Something scary is happening to boys today. From kindergarten to college, American boys are, on average, less resilient and less ambitious than they were a mere twenty years ago. The gender gap in college attendance and graduation rates has widened dramatically. While Emily is working hard at school and getting A’s, her brother Justin is goofing off. He’s more concerned about getting to the next level in his videogame than about finishing his homework. Now, Dr. Leonard Sax delves into the scientific literature and draws on more than twenty years of clinical experience to explain why boys and young men are failing in school and disengaged at home. He shows how social, cultural, and biological factors have created an environment that is literally toxic to boys. He also presents practical solutions, sharing strategies which educators have found effective in re-engaging these boys at school, as well as handy tips for parents about everything from homework, to videogames, to medication.
Here is another, more recent treatment on the topic:
As we moved to San Antonio from the North East, crossing paths with a talented musician and dedicated Christian was both a blessing and honor for my family.
Today, #OakHillsChurch said a goodbye to Stephen Fryrear as he and his wife begin a new stage of their lives in Alabama. A goodbye mixed with tears of sadness and joy. Sadness for our loss as a Church Family here in San Antonio – even as temporary as it may be, and joy to see that like a seed on the wind, Stephen and his wife will take their joy and talents to some other part of the country to continue to build the #Kingdom.
If you are not familiar with Stephen – I might suggest you check out two of my favorites on iTunes – his song “At the Cross” and “Because of Bethlehem”.
It has been more than a year, and I had gone silent. Why? Because my server traveled the world. What? Well, actually – I traveled the world – more specifically we have traveled the world.
Ok, so not really across the whole world, just to the other side of the country – which coming from a boy who grew up in a tiny little town in back-water Maine without running water, or sewer – it has seemed like I am a whole new world away.
We are now in Texas.
In July of 2012 I decided it was time to move on from my company of almost 13 years; I put my resume up on the internet. Within a matter of days, I had been contacted by a couple different companies that were offering great salaries and benefits, but they were either in the North East (I wanted to get out of the cold) or were on the west coast (I didn’t want to go that far).
Then one day on vacation up in the mountains with my family I received a call from this company that I had not heard of (interestingly, I had heard a lot about them, but just didn’t realize it). The recruiter left a message. As a curtsy call, I left him a return message letting him know that I did not ever intend to move as far as Texas. The recruiter called me back and asked if I was at least interested in hearing what he had to offer.
Rewind 13 years and that is exactly what happened at my previous place of employment, they had 3 managers that reached out to me from the one company for three different positions. I called the first back to tell him I wasn’t interested in moving to the mid-west, he asked me if I was at least interested in hearing what he had to offer.
I met with the first manager, he offered me the job a few weeks later, the rest is history.
Fast forward back to 2012, the recruiter told me about the company and the position, and I thought he must be joking. I jumped online in my spotty internet connection the next night, in between homework assignments and I sent him a resume.
A few weeks later I was on a plane to Texas (shudder), a few weeks after that I gave my notice at my current place of employment, and just a few more weeks I was pulling away from our ‘dream house’ that we had built – hauling a camper, a wife and five children half-way across the country to the unknown.
And to think, I once read the book “Who Moved My Cheese” and thought – “Hey, this could be about me”.
We took almost a month to travel from Maine to Texas, and stopped to visit family along the way. Stopped to say hello to our favorite place on the east coast: Tybee Island. Even took a short detour to bring our kids to Disney – something my wife had always wanted to do – but I was always too busy working to ever find the time.
So here we are, only about a month after hearing about this new company, we left our home, our family and traveled to the other side of the country. Living out of our camper (7 people), wondering if we would be able to sell our house, wondering when we could buy a new house.
Fast forward 8 months later. We miss our friends and family back home; but we’ve made new friends too. My family couldn’t be happier (except if our friends and family came to live in Texas). The job is wonderful, the weather is amazing, Texas is super… where has it been all my life? I belong in this state – while I will miss the seasons and the trees and the land, Maine was really not my true home.
And now I come to the end, and I must sign off by saying that YHWH has really taken care of me and my family. I’ve never done anything to deserve it, that’s for sure. But He has watched over us, and listened to us, and directed us, and He has told us and showed us what and when.
The pages have turned, the next chapter has begun. May it always be, Soli Deo Gloria.
The sun was bright, it was a self-timed photo-snap; but I have learned that I can go searching for happiness further than my back yard – because no matter where we are, as long as we are together – we are always at home!
Sitting in church tonight, I was thinking that the advent means so much more than I’ve ever thought of before. Our King and Creator came in such a strange way, to be born as a servant, to die, not a hero’s death as most Kings of renown, but to die a death most often of slaves, only then to triumph and be triumphant in His death… But, His advent was for my children, and my children’s children… He opened the door of salvation for them – and as a parent, I could never have asked or expected for anything more amazing than that. To know that the light of the world came in to overcome the darkness, to infiltrate and win back the hearts of his rebellious creation and in so doing, He gave me hope in that whatever life brings, there is hope for my children that goes beyond the hardships of this life alone. Regardless of the time of year Christ was really born: Happy Birthday Jesus, and thank you for such a wonderful gift – the gift of life for my children.
A good friend just posted this as an important reminder to people on their privacy on Facebook; however, I think we must dig further into the problem to understand it. Point being: Facebook is not the problem. Pop over and read this article, then come back and see what I have to say.
Postman is still on my to read list along with a is for ox, once I finish the Gutenberg elegies, but I think our culture is far worse off than postman indicates, it is both Orwellian and Huxleyan to the extreme.
What people cannot forget is that it is not FBs fault, they are providing a service that is filling a void in the culture.
Deleting your Facebook account will accomplish nothing. Being conscious of how our consumerism is used against us and acting accordingly is more appropriate.
How many of us tag our restaurants, link the movie we just finished watching, follow our favorite author or sports team all on Facebook?
Now the real question is, how many of you do so remembering that every button you click, link you follow and picture you view is stored and sold to the highest bidder?
Understand that Facebook is facilitating what the mass is asking for, it is not stealing your data, you are willingly providing it because of the benefits you receive.
Boycotting, deleting or complaining is not going to do you a lick of good; being informed however and acting intelligently on that information is where you will find the most value.
In fact, if you do delete it, I’ll give you less than 6 months before you come back, as we are all slaves to our culture in one way or another.
over the last two weeks, I have been on vacation. Over the last two weeks, I have been too sick to do much outside of the house. One thing, however, we have done, is we have watched the Star Wars movies from beginning to end (most of my children and myself). I have always wanted to do that – but have never really had the time.
It was a great opportunity to spend a little quiet time with my children, for the oldest, it also provided some prompts for him to ask some of those more basic questions of life.
I haven’t watched Star Wars in a long, long time; and for one, I am so glad that the first three were made, as they provide so much important insight. It always felt like the last three were not complete. Who was Darth Vader, what happened to him, why had he turned to the dark side.
As we sat and watched the movie together, the feelings it stirred up had quite an impact on me. I could totally see what happened to Anakin, I could even, in my own mind experience it. I have had things in this life that were so precious to me that I would do anything to keep them, anything. As Yoda said however, greed leads to fear, fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, and hate leads to the dark side of the force.
Anakin was so wrapped up in what he wanted, that he didn’t take the time to experience what he had. He was so consumed that it blinded him, and eventually, he himself caused what he was trying so hard to prevent – and then, he lost hope.
“But”, Donovan said to me, “It’s never too late to change”. Unfortunately, it’s much easier to see that from the outside looking in. However, Anakin took his path from innocence, to evil, and in the end, through acts of selflessness by someone else who cared enough for him to give up their own life; he was redeemed.
How much that touches on my heart, as I have experienced that; in fact, I experience that almost every day – it’s like a mini-journey. My children will too.
To often my heart can grow hard, and calloused, and there are things I want, and I’ll work for them at any cost, all the while neglecting those things that are most precious to me. And then, to gain those things most precious to me back, often takes more than I can muster in my own strength.
I am so thankful for the reminder that in the end, there is someone that is willing to help us, and with that help, we are then enabled to choose the good side of the force, to throw off the bondage of the dark side, and to seek redemption.
It was like watching a movie about my own life, just as my namesake – Darth Jedi – a precarious balance between the good side and the dark side. How Epic!
Not that I should expect anything different, but it’s funny, when you have plenty of money to spare, the credit card companies are like leeches, everyone is sending you offers and trying to woo you into a relationship.
When they start seeing that money drying up (the 2010 expenses have been unbelievable after depleting storage of excess for the adoptions) – they are like rats abandoning a sinking ship.
Over the last two months we’ve had credit card companies close accounts and reduce balances all without prior-notification – to the point of causing me to have to make unexpected $500-600 payments on a single card as it’s available balance was reduced by a couple hundred dollars.
With other cards, now that we have balances for the first time, they are sending us balance transfer offers with very fine print stating that you will start paying off your lower interest balances first before your higher interest balances. So they are throwing out offers of lower interest so-as to get us to pile on lower interest loans onto higher interest loans; so they can compound interest. The most obvious is when you have credit cards from the same company, same credit line, etc. and they give you low interest balance transfers for the accounts that carry a balance but not for accounts that do not carry a balance. Worst part is, most people don’t realize this is what they’re doing. Sleeze balls!
Little do they know that this is one of the ways I weed out the good card companies from the bad… that in a few months I will pay off and close the accounts that tried to screw me over, and no longer feed them the excessive amounts of money with each swipe at the gas station or the grocery store.
However, it’s always nice to remember that credit card companies are the equivalent of bottom feeding, blood sucking leeches & rats. They should come with a warning label (Note: we will be here for your convenience, but don’t turn your back as we’ll take every opportunity to try and screw you if it looks like we can).
In regards to HR5283, just so we understand the expectations here: These children WILL become citizens whether or not the law passes. The law on the floor will just make it so they don’t have to wait the 2 years to become a citizen, due to the way they came into the country to complete their adoption.
It means that if their parents were to die, they would be treated like their siblings in guardianship transferring to those named in a will, rather than immediately becoming wards of the state. It just means that they can travel freely in and out of the country without fear of harassment, and that they will be treated with the same respect and value and dignity that we, as American citizens, often give to no others, unless they are "Americans". I’m all for becoming a citizen legally, and if we have to wait, we have to wait.
However, as a family that adopted children from another country, I can’t tell you how surprising it is when we hear people express anger or consternation at us or towards us for helping people in another country instead of helping people here at home.
Little do they know that our family is very active in doing both, as are most every family that has opened up to a foreign adoption. And, more than that, I guarantee, GUARANTEE, that probably 90% of the people that make statements in anger over people helping people in other countries, first, live such sheltered lives, that they truly speak only out of ignorance, and second, are likely to be doing nothing to help anybody, but themselves.
When people start to become in tune with the destitution of their own community and country, it’s a natural progression of maturity to begin to see past borders, past gender, past race and color.