Thursday, July 31, 2008

Soap Making

Boy, were we busy this week. My two youngest daughters are starting their own business, so we got to work building up their product base and supplies. We shopped on line for our supplies and and spent Monday and Tuesday making it. We made lye soap and glycerin soaps on Monday, dish soap, clothes soap and softener on Tuesday. Tuesday and Wednesday we received shipments of most of their supplies and should receive the rest next week. We will make another batch of lye soap and glycerin soap on Monday and turn this weeks soap on Tuesday. We will try to make a batch of lye soap every week until we have a good supply. We received some small soap molds so we can make samples of the glycerin soap to give away to see what people prefer. Ralph has developed an flyer for them. We just need to check and see if we can register the name of their company. They are working hard to earn money to buy supplies, as well as putting the soaps together. I am really proud of them for having an entrepeneurial spirit.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

How You Can Help Make a Difference In Our Government

I had an article sent to me today from American Vision that shows you how you can get involved and make a difference in the upcoming election in November.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

What are the Characteristics of True Revival?

What are the characteristics of true revival? by RC Sproul

It seems another so called "revival" has sprung up in Lakeland , Florida .

Over the last semester of our Highlands Hall program, and during the previous semester of the Highlands Academy , the classes we offer to area homeschoolers, we read a great deal on church history. In both instances we noted this strange phenomenon. The people of God grow cold in their fervor for the Lord. A group within the church reacts against this, and comes up with a plan to stoke that fervor. There is, at first, some measure of success. Soon, however, we grow cold again. This is where the monastic movement came from. This is why and how universities were founded, first in Europe and later in America . This is where the camp meeting came from, followed by the establishment of “camp ministries.” This is where the great American evangelical fad machine (WWJD, Jabez’ prayer, Promise Keepers, 40 Days, ad nauseum) comes from. We noted that none of these institutions, plans or programs are called for in God’s Word.

I would argue that our pursuit of “revival” as an event falls into essentially the same category. It is good and right and proper that we should labor for, hope for, pray for both great numbers of conversions to the Christian faith, and for great leaps forward of spiritual growth among those who are already Christians. No one could be opposed to that. But the Bible is rather sparse in looking at this as though it were some kind of definable and measurable category. The Spirit, we are told, blows where it will. Did God move in an unusual way in mid-eighteenth century New England ? To be sure. Did God bless the ministries of John Wesley and George Whitefield? Of course He did. Did God blaze a trail across the prairie in the Second Great Awakening? Maybe. Was God bringing in the elect in Toronto twenty years ago? Probably not. My confidence level goes down as the use of self-conscious techniques and the visibility of sundry “signs” goes up.

The fruit of real revival is lost souls being saved, and found souls becoming more like Jesus. It is found in the decidedly unspectacular phenomenon of people repenting. The source of this blessing is the Holy Spirit. The only patterns I have been able to discern wherein we might expect to see the Spirit at work are these. First, the Spirit tends to move in a context of persecution. Signs and wonders are not signs of wonder. The blood of the martyrs, that’s where you’ll see the Spirit.

Secondly, and perhaps ironically, I believe we can expect to see the Spirit at work where we see Christians striving to live in peace and quietness with all men, as much as is possible. Consider these few statistics. Eighty percent of children of evangelical Christians attend the government’s schools. Eighty percent of them will leave the faith. Over the last twenty years, anywhere from half a million to two million evangelical families have taught their children in their homes. The overwhelming majority of these children walk in the way that they should go when they are grown. If these numbers are accurate, we are witnessing a silent revival right here in America . Taking back the schools is a failed and worldly technique. Taking back His children, that is changing everything. When we no longer render to Caesar the things that are God’s, our children, then we can expect to see revival.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Joyfully Home: A Fool Is...

Here is a blog by a very wise young lady. This is great for ALL young people (and older people too) to read.

Joyfully Home: A Fool Is...

Jasmine Baucham

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Some Photos from our sewing this week

Here are a few photos from our sewing this week. We were able to complete:
-3 skirts
-2 vests
-36 handkerchiefs

We also are over half way done with 6 blouses!! We will be hard at work on Monday to complete the blouses, and work on the aprons, jumpers and dresses.

Alicia, "I'm almost done, Mom!"

Hannah & Alicia working diligently
on putting the elastic in their skirts.

Here I am working on one of the girls'
vests to match their skirts.

Home Church

Last January, we began having a small church in the homes of friends. It started with 3 families (including our's) and has now grown to 6 families. Well, last night we had some friends come to visit us from east of the mountains and they joined us. There were 48 people at our fellowship last night. It was so awesome to see that many people together wanting to fellowship and learn from God's Word. There were 33 children, with 29 of them under the age of 12, and 15 adults. It was such a blessing to see people of all ages talking, eating and worshiping together. We had to meet outside because there wasn't enough room inside, but God blessed us with no rain and it wasn't too cold. There were also NO bugs, which was a miracle since we were out in the country. I thank God for like-minded people who are striving to grow in their walk with God and raise their children to do the same. Here are some photos from last night.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

The True Meaning of Beauty

The True Meaning of Beauty: A Pastoral Letter to Fruitful Vines

by Jeff Pollard the author of Christian Modesty and the Public Undressing of America
“Dear Fruitful Vines,
One never knows in God’s mercy and kindness what a simple appeal to a Biblical passage can produce. As I was pondering my last encouragement to you all, I pondered Psalm 128. Verse 3 says, “Thy wife shall be as a fruitful vine by the sides of thine house.” I thought, “You know, instead of saying, ‘Dear pregnant moms,’ maybe, ‘Fruitful Vines,’ instead.” Now “pregnant moms” is a lovely term to me. Nevertheless, from the encouraging replies I received regarding the term Fruitful Vines, it will now be the address of choice!
This also pointed out to me again the importance of words and, especially in our society, of image. You dear sisters have to stand in the checkout lines of Wal-Mart and other stores all the time. Glaring at you are rows of magazines that virtually shout at you, “The Hollywood Harlots are the standard of beauty. You have to look like this, and display that, or you are not beautiful.”
Don’t listen to this. Reject it. Replace this lie with God’s truth.
Some of you mentioned waddling. Some of you mentioned that vines are thin. I was amused. Yet, I was also pierced to my very soul. Our society has made body-sculpting surgeons rich and constantly shoves its artificial, nip-and-tuck, silicone and Botox standard of beauty in your face. Let me tell you something: waddling, as your body bears the children God gave you, is holy. The changes, the aches, the pains, the swelling, the stretch marks, and all the rest-these are all beautiful in the eyes of the Lord and to any man who has his biblical wits about him. It is stunning beauty to see women submitting to the often painful changes that bearing the Lord’s children brings. Being fruitful and multiplying brings glory to the Lord Jesus Christ and is the holy act of bringing God’s elect into this world. Through virgin’s womb, our beloved Savior entered this world. Mary did the most holy waddling that has ever graced the planet. It was not the sultry, sensual sashay of seduction. It was the humble, load-bearing, groaning, aching waddle of the salvation of all God’s elect for all eternity.
Waddle on,groan on, swell up to the glory of the Lord Jesus Christ: you are displaying a true and holy beauty to your God and to anyone who has eyes to see.
My beloved wife used to say in her last trimester, “I feel like a beached whale.” I wish I had told her a million times and more, “But you are beautiful to me and to the Lord.” She was then and she is now the delight of my eyes. Dear Vines, there is a beauty in your fulfilling the eternal purpose of God to which all the airbrushed, surgically enhanced bodies on this planet will never compare. Your self-effacing sacrifice displays the glory of your Lord.
Waddle, swell, and groan to glory of your Savior. He knows true beauty when he sees it...”

Posted by Doug Phillips on July 23, 2008 on Vision

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Ralph's Milestone

Today is a wonderful day. Today we are celebrating the day of Ralph's birth. Fifty years ago today he was born to Fernando and Marta at Fort Lewis, Washington. I asked him this morning how it felt to be fifty and he said, "I feel the same as yesterday." Well, in my eyes he grows better and better every day. He has matured from a young man, who didn't always seem to know where he was going, to a man who knows who he is AND where he is going. A man who has come to know the Lord in a very personal way and has lead others to know Him also. I am so proud to call him my husband and the father of our children. I will say the same thing that his parents have said...we are looking forward to another fifty years.

To celebrate Ralph's birthday, Christopher is taking us to dinner, then we are going to see Glen Beck. Below are a few pictures of the gifts we gave him.

Here is a camo shirt for hunting

We also got him a compass that is a replica of what Lewis and Clark used

Alicia made this crocheted ornament that says "Greatest Dad"

Hannah crocheted him a scarf to use while he is hunting

Here are some M & M's I had made with his photo on them and the sayings, "My Banner", "Love of my life", and "My hero".

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

"Have it Your Way"

Here is a must read, from Stacy McDonald, for parents today, about our children being consumed by the world:

Monday, July 14, 2008

Making Clothes

Well, it is that time of year again for us. We go through our closets and drawers and see what fits and what doesn't and then where we need to fill in the gaps. We decided to start today, as we will be going to Florida in September to visit Ralph's Dad (he will have his 75th birthday while we are there) and we wanted to make sure we had enough clothes to last us while we are there and that it was all presentable.

Anyway, Alicia, Hannah, and I took stock of our clothes and saw where we needed to fill in the gaps. Both of the girls are growing, so there was quite a need this year. This afternoon, I cut out three skirts and 6 blouses. Hannah cut out 10 handkerchiefs. Tomorrow we will cut out 2 dresses, 1 jumper, 2 vests, 3 aprons, and 3 nightgowns. Hannah will cut out about 2 dozen more handkerchiefs. She enjoys doing embroidery work on them.

Next will come the fun part...the assembling. I love to sew and the girls are learning to enjoy it too. I will try to take some photos as we work and then maybe have the girls model some of the finished clothing.

Once we return from Florida we will have to make some more winter clothes too. But that will have to wait until late September. :)

Psalm 45:13"The King's daughter is all glorious within; Her clothing is interwoven with gold."

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Helping our Friends

This week we had the privilege of watching our friends' dog. The dog's name is Ivy, she is a bulldog. She was a lot of fun. We enjoyed playing tug-of-war with her and watching her wiggle around when she was excited. She loved getting as much attention as we would give her. She enjoyed sunning herself on the deck and running with our poodle in the yard. They would chase each other in circles until they were about ready to collapse. She liked to try and sneak food from our dog's dish, but we would just say "Ivy" and she would look at us like, "am I doing something wrong?" She was quite a character.

Here is Ivy being a little bashful

Here is Ivy "hamming" it up for the camera

Ivy sunning herself, looks like she could use a little tan:)

Thank you Silva's for letting us take care of Ivy this week, we really enjoyed her and we are glad that we could help you all out!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Alicia and Hannah working for Daddy

Today Alicia and Hannah did their first job for their Daddy. He had them recording voice overs for a video he was working on. They worked really hard and enjoyed the opportunity to be a part of their Daddy's ministry.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Happy 4th of July

We spent the 4th of July BBQing, playing Bocce, listening to Patriotic music and watching a documentary on the Revolutionary War.

Christopher watching Dad throw his first Bocce.
Christopher and Dad trying to figure out the scoring.It is Christopher's turn to throw, watch that south paw throw.
OK, who scored and who didn't?

It is Hannah's turn to throw.
OK, Alicia can you throw it close enough to keep Hannah from scoring?

Daddy and Hannah measuring to see who gets points.

Well, I guess I will try to my hand at this too.
We really had a great time together as a family. Ralph bbq'd some wonderful steaks, the girls and I made macaroni salad and banana cream pie and later on we had blizzards. We are so thankful for having this day to remember how we gained our freedom and for the men who wrote our Declaration of Independence and Constituition and for how they were led by God to do the work to begin this country.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

The Declaration of Independence

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America
hen in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. — Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.
He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their Public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.
He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.
He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected, whereby the Legislative Powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.
He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
He has obstructed the Administration of Justice by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary Powers.
He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.
He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.
He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power.
He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
For protecting them, by a mock Trial from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:
For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
For depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of Trial by Jury:
For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences:
For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies
For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.
He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation, and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & Perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.
He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.
He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.
In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.
Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.
We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these united Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States, that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. — And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.
John Hancock
New Hampshire:Josiah Bartlett, William Whipple, Matthew Thornton
Massachusetts:John Hancock, Samuel Adams, John Adams, Robert Treat Paine, Elbridge Gerry
Rhode Island:Stephen Hopkins, William Ellery
Connecticut:Roger Sherman, Samuel Huntington, William Williams, Oliver Wolcott
New York:William Floyd, Philip Livingston, Francis Lewis, Lewis Morris
New Jersey:Richard Stockton, John Witherspoon, Francis Hopkinson, John Hart, Abraham Clark
Pennsylvania:Robert Morris, Benjamin Rush, Benjamin Franklin, John Morton, George Clymer, James Smith, George Taylor, James Wilson, George Ross
Delaware:Caesar Rodney, George Read, Thomas McKean
Maryland:Samuel Chase, William Paca, Thomas Stone, Charles Carroll of Carrollton
Virginia:George Wythe, Richard Henry Lee, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Harrison, Thomas Nelson, Jr., Francis Lightfoot Lee, Carter Braxton
North Carolina:William Hooper, Joseph Hewes, John Penn
South Carolina:Edward Rutledge, Thomas Heyward, Jr., Thomas Lynch, Jr., Arthur Middleton
Georgia:Button Gwinnett, Lyman Hall, George Walton

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

A Working Family

We had a VERY busy weekend. Ralph and Christopher assembled a floor fan, before the temperatures began climbing. It was a great relief when it climbed into the 90's on Saturday.

On Friday, Ralph pruned some trees so we could plant some rhodie bushes under them. It will look really beautiful once they are established and blooming. The Young Ladies were great helpers putting the branches into the recycling bin.

On Saturday, Christopher and Ralph attached a trailer hitch to our Xterra. It was almost an all day job, they even attached the wires for the lights. I thought it was going to be a "plug and play" job, that will teach me to think. They worked really hard and didn't give up, even when it looked like they were at a dead end, they persevered and "finished the race". I love seeing my men working as a team. They did an AWESOME job!

Christopher explaining to Ralph which bolts needed to be loosened.

Ralph preparing the torque wrench for Christopher.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

The Girl Scouts New Radicalism

The Girl Scouts' new radicalism
Marcia Segelstein - OneNewsNow Columnist - 7/1/2008 7:00:00 AM

The Girl Scouts of the USA have been on a steady, well-documented leftward slide for many years. (More on that later.) But this summer, the organization is about to take a giant leap even further in that direction.

The GSUSA is introducing a new "Girl Scout Leadership Experience," essentially a new curriculum, titled "Journeys." The first series of books, one for every level of scouting, will be released this summer called "It's Your World - Change It." As you may have guessed from the title, it's all about girls "taking action." In the words of the Girl Scouts' literature, the mission is for girls to "lead with courage, confidence, and character to make the world a better place." Sounds innocuous enough. But the GSUSA leadership has some specific ideas about what exactly "making the world a better place" means. For example, seventh- and eighth-grade cadettes will participate in an eight-session "Journey" called "aMaze," in which "girls create 'peace kits' and learn how to create more peace in the world, one relationship at a time." It sounds sweet, but is there a lesson in there about peace often coming with a price? The "Journey" for the oldest Girl Scouts is called "Your Voice, Your World: The Power of Advocacy." In it, "girls explore the rich and global history of women's advocacy efforts and engages girls to become advocates in their communities." Advocates for what, you might well wonder. Here's one example. In August, the GSUSA is inviting girls to "explore climate change as it relates to environment, community and the global community." They will meet with experts "to explore the issue of global climate change" and "come up with action plans to...make a difference in [their] own community."
Visit Marcia Segelstein's blog -- she values your comments and ideas!
Many adults associated with the Girl Scouts have expressed serious concerns about this new curriculum. Promoting social activism, emphasizing the power of self, and jumping on the bandwagon of politically correct causes like global warming are further evidence to them of the organization's ever-growing radicalism. The blueprint for this new curriculum came from the Girl Scouts Arizona Cactus-Pine Council, which decided they needed to be "re-founded." To oversee the process, they naturally hired facilitators -- in this case, from the Ashland Institute, a consulting group with a distinctly New Age bent. The Board of Directors and the Arizona Cactus-Pine Council went into a special retreat. After engaging in a "collective reflective process called Open Space," they decided that some radical changes were in order. According to their own online material, "We are living in a crisis of the spirit in a war-torn world." The literature speaks of female empowerment. It asks, "Could the Girl Scouts help birth the quality of women's leadership that the world so desperately needs today?" It continues: "She [Tamara Woodbury, executive director of the Cactus-Pine Council] knew the time had come for a feminine approach to leadership in the world. What better place than the Girl Scouts to help land the possibility -- but how to do it in a feminine way?" I really have no clue how Ms. Woodbury would define a "feminine approach to leadership in the world," and can't think why world leadership needs to be approached from a feminine or masculine perspective. Unless, of course, one has a radical feminist point of view. So the Arizona Cactus-Pine Council forged ahead to find a place where "preteens and teens learn to hear and trust their own inner guidance." As a Christian, I look to God for guidance, and pray that my children do, too. "Inner guidance" sounds way too much like "do your own thing," or "follow your heart," rather than "do the right thing." In fact, the online literature suggests just that: "Juliette Low [founder of the Girl Scouts] might say to us today, 'Follow my spirit, not my footsteps. Lead from the heart into the unknown.'" An interesting place to want to take teenagers. Here's one of the Girl Scouts' new values: "Girls learn to quiet themselves, taking 'full stop moments' where they can connect with a silence that is perfect and pure, an internal blank canvas....The girls 'find their own compass' through a model that starts looking within to find their purpose, values and vision and ends with clear strategies, action and planning." In case you weren't already clear on this, back in 1995, the Girl Scouts made it optional to include the word "God" in their official "promise." So it shouldn't be a great surprise that now girls are supposed to look within, discover a blank canvas, and find their own values. This isn't God-optional. This is anti-God. Here's "The Girl Scout Promise," according to the GSUSA website:
"On my honor, I will try:To serve God* and my country,To help people at all times,And to live by the Girl Scout Law."
The asterisk is explained at the bottom of the page: "The word 'God' can be interpreted in a number of ways, depending on one's spiritual beliefs. When reciting the Girl Scout Promise, it is okay to replace the word 'God' with whatever word your spiritual beliefs dictate." That's right. Go right ahead and define "God" however you like. Telling girls to look inside themselves for direction, especially teenage girls, is like advising them to wear a blindfold while driving. So -- to be clear -- along with political correctness, the Girl Scouts have now fully embraced moral relativism. But getting back to being anti-God, there is the matter of the "Covenant of the Goddess." It's a Wiccan website which, among other things, describes their awards program. There's the "Over the Moon Award" for ages 8-11 and the "Hart and Crescent Award" for ages 12-18. The awards are offered "to any young person...who is a member of any nature-oriented religion (Wicca, Druid, Asatru, Native American, etc.)." What does this have to with the Girl Scouts? The Girl Scouts recognize these awards, which may be worn on the Girl Scout uniform. Criticism of the Girl Scouts is not new. A few years ago, Kathryn Jean Lopez wrote a piece for National Review Online called "The Cookie Crumbles." Here are some highlights: "Exercises [from a Senior Scout manual] include working through how the Girl Scout Promise and Law relate to such situations as 'Suppporting a decision to pull a life-support system from a dying relative' and 'Ending a pregnancy.' Some activities 'you can do as a Girl Scout to address contemporary issues' include 'organiz[ing] an event to make people aware of gender bias' or 'help[ing] organize an Earth Day celebration." She cites the 1997 book On My Honor: Lesbians Reflect on Their Scouting Experience as being "filled with coming-of-age stories sparked by gay encounters in the Girl Scouts." The book includes an essay titled "All I Really Need to Know About Being a Lesbian I Learned at Girl Scout Camp." According to Lopez, "staffers writing in the book claim that roughly one in three of the Girls Scouts' paid professional staff is lesbian." Then there is the "cozy relationship," as columnist John Leo put it, between Planned Parenthood and a Girl Scout council in Waco, Texas. He wrote, "The council gave a 'woman of distinction' award to the local chief of Planned Parenthood, who runs an abortion clinic in Waco....The [same] council also endorsed and helped to staff Planned Parenthood's 'Nobody's Fool,' an annual half-day sex-education program...offering sympathetic treatment of abortion, masturbation, and homosexuality." Only after protests did the council withdraw their endorsement of the sex-ed program. It turns out that other Girl Scout councils in Nevada and Connecticut also had relationships with Planned Parenthood. And, according to Concerned Women for America, one Girl Scout leadership manual "gives visits to health clinics like Planned Parenthood as an acceptable option for Brownie troops. Brownies are for girls six to eight years old." In 1995, when "God" became optional in the Girl Scouts' promise, a group of parents in Ohio had had enough. Disillusioned with the increasingly secular leanings of the Girl Scouts, they started their own organization with about 100 members. American Heritage Girls today has chapters in 34 states, with over 6,500 members. Here is the American Heritage Girls' oath:
I promise to love God,Cherish my family,Honor my country,and Serve in my community.
You'll note that there's no asterisk next to "God." Check out their website to see if there's a chapter near you. And if there isn't, they'll help you start one of your own.

After ten years as a producer for CBS News, forty-something years as an Episcopalian, and fifteen years as a mother, Marcia Segelstein considers herself a reluctant rebel against the mainstream media, the Episcopal Church (and others which make up the rules instead of obeying them), and the decaying culture her children witness every day. Her pieces have been published in "First Things," "Touchstone: A Journal of Mere Christianity," and "BreakpointOnline," and she is a contributing editor for Salvo magazine.

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