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Church Kids do Better

Married Parents, Church Attendance Spell Success for Kids

'Policymakers should strongly consider whether their policy proposals give support to such a family structure.'

Children have fewer problems at school and home when they live with their biological parents and frequently attend religious services, according to a study released today by the Family Research Council's Mapping America Project.

Drs. Nicholas Zill and Philip Fletcher analyzed data from the National Survey of Children's Health and found the benefits hold up even after controlling for family income and poverty, low parent education levels, and race and ethnicity.

Among their findings: children in this group are five times less likely to repeat a grade, less likely to have behavior problems at home and school, and are more likely to be cooperative and understanding of others' feelings. Parents of these children report less stress, healthier parent-child relationships and fewer concerns about their children's achievement.

"Social-science data continue to demonstrate overwhelmingly that the intact married family that worships weekly is the greatest generator of human goods and social benefits and is the core strength of the United States," said Dr. Pat Fagan, senior fellow and director of FRC's Center for Family and Religion.

"Policymakers should strongly consider whether their policy proposals give support to such a family structure. Children are not the only beneficiaries but also their parents, families, communities and all of society."

A free copy of the study is available online.

So now you can listen to your pastor since he not only has Biblical support for your family's attendance to church but an "official" survey agrees with God's guidelines.

That was tongue-in-cheek for those noticing...either way get in church even if our humanistic society says it is unhealthy...God promises to bless our faithfulness and obedience. See ya Sunday!

Baby-faced dad raises "broken Britain" fears


On Sunday, February 15th London newspapers carried this story.

Ahhh, Britain. The land of Shakespeare and the Beatles, Churchill and the Queen. Rolling green hills, groovy London shops, hip plaids splashed over raincoats and umbrellas.

Cut to the reality of 2009: the highest teen pregnancy rate in western Europe, a binge drinking culture that leaves drunk teens splayed out in the streets and rising knife crime that has turned some pub fights into deadly affairs.

Ahhh, Britain.

In the latest symbol of what some are calling "broken Britain," 13-year-old Alfie and his 15-year-old girlfriend Chantelle became parents last week. The news sparked a flurry of hand wringing from the media--and even ordinary folk admitted it didn't help that Alfie barely looked 10, let alone 13, as he cradled his newborn daughter.

Alfie's father, who reportedly has nine or 10 children of his own, gamely promised to have a "birds and the bees" chat with his son to prevent him from producing a second child before he grows facial hair.

Somehow that was not reassuring.

Sir Bernard Ingham, once press secretary to former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, told the Associated Press that people from across Britain's political spectrum are in despair over the country's social breakdown.

"It's an indication that we've lost our way, that people don't know the difference between right and wrong," he said of young Alfie. "The plain fact is society can't proceed on this basis. I think this is an indication of broken Britain."

Ingham said Britain's binge drinking and youth violence reflect the same general fall in standards and discipline.

"I think in time there will be a swing against this permissiveness," he said, noting a shift from British debauchery in the 18th century to Victorian straight-laced standards 100 years later.

Binge drinking has produced a rise in liver disease among Britons in their 20s and the unpleasant reputation of British "lager louts" at holiday resorts across Europe.

On any given night, London residents can see drunken teens staggering through the Underground subway system. Usually their friends help them, but sometimes collapsed teens are left on their own until police or transit staff intervene.

The rise in knife crime harkens back to the 1950s "West Side Story" era in the United States. The number of robberies carried out with knives rose 18 percent for the third quarter of 2008 compared to the year before, according to government figures released in January.

Too often now, public disputes have ended in teen stabbing deaths. Rob Knox, an 18-year-old actor in a "Harry Potter" film, was killed in May, while Ben Kinsella, the 16-year-old brother of a television soap actress, was stabbed to death in June. Both were trying to break up fights in London.

Other, less well-known youths have also died in knife fights.

All this was bemoaned, but the final straw came this week, when Britain's intensely competitive tabloids focused on the young, clueless Alfie.

Alfie's daughter Maisie was reportedly conceived when he was 12. Chantelle's parents let the lad spend the night with their daughter, 14 at the time, at their public housing unit near Eastbourne, 70 miles southeast of London.

There are still some questions about the birth. The Sun newspaper did not say whether any tests were conducted to prove the boy's paternity, and The Sunday Times reported that at least two other teens claimed to have slept with the young mother.

Alfie told The Sun he plans to look after his newborn daughter. But in a heartbreaking interview, the boy admitted he didn't know what the word "financially" meant and acknowledged he doesn't even get an allowance.

While some saw a larger portrait of society's ills in Maisie's birth to underage parents, others called it an aberration.

"I think it's really shocking and sad," said Duncan Lees, 36, a caterer. "I think it's really wrong. But it's not like it happens everyday. The fact that it's making such a headline is something in itself. I think it's good that everybody is saying that it's wrong."

He did blame the youngsters' parents for failing to properly look after their children.

"You have to ask what their responsibilities are to their children," he said.

There was also an element of class consciousness in many reactions--not surprising in a country where status is often based on where you live, what car you drive and whether your children go to private school.

"I think it's very sad," said retiree Risdon Nicholls. "But they lived in a poor part of Eastbourne. That's not common practice in the rest of Eastbourne, which is a very smart town."

Nicholls said the British media was exploiting a one-time situation.

"They make it sound as if we're going to the dogs, and we're not," he said adamantly. "This is still a wonderful country--but it's clear standards have dropped."

What is even sadder about this story is the fact that America is not far behind. As America has destroyed the sanctity of life through abortion and evolution...we wonder why crime and murders are rising. As America has destroyed the family through divorce, women's liberation, and gender perversions (from homosexuality to sex changes)...we wonder how something like this could happen. As teachers sleep with students and preachers with their congregations...we have created an authority vacuum. America or Britain as long as we try our way instead of God's way we fail...humanism tries and fails...morality tries and fails...common sense tries and fails...governmental rules try and fail. Only a nation that is made up of people that will turn towards God can be rescued...the sad reality is that Britain is not that nation anymore nor is America!

Many are sought by God but only a few heed and Brothers/Sisters-in-Christ please be encouraged rather than discouraged for the "Day of the Lord" is at hand! Let us be found faithful and go out to be busy in service to the Lord.

Ponder This...

* Do not be afraid of being a failure, but be afraid of being successful at something God is not interested in.

* We can tell our values by looking at our checkbook stubs.

* Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow; it empties today of its strength.

* Any concern too small to be turned into a prayer is too small to be made into a burden.

* Fortune does not change men, it unmasks them.

* People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them fell.

* Utility is when you have one telephone, luxury is when you have two, and paradise is when you have none.

* The first sight of maturity is the discovery that the volume knob also turns to the left.

* Never underestimate the power of human stupidity.

Thanking the Man Who Fired Him

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As a Christian trying to study God's Word I have had very little difficulty with the majority of the Bible, but there was always one verse that made little sense to me. It was James 1:2, ”My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into diverse temptations.” How could one thank God for problems?

But I have learned (or rather been taught through experience) that the testings and temptations God brings into our lives are the opportunities He teaches us how to live and serve Him better. He also reveals more about Himself to us in each diverse situation. As we see Him work through our trials, we are more assured of His love and care. We learn more of His character. Our faith is strengthened, as we see God working on our behalf in ways only He could accomplish.

This reminds me of a story I read once about Wallace Johnson, builder of numerous Holiday Inn motels and convalescent hospitals. Mr. Johnson often testified by sharing this story.
"When I was forty years old, I worked in a sawmill. One morning the boss told me, "You're fired!"

Depressed and discouraged, I felt like the world had caved in on me. It was during the depression, and my wife and I greatly needed the small wages I had been earning. When I went home, I told my wife what had happened. She asked, "What are you going to do now?" I replied, "I'm going to mortgage our little home, and go into the building business."

My first venture was the construction of two small buildings. Within five years, I was a multi-millionaire! Today, if I could locate the man who fired me, I would sincerely thank him for what he did. At the time it happened, I didn't understand why I was fired. Later, I saw that it was God's unerring and wondrous plan to get me into the way of His choosing!"

Now, James 1:2 is part of my own personal arsenal to keep discouragement at bay and I pray you can use it as well. Because during times of trails and temptations, we should trust God and count it all joy. I pray that my response to trails is to trust Him and wait on Him to see how He will use these for my ultimate good and His eternal glory!


What is the difference, the difference, I pray?
Between myself and others I meet everyday,
I profess that God saved my soul from hell.
Praise Him! Hallelujah! but then pray tell,

What is the difference He's made in my walk?
Do I live in action or just talk the talk?
Do I enter my labour, mindful of One
Who gave for me His only, dear Son?

Do I study His promises, feed on His word?
And pause oft in my journey to worship my Lord?
Do I desire to spend precious hours with Him
Or pause only briefly as daylight grows dim

To utter a few praises and give Him my cares
And thank Him for His mercy and for hearing my prayers?
Am I troubled and burdened at the darkness of sin?
Do I hate temptations or secretly indulge them?

Oh, what is the difference if He lives in my heart?
Do I desire to draw with Him apart?
Or does this world still hold more appeal
Than Jesus, the only Power that is real?

Can others see His power in me,
Or His joy because I've been set free?
Oh, what is the difference? Can others see
The One, whom I say lives in me?

~ Janet Martin ~