Stolen Innocence

Stolen by Katariina Rosenblatt, PhD with Cecil Murphey

stolen

“’Sex trafficking doesn’t happen here,’ people often say, especially those from small towns. If it doesn’t happen where they live, they’re not personally affected. “It’s a terrible thing,” they admit, but it’s also removed from them. Or so they want to believe. And yet, sex trafficking happens everywhere, and no city or small town is immune.” –Katariina Rosenblatt

Do we have blinders on when it comes to such a gut-wrenching topic as human trafficking, especially when it comes to children? Do we think it only happens in the movies and on TV?

Think again.

Unfortunately, the sex trade is a multi-billion dollar business. They prey on unsuspecting children—girls and boys. They snatch them at a young age and trap them for a long time with promises of fortune and a love they crave.

Stolen is an eye-opener into this world of deception and lies. This book is not for the faint of heart. It made me angry and at times I wanted to put it down, but it held my interest and I found myself turning page after page! I needed to know how it ended.

Katariina Rosenblatt takes us into this world from her first-hand experience of being lured at the young age of thirteen. It will shock you how her “friend” lets her believe she’s chosen. Katariina was a perfect victim. She was lonely and came from an abusive situation. She craved attention.

She was not only lured once but repeatedly. This book is a story of hope. She’s a survivor and is now using her experience to help others. God rescued her over and over throughout her life. You will see just how powerfully when you read the book. I won’t spoil it for you!

My only negative comment about the book is there are portions that are a bit choppy and don’t seem to flow as nicely as others. However, I give it four out of five stars. Everyone should read this book.

This quote says it all!

Stolen is a warning, a celebration of survival, and a beacon of hope that will inspire you.”

Put this book on your list to read. It will not only open your eyes but move you to want to help others.

**Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.  Available at your favourite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.**

From My Playlist – Standing Strong and True (For Tomorrow)

Tomorrow we honour those who fought for our freedom and for those who continue to protect our freedom.

My grandfather fought in WWI and WWII. My uncles served in WWII.

My Uncle Bud shares our family’s story in this article from the Halifax Herald. (The “one girl” referred to in this article is my mom! :-) )

For my King and my country, I would do it again

Our family stood strong and true for their country. They fought for our freedom.

I couldn’t be more proud.

war brothers

Tomorrow, how about we talk to a veteran? Thank them for fighting for us.

Why don’t we thank someone in law enforcement? This past week my husband stopped to talk to a London police officer and thanked him for protecting our city. The officer was surprised because they are rarely acknowledged for what they do.

Why is that?

Why don’t we stand tall with those who serve? With those who have served?

remembrance day

After all…they risk their lives for us.

We need to honour all who serve on Remembrance Day and every day.

 

 

Standing Strong and True (For Tomorrow) by Ron Irving along with Lynda and Tom McKillip

Listen closely to the words of this powerful song!

Lest we forget.

ROTFL laughs

When was the last time you had a good laugh? I’m not talking about just a chuckle? I mean a ROTFL laugh. Do I need to spell that out for you?

Roll On The Floor Laughing laugh. What do I mean by that?

Laughing until your belly hurts.

Laughing so hard you cry.

Laughing until all those around you join in.

Know what I mean?

These days we all need one or more of those.

I remember when my sister and I went to Israel, we went swimming in the Dead Sea. Wait…let me rephrase that. You don’t really “swim” in the dead sea–you float. The salt water gives you buoyancy. So much of it, it’s difficult to get into one position. Believe me we tried. And laughed ourselves silly doing it! I can’t remember a time when I’ve laughed so hard.

It was amazing. (And a good abdominal workout!)

Are we wound so tight we forget to laugh? These days I feel like I am.

I think it’s time for me to have another ROTFL kind of laugh.

Will you join me?

When was the last time you had a ROTFL moment? Share with us so we can laugh too!

sue and dar collage

From my Playlist – Canadian Heroes and Hope of the Nations

This past week was a tough one for Canadians. Why?

We lost something we held dear. Something we were proud of and hated to give up.

Our innocence.

We’re no longer a country known for its peace.

That peace was turned upside down and we felt like were punched in the gut.

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Terrorism hit our country with two attacks. One in Quebec with a targeted hit-and-run of a law enforcement officer and a second, only two days later, when a soldier was killed guarding the National War Memorial. Then the gunman stormed the Parliament Buildings with more terror on his mind. He was shot and killed.

As Canadians were glued to their TV sets, we wondered if we were watching a movie. Was this real? Was it really happening in Canada?

This. Just. Doesn’t. Happen. Here.

We thought.

Our peaceful country had been shattered. And why? Because we chose to help others.

How crazy is that?

Guess what? Canada is a proud country! We will stand tall. That was evident as Cpl. Nathan Cirillo was driven home on the Highway of Heroes. Thousands of people lined the 401 and the overpasses to salute and honor this brave soldier as the procession drove by. Chill bumps formed on my arms and tears pooled in my eyes as I watched from my living room.

high of heroes

Photo courtesy of Matthew Blair (@Newsroom01)

Yes, we will stand together and stay united.

Sunday morning as our congregation sang, “Hope of the Nations,” I struggled to compose myself on these lyrics:

Jesus, hope of the nations
Jesus, comfort for all who mourn
You are the source of heaven’s hope on earth*

I pray for the families of both soldiers we lost. Pray for comfort and strength in the upcoming days as they lay their loved ones down. I can’t even imagine what they’re going through, but I know the One who gives us strength during these times.

The One who is the source of heaven’s hope.

The One who is the hope for our nation.

I pray you do too.

Yes, Canada lost its innocence this week, but we will stand strong with our head held high. We won’t back down and hide our heads in the sand.

We are proud.

We are the True North,

Strong,

And free!

God bless Canada!

Share your thoughts on how you dealt with the tragedy that struck our country this past week. How did you deal with it?

Canadian Heroes

In memory of Cpl. Nathan Cirillo and Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent.

We salute these brave soldiers.

God bless you.

Hope of the Nations (by Brian Doerksen)

Let’s put our hope in the One who is the Light shining for all to see!

*Lyrics by Brian Doerksen

From My Playlist – Be Still

I drank my water and stretched out on the mat, letting the sweat drip from my weary body. I worked hard in the last hour to make it to this moment. My time of peace in shavasana.

The intense heat threatened to consume me. I breathed in and out slowly.

“Lay still,” the instructor said. “Resist the urge to fidget, wipe away the sweat, fix your clothes, or have control.”

Thoughts began to race through my mind of what I had to do when I got home. Could I finish my edits, watch my show, read my—

“Be still,” the instructor whispered.

These two words silenced my thoughts, and as I left the studio that day it hit me. How often do we do that in our lives? When we’re broken and going through challenges, do we fidget and try to wipe the struggle away by taking on more activities that make us busier?

Do we have to be in total control? Why can’t we just be still?

When I was little and we were getting ready to pose for a picture, I always had to scratch my knee, elbow, nose, or something. My mom called me “little Miss Fidget.” I couldn’t help it. As soon as you tell me not to fidget, I do! I just can’t help it.

I’d heard these words spoken from other instructors before, so why did they hit me hard on this particular day?

be still

I’m not entirely sure.

Maybe because God knew I was heading into another busy workweek and He wanted to remind me that HE was in control. Not me.

Or, maybe I had finally stopped long enough to listen.

Maybe I was being still long enough to hear the words God wanted me to hear.

Are we trying too hard to control all aspects in our lives that we don’t listen to what our Father is telling us? Do we think we can do a better job than Him? Hardly.

How about we stop fidgeting and just listen to those two words.

Be still.

How do we be still in a crazy world? What are your thoughts? Share some tips with us so we can all learn.

Psalm 46:10 (NIV)

He says, “Be stilland know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”

Be Still (by Kari Jobe and Edmond Martin Cash)

I love the second verse of this song. Listen closely. Let’s stand on the mountain and let God wrap His arms around us!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Today is Thanksgiving in Canada. I’m taking a week off from blogging, but I wanted to leave you with some fall pictures. It’s my favorite time of the year. What’s yours?

Have an awesome Thanksgiving with your family and friends. God bless!

Enjoy!

Oct 12

fall pic

harvest pic

fall 2

ACFW – Something in the Water

arch sunriseButterflies sprouted their wings in my stomach as I stepped off the plane in St. Louis, Missouri. I took a breath and exhaled slowly to calm my nerves before heading toward the baggage carrier. Could I really go through with this? The introvert in me was screaming, “What are you doing? Go home!” However, my dream of becoming a published author gave me strength to push forward.

Why was I anxious?

I was headed to the biggest writer’s event of the year—the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) conference. There would be over 500 other writers there. Many of them authors of books I love to read. I was nervous being around so many people, thinking about pitching to agents/editors, etc. It’s a lot to take in.

St Louis ACFW

On one hand I was excited to see my writing friends and my mentor, DiAnn Mills. It would be fun to spend time with them again. On the other hand I was concerned I would mess up my pitch when I went through my appointments. Would they like my story? Would I say something stupid?

I needed to just breathe.

And trust God.

That’s what I heard from our keynote speaker, Lauraine Snelling. She said in one of her sessions. “God is saying to us, ‘Are you going to trust Me?’”

Why do we have such a problem with trust?

craftsmans group

We tend to want the control of our lives. At least I do. Not sure why because I mess it up! I need to leave it with Him. He knows best.

The conference went well. I had five great appointments with agents and editors. My continuing class on forensics by Jennifer Dornbush was very interesting. It was fun to learn more about that world to know how to use it in my writing.

The closing gala was such fun. Everyone dressed in their finest! I had the privilege of sitting close to the front because my friend, Loretta Eidson, was a Genesis finalist and I was her date. ;-)  As winners came up to the stage to accept their awards, I felt like we were at the Oscars for books. So cool!

Spending time with my friends and making new ones was such a blessing. Saying goodbye was hard though. That’s why I’m thankful we have the Internet to keep in touch!

I came home from the conference not only with great responses from my appointments, but with a renewed mission of why I write. One thing I kept hearing in different classes is that we are to be the “salt and light” in the world. Sometimes we are the only Jesus people will see and hear. They may not step through the doors of a church, but will pick up our books, so that’s why I write for Him.

craftsman group 2

I needed to be reminded of that.

I wanted to leave you with a song from my playlist. It’s Carrie Underwood’s newest song, Something in the Water. Here is a girl who has caught the country world by storm and has just released a song about baptism. She’s being the salt and light in the world. I’m not putting her on a pedestal, but I applaud her for making such a bold statement with this song.

Let’s be the salt and light in our world.

And yes, there was definitely something in the water at our conference! Anyone in attendance will say the same thing. We all caught the fever. ;-)

Writers, let’s unite and write for Him!

We’ll reach the world.

One story at a time.

How are you being the salt and light in your neck of the woods? Share with us in the comments section.

Matthew 5:13-16 (NIV)

13 “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot. 14 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.

Something in the Water (Chris DeStefano, Brett James, Carrie Underwood)

This song is being played on country stations across North America! All I can say is…WOW! You go, Carrie!