Friday Tidings

CP Blogs do not necessarily reflect the views of The Christian Post. Opinions expressed are solely those of the author(s).

Posted 9/19/14 at 8:08 AM | Karen Farris

NFL Empire Strikes Back

I didn’t want to add more words to the thousands already written about the Ray Rice elevator video, but a brief conversation led me to reconsider.

On one side, was a friend with a battered past and on the other was someone who understood provocation, anger, and manhood. Two sides to the issue, but nothing is ever “right” about abuse.

The media outrage and subsequent NFL ousting of Rice in the midst of a stellar career was just the beginning. Now more NFL players are being spotlighted for domestic abuse issues. Listen to enough talk shows and you sense that the NFL should do more, some suggesting that sponsors pull support from the NFL.

Even if NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell resigns, that wouldn’t alter the reality for the three women murdered by their abusers—which happens everyday in America. One in four women will face abuse during their lifetime. And for children living in abusive homes—they are more likely to become abusers or be abused. Domestic violence costs $37 billion annually in medical bills, legal work, law enforcement, and lost productivity. Let our anger be directed at this—not the NFL. FULL POST

Posted 9/16/14 at 8:17 AM | Karen Farris

ISIS and Black Gold

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While the number of ISIS jihadist fighters continues to swell, we shouldn't let that be our greatest concern. More problematic is the vast financial resources they have acquired with the conquered oil fields of Syria and Iraq. Thanks to the black market established during Saddam Hussein’s rule, over 80,000 barrels of oil per day are sold at half the price of free market oil. But don’t let that half-price fool you, it adds up to $3.2 million PER DAY.

ISIS is well funded. While we’re on the subject of oil—the surrounding Arab states in agreement with our government that ISIS must be stopped, can offer their assistance—and pay for it in oil bucks. They’ve got the money to fight, we don’t. Something President Obama didn’t specify is how long this “war on terror” will last. Let’s just say it will last at least a generation. That’s a lot of money that oil revenue can offset. FULL POST

Posted 9/12/14 at 8:31 AM | Karen Farris

Crossing the Bridge

I’ll always remember the first time I met my future father-in-law. My boyfriend’s folks had arrived on our college campus, ostensibly to drop off some much-needed items, but I suspected they wanted to see the young woman their son seemed to love.

I knocked on my boyfriend’s dorm room door and as I entered I could smell the bacon his mom was frying on the small stove. His dad stood as I entered—he’d been reading his Bible at a nearby table. Small talk about college life carried us through breakfast, but when mom and son left to get some boxes out of the car, I remained behind to talk with his dad. What I didn’t realize then, is that my boyfriend’s father cared more about my future than I did.

And by future, it wasn’t about my anticipated career, or even my relationship with his son. This was about my eternal future. Never before had anyone talked about eternity like he did. Not even my pastor. He pulled out a small notepad and drew a diagram of two hills. One hill represented where I was living now. He pointed to the other hill and said that’s where we all want to live eventually. FULL POST

Posted 9/10/14 at 1:48 PM | Karen Farris

Levi’s Lust for Sales

Sex sells. So what’s new? But we can still object if we want to. One Million Moms is gathering email signatures objecting to Levi’s latest lustful attempt to sell jeans.

The commercial in question shows a woman suggestively unbuttoning her man’s jeans, only to quickly button them back up when interrupted.

In the space of one minute, various scenes conjure up ideas that young viewers could easily misconstrue. But perhaps that’s the idea. Sex sells. And getting young buyers interested in sexy Levi jeans is one way to insure future market share. To send an objection directly to Levi Strauss & Co. click here.

Posted 9/9/14 at 9:49 AM | Karen Farris

The Cure for the Common Core

As the bright yellow buses carry America’s next generation of inventors, laborers, managers, civic leaders, parents, and community volunteers, don’t worry so much about what they are learning.

There is a much bigger concern. While school districts battle budgets and the government mandate of higher test scores, children are busy growing up. And what they learn from books and lectures won’t influence them as much as what they are learning at home.

School is a big part of their lives, but what happens behind closed doors at home is the real game-changer. Home is the root cause of school failure or success. Children with caring adults in their lives enter school buildings with more confidence. Teachers that have interested parents partnering in the learning effort are able to help students master the challenges.

Worried about textbooks teaching the wrong thing? Then spend time countering with alternate information. Not only will you encourage critical thinking skills, you’ll be allowing your child to develop skills of discernment. FULL POST

Posted 9/5/14 at 8:59 AM | Karen Farris

Fear God not ISIS


As news junkies, Sam (short for Samantha) and I routinely dig beneath the headlines and wonder how it fits into God’s plans. So when a second American was barbarically beheaded, I waited for her call. The conversation started out well—pleasantries about the weather and the kids. But she wasted no time:

“Did you watch the Sotloff video?” Sam asked, even though she knew anything horrifically graphic puts me over the edge. Sam has an eyes wide-open approach to life. Nothing surprises her. Even the brutal tactics of ISIS. As a Gulf War veteran and an Arabic linguistic expert, she knows more than she tells.

I launched into a political debate about our inept foreign policies that allowed these bloodthirsty thugs to function. I pointed to our targeted bombing efforts in Iraq and how it should extend into the ISIS enclaves in Syria. It seemed like the Arab Spring of freedom had only allowed multiple Arab nations to disintegrate. My voice tapered off. FULL POST

Posted 9/1/14 at 8:42 AM | Karen Farris

Labor Day’s Celebration of a Minimum Wage Life

Sadly, she couldn’t be with her son on Labor Day as she hustled between two different jobs. But Labor Day was no different than any other day.

I could tell she’d reached critical mass. No smile today. Her rigid jaw seemed frozen. I slid into the booth across from her and didn’t bother with the formalities. Splayed across the small table were piles of bills.

“There’s no way I can pay rent and buy food.” Carlie jabbed her finger at just one glaring example of financial ruin—her power bill. Even though she wasn’t using air conditioning, her summertime bill was more than she spent on groceries.

Cutting costs? Don’t even mention her car. She can’t afford her car and can’t afford not having it. Her two minimum wage jobs are miles from her low-rent apartment and the bus doesn’t run after hours—when she gets off work. Without a car, she’d be late to work after dropping her son off at the government-subsidized daycare. And by the time she pays for the mandatory car insurance, frequent repairs, and fuel, NOTHING is left over for life’s incidentals. FULL POST

Posted 8/29/14 at 9:40 AM | Karen Farris

School Buddies not Bullies

As a new school year begins, the seeds of bullying are planted at elementary schools everywhere.

Back in the day when girls wore dresses to school each day, my homemade dresses with dangling sashes tied in a neat bow were a tantalizing lure for the grade school bully.

I became terrified of recess. Staying inside wasn’t an option. Lined up and sent outdoors every morning, noon, and mid-afternoon was my elementary fate.

Hovering around the playground teacher helped some, but over the next several school years, I’d come home with ripped sashes and skinned knees. I could never outrun the faster, stronger legs of the older boy.

Other kids came back from recess unscathed. Not me. My school life was divided between the security of the classroom and the nightmare at recess.

Schools across America are welcoming young kids for another year. Some will face tough playground challenges—which can easily extend into hallways, lunchrooms, and bus rides. Bullying is wrong, but sometimes kids are afraid to tell. FULL POST

Posted 8/27/14 at 9:34 AM | Karen Farris

10 Minutes to World War III

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I confess, I get as distracted as any other American. It’s easy to ignore the flashing yellow caution light up ahead when you can watch pre-season football and see school buses on the road again. Nice and normal. But those caution lights are a warning we best not ignore. The jihadist threat is real.

You have to wonder how effective ISIS would be without the use of social media. While Americans were horrified that one of our own was brutally beheaded—filmed for You Tube, thousands of Iraqis and Syrians have been slaughtered as well. The mistake we make is to think that ISIS is a political organization. They are not. Politicians play with their words and tell you what you want to hear. ISIS is an ideology and they believe what they say. We may not like their brand of truth, but we can’t say they didn’t warn us about what they will do. FULL POST

Posted 8/22/14 at 8:58 AM | Karen Farris

Breaking Certain Rules

On one of those perfectly sunny, grandma-babysitting days, we set off to play in a nearby park.

Kids were enjoying the merry-go-round and the jungle gym. But what attracted my four-year-old grandson was the fenced-off tennis court.

Two kids were riding their bikes in and out of the lines on the newly finished courts.

Their parents watched on a bench just inside the gated entrance. The kids laughed as they raced one another, occasionally crashing into the net between the two sides.

A sign was clearly posted on the entrance—No Bicycles Allowed.

Just beginning his reading quest, my grandson already knew the word “No”. He asked me what words came next.

I whispered that the sign asked people not to ride bikes on the tennis court. He may have only been four, but he could clearly see two kids riding their bikes where they shouldn’t have been.

We watched awhile longer and then he reached up to open the gate. I helped lift the latch thinking that he wanted to watch the kids. Instead, he walked straight over to the couple and asked if they knew what the sign said. FULL POST

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