3 months ago

Rachel Blackmon Bryars: What the #pervnado sexual denials have shown me about parenting



Even in an age when security cameras catch us and DNA samples condemn us, the Weinstein – Franken – Conyers – Lauer – (etc. and so on) roll out of #pervnado allegations, denials, half-truths and firings should remind us we’re a society still dependent upon an old-fashioned concept: our word. 

We depend upon accusers to tell the total truth, nothing added, nothing left out.

We depend upon witnesses to set aside personal vendettas, biases or assumptions that may taint their testimony.

We depend upon wrong-doers to admit when they have screwed up and accept the consequences.

In short, we depend upon an unspoken communal commitment to uphold the absolute truth at all times no matter what.

It’s an ideal that requires something out of fashion and in cultural short supply: personal sacrifice for a greater good.

Telling the truth – no matter the personal cost and no matter the personal gain to do otherwise – is hard no matter who you are, but our lives and livelihoods depend upon each others’ willingness to accept that hardship.  

Doesn’t that make you nervous?

It does me, as a mother of five kids who sometimes lie and fib and stretch the truth as kids often do.

It does me, as a person whose temperament-in-the-rough can bend and contort to avoid social discomfort even if it means subtle falseness like laughing at what I find unfunny or more overt lies like insisting all is well to avoid disagreement (I’m loving the getting-older effects of caring ever less what others think, however).

The cultural comeuppance has made me take a hard look at myself and my parenting and I’ve come to an alarming conclusion: I’m not happy with how I’ve handled my young kids’ lies.

Future society needs parents like me to model and hammer home truth-telling’s utter import.

That requires taking lies — big and small — very seriously.

Take the time to correct lies

About 10 years ago I read a humorous and well-done parenting book that made an impression on me partly because I felt some of the author’s discipline was a little much.

Ginger Hubbard tells a story about her then 3-year-old daughter who put lipstick on the dog and, when confronted about getting in her mother’s things, insisted that her brother’s toy action figure named “Doug” committed the misdeed.

The family was late for a soccer game and I imagine in the same situation I would have said something like, “Okay, sure, ‘Doug’ did it. Well, we all know that isn’t true, ya little cutie, now get your shoes on and get in the car!”

Hubbard did what I should take the time to do.

She told the rest of the family to go ahead to the game even though her daughter pitched a royal fit.

She showed her daughter what the Bible says about lying and told her to think about it in her room.

She came in later and said that toy “Doug” could not possibly have put lipstick on the dog, even though the toddler insisted that, oh yes, he could of because she “put batteries in him.”

After more time alone to think about it, the daughter fell asleep, but Hubbard didn’t want her to “sleep with this sin weighing heavy on her heart” so she woke the child (I mean, mad respect right there — Mom has a quiet house and she wakes a toddler?) who after more lies, finally told the truth.

“She was absolutely relieved and thankful to get a spanking,” Hubbard wrote. “Her heart was clean.”

I remember thinking, “Well, sheesh, isn’t that a bit much? The kid is 3!”  

There is no shortage of child psychologists who would disagree with Hubbard’s approach.

And after all, when a toddler with chocolate all over his face insists he didn’t eat any, it’s very hard not to laugh. They really are so cute and their sins (yes that word is appropriate) seem so insignificant.

But that was Hubbard’s point: Lies are not a laughing matter even when our kids seem too little to take them seriously. Letting sin slide hardens their hearts and forms their character. We must deal with it – for their sake and for future society’s sake. 

I have to ask myself: How can I possibly expect integrity from a 12-year-old if I wink at lies when he’s 2?

What can I expect from a grown-up daughter if I don’t challenge exaggerations about her second-grade teachers and friends in dramatic retellings today?     

I can get weary of doing the good work required to bring up kids with strong character – the kind of kids who will someday be adults, who we’ll depend upon to tell the whole truth, no matter the personal cost.

This news cycle, I will look myself squarely in the mirror as a parent and person and say with G.K. Chesterton (as the story goes):

What is wrong with the world?

I am.

Rachel Blackmon Bryars is managing editor of Yellowhammer News.

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10 mins ago

Volunteers needed for cleanup of Alabama Civil War sites

An organization that preserves Civil War battlefields is looking for volunteers to clean up historical sites in Alabama including Fort Morgan on the coast.

The Civil War Trust says volunteers will be working at more than 160 sites nationwide during its annual cleanup day April 7.


In Alabama, Fort Morgan is on the list of places slated for work. The red-brick fort located at the tip of the Fort Morgan Peninsula played a key role in the Battle of Mobile Bay in 1864.

The preservation group says Fort Morgan now needs work including fence repair and construction; painting; landscaping and trash removal.

Other sites slated for cleanup in Alabama include Belle Mont Mansion in Tuscumbia; Brierfield Ironworks Historical State Park in Bibb County; and Fort Gaines on Dauphin Island.

(Image: Fort Morgan State Historic Site/Facebook)

(Associated Press, copyright 2018)

No, Joy Behar, it’s not a ‘mental illness’ when the Lord speaks to us through his Word

Listen to the 10 min audio

Read the transcript:


TOM LAMPRECHT: Harry, in the ABC News Department, they’ve got a program that, many may be surprised to know, it’s a part of their news department, “The View”. One of their panelists on this show, Joy Behar, recently made a comment concerning Mike Pence and his Christian faith. She said she understood how Christians prayed to God, but she went on to say, “When God starts talking to those people, don’t they call that mental illness?”

This bruhaha recently came to the ABC shareholders’ meeting in which Bob Iger, who is the president of ABC News, said he was happy to report that Joy Behar made a personal phone call to Mike Pence and apologized for her comments. However, while the White House is saying while he appreciates the apology, Joy Behar needs to apologize to the millions of Christians she insulted over the program.

DR. REEDER: Now are there some Christians that believe God is directly speaking to them with special revelation? Yes. Has God done that? Yes, that’s how we got the Bible — 40+ human authors through which God spoke. When they write, they don’t write, “Thus says Paul about God,” but they write, “Thus says the Lord,” so God has engaged in revelation, that is, He through divine inspiration, has given us His Word, praise the Lord.



But, now, most orthodox Christian theology believes that God has, quote, Book of Hebrews, “finally spoken in His Son.” this revelation has ceased, but God’s illumination continues, that God, through teachers, through your Bible reading, through your prayer life, through your reflection, through your meditation can “speak” to His people.

Now, what is meant there is not a direct revelation of God’s Word that goes beyond the Scripture, but an understanding of God’s Word to our heart to give us wisdom as to how we are to live.


To Ms. Behar, I would only mention to you the Book of James, for instance, tells me that, “If you lack wisdom, pray for it and God generously gives wisdom.” Now, how does He give wisdom? He gives wisdom by His Spirit, the same Spirit of God who gave the ability to bring forth the Word of God to the prophets in the Old Testament and the apostles in the New Testament. Now that same Spirit is within us and He who reveals God’s Word through the word now illuminates God’s Word when we go to God’s Word. In the preaching of the Word, God speaks to the hearts of his people.

Here’s what the Bible says, “Whoever should call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” How should they call upon Him in whom they have not believe? How should they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear them without a preacher?” Faith comes by hearing the Word, the Spirit-born Word of Christ.

Part of our theology is that God speaks to us from His Word by His Spirit. We speak to God in prayer. God’s wisdom, when we pray, can actually lead us to some good public theology in life and that what we need to do is to listen to the Lord through His Word and by His Spirit.

She has decided that that’s a mental illness; we have decided that’s wisdom. In fact, we believe that the beginning of wisdom is the fear of the Lord and, in the fear of the Lord, you seek the wisdom of the Lord. “God, would you speak to my heart from Your Word and by Your Spirit so I can have wisdom as to how to lead my life?”

I am so thankful that God has spoken to me in His Word. I was in South Florida and I did a series of talks there in a conference. Tom, I was sitting there listening to a talk from the Scriptures by Dr. Peter Lillback and it was amazing all of the insights that came, that God began to speak to my heart showing me my sin, showing me the way of obedience, showing me what needed to be removed, showing me what I needed to accomplish. God was speaking and showing it — that’s what we call Christian Doctrine of Illumination and that’s how God works in our heart.


Let’s go back to her broadside against Mike Pence. Well, it was tacky, it was ill-mannered, but I love the way Mike Pence said, “It didn’t offend me” — but he was right to say this — “I’m glad to receive your private apology.” He said, “What I think you really need to do, if you really believe in that apology, is that, by coming after me, there are millions of Christians who believe the same thing I do. I speak to God in prayer; God speaks to my heart through His Word in my prayer life and in the preaching of the Word and in my reading of the Word.”

Let me go to another issue here. This is a wonderful time for us to learn something about the Doctrine of Repentance. The Bible says that, when we are saved, we are saved by faith and repentance. Repentance is turning from sin to Christ and it’s making a 180-degree turn and, when there is true repentance, a couple of things happen.

One thing that happens is confession: we confess our sins. We actually say, “I did this. This is a sin. I confess it. I agree with God that this is sin so I confess it.” Then the Bible says that we do deeds appropriate to repentance. Now, this is not penance that we do to get right with God.

Tom, if I say something against you publicly, then I’m not only called to come to you and say to you, privately, “Tom, would you forgive me?” I’m also required to go to that same public arena and tell all those other people, “I was wrong.” That would be deed-appropriate to repentance. If I steal something, I want to pay it back. If I have broken someone’s relationship with someone else through my sin, I want to restore it. Restoration, reconciliation, restitution — those are deeds appropriate to repentance.


Therefore, Ms. Behar, it’s fine that you called Mike Pence, but I would remind you, you did not privately criticize him — you publicly criticized him. You don’t need to give him a private apology; you need to give him a public apology. That would be appropriate. Let your repentance match your sin.

And then, secondly, by attaching Mike Pence because of the Biblical doctrine of guidance — of how God guides His people when they’re making decisions in life — you attacked millions of Christians at the same time so, if you really think what you said was wrong when you called the Christian Doctrine of Divine Guidance mental illness, then you need to respond to all of them. You did it on a public venue, so you need to repent and ask for forgiveness in a public venue.

Why is it important to learn repentance? Let me give you two reasons and we’ll close with this, Tom. Reason No. 1 is you can’t be saved without repentance. The Bible says faith is believing in Jesus as Lord and Savior. Repentance is the Siamese twin of faith. If you have come to Christ for forgiveness of sins because He lived the life you couldn’t live and died the death for you that you couldn’t die in making atonement for your sins, if you come to Him by faith, then you need to turn from your sins and that’s what repentance is.

Repentance is 180-degrees — not turning from sin to do better, but you’re turning from sin to put your trust in Jesus. And, when you turn to put your trust in Jesus, you do the deeds appropriate to repentance. And, for all of those who are listening to us, Tom, let me tell you where you need to start is the same place that God, by His Grace, called you and me to start: turning from our sin and coming to Christ, Who is ready to forgive you and make it right. He has paid for those sins therefore, you’re forgiven and He will give you His Spirit and His Word and begin to speak to your heart so that you can walk away from sin and walk in the glorious truth that Christ is Lord and Savior.


Tom Lamprecht: Harry, on Tuesday’s edition of Today in Perspective, we recently covered the fact that, at Harvard, there was a Christian group that was removed from campus because of a leadership issue. A very similar situation happened at Wayne State University. However, this time, there is both bad news and good news.

DR.REEDER: Let’s take a look at what happened there and maybe some lessons that are inevitably going to have to be learned by Christian organizations in the public square, in general, and in schools, in particular.

(Image: The View/YouTube)

Dr. Harry L. Reeder III is the Senior Pastor of Briarwood Presbyterian Church in Birmingham.

This podcast was transcribed by Jessica Havin. Jessica is editorial assistant for Yellowhammer News. Jessica has transcribed some of the top podcasts in the country and her work has been featured in a New York Times Bestseller.

1 hour ago

Alabama tourism promoting April walking tours

Alabama’s tourism agency is promoting a series of walking tours that will start next month in cities both large and small.

About 30 communities statewide are offering the free, hour-long strolls beginning April 7.


Community leaders will conduct walking tours in historic areas with starting points that include the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, Huntsville’s Constitution Village, the History Museum of Mobile and the Montgomery Area Visitor Center.

Tours will be held in smaller towns including Athens, Bayou La Batre, Eutaw, Eufaula and Monroeville.

The Alabama Tourism Department says more than 35,000 people have participated in the walking tours since the program started 15 years ago.

(Image: Chris Pruitt/Wikicommons)

(Associated Press, copyright 2018)

VIDEO: Advocate against sex trafficking, porn interviewed on Living Life on Purpose

In this episode of Executive Lion’s Living Life On Purpose, Matt Wilson and Andrew Wells sit down with Melea Stephens, a Christian Counselor at Wellspring Christian Clinic in Vestavia Hills and an advocate against sex trafficking and pornography to discuss the effects these issues have on our society. This gripping episode tackles tough situations that are happening all around us and what we can do to help.


Stephens has been a successful counselor for many years in private practice and through her work with couples, she is working to shed light on root issues that lead to problems in life, marriage, and emotional and physical health. Stephens volunteers to fight against sex trafficking and is active in making people aware of the crimes and hurt that takes place as people view porn.

1) Melea has used her faith and experience to go after root causes of the issues she helps people battle on a daily basis. She is trying to eradicate the evil practices that lead to some behaviors that cripple relationships and cause all sorts of issues.

2) God can shine light on a situation and you can see it as though you have never seen it before, then he can put the cause on your heart and allow you to make a positive difference.

3) Sometimes we have to have tough conversations about uncomfortable topics in order to solve problems. We can’t just sweep certain things under the rug and pretend as though they don’t exist.

Learn more about this critical issue and the National Center on Sexual Exploitation here.

(What do you think of this issue? Start a conversation with your family and friends on social media)

2 hours ago

German auto supplier opens $46.3 million plant in Alabama

MöllerTech, a German auto supplier, has opened a $46.3 million plant in central Alabama.

Company officials said 222 employees will be hired at the new supply plant by the end of 2019, Al.com reported . The ribbon-cutting ceremony was held this week almost 16 months after the company announced it would build the plant in Bibb County.


Steve Jordan, President of MöllerTech’s North American division said the supply plant currently has 50 employees.

The supply plant will be next door to Mercedes-Benz’s new Global Logistics Center at the Scott G. Davis Industrial Park. The auto maker will also have an after-sales North American hub in the park.

Mercedes-Benz U.S. International CEO Jason Hoff attended the ribbon cutting to welcome MöllerTech.

“This is a beautiful facility, and as a customer, when you walk in and get a first impression, it’s a very favorable impression,” he said.

MöllerTech’s parent company MöllerGroup has been in business for three centuries. The company has had a business relationship with Mercedes since the 1950s.

MöllerTech develops interior parts for Audi, BMW, Daimler, GM, Honda, Porche, Rolls-Royce and Toyota.

“There’s been a lot of energy among our early hires, which is very encouraging,” Jordan said. “Some have already grown into new positions early on which is very encouraging.”

(Image: Made In Alabama)

(Associated Press, copyright 2018)