Posted 5/24/13 at 9:36 AM | Karen Farris |
Kendra loved the new apartment. Situated in a maze of several hundred units—this one was theirs alone. Her youthful dream was finally being realized. As she unpacked the stack of boxes, it was a blend of their former lives.
Her boxes had clothes, dishes, and a collection of treasures stretching back to her early teens. For him, there were just the male essentials—clothes, TV, sound system, game console, and a large collection of DVDs. She shook her head at the scrappy collection of cast-off furniture crammed in their tiny living space.
They’d excitedly set up the bed first thing. Living together meant no more nights apart. She shivered with anticipation thinking about all the time they’d have with each other. As she unpacked her dishes, pots and pans, she imagined dinners prepared in the tiny kitchen and long evenings with just the two of them.
Like thousands of couples across America, they’d co-signed a lease together, but didn’t bother with the marriage certificate. Over the last fifty years, cohabitation has increased 1500%.
Living together is perceived to be like training wheels on a bike. Get your balance. See how smooth the ride is. It’s the post-modern way to be protected from marital failure—kind of like a condom to prevent a divorce. FULL POST
Posted 5/22/13 at 12:20 PM | Karen Farris
Television audiences will soon be able to witness the "scandalous lives" of four friends as they choose to deliberately hurt those that love them. Mistresses will debut on ABC, Monday June 3 at 10:00 PM.
The audience can expect sex, lies, adultery and some lesbian activities. The show is being promoted with the tagline: “Attraction. Passion, Deception. I can’t help it.”
The television ads promoting the upcoming series proclaim it’s filled with “Endless possibilities” and “Thirteen weeks of seduction” and “Who have you been doing?”
Yes, the 10:00 PM hour is later in the evening, but viewer discretion is advised since the bedroom scenes are soft porn.
Once again, One Million Moms has an email campaign to alert ABC of an effort to avoid all support for any advertisers of the show as well as alerting families across the nation to avoid this vulgar program. Please consider joining the effort and send your letter now. We can’t complain about the deplorable condition of our culture if we aren’t willing to do what we can. OMM makes it easy to voice your objections. FULL POST
Posted 5/21/13 at 2:02 PM | Karen Farris
I stand at my bedroom window and gaze out at the wooded valley. I can only see into the woods and nothing beyond. That’s the way life is too—peering through a narrow window trying to see ahead.
The storms that life has brought over the years are silent right now. I’m thankful for the peace—although many are suffering through trials today. My finger traces the window frame and I ponder the words of a young friend whose life is ebbing away. She looks through a window too—but this window is incredibly special.
Perhaps because she’s closer to heaven, she can now see things I cannot. Or perhaps it’s because she’s slowing down long enough to truly see. But through her window she can peer into a heavenly realm. She says she can place her prayers on a stick and put them through this heavenly window. The Lord receives each one. "You don't even have to wonder about your motives for asking. Just ask freely. God loves giving good gifts and He knows what is best." FULL POST
Posted 5/17/13 at 9:30 AM | Karen Farris
The boxes of my past were stacked one on top of the other. On a rainy day, I opened the oldest one first. Long ago, Mom laboriously glued my rudimentary pre-school and Kindergarten artwork into a huge scrapbook. I felt the rough texture of each finger-painted picture. Turning the pages, I followed my progression—messy scribbles, erase marks, lots of teacher’s red ink. Learning didn’t seem to come easy for me.
I noticed that when my teachers wrote something encouraging, better work seemed to follow. We all recall those special teachers—the ones who reach behind the failure, and see something worthy to hold onto. The red ink marks told a story. Yet, the bold letter grades shouted their disapproval of my answers—magnifying how wrong I felt about myself.
Not that there isn’t a place for red ink and grades, but the critical words written beneath those grades, or the ridicule in front of my classmates often hurt far more. As a youngster, I could already see that other kids were smarter than I. Learning new concepts seemed to take me twice as long. But I eventually learned—just not in time to score very well on those pesky annual achievement tests. Yes, Mom saved every one of those too. A bar graph visually labeled me below average year after year. FULL POST
Posted 5/14/13 at 9:57 AM | Karen Farris |
"In every school there are the cool and popular kids, and then there are the not-so-cool kids. Candidly, we go after the cool kids. We go after the attractive all-American kid with a great attitude and a lot of friends. A lot of people don't belong (in our clothes), and they can't belong. Are we exclusionary? Absolutely." Abercrombie & Fitch CEO Mike Jeffries (2006)
These comments recently resurfaced, and CEO Mike Jeffries makes no apologies. He only heaped on more abuse by indicating A & F clothing wasn’t for fat people. With pride, he points to the A & F fiscal bottom line—it’s profitable at a time many clothing retailers are struggling to make it through the Great Recession.
At least we know the merchandizing and marketing strategy behind Abercrombie & Fitch. If you happen to be larger than a size ten (like I was in high school) don’t bother coming through their doors. It’s a perfect setup for some of those habitually haughty teens. For others who don’t make the A & F cool scale, you’ll get fresh reminders every time those cool classmates strut their A & F fashions at school.
This is fashion profiling at its worst. Jeffries insists that trying to serve the masses is boring. Let other retailers be “vanilla”. For Jeffries, it’s all about focusing on those who can best model the A & F brand. FULL POST
Posted 5/11/13 at 8:38 AM | Karen Farris
She’s up before dawn, picking up stray socks, dirty dishes left in odd places, making her way to the coffee machine. She checks her work email, while grabbing things to pack up for everyone’s lunch. Looking at her meal planner, she gets dinner started in the crock-pot while laying out breakfast for her still slumbering family. She grabs a quick shower before the real morning routine begins.
Her work life involves sandwiches, but not the edible kind. It’s filled with family needs spread between work breaks and lunchtime. School volunteer duties, conferences, dental appointments, and grocery shopping tend to fall on her.
Once she walks in the door in the evening, she’s already been at it for over twelve hours. And now is her precious family time.
She musters her energy reserves and tackles homework hassles, bill paying and balancing budgets, laundry, and bedtime stories before lovingly tucking her child in bed.
As it quiets down once again, she has an hour, maybe two for everything else she has to do. FULL POST
Posted 5/10/13 at 9:28 AM | Karen Farris |
He practically screamed the word “murderer”. The sermon had been about Mary, the mother of Jesus, but for nearly fifteen, very long minutes, it had become a monologue about the evil horrors of abortion. Sitting in the back of the large auditorium-style church, I noticed a young woman get up and quietly leave. I decided to follow her.
She was standing outside in the chill of the early morning. As I opened the door, she turned towards me. Not knowing what else to say, I said, “I’m sorry”. That’s all it took for this young woman, with sad, dark eyes to begin crying.
I wonder how many women come to church for healing and forgiveness and leave feeling more condemned? Every time pastors mention abortion, know this, abortion has touched the lives of nearly every person in the sanctuary. Either a woman has had one, or knows someone who has. Yes, it was wrong. It was a bad choice. But a shadow has fallen over their lives, and they need help getting into the light again. FULL POST
Posted 5/7/13 at 10:49 AM | Karen Farris
~~Today is National Teacher Day ~~
Mrs. McArthur brought a grandmother’s charm, a mother’s discipline, and a classroom full of possibilities each day. Gentle reminders to be thoughtful, careful, and do our best followed us throughout the school year.
She led an active group of six year olds through the rigors of sounding out new words, addition, subtraction, and learning to play fair.
Each day Mrs. McArthur was working on our foundation. She didn’t see us as a class, but as individual children with skills and struggles.
I didn’t see it then, but she gave me confidence. At the end of the school year I was excited to move on, but sad to say goodbye to my daily time with a most loving, generous, and kind teacher.
She’d shown a group of children how to work hard and how to treat others well. Those were the most important lessons we could learn. Teachers don’t always get the accolades they deserve and are often the first to take the blame for failing students. But today, take time to remember the teachers who did make a difference to you and if possible send them a thank you note.
Posted 5/3/13 at 9:59 AM | Karen Farris |
Restless in my church pew, I struggled to go each week. My lip-syncing of the praise songs only fueled my discontent. I tried to listen thoughtfully to the sermons, take some notes, but I didn’t study them later. Church wasn’t working for me anymore. My kids had grown up, so I no longer had to go for their sake. I’d become a post-parent Christian. Pastors probably cringe when people like me, who could offer much more, simply pick up their Bibles and walk out the church door.
My grandmother called church-less people like me heathens. I wasn’t actually a heathen; I had become a cyber Christian. Why go to church when you can visit one virtually? I picked out some famous pastors and faithfully listened without the hassle of mega-church crowds. Easy online donations, no church potlucks, or stints as a Sunday school teacher. The best of all worlds.
Or was it? After two years of cyber church, I felt disconnected to my community. Jesus said to love my neighbor as myself. My cyber friends weren’t neighbors and I couldn’t really help them, beyond my typed words of encouragement. My cyber Christianity didn’t have an outlet for street level love and assistance. Sure, I could donate to global causes, but how about the sick mom needing help with her kids? Or the laid-off dad trying to keep his family in their home? FULL POST
Posted 5/1/13 at 12:42 PM | Karen Farris |
For all those parents of kids with smart phones, listen up.
Snapchat allows them to send pictures to their phone contacts and then those pictures delete themselves automatically after a few seconds—kind of like those Mission Impossible top-secret assignments.
Problem? Some kids are using it as a way to send nude photos.
In one case, the recipients of the nude photos took screen shots of them and then distributed the pictures on other social media sites.
It’s a crime to send nude photos and it’s a crime to distribute them.
Parents, it’s time for another discussion with the kids. If your child has a smart phone and has the app Snapchat, it is vital that they know about pornography laws.
Parents looking for sad stories can find plenty of examples. In an ever increasing digitally connected world, the connection we need more than ever is faith in God—Who can protect and provide all we need—not just to survive in the midst of this but to shine His light for others.