Summer Fun Means Summer Calorie Bombs


At the ballpark, at the county fair, and at the carnival.  Summer is full of fun places with temptations in the form of fat, sugar, and lots and lots of calories!  In Lisa’s Home School, learn how to swap some of the highly caloric food for some healthier choices.

Good News: Soldier’s WW II Letters To Wife Arrive To Son 69 Years Later


When 71-year-old Chuck opened his mailbox last week, he found a handwritten letter postmarked from Australia.  He had visited Australia, but didn’t remember meeting the letter writer, John Armstrong.  But when Chuck opened the letter, his confusion changed to amazement. John, an Australian stamp collector, had sent Chuck a scanned image of an envelope that was addressed in his own father’s distinctive handwriting.  John had written to ask if this letter was from his father.  He said he actually had 2 letters from Chris, Chuck’s father, who had been serving in the Army in Italy during World War II.  They were addressed to his mother Phyllis.  Once John had confirmation from Chuck that he had the right family, he mailed the letters.  Chuck, whose parents have already passed away, said he was grateful for the kindness of a stranger and overwhelmed reading the sweet letters from his dad to his mom.  And the coolest part of the story?  The letters arrived at Chuck’s house on June 23rd, and one of the letters was also postmarked June 23rd, 1944.  Check these letters out here.

Influencing Your Spouse

Well, you were laughing hysterically at me this week, because I was singing along to a song in the car and I didn’t understand the lyrics.

Yeah, I suddenly realized you have been singing the wrong words for 20 years. The funny thing about it was I said, “Do you realize you’ve actually used that song, like you really knew what it meant, to influence me once when were having a fight and I went your way because of it.”

I rememeber that. Research actually shows that if you can influence each other, even if you don’t know the lyrics, there’s a lot to be said for your marriage.

You’re right about that. The happiest marriages are the marriages where we allow our spounse to have a very great influence on our life.

If you have a comment or question for the New Shine.FM relationship experts Drs. Les and Leslie Parrott, visit the relationships experts page at Shine.FM.

Listen to today’s audio here.

Shine Relationship Experts

“Help—My Son Is Failing In School And He Doesn’t Want My Help!”

Dear Dr. Bill,

I’m a single mom and my 14-year-old son has been falling behind in school.  He recently brought home 2 “Ds.”  I used to tutor him when he was younger, but for the last two years he has refused my help.

Right now the only thing that seems to interest him is basketball.  I don’t want to threaten taking that away, as it is the only extra activity he has.  If I do, I’m afraid he’ll withdraw.  How do I help my son turn his grades around when he doesn’t see the need for getting help from me or others?


Dear Debbie,

During the early teen years most kids go through a normal time of “individuation,” or becoming more independent from their parents.  This is the beginning of their journey into adulthood.

This process is very difficult for some parents to understand or accept.  They may have had a very close relationship with their child when they were younger, and now the child seems to be pulling away.  It can be particularly challenging for single moms.

This separation process may be why your son is so resistant to you tutoring him at age 14.  I would suggest you work with his school to find a tutor in the subjects he’s struggling in.  You should also keep in close contact with your son’s teachers, preferably on a weekly basis.

You mentioned you didn’t want to threaten to take away basketball, but it may be the one thing that will motivate him to work harder academically.  I would suggest you have a private conversation with his basketball coach.

Express your concerns and ask him if he will make participation on the team dependent on your son bringing up his grades.  Most good coaches want their players to succeed academically as well as athletically.

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

Listen to today’s audio here.

Shine Family Expert

Magic Parenting Word


Parents need to slow down, stop comparing, and wait. This word, “wait,” is used too rarely in today’s frenetic lifestyle. Parents don’t wait for their babies and children often enough, since we’re always in a mad rush for them to achieve, perform, and do us proud.  By waiting for children to accomplish things in their own time, we acknowledge that each child has their own “unique developmental timetable.” Learn more in Lisa’s Home School.

Good News: Bullied Bus Monitor Teaches Kindness


Remember the story about Karen Klein, the school bus monitor that was bullied on the bus by 4 boys?  She is a widow and was a bus monitor because she couldn’t afford to retire.  The 10-minute cellphone video of her being ridiculed, sworn at and threatened by a group of seventh-graders went viral last June. They poked at her hearing aid and called her names as she tried to ignore them.  After that went viral, she was interviewed by the Today show and all the other major news outlets, and strangers started donating her money.  All in all, she received over $700,000.  Klein used part of it as seed money for the Karen Klein Anti-Bullying Foundation, which teaches kindness at concerts and through books. Most recently, the foundation partnered with the Moscow Ballet to raise awareness of cyberbullying as the dance company tours the United States and Canada.  And now, she’s finally been able to retire.  She said the major lesson she’s learned this past year is that there really are a lot of wonderful people in the world.  Read her full story here.

Two Is Better Than One

There’s nothing better then when your stuck in traffic, at a complete stand still and you realize, “Oh, there’s a car pool lane and there’s two people in our car!”

And it’s just like a ‘Get Out of Jail Free’ card. You just feel gleefully privileged. Like we get to go and everyone else is stuck.

And, boom. You zoom by everyone else because there’s two of you in the vehicle, two or more. And you know, I think there’s some real advantages to that same sense of twoness in marriage.

Yeah, that two is better then one. It really is more fun to share an experience and there is a lot of benefits that come with being married.

Friend, don’t forget the joy that comes from a partnership, where your joys are doubled and your sorrows are cut in half because theres two.

If you have a comment or question for the New Shine.FM relationship experts Drs. Les and Leslie Parrott, visit the relationships experts page at Shine.FM.

Listen to today’s audio here.

Shine Relationship Experts


America’s Doctors Weigh In On The Dangers Of Obesity

The American Medical Association has taken a tough new stand on obesity.  They now classify it as a “disease” requiring medical treatment.

CBS News reporter Ryan Jaslow says the new definition is aimed at getting doctors to tackle obesity as if they were treating a disease instead of simply a “lifestyle condition” that should be changed.

The AMA issued a statement that states “Recognizing obesity as a disease will help change the way the medical community tackles this complex issue that affects approximately one in three Americans.”

According the latest stats, more than 35 percent of U.S. adults and 17 percent of children and teens meet the criteria for obesity.

Multiple research studies have linked obesity to a variety of medical conditions.  These include heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, stroke, liver disease, sleep apnea, breathing problems, osteoarthritis and joint pain, infertility, sexual side effects and cancers of the breast, colon, esophagus, pancreas and kidneys.

Also, this years’ “Annual Report on the Status of Cancer” found significant rises in obesity-related cancers over the past three decades.

So what does the new classification mean for obese people as patients?

Dr. Louis Arronne, obesity specialist at New York-Presbyterian Hospital, says it could have a tremendous impact on health care legislation in Washington and with insurance companies.

Bariatric surgeries including lap-band procedures or gastric bypass surgeries may now be covered by more insurers based on the AMA’s new classification

There are also two recently-approved obesity drugs, Qsymia and Belviq, that can be prescribed to obese patients.

To learn more, go to the American Medical Association’s website and enter “obesity” in the search engine.

I’m Bill Maier for Shine.FM.

Listen to today’s audio here.

Shine Family Expert

Diet or Exercise: What Matters Most?


In a perfect world, everyone would work out enough and eat right all the time. But that’s not always possible, so in Lisa’s Home School, find out what really matters most–dieting or exercise–for losing weight, fighting disease, and boosting overall well-being.

Good News: Homeless Teen Becomes NBA Prospect

Dwayne Davis’s mother died when he was a teenager, leaving him to assume much of the responsibility for raising his baby brother and 8-year-old sister. They slept in homeless shelters or in his mom’s old van, he drove his sister to school long before he was old enough to even have a license, and started selling stolen playstations out of the trunk of a car to have enough money to buy a little food.  With the help of mentors and basketball, he graduated high school and got recruited to play ball in college.   Now, he just graduated from Southern Miss and has been working out with NBA teams in preparation for the draft.  He’s been courted by half a dozen NBA teams, including the Chicago Bulls.  They say he has a great chance of being picked up in tomorrow’s NBA draft!  Read his story here.