Posted in Writing

Transgender Rights Enforced in the US Schools

Another school year has begun, and the daily schedule of attending to all is underway. As. the new students enter the schools looking for their place, and the returning students; well, we have all been there. Nothing is ever the same, it is simply a matter of assimilating back into your previous environment. You were quite comfortable, only three short months before. As a student on the first few days of class, it seems like eons have passed; until one of two reminders of reality slowly reveal two of what used to be considered “old reliable”. The first reminder is normally the food. Everyone enters the cafeteria, and as you begin to see all of your old friends waving you over to sit, you begin to get that “de ja vu” experience once more. You spend some quality time there and finally, you are at ease.

The other walk thru begins immediately with the sound and smell of physical education in the gym. For those of us who were assigned gym lockers, you will remember that anxious feeling of getting your number and walking through. You looked for your number with growing anxiety praying for a top locker. At the same time, you could feel eyes on your back, and your friend base growing as you seemed like an avenger proceeding without fear, until you reach- the top locker.

You can remember the feeling of “the top locker.” The elation is unlike any other. Your fellow gym mates experience mixed emotions; some look upon you as if you had just defeated the “Kraken”. (Tennyson, 1892) Others look upon you with distrust, as there must be a trick to getting the top locker. One thing is certain about these first few days, emotions run high, and students feel pressured; tested in a way to achieve what is beyond their control.

With all of these sensations running high, coupled with meeting new students, new teachers, finding classes, finding lockers in the halls and then once again-in the most private of all places, the gym locker room. Imagine the following scenario- there are two:

1) Females: You are standing in your locker room getting ready for gym class, when you hear the words “And this will be your locker, young lady.” (Kellogg, 2015) Standing before you is a boy- a boy, who dresses and acts like a girl. More recently, the terminology is politically correct when stated “a boy who identifies as a girl” being assigned a locker and was allowed to use the same restroom.

2) Males: You are standing in your locker room, perhaps near the urinal, when you hear the words “And this will be your locker, young man.” Standing before you is a girl– a girl, who dresses and acts like a boy. More recently, the terminology is politically correct when stated “a girl who identifies as a boy” being assigned a locker and was allowed to use the same restroom.

This happened just yesterday in the classes at Hillsboro R-3 School District in Missouri. The female students in the locker room were faced with this very situation, as well as their parents. Matt Sharp is an attorney with the Alliance Defense Foundation (ADF) advised, “The female Hillsboro students were shocked, because no notice given. There were also no accommodations offered to female students who objected to the use by the student.” Sharp says, “The ADF suspected the policy change has the fingerprints of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) on it and says the school district is, in fact, relying on materials from the ACLU, such as before in cases such as the one involving the Gloucester School Board. The focus of this concern was representation of the concerns of parents and students, after legal counsel voted all students would use restrooms corresponding to their biological sex or to use one of the several single-stall private restrooms available. (Kellogg, 2015)

Attorney Sharp states, “The ACLU has made it very clear that part of their agenda is to break down traditional gender ‘barriers’ to create a genderless society.” For some, this is the beginning, or the first they have heard of the ACLU or gender “barriers”, but for the States of Massachusetts and California? This is an ongoing controversy, that can continue for them, or it could help others realize gender born have rights as well. Gender born have the right to choose? Some would say, choosing is being informed, and having a choice. Others would say, having the right to choose to be informed is one thing, but to have the information pushed on you; or having your parents against it? This conflict could be too much for children, and could actually cause regression, aggression, and a reason to bully.

California and Massachusetts have a bill in their states protecting those with disabilities against being bullied. I did not realize transgender was a disability, but that is another concern. These two states are recognizing transgender equality as a need to be addressed as early as elementary school. They now have transgender coaches entering the first and second grade classrooms, and teaching the children in graphic detail, that it is okay to be something other than what you were born to be. You do not even have to be a gender at all.

We have now come to be a society of people who are undetermined, and why? We do not want to be bullied. As a parent, you may say, “Well, I would just sign that form that says my child will not be attending.” According to the Mass Resistance, it is not an option to do so. The reasons the schools are mandating it, or the reasons the government passed the bills, are because of the following:
Parents at home aren’t doing their job, aren’t supporting kids’ choices, and are even throwing kids out of the house if they say they are “transgender”.
This is absolutely necessary to stop bullying, which “transgender” kids suffer from more than others.
We must have respect for differences.
Transgender” kids are committing suicide, and these programs must be done school-wide to stop that.
We need everyone to feel welcome and safe.
(And our favorite:) If you’re against this, then you’re in favor of teaching children to hate.

The Center for Lesbian Rights and Gender Spectrum, and the California Teachers Association, (CTA) were interviewed on Weigh In by Megyn Kelly, with Fox News Reporting. Their director, Shannon Price Minter, Board of Faith in America Chair and the Legal Director for the Center for Lesbian Rights, who advised the curriculum was gentle and learning, and there was no reason to have an opt out; however, Brad Daycus President of Pacific Justice referenced material from their teaching, and
discussed why it should be an opt-out for parents, and why parents wanted to opt out. However, the director denied knowing anything about that information in particular, and remained firm that the program should not be opted out of. (Price Minter, 2011) It is for these reasons the ADF has drawn up the District Model Policy.

With the ACLU push towards breaking down gender walls inside our schools, the ADF has drawn up this model, and it will establish:
(1) No federal law requires public schools to open sex-specific restrooms, showers, and changing areas to opposite-sex students,
(2) Providing such access violates the fundamental rights of the vast majority of students and parents, and
(3) Schools have broad discretion to regulate the use of school restrooms, showers, and changing areas. (Sharp, 2015)
A school board meeting will be held today, August 27, 2015 to discuss the options available for parents and students. It is one concern to uphold the right to bodily privacy, as not to violate the rights of the students. It’s also a concern for the legal liability of the District, to maintain the rights and protections of its employees.

Our Two Cents:
Some people will still argue about transgender and how transsexualism or transgenderism is something they struggle with from birth; therefore, it must be something God given. Well, I don’t know anything about having transgender, because I wasn’t born with this ailment. I was born female. There are times I wanted to be a boy. I wanted to play football, and even tried to play on the football team. They told the few of us girls, we had to be on a “power-puff” football team.
There was another time I can remember I wanted to be a boy, because my dad always went with boys to do things. I saw my cousins go hunting and fishing, and even though my dad didn’t always go, I didn’t want to stay with my mom. My uncle told me I couldn’t go, not because I wasn’t tall enough, or not that I couldn’t pull my weight, but because I was a girl. I remember my dad going to work, and watching him fire up his log truck, and my mom was talking with my sister about going to college. She said, “What are you going to do when you grow up?” I told her I wanted to drive a log truck, like daddy. “That is stupid,” she smirked. I remember thinking, “It’s not stupid; daddy does it! And how I used to watch him sometimes come through town, or backing it in, or driving that truck out at 4AM. I would get up just to watch him. I wanted to be just like him, but I wasn’t a boy.
These days, with gender equality being such a big part of the work place, girls I grew up with are driving trucks, and all types of jobs you would not have thought about girls doing. So, I a girl can do anything a man can do, why can’t a man do anything a woman can do? Well, because quite frankly, he doesn’t have the necessary body parts, and that is where the problem began:
You see, Genesis 1:27 says:
~So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.

It did not say, HE created man in his own image; male, female and a (?). He placed the three in a box of crackerjack, and the answer received, is what HE created. God had a specific purpose, never did HE leave anything to chance.

One of my favorite versus, I suppose because it is about me. It’s also about you. It’s about each of my children, and yours. I love it, because it’s so personal, so subjective, and so perfect in every way about me. It’s also about you too. Psalm 139:13-18 says:
~For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.

I have heard some people say, “I was just like a child, switched at birth. I belonged to someone else.” No child was born in the wrong womb, surround in the wrong placenta, or delivered by the wrong mother. You were born how you were supposed to be. God doesn’t make mistakes. God is love, and love does not delight in evil. Jesus definitely claims to be sufficient for any and all of our battles, and He desires to sanctify us through His Word of truth. John 17:17 says~
Sanctify them in the truth; your word is the truth!

As children, we are complacent with our limitations. We learn we all have limitations, physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. We accept them and we grow. Our parents teach us we are loved, no matter what. Our Father, teaches us we are loved, no matter what. However, as we become adults, we decide we want more. We can have more. We go out and we get more. What happened to having those limitations and still being who we are and being loved just the same?

I remember growing up and watching all of these Olympic hopefuls and how they because Olympic winners. Some of those people were winners, and it came to be they were winners, not because they trusted in God, but because they took medications. Others became Olympic winners because they succeeded in being all they were. One of those people was Bruce Jenner.

I recall looking at Bruce Jenner, and thinking, “Wow!” “How blessed he was to be able to do all he did.” “He won!” As a man, aging in a world of people who thought so much of him, he decides he wants to be a woman. He went from someone I used to read about, to someone I don’t even browse a magazine about. As a grown up with my limitations, physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually- I consider the fact there are many things I guess I could do to make some changes, but why bother? I am so perfect in the only way it matters. And when I look at my children, I hope they see me the way God sees me too; for purity of heart, and grace is so precious in the eyes of God, and in Luke 17:1-2 to HIS disciples HE says:
~”Temptations to sin are sure to come, but woe to the one through whom they come! It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck and he were cast into the sea than that he should cause one of these little ones to sin.”

I pray each night for my children and their limitations: physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. I pray each night for those who want to be something they can’t because of a limitation. I pray for each child who is caused to sin because of their parent’s lack of interest. I pray for Casey, Ben, Brody, Kendall, and Kylie Jenner for it was hard enough to be raised in the public eye with a father who gave up so much to be an athlete in his younger years. That is an extremely hard life to live. Then to selfishly give up his adulthood to live the life of a woman in a very public life. If this person, wherever his heart may be, would have given more of it to be a father, than to be famous; these kids would have everything. I pray our Father gives them more.

Posted in Writing

Keeping Eyes On Technology of Identity to Ourselves

New technologies are now being introduced into telecommunication systems. The increasing vulnerability of these systems, and enhancing securities of databases improved the security and reliability of databases. New technologies in iris technology recognition aims at being improved as a level of recognition technology, and has recently been introduced as a facilitated process of authentication.

At the same time, biometric recognition forms a strong bond between a person’s identity and a person’s biometric traits. These traits cannot be shared, cannot be lost, and cannot be duplicated. Biometric and iris recognition, is important in unauthorized access, protection, and information breaches. Although there are high costs to iris recognition, especially in allowances for the disabled, or who do not have irises, there is a potential for loss to secure information. In spite of the expenses, and the resources incurred, a database of private information is built. In doing so, the potential for loss of this information is high. And in respect to security, privacy and long-term storage with restricted access, physical security of this information is compromised.

I remember going to get lunch in college, and while standing in line, it was just habit to gaze at other students, or to gaze at their order. Other times you may see which group they were with for recognition, and sometimes, it was just to have something to do with your eyes. There really was no particular reason, or no logic; it was simply gazing about. I did happen to know some people paid with cash or credit card, and some paid with their “Louisiana Tech Express Card.” This card was actually a prepaid account the student would use on or off-campus to pay for goods and services. I don’t recall the exact year, but it was in the early 1990’s, Louisiana Tech University students and employees have used their Tech Express cards for on-campus services such as dining, textbooks and office supplies. A few years ago, the program moved throughout the city of Ruston, Louisiana. Since the cards were prepaid, the students, faculty and even the staff had the option to use their Tech Express campus debit and ID cards to pay for goods and services provided by a number of merchants in Ruston.

However, before then, I can remember standing food services in one of the lines, usually for me, it was Chick-fil-a, as I do love those wraps, waffle fries and a Diet Dr. Pepper. I would look around and those carrying sacks of something other than my chosen and think, “I could have gotten something different today!” Then again, there was no Johnny’s Pizza on campus, so “EAT MORE CHICKEN”, I did! I worked on campus at the time, and I would see others swipe their cards, and I would pull the cash from my pocket, and think about those days when my kids would be there, and how my oldest, bless her little heart, she barely gets out of the house with her clothes on, and keys in her hand. If she had to remember something like that to pay for lunch? She’d starve for certain. I can remember she was in town for a week working at a local attorney’s office. She came by every day for lunch. I thought to myself, “How lucky I am, my daughter wants to come eat lunch with me every day.” She was staying with a girlfriend of hers in town for that week. And, since she had forgotten to switch her money out of her purse, instead of making a big hassle and driving all the way back, to get the money from her other purse, she came to my office every day so we could have lunch every day, and I, of course, could pay for it.

I can’t complain, as I love my girls, and will take their company any way I can get it. Yet, I do worry about this behavior. Especially, when I read an article about such things as the program at (VCU), Virginia Commonwealth University, where the administrators say, “It’s all about convenience!” I guess it could be as my daughter would never leave her irises at home. However, I do have some concerns about security for my child, and others. I know there is a low risk of identity theft. I doubt she would leave them lying around on the bathroom sink, but it’s the system I do not feel as secure.

This is not a campus-wide effective plan, where all students will go to it. This will be for students who forget to bring their card with them when they come back from home over the holidays. Maybe a parent will drop that card in the mail, or bring it by their residence, and it will return to business-as-usual. It’s not that type of concern, it is the fact before you can have students place their iris up to the scanner, a system must be in effect. Basically, all students will scan their irises, in the event this happens to them, then this can help them.

In understanding biometric recognition, mapping these systems are important. First of all, biometrics involves algorithms. Just like when you type your identification code or password into your computer, this is a form of algorithm. The more sophisticated the algorithms, the more identifiable not only by the word or set of numbers or combination of characters used; there is also the understanding of identification by keystroke. Keystroke means application of the characters by pressure, length of time, and depth of application on the keypad, etc. No one will apply the same pattern of pressure as you; therefore, the accuracy of typed patterns confirmed with reproducible effects. For instance, if your password is BOSCO, then if you apply more pressure to the -B, the -S, and the -O, than to the other two letters in the sequence; the algorithm determined during the keystroke pattern, will be saved.

Biometric patterns for recognition, are saved with pressure points, such as when you place your eye in front of the sensor to have your iris read. Iris recognition uses mathematical pattern recognition. The irises of an individual’s eyes are so unique, that detection of a person’s identity are visible within the iris of an eye from computer vision, pattern recognition, statistical inference and optics. The iris is the colored ring around the pupil of every human being and like a snowflake, no two are the same. (Mudholkar, 2012) My concern for University systems and security are not foolproof. These things can get hacked as easy as anyone else. It’s just a matter of a few clicks, and the iris scanner copies the ring. I know there isn’t a huge iris scanner bank out there, but if there was ever a possibility for something financial related or otherwise; I would hate for this feature to be forfeited over something as miniscule now, as a cafeteria plan. “VCU’s director of campus services Stephen Barr says it’s as simple as a camera taking a picture of students’ eyes before entering the cafeteria. But John Whitehead of The Rutherford Institute says that’s an oversimplification and an intrusion of privacy.” (Kellogg, 2015) “None of this stuff is foolproof – it can be co-opted by hackers,” he maintains. “So this kind of information is going to be put out here online. One of the scary things is how somebody who’s unscrupulous may use this kind of material.” (Kellogg, 2015) Once considered is not only those who would use it, because of the devious mind; but those who would be unaware it was being used, as they felt they were being protected by these methods of sophisticated and mature extremes.

Our Two Cents:

Louisiana Tech University is one of those universities with a high host enrollment to International Students. Therefore, these are only some of the students who may not know they have a choice in what the government says. They may feel the university is compelling them to abide by the actions of the U.S. Government. Just because a student is of International descent, does not mean they are not of a Christian religion. There are also students, right here, who may not realize their own rights under the governmental powers that be. So what do we do to protect the students who feel they do this, or not do this, or they may or may not have a choice, or a voice? Benjamin Franklin once said, “The longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth, that God governs in the affairs of man; and if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without His notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without His aid?

Romans 13:1-7~

Verses 1-2: “Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment” –

Romans reminds us as Christians, we should not be rebellious against our leaders. Nothing happens that God does not authorize. Politicians who are in power are there because God has allowed it. Godly people will have good leaders, whereas people who reject God will not. God’s judgment is felt on those who have rejected Him.

Verses 3-4: “For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, for he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer.”

God’s representatives in preventing ‘bad conduct’ or ‘wrong-doing is no longer fulfilling its God-given purpose and the Christian is no longer obligated to obey it under an evil government. Severe consequence ‘bears a sword’ and, as history has revealed, is often too quick to utilize it.

Verses 5-7: “Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God’s wrath but also for the sake of conscience. For because of this you also pay taxes, for the authorities are ministers of God, attending to this very thing. Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed.”

A good government should be God’s servant, dispensing His wrath and His judgments. The believer’s conscience, guided by the Holy Spirit, must be involved in any response to government. If it is a good government, we should obey it for God’s sake. If it is a bad government, and they attempt to force us to violate our conscience, we are obligated to do God’s will, as our allegiance must be to God.

1 Timothy 2 1-3~

Verses 1-3: “I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— 2 for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. 3 This is good, and pleases God our Savior.”

It is very clear that God is sovereign over everything that happens to us. The Bible tells us that we are to pray for our leaders, knowing in our heart, our mind, our strength, and our soul- we should rely upon the spiritual power coming from the Heavenly Father; instead, we all too often fall short, and we rely on the supposed political power instead. Surely if we are asked to do anything, we should lean on the Lord. If what we are to do is in conflict with what we are taught by scripture of what God wants us to do, we are to obey God, rather than obey man. If we are ever asked to violate our conscience, we should sit in judgement of ourselves, not to violate our conscience, as our conscience is controlled by the Holy Spirit- we should do what God would have us do.

Too many times, we feel by going to the polls, and voting for the best candidate, we have done all we need to do. For some of us, that is true. Is it true for all of us, not necessarily so. You see the Lord has instilled in each of us, many gifts. Those gifts are not the same for each and every one of us. We all have something that stands out about us, much more so than others. Each one of us, even a politician, will have something which will seem to be promising in his or her life. It will stand out, and this will guide them in the direction they will follow. Believe it or not, as Christians we will win in some ways and lose in others, regardless of who America Chooses as President and where he/she stands on the issues we face in this country. We must remember to take each situation, and remember what it is about.

For instance, security for each and every student, regardless if this is pertaining to International students, who have come here to pursue an education; or if this is a United States citizen attending Louisiana Tech University in the same educational field. As a representative of the Christian faith, it is up to you, to see that each of God’s children is treated fairly. Whether that child was born in the USA, or born in Uganda, protection of their personal information is the same as protection of their person. I remember once hearing, “We are called to love God and love people. However, this notion of judging people we don’t know while at the same time “lovingly” praying for them is inconsistent with what it means to love.” I try to always remember that. If you have ever found yourself, seeing or not seeing a person for who they are, because of some reason or another, whether it is political views, political party, or whatever reason; remember, we are all a child of God. We all have the same rights. Most of all

Galatians 3:28~
There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.
Or~
There is neither Democrats nor Republican, there is neither Black nor White, there is neither Conservatives nor Liberals, there is neither Right nor Left, for we are all one- we are Christians.

Posted in Structuring Faith

School Seasons Are Changing and So Are Selections

There’s so many people watching Big Bang Theory these days, you would think the ‘Evolution Theory’ would have a lesson plan rolled out. However, that really isn’t appropriate for lower class, middle class, or elementary students. The concept though; it is still there right? You could play the theme song, and still have the jest of the lesson starting, and you just move into it. Is it really appropriate?

It seems there is more of a push to get sex education in the classrooms. There is also the politically correct way to go from mommy and daddy, to the mommy and mommy, or the daddy and daddy homes. Now the discussion about where do babies come from will certainly be at school, and instead of being the simple way of explaining through Science, “a woman has an egg, and a man has a sperm and they share the two which becomes a baby. Believers of evolution fought his theory claiming we call came from apes. Now, I suppose we go back to the stork? I really don’t want to explain how a two men get a baby, or two women have a baby, to a young child?

These days, Science seems to be a bit selective. With so much being questioned, this might be the best result. Everyone can pick and choose what is being taught. However, is this really the best way to teach? Shouldn’t history be taught at school, and then discussed at home? There’s a certain closeness at home which develops as a result of being a family. Therefore, if something at school is taught, you can discuss these things, and rule others out.

So why have people started complaining about the public school so much, and what is being taught? Is Science really such a problem? Is it the various theories being taught, and parents are so afraid they will not be able to pick and choose their discussion topics? Maybe the parents are worried the kids are learning too much at recess? Oh, wait! There is no recess. Is that what happens? When you have too much of something, then you get rid of it? When you do not like something, you terminate it? When you don’t want to teach it, you just leave it out? You just pick and choose the various subjects you the contexts in which you would like them to be reviewed and then at that point, as a teacher? You will define what a teen takes to college, as a foundation? So, where does the parent step in? Some parents feel it is the teacher’s job to teach, and the parent’s job to parent. They have no idea, their child is lacking so much.

Have you asked your child, “What are you learning in Science?” Has your toddler asked you, “Where do babies come from?” Has your child of any age told you, “My friend from school says he or she is bi?” How do you handle it? What was your answer? Did you validate their question with an answer? It’s easy to turn them away with a more a suggestion of homework, or change the subject with a loud laugh, or busy activity? The underlying answer with all of these questions? If you do not answer these questions, then your children will get answers elsewhere.

With so many changes in the school system, it seems there will continually be changes, there will be complaints, and challenges. Sometimes it is the parents and teachers, other times it is the parents and the school board. I can remember not too long ago, it was the English department, the library, the parents and the school board. The English department issued the summer reading list, and immediately, parents began to have so many problems with it. I remember one lady was in the office of the school board Superintendent, complaining about Toni Morrison’s book, The Bluest Eye being too controversial, because of the content. Her daughter, sitting out in the waiting area, was reading a copy of “Fifty Shades of Grey” by E.L. James. Censorship on some of these books, were brought up by several parents. Parents later claimed, they were “told” about the books; yet, had not read the books themselves.

There seems to be a thick line about “what is” and “what is not” considered pornography; there is also the matter of creationism, or also termed Intelligent Design; there’s also Darwinism and atheism which come up at times. The public school feels the best way to avoid this friction is not to have it in the first place. If you are told to teach something you don’t want to teach? Don’t teach it. If you don’t want to teach something in the Science book? Don’t teach it. If you don’t want to teach about Creationism? Don’t teach it. If you don’t want to answer the big questions? Gloss over them.

Consider that thick line, as if it were “liquid paper”. This handy cover-up form of “fix-it” will work wonders when you need to just wipe something away, clean. You know how you put a thick strip of liquid paper over something and it goes away, but that strip is still there? This is similar to censorship. Once the thought is in your mind, you may censor it (with liquid paper), but each time you come across that correction, your mind takes you back to “memory” and you remember that “why.”

With all of these considerations, making your thoughts run rampant, you are probably wondering, “Should I put my child in a private school?” Since the public school system may not be teaching everything my child needs, maybe private is better? Factually to consider is the teacher has discretion in the lesson delivery. Yes, the teacher has grade level expectations to be met, but there are a variety of methods one can use to get this done, and after all, isn’t effectiveness what counts the most?

There has been a huge shift towards homeschooling as a result of this push towards freethinking, and the ability to know, and to decipher information founded on Scientific discovery, what is and what is not, factually based. A 12-year-old home-schooled student was asked recently about his education, and his response was as follows:
“Homeschooling is the last hope for an intellectually free education where no questions are forbidden, no topic is off limits, and conclusions are the student’s to make.” When asked how he views kids in public school who aren’t allowed to read certain “forbidden” books on evolution, Sam said~
“I feel they are being robbed of an important life lesson. There is always more than one point of view, and they are not allowed to see any other than the Darwinist’s world view. My strength is in research and debate and I developed it by reading opposing arguments and studying the other side. It is so important to have that ability in life for any critical thought process. How will they learn to really dig into an issue if they are only presented one side? I am grateful to my parents for offering me the world and all the information.” (Fox, 2015)

These are strong words from a 12-year-old boy. Homeschooling parents are always looking for ways to deliver lessons, keep the student engaged, and still impart the subject. Kirk Cameron has recently joined with Bill Heid of Heirloom Audio Productions, incorporating History by connecting audio learning with the large amount of screen time utilized in teaching and learning.

“Cameron admits he has used the CD’s to initiate spiritual conversations with his children at the dinner table. “As a dad, I’m always looking for things to impart wisdom and virtue and character to my kids. And tools like this are really helpful,” Cameron said. Heid said audio drama engages the listener’s imagination by taking them back in time and immersing them in the story. The dramas include curriculum, which makes them particularly popular among home-schooled families.” “We are prisoners in the here and now,” Heid said. “With history, we find freedom by finding answers that exist beyond the pressures of daily life.” (Foust, 2015)

Some people may look at these ideas and think, “You are using videos to teach your kids?” “That is terrible!” “I would never do that, and that is why homeschooling is not an option for me, because I want a teacher, not a TV in front of my kid!” Well, as a former teacher, instruction requires visual, audio, tactile… yes, multiple formats of learning and on occasion there is a TV in front of your child for instruction. There are instructional films. Children respond to them, because they are part of their daily activities. There is a generation of “television babysitters”, and this type of learning, is all they know. Some students, it is extremely difficult to find what works to get the lesson to them, but as a teacher, it is your job to find out what it is- the magic button of delivery for each and every child to enter your classroom for the next 25-30 of your best years to teach.

These teachers in the public and private services struggle daily to provide each and every child an equal amount of learning time, and an equal amount of instruction time. Some of these students are gifted and talented, some function at a slower rate than others, and others need more help than what would normally be required. For the homeschooling teacher or parent, the opportunity to engage another learner in an audio learning experience, or to provide both with an audio and visual capability to understand, allows an equality in learning that isn’t optional for a teacher in any other setting – an opportunity appreciated by parents as home-school teachers, communities as home-school teachers, and 12-year-old learners.

OUR TWO CENTS:
There are so many reasons not to choose the public or private education system, including social, moral, academic, “religious” and the largest growing, safety reasons. Do you know many people who have gone to homeschooling? What are their reasons? Was it their decision as a parent, or did their child want to transition? Strange, why would a child want to give up their friends, their freedom, all of the potential of a public or private school? Fear, safety, religion, or even moral reasons? My daughter chose those four for her reasons. How can you look at the aftermath of Sandy Hook, or Columbine and tell your child they have no reason to be afraid? How can you tell your 13-year-old daughter, whose friend from the basketball team is pregnant, morality is not an issue? How can tell you them their academics are not at risk with all of this going on at their school? Why would you not want to home-school your child?

The Bible says the raising children is delegated to parents by God; does that not include
educating them?

Psalm 127:3-5 (“Behold, children are a gift of the Lord; the fruit of the womb is a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of one’s youth. How blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them; they shall not be ashamed when they speak with their enemies in the gates.”)
God has given us certain conditions we are commanded to meet when raising children (part of our stewardship responsibility):

Luke 6:40 (“A pupil is not above his teacher but everyone after he has been fully trained, will be like his teacher—a blind man cannot guide a blind man, can he? Will they not both fall into a pit?”) Are spiritually blind teachers teaching our children and leading them astray?

Then you must also consider the content of what is learned in regard to the true education- inspired training for righteousness for good works.

Timothy 3:15-17 (“. . .continue in the things you have learned and become convinced of . . . and that from childhood you have known the sacred writings which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.”)

You must also consider when it comes to education, how do you want your child to learn? The school systems these days are pushing one thing to the next.

James 3:17-18 (But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.” )

God wanted parents to~
Proverbs 22:6~ (Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it.)
And as with the African Proverb, “It takes a whole village to raise a child was from.” The proverb meaning that the learnings and moral values of a child is learned by the village, or in this case, the family or the school? The village is the example for the child morally and uprightly in society. Who’s your child’s village?”

Posted in Writing

State Mandates Sex Education for Middle and High School Kids

Are you a parent, a grandparent, an aunt or uncle, or a guardian of a child? Maybe you haven’t started a family, and are considering the possibility. Consider the State you live in telling you, there is a new sex education class for you child, and it is mandatory! What if your son or daughter says, “Mom, do I have to take this class?” What do you tell them? How do you explain when the decision “is” and “is not” yours to make? As a parent, we should always have that decision, shouldn’t we? After all, we are responsible for our children. This is all so confusing, mandated? Exactly what does that mean? Let’s go through it a bit.
It seems that some states have high teenage pregnancy rates, and have taken a different stance. Hawaii, just became another one. “With a vote of 5-1, the Hawaii State Board of Education has mandated that students in Hawaii attending public schools, will be subject to sex-ed classes next year. These classes will emphasize pregnancy prevention, rather than abstinence, and the Board of Education will make the decision rather than allowing the schools decide. Therefore, all students will receive the education, whether they or their parents like it or not.” (Kellogg, 2015) Do you live in the Hawaii? Were you aware of this vote?
What state do you live in? What is your teen pregnancy rate? Are you thinking, “That will not happen at my child’s school”. The United States Supreme Court just made it legal for same-sex couples to marry in the Unites States. This is a decision, making it impossible for some people to do their jobs, and still keep their religious commitments at the same time. Yet, the courts have now found themselves above all. In a case such as this, they now have more rights to your children, than you do. Maybe you do not live in Hawaii, and this doesn’t affect you today, but that is only today. By this time next year, this could be your State Board of Education.
As of now, there are only three states require parental consent before a child can receive instruction. Are you living in one of those states? Therefore your child may already be involved in sex-ed, and you may not even know it. If you go to the web, and look to the National Conference of State Legislature’s State Policies on Sex Education in Schools, you will find a list of all schools participating and how. As of now, according to this website, “All states are somehow involved in sex education for public school children.” “Furthermore, only 35 states allow parents to opt-out on behalf of their children.” (Legislature, 2015) Therefore, some states are functioning on the same philosophy as Hawaii.
Let me clarify that “m-a-n-d-a-t-e-d”, I mentioned before which kind of through some people. First of all, the classes mandate unless you opt-out for your child, your child will take it. As Hawaii is a high teen pregnancy state on average, if you do you reading, you will notice the teen birth rate is and has been on a decline for the last few years; however, the problem is the United States birth rate among teens, has not. Our country is one of the highest in comparison to others in size and structure. Therefore, this is not an “abstain from sex” education class, it is more of a medically led type class. This is still something embarrassing to a child, girl or boy.
To sum up the fears, as that is what happens when something like this happens. Fears run wild, and so do rumors, more so than facts. However, the underlying message I am trying to get to is still there. Let’s review some facts:
– Advocates of the sexual education policy pointed out Hawaii, in 2013, had the lowest reported    condom use among sexually active teens in the nation.
– Hawaii also has the 10th highest rate of teenage pregnancy in the nation,
– And the 12th highest rate of chlamydia infections, according to the DOE.
Therefore, the information made available are for children being taught or shown to the parents and the children. All material will be age-appropriate (elementary, middle, and high school). All parents will opt-in their children for the classes. So now everyone can make a correct decision about what feels right for them and their child. I have heard some people say,
– “KNOWLEDGE IS POWER, AND THIS KNOWLEDGE WILL HELP YOUNG PEOPLE MAKE GOOD DECISIONS.”
I have also heard other people remember the words of Marion Wright Edelmon once saying,
– “PARENTS HAVE BECOME SO CONVINCED EDUCATORS KNOW WHAT IS BEST FOR OUR CHILDREN THAT THEY FORGET THAT THEY THEMSELVES ARE REALLY THE EXPERTS.”
Therefore, you must as a parent decide, what is best for your child? If you opt your child out, when they return to school the next day, will those who opted in not tell them everything talked about? Will you not still have teens giving teens information? Will it be the correct information? Is it ever the correct information when it runs through the vine?
How do you want your child to get the information? I think that is one question answered, as the school can get the information and get it to you, or they can teach it to your child. If you don’t know what to say, they can get it to you, and have it ready, just as every other child will learn. And on that day, you take care of it. Your child, your kid, your teen; however, you refer to them, is going to learn about sex. If you decide, that day is not good for you, then you will need to do it sooner, because later is going to come. Someone will educate them, it is up to you decide who that person is. When and how are not the questions, the question is who. So, who?

Our Two Cents:
Isn’t it strange how misinformation starts? Being misinformed is worse than not being informed at all. As a former teacher, I can assure you, teaching sex education is not easy. Teaching Science was not easy, and Biology, was even worse. You could tell which kids knew where babies came from, and which ones did not. If you had a group of tenth graders in front of you, it could get out of hand quickly if you weren’t one of those “mean” teachers. Luckily, I was one of those mean teachers.
It’s just like being a parent. You have to be tough sometimes, and tender on those other times. Just like God is tough with use sometimes, and tender others. Ever notice how HE can command you to love HIM, and it still so loving.
Deuteronomy 6:5-6~

You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart.                                                                                                                                        Here you are given a command to LOVE God, and you don’t mind a bit. It’s as if, OK! And you smell fresh flowers and you dance. It’s a perfect commandment. The same way when your baby cries at 3AM for a feeding. You stumble half-awake until you see that smile, and then? It doesn’t matter. As you child becomes a toddler, and starts to walk, you see those little joys and achievements that make you so happy you were there. These are the ages, the young ages, when you can teach your children the little differences between boys and girls, and mommas and daddies; they learn these things so early, that it is just there, and they know, before there is a reason to ask. These are the things you teach as a parent to the young, and it helps your child to mature, and lets your child establish that level of comfort where they can ask questions. It is our job as parents to do so.
Proverbs 22:6~

Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.
It is the parents’ responsibility to teach children in every area of life, and that means sexually as well. You do not have to be explicit, and you do not have to do it the same way the schools do. The key is to start early, and to let modeling be part of your instruction. God created man and woman as an expression of love, and their sexuality is part of who they are. Children, as they grow pick up on these things. As they are comfortable in asking questions from a small age like, “Mommy, why do you kiss daddy on the lips? They notice the subtle differences in the way children act, and the way adults act. Christian parents are involved, and they are held accountable for when they aren’t.

Esphesians 6:4
Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.
Children communicate at all ages. They are very observant, and they love to tell what they know. If a child questions a parent, they don’t have time to answer it, he or she will ask a friend. This will go on through adulthood. Even as a parent, you are a teacher and you will need to communicate with your children. As a Christian parent, everything you do and say will be part of the job you do in raising your child. As your child matures, you want that child around others, and when that child has questions, or feels concerned, you want them to bring that question to where they feel they can get their questions validated. The feeling of having that security comes from a very early age, and it is something that never goes away. It is that same feeling, you had when you realized that command to love God was so much more. You wanted to dance, and you smelled flowers? It created that sense of euphoria? It’s kind of the same thing. Your child leaves the room with a question answered, and feels full, whole, because they can come to you for that answer, and get one. You get a feeling as well, knowing that tousled-haired child who barely took their first steps just years ago, though to you it seems like mere days, and it’s the euphoria. You answer the question that only you can, because no one else did he trust to come to with such trust. For a moment you realize what is meant as a Christian parent and you feel so close to God. Being a Christian parent is a wonderful thing, and that euphoria, is something you will never forget, like their smile in the wee hours of the morning, their laughter in that little voice that turns into a much older voice, and then all of those conversations and secrets turn into these, and you know you were there for them, and only it seems much like the summer showers from my Louisiana town, and like my momma always says, “When it rains, it pours!”

Posted in Structuring Faith

Will Time Yield Compassion To True Love, Amidst the Rolling Waters Of Religion?

This week has brought about much turmoil in the lives of some, and much excitement for others. The Unites States Supreme Court ruled last Friday in a ruling of 5-4, same-sex couples would be provided protection under the U.S. Constitution, and the right to wed in this country.

So many people have since then, become completely independent in their thinking. By independent, I mean they have constructed a boundary between family and friends, and then some. Facebook is filled with people “unfriending” those who make religious stands against those who find themselves standing against the new “law of the land!” Others are simply dissolving friendships between those who disagree with their willingness to take the step of professing their love with a ring and a pen.

I took the time to read through some of the posts, and it really made me wonder, are any of these people concerned about the Supreme Court Ruling, worried about the heightened terror alert for the country, or any activity that could affect the state or city directly in the coming week?

I am quite certain anyone reading this is thinking, “She doesn’t care about our rights?” Well, that’s not so. I do care about our rights. All twenty-seven amendments which symbolize various points in life, liberty, and yes, that’s right the pursuit of happiness. How many people have complained about the second amendment right to bear arms? How many people have responded to freedom of speech, or freedom of religion? How many discuss due process or equal rights, or right to search and seizure? Those are the ones we talk about, why? Those are the ones we feel protected by.

Now we have a situation, where some members feel protected, and others feel threatened? One group feels equal rights are being honored, and others feel their freedom of religion is being put aside. When you encounter a situation in which two very distinct feelings and emotions are on the forefront, then you must make a decision. As Americans, we have to honor all of our rights, without offending others. So how do we do that?

We will have to consider, why are you upset? If you are upset, because you feel the Supreme Court ruled on something, which should have been left up to the states on an individual level? That is a valid reason, as years ago the separation of church and state issue, has been brought up. There also has been the first amendment right of Freedom of Religion which should be considered. Both are very good points, and duly noted here. If you are upset, because you are a heterosexual man or woman, and it has been your teaching and understanding the Bible forbids homosexuality. This too, a very good oppositional point to be made, and you are well within your rights to have your beliefs and opinions as much as anyone else.

So now we come to the religious waters that roll, and I know what the scriptures are, I have read them myself over the years. My good neighbors and friends have been wonderful to remind us all about them too. So let me just say, I am not going to go through them here. If you do not know what they are? It’s time you dust off that Bible, and read them. You need to know what that Bible says, if you want to share a seat in the Heavenly realm one day. However, this is what I ask of each brother and sister of Christ. Take your friend, family member, neighbor, or stranger walking by with the love of their life, and yes- you can tell. Pick up the Bible, and start reading the verses about sins, and read also about grace in the pages.

Romans 6:23, For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

You see the wages of sin apply to all sin, whether in thought, word, or deed. For years, the Old Testament has been covered in Theology for the “root of sin”, as God applied different penalties to different sins.

Levicticus 20:13, If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.

Therefore, we remind those men and women today of their sin. Many other references to sin are made about abominations in this Chapter, and the one before. Consider the words of the verses found in the previous Chapter, and differences of severity if not followed.

Exodus 22:29, Thou shalt not delay to offer the first of thy ripe fruits, and of thy liquors: the firstborn of thy sons shalt thou give unto me.

Have you noticed we no longer sacrifice our first borns, fatted calves, or ripe fruits? Why is that? That is because of the New Testament. Jesus said the day of Judgment would be more bearable. Let me give an example there as well.

Matthew 11:23-24, And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted unto heaven, shalt be brought down to hell; for if the mighty works which have been done in thee had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. But I say unto you, That it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for thee.

All because Capernaum refused to repent after witnessing, the miracles of Jesus; his fate would be worse than Sodom, from the days of the Old. Well maybe, Sodom really didn’t do anything all that bad, and Capernaum deserved it? Let’s see, arrogance, gluttony, indifference to the poor and needy, haughtiness, and “detestable things.”

What are “detestable things?” Well, Jesus did not specify, I know He warned of the second coming and judgment day. He specified those deserving punishment would be “beaten with many blows,” and others “with few blows.”

Have you been guilty of something “detestable?” What about gluttony? So, maybe you will get by with a few blows. You know, the religious leaders thought fewer blows as well.

Matthew 23:13-36, the most fierce denunciations were reserved for the sins of pride and unbelief of the religious leaders, not for sexually immoral acts.

We now have the Supreme Court allowing freedom of “these people” to get married. Maybe they are getting married, and some will spend the rest of their lives together. Then again, a divorce could be in the future of some of these couples. Just the thought of what goes on between these couples is what, sexually immoral? Maybe so, but detestable, well that is not for us to say. After all, the size of our sin is not what sets us near to God’s grace.

I suppose it is something we will just have to yield some compassion to. After all, you can’t help who you love? That’s the saying right! So amidst the murky waters clouded by by our various religions, we will have to temper this situation with a little support towards individualism, and remember that suffering and joy are two sides of the same coin of life.

Posted in Writing

Parents Promoting School Choice Has Positive Outcome

The state of Mississippi is a hot-topic this month. Today, it is education causing heated debates and removing the “smoke” the incumbents are blowing on the subject of School Choice. Mississippi Republican Legislators denounced the issue of School Choice, and this time it was more than just a parent pushing back, it was a voter pushing back. (Kellogg, 2015) These parents have been “educated” themselves on the advantages and disadvantages of the School Choice agenda, and the 2016 year appears as the one where students will have well-informed parents, who may lack opportunity to choose their school next time.
Most government officials will tell you education is in need of funding, and the problem is we need to put more money back into the school systems. We need to build and we need to bring more into what we have. We need to give back to the community, and by taking away from it, we have schools closing, we have dilapidated buildings, with empty halls, no longer filled with laughing, learning children. These same government officials will stand before you and say, “Our schools need more money, more computers, more supplies, and more time to make a difference!
The American Federation for Children will tell you, each school gets approximately $13,000 per student now. (Children, 2013-2014) Each school gets funding for other things they need through grants and educational donations, all of which stops when the head count goes down and your child stops going. The American Federation for Children tells you about a plan they have which offers you a choice of which school your child goes to. Every parent knows what “zoning” means. If you are a new parent, this means where you live dictates where you go to school; hence, your zone is for a school based on where you live. How many times has the phrase “I don’t want my kid going there, that’s a black school”? No, the school is not painted black. The school’s location is in a community, where the residents living there contain a pigment in their skin, which gives it brown to black appearance, or where one of the persons is of mixed race. It works both ways as well.
Issues with zoning has brought to the surface, the potential closeness of how zoning, influences segregation. Some people will move to an area where their child (ren) may attend a school zoned for that area. Some teachers will teach at a school considered “a better or the best school”, so their kids may attend there. In an effort to achieve the concept of having your child (ren) in the best schools, parents will move into a community zoned for that school. However, there is still the racial divide in the community and in the school systems.
All parents want their child (ren) to get the best education in a safe environment. School Choice would give them that. All child (ren) would be offered the opportunity to apply to a school regardless of race, location, or GPA. All of which have been factors used against applicants thus far when applying at Charters. These schools only take so many students, and once you apply limiting factors to the intake process? Think Progress recently ran a program called American Life – the Resegregation of American Public Schools. This resegregation, or desegregation focused on a predominantly white school district in Missouri, post Ferguson, after the death of Michael Brown. White residents had just learned that students from the mostly black district including some from Ferguson, Missouri would be joining their own children due to a law giving students in failing school systems the opportunity to attend classes elsewhere. It was in the light of this decision, the typical mindset of white parents, observed and documented,
“When one mother demanded metal detectors and drug sniffing dogs, because she falsely believed that the black district was struggling because of a record of ‘violent behavior’. “I shopped for a school district!” she proclaimed as the crowd of white parents erupted around her in cheers, “I deserve to not have to worry about my children getting stabbed, or taking a drug, or getting robbed.” (Millhiser, 2015)
I have spoken to some people who live in the inner cities and their fears are much the same as the woman mentioned above, since this is a very real situation for the people, the parents and the kids in her neighborhoods. Some parents wonder if there is more teaching from the other kids there, than the educators, just because of the potential for violence if their child (ren) are not responsive to those putting pressure on them. Politicians and legislators do not have this for their kids to worry about, and government is content to wait for funding, because they have time. However, if you live it, you don’t have the luxury of time. You want change now, since that is what you live in, you pray in, and it is all in real-time.
School Choice is spoken about a lot, and in the coming year of 2016, election coverage will focus on it, and the American Federation for Children will be pushing for a candidate who will focus on the needs of the parents and not the needs of the government. This year is an election year focused on change in the school system. Educators are begging for parental involvement and more responsibility for their children, so they are willing and able, let them. It would be a good time to start focusing on the best for the children. All of the Republican candidates are talking about School Choice, and I think Presidential hopeful Carly Fiorina said it best when she said, “Parents should be given choice, competition and accountability in the classroom.” The needs of the children, based on what the parents want. (FIorina, 2015) Maybe, this could be the year we see a push to get prayer, to get God back in our schools. We may start with our Charter schools. What a great start; although, next year those lines would get a bit longer, and bit more competitive. Then again, competitiveness is what the economists say education needs to make the system get better.

Our Two Cents:
Growth and Prayer, who knew? I think that pretty much says it. I think of my children every day and all day. I think of the children I have taught as students, and I pray they lead productive lives as adults, and I pray they find Jesus to do so. I ran across a prayer as a young teacher years ago, and I would read it when I would worry over my children, and I would read it when I worried over my students. When a child didn’t come to class every day, or was out sick, or had something going on in their life, and I was aware. I will share it with you now, as we turn to the Lord, shall we?

My Children, My Students, My Parents:
I pray there’s not a day you can remember when you don’t
KNOW JESUS.
That you understand your need for a SAVIOR
at an early age & experience the freedom that comes from
GIVING YOUR LIFE TO HIM.
I pray that praise would be in your heart,
AND ON YOUR LIPS CONTINUALLY.
I pray that you would know who you are in light of
THE GOSPEL. THAT YOU WOULD HAVE A
CHRIST-CENTERED CONFIDENCE
& CHRIST-CENTERED CHURCH WORTH.
I pray that you would hate sin & love holiness
THAT YOU WOULD KNOW THE
POWER OF THE BLOOD
TO DEFEAT ALL THE WORKS OF THE ONE WHO CAME
TO KILL, STEAL & DESTROY
That you develop relationships based on the drawing
OF THE HOLY SPIRIT.
I pray that you would love the work of God
that you would seek to understand it, & hide it in your heart,
& BASE YOUR LIFE ON IT
I pray you will love others well
That you would have a servant’s heart
& a desire for your life to be used for,
SOMETHING GREATER THAN YOURSELF.

Posted in Structuring Faith

U.S. FAITH BASED FIRM TURNS CRISIS MANAGEMENT CONSULTANT

Hunter Frederick founded Frederick & Associates in 2010 for the entertainment industry. Realizing the need for crisis strategies and intervention, he quickly enrolled in the S2 Safety and Intelligence Institute’s Crisis Negotiations Program through FEMA’s Emergency Management Institute. His reality for those who would need his services for crisis strategies, have grown from the entertainment industry. This faith-based firm offering a service in crisis management to help others prepare when facing a situation involving an active shooter, has opened the door to diversity, not only for entertainment, but for anyone who is at risk. With Islamic terror attacks waging fear in the hearts, homes, schools, and churches of Christians everywhere; and Americans petitioning from all over the United States to become part of ISIS, Frederick and Associates is at the forefront of sociological concerns.
Most recently, Jaelyn Young and Muhumed Dakhlalla, both students at Mississippi State University were planning to get married and use their honeymoon to meet up with some members they had solicited from the terrorist group in Kenya. Arrests were made over the weekend, and the group confessed their plan to the FBI. Some people would look at this couple and think, “These two are just kids; the two of them aren’t extremists!” However, Muhumed had written messages referring to the death of Somali-American Abdirahmaan Muhumed of Minneapolis from 2014, in messages later released by authorities that “a Muslim has to stand up for [what’s] right,” and that he will “give up this worldly life for Allah.” (Zaimov, 2015) With the father of Dakhlalla being an Imam of the Islamic Center in Starkville, Mississippi, it makes the reality of peace-loving Muslims a concern for local areas. (Groening, 2015)
The racially motivated shooting on June 17th, 2015, though not the results of ISIS, is another cry for help in this world. This refers to a shattering event, where a lone gunman walked into a church during prayer meeting, and fired shots. His appalling act claimed the lives of 9 people in a historic black church in South Carolina. This was not the ISIS motivated crime against Christians, but a hate crime; another growing concern in Crisis Management today. Frederick & Associates realizing such needs, joined the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in implementing the Crisis Counseling Program (CCP) from the entertainment industry, and even further, as they realized other areas of concern:
1) In Churches;
2) In Schools;
3) In Theaters and Social Meeting Areas.
Mass school shootings have occurred in the United States for the past ten years, and there is always a fear those could be rising. Why would I write such a thing? Well, because ISIS has made the threat. Although, as Americans, we tend to not worry about other countries, or acts occurring in other countries, we should. There have been acts occurring against Christians in Nigeria, Kenya, etc., for a while now. Those closest to them, (them being ISIS), will be the first to undergo religious persecution. They have been very careful not to move quickly. However, the leaders of ISIS know now, we worry too much about other things (elections, flags and homosexual marriages). We have our American patrons walking into movie theaters and killing each other, with no rationale.
What we do know, is we do know there have been several targeted acts of terrorism on Christian civilians and church workers by religious Muslims. These hate groups targeted Christians solely on the account of their faith. According to Hunter Frederick, President of Frederick & Associates, “Unfortunately, crises are becoming alarming too common in our schools and are now moving into our churches. Churches need to take a more proactive stance in preparing for these tragedies.” (Wallen, 2015) With so many of our own students, friends, and family becoming hidden terrorists for unknown reasons, it seems we all need to take a proactive stance- not just in our churches, but in our schools to protect our children, in our homes to protect our families, and even in the White House, to protect our country.

Our Two Cents:

With so many people today, who are truly our searching for peace on earth, it is
so difficult to understand how our children are at risk when going to school or to a
movie; our families are at risk when going to worship; and our country is at risk when
standing for our faith. It is certainly bad enough to have a group of terrorists standing
in destruction of our people, our country, and our God. However, now we have our own
people, our own children turning against us.
Psalm 140:1 ~ “Deliver me, O LORD, from evil men; preserve me from violent men.”
We call out to each other for understanding, and we get none. We look to our
leaders, and fear no one is listening. We see bad things, and we worry, judgement day
is the only day we will seek retribution for what has happened to our loved ones.
Job 19:7 ~ “Though I cry, ‘Violence!’ I get no response; though I call for help, there is no
justice.
As more bad things happen, we wonder if there are people to help us. Crisis
Intervention may be something to help us move forward as we accept what we already
know, and that is faith will lead us through. However, it is the betrayal of our own, we do
not understand.
Mark 13:12 ~ “Brothers will turn against their own brothers and give them to be killed.
Fathers will turn against their own children and give them to be killed.
Children will fight against their own parents and find ways for their parents
to be killed.”

Posted in Structuring Faith

NATIONAL CONSERVATIVE STUDENT CONFERENCE DISCUSSES FUTURE FOR U.S.

The National Conservative Student Conference is in its 37th year of uniting college students with their individual freedoms. Each year students meet to hear from policy leaders, activists, and many others who choose a platform of education, economics, and conservatism surrounding traditional values, to reach out to this select group of college students. Their goal – inspiration.
Inspiration at this week long conference was led by noted speakers such as Newt Gingrich, Ann Coulter, Mark Levin, Dinesh D’Souza, Senator Mike Lee, and several others. The student audience was reminded conservative beliefs were under suppression, and these beliefs were being confined everywhere from the administration to the campus newspaper. The speakers reminded the students, they too, have a voice. They do not have to just be a reaction, but can be proactive in their freedom of speech as well.
Senator Tom Cotton was also a speaker, and his focus on Obama’s nuclear agreement with Iran. This was an excellent opportunity to demonstrate activism in foreign policy, and Senator Cotton saw this as so stating, “America was founded on principles that transcend time and space. We do not share interests and values [with the Iranians]…and any deal not detrimental to the United States interests must be detrimental to Iranian interests,” he went on to explain. Iran is a mortal and unrepentant enemy. [Under President Obama’s proposed deal,] Iran pockets all the economic, political, and military advantages [of removing sanctions], and walks away with impunity.” (Lucchese, 2015)
Other speaker also spoke to the approximately 200 students, who were present, attentive, energized, and on their feet at times as speakers made their way to and from the stage. Senator Cotton’s speech on Iran and foreign policy, and how everyone should start being a part of the intellectual society, some of those should be more vocal about what needs to be, and not to be done, and others, should be active parts of tomorrow’s “bigger picture.” Speaker Newt Gingrich told the audience “their generation has the opportunity to be the greatest American generation since the Founding Fathers.” (Kellogg, 2015) D’Souza and Levin both spoke on Rhetoric, Journalism and as Authors working under the constraints of freedom of speech.
Senator Mike Lee was also present, and standing firm on his representation of the rights of Christian Universities, who are now under attack over the recent Supreme Court ruling. Lee has joined with Travis Weber of the Family Research Council, in their initiative to bring awareness of Religious Liberty under the Constitution. Weber recently, stated: “Over the past year, the Obama Administration has made clear it will use any possible method—whether contracting, grants, school funding, and now tax exempt status—to establish and enforce its view of morality on the private religious sphere by redefining marriage. If the court redefines marriage by mandating it as a constitutional right, the impact will be significant. Religious organizations must be left free to determine their own beliefs, which cannot be co-opted by the State. The Government Non-Discrimination Act would prevent the federal government from discriminating against people because of their belief in natural marriage. We urge Congress to act to pass this vital legislation.” (Chao, 2015) This coming after the Internal Revenue Service has made it certain, Christian Universities will face loss of their tax-exempt status, if they do not support same sex marriages.
In the wake of these and other keynote speakers, reaching out and asking others to be recognized, even as students, to be public representation for the conservatives of the future. Emily Jashinski was present at the conference, and she was asked for what she had gathered, and what the feeling was in the room post conference. Jashinski responded, “So to hear speakers say things like that, especially to young Americans, is really energizing. It makes you want to go out and start pushing back against the bias that you encounter in this world, whether it’s in the media or in the college classroom.” (Kellogg, 2015) From all evidence presented, inspiration was what these speakers hoped to bring to the students at the National Conservative Conference this year. From the reaction of the students during, after, and from Jashinski’s comments, it appears, inspiration was indeed, delivered in a most embraced fashion.

Our Two Cents:
Inspiration comes in a variety of messages. The most easily conveyed of all is one I, myself read repeated on of all places, Twitter on Sunday. Marsha Wright uses a twenty-four hour period to spread positivity. Message after message, and post and picture, one phrase, verse, scripture, or perhaps, a subtle reminder appeared, “Train your mind to see the good in everything.” Have you ever wondered, “Is God speaking to me?” If I see something too many times, like this message, repeatedly falling on my page, is it most certainly, a message, or just a non-essential post.
If posing a question such as this, turn to the word of God; in 1 John, Chapter 4, Verse 1 “Dear friends, stop believing every spirit. Instead, test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.” Test the spirits… We do this by learning; we become committed to learning anything and everything we can about the truth. Within each of us is a moral compass, and we use it to move us from one decision to the next; the next being truly like our Father. HE loves, without judgment. HE loves, without condemnation. HE loves, without any expectation of love in return. HE is love. HE is light. HE is everything HE wants us to.
In presenting the question, we again turn to the word of God; in Luke, Chapter 6, Verses 32-36 “If you love those who love you, what thanks do you deserve? Why, even sinners love those who love them. If you do good to those who do good to you, what thanks do you deserve? Even sinners do that. If you lend to those from whom you expect to get something back, what thanks do you deserve? Even sinners lend to sinners to get back what they lend. Instead, love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them, expecting nothing in return. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind even to ungrateful and evil people. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.”
Most of all, is in the listening. If you are prepared spiritually, to hear? God will speak, and you will hear, you will see, you will feel. God will get your attention. Many messages have been given to us lately. Words of man, words of a President, still a man; words of Congress; just men and women; words of judges; just men and women; words of liberal and conservative people; still just people. Listen for the message you need to hear. Listen for your inspiration.

Posted in Structuring Faith

PARTNERSHIP DIVIDE OVER AMERICA’S RELIGIOUS PRACTICES

The Presbyterian Church and missions have been one of the most active around the world. Over the years, Christian led missionaries, have successfully assisted in building churches and schools, and hospitals under a partnership known as the PC (USA). Marking their 178th Anniversary of achievements and aid this year, the church focuses on missions by partnerships, and they defined these principles of guidance. Their shared principles across the world, are the following:

  • Shared Grace and Thanksgiving;
  • Mutuality and Interdependence;
  • Recognition and Respect;
  • Open Dialogue and Transparency;
  • Sharing of Resources. (Staff, 2015)

As part of the mission statement, and what sets the groundwork of what is to come, or what guides; these guidelines are what is followed, and changes are made at times, or amendments to the groundwork as needed. As of the 178th Anniversary, an amendment is now being made to the definition of marriage, per the most recent ruling from the United States Supreme Court, giving same-sex couples the right to marry. Some of the churches are taking the initiative based on the growing number of families, and couples with children. The churches wanted to recognize couples for those children who have same-sex parents. Therefore, the US Presbyterian Church has made this move through the guidelines.

The guidelines affect more than the US Presbyterian churches though; as the PC (USA) is part of Mission bonding across the country, and these guidelines must be accepted by each country as well. With that under consideration, the World Mission is composed of more than 100 partnerships. Two members of those, Latin America’s Peru and Brazil, have set forth statements on their behalf:

~“We cannot help but express our deep gratitude to God for the life and ministry of the Presbyterian Church of the United States. As a country and as a church we have been very blessed by this church ever since the first Presbyterian missionary arrived here in 1859. . . . Despite this notable contribution to the expansion of God’s kingdom in the world and especially in Brazil, our church has understood that the recent decisions made by the PC (USA) are against the principle of the authority of Scripture over the life and faith of the Church, as well as the confessional documents of our common Reformed heritage. Above all remains our deepest gratitude and respect to this Church and our prayers on your behalf.” (Pickett-Smith, 2015)

This is not the first response to something of this nature. This change is regarding what is known as (#14). However, PC (USA) had established an international partnership in which growing acceptance of homosexuality had begun to spread amongst the churches. Noticing this from within, other delegates took notice and made changes, as with (#10A).

~“The Mexican delegates also voted not to re-establish any relationship with the PC (USA) until 10-A is rescinded.” (Zeen, 2015)

At this point, Mexico, Brazil and Peru have all rescinded from the union, and there may be more to come. The PC (USA)’s progressive worldview on homosexual behavior continues to become greater in precedence across this nation, and in the eyes of other nations, than the traditional biblical principles regarding sexual sin. Although, President Obama continues to bring this topic of discussion with him as he makes his last calls throughout his visits with other nations, these other nation’s aren’t accepting the US decision as openly as Obama did.
While Brazil and Peru may be the first two Latin American countries to part ways over the denomination, they certainly may not be the last.
~“Even though many of PC (USA)’s other partnerships have not yet ceased, its redefinition of marriage has been condemned by many church partners — particularly in Latin America and the Middle East — giving rise to speculation that more nations will soon sever ties, as well.” (Haverluck, 2015)

World Reform Fellowship PC(USA)
credited to website of Facilitating Reformed Partnerships Worldwide

Our Two Cents:
With so many sides divided, it is wrong of anyone to ask another to take sides; or is it? Latin American says, “No church has the right to change the Word of God. By voting to redefine marriage PC (USA) automatically forfeits Christ’s saving grace. There is always redemption in the body of Christ through confession of faith and adhering to Holy Scripture.” Does the church have the right to change scripture? Who has that right? Does anybody? Does any governing body?

1 Corinthians 1:18-20 ~
For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written, “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart.” Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?
The wisdom of the wise- who is this referring? Is this referring to the United States Supreme Court? Is this referring to the church? Is this referring to the Sunday morning deliverer of God’s message? Who brings wisdom? Who is wise? Maybe it is a basic right to be “gay”, but the Bible doesn’t give that right, and the Bible cannot be read in fear, or foolishness.
The Bible cannot be read in selfishness either. The serpent told Eve—God is holding out by not allowing you to experience what you should. Are there things, we should not do, because they are wrong, even if they do not feel wrong? Well, yes. That’s why we have sacrifice, and grace. What if one doesn’t know? What if someone observes a life lived as not wrong, and then, wants that life as theirs.

Mark 9:42~
“Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him if a great millstone were hung around his neck and he were thrown into the sea.”

This takes away the belief Jesus has the power to save. Those who support a sin, by supportive or palliative treatment, is pushing God’s grace away. God has warned us society will turn against him. On judgement day, will the Supreme Court be your judging party? For those who don’t believe, what a thing to consider? Consider God will be there, and live in that place where Jesus loves and kneels down and provides healing and then say, “Go and sin no more.” It is loving to be kind and patient, but it is also loving to encourage someone toward holiness.

Posted in Music Entertainment, The Who, What, When, Where, and Why

Tyrese Gibson’s, Black Rose has Bloomed

Occasionally, even a notable singer such as Tyrese Gibson, will deliver a music album so revolutionary, it is difficult not to consider any other being more, well-crafted. The release of the double album, Black Rose, a derivative of a documentary, a book and a testament to the laughter, the tears, the pain, and the sacrifice of twenty years from the bus to the studio, mimics just that.
Black Rose became number One on July 10, 2015, in twelve countries within three days. Treasured genres with Snoop Dogg’s rapping softly, with Brandy, Chrisette Michele, Jennifer Hudson, and Tank kissing the neck of R&B; this sensual album intertwined with introspective lyrics, introduces a subtle seduction, coupled with remorse and revelation, and drowned in faith.

Black Rose
Black Rose Soundtrack

Tyrese’s sultry voice explored the feelings of a broken man yearning for physical and spiritual peace. From track to track, his voice lured you with a smooth intimacy, somewhat reminiscent of Marvin Gaye’s seductive and addictive sound. This was quite ironic to me, as the first track, Addict began the subtle, seduction and commission to each track that followed on the first four on this album.
Shame feat. Jennifer Hudson, the first release, reaches to the depths of the vocalist, and confronts the listener with questionable submission, followed by a diverse set of emotions ranging from remorse, pain, loss, and resonation. The realization you are about to experience the best of Tyrese Gibson, awakens a sense of presence within, and you feel the steady sense of sensuality, and reminiscent of the addiction. And if you heard Marvin Gaye in Tyrese’s voice, then you can expect some “sexual healing”, which the “Babyboy” delivers in one my most personally played tracks, Body Language.

Shame feat. JDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD Shame, Video
Tyrese Gibson- Shame, feat. Jennifer Hudson

This album is a true enlightenment, and a statement to the honest and transparent man Tyrese Gibson is today. Black Rose represents the presence of mind and where the music and this journey has taken Tyrese. The most intimate details of his wavering relationships in love expressed in each track on this album, signify growth, and a renewed positivity. Tyrese has endured two years of emotional reverberation and has emerged victorious- a black rose growing through concrete.
Other Links:

Has the #BlackRoseExperience seduced you? Feel it! Get Black Rose on iTunes! smarturl.it/TyreseBlackRose
Tyrese on The Breakfast Club:  http://youtu.be/6XD_-tRJKK4
PRIVATE Listening Party Hosted by Tyrese’s Furious 7 co-star, Vin Diesel, and Lorenz Tate: https://vimeo.com/133598424