I’m Not Ashamed

If you’re not “ashamed” of the Gospel, then encourage someone you know with this verse this afternoon.

~Garrett

Public Sleeping Day

Hey it’s Garrett from Shine Afternoons and did you know that today is
Public Sleeping Day? Yup..an opportunity to catch up on your
sleep–in public! Have you ever fallen asleep in public? I have and
more than once! How about you?

Are You Driving Your Coworkers Crazy?

Excessive noise-making, lots of chit chat, and strong odors can all be linked to your coworkers’ dissatisfaction with you!  In Lisa’s Home School, I talk about some other sources of frustration for your coworkers and how you can avoid them.

Good News: 6-Year-Old Hero

Taylor Hendrix is a 6-year-old hero from Tennessee.  He was playing X-Box at 4 a.m. last weekend at his grandparent’s house when he saw flames shooting down from the attic.  He was able to wake everyone up so they could get out of house safely.  Although the house is completely destroyed and the family lost everything, they are thankful for their little hero, as well as for the community that has overwhelmed them with support.  Read Taylor’s story here.

How Can We Get Our Families Back To What’s Most Important?

Dear Dr. Bill,

Do you remember when stores were closed on Sundays, there were no sporting events and families went to church and worshiped?  And how the dinner hour was set at 6 pm and nothing else got in the way?  And Wednesday nights were set aside for church activities?

Am I unrealistic to want all of that back again?  Lately I’ve gotten so tired of so many things pulling our family apart.  Yet, if you want your child to participate in extra-curricular activities, you must sacrifice some priorities.  Is there anything we can do to get back to the basics?

–Julia

Dear Julia,

You’ve asked a very important question about an issue I care passionately about.  Families are running at a breakneck pace today, and unfortunately even many Christian families are buying into the culture’s notion of what will make us happy.

Every day our culture bombards us with the message that what’s really important in life are things like achievement, success, popularity, power, and physical attractiveness.  But God calls us to a much higher standard.  In God’s economy what’s truly important is developing a loving heart and Christlike character.

Far too many Christian parents focus on making sure their kids make the honor roll, or play on the championship soccer team, or make the cheerleading squad or get into a top college. Those things aren’t bad in and of themselves.  The problem is when they become our chief goal in life.

Instead, our primary focus should be to help our kids cultivate qualities like honesty, empathy, compassion, service, and self-sacrifice.  We should be striving to raise kids who exhibit the Fruit of the Spirit.

A great place to go for advice on this topic is Focus on the Family’s website, FocusonTheFamily.com.

Thanks for writing, Julia.  If you have a question for me about family issues or Christian living, click the “Questions” link on the Family Expert page.

Click here for the audio version of this article.

Good News: Local Teen Hired For Work Ethic

Indianapolis 18-year-old Jhaqueil Reagan was walking to a job interview at a thrift store (10 miles away in the snow and ice) when he caught the eye of local cajun restaurant owner Art Bouvier.  Art was putting salt down in the parking lot of Indianapolis favorite Papa Roux when Jhaqueil asked him for directions.  Art said if he was willing to walk 10 miles to an interview, he was willing to hire him on work ethic alone.  Jhaqueil started work the next day.  Art posted the “chance encounter” on Papa Roux Facebook page, and from there it went viral.  Kurt and I had the chance to meet Jhaqueil yesterday.  He told us he’s a little overwhelmed with the attention — he just wants to work!  Check out the full story here.

For The Love Of Junk Food

As it turns out, it’s not an accident that you’re addicted to potato chips, or any other guilty-pleasure junk food.  A new in-depth study shows that product development teams combine science, ignorance, and marketing to get the public hooked on cheap, processed foods.  Learn more in Lisa’s Home School.

The Impact Of Divorce On Teens

More and more American teens are experiencing divorce in their family.

According to a new report that appeared in the Chicago Tribune, more than half of all 17-year-olds now live in homes that have suffered from divorce or separation.

Dr. Elizabeth Marquardt is a professor at the Marriage & Religion Research Institute at Lake Forest College.

She points out that while some of these kids still live in a household with a mother and a father, just 45% live with their biological mom and dad.

Children who come from broken homes are statistically less likely to graduate from high school, more likely to suffer from depression as adults, and more likely to have their own children out of wedlock.

In addition, a new analysis of the divorce research shows that it negatively impacts a person’s religious faith.  Children raised in families where their parents remain happily married are twice as likely to attend worship at a church than those whose parents divorce.

Dr. Marquardt says “Children of divorce are on the leading edge of the well-documented spiritual-but-not-religious movement.”

I did a report on that cultural trend a few weeks ago, and mentioned that people who identify as “spiritual but not religious” are more likely to experience symptoms of mental illness and abuse drugs and alcohol.

So how should we respond to news like this?  If you know a teen who has experienced divorce, consider if God may be calling you reach out to them as a friend or mentor.

To read more about the new findings on divorce, go to ChicagoTribune.com and enter “divorce research” in the search engine.

I’m Bill Maier for Shine.FM

Click here for the audio version of this article.

Good News: Shine.FM Listener Shines

Maddie, one of our Shine.FM listeners wrote to tell us how she shines!  Check this out!

“I am a middle school student at Crown Point Christian School. My
friend, Valerie, and I have started a prayer group at our school to stop the gossip and godless chatter that goes on in our school. At our
break-time, Valerie and I meet in one of our teacher’s room and do a
devotion and pray with the people that come. Anyone is welcome to come
at any time during the break period. We call it T.O.P. for Time Of
Prayer. We took a hint from one of our teachers, Mr. Stallinga, who
wrote a problem on one of our Language assignments that talked about
the godless chatter that goes on at break. So many of my peers and
teachers and even other parents have thanked Valerie and myself and I
always get a warm feeling inside. I feel so honored that I can do
something that seems so small, but reaches people in a strong way.”

Keep up the good work Maddie and Valerie!  If you want to tell us how you shine, click here.

How To Get Your Tax Refund As Fast As Possible:

Yes, sometimes the IRS is to blame for the slow processing of your tax refund.  Other times, it might be you!  In Lisa’s Home School, learn some tips to get your tax refund back as quickly as possible.