Doing Life Together

ID-100151605We know that obesity is a global epidemic and that something has to be done to curb the eating of most Americans.

One solution being proposed is to tax junk food. This would mean government would decide the winners and losers of food? Hmmm….how did they do picking energy companies? Can you say Solyndra?  I am not feeling the love for this idea!

Denmark gave it a try and taxed foods high in saturated fat. This strategy did not change consumer behavior. And people are growing weary of government poking their nose into private aspects of their lives. Go fix Medicare and take care of our vets. Stop the overreach and work on the tasks you already have to do!

More important is the idea that government can regulate individual choice when it comes to food. If they try, watch for the black market for burgers and fries!

The solution? Take personal responsibility for your health and what you eat.

Instead of constantly looking at government to fix things (consider the track record of this strategy), educate yourself and make better choices. When it comes to losing weight and being healthy, individual responsibility is high on the list of winners. This also means that parents should care for their kids by eating healthy in the home. And consider the fact that a two-year-old can’t walk into McDonald’s and order fries!

Is it easy to resist all the junk food available? No, but if you don’t buy it, you won’t be tempted to eat it. We can say NO with our money! We can make healthy choices!

So no, my junk food should not be taxed. I should stop buying it and eating it. But the idea that I might actually be responsible for my own choices seems to be an idea getting little play these days!

For days, I have been listening to all the chatter about Justin Bieber and his alleged return to God. All the buzz was about his bath tub baptism by NYC’s Hillsong pastor, Carl Lentz. Yes, Bieber has a faith background.

As of late, however, he’s followed the path of most young celebrity stars–partying, insensitivity, entitlement, substance use and out of control behavior. As a result, his image has suffered.

Bieber claims he is seeking the path of forgiveness and reconciliation with God. Supporters sees this as a much needed move. However, most public opinion errs on the skeptical side. The question being asked is, “Why should we see this as anything but a publicity stunt, anything more than an attempt to win back moms of teen girls?”

In reality, none of us truly knows Justin’s heart. Only God and Justin know the sincerity of this move. So we can all stop speculating and watch for the fruit. True repentance brings a change in behavior and attitude. If a heart change is made, we will see the results. Jesus said good fruit can’t come from a bad tree and bad fruit doesn’t come from a good tree. So the proof will be in the fruit we see.

In the meantime, I want to simply encourage him. Turning to Jesus can only help. Jesus is a better influence than most of his recent “friends.” And if Justin is reading the Word as reported and looking to God to help direct his life, I applaud him.Truth sets people free. Jesus has the power to transform any life surrendered to Him.

Now, will he stay in this place of repentance? And will his temporary intentions be made real? Only time will tell. He’s in a tough business when it comes to staying clean and rising above the moral decay.

In the meantime, let’s all reserve judgment and pray for this young man. Wouldn’t it be great if he beat the odds and stood strong in his faith? I would love to see his story end differently than most of the young stars in his business. And that will take a lot of Jesus!

ID-10034398It’s Father’s Day this weekend and children all over the country will find ways to honor their dads.  Dad’s are important for so many reasons. They are more than a second adult in a home. They impact the psychological, academic and overall well-being of children.

What may surprise you is how the marital relationship impacts fathering. Constant fighting and bickering between spouses have negative consequences on children.

The QUALITY of the martial relationship matters. It influences how great a dad you will actually be to your children. In other words, you can’t be a great dad and have a terrible marriage.

Marriage has an indirect influence on a father’s parenting. When a father has a good relationship with the mother of his children,  he is:

1) More likely to spend time and be involved with his children.

2) Have children who are psychologically and emotionally healthy.

Furthermore, a mother who feels affirmed by the father of her children and is in a happy relationship is more likely to be a better mom. Dads who love and honor their wives, contribute to mom’s being better moms.

Thus, the quality of the marital relationship affects the parenting behavior of both parents. Both are more responsive, affectionate and confident. And a happy marriage models respect and how to deal with conflict. This teaches young boys to respect women and not act in aggressive ways towards women. And girls with dads in a good marriage are less likely to engage in violent or unhealthy relationships.

Finally, dad’s who are angry, stonewall or show contempt for their wives are more likely to have anxious, withdrawn or antisocial children.

Want to be a great dad? Be a great husband first!



smaller worryI was watching Selling New York the other day and one of the sellers was so offensive to the real-estate  agent. He was making insensitive ethnic jokes and insulting him left and right. The agent took it on the chin. I was yelling at the TV, “Don’t just take it, speak up.” But speaking up meant losing a sale. Would you put up with offensive behavior just to make a sale?

If you live long enough, you will be offended. Offense involves insensitivity, unkind words, unfulfilled expectations, and/or a lack of respect or honor. Offensive remarks and behavior hurt and wound.

When you are offended, you have three choices in terms of how you will respond: 1) Take up the offense 2) Let it go 3) Confront and talk it out.

If you take up an offense, you build a wall that leads to anger, unforgiveness, hostility, frustration and more. You suffer. It hinders your growth both relationally and spiritually. And holding an offense can lead to potential sickness, physical and emotional distress. It causes bondage in your life that opens the door to major discouragement, fear, negative attitudes, a critical spirit and feelings of rejection. Holding on to offense means living with unforgiveness. Unforgiveness leads to bitterness and blocks your relationship with God and causes you to become negative. So taking up an offense will only hurt you more than the offense itself.

If you let it go, you experience emotional and spiritual freedom. Letting go demonstrates maturity and character. According to Scripture, God will judge every careless word spoken. Proverbs 19:11 says, “Good sense makes one slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook an offense.” Overlooking offense is a spiritual act that brings glory to God.

If you confront and talk it out, it may be easier to move a relationship forward. Certainly, you don’t overcome an offense by offending the other person. The heart attitude must be to look behind the offense and resolve the issue. Hopefully, forgiveness follows and the relationship is restored. Talking it out builds a bridge to reconciliation.  Confront with gentleness, telling the person how hurt or offended you were by what was said or done. Offer another way to deal with the situation that would not lead to offense. Then, forgive the person and agree to do things differently next time. Once you engage in this process, it is easier to let it go!