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Doing Life Together

Doing Life Together

If You Could See In Someone’s Heart–4 Minutes To Think of Others

posted by Linda Mintle

With all the bad news about hate speech, hurting people, murder and mayhem, use this 4 minutes to stop, reflect and care about those you encounter every day.

Instead of selfishness, hate, anger and uncaring, let’s build love, support and compassion.

Today, who do you know today who needs your prayers? From the Cleveland Clinic. Click on the picture and share!

Screen shot 2013-06-27 at 11.06.09 AM

 

 

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What Do Trayvon Martin and Paula Deen Have in Common?

posted by Linda Mintle

I’m doing tomorrow’s blog right now. The reason is I couldn’t believe the sound bite I just heard from Fox News. It was an audio piece from the Trayvon Martin case. The star witness from the prosecution, Rachel Jeantel, was asked about  her phone conversation with Trayvon Martin moments before he was shot.

She reported that Trayvon said, A ” creepy ass cracker” was following him. When she was asked if she thought this was a racist comment, she said NO.  The defense attorney repeated the question again to make sure she understood and she held her position that Trayvon’s comment was NOT racist.

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Next, I heard the sound bite from Paula Deen’s apology with Matt Laurer on Today. She, if you don’t know,  has admitted to using a  racial slur. She claims she used the “N” word 30 years after a gun was put to her head. Some people think her apology was insincere. I don’t know. Only God knows her heart.

But I was glad she apologized and admitted making a mistake. What else can people do? Once they’ve made a mistake, asking forgiveness is the right response and then do what you can to make things right.

Still, apology or not, she is being crucified in the media. People will have to decide what to do with her in terms of her celebrity.

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I wonder if the media will pick up on the star witness’ comment that calling someone a “creepy ass cracker” is not racist. Will they be outraged by that?

Look hate speech is wrong. It shouldn’t matter who says it.

Many people in our country have grown up with bigotry and discrimination and need to be confronted when it comes out. But to ignore specific racists comments and then feature the ones you choose is wrong.

Again, hear me. Both comments are racially discriminating. I am not justifying either person.

And Yes, Deen is a celebrity and influences far more people. But what is really at the root here is what is in the heart of people.

You can outlaw hate speech, but you can’t outlaw what people think and feel.

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The solution isn’t to crucify people in the media. It is to look honestly at the heart.Scripture tells us that a person’s heart reveals his or her true nature. God cares about repentance and external action.

Jeremiah 17:9 that the “heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure.” Thus, we need to examine our hearts and allow the Holy Spirit to show us those things that are not pleasing to the Lord–discrimination of any kind is one of those things.

In Luke 12:34, Jesus says that “where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” In Luke 21:34, He warns us to “be careful” in the end times “or your hearts will be weighed down with dissipation, drunkenness and the anxieties of life.”

Most of us could do better at looking inward and examining our hearts. I pray Rachel comes to understand that Trayvon’s comment, if true, was racist as was Paula Deen’s. Maybe we can all learn a little from these stories.

 

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Why and How Parents Should Stop Sibling Bullying

posted by Linda Mintle

teen bullyWith all the talk about bullying and its damaging effects on kids, we don’t often hear much about sibling bullying. Isn’t it normal for little Billy to push around his brother Joey?

Sibling bully, it turns out, is just as damaging to kids as other types of bullying. A new study  in the July journal of Pediatrics found that kids victimized by their siblings are at more risk  for depression, anxiety and anger. And the findings include both psychological and physical bullying, both mild and severe.

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The study looked at 4 specific types of bullying:

1) Mild physical assault like being hit

2) Severe physical assault like being beaten

3) Property aggression like breaking a toy on purpose

4)Psychological aggression like name calling

When a child was a victim of the above, he or she had lower scores on overall well-being.

So parents, watch your kids when they interact and stop any repeated one-way bullying of a sibling. Not only will the sibling learn better ways to deal with his brother or sister, but you will improve the mental health of the victimized child.

The home is one place you have control over teaching your children appropriate ways to behave interpersonally. If more parents would discipline bullying in this home, maybe  we would see fewer bullies in the school place as well. And this also means mom and dad need to model healthy relationships as well.

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Parenting Tips: 

1) Hold kids responsible for their behavior. Don’t let them justify being aggressive to a sibling. Set limits on what is right and wrong.

2) Referee arguments that get out of hand. Teach your kids to solve conflict without becoming aggressive. Let them work problems out without you, but step in when they cross the line.

3) Identify feelings of jealousy and envy, but teach your kids how to handle those feelings. Get at what is behind those feelings.

4) Reinforce the idea that we are family and take care of each other. You have to model this on the parent level as well.

5) Fill your home with love and nurturing, praising often and tangibly showing love by spending time with your kids. A secure and safe environment goes a long way to preventing bullying.

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Could Depression Put You At Risk For Dementia?

posted by Linda Mintle

sad coupleLet’s say it has been a rough year on the job. Your boss finally tells you he is downsizing and you are out of a job. Your kids are struggling in the job market as well. Your wife has been anxious and is dealing with caretaking her parents. It feels like life is closing in on you and you become depressed.

Depression has its own set of problems, but it may have one that you haven’t thought about. Researchers now believe that when people get depressed in middle age, they are more likely to develop dementia in old age. They are not sure why this connection has been made.  You can recover from a mood disorder, but why would it change the brain and make you at risk for dementia?

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One thought is that maybe inflammation involved in both depression and cardiovascular disease plays a role.

Another idea is that maybe the stress hormone cortisol is involved. Excess amounts of cortisol produced by depression can affect the part of the brain responsible for memory.

These are simply ideas as researchers have not proven the brain changes found in depression contribute to later dementia.

Perhaps the best advice from this possible connection between mid life depression and old age dementia is to help people, especially the elderly, prevent depression whenever possible.

If you know an older person who struggles with depression–is not eating well, sleeping, not exercising and isolated, get the person help. Depression is treatable and may just save a person’s mind for later life.

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For more help with depression, get my small booklet, Breaking Free From Depression

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Source:  Diniz, Butters, Albert, Dew and Reynolds (2013). Later-life depression and risk of vascular dementia and Alzheimer’s disease: systematic review and meta-analysis of community-based cohort studies, The British Journal of Psychiatry. 202, 329-335

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