The Loving Family Group Manual

A Christian Social Model Community Service Program

To Improve The Quality of Family Living

A Ministry of Love

The Loving Family Community Service Plan

The Loving Family Community Service Text

Loving Family


Our Families Give All Thanks, Praise, and Glory to

God Our Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ God's Son, and the Holy Spirit


In Honor of Mom and Dad

To Improve the Quality of Family Living

Children Are Welcome

Released in the United States of America 2005

Copyright by Loving Family 8/31/04; 2014
Revised 2/10/15

Loving Family


Created By Sharen, MA Sociology, MA Social Science

for questions or comments or to order copies of
The Loving Family Group Manual
Contact sharen@reninet.com

Table Of Contents                                                    
Part One: The Loving Family Community Service Plan  
 Explanation of Our Premise  
  Description of Our Ministry of Love
 Description of Our Fallen Nature     
 Description of Our Answer
 Description of Our Formation 
 Verses We Live By     
 Suggested Meeting Topics  
 Suggested Christian Guest Speakers      

Part Two: The Loving Family Community Service Text  
  The Sociology of Marriage and Family Living  
  The Sociology of Raising Children

  The Sociology of Preventative Health Care   
The Sociology of  Safety   
 Social Problems and Human Services  
The Sociology of Global Concerns    

Other Books by Sharen
Visions of Our Life: Forever Young

Stars of the Word: Star Light Reflections



Loving Family







             ♥ The premise upon which Loving Family was created is that if parents accept Christ as their Savior and practice Christian principles by supporting and helping one another while learning how to improve the quality of family life then this could go a long way in reducing troubled family systems and also go a long way in reducing social problems, such as poverty, crime, juvenile delinquency, discrimination, substance abuse, emotional problems, and domestic violence. Loving Family was created to produce social change from within the Christian tradition by transforming conditions within the individual, family, community, and wider social and cultural worlds. The goal of Loving Family is to create a Christ centered loving society.
            An examination of social change within the Christian tradition reveals that Jesus started a social movement of love more than 2000 years ago, so we could experience eternal life in heaven. Christian values and belief systems were formed as a result of this social movement. Jesus instructed His followers that they should love God with their entire heart, mind, and soul and that they should love their neighbor as themselves. Jesus taught His followers that they were to seek the kingdom of heaven first before seeking worldly goods so that God might find them worthy enough to give them all the love He has to give.
            Loving Family intends to carry on the social movement of love established by Jesus more than 2000 years ago, so our family members can experience eternal life in heaven and heaven on earth. Loving Family was designed so parents can learn to love God with their entire heart, mind, and soul and love their neighbors and family members as themselves. Loving Family was designed so parents can learn to live according to God's plan, so they can properly love their children and one another. Loving Family was designed so parents can learn to seek the kingdom of heaven first so that God might find them worthy enough to give them all the love He has to give. Loving Family intends to do God's loving will on earth as it is in heaven.


        ♥" 'You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.' This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets." ( Matthew 22:37-40; Holy Bible, NKJV, 1982).
        ♥ Our ministry is to live by loving Christian principles as we improve the quality of our family life. The love of Christ is the Cornerstone of our foundation. Our hearts are comforted by first loving God, then one another, while enveloping our children and relatives in the fullness of our love as we carry our message of love as the supreme quality of life to families in need.
            Loving Family is a Christian Social Model Community Service program for families. If you have ever struggled with questions about family living then Loving Family Group is the place for you. With Christ it is possible to enjoy your family life. Loving Family is for families who have a desire to improve the quality of their family life. Our ministry is to live by loving Christian principles as we improve the quality of our family life. Loving Family helps us to become strong individuals who are capable of being committed meaningfully to our families and our communities.
            Loving Family is a family community service program with a Christian social tradition. Our ministry is to live by loving Christian principles as we improve the quality of life for individuals, families, and communities by learning healthy, responsible, loving, and effective family living skills. Loving Family is an ecologically based social interaction group so we acknowledge all the needs of our families. We seek to adequately provide for our families spiritual, moral, physical, intellectual, emotional, social, environmental, and other needs as we interact with one another and enjoy meaningful loving Christian friendship. We love our children and know the best way to help them is to strengthen our families. We believe that the love we give our children now will be love that our children will some day pass on to their children.
            During our meetings, we share the story and love of Christ with each other, our spiritual and life experience, application of scripture to our daily lives, prayer, friendship, and we share our joys and our concerns with each other. We also discuss our new creative ideas with each other. We believe that each person can make his or her own best choices and can take responsibility for his or her own behavior. We demonstrate social interest in each other and in our family members.
            Through our community social tradition, we learn about resources in the community that are available for improving the quality of our family living and how to confidently access the resources that our families need. We learn how to communicate our needs more clearly and how to fill our needs as parents and as people more effectively. We clarify the information we gain from each other, reading, and other sources, and we gain strength to apply new ideas in our roles as parents. We realize that good parenting is a learned and applied skill. Since we believe in family unity, children are welcome at many Loving Family meetings. Child care and fun activities are provided by trusted volunteers (parents, grandparents, uncles, aunts, cousins, our teenagers, and other responsible people.)
            Besides attending our regular group meetings, workshops, and training seminars, we socialize with each other, take swimming classes together, organize quality child care groups and children's play groups together, form study groups and prayer groups together, and participate in other social activities together as well. At Loving Family, we know that loving relationships can only be realized by loving people, and we are intent upon creating loving relationships for ourselves, our children, and for future generations.
            Our ministry now and forever is the love of God. We join together in faith through the love of God to fulfill our ministry of love. We can only receive love by giving love so we want to fulfill our ministry. The Lord sends each one us separately and together to give His message of love. God shows us what we are to do. We do not lay burdens of sin upon each other but we uplift one another in love. We are generous souls who give generous gifts of love. Through our united generosity we stand strong in love. God who created the heavens and the earth created us as divine beings of love for His divine ministry. We are predestined to God through Jesus Christ according to the good pleasure of His loving will. We are comforted by fulfilling our divine ministry of love.
            We pray for one another and ask for knowledge of God’s loving will with wisdom and spiritual understanding of His ministry. We walk in love worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to Him, while doing many loving works in His good name. The Lord goes before us and He gives us strength, patience, and joy as we give our gifts of love to each other. We thank God for giving us the inheritance of His Son our Lord Jesus Christ. Without tiring we work in faith unto His ministry, doing our labors of love with patience and placing our hopes in Jesus Christ. We love one another as Jesus has loved us so all others will know that we are the Lord's disciples.
            We show God that we love Him by keeping His Ten Commandments. We love Him above all others, we honor our mother and father, and we do not kill, steal, lie, commit adultery, or covet what belongs to another.
            "And God spoke all these words, saying:
            "I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.
            You shall have no other gods before Me.
            You shall not make for yourself a carved image—any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me,  but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.
            You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain.
            Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates.  For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.
            Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the Lord your God is giving you.
            You shall not murder.
            You shall not commit adultery.
            You shall not steal.
            You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
            You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor’s”" (Exodus 20:1-17, Holy Bible, NKJV, 1982).



            ♥"Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for if you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins.” (John 8:24, Holy Bible, NKJV)
             This is the story of four people----Everybody, Somebody, Anybody, and Nobody.
There was an important job to be done and
Everybody was sure that Somebody would do it.
Anybody could have done it but Nobody did it.
Somebody got angry because it was Everybody's job.
Everybody thought that Somebody would do it.
But Nobody asked Anybody.
It ended up that the job wasn't done, and
Everybody blamed Everybody, when actually Nobody asked Anybody (Author Unknown).

             ♥Well, I am asking you! Why are so many parents forgetting to do first things first? Did Somebody forget to tell parents that children need their love and their time in order to develop properly? Everybody knows that children love their parents more than any thing in the world. Did Anybody tell parents that their children are lonely for them? How come Nobody told parents, they should spend lots of constructive quality time with their children? Could it be that many parents do not know what parenting really is and how they should do it? No one is to be blamed. We have tried to do our best. But NOW is the right time for love and for Loving Family.
            We must face the facts. We have become victims of our fallen nature. Without God's loving help, our best efforts are just not good enough. Instead of living as God would have us live, we have been selfish and our first priority has been to live for our self instead of living for others. We have not loved God with our entire heart, mind, and soul. We have not loved our neighbors and our families as we have loved ourselves. We have turned away from love and from God and our families.
         Some of us looked for self-satisfaction in financial power, social control, or social prestige. Some of us worked long strenuous hours pursuing career development or academic success. Others devoted an excessive amount of time to sports, video games, movies, recreational activities, hobbies, and pet adoration. While others looked for self-satisfaction in alcohol and drug abuse, sexual addictions, food addictions, computer addictions, gambling, or a life of crime.
            Loving Family is not suggesting that we sacrifice our own good interests or that we become untrue to our own selves. However, we must realize that living for our self instead of living for others leads only to demoralization. A self all alone cannot thrive without God and others. Therefore, Loving Family sees each individual as part of a larger whole involved with their family, their community, and a Christian inheritance that can support a true individuality and strengthen our individual, family, and community life.
            Our self-absorption has caused us to neglect our families. We have forgotten that we need loving families to develop the true qualities that comprise a strong individual such as trust, autonomy, identity, intimacy, self-confidence, self-esteem, and interpersonal competence. We have forgotten how important our heritage is to us and that life can only be meaningful if we nourish our generational bonds.
        The quality of our family life is very important to our emotional well-being, our social adjustment, and our happiness. Troubled relationships within the family are related to serious community problems, such as juvenile delinquency, adult crime, domestic abuse, emotional problems, and substance abuse.
        Strong loving societies can only be constructed by strong loving families. Throughout history, great societies thrived when family life was important and highly valued. When family life lost its importance and value, when goals became too individualistic, the great societies fell. Obviously, it is for our own good that we do what we can to strengthen our families and communities before our own society falls. Nourishing our families and our communities should be one of our country’s top priorities, but unfortunately it has not been. Before it is too late, we must stop our obsession with self and we must start balancing our time, resources, and energy more efficiently so we can strengthen our families and communities. We must stop being a weak nation of have's and have not's and start being a unified nation of generous givers. We must anchor our individuals, families, communities, and nation in Jesus Christ so we can gather the life force we need to sustain us from generation to generation.        
            Have you ever considered what your life would be like without the comfort of family, friends, and community? A self all alone is a lonely tired dejected self to be sure. Lonely tired people become angry mean people who start looking for a war. To remain strong loving peaceful individuals we must put energy into our families and communities so we can receive the nurturing we need when life becomes hard.
            Perhaps you are a very busy person and you don't want to be bothered with reading your child a story, attending your child's school or sporting event,  expressing interest in your spouse's activity, sharing a meal and a movie with  your family, or spending time with grandpa and grandma. Perhaps you don't take the time to become involved in church and community events because interacting with people is stressful and you certainly don't need any more stress in your life.
               You find it easier to spend most of your spare time withdrawing into your own self interests by reading a book, spending time on the computer, or watching a football game on television. You tell yourself you will spend more time with your family, church, and community after that big project at work has been completed, the yard work has been done, or you get caught up on your rest.
            The problem is that there is always some big project at work or at home that must be completed and there is never enough time for rest when you are tired from being alone. Perhaps you tell yourself you will become active in family, church, and community events during your retirement years but during retirement you find you don't know how to begin because you have always found it easier to be a passive observer rather than an active participant. Besides, you never invested time in relationships with family, church, and community so family, church, and community are not there for you when you finally decide to make time for relations with them.
            As individuals seeking our own interests we will never have enough time or inner resources to accomplish what must be done. We will always be too tired for others and too tired for life. Our sinful nature forces us into a downward spiral that sucks us into an endless black hole.
          The nature of the beast does not have our best interests at heart. Our selfish collective unconsciousness has manifested itself in a society of have's and have not's. The poor and the working class struggle to survive in an endless cycle of poverty, illness, disability, and dependency upon a broken middle class that is exhausted and overwhelmed with trying to carry and care for poor and working class people. The upper classes exploit the poor, working class, and middle class people by hoarding the world's resources so they can live in a decadent world of their own.
          The poor do not receive enough money on their SSI, disability, and welfare checks to cover their rent, utilities, health care costs, and other living necessities such as enough food to last through the month, warm clothing, household furnishings, and transportation costs. Most middle-class people teeter on the brink of falling off the cliff and are only paychecks away from becoming one of the poor, disabled and dependent. In an effort to avoid becoming one of the undesirables the middle-class have armed themselves with an arsenal of laws and regulations to oppress and control the lower classes. The  upper classes spend some of their fortune on good causes seeking  redemption  for the sins they commit to  amass their great fortune and maintain the status quo.
          Our selfish collective unconsciousness results in socially sanctioned oppression, exploitation, control, institutional confinement, imprisonment, and genocide of our vulnerable poor, working-class, and middle-class peoples. Abortion laws permit the slaughter of unborn fetuses and discrimination law permits and encourages family and society breakdown by legalizing the sinful destructive mating of those of the same sex more in an effort to control population growth rather than any legitimate concern over equality of people. Legally sanctioned homosexuality also maintains the status quo by keeping resources with those who have wealth and power. Due to standard medical practice, children are kept uncharacteristically quiet and sedate by parents and teachers who administer dangerous medications to them for controlling conditions such hyperactivity, behavioral problems, and  attention deficit disorder. Unfortunately some medications given to children can cause problems for life and even death. Children and women still comprise the bulk of the poor and they are governed by welfare laws that do not provide for an adequate standard of living and their needs for housing, food, clothing, and education go unmet. Poor adults and people of color frequently end up in jail or prison due to lack of available and effective substance abuse programs, educational programs, and job training programs. Execution laws permit the killing of hardened criminals who end up on a  death row because they never received what they needed to live a lawful life. Those with emotional problems are entangled in the mental health system and managed with dangerous drugs that can result in an unsatisfactory quality of living or even in death instead of receiving counseling and opportunity to change or improve their living situation. Seniors and elders are frequently over treated and over medicated by health care professionals who rake in cash payments, private insurance money, and Medicare and Medicaid dollars for their efforts. The senior and elder population must spend-down all of their life savings and sign their property over to the state before they receive any help from Medicaid-based programs that can help keep older people safe at home by providing for their medical and care needs. The most vulnerable of elderly people lose their ability to function at home even with assistance and they end up in a permanent placement in a skilled nursing facility where they are often managed on black-box medications that frequently result in death soon after they are admitted and started on a chemical straight-jacket of medication.
            SSI, disability, welfare, and Social Security income regulations frequently reward people with additional funds if they live singly on their own. A person alone is vulnerable and easy to oppress, exploit, control, and conspire against. The death or imprisonment of a single person can go easily unnoticed. Many applaud the death or imprisonment of one of those bums that collect welfare, SSI, disability, or Social Security funds. The more bums that die the less it cost the rest of us in taxes. Even our single middle-class people are not safe since they also frequently receive incomes, pensions, and health benefits that are paid with tax dollars that taxpayers would be better off if they did not have to pay. Married people are targeted as well but there is much a knowledgeable caring spouse can do to protect his or her vulnerable mate from becoming a victim of oppression and exploitation during times of illness, disability, and other troubles. Unfortunately, our current health care system bankrupts many married people that need extended hospitalization due to lack of affordable insurance even with Obama Care in place. Even those who have insurance are forced into bankruptcy due to exorbitant co-pays and deductibles.
            Health care professionals encourage the lonely and disabled to turn to animals for affection and assistance instead of encouraging human social interaction. Laws now force us to tolerate animal filth in our public buildings, grocery stores, parks, beaches, and all other places. Our country has gone to the dogs! Our food supply is now contaminated by dogs defecating and spraying in our grocery stores and restaurants and rates of food poisoning and food-borne illnesses and deaths are rising. Parasitic diseases are mysteriously rising and our children are getting parasitic and other diseases after sitting in places at public pools, the mall, and the library after dogs have previously occupied the same place. Asthmatics and people with allergies are suffering daily. They are constantly exposed to the dander of dogs when they are in public places and they are forced to take dangerous ineffective drugs. People who are dog phobic have no safe haven except for their own home. Conducting daily business has become unbearable for those who fear dogs. Some of the homeless and socially isolated are turning to dogs for sexual satisfaction as rates of sexually transmitted disease continue to rise. It seems that only the health care professionals and drug companies really benefit from the invasion of dogs!  Yet we continue to turn a blind eye and deaf ear and pretend not to notice. We continue to choose sin over holiness. Ultimately, no one is safe from the nature of the beast. Our selfish collective unconsciousness has only our destruction at heart!
        On the other hand, our Lord God holds the key to our loving collective conscious good and is eager to open the door for those who give all their love to Him. Our Lord God wants us to WAKE UP to love. Our Lord God wants to provide for us. Our Lord wants us to live a joyous life of abundance that is shared with loving family and  friends. Our Lord wants us to live as peaceful individuals who are firmly committed to family and community. Our Lord wants us to live full meaningful interesting lives. Our Lord God wants us to help and love each other. Our Lord God wants us to have clean comfortable housing, good nutrition, good preventive and remedial health plans, good affordable medical care, a good education, good jobs, good incomes, and good pension plans that adequately meet our needs. Our Lord wants our children to run and play and make joyful noises. Our Lord wants our men to be stable, well adjusted, and satisfied. Our Lord God wants our mothers to be happy and comfortable. Our Lord God wants husbands and wives to love each other and find pleasure in each other. Our Lord God wants our older people to live productive lives and be well cared for. Our Lord wants all of our disabled people, including asthmatic people, to be treated fairly. Our Lord wants our poor people to have real opportunity. Our Lord wants those with emotional problems to find peace and love. Our Lord God wants us to be well and healthy! Our Lord God wants us to build good strong loving families, communities, and nations so we can live in a good peaceful world. Our Lord God wants to give us eternal life in heaven and on earth. Our Lord wants us to know heaven on earth.
        Thank God that there is another way. Jesus will give us the strength we need to do what must be done. 
        ♥Jesus said: "Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light" (Matthew 11:28-30, Holy Bible, NKJV, 1982). 
        Thank God Lord Jesus has our best at heart! Thank God Jesus is able to open the door to our loving collective conscious good!


            ♥"If you ask anything in My name, I will do it. If you love Me, keep my commandments. (John 14:14-15; Holy Bible, NKJV, 1982)
          ♥ God is the answer to all of our prayers today. God helps those who ask for His help. God answers those who seek Him. Sometimes God answers our prayers immediately while at other times we must wait patiently for God to answer our prayers. The Lord does not turn a deaf ear to our prayers indefinitely. In His acceptable time He answers our prayers. There are many instances in the Bible of God answering prayer.
            God told Gideon He would save Israel by Gideon’s hand yet Gideon had doubts so he sought confirmation from God. Gideon told God that he would put a fleece of wool on the threshing floor and if there was dew on the fleece only and dry on the ground then Gideon would know that God would save Israel by Gideon’s hand as He had said. Sure enough the next morning Gideon found it was so and he was able to wring a bowlful of water out of the fleece. Gideon still had doubts so he asked God if he could test the fleece just once more. Gideon then asked God to let the fleece be dry and for dew to be on all the ground. God again did as Gideon asked and Gideon found that the fleece was dry and there was dew on all the ground. God provided Gideon with the confirmation Gideon asked for and God removed all of Gideon’s doubts.
            God also answered Hannah’s prayer when she went to the tabernacle and prayed in anguish as she wept because she was unable to conceive. Hannah made a vow to God that if He would give her a son that she would give her son to God for all the days of his life and that no razor would come upon his head. Eli, the priest of the tabernacle told Hannah that God would grant her petition. Hannah did conceive and she gave birth to a son and she named him Samuel. When Hannah weaned Samuel, she kept her vow and she  brought Samuel to Eli and lent him to the Lord for as long as he should live.
            God answered Daniel's prayers and He blessed him with the ability to interpret dreams when Daniel was obliged to work in service to the king of Babylon. Daniel made known and interpreted King Nebuchadnezzar's dream about the four great world empires that were to come and about God’s kingdom that would stand forever. Daniel also foretold details of troop movements in the Middle East, the invasion of Jerusalem, and all the things that are supposed to happen right before the end.
            When Jesus prayed God always heard Him and answered Him such as when the ten lepers were cured, the centurion’s servant was healed, Lazarus was raised from the grave, and many other times.
            Jesus taught us to use the Lord's Prayer when we pray:
         "Our Father in heaven,
        Hallowed be Your name.
        Your kingdom come.
        Your will be done
        On earth as it is in heaven.
        Give us this day our daily bread.
        And forgive us our debts,
        As we forgive our debtors.
         And do not lead us into temptation,
        But deliver us from the evil one.
        For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen" (Matthew 6:9-13, Holy Bible, NKJV, 1982).
         Just as God answered the prayers of Gideon , Hannah, Daniel, and Jesus, He will answer our prayers too if we ask for His guidance. As servants of the Lord, we pray for God to act when others cause trouble for us by disregarding the laws of God. For our sake God will help others to find Him. For our sake the Lord will stretch out His hand to those who rebel against Him and who walk according to their own thoughts in ways that are not good. For our sake God will reach out to people who provoke Him to anger, to those who think they are holier than God and to those who try to keep God away.  For our sake the Lord will find those who do not seek Him. God loves His servants and He will answer our prayers.
           The Lord  helps those who diligently seek His salvation and He uses His own as a covenant to the people for restoring the earth. God is our comfort during all of our tribulations. We are able to comfort those who are in trouble with the comfort we receive from God. We are the temples of a loving God so we are able to live without giving offense. We are able to be patient when we have needs, when we are in distress, when we are tired or hungry,  when we must work hard, and when we are being oppressed. We live by God’s purity, knowledge, kindness, truth, love, and power. We are unknown yet well known, dying yet we live, sorrowful yet always rejoicing, poor yet making many rich, having  nothing yet possessing all things. As temples of a loving God, we are equally yoked together but apart and separate from unbelievers. We attend to the cares of this world but we are not deceived by riches or desires for other things that choke God’s word.
            The acceptance of love is the answer to all of our prayers today. You must have faith that the force of good is stronger than the force of evil.  You must believe that God is love and if you rely on God then you will live in God's love. You must believe that God's love is eternal. You must believe that the love of Jesus is the same today, as it was yesterday and will be tomorrow. You must have faith when you feel weak, scared, or angry that you will continue to live through the love of Jesus. You must believe that even if you die you will continue to live through the love of Jesus. You must believe that eternal life is your inheritance from God if you surrender to the will of love and turn away from evil.  You must be vigilant in the action of  love and not try to get by on the grace of the Lord without growing in love. While it is true that the Lord's grace does cover a multitude of sins, the Lord God will not tolerate your sinfulness forever. You must grow in God's love or face dying in sin. You must become like Christ yourself. Your life must be perfected. You must look to Jesus who is King of Angels for an example of how to live in love. You must be patient with yourself and with others because God waits patiently for you. God will wait for you to grow in His love if He must but you must grow sooner or later. You see, God wants us to live joyfully so it is for your own good and for the good of all that you continue to grow in God's love. The Lord God has already determined that every knee will bow to Him. The Lord God has already determined that the love of Jesus is the solution to all our prayers today, yesterday, and tomorrow.
            We are truly sorry for our imperfections. We humbly repent. In prayer, we ask God to forgive us and to guide us in our relationships with our children and each other. We follow the good example that Jesus gave us, and we live by God's commandments. We love God with our entire heart, mind, soul, and strength and our neighbor and family as ourselves. We find that together with God great changes can and do occur. An important priority for us is to strengthen our families. We seek to transform the conditions within ourselves, our families, our communities, and our culture through prayer and by following Christian principles. We rely on a loving God to direct us through our community process.
            We know that working to improve the quality of life within our families is a very important calling. We seek to preserve each person's individual dignity by expecting all family members to think and talk for themselves, to make their own decisions, and to live their own individual lives as they see fit within the context of their family and their community. Recognizing individual family members does not mean that we disregard family guidelines or that we allow our children to disregard parental authority. Recognizing individual family members does mean that our family members become willing to love and respect each other. Each family member has the freedom to express one's own interests, to develop one's own abilities and values, and opportunity to become what one truly is.
            We are aware of the truth expressed in the words "a family that prays together stays together,” and we put these words into practice. We pray together as a family and Jesus helps us to be more patient with each other, more forgiving, more loving, and more supportive in our family relationships.
            We realize that separation is the natural consequence that follows a lack of appreciation for family members. We know our bonding is strengthened by sharing constructive activities with family members and weakened by an excess of individual pursuits. We spend quality family time together reading the Bible, eating meals, enjoying church and recreational activities, and sharing academic and work interests with each other.
            Our family members spend time talking and listening to one another. We try to understand the verbal and nonverbal messages other family members are sending, and we try to be sure the messages we are sending are being understood. We do disagree and argue, but we get conflict out in the open and talk it over. We share our feelings about our problems, and we look for solutions that are best for everybody. We know we need to rely on each other to function well, and we make sure we are dependable and responsible to each other. At the same time, when life does not work out as planned, we are capable of being flexible with each other in a changeable world. We do not intentionally do anything that would make a bad situation worse. We unite when dealing with a crisis and are supportive of each other in coping with the problem.
            Mothers and fathers are both emotionally involved in the participation and care of their children, and each parent supports the activities of the other parent who is engaged with the child. Just as importantly, mothers and fathers love and nurture each other, so they can reach their full potentials as human beings, and so they can be fully capable of loving and nurturing their children as well.
            We provide our children with opportunities to interact with different types of people in a variety of situations, so they can grow into competent and compassionate human beings. We choose our children's school teachers carefully and make sure they work for our children in a fair and rational manner.
            We are intent upon becoming strong loving individuals who are capable of being committed meaningfully to our families and our communities. Our ministry is to live by loving Christian principles as we improve the quality of our family life by creating strong loving families and communities. We serve Christ as we learn responsible and effective family living skills.
            We believe it is not up to us to judge who is deserving of help and who is not deserving of help but up to God to decide since God makes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and He sends His rain on the just and the unjust. We are always there to extend a nonjudgmental helping hand as we carry our message of quality family living to families in need. We let our own example of living a good life speak for itself as we share our experience, strength, hope, and ideas with others who are interested in improving the quality of their family living. We try our best to help those who are lacking obtain what help they need.
            We read the Loving Family Group Manual, and we put into practice what we learn, but we temper the information to our own best use. We believe we can and should make our own choices pertaining to family and community living. The important point is that we become willing to try living by loving Christian principles and willing to try new ideas to improve the quality of our family life. We understand that not all of us will agree with everything written in the Loving Family Group Manual. However, we do not let disagreement keep us away from attending group meetings and receiving the help we need. The information provided in the Loving Family Group Manual is information that many of us over time have found helpful for improving the quality of our family and community living. We lovingly invite all families to give it a try.
            Loving Family is a program of prayerful action. We ask God for what we want during prayer, we have faith that we will receive what we ask for, and we take appropriate action to obtain what we ask for, since faith without works is dead.  We support public policies and beliefs that will provide our families with opportunities, resources, encouragement, example, stability, and enough time for child rearing. We vote during elections, and we inform our political leaders that we want policies that will improve the quality of family life. We let our leaders know we want some of our tax dollars to be used for services we all need, such as public education, public libraries, public roads, public transportation, health care, law enforcement protection, fire protection, and to maintain the cleanliness and natural beauty of our parks, forests, beaches, lakes, rivers and oceans. We let our leaders know that we want gas, sewage, garbage, water, telephone, utility, and food prices regulated. We let our leaders know we want safe low-cost alternative energy sources developed for our use.
            We let our leaders know that we are tired of being the only developed nation in the world to be without universal health care and universal higher education for all. We let our leaders know that we want socialized lifelong health care and socialized lifelong public education for all. We let our leaders know we want a sound comprehensive single-payer national health care and dental program that provides for basic necessary care, basic testing, and holistic preventive care. We let our leaders know that we want clean, safe, affordable family housing; nontoxic environments for our families; affordable parks and recreational activities; high quality education and child care for our children; and easy access to a college education or job training program at any point during adulthood. We let our leaders know that we want our colleges and universities to accommodate us, so we have enough study time and financial resources to accomplish our educational objectives without having to work long arduous hours that stress us in our roles as parents.
            We let our leaders know that we want policies that will provide us with support, training, and assistance with developing our small businesses so our businesses can succeed. We let our leaders know that we want policies that will establish meaningful employment opportunities with a livable family wage and less working hours for both men and women. Family friendly policies will make it possible for women to be participants in the workplace without abandoning family life, and men can be freed from some of their work responsibilities, so they can take an equal role at home and in child care responsibilities. We let our political leaders know that we want a guaranteed annual income program for working families and for families involved with seeking higher education or training programs. We let our leaders know that we want the Social Security program to be protected so we do not perish during our retirement years.
            The Lord God has already determined that He is coming quickly to give His reward to everyone according to his or her work. The Lord God has already determined that you must grow in love or risk being kept outside of heaven with the dogs, sorcerers, sexually immoral, murderers, idolaters, and liars. Do not deceive yourself for even a minute. The Lord God is the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last. The Lord God is coming quickly. The Lord God is the only answer to all of our prayers today, tomorrow, and yesterday. Accept that the life of Jesus Christ is always God's answer now and forever. 



            ♥ Loving Family can be utilized in a variety of ways depending upon your community needs. Loving Family can be used as a support group program, a workshop program, or as a training seminar. Loving Family meetings can be held in the community at local churches, homeless shelters, alcohol and drug recovery programs, jails and detention centers, transitional halfway houses, hospitals and health care centers, public libraries, schools and colleges, or wherever else there is a need. Loving Family is a community service program so support group leaders, workshop leaders, training seminar leaders, and group members voluntarily offer their services to the community.

Loving Family as a Support Group Program

            ♥A Loving Family support group can be started by Christian parent leaders who live by loving Christian principles, who have good listening skills, and who are knowledgeable about family living. Meetings are conducted by a husband and wife team that share group facilitator and child care provider responsibilities.
            It is suggested that the husband and wife alternate group facilitator and child care provider roles from week to week. One week the man facilitates the group while the woman is the primary child care provider. The following week the woman facilitates the group while the man is the primary child care provider. Alternating roles from week to week assures that both husband and wife remain active in the group process and in the child care responsibilities. Role sharing goes a long way in promoting the cohesion of the family and of the group as well. The parent leaders may also choose fixed roles with one spouse doing all the group facilitating while the other spouse oversees all child care provider responsibilities. The parent leaders may serve a suggested six-month-term. At the end of the six months your Loving Family group may elect new parent leaders.
            All parents, including single parents, who have a desire to improve their parenting skills and family life are welcome to attend Loving Family meetings, participate in group discussions, receive group support, and volunteer to assist with child care, snack, clean-up, and other appropriate tasks as needed.

            Your parent leaders are responsible for doing the following:
            1. Set location for group meeting space.
          2. Send the Loving Family pamphlet and an invitation to participate in Loving Family group meetings to families within local Church communities who are involved with raising children. Invite parents in the community to participate by distributing flyers throughout the community and by making public service announcements on the radio and in the newspaper. Loving Family meetings can also be held by private invitation only when necessary.
            3. Prepare for group meetings; facilitate group meetings; arrange for coffee and tea for adults at group meetings; arrange for child care, snack, and fun activities for children at group meetings.

            All Loving Family support group meetings will follow this format:

            During the week: The group facilitator prepares a topic from the Loving Family Group Manual to present during the initial phase of the upcoming group meeting or invites a guest speaker to present a topic during the meeting. The group facilitator invites one or two group members to provide coffee and tea for adults during the upcoming group meeting. The child care provider invites one or two group members or relatives or friends of the group members to help provide child care, snack, and fun activities for children during the upcoming group meeting. There is no need to arrange child care at locations that are not appropriate for children (jails, detention centers, etc.).

            Pre-Group: The group facilitator arrives early to make coffee and tea and to arrange the seating. The child care provider arrives early to prepare snack food and fun activities for the children.

            Opening the Meeting: The group facilitator states the following:
            Welcome to the Loving Family support group meeting. We'll open the meeting with a few moments of silence followed by a prayer: "Almighty God, heavenly Father, you have blessed us with the joy and care of children: Give us calm strength and patient wisdom as we bring them up, that we may teach them to love whatever is just and true and good, following the example of our Savior Jesus Christ. Amen" (The Book of Common Prayer, 1979).
            After the prayer the group facilitator calls on a group member to define love:
           ♥ "Though I command languages both human and angelic--if I speak without love, I am no more than a gong booming or a cymbal clashing. And though I have the power of prophecy, to penetrate all mysteries and knowledge, and though I have all the faith necessary to move mountains--if I am without love, I am nothing. Though I should give away to the poor all that I possess, and even give up my body to be burned--if I am without love, it will do me no good whatever. Love is always patient and kind; love is never jealous; love is not boastful or conceited, it is never rude and never seeks its own advantage, it does not take offense or store up grievances. Love does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but finds its joy in the truth. It is always ready to make allowances, to trust, to hope and to endure whatever comes. Love never comes to an end. But if there are prophecies, they will be done away with; if tongues, they will fall silent; and if knowledge, it will be done away with. For we know only imperfectly, and we prophesy imperfectly; but once perfection comes, all imperfect things will be done away with. When I was a child, I used to talk like a child, and see things as a child does, and think like a child; but now that I have become an adult, I have finished with all childish ways. Now we see only reflections in a mirror, mere riddles, but then we shall be seeing face to face. Now, I can know only imperfectly; but then I shall know just as fully as I am myself known. As it is, these remain: faith, hope and love, the three of them; and the greatest of them is love" (1 Corinthians 13: 1-13; The New Jerusalem Bible, 1985).
            Readings:  After the opening prayer and Bible reading, the group facilitator calls on three selected group members to read the following:
            1. Description of Our Ministry
            2. Description of Our Fallen Nature (paragraph 1-4)
            3. Description of Our Answer (paragraph 8-end)

            Announcements: The group facilitator asks:
             Does anyone have information about church services and events or about Loving Family events? The group facilitator goes on to state:
 Reminder: The love of Christ is the spiritual foundation of our program:
 Pray about what you hear here,
 Bless whom you see here,
 Practice what you learn here
 When you leave here.

            Initial Phase of the Meeting: The group facilitator or guest speaker introduces the topic and presents information pertaining to the topic. The group facilitator or guest speaker discusses his or her own ideas and feelings about the topic and how the topic can be applied or has been applied in his or her own family.

            Working Phase of the Meeting:
The group facilitator opens the meeting to the group members for discussion and questions or calls on group members to share. The group facilitator is responsible for keeping the meeting focused and under control. If two or more people begin talking at the same time, the group facilitator should request that only one person at a time talk.

            Closing the Meeting.
The group facilitator passes a basket to collect donations. The group facilitator announces that there are no dues or fees to attend Loving Family Group and that donations collected are used to pay for the cost of the room rent and group literature. The group facilitator also announces that copies of the Loving Family Group Manual are available for group members to purchase after the meeting or online by contacting sharen@reninet.com to request copies. The group facilitator requests help from the group members with the cleanup. The group facilitator thanks everyone for being present and invites everyone to join hands and ends with the Lord's prayer.

            Post-Group. The parent leaders make sure the meeting room and the children's room is left in order and that the doors are locked. The group facilitator is responsible for paying the room rent and for ordering copies of the Loving Family Group Manual by contacting sharen@reninet.com to request copies.

Loving Family as a Workshop Program

            ♥You may utilize Loving Family as a one, two, three, four, or five, day workshop program. Depending upon the needs of your community, workshop meetings may last all day, half a day, or for one, two, or three hours in the evening. Topics should be chosen from the Loving Family Group Manual based upon the needs of your community. Workshops may be conducted by clergy, church school teachers, youth group leaders, Loving Family parent leaders, and other qualified Christians who live by Christian principles.

            Workshop Leaders and spouse are responsible for the following:

1. Set location for workshop meeting space. Order copies of the Loving Family Group Manual online by contacting sharen@reninet.com to request copies for group members to purchase during the workshop..
2. Advertise the workshop within local churches and within the community or make private invitations.
3. Prepare workshop topics.
4. Arrange for coffee and tea for adults during the upcoming workshop. Arrange for child care, snack, and fun activities for children during the upcoming workshop. There is no need to arrange child care at locations that are not appropriate for children (jails, detention centers, etc.). For all day workshops, a bring your own brown bag lunch for parents and children should be arranged.
5. Set up workshop meeting space; arrange seating; make coffee and tea; prepare children's snack foods.
6. Open the workshop by praying: "Almighty God, heavenly Father, you have blessed us with the joy and care of children: Give us calm strength and patient wisdom as we bring them up, that we may teach them to love whatever is just and true and good, following the example of our Savior Jesus Christ. Amen" (The Book of Common Prayer, 1979). Following the prayer the workshop leader will define love by reading 1Corinthians 13: 1-13. Following the Bible reading, the workshop leader will explain Loving Family's Ministry, Oue Fallen Nature, and Our Answer.
7. Announcements--about church services and events and about Loving Family events.
8. Present topic information; promote group discussion; answer parent questions; call on group members to share.
9. Pass a basket to collect donations. Announce that there are no dues or fees to attend Loving Family Group workshops and that donations collected are used to pay for the cost of the room rent and group literature. Announce that copies of the Loving Family Group Manual are available to purchase after the workshop or online by contacting sharen@reninet.com to request copies.
10. Ask for help with clean up. Close the workshop with the Lord's prayer.

Loving Family as a Training Seminar

            You may utilize Loving Family as a training seminar with meetings held once a week for thirteen weeks. Length of training seminar meetings can be determined by the needs of your community. Training Seminars may be conducted by clergy, church school teachers, youth group leaders, Loving Family parent leaders, and other qualified Christians who live by Christian principles.  
            Training Seminar Leaders and spouse are responsible for the following:

         1. Set location for training seminar meeting space. Order copies of the Loving Family Group Manual online, for training seminar members to purchase during the training seminar, by contacting sharen@reninet.com to request copies.
            2. Advertise the Training Seminar within local churches and within the community.
            3. Prepare Training Seminar topics from the Loving Family Group Manual. A suggested agenda is as follows:
            Week One: Our Ministry of Love
            Week Two: Our Fallen Nature
            Week Three: Our Answer
            Week Four: Marriage
            Week Five:  Family Living
            Week Six: Raising Children
            Week Seven: Social Problems and Human Services
            Week Eight: Christian Principles--Teachings of Jesus
            Week Nine: Global Concerns
            Week Ten: Health 
            Week Eleven: Safety
            Week Twelve: Addiction
            Week Thirteen: Sexuality
            4. Arrange for coffee and tea for adults during an upcoming training seminar. Arrange for child care, snack, and fun activities for children during an upcoming training seminar. There is no need to arrange child care at locations that are not appropriate for children (jails, detention centers, etc.) For all day seminars, a bring your own brown bag lunch for parents and children should be arranged.
            5. Set up Training Seminar meeting space. Arrange seating, make coffee and tea, and prepare children's snack food.
            6. Open the seminar by praying "Almighty God, heavenly Father, you have blessed us with the joy and care of children: Give us calm strength and patient wisdom as we bring them up, that we may teach them to love whatever is just and true and good, following the example of our Savior Jesus Christ. Amen." (The Book of Common Prayer, 1979). Following the prayer, the training seminar leader will read from 1 Corinthians 13: 1-13 to define love. After the Bible reading, the training seminar leader will explain Loving Family's Ministry, Problem, and Answer.
            7. Announcements--about church services and events and about Loving Family events.
            8. Present topic information, promote group discussion, answer parent questions, call on group members to share.
            9. Pass a basket to collect donations. Announce that there are no dues or fees to attend Loving Family Group training seminars and that donations collected are used to pay for the cost of the room rent and group literature. Announce that copies of the Loving Family Group Manual are available to purchase for the cost of printing after the training seminar or online by contacting sharen@reninet.com to request copies.
            10. Ask for help with clean up. Close the seminar with the Lord's prayer.

Loving Family Business Meetings

            ♥Business meetings will be held as needed to plan recreational activities and to plan other Loving Family events. Business meetings can also be called when a group is faced with needing new meeting space and when there are any other problems related to the group. Business meetings should last no longer than one hour and may adjourn early if the business is completed. A majority vote is needed by group members to make a final decision about the business at hand.
            Group facilitators will use the following format for conducting Loving Family business meetings. As with all Loving Family meetings, it is suggested that husband and wife alternate turns when serving as group-facilitator and child care provider.

            Pre-group: Announce the business meeting ahead of time at the regular Loving Family meeting during Announcements.

          Opening: Welcome to the Loving Family business meeting. We'll open the meeting with a few moments of silent prayer followed by the Bible reading from 1 Corinthians 13:1-13 to define love.
            Initial Phase: The group facilitator addresses the business that needs to be decided by the group.

            Working Phase: The group facilitator opens the meeting to the group members to share their comments, ideas, and suggestions concerning the business at hand.

            Closing: The group facilitator calls for a vote on the business matters discussed. After the vote, the group facilitator thanks everyone for being present and invites everyone to join hands and closes with the Lord's prayer.

            Post-Group: The group facilitator makes sure the meeting room is in order and locks up if the regular meeting is over.


Love God with your entire heart, mind, and soul.
Love your neighbor as yourself.
He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.
Greater love has no one but this, than to lay down one's life for his friends.
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
Love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you.
Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all offenses.
For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
Let us love one another because love is from God.
Everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.
If we love one another, God lives in us, and His love is perfected in us.
God is love.
Perfect love casts out fear.
We love because He first loved us.
Those who love God must love their sisters and brothers also.
Love is emotional healing and peace.
Love is sacrifice.
Love is obedience to God's commandments.
Love is friendship.
Love is of God.
Love is birth in God.
Love is knowledge.
Love is life through the Son.
Love is atoning sacrifice for sins.
Love is perfection.
Love is spirit.
Love is boldness on judgment day.
Love is absence of fear.
Love is victory.
Love is faith.
Love is of Jesus.
Love is eternal life.
Love is patient.
Love is kind.
Love is gentle.
Love is truth.
Love is strong.
Love is trust.
Love is hope.
Love never ends.
Love is joy.
Love involves responsibility.
Teach only love for that is what you are.
Love waits on welcome not on time.
You can't make anyone love you.
Peace is the state where love abides and seeks to share itself.
When you want only love you will see nothing else.
Love without trust is impossible.
You love what you find time to do.
Fear condemns and love forgives.
Love is a relationship between one person and another that is conducive to the optimal development of both.
When the satisfaction or the security of another person becomes as significant to one as is one's own satisfaction or security, then the state of love exists.
Love as a relationship is one of social equality and of reciprocity. Equality does not mean sameness.
Love is an emotion with an accompanying desire to give to another in a virtually unlimited way, freely, and without compulsion.
Love is both an emotion and a relationship.
The truth shall set you free.
Christ is risen.
The Lord is my shepherd. I shall not want.
Faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen.
Seek the kingdom of heaven first and all other things needed will be given to you as well.
Things impossible with men are possible with God.
Judge not lest you be judged.
Let go and let God.
First things first.
Keep an open mind.
Nothing is impossible that is wholly desired.
I am not a victim of the world I see.
You will fear what you attack.
Giving and receiving are the same.
To forgive is to heal.
Not to decide is to decide.
Success is getting up one more time.
Forgiveness is the key to happiness.
You don't really control anything.
Heaven is a state of mind.
Love, Love, Love your way to heaven.


Teachings of Jesus Christ
Eternal Life
Living Water
The Ten Commandments
Prayer and Meditation
Marriage and Family Living.
Couplehood, parenthood, childhood.
Family Roles.
Parenting skills and techniques.
Prenatal care and birthing.
The care of newborns, babies, toddlers, children, and teens.
Recreation and Vacation.
Social Problems and Human Services
Addiction and services available.
Transforming ourselves, our families, our groups and our culture.
Building connections between the home, the school, the work place, the community.
Environmental issues.
Our Fallen Nature
Our Answer
Identity Changes.
The importance of good nutrition.
Dental hygiene.
Preventive health care.
Personal Hygiene.
Education and Financial aid .
Home safety.
Public health services.
Family violence and services.
Abuse and its effects on children and services available.
Spiritual and Moral Development.
Speech and hearing problems and services available.
Bicycle Safety
Any other topic in the Loving Family Manual or from other reputable sources.


            We invite Christian guest speakers from all walks of life who live by loving Christian principles and who are knowledgeable about family living selected from the following:
1. Ministers, Pastors, Priests, Nuns, etc.
2. College Professors, Sociologists, Social Psychologists, Social Scientists, Political Scientists, the ACLU
3. Social Service and Human Service Workers
4. Alcohol and Drug Counselors
5. Employment Counselors
6. Police Officers, Criminologists, Firemen, Ambulance Drivers, etc.
7. Physicians, Nurses, Dentists, Speech and Hearing Therapists
9. Financial Aid Counselors
10. Preschool Teachers, Elementary School Teachers, High School Teachers, School Principals and School Counselors
11. Communication Specialists
12. Librarians
13. Sex Therapists
14. Faith based Marriage and Family Counselors
15. Members of the Peace Corp, Ameri-Corp, and Green Peace
17. Parent Leaders of Loving Family
18. Group Members of Loving Family who are experts on the Loving Family Group Manual and who live by loving Christian principles and other qualified community and church members who live by loving Christian principles.







            Jesus stated: "A new commandment I give to you that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another." (John 13: 34-35; Holy Bible, NKJV, 1982).
             ♥We believe that marriages are made in heaven and that true love is a gift from God. We know that God's love is the only true love there is, and we do not look to our marriage partner for the kind of love that only God can give. We find that love grows when we ask what we can give to our spouse rather than what we can get from our spouse. We look for the face of Christ in our spouse and we treat our spouse as we would treat Jesus. This does not mean that our spouse is Jesus but only that the living spirit of Christ can be found in the body of His believers. We do not devalue our spouse by using our partner to fulfill our excessive dependency needs for money, food, housing, transportation, clothing, household chores, or sex. Our spouse is not our banker, cook, landlord, chauffeur, seamstress, maid, or escort service! Rather, we seek to share life naturally and freely with our partner. We avoid conflict about spending money and how to divide up the housework by coming to agreement on how these areas are to be managed and by sticking to our plan. We find the love, closeness, and sexual fulfillment we desire by sharing time, thoughts and ideas, feelings, tasks, values, and life goals with our marriage partner and by placing our dependency needs on God, remembering that God helps those who help themselves. This does not mean that spouses do not help each other, but we do so out of love for each other not because we are slaves to each other. Our spouse is our best friend as well as our lover and life partner because we respect our spouse's interests, opinions, and desires. We are committed to our spouse because we want the love we have and we want it to last a lifetime.          
             Our marriage unions are sacred and strong in Christ, so our families can fulfill functions essential for maintaining an orderly society. Our children have strong identities because they are born or adopted into love by two parents who love each other and who share that same last name. Our children don't have to wonder who they are; they know who they are, and they know their father, mother, brother, sister, and extended family members as well. Fathers and mothers share parental authority and responsibilities and they provide for their children's emotional and social needs as well as their needs for food, clothing, and protection from bodily harm.
            Our children learn appreciation, togetherness, good communication, commitment, love of God, and positive problem solving because we set a proper example. We raise our children to be responsible members’ of society by teaching them appropriate attitudes, values, and behaviors. Our children learn equality because we treat our children fairly and do not show favoritism. Our children learn good qualities of citizenship because we are good role models, and we teach them to cooperate, stay informed, vote during elections, obey laws and rules, respect authority, protect the environment, be a good neighbor, and to make their community better.
            Our children are life affirming individuals with high self-esteem because we recognize their individual talents and accomplishments. Our children develop good character because we demonstrate qualities of caring, citizenship, fairness, respect, responsibility and trustworthiness, and our children learn good character from us. Our children know what is expected of them because we communicate with them, and we do not expect more from our children than they are reasonably capable of doing, so our children grow up knowing their status in the family and they have stability. Our children develop a sense of belonging because we let them know they are important members of the family and community. Our children feel wanted and cared for by both mother and father because both parents provide quality care for their children.
            As much as we love our children, we never allow our children to come between husband and wife. We know our children will someday grow up and leave home. We nourish our love for our marriage partner, so we can continue to enjoy our life with our spouse when our children have grown.
          It is a confusing time for both men and women today. Studies show that more than 50% of marriages are ending in divorce and the rate keeps increasing. Men and women blame themselves and each other when a marriage ends. Certainly it is right and good to acknowledge what went wrong and to learn from the experience. However, our God is loving and it is unlikely that God intends for anyone to put on a hair shirt and wear it for life as a punishment for personal wrong doing when a marriage ends. Most people do the very best that they can in regards to marriage relationships but without a strong anchoring belief in Jesus Christ and God many marriages fail due to many factors largely beyond the immediate conscious control of the individuals involved--sociological, psychological, emotional, economic, social, and interference from family and friends.
            Husbands and wives also have different ideas about roles for men and women and they have trouble communicating with each other about what they expect from each other. A common form of misgiving occurs when a man offers a gift of hard work at a job but a woman wants to receive a gift of sharing in child rearing and housework. Similarly, a woman may offer a gift of more money while a man hopes for a gift of home cooking. External conditions in society make it difficult for men and women to feel grateful to each other and difficult for men and women to express love to each other due to economic and other factors that are beyond their control. In Loving Family, spouses learn to communicate truthfully about what they desire and expect and they also learn the art of compromise so they can accommodate each other to external realities.
            Many marriages these days resemble a story called The Gift of the Magi by O. Henry. In the story, Della and Jim are very poor but very much in love and at Christmas each wants to buy the other a fine gift. Della has beautiful long brown hair that hangs below her waist. Jim sells his favorite gold watch in order to buy combs for her beautiful hair. At the same time, Della cuts off her hair and sells it in order to buy a chain for Jim's gold watch. Each makes a sacrifice for the other which makes them unable to receive a gift from the other.
             The good that come out of a marriage whether the marriage succeeds or not are certainly almost always the children. Both parents almost always seem to be grateful for the children God gave them. Divorce is devastating for all members of a family and it is especially devastating to the children who are involved. We must turn away from external factors that create friction in a marriage relationship and turn to God for the gift of His wisdom and strength to avoid the devastation that results from divorce. God will protect a marriage if a husband and wife are both vigilant about seeking the consciousness of Christ instead of relying on their own limited consciousness. It is never easy to live by Christian principles but it is always well worth the effort.
             The first marriage was arranged by God in heaven. God created Eve from Adam so Adam could have a helper. When people began to multiply on the earth, the sons of God married the beautiful daughters of men and they had children. Today we can marry whom we think is best but we should marry another believer from within our own Christian culture. We should avoid intermarriage with nonbelievers because they will try to turn our hearts away from the Lord. Solomon disobeyed God by loving many foreign women who were nonbelievers and when he was old his wives turned his heart away from the Lord. The Lord became angry with Solomon for his disobedience and He told Solomon that he would tear the kingdom of Israel away from his son after he passed away and give it to Solomon’s servant. God told Solomon that he would give one tribe to his son for the sake of David, who was Solomon’s father, and for the sake of Jerusalem, God’s chosen city. God was very angry at Solomon for straying from his beliefs.
            A man and a woman must agree to walk together in marriage. If they agree, God joins a  man and woman together in holy matrimony as one in spirit because He seeks godly offspring. You can protect your own spirit by not dealing treacherously or unfairly with your spouse. The love you give to your spouse is love you give to your own spirit. Be careful about whom you agree to marry. A good partner can be a crown for you but a partner who causes you grief or shame can be your downfall. It is better to live unmarried in solitude than it is to live with a contentious and angry spouse.
            God has a plan for how men and women should conduct their sexuality. If a man has premarital sex with a virgin, he has a responsibility after the illicit relationship. Moses was called by God to deliver His people from Egypt and to teach them how to live by God’s laws and commandments. We should live by God’s laws and commandments so we can know peace on earth and in heaven.  We should be holy and not commit adultery, homosexuality, incest, or mate with animals. The penalty for adultery, homosexuality, incest, or bestiality was death during the time of Moses. Today sin abounds. Adultery is popularized by Hollywood and in modern romance novels. Homosexuality is legally sanctioned by Civil Rights laws and incest is rampant in families. Bestiality is encouraged as a means for population control and as a means to balance government welfare budgets.
            We avoid sexual problems in our marriage by maintaining a committed, supportive, and communicative relationship with our spouse. If sexual problems arise due to physical or psychological problems, we seek treatment as a couple from our trusted physician who may refer us to a reputable clinic or sex therapist. We prevent sexual diseases such as herpes, gonorrhea, and syphilis by waiting until marriage to become sexually active, by being faithful to our spouse, and by having sexual relations only with our marriage partner. We inform our teenagers that they should not have sex before marriage so that they can avoid emotional trauma and sexually transmitted diseases.
          We live by God's code for sexual relations provided in Leviticus so we can live a good life that is blessed by God and not defiled:

            ♥ "You shall therefore keep My statutes and My judgments, which if a man does, he shall live by them: I am the Lord.
            ‘None of you shall approach anyone who is near of kin to him, to uncover his nakedness: I am the Lord. The nakedness of your father or the nakedness of your mother you shall not uncover. She is your mother; you shall not uncover her nakedness. The nakedness of your father’s wife you shall not uncover; it is your father’s nakedness. The nakedness of your sister, the daughter of your father, or the daughter of your mother, whether born at home or elsewhere, their nakedness you shall not uncover. The nakedness of your son’s daughter or your daughter’s daughter, their nakedness you shall not uncover; for theirs is your own nakedness. The nakedness of your father’s wife’s daughter, begotten by your father—she is your sister—you shall not uncover her nakedness. You shall not uncover the nakedness of your father’s sister; she is near of kin to your father. You shall not uncover the nakedness of your mother’s sister, for she is near of kin to your mother. You shall not uncover the nakedness of your father’s brother. You shall not approach his wife; she is your aunt.  You shall not uncover the nakedness of your daughter-in-law—she is your son’s wife—you shall not uncover her nakedness. You shall not uncover the nakedness of your brother’s wife; it is your brother’s nakedness. You shall not uncover the nakedness of a woman and her daughter, nor shall you take her son’s daughter or her daughter’s daughter, to uncover her nakedness. They are near of kin to her. It is wickedness. Nor shall you take a woman as a rival to her sister, to uncover her nakedness while the other is alive.
            ‘Also you shall not approach a woman to uncover her nakedness as long as she is in her customary impurity. Moreover you shall not lie carnally with your neighbor’s wife, to defile yourself with her.  And you shall not let any of your descendants pass through the fire to Molech, nor shall you profane the name of your God: I am the Lord. You shall not lie with a male as with a woman. It is an abomination. Nor shall you mate with any animal, to defile yourself with it. Nor shall any woman stand before an animal to mate with it. It is perversion.
            ‘Do not defile yourselves with any of these things; for by all these the nations are defiled, which I am casting out before you.  For the land is defiled; therefore I visit the punishment of its iniquity upon it, and the land vomits out its inhabitants. You shall therefore keep My statutes and My judgments, and shall not commit any of these abominations, either any of your own nation or any stranger who dwells among you (for all these abominations the men of the land have done, who were before you, and thus the land is defiled),  lest the land vomit you out also when you defile it, as it vomited out the nations that were before you.  For whoever commits any of these abominations, the persons who commit them shall be cut off from among their people.
            ‘Therefore you shall keep My ordinance, so that you do not commit any of these abominable customs which were committed before you, and that you do not defile yourselves by them: I am the Lord your God’” (18:5-30, HolyBible, NKJV,1982.

            When a man and a woman join in marriage, God expects them to live as husband and wife and He becomes angry if they attempt to deceive others into believing otherwise. When Abram and his beautiful wife, Sarai, went to Egypt during the time of  famine, Abram asked Sarai to say she was his sister so the Egyptian men would not try to kill him on account of Sarai’s beauty. Sarai did as Abram asked and she told the Egyptians that Abram was her brother. Sarai was taken to the Pharaoh’s house and Abram was treated well because the Pharaoh wanted to marry beautiful Sarai. Since Sarai was already married to Abram,  the Lord became angry and He plagued the Pharaoh because of Sarai. When the Pharaoh found out that he was deceived by Abram and Sarai he was distraught by what they had done to him and he sent them away since he never intended to marry another man’s wife.
            When Abram was ninety years old, the Lord appeared to him and made His covenant with him. God told Abram that he would be a father of many nations and that his male descendants should be circumcised as a sign of the covenant. God told Abram that his name should be Abraham and that Sarai’s name should be Sarah because she would be the mother of many nations. God told Abraham that he would bless Sarah and give him a son by her.
            When Abraham and Sarah traveled to Gerar they again practiced deceit and again God became angry. Abraham told Abimelech king of Gerar that Sarah was his sister because he feared he would be killed on account of Sarah’s beauty if he said that Sarah was his wife. Abimelech took Sarah but God came to Abimelech in a dream and told him he was a dead man because Sarah was already a man’s wife. Abimelech had not touched Sarah and he pleaded with God not to slay him since he took Sarah innocently. God let Abimelech live but He closed the wombs of Abimelech’s wife and his female servants on account of Sarah, Abraham’s wife. When Abimelech asked Abraham why he brought such great sin upon him, Abraham explained  that he was afraid he would be killed if he said Sarah was his wife. Abimelech felt bad so he gave Abraham sheep, oxen, silver, land, and servants and he restored his wife, Sarah, to him. Abraham then prayed to God and God healed Abimelech, his wife and his female servants so they could again have children.
           When a man and a woman join in holy matrimony today, they exchange wedding rings. The rings are symbols of the marriage commitment. The rings communicate to others “I am committed.” “I am not available.” “I am married.” It is wrong for a married person to take off his or her wedding ring in an attempt to deceive others. No good can come if you remove your wedding ring for a little harmless flirtation when you go out on the town. You will find only trouble if you remove your wedding ring to land a big business deal with an attractive dealer. Misery is waiting if you take off your ring when you go out of town by yourself for some needed rest and relaxation. If you are married, pretending to be single and available is wrong for any reason. Any attempt to deceive others about your marital status will only make God angry and innocent people will end up getting hurt. Enduring marriages occur when husband and wife worship the Lord together. God can protect you  from falling into sexual immorality. God can protect you from being seduced by the flattery of an attractive stranger. God can provide you with wisdom so you do not forsake your spouse for another. God will bless your marriage if you stay true to Him. You will find joy and satisfaction in your relationship with your spouse and you will always be enraptured in love if you stay close to God. The key to a happy marriage is the Lord God.
            God intends for married couples to love each other and to enjoy life together. Marital intimacy can be compared to a garden that has many pleasant fruits. True love can never be quenched or destroyed. One look from your lover can ravish your heart and one kiss can be as sweet as honey. The smell of your true love’s clothing can be as enticing as a fragrant perfume. While houses and riches are material rewards, a good marriage is a spiritual gift made in heaven.
            Being married has many advantages. If you fall down into sadness or depression, your spouse can lift you back up. Those who are alone do not have anyone to help them back up when they fall down. Married people can keep each other warm at night when they lie down together whereas a single person must resort to using an electric blanket to keep warm on cold nights. If you have a life partner, it is easier to withstand being overpowered by another. Two against one are better odds than one against one.             
            Conflict is part of marriage. Since marriage is a commitment, we should hang tough through the bad times as well as the good times.  It is pointless to attempt to eliminate conflict from marriage. Instead we must look for ways of resolving daily conflicts that will benefit the entire family. We look for win/win solutions rather than settling for win/lose or lose/lose strategies that often occur when spouses engage in a power struggle tug of war. "The greatest good for the greatest number" is a motto worth remembering when making decisions that affect the entire family. When individual family members must lose, it is important that the loser at least receive a consolation prize of some sort.
            Job’s trials caused conflict in his marriage. After Job lost his livestock, his servants, and his children, his wife told him that he should curse God and die. Job did not curse God and die as his wife suggested. Job instead asked his wife if they should accept good from God without also accepting adversity. Job did right when he refused to sin against God to satisfy his wife.
            Since your actions have an effect on your spouse,  you should talk with your spouse before you enter into any contracts or agreements with others. Moses indicated that a husband has the right to involve himself in his wife’s business and to overrule her if she makes a vow or agreement. If a husband does not respond or overrule her then he confirms her vows and her agreements stand. But if the husband overrules her then her vows and agreements do not stand with the Lord but her husband must bear her guilt.
            To avoid marital problems, husbands and wives should respect each other as they respect themselves and love each other as they love the Lord. Wives should help their husbands and husbands should do only what is holy and good for their wives. Spouses should nourish and cherish each other. If your spouse falls down by not obeying God’s word, you should continue in good conduct so your example can influence your spouse to return the Lord. We must not consent or listen to our spouse if our spouse strays from the Lord and tries to entice us to serve other gods. If you converted to Christianity following your marriage to a nonbeliever, you should continue in your marriage for the sake of your spouse and your children. By living as a saint you may end up saving your spouse and your children. Older men and women should be sober and sound in faith, love, and patience so they can teach young husbands and wives how to love one another and how they should love their children. Married couples should dress modestly and act with a gentle and quiet spirit that is pleasing to the Lord. There should be no fear in a loving Christian marriage since the Lord’s perfect love casts fear out.
           Marriage is for the living. Christian couples should be happy and live joyously. They should give God the glory and live righteous saintly lives. Couples who want to enjoy eternal life together should ask God for what they want, have faith that they will receive what they ask for, and believe that with God all things are possible.
            Those who fall into adultery lack understanding and sadly they must learn by getting burned. Adultery destroys your soul and your innocence and it leaves you wounded and dishonored. Your victim will never accept your apology and will not be appeased even if you give many gifts. The jealousy of a furious betrayed lover will not spare your feelings and your reproach will be unrelenting.
            Moses permitted a man to divorce his wife if he was not happy with her but he forbid the man to take the woman back if she remarried and was divorced again or if her latter husband died. Jesus clarified Moses’ stance on marriage by stating that Moses only permitted divorce because of the hardness of people’s hearts. Jesus stated that we should honor a marriage commitment and that divorce was wrong unless sexual immorality was involved. Jesus taught that men should not divorce their wives or have sexual relations outside of marriage. When the Pharisees questioned Him about divorce, He told them that the creator from the beginning made them male and female and that is why a man must leave father and mother and cling to his wife. Jesus explained that the two become one body, and what God has united man must not divide. Jesus went on to tell the Pharisees that a man who divorces his wife--except for sexual immorality-- and marries another is guilty of adultery. When Jesus' disciples complained about what Jesus told the Pharisees about divorce, Jesus explained that not everyone could accept what He said but only those to whom it is granted. He goes on to tell His disciples that there are eunuchs born that way, eunuchs made so by men, and eunuchs who have made themselves that way for the kingdom of heaven.

"The Pharisees also came to Him, testing Him, and saying to Him, "Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for just any reason?" And He answered and said to them, "Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning 'made them male and female.' and said, 'For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh'? So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate." They said to Him, "Why then did Moses command to give a certificate of divorce, and to put her away?" He said to them, "Moses, because of the hardness of your hearts, permitted you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so. And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery; and whoever marries her who is divorced commits adultery." His disciples said to Him, "If such is the case of the man with his wife, it is better not to marry." But He said to them. "All cannot accept this saying, but only those to whom it has been given: For there are eunuchs who were born thus from their mother's womb, and there are eunuchs who were made eunuchs by men, and there are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven's sake. He who is able to accept it, let him accept it." (Matthew 19: 3-12; Holy Bible, NKJV, 1982)."

            Jesus' words to the Pharisees indicate that a man should not divorce his wife unless sexual immorality is involved. Jesus' words to His disciples indicate that if a man cannot accept marriage without divorce he should not marry, but instead live a celibate life if he hopes to enter the kingdom of heaven. Jesus told His disciples that they should let anyone who could accept what He had to say do so. Jesus understands that not all men can accept the responsibilities of marriage. He also understands that not all men can accept celibacy as a way of life, so He offers men a choice, but the choice does not include sexual intimacy outside of marriage.
            Jesus seems to have a more lenient attitude toward women regarding sexual relations outside of marriage, but He holds women to a stricter standard for entering the kingdom of heaven. Jesus told the Samaritan woman that He met at the well that if she only knew what God was offering her she would ask for living water. Jesus told the Samaritan woman to go call her husband and then come back to Him and He would give her eternal life. Jesus realized that the woman had no husband even though she had been with plenty of men. He didn't judge her for her behavior. He understands that men are dominant and that women depend on men, but He did encourage her to call her husband and then come back to Him, so He could give her eternal life.

"Jesus answered and said to her, "If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, 'Give Me a drink,' you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water." The woman said to Him, "Sir, You have nothing to draw with, and the well is deep. Where then do You get that living water? Are You greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well, and drank from it himself, as well as his sons and his livestock?" Jesus answered and said to her, "Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life." The woman said to Him, "Sir, give me this water, that I may not thirst, nor come here to draw." Jesus said to her, "Go, call your husband, and come here." The woman answered and said, "I have no husband." Jesus said to her, "You have well said, 'I have no husband.' for you have had five husbands, and the one whom you now have is not your husband; in that you spoke truly." The woman said to Him, "Sir, I perceive that You are a prophet. Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, and you Jews say that in Jerusalem is the place where one ought to worship." Jesus said to her, "Woman, believe Me, the hour is coming when you will neither on this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, worship the Father. You worship what you do not know; we know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews. But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth." The woman said to Him, "I know that Messiah is coming" (who is called Christ). "When He comes, He will tell us all things." Jesus said to her, "I who speak to you am He." (John 4:10-26; Holy Bible, NKJV, 1982).

            Jesus' words to the Samaritan woman indicate that a woman should not look to a man when calling her husband. His words indicate a woman should not even look to Jesus when calling her husband. Jesus' words indicate that a woman should look for the living water that God offers when she calls her husband. Jesus' words to the Samaritan woman indicate that a woman needs a husband before Jesus will give her the kingdom of heaven.
            Jesus' words to the Pharisees and to his disciples in Matthew 19 and to the Samaritan woman in John 4 indicate that a man can enter heaven married or celibate, but a woman can only enter heaven through Jesus after calling her husband from God. Jesus' words suggest that a married man should stay married, so he can enter heaven; a man who is not married may enter heaven if he marries or not as long as he does not sin; a married woman should make her marriage a holy union by calling on God in prayer, so she can enter heaven through Jesus Christ; and a woman who is not married should not sin but instead call her husband from God during prayer, so she may enter heaven. Jesus' words suggest that an unmarried woman should not despair if she calls her husband from God during prayer and no husband appears in actual physical form. Jesus' words suggest that a woman should instead remember that all things happen in God's time, and she should consider herself to be blessed that God chose her to join with Him in holy spiritual union to enter heaven through Jesus Christ.
           If you do not want to marry, you may stay single and live a celibate life unto God. Unmarried people have an easier time of  devoting themselves to matters that are pleasing to the Lord since they do not have to devote their time to pleasing a spouse. However, marriage is honorable and acceptable to the Lord for those who find celibacy too difficult. If you marry,  you should be affectionate to your spouse and you should not deprive your spouse of sexual intimacy without the consent of your spouse and only so you can spend time in fasting and prayer. Once you are married, you should stay married for life. If your spouse passes away you are free to remarry or remain single with the hope that you will meet with your spouse again in heaven. If you decide to remarry you should put your relationship with God first and protect your beliefs by joining only with another believer.
            There are certain times and certain places when God forbids marriage for those who have forsaken Him and have not kept his laws. God told Jeremiah he must not marry in the land of Judah because God was angry with the people of Judah and that anyone born there, as well as the mothers and fathers, would die a gruesome death because the people of Judah did not listen to God. Jeremiah was warned by God that the land of Judah was no place to raise a family.          
            Loving families are those families who have love for each other. We show our love and concern for our family by praying for our family daily. Family integrity is established through prayer and it leads to domestic peace and quiet. It is good for family to live together in loving unity. A good family home is built through wisdom and by understanding it is established. Those without family are unfortunate. A person who is alone without a companion or family has no end to labor and finds no satisfaction in riches. Our families are united in faith. We love God, give generously to people, and pray to God always.
          God encouraged large families when He told Noah and his sons to be fruitful and multiply, and to fill the earth. God gave us dominion over all the beasts, birds, and all other things including green herbs for food so our families could prosper. A good man is a blessing to his family. The Lord will bless a man who lives by His commandments with wealth and riches and his descendants will be mighty and blessed on earth. Children are a blessing and heritage from the Lord. A good woman is like a fruitful vine in the heart of her home. Today, economic realities and work schedules place limits on how many children couples can raise. Moses taught the importance of protecting the family name. We protect our family name by respecting the sanctity of marriage, avoiding divorce, and not having children out of wedlock.
       Welfare begins at home. We live by faith and provide for our own, especially for those of our own household. We trust in God and care for our children, grandchildren, and elderly parents. Children are not expected to provide support to their parents but parents are expected to provide support to their children even if the children do not give love to their parents. Our families believe in inheritance. When parents die, their inheritance should pass to their children.
       The purpose of families is to raise children unto the Lord.  There is no greater joy for a Christian parent than to know that their children walk in the Lord’s truth as commanded by God. God provided Moses with a plan for continuity of faith. Moses passed on God’s plan to the people when he instructed them to remember God’s words and to teach the word of God to their children and grandchildren so God’s faithfulness can be passed on through the generations. We should teach our children to praise God for His strength and all the wonderful works He has done so future generations can know the Lord and teach His ways to their children so each generation can set their hope in God.
            God made a covenant with His servant David to establish David’s seed forever and to build up David’s throne to all generations. Jesus Christ, Son of David, gives to all who receive Him the right to become children of God.  Those who have been taught the Holy Scriptures from childhood must continue in what they have learned so they can become wise for salvation through faith in Jesus Christ. The Lord is good, His mercy is everlasting, and His truth endures to all generations to those who keep His covenant and live by His commandments. The Lord will give those who trust in Him a place in His house and an everlasting name. Even a small family can become powerful and strong in the Lord’s time.
            If we follow God’s commandments, we are children of God. The world does not know us because it did not know Him. When the Lord is revealed, we will be like Him for we will see Him as He is. If we have hope in the Lord, we purify ourselves with His purity. God commands us to honor our father and mother so we can be well and live a long life. Children should respect and obey their parents and parents should not provoke or discourage their children. We should not speak against our family or slander any family member. The Lord hates a liar and a troublemaker who sow family discord at home. The Lord hates greedy family members who bring strife and trouble to the home. Rebellious children who place their trust in the ways of the world instead of the Lord will only find shame and humiliation. Children should be taught not to put their faith in those who cannot help or benefit them.
            We have a responsibility to God to reject family influence that is wrong. By faith, Moses refused to be called the son of the Pharaoh’s daughter when he became of age so he could lead God’s chosen people. You must not allow anyone to entice you away from God, not even your brother, your son, your daughter, your wife, or your friend. You will have enemies in your family if your family does not trust in the Lord. If your family has dealt treacherously with you because they lack faith in the Lord do not believe what they say to you. For the sake of the Kingdom of God, Jesus was rejected by His own people. His own people thought He was crazy when they heard that Jesus was out preaching to the multitudes. Even the brothers of Jesus did not believe in Him.
            All souls belong to God. The soul who sins will die. The soul who does good will live. You will find life if you are just and do what is right and lawful, if you do not worship idols or commit adultery, if you do not oppress anyone, if you do not steal, if you feed the hungry and cover the naked with clothing, and if you keep the Lord’s judgments faithfully. If your son or daughter steals, murders, commits adultery, oppresses the poor, or worships idols then your son or daughter will die. If a child sees all the sins committed by his or her parent but does not do likewise, the child will not die for the parent’s iniquity. If a child does not steal, murder, commit adultery, or oppress the poor, but instead feeds the hungry, clothes the naked, and keeps the Lord’s statutes, then the child will live. The parent who has oppressed, robbed, and did not do good will die for his or her iniquity. The child who has done what is lawful and right and kept the Lord’s commandments will live. A child does not bear the guilt of the parent nor does the parent bear the guilt of the child. Your righteousness is upon only you and your wickedness is upon only you.
            God tested Abraham by instructing him to sacrifice his only son Isaac. God  intervened at the last moment to save Isaac, who was laid out on the altar, from Abraham’s knife. This horrific story poignantly demonstrates that we should always put God first even before our children.  Jesus taught that we must love Him more than our family members if we are to find the way to life. Jesus stated:

“Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and a man’s enemies will be those of his own household. He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for my sake will find it. He who receives you receives Me, and he who receives Me receives Him who sent Me. He who receives a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward. And he who receives a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man’s reward. And whoever gives one of these little ones only a cup of cold water in the name of a disciple, assuredly, I say to you, he shall by no means lose his reward.” (Matthew 10:34-42)

            In other words: No Jesus No life; Know Jesus Know Life.  A family that does not know Jesus will never find joy or survive because Satan is out to destroy lives and families. ♥Jesus stated “Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and every city or house divided against itself will not stand” (Matthew 12:25, Holy Bible, NKJV, 1982). True family unity can only be found in families who follow  Jesus.  Jesus loves families. Jesus showed His love for the family of Lazarus when He raised Lazarus from the dead so that  Lazarus’ family could see God’s glory and believe that Jesus was sent from God. Jesus loves your family. Jesus wants to lead your family  home to God. Put your faith in Jesus and He will give you a good family name and an eternal family in the Kingdom of God.


             ♥Jesus stated: "Whoever receives one little child like this in My name receives Me" (Matthew 18:5; Holy Bible, NKJV, 1982).

               ♥We see the loving face of Christ as it shines forth from the faces of our children, and we make every effort to provide our children with the loving care we know they need. This is not to say that our children are Christ but only that the spirit of Christ dwells within them.
            We consider our children's needs to be just as important as our own, and we place our children's needs at the center of our decision-making as often as possible. We realize that our children need our love and care and that we are the best possible care providers for our children. We provide for the day to day care of our children as much as our circumstance permit. We understand that there are times when we must leave our children with responsible caretakers other than ourselves to work to have enough money to pay our bills and meet our family's needs. When we must leave our children to work for basic family needs, we try to leave them with a trusted loving relative. If this is not possible, we investigate, observe, and carefully choose a responsible licensed day care provider or other qualified person. We try to limit the time our children must be cared for by relatives and daycare providers by arranging our own schedules around our children's needs. We realize that our children's need for time with us is greater than our need to pursue social status and endless financial success. We know our children need our loving care more than they need expensive houses, pricey cars, lavish furnishings, fancy clothing, and excessive amounts of toys.
             We begin pregnancy with a history of good eating habits since nutrition is important for the health of a developing child, and we continue good nutritional habits throughout pregnancy. We receive regular medical care during pregnancy to control for diseases, disorders, and complications, and to monitor proper weight gain, to monitor fetal development, and to evaluate newborn life processes.
         We avoid prolonged emotional stress during pregnancy so our babies can develop normally. We rely on natural methods of childbirth and refrain from using sedatives and pain killers prior to delivery to avoid having babies who are born with developmental problems. We carefully research all prescription drugs we might be taking prior to becoming pregnant and we speak with our physician about discontinuing any prescription drug known to be associated with birth defects before attempting to conceive. We refrain from abusing street drugs, smoking cigarettes, and drinking alcohol during pregnancy because we want to avoid serious problems from occurring as our babies develop. During pregnancy, we drink clean purified water and we eat wholesome organic foods. We carefully wash all fresh fruits and vegetables prior to eating. Before we become pregnant, we move to an environmentally safe community and we avoid living near factories, industries, and nuclear reactors.
              We  participate in labor and delivery together so we can share the mystery and joy of birth with each other. We welcome our newborns into our families and form positive attachments with our infants by bonding with them at birth as we feed them, look at them, hold them, and provide them with affection. Following birth, we continue to maintain closeness with our infants by feeding them, looking at them, holding them, talking to them, and by giving them our love and affection. Our infants need to be able to trust us to provide the care that they need so they can grow up to be trusting individuals who feel safe in the world and safe around other people. If our infants cannot trust us to meet their needs, they will avoid others and be isolated and lonely adults when they grow up. We teach our infants to trust us when we cuddle them, play with them, talk to them and when we give them milk and dry clothing when they cry. If our infants can trust us to meet their needs, they will experience others as helpful and dependable when they grow up.
            We provide our infants with soft comfortable clothing and warm soft blankets so they feel comfortable and secure. Our infants require safe cheerful stimulating environments for healthy development and learning so we provide them with bright colorful rooms.  We interact with our infants frequently and we sing to them, read to them, and play music for them during our interactions. We encourage our infants to develop eye-hand coordination by providing them with safe age appropriate toys for play and soft crib toys and rattles.
            We see that our infants receive regular medical checkups to closely monitor their physical and motor development, cognitive development, language development, and social and personality development. We provide our infants with an appropriate diet as recommended by their health care providers because it is necessary for adequate growth. Mothers who breast feed should refrain from using alcohol, street drugs, and many prescription medications (especially mental health drugs) since alcohol and drugs pass readily into breast milk. Check with your doctor or pharmacist to be sure that your prescription drugs are safe to use while you are breast feeding.
          Our infants need our tender devotions so we make sure we are available to provide most of the tender care our infants need. Mothers and fathers arrange their schedules so they can take shifts in caring for their infants so infants can bond with both parents and so both parents have time to attend to their own needs and other duties.  Mothers who breast feed should make every attempt possible to be available to their infants during feeding times. If a mother must be away during a regular feeding time, a breast-fed infant can be bottle-fed by father during his shift with milk mother expressed from her breasts earlier. Any inconvenience involved for mother in having to express her milk is far outweighed by infant continuing to receive a superior breast milk diet rather than an inferior formula diet when mother must be away. The emotional bond that develops between a father and his infant while he provides care during his shift is just as important as the emotional bond that develops between mother and her infant while mother provides care during her shift. If mom is always available to breast feed an infant then dad should provide a bottle of water during the time he provides care so he can be involved in the feeding experience. As baby grows older both parents should be involved in offering solid foods and other drinks.
             Families that decide to have the mother fill the role of the primary child care provider are careful to involve the father in the day to day care of the infant during his off hours from work. Families that decide to have the father fill the role of the primary child care provider are likewise careful to involve the mother in the day to day care of the infant during her off hours from work. Infants need to be cared for by both men and women for healthy growth and development. Common sense dictates that mothers who breast feed are best suited to fill the role of primary child provider.
            We do not have a problem with leaving our infants with grandma and grandpa or aunt and uncle while husband and wife spend needed quality time together for an evening out or a quiet weekend away. However, we are not blind to our relatives' problems, and we do not leave our children with relatives if our relatives are addicted to alcohol or drugs, abusive in any way, criminal, or just not good with children. Instead, we find someone who is responsible and dependable who can better meet our children's needs while we are away.
            Gone are the days when mothers are blamed for everyone's shortcomings and failures because mothers failed to raise their children properly. Those days are gone because now mothers are not the only nurturing parents at home. Fathers are also able to be nurturing at home. Gone are the days when children must yearn for the love and care from their father for an entire lifetime. Those days are gone because fathers show their children they are loved by spending time with them and caring for them.
            We continue to provide our babies with good nutrition as they grow into children. We monitor our children's growth and physical health by taking them to a physician when they are ill and for periodic checkups. Studies show that there is a relationship between severe psychological stress and retardation of growth. A young child who is small and physically weak could have diminished growth due to lack of affection and disturbed sleeping caused by an emotionally disturbing family life. We limit psychological stress in our children by giving them plenty of affection and by providing them with an emotionally warm and loving family life. The physical and emotional growth of our children is dependent upon our love and affection and a happy stress free home. We provide our children with enough time for play because they need play for recreation as well as for their growth and development. Play represents the integration of our children's activity, thought, and language.
         We encourage our toddlers to become independent, by letting them dress themselves, wash themselves, feed themselves, pour their own drinks, put away their toys, and use the toilet on their own. We are patient with our toddlers when they make mistakes such as spilling a drink, putting shoes on the wrong feet, or wetting themselves. We avoid power struggles with our toddlers by making our expectations simple, clear, and consistent. When our toddlers test us, we gently take them by the hand, we lead them in the right direction, and we show them what we want them to do. We encourage our toddlers to be independent by offering them choices. Do you want apple juice or grape juice to drink? Do you want to read Good Night Moon or Curious George before taking a nap? Do you want to wear long pants or short pants today? When our toddlers have tantrums, we put them in a safe place for time out alone until they are able to regain self-control.
             We provide our toddlers with safe environments by keeping the house and the yard accident-proofed and we give them adequate space to explore and play inside and outside. We provide our toddlers with a small selection of toys and books arranged on colorful orderly shelves so they do not have too many toys to pick up at one time. We store the rest of their toys and books out of sight and we rotate them periodically, so their toys and books always remain interesting to them. We avoid unfinished shelving that can cause splinters. Our toddlers are in need of outside learning experiences so we take them to the grocery store, the shopping center, the library, the zoo, the park, the pool, and other places. We stay with our children in public places at all times to protect them from kidnapers and child sex abusers. Public places should keep sections for children open, clearly visible, and well lit and if they are not we talk with management to report our concerns since kidnapers and child sex abusers work quickly and a child can disappear if we become distracted only for a few minutes. Our toddlers need social interaction with other children to develop socially so we arrange playgroups for them to attend so they can interact with other children safely and securely with us close by.
            A good preschool experience is beneficial for our children’s social, emotional, psychological, and intellectual growth so we enroll our children in a good preschool program. Whether we place our children in preschool at age three or four depends  upon our child's personality and readiness for a preschool experience. We spend time with our child at preschool during the first few days our child attends, so our child can adjust to preschool while we are close by. We start our children in preschool a few days per week for a few hours per day then slowly increase the time spent to four or five hours per day five days per week when they are ready to start kindergarten.        
            We help our preschool age children to build self-esteem by giving them our love, acceptance, respect, concern, and our attention as well as the freedom to interact with others successfully at home and at school. We provide our preschool children with love, concern, care, and  understanding, yet we are clear in our expectations and firm when making requests. We give our preschool children age appropriate responsibilities so they can learn family responsibility. Each family member has rights and status in the family, and we do not always sacrifice our own needs for those of our young children.
            When our children start attending school, we show interest by attending their school plays, sporting events, and other school activities. We attend parent-teacher conferences, and we stay current on our children's school progress. We are advocates for the rights of our children at school, and we insist that they are not overburdened with too much schoolwork and homework. We let our children's teachers know that we do not want our children spending all of their time doing schoolwork because they also need time with family and friends. We insist that our children are treated properly and fairly at school, and we intervene if our children are having problems.
            We nourish the self-esteem of our school-age children by providing support for them as family members and by helping them to manage the sometimes harsh judgments of their peer world. Play may perform an essential function in facilitating creative thinking in our children so we make sure our children have adequate time for play.
            We encourage and help our children with their homework when necessary, but we do not  badger our children to do their homework, and we do not do our children's homework for them. We provide our children with a quiet time and place to study and resources needed for study, such as books, paper, folders, pencils and pens, dictionaries, encyclopedias, and appropriate internet access. We model good study habits by being avid readers and writers ourselves.
            We help our children obtain group status and opportunities for learning through organized out-of-home activities. We encourage our school-age children to select activities they can succeed at and that they find interesting and enjoyable in sports, music, drama, crafts, Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, Brownies, Girl Scouts, Campfire Girls, church, and reputable camps. We examine alternatives carefully and consider the time commitment, competitive aspects, and the characteristics of participating adults.         
          We are advocates for our exceptional gifted children and those with special problems related to physical disabilities, sensory impairments, emotional disturbances, learning disabilities, or mental retardation, so they can acquire the special education and related services they need to reach their full potential of development.
            We give our children love, kindness, patience, understanding, and respect as we interact with them daily. We know that if we want our children to listen to what we say to them then we must listen to what they say to us as well. When our children talk to us, we tell them that we hear what they are saying before offering our own opinion or any advice. We praise our children's efforts and achievements, but we avoid praising them personally because we do not want to make them self conscious or egotistic. When we must criticize our children, we do so constructively by pointing out what needs to be done differently while omitting negative remarks about our child as a person.
            We never tell our children how they should be feeling. We only tell them how they appear to be feeling so we can help them to identify their feelings. We are truthful to our children about our own emotions so our children can feel free to be truthful about their feelings. We allow our children to feel all of their feelings and we model acceptable ways of coping with feelings. We listen to what our children have to say and we avoid words and comments that create hate and resentment. We express our feelings and thoughts without attacking our children. We realize that our children have mixed feelings toward us because they are dependent upon us, and we are prepared to listen to hard truths (I don't like you) as well as pleasant truths (I love you so much).          
            We teach our children how to safely express angry feelings by safely releasing anger to our children and allowing them to safely release anger to us. We release our anger to gain some relief and so our children are able to realize what they did wrong. We are careful so neither us or our children are harmed due to the release of anger. We are slow to anger but when we do release angry feelings to our children, we do not attack them, swear, hit, or call our children names. We simply identify our angry feeling loudly by name--for instance, I feel annoyed, or I feel irritated, or I feel angry-- and we give our reasons for the way we feel--I feel angry when you ignore me when I talk to you, I feel annoyed when you cause me to worry about you, I feel irritated when you make silly noises. Naming our angry feelings allows us to release our anger safely, and identifying our angry feelings models a lesson to our children in how they can release anger safely. We do not speak harshly to our children since harsh words stir up anger. If our children are angry at us, we answer softly to make it easier for our children to let go of their anger. We are careful not to release unjustified anger to our children. If we lose control and accidentally release unjustified anger to our children we apologize as soon as we regain our composure. We always resolve angry feelings with our children before bedtime so they can sleep peacefully.        
            We give our children emotional health simply by loving each other. We keep our relationship with our spouse warm and supportive not only so our spouse feels loved and admired but so our children can be happy and healthy. We show our children how to love by the love we give to each other and by the love we give to them.
            We teach our children to be truthful by being truthful ourselves. We do not punish our children for being truthful because we do not want to teach them that they must lie to us. We avoid situations that easily lead to lying such as leaving a plate of cookies on the counter before dinner and then acting surprised when nobody admits to eating them. When our children do lie to us, we react as a matter of fact and not hysterically. We want our children to learn there is no need for them to lie to us and that it is safe for them to tell us the truth.
            When we find out that our child is stealing, we calmly tell our child that the item belongs to someone else and that they must give it back and apologize for taking the item. We assist our child with returning the item and stand-by to make sure the owner of the item receives the item graciously. If the owner acts dramatically we apologize for the trouble and then simply leave.
            We offer our children healthy choices of good tasting food. We trust our children to eat as much or as little as they want. We offer small portions and let our children know they can have seconds after they finish what was served.
            We decide what clothes our children need and what we can afford for their clothing. We provide our children with selections of clothing we approve of and then let them choose from what we have selected. We let our children decide what colors and patterns they prefer in clothing.
            We give our children an allowance so they can learn how to use money by exercising choices and responsibility. We provide our children with guidelines so they know what the allowance should cover--lunch, movies, extra curricular school activities, etc.--and so they know what the allowance should not be used for--candy, inappropriate clothing, tobacco, alcohol, etc. The amount we give our children for an allowance should fit our family budget.
            We allow our children to choose their own friends as long as the friendships have a positive influence. We discourage friendships that have a negative influence on our children. If we allow our children to have a pet, we take on the primary responsibility for caring for the pet.
            We discipline our children nonviolently and with love so they learn to accept limits and can succeed at meeting our reasonable expectations. We do not place limits on our children’s wishes, wants, hopes, or desires but we do set limits on their actions. Our children may wish to drive a car but we do not allow them to actually drive a car. We set limits for our children by telling them what is allowed and what is not allowed--You may not play at the park now but you may play in the backyard.        
            We encourage our preteens to become industrious, confident, competent, and accepted by their peers by helping them plan activities they can share with their friends, such as team games and sports, picnics, hikes, movies, dances, and pizza parties.
            We help our teenagers to develop a sense of independence as we interact with them. We foster responsible and independent behavior in our adolescents by using democratic practices and frequent explanations of the reasons for our rules. We give our teenagers a chance to participate in family discussions and decision making. We actively support our teenagers’ opinions, and we encourage autonomous behavior.
             We assist our teenagers with identity formation by encouraging them to take on satisfying academic roles at school in biology, drama, math, etc. and satisfying roles in extra curricular activities such as star quarterback, cheerleader, or editor of the school newspaper.  We let our teens know that we understand the physical and hormonal changes they are going through and that they can rely on us for emotional support and guidance. We encourage our teenagers to act independently and we show our approval by recognizing their achievements and talents. We help our teens to reach the standards we have set, we model appropriate values for our teens, and we provide our teens with a sense of security by consistently enforcing rules. We respect our teenagers opinions and attitudes, but we do set limits and redirect some of their actions. We keep the lines of communication open with our teenagers, so they feel free to confide in us.
            We help our children and teens with their moral development and their faith development by teaching them to pray and to live a Christ centered life. We do this best through prayer and by living as Christ taught us to live. We love our children and make them feel that they are welcomed members of our families. We are careful not to be an obstacle to any child who has faith. We know that God will never welcome us into heaven if we hinder a child's faith and make enemies with a child's guardian angel in heaven.
            We nourish the spiritual life of our children and teens by living by Christian principles and by attending church together as a family. How often we attend church depends upon family circumstances and other factors. We look for a church that is warm with love and nurturing. The church we attend must provide a welcoming environment before we trust ourselves or our children or teens to its care. Just as importantly, the church we attend must have church leaders that live by Christian principles and who model their own lives on Biblical principles and not upon modern day whims or modern day politics. We are careful to choose a church that offers a good church school program for our children and teens to attend. We show our children and teens that we are interested in their church school participation by volunteering in church school events and activities, visiting the church school, and by consulting with church school teachers about our children and teens church school progress and participation. At home, we pray with our children and teens daily and we read Bible stories to them starting from birth. We talk to our children and teens daily about the love of God and we answer their questions gently and with love always encouraging them to seek God during prayer for the best possible answer.

            ♥ Helping to Raise the Troubled Teens of Others. 
Being a parent is often a difficult thankless job. Just when some parents think that life can't get any harder, God gives them even more responsibility when He calls them to extend themselves further to help raise a child that they did not bring into the world. Some parents end up helping to raise wayward teens who are friends of their own teenagers. There are many problems involved with helping to raise a wayward teen. Troubled teens frequently abuse alcohol and drugs and become suicidal. Frequently, the situation is only temporary until the troubled teen is able to return home or live with a relative in a less than ideal situation. Some parents inherit a troubled teen through their church. Troubled teens often resist efforts that are made to help them.
            When God calls you to help a troubled teen, there is usually a lesson that God wants you to learn from the experience. Sometimes God sends you a troubled teen who is like a younger version of you and just as troubled as you were at an earlier age. When God gives you a troubled teen who is like a younger version of you, He is giving you an opportunity to learn and grow. You are bound to experience some temptation to become frustrated or even angry when you try to help a teen who is a mirror image of you during your youth.  You must remind yourself that you are a holy person of honor in service to the Lord and not give into any frustration or anger that you might be experiencing. Let your conscience be your guide and do not lose sight of the problems that troubled teens must face these days.
            There will be a period of adjustment for the teen and for you and your family when you welcome a troubled teen into your home. Parents who work are buffered somewhat when they take in a troubled teen since they are away at work all day. Helping a troubled teen can be good for parents who stay at home since the needs of the teen will help to draw you out of yourself. Some parents even provide care to foster teens through the system. You must give yourself a way out if helping a wayward teen is too much for you. God is a God of mercy.
             If you are helping to raise a troubled teen who is abusing alcohol or drugs, you can try getting the teen involved in AA or NA group meetings for young people. Be careful not to push the troubled teen into attending meetings since the teen will likely rebel and turn away from twelve step programs altogether. You might want to enlist the help of a trained alcohol and drug counselor if your initial attempts at getting the teen involved in attending meetings do not succeed. Even if your teen refuses to attend meetings, it would be helpful for you and your spouse to attend Al-Anon, a Twelve-Step program for family and friends of alcoholics and drug users.                                                 


            ♥ Jesus stated: "Go and tell John the things you have seen and heard: that the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, the poor have the gospel preached to them. And blessed is he who is not offended because of Me. " (Luke 7: 22-23; Holy Bible, NKJV, 1982).

             ♥Miracles can only be performed by the power of God. Those of us who need healing turn to Christ in prayer to ask for God's healing, and we seek help from our health care practitioners since God also works through others. If you have a life threatening illness or condition there are many life saving medications and treatments that your physician can prescribe to improve your quality of life. If you determine that you need to take a life saving medication or treatment, take the medication or treatment as prescribed and visit your physician regularly so your illness or condition can be closely monitored.
            However, we understand that there is a high rate of medical errors and that medical errors are a leading cause of death in this country. We also understand that our health care systems have dual and sometimes conflicting objectives of providing service to us and of making a profit for themselves so we take responsibility for our own health care by becoming knowledgeable about our own health conditions and by doing our own research about options for treatment. We carefully research all medications, natural remedies, and other treatments before starting a therapy.
            We talk with our health care practitioners and request recommendations for natural remedies whenever possible due to the unwanted dangerous side effects of many prescription medications--especially medications that carry black box warnings that can cause serious health problems and early death. If the side effects of a prescribed treatment or prescribed medication are just as bad or worse than the symptoms of a disease or the risk of a disease, we think seriously before starting the treatment or medication. We believe that the benefits should outweigh the risks when consenting to treatment or to taking prescription medications. If you do careful research, you will sometimes discover that a treatment or medication that is immediately beneficial can result in needing multiple other treatments or multiple other medications if used over a period of time. We carefully weigh the pros and cons before starting any treatment, natural remedy, or medication. When necessary, we seek a second opinion from another physician. We pay careful attention to how any treatment, medication, or natural remedy we are taking affects us, and if there are problems, we talk with our health care providers immediately about discontinuing use and trying an alternative therapy. Most importantly, we turn to Christ during prayer, and we practice good health care habits and preventive medical care to stay healthy. We always remember that physicians and other health care providers can be helpful but they are not God!
            Another good reason to restrict our use of prescription medications is to reduce the pollution of our drinking water supply. Recent studies show that many of our drinking water supply systems now contain levels of pharmaceuticals so we use prescription medications only when absolutely necessary to protect our drinking water supply. Please do not panic. Do what you can to stop the poisoning of our water supply by exerting pressure at the local, state, and federal levels. Most importantly remember that Jesus has the answer to all of our problems today. Jesus has the power to protect us and to guide us to safety. Jesus will lead us out of modern dangers if we put our trust solely in Him. The love of Jesus does not contain any dangerous side effects. Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life. Reject the lie and accept the healing love of Jesus. Help others to recover by giving them the gift of Jesus.
            We also practice the basics of good health and preventative medical care by sanitary living and the prevention of  infectious disease; eating a healthy well-balanced diet; exercising regularly; getting adequate rest and relaxation; balancing work with recreation and vacation; maintaining emotional balance; participating in life long learning; by maintaining a committed and healthy sexual relationship with only our spouse; by observing good health habits; having regular periodic physical examinations as recommended by our trusted physician; periodic dental checkups as recommended by our trusted dentist; by protecting our children from exposure to lead; not smoking and making sure our children are not exposed to second-hand smoke; reducing air and water pollution; reducing exposure to radiation; and by reducing exposure to loud noise. We have a regular-trusted doctor who we consult whenever an unusual, painful, or continuing symptom is experienced.
          We let our church leaders, government leaders, and health care providers know that we insist on maintaining control of our own healthcare to protect basic American freedoms. We let our leaders and healthcare providers know that we insist on freedom of choice when it comes to consenting to surgery, therapy, taking prescription medications, and to all other forms of treatment. We let our leaders and healthcare providers know that we want good health  insurance but we want health insurance to always remain elective and never mandatory. We let our leaders and healthcare providers know that our bodies belong to us to give to God and not to them to control and exploit. We let our leaders and healthcare professionals know that we want God to decide who lives and who dies. We let our leaders and healthcare providers know that we do not want them practicing population control, social control or balancing government and healthcare budgets by forced sterilization, euthanasia or genocide of our people--even our elderly demented, disabled, alcoholic and drug dependent, and our poor indigent homeless people. We let our leaders and healthcare providers know that our healthcare should always remain a VOLUNTARY CHOICE AND DECISION!

Sanitary Living and the Prevention and Control of Infectious Disease
             ♥". . .
If you diligently heed the voice of the Lord your God and do what is right in His sight, give ear to His commandments and keep all His statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you which  have brought on the Egyptians. For I am the Lord who heals you" (Exodus 15:26).
            ♥We diligently practice good Christian living and we look to the Lord for healing and to protect us from disease. We also prevent and control infectious disease by eating a good healthy diet; drinking clean water; living in decent housing; washing our hands frequently, especially before eating or preparing foods; covering our mouths when we cough or sneeze; properly disposing of human waste with effective sanitation; seeking medical attention when needed; and vaccination as recommended by a trusted physician. We use antibiotics appropriately and exactly as prescribed by our health care provider. We inform our political leaders that we want some of our tax dollars to be spent on garbage collection, so our home and community environments can stay clean and free of garbage. We also prevent and control infectious disease by not experimenting with IV drug use and by not having sex with multiple partners. We avoid contacting head lice by not sharing combs, brushes, hats, sweaters, etc. If we should contact lice, we seek treatment and do not return to work or school until we no longer have nits.
            We keep a clean kitchen (wash dishes, floors, and counters,) so dangerous bacteria that can cause illness or death does not develop in the food we prepare at home. To destroy bacteria, we cook food at the right temperature and for the right length of time. We quickly refrigerate leftover foods so bacteria does not develop. We avoid restaurants that are unsanitary. We do not eat any kind of food that looks, smells, or tastes bad.
            We avoid disorders of the skin, scalp, hair, and teeth by taking a bath or shower daily, shampooing hair frequently, and by brushing and flossing our teeth daily as recommended by our dentist. We wear clothing that is clean and presentable, and we use deodorant when needed. Each family member has his or her own towel and wash cloth for private use. Towels for the use of guests are changed regularly. We change our bedding regularly, and we wash comforters as needed to keep clean. We do laundry regularly, and we store dirty laundry inside a hamper, so our home environment stays sanitary. We scour tubs, sinks, and toilets regularly to keep germs from spreading. We frequently vacuum carpets and dust furniture to maintain a sanitary environment. We discourage pet ownership so good health can be easily maintained. Those of us who choose to have pets practice careful pet ownership to avoid illness and disease. We also avoid contact with wild animals to protect against illness and disease.
            ♥"What is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that You visit him? For you have made him a little lower than the angels, and you have crowned him with glory and honor. You have made him to have dominion over the works of Your hands; You have put all things under his feet, all sheep and oxen--even the beasts of the field, the birds of the air, and the fish of the sea that pass through the paths of the seas. O Lord, our Lord, how excellent is Your name in all the earth" (Psalm 8:4-9, Holy Bible, NKJV, 1982)!
            According to the Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC, 2/18/2008), there are many types of germs (viruses, bacteria, parasites, fungi) that cause many types of illnesses – including the common cold or flu, food-borne illness, Lyme disease, hantavirus, or plague. These germs can spread easily from one person to another – and have wide-reaching effects.
•About 10 million U.S. adults (ages 18 - 69) were unable to work during 2002 due to health problems.
•Salmonella infections are responsible for an estimated 1.4 million illnesses each year.
•Infectious diseases cost the U.S. $120 billion a year.
•More than 160,000 people in the U.S. die yearly from an infectious disease.
          The Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC, 2/18/2008), provides the following seven keys for preventing infectious disease:
1.Wash your hands often.
2.Routinely clean and disinfect surfaces.
3.Handle and prepare food safely.
4.Get immunized.
5.Use antibiotics appropriately.
6.Be careful with pets.
7.Avoid contact with wild animals.

Wash Your Hands Often.           
            ♥ "Yet the righteous will hold to his way. And he who has clean hands will be stronger and stronger" (Job:9).
            ♥According to the CDC keeping hands clean is one of the most important steps we can take to avoid getting sick and spreading germs to others. It is best to wash your hands with soap and clean running water for 20 seconds. However, if soap and clean water are not available, use an alcohol-based product to clean your hands. Alcohol-based hand rubs significantly reduce the number of germs on skin and are fast acting.

When washing hands with soap and water:
•Wet your hands with clean running water and apply soap. Use warm water if it is available.
•Rub hands together to make a lather and scrub all surfaces.
•Continue rubbing hands for 20 seconds. Need a timer? Imagine singing "Happy Birthday" twice through to a friend!
•Rinse hands well under running water.
•Dry your hands using a paper towel or air dryer. If possible, use your paper towel to turn off the faucet.
Remember: If soap and water are not available, use alcohol-based gel to clean hands.

When using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer:
•Apply product to the palm of one hand
•Rub hands together
•Rub the product over all surfaces of hands and fingers until hands are dry.
When should you wash your hands?
•Before preparing or eating food
•After going to the bathroom
•After changing diapers or cleaning up a child who has gone to the bathroom
•Before and after tending to someone who is sick
•After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
•After handling an animal or animal waste
•After handling garbage
•Before and after treating a cut or wound
Routinely Clean and Disinfect Surface.
According to the CDC, cleaning and disinfecting are not the same thing. Cleaning removes germs from surfaces whereas disinfecting actually destroys them. Cleaning with soap and water to remove dirt and most of the germs is usually enough. But sometimes, you may want to disinfect for an extra level of protection from germs.
            While surfaces may look clean, many infectious germs may be lurking around. In some instances, germs can live on surfaces for hours--and even days.
            Disinfectants are specifically registered with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and contain ingredients that actually destroy bacteria and other germs. Check the product label to make sure it says "Disinfectant" and has an EPA registration number.
            The CDC states to disinfect areas where there can be a large number  of germs and where there is a possibility that these germs could be spread to others.

In The Kitchen:
•Clean and disinfect counters and other surfaces before, during, and after preparing food (especially meat and poultry).
•Follow all directions on the product label, which usually specifies letting the disinfectant stand for a few minutes.
•When cleaning surfaces, don't let germs hang around on cleaning cloths or towels! Use paper towels that can be thrown away or cloth towels that are later washed in hot water or disposable sanitizing wipes that both clean and disinfect.
In the Bathroom:
•Routinely clean and disinfect all surfaces. This is especially important if someone in the house has a stomach illness, a cold, or the flu.
Handle and Prepare Food Safely.
           ♥  The CDC states that when it comes to preventing food-borne illness, there are four simple steps to food safety that you can practice every day. These steps are easy – and they’ll help protect you and those around you from harmful food-borne bacteria.

            1. Clean: Clean hands and surfaces often. Germs that cause food-borne illness can be spread throughout the kitchen and get onto hands from cutting boards, utensils, counter tops, and food. Help stop the spread of these germs!

Here’s how:
•Clean your hands with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds before and after handling food. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based wipe or hand gel.
•Wash your cutting boards, dishes, utensils and counter tops with hot soapy water after preparing each food item and before you prepare the next food.
•Consider using paper towels to clean up kitchen surfaces. If you use cloth towels, wash them often using the hot cycle of your washing machine. If using a sponge to clean up, microwave it each evening for 30 seconds or place it in the dishwasher.
•Rinse all fresh fruits and vegetables under running tap water. This includes those with skins and rinds that are not eaten. For firm-skin fruits and vegetables, rub with your hands or scrub with a clean vegetable brush while rinsing.
            2. Separate: Don’t cross-contaminate one food with another. Cross-contamination occurs when bacteria spread from a food to a surface . . . from a surface to another food . . . or from one food to another. You’re helping to prevent cross-contamination when you:
•Separate raw meat, poultry, seafood and eggs from other foods in your grocery cart, grocery bags, and in your refrigerator. Be sure to use the plastic bags available in the meat and produce sections of the supermarket.
•Use one cutting board for fresh produce and a different one for raw meat, poultry and seafood.
•Never place cooked food on a plate that previously held raw meat, poultry, seafood, or eggs.
•Don’t allow juices from meat, seafood, poultry, or eggs to drip on other foods in the refrigerator. Use containers to keep these foods from touching other foods.
•Never re-use marinades that were used on raw food, unless you bring them to a boil first.
            3. Cook: Cook foods to proper temperatures. Foods are safely cooked when they are heated for a long-enough time and at a high-enough temperature to kill the harmful bacteria that cause food-borne illness. The target temperature is different for different foods. The only way to know for sure that meat is cooked to a safe temperature is to use a food thermometer. Make sure it reaches the temperature recommended for each specific food.

            4. Chill: Refrigerate foods promptly. Cold temperatures slow the growth of harmful bacteria. So, refrigerate foods quickly. Do not over-stuff the refrigerator, as cold air must circulate to help keep food safe.
•Keeping a constant refrigerator temperature of 40º F or below is one of the most effective ways to reduce the risk of food-borne illness. Use an appliance thermometer to be sure the temperature is consistently 40º F or below.
•The freezer temperature should be 0º F or below.
•Plan when you shop: Buy perishable foods such as dairy products, fresh meat and hot cooked foods at the end of your shopping trip. Refrigerate foods as soon as possibly to extend their storage life. Don’t leave perishable foods out for more than two hours.
•If preparing picnic foods, be sure to include an ice pack to keep cold foods cold.
•Store leftovers properly
Get Immunized.
        ♥ According to the CDC, getting immunizations is easy and low-cost – and most importantly, it saves lives. Make sure you and your children get the shots suggested by your doctor or health care provider at the proper time, and keep records of all immunizations for the whole family. Also, ask your doctor about special programs that provide free shots for your child.

•Children should get their first immunizations before they are 2 months old. They should have additional doses four or more times before their second birthday.
•Adults need tetanus and diphtheria boosters every 10 years. Shots are also often needed for protection from illnesses when traveling to other countries.
•Get your flu shot. The single best way to prevent the flu is to get vaccinated each fall.
Use Antibiotics Appropriately.
           ♥  According to the CDC, antibiotics are powerful drugs used to treat certain bacterial infections – and they should be taken exactly as prescribed by your health care provider.
•Antibiotics don’t work against viruses such as colds or the flu. That means children do not need an antibiotic every time they are sick.
•If you do get sick, antibiotics may not always help. If used inappropriately, they can make bacteria resistant to treatment – thus making illnesses harder to get rid of. When in doubt, check with your health care provider – and always follow the antibiotic label instructions carefully.
Be Careful with Pets.
         ♥  The CDC states that animals can pass diseases to humans and the following tips should be kept in mind:
•Pets should be adopted from an animal shelter or purchased from a reputable pet store or breeder.
•All pets should be routinely cared for by a veterinarian. Follow the immunization schedule the vet recommends.
•Obey local leash laws.
•Clean litter boxes daily. Pregnant women should NOT clean litter boxes.
•Don't allow children to play where animals go to the bathroom.
•Keep your child's sandbox covered when not in use.
          The CDC states that babies and children under 5 are more likely to get diseases from animals so special guidelines should be kept in mind:
•Young children should not be allowed to kiss pets or to put their hands or other objects into their mouths after touching animals.
•Wash your child's hands thoroughly with soap and warm running water after contact with animals.
•Be particularly careful when visiting farms, petting zoos, and fairs.
Avoid Contact with Wild Animals.
        ♥ The CDC states that wild animals can carry diseases and that wild animals have the following risk:
•Mice and other wild animals can carry deadly diseases like hantavirus and plague.
•Bats, raccoons, skunks, and foxes can transmit rabies
•Ticks can transmit Rocky Mountain spotted fever and Lyme disease.

The CDC provides the following precautions you can take to avoid contact with a variety of species of wild animals:
•Keep your house free of wild animals by not leaving any food around and keeping garbage cans sealed.
•Clear brush, grass, and debris from around house foundations to get rid of possible nesting sites for mice and rodents.
•Be sure to seal any entrance holes you discover on the inside or outside of your home.
•Use insect repellent to prevent ticks. Do a routine "tick check" after spending time outdoors. Ticks should be removed immediately with tweezers by applying gentle, steady pressure until they release their bites.
            ♥ "You shall eat in plenty and be satisfied, and praise the name of the Lord your God, who has dealt wondrously with you; and My people shall never be put to shame" (Joel 2:26, Holy Bible, NKJV, 1982). 
            ♥We avoid foods containing unnecessary additives, and we also avoid going on unhealthy crash or fad diets. Instead, we eat a well-balanced, wholesome diet that consists of fresh fruits, fresh vegetables, whole grains, milk, cheese, eggs, poultry, fish, lean meats, beans and other legumes, seeds and nuts. We drink at least eight glasses of water each day to regulate digestion and body processes. We avoid salt because it can lead to high blood pressure and stroke. We avoid fats and sweets because these foods are high in calories and low in nutrients. We provide our children with an age-appropriate healthy diet as recommended by their health care providers.

            The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services & U.S. Department of Agriculture (Stock Number 001-000-04719-1, Finding Your Way to a Healthier You: Based on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2005) provides the following important dietary guidelines for Americans:

Feel better today. Stay healthy for tomorrow.
            Here's how:  The food and physical activity choices you make every day affect your health—how you feel today, tomorrow, and in the future. The science-based advice of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2005 highlights how to:
•Make smart choices from every food group.
•Find your balance between food and physical activity.
•Get the most nutrition out of your calories.
            You may be eating plenty of food, but not eating the right foods that give your body the nutrients you need to be healthy. You may not be getting enough physical activity to stay fit and burn those extra calories. Eating right and being physically active aren't just a "diet" or a "program"—they are keys to a healthy lifestyle. With healthful habits, you may reduce your risk of many chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, osteoporosis, and certain cancers, and increase your chances for a longer life. The sooner you start, the better for you, your family, and your future.

Make smart choices from every food group.
            The best way to give your body the balanced nutrition it needs is by eating a variety of nutrient-packed foods every day. Just be sure to stay within your daily calorie needs.
        A healthy eating plan is one that:
•Emphasizes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fat-free or low-fat milk and milk products.
•Includes lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, eggs, and nuts.
•Is low in saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol, salt (sodium), and added sugars.

            It's important to make smart food choices and watch portion sizes wherever you are—at the grocery store, at work, in your favorite restaurant, or running errands. Try these tips:
•At the store, plan ahead by buying a variety of nutrient-rich foods for meals and snacks throughout the week.
•When grabbing lunch, have a sandwich on whole- grain bread and choose low-fat/fat-free milk, water, or other drinks without added sugars.
•In a restaurant, opt for steamed, grilled, or broiled dishes instead of those that are fried or sauteed.
•On a long commute or shopping trip, pack some fresh fruit, cut-up vegetables, string cheese sticks, or a handful of unsalted nuts—to help you avoid impulsive, less healthful snack choices.           
Mix up your choices within each food group.
Focus on fruits. Eat a variety of fruits—whether fresh, frozen, canned, or dried—rather than fruit juice for most of your fruit choices. For a 2,000-calorie diet, you will need 2 cups of fruit each day (for example, 1 small banana, 1 large orange, and 1/4 cup of dried apricots or peaches).
Vary your veggies. Eat more dark green veggies, such as broccoli, kale, and other dark leafy greens; orange veggies, such as carrots, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, and winter squash; and beans and peas, such as pinto beans, kidney beans, black beans, garbanzo beans, split peas, and lentils.
Get your calcium-rich foods. Get 3 cups of low-fat or fat-free milk—or an equivalent amount of low-fat yogurt and/or low-fat cheese (1½ ounces of cheese equals 1 cup of milk)—every day. For kids aged 2 to 8, it's 2 cups of milk. If you don't or can't consume milk, choose lactose-free milk products and/or calcium-fortified foods and beverages.
Make half your grains whole. Eat at least 3 ounces of whole-grain cereals, breads, crackers, rice, or pasta every day. One ounce is about 1 slice of bread, 1 cup of breakfast cereal, or ½ cup of cooked rice or pasta. Look to see that grains such as wheat, rice, oats, or corn are referred to as "whole" in the list of ingredients.
Go lean with protein. Choose lean meats and poultry. Bake it, broil it, or grill it. And vary your protein choices—with more fish, beans, peas, nuts, and seeds.
Know the limits on fats, salt, and sugars. Read the Nutrition Facts label on foods. Look for foods low in saturated fats and trans fats. Choose and prepare foods and beverages with little salt (sodium) and/or added sugars (caloric sweeteners).
Find your balance between food and physical activity.
            Becoming a healthier you isn't just about eating healthy—it's also about physical activity. Regular physical activity is important for your overall health and fitness. It also helps you control body weight by balancing the calories you take in as food with the calories you expend each day.
•Be physically active for at least 30 minutes most days of the week.
•Increasing the intensity or the amount of time that you are physically active can have even greater health benefits and may be needed to control body weight. About 60 minutes a day may be needed to prevent weight gain.
•Children and teenagers should be physically active for 60 minutes every day, or most every day.

            CONSIDER THIS: If you eat 100 more food calories a day than you burn, you'll gain about 1 pound in a month. That's about 10 pounds in a year. The bottom line is that to lose weight, it's important to reduce calories and increase physical activity.

Get the most nutrition out of your calories.
            There is a right number of calories for you to eat each day. This number depends on your age, activity level, and whether you're trying to gain, maintain, or lose weight.* You could use up the entire amount on a few high-calorie items, but chances are you won't get the full range of vitamins and nutrients your body needs to be healthy.
            Choose the most nutritionally rich foods you can from each food group each day—those packed with vitamins, minerals, fiber, and other nutrients but lower in calories. Pick foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fat-free or low-fat milk and milk products more often.
            * 2,000 calories is the value used as a general reference on the food label. But you can calculate your number at www.health.gov/dietaryguidelines.

Know the facts…
            Most packaged foods have a Nutrition Facts label. For a healthier you, use this tool to make smart food choices quickly and easily. Try these tips:
•Keep these low: saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol, and sodium.
•Get enough of these: potassium, fiber, vitamins A and C, calcium, and iron.
•Use the % Daily Value (DV) column when possible: 5% DV or less is low, 20% DV or more is high.

            Check servings and calories. Look at the serving size and how many servings you are actually consuming. If you double the servings you eat, you double the calories and nutrients, including the % DVs.
            Make your calories count. Look at the calories on the label and compare them with what nutrients you are also getting to decide whether the food is worth eating. When one serving of a single food item has over 400 calories per serving, it is high in calories.
            Don't sugarcoat it. Since sugars contribute calories with few, if any, nutrients, look for foods and beverages low in added sugars. Read the ingredient list and make sure that added sugars are not one of the first few ingredients. Some names for added sugars (caloric sweeteners) include sucrose, glucose, high fructose corn syrup, corn syrup, maple syrup, and fructose.
            Know your fats. Look for foods low in saturated fats, trans fats, and cholesterol to help reduce the risk of heart disease (5% DV or less is low, 20% DV or more is high). Most of the fats you eat should be polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats. Keep total fat intake between 20% to 35% of calories.
            Reduce sodium (salt), increase potassium. Research shows that eating less than 2,300 milligrams of sodium (about 1 tsp of salt) per day may reduce the risk of high blood pressure. Most of the sodium people eat comes from processed foods, not from the saltshaker. Also look for foods high in potassium, which counteracts some of sodium's effects on blood pressure.

            ♥ "Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God's" (1 Corinthians 6:19-20, Holy Bible, NKJV, 1982).
             ♥Exercise is good for us in many ways so we participate in aerobic exercise for at least 30 minutes daily. We have discovered that the benefits of exercise include a feeling of well-being and relaxation, reduced depression, sound sleep, increased energy, improved personal appearance, improved sex life, improved health, and exercise slows the physical declines associated with aging.
            Some forms of exercise we enjoy include walking, jogging, rope jumping, swimming, bicycle riding, weight training, handball, racquetball, running in place, skiing, ice skating, roller skating, hiking, t'ai chi chu'an, karate, kung fu, judo, jujitsu, yoga, aerobic dance, and many others. We spend time in physical activity with our children, so they learn to value and develop an appreciation for sport and exercise.
            The Surgeon General provides the following important information about physical activity and health (11/17/1999, United States Department of Health and Human Service, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Division of Nutrition and Physical Activity):

Physical Activity and Health. A New View of Physical Activity:
            This report brings together, for the first time, what has been learned about physical activity and health from decades of research. Among its major findings:
•People who are usually inactive can improve their health and well-being by becoming even moderately active on a regular basis.
•Physical activity need not be strenuous to achieve health benefits.
•Greater health benefits can be achieved by increasing the amount (duration, frequency, or intensity) of physical activity.      
The Benefits of Regular Physical Activity:
            Regular physical activity that is performed on most days of the week reduces the risk of developing or dying from some of the leading causes of illness and death in the United States. Regular physical activity improves health in the following ways:
•Reduces the risk of dying prematurely.
•Reduces the risk of dying from heart disease.
•Reduces the risk of developing diabetes.
•Reduces the risk of developing high blood pressure.
•Helps reduce blood pressure in people who already have high blood pressure.
•Reduces the risk of developing colon cancer.
•Reduces feelings of depression and anxiety.
•Helps control weight.
•Helps build and maintain healthy bones, muscles, and joints.
•Helps older adults become stronger and better able to move about without falling.
•Promotes psychological well-being.
A Major Public Health Concern:
            Given the numerous health benefits of physical activity, the hazards of being inactive are clear. Physical inactivity is a serious, nationwide problem. Its scope poses a public health challenge for reducing the national burden of unnecessary illness and premature death.

What is a Moderate Amount of Physical Activity?
            As the examples listed show, a moderate amount of physical activity* can be achieved in a variety of ways. People can select activities that they enjoy and that fit into their daily lives. Because amount of activity is a function of duration, intensity, and frequency, the same amount of activity can be obtained in longer sessions of moderately intense activities (such as brisk walking) as in shorter sessions of more strenuous activities (such as running): +

Examples of Moderate Amounts of Activity:
Less Vigorous, More Time
•Washing and waxing a car for 45-60 minutes
•Washing windows or floors for 45-60 minutes
•Playing volleyball for 45 minutes
•Playing touch football for 30-45 minutes
•Gardening for 30-45 minutes
•Wheeling self in wheelchair for 30-40 minutes
•Walking 1 3/4 miles in 35 minutes (20 min/mile)
•Basketball (shooting baskets) for 30 minutes
•Bicycling 5 miles in 30 minutes
•Dancing fast (social) for 30 minutes
•Pushing a stroller 1 1/2 miles in 30 minutes
•Raking leaves for 30 minutes
•Walking 2 miles in 30 minutes (15 min/mile)
•Water aerobics for 30 minutes
•Swimming laps for 20 minutes
•Wheelchair basketball for 20 minutes
•Basketball (playing a game) for 15-20 minutes
•Bicycling 4 miles in 15 minutes
•Jumping rope for 15 minutes
•Running 1 1/2 miles in 15 minutes (10 min/mile)
•Shoveling snow for 15 minutes
•Stair walking for 15 minutes

More Vigorous, Less Time
* A moderate amount of physical activity is roughly equivalent to physical activity that uses approximately 150 Calories (kcal) of energy per day, or 1,000 Calories per week.

+ Some activities can be performed at various intensities; the suggested durations correspond to expected intensity of effort.

Precautions for a Healthy Start:
            To avoid soreness and injury, individuals contemplating an increase in physical activity should start out slowly and gradually build up to the desired amount to give the body time to adjust. People with chronic health problems, such as heart disease, diabetes, or obesity, or who are at high risk for these problems should first consult a physician before beginning a new program of physical activity. Also, men over age 40 and women over age 50 who plan to begin a new vigorous physical activity program should consult a physician first to be sure they do not have heart disease or other health problems.

Status of the Nation--A Need for Change:
•More than 60 percent of adults do not achieve the recommended amount of regular physical activity. In fact, 25 percent of all adults are not active at all.
•Inactivity increases with age and is more common among women than men and among those with lower income and less education than among those with higher income or education
Adolescents and Young Adults
•Nearly half of young people aged 12-21 are not vigorously active on a regular basis.
•Physical activity declines dramatically with age during adolescence.
•Female adolescents are much less physically active than male adolescents.
High School Students
•In high school, enrollment in daily physical education classes dropped from 42 percent in 1991 to 25 percent in 1995.
•Only 19 percent of all high school students are physically active for 20 minutes or more in physical education classes every day during the school week.
Ideas for Improvement:
            This report identifies promising ways to help people include more physical activity in their daily lives.
•Well-designed programs in schools to increase physical activity in physical education classes have been shown to be effective.
•Carefully planned counseling by health care providers and work-site activity programs can increase individuals' physical activity levels.
•Promising approaches being tried in some communities around the nation include opening school buildings and shopping malls for walking before or after regular hours, as well as building bicycle and walking paths separated from automobile traffic. Revising building codes to require accessible stairwells is another idea that has been suggested.
Special Messages for Special Populations:
Older Adults. No one is too old to enjoy the benefits of regular physical activity. Of special interest to older adults is evidence that muscle-strengthening exercises can reduce the risk of falling and fracturing bones and can improve the ability to live independently.
Parents. Parents can help their children maintain a physically active lifestyle by providing encouragement and opportunities for physical activity. Family events can include opportunities for everyone in the family to be active.
Teenagers. Regular physical activity improves strength, builds lean muscle, and decreases body fat. It can build stronger bones to last a lifetime.
Dieters.  Regular physical activity burns Calories and preserves lean muscle mass. It is a key component of any weight loss effort and is important for controlling weight.
People with High Blood Pressure. Regular physical activity helps lower blood pressure.
People Feeling Anxious, Depressed, or Moody.  Regular physical activity improves mood, helps relieve depression, and increases feelings of well-being.
People with Arthritis. Regular physical activity can help control joint swelling and pain. Physical activity of the type and amount recommended for health has not been shown to cause arthritis.
People with Disabilities. Regular physical activity can help people with chronic, disabling conditions improve their stamina and muscle strength and can improve psychological well-being and quality of life by increasing the ability to perform activities of daily life.
 Rest and Sleep
            ♥Adequate sleep is necessary so that our hearing, vision, and perception are not impaired by tiredness and so that we can handle daily life efficiently. Sleep is even more important when we have difficult tasks, or if we want to develop our creativity. Rest periods during the day improve productivity, so we take short ten or fifteen minute breaks to sit quietly and relax and we provide our children with time for resting during the day. For good living, we establish and maintain healthy sleeping patterns and we help our children to establish and maintain healthy sleeping patterns.
            ♥"When you lie down, you will not be afraid: Yes, you will lie down and your sleep will be sweet" (Proverbs 3:24, Holy Bible, NKJV, 1982).

            The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, NIH Publication No. 06–5800, April 2006 provides the following information about the importance of sleep:

What Is Sleep?
            Sleep was long considered just a uniform block of time when you are not awake. Thanks to sleep studies done over the past several decades, it is now known that sleep has distinctive stages that cycle throughout the night. Your brain stays active throughout sleep, but different things happen during each stage. For instance, certain stages of sleep are needed for us to feel well rested and energetic the next day, and other stages help us learn or make memories. In brief, a number of vital tasks carried out during sleep help maintain good health and enable people to function at their best. On the other hand, not getting enough sleep can be dangerous—for example, you are more likely to be in a car crash if you drive when you are drowsy.

How Much Sleep Is Enough?
            Sleep needs vary from person to person, and they change throughout the life-cycle. Most adults need 7–8 hours of sleep each night. Newborns, on the other hand, sleep between 16 and 18 hours a day, and children in preschool sleep between 10 and 12 hours a day. School-aged children and teens need at least 9 hours of sleep a night. Some people believe that adults need less sleep as they get older. But there is no evidence to show that older people can get by with less sleep than younger people. As people age, however, they often get less sleep or they tend to spend less time in the deep, restful stages of sleep. Older people are also more easily awakened.

Why Sleep Is Good for You—and Skimping on It Isn’t.
            Does it really matter if you get enough sleep? Absolutely! Not only does the quantity of your sleep matter, but the quality of your sleep is important as well. People whose sleep is interrupted a lot or is cut short might not get enough of certain stages of sleep. In other words, how well rested you are and how well you function the next day depend on your total sleep time and how much of the various stages of sleep you get each night.
            Performance: We need sleep to think clearly, react quickly, and create memories. In fact, the pathways in the brain that help us learn and remember are very active when we sleep. Studies show that people who are taught mentally challenging tasks do better after a good night’s sleep. Other research suggests that sleep is needed for creative problem solving. Skimping on sleep has a price. Cutting back by even 1 hour can make it tough to focus the next day and can slow your response time. Studies also find that when you lack sleep, you are more likely to make bad decisions and take more risks. This can result in lower performance on the job or in school and a greater risk for a car crash.
            Mood: Sleep also affects mood. Insufficient sleep can make you irritable and is linked to poor behavior and trouble with relationships, especially among children and teens. People who chronically lack sleep are also more likely to become depressed.
            Health: Sleep is also important for good health. Studies show that not getting enough sleep or getting poor quality sleep on a regular basis increases the risk of having high blood pressure, heart disease, and other medical conditions.
            In addition, during sleep, your body produces valuable hormones. Deep sleep triggers more release of growth hormone, which fuels growth in children, and helps build muscle mass and repair cells and tissues in children and adults. Another type of hormone that increases during sleep works to fight various infections. This might explain why a good night’s sleep helps keep you from getting sick—and helps you recover when you do get sick. Hormones released during sleep also affect how the body uses energy. Studies find that the less people sleep, the more likely they are to be overweight or obese, to develop diabetes, and to prefer eating foods that are high in calories and carbohydrates.

It’s About Time
            How sleepy you are depends largely on how well you’ve been sleeping and how much sleep you’ve been getting. Another key factor is your internal “biological clock”—a tiny bundle of cells in your brain that responds to light signals through your eyes and promotes wakefulness. Because of the timing of the biological clock and other bodily processes, you naturally feel drowsy between midnight and 7 a.m. and again in the mid-afternoon between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. Night shift workers often find themselves drowsy at work. They also have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep during the day, when their schedules require them to sleep. Being sleepy puts them at risk for injuries on the road and at work. Night shift workers are also more likely to have conditions such as heart disease, digestive disorders, and infertility, as well as emotional problems. All of these problems may be related, at least in part, to their chronic lack of sleep. Adapting to new sleep and wake times can also be hard for travelers crossing time zones, resulting in what’s known as jet lag. Jet lag can lead to daytime sleepiness, trouble falling asleep or staying asleep at night, poor concentration, and irritability. The good news is that by using appropriately timed cues, most people can change their biological clock, but only by 1–2 hours per day at best. Therefore, it can take several days to adjust to a new time zone (or different work schedule). If you’ll be moving across time zones, you might want to begin adapting to the new time zone a few days before leaving. Or, if you are traveling for just a few days, you might want to stick with your original sleep schedule and not try to adjust to the new time zone.

            The Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, September 10, 2007, provides the following tips which can be used to improve sleep:

Sleep Hygiene Tips
            The promotion of regular sleep is known as sleep hygiene. The following is a list of sleep hygiene tips which can be used to improve sleep. Also included is a list of special relevance to adolescents, who may experience sleep difficulties due to circadian rhythm changes occurring during the teenage years and into young adulthood.


•Go to bed at the same time each night and rise at the same time each morning.
•Make sure your bedroom is a quiet, dark, and relaxing environment, which is neither too hot or too cold.
•Make sure your bed is comfortable and use it only for sleeping and not for other activities, such as reading, watching TV, or listening to music. Remove all TVs, computers, and other “gadgets” from the bedroom.
•Physical activity may help promote sleep, but not within a few hours of bedtime.
•Avoid large meals before bedtime.
Adolescents/Young Adults:
•Avoid caffeinated drinks after lunch.
•Avoid bright light in the evening.
•Avoid arousing activities around bedtime (e.g., heavy study, text messaging, getting into prolonged conversations).
•Expose yourself to bright light upon awakening in the morning.
•While sleeping in on weekends is permissible, it should not be more than 2–3 hours past your usual wake time, to avoid disrupting your circadian rhythm governing sleepiness and wakefulness.
•Avoid pulling an “all-nighter” to study.
            The Star Sleeper, National Institutes of Health, National Heart Lung and Blood Institute provides the following sleep tips for children:

Sleep Tips for Your Children:
•Set a regular time for bed each night and stick to it.
•Establish a relaxing bedtime routine, such as giving your child a warm bath or reading him or her a story.
•Make after-dinner playtime a relaxing time. Too much activity close to bedtime can keep children awake.
•Avoid feeding children big meals close to bedtime.
•Avoid giving children anything with caffeine less than six hours before bedtime.
•Set the bedroom temperature so that it's comfortable – not too warm and not too cold.
•Make sure the bedroom is dark. If necessary, use a small nightlight.
•Keep the noise level low.
            The National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, August 2003, NIH Pub No. 05-7040, provides the following important information about safe sleeping for infants to prevent sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS):

What is SIDS?
            SIDS stands for sudden infant death syndrome. This term describes the sudden, unexplained death of an infant younger than 1 year of age. Some people call SIDS "crib death" because many babies who die of SIDS are found in their cribs. But, cribs don't cause SIDS.

What should I know about SIDS?
            Health care providers don't know exactly what causes SIDS, but they do know:
•Babies sleep safer on their backs. Babies who sleep on their stomachs are much more likely to die of SIDS than babies who sleep on their backs.
•Sleep surface matters. Babies who sleep on or under soft bedding are more likely to die of SIDS.
•Every sleep time counts. Babies who usually sleep on their backs but who are then placed on their stomachs, like for a nap, are at very high risk for SIDS. So it's important for everyone who cares for your baby to use the back sleep position for naps and at night.
Fast Facts About SIDS
•SIDS is the leading cause of death in infants between 1 month and 1 year of age.
•Most SIDS deaths happen when babies are between 2 months and 4 months of age.
•African American babies are more than 2 times as likely to die of SIDS as white babies.
•American Indian/Alaskan Native babies are nearly 3 times as likely to die of SIDS as white babies.

            Here are 10 ways that you and others who care for your baby can reduce the risk of SIDS.
1.Always place your baby on his or her back to sleep, for naps and at night. The back sleep position is the safest, and every sleep time counts.
2.Place your baby on a firm sleep surface, such as on a safety-approved crib mattress, covered by a fitted sheet. Never place your baby to sleep on pillows, quilts, sheepskins, or other soft surfaces.
3.Keep soft objects, toys, and loose bedding out of your baby's sleep area. Don't use pillows, blankets, quilts, sheepskins, and pillow-like crib bumpers in your baby's sleep area, and keep any other items away from your baby's face.
4.Do not allow smoking around your baby. Don't smoke before or after the birth of your baby, and don't let others smoke around your baby.
5.Keep your baby's sleep area close to, but separate from, where you and others sleep. Your baby should not sleep in a bed or on a couch or armchair with adults or other children, but he or she can sleep in the same room as you. If you bring the baby into bed with you to breastfeed, put him or her back in a separate sleep area, such as a bassinet, crib, cradle, or a bedside co-sleeper (infant bed that attaches to an adult bed) when finished.
6.Think about using a clean, dry pacifier when placing the infant down to sleep, but don't force the baby to take it. (If you are breastfeeding your baby, wait until your child is 1 month old or is used to breastfeeding before using a pacifier.)
7.Do not let your baby overheat during sleep. Dress your baby in light sleep clothing, and keep the room at a temperature that is comfortable for an adult.
8.Avoid products that claim to reduce the risk of SIDS because most have not been tested for effectiveness or safety.
9.Do not use home monitors to reduce the risk of SIDS. If you have questions about using monitors for other conditions talk to your health care provider.
10.Reduce the chance that flat spots will develop on your baby's head: provide "Tummy Time" when your baby is awake and someone is watching; change the direction that your baby lies in the crib from one week to the next; and avoid too much time in car seats, carriers, and bouncers.
            Babies sleep safest on their backs. One of the easiest ways to lower your baby's risk of SIDS is to put him or her on the back to sleep, for naps and at night. Health care providers used to think that babies should sleep on their stomachs, but research now shows that babies are less likely to die of SIDS when they sleep on their backs. Placing your baby on his or her back to sleep is the number one way to reduce the risk of SIDS. There has been no increase in choking or other problems for babies who sleep on their backs. Healthy babies automatically swallow or cough up fluids. Spread the word! Make sure everyone who cares for your baby knows the Safe Sleep Top 10! Tell grandparents, babysitters, childcare providers, and other caregivers to always place your baby on his or her back to sleep to reduce the risk of SIDS. Babies who usually sleep on their backs but who are then placed on their stomachs, even for a nap, are at very high risk for SIDS—so every sleep time counts!

            ♥ The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.(DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No. 99-101) provides the following information about stress at work and how stress can affect health:
•Job stress can be defined as the harmful physical and emotional responses that occur when the requirements of the job do not match the capabilities, resources, or needs of the worker. Job stress can lead to poor health and even injury.
•The concept of job stress is often confused with challenge, but these concepts are not the same. Challenge energizes us psychologically and physically, and it motivates us to learn new skills and master our jobs. When a challenge is met, we feel relaxed and satisfied. Thus, challenge is an important ingredient for healthy and productive work. The importance of challenge in our work lives is probably what people are referring to when they say "a little bit of stress is good for you."
•Health care expenditures are nearly 50% greater for workers who report high levels of stress (Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine).
Job Conditions That May Lead to Stress
The Design of Tasks. Heavy workload, infrequent rest breaks, long work hours and shift-work; hectic and routine tasks that have little inherent meaning, do not utilize workers' skills, and provide little sense of control.
Management Style. Lack of participation by workers in decision- making, poor communication in the organization, lack of family-friendly policies.
Interpersonal Relationships. Poor social environment and lack of support or help from coworkers and supervisors.
Work Roles. Conflicting or uncertain job expectations, too much responsibility, too many "hats to wear."
Career Concerns. Job insecurity and lack of opportunity for growth, advancement, or promotion; rapid changes for which workers are unprepared.
Environmental Conditions. Unpleasant or dangerous physical conditions such as crowding, noise, air pollution, or ergonomic problems.          
Early Warning Signs of Job Stress
•Sleep disturbances
•Difficulty concentrating
•Short temper
•Upset stomach
•Job dissatisfaction
•Low morale
Job Stress and Health: What the Research Tells Us (Encyclopaedia of Occupational Safety and Health)
•Cardiovascular Disease: Many studies suggest that psychologically demanding jobs that allow employees little control over the work process increase the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Musculoskeletal Disorders: On the basis of research by NIOSH and many other organizations, it is widely believed that job stress increases the risk for development of back and upper- extremity musculoskeletal disorders.
Psychological Disorders: Several studies suggest that differences in rates of mental health problems (such as depression and burnout) for various occupations are due partly to differences in job stress levels. (Economic and lifestyle differences between occupations may also contribute to some of these problems.)
Workplace Injury: Although more study is needed, there is a growing concern that stressful working conditions interfere with safe work practices and set the stage for injuries at work.
Suicide, Cancer, Ulcers, and Impaired Immune Function: Some studies suggest a relationship between stressful working conditions and these health problems. However, more research is needed before firm conclusions can be drawn.
            Some employers assume that stressful working conditions are a necessary evil-that companies must turn up the pressure on workers and set aside health concerns to remain productive and profitable in today's economy. But research findings challenge this belief. Studies show that stressful working conditions are actually associated with increased absenteeism, tardiness, and intentions by workers to quit their jobs-all of which have a negative effect on the bottom line.
            Recent studies of so-called healthy organizations suggest that policies benefiting worker health also benefit the bottom line. A healthy organization is defined as one that has low rates of illness, injury, and disability in its workforce and is also competitive in the marketplace. NIOSH research has identified organizational characteristics associated with both healthy, low-stress work and high levels of productivity. Examples of these characteristics include the following:
•Recognition of employees for good work performance
•Opportunities for career development
•An organizational culture that values the individual worker
•Management actions that are consistent with organizational values
            According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, workers who must take time off work because of stress, anxiety, or a related disorder will be off the job for about 20 days.
            ♥ "And let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us. And establish the work of our hands for us; Yes, establish the work of our hands" (Psalm 90:17, Holy Bible, NKJV, 1982).
            ♥Work is important to us because it is our means to independence. We ask God to guide us when we choose our employment. We choose work that is intrinsically satisfying because we spend much of our time on the job, and we realize we must like the work we do to maintain a positive outlook. If we suffer from chronic job stress we seek new employment before we become seriously ill and depleted.

Recreation and Vacation
            ♥ There is evidence that vacations can prevent heart failure. A 2000 study by the State University of New York at Oswego looked at about 12,000 men ages 35 to 57 and found that men who took yearly vacations reduced their overall risk of death by about 20 percent, and their risk of death from heart disease by as much as 30 percent. Using data from the famous Framingham Heart Study, researchers found that women who took a vacation once every six years or less were almost eight times more likely to develop heart disease or have a heart attack than those who took at least two vacations a year. Similarly, a study of more than 700 women studied between the ages of 45 and 65 revealed that frequent vacations cut the risk of death among all women by half.
            American Alliance for Health,  Physical Education,  Recreation & Dance  (AAHPERD, 7/3/2008) provides the following information on the benefits of recreation:

Regular participation in Recreation and physical activity can:
•Relieve stress
•Cultivate positive character development by encouraging responsibility, respect, honesty, loyalty, integrity, creativity and flexibility
•Strengthen family bonds
•Stimulate creativity
•Enrich communication
•Boost energy
•Help teach life skills such as problem solving, cooperation, compromise, coping skills, perseverance and positive attitudes
•Build unity
•Increase productivity
•Promote personal interaction between family members
•Help with maintaining a healthy lifestyle
            An individual’s lifelong leisure habits often build on early experiences that contribute to a person’s development and lifestyle. Many adults continue to participate in recreational activities they were introduced to when a child or try a new sport or hobby after being inspired by a family member to try it. Traditions are created and passed on through processes like this. Recreating together as a family in activities that promote physical, emotional, mental, and social development and growth can strengthen family bonds. Get your family together, have some fun and make memories to last a lifetime!

            ♥ "that I may come to you with joy by the will of God, and may be refreshed together with you" (Romans 15:32, Holy Bible, NKJV, 1982).
            ♥ In Loving Family, we make enjoyable recreation a part of our life throughout the year. We visit museums, zoos, and historical sites. We attend movies, plays, and concerts. We enjoy home videos appropriate for family viewing. We enjoy television, but we monitor the programs we allow our children to watch, and we make certain that the television is not turned on until school homework and other responsibilities have been completed. Public Broadcasting Stations (PBS) are known for good family television programming, so we enjoy and support PBS. At community park and recreation centers, we enjoy arts and crafts, skateboarding, soccer, softball, shuffleboard, kite flying, swimming, picnics, basketball, and roller skating. We visit state and National park areas for hiking, camping, boating, swimming, skiing, or fishing. We plan vacation trips by reading guidebooks and travel brochures or by talking with a travel agent.

            ♥We maintain emotional balance by living in the present day by day instead of living in the past or in the future, by talking our problems out with a trusted person, and by finding realistic solutions to our problems. We keep stress minimal with proper nutrition and exercise. We also keep our emotions balanced by setting realistic goals, remembering others also have good motives, keeping free of resentments, maintaining a good attitude, and by remembering we are not alone when we have trouble. Most importantly we pray, meditate, and constantly strive to improve our conscious contact with Christ to maintain emotional balance.
            ♥"He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water" (John 7:38, Holy Bible, NKJV, 1982).

            ♥ Alisa Cunningham, Director of Research for the Institute for Higher Education Policy, Washington, D.C.(Solutions For Our Future) identifies the broader societal benefits of higher education. Cunningham states that the most widely recognized gains from post-secondary education are the economic benefits that individual graduates receive in terms of greater lifetime income. But it isn’t just the individuals who have gone to college who benefit; the larger society also gains. Not only do graduates pay more taxes on their typically higher incomes, but they also tend to have better health, rely less on government social programs, are less likely to be incarcerated, and are more likely to engage in civic activities. In fact, each type of benefit leads to others, producing a cascade of benefits from post-secondary education. 
            Cunningham goes on to state "along with higher income, people with more education tend to have more leisure time, better health/life expectancy, better outcomes for their children, and improved quality of life in general."
           Cunningham also explains how attending college is linked to desirable social and civic capabilities. Cunningham states that national research on the interpersonal, psychological, and broader behavioral outcomes of college shows a positive relationship between college attendance and a range of desirable social and civic capacities, including capacity for independence; less tendency toward authoritarianism, dogmatism, and ethnocentrism; growth in principled moral reasoning; interest in service to others; and interest in current affairs and domestic and foreign politics. Cunningham states that research has shown that college graduates are more likely than other individuals to display such traits as active thinking processes reflective of a more complex, less automatic mode of thought; a broad range of intellectual and academic skills; motivation to participate in activities that affect society and the political structure, as well as to participate in community service; motivation to engage in activities that promote racial understanding; and belief that basic values are common across racial and ethnic categories. Cunningham states that people from all educational and economic levels can and do live committed, moral, engaged lives, and contribute to their communities in a wide variety of ways. However, individuals who have had the opportunity to go to college have a greater probability of having the resources to develop into productive and engaged citizens.
            ♥ In Loving Family we encourage the pursuit of higher learning so we can enjoy higher income, more leisure time, better life/health expectancy, better outcomes for our children, improved quality of life and a wide range of desirable social and civic capacities. We believe that education can be emotionally rewarding and challenging as well as beneficial to our health. A mind that is occupied with learning does not have time to dwell on misery or problems. Dwelling on misery or problems can and often does lead to illness. Education can open new doors and help us to solve problems productively thereby reducing the stress in our lives. There is a wide range of educational opportunities for those of us who are interested in further education. State colleges and universities offer four year programs that lead to a bachelor's degree in fields such as computer systems, math, sociology, art, science, history, business administration, engineering, etc. Many universities offer Master and Doctorate programs as well.
            Community colleges provide education and training in a wide variety of fields such as business, real estate, early childhood education, law, and computers. Many community colleges charge nominal fees while others are quite expensive.
            Specialized training in restaurant management, drafting, mechanics, electronics, bookkeeping, accounting, etc. is offered at various vocational schools. Courses are usually short between six months and a year but may last longer.
            Public schools offer adult education courses, often at night, for people who want to develop special skills, increase their general knowledge, or pursue a particular hobby. Fees for these courses are usually minimal.
            Home study courses provide opportunities to take courses in vocational subjects, standard high school subjects, and college-level studies. Study time can be scheduled around work and other commitments.
          Many companies offer special training either on the job or after hours. Depending upon the business, training can improve technical skills or general knowledge. Some companies pay all of the expense for the training while others pay only part of the cost.
            The local library or college office can provide assistance in choosing a course or program of study. Before enrolling, it is a good idea to discuss educational interests with others we respect and trust, such as a teacher, priest, minister, friend, parent, or an older sibling. Visiting various schools or colleges is also a good idea. We check with our local library or accreditation council to make sure the institution we decide to attend is accredited. There are numerous scholarships, grants, and loan programs available for those of us who are interested in further learning.
            ♥"If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven, and tossed by the wind" (James 1:5-6, Holy Bible, NKJV, 1982).

            ♥We avoid sexual problems in our marriage by maintaining a committed, loving, supportive, and communicative relationship with our spouse. If sexual problems arise due to physical or psychological problems, we seek treatment as a couple from our trusted physician who may refer us to a reputable clinic or sex therapist. We prevent sexual diseases such as herpes, gonorrhea, and syphilis by waiting until marriage to become sexually active, by being faithful to our spouse, and by having sexual relations only with our marriage partner. We inform our teenagers that they should not have sex before marriage so that they can avoid emotional trauma and sexually transmitted diseases.

            ♥We have our children tested for lead poisoning when we take them to the doctor for regular checkups. We are careful not to expose our children to lead by keeping our home clean and free from dust; changing out of work clothes when we get home from work; testing our water; testing painted surfaces for lead; making sure our children do not chew on anything that is covered with lead paint; not using older imported or handmade dishes that may contain lead; avoiding hobbies that use lead; washing our children's hands often; and by not using home remedies or cosmetics that contain lead. We feed our children a diet that is rich in iron and calcium to protect against lead poisoning. We hire a professional to remove lead paint safely from our home so our family is not poisoned by the large amount of lead dust that is generated by the scraping and sanding of lead paint.
          The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA 747-K-00-003, October 2000, Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics 7404) indicates that lead poisoning is a serious problem for young children--the younger the child, the greater the risk. The EPA provides the following important information on how to protect your children from lead poisoning.

Protect Your Children from Lead Poisoning
Lead awareness and your children
            About 1 in 22 children in America have high levels of lead in their blood, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. You may have lead around your building without knowing it because you can’t see, taste, or smell lead. You may have lead in the dust, paint, or soil in and around your home, or in your drinking water or food. Because it does not break down naturally, lead can remain a problem until it is removed. Before we knew how harmful it could be, lead was used in paint, gasoline, water pipes, and many other products. Now that we know the dangers of lead, house paint is almost lead-free, leaded gasoline has been phased out, and household plumbing is no longer made with lead materials.

How lead affects your child’s health
            The long-term effects of lead in a child can be severe. They include learning disabilities, decreased growth, hyperactivity, impaired hearing, and even brain damage. If caught early, these effects can be limited by reducing exposure to lead or by medical treatment. If you are pregnant, avoid exposing yourself to lead. Lead can pass through your body to your baby. The good news is that there are simple things you can do to help protect your family.
            1. Get your child tested.  Even children who appear healthy may have high levels of lead. You can’t tell if a child has lead poisoning unless you have him or her tested. A blood test takes only ten minutes, and results should be ready within a week.
            Blood tests are usually recommended for:
•Children at ages 1 and 2.
•Children or other family members who have been exposed to high levels of lead.
•Children who should be tested under your state or local screening plan.
            To find out where to have your child tested, call your doctor or local health clinic. They can explain what the test results mean, and if more testing will be needed.

            2. Keep it clean.  Ordinary dust and dirt may contain lead. Children can swallow lead or breathe lead contaminated dust if they play in dust or dirt and then put their fingers or toys in their mouths, or if they eat without washing their hands first.
•Keep the areas where your children play as dust-free and clean as possible.
•Wash pacifiers and bottles after they fall on the floor. Keep extras handy.
•Clean floors, window frames, window sills, and other surfaces weekly. Use a mop, sponge, or paper towel with warm water and a general all-purpose cleaner or a cleaner made specifically for lead. REMEMBER: NEVER MIX AMMONIA AND BLEACH PRODUCTS TOGETHER SINCE THEY CAN FORM A DANGEROUS GAS.
•Thoroughly rinse sponges and mop heads after cleaning dirty and dusty areas.
•Wash toys and stuffed animals regularly.
•Make sure your children wash their hands before meals, nap time, and bedtime.
            3. Reduce the risk from lead paint. Most homes built before 1960 contain leaded paint. Some homes built as recently as 1978 may also contain lead paint. This paint could be on window frames, walls, the outside of your house, or other surfaces. Tiny pieces of peeling or chipping paint are dangerous if eaten. Lead paint in good condition is not usually a problem except in places where painted surfaces rub against each other and create dust. (For example, when you open a window, the painted surfaces rub against each other.
•Make sure your child does not chew on anything covered with lead paint, such as painted window sills, cribs, or playpens.
•Don’t burn painted wood. It may contain lead.
            4. Don’t remove lead paint yourself.  Families have been poisoned by scraping or sanding lead paint because these activities generate large amounts of lead dust. Lead dust from repairs or renovations of older buildings can remain in the building long after the work is completed. Heating paint may release lead into the air.
•Ask your local or state health department if they will test your home for lead paint. Some will test for free. Home test kits cannot detect small amounts of lead under some conditions.
•Hire a person with special training for correcting lead paint problems to remove lead paint from your home, someone who knows how to do this work safely and has the proper equipment to clean up thoroughly. Don’t try to remove lead paint yourself.
•All occupants, especially children and pregnant women, should leave the building until all work is finished and a thorough cleanup is done.
            5. Don’t bring lead dust into your home.  If you work in construction, demolition or painting, with batteries, or in a radiator repair shop or lead factory, or if your hobby involves lead, you may unknowingly bring lead into your home on your hands or clothes. You may also be tracking in lead from the soil around your home. Soil very close to homes may be contaminated from lead paint on the outside of the building. Soil by roads or highways may be contaminated from years of exhaust fumes from cars and trucks that used leaded gas.
•If you work with lead in your job or hobby, change your clothes and shower before you go home.
•Encourage your children to play in sand or grassy areas instead of dirt which sticks to fingers and toys. Try to keep your children from eating dirt, and make sure they wash their hands when they come inside.
            6. Get lead out of your drinking water.  Most well or city water does not naturally contain lead. Water usually picks up lead inside your home from household plumbing that is made with lead materials. Boiling the water will not reduce the amount of lead. Bathing is not a problem because lead does not enter the body through the skin.
•The only way to know if you have lead in your water is to have it tested. Call your local health department or your water supplier to see how to get it tested.
•Household water will contain more lead if it has sat for a long time in the pipes, is hot, or is naturally acidic.
If you think your plumbing might have lead in it:
•Use only cold water for drinking, cooking, and making baby formula.
•Run water for 15 to 30 seconds before drinking it, especially if you have not used your water for a few hours.
•Call EPA’s Safe Drinking Water Hotline at 1-800-426-4791 for more information.
             7. Eat right. A child who gets enough iron and calcium will absorb less lead. Foods rich in iron include eggs, lean red meat, and beans. Dairy products are high in calcium.
•Don’t store food or liquid in lead crystal glassware or imported or old pottery.
•If you reuse plastic bags to store or carry food, keep the printing on the outside of the bag.
            ♥We do not smoke, and we make certain our children are not exposed to second-hand smoke. Smoking or being exposed to second-hand smoke is dangerous to health and linked to cancer and many other serious diseases.
            ♥"While they promise them liberty, they themselves are slaves of corruption; for by whom a person is overcome, by him also he is brought into bondage. For if, after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the latter end is worse for them than the beginning" (2Peter 2:19-20, Holy Bible, NKJV, 1982).

            The Department of Health and Human Service, Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Fact Sheet on Health Effects of Cigarette Smoking  (updated 1/2008)  provides important information as follows about the health effects of cigarette smoking:
            According to the CDC, smoking harms nearly every organ of the body; causing many diseases and reducing the health of smokers in general. The adverse health effects from cigarette smoking account for an estimated 438,000 deaths, or nearly 1 of every 5 deaths, each year in the United States.  More deaths are caused each year by tobacco use than by all deaths from human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), illegal drug use, alcohol use, motor vehicle injuries, suicides, and murders combined.

Health Effects of Cigarette Smoking
•Cancer is the second leading cause of death and was among the first diseases causally linked to smoking.
•Smoking causes about 90% of lung cancer deaths in men and almost 80% of lung cancer deaths in women. The risk of dying from lung cancer is more than 23 times higher among men who smoke cigarettes, and about 13 times higher among women who smoke cigarettes compared with never smokers.
•Smoking causes cancers of the bladder, oral cavity, pharynx, larynx (voice box), esophagus, cervix, kidney, lung, pancreas, and stomach, and causes acute myeloid leukemia.
•Rates of cancers related to cigarette smoking vary widely among members of racial/ethnic groups, but are generally highest in African-American men.
Cardiovascular Disease (Heart and Circulatory System)
•Smoking causes coronary heart disease, the leading cause of death in the United States. Cigarette smokers are 2–4 times more likely to develop coronary heart disease than nonsmokers.
•Cigarette smoking approximately doubles a person's risk for stroke.
•Cigarette smoking causes reduced circulation by narrowing the blood vessels (arteries). Smokers are more than 10 times as likely as nonsmokers to develop peripheral vascular disease.
•Smoking causes abdominal aortic aneurysm.
Respiratory Disease and Other Effects
•Cigarette smoking is associated with a tenfold increase in the risk of dying from chronic obstructive lung disease. About 90% of all deaths from chronic obstructive lung diseases are attributable to cigarette smoking.
•Cigarette smoking has many adverse reproductive and early childhood effects, including an increased risk for infertility, preterm delivery, stillbirth, low birth weight, and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
•Postmenopausal women who smoke have lower bone density than women who never smoked. Women who smoke have an increased risk for hip fracture than never smokers.
        The U.S. Surgeon General provides important information on The Health Consequences of Involuntary Exposure to Tobacco Smoke (United States Department of Health and Human Services, Factsheet 7, revised 1/4/2007). There is No Risk-Free Level of Exposure to Secondhand Smoke.
            The U.S. Surgeon General has concluded that breathing even a little secondhand smoke poses a risk to your health.
            Scientific evidence indicates that there is no risk-free level of exposure to secondhand smoke. Breathing even a little secondhand smoke can be harmful to your health.

Secondhand smoke causes lung cancer.
•Secondhand smoke is a known human carcinogen and contains more than 50 chemicals that can cause cancer.
•Concentrations of many cancer-causing and toxic chemicals are potentially higher in secondhand smoke than in the smoke inhaled by smokers.
Secondhand smoke causes heart disease.
•Breathing secondhand smoke for even a short time can have immediate adverse effects on the cardiovascular system, interfering with the normal functioning of the heart, blood, and vascular systems in ways that increase the risk of heart attack.
•Even a short time in a smoky room can cause your blood platelets to become stickier, damage the lining of blood vessels, decrease coronary flow velocity reserves, and reduce heart rate variability.
•Persons who already have heart disease are at especially high risk of suffering adverse affects from breathing secondhand smoke, and should take special precautions to avoid even brief exposure.
Secondhand smoke causes acute respiratory effects.
•Secondhand smoke contains many chemicals that can quickly irritate and damage the lining of the airways.
•Even brief exposure can trigger respiratory symptoms, including cough, phlegm, wheezing, and breathlessness.
•Brief exposure to secondhand smoke can trigger an asthma attack in children with asthma.
•Persons who already have asthma or other respiratory conditions are at especially high risk for being affected by secondhand smoke, and should take special precautions to avoid secondhand smoke exposure.
Secondhand smoke can cause sudden infant death syndrome and other health consequences in infants and children.
•Smoking by women during pregnancy has been known for some time to cause SIDS.
•Infants who are exposed to secondhand smoke after birth are also at greater risk of SIDS.
•Children exposed to secondhand smoke are also at an increased risk for acute respiratory infections, ear problems, and more severe asthma. Smoking by parents causes respiratory symptoms and slows lung growth in their children.
Separating smokers from nonsmokers, cleaning the air, and ventilating buildings cannot eliminate secondhand smoke exposure.
•The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE), the preeminent U.S. standard-setting body on ventilation issues, has concluded that ventilation technology cannot be relied on to completely control health risks from secondhand smoke exposure.
•Conventional air cleaning systems can remove large particles, but not the smaller particles or the gases found in secondhand smoke.
•Operation of a heating, ventilating, and air conditioning system can distribute secondhand smoke throughout a building.
Air, Water, Land Pollution
            ♥ "Woe to her who is rebellious and polluted. To the oppressing city" (Zephaniah 3:1, Holy Bible, NKJV, 1982)!
        ♥To reduce pollution we recycle plastics, glass, newspaper, used motor oil, transmission fluid, brake fluid, toner cartridges and printer materials. We reuse lunch and other containers, cups, and grocery bags. We conserve energy by installing energy saving lights; turning down heat or air conditioning; turning off lights and appliances when not in use; increasing insulation in our homes to prevent heat loss; maintaining heaters, air conditioners, refrigerators and other energy using equipment; and by minimizing water use.
            We reduce air pollution and its detrimental health effects by using mass transportation, joining car pools, riding bicycles or walking whenever possible; keeping our car tuned up and our car tires properly inflated to increase engine efficiency; limiting air travel; conserving electricity; utilizing alternative energy sources such as solar power; and by supporting clean air legislation.
            We reduce water pollution by disposing of garbage and sewage properly; having wells, cisterns, and septic tanks inspected regularly; having water samples checked by health authorities; by using biodegradable cleaning products; and by getting involved in how local, state, and federal governments maintain our water supplies. We let our officials know we are concerned about the health effects of polluted water, and we insist on clean water that is safe to use.
            We reduce solid waste land pollution by using a copier that prints on both sides of the paper, purchasing rechargeable batteries, by purchasing products with minimal packaging, and by not littering our beaches, forests, highways, and communities.
            According to the NIEHS (National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, National Institutes of Health, 6/2/08), air pollution is a mixture of natural and man-made substances in the air we breathe such as fine particles produced by the burning of fossil fuels, ground-level ozone, which is a reactive form of oxygen that is a primary component of urban smog, and noxious gases such as sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide, and chemical vapors. The health effects of air pollution have been reported in research studies over the past 30 years. These effects include respiratory diseases such as asthma, cardiovascular diseases, changes in lung function, and death. There is mounting evidence that exposure to air pollution has long-term effects on lung development in children.
            According to the NIEHS (National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, National Institute of Health, 5/12/08), water pollution is any contamination of water with chemicals or other foreign substances that are detrimental to human, plant, or animal health. These pollutants include fertilizers and pesticides from agricultural runoff; sewage and food processing waste; lead, mercury, and other heavy metals; chemical wastes from industrial discharges; and chemical contamination from hazardous waste sites. Worldwide, nearly 2 billion people drink contaminated water that could be harmful to their health.
            The United States Environmental Protection Agency (2/6/07) provides tips for preventing pollution. According to the EPA, pollution prevention means not creating pollution in the first place. It primarily involves source reduction - - reducing the amount and toxicity of air, liquid, or solid waste at its source.
            “Whether you are a small business owner, a corporate leader, a student or a parent, EPA encourages everyone to make pollution prevention part of your daily life. Pollution prevention practices can help businesses become more competitive and individuals save money,” said Donald S. Welsh, EPA’s mid-Atlantic regional administrator. “It can also help save energy, prevent the emission of many greenhouse gases and water pollutants, encourage the development of greener technologies and conserve resources for future generations.”
            According to the Worldwatch Institute, the United States, with less than 5 percent of the global population, uses about a quarter of the world’s fossil fuel resources, burning nearly 25 percent of the coal, 26 percent of the oil, and 27 percent of the world’s natural gas. In addition, EPA estimates each individual generates about 1.5 tons of solid waste per year – about 4.5 pounds per person, per day. To help you get started, the National Pollution Prevention Roundtable, a non-profit organization devoted solely to pollution prevention, suggests:

At Work:

•Look into installing energy saving lights
•Ride a bike, carpool, walk, or take mass transportation to work
•Use reusable lunch containers
•Use a copier that prints on both sides of the paper to reduce paper use
•Recycle toner cartridges and printer materials
•Use reusable cups for coffee and other beverages
•Share the benefits of a recycling program with management
•Seek business opportunities with environmentally sound companies
At Home:
•Turn down the heat or air conditioning at night
•Turn off lights and appliances when not in use - install sensors where appropriate
•Replace incandescent light bulbs with energy efficient fluorescent ones
•Increase the amount of insulation in your home to reduce heat loss
•Do not mow your lawn or fill your gas tank on Ozone Action Days
•Minimize water use by purchasing efficient toilets, faucets and shower heads
•Purchase rechargeable batteries, reducing the amount of trash going into landfills
•Buy less toxic cleaning supplies or make your own
•(Baking soda and water can be used as an ammonia-based all purpose cleaner).
•Purchase products with minimal packaging
•Limit fertilizers and pesticides, especially near lakes and streams
•Recycle plastics, glass, newspaper, used motor oil, transmission fluid and brake fluid
•Join a food co-op or buy locally
•Reuse grocery bags by taking them with you to the store
•Pack children’s lunches in reusable containers instead of disposal brown and plastic bags
At School:
•Reduce materials and recycle what is used
•Perform a waste audit in the school
•Maintain heaters, air conditioners, refrigerators, and other energy using equipment, to reduce the amount of energy used
•Install energy efficient lighting
•Print copies on both sides of each sheet of paper
•Use non-mercury-containing thermometers
•Start an Eco-Club or form a pollution prevention team
            ♥ The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (5/15/2008) provides the following important information about Medical X-Rays:

            X-rays refer to radiation, waves or particles that travel through the air like light or radio signals. X-ray energy is high enough that some radiation passes through objects (such as internal organs, body tissues, and clothing) and onto x-ray detectors (such as film or a detector linked to a computer monitor). In general, objects that are more dense (such as bones and calcium deposits) absorb more of the radiation from the x-rays and don’t allow as much to pass through them. These objects leave a different image on the detector than less dense objects. Specially trained or experienced physicians can read these images to diagnose medical conditions or injuries.

            Medical x-rays are used in many types of examinations and procedures. Some examples include:
•x-ray radiography (to find orthopedic damage, tumors, pneumonias, foreign objects, etc);
•mammography (to image the internal structures of breasts)
•CT (computed tomography) (to produce cross-sectional images of the body)
•fluoroscopy (to dynamically visualize the body for example to see where to remove plaque from coronary arteries or where to place stents to keep those arteries open)
•radiation therapy in cancer treatment.
            Medical x-rays have increased the ability to detect disease or injury early enough for a medical problem to be managed, treated, or cured. When applied and performed appropriately, these procedures can improve health and may even save a person’s life. X-ray energy also has a small potential to harm living tissue. The most significant risks are:
•a small increase in the possibility that a person exposed to x-rays will develop cancer later in life; and cataracts and skin burns only at very high levels of radiation exposure and in only very few procedures.
            The risk of developing cancer from radiation exposure is generally small, and it depends on at least three factors—the amount of radiation dose, the age at exposure, and the sex of the person exposed:
•The lifetime risk of cancer increases the larger the dose and the more x-ray exams a patient undergoes.
•The lifetime risk of cancer is larger for a patient who received x-rays at a younger age than for one who receives them at an older age.
•Women are at a somewhat higher lifetime risk than men for developing radiation-associated cancer after receiving the same exposures at the same ages.
Information for Patients
            You can reduce your radiation risks and contribute to your successful examination or procedure by:
•Keeping a “medical x-ray history” with the names of your radiological exams or procedures, the dates and places where you had them, and the physicians who referred you for those exams;
•Making your current healthcare providers aware of your medical x-ray history;
•Asking your healthcare provider about whether or not alternatives to x-ray exams would allow the provider to make a good assessment or provide appropriate treatment for your medical situation;
•Providing interpreting physicians and referring physicians with recent x-ray images and radiology reports; and
•Informing radiologists or x-ray technologists in advance if you are pregnant or think you may be pregnant.
            ♥ We reduce exposure to radiation by keeping our dental and medical X-rays to the minimum required. We keep a record of our medical x-ray history and we make our current healthcare providers aware of our medical x-ray history. We discuss alternatives to x-ray exams with our healthcare providers and we use alternatives whenever possible. We are careful to notify our radiologists and x-ray technologists in advance if we are pregnant or think we may be pregnant. If we are pregnant we do not not have an x-ray unless it is absolutely necessary.

Loud Noise
            ♥ "Whoever guards his mouth and tongue keeps his soul from troubles" (Proverbs 21:23, Holy Bible, NKJV, 1982).
            ♥We insist that noise be controlled in our home and work place because chronic exposure to loud noise can damage hearing. We keep the volume down when listening to music and we wear earplugs when using loud equipment to help protect our hearing.
            According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (Department of Health and Human Services 7/23/08), noise is all around you, from televisions and radios to lawn mowers and washing machines. Harmful sounds - sounds that are too loud or loud sounds over a long time - can damage sensitive structures of the inner ear and cause noise-induced hearing loss. More than 30 million people in the U.S. are exposed to hazardous sound levels on a regular basis. Hazardous sound levels are louder than 80 decibels, which isn't as loud as traffic on a busy street. Listening to loud music, especially on headphones, is a common cause of noise-induced hearing loss. Keeping the volume down when listening to music and wearing earplugs when using loud equipment can help protect your hearing.


            ♥Jesus stated: "Whoever comes to Me, and hears My sayings and does them, I will show you whom he is like: he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently against that house, and could not shake it, for it was founded on the rock. But he who heard and did nothing is like a man who built a house on the earth without a foundation, against which the stream beat vehemently; and immediately it fell. And the ruin of that house was great." (Luke 6:47-49; Holy Bible, NKJV, 1982)

             ♥ The world is a dangerous place. From the moment of our birth until the moment of our death we live with danger as a close companion. Danger can strike without much notice from a natural disaster such as an earthquake, flood, tornado, hurricane, or volcano. Accidental dangers happen even more quickly such as in a car accident, getting hit by a car when crossing the street, falling down a flight of stairs or off a ladder, fire, or getting struck by lightening. The dangers of war include loss of life or limb from bombing, gun shot, or other military weapon. We are even in danger of choking when we eat our food or of drowning when we take a bath or go for a swim. Danger can find anyone at anytime night or day.
            We can and should protect ourselves from danger by taking precautions or using common sense. Keeping emergency telephone numbers such as 9-1-1, poison control, police, fire department, and ambulance visible at all times, and taking a few minutes to talk with children about what to do in an emergency can go a long way in preventing family tragedies. We are much less likely to get into a car accident if we drive at the speed limit and obey traffic laws. We are not as likely to get hit by a car if we cross the street at a crosswalk and look in all directions before crossing the street. Sound construction can save our buildings, homes, and structures from being demolished when an earthquake hits. Wearing a life jacket when boating can save your life. Eating a diet rich in antioxidants can reduce inflammation and reduce your chance of having a heart attack or stroke. Yet even our best efforts are not always good enough to protect us from danger.
            How can we feel safe in such an unsafe world? Where can we turn for protection? Our only sure protection is Divine protection. God is our only true refuge and strength. God is our only real help when we are faced with danger, trouble, or persecution.  If we put our faith in God, we do not have to fear earthquakes, floods, storms, volcanoes, accidents, war, or evil. God is our only safety in the midst of perils. Only God can protect us from every storm of life.
            Don’t look for protection where it is not to be found. Do not depend upon the military, war mongers, weapons, city walls, charlatans,  false healers, or those who would take away your freedom and liberty in an exchange for your safety. Pay no attention to those who would threaten you with infliction of bodily harm or emotional distress. Run to God for your protection and safety. Your peace is to be found only by trusting in God.
            It was God who protected Daniel when he was in the Lions’ den. It was God who protected Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego from the fiery furnace. It was God who protected Mary and Joseph from Herod. It was God who brought Jesus back from the dead so that we might believe.
            If you believe in the Lord and live by His commands, God will protect you and you will know peace. Do not depend upon what is undependable. Put on the shield of faith and trust only in God. If you believe in God, He will protect you from every real present danger and from every imagined danger as well. Call on the name of God and you will have nothing to fear but fear itself.

            The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; Centers For Disease Control and Prevention; National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Division of Unintentional Injury Prevention (9/22/14) provides  the following data about falls among older adults:
•One out of three older adults (those aged 65 or older) falls each year but less than half talk to their healthcare providers about it.
•Among older adults, falls are the leading cause of both fatal and nonfatal injuries.
•In 2012, 2.4 million nonfatal falls among older adults were treated in emergency departments and more than 722,000 of these patients were hospitalized.
•In 2012, the direct medical costs of falls, adjusted for inflation, were $30 billion.
•Twenty to thirty percent of people who fall suffer moderate to severe injuries such as lacerations, hip fractures, and head traumas. These injuries can make it hard to get around or live independently, and increase the risk of early death.
•Falls are the most common cause of traumatic brain injuries (TBI).
•In 2000, 46% of fatal falls among older adults were due to TBI.
•Most fractures among older adults are caused by falls.The most common are fractures of the spine, hip, forearm, leg, ankle, pelvis, upper arm, and hand.
•Many people who fall, even if they are not injured, develop a fear of falling.This fear may cause them to limit their activities, which leads to reduced mobility and loss of physical fitness, and in turn increases their actual risk of falling.
•The death rates from falls among older men and women have risen sharply over the past decade.
•In 2011, about 22,900 older adults died from unintentional fall injuries.
•Men are more likely than women to die from a fall. After taking age into account, the fall death rate in 2011 was 41% higher for men than for women.
•Older whites are 2.7 times more likely to die from falls as their black counterparts.
•Rates also differ by ethnicity. Older non-Hispanics have higher fatal fall rates than Hispanics.
            The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; Centers For Disease Control and Prevention; National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Division of Unintentional Injury Prevention (9/22/14) provides  the following tips for preventing falls among older adults:
•Exercise regularly. It is important that exercises focus on increasing leg strength and improving balance, and that they get more challenging over time. Tai Chi programs are especially good.
•Ask their doctor or pharmacist to review their medicines—both prescription and over-the counter—to identify medicines that may cause side effects or interactions such as dizziness or drowsiness.
•Have their eyes checked by an eye doctor at least once a year and update their eyeglasses to maximize their vision.  Consider getting a pair with single vision distance lenses for some activities such as walking outside.
•Make their homes safer by reducing tripping hazards, adding grab bars inside and outside the tub or shower and next to the toilet, adding railings on both sides of stairways, and improving the lighting in their homes.
•To lower their hip fracture risk, older adults can:
•Get adequate calcium and vitamin D—from food and/or from supplements.
•Do weight bearing exercise.
•Get screened and, if needed, treated for osteoporosis.
            The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; Centers For Disease Control and Prevention; National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Division of Unintentional Injury Prevention (4/12/12) provides the following facts about falls among children:
•Falls are the leading cause of non-fatal injuries for all children ages 0 to 19. Every day, approximately 8,000 children are treated in U.S. emergency rooms for fall-related injuries. This adds up to almost 2.8 million children each year.
            The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; Centers For Disease Control and Prevention; National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Division of Unintentional Injury Prevention (4/12/12) provides the following tips to prevent children from falls:
Play safely. Falls on the playground are a common cause of injury. Check to make sure that the surfaces under playground equipment are safe, soft, and well- maintained (such as wood chips or sand, not dirt or grass).
Make your home safer. Use home safety devices, such as guards on windows that are above ground level, stair gates, and guard rails. These devices can help keep a busy, active child from taking a dangerous tumble.
Keep sports safe. Make sure your child wears protective gear during sports and recreation. For example, when in-line skating,  use wrist guards, knee and elbow pads, and a helmet.
Supervision is key. Supervise young children at all times around fall hazards, such as stairs and playground equipment, whether you’re at home or out to play.
            ♥ To protect children from falling, we never put a child's bed, crib, or furniture a child can climb on next to a window. We keep window screens in good repair, and we install window guards to prevent children from falling from a window. When washing windows or shaking out rugs, we keep children away from open windows.
            We keep adequate lighting in halls and stairways, and we mark the bottom and top step with a bright colored strip to avoid falls on stairways. We do not allow children to play on stairs or banisters, and we install a gate at the top and bottom of each stairway to protect small children from falling until they are able to climb stairs safely. We install handrails on all stairways, and we use carpeting or stair-mats on stair surfaces so stairs are nonskid. We use slippers on feet when walking up or down stairs, and we keep clothing, toys, and books off of steps to avoid tripping. We also fasten rugs firmly to the floor, avoid highly waxed floors, keep extension cords safely out of the way, wipe up spills promptly, replace worn carpets, and keep mats at doorways to avoid tripping.  We keep a bath mat with a non skid bottom on the bathroom floor and we install grab bars in the tub and shower to prevent falls related to bathing. We use a sturdy light stepladder to avoid falling when getting something from a high shelf instead of standing on chairs or other furniture.
            To protect against outdoor falls, we  put bright lights over all porches and walkways, we install handrails on both sides of the stairs, we put ladders away on their sides in a shed or garage, and we fix broken or chipped steps and walkways as soon as possible. We also keep sidewalks and paths clear to avoid tripping. For outside work, we use an unpainted wood ladder of good quality. We use great care when using a metal ladder near electric wires. We make certain that the footing for the ladder is solid and not slippery. We do not place the top of the ladder against any surface that can crumple. We never allow children to climb on ladders or play near a ladder that someone is using. We assist our older relatives with home safety to protect them from unnecessary falls.

            ♥ "Jonathan, Saul's son, had a son who was lame in his feet. He was five years old when the news about Saul and Jonathan came from Jezreel; and his nurse took him up and fled. And it happened, as she made haste to flee, that he fell and became lame. His name was Mephibosheth" (2 Samuel 4:4, Holy Bible, NKJV, 1982).

            ♥ The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; Centers For Disease Control and Prevention; National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Division of Unintentional Injury Prevention (3/18/2008) provides the following facts about poisoning:
•Unintentional poisoning is second only to motor vehicle crashes as a leading cause of unintentional injury death in the United States.
•Children, adolescents, and adults are all affected by unintentional poisoning.
•Just over half the poison exposures reported to poison control centers affect children younger than six years; exposures in this group commonly involve cosmetics and personal care products, cleaning substances, pain relievers, topical medications, foreign bodies, cough and cold preparations, and plants. Adult exposures often include pain relievers, sedatives, or cleaning substances.
            The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; Centers For Disease Control and Prevention; National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, (7/2/13) provides the following safety tips to prevent poisoning (adapted from the American Association of Poison Control Centers’ poison prevention tips for children and adults): 

Drugs and Medicines
•Only take prescription medications that are prescribed to you by a healthcare professional. Misusing or abusing prescription or over-the-counter medications is not a “safe” alternative to illicit substance abuse.
•Never take larger or more frequent doses of your medications, particularly prescription pain medications, to try to get faster or more powerful effects.
•Never share or sell your prescription drugs. Keep all prescription medicines (especially prescription painkillers, such as those containing methadone, hydrocodone, or oxycodone), over-the-counter medicines (including pain or fever relievers and cough and cold medicines), vitamins and herbals in a safe place that can only be reached by people who take or give them.
•Follow directions on the label when you give or take medicines. Read all warning labels. Some medicines cannot be taken safely when you take other medicines or drink alcohol.
•Turn on a light when you give or take medicines at night so that you know you have the correct amount of the right medicine.
•Keep medicines in their original bottles or containers.
•Monitor the use of medicines prescribed for children and teenagers, such as medicines for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD.
•Dispose of unused, unneeded, or expired prescription drugs.
•Participate in National Drug Take Back days recognized by the Drug Enforcement Administration or local take back programs in your community.
Household Chemicals and Carbon Monoxide
•Always read the label before using a product that may be poisonous.
•Keep chemical products in their original bottles or containers. Do not use food containers such as cups, bottles, or jars to store chemical products such as cleaning solutions or beauty products.
•Never mix household products together. For example, mixing bleach and ammonia can result in toxic gases.
•Wear protective clothing (gloves, long sleeves, long pants, socks, shoes) if you spray pesticides or other chemicals.
•Turn on the fan and open windows when using chemical products such as household cleaners.
Keep Young Children Safe from Poisoning
•Put the poison help number, 1-800-222-1222, on or near every home telephone and save it on your cell phone. The line is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
•Store all medicines and household products up and away and out of sight in a cabinet where a child cannot reach them.
•When you are taking or giving medicines or are using household products:
•Do not put your next dose on the counter or table where children can reach them—it only takes seconds for a child to get them.
•If you have to do something else while taking medicine, such as answer the phone, take any young children with you.
•Secure the child safety cap completely every time you use a medicine.
•After using them, do not leave medicines or household products out.  As soon as you are done with them,  put them away and out of sight in a cabinet where a child cannot reach them.
•Be aware of any legal or illegal drugs that guests may bring into your home. Ask guests to store drugs where children cannot find them.  Children can easily get into pillboxes, purses, backpacks, or coat pockets.
•Do not call medicine "candy."
•Identify poisonous plants in your house and yard and place them out of reach of children or remove them.
What to do if a poisoning occurs
•Remain calm.
•Call 911 if you have a poison emergency and the victim has collapsed or is not breathing. If the victim is awake and alert, dial 1-800-222-1222. Try to have this information ready:
•the victim’s age and weight
•the container or bottle of the poison if available
•the time of the poison exposure
•the address where the poisoning occurred
•Stay on the phone and follow the instructions from the emergency operator or poison control center.

            ♥ "...It is an unruly evil, full of evil poison" (James 3:8, Holy Bible, NKJV, 1982).

            ♥We read the labels of the products we use in our home so we know what products in our home are poisons. If the label has the words "Caution," "Warning," "Poison," or "Danger," we keep the product out of the reach of children and we lock the product away. We follow the directions on the label when using a dangerous product.
            We prevent poisoning by drugs and medications by using the following precautions: we follow the directions for use; we carefully measure doses and track medicine given/received; we never refer to medication as candy to children; we never remove medications from their original containers and transfer them to unlabeled or mislabeled receptacles; we keep original labels intact; we inspect the label or directions several times before taking any drug or giving it to a child; we discard remaining, unused medicine when an illness ends for which it was prescribed; we insist upon "childproof" caps; we keep all drugs away from small children by locking cabinets that contain medications; we take all medicines and medical supplies out of purses, pockets, and drawers and put them in a cabinet with a child safety lock; and we keep each family member's medicines in a separate place, so they don't get mixed up.
            We prevent poisoning by household chemicals, such as cosmetics, drain openers, toilet bowl cleaners, floor and wall cleaners, furniture polishes, soaps and detergents, ammonia, aerosols, paint removers, car fluids, lawn and garden products, and pesticides by using the following precautions: we store chemical products securely in locked cabinets where children can not reach them, we never re-bottle or repackage chemical products, we clean up spills involving dangerous products as soon as they happen, we close the lids and put all toxic products away immediately after using them, we never store toxic products near foods and drinks, we are especially careful with products that have fruit shown on the label which could easily be confused as being edible, we avoid overbuying of substances used only occasionally, we never leave the room even for a minute while using a household product that may be poisonous because a child may ingest some of the product.
            Carbon Monoxide (CO) is a deadly gas that you cannot see or smell. The gas collects when fuels are burned. We have a service person check heaters, stoves and fireplaces every year to see that they work well. We have a carbon monoxide (CO) detector near the bedrooms to let us know if the gas level is too high. We push the "test" button on the detector so everyone in the family will know the sound it makes. We never run a motor or vehicle engine inside an attached garage, as deadly carbon monoxide can enter the home this way. We use portable generators and barbecue grills outside only and not in the home or garage.
            We avoid poisoning by plants and berries by using the following precautions: we never eat any plant or berry not known to be safe food; we keep all unknown plants and berries away from small children; we learn to recognize poisonous plants and berries; we eradicate poisonous plants and berries from our backyards; and we teach our children never to eat any unknown plant or berry in case they encounter poisonous plants in their own backyard or be tempted by them on hiking trips.
            We keep the number for the nearest poison control center posted near every telephone. For questions about poisons we call the poison control center at 1-800-222-1212. In case of an accidental poisoning, we contact the poison control center at 1-800-222-1212, and we follow instructions as provided by the poison control center. We call 9-1-1 if someone won't wake up, is having trouble breathing or is having seizures, If the person seems okay, but you think they may have taken poison call the poison control center at 1-800-222-1222.

Fires and Burns
            ♥ The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (9/17/2008) provides the following facts about fire:
•The United States has one of the highest fire death and injury rates in the world.
•Fire -- in the form of flames and smoke -- is the second leading cause of accidental death in the home. More than 4,000 people die each year in home fires.
•Every year, there are more than 500,000 residential fires serious enough to be reported to fire departments.
•More than 90 percent of residential fire deaths and injuries result from fires in one and two family houses and apartments.
•Property losses exceed 4 billion dollars annually, and the long term emotional damage to victims and their loved ones is incalculable.
            The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has targeted the principal consumer products associated with fires, namely home heating devices, upholstered furniture, bedding, cigarette lighters, matches, and wearing apparel. The Commission is participating in a special Congressional authorized study of cigarette-ignited fires, which cause more deaths than any other kind of fire. The Commission continues to push for extensive use of smoke detectors. With the help of concerned consumers, the number or residential fires has declined about 30 percent since 1980. Fire experts agree that one key to fewer fires is a greater awareness of how accidents can be prevented. By spotting these hazards and taking some simple precautions, many fires and fire-related injuries can be prevented.

            The CPSC provides the following information about sources of fire, early warning, and escape:

Sources of Fire

Supplemental Home Heating
•The use of supplemental room heaters, such as wood and coal burning stoves, kerosene heaters, gas space heaters and electrical heaters, has decreased, along with the number of residential fires. Even though there has been a decrease in fires associated with supplemental heaters, it is important to remember that about 120,000 residential fires still occur annually with the use of these heaters, or about 22 percent of all residential fires. These fires kill more than 600 people. Annually there are thousands of contact burn injuries and hundreds of carbon monoxide poisonings.
Wood Stoves
•Do not use wood burning stoves and fireplaces unless they are properly installed and meet building codes.
•Follow the label instructions on the stove which recommends an inspection twice monthly. Have chimneys inspected and cleaned by a professional chimney sweep. Creosote is an unavoidable product of wood burning stoves. Creosote builds up in chimney flues and can cause a chimney fire. To cut down on creosote buildup, avoid smoldering fires.
•Use a code-specified or listed floor protector. It should extend 18 inches beyond the stove on all sides. This will reduce the possibility of the floor being ignited.
•Follow the instructions on the stove label for proper location of the stove from combustible walls.
•Never burn trash in a stove because this could over heat the stove. Gasoline and other flammable liquids should never be used to start wood stove fires. Gasoline will ignite and explode. Use coal only if designated as appropriate by the manufacturer.
Kerosene Heaters
•Check with your local fire marshal regarding local and state codes and regulations for using a kerosene heater.
•NEVER USE GASOLINE. Even small amounts of gasoline mixed with kerosene can increase the risk of fire.
•Use properly labeled containers. It reduces the likelihood of mistaking gasoline for kerosene.
•Place heater so it will not be knocked over or trap you in case of fire.
•Use l-K kerosene because.grades other than l-K contain much more sulfur and will increase sulfur dioxide emissions, posing a possible health problem. If you buy kerosene from a gasoline station make sure you and/or the attendant are using the kerosene pump, not the gasoline pump.
•Never fill the heater while it is operating. Always refuel the heater outdoors to prevent spillage on floors and rugs which could later result in fire ignition.
•Keep the room in which the heater operates ventilated (e.g. door open or the window ajar). This will prevent an indoor air pollution problem and minimize health problems. Kerosene heaters are not usually vented.
•Keep flammable liquids and fabrics away from an open flame.
•Never try to move the heater or try to smother the flames with a rug or a blanket if a flare-up occurs. Activate the manual shut-off switch and call the fire department. Moving the heater may increase the height of the flames and cause leakage resulting in personal injury.
Gas-Fired Space Heaters
•Follow the manufacturer's instructions regarding where and how to use gas space heaters. Unvented heaters should not be used in small enclosed areas, especially bedrooms because of the potential for carbon monoxide poisoning.
•Do not use a propane heater (LP) which has a gas cylinder stored in the body of the heater. Its use is prohibited in most states and localities in the United States.
•Follow the manufacturer's instructions for lighting the pilot. Gas vapors may accumulate and ignite explosively, burning your hand or face.
•Light matches, if needed for lighting the pilot, before turning on the gas to prevent gas buildup.
•Do not operate a vented style heater unvented. It could allow combustion products, including carbon monoxide, to reach dangerous levels which will result in illness and death.
Portable Electric Heaters
            The Commission estimates that half the deaths and one-third of the injuries resulting from electric heater fires occurred at night when family members were asleep and the heater unattended. The Commission is also concerned about the use of power or extension cords which can be too small to supply the amount of current required by the typical portable electric heater.
•Operate heater away from combustible materials. Do not place heaters where towels or the like could fall on the appliance and trigger a fire.
•Avoid using extension cords unless absolutely necessary. If you must use an extension cord with your electric heater, make sure it is marked with a power rating at least as high as that of the heater itself. Keep the cord stretched out. Do not permit the cord to become buried under carpeting or rugs. Do not place anything on top of the cord.
•Never place heaters on cabinets, tables, furniture or the like. Never use heaters to dry wearing apparel or shoes.
Cooking Equipment
            Cooking equipment is estimated to be associated with more than 100,000 fires annually, and almost 400 deaths, and 5,000 injuries. Gas cooking equipment accounts for about 30,000 fires, and electric cooking equipment for about 55,000 fires.
•Never place or store pot holders, plastic utensils, towels and other non-cooking equipment on or near the range because these items can be ignited.
•Roll up or fasten long loose sleeves with pins or elastic bands while cooking. Do not reach across a range while cooking. Long loose sleeves are more likely to catch on fire than are short sleeves. Long loose sleeves are also more apt to catch on pot handles, overturning pots and pans and cause scalds.
•Do not place candy or cookies over top of ranges. This will reduce the attraction kids may have for climbing on cooking equipment, thus reducing the possibility of their clothing catching fire.
•Keep constant vigilance on any cooking that is required above the"keep warm" setting.
Cigarette Lighters and Matches
            Each year more than 200 deaths are associated with fires started by cigarette lighters. About two thirds of these result from children playing with lighters. Most of the victims are under five years old.
•Keep lighters and matches out of sight and out of the reach of children. Children as young as two years old are capable of lighting cigarette lighters and matches.
•Never encourage or allow a child to play with a lighter or to think of it as a toy. Do not use it as a source of amusement for a child. Once their curiosity is aroused, children may seek out a lighter and try to light it.
•Always check to see that cigarettes are extinguished before emptying ashtrays. Stubs that are still burning can ignite trash.
Materials That Burn
            Your home is filled with materials and products that will burn if ignited. Upholstered furniture, clothing, drapery fabrics, and liquids such as gasoline and volatile solvents are involved in many injury-causing fires each year. Most of these fires could be prevented.

Upholstered Furniture
•Look for furniture designed to reduce the likelihood of furniture fire from cigarettes. Much of the furniture manufactured today has significantly greater resistance to ignition by cigarettes than upholstered furniture manufactured 10 to 15 years ago. This is particularly true of furniture manufactured to comply with the requirements of the Upholstered Furniture Action Council's (UFAC) Voluntary Action Program. Such upholstered furniture may be identified by the gold colored tag on the furniture item. The legend on the front of the tag in red letters states "Important Consumer Safety Information from UFAC."
•Always check the furniture where smokers have been sitting for improperly discarded smoking materials. Ashes and lighted cigarettes can fall unnoticed behind or between cushions or under furniture.
•Do not place or leave ashtrays on the arms of chairs where they can be knocked off.
•Look for fabrics made predominantly from thermo-plastic fibers (nylon, polyester, acrylic, olefin) because they resist ignition by burning cigarettes better than cellulosic fabrics (rayon or cotton). In general, the higher the thermoplastic content, the greater the resistance to cigarette ignition.
Mattresses and Bedding
            Smoldering fires in mattresses and bedding materials caused by cigarettes are a major cause of deaths in residential fires.
•DO NOT smoke in bed. Smoking in bed is a major cause of accidental fire deaths in homes.
•Locate heaters or other fire sources three feet from the bed to prevent the bed catching on fire.
•Consider replacing your old mattress with a new one if you are a smoker. Mattresses manufactured since 1973 are required to resist cigarette ignition.
Wearing Apparel
            Most fibers used in clothing can burn, some more quickly than others. A significant number of clothing fires occur in the over 65 age group principally from nightwear (robes, pajamas, nightgowns).  The severity of apparel burns is high. Hospital stays average over one month.
Small open flames, including matches, cigarette lighters, and candles are the major sources of clothing ignition. These are followed by ranges, open fires and space heaters. The most commonly worn garments that are associated with clothing ignition injuries are pajamas, nightgowns, robes, shirts/blouses, pants/slacks and dresses.
•Consider purchasing fabrics such as 100% polyester, nylon, wool and silk that are difficult to ignite and tend to self extinguish.
•Consider the flammability of certain fabrics containing cotton, cotton/polyester blends, rayon, and acrylic. These are relatively easy to ignite and burn rapidly.
•Look at fabric construction. It also affects ignitability. Tight weaves or knits and fabrics without a fuzzy or napped surface are less likely to ignite and burn rapidly than open knits or weaves, or fabrics with brushed or piled surfaces.
•Consider purchasing garments that can be removed without having to pull them over the head. Clothes that are easily removed can help prevent serious burns. If a garment can be quickly stripped off when it catches fire, injury will be far less severe or avoided altogether.
•Follow manufacturer's care and cleaning instructions on products labeled "flame resistant" to ensure that their flame resistant properties are maintained.
Flammable Liquids
            One of the major causes of household fires is flammable liquids. These include gasoline, acetone benzene, lacquer thinner, alcohol, turpentine, contact cements, paint thinner, kerosene, and charcoal lighter fluid. The most dangerous of all is gasoline.
•Take extra precautions in storing and using flammable liquids, such as gasoline, paint thinners, etc. They produce invisible explosive vapors that can ignite by a small spark at considerable distances from the flammable substance. Store outside the house.
Early Warning and Escape
            Many fire deaths and fire injuries are actually caused by smoke and gases. Victims inhale smoke and poisonous gases that rise ahead of the flames. Survival depends on being warned as early as possible and having an escape plan.
•Purchase a smoke detector if you do not have one. Smoke detectors are inexpensive and are required by law in many localities. Check local codes and regulations before you buy your smoke detector because some codes require specific types of detectors. They provide an early warning which is critical because the longer the delay, the deadlier the consequences.
•Read the instructions that come with the detector for advice on the best place to install it. As a minimum detectors should be located near bedrooms and one on every floor.
•Follow the manufacturer's instructions for proper maintenance. Smoke detectors can save lives, but only if properly installed and maintained.
•Never disconnect a detector. Consider relocating the detector rather than disconnecting it if it is subject to nuisance alarms, e.g. from cooking.
•Replace the battery annually, or when a "chirping" sound is heard.
•Follow the manufacturer's instructions about cleaning your detector. Excessive dust, grease or other material in the detector may cause it to operate abnormally. Vacuum the grill work of your detector.
Escape Plan
            Planning ahead, rehearsing, thinking, and acting clearly are keys to surviving a fire. How prepared are you?
•Establish advanced family planning for escape. It is an important partner with smoke detectors and it will prepare you for a fire emergency.
•Include small children as a part of the discussion and rehearsal. It is especially important to make sure they understand that they must escape; they can't hide from fire under a bed or in a closet.
•Your life and that of your family can be saved by foresight, planning, discussing and rehearsal.
            ♥ Fire safety and survival begin with everyone in a household being prepared. We purchase fire resistant clothing and home furnishings as much as possible when shopping to reduce the chance of ignition. If we must smoke, we use "fire-safe" cigarettes and we smoke outside. We use large deep ashtrays on sturdy surfaces like a table. We douse cigarette and cigar butts with water before dumping them in the trash. We never smoke in bed due to the danger of falling asleep and starting a fire. We never leave burning candles unattended. We do not allow children to keep candles or incense in their rooms. We always use stable candle holders made of material that won't catch fire, such as metal or glass. We blow out candles when adults leave the room. We store lighters and matches safely in a locked cabinet out of the sight and reach of children. We carefully supervise small children and never leave them alone because it takes only a few seconds to start a deadly fire. It is not enough to teach children not to play with fire. If a child's clothing should catch on fire, we don't allow the child to run; we help the child to fall to the floor, roll with arms folded on the chest and face protected, and we use a nonflammable heavy blanket or rug to envelop the victim to smother the fire unless enough water is at hand to extinguish the fire. We teach all family members to "Stop, Drop and Roll" if clothes catch fire.
            We cap unused electric wall outlets to prevent children from inserting objects into them. We unplug an extension cord from the wall when it is disconnected from the appliance. We avoid plugging multiple extension cords into one receptacle, and we replace frayed cords and broken plugs. We do not run electrical cords over metal hooks, and we are cautious about running electrical cords under carpeting.
            When purchasing a space heater, we make sure the heater and its cord bear a UL seal and that the extension cord is also heavy duty. We keep space heaters at least three feet away from things that can burn such as curtains, stacks of newspaper, or other inflammable material. We purchase heaters that shut off automatically if knocked over. We always turn off heaters when leaving the room or going to bed. We do not use kerosene heaters because they are unsafe and their use has been widely outlawed.
            We keep fireplaces screened to prevent embers and sparks from flying into the room, and we keep all flammable materials away from the hearth area. We learn how to operate a damper to obtain maximum effectiveness of a fireplace and to prevent filling the room with smoke and carbon monoxide.We hire a service person to inspect chimneys, fireplaces, wood and coal stoves and central furnaces once a year and we have them cleaned out necessary.
            To avoid starting a fire, we use electrical equipment properly and we do not plug in too many appliances at once. If a fuse blows, we determine the cause of the blown fuse, and we call an electrician if the cause cannot be found. We never use a coin as a temporary measure. If a hot spot is discovered in the wall and there is no heating or plumbing line running in that location, we suspect an electrical problem and call an electrician.
            When purchasing a kitchen range, we make sure it bears the seal of the American Gas Association, or for electrical ranges, the UL seal. We always keep gas burners clean and free from spilled food. We have the burners adjusted by a professional if the flame is yellow and flickering instead of blue and upright. We never disregard the smell of gas; if the odor is strong, we open the windows, get out of the house, and call the gas company from a neighbor's telephone. On the way out, we do not turn on any switches, pull out electric plugs, or light a match due to the danger of an explosion.
            To prevent fires caused by cooking, we always stay in the kitchen while cooking. We keep things that can burn, such as dishtowels, paper or plastic bags, and curtains at least three feet away from the range top. Before cooking, we roll up sleeves and use oven mitts. If food catches on fire during cooking, we turn off the stove or oven and then try to extinguish the fire with a fire extinguisher or by dropping a pot lid, baking soda, or salt onto the fire. We never use water on burning grease or oil because it will spread the fire. If the fire spreads, we get out quick and call 9-1-1 from the neighbor's home to request assistance from the fire department.
            To prevent scalds from accidental spills while cooking, we turn the handles' of the pans around so the handles’ face the rear of the stove and do not protrude. In the bathroom, we never leave a small child, elderly, or infirm person alone in a bathtub even for a few seconds because he or she could turn on the hot water tap and be scalded.
            We never store flammable materials, such as oils, paints, or paint thinners under a stairway or in a closet. Instead, we keep combustible materials outside the home in a safe place with a lock. We close the lid on all dangerous products and put them away after using them. We keep basements, attics, and garages orderly, and we keep our home free of firetraps, such as old newspapers, magazines, rubbish, and debris. We use wall shelves, racks, and storage devices in basements, attics, and garages for as many implements as possible, and we keep garage, basement, and attic doors locked when not in use. We never store gasoline inside or outside the home. If gasoline is essential as a fuel for a power mower, we do not buy more than the immediate use requires. We never smoke in the vicinity of gasoline powered equipment due to the danger of an explosion.
            To prevent burns while grilling, we use a long fork or tong, heat-proof gloves, and an apron. We never use gasoline or other explosive flammable fluids to start a charcoal fire in an outdoor grill. We keep grills at least three feet away from other objects, including the house and any shrubs or bushes. We never leave a barbecue grill unattended while in use.
            We keep a fire extinguisher with a UL or FM label with instructions for use on each floor of the home, and we check the dial on the equipment periodically to be certain that it still has sufficient pressure to be useful in an emergency. We learn how and when to use a fire extinguisher. For additional fire prevention and control, we install fire and smoke detectors on every level of the home inside or near every bedroom and we test the equipment monthly to make sure they work. We put new batteries in the smoke alarms once a year. For best detection and notification protection, we install both ionization and photoelectric type smoke alarms. Some models provide dual coverage. The type will be printed on the box or package. We consider having a home fire sprinkler system installed in a new home or during remodeling. We make a fire escape plan for our family to use in a fire or smoke emergency that includes a method of escape for each member of the household and a designated place outside the house for family members to meet, and we practice the plan at least twice each year. We post fire instructions and emergency telephone numbers in clear view of children and adults near the telephone. If a small home fire cannot be put out quickly with water or fire extinguishers, we get out as fast as possible, and we make sure that everybody else in the house gets out too. We do not stop to collect personal belongings. If the exit is more than a few steps away, we crawl instead of walking or running to avoid asphyxiation from carbon monoxide and smoke poisoning. Once we get out of the home, we stay out and do not go back inside for any reason. We call 9-1-1 from a neighbor's phone to request assistance from the fire department.
            ♥"above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one" (Ephesians 6:16, Holy Bible, NKJV, 1982).

            ♥ The National SAFE KIDS Campaign (NSKC) (Unintentional Firearm Injury Fact Sheet. Washington (DC): NSKC, 2004.) provides important information and facts about unintentional firearm injury as follows:
            Unintentional shootings account for nearly 20 percent of all firearm-related fatalities among children ages 14 and under, compared with 3 percent for the entire U.S. population. Americans possess nearly 200 million firearms, including 65 million handguns. Approximately one-third of families with children (representing more than 22 million children in 11 million homes) keep at least one gun in the home. Gun owners keep firearms in the home for hunting and recreation (60 percent) or for protection and crime prevention (40 percent). Guns in the home for protection are more likely to be handguns, found in a home with children, and stored loaded and unlocked. Exposure to guns and access to a loaded firearm increase the risk of unintentional firearm-related death and injury to children. Unrealistic perceptions of children's capabilities and behavioral tendencies with regard to guns are common. These include misunderstanding a child's ability to gain access to and fire a gun, distinguish between real and toy guns, make good judgments about handling a gun and consistently follow rules about gun safety. Promoting the safe storage of firearms in the home and reducing their availability and accessibility are important steps in preventing unintentional firearm-related death and injury among children.

Firearm deaths and injuries
•In 2001, 72 children ages 14 and under died from unintentional firearm-related injuries. Children ages 10 to 14 accounted for 54 percent of these deaths.
•In 2002, more than 800 children ages 14 and under were treated in hospital emergency rooms for unintentional firearm-related injuries; 35 percent of these injuries were severe enough to require hospitalization.
•The unintentional firearm injury death rate among children ages 14 and under in the United States is nine times higher than in 25 other industrialized countries combined.
•In 2002, nearly 8,500 children ages 14 and under were treated in hospital emergency rooms for unintentional non-powder gun-related injuries (e.g., BB guns, pellet guns).
When and Where Firearm Deaths and Injuries Occur
•Nearly all childhood unintentional shooting deaths occur in or around the home. Fifty percent occur in the home of the victim and nearly 40 percent occur in the home of a friend or relative. Firearm ownership in the home (especially a firearm kept loaded and unlocked) is associated with an increased risk of unintentional firearm fatalities among children.
•Most childhood unintentional shooting deaths involve guns that have been kept loaded and accessible to children and occur when children play with loaded guns. In one recent study of parents of children ages 4 to 12, more than half of gun-owning parents reported storing a firearm loaded or unlocked in their home.
•An estimated 3.3 million children in the United States live in households with firearms that are always or sometimes kept loaded and unlocked.
•Unintentional shootings among children most often occur when children are unsupervised and out of school. These shootings tend to occur in the late afternoon (peaking between 4 p.m. and 5 p.m.), during the weekend and during the summer months (June to August) and the holiday season (November to December).
•More than 70 percent of unintentional firearm shootings involve handguns.
•Rural areas have higher rates of firearm ownership and unintentional firearm-related deaths and injuries than urban and suburban areas. Shootings in rural areas are more likely to occur outdoors and with a shotgun or rifle; shootings in urban areas are more likely to occur indoors and with a handgun.

Who is at Risk
•Male children are far more likely to be injured and die from unintentional shootings than female children. Of those children ages 14 and under who are killed from an unintentional shooting, 85 percent are male.
•Children living in the South have an unintentional shooting death rate that is seven times that of children living in the Northeast.
•Nearly two-thirds of parents with school-age children who keep a gun in the home believe that the firearm is safe from their children. However, one study found that when a gun was in the home, 75 to 80 percent of first and second graders knew where the gun was kept.
•Before age 8, few children can reliably distinguish between real and toy guns or fully understand the consequences of their actions. A recent study found that half of boys ages 8 to 12 who found a real handgun were unsure whether or not it was a toy.
•Children as young as age 3 are strong enough to pull the trigger of many of the handguns available in the United States.
•According to a recent study in a large metropolitan area, child access was reported as a contributing cause of 14 percent of all unintentional shootings.
•In a recent controlled experimental study, more than 90 percent of children who found and handled a gun or pulled the trigger reported previously having some type of firearm safety instruction.
Firearm Prevention Effectiveness
•Declines in child firearm- and BB/pellet gun-related injury rates during the 1990s coincided with increased prevention efforts, including legislation and education, aimed at reducing unsupervised access to guns by children.
•Two safety devices — gun locks and load indicators — could prevent more than 30 percent of all unintentional firearm deaths.
•Product design modifications can prevent unintentional firearm death and injury. Every unintentional shooting in which a child age 5 and under shot and killed himself or another could have been prevented by a safety device.
Firearm Laws and Regulations
•In October 1997, Massachusetts became the first state to issue consumer product safety regulations for guns by establishing safety standards for all handguns made or sold in the state. California and New York have passed similar regulations.
•At least 18 states have enacted child access prevention (CAP) laws, which may hold adults criminally liable for failure to either store loaded firearms in a place inaccessible to children or use safety devices to lock guns.
•State safe-storage laws intended to prevent child access to guns have reduced unintentional firearm-related deaths among children ages 14 and under by an average of 23 percent.
•Nine states and several local jurisdictions have passed laws or ordinances requiring a gun lock to be sold with every handgun.
•A national gun policy survey found that 68 percent of Americans endorse government regulation of the safety design of guns and 88 percent support laws requiring all new handguns to be childproofed.
Health Care Costs and Savings
•The total annual cost of unintentional firearm-related deaths and injuries among children ages 14 and under is more than $1.2 billion. Children ages 5 to 14 account for more than $1 billion, or 83 percent, of these costs.
•Among children ages 14 and under, unintentional firearm-related injuries account for half of the total cost of all firearm injuries, which include homicide, suicide and unintentional firearm injuries.
•Hospital treatment for a firearm-related injury averages between $7,000 and more than $15,000 per case.
Prevention Tips
•Children should not have access to firearms. A gun in the home can be a danger to children. Parents should seriously weigh the risks of keeping a gun in the home.
•Gun owners should always store firearms (including BB or pellet guns) unloaded and locked up, out of reach of children. Ammunition should be locked in a separate location, also out of reach of children. Quality safety devices such as gun locks, lock boxes or gun safes should be used for every gun kept in the home. Keep gun storage keys and lock combinations hidden in a separate location.
•Parents should talk to children about the dangers of guns, teach children never to touch or play with guns, and teach them to tell an adult if they find a gun.
•Parents should check with neighbors, friends or relatives — or adults in any other homes where children may visit — to ensure they follow safe storage practices if firearms are in their homes.
            ♥ To protect against fatal accidents, we never leave loaded or unloaded firearms around the house. If for some compelling reason a gun must be kept, we place the unloaded gun in a locked drawer or cabinet with the key kept on the person of the owner. We make sure all guns are unloaded before being brought into the home and locked up. We lock ammunition for a gun in a separate location that is also out of the reach of children. We use quality safety devices for every gun that is kept in the home. If a gun must be handled, we check the firing chamber for a bullet to see if the gun is loaded, and we never point a gun at anyone or pull the trigger. We prohibit children from playing with toy pistols, cap pistols, BB guns, real pistols, rifles, or shotguns to protect them from accidental shooting. We talk to our children about the dangers of guns and we teach them never to touch or play with guns and to tell an adult if they should find a gun. We teach our children to treat every gun as if the gun were loaded. We check with adults in any home where our children may visit to ensure they follow safe storage practices if firearms are kept in their homes. If we must keep and handle a gun we learn how to handle the firearm safely.
            ♥"For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds" (2 Corinthians 10:4, Holy Bible, NKJV, 1982).


            ♥  It can be difficult at times for parents to know which toys are safe and appropriate and which toys are not. To help parents make those choices, the following guidelines are recommended by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Administration for Children & Families, Office of Head Start, Early Childhood Learning & Knowledge Center (8/27/14):

Choosing Safe and Appropriate Toys

Buying Toys
•Choose toys with care. Keep in mind the child's age, interests and skill level.
•Look for quality design and construction in all toys for all ages.
•Make sure that all directions or instructions are clear - to you, and, when appropriate, to the child. Plastic wrappings on toys should be discarded at once before they become deadly playthings.
•Be a label reader. Look for and heed age recommendations, such as "Not recommended for children under three." Look for other safety labels including: "Flame retardant/Flame resistant" on fabric products and "Washable/hygienic materials" on stuffed toys and dolls.
Maintaining Toys
•Check all toys periodically for breakage and potential hazards. A damaged or dangerous toy should be thrown away or repaired immediately.
•Check edges on wooden toys that might have become sharp -- surfaces covered with splinters should be sanded smooth. When repainting toys and toy boxes, avoid using leftover paint, unless purchased recently, since older paints may contain more lead than new paint, which is regulated by CPSC.
•Examine all outdoor toys regularly for rust or weak parts that could become hazardous.
Storing Toys
•Teach children to put their toys safely away on shelves or in a toy chest after playing to prevent trips and falls.
•Toy boxes, too, should be checked for safety. Use a toy chest that has a lid that will stay open in any position to which it is raised, and will not fall unexpectedly on a child. For extra safety, be sure there are ventilation holes for fresh air. Watch for sharp edges that could cut and hinges that could pinch or squeeze. See that toys used outdoors are stored after play -- rain or dew can rust or damage a variety of toys and toy parts creating hazards.
Sharp Edges
•New toys intended for children less than eight years of age should, by regulation, be free of sharp glass and metal edges.
•With use, however, older toys may break, exposing cutting edges.
Small Parts
•Older toys can break to reveal parts small enough to be swallowed or to become lodged in a child's windpipe, ears or nose. The law bans small parts in new toys intended for children under three. This includes removable small eyes and noses on stuffed toys and dolls, and small, removable squeakers on squeeze toys.
Loud Noises
•Toy caps and some noise-making guns and other toys can produce sounds at noise levels that can damage hearing. The law requires the following label on boxes of caps producing noise above a certain level: "WARNING -- Do not fire closer than one foot to the ear. Do not use indoors." Caps producing noise that can injure a child's hearing are banned.
Cords and Strings
•Toys with long strings or cords may be dangerous for infants and very young children. The cords may become wrapped around an infant's neck, causing strangulation. Never hang toys with long strings, cords, loops, or ribbons in cribs or playpens where children can become entangled. Remove crib gyms from the crib when the child can pull up on hands and knees; some children have strangled when they fell across crib gyms stretched across the crib.
Sharp Points
•Toys which have been broken may have dangerous points or prongs. Stuffed toys may have wires inside the toy which could cut or stab if exposed. A CPSC regulation prohibits sharp points in new toys and other articles intended for use by children under eight years of age.
Propelled Objects
•Projectiles -- guided missiles and similar flying toys -- can be turned into weapons and can injure eyes in particular. Children should never be permitted to play with adult lawn darts or other hobby or sporting equipment that have sharp points. Arrows or darts used by children should have soft cork tips, rubber suction cups or other protective tips intended to prevent injury. Check to be sure the tips are secure. Avoid those dart guns or other toys which might be capable of firing articles not intended for use in the toy, such as pencils or nails.
All Toys are Not for All Children
•Keep toys designed for older children out of the hands of little ones. Follow labels that give age recommendations -- some toys are recommended for older children because they may be hazardous in the hands of a younger child. Teach older children to help keep their toys away from younger brothers and sisters.
•Even balloons, when deflated or broken, can choke or suffocate if young children try to swallow them. More children have suffocated on deflated balloons and pieces of broken balloons than on any other type of toy.
Electric Toys
•Electric toys that are improperly constructed, wired or misused can shock or burn. Electric toys must meet mandatory requirements for maximum surface temperatures, electrical construction and prominent warning labels. Electric toys with heating elements are recommended only for children over eight years old. Children should be taught to use electric toys properly, cautiously and under adult supervision.
Infant Toys
•Infant toys, such as rattles, squeeze toys, and teethers, should be large enough so that they cannot enter and become lodged in an infant's throat.
The Responsibility of the Consumer Product Safety Commission
•Under the Federal Hazardous Substances Act and the Consumer Product Safety Act, the Commission has set safety regulations for certain toys and other children's articles. Manufacturers must design and manufacture their products to meet these regulations so that hazardous products are not sold.
Responsibility of Parents and Other Adults
•Protecting children from unsafe toys is the responsibility of everyone. Careful toy selection and proper supervision of children at play is still -- and always will be -- the best way to protect children from toy-related injuries. To report a product hazard or a product-related injury, write to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, Washington, D.C., 20207, or call the toll-free hotline: 1-800-638-2772. A teletypewriter for the deaf is available at 1-800-638-8270. For information visit www.cpsc.gov.
            ♥ "The streets of the city shall be full of boys and girls playing in its streets" (Zechariah 8:5, Holy Bible, NKJV, 1982).

            ♥In Loving Family, we provide our children with safe play toys appropriate for their particular age group. For small children, we avoid purchasing toys that are flammable, toys that shoot things, electrical toys, toys that contain lead, balloons that can be choked on, toys with sharp pointed parts or edges, or toys with small detachable parts that can be swallowed or put in the ears or nose. We avoid toys for infants and small children with cords that could cause choking or strangulation. We frequently check our children's toys to make sure they are in good repair, and we discard toys that are broken. We remove and discard plastic wrapping and bags as soon as the toy is opened to protect children from suffocation.We store adult games out of the reach of children. We always supervise children closely, and we do not permit younger children to play with toys designed for older children or adults. We teach our children to put their toys safely away on shelves or in a toy chest after playing to prevent trips and falls.

Outdoor Play Equipment
            ♥ The Consumer Product Safety Commission  (CPSC Document #323) provides the following information about home playground safety:
•Each year, about 200,000 children are treated in U.S. hospital emergency rooms for playground equipment-related injuries - an estimated 148,000 of these injuries involve public playground equipment and an estimated 51,000 involve home playground equipment. Also, about 15 children die each year as a result of playground equipment-related incidents. Most of the injuries are the result of falls. These are primarily falls to the ground below the equipment, but falls from one piece of equipment to another are also reported. Most of the deaths are due to strangulation, though some are due to falls.
Use this simple checklist provided by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission to help make sure your home playground is a safe place to play:
•Install and maintain a shock-absorbing surface around the play equipment. Use at least 9 inches of wood chips, mulch, or shredded rubber for play equipment up to 7 feet high. If sand or pea gravel is used, install at least a 9-inch layer for play equipment up to 5 feet high. Or, use surfacing mats made of safety-tested rubber or rubber-like materials.
•Install protective surfacing at least 6 feet in all directions from play equipment. For swings, be sure surfacing extends, in back and front, twice the height of the suspending bar.
•Never attach–or allow children to attach–ropes, jump ropes, clotheslines, or pet leashes to play equipment; children can strangle on these.
•Check for hardware, like open "S" hooks or protruding bolt ends, which can be hazardous.
•Check for spaces that could trap children, such as openings in guardrails or between ladder rungs; these spaces should measure less than 3.5 inches or more than 9 inches.
•Make sure platforms and ramps have guardrails to prevent falls.
•Check for sharp points or edges in equipment.
•Remove tripping hazards, like exposed concrete footings, tree stumps, and rocks.
•Regularly check play equipment and surfacing to make sure both are in good condition.
•Carefully supervise children on play equipment to make sure they are safe.
            ♥We make certain that our children's outdoor playground equipment is safe, sturdy, well maintained, clean, and in good repair. We cover the ground under and around playground equipment with a thick layer (9-12 inches) of mulch, wood chips, or other safety material to protect children who fall off of play equipment. We regularly check play equipment and surfacing to make sure both are in good condition. We teach our children and their visitors the proper use of play equipment, and we supervise children during play.

            ♥To avoid injury, we leave fireworks to professional fireworks experts unless we have been trained in the safe use of fireworks. We do not give our children sparklers to play with unless we closely supervise the use of sparklers since sparks can ignite clothing or produce eye and other burns.
            ♥"If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed and you shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free...Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin. And a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever. Therefore, if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed" (John 8:31-36, Holy Bible, NKJV, 1982).
            In Christ we have reason to celebrate our freedom and independence and celebrate we shall each and every 4th of July!

            The Centers For Disease Control and Prevention,  Department of Health and Human Services, National Center For Injury Prevention and Control, Division Of Unintentional Injury Prevention (6/26/08) answers the following questions about fireworks injuries:

How can fireworks injuries be prevented?
•The safest way to prevent fireworks-related injuries is to leave fireworks displays to trained professionals.
How big is the problem?
•In 2006, eleven people died and an estimated 9,200 were treated in emergency departments for fireworks-related injuries in the United States.
•An estimated 5% of fireworks-related injuries in emergency departments required hospitalization.
Who is most at risk for fireworks-related injuries?
•More than two-thirds of all fireworks-related injuries in 2006 occurred between June 16 and July 16. During that time period: one out of every three people injured were children under 15 years of age; about three times as many males were injured as females; and young people under twenty sustained nearly half (47%) of all injuries from fireworks.
•People actively participating in fireworks-related activities are more frequently and severely injured than bystanders.
What kinds of injuries occur?
Between June 16 and July 16, 2006:
•The body parts most often injured were hands (2,300 injuries), eyes (1,500 injuries), and the head, face, and ear (1,400 injuries).
•More than half of the injuries were burns. Burns were the most common injury to all body parts except the eyes and head areas, where contusions, lacerations and foreign bodies in the eye occurred more frequently.
•Fireworks can be associated with blindness, third degree burns, and permanent scarring.
•Fireworks can also cause life-threatening residential and motor vehicle fires.
What types of fireworks are associated with most injuries?
Between June 16 and July 16, 2006:
•Firecrackers were associated with the greatest number of estimated injuries at 1,300. There were 1,000 injuries associated with sparklers and 800 associated with rockets.  
•Sparklers accounted for one-third of the injuries to children less than 5 years of age.
•Between 2000-2005, more than one-third of the fireworks-related deaths involved professional devices that were illegally sold to consumers.
How and why do these injuries occur?
Availability: In spite of federal regulations and varying state prohibitions, many types of fireworks are still accessible to the public. Distributors often sell fireworks near state borders, where laws prohibiting sales on either side of the border may differ.
Fireworks type: Among the various types of fireworks, some of which are sold legally in some states, bottle rockets can fly into peoples' faces and cause eye injuries; sparklers can ignite clothing (sparklers burn at more than 1,000°F); and firecrackers can injure the hands or face if they explode at close range.
Being too close: Injuries may result from being too close to fireworks when they explode; for example, when someone leans over to look more closely at a firework that has been ignited, or when a misguided bottle rocket hits a nearby person.
Lack of physical coordination: Younger children often lack the physical coordination to handle fireworks safely.
Curiosity: Children are often excited and curious around fireworks, which can increase their chances of being injured (for example, when they re-examine a firecracker dud that initially fails to ignite).
Experimentation: Homemade fireworks (for example, ones made of the powder from several firecrackers) can lead to dangerous and unpredictable explosions.
What is the annual cost of fireworks-related injuries?
•An estimated 2,200 reported structure or vehicle fires were started by fireworks in 2004. These fires resulted in $21 million in direct property damage.
What are the laws?
•Under the Federal Hazardous Substances Act, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission prohibits the sale of the most dangerous types of fireworks and the components intended to make them. The banned fireworks include various large aerial devices, M-80s, quarter-sticks, half-sticks and other large firecrackers. Any firecracker with more than 50 milligrams of explosive powder and any aerial firework with more than 130 milligrams of flash powder is banned under federal law, as are mail order kits and components designed to build these fireworks.
            The National Council On Fireworks Safety (11/14) provides the following tips on the safe and responsible use of consumer fireworks to eliminate injuries:
•Parents and caretakers should always closely supervise teens if they are using fireworks.
•Parents should not allow young children to handle or use fireworks.
•Fireworks should only be used outdoors.
•Always have water ready if you are using fireworks.
•Know your fireworks; Read the caution label before igniting.
•Obey local laws. If fireworks are not legal where you live, do not use them.
•Alcohol and fireworks do not mix. Save your alcohol for after the show.
•Wear safety glasses whenever using fireworks.
•Only light one firework at a time.
•Never relight a “dud” firework.  Wait 20 minutes and then soak it in a bucket of water.
•Avoid using homemade fireworks or illegal explosives: They can kill you!
•Report illegal explosives, like M-80s and quarter sticks, to the fire or police department.
•Lastly, soak spent fireworks with water before placing them in an outdoor, fire resistant garbage can away from buildings and flammable materials.
            The National Council on Fireworks Safety ( 6/18/2008)  recommends that you only buy consumer fireworks from a licensed store or stand. Never buy firework devices from an individual’s house, or out of someone’s car. Such fireworks are likely to be illegal explosives that can seriously injure you.
            Consumer fireworks regulated by the Consumer Product Safety Commission are packaged in bright colors and have safety warnings on the packaging. The packaging sets forth the country of origin, which is normally China. Typical consumer fireworks include fountains, cones, sparklers, fire crackers, bottle rockets, roman candles, ground spinners and multi-shot products.
            Illegal explosives are often not packaged and are wrapped with plain brown paper. They are very unlikely to have any safety warnings, or place of manufacture. Many of them are hand made in illicit factories and other unsafe environments. They may go by names such as M80, Quarter Stick or Cherry Bomb. If someone approaches you to sell one of these illegal explosives, politely decline and then call your local police department.
            Consumer fireworks, if used in accordance with their instructions, are very safe. Injuries from consumer fireworks have shown a dramatic decrease over the past twenty years, despite an astonishing increase in usage by consumers. Some form of consumer fireworks are now allowed in 45 states, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia. “Many times consumers don’t prepare for the evening’s fireworks display” says Ralph Apel, President of the National Council on Fireworks Safety. “The designated shooter should prepare a shooting area, assess how many people will be watching the display and lay out a spectator area that is far enough away from the shooting site. The shooter should carefully read the label of each firework and understand exactly what it will do. Preplanning makes for a safe and fun backyard fireworks display.”

            ♥ The National Council On Fireworks Safety (6/25/2008)  provides the following information on the safe use of sparklers: Approximately 16% of all consumer fireworks injuries are caused by sparklers burning hands and legs, with the majority of sparkler injuries occurring to young children. In fact, sparkler injuries accounted for 1/3 of all firework injuries to children 5 years or younger. These are injuries that would not have occurred if there had been close adult supervision and if some basic safety steps had been taken.

            The National Council on Fireworks Safety offers these safety steps for sparklers, in the hopes that sparkler injuries to young children can be greatly reduced.
•Sparkles should ALWAYS be used under close adult supervision.
•Always remain standing while using sparklers.
•Never hold a child in your arms while using sparklers.
•Never hold, or light, more than one sparkler at a time.
•Sparklers and bare feet can be a painful combination. Always wear closed-toe shoes when using sparklers.
•Sparkler wire and stick remain hot long after the flame has gone out. Be sure to drop the spent sparklers directly in a bucket of water.
•Never hand a lighted sparkler to another person. Give them the unlit sparkler and then light it.
•Always stand at least 6 feet from another person while using sparklers.
•Never throw sparklers.
•Show children how to hold sparklers away from their body and at arm’s length.
•Teach children not to wave sparklers, especially wooden stick sparklers, or run while holding sparklers.
            Sparklers have been a traditional means of celebration for hundreds of years. Let’s teach our children how to use them safely and help prevent needless injuries.

Pools and Water
            ♥ According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC Document #5097), an estimated 350 children under five years in age drown each year in swimming pools, many in residential pools. The Commission estimates that another 2,600 children under age five are treated in hospital emergency rooms each year following submersion incidents. Some of these submersions result in permanent brain damage. The key to preventing these tragedies is to have layers of protection. This includes placing barriers around your pool to prevent access, using pool alarms, closely supervising your child and being prepared in case of an  emergency.

Tips provided by the CPSC to prevent drowning include:
•placing a motor-powered barrier over the pool when the pool is not in use;
•keep rescue equipment and a portable phone with emergency numbers posted by the side of the pool; knowing cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) can be a lifesaver; for above ground pools, steps and ladders to the pool should be secured and locked or removed when the pool is not in use;
•if a child is missing, always look in the pool first. Seconds count in preventing death or disability;
•pool alarms can be used as added precaution--underwater pool alarms generally perform better; use a remote alarm receiver so the alarm can be heard inside the house or in other places away from the pool area;
•fences and walls should be at least 4 feet high and installed completely around the pool; fence gates should be self-closing and self-latching--the latch should be out of a small child's reach;
•doors leading from the house to the pool should be protected with alarms that produce a sound when a door is unexpectedly opened
•watch your child closely at all times and make sure the doors leading to the pool area are closed and locked as young children can quickly slip away and into the pool.
            The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission also indicates that diving injuries can result in quadriplegia and paralysis below the neck to divers who hit the bottom or side of a swimming pool.

CPSC states that divers should observe the following precautions:
•never dive into above-ground pools--they are too shallow; don't dive from the side of an in-ground pool--enter the water feet first;
•dive only from the end of the diving board and not from the sides;
•dive with your hands in front of you and always steer up immediately upon entering the water to avoid hitting the bottom or sides of the pool;
•don't dive if you have been using alcohol or drugs because your reaction time may be too slow.
•improper use of pool slides presents the same danger as improper diving techniques and you should slide down feet first only and never slide down head first.
            The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, /Department of Health and Human Services (National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Division of Unintentional Injury Prevention (10/24/14) provides the following important information to protect against injury in or around natural water settings:
•Use U.S. Coast Guard approved life jackets. This is important regardless of the distance to be traveled, the size of the boat, or the swimming ability of boaters; life jackets can reduce risk for weaker swimmers too.
•Know the meaning of and obey warnings represented by colored beach flags. These may vary from one beach to another.
•Watch for dangerous waves and signs of rip currents. Some examples are water that is discolored and choppy, foamy, or filled with debris and moving in a channel away from shore.
•If you are caught in a rip current, swim parallel to shore. Once free of the current, swim diagonally toward shore.
            ♥ In Loving Family, we teach children to float and swim before allowing them into a pool without an adult also being in the pool with them. While swimming in a home pool, we use the buddy system to protect against drowning, so someone is constantly present to come to the rescue. We forbid horseplay around the pool to prevent against slipping on a wet surface.
            We keep rescue devices at the pool side, such as a ring buoy or long pole. We keep a portable phone by the side of the pool with emergency numbers posted and we learn to use CPR in case of an emergency. We never use radios and other electrical appliances near the pool to protect against shock. We constantly supervise children when they are in a home pool or bathtub of any kind because a small child can drown in a few inches of water in just a few seconds. If the doorbell or telephone rings when a child is in a pool or tub, we remove the child from the water and from the vicinity of the water. If our child is missing we always look in the pool first since seconds count in preventing death or disability.
            We enclose the home pool with an effective fence with a gate that can be locked to prevent anyone from getting to the pool. We never leave furniture near the fence that would enable a child to climb over the fence. We install pool alarms and alarms on doors that lead onto the pool. We keep toys away from the pool when it is not in use because toys can attract young children into the pool. We place a barrier over the pool when the pool is not in use. When an above-ground pool is not in use we lock or remove steps or ladders to the pool. We install adequate lighting around the pool with the switch inside the house.
            We clearly mark the shallow and deep ends of a pool to indicate safe jumping and diving areas. We make certain diving boards are anchored firmly and stout enough to support a heavy diver safely. We follow all regulations governing the minimum depth of water in a pool under various heights of diving boards to protect against diving accidents. We do not dive from the side of an in-ground pool--we enter  the water feet first. We dive only from the end of a diving board and not from the sides. We dive with our hands in front of us and we always steer up upon entering the water to avoid hitting the bottom or sides of the pool. We never dive into above-ground pools because they are too shallow.
            When using a pool slide we slide down feet first only and we never slide down head first. We teach our children how to use a pool safely and how to dive safely before letting them into a pool. We clean and repair the pool and pool equipment regularly. We never drink alcohol or use drugs before using a pool or diving.

             ♥We take an interest in our employment work surroundings by joining the health and safety committee. We bring work hazards to the attention of appropriate authorities, and we follow up until hazards are properly dealt with. If personal protection equipment is necessary for our job, such as safety shoes, safety goggles and glasses, hard hats, gloves, ear plugs, etc., we use the equipment properly and consistently. We know our rights, and if necessary we complain to OSHA about work hazards without fear of reprisal.
            ♥ "For there is nothing hidden which will not be revealed, nor has anything been kept secret but that it should come to light" (Mark 4:22, Holy Bible, NKJV, 1982).

            The U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration (2002 OSHA Fact Sheet) provides the following information about Job Safety and Health:

Why should everyone be concerned about job safety and health?
            Each year, approximately 6,000 employees in this country die from workplace injuries while another 50,000 die from illnesses caused by exposure to workplace hazards. In addition, 6 million workers suffer non-fatal workplace injuries at an annual cost to U.S. businesses of more than $125 billion. Effective job safety and health add value to the workplace and help reduce worker injuries and illnesses.

How does OSHA contribute to job safety and health?
            Congress passed the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, (OSH Act), “to assure so far as possible every working man and woman in the Nation safe and healthful working conditions and to preserve our human resources.” Title 29 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), Parts 1902-1990, contains OSHA regulations and standards. Some states have enacted occupational safety and health laws and operate federally approved state plans. Such states adopt and enforce state standards and regulations that are at least as effective as those enacted under federal law.

Are all employees covered by the OSH Act?
            The OSH Act covers all employees except workers who are self-employed and public employees in state and local governments. In states with OSHA-approved state plans, public employees in state and local governments are covered by their state’s OSHA-approved plan. Federal employees are covered under the OSH Act’s federal employee occupational safety and health programs, see 29 CFR Part 1960. United States Postal Service employees, however, are subject to the same OSH Act coverage provisions as are private sector employers. The OSH Act does not apply to particular working conditions addressed by regulations or standards affecting occupational safety or health that are issued by federal agencies, other than OSHA, or by a state atomic energy agency. Other federal agencies that have issued requirements affecting job safety or health include the Mine Safety and Health Administration and some agencies of the Department of Transportation.

What are your responsibilities as an employer?
            If you are an employer covered by the OSH Act, you must provide your employees with jobs and a place of employment free from recognized hazards that are causing, or are likely to cause, death or serious physical harm. Among other actions, you must also comply with the OSHA statutory requirements, standards, and regulations that, in part, require you to do the following:
•Provide well-maintained tools and equipment, including appropriate personal protective equipment;
•Provide medical examinations;
•Provide training required by OSHA standards;
•Report to OSHA within 8 hours accidents that result in fatalities;
•Report to OSHA within 8 hours accidents that result in the hospitalization of three or more employees;
•Keep records of work-related accidents, injuries, illnesses—and their causes—and post annual summaries for the required period of time. A number of specific industries in the retail, service, finance, insurance, and real estate sectors that are classified as low-hazard are exempt from most requirements of the regulation, as are small businesses with 10 or fewer employees (see 29 CFR Part 1904);
•Post prominently the OSHA poster (OSHA 3165) informing employees of their rights and responsibilities;
•Provide employees access to their medical and exposure records;
•Do not discriminate against employees who exercise their rights under the OSH Act;
•Post OSHA citations and abatement verification notices at or near the work-site;
•Abate cited violations within the prescribed period; and
•Respond to survey requests for data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, OSHA, or a designee of either agency.
What are your rights as an employer?
            When working with OSHA, you may do the following:
•Request identification from OSHA compliance officers;
•Request an inspection warrant;
•Be advised by compliance officers of the reason for an inspection;
•Have an opening and closing conference with compliance officers;
•Accompany compliance officers on inspections;
•Request an informal conference after an inspection;
•File a Notice of Contest to citations, proposed penalties, or both;
•Apply for a variance from a standard’s requirements under certain circumstances;
•Be assured of the confidentiality of trade secrets; and
•Submit a written request to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health for information on potentially toxic substances in your workplace.
What are your responsibilities as an employee?
            To help prevent exposure to workplace safety and health hazards, you must comply with all OSHA requirements that apply to your actions and conduct.

What are your rights as an employee?
            In your associations with OSHA and your employer, you have the right, among other actions, to do the following:
•Review employer-provided OSHA standards, regulations and requirements;
•Request information from your employer on emergency procedures;
•Receive adequate safety and health training when required by OSHA standards related to toxic substances and any such procedures set forth in any emergency action plan required by an OSHA standard;
•Ask the OSHA Area Director to investigate hazardous conditions or violations of standards in your workplace;
•Have your name withheld from your employer if you file a complaint with OSHA;
•Be advised of OSHA actions regarding your complaint, and have an informal review of any decision not to inspect or to issue a citation;
•Have your employee representative accompany the OSHA compliance officer on inspections;
•Observe any monitoring or measuring of toxic substances or harmful physical agents and review any related monitoring or medical records;
•Review at a reasonable time the Log of Work- Related Injuries and Illnesses (OSHA 300) if your employer is required to maintain it;
•Request a closing discussion following an inspection;
•Object to the abatement period set in a citation issued to your employer; and
•Seek safe and healthful working conditions without your employer retaliating against you.
How can you get more information on safety and health?
            OSHA has various publications, standards, technical assistance, and compliance tools to help you, and offers extensive assistance through workplace consultation, voluntary protection programs, grants, strategic partnerships, state plans, training, and education. OSHA’s Safety and Health Program Management Guidelines (Federal Register 54:3904-3916, January 26, 1989) detail elements critical to the development of a successful safety and health management system. This and other information are available on OSHA’s website.
•For one free copy of OSHA publications, send a self-addressed mailing label to OSHA Publications Office, P.O. Box 37535, Washington, DC 20013-7535; or send a request to our fax at (202) 693-2498, or call us at (202) 693-1888.
•To order OSHA publications online at www.osha.gov, go to Publications and follow the instructions for ordering.
•To file a complaint by phone, report an emergency, or get OSHA advice, assistance, or products, contact your nearest OSHA office under the “U.S. Department of Labor” listing in your phone book, or call toll-free at (800) 321-OSHA (6742). The teletypewriter (TTY) number is (877) 889-5627.
•To file a complaint online or obtain more information on OSHA federal and state programs, visit OSHA’s website.
Driving and Roads
            ♥ Medline Plus Health Topics (U.S. National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health; Department of Health and Human Services, 9/22/2008) provides the following information about motor vehicle safety:
            About every twelve minutes, someone in the U.S. dies from a motor vehicle crash. Trying to prevent these crashes is one part of motor vehicle safety. Here are some things you can do to be safer on the road:
•Avoid distractions
•Don't drive after drinking alcohol or doing drugs
•Don't drive when you are tired
•Don't speed
•Make sure your vehicle is safe and in working order
•Use car seats for children
•Wear your seat belt
            Some medicines and medical conditions, like seizure disorders, make it harder for you to drive safely. If you have one of these conditions or think that your medicine impairs your driving, talk to your doctor. 
            ♥"The highway of the upright is to depart from evil: he that keepeth his way preserveth his soul" (Proverbs 16:17, Holy Bible, NKJV, 1982).

            ♥We prevent highway fatalities by obeying traffic laws, using seat belts rigorously, and by never driving while under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or medications. We do not drive when overtired. We use well-designed infant and child car seats for children too young to use a seat belt. We drive defensively by being prepared for drivers ahead to stop suddenly, for drivers who cut in front of our path when changing lanes, for the driver who enters an intersection on our right without stopping, and for a pedestrian or child darting into the street. We do not weave in and out of traffic, we keep our speed constant, and we keep a safe distance behind the car in front of us (at least one car length for every 10 mph of speed). We do not start up at a green light until certain that the car approaching the cross street will stop. When behind an erratic driver, we hang back, so we do not hit the vehicle if it should stop suddenly. We always check for obstacles and small children when backing up. We keep our car in good working order with regular inspections and by correcting problems as soon as they arise. In case of an accident, we carry a first-aid kit in the car to manage minor cuts and abrasions, and we always have fresh batteries, a flashlight, and an emergency spotlight or flares to alert other drivers in case of a breakdown or accident.
            We never sit a child on our lap when driving. We teach our children safety rules for the road by instructing them as follows: to enter an automobile on the right side; to keep their fingers away from car doors; to get out of a car after the driver; to lock all doors before the car starts; to fasten all safety restraints securely; to never toss objects inside a moving car; to keep their hands off the controls and dashboard of a car; to look in all directions before crossing a street; to cross streets only at marked crosswalks or intersections; and how to read traffic lights, highways signs, and signals. We carefully explain to our children the dangers of running into the street, running out from behind parked cars, and jaywalking. We advocate for regulations that will require the automobile industry to design seat belts that are comfortable to use and that do not cause chronic neck, back, and shoulder pain.

            ♥With gas prices increasing, many of us are riding bicycles more frequently in an effort to save on gas money. Bicycle riding is good exercise and it can be a fun activity to share with family and friends. Please take time to learn about and practice bicycle safety and to make certain that your children receive instruction so your family can have a safe and enjoyable riding experience. To avoid head injury all bicycle riders should be sure to wear a helmet when they go out riding.
            The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (DOT HS 808 763 reprinted 9/1998) provides the following Ten Smart Routes to Bicycle Safety:
            1. Protect Your Head. Wear A Helmet.  Never ride a bicycle without a helmet. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHSTA) and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recommend that bicyclists wear a helmet that complies with the CPSC standard. Bicycle helmets can reduce head injuries by 85 percent. Select a helmet that fits snugly and sits flat on the head.  For children, use the extra padding that comes with the helmet to ensure a proper fit. This padding can be removed as the child’s head grows.
            2. Assure Bicycle Readiness. Make Sure Your Bicycle is Adjusted Properly.  Make sure you can stand over the top tube of your bicycle. Adjust your bicycle to fit you (see Owner’s Manual). Before using your bicycle, check to make sure all parts are secure and working well. The handlebars should be firmly in place and turn easily. Your wheels must be straight and secure. Add a carrier to the back of your bicycle if you need to carry things.
            3. Stop It. Always Check Brakes Before Riding. Always control your speed by using your brakes. If your bicycle has hand brakes, apply the rear brake slightly before the front brake. Always keep your brakes adjusted. If you cannot stop quickly, adjust your brakes. Consult your Bicycle Owner’s Manual or have a bicycle shop adjust the brakes. When your hand brake levers are fully applied, they should not touch the handlebars. Each brake shoe pad should wear evenly and never be separated more than one eighth inch from the rim. Ride slowly in wet weather and apply your brakes earlier – it takes more distance to stop.
            4. See and Be Seen. Wear clothes that make you more visible. Always wear neon, florescent, or other bright colors when riding a bicycle.
            5. Avoid Biking At Night.  It is far more dangerous to bicycle at night than during the day. Most bicycles are equipped for daylight use and need to be adapted for nighttime use. If you must ride at night, you should do the following:
•Ride with reflectors that meet CPSC’s requirements. These should be permanently installed on bicycles for daytime use also. If a carrier is added, make sure the rear reflector remains visible.
•Add the brightest lights you can find to the front and rear of your bicycle.
•Wear retro-reflective clothing or material – not just white or florescent – especially on your ankles, wrists, back, and helmet.
•Only ride in areas familiar to you. Brightly lit streets are best. Always assume you are not seen by a driver.
•Young children should NOT ride at night.
            6. Stay Alert. Always Keep A Lookout for Obstacles in Your Path. Stay alert at all times. Watch out for potholes, cracks, expansion joints, railroad tracks, wet leaves, drainage grates, or anything that could make you fall. Before going around any object, scan ahead, and behind you for a gap in traffic. Plan your move, signal your intentions, and then do what you planned. If you are unsure, or lack the skill to handle an especially rough area, pull off to the right side of the road and walk your bicycle around the rough area. Be especially careful in wet weather and when there could be ice or frost on your path. Cross all railroad tracks at a 90 degree angle and proceed slowly. Use special care on bridges.
            7. Go With The Flow. The Safe Way is The RIGHT Way. Ride on the right side in a straight predictable path. Always go single file in the same direction as other vehicles. Riding against traffic puts you where motorists don’t expect you. They may not see you, and may pull across your path, or turn into you. Young children, typically under the age of nine, are not able to identify and adjust to many dangerous traffic situations, and therefore, should not be allowed to ride in the street unsupervised. Children who are permitted to ride in the street without supervision should have the necessary skills to safely follow the “rules of the road.”
            8. Check for Traffic. Always be Aware of The Traffic Around You. Over 70 percent of car-bicycle crashes occur at driveways or other intersections. Before you enter any street or intersection, check for traffic. Always look left-right-left, and walk your bicycle into the street to begin your ride. If already in the street, always look behind you for a break in traffic, then signal, before going left or right. Watch for left or right turning traffic.
            9. Learn Rules of The Road. Obey Traffic Laws.  Bicycles are considered vehicles. Bicyclists must obey the same rules as motorists. Read your State drivers’ handbook, and learn and follow all the traffic signs, laws, and rules for operating a vehicle on the road. Always signal your moves. Be courteous to pedestrians and other vehicle operators. Never wear headphones while riding as they impair your ability to hear traffic. Become familiar with the accommodations that are available for bicyclists in your area. These include bicycle lanes and routes as well as off road paths. Take advantage of these whenever possible.
            10. Don’t Flip Over Your Bicycle. Wheels Should Be Securely Fastened.  If your bicycle has quick release wheels, it is your responsibility to make sure they are firmly closed at all times and to use the safety retainer if there is one. Check your wheels before every ride, after any fall, or after transporting your bicycle. Read your Owner’s Manual for instructions and follow them. If you are even slightly confused about what “firmly closed” means, talk to your bicycle dealer before you ride your bicycle.

            The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission cautions us to remember to read our bicycle owner’s manual thoroughly before operating our bicycle and to consult our State Department of Motor Vehicles for more information on safety and rules of the road.

            In Loving Family we follow the Ten Smart Routes to Bicycle Safety provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the U.S. consumer Product Safety Commission. When riding a bicycle we always wear a helmet to protect our head; assure bicycle readiness by making sure our bicycle is adjusted properly; stop and check our brakes before riding; see and be seen; avoid biking at night; stay alert and always keep a  lookout for obstacles in our path; go with the flow--the safe way is the RIGHT way; always check for traffic; learn the rules of  the road and obey traffic laws; don’t flip over our bicycle and we make sure our wheels are securely fastened.
            When riding a bicycle, we observe all the "rules of the road" that apply to drivers, such as riding in the same direction as traffic, signaling when turning, and obeying traffic signs. We wear bright retro-reflective clothing or material, and we put rear and side reflectors and a front light on our bicycles. We keep bicycles in good repair, and we check brakes and tire pressure often. We look for an ANSI or Snell Memorial Foundation tag when shopping for a helmet and we make sure the helmet is approved by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). We purchase bicycles for our children only if they are old enough to keep a bike in good shape and there are safe places to ride a bike. We make certain our children get proper instruction in bicycle safety before being permitted to ride in traffic. We never permit our young children to ride a bicycle at night. When buying a child a bicycle, we avoid hand brakes that are too large for small hands, gear shifts mounted too far back, sissy bars protruding from behind the seat that makes dismounting difficult, and a small front wheel that makes the bike hard to steer. We equip our child's bicycle for maximum safety with headlight, taillight, warning bell, chain guard, and coaster brake. We do not allow children to ride a bicycle without wearing a helmet that complies with the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). If children are bicycle passengers, we make certain they ride in an appropriate child carrier. We allow older children to ride minibikes only if the bike is properly equipped and the rider is licensed. We make certain the rider of a minibike wears a helmet and goggles and avoids riding on loose gravel or on wet or slippery pavement.

            ♥ According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (Publication 93), more than 104,000 persons were treated in hospital emergency rooms in the year 2001, with skateboard related injuries. Sprains, fractures, contusions and abrasions were the most common types of injuries. Deaths due to collisions with cars and from falls also are reported. Several factors, including risky stunts and irregular riding surfaces like steps, ramps and railings, are often involved in these incidents. Most of the emergency room reported injuries were to adolescents and young adults.
            Before riding, skateboarders should screen the area where they will be riding by checking for holes, bumps, rocks and any debris. Areas set aside especially for skateboarding generally have smoother riding surfaces. Skateboarding in the street can result in collisions with cars causing serious injury and even death. Before using their boards, riders should check them for hazards, such as loose, broken, or cracked parts; sharp edges on metal boards; slippery top surface; and wheels with nicks and cracks. Serious defects should be corrected by a qualified repair technician. Protective gear, such as helmets, wrist-guards, and elbow and knee pads, is recommended because it can reduce the number and severity of injuries.

            The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission offers the following suggestions for safe skateboarding:
•Never ride in the street.
•Don't take chances:
•Complicated tricks require careful practice and a specially designed area
•Only one person per skateboard
•Never grab onto a car, bus, truck or bicycle.
•Learning how to fall helps reduce your chances of being seriously injured.
•If you are losing your balance, crouch down on the skateboard so that you will not have so far to fall.
•In a fall, try to land on the fleshy parts of your body.
•If you fall, try to roll rather than absorb the force with your arms.
•Even though it may be difficult, during a fall try to relax your body, rather than stiffen.
            ♥ In Loving Family, we instruct older children who skateboard of the following: not to skateboard on public streets or driveways that incline into the street; not to take chances; not to grab onto a car or any other moving vehicle; to use only skateboard parks or paved surfaces that are free of holes, bumps, cracks and debris; to wear tennis shoes or shoes with nonslip soles; to wear elbow pads, arm pads, knee pads, wrist-guards, and helmets; to emphasize control of the skateboard and not speed; to check the skateboard before use to be certain the skateboard is in good repair, that the skateboard is not broken or cracked, and that the wheels are not loose or damaged;  to ride only one person per skateboard; and we teach our skateboarders the correct way to fall to reduce their chances of being seriously injured.

            ♥"Then He got into one of the boats, which was Simon's, and asked him to put out a little from the land. And He sat down and taught the multitudes from the boat" (Luke 5:3, Holy Bible, NKJV, 1982).
            ♥We always check the weather forecast before going boating, and we stay ashore if poor weather conditions are indicated. We do not tow a water skier when we are alone because we cannot look ahead and watch the skier at the same time. We keep an approved fire extinguisher aboard in case of fire. We never sit on the bow of a small boat or allow children to set on the bow. We never overload the boat. We always make sure that each person aboard has and wears a life-jacket to protect against drowning in case of an accident. We make certain our children wear life preservers at all times when on the boat. We do not operate a boat unless we receive basic boating safety instruction and education and we never allow our children or adolescents to operate a boat unless they receive basic boating safety instruction and education. Since alcohol and drug use impair judgment, we never operate a boat while under the influence of alcohol or drugs to prevent accidents and death from occurring when operating a boat.

            B.M. Salerno, Rear Admiral, U.S. Coast Guard  (7/17/2006)  provides important information about the use of life-jackets to reduce the number of boating fatalities due to drowning. Coast Guard regulations require that each recreational boat be equipped with an appropriate life-jacket/personal flotation device (PFD) for each person on board. Many states have established laws or regulations further requiring that children, water-skiers, persons being towed behind a recreational vessel, and riders on personal watercraft wear appropriate life-jackets/PFD's. Coast Guard regulations passed in June 2002 require boaters to wear life-jackets/PFD's, specifically children under thirteen years of age. The proximate cause of death in over 70% of all boating accidents each year is drowning and approximately 85% of the drowning involve victims who were not wearing life-jackets/PFD's at the time of the drowning. The Coast Guard strongly encourages life-jacket/PFD wear at all times particularly those aboard a vessel less than 21 feet in length in order to increase their survival in a boating incident and unexpected entry into the water. Studies show that life-jacket/PFD wear by adults on open motorboats, rowboats, and canoes less than 21 feet in length is minimal and there is a need to increase the wear rate of life-jackets/PFD's among the boating public to reduce the number of boating fatalities due to drowning.
            B.M. Salerno, Rear Admiral, U.S. Coast Guard (7/17/2006)  also provides important information about the use of personal watercraft (PWC) in accidents involving children and adolescents when compared to other types of recreational vessels. There is an upward trend in the number of personal watercraft (PWC) in accidents involving children and adolescents when compared to other types of recreational vessels. While the overall number of PWC in accidents and resulting injuries have shown a remarkable downward trend since 1996, children and adolescents are injured with greater frequency riding PWC when compared to other types of recreational vessels. In one year, 112 children under the age of 12 were injured on PWC. Lack of experience and excessive speed caused 60% of the accidents when the operator was less than 12 years of age. Twenty percent of these operators were in violation of State laws and manufacturers' recommendations. Eighty percent of these operators did not have formal training. Most PWC accidents occur in the first 20 hours of operation. Current estimates show over 1.48 million PWC are in use with an annual rider-ship of over twenty million Americans. Currently the majority of the States and Territories have adopted laws specifically aimed at PWC operation and address one or more of the following: mandatory life-jacket wear, minimum operator age, prohibition of night operation, and prohibition of unsafe operation such as wake jumping within 100 feet of the vessel creating the wake, weaving through congested traffic, excessive speed, and operation too close to another vessel. The Coast Guard strongly advocates basic boating safety instruction and education, especially for children, before riding a PWC. Supervising adults should be aware of all manufacturers' recommendations and local laws concerning PWC use by children. The Coast Guard further recommends that rental businesses provide basic boating safety instruction and education on the safe and prudent operation of the PWC or require proof of prior eduction before renting to anyone, and require renters to wear a personal flotation device (life-jacket).
            B.M. Salerno, Rear Admiral, U.S. Coast Guard (7/17/2006) also provides important information about the use of alcohol in recreational boating. The Coast Guard believes that alcohol involvement in recreational boating accidents is under-reported and remains a significant factor in recreational boating accidents and deaths. Although fatalities have continued to show a downward trend, the number of fatal accidents reporting alcohol use as a primary contributing factor has remained constant at 16% of all fatalities. The Coast Guard published a final rule on 12/14/87 that established behavioral standards of intoxication, chemical standards of intoxication by blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .10% for recreational vessel operators, and an implied consent provision. On 5/11/01, the rule revising the Federal BAC standard for recreational vessel operators from .10 to .08% became effective. The rule-making also adopted any State BAC standard of intoxication that varied from the Federal BAC standard. In 1987 only 21 states defined "intoxication" or "under the influence" by BAC. Today all 56 State and Territorial jurisdictions have Boating Under The Influence (BUI) laws, and 33 have adopted a BAC standard for intoxicated operation at .08%. Section 46 U.S.C. 13101 encourages uniformity in boating safety efforts, which would foster better cooperation and reciprocity between Federal, State, and local enforcement agencies and help ensure uniform enforcement of laws across all bodies of water, regardless of jurisdiction.

            ♥"So David and his men came to the city, and there it was, burned with fire; and their wives, their sons, and their daughters had been taken captive" (1 Samuel 30:3, Holy Bible, NKJV,1982).
            ♥To protect children from disappearance and abuse, we have them fingerprinted, and we keep the cards readily available with pictures and descriptions updated every six months. We teach children their telephone number, area code, and address, we show children how to dial 9-1-1, and we tell them what to say. We supervise our children at all times, and we never let them go into a public restroom alone or leave them in the car alone. We do not put our child's name on hats, caps, jackets, bikes, wagons, etc., because our child will respond to a person using that name and not be fearful. We teach children to avoid strangers, and we do not leave children in the toy section of a store or wandering about a mall. We tell children to go to the cashier, security guard, or police if they should get lost or bothered in a store. We know our children's friends, and we are involved in our children's activities. We make it clear to our children whose home they may go to play or visit and whose home is off limits. We listen to our children if they do not want to be with someone, and we find out the reason why. We notice if someone pays undue attention to our children, and we talk with that person and find out the reason why. We maintain good communication with our children, and we let them know that if they are ever lost or kidnapped, we will look for them no matter how long it takes to find them. We organize safe houses in our neighborhood with signs in the windows, and we teach our children to go to a safe house in an emergency or if they are afraid.

            ♥"While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, winter and summer, and day and night shall not cease" (Genesis 8:22, Holy Bible, NKJV, 1982).
        ♥  Halloween has roots in the Celtic festival of Samhain, the Christian holy day of All Saints’ Day, and in the Christian holy day of All Souls’ Day. According to www.history.com, Halloween's origins date back to the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain (pronounced sow-in). The Celts, who lived 2,000 years ago in the area that is now Ireland, the United Kingdom, and northern France, celebrated their new year on November 1. This day marked the end of summer and the harvest and the beginning of the dark, cold winter, a time of year that was often associated with human death. Celts believed that on the night before the new year, the boundary between the worlds of the living and the dead became blurred. On the night of October 31, they celebrated Samhain, when it was believed that the ghosts of the dead returned to earth. In addition to causing trouble and damaging crops, Celts thought that the presence of the otherworldly spirits made it easier for the Druids, or Celtic priests, to make predictions about the future. For a people entirely dependent on the volatile natural world, these prophecies were an important source of comfort and direction during the long, dark winter. To commemorate the event, Druids built huge sacred bonfires, where the people gathered to burn crops and animals as sacrifices to the Celtic deities. During the celebration, the Celts wore costumes, typically consisting of animal heads and skins, and attempted to tell each others fortunes. When the celebration was over, they re-lit their hearth fires, which they had extinguished earlier that evening, from the sacred bonfire to help protect them during the coming winter.
            By A.D. 43, Romans had conquered the majority of Celtic territory. In the course of the four hundred years that they ruled the Celtic lands, two festivals of Roman origin were combined with the traditional Celtic celebration of Samhain. The first was Feralia, a day in late October when the Romans traditionally commemorated the passing of the dead. The second was a day to honor Pomona, the Roman goddess of fruit and trees. The symbol of Pomona is the apple and the incorporation of this celebration into Samhain probably explains the tradition of "bobbing" for apples that is practiced today on Halloween.
            By the 800s, the influence of Christianity had spread into Celtic lands. In the seventh century, Pope Boniface IV designated November 1 All Saints' Day, a time to honor saints and martyrs. It is widely believed today that the pope was attempting to replace the Celtic festival of the dead with a related, but church-sanctioned holiday. The celebration was also called All-hallows or All-hallowmas (from Middle English Alholowmesse meaning All Saints' Day) and the night before it, the night of Samhain, began to be called All-hallows Eve and, eventually, Halloween. Even later, in A.D. 1000, the church would make November 2 All Souls' Day, a day to honor the dead. It was celebrated similarly to Samhain, with big bonfires, parades, and dressing up in costumes as saints, angels, and devils. Together, the three celebrations, the eve of All Saints', All Saints', and All Souls', were called Hallowmas.

            The Consumer Product Safety Commission (Halloween Safety: Safety Alert CPSC Document #100) provides the following important information about Halloween safety to protect children who go trick-or-treating on Halloween:
            Treats: Warn children not to eat any treats before an adult has carefully examined them for evidence of tampering.
            Flame resistant Costumes: When purchasing a costume, masks, beards, and wigs, look for the label Flame resistant. Although this label does not mean these items won't catch fire, it does indicate the items will resist burning and should extinguish quickly once removed from the ignition source. To minimize the risk of contact with candles or other sources of ignition, avoid costumes made with flimsy materials and outfits with big, baggy sleeves or billowing skirts.
            Costume Designs: Purchase or make costumes that are light and bright enough to be clearly visible to motorists.
•For greater visibility during dusk and darkness, decorate or trim costumes with reflective tape that will glow in the beam of a car's headlights. Bags or sacks should also be light colored or decorated with reflective tape. Reflective tape is usually available in hardware, bicycle, and sporting goods stores.
•To easily see and be seen, children should also carry flashlights.
•Costumes should be short enough to prevent children from tripping and falling.
•Children should wear well-fitting, sturdy shoes . Mother' s high heels are not a good idea for safe walking.
•Hats and scarfs should be tied securely to prevent them from slipping over children's eyes.
•Apply a natural mask of cosmetics rather than have a child wear a loose-fitting mask that might restrict breathing or obscure vision. If a mask is used, however, make sure it fits securely and has eye-holes large enough to allow full vision.
•Swords, knives, and similar costume accessories should be of soft and flexible material.
            Pedestrian Safety: Young children should always be accompanied by an adult or an older, responsible child. All children should WALK, not run from house to house and use the sidewalk if available, rather than walk in the street. Children should be cautioned against running out from between parked cars, or across lawns and yards where ornaments, furniture, or clotheslines present dangers.
            Choosing Safe Houses: Children should go only to homes where the residents are known and have outside lights on as a sign of welcome. Children should not enter homes or apartments unless they are accompanied by an adult.
            People expecting trick-or-treaters should remove anything that could be an obstacle from lawns, steps and porches. Candlelit jack-o'-lanterns should be kept away from landings and doorsteps where costumes could brush against the flame. Indoor jack-o'-lanterns should be kept away from curtains, decorations, and other furnishings that could be ignited.

            ♥ Many churches offer children and teens a autumn harvest party with a Christian theme as an alternative activity to trick or treating. We seek out church based Christian alternatives to trick or treating whenever possible. If we allow our children to go trick or treating we are cautious so our children can have a safe trick or treating experience. During Halloween, we do not allow children to eat treats collected until we have checked the treats carefully. We accompany our children when they trick or treat. We do not allow our children to go into any stranger's home, and we avoid the homes of anyone known to be intolerant of children. We provide our children with flashlights, and we sew bright reflective tapes on their costumes to increase visibility and prevent accidental injury on roads or streets. We remind our children of basic safety rules when crossing streets. We provide our children with costumes that are fire-resistant and short enough to prevent tripping. We make certain our children's masks and facial disguises do not restrict their vision or breathing. We also offer to throw our children a fun party at home as an alternative to collecting treats.

            ♥ The Department of Health and Human Services, Centers For Disease Control And Prevention, National Center For Injury Prevention and Control, Division of Unintentional Injury Prevention (9/27/2008) provides the following facts about dog bites:
            Each year, more than 4.7 million Americans are bitten by dogs. Each year, 800,000 Americans seek medical attention for dog bites; half of these are children. Of those injured, 386,000 require treatment in an emergency department and about a dozen die. The rate of dog bite-related injuries is highest for children ages 5 to 9 years, and the rate decreases as children age. Almost two thirds of injuries among children ages four years and younger are to the head or neck region. Injury rates in children are significantly higher for boys than for girls.
            The CDC provides the following tips for preventing dog bites:
Preventing Dog Bites: Teach children basic safety around dogs and review regularly:
•Do not approach an unfamiliar dog.
•Do not run from a dog and scream.
•Remain motionless (e.g., "be still like a tree") when approached by an unfamiliar dog.
•If knocked over by a dog, roll into a ball and lie still (e.g., "be still like a log").
•Do not play with a dog unless supervised by an adult.
•Immediately report stray dogs or dogs displaying unusual behavior to an adult.
•Avoid direct eye contact with a dog.
•Do not disturb a dog who is sleeping, eating, or caring for puppies.
•Do not pet a dog without allowing it to see and sniff you first.
•If bitten, immediately report the bite to an adult.
            The U. S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Infectious Disease, provides the following information about dog-related  diseases:
            Dogs can pass germs to people. To best protect yourself from getting sick, thoroughly wash your hands with running water and soap after contact with dogs, dog saliva, or dog feces (stool). Dogs can carry a variety of germs that can make people sick. Some of these germs are common and some are rare. For example, puppies may pass the bacterium Campylobacter in their feces (stool). This germ can cause diarrhea in people. Puppies and some adult dogs often carry a variety of parasites that can cause rashes or illness in people.   Less often, dogs in urban or rural areas can carry the bacterium Leptospira (lep-TO-spy-ruh). This germ causes the disease leptospirosis (lep-to-spi-roh-sis) in people and animals. Dogs can also carry rabies, a deadly viral disease.
            Some people are more likely than others to get diseases from dogs. A person's age and health status may affect his or her immune system, increasing the chances of getting sick. People who are more likely to get diseases from dogs include infants, children younger than 5 years old, organ transplant patients, people with HIV/AIDS, and people being treated for cancer.
            Dog-related diseases are as follows:
•Brucella canis Infection (brucellosis): A bacterial disease rarely associated with dogs.
•Campylobacter Infection (campylobacteriosis): A bacterial disease associated with dogs, cats, and farm animals.
•Cryptosporidium Infection (cryptosporidiosis): A parasitic disease associated with dogs, especially puppies, cats, and farm animals.
•Dipylidium Infection (tapeworm): A parasitic disease associated with dogs, cats and fleas.
•Giardia Infection (giardiasis): A parasitic disease associated with various animals, including dogs and their environment (including water).
•Hookworm Infection: A parasitic disease associated with dogs and cats and their environment.
•Leishmania Infection (leishmaniasis): A parasitic disease associated with dogs and sand flies outside the United States.
•Leptospira Infection (leptospirosis): A bacterial disease associated with wild and domestic animals, including dogs.
•Lyme Disease: A bacterial disease that can affect dogs and ticks.
•Q Fever (Coxiella burnetii): A bacterial disease occasionally associated with dogs.
•Rabies: A viral disease associated with various animals, including dogs.
•Ringworm: A fungal disease associated with dogs.
•Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever: A bacterial disease associated with dogs and ticks.
•Roundworm: See Toxocara infection.
•Salmonella Infection (salmonellosis): A bacterial disease associated with various animals including dogs.
•Tapeworm (flea tapeworm): See Dipylidium Infection.
•Toxocara Infection (toxocariasis, roundworm): A parasitic disease associated with dogs and cats and their environment.
            ♥ For the prevention of dog bites, we teach our children not to abuse or tease dogs; not to pull a ball, stick, or other objects out of a dog's mouth; not to take food away from a dog or bother the dog while it is eating; not to interfere in a dog fight; and not to wake up a dog suddenly. We teach our children to avoid petting or touching strange dogs. We teach our children to remain still if approached by a strange dog or knocked over by a dog. We teach our children not to disturb a dog who is caring for puppies. We teach our children to avoid direct eye contact with a dog. We teach our children not to play with a dog unless supervised by an adult. We teach our children not to hide dog bites, but to report a bite to an adult as soon as possible, so the bite can be treated and the biting dog identified. To prevent illness, we teach our children to thoroughly wash their hands with running water and soap after contact with dogs, dog saliva, or dog feces (stool).
            We keep our dogs out of public buildings, stores and shops, business establishments, schools and colleges, and away from crowded outdoor events so people with allergies and asthma do not have to suffer illness or death and so people with fear of strange dogs do not have to become afraid or panicky. There are also many people who just don't like dogs for a myriad of reasons: dogs frequently bite, bark, jump, destroy property, smell bad, salivate, pant, carry germs, carry fleas or ticks, urinate and defecate, spray, bleed, sniff people in their private body parts, behave inappropriately towards people when they are in heat, eat their own feces and vomit, consume valuable resources that could be better used to help the poor, etc. Even if our dog is well groomed and well behaved strangers do not know that and the presence of our dog makes strangers uncomfortable.
            We advocate for federal laws that permit guide dogs to be inside public buildings to be repealed and for new federal, state, and local laws to be passed that will prohibit all dogs from being allowed inside public buildings, stores and shops, and business establishments, schools and colleges, etc. and for laws to be passed that will keep dogs away from public doorways and entrances into public places and the outside grounds of public buildings and establishments. Those of us who are blind can and do learn to use a human assistant, guide stick, or cane when we have to be inside a public building, a store, a shop, a business establishment, a school or a college rather than subjecting others to our  unwanted guide dogs.
            We keep our dogs leashed at all times when we take our dogs outside for a walk in public parks or forests, on public streets, and  public beaches. We run our dogs only on our own secure and highly fenced private property or public dog runs built specifically for dogs to run. We never allow our dogs to run loose on unfenced private roads or unfenced private property to protect visitors and public workers such as mail carriers. We don't assume that everyone else loves our pet dog just because we do. We take responsibility for our dog at all times not only to protect other people but to protect ourselves from unwanted legal action if our dog should harm another or someone's property and to protect our dog from people who feel they must protect themselves or their property by using pepper spray, stun guns, dog off, dog dazer, or other means and weapons against our family pet. We also keep our other furry pets and strange exotic pets out of public buildings and away from crowded public places.
            We advocate for stricter laws that will require dogs to be properly restrained and for current laws to be strictly enforced so we can fully enjoy the freedom of being out in the public sphere without fear of being harassed by a dog. It is time our families reclaimed the right to enjoy public beaches, parks, and all other public places instead of allowing dog owners and their dogs to control and monopolize the use of the public sphere. Those of us who choose to own a pet make sure the pet gets spaded. Many of us choose not to own a pet due to health and safety concerns and so we can make better use of our limited resources.
            ♥ "Yes, they are greedy dogs which never have enough" (Isaiah 56:11, Holy Bible, NKJV, 1982) . . .

Natural Disaster
            ♥ According to Ready America (Homeland Security, 2008), your family may not be together when disaster strikes, so it is important to plan in advance: how you will contact one another; how you will get back together; and what you will do in different situations. Ready America (Homeland Security, 2008) provides the following information about making a family emergency plan to use in case of a disaster:

Family Emergency Plan
•It may be easier to make a long-distance phone call than to call across town, so an out-of-town contact may be in a better position to communicate among separated family members.
•Be sure every member of your family knows the phone number and has coins or a prepaid phone card to call the emergency contact.
•You may have trouble getting through, or the telephone system may be down altogether, but be patient.
Emergency Information
            Find out what kinds of disasters, both natural and man-made, are most likely to occur in your area and how you will be notified. Methods of getting your attention vary from community to community. One common method is to broadcast via emergency radio and TV broadcasts. You might hear a special siren, or get a telephone call, or emergency workers may go door-to-door.

Emergency Plans
            You may also want to inquire about emergency plans at places where your family spends time: work, daycare and school. If no plans exist, consider volunteering to help create one. Talk to your neighbors about how you can work together in the event of an emergency. You will be better prepared to safely reunite your family and loved ones during an emergency if you think ahead and communicate with others in advance.

            Ready America (Homeland Security, 2008) states that when preparing for a possible emergency situation, it's best to think first about the basics of survival: fresh water, food, clean air and warmth. Ready America (Homeland Security, 2008) provides the following information on items that should be included in a basic emergency supply kit:
Recommended Items to Include in a Basic Emergency Supply Kit:
•Water, one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation
•Food, at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food
•Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert and extra batteries for both
•Flashlight and extra batteries
•First aid kit
•Whistle to signal for help
•Dust mask, to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place
•Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
•Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
•Can opener for food (if kit contains canned food)
•Local maps
Ready America (Homeland Security, 2008) also provides the following important information about assembling a First Aid kit that can be used during an emergency:
            In any emergency a family member or you yourself may be cut, burned or suffer other injuries. If you have these basic supplies you are better prepared to help your loved ones when they are hurt. Remember, many injuries are not life threatening and do not require immediate medical attention. Knowing how to treat minor injuries can make a difference in an emergency. Consider taking a first aid class, but simply having the following things can help you stop bleeding, prevent infection and assist in decontamination.

Things you should have:
•Two pairs of Latex, or other sterile gloves (if you are allergic to Latex).
•Sterile dressings to stop bleeding.
•Cleansing agent/soap and antibiotic towelettes to disinfect.
•Antibiotic ointment to prevent infection.
•Burn ointment to prevent infection.
•Adhesive bandages in a variety of sizes.
•Eye wash solution to flush the eyes or as general decontaminant.
•Prescription medications you take every day such as insulin, heart medicine and asthma inhalers. You should periodically rotate medicines to account for expiration dates.
•Prescribed medical supplies such as glucose and blood pressure monitoring equipment and supplies.
Things it may be good to have:
•Cell Phone
•Tube of petroleum jelly or other lubricant
Non-prescription drugs:
•Aspirin or non-aspirin pain reliever
•Anti-diarrhea medication
•Antacid (for upset stomach)
            ♥ "Thus says the Lord GOD: A disaster, a singular disaster; behold, it has come" (Ezekiel 7:5, Holy Bible, NKJV, 1982)!
            ♥ We cope with disaster from hurricane, flood, fire, hazardous materials spill, earthquake, tornado, and winter storm by preparing in advance and working together as a team. We  keep enough emergency supplies on hand that will meet our family's needs for at least three days. We assemble a disaster supplies kit with items that may be needed in an evacuation, and we store these supplies in sturdy, easy to carry backpacks or duffel bags. We include water; food; one change of clothing and footwear per person; one sleeping bag or blanket per person; a first aid kit; prescription medications; emergency tools; a battery-powered radio; a flashlight; plenty of extra batteries; an extra set of car keys; a credit card; cash or traveler's checks; sanitation supplies; extra pairs of glasses; and special items for infant, elderly, or disabled family members. We also include copies of important family documents in a waterproof container. We keep a smaller kit in the back of the car.
            We locate the main electric fuse box, water service main, and natural gas main. We learn how and when to turn these utilities off, and we teach all responsible family members how and when to turn these utilities off. We turn off the utilities only if we suspect the lines are damaged or we are instructed to do so. We evacuate immediately if told to do so, and we use travel routes specified by local authorities. If there is enough time, we post a note telling others when we left and where we are going, and we make arrangements for pets.
            We take a first aid and CPR class, so we know what to do if someone is injured during a disaster, accident, or other emergency. We keep a first aid manual in our home, car, and backpack during camping trips, so we can respond properly if someone gets injured and needs our help. We work with neighbors to plan how the neighborhood could work together after a disaster until help arrives. When preparing for a disaster, we find out what types of disasters could happen, and we create a disaster plan that includes two places for family members to meet and a family contact out of state. We post emergency numbers by the phone, and we teach children how and when to call 911. We practice and maintain our disaster plan.
          Practicing safety will not get us into heaven. We can only enter heaven by obeying Jesus' words. However, practicing safety may extend the length of our life on earth and protect us from unnecessary, earthly harm. While we do not worry incessantly about our family's safety, we do believe that God gave us a mind to reason with, so we use caution and common sense to prevent home accidents and other types of accidents.

            Jesus stated: "When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on His right hand, 'Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.' Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, 'Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?' And the King will answer and say to them, 'Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.' Then He will also say to those on the left hand, 'Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels: 'for I was hungry and you gave Me no food; I was thirsty and you gave Me no drink; I was a stranger and you did not take Me in, naked and you did not clothe Me, sick and in prison and you did not visit Me.' Then they also will answer Him, saying, 'Lord, when did we see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to You?' Then He will answer them, saying, 'Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.' And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life." (Matthew 25: 31-46; Holy Bible, NKJV, 1982).

            ♥ Many of us require human services help at one time or another. Most of the time when we need help we turn to our families, friends, neighbors, churches, and other social connections. Sometimes we need more help than our families, friends, neighbors, churches, and other social connections are able to provide, so we turn to federal, state, and local government agencies as well as to other community programs and voluntary agencies for help.
            Human services necessary for maintaining the well-being of our families include public education as a right of all citizens; health care and sanitation as essential preventive intervention; food and housing as a basic right; full employment as a primary social and economic goal; and some sort of financial and resource support for those who are impoverished.

Social Problems
            ♥Serious social problems we recognize and try to make right through private or public human service help includes poverty, inequality, and welfare system problems; emotional problems; domestic violence (spousal abuse, child abuse, etc.); crime;  educational system problems; work related problems; discrimination; and health care system problems.

Poverty, Inequality, and Welfare System Problems. 
            ♥ Poverty, inequality, and welfare system problems are serious social problems that we recognize in our country today. Studies (Unnatural Causes...is inequality making us sick?; PBS 2008) show that on the average, people at the top live longer, healthier lives. Those at the bottom are more dis-empowered, get sicker more often and die sooner. Chronic stress is one culprit. Racial inequality imposes an additional risk burden on people of color. Solutions being pursued focus not on more pills but on more equitable social policies.
            Since 1970 there has been a general long-term trend of growing inequality in the United States. Lane Kenworthy and Timothy Smeeding (GINI Growing Inequalities' Impacts, Country Report for the United States, 1/13) explain that in the 1970s the United States already had one of the most unequal (possibly the most unequal) income distributions among the world’s rich nations. In the ensuing decades it has become even more unequal, and the pace of growth of inequality has been faster than almost anywhere else. If we exclude the top 1 percent, income inequality rose rapidly in the 1980s and slowly in the 1990s and 2000s. If we include the top 1 percent, it rose rapidly in all three decades.
            Kenworthy and Smeeding state that the causes of America’s high level and rapid growth in income inequality since the 1970s are multiple: weak and weakening unions, stagnant educational attainment, a surge in globalization, an increase in competition in mainly domestic industries, skill-biased technological change, a shift in corporate governance toward emphasis on “shareholder value” and short-run profits, growing use of pay-for-performance, an increase in low-skilled immigration, a stall in the real value of the statutory minimum wage, deregulation (particularly in finance), growing use of stock options to reward CEOs coupled with a sharp run-up in stock values, the spread of winner-take-all markets in various industries, and reductions in effective tax rates for households at the top.

            The U.S. Census Bureau (9/13) provides the following data on poverty from the American Community Surveys:
•Nationally, between 2000 and 2012, the percentage of people living in poverty increased from from 12.2 percent to 15.9 percent, while the number of people in poverty increased from 33.3 million to 48.8 million.
•Both the number and percentage of people in poverty increased in 44 states between 2000 and 2012.
•The percentage of people in the United States with income below 50 percent of the poverty thresholds grew from from 5.0 percent in 2000 to 7 percent in 2012. Over this period, the percentage of people with income below 125 percent of the poverty thresholds grew from 16.5 percent to 20.8 percent.
•Among the largest 25 metropolitan areas, poverty rates in 2012 ranged from 8.4 percent to 19.0 percent.   
            Carmen DeNavas-Walt and Bernadette D. Proctor (9/14) provide highlights of data on poverty in the United States during 2013 from the 2014 Current Population Survey (CPS) Annual Social and Economic Supplement (ASEC) conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau:
•In 2013, the official poverty rate was 14.5 percent, down from 15.0 percent in 2012. This was the first decrease in the poverty rate since 2006.
•In 2013, there were 45.3 million people in poverty. For the third consecutive year, the number of people in poverty at the national level was not statistically different from the previous year’s estimate.
•The 2013 poverty rate was 2.0 percentage points higher than in 2007, the year before the most
recent recession.
•The poverty rate for children under 18 fell from 21.8 percent in 2012 to 19.9 percent in 2013.
•The poverty rate for people aged 18 to 64 was 13.6 percent, while the rate for people aged 65 and older was 9.5 percent. Neither of these poverty rates was statistically different from its 2012 estimates.
•Both the poverty rate and the number in poverty decreased for Hispanics in 2013.
•Despite the decline in the national poverty rate, the 2013 regional poverty rates were not statistically different from the 2012 rates.
            Carmen DeNavas-Walt and Bernadette D. Proctor (9/14) also provide highlights of data on income in the United States during 2013 from the 2014 Current Population Survey (CPS) Annual Social and Economic Supplement (ASEC) conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau:
•Median household income was $51,939 in 2013, not statistically different in real terms from the
2012 median of $51,759. This is the second consecutive year that the annual change was not statistically significant, following two consecutive years of annual declines in median household income.
•In 2013, real median household income was 8.0 percent lower than in 2007, the year before the most recent recession.
•Changes in real median incomes between 2012 and 2013 for family and nonfamily households were not statistically significant.
•The real median income of Hispanic households increased by 3.5 percent between 2012 and 2013. For non-Hispanic White, Black, and Asian households the 2012-2013 changes in real median household income were not statistically significant.
•The real median income of households maintained by a non-citizen increased by 6.0 percent between 2012 and 2013. The median incomes of households maintained by a native-born or foreign-born naturalized citizen in 2013 were not statistically different from their respective 2012 incomes.
•For the Northeast, Midwest, South, and West, the 2012-2013 changes in real median household
income were not statistically significant.
•The number of men and women working full time, year round with earnings increased by 1.8 million and 1.0 million, respectively, between 2012 and 2013.
•The changes in the real median earnings of men and women who worked full time, year round between 2012 and 2013 were not statistically significant.
•The 2013 female-to-male earnings ratio was 0.78, not statistically different from the 2012 ratio.
            Black/African Americans. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health (6/13/14)  provides the following information on Black/African Americans:
•Overview (Demographics): In July 2012, 43.1 million people in the United States were Black; alone or in combination. African Americans are the second largest minority population, following the Hispanic/Latino population. In 2012, most Blacks lived in the South (55 percent of the Black U.S. population), while 36 percent of the white population lived in the South. The ten states with the largest Black population in 2012 were Florida, Texas, New York, Georgia, California, North Carolina, Illinois, Maryland, Virginia, Ohio. Combined, these 10 states represent 58% of the total Black population. Of the 10 largest places in the United States with 100,000 or more population, Detroit, Michigan had the largest proportion of Blacks (84%), followed by Jackson, Mississippi (80%).
•Educational Attainment: In 2012, as compared to Non-Hispanic Whites 25 years and over, a lower percentage of Non-Hispanic Blacks had earned at least a high school diploma (83 percent and 92 percent, respectively). More Black women than Black men had earned at least a bachelor's degree (20.7 percent compared with 16.4 percent), while among non-Hispanic Whites, a higher proportion of men than women had earned at least a bachelor's degree (33 percent and 32 percent, respectively).
•Economics: According to a 2012 Census Bureau report, the average African-American household median income was $33,762 in comparison to $56,565 for non-Hispanic White households. In 2012, the U.S. Census bureau reported that 28.1 percent of African-Americans in comparison to 11.0 percent of non-Hispanic Whites were living at the poverty level. For 2012, the unemployment rate for Blacks was twice that for non-Hispanic Whites (10.3 percent and 4.8 percent, respectively). This finding was consistent for both men and women.
•Insurance Coverage: In 2012, 50.4 percent of African-Americans in comparison to 74.4 percent of non-Hispanic Whites used private health insurance. Also in 2012, 40.6 percent of African-Americans in comparison to 29.3 percent of non-Hispanic Whites relied on Medicaid, public health insurance. Finally, 17.2 percent of African-Americans in comparison to 10.4 percent of non-Hispanic whites were uninsured.
•Health Conditions: The death rate for African Americans was generally higher than Whites for heart diseases, stroke, cancer, asthma, influenza and pneumonia, diabetes, HIV/AIDS, and homicide.
            American Indian/Alaska Native. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health (9/3/14)  provides the following information on American Indians and Alaska Natives:
•Overview (Demographics): This racial group includes people having origins in any of the original peoples of North, South America, and Central America, who maintain tribal affiliation or community attachment. As of 2012, there were an estimated 5.2 million people who were classified as American Indian and Alaska Native alone or American Indian and Alaska Native in combination with one or more other races. This racial group comprises 2 percent of the total U.S. population. 22 percent of American Indians and Alaska Natives live on reservations or other trust lands. 60 percent of American Indians and Alaska Natives live in metropolitan areas; this is the lowest metropolitan percentage of any racial group. 1.5 million American Indian and Alaska Natives are under the age of 18, which comprises 30 percent of this racial group. The 2010 Census reveals that 78 percent of the AI/AN live outside of tribal statistical areas. Currently, there are 566 federally recognized (AI/AN) tribes, and more than 100 state recognized tribes. There are also tribes that are not state or federally recognized. Federally recognized tribes are provided health and educational assistance through a government agency called Indian Health Service (IHS), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The IHS operates a comprehensive health service delivery system for approximately 2 million American Indians and Alaska Natives. Typically, this urban clientele has less accessibility to hospitals; health clinics or contract health services implanted by the IHS and tribal health programs. Studies on the urban American Indian and Alaska Native population have documented a frequency of poor health and limited health care options for this group. Since 1972, IHS has embarked upon a series of initiatives to fund health-related activities in off-reservation settings, which will make health care services accessible to urban American Indians and Alaska Natives. Currently, the IHS funds 33 urban Indian health organizations, which operate at sites located in cites throughout the United States. Approximately 600,000 American Indians and Alaska Natives are eligible to utilize this program. The thirty-three programs administer: medical services, dental services, community services, alcohol and drug abuse prevention, education and treatment, AIDS and sexually transmitted disease education and prevention services, mental health services, nutrition education and counseling services, pharmacy services, health education, optometry services, social services, and home health care.
•Language Fluency: In 2012, 20 percent of American Indians/Alaska Natives spoke a language other than English at home.
•Educational Attainment: In 2012, 82 percent of American Indians and Alaska Natives alone, age 25 and over have at least a high school diploma, as compared to 92 percent of non-Hispanic Whites. 17 percent of American Indians and Alaska Natives age 25 and over have at least a bachelor's degree, in comparison to 33 percent of non-Hispanic Whites. 6 percent of American Indians and Alaska Natives have at least an advanced graduate degree (ie., master's, Ph.D., medical, or law), as compared to 12 percent of the non-Hispanic White population.
•Economics: The median household income for American Indian and Alaska Natives is $37,353, as compared to $56,565 for non-Hispanic Whites. 29 percent of American Indians and Alaska Natives age 16 and over work in management and professional occupations, in comparison to 40 percent of Whites. Also, 26 percent of this racial group live at the poverty level, as compared to 11.0 percent of non-Hispanic Whites, in 2012.
•Insurance Coverage: In 2012, 47.5 percent of American Indians and Alaska Natives had private health insurance coverage. 38.1 percent of AI/ANs relied on Medicaid coverage, and 22.6 percent of AI/ANs had no health insurance coverage.
•Health: It is significant to note that American Indians/Alaska Natives frequently contend with issues that prevent them from receiving quality medical care. These issues include cultural barriers, geographic isolation, inadequate sewage disposal, and low income. Some of the leading diseases and causes of death among AI/AN are heart disease, cancer, unintentional injuries (accidents), diabetes, and stroke. American Indians/Alaska Natives also have a high prevalence and risk factors for mental health and suicide, obesity, substance abuse, sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), teenage pregnancy, liver disease, and hepatitis.
•Other Health Concerns: American Indians and Alaska Natives have an infant death rate 60 percent higher than the rate for Caucasians. AI/ANs are twice as likely to have diabetes as Caucasians. An example is the Pima of Arizona, who have one of the highest diabetes rates in the world. AI/ANs also have disproportionately high death rates from unintentional injuries and suicide. In 2012, the tuberculosis rate for AI/NAs was 6.3, as compared to 0.8 for the White population.
            According to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights in 2003:
•The poverty rate for American Indians living on reservations (31.2%) is nearly three times the national rate.
•On some reservations unemployment levels have reached 85%.  Overall, the unemployment rate on reservations is over two times the national average.
•Over 22% of American Indians do not have enough food to meet their basic needs.
•One in five homes on reservations lack complete plumbing facilities and less than 50% are connected to the public sewer system.  This has lead to the creation of numerous health and environmental hazards.
•Sixteen percent of reservation households have no telephone phone service.
•Only 33% of roads in Indian Country are paved and 72% are officially rated as poor.
•It is estimated that 1.1 billion dollars is needed to adequately address housing inadequacies on American Indian reservations.
•Over 90,000 American Indian families are homeless or under-housed. Homelessness on reservations is becoming increasingly more visible as families are living in cars, tents, abandoned buildings or storage sheds.
•Over 30% of American Indian families live in overcrowded housing and 18 percent are severely overcrowded with 25-30 individuals sharing a single home.  These rates are over six times the national average.
•Approximately 40% of housing on reservations is inadequate according to the federal definition, compared to only 6% nationwide.
•American Indians have the highest rate of home loan denial of any race in the United States; nearly 25%.
            According to the U.S. Commission of Civil Rights in 2004, American Indians are:
•770% more likely to die from alcoholism.
•530% more likely to die from Tuberculosis.
•420% more likely to die from Diabetes.
•280% more likely to die from accidents.
•190% more likely to die from suicide.
•52% more likely to die from Pneumonia and Influenza.
•A life expectancy a full five years under any other ethnicity in the United States.
•Per capita funding for healthcare at 60% less than all other Americans and 50% less than federal prisoners.
•The highest prevalence of Type 2 diabetes in the world. Treating diabetes for only those Native Americans who are currently diagnosed with diabetes would amount to $1.46 billion per year, or 40% of the total budget for Native Americans health care.
            According to the 2003 National Adult Literacy Survey:
•32% of American Indian adults failed to attain basic reading levels, compared to only 13% of White adults.
            Asian Americans. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health (6/13/14)  provides the following information on Asian Americans:
•Overview (Demographics): This racial group is defined as people having origins in any of the original peoples of the Far East, Southeast Asia, or the Indian subcontinent. According to the 2012 Census Bureau population estimate, there are 15.5 million Asian Americans, alone, living in the United States. Asian Americans account for 5.0 percent of the nation's population. In 2012, the following states had the largest Asian-American populations: California, New York, Hawaii, Texas, New Jersey and Illinois.
•Language Fluency: The percentage of persons 5 years or older who "do not speak English very well" varies among Asian American groups: 52 percent of Vietnamese, 46 percent of Chinese, 22 percent of Filipinos and 21 percent of Asian Indians are not fluent in English. In 2012, 76.5 percent of Asian American spoke a language other than English at home.
•Educational Attainment: According to the 2012 U.S. Census data, roughly 85.7 percent of both all Asians and all people in the United States 25 and older had at least a high school diploma. However, 50.5 percent of Asian Americans in comparison to 32.5 percent of the total non-Hispanic White population had earned at least a bachelor's degree. Among Asian subgroups, Taiwanese had the highest percentage of bachelor's degree attainment at 77 percent. In regards to employment, about 49 percent of Asian Americans were employed in management, professional and related occupations, compared with 40 percent of the white population. In addition, the proportions employed in high-skilled and managerial sectors varied from 21 percent for Laotians to 68 percent for Asian Indians.
•Economics: According to 2012 Census data, the median household income of Asian Americans is $70,644, or $14,059 higher than the national median income for non-Hispanic Whites. Yet 13 percent of Asian Americans as compared to 11 percent of non-Hispanic Whites, live at the poverty level. Economic status varies widely among Asian populations in the United States, with the poverty rate for Asian Indians at 8 percent, as compared to 27 percent for the Hmong in 2012.
•Insurance Coverage: In 2012, insurance coverage among Asian American subgroups varied. Private insurance coverage rates: 57 percent for Vietnamese, 76 percent for Filipino, 69 percent for Chinese, 47 percent for Hmong, and 69 percent for all Asian groups. Public insurance coverage rates : 28 percent for Vietnamese, 20 percent for Filipino, 22 percent for Chinese, 42 percent for Hmong, and 22 percent for all Asian groups. Asian subgroups also varied within uninsured status: 20 percent for Vietnamese, 12 percent for Filipino, 14 percent for Chinese and 15 percent for all Asian groups. In 2012, the overall private insurance coverage for Asian Americans was 68.8 percent, as compared to 74.4 percent for the non-Hispanic White population. 15 percent of Asian Americans were uninsured, as compared to 10.4 percent non-Hispanic White Americans.
•Health: It is significant to note that Asian American women have the highest life expectancy (85.8 years) of any other ethnic group in the U.S. Life expectancy varies among Asian subgroups: Filipino (81.5 years), Japanese (84.5 years), and Chinese women (86.1 years). However, Asian Americans contend with numerous factors which may threaten their health. Some negative factors are infrequent medical visits due to the fear of deportation, language/cultural barriers, and the lack of health insurance. Asian Americans are most at risk for the following health conditions: cancer, heart disease, stroke, unintentional injuries (accidents), and diabetes. Asian Americans also have a high prevalence of the following conditions and risk factors: chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, hepatitis B, HIV/AIDS, smoking, tuberculosis, and liver disease.
•Other Health Concerns: In 2012, tuberculosis was 24 times more common among Asians, with a case rate of 18.9 as compared to 0.8 for the non-Hispanic White population.
            Hispanic/Latino Americans. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health (9/11/14)  provides the following information on Hispanics and Latinos:
•Overview (Demographics): This ethnic group includes any person of Cuban, Mexican, Puerto Rican, South or Central American, or other Spanish culture or origin, regardless of race. According to the 2012 U.S. Census Bureau population estimate, there are almost 53 million Hispanics living in the United States. This group represents 16.9 percent of the U.S. total population. In 2012, among Hispanic subgroups, Mexicans rank as the largest at 64.3 percent. Following Mexicans are: Puerto Ricans (9.4 percent), Central Americans (9.0 percent), South Americans (5.9 percent), and Cubans (3.7 percent). In 2011, States with the largest Hispanic populations are California (14.5 million), Texas (10 million), Florida (4.5 million), New York (3.5 million), and Illinois (2.1 million). Another significant point is that in 2012, 33.2 percent of Hispanics were under the age 18 in comparison to 19.7 percent of non-Hispanic Whites.
•Language Fluency: Language fluency varies among Hispanic subgroups who reside within the mainland United States. Census 2012 data shows that 74 percent of Hispanics speak a language other than English at home: 74% of Mexicans, 62% of Puerto Ricans, 80% of Cubans, 88% of Central Americans. 33 percent of Hispanics state that they are not fluent in English.
•Educational Attainment: According to a 2012 U.S. Census Bureau report, 64 percent of Hispanics in comparison to 92 percent non-Hispanic Whites have a high school diploma. 13.8 percent of Hispanics in comparison to 32.5 percent of non-Hispanic whites have a bachelor's degree or higher.
•Economics: According to a 2012 U.S. Census Bureau report, 26.6 percent of Hispanics, in comparison to 15.2 percent non-Hispanic Whites, work within service occupations. 19.5 percent of Hispanics in comparison to 40.3 percent of Whites work in managerial or professional occupations. Among full-time year-round workers in 2012, the average Hispanic/Latino median household income was $40,417 in comparison to $56,565 for non-Hispanic Whites. In 2012, the U.S. Census bureau reported that 25.4 percent of Hispanics in comparison to 11 percent of non-Hispanic Whites were living at the poverty level.
•Insurance Coverage: It is significant to note that Hispanics have the highest uninsured rates of any racial or ethnic group within the United States. In 2012 the Census Bureau reported that private insurance coverage among Hispanic subgroups varied as follows: 38.8 percent of Mexicans, 49.6 percent of Puerto Ricans, 48.4 percent of Cubans, 35.9 percent of Central Americans. Public health coverage varied among Hispanic subgroups: 33.2 percent of Mexicans, 42.7 percent of Puerto Ricans, 32.7 of Cubans, and 27.8 percent of Central Americans. Those without health insurance coverage varied among Hispanic subgroups: 31.6 percent of Mexicans, 14.1 percent of Puerto Ricans, 23.8 percent of Cubans and 38.8 percent of Central Americans. In 2012, 29 percent of the Hispanic population was not covered by health insurance, as compared to 10.4 percent of the non-Hispanic White population.
•Health: Hispanic health is often shaped by factors such as language/cultural barriers, lack of access to preventive care, and the lack of health insurance. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has cited some of the leading causes of illness and death among Hispanics, which include heart disease, cancer, unintentional injuries (accidents), stroke, and diabetes. Some other health conditions and risk factors that significantly affect Hispanics are: asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, HIV/AIDS, obesity, suicide, and liver disease.
•Other Health Concerns: Hispanics have higher rates of obesity than non-Hispanic Whites. There are also disparities among Hispanic subgroups. For instance, while the rate of low birth weight infants is lower for the total Hispanic population in comparison to non-Hispanic Whites, Puerto Ricans have a low birth weight rate that is twice that of non-Hispanic Whites. Also Puerto Ricans also suffer disproportionately from asthma, HIVAIDS and infant mortality. Mexican-Americans suffer disproportionately from diabetes.
            Native Hawaiians/Pacific Islanders.  The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health (6/16/14)  provides the following information on Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders:
•Overview (Demographics): This racial group refers to people having origins in any of the original peoples of Hawaii, Guam, Samoa or other Pacific Islands. According to the 2012 U.S. Census Bureau estimate, there are roughly 1.2 million Native Hawaiians/Pacific Islanders alone or in combination with one of more races who reside within the United States. This group represents about 0.5 percent of the U.S. population. Out of that number, about 363,000 Native Hawaiians or Pacific Islanders reside in Hawaii. Some other states that have a significant Native Hawaiian/Pacific islander population are: California, Oregon, Washington, Texas, Nevada, Florida, and Utah. It is also significant to note that 34 percent of this group is under the age of 18. Most recent data from the 2010 Census show overall populations for the following U.S. Territories: American Samoa 55,519; Guam 159,358; Northern Mariana Islands 53,883. United Nations estimates for other territories in 2010 are: Federated States of Micronesia 111,000; Marshall Islands 54,000; Republic of Palau 20,000.
•Educational Attainment: In 2012, 87.4 percent of Native Hawaiians/Pacific Islanders, alone or in combination, have high school diplomas or higher, as compared to 91.5 percent for Whites. 20.7 percent of Native Hawaiians/Pacific Islanders have a bachelor's degree or higher in comparison to 32.5 percent of Whites. 6 percent of Native Hawaiians/Pacific Islanders have obtained graduate degrees in comparison to 12 percent of Whites. 32 percent of Native Hawaiians/Pacific Islanders speak a language other than English at home.
•Economics: According to the 2012 Census Bureau, the average Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander hosuehold median income was $52,865 in comparison to $56,565 for non-Hispanic White households. In 2012, the U.S. Census bureau reported that 19 percent of Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islanders, in comparison to 11 percent of non-Hispanic Whites were living at the poverty level.
•Insurance Coverage: In 2012, 62.2 percent of Native Hawaiians/Pacific Islanders in comparison to 74.4 non-Hispanic Whites used private health insurance. Also in 2012, 30.5 percent of Native Hawaiians/Pacific Islanders in comparison to 29.3 percent of non-Hispanic Whites relied on public health insurance. Finally, 14.1 percent of Native Hawaiians/Pacific Islanders, in comparison to 10.4 percent of non-Hispanic Whites, were uninsured.
•Health: It is significant to note that in comparison to other ethnic groups, Native Hawaiians/ Pacific Islanders have higher rates of smoking, alcohol consumption, and obesity. This group also has little access to cancer prevention and control programs. Some leading causes of death among Native Hawaiians/Pacific Islanders include: cancer, heart disease, unintentional injuries (accidents), stroke and diabetes. Some other health conditions and risk factors that are prevalent among Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders are hepatitis B, HIV/AIDS, and tuberculosis.
•Other Health Concerns: From the most part recent national data, the infant mortality rate (deaths per 1,000 live births) for Native Hawaiians in 2002 was 9.6, higher than the rate for all Asian-American/Pacific Islander groups combined (4.8) and for all population (7.0).The tuberculosis rate (cases per 100,000) in 2012 was 15 times higher for Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islanders, with a case rate of 12.3, as compared to 0.8 for the White population.
            White Americans. Wikipedia (2/9/14) provides the following demographic information on White Americans from the United States Census 2010:
•Whites (non-Hispanic and Hispanic) made up 79.8% or 75% of the American population in 2008.This latter number is sometimes recorded as 77.1% when it includes about 2% of the population who are identified as white in combination with one or more other races. The largest ethnic groups (by ancestry) among white Americans were Germans, followed by the Irish and the English. It is likely that many Americans who are descended of English, Scotch-Irish, or Scottish peoples, or perhaps even more commonly a combination of these and of these and other ethnic groups, simply identify as "American" in the census, and that Americans of English descent are far greater in number than those of German descent. In the 1980 census 49,598,035 Americans cited that they were of English ancestry, making them 26% of the country and the largest group at the time, and in fact larger than the population of England itself. Slightly more than half of these people would cite that they were of "American" ancestry on subsequent censuses and virtually everywhere that "American" ancestry predominates on the 2000 census corresponds to places where "English" predominated on the 1980 census.
•White Americans are projected to remain the majority, though with their percentage decreasing to 72% of the total population by 2050. However, the projections are that the non-Hispanic White population will become less than 50% of the population by 2042, in part because Non-Hispanic Whites have the third lowest fertility rate of any major racial group in the United States and largely due to mass-immigration and because of large scale intermarriage with Hispanic whites which ensures that children both of inter-ethnic marriages are also Hispanic whites.
•While over ten million white people can trace part of their ancestry back to the Pilgrims who arrived on the Mayflower in 1620 (this common statistic overlooks the Jamestown, Virginia foundations of America and roots of even earlier colonist-descended Americans, such as Spanish Americans in St. Augustine, Florida), over 35 million whites have at least one ancestor who passed through the Ellis Island immigration station, which processed arriving immigrants from 1892 until 1954.
            Wikipedia (2/9/14) also provides the following information on income and educational attainment for whites:
•White Americans have the second highest median household income and personal income levels in the nation, by cultural background. The median income per household member was also the highest, since White Americans had the smallest households of any racial demographic in the nation. In 2006, the median individual income of a White American age 25 or older was $33,030, with those who were full-time employed, and of age 25 to 64, earning $34,432. Since 42% of all households had two income earners, the median household income was considerably higher than the median personal income, which was $48,554 in 2005. Jewish Americans rank first in household income, personal income, and educational attainment among white Americans. In 2005, white households had a median household income of $48,977, which is 10.3% above the national median of $44,389. Among Cuban Americans, with 86% classifying as White, those persons born in the US have a higher median income and educational attainment level than most other whites.
•The poverty rates for White Americans are the second-lowest of any racial group, with 10.8% of white individuals living below the poverty line, 3% lower than the national average. However, due to Whites' majority status, 48% of Americans living in poverty are white.
•Whites' educational attainment is the second-highest in the country, after Asian Americans'. Overall, nearly one-third of White Americans had a Bachelor's degree, with the educational attainment for whites being higher for those born outside the United States: 37.6% of foreign born, and 29.7% of native born Whites had a college degree. Both figures are above the national average of 27.2%.
•Gender income inequality was the greatest among whites, with White men out-earning white women by 48%. Census Bureau data for 2005 reveals that the median income of white females was lower than that of males of all races. In 2005, the median income for White females was only slightly higher than that of African American females.
            ♥ Being Poor. When we are poor, we don't have enough food to eat, and we are hungry. When we are poor, we are charged higher prices at our slum neighborhood grocery stores. When we are poor, we are weak and unable to resist disease, and we have trouble concentrating in school or on a job. When we are poor, we suffer from homelessness, or we live in substandard housing. When we are poor, we are forced to live on the street or in expensive run-down rooms, motels, apartments, or trailers with broken windows, rotting floors, and holes in walls, and we are exposed to rats, cockroaches, and other vermin. When we are poor, we are cold in the winter because we either live outside or our homes do not have sufficient heat. When we are poor, our homes do not have sufficient lighting, so it is difficult for us to complete paperwork, read, or study. When we are poor, we do not have hot water, so it is difficult for us to stay clean.           
            When we are poor, we have clothes that are old and ragged, and others judge us unmercifully by our appearance. When we are poor, we are greatly susceptible to emotional upsets, alcoholism, and victimization by criminals. When we are poor, we have few opportunities to advance socially, economically, or educationally, and we have unstable marriages. When we are poor, we have a shorter life expectancy, and we never get the chance to experience the good things life offers to others.           
            When we are poor, we have less access to good medical services, and we receive lower quality health care. When we are poor, our homes and schools are located in industrial areas, and we are exposed to higher levels of air pollution, water pollution, and unsanitary conditions.           
            When we are poor, our schools are of lower quality due to underfunding, so teachers are run of the mill; as a result, we achieve less academically, and we are unlikely to graduate and go on to college. When we are poor, we are unable to get good paying jobs, and we are more apt to be arrested, indicted, imprisoned, and given longer sentences.
            Poverty leads us to suffering, despair, desperation, low self-esteem, and stunting of our physical, social, emotional, and intellectual growth. When we are poor, we feel inferior and helpless because others treat us like second class citizens.    

            ♥Programs To Combat Poverty. In Loving Family, we do not let pride, fear, or embarrassment stop us from accessing church programs, government programs, and other programs that have been set up to combat our poverty. Some of the programs that may be helpful to combat poverty are as follows:

            ♥The Public Library. Public Libraries in the United States Survey: Fiscal Year 2011 (6/14) provides the following data about public libraries: In fiscal year 2011 (FY 2011), there were 8,956 public libraries in the United States, more public libraries than there are in any other country in the world. Public libraries provided access to information and resources through 17,110 branches and bookmobiles. Collectively, they served most Americans, with 299.9 million people living within a library service area, or 95.3 percent of the US population . This translates to approximately 3.0 public libraries and 5.7 outlets for every 100,000 people.
            Public libraries are found in almost every community across the country. Almost half of the public libraries in the United States (46.8 percent) are located in rural areas. In FY 2011, there were 483 public libraries in cities, 2,058 in suburban areas, 2,225 in towns, and 4,190 in rural areas. Most public libraries (76.6 percent) served a population area of fewer than 25,000.  Only 6.1 percent of libraries had a service area of 100,000 people or more. When planning your next cross country trip of the United States, don't forget to include public libraries in your itinerary.
            Wikipedia ( 9/4/14)  provides the following information about public libraries and characteristics of public libraries: A public library is a library that is accessible by the general public and is generally funded from public sources, such as taxes. It is operated by librarians and library paraprofessionals, who are also civil servants. In the United States there are a fair number of public libraries that are 501(c)(3) organizations, not tax-supported and whose employees are not civil servants.
            There are five fundamental characteristics shared by public libraries. The first is that they are generally supported by taxes (usually local, though any level of government can and may contribute); they are governed by a board to serve the public interest; they are open to all, and every community member can access the collection; they are entirely voluntary in that no one is ever forced to use the services provided; and public libraries provide basic services without charge.
            Public libraries exist in many countries across the world and are often considered an essential part of having an educated and literate population. Public libraries are distinct from research libraries, school libraries, and other special libraries in that their mandate is to serve the general public's information needs (rather than the needs of a particular school, institution, or research population). Public libraries also provide free services such as preschool story times to encourage early literacy, quiet study and work areas for students and professionals, or book clubs to encourage appreciation of literature in adults. Public libraries typically allow users to take books and other materials off the premises temporarily; they also have non-circulating reference collections and provide computer and Internet access to patrons.
            Wikipedia (9/4/14) indicates that services provided by public libraries include book borrowing and lending, computer and internet access, classroom and meeting space, research assistance, reference collections, and many other services.
            BOOK BORROWING AND LENDING. The main task of public libraries is to provide the public with access to books and periodicals. Wikipedia states that the American Library Association (ALA), addresses this role of libraries as part of "access to information"and "equity of access"; part of the profession's ethical commitment that "no one should be denied information because he or she cannot afford the cost of a book or periodical, or access to the internet or information in any of its various formats."
            Libraries typically offer access to thousands, tens of thousands, or even millions of books, the majority of which are available for borrowing by anyone with the appropriate library card. A library's selection of books is called its collection, and usually includes a range of popular fiction, classics, nonfiction and reference works, books of public interest or under public discussion, and subscriptions to popular newspapers and magazines. Most libraries offer quiet space for reading, known as reading rooms. Borrowers may also take books home, as long as they return them at a certain time and in good condition. If a borrowed book is returned late, the library may charge a small library fine, though some libraries have eliminated fines in recent years. About two-thirds of libraries now provide access to e-books and digital or digitized periodicals as well as printed books.
            Public libraries also provide books and other materials for children. These items are often housed in a special section known as a children's library and attended to by a specialized children's librarian. Child oriented websites with on-line educational games and programs specifically designed for younger library users are becoming increasingly popular. Services may be provided for other groups, such as large print or Braille materials, Books on tape, young adult literature and other materials for teenagers, or materials in other than the national language (in foreign languages).
            Libraries also lend books to each other, a practice known as interlibrary loan. Interlibrary loan allows libraries to provide patrons access to the collections of other libraries, especially rare, infrequently used, specialized and/or out-of-print books.
            The selection, purchase and cataloging of books for a collection; the care, repair, and weeding of books; the organization of books in the library; readers' advisory; and the management of membership, borrowing and lending are typical tasks for a public librarian, an information professional with graduate-level education or experience in library and information science.
            COMPUTER AND INTERNET ACCESS.  Part of the Public Library mission has become attempting to help bridge the digital divide. As more books, information resources, and government services are being provided online (see e-commerce and e-government), public libraries increasingly provide access to the Internet and public computers for users who otherwise would not be able to connect to these services. Almost all public libraries now house a computer lab. Internationally, public libraries offer information and communication technology (ICT) services, giving "access to information and knowledge" the "highest priority."While different countries and areas of the world have their own requirements, general services offered include free connection to the Internet, training in using the Internet, and relevant content in appropriate languages. In addition to typical public library financing, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and business fund services that assist public libraries in combating the digital divide.
            In addition to access, many public libraries offer training and support to computer users. Once access has been achieved, there remains a large gap in people's online abilities and skills. For many communities, the public library is the only agency offering free computer classes and information technology learning. As of 2012, 91% of libraries offer free wireless Internet to their patrons; 76% offer e-books for borrowing; and 90% offer formal or informal technology training. A significant service provided by public libraries is assisting people with e-government access and use of federal, state and local government information, forms and services.
            In 2006 73%  of library branches reported that they are the only local provider of free public computer and Internet access. A 2008 study found that "100 percent of rural, high poverty outlets provide public Internet access. Access to computers and the Internet is now nearly as important to library patrons as access to books.
            CLASSROOM AND MEETING SPACE. Public libraries have a long history of functioning as community centers or public spaces for reading, study and formal and informal public meetings. In 1898, Andrew Carnegie, a prominent library philanthropist, built a library in Homestead, Pennsylvania, where his main steel mills were located. Besides a book collection, it included a bowling alley, an indoor swimming pool, basketball courts and other athletic facilities, a music hall, and numerous meeting rooms for local organizations. It sponsored highly successful semi-pro football and baseball teams. Even before the development of the modern public library, subscription libraries were often used as clubs or gathering places. They served as much for social gossip and the meeting of friends, as coffee shops do today. Throughout history, public libraries were touted as alternatives to dance halls or gentleman's clubs, and frequently built, organized and supported because of their equalizing and civilizing influence.
            Today, in-person and on-line programs for reader development, language learning, homework help, free lectures and cultural performances, and other community service programs are common offerings. The library storytime, in which books are read aloud to children and infants, is a cultural touchstone. Most public libraries offer frequent storytimes, often daily or even several times a day for different age groups. One of the most popular programs offered in public libraries is "summer reading" for children, families, and adults. Summer reading usually includes a list of books to read during summer holidays, as well as performances, book discussions or other celebrations of reading, culture and the humanities.
            Libraries may also offer free or cheap meeting space for community organizations and educational and entrepreneurial activity. The addition of makerspaces in libraries, beginning with the Fayetteville Free Library in 2011, offers the potential for new roles for public spaces and public libraries. Attendance at library programs increased by 22% between 2004 and 2008.
            RESEARCH ASSISTANCE. Librarians at most public libraries provide reference and research help to the general public. This can include assisting students in finding reliable sources for papers and presentations; helping the public find answers to questions or evidence in a debate; or providing resources related to a specific event or topic. Reference assistance is usually provided through a reference interview which is usually conducted at a public reference desk but may also be conducted by telephone or online. Reference librarians may also help patrons develop an appropriate bibliography or works cited page for an academic paper. Depending on the size of the library, there may be multiple reference desks that deal with different topics. Large public, academic or research libraries may employ librarians that are experts in specific topics or subjects. Often the children's section in a public library has its own reference desk. On the other hand, at a smaller library, circulation and reference may occur at the same desk.
            The Internet has had a significant effect on the availability and delivery of reference services. Many reference works, such as the Encyclopedia Britannica, have moved entirely online, and the way people access and use these works has changed dramatically in recent decades. The rise of search engines and crowd-sourced resources such as Wikipedia have transformed the reference environment. In addition to the traditional reference interview, reference librarians have an increasing role in providing access to digitized reference works (including the selection and purchase of databases not available to the general public) and ensuring that references are reliable and presented in an academically acceptable manner. Librarians also have a role in teaching information literacy, so that patrons can find, understand and use information and finding aids like search engines, databases and library catalogs.
            Public libraries may answer millions of reference questions every year. For example, the Boston Public Library answers more than one million reference questions annually.
            REFERENCE COLLECTIONS. In addition to their circulating collection, public libraries usually offer a collection of reference books, such encyclopedias, dictionaries, phone books and unique or expensive academic works. These books may not be available for borrowing, except under special circumstances. Reference books that are frequently used, such as phone books, may be housed in a special section called "ready reference."
            Some libraries also keep historical documents relevant to their particular town, and serve as a resource for historians in some instances. For example, the Queens Public Library kept letters written by unrecognized Tiffany lamp designer Clara Driscoll, and the letters remained in the library until a curator discovered them. Some libraries may also serve as archives or government depositories, preserving historic newspapers, property records or government documents. Collections of unique or historical works are sometimes referred to as special collections; except in rare cases, these items are reference items, and patrons must use them inside the library under the supervision or guidance of a librarian. Local libraries' special collections may be of particular interest to people researching their family history. Libraries that are focused on collecting works related to particular families are genealogical libraries and may be housed in the same building as a public library.
            Many libraries—especially large, urban libraries—have large collections of photographs, digital images, rare and fragile books, artifacts and manuscripts available for public viewing and use. Digitization and digital preservation of these works is an ongoing effort, usually funded by grants or philanthropy. In 2005, the New York Public Library offered the "NYPL Digital Gallery" which made a collection of 275,000 images viewable over the web; while most of the contents are in the public domain, some images are still subject to copyright rules. Limited funding, copyright restrictions, a lack of expertise or poor provenance are barriers to the large-scale digitization of libraries' special collections.
            OTHER SERVICES.Depending on a community's desires and needs, public libraries may offer many other resources and services to the public. In addition to print books and periodicals, most public libraries today have a wide array of other media including audiobooks, e-books, CDs, cassettes, videotapes, and DVDs. Collections of books and academic research related to the local town or region are common, along with collections of works by local authors. Libraries' storage space and lending systems may be used to lend a wide range of materials, including works of art, cake pans, seeds, tools and musical instruments.Similar to museums and other cultural institutions, libraries may also host exhibits or exhibitions.
            As more government services move online, libraries and librarians have a role in providing access to online forms and assistance with filling them out. For example, in 2013, American public libraries were promoted as a way for people to access online health insurance marketplaces created by the Affordable Care Act.
            In rural areas, the local public library may have a bookmobile service, consisting of one or more buses or pack animals (such as burros) furnished as small public libraries, Internet access points or computer labs and serving the countryside according to a regular schedule. In communities that are extremely isolated or that have poor digital infrastructure, libraries may provide the only access to online education, telework or telemedicine. Libraries also partner with schools and community organizations to promote literacy and learning.
            Libraries promote cultural awareness; in Newark, New Jersey, the public library celebrated black history with exhibits and programs. One account suggested libraries were essential to "economic competitiveness" as well as "neighborhood vitality" and help some people find jobs.
            Libraries have an important role during emergencies and disasters, where they may be used as shelters, provide space to charge phones and access the Internet, and serve as locations for the distribution of aid, especially financial aid, which requires access to computers and the Internet.The U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency recognizes libraries as providing essential community service during times of disaster. Libraries have also had an increasingly important economic role during the recession, providing job search assistance, computer skills training and resume help to patrons.
            Funding. Wikipedia (9/4/14) also discusses public library funding as follows: Public libraries are funded through a wide combination of sources, the most significant which is usually local or municipal funding.The citizens who use a local library support it via the city or county government, or through a special-purpose district, which is a local government body that has independent leadership and may levy its own taxes. Local funding may be supplemented by other government funding. For example, in the United States, the state and federal governments provide supplementary funding for public libraries through state aid programs, the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) and E-Rate. State and local governments may also offer cities and counties large grants for library construction or renovation. Private philanthropy has also had a significant role in the expansion and transformation of library services, and, like other educational institutions, some libraries may be partially funded by an endowment. Some proactive librarians have devised alliances with patron and civic groups to supplement their financial situations. Library "friends" groups, activist boards, and well organized book sales also supplement government funding.
            Public funding has always been an important part of the definition of a public library. However, with local governments facing financial pressures due to the Great Recession, some libraries have explored ways to supplement public funding. Cafes, bakeries, bookstores, gift shops and similar commercial endeavors are common features of new and urban libraries. For example, the Boston Public Library has two restaurants and an online store which features reproductions of photographs and artwork. Pressure on funding has also led to closer partnerships between libraries, and between libraries and for-profit ventures, in order to sustain the library as a public space while providing business opportunities to the community. While still fairly uncommon, public-private partnerships and "mixed-use" or "dual-use" libraries, which provide services to the public and one or more student populations, are occasionally explored as alternatives. Jackson County, Oregon (US), closed its entire 15-branch public library system for six months in 2007, reopening under a public-private partnership and with a reduced schedule.Small fees, such as library fines or printing fees, may also offset the cost of providing library services, though fines and fees do not usually have a significant role in library funding.
            Although usage of public libraries has increased significantly in recent decades, libraries are under intense financial pressure and scrutiny.The American Library Association says media reports it has compiled in 2004 showed some $162 million in funding cuts to libraries nationwide. In 2009, 40% of states reported a decline in state aid for libraries. In 2012, Great Britain lost over 200 libraries to budget cuts, part of a general trend of fiscal austerity in Europe. However, there are signs of stabilization in library funding. As of 2012, funding for construction and renovation of new libraries remains steady. Cities' plans to close public libraries are frequently canceled or scaled back. In 2012, voters in 13 U.S. states approved new funding for library construction or operations. And in the UK, the new Library of Birmingham, opened in 2013, is the largest cultural space in Europe.
            Survey data suggests the public values free public libraries. A Public Agenda survey in 2006 reported 84% of the public said maintaining free library services should be a top priority for their local library. Public libraries received higher ratings for effectiveness than other local services such as parks and police. But the survey also found the public was mostly unaware of financial difficulties facing their libraries. In various cost-benefit studies libraries continue to provide an exceptional return on the dollar. A 2008 survey discusses comprehensively the prospects for increased funding in the United States, saying in conclusion "There is sufficient, but latent, support for increased library funding among the voting population."A 2013 Pew Research Center survey reported that 90% of Americans ages 16 and older said that the closing of their local public library would have an impact on their community, with 63% saying it would have a “major” impact.
             Keeping Public Libraries Public. Keeping Public Libraries Public (American Library Association, June 2011) states that in 2001, after considering the issues of outsourcing and privatization, ALA Council voted to adopt the following policy: “ALA affirms that publicly funded libraries should remain directly accountable to the public they serve. Therefore, the ALA opposes the shifting of policy-making and management oversight of library services for the public to the private for profit sector.”  

            ♥Student Financial Aid:  The United States Department of Education, www.ed.gov (9/14) provides the following information about Federal Student Financial Aid: Federal Student Aid is the largest provider of student financial aid in the nation. The office of Federal Student Aid provides more than $150 billion in federal grants, loans, and work-study funds each year to more than 15 million students paying for college or career school. To apply for federal student aid, you need to complete the FAFSA® or Free Application for Federal Student Aid. Completing and submitting the FAFSA is free and quick, and it gives you access to the largest source of financial aid to pay for college or career school.In addition, many states and colleges use your FAFSA data to determine your eligibility for state and school aid, and some private financial aid providers may use your FAFSA information to determine whether you qualify for their aid.There are several ways to file a FAFSA:
            Online at www.fafsa.gov is faster and easier than using paper.
            If you need a paper FAFSA, you can download a PDF FAFSA or
            order a paper FAFSA.
Ask the financial aid office at your college or career school if you can file it there. Some schools will use special software to submit your FAFSA for you.              
            Other Sources of Student Aid are as follows:
            The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA): Offers several programs administered by its Education Service. Aid is available for veterans, reservists, National Guard persons, widows, and orphans.
            Disabled American Veterans: In memory of the late Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Jesse Brown, the Disabled American Veterans has established the Jesse Brown Memorial Youth Scholarship Program.
            The United States Army: Offers education benefits for individuals enlisting in selected military occupational specialties. The Montgomery GI Bill and the Army's College Fund offer financial assistance to pay for future education expenses. Students leaving college may be eligible for the Army's Loan Repayment Program. This enlistment option, for active Army or Army Reserve, repays eligible federally insured loans for education.
            Ameri-Corps: Administered by the Corporation for National and Community Service, Ameri-Corps allows people of all ages and backgrounds to earn educational awards in exchange for a year of community service.
               The Department of Health and Human Services: Offers scholarships and loan repayment programs through its Indian Health Service and National Institutes of Health (NIH).
         The Department of Labor: Here you will find a variety of useful information, from how to further your education to suggestions to help you with your job search at www.careervoyages.org.
                students.gov:  Provides links to scholarship and grant sites, state aid information, and more!
               studentjobs.gov: Developed as a partnership between the U.S.Office of Personnel Management and government agencies, this Web site is similar to students.gov but focuses on employment. But, while you're at the site, be sure to click on "e-Scholar" for numerous sources of federal scholarships, internships fellowships, etc.
            Even if you're not eligible for federal aid, you might be eligible for financial assistance from your state. Contact your state higher education agency for more information.
        Under the Robert C. Byrd Honors Scholarship Program, ED gives money to state education agencies to provide scholarships to graduating high school seniors. Each state education agency has its own application and deadline.
            You can find out about non-federal scholarships and other sources of aid in several ways, including contacting the financial aid offices at the schools you plan to attend and checking information in a public library or online. But be careful. Make sure scholarship information and offers you receive are legitimate. Don't get scammed: You don't have to pay to find scholarships. 

            ♥Unemployment Insurance: Those of us who become laid off or fired from our job apply for Unemployment Insurance benefits through our state Employment Development Department to replace lost income. According to the United States Department of Labor (10/14), the Federal-State Unemployment Insurance Program provides unemployment benefits to eligible workers who are unemployed through no fault of their own (as determined under state law), and meet other eligibility requirements of state law.

            ♥Worker's Compensation Insurance: Those of us who become injured on the job apply for Worker's Compensation Insurance benefits through our place of employment. According to NOLO (10/14), workers' compensation, also known as workmans' comp, is a state-mandated insurance program that provides compensation to employees who suffer job-related injuries and illnesses. While the federal government administers a workers' comp program for federal and certain other types of employees, each state has its own laws and programs for workers' compensation. For up-to-date information on workers' comp in your state, contact your state's workers' compensation office. (You can find links to the appropriate office in your state on the State Workers' Compensation Officials page of the U.S. Department of Labor's website.) In general, an employee with a work-related illness or injury can get workers' compensation benefits regardless of who was at fault -- the employee, the employer, a coworker, a customer, or some other third party. In exchange for these guaranteed benefits, employees usually do not have the right to sue the employer in court for damages for those injuries.

            ♥Temporary assistance for Needy Families (TANF): If we need help with immediate cash assistance, we apply for Transitional Aid for Needy Families through our local welfare office. The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, ACF  (9/14), identifies the goals of TANF as follows: The four purposes of TANF are to: (1) provide assistance to needy families so that children can be cared for in their own homes; (2) reduce the dependency of needy parents by promoting job preparation, work and marriage; (3) prevent and reduce the incidence of  out-of-wedlock pregnancies; and ( 4) encourage the formation and maintenance of two-parent families.
ACF also explains the Healthy Marriage Initiative and Responsible Fatherhood Program. The Healthy Marriage Initiative is designed to strengthen families, foster safe and healthy relationships between men and women who choose marriage for themselves and promote the well-being of children.The Responsible Fatherhood Program is designed to enable fathers to improve their relationship with their spouse, significant other, or mother of their children,  to reconnect with their children, and become a better parent.
Department of Health & Human Services ACF (9/17/12) indicates that CCDF assists low-income families in obtaining child care so they can work or attend training/education. The program also improves the quality of child care, and promotes coordination among early childhood development and afterschool programs.
            ♥ After our family's immediate needs for health and safety have been met and we have become stabilized, those of us who are able seek work to achieve financial independence through state employment programs, or we seek financial aid so we can attend vocational school or college. If we must apply for TANF benefits to make ends meet, those of us who want to attend school or college enroll in our educational program before applying for TANF because welfare programs are designed to funnel new recipients into low paying jobs; but TANF may under certain circumstances approve an educational program as part of the work requirement if the new recipient is already enrolled in the educational program when the applicant first applies for TANF.

            ♥ General Assistance: Those of us who are ineligible for any other income maintenance program can apply for General Assistance through the local welfare department.

            ♥Other Assistance: Some of us can also apply for government aid through the land bank program who pays farmers for not working their land, farm subsidies, V.A./military benefits, and subsidies for business firms confronting bankruptcy.

            ♥ Earned Income Credit: If we are working and we qualify, we can apply for the earned income credit on our yearly tax return. According to the Internal Revenue Service; United States Department of Treasury (www.irs.gov), the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) sometimes called the Earned Income Credit (EIC), is a refundable federal income tax credit for low-income working individuals and families. Congress originally approved the tax credit legislation in 1975 in part to offset the burden of social security taxes and to provide an incentive to work. When the EITC exceeds the amount of taxes owed, it results in a tax refund to those who claim and qualify for the credit. To qualify, taxpayers must meet certain requirements and file a tax return, even if they did not earn enough money to be obligated to file a tax return. The EITC has no effect on certain welfare benefits. In most cases, EITC payments will not be used to determine eligibility for Medicaid, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), food stamps, low-income housing or most Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) payments. If you qualify to claim EITC on your federal income tax return, you also may be eligible for a similar credit on your state or local income tax return. Twenty-two states, the District of Columbia, New York City, and Montgomery County, Maryland, offer their residents an earned income tax credit.   

            ♥Affordable Care Act: USA.gov (9/30/14) states that under the Affordable Care Act, all Americans can get health insurance regardless of income or health history.

            ♥Health Insurance Marketplace: USA.gov (9/30/14) states that you can only buy Marketplace health insurance during open enrollment, but you may still be able to get health insurance if you qualify for a special enrollment period. Open enrollment for 2015 coverage is November 15, 2014 through February 15, 2015. If you'd like to identify private plans outside of the Health Insurance Marketplace, you can use the Plan Finder. For these plans, you must also apply during an open enrollment period, unless you experience a qualifying life event. There is no limited enrollment period for Medicaid or the Children's Health Insurance Program. If you qualify, you can enroll at any time. To get coverage visit HealthCare.com.

            ♥Medicaid: If we need health care, we apply for Medicaid through our local welfare office. USA.gov (9/30/14) provides information about Medicaid health insurance. States decide on the benefits provided under Medicaid, but Medicaid usually provides health care for low-income children and families, and people with disabilities. Covered services usually include doctor visits, hospital care, vaccinations, prescription drugs, vision, hearing, long-term care, and preventive care for children. Many State Medicaid Programs are expanding coverage for low-income adults and all states are improving their enrollment and renewal processes. If you are eligible for Medicaid, you don't need to buy coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace.

            ♥ The Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP):  USA.gov (9/30/14) sates that the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) provides free or low-cost health coverage for low-income children. Each state decides on the benefits provided under CHIP, but all states cover routine check-ups, immunizations, hospital care, dental care, and lab and x-ray services.

            ♥ SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) formerly Food Stamps: If we don't have enough money to adequately meet our food needs, we apply for SNAP  through our local welfare office. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service (11/2010, FNS-416), SNAP is the national program name; some States may call it something else. With SNAP, you get an Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) card.You use it like a debit card to buy food at the grocery store. SNAP puts benefits on this card once a month. SNAP also has programs to help you learn to eat healthy and be active. SNAP is for people and families with low incomes. Anyone can apply. If you qualify, you will receive SNAP. The amount depends on your income, your expenses, and your family size. If you are an immigrant, you have to prove you have legal status to apply for SNAP. Getting SNAP will not hurt your chances to become a citizen if you are documented. You may have a waiting period before you can get SNAP. There are some immigrants that may be able to get SNAP without having to wait: documented immigrant children under age 18, refugees, and the elderly and disabled. Your children may be able to get SNAP even if you cannot. The application is in your children’s names, not yours. Learn more for the sake of your children! The amount of SNAP you get depends on: how much money you have, how many are in your family, and some of your expenses. If you qualify, you get your benefits within 30 days after you apply. If you have little or no money, please let your SNAP worker know. You may be able to get help sooner. To Learn More About SNAP call 1-800-221-5689, or visit www.fns.usda.gov/snap.

            ♥ Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC): According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service (11/2010, FNS-416), WIC provides a voucher or coupon each month. You use it to buy foods that will help you and your children to eat healthy. You can also learn about healthy eating, get support to help you breastfeed your baby, and find out about healthcare and other services. In some States WIC is using Electronic Benefit
Transfer (EBT) cards. In these States, you use an EBT card, like a debit card, to buy food at the grocery store. You can apply for WIC if you have a low income and have recently had a baby, are pregnant, or are breastfeeding, or if you have children up to 5 years old. You may be able to get WIC even if you do not qualify for SNAP. To Learn More About WIC call your local health department or, to find out where to apply in your State, visit http://www.fns.usda.gov/wic/Contacts/statealpha.HTM.
            Some States offer WIC FMNP (Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program). It gives you coupons you can use to shop at farmers’ markets or roadside produce stands. You can buy fresh fruits, vegetables, and herbs. Women and children receiving WIC or who are on a waiting list for WIC can apply for this program. To find out if your State offers FMNP in your community, ask your local WIC office or visit http://www.fns.usda.gov/wic/Contacts/farm.HTM to find out who to contact in your State.

            ♥ Immediate Hunger Needs: For immediate hunger needs, we visit our local free meal program, food pantry, and local welfare office to apply for emergency food stamp assistance.

            ♥ In Loving Family, we help those who are hungry to access food stamps, WIC, the local free meal program, and the local food pantry. We are busy people and so we advocate for no stress school breakfast and lunch programs that are free and available for all children without stigmatization, so they can think clearly and succeed in school without feeling like a second class citizen because they are hungry. No child should have to go hungry because they did not have time to eat breakfast or pack a lunch before rushing out the door in the morning or because their parents did not have enough food money. We believe that food for our children should be a priority and that no child should ever have to experience hunger. Spending our tax dollars on nutritious food programs for our children is one of the best investments we can ever hope to make and will substantially reduce the need for medical, counseling, and disability services now and later in life. We are spiritual people with big hearts not stingy people with small hearts so we let our leaders know we want our tax dollars to be spent generously not miserly on nutritious food programs for the people of our nation.

            ♥Housing Assistance: Homelessness is a social problem caused by cutbacks in funding for low-income and middle-income housing. Each homeless person has a personal sad story of family problems, illness, or substance abuse. If we are homeless, we access housing assistance through HUD programs, our local welfare office, and other agencies in our community, so we can have decent livable housing. For immediate housing needs, we contact our local shelter or Mission.
            The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development; U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (8/4/2008) provides the following information about national policy and programs that address America's housing needs: The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is the Federal agency responsible for national policy and programs that address America's housing needs; that improve and develop the Nation's communities; and enforce fair housing laws. HUD's mission is to ensure a decent, safe and sanitary home and suitable living environment for every American. HUD has programs to create opportunities for home ownership; provide housing assistance for low-income persons; programs to create, rehabilitate and maintain the nation's affordable housing; enforce fair housing laws; help homeless persons; spur economic growth in distressed neighborhoods; and help local communities meet their development needs. The primary programs administered by HUD include mortgage and loan insurance through the Federal Housing Administration; Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) to help communities with economic development; job opportunities and housing rehabilitation; HOME Investment Partnership Act block grants to develop and support affordable housing for low-income residents; rental assistance under the Housing Choice Voucher Program, which benefits low-income households; public or subsidized housing for low-income individuals and families; homeless assistance provided through local communities and faith-based and other nonprofit organizations; and fair housing public education and enforcement.          
             ♥In Loving Family, we help others who are homeless to access shelter, temporary housing, and permanent housing, and we advocate for more low-cost and affordable middle-income housing programs, so we can put an end to homelessness. We advocate for interest rates on home mortgage loans to be regulated, so our mortgage payments are reasonable, so we can afford to live a decent life. We advocate for rental properties to be regulated and inspected regularly, so that our landlords are required to provide us with clean, safe, affordable housing. We also advocate for tax incentives for private investment in housing. There is a big need for special housing programs for the homeless that can address budgeting and money management issues for those who are unable to access other housing due to prior evictions and poor credit ratings so we advocate for special housing programs to meet the needs of the homeless. Good housing is extremely important to maintain our health and well-being so we advocate rigorously for good housing programs.
            There is a need for low-income and moderate-income assisted living centers for elders and dependent adults who can not be adequately managed at home with care providers and other support services so we advocate for and urge our political leaders to develop low-income and moderate-income assisted living centers so our elders and dependent adults can continue to maintain independence at home while getting their needs adequately met. We inform our leaders that we want affordable assisted living centers to be developed that will provide meals, social services, health care monitoring, socialization, and care to our elders and dependent adults as needed. Affordable assisted living centers would more efficiently utilize limited social worker, nursing, and care provider staff through onsite assistance to a community of elders and dependent adults who would otherwise become socially isolated in the larger community. Affordable assisted living centers should be built ground-level in a circle so each elder and dependent adult can have their own private outside entrance to their own home unit with easy access for coming and going with no shared inside entrances so privacy and individual health standards can be adequately maintained. The assisted living centers should contain a separate center hub building with a shared community meal center, activity center, social service center, and medical center so able residents can eat meals together, socialize, and visit social service and nursing staff as needed. Onsite care provider staff should be available to provide care to elders and dependent adults as needed in their own home units and to deliver meals to the those who are home bound. Onsite social service staff should be available to visit home bound elders and dependent adults in their own home units to assess and provide social services as needed. Onsite nursing staff should be available to visit home bound elders and dependent adults so their health care needs can be adequately monitored at home. We inform our leaders that we want all of our neighborhoods to have affordable assisted living centers so our elders and dependent adults can be adequately maintained in their own home units yet as part of an active community. We bring public awareness to the need for affordable low-income and moderate-income assisted living centers so our elders and dependent adults do not perish.

            ♥ LIHEAP: According to the ACF Office of Community Service-Low Income Home Energy Assistance (LIHEAP) Program; U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (10/14), LIHEAP is designed to assist low-income households, particularly those with the lowest incomes, that pay a high proportion of household income for home energy, primarily in meeting their immediate home energy needs. This assistance targets the costs of heating and cooling in residential dwellings.
            Unlike some Federal programs, applications, eligibility rules, types of assistance, and benefit levels can vary greatly among LIHEAP programs throughout the country. The Federal government does not send or accept applications for LIHEAP assistance. For information on applying for LIHEAP assistance, please contact your LIHEAP State or Territory agency or your LIHEAP Indian Tribe or Tribal Organization agency. You may also contact the National Energy Assistance Referral (NEAR) project. NEAR is a free service providing information on where to apply for LIHEAP assistance. NEAR can be contacted by e-mail energy@ncat.org (please include your city, county and state in your e-mail message) or by using NEAR's toll-free phone number 1-866-674-6327 (or 1-866-NRG-NEAR). If you have additional questions about the LIHEAP program, send an e-mail to:  LIHEAPconsumers@acf.hhs.gov.
            Safe, reliable, and continuous home heating and cooling are a necessity of life. The inability to heat or cool one's home adequately can put people at risk for serious health and safety problems. Households with a frail, elderly, disabled person, or a young child are more prone to the effects of poorly regulated indoor temperatures.

            ♥ Head Start: Head Start, ECLKC, Administration for Children & Families; The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (10/1/14) provides information about Head Start:
            Head Start promotes the school readiness of young children from low-income families through agencies in their local community. The Head Start program is authorized by the Improving Head Start for School Readiness Act of 2007. Family members must apply with a program in their area.
            Head Start and Early Head Start programs support the mental, social, and emotional development of children from birth to age 5. In addition to education services, programs provide children and their families with health, nutrition, social, and other services. Head Start services are responsive to each child and family's ethnic, cultural, and linguistic heritage.
          Head Start encourages the role of parents as their child's first and most important teachers. Programs build relationships with families that support positive parent-child relationships, family well-being, and connections to peers and community. Head Start began as a program for preschoolers. Three- and 4-year-olds made up over 80 percent of the children served by Head Start last year.
            Early Head Start serves pregnant women, infants, and toddlers. Early Head Start programs are available to the family until the child turns 3 years old and is ready to transition into Head Start or another pre-K program. Early Head Start helps families care for their infants and toddlers through early, continuous, intensive, and comprehensive services.
            Local services are delivered by about 1,700 public and private nonprofit and for-profit agencies. These agencies receive grants from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Head Start agencies design services for children and families that meet the needs of their local community and the Head Start Program Performance Standards. Some cities, states, and federal programs offer funding to expand Head Start and Early Head Start to include more children within their communities.
            Both Head Start and Early Head Start programs offer a variety of service models, depending on the needs of the local community. Programs may be based in centers, schools, or family child care homes. Early Head Start services are provided for at least six hours per day, whereas Head Start preschool services may be half-day (four hours) or full-day. Another program option is home-based services, in which a staff person visits children once a week in their own home and works with the parent as the child's primary teacher. Children and families who receive home-based services meet twice monthly with other enrolled families for a group learning experience facilitated by Head Start staff.
            For more information call toll-free (1-866-763-6481) Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. - 6 p.m. ET,email HeadStart@eclkc.info or visit http:eclkc.ohs.acf.hhs.gov/hslc/hs/about.

            ♥ Social Security Benefits: We help our older family members to apply for Social Security benefits through our local Social Security office to replace income lost due to retirement. According to the Social Security Administration (8/4/2008), your Social Security benefits are the foundation on which you can build a secure retirement. The three major elements of your retirement portfolio are: benefits from pensions, savings and investments, and Social Security benefits. Most financial advisers say you'll need about 70 percent of your pre-retirement earnings to comfortably maintain your pre-retirement standard of living. If you have average earnings, your Social Security retirement benefits will replace only about 40 percent. The percentage is lower for people in the upper income brackets and higher for people with low incomes. You'll need to supplement your benefits with a pension, savings or investments. Your benefit amount is based on your earnings averaged over most of your working career. Higher lifetime earnings result in higher benefits. If you have some years of no earnings or low earnings, your benefit amount may be lower than if you had worked steadily.Your benefit amount also is affected by your age at the time you start receiving benefits. If you start your retirement benefits at age 62 (the earliest possible retirement age) your benefit will be lower than if you wait until your full retirement age.

            ♥ Supplemental Security Income (SSI): We also assist family members who are aged, blind, or disabled to apply for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) through our local Social Security office for a guaranteed floor level income. According to the Social Security Administration (10/14), the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program pays benefits to disabled adults and children who have limited income and resources. SSI benefits also are payable to people 65 and older without disabilities who meet the financial limits. People who have worked long enough may also be able to receive Social Security disability or retirement benefits as well as SSI. Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a Federal income supplement program funded by general tax revenues (not Social Security taxes). It is designed to help aged, blind, and disabled people, who have little or no income; and it provides cash to meet basic needs for food, clothing, and shelter.For more information visit www.socialsecurity.gov.
or call Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 or 1-800-325-0778 if you are hard of hearing.

            ♥Social Security Disability Insurance Program (SSDI): According to the Social Security Administration (10/14), Social Security Disability Insurance pays benefits to you and certain members of your family if you are "insured," meaning that you worked long enough and paid Social Security taxes, and you have a medical condition that has prevented you from working or is expected to prevent you from working for at least 12 months or end in death.  For more information visit www.socialsecurity.gov.
or call Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 or 1-800-325-0778 if you are hard of hearing.

            ♥Medicare: We assist our elderly family members to apply for Medicare through our local Social Security office for necessary hospital, medical, and prescription insurance. Social Security (10/14) states that Medicare is our country’s health insurance program for people age 65 or older. People younger than age 65 with certain disabilities or permanent kidney failure also can qualify for Medicare. The program helps with the cost of health care, but it does not cover all medical expenses or the cost of most long-term care. You may buy a Medicare supplement policy (called Medigap) from a private insurance company to cover some of the costs that Medicare does not. Medicare is financed by a portion of the payroll taxes paid by workers and their employers. It also is financed in part by monthly premiums, usually deducted from Social Security checks.
            Medicare has four parts: Hospital insurance (Part A) helps pay for inpatient care in a hospital or skilled nursing facility (following a hospital stay), some home health care and hospice care. Medical insurance (Part B) helps pay for services from doctors and other health care providers, outpatient care, home health care, durable medical equipment and some preventive services. Medicare Advantage plans (Part C) are available in many areas. People with Medicare Parts A and B can choose to receive all of their health care services through one of these provider organizations under Part C. Prescription drug coverage (Part D) helps pay for the costs of prescription drugs. For more information call Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 or visit www.socialsecurity.gov.You may also visit the Medicare Web site at http://www.medicare.gov or call toll free, 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227).

            ♥ Other Senior and Elder Services: Other services we help our senior and elderly family member’s access are reduced bus rates; reduced utility and phone rates; senior housing; property tax relief; special federal income tax deduction; the Retired Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) that matches work and service opportunities with elderly volunteers; foster grandparent programs that pay the elderly for part-time work with needy children; the Service Corps of Retired Executives that provides consulting services to small business; senior citizen centers that provide leisure-time and recreational activities to the elderly; food stamps; Medicaid; homemaker services to help with household tasks; the In Home Support Services program, care provider services to assist with care needs; home health services for medical and visiting nurse services; hospital and physician services; Adult Day Health Care Centers for daily health care monitoring and socialization; Meals on Wheels for the housebound incapable of preparing their own meals; financial management services; board and care homes, assisted living homes, or nursing homes for those who can no longer manage at home; and a nursing home ombudsman program to investigate concerns expressed by residents in nursing homes. Our church, faith-based organization, or local welfare office can assist us in locating needed services for our elderly family members.

            ♥Other Disability Services: Other services that we help disabled family members to access are funds and services from sheltered workshops that provide a variety of services which include vocational evaluation, sheltered employment, work adjustment, counseling services, and placement services. If our disabled family members are eligible, we help them to access Federal Vocational Rehabilitation funding for retraining. We also help disabled family members access what is needed in the way of day-care centers for socialization and leisure-time activities, hospital and physician services, Meals on Wheels for the housebound incapable of preparing their own meals, the In Home Support Services program, care provider services, Home Health Services for medical and visiting nurse services, Homemaker Services to take care of household tasks, Medicaid, food stamps, and Worker's Compensation Insurance. If our disabled family member is unable to live at home, we help our disabled family member to find appropriate housing in a group home, halfway house, nursing home, or residential treatment center. If we have a disabled child, we make certain our child participates in a special education program designed to meet our child's specific needs. Our church, faith-based organization, or local welfare office can assist us in locating needed services for our disabled family members.

            ♥ Alcohol and Drug Abuse and Treatment. The self-help twelve-step based recovery groups of Alcoholics Anonymous, Al-Anon, Alateen, Adult Children of Alcoholics, and Narcotics Anonymous are free of charge to all who wish to participate. These groups have been an extremely helpful resources for millions of people to recover from the effects of substance abuse. Alcoholics Anonymous helps the suffering alcoholic to recover from alcohol abuse. Alcoholism is ranked among the first three of our nation's health problems and it is the chief cause of traffic accidents, liver disease, and divorce.  Narcotics Anonymous provides support to those who suffer from drug abuse. Al-Anon and Alateen provide support to family and friends of those who suffer from alcohol or drug abuse. Adult Children of Alcoholics provides support for those who grew up in an alcoholic home. Check your local phone book for local twelve-step program listings. Some alcoholics and drug abusers may require more extensive treatment than a twelve step program is able to provide and they should seek treatment from a good social model residential treatment program that is based upon the twelve step principles of recovery.
            Alcoholism can be defined as an intimacy disorder since the alcoholic has a love affair with alcohol instead of with another person (Covington, 1987; Doweiko, 1990). It is normal for emotionally secure people to desire sexual and nonsexual intimacy but many people do not feel comfortable with the desire for sexual intimacy (Doweiko, 1990). Many of these people turn to alcohol in order to be sexual. Shame, guilt, and pain resulting from past physical, sexual, or emotional abuse leads to alcohol use as a way of dealing with anxiety involved with intimacy (Covington, 1987; Doweiko, 1990). A past history of abuse inhibits trust making it difficult to surrender to a sexual experience (Covington, 1987; Doweiko, 1990). Alcohol use is a way of dealing with lack of intimacy skills but alcohol is a poor substitute that only leads to continued isolation and more use of alcohol or drugs.
            Increasing blood alcohol levels leads to an increase in perceived sexual arousal but to a decrease in strength of erection and time to orgasm for men and to vaginal changes and time to orgasm for women (Farkas & Rosen, 1976; Wilson & Rosen, 1976; 1978; Malatesta, Pollack, Wilbanks & Adams, 1979; Malatesta, Crotty, Pollack, & Peacock, 1982; Avis, 1993). Chronic alcohol use disrupts sexual desire, performance, and satisfaction (Gold, 1988; Doweiko, 1990).
            Chronic alcoholism causes liver damage that impacts the body’s ability to regulate hormone distribution. In men, this causes atrophy of the testes, impotence, and infertility (Van Thiel, Gavaler, Cobb, & Chiao, 1982; Schiavi, 1990; Avis, 1993). Furthermore, estrogen synthesis is increased resulting in feminization with decreased body hair, breast development, and female pattern of body fat. In women, chronic alcohol use causes menstrual difficulties, infertility, and loss of secondary sex characteristics–pubic hair, breast and hip size (Wilsnack, Klassen, & Wilsnack, 1984; Avis, 1993).
            Excessive alcohol use is the most common cause of impotence in middle-aged men which causes fear of further problems and avoidance of sexual activity (Masters & Johnson, 1966; Doweiko, 1990). Alcohol may decrease the intensity and pleasure of orgasm in the male and it also makes it more difficult for women to achieve orgasm (Masters, Johnson & Kolodny, 1986; Doweiko, 1990). Sexual desire will simply disappear in chronic alcoholics (Masters & Johnson, 1966; Doweiko, 1990). Alcohol and drug treatment can lead to normal sexual functioning for both men and women.
            Alcoholism is a generational disease that runs in families:
•"Fifty to sixty percent of all alcoholics have or had, at least one alcoholic parent. Alcoholism is a generational disease. A fact receiving more substantiation every day is that alcoholism runs in families" (Alcoholism, The National Magazine, Spring 1985 p.13).
•"It is estimated that 50% or more of alcoholics have an alcoholic parent and perhaps 85-90% have one or more alcoholic grandparents (Alcoholism, The National Magazine, Spring 1985 p.13).
            The San Francisco Chronicle, This World (12/30/84) also provides some facts about children of alcoholic parents:
1.They tend to drop out of school voluntarily in larger numbers than any other group of children studied.
2.They have more problems with alcohol and drug abuse themselves.
3.They run a greater risk of developing not only emotional problems but physical problems as well.
            According to Ellis the word "epidemic" is being used in connection with drug-addicted newborns. Data from a study of 36 hospitals around the country suggested that 375,000 newborns a year faced the possibility of health damage from their mothers' drug abuse (Brody, 1988; Ellis, 1989).
          If you are a woman of child bearing age, pregnant, or a nursing mother, it is critical that you seek treatment immediately if you abuse alcohol or drugs. Alcohol and drug treatment can protect the health of  mothers who abuse substances and the unborn babies of mothers who are addicted.

            ♥ Need for a Guaranteed Family Income.  A generous guaranteed annual income program with work and education requirements for those with abilities would substantially reduce the need for other public assistance programs by reducing governmental expense spent on recipient benefits; high paying public employee salaries, pensions, and health insurance; and upkeep on public office buildings. A guaranteed family income program, based upon yearly income tax returns, would go a long way towards preserving the human dignity of the poor, disabled, elderly and of families since they would not have to contend with complicated government rules and regulations and punitive government workers. A generous guaranteed family income program would also safely reduce rates of crime and incarceration.  

            ♥Charity for Panhandlers. There is always a need for charity but the need for charity increases during tough economic times. These days it seems that many are in need of a little assistance and the numbers keep growing. Street corners are inhabited by numerous panhandlers hoping to benefit from charitable giving. Each panhandler has a story worth hearing yet most of us avoid eye contact as we walk briskly on our way or drive by in the comfort of our automobile.
            Panhandlers hold up signs that have various messages that are telling. “Hungry, need food.” “Ran out of Gas.” “Need ride home.” The signs differ in shapes and sizes and are made from a variety of  materials. Some panhandlers hold up cardboard signs with messages that are hastily scribbled while other panhandlers hold  professional quality laminated signs printed on crisp white paper. The message on the sign of one particular panhandler seems to hit the nail right on the head: “Need Cash Please Give Thanks Alot.”
            There are many reasons why we are reluctant to give to panhandlers. Some of us just cannot afford to give money to panhandlers. Others are already giving to organized charities. Some of us believe that the panhandler will just use the money for alcohol, drugs, or gambling which is frequently the case. Some of us think that the panhandler can seek help from social welfare programs instead of begging on the street. Indeed, many panhandlers do already receive some kind of assistance from welfare or Social Security disability benefits.
            If panhandlers who are already receiving welfare or Social Security disability benefits need additional money, why don’t they just do what the rest of us do and get a job? Obviously some are too disabled to work. Otherwise, the answer is a bit more complicated. Most welfare programs and disability programs are based upon need and  job earnings are often deducted from the amount of the monthly check that is received. There is really no incentive for someone on welfare or Social Security disability to get a job unless he or she is able to find a job that pays substantially more than the amount that he or she receives on his or her monthly welfare or disability check. Without job training or a college education, the chance of finding a good paying job is very slim. Getting a job also requires a major act of faith. Most prefer to hang onto the rock that is drowning them rather than to let go of the rock and have faith in their ability to succeed.
            If we ever really become serious about helping those who are  poor and the disabled, we must put a good guaranteed income program in place that does not discourage the poor or disabled from seeking legitimate employment. We must let go of our stinginess and of our need to control others, and we must have faith in the ability of the poor and disabled to move forward and succeed if we remove obstacles and get out of their way.
            Until we have a guaranteed income program in place we should give charitably to the poor and the disabled no matter if they receive welfare or disability payments or not. Some actually do need the money for food and to pay bills. Panhandlers work hard at what they do. They must brave the outside elements and convince others to do what they do not want to do–part with their cash. They also fulfill an important function in society. They give employment opportunities to police officers who arrest them, judges who hear their cases, and to reporters who are looking for a good human interest story. They also provide us with an opportunity for spiritual growth and development through charitable giving. Instead of condemning the panhandler for having a separate reality, dig deep into your pocket when you are asked for spare change. You just might change your own reality and bring a smile to your face.

Emotional Problems
            ♥ Emotional problems are also serious social problems we recognize. We help each other to work through unwanted emotions, such as depression, anxiety, obsession, compulsion, excessive fear, and feelings of being a failure by supporting one and other and listening to each other. We do not label each other as being mentally ill since labeling does not serve a good purpose; instead, labeling only stigmatizes us in our social interactions, makes it difficult to secure employment, be promoted, retain legal rights, and serves as an excuse for not taking personal responsibility for personal actions. We advocate for public education efforts to inform the general population about the nature of emotional problems and the adverse effects that results from inappropriate labeling. We make necessary changes in our lives to resolve problems that cause anxiety, depression, or tension, and we avoid using mental health drugs, alcohol, and illegal drugs for  relief from our unwanted emotions. If we need professional help to resolve our emotional difficulties, we seek spiritual guidance from a qualified spiritual adviser, counseling, or psychotherapy. If we are having marital problems, considering a divorce, or feel that our marriage is empty, we seek spiritual guidance or faith-based marriage counseling.
            Dangers of Mental Health Drugs. Scheff (1984) states that Psychiatrists, by law, overwhelmingly dominate the mental health field, and the treatment they use is tranquilizing medication. One of the chief dangers in the overuse of tranquilizers are the physical side effects, like the irreversible brain damage caused by prolonged intake of thorazine, and sedation. There is cause for even more concern about the possibility of the chemical suppression of distressful emotions in light of the enormously widespread prescription of tranquilizers like Valium.Scheff finds it hard to believe that these drugs are being used to correct metabolic errors, but instead that, they are used to mask negative feelings like fear and anxiety. If this is the case, we are facing a social problem of almost incalculable magnitude, a problem that is both cause and result of the established perspective on mental health and illness: the medical model. Present mental health laws, which establish medical dominance in the mental health field are costly and probably unwise. These laws encourage treatment policies and practices which overemphasize chemotherapy and under-emphasize sociopsychological treatment.
            Chemotherapy is the treatment of mental disorder that currently prevails in the United States. Particularly, for the more severe disorders, it has been established that tranquilizers and antidepressants are, in many cases, a quick, cheap, and effective way of stopping symptoms. Although chemotherapy has brought many benefits, it is conceivable, given what we already know, that an examination of the entire structure of the medical use of psychoactive drugs would show that the risks and costs outweigh the benefits.
            The most dramatic changes in the field of mental health in recent years have been brought about in part by use of thorazine (generic name: chlorpromazine) in the treatment of schizophrenia. Treatment with this drug played a major role in the great reduction of the patient population in mental hospitals that has been occurring since the early 1950s. Thorazine, like the other drugs of its type, the phenothiazines, appears to have distinctly anti-psychotic properties; that is, the phenothiazines do not merely sedate but also interfere with the production of psychotic symptoms, at least in some cases. It should be clear, however, that these drugs do not cure the disease; they merely stop the symptoms. Eisenbert (1973; Scheff, 1984) writes: "Extensive clinical research has documented the effectiveness of the phenothiazines in terminating an episode of schizophrenia. The natural history of the disorder, however, indicates a substantial risk of recurrence and little residue of benefit from prior treatment."  The evidence concerning the phenothiazines suggests that the drugs are effective
in some cases, especially in the beginning of treatment, not effective in others, and actually harmful in others. From the beginning  of the use of these tranquilizers, it was known that they sometimes produced detrimental physical side effects:
"sedation and symptoms resembling Parkinson's disease are a problem for some patients and serious toxicity (persistent rhythmical involuntary movements of tongue and face, abnormal pigmentation, low white-cell count and jaundice) afflicts a substantial minority" (Eisenberg, 1973; Scheff, 1984).
        Eisenberg's estimate of the dangers of the side effects of the phenothiazines, like most psychiatric opinion, is probably understated. It would appear that a new syndrome of central nervous system disorder, tardive dyskinesia, has been created by phenothiazine use. According to Crane (1973; Scheff, 1984) it manifestations are:
        "slow, rhythmical movements in the region of the mouth, with protrusion of the tongue, smacking of the lips, blowing of the cheeks, and side-to-side movements of the chin, as well as other bizarre muscular activity. More careful examinations of patients on long-term drug therapy revealed that, not only the mouth, but practically all parts of the body could exhibit motor disorders, such as myoclonia, chorea, and athetosis. Over-extension of the spine and neck, shifting of weight from foot to foot, and other abnormal postures indicated that the coordination of the various segments of the axial musculature was also affected. Less frequently, the syndrome resembled in every respect known neurological diseases, such as Huntington's disease, dystonia musculorum deformans, and postencephalitic brain damage."
            For patients on "maintenance" doses (ie., long-term treatment), Baldessarini and Lipinski (1973; Scheff, 1984) estimated that this reaction occurs in 3 to 40% of the cases, with a mean of about 15%, a not inconsiderable group. Crane found 51% of the patients in his sample suffering from physical side effects. In the more severe reactions, the syndrome continues after the drug is removed. Like lobotomy, the phenothiazines may cause permanent, irreversible brain damage (Crane, 1973; Scheff, 1984). The manufacturers also warn that these drugs have had many other side effects including "sudden, unexpected and unexplained death." This range of severe physical effects suggests that in some instances phenothiazine treatment may be worse than the disease it is supposed to cure.
            Of perhaps equal significance are the psychological and social side effects of these drugs. Although it is difficult to make a clear assessment because of inadequate and conflicting evidence, most psychiatrists think that part of the effect of thorazine is sedation. For example, Allan (1975; Scheff, 1984) writes: "thorazine is extremely beneficial in calming the patient, and is distinct from the anti-psychotic properties of the drug." Hartlage (1965; Scheff, 1984) reports as follows:
"Results of studies involving a number of animals, normal subjects, and psychiatric patients tend to show significant declines in learning on a wide range of tasks, with a linear decline in learning with increased dosage levels."
            Similar comments apply to the other major psychoactive drugs, the anti-depressants and lithium carbonate, which are used for the treatment of depression and of manic-depressive psychosis, respectively. As in the case of phenothiazines, existing studies demonstrate that these drugs are effective in some cases, ineffective in others, and harmful in others. Without further studies that include consideration of physical, social, and psychological side effects, one cannot accurately assess their value to society.
            In the case of the anti-anxiety drugs, the picture is still less positive. The case of meprobamate is instructive. This drug, known as Miltown, was introduced in the late 1950s as an anti-anxiety tranquilizer. After many years and millions of prescriptions, it became clear in controlled studies that the drug could not be shown to have any more effect than placebos, and clinical experience indicated that the drug was addictive (Greenblatt and Shader, 1971; Scheff, 1984). For these reasons, meprobamate has been quietly withdrawn from use. In its place have come a number of other anti-anxiety tranquilizers, the best-known of which are Valium and Librium. Once again, however, history may be repeating itself--it now seems possible that Valium and Librium cannot be shown to have any effect greater than a placebo, and that they can be addictive. Nyswander (1975; Scheff, 1984), a psychiatrist well known for her studies of addiction, has warned that sustained use of Valium in large doses brings about "a far worse addiction than heroin, morphine, or demerol." The history of the use of meprobamate, Valium, and Librium, when considered in the context of the histories of earlier psychiatric innovations such as lobotomy and electroconvulsive therapy, does not suggest a particularly optimistic outcome. Scheff is not suggesting that chemotherapy has no value at all. The effectiveness of phenothiazines and lithium carbonate for some cases of mental illness has been clearly established as well as the promise of advances in the understanding of the neurological bases of these types of mental illness. But the total costs and risks of chemotherapy, in the context of the medical practice in which it is based, may be unacceptably great.
            One area where considerably more research on tranquilizer effects is urgently needed concerns dosage levels and psychological and social effects of drugs. Drug manufacturers acknowledge that there is sedation of some patients even at optimum-dosage levels. The problem is greatly magnified in cases where the dosage level is too high. The patient's reaction time, visual and verbal acuity, and social responsiveness are affected. Scheff suspects there is great temptation for the physician to err toward overdose rather than under-dose.
            Considering the dangerous side effects of many psychoactive drugs, we prefer to manage our emotions by talking or writing our problems out, prayer and meditation, regular exercise, good nutrition, and by identifying and feeling our negative emotions as well as our positive emotions. We do not act on our emotions unless it is morally and legally appropriate to act that way.
            Wide spread use of psychoactive drugs may serve as an effective means of behavioral social control by dumbing down the masses and keeping the masses socially isolated from each other but it is hardly conducive to the formation of a healthy population and a well educated stable democracy.

Domestic violence
            ♥Another serious social problem that we recognize is family violence. Domestic violence is rooted in poverty, social and gender inequality, unemployment, sexist attitudes, cultural approval of violence in general, and family stress. Each family has its own sad story of reasons for domestic violence.          
             We do not excuse family violence for any reason. Instead, we take responsibility for our own actions, and we do not under any circumstance participate in child abuse, spouse abuse, or other physical violence. We do not inflict physical abuse on any family member by directly slapping or beating, withholding food, clothing, medicine, personal care, or necessary supervision. We do not inflict psychological abuse on any family member by verbal assaults, gestures, evil looks, or threats that provoke fear. We do not inflict material abuse or theft of money or personal property on any family member. We do not violate the rights of an elderly family member by forcing the elderly person out of his or her home into a nursing home. We understand that violence not only causes physical harm in our families, but each incident also weakens the loyalty, attraction, and trust between family members that are basic to positive family functioning. We choose family love over family violence, so all family members have a chance to thrive.
            Those of us who are battered women seek help through shelter homes that have been established in many communities. Shelters can provide us and our children with safe shelter, so we can escape an abusive situation. Shelter homes can also provide us with counseling, assistance with finding a job, assistance with accessing services and resources, and legal help. Women have a legal right not to be abused, and we help abused women to access resources to stop abuse.           
            We understand that it is just not wives who are abused and that husbands are also abused but that the greatest physical damage is usually sustained by women because men are physically stronger and cause more serious injuries. We do not condone mutual domestic violence. If our relationship has become mutually abusive, we seek faith-based marriage counseling and domestic violence counseling. Those of us who are battered men seek help through programs that have been established to assist men who are battered. If we are a batterer, we seek help to deal with stress and anger management. Some areas have programs for batterers which include group therapy and twenty-four-hour "hot lines" that encourage potential spouse abusers to call when they are angry.           
            No matter how much stress we are under or what problems we may be facing, we never subject our children to abuse or neglect. We also protect our children from acquaintances, friends, or relatives who may abuse or neglect them. We do not under any circumstance subject our children to beatings, abandonment, malnourishment, lack of supervision, lack of proper clothing, or lack of proper shelter. We do not subject our children to living in filth, inappropriate sleeping arrangements, denial of essential medical care, opportunity to attend school regularly, exploitation, overwork, exposure to unwholesome or demoralizing circumstances, or emotional abuse involving denial of normal experiences that permit a child to feel loved, wanted, secure, and worthy. We do not subject our children to rejection or to a home climate charged with tension, hostility, and anxiety-producing occurrences. Instead, we provide our children with emotional nurturing necessary for the development of a sound personality.
            We never under any circumstance subject our children to sexual abuse of any kind, including sexual intercourse (genital or anal), oral-genital contact, fondling, or exposing oneself to a child. At some point hugging and kissing also become inappropriate. If incest is occurring in our family, we seek help immediately from our qualified spiritual adviser, faith-based social service agency, or counselor who can offer intervention, individual and group treatment, assertiveness training, and family therapy to assist us in protecting our children and building a healthy functional family system that is free of incest.
             When natural parents neglect, abuse, or exploit a child, the state has the legal right and responsibility to intervene. We realize that marital problems, economic pressures, social isolation, alcohol and drug abuse, exhaustion, health problems, limited education and limited job skills sometimes trigger abuse and neglect, so we seek and accept whatever help we need to control our stress level and to prevent all forms of family violence and abuse, so the state is not forced to intervene.
            If we lack resources to properly care for our children, we seek cash assistance, food, housing, and Medicaid from social service agencies. If stress is a problem, we seek help from our qualified spiritual adviser or counselor.

            ♥We recognize crime as another serious social problem. The U.S. Department of Justice — Federal Bureau of Investigation (September 2012) provides the following information on crime in the United States during 2012:

            Violent Crime is composed of four offenses: Murder and non-negligent manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery, and aggravated assault . Violent crimes are defined in the UCR Program as those offenses which involve force or threat of force.
•In 2012, an estimated 1,214,462 violent crimes occurred nationwide, an increase of 0.7 percent from the 2011 estimate.
•When considering 5- and 10-year trends, the 2012 estimated violent crime total was 12.9 percent below the 2008 level and 12.2 below the 2003 level.
•There were an estimated 386.9 violent crimes per 100,000 inhabitants in 2012, a rate that remained virtually unchanged when compared to the 2011 estimated rate.
•Aggravated assaults accounted for 62.6 percent of violent crimes reported to law enforcement in 2012. Robbery offenses accounted for 29.2 percent of violent crime offenses; rape accounted for 6.9 percent; and murder accounted for 1.2 percent.
•Information collected regarding types of weapons used in violent crime showed that firearms were used in 69.3 percent of the nation’s murders, 41.0 percent of robberies, and 21.8 percent of aggravated assaults. (Weapons data are not collected for forcible rape.)
            Property Crime includes the offenses of burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft, and arson. The object of the theft-type offenses is the taking of money or property, but there is no force or threat of force against the victims.
•In 2012, there were an estimated 8,975,438 property crime offenses in the nation. The 2-year trend showed that property crime declined 0.9 percent in 2012 when compared to the 2011 estimate. The 10-year trend showed that property crime offenses declined 14.1 percent in 2012 when compared to the 2003 estimate.
•In 2012, the rate of property crime was estimated at 2,859.2 per 100,000 inhabitants, a 1.6 percent decrease when compared to the 2011 estimated rate. The 2012 property crime rate was 11.1 percent less than the 2008 estimate and 20.4 percent less than the 2003 estimate.
•Of all property crimes in 2012, larceny-theft accounted for 68.5 percent. Burglary accounted for 23.4 percent and motor vehicle theft for 8.0 percent.
•Property crimes in 2012 resulted in losses estimated at $15.5 billion.
            Persons Arrested: The FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program counts one arrest for each separate instance in which a person is arrested, cited, or summoned for an offense. The UCR Program collects arrest data on 28 offenses, as described in Offense Definitions. (Please note that, beginning in 2010, the UCR Program no longer collected data on runaways.) Because a person may be arrested multiple times during a year, the UCR arrest figures do not reflect the number of individuals who have been arrested; rather, the arrest data show the number of times that persons are arrested, as reported by law enforcement agencies to the UCR Program.
•Nationwide, law enforcement made an estimated 12,196,959 arrests in 2012. Of these arrests, 521,196 were for violent crimes, and 1,646,212 were for property crimes. (Note: the UCR Program does not collect data on citations for traffic violations.)
•The highest number of arrests were for drug abuse violations (estimated at 1,552,432 arrests), driving under the influence (estimated at 1,282,957), and larceny-theft (estimated at 1,282,352).
•The estimated arrest rate for the United States in 2012 was 3,888.2 arrests per 100,000 inhabitants. The arrest rate for violent crime (including murder and nonnegligent manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery, and aggravated assault) was 166.3 per 100,000 inhabitants, and the arrest rate for property crime (burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft, and arson) was 528.1 per 100,000 inhabitants.
•Two-year arrest trends show violent crime arrests declined 1.8 percent in 2012 when compared with 2011 arrests, but property crime arrests increased 0.3 percent when compared with the 2011 arrests.
•Arrests of juveniles for all offenses decreased 10.4 percent in 2012 when compared with the 2011 number; arrests of adults declined 0.9 percent.
•Nearly 74 percent (73.8) of the persons arrested in the nation during 2012 were males. They accounted for 80.1 percent of persons arrested for violent crime and 62.6 percent of persons arrested for property crime.
•In 2012, 69.3 percent of all persons arrested were white, 28.1 percent were black, and the remaining 2.6 percent were of other races.
            ♥ Murder. Murder is undoubtedly the worst crime. One human beings puts an end to the life of another human being. Most of us at some point or other have felt like killing someone. Some of us act upon those feelings and actually commit murder. We are all capable of committing murder. A quick look at the daily news confirms that people murder all the time and for many reasons. Many murder out of greed for wealth and money. Many others murder from jealously or rage. Others murder out of fear for their own life or fear for the life of another.There is big profit reaped in Corrections from prisons that are full of people who commit murder.
            There is also big profit in sensationalizing murder and sensational news headlines abound:"Husband Kills Wife to Avoid Having to Pay Divorce Settlement." "Wife Murders Husband to Collect Insurance Money." "Boyfriend Kills Girlfriend Caught Cheating." "Disgruntled Employee Goes on Killing Rampage at Work." "Husband Kills Doctor Over Wife's Untimely Death." "Nurse Found Strangled and Murder." "Wife Kills Abusive Husband." "Wife Murders Husband Caught Abusing Child." Movies and television shows also sensationalize murder. We can't seem to get enough entertainment about murder.
            Yet, murder is forbidden by God. The sixth Commandment states clearly "You shall not murder" (Deuteronomy 5:17, Holy Bible, NKJV, 1982). Jesus taught that if we want to enter into life we must keep God's commandments. "You shall not murder" is one of the commandments that must be kept to enter into life.
            The first murder occurred when Cain killed his brother Abel. Jealousy drove Cain to kill Abel. The Lord respected Abel and his offering but he did not respect Cain and his offering. Instead of trying harder to seek the Lord's acceptance, Cain allowed sin to rule over him. Cain became very angry when he was not recognized by the Lord. Cain could not kill God so he took his anger out on his brother and he lashed out and killed Abel when they were alone in the field. When the Lord discovered the murder, He cursed Cain to live as a fugitive and vagabond.
            The institution of capital punishment came into being when God told Noah and his sons that whoever sheds man's blood, by man his blood shall be shed. People murder each other only because God permits them to do so for reasons known only by God Himself. The Revelation of Jesus Christ states that when the lamb opened the second seal a fiery red horse went out and it was granted to the one who sat on it to take peace from the earth, and that people should kill one another; and there was given to him a great sword.
            God's love for us is so great that He permitted the murder of Jesus only so those who believe can inherit everlasting life. So great was the love of Jesus that He washed us from our sins in His own blood so we could be redeemed to God. Love then is the fulfillment of God's law but we must live as God commands. We must love God and love one another if we are to inherit eternal life. Murder begets murder and love begets love. Murder is not the way to life. Love is the only way to God and eternal life. The next time you feel like murdering someone remember it is to your own benefit to love that person instead.
            We value our marriages, families, and job stability because these aspects of our lives are important in protecting us from being drawn into criminal activity and deviant behavior. We do not jeopardize our family life or job stability by participating in criminal behavior of any kind. If our juveniles are out of control, we seek family counseling immediately from our spiritual adviser or faith-based organization, so we can regain control and help our juveniles to avoid arrest.

            ♥ Crime Prevention. To prevent crime, we lock our windows and doors at home, install security alarm systems, and we use bright outside lighting to discourage burglary attempts. We cut back shrubbery around the house, so burglars cannot hide. We do not leave the key to our home under the door mat, in the mailbox, or on top of the door ledge. We prevent sliding glass doors from being opened by putting metal rods or wooden dowels in the lower tracks. We never let uninvited door-to-door salesmen or repairmen into our home. If we hear someone breaking into our home at night, we make a lot of noise to let the intruder know we are there, so the intruder can leave, but we do not try to confront the intruder. Instead, we yell "get the gun!", we scream out the window to the neighbors for help, and we call 9-1-1 to request assistance from the police. We install a deadbolt lock on the inside of our bedroom door, so we can lock our bedroom door if an intruder enters our home.
            If we are not home, we make our home look like we are there by leaving on lights, music, or television. If we are expecting a visitor and we are unable to be at home, we do not leave the door unlocked with a note on the door inviting the person to go inside because an intruder can easily enter. When we go on vacation, we make arrangements to have a friend check our home every few days. We invest in a locked mail box so others do not notice our mail accumulating while we are away. We install light timers to light a few rooms in the evening to make our home look like we are inside.           
            We engrave identification numbers on our possessions to discourage fencing of our stolen property, so our possessions can be easily identified. We do not leave our possessions on our lawn or in our driveway at night because they can be easily taken. We put important papers, expensive jewelry, and large sums of money in a bank security deposit box to protect our valuables from burglars, fires, and natural disasters. We do not put flashy equipment on our car because it invites theft.  We install security alarms and devices on our car to discourage theft and vandalism. We always lock our car, put valuables in the trunk, and we never leave the key in the ignition. If we leave our car at the airport or some place else for a few days, we pull the center wire out of the distributor, lock the car, and take the keys. We leave identification off our key chains, so if our keys are lost or stolen, no one will know what they open. We do not carry a large sum of money in our wallet or purse. If we must carry a large sum, we take along a second wallet containing a few bills and some expired credit cards that we can give a thief if confronted. We frustrate pickpocketing efforts in a crowd by putting our wallet in a buttoned pocket.
            We never hitchhike or pick up hitchhikers because it can lead to robbery and assault. We avoid going alone to a dark parking lot late at night. Those of us who are single women list only our last name and initials on our mailbox and in phone directories. We avoid becoming a rape victim by learning physical techniques of self-defense and by distasteful approaches such as vomiting or urinating on the rapist, informing the potential rapist we have herpes or the AIDS virus, squeezing the genitals of the rapist, using pepper spray, and poking our fingers into the rapist's eyes. We protect ourselves and our family members from becoming victims of assault and battery or attack by learning physical techniques of self-defense, carrying pepper spray, or carrying a permitted weapon if absolutely necessary. If we can scare an attacker off by screaming, verbal assault, or by sounding and looking dangerous or crazy we do. If we must physically defend ourselves, we attempt, as much as possible, to disarm or disable an attacker rather than permanently injure the attacker. We are careful never to use unwarranted excessive force against an attacker because we do not want to go to jail.
            We protect ourselves from harassment and other forms of abuse by seeking a restraining order or other appropriate legal action. If we become the victim of harassment by an entire group or community of people who are looking for a scapegoat or who are seeking to dominate a situation through intimidation or by pressing their belief systems on others then we seek appropriate legal action against the entire group or community in a neutral jurisdiction.

            ♥ Role of Churches. To reduce crime rates, we attempt to build a society that is less unequal, less depriving, less insecure, less disruptive of family and community ties, and less corrosive of cooperative values. We take on the enormous tasks of creating conditions in our community life in which individuals can live together in compassionate and cooperative ways.
            We believe that spiritual and moral rehabilitation is the only true rehabilitation and that our nation's crime and prison problem is fundamentally a moral and spiritual problem that only God can heal. Churches have always had a role in addressing our serious social and cultural problems. We believe that faith-based organizations can become a key resource for crime reduction by working more effectively with our juveniles, substance abusers, inmates, and the poor.
            Religious groups operate from a sense of mission and do more than might be expected. Church members understand that we can change because their own lives have changed as a result of their beliefs. Churches offer us a sense of security, stability, and belonging. We find family within our congregation--people with whom we can relate and people who truly care about us.
            Churches build stronger neighborhoods where informal social bonds work to reduce the level of offending. Churches have a role in crime prevention and intervention. Funding the grassroots prevention and intervention efforts of faith organizations is good common sense. Examples of prevention efforts include church programs that offer educational opportunities, employment opportunities, drug abuse prevention programs, shelter programs, child care programs, sports programs, recreational programs, and counseling programs for children who have witnessed domestic violence. Examples of intervention efforts include social model twelve-step based church programs for substance abusers, familial restoration and support programs, gang intervention, job placement, continuing education, and court diversions.
            We believe that the best way to alleviate the crime and prison problem is to fund the grassroots prevention and intervention efforts of our faith-based organizations at the same level of funding that is currently being spent on maintaining the booming business of prison programs. Initially this will be expensive for us, but as crime rates and prison populations begin to drop prison funding can be substantially decreased.
            We are alarmed by the continuing growth rate of the U.S. prison population and the growth of prison costs. Especially alarming to us is the escalating growth rate of crime among juvenile offenders. Equally alarming to us is the growing rate of children being raised in homes without fathers given the established correlation between father absence and crime. Without a doubt, our society must be protected from criminals. We must all feel safe in our homes and on our streets. We must feel that it is safe to send our children to school and to normal childhood events. Unfortunately, prisons have turned into holding tanks for high school drop outs and drug abusers. The prison culture is a breeding ground for gang formation, violence, and homosexual rape. Churches help to prevent and reduce crime.

            ♥ Prison Violence. Zimbardo (1973) suspected that prison violence is rooted in the social character of jails themselves, not in the personalities of individual guards and prisoners. To test his hypothesis, Zimbardo and his research team constructed a realistic-looking prison in the basement of the psychology building on the campus of Stanford University. Then they placed an ad in a local newspaper, offering to pay young men to help with a two-week research project. Zimbardo and his team administered a series of physical and psychological tests and then selected the healthiest twenty-four to participate in the research project. Half of the men were then randomly assigned to be prisoners and half of the men were randomly assigned to be guards. Neither group of men had any history of crime, emotional disability, physical disability, nor intellectual or social disadvantage. The plan called for the guards and prisoners to spend the next two weeks in the mock prison.           
            The prisoner subjects remained in the mock prison 24 hours per day for the duration of the study. Three were arbitrarily assigned to each of the three cells; the others were on stand-by call at their homes. The guard subjects worked on three-man eight-hour shifts remaining in the prison environment only during their work shift and going about their usual lives at other times. All subjects signed a contract guaranteeing a minimally adequate diet, clothing, housing and medical care as well as financial re-numeration of $15.00 per day in return for serving in the assigned role for the duration of the study. The contract specified that those assigned to be prisoners should expect to be under surveillance and to have some of their basic civil rights suspended during their imprisonment, excluding physical abuse. They were given no other information about what to expect, or instructions about behavior appropriate for a prisoner role. The assigned task of the guards was to maintain the reasonable degree of order within the prison necessary for its effective functioning, although the specifics of how this duty might be implemented were not explicitly detailed. The guards were given only minimal guidelines for what it meant to be a guard. An explicit and categorical prohibition against the use of physical punishment or physical aggression was emphasized by the experimenters. Otherwise, the roles of the guards were relatively unstructured. Each group of prisoners and guards were issued uniforms. Researchers filled the roles of Superintendent of the prison and Warden.The prisoners began their part of the experiment when real police officers arrested them at their homes. After searching and handcuffing the men, the police drove them to the local police station, where they were fingerprinted. Then police transported their captives to the Stanford prison, where the guards locked them up.
            The experiment turned into more than anyone had expected. Guards and prisoners showed a marked tendency toward increased negativity of affect, and their overall outlook became increasingly negative. As the experiment progressed, prisoners expressed intentions to do harm to others more frequently. Despite the fact that guards and prisoners were free to engage in any form of interaction (positive or negative; supportive or affrontive, etc.) the nature of their encounters tended to be negative, hostile, affrontive and dehumanizing. Prisoners adopted a passive response mode while guards assumed a very active initiative role in all interactions. Verbal affronts were used as one of the most frequent forms of interpersonal contact between guards and prisoners. Both guards and prisoners became embittered and hostile toward each other. Guards humiliated the prisoners by giving them jobs such as cleaning toilets with their bare hands. The prisoners resisted and insulted the guards. Within four days, the researchers had removed five prisoners who displayed extreme emotional depression, crying, rage and acute anxiety. Before the end of the first week, the situation had become so bad that the researchers had to end the experiment.
            The reality of the Stanford prison was attested to by a prison consultant who had spent more than 16 years in prisons, a priest who had been a prison chaplain, and a public defender, all of whom were brought into direct contact with the simulated prison environment. Further, the depressed affect of the prisoners, the guards' willingness to work overtime for no additional pay, the spontaneous use of prison titles and I.D. numbers in non role related situations all point to a level of reality as real as any other in the lives of those who shared this experience.
            The role of being a guard carried social status within the prison, a group identity, and the freedom to exercise an unprecedented degree of control over the lives of other human beings. This control was expressed in terms of sanctions, punishment, demands, and with the threat of manifest physical power. Guards showed in their behavior and revealed in post experimental statements that this sense of power was exhilarating. The use of power was self-aggrandizing and self-perpetuating. Not to be tough and arrogant was to be seen as a sign of weakness by the guards. After the first day of the study, practically all prisoner rights (even the time and conditions of sleeping and eating) came to be redefined by the guards as privileges which were to be earned by obedient behavior. Constructive activities such as watching movies or reading were arbitrarily canceled-- until further notice by the guards--and were subsequently never allowed. Reward became granting approval for prisoners to eat, sleep, go to the toilet, talk, smoke a cigarette, wear eye glasses, or the temporary diminution of harassment.
            At first prisoners exhibited disbelief at the total invasion of their privacy, constant surveillance, and atmosphere of oppression in which they were living. Their next response was rebellion, first by the use of direct force, and later by subtle divisive tactics designed to foster distrust among the prisoners. They then tried to work within the system by setting up an elected grievance committee but when that failed to produce meaningful changes in their existence, individual self-interests emerged. The breakdown in prisoner cohesion was the start of social disintegration which gave a rise not only to feelings of isolation, but deprecation of other prisoners as well. It is likely that the negative self-regard among the prisoners noted by the end of the study was the product of their coming to believe that the continued hostility toward them was justified because they deserved it.
            The experiment at the Stanford County Prison supported Zimbardo's hypothesis that prison violence is rooted in the social character of jails themselves, not in the personalities of individual guards and prisons. The finding of the research raises questions about our prisons and suggests the need for basic prison reform--alternatives to existing guard training as well as questioning the basic operating principles on which penal institutions rest.
            We might question whether there are meaningful nonviolent alternatives that can be used as models for behavior modification in real prisons. In a real prison world where men are either powerful or powerless, everyone learns to despise the lack of power in others and in oneself. Prisoners learn to admire power for its own sake--power becoming the ultimate reward. Real prisoners soon learn the means to gain power whether through ingratiation, informing, sexual control of other prisoners or the development of powerful cliques. Since both prisoners and guards are locked into a dynamic, symbiotic relationship which is destructive to their human nature, prison guards are also society's prisoners.
            ♥ Solutions to Prison Violence. If the mock Stanford prison experiment could generate the extent of pathology it did in such a short time when guards have power over prisoners, then we might also question the amount of pathology being produced in other situations where one group has power over another group--social workers over clients, doctors and nurses over patients, teachers over students, or in situations where one individual has power over another individual--parent over a child, a husband over wife, or boss over an employee. We might want to consider alternatives rooted in Christian principles of cooperation, true democracy, and real life opportunities as alternatives to power and control, exploitation of the weak by the strong, discrimination, and oppression if we are serious about reducing pathology not only in our prison system but in our everyday interactions with one another.
            We believe that safety must be a basic human right that offenders are entitled to and that prisoners must be able to feel safe while doing time in prison. We believe that no effort should be spared to rehabilitate the offender. We believe that the offender's family must also receive services as it does no
good to rehabilitate the offender without rehabilitating the entire family system. We realize that the offender will need a healthy supportive family to return to after he or she leaves prison.
           We believe that prison ministries offer a ray of hope for addressing the fundamental moral and spiritual problem that is at the heart of the crime problem. Work, education, and drug programs, although important, cannot change the inner person that is the target of faith-based programs. Prison ministries offer a way for the inmates to change their inner life.
            We also believe that prison programs must be dramatically altered. Prisons must provide educational, employment, and social model twelve-step-based drug treatment programs for inmates. The physical design of prisons must be altered to protect inmates from gang violence and homosexual rape. Prisoners must not be allowed contact of any kind with each other as prisoners influence each other negatively.
            Cells must be converted into individual apartment dwellings with large fenced yards. Prisoners must be kept busy with meal preparation, laundry, cleaning, studying, working, praying, exercising, and visiting with group teams of professionals. Prisoners must not be allowed cigarettes, alcohol, drugs, TV, or trashy reading materials. Group teams of teachers, employment specialists, drug treatment specialists, health care specialists, nutritionists, and clergy must visit and assist the prisoner daily.
            Professionals must always work in teams for their self-protection when they visit an inmate. A correctional guard must also accompany the professional teams when they visit an inmate. Violent inmates must be separated from their visitors with protective safety glass. Each inmate must have an individualized rehabilitation program schedule that includes spiritual enrichment, work activities, educational activities, twelve-step-based alcohol and drug counseling and treatment, health care, nutritional education, private conjugal visiting time, and supervised family visiting time.
            At the same time prison programs are being altered, faith organizations must increase their efforts to alleviate the spiritual and moral bankruptcy that pervades the homes and communities in America today. Faith organizations must especially concentrate on familial restoration and support. Specifically, family support group programs are needed. The growing juvenile crime rate is a wake up call to our society that parents must be taught to accept responsibility for the nurturing and care of their children. Parents must realize they cannot trust schools and day care centers to do their job. An all out effort must be made to keep fathers in the home and involved in child rearing responsibilities. Women have tried to raise healthy well-adjusted children alone, but it is very difficult for women to do a sufficient job raising children on their own. Children need the love and care of both their mothers and fathers.
            Mothers and fathers must be taught how to love and respect each other and how to settle their differences not only for the sake of their children but also for their own selves. The basic ways in which mothers and fathers relate to each other must be examined and challenged. Mothers and fathers must learn to relate to each other as equals and to face their lives together as a team. There has been some progress in this direction in recent years but much more work remains. For this to happen, mothers must continue to establish themselves as equal providers of family income, and fathers must continue to establish themselves as equal child care providers. Furthermore, mothers and fathers must learn how to comfort and nurture one another. They must also find a way to communicate with one another that is truthful and comprehensible yet caring and compassionate. Mothers and fathers must be taught how important a stable well-adjusted home life is for the healthy growth and development of their children. Once mothers and fathers have learned how to properly relate to each other, they will be free to establish healthy relationships with their children. Children who witness love and compassion grow into loving and compassionate adults. Healthy well-adjusted adults and children are much less likely to turn to drugs and crime and other behaviors that alienate.
            It will not be easy for some mothers and fathers to change the way they have learned to relate to each other, for now there is a gulf between some mothers and fathers as big as the gulf between heaven and hell. Nevertheless, it must be done or soon we will all end up either in prison or with a disconnected professional managing our lives.
            We rally for a public service campaign to educate the public on the importance of a father's role in the home. Just as importantly, we are advocates for faith-based programs that support fathering that is healthy and loving.
            We are advocates for faith-based crime prevention programs to control perpetuating crime rates. Once a person is jailed and is labeled as a criminal, he or she views himself or herself as a criminal as a result of the labeling which leads to future criminal activity. Faith-based crime prevention programs can help keep people out of jail and help reduce crime caused by labeling. We are advocates for law enforcement to stop discriminating against minority populations by arresting them unfairly. We also are advocates for programs within the correctional system that reduce future criminal activity, including prison ministries, twelve-step-based alcohol and drug counseling, prison education, vocational training, prison labor, early release for good conduct, parole, and probation.
            Those of us who feel called become involved in prison ministry programs, Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous twelve-step work, faith-based programs for crime prevention, programs that support healthy fathering, child care programs, juvenile outreach programs, and other church service work.
            . . ."You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and those that are great exercise authority over them. Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant. And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave--just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many" (Matthew 20:25-38, Holy Bible, NKJV, 1982).

Educational System Problems
            ♥ Problems within the educational system are other serious social problems we recognize. We believe that our children's schools should teach the basic skills of reading, writing, and arithmetic; however, we also believe our children should learn music, arts, drama, and sports, so we urge school systems to expand their curriculum. We advocate to increase incentives for our children's teachers so our children can have a quality education. Since schools provide inferior educational opportunities for students who are poor and for members of minority groups, we advocate for reform of school financing so that an equal amount of money is spent on each student's education no matter if the student  lives in a low-income, middle-income, or upper-income school district. We advocate for freedom of choice in deciding which school our children should attend. We also advocate for programs to assist disadvantaged students, disabled students, and gifted students.
            Regarding college, we believe that the value of a higher education cannot be measured in dollars alone. Besides offering college graduates the potential for a lifetime of higher earnings, higher education also leads to a self-discovery and it opens the channels of creativity. Higher education also leads to an awareness of self in relation to others and it allows us to understand other people and other cultures. Higher education is our pathway and hope for improving the world we share with others. For it is only through higher education that our complex social and environmental world problems will be resolved.
            We urge our leaders to develop programs to restructure the higher educational system so everyone, rich and poor alike, can easily access knowledge. We urge our leaders to restructure higher education to be legitimate work for the common person so that the common person who chooses to pursue higher education can receive decent financial compensation and a fair academic work load. We advocate for an expansion of college programs and training programs that offer paid on the job learning as a component to the degree or certificate in addition to quality class room learning. We advocate for massive job development and job creation in preschools, day care centers, elementary schools, middle schools, high schools, community colleges, state colleges, state universities, and all other fields as well, so we can have access to meaningful employment with good pay and benefits upon completion of our degree or training program.
          There will always be those of us who are not interested in education and learning, and there must be an equal place for us in the labor market as well. We advocate for good livable wages, good working conditions, job security, and opportunities for promotion for those who chose not to attend college. Those of us who are only interested in education for social status and monetary advantage must realize financial gain and social status can be more readily found beyond the walls of higher education.           
            We advocate for federal financial aid reform. We inform our political leaders that federal financial aid should be based solely upon individual resources and should not be based upon resources owned by parents or spouse that may or may not be available to an individual. We inform our leaders that federal financial aid should be based only on current earnings and should not be based on past earnings. We inform our leaders that federal financial aid programs should assist students who attend faith-based colleges and universities as well as all other students. We inform our political leaders that we want fair student loan practices, and we do not want to be burdened with student loans that exceed what the labor market will afford us to repay.  Those of us who are interested in attending college apply for federal student financial aid through the college financial aid office. We also assist our college-bound children with applying for financial aid. Federal financial assistance includes federal grants that do not have to be paid back, loans which do have to be paid back, and work-study money which can be earned and does not have to be paid back. Conviction of drug distribution or drug possession may make a student ineligible for financial assistance. We avoid taking out student loans because owing money causes undue worry, pressure, and stress, and the money must eventually be paid back. We advocate for tough restrictions on student loans and eventual elimination of student loan programs.
            According to a 2008 health poll, when people are dealing with mountains of debt, they're much more likely to report health problems too, such as ulcers, digestive problems, migraines and other headaches, anxiety, severe depression, heart attacks, muscle tension, lower back pain, trouble concentrating, and difficulty sleeping. That finding is supported by medical research that has linked chronic stress to a wide range of ailments.
            The survey found that upwardly mobile, middle-class families were among those who had the most debt stress. Others were women, couples with small children, low-income working families, Democrats and those who graduated high school but haven't taken college courses. Those least likely to be stressed from debt include men, retirees, empty-nesters, college graduates and Republicans.

Work Related Problems
            ♥Work-related problems such as alienation, unemployment, loss of good paying jobs, and occupational health hazards are also social problems that we recognize. Alienation is the sense of meaninglessness and powerlessness that some of us feel about our jobs. We work at jobs we find intrinsically satisfying to avoid work alienation.
            Long-term unemployment has serious adverse effects, including depletion of savings; loss of self-respect; loss of friends; isolation; and feelings of embarrassment, anger, despair, depression, anxiety, boredom, hopelessness, and apathy. If we are unemployed and need job training, we access local job training programs. If we are unemployed and need assistance finding a job, we access services through our local Employment Development Departments.
            There has been a loss of good paying jobs in America due to problems in the economy caused by globalization, multinational corporations, and outsourcing of good paying jobs to other countries. We inform our political leaders that we want stricter controls set on multinational corporations and laws passed that will require American corporations to remain in America. We advocate for massive job development and job creation in America, so we can have access to meaningful employment with good pay and benefits. We inform our political leaders that we don't believe in job segregation (a job market for the rich and a job market for the rest of us), and that we want only one labor market in the United States that offers equal access and equal opportunity for all American citizens.
            Occupational health hazards include on-the-job accidents, working conditions that lead to work-related physical diseases (exposure to chemical substances can cause cancers and other illnesses years later) and job stress that may lead to psychosomatic illnesses. If we are unable to resolve unsafe working conditions within our places of employment, we contact OSHA.
            Those of us who are working may contact our Employment Assistance Program if we require social services, such as alcohol and drug abuse counseling, career counseling and education, credit counseling, and retirement planning.

            ♥"My brethren, do not hold the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with partiality. For if there should come into your assembly a man with gold rings, in fine apparel, and there should also come in a poor man in filthy clothes, and you pay attention to the one wearing the fine clothes and say to him, "You sit here in a good place," and say to the poor man, "You stand there," or "Sit here at my footstool," have you not shown partiality among yourselves, and became judges with evil thoughts" (James 2:1-4, Holy Bible, NKJV, 1982).
            We also recognize discrimination as a serious social problem. There are many federal laws against discrimination. The laws were passed to protect people who are denied rights because of their race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, or disability. Discrimination can happen when an individual attempts to vote; rent or buy a home; use a public facility; obtain a job, an education, or a bank loan; or do many other things.
            Discrimination is illegal when an individual is denied an opportunity or a service based on:
•race--generally understood to be membership in a racial group. Depending on which law is involved, membership in an ethnic group can also constitute race;
•color--a person’s actual skin shade, may constitute a separate discrimination factor regardless of the person’s race;
•religion--a person’s religious beliefs and practices, or lack thereof, or a person’s membership in a religious group;
•national origin--a person's country of origin, the origin of a person’s ancestors, or the physical, cultural, or linguistic characteristics of a particular nationality. This includes characteristics such as last name, accent, and cultural heritage;
•age--persons aged 40 or over;
•disability--physical or mental impairments that substantially limit one or more major life activities of a person.
            Among the federal laws that require people to be treated equally are the Equal Pay Act of 1963, the Civil Rights Acts of 1964 and 1991, the Voting Rights Act of 1965, Executive Order 11,246 (1965), as amended by Executive Order 11,375 (1967), the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, the Fair Housing Act of 1968, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Equal Credit Opportunity Act of 1974, the Equal Educational Opportunity Act of 1974, the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, the Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act of 1975,the Community Reinvestment Act of 1977, the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986, the Civil Rights Restoration Act of 1987, Fair Housing Amendments Act of 1988, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, Voting Rights Language Assistance Act of 1992, and the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993.
            Many federal agencies are responsible for enforcing these laws and the regulations to implement them. Some agencies require individuals to complete a complaint form before they act against an individual or organization that violates people’s rights. Because laws and regulations frequently require that complaints be filed within certain time limits, it is important to file immediately after the discriminatory act occurs. Complainants are strongly encouraged to submit a written complaint, attaching copies of all pertinent information. 
            States, counties, and municipalities also have laws against discrimination, which sometimes provide different protection or relief. If they have laws that apply to your complaint, you may file with them instead of, or in addition to, filing with the federal government. The federal government has arrangements with some state and local governments to refer certain kinds of complaints to these localities for processing.
            Before you file a discrimination complaint, you should seek more information from:
•an attorney or trained legal counsel;
•federal, state, and local officials; and/or
•public service organizations
            If you believe that you have been discriminated against and want to file a complaint you may contact the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights' Complaint Referral Service. However, the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights (USCCR) has no power to enforce laws and, hence, cannot resolve individual complaints of discrimination. The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights' complaint referral service is designed to help place you in contact with the appropriate office for obtaining information about the complaint process. You may contact the Commission at the following address and the Commission can assist you by referring your matter to the appropriate civil rights enforcement agency:
U.S. Commission on Civil Rights
Office of Civil Rights Evaluation
1331 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Suite 1150
Washington, DC 20425
(202) 376-8513
(800) 552-6843
TTY Relay: 711
Fax: (202) 376-7754
            ♥When we are victims of race, color, national origin, or ethnic discrimination, others take action to exclude us from certain types of employment, educational and recreational opportunities, housing areas, membership in certain religious and social organizations, certain political activities, and access to some community services. Race or ethnic discrimination affects our self-concept causing us to feel socially inferior. Besides heavy psychological costs, racial discrimination has heavy financial costs as well by pushing us into low-paying jobs, inferior schools, and segregated housing. Racial discrimination results in social disadvantage. We fight racial and ethnic discrimination by promoting human rights; understanding that each racial and ethnic group has its own unique culture, language and history that must be respected and appreciated; abiding by civil rights legislation; eliminating and confronting racist and ethnic remarks and actions; and by confronting problems in our inner-city ghettos.
            When we are victims of sex discrimination, we are treated unfairly because of our gender. Sexism is the belief that one sex is superior to the other. Sexism results in men having more power and resources than women. Sexism limits the talents and ambitions of women. Sexism has resulted in the acceptance of violence against women and of women being concentrated in low-paying jobs. Sexism encourages men to behave in high risk behaviors--substance abuse, reckless driving, and playing dangerous sports-- that result in accidents, suicide, violence and stress-related diseases such as heart disease. Sexism also limits opportunities for men in intimacy and trust. Women have been socialized to be passive, submissive, dependent, emotional, and feminine while men have been socialized to be dominant, strong, self-reliant, aggressive, unfeeling, masculine, and brave. Sex-role stereotyping is pervasive in our society, with aspects being found in our child rearing practices, educational system, employment practices, religion, psychological theories, language, mass media, business world, marriage and family patterns, and our political system. The socialization process and sex-role stereotyping have led to many problems, which include sex discrimination in employment with men being paid substantially more than women; double standards of conduct for males and females; power struggles between men and women; and women being unhappier in marriages and more depressed. To fight sexism, we have passed laws against sex discrimination. Women as well as men are now pursuing new careers and are taking on roles and tasks that run counter to traditional sex stereotypes. Men have become freed from having to be the model man who is the sole provider, who hides emotions, never cries, never feels depressed or anxious. In Loving Family, we understand that true sexual equality for men and women means that we are free to be ourselves.
          When we are victims of religious discrimination, we are treated unfairly and denied opportunity because of our religious beliefs and practices or membership in a particular religious group. The United States Constitution grants all citizens the right to religious freedom. We fight religious discrimination by promoting human rights, abiding by our constitutional bill of rights and civil rights legislation, and by confronting religious discrimination in the work place and community. As Christians, we draw others to Christ by our own Christ-like example. We never force our beliefs upon others. We believe in the power of love and that God will lead unbelievers to the way of salvation. However, as Christians, we take a firm loving stand for God and fight to keep America one nation under God since our nation will be doomed if we ever put man's law above God's law. As Christians, we fight to keep prayer in our public schools and public events and we fight to keep God's Ten Commandments visible in our government offices since our country was founded upon God's laws and we want to keep America forever great.
            When we are victims of age discrimination, we are denied fair opportunity due to our age. To fight age discrimination we abide by civil rights legislation; we judge the performance of others based on their abilities and not on their age; and we promote opportunities for older people to engage in meaningful work and community activities based upon limited ability.
            When we are victims of discrimination due to disability we are treated unfairly due to an impairment. To fight disability discrimination we promote opportunity for  the disabled so they can achieve optimal development and competence by using and employing what abilities they do possess.
            We believe in fair treatment for the disabled but we do not believe those with disabilities should have the right to impact the health and well-being of others. Discrimination against asthmatic, people with allergies, and people with an aversion to dogs has yet to be addressed. It is only a matter of time before an asthmatic or allergic person dies from an asthma attack or allergic reaction as a result of the Americans With Disabilities Act  which forces asthmatic and  allergic persons to have interactions with dogs in public  buildings. It is only a matter of time before a service dog or their owner becomes injured by a scared frustrated angry person who has an aversion to dogs and who happens to encounter a dog in a public building. It is only a matter of time before all adults and children are plagued by public health problems transmitted by dogs to people--worms, lice, ticks, and disease--because  dogs are permitted in public buildings. Now is the time to amend the American With Disabilities Act to forbid access to service animals. Now is the time to stop discrimination against people with asthma, allergies, and an aversion to dogs by permitting them equal access to public buildings that are free of dogs so they do not have to become ill as a result of doing daily business in public buildings. Now is the time for everyone to speak up so this hideous form of discrimination can be halted. Now is the time for everyone to take action and fight back to rid public buildings of dog filth. Take action now to keep dogs and all other animals outside of public buildings!

Health Care System Problems
            ♥Health care system problems are other serious social problems that we recognize. Problems in our health care system include the dual and sometimes conflicting objectives of providing service and of making a profit; an emphasis on costly treatment rather than on prevention; costly, unnecessary or harmful care; costly unnecessary lab work and testing; controversy over the use of costly life-sustaining equipment; the general high cost of medical care; unequal access to health services for the poor and minorities; low-quality health care for the elderly; the high rate of medical errors; dangerous side effects of many prescribed drugs; and pollution of our water supply by prescription medications.
            In the United States, medical expenses are paid for by direct payments from us to our health care provider, by private insurance, and  through government programs such as Medicaid and Medicare, or Marketplace health insurance. Under the Medicaid program benefits vary from state to state. Health care is costly and so is health insurance, Medicaid, and Medicare. Those of us who are not covered through group plans at work must purchase private health insurance or qualify for reduced or no cost insurance through the Marketplace health insurance, Medicaid, or Medicare. Even with Obamacare in place, insurance can still be too expensive depending upon other debts. A number of us still fall between the cracks--too rich for Medicaid, too young for Medicare, too poor to buy health insurance, and too poor to pay medical  bills. Those of us who have health insurance often find it difficult to pay deductibles and co-pays.
          The problem with mass government healthcare programs in America, like Medicare and Medicaid and Marketplace health insurance, is that these programs only provide services to certain groups of people--aged, disabled, the poor, and those unable to afford the full cost of  private insurance. Those who can afford to pay for private insurance must also pay taxes so the aged,  disabled, and poor, or those in need can qualify for free or low cost coverage. Once you treat any group differently than everyone else problems arise due to human jealously, greed, hatefulness, etc. People in Canada, Denmark, Sweden, etc. are all happy with their healthcare because everyone is equally entitled and they all receive benefits regardless of their age, social class, income, and health condition. We should get a clue in America and stop treating certain groups of people differently since it only leads to discord!

            Health Care Fraud. In November of 2005, LexisNexis launched advanced information and data access technology in association with the National Health Care Anti-Fraud Association (NHCAA), law enforcement and regulatory agencies (Medical Billing Advocates of America; MBAA; 2008). Conceived as a public service for the healthcare industry, it was created in response to what the company calls a: “$51 billion issue” and a “crime phenomenon” The MBAA states that the issue they're talking about is healthcare fraud, and it accounts for an estimated 3% of America's $1.7 trillion annual healthcare cost that you are paying for. "Health care spending in the U.S. is five (5) times that of defense and three (3) times that of education," the article says. "Health care insurers, Medicare, Medicaid, and consumers bear the cost of fraud, which represents an ever-growing burden in the form of increased premiums, taxes, co-pays and deductibles." Of this $51 billion issue, upwards of $10 billion of it is likely coming from overcharges on medical bills like yours. MBAA states that today's complex medical billing system allows fraud and abuse to go undetected. Studies have shown that as many as 9 out of 10 medical bills from hospitals and providers contain errors. Their errors are compounded by the fact that insurance companies are not reimbursing correctly--they just pay the incorrect bills unquestioningly, but deny legitimate charges. MBAA states that healthcare costs are skyrocketing due to healthcare fraud from medical billing errors. MBAA is fighting to keep healthcare costs down for consumers, businesses and healthcare providers.

            Medical Errors. The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (Publication No. AHRQ)  provides important information about the epidemic of medical errors. HHS states that The November 1999 report of the Institute of Medicine (IOM), entitled To Err Is Human: Building A Safer Health System, focused a great deal of attention on the issue of medical errors and patient safety. The report indicated that as many as 44,000 to 98,000 people die in hospitals each year as the result of medical errors.
            Even using the lower estimate, this would make medical errors the eighth leading cause of death in this country—higher than motor vehicle accidents (43,458), breast cancer (42,297), or AIDS (16,516). About 7,000 people per year are estimated to die from medication errors alone—about 16 percent more deaths than the number attributable to work-related injuries.
            The President ordered the Quality Interagency Coordination Task Force to make recommendations on improving health care quality and protecting patient safety in response to the IOM report. The Report to the President on Medical Errors was issued in February 2000.
            Errors occur not only in hospitals but in other health care settings, such as physicians' offices, nursing homes, pharmacies, urgent care centers, and care delivered in the home. Unfortunately, very little data exist on the extent of the problem outside of hospitals. The IOM report indicated, however, that many errors are likely to occur outside the hospital. For example, in a recent investigation of pharmacists, the Massachusetts State Board of Registration in Pharmacy estimated that 2.4 million prescriptions are filled improperly each year in the State.
            Medical errors carry a high financial cost. The IOM report estimates that medical errors cost the Nation approximately $37.6 billion each year; about $17 billion of those costs are associated with preventable errors. About half of the expenditures for preventable medical errors are for direct health care costs. 
            The serious problem of medical errors is not new, but in the past, the problem has not gotten the attention it deserved. A body of research describing the problem of medical errors began to emerge in the early 1990s with landmark research conducted by Lucian Leape, M.D., and David Bates, M.D., and supported by the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research, now the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ).
            The final report of the President's Advisory Commission on Consumer Protection and Quality in the Health Care Industry, released in 1998, identified medical errors as one of the four major challenges facing the Nation in improving health care quality. Based on the recommendations of that report, President Clinton directed the establishment of the Quality Inter-agency Coordination Task Force (QuIC) to coordinate quality improvement activities in Federal health care programs.
           The QuIC includes: the Departments of Health and Human Services, Labor, Veterans Affairs, Commerce, and Defense; the Coast Guard; the Bureau of Prisons; and the Office of Personnel Management.
            While there has been no unified effort to address the problem of medical errors and patient safety, awareness of the issue has been growing. Americans have a very real fear of medical errors.
            According to a national poll conducted by the National Patient Safety Foundation:
•Forty-two percent of respondents had been affected by a medical error, either personally or through a friend or relative.
•Thirty-two percent of the respondents indicated that the error had a permanent negative effect on the patient's health.
Overall, the respondents to this survey thought the health care system was "moderately safe" (rated a 4.9 on a 1 to 7 scale, where 1 is not safe at all and 7 is very safe).
            Another survey, conducted by the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, found that Americans are "very concerned" about:
•Being given the wrong medicine (61 percent).
•Being given two or more medicines that interact in a negative way (58 percent).
•Complications from a medical procedure (56 percent).
            Most people believe that medical errors are the result of the failures of individual providers. When asked in a survey about possible solutions to medical errors:
•Seventy-five percent of respondents thought it would be most effective to "keep health professionals with bad track records from providing care."
•Sixty-nine percent thought the problem could be solved through "better training of health professionals."
            This fear of medical errors was borne out by the interest and attention that the IOM report generated. According to a survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation, 51 percent of Americans followed closely the release of the IOM report on medical errors.
            The IOM emphasized that most of the medical errors are systems related and not attributable to individual negligence or misconduct. The key to reducing medical errors is to focus on improving the systems of delivering care and not to blame individuals. Health care professionals are simply human and, like everyone else, they make mistakes. But research has shown that system improvements can reduce the error rates and improve the quality of health care:
•A 1999 study indicated that including a pharmacist on medical rounds reduced the errors related to medication ordering by 66 percent, from 10.4 per 1,000 patient days to 3.5 per 1,000 patient days.
•The specialty of anesthesia has reduced its error rate by nearly sevenfold, from 25 to 50 per million to 5.4 per million, by using standardized guidelines and protocols, standardizing equipment, etc.
•One hospital in the Department of Veterans Affairs uses hand-held, wireless computer technology and bar-coding, which has cut overall hospital medication error rates by 70 percent. This system is soon to be implemented in all VA hospitals.
            The IOM defines medical error as "the failure to complete a planned action as intended or the use of a wrong plan to achieve an aim." An adverse event is defined as "an injury caused by medical management rather than by the underlying disease or condition of the patient." Some adverse events are not preventable and they reflect the risk associated with treatment, such as a life-threatening allergic reaction to a drug when the patient had no known allergies to it. However, the patient who receives an antibiotic to which he or she is known to be allergic, goes into anaphylactic shock, and dies, represents a preventable adverse event.
           Most people believe that medical errors usually involve drugs, such as a patient getting the wrong prescription or dosage, or mishandled surgeries, such as amputation of the wrong limb. However, there are many other types of medical errors, including:
•Diagnostic error, such as misdiagnosis leading to an incorrect choice of therapy, failure to use an indicated diagnostic test, misinterpretation of test results, and failure to act on abnormal results.
•Equipment failure, such as defibrillators with dead batteries or intravenous pumps whose valves are easily dislodged or bumped, causing increased doses of medication over too short a period.
•Infections, such as nosocomial and post-surgical wound infections.
•Blood transfusion-related injuries, such as giving a patient the blood of the incorrect type.
•Misinterpretation of other medical orders, such as failing to give a patient a salt-free meal, as ordered by a physician.
Research clearly shows that the majority of medical errors can be prevented:
•One of the landmark studies on medical errors indicated 70 percent of adverse events found in a review of 1,133 medical records were preventable; 6 percent were potentially preventable; and 24 percent were not preventable.
•A study released last year, based on a chart review of 15,000 medical records in Colorado and Utah, found that 54 percent of surgical errors were preventable.
Other potential system improvements include:
•Use of information technology, such as hand-held bedside computers, to eliminate reliance on handwriting for ordering medications and other treatment needs.
•Avoidance of similar-sounding and look-alike names and packages of medication.
•Standardization of treatment policies and protocols to avoid confusion and reliance on memory, which is known to be fallible and responsible for many errors.

            The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (AHRQ Publication No. 11-0089, 9/11) explains that the best way you can help to prevent medical errors is to be an active member of your health care team. That means taking part in every decision about your health care. Research shows that patients who are more involved with their care tend to get better results.
            The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (AHRQ Publication No. 11-0089, 9/11) also provides us with the following 20 Tips to Help Prevent Medical Errors:
            1. Make sure that all of your doctors know about every medicine you are taking. This includes prescription and over-the-counter medicines and dietary supplements, such as vitamins and herbs.
            2. Bring all of your medicines and supplements to your doctor visits. "Brown bagging" your medicines can help you and your doctor talk about them and find out if there are any problems. It can also help your doctor keep your records up to date and help you get better quality care.
            3. Make sure your doctor knows about any allergies and adverse reactions you have had to medicines. This can help you avoid getting a medicine that can harm you.
            4. When your doctor writes a prescription for you, make sure you can read it. If you cannot read your doctor's handwriting, your pharmacist might not be able to either.
            5. Ask for information about your medicines in terms you can understand—both when your medicines are prescribed and when you get them:
•What is the medicine for?
•How am I supposed to take it, and for how long?
•What side effects are likely? What do I do if they occur?
•Is this medicine safe to take with other medicines or dietary supplements I am taking?
•What food, drink, or activities should I avoid while taking this medicine?
            6. When you pick up your medicine from the pharmacy, ask: Is this the medicine that my doctor prescribed?
            7. If you have any questions about the directions on your medicine labels, ask. Medicine labels can be hard to understand. For example, ask if "four doses daily" means taking a dose every 6 hours around the clock or just during regular waking hours.
            8. Ask your pharmacist for the best device to measure your liquid medicine. For example, many people use household teaspoons, which often do not hold a true teaspoon of liquid. Special devices, like marked syringes, help people measure the right dose.
            9. Ask for written information about the side effects your medicine could cause. If you know what might happen, you will be better prepared if it does or if something unexpected happens.
            Hospital Stays
            10. If you are in a hospital, consider asking all health care workers who will touch you whether they have washed their hands. Handwashing can prevent the spread of infections in hospitals.
            11. When you are being discharged from the hospital, ask your doctor to explain the treatment plan you will follow at home. This includes learning about your new medicines, making sure you know when to schedule follow-up appointments, and finding out when you can get back to your regular activities. It is important to know whether or not you should keep taking the medicines you were taking before your hospital stay. Getting clear instructions may help prevent an unexpected return trip to the hospital.
            12. If you are having surgery, make sure that you, your doctor, and your surgeon all agree on exactly what will be done. Having surgery at the wrong site (for example, operating on the left knee instead of the right) is rare. But even once is too often. The good news is that wrong-site surgery is 100 percent preventable. Surgeons are expected to sign their initials directly on the site to be operated on before the surgery.
            13. If you have a choice, choose a hospital at which many patients have the procedure or surgery you need. Research shows that patients tend to have better results when they are treated in hospitals that have a great deal of experience with their condition.
            Other Steps
            14.  Speak up if you have questions or concerns. You have a right to question anyone who is involved with your care.
            15. Make sure that someone, such as your primary care doctor, coordinates your care. This is especially important if you have many health problems or are in the hospital.
            16. Make sure that all your doctors have your important health information. Do not assume that everyone has all the information they need.
            17. Ask a family member or friend to go to appointments with you. Even if you do not need help now, you might need it later.
            18. Know that "more" is not always better. It is a good idea to find out why a test or treatment is needed and how it can help you. You could be better off without it.
            19. If you have a test, do not assume that no news is good news. Ask how and when you will get the results.
            20. Learn about your condition and treatments by asking your doctor and nurse and by using other reliable sources. For example, treatment options based on the latest scientific evidence are available from the Effective Health Care Web site. Ask your doctor if your treatment is based on the latest evidence.

            "Now a certain woman had a flow of blood for twelve years, and she suffered many things from many physicians. She had spent all that she had and was no better, but rather grew worse" (Mark 5:25-26, Holy Bible, NKJV, 1982).

             ♥ Dangers of Anti-psychotic Drugs for the Elderly. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA; 6/16/08) exercised its new authority under the Food and Drug Administration Amendments Act of 2007 (FDAAA) to require manufacturers of "conventional" anti-psychotic drugs to make safety-related changes to prescribing information, or labeling, to warn about an increased risk of death associated with the off-label use of these drugs to treat behavioral problems in older people with dementia.
            In 2005, the FDA announced similar labeling changes for "atypical" anti-psychotic drugs. At that time, Boxed Warnings, the FDA's strongest, were added. The Boxed Warning will now be added to an older class of drugs known as "conventional" anti-psychotics. The warning for both classes of drugs will say that clinical studies indicate that anti-psychotic drugs of both types are associated with an increased risk of death when used in elderly patients treated for dementia-related psychosis.
            "It is important that health care professionals and consumers have the most up-to-date drug safety information," said Thomas Laughren, M.D., director of the FDA's Division of Psychiatry Products in the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. "The prescribing information for all anti-psychotic drugs will be updated to describe the risk of death in elderly patients being treated for symptoms associated with dementia."
            Anti-psychotic drugs commonly are categorized into two classes, the older "conventional" anti-psychotics and the newer "atypical" anti-psychotics. Both classes of drugs are dopamine receptor antagonists that work by blocking the action of naturally occurring dopamine in the brain. They differ primarily in their side effects, with the atypical drugs having a lower incidence of neurological side effects such as involuntary movements or "tics."
            Neither class of anti-psychotic is FDA-approved for use in the treatment of dementia-related symptoms, which can include forgetfulness, poor memory, and an inability to recognize familiar objects, sounds, or people. The drugs are FDA-approved primarily for the treatment of symptoms associated with schizophrenia. The decision to use anti-psychotic medications in the treatment of patients with symptoms of dementia is left to the discretion of the physician. Such use is often called "off-label" use and falls within the practice of medicine.
            Recently, two observational epidemiological studies were published that examined the risk of death in elderly patients with dementia who were treated with conventional anti-psychotic drugs. The investigators compared the risk for death with use of an atypical anti-psychotic versus either no anti-psychotic or the use of a conventional anti-psychotic. These studies have limitations that preclude reaching a definitive conclusion about comparative death rates for atypical and conventional anti-psychotic drugs. Nevertheless, the FDA has concluded that these studies, along with the earlier evidence for atypical anti-psychotic drugs, suggest that both classes of drugs should be considered to have an increased risk of death when used in elderly patients treated for dementia-related psychosis.
            An explanation of the data and advice for treating patients is available in an FDA notice to health care professionals. The FDA issued letters to the manufacturers of both types of anti-psychotic drugs, under the new authority of FDAAA, notifying the manufacturers that they should make changes to drug labeling. Manufacturers of both classes of drugs are being asked to change labeling so that all of the drugs carry uniform warning language.
            People taking anti-psychotic drugs should not abruptly stop taking them. Caregivers and patients should talk to the patient's health care professionals about any concerns.
            The medications involved in this action are:
Conventional Anti-psychotic Drugs                                              Atypical Anti-psychotics
Compazine (prochlorperazine)                                                      Abilify (aripiprazole)
Haldol (haloperidol)                                                                      Clozaril (clozapine)
Loxitane (loxapine)                                                                       FazaClo (clozapine)
Mellaril (thioridazine)                                                                   Geodon (ziprasidone)
Moban (molindrone)                                                                      Invega (paliperidone)
Navane (thithixene)                                                                       Risperdal (risperidone)
Orap (pimozide)                                                                             Seroquel (quetiapine)
Prolixin (fluphenazine)                                                                  Zyprexa (olanzapine)
Stelazine (trifluoperazine)                                                              Symbyax (olanzapine and fluoxetine)
Thorazine (chlorpromazine)                               
Trilafon (perphenazine)

            Similar results were found in a study funded by the Canadian Institutes for Health Research .“Anti-psychotic Therapy and Short –Term Serious Events in Older Adults with Dementia”, May issue of Archives of Internal Medicine (Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences in Toronto (ICES), Canada, 5/26/08).  According to the ICES, elderly people who take anti-psychotic drugs are at an increased risk of having an event that is serious enough to lead to hospitalization or death within a month of starting therapy, says new research from Ontario’s Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences (ICES).
            The ICES study looked at all Ontario residents aged 66 years and older diagnosed with dementia.  20,682 older adults with dementia lived in the community and another 20,559 matched individuals lived in nursing homes between April 1, 1997 and March 31, 2004.  The study looked at the risk of developing serious events that led to hospitalization or death within 30 days of starting the therapy.  “It’s a double edged sword,” says lead author and Sr. ICES Scientist, Dr. Paula Rochon, “on one hand the drug may cause serious harm to the frail elderly and on the other, they may make life easier in some very difficult situations. Anti-psychotic therapy is widely used to manage behavioral problems in dementia and frequently prescribed around the time of nursing home admission. We need to proceed with caution even when short term therapy is being prescribed, to ensure that the benefits of the drug outweigh the risks for the individual.”
             ICES provides the results of the study as follows:
•Community dwelling older adults dispensed an atypical anti-psychotic therapy were 3.2 times more likely to develop any serious event during the 30 days of follow up compared to those who were not.
•Those dispensed a conventional anti-psychotic therapy were 3.8 times more likely to develop any serious event during the 30 days of follow up.
•The pattern of serious events was similar but the differences were less pronounced in the nursing home population.
•Serious events as indicated by a hospital admission or death was frequent following the short term use of anti-psychotic therapy in older adults with dementia.
•Anti-psychotic therapy should be used with caution even when short term therapy is being prescribed.
            Rochon states “our study demonstrates the importance of post-marketing surveillance of new drugs.  Clinical trials that are used to determine if drugs are safe before they are licensed often fail to detect problems that occur when these same drugs are used in real world settings by more frail individuals.  Studies that look at a wide range of different adverse events in large groups of individuals can provide new and important information.  Ongoing safety monitoring of drug side effects in a cohort context, larger real-world populations is vital.  Experts from regulatory bodies such as Health Canada, the Food and Drug Administration and drug plans that pay for these drugs will have to consider our findings in the context of all the evidence so far, to decide the future of these drugs.  Our results exploring serious adverse events likely identify only the tip of the iceberg.”
            ICES states that Anti-psychotics are a group of drugs commonly but not exclusively used to treat psychosis. Conditions for which anti-psychotic drugs might be used include schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, mania, and delusional disorder. Over time different classes of anti-psychotics have been developed. A first generation of anti-psychotics, known as typical anti-psychotics, were discovered in the 1950s. Most of the drugs in the second generation of anti-psychotics, known as atypical anti-psychotics, have more recently been developed and come into use in Alzheimer patients. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has ordered manufacturers of atypical, or second-generation, anti-psychotic medications to add a new warning to already existing black-box warnings noting that the drugs are associated with an increased risk of death related to psychosis and behavioral problems in elderly patients with dementia.

            ♥ Pharmaceuticals in Water Supply. Unfortunately, studies now show that our water supply contains levels of several pharmaceuticals. The Associated Press (Bob Russ, Repository Suburban Editor, Canton Rep.com 4/17/08) spent five months studying 62 major water providers nationwide, searching for concentrations of pharmaceuticals and they found them--as many as 56 different drugs in a single sample--in the drinking water supplies of at least 41 million Americans. Worse, that's likely just the tip of the iceberg, since 34 of the 62 systems contacted do not test their water for drugs. Of the 28 systems that were tested, 24 were found to have drugs in the drinking water--antibiotics, anti-convulsants, mood stabilizers, sex hormones, pain medication, anti-anxiety and anti-epileptic medications and dozens more. Russ indicates that the federal government doesn't require any testing for drugs in drinking water, and even if it did, hasn't determined what concentrations would pose a hazard. As a result, drinking water for major cities such as Houston, Chicago, Miami, Baltimore, Phoenix, Boston, New York, and others might be loaded with drugs but it is unknown because those cities don't test for them. According to Russ, the Associated Press study noted that although the "exact risks from decades of persistent exposure to random combinations of low levels of pharmaceuticals" are not yet known, "recent studies...have found alarming effects on human cells and wildlife." Russ notes that high levels of the female hormone estrone and other estrogenic chemicals were found in New York City's Jamaica Bay and Jamaica Bay is where researchers discovered a male flounder which had developed female sex organs. Alan Goldhammer, Deputy Vice President for Regulatory Affairs at Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (Martha Mendoza, Associated Press; startribune.com 4/15/08) indicated that his organization has researched the issue for years and found no problems. "In summary, there appears to be no demonstrable risk to human health from detected concentrations of pharmaceuticals in surface water," Goldhammer said. Jennifer Sass, Senior Scientist for the Natural Resources Defense Council (Martha Mendoza, Associated Press; startribune.com 4/15/08) disagreed with Goldhammer and she indicated that "although the human health impacts of these exposures to pharmaceuticals and personal care products are poorly understood, what we do know is troubling. For example, we know that widespread exposure to antibiotics is contributing to the growth of bacterial resistance, and this problem is of grave concern."                   

           ♥ In Loving Family, we advocate for solutions to improve our current health care systems, which includes requiring all health care providers to have training in preventative health care, alternative health care, holistic health care, natural remedies, vitamin and supplement therapy, the social sciences, social model addiction training, humanities, and ethics in addition to their standard medical training since many factors affect health and there are many pathways to wellness; allowing doctors to advertise their services and fees; regulating medical treatment costs and reducing medical billing fraud by developing standards for pricing; requiring physicians, hospitals, laboratories, other healthcare providers and insurance companies to work together to let patients know their exact share of cost for care, treatment, lab work, and tests before services are administered; expanding the use of generic drugs; encouraging patients to seek a second opinion before consenting to an operation; developing more preventive medical programs; encouraging patient's to be an active member of their health care team; encouraging patients to use prescription medications only when absolutely necessary and to use medications exactly as prescribed; expanding the use of health maintenance organizations; and controlling medical fees, prescription drug costs, and health insurance costs.
            We let our leaders know that we want health care reform. We let our leaders know that we want the health care industry to be converted to a volunteer health service organization, so the profit motive can be eliminated from health care, health care problems can be solved, physicians can have an easier time abiding by the Hippocratic oath, medical errors can be reduced, and so all patients-- rich and poor alike-- can receive high quality affordable health care. A volunteer health service organization could be set up so that health care workers could enlist for two years, four years, etc., or for a life career and be paid a reasonable but good stipend. Increases in stipend could be earned based upon merit (overall health and well-being of patients) and time served. Health care providers could work at community controlled health centers and hospitals. A system of checks and balances could be implemented so medical decisions and treatment plans were made and approved by the patient with input and recommendations made by their physician (s), medical provider (s), and medical monitors. Most important, we advocate for developing affordable user friendly non-mandatory comprehensive national health and dental insurance programs that covers everyone, so we can put an end to our current health care crises. We also advocate for our water supply to be kept clean and free of  pharmaceuticals.        
            When the Lord comes in His glory with all the angels and all the nations are assembled before Him, we want our heritage to be the kingdom of heaven not eternal punishment. Therefore, we see the Lord in each hungry person, we see the Lord in each thirsty person, we see the Lord in each stranger, we see the Lord in each naked person, we see the Lord in each sick person, and we see the Lord in each prisoner. Since we do not want to neglect the Lord, we do not neglect to feed the sick, give drink to the thirsty, make the stranger welcome, clothed the naked, or visit those who are ill or in prison. Since we are one nation under God indivisible, it is our responsibility as a nation to see that the Lord in each American citizen has access to the help we all need. And that is not enough; as a great nation, we must also accept our responsibility to all people in all nations and not neglect to see that the Lord in each person on earth has access to the help we all need.  

Jesus stated: "Now is the judgment of this world; now the ruler of this world will be cast out. And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself" (Holy Bible, NKJV, 1982, John 12: 31-32).

Resource Management
            ♥ There are three main approaches to resource management in the world today. The capitalist approach is based upon principles of a free market economy with price set by supply and demand. Staunch believers of capitalism in the United States today are the Republicans, mainly white upper class men and women. Capitalist believe that if something does not have a price attached it must not be worth having or owning. At one time, the capitalist approach had the potential for building a strong economy. Small businesses, small corporations, and Mom and Pop enterprises used to thrive under the capitalist approach but that is no longer true. Jobs available for most people today are low-paying jobs with little or no benefits. Large multinational corporation states rule America and the world today. Small businesses, small corporations, and Mom and Pop enterprises cannot compete against the giants. Multinational corporation States dictate policy behind the scenes, and our political leaders must bow down to them. Price fixing is the rule rather than the exception. Multinational corporations are squeezing the masses at the gas pump, the grocery store, and at the big box stores. Big Box stores have no pride in workmanship. Products sold at Big Box stores have a high price tag but they are of poor quality. Clothing is made from inferior materials and it is sold cut but not stitched to be finished. Other products are made from low quality plastics, cheap metals, flimsy wood, or particle board. Life happiness  is low for the masses under the capitalist approach in America today.
            The socialist approach is based upon resources being managed by a central government. All citizens get to enjoy free or nearly free services--health care, higher education, housing, and social care-- in socialist countries. Taxes are high under the socialist approach but citizens generally enjoy higher life satisfaction than citizens under a capitalist regime. Denmark, Norway, Austria, Netherlands, Switzerland, Australia, Canada, Finland, Israel, Sweden, and New Zealand are countries that all out rank The United States on the OECD Better Life Index for 2012 with Denmark ranking first, Norway second, etc. The Better Life Index analyzed 11 topics that the OECD determined were essential for well-being in terms of material living conditions (housing, income, jobs) and quality of life (community, education, environment, governance, health, life satisfaction, safety and work-life balance). Citizens in socialist countries have more time for leisure and creativity since government meets many of their basic needs.
            The middle-of-the-roaders believe in a two-system approach to resource management and services provided are paid for from taxes collected from the population at large. Social Workers, bleeding heart democrats, and liberals comprise those who believe in the middle-of-the-roader approach to resource management in the United States today. Middle-of-the-roaders believe in one system for those in need and another system for everyone else. Case workers and Social Workers determine eligibility for services based upon income and strict government regulations. Unfortunately, there is a social stigma involved with receiving services that recipients can never quite overcome even if they find a job and go off of services.
            Another problem with the middle-of-the-roader approach to resource management is that most of the available tax dollars are used to pay the salaries of administrators, case workers, and social workers and very little money is actually spent on those in need. We would be better off making direct payments to the citizens while eliminating high cost positions if we are really serious about helping the poor and needy.
            Another problem with the middle-of-the-roader approach is that it is ripe with recipient exploitation and abuse. Professional workers must control their clients’ behavior. This frequently results in oppression due to the dynamics involved with power and control. Many professional workers actually refer to their clients as “our folks” or “our people” as if they actually owned their clients and indeed for all intensive purposes they actually do. A close alliance between health services and social services often results in money being given with one hand only to be taken back with the other hand. Eventually even the administrators, case workers, and social workers become prey due to the high cost of health services.
            Another insidious problem for government employees is the mistrust it breeds amongst workers. Many government employees work under cover or out of class so you can never be certain if the nice clerk or assistant you are smitten by is really a clerk or assistant or your supervisor’s right-hand man or psychologist situated only to derail you from pursuing your personal vision if it differs from that of your organization. Since government employees are given standard lines to say to their clientele, you can also never be certain if a friendly co-worker is actually being friendly toward you or if they were coached before hand on what to say to you.
            Of all the approaches to resource management, the middle-of-the-roader approach is the most dangerous threat to American principles based upon freedom, justice, and liberty for all. If we are not careful, the middle-of-the-roader-approach will lead us straight down the path to fascism.
            So what approach to resource management would Jesus take if He walked the earth today? Jesus was neither a capitalist, a socialist, nor a middle-of-the-roader. Jesus was a worker who bartered His services in exchange for what He needed. Jesus healed the sick, He performed miracles, and He taught the masses in exchange for a place to stay,  food to eat, and human companionship. Bartering encourages social interaction and social discourse so it is not surprising that Jesus bartered His services. If we are to move beyond the social isolation that is rampant in America today, we must be able to interact with each other and talk to each other before we can ever begin to love each other as Jesus taught us to do.
            We draw others to Jesus by practicing our Christian beliefs and principles. We believe that all the worlds' people are entitled to food, shelter, medical care, education, and employment. We do our part to help those who are lacking obtain what help they need. We do this best by living a God centered life and living as Jesus lived. If people are hungry, we feed them until they can feed themselves. If people are cold, we provide shelter until they can shelter themselves. If people are ill, we give them medical care until they can provide medical care for themselves. If people are ignorant, we educate them so they can become capable of functioning independently. If people are unemployed, we help them to secure decent employment. Most of us are not experts on solving global problems, but we do what we can as individuals and groups. We inform our church leaders and our political leaders that we are in favor of improving the quality of life for families worldwide, and we support programs that help needy people in undeveloped nations. Many churches have good programs in place to help the poor in undeveloped countries. The United Nations and the Peace Corps  also have good programs in place for helping the poor in undeveloped nations.
            ♥ United Nations. The United Nations is an international organization founded in 1945 after World War II by 51 countries to maintain international peace and security, develop friendly relations among nations, and promote social progress, better living standards and human rights.
            The United Nations works to:
•Keep peace in the world.
•Develop friendly relations among the nations.
•Help nations work together to improve conditions of  the poor; end hunger, disease, and illiteracy; and encourage respect for the rights and freedoms of each nation.
•Act as a center to achieve established goals,
            ♥ The Peace Corps. The mission of the Peace Corps is to promote world peace and friendship. The Peace Corps  has been a leader in international development and citizen diplomacy for more than 50 years in  more than 139 countries. The Peace Corps works on problems such as climate change, pandemic disease, food security, and gender equality and empowerment. Peace Corps volunteers help to stop disease, feed the hungry, and address other worldwide challenges through innovative, grassroots solutions. The Peace Corps works in countries from Asia to Central America, and from Europe to Africa. Volunteers work with governments, schools, and entrepreneurs to address changing and complex needs in education, health and HIV/AIDS, business, information technology, agriculture, and the environment.

            ♥ We inform our political leaders that we want stricter controls set on multinational corporations to protect jobs in America and so undeveloped nations can have a fair chance to develop. To fight global terrorism and global poverty, we urge our political leaders to pass laws that will stop multinational corporations from exploiting Third World countries and to find ways to close the gap between First World and Third World nations. We inform our political leaders that we want stricter environmental controls that will put a stop to pollution and land erosion, so our earth can continue to sustain us. We inform our political leaders that we want safe low-cost alternative energy sources to be developed and made readily available to us.
            We promote global peace and prosperity by preferring to live simply and independently. We buy locally as much as possible to bolster our local economies and so not to contribute to the overgrowth of multinational corporations. We eat more fresh fruits, fresh vegetables, grains, and less meat not only to improve our health, but because eating less meat is ecologically sound. If we are landowners, we plant trees and grow gardens to slow the degradation of the earth's soil. We are careful to control garden pests and weeds with organic methods, so we do not contribute to water pollution.
            We walk, ride bicycles, use public transportation, and car pool as much as possible to conserve on fossil fuels and to cut back on air pollution. We use alternative energy sources such as solar power as much as possible. We purchase economical, fuel-efficient vehicles, and we avoid purchasing large, luxury, gas-guzzling vehicles. We are advocates for economic solar powered electric vehicles to be developed and made readily available for our use.
            We dress simply, and we wear our clothes out before buying new ones to cut back on garbage accumulation. We also recycle our aluminum and steel cans, glass, plastic bottles, containers, paper products, and other materials to conserve our resources and reduce refuse accumulation.
             For 2007, it estimated that $40.8 billion will be spent on pets in the U.S. We remember to think of all the starving children and people of the world before we decide to purchase or keep a dog. We spend our excess funds on helping poor people rather than on providing pets with an expensive diet, costly pet medical and dental treatments, ridiculous pet toys, and pet accessories. We remember to save our own soul by not giving what is holy to the dogs.
            We avoid getting on a treadmill of work and spend just because others are on it. We need our sleep and relaxation, so we are not hard to get along with. We enjoy spending time with each other and with our children. We realize our children need time with us more than they need an endless stream of toys and useless gadgets. We are careful not to become obsessive about global concerns. This is, after all, God's world, and we put our faith in God to heal the planet.
            Since Jesus calls us His friends, we call those we would help friends as well. Jesus helped us to become equals in Him, so we help others to become equals in Him as well. Under no condition do we help others so we can lord it over them. There is only one Lord our God.
             ♥ "This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends. You are my friends if you do whatever I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My father I have made known to you" (John 15: 12-15; Holy Bible, NKJV, 1982). ♥

Other Books by Sharen
Visions of Our Life: Forever Young
Stars of the Word: Star Light Reflections