April Motl is a pastor’s wife who loves to laugh, loves her man, loves to talk on the phone entirely too long and most of all, loves her Lord. Collaborating with the efforts of her husband Eric, the two of them share a ministry dedicated to bringing God’s Word into the everyday lives of married couples, men and women. April has been privileged through her own church and ministry outside her local body to share God's Word with women ranging in ages and stages, across denominations, and walks of life. April is a graduate from Southern California Seminary and has written for Just Between Us Magazine, Dayspring's (In)courage, and The Secret Place and also writes regularly for crosswalk.com, iBelieve.com and Women's Ministry Tools. For more information, visit Motl Ministries at: www.MotlMinistries.com
The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me,
Because the LORD has anointed me
To bring good news to the afflicted;
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to captives
And freedom to prisoners...
This week many of us celebrated our country's freedom. As individuals we have been blessed with freedom to speak our minds, seek out education, and worship God as our conscience dictates. We've been blessed with these gifts and many others. So many others in fact, that we often lose sight of how truly blessed we are.
I was challenged years ago to see my rights and freedoms with a broader view - one that saw to the far reaches of globe and throughout the pages of history. As a woman, I have been gifted with choices that at least 90% of all the women in history could not even imagine. In the United States, there are educational, and employment opportunities that in light of world history are staggering gifts. I sit here, writing my thoughts with freedom - a gift! Anyone of us can go (or not go) to whatever church we choose - a gift! We have the opportunity to work and own a business, a home, a piece of land or a dream, regardless of creed, color or gender.
These opportunities are blessings that we've been entrusted with for a purpose, not just for our own pleasure! Remember the parable of the Master and the servants in Matthew 25? The story is about three servants; two were faithful and invested what had been entrusted to them and the third buried it. One day the Lord will ask if I was faithful with the talents He entrusted to my care; talents that include these rights I might have so easily taken for granted. In light of history, we have a big responsibility because we've been blessed with so much!
Occasionally we need a fresh glimpse of just how wildly we've been blessed by the freedoms we take so easily for granted.
A friend and woman who has encouraged me along my writing journey has written the Freedom Series about a topic that many of us would rather close our eyes to - the topic of human trafficking. Kathi Macias wrote Deliver Me From Evil and Special Delivery to expose the reality of this darkness, to inspire average people like you and me to be involved in God's heart for freedom for His children, and to show the power of God to redeem even the worst of situations.
Truthfully, I was a little scared to read the books. I can't even imagine how much bravery it took Kathi to write the series her publisher asked of her. She has poured herself into these books with research, passion and much prayer! She has told the stories hidden away in dark corners without sugar-coating the reality, yet sparing the reader the scarring, graphic details of the way these slaves are forced to live. It's hard to let such deep, sad things touch your heart, yet these are also the matters that grieve our Father's heart. They are the causes and cries He hears everyday. I remember listening to a missionary share her grief over many of the things that happened to children in the country she eventually went to serve. When she asked God, "Where were you when that happened to this little one?" She felt His reply, "I was right here with you...." It was then she felt called to GO! Kathi's books are a breathtaking reminder that our lives and labors are meant for bigger issues than what we so often content ourselves. Thank you, Kathi for being an inspiration to all of us! May God bring great fruit from your labors and may He guide each one of us to be be part His answer to this heartbreaking issue.
For more about Kathi Macias, visit www.KathiMacias.com or to check out her other titles (great non-fiction books and books for writers as well) visit her amazon author's page. The third and final book in the Freedom Series will come out August 1! Give-Away #2 - Kathi Macias' first two novels from the Freedom Series - Deliver Me From Evil and Special Delivery.
To enter the give-away:
2. Then leave a comment or share the link from fb/twitter to be entered! We'll be able to see your comment or share.
3. For some of you who don't use facebook or twitter, you can send us an email stating that you'd like to be entered in the give-away.
4. Drawings are open from Friday to Thursday of the next week. Then each Friday we will announce the winner of last week's drawing and the new give-away. Entries are shuffled and the winner is selected randomly. The winner of last week's give-away is Azena from New York!