Tuesday, December 23, 2008

What does Christmas mean to you?

I received this from a friend and thougth it was well worth reading.

I sat in utter disbelief as I watched this year’s news coverage of “Black Friday,” the day after Thanksgiving devoted to promotions and sales. All across our nation there were reports of old ladies getting into fist fights, store employees being trampled to death, and other violence and mischief that makes you wonder if anyone knows what this season is about anymore. I’ve been considering a name change for this holiday we celebrate in late December: SELFmas.

Yes, we should all wish one another a very “Merry Selfmas!” After all, isn’t self what this season is about? It isn’t? May I give you a challenge? It is a challenge that I, too, must complete. Take a moment and look around you. Look around your house, and your neighborhood. Look around your school or place of work. Simply based upon what you are seeing, what would the average “Joe on the street” think was the center of your holiday? What have you done to put Christ into this season?

The Bible says that every good and perfect gift comes from Santa Clause. Oh, wait, my bad. It all comes from God. A very loving God. A God who desires a relationship with you so much that He gave the ultimate gift of His Son, Jesus Christ, to make a way for us to have intimacy with Him.

Let us commit this season to make Christ the focus. And all year long to make it clear to those around us—our families, neighbors, co-workers, and even perfect strangers—exactly who our lives are centered around.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

The True meaning of Christmas

Just a week before Christmas I had a visitor. This is how it happened. I just finished the household chores for the night and was preparing to go to bed, when I heard a noise in the front of the house. I opened the door to the front room and to my surprise, Santa himself stepped out next to the fireplace.

"What are you doing?" I started to ask. The words choked up in my throat and I saw he had tears in his eyes. His usual jolly manner was gone. Gone was the eager, boisterous soul we all know. He then answered me with a simple statement . . ."TEACH THE CHILDREN!" I was puzzled. What did he mean? He anticipated my question and with one quick movement brought forth a miniature toy bag from behind the tree. As I stood bewildered, Santa said, "Teach the children!Teach them the old meaning of Christmas. The meaning that now-a-days Christmas has forgotten. "Santa then reached in his bag and pulled out a FIR TREE and placed it before the mantle.”Teach the children that the pure green color of the stately fir tree remains green all year round, depicting the everlasting hope of mankind, all the needles point heavenward, making it a symbol of man's thoughts turning toward heaven."

He again reached into his bag and pulled out a brilliant STAR. "Teach the children that the star was the heavenly sign of promises long ago. God promised a Savior for the world and the star was the sign of fulfillment of His promise."

He then reached into his bag and pulled out a CANDLE. "Teach the children that the candle symbolizes that Christ is the light of the world, and when we see this great light we are reminded of He who displaces the darkness."

Once again he reached into his bag and removed a WREATH and placed it on the tree. "Teach the children that the wreath symbolizes the real nature of love. Real love never ceases. Love is one continuous round of affection."

He then pulled from his bag an ORNAMENT of himself. "Teach the children that I, Santa Claus, symbolize the generosity and good will we feel during the month of December."

He then brought out a HOLLY LEAF. "Teach the children that the holly plant represents immortality. It represents the crown of thorns worn by our Savior. The red holly berries represent the blood shed by Him.

Next he pulled from his bag a GIFT and said, "Teach the children that God so loved the world that he gave his begotten son." Thanks be to God for his unspeakable gift.

Santa then reached in his bag and pulled out a CANDY CANE and hung it on the tree. "Teach the children that the candy cane represents the shepherds' crook. The crook on the staff helps to bring back strayed sheep to the flock. The candy cane is the symbol that we are our brother's keeper."

He reached in again and pulled out an ANGEL. "Teach the children that it was the angels that heralded in the glorious news of the Savior's birth. The angels sang Glory to God in the highest, on earth peace and good will toward men."

Suddenly I heard a soft twinkling sound, and from his bag he pulled out a BELL. "Teach the children that as the lost sheep are found by the sound of the bell, it should ring mankind to the fold. The bell symbolizes guidance and return.

Santa looked back and was pleased. He looked back at me and I saw that the twinkle was back in his eyes. He said, "Remember, teach the children the true meaning of Christmas and do not put me in the center, for I am but a humble servant of the One that is, and I bow down to worship him, our LORD, our GOD."

Ron & Becky Yahr

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Backpack Safety

Backpack Safety

Parents, teachers, school administrators and health care specialists are concerned about the issue of children’s health and safety with their backpacks. Children are hunched forward like peasants as they lug their books to and from school and between classes. Students are carrying 20 to 40 pounds in many cases, so this concern is legitimate. Common sense tells us that a heavy load distributed improperly or unevenly, repeated day after day, is indeed going to cause stress to a growing spinal column. "As the twig is bent, so grows the tree." There is a growing awareness of this problem globally as evidenced by media coverage from network television to syndicated newspaper columns such as Dear Abby. The backpack is not the cause of the problem. Children simply haven’t been shown or taught proper methods of packing, lifting and carrying their backpacks. The problem stems from a lack of focused information delivered to students, parents, teachers and school administrators. The solution can be found in a comprehensive educational program aimed at young people from kindergarten through 8th grade, supported and endorsed by parents, teachers, school administrators and health care providers.


Can backpacks cause long-term back problems?
Backpacks themselves can do no damage. Using them improperly can.

My back and neck hurt after wearing my backpack. What should I do?
You should let your parents know about the pain you feel. Pain is a signal from your body telling you something is wrong. You should consult your family chiropractor or other health care practitioner immediately.

Is there a backpack that is safer to wear?
Most backpacks are safe to wear if they’re worn properly and you follow the backpack safety guidelines. However, there are some that are specially designed to distribute the weight load safely and with less stress on your growing spine. Check out ClearSafetyBags.com for a backpack that may be right for you.

How can we get the Backpack Safety America program for our school?
You can do this several ways. First, check our participating doctors listing for a doctor in your area. You can contact the doctor directly from there. You can also contact your local doctor of chiropractic and ask her/him to bring the program to your school. Finally, you can contact Backpack Safety America and ask them to help you locate a doctor of chiropractic in your area.

How much weight should I put in my backpack?
A maximum of 15 percent of your body weight is what should go into your backpack. That means if your body weight is 80 pounds, you should carry 12 pounds or less in your backpack.

I have too many books to carry. What should I do?
Lighten your load by removing any unnecessary items. Carry a heavy book or two under your arm.

Do I have to wear both shoulder straps and the waist strap?
Yes, because the shoulder straps help you distribute the weight evenly between your shoulders and the waist strap helps to stabilize the load, preventing possible injury during movement.

by Courtesy Backpack Safety America www.backpacksafe.com

Friday, June 13, 2008

Code of Conduct for Children's Sporting Events


Children's sports are supposed to be fun – for the children. Unfortunately, many parents, fans and coaches don't realize that their actions, whether verbal or nonverbal, can have a lasting emotional effect on children. Too many children are leaving sports activities because the fun is unfairly taken away by adults.

That is why the National Youth Sports Safety Foundation (NYSSF), a non-profit educational organization dedicated to promoting the healthy development of youth in sports, developed a Code of Conduct for Parents and Spectators abide by at every game.

Great Clear sports bags available at ClearSafetyBags.com.

1. I will not force my child to participate in sports.
2. I will remember that children participate to have fun and that the game is for youth, not adults.
3. I will inform the coach of any physical disability or ailment that may affect the safety of my child or the safety of others.
4. I will learn the rules of the game and the policies of the league.
5. I (and my guests) will be a positive role model for my child and encourage sportsmanship by showing respect and courtesy, and by demonstrating positive support for all players, coaches, officials and spectators at every game, practice or other sporting event.
6. I (and my guests) will not engage in any kind of unsportsmanlike conduct with any official, coach, player, or parent such as booing and taunting; refusing to shake hands; or using profane language or gestures.
7. I will not encourage any behaviors or practices that would endanger the health and wellbeing of the athletes
8. I will teach my child to play by the rules and to resolve conflicts without resorting to hostility or violence.
9. I will demand that my child treat other players, coaches, officials and spectators with respect regardless of race, creed, color, sex or ability.
10. I will teach my child that doing one's best is more important than winning, so that my child willnever feel defeated by the outcome of a game or his/her performance
11. I will praise my child for competing fairly and trying hard, and make my child feel like a winner every time.
12. I will never ridicule or yell at my child or other participant for making a mistake or losing a competition.
13. I will emphasize skill development and practices and how they benefit my child over winning. 14. I will also de-emphasize games and competition in the lower age groups.
15. I will promote the emotional and physical well-being of the athletes ahead of any personal desire I may have for my child to win.
16. I will respect the officials and their authority during games and will never question, discuss, or confront coaches at the game field, and will take time to speak with coaches at an agreed upon time and place.
17. I will demand a sports environment for my child that is free from drugs, tobacco, and alcohol and I will refrain from their use at all sports events.
18. I will refrain from coaching my child or other players during games and practices, unless I am one of the official coaches of the team.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Packing For Your Trip

Have your kids carry something. They like to feel important and it makes them happy to be part of the family, it is also a plus for you as it spreads out the challenge of getting everything carried to the car or motel. Even a toddler can carry a clear back pack with their important things in it.
Don’t pack one suitcase or pack per person, because if you lose one the person who lost their suitcase has no clothes while everyone else is does. Divide things up to spread the weight around and also to minimize the hassle and inconvenience if one suitcase is lost.

When looking to buy suitcases here are some things to remember: Buy for quality and sturdiness rather than for looks. You can always paint a picture on the side or maybe tie ribbons to set your suitcase apart. Traveling can really beat up luggage so quality and sturdiness is important.

The most important things with luggage are: catches that will hold, hinges that can strain and not break, lighter soft sided if you are mostly packing clothes, heavier hard shell if you have lots of things that can break, like toiletries, MP3 players, cameras ETC.

One huge bag seems like a good idea, but after a couple vacations multiple smaller bags make a much happier time. You will find also when you travel to other countries doorways are narrower than in the U.S.

For carryon bags clear bags or back packs are great time savers through baggage checks. You can find a great selection of clear bags, totes, purses and backpacks at ClearSafetyBags.com.

The most important thing of traveling is to have a great time with those you love and be SAFE!

Why do children need to be screened?

Good security means being prepared for unexpected threats. No one expects children to be used to harm anyone, but officers have found weapons in children's toys and other items.

That's why everybody needs to be screened. Parents will not be separated from their children, and will be treated gently and with respect.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Plan Ahead

"When you travel you need to start develop Safe habits." So whether it's for business or pleasure, developing and maintaining good safety habits, including health safety, while traveling is important. Probably one of the best safety habits you can develop is research. Before you travel to any city or destination, perform some research. Nowadays it's easy to go online and find information for nearly anything or any place. Use this to your advantage. Check out cities, hotels, places to eat, whatever. You could also talk to other people who have traveled there before. Plan your route in advance and stick to well-lit and well-traveled places. Having an idea beforehand of what you can expect is vital. Be aware of your surroundings at all times and always maintain a confident composure. You never want to look as if you're unsure about yourself or the area.Use the buddy system. It is always safest to travel in the company of others. The more family or friends, the better. Remember, there is safety in numbers. A person traveling alone is more of a target than two or more together. Not only is this a good safety precaution but having someone to share the driving can help reduce fatigue, which can lead to the inability to think or act clearly.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Clear Safety Bags

Do you work in a building that requires bag checks? Is your, or your child's, school requiring clear backpacks and clear purses? Do you travel often and wish to speed your way through the many bag checks? Even many sporting events and theme parks encourage see through bags, clear backpacks, see through purses or a clear tote bag for people carrying items into their territory.

Clear Safety Bags.com offers a line of clear backpacks, clear purses, clear tote bags and other clear bags that will make entrance into these areas less of a hassle for everyone. Each of us needs to take safety seriously, especially when in crowds. A clear backpack, clear tote bag or clear purse will make your travel more enjoyable.

Our world changed on September 11, 2001, and safety became more important for all of us. I carry a clear backpack, clear purse, or clear tote bag because your safety is important to me as well as my own. I know that there is nothing that I carry that could cause you harm, but with my clear purse, backpack or tote bag you can tell also.

Feel free to browse our selection of clear bags at ClearSafetyBags.com. We offer a variety of school bags and other clear bags . Browse our site and find the bag that best suits your needs. Whether you are looking for a clear carry on bag, a see through vinyl bag or quality clear bags for children, you will find we have what you need.