Tuesday, July 15, 2014

What Is Going On With So Many Parents?

A mother drives her two children into a lake one day, killing them.

Believing that her four-year-old is gay, his mom beats him to death.

A dad leaves his son out in a hot car for seven hours and his son is found dead well before then.

A dad, driving in his car, takes his baby and throws the child out of the car.

Driving her car into the ocean, a mom tries to drown both her children as rescuers save them.

A mom, fed up with her two "mouthy teenagers," hatches up a plan to kill both and succeeds in carrying it out.

Managing to hide seven pregnancies, a mother kills each of her seven babies.

A mom is found in bed, naked with a knife, clutching the bodies of all three of her young children.

A dad, angered that his wife was trying to flee from him with their two children, managed to find them and murder all of them; today he remains a fugitive from justice.

I can go on and on. So can you, I am sure, if you are aware of what is going on. What is causing all this violence among family members? Are we now just hearing more about it because we live in the age of communication and information? Along with all this violence of parents against their children, spouses, youth and even children are becoming more violent. But lately, the violence of parents against their children seems to have spiked at an all-time high. The media, especially CNN, have covered the "car dad" case, hashing every detail of this disturbing and heartbreaking case. When this story first broke, I was mad at the cops for what appeared to be a rush to judgment and a witch-hunt against a dad who may have well made the tragic mistake of his life. They charged him with "Cruelty to Children" and "Felony Murder." They declared with passion: "This is the most shocking case of our careers and to our consciences as fathers and husbands." Couldn't they cut this dad any slack? But as the case unfolded and details kept coming to light, I came to change my mind. It was revealed that on the day that his son was killed, this dad came out to the car in the afternoon and placed something in the car. At his web designer job, he was sexting women, including a sixteen-year-old girl; he sent pics of his erect penis! Details concerning what, to me, were the odd responses of his wife to all of this, also surfaced. Whenever I hear of one case after another like this, I wonder: What about adoption? If these people don't want to deal with their children, why don't they surrender them to relatives or to a safe place? Why do these people turn to murder?

Life is not as valued as it once was. It is getting cheaper and more expendable.

I believe that we, in the West and particularly in the US, have been on a downward spiral since 1973. That was when abortion became legal. Many abortion advocates have argued that by eliminating children (whom they call "fetuses") that we would reduce child abuse and violence. According to this reasoning, getting rid of "unwanted problems" would reduce "stressors" that supposedly drive people to crime and child abuse in particular. But guess what? The legalization of abortion has not reduced child abuse or any other forms of abuse. If anything, child abuse and all forms of violence have increased since then. Because unborn life has become cheap and expendable, the stage has been set for the slippery slope of valuing life at other forms of development less. I don't think this is any accident that this is so. Life has become cheaper. This, combined with our very fast pace of living in the West, has helped us on this downward spiral of violence. People today are more likely to turn to abuse, suicide and murder, to "solve problems" than was the case four decades ago. I had grown up in the 1960's and 1970's, and I don't remember hearing about violence of the scale that is epidemic today. Am I missing something? Was it just swept under the rug? Do we just talk about these things more openly?

All this makes me think, Jesus, can You come back today?

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Would They Give Up All Things For A Mere Man or Hoax?

A man continues to teach about his Leader even as his opponents throw stones at him; his last words before his death were, "Lord, do not hold this sin against them!"

A writer pens words of praise to his Leader even as he sits in a dismal, lonely prison cell and among his words are: "For me to live is Christ and to die is gain."

After this Leader returned to be with His own Father in Heaven, many of his followers continue to meet, worship Him and teach about Him knowing that they were risking prison and even execution.

During the time period of Caesar and the Roman Empire, the followers of this Leader willingly chose being thrown alive in flames rather than deny their faith in Him.

A child is badly beaten by her mom and grandmother for believing in this Leader; despite this she and her dad remain committed to their Leader.

A teen treasures attending church meetings but her family, hostile to this Leader and angry because their daughter won't go to their services, prevent her from attending her church meetings.

A wife and mom of six children is sentenced to prison and death because she defended her faith in her Leader; she has been in prison for five years as of this writing.

A wife and mom of two is placed in prison, along with her children, because she will not deny her faith and she also faces death in two years. (As of this writing, she was released and now both she and her husband are re-arrested as they were trying to flee their country).

Even in the affluent West, many people devote much time, money and energy to serving this Leader for no obvious earthy reason.

You get the idea. Some of these people lived in more ancient times and some are living today. Their common denominator? Their unwavering commitment to and persevering faith in their Leader. Who is this Leader Who inspires such extreme devotion in so many of His followers? If you have not guessed that by now, it is Jesus Christ. What is so special about Him that He inspires such devotion that is willing to give up everything, even life itself?

Unless you are a hard-core atheist, you follow, worship and serve a leader. Some may follow Buddha. Some may follow Joseph Smith. An increasing number are following Muhammad. Many follow other leaders and pledge loyalty to them. But I wonder if any of these leaders and gods inspire their followers to be willing to lose their freedoms and even their lives for them. From what I understand, it seems some of these gods inspire their followers to kill themselves or others. Unless I'm missing something, I know of few followers of these leaders who have suffered imprisonment and horrible deaths (NOT suicides) for their leaders.

What is so special about Jesus, anyway?

If you have access to a Bible and take time to search the Gospels, you can read about Jesus. You can read about the marvelous things He did and the wise things He said and taught. You can read about His humble origins, His perfect life, His outrageously unjust arrest and trial and His horrible death. You can read about His amazing return to life and His return to His Father. What is so special about this? This was all God's idea. He hated our sin (rebellion against His laws) but He loved us so much that He sent His Son Jesus to Earth to become one of us. Jesus loved us so much that He willingly agreed and willingly gave up all so we can be forgiven and go to Heaven. Now, I ask you to consider this, has any other leader or god done this for us?

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Practicicing Dentistry in New Mexico

Dentistry in New Mexico has greatly advanced in the past few years. Still there are some in the medical fraternity who believe there are not enough dentists and dental care professionals in New Mexico to cater to the ever increasing demand for professional dental services.

Professional organizations

There are several professional dental organizations, which oversee the work and ethics of dental professionals in New Mexico. One of the oldest is the New Mexico Dental Association (NMDA), which exists since 1908. It was formed by a few dental professionals from New Mexico as a place to collaborate and discuss new procedures, professional concerns et el. As years passed by, NMDA grew into a body where it not only provided a safe place for dentists to discuss new ideas, but also an organization that worked to improve dentistry in New Mexico.

Most dental professionals practicing in New Mexico are a member of NMDA. Their participation and interest in improving the dental scene in their state has greatly benefited the dentistry scene in New Mexico. The organization also works with state representatives to introduce legislation to improve dental health services for New Mexico citizens.

Another organization promoting dentistry in New Mexico is the Board of Dental Health Care and the Dental Hygienist Committee. It works in the areas of establishing guidelines in obtaining licenses for dentists and dental assistants, and also oversees unprofessional or unethical conduct by dental professionals.

Both the organizations are governed by a board of trustees, and work under strict rules and regulations to ensure interests of both dental professionals as well as people who need safe dental care.

Specialized dentistry in New Mexico

New Mexico not only offers basic and preventive dental care services, but also premium services in cosmetic dentistry. Procedures such as teeth alignment, basic to advanced teeth whitening, dental implants, jaw surgeries, and in fact all kinds of oral surgeries are now available in New Mexico. State-of-the-art and premium dental clinics are available in the state offering all kinds of services from pediatric dentistry to complicated oral and maxillofacial surgeries.

Pediatric dentistry is a specialization that offers care, treatment, and surgeries for children from infant to teens. This is a highly specialized field as dental professionals are especially trained to deal with oral care of children which is vastly different from that of adults. Pediatric dentists are also trained to deal with psychological issues that affect a child’s oral health. These can be educating parents about the psychological reasons for habits such as teeth grinding or thumb sucking. Or handling kids with care after severe injuries like jaw deformities or teeth fracture.

Maxillofacial surgeries include treatment and surgeries for defects in the jaw, face, neck and mouth.


New Mexico also offers courses in basic and advanced dentistry through university programs. Easier access to quality education has also helped the dentistry scene in New Mexico.

About the author: Grace is a pediatric dentistry expert associated with Kid's Choice Dental. She has extensive experience in the field of dentistry and has contributed to other dentistry and health related articles.

The photo at the top of this article is courtesy of the guest author.

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