Thursday, April 29, 2010

It's About the Music!

"Music is what life sounds like," according to Eric Olson. Can you choose a tune to change what your life sounds like? One melody depresses, while another uplifts. Bach does it for me -- instant peace, and I mellow out. Whether you’re tapping your foot, dancing to the beat, or just whistling a happy tune, Eric Olson is onto something. Music accompanies us nearly everywhere we go -- sometimes by choice, sometimes not. It’s in the car, in the store, in the car rocking next to us, via iPhone, iPod, tweet, and Twitter. Since we pretty much live with surround sound, ask yourself how music plays out in your life.

Maybe you never really thought about it, but our next Woman to Woman® show entertains the idea that humming a tune with negative content in the words, can expose you to some subtle -- and some not so subtle -- spiritual dangers in music. We can get into the habit of listening to the wrong stuff and that can bring us down or misdirect our thinking. Check out the song in your heart when you listen to “It's All About the Music!” You’ll meet St. Louis radio personality Kelly Corday of Y98 /AC, who plays adult contemporary music, and theologian Paul Hemenway, who lived and breathed music through his alternative rock band Black Happy that toured with groups like Everclear and 311, and who once opened for Green Day. Now, as a theologian, music is still a driving force in his life and his work. Recording this show reminded me of what the great reformer, Martin Luther, once said: “Next to the Word of God, the noble art of music is the greatest treasure in the world.”

Thursday, April 22, 2010


I’m from a family of women, plus my dad. He was outnumbered and did a great job of fathering girls! I learned a lot from him about a nurturing father and had a faithful friend to the end of his life. But that information didn’t always translate out into my relationships with other males. There’s something special about a dad and a daughter that leaves some wiggle room for idiosyncrasies and allows easy forgiveness. The next serious male study happened with my husband… and I’m still working on that one! In addition to my three daughters, God only trusted me with one son and I must say, I began to understand men a lot better through Brooks. I work with a predominantly male organization, sit on boards with more men than women and am open to improving my perceptions and reactions to men.

So how’s it going with the men in your life, on the job, on the committee, in the family? I assure you it will go even better -- oh so much better -- once you’ve heard this week’s Woman to Woman® show with Shaunti Feldhahn, who keeps hitting one home run after another with her books, several of which have been featured on the show in the past.

This time, we talk about the principles from her book The Male Factor. It could be required reading for all women everywhere on the planet as soon as they can spell M-A-L-E! It turns out we women have a lot to learn about how guys think and react to situations, to challenges, to us. And the great thing is, once we put a few concepts into practice, it makes it better for everyone involved.

Like Shaunti says, “We can be skilled, highly trained, networked and throw it all away by undermining ourselves in interactions with male colleagues.” She helps us crack the code. The goal is to get on the inside track with the men on the same team with us. Tune in for the unwritten rules, and learn how we can unknowingly sabotage ourselves on the job, until we know the natural laws of the work world.

This will begin to give you the information you need to make informed decisions and compete on a more level playing field. I believe you will be less dismayed and perplexed when you understand how God empowers you to be “salt and light” in using your gifts effectively in the workplace. The Bible verse that applies here is Col 3:23: “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men.” To my way of thinking, this is equivalent to a raise!

Thursday, April 15, 2010


Even if you’re not thinking about abs and arms and thighs that become more apparent in spring and summer, you’ll enjoy meeting this week’s Woman to Woman® guest, as well as hearing her topic. Millions of people watch The Biggest Loser each week to see their favorite contestants meet seemingly impossible weight loss goals. Julie Hadden beat out 250,000 hopefuls to lose 44.5% of her body weight and come in as runner-up in the show’s 4th season. She traded her weight for self worth and swapped the food addiction, self loathing and pain for a life full of energy and potential. Her story applies to anything we find overtaking us -- addictions or habits, or just plan ruts in which we find ourselves struggling.

Julie had always battled, or not, her weight and when she was a 37-year-old typical mom, her “skinniest” friend called her and said The Biggest Loser auditions were coming to Jacksonville, Florida, and Julie should try out. Julie, for some reason, tied her hair into a ponytail, auditioned and made the cuts. She almost was cut by coach Jillian Michaels once selected, because Jillian thought she simply didn’t have the wherewithal to compete. You’ll hear how Julie proved her wrong, why it mattered so much and how her life has changed as a result. What Julie learned about overcoming and conquering doubt and fear could be just the ammunition you need to take down your current life challenge!

In Romans 12:2 we’re told, “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – His good and pleasing and perfect will.” Tune in to share Julie’s personal experience of mind transformation through her faith in Christ, who came to her in her darkest moments of wanting to give up and gave her the daily enabling to know and trust His good and pleasing, perfect will to accomplish her task.

That was back in 2006. He’s still with her and she’s still trusting, as she works to remain at her goal weight. What’s your goal? Are you trusting God to work through you to achieve it? He did it for Julie; He’ll do it for you!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Heard It All

Just when I think I’ve heard it all…

I can’t assume I won’t be shocked just because I’ve “been around the block” a few times, “know the ropes” and have some years on my driver’s license. In grad school I worked with street gangs and in the State of Illinois Department of Corrections. I learned how to pick a lock and not carry a purse. I hope I also gave some solid mentoring along the way. But truth be told, even after those experiences, I am still shocked over and over by what goes on out in the world.

For example, I spoke this fall to a group of women involved in community enrichment. When I mentioned a Woman to Woman® show I was putting together on fighting the sexual abuse of children, one woman told a story I won’t soon forget. She was helping an 11-year-old girl whose mom had died and whose dad was not a particularly involved parent. The girl confessed that she was sexually active with an 18-year-old boy. When this woman asked why, the girl said her teacher told the class that in order to be sure they were heterosexual and not homosexual, it was wise to be intimate before ending up in a marriage that would end in divorce. The woman I spoke with anticipates a lot more mentoring ahead.

This true story, from a town of 650 people, made it even more important for me to bring you this week’s show. Today’s teens face an epidemic of sexual diseases, some incurable and fatal. Yet, according to child and adolescent psychiatrist Miriam Grossman, MD, public school Sex Ed classes promote sexual freedom instead of protecting kids with accurate information. We think sex ed is about health; she says, think again.

Dr. Grossman is so alarmed about sex education in the public schools that she wrote the book You're Teaching My Child What? to address the lies we believe about what’s going on in those classes. Hear her out on why, with skyrocketing STD rates and teenage pregnancies, sex ed is not effective. She’s convincing when she reports that these classes are not teaching anatomy, biology, neurology, endocrinology and physiology. She says, “Their mission is to mold each student into what is considered ‘a sexually healthy’ adult – as if there was universal agreement on what that is. This is not about health, folks. This is about indoctrination.”

So if you wonder, with all the sex education provided from early grades up in public schools, how can it be that one out of four teen girls has a sexually transmitted disease, please tune in for an eye opening show. Dr. Grossman insists teens are not miniature adults and that they do want parental guidance throughout their developing sexuality phases.

The good news is, we can be there for our children when we’re informed and take seriously the God-given role of parenting a child to grow up “in the way he should go,” so that “when he is old he won’t depart from it!” Get up to speed with this program, so you can check out the information your child is getting at school and properly inform him or her about her gift of sexuality and the way the Lord intended for it to function.

Thursday, April 1, 2010


Do you notice the variety of ways people celebrate Easter? For some it’s all about the Easter Bunny or spring break or buying a new dress or serving a traditional feast. Last Easter on Woman to Woman®, we looked at a different kind of celebration, when we visited with four women who had “Easter makeovers." They described how they celebrated Easter before they were Christians and how they celebrated after they converted to the Christian faith. This Easter, based on listener response, we’ll examine how Islam and Christianity differ in their view of the meaning of Easter.

Among world religions, the Easter resurrection of Jesus Christ is unique to Christianity with its proof and promise of “God with us” and life eternal with Him in heaven. Islam, on the other hand, rejects that Jesus died and rose again and offers a different perspective on eternity. With Islam exerting a greater influence in American life, I hope you’ll join us to consider the Jesus of Islam and the Christ of Easter with a former Muslim extremist and a theologian who’s an expert on Islam.

This kind of dialogue makes me feel more informed when I talk with Muslim neighbors and fellow workers about their faith and mine. Maybe there’s a mosque in your town and you wonder what they teach and what they believe, or your kids go to school with Muslims and have questions about their spirituality. Here’s a great opportunity to learn more about both Islam and Christianity. Send me your thoughts after you’ve heard the show, and check out the Men's NetWork Bible studies, Challenge of Islam: Part 1 and Part 2.

And most of all, a Blessed Easter celebration to you and yours!