When I think of Summer …

 

Summer has arrived.  School is out and the freedom of no schedules is here.  This is only one sign of summer, although one that is loved by all!  Let me share with you today some things that mean summer to me.

 

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Canada Day! Lots of red and white snacks.

 

 

Strawberry Shortcake

 

 

 

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Lots of meals outside on the deck!

 

SUMMERTIME TIP:  I usually have a hard time keeping my tablecloth from blowing around on the table.  So last year, I grabbed 4 thrift store silver pitchers or sugar dishes.  (2/$2.99)  I tied some ribbon on the handles and tied the ribbon around each corner of the tablecloth.  The tablecloth stayed firmly in place without flipping up over the food.

 

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Pitchers and pitchers of lemonade!

 

 

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Lots of fun in the garden. Last summer’s sunflowers.

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One of my most favourite parts of summer!

 

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It’s even more fun this year since hubby bought me a Polaris Razer! 

 

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I thought she should look a little “girly” so I called her Daisy and dressed her up with  some daisy decals!

 

What things say Summer to you?  I’d love to know!

 

    

C A N A D A

 

I’ve had the awesome privilege of travelling into each province of Canada (except New Foundland, yet). My country is simply beautiful.
  • Pacific Ocean and mountains of BC
  • Rocky Mountains of AB (not to mention Lake Louise)
  • mile after mile of entertainment played out in the sky over SK and MB
  • Niagara Falls in ON
  • tall tree after tall tree filling up NB and Hopewell Rocks hidden in the Bay of Fundy
  • red soil and sandy beaches of PEI
  • Atlantic Ocean coastline along NS and beautiful CB
One day I’ll see
  • icebergs, ruggedness of landscape and picturesque villages of NFLD
I’ve had (and still have) the privilege of attending school, of working, of making friends and of making life choices. My country offers amazing freedoms.
I’ve had (and still have) the privilege of enjoying a life filled with many people. Along with my own culture I can experience many other cultures within own city, province, and country.
I love cheering for Canada in hockey, snowmobiling, eating beaver tails, the sights, sounds and smell of the ocean, the colours red and white. I don’t fly a Canadian Flag from my car window. But I fly one from my heart.
Oh Canada, MY home and native land…
Happy Canada Day!
    

Some Gender Identity Questions

 

34i5izm

If you or your teens are interacting with gays, lesbians, or transgender persons, there are serious questions to which you should seek answers. Questions such as:

  1. How is it that it is illegal to help a teen boy or girl who is attracted to the same sex but doesn’t want to be, but it’s okay for a boy who feels he is a girl in a boy’s body to have sexual readjustment therapy?
  1. Should the “right” of a boy who feels he is a girl imprisoned in a boy’s body to use the girls’ changing room override a girl’s right to use the girls’ changing room without having a boy watch her undress?
  1. Why does “Comprehensive Sex Education” give children the impression that everyone is equally at risk for sexually transmitted diseases when:

      . . . among men who have sex with men the rate of new HIV diagnoses is more than 44 times that of heterosexual men?

      . . . the AIDS virus is 30 times more likely to be transmitted during anal sex than vaginal sex?

      . . . young gay and bisexual men 13-24 years of age account for 72% of new HIV infections among all persons in that age group, although they represent only 2% of the total population? (US data)

  1. Why do gays and lesbians have so much more difficulty than heterosexual couples in forming lasting relationships, and in being faithful to their current partner?
  1. Should the “coming out” of gays and lesbians be celebrated?
  1. Why does the media carry so many stories on homosexuality but heterosexuality is rarely mentioned

7.  Can someone be gay and Christian?

I’m going to take a break from posting over the summer. In the meantime, think about these questions. Discuss them with your teens and your friends. We’ll continue the discussion when I return in the fall.

Have a great summer!

June 23, 2015 - 5:57 pm

Amy Grace - 1) Not sure you know what you mean by this question. It’s unclear.

2) Interesting question…it has definitely come up in different forums and especially with teens a conversation about it, is valid.

3) ANYONE is at risk of an STD/STI if they are having unprotected sex. Anyone. Especially teens experimenting irregardless of orientation. It’s important for straight young girls and guys to be as aware of STDS/STIs as anyone else.

4) Thats a major opinion. I have plenty of gay friends who are in loving committed relationships.

5) Do you celebrate your birthday? A job well done? How about being honest? I am pretty sure celebrating ‘coming out’ is a celebration of honesty.

6) Cause like every disney movie, every tv show, every advertisement is pointed towards hetero relationships. e.g.: #merder (Greys Anatomy reference) #fairytales

7) Everyone has an opinion on this. What I do know, is that someones relationship with God is none of my business.

June 23, 2015 - 6:04 pm

SmaragdineSon - Let’s see if I can answer these:

>How is it that it is illegal to help a teen boy or girl who is attracted to the same sex but doesn’t want to be, but it’s okay for a boy who feels he is a girl in a boy’s body to have sexual readjustment therapy?

One of these is not like the other. One is a choice, one is not, three guesses which is which.

>Should the “right” of a boy who feels he is a girl imprisoned in a boy’s body to use the girls’ changing room override a girl’s right to use the girls’ changing room without having a boy watch her undress?

Do they technically have this right (girls)? There’s a right to privacy, but I don’t think this is necessarily law, more that it’s simple courtesy not to embarrass anyone. Besides, the ‘girl in a boy’s body’ is still a girl. She has rights too.

>Why does “Comprehensive Sex Education” give children the impression that everyone is equally at risk for sexually transmitted diseases when: (statistics)

Everyone’s technically equally at risk, there are other factors at work. LGBT people are less likely to seek support, I’d guess, so are more likely to have unsafe sex to avoid being outed.

>Why do gays and lesbians have so much more difficulty than heterosexual couples in forming lasting relationships, and in being faithful to their current partner?

…going to need some statistics here, I’m pretty sure this isn’t true.

>Should the “coming out” of gays and lesbians be celebrated?

Yes. Not for the sake of it, but because for so many years our cultures have shamed, shunned, and even executed gays and lesbians. It’s not a celebration of their sexuality as much as a celebration of their freedom to express it.

>Why does the media carry so many stories on homosexuality but heterosexuality is rarely mentioned

Homosexuality is a controversial subject, it sells papers and gets clicks.

>Can someone be gay and christian?

Plenty of people are. I’m neither so can’t really answer this, but lots of people are. Ask one of them.

June 23, 2015 - 7:25 pm

T. Mason - 1. Because no such therapy to change sexuality exists. People who claim to do it just enact torture methods on vulnerable teens and children, because “Why not? Capital punishment for the win!”
2.Yes. Despite what you’ve been told, boys don’t have coodies. It’s a common misconception, but they’re actually just people like everyone else and have feelings other than sexual ones.
3. Because there’s not much education or dialog offered to young gay men at the moment on how to safely partake in intimacy. Plus, by this logic, lesbian sex (as the form of sex with the lowest risk factor of infection and a zero risk factor of unwanted pregnancy) must logically be the only sex okay for anyone to partake in ever.
4. Even with a much smaller dating pool, I’m pretty sure this isn’t true. Good try though.
5. Yes.
6. I’m not sure what media you’re watching, but you either have the gayest internet history ever, or it’s you that only talks about/notices hetero stuff, not the media.
7. Yes they can.

Happy to have cleared that up for you madam. Good day.

June 24, 2015 - 4:24 am

James Garcia - I’m going to attempt to answer your questions, even though I believe you think these are “Haha! Gotcha!” questions that I don’t think you really want answers for.

1) “How is it that it is illegal to help a teen boy or girl who is attracted to the same sex but doesn’t want to be, but it’s okay for a boy who feels he is a girl in a boy’s body to have sexual readjustment therapy?”

If you did a tiny bit of research on conversation therapy you’d see that; 1) It is typically forced on young kids (typically teenagers) by religious extremist parents who don’t want their kids to be gay. Those that say they “want” conversion therapy are either being forced to say they want it by their parents or they are so broken psychologically that they think they actually do want it. It’s sort of like Stockholm syndrome. Should we allow kidnap victims to stay with their kidnappers because they think they want to? I think not. 2) Conversion therapy has been proven not to work. Even those that have come out of it say they still have same-sex attraction. Gender reassignment surgery, while not 100% perfect, is getting better and before they are allowed to have the surgery they have to speak at length with psychologists as well as undergo hormone therapy. These answers are readily available to anyone that truly wants answers. Did you take the time to look?

2) “Should the “right” of a boy who feels he is a girl imprisoned in a boy’s body to use the girls’ changing room override a girl’s right to use the girls’ changing room without having a boy watch her undress?”

“Without a boy watching her undress?” What kind of changing rooms are you using? A majority of the ones I’ve seen have stalls that people change in. You assume automatically that these transgender kids are just sexual perverts looking for a peek at some innocent girl changing clothes, but, in your arrogance and lack of empathy, you don’t even once consider what they must be going through psychologically and emotionally, or how depressed, embarrassed, or suicidal they might already be. All you think about is the unjustly paranoid girl who thinks that everyone wants to see her naked. How very Christian of you. Here’s something you probably never considered; the transgender GIRL you mentioned (they are not BOYS as much as you want to insist they are) almost certainly has no desire at all to see the naked body of the hateful / paranoid girl who can’t share a bathroom that has stalls with a transgender person, and actually just wants to be able to change / go to the bathroom where she feels safe.

3) “Why does “Comprehensive Sex Education” give children the impression that everyone is equally at risk for sexually transmitted diseases when:

a) . . . among men who have sex with men the rate of new HIV diagnoses is more than 44 times that of heterosexual men?
b) . . . the AIDS virus is 30 times more likely to be transmitted during anal sex than vaginal sex?
C0 . . . young gay and bisexual men 13-24 years of age account for 72% of new HIV infections among all persons in that age group, although they represent only 2% of the total population? (US data)”

Where is anyone giving the impression that everyone is equally at risk? Just because sex ed classes teach that everyone is at risk of contracting STD’s (they are) doesn’t mean they are teaching that everyone is equally at risk. That is your assumption that you are forming based on your prejudices. Have you ever thought to ask why the HIV rate is so high among the gay community? Could it possibly be because of the societal stigma that has existed that has forced gay people to live / love in hiding because of fear that they would be beaten, arrested, or killed? Do you not think that with more education, higher acceptance within society, and more research that these statistics will change? Besides all of that, you are only quoting American statistics. Worldwide the HIV / AIDS transmission rate is actually more common among straight people. Here are some of the worldwide statistics (again… Found these in about 3 seconds using Google…) https://www.aids.gov/hiv-aids-basics/hiv-aids-101/global-statistics/

4) “Why do gays and lesbians have so much more difficulty than heterosexual couples in forming lasting relationships, and in being faithful to their current partner?”

Assuming this is true (which is highly doubtful… I’d love some statistics though!) Again… You’re not thinking of the societal stigma that has existed for decades. It is only in recent years that gay relationships have started to be accepted. Before that people had to live in hiding, families would reject people if they were found to be gay, they could lose their jobs, their friends, and in many cases even their lives. If gays wanted relationships they had to be quick and hidden, of course they weren’t going to last long. Patterns like that created by society don’t change overnight. It’s going to take time.

5) “Should the “coming out” of gays and lesbians be celebrated?”

Absolutely it should. However, there should be no need for gays to “come out.” They should just be able to be who they are without fear that their lives will be ruined or destroyed because of it.

6) “Why does the media carry so many stories on homosexuality but heterosexuality is rarely mentioned”

Ummm… What media are you viewing? What do you want the media to say? “BREAKING NEWS! Heterosexuals are STILL the majority and looked at as absolutely normal with no trouble what-so-ever!” Or how about this: “This just in! Another movie / TV show is featuring a heterosexual couple, just like 99% of them do!” or “Straight people can STILL legally get married and can go in any store they want to!” Is that what you want? I’m not sure where you’re getting that the media only focuses on homosexual relationships. That’s just not true. There are no news stories about heterosexual couples because heterosexuals already DOMINATE the media.

7) “Can someone be gay and christian?”

There are two answers to this question: 1) If you’re under the impression that being gay is a sin, then yes, you can be gay and Christian. As far as I know, Jesus said the only unforgivable sin is blasphemy of the Holy Spirit. The Bible states all have fallen short of the glory of god. A gay persons sins are no different and no less forgivable than yours. 2) If you believe that being gay is not a sin, then once again, the answer is still yes.

I hope I have successfully answered these questions even though, again, I don’t think you actually want answers to them. It was easy actually! It just took a tiny bit of empathy for people that happen to not be white and Christian and about 10 minutes of research.

June 24, 2015 - 8:12 am

Arferd Lovemore - 1) How is it that it is illegal to help a teen boy or girl who is attracted to the same sex but doesn’t want to be, but it’s okay for a boy who feels he is a girl in a boy’s body to have sexual readjustment therapy?

Society has made many things illegal that harm no one, like drugs. It’s not taking drugs thats the problem, it’s the antisocial behaviors and poor decisions that follow that should be outlawed. Currently, the Gender Reassignment Surgery after therapeutic counseling helps some teens while society has concluded that psychological intervention in a teen’s identity forming process is more harmful than positive.

2) Should the “right” of a boy who feels he is a girl imprisoned in a boy’s body to use the girls’ changing room override a girl’s right to use the girls’ changing room without having a boy watch her undress?

Again, society has deemed that the girl in a boys body should be using the correct gender changing room. Trust that the girls in there are less horrified than any righteous adults about the situation.

3) Why does “Comprehensive Sex Education” give children the impression that everyone is equally at risk for sexually transmitted diseases when:
3A) among men who have sex with men the rate of new HIV diagnoses is more than 44 times that of heterosexual men?

Lots of risky sexual behavior. Educated men protect themselves and benefit from a significant decrease in their risk of STD.

3B) the AIDS virus is 30 times more likely to be transmitted during anal sex than vaginal sex?

Given that homosexual men are more likely than heterosexual men to have unprotected receptive anal sex as a group, there’s the risk factor.

3C) young gay and bisexual men 13-24 years of age account for 72% of new HIV infections among all persons in that age group, although they represent only 2% of the total population? (US data)

Young men are more likely to engage in risky behavior. Couple that to other risky behavior and STDs are more likely in general.

4) Why do gays and lesbians have so much more difficulty than heterosexual couples in forming lasting relationships, and in being faithful to their current partner?

Until recently, gay men and lesbians were denied the legal status and social status of marriage, perpetuating the view that they were less committed. I expect the perception of gay and lesbian relationships will come to parity with heterosexual relationships in the coming years, including the divorce rate sadly.

5) Should the “coming out” of gays and lesbians be celebrated?

I, for one, look forward to the time when sexuality and gender are non-issues as inherent aspects of a person and no longer a cause for celebration. Until then, Yay for Gay!

6) Why does the media carry so many stories on homosexuality but heterosexuality is rarely mentioned

The Gay Agenda. Known fact that all media companies are run by gay CEOs, have gay Boards of Directors, and secretly are the power behind the Gay Political Machine. There’s a heterosexual glass ceiling in the media industry, I’ve heard, paying heteronormative wages while the Gay Executives make fabulous Gay salaries. Actually, I made that up and I don’t actually have a good explanation.

7) Can someone be gay and christian?

I’ve heard that Jesus asks for one’s Christian Club membership Card back after coming out, but I don’t know for sure, being Agnostic and Pansexual. I think one has to become Catholic?

    

Being Gay

 

34i5izm

 

What can I tell my children about homosexuality?” This was the first question I was asked at the end of my talk at a church in Brazil. A teacher in New York City asked, “We have some teachers and administrators at our school who are in favor of homosexuality and very vocal about it. I want to say something, but what?”

The short answer to both questions should be “The Truth.” But there is another question, an even harder one to answer: “How can you speak the truth with compassion, without breaking the spirit of those who are attracted to someone of the same sex?” What should we tell our teens about homosexuality?

Although every human being, gay or not, is an individual – different from everyone else – I think we can safely say that someone who is attracted to the same sex falls into one of four broad categories:

Those who are proud to be gay, are sexually active, and want same sex relationships to be universally approved of and celebrated.

Those who accept their attraction for the same sex reluctantly but adopt a gay lifestyle anyway.

Those who are keenly aware of their same sex attraction but do not engage in sexual intimacy.

Those who are aware of their same sex attraction, don’t want to be that way, and want help in dealing with their feelings.

In all four categories, there are those who call themselves Christians.

For all of them, life can be very, very difficult. Probably your conversations with your teens need to begin here. What is “being gay” like for their friends and classmates?

What would it be like to feel “different” from your classmates? To have to hide your real feelings? To feel rejected or judged or harassed by others who see you as different? Not to be able to respond to developing sexual attraction by dating, as heterosexual youth can? Not to be able to go with that special friend to your senior prom? To be denied any hope for a spouse and children some day?  It’s easy to understand why same-sex oriented youth seek out a gay community – a community of like-minded individuals where they can socialize freely, where they will be understood and affirmed, where they can express and discuss their desires.

So the first part of the message for our teens about homosexuality should be to challenge them to engage in conversation with their gay classmates: To share their hopes, dreams, experiences, feelings, and temptations with each other. To show respect for their dignity and worth as human beings. To get to know them as persons. To be a friend.

To be a friend doesn’t mean condoning, approving, or advocating homosexual practices.

To be continued

 

 

 

    

Understanding the Appeal of Fifty Shades of Grey

 

34i5izm

Why has the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy been so popular? And why are Christian women and girls reading them at the same rate as non-Christians?

Pulling Back the Shades: Erotica, Intimacy, and the Longings of a Woman’s Heart, by Dannah Gresh and Dr. Juli Slattery, tries to answer this question. Juli read the trilogy. Dannah did not, but she did gather stories from countless women and teen girls who have read them. Why are they reading these books? And why, as the young man wrote to Dr. Miriam Grossman, are so many girls almost obsessed with them?

As Slattery read the books, she identified five unmet longings in women:

To escape reality.
To be cherished by a man.
To be protected by a strong man.
To rescue a man.
To be sexually alive.

Meanwhile Gresh, from her interviews, identified five characteristics of successful erotica:

Focuses on female fantasy
Presents an innocent female protagonist who makes a man forget other women even exist.
Presents a controlling alpha male who dominates the female.
Characterizes the female protagonist as the only one who can meet the deepest, darkest needs of a man.
Offers detailed descriptions of sex.

Both authors were astounded at the correlation between their two lists! EL James seems to understand what women want. But is what she offers what they need to fulfill their longings?

Gresh and Slattery wrote with two goals in mind: (1) to help women see the potentially devastating effects of Fifty Shades and other books like it on their lives, and (2) to “pull back the shades” on the sex lives of the women who read their book — their longings, their questions, and their wholeness as a spiritual and sexual woman. There is a right way and a wrong way to satisfy those longings. A way that is destructive and a way that is healthy.

What your teen and tween girls need to know:
. . . that their sexual desires are good, a gift of God (Genesis 2:18; 1:31). They don’t need to be ashamed of them, or keep them secret. Reading erotica doesn’t satisfy those longings; it leaves you feeling more unsatisfied.
. . . that even though in God’s sight women are equal to men (Genesis 1:27; Galatians 3:28), he has built into women a desire for a relationship with a man who can provide, protect, and lead. In today’s culture, women may not admit this openly because they’ve been told they should be independent. But the strong man we desire shows his strength not in dominating, abusing, or humiliating, but in loving sacrifice, as modeled by Christ (Ephesians 5:23).
. . . that a girl should expect her future husband to love her, to nourish and cherish her, to delight in her, to bring out the best in her — as Christ does for the church (Ephesians 5:25, 28-29).
. . . that woman was created as a completer, or “helper,” for the man she marries (Genesis 2:18, 21-22). A woman has a deep, imbedded desire to make a profound difference in the life of a man. This desire is biblical. But in her own power a woman cannot change a troubled man. God can, but she can’t; to believe otherwise is fantasy.
. . . that if as a single person she refrains from sexual intimacy, as God intended, she will have sexual struggles: loneliness, unfulfilled desires, temptations. She needs to be honest about these unmet longings, and she needs to find a safe place to talk about them so that she doesn’t choose destructive ways of dealing with them. Erotica erodes real intimacy.

You – and your teen girls — need to be spiritually discerning. Don’t let anything else replace God’s Word as the source of truth or comfort in your life. Instead, as Gresh and Slattery write, let God “build a wall of truth around you, equipping you to live in this world with love and holiness.”