Daily Archives: November 29, 2010

I-10: The Human Trafficking Highway

Slavery is alive and well today in the United States of America. The attack on humanity no longer exists in the cotton fields and plantations of the deep South. It has reared its ugly head in the sex industry of America.

According to recent studies over 800,000 human beings find themselves deceived and controlled in search of the American Dream. Many of these victims are young women from poor countries who fall for the lie of high paying jobs which turn out to be jobs in prostitution and worse.

According to Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott nearly 200,000 are transported to along the I-10 corridor between El Paso and Houston.

Chris Burchell, president of the advocacy group Texas Anti-Trafficking in Persons explains the situation as follows:

Human trafficking is not human smuggling. Trafficking refers to someone being coerced into performing labor, sexual or otherwise. Trafficking victims tend to be immigrants who were lured into the country under false promises of employment.

As a pastor and a resident of El Paso it is deeply troubling that this dark reality is happening on my watch.

When Jesus launched His ministry, He chose well the words from Isaiah 61

1 The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me,
because the LORD has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim freedom for the captives
and release from darkness for the prisoners,[a]
2 to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor
and the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn,
3 and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
instead of ashes,
the oil of joy
instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
a planting of the LORD
for the display of his splendor.

As citizens of the Kingdom of God we cannot close our eyes and ears to the plight of these victims among us. Lend your support to Texas State Senator Leticia Van de Putte of San Antonio as she crusades to stiffen our legal response to the crime against humanity. Look for ways to help the victims on a practical way locally. If we don’t help who will?

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Better Then Bigger

This morning I was listening to a leadership podcast by Andy Stanley, pastor of Northpoint Church in Atlanta. During his presentation he told a story about Truett Cathy, the founder of Chick-fila.

As the story goes, several years ago the executive leadership team of Chick-fila had worked for over a year on how to fend off the challenge created in their market by Boston Market. At the end of this year of study and exploration the leaders were in a frenzied debate on how to get bigger faster! It was a room full of young visionary leaders with big dreams and big ideas.

At the height of the dialogue, Truett Cathy the founder of Chick-fila began to pound on the table, which was very uncharacteristic of this great leader. When every eye in the room turned to him, he exclaimed that he was sick and tired off all this talk about getting bigger and bigger. Then he said:

“If we get better our customers will demand we get bigger!”

Over years of competing in the volatile food service industry, Cathy knew the secret to success and significance. It was getting “better” before you get “bigger.”

In fact in another quote Cathy pointed out that the best place for his restruants to be located was right next to their greatest competition.

“The best location we get is right next to a McDonald’s. We can compete with them because we do it better.”

This principle has rung true through the ages. The writer of Proverbs wrote:

Do you see someone skilled in their work?
They will serve before kings;
they will not serve before officials of low rank. (Prov. 22:29 NIV)

I also like the translation in the Message:

Observe people who are good at their work—
skilled workers are always in demand and admired;
they don’t take a backseat to anyone.

Sadly it appears greatness is sacrificed on the altar of bigger and bigger, faster and faster. If a leader desires to leave a lasting legacy, he or she would be wise to focus on getting better and better.

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