Trick or Trash

halloween

For many parents, Halloween means trick or treaters. But before your child heads out, you can take steps towards a safe and healthy Halloween.

 

Make sure your child carries a flashlight and wears lots of reflective material. Children can accidentally cross in front of unsuspecting drivers.

 

And before your kids dive into their spoils, inspect the candy. Look for loose wrappers, unwrapped candy and any suspicious items.

 

Plus consider rationing candy, and giving it out slowly during the days and weeks ahead.

 

One last tip: stay with your child as they gather their goodies. Don’t let them out alone. The greatest gift your child can have is not a sack of sweets, but a parent that cares about their safety.

 

Find more information on this and many other health topics, when you log onto Shine.FM.

Listen to today’s audio here. 

Separation Between Church and State

christmas

The separation of church and state Grinch is alive and well in the Upper Midwest.

 

A Wisconsin high school choir will be able to continue with a Christmas tradition after all.  Earlier this month, the Wausau School District informed its music teachers that singing about Santa would be acceptable, but singing about Jesus was prohibited.

 

Music director Phil Buch said he was told by Superintendent Kathleen Williams to reduce the number of religiously related songs during the group’s holiday performances.  He responded, “My responsibility has been to always perform a balanced repertoire.”

 

The superintendent gave him three options: Either include five secular, non-religious songs for every faith-based carol, hold a concert without any Christmas music, or postpone all December concerts.  She claimed limiting the religious music would protect the district from future lawsuits.

 

The school’s choir was temporarily disbanded until school board members could decide the matter.  Parents were upset, and attorneys from the Alliance Defending Freedom sent a letter to the school district.

 

The letter stated, “Schools should not have to think twice about whether they can allow students to sing Christmas carols because courts have unanimously upheld their inclusion.”

 

School board members voted unanimously to hold off on making any immediate decisions about the choir group. They decided instead to review the actions of the school superintendent.

 

Phil Buch, the choir director, says, “I think there’s an understanding that sacred music does have a definite place in our choral ranks.”

 

By the way, if you ever feel that your child’s religious freedom is being threatened at a public school, you can contact the ADF at AllianceDefendingFreedom.org

 

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

Listen to today’s audio here. 

 

Marriage is a Conversation

conversation

Friend, have you thought about the power of your voice?

We thought about that this week because our little guy Jackson who’s three was kind of pondering and he came out with the statement, “When I was a baby, I wanted to have a voice like mine!”

It took us a little while to figure out what he meant by that, didn’t it?

As he began to talk, we figured out that he was saying, “Now that I can talk, I make friends and I feel close to people.” And I understood what he meant.

It is so powerful, we take it for granted. But that’s exactly what we have as a gift in our own marriages—our voices to pull us together.

That’s right. Sometimes people define marriage as one long conversation, and I know why they do that.

Friend, don’t take your voice for granted. It’s the lifeblood of your relationship.

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. 

Honey Hang Ups

honey

If you like honey, I have some news that may sting a little: you may not always get what you pay for.

 

Studies show many brands of supermarket honey contain high fructose corn syrup.  Beyond just being an unhealthy ingredient, it’s one that shouldn’t be in honey at all.

 

Other research shows up to two thirds of the honey we buy isn’t technically honey, since it has been highly filtered and contains little pollen.

 

This news has generated a lot of buzz with my patients, and here’s what I’ve told them—consider buying honey from farmer’s markets, food co-ops or health food stores—also called natural grocers. Tests have shown they’re the best place to get a honey of a deal.

 

Find more information on this and many other health topics, when you log onto Shine.FM.

Listen to today’s audio here. 

Sudoku Sharp

soduku

Want to keep your brain sharp as you age?  Then learn a new skill!

Michelle Castillo at CBSNews.com reports that a new study has found that engaging in brain-teasing activities like crossword puzzles or Suduko may not be enough to keep your mind sharp in old age.

The researchers looked at 221 people who were between the ages of 60 to 90.

One group learned a new skill — either digital photography, quilting or both. The particular tasks were chosen because they involved active engagement, used working and long-term memory and other thinking processes.

Another group was told to do mentally-stimulating activities that they were used to doing, like listening to classical music and completing crossword puzzles.

A third group was told to do social activities that included field trips and entertainment.

Each group was told to engage in their assigned activity for 15 hours a week for three months.

At the end of the study, the researchers saw that those who learned something new had more improvements in their memory skills compared to the other groups.

Denise Park, co-director for the Center for Vital Longevity, says “the findings suggest that engagement alone is not enough.  Only the groups that were confronted with continuous and prolonged mental challenge improved.”

Dr. Park said they hope to follow up with the participants in a year and again after five years to see if they effects of learning new activities hold up over time.

By the way, another method that might help seniors boost memory banks is playing video games.  Older people who learned a car racing and shooting game were able to improve their multitasking abilities and remember names better.

 

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

Listen to today’s audio here. 

Symbolizing Milestones

milestones

The little scholar. I know those words mean something to you.

 

They absolutely do. They describe one of my most prized possessions. It’s a statue of a little boy reading a book. It’s on my mantel and every time I see it I think about your love and support.

 

I gave that to you when you finished you dissertation a number of years ago. I remember taking you out to dinner and having that delivered to the table. It was kind of a surprise. I think sometimes having something tangible really is valuable to remember accomplishments.

 

You’re right because symbols sometimes speak volumes to us. They take us back to a point of memory and remind us of the love we had for each other.

 

Friend, think about that in your own relationship. What kind of things do you have in your own home that symbolize the milestones in your marriage?

 

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. 

Passion: Let The Future Begin Tour with Kristian Stanfill

Passion will embark on the “Passion: Let The Future Begin” Tour this fall for a night of worship. The tour will open up the opportunity for people to connect with the vision and heartbeat of Passion in their own city and join together in worship and prayer as a community seeking to make Jesus famous. Don’t miss it Tuesday, November 5th at Centennial Chapel on the campus of Olivet Nazarene University. Tickets here.