Pages

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Churches should offer members training in foundational doctrines, George says

By Theresa Shadrix
The Alabama Baptist
September 14, 2006

With the passing of the fifth anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, Christians are reminded of the importance of understanding Islam.

Despite the contemporary significance, history is where it all begins, according to Timothy George, founding dean of Beeson Divinity School at Samford University in Birmingham, an executive editor of Christianity Today and author of more than 20 books, including “Is the Father of Jesus the God of Muhammad?”.

George said Christianity, Islam and Judaism are historical religions, with each relying on a book — versions of the Bible for Christians and Jews and the Quran for Muslims — and they are missionary religions.

He stressed the importance of churches training members to stand firm in doctrinal beliefs in order to be effective witnesses to Muslims.

“We need to come back to the fundamental basics of the faith,” George said. “We know a little about confessions and almost nothing about catechisms, but yet the very first things ever published by the (Baptist) Sunday School Board (now LifeWay Christian Resources) were about catechisms. We need to go back to these historical documents and reconnect.”

George said he is a strong believer in Discipleship Training but it needs to be more organized. “We do doctrine studies but these are declining and we need to reconnect with heritage,” he said. “I would encourage pastors to teach doctrinal sermons.”

One reason George sees Discipleship Training as a needed program in churches is the growth of Muslim Student Association groups on college campuses. These groups’ primary focus is to evangelize Christian students, and he thinks doctrinal teachings from pastors and churches need to start at a young age to prepare Christians for this type of interaction.

George said Christians need to know that only 15 percent of Muslims live in the Middle East. Islam is the fastest-growing religion not just in the world but also in the United States, where an estimated 6 million, or one out of every six people, are Muslim, he said.

Christians can respond to Islam with knowledge of their faith, as well as living as Jesus Christ lived, and George said open dialogue is the best approach.

“Become a friend with a Muslim,” he said. “Stress and recognize the common humanity as Jesus did. Their children get sick and they are interested in the same things.”

George also believes Christians should work on community projects with Muslims to build relationships and be positive, constructive Christian witnesses. Most of all, he said, Christians need to pray.

“Pray God will open hearts of Muslims for missionaries serving in places where their lives are in jeopardy. Pray God will use us in this country and be uncompromised.”

George said the biggest misconception for Christians to understand about Muslims is their teachings on Jesus Christ.

He said they cannot believe that the Word was made flesh and this main difference is recognized in the phrase written in Arabic on Muslims’ third most holy site, the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem. It states, “God has no son.” The Quran also teaches that Jesus Christ wasn’t crucified and instead someone else, possibly Judas, took His place on the cross.

“They admit there was a crucifixion on Good Friday and meant for Jesus Christ, but God lifted Him into heaven, and He didn’t have to face humiliation and shame,” George said.

He said the Dome of the Rock faces the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, which stands on the site where Jesus’ crucifixion is believed to have occurred.

“One building says, ‘God has no son;’ one says, ‘He died,’” George said. “Everything that needs to be said is here.”

Copyright 2005© The Alabama Baptist. All Rights Reserved. Contact The Alabama Baptist.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Botox or Restylane? Don’t get worry lines choosing between them

by Theresa Shadrix
LongLeaf Style
September 2006

If crow’s feet and laugh lines are mocking you in the mirror, it might be time to consider the secret weapons of the cosmetic elite — Botox and Restylane.

Not new to controversy, Botox has been a hot topic among spa gossipers since its debut 15 years ago because its active ingredient is the toxic food bacterium that causes botulism. But the chatter erupted in July when The Islamist National Fatwa Council advised the Malaysian government to ban Botox for cosmetic use because it contains prohibited substances from pigs, which Islam considers unclean.

Cathy DiRamio, public relations manager for Botox manufacturer Allergan Inc., dismissed the concern, saying the final Botox product does not contain any porcine elements. The manufacturing process uses an enzyme derived from pig’s milk to grow the Clostridium botulinum bacteria which give Botox its activity, but the enzyme is removed during the purification process.

Botox has been approved in more than 40 other countries worldwide “for aesthetic use for temporary improvement in the appearance of moderate to severe glabellar lines (the vertical ‘frown lines’ between the brows),” DiRamio said.

Dr. Shelley Ray, an Anniston dermatologist, said she has injected men and women, ages 18 to 65, purely for cosmetic purposes, and her patients are willing to spend at least $150 per treatment every three months. Repeated treatments are necessary, she said, “because Botox weakens muscles by preventing transmission to the nerve, and since it is a protein, the body tears it down.”

Ray insists Botox injection is a safe and painless procedure. “It is a very small needle, more like a pressure discomfort. It is very low on the pain scale,” she said.

While Botox is a muscle relaxer, Restylane is an entirely different cosmetic approach to wrinkles, serving as a filler in the furrows of the skin. Botox is best suited for the upper face, whereas Restylane is injected into the lower facial extremities.

“It plumps up the folds and corrects facial wrinkles, such as laugh lines around the mouth. The cost of Restylane is $450 per syringe. A syringe usually contains more than one treatment and a single injection typically lasts six months, Ray said. When you buy a syringe the doctor will keep it for you, and subsequent treatments will come from that same syringe until it is empty, Ray said. The number of treatments in a syringe depends on the individual patient.

Before injecting Restylane, Ray cautions patients that they may feel some pain. “It is a thick product, so [injection can be] painful,” she said. However, she administers a topical anesthetic about 30 minutes before the procedure to numb the area. “You don’t feel anything,” she said.

Since Restylane is the new kid on the cosmetic block, with FDA approval in 2003 and its first shipment to physicians in January 2004, procedure numbers were not available.

Ray warns that while the injections are non-surgical, both Botox and Restyland are to be administered by qualified professionals, which include ear, nose and throat (ENT) specialists, plastic surgeons, ophthalmologists and dermatologists.

Those seeking a youthful appearance may be confused about which product is best suited for them, but Ray said she injects Botox and Restylane at the same time, and it doesn’t have to be an either/or situation.

“We do consultations all the time where a patient simply comes in and asks what I can do to help them.” If in doubt about your laugh lines, crow’s feet and facial wrinkles, she said, all you have to do is ask.

Longleaf Style managing editor Theresa Shadrix is not yet a candidate for Botox or Restylane — which means she can spend more on shoes.

Monday, September 04, 2006

That’s right — wear white now


Various shades of white — combined with splashes of gold and camel — combine for a fashionable ensemble fit for wearing into fall and winter. Photo Illustration By Trent Penny and Theresa Shadrix

By Theresa Shadrix
The Anniston Star
09-03-2006

Ask any good Southern girl why she packs away her white wardrobe, including shoes, purses and pants, on Labor Day and it usually has something to do with her mother.
Labor Day celebrates the American worker and marks the beginning of the unofficial ‘no white’ period for Southern women.

Boxes are packed, closets are cleaned and everything white is stored away during the winter months.

Ending on Memorial Day or Easter, the No White Period is a seven-month hiatus of all things white — or is it?

“For me Labor Day is the end of summer, and when summer ends, the sandal-wearing ends also,” says Delana Gilmore, publications secretary for The Calhoun Baptist Association.

One of the many Southern women who learned the No-White rule from her mother, Gilmore contends that she is not sure if keeping to the Labor Day fashion rule is owed to the voice of Mom in her head or to lessons learned at Judson College, an all female Baptist University.

She does know that wearing white in winter is sure to get a Southern girl a few discourteous stares.

“If I do wear bright white shoes in November or December, I will be so uncomfortable and self-conscious about it that I probably try to hide my feet,” she jokes. “I know that it’s not a don’t any more. However, the ideas that I grew up on are what I govern my life by.

“They might not be for everybody, but those ideas are what make me ME.”

Like many other women in the South, Gilmore is not alone in following the advice of her foremothers.

Eula Tatman, grants manager for the Calhoun County Community Foundation, grew up in Kansas and says her mother planted the White Rule in regard to shoes in her psyche every Easter.

“Mom rarely bought white shoes for Easter (I have five sisters). She bought black patent leather shoes,” she says. “She wanted us to be able to wear our Easter shoes year round.

Therefore, I guess as a child, it was instilled in us that white shoes were not to be worn all year round.”

Tatman says she adheres to the No White Shoes rule due to fashion peer pressure.

“As an adult or college-age (girl), you would get a stare from your girlfriends who’d threaten to call the Fashion Police, unless of course it’s winter white.”

White Plains Elementary School Title I aide Patsy Cronan also recalls learning the white shoe rule on Easter.

“I can remember getting white sandals and I couldn’t wear them until Easter and I could wear them until Labor Day,” she says with a grin.

Another good Southern girl, Cronan would never go against the Shoe Rule but wonders about her white pants.

“I wore these (white) pants today and knew that I had to put them away next week,” she adds. “If you find out that we can wear them, you let me know.”

A native of England now residing in Atlanta, Ga., Lynne Marks is president of the London Image Institute and is one of only six Certified Image Masters worldwide.

She believes the rules are American, observed mainly in the South and white can be worn year-round. And yes, that includes pants.

“White is a summer and a winter color, but for winter it would be in wool and called winter white, which is ivory.”

She says that black and white were described as the new look this year, but they are always in style for midsummer.

Debra Lindquist, a certified image professional and president of Color Profiles/ The Total Look in Denver, Colo., says the root of the No White rule really pertains to shoes.

“Years ago, we did not have as many shoe color options as currently exist in 2006. There were black shoes, brown shoes and white shoes. The idea was that people needed white shoes for summer,” she says.

Today, Lindquist explains that certain rules still apply when wearing white, regardless of the season.

“Wearing white shoes is only appropriate when white is worn as a color in the rest of the outfit,” she says. “Putting on a print dress that contained no white in the print or in the print background would give the wearer an Edith Bunker type of look.”

Robbie Boggs, instructor of merchandising at Jacksonville State University, agrees the old rule was to wear a lighter colored shoe than the pants, dress or skirt but now it’s the overall look that matters in fashion.

“Bottom line, does it look good?” she asks. “Fashion rules are now obsolete and rules are broken. We are becoming a lax society and even manners are going out. Get some style and dress out of the box is what the message for fall is all about.”

But in the South, tradition in fashion is like the roots of the longleaf pine – embedded deep in the red clay and resistant to outside disturbances.

“According to folklore, most likely the rules of wearing white originated in the South — south of the Mason-Dixon line,” says Boggs.

She is not sure if wearing white had to do with the hot temperatures in the South, with white reflecting the heat of summer, or a social class issue.

“As the emerging, new middle class began growing with the industrialization of America in the 1800’s, rules of dress were applied,” she explains. “Again there was a technological boom in the 1950’s with more of society moving to the middle class.”

With the newly established middle class, Boggs says strict fashion etiquette guidelines were made and passed down through the generations.

Regardless of the fashion rules and Southern heritage, in 2006 it is all about individuality.

“If you want to put a white boot with a black skirt, just go for it,” says Boggs.

Just pray the Fashion Police are not giving out citations.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Rules for wearing white
• To avoid the Fashion Police, the No-White period for shoes is after Labor Day and before Memorial Day or Easter.

• It is not against the rule to wear a white shirt or pants in winter but winter white is best.

• White adds pounds. When wearing white pants, try a pair with pinstripes for a slimming look.

• Debra Lindquist offers a solution for those who are not sure of the when to wear white shoes. “White shoes are available but are not a must have in every wardrobe. Metallic shoes are an option that go with many colors of clothing and have replaced white.”

• Lynne Marks says whites should be washable and bleached otherwise they will go yellow with age. So, washable cottons are best, not polyester.

• It is also important to avoid lines from undergarments when wearing white. Marks suggests flesh-colored foundation garments with white. “NO panty line!” she says. Bras in gossamer flesh-colored nylon and panties without a strong leg elastic, or even thongs are essential. Marks says you can dye white underwear in a solution of warm water and tea bags to get it to the right color to match your skin.