Archive | September, 2010

Internet Troubles

30 Sep

This morning I read an interesting post about kids and their use of the internet.  It takes a look at the ways that kids and teens are exposing themselves to a sexual world without really realizing the enormity of what they are doing.  I don’t have a daughter or son, but many of my friends do.  The article suggests that parents should place controls, such as “cyber sitters,” on their kids computers and really take more active steps in preventing their kids from making use of the internet for sexually provocative endeavors.  Below is portion of the post by Jen Koop (the link to the full article is at the end).  What do you think about this?

“Our girls need to learn to live in this digital and cyber age safely. But Mom, how are they going to do it if you don’t teach them and monitor them? Yeah, they know more about this stuff than you do, but you knew more about modern things than your mom did, too – and you couldn’t always sneak one by her. Just the fact that your daughter knows you are interested and vigilant will serve to bolster some self control.

Here are some simple things you can do to curb the possibility of cyber indiscretions:

Have access to all computer accounts and passwords (even school email accounts – they are not monitored carefully).  If you find your child on a non-disclosed account, restrict access to the computer… Honestly, she won’t die!  Not to mention, it won’t change her social status at school… If it does, then she was hanging with the wrong crowd anyway, and you have done her a favor that she just might thank you for in under 15 years.

Check your child’s computer history so you can see where she has been.  If your child routinely erases her browsing history, then restrict access – she is going places she knows she shouldn’t.  Did you know that YouTube is an easy access to porn?  Yep, sorry to wreck it for you, but it isn’t just about cute or funny video snip-its.  This site, and ones like it, would be safer to access with parental supervision.

Put a “Cyber-Sitter” on your child’s computer –and on yours for that matter.  You don’t need to view the garbage that is out there anymore than she does.  A great one is called Covenant Eyes.  Go on, give it a google!  It is a Christian based organization that strives to protect you and your children from the yuck lurking out there.

Don’t rely solely on your “Cyber-Sitter!”  This is lazy parenting, and sitters can’t eradicate every creep and creepy thing.

Check out your child’s friends on Facebook, MySpace and other sites.  If they have pictures that are inappropriate, remove them from your child’s friends list.  Better yet, contact that child’s parent and let them know what is being posted.  I bet you 100 bucks they are unaware and would appreciate your help.

Check your child’s phone records and billing statements.  Who is she talking to?  Who is she texting?  What time of day or night is she communicating?  Is she erasing these contacts and messages from her phone?  If so, Mama, it is time to put some limits on the phone.

Call your child’s cell phone service provider and remove any internet capabilities, especially if the provider does not offer “Cyber Sitters.”

Some folks out there will be thinking,  “But that is an invasion of their privacy.”  Really?  What privacy?  Privacy is earned, it is a privilege.  Someone else might be sympathetic to their child’s social standing, and be thinking, “This would be social suicide.”  Mom, it is time to put your daughter’s safety and dignity before her popularity.

I know this all sounds like work.  I know you have limited time, but the investment you make now will reap great dividends later, and you will have no regrets.

So, just one more thing to do…

Pray.  Pray.  Pray. Nothing, and I mean NOTHING, is more important to your daughter’s well being.  Pray that God would put a foul taste in her spiritual mouth when she sees or hears unclean things.  Pray that she would not be able to ignore the conviction of the Holy Spirit, and would only find true rest and satisfaction in Him.  Pray that she will hunger and thirst for the righteousness of God.  Pray that she will leave any insecurities behind that might outweigh what she knows to be right and true.  Pray that she will find her true worth and security in Christ, and that His opinion of her will be all that matters to her.  Pray that when she sins, her heart will be convicted, and will drive her to her knees at the foot of the cross, allowing Him to forgive her, pick her up, dust her off, and set her on a new path free of guilt and shame.  He is able to do all things!

I Timothy 4:12  Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity.

via Cyber Hussies | Christian Women Online.

Hold Fast

29 Sep

Sometimes people feel that there is no hope left for them on this earth.  They feel that they cannot continue on.  A darkness falls on their eyes and they don’t know how or have lost the strength to overcome their troubles and pain.  My friend’s son attempted suicide yesterday.  I don’t know what was going on in his life.  All I know is that he needs prayer.  He needs God’s strength to cover and fill him, to heal his wounds.  I pray for the Lord to put these words in his heart and his mind, “Create in me a clean heart, O Lord, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.” Psalm 51:10

I pray that the darkness that has settled in his heart be washed clean.

I believe in the power of prayer and in the hope that Jesus can offer us.  Please pray for Brice in Arizona.

Jessica

A Tune for Tuesday

28 Sep

Some good songs that I am listening to today:

Sanctus Real, cover of U2 “Beautiful Day”

Sanctus Real, “I’m not alright”

Addison Road, “Hope Now”

Casting Crowns, “Does Anybody Hear Her”

Attitude Adjustment

27 Sep

This weekend it became clear that I had a bad attitude.  A major case of the cup is half empty.  As I thought about things, my mind would focus on negative aspects and outcomes.  An outing that should have been fun, I turned into a disaster because of my attitude.  I was trying to keep my thoughts to myself and not let it be known that I was worrying unnecessarily about trivial things, but when you are around people who know you well it is an impossible feat.  The thing is about a bad attitude is that it is contagious like a virus.  When it takes a hold of one person, it spreads like an uncontrollable outbreak. It’s like your bad attitude needs company and it sets out to ruin everyone else’s attitude too.

I realized that I was always thinking of things that I “should” be doing (which I really didn’t need to be doing or worrying about) and it kept me from being the wife and friend that my husband, family, and friends deserve to have.  A bad attitude can destroy what matters most: relationships.   I see that I need an attitude adjustment; I need to see the cup as half full, to not worry about trivial things, and not whine and complain.

When the Israelites sent out scouts to the Holy Land, those scouts came back to camp to tell the others that they had found a land flowing with milk and honey, an abundant and prosperous land, but they also said “But the people living there are powerful, and their towns are large and fortified. We even saw giants there!” Numbers 13:28

They interpreted what they had seen as negative, they saw an “impossible feat” even though God has promised them otherwise.  The scouts’ bad attitude spread throughout the people and the Israelites cried, complained, and plotted.

There was an exception, though, two of the scouts Caleb and Joshua, had different attitudes, from the beginning they urged the others to not listen to the words of despair from the other scouts. Caleb proclaimed, “Let’s go at once to take the land. We can certainly conquer it!” Numbers 13:30

They trusted in God completely and it showed in their actions.

The others succumbed to bad attitudes that cost them greatly. This display of negativity and distrust in God’s promise to give them the Holy Land is why God had them turn around and go back into the desert that they had walked through as they left Egypt.  They spent 40 more years wandering around that desert because of their reaction to the scouts with negative mindsets.

I don’t want to wander through a desert.

I want to be like Caleb and Joshua; they are examples of people with positive attitudes.  I can’t be the person that God wants me to be with a bad attitude, this story clearly shows that.

What about you; is your cup half full or half empty?

Skin Check

24 Sep

Being a fair skinned, freckled individual living in sunny Hawaii, I often think about how my skin type is the most common to develop skin cancer.  I have had more sunburns than I can remember as we practically lived at the beach growing up.  I try to keep a watch on my skin, so I went to the dermatologist this morning because I have three spots on my right forearm that have been worrying me.  They are a different texture than the rest of my skin and really dry.

Well, turned out they were all pre-cancerous sun damage! The dermatologist also found a spot on the back of my ankle that I had never even noticed.  So, she used nitrogen to burn off the three spots on my arm…ouch!  Apparently when you burn/freeze them off, after the scab falls off normal skin cells will replace the abnormal cells.  The spot on my ankle was a very dark freckle (almost black), so she cut that one off to be biopsied.  I now have to get a skin check either every six months (if the biopsy is abnormal) or every year.

Also, the derm. recommended that I start using a UV umbrella during the daytime because I told her that I only put sunscreen on my face and neck everyday.  I knew that I should wear sunscreen on my arms every day, but I don’t cause I don’t like how it feels.  I think that the new UV umbrellas are a great option since I can just keep it in my bag. I ordered one for about $35, which is actually cheaper in the long run than buying sunscreen all the time.  This is what they look like:

I am so glad that I went in to get a check before it was any worse!

I really recommend checking your skin and keeping an eye out for any changes.  For your back have someone check you or use two mirrors to check.  As a massage therapist I have spotted areas that looked suspicious on clients that they had never even noticed.

This is the ABCDs of skin checks:

The ABCD rule is a guide to the usual signs of skin cancer. Tell your doctor about any spots that match the following description:

A is for ASYMMETRY: One half of a mole or birthmark does not match the other.

B is for BORDER: Normal spots have smooth edges. Cancerous spots may have irregular, ragged, notched, or blurred edges.

C is for COLOR: The color is not the same all over and may include shades of brown or black or sometimes with patches of red, white, or blue.

D is for DIAMETER: Normal spots are about the size of a pencil end-about 1/4 inch- anything larger is worrisome.

E is for Elevated: Having a spot above skin level is another warning sign.

Any change in size, shape or color of a mole or the appearance of a new spot should be check by a doctor.

Some melanomas, the deadliest form of skin cancer, do not fit the ABCD rule described above, so it is very important for you to notice changes in skin markings or new spots on your skin.

Other warning signs are:

·a sore that does not heal

·a new growth

·spread of pigment from the border of a spot to surrounding skin

·redness or a new swelling beyond the border

·change in sensation — itchiness, tenderness, or pain

·change in the surface of a mole — scaliness, oozing, bleeding, or the appearance of a bump or nodule

via The ABCDE’S Of Skin Cancer: How To Spot A Suspicious Mole – Health News Story – WPXI Pittsburgh.

Garden Raid!

23 Sep

Last week Emmanuel and I cleaned up the garden beds and replanted our garden with okra, collard greens, spring lettuce mix, parsley, and tomatoes.  I have been watering the garden every day and the okra and collard greens have been coming up really well.  The others don’t seem to be doing too well though.

Well, this morning I went out to water the garden before leaving for work and the first thing I saw was that the okra had been knocked over!  My first thought was, “The dog! He must have chased after a ball and jumped into the garden.” But when I looked closer two of the little plants had completely disappeared except for a piece of one leave and the third plant was knocked over with its stem halfway gone.  This seemed odd if it was the dog, so I went and looked at the other beds.  The next thing I saw was that the collard greens had been drastically reduced in numbers and that is when I spotted them….slugs!! The little slimy buggers were all just hangin out in the corner of the garden after having their fill of our baby vegetables!

I’m not gonna lie, I got angry at the slugs.  The last time that we had a big eggplant, slugs had started eating our big beautiful eggplants and it brought back my previous hard feelings towards slugs.  I was totally annoyed that I was gonna have to replant and figure out how to keep them from eating more and wait another couple weeks for my veggies to be ready.

But, they were just doing what slugs do.

I did, however, go get the slug pellets and make a border of pellets around each garden bed. Then I got a little shovel and scooped every slug (about 10) out of the garden and into the pellets.  So next time they will eat the pellets and not the plants.  This does mean that their little lives are going to come to an end. But I don’t know how to keep them out without putting some kind of trap for them.

So this afternoon, I will be replanting the garden.  Hopefully they grow well and we get our homegrown veggies soon!

Anybody know of other ways to keep pests out of the garden?

Jessica

From the Inside Out

22 Sep

I realized my heart was bitter,

and I was all torn up inside.

I was so foolish and ignorant-

I must have seemed like a senseless animal to you.

Yet I still belong to you;

you hold my right hand.

You guide me with your counsel,

leading me to a glorious destiny.

Whom have I in heaven but you?

I desire you more than anything on earth.

My health my fail, and my spirit may grow weak,

but God remains the strength of my heart;

he is mine forever. Psalm 73:21-26

I was all torn up inside and God healed me from the inside out.

He took out my heart of stone and replaced it with a heart full of his strength.  I could let go of  myself and fall into him. It is so amazing to feel God’s presence wash over you. To know without a doubt that he is real.  To hear him, feel him, and see him working in and around you.  Some question how you can say that something you can’t see is real and I have asked that same question before.  But the wonderful thing is that if you ask God to show himself to you, to make himself real, he will.  You will be amazed as I was.  It fills you with the desire to be lost in his presence.

Hillsong, “From the Inside Out”

“Your will above all else, your purpose remain. The art of losing myself in bringing you praise.”