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Christmas Vacation…Keep On Rollin’

We took our kids roller skating yesterday since they are on Christmas break, and I figured I would lace up my skates and spend the afternoon on the skate floor since I was a pretty good skater back in the day! Well….three laps later as my legs were throbbing and feeling like rubber.  It was then I realized that I’m not as young as I used to be, and maybe a little stretching would help!  It wasn’t too long afterwards that I was cruising around the rink with kids….oh and even mustered up the courage to do some back-wards skating with my daughter.  What fun family activity have you done with your children over Christmas vacation?  ~ Garrett

Who’s Your Person of the Year?

It’s Garrett from Shine Afternoons….and the magazines have all announced who their Person of the year is, but what about you? Who is your “Person of the Year for 2012?” Is it your spouse, a parent, a child a co-worker or your pastor? For me it was my Step-Dad Roger who went home to heaven in June. He shared Christ with everyone he met, even as he was in the final stages of cancer. He encouraged me to love people no matter what….and I miss him a lot. Who is YOUR person of the year? I’m not looking for the usual “Big Names,” but those who influenced you in a BIG way in 2012.

Hold the Salt!

Here’s an important story for parents as we get ready to enter the New Year. Are your kids getting too much SALT in their diet?  The fact is that childhood obesity is a growing problem in the US, and excess salt intake may have a lot to do with it.

CBS News writer Ryan Jaslow reports on a new study done in Australia—it found that reducing the amount of salt in kids’ diets may be a first step in preventing obesity. That’s because salty foods lead kids to reach for sugary drinks—a major contributor to childhood obesity.

The researchers tracked the eating and drinking habits of 4,200 Australian kids. They found that the kids who took in the most salt, also consumed the most sugary drinks.

For every one gram of salt per day, children took in 17 grams per day more of a sugary drink.  Children who drank more than one serving per day of a sugary drink were more likely to be obese.

While we know that salty foods can cause us to be thirsty, experts were quick to point out the study did not show cause and effect for salt’s role in obesity.

By the way, The American Heart Association recommends that people should take in no more than 1,500 milligrams milligrams of sodium each day.

However, a recent survey found most Americans average 3,400 milligrams of sodium each day, mostly from processed and restaurant foods.

And what are the biggest sodium culprits?  Breads and rolls, cold cuts and cured meats, pizza, poultry, soup and sandwiches.

To learn more about a healthy level of salt intake, go to the Heart Association’s website at heart.org.

I’m Bill Maier for Shine.FM.

CLICK HERE for the audio version of this article.

Reading the Christmas Story

Guess what people are tracking this Christmas season (and it’s not a man in a red hat). If you guessed the number of times the Christmas story was read on-line you’d be right!  Oh, and have you read the Christmas story with your family this year? ~ Garrett

http://churchm.ag/christmas-story-tracker/

Reconciliation

Dear Dr. Bill,

My ex-husband and I were divorced several years ago because he was not committed to spending time with our son.  He was not a Christian at the time.  But since then, he found the Lord and has changed dramatically.  As a result, we are thinking about getting remarried.  We both feel like our past issues have been sorted out, but we’re a little unsure of how long we should wait before making this new commitment.  What do you suggest?

–Lexi

Dear Lexi,

First of all, let me tell you how encouraged I was to read your e-mail.  In a day when divorce is so rampant and reconciliation is so rare, it was truly a blessing to hear your story.

Regarding your question, it’s hard to give you a specific timeline for remarriage.  You say that your “past issues have been sorted out,” but other than the parenting problem, I’m wondering what other issues you’ve worked through.

Also, you mention that your husband has dramatically changed since his conversion, but you’re a bit unsure about remarriage.  That leads me to believe you may still have some lingering concerns.

Jesus tells us that a “good tree produces good fruit.”  Given your past, it’s important to see the “good fruit” of your husband’s conversion manifested over time before you jump back into marriage.  Your son has already been impacted by your divorce, and you certainly don’t want to make matters worse by remarrying and then splitting up again if things don’t work out.

My advice would be to meet with a family therapist who can help you determine the best course of action.  He or she can help you fully explore whether you are truly ready for remarriage.

Thanks for writing Lexi.  If you have a question for me about family issues or Christian living, click the “Questions” tab on the Family Expert page.

CLICK HERE for the audio version of this article.

Possum Trot Inspiration

Here’s an inspiring holiday story from an unlikely place–the tiny Texas town of Possum Trot.

Over the last 16 years, 25 families in that working-class community have adopted 76 children in need

According to NBC’s Today Show, W.C. Martin, the pastor of the local Bennett Chapel Baptist church, helped organize his congregation to help foster children in need.

Pastor Martin says “It’s not a whole lot that we have to offer children right here in Possum Trot. But love, peace and joy and happiness – we can offer them that.’’

Pastor Martin and his wife Donna have adopted four children themselves.

Donna told NBC News “The challenge with the kids is (them not) really, really trusting the love that you have to give them unconditionally.”  She points out that many of the children came from homes in which they were abused or neglected.

The foster families in Possum Trot care for these children despite their own difficult financial circumstances.

After giving so much over the years, the families received a surprise Christmas gift. courtesy of Walmart.  The company donated enough food to reopen the local food bank and provided each of the 25 adoptive families a cart of fresh groceries and a $500 gift certificate.  They also bought Christmas presents for each of kids

Pastor Martin was also given a $15,000 gift card to Walmart.  He says “This is like a prayer being answered,’’ “That we have prayed so hard for God, for someone, to do something. We didn’t know when, we didn’t know where, but we knew he was going to do something.’’

To learn more about this story, go to TodayShow.com and enter “Possum Trot” in the search engine.

I’m Bill Maier for Shine.FM.

 

CLICK HERE for the audio version of this article.

What’s Your Unique Christmas Tradition?

What’s your unique family Christmas tradition?  ~ Garrett

Did Christmas Bring You Acts of Kindness

What is the most self-less thing someone has ever done for you or your family at Christmas? ~Garrett

4 Tips For Teaching an At-Home Home Ec Class

Click here to learn 4 tips for teaching an at-home home ec class!

12 Tips for Teaching Financial Skills to Children

CLICK HERE to read more about how to teach your kids about finances from Dough Main Blog.