Equipping Youth

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October 3rd, 2017 by Equipping Youth

Thanks from all of us at Equipping Youth for blessing us with your attendance at our event last week. Your donations have encouraged us to maintain the passion and mission of serving our Iowa youth.

Your Donations are Vital!

We have hired an Educator, Carolyn McCracken, to help with teaching in classrooms and to train teachers in the brain based methods of self discovery and discussion of our Powerful Choices Curriculum’s lessons.

Carolyn’s salary depends on additional monthly donations.

Powerful Choices lessons are presented as self discovery exercises and discussions of possible positive and negative consequences of choices. Our presentations emphasize which choices lead to best outcomes based on statistics and research in human behavior. The Powerful Choices lessons give data on the benefits of marriage for children and women. The benefits of waiting until marriage for intimate relationship activities are emphasized. Lessons give hope and resiliency in this culture of negative messages encouraging youth to enjoy immediate gratification and thrills with no thought of consequences.

Dr Freda McKissic Bush, our speaker at the event last week emphasized that we need to help youth to learn to use their head before using their bodies to communicate love and affection. She warned of the threat of pornography and graphic illustrations in today’s sex education and media. She explained how the brain itself is molded by sexual behavior. Her Book, HOOKED, sold out at the event. This book gives the results of neuroscience research that shows what happens between your ears daily and how it affects your behavior.

Partnering Opportunities Will you prayfully consider increasing your giving and consider being a volunteer for teaching, mailings, office work and fundraisers. With Carolyn’s assistance many more youth and teachers will benefit from our work and our need for volunteers will greatly increase.

We would love to visit with you concerning our availability to talk with your school administration or Board. We are available to public or private schools, youth groups, and are able to do one time presentations. Our presentations will challenge your youth in choosing to apply the precepts of biblical truth for their lives. An example is the following presentation especially for youth groups, retreats and Christian schools’ assemblies.

 

Beating the Con Games

Using PowerPoint slides and interactive demonstrations-discussions students are assisted in:

  1. Discussing media and social cons (lies) directed toward youth for monetary gain,
  2. Understanding the developmental stages of the maturing adolescent brain,
  3. Connecting teens’ use of stimulants, drugs and alcohol to lifetime negative consequences,
  4. Realizing the developing brain’s pathways form habits and chemical bonding from intimate relations,
  5. And making personal powerful choices to avoid the cons and to succeed in their future marriage relationship.

 

You may use the enclosed card to let us know what you have decided as you have prayfully considered your partnership with us. We would appreciate your name, phone number and e-mail address on the card so we may easily add you to our volunteer and/or donation spreadsheet.

 

May God bless you,         For the Staff and Board of Equipping Youth,    Ruth Anne Eccles

September 6th, 2017 by Equipping Youth

It is time to select your meal options!  email your choices to mail@equippingyouth.org.  Choices are:  Vegetable Stuffed Chicken Breast, Herb Encrusted Pork Loin, Vegetable Napoleon (GF/ Veg option)

Equipping Youth invites you to our banquet. Dr. Freda McKissic Bush is joyfully anticipating the evening with us. We need your meal choices by 11 September. You can choose from: Herb Crusted Pork Loin, Vegetable stuffed Chicken Breast, Vegetable Neapolitan (GF/VEG option). Tickets are $25. Send your ticket requests/ Sponsor request/ donations to: Equipping Youth, PO Box 1175, Cedar Rapids, IA 52406. Supporters are the backbone of our ability to teach these Powerful Choices to our local tweens.

August 10th, 2017 by Equipping Youth

Here at Equipping Youth we are excitedly planning an event that we want you to enjoy with us. At the Kirkwood Hotel Center we are having a banquet of gourmet foods. The evening of September 21st, from 6 – 8:30 pm. You will dine and hear how our curriculum makes a difference in many lives as youth learn to make the best possible choices everyday. Our friend Dr. Freda Bush from the Medical Institute of Texas will challenge and inform you as she shares her passion to help youth survive and thrive in this culture.
Would you like to have an active role in this event? See our website for information on hosting a table or sponsoring the evening http://www.equippingyouth.org/2017-equipping-youth-banquet/

April 22nd, 2017 by Equipping Youth

Will the youth of Iowa be left without vital information to avoid ‘needing an abortion’?

Iowa Right to Life has great news in their recent letter. “The four Pro-Life measures before the House, sent over to the Senate will limit abortion in Iowa.”

This is great news for the many thousands of yet to be born children and teens;

However is the best sex education being taught in our schools?

 

Iowa’s current laws on this subject emphasize the need to teach children about the various methods of reducing the risk of pregnancy and SDIs (Sexually Transmitted Infections). In the Human Sexuality Components of the Human Growth and Development for life skills education in our schools we need laws changed to enforce the teachings of the truth of the efficacy of these risk reduction methods. We also need laws that promote the teaching of how to totally avoid these risks.

 

Our current sexual education laws reflect the false but popular philosophy of the normalization of teens having sex because of the belief that most teens are engaged in sexual intimacy. This falsified philosophy has led to the idea that youth must be taught to reduce their risks; Sexual Risk Reduction (SRR) education, also known as comprehensive sex education. The children of Iowa desperately need Sexual Risk Avoidance (SRA) education also known as abstinence until marriage education. SRR education emphasizes the use of latex barrier prophylactics.

SRA education is the primary prevention education model. SRA education incorporates the ‘whole person’. Intimate relations result in consequences, positive and negative, to the whole human being. SRA lessons promote abstinence as the very best way of avoiding all negative consequences of sexual intimacy until marriage. These lessons incorporate the benefits of waiting until marriage, making wise choices concerning friendships, group dynamics, personal health, character development, avoiding violence and habit forming activities, how to deal with past and present childhood negative episodes, and  making future educational goals

 

For the past eight years proponents of SRR education have misused the laws of Iowa to claim that it is unlawful to teach Equipping Youth’s curriculum, Powerful Choices or any curriculum that teaches youth to choose ‘abstinence only’. Although this is false according to the law, 279.50, 10 and 11, most schools in Iowa have discontinued their lessons that had made a huge difference for the health of our youth. From the late 1990 until 2010 many school districts in Iowa taught abstinence to their students.  Iowa Vital Statistics showed that in 2010 our Iowa birth rate and abortion rate of unmarried teens dramatically fell to unprecedented levels. At the same time the Iowa Youth Behavior Surveys showed that much less than half of our youth ever had engaged in sexual activities. Currently these same statistics are showing a rapid increase. Iowa Public Health data is also showing an increase of the incidence of STIs among our youth.

Will you please challenge your legislators in Des Moines to go another step toward fulfilling the desperate needs of our children? Ask them to review the Human Sexuality Components of the Human Growth and Development requirements for education. They could start in sections 256 and 279. Ask them to review similar laws in states such as Georgia and Wisconsin for improvement ideas for our Iowa laws.

 

For information to help for parents in this culture see our website www.equippingyouth.org

 

Your donations make it possible for us to remain available to the youth of our communities.

May God bless you and yours!

For the Staff and Board of Equipping Youth          Ruth Anne

April 1st, 2017 by Equipping Youth

From Abstenece Clearinghouse    http://abstinence.net/2017/03/29/have-you-had-the-prom-talk-with-your-teen
With spring comes the anticipation of prom season for thousands of teens. Formal attire is purchased, hair appointments are scheduled and arrangements to take pictures at a unique location are made in preparation for the big day. Amidst all the excitement, do not lose the opportunity to talk to your teen about the pressures they may face on prom night. Pressure to engage in sexual activity and participate in substance abuse is high. That being said, building up your teen’s self-esteem prior to prom and having a conversation with them about the choices they may face is important.
Ask your teen…
  • “What will you be doing after from?”
  • “Who will you be with after prom?”
  • “How can you mentally prepare for unexpected situations that may arise?”
Tell your teen…
  • “If you find yourself in a situation that is uncomfortable, do not hesitate to call someone (mother, father or sibling) and we will pick you up.”
  • “It does not matter how much money your date may have spent on your ticket and corsage, you do not owe them anything. They have the privilege of taking you on a date. It is ok to say no.”
At the end of the day your teen needs to know that they are loved and that they have a choice. The need to know that not everyone is ‘doing it’ and that you believe they have the ability to go against what culture says and say ‘no’.

March 31st, 2017 by Equipping Youth

Here’s some insight to the new Digital Dating World from Focus on the Family

http://www.focusonthefamily.com/parenting/teens/teen-romance/dating-in-a-digital-world?utm_content=buffercfd07&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer

Dating in a Digital World

Part of the Teen Romance Series
A group of 10 teens sitting around a picnic table and smiling

My daughter dates by spending hours texting with a guy,” my friend told me the other day. “I’ve never met him, and I don’t know what they do online, but it makes me uncomfortable.” This friend expressed the same confusion and concern that many parents experience about the teen dating scene.

Today, dating means something completely different from a girl waiting by the phone for a boy to call and ask her out. A mom told me, “I was stunned to learn that dating for my daughter meant Facebook chatting with a guy in her class and changing her status to ‘in a relationship.’ ”

However teens define it, more than half of U.S. teens date regularly (casual, nonexclusive) and a third have a steady (exclusive) dating relationship. Their dating landscape has changed from those of previous generations because of the inclusion of social media and texting and the influence of a young-adult hook-up culture that fast-forwards to casual sex.

So how do we help guide our teens toward healthy, God-honoring relationships? By combining the best of modern and traditional approaches.

Make use of today’s customs

Not all modern dating trends are unhealthy. Thanks to a modern tribal mentality, teens are more comfortable getting to know each other in group settings — and often dating in groups. This makes it easier for a love interest to be vetted by friends and for teens to hold each other accountable. Obviously, peer pressure can go in a negative direction, but this lessens when we get to know the individuals in their group. As our teens become attracted to someone, we can ask their friends to help be a gauge for whether our teens are remaining true to who they are or changing their personality to fit with their love interest.

Discuss social media

For those teens allowed to use age-appropriate social media, parents and teens can quickly learn about people’s character and values based on what they post on their social media. These searches can be used to start discussions about the qualities of a future mate and what teens are looking for in a boyfriend or girlfriend.

Monitor texts

Texting, though not the ideal form of social communication, has a positive side. It allows teens to spend time getting to know each other apart from the physical side of a relationship. Although unmonitored technology could lead to sexting and compromising selfies, parents shouldn’t fear this form of communication if they’re willing to set boundaries.

Don’t forget the past

As strict and “old fashioned” as previous generations may seem, their culture upheld clear moral standards. For instance, an unmarried girl could never be alone with a boy in her bedroom (or anywhere in the house), and teens had curfews. They needed to let their parents know where they were going and what they were doing — and with whom. These boundaries were set up to protect teens from temptation, undue harm and shame. The same boundaries can help keep modern teens’ actions in check and safeguard their hearts, minds and bodies from regret and hurt.

Put it all together

Parents really can harness the best of today’s and yesteryear’s customs. We can encourage group activities, but also require that we meet each “friend” face to face. As we establish reasonable curfews, we can require them to tell us where they are and help them set personal boundaries. We also need to extend those boundaries into any social media and texting we allow them to have.

Setting boundaries, though, isn’t a one-time deal. It’s important that we keep the dialogue open so we can help our teens understand the why behind every rule and patiently work through their concerns with them.

Our teens aren’t really that much different from teens of past generations. Just like we once were, they’re apt to be confused about how to deal with the opposite sex. Parents Bryan and Hayley have helped their teens by creating a “safe zone” during the dinner hour. They have open discussions with their three teens about sex, relationships and the importance of giving and receiving respect and honor. This safe zone, where anything can be talked about, helps teens navigate their changing world.

Teens need someone to listen to them, love them and walk with them through the process of establishing healthy relationships. What a wonderful lifelong gift we give our teens when we become that someone for them.