The Taste of Hope After the Long Journey

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  Quietly and with only the barest of necessities, a family leaves the only home they have known. They are fearful of being apprehended by authorities, so they travel at night. Moving from safe house to safe house, organized by a system of compassionate local heroes, these people sleep during the day in preparation for… Read more »

Forced From Home

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It was a chilly day 3 months ago. I had a warm coat, but the wind occasionally kicked up, making me wish I had one more layer on. I wasn’t sure exactly what to expect, but I was ushered into a fenced off area and told, “You have 30 seconds to decide what you’re taking…. Read more »

Do We Have to Understand Before We Intercede?

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  I must admit that there is a great deal that I do not understand about the civil war in Syria. I don’t understand what grievances the Syrian people had that led to this war, or for that matter what exactly set off the entire Arab Spring. I don’t understand why the US supports the… Read more »

The Purpose Filled Wedding

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Recently, I went to a fabulous wedding, truly one of the best ones ever. Like all Christ-centered weddings, it was filled with praise and worship, scripture, and the deep symbolism that facilitates the embedding of Truth into our hearts. I cried. I always do. It was beautiful and joyous, and a reminder of the love… Read more »

October in All Its Glory

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I woke up on Saturday with the shocking realization that it was already halfway through October. As a teacher and parent, September is a vast wasteland of trying to reconnect with my many roles as a working mother. Between the half dozen back to school events scattered throughout the month of September, packing lunches, wearing… Read more »

Where We Go From Here

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Seeking justice without worship leaves us attending to the second greatest commandment by bypassing the first. This pathway risks the unveiling of a new kind of legalism in our hearts. This new legalism is expressed in a ruthless pursuit of justice that stems from a heart that has not itself been examined for its own… Read more »

A Mile Wide: A book review (or sort of)

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Thirty years ago, I gave my life to Jesus. I was just 13 years old. Growing up in a Christian home, I had attended church and Sunday school, VBS, and sang in the choir. I had believed in Jesus my entire life, and I had faithfully done all that Christians were suppose to do. Then,… Read more »

Inclusion in the Church Age

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The entire story of the Bible, for all nations and all people, heads toward an invitation to inclusion, not exclusion. – Sara Gaston Barton Separation         We don’t know how long it took for paradise to be ruined, but it happened with a single incident.  Between “It was very good” and “The Lord God banished… Read more »

Restoring Hearts Ministries of Trenton

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Restoring Hearts Ministries  of Trenton is in the business of bringing hope to the hopeless by shining the light of Jesus Christ into the darkness through evangelism and relationship-building. As Christians we have been called to love, which Restoring Hearts does through service to the least of these.  As servants of Christ we go where… Read more »

Face Forward

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“Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift all of you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.”  Luke 22:31 – 32 The heavy sound of old rusty metal scraped along the ground as the gate opened. The high tone of intersecting… Read more »

Latest
  • Truly Flawless

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      Music can speak volumes to our souls. Particularly, if you’re like me, that can happen a lot. But sometimes there’s just one line that a song needs or that it has that doesn’t apply to your life. One of the reasons I love the MercyMe song “Flawless” is that it covers all the bases…. Read more »

  • Are You Communicating about Social Justice too Harshly?

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    Individuals and organizations raising awareness about social justice issues may adopt one of two different approaches: harsh or gentle. One website may jar the senses with black and red block lettering then drive readers to tears with their emotive descriptions; their speakers might pound podiums and flash graphic images on power point slides. They believe… Read more »

  • Vote Early, Vote Often

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    Election season is upon us. Personally, I know I have found my blood pressure rising as I scroll through new articles and social media posts. There is much to be gained and much to be lost as we elect the leaders of our nation, state, and local communities. Often we get bogged down in the… Read more »

  • Book Review: Half the Sky

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    Book Review: Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide “Women hold up half the sky”- Chinese proverb Half the Sky, is the national bestseller by Pulitzer Prize winning authors Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn. Kristof and WuDunn take readers around the world, looking at the lives of women in nations like… Read more »

  • Living Passionately with Boundaries

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      In Father of The Bride (1991), George Banks (played by Steve Martin) is talking with his daughter’s ex-fiancé following a dramatic break-up scene. George is trying to smooth things over when he says, “Annie’s a very passionate person. And passionate people tend to overreact at times.” He is using the word “passionate” as a… Read more »

  • Catalyst Farms

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    Catalyst Farms We are excited to share with you what God has been doing in Catalyst in the past few months. Through the generosity of a visionary team of donors, Catalyst has been given a residential property to serve as a specialized supportive services home for survivors of trafficking, addiction, and prostitution. Sex Trafficking is… Read more »

  • The Compassion Experience

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    This piece was originally published on June 25, 2016 on http://tanyadennisbooks.com as is being reprinted with permission. Whenever everything you need (and nearly everything you want) is within 15 minutes of your house, driving 40 minutes for a free event says something. This weekend the kids and I attended The Compassion Experience. This traveling exhibit invites you to experience… Read more »

  • Spoken Word- Human Sex Trafficking

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    Over the past four years, my heart has been broken for the victims of the human sex trade. Within this time, I’ve decided to join the anti-trafficking movement and have made the decision to become a proponent of ending the sex trade, when I’m older. For now, since I’m too young to work with the… Read more »

  • Encourager: Trade of Hope in Haiti

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    I’m pretty sure I could write enough about my sudden trip to Haiti to fill up the entire Encourager and it still would not do the experience justice. And yet, I can encompass the experience with one word: Beautiful. My application essay began, “I have seen enough poverty to last a lifetime, and I’m not… Read more »

  • So You Want to Change the World. Does Your Journey Look like Mine?

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    I remember finding out about human trafficking and the orphan crisis all in one Sunday. In the months following, I attended local awareness events and scoured the internet for articles and initiatives. After the shock that turned to grief turned to compassion, I was spurred to action. After all, if someone like me does not help,… Read more »