Our God Fights for Us

Kelly Brace

Read: Psalm 18 In your strength I can crush an army; with my God I can scale any wall. (v. 29 NLT) The term mama bear is meant to be endearing, used of a loving mother who would do anything for her family, a mother who protects her family with ferocity. The Bible offers several passages that describe this kind of fierce intensity, including Hosea 13:8, where God said of himself, “I will fall upon them like a bear robbed …

Clothed in Beauty

Kelly Brace

Read: Proverbs 3:27-28 If you can help your neighbor now, don’t say, “Come back tomorrow, and then I’ll help you.” (v. 28 NLT) Clothes. Unless you’re a toddler, you have to wear them regularly. Whether you enjoy shopping or dread it, do you ever think about who made your clothes? Where did the materials come from? Who sewed it all together? How long did it take? Recently, I’ve begun to buy my clothes from Fair Trade Certified or Certified B …

Paul’s Letter to a Slave Owner

Kelly Brace

Read: Philemon 1-25 So if you consider me your partner, receive him as you would receive me. (v. 17) Onesimus was Philemon’s runaway slave. He met Paul in prison and became a Christian. Paul came to trust and value him. Philemon was a trusted Christian who Paul believed would have an open mind to the idea of freeing Onesimus. But just in case Philemon needed a little extra nudge in that direction, Paul reminded him that he owed him one …

Chocolate

Kelly Brace

Read: Matthew 7:7-11 For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. (v. 8) Every time my family has a bonfire, my nephews and niece ask for s’mores. My mom always has graham crackers, marshmallows, and chocolate ready for them. Our family isn’t unusual. Unfortunately, most of us probably don’t realize that this common treat is tied to slavery. According to a Washington Post article “Cocoa’s Child Laborers,” …

Coffee and Tea

Kelly Brace

Read: Matthew 25:31-40 And the King will answer them, “Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.” (v. 40) My husband loves coffee, especially iced Americanos. I enjoy tea more. I enjoy the ritual: choosing a nice Earl Gray, chai, or green tea, waiting for the water to boil, and adding milk, sugar, or lemon. When I make my tea, I also try to think …

Modern Slavery Around the World

Kelly Brace

Read: Matthew 5:13-16 You are the light of the world . . . Let your light shine before others. (vv. 14, 16 NLT) Now more than ever before, it is simple for human trafficking to occur because of the Internet. Sexual exploitation can be easily broadcast to viewers over the Internet. Victims can be lured through false relationships on social media. The good news is that people are starting to talk about it. What started as a few voices has …