Sunday, April 08, 2007

He is not here; for He is risen, as He said

Why do we celebrate Easter? Is it because Wal Mart or people in the Blockbuster parking lot tell us we need to buy a bigger Easter basket than we did last year? Is it because we need to appease the Easter Bunny? Is it because Cadbury needs our money? Have you ever wondered why Easter is in a different time each year?

Easter (or more accurately Resurrection Sunday) is a celebration of salvation. The date for Easter is based on the Jewish calendar, which is totally different than ours. Passover falls on the 14th day of Nisan in the Jewish calendar, the feast of unleavened bread begins on the 15th and lasts for seven days. The seventh day is the Feast of Firstfruits. Because Jesus rose from the dead on the Sunday following Passover, the Resurrection is likewise traditionally commemorated on the Sunday following Passover.


Because all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6), because all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23), and because the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23), we cannot come before a holy God because we have no sacrifice that will atone for our sins.


God "made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him" (2 Corinthians 5:21).


We may therefore "come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need" (Hebrews 4:16).


Because Jesus died, he made atonement for our sins (literally, at-one-ment with God). To prove that He has power even over death, He arose from the dead. This means that we too have conquered death through Him, if we allow Him to become the Lord of our lives.

"Now after the Sabbath, as the first day of the week began to dawn, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to see the tomb. And behold, there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone *from the door, and sat on it. His countenance was like lightning, and his clothing as white as snow. And the guards shook for fear of him, and became like dead men.

"But the angel answered and said to the women, 'Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here; for He is risen, as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. And go quickly and tell His disciples that He is risen from the dead, and indeed He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him. Behold, I have told you.'

"So they went out quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to bring His disciples word" (Matthew 28:1-8).

Victory over our flesh on earth and eternal life in heaven. What a great deal! All we must do is come to Him and receive that forgiveness.

Why do we celebrate Easter? Because it is a celebration of our victory over death and an anticipation of eternal life together with Him in heaven.Why Do

Monday, February 26, 2007

New porn study prompts warnings to parents about online dangers

By Allie Martin
February 26, 2007

A study by University of New Hampshire researchers finds that online pornography's threat to children and teens may be more serious than previously thought. In light of the recent study, one Internet security advocate is warning parents that they must be proactive about protecting their children from Internet porn.

According to the study, in a survey of Internet users from ages 10 to 17, some 42 percent said they had seen online pornography in the previous year. And out of that group, 66 percent said their exposure to the pornographic material was unintentional.

Neil Peterson is the director of marketing for Integrity Online, a Mississippi-based Internet filter solution provider. He says it is up to parents to be educated and vigilant about their children's Internet use.

"As these studies find, if you have barriers set in place -- more specifically, filtering mechanisms set in place -- the likelihood of you encountering online pornography, especially by accident, is greatly reduced," Peterson says. But unfortunately, he observes, new technology has created more avenues for porn to reach children, making it tougher than ever to keep pornography out of the hands of young people.

"It's unfortunate, but just like other industries that have a lot of funds driving them, the pornography industry is no different," the Internet security advocate says, "They've really pioneered a lot of the pop-up technology and other technologies that are on the Internet because they have the funds to do so," he contends.

Last year, Integrity Online blocked more than 200 million pornography-laden web pages and e-mails. Peterson advises parents to use filtering software; however, he says they can do more to protect their kids.

"The first thing we always recommend is that you do have a discussion with your children," the Integrity Online official says. "That's the first thing that really nothing else will take the place of," he asserts.

The University of New Hampshire's recent study on pornography exposure among young people is published in the latest issue of the journal Pediatrics, a peer-reviewed publication of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

APA: Sexualization Harms Girls Emotionally


An American Psychological Association report released Monday has announced what many parents have already observed; advertisers promote sexuality to young girls, often to the harm of their emotional and psychological health.

From plummeting necklines to mini-skirts and tight-fitting shirts, young girls - not just teenagers - are being told that sexy is cool. Magazine and television ads and even the dolls on the market too often present girls in provocative clothing or stances, or have adult women posing as girls. The result, according to 300 studies the APA analyzed over the past year-and-a-half, is that pre-teen girls are facing depression, eating disorders, and an overly sexualized view of themselves.

The report was particularly critical of the Bratz dolls, which are marketed to girls ages 5-8. These dolls wear heavy makeup, have pouty, red lips, and often wear immodest clothing.

"The consequences of the sexualization of girls in media today are very real and are likely to be a negative influence on girls' healthy development," said Eileen Zurbriggen, the APA's task force chairman. "As a society, we need to replace all these sexualized images with ones showing girls in positive settings. The goal should be to deliver messages to all adolescents — boys and girls — that lead to healthy sexual development."

Dr Jean Kilbourne, co-author of an upcoming book "So Sexy, So Soon: The Sexualisation Of Childhood", also believes that gender identity and values are being misdirected by sexualized advertising. She sees a direct link between sexual clothing and a high teen sex rate. Dr Kilbourne told The Daily Telegraph: "You see these clothes everywhere, tight T-shirts for little girls saying 'so many boys, so little time', that sort of thing."

The APA's concern is mostly directed toward young females. However, further studies would most likely show that young men are also affected. Not only do ads place in girls' minds the idea that they need to be sexy, but these ads also present to young boys an unhealthy view of what is feminine. Boys' expectations of what girls should wear are probably affected by these ads as well.

Unfortunately, girls may not realize how sexualized their views of femininity have become. Many girls just think that what they are wearing is "cute" and do not realize the homing beacon they have become for sexual predators. They need to know that even men with strong morals can get the wrong message when girls wear sexually-stimulating clothing.

Parents do not need to let their girls be prey for a sexually charged culture. They can avoid buying their daughters provocative clothing or dolls. Beyond these things, however, parents should lovingly foster in their daughters and sons an appreciation for a Biblical view of feminine beauty. Fathers are important in their daughters lives, affirming and loving them and letting them know their value does not depend on looks. Parents should teach their children that modesty demonstrates respect; a respect for the God who created them as unique treasures, a respect for their parents, and a respect for themselves.

A sexualized culture too often presents girls as sex objects. Girls and boys must be taught to respect women as precious people for whom Christ died - and never as objects to be used.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Today I Sat Down And Talked...

Today I sat down and talked with a friend of mine who has been running his own business for about six years. We talked about money. We talked about how he started the business. We talked about my plans. He talked a lot and I listened. He and his wife recommended a few books for me that I plan to read soon. I am inspired to really jump headfirst into this web design thing. I am very passionate about it and I am starting to become pretty good for someone who is a teacher full time and does this as a side thing.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Disney worker charged with child porn

Disney worker charged with child porn

ORLANDO, Fla., Feb. 11 (UPI) -- Police officers from Florida's Orange County Sheriff's Office have arrested a 20-year-old Walt Disney World actor on child pornography charges.

The Orlando Sentinel reported that when police arrested Matthew Wendland, he allegedly appeared unremorseful for his crimes and immediately led deputies to his collection of child pornography.

Sex Crimes Sgt. Rich Mankewich said it appeared that Wendland, an actor who portrays the Beast from "Beauty and the Beast" at Disney World, had no notion what he was doing was wrong.

"He doesn't see the difference between a naked 8-year-old and an 18-year-old woman," Mankewich said regarding Thursday's arrest. "They're just a body to him -- that was his quote."

Mankewich added the police department had no evidence that Wendland engaged in any sexual misconduct while on the job at the famed children's locale.

The Sentinel said that Wendland, who was released Friday on bail, now faces 51 felony counts of child pornography for his pornographic photographs.

Copyright 2007 by United Press International

Saturday, February 10, 2007


Today, I went to All Region Band auditions. I am in the middle of my third year to teach middle school band in the same school district. As a result, I now have a whole bunch of students in band whom I taught as beginners. I love going to these auditions and seeing how the students have progressed in the time since I started them out. Some of them absolutely amaze me.

The clarinet players, for instance. I am not a clarinet player. I can play it, but I took one semester of lessons in college and played it in band for one semester. That is the extent of my clarinet experience. And yet, I can teach them very well. We had sixteen clarinets in the All Region band, and eleven of them were my beginners. Makes me feel like maybe I'm doing something right!

So how do I teach? What does it take to be a good teacher? I plan to begin a series of posts that will address just such a topic.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

PayPal $15 Rebate

MyMoneyBlog reports here that PayPal has a $15 rebate promotion going on. Check it out for more details.

Blog Update

I have slightly changed the layout and added some stuff. There will be some major updates later this evening as well.

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