Archive for April, 2011

Christian Dating Tips for Women

Friday, April 29th, 2011

Proverbs 4:23 tells us, “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.”

We Christian women are called to be confident in the love that God provides.  With our self-esteem constantly targeted by the media, it is sometimes difficult to remember that the Lord created us to be a treasure won by a determined and respectable man.  Unfortunately, our society encourages women to be the hunters instead of the hunted.

Nine out of 10 males I personally interviewed say that when a woman pursues them, it highlights two very unattractive attributes: insecurity and desperation.  So why do women do it?  Is it because we are impatient and unwilling to wait for Mr. Right to come our way or because we are craving male attention?

Both of these reasons are a result of not trusting the Lord.  He has provided a way to fulfill each of our needs.  When we feel uncared for, He assures us in places like Jeremiah 33:11 that His love is always with us.  When we feel that unattractive, He whispers through Psalm 139:14 that we are fearfully and wonderfully made.

So when a man pursues us, we need to remember who God designed us to be.

  1. We show obedience to the Lord by investing time and emotion only in solid Christian men.
  2. We show respect for ourselves by giving our time only to men that have the courage to ask us for our number and not cowardly giving us his in case we want to hang out sometime.
  3. We show value by accepting dates that require time and thought and not accepting “we can do whatever you want to do” pseudo-dates.
  4. We show loyalty by humbly going to God in prayer concerning each gentleman that requests a relationship with us.
  5. We show honor to God by saving sex for marriage and dating only men who are dedicated to following this command.

Even though movies like No Strings Attached and American Pie give a degrading view of male and female relationships, this should not be the reality in Christian dating relationships.  We must all guard our hearts from the lies with which we are daily bombarded and combat them with the truth God has made clear to us: He loves us, we are fearfully and wonderfully made, and He is faithful to provide.

After all, we are supposed to be loved as Christ loved the Church.  So why would we settle for less?

Our guest author is Amy Royall.  She is a junior at Liberty University and an active member of the LU chapter of Concerned Women for America.

Divorce –– Not Homosexuality –– Disqualifies for Episcopal Priesthood

Thursday, April 28th, 2011

According to the New York Post, former New Jersey Governor Jim McGreevey has been denied his request to join the priesthood of the Episcopal Church.  McGreevey, you might remember, resigned as governor in 2004, declaring himself to be a “gay American.”  After leaving public office, McGreevey also left the Catholic Church and enrolled at General Theological Seminary in Manhattan to earn a master’s in divinity.  He and his partner, real estate agent Mark O’Donnell, live together openly in Plainfield, New Jersey.

But none of that is at issue.  Apparently, the church that has proudly embraced, ordained, and promoted homosexuals was “bothered” by the former governor’s “bitter divorce” from Dina Matos McGreevey.  Apparently, divorce itself is not a problem for the Episcopalian Church –– Gene Robinson, both divorced and homosexual, was appointed a bishop.  Ah, but McGreevey’s divorce was “bitter.”  Hence the rejection. … over a “bitter” divorce. … not divorce per se and certainly not unnatural, dangerously unhealthy sex preferences.

Hey, a church has to have some standards!

White House “Out of Its Depth”

Wednesday, April 20th, 2011

He’s no Charlie Sheen.

Nile Gardiner, political reporter, analyst, and commentator, summarizes the bad news for President Obama in Britain’s Telegraph: The just-released Washington Post/ABC News poll contains shocking news for the Easter weekend.  Headlined on the front page, “Economy is Battering Obama in the Polls,” the Post/ABC poll indicates “deep-seated public unease” over the president’s handling of the economy, the number one issue for U.S. voters.  A Gallup survey, too, revealed the lowest-ever approval ratings (41 percent) for President Obama.  Worse, RealClear Politics notes the president’s disapproval rating is nearing 50 percent.

The president should be worried; he should be very worried.  Experts agree that the public’s view of the economy drives their votes on Election Day.  As 2012 nears, 44 percent of Americans view the economy as “getting worse” — the highest percentage in two years, and they blame Obama.  Americans are especially feeling the pinch at the gas pump; 78 percent see inflation getting worse, and 71 percent say gasoline prices are creating a hardship for their family.

To add to the president’s concerns, just 28 percent of Americans now say they will “definitely vote” for his re-election in 2012, compared to a far larger 45 percent who “definitely will not.”  In addition, conservative voters now outnumber liberals (36 percent to 21 percent).  Gardiner notes a number of non-statistical factors that are also not going well for the president.  His speech last week on the budget deficit bombed, and the credit rating agency, Standard and Poor, voted no confidence in the U.S. by downgrading its outlook for U.S. debt from “stable” to “negative.”  Gardiner gave a grim assessment: the White House seems “out of its depth.”  He concluded: “Barack Obama remains wedded to outdated Big Government, high tax solutions to economic problems, but the American people are clearly not impressed.”

Spring Cleaning

Wednesday, April 13th, 2011

“Formspring,” I said, “what’s that?”  It’s the creatively decorated personal page attached to my 16-year-old daughter’s Facebook page that beckons all who are interested to come “share” something about her … anonymously!  Whether they know her from school or have simply seen her photo on a friend’s Facebook newsfeed, “Formspring helps people find out more about each other through sharing interesting & personal responses.”

With ten million responses every day, Formspring encourages users to be creative in sharing insights about themselves so that others may “share” a comment.  It suggests offering things on your page that make your friends smile, like a YouTube video of a song that you like or a video of yourself asking/answering questions.  Then, in response, the “friend” offers a comment.

Sounds harmless, right?  Hardly.  Consider a few posts I found while perusing some random Formspring pages:

  • “I hate this site, everyone says things to my sister; saying she’s weird. It’s not right.”
  • “You’re a _______ _____!”
  • “Why do you wear such ugly eye shadow?”
  • “If you get abused then delete your account. I did and I don’t regret deleting it ‘cause now I can’t get abused.  If they want to abuse me, they will have to say it to my face instead of hiding behind a computer.”
  • “Formspring is gonna cause the suicide of teenagers everywhere.”
  • “It’s stupid to commit suicide if someone is picking on you. Don’t kill yourself, take a bat and beat them with it”
  • “Why are you so ugly?”
  • “If only teachers had Formsprings!”

In my search, and including what I’d already been exposed to in the last year or so, the instances of kindness and compassion on Formspring were rare.  On the contrary, the above comments, as well as countless others, prove Formspring is ripe for all kinds of misbehavior, slander, rage, and cyber-bullying.

“My goodness,” you might say. “Who would expose themselves to this type of grief?”  Over 3.5 million unique visitors every day, spending on average 11.5 minutes, with a total of 20 million accounts.

As Christians, we know why Formspring’s original intent is not being realized.  Although our secular society mistakenly believes that we’re all basically good people, the Bible paints a very different picture.  Jeremiah 17:9 tells us that “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?”

Therefore, offering people an opportunity to “post from the heart” is simply absurd.  Instead, the Bible encourages us to:

  • “See that no one renders evil for evil to anyone, but always pursue what is good both for yourselves and for all.” (1 Thessalonians 5:15)

It also reminds us that:

  • “… men will be lovers of themselves … [being] disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power.  And from such people turn away!” (2 Timothy 3:2-5)

And David said in Psalm 141:4:

  • “Do not incline my heart to any evil thing, to practice wicked works with men who work iniquity; and do not let me eat of their delicacies,” but instead, “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O LORD, my strength and my Redeemer.” (Psalm 19:14)

And, with the Apostle Paul’s admonition in Philippians 4:8 to fix our thoughts on “whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report,” our charge is clear: Keep ourselves from the mind-rot of Formspring and instead focus on that which is good.

While touted as a fun, inspiring place to “share” things about other people, Formspring is simply a free place on your computer to bully, backstab, and hurl insults at hopeful users.  Formspring is not a wellspring of good, but a place of hurt, shame, and betrayal.  We need to encourage our children to steer clear of such fool-headed nonsense.

CWA friend and member Julie Tate is a wife, mother, speaker, and Bible study author/teacher.  Find out more about her ministry at www.julietateministries.com.

The 4.4 Trillion Dollar Man

Thursday, April 7th, 2011

Bionics? Nope. Just good common sense and a calculator.

Washington and the nation are abuzz over Congressman Paul Ryan’s (R-Wisconsin) plan addressing the fiscal crisis and promising to cut $4.4 trillion in a decade.  The Democrats and President Obama have talked and talked about the crisis, offered to cut “millions of dollars” (a miniscule amount compared to the debt and deficit) and their “solutions” have only made the situation worse.  Now a crisis of Armageddon proportions looms just around the corner.  The nation needs someone to take the risk of providing leadership, and Congressman Ryan is stepping up to the challenge.

For years, politicians have paid lip service to the fact that something needs to be done — that something has to be done to preempt the crisis.  The President and Congress bloviated about cutting spending, but the most it ever translated to was just slightly trimming the proposed increases being touted as absolutely essential; nobody was ever willing to actually cut the level of out-of-control spending and certainly not come close to touching entitlements.

Congressman Ryan’s plan wondrously changes the debate in profound ways.  The most obvious new aspect of the debate is that the amount of proposed cuts has jumped from a head-fake of mere millions in cuts to an amount in the trillions with the heft to make a real difference.  Ryan’s formal proposal — a budget resolution for 2012 — reduces the deficit by $4.4 trillion in a decade and cuts spending by more than $6 trillion.  The Ryan plan would cut federal spending to 20 percent of the GDP by 2015.  Even with such drastic budget reductions, the federal budget would not be balanced until 2030.

While his critics wail about draconian cuts — they are large, but only because they return us to the level of spending before Obama took office (hardly a conservative level) and drove spending through the roof — Concerned Women for America (CWA) believes that the crisis can be averted only by reigning in the bloated federal government.  We think that the American people are ready to trust politicians who will be honest with them and talk about the situation in realistic terms about what it is going to take for us to avoid complete financial ruin.  We also believe that our elected officials should be willing to do something, rather than burden our children and grandchildren with a mountain of debt and destroy the financial future of the nation.

CWA applauds Congressman Ryan’s efforts as a firm step in the right direction.  As the Congressman noted, “This is not a budget, this is a cause.”  That cause is to get America to confront the fiscal threat facing the nation before it is too late and motivate Congress to act on ways to get the nation back on a secure financial foundation.

Teen Birth Rates Decrease: Are Real Consequences Having Real Effects?

Thursday, April 7th, 2011

Parents and policy makers happily noted the just-released Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) latest finding that teenage birth rates have significantly declined.  The statistics from 2009, the most recent year for data collection, show that teenage birth rates “were at the lowest levels ever reported in the United States, declining a significant 37 percent over the last two decades.”

According to the CDC report, birth rates for teens aged 15-17 dropped in 31 states during a two-year period, 2007-2009, and rates for older teenagers aged 18-19 also declined a significant amount in 45 states during this same time period.

This 70-year low in teen birth rates raises questions about the reason for such a significant decline –– especially after years of increased birth rates and popular TV shows such as “16 and Pregnant” being the standard for modern adolescent culture.

With an increasingly sexualized culture, fewer and later marriages, and reports about rampant promiscuity, questions about what might be leading to this decrease in teen births are very legitimate.

Answers include speculation about the influence of abortion, the economic recession, and better use of contraceptives.

The decline in teen births is not due to increased abortions.  Actually, the abortion rate in the U.S. is also at record lows — the lowest in more than 30 years.  Just over one in five pregnancies ends in abortion (down from one in four in 2000).  The actual number of abortions has been on a steady decline, having reached their peak in 1990.  In another important indicator of shifting attitudes about abortion, the number of abortion providers has also dropped to under 2,000 (a decrease of more than two percent).

The decline is not due to the recession.  Some suggest that the recession has increased awareness of how much it costs to sustain a family, making teens think twice about their choices.  Research released earlier in the spring by the Pew Research Center found that states hit hardest by the recession experienced the biggest drops in births. Obviously, hard economic times have impact, but sexual activity is typically motivated by emotions and not restrained by fiscal concerns.

The decline is not due to better teen contraception.  Increased use of contraception has also been cited as playing a role in the decrease of teen pregnancies; however significant numbers of sexually-active teens do not use contraception.  The CDC reported that forty-six percent of teens have had sexual intercourse, but 14 percent of girls and 10 percent of boys say that they do not use any type of birth control.

Abstinence and better knowledge about the consequences to too-early sexual activity is a more likely reason for the decline in teen pregnancy.  While “sex-education” proponents and those who benefit financially from teen sexual activity would like to cite other reasons and downplay the influence of more widespread support for the benefits of abstinence and more widespread support for the abstinence message among young people, the data clearly indicate that the abstinence message is getting through to today’s youth.  Our teens are more aware of the variety and prevalence of sexually transmitted diseases, the harms of promiscuity, and the disruption that an unplanned pregnancy brings to a teen’s life — in spite of Planned Parenthood and MTV’s attempts to normalize the consequences and profit from increased teen sexual activity.

Obviously, teens living with the consequences of their over-sexualized environment are realizing the not-so-glamorous truths about the “hook-up” culture.

Foolishness Transcends a Single Day

Friday, April 1st, 2011

Someone say “April fools” … please!  Because what I’ve just been told must be a joke!

Even though each year one-in-four sexually active young people will contract a sexually transmitted disease (STD), the new politically correct way to educate our children on STDs is to consider them nothing more than an infection — a sexually transmitted infection (STI).  Are you kidding me?  We’re so afraid of not being tolerant and of making people feel bad about themselves that we’re willing to de-emphasize the abhorrent nature of an STD by downgrading it to an “infection?”

As the mother of two teenagers being educated by our public school system, I want to rush into the school’s administrative offices and scream “Are you guys crazy?  Why are you once again removing the sacredness of sex by minimizing our children’s fear of contracting a disease via casual sex — a disease that could follow them for the rest of their lives?”

In a generation where more than half of all teens are sexually active by the age of 15, and nearly 1/3 (including preteens) see oral sex as “a fun, bonding thing to do,” why must we tippy-toe around our school’s psychodynamic mindset that stresses freedom, tolerance, and the discovery of our own inner self and passions?  Shouldn’t educators be reminding our teens of the lifelong consequences of a licentious lifestyle, the emotional trauma of engaging in sexual actively at an early age, and the frightening medical consequences of promiscuous behavior?  Instead, they have chosen to downplay the seriousness of STDs by creating the notion in children’s minds that “…it’s just an infection. … I can get medicine for an infection, right?”

While our schools are softening the repercussions of indiscriminate sex, the Bible remains clear on the subject.  As a society:

  • We should instruct our teenagers to “abstain from … sexual immorality,” (Acts 15:20) not lessen the consequences of sexual immorality;
  • We should tell them to “Run from sexual sin! [Because] no other sin so clearly affects the body as this one does,” (1 Corinthians 6:18) instead of dulling their senses to the potential outcomes of sexual indulgence;
  • We should encourage them to cleanse themselves “from everything that can defile [their] body or spirit,” and tell them to “work toward complete holiness because [they] fear God,” (2 Corinthians 7:1) not quietly abate the ramifications of having body and spirit defiled by casual, consistent sexual contact.

Don’t let the world modify your intensity.  Let’s continue to fight against our school’s drive to take the sting out of promiscuity.

Julie Tate is a Concerned Women for America member, wife, mother, speaker, and Bible study teacher.  Visit www.julietateministries.com to learn more.  All Scripture references are from the New Living Translation.

Would Planned Parenthood Lie?

Friday, April 1st, 2011

Pretty Little Liar?

Yep, right on national TV.

In their reach to claim women who would be mercilessly deprived of health care if the government does not fund their multi-million dollar business (and hefty salaries, let’s not forget), Planned Parenthood has overreached.

Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood, said on CNN’s Headline News that “millions of women in this country are going to lose their health care access, not to abortion services, [but] to basic family planning, you know, mammograms. …”

In their minds, no other health providers exist for women than Planned Parenthood.  Yet thousands of other health care providers — who don’t traffic in abortion — offer comprehensive care to women.  They don’t limit themselves to women’s sexual organs, which is Planned Parenthood’s obsession.

But what is really getting Planned Parenthood in trouble is Cecile’s reckless claim of providing mammograms.  This is a shameless attempt to latch onto the widespread fear of breast cancer.  Rarely can you go through a week without reading or seeing something about breast cancer.  Shops collect change for breast cancer research.  Ads on buses promote Race for the Cure.  Football players wear pink cleats.

So, does Planned Parenthood provide mammograms?  The intrepid Live Action crew went to work.  They called Planned Parenthood clinics around the country.  Check out what they learned:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aq0kBkUZbvQ