Posted 4/23/14 at 11:07 AM | Karen Farris
Barna Group’s annual state-of-the-Bible report was recently released.
Sadly, the Bible continues to slide in its popularity, acceptance, and especially its daily use.
The following is a quick overview:
1) Even though 56% of Americans believe the Bible is God’s Word only 37% Americans read their Bible (even once a week).
2) Americans that consider the Bible to just be a book of advice or teachings stands at 19%. While that seems like a low percentage, it was nearly half that amount three years ago. The Bible’s believability is declining rapidly.
3) America’s Millennial generation is keeping the Bible on the shelf. This “next” generation of our nation’s leaders and those influencing culture don’t seem to have a need for the Bible. Indeed, 39% of the millennials NEVER read the Bible.
4) The #1 excuse for not reading the Bible? Busyness. In just one year, the number claiming no time for Bible reading has increased seven points—and now stands at 40%. FULL POST
Posted 4/22/14 at 11:41 AM | Karen Farris
Cherie was disgusted with herself. Failure. Again. She just didn’t see how she’d ever fit in with the church group.
This whole thing was new. And it seemed that she wasn’t getting anything right. She could see she’d worn the wrong clothes. Those judgmental eyes said it all. When would she learn all the religious rules?
It had all started at a concert when she’d been vacationing at the beach. Laying a large blanket on the sand she expected to hear some classic rock and drink beer. It was rock music, but she didn’t recognize any of the songs. Before each song the lead singer would tell a brief story. His words were subtle at first. He spoke about life and seemed to nail all the same areas that she struggled.
Then she started really listening to the lyrics. They seemed to mirror the same issues she’d faced. She scanned the crowd and noticed that many were singing along and raising their arms—she’d used to do that at concerts, but it was raising her lighter and sharing a joint with her friends. This was definitely a different crowd. FULL POST
Posted 4/18/14 at 9:19 AM | Karen Farris |
We heard him before we saw him. Heads turned as his motorcycle pulled to a stop near the group standing outside enjoying the sun before the church service.
Eyes discreetly followed as he made his way toward the gathering. His pointy white beard, black bandana, and leathers were a glaring contrast to the folks in their Sunday best. Pulling off his jacket, he exposed a full length cross tattoo on one arm and a crown of thorns encircling the other.
He extended a meaty palm and started shaking hands. Spike was a traveling missionary. And today was our “divine appointment”. He’d been touring the country, stopping to listen to stories and sharing some of his own. He kept track of people and places in a small leather journal.
Around his neck he wore a spike. Fingering it, he said it was a daily reminder about the nails hammered into Jesus for him. The small group nodded quietly. Jesus had taken the nails for us too, but none of us had a 4” spike to remind us. Just then the pastor came bustling up and shook Spike’s hand welcoming him inside. The rest of us just stared. FULL POST
Posted 4/15/14 at 8:28 AM | Karen Farris
Posted 4/11/14 at 9:42 AM | Karen Farris
Taking a break from the waiting room, I walked down the hospital corridor. That’s when I saw her name boldly engraved on a large plaque over the double doors. Mrs. L. was wealthy enough to have paid for the entire hospital, so seeing a wing named after her wasn’t surprising. But what was unusual was our friendship—all those years ago.
It began on an unbearably hot day. The strawberry pickers had finished hours ago, I’d moved the irrigation lines, and now was cleaning all the picking buckets. Just then, I saw the dust billowing behind a car coming to our farm. I groaned at the thought of more u-pickers. I just wanted to take a shower and be left alone.
An older woman hopped out of the car with energy that defied her tightly curled white hair. She wanted to pick, so I grabbed a clean bucket. If this old lady wanted to get on her hands and knees and pick in the hot sun, who was I to stop her? FULL POST
Posted 4/9/14 at 8:29 PM | Karen Farris |
Looking for a sweet way to engage your children in the resurrection story of Jesus? Thanks to a terrific recipe posted on Cowboys-4-Christ, a breakfast treat and an exciting object lesson await your youngsters.
Here are the ingredients needed:
Posted 4/8/14 at 9:45 AM | Karen Farris
The show’s title may be innocent but the scenes portrayed in NBC’s About A Boy (Tuesdays @ 9 pm) are not. Rated TV-14, the content isn’t appropriate for family viewing, even though the main character is just eleven.
The show highlights the life of a single mom struggling to raise her child while also attempting to protect him from worldly harm. She is ridiculed for focusing on her young son rather than on her own social life. Meanwhile, her son is harassed at school because he’s a “nerd” with an overprotective mom.
The playboy next-door neighbor is someone the mom would rather avoid, but when she needs a last minute sitter, he uses it as an opportunity to take the boy to a bikini party with heavy-drinking revelers. Even though the hotshot neighbor doesn’t have permission, he tells the boy about sex and gives him “The Talk”.
His hedonistic lifestyle of one-night stands isn’t hidden and the young boy often sees the parade of different women in their skimpy outfits. NBC is using tasteless programming to feature immoral behavior. For young viewers, it sends a message that sexual boundaries aren’t important and sex is a lifestyle of one-night stands and risqué parties. FULL POST
Posted 4/4/14 at 9:40 AM | Karen Farris |
It’s spring prom season—she bought a dress to impress the one she hoped would ask her. But then someone else asked, and she didn’t want to say “yes”.
Kevin was relentless. After every class he was waiting outside the door. His unmistakable scribbles on pleading notes were inside her locker. He’d call each evening after dinner. All he wanted was to go to the prom.
“Can I have your date, Pamela? Please say yes,” he asked sweetly with his halting speech.
What would her friends think if she went to prom with someone like him?
In her heart she knew she should. Down syndrome hadn’t prevented Kevin from loving life, or seeing school, friendships, and even proms as something he also deserved. Why her? Couldn’t someone else go with him? She desperately wished someone else would ask her. But no, this was like a cosmic trap set just for her.
When she couldn’t avoid his pleas any longer, she told him she’d go. The smile that lit Kevin’s face made it impossible not to smile back. She didn’t really know him. He was just a special needs kid she mostly ignored. Now she’d be spending an evening with him, dressed in a gown that she’d bought to impress someone else. FULL POST
Posted 4/2/14 at 10:54 AM | Karen Farris |
Years ago when I visited teens in their health classes, I warned about some preliminary medical research indicating that oral sex could lead to throat cancer. Now more recent studies are confirming that oral sex is increasing the incidence of head, neck and throat cancers.
HPV (human papillomavirus) is the most prevalent sexually transmitted infection. One in two sexually active Americans are carriers. Sexual intercourse, genital touching, and oral sex spread it. Most of the HPV issues have been limited to genital warts—and in the worst cases, cervical cancer. When vaccines were developed to help prevent HPV cervical cancer, medical professionals began urging children to be vaccinated prior to any sexual exposure.
But there is no indication that this same vaccine will help prevent the HPV virus from causing the head, neck and throat cancers they are now seeing in greater numbers—about 8,400 HPV-related cases each year. With so many sexually active people infected with HPV—and the virus usually clearing up on its own, no one seems to be too concerned—until they’re the ones dealing with cancer. FULL POST
Posted 3/30/14 at 10:58 AM | Karen Farris
As a nation, prayer has become a catchword, an easy offering to those suffering after a calamity.
We can say we’ll pray, but do we? In 1863, as our nation fiercely battled North versus South, President Abraham Lincoln issued a National Day of Humiliation, Fasting and Prayer.
He declared that it was our nation’s duty to pray as we recognized the “overruling power of God”. He implored the citizens, embroiled in the “awful calamity of civil war” to confess sins with the “assured hope that genuine repentance will lead to mercy.”
Lincoln stated that as our nation had grown in “numbers, wealth and power” unlike any nation ever had, we had also forgotten God.
“We have forgotten the gracious Hand which preserved us in peace, multiplied and enriched and strengthened us: and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own.” FULL POST