Monday, August 6, 2012

Teens trading sex for drugs, booze often live at home: B.C. study

VANCOUVER -- Teenagers are trading sex for drugs and alcohol at a low but steady rate, yet the vast majority of them attend school and live at home with their parents, a new University of British Columbia study suggests.
Its lead author says research indicates the problem has been occurring “in the shadows,” but that a positive message has also emerged from the findings.
“Family makes a big difference,” said co-author and UBC Prof. Elizabeth Saewyc. “When parents talk with kids about their values and goals and when they model healthy romantic relationships, this does influence their own kids’ sexual decision-making.”
The study involved 2,360 students in Grades 7 to 12 from 28 schools in southeastern B.C. using survey data from a biennial questionnaire conducted by the East Kootenay Addiction Services Society.
Authors of the study, which was published Wednesday in the Canadian Journal of Human Sexuality, say the findings are similar to studies conducted in Quebec, the U.S. and Oslo, Norway.
“Given that it has been documented in other industrialized nations, one would expect this is happening in other parts of Canada and other parts of B.C.,” Saewyc said.
She said further studies are needed to learn how pervasive such exchanges are and to help track whether sex-education programs and other prevention strategies are effective.
The study found that just over two per cent of teens who have ever tried alcohol, marijuana or other drugs have also exchanged sex for those substances.
Boys and girls were almost equally likely to make the trade, while 83 per cent of boys and 98 per cent of girls who did so lived at home with family.
“We do know that the kids who felt like they weren’t supported or cared about by their families were much more likely to be trading sex for alcohol or drugs,” Saewyc said.
Young girls swapping sexual favours with older guys who have cars and money is nothing new, said Diane Sowden, executive director of the Coquitlam, B.C.-based Children of the Street Society.
She said the acts often occur at parties and for something as little as a car ride.
Her organization runs about 500 workshops on sexual exploitation each year, reaching around 30,000 youth around the province.
Sowden has watched teenagers’ attitudes shift with education.
“So it’s not the norm, and everybody does it and it’s just acceptable,” she said. “Now you have a youth voice talking on the other side that maybe this isn’t the greatest idea, maybe there are risks to this, what other activities can I get involved into get friends without having to exploit myself?”
Repercussions of the behaviour include the risks associated with having a high number of sexual partners and include contracting sexually transmitted infections such as HIV and Hepatitis C.
It’s also associated with emotional distress such as suicidal thoughts or self-harm such cutting of the skin.
People who barter for sex with youth in exchange for substances are engaging in child exploitation, Saewyc said.
The study also suggests that teens who are highly impulsive were more likely to engage in trading sex for substances.
Further, it found illicit substances beyond booze and marijuana were more likely to be involved and teens who traded sex also had higher rates of weekly binge drinking compared to other students.


Las Vegas Man Forgives Family's Killer

Crystal Springs Baptist Church issues formal apology for banning black wedding

The church that brought international attention to a small Mississippi town issued a moving apology Sunday, admitting that any church is made up of people who "intentionally, at times, choose not to follow the Lord's will."
The page-long statement issued by First Baptist Church of Crystal Springs is a step toward the reconciliation church members have said they longed for since a few weeks ago when a black couple was told they were not allowed to wed in the predominantly white church.
"As a church, we express our apology to Te'Andrea and Charles Wilson for the hurt that was brought to them in the hours preceding their wedding and beyond," the statement read.


Mark Horvath - Making Everyone Known

Origin: "I Have Decided to Follow Jesus"

Over 150 years ago, missionaries from Great Britain and Germany traveled to northeast India to preach
the gospel. I was once told the story by an Indian church leader, during this time, a man, his wife and
two children were converted to Christ. Their spontaneous faith spread throughout the village, angering
the leader of the community. He summoned the man before the village and demanded that he
renounce his Christian faith or face execution. The man, facing this crucial decision, sang a song that I
have heard sung around the world,
“I have decided to follow Jesus, I have decided to follow Jesus, I have decided to follow Jesus, no turning
back, no turning back.”
Enraged, the chief ordered the archers to shoot the two children. As both of the boys lay twitching on
the ground, the chief asked, “Now will you renounce your faith? You have lost both of your children. You
will lose your wife as well.”
The man replied by singing, “Though no one joins me, still will I follow. Though no one joins me, still will
I follow. Though no one joins me, still will I follow. No turning back, no turning back.”
The chief was beside himself with rage and he ordered the wife put to death. Now he asked for the final
time, “Now I will give you one more opportunity to deny your faith and live. There is no one for you in
the world.”
The man then sang, “The cross before me, the world behind me. The cross before me, the world behind
me. The cross before me, the world behind me. No turning back, no turning back.”
Eventually the courage of this man and his family would lead to the conversion of this chief and the
entire village, but he didn’t know that at that time. His call was simply to be unashamed of the gospel.
Their death (as is the death of all His saints) was a tragedy and not something that God allows lightly
(see Psalm 116:15). Yet, God was able to cause something beautiful to come out of it.


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Gabby Douglas Tweets Bible Verses; Christian Rapper Lecrae Applauds Her Devotion

Gymnastics' newest cover girl Gabby Douglas may be fielding tweets from A-list celebrities ranging from Oprah to Justin Bieber (and the greatest Olympian of all time Michael Phelps, who said he watched her from the pool!), but before the tweets from the "who's who" of Hollywood were tweets of Bible verses and confessions of faith.

Douglas' latest Bible verse tweet occurred on Friday, the day after her historic Olympic win making her the first African-American and person of color to win the women's gymnastics all-around. She tweeted a verse from Romans 12:19: "Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written 'Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord'" (ESV).
The biblically-inspired tweet came a day after she thanked God in front of millions of viewers Thursday for her second Olympic gold medal during an NBC interview: "And I give all the glory to God. It's kind of a win-win situation. The glory goes up to Him and the blessings fall down on me," she said.
Douglas, 16, comes from a devout Christian family. The full name of the 4'11 bubbly teenager, dubbed the "Flying Squirrel" for her soaring on the uneven bars, is Gabrielle Christina Victoria Douglas. "Her name means, 'God's abled-bodied one.' As you can see, she has lived up to her name," mother Natalie Hawkins explained to the Los Angeles Times back in June.

Greg Laurie Urges Christians to Preach the Gospel at Rally for Harvest America

More Than 1,400 Churches, Venues to Host First-of-Its-Kind Outreach

Evangelist Greg Laurie and his ministry partners called on Christians to become bold in telling others about Jesus during a pre-event rally for Harvest America Sunday evening. Also, it was announced that more than 1,400 churches and venues hosted by Christian leaders plan to carry the first-of-its-kind outreach event on August 26.

Fresno missionaries labored in Thailand translating Gospel

Mission work is common for many faithful church members, who travel to pockets of the world to do work in the name of God. For some missionaries that work takes on a life-long commitment.
That is the story of Sandy and Larry Miller, who have dedicated their hearts to the Prai tribe in Thailand. Their work included developing the tribe's first written language, which has enabled tribe members to understand the Bible.
"We were trained to do this," Sandy Miller says. "We learned how to pronounce, read and write every sound we heard."
They were missionaries in Thailand for 27 years, leaving the field in 2004 because of Sandy's health and settling in Fresno.
She now teaches at El Capitan Middle School in Fresno. He is a special education teacher at Millview Elementary School in Madera. Both are active in ministry at The Bridge, a congregation in east-central Fresno that supports mission projects worldwide.


Chick-fil-A “Kiss-In” protesters mocking an elderly homeless street preacher

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Rev. CL Bryant's FreePAC Speech