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...