Christians fear losing freedoms in Arab Spring movement – USATODAY.com

February 7, 2012 Leave a comment

Christians fear losing freedoms in Arab Spring movement : http://usat.ly/wNO18P
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 – USATODAY.com

February 7, 2012 Leave a comment

2 U.S. missionaries found strangled at ransacked Mexico home : http://usat.ly/xoUa8O
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

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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 https://www.google.com/producer/editions/CAowvNkC/nyt_%253E_today%2527s_paper/CAIiEIQOqncnM_W-gnCOLgyY4FgqMggEIhDqvUSb0i44sP8Un_o3nreoKhwIACIQuyFmdF_rGhyO_CRirSEJ0SoGCAowvNkC/sex_education_for_teenagers%252C_onl

From the Front Porch: The battle for children’s souls begins again in public schools.

December 28, 2011 Leave a comment
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From the Front Porch: Improving Romantic Relationships

December 26, 2011 Leave a comment

We can all strive to become better communicators in our romantic relationships. Here’s what I’m reading:
YourTango: How To Talk About The Stuff We Usually Avoid http://goo.gl/mag/q1A2g

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From the Front Porch: Luke 2:1-20: The Real War on Christmas?

December 25, 2011 Leave a comment

Good, solemn words to think about on Christmas Day. The real battle for Christmas resides in our hearts. Read this article and be inspired this day.

Luke 2:1-20: The Real War on Christmas? – http://pulse.me/s/4dhHQ

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From the Front Porch: The history of Santa Claus: 7 interesting facts

December 23, 2011 1 comment

http://theweek.com/article/index/222142/the-history-of-santa-claus-7-interesting-facts

Enjoy this link but renember that the original St. Nicholas was a Christian Bishop with a deep faith in God and a generous, compassionate heart for children.

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From the Front Porch: Just say no to Christmas? – USATODAY.com

December 22, 2011 Leave a comment

Saying”no” to some of the extravagance of Christmas may be a way of refocusing our attention on the real meaning of the holiday.  Read on and see for yourself.  Just say no to Christmas? : http://usat.ly/um3KFv

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When Americans banned Christmas

December 21, 2011 2 comments

This is an interesting Q&A on the earliest celebration of Christmas in America that may totally surprise you!

http://theweek.com/article/index/222676/when-americans-banned-christmas

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