Believers bemoan, cheer Prop 8 ruling –

February 9, 2012 Leave a comment

Believers bemoan, cheer Prop 8 ruling :

Some responses to the Federal Judge’s ruling overturning California’s Proposition 8 which bans same-sex marriage. Radical feminists and postmodernists are likely to respond to critics who oppose the Judge’s ruling in the days ahead.  Moreover,  this case is likely to land in the Supreme Court for judicial review.

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Till death (or illness or dementia) us do part? –

February 9, 2012 Leave a comment

Till death (or illness or dementia) us do part? :
The issue of how to care for a loved one who is
diagnosed with dementia, Altzheimers or terminal disease is much in the news these days.  What is your philosophy on how to handle the stresses of caring for someone who cannot care for themselves?

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From the Front Porch: “I Am a Teacher”

February 7, 2012 Leave a comment

Phila. Teachers on Capitol Steps, Wash., D.C.,...

Phila. Teachers on Capitol Steps, Wash., D.C., 5/13/11 (LOC) (Photo credit: The Library of Congress)

I love this poem written by a teacher because it says so much about this wonderful profession that people often take for granted. Yes, I’m a teacher, and proud of it, not only because it’s what I do to make a living but also because it’s what God has called me to do with my life.  I hope you are energized by the poem’s passion for teaching excellence. In order to give proper attribute, I got the poem from  It’s called “A Teacher’s Creed”:


A Teacher’s Creed

I believe I have been called by God to teach.
I believe in children…young and old…black and white…rich and poor….each in need of learning.
I believe in blackboards, chalk dust, textbooks, and computers for each has a part in imparting knowledge.
I believe the love I give to my students will someday be reflected in their lives.
I believe the gift of teaching is not measured simply by marks, enrollment, or the end of the school year.
It is in the witness I give and the fullness of the life lived by those I teach.
I believe I have the power to lead those in need of learning to the threshold of their own minds.
I believe in my giftedness to use each of the tools available no matter how new or old..for the light of knowledge in the eyes of another is my goal.
I believe teaching is more than tests, diplomas, paperwork, and fundraising.
It is the values I breathe daily into another…slowly.
It is in the faith I share in Jesus…ever changing and growing…never ending.
I believe my success today goes unnoticed…until those i teach and touch can stand alone and say “in my life I have learned…”
I believe if I have taught and touched one person…in God’s name…I have used my gift to me justly..and can humbly say…
I believe in teaching….

Thanks to Julie McClellan 

Christians fear losing freedoms in Arab Spring movement –

February 7, 2012 Leave a comment

Christians fear losing freedoms in Arab Spring movement :
In this article, we see the dangers of religious extremism and what narrow minds can do when incited to self-interested passion. Something like this is also beginning in Tibet.

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2 U.S. missionaries found strangled at ransacked Mexico home –

February 7, 2012 Leave a comment

2 U.S. missionaries found strangled at ransacked Mexico home :
This is very sad and a commentary on how lawlessness is fast becoming the norm in Mexico. “May the souls of the faithful departed by the mercy of God rest in peace.”

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From the Front Porch: Is Anything Really Impossible?

February 6, 2012 2 comments

Last semester, one of my communication students delivered a stirring motivational speech on what is success or failure in business.He encouraged the class to stretch themselves beyond conventional limits to find success. He then cited a poem, which was so inspiring, I wanted to share it with you.  I have no idea who wrote this poem or short speech but I hope you will agree with me that it is impressive and memorable:


English: The Poem Tree, Wittenham Clumps, Oxfo...

Image via Wikipedia

IMPOSSIBLE is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they’ve been given, than to explore the power they have to change it.

IMPOSSIBLE is not a fact. It’s an opinion.

IMPOSSIBLE is not a declaration. It’s a dare.

IMPOSSIBLE is potential.

IMPOSSIBLE is temporary.

IMPOSSIBLE is nothing.

And then, after hearing and reading this poem, I realized the wisdom it contained when I remembered this verse from Scripture:

“For nothing will be impossible with God.”  (Luke 1:37, NRSV)

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From the Front Porch: Sex Education for Teenagers

December 31, 2011 Leave a comment

The Flirtation

Image via Wikipedia

A compelling irony is that we live in an open society that inundates us with sexual expressiveness, yet we seem to have trouble discussing sex with our kids.  Moreover, there is at least some evidence that kids would prefer talking to others and not their parents about sex. One girl, cited in columnist Jan Hoffman in this morning’s New York Times, Sex Education for Teenagers, Online and in Texts (December 31, 2012) reported that her questions are “too gross to ask my parents”. Unable (or unwilling) to talk with their parents about sex, kids are turning to health organizations and public schools via text messaging and the internet for answers to their questions about human sexuality, while some parents express dismay that those same organizations are overstepping their roles in educating their children about sex.

While it is true that parents often regard sex as the most difficult topic to discuss with teenagers, it is equally true that kids don’t want to talk to their parents about sex because they fear being judged or feel their parents will regard their questions as stupid.  A third, but not often cited, reason is that children (especially teenagers) fear that discussing sex with their parents will open the door for parents to peer into their private lives.  And if there is one thing teenagers don’t want, it’s the prying eyes of their parents knowing exactly what they’re doing. Although I have yet to research this phenomenon of privacy issues related to children, this is the most often cited reason senior high school students and college freshmen give me for refusing to talk to their parents about sex.

For whatever reason, it is clear that there is a communication disconnect in the family between parents and their children about human sexuality. While some children must receive sex education outside of the home because their parents are neglectful or they live alone, it is critical that parents who have children at home can take first steps in eliminating the communication disconnect about sexual behavior at an early age by remaining open to their children’s emotional desires and needs and avoiding a judgmental attitude when discussing sex with them.

As a teacher who considers teaching a vocation, that is, a service to God, I offer some guidance about how parents should discuss sex with their children.  These suggestions come from my study of family communication as well as personal experience as a parent. Each point requires more explanation but you will get the general idea:

1. Sex is a beautiful gift given to us by a loving God who wants more than anything for us to connect with each other and Him in a deeply meaningful way. Our human sexuality provides the way for a meaningful, lasting and committed relationship with another person and with God, who is always involved in all of our relationships.

2. Within the proper context of a lifelong committed relationship (marriage), sex is not only meaningful but fun, pleasurable and emotionally satisfying. There is nothing evil about sex whatever. But, like every gift God gives us, we must learn to use human sexuality responsibly.

3. Entering into a sexually committed relationship too soon can lead to emotional trauma. When two people engage in a sexual act, they are communicating all that they are to another person at their deepest, most intimate level, their souls, which comes from and belongs to God. If the relationship doesn’t pan out–and few teenage relationships do–children suffer unnecessary emotional grief at an inappropriate time in their lives. While parents want children to have friends and fun, we should assure our children that there will be ample opportunities in the future for a serious committed relationship and that time is not in their teenage years.

4. Having sex too soon can spoil plans for a successful future through an unwanted pregnancy. Children need to know that condoms are not always a safe-sex solution. I have known seniors in high school who were on the Honor Roll and held membership in the prestigious National Honor Society who became pregnant even though they said that they used condoms and, as a result of the responsibility owed to a newborn child, gave up their scholarships to attend college and pursue a rewarding career.

5. Parents should tell their children about other obvious health risks associated with sexual activity, such as STD’s or worse, AIDS. And what parents really should push home to their children is that, as I indicated earlier, although condoms can spare them some of these health hazards, they are not 100 percent effective in preventing either premature pregnancy or other health risks. The only effective way to control both premature pregnancy and prevent disease is abstinence.

6. Parents should caution their children that sexual activity is not something they do that makes them feel good about themselves but is a serious behavioral step that they must take seriously only when they are ready to make adult decisions with their lives and accept the responsibility associated with a mature, loving, caring, committed relationship.

While there are no guarantees that this discussion will resonate with children, following steps similar to the ones I’ve outline here may at least help parents open the door of communication for their children at an early age to discuss sexual issues with them. If more parents followed a common sense approach to discussing sexual issues with their children, there will be less need for health organizations and public schools to bridge the communication disconnect.

NYT > Today’s Paper: Sex Education for Teenagers, Online and in Texts

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