Marianne Hering, author of the Imagination Station Adventure Series books, talks with Jeanne Dennis about the importance of reading and how parents can help even struggling readers gain confidence and enjoy reading. Her adventure books explore some of the lesser-known facts of history and give children more of a sense of their Christian heritage.
Here at Heritage of Truth, we believe in marriage for life, and we know that when we allow Jesus to be Lord, both our lives and our marriages will be richer and more fulfilling.
Even if you have no one to celebrate with today, may your day be filled with the Love of Jesus, the One who gave His all for you . . . because God SO loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life (John 3:16). His is the love that truly lasts forever.
My guest blogger for Valentine’s Day is Poppy Smith.
By Poppy Smith (Guest Blogger)
Five FREE Valentine Gifts He’ll Love
Does your marriage need some loving, tender care at Valentine’s? Thinking about some special gift just for him? Forget the new jeans, T-shirts, sweaters and even the latest smart phone. Here are five FREE gifts your husband will appreciate above everything else.
1. Acceptance: Recognize that you didn’t marry your best girlfriend, someone ready and willing to listen as you pour out deep feelings—over and over again. Accept that he has no desire to be a substitute girl friend. He doesn’t know what to do, or what you want from him. Show you love him for who he is: a human being who is not your mirror image.
2. Understanding: He doesn’t understand your emotional intensity because he’s not a woman. Hurling hurtful words when he doesn’t say what you want to hear, or do what any reasonable person should do on seeing your distress, only sends him back into his cave. Believe he loves you, and let him express it in a way that fits who he is.
3. Support: He might not always make the best decisions or ones you agree with, but you can still be supportive. When he messes up, tell him you care about him and focus on the things he does well rather than his failings. Speak gently, using words that soothe the situation rather than inflame it. Then work together on a solution.
4. Forgiveness: Release those hurts and offenses that happen in a relationship. Stewing over what he said, how he said it, when he said it, and what he really meant by it only sours your system. He’s human—just like you. Make a decision to move beyond what caused your negative feelings. Give him a free pass and a big snuggly hug.
5. Availability: Drop your to-do list. Put aside your plans. Tell him you’re available to do whatever he wants on Valentine’s Day (and beyond, if you’re feeling especially loving). Instead of forcing him into your pre-determined schedule, free yourself up to have fun together.
Marriage is a growing place. If yours has challenges, you’re not alone. Almost every marriage has struggles. But you get to choose how to respond to them. Valentine’s Day is an opportunity for both of you to strengthen your relationship. What better gifts can you give than acceptance, understanding, support, forgiveness, and availability? Wrap them in love and watch the joy flow.
About Poppy Smith
With her fun personality and passion for communicating life-changing truths, British-born Poppy Smith inspires audiences around the world to thrive spiritually, personally and relationally. She is a former Bible Study Fellowship Teacher, has a Masters in Spiritual Formation, and is the author of several books and Bible studies that help readers live successful and fulfilling lives. To contact Poppy, write to firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit her website: www.poppysmith.com
I have asked my friend Kathi Macias to tell us more about the problem of human trafficking. She is the author of a new novel series about human trafficking and our guest on Heritage of Truth TV.
Let My People Go!
By Kathi Macias, guest blogger
The term “human trafficking” or “trafficking in persons” (TIP) often draws raised eyebrows and skeptical expressions—until statistics are laid out to show that approximately 27 million people are enslaved today, whether for the purposes of slave labor, prostitution, or involuntary organ “donations.”
The Salvation Army has made the rescue of those enslaved around the world their number-one goal at this time, holding seminars and conferences to educate people and to garner support from various individuals and organizations.
The United Nations describes TIP in this way:
“The recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring or receipt of persons, by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation. Exploitation shall include, at a minimum, the exploitation of the prostitution of others or other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labor or services, slavery or practices similar to slavery, servitude or the removal of organs.”
In a nutshell, human trafficking is modern-day slavery, and it is the fastest growing criminal industry in the world. It is currently tied with the illegal arms industry for the second largest criminal industry in existence, with the drug industry being the only one to edge it out.
Oh, I know. Most people naively believe that human trafficking happens only in faraway countries—Thailand or Cambodia, perhaps. True, it does occur there at a tragic rate. But it also takes place right here in the United States daily, to such an extent that some states are instituting task forces to try and stop it. Texas Attorney General Greg Abbot promises that their new task force “will take an aggressive stand against human traffickers, who have turned Texas into a hub for international and domestic forced labor and prostitution rings.”
Another myth about human trafficking is that it only involves adults. Millions of children around the world are crying out in pain and terror over the heartbreaking error of that statement. According to Wikepedia, trafficking in children may come about as an “exploitation of the parents’ extreme poverty. Parents may sell children to traffickers in order to pay off debts or gain income, or they may be deceived concerning the prospects of training and a better life for their children. They may sell their children for labor, sex trafficking, or illegal adoptions.”
Can there be anything that grieves the Father’s heart more than the forced enslaving of people made in His own image—by others bearing that same divine imprint? I believe each time anyone becomes aware of such evil and cries out against it, that cry is spurred by the Father’s own pain. If ever the Church needed to be involved in helping to right a human wrong, it’s now. Human trafficking must stop! And each of us who names the Name of Christ must ask the Father what He wants us to do to help make that happen.
In my case, that includes writing about it—every chance I get, including blogs, letters, articles, and a new fiction-based-on-real-life series on this very topic. Will you pray for this series as it releases, that God will use it to open eyes and hearts? Will you also pray and ask God what you can do to answer His heart cry of “Let My people go”? Millions of enslaved human beings around the world are depending on you to respond.
***Kathi Macias (www.kathimacias.com; http://kathieasywritermacias.blogspot.com), award-winning author of more than thirty-five books, is in the midst of releasing a three-book fiction series on the topic of human trafficking. The first book, Deliver Me from Evil, released in September 2011; book two, Special Delivery, releases March 6, 2012, with the final book, The Deliverer, scheduled for Fall 2012 release.
Kathi Macias, author of over 35 books talks with Jeanne Dennis about the value of Christian fiction to change lives. They also discuss the process she used to write her Extreme Devotion series of books, which take place in various parts of the world where Christians suffer persecution for their faith.
For links to all of our interviews, go to Heritage of Truth TV.