Christmas Gifts That Keep On Giving!

Every day, girls as young as 12 are sold into sexual slavery. Exploited. Treated like animals.

Every night in the redlight district, small children crawl under their mothers’ beds while they “work” for a living. A job they never applied for. Many of those young girls lie under that bed and close their eyes, knowing they’ll never get out. Never get away and some day their children will be lying under their bed, while they “work.”

It’s something we don’t want to think about. We don’t want those thoughts in our minds. But it happens. It’s real. It’s hiding in plain sight.

However, there are Christians who are dedicating their lives to rescuing women and children from the brothels in India. Project Rescue is one of them. Headed by David and Beth Grant. Missionaries who’ve dedicated their life to the people of India. The following is taken directly from their website, which I encourage you to look at and read their blogs. In the dark clouds of sexual slavery, rays of hope do shine through! You can be a part of that HOPE.

Project Rescue:
“We exist to rescue and restore victims of sex trafficking through the love and power of Jesus Christ.
We believe that each child has been created by God with God-given purpose and the innate abilities to accomplish that purpose. We exist to help her discover that purpose and empower her to fulfill it.
We recognize the primary role of the local, national, and global community of faith in the restoration process and are committed to empowering them to fulfill it.
We provide global awareness and opportunities for concerned partners to help bring freedom and a transformed future to those imprisoned in sexual slavery.”

A testimony from Anita:
“When I was 12 years old a couple that I trusted promised me a job. They convinced me of a dream opportunity to work as a domestic helper along with the chance to pursue my studies. The idea of a secure job thrilled me, as it would any young girl in Nepal. Believing that I could trust this couple, I left my home in pursuit of a future.

After drugging me, the couple took me to a movie theater where a brothel owner met us.

Two hundred dollars was the price that sold me into forced prostitution. For the next 18 years I lived and worked in the red light district of Bombay.
It was here in the red light district that I first heard the Gospel from those involved with Bombay Teen Challenge. My brothel owner and I had a life changing experience by accepting Jesus into our lives. After this I soon decided to return to my home in Nepal.
Ten ladies, including myself, now live at the Kathmandu Home of Hope. God is continuing to work beautifully in each of our lives.

I am currently attending literacy classes and sewing classes and hope to one day have a tailoring shop of my own.”

You can help! You can pray and you can send donations!
In partnership with Project Rescue is The Jubilee Market. Young girls learn trades to help them become self-sufficient financially, when rescued out of brothels and sexual slavery. At this site, you can purchase items made by these young women!
What a great Christmas gift!
I emailed Liz Glover with Jubilee market and she said that they ship the items that day or the next, and priority shipping is 2-3 business days…which means you and I still have time!
Here are just a few of the hand crafted items, but there’s much more! How awesome to give a gift that really means something. Christmas is all about HOPE! By purchasing these gifts, for reasonable prices, you’re giving HOPE and an amazing story behind your gift. A constant reminder to PRAY!
Aren’t they fabulous!?
If you have problems clicking the link, a direct link is on the righthand side of my blogsite.
If you do choose to buy a gift, and I hope you do…drop a comment and share what you purchased!!!

Amazing & Unfathomable Part 2

The way of a snake on a rock…

“There are three things that are too amazing for me, four that I do not understand: the way of an eagle in the sky, the way of a snake on a rock, the way of a ship on the high seas, and the way of a man with a maiden.” Proverbs 30:18-19

The young woman had been running on her usual route. She was tired as she panted but pressed on the last half mile. She looked up ahead to see the forest she had to pass each morning. She noticed something beaming from deep within the dense and dark trees. 
Generally, she would pick up her pace when she came to the small wooded area.  It was eerie and quiet and sometimes she could feel the hair stand up on the back of her neck leaving her with slight shudders, but this day something drew her. 
She brought her full run down to a walk—her lungs burning as she entered the woods.  A small whisper told her not to go, but what was near finger’s reach was beckoning her.  She reacted to the stunning shimmer with an exhilarating gasp. Her heartbeat that had evened out began to sprint again as her stomach began to twist and turn in anticipation of actually touching the beauty that lay only a few feet away.  She still couldn’t make out what it was, but it was magnetic.  Glimmering.  Beautiful.
Curiously she bent down to pick up and cradle the beauty that had pulled her off the path; it hissed and plunged its fangs deep into her heart before she could turn back.
This beautiful light had only been masquerading as such, for what had hold of her heart was nothing more than a venomous snake.  She cried out in shock and terror. She couldn’t release this thing that she had thought was so breathtaking from her body. 
She wrestled with it for what seemed like hours. Days. Years.
 What could possibly tear this wretched serpent from her?  She began to weep and in despair, she slowly made her way home, carrying this deceiving culprit along with her for the duration.
Did you know that the Hebrew word for snake is Nachash?  It not only means snake or serpent but it also means “shining one”.  We always represent the snake with sin, as the devil came to Eve as a serpent, or snake, in the garden and deceived her.  In 2 Corinthians he, the devil, masquerades as an “angel of light”. 
Sin comes to us as false light.  It seems beautiful and wonderful, we long to touch it and hold it. It calls us off the path we’ve been on only to plunge deep into our hearts. Only then do we see it for what it really is.  It brings pain, despair, and much heartache. 
So what is the “way of a snake on a rock” and why is it amazing and unfathomable? 
If we deduct that the snake is a representation of sin, then we must see that the rock is the representation of…Jesus! Psalm 19:14 says, “May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.”

 1 Corinthians 10:4 says,”… for they drank from the spiritual rock that accompanied them, and that rock was Christ.”

In the Old Testament the Israelites were bitten by venomous snakes and then a serpent was formed from Bronze and fashioned on a pole for those who were infected and dying to gaze into. (You’ll see this sign attributed to the medical profession) As they did, they were healed. This is a beautiful picture of Jesus Christ our Rock and Healer becoming the snake that bit us to heal us of sin and disease. You can read about this in Numbers 21.
When Christ, the Rock, allowed Himself to be hammered onto the cross out of His passionate and relentless love for us, He became sin so that we could be free from it through Him. 2 Corinthians 5:21 says, “God made Him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.”
He literally had to experience the loneliness and abandonment that sin produces, except that in His case, it was not His sin – it was ours. Yet He willingly, obediently did it, so that we could live—truly live and be free.  There is a way to remove the fangs of sin in our lives and it’s through the Rock who was lifted up for us! 
“He personally carried our sins in his body on the cross so that we can be dead to sin and live for what is right. By His wounds you are healed.” 1 Peter 2:24
Sin comes to us, calling us, looking like light, but it only masquerades.  We must be alert and paying attention to the Spirit to prevent us from going into the “woods” and touching the “light”.
The real light is the Light of the world and that is Jesus…our Rock, who paid a price so we wouldn’t have to. Who became sin for us! That is amazing and unfathomable.

Amazing and Unfathomable Part 1

“There are three things that are too amazing for me, four that I do not understand:  the way of an eagle in the sky, the way of a snake on a rock, the way of a ship on the high seas, and the way of a man with a maiden.” Proverbs 30:18-19

This particular proverb was written by Agur, the son of Jakeh.  Other than this we know nothing else about him.  I find it interesting that the four things he finds amazing and cannot understand are a bird, a snake, a ship, and a man and woman.  Of all the things to be amazed by he chooses these four.  Why? What exactly does this mean?  Is it symbolic of something else?  I believe it is—something that when really pondered is beyond wonderful and amazing and truly unfathomable!

Let’s look at “the way of an eagle in the sky” today.
To understand the meaning we have to study the creature known as the eagle and how it flies. An interesting fact about baby eagles is after they are born they will attach to whatever gives them attention. 

This is called imprinting.  (this has nothing to do with Twilight…just sayin)

The eagle will mimic its mother and of course when it is time to fly the mother has a way of teaching that no other animal or human can; in fact if an eagle is born in captivity it will attach or imprint to the human caregiver.  This can be dangerous for the baby eagle when it does come time to fly.

When we are born again it is important to attach to the right Caregiver, Jesus! Just like the mama eagle gave life to the baby eagle, our Savior gives us new life.  If we mimic or imprint to other things it can be just as disastrous and dangerous for us.  Ephesians 5:1 says to be imitators of God as dearly loved children.

When we think of eagles in flight we automatically see them soaring.  It also reminds us of the famous verse in Isaiah 40:31 “but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength; they will soar on wings as eagles.  They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.”

The reason we picture eagles soaring is because that is exactly what they do. 

They were CREATED for it! 

The wing span of an eagle is about five feet in length and even though their bones are hollow inside the wings, the multi layers of feathers cause a severe heaviness which makes continual flapping very WEARY for the eagle. You may think feathers are light, but 7,000 of them accumulate some weight, especially when about 7 feathers are the equal weight of a penny!
So how do eagles keep from flapping those wings and becoming tired? How exactly can they soar?  How do they fly miles and miles without ever flapping a wing?
Would God make a creature so wonderfully just to see them fail at what they were made to do? 
Of course not! He made a way for them to soar! 

They find something called thermals to fly in. Thermals are currents of warm air and updrafts generated by terrain, such as valley edges or mountain slopes.

Catch this! Not only do the mountains generate updrafts for the eagle to keep going, but even in the valleys they are there to lift the eagle up and out. Soaring IS possible even in the valleys!
When we stretch out our “wings” in surrender to God and place our hope in Him, His grace and mercy become our thermals or updrafts for us to soar out of valleys.  It is because of His grace and mercy that we don’t have to try and flap our own way out.

He made a way for us to soar in this broken world.  He made a way through Jesus Christ!  He wants us to fly and to be free! Whether on the mountains or in the valleys of our life He sustains us!

Let’s remember this holiday season, as we celebrate the birth of our Lord, that we soar because of Jesus Christ and that is amazing and unfathomable!
Part 2, “the way of a snake on a rock.”

Book Review: The Familiar Stranger by Christina Berry

What if your spouse was keeping dark secrets? What if a tragic accident brought them all out into light? Could you forgive him or her?
I found Christina Berry’s debut novel, the Familiar Stranger, when hunting down books comparable to mine. This is a superb story about a woman coming to grips with her husband’s hidden past. It was one of those books that I couldn’t put down, and didn’t. I read it in one sitting!
I loved how she switched from the husband’s perspective to the wife’s.  The surprises just kept coming! When you think you have it figured out–she proves you wrong!

I encourage you to pick up your copy or give it as a gift! Discussion questions for book groups are in the back and if you would like to have Christina on conference call at your discussion, you can contact her at the link provided! I’ve had the opportunity to chat with her by email a few times and I can tell you that talking to her over the phone would be insightful, fun, and inspiring!

Here’s a teaser from the back cover:

Craig Littleton’s decision to end his marriage would shock his wife, Denise … if she knew what he was up to. When an accident lands Craig in the ICU, with fuzzy memories of his own life and plans, Denise rushes to his side, ready to care for him.

They embark on a quest to help Craig remember who he is and, in the process, discover dark secrets. What will she do when she realizes he’s not the man she thought he was? Is this trauma a blessing in disguise, a chance for a fresh start? Or will his secrets destroy the life they built together?

author, Christina Berry

For a limited time–until December 7th, you can get this book autographed by Christina! What a great Christmas gift for yourself or someone else!

I don’t wanna see your girls, dress appropriately! A guide to quality childcare


Mary Lange (this isn’t the pic she sent, but I couldn’t download that
one) But really, this is the REAL Mary! Tons of fun and


Today’s guest blog is from a very dear friend and former colleague of mine, Mary Lange. Mary has taught me how to run a financially tight ship! She can squeeze blood out of a turnip! (not literally, if so I never got to see it!) Every time I entered her center, equipment flowed and she was NEVER over budget! Thanks, Mary!


My name is Mary Lange.  I am a wife, mom of 3, stepmom of 2.  Currently, I attend ASU and substitute teach at the local school district. I was lucky and had the opportunity to stay at home for the last three years with my youngest child.  She went to preschool this fall at the old age of three.  My oldest daughter, who is now 19, went to day care at 6 weeks of age.  My son, now 16 went to an in home daycare until he turned one, then he came to the center that I worked at.  So, I have been there, done that too.    I worked in a licensed childcare facility for 14 years beginning as a toddler teacher and working my way up to academy director and I must say that I enjoyed my time as a teacher more than I did as an administrator.   I have cared for and taught children of all ages, infants to high school.  The greatest achievement as a teacher is when you see that light bulb go off above the child’s head.  I believe that teaching is a calling from God and all people are not meant teachers. 
When speaking of a teacher, yes they can be male or female, but I normally use the feminine term especially when speaking about teachers in childcare facilities.
One of first things that most people look at when they walk into a teacher’s classroom is her appearance.   The teacher should be dressed appropriately.  Appropriate is a word that can be interpreted in different ways.
This is my idea of appropriate dress for a childcare facility.  If the facility mandates uniforms for their employees, does the teacher adhere to the policy?  Is her uniform clean?  Does it look like she slept in her clothes or didn’t take a shower that day?   I feel that personal hygiene is very important in a childcare facility.  If she doesn’t take pride in or care of herself, how can you expect her to take care of your child?  If uniforms are not worn, appropriate means that they are dressed ready for inside and outside active play and bending and stretching without showing any extra skin.  By extra skin, I mean cleavage and the upper thigh area that can and will expose the booty cheeks when bending over. Is she dressed sloppy?
 Are her clothes excessively baggy or so tight that it appears that she has been poured into them?    Clothes should fit well and be easy to move around in.  Shoes should be clean and low heeled.  The only high heels that should ever been worn in a preschool is by the preschooler playing dress up or the Director.  The preferred shoe of choice is a tennis shoe or a comfortable low heeled dress shoe.   Yes, some ladies do like to wear skirts or dresses.  This is okay too, as long as they are able to sit on the floor and play with the children.   Hair should be neat and clean.  Jewelry should be kept to a minimum. 
Remember to look at more than what she is wearing, appearance goes beyond the clothes.  What does her face say when you walk in the room or when you are peeking in the window before entering;  does she look happy, tried, frustrated, or  is there a blank look on her face?   What does her classroom look like; does she take pride in her room?
If you are concerned about what the teacher is wearing, you can and should talk to the Director about you concerns.  I know personally, I do not want to go into my child’s preschool class and see the teacher bending over exposing themselves to the children or to other parents.  (Me either, Mary! -jess)
What are your thoughts? What do you expect? Any stories you’d like to share?


Have a great weekend! See you Monday!

Urban Translation Thursday!

Take a stab at using the following words to make a sentence!
“Whatever lifts your luggage”- synonomous with “whatever floats your boat”



Roommate Chicken-

The condition where a group of people sharing a living space each avoid doing a household chore for an extended period because each believes it’s someone else’s responsibility. The idea is that eventually the situation will reach a critical mass where the guilty party will cave in and do the chore. In practice, the situation can escalate to extreme levels.


Tomorrow’s guest blogger–Mary Lange!!!

The Dreaded Day Doesn’t Have to Be: A guide to finding quality childcare


Lisa Boyd far right at an Academy event

Today’s GUEST blog is from Lisa M. Boyd, my mentor and friend!

My name is Lisa Boyd.  I am married and have 2 grown children and 3 grandchildren. I worked in the childcare industry for 27 years at all levels.  I loved being a teacher.  Everyday was different and never boring.  I usually learned more from them than they did from me.  The number one lesson we can learn from children in that of forgiveness.  If someone wrongs them, they get mad and they get over it. If  it could only be so with adults. In the latter years I was a Director, which was a whole new ballgame of challenges. Not only did I have to deal with children, but now their parents and caregivers. There are things that drove me crazy at times but I wouldn’t change many things that happened over the years. The largest lesson I learned in all my years was that to really be successful in life we should do as Christ instructed, “you must become as a little child.


What to Expect on Your Child’s First Day 
It is wise to allow an extra 30 minutes at drop off time on your child’s first day at preschool.  Upon arriving at the center or home, you and your child  should be greeted by the Director or another designated member of management. They should walk you through the drop off and pickup procedures for your childs age group.
 There should be happy noises in the morning,usually breakfast or snack may be occurring.   You should then be escorted to where your child will be at that time of the day. Take into consideration that preschoolers are often grouped together in early morning and late afternoons.  Infants and toddlers should never be grouped with older children.
Upon arriving at your childs classroom, you and your child should be greeted by the caregiver. At this time you will be shown where to place your childs belongings.(their name tag should already be in place)The caregiver should ask for any written instructions (generally for Infants and young toddlers) or any verbal instructions for the day.  A good caregiver will jot down the verbal to pass on to the next shift. 
Your child should be led to the group and introduced to the other children and led into the activity occuring at the time. It is always best to tell your child goodbye, never sneak away or your child may feel abandoned. You should expect a call from the Director sometime in the morning to let you know how things are going and the activities that occurred that morning.  The main caregiver should also give you a call after lunch. Be sure to call yourself anytime, it is just as hard on parents as it is on children when leaving each other for the first time.
At the end of the day, you should receive some type of progress report from your child’s caregiver.  Infants , toddlers and 2 yrs olds  should receive some type of care provided sheet to let you know about diapering and feeding times.  The main caregiver should write you a personal note about your child’s first day. 
The Director should be available to answer any questions or concerns you may have about your child’s first day.  We also must keep in mind that some times there is an adjustment period for some children. They may cry or have a tantrum depending on their age, but these go away in time. In all my years as a child care worker/Director , I never saw a child who did not adapt.