Tho’ts on Boys

Just the other night Shirley and I watched a TV show describing the influence Jewish lyricists and librettists have had on American musical theater.  Much of their work reflected their heritage as part of an oppressed people — outsiders, maligned for no offense other than their ethnicity.  One example which really resonated with me involved the musicals of  Richard Rodgers (1902–1979) and Oscar Hammerstein II (1895–1960), a hugely influential, innovative and successful American writing team, usually referred to as Rodgers and Hammerstein.    I was especially touched by the song “You’ve Got to be Carefully Taught”  (see lyrics below) sung by Lt. Cable in the musical South Pacific, and how it applies to boys growing up.  The musical song was directed against racial prejudice but I’m thinking how the principle applies to so many more areas of life and how sad it is that many young men have no father available to “carefully” teach them how to be men of integrity, courage, and of noble character.  Praise God that He is available as the Heavenly Father to carefully instruct us through His Word.

There are tons of articles, books, blog posts, research studies, etc., describing the plight of young men in a society which doesn’t seen to understand how to deal with masculinity and more often as not permits them to be portrayed in the popular media as no more than moronic boobs; fair targets for ridicule and  derision.  And, indeed, because we haven’t been carefully taught we all too frequently deserve stereotype.  Continue reading

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If you could push the pause button

[Do you like "what if" questions or do they simply annoy you. I just came across the following "prayer" by Cappy Hall Rearick. It contains a "what if" vision that fascinates me and really makes me sad that I don't have the power to simply push a button and put war on hold. I hope you enjoy it. The piece appears on several internet sites. One which appears in a different format than the one below is at: worldprayers.org.  Ms Rearick blogs at: simplycappy.blogspot.com RMF]

Cappie Hall RearickCappy Hall Rearick

We Interrupt This War

by Cappy Hall Rearick

Screen Shot 2014-08-23 at 2.37.45 PM

We interrupt this war for doctors to heal, teachers to teach, and students to learn. We interrupt this war to marvel at sunsets, listen to music, and to laugh. We interrupt this war for poets to rhyme, sculptors to chisel, and writers to paint pictures with words. We interrupt this war to plant tomatoes, mow the grass, and to smell the roses. We interrupt this war to feed the hungry, build new schools, and to stamp out ignorance. We interrupt this war to clean up the air, save the whales and to find a cure for cancer. We interrupt this war to rebuild New Orleans, tickle babies and for world peace. We interrupt this war for PTA meetings, band concerts, and high school graduations. We interrupt this war for Girl Scout Cookies, church bake sales, and the Special Olympics. We interrupt this war for Disneyland, the World Series, and the Super Bowl. We interrupt this war for Halloween candy, Thanksgiving Turkey, and 4th of July fireworks. We interrupt this war for Hanukkah, Christmas and Kwanza. We interrupt this war to bring sons, daughters, sisters and brothers home. We interrupt this war to hear a message from Our Sponsor: THOU SHALT NOT KILL.

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UK social policies undermine work and family while rewarding hedonism and sloth

ronfurg:

[How do you see the following article? Is it true? Is what is reported regarding the UK representative of what what is happening or has happened in the US? Where will it all end if the (alleged) trend continues?Where does the Christian faith and the love, compassion and mercy of the Savior fit into all this?  RMF]

Originally posted on Wintery Knight:

Dina tweeted this article by Jill Kirby from the UK Daily Mail, which helps to show how government can punish good behavior, and reward destructive behavior – simply by transferring wealth.

Look:

Over recent decades, the British state has been engaged in a huge social experiment in which traditional family structures and moral values have been deliberately undermined by official policy.

In the name of progress, hard work and self-reliance have been punished through excessive taxation, while irresponsibility and idleness have been rewarded through unconditional welfare payments.

The destructive consequences of this approach are now becoming ever more apparent.

Britain now has a huge underclass of benefit-dependent, dysfunctional families who know far more about crime, drugs and alcohol than the world of work. Figures published yesterday revealed there are half a million problem households who, in total, cost taxpayers more than £30 billion a year through the colossal burden they…

View original 424 more words

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Principles of the New Sexual Morality

[The following is an article by Alastair Roberts that I discovered on The Gospel Coalition Blog.  As one who spends a fair amount of time grumbling about the crumbling of decency and morality in our culture and the downward spiral toward a godless society this article gave me a chance to review my thinking in the area of sexual expression and behaviors.  I must confess that I have subscribed to both the "rejection of morality (amorality)" and the "slippery slope" views in the past.  That being said, this is a thoughtful analysis worth serious consideration.  The article appeared at: The Gospel Coalition.org as Five Principles of the New Sexual Morality. If you go to the article as it appeared at The Gospel Coalition you can check out some useful comments and links to other articles bearing on this issue. The article which appeared at the outhor's own website: Alastair's Adversaria is titled Five Principles of the New Sexual and Relational Morality.  That version of the article contains a chart which summarizes the research findings discussed in the article.  RMF]

The Gospel Coalition

The Gospel Coalition

 Alastair RobertsAlastair Roberts

The sociologist Mark Regnerus recently published a piece for the Witherington Institute’s Public Discourse, suggesting that support for same-sex marriage in some Christian circles correlates to broader shifts in morality surrounding sexuality and relations. Survey respondents were asked to declare their level of agreement with seven statements relating to the issues of pornography, cohabitation, no-strings-attached sex, the duty of staying in a marriage, extramarital sex, polyamorous relationships, and abortion. The results illustrated pronounced fault lines between those committed to historic Christian stances on sexual morality and supporters of same-sex marriage. Continue reading

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Cynicism

[I bet you have never read an article about cynicism.  And that is interesting because we live in a society which abounds in cynicism.  It is everywhere and if we're honest, that includes within us.  Reading the following article by Jonathan Storment brought to mind the 1 Cor. 13:7 passage which reminds us that love: always protects, always trusts, always hopes, and always perseveres. I read this to include the fact that love always gives the benefit of the doubt and always thinks the best of. The Amplified Bible says: ... is ever ready to believe the best of every person.  This article appeared first at Patheos.com as: The Giant Hole in Cynicism. RMF]

The Giant Hole in Cynicism

Patheos BannerJonathan StormentJonathan Storment

[There is] a radical difference between cynicism and joy. Cynics seek darkness wherever they go. They point always to approaching dangers, impure motives, and hidden schemes. They call trust naive, care romantic, and forgiveness sentimental…They consider themselves realists who see reality for what it truly is and who are not deceived by “escapist emotions.” But in belittling God’s joy, their darkness only calls forth more darkness. —Henri Nouwen

“All is well, all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.” –St. Julian of Norwich

One of the shepherds at the church I serve is a man named John Willis. He is a renowned Old Testament scholar, professor, churchman, and friend. He and his wife Evelyn are two of the best people I know. They are in their 80’s and right now they are in New Zealand teaching a short course and continuing their tradition of handing out cookies to every student. John and Evelyn Willis do not do what they do for money or power. They do it because of who they are, and who God has made them into. Continue reading

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Make your bed – life lessons from SEAL training

U.S. Navy admiral and University of Texas, Austin, alumnus William H. McRaven returned to his alma mater last week to give seniors 10 lessons from basic SEAL training when he spoke at the school’s commencement.  Admiral McRaven is commander of the U.S. Special Operations Command who organized the raid that killed Osama bin Laden.  The ten life lessons gleaned from his SEAL training are at once simple and profound.   Here’s the video of the full speech with the transcript below.  RMF

ImageAdmiral William McRaven

Admiral McRaven’s 10 lessons from his years of experience as a U.S. Navy SEAL

I have been a Navy SEAL for 36 years. But it all began when I left UT for Basic SEAL training in Coronado, California.

Basic SEAL training is six months of long torturous runs in the soft sand, midnight swims in the cold water off San Diego, obstacles courses, unending calisthenics, days wihout sleep and always being cold, wet and miserable.

It is six months of being constantly harassed by professionally trained warriors who seek to find the weak of mind and body and eliminate them from ever becoming a Navy SEAL.

But, the training also seeks to find those students who can lead in an environment of constant stress, chaos, failure and hardships.

To me basic SEAL training was a life time of challenges crammed into six months.

So, here are the ten lesson’s I learned from basic SEAL training that hopefully will be of value to you as you move forward in life. Continue reading

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Truth seeps out

The following is an article by Matt Walker, who writes for Battle for Truth. I appreciate Walker’s observation that within comments which were intended to convey a different message, a powerful message, paradoxically as Walker points out, has emerged.  The Battle for Truth article can be found HERE.   RMF

ImageImageMatt Walker

The Paradox of Emily Letts’ “Positive Abortion Story”

by Matt Walker

In recent weeks the story of Emily Letts’ abortion video, which was produced with the intention of relieving people of their moral guilt after choosing abortion, has gone viral.

Letts is an abortion counselor at Cherry Hill Women’s Center in New Jersey, which is where she had her abortion. After her abortion video won the “Abortion Care Network’s Stigma Busting” video contest, it spread to news outlets nationwide.

In an interview with Cosmopolitan Magazine’s Heather Wood Rudulph, Letts was asked why she filmed her abortion.

“I searched the Internet, and I couldn’t find a video of an actual surgical procedure in the clinic that focused on the woman’s experience. We talk about abortion so much and yet no one really knows what it actually looks like,” Letts said. “I could have taken the pill, but I wanted to do the one that women were most afraid of. I wanted to show it wasn’t scary – that there is such a thing as a positive abortion story.” She goes on to say that her abortion was the right thing to do because it was right for her. Continue reading

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