Home / WSSN Stories (page 43)

WSSN Stories

Statement on White House Plan to Make Two Years of College as Universal as High School

By The Institute for College Access & Success

“The White House plan announced today elevates the universal need for some post-secondary education in today’s economy and the need to make college affordability a national priority.  The White House plan differs significantly from Tennessee’s and other “free community college” plans and addresses many, but not all, of those plans’ limitations.

“In particular, low-income students could benefit from the White House proposal because it is not a “last-dollar” scholarship like the Tennessee Promise, which only helps students who don’t already get enough aid to cover tuition. This is a critically important distinction because, given the relatively low income of community college students and the relatively low tuition charges at community colleges, last-dollar scholarships rarely benefit community college students with the greatest need and rather benefit those with the least need.  Instead, the White House plan provides greatly needed additional federal funding to states that make key reforms, including not charging tuition or fees at community colleges. The proposal is aimed squarely at stopping state divestment from public colleges, which is crucial to making college more affordable.

“Still, making community college tuition free for all students regardless of their income neither  focuses resources on the students who need aid the most, nor addresses the bulk of the costs of attending community college since tuition charges comprise only one-fifth of the cost of attendance. Consider California community colleges, which have the lowest tuition in the nation plus waivers for low-income students; application rates for federal aid are notoriously low, part-time enrollment rates are sky high, and too many students still can’t afford to stay in school and graduate.

“This Administration has rightly made college affordability a top priority, from increasing need-based Pell Grants to making student loan payments more manageable, and we look forward to continuing to work with the Administration and Congress to increase college access and success for students who need help the most.”

# # # #

Legendary Andre Crouch..Rest in Peace…

080612-music-topic-andrae-crouchVia Highland Desert Inland Valley News
Andraé Crouch, a gospel musician who bridged the worlds of church and mainstream music for more than 50 years, died Thursday afternoon. The 72-year-old singer, songwriter and choir director had been hospitalized since Saturday at Northridge Hospital Medical Center in the Los Angeles area after suffering a heart attack.

Crouch, sometimes called “the father of modern gospel music,” led the choirs that sang on such hits as Michael Jackson’s Man in the Mirror and Madonna’s Like a Prayer. As a songwriter, he wrote several gospel favorites, most notably The Blood Will Never Lose Its Power, My Tribute (To God Be the Glory) and Soon and Very Soon, a song sung at Jackson’s public memorial service.

A San Francisco native who grew up in the Church of God in Christ, Crouch wrote his first gospel tune at age 14. By 1960, he had formed the Church of God in Christ Singers, a group that featured Billy Preston on keyboards.

He started another group, Andraé Crouch & the Disciples, in 1965, eventually signing to a contemporary Christian label, Light Records. Crouch brought a contemporary pop and R&B melodic sensibility to gospel, making him uniquely suited to appeal to both black and white audiences during the early days of the countercultural “Jesus movement” and also bringing him attention beyond the church.

Elvis Presley recorded Crouch’s I’ve Got Confidence for his 1972 gospel album He Touched Me, and Paul Simon recorded his Jesus Is the Answer on 1974’s Paul Simon in Concert: Live Rhymin’. Crouch also became the go-to vocal arranger for Los Angeles recording sessions that needed a gospel sound, working not only with Jackson and Madonna but also Elton John, Quincy Jones, The Commodores, Diana Ross and Ringo Starr.

Crouch’s gospel albums often featured guests from the R&B and jazz worlds, including Stevie Wonder, El DeBarge, Wilton Felder and Earth, Wind & Fire’s Philip Bailey. Chaka Khan, Sheila E. and vocal group Take 6 appeared on his most recent album, 2011’s The Journey.

His recordings brought him seven Grammys, and Crouch also received an Academy Award nomination for his arranging work on the 1985 film The Color Purple.

Throughout his life, Crouch struggled with dyslexia, sometimes memorizing words by the shapes of their combination of letters. He often drew simple pictures to help him comprehend words and write songs.

Crouch’s sister, Sandra Crouch, served as his spokeswoman, and the siblings were pastors at the New Christ Memorial Church in San Fernando, Calif., carrying on a work begun by their parents.

Crouch survived multiple bouts with cancer and also suffered from diabetes. In early December, Crouch was hospitalized with pneumonia and congestive heart failure, forcing the cancelation of his Let the Church Say Amen Celebration tour, which had been scheduled to begin Dec. 6 in Philadelphia. He was re-admitted to the hospital Saturday with what his sister characterized in a statement as “serious health complications.”

“Nothing From Nothing Leaves… Nothing!”

Lou Coleman

Lou Coleman

By Lou Coleman

Albert Einstein said, “Insanity is doing the same things over and over again and expecting different results.” Tony Robbins said, “If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got!”  It is insane to do the same thing over and over again knowing it has never worked out well before, but thinking maybe this time will be different…  Like I said, “Nothing for Nothing Leaves… Nothing!” Jesus said, “If new wine is put into old wineskins, then the new wine will burst the wineskin, and both will be lost.” Follow me I’m going somewhere with this.  The reason the old bag could not contain the new wine was that it had already held wine, and had already been stretched as far as it was going to be stretched. It had become dry and cracked and inflexible. It simply could not withstand going through that expansion and fermentation all over again! Jesus said that instead, anyone making wine would see to it that it was poured into a new, fresh wineskin… In other words, “…forget the former things… God is always doing something NEW! His works of grace are always NEW and FRESH!

You know it is so easy as a Christian to get into a rut; to always sing the same songs, always read the same Bible verses, always associate with the same people, and always do the same things – never being challenged by Christ to venture out into the unknown to experience the untold blessings God has reserved for us. We hear about the riches in glory in Christ Jesus but we never really experience them because we are afraid to take a step in a direction we’ve never been before. But to change the results you have to change the path. Different results require different action. If you are going to receive the answer God has for you, you are going to have to do what he says, when he says it and where he says to do it.  You see, in your relationship with God success follows obedience, even when what God is asking you do to seem ridiculous to you. Let me remind you that you are not smarter than God. You can’t keep doing the same things and expect different results. You can’t rebel against God, go against what he is telling you, and expect success. You can’t do all the wrong things and expect good things to happen. It doesn’t happen that way. Success comes as you are willing to listen to Jesus and do what he says. This involves humility. The disciples were professional fishermen. They knew all about fishing, so they had to be humble enough to do what Jesus said rather than trusting what they had personally learned about fishing. If you are going to fish, you have to put down your net where the fish are. I told you I was going somewhere with this.

If we seek first God’s Kingdom, his rule and his values, then our current crises fall into perspective. Whenever you want to see a different result, a positive change, you have to do something different from whatever you are currently doing. God’s indwelling grace is active. It leads you and influences you. It brings change to you and within you. When I experience difficulties in my life and in the world around me and the questions I ask leave me empty handed, I find there is always one question that jolts me back to reality similar to the one Jesus ask Peter in Matthew 16:13-20: Who do you say that I am? And Peter responds: You are the Messiah, the Son of the Living God. And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah.” Bottom line: Jesus is God. God is at work. God has not abandoned his people. God has done what God had promised. God is with us! What we have to remember is that God has the blueprint for our whole life already… All we have to do is just fit in with His plans for our lives. There are only two choices in life. Having God to order our steps in His will, or ordering our own steps by our own will.  And we all know what Proverbs 14:12 and 16:25 tells us, “There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the ends thereof are the ways of death….. “Nothing for Nothing Leaves… Nothing!”

Now the Bible talks about divine direction in the Scriptures. And the declaration of Scripture is that God cares about each of us and wants to direct our lives. Our responsibility by God’s own direction is to entrust our way to Him for His direction and leading. Only the eternal God who is the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End, has the infinite wisdom and power, love and mercy needed to direct the affairs of man’s life. We need to understand that God’s leading is always right. And when you allow the Lord to lead you and guide you there will be peace. There will be power. There will be victory. There will be joy. When you allow the Lord to order your steps, lead you and guide you, you will have something to shout about, because when the Lord order your steps, you will be blessed going in and blessed coming out. You will be blessed in the city and blessed in the field. When you allow the Lord to order yours steps, you will be the head and not the tail, you will be above and not beneath. Why would we want it any other way? I tell you, “Nothing from Nothing Leaves… Nothing!”