What are some “solutions” to the challenges in our public schools?

I decided to write a blog on this topic after reading a post a “friend” (former high school classmate) shared on facebook concerning our former high school alma mater..

Distrust and Disorder: A Racial Equity Policy Summons Chaos in the St. Paul Schools
By Susan Du Wed., May 27 2015 at 3:00 AM
Comments (44)
Categories: Education, Longform, St. Paul
http://blogs.citypages.com/blotter/2015/05/a_racial_equity_policy_summons_chaos_in_the_st_paul_schools.php

Many memories from 91'-95' :) Anyone else have stories and what year?

Just from my “personal experiences” (e.g. job with physically-mentally challenged youth-adults), I personally don’t think the teacher should’ve “touched” that kid that wasn’t supposed to be walking around the hallways…

“A student walks down a Harding High hallway wearing headphones, chanting along to violent rap lyrics. Teacher Erik Brandt taps him on the shoulder. Turn it down, he gestures.

The kid stares at Brandt with chilling intensity. He points at the older man, fingers bent in the shape of a gun, and shoots. Then moves on….”

Just from my personal experiences with the work I do, I’ve learned to “try” to be seen and “verbally” gesture the individual first. Later in the article, the student replied during a
dialogue
(very important after any “misunderstanding” that could’ve led to a “physical” serious confrontation) ..

“…The boy and Brandt sat down together face to face. Brandt expressed how he’d felt disrespected. The student explained his own perception of “respect” — he doesn’t like being touched….”

I don’t know the “exact” background of this boy, but people who have been “abused” in the past don’t like this either.

CHALLENGES

10 Major Challenges Facing Public Schools
Updated March 03, 2015 | by Grace Chen publicschoolreview.com
“Are our public schools in a state of crisis? Learn about the 10 biggest problems with public schools today, both from the perspective of the administrators and the teachers…

The rank of the 10 probably varies region to region of the state, nation, or world. How would you rank the 10 the author of the blog above gives? Would you add or subtract any?



“..Identifying Numerous Challenges

There are numerous challenges threatening the stability and survival of public schools across the country. ..

Hardship and Family Issues

…One of the biggest problems though is the refusal of parents to collaborate with school administrators and teachers to provide for needs of children. ..

The Biggest Challenges Facing Students Today

*teacher role is to not teach students “what” to think, but “how”!

Challenges Facing Schools in the 21st Century

Social Issues

-Abuse of Teachers

Violence Against Teachers – An Overlooked Crisis?
By Tim Walker
February 19, 2013 • 11:16AM neatoday.org
“According to a recent article published by the American Psychological Association (APA), 80 percent of teachers surveyed were victimized at school at least once in the current school year or prior year. Violence against teachers is a “national crisis,” says Dr. Dorothy Espelage of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, who served as chair of the APA task force on Classroom Violence Directed at Teachers. And yet, the issue is generally ignored or at least underreported by the media and given inadequate attention by scholars – a deficiency that has widespread implications for school safety, the teaching profession and student learning….”
Teachers experience a growing number of angry, abusive parents

September 14, 2013 kansascity.com
“..Whether they work in poor urban districts or affluent suburban ones, experts say, teachers and administrators are increasingly becoming punching bags and targets of verbal abuse by students as well as their parents…”
9th Grade Student Attacks Teacher For Giving Her A Failing Grade from youtube.com

-Abused by Teachers

When the teacher is the bully
Bullying has become a national issue. But what do you do if the school bully is your child’s teacher?

by: Jessica Kelmon greatschools.org
How Many Kids Are Sexually Abused by Their Teachers?
Probably millions.

By Brian Palmer slate.com/

-Discipline?

Violence Against Teachers and School Staff April 14th, 2008 7:09 am ET blogs.cdc.gov
“..Because of an increase in the prevalence of school-based policies aimed at reducing violence in youth and recent reports suggesting that teachers and other school staff may face daily threats of workplace violence, NIOSH was prompted to examine risk factors and prevention polices and practices for workplace violence for K-12 school staff. Recent data demonstrates that teachers experience 39 crimes per 1,000 teachers (25 thefts and 14 violent crimes) and the true rate may be much higher since most incidents go unreported. As recent media reports have illustrated, this is a troubling problem affecting school personnel in elementary, middle and high schools across the nation…

Violence in Schools Comes From Teachers Too August 20, 2014 By Samantha Cowan takepart.com
“Research has shown corporal punishment to be ineffective and even harmful, yet 19 states still allow teachers to spank students…”

Q: As a teacher, have you been “abused”? Feel free to share your story (anonymously or non)…

-Family Structure


Family Challenges: Divorce, Blended Families & Family Violence

Chapter 11 / Lesson 5 study.com
“..The following lesson covers some of the more challenging issues a growing number of families are currently facing, including divorce, blending of families, and abuse. A short quiz will follow the lesson to check your understanding…”

Health

Students Aren’t Eating Healthy School Lunches, Despite Availability; How Cafeterias Fail To Improve Student Health
Nov 17, 2014 12:00 AM By Samantha Olson medicaldaily.com
Fast Food May Be Linked to Slow Progress in School abcnews.go.com

-Immigrant/Refugee Families

Children from immigrant families ‘face significant challenges’ in UK schools theguardian.com
“…The phenomenon is illustrated by statistics in the latest Education at a Glance report, which found that 80% of children of immigrant families in the UK were being taught in schools with large numbers of other immigrant or disadvantaged pupils – the highest proportion of any country in the survey and significantly above the OECD average of 68%…”

Education challenges for Syrian refugees Andrea Mitchell Reports 12/22/14 msnbc.com
“NBC’s Keir Simmons spent months documenting the lives of Syrian refugees who’ve been displaced by the civil war, and shares more of their stories in his continuing series, “Faces of War.” Duration: 5:29

-Poverty

Combating Poverty: Understanding New Challenges for Families By: Ron Haskins Testimony | June 5, 2012 brookings.edu
“…Figure 1 shows poverty trends since the 1960s for the elderly, children, and all people. After some initial progress in the 1960s, and continuing progress for the elderly, the nation has made surprisingly little progress against poverty. The nation’s inability to reduce children’s poverty is especially troublesome. A review of the leading causes of poverty shows why trends in the economy, demography, and education make progress against poverty so difficult to achieve. ..”

-Special Ed


The Special Education Problems We Aren’t Solving

Monday, July 23, 2012 – 04:28 PM

By Laura Klein wnyc.org
“…Danny failed his state exams, which consigned him to summer school this year. In all likelihood, he has a learning disability, but without parental consent he was never formally evaluated. Our documentation of interventions and testing didn’t lead to him getting the Individualized Education Program that he likely needs.

This is a sad story, but it is a common and untold one; students who should be classified as having a disability and eligible for services that support and assist them often aren’t.

In my school, the most common reason is a lack of parental consent. And so the years go by, and students slip further and further behind, struck down daily by the barriers that have not been adequately evaluated…”

Autistic 8-Year-Old Child Arrested, Brought to Jail & Put In Straight Jacket Over School Outburst

By Cassandra Fairbanks on January 17, 2015 thefreethoughtproject.com

SOLUTIONS?

-Abused

Schools ‘failing to expel students who bully teachers’ as verbal abuse in the classroom soars by a third

By Javier Espinoza, Education Editor telegraph.co.uk

12:01AM BST 04 Apr 2015
Schools must push for “zero tolerance” policies on teachers being bullied by students, a top schools union has said
“.. “Verbal abuse is one of the most devastating things that teachers can face. It can be incredibly abusing: from swearing, to comments on their appearance and it is not being taken seriously by schools.”

She said practical steps need to be taken to tackle this form of abuse. Ms Keates said: “Every school should have a zero tolerance policy on verbal abuse. As soon as pupils abuse teachers verbally, they should be summing the parents to the school and make clear to them it could lead to permanent exclusion.

“There is only a small step from being verbally abused to being physically abused.” ..”

Bullying

How to prevent & stop bullying in schools – uTip Bully Buster from bully-buster.com
Back to School: How to Stop the Cycle of Bullying
Paul Coughlin Contributing Writer, Author, Speaker 2011 30 Aug
“…Bystanders should treat cyber bullying the same way they should treat face-to-face bullying. They should stand against it. Imagine if two or three people saw a classmate being bullied on Facebook and they intervened with assertive but non-violent words such as, “That’s wrong. Leave her alone.” Bullies aren’t planning on dealing with multiple people. They are likely to stop what they’re doing…

A Severely Bullied Child Will Inspire You With His Courage Against Bullies from saraserves on GodTube.

-Discipline

6 Start children off on the way they should go,    and even when they are old they will not turn from it.http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Proverbs%2022:6&version=KJVGood News Childrenhttps://www.facebook.com/groups/562167770461262/

Family

Financial

Articles on School Fundraising for Parent Volunteers and … from afrds.org

Support (volunteer or financially donate) your local schools as “many hands makes the work easier”..

I won the Twins hat!!!Go Twins!https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=oa.467877696691593&type=1

Sal: I started as a volunteer in 2004 at the local school (see Morris Literacy Project) where I’m at helping teach GED and ESL students, which has become a part-time job now after going back to school to get a “Teaching Certificate” for ESL.

Health

How Nutrition Affects Learning
https://youtu.be/197eUaQQkhQ
“…
• Make sure your child eats breakfast before going to school. This will give him energy to start his day and help reduce hunger throughout the day.
• Prepare a healthy lunch for him to take to school if you feel the school menu is not providing good choices for your child to maintain a healthy diet. Check the school menu daily to be sure your child will eat the choices provided. Discuss the menu with your child.
• Send your child to school with healthy snacks like natural fruits, vegetables and nuts he can eat between classes.”…

Feeding the Brain for Academic Success: How Nutrition and Hydration Boost Learning healthybrainforlife.com
“..Nutrition and hydration are part of a foundation for healthy learning. Helping students make healthier choices is an essential part of their education and well-being. What can educators do to help create an optimal internal environment?..”

Studies: Fitness Improves Kids’ Academic Performance , from
Carol Pearson

July 01, 2014 6:54 PM voanews.com
“…That’s why schools across the U.S., such as Lincoln Elementary in Redondo Beach, California, have instituted programs like the “walking school bus,” in which kids carry a large cardboard cutout of a school bus and join other kids along the way.

Parents see it as a way to get the kids exercising in the morning, while kids see it as a way to have fun and talk to their friends on the way to school.

Experts say parents and schools have to find ways to keep kids active, even if they are participating in interactive exercise programs, like the WII Fit jogging program…”

-Immigrant/Refugee Students

A Look at Immigrant Youth: Prospects and Promising Practices, from ncsl.org
“..The United States is facing an unprecedented challenge in serving immigrant youth. Today’s immigrants arrive from widely diverse source countries, and are increasingly likely to resettle in nontraditional states and in rural communities, areas that often have the least experience and/or infrastructure to help students learn English and adapt to their new schools and neighborhoods. With immigration levels sustained at well over one million arrivals per year, immigrant students are entering public schools in record numbers. This has tremendous implications for program development, curricula, and funding…
]A Resource Guide for Educating Refugee Children … p12.nysed.gov

-Misc

->Music

Music Education Improves Students’ Academic Performance, But Active Participation Is Required
Dec 16, 2014 04:00 PM By Dana Dovey

The Benefits of Music Education -Riff Academy Homeschool Music Curriculum

-Model Schools (more positive?)

Public education success story for inner-city kids
CBS NewsJanuary 21, 2015, 7:00 AM cbsnews.com
“…At the Bronx school, every student’s day begins with breakfast and a town hall meeting where students get to discuss with administrators school announcements and any issues they are having — one of many things that sets Eagle apart from other public schools….

Sheridan, the oldest of six, lives in a violent and crime-ridden neighborhood in the North Bronx. Like 67 percent of black children in America, he has grown up in a single-parent home….

Students must wear uniforms, each boy gets paired with a mentor from the community, school days are longer to avoid idle time on the streets, and the kicker:

“No girls, and it makes a huge difference,” Banks said. “I think to be able to come to a place where they don’t have to worry about competing for girls, or getting dressed up for girls, they can be very focused on their school work. Many of our young men, other schools would shy away from. But we admit all of these young men and we say we will put all of them in there together and will get everybody to the finish line.”…

New Orleans to be home to nation’s first all-charter school district, April 4, 2014 8:00AM ET Updated April 9, 2014 12:28PM ET
by Dexter Mullins america.aljazeera.com
‘…He has been teaching for two years and teaches eighth grade, working with students in a special education program. He opted to work with Teach for America — a program for recent college graduates — and the organization placed him in a charter school. He said his job would have been much more challenging if he had to work in a public school because, he said, he wouldn’t have had the same level of financial and professional support.

“The biggest difference is that the teachers [in charter schools] are more motivated and there are more resources” to get the job done, Brown said.

He acknowledged that it is common for a charter school to be allocated more money than a traditional public school, since charter schools often receive private funding from wealthy foundations or major corporations while public schools rely on funding drawn from the local tax base. He would like to see a better balance between the two systems…”

-Poverty

Model Schools empowers marginalized students — and their parents, too By: Louise Brown GTA, Published on Fri Jan 23 2015 thestar.com
Model schools are rethinking how they engage with the community to help enhance the lives of the students and their parents.

“…

Fate had dropped Palmer’s son into the TDSB’s award-winning Model Schools for Inner City program, which fills many of the gaps facing students in the city’s most high-needs neighborhoods.

“They have a medical centre on-site once a week, which is amazing when you’re on a strict budget, because sometimes you can’t afford the $10 to take your kids back and forth to the clinic,” said Palmer.

Her son signed up for free basketball, soccer and martial arts offered after school. All kindergarten students received social skills training in workshops offered by a child development agency.
..”

Prayer

San Francisco Schools Transformed by the Power of Meditation from nbcnews.com

“..Silence isn’t something people usually associate with middle school, but twice a day the halls of Visitacion Valley School in San Francisco fall quiet as the sixth, seventh and eighth grade students meditate for fifteen minutes. ..”
Canadian School’s Solution to Daily Prayer: Just Put Non-Christians in a Separate Classroom
May 6, 2012 by Hemant Mehta patheos.com
“…They will continue to recite the Lord’s Prayer… and just segregate all non-Christians into a different classroom.

No, really….”

9 After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.10 Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.11 Give us this day our daily bread.12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+6%3A9-13&version=KJVTeachings http://smu.gs/1O6DZuZThe Gospel of Matthew - [4/26] http://youtu.be/RWOpPj9gr_w?t=6m27smore..http://prayer.goodnewseverybody.comPrayer grouphttps://www.facebook.com/groups/609542502392314/

School Prayer Both Sides of the Coin freepages.religions.rootsweb.ancestry.com
“…I thinks kids should continue to pray at their desks if they want. If kids want to have a pre-school prayer group, they should be allowed to. There is plenty of time before and after school for them to organize into their own groups unsolicited or unpromoted by the school system. If kids want to hear a crusade and permission slips are given by the parents I feel it should be allowed. But be prepared for religions other than Baptist and Methodist to ask for the same opportunity to reach these kids. ….
How to Get Prayer Back in Schools ebony.com
[OPINION] Jamilah Lemieux responds to critics who blame ‘lack of prayer’ for the Connecticut school tragedy
*see school Shootings
“…In all seriousness, my personal spiritual beliefs make it hard to reconcile the idea that God is launching an attack on children at school because they don’t take the time to pray as a class. People who pray, worship and serve a higher power as they see fit are often the victims of violence, illness, tragedy and strife. We can’t say that the Sandy Hook killings would never take place at a Baptist or Catholic school….
No, the teacher isn’t going to announce “Prayer time!” after recess, but your child can absolutely take a moment for personal worship during the school day. He or she may also read the Bible (or Qur’an or Torah or any other religious text) during personal free time.
If your child knows how to pray, she doesn’t need the teacher to require her to do so. In fact, many children from religious backgrounds pray throughout the school day. If you so desire that your kids take the time to do so everyday, then that should be a conversation for your household. Perhaps you can send your little ones to school with a small notebook where they keep track of their daily prayer times and/or you can pencil it in on their daily schedule organizers.

The separation between church and state is too often ignored by those who feel that the freedom of others to practice that which they take moral issue with is a violation of their sacred texts. What we must remember is that this a nation of Christians, Jews, Muslims, atheists, etc, etc. And even within the major religions, there is no universal agreement about how God moves or what is required of His followers. For us to peacefully co-exist in this country, we cannot waste time demanding that federal law bends to accommodate our spiritual ones. The Constitution provides you the right to worship as you see fit and protects your ability to do so. Instead of blasting our country for failing to force religion upon its citizens, be grateful that you have the freedom to practice the one of your choosing. You want prayer in schools? Teach your children how to do it.”

Special Ed

Solutions in Special Education-
Smart districts use tech-based approaches to keep special education requirements from draining staff

By:
Lisa Fratt
District Administration, Jun 2005 districtadministration.com
“…Technology-based special education management certainly improves special education; however, the next level of software implementation promises to have an even greater impact. “The most exciting part about this is where we are headed,” Dempsey says. The software gives the district the ability to link instruction to special education outcomes. If research indicates a given curriculum is a good approach for high-functioning learning disabled kids, the district can analyze standardized test results to determine how students taught with that curriculum perform compared to kids taught with other methods. As test results are linked with instructional practices the district can connect the dots and use data to deliver staff development and training and make budget decisions based on student outcomes. ..”
Learning Strategies, Teaching Solutions, Taking Learning to the Next Level: Found Here!

Top 10 Resources for Special Education Teachers online.sju.edu
“..In addition to advanced training and professional certification, there are plenty of helpful online resources for new and creative teaching tools and techniques. Here are ten of the best resources for special education teachers today:..”

Please feel free to share your thoughts, suggestions, feedback, stories, etc.. to help all of us improve our educational system locally, regionally, nationally, and globally!

*Note: This is such a long on-going topic, so information will continue to change…keep coming back for new additional resources!

Good News Education
https://www.facebook.com/groups/707482649266495/

YOU offended me!

“YOU offended me! Have you ever been offended? We all have, but how can we counterattack that? We don’t, we give it to God. Yeah right, it isn’t that easy! Before I became a Christian my 1st year college, I was easily offended. This was due to my past from being “hurt” so many times in various ways (e.g. bullying). I can’t pin point exactly when I started getting offended, but I just remember when I was growing-up-I grew very insecure (see self-image) because of the people around me were very “critical” of my outward appearance. I look back now and I can’t blame them because of our “negative” media that keeps giving them the “wrong” message, which is another blog (see Good News Sociology).

Getting back to when I was growing-up, a “close one” would always criticize me in almost everything I did. I seem to not be able to do anything “right” in her eyes. I tried to do well in school, but I just wasn’t “smart-enough”. I was very “slow” in things I did. I look back and have to attribute part of this with my family’s psychological history (another story in itself) and health nutrition as I realize I ate a lot of “junk-food” (somewhat due to my economic background and poor “eating” choices I was very ignorant at the time). This particular individual was just “negative” most of the time with me, so I was always “fearful” every time I encountered her. I grew to be always trying to “please” her by “trying” my hardest to do better (e.g. academically), which I never could achieve. Now, I know the only One I should try to “please” is my Heavenly Father, which is much easier through prayer.

Another “social issue” I was easily offended growing-up was racism. Yes, I grew-up in the “diverse” city of St. Paul, but it was a different type of racism compared to living up here in rural Morris, Minnesota. I somehow couldn’t “fit-in” with any particular group of friends. I already wrote about the specifics in another site. For the sake of jumping to another link, which you probably have already above. In short, I would get “teased” by every racial group I hung out with growing-up. A so-called “friend” (Caucasian-American) made a remarked that I “look like the enemy” during Dessert Storm (war in Iraq sometime in the early 90’s. Even though it was a joke, this put a scar in my mind growing-up (would be reminded of this on 9-11. It might seem “little”, but with the many other “racism” experiences (too many to mention here) I’ve gone through, it was just another added to many different scars (e.g. almost hit with a foot long wine bottle while playing tennis by a couple of “white guys-almost skinheads”, Neo-Nazi group visited my workplace-Taco Bell, called “gook” while delivering newspapers, etc..) added to me.

To be fair, it wasn’t just a “white on Chink/Gook/”Dessert Nigga”/Mexican/etc.., I was teased by my own “racial” group (Asian) in high school. I joined the Asian Club because I needed a place of “belonging”. Well, one of my peers teased me by saying I “don’t look Asian” because of my big eyes. Then I started to want to hangout within my own “ethnic-group” (Filipino over the years later, but somehow I couldn’t “fit-in” because I didn’t know the language (Tagalog). My parents didn’t teach my siblings and I their native language because they thought we would have trouble assimilating in the American culture. I personally think it’s important to learn the native language of the parents to have some sense of cultural identity and it’s good for brain development, which is why I currently love teaching English as a second language.

Well, I can keep sharing many “little” to “big” things I’ve been offended, but that would take a book! I just wanted to give some examples above so “you” readers can somehow relate. Now, let’s make a list of the things how I’ve offended others. This would probably take a second volume! We sometimes forget that we’ve also probably “offended” others too as we focus on ourselves (looking for people to feel sorry for ourselves). If you know me good and have been offended (more likely if you’ve known me longer) by me, please forgive me too :(. We sometimes don’t realize that we all have offended one another, which is why it’s important to dialogue and share with each other honestly and openly. For example, a good “friend” that I worked with at the local college (summer program) was offended by me when I jokingly told her she was “lazy” (after eating lunch together and she didn’t bring-up her tray to the dish room at Food Service in campus). I told her “sorry” after she openly-honestly told me her reason for this offense (she grew up being called “lazy” by her family, so she would work harder). PLEASE contact me (e.g. phone, email, in person is better!) if I offended you because sometimes I didn’t know! Let’s be real with one another and stop being “Minnesota Nice” and “sugar coat” the things we say to one another. We can’t expect to know all of each others’ past, but we can be “more sensitive” (this is where the Holy Spirit comes in) and “compassionate” (this will increase as one grows in their personal relationship with their Heavenly Father) to one another. We are (most of us) mature adults and we need to act like it! This is probably why married couples or couples/friends in general fight with each other because of a misunderstanding or miscommunication. Don’t give Satan a foothold!..

Take care of it right away (see Ephesians 4:26) or the walls (as mentioned in the teaching above and the sermon message at my local church this morning too) will be built too high to take down.

How can we overcome offense? I’ve learned (still learning) to do this more as I’ve grown in my personal relationship with God. For example, I got offended by certain individuals in various places (e.g. home, work, church, etc..), so the way I “combat” it is through prayer. The more I pray for certain individuals, my compassion for them increases. I know there are some other circumstances with people (e.g. enemies-people who have taken advantage on you) that requires more than prayer, which might require some “wisdom” (e.g. spiritual gifts) from other people (e.g. mentor, pastor, etc..).

We can’t “judge” or “stereotype” (e.g. NOT all Somolians are “evil” as the movie “Black Hawk Down” might stereotype these people group) any group because of the actions of a “few” of a group of people (e.g. race, nationality, political party, religion, institution, etc….). This would be another blog topic on how media can carelessly give or promote the “wrong” negative message about a particular group of people.

In the meantime, I want to leave you with this last video, which I was reminded while listening to the beginning part of the video above. If you haven’t seen this movie yet, I highly recommend you do. For those who haven’t seen this movie yet, the scene below is about a father trying to give some advice to his son as he plans to share how he’s been “offended” by his wife and wanting a divorce….

Fireproof -The Cross – Today’s Christian VideosGodTube

“Heavenly Father, I pray for each of us who have been offended by someone(s). We ask for your love and healing touch from the various offenses (e.g. physical, emotional, spiritual abuse, etc..) we’ve experienced in the past. We too have probably offended someone too and we ask You to forgive us. Give us wisdom and strength on how to ask these individual(s) for forgiveness. We ask You to continue “molding” us to be the “man”/”woman” you want us to be. In the meantime, show us how we can be your light to others that are hurting around us too. We ask all this in Your (Jesus’) name… …And all God’s people say?…Amen!”

ACTION: Let’s all help be peacemakers in the world out there with what we’ve learned!

Story of a New Creation

jamieW

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!”2 Corinthians 5:17

Above is a beautiful sister-in-Christ name Jamie W. from Pennsylvania. I met her through an online chat community in mid-June and she shared an amazing testimony on how our Heavenly Father  can make a “new creation”. Her story started before she came to this world as an infant. Her mom was about to abort her because of a health medical issue, but circumstances changed that as God hand another plan. She was born premature and survived!

“I was born blind had a heart murmur leading to surgery and my brain was not fully developed as most kids should be. In school I struggled and could not be in regular classes, but IEP classes (meaning Individual Educational Plan). I graduated from those classes at the age of 15 at the top of my class and could soon attend classes with regular kids. I was so happy for myself and thanked God. I just want people to know that whatever storm you go through in life there is a God and His son Jesus Christ and they will never harm you or leave you but Love you even harder and for people to never give up.”-Jamie

What would you do as a mother if you found out the baby your carrying in your womb has a birth defect? What would you do?

Good News Life

God had a plan for her, which she ended up coming out to this world as a gift to the people around her. That wasn’t the only barrier in her life that she faced. At a young age, she was raped by an individual…

“…well before I was raped I was saving myself for my future husband. I prayed that I would wait to be intimate with someone until I married. But being raped at 18 shattered everything. I was than depressed, felt ashamed, and unworthy. I did really bad in school and could not hold any friendships or relationships. I kept meeting the wrong guys and putting myself in bad relationships that were not healthy just physically abusive and verbally. I felt the lowest when it came to my family and felt like I let my family down. I started doing drugs and drinking. The other thing that made me not just end it all and commit suicide was the love of God and just not giving up on life because I did not want to disappoint God. I always loved God but kept going into a downward spiral. Still attending church and still reading and praying asking God to heal me and forgive me.”

What is it like to be raped? How do you deal with it?

Good News Abused

“My first husband Quay was abusive and killed my pet dog and cat he also cheated on me I was young and naive I was 19 at the time and knew I have to leave and get out. I divorced him feeling like I failed in life again.

I than started working a lot with the elderly and kids as well and that filled a void in my heart so much because I knew I was helping others but deep down in side I was screaming for more help. Help for me.”

This obstacle in life didn’t stopped her as she continued to live her life for His glory.

“Than at 25 I met my husband Vincent and we both clicked immediately. He came from a dysfunctional home and was adopted, so I could feel his pain. I never knew my real dad as my mom left him when i was 3, so I could feel his pain. I knew Vincent was a blessing from God and we both helped each other in our healing process.”

Jamie’s story is one of many out there that God is not finish with yet. There still will be challenges for her and others walking in faith, but with the fellowship of the bigger family in Christ we will finish the “race” in this life as we all look forward to eternity. Please feel free to share your comments or personal stories down below to encourage each there-knowing we are not alone in this “battle”!

Ever felt you were a dissappointment?

“Son, I’m very disappointed with you!” Ever heard this before or something similar? ..from your parents, authoritative adults figure, etc… A father has a right to be disappointed with you if you did something wrong (e.g. getting spanked for disrespecting my dad in front of my friends as I kid) in his eyes, but does that mean he still loves you? Most “good” fathers will say-“yes, of course”, but there are some or many out there that doesn’t communicate that love. For example, I’ve had friends that were “physically” abused. When I hear stories like this, I get more grateful of my “imperfect” loving father. My father really didn’t tell me he loved me, but he “manly” showed it by his actions (e.g. made me breakfast in the morning before going to school, give me fatherly advice on life, etc..).

What about you? How did your father show his “manly” love to you? What was or has been your favorite father-son time?

They may not be really mad as you think, but they just don’t show that kind of love your looking for. Thus, one might “hide in the cave” thinking their father is still mad at them. Some might stay disappointed with you for the wrong reason, which is where you need to know where your Heavenly Father stands. How would you know where your Heavenly Father think about you? Well, I recommend seeking His answer through His Word. It’s hard to please your father or just anybody because no one is perfect. We all have high expectations from each other. For example, when I graduated from college, my mother shared my father’s disappointment where I was going with my college education. Fortunately, I paid my own way through college, so my father didn’t get too mad. I just shook my head without no sadness and just lifted my head up knowing that my Heavenly Father isn’t. Why, it’s because I remember His Word..

10 Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ. …15 But when God, who set me apart from my mother’s womb and called me by his grace, was pleased 16 to reveal his Son in me…-Galatians 1

You see when I became a Christian my first year in college, I became a follower of Christ and not “man”. My mom was “disappointed” when I got water baptized my 3rd year in college because of our “religious” Catholic up-bringing. It’s over 10+ years later that my parents are no longer “disappointed” with my choices I made during college. They learned to accept it as I’m still their son in their flesh. They have seen how I’ve grown “positively” too as I credit my Christian walk. I”m not saying, I do everything “good”, but I’m doing a lot “better” then I was before I became a Christian (see on-going testimony).

However, it wasn’t like this growing-up. When I didn’t know the Lord (I did know “of” Him, but didn’t have that personal Heavenly Father to Son relationship). When a “close one” (older adult) was very critical of things (e.g. my way of dressing ) I did growing-up, I would grow to have a lower self-esteem. However, this “criticism” actually made me “work harder” in things I did. As similar to my dad, this particular “older adult” showed love in a different (e.g. “treated” me out many times) way. I was very quiet and shy most of my years growing-up. I think it was mostly because of my “negative” experience at home, school, workplace, etc.. Each has some long stories, which I can do another blog post for another time. Overall, I didn’t get much affirmation or positive remarks on what I did. I probably got more encouragement from my workplace and playing sports (I had my share of “negativity” too) then at home. My family was great, but it’s a different culture than America. Thus, my expectations through my comparing or envying others made it difficult. We are all blessed in different ways. That is why I’ve learned to list things I’m thankful each night before going to bed. It helps me not focus on my challenges of disappointments in any given day in life as I give it up in prayer. How have you dealt or deal with the “negativity” spoken or acted upon you? Just ignore it (see Chihuahua Puppy Barking Like a Wolf )

more..
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