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    “I’m Sorry” Are we teaching our children a desire for forgiveness or to be excused?

    By Wendy Fitzgerald, the On Cause and Effect Column

    ID-100294190We teach our children from a young age to say the words, “I’m sorry.” However, our good intentions may encourage poor understanding and flippant use of these two powerful words. When we ask our children to say that they are sorry, we are instructing them to change the posture of their heart and to assume a repentant tone and attitude. We are asking them to acknowledge the poor choice that they have made and to turn from that choice with both their words and actions. Yet many of us know all too well that words are much more easily changed than hearts.

    Children often say the words “I’m sorry” without altering their tone of voice, behavior, or body language. If we allow our children to say these words without a change of heart, then we are training them to be excused rather than forgiven.… continue reading

    On Manners & Civility: Lesson Two/ Graduation Time! Time to Send Those Thank-You Cards

    By Sarah Philpott, the On Manners and Civility Column

    On Manners & Civility: Lesson Two/ Graduation Time! Time to Send Those Thank-You Cards

    Manners: a characteristic or customary mode of acting

    Civility: polite, reasonable, and respectful behavior

    From the Meriam-Webster Dictionary

    It’s May! Which means that high school graduation ceremonies are about to begin. It also means that graduates will be receiving celebratory gifts from their family and loved ones.


    And, as much as your teen might like to throw away all pens, pencils, and paper for the next few months there is one last task at hand…writing and sending notes of thanks.

    It’s not enough to send a thanks via text, email, or social media. Tagging someone on social media is great, but a proper thank you must be written down on a card and sent to the gift-giver.

    Help your teen with this undertaking, but don’t write the thank you for them or let them off the hook.… continue reading

    Memorial Day

    Memorial-Day happy memorial day steve repak sacrific money matters family money

    By Steve Repak, the On Family Money Matters Column

    John 15:13 (NLT) There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.

    Have you ever wished someone a Happy Memorial Day? Most people think of Memorial Day as the kick off to summer vacation season but it should be a time when we remember the people who died while serving in our country’s armed forces. As a veteran who served in the Army, I truly understand the sacrifices that are made each and every day to protect the freedoms that most of us take for granted. I don’t want to come off as a Debbie Downer or to make anyone feel bad, but I just wanted to remind everyone what the true meaning of Memorial Day.

    So how can we all use the spirit of Memorial Day and apply it to our finances?… continue reading

    Your One Person

    one_person gossip person parenting confidence parenting teens bethany jett one person

    By Bethany Jett

    “I won’t tell anyone.”

    Biggest. Lie. Ever.

    You know it, and I know it. Never trust the “I won’t tell anyone,” line because here’s the truth:

    Everyone has their one person. One person’s ear who gets the secrets that no one is supposed to know.

    Like a game of telephone where I quietly say a phrase to one in a line, then wait for each person to pass it down until the last person blurts out what hopefully is a crazy version of my original statement, each person has their one person that they share what they believe the truth to be.

    Everyone has one person that they know will keep a secret safe. The problem comes in when you and your one person are not only each other’s one person.

    Mary’s friend Jane is her one person, but Jane’s one person isn’t Mary, it’s Kimmy. So, Mary tells Jane a story, swearing her to secrecy.… continue reading

    "Send Me!" - Mobilizing Your Kids for Service

    Send MeBy Ann-Margret Hovsepian, Creative Connections column

    In Isaiah 6, the prophet Isaiah describes a vision in which he heard God ask, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” Without hesitating, Isaiah answered: “Here am I. Send me!” God had an important message for Jews, but He needed someone to deliver that message. Isaiah gladly volunteered.

    Of course, not everyone in the Bible was so willing to go on a mission for God. Jonah 1:1-3 describes how Jonah ran from God instead of agreeing to go to Ninevah to warn them about their wickedness. And in Exodus 3–4, we read about all the excuses Moses made when God asked him to go to Egypt and free the Jewish slaves. In both cases, God was not pleased with their reluctance.

    No matter how young your children or teens are, they need to know that God has blessed them with talents and gifts and that He has a plan for their lives.… continue reading

    Does it really matter if you teach your children about purity?

    Does it really matter if you teach your children about purity? by Sherri Wilson Johnson, On Inspiring Purity column

    May purity ID-100242171

    My son is getting married in a couple of weeks to a young lady he’s been friends with since he was thirteen years old. They started officially dating two years ago and knew pretty instantly that they wanted to marry each other. We raised him to save himself sexually for marriage, and his future bride was raised the same way. My son has friends who chose a different route and who’ve had problems as a result of it. He didn’t want that way of life for himself. So he committed to remain pure and chose not date until he found someone he’d want to marry. Who knew that girl would come along when he was thirteen and would remain in his heart until they were old enough to date?

    They were only friends when they were younger because we didn’t allow dating at a young age.… continue reading

    A Gift To Our Daughters: We Love Our Imperfect Bodies

    A Gift To Our Daughters: We Love Our Imperfect Bodies
    By Jennifer Watson

    I wish I could erase this pattern that cripples women, the one that starts as a preteen and follows us through life. This unhealthy space of not liking the way we look. I blink slowly trying to remember when this started, or why it started. Was it the images on television or the porn I found in someone’s house when I was a girl trying to figure out what being a woman was all about?

    I remember thinking that very moment, when I realized that people pay money for that trash, so, this is what you think of women?

    Don’t you know that I will be one soon?

    This is someone’s daughter and you are someone’s dad.

    Is this all you think that we are? Painted and displayed and broken.

    I felt sorry for her, the girl on the front cover bare.continue reading

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