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Two Very Common Ways Teen Girls Get Trafficked

She's young and looking for someone to give her value and worth through what she calls love. He finds her on the internet...

She needs a job, and a friend takes her hand and says she'll provide...

The video below is Chinese, showing that this problem is not just in our country but worldwide. It is worth watching. In it you hear the stories from girls, what they are thinking along the process of getting trapped.

On the site, the creators posted, "This DVD will be shown in middle and high schools all over China. We have also posted it on many Chinese websites, please pray this video will be a big hit and many young women will be warned about the dangers of traffickers."

I wish we had something like this showing in American schools! The average age for a girls in the US to get trafficked is 12-14, when they are young enough to often not know the dangers. A video like this makes them aware enough so that, if confronted with such situations, they will know to think twice before assuming what's presented to them is good.

Once a girl is trafficked, her life span lowers to an average of only 5 years. Better than rescuing them after they are trafficked is rescuing them before they are trafficked. Videos like this help do that. Feel free to pass it along!

Related Posts: Trafficking and Your Teens-the Day I got Propositioned Online

Trafficking, 12-year-olds, and Willow Smith's new Music Video


Pruning - Ouch

Yesterday, a bunch of guys came out with big equipment to prune our huge pecan trees in the backyard. They are glorious, their branches and leaves stretching far to twine fingers with each other. Those branches and leaves are their beauty, the visual representation of their strength, but they need to be tempered.

The farther out the branches go, the more branches and the more leaves spread, the more of the tree's sustenance goes out to the edges of those long branches, taking it away from the the main part of the tree, where sustenance is most needed.

Time to be pruned.

One of our backyard trees.

We are not different. The more we take on and get involved in, the more our strength has to go to the outer parts, those activities or secondary priorities or even ministries, while the core of who we are, our souls, do not get what we need.

A tree that is not pruned will eventually lose branches as they fall off, sometimes causing great damage. Or the tree dries up, not able to keep growing or thriving.

A person not pruned has stress, and eventually burnout.

I've always understood the pruning concept in the sense that I needed it sometimes, but yesterday I watched and saw something amazing. We, the tree owners, put the money into the pruning. The men we hired did the work. The tree's job? Just to endure. That tree had no part in the pruning except to let it happen. All of the work and decision making was done by those responsible for its care.

From our perspective as God's children, sometimes a pruning may feel like it's coming at a wrong time, or is unfair because the tree next door is allowed to keep growing. We feel less, we feel our identity has been taken, we feel God is punishing us or denying us happiness or doesn't want us to enjoy a feeling of fulfillment.

But God sees farther than we can from our position. He knows the end from the beginning. He knows when what we are doing, however glorious and yes, even God-honoring it may look, sometimes those very things are taking away from us getting our sustenance from God alone, and letting that sustenance go to what is needed in the core, rather than the branches.

If you find yourself being pruned, do not despair. There is purpose, and that purpose is good. It is to help you grow better. All you need to do is let God be in charge. Let Him prune you. Endure. All is well.

I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser.  
Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away;  
and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, 
that it may bear more fruit.   
Jesus, John 15:1-2

Sick Day with Chronic Health Problems

I came across this post from a couple of years ago, and it rang really true for me this week, so here it is again for anyone who, like me, needed the reminder. God bless your week!

Days like today shake up my rhythm.  I don't like that.  I like spontaneity when I'm the one choosing to be spontaneous.  But I don't like the routine being thrown off.

I caught a cold last week.  For me, catching a cold can be a normal cold, or it can turn into something dangerous.  Problem is, I don't know which is which.

The space between "something's wrong" and "here's what to do" is frightening to me.  It's always a gamble, and I'm no good at gambling.  Sometimes I react too soon, and take measures that were unnecessary.  Sometimes I wait too long, and have to pay the consequences.
Casino Dice Stock Photo

I don't like being responsible for choices that have so much at stake.  That's why I don't like the routine being thrown off.

For example, this cold.  If it's a normal cold, I'm not supposed to have to go up on my steroids.  Only if I have an infection or fever.  But then an unexpected symptom or two added to it.  Did that mean I had the flu?  Should I go up?

If I don't go up when my body needs to, I'm going to be in bad shape.  If I go up when I don't need to, I'm going through all the extra med issues and then the tapering for no reason.

So I went up a little, then a little more.  By Sunday we decided to do a stress dose.  That's a whopper dose--which we did in the hopes of wiping out the sickness so it wouldn't run on and compromise my immune system any more.

Now today, Monday, I have to decide what to do again.  Should I start going down, so the tapering wouldn't be so difficult?  Or will going down just flare up the sickness again and I'll be worse off than before?

No, I'm not a schizophrenic.  I'm a control freak.

Having a day-to-day disease is not easy for a control freak.  However, maybe the Lord knows it's just what I need, to learn to let go of my need to be in charge.  My body is not my kingdom.  It is God's; I'm just a steward of it for this lifetime.

Last night I was discouraged, feeling sick, and struggling with the fact of having this to deal with at all.  And I was thinking about brain surgery and the risks involved.

As I lay in bed, fearing the weight of so many choices with so many ramifications, God whispered to me that it wasn't my responsibility.  Yes, I'm responsible for the daily decisions, like whether to go up or down on meds.  Sometimes I choose rightly, sometimes not.  But my life and my body are God's.  God knows the number of my days.  He know which one will be my last.  And He's not going to let me mess up to the point of changing that.  I'm not that powerful.

What a relief.

Tomorrow, I'll wake up and have to go through all of this decision stuff again, and again the next day until I stabilize.  Then once I stabilize, I try to establish a nice routine that will be broken up next time I get sick or have a flare up.  And when that happens, I will struggle with my natural tendency to worry and fear . . . again.  

I'm not sure if I'll ever learn to let go of some of my control-freak fears for good.  But I'm letting go of them tonight.

That's a start.

What? know ye not that your body is 
the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, 
which ye have of God, 
and ye are not your own?
 For ye are bought with a price: 
therefore glorify God in your body, 
and in your spirit, which are God's.  
I Corinthians 6:19-20


How Different Personality Types respond to Stress


Health nuts are going to feel stupid someday,
lying in hospitals dying of nothing.
Redd Rox

                How did you react when you found out you were officially unhealthy? Not unhealthy as in temporarily sick, but as in chronically I’ll-never-be-the-same, what-happened-to-my-life kind of unhealthy?
                People react to crisis in different ways. If you’ve ever lived with anyone other than yourself, you already know that. Some jump into fix-it mode and immediately organize and start battling the problem. Others leave the scene and go do something random that has nothing to do with the crisis at hand. Some eat. Others cry. Some rage. Others shop. Some sit and stare at the TV. Others analyze.

                And of course, since no one is officially in charge during the majority of crisis events, most of us end up getting frustrated at the way others are acting, or even the way we ourselves are acting.
                Why do some of us start emotionally eating while our friends are attacking the problem? Why do some seem to ignore the problem altogether while their spouses are going on about the negative details so thoroughly it makes everyone else depressed?
                Are we all slightly insane? Obsessive compulsive? Trying to make everyone around us miserable?
                Well, I can’t speak for your particular family and friends on those questions, but in general, no, we aren’t acting the way we do because of some unnatural, subconsciously vindictive reason. On the contrary, most of us are just acting naturally according to the personalities God gave us.
                Wow, you just went from being slightly insane to normal in three sentences. That’s got to make you feel good.
                Each person is unique, as individual as a snowflake, only much more complex (and we don’t melt—way superior). Nevertheless, all our amazing complexities as humans have been narrowed down to four main personality types by someone much smarter than myself. Those types are titled Sanguine, Choleric, Melancholy, and Phlegmatic. People have different mixtures of these four types, but any given person usually has one or two that are dominate, and tends to follow a certain pattern of thought and behavior based on those dominant types.
                See if you can find yourself: And by the way, every type has its strengths and weaknesses, so no deciding your type is great and everybody else’s is bad!

Sanguines—like to have fun. Sanguines are bubbly and fun-loving. They like to be the center of attention and tell stories, but tend to exaggerate and be disorganized.

Cholerics—like to have control. Cholerics are the ones who take charge, make quick decisions and like for things to be done the way they think is best. They make good leaders, but tend to be bossy and put tasks over people.

Melancholies—like to have things done right. Melancholies are smart, serious and sensitive. Most creative geniuses are melancholies with their attention to detail and deep creativity, but they lean toward perfectionism and depression.

Phlegmatics—like the easy way. Phlegmatics are easy-going, dry-humor, calm types. They love objectively solving problems and keeping peace, but have a hard time making decisions and have trouble being motivated.

                Did you find yourself in one or two of those types? (If you want to study the personality types more in depth, the information in this chapter came from Florence Littauer’s book, Personalities in Power, used with permission.) I can’t tell you how much it helped me and my marriage to realize that my husband and I didn’t have to figure out whose reactions were right and whose were wrong. We were both acting according to the personalities we were given by God.
                That’s not to say we’re excused to just act in whatever way comes naturally to us. Like I said, each type has its strengths and weaknesses, and each needs the tempering of the Holy Spirit to be balanced.
                That being said, though, it was such a relief to find out that these strong emotional feelings I have in response to my health condition are totally normal for my personality type. I wasn’t falling off the deep end or losing my mind, and you aren’t either!
                Let’s go more in depth on each of those four types, including how they tend to react to stress.

A Sanguine’s emotional needs are people related: attention, affection, approval and acceptance. They like to be optimistic and bubbly, and get depressed when life is not fun and no one seems to love them.
Sanguine’s reaction to stress: leave the scene, go shopping, find a fun group, create excuses, blame others.

A Choleric’s emotional needs are appreciation for accomplishments, credit for ability, and a sense of obedience. They like to achieve much, and get depressed when life is out of control and people won’t do things their way.
Choleric’s reaction to stress: tighten control, work harder, exercise more, get rid of offender.

A Melancholy’s emotional needs are space, silence, sensitivity, support and a sense of stability. They like to analyze, organize, and set long-range goals, and get depressed when life is out of order or standards aren’t met and no one seems to care.
Melancholy’s reaction to stress: withdraws, gets lost in a book, becomes depressed, gives up, recounts the problems.

A Phlegmatic’s emotional needs are a sense of respect, feeling of worth, understanding, emotional support and harmony. They are loyal, and get depressed when there is conflict, no one wants to help, or the buck stops with them.
Phlegmatic’s reaction to stress: hide from it, watch TV, eat.

                I am a choleric with a little bit of sanguine and melancholy thrown into the mix, and zilcho in the phlegmatic department. I have lists and charts and whenever I digress health-wise I research more and fight harder and sometimes make myself worse, but I don’t care because I have to be doing something even if it’s the wrong thing! Being a choleric explains why I would rather have faced the risks of brain surgery than just live with my condition for life (which is probably one of the reasons God is not allowing me to have brain surgery, because it’s supposed to be about Him and His strength not about me and mine).
                My husband is a phlegmatic with some melancholy, and I’m pretty sure nothing in the sanguine and choleric categories. He’s a wonderful listener, a fantastic helper, and great problem-solver, but when it comes to crisis, he just doesn’t react in any way that makes sense to me. His emotions don’t rise to the surface, he doesn’t attack the problem. Oh, he’ll analyze it with me for hours, but the information doesn’t motivate him to do anything.
                This is incomprehensible to me, and I used to translate it to mean he didn’t really care, because if he cared, he would respond the way I do (of course, right?).  Now, having learned the above, I know it is just his personality and has nothing to do with how much or how little he cares about me.
                That’s why this chapter is in this book, because all of us assume people act and react for the same reasons we do, and we translate their actions to mean what they would mean if coming from us. This is a bad idea. It leads to misunderstandings, hurt feelings and conflict.
                One of the last things you want is to be on your way to the hospital, annoyed with everyone you love because of the weird ways they’re reacting to this crisis!
                Now that I know people react to stress differently, I can give grace to those who act in a way that feels unloving or uncaring to me. Sometimes it is because they care very much that they are acting as they do; it’s their way of coping and I should not expect them to jump over to my personality type just because that’s what makes sense to me.
                It also shows me that I need God’s help to not just give my personality free reign, thinking my way is the best way. I need the Holy Spirit to temper my actions and reactions so I might please God in all I do, and so I can live well with others.

                All of us need to give grace, to others and ourselves. We need to know the truth about ourselves, because the truth will set us free. And we need to pray for help from God, who is above our personalities and can help us rise above as well.
                Maybe then we can get a little less frustrated with others (and ourselves) and not take personally what is really just personality.

This chapter is taken from the new release, You're Sick, They're Not: Relationship Help for Chronic Sufferers and Those Who Love Them. Click the title to order yours!

Unfullfilled Longings...and Flowers (Excerpt from You're Sick, They're Not)

Sick & Tired Book 2
YOU'RE SICK, THEY'RE NOT: Relationship Help for Chronic Sufferers and Those Who Love Them 
has been released!
The book covers important topics such as:
*How different personality types respond to a medical crisis
*The 5 love languages in regard to illness
*How to avoid friction during holidays and other family events
*What to do about the people who just don't get it

For today, I'm sharing a funny story from the book, a time when I got what I wanted, but through a very unusual route...

Excerpt from YOU'RE SICK, THEY'RE NOT  

           So how do we adapt if we really want something and nobody is getting the idea? I don’t know how you personally should deal with that problem, but I dealt with it once by buying myself flowers. You can think that’s weird if you want to.
            Here’s what happened. My husband was leaving the country for several weeks and I was going to be home with a new baby and a chronic condition. As the day to leave came closer, I wondered if Brian would think of something special for us to do, or maybe he would give me a card, or flowers…yes, flowers would be great. Then I could enjoy them while he was gone, and every time I saw them I could think of how he loved me. I built up my little bubble of hope, waiting for him to surprise me with flowers before he left.
            My poor husband, however, was busy trying to translate curriculum into another language, pack, and plan a huge trip. He forgot to think about doing something special for the wife he would be leaving behind. (Being a man, he tends to be rather single-focused—God made him that way so I really shouldn’t get all that mad at him about it.)
Translating...being a dad...not sure why I assumed he'd be thinking about flowers. =)
            I started worrying about this whole flower thing, remembering how I’d done this get-my-hopes-up-for-a-surprise thing, only to be surprised that he hadn’t been secretly planning some great thing after all. I debated within myself. I could subtly mention flowers and hope he got the hint. That usually didn’t work well. I could ask him if he was going to get me flowers and then hope he would. Or I could say nothing, be disappointed, and then for weeks feel down when I saw the table where my flowers were supposed to go.
            Funny how borderline insane the scene looks in writing. It all made perfect sense in my head at the time!
            So…I decided to not wait to be disappointed. I decided to help myself. I went to the store and bought some flowers. Then I brought them home, handed them to my husband and said, “Would you please give me these flowers and say, ‘When you look at these flowers, I want you to remember that I love you’?”
            You should have seen the look on his face. Priceless. It was that grand mixture of uh-oh, am I in trouble, along with, are you slightly crazy? I repeated my statement, holding the flowers out. He said he wasn’t sure if that was a good idea. I think he was expecting me to feel slightly bitter than I had had to do this myself. Funny thing was, I wasn’t. Deciding to go get what I wanted actually was quite liberating, much more fun than sitting around waiting to be forgotten.
            Finally, he took the flowers and said the little phrase, with much chagrin. I had to laugh.  
            Those weeks when he was gone, instead of sitting around upset that he hadn’t thought to get me flowers before he left (and how was he to know that’s what I wanted most anyway?), I had beautiful flowers to look at. And when I looked at them, I actually did think of how he loved me, and I smiled remembering the sheepish grin on his face as he said the little phrase I’d given him.
            I myself had turned the whole situation around by deciding to stop waiting for someone else to be responsible for making me happy. Maybe you can find a way to do that today, too.

Find You're Sick, They're Not at!


Part 2 of Guest Interview with Jana Flaig, fighting cancer and fear with laughter!

We're back with Jana Flaig, ovarian cancer survivor. She not only has a book about Fight Fear and Foster Faith, but also a DVD about Been There, Got the Wig! Let's talk more about how laughter helps in fighting fear...

7.  Why is humor and laughter important in the fight against fear? 

Humor is a powerful weapon against fear because it can defuse or lessen fear by redirecting our focus onto the something light-hearted.  Laughter lifts our spirit, when we laugh we feel better, and when we feel better, it’s easier to have hope.

8.How does laughter make us feel better?

Laughter releases natural pain-relieving endorphins in our body, it activates our immune system, reduces stress hormones. Laughter is life’s medicine. Laughter can help us to see the light at the end of the tunnel as we’re going through tough times and keep us from throwing in the towel.

9. Tell about an example of finding humor in your hardship.

Soon I noticed that people reacted differently to me when they’d heard I had cancer.  One lady came up to me in church and apologized, “I’m sorry that I didn’t get to know you,”and she left.  She just missed her 2nd chance.    Another woman approached me said “I’m sooo glad I’m not you.” “What does it feel like knowing you’re going to die soon?”  I think they meant well, so I wasn’t offended; but their remarks suggested maybe there’s a Cancer Card to be played here:  I went to a camera store to return an expensive cable and was told that I would not get a refund because the 7-day grace period had passed.  So as the manager turned to walk away, I blurted out “I’m a cancer survivor!” and lifted my shirt to show him my huge scar. I did that because the Scar shows that I’ve been hurt, the Scar is evidence that I’ve been healed, the Scar is empathy.  Well he changed his tune.  And with his eyes wide open, he quickly gave me my 40-dollars.  I was feeling pretty good.   This “cancer survivor” thing isn’t bad.  When I got home I stood in front of the mirror and lifted my shirt to see what he saw that was so persuasive. To my horror, I saw 
that I had inadvertently lifted my shirt too high.  I flashed him.  Well I can never go back to that store again.  The worst of it I’m not sure why I got the refund! This could revolutionize shopping as we know it!

10  Where can people find out more about your book and public speaking?

Book Fight Fear and Foster Faith is available at and my website is

Any final comments? 
Put on your boxing gloves, jump in the ring and fight fear!