“As more and more notable and tragic events occur, we think we’re seeing more compromised, marginalized individuals who are seeking inspiration from those past attacks.”  Ya think?
The reporter’s typical mandate—to paint the clearest, most accurate picture of an event using all available information—may, in this case, be unintentionally encouraging further crime, sociologists and psychologists say.
As evidence of that view, they cite reports that perpetrators in several high-profile US shootings have collected media clippings or written admiringly about previous shooters.

Envision a scenario, the more likely he or she is to follow through on it, so journalists should refrain from including details that evoke the visual horror of the crimes: specific weapons used, grisly timelines, re-imaginings of the murder scenes.

Many US mass shooters have themselves publicized their acts prior to or after the killings, making it clear that they cared about how their actions would be interpreted and promulgated by the media.
The man who killed two former colleagues in Virginia in August, for example—himself a former reporter—faxed a detailed manifesto of his grievances to ABC News and tweeted instructions to visit his Facebook page for videos he then posted of the crime.
If a person seeks to become a celebrity through murder, some argue, the best course of action is to deny them that attention. Don’t publish killers’ manifestos or suicide notes. Unless a suspect is at large, withhold, minimize, or delay publication of shooters’ names and images.
Some of these recommendations clash with a reporter’s most fundamental instincts, and intrude on information long considered within the public’s right to know. 

But there is compelling evidence that when media coverage inspires copycat deaths, well-considered guidelines can reverse that trend.
A similar rationale inspired the news industry’s revamp of its reporting standards on suicide. In the 1980s, following a number of suicides in the subway system in Vienna, Austria, psychologists there urged local media to withhold details, avoid romanticized language, and keep the deaths off the front page.
The result? Subway suicides dropped by 75%. Formal guidelines on reporting suicide have since been adopted for journalists in the US, UK, Australia, Norway, and Hong Kong.
Reporters regularly withhold information when lives are on the line. Media outlets respected news blackouts on the kidnappings of journalists and others when the victim’s safety is deemed at risk.
Many journalists and public officials have made individual choices to adopt such measures in their reporting on mass shootings. Without widely-adopted standards, though, their efforts won’t work.
The issue came up again this in Oregon. “I will not name the shooter,” Douglas County Sheriff John Hanlin told reporters. “I will not give him the credit he probably sought prior to this horrific and cowardly act. Media will get the name confirmed in time. But you will never hear me mention his name.”
He encouraged the media and the community to avoid uttering his name, and asked instead that attention stay focused on the victims and their families.

The Media Jut Doesn’t Get it.… they want to be first and don’t care.

We, as users of the media, need to let them know our feelings.


Christians have often heard the accusation “practice what you preach.” There are several reasons why Christians do not practice what they preach or at least appear to others to not be practicing what they preach.

We as Christians are not perfect. Christians are expected to “practice what you preach,” but we preach a message that is, ultimately, impossible to live up to. While sinlessness is to be our goal, it is not achievable in this lifetime. However, the fact that we fail to live up to God’s perfect standard does not change the fact that it is to be our goal and message. Also, many times true Christians behave in an un-Christian manner out of immaturity in the faith or a lack of understanding of exactly what the Christian life entails. New believers are often excited about their newfound faith and eager to share it with others. When, because of immaturity, their lives do not measure up to their testimony, charges of not practicing what you preach are leveled at them. As we grow and mature in the faith, our lives should more and more reflect the truths that we profess to believe.

Fortunately, people are not saved by whether or not others practice what they preach. Salvation is the gift of God through faith, and none of those whom God has given to Christ will be snatched out of His hand (John 10:28-29). No amount of false professions by unbelievers or disappointing actions by immature Christians can change that.

cell phones 2


What’s more frustrating than speaking without being heard? We’ve all been there: confiding in a friend as they paw at their phone; pitching an idea to a co-worker as he/she interrupts with their own; telling your mom about your day as her eyes glaze over – apparently focusing on something else much, much more interesting than you.

These situations, in the moment, can be annoying and downright hurtful. But the fact that they happen often can’t be too surprising. “There’s a misconception that when we hear, we listen,” says Pamela Cooper, vice president of the International Listening Association, “but listening is really hard work, and it takes a great deal of concentration.” No wonder our friends and family and co-workers can be lousy at it. But what about you – are you a good listener?

“Most people are very aware that other people don’t listen, but they’re not nearly as aware that they themselves don’t listen,” says Paul Donoghue, psychologist and co-author of “Are You Really Listening? Keys to Successful Communication” with Mary Siegel. So, “don’t presume you’re a good listener,” he says.

Be brutally honest with yourself and think about your own listening (or not-listening) behavior. You may be that colleague or sibling or friend who never really listens and not even know it! See if you have any of these poor listening habits below, or better yet, thicken your skin and ask a friend.

Distracting yourself. Sending one little text message as your co-worker is talking sends an enormous message to her: You’re not listening. And that hurts. Yes, perhaps you’re hearing the other person, or you think you’re getting the gist – you’re a multitasker after all! – but are you really concentrating on what was said? Probably not. Focusing on a text message, or your Instagram feed, or that dog over there or the shopping list you need to make is telling the speaker that those things are more important than what they are –

Interrupting. This bad habit is three things: Self explanatory, rude and a sign that you’re not listening.

Topping the speaker’s story. Imagine you’re excitedly telling a friend about a Washington, D.C., vacation you’re planning, when they decide to cut in: “I lived there for three years and have toured the National Mall a couple dozen times, and really prefer the Vietnam Memorial, though all the tourists typically opt for the Lincoln Memorial, which … ” There’s certainly nothing wrong with engaging in a conversation, but cutting into the speaker’s story to talk about yourself is a sign you weren’t digesting his or her message. With this “me too” habit, you’re pretty much saying, “You bring me the ball, and I’ll take it from you and start dribbling it,” he says.

Problem finding. Someone with this habit thinks, “I’m listening, but only enough to find a problem and fix it for you,” Donoghue says. Sometimes this person is so skilled in the habit that he or she will find problems that aren’t even there. “Oh, the trip to Washington is this month? Why would you go there in that summer humidity? And don’t even think about cooling down in the air-conditioned museums, they’re too crowded.”

Becoming defensive. If you’re the topic of discussion, you might hear criticism that may or may not be there. And so we get defensive. “And when we’re defending, we’re not listening,” Donoghue says.

Think about the last meeting, conversation or class you had. Did you display any of these habits above? Whether or not you did, know that everyone can improve his or her listening skills. And that’s exactly what listening is: a monumentally important skill used in marriage, friendship, parenthood, management and just about every kind of relationship. Without listening skills, we’re poor communicators, which is unfortunate, because it identifies communication as the “heartbeat of life.” Think about the last miscommunication you had, or the last time something didn’t go your way, and now think: How much of that had to do with not fully listening?

No Child Left Behind is Gone- Will the New Plan be Better?


Good riddance to the law. Will its replacement be any better?

The Old Law

No Child Left Behind, on the books since 2002, was supposed to close achievement gaps for disadvantaged students (racial and ethnic minorities, low-income students, youngsters with special needs and English learners) and to eliminate what President George W. Bush decried as “the soft bigotry of low expectations.” The goal was audacious — by 2014, the law decreed, 100 percent of students would perform at grade level.

Instead, things have gotten worse by almost every measure. SAT scores have declined, as have the scores of American students, compared with their counterparts in other nations, on the PISA (Program for International Student Assessment) exam. The rate of progress on the National Assessment of Educational Progress, the nation’s report card, was actually higher, both over all and for specific demographic groups, during the decade before No Child Left Behind than after it was passed.

At the same time, the law’s aspiration morphed into a high-stakes target for accountability — not for the politicians, with their unachievable demands, but for school officials who were given an impossible burden of meeting annual testing goals. Under the law, schools that didn’t make “adequate yearly progress” faced ever more draconian sanctions, including wholesale reorganization and closings.

Stress of NCLB

As a result, public schools have turned into pressure cookers. Teachers are pushed to improve test results. A vanishingly small amount of time is spent on art, music and sports, because they aren’t part of the testing regime. Students have become test-taking robots, sitting through as many as 20 standardized exams a year.


The Every Student Succeeds Act shifts, for the first time since the Reagan years, the balance of power in education away from Washington and back to the states. That’s a welcome sign.

States Still Need Accountability


The dread “annual yearly progress” requirement is gone, as are the escalating series of consequences inflicted on school districts that don’t measure up. States must intervene to help the weakest 5 percent of all schools, high schools that graduate fewer than 67 percent of their students on time (the national norm exceeds 80 percent) and schools where a subgroup of students “consistently underperforms.” But the states, not Washington, determine how to turn things around. That’s accountability with a needed dollop of flexibility.

While states are still required to test students annually in reading and math from third to eighth grade, and at least once in high school, they have a freer hand in designing those tests. What’s more, those standardized tests count for less in evaluating schools. At least one other measure of academic improvement, like graduation rates and, for nonnative speakers, proficiency in English, must be included. And a student performance measure, like grit or school climate, has to be part of the evaluation equation. This multipronged approach should make it easier for educators to replace some drill-and-kill memorization with more hands-on learning and critical thinking.

Good Intentions but Bad Plan

Hope springs eternal in school reform, only to be followed by disappointment. (Announcing his education bill, Lyndon B. Johnson declared his education plan the “passport from poverty.” Clearly, that didn’t work.) Rewriting the standards of evaluation and giving states freer rein in bailing out weak schools, as this law does, is a good day’s work inside the Beltway, but it’s no guarantee that the quality of teaching and learning will change. Making those improvements will take hard work on the part of committed educators and parents.

History of “O Holy Night” Christmas Hymn


We attended a concert at Grace Presbyterian church in Peoria this weekend and they shared some of the amazing history of the song “O Holy Night” to us. It was an interesting story so I thought I would go for the entire background of this beautiful song.

Written by Two Non-Christians

In the year 1847, a man named Placide Cappeau de Roquemaure was the commisioner/inspector of wines in a small town in France.  Known to be an avid poet, Placide was approached by a priest to compose a poem for a Christmas service in Paris.

Poet Pens It

Initially, Cappeau was not certain he’d be able to live up to the task.  After reading the Gospel of Luke for inspiration, he envisioned what it might have been like to have been in Bethlehem to witness the birth of Jesus.  From there, he penned the now famous words to “Cantique de Noel”, or O Holy Night.  

Composer Scores It

Upon delivering the poem in Paris, Cappeau determined that “Cantique de Noel” would be even more powerful if set to music.  For help, he turned to well known composer Adolphe Charles Adams.  At first, Adams was reluctant to participate.  As a Jew, the celebration of the Christian savior did not appeal to him.  Still, something about the words of the poem inspired him, and thus he endeavored to compose an original score unlike anything that had been heard before.  It only took Adams three weeks to complete the work, and it was immediately performed at a Christmas Eve mass.

Church Stifles the Song

Churches across France embraced this amazing new hymn and it became a popular staple for choirs to sing at Christmas time.  However, Cappeau eventually left the Catholic church.  This information, combined with news that the music was written by a Jewish man, caused the Catholic hierarchy of France to ban the singing of “Cantique de Noel”, claiming it was too secular.  It baffles the mind how the worshipful lyrics to this song could ever be considered secular, but the church had spoken, and the song was no longer part of traditional services.

Brought to America

This did not silence the song forever.  Common folk continued to embrace it, and refused to let the church bury it.  They continued to sing “Cantique de Noel” in their homes and in social gatherings.  O Holy Night had gone from a mainstream hymn to an underground hit.  About ten years after the official attempt to bury the song by the Church in France, “Cantique de Noel” found its way to the ears of an obscure American writer, named John Sullivan Dwight.


Renames It

Dwight instantly felt moved by the lyrics and the grand, soaring score.  He determined that American audiences had to hear it.  Dwight felt that the song was the perfect marriage between the Good News of the Gospel, and the freedom that Jesus represented.  An ardent abolitionist, Dwight was overcome with the power of a particular verse:

“Truly he taught us to love one another;
his law is love and his gospel is peace.
Chains shall he break,
for the slave is our brother;
and in his name all oppression shall cease.”

Dwight translated the lyrics of “Cantique de Noel” into English, renaming it O Holy Night, and published it in a magazine.  The song found an audience in the American north, where it was celebrated as an anthem of freedom.

Song Leads to Wartime Cease Fire

Meanwhile, the song continued to be celebrated by the common man in France and various parts of Europe.  It is said that during the Franco-Prussian War in 1871, a French soldier jumped out of his trench in the middle of a fire fight, and sang three verses of “Cantique de Noel” while his fellow soldiers stared in amazement.  Upon completion of the song, a German soldier boldly emerged from hiding, approached the Frenchman and said, “Vom Himmel hoch, da komm’ ich her. Ich bring’ euch gute neue Mar, Der guten Mar bring’ ich so viel, Davon ich sing’n und sagen will,” which means “From Heaven above to Earth I come, to bring good news to everyone. Glad tidings of great joy I bring, of which I must both say and sing.”  The words are lifted from the old hymn “From Heaven Above to Earth I Come,” which was penned by Martin Luther.  The legend states that for the next 24 hours, in honor of Christmas day, both sides ceased fighting.

First Song to be Played on Radio


In 1906, the only type of radios that existed were wireless transmitters that picked up code. On Christmas Eve of that year, a 33-year-old university professor named Reginald Fessenden was tinkering in his office and proceeded to do something that had never been done before.  He broadcast a human voice across the airwaves.  Speaking into a microphone he’d rigged, Fessenden read Luke Chapter 2 from his Bible.  As he uttered the words, “And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed…” amazed radio operators on ships and over wireless code transmitters heard the Gospel being read through their speakers.  Those who heard those first words over the radio recall that they thought they were witnessing a miracle.

Meanwhile, Fessenden had no idea who, if anyone, was hearing his broadcast.  After completing his reading from the Gospel of Luke, he picked up his violin, sat close to his microphone, and played the familiar music to O Holy Night – making it the first song to ever be played over the airwaves.

Since 1847, when a poet in France penned his poem inspired by Luke’s Gospel, O Holy Night is a song that has managed to unite common people across France, inspire Americans as it highlighted the sin of slavery, unite soldiers on the battlefield, and break ground as the first song ever to be broadcast through a medium that would eventually spread the Gospel all over the world.


Do We Fail in Discernment?




Discernment is nothing more than the ability to decide between truth and error, right and wrong. Discernment is the process of making careful distinctions in our thinking about truth. In other words, the ability to think with discernment is synonymous with an ability to think biblically.

This lesson is taught to us in 1st Thessaionians 5:21-22 when it says, “But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good; abstain from every form of evil.”

According to the New Testament, discernment is not optional for the believer-it is required.


The key to living an uncompromising life lies in one’s ability to exercise discernment in every area of his or her life. For example, failure to distinguish between truth and error leaves the Christian subject to all manner of false teaching. False teaching then leads to an unbiblical mindset, which results in unfruitful and disobedient living.

You know what? It is discernment that many people, Charistians and non-Christians, fail. They stumble and show little ability to measure the things they are taught. In is the Christians that can’t discern the infallible standard of God’s Word, and they unwittingly engage in all kinds of un-biblical decision-making and behavior.

They are not armed to take a decidedly biblical stand against the onslaught of unbiblical thinking and attitudes that face them throughout their day.

Discernment is in every facet of the Christian’s life.

Discernment — the ability to think biblically about all areas of life — is vital to an uncompromising life. It is important for the Christian to seize upon the discernment that God has provided for in His precious truth! Without it, Christians are at risk of being “tossed here and there by waves, and carried about by every wind of doctrine” (Ephesians 4:14).

My Mood–Be Patient and Wait for the Lord to act…

Watching the news reporting of the shootings in San Bernadino, California has put me in a mood……

Be patient and wait for the Lord to act;
don’t be worried about those who prosper
or those who succeed in their evil plans.
Don’t give in to worry or anger;
it only leads to trouble.
Those who trust in the Lord will possess the land,
but the wicked will be driven out. – Psalm 37:7-9

Satanism is very evident since the 1960s including decimating Christian prayer from schools and public places, assassinations, our laws are changing and the Supreme Court starts tearing down the Truth: invalidating marriage between a man and a woman, gay marriages are legal and those who oppose are having trouble with the law, the Media is becoming liberally more wicked persecuting Christians but defending non-Christians, and globalization. According to the Holy Bible in the Book of Revelation, that the world will be united as One World Government.

The US and the world are heading to globalization by having influx of other countries’ citizens in millions, getting distributed to every part of the globe including the USA and the Europe.

Signs to Watch

1. False Bible teachers would be money hungry. They would be smooth talkers, have many followers, and slur the Christian faith (2 Peter 2:1-3)

2. Homosexuality would be increasingly evident at the end of the age (2 Timothy 3:3)

3. Earthquakes would be in diverse places (Matthew 24:7)

4. Stress would be part of living (2 Timothy 3:1)

5. Many wars would erupt (Matthew 24:6)

6. People would forsake the Ten Commandments as a moral code, committing adultery, stealing, lying, and killing (Matthew 24:12)

7. There would be a cold religious system, in denying God’s power (2 Timothy 3:5)

8. Men would substitute fantasy in place of Christian truth (2 Timothy 4:4). This is so evident at Christmas when the birth of the Savior is lost behind the myth of Santa Claus.

9. Deadly diseases would be prevalent (Matthew 24:7). The worldwide increase in AIDS deaths is almost inestimable. Over 160,000 Americans die of cancer each year.

10. The fact that God once flooded the earth (the Noahic flood) would be denied (2 Peter 3:5-6). There is a mass of fossil evidence to prove this fact, yet it is flatly ignored by the scientific world because of its uncanny implication.

11. The institution of marriage would be forsaken by many (1 Timothy 4:3)

12. There would be an increase in famines (Matthew 24:7)

13. Increase in vegetarianism would increase (1 Timothy 4:3-4)

14. There would be a cry for peace (1 Thessalonians 5:3)

15. The possession of Jerusalem would be at the center of international turmoil (Zechariah 12:3)

16. Knowledge would increase (Daniel 12:4)

17. There would be hypocrites within the Church (Matthew 13:25-30)

18. There would be an increase of religious cults/false teachers (Matthew 24:11 & 24)

19. The future would seem fearful to many (Luke 21:26)

20. Humanity would become materialistic (2 Timothy 3:4)

21. There would be many involved in travel (Daniel 12:4)

22. The Christian Gospel would be preached as a warning to all nations (Matthew 24:14)

23. Jesus said Christians would be hated “for His name’s sake” (Matthew 24:9)

24: And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.  (Luke 21:25-26).

25: Youth would become rebellious.  For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy (2 Timothy 3:2)

26: Men would mock the warning signs of the end of the age saying, “for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.” (2 Peter 3:4). The Bible even reveals their motivation, they love lust (verse 3). They fail to understand that a day to the Lord is as a thousand years to us. God is not subject to the time that He created. He can flick through time as we flick through the pages of a history book. The reason He seems to be silent, is because He is patiently waiting, not willing that any perish, but that all come to repentance.

Reference: “Nostradamus: Attack on America” by Ray Comfort