Christian living- dealing with one 'oops' at a time…

Archive for the ‘Controversies’ Category

How should we react to Dana Coverstone’s Dreams?

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Hi Again!
So I have been watching the responses to Dana Coverstone’s dreams and I am seeing two main problems.
One: The call to arm ourselves and stockpile food.
This in and of itself is not bad. It is good to be prepared. BUT, to be more godly we need to be thinking about protecting and feeding our neighbors as well. Only providing for oneself is a bit limited and selfish. We may need to ban together in our communities and this will involve co-operation from all who are involved.
Two: The call to prayer.
This again is a good thing. We should pray. BUT only a few of us are called to be just prayer warriors who spend hours in their prayer closets praying fervently. If this is your calling, please do not neglect it. I have seen this portion of the body of Christ do mighty things. BUT most of us are called to DO as well. The book of James tells us that faith without works is dead. If you are called to DO, then this is not the time to be timid and neglect that calling. Be bold and courageous because things are getting heated and we need to calm them down!
Again I am going to remind you to do everything in love. We all know we have people amongst us that either like to belittle others or merely do not know how bad they sound when they say things. We really need to stop others from fanning the flames, even if the people are well-intentioned and do not realize what they are doing. This is also not the time for us to be putting down other’s ministries or other types of infighting that we commonly do. We need to come together and help our country heal.
Further, when this is over, there are places in our country where people do not have access to clean water. I know we have people in our Christian community who have experience putting wells and other sustainable water sources into other countries. Let’s look at Flint, Michigan and the Navajo nation in NM/AZ and figure out how to cut through the red tape and get water to people in our country as well!
This prophecy should empower us to do what is right and good and cause us to come together in unity and love. When times are tough we don’t run and hide, we stand and help. Let us be the body that Christ has called us to be and help our nation get through this time with love and compassion, caring for everyone we can!

How To Find Unbiased News

I have been asked where I get my news from, since I seem to have access to information that others do not. People want me to give them one website, but the truth is that there really isn’t one, so here’s what I do….

Using Face Book:
1. Search for news from other countries. Type in the country name followed by the word news. For example, type into the search bar Japan news. Look at the pages that come up and decide which ones you want to see on your feed, then move onto a different country. By using this method you will see news from many different perspectives. Will it be biased? Sure. But having more than one perspective presented to you will help you figure out what is actually going on!

2. Search for newsfeeds from the embassies. Type in the country name then the word embassy. You may even find a FB page by the ambassador. This will give you yet another perspective of what is happening globally.

3. For local news, follow your elected officials’ FB page. Whether you like them or not, it is helpful to know what they are up to!

4. For national news, find newspaper pages from other states. Try small towns as well as the big cities. Right now Western NY is really upset over Governor Cuomo’s order that ventilators may be removed from upstate NY to help in NYC. This is a perspective you will not here from news sources only based in NYC!

5. Also follow government leaders’ pages from other states, as well as from other nations. Almost everyone has an FB page, and since there are so many English speakers in the world, many countries that do not speak English still invest in a social media page for their leaders that is in English.

6. Follow pages regarding topics you are interested in from leaders in the field. Choose ones that seem objective and not only ones that agree with your position. It is important to hear the other side’s argument if you are going to make an informed decision. For example, during the COVID 19 pandemic you may want to follow the World Health Organization, the CDC, the AMA, some research labs who are working on the issues, as well as news sources from major and local hospitals. There are also pages by doctors who discuss current events in medicine such as ZDoggMD (aka Doc Vader) and Kevin MD. If you are employed in a certain field, there are also pages dedicated to it. If you are interested in conservation, the zoos and other organizations have FB pages. There are also pages dedicated to hobbies and other special interests.

7. Look at the titles of the shared pages you come across that you find interesting and like the page they come from to broaden your perspective even further. This is how you find the more obscure pages, which often have great, but local, information. I have more knowledge of Russia and New Zealand than I ever thought I would because of the pages I found interesting!

8. If you meet friends from other countries, follow them on FB as well. You can always ask what they think about international news, and they will typically post things about their country as well.

9. Feel free to unlike a page. Many of the news sources I began with were either fluff or so filled with propaganda they were useless. This is okay. I got rid of those and found others along the way.

10. Share with friends so they know what is going on as well. Be discriminating, not everything needs to be shared, but when it is good and interesting, share away. I do this better face to face than on FB, as I do not enjoy FB wars when someone does not agree with something and feels the need to become emotional about it, so you will have to determine the level you are comfortable sharing as well.

11. There are also translated novels from other countries as well as music with English subtitles etc. on the internet. A great way to learn about another culture is to immerse yourself in its entertainment. Right now my children have me reading translated Chinese novels, which are pretty good!

12. If you do not want your face book page overrun with news, but would like to do this, set up a second page just for this. That way you will still see all of your friends’ posts and be able to switch over to news any time you would like. You can use the same method on Twitter, but Twitter has changed and is prioritizing more popular posts as well as showing more and more suggested posts, which is keeping the more obscure things I like to look at from being easily viewed…. (In the research world, PubMed is using a similar algorithm. My pet peeve is that we are homogenizing what people see, so that everyone will think we are all on the same page, when actually many are not!)

Hopefully this will help you have a more balanced view of the world, and will keep the media more accountable. When the Boston Bombing occurred, I had people from Boston who were there posting, and knew things before our local media aired them, including people giving away their coats and water to the racers who could not make it to the finish line and people turning off their wifi passwords so everyone could get messages to loved ones, which made me proud to be an American. When Ukraine went through their civil war, average people were posting, and others were sharing, until the government turned off their internet. There is also the cutest video of President Trump’s granddaughter singing in Mandarin for the Chinese president, whom she calls ‘grandfather.’ While we may not have the best relationship with China, little Arabella has its president wrapped around her little finger, and the Chinese internet has nicknamed her the goodwill ambassador! And we all need some cute, wholesome news every once in a while….

Why There Will Never Be Income Equality


photo by Matija Barrett

One of my USSR immigrant patients informed me that ‘equality’ only works until people realize they get paid the same for tiny potatoes as they do for big ones.

This is how I explain it to my children (remember there are 7 of them, so we have a variety of personalities…).

If I gave $100.00 to each of you every week, what would happen?

A few of you would spend it right away, and still have nothing at the end of the week. You would be complaining that you had no money for whatever you needed and would ask for more.

A few of you would not spend anything, or maybe $5 here and there for the barest neccessities (Ramen Noodles) and have a huge amount saved up at the end of the year.

And some of you would budget wisely, spend enough to meet your needs and a few wants, and save a little as well. (This is probably the happiest way to live…)

The people who spent it all on the first day would be mad that their brother who usually did not spend a dime (we know who this is in our house) had so much- it would be ‘unfair’ and he was ‘lucky.’ In their childishness they would not see how many times he sat there without a soda or other ‘extra’ while they splurged.

The people who saved would see the ones who splurged as ‘stupid’ and ‘careless’ and perhaps even label those who spent some and saved some in the same way, saying, ‘If you had been like me, you would have all this right now,’ not realizing that money is a tool, and, if used wisely, makes life more enjoyable.

Life is not fair- we all know this. But many times it is not merely what we were given, but how we use it, that determines how much we have and whether or not we enjoy ourselves.

Another life lesson that has been repeated to me by some great Bible teachers is that you cannot give what you do not have. Generosity, which is not only the giving of money, but the giving of time as well, cannot be practiced if you have neither. Working hard enough, and obtaining skills so you are paid well enough so you don’t have to work all day, is important for a balanced life. There may be sacrifices at first, but there needs to be a path and a plan to a life you will find comfortable enough to be generous as well.

Why I Am Not in Favor of the Common Core


As you know, if you have been reading my posts, we adopted three children who were already in school, but definitely not learning. We decided, after trying public, private and supplemental tutoring that home schooling worked the best for us. Why? Because individual attention, when a student is behind, trumps any other form of education. The student needs to back up and learn at their own pace, which is sometimes painfully slow.

Thanks to ‘no child left behind’ my third grade daughter, who did not know her letter sounds and was still counting beans in math, received straight As. (No kidding.) When I asked why, the teacher patted her on the head and told me that children like her (with emotional issues) needed to see those grades for their own self-esteem. Those grades did not help her ‘self-esteem.’ Even though she was doing poorly in school, she was smart enough to know her report card was a joke. Any incentive grades could have made in her learning was now gone. (And she was competitive with her brothers who received ‘real’ grades on their report cards.)

Any national standard will leave children like mine behind. The teacher will need to keep the children on pace with the curriculum and it will be a disincentive to slow down when the children are struggling, and at times whole classes struggle. A friend of mine called me frustrated because he had a class of third graders that did not have their sight-words (the, did, for, run- things you should be able to spell automatically without sounding out) memorized yet. He had to go back and teach the basics before they moved on. This meant that this class would not finish where previous classes had, but they needed the basics. To try to stay on track would have resulted in them being even further behind.

Where we live today the high school students can pass a class titled ‘Algebra,’ but since the math teacher needs to catch them up they may not learn as much as the children who were surrounded by students more motivated to learn. The problem is the children, and their parents think they learned, and succeeded in Algebra. When the child gets to college and fails in math, they will not understand why, and likely be frustrated enough to quit. Common standards will only result in more of this, not less, as schools will have to look like they are following the standard. It is better for a child to succeed at a lower level, knowing that they know what they know then to believe they have achieved and have skills when they do not.

Further, every community has its own flavor and needs. America should be diverse. One community may wish to focus on farming, since that it what they do, while another is overjoyed there is a CAD lab in their school. Let’s let us be unique. One of America’s greatest assets is her diversity.  Let’s not put anything in place to stifle this.

Common Core stands to lessen the overall knowledge of our country since everyone will have studied similar things. Someone should know Shakespeare well, while others studied Van Gogh. There should be a place where computer scientists thrive (like Silicon Valley) without the future farmers wondering why there is all of this programming stuff in their curriculum. (True farms benefit from some computing, but not the level the parents of Silicon Valley employees, or their children who have grown up thinking in C, would enjoy.) Having everyone learn a little of everything makes no one an expert in anything. Further there is bound to be some great stuff that is left out, or an agenda that begins to permeate our country that exists without critical evaluation because it was introduced at a young age and no one is taught to question it. (And everything should be questioned. I once took a course proving that Calculus exists. How many people have just taken it for granted that it does? We need a few people here and there that know why and how it works, rather than just doing it to get the answer right on the paper… but, as most successful adults can tell you, we do not need many of these people, because most of us who have taken Calculus have never used it again in our adult lives. The point: All knowledge is good, but not everyone needs the same knowledge.) Let us keep our diversity and find a different way to ensure than all children learn.

Photo by Matija Barrett

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