Peace begins in the womb
The most dangerous place in the world is not Iraq, Afghanistan, Sudan or the Congo. The most dangerous place in the world these days is the womb. Pre-born babies are being killed in what is supposed to be a haven -- the safest and most secure place around -- at a greater rate than any other section of society.
This coming Sunday, October 2, is International Life Chain Sunday. Life Chains have been held every year since 1987 in the USA and since 1992 in South Africa. Officially, over 440,000 babies have been killed through abortion in South Africa since February 1, 1997 – legally.
The Life Chains will be one of the positive ways that we can stand up for the sanctity of life and speak up for the right to life of pre-born babies. In Cape Town, South Africa, everyone is enjoined to gather at the entrance to the Waterfront in Buitengracht Street, downtown Cape Town at 1:45 pm.
This is one positive and practical why by which those who have been given the chance to be born can "speak up for those who cannot speak up for themselves."
posted by sunnyday at 8:16 AM
Love & affection in Q&A
My first issue of the weekly Q&A column from Marriage Builders came a few days ago. It's an e-column and it's for free, as is the monthly newsletter from the same group. You can easily subscribe by visiting the website. Or you can simply check out the courses, seminars, discussions and other Q&A materials in there. A lot of it can be quite enlightening.
Dr. Harley's reply to last week's Q&A question is four paragraphs long, but I'm posting it in full here as the topic is pretty relevant to many married couples:
The Marriage Builders® Weekly Q&A Column
By Willard F. Harley, Jr. Ph.D.
September 23, 2005
- Affection without Love (Emotional Needs)
Dear Dr. Harley,
My wife needs me to tell her that I love her, verbally and with cards,
notes etc. My problem is I don't feel love for her and I am not
comfortable telling her I love her unless I honestly feel it. There
are a couple of things I can do to show affection like hugs, back rub
etc – should I just concentrate on these things? Even these things are
hard for me to do at this time because I do not feel love for her, but
I have done them because she needs it and raises a LARGE fuss if I
- - - - - - -
Love comes in two forms. The first is the FEELING of love, which is
what I hope you and your wife are able to eventually create in each
other. The second is COMMITMENT of care, which is what affection
communicates. When you express affection to your wife, you are not
telling her you are IN love with her, but rather that you care about
her, and will be there for her when she needs you. So you can honestly
express affection even if you are not in love, as long as you have
chosen to care for her.
But if you have not chosen to care for her, then you are really in
trouble, because it's your willingness to care for each other that
makes it possible to be IN LOVE with each other. Without your care
for each other, you’re very unlikely to meet the needs that will
trigger your feeling of love.
The other point you made was that if you don't show your wife
affection, "she will raise a LARGE fuss." That means she has not
overcome Love Busters. As I mention repeatedly, demands will not help
either of you get into the habit of meeting each other's emotional
needs. The more she demands affection, the more likely it is that you
will develop an aversion to meeting her need. I encourage you to learn
to be an affectionate husband, but not because she will "raise a fuss"
if you don't. In fact, I want her to make a commitment never to demand
affection from you again.
I want you to be an expert at meeting your wife’s need for affection
because that's what it will take for her to be in love with you. And
be sure that she does the same for you by meeting your most important
emotional needs – not because you demand it, but because you both care
for each other. When you have both learned to make each other happy,
you’ll be able to tell your wife that you not only care for her, but
you are also in love with her.
Willard F. Harley, Jr.
posted by sunnyday at 6:42 PM
Look in the mirror
- Confucius, China's most famous teacher, philosopher and political theorist (551-479 B.C.)
posted by sunnyday at 6:36 PM
Becoming Mr. & Mrs. Wonderful
By Karol Ladd
posted by sunnyday at 6:19 PM
Teen ambitions, family dinners and more
So, take your pick.
Don't sell the dinner table -- family meals are making a comeback. There is even a book about their surprising power.
Pornography is becoming so acceptable in Britain that even teenage girls see it as a
career, writes Kira Cochrane.
The London Times
Local activists in four states stop Movie Gallery porn sales
These activists took on Movie Gallery, the nation's reading renter of porn videos. And they
American Family Association Journal
posted by sunnyday at 10:46 AM
'Wanna see a picture?'
My mother has a photo of my dad in her wallet. One of my brothers, I think, carries a few images of his family in his PDA -- some are of him, his wife and son all together, and there's at least one that's a shot of him with his wife.
I believe this is the exception rather than the rule, based on my experience of happily obliging to countless "wanna see a picture of my baby/babies/kids/eldest/youngest?" questions from moms. The invitations range from quietly beaming to giddily gleeful, after which the "oooohh"-ing and "aaaahh"-ing ensues. It's always a delight to see photos of kids; more so to sense the pride and joy in the parents as they talk about even the littlest detail about their toddler's fascination for dinosaurs or their 3rd grader gently shushing his little sister and leading her out of the room "because mama's doing her prayer." Moms sometimes even relate a child's difficulty with adjusting to a new school or a teenage daughter's apparent poor judgment at seeing a guy who was brash and flunking out of school. The disappointment in the moms' voices was apparent, but the love and concern were undeniable.
I wait for the "wanna see a picture of my husband/hubby/very own Richard Gere?" question, ready with my "sure!" It doesn't come, though. Sometimes it does but that is very rare. "Hey, who's that?" I eye a snapshot lodged somewhere else in a former officemate's wallet. "Oh, that's my husband," she nonchalantly replies as if it were some insignificant detail.
I'm aware of the unique bond between mother and child owing to the nine-month connection that pregnancy builds. It is a connection like no other. At the same time, it seems easy to take the marriage bond for granted and so the connection, instead of being strengthened and enhanced, runs the risk of waning (at best) or even breaking (at worst).
I was supposed to write an intro to precede some insightful (and fact-backed) words about marriage and family that I found in a book. I went on and on again! Okay, enough of the intro. Here are the goods:
What are the priorities of a good parent?First, your spouse
A good marriage is the bedrock of good parenting. If the spouses love each other, are prepared to sacrifice for each other and communicate well, their children will absorb their virtues. But, as everyone knows, this demands a daily struggle.
Learn to admire the strengths of your spouse; don’t get fixated on faults. Put your spouse on a pedestal in your child’s eyes; back up the other’s decisions. Couples need to know how to make decisions they are both happy with. They need habits of talking out differing opinions on privileges, punishments, ground rules, etc.
- from Parenting for Character by Andrew Mullins (Finch Publishing, 2005)
posted by sunnyday at 6:28 PM
Just the beat of my own art
In case you haven't been scanning the list of links lately, I've included some art resources. Some of them are blogs (Fox in Socks, Humblearts Journal...); hence, the contents are updated regularly. There are a couple of portfolios and art gallery/shop websites in there (Robert Alejandro, Nuestra Tierra...) which more or less show the kind of work the artist does or the pieces that the shop carries. Others, like Karin Eriksson, not only have links to their blogs somewhere in their websites -- they also provide photos and links to those that inspire their art.
I hope you get to check these out sometime. There's watercolor, ink, oil, ceramics, glass, beadwork, clay and other materials that I'm not even familiar with! You'll find diversity in this list of links, as you'll get to see the work of artists from the Philippines, Sweden, Israel and Mexico (to name a few) represented here.
I don't know about you but when I look at the different artworks in those sites, I'm reminded of the inner richness of humanity and how artistic talent can reflect the richness of that which is around us.
posted by sunnyday at 12:20 AM
Pamela Helton of Auburn, Ind., was telling her daughter, Samantha, about how God created Adam. Pamela told Samantha that Adam had the job of naming every single creature on the face of the earth, and she said how hard it must have been for Adam to come up with so many different names. Samantha asked, "Did Adam name the computer viruses, too?"
Mia Menard's 4-year-old niece went to her grandma's to visit. When her grandmother noticed that she had the stamp of a flower on her hand, Hanah explained, "When you are good in school, the teacher gives you a stamp on your hand." Later when her grandmother was in the kitchen, Hanah rushed in to tell her something special was on TV. When they reached the TV, she said, "Look, Grandma, he must have been a really good boy!" It was Dennis Rodman -- the basketball player who is covered with tattooes!
posted by sunnyday at 8:58 PM
How does a father protect his family?
How does a Father protect his family?
How does a man act to protect his wife and children?
Let's approach this question by first examining a man's masculinity, the distinctive character of any normal adult male.
Men are different from women. They are wired differently, think differently. They have instincts and attitudes and physical strengths that empower them for tough-minded, sacrificial service to those people who count most in their lives, starting with their families.
All the special features of an adult male's personality, developed from boyhood--his muscles, will power, stamina, competitive drive, aggressiveness and assertiveness, mathematical and abstractive powers of mind, love for strategic planning and manipulating physical reality, strong sense of fairness and ethical conduct--all coordinate toward a single great purpose in life: protection.
Nature, it seems, endows men with the physical and mental powers they need to protect their loved ones. The instinct to protect from harm lies at the core of a man's masculinity, and it is an immensely powerful force.
I once witnessed this protective instinct dramatically in action.
Read the rest at ParentLeadership.com
posted by sunnyday at 8:27 PM
Console, comfort, heal
Healer. Protector. What other names does a doctor go by? I can't think of any, but I'm sure there are others that encapsulate the duty of one who has taken an oath which includes recognizing and respecting the sanctity of human life.
"I will give no deadly medicine to any one if asked, nor suggest any such counsel; and in like manner I will not give to a woman a pessary to produce abortion." So it is stated in the Hippocratic oath, which every formally schooled healer takes.
The healer's efforts to save a life may unintentionally result in the loss of another, but always guided with the intent to preserve life, not destroy it.
Comfort, solace, protection, preservation, healing -- the healer provides these in the course of living his vocation. A true healer does not take part in the deliberate destruction of life, and guides others to hold the same respect for life.
posted by sunnyday at 7:23 PM
Inspiration in a lemonade stand
When life threw her lemons, she really made lemonade -- lots of it! Read about Alexandra Scott at The Foundation For a Better Life.
posted by sunnyday at 10:53 AM
Going beyond "Because I said so!"
I wonder how it must have been to instill discipline in children when there was no such thing as going online, when the TV was still unheard of, and when the different facets of life in general weren't so commercialized yet. Teaching sound values to one's kids must have been much easier during pre-MTV days; kids before the advent of the sexual revolution were -- I believe -- more docile to their parents' proddings.
I asked my mother once if there were already parenting seminars in the 1940s and 1950s; her response was an amused "no, we didn't have those things back then." I wonder if there were syndicated newspaper columns on parenting issues back then. When did experts start penning self-help books on the rudiments of successful family life anyway?
Well, the present day is a whole new ballgame. There is a great need for guidance, parents want to raise happy and healthy families (and they want to discuss the issues now), and authorities are sharing their expertise. Dr. Ray Guarendi is one such person -- a clinical psychologist, author, public speaker, radio host and a father of 10 (see one of his Q&A's here). Discipline that lasts a lifetime: The best gift you can give your kids (Servant Books, 2003) is one resource parents can turn to.
Dr. Guarendi also has a Parenting Tips page on his website. Here's a sample:
Dear Dr. Ray,
I know I must discipline my son, Brian. But when I do, I feel guilty, as If I'm doing something wrong. How do I fight parental guilt? ―Feeling bad
Some guilt is part of parenthood. It sure doesn't feel good, but at times it's understandable, maybe even deserved. Your temper ran rampant and you verbally blistered little Sylvester's personality instead of sticking to the issue that he didn't feed the cat. In a frenzy you denied John bathroom privileges for one month because he left his underwear on the towel rack again. After the heat simmers, you usually regret what you said or did and resolve to stay more rational next time. Periodically, this chain of events pulls along must of us. Kids have an uncanny knack for bringing out the childishness in parents.
There is another much more harmful brand of guilt that preys heavily upon parents today. This is the guilt that accompanies discipline―good, fair, loving discipline. It is guilt that wells up even as you are doing what is good for your youngster. It is guilt that is totally undeserved.
Read the rest at his website
posted by sunnyday at 10:38 PM
Daddies & discipline
Another author who discusses the characteristics of strong "successful fathers" is James Stenson. He pinpoints twelve attitudes and/or approaches:
1. Successful fathers have a sense of supporting partnership with the wife.
2. Successful fathers think long-term about their children's future character as grown-up men and women.
3. As a consequence of this vision, they frequently talk with their wife about their children's future character strengths and weaknesses.
4. These fathers frequently discuss things with their children.
5. Such fathers listen to their children well.
6. Successful fathers keep television watching to a minimum.
7. Successful fathers see discipline, not as a punishment or mere behavior control, but rather, a means to building the children's self-control.
8. Related to this, successful fathers are confident of their authority.
Personally, the word "discipline" still conjures in my mind images of stern-looking figures, ruler in hand...or the act of spanking, or any of those negative pictures of being punished -- as this is the way the concept of discipline has been portrayed in media over the years. Thanks to family counselors, parenting experts and other authorities on child-rearing, parents and guardians are learning more about the whole scope of discipline.
posted by sunnyday at 9:49 PM
Talking to your kids about Katrina
The devastation wrought by Hurricane Katrina surely represents the greatest domestic natural disaster that our children have ever experienced. As with all horrors, the media often carries images that can upset children and create anxiety. Here are a few guidelines for managing the media in your home:
First, reassure your children that they are safe. Tell your kids hurricanes are part of nature but are also somewhat predictable in their paths. For older kids, you can use this as a catalyzing opportunity to help them turn a passive viewing experience into a catalyzing one where they funnel the emotions from some disturbing media images into positive action by helping to raise money through local organizations.
Keep the news away from kids under seven. Turn off the TV and radio news at the top of the hour and half hour. Read the newspaper out of range of young eyes that can be frightened by the pictures. Children of this age don’t need to see or hear about something that will only scare them silly. Should you choose to discuss the tragedy with your kids, try to anticipate their questions and come up with honest but age- appropriate answers.
For kids 8-10, make sure you know what images they are seeing on the Internet. Many kids at this age are online now. Some of the pictures are simply grisly. Again, reassure the more anxious kids that they are perfectly safe where they are. You might find that your kids this age will experience some desire to help out those in need. You might want to call some local Red Cross or Salvation Army chapters to see if there are ways they recommend for kids to raise relief money.
For 11-13 year olds, you might want to put the devastation in social context. This may be the first time many kids will be exposed to graphic images of the consequences of the widespread poverty that afflicts so many in this country. You might explain many people didn’t leave their homes because they couldn’t afford to, not because they didn’t want to.
For kids age 8 and up to learn more about hurricanes (know the history, play games, get instructions on making a family disaster kit etc.), go here
posted by sunnyday at 9:57 PM
The attraction of the feminine genius
The New Feminism
Radical feminist propaganda cannot compete with the truth about the genius of woman
By Colleen Carol Campbell
America's radical feminists have a long list of worries these days. In addition to fretting about pro-life politicians, conservative judges and moral values voters, the aging vanguard of the abortion-rights movement is on the losing end of a generation gap.
Leaders of such groups as the National Organization for Women (NOW) and NARAL Pro-Choice America are concerned about statistics showing that today's young women are more pro-life than their middle-aged counterparts and far less likely to identify themselves as feminists.
Full story at EPPC
posted by sunnyday at 9:02 PM
Ready, set, grow
"I'm going to be a mom..." I recall a friend of mine confiding in me several years ago. About two months pregnant at the time, she was anticipating the changes to happen in her lifestyle, her priorities and (of course) her figure.
She was anticipating the day that her baby would be born -- when she would "finally be a mom." Little did she know that motherhood didn't really start after delivery, for she was already nurturing the new life inside her. Essentially, in taking the 9-month journey with her baby, motherhood had already begun. The mom was simply equipping the little one to get ready for life outside the womb.
See the different stages of this 9-month journey here
Photo from A Child is Born by Lennart Nilsson
4 months old, 16 cm (about 6 1/2 inches) long. When the feet and toes are partially developed, it is the leg's turn to grow. The spiral shape of the umbilical cord is caused by the fact that the two arteries and the vein are longer than the sheath in which they are contained -- an ingenious safety device for lively fetuses!
posted by sunnyday at 5:19 PM
Of silver hair and walking canes
"Resolve to be tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant with the weak and wrong. Sometime in your life you will have been all of these."
- Dr. Robert H. Goddard
Whether you're a grandparent or a grandchild, it's worthy to know that National Grandparents' Day in the United States falls on Sept. 11 this year. Though most people will no doubt be reminded of what transpired on that date in 2001, keep in mind the other occasion marked for those in their golden years. What we can do? The Nat'l Grandparents Day site contains suggested activities, one of which is storytelling time -- which is always interesting because knowing about "the good ol' days" from someone who actually experienced them is much more interesting than getting the lowdown from a history book. And grandparents have loads to tell about that!
posted by sunnyday at 11:35 AM
Childhood in black and white
There's a line in the 1986 movie Stand by Me about "never having friends like the ones you have when you're young." This came to mind recently while I was going through old photos from my childhood and found a faded black and white snapshot of my 8-year-old self with an arm around my first best friend, Robbie. He lived across the street from me and we were best buds until my family moved to another town the same year that picture was taken. Through the years I'd see him every now and then. The last time was when he was pitching a baseball game for UC Irvine, where he'd earned an athletic scholarship.
Seeing this photo made me remember the simplicity of those times, at least to an eight-year-old. It was the late '60s... We didn't know there was a war, and protesters, and hippies. Our lives revolved around kickball, Big Wheels, and Winky Dink and You. We climbed trees, built forts out of cardboard boxes, and roamed our little neighborhood safe in the knowledge that in almost every home was a stay-at-home mom who could keep an eye on us from her kitchen window, and scold us when we acted up. Life was pretty good back then.
Read the rest at SanDiegoReader.com
posted by sunnyday at 9:36 AM
Another charming countdown
Here's a sample of a birthday ticker you can make for your kids, from Lilypie.com. There are also tickers for expecting a baby, bringing baby home and other special occasions in the family; weddings and wedding anniversaries are among the choices, too, along with countdowns till your next vacation (you can find those at daisypath.com).
posted by sunnyday at 12:13 PM
Love & laughter
- Donald Zochert
posted by sunnyday at 12:02 PM
No need for 'sorry' this time
|Written by Carolyn Moynihan|
| Friday, 02 September 2005 |
| Doctors are getting better at telling parents their baby has Down syndrome. According to research by a Harvard medical student, they need to. |
Down syndrome is one of the better known disabilities, although there was a time when people with the condition who survived childhood tended to be hidden away in institutions.
Today things are different. People with Down (named after the doctor who first described the syndrome) are on the up: they go to ordinary schools and to special Olympics; they star in films and photographic exhibitions; they even provide the waiting staff of a pizza restaurant in Rome.
The quirk of nature that produces the syndrome happens at conception, when an extra copy of the 21st chromosome is made – giving three per cell instead of two. In the United States it is estimated that one in every 800 to 1000 births – around 5000 a year – is to an infant with trisomy 21. This affects both mental and physical development, but early intervention programs of physical, speech and occupational therapy are overcoming these disabilities to a remarkable degree.
Full story at MercatorNet
posted by sunnyday at 12:06 AM
BeNotAfraid.net is on its second month of featuring Down Syndrome in every area of its website (Aug. & Sept. are devoted to this topic). There are stories and resources on the pre-natal diagnosis of DS, and under "Community" are discussions that anyone is free to take part in.
The following is just one of the stories found in the site.
Aubrey Anne: Our Ray of Sunshine
I will never forget the night I found out I was pregnant with Aubrey. I was at work and I started feeling very queasy. I work in a hospital and knew pregnancy was a possibility so I had the lab run a blood test. I was so excited when it came back positive.
It was close to but we called friends from work and woke them up. It was one big party. Everyone was hugging me and we were all laughing. It was such a joyous time. I came home and told my husband and children and more celebrating was done. How I wish that I could go back to those times of joy.
Things went fairly well with my pregnancy. I had morning sickness-well actually, morning, and night sickness, but I thought that meant that my hormone levels were high and that things were ok. I had also read that it was a sign that you were having a girl which was wonderful to me. I really wanted my daughter Marissa to have a sister.
posted by sunnyday at 11:58 PM
helping hurricane victims
Read the details at Been There
posted by sunnyday at 5:51 PM
In search of heroes
This is the one I found today -- JOSHUA HELDRETH.
Disheartening headlines had been getting to me lately, more than I'd like them to. And I'm not referring to news about Katrina, the devastation it has caused, earthquakes in our Asian neighbors, or other disasters of that sort (I'm talking about events that are not beyond our control, such as school rulings on the 5-time-use-of-the-f-word-per-day limit and a reality TV show on sperm donors).
Then the sun shone on my horizon again. Yesterday my spirits perked up upon reading a positive and somewhat amusing piece of news regarding "fashion and passion" -- and cheerleading. Then a few minutes ago, I checked my email. Never has a news update (in the last several months, at least) given me such hope and reassurance. It's about a 10-year-old boy named Joshua Heldreth. Who is he? Read on.
TAMPA BAY, August 31, 2005 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Ten year-old Joshua Heldreth, the eldest of eight children, was arrested on Good Friday of this year for trespassing while attempting to bring a drink of water to Miss Terri Schaivo. Days later Schiavo died of intentional dehydration. In court Joshua pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 25 hours of community service and ordered to write an apology for his actions.
The boy whose arrest photo was splashed on front pages of newspapers across the nation wrote in his apology letter, "I was arrested on Good Friday for trespassing on the hospice center's property . . . Not giving Mrs. Shiavo (sic) food or water was wrong. The reason I had to go on your property was because Jesus would do the same thing. It made me sad that she was so thirsty and it made Jesus sad too. I knew she would die without water and I am called by Jesus to be a defender of the defenceless. So I had to go on your property to try to bring her a drink."
Joshua added, "I am sorry that you didn't like that and wouldn't allow me to help save her life and one day you will have to tell God why. I won't be able to help you then like I tried to help her. I will pray for you every day . . ."
LifeSiteNews.com caught up with Joshua's father Scott Heldreth today. Scott told LifeSiteNews.com he is very proud of his son. "My son has amazed me through this whole thing," said Heldreth. The proud father said it was his son's own initiative to attempt to give the starving woman a glass of water, and despite the warning of his parents that he'd be arrested, the boy insisted. "He was the one who begged us to go down, because he wanted to give her a glass of water . . . We explained that police will never let you help . . . you'll be arrested, but he went anyways."
Pro-life leader Rev. Flip Benham of Operation Save America told LifeSiteNews.com that the whole pro-life movement shares Heldreth's pride in his son. Benham recalls the reaction of Heldreth on Good Friday as he watched his son being arrested: "When that all took place Scott was weeping, this father was weeping tears of joy seeing his son not only talk the Christian talk but walk the walk."
While the apology letter has been submitted, Heldreth told LifeSiteNews.com he's not completely sure it will be accepted.
posted by sunnyday at 9:28 AM