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May 28, 2015

Go to Hell?

“Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.” Jesus, in Matthew 25:46


Is that a question? I don’t think so; it’s a curse! Expressed with vehement emphasis. But how strange most cursers who want their cursee to go there do not even believe Hell exists. According to polls, few believe Hell is a real place; even a high percentage of professing Christians, we are told in those polls, do not believe in Hell. Many of these must be unaware that Jesus in the Gospels spoke of Hell, the fire of Hell, or outer darkness, even more than he spoke of Heaven; or, just as likely, this makes no difference to them. It is also more than a bit odd that Hell is such a common swear word when its existence is considered pure fiction, even while cursing others with, “Go to Hell!”
It is just as odd that “Jesus Christ” is a very common curse word of people who know Him as their favorite epithet and never Savior and Lord. I have yet to hear someone use “Allah!” or “Muhammed!” or “Buddha! as curses, which sound weird. The unobservant ought to consider while they try to ignore and flee this God, who alone constitutes their cursing vocabulary, why He only is the deity they use as a curse. The fact that it is this God who has become their primary curse word,  along with, of course, the popular “F” word desecrating one of the great blessings of God-designed, sacred marriage, is powerful evidence for the truth that this God is truly God. Why other than this, are God and His Son Jesus Christ so universally a curse, even in other languages? People of foreign languages do not curse in their native god’s name or even some evil person’s name. The Germans or Jewish people do not swear using the name “Adolf Hitler!” which would be understood. Evidently God is who he says He is, Satan is alive and at work, and cursers prove it. “OMG is the most common taking of God’s name in vain, as often as breathing in many people’s “ad nauseam” use; their vocabulary could use more erudite breadth of expression. Cursing, in reality, is simply being Satan’s mouthpiece, for these are the very things Satan desires to denigrate and destroy: the one true God, and all good He has created. In other words, cursers are Satan’s willing lackeys.
But Hell itself is not the figment of some mere mortal’s imagination; it is a real place of which Jesus was well aware, and of which He never ceases to warn of its horror. C.S. Lewis said Hell is a truth of Christianity that he wishes was not, but he knew he could not deny Jesus’ clear, unequivocal testimony; man’s unbelief does nothing to disprove Hell any more than its dislike does. Of course, we are not all warm and fuzzy concerning the teaching and existence of a place of eternal punishment; it is impossible for any to truly envision Hell without trepidation, doubts, and terrifying questions.
Additionally, “eternal” is something we just cannot get our minds around; living into infinity is a total unknown, even in your imagination. There is no doubt that eternal life in Heaven or the New Earth is far easier to contemplate than eternal life in Hell. The Bible knows nothing, unfortunately, of the concept of annihilation; nowhere is it taught in Scripture; not even a mention. On the other hand Scripture teaches that man is an eternal being. One of the reasons it may be that God banishes Adam and Eve from Eden and posts a guarding angel with a flaming sword to keep them out, is, as sinners, God does not desire them to eat from the Tree of Life in the Garden and live forever in such a fallen state. Eternal man unrepentant and unpardoned has but one destination according to Scripture. The rebellious man shows his hatred for God with the desire that God would just stay completely out of his life, apparently regardless of the consequences.
There is great incoherence, then, in an unbeliever’s notion of God. Despite his insistence that God is a nonentity, he still uses His name as a curse, complains about Him, and even calls out to Him when in desperation; as they say, “There are no atheists in foxholes.” Incoherence is the best descriptor of an agnostic/atheist/spiritually apathetic mind; they are consistently contradictory in attempting to live in what they describe as a God-free universe, when it is actually God-filled. This incoherence is so because, contrary to what they emphatically profess, they bear in their being the image of God, all the while denying He is; basically denying their own inescapable, divine DNA.
Since unbelieving man is an eternal being, and rejects His Creator, God will eventually give Him the desire of his heart: eternal separation from Him. Which means that God, who is light, love, goodness, and all the other attributes He possesses, removes these pillars of life by His absence. The metaphoric descriptors of Hell as a lake of unquenchable fire cannot be worse than the total absence of light, love, goodness and all else God is. Eternal hell is exactly this absence, producing eternal darkness, complete loneliness, total alienation, and the opposite of all good; surely this is a horror of horrors.
The graphic depiction of Hell found in Jesus’ words and in Scripture elevates the wonder of the salvation of believers; it shows the steadfast commitment and love of Jesus in giving His life to snatch you out of the jaws of Hell and of Satan, and bring you permanently home to His and your Father’s home.  The nature of Hell causes you to appreciate the love of God and of the Savior far, far more than you would if there were no Hell. Those who inhabit Hell are there by their own willful choice. Hell is a horror not only because of what it is, but in the knowledge it was chosen in preference to Jesus and His words. They would rather be in Hell than live in intimate fellowship with God.
Hell is not a consideration which elicits joy, except in your own assurance in Christ that it will not be your eternal home. But you cannot will it out of existence just by hoping it isn’t. Jesus spoke of it with certainty and emphatic warning. As a Christian, you need to take those warnings to heart, fear God, and draw near to Him and His Son. No one who professes faith in Jesus wants to be party with those who call Him, “Lord, Lord” and do not do the will of His Father in heaven (Matthew 7:21-23); people who think they know Him, but don’t. Hell is never something to ignore. It ought to motivate you to pursue the speaking of the Good News into your neighbor’s ear and heart. Your tireless persistence in this will not go unrewarded.
I have heard people say they do not want their motivation to believe to be mere “fire insurance.” This is a meaningless excuse. Whatever it takes for you to draw near to God and begin to seek out God’s Son, I say again, whatever it takes, even the fear of Hell, is fully warranted; for your salvation will draw you into a love relationship with Him that erases every other consideration. He will become to you in time your all in all!


“When this passing world is done, when has sunk yon glaring sun, when we stand with Christ in glory, looking o’er life’s finished story, then, Lord, shall I fully know, not till then, how much I owe.”
“When I hear the wicked call on the rocks and hills to fall, when I see them start and shrink on the fiery deluge brink, then, Lord, shall I fully know, not till then, how much I owe.”
(Verses 1 and 2 of Robert Murray McCheyne’s hymn, “When This Passing World is Done”, 1837)


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May 27, 2015

Real Moms Do Exist

My three-year-old climbs in my lap as I am typing and says, “Can I push a button, Mommy?  Can I?  God reminds me, in a very loud voice, I am a mom.  I have watched the video of Kate Greene as she talks of letting “Supermom go.  Even as she talks of life not being perfect and how the world of parenting can easily consume her, I am still tempted to think I am the only one—the only one who puts pressure on myself to be the perfect parent, the only one who wonders if I say “no too little or too much, the only one that has hidden from my children craving one tiny moment of silence (ok, maybe that one is just me). The truth is I am not the only parent, and Kate is no exception either.
Parenting is hard.  It is overwhelming, and it brings the feeling of immense pressure to be perfect, along with lots of self-doubt.  These little faces, so impressionable, are looking at us to give them direction, confidence, strength, wisdom, and the list goes on, right?  If you are a parent, you understand.  You can understand no matter the age of your children, the fear of not doing it right or looking back wondering if you had done things differently maybe things would be different.
Well, God gives you permission to let go.  Join the many moms, including myself, who have let “Supermom go.  I will fill you in on a little secret…the title was never yours to claim. You can take comfort knowing you are not in control.  As much preparation as you may have done, all the parenting books and mommy blogs you have read, find peace knowing that you are not in control.  Yes, the control freak mommy in me actually finds peace knowing my children are not mine.  God planted them under my care with clear instruction.  He has called me, as He calls all of His children, to be Christ-like.  In all I do and say, I am called to be like Jesus.   However, unlike Jesus, I will fail.  I will make mistakes, and I have to give myself grace for those mistakes.  God gives us grace.  Why is it so difficult for us to forgive ourselves, learn, and move forward?
I believe it is because the image of “Supermom lingers in our minds—that image of a mom that does not exist.  Let her go as she is not the picture God paints of a mother.  God calls us to be like His Son.  Jesus was no superhero created by someone’s imagination.  Jesus was a person who walked the earth just as we do.  He was surrounded by people that needed him 24/7. They screamed and shouted His name. His days did not go as He planned. He was interrupted by people who needed Him. He was tempted to fail, He was ignored, He was called many names, and He was not always liked or loved.  Sound familiar?  He was human.  He felt the pain of rejection just like we do.  He felt love just like we do.  So, when you are overwhelmed and tempted to fix your eyes on the “Supermom that never lived, let her go and fix your eyes on Jesus, a man who walked in your shoes.   Find comfort in the fact that you, a person who inevitably will fail, is not in control.
Letting go,
Melissa Hightower
Mom of Four
Director of Marketing and Communication, Paul Anderson Youth Home
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American War Cemetery Near Omaha Beach
May 21, 2015

Thankfulness Reflects Your Character

“The memory of the righteous will be a blessing, but the name of the wicked will rot.” Proverbs 10:7
“I thank my God every time I remember you.” Philippians 1:3


What an emotional sight for me and my wife, less than two years ago, to stand above and on the same beaches where the greatest invasion in history took place in Normandy, France. I have read many excellent histories of D-Day over the years and looked at countless pictures taken on that crucial day; but they do not suffice for the actual experience of seeing this historic ground with our own eyes; especially when you know so well what took place here on June 6th 71 years ago. Many emotions filled my heart during these few days, but easily the strongest was thankfulness. Over five thousand men lost their lives on that bloody day, bravely carving out a small foothold on the continent of Nazi-controlled Europe; the beginning of the end for a diabolical regime. Walking through the American Cemetery overlooking Omaha Beach where most of the 5,000 were killed, over 3,000 Americans alone on and around Omaha Beach, on what has been called “the longest day,” our hearts were filled with thankfulness for these fellow soldiers who gave the supreme sacrifice for freedom; the freedom you and I have enjoyed for a life time. This freedom is taken for granted by younger generations who know little if anything of that sacrifice. These soldiers, sailors, airmen died in their youth that those who came after could live a full life free from oppression.
Too many from younger generations tend to think freedom grows on trees; it is something you enjoy because it is a deserved right. You do not need to pay a cost or work or be thankful for it; it is just the way things are; nothing required from you. Such thinking is not only the view of those who believe freedom is a personal right, but of those who in many cases do not have the character to hold on to it. A thankful person with the humility to recognize the heavy cost of freedom and never forget is one who is vigilant in keeping it. When no longer appreciated as a gift to protect, or for which to be grateful, freedom is squandered and will be eventually lost. What we now have was paid for with the volunteered sacrifice of others’ lives.
One of the greatest marks of genuine character is being continuously grateful, recognizing and appreciating the service of others on your behalf. No man is an island; he lives and prospers on the backs of many others, but especially on the goodness of God. To not see this is a glaring blind spot which will prove to be the undoing of the unthankful. To reverse course in a life, where good purposes and thoughtful mission is sorely lacking, a good place to jumpstart transformation is in beginning to practice thanksgiving in every circumstance. Sounds crazy because many circumstances are anything but good. Why give thanks for losing a job or breaking a leg? Was God crazy to tell you to be thankful in all things and at all times? God knows what He’s about, He knows you, and He knows the human creature He made. He knows what a thankful spirit does for a human being’s psyche and character. He knows a consistently thankful spirit is a spirit which thrives. Thankfulness works wonders in any life and produces joy where there once was no joy.
High on the cliffs at the west end of Omaha Beach stands a monument overlooking the ocean expanse of the English Channel which in this invasion carried the largest armada of boats and ships ever assembled in history. Called Pointe-du-Hoc, it is a promontory of land and high cliffs jutting out toward the ocean, providing unobstructed views of the two American invasion beaches, Omaha and Utah. This monument honors and memorializes intrepid American Army Rangers who on D-Day scaled those perpendicular cliffs under withering machine gun fire, the enemy gunners protected by concrete and steel bunkers still there today. As one after another brave Ranger was killed or wounded, another took his place and kept climbing until they reached the top and destroyed the German 155mm guns; big guns which, in that dominant defilade position, wreaked death and destruction on the soldiers, tanks, and landing craft below on Omaha Beach to the east and Utah to the west. 225 Rangers began the rope climbing assault into the face of enemy bullets and grenades from above; only 90 survived.
I stood at the base of that memorial on the edge of this steep, rugged cliff for a long time,  looking down the craggy face and out to the ocean, emotionally contemplating with tears the courage of these fellow soldiers in achieving such an impossible, but absolutely necessary mission. The victory of D-Day rested greatly on their success, as well as the saving of thousands of lives. This memorial on now famous Pointe-du-Hoc reminded me of the stone “Ebenezer” placed and named by Samuel in 1 Samuel 7:12, the purpose of which was to stir remembrance of God as our ever present help. I was similarly reminded of the memorial of 12 stacked stones, taken from the middle of the Jordan River, representing all 12 tribes of Israel, heaped by Joshua’s command as a memorial to the power of God in bringing His children Israel through a parted Jordan River into the Promised Land. I understand that in King Solomon’s day he placed tall round pillars on each shore of the Gulf of Aqaba memorializing where the Israelites crossed the parted Red Sea to escape Pharaoh’s army in the Exodus. Read Hebrews 11, a memorial to the heroes whom we build upon today in our own lives of faith in the face of the enemy. These memorials have a purpose of inspiring thanksgiving and keeping the reasons for being thankful before the generations who follow. When those generations forget, and cease being thankful, they lose the benefits won for them by those who went before. It happened consistently to the Old Testament nation of Israel. It is still happening today.
This Memorial Day, we as a nation rest from our work, not just for family picnics, but to remember why it is we can even enjoy a family picnic; free and blessed. Memorialize those who went before you with an attitude of expressed, thoughtful thanksgiving to God for their sacrifice on your behalf. Take time to bring together those in your gathering next Monday, family, friends, neighbors, and lead them in a prayer to the Lord, grateful for what is yours today, because so many gave the last full measure of devotion.


“O beautiful for heroes proved in liberating strife, who more than self their country loved, and mercy more than life! America! America! May God thy gold refine, till all success be nobleness, and every gain divine.”
(2nd verse of Katharine Lee Bates’ “America the Beautiful”, 1893)


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May 18, 2015

Teens: What is a Healthy Romance?

Photo credit: Morgan Sessions
View original Christian Media Magazine article here.


by Drew Read
We are designed to be in a relationship.  So there is no surprise the temptation can be strong to use a boyfriend or girlfriend to fill a void in your life.  You may think it will give you identity at school or help you feel accepted. But, dating is not something Christians should take lightly.  As you think about your current boyfriend or girlfriend, or before you start looking for a date, take a moment to stop and think about these five essentials to a healthy dating relationship.
1. Finding yourself in Christ
Finding your identity is a process. Trying to nail it down as a teenager can be like driving down a dirt road in the dark: gloomy and hopeless. But like anything, it takes time for success to build. If you are simply keeping pace with the culture by trying something else on for size, or putting on the clothes or labels of someone else, the process cannot take shape. As easy as it is to take on the identity of the culture around you, your identity is deeper, more complex and defined by someone you can always anchor to. Look what the King of Kings says about those who follow Jesus:

“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. 1 Peter 2:9
“See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! 1 John 3:1

Knowing what you’re not can help define who you are. You are not alone. You are not forgotten. You are forgiven. You are bought with a price. You also might not be good at science and that’s ok. You’re uniquely gifted in other ways. Being confident in Him first is foundational for a healthy relationship with others.
2. Be invested in the relationship–equally
By definition, relationships require two people sharing a mutual respect and a mutual interest in each other. Are you dating for the sake of dating, to not be lonely or to create an image for yourself? Or are you both dating to seek the best team to reflect God’s glory?
Relationships are hard enough. Don’t take on a project. You are not in a relationship to fix the other person or try to make them more like you. A healthy interest in one another comes with no agenda. So make sure before you start dating that you’re not getting involved for the wrong reasons. And on top of that, ensure you’re both following Jesus, and seeking to honor him in your relationship.
3. It doesn’t take a person to complete you
If you’re looking for someone to keep you company, find a friend. If you’re looking for true fulfilment, you will never find it in another person. In the movie Jerry McGuire, Tom Cruise’s character says the famous, dramatic line, You complete me. It’s a poetic line and great movie moment. It’s a horrible relationship perspective.
If you think a relationship is all you need to make you complete, it can’t and won’t succeed. As sinful people, none of us can fill what seems to be missing in others. Only God can give us the lasting fulfilment we need.
4. Physical fades
The first thing anyone notices is outward attractiveness. But a real, lasting relationship is based on unwavering character. How does your significant other’s character match up to yours? Is he or she honest, trustworthy and pursuing the Lord? What do they do when no one is watching? So what if someone is hot when they have no ability to connect mentally or emotionally.
This is not to say physical attraction is bad. It just can’t be the foundational basis of a healthy relationship as it won’t, and simply can’t, last.

“Promise me, O women of Jerusalem, not to awaken love until the time is right. Song of Solomon 8:4

God’s timing is perfect, and his advice to remain sexually pure until marriage is because He loves you and wants the very best for you.
5. Be you and find someone that’s ok with being them
Confidence is attractive. Confident people know who they are and don’t put on a show. They are unwilling to compromise for other’s expectations. When you’re confident in who you are and the plan God has set before you, you’ll be able to face any rocky waters a relationship—or lack of one—can bring.

“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2:10

“Drew Read, COO of the Paul Anderson Youth Home in Vidalia, Ga., is a passionate advocate for youth and strongly believes that the home is the foundation of society. Drew frequently speaks and writes on the topics of identity, technology, culture and high-risk behaviors affecting today’s youth. Learn more about the services PAYH provides and its familySTRONG resources at http://payh.org.


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May 14, 2015

PAGC 2015 Thank You


Whether this was your first or twenty-second Paul Anderson Golf Classic (PAGC), we want to thank you for making this year’s event a huge success. With your help, we were able to raise over $149,000!
After a beautiful day on the links, we headed back to the Paul Anderson Youth Home (PAYH) to do what we do best, minister to our young men and their families. Each day we plant the seeds of the Gospel in their lives and provide them the opportunity for a second chance. It is this work that propels us forward. We need your help to continue offering hope and help to young men and families throughout the nation. Will you join us by continuing to invest in the lives of our young men?

A huge thank you to all of our sponsors!

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May 14, 2015

Living in Fear

“I will mock when calamity overtakes you–when calamity overtakes you like a storm, when disaster overtakes you like a whirlwind, when distress and trouble overwhelm you. Then they will call to me but I will not answer; they will look for me but will not find me. Since they hated knowledge and did not choose to fear the Lord, since they would not accept my advice and spurned my rebuke, they will eat the fruit of their ways and be filled with the fruit of their schemes. For the waywardness of the simple will kill them, and the complacency of fools will destroy them; but whoever listens to me will live in safety and be at ease, without fear of harm.” Proverbs 1:28-33


Fear is not something very desirable for a constant in your life, is it? There are many living in fear throughout the world today, existing in desperately fearful situations because they do not enjoy the present security from danger which you may still enjoy for now; but will yours remain very much longer? There is an ominous cloud moving across the face of the earth as persecution is the continuing daily fare for hundreds of thousands, for millions. The growing black cloud is manifest in the flight of millions of men, women, and children from their homes, resulting in tragic circumstances, pain, and death while desperately trying to find a little peace, food, security, and freedom from constant fear. This circumstance has not reached America’s shores to the same extent yet, but it is already here in many pockets of fearful situations throughout our land: daily home invasions; devastating crimes of robbery, rape, torture, death; home grown terror; riots destroying personal businesses and the livelihood of thousands; dubious government regulations seizing private land from its proper owners; taxes driving businesses and jobs out of existence or out of the country; disappearing jobs forcing more and more onto welfare; persecution of faith and the loss of once constitutionally protected freedom of religion; and the list goes on and on. If these aren’t your personal fears now, they may be soon.
Fear is a complex, common, and very human emotion.  It has been an actual benefit in your life at times, giving you adrenaline to excel, to rise to an occasion you may not have reached without, keeping you from some risky venture that could have resulted in painful failure, those safety fears deterring you from attempting to violate the laws of nature like gravity. The kind of fear, however, of the first paragraph, or, the fear of disease, the fear of being shunned by others, the nagging fears of danger to you and yours, takes its toll; it exacerbates sickness and produces the bane of stress which leads to every kind of malady.  So by your simple observation and thoughtfulness you can see and appreciate fear’s complexity.
But a common phrase among believers has lost its use in our day, which once frequented the Christian community; the phrase which at one time described one’s character as “God fearing.” Do we need a whole new word to describe this type of fear? It seems we do because Christians today have seemingly dropped the use of “God-fearer” all-together in describing a faithful believer. To equate it with those fears which debilitate you seems ludicrous. Yet in the Scripture, the same word “fear” is used to describe “fearing God” which is commanded and accompanied with multiple blessings, even the foundation of all wisdom and knowledge, and also the same word for the fear which God promises by faith to completely remove from your life because it kills. Apparently, it is not the immediate emotion of fear itself which is sin; it is the object of your fears. One will save you, the other will destroy you; you must examine what “God-fearing” means, and also what fear is like a lethal cancer within.
Fear of God is not antithetical to the whole concept of fear. When the Bible says “Perfect love casts out fear,” it is not saying that perfectly loving God means you stop fearing God. When Abraham obeyed God and went so far as to lay his very loved son Isaac on an altar and lift a knife to drive it into his chest, it was his fear of God which inspired his love for God producing his victory in this supreme test of obedience. Fear of and love for God go hand in hand. They are present at the same time. If you fear God, you love Him; if you love Him, you fear Him. Those who practice fear of God understand it; those who are unbelievers, even some who profess to believe, think this is crazy. The fear of God and not of the world, with all its ultimately poisonous results, makes God preeminent in your life, where you cast all of you into His hands with every fiber in your being. Fear of the world is forgetfulness of God. The next time fear of something in the world grips your heart, try remembering God with all of His attributes and promises to you, His adopted child. If you believe Him and know who He is, the fear of the world will be overwhelmed by His greatness and, like Satan, will flee from you. If it remains as a constant thorn in your side, it means you are double-minded. Get single-mindedly focused on God!
I don’t think you need to be an intellectual scholar with advanced degrees of schooling to understand the concept of fearing God versus fearing the world. The simple and determined exercise of your faith and disciplined use of His Word will give you an appreciation and understanding of the difference between fear of God and fear of the world. The emotion of fear itself is not sin, it is an instinctual human reaction to an immediate protagonist that threatens you, be it human, animal, inanimate, circumstance, whatever. To allow this fear to linger, to paralyze, to worry, to stress, to panic, to produce cowardice rather than the courage of faith, to not turn your eyes to God and rest on His promised care, is sin.
This ominous cloud of calamity is blowing across our country right now. Your salvation lies in your fear of God, not your fear of the cloud or what it contains. Do not give in to the fears that are encroaching on your trust in God; they seek to get you to forget Him. Fear Him, and the fears that obscure your eyes from Him will lose their power to blind and enslave you.


“And though this world with devils filled, should threaten to undo us, we will not fear, for God hath willed, his truth to triumph through us. The prince of darkness grim, we tremble not for him; his rage we can endure, for lo! his doom is sure; one little word shall fell him.”
“That Word above all earthly powers, no thanks to them, abideth; the Spirit and the gifts are ours through Him who with us sideth. Let goods and kindred go, this mortal life also; the body they may kill: God’s truth abideth still; His kingdom is forever.”
(3rd and 4th verse of Martin Luther’s hymn, “A Mighty Fortress is Our God”, 1529)


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May 12, 2015

North Augusta Star Features PAGC 2015

Paul Anderson Golf Classic Comes to River Club

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

On May 11, the Paul Anderson Youth Home will host the 22nd annual Paul Anderson Golf Classic at The River Club. Golfers will take to the fairways to give back to an organization, which for more than 53 years has served more than 1,200 young men.

Since 1994, the Paul Anderson Golf Classic has made significant impact in supporting the home’s reach in Georgia and across the United States. The public is welcome to join supporters and donors from around the country who gather to show support of the home and its ministries for a day of golf and fellowship.

“The annual Paul Anderson Golf Classic is a time for us to celebrate with and remind our supporters of the transformative work being done at the Paul Anderson Youth Home because of their contributions, said Drew Read, COO of the Paul Anderson Youth Home. “A little competition, fellowship and camaraderie provide us a great time to share our continued vision, garner support and help our young men at the same time.

The Paul Anderson Golf Classic is a four-man Captain’s Choice golf tournament.

The home provides a safe place for young men to recalibrate using a comprehensive approach including academic training in a SACS accredited high school setting, and incorporates physical fitness, social awareness, work ethic development and emotional and spiritual growth.

“The value of these young men’s lives could never be measured, but the value of our holistic approach to recovery is evident in our success rate, Read said.

Every young man who enrolls in PAYH receives a scholarship to cover 83 percent of the program’s costs through the support of individuals, corporations, churches and foundations, leaving 17 percent tuition for the family, which is significantly less than similar programs.

For more information or to register for the Paul Anderson Golf Classic, visit www.payh.org/golf or call Matthew Hendley at 912-537-7237. The River Golf Club is located at 307 Riverside Blvd.

What: 22nd annual Paul Anderson Golf Classic

When: 7:30 a.m. May 11

Where: The River Club, 307 Riverside Blvd.

Cost: $175 per person or $700 per team

For more information: Call 912-537-7237 or visit www.payh.org/golf


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May 12, 2015

CBS News 12 Augusta Video of PAGC 2015

PAGC 2015 news coverage by CBS News 12 Augusta.

 


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May 12, 2015

CBS News 12 Augusta features PAGC 2015

22nd Annual Paul Anderson Golf Classic

Monday, May 11, 2015
AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) — Golfers teed up on Monday for the 22nd annual Paul Anderson Golf Classic at The River Club in North Augusta. The Paul Anderson Youth Home helps teens with addictions get back on their feet.
The Paul Anderson program has helped more than 1,200 young men during their 53-year history to get their lives back on track. The program acts as an alternative to jail time and lasts 18 months. It is aimed at men ages 16-21.
“It’s tough but it’s definitely worth it,” said Graham Cashin, who is currently in the program,”They’ve taught me so much stuff about how to grow and how to be a man, and before I came here I was a boy, but now I am a man.”
Jessie Wells graduated from the program and said the golf classic is a good opportunity to give back to the program that has given him so much.
“It’s great that I can be here and help them because they have helped me so much,” said Wells.”Now that I have graduated I can come back and serve them like they served me.”

Article found on CBS News 12 Augusta.


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May 11, 2015

Birmingham Mommy Talks About Teen Depression

Talking about Teen Depression is Depressing

FEATURED, TO LIVE — BY ON MAY 8, 2015 AT 8:52 AM

By: Drew Read, COO Paul Anderson Youth Home

We all feel sad, down, blue or discouraged at times.  That’s pretty normal.  Sadness, disappointment, and pessimism are natural reactions to the hassles of life.  I regularly feel a bit blue during football season as I watch my beloved Oakland Raiders lose each week.  The reality is that, in the scheme of things, the loss of a favorite team is not that meaningful when compared to an argument with a friend or loved one.
For teens, there are many things that can cause stress: a breakup, a best friend moving, doing poorly on a test, or not performing at an athletic event.  Such events may even make them feel pessimistic about the future.  We’ve all been there.  In most cases, we manage to overcome these feelings with a little time and care. Depression, however, is different.
Depression is a lingering mood of sadness and hopelessness.  It can last weeks or months and is fairly common among teenagers.  Statistics suggest that adolescent girls are twice as likely to experience a period of depression as compared to boys. At Paul Anderson Youth Home (PAYH), many of our young men come to us with a diagnosis of depression.
So why do teens get depressed?  Well, for the same reason we adults get depressed.  Internal and external pressures cause stress.  The difference is, as adults, we have learned to work through those feelings, emotions and stressful situations.  Maturity has made us better managers of our emotions and feelings.  But our children are still learning how to navigate their emotions and manage those pressures. Their skills are limited.  It is critical for us as parents to be able to recognize the signs of depression in our children, as depression often leads to thoughts of suicide.
AVOIDING TRAGEDY!
Approximately two million teens attempt suicide each year!  Girls are more likely to consider and attempt suicide, while boys are more likely to succeed.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that suicide is the 3rd leading cause of death among teens, behind unintentional accidents (largely car) and homicide.  This is tragic on multiple levels, not only for the teens suffering from feelings of hopelessness but also for the families who feel the aftershocks.
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
A teen who is contemplating suicide will manifest warning signs.  It is these signs that we as parents must pay attention to, especially when we know our children are struggling through break-ups, arguments with friends, academic struggles, insecurity, being bullied, crisis at home, addiction, conflict, or major disappointment.
In most cases, a teen considering suicide progresses through 3 stages:
Stage 1 – Thinking seriously about suicide
Stage 2 – Talking about suicide and making a plan
Stage 3 – Implementing the plan
Parents must pay close attention.  As I have said before, don’t say, “that can’t happen with my child.  It is our tendency as parents to think this way, but the truth is it can happen to anyone.  Be on guard.  Listen to your teen.  Know what is going on and try your best to understand what they are experiencing.  When they express feelings of hopelessness, listen to them.  When they feel trapped in their emotions, gently show them a way out.  When they make statements about everyone being better off without them, confront this as un-truth!
Remember, we all go through times of sadness.  But when it is more than occasionally feeling blue, sad, or down in the dumps, it is a sign of something deeper.  Understand that it is normal for your teen to experience feelings of sadness and discouragement.  It is part of the process of growing up. However, it’s important that we are aware of the signs of depression and suicide so we can recognize when these feelings become a cause for concern.


“Drew Read, COO of the Paul Anderson Youth Home in Vidalia, Ga., is a passionate advocate for youth and strongly believes that the home is the foundation of society. Drew frequently speaks and writes on the topics of identity, technology, culture and high-risk behaviors affecting today’s youth. Learn more about the services PAYH provides and its familySTRONG resources at http://payh.org.


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