JadeRider Journeys

Faith

Freedom Prayer

by on Mar.13, 2011, under 2011, Abolition, Faith

The following is the Freedom Prayer, written by Sandra, that was read today at City of Refuge as part of the Freedom Sunday service.

LORD, GOD, CREATOR OF ALL LIFE
We ask that you utilize our gifts and our offerings here today to raise awareness among your body surrounding this sanctity of life issue—the trafficking of human beings across the globe, across state lines into our city and across borders into our nation. Does it grieve us as much as it grieves you, O LORD GOD, that our city is the #1 site of sexual traffic and our state in the top 5 of most smuggled into indentured servitude—modern day slavery? LORD, help our nation, enslaved by the cult of MORE…We are seduced by greed, lust and power—strongholds of sin  that create a market and a demand for horrendous activities that degrade human lives and oppress them  and us all. We repent  for the many sins our culture has embraced, financed and been themselves enslaved by, and ask your conviction, forgiveness and restoration to transformed lives. Let us get out of just talking about it, and reveal to us the actions we can undertake on behalf of those who cannot speak up for themselves.  Reconcile us all to your ways, that are full of Spirit and Truth, Joy and Peace. 

Allow our brothers and sisters, who are defrauded into coming here with the promise of a job,  to have access to the full rights and experiences that we aspire to as citizens of this country. Let the perpetrators and kidnappers who mislead,  threaten and coerce the vulnerable poor of many nations and on our streets to be caught, punished and imprisoned for their crimes against humanity. Help us work on behalf of the victims, to rescue, re-establish and re-educate the least of these, to establish better laws to protect them, and provide refuge for their deliverance. LORD we know you are in the transformation business, and we ask you lead this mighty army of disenfranchised and enslaved into the freedom of becoming a child of yours in the process—that they would hear your promises, feel your love, and know that is YOUR HAND that has redeemed them unto eternal and abundant living, better than anything we could offer. But let us be willing to let YOU use our hands, feet, love and resources to be your ambassadors on the ground, O Father of us all.

Make us aware of our own, inadvertent role in this web of inhumanity through our global economy, where these captives are de-humanized, treated as property or capital in order to produce so many of our daily consumables and feed our lust for more and “the good life.”

LORD what must you think of such greed, power and the  strongholds of our lust for flesh and materials,  oil and trinkets, food and water? O LORD let us be better stewards of those essential resources, mindful of our conspicuous consumption, and repent as a nation for the least of these whose very lives are the currency of this struggle. Allow your Mighty Holy Spirit to fall on us, and bring us to conviction and confession and allow our  hardened hearts  to be forgiven and softened to those most helpless against this tide. Let your wrath be swift and thorough with those who perpetuate this darkness , sell human life as cheap, and crave the temporary comforts this world offers. Grieve our hearts as yours is, O LORD, and move us to action, compassion, and prayerful attentiveness to the purposes you will place in each of us leaving here today. Let us listen and obey your call to action and prayer today.
TO YOU WE GIVE ALL THE GLORY FOR WHAT YOU WILL DO FROM THIS DAY FORWARD,
Lord Jesus Christ, Beginning and End, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace!

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A brake in the flow: hearing a second call

by on Jan.28, 2010, under 2010, Faith, Freedom

I am taking a break from a number of flows, or lines here.  The final day of my trip still remains to be documented.  The main lessons learned from that trip also await in the digital ink well.  I am not watching my usual movie episode while I eat lunch.  It feels like God is calling again.  I feel like the spiritual phone has rung twice, and things are stirring in my soul again. I imagine myself like Samuel, being called by the Lord, and not answering him, being confused by a perceived source of the call.  Let me try to explain.

Sometime in 2009, I feel like the first call came in.  I was attending a talk by Dale Dawson on his work in Africa through Bridge2Rwanda, and his effort to help rebuild this nation.  At that time, for days, I felt my spirit and energy moved towards trying to figure out how to put my God given talents into service for a project like this.  Over time, though, I let myself be buried by the day to day things of my life.  A small flame, which actually had started burning before that talk, still kept burning.  A flame driven by the thought that our activities and practices, should not be divorced from the notion that in this world, things are more linked together than ever.  A flame fanned by the knowledge that the choices we exercise in consumption, including eating,  our clothes, our tires, and our precious digital gadgetry have a profound impact on the lives of people across the globe.

Yesterday, God hit me over the head with a not so subtle hammer, to make me understand why I had been able to open my eyes that morning.  At 7 pm last night, my team at work recorded and delivered over the web a presentation on human trafficking and slavery, entitled Not For Sale.  The presenter, David Batstone, delivered a powerful and hard-hitting talk about the variety of aspects of our lives that invisibly, for us, are touched by slavery.  He covered sex trade practices here and abroad, tires, chocolate, and cell phones, to name just a few.  David is more than an academician.  He is a creative thinker and writer that does not allow himself to be distracted by the enormity of the task at hand.  Like writing a book, in which the author plows through page by page, he moves forward in his humanitarian and faith-driven mission to end exploitation of people.  Through the Not For Sale campaign,  he offers a wealth of information, and a starting point for creative initiatives, for each of us to be driven to become part of the solution, and leverage, to end slavery.

As a Christian, I have come to believe that the true church lives outside the walls of the buildings where we congregate on Sundays to praise our Lord.  It is what we do outside, in our day to day lives that really will bring about the Kingdom of God, and glory to His Name.  So the challenge for us, believers and non-believers, is right in from of us.  The history of our faith is high lighted by the delivery of the Jewish people from the bondage of Egypt, symbolized by one of the most monumental visions, the parting of a sea, to see them through to freedom, and to drown the forces of their oppression.  In a more significant gesture though, God sent His only Son to  live on this earth, and suffer and die, in indescribable pain, to free us from the slavery of sin.  How are we, who are indebted to God into eternity, dealing with, or ignoring, slavery in this world that we have been entrusted with?

How can I use my talents, and passions in life to help in this campaign for freedom?  What are first steps in hearing this call?  My mind has been in a slow boil since last night.  For me it will start with a few things. Firstly, I will continue, my practices around coffee.  Starting last year, I have only bought Fair Trade coffee.  Further, I stay away from convenience, and do not prepare coffee with the now infamous ‘Coffee Pods’, such as the ones sold by Keurig, as they only occasionally use fair trade coffee, and produce literally mountains of unrecyclable plastic pods.  On a side note, it is ironic that one of the pod providers is Green Mountain Coffee.

Next on my list is tires.  A little known fact to the non-biker community is that motorcycles go through tires a lot more quickly than cars.  This is due to the physics of motorcycling, and how the shape and composition of tires us an essential, and critical component of steering.  I will be careful in my selection of tires for my car, and motorcycle (http://www.commondreams.org/headlines05/1208-07.htm).

Other areas in simmer?  I have been dreaming for about two years of setting up a benefit that is directly driven by my passion for long distance motorcycle travel.  Like march of dimes, I have envisioned a benefit where contributors pledge a certain amount per mile ridden on certain events.  As I write believe I will call it Miles to Break Chains.  Will you join?

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