Columbine Student’s Father 12 Years Later

Since the horrific tragedy in Newtown, CT, I felt this post speaks volumes and will give you something to ponder as we try to come to grips with everything that happened.

Darrell Scott, father of Rachel Scott, Columbine High School victim, sums it up brilliantly on what he feels is happening in our schools. I totally agree with him. See if you agree. It is definitely worth reading.

Here we go:

Guess our national leaders didn’t expect this. On Thursday, Darrell Scott, the father of Rachel Scott, a victim of the Columbine High School shootings in Littleton, Colorado, was invited to address the House Judiciary Committee’s subcommittee. What he said to our national leaders during this special session of Congress was painfully truthful.

They were not prepared for what he was to say, nor was it received well. It needs to be heard by every parent, every teacher, every politician, every sociologist, every psychologist, and every so-called expert! These courageous words spoken by Darrell Scott are powerful, penetrating, and deeply personal.

There is no doubt that God sent this man as a voice crying in the wilderness. The following is a portion of the transcript: “Since the dawn of creation there has been both good & evil in the hearts of men and women. We all contain the seeds of kindness or the seeds of violence. The death of my wonderful daughter, Rachel Joy Scott, and the deaths of that heroic teacher, and the other eleven children who died must not be in vain. Their blood cries out for answers.

“The first recorded act of violence was when Cain slew his brother Abel out in the field. The villain was not the club he used.. Neither was it the NCA, the National Club Association. The true killer was Cain, and the reason for the murder could only be found in Cain’s heart.

“In the days that followed the Columbine tragedy, I was amazed at how quickly fingers began to be pointed at groups such as the NRA. I am not a member of the NRA. I am not a hunter. I do not even own a gun. I am not here to represent or defend the NRA – because I don’t believe that they are responsible for my daughter’s death. Therefore I do not believe that they need to be defended. If I believed they had anything to do with Rachel’s murder I would be their strongest opponent

I am here today to declare that Columbine was not just a tragedy — it was a spiritual event that should be forcing us to look at where the real blame lies! Much of the blame lies here in this room. Much of the blame lies behind the pointing fingers of the accusers themselves. I wrote a poem just four nights ago that expresses my feelings best.

Your laws ignore our deepest needs,

Your words are empty air. You’ve stripped away our heritage, You’ve outlawed simple prayer. Now gunshots fill our classrooms, And precious children die. You seek for answers everywhere, And ask the question “Why?” You regulate restrictive laws, Through legislative creed. And yet you fail to understand, That God is what we need!

“Men and women are three-part beings. We all consist of body, mind, and spirit. When we refuse to acknowledge a third part of our make-up, we create a void that allows evil, prejudice, and hatred to rush in and wreak havoc. Spiritual presences were present within our educational systems for most of our nation’s history. Many of our major colleges began as theological seminaries. This is a historical fact. What has happened to us as a nation? We have refused to honor God, and in so doing, we open the doors to hatred and violence. And when something as terrible as Columbine’s tragedy occurs — politicians immediately look for a scapegoat such as the NRA. They immediately seek to pass more restrictive laws that contribute to erode away our personal and private liberties. We do not need more restrictive laws. Eric and Dylan would not have been stopped by metal detectors. No amount of gun laws can stop someone who spends months planning this type of massacre. The real villain lies within our own hearts.

“As my son Craig lay under that table in the school library and saw his two friends murdered before his very eyes, he did not hesitate to pray in school. I defy any law or politician to deny him that right! I challenge every young person in America and around the world, to realize that on April 20, 1999, at Columbine High School prayer was brought back to our schools. Do not let the many prayers offered by those students be in vain. Dare to move into the new millennium with a sacred disregard for legislation that violates your God-given right to communicate with Him. To those of you who would point your finger at the NRA — I give to you a sincere challenge.. Dare to examine your own heart before casting the first stone!

My daughter’s death will not be in vain! The young people of this country will not allow that to happen!” –Darrell Scott

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My prayers continue to go out to all those affected by that tragedy in Newtown, CT. How has it impacted your life? Do you check with your kids at school more frequently? Do you simply thank God for protecting them? Has it changed the way you do things? Please let us know.

I Am More Than “Just a Girl”

Leah Oviedo has written a fantastic book geared toward girls and young women with a goal of empowering them all. And isn’t it about time! So many young girls today can benefit from the words in the book I Am More Than “Just a Girl.” This is definitely a book to add to your daughter’s reading list and discuss together.

Do you want to empower young women? Check out this new book for free online, “I Am More Than Just a Girl”. This book includes resources, information and creative resources that will empower girls and young women.

Topics Covered in This Book: *Positive thinking *Self Defense *Beauty and Image *Anger and Stress Management *Confidence *Women’s rights *Career *Education *Empowerment *Individualism *Volunteer and Community involvement *Acceptance of others *Sexual assault *Domestic violence and Bullying Resources and Creative Exercises included in this book: *Journal Pages *Self expression *Affirmations *Inspirational and motivational activities *Meditation *Self defense guide with instructional images *National Hot-lines

This book is part of a project to encourage more young women to be strong, independent and intelligent. I want women to feel empowered, keep informed and be equal. You should feel that as an individual you matter and with the tools in the book you can accomplish your dreams that may seem out of reach. Realize that circumstances such as your economic situation, race, cultural upbringing and prejudice from others does not have to control your life.

Read the book for free here: http://www.bookemon.com/book-profile/am-more-than-just-girl/159069

Visit the website here: http://morethanagirl.webs.com/

The BIG SEO Secret for Bloggers

What blogger doesn’t want to see his or her blog listed right there on the coveted first page of Google’s search results? Is there a secret trick, some magic spell that can get you there? Many of us have spent hours in endless searching, scouring other blogs and forums for tips on getting our blog to the top of the search results page.

Here, pro blogger Dr. Adam Stetzer will reveal the key to getting your blog noticed. It’s not a magic spell, it’s just good old-fashioned work!

The BIG SEO Secret for Bloggers

I talk to bloggers just about every day. For a while last year my blogging blog was on page 1 for the Google search “blogging”, though we are now on page 3. With this type of exposure comes some crazy organic traffic. In fact, over 39,000 bloggers have registered with my blog since I opened it in 2007. With each passing year I am continually amazed by just how many bloggers are convinced that there is a BIG SEO secret out there. The conversations seem to follow a familiar pattern. It goes something like this.

Blogger: “Hi Adam, how can I get to page 1 in Google?”

Adam: “It’s a TON of hard work, very incremental, takes a long time and requires some really good content and some awesome backlinks.”

Blogger: “Thanks, I’ve heard all that before, so tell me REALLY how to get to page 1 now.”

They are convinced there is an SEO secret that I won’t tell them. These bloggers feel that if they could just discover the piece of knowledge they don’t have, they will be richly rewarded with huge rankings, traffic and money. They just know it. Since this sentiment is so prevalent, I’ve made it my mission to try to set the record straight with the truth about SEO. And the truth is: The big SEO secret is that there is no SEO secret.

The BIG SEO blogging secret: There is no secret

This is the point in the blog post where I lose most readers. Due to the very phenomena described above, most readers will leave this blog post and continue their frantic search for the secret blogging SEO secret that will instantly solve their problems.

For the 5% of readers who are still with me; Congratulations! You have finally graduated from the masses of mediocrity and are ready to start your journey to success with SEO and blogging. And this was a big step. If you jump over this hurdle, you are mentally ready for the challenge ahead. And most importantly you’ve figured out that you are wasting valuable time searching for an answer that you probably already know.

The second big SEO secret for bloggers: The time you waste searching for SEO tips could have you on page 1 already.

How many forums do you read? How many blog posts do you follow? Make a mental calculation of all the time you spend on “TIP searching” activities and let’s do a little exercise. For the next month, every time you feel the urge to search for blogging or SEO tips you instead actually sit down and work. If you did this, how much extra time will you have? My guess is a fair amount. If you take that time and split it 40% toward creating awesome content and 60% promoting your blog, you will be very pleased with the results.

Again, I’m not telling you anything you don’t already know. And feel free to argue with my percentages. Perhaps you feel it’s 30% / 70% or 50% / 50% – whatever. The point is that you have moved from the unproductive place of self-doubt and answer-searching to the very productive activity of DOING. And DOING is where the success lies.

Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration

Thomas Edison said these great words more than 100 years ago. And I think they apply as much to SEO, blogging and the Internet as they did to his endeavor to invent the light bulb.

While great ideas are required once in a while to jump-start a project (such as a new blog or to find new SEO keywords to go after), the idea-generation needs to be outweighed by a ratio of 99:1 with work. Plain, simple, non-sexy, work. It’s hard. It’s monotonous. It doesn’t sell tabloids. But hard work is still at the heart of why your website or blog is not on page 1 in Google.

And at the risk of becoming a marginalized motivational blogger, I urge you to stop reading, reflect on what you already know about SEO, and think about how you can get more done with the time you already apply to your blog. You already know about keyword selection.

You already know about title tags and keyword density. You already know about Google Adwords search volume estimates. You certainly know about backlinks, guest blog posts and building relationships. And you’ve had the importance of high-quality content pounded into your brain. So there you have it. The leading SEO tips for bloggers were already in your head. So get to it.

About the Author: Dr. Adam Stetzer has a Ph.D. in Industrial Psychology, which includes the study of motivation, job satisfaction and performance at work. He has published in many nationally-recognized, peer-reviewed, journals and maintains his own personal blogging blog. He is also the president of HubShout, an SEO reseller company with industry-leading SEO software. He has been active in the technology field for over 15 years working with large companies such as General Electric, Verizon, Ford, ChevronTexaco, and PepsiCola. Blogging blog link: http://blogskinny.com/ SEO reseller link: http://hubshout.com/

Oprah’s “16 Ways to Make an Incredible Impact With Less Than $15”

During the holiday season, too often do we overlook those who are the most in need. We focus on satisfying the wants of our loved ones because those are the people in our lives. The reason for the season is to give. To give a gift to someone you do not know and will probably never meet is an incredible act.

Here are 16 ways to make a difference in the lives of others for less than you will spend on a single gift to your loved ones:

For $1: booksforafrica.org will ship two books to a classroom in Africa. In many of the schools there, 20 children have to share a single textbook.

For $2: littlekidsrock.org will give a set of drumsticks to a low-income public school student who wants to learn the drums.

For $3: createnow.org will send a high-risk youth on a field trip to a concert, museum, or theatrical production.

For $4: cellphonesforsoldiers.com will give 2 hours of prepaid calling time to soldiers stationed overseas so they can call home.

For $5: foodforthepoor.org will give a family in need a single-burner kerosene stove that they can use for cooking instead of an open fire.

For $6: doctorswithoutborders.org will be able to vaccinate 15 children against measles in a developing country.

For $7: aspca.org can provide a week’s worth of food for an abandoned cat or dog in a shelter.

For $8: stjude.org can give a child a medical teaching doll, used to teach them about his or her illness and cancer treatment

For $10: homesforourtroops.org will provide a box of nails used in adapting a disabled veteran’s home in order to provide better accessibility.

For $10: janegoodall.org/oprah will provide a day’s worth of fresh vegetables and fruit for two chimpanzees at the Jane Goodall Institute’s Tchimpounga Chimpanzee Rehabilitation Center in the Republic of Congo.

For $10: operationsmile.org will provide two specialized bottles for babies born with a cleft palate. Without these bottles, a baby with a cleft palate could suffer from malnutrition before getting corrective surgery.

For $10: globalgiving.org provides materials and tools that will enable afghan women to become self-sufficient through taking a 6-month tailoring course from Creating Hope International and Afghan Institute for Learning.

For $11: arborday.org will plant 11 trees in Alabama communities that were destroyed in the April 2011 tornadoes.

For $12: oxfamamericaunwrapped.com will provide 20 pounds of multipurpose soap in order to keep families around the world germ-free.

For $14: mowaa.org will provide 2 nutritious meals to housebound senior citizens, delivered by Meals on Wheels volunteers.

For $15: cradlestocrayons.org a homeless or low-income urban child will be given school supplies and a backpack.

Everything I need to know, I learned from Noah’s Ark

 

I Love This I am not afraid of tomorrow for I have seen yesterday and I love today.

Noah’s Ark: Everything I need to know, I learned from Noah’s Ark.

ONE: Don’t miss the boat. TWO: Remember that we are all in the same boat! THREE: Plan ahead. It wasn’t raining when Noah built the Ark. FOUR: Stay fit. When you’re 60 years old, someone may ask you to do something really big. FIVE: Don’t listen to critics; just get on with the job that needs to be done. SIX: Build your future on high ground. SEVEN: For safety’s sake, travel in pairs. EIGHT: Speed isn’t always an advantage. The snails were on board with the cheetahs. NINE: When you’re stressed, float awhile. TEN: Remember, the Ark was built by amateurs; the Titanic by professionals. ELEVEN: No matter the storm, when you are with God, there’s always a rainbow waiting.

I hope you enjoyed this as much as I did. I have no idea who the author is. My cousin sent this to me in an email. I just had to share the wisdom of it!

Take This Lollipop- A Chilling Look at Cyber Stalking

We all know that it’s possible, but we just never believe that it will happen to us- cyber stalking. Thanks to the creators of the website Take This Lollipop, anyone can get a chilling glimpse into what it is like to be stalked through social media.

With your permission, the website will use your Facebook information (which the disclaimer states will NOT be saved or used for any other reason) to let you see yourself through the eyes of a crazed cyber stalker. The stalker is played-very convincingly- by an actor. The man looks like someone we would all avoid passing too close to on the street.

And he’s obsessed with you.

In the short film, you’ll see this man leering at your Facebook profile, scrolling through all of your photos, and reading your posts. This is a lot like a PSA, but leaves you with a very unsettling feeling. Parents, it just may be worth it to have your child watch this if they are using social media.

  • Tips on Protecting Yourself From Online Stalkers
  • Make your passwords more difficult to guess. If it’s a word in the dictionary, someone with the patience is going to figure it out. Avoid anything too obvious, like your birth date, mother’s maiden name, etc.
  • ŸAlways log out when you’re done on a social media site. Use different user names and passwords for each website that you log into.
  • Even if your laptop never leaves your home or office, act like it can be stolen at any time. Enable the password prompt to pop up as soon as you open it for the day and any time it goes to “sleep.” Make sure it is closed when you are done with it.
  • ŸIt may surprise you to know that someone can access your webcam without you knowing it! If you have a built-in webcam on your laptop, you can cover the lens with a small piece of tape. When you’re not using your stand-alone webcam, turn it so that it’s facing a wall. This will keep those prying eyes from seeing what’s going on inside your home.

Do you have any tips you’d like to add? Please share!