Saturday, April 13, 2013

Slave Trade in Kentucky

A ten year old girl is walking alone heading home from visiting a girl friend down the street. A van with darkened glass pulls up and two men jump out grab her and put her in the van. She is beaten, rapped, and drugged. They take her to a city like Louisville where she is sold to a pimp and forced to have sex with a lot of men every day.

Today at my church’s Men’s Fellowship meeting our program was a social worker Marissa Castellanos who works for Catholic Charities Human Trafficking program. The sad fact is that human slave trade is second only to the drug trade for making money by criminals. The statics are staggering and the salve trade is not just for prostitution but also for domestic servants, hotel house keeping and restaurant staffs. As a pastor I was aware that this happened but the numbers presented today are appalling. I thought that most of the human trafficking victims were from over seas but half are American children and young women.

Awareness is our key to dealing with this issue. First we must all be aware that it happens and report what we see. The HOTLINE number is 1 888 373-7888 use it to report or get help. Second make our girls aware what could happen and train them to avoid walking alone and what to watch for. Girls who run away are often targets for the slave/sex trade recruiters. They never think about that possibility when they run away.

 The problem is world wide and much of the coffee and coco we consume is provided by slave labor in Africa and other places. There is a web site to check on which companies are using and selling products that come from salve labor, and those who use free trade products.

Slavery is illegal but there is a lot of profit in buying and selling slaves and it will take all of us being aware and willing to report when we see it. 

Please pass this information on to others.

Friday, April 12, 2013

The Retirement Challenge

There are people who retire and think, “OK now I can sit back in the easy chair and relax. I worked hard all my life and now I can coast.” I have to admit that it is nice to be able to relax and do things I enjoy but the idea of doing nothing with my life after retirement is just not the way to go. I have witnessed too many people who retired and sat and then began to die. To suddenly go from very busy to not busy at all is hard on the heart and all your other body systems.

The challenge in retirement is what do I do with me now. When it is possible to live to over a hundred years we have a long time spend in retirement. Having planed financially for the day of retirement so that I could live comfortably with out working for a living, I need to refocus my life. Some ten years before retirement I received a book from my pension fund that asked an important question. “What do you do after retirement?” It was an encouragement to start the process of refocusing my life long before I made that great change.

Spending a few weeks just relaxing and shifting gears was about all the time I needed. Being a Pastor of a church is to be on call twenty-four/seven and being a member of every committee and group in the church. That is a lot of meetings. Then suddenly no committees and no need to be out of bed and ready for work at an early hour. Sunday was real change to be able to sit in the pew with my wife and worship instead of directing worship. Nice!

The challenge was now what? I could focus my involvement in thing I enjoy. I volunteered to do many things in the community and the church and that for me was the key. I am still busy but on my terms. In church I may do a lot of ministry but without committees.  In the community I became a mayor and chaplain for the local fire department. As I love to write my daughters got me involved in blogging and I love it. Life is good in retirement when you meet the challenge to be active and alive.

Sunday, April 7, 2013


The Mexicans have a word for that MAÑANA ... Put it off till tomorrow and you will find that mañana never comes.

Many of us want to do things only our own way and NOT GOD'S WAY. We are like the eight-year-old girl who had been sent to her room for punishment. After a while she reappeared in a very happy mood.

"Well, Mamma," she said, "I've thought things over and I prayed."

That's fine," said mom, "Now that should help you be a good little girl."

"Oh, I didn't pray to be good. I asked God to help you put up with me."

If you want to live God's way, then now is the time to become the Disciple that is filled with a fiery passion for serving the Lord.