Saturday, December 13, 2008

Where did you go?

Now that it is Christmas break you hear from a lot of friends that are home from school. It is really an awesome feeling and really good times. Some of them have had great semesters and a lot have really messed up. It is important to me to encourage all of them that they are so young and nothing is impossible. Nothing has been done that can't be changed without effort. God says in James, "Draw close to me and I will draw close to you." So where did we go? Doesn't matter, just so long as we come back. Doesn't matter about yesterday as long as today we are getting closer. Grace and Peace my friend...

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Did you ever love

kids, family, people so much that it bout drove you crazy to try and keep it all straight? I do.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Trust issues

"(Jesus speaking)'Don't be troubled. You trust God, now trust in me.'"John 14:1 NLT

There is a lot to be said when Jesus says "chill out, I got this." This seems to be a way in which we all need to be there for our friends. Don't worry so much! You can trust me and from that trust you know I am here for you no matter what the situation. No matter what, no matter what! Those are the friends I need!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

A church's apology for all of us?

We Were Wrong
"We followed trends when we should have followed Jesus. We told others how to live but did not listen ourselves. We live in the land of plenty, denying ourselves nothing, while ignoring our neighbors who actually have nothing. We sat on the sidelines doing nothing while AIDS ravaged Africa. We were wrong; we're sorry. Please forgive us."

A message from SpringCreek Church in Garland Texas. They actually took out an ad and gave a public apology! Pretty bold for a group of Christians to outwardly promote their hypocrisy, but wow, thank God for it.

"I must begin with some words of disclosure. I am a hypocrite. I can be arrogant and cynical. I am sometimes inconsiderate and insecure. My ego often rages out of control, and I battle foolish pride. I can be lazy and foolhardy with my time. I get angry, petty, and ill tempered. I am sarcastic and cynical.
I am a Christian."
An excerpt from the book When bad Christians are good People.

I am with Max Lucado--God accepts us as we are but he refuses to leave us that way-- Grace and Peace my friend.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Prayer is the least I can do...blah!

Once again you hear a clueless pastor say this ridiculous statement. Prayer is not the least you can do, it is the most you can do. How can not the creator of all existence not take care of any and every request. Heck, I ask for everything! The stuff I do under my own power is the least I can do. How do we get this backwards? Hey, I pray the best for you and yours!!

Monday, October 13, 2008

"The degree of our preparation will equal the extent of our obedience, which will determine the measure of our peace of mind"

Think about that statement.  If you are confident because you are prepared then you are ready to go out and do battle, or just live!  Your preparation for events as well as past experiences will help to give you peace of mind.  It sounds really simple but I have found it to be true over and over again.  So do your best to be prepared.  Like you always hear, "No plan is a plan to fail."

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

What to do with my life? Hmm... that is tough!

What to do with your life--Don't decide!
1.  Decide what success means to you.
2.  What are your non-negotiable needs?
3.  What are my core values that I will not compromise?
4.  What if anything, do you want to be remembered for?
5.  Trying to find your ONE true purpose is a waste of time.  Life has lots of meaning.  It has a lot of things you are supposed to do, it has a lot of things you aren't supposed to do.  Answer the above questions and then navigate your journey with the least number of mistakes as possible!  Now you know everything so get out there and enjoy...

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Ultimate Justice

You know, there are a bazillion problems in the world that are very obvious to us all.  It is hammered at us through the media, trials and heartaches of loved ones, death, and family issues.  I always TRY to take comfort in the notion that eventually good prevails!  Whether your focus is on the criminal justice system or spiritual system, realize that those who have wronged the world will eventually pay some price.  It is the waiting for them to pay that is hard :)

Regardless of the experiences subjects personally dealt with, whether they had personally been the victim of a crime or known someone close who had, those who believed the world is ultimately just retained a 13 percent higher level of life satisfaction. (Lipkus, Dalbert, and Siegler).   I'll take my 13% and roll with the punches!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Out of no where

Many years ago our church started a program called random acts of kindness.  You would go through a drive-thru and pay for your meal and also pay for the car behind you.  You simply asked the cashier to give the car behind you a card that said have a great lunch on us.  It was cool.  It was actually fun.  You never met the people (except the ones that actually visited the church because of the kindness!) but it certainly was rewarding.  Don't you love it when good things, great things, or miracles hit you just out of no where.  I feel like I am getting hit with kindness and love out of no where!   It is awesome... I pray the same for you.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Be not afraid of growing slowly, be afraid only of standing still.

Chinese  Seems like a ton of my friends are so worried about "life."  It really is tough on a lot of people to deal with career choices, marriage, money, kids, depression, all sorts of things that make you make a choice.  I don't have a lot of good advice there other than the fact that I agree with the old chinese guy.  Don't just sit there and think or sulk or whatever.  Go with Nike and just do it.  Right or wrong at least you are moving.  I know that with the right kind of leadership, friendship, and Lordship you are going to be going up no matter what.  It might be slow or down a winding crazy path but you are going to get there!  Believe in you, I do.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

I hate to lose

at anything, for any reason, at anytime!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

I met

a 15 year old this weekend with a 2 kids and one on the way.  His girlfriend got pregnant on his 13th birthday for the first time.  He is an awesome kid.  Yeah, he has a lot to deal with, but truly an awesome kid.  Problem, he feels like he has nothing.  He believes as soon as he leaves therapy he will go to jail.  There is nothing I can do to change that fact.  He believes I can't help him.  He is right, Jesus help us, I can't do it!

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Open up!

You know sometimes the Lord calls on us to let go of something in order to show our willingness to obey Him. Sacrifices are solely Old Testament stuff. He may call on us to do something to actively atone for our shortcomings. He may call on us to offer something, to give of ourselves when we think we have nothing to give! So when the Holy Spirit prompts you to give or give up something in His name then we must trust in His wisdom to know what is best. Don't ever hold on to anything so tightly that you can't be free to grasp God's hand!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Unconditional Love

An excerpt from Kristin Armstrong's book that is cool...

"We are not withholding our affection from you... As a fair exchange... open wide your hearts also. 2 Cor 6:12-13

When we are hurt it is a common reaction to be withholding. Parenting experts say the worst thing a parent can do is regress to a childlike state and punitively withhold affection in response to a child's behavior.

A child's heart grows properly when tended to with unconditional love. Affection does not depend on behavior, mood, or circumstance. Being pleasing does not equate to being lovable!

Open wide your heart--I would love to walk in

Friday, August 15, 2008

Ok college kids, before school starts...

Reasons to succeed Surround yourself with reminders of the reasons you have chosen to do the work you do. Keep the thoughts of those reasons foremost in your mind.
Achievement never happens for its own sake. Achievement is built when there are solid, meaningful reasons behind it.
The only enduring impediment to success is the lack of a reason for that success. Connect with a good reason, keep that connection strong, and you will find your way through whatever challenges you encounter.
When you have a reason, you have a stake in the outcome. When you have a reason, you're able to summon the discipline, commitment, persistence and creativity necessary to get the job done.
The best motivation is not to be found in some sophisticated secret technique or procedure. The best motivation is to constantly keep yourself in contact with your reasons.
Give yourself plenty of reasons to succeed. And you most assuredly will.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Lucky with friends...

I had a great friend in high school that taught me a valuable lesson. He was really popular in school and normally the popular kids are snobs. He was the farthest thing from a snob. He was friends with anyone and everyone. He told me that "everyone could use another friend, but no one can use another enemy." Awesome philosophy. So don't be a hater to the poor, or the ugly, or the whatever you want to categorize a person. Everyone is a potential friend. Everyone is a potential noboby or even enemy too. I choose to live my life wanting more friends, don't care who you are!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

I will

I will exhalt Jesus at all times: his praise will always be on my lips. My soul will boast in the Lord; let the afflicted hear and rejoice. Glorify the Lord with me; let us exalt his name together.

I sought the Lord, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears. Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame. This poor man (me) called and the Lord heard him; he saved him out of all his troubles. The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him, and he saves them. Thanks God, were cool...

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Friends and Family deserve love over language!

Taken from an excerpt I read so I don't take any credit for this one!

Even if you are right, there is nothing gained from letting yourself become adversarial with your loved ones. Remember how much more important these people are to you than is the issue you are talking about.

For example,
Aaron is always right. At least, he thinks so. Whether it's a matter of a trivia question or the best way to hang wallpaper, Aaron knows the answer. When his family challenges him on some point, any point, Aaron launches an inquest. He asks people to tell him why they disagree, and then he tries to catch them in an inconsistency. His follow-up questions are like those used by a lawyer trying to get an unreliable witness to admit his faults. Aaron almost always wins. He almost always gets a concession from his witness. The problem is, Aaron's witness is not a criminal in a courtroom but a friend or loved one who holds a different opinion. Some of his friends have concluded it's just not worth disagreeing with Aaron and others have concluded it's not even worth talking to him, since you never know when a topic will lead to a fight. Aaron wins all the little battles, but he loses the metaphorical war. He loses the opportunity to spend enjoyable time with those he cares about.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Can't buy me love...

There is a movement in the United States of people called the minimalists. These are people who have decided to live on less money. They buy less, spend less, make less, and have less stuff. They also spend less time at work and more time with their friends and family. The minimalists have made a conscious conclusion that money did not buy them what they wanted most. They don't chase after money just because most people do. If money could buy happiness, there would be high-priced happiness stores on every corner! I read a study that looked at 20 factors that might contribute to happiness. Nineteen of those factors did matter and one did not. The one factor that did not matter was financial status (Hong 1995).
Don't get me wrong, I don't claim to be a minimalist, but I admire their outlook. It is kind of like people who call all Christians hypocrites. Well of course we are but at least we are trying to do something about it! A hypocrite is one step closer the Christ than the guy who just sits back and calls us hypocrites. Here's to loving you!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Solid Concrete

Do you want to be better at something. I do. I want to be better at my job, I want to be a better parent, I want to be a better servant, I want to be a better friend to you, and the list goes on. We need to be able to MEASURE our progress, to know that things are improving. You can't accomplish an abstract goal, because you'll never be sure if you're finished or not. I relate this back to when I was taking a class on how to vary the assessment tools of my students. For instance, tests, quizzes, homework, classwork, projects, participation, labs, etc. were all very important because they tools I could use to evaluate the learning of my students and I could do it in so many different ways then everyone could be successful. If you were a lousy test taker then just participate and do a good lab and such and you could make up for your short-comings on the tests. Too bad there aren't many teachers that care enough to put the effort into varying their assessments of students. I could go on forever on that topic but the point of this blog is to set your goals so that you can accomplish them. Make them concrete. See yourself cross the finish line. See your profit margin increase. Don't just wish or pray to a cosmic Santa Claus! It is old research (1996) but Lindeman and Verkasalo reported that perceptions that life is meaningful, and therefore worthwhile, increase 16 percent with concrete thinking. I am going to give it a whirl :)

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Raise your victory stone!

The lyrics to a popular old hymn that has become a pretty awesome worship song are below. "Here I raise my Ebenezer," is an odd saying with great meaning. An Ebenezer stone is a stone raised when you are in victory! It could be raised for any victory or success you have in your life. So my prayer for you today is to have victory in something. You have conquered something tough--or decide you would like to try. Today I raise my Ebenezar in victory over Satan to have you as my friend reading this blog...

Come, Thou Fount of every blessing,
Tune my heart to sing Thy grace;
Streams of mercy, never ceasing,
Call for songs of loudest praise.
Teach me some melodious sonnet,
Sung by flaming tongues above.
Praise the mount! I’m fixed upon it,
Mount of Thy redeeming love.

Sorrowing I shall be in spirit,
Till released from flesh and sin,
Yet from what I do inherit,
Here Thy praises I’ll begin;
Here I raise my Ebenezer;
Here by Thy great help I’ve come;
And I hope, by Thy good pleasure,
Safely to arrive at home.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Me and God have some good stuff most of the time!

Listen to advice and accept instruction, and in the end you will be wise. (Proverbs 19:20)

Not to be...

too Holy or anything but how can you go through your life and not love those who need you? How can you not stop and help and do something? I can't. A lot of the time I can't do much but people need people. People need a spiritual well-being in order to live day to day. If you don't you are just thrown into sadness and hopelessness. I refuse to live that I way and I refuse to let you do it too!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Don't Let Others Set YOUR Goals

Too many people choose goals based on what others think. Instead, think about what YOU really care about, and set meaningful goals to accomplish what matters to you!

A friend of mine gave me valuable advice--My friend, Gary, left the military after 20 years of service as a marine pilot. His military friends were surprised that he would leave with the possibility of promotion right before his eyes. They all wondered what could be so wrong that you wouldn't want that rank. He had a great answer. He said, "Holding the highest rank has never been my dream." "It might be your dream, and that's cool, but it isn't mine."

Gary's dream was to serve his country by serving children. He offered his services to his local school and church. In a matter of a few years he was the head of a prestigious high school academic program. He told me it's a lot like flying. "You have your hands on the controls, and you have the power to excel. It is all within your hands." Teaching was a dream come true and one that would have never come true if he had worried about what other people thought he should do.

You know you don't have to be great in everything to be happy. But you do have to believe you have maintained control over your own destiny. For me that destiny was designed by God, I messed it up for a while, then I discerned it. I couldn't be happier! I pray you are happy at what you do and take pride in how well you do it. If you don't, you are not a happy person because you have no sense of accomplishment.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

All you can take

are the random acts of kindness that you give away everyday. Think about it, you want your life here on earth to feel like you did something while you were here. Well really the only things that matter are the things that you freely give of yourself to the people you love and the people you don't even know! So lay your head on your pillow tonight and know that you made a difference in this world. If you can't think of anything then know that you made my life better because you are my friend. Grace and Peace...

Saturday, June 14, 2008


John 15:12-13
This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Do What You Say You Are Going To Do

Not much can kill progress or destroy enthusiasm more than someone who talks but never follows through. It is crucial in both your home life and your work life that you stay focused and committed to whatever you say you would do.

The difference between those who have happy relationships and those who have unhappy personal relationships is not the amount of conflicts they have. Indeed, each group has a similar number of conflicts. Instead, it is a greater commitment to following through on agreed-upon changes that contributes to the success of relationships and the 23 % greater happiness of those involved!!

This is something I really struggle with because I have a lot of commitments pulling me one way or the other--so like my dad told me growing up--"You make time for things that are important!"

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Sad Glad Things

Many sad things have happened to me in my life and in our world. I try not to focus on them but instead have hope for the future. Think of the world's potential. I do a lot with this being an election year and having to listen to all the fighting. Perhaps the future holds the curing of diseases, the end of violence, the amelioration of poverty and hunger.

I read that over 9 in 10 Americans are uncomfortable or worried about aspects of their own lives. The difference between more happy and less happy people is what they do with that worry. Less happy people wallow in the problems they see, while happier people focus on potential and the future. Easier said than done but try it. I know God doesn't plan every day of our lives to be happy but every day can have joy...

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Being busy is better than being bored

Find something to do! The feeling that we have too much to do is more pleasing than the feeling we have when we have nothing to do. Idle=TROUBLE!

A philosopher once noted that people long for immortality but run out of things to do on a rainy afternoon. If we planned out our time line in long chunks, say 20 years, we would never consider penciling in five or ten of those hours wasting time. Yet during the average day, we often let a few hours slip away. Time is a strange commodity, because we seem to have too much to do with it, until the moment we have none at all. We often complain about having too much to do. Yet having too much to do is a positive problem of abundance, while having too little to do is a negative problem of shortage.
Metro Plastics Technologies in Indiana tested out this principle by cutting the length of the workweek for its employees from 40 hours to 30 hours. And do you know what happened after the switch? The quality of the company's product improved, and the company actually made more moeny. Management found that giving workers more to do in less time made the workers more efficient, energetic, and enthusiastic and gave workers more free time outside the workplace. IN college kids, those with more demanding schedules were 15 % more satisfied with life. Despite the more demanding schedules, the individuals studied did not experience any more stress issues than those with less to do.

(Stats derived from Bailey and Miller 1998) The rest is me!!!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

11th Grade is the worst! So Juniors get ready!!

An excerpt from Jonathan Kaufman that I thought was really interesting and true! Read and see if you think the same...

FARMINGTON, Conn. -- Jennifer Glickman, a 17-year-old high school junior, gets so stressed some days from overwork and lack of sleep that she feels sick to her stomach and gets painful headaches.
A straight-A student, she recently announced at a college preparatory meeting with her mother and guidance counselor that she doesn't want to apply to Princeton and the other Ivy League schools that her counselor thinks she could get into.
Casey Kelbaugh/WpN for The Wall Street Journal
Jennifer Glickman, 17, is a straight-A student, but some days she says she gets so stressed from overwork that she feels sick to her stomach and gets painful headaches.
"My mom wants me to look at Ivy League schools, but my high school years have been so stressful that I don't want to deal with that in college," says Ms. Glickman. "I don't want it to be such a competitive atmosphere. I don't want to put myself in this situation again."
High school has long been enshrined in popular culture -- from the musical "Grease" to television shows like "Beverly Hills 90210" and "Friday Night Lights" -- as a time of classes, sports and overwrought adolescent drama. But these days, junior year is the worst year in high school for many ambitious students aiming for elite and increasingly selective colleges -- a crucible of academic pressure.
Almost two-thirds of middle- and upper-middle-income high school students in the San Francisco Bay Area told researchers that they were "often or always" stressed by schoolwork, according to a series of surveys of 2,700 students conducted last year by Stanford University researchers.
More than half the students reported that they had dropped an activity or hobby they enjoyed because schoolwork took too much time. More than three-quarters reported experiencing one or more stress-related physical problems in the month prior to the survey, with more than 50% reporting headaches, difficulty sleeping, or exhaustion. About 9% said they had illegally used prescription drugs like Adderall or Ritalin to stay up and study; 25% said they used stimulants like Red Bull or No-Doz.
"On the surface, these kids look like the most privileged group in the world," says Madeline Levine, a psychologist who has been working with the Stanford study. "But their parents know there is something wrong. They are not getting the basic sleep they need, the basic food they need."
How did 11th grade become such a grind? High school has long been a painful rite of passage. And heavy workloads are typical for elite-college-bound kids in countries such as Japan, South Korea and France. Teachers and principals say homework in the U.S. started increasing in the 1990s, when national concern over falling test scores prompted the introduction of more standardized tests, increasing pressure on high schools to toughen their curricula.
Demographic Surge
The increasing competitiveness of college admissions -- fueled by a demographic surge in the number of teenagers that is expected to crest next year -- advanced preparation for applying to college to junior year from first semester of senior year. Guidance counselors, parents and college-admissions officers now urge students to start taking advanced-placement courses -- often with a minimum of 90 minutes of homework a night -- in junior year, as well as to start building a portfolio of extracurricular activities and community-service projects to bolster their applications.
High schools, too, have became more competitive, vying for top rankings on lists of the "best" high schools by encouraging students to take advanced-placement courses, a common measure of high school excellence. More than 60% of the students at Farmington High, a public school in this middle- and upper-middle-class bedroom community near Hartford, take at least one advanced-placement course; 80% of all students go on to four-year colleges.
Faced with such pressures on their kids, some parents find themselves in the paradoxical position of urging their high school children to work less and play more.
Tim Breslin, principal of Farmington High, recently talked to his own daughter -- a junior at a different high school -- about cutting back some of her activities and classes. These include advanced-placement history and English, voice lessons, mock trial competition, vice president of student council, jazz ensemble, an SAT preparation course, crew and a boyfriend.
"I asked her: 'Do you think you can drop something?' " says Mr. Breslin. "She said 'no.' "
Ms. Glickman is a talkative, outgoing girl with an easy laugh and an open manner. She thinks about becoming an elementary-school teacher or maybe going into international relations. "I love politics," she says. Like most teens, she enjoys spending the occasional Saturday at the mall and going out to Chili's and Ruby Tuesday with friends. She attended the prom last weekend. But she also likes renting a movie and watching it at home with her mother. (Her father passed away in 1993. Her older sister attends New York's Colgate University.)
"When you talk to her, she is very mature and self-aware," says Ms. Glickman's guidance counselor, Sheilah McConnell. "But she can be silly as much as serious."
Ms. Glickman typically wakes up at 6 to get ready for a school day that begins at 7:30 a.m. The night before, she packs her lunch -- usually a bottle of water, a ham-and-cheese sandwich, and a treat like Scooby-Doo fruit snacks. The cafeteria at Farmington High School offers a wide selection of dishes. But Ms. Glickman's packed schedule doesn't have time for a sit-down lunch because one of her elective classes, chorus, meets at lunchtime. Her chorus teacher lets the kids quickly grab lunch out of paper bags in the back of class.
Hours of Homework
As she moves from class to class, the demands of being a junior pile up. Honors Spanish -- 30 minutes of homework a night. Advanced-placement English -- 30 to 90 minutes a night, depending on which books or documents the class is studying. Honors pre-calculus -- another hour of homework. Honors biology -- 30 minutes more. At the end of the day comes Ms. Glickman's favorite class and her toughest -- advanced-placement history, with two hours of homework a night, including reading and regular essays.
Total: an average of four-and-a-half to five-and-a-half hours of homework a night.
"Sometimes at school I will stress out when I start adding up everything I have to do tonight," says Ms. Glickman. She typically goes to sleep at 11:30 p.m., though sometimes she needs to stay up later to finish a project or study for a big test. "There's not a lot of sleep going on," she says. Her 98 average ranks near the top of her class, school officials say. "I need to put in all the effort possible," she says. "If I get a grade back that I don't want, I say, 'Why didn't I work harder?' "
As Ms. Glickman heads off to a study hall, a group of juniors gathers in a conference room to talk about the pressures they face. Many are taking two or three advanced-placement courses, playing sports and spending time on after-school activities.
"Sometimes you don't know whether you are doing things because you want to or because it looks good on your résumé," says Daniel Jin, who is taking four advanced-placement courses, plays lacrosse, is on student council and involved in an after-school community-service program. "You have to be careful you're not doing things just to get them on your college application."
Kevin Putney has a brother at Dartmouth. He says his brother finds college less pressured than junior year of high school. "I know that my parents -- they want me to be happy. They would like me to get out more," he says. "But with all the work I have I can't get out as much as they would like."
Students say that while parents may tell them to have more balance in their lives, they also feel pressure from parents to excel. "If you get good grades, your parents let you do things -- a car when you get a license, a later curfew," says Kelsey Darch, who has gotten both.
Todd Darch, Kelsey's father, says that getting his daughter a car means less driving for him as well as "a reward for good grades and good behavior." He says he only asks that his daughter "put her best effort forward. If her best effort meant a C in a course, that would be fine."
"Every week or so my Dad sends me a text message: 'Do what others won't today so you can do what others can't tomorrow,' " says Jordan Haviland. "My parents have been so good to me, I feel like I would be letting them down if I didn't get into an Ivy League school."
Mr. Haviland's father, Timothy, says he doesn't press his son to get into a certain college, although he suspects Jordan does feel pressure because his older brother goes to Harvard and his older sister to Brown.
"I think he probably wants to keep up," says Mr. Haviland, who works for an investment company. "These kids put a fair amount of pressure on themselves. They read the papers and go on the Internet and they see how many students are applying to some of these schools."
Some students say that pressure comes from inside themselves as much as it does from parents. "The whole game is who is beating [whom]," says Spencer Noon, looking across the table at Mr. Jin with a smile. "In the end, if I don't get into Harvard and Dan Jin does, I will be upset."
Keeping Up
Mr. Breslin, the principal, says Farmington High sometimes reschedules tests and other events if students complain the pressure is too great. But he doesn't favor suggestions by some parents that the school limit the advanced-placement courses or activities that students participate in.
"We try to make it so kids make thoughtful choices about what they are doing. But if a student says they want to take an AP course or five AP courses, and their parents support them, it is very hard to limit that student," says Mr. Breslin. "They don't want to experience all this pressure, but they feel that in order to keep up with everyone else they have to."
Classes for Ms. Glickman end around 2:30 p.m., but her day isn't even half over. Typically she spends two hours after school working on the school newspaper, where she is news editor. She also volunteers for a program that works with disabled students and helps them participate in sporting events.
She used to play volleyball freshman and sophomore year but stopped because "it was just for fun."
"I knew junior year was going to be pressured," she says. "I like volleyball but if I played it, the practices would mean I would have four hours less for homework." Also, she says, "colleges don't want to see you do 10 things. They want to see you doing three things passionately."
Since March, Ms. Glickman, like many of her classmates, has been attending an after-school SAT preparation course designed to boost scores for the important test in the fall. That means she doesn't get home until 9:30 p.m. two days a week to begin her homework -- interrupted by occasional forays onto Facebook to chat with and instant message friends.
When she went to a party on a recent Saturday night, she got home at 11:30 p.m. and did homework until 2 a.m. She slept in until 11:30 a.m. the next day.
"Over the weekend you have to choose," says Ms. Glickman. "Do you go out or stay home so you can get your homework done? You can never do an all-day thing."
Time for Bowling
Maria Glickman, Jennifer's mother, grew up in New York, attended Catholic school and was the first in her family to go to college, commuting to New York's Pace University. "I loved high school. It was more carefree," says Maria Glickman. "We worked hard. We had a lot of fun. There was a lot more time to just enjoy ourselves -- going ice skating, going bowling. I don't get that sense from kids today. They don't seem to find as much enjoyment in high school as I did."
While Maria Glickman says she urges her daughter not to work so hard and that "getting a B is OK," she also has been encouraging her to look at Ivy League schools including Columbia and Princeton.
At a meeting in late February to kick off the college-application process, both her mother and Ms. McConnell, her guidance counselor, suggested that Ms. Glickman consider some Ivy League schools. Ms. Glickman is adamant: She wants a school that she thinks will be challenging but less pressured. She's interested in the College of William and Mary, American University, or Boston College, though she recently added Brown to her list. During vacation in April, Maria Glickman suggested stopping by Princeton on a family trip "just to see the campus," but her daughter said no.
"She said she doesn't want so much pressure in college -- she wants to enjoy her four years," says Maria Glickman, who says she supports her daughter's decision. "I want her to find a place where she will be happy and comfortable."
Ms. Glickman recently started a project in her "Personal Wellness" class. The assignment: change one aspect of your daily health routine to reduce stress, and keep a journal of your progress.
Ms. Glickman's goal: Getting more sleep by making sure she goes to bed at 10 every night. A friend of hers, another junior, tried the same goal recently and couldn't do it -- too much homework.
"I am really going to try," says Ms. Glickman with a laugh. "We'll have to see."

Friday, May 30, 2008

A new Earth?

an excerpt from Sally Creed...

I hear there is a new book out on the Oprah bestseller list. It is entitled, "A New Earth" and is supposed to awaken us to our life's purpose. Unfortunately, this book has nothing to do with a new earth - at least not the New Earth discussed in the Bible. I agree that we DO need to be awakened, but not the way suggested in this book. We need to be awakened to the fact that we are being misled by one of the most influential women in the world. Oprah's talk show is seen by nearly 46 million viewers a week in the United States alone, and she has won her way into the hearts of millions by her good deeds, generous gifts and openness about her personal life. However, she has begun touting her New Age philosophy and misleading millions of people by making statements like, " of the biggest mistakes humans make is to believe that there is only one way (to God). Actually, there are many diverse paths leading to what you call God." (from "Don't Drink the Kool-Aid" by Carrington Steele)
Jesus said, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me". (John 14:6) Though the Bible can be difficult for some people to understand, there is nothing to misunderstand about Jesus' words stated above. Apparently, that verse is missing from Oprah's Bible!
One of my first jobs after graduating from college was working in a bank. In order to teach bank tellers how to recognize counterfeit money, they did not bring in counterfeit money to study and memorize. Instead, they had people study the authentic currency (the real thing) so they would recognize when something counterfeit was being used. It may have been difficult to say why a particular dollar bill was counterfeit since it looked so real, but once someone studied the real dollar bill, they instinctively knew when they were looking at a fake. This is what many Christians are saying about the course that Oprah is recommending and her new beliefs. They know enough about the Bible (The Real Thing) to recognize when they are being sold counterfeit information.
I have a better book than the one on Oprah's list that I would like to recommend that is all about the New Earth (along with my recommendation to read the Bible daily). This book is entitled, "Heaven" and is written by Randy Alcorn. A quote on the front cover states, "Other than the Bible itself, this may well be the single most life-changing book you'll ever read." I have not been able to finish reading this book because I have been highlighting almost every word as I go along! Randy Alcorn paints a vivid picture about what Heaven will be like based on what God has told us in the Bible. Many books about Heaven have stated that we can't know what Heaven will be like. 1 Corinthians 2:9 says, "No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him". This verse is used as a basis about why we don't know what to expect about Heaven. But when you complete that verse, it also says, "...but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit." Randy has researched Heaven in the Bible and he says:
"The moment we say that we can't imagine Heaven, we dump cold water on all that God has revealed to us about our eternal home. If we can't envision it, we can't look forward to it."
"Everything pleasurable we know about life on Earth we have experienced through our senses. So, when Heaven is portrayed as beyond the reach of our senses, it doesn't invite us; instead, it alienates and even frightens us. Our misguided attempts to make Heaven "sound spiritual" merely succeed in making Heaven sound unappealing."
We cannot anticipate or desire what we cannot imagine and this is the reason God has allowed us glimpses of Heaven in the Bible. When we understand what waits for us, we can't wait to get there. Satan tries to discourage our imagination - or misdirect it to ethereal notions that contradict Scripture (exactly what Oprah is trying to do). The Bible describes Heaven as the New Earth. In order to picture what it will be like, just look around you and imagine what it would all be like without sin, death, suffering and corruption. It is a truly happy place - a fun place, like the best place you've ever been to - only a million times better! Just as we eagerly anticipate going on a great vacation, we are to have this same attitude about going to Heaven. When we get there, we will have bodies better than Olympic athletes, friends who don't talk behind our back, children who are well behaved, food that tastes better than any fine restaurants we've been in (and no calories to have to count!), no IRS to worry us. We aren't going to be sitting around all day long wearing white robes and playing the harp, as many people believe. I'm going to play tennis, swim, read books, laugh, and not worry about leaving my doors unlocked.
How do I join this Paradise Club you ask? Membership is absolutely free - all you have to do is simply believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved. "That if you confess with your mouth, 'Jesus is Lord', and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. (Romans 10:9)

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

me as an adhd teacher!!

Dear Parent
I am sure you are familiar with ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder). Many students today have to deal with this difficult disorder. I am very able to empathize with them because I, too, suffer from ADD. Because of this, I hope you will be willing to make certain accommodations that will help me to be successful. Please consider the following accommodations:
Use a variety of techniques to communicate with me about your child. I may not remember to respond to a phone call, but repeated efforts by mail, telegram and fax are sure to elicit an eventual response.
When you write notes to me, consider using various colored markers to write your message. These help me to focus my attention.
Do not expect weekly progress reports on your child. Such reports require organizational skills that are beyond the ability of ADD subjects.
Please excuse any errors I might make in grading your child's paper. My attention wanders from time to time. I will be happy to re-grade papers with more than five significant errors, although it may take me several weeks to get to such papers.
Understand that I only grade a small percentage of your student's work so that I may be motivationally encouraged and predisposed to comply with my task.
I may occasionally mix up students grades. If you feel this has happened, please notify me (in the manner suggested above). If I am able to discover where the error was made, I will be happy to correct your student's grade.
Consider placing your child in one of my morning classes. I am much better focused before 10:00 a.m. If your child is in an afternoon class, do not be upset by the fact that one-half of our class time will be "free-time" due to the fact that I can only focus for short periods of time in the afternoon. Instead, consider this time as an opportunity for your child -- a built in "study hall."
Be prepared to teach the novel Lord of the Flies to your student at home.
Because I am frequently unable to reach this unit by the end of the year, you may need to cover this required material yourself. I will be happy to provide books and handouts.
Forgive me if I am late in arriving for parent conferences. I sometimes lose track of time. If I forget to come at all, do not hesitate to reschedule by contacting me (in the manner suggested above).
When we meet for parent conferences, please remember to
(a) Maintain proximity to me
(b) Establish eye contact
(c) Be concise
(d) Use an appropriate rate of speech
(e) Use visual aids (e.g., student papers, charts, pictures, etc..)
Your effort to comply with these accommodations is greatly appreciated. I know that together we will be able to create a rich and rewarding learning experience for your child. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact me (in the manner suggested above).
Again, many thanks.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Yes marijuana is bad for you!

According to Psyciatry today magazine, the myth that marijuana use has no long term effects on an adolescents psyche is just that, a myth! Research shows that over 77% of teens using marijuana on a regular basis (weekly, or daily) have some type of psychotic event that is directly associated with marijuana. THC acts much like cocaine in the way it stimulates neurotransmitters responsbile for dopamine and endorphine release. In my experience with the young men and women I have worked alongside, one statement holds true, nothing good comes to you in life when you are using.

Signs that marijuana use has gotten a hold of you!

1. Neglected appearance/hygiene
2. Poor self image
3. Grades dropping
4. Violent outbursts at home
5. Frequent use of Eye Wash
6. Unexplained weight drop
7. Drug Paraphernalia
8. Slurred speech
9. Curfew violations
10. Running away
11. Skin abrasions
12. Hostility towards family members
13. Chemical breath
14.Glassy eyes
15.Red eyes
16.Valuables Missing
17. Possessing unexplained valuables

18. Stealing/borrowing money
19.Change in friends
20. Depression
21. Withdrawal
23.Reckless Behavior
24.No Concern about future
25. Defiles Family Values
26. Disrespectful to parents
27. Lying/Deception
28. Sneaky behavior
29. Disregards Consequences
30. Loss of Interest in healthy activities
31. Verbally abusive
32. Manipulative/Self-Centered
33. Lack of Motivation
34. Truancy

Friday, May 23, 2008

Amazing but troubling stats

Over 100,000 crimes were committed in 2007 by juveniles under eighteen.

In 2007, juveniles were involved in at least 1 in 10 arrests for murder and drug abuse violations, and 1 in 4 arrests for weapons violation, robbery, motor vehicle theft, larceny-theft, and burglary.

In 2002 one in twelve MURDERS in the U.S. involved a juvenile offender, imagine what that number is now.

Law enforcement agencies made 2.2 million arrests of persons under age 18 in 2003.

One billion children live in poverty (this number reflects every other child born is born into poverty)

443 million school days a year are missed by students due to water-related illness

Nearly a billion people entered the 21st century unable to read a book or write their name

1.8 million children die a year from diarrhea

YOU can do something to change the world, all you have to do is care!

(Information obtained from Directive Therapy by R. Wood and World Poverty Statistics)

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Working for a living...

It is graduation time and I see so many of the young men and women that I have invested so much time and energy in moving on to the next chapter of their life. It makes me feel really proud. It makes me feel really sad too. I want so much for them and now that they are "adults" they are going to have to work for all they want now. It seems strange but that gift of being able to fix things for young people is taken away. You may think that is strange but it gives me a great sense of being to be able to help others. It is just who I am. I pray they don't make the bazillion mistakes that I have made to get what I have now but I also pray for meaningful life lessons that make them grow to be the men and women God would have them be. Those are really hard most of the time. So whatever you choose from now on make sure it is worth any second of your life. Don't go for a job or school or any of the sort that just gets you by, Carpe Diem!!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Grow your friends!

One of the wisest things my dad ever taught me was to "make time for things that are important." So many times we have such good intentions of rekindling old friendships or get togethers and they just get put away as a great idea that never happens. We must take advantage of opportunities at work or among your neighbors to expand your friendship base. People need to feel that they are a part of something bigger, that they care about others and are cared about by others in return. So again I say to you, make times for things that are important!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Achieving Goals

In a long term study of subjects over the course of more than a decade, life satisfaction was associated with the consistency of life goals. Goals regarding career, education, family, and geography were each important, and together add up to about 80 percent of satisfaction. These goals need to be consistent with one another to produce positive conclusions regarding goal achievement. (Wilson,Henry, and Peterson 1997)

So like the wheels on your car they all need to be perfectly aligned for a smooth ride. A lot of us have character flaws, addictions, dependency issues, and a ton of other things that may make one of our tires out of alignment. Figure out what those are, deal with it or get help dealing with it, and then drive along for the time of your life!! Peace.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Winning isn't everything...

People that are ultra competitive, like myself, always need to win and when we don't we end up enjoying things less. If I lose then I am very disappointed, even mad, and if I win it's what I expected anyway so I don't get the joy I should have felt from victory. So what to do? Don't let things like games, or people, or anything of the sort rob you of even one second of joy in your life. You have no control over their ability or competence so don't bet on 'em coming through for you. Just enjoy it for what it is-- it is supposed to be a good time! Peace.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

So you wanna be happy?

Sometimes we just think God made some people and some people cranky sticks in the mud but actually both types of people do the things that create and reinforce their moods. Happy people let themselves be happy while unhappy people continue doing things that upset them!

For example, what is the first sign of a successful business? I think it is a healthy business plan. If you have one then the business has defined it's purpose and then creates a strategy to accomplish that purpose. The same thing can be done with people. Define what you want, then use a strategy to get it.
Kids are better at this than adults. Small children know when being cranky will get them an ice cream cone or whatever. They also know that being too noisy or annoying will get a cross reaction from their parents. Kids understand their are rules and patterns to life and then they use those patterns to help them get what they want.
Living a happy life as an adult is like trying to get that ice cream cone as a child. You need to know what you want and use a strategy to get it. Need help with that? Holla at me! Think about what makes you happy and what makes you sad, and use this to help you get what you want! Peace.

Monday, May 5, 2008

The hardest best thing to find out about yourself!

The best feeling you will ever have in your life is that of finally finding out what God's purpose is for you while you are on Earth. It has taken me a zillion hours and a bunch of school, a lot of disappointment, and a lot of good stuff to find this out for myself.

You are not here just to fill up space or to be an extra in the movie of someone else's life. Think about it. Nothing would be the same if you did not exist. Every person you have met and every place you have been is different because of you. Some for the better and some for the worse. We are all connected, and we are all affected by the decisions and even the existence of those around us.

Check this story I read out...
A guy named Peter, an attorney in Philadelphia and his dog, Tucket were best buds. Tucket was very sick. Gradually he was becoming paralyzed by a tumor on his spinal cord. Peter could not find a veterinarian who could save his dog! Desperate to find someone who could help, he turned to a pediatric (kid) neurosurgeon (brain surgeon). The doctor agreed to try and help Tucket, and in return he asked Peter to donate some money to the children's hospital where the doctor worked.
Jerry has never met Peter or Tucket, Jerry is a blue-eyed, blond-haired, five-year old boy who loves to eat mashed potatoes. Jerry also has tumors on his spine and in his brain.
With the help from the money Peter gave to the hospital, Jerry underwent a successful surgery to remove his tumors. Tucket's surgery was a success too!
We are all connected! Will your influence on me be good or bad?

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Getting CAAM Started!

I am honored you took time to read my thoughts. This is the first entry in what will hopefully be many that are able to help me and you too to better navigate life. Journaling is a wonderful thing! I hope to utilize this tool to help my website become something other than a brochure. Something that people can actually use more than once or twice. Helping people is awesome. It really gives me purpose and a sense of belonging on this planet. The only things that you can take with you are the acts of kindness that you give away. You can take these things on Earth and in Heaven. Pretty unique. Talk to you soon...