The driver of tomorrow is not thinking Green...

The driver of tomorrow is not thinking Green...
He's thinking Classic. (click on photo)


Nov 30, 2009

Would Jesus Play The Beatles: Rock Band?

No seriously, would Jesus play The Beatles: Rock Band?

Tell me this question gets you thinking, or at least pondering this concept. As you know, this video game has taken the world by storm, outsold Guitar Hero 5, and thousands, if not millions, of teens are being introduced to the Beatles magic that stormed the world the first time nearly 50 years ago!

To recap, 4 mop-topped lads from Liverpool, England, put a little garage band together and within a few years, were the first group in history to play in sold-out stadiums around the world. John, Paul, George and Ringo became household names and to this day, we can see the continued ripple effects from the incredible splash The Beatles made when your parents were infants.

Yes, I think Jesus would play The Beatles: Rock Band and here’s why:

There was a wedding celebration in the village of Cana in Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there and Jesus and his disciples were also invited to the celebration. The wine supply ran out during the festivities, so Jesus’ mother told him, “They have no more wine.”

“Dear woman, that’s not our problem,” Jesus replied. “My time has not yet come.”

But his mother told the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.”

Standing nearby were six stone water jars, used for Jewish ceremonial washing. Each could hold 20-30 gallons. Jesus told the servants, “Fill the jars with water.” When the jars had been filled, he said, “Now dip some out, and take it to the master of ceremonies.” So the servants followed his instructions.

When the master of ceremonies tasted the water that was now wine, not knowing where it had come from (though, of course, the servants knew), he called the bridegroom over. “A host always serves the best wine first,” he said. “Then, when everyone has had a lot to drink, he brings out the less expensive wine. But you have kept the best until now!”

This miraculous sign at Cana in Galilee was the first time Jesus revealed his glory. And his disciples believed in Him (John 2:1-11, NLT).

This was the first miracle Jesus performed and it revolved around keeping the party going. How? Well, wine in that day was symbolic of joy and celebration and if the groom’s after-wedding party ran dry, it was a serious offense - in fact the people could have had him arrested! Notice that Jesus not only attended the party, but He made sure the joy and celebration continued - which tells us several critical things about God’s one and only Son.

First, it is obvious that Jesus loves to connect with people. When He wasn’t preaching or teaching, He was hanging out at social events that seriously offended the stuffy stuck up religious folks. They weren’t mad because He went to parties; they were ticked because He had such a great time at them! Can’t you see Jesus and the disciples laughing it up over a video game if they had a 1st Century PS3? I sure can…only the lyrics then would have been “God loves you, yeah yeah yeah.”

You know what else? This account shows us that the reason Jesus went to parties and hung out with “sinners” was not to judge or condemn them - in fact, it was just the opposite. Jesus got involved in people’s lives so He could let them know there is a way to find true and lasting joy and celebration that isn’t found in a bed or a bottle. This kind is guilt- and consequence-free, and the freedom it brings turns the bitter waters of life into a spiritual wine that never runs out.

And guess what? Jesus offers the same miracle to us!

He can he turn depression into joy…

He can turn fear into hope…

He can turn emptiness into contentment…

He can turn sin into grace…

Most importantly, He can turn death into life.

The Beatles brought a feeling of happiness and enjoyment to a world in need of an escape from the turbulent 1960s, but I’ve got a feeling you too would like to say hello goodbye to yesterday and get back to feeling fine. The same Jesus who turned water to wine can quench your spiritual thirst and bring joy and freedom that no rock band has ever known. Trust Him for salvation and don’t keep the good news to yourself. You have friends that need more than just a little help - they need the true message of salvation.

Here comes the Son!

(Dare2Share weekly letter)

Nov 25, 2009

Cultural Challenge of the Week: Marriage

(I would think Matt would say being married to me is full of frustration at times, LOL. And our kids would agree. Here's to God's strength, so we all can hang in there ;P ) - Rebecca M

Here's hoping you are getting to spend quiet, reflective time enjoying God's blessing of "family" and thanking him for each member of your own family. Given that my own boys have just flown in to join us for Thanksgiving, I'm going to keep the newsletter brief this week -- I've got lots of cooking to do!! :)

In addition to celebrating Thanksgiving and God's many gifts to us this week, my hubby and I are also celebrating our 25th anniversary. Naturally, it seems like the perfect time to reflect on the wonderful blessing that marriage can be. Our popular culture totally degrades the sacred institution that marriage was designed to be, and can be, if we would be understand and remember the promise of marriage:

Culture Challenge of the Week: Marriage

I am a very blessed woman: This week I will have been married to my wonderful husband Andy for 25 years. He is a very patient man!

Before we were married, Andy made it clear that he would walk by my side for life – that he would love and stick with me through thick and thin, no matter what. I also made the same promise to him.

It has to start with that – a sacred vow between two people before God.

The promise is supposed to be kept not based on how you “feel” at any given moment, or whether or not it becomes “convenient” to see it through. The promise is kept because you made it – simply because you said you would. I’m convinced that one of the reasons so many marriages fail is because our culture doesn’t value the basic principles of honor and integrity and what it means to give your “word.”

The marriage promise is the foundation upon which happy families are formed. When a man and woman are mature and selfless enough to do what it takes to stay true to their promise, everyone wins. The social science data is very clear on the many benefits of sound marriages for husbands, wives and children. As the Center for Marriage and Family at the American Values Institute puts it, “Marriage is the good that produces so many other goods:” “Marriage is linked to higher levels of health and happiness and lower levels of alcohol and drug abuse for both adults and teens. Marriage is a wealth-creating institution: married people earn more, save more, and build more wealth, compared to people who are single or living together. There is an inverse relationship between marriage and crime: in communities where marriage is common, crime is much less common. Marriage is our most pro-child institution. It is our society’s best arrangement for helping children to thrive.”

But, if you are having trouble in your marriage right now, it’s not the social science that matters. It’s the fact that you are miserable, broken-hearted and maybe even about to fail in the single most important relationship in your life.

Don’t let it be that way.

There was a reason you and your spouse got married in the first place – a reason why you were both willing to promise your lives to each other. Find it. Find the reason, strip away the garbage, learn to forgive where needed, and start afresh to build upon the foundation you created on your wedding day.

How to Save Your Family and Marriage

If your marriage is experiencing a rough period, please take action right now. There are wonderful people and organizations that want to help you succeed. My husband and I are friends with a couple whose marriage was saved partially by attending one of the Weekend to Remember conferences sponsored by Family Life Today. These marriage-enriching conferences have been attended by more than one million couples over the years, with astounding results. You and your spouse can plan to attend the upcoming conference in the Washington, DC area by registering at . Their Web site also features life-changing advice and materials on everything from “romance and sex,” to “challenges and conflicts.”

The National Institute for Marriage is another marriage-saving resource that offers intensive counseling designed for couples who feel “stuck and hopeless.” You can download free materials at They even have a toll-free number that can help you decide what your next step should be. If your marriage is in trouble, or just less than you hoped for, then put down the newspaper, pick up the phone and call 1-866-875-2915.

Andy will probably tell you that being married (at least to me) includes laughter -- and frustration. (Like I said, he is a very patient man.) For that, and for so many wonderful days and nights, and for his abiding love, I love him from the depths of my heart and soul.

Happy Anniversary, My Love. Thank you for being a man of your word.

Why not use this Thanksgiving to reconnect and recommit to your spouse? And, if you are a single parent, please use this time to reconnect with your children in a deep and meaningful way. Your family should be filled with joy and commitment and abiding love -- and it all starts with you. Make it your top priority each day to remember the promise.


Rebecca Hagelin

Black Friday deals: You'll need to dig

Shoppers might have to work a little harder this year to scoop up the best bargains on Black Friday, the traditional post-Turkey Day shopping kickoff.

Retailers aren't slashing 75% off everything in the store, as they did last year when the deteriorating economy caught them with too much inventory. Rather, they are offering truly hot deals on only a handful of items, such as a $149 laptop computer (OfficeMax), a 32-inch LCD TV for $246 (Target) and a $579 washer-dryer combo (Sears).

Other sale items will require coupons or rebates to make them worth your while, retail observers say.

"This year retailers aren't in dramatic panic mode," says Marshal Cohen, the chief industry analyst with research company NPD Group. "There are going to be sales, but the (discounts) aren't going to be as deep and plentiful."

With unemployment high and shoppers expected to spend 3.2% less than last year, according to the National Retail Federation, most retailers can't afford not to discount at least a handful of their items heavily, just to get people into their stores.

But for shoppers, the smaller selection of bargains might necessitate a few more stops on the shopping route.

Here is MSN Money's guide to snagging the best deals on this big shopping day.

Do your research

Most Black Friday circulars have already been leaked to deal sites such as, Dealnews, BFAds and Slickdeals. On most of these sites, you'll find a list of the items in the circular, as well as discussions about how the prices compare and, in some cases, how the products perform.

We've also rounded up some of the best deals in these ads for you on our Smart Spending blog:

Best Buy
Toys R Us

When you're ready to make a list, sites such as Black Friday @ will let you select sale items and compile them online. Ditto for Dealnews' Black Friday app for the iPhone (an iTunes download is required).

But don't let the hype blind you to so-so sales. Once you've narrowed your list, use a price-comparison engine such as or Bizrate to make sure you've found the lowest prices available. PriceGrabber also lets you set price alerts that notify you when the price drops on the item you're interested in.

Then search for online coupons and rebates to sweeten these deals. For example, department store Kohl's has posted a 15%-off coupon code that makes some of its deals a home run.

And don't forget to look for secret sales. Retailers such as Wal-Mart and Best Buy are known to flag unadvertised deals on their Web sites on Thanksgiving Day, giving in-the-know shoppers a chance to score some bigger bargains.

Don't camp out unless you have to

You don't have to wait in the freezing cold at 3 a.m. to score great deals this year. Many "door-buster" specials will be available online Friday morning and in many cases on Thanksgiving, says Dan de Grandpre, the CEO of Dealnews.

"It's as good as Black Friday, and the competition to get (the deals) is far less," he says. There's no grabbing, pushing or trampling involved.

If you're really worried about an item running out, you can shop online in your pajamas at 12:01 a.m. on Turkey Day at many retailers -- and then go back to bed.

Of course, some door-busters will be found only in the stores. If your heart is set on one, you'd better join the 3 a.m. line. Some stores, such as Best Buy, hand out first-in-line vouchers, so those folks are guaranteed to snag the hottest deals.

To avoid the stampedes of years past, Wal-Mart will open its stores overnight on Thanksgiving, though some deals won't be available until early Friday morning.

Toys R Us will also be open Thursday.

What's hot this year

The trick will be getting consumers to fork over their money when there aren't a lot of hot new items to entice them, Cohen says.

TVs and Blu-ray: For years, the big flat-screen LCD and plasma TVs are what have lured most people into stores. Now many people have already bought a TV and are simply looking for things to go with it. Blu-ray players, more than $200 last year, will drop below $100 for lower-end models this year.

That's not to say there won't be great deals on TVs. Target's leaked ad shows a 32-inch Westinghouse LCD HDTV for $246. And Wal-Mart's pre-Black Friday sale -- a good predictor of its day-after-Thanksgiving discounts -- had a Sharp 42-inch LCD HDTV for $498.

GPS receivers: On GPS units, popular gifts for a couple of years running, prices are dropping below $99, even for big brand names such as TomTom or Garmin Nuvi, says Mike Allen, the operator of

Laptops and netbooks: Prices on portable PCs are also hitting some new lows, such as the $149 Acer Aspire model in OfficeMax's leaked Black Friday ad.

Toys: With people expected to buy fewer and less-expensive toys, most retailers are marking at least part of their selections 50% off, and Wal-Mart is offering 100 toys for less than $10, compared with 10 for less than $10 last year.

Video games: There are also a lot of hot deals on video games and DVD movies, starting as low as $3.99. Video-game consoles, on the other hand, are not marked down but will come with bonus gift cards for as much as $100 (Wal-Mart) or a bundle of extra games.

Clothes: Store-brand apparel should be cheaper, analysts say, as retailers are able to pass along savings in production this year.

Shop early or shop late?

The question always comes down to this: How much of your shopping should you do on Black Friday? Should you hold out for better deals in December?

Retailers want you in the stores as early as possible and spending right up to the last minute. But historically, you can find equal or better deals even closer to Christmas, Dealnews' de Grandpre says.

You probably don't want to play a retail game of chicken with this year's hot toys, such as those Zhu Zhu Pets toy hamsters. If you're afraid supplies won't last, buy the toy now from a retailer that will match Black Friday prices. On Black Friday, look for the best deal and then get a refund of the difference after the mad rush is over, de Grandpre advises.

Most importantly, don't get sucked into the buying frenzy that surrounds Black Friday. Make a list and buy only those items you know to be a great deal. And if you miss out on one of these bargains, don't fret. Most likely you'll get other chances.

"This will definitely be a good season for bargain hunters," says Kathy Grannis, a spokeswoman for the National Retail Federation.

Nov 23, 2009

Justin Farley: Anxiety

Justin Farley: Anxiety

Parental Pledge

"Today I pledge I will fight for my children & their futures. I will not back down or grow so weary that I give up. I will remember that above all else, my goal is to show my children that I love them - enough to dare to challenge the status quo." Rebecca Hagelin 30 ways to save your family in 30 days.

Nov 20, 2009

A father's words

Is thinness worth your child's life? Then what are we doing while looking in the mirror and standing on that scale every day? What are we teaching our own children as we struggle with our own physical selves? What are we talking about in the midst of our children about someone's weight and stature, their eating habits - that lead a young one to have a wrong perspective on food and body? Maybe they link our words to our affection for them should they not "measure up". They see so much more than we realize we are showing them...

In November we'll be speaking at a couple of schools in Philadelphia. One of them recently wrote asking if we were on the NCAA Speaker's Grant List. If so, they could write a grant to offset the costs of bringing us out. As we are not on the list, I emailed the NCAA to inquire about the application process. One of the requirements was for Tom, my husband, to write a narrative of his experiences with Andrea that have helped him gain knowledge of eating disorders. He wrote it this morning and with his permission I share it with you:

When our daughter, Andrea, was 18 she began dieting for the first time in her life. My wife and I live in northern California and Andrea was attending Pitzer College in southern California—an eight-hour drive away. She was in the middle of her freshman year in college and saw dieting and increased exercise as a way to get healthy and fit and as a way to 'remake' herself in the 'new life' she felt college offered. We did not know then that although every diet does not lead to an eating disorder nearly every eating disorder begins with some form of weight loss diet. In seeking information no one ever told us that dieting can be deadly.

Within a matter of months, Andrea’s dieting and exercise regimen took on the feel of an obsession. Counting calories, weighing herself numerous times each day, working out to the point of exhaustion and eating less and less. We did not know that when it comes to an eating disorder, "genetics and biology loads the gun and environment pulls the trigger." Andrea came from a family where both sides have family members who have suffered with mental illnesses and addictive behaviors—this we now know made Andrea more susceptible to the development of an eating disorder. Combine this genetic pre-disposition with a culture and media that reveres thinness and a family where dieting was accepted as 'normal' behavior and we have a recipe for disaster.

Eating disorders are secretive illnesses—they thrive in the silence of their 'host.' In spite of this fact, Andrea called her mom the day after the first time she made herself throw up. She was in treatment two weeks later (the beginning of summer break) seeing a therapist, physician and dietician. We were assured she would heal as we’d gotten on it so quickly. We also assumed she could heal over one summer and then all would be fine. Now we know that it takes at least as long to heal from an eating disorder as it does to develop one and that the development begins long before the first identifiable symptom. The average length of time for healing is five to seven years—there is nothing quick about an eating disorder, except how quickly they can kill: Andrea died a mere 13 months after the first time she made herself throw up.

In the beginning of Andrea's illness I would tell her “Just stop!” I was under the erroneous conception that the illness was about food and weight. Although it is everything about food and weight, it is also nothing about these two 'red herrings.' An eating disorder is a coping mechanism. It is what saves the individual from drowning with the weight of unexpressed and overwhelming fears and emotions. This is a concept I struggled with … until I realized that unless we are taught helpful coping skills, many of us seek ways to numb ourselves from overwhelming feelings: excessive alcohol, exercise, shopping, sex, gambling, drugs, the list is endless. An eating disorder is another way to numb.

I have learned so many things from our daughter’s experience with bulimia. Sadly, the majority of my knowledge was gained after her death. My wife and I have felt compelled to share our daughter’s story and the wisdom we’ve gained because we know that there are many others like us who are ill-informed and hold the same misunderstandings about these deadly illnesses. We have a thick file full of testimonials from people all over the world (we speak internationally, but our web site and Doris’ book have allowed our message to travel where we cannot) who, because of Andrea, have found their way into treatment and credit her with helping them choose to heal. My expertise on the topic of eating disorders is not as great as my wife’s but it has been hard earned and continues to grow.

Blessings until next time,

Why is a "Fat-Talk" free environment important?

By now I would imagine that you are all aware that this is Tri-Delta's "Fat-Talk Free" week. When I mentioned this at one of our local high schools a few weeks ago the "Why?" question arose. Why attempt to end fat talk (i.e.: Do I look fat in this? She shouldn't wear that! It's a have such a pretty face! I HATE my thighs! and on and on)?

There are studies that present evidence that fat-talk actually lowers one's self-esteem which can lead to body hatred and possible problematic behaviors to attempt to feel better. There is also enough research to show that by the ages of two or three children have already developed some pretty strong prejudices about fat and fat people.

The fat talk free efforts are based on the Cognitive Dissonance communication theory adopted from social psychology. It applies to all situations involving attitude formation and change. This theory is able to manipulate people into certain behavior and by doing so these people will alter their attitudes themselves. So by presenting some pretty powerful evidence against fat-talk and by linking it to social responsibility ("Friends don't let friends fat talk") we have a strong potential to help people change their own attitudes and ways of speaking.

As many of us know, children hear everything we say ... even when it appears they are not listening. A few weeks ago I saw this truth in action when our nearly two-year-old granddaughter sat quietly playing in our family room while the adults around her carried on their conversations. Within minutes we started to hear our words coming out of her mouth, verbatim. Our conversation had been harmless so nothing she said was shocking, but she had not only heard every word, she immediately integrated them into her play.

This is one of the ways our children learn not only how to speak and what to say but also what to think. I recall when our girls were young I was very careful with the words I used in front of them--I knew they heard all and certainly did not want to hear any expletives come out of their mouths. Sadly, I applied this knowledge only to "swear" words. I failed to realize that seeping into their bones at the same time were the messages they heard from me about my own worth AND how I felt about my body. I guess I thought that since my "fat-talk" was never directed to or about others that somehow self-bashing didn't count. It did.

This week gives us an opportunity to speak and think differently for five days. Imagine if every single one of us stopped our own fat talk and then helped our friends stop theirs. I can imagine the collective sigh of relief this has the potential to bring to our culture. Let's remember, for this week and for always, "Friends don't let friends fat talk." We must start by being a friend to ourselves.

Blessings until next time,


Nov 17, 2009

MSN:New mammogram advice raises worries

Yes,the government wants to govern your healthcare and here's how it starts. First a few pointers:

Breast cancer is the most common cancer and the second leading cause of cancer deaths in American women. More than 192,000 new cases and 40,000 deaths from the disease are expected in the U.S. this year.

The task force advice is based on its conclusion that screening 1,300 women in their 50s to save one life is worth it, but that screening 1,900 women in their 40s to save a life is not, Brawley wrote.

Benefits of screening before age 50 don't outweigh risks, task force says The Associated Press updated 5:39 a.m. PT, Tues., Nov . 17, 2009 NEW YORK -

For many women, getting a mammogram is already one of life's more stressful experiences.

Now, women in their 40s have the added anxiety of trying to figure out if they should even be getting one at all.

A government task force said Monday that most women don't need mammograms in their 40s and should get one every two years starting at 50 — a stunning reversal and a break with the American Cancer Society's long-standing position. What's more, the panel said breast self-exams do no good, and women shouldn't be taught to do them.

The news seemed destined to leave many deeply confused about whose advice to follow.

"I've never had a scare, but isn't it better to be safe than sorry?" asked Beth Rosenthal, 41, sitting in a San Francisco cafe on Monday afternoon with her friend and their small children. "I've heard of a lot of women in their 40s, and even 30s, who've gotten breast cancer. It just doesn't seem right to wait until 50."

Her friend agreed. "I don't think I'll wait," said Leslie David-Jones, also 41, shaking her head.

For most of the past two decades, the American Cancer Society has been recommending annual mammograms beginning at 40, and it reiterated that position on Monday. "This is one screening test I recommend unequivocally, and would recommend to any woman 40 and over," the society's chief medical officer, Dr. Otis Brawley, said in a statement.

But the government panel of doctors and scientists concluded that getting screened for breast cancer so early and so often is harmful, causing too many false alarms and unneeded biopsies without substantially improving women's odds of surviving the disease.

"The benefits are less and the harms are greater when screening starts in the 40s," said Dr. Diana Petitti, vice chair of the panel.

The new guidelines were issued by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, whose stance influences coverage of screening tests by Medicare and many insurance companies. But Susan Pisano, a spokeswoman for America's Health Insurance Plans, an industry group, said insurance coverage isn't likely to change because of the new guidelines.

Experts expect the revisions to be hotly debated, and to cause confusion for women and their doctors.

"Our concern is that as a result of that confusion, women may elect not to get screened at all. And that, to me, would be a serious problem," said Dr. Len Lichtenfeld, the cancer society's deputy chief medical officer.

The guidelines are for the general population, not those at high risk of breast cancer because of family history or gene mutations that would justify having mammograms sooner or more often.

The new advice says:

Most women in their 40s should not routinely get mammograms.

Women 50 to 74 should get a mammogram every other year until they turn 75, after which the risks and benefits are unknown. (The task force's previous guidelines had no upper limit and called for exams every year or two.)
The value of breast exams by doctors is unknown. And breast self-exams are of no value.

Medical groups such as the cancer society have been backing off promoting breast self-exams in recent years because of scant evidence of their effectiveness. Decades ago, the practice was so heavily promoted that organizations distributed cards that could be hung in the shower demonstrating the circular motion women should use to feel for lumps in their breasts.

The guidelines and research supporting them were released Monday and are being published in Tuesday's issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Sharp criticism from cancer society

The new advice was sharply challenged by the cancer society.

"This is one screening test I recommend unequivocally, and would recommend to any woman 40 and over," the society's chief medical officer, Dr. Otis Brawley, said in a statement.

The task force advice is based on its conclusion that screening 1,300 women in their 50s to save one life is worth it, but that screening 1,900 women in their 40s to save a life is not, Brawley wrote.

That stance "is essentially telling women that mammography at age 40 to 49 saves lives, just not enough of them," he said. The cancer society feels the benefits outweigh the harms for women in both groups.

International guidelines also call for screening to start at age 50; the World Health Organization recommends the test every two years, Britain says every three years.

Breast cancer is the most common cancer and the second leading cause of cancer deaths in American women. More than 192,000 new cases and 40,000 deaths from the disease are expected in the U.S. this year.

Mammograms can find cancer early, and two-thirds of women over 40 report having had the test in the previous two years. But how much they cut the risk of dying of the disease, and at what cost in terms of unneeded biopsies, expense and worry, have been debated.

In most women, tumors are slow-growing, and that likelihood increases with age. So there is little risk by extending the time between mammograms, some researchers say. Even for the minority of women with aggressive, fast-growing tumors, annual screening will make little difference in survival odds.

The new guidelines balance these risks and benefits, scientists say.

The probability of dying of breast cancer after age 40 is 3 percent, they calculate. Getting a mammogram every other year from ages 50 to 69 lowers that risk by about 16 percent.

"It's an average of five lives saved per thousand women screened," said Georgetown University researcher Dr. Jeanne Mandelblatt.

False alarms
Starting at age 40 would prevent one additional death but also lead to 470 false alarms for every 1,000 women screened. Continuing mammograms through age 79 prevents three additional deaths but raises the number of women treated for breast cancers that would not threaten their lives.

"You save more lives because breast cancer is more common, but you diagnose tumors in women who were destined to die of something else. The overdiagnosis increases in older women," Mandelblatt said.

She led six teams around the world who used federal data on cancer and mammography to develop mathematical models of what would happen if women were screened at different ages and time intervals. Their conclusions helped shape the new guidelines.

Several medical groups say they are sticking to their guidelines that call for routine screening starting at 40.

"Screening isn't perfect. But it's the best thing we have. And it works," said Dr. Carol Lee, a spokeswoman for the American College of Radiology. She suggested that cutting health care costs may have played a role in the decision, but Petitti said the task force does not consider cost or insurance in its review.

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists also has qualms. The organization's Dr. Hal Lawrence said there is still significant benefit to women in their 40s, adding: "We think that women deserve that benefit."

But Dr. Amy Abernethy of the Duke Comprehensive Cancer Center agreed with the task force's changes.

"Overall, I think it really took courage for them to do this," she said. "It does ask us as doctors to change what we do and how we communicate with patients. That's no small undertaking."

Abernethy, who is 41, said she got her first mammogram the day after her 40th birthday, even though she wasn't convinced it was needed. Now she doesn't plan to have another mammogram until she is 50.

Barbara Brenner, executive director of the San Francisco-based Breast Cancer Action, said the group was "thrilled" with the revisions. The advocacy group doesn't support screening before menopause, and will be changing its suggested interval from yearly to every two years, she said.

Mammograms, like all medical interventions, have risks and benefits, she said.

"Women are entitled to know what they are and to make their best decisions," she said. "These guidelines will help that conversation."

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Nov 14, 2009

Nov 12, 2009

Watch the Drift

Last night @ church our guest speaker talked about drifting. We don't drift into an intimate relationship with our spouse, our children, our friends, God. Naturally, we drift apart. It takes work, real work and committment to that work, to "drift" in to intimacy. Today, this was the message from Blending a Family Ministry and I have seen these slow poisons erode past and present family. It brings my heart sadness. One of the great new songs @ church last night had a sentence "Break my heart for what breaks Yours". We become incredibly desensitized to things that break His heart and we accept it. I have found that one of the biggest changes of myself in the past 6 years. Sometimes I shake my head at myself for what I accept as normal. - Rebecca

Blending A Family Ministry eNewsletter - November 2009
Hi families and friends!

I was thinking today about my pack of beagles. One of my former hobbies was to hunt rabbits with a pack of beagles, and my hunting buddies and I had many fond memories on those hunts. In 1991 I sold all of them because it was getting too difficult to find a place to hunt without leasing property. That is when Paige and I got Chloe, our first Labrador retriever puppy.

When I was trying to develop a good pack of hunting dogs, I took my best male and female beagles and bred them. I got four of the most beautiful puppies from them. I gave one of the puppies to a close friend and kept the other three, and three of our children named them. One day I took them on a hunt with the mature dogs (that's how you train hunting dogs). Within 30 seconds of letting them out of the cage to start the hunt, two of the puppies start fighting over some trash on the ground. It turned out that they found a piece of meat from a dead animal. They did not have time to ingest it before I got it away from them --- so I thought.

Within thirty minutes one of the dogs began having convulsions and throwing up. About 20 minutes later it was dead.
We hunted for a little while and then left for home. On the way home another puppy started throwing up, then convulsing. Before I got home it had died.

What a loss - I was devastated. I was so proud of those puppies. I felt so defeated.
I found out later from the property owner that he had put out poisoned chicken necks in another field about a mile away to kill animals that destroy his crops. Apparently an animal had dragged that poisoned meat to our hunting field before ingesting it and dying. My dogs found it and did not know it was harmful.

I tell this story because people often do not realize when they are partaking of something that will harm them, their marriage, or their children. In our new book, God Breathes on Blended Families - Second Edition, we address how our adversary the devil uses the process of erosion to damage and destroy us. Erosion starts so subtly in our life, but can eventually bring destruction. Here is an excerpt from the Book pages 69-70:

Consider the following questions:
• When do occasional drinks progress into alcoholism?
• When does trying an illegal drug grow into an addiction?
• When does the first glimpse of pornography become a compulsive lifestyle?
• When does repeated anger escalate into uncontrolled verbal or physical abuse?
• When does a hobby become a compulsion?
• When does the enjoyment of good food become obesity?
• When does an office friendship turn into an affair?
• When do frequent arguments between a husband and wife escalate into disrespect and resentment?
• When does discipline by a stepparent become resentment in a child’s heart?
• When does hurt in a teen’s life escalate to isolation, depression, or suicide?

All of the above are examples of what can happen through the erosion process—erosion of our thought process, our emotions, and eventually our will. People lose control of their own will. Their emotions take control over their sound judgment, and their life is led by ungodly thoughts and uncontrolled emotions. Life gradually yet surely turns into what seems to be a death spiral, taking its victim further away from making right choices (righteousness)—and seeing no way out.

(End of excerpt)

Sometimes the impact of the poisons we play with, or we allow to entertain us) is sudden. Other times the impact is slow and painful.

"Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump?" 1 Corinthians 5:6

Leaven is the yeast that is added to bread dough to make it rise. Just a small pinch of yeast will leaven the whole loaf. Sin works in the same manner. Unrepentant sin and compromise will infect your whole life and everyone in it.

Consider your steps:
1. Be determined to walk holy with the Lord, and set standards for your family to do the same.
2. Do not become careless.
3. Be on your guard - watch for simple, subtle, little things that can infiltrate your mind and you home.
4. God is your front and rear guard, your protector. His Holy Spirit will warn you of things that are harmful.
5. Your responsibility is to be prayerfully alert.

"Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers.
But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night.
He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers." Psalm 1:1-3

Nov 8, 2009

The Energetic Man - The Art of Manliness

We love upright, energetic men. Pull them this way, and then that way, and the other, and they only bend, but never break. Trip them down, and in a trice they are on their feet. Bury them in the mud, and in an hour they will be out and bright. They are not ever yawning away existence, or walking about the world as if they had come into it with only half their soul; you cannot keep them down; you cannot destroy them. But for these the world would soon degenerate. They are the salt of the earth. Who but they start any noble project? They build our cities and rear our manufactories; they whiten the ocean with their sails, and they blacken the heavens with the smoke of their steam-vessels and furnace fires; they draw treasures from the mine; they plow the earth. Blessings on them! Look to them, young men, and take courage; imitate their example; catch the spirit of their energy and enterprise, and you will deserve, and no doubt command, success.

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