Thursday, October 23, 2008
Monday, October 06, 2008
Wonderful story over at The Meridian Star:
Navy Rear Admiral to kick off male ministry at West Mt. Moriah MBC todayBy Ida Brown / senior staff writer
One of the Navy's 11 African-American Rear Admirals will help kickoff a local ministry aimed at young men.
Two-Star Rear Admiral Arthur J. Johnson Jr. will be the keynote speaker at today's launch of Challenge to Manhood, an empowerment initiative sponsored by West Mt. Moriah Missionary Baptist Church. A fellowship hour will precede the program.
Challenge to Manhood is a teaching/nurturing program geared to males ages 12-20. According to the Rev. Odell Hopkins, pastor, the idea was prompted from a similar ministry for girls presented at the church.
"After our presentation of Debs for Christ, we realized that a lot of attention is poured out to our girls – presenting them and making sure they are being taught and nurtured – and we looked around and discovered that we had equally that many young men in the church, from the ages of 12 to 20," Hopkins said. "And while these young men are involved in the church's ministries and activities, no one really focuses on their development at the same level as for the girls."
Hopkins and several West. Mt. Moriah's youth leaders decided to create such a program.
"We felt this was the time to grab hold to them – while their minds are supple, while we can do some things to help develop them to be young men who, first of all, in whom God would be pleased, that the community could use, and that we could help direct their future to success," he said. "It's not only a Biblical and religious move to another level, but also one that is the right thing to do culturally and socially."
Participants will complete a series of lessons, and from the lessons will move to a mentoring process. Each will be paired with an adult male member of the church who will serve as their mentor. Additional guidance will be provided by the older men of church, referred to as Pillars of Wisdom.
"So they (participants) will be challenged to learn life lessons from their mentor, and then learn at least one word of wisdom from their Pillar of Wisdom that will carry them through their life," Hopkins said.
The year-long self-improvement program will culminate with a Rites of Passage celebration.
Hopkins said Johnson was asked to help introduce the program because of his involvement with youth.
"He was at the christening of the SS New York and I watched him as he interacted with the people, specifically the young people. He has a real passion for young people," he said. "He also informed me that our area (Meridian) is not aware of scholarship money available through the U.S. Armed Services to help young people go to college, and special incentives to attend Ivy League schools. He said he wanted to raise local awareness to that funding."
Born in Burlington, Vt., Johnson attended the United States Naval Academy, graduating in May 1979 with a bachelor of science degree in international security affairs. Following an initial TAD assignment to Fighter Squadron 171, he entered flight training in Pensacola, Fla., and earned his Naval Aviator wings in February 1981.
Upon completion of flight training, Johnson was assigned to Training Squadron 3 as a flight instructor flying the T-34 aircraft. In May 1983, he completed his initial P-3 training at Patrol Squadron 31, NAS Moffett Field, Calif., and was assigned to Patrol Squadron 6, NAS Barbers Point, Hawaii, flying P-3B MOD aircraft. While attached to VP-6, he qualified as instructor pilot and mission commander, and completed three deployments to NAS Cubi Point, Republic of the Philippines.
Johnson is currently assigned to the Navy Marine Safety Center at Norfolk, Va. He is the son of Arthur Sr. and Delores Johnson of Meridian.
Challenge to Men is not limited members of West Mt. Moriah Missionary Baptist Church.
"We've included young men from other churches and encourage other ones in the community to participate. I think our mentors and Pillars of Wisdom have a lot to offer," Hopkins said.
What: Kickoff of youth male
ministry Challenge to Men
When: Today. Fellowship hour, from 5 p.m.-6 p.m.; program to begin at 6 p.m.
Where: West Mt. Moriah
Missionary Baptist Church, 10530 Woods Road
Keynote speaker will be Two-Star Rear Admiral Arthur J. Johnson.
For more information: Contact The Rev. Odell Hopkins, pastor, at (601) 693-4967.
Wednesday, October 01, 2008
Need to save your sanity and keep your kids from causing bodily harm to one another? We've got simple tips to help you ease sibling tension and keep the peace.
Consider Age. Smaller children will need you to step in and help them handle their conflict, but don't be so quick to intervene with older children. Many times, they can and will settle things among themselves, and it is good practice in conflict resolution.
Don't Make It A Big Deal. Small spat between your kids? Don't blow it out of proportion. Drawing attention to the issue/conflict may actually encourage them to engage in more fights. Praise them when they solve conflict in a constructive way.
Make Each Child Feel Special. Find something different in each child that you can praise and dote on. Your children need to know that they each have worth as individuals. And don't ever compare your children! This will only incite rivalry and breed bitterness.
Give Them Space. Many times, your children just need to know they have their own space or possessions, particularly if they are older. Encourage sharing, but also respect boundaries, especially when friends are over.
Sibling conflicts are inevitable, and will help your children grow and develop important skills. However, with these principles, you can keep conflict manageable, and make sure that your house is peaceful (well, for the most part).
Monday, September 29, 2008
Fathers Looking for Like-Minded Dads
Christian Schools of the Desert is hosting its annual recruitment night for the schools' Watch D.O.G.S. Program on Wednesday, September 24th, at 6:00 p.m., at the CSOD campus, located at 40-700 Yucca Lane, in Bermuda Dunes.
Watch D.O.G.S. (Dads Of Great Students) is the safe school initiative of the National Center for Fathering, that involves fathers and father figures, to help create a more safe and secure learning environment for the nation's schools. CSOD father Greg Solis was instrumental in bringing the program to CSOD last year, and there are now 130 fathers mentoring CSOD students.
“Moms have traditionally been the parent on campus,” says Solis. “You didn't usually see Dad unless there was somebody in trouble, but we are really starting to change that. Our Dads are having an absolute blast with this program, and I believe that we're just scratching the surface with its potential.”
Solis says that in addition to those already signed up for the program, there are close to 100 other fathers who have expressed interest in joining the Watch D.O.G.S. team.
“I really enjoy participating in this,” says parent Gordon Alward. “Last year, I chose to spend my birthday on campus with my daughter and her classmates, and it was one of the most memorable I've ever had. Children truly need mentors, and this program provides that opportunity for all CSOD students, even those who don't have fathers at home.”
Watch D.O.G.S. volunteer to serve at least one day each year in a variety of school activities, as assigned by the school principal or other administrator.
“We had dads, grandfathers, uncles, etc. on our campus almost every day last year, helping in classrooms, playing with students on the playground, assisting with traffic control and being our extra sets of eyes and ears on campus,” says Principal Donna Ferris. “I believe all of our dads who participated on their assigned days had a good time, and of course, each student loves having his/her dad spend a day at school.”
Prospective Watch D.O.G.S. will watch a short video about the program, and Solis will answer questions, with the schools providing pizza and raffle prizes for those who attend.
For more information on the CSOD Watch D.O.G.S. program, call 345-2848 or go to www.csod.org.
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Friday, August 22, 2008
By Alyssa Roenigk
ESPN The Magazine
BEIJING -- After arriving at the athlete's village in Beijing, Nastia Liukin realized she needed some cash. So after settling into the room she would share with teammate Shawn Johnson for the next 10 days, Liukin walked to the village ATM. But before she had a chance to fill her wallet with yuan, she was halted by her own image. "The machine had a Visa ad with my picture on it," Liukin said, her words flying excitedly from her mouth faster than her spins on floor. "And next to it, in Chinese symbols, was the word, 'Destiny.' I stopped and thought hard when I saw that." Destiny is difficult to ignore here in Beijing. The word is plastered around the Olympic venues, incorporated into T-shirt designs, posters and press releases. It is mentioned more often than hard work, long hours in the gym or mental tenacity. But Friday, it was impossible to ignore the kismet surrounding Liukin's gold-medal win in the all-around. Exactly 20 years ago, her father and coach, Valeri Liukin, finished less than one-tenth of a point behind his Russian teammate Demitri Artemev in the individual all-around competition, the gold slipping from his neck as he swung his arms to balance himself after an imperfect landing from the high bar. Although he still leads his daughter in the overall medal count (Valeri has two gold and two silver medals from those 1988 Games), when it comes to the all-around gold, he must settle for simply being the father of the best gymnast in the world. "He was so close to winning that all-around gold medal," Nastia said moments after her medal ceremony. "I hope I made up for that. I hope he is as proud of this as I am."
Liukin has spent much of the year leading up to the Games in the shadow of teammate Johnson, the current overall world champion. Liukin had beaten Johnson only once since the 2007 World Championships, at the American Cup in March, when Johnson fell attempting a new vault, the Yurchenko 2½.
|Valeri Liukin came oh-so close to an Olympic all-around gold medal. On Friday, his daughter gave him one.|
Her floor routine was spectacular. The 18-year-old's usually stoic expression melted away with each landed tumbling pass. On her final pass, Liukin landed, raised her arms and smiled, something she rarely -- if ever -- does while performing. It was hard not to smile along with her. As she walked off the floor, Liukin walked to her teammate and slapped hands. For a moment, they looked into each other's eyes, a moment of silent acknowledgement of the long road both women had taken to get to this point.
"When I saw her score come up, I knew I couldn't score six-tenths higher," Johnson said, her chin shaking as she spoke to the media. "So going into floor, I didn't care about score or placement anymore. I just wanted to finish my Olympic experience as best I could." Just like her teammate, Johnson finished the competition with a flawless routine, then walked to her teammate and gave her a hug. "Nastia has been around a long time and has a lot of experience and she deserves the gold," Johnson said. "I was meant to have the silver."
Liukin is only the third American woman to win the all-around; Carly Patterson (2004) and Mary Lou Retton (1984) are the others. But perhaps this is not Johnson's final chance at individual gold. After the meet, both gymnasts retracted earlier comments that this Olympics would mark the end of their careers. "Now she is thinking to keep going," Valeri said of his daughter. Then, during the news conference, Johnson said she'd changed her mind, too. "A month ago, I would have said I was done," Johnson said. "But after being here, I would give anything to feel this way again."
Alyssa Roenigk is a senior writer for ESPN The Magazine.
Monday, August 04, 2008
By Greg Toppo, USA TODAY
Researchers know what your tween saw last summer: savage beatings, severed heads, murder, rape and torture.
In a study released Monday in the journal Pediatrics, researchers from Dartmouth Medical School estimate more than 2.5 million children ages 10 to 14 watch the typical violent, R-rated movie.
A few movies, such as Blade, Hollow Man and Bride of Chucky, claim what researchers say are huge child audiences — as many as 7.8 million, including an estimated 1 million 10-year-olds.
"Ten isn't far away from believing in Santa Claus," says researcher Keilah Worth.
Previous studies have found violent media can increase aggression and desensitize to real violence, and many violent films are marketed during kids' TV shows.
Worth and colleagues asked 6,522 children if they had seen movies from a list of 534 released in the past few years. Researchers plucked 40 R-rated movies with "the most extreme examples of graphic violence" and found that, on average, 12.5% of kids had seen each movie.
The study didn't ask whether children saw them in theaters, on video, on cable TV or on the Internet, but more than one in three said parents let them watch R-rated movies "sometimes" or "all the time." Even among kids who said their parents never let them watch such movies, 22.6% had seen at least one.
Children with TVs in their bedroom saw more violent movies, and African-American boys were much more likely to have seen them. More than 80% said they had seen Blade, Training Day and the horror spoof Scary Movie.
Theaters admit children under 17 to R-rated movies with an adult. Researchers say ratings must warn explicitly that violent movies "should not be seen by young adolescents." And they say pediatricians should teach parents about the risks.
Gerard Jones, author of Killing Monsters: Why Children Need Fantasy, Superheroes and Make-Believe Violence, says it's not surprising kids see such movies. "As nasty as the movies are, they are a classic, vital part of teen culture," he says, by allowing kids to bond as they scream in terror.
But he sees the wisdom in modifying ratings to add "something between an R and an NC-17 rating" and says intensely violent movies "are not for someone under 14."
To learn more, purchase, "Congratulations, You've Got Tweens!" By: Dr. Paul Pettit (Kregel Publications)
Thursday, July 10, 2008
Awards Totaling Up to $600K to Honor Pro-Life Heroes
A pro-life foundation announced that it plans to give away up to $600,000 in awards to leaders and groups that have significantly advanced the culture of life. Up to six individuals or groups will be recognized with the "Norinne A. and Raymond E. Ruddy Memorial Pro-Life Prize."
Thu, Jul. 10, 2008
A pro-life foundation announced on Tuesday that it plans to give away up to $600,000 in awards to leaders and groups that have significantly advanced the culture of life.
The Gerald Health Foundation said it will recognize up to six individuals or groups with the "Norinne A. and Raymond E. Ruddy Memorial Pro-Life Prize," created to honor the parents of pro-life philanthropist Raymond B. Ruddy.
"Our primary objective is to reward those who are preserving the culture of life through their charitable enterprises or through advocacy programs that defend and preserve the sanctity of human life," says attorney Cathy Ruse, executive director of Life Prize.
Ruse, who serves as a senior fellow of legal studies for Family Research Council, said the foundation hopes the prizes will also inspire young people to join the pro-life movement.
While executive director of Students for Life of America Kristan Hawkins noted the already "incredible momentum" going into the younger pro-life movement, she believes the prizes will "transform that momentum into inspiration for today’s teenagers, college students and young professionals."
More than 100 pro-life leaders received nomination packets this week. They have until August 15 to submit their choice of candidates. Nominees will be evaluated by their advances in public advocacy, scientific research, outreach and public disclosure activities, legal action or other noteworthy achievements, according to the foundation.
Life Prizes winners will be announced in October and officially receive their awards during a ceremony in Washington, D.C., held in conjunction with Students for Life of America’s annual conference in January 2009.
The initiative has received the blessings of many pro-life figures including Dr. Jack Willke, president of Life Issues Institute and former president of National Right to Life Committee, who says he's thrilled for the new program.
“The Life Prizes program will elevate the pro-life commitment in remembering the significant victories we have achieved and demonstrates that there are many fruits to be harvested by the next generation in carrying the pro-life torch and taking the movement to a new level," he stated.
Christian Post Reporter
Tuesday, July 01, 2008
VIRGINIA - In a research brief this month, Bradford Wilcox, a sociology professor at the University of Virginia, analyzed three national studies in order to discover if "there is any evidence that religion is playing a role in encouraging a strong family orientation among contemporary American men?" His research led him to conclude that men who regularly attend Christian services are engaged in happier and stronger marriages and are more involved in the lives of their children than men who do not.
"Seventy percent of husbands who attend church regularly report they are 'very happy' in their marriages, compared to 59 percent of husbands who rarely or never attend church," explained Wilcox, who also said that the studies indicated that wives experienced more marital happiness when their husbands attended regular religious services. This is likely one significant reason why the studies showed that married couples who attended regular Christian services were approximately 35 percent less likely to divorce then those couples who did not.
Wilcox's research also looked at the effect religion has on the relationships between fathers and their children. Fathers who attended regular Christian services spent an average of two more hours a week engaged in youth-activities with their children than fathers who did not attend regular services. Christian fathers also spent more one-on-one time with their children and were 65 percent more likely to hug and praise their children.
The studies also found that children born inside of wedlock had much more "involved, affectionate, and consistent relationships" with their fathers. This is an important statistic given Wilcox's findings that church-attending men are more likely to have children inside of wedlock then non-church-going men.
Wilcox concluded his research brief by strongly advocating the positive effects that religion has on husbands and fathers: "This brief provides an array of evidence indicating that religion is an answer to the male problematic - that is, the tendency of fathers to become detached, emotionally or physically, from their children and the mothers of their children. I find that fathers who are religious, and who have partners who are religious, are - on average - more likely to be happily married, to be engaged and affectionate parents, and to get and stay married to the mothers of their children."
The research report comes from The Center for Marriage and Families, which is based at the Institute for American Values, and was commissioned by the National Fatherhood Initiative under a grant from the U.S. Department of Justice.
Monday, June 23, 2008
Contact: WinePress Publishing Group
ENUMCLAW, Wash., June 17 /Christian Newswire/ -- Most of us have bickered with our "significant other" over something that's not our loved one's fault. The argument was likely triggered by something that happened in our past.
The behavior of our parents—particularly our fathers—leaves a lasting imprint on our lives, claims clinical psychologist Kathy Rodriguez, author of "Healing the Father Wound." In order to grow spiritually, she says, "We must address our emotional woundedness and the imprint our fathers have left upon our lives, for better or for worse."
Rodriguez asserts that many people are unable to receive God's love because their earthly fathers have wounded them or have been absent altogether. The results of "fatherlessness" are evident, particularly among the teen population, says Rodriguez: sky-high dropout and teen pregnancy rates, kids killing their peers or themselves in mass school shootings, and kids hurling themselves through cyberspace to escape reality.
Consider the staggering statistics about fatherlessness that Paul Lewis presents in "Five Key Habits of Smart Dads:"
- Fatherless daughters are 92 percent more likely to fail in their own marriages.
- Seventy percent of all young men incarcerated in the U.S. come from fatherless homes.
- Principals across the nation report aggressive, acting out behavior, especially from boys who come from single-parent homes.
"Approximately 94 percent of us come from some type of dysfunctional family background," says Rodriguez. "When we work off of these distorted parental images and our own woundedness, we often find it difficult to accept God's parenting."
Her goal is to help people recover the ability to be parented by their Heavenly Father. "'Healing the Father Wound' is an integrated approach to healing emotional woundedness in Christians who have less-than-perfect childhoods," says Rodriguez. "The book provides a systematic healing process for individuals and small groups to address their emotional woundedness and welcome Father God home to their hearts."
Rodriguez helps her readers identify four types of inadequate fathering and the legacy each produces, understand how a "father wound" impacts significant intimate relationships, recognize the characteristics of a good dad, and learn how to re-parent and forgive.
Christians are broken people like everyone else, adds Rodriguez. "Jesus helps us put the pieces of the image of God back together so we can live as God intended—as His kids."
Monday, June 16, 2008
“And as to the Cares, they are chiefly what attend the bringing up of Children; and I would ask any Man who has experienced it, if they are not the most delightful Cares in the World.” —Benjamin Franklin
You can’t outsource fatherhood!
By Mark Alexander
“It is the duty of parents to maintain their children decently, and according to their circumstances; to protect them according to the dictates of prudence; and to educate them according to the suggestions of a judicious and zealous regard for their usefulness, their respectability and happiness.” —James Wilson (1791)
Just after the turn of the millennium, I was reviewing family social data from 1950-2000. Looking at historical trends pertaining to economics, crime and incarcerations, drug abuse, education, physical and emotional health, premarital sex, pregnancy out of wedlock, child abuse and generational patterns of divorce, I was not surprised to find that there was one grid that highly correlated with all the others.
Of course, I’m referring to the corollary between fathers in the home and the welfare of their children. Turns out that children greatly benefit from the love, affirmation, discipline and protection of both their mother and father—preferably under the same roof.
Indeed, social data since 2000 continues to confirm that correlation.
Father’s Day has been observed for a century, and its inspiration, Mother’s Day, has been celebrated in one form or another since the 16th century. But perhaps these should be combined into a “Children’s Day,” because as any devoted parent can attest, there is no greater responsibility or privilege than parenting, and no greater reward than the blessing of children.
The good news is that there is a resurgence of men who are honoring their wives and children as responsible husbands and fathers. Unfortunately, many men still abdicate their responsibility as fathers.
Marriage is the foundation for the family, which in turn, serves as the foundation for society. In 295 BC, Mencius wrote, “The root of the kingdom is in the state. The root of the state is in the family. The root of the family is in the person of its head.”
Broken marriages lead to broken families, which lead to broken societies. The most successful fathering is rooted in a healthy marriage. Thus, to be good fathers, we must first be good husbands.
Marital infidelity and the consequences for children were a concern for our Founders: John Adams wrote in his diary on 2 June 1778, “The foundation of national morality must be laid in private families... How is it possible that Children can have any just Sense of the sacred Obligations of Morality or Religion if, from their earliest Infancy, they learn their Mothers live in habitual Infidelity to their fathers, and their fathers in as constant Infidelity to their Mothers?”
One of my mentors, Dr. Jim Lee, director of Living Free ministries, writes that the Christian marriage paradigm is built on a foundation of five principles: “First, God is the creator of the marriage relationship; second, heterosexuality is God’s pattern for marriage; third, monogamy is God’s design for marriage; fourth, God’s plan for marriage is for physical and spiritual unity; and fifth, marriage was designed to be permanent.”
When this paradigm is broken, the exemplar for children is broken, and the consequences are staggering. One of the greatest affronts to the Body of Christ, then, is also the most common injury to the family of man—marital infidelity and divorce.
Divorce, which typically results in the absence of fathers from their headship role within the family, is the single most significant common denominator among all categories of social and cultural entropy.
However, more than 50 percent of children born to married parents will suffer through their parents’ divorce by age 18.
Currently, almost 60 percent of black children, 32 percent of Hispanic children and 21 percent of white children are living in single-parent homes. And the consequences?
Consider these sobering statistics from the Centers for Disease Control, Department of Justice, Department of Health and Human Services and the Bureau of the Census: Children who live apart from their fathers will account for 40 percent of incarcerated adults, 63 percent of teen suicides, 70 percent of juveniles in state-operated institutions, 71 percent of high-school dropouts, 75 percent of children in chemical-abuse centers, 80 percent of rapists, 85 percent of youths in prison, 85 percent of children who exhibit behavioral disorders, and 90 percent of homeless and runaway children.
About eight percent of children in married-couple homes live at or below poverty level, while almost 40 percent of children in homes without fathers live below poverty level. The latter group risks a much higher incidence of serious child abuse or neglect.
Notably, the most common and severe wounds inflicted upon children are not necessarily physical. Children internalize emotional abuse and rejection—particularly rejection by their family of origin—parental separation or divorce, or dissociation from a chemically dependent or emotionally disabled parent.
Internalization occurs when children, in defiance of adult logic, believe they are somehow responsible for the harm that came to them, whether it was circumstantial, accidental or intended. In the case of divorce, children often believe they must have caused parental dissolution, or were deserving of it.
This internalized rejection often manifests in a condition known as Arrested Emotional Development (AED)—emotional development impeded during childhood and resulting in emotional disabilities carried into adulthood.
It is no small irony that divorced parents were, in all likelihood, themselves the child-victims of generational patterns of familial dissociation and dissolution. Daughters bear a particularly difficult burden in the absence of fathers. A broken father-daughter trust bond can disable the formation of a trust bond with a husband in later life.
Indeed, the sins of our fathers are visited upon generations that follow.
There is also a sobering financial component to all this: Beyond the private-sector costs associated with absentee fathers is a taxpayer assessment of well over $100 billion annually for social-welfare services to families without fathers.
On this Father’s Day, then, may we not only count the blessings of fatherhood, but also commit to honoring those attendant obligations every day. May we also examine the job we are doing as husbands first, and then as fathers.
Additional information about fatherhood can be obtained from Focus on the Family, the National Center for Fathering, the National Fatherhood Initiative and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
If you are interested in community-based marriage and parenting initiatives, the gold standard is the template designed by First Things First under the expert guidance of my friend, Julie Baumgardner.
(Editor’s Note: To all those fathers who have been forcibly separated from their children, this call for fathers to honor their obligations, starting with marriage, does not discount the fact that there are many women who live in constant infidelity to their husbands, and women who subordinate the needs of their marriage and family life to their own desires—careers, social relationships and activities, substance abuse, media immersion, etc. Predictably, the vast majority of those women are, themselves, the victims of marital dissolution, or dissociation from a chemically dependent or emotionally disabled father.)
Quote of the week
“Maturity does not come with age, but with the accepting of responsibility for one’s actions. The lack of effective, functioning fathers is the root cause of America’s social, economic and spiritual crises.” —Dr. Edwin Cole
Friday, May 16, 2008
Monday, May 05, 2008
Erik Youngdahl and Michelle Garcia surf the internet in their room at Wesleyan University.
They have set up their beds side-by-side like Lucy and Ricky in "I Love Lucy" and avert their eyes when one of them is changing clothes.
"People are shocked to hear that it's happening and even that it's possible," said Youngdahl, a 20-year-old sophomore. But "once you actually live in it, it doesn't actually turn into a big deal."
In the prim 1950s, college dorms were off-limits to members of the opposite sex. Then came the 1970s, when male and female students started crossing paths in coed dormitories. Now, to the astonishment of some baby boomer parents, a growing number of colleges are going even further: coed rooms.
At least two dozen schools, including Brown University, the University of Pennsylvania, Oberlin College, Clark University and the California Institute of Technology, allow some or all students to share a room with anyone they choose, including someone of the opposite sex. This spring, as students sign up for next year's room, more schools are following suit, including Stanford University.
As shocking as it sounds to some parents, some students and schools say it's not about sex.
Instead, they say the demand is mostly from heterosexual students who want to live with close friends who happen to be of the opposite sex. Some gay students who feel more comfortable rooming with someone of the opposite sex are also taking advantage of the option.
"It ultimately comes down to finding someone that you feel is compatible with you," said Jeffrey Chang, a junior at Clark in Worcester, Massachusetts, who co-founded the National Student Genderblind Campaign, a group that is pushing for gender-neutral housing. "Students aren't doing this to make a point. They're not doing this to upset their parents. It's really for practical reasons."
Couples do sometimes room together, an arrangement known at some schools as "roomcest." Brown explicitly discourages couples from living together on campus, be they gay or straight. But the University of California, Riverside has never had a problem with a roommate couple breaking up midyear, said James C. Smith, assistant director for residence life.
Most schools introduced the couples option in the past three or four years. So far, relatively few students are taking part. At the University of Pennsylvania, which began offering coed rooms in 2005, about 120 out of 10,400 students took advantage of the option this year.
At UC Riverside, which has approximately 6,000 students in campus housing, about 50 have roommates of the opposite sex. The school has had the option since 2005.
Garcia and Youngdahl live in a house for students with an interest in Russian studies. They said they were already friendly and didn't think they would be compatible with some of the other people in the house.
"I had just roomed with a boy. I was under the impression at the time that girls were a little bit neater and more quiet," Youngdahl said. "As it turns out, I don't see much of a difference from one sex to the other."
Garcia, 19, admitted: "I'm incredibly messy."
Parents aren't necessarily thrilled with boy-girl housing.
Debbie Feldman's 20-year-old daughter, Samantha, is a sophomore at Oberlin in Ohio and plans to room with her platonic friend Grey Castro, a straight guy, next year. Feldman said she was shocked when her daughter told her.
"When you have a male and female sharing such close quarters, I think it's somewhat delusional to think there won't be sexual tension," 52-year-old Feldman said. "Maybe this generation feels more comfortable walking around in their underwear. I'm not sure that's a good thing."
Still, Feldman said her daughter is partly in college to learn life lessons, and it's her decision. Samantha said she assured her mom that she thinks of Castro as a brother.
"I'm really close to him, and I consider him one of my really good friends," she said. "I really trust him. That trust makes it work."
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
You will enjoy the new insights that Rick Warren has, with his wife now struggling with cancer and him having accumulated incredible "wealth" from the book sales. This is an incredible interview with Rick Warren, "Purpose Driven Life " author and pastor of Saddleback Church in California.
In the interview by Paul Bradshaw, Rick said:
People ask me, What is the purpose of life? And I respond: In a nutshell, life is preparation for eternity. We were not made to last forever, and God wants us to be with Him in Heaven.
One day my heart is going to stop, and that will be the end of my body-- but not the end of me.
I may live 60 to 100 years on earth, but I am going to spend trillions of years in eternity. This is the warm-up act - the dress rehearsal. God wants us to practice on earth what we will do forever in eternity.
We were made by God and for God, and until you figure that out, life isn't going to make sense.
Life is a series of problems: Either you are in one now, you're just coming out of one, or you're getting ready to go into another one.
The reason for this is that God is more interested in your character than your comfort.
God is more interested in making your life holy than He is in making your life happy.
We can be reasonably happy here on earth, but that's not the goal of life. The goal is to grow in character, in Christ likeness.
This past year has been the greatest year of my life but also the toughest, with my wife, Kay, getting cancer.
I used to think that life was hills and valleys - you go through a dark time, then you go to the mountaintop, back and forth. I don't believe that anymore.
Rather than life being hills and valleys, I believe that it's kind of like two rails on a railroad track, and at all times you have something good and something bad in your life.
No matter how good things are in your life, there is always something bad that needs to be worked on.
And no matter how bad things are in your life, there is always something good you can thank God for.
You can focus on your purposes, or you can focus on your problems.
If you focus on your problems, you're going into self-centeredness,"which is my problem, my issues, my pain." But one of the easiest ways to get rid of pain is to get your focus off yourself and onto God and others.
We discovered quickly that in spite of the prayers of hundreds of thousands of people, God was not going to heal Kay or make it easy for her.
It has been very difficult for her, and yet God has strengthened her character, given her a ministry of helping other people, given her a testimony, drawn her closer to Him and to people.
You have to learn to deal with both the good and the bad of life.
Actually, sometimes learning to deal with the good is harder. For instance, this past year, all of a sudden, when the book sold 15 million copies, it made me instantly very wealthy.
It also brought a lot of notoriety that I had never had to deal with before. I don't think God gives you money or notoriety for your own ego or for you to live a life of ease.
So I began to ask God what He wanted me to do with this money, notoriety and influence. He gave me two different passages that helped me decide what to do, II Corinthians 9 and Psalm 72
First, in spite of all the money coming in, we would not change our lifestyle one bit. We made no major purchases.
Second, about midway through last year, I stopped taking a salary from the church.
Third, we set up foundations to fund an initiative we call The Peace Plan to plant churches, equip leaders, assist the poor, care for the sick, and educate the next generation.
Fourth, I added up all that the church had paid me in the 24 years since I started the church, and I gave it all back. It was liberating to be able to serve God for free.
We need to ask ourselves: Am I going to live for possessions? Popularity?
Am I going to be driven by pressures? Guilt? Bitterness? Materialism? Or am I going to be driven by God's purposes (for my life)?
When I get up in the morning, I sit on the side of my bed and say, God, if I don't get anything else done today, I want to know You more and love You better. God didn't put me on earth just to fulfill a to-do list. He's more interested in what I am than what I do.
That's why we're called human beings, not human doings.
Happy moments, PRAISE GOD.
Difficult moments, SEEK GOD.
Quiet moments, WORSHIP GOD.
Painful moments, TRUST GOD.
Every moment, THANK GOD.
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
Exclusive: Jill Stanek sees 'Big Bang' coming from the left April 18
Posted: April 10, 2008
1:00 am Eastern
FROM: World Net Daily
By Jill Stanek
On April 18, "Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed," will boast the largest U.S. opening of any documentary film ever.
Scheduled for release in 1,000 theatres, "Expelled" will be hotter than "Farenheit 9/11," which debuted on 868 screens, and much more convenient to see than "An Inconvenient Truth," which I was surprised to find opened on only four screens nationwide despite all the hype, peaking at 587 before its appeal melted.
What's "Expelled" about? Synopsizes CNS News:
"Expelled" calls attention to the plight of highly credentialed scholars who have been forced out of prestigious academic positions because they proposed Intelligent Design as a possible alternative to Charles Darwin's 150-year-old theories about the origins of life.
Instead of entertaining a debate on the merits of competing theories, the scientific establishment has moved to suppress the ID movement in a "systematic and ruthless" way at odds with America's founding principles, the film asserts.
Liberals have been going ape about "Expelled" for months as it has been screened around the country.
On March 20, two Darwinian defenders, who accepted payment to talk like buffoons on the film, tried to bust into a private screening in Minnesota.
"PZ" Myers, a University of Minnesota biology professor and proprietor of the popular atheist blog Pharyngula, was quickly expelled, much as he condones expelling professors who deviate from the monkey line, as he wrote on The Panda's Thumb blog:
The only appropriate responses [to Intelligent Design proponents] should involve some form of righteous fury, much butt-kicking, and the public firing and humiliation of some teachers, many school board members, and vast numbers of sleazy far-right politicians." ~ Comment #35130, PZ Myers, June 14, 2005
Richard Dawkins, an evolutionary biologist at Oxford who wrote the book "The God Delusion," gained entry only by foregoing his evolved surname for the formal, Clinton.
Myers then disrupted an "Expelled" conference call with reporters the next day.
These uncivilized spectacles caused a liberal mass meltdown. According to an "Expelled" press release, the "Expelled" controversy held the No. 1 slot in the blogosphere all day March 24, as registered by Nielson's BlogPulse, and garnered over 800 Technorati results.
If we are seeing this meltdown on the left even before "Expelled" officially opens, expect a Big Bang on April 18.
"This is not a scientific battle; this is a worldview battle," "Expelled" producer Mark Mathis told me. Mathis has encountered unbridled hostility from the scientific establishment, i.e., avowed Darwinists, at previews.
"Expelled" connects atheism and Darwinism with no missing link, one of the film's two major flashpoints.
Darwinism is a specific evolutionary theory that excludes everything but material processes in the design of all life forms. No Intelligent Design allowed.
"What's driving it is Darwinism is a foundational principle – scientific validation of secularism, atheism, liberalism – and that it strikes at the core of who they are," said Mathis.
"Secondarily, these scientists are the high priests of the biggest question ever asked. They have all the authority, knowledge, power, funding," continued Mathis. "This is ground they own exclusively. They look down their elitist noses at the unwashed ignorant religious masses and scoff. That's why they respond with such extreme hostility. They are very concerned that if this monolith cracks, then the whole thing could crash."
Indeed, "Expelled" is already making a difference. Last month, Ben Stein, star of "Expelled," screened it for Florida legislators as they prepared to present a bill guaranteeing academic freedom in their schools. It looks ready to pass.
Last week, Stein screened "Expelled" to Missouri lawmakers followed by a press conference promoting three academic freedom bills germinating there.
Not only is Darwinism foundational to atheism, it is foundational to eugenics, the other reason for the left's apoplexy against "Expelled," according to Mathis. They cannot tolerate the connection "Expelled" draws between Darwinism and Adolf Hitler.
Or Margaret Sanger, founder of Planned Parenthood.
"Planned Parenthood is a direct outgrowth of Darwinism," said Mathis. "Sanger was an open proponent of eugenics, and Darwinism is an idea that naturally leads to eugenics, which they are denying," said Mathis. "But they are compatible."
That Hitler and Nazism drew from Darwinism is irrefutable. "Hitler said genocide of Jews was doing good, cleansing the world of 'useless eaters' and strengthening formation of an 'Aryan' race of super-humans," said Mathis.
One complaint Darwinist scientists interviewed for "Expelled" have not lodged is that the filmmakers applied Michael Moore cut-and-paste editing to make them look bad. The film includes many of their long, uninterrupted thoughts.
That's also part of their problem.
Tuesday, April 08, 2008
SAN ANTONIO -- The shot that saved a season took just a moment -- a Shining Moment, you could say.
The hug lasted for minutes.
After hitting the biggest Final Four jumper since Keith Smart's in 1987, Mario Chalmers summoned his mother, Almarie, down from the Alamodome stands to courtside. The unflappable Kansas Jayhawk wrapped both arms around her, laid his head on her shoulder and bawled like a baby.
She pumped her left arm. He wouldn't let go.
"We did it, Mom," Chalmers said between sobs.
"A dream come true," Almarie said later, her own eyes glistening. "A prayer answered. We've been waiting on this moment since he was 2."
This moment -- this Shining Moment -- was almost preordained four years earlier, when Mario went to the Final Four in this same building with his dad, current Kansas director of basketball operations Ronnie Chalmers. They watched Connecticut beat Georgia Tech for the title, and Ronnie remembers one spectacular play from that game when he jumped to his feet but Mario remained in his chair.
"What's wrong?" Ronnie asked his son.
"I'm thinking," Mario said.
"What are you thinking about?"
"One day," Mario said, "I'm going to be out there winning the national championship."
That goal guided the Chalmers family from Alaska to Kansas three years ago. It guided them to this game and ultimately to this moment -- this Shining Moment -- that rescued Kansas from near-certain defeat and gave the 2008 NCAA tournament its signature.
Chalmers' shot capped the Jayhawks' steely nine-point comeback in the final 2:12 of regulation on their way to a 75-68 overtime triumph. It was the blow that broke an excellent Tigers squad -- a Tigers squad that turned the school's first championship into a stunning championship choke.
"You have a lead like that," coach John Calipari said, "you're supposed to win the game."
The emotional whiplash that followed Chalmers' 3-pointer with 2.1 seconds remaining will be felt for years on both campuses. Memphis will always love a team that finished 38-2 -- but always wince at the way it unraveled at the very end. And giddy Kansas now has another name to add to its list of all-time heroes: Clyde Lovellette, Wilt Chamberlain, Danny Manning …
I thought it was going in when it left my hands.
"It will probably be the biggest shot in Kansas history," coach Bill Self said.
The kid scored 18 on the night, earning Most Outstanding Player honors. But the replay that will live forever in Lawrence will focus on a single shot. For years to come, kids all over Kansas will go into the driveway or the backyard or the gym and pretend to be Mario Chalmers swishing that jumper.
With 10.8 seconds left, Self diagrammed the play. It called for the potential tying shot to be in Chalmers' calm hands -- a pass from penetrating Sherron Collins for a 3.
Of course Chalmers was the choice: He has home-state ice water in his veins. He's been good in the clutch his entire career.
"In YMCA and AAU and high school, he was always the go-to guy," Ronnie Chalmers said.
For the go-to guy's shot to matter, though, Kansas needed at least one more in a nightmarish series of missed free throws from Memphis.
Awful foul shooting was the endlessly discussed weakness of these Tigers, but they had made it a moot point in three straight rampaging NCAA tournament victories over Michigan State, Texas and UCLA. Now, with the title right there for the taking, star junior Chris Douglas-Roberts missed three straight, leaving the door open for Kansas.
Then, with 10.8 seconds on the clock, sensational freshman Derrick Rose stood on the line with Memphis up two, trying to ice it. His first shot hit the rim and fell off. He made the second, but the one miss gave Kansas its opportunity to tie.
Collins dribbled upcourt and veered to his right -- almost losing the ball as Memphis players hacked at him, trying to foul and prevent a 3 from being hoisted. Collins' strength probably prevented a whistle, though, and he shoved a pass to Chalmers as he came curling off the wing.
The ball came up into Chalmers' chest. He took one rushed dribble to his left and elevated. Rose jumped with him, arm outstretched. Chalmers arched the shot over Rose's fingers and into the tension-drenched Texas air.
"I thought it was going in when it left my hands," Chalmers said.
Teammate Brandon Rush, who was directly underneath the basket, concurred.
"I could see it splash right in there," Rush said. "Pretty cool."
Blessed with a good sight line in the stands behind the play, Almarie Chalmers knew, too.
"I saw it going straight in," she said. "When it hit the bottom of the net, I breathed."
Everyone else screamed. Kansas fans in ecstasy. Memphis fans in agony.
The Tigers had nothing left in overtime. No momentum. No Joey Dorsey, who had fouled out. No legs for tired Douglas-Roberts and cramping Rose. Kansas scored the first six in OT to take command of a game it had come amazingly close to losing.
Earlier in the second half, as the game began slipping away from the Jayhawks, Self was telling his players, "You've got to believe." But the situation was dire enough that when Memphis' Robert Dozier went to the foul line with 2:12 left and the Tigers up seven, Ronnie Chalmers reached into his pocket for some divine guidance.
On a piece of paper, he'd written two verses from Psalms: 46:10 and 46:1. He pulled them out and read them to himself.
"Be still, and know that I am God," reads 46:10.
"God is a refuge and strength. A very present help in trouble," reads 46:1.
"We were in trouble at that time," Ronnie said.
The trouble deepened when Dozier swished both free throws. The lead was 60-51 as the clocked slipped inside two minutes. This was desperate.
But Chalmers and Collins -- two guards who had taken some very bad shots as Memphis asserted itself -- rode to the rescue.
Chalmers passed to Darrell Arthur for a jump shot that made it 60-53. Then, after a timeout, Collins made the two plays that really made it a ballgame -- he stole the ball from Antonio Anderson and, after a couple of quick passes, got it back in the corner for a 3-pointer.
Until then, Kansas was 1-for-9 from 3-point range. Collins swished it.
After a pair of Douglas-Roberts free throws, Chalmers made a pair of his own. That set the stage for Memphis' foul-line debacle, which was augmented by a bad decision to attack the basket with 20 seconds left instead of pulling the ball out and killing clock while clinging to a two-point lead.
But all the Memphis foibles down the stretch could have been survived if Chalmers hadn't hit the shot of a lifetime.
"First, I'm happy for Mario," Ronnie Chalmers said. "Then I'm happy for Coach Self -- he was long overdue for this. Then I'm happy for the team.
"It's great for a parent to see their son's dream come true. … You've got to think about it every day the rest of your life. This is the moment."
One Shining Moment.Pat Forde is a senior writer for ESPN.com.
Thursday, March 06, 2008
1.Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White
2. Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
3. The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein
4. Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss
5. Good Night Moon by Margaret Wise Brown
6. I Love You Forever by Robert N. Munsch
7. Because of Winn Dixie by Kate DiCamillo
8. Oh! The Places You Will Go by Dr. Seuss
9. The Little House by Virginia Lee Burton
10. The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg
11. Skippyjon Jones by Judy Schachner
12. Thank You Mr. Falker by Patricia Polacco
13. The Cat In The Hat by Dr. Seuss
14. The Lorax by Dr. Seuss
15. The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo
16. The Mitten by Jan Brett
17. Crunching Carrots, Not Candy by Judy Slack
18. Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus by Mo Willlems
19. Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling
20. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle
21. Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst
22. Are You My Mother? by P.D. Eastman
23. Corduroy by Don Freeman
24. Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse by Kevin Henkes
25. Stellaluna by Janell Cannon
26. Tacky the Penquin by Helen Lester
27. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
28. The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams
29. Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jr.
30. Click Clack Moo: Cows That Type Doreen Cronin
31. Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson
32. Horton Hatches the Egg by Dr. Seuss
33. Junie B. Jones by Barbara Park
34. Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder
35. Make Way For Ducklings by Robert McCloskey
36. The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster
37. Piggie Pie by Margie Palatini
38. The Little Engine That Could by Watty Piper
39. The Monster at the End of this Book by Jon Stone
40. The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo
41. A Bad Case of Stripes by David Shannon
42. Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs by Judi Barrett
43. From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg
44. Inkheart by Cornelia Funke
45. Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli
46. Officer Buckle and Gloria by Peggy Rathmann
47. Olivia by Ian Falconer
48. The BFG by Roald Dahl
49. The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn
50. The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
51. The Sneetches by Dr. Seuss
52. The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
53. Tikki Tikki Tembo by Arlene Mosel
54. A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett
55. Bark, George by Jules Feiffer
56. Bunnicula by James Howe
57. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl
58. Charlie the Caterpillar by Dom DeLuise
59. Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes
60. Dear Mr. Henshaw by Beverly Cleary
61. Frederick by Leo Lionni
62. Frindle by Andrew Clements
63. Frog and Toad by Arnold Lobel
64. Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney
65. Harris and Me by Gary Paulsen
66. Harry the Dirty Dog by Gene Zion
67. Hop on Pop by Dr. Seuss
68. How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss
69. I Love You, Stinky Face by Lisa McCourt
70. Is Your Mama A Llama? by Deborah Guarino
71. Jan Brett’s books
72. Knots on a Counting Rope by Bill Martin Jr.
73. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
74. Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel by Virginia Lee Burton
75. Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney
76. My Father's Dragon by Ruth Stiles Gannett
77. My Many Colored Days by Dr. Seuss
78. My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George
79. No David! by David Shannon
80. One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish by Dr. Seuss
81. Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein
82. Stephanie's Ponytail by Robert Munsch
83. Swimmy by Leo Lionni
84. The Hundred Dresses by Eleanor Estes
85. The Boxcar Children by Gertrude Warner
86. The Dark Is Rising by Susan Cooper
87. The Empty Pot by Demi
88. The Five Chinese Brothers by Claire Huchet Bishop
89. The Giver by Lois Lowr
90. The Grouchy Ladybug by Eric Carle
91. The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
92. The Important Book by Margaret Wise Brown
93. The Last Holiday Concert by Andrew Clements
94. The Napping House by Audrey Wood
95. The Quiltmaker's Gift by Jeff Brumbeau
96. The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats
97. The Story About Ping by Marjorie Flack
98. The True Story of the Three Little Pigs by Jon Scieszka
99. Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt
100. The Wide-Mouthed Frog: A Pop-Up Book by Keith Faulkner
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
• Married people live longer than unmarried or divorced people. Nonmarried women
have 50% higher mortality rates than married women and nonmarried men have a 250%
higher rate than married men. (Waite & Gallagher, 2000)
• Married people are happier than single, widowed, or cohabiting people. About 40%
of married people report being very happy with their lives, whereas only 18% of divorced people, 15% of separated people, and only 22% of widowed and 22% of cohabiting
people report being very happy. (Waite & Gallagher, 2000)
• Married people have more sex and a better quality sexual relationship than do
single, divorced or cohabiting individuals. (Waite & Gallagher, 2000)
• Married people are more successful in their careers, earn more, and have more
wealth than single, divorced or cohabiting individuals. (Waite & Gallagher, 2000;
Antonovics & Town, 2004)
• Children from homes where the parents are married tend to be more academically
successful, more emotionally stable, and more often assume leadership roles. (Waite
& Gallagher, 2000; Manning & Lamb, 2003)
• Adolescents living with their biological parents are less likely to have sexual
intercourse. (Pearson, Frisco, 2006; Sieving, Eisenberg, Pettingell, & Skay, 2006)
• Two-parent households protect children from the negative effects of poverty. In the
U.S., nearly 60% of the children from single-parent households live in poverty, as
compared to only 11% of children from two-parent families. (U.S. Bureau of the Census,
SOURCE: Marriage & Family Facts 2007
Life Innovations, Inc.