God's daughter. Woman of faith. Wife of Tom. Mother of two. Grandmother of one. Volunteer to many.
Posted 12/19/14 at 8:37 AM | Karen Farris
It was a Christmas tradition I never enjoyed—delivering a plate of Mom’s Christmas cookies to Mr. Grump. No, his name wasn’t actually Mr. Grump but that’s what he was to me. He never smiled and rarely spoke, so why did we have to give him a plate of delicious cookies?
Sitting in the back seat, my job was to hold them while we took the obligatory drive to the other side of town. I kept my hands on either side of the plate, steadying it as we took the hairpin turns up his muddy driveway. His house always looked the same—peeling yellow paint and a rickety fence around the perimeter.
Mr. Grump was one of Mom’s library patrons. Every day he’d arrive just as the library unlocked its doors so he could be the first to read the Seattle Post Intelligencer. He’d sit at the same table for the same amount of time and then neatly fold the paper. He walked everywhere he went, so in order to read the morning paper he’d already traveled three miles—rain or shine. FULL POST
Posted 12/18/14 at 1:53 PM | Karen Farris
Each Monday at 8 pm, television audiences watching 2 Broke Girls have 30 minutes of sexual innuendos, inappropriate sexual scenarios and graphic sexual descriptions. The show comes replete with foul language, child neglect, and drug and alcohol abuse.
But the latest show crossed a line that deserves a pushback against its sponsors. The cast mockingly portrayed the Nativity scene. They pointed to their outfits and remarked they were dressed “like idiots”. The wise men stashed joints in their gifts to Jesus.
In a scene that is displayed and portrayed in churches across our nation, this should bring righteous anger. They even used a cabbage patch doll to represent baby Jesus, and called him “Cabbage Patch Christ”. While many could rightfully argue 2 Broke Girls has no redeeming value in its content, producers crossed the line by openly mocking God. The show’s sponsors need to hear from concerned Christians. FULL POST
Posted 12/15/14 at 7:58 AM | Karen Farris
In the bustle of the Christmas season, it’s easy to miss honoring the Bill of Rights Day December 15th. Many calendars don’t even notate it.
But after the Ferguson and New York City riots, presidential Executive Orders, and trillion dollar last minute congressional budgets, it’s a good year to celebrate having our Bill of Rights.
Ferguson demonstrators could demonstrate thanks to the Bill of Rights. We all have the freedom to assemble, to protest, to speak freely, and to write blistering blogs.
Yet there are reasonable limits in order to protect the lives and property of others.
We rightfully can have guns and can’t face unreasonable search and seizure. Warrants cannot be issued without probable cause. The heart of the recent protests was about two different Grand Jury decisions—and the Grand Jury process is another one of our enumerated rights in the Bill of Rights. FULL POST
Posted 12/12/14 at 7:41 AM | Karen Farris
Why is it so hard for McDonalds and Starbucks to agree to a porn-free Wi-Fi zone in their 25,000 American stores? Especially since they have already done so in all of their stores throughout the United Kingdom. It doesn’t make sense.
Besides preventing children from accessing porn at these local Wi-Fi hotspots, it also helps prevent these same hotspots from becoming distribution points for child and graphic adult pornography. The Enough is Enough (EIE) Internet safety group cites many instances where Wi-Fi hotspots are commonly used for criminal trafficking—and sexually soliciting children.
Both Starbucks and McDonalds are resisting the implementation of porn filters in their free Wi-Fi offering. Yet other American chains like Chick-fil-A and Panera do so voluntarily. EIE has a public awareness campaign and hopes to secure even more than the 25,000 supporters it already has.
To learn more, click here and next time you visit Starbucks or McDonalds you might leave a suggestion with the manager about a porn-free Wi-Fi for its customers. The child you’re protecting may not be able to thank you, but we’ll be a better, safer place because of it.
Posted 12/9/14 at 8:43 AM | Karen Farris
Full disclosure: I’ve been a church youth group leader, sexual abstinence educator, and a saving sex for marriage proponent. I’ve preached purity rings and handed out wait for marriage bracelets. But were the thousands of teens really listening? Perhaps some. But louder voices often prevailed—the voices of media, movies, peers, and self.
So when I read a Nigerian pastor’s approach to sharing God’s truth about sex, I thought, maybe this would have been better.
Pastor Efe Okoobo says sex is a “three-fold covenant between God, the husband and his wife, so when done before marriage, a covenant is established but this time not with God but the devil.” Pastor Okoobo believes that sex before marriage creates an opportunity for demonic activity to take place in the sexual participant’s lives.
Consider sexually active young adults—are they more rebellious? Okoobo says that premarital sex leads people to become hot tempered, indecent, and unforgiving. How does sex cause such this personality change? Okoobo explains that there is a transfer of spirits during sex. So, in premarital sex, when the devil is one of the partners, aberrant behaviors manifest. FULL POST
Posted 12/6/14 at 6:03 PM | Karen Farris
I don’t remember exactly what my teenage-know-it-all-wise-cracking mouth uttered, but the hurt on my friend’s face immediately told me to stop. It was early December and we’d been assigned to write something about Pearl Harbor. My comment had to do with how assignments like this were stupid. For my friend, it was deeply personal.
Every December 7th her family honored an uncle she’d never met but somehow knew deep in her heart. The stories that were shared around the living room were both gruesome and glorious—if that were possible. From an early age she’d come to respect this man whose uniformed picture was prominently displayed on the nearby bookshelf.
Her father and uncle had grown up in a small town and when World War II had started in Europe her uncle left the mill and had enlisted. Her father, much younger and still living at home, watched his brother ship off for a base stationed in Hawaii. It seemed safe, but he missed his brother terribly. Then December 7, 1941 changed all their lives forever. FULL POST
Posted 12/5/14 at 8:31 AM | Karen Farris
Long before cell phones and GPS for personal use, I once got lost on a hike in Northern Idaho’s Selkirk Mountains. After half a day of wandering beneath towering pines and tamaracks, my hiking buddy and I concluded that the narrow path we’d followed was an animal track and not the route we should have taken.
Struggling along the rugged terrain, we’d already seen enough bear scat to begin wondering if it was black bears or grizzlies. No one was going to find us in the dense forest—and there was no way to contact anyone anyway.
All of my mountain climbing experience hadn’t prepared me for this. Thankfully Sam (short for Samantha) had completed Army survival training. Her skill set didn’t include grizzlies, but what she knew would certainly help now.
The following morning we decided to climb a narrow ridge in an effort to get above the tree line. From that vantage we hoped to orient ourselves again. The shale rock was treacherous and sharp to the knees when we slipped, but we were able to spy what looked like a road—snaking its way through the forest far below. FULL POST
Posted 12/2/14 at 8:38 AM | Karen Farris
Once again a small, vocal contingent wants to dictate programming for millions of viewers. Another television show is under attack. TLC Network’s 19 Kids and Counting, is a hugely popular show featuring the Duggar family—sharing their love, their lives, and especially their Christian faith. For years now the series has followed this family’s faith in action—and they’re determinedly pro-life, pro-family, and Christ-honoring with their choices.
The Duggars uncompromisingly stand for Biblical marriage—for sexual abstinence before marriage, and that marriage remain an institution between a man and a woman. Now gay activists are viciously attacking them in the media. Once again, God-honoring people are labeled as ignorant and homophobic.
Our nation’s liberal media monster has been circulating a hate-filled petition to have 19 Kids and Counting cancelled on TLC. The petition has already garnered 130,000 signatures. To counter this, the American Family Association (AFA) has a Support the Duggars petition. They seek to get a million signatures by Christmas. FULL POST
Posted 11/28/14 at 8:27 AM | Karen Farris
Until my kids were old enough to compare me to their friend’s moms, they thought I was normal. But it became more evident that I was kind of a freak when they’d return from play dates and question my rigid, military style mothering—especially since I’d never been in the military.
In my defense, I fixed healthy meals, read them lots of children’s stories, played games, purchased educational toys, all while reading tons of parenting advice books. But I couldn’t seem to prevent myself from using my parent’s tactics.
I learned how to be a freakish parent from my own parents—who were freaks. Good freaks, but freaks none-the-less. My Air Force dad was a clean freak. Saturday mornings were relegated to laundry and housecleaning. Throughout the week chores were done according to a schedule. Doesn’t everybody make his/her bed before breakfast?
My mom was the book freak—she was a librarian after all. I was the little kid who routinely took a book for show and tell. And books were how my mom explained EVERYTHING. Why talk when there was a book or article that said it all? FULL POST
Posted 11/26/14 at 8:09 AM | Karen Farris
Pulling up her hood, she shivered in the cold. Her hand felt the coins in her pocket. Eighty-five cents wouldn’t buy much, but at least she could be warm inside the store.
She walked in behind a busily distracted woman clutching a long list. The woman grabbed a shopping cart and methodically paced the store aisles, crossing off each item as she went. She didn’t notice the hooded girl standing near the bakery.
Steering her cart into the checkout line, the cashier joked about the veritable feast within the woman’s mounded grocery cart. A curt nod met the cashier’s cheerfulness, so the clerk silently checked the rest of the items, before asking, “Would you like to donate to the food bank?”
“Not today.” The woman snipped, as she ran her credit card through the machine. Making a call on her cell phone, she ignored the “Happy Thanksgiving” greeting from the cashier, and briskly pushed her cart towards the exit.
The hooded girl approached the cashier with a bag of marked-down day-old rolls. Pulling out her coins, she was ten cents too short. FULL POST