Black Lives Matters March; Women’s March; The Me Too Movement; and recently the student demonstrators marching on Washington, calling for action against gun violence after the recent massacre at a South Florida high school. 

Every one of these protests were supported and echoed by professional athletes, Hollywood entertainers and politicians. Every news channel covered these events almost every day. 

But do you know what none of the media were reporting? What professional athletes, Hollywood entertainers and politicians refused to speak out against? The epidemic of child sexual abuse in homes across the country! In fact, there is more community outrage about animal abuse than there is about child abuse! And the only time the news reports any type of child abuse is when it involves multiple sex trafficking, the death of a child, or some horrendous act perpetrated on a child that the news outlets can sensationalize. 

It is reported that 1 in 5 children have been sexually abused before reaching the age of 18. That means that out of the 500,000 students who marched on Washington protesting gun violence, over 100,000 of them had been sexually abused at some time in their childhood—AND THEY SAID NOTHING!

Nebraska law now requires that any child, age 3-18, who has experienced sexual abuse, serious physical abuse and neglect, witnessed a violent crime, or who has been recovered from a kidnapping or found in a drug endangered environment, be interviewed at a Child Advocacy Center by a trained professional. 

In 2015 4,945 children were served by a Child Advocacy Center in Nebraska alone. And out of those 4,945 children served, nearly half had reported being sexually abused—91% were abused by someone the child knew well; a step-parent, relative or caregiver.

Yet, sadly, for every one child that discloses sexual abuse, many more remain silent. Because they are either too afraid, or too ashamed, or both. The number of child abuse cases would easily double, if every child that should be seen at a Child Advocacy Center under state law was actually provided that opportunity. 

http://nebraskacacs.com/Docs/2015%20Annual%20Report%20-%205.30.16%20-%20Compressed%20V2.pdf

Many of us have heard the stories from the Me Too Movement how traumatic it was for adults to be sexually harassed or assaulted. If it’s traumatic for an adult to be sexually harassed by someone, how much more traumatic is it for a child to be sexually assaulted in their own home by someone they trusted and was supposed to care for them? http://theweek.com/articles/749634/how-metoo-leaving-child-victims-behind

To make matters worse, even when the perpetrators are arrested and charged, most judges only sentence them to probation and require them to register as a sex offender— which does nothing to protect vulnerable children. 

The Sex Offender Registration law in many states do not have any restrictions on registered sex offenders. This is a common misperception. The SOR law in these states does not prevent an offender from attending events, limit employment, restrict an offender from entering any facilities—schools, playgrounds, children museums or other public places where children congregate. Some states do not even restrict a convicted child abuser from living with or socializing with their victim! In many states The SOR law can only mandate that the offender register his or her required information at the sheriff’s office within the required time. This is another reason many victims of child sexual abuse never speak out or report their abuse—they know that they will never get justice.

There are many organizations across the country who are working with law enforcement and legislators to fight against child sex trafficking and rescue its victims. I applaud the work that they do, but they are they are working on the symptom instead of the root cause. 

Research has shown that 43% of runaway and homeless youth were sexually abused before they left their homes. These young people often flee abuse at home, but are exposed to further sexual victimization and human trafficking once on the street. One of every three runaway teens on the street will be lured into prostitution within 48 hours of leaving home. And the average age is fourteen. Many of these children will be trapped in prostitution for years before they escape—and the trauma they experience could affect them well into their adult years.

But it doesn’t have to be this way! 

April is both National Child Abuse Prevention Month and Sexual Assault Awareness Month. There are many ways in which adults can make a critical difference in a child’s life. Whether you are a parent, teacher, coach, neighbor, or family member, you can help. 

Caring adults can support the healthy growth and development of children who have experienced abuse by helping them recognize that it’s not their fault and that you believe them. Children who are able to confide in a trusted adult and feel they are believed by that adult will experience less trauma. Children who falsely claim to have been sexually abused only make up less than 1% of all reported cases.

It is time for adults to speak out for those who have no voice!

For more information on what you can do to prevent child sexual abuse visit the sites below:

https://www.d2l.org

https://laurenskids.org

http://justiceforchildren.org

http://www.smallvoices.org

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Child Sex Abuse In The Church

Posted: January 3, 2018 in Uncategorized

AP’s annual poll reported that the wave of sexual misconduct allegations that toppled Hollywood power brokers, politicians, media icons and many others was the top news story of 2017. Bill Clinton, Donald Trump, Bill Cosby, gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar, Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey and recently senate candidate Roy Moore have all been accused of sexually abusing others.

Supreme Court Justice John Roberts recently announced that he had promised “a careful evaluation of the judiciary’s sexual misconduct policies.” He said, “Recent events have illuminated the depth of the problem of sexual harassment in the workplace.” Roberts added, “Events in the past few weeks have made clear that the judicial branch is not immune.”

Last month, distinguished federal appeals court judge Alex Kozinski retired following accusations by women that he had touched them inappropriately, made lewd comments and shown them pornography.

All of this started the “Me Too” movement that grew like a wildfire thanks to social media, talk show hosts and the news media.

I recently watched aghast as a tearful young woman revealed to Megyn Kelly on her talk show how traumatized she was because a man had grabbed he butt years ago. If an adult woman can be traumatized by someone grabbing their butt, how much more will a small child be traumatized by being sexually assaulted by someone they trust?

The Nebraska Inspector General, Julie Rogers discovered that at least 50 Nebraska children in foster care—some as young as four years old—have suffered sexual abuse while in the state’s care. The Inspector General’s Office launched an investigation after getting a stream of reports concerning sexual abuse of children and youth in the welfare and juvenile justice system.

It is clear that child sexual abuse has become an epidemic in our communities. Many organizations work hard to raise awareness to the public and lawmakers about human trafficking and the sex trade, and yet the epidemic of child sexual abuse in the home is underreported or totally ignored by the media and most people.

Pigs in the parlor

Even churches tend to try to sweep this heinous crime under their religious rug. “That’s ridiculous!” Some would say. “Christians don’t engage in child sexual abuse!”

But contrary to popular myth, the majority of perpetrators who sexually abuse children attend church regularly. Statistically, the abuser is well known to the victim 75-95% of the time. Often the abuser is a family member, a trusted family friend or a child care provider. You may be sitting next to a victim or perpetrator of child sexual abuse in church every Sunday and never know it!

Because child sexual abuse is a felony in many locations, pastors, teachers, counselors and other formal caregivers would do well to learn the laws of their locale pertaining to the reporting of suspected abuse. In many states a person is required by law to make a call to Child Protective Services of a reasonable suspicion of child abuse. The person reporting is protected by law, and laws of confidentiality.

So why are churches so reluctant to report it?

Possibly because they worry about the impact of reporting on a church member—the financial implications or causing the church member to leave the congregation. Christians are also more concerned with the image and testimony of their church to the community. At the heart of this struggle is a fear that is rooted in the need to self-protect—the fear of losing the “good reputation”—the fear of losing ministry donors and losing congregation members. And a fear of losing a ministry altogether.

All such fears are usually masked by a rationale that the reporting of child sexual abuse among church members may “damage the reputation of Christ”. This sounds spiritual, but this has nothing to do with Jesus or HIS reputation. It is actually about protecting THIER reputation.

The problem of child sexual abuse is brought to our attention in Leviticus 18 and again in the New Testament. (1 Corinthians 6:9-10; 1 Thessalonians 4:3-6; Galatians 5:19-21) The problem is not new. Nor has it gone away. One in four girls and one in 10 boys will be sexually assaulted by someone they know and trust before they reach 18.

Statistics show that your child or grandchild has at least a 1 in 10 chance that they will be sexually abused in their own home. And if you are a single parent living with someone other than your child’s biological parent, your child is 30 times more likely to be sexually abused in your home than in the home where both biological parents live!

Let’s make sure we all understand one important truth, child sexual abuse is both a sin and a serious crime. Besides biblical and legal grounds for reporting suspected abuse to authorities, there are also practical reasons to do so. Statistics have shown that 70-80% of sexual abuse survivors report excessive drug and alcohol use. Children who are sexually abused are at greater risk to suffer from post-traumatic stress and other anxiety symptoms, depression and suicide attempts. Adolescents with a history of child sexual abuse demonstrate a three to fourfold increase in rates of substance abuse/dependence. Behavioral problems, including physical aggression occur more frequently among sexually abused children and adolescents. (Find more stats at: https://www.d2l.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/Statistics_5_Consequences.pdf)

The state government has the authority to remove children from parents who are inflicting (or knowingly allowing) physical and/or emotional harm to children. However, this can’t happen if the authorities are not notified of the suspected maltreatment. Oftentimes, a child’s very survival is dependent upon whether we take the initiative and report. There should be little debate within the Christian community that the protection and survival of children is a God ordained responsibility that we cannot neglect or excuse.

I believe that since so many Christians are victims and offenders, the image and testimony of the church would be greatly enhanced by dealing with the issue openly. The church needs to be involved in prevention of child abuse of any kind. An important first step is for the church to admit that it happens and that it happens among its own members. This will be a vital first step in the process toward getting help and healing for both the victims and their families.

“See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that in heaven their angels always see the face of my Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 18:10)

“And whoever receives one such child in My name receives Me; but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him to have a heavy millstone hung around his neck, and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.” (Matthew 18:5-6)

The exact date of Jesus’ birth is unknown, and the early Christians did not even celebrate Christ’s birth. Birthdays and their celebrations had always been Roman feast days. In about 350 AD, Pope Julius set December 25 as the date of Jesus’ birth to correspond with the pagan Roman feast of Saturnalia, the festival of the Unconquered Sun.Temples were decorated with greenery and candles. There were feasts and parades with special music, and gifts were exchanged with family and friends. Among the British Druids, mistletoe was worshiped, and the Saxons used holly and ivy in their winter religious ceremonies. As Christianity spread throughout Europe, many of these pagan customs and festivities of the winter solstice were absorbed into the celebration of the birth of Jesus.

God gives specific instructions warning us about using pagan practices to worship Him. (the exact thing Christmas does) God warns us not to teach or do any of the detestable things which pagans have done for their gods, “so that we would sin against the LORD your God.” (Deuteronomy 20:18; 12:30-32 )

Jesus also rebuked the religious teachers of his day who had substituted human traditions and teachings for God’s divine truths and commands: “Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites . . . ‘in vain they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’ . . . All too well you reject the commandment of God, that you may keep your tradition.” (Mark 7:6-9)

Jesus’ words in Mark 1:15 come in the form of an urgent command: “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.”

Not only does Jesus come to announce the soon-coming Kingdom of God among humankind, but also to prepare the elect for their spiritual responsibilities within that Kingdom.

Believing in God and Jesus is not enough. Even the devil and his demons believe in God. (James 2:19 ) We must repent and believe. Repentance is a prerequisite for belief.  What is repentance? Its basic meaning is “to change” or “to turn.” Once a person hears the gospel and is convicted that his way of life is wrong, he must change his present behavior and “bear fruits worthy of repentance.” (Matthew 3:8)

Repentance is not merely feeling sorry or remorseful. There is a difference between being sorry for your sin and repenting of it. Many who claim that they are sorry for their sin are merely sorry that they got caught in their sin. Politicians caught in scandals have proven this to be true many times. But true repentance is being so stricken in one’s heart for the sin itself that one seeks the cleansing blood of Jesus and begins to live according to God’s standards—according to God’s law. Remorse without a corresponding change in conduct is not true repentance.

Jesus said, “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.” (John 14:15; 21; 23) Was Jesus differentiating between his commandments and God’s? I don’t think so. In John 15:10 Jesus said, “If you keep My commandments, you will remain in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and remain in His love.” Later, when requested to name the greatest commandments, Jesus quotes Deuteronomy 6:5, “You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart. . . . And the second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself’.” (Matthew 22:36-40) When we put all these things together, repentance is simply living as Jesus did!

Many Christians today claim that because we are but human with a sin nature, we cannot help but sin. But the apostle John wrote, “For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome.” (1 John 5:3)

I believe that what the apostle wrote came from Deuteronomy 30:11-14 which states, “When you obey the voice of the Lord your God, to keep his commandments and his statutes that are written in this Book of the Law, when you turn to the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul. For this commandment that I command you today is not too hard for you, neither is it far off…But the word is very near you. It is in your mouth and in your heart, so that you can do it.” Why would God tell us that we can obey His commandments if He knew that it was impossible for us to accomplish?

Faith then—true living faith, is trusting God’s Word and practicing it, whether in the face of hardship, sacrifice, the contrary opinions of friends and family, or even death.

While a man cannot earn entrance into God’s Kingdom—that is a gift that God must bestow, (Ephesians 2:8) it is plain from Scripture that willful rebellion against God’s standard of righteousness will keep a person from receiving God’s full blessings and possibly from entering His Kingdom.

James 2:10 warns us that whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all….” Jesus himself also warns, “Whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do likewise will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:19)

The Bible includes a whole list of festivals that God commanded, that Jesus Himself observed and that the apostles and early Church were still keeping decades after Jesus’s death and resurrection. Each one teaches us a vital lesson in what Jesus has done, is doing and will yet do, in carrying out God’s great plan for humankind. God’s feasts mentioned in Leviticus 23 have enormous significance in God’s plan for humanity.  (Notice the Bible calls them God’s feasts—not Jewish feasts)

Christmas, in contrast, teaches us none of this. Because it is a hodgepodge of pagan customs and beliefs thrown together with traditions of men. It only obscures the true purpose of Jesus’ birth on earth and his ultimate return.

God in His Word sets out many choices for us. Will we do things His way or our own? Will we worship Him as He tells us to, or expect Him to honor whatever religious practices we choose regardless of what His Word says?

But no matter what we have done in the past, we can repent and be forgiven and begin to truly follow God’s Word as a new creation.

“Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away. Behold, the new has come!” (2 Corinthians 5:17)

The Silent Epidemic

Posted: October 29, 2017 in Uncategorized

Drug overdose deaths in 2016 exceeded 59,000, according to preliminary data compiled by The New York Times. It is now considered to be an epidemic by the current administration and many cities are taking steps to curtail its spread.

The sexual harassment in Hollywood, among news anchors and political leaders has also been called a cultural epidemic. https://www.thenation.com/article/sexual-harassment-not-disease-it-surely-epidemic/

But every year more than 3.6 million referrals are made to child protection agencies involving more than 6.6 million children. (Referrals included neglect, physical and sexual abuse) However, studies also indicate significant undercounting of child maltreatment fatalities by state agencies—by 50% or more.

Four to seven children die every day due to child abuse and neglect. Around 80% of child maltreatment fatalities involve at least one parent as perpetrator. In 2014, state agencies found an estimated 702,000 victims of child maltreatment. That’s enough to pack 10 modern football stadiums! And yet, most people remain silent about this epidemic.

Every 8 minutes a child is a victim of sexual abuse. The majority of the victims are between the ages of 7 and 13. Children who do not live with both biological parents have a 30% higher risk of being sexually abused than children who live with both biological parents. In nearly half of child sexual abuse cases that were committed by a step-father or the mother’s live-in boyfriend, 40% of the mothers sided with their child’s abuser rather than their child. Sadly, only 6 out of 1,000 of these perpetrators will end up in jail or prison.

It is time we place as much (if not more) importance and passion on protecting children from neglect and abuse as we do on adults.

“See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that in heaven their angels always see the face of my Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 18:10)

“And whoever receives one such child in My name receives Me; but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him to have a heavy millstone hung around his neck, and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.” (Matthew 18:5-6)

Resources and stats:

https://www.childhelp.org/child-abuse-statistics/

https://aspe.hhs.gov/basic-report/male-perpetrators-child-maltreatment-findings-ncands

In February 2015, Casey Cline was convicted in Sarpy County, Nebraska of sexually assaulting of his then 11 year old step-daughter. (Case # 13-411- A third degree Felony) http://www.icrimewatch.net/offenderdetails.php?OfndrID=2377330&AgencyID=55290

Even though a great many pages of documents were submitted to Sarpy County Judge Zastera proving that Cline had been physically and emotionally abusive for more than 10 years before he was arrested, Judge Zastera allowed Cline to plead guilty to a lesser charge of misdemeanor sexual assault and only sentenced him to two years probation and required him to register as a sex offender.

Only ten days after Cline was released on probation he was arrested again in Plattsmouth, Nebraska after throwing his 8 year old biological daughter across a room and into a wall. Cline was only charged with violation of probation after police discovered he was in possession of weapons, alcohol, pornography and illegal drugs.  His children were removed from the home and placed in foster care. Cline was never charged with child abuse in that case.

At Cline’s hearing on charges of probation violation Judge John Steinheider of Plattsmouth released Cline on a signature bond and also allowed him to have contact with his children while they were in foster care!

At his sentencing, Cline’s pre-sentencing report (PSR) stated that Cline was also charged with child abuse in two different states. In spite of the fact that the PSR revealed that Cline had a 15 year history of abusive behavior, his public defender still recommended that Cline be given probation again and have contact with his children claiming that the children were in no danger!

Fortunately, this time the judge did not agree with the public defender and sentenced Cline to 180 days in the Cass County jail.

After serving only 3 months in Cass County jail in Plattsmouth, Nebraska, Cline was allowed to move to Colorado. Although he was required to register as a sex offender at his new address in Colorado, he refused to do so for several weeks. He was finally forced to register as a sex offender in Colorado, but only after I continued to call the sheriff’s office about him. Since then he has moved at least twice and as of July 2017 no one knows his current address. He could be anywhere from Colorado to Florida.

Cline has a Face Book page and is a member of several porn groups there. I have reported him to Face Book three times now, but even though Face Book has a policy of banning sex offenders from using Face Book, nothing has been done. Many of your children use Face Book. Cline’s next victim may be your child. You can prevent this by sharing this article on your social media sites.

Casey Cline has proven many times that he does not feel that laws apply to him. Let’s make him famous so that he doesn’t get the chance to harm another child.

Other pictures of Casey Cline:

 

 

 

 

 

 

In all, only 27 states have rules restricting how close sex offenders can live to schools and other places where groups of children may gather, according to research by the Council of State Governments.

But these laws are based on the myth that there is a stranger who is lurking in the bushes and dark alleys and grabbing children off the street. When in fact, less than 10% of all child sex abuse cases are perpetrated by strangers. Over 90% of child sexual abuse cases are committed by someone the child knows well. And over 60% are committed by a family member. In nearly all cases involving a family member sexually assaulting a child, the perpetrator is only sentenced to probation—And many times is allowed to return to the home where the crime took place!

A U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics study in 2003, the most recent available, found that 5.3 percent of inmates released from prison after being convicted of a sex offense are arrested for another sexual offense within three years. Although researchers generally acknowledge that the recidivism rate may be much higher because these crimes are often underreported.

The Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA) which is Title I of the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006, was supposed to provide a new comprehensive set of minimum standards for sex offender registration and notification in the United States. These Guidelines were issued to provide guidance and assistance to covered jurisdictions—the 50 States, the District of Columbia, the principal U.S. territories, and Indian tribal governments—in implementing the SORNA standards in their sex offender registration and notification programs. But these requirements are only informational in nature and do not restrict where sex offenders can live. (https://www.smart.gov/pdfs/final_sornaguidelines.pdf)

For example, The Nebraska Sex Offender Registration law does not have any restrictions on registered sex offenders. Again, this is a common misperception. The SOR law also does not have the legal jurisdiction to prevent an offender from attending events, limiting employment, restrict an offender from entering any facilities, or refrain from living with or socializing with children or vulnerable persons. The SOR law can only mandate that the offender register his or her required information under statutes 29-4004 and 29-4006 at the sheriff’s office within the required time.

That means that someone who has been convicted of sexually abusing a child in Nebraska and is sentenced to probation is free to attend or work in schools, children museums, daycare centers and even live with other vulnerable children!

Many people have been told that if you want changes in laws and policies you need to write to your senator. Well, I have written to over 20 Nebraska state senators, the governor, the Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos and even President Donald Trump, asking them to change the SOR laws in order to better protect victims of child sexual abuse from their abusers. Sadly, most did not respond. And the few that did respond, told me that there was nothing that they could do. Nothing that they could do?!

A senator is called, among other thing to:

  • Represent the people and the best interests of his or her legislative district.
  • Protect property and persons, strengthen our productive capacity, and create new opportunities.
  • Right injustices involving the public.
  • Establish state policy by introducing bills to create new programs, modify existing programs, and repeal laws which are no longer needed.

Two senators told me that I should contact the Nebraska Inspector General about the SOR. But according to its website, the OIG does not have the authority or ability to look into complaints relating to the court process, such as decisions made by judges, the conduct of attorneys, or immediate concerns about the safety of children. http://oig.legislature.ne.gov/?page_id=15

I wrote one Senator and asked how I could address the Nebraska Legislature myself on the subject of Child Sexual Abuse and the SOR laws and he responded by telling me:

“ The podium is under the authority of the Speaker of the Legislature…it is highly unlikely that the speaker would approve of such a request.”

If this is true, then why is it that on the Nebraska Legislature’s website it states:

“At public hearings, citizens have an opportunity within the time available to make their views known or have them incorporated into the official committee record. In Nebraska, gubernatorial appointments and most bills, with the exception of a few technical bills, receive a public hearing by one of the Legislature’s committees.” http://nebraskalegislature.gov/about/testifying.php

If a senator is called to, “Establish state policy by introducing bills to create new programs, modify existing programs, and repeal laws which are no longer needed”, but introduce bills that do more to protect sex offenders than their victims, then the prophecy of Isaiah 5:20 has come true: “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!”

In February of this year Nebraska State Senator Patty Pansing Brooks of Lincoln introduced Legislative Bill 289 that would require anyone trafficking an adult and soliciting a trafficked adult to carry a minimum of a year and a maximum of 50 years in prison. “When you consider the horrors of this crime, probation is nothing more than a slap on the wrist,” she said.

Senator Brett Linstom also introduced a bill that would require non-custodial parents be notified if a sex offender is living with or has unsupervised access to their child.

And yet, neither of these bills does anything to deter those who commit these heinous crimes against children, nor do they do anything to protect the victims. But…they make good sound bites and help them get re-elected.

But it’s not just our politicians who are to blame. There are many who have taken to the streets protesting for the rights of women, for the LGBT community, for religious freedom, and even for the right to spread hateful propaganda. But no one is taking to the streets to protest against the 1 in 5 children who are abused, molested and raped in their own homes every day—Or the judges who only sentence the perpetrators to probation for their crime!

Sadly, there are stricter punishments and restrictions for those who abuse animals than for those who abuse children!

Almost everyone has seen the ASPCA’s heart wrenching TV commercial that portrays abused and neglected dogs and cats. The use of emotion in the commercial is clearly evident. What better way to urge viewers to donate money than by showing pictures of sorry-looking, hurt animals with Sarah McLachlan’s song, ‘In The Arms Of An Angel’ playing in the background? I have to admit that it is a very moving, emotional, (and productive) commercial. The ASPCA garnered over $30 million from that commercial.

Very few people won’t cringe at the sight of the graphic images featuring badly injured animals in crates and cages.

But maybe the next time you see that commercial try to think of the more than 300,000 children who are abused and neglected in the same way (and worse) every year in this country.

Of course if someone made a commercial about abused children using the same method as the ASPCA, it would probably be banned from TV. (If it even was allowed to be aired to begin with)

We have truly become what what described in the Bible as living in the last days:

“But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power.” (2 Timothy 3: 1-5)

Jesus said, “Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.” (Matthew 18:6) How many sermons have you heard denouncing child sexual abuse?

I for one, will not stop advocating on behalf of those children who have been treated worse than animals. I will not go quietly into the night. I will not turn back. I will continue to be a voice for those who are afraid to speak.

What will you do?

“Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin.” (James 4:17)

Read correspondence below:

Sample Letter to Senators

Response from Sara Howard

Response From Governor

Response From Don Bacon

Response from Brett Lindstrom

Letter to Betsy DeVoss

Letter From Sec. of Ed

Shavuot is a little known holiday among Christians today. It is ironic to me, since it commemorates the single most important event in Judeo-Christian history—the giving of the Torah at Mount Sinai. And in the 3,300 years since, the Torah’s ideals—monotheism, justice, responsibility—have become the moral basis for Western civilization.

Shavuot (Hebrew for “Weeks”) occurs on the sixth day of the Hebrew month of Sivan (late May or early June). Shavuot commemorates the early harvest in the land of Israel. (See Leviticus 23:9-16 and Deuteronomy 16:9-11) It is one of the three biblical pilgrimage festivals. It also commemorates the anniversary of the day God gave the Ten Commandments to Moses and the Israelites at Mount Sinai.

Since Shavuot occurs 50 days (7 weeks) after the first day of Passover, it is sometimes known in Christian circles as “Pentecost,” a Greek word meaning “50 days.” Shavuot, however, has no connection to the Christian Pentecost holiday.

Many people today are taught that after leaving Egypt on the day of the Passover, only Jews traveled into the Sinai desert. And there, God spoke to the entire Jewish nation and  instructed them to keep the Ten Commandments He inscribed on the stone tablets. (See Deuteronomy 4:1-14) So they mistakenly assume that all of the feasts mentioned in the Old Testament are meant only for Jews. But what most Christians fail to understand is that when the Hebrews left Egypt they were also joined by non-Hebrew people. We read in Exodus 12:38 that a “mixed multitude” went with them. Some perhaps, willing to leave their country after it was laid waste by plagues; others, out of curiosity; perhaps a few out of love for the Hebrews and their religion. And the same laws applied both to the native-born Hebrew and to the foreigner. (verse 49) Also, the Bible never refers to the feasts as Jewish feasts, but the “Feasts of the Lord”. (See Leviticus 23:2, 4, 37, 44; 2 Chronicles 2:4; Ezra 3:5)

How to Celebrate Shavuot

In biblical times, Shavuot was tied to the agricultural calendar. It originally celebrated the first fruits of the wheat harvest seven weeks after Passover (Leviticus 23:15-16). Counting the omer between the holidays added an element of anticipation of looking forward to Shavuot and a bountiful harvest. On this pilgrimage feast, Israelites traveled to Jerusalem to offer the first portion of their crops to the Lord in thanksgiving for His provision of food.

Celebrating the Spiritual Harvest

But Shavuot is more than the celebration of the first fruits of a physical harvest. Today, we observe it as the first fruits of a spiritual harvest. On the first Shavuot after Jesus’s death and resurrection, the disciples were filled with the Holy Spirit that enabled them to speak so that many people in attendance heard their words in their native tongue! Many who heard these messages in their own languages were amazed, though others thought the disciples were just drunk. (Acts 2:12)

Peter went on to explain that Jesus had been raised from the dead and God had poured out His Spirit in fulfillment of His promise through Joel 2:32-33. When the crowd asked what they should do, Peter urged them to turn their lives around and be baptized in the name of Jesus. Then they would be forgiven and would receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. (Acts 2:37-39) About 3,000 people were added to the church that same day!

Just as Jesus promised, God sent His Spirit on that Shavuot to enable His people to be witnesses for Him: “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” (Acts 1:8)

Anticipating the Future Harvest

Thus, Shavuot is a reminder that we are living in anticipation of a harvest that is yet to come when people from every nation will be gathered into God’s Kingdom. Until that final harvest time, God expects us to be His witnesses to Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection to all peoples and nations. And He has empowered us for this task. How we celebrate Shavuot can impact the size of that future harvest as we obey God’s commandments and share the gospel to all peoples, nations and tongues.