Monthly Archives: January 2009

For All You Shoe Lovers–What Do You Think About Red Shoes?

Greta Van Susteren reported on her blog  “GretaWire” today about a pair of red hot shoes worn by Gov.  Sarah Palin.  I happen to like Sarah and red shoes so I thought this was definitely blogworthy.

Greta following this incredibly important story stated,  “A pair of shoes worn by Gov. Sarah Palin during her campaign for vice president netted $2,025 in an online auction Tuesday morning, according to the Anchorage, Alaska, TV station KTUU.

The pair of red, Naughty Monkey Double-Dare pumps were sold in an eBay auction that ended Tuesday. They usually go for about $100.

Someone calling herself Palin’s niece was selling the red shoes she said the governor gave her, according to the auction site. She claims that the shoes were purchased, not by the Republican National Committee, but by the governor herself at a Juneau store.” 

For more on this story follow this link: http://gretawire.foxnews.com/2009/01/29/governor-palins-shoes-by-the-way-what-brand-does-our-president-wear/

 Other “red shoes” I admire — every Colorado cowgirl needs a pair of “Red Ropers.”

And when speaking of “red shoes” “Dorothy’s Ruby Red Slippers” should never be forgotten and even I own a pair of red loafers!

What do you think about red shoes and which are your favorites?

Do you own any? 

Please comment!

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Filed under Current Events and Editorials, Lifestyle

The “March for Life” on the Mall Ignored by Media

Fox News’ Religion Contributor Father Jonathan Morris, has reported on the Fox News Blog that “an estimated 200,000 people marched on the Mall in Washington last week on Jan. 22nd in protest on the 36th anniversary of the 1973 Roe vs. Wade Supreme Court ruling.”  

(Roe vs. Wade as you know is the ruling that has provided legal cover for the termination of more than 50,000,000 pregnancies in the United States over the past thirty-six years.) 

Well, what the good Father is also reporting is that the event received no media coverage and that his readers are plenty mad about it.  His readers on the blog have been e-mailing him with bitter complaints that basically go like this:

“Why has the liberal mainstream media once again refused to cover this event? After all, every year this march draws a huge crowd. And besides, aren’t the more than a million abortions every year a disgrace for our nation, by anyone’s standards?” — isn’t that news worthy.

For a full reading of Father Morris’ replies to his readers click on the following link. 

http://foxforum.blogs.foxnews.com/2009/01/23/frj_abortion/ .  I would be very interested to know what our readers @  the Women at Crossroads Weblog think about this topic.  Please read the article and add your comments to this thread.

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The First Lady’s Fight to Protect Her Girls from Exploitation Begins…

It has only been days since the inauguration and the media and marketing empires of the United States are already speeding to exploit the privacy of the newly installed “first family.”  The toy company responsible for the “beanie babies craze,” Ty, came out this week with a pair of dolls mimicking the two “first daughters.”

 

In reaction to the release of the dolls, (which are named: Marvelous Malia and Sweet Sasha), CNN reported that,

 

“The first lady’s office said Friday that Ty was out of line “We feel it is inappropriate to use young private citizens for marketing purposes,” said a spokesperson for Michelle Obama in a statement.”

 

In reply after questioning Ty the news agency reported that,

 

 “A Ty representative told CNN the company generally avoids naming dolls for “any particular living individual” because doing so might interfere with how kids use their imaginations to play with them.  But they wouldn’t reveal the source of their inspiration for the new figures, telling CNN that information relating to the development of the merchandise—including how it comes up with products, product names and trademarks—is proprietary.”

                                                  

It has also come to light that the dolls by Ty are only the tip of the iceberg. 

 

 

It was similarly reported by Fox News that, J. Crew, who designed the two Obama daughter’s outfits for the inauguration are also well aware of the marketing potential of the Obama sisters. 

 

Fox News stated that, “J. Crew’s phones have been ringing off the hook as moms across the country try to get the colorful coats Malia and Sasha Obama wore to see their dad sworn in as president of the United States.”

 

What will the new President and his wife do to head off the media and marketing frenzy targeting their daughters?  The BBC taking an interest in our new first family pointed out that,

 

“Before the inauguration President Obama and self-declared mom-in-chief Michelle vowed to protect the children’s privacy while in the White House.” 

 

The English news service cannot help but draw comparisons between Michelle’s vehemence to protect her girls and Diana’s quest to protect her son’s during her tenure as Princess of Wales.

If you remember back before her death in September 1997, Lady Diana, Princess of Wales, following continuous media intrusion into her private life, confronted the British press in a vain plea for privacy for herself and her sons. 

Ironically, earlier in 1997, the British Government had passed a Protection from Harassment Act and the Princess of Wales had tried in vain to use it to protect herself. Many freelance paparazzi (professional photographers who specialize in taking photographs of famous people and selling them to the media) had refused to heed Diana’s pleas for privacy, believing that she was a fair target. 

It is common knowledge that this war with the unrelenting media was a point of constant aggravation for the “people’s princess” until the day she died.  In fact, many believe that it was the paparazzi gone wild who were the cause of Diana’s death. 

Looking into the Protection of Harassment Act of the British takes on special interest as we consider the plight of the Obama girls. 

According to Wikipedia, “The Protection from Harassment Act 1997 is a piece of United Kingdom law, which, among other things criminalizes, and creates a right to protection from, stalking, and persistent harassment and bullying. Under this act the definition of harassment is behavior which causes alarm or distress. The Act provides for a jail sentence of up to six months and/or a fine for damages awarded in civil court.”

The Protection from Harassment Act was the only recourse Princess Diana had against the stalking of world-wide media and even it failed to protect her.  What is equally suprising is that currently over ten years later there is still no explicit right to privacy law in either the U.S. Constitution or in British Law.

A survey of Privacy Laws throughout the world found online at, http://gilc.org/privacy/survey/surveylz.html reports that,

“The Supreme Court has ruled that there is a limited constitutional right of privacy based on a number of provisions in the Bill of Rights and subsequent amendments. This includes most specifically a right to privacy from government surveillance into an area where a person has a “reasonable expectation of privacy” and also in matters relating to marriage, procreation, contraception, family relationships, child rearing and education. However, records held by third parties such as financial records, telephone calling records (and even photos, my add) are generally not protected.  The U.S. has no general privacy protection law.”

With this in mind, Michelle Obama will have her work cut out for her as she seeks to protect her kids.  As it stands she can expect very little help from the legal system. The BBC in reporting Michelle’s dilemma, quoted Tarshia Stanley, associate professor at Spelman College a historically black college for women in Atlanta as she highlighted the media focus on the girls. 

“What we are seeing portrayed in the media” the professor stated, “are little black girls who are respected and cared for – it’s not an image we often see. Michelle Obama will need to be careful the girls are not seen as icons – particularly in an age where there is an obsession with visual representations of people. She will need to ensure the girls are not seen as some version of Disney stars.”

Well, considering such warnings on the part of this professor and others, as we reflect on the developments of the past week it seems that, that Michelle Obama’s job of protecting Malia and Sasha will be a chore that is much easier said than done.  Nonetheless the first Mom is reported to be quite an active, involved and devoted mother and it will be interesting to see how she fares against the various forces that are focused on exploiting her young girls. Hopefully, she will be more successful than Diana was!

What do you think the “First Mom” should do?  Any opinions on how the U.S. Laws should be changed to better protect its citizens from privacy infringements? Please take the time to comment below.  This fight against the media and marketing agencies world-wide is one that the Obama’s are just beginning and it will be interesting to see what evolves!

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Pray for Our New President

 

Many Christians were inspired by Rick Warren’s inaugural invocation prayer. 

 

Pastor Warren was straight forward in his prayer and was in no way subtle or apologetic about his faith in Jesus Christ. 

 

In the New Testament we are advised by the Apostle Paul to pray for our leaders.

 

Let’s use Rick Warren’s prayer as inspiration for our own prayers offered for our new president and his family.  Here is the text of the prayer as it appears on the Associated Press website. 

 

Let us pray, Almighty God, our father, everything we see and everything we can’t see exists because of you alone.  It all comes from you, it all belongs to you. It all exists for your glory.  History is your story. 

 

The Scripture tells us, Hear, oh Israel, The Lord is Our God: The Lord is one.  And you are the compassionate and merciful one.  And you are loving to everyone you have made. 

Now today we rejoice not only in America’s peaceful transfer of power for the 44th time.  We celebrate a hinge-point of history with the inauguration of our fist African-American president of the United States.  We are so grateful to live in this land, a land of unequaled possibility, where the son of an African immigrant can rise to the highest level of our leadership. 

And we know today that Dr. King and a great cloud of witnesses are shouting in Heaven.  Give to our new president, Barack Obama, the wisdom to lead us with humility, the courage to lead us with integrity, the compassion to lead us with generosity.  Bless and protect him, his family, Vice President Biden, the Cabinet, and everyone of our freely elected leaders. 

Help us, oh God, to remember that we are Americans, united not by race or religion or blood, but to our commitment to freedom and justice for all.  When we focus on ourselves, when we fight each other, when we forget you, forgive us.  When we presume that our greatness and our prosperity is ours alone, forgive us.  When we fail to treat our fellow human beings an all the Earth with the respect that they deserve, forgive us. 

And as we face these difficult days ahead, may we have a new birth of clarity in our aims, responsibility in our actions, humility in our approaches and civility in out attitudes even when we differ.  Help us to share, to serve and to seek the common good of all. 

May all people of good will today join together to work for a more just, a more healthy and a more prosperous nation and a peaceful planet.  And may we never forget that one day all nations and all people will stand accountable before you. 

We now commit our new president and his wife, Michelle, and his daughter, Malia and Sasha into your loving care.  I humbly ask this in the name of the one who changed my life, Yeshua, Isa, Jesus, Jesus (hay-SOOS), who taught us to pray,

Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name, they kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.  Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us, and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil, for thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever.  Amen.

For more excerpts of the inauguration and comments from a Christian perspective click on the following link and view the post entitled “A New Era Begins.”
What are your opinions about Rick Warren’s dynamic prayer at the inaugural, please take the time to comment!

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Announcing Our New “Open Forum” Page

i-love-lucy-poster-card-c10204698Any….

SCATHINGLY BRILLIANT IDEAS!

THINGS YOU JUST HAVE TO SHARE!

Let us all know about it!

Feel free to use our new “Open Forum Page” to record your ideas, latest brainstorms, passionate opinions,  hot tips, greatest hits, best reads, newest recipes, etc…etc…

Become part of the fun at Women at Crossroads!

Open blogging can be good for your health. 

Don’t keep it all to your self, share those brilliant insights you are having with us.  Just go to the top of the blog, click on the “Open Forum” tab, put your cursor in the comment box and begin typing. 

We want to know what is exciting in your world!

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Guarding Your Heart–The Secret to Radiant Health

Pay attention, my child, to what I say.

Listen carefully. 

Don’t lose sight of my words.

Let them penetrate deep within your heart, for they bring life and radiant health to anyone who discovers their meaning.

Above all else, guard your heart, for it affects everything you do. 

Proverbs 4:20-23 NLT, First Edition

 

This passage from Proverbs begins with one of the strongest admonitions in the entire Bible to listen up and pay attention to what follows.  The exhortation is clear. Listen carefully, don’t forget my words!  Let them penetrate your heart because they have the power of bringing life and radiant health to anyone who understands them. 

 

Wow, what a prize, what a hook!  Is there anything that could be more desirable than the promise of life and radiant health?  These verses promise a type of health that virtually shines out of a person.  And what are the important words we must grasp if we are to receive this kind of health?  The advice is simple: “Guard your heart above anything else you have, because it determines the kind of life you will live.”

 

According to Solomon, the writer of these sayings, the heart is the “master-control” center of life.  In Proverbs, the heart is never actually an allusion to the muscle in our torso that pumps our blood through our body.  Instead the term describes our whole inner being; the heart as the center of our mind, our emotions, and our will. 

 

The key word in Proverbs 4:22 is guard and the Hebrew word translated to “guard” in English is the word nah-tzaar, meaning “to preserve, or to keep.”  The word originally comes from a noun which means “a place of confinement or prison” and in a broader sense it means something that is closely observed, protected, preserved or guarded. 

 

If we are to experience newness of life and radiant health to our whole being, we must appreciate the value and vulnerability of the “master control” center of our lives. It must be protected and surrounded like a treasure kept in maximum security. 

 

The characteristic of the “labe” (the Hebrew word meaning the heart or your inner self),

that makes it so precious is that it is the source and basis of knowing God’s will.  Because

your heart is the place God can speak to you, it is vital that it be kept willing, open, and responsive to receiving input from God.

 

Keeping the heart safe from the contamination of ungodly influences is vital because it is from within your heart that you receive the direction for your entire life. When our heart is infected by the evil influences of this world, or is hardened, bitter, cynical or even overly self-focused the ability to receive guidance from God for life is hampered.

 

Impurities that are allowed in and that penetrate our inner-being keep valuable information from God from being taken in and understood by us.  If we compare the “master control” center of our life to a computer hard-drive, it is as if we have allowed someone to hack in and insert a virus that will not allow God’s instructions to be processed in the way that they should.

 

While our hearts are polluted the righteous commands for living will not compute, because they are being overridden by corrupt information that has infiltrated our soul and now has full access. This is why it is so important to keep your heart open, sensitive, and carefully watched.  If your heart is not right before God and it is left unguarded from the toxins of the world, God is blocked out and communication of divine direction is hindered.  

 

Divine guidance is vital because God has promised a unique design for abundant living for each of us.  Ephesians 2:10 tells us, For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. The Father has good works for us to walk in, divine appointments for us to keep and purpose-filled lives for us to live and part of being a child of God is to be dependent on regular access to His plan for your life. 

 

Staying in contact with the Almighty however can be complicated.  In modern techno language “unless you have the ability to receive and walk in His will via a virus free master-control center, the aptitude to retrieve input about His divine intentions for you can be obstructed.”

 

In short, if our master-control center has not been adequately protected, misery and ultimate unhappiness have the power to become the “default program” for our lives. While, if our heart is well guarded, the wisdom we take in will have its affect and our lives will be encountered and shaped by the Holy Spirit. As we make our lives wholly available to Him, God has full freedom to “log onto the hard drive” of our inner being and communicate with us successfully and unimpeded whenever necessary. 

 

This does not mean that guarding our hearts guarantees that we will never have misery or pain.  What protecting our “master-control” center does assure however is that when we do encounter the down side of lifeGod’s direction and interpretation of our life is readily accessible to us.  His input is ready to be downloaded and used by us whenever needed.  

 

The book of James communicates God’s willingness to give us input unconditionally, but it also describes the calamity of a mind divided and polluted by the things of this world. 

James 1:5-8 declares, “But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But he must ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind. For that man ought not to expect that he will receive anything from the Lord, being a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.

 

This passage, parallels the Proverb in some important ways.  It clarifies that if we are double-minded with our “master-control” center confused by two sources of information—God’s input vs. worldly input—then we have a problem.  We will doubt God’s wisdom and we should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. 

 

As a result of this type of spiritual split personality, James describes the double-minded as exhibiting instability in all their ways.  Simply stated, with the soul unguarded and divided we are destined to be unstable and unhealthy and in contrast when our hearts are guarded and open to God alone—the opposite is truethe opportunity for internal health and single focus awaits us.

  

In conclusion, this short but well-emphasized bit of God’s wisdom from Proverbs is crystal clear.  It is important that we learn to live according to God’s Word with a well-guarded heart because having a heart that is ever sensitive to His still small voice will lead to life and radiant health. In short, guard your heart, and in return He can direct your path.  And there is also a hidden bonus— if you live this wayothers will see His life and health radiating from you and they will want it too.

 

 

 

 

 

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Establishing New Habits—Tips to Help You Keep Those New Year’s Resolutions

It is good to remember that when we speak of habits, we may either be referring to something good or something bad. In the case of the Christian life, we are often speaking of replacing bad habits with good ones. This process is really called repentance, since the bad or sinful habits lead away from God, while the good habits or virtues lead toward God and eternal life.

Many people believe in changing their ways at the beginning of the New Year, but any time is a good time to begin forming a good habit. In fact, the best time to root out the bad and institute the good is always the present moment. Behold, now is the acceptable time, behold now is the day of salvation. (2 Cor. 6:2)

Ten Be-attitudes for developing new habits:

 

1) Be Patient – Understand that cultivating a new routine will take time. It is encouraging when 21st century Christians find out that what contemporary secular experts discover, using scientific methods, the Church has known and practiced all along. One such recent discovery is that it takes about six weeks, or forty days, to make a certain practice into a habit. The period of forty days has since Old Testament times been that amount of time necessary to prepare for something significant or purge oneself of something negative.

 

2) Be Realistic – Trying to change too many behaviors at once can back fire on you.

Pick one new positive habit you’d like to develop and stick with that. Many New Year’s Resolutions fail because overly ambitious people who want desperately to change try to do too much all at once.  When individuals do this all their good intentions tend to go down the drain before January is even over.  For instance a person who is trying to lose weight, launch a new daily devotional routine and do a makeover on their finances all at one time would probably be biting off more than they can chew. Instead of trying to change everything all at once, pick one area to focus on and follow through on changing that one area.

 

3) Be Concrete – Choose something tangible and measurable to change. It is difficult to assess whether you’ve met a vague goal. For example, instead of deciding indistinctly “I will have a better prayer life in 2009, be as specific as possible. Rather than the loose goal of deciding to “pray every day,” decide to “pray first thing in the morning for 30 minutes” and track your success on your calendar or in your day-timer.

 

 

4) Be Intentional – Record your goal and post reminders in places you will see on a daily basis. There are many good places to place a reminder: a post-it note on your bathroom mirror, a note under the magnet on the refrigerator door or a message on the screen saver of your computer monitor.  Remind yourself of the commitment to change that you have made.

 

5) Be Prepared – Make it easier to begin your new behavior by preparing for success ahead of time.  Make sure you have all necessary equipment and materials available beforehand.  For instance, if you’ve decided to work out twice a week, make sure you have all your work out clothes and necessary items in a bag ready to go the night before your scheduled work-out so that all you have to do is pick up your bag on the way out the door.

 

6) Be Kind to Yourself – Rewarding yourself with a small reward each time you perform the new habit will help pair it cognitively with positive emotions. In general, research shows that rewards work better than punishments and will be most effective if they occur as soon as possible after each occurrence of the desired action.

 

7) Be Smart and Link Habits- An effective way to establish a new habit is to pair it with an established habit. This is called the Premack Principle after the Behavioral psychologist David Premack. Premack proved that a frequently occurring action can be used effectively to reinforce a less frequently occurring behavior. For example, if you are trying to remember to drink more water, it is helpful to place your water bottle next to your coffee maker and remind yourself to drink your water before you down your customary “lattes” each morning.

 

8) Be Accountable – Utilizing a social support system is one of the best ways to establish a new habit.  If you make a date to work out with a friend or a bunch of friends it can increase your sense of accountability and help you stay on track.

 

9) Be Public – One way to further increase your sense of accountability is to tell other people about your efforts. In addition to your accountability partner also announce to others that you are establishing new patterns then it will be even harder to let those new habits slide.

 

10) Be Gracious to Yourself – When you experience a set-back and fail to practice your new habit, don’t condemn yourself and give-up, give yourself a second, third, fourth or as many chances as needed to get back on track. Stay positive and believe you can change, if you stay proactive and motivated and get right back on task—the change will eventually come!

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