[ f r e e d o m ] \adj\: enjoying personal rights or liberty, as a person who is not in slavery: verb (used with object), freed, freeing. To make free; set at liberty; release from bondage, imprisonment, or restraint.

The absence of freedom in our world today is staggering. We were not created to be bought and sold as commodities, for our lives and souls cannot be ascribed a dollar value. We cannot look at a fellow human being and place a price on their life, yet this happens with devastating frequency, and the utter devaluation of life occurs at a steady rate. The Exodus Road (an organization devoted to fighting against sex slavery) announced last month that their teams found and freed an 11-year-old girl in India. This child was being sold to engage in forced sexual acts for $1.65. This precious girl’s value was set at a price less than what we would pay for a dozen eggs. Unfortunately, the reality is that this atrocity doesn’t occur in only poverty stricken areas, war-torn countries, or extremist communities. The horror of little girls being sold is happening all across the United States, where the average age of girls entering the sex trade is between 12 and 14 years old. Slavery is not just a reality for others, it’s a reality in our own nation. We can do something. We need to do something.

Jesus steps in and promises rescue because he understands to the depth of his soul the injustice of being sold. He knows the pain of being exchanged for money, with greed and self-gratification motivating the sale of his life. He knows this darkness, and has experienced this captivity. And because of this, he offers rescue for all those who are enslaved.

“He has sent me to comfort the brokenhearted and to proclaim that captives will be released and prisoners will be freed.” Isaiah 61:1

There is hope in this darkness, but it requires us to move beyond slavery being a hazy concept we simply consider, and recognize it as a reality we are equipped to stand up against. Jesus chose us in this fight for freedom. He chooses what is weak to confound the strong, chooses the small to highlight his might…He chose you, and he chose me. We are called to join this fight, because we are here and we are able, because we stand for the voiceless and champion the powerless. We do this for him, because he did it for us.

“When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners.” Romans 5:6


So how do we respond? We pray! We pray for victims, for pimps, and for johns. We pray for wisdom, because while not everyone has the same role in this fight, rest assured that we all have a role. No one is exempt when precious lives hang in the balance, and liberty and innocence remain threatened. We act! We extend mercy, but continue to be relentless in pursuing justice. We hold hands with victims, and enter their hurt. We welcome battle scarred victims and champion their healing. We give time, resources, and money in whatever ways we are uniquely suited for. We do something!

Rescue is coming. It starts here, it starts now, and it starts with us.

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Learning to be Content

wheelAt what point do you say you are content?  At what point do you say “I have enough”? Is enough ever enough? When you reach your goal will you be content then or will you need a new goal, a higher goal because what drove you is now gone?  At what price does your contentment come?  Will the ends justify the means to get there? When will you be content?  This is a conversation that plays out in my head on a daily basis, and I know the heads of many other people as well.  The answer I always come to is that I should be content now, whatever my circumstance, and if I am not content now, then I am looking to the wrong source for my contentment.

The struggle for contentment starts young as materialism is forced into your life anyway a company can get it there.  Saturday morning cartoons are interrupted by commercials for the latest toy, or toy store.  They have ridiculously catchy jingles that will be in your head until the day you die (I don’t wanna grow up, I’m a Toys ‘R Us kid). The message is always the same no matter what the product, that your life will be better with it than without it.  So discontentment seeps into your three year old brain, and the answer to the discontentment is an item that is shiny and new.  This becomes the answer to most of our discontentment, and the practice carries on throughout your life in what has come to be called “retail therapy”.

Of course this retail therapy for our lack of contentment takes money, money requires working, and working requires time.  Generally the more time you put into work the more you make, whether it be through overtime pay, or a promotion over the person who did not put in the hours you did.  More time working means less time with people, very important people like family and friends.  It also means less time with God, and this leads to the ultimate discontentment, because it is only through knowing and being known by our Creator that we can truly be content.  It is only through faith in Jesus Christ, the Son of God who died on the cross for our justification before God the Father, that this type of relationship with our Creator is possible.  This, the Gospel, is where we must find our contentment, otherwise we will always be wanting.

A favorite verse of many people is Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through him who strengthens me.”  A great verse certainly, and also a verse given in the context of learning to be content.  In the preceding verses the Apostle Paul tells the Philippian church that he has learned to be content in whatever circumstance he finds himself.  That includes circumstances of need, and also circumstances of abundance. The circumstances of plenty and abundance are circumstance to be faced, just as the circumstances of hunger and need.  Paul recognizes, and we should as well that even in times where we have plenty the struggle to be content will exist because the desire to have more is in our nature (Proverbs 27:20b- …never satisfied are the eyes of man).  How are we to find contentment then, if no matter what we have we will never be satisfied?  This is where we need to be strengthened, where we need to be changed by Jesus, so that we are content no matter our circumstance, which for most of us is a circumstance of plenty and abundance (a roof over our heads, clothes, food, a car, a tv, a phone, wifi, etc.).

In Jesus we have been given the greatest gift, the gift of salvation and reconciliation with our God.  This gift not only helps us in this life, but has assured us that we will have an eternity of abundance.  Let us focus on this, and not on what we are told we need to have in order to be content.  Otherwise we will be stuck in a cycle of discontent, always reaching for the next big thing only to find that the contentment it brings is fleeting.

Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me. – Philippians 4:11-13

Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” – Hebrews 13:5

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Wisdom is Better


Some men gain much knowledge, some men gain much skill, but very few men gain much wisdom. I recently was watching a documentary about a neurosurgeon named Ben Carson. He is now a presidential candidate so I have been reading his book in preparation for the voting season. In the documentary he made a very intriguing statement, “There are a lot of people who have technical skills, there are a lot of people who have knowledge, but don’t necessarily have wisdom. The technical skills, the knowledge, those are things that can be acquired, but I believe wisdom comes from God, and it has to be sought and asked for”.

Is wisdom better than being technical? Is wisdom better than knowledge? Yes! Proverbs 2 teaches us that wisdom should be valued above these things. Of course we should aim to be skillful and knowledgeable but if wisdom is subtracted from the equation we will bear no eternal fruit. Wise people grow in their technique and knowledge but an effective life always begins with wisdom.

Wisdom is crying to us. It is calling to our souls provoking us to maturity so that we might live responsible, God glorifying lives. The Bible teaches us that she (wisdom) “cries aloud in the street”. How do we hear the voice of wisdom? Wisdom comes from God and God speaks through His written word the Bible. It is impossible for a man to be wise without a thorough hearing and understanding of the word of God. My pursuit of wisdom many times finds itself parked in the book of Proverbs. This book is saturated with knowledge because the wisest man who ever lived wrote it while under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Any time you read the verses of this God inspired text you can almost feel wisdom entering your system.

As we grow in wisdom through reading the scriptures a hunger is birthed in us for more wisdom. All of sudden you find yourself wanting to receive more of this valuable commodity. We are taught to cry out for wisdom, we are taught to plead for it. May God entice our hearts to ask for wisdom!

Wisdom is not just for our own profit. Wise men become like trees that give shade to those who are suffering, lost, and need clarity. Wisdom shoots out like a fountain to those in our lives that will benefit from our godly decisions. We see how many people, families, and friends suffer from foolish life choices made by others. How much more will our loved ones and enemies benefit from a life lived wisely?

We are asked this question from the Bible, “How long, Oh simple ones, will you love being simple”? Do not love simplicity. Love the hunt and the imparting of wisdom.

Wisdom is better because it comes from above, Wisdom is better because it changes our lives and the lives of those around us, and Wisdom is better because it brings acclaim to God.

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Learning to Enjoy God


We enjoy many things in this life. We might enjoy spending time with our family, doing our favorite hobby, eating our favorite meal, or laughing with our friends. We sometimes forget to enjoy the one who made those things for our enjoyment. Sometimes our pursuit of enjoyment peaks at things made for our pleasure, instead of finding our ultimate joy in the creator of joy.

I have recently noticed that I have struggled to enjoy God. That of course is not a reflection on God but rather on my willingness to allow the struggles and distractions of this life to steer me towards finding satisfaction in lesser things. This can happen while we are participating in a church community. We can get caught up doing religious things while neglecting the weightier matters of spending time with God.

We can sometimes fool ourselves into thinking we are enjoying life by basking in things other than God but eventually our souls quietly tell us that we need more.

Our God is a gracious Father who calls us back into deep and intimate communication with Himself. He lovingly brings us out of repetitious dutiful prayer and carries us into Spirit empowered relational prayer. During these times we hear the wonderful voice of our God endorsing His love for us and reminding us of His sovereign purpose for our lives. It is during these times that we become aware in our deepest parts that we have been longing to enjoy God.

It is the joy of the Lord that gives us strength. It is the presence of God the Holy Spirit that brings pure satisfaction into our lives. We were primarily made for a worshipful relationship with God. When we live in the reality of that relationship we are filled with pleasure and peace. We must take time to reflect on His goodness, hear from His word, and hear from the Holy Spirit.

Is your soul thirsty for fellowship with your God? Heed His call and take time to seek Him, hear Him, and learn to enjoy God.

You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore (Psalm 16:11).

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Welcome! Grab a cup of coffee in honor of some 
exciting news! A simple detail like where we
get our daily coffee fix can be a building 
block towards freedom and restoration.


[m e r c y] \noun\ : the compassionate treatment of those in distress

We take mercy seriously, well, because Jesus took it seriously. He chose the unpopular, championed the weak, and had meals with the outcasts. He sought out the ones shunned by their communities, and touched the ones that were deemed unclean and unworthy. Our goal is to represent him well, and Jesus was known for his presence, time, and response to the hurting and broken. We extend mercy because not only can we look at the hurting and broken and realize it could be us, but we also look back, knowing that at one time, it WAS us. Jesus specializes in restoration, and we are excited to be a part of something so beautiful and redemptive that glory can only be given to him.

Slavery, long thought of as a sin of the past, continues today fiercer and more oppressive than ever. Human trafficking is the third largest international crime industry, outranked only by arms and drug dealing. The reality of this crime and the sheer magnitude is overwhelming. The truth is sickening, and the trauma is nauseating. It is tempting to turn away, to close our eyes to the reality. It’s painful to know of women and children being sold like livestock, abused and devalued. But Jesus would look. Not only would he look, but he would act. And so we give ourselves to this fight, longing for freedom and healing for everyone effected by this evil industry.

Sometimes we don’t know where to start. How can we make a difference in something so widespread and devastating? Coffee has become our brick towards building an end to sex slavery. Wipe Every Tear is an organization devoted to freeing women from sex slavery and providing safe homes where restoration and healing can occur. We are excited to be able to purchase our coffee from Sweet Aroma Coffee, which donates 35% of their profits to support women living in the safe houses provided by Wipe Every Tear. We love knowing that something as seemingly trivial as drinking coffee can be used by God. We long for every person to be truly free, and are thrilled to have even a small part in the fight for freedom.

Stop by our coffee bar on Sunday to see updates periodically on news from the safe houses!

“All the commandments are summed up in this single command: You must love your neighbor as yourself.” –Jesus

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