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Monday, April 30, 2012

The Hero Book

The Hero Book

   Everyone should have a hero book in their home. We started ours long ago.
When I got the book out this morning, I noticed Enid’s childlike cover, “Our Hero Book.” She used colored markers and painted the letters turquoise and green. She underlined them in red 15 years ago.
   Since my articles for the next few weeks will talk about heroes, I wanted to make this suggestion: Create a Hero Book.
   All it takes to make a Hero Book is a three-ring binder and some sheet protectors. You slip your heroes carefully into the plastic sleeves and they are there forever.
   A Hero Book is especially important to young families whose children are still growing and watching and wanting to see heroes all around.
   Wait a minute. As a matter of fact, a Hero Book is important to old families whose grown children are still growing and watching and wanting to see heroes all around. Everybody needs a Hero Book.
   Our Hero Book contains newspaper clippings and magazine articles full of people who inspire. It holds photos and letters and notes written by people who did not have to take the time to write or care, but they did.
   Our Hero Book contains people who don’t even know they’re heroes. They weren’t trying to be heroes.
They were just doing the right thing. That makes them perfect candidates for our book.
   Our heroes are not rock stars or reality TV clowns. They are quietly great, momentously normal, fantastically inspirational.
    When I open the book, I see Grandma Boyd's beautiful 90-year old smile. She always smiled.
There’s a photo of her with Enid, Brynn and Taylor gathered round. Then there’s a laminated funeral notice, a memory of this gracious, great woman. Grandma was always prepared to share home, food and laughter.      She is our hero.
   I flip more pages. Sister Theotima, a great woman of God, gazes at me. There’s her letter and a newspaper article about how she guided Saint Anthony’s Hospital with wisdom, grace and an undying commitment to her Lord and Savior.
   A booklet written by Corrie ten Boom comes next. It’s called, “Learning to Forgive.” Corrie was a Christian and a survivor of a Nazi concentration camp.
   The Hero Book is overflowing. There are quotes: “The secret of life isn’t in what happens to you, but what you do with what happens to you.” – Norman Vincent Peale.
   “Don’t work for recognition, but do work worthy of recognition.”
   “Greatness comes, not when things go well, but when you lose someone, lose an election, suffer a defeat…and rise above it.” – Theodore Roosevelt.
    Dr. James Dobson, a Christian psychologist and author, is on page five. “When you put Jesus to the side and you have to pick Him up on the way back, what you are doing is not right. Think about whether you would want Jesus to see what you are doing.”
   There are letters from Pastor Dennis Morgan, the pastor of Faith Baptist Church. Enid, Brynn and Taylor put them in the book. They were personal letters he wrote to each of them when they were still little girls.
   Pastor Dennis became their hero when he showed he cared. He wrote to inspire them.
   “Local University Graduate Follows God’s Lead In His Life.” A Tribune article about Aaron Neff is on page seven. A Freeburg High graduate, Aaron and his wife, Katie, are missionaries with Campus Crusade for Christ who continue to inspire.
   The Hero Book is too thick for this article. I want to pull out a few more heroes and write more in the future.
   Please get your binder and start your Hero Book. Be on the lookout for the heroes around you. Point out heroic qualities to your children.
   You’ll never regret showing your children what a hero is made of. Hopefully, one day, you will end up in their book.

TV disrupting sleep for children

TV disrupting sleep for children

LINDSEY TANNER / AP Medical Writer

CHICAGO (AP) -- If your preschooler can't sleep -- turn off the violence and nighttime TV.
    That's the message in a new study that found sleep problems are more common in 3- to 5-year-olds who watch television after 7 p.m. Watching shows with violence -- including kids' cartoons -- also was tied to sleeping difficulties.
    Watching nonviolent shows during the day didn't seem to have any connection with sleep problems in the 617 youngsters studied.
    The study builds on previous research linking media use with kids' sleep problems, and also bolsters arguments for limiting children's screen time.
    The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends no screen time for children up to age 2, and no more than 2 hours daily for older children.
    It also urges pediatricians to ask parents at every checkup how much their children watch television, including whether kids have TVs in their bedrooms, which the academy discourages. Previous studies have found that at least one in four U.S. preschoolers have TVs in their bedrooms, and many families mistakenly believe that watching TV will help their kids sleep, said Dr. Michelle Garrison, lead author and a scientist at Seattle Children's Hospital Research Institute.
   The government-funded study was released online Monday by the journal Pediatrics.
Overall, about 112 kids studied -- nearly one in five -- had one or more frequent sleep problems most days of the week. These included difficulty falling asleep, awakening repeatedly at night, nightmares, or daytime sleepiness.
   Kids who watched the most nighttime or violent TV had the most sleep trouble. TV was the main source of screen time rather than computers or video games.
   The study relied on parents' reports of kids' sleep difficulties and TV habits, and wasn't rigorous enough to tell whether TV caused sleep problems. It could be that poor sleepers might be more likely to watch TV; or family factors such as lax parenting could have been involved.
    Experts said the theory that screen time causes sleep problems makes sense.
Dr. Dennis Rosen, a sleep medicine specialist at Children's Hospital Boston, said the research highlights a common problem. "It certainly fits with what I see" at his sleep disorders clinic, Rosen said.
   Young children go to sleep best with nighttime rituals that help calm them, including bedtime stories and cuddling with parents, said Dr. Marc Weissbluth, a sleep disorders specialist at Chicago's Children's Memorial Hospital and author of several books on healthy sleep habits.
   TV can have the opposite effect, stimulating children, and if it's replacing that down time with parents, it can be unhealthy, Weissbluth said.
   While some preschoolers still nap during the day, sleepiness late in the day or early evening at this age is a sign that children need to go to bed earlier at night, he said.
   Lack of sleep "is as dangerous as iron deficiency" and can cause behavior difficulties, memory problems and academic struggles, he said.
Some findings for the children studied:

  • Daily screen time averaged about 73 minutes, with 14 minutes after 7 p.m.
  • Children with bedroom TVs watched about 40 minutes more TV daily
  • About 60 kids averaged an hour or more daily of violent TV; 37 percent had frequent sleep problems vs. 19 percent who saw little or no violence.
  • Almost 100 kids averaged more than half an hour of nighttime TV; 28 percent had frequent sleep problems vs. 19 percent who watched little or no nighttime TV.
   Banning all screen time for children may be unreasonable, but the study suggests that just eliminating nighttime or violent TV might have an impact, Garrison said.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

An Easter Message Worth Sharing

He is Risen!

April 5, 2012

Dear Friends,
Many will celebrate Easter this weekend with colored eggs,
candy and bunnies, but we must not forget the truth
behind Easter. Easter is a time to Rejoice!

 Jesus Christ died on the cross for EVERYONE'S sins so
that one day we could be with our Heavenly Father.
On the third day, he rose again from the dead.

This is the Good News that Christians celebrate,
His Resurrection! He is ALIVE! And one day our Savior will return.

Jesus paid a debt for us that no one else could ever
repay so that we could be in heaven with him for eternity.
God gave the perfect sacrifice, his only Son, and if
we believe in Him and are saved, then we will be forgiven
for our sins. He will set us free!

To be saved you must ask God into your heart.
If you have never done this, take time to do it right now.

The nails were not what held Jesus to the cross.
Jesus had the power to come down from that cross,
but He knew this is what had to be done for His believers
 to be saved. He died on the cross for you and me because
of His love for us. He loved us that much!

If you know of someone who is not saved, please pass
this on to them. Share the greatest gift of all with them:
a relationship with Jesus Christ and eternal life. Also share
this with your brothers and sisters in Christ so they may use
 this to share with others. God commands that we share the
gospel with others. We need to help one another become
passionate followers of Jesus Christ.

For a powerful resource to use while witnessing, or
if you need more answers yourself about knowing Him,
go to

Best wishes for a meaningful Holy Week, and Easter celebration.


Monica Cole, Director

P.S. Please forward this to your family and friends!
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