Saturday, November 27, 2010

Fashion: Do My Ears Deceive Me?

Nope, they don't, since earrings are a cool and cute way to bring sparkle to your wardrobe, especially during the holiday season. Check out these styles:




You won't be singing the blues with a pair of these Rachel Stewart Billie Holiday earrings. If you're not feeling jazzy, you can check out the ribbons in the sky with Stevie, or moonwalk with Michael by clicking here.



No moody blues here, just serenity now with these Natures Handmade Jewelry originals. Beautiful  and intricate, I added spice to an all black outfit with pretty blue. Check out more by clicking here.



Bling and brass with these heavy metal hoops from Mandee. They might be tough, but I can tell you they're not on your ears- this pair is surprisingly lightweight. Click here.



Tied up in a neat little bow- Just as bows are reappearing on dresses, shoes, and hair accessories, you can also make a statement with little studs of all colors by stopping in at Mandee. 


Prefer a more classic look? Nothing like diamonds and pearls for a timeless finish to any outfit. I got these from Wal-Mart.


Have a cute pair of earrings you want to show off? Email me at alishadefreitas@gmail.com.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Truly Thankful




I received a letter from my friend David which captured a typical day in his and his family's lives- and showed a true spirit of thankfulness. I asked if I could share it and he said yes, so here goes:


"...The year 2010 has been one of incredible change! So much has happened. So much has transpired that forced us well beyond our comfort zone. But we are the stronger and wiser for it. 


I'll tell you right now, our kids are nuts. Sapphira has absolutely no fear, and Benaiah is a maniac. Their antics devour the lion's share of each day's activity. But in it, there is something beautiful. I didn't accomplish nearly as much as I wanted today. Though what exactly I hoped to accomplish remains in question. I tried to read a book, study a poem, and analyze a championship game chess game. Instead I spent time with my kids. (More like they forcefully invaded my space and comandeered the chess set!) I chaffed inwardly over the loss "productivity" but somehow knew I was thinking foolishly. At the end of my life, I'll not remember a line from a poem, the theme of a novel, nor the decisive move in a chess game, but the times I spent with my wife and children will be with me forever.


Love is miraculous like that. It's a good life, no? For all the antics and difficulties life so readily offers, we have love, and love is enough...."

I cannot say it better myself. Happy Thanksgiving.                

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Thou Shalt Not Facebook

Must be a commandment Moses forgot to jot down. Or Jesus missed mentioning in the Beatitudes. From the New York Post:



"Thou shalt not commit adultery. And thou also shalt not use Facebook.

That's the edict from a New Jersey pastor who feels the two often go together.

The Rev. Cedric Miller said 20 couples among the 1,100 members of his Living Word Christian Fellowship Church have run into marital trouble over the last six months after a spouse connected with an ex-flame over Facebook.

Because of the problems, he is ordering about 50 married church officials to delete their accounts with the social networking site or resign from their leadership positions. He had previously asked married congregants to share their login information with their spouses and now plans to suggest that they give up Facebook altogether.

"I've been in extended counseling with couples with marital problems because of Facebook for the last year and a half," he said. "What happens is someone from yesterday surfaces, it leads to conversations and there have been physical meet-ups. The temptation is just too great."

Miller is married and has a Facebook account that he uses to keep in touch with six children, but he will heed his own advice and cancel his account this weekend.

On Sunday, he plans to "strongly suggest" that all married people to stop using Facebook, lest they endanger their marriage.

"The advice will go to the entire church," he said. "They'll hear what I'm asking of my church leadership. I won't mandate it for the entire congregation, but I hope people will follow my advice."

Miller said he has spoken from the pulpit before about the dangers of Facebook, asking married couples to give each other their passwords to the site.

"Some did. Others got scared and deleted their accounts right away. And some felt it was none of my business and continued on," he said.

Miller said he has gotten a mostly positive response so far among the leaders subject to his edict, which was first reported by the Asbury Park Press."

Um, question to the Rev: do you think adultery just became popular with the invention of social networking? Because if Moses was chiseling it was a sin into stone thousands of years ago, I'm going to go with "no."


Read more: http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/rev_to_church_leaders_thou_shalt_HUscrnGh91rjLmlmii9OJM#ixzz15fWRrwkX

Marriage? It's Gone The Way Of The VCR


Is this happy family obsolete?


Not surprisingly, but definitely disturbing, four in ten Americans say marriage, that timeless institution is now obsolete. From MSNBC:

"As families gather for Thanksgiving this year, nearly one in three American children is living with a parent who is divorced, separated or never-married. More people are accepting the view that wedding bells aren't needed to have a family.

A study by the Pew Research Center highlights rapidly changing notions of the American family. And the Census Bureau, too, is planning to incorporate broader definitions of family when measuring poverty, a shift caused partly by recent jumps in unmarried couples living together.

About 29 percent of children under 18 now live with a parent or parents who are unwed or no longer married, a fivefold increase from 1960, according to the Pew report being released Thursday. About 15 percent have parents who are divorced or separated and 14 percent have parents who were never married.Within those two groups, a sizable chunk — 6 percent — have parents who are live-in couples who opted to raise kids together without getting married.

According to the Pew survey, 39 percent of Americans say marriage is becoming obsolete. And that sentiment follows U.S. census data released in September that showed marriages hit an all-time low of 52 percent for adults 18 and over.

In 1978, just 28 percent believed marriage was becoming obsolete.

When asked what constitutes a family, the vast majority of Americans agree that a married couple, with or without children, fits that description. But four of five surveyed pointed also to an unmarried, opposite-sex couple with children or a single parent. Three out of five people said a same-sex couple with children is a family.

"Marriage is still very important in this country, but it doesn't dominate family life like it used to," said Andrew Cherlin, a professor of sociology and public policy at Johns Hopkins University. "Now there are several ways to have a successful family life, and more people accept them."...

"The changing views of family are being driven largely by young adults 18-29, who are more likely than older generations to have an unmarried or divorced parent or have friends who do. Young adults also tend to have more liberal attitudes when it comes to spousal roles and living together before marriage, the survey found."

To read the entire story, click here. Sigh.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Fall for These Fashions!

I've decided to go ahead and do a Fashion post since my "Be My Guest" Fashion Contributor Ameerah has been too busy to...contribute. :-(

But she has been awesome with picking out hair accessories for me, so I'm not upset, he he. So first up:

Get Your Head Right!

 Here Ameerah models a pretty yellow scarf that can be worn all year round. Although we typically drape scarves around our necks or shoulders to keep warm, there's no reason we can't wrap them dramatically around our heads, a la Audrey Hepburn in "Breakfast at Tiffany's".


Here I contemplate which headband I'll wear next while wearing this double strand floral print one. It has an expandable back, so it'll stretch to fit girls with even the thickest of hair, like me, lol. By the way, Ameerah picked this out!

 I am a hat girl, so this time of year is especially fun for me since I can pull out my collection. Here, my sister Joscelyne (yeah, we both have the same glasses, lol) wears an army green wool cap with visor. It has been popular the past couple of seasons thanks to the trend in military inspired gear.

Naomi's horizon is bright... and so is her richly patterned headband. A simple ponytail is transformed into a harmonious hair do with the right accessory.

 Go Billie Holliday classic- with a funky 80's spin all updated for the new millennium. Here I wear a purple flower with a clip that can also double as a pin for jackets for a Carrie Bradshaw-look.

 Chammine shows how Men's style can easily be tailored for the Ladies with this cute, flipped brim fedora. A mix of red, pink, baby blue and purple softens the light brown.

Tre chic! Ameerah wears a pretty pink beret to add splash to a gray and black ensemble. Don't be afraid to add a dash of color to accent an outfit.

Like a warm cozy sweater- for your head! Kathy pairs a wool brimmed cap similar to Joscelyne's in style with a fuzzy green scarf and tan insulated coat. Her hat works to pull the earth tones of her whole outfit- down to her earrings- together nicely.

 Practical and fashionable- here the scarf works to hold back Cat's thick long curls so she can focus on her art. Where Ameerah's scarf screams for attention, Cat's sheer black number subtlety draws attention by matching the sheen and color of her blouse.

Feeling daring? Or just really cold??? Lol. Take a chance on an eskimo-style hat like Amber's. For all my animal-loving readers, remember, faux fur is a safe alternative.


Yajaira shows off perhaps THE biggest fashion statement this year- the bow. The bow has made a reappearance on shoes, socks, dresses, skirts, shirts, and even jewelry. So of course it would make sense this simple look- both girlish and lady-like, would be all the rage as hair clips and on headbands.


Have a picture you want to submit showcasing your head-of-the-class style? Email me at alishadefreitas@gmail.com!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Be My Guest: "Kanye's Conceit" by Rising Pheonix

 Kanye wages an epic battle... with his mouth.


Earlier today on Twitter I posted a link to an MSNBC story on how Kanye West canceled his scheduled Black Friday performance on the "Today Show":

"The hip-hop star announced the news in a tweet posted Friday morning. "I'm not performing on the Today Show for obvious reasons," he wrote.

On Thursday, TODAY aired an interview with West that focused on his comments about former President George W. Bush's reaction after Hurricane Katrina.



West took offense to how the interview was handled. TODAY maintains he was treated no differently than any other guest."

My friend Cat, also known as the Rising Pheonix, who I profiled here, wrote this great response. Too great for just a combox, so I'm posting it here:

"Here are my thoughts on the link you posted on Twitter with the Kanye Interview. I just HAD to let you know what I thought. ♥This just reinforces my dislike of the way Kanye carries himself. His attitude and his immediate annoyance when it comes to little things is what gets him into trouble.  

...1. Don't act on impulse, and people will actually ask you about... what you're doing, not what you've done.

 2. Don't get upset over trivial things. 

He, of all people, knows that life is bigger than that.The fact that he canceled his concert with the TODAY show is ridiculous. Just shows he should have done research on the interview protocol BEFORE HAND so he could either know what would happen (concerning clips) OR cancel the interview.

P.S. In the interview he says, "I did not know the power of my words" referring to when he called Bush a racist on air during Hurricane Katrina. Um... excuse me... Kanye? How could you not know the power of your words when you're a rapper?"

Considering West's new media trainer has just quit, it looks like it would be best for Kanye to quickly realize the power of his words.

Five Anglican Bishops "Defect" to Rome

From TIME:

When Pope Benedict XVI made his historic visit to the U.K. back in September, the images and message were all about peace, reconciliation and understanding between churches and faiths. His meeting with the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, on Sept. 17 was particularly seen as part of the long healing process between the Anglican church and the Vatican. Fast-forward seven weeks, and that process seems to have shuddered to a halt. On Nov. 8, five Church of England bishops announced that they have "defected" and will convert to Catholicism — sparking talk of the biggest crisis to hit the church since 1534, when Henry VIII needed to swap wives without the Vatican's consent and broke away from Rome.


Both the Pope and the Archbishop have been well aware of this simmering split for some time, but chose not to publicly highlight it during the papal visit, which was already being marred by demonstrations over Benedict's attitude to homosexuals and women — two of the very issues that have led to this latest fracture.


Indeed, the Pope had virtually ensured there would be defections by clergy who are steadfastly opposed to the ordination of women bishops, gay priests and gay marriage when, almost a year ago, he made it clear he was ready to offer a deal to allow disaffected Anglicans to convert to Catholicism without being forced to abandon all their traditions. The move was immediately branded as "poaching," with Williams expressing his "concerns" over the way it was handled and the lack of consultation.

But is this the start of an irreparable schism within the church, with large numbers of clergy and worshippers taking up the pope's offer — described by one bishop as an offer they couldn't refuse? Or is it a minor crack that will see only a few hard-line traditionalists breaking away, and perhaps allowing the rest to carry on in a more unified way?


The Archbishop appeared relatively relaxed over the affair when he issued a short, simple statement on Monday noting his "regret" at the bishops' decision. "We wish them well in this next stage of their service to the church," he added. "And I am grateful to them for their faithful and devoted pastoral labors in the Church of England over so many years."


But one of the bishops, John Broadhurst, told the Times of London he believes there will be significant further defections amongst the clergy and perhaps thousands of ordinary churchgoers. "There are lots of people interested," he said. "Some are actively looking at it. A lot of people are saying they will wait and see how it develops." Although it's a tough decision, he said, considering how Rome is not offering to replace the homes or salaries of any defectors, "I suspect thousands, not hundreds, of laity will go."

In the statement announcing their defection, the bishops declare that they feel recent developments in the church are incompatible with traditional Anglicanism. They argue, for example, that Jesus only chose men as his disciples so women should not become bishops. Campaigners such as Women and the Church (WATCH), however, point out that the church has regularly adapted its stance on controversial issues. Spokeswoman Rev Rosie Harper told the BBC: "That has been the story of the church. We worked out eventually that it wasn't God's will we should have slaves, and worked out we shouldn't be racist."


According to Church of England figures, there are 12,894 parishes in the U.K., of which 802 have refused to accept women celebrating holy communion and 966 refuse to accept a woman as a vicar. Two of the men taking up the pope's offer are so-called "flying bishops", so named because they were given the job of looking after those parishes that would not accept the ordination of women.



Read more: http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,2030566,00.html#ixzz15NcADUHA

Blended Beauty For This Mixed Chick

So, it's been eight months since I took a hit of creamy crack. I'll admit, I had forgotten in the 9 years of relaxing just how thick and wavy my natural hair is. I've been reminded by all that dark (my sis says it's 1B in the world of weave; I have no clue) new growth sprouting out all over my head. In order to properly handle the two textured hair (that's actually not accurate as my hair has always been multi-textured), I stocked up on a number of conditioning and moisturizing products.

Here is a review of the ones I've tried and a rating from 1 to 5 of my experience using it. I'll say this- my experience is just that- MY experience. I have hair that I believe ranges from 3C to 4A, and to top it off, my hair's curl is less coily and more wavy but VERY thick. So please don't take this to mean this product review will work for everyone. Also note my hair is still transitioning out, and when I first tried some of these products I had less natural hair.

With that said, on to the products!:


  • Miss Jessie's Curly Meringue: I decided to try this even though I read a lot of negative reviews about it online. And I love it! I like it because it works on both my relaxed ends and my thick new growth, without being sticky, greasy or heavy. It actually sets my hair, whether I've rolled, scrunched or twisted it.
Positives: Great for transitioning. Thick without weighing down my locks. Definite hold without the messy problems of gel.
Negatives: Expensive. This was probably the priciest of all the products I ordered. But to me, it was worth it. Also,be careful not to use too much, or the product will just sit on your hair or even flake when it dries. Also, you'll still want to use some type of leave-in or oil sheen for daily use to keep your hair shiny, soft and conditioned.
Bottom Line: Get it. I give it a 4. Use it with Miss Jessie's Buttercreme and Miss Jessie's Super Sweetback Treatment. I recommend all three.

  • Mixed Chicks Leave-In Conditioner: If Miss Jessie's gets trashed online, then this has been rolled into the dump! I still decided to try it anyway. It left my hair very soft and conditioned. So soft actually, I was shocked. I wound up lending it to my mother, who is multiracial and has hair that ranges from maybe 2C to 3C and very thick. I never got it back! I also used it on my half Irish nephew, who has hair that's about a 2A-2C and not only did it leave it perfectly coiffed that day, but for the next few days.
Positives: Really does leave hair soft, even on a variety of textures. No heavy scent, so it's good for women, men and kids.
Negatives: You're going to be spending money here, too. Also, while it conditions all types of hair, it didn't provide much control for me. It DID keep my mother's curls in line, and as stated above, left my nephews hair immaculate, which is saying a lot since he's 9 and tends to destroy any sign of neatness through play.
Bottom Line: Depends on what you're looking for and your hair type. I give it a 2.5 for me, but a 5 for my nephew, Nate.


  • Blended Beauty Curl Cleansing Conditioner: Let me just say it flat. I would NOT have lasted too long in this natural journey without using this product. About 3 months in, I tried it, along with a wide tooth comb while washing/conditioning my hair in the shower and realized I could actually DO MY OWN HAIR, lol. This eventually became my co-wash of choice because it removed build up without stripping my hair. And also, my hair stopped falling out (really).

Positives: Leaves hair soft, manageable and clean. Conditions well. Helps prevent breakage. Affordable.
Negatives: You'll have to order this online, as, like most great products, it's not sold in stores.
Bottom Line: Get it. I give it a 4.5. Use with Blended Beauty Curly Frizz Pudding for leave-in softness daily with some hold.

  • Bee Mine Bee Hold Curly Butter: Such a lovely product, it smells great, conditions and maintains my two strand twist outs from first twist to touch ups. It left my hair noticeably shiny, too. My mom kept commenting on how healthy my hair looked when I used it.
Positives:One of the more affordable products, a small container lasted about a month since I only had to use a small amount to achieve my desired style. Keeps frizzies at bay.
Negatives: Another online one. And it took a while to actually get to me. Be careful not to use too much or you will have quite noticeable flakes.
Bottom Line: Get it. This is one of my favs and I'll most likely use it again as I pretty much wear my hair in two strand twist outs all the time now. I give it a 4.


  • EcoStyler Krystal Gel. Okay, I'm NOT a big fan of gel, period. Many of them have alcohol, leaves my hair hard, crunchy, sticky or flaky. But- there are times when I have run out of time and I got just tie a scarf on my head and go. Although, some times, I do, lol. For emergency moments, I would recommend EcoStyler.
Positives:I was floored when I put this on my hair and it seemed to magically wave up in seconds like I was Genuwine circa 1997. Even my kinkiest sections turned to shiny little coils, while other parts of my hair became ringlets. Also, while my hair did become firm, it did not crunch. It's available at most drugstores and is super cheap (like $2.99).
Negatives: Unlike the other products above, this is NOT a conditioner but a curl activating gel. While it's not chock full of alcohol, it definitely does not leave my hair soft the next day like leave-in conditioners. I'll also point out the obvious: gel is not cold winter friendly. It's cold, wet and living in the Northeast, is not a state I'd want my head to be in when I step out the house in the morning to go to work. It's now really relegated to slicking down "baby" hairs on quickly adding shine when I put one side of my poof up. Wet and wear, while fine in August is so a no-go for me now. Head colds aren't worth it.
Bottom Line: You spend more for a Caramel Macchiato at Starbucks. Get it. I give it a 3.5 overall and 4.5 in the category of gels. Even if it doesn't work for your hair, it will probably work for someone you know, so I doubt you'd regret the buy. Also try their Olive Oil gel.



  • Pantene Relaxed & Natural Leave-In Conditioner. This smells YUMMY!!! So yummy my two year old niece Sophia got into it and rubbed it not just on her hair but on her arms, legs and face, lol. Creamy and thick, it actually worked on both parts of my transitioning hair.
Positives:Great for daily use (although if I were relaxing now, I probably would use it twice a week on account of the thickness of the product), it leaves hair shiny and soft. I like to apply this product right after washing my hair while it's still damp because it makes it even easier to comb through. It also can be used on different types of hair. My niece Sophia has hair in the 2c-3a range and is very soft and the Pantene left her hair neat for over a day (which sounds like a small amount of time, but being that she usually wrecks her hair within 30 minutes, that is saying a lot). It also works well for twist and braid outs.
Negatives: While it conditions, don't expect much for definition (at least I didn't get much, but Sophia did). A quick fix to that, though is use this product and then the EcoStyler- you'll end up with both.
Bottom Line: While you're at Walgreens for the EcoStyler, get this, too. Not too pricey, easily available, and really smells salon-nice. I give it a 3.5.

I'll stop my review here, but I'll do another one soon (hopefully, lol). I do want you all to check out yours truly over at Pretty Natural Divas, where I was featured on Saturday along with a group of other natural beauties. Check it out here!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Father Sues School District Over Reading About Slavery


Sigh. I guess people will sue over anything, these days. From Black America Web:

"The father of a black student has sued a Detroit-area school district claiming that his daughter was racially harassed by a fifth-grade teacher's reading aloud from a book about slavery.

The suit claims Jala Petree's teacher at Margaret Black Elementary School in Sterling Heights read excerpts from Julius Lester's "From Slave Ship to Freedom Road" that contain racial epithets and racist characterizations, The Macomb Daily reported.


The suit against Warren Consolidated Schools was filed Nov. 3 in Macomb County Circuit Court in Mount Clemens, according to court records. It was filed by Jala's father, Jamey Petree, and seeks more than $50,000 in damages.


District spokesman Bob Freehan told The Associated Press on Wednesday that the district hasn't been served with the suit but plans a vigorous defense. He said the excerpts were read last school year during a unit to prepare students for Black History Month.


The reading was from supplemental material provided by a textbook company, Freehan said, and following the reading students were involved in what he called a "positive" discussion about the excerpts.


The lawsuit claims the reading has "affected the conditions of learning duties and the advantages of her further education, and seriously affected her mental and emotional well-being, past, present and future."


Lawyer Scott E. Combs, who is representing the family, told The Detroit News that letters and calls to the district failed to remedy the family's concerns over the literature and the parents eventually pulled the child from the district.


"I tried long and hard to get answers and an explanation from the school," he said.


Freehan, however, said the school has given the family and its lawyer detailed responses. He said family didn't inquire about the lesson until April, more than three months after the lesson was presented."


I did a quick Google search and found this information on the Scholastic site about the book:

"An innovative picture book for older children, this unique collaboration addresses the history of slavery, while demanding the attention and interaction of readers of all races. Julius Lester, whose To Be a Slave was a Newbery Honor Book, uses eloquent text to interpret 24 of Rod Brown's magnificent paintings — part of a series of 36 that the artist created over seven years. Together, images and words reenact the 250-year journey from the first slave ships taking Africans forcibly from their homes, to the Civil War and emancipation. Aching with emotion — occasionally hope, but predominantly pain, fear, and anger — Brown's paintings depict such difficult truths as whippings and lynchings, the bodies of Africans floating near slave ships in the ocean, an angry slave tending white children, attempted escapes, and eventually, the final, joyful road to freedom . . . and a new uncertainty..."



I found this quote from the author, Julius Lester:

"I was born in 1939 in St. Louis, Missouri. When I was two my family and I moved to Kansas. As a teenager, I lived in Nashville, Tennessee, spending most of my summers at my grandmother's farm in Arkansas. Growing up, I wanted to be a musician. I was not a good writer and I never dreamed I'd become an award-winning author....

With the advice of my publisher, I started writing children's books. My first book for children was To Be a Slave. My interest in slavery was personal because three of my great-grandparents had been slaves. The need to know more about my individual past led me to begin studying slavery, and once I did, my interest grew and I became intrigued by the challenge of trying to imagine what it was like to have been a slave. I wanted to communicate to others that those we call slaves were really human beings, human beings pretty much like us..."

Okay, so using this argument, schools should throwout "Huck Finn", "Roots", "Queen", "The Bluest Eye", "Their Eyes Were Watching God", "Native Son", "Beloved", "Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman", "The Color Purple", "The Invisible Man"... I'll stop here, but I think reasonable readers will get the point. This lawsuit is garbage and really speaks to the greed of this father rather than racism.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Twenty Questions: November 10th



1.) Are you happy Conan is back?

2.) Are you surprised he beat the pants off Leno opening night?

3.)Do you know rich Americans charitable donations have dropped by more than a third in the last 2 years- exactly when these groups need the money the most?

4.) From divorce to dating: do you think it's too soon for Christina Aguilera to be out with a new man?

5.) So... we're NOT getting out of Afghanistan next year after all, huh?

6.) Do you already have Christmas decorations up? Really? Not Advent, but Christmas?



7.) Do you know some 12,000 American Muslims will be making a pilgrimage to Mecca in a few days?

8.) Ah, last time I checked, people need to be 18 in order to get permanently inked. Unless of course Mom or Dad says it's alright. So who do you think okayed Miley's chest tat? Billy Ray or Ma?

9.) If you won 11 million dollars, would you give most of it away to good causes and family?

10.) Kind of makes you rethink question number three, huh?

11.) Even though President Obama has repeatedly reached out to the Muslim community worldwide, can you believe he's being met with protests in Indonesia for being a hoax?

Poor Mike Myers. I bet he totally didn't that storm coming.

12.) Kanyeezy "apologized" to former President Bush on the "Today Show" for that whole "not caring about Black people" incident five years ago. How do you think Bush responded?

13.) Um, maybe I should take number 12 back? According to a Tweeting Kanye, "Matt Lauer" forced his answers.

14.) So is that an apology or not? *confused*

15.) Is Kinect racist?

16.) Do you think this White Vermont barber was being racist by refusing to cut a Black man's hair?

17.) Is it just me, but isn't it telling about today's society that HuffPo's new "Divorce" section gets more favorable feedback then their "Religion" section?

 A very icky "Situation"- pushing Mike Sorrentino's abs to the "I Carly" crowd.

18.) Is it kind of gross Nickelodeon airs a commercial featuring the abs of "Jersey Shore" cast member "The Situation" during the kid friendly hours after school? I think the ad, to send a text to some number to get sexy pictures sent to your phone, is icky. And especially pathetic that Viacom wants to suck in the kiddies straight to MTV.

19.) Now that Daylight Savings Time has ended, doesn't seem abysmally dark out at like 5PM now?

20.) Kanye, Bush, Kanye, Matt, Kanye... Since Taylor Swift is at the top of the charts for the second week in a row, do you think she's having the last laugh?

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

How You Can Win Against Satan by Dr. Ed Young

From OnePlace:

Dr. Ed Young photo
How You Can Win Against Satan
Dr. Ed Young


There is an important truth I want you to know to be spiritually victorious throughout your life. It is simply this:

You are under spiritual attack…in an all out spiritual war… as Satan does all he can to cause you spiritual defeat.
Whether you realize it or not, you live in a spiritual war zone. It's a battle for your heart and soul.
The Bible teaches that every Christian is under spiritual attack. Scripture tells us we are aliens in this world, and Satan, as the ruler of this world, is constantly seeking the spiritual demise of every Christian.

If you think you are at home in this world, you have been misled. Do you realize that to embrace the values of the world is to place yourself in hostility toward God (James 4:4)? The world's values are not eternal, but temporal. And to embrace those values aligns you with the values of Satan himself.

But, if you are walking with God, embracing eternal values, you are secure against Satan and his attacks because of your relationship with Christ. Christ has already won the victory and Satan knows that.

But there is a danger when you realize the position you have in Christ. It is easy to seem invincible. After all, when you receive Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, you indeed are in Christ.

This may lead you to ask, "What else could I possibly need? He is my portion, isn't He? He has overcome the world, hasn't He?"

The answer is a resounding, "Yes!" I want to assure you, as long as you are walking with Christ, you have nothing to worry about. You indeed are secure in Him.

But this can create a complacency that is so dangerous. Here’s why:

Too frequently we are lured, enticed, or dragged away from Christ through the deception of Satan. The devil bombards our thoughts, our desires, our emotions in almost imperceptible ways, and we get tricked or seduced into believing his lies.
This is where the battle takes place. Satan will do all in his power to pull you away from walking in Christ and His victory. This battle is very real…and the reason why so many Christians today live in defeat and lack the joy God intends for them.

Now, if Satan has declared war, then the sensible thing to do would be to find out just as much as we can about our enemy, how he is likely to attack us, and how we can overcome him.

The first place to start is with a right perspective. One big problem in the church today is that many get so worried about the devil that they see demons behind every bush. That is a wrong perspective.

"Oh, I have a spirit of lust, of greed, of desire. I'm being attacked by this and attacked by that." While the war Satan has declared is very real, not everything wrong in your life can be blamed on Satan.


So what is the right perspective? And how do we become victorious in our fight against Satan?

The right perspective is to understand you are indeed under spiritual attack…but you can be victorious!
That victory begins with what the Bible tells us in James 4:7: "Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you."
 
Too often as we find ourselves battling Satan, we simply fail to resist him. While he's always looking for the perfect opportunity to tempt you and me with something attractive, something seemingly irresistible, he only wins when we play his game.
So the first principle is this:

We must submit to God, and we must resist the devil, or we are sure to fail.
Satan has his eyes fixed squarely on you. He has you in his sights. In fact, you may feel that you're always under attack. And you may feel like you are constantly failing in the battle. Here is my challenge to you:
Submit to God…and resist the devil. Make that your habit.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

For Girls Who Consider Divorce When the Rainbow is Not Shiny Enough

 




I have a certain friend, a great guy I've known since I was a gawky teen, and who continues to be my friend in  my fully grown yet still gawky state. He has always been strong- fights hard, works hard, but loves the hardest.


When he married a few years ago, I was a little worried. Now that he's divorced, I'm very hurt. And taken aback that he is not the only guy I know in this situation. In fact, I know about 4.

Now, these men are far from perfect. No one except God is. Yet in all these collapsed marriages, the women openly and willingly admitted the men they promised to be with until death had never hit, pushed, sexually or emotionally accosted them. They quite simply, no longer wanted to be married.

Of course, there is nothing really simple about dissolving one's marriage, except for my simple-minded incomprehension as I sat at a showing of "The Devil Wears Prada" with one of these ladies a few years back. We had gone to the mall to do a little window shopping, and for what seemed to be the entire trip, this young lady- I'll call her Amber- complained non-stop about what her husband wasn't doing. He wasn't buying her new clothes or shoes or taking her on vacations. She worked hard, many days 10 hours. And well, he worked, too, but it wasn't fair he didn't buy her more.

"Can he afford to buy you all that stuff?" I asked. She looked at me as if I were stupid. "MY FATHER works two even three jobs to make sure Mama gets everything she wants and deserves! Sometimes, he is away for weeks, working at construction sites to ensure it!" My thoughts: "Wow." and "Eww."

Now maybe that "Eww" was harsh, but the whole conversation stank to high heaven to me. One, because I do not like being looked at as if I am stupid. Unless I admittedly, say or do something honestly stupid, in which case your "You Big Dummy"-face will probably wake me into clarity of speech or action (let's hope). Two, expecting your husband to work two or three jobs so you can have "stuff"- and not the essentials like food, shelter and clothing, but purses and shoes with price tags that look like zip codes- grates at me the wrong way. Three, I did not enjoy missing Anne Hathaway's frumpy transit to work to hear a girl who sounded like one of her snotty onscreen magazine co-workers. But without the very cute ensembles, of course.



I suppose this is just a sign of the times. Recently, I wrote about brides-to-be gone wild, and in a story from FoxNews I quoted, there was an advice columnist, April Masini, who commented on the current state of marriages: "I can tell you just from questions I get on my site there are more women having affairs than men and there are more men getting dumped by women. ... Women have less reasons to get married or remain in a marriage than they ever did before." 

I suppose, not getting enough Gucci pumps or Louis Vuitton purses can be a reason. For another one of the aforementioned divorcees, the ex-bride jolted to the divorce lawyer after her hubby proposed... starting a family. Childhood nursery rhymes of "First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes baby in the baby carriage" aside, she- let's call her Jasmine- was so utterly opposed to babies- even in a few years- she chose to end her marriage of about five years.


One of the things which turned me off to reading "Eat, Pray Love" is Elizabeth Gilbert's foggy dismantling of her marriage. To her credit, she never disses her Ex, and is quick to take the blame for wanting and getting out. Yet, like Jasmine, her breaking point came at a time many women rejoice over- the plans for having children. Now, far be it for me to impose children on everyone. Lord knows there are plenty of people on this planet who really SHOULDN'T REPRODUCE. I found it odd, though, she could be married to a man who loved her, put his career, his plans, himself after her and her writing dreams... let that sink in... have the lovely home they both always wanted... and finally, around 30... while sobbing on the bathroom floor, she realizes then... THEN... she did not want THAT life. Despite the fact it was the life she made.

Now I can say Liz does grow A LOT throughout her travels- to Italy, India and Indonesia. Funny how she pointed out how all those places begins with a capital "I".


Another girl I know got hitched- only to ditch her groom before a tan line started to develop on her ring finger. The very same things she loved about him while they were dating- his commitment to God, desire to go into the ministry, his "good guy" sweetness- were instantly repulsive in marriage. Their marriage annulled, she jumped into a long term dating relationship which turned into cohabitation and a child together. But fortunate for her, no wedding.




But you cannot unscramble an egg. This post is really for the women out there who are seriously dating a nice guy or maybe engaged and planning a wedding. India Arie sings in "Can I Walk With You": "Now everyday ain't gonna be like a summer's day/ Being in love for real it ain't like a movie screen..." Marriage, while beautiful, is hard. And at times, ugly. It really is not to be entered into lightly. If you're thinking, even deep down "I can get out of this if I want to", then don't get into it. Also, most churches have premarital counseling, just as many Family & Marriage Counselors are happy to do sessions for the affianced. Go. There are many things- like money, children, careers, and expectations- which must be discussed before the vow swap.


My greatest hope, though, is for the wives who are now considering the big "D" since the glow has faded from their honeymoon period bliss. Stop. Just stop and think of what your motivations are. Is it because he's not treating you like the little Disney Princess you believe you are? How about flipping the script. Are you treating him like Prince Charming? Do you respect, love, pray for and place him above yourself? Do you call him throughout the day to say "I love you"? Stay and watch the game with him? Give him time to hang out with his friends? Show him affection? Take him out on a date? Encourage his goals? Support his dreams?

If you're considering divorce, please think about the Golden Rule in earnest. It has a beautiful way of making even the dullest of rainbows shine anew.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Unholy Trinity by John MacArthur



From OnePlace:


John MacArthur photo
Unholy Trinity
John MacArthur
 
I don't watch much television, and when I do I generally avoid the Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN). For many years TBN has been dominated by faith-healers, full-time fund-raisers, and self-proclaimed prophets spewing heresy. I wrote about the false gospel they proclaim and the phony miracles they pretend to do almost two decades ago in Charismatic Chaos (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1992. See especially chapter 12). I had my fill of charismatic televangelism while researching that book, and I can hardly bear to watch it any more.

Recently, however, while recovering from knee-replacement surgery, I decided to sample some of the current fare on TBN. From a therapeutic point of view it seemed a good choice: something more excruciating than the pain in my leg might distract me from the physical suffering of post-surgical trauma. And I suppose on that basis the strategy was effective.

But it left me outraged and frustrated - and eager to challenge the misperceptions in the minds of millions of unbelievers who see these false teachers masquerading as ministers of Christ on TBN.

I'm outraged at the brazen way so many false teachers twist the message of Scripture in Jesus' name. And I'm frustrated because I'm certain that if these charlatans were not receiving a large proportion of their financial support from sincere believers (and silent acquiescence from Christian leaders who surely know better), they would have no platform for their shenanigans. They would soon lose their core constituency and fade from the scene.

Instead, religious quacks are actually multiplying at a frightening pace. One thing I discovered to my immense displeasure is that TBN is by no means the only religious network broadcasting poisonous false doctrine around the clock. The channel lineup I receive includes at least seven other channels whose schedules are filled with false teachers and charlatans. There's The Church Channel, Daystar, GodTV, World Harvest Television (LeSEA), Total Christian Television, and several others. Some of them feature blocs of family television programming and a few fairly sound teachers who provide moments of escape from the prosperity preachers. But all of them give prominence to enormous amounts of heresy and religious claptrap - enough to make them positively dangerous. And TBN is singularly responsible for kicking that door open so wide.

The continued growth and influence of TBN is baffling for a number of reasons, not the least of which is the thick aura of lust, greed, and other kinds of moral impropriety that surrounds the whole enterprise. A long string of scandals involving notable charismatic televangelists between 1988 and 1992 should have been sufficient reason for even the most credulous viewers to scrutinize the entire industry with skepticism. First came the international spectacle of Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker's moral, marital, and financial collapse. That was followed closely by the revelation of Jimmy Swaggart's repeated dalliances with prostitutes. Shortly afterward, an episode of ABC's Primetime Live exposed clear examples of deliberate fraud on the part of three more leading charismatic televangelists. Those incidents were punctuated by a score of lesser scandals over several years' time. It is clear (or should be) - based on empirical evidence alone - that preachers promising miracles in exchange for money are not to be trusted. And for anyone who simply bothers to compare Jesus' teaching with the health-and-wealth message, it is clear that the message that currently dominates religious television is "a different gospel; which is really not another" (Galatians 1:6-7), but a damnable lie.

TBN is by far the leading perpetrator of that lie worldwide. Virtually all the network's main celebrities tell listeners that God will give them healing, wealth, and other material blessings in return for their money. On program after program people are urged to "plant a seed" by sending "the largest bill you have or the biggest check you can write" with the promise that God will miraculously make them rich in return. That same message dominates all of TBN's major fundraising drives. It's known as the "seed faith" plan, so-called by Oral Roberts, who set the pattern for most of the charismatic televangelists who have followed the trail he blazed. Paul Crouch, founder, chairman, and commander-in-chief of TBN, is one of the doctrine's staunchest defenders.

The only people who actually get rich by this scheme, of course, are the televangelists. Their people who send money get little in return but phony promises - and as a result, many of them turn away from the truth completely.

If the scheme seems reminiscent of Tetzel, that's because it is precisely the same doctrine. (Tetzel was a medieval monk whose high-pressure selling of indulgences - phony promises of forgiveness - outraged Martin Luther and touched off the Protestant Reformation.)

Like Tetzel, TBN preys on the poor and plies them with false promises. Yet what is happening daily on TBN is many times worse than the abuses that Luther decried because it is more widespread and more flagrant. The medium is more high-tech and the amounts bilked out of viewers' pockets are astronomically higher. (By most estimates, TBN is worth more than a billion dollars and rakes in $200 million annually. Those are direct contributions to the network, not counting millions more in donations sent directly to TBN broadcasters.) Like Tetzel on steroids, the Crouches and virtually all the key broadcasters on TBN live in garish opulence, while constantly begging their needy viewers for more money. Elderly, poor, and working-class viewers constitute TBN's primary demographic. And TBN's fundraisers all know that. The most desperate people - "unemployed," "even though I'm in between jobs," "trying to make it; trying to survive," "broke" - are baited with false promises to give what they do not even have. Jan Crouch addresses viewers as "you little people," and suggests that they send their grocery money to TBN "to assure God's blessing."

Thus TBN devours the poor while making the charlatans rich. God cursed false prophets in the Old Testament for that very thing (Jeremiah 6:13-15). It's also one of the main reasons the Pharisees incurred Jesus' condemnation (Luke 20:46-47). It's hard to think of any sin more evil. It not only hurts people materially; it deludes them with groundless hope, deceives them with a false gospel, and thereby places their souls in eternal peril. And yet those who do it pretend they are doing the work of God.



That's not all. Almost no false prophecy, erroneous doctrine, rank superstition, or silly claim is too outlandish to receive airtime on TBN. Jan Crouch tearfully gives a fanciful account of how her pet chicken was miraculously raised from the dead. Benny Hinn trumps that claim with a bizarre prophecy that if TBN viewers will put their dead loved ones' caskets in front of television set and touch the dead person's hand to the screen, people will "be raised from the dead . . . by the thousands."

Ironically, one doesn't even need to be an orthodox Trinitarian in order to broadcast on the Trinity network. Bishop T. D. Jakes, well known for his rejection of the Nicene Creed in favor of oneness Pentecostalism, is a staple on TBN. Benny Hinn has repeatedly attempted to revise the doctrine of the Trinity in novel ways, notoriously teaching at one point that there are nine persons in the godhead.

And yet evangelical church leaders typically show a kind of benign tolerance toward the whole enterprise. Most would never endorse it, of course. They may joke about the gaudiness of the big hair and tawdry set decorations on TBN. Ask them, and they will most likely acknowledge that the prosperity gospel is no gospel at all. Press the issue, and you will probably get them to admit that it is a dangerous form of false doctrine, totally unbiblical, and essentially anti-Christian.

Why, then, is there no large-scale effort among Bible-believing evangelicals to expose, denounce, refute, and silence these false teachers? After all, that is what Scripture commands church leaders to do when we encounter purveyors of soul-destroying substitutes for the true gospel:
The overseer must be above reproach as God's steward, not self-willed, not quick-tempered, not addicted to wine, not pugnacious, not fond of sordid gain, but hospitable, loving what is good, sensible, just, devout, self-controlled, holding fast the faithful word which is in accordance with the teaching, so that he will be able both to exhort in sound doctrine and to refute those who contradict. For there are many rebellious men, empty talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision, who must be silenced because they are upsetting whole families, teaching things they should not teach for the sake of sordid gain (Titus 1:7-11).

Those who remain silent in the face of such grotesque lies may in fact be partly responsible for turning people away from the truth. Consider the testimony of William Lobdell, religion reporter for the Los Angeles Times, who once considered himself a devout evangelical Christian, but after doing a series of investigative reports on the moral and doctrinal cesspool at TBN; then "finding that his investigative stories about faith healer Benny Hinn and televangelists Jan and Paul Crouch appear to make no difference on the reach of these ministries or the lives of their followers, he [gave] up on the beat and on religion generally."

All those who truly love Christ and care about the truth have a solemn duty to defend the truth by exposing and opposing these lies that masquerade as truth. If we fail in that duty because of indifference, apathy, or a craving for the approval of men, we are no less guilty than those who actively spread the lies.

For more articles and  audio sermons from John MacArthur, click here.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Twenty Questions- November 2nd

1.) Are you as excited  today is Election Day as me?

2.) Do you know I'm actually excited today will be the last day (for a while) of non-stop 30 second political assassinations known as campaign ads on every single channel? I'm so sick of them!

Outside of the fact we are both female, cute and Christian, I'm sorry Christine, you are not just like me. You don't even wear glasses! And believe me, I would never appear on a Bill Maher show.
3.) And while we're on the topic, why do all these politicians keep insisting they are "just like me" or that I "know" them? No, really, you are not like me and I certainly do not know you. If I did know you, you wouldn't be clogging the channels with stupid commercials insisting you know me. And if you were just like me, you'd know I really, really, REALLY hate being harassed into voting.


4.) Is the House of Mouse courting or creating young teen starlets guaranteed for controversy, heartache and pain (and at least one stop at rehab)? Sincerely, though good luck, Demi.

5.) Why is it every time I bother to flick on the radio, I'm 99% positive I will be hearing a song by or with Drake, Lil' Wayne, Nicki Minaj, Kanye or Trey Songz?

6.) For all my tri-state readers, can someone please let Power 105's staff know Usher's "Yeah!" should by no means be considered "Back in the Day"?

7.) Aren't you glad Lil Jon has sat down someplace?

8.) Before I get off Usher, am I the only one who thinks his new song "Hot Tottie" has a hilarious name? I'm sorry, but every time I hear it, I think about little grannies sipping warm milk concoctions to help them nod off. Not of sexy... well, not of sex at all.

9.) By the way, does anyone really believe it is not cheating even if you don't tell anyone. Or tell "nobody"?

10.) Do you know preschoolers are averaging about FIVE HOURS of television viewing a day? No four year old needs that much Sprout ever.

11.) Why T.I., why? After "Redemption", quoting the words of St. Paul about putting away "childish things", doing your time and then getting hitched (repeatedly), would you get yourself locked up for 11 more months? Sigh. Well, good luck, Bro.

12.) Why are Europeans dismayed at President Obama's sinking numbers? Don't you all have problems like Greece, terrorist threats and philandering Italian leaders to worry about? No? How about the Roma?



13.) Do you think sanity was restored on Saturday? Or fear? Or both?

14.) Are you excited Lil Wayne is being released from prison? Yes, I know, I did mention he is all over the radio in question number 5. And he is. In fact, he's topping the charts.

15.) How is he doing it? I don't know. But hey, if Pac and Biggie could do it from the grave...

16.) Surprised Miami's Big Three were colder than Omarion in that "Icebox" in their opening game? Ha ha, I wasn't.

17.) Surprised San Fran won The World Series? Honestly, I am.

18.) Are you ready for Christmas? No, me either. Please tell this info to all stores from pharmacies to Neiman Marcus. I find it aggravating (and rather harsh on the eyes) to suddenly go from the warm earth tones of Harvest displays to the garish red and green everything in literally a day.

19.) Did you know fortune cookies aren't Chinese?

20.) Did you hear about the praying pup? Speaking of prayers, how about saying a few for the people of Indonesia, Haiti and all over the globe suffering as a result of nature's fury.
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