed forever
Many people are asking the question; “What can I do to help in the abolition of sex trafficking, our modern day slavery?” I would like to make a suggestion. If you have a loving home environment, free from emotional, physical, or sexual abuse, consider opening your life up to a foster-care child.
Children are being trafficked in the U.S. by their parents, uncles and aunts, and adults that are supposed to be “safe” in their lives. If the trafficking is found out, they are taken out of their home and put in the foster care system, which, in the U.S., is often broken. Some children in foster care are being trafficked by their caregivers. Something has to change!
Senator Rob Portman states, “There was a sting operation back in 2013 that the FBI did nationwide on child sex-trafficking, an issue that I’ve worked on a lot…Here is the amazing and very sad statistic in that — 60 percent of the victims that they recovered nationwide, from over 70 cities, were from foster care or group homes.” 
I remember these city stings when I lived in Vancouver, Washington. I would sit in on our police department training and hear of the stings about to take place. We would celebrate the kids that were rescued, but they would go right back into foster homes, and if they got a bad one, they could go back to being trafficked.
In the words of the nonprofit,  CityLimits“When children feel that no one cares about them, and are moved from one placement to another, craving attention and stability, [they] can easily find themselves seduced by traffickers who initially make them feel cared for, only to find themselves used for financial gain. Many children in foster care have been previously abused, putting them further at risk. In addition, children who are placed into foster care as adolescents are automatically placed into group homes, since foster parents generally are only willing to take young children. In fact, traffickers will often send one of their girls into group homes to find girls and urge them to leave by saying things like ‘[you] will be well taken care of financially and have a “family”’, so to speak, ‘who will care for [you].’”
The Polaris Project reports that in 2015, an estimated 1 out of 5 endangered runaways reported to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children were likely child sex trafficking victims. Of those, 74% were in the care of social services or foster care when they ran away.
This is a serious situation and eight years ago I felt I had to do something. I was a stay-at-home mom, raising my young family, and asking God what I could do about this horrific injustice.
Breanna was my daughter’s friend since kindergarten.  When she arrived in our lives, she was six years old (she is now 14). She was full of energy, had a skinny toothpick body, hair dull from malnutrition and she would light up a room with her excitement and her contagious smile. When she came for a visit, the house looked like a tornado had smashed through it. Some people go to a party – Breanna was the party!
After my husband and I said “yes”, Breanna, and her sister and brother, began to spend more and more time in our home. Their home situation put them highly “at-risk”, and some days they would be with us for over half a week before their mom would be ready to have them back.
I remember it clearly, I had just been at a Patricia Kings “Women on the Frontlines” in Phoenix, and as my plane landed, I knew I needed to check in on the kids on my way home.
I pulled up to their apartment and found the girls inside and mom gone – she had been put in jail. I offered to take the girls home with me until she was released.  This “checking-in” ended up resulting in the girls being placed with us as a “suitable placement” with social services, and only days later their brother being placed with us as well.
Breanna was adopted out of our home into a Christian home and her name changed. She is a beautiful teen, attending Christian school, enjoying her church youth group and family. We still correspond with her and occasionally get to see her when we are in Washington. Breanna’s sister and brother, J & J, have been in and out of our lives for the last eight years. After being removed from their mother, they went to live with their biological dad. We have been their suitable placement, their foster parents, their temporary guardians, etc.  They usually spend some of spring break, summer and Christmas with us unless there is a “situation” that places them back in our home full time. 
Foster care is rough. There are sleepless nights, drama with merging family units together and a clash of completely different values and culture. Also there is working with parents who sometimes will do what it takes to get their kids back and other times will not.
For us, being foster parents has been so worth it! My husband and I, along with our two biological kids are in love with J & J. My kids can hardly sleep at night when their plane is scheduled to land the next morning. Recently, our foster daughter began to call us mom and dad. I thought my heart was going to explode. She also writes us cards of thanks for taking her in (see photo) and what we have done for her over the years. For mother’s day this year, she made me coasters that listed my attributes that she loves (see photo).  Needless to say, I was wrecked!
Foster care needs a complete overhaul (that would be another blog post) but what can we do right now to be an answer? The foster care system in America needs loving families that will not allow kids to be abused, neglected or trafficked. If God has placed it on your heart to be a foster or adoptive parent, His voice is urging you, and you know that the environment of your home would nurture, love and be safe (and all in the home are in unity with this vision), then consider being an answer to over 400,000 kids in America who need a home.  Of course this is just one of many ways to get involved, but if you need a nudge in this direction – take this nudge and jump into the deep end. God is faithful. His grace is sufficient for you to be all that He created you to be for these kids who need love, freedom from trauma, hope, and a safe place to call home.
Written by:  Nita Weldon

Friday, December 16, 2016

Hope for the Future: Power for the Present

I am a guest blogger on the XP Mission site about once a month.   I love a platform where I can build awareness about sex trafficking and share some of my journey.  If you would like to follow what XP Missions is doing here is the link:  http://www.xpmissions.com/  I am so excited at all that XP has done this past year in Cambodia . . . women and children rescued out of being trafficked, hot meals for kids, education program sponsoring kids to go to school, house of prayer started, medical care, kids club, rice distribution, entrepreneurial outlets, the list goes on and on.  Such a small handful of people, but making such a huge impact on a nation!  Like I always say, it only takes a spark to get a fire going!  I remember when I was in Cambodia, I asked our Director about some of the kids we saw on the streets and the rescue plan for them.  She became thoughtful and said if they could only sell  more handbags (http://www.xpmissions.com/everlasting-love/), they would rescue more girls and kids.  Sobering.  If you are looking for a place to give year-end that has an excellent return, look no further, XP Missions is an excellent outlet:  http://www.xpmissions.com/get-involved/

This is a blog post I wrote in November for XP Missions.  I thought some of you may not be on FB (where I posted it) and so I thought I would share it today.  I will have another blog coming out next week and will try to post it on my personal blog site as well.

1My GPS was alerting me to turn left into the high school parking lot, but I was confused. In front of me was a police car with lights and what looked like a guard station. As I pulled into the lot a uniformed woman began to wave at me to stop. She came to the window and asked me my name and where I was going. I gave her my name and told her I would be helping with a presentation on sex trafficking in the auditorium. I couldn’t help but wonder if she was going to frisk me next, but she waved me through. It was as if I had just crossed the border or entered into a prison yard, but this is just how it is at some of our public schools in America.
I found my way onto campus and to the auditorium. I greeted my teammate, and started up a conversation with a coach who was waiting by the girl’s restroom. This coach was monitoring the girls who entered the restroom and when she stepped away for a minute, a teen approached me and asked if she could use the restroom.  I said, “sure” but was super curious as to what “system” was in place. Upon entering the auditorium there were teachers spread throughout as kids were finding their seats, but one person caught my attention. She had a military style stance, and large radio gear attached to the side of her pants which was going off randomly. She was on high alert and commanding kids to find a seat quickly, instructing for cell phones to be put away, etc.2
I sat in the back row surrounded by high school teens, cell phones out, headphones on, jostling and goofing off as they entered the auditorium. Sadly, in that auditorium, there could be sex traffickers. Teens trafficking teens. Today these kids were all going to sit through a presentation on the potential dangers of the internet and sex trafficking. They came in all shapes and sizes, all nationalities and dispositions, but they were ours to influence for the next 45 minutes.
3In the United States an estimated 100,000 – 300,000 kids are trafficked. Many of the kids who are sexually victimized or trafficked in the U.S. come from foster homes or are on the streets as runaways. These young people often flee abuse and violence at home, but then become victims of sexual exploitation on the streets or in care homes. Experts have reported that within 48 hours of running away, an adolescent is likely to be approached by a trafficker. These are kids sitting in our schools, in our malls, in our churches, in our parks, bowling alleys, and bus stations.
Sex Trafficking is not just happening in other countries but is happening in our backyard. Some children are being sold by their parents right out of their homes. They will go to school during the week and then will often miss Friday school as they are being trafficked on weekends by their own family members only to return to school on Monday, exhausted, battered and unnoticed. Kids from at-risk lifestyles are being targeted by “spotters” and then “groomed” to be handed off to a trafficker once they are ready. The process is much like the recent movie, Hunger Games. 4
The other day my 14 year old daughter had a dream. She dreamt that the Hunger Games had come to America. If you have not seen the movies, or read the books, The Hunger Games is a dystopian novel/movie about a 16 year old girl who lives in a future, post-apocalyptic nation in North America. The Hunger Games is an annual event in which one boy and girl aged 12-18 from each of the twelve districts surrounding the Capitol are selected by lottery to compete in a televised battle (like reality TV), hunting each other to the death.
Sadly my daughter’s dream and this fictitious movie are more of a reality than we realize in our nation and the nations of the world. Our women and children are being hunted. They are being watched, stalked, kidnapped and groomed on the internet and on the streets of today.
At XP Missions, we educate on prevention, we rescue and we provide after-care.  When a child/teen is educated on the dangers of the internet and sex trafficking there is a much greater probability that they will recognize the “Hunger Game” directed towards them. If a child can be told this is not their normal and given a “new normal” that values life and instills significance, they will begin to think outside the cycle they are in.
One of the biggest factors that pulls a person away from a Predator is HOPE. We all can be hope carriers.
“Your hopelessness about a problem is a bigger problem than the problem.” ~ Bill Johnson
5Hope arouses vision and spurs us toward actions. Hope invites us to see, to pray, to give, to serve, and to be a voice in the battle against this modern day slavery of trafficking.
As I sat in the auditorium surrounded by teens, I prayed for God’s truth to capture their hearts and the message to be heard. It only takes a seed of hope for a child sitting there to be pulled out of exploitation and rescued. It could inspire another child to take on the cause and become an abolitionist. It could cause another to value themselves and others and to break cycles of abuse. 
“Where there’s no HOPE for the future there is no power for the present. The more vision we have for the future, the more power we will have for the present.” ~Steve Backlund 
Written by: Nita Weldon

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Ephesians 6


I was reading in Ephesians six this morning and penned a little declaration for myself and thought I would go ahead and share it with you . . .

I am destined for all things and will rise victorious!  I receive truth into every thought and attitude today that will strengthen me in heavenly perspective.  I put on Holiness like a garment.  I am reconciled to Christ and presented Holy in His sight without blemish and free from accusation. I am God’s chosen one, Holy and dearly loved.   I stand steadfast inside the Lord and His power and ability.  I stand in authority. I stand firm in the faith and am courageous and strong.   I stand in alertness.  I stand against the illegal trespass of the enemy and resist him in Jesus name.  I receive peace as I subdue my enemy. I receive the peace of God which transcends all understanding and receive it’s guard over my heart and mind in Jesus. For He will keep in perfect peace my mind as it is stayed/fixed on Him.  I receive the faith of the Lord Jesus, shielding me from unbelief and lies.  Like a helmet on my head, I embrace the power of salvation’s full deliverance, taking every thought captive and bringing it under obedience to the mind of Christ.  And I release the word of God like a razor sharp sword – “No weapon formed against me will prosper, I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me, if God is for me, who can be against me!”.  I am positioned in the armor and authority of my King.  

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving


Happy Thanksgiving Blogger Friends!  This is my thanksgiving scripture for this year . . .

"He led them by a straight way to a city where they could settle.  Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love and His wonderful deeds for mankind, for He satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things." 
~ Psalm 107:7-9

I'm amazed in this last week at how many people in my life are moving.  Moving into new seasons of life.  Isn't it a comfort to know that when we are in "transition" God leads us by a straight way.  I'm so very thankful that God satisfies and fills the hungry with good things.  Do you ever feel restless, anxious, confused or have unmet longings etc. and you get alone with God and begin to worship, meditate/ pray and all at once you become satiated.  You feel satisfied.  Psalms 81 talks about opening your mouth and God will fill it.  My soul often feels like a "mouth" and it just needs to be filled.  I'm so thankful that I have an incredible God who fills me . . .

Oh God, we give you thanks today, for your love that does not end and your wonderful deeds!  Thank you for leading us by a straight way.  Thank you that you are not crooked and confusing, but your way is perfect and straight.  Thank you that you provide a broad path so that our ankles do not turn and we do not slip (Psalm 18).  Thank you that you keep us from falling and present us before your glorious presence without fault and great joy (Jude).  Thank you that you have made known to us the paths of life and fill us with joy in your presence (Psalm 16).  Thank you that you satisfy the thirsty and fill the hungry with good things. Today, as we give thanks, may you fill our mouths and the depths of our souls with YOU.  Thank you for satisfying those thirsty, barren places with the water of your Spirit.  Thank you for filling those hungry places in us with contentment, peace and joy.  We love you.  You are an incredible God and we honor and give thanks to you, today! 

Saturday, November 19, 2016

His Way Is Perfect

"As for God, His way is perfect; 
The Lord's word is flawless; 
He shields all who take refuge in Him."  
~ Psalm 18:30

This was my verse for the day yesterday.  I spoke it, sang it and camped on it.  There is so  much in this scripture that spoke to me, but I would like to ponder the words, "As for God, His way is Perfect!"

One of my favorite verses is Isaiah 48:17 "This is what the Lord says, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel; 'I am the Lord your God, who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go.'"  My prayer partners hear me pray this regularly, that God would lead and do what is BEST for the situation/person at hand.  But today I was pondering Psalms 18 and the words "As for God, His way is Perfect".  I was dealing with a circumstance and lots of variables involved that needed the perfection of God released into it.  I found such comfort in knowing that God - the creator and Lord of all, has a way that is PERFECT.  It's not just good or okay, but it's PERFECT. And as his daughter, I can ask for that way that is Perfect . . .

"He is the Rock, His works are Perfect, and all His ways are just.  A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is He." ~ Deuteronomy 32:4

This gives me great comfort as I pray into paths that lie ahead, that there is a perfect way that God wants to reveal and lead His kids into.  I pray today for those who read this blog that your mind would be transformed and you would be able to to know and walk in God's way that is PERFECT.

"Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.  Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is - His good, pleasing and PERFECT will."  
~ Romans 12:2

Friday, November 18, 2016

Happy Car Rides

Happy Weekend ~ my Blogger Friends!  Here I am with my kids - a little gimps into my world.  I drive my kids an average of 2.5 hours a day back and forth to their charter schools.  It's the joys of living on a desert oasis.  Some days with other commitments, I can easily be in the car for 4 -5 hours.  Crazy!  I have learned to make the most of the time and I talk to my friends on the phone or to Jesus (pray).
One of my very favorite things about  my week is my  morning drive with the kids.  We all drive it together as a family and my husband starts work after returning home.  When we are not carpooling other children, we use the time to pray for the day, read a prayer declaration over our lives, pray for our region/schools/nation, etc.  Then if there is extra time left, we do a short read.  Currently we are reading together Lee Strobel's "Case for Christ" an apologetic's study for kids.  Then after we drop the kids off, my husband and I use the time to pray together.  Super RICH! We guard this time like gold.

The first of the school year, I was struggling with finding time to train my children in the things of God and Godly character.  I was finding that as the kids are growing and entering into high school, family devotions before bed was not really working out so well anymore.   When I asked Holy Spirit how we could make time, I instantly heard "use the time in your car in the morning".  Love it!!  We have used our car time for the last year for family prayer, but now that our drive is about 15 minutes longer I have time to add a short study.

I hope, if you are a parent of children, and looking for practical ways to release the Kingdom of God into your kids lives - this blog will encourage you.  I find God is super practical - and that's how my brain functions.  I need practical!! And God has always been faithful to navigate my time for what matters most.

If you are reading this and you don't know God - Lee Strobel has some great books that open up the science behind a Loving Creator.  Maybe you are a student and bombarded with an agenda that is anti creation - give Lee's books a read.  Happy Reading.  Happy Car Rides!  Happy Weekend! :-)

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

My Treasures Are Growing Up

Julie, Simeon, Johnny & Destiny
I have been away from blogging way too long . . . many times I have wanted to post a photo or write down some thoughts to share, but after the months ticked by, I did not know where to begin.  So, how about some beautiful pictures of my Treasures. One of my greatest joys in life is my kids.  They are all growing-up so fast and this summer I shot these casual photos of them.  Life is rich when we are all together - can't wait for J & J to join us again soon. Destiny is pushing into straight A's in school and keeps telling me that in a couple  months she will be FIFTEEN - then she waits for my reaction. :-0  I give her some drama so she knows that I think my baby is growing way too fast. :-)  Julie is playing volleyball and loving it and also cheerleading.  Johnny has been busy with friends - he's super social and spends lots of times outdoors.  Simeon loves his new school and friends and hopes to try-out for basketball after Christmas.
Destiny 14 Years Old

Julie 13 Years Old
Johnny 12 Years Old

Simeon 11 Years Old

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Cousin Time

Cousin Time
As  always, the Weldon's love cousin time.  This year, we will not be able to make our annual Wenger Camp out with all of my family.  We are sad and I am already going into withdrawal from missing my family. :-)  So, my brother eased the pain by sending his two boys for a visit this last week.  I think my nephews
The Boys Swim-Up Bar
and nieces are such incredible people and these two guys are no exception.  We enjoyed lots of swim time as it's so hot in Arizona right now.  I think the boys went through six cartons of juice in three days . . . it's just the beginning of those teen years.  :-)

My nephew's voice was so low and manly that I could not understand him half the time.  I remember when he and Destiny used to sit as toddlers on grandpa and grandma's porch swing and now . . .  the years go so fast!

As we knelt beside the boys and prayed over them before they left on the airplane today, I was touched by who God is in them.  I could see his attributes and character displayed through the gentle, strong, silly, fun young men they are becoming and I am moved.
Stealth Roof Hunters
 Sometimes I get so caught up in life I forget to enjoy the "moments" but the moments are indeed what I live for.  The "moments" I enjoyed this weekend were asking silly life questions and telling a few family memories, playing  ball in the pool and Auntie being killer defense over Judah :-), huge bowls of ice-cream with laughter before bed, teasing Joshua, cozy late night movies, the delight of Arizona Mexican food shared together around a common table and a lingering hug.  These are moments I live for that make life so much richer.