Legal Challenge to Health Care Law Allowed to Proceed
The Supreme Court yesterday gave new life to a legal
challenge to President Obama’s health care overhaul, the Affordable Care
Act. This challenge comes from Liberty
University and is based not only on the HHS mandate that employers provide
access to contraception and abortion drugs, but also at perceived limits on
religious freedom. The high court had
originally denied the appeal, saying it was filed too early. Their decision hands the case back to the 4th
Circuit to reconsider.
Today is Giving Tuesday
Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday are
all in the rearview mirror now – but today charity takes center stage with
“Giving Tuesday”, a campaign to create a national day of giving at the start of
the Christmas season. As of yesterday
morning there were over 21-hundred partners listed on their website, some local
or regional charities, and others like World Vision who reach out all over the
planet. According to a phone survey by
World Vision, 83-percent of Americans said they would prefer a meaningful gift
that would help someone else instead of the latest tech gadget or another
tie. All you need to know at www.GivingTuesday.org.
“Two and a Half Men” Actor Says, “Don’t Watch Our Show”
Chances are you have not watched much of the TV show “Two
and a Half Men.” I don’t recommend you
start watching it, and apparently neither does one of the stars of the
show. Angus Jones has played Jake Harper
on the show since it started in 2003, but the now nineteen year old in a recent
video reportedly calls the show “filth” and encourages people to quit watching
it. He also says the show contradicts
his Christian values and expresses guilt that his profession is inflicting
damage. While having been around the things of church and a Chrsitian school
for many years, Jones says he began to develop a new understanding of God’s
Word when his parents were going through a divorce a couple of years ago. He’s also under contract for one more year.
Shoppers Dig Deep Over Thanksgiving Weekend
If the first weekend of Christmas shopping is any indication,
Americans will be spending more this year.
According to the National Retail Federation, the average shopper spent
423-dollars this past weekend, 25-dollars more than 2011. This year there were 21 million more
shoppers, but a lot of those were online.
And the numbers aren’t even in on Cyber Monday yet.
Growing Diversity in Congress
The upcoming 113th Congress, which kicks off in January,
will be the most religiously diverse in history – but over half still consider
themselves Protestant. Pew Forum says
30-percent are Catholic, 6-percent are Jewish and 3-percent Mormon. We will also see the first Buddhist, the
first Hindu, and the first religiously unaffiliated member of Congress sworn in.
Who is Jesus?
A new study by Harris Interactive suggests that Americans
don’t know the facts about Jesus, and don’t appreciate His impact on society
today. Author and pastor John Ortberg says
in his book, “Who Is This Man?” that things like universal literacy, education,
orphanages and hospitals all originated with followers of Jesus who remembered
Serving Outside the Church
Do you feel like you’re using your spiritual gifts to serve
God? A new poll by Lifeway Research
suggests that 60-percent of us agree with the statement “I intentionally try to
serve people outside the church who have tangible needs.” Another 17-percent strongly agree with that,
while 15-percent disagree.
Family & Relationships
Almost Half Stress Over Christmastime Spending
More Americans are stressing over being able to afford
Christmas. Think Finance looks at
spending practices, and says 45-percent of us plan to use alternative spending
like pay day loans and direct deposit advances in order to get everything on
their list. This year’s survey also
included more people in higher tax brackets, proving that just because you make
more money doesn’t mean you have any less financial stress.
Improving Your Earning Power
With a lot of companies putting limits on hiring and wages,
your best bet for making more money may be a promotion or a new job. So what skills do you need to help you land
one? Experts with the Wall Street
Journal say there are 4 areas to concentrate on. 1) Communication – You’ve got to be able to
articulate your point of view. 2)
Personal Branding – Especially watching what you say on Social Media. 3) Flexibility – You have to be able to think
on your feet. 4) Improving Your
Productivity – Not just doing enough, but looking to get better.
Finances & Economy
Mixed Monday on Wall Street
The markets dipped yesterday after the long Thanksgiving
weekend. The Dow Jones Industrials were
off by about forty, closing below 13,000.
The S-and-P lost four, but the NASDAQ gained nine. Boeing, Caterpillar, and HP were the biggest
winners. American Express and McDonald’s
the biggest losers.
Diabetes Prevention With Fruit?
Could a few more fruit salads help your heart and prevent
diabetes? Researchers in England
are looking into that. A professor at Warwick Medical School
wonders if the nutrients found in fruit can help trigger cell mechanisms that
will keep diabetes at bay. They are just
now launching a three year study to see which fruits and veggies have the right
Exercise for Your Body and Your Brain
So you ate a little too much over the Thanksgiving weekend
and you’re having trouble finding the motivation to get back on the
treadmill? Think about your brains. Researchers at UCLA say that people who burn
off the most energy have healthier, younger brains. They found a direct correlation between the
amount of energy you burn and the amount of gray matter in your brain. Gray matter is the stuff that helps process
most of the information we use. It’s all more evidence that staying active may
help fend off dementia.
An Eating Strategy for The Holidays and Beyond
Did you pack on a little weight over Thanksgiving and now
you want to make sure that doesn’t happen consistently throughout the rest of
the holidays. Dr. Rita Hancock says
there are a few things you can do that will help. She says, “…sometimes you
think you are hungry when you are actually thirsty. So it’s always good to
drink a glass of water beforehand and drink water between the bites… it’ll
cleanse your palate, and that way the next bite of vegetables or whatever you
are enjoying, you really taste them more, [also] eat slowly. And you don’t have
to eat it all. Just because its there doesn’t mean you have to eat it all.” And
she says it might help if you don’t think of this as one big season, but each
holiday as an individual event. That way
you’re less likely to chalk up over-eating to the “holiday season.”
Super Storm Sandy
Help Salvation Army Relief Efforts with A Simple Text
Text the word "STORM" to 80888. Then respond with a "yes" when the text response comes to you.
Give Blood and Money Through Red Cross
Because many blood donation centers on the east coast are closed, it is even more important for we who are out of harm’s way to donate. www.RedCross.org has all you need to know. You may also give money via that web site, or you can give $10 via text message by texting the word “RedCross” to 90999.