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Monthly Archives: November 2009

All Abord the Fail BoatA friend of mine recently posted a comment on a Huffington Post article by Rachel Simmons. The article describes a heinous act at a homecoming dance where a 15 year old girl was gang raped by 10 or so guys while more than 20 others stood around watching, taping, texting and tweeting the event live. She writes,

Salon’s Broadsheet logged 276 hand-wringing words on Tuesday, wondering, “When did high school students become so unafraid, so violent?”

I commented on this statement, saying,

I’d say that high school students became so violent when adults started telling them that they were that way. Look at all the movies that glorify teenage sexuality. Hollywood and TV Land are basically telling students that if they’re not out partying it up and screwing all the girls in class, then they’re nerds and losers. Just look at shows like Beverly Hills 90210 for crying out loud. You can look farther back at shows like the original 90210 or Dawson’s Creek, or keep going back. We keep shouting at teens that they are sexual creatures and to revel in it while they are young!

What is wrong with us? The God of the ancient Hebrews used to continually warn his people to stay away from the worship of other gods, mentioning how these other gods demanded their children and how YHVH does not. We sacrifice our children to Mammon daily as we produce consumable media for them that glorifies their budding sexuality. The money trucks just keep on backing up to the doors of producers who lay aside their moral responsibility and produce whatever sells, maximizing profit on the most vulnerable prey. Parents continue to abandon their children for their jobs, hobbies and adventures and lay their children in the wake of such destructive media instead of engaging it, talking about it, TEACHING and FORMING their children.

Since when have we decided that raising our children is the job of educators? Child care providers? After school programs? Sunday school? Who are these people talking to our kids? Parents, WE HAVE TO STEP UP TO THE PLATE! WE are the loud speaker of morality in our children. WE are the primary influencer! WE show our children how life is to be lived and WE grab moments of life to impact them with skills to avoid such destruction as Simmons describes. Stop pawning our children off to third parties for the primary role. Don’t assume that teachers will truly teach our kids anything about real life. Question what they are learning. Get into their space. Show them you care and show them how to live not by lecture, but by example. Let’s lead our children for once, instead of letting NBC, CBS, ABC, HBO and Showtime lead our children. Let’s take the reigns out of the hands of our schools, out of the hands of Hollywood.

Let’s not forget that these are not adults, they are CHILDREN! TEEN != ADULT. They do not have the capacity to make decisions as we expect adults to do, LOOK AT THE EXAMPLES! We are still parents. We train them how to make decisions by lovingly speaking into life with them, by being involved with them, by training them.

If we stop telling our children that they are the pinnacle of sexual creation, they will stop acting like it. Be careful what you let your children take in. Be a parent, know your children. Pray to God that his grace keeps them within your influence.

pain

“Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds,  for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.  And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” –James, brother of Jesus

I’m leaving for work today as usual, but there’s a mental cloud over me. The cloud is thick, like a late fall fog when the frost from the evening is evaporating into a warming sky and you can’t see beyond your headlights. It’s mental claustrophobia. I’m not even thinking about what I’m doing, this route to work is so second nature. Get in, drive, get out. Same route, day after day. My thoughts stumbling around, reaching for the wall for some orientation.

I have this hiding place I’ve been running to when things get difficult for me. I’ve been running to it in various ways for years. It’s a very lonely place because Jesus doesn’t like to go there with me. He offers to go somewhere else each time, but I tell him that’s fine for him, but I want my spot. I feel good there. He knows that when I come back, I’ll need to talk with him and I’ll feel worse than when I left, so he pleads with me, but I usually ignore him.

For several weeks now, I’ve been ignoring my hiding place and following Jesus to his spot. It’s taken incredible strength and unrelenting faith to follow him. I feel worn out, stretched thin, “like… butter scraped over too much bread.” With each step, my hiding place looks more undesirable and yet more seductive. If it was a person with a phone, my minutes would be eaten up just with the voice mails and text messages sent to me. “Just one last time! Please?! I miss you! We used to have so much fun!! Remember how I used to make all your problems fade away when you were in my arms?! You can have that again!” I’ve turned off the phone and thrown it in a river in another state in another country that I never visit. Occasionally, I pass a phone shop… but I’m walking with friends who remind me how destructive my hiding place really is.

Either I never noticed how often I went there, or that hiding place is calling ever more strongly in so many other ways. I’ve gone through some things recently that have daily tested my decision, day after day, week after week, but the barrage this week has been stronger than ever. Daily I remind myself that Jesus is better. The way of Abba is more desirable and I claw my way forward through a tube too small for my body, littered with broken glass. Opposed on all sides.

Jesus seems very determined to not let me slip. Disciplining me each time I go somewhere he is not. Letting me experience the full pain of being where he is not, revealing the truth of being in darkness. He relentlessly brings me to places and situations where I have gone to my hiding place and He asks me to stay with him. It’s the most difficult fire I have experienced and it takes every wisp of faith to believe Jesus will not abandon me. Seems that this week, he turned the knob of pain to 11.

I will choose to remain in the fire, that I might become like gold. God help me. I walk in the shelter of your strength. Stay your hand, Abba. Keep my enemies occupied and prevent my darkness from overwhelming me. Let me see your faithfulness this week with my eyes. Refresh me, Abba!