My Beginning of Wisdom site
RSS icon Email icon
  • Abolitionista!

    Posted on June 11th, 2014 rhonda No comments

    One of the disciples – it was Andrew, brother to Simon Peter – said,

    “There’s a little boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish.

    But that’s a drop in the bucket for a crowd like this.”

    John 6:8-9

    If you’ve ever wondered what you could do to keep kids safe & combat human trafficking, I’d suggest that you gift a copy of Abolitionista! to a tween.

    Abolitionista! is a manga comic written by Thomas Estler directly for tweens and teaching them how to recognize when they (or their friends) are in danger – and how to get out.  Eden, the 12 year old protagonist, is worried when her best friend, Delilah, gets involved with the wrong guy; and the manga follows their adventure.   I’m far older than the target audience, so reading the manga was like reading a magazine article during my morning commute – quick & easy & interesting.  I assume it would be much more of an educational challenge to an actual 10-12 year old, which is welcome.

    Parents can feel safe giving Abolitionista! to their children.  Despite being about human trafficking, it’s age-appropriate, as is the advice, which comes from characters like Eden’s teacher, “You could have told an adult . . . a teacher, the principal, or even a pastor or priest.  You could have called 911!  The police are trained to rescue people who are in trouble.”  It’s also cheap!  I ordered my copy for $7.50 directly from the website (

    Abolitionista! is only cheap in price – not quality.  The bonus is at the back of the book, which is equipped with cards imprinted with the National Human Trafficking Hotline number.  The cards can be detached and given to at least 8 other people.  There’s also an Abolitionista! Bill of Rights that is child-friendly & appropriate.  Making a book interesting and educational is a hard balance to strike, and I think Thomas Estler (author), Delilah Buckle & Lizbeth R. Jimenez (artists) did it.

    Sometimes I wonder if I’m actually making a “difference” in this world.  Human trafficking, in particular, seems like an overwhelming evil to confront.  Estler reminds me that all I have to do is offer my gifts back to God, and He’ll make sure my offering has an impact. 

     When the people had eaten their fill, he said to his disciples,

    “Gather the leftovers so nothing is wasted.”

    They went to work and filled twelve large baskets with

    leftovers from the five barley loaves

    John 6:12-13

  • God is My Help

    Posted on June 3rd, 2014 rhonda No comments

    The time came when the beggar died

    and the angels carried him to Abraham’s side.

    Luke 16:22

    I heard a sermon, “The Reunion”, about the meeting between Lazarus and the Rich Man depicted in Luke 16.  It made me think more deeply about Lazarus. 

    There are only 2 stories about men named Lazarus in the Bible.  John’s gospel talked about the other Lazarus.  The intriguing thing about both stories is that, even though they’re prominently featured in each story, they were silent and inactive – dead.  Since both died, I was pretty sure the name Lazarus meant something like “Raised from the Dead”.  I googled.  I was surprised to find that it’s a baby name that means “God is my help” or “God has helped”.  Who knew?   Only a dead person can be more helpless than a baby; and God helps both.

     “Vengeance is mine, sayeth the Lord” (Romans 12:19), is not comforting to me after I’ve been wronged.  I like tangible demonstrations, and God truly proved His willingness and ability to avenge us.  I doubt how many times the two spoke when they were living, but in death, the Rich Man was talking to Abraham about Lazarus, instead of talking to Lazarus.  He was asking Abraham to make Lazarus his servant.  I imagine it made Lazarus feel good to hear Abraham say, “Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in agony” (v. 25).  He didn’t have to say anything, our Comforter spoke for him.

    Our Savior acted for the other Lazarus.  Lazarus had been dead for 3 days before Christ raised him from the dead.  John 11:1-44 is a relatively long passage, and Lazarus said nothing.  He’s completely unable to “labor or spin” (Luke 12:27); and the Bible doesn’t mention Lazarus (either of them) crying out to God for a healing before they died.  Maybe they did, maybe they didn’t.  Praise God, regardless of what Lazarus did, God made a move on their behalf – giving them each a new life. 

    If he can do that with dead men, how much can our Savior do for the living?

     Take off the grave clothes and let him go.

    John 11:44