Posted 8/4/15 at 1:23 PM | Karen Kramer
Many in the Millennial generation are disconnected from Jesus. Some raised in the church have disengaged at one of the most critical parts of the journey.
Others never knew Jesus and now face a daunting world of career and relationships. Reaching Millennials is the mission of Engage. The American Family Association recognized the need to build a platform for the 20-somethings in our culture to share their experiences and relate God’s truth to the changing culture they now must work and raise their families.
Offering God’s Word, and perspective from those sharing this journey gives readers the opportunity to talk about families, money, ministry, TV, books, entertainment, and all the other influences surrounding them. Launched on Facebook and Twitter, Engage seeks out those longing for true spiritual connections in a time where some have given up on church. The goal? No matter what the topic, Engage hopes to help build a Biblical worldview with its readers. This is the generation likely to direct the course of our post-Christian nation. Perhaps, God willing, the Millennials could reverse our downward course.
Posted 7/31/15 at 11:05 AM | Karen Kramer
Our dreams give us hope for our future. But what happens when our dreams do not work out? Could be that God has a better dream for us.
Long, long ago as financially strapped newlyweds, our dreams gave us hope for a future we could not see.
Our day job was not what we wanted to do with our lives. It was just the means to pay our bills and buy music gear so we could do what we really wanted to do, which was to be famous musicians.
How easy it is to look ahead and forget to appreciate where we are.
While our music dreams would mean working together, making money at what we loved doing, we often overlooked that we were already working together and making money, even if it was not writing and performing music.
Could we appreciate what we had even if it meant never making it in the music world?
I gave up first. Playing music in a lounge was not my idea of success. Writing catchy advertisement jingles seemed to cheapen it even more. I will not even discuss my brief stint as a DJ. My music dream was not delayed; it had died. FULL POST
Posted 7/27/15 at 6:44 PM | Karen Kramer
I remember watching Bill Cosby in the mid-sixties. His humor was honest, fun, and memorable. Now those memories are tarnished for good. When Abraham Lincoln said that it takes a lifetime to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it, Cosby could well understand. Only for Cosby, it appears that it is years of abuse that are now being exposed that have ruined his lifetime of achievements.
Years ago I read that Cosby was a frequent guest at the Playboy Mansion. Knowing that he was married this ruined the sterling impression I’d once held. He portrayed the faithful Dr. Heathcliff Huxtable on television, but he was living a lie in a real life. Only it was much, much worse than lusty visits with Playboy bunnies.
Now lurid stories have come out. Women report being drugged and raped by Cosby. In a recorded deposition, Cosby admitted he sought out women who were struggling financially and would appreciate his kind of attention. Now there are over 900 pages of legal deposition transcripts that profile a man who used his money and status to lure women—particularly those most desperate for stardom. Sexual assault is no joke. It’s an evil crime. Even with Cosby’s fame and financial resources used to cover it up, his dark past has come to light. Cosby used his own trusted people to set-up adulterous affairs while maintaining secrecy. Over forty women have now come forward. FULL POST
Posted 7/24/15 at 8:36 AM | Karen Kramer
God’s light came into the world, but people loved the darkness more than the light, for their actions were evil. John 3:19
Each summer I’m blessed with carefree days with my grandson. At ten, he’s busier than before. Soccer, chess, and basketball camps dot his calendar. Playtime with friends, summer reading, and approved video games fill his days. Like most kids, he’s computer savvy and can connect to a larger world I never imagined at his age.
That’s scary. What’s worse is that one in three 10-year-olds access porn. This is the worst news for any parent or grandparent. Recently health experts gathered in Washington DC to discuss the epidemic of pornography. Children are the youngest victims. Now over half of 12-15 year olds are accessing online porn. And it’s warping our next generation. FULL POST
Posted 7/17/15 at 8:22 AM | Karen Kramer
Donald Trump is running as a Republican, but a list of his past political donations indicate he could be a closet Democrat.
But regardless of the confusion, the polls show Trump on top among Republican contenders.
One commentator called him a circus act. Others say The Donald is an equal opportunity offender. For some Americans, his brand of honesty works—hence the poll numbers. As a nation, we’ve weary of political speak—doubletalk telling us what we want to hear. Trump has no need for that.
Trump built an empire on American ingenuity and incredibly wise investments. You can hate the man but you can’t argue he’s been successful. Trump’s the richest person to ever run for president. No need to make promises to garner financial support.
The media doesn’t scare him. And with zero political correctness, he lambasts poor political performances and tells our nation’s enemies what he’ll do once elected.
National security is a huge concern—as it should be. His words about Mexican illegal aliens should have been more statesmanlike, but his point about a border fence is well taken. It’s overdue. FULL POST
Posted 7/15/15 at 8:50 PM | Karen Kramer
I never knew I was living in a sanctuary county until I checked out this map.
How did this happen?
In the 1980’s church-based sanctuary retreats popped up in California to help cope with the exodus of Central Americans fleeing corrupt governments.
Since then, it has morphed into 200 cities sprinkled across America. What happens in a sanctuary city?
If arrested, an individual cannot be asked about his/her immigration status. State and local municipalities do not have to comply with federal immigration law and work with enforcement authorities. As many know, in San Francisco, a young woman was shot and killed by an illegal immigrant released by authorities.
Thousands and thousands of illegal immigrants have also been released and live within these safe enclaves. The Senate will soon be considering the Davis-Oliver Act, which could require state and local municipalities to comply with federal laws and work with immigration authorities. While the argument over civil rights versus the safety of local communities can become heated, it needs to be debated as our nation deals with illegal immigration. FULL POST
Posted 7/12/15 at 11:31 PM | Karen Kramer
Remember the elementary-aged three-word lesson, Stop Drop Roll, teaching us how to extinguish our burning clothes? Now Homeland Security is instructing us to add three more words—Run Hide Fight to avoid being a casualty in a shooting spree.
Work place violence, terrorism, and school shootings, while thankfully infrequent, can have different outcomes with preparation. Like earthquake and fire drills, a little training can help quell panic in a real-life scenario.
Watch this five-minute video and consider your own work/school surroundings and plan what you would do. Terrorism can be random or methodical; but with heightened awareness we can be ready to Run Hide Fight.
Sadly, in our broken world mental preparation to Run Hide Fight might not work. Shooters often select soft targets with less security. In many shootings, if there had been an armed citizen many lives could have been saved. But gun control is another issue.
Americans are facing increasing threats—both domestic and foreign, but we don’t have to ever face them alone. One other way to prepare is to spend time with God and his Word and then everywhere we go Christ will be with us.
Posted 7/10/15 at 8:48 AM | Karen Kramer
Whether or not you’re following the Greek economic mess, one glaring warning light is blinking—we have a similar bloated government.
While Greece argues about the right solution to its bankrupt system, their biggest issue is unemployment. Not enough people are working to pay the bills.
Our lower unemployment numbers look good on paper, but the reality is that 100 million Americans are NOT working. The largest reduction in our workforce isn’t the retiring Baby Boomers; it’s the unemployed millennials. In the late 1990’s 66% of that age group worked. Now it’s down to 55%. In Greece, half of their young people don’t work either.
Experts disagree on why this is happening, but higher labor costs and welfare policies that incentivize unemployment aren’t helping. FULL POST
Posted 7/7/15 at 11:57 PM | Karen Kramer
Besides negotiating a lucrative NFL contract in the off-season, Russell Wilson is getting serious with girlfriend Ciara. The attractive couple made headlines when she appeared on his arm at the White House, but what’s even more exciting is their decision to remain sexually abstinent.
As a Christian, Wilson is one of the more inspiring NFL players. He routinely visits seriously ill children at the local Seattle hospital, and donates time to many religious causes. But the Seahawk fan-favorite recently spoke about Ciara to the congregation at Rock Church. Smiling, Wilson explained that Ciara is a kind, engaging person and everything he could want.
One time while she was preparing for a show, Wilson was waiting in her dressing room, and he felt God spoke to him saying, “I need you to lead her…” For Wilson and Ciara that meant doing things “Jesus’ way…Yeah we’re talking about sex.” FULL POST
Posted 7/7/15 at 10:09 AM | Karen Kramer
While there are thousands of hard-luck, bad-life stories, Candy’s life ranks up the list of tough ones. Bounced around in the foster care system, she never had the same home for more than 8 months—and that was the only year she finished school in a single classroom—3rd grade.
Emancipation came early. At sixteen she hit the streets looking for a job. She was teen-wise and street foolish. Years of sexual bondage, drug abuse, and self-hatred followed.
Candy longed for something she’d never had—security. A luxury would be hot showers and regular meals. In a grueling effort to break free from drugs, she endured the toxic aftermath of withdrawals—on her own. The body can heal from many wounds, the mind not so easily.
Without money for counseling to sort through a filing cabinet’s worth of issues, Candy decided she would never trust a man again. Sounded easy enough. If teens think life is hard with parents, try it without any—ever. FULL POST