Posted 9/30/14 at 8:13 AM | Karen Farris
Thanks to the latest guidance from the American Academy of Pediatrics, doctors are now encouraging teen girls to use implantable rods with Progestin to prevent pregnancy.
Since young girls don’t always remember to take a daily birth control pill, implantable rods alleviate those concerns. Intrauterine devices (IUDs) ranked next in birth control options followed by the Progestin injectable contraception which is given every 13 -15 weeks. The Pill ranked fourth.
The latest data indicates that teenagers typically ignore abstinence information, but do take the advice their pediatrician—whom they will see throughout their youth and into their early 20’s. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, “Adolescents consider pediatricians and other health care providers a highly trusted source of sexual health information.” Even though the new guidance does concede that “Abstinence is 100 percent effective in preventing pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections and is an important part of contraceptive counseling” pediatricians are reluctant to encourage this healthy choice. FULL POST
Posted 9/28/14 at 8:25 AM | Karen Farris
Being a Gold Star Mom is not something any mother would seek. But in our nation, there are many of them. Gold Star Mothers share a common tragedy. They have each lost a child who was killed while on active duty with the United States Armed Forces. Today, September 28, our nation recognizes our Gold Star Mothers.
I hadn’t known about Gold Star Mothers until I met one. Betsy Reed Shultz lost her son Captain Joseph Schultz on Memorial Day Weekend 2011. Her son was committed to America—protecting her people and freedoms. Like the devastation any mother would feel, Betsy mourned the loss of her only child. In the days ahead of Joseph’s burial in Arlington National Cemetery, Betsy began formulating a plan to help others shattered by the devastating loss that she was now beginning to fully understand. FULL POST
Posted 9/23/14 at 8:32 AM | Karen Farris
Chloe picked up the tee shirt at a Christian music festival a couple years ago and wore it to school on several occasions. It never bothered her classmates or teachers. But when the 13-year-old donned the shirt this school year, officials at Ramay Junior High School in Fayetteville, Arkansas asked Chloe to wear her gym shirt instead. She was told to leave the offending, “Virginity Rocks” shirt at home.
This same school openly discusses all aspects of sex in their health classes and distributes condoms to those seeking to have “safer” sex. Yet, Chloe Rubiano cannot wear a shirt proclaiming her views on premarital sex. In Chloe’s opinion, virginity isn’t offensive; it’s totally appropriate. The school defends its position that requests students not wear clothes that cause a distraction. Chloe intends to obey their rules. In her church-going family, things like virginity and obeying authority are respected. Ironically enough, thanks to a social media picture Chloe posted, the incident quickly garnered national attention. FULL POST
Posted 9/19/14 at 8:08 AM | Karen Farris
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
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
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
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
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
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
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