Practical and important ways to show love to your family. Even when you are dead.

I recently suggested that the two best ways to love your family and save a ton of money are to keep yourself fit and work on your marriage.

There are a couple other simple ways you can show love to your family, especially in a time of grief: Have your will, medical directives and financial records in order and ensure you have money or insurance for your funeral and burial.

As Pastor D.L. Foster asked:

If you were to die today, would your family, loved ones go into debt attempting to funeralize and bury you? Would they have to get on TV and beg strangers for money? Would they have to delay grieving because they have no money to handle the business of your death? If yes, why haven’t you gotten an insurance plan so that they can grieve without the extra heavy burden of money issues?

It doesn’t take that much to get organized.  If you won’t be leaving enough cash for a funeral, then get some insurance.  You can get a simple will done online.  Same thing for power of attorney forms and medical directives.  Make a list of your accounts, insurance policies, etc. then put it with any notes you want for your loved ones.  Then put a reminder on your calendar to update it once a year.  Don’t hold to silly superstitions. Your are going to die whether or not you prepare.

Will you be there to get kudos from your family for helping them out?  No, but getting credit isn’t what love is about.  With just a few hours time you will have made the life of your loved ones much, much easier.

Oh, and be sure to repent and believe in Jesus if you haven’t already.  He is the only way to salvation, and eternity is a mighty long time.

Cohabiting couples 8 times more likely to abort than married couples

See Holy smoke: check out the disparity in abortion rate between cohabiting and married couples.  Once again, defying God’s guidelines for sex and marriage has painful and deadly consequences.

Excellent article: Fortify Your Facebook Privacy Settings

As a CPA I get a subscription to the Journal of Accountancy (Motto: As boring as it sounds!).  This month they actually had a useful article titled Fortify Your Facebook Privacy Settings.  Facebook makes it difficult, but with a few steps you can significantly improve your security.

I’m surprised more people haven’t had security issues with FB.  If you aren’t careful, strangers can see your profile and know when you are out-of-town or even just out of your house.  They can know all about your kids.  And more.

And many people — especially younger folks — aren’t thinking about how potential employers can use FB to screen you out.  I see lots of references to getting drunk and such that will not impress prospective employers.

Some of the tips and categories the article addresses:

Editor’s note: Facebook unveiled plans on May 26 to roll out new privacy settings over the next several weeks. For more details on the company’s privacy policy and latest changes, read the new privacy guide at www.facebook.com/privacy/explanation.php

The Facebook List feature allows you to organize your friends by groups. These groups can then have individual privacy policies applied to each of them to extend or suppress your Facebook information by List.  . . . You can create new lists by selecting Create a List on the Friendspage.

FRIENDS ONLY

CPAs should consider changing all of their settings to Friends Only. This ensures that the people who can see your Facebook content are only those people who you actually accept as friends. (From a CPA’s standpoint, your Facebook friends may be your fellow employees, professional colleagues, clients, prospects or other contacts.) The problem is that you need to visit many places to make these changes. The three main areas are listed below, and you will need to toggle between dozens of items within each category to change all settings to “Friends Only.” One exception to consider is under SettingsPrivacy Settings,Search. Here you might want to keep this setting set to Everyone so you can be found via a search by people who want to friend you.

HIDE YOUR FRIENDS LIST FROM NONFRIENDS

BLOCK THIRD-PARTY FACEBOOK APPLICATIONS

Most third-party applications are geared toward personal use, but some applications such as greeting cards might be used for business reasons. CPAs should know that by default, third-party applications can access any of your Facebook information. This means that your name, phone number, e-mail address, street address, photos, videos, comments, and any of your responses to third-party questionnaires can be harvested for information and then used to build a profile of you, your likes and dislikes, and other preferences.

. . .

To help protect your data from third-party applications, follow these four rules:

a. Start by not including any personal information in your Profile page that you don’t want outsiders to see.

b. Refrain from using any third-party applications. Most are games or quizzes that can waste time, anyway.

c. Block all third-party applications. This can be done from the AccountPrivacy Settings,Applications and Websites menu.

d. Block your content that friends can share through their use of applications. This is done from the AccountPrivacy SettingsApplications and WebsitesWhat your friends can share about you menu.

REMOVE YOURSELF FROM FACEBOOK SEARCH RESULTS

PROTECT YOURSELF FROM NETWORKS

PROTECT YOURSELF FROM FACEBOOK ADVERTISERS

REMOVE YOUR FACEBOOK CONTENT FROM GOOGLE

PREVENT PHOTO/VIDEO TAG MISTAKES

Say you let loose for a few hours one night at the company party, and photos or videos of the moment are suddenly posted for all to view. These items can be seen by not just your close friends who shared the moment with you, but also potentially the entire world. When someone tags you in a photo, they point out who is who and a message appears on your profile page, letting people know you are in that photo and letting them view it. Tagged photos have landed some Facebook users in hot water personally and professionally.

AVOID FRIENDS’ EMBARRASSING WALL POSTS

CONCLUSION

This is cyberspace, with information traveling at the speed of light. You cannot get it back once it is loose. Remain aware of what privacy settings are available and be conscious of what your friends may be publishing about you.

J. Carlton Collins (carlton@asaresearch.com) is a technology and accounting systems consultant, public speaker and CPE instructor.

From the flying pigs category, I sort of agree with Maureen Dowd

Maureen Dowd wrote Their Dangerous Swagger about some reprehensible behavior by some high school boys.

It was set up like a fantasy football league draft. The height, weight and performance statistics of the draftees were offered to decide who would make the cut and who would emerge as the No. 1 pick.

But the players in this predatory game were not famous N.F.L. stars. They were unwitting girls about to start high school.

A group of soon-to-be freshmen boys at Landon, an elite private grade school and high school for boys in the wealthy Washington suburb of Montgomery County, Md., was drafting local girls.

One team was called “The Southside Slampigs,” and one boy dubbed his team with crude street slang for drug-addicted prostitutes.

. . .

Before they got caught last summer, the boys had planned an “opening day party,” complete with T-shirts, where the mission was to invite the drafted girls and, unbeknownst to them, score points by trying to rack up as many sexual encounters with the young women as possible.

“They evidently got points for first, second and third base,” said one outraged father of a drafted girl. “They were going to have parties and tally up the points, and money was going to be exchanged at the end of the season.” He said that the boys would also have earned points for “schmoozing with the parents.”

. . .

Another parent was equally appalled: “I think the girls felt like they were getting targeted, that this was some big game. Talk about using people. It doesn’t get much worse than that.”

Landon is where the sons of many prominent members of the community are sent to learn “the code of character,” where “a Landon man” is part of a “true Brotherhood” and is known for his good word, respect and honesty. The school’s Web site boasts about the Landon Civility Code; boys are expected to “work together to eliminate all forms of disrespect” and “respect one another and our surroundings in our decorum, appearance, and interactions.”

. . .

Time for a curriculum overhaul. Young men everywhere must be taught, beyond platitudes, that young women are not prey.

I completely agree with the problems she identified and that women — young or old — should not be considered prey.

But where is Ms. Dowd’s grounding for such complaints?  How can a pro-Planned Parenthood person be surprised at such coarse behavior?  They have spent decades and millions of dollars teaching our youth that you can have sex without consequences if you are careful enough, that you can hide the evidence (i.e., abortion) if something goes wrong and that even if you end up HIV positive you don’t have to tell your sex partners.  They tell kids to ignore their parents and their religion and just have sex when they think they are ready — which, not surprisingly, is the same time as when they want to have sex.

It is extremely well documented that Planned Parenthood hides statutory rape, so if Dowd really cares about these teenage girls she might want to speak up about that as well.

Dowd is correct to point out the despicable behavior of the boys.  What she misses is that she has been part of the problem.  She and all the Planned Parenthood-types successfully taught kids that sex is a recreational activity and that any relation to marriage or creating new life is purely coincidental.  Looks like these boys were listening.

Roundup

Adultery = destruction — another great post by MomLovesBeingAtHome — hope she doesn’t mind all the links this week!

The insanity of same sex parenting — so non-PC, but so true. 

In such a debate, evidence from social science has only a secondary role. Certainly the best-designed studies confirm the obvious — that a child does best in every respect when raised by his or her own parents, or in the nearest equivalent context of an adopting mother and father. In the light of this research, the American College of Pediatricians in 2004 concludes: “The environment in which children are reared is absolutely critical to their development. Given the current body of research, the American College of Pediatricians believes it is inappropriate, potentially hazardous to children, and dangerously irresponsible to change the age-old prohibition on homosexual parenting, whether by adoption, foster care, or by reproductive manipulation. This position is rooted in the best available science.”

However, nobody needs to resort to “the best available science” to defend the obvious insight that a little child needs both a mother and a father. The judgment of anyone who cannot see this as a self-evident fact of life, as the most commonsense and necessary condition of a child’s wellbeing, is suspect.

Hat tip: Duane’s Mind

Obama’s naive trade policy — it is hard to believe, but this may be his worst idea of all.  I can’t believe that he thinks that import duties are a solution at any time and especially now.  But hey, they worked so well just before the Great Depression.

Iran and Honduras: Inconsistencies in U.S. Foreign Policy — I know what they mean by the title, but I wouldn’t say they are inconsistent.  I think they are consistently wrong.  The inconsistency they refer to is not acting where we should and acting where we shouldn’t.  Sadly, there are large consequences from this.  Ministries like Hope for Honduras really suffer because mission teams can’t come to help (not that I’m bitter about my November trip being cancelled).

There is a consistent lack of principle in the Obama Administration’s refusal to recognize a legal government in Honduras while recognizing an illegal one in Iran. What is most troublesome in the case of Honduras is the State Department’s announcement that the United States will not recognize the outcome of the Honduran election now scheduled for November 2009.

ACORN video number five — and does anyone really think that is the last?  Does anyone believe the head of ACORN when she talks about all the offices that threw the investigators out?  If that was true, do you think they just might notified other offices?

This is one of those amazing issues in American political history.  A couple young no-names repeatedly and thoroughly embarrass not just a major partner of the government but the whole mainstream media as well.  These folks just need to read conservative blogs more.  What the MSM consider breaking news, such as the ACORN and Van Jones stories, we’ve known about for a relatively long time. 

And even when the MSM finally addresses it they have tried to spin it negatively against Republicans.  Good analysis of it all here.

I would like to conclude by saying that these two brave kids Giles & O’Keefe are indeed the Woodward & Bernstein of this current generation. They are probably deserving of a Pulitzer Prize award for Investigative Reporting but don’t look forward to that since the vast majority of the 18 Board Members are from Liberal Mainstream Publications or Liberal Academic Institutions and these are the same crowd that selectively has chosen to ignore this story since it didn’t follow their own story line and bias. 

Yeah, somehow I don’t see Hollywood making movies about the heroics of these two, even though it would be so much more fitting than any of the journalism movies they’ve done the last few decades.

This audio of Charlie Gibson is a must listen.  Absolute stunning that he didn’t know about ACORN. Hard to believe he said to just leave it to “the cables.”

My #1 productivity tool

no tvI get a fair amount of “Where do you find the time to ____?” comments from people.

Here’s where I get the time: I don’t watch much TV.   I watch 30 min. per day or less, and usually only 10-15 minutes.

That doesn’t make me better or more spiritual or anything else.  I can certainly waste many hours on line, which is just as bad.  But it does explain where I “find” time to do more important things: Bible study, prayer, service, exercise, family time, etc.

OK, I watch some TV, but I am deliberate about what I watch and when I watch it.  I don’t just sit down to watch whatever is on.  I’m glad to see that my daughters picked up on the habits of my wife and me.  They have their favorite shows but are surgical in their viewing habits and don’t waste endless time watching TV.

The average person watches four hours of TV per day.  Four hours per day!  That’s 28 hours per week.  So when I hear that I have no sympathy for people claiming to want to do more things for their faith (again, Bible reading, service, prayer) or their health if they can’t find a way to just cut back 10% of their TV watching.

If people could just skip one half hour show three times a week and go for a walk it would do wonders for their health and well being.  In fact, that would do more to improve the average health of the nation than any politically driven reforms by either party.

Sorry for the sermon, but if people would take an eternal perspective and realize just how much they are missing out on participating in God’s kingdom it would do great things for their lives.  I’m not saying you have to watch zero TV, or even a certain amount.  Just decide to control it and not let it control you.  Not only can it waste your time, but the shows and commercials are almost universally designed to make you covetous and lustful. 

Map out what is truly important to you then estimate where you spend your time, then be intentional about getting the two in sync.

God’s view of marriage and parenting

The last post talked about religion in the public square.  This one is for those within the church.  Non-believers are welcome to comment, but please stay on topic.

As I addressed in Problems with pro-gay theology, there are many false teachers and/or confused people in the church who hold one or more of the following erroneous beliefs:

  • The Bible is either not the Word of God, or most parts of it aren’t.  This view claims that we can ignore the prohibitions against homosexual behavior because they were written by homophobic Jews.
  • The Bible is the Word of God, but it doesn’t really say homosexual behavior is wrong.  This view holds that people just aren’t reading the Bible properly, and that God’s Word is actually affirming of gay relationships.
  • The Bible is the Word of God and does clearly and emphatically describes gay behavior as sinful.  However, the Holy Spirit has given additional revelations such that this behavior is now acceptable.  This view holds that God has changed his mind on this moral issue and not only is it now acceptable, but it is sinful if you don’t affirm this behavior and same-sex relationships. 
  • But as I’ve mentioned many time, the Bible couldn’t be more clear:

    1. 100% of the verses addressing homosexual behavior denounce it as sin in the clearest and strongest possible terms.
    2. 100% of the verses referencing God’s ideal for marriage involve one man and one woman.
    3. 100% of the verses referencing parenting involve moms and dads with unique roles (or at least a set of male and female parents guiding the children).
    4. 0% of 31,173 Bible verses refer to homosexual behavior in a positive or even benign way or even hint at the acceptability of homosexual unions.

    Item 1 gets talked about the most, but I encourage people to search for the passages that relate to items 2 and 3 and then honestly ask themselves if they think the Bible even hints at oxymoronic “same sex unions” as being part of God’s plan.  I was reading this passage yesterday and this idea really stood out:

    1 Corinthians 7:1-10 Now concerning the matters about which you wrote: “It is good for a man not to have sexual relations with a woman.” But because of the temptation to sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband. The husband should give to his wife her conjugal rights, and likewise the wife to her husband. For the wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. Likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. Do not deprive one another, except perhaps by agreement for a limited time, that you may devote yourselves to prayer; but then come together again, so that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self-control. Now as a concession, not a command, I say this. I wish that all were as I myself am. But each has his own gift from God, one of one kind and one of another. To the unmarried and the widows I say that it is good for them to remain single as I am. But if they cannot exercise self-control, they should marry. For it is better to marry than to be aflame with passion. To the married I give this charge (not I, but the Lord): the wife should not separate from her husband.

    There is not even a hint that God has any plan for marriage other than one man and one woman.  Really, read the whole book and see.  I find the arguments from silence (i.e., “But the Bible never specifically says “same sex marriage” or gay parenting is wrong”) to be ridiculous and a sure sign that you are talking to person who is deceived and/or a deceiver. 

    P.S. If a professing Christian wants to claim that Paul was backwards or confused, then I offer this:

    • Paul was a really cerebral guy.  Read all his letters and see.
    • You should know that the Bible was inspired by the Holy Spirit.
    • Are you claiming that Paul was wrong and you are not and that I should trust your revelation over his?  I’m skeptical of that.