MIND THE GAP

Take a trip on the London Tube, the underground rail system, and one phrase will be etched in your brain: “MIND THE GAP.” The voice kindly but firmly warns again and again as the doors of the rail cars open and close, reminding you repeatedly to “MIND THE GAP.” I’m certain it’s because the engineers know that “the gap” is where the danger lies. It’s where accidents happen, and it’s where people get hurt. It’s not a large space. At most stations, it appears to be less than a couple of inches. The gap is certainly not large enough to require a leap. It’s not a wide gulf that appears hazardous at all. It is simply a small space where movement meets non-movement, and it is very perilous indeed. The loud voice of warning drones on day after day, until it’s part of the roar of the background. You stop noticing it. The first few times you ride the train the voice almost startles you. On our trip, we were with friends, and the on first day of our sightseeing the phrase became the standing joke. We laughed and called out to each other to “mind the gap” everywhere we went. But, after a day or two, it stopped striking our interest. We were pros at riding the Tube and the voice lost its power. We knew where we were going and how to get there. We hopped on and off the train cars like locals with no real thought to that small space.

When you think about it, the space, the gap, really isn’t too big of a problem until you add the movement. I think this is the problem Amos was trying to address when he asked the question, “Can two walk together, except they be agreed?” (Amos 3:3). In order for there to be real success among those who are working together, they have to be walking together.

My daughter reminded me of the Dr. Seuss tale of the Zax. The North-Going Zax and the South-Going Zax met in the middle and neither would relinquish his place, and they were left standing face to face in their own self-righteous position. Dr. Seuss says, “Of course the world didn’t stand still.  The world grew. In a couple of years, the new highway came through and they built it right over those two stubborn Zax and left them there, standing un-budged in their tracks.” I don’t believe we are in a generation who wants revival or growth to pass us by because of stubbornness. I think the goal of revival is pretty universal. No one wants to be stuck in the past. We aren’t Zax standing nose to nose paralyzed by our own obstinance. We all want to see explosive Endtime revival, and we are working hard to get there, moving forward with our hands to the plow.

 The goal isn’t the problem. The issue seems to be how we’re moving toward it. We’ve been walking together and working together, but we must ask: is the gap between us widening? Are we really still in agreement on the issues that matter? Do we want our children raised the same way? Do we have the same values? Are we defining the words in the same way? Have we checked lately to make sure we are still walking side by side? Are we minding the gap?

We can sit and talk, make plans and make agreements, but when things start moving… this is when we must “mind the gap.” No doubt our culture, our technology, and the political dynamics that surround our world are all moving and changing faster than we can wrap our minds around it. And… there is a gap. There’s always a gap. Remember, it’s the inevitable divide between movement and non-movement that is where people get injured, where the danger lies. We are all susceptible to deception, and the enemy would like nothing better than to lead our generation astray, to separate us from one another, and keep us moving, but not really together.

We have to ask ourselves the question, “If two are to walk together, how wide can the gap get before they are no longer together at all?” How much movement away from absolutism, away from the call to righteousness, away from holiness will polarize us from one another? 
The truth is that even the difference of even one degree on a compass will alter one’s destination – so in that sense the distance between us doesn’t have to be very big to cause big problems. The gap may not be a chasm, but God forbid we disregard its peril and allow ourselves to be shaken and fall away from the truths God has revealed to us (2 Thessalonians 2:1-3).

I fear that our generation is facing a two-fold crisis. There is a widening gap and too many have stopped worrying about it. Amos passionately reminded Israel,  “Shall a trumpet be blown in the city, and the people not be afraid? (Amos 3:6). The alarm has been sounded, but can we still hear it? Have we grown so accustomed to the warnings that they do us little good? Is it all just background noise, chatter, and murmuring? Or, is it a trumpet sounding to remind us, “MIND THE GAP!”

Mind the Gap jpeg

Sure Mom…I Know Slender Man

IMG_2601

Sure Mom… I Know Slender Man

I write with heavy heart as a fellow parent. The enemy is so clever, and it can be easy to miss the little distractions he throws at our families and children. I think the discussion has to begin with two central questions. Concerning our children, we must ask, “What happens when the lines between fantasy and reality become indistinguishable?” And concerning our parenting, we must ask, “Has complacency yielded to complicity?”

The gruesome but true story is this. Last May, three 12-year old girls in Wisconsin packed up their American Girl dolls for a sleepover.  They were good friends, in and out of each other’s homes, and attended school together. Yet, two of the girls had an evil plan to attack the other girl. Why? What causes two seemingly innocent girls to decide to pick up a knife and stab their friend a total of 19 times? Their plan was to impress Slender Man – an Internet-driven fantasy character who is extremely popular among the preteen age group. The two attackers had become obsessed with Slender Man and wanted to serve as his proxies, to earn his favor. Miraculously, the victim lived. But their intent and desire was to kill her as a sacrifice to their Internet idol.

John Kass wrote the following for The Chicago Tribune (chicagotribune.com) in response to the Slender Man stabbing. “It is a culture that has fallen in love with magic and fantasy. It is a culture that takes fantasy symbols of evil — the vampire, the witch — and transforms them into heroes of great virtue. It is a culture where dark magic is celebrated, but religion is considered bothersome.” Kass asks his readers to consider the difference between the classic fantasy literature of the past and what is offered today. This genre in historical literature was written to show contrast between light and darkness. “[It was] written back when evil sought your soul. Now evil wants to be your friend, marry you and hang out on ‘Twilight.’” And, for the young girls in Wisconsin, evil wanted them to do its bidding.

Slender Man is the modern, electronic version of the Boogie Man, a faceless phenom with tentacle-like appendages that abducts children after he has lured them into the woods. He is a meme, created as the result of a paranormal Website’s forum. He is now a cultural marvel that has stories, supposed sightings and urban legends spreading like wildfire through various media. He is found on Facebook, Instagram, horror blogs, chat rooms and in video games. A simple app search on an IPhone brings up nearly 400 Slender Man-related games/apps, many of them free for download. There is even a modification for the uber-popular videogame series Minecraft. While Minecraft itself can be played without accessing the Slender Man mod, kids will still have access to Minecraft’s take on the Slender Man character called Endermen. These are creepy block figures, with long arms designed to look like Slender Man and they can be provoked into turning hostile. Minecraft itself has attracted 33 million players in just four years (pcpro.co.uk). These players have wracked up more than 1 billion hours, the equivalent of over 114,000 years, of play time on the Xbox 360 edition alone (gamespot.com).

There is truly a flood of this type of content, and its grip upon the minds of our young people is frightening. As Christian parents we are forced into the task of trying to keep up with the latest devices the enemy chooses to wield against our children. It is daunting. Is there a balance between isolation and protection? We don’t want to expose our children to the junk of this world, but we can’t have them so insulated that they can’t recognize the tools of the enemy or defend themselves against them either.

It is a battle. But perhaps too many of us are just overwhelmed. It means learning new technology, new language, a whole new culture. And so, we slap on a badge of naïveté and throw up our hands. But is being naïve really all that noble? Or is it merely an excuse to keep our heads in the sand and avoid the reality of what it means to raise children in a culture that is obsessed with violence, sexuality, and death? This is new territory. Never before have children had such unfiltered, unlimited access to pornographic and violent material. Naïve parenting is not going to cut it. Either we educate our children or the enemy will.

So, I asked him, “Son, do you know Slender Man?” My son, the seven year old with wide, innocent eyes, the one who goes to church at least three times a week, the one who attends an Apostolic Christian school, the one who we monitor what he sees and with what he plays, the Bible Quizzer. I asked him, “Do you know Slender Man?” I’m not sure I was prepared for the response. “Sure Mom…I know Slender Man! The guys play that on the playground.” These things are filtering through. The enemy has his foot in the door. Our door!

Should we really be surprised? Parents provide their children access to all types of explicit content, hours of movies, video games, and fantasy books, yet expect that the same children, who possibly still believe in the Tooth Fairy and Santa Claus, will be able to discern the blurred lines between fantasy and reality when it comes to evil. Children whose brains are not yet fully formed, whose thought processes are still developing, are exposed to violence and filth, and then are expected to put it aside, and to understand that it’s all just a game, just a story. But, for some, it’s all they know, there is no distinction. No doubt in Wisconsin, the darkness consumed those girls’ hearts and minds until the lines were no longer distinguishable.

In his article, Kass challenges parents with these words: “All living things take on the characteristics of their environment. Plants soak up nutrients or poisons, as do animals. Young humans do, too.” We must pray together that the environment of our homes is filled with the Holy Spirit. It is our only hope against the enemy who seeks to steal the innocence and destroy the joy and peace of our children. But it will not happen by coincidence or happenstance. We must saturate our homes and churches with prayer and deepen our spiritual commitment, lest our parental complacency yields to complicity.

Post #7 – If You Give a Kid a Casket…

If You Give A Kid A Casket
By: Jaye M. Rodenbush

Christian parents treating their young girls to McDonalds may want to take note. The toys in the “Happy Meal” box are from a popular Mattel doll franchise called, “Monster High” and include a casket shaped purse, a fortune-telling skull, vampire and bone stickers and more. The franchise has branched into books, movies, video games, TV series, clothing and toys. Monster High glorifies a culture of death. The school lockers on the TV show and in the toy sets are shaped like caskets. The characters are vampires, zombies, and the undead. The website features a “Fearbook” section to help visitors keep track of their school plans and memories. The character’s clothing combined with exaggerated, provocative make-up contribute to the early sexualization of its target audience (girls age 6-10).

One would hope that McDonalds would take a bit more thought to their social responsibility. But, if corporations aren’t going to be responsible, what about us as parents?Can we possibly think these things do not matter and that all forms of entertainment are created equal?

Suicide is the third leading cause of death among teens. Cutting and body mutilation are a major societal problem. A study published in the journal Psychological Medicine documents that 46% of teens admit to purposely hurting themselves via cutting, burning their skin and biting themselves. Teens struggle as they deal with unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases. The Center for Disease Control says one in four girls between 14-19 has at least one STD. Yet the media that hold so much influence seem to ignore these issues and continue to push the envelope, offering dark and sexualized content to younger and younger audiences.

We must admit that these are not merely harmless forms of entertainment. A steady stream of this type of content is desensitizing today’s kids. It all leads somewhere. The question is where? And do we really want to go there? What really does happen when we start giving our kids caskets as toys?

IF YOU GIVE A KID A CASKET

If you give a kid a casket, she’s probably going to play around with idea of death. 
 And, she’ll need a new identity to go with it.
She just might ask you for some new music, 
filled with violence and the language of despair.

And when you buy her the latest CD she’ll probably ask for some new clothes.
Her emerging personality and style will require provocative outfits that
 exploit her femininity and portray her as a sex object.

And when you buy her the clothes, she’ll obsess about her appearance

and compare herself to the Photoshopped images of models and rock stars.
She’ll probably want to hide herself behind a mask of make-up and tattoos.
It’s likely that she still won’t think she measures up.
She may feel ugly, unlovable, and unworthy.

You’ll try to break down the walls of insecurity and self-doubt,
but they will likely be mortared strong,
so strong in fact that she may not ask you for anything anymore.
She may isolate herself from her friends and her family.
The little girl, once full of life and laughter, smiles and giggles will disappear.
Quietly, yet defiantly she may mutilate her body.

Cut her skin open. Burn her flesh. Starve herself.
The lines of fantasy and reality will blur.
The beauty of her femininity will be distorted.
She’ll use sexual relationships to help her boost her self-con?idence,

First one, then another, then another, then another.
They in turn will use her.
The grief she’ll feel from her loss of innocence will be great.
She will ask for something to numb the pain.

She may find it’s easier to medicate herself.
Drugs and alcohol will rule her new life.
 Hopeless, needy, desperate she’ll romanticize death.

She will visualize herself free from the pain and torment of this life.
And chances are if she begins to glorify death,
she’s going to need a casket to go with it.

“For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life 
 through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:23).

Jaye M. Rodenbush
© 2014, All Rights Reserved

Post #6 – Will The Snow Queen Be Free?

WILL THE SNOW QUEEN BE FREE?

Disney’s newest feature release is entitled, “Frozen.” It is loosely based on the Hans Christian Anderson story, “The Snow Queen.” The movie has become a huge moneymaker and may likely be the highest grossing animated film for Disney. It has already made more than $800 million and it is STILL in theaters. Given the fact that parents will scoop up toys, video games, dolls, and other products branded for “Frozen,” and it will no doubt become a new Disney Broadway success this is definitely a billion dollar baby.

I haven’t seen the movie and really have tried to avoid recent blockbuster Disney films because they almost always have a message. I just haven’t wanted to subject myself or my kids to the indoctrination. As a company, it seems, anytime they can Disney pushes liberal ideology. The Disney TV Channel is getting edgier, and even recently featured the first set of gay parents on a sitcom. If the executives of Disney really hold these types of values, why would they waste an opportunity to incorporate them into their latest and greatest production that will have the largest audience? There has been a lot of chatter about whether the movie depicts a homosexual theme. Much has been written on the subject and you can decide for yourself. An article in Slant Magazine, a non-Christian, internet publication that reviews movies, TV, music and other entertainment gives an interesting take on this subject (http://www.slantmagazine.com/film/review/frozen-2013).

What stirred me so much about this film is the music. The music is powerful. A new cover of the Academy Award nominated theme song, “Let it Go,” has gone viral on the Internet. The One Voice Children’s Choir backs up extremely talented 11-year-old Lexi Walker as she gives a dynamic and alluring performance. However, you can’t ignore the lyrics.

The story leads to this defining moment, where the Snow Queen decides she can no longer hide the power that she has been “cursed” or “born” with. She runs to the mountaintop and declares that she is letting go of her past and she will be what she was born to be.

Couldn’t keep it in;
Heaven knows I’ve tried
Don’t let them in,
don’t let them see
Be the good girl you always have to be
Conceal, don’t feel,
don’t let them know
Well now they know

The first response might be, don’t we want our kids, our little girls to be what they want to be? Why would we want someone to conceal who she is? However, as Christians, we accept that God’s grace covers our fleshly desires and we are made Christ-like. We don’t “hide” ourselves, or our old nature, but the old us is now covered by His blood and this changes who we are completely. We desire different things; we want to be like Him.

It troubles me greatly that the song that millions of little girls will be singing for years to come has them declaring that they will no longer be the “good little girl.” They will be belting out for the world to know they are going to “let it go”. But you don’t let go of something without grabbing on to something else. So, this begs the question – what exactly are they letting go OF, and what will they grab on TO? The Snow Queen answers:

It’s time to see what I can do
To test the limits and break through
No right, no wrong, no rules for me,
I’m free!


So, according to her, letting go means you go to a place where there is no right or wrong and you grab on to freedom. You can do whatever you want and live how you want and in exchange you are free. Right? In the movie, as the chorus of the song repeats, the character’s appearance begins to change. She lets down her hair, she sheds her cape, her dress transforms to expose her breasts, a large slit up the front displays her legs, her body language changes and she begins walking very seductively. She then throws in a line stating that she has now “become one with the wind and the sky.” This is a clever way to introduce the false doctrine of Pantheism, simply described as spirituality based in nature (a common Disney theme also prevalent in “Pocahontas” and “The Lion King”).

Let it go, let it go
You’ll never see me cry
Here I stand
And here I’ll stay
Let the storm rage on

My power flurries through the air into the ground
My soul is spiraling in frozen fractals all around
And one thought crystallizes like an icy blast
I’m never going back, the past is in the past

Let it go, let it go
And I’ll rise like the break of dawn
Let it go, let it go
That perfect girl is gone
Here I stand
In the light of day
Let the storm rage on

The cold never bothered me anyway!

She boasts that her newly found power will keep her from the storm that rages. That she, like the dawn, will rise – “That perfect girl is gone…The cold never bothered me anyway!”

But, is that true? Are these girls really exempt from the consequences of their actions? Will the cold never get to them? Once they become who they say they want to be, once they shed all the rules, shed conventional morality, will they really be powerful? Will the Snow Queen be FREE?

Will our little girls be better off in a world that reduces them to mere sexual objects? Will they be better breaking all the rules? Does that really lead them to spiritual harmony? Do we truly believe that they can experiment with whatever they want and the chill of Satan’s grasp won’t affect them? Sin has consequences. We can’t send our daughters out unprotected to play in the snow unprotected and expect that it won’t bother them. Eventually, they will feel the sting of the frost.

I do believe we have to make room for our daughters to make mistakes. There is no sinless person. That’s not what Christianity is. Often times, I listen to girls who have talked themselves into believing that God doesn’t forgive, or more often they believe that the church won’t forgive them for their indiscretion or failing. We have to help them understand hiding our sin does not make us spiritual. True freedom comes when we allow God to forgive us. It comes from confessing our sin and finding a relationship with the Father, our advocate. Perfect is attainable. Not of ourselves. Not because we can will it or do enough “good” to make ourselves perfect, but because we are covered by His grace. Our faults, our failures – nothing is too hard for Him to forgive. Thankfully, that “perfect girl” can be restored. “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect” (Matthew 5:48).

Post #5 – Crying on Sunday

Crying On Sunday

The Grammy Awards were tonight. In recent years this awards show for music artists of all genres has become a shock-fest, with the music taking a back seat to political statements and celebrity publicity stunts.

This year’s show upped the ante by hosting, a controversial marriage ceremony wedged briefly within a music performance of one of the nominations for song of the year. The ceremony included both heterosexual and homosexual couples. One has to ask, what couple would want to reduce the most sacred moment of their lives together to less than 60 seconds – a mere pause between cursing music. The special day you’ve dreamt of your whole life, a muddled group ceremony with 30-some other couples, performed by rap star, Queen Latifah with Madonna stealing the spotlight at the end? But, that’s another issue.

The song title is “Same Love.” It has been called “a gay rights anthem,” and is certainly no exercise in diplomacy. This is definitely a bomb strategically placed by liberal activists who wish to legalize gay marriage. CBS, the network airing the Grammy’s, clearly declared their position in the battle against conservatives, Christians, and other religious factions or moralists who wish to preserve traditional marriage. The lyrics are by no means subtle. They bash “right-wing conservatives,” the Bible (an easier target than the Koran, I presume), and religion in general.

The song ends with the repeated lyric line, “Not crying on Sunday.” The lesbian singer, (joined by Madonna for the Grammy performance) declares, “I can’t change, even if I tried, even if I wanted, I can’t change.” Then evocatively echoes the last phrase, “Not crying on Sunday.” When asked about the line, the author Mary Lambert, stated that it came out of years of trying to reconcile being gay and being Christian. Sadly, she has battled mental illness, manic-depression and fought suicide. She credits this song for saving her life.

“…this was why I had never been able to kill myself through the years of my mental illness. I knew this is why I was still alive: This was the song that was so important, my God. I wanted to write a chorus that was poignant and honest; genuine. I really tried to not be gay at points in my life, but I was (and am) at a point where I refuse to apologize about my identity. I am not sorry about my gayness. I am not sorry I’m a Christian, either, though that’s far less persecuted than my gayness, which is ironically, instigated by the Christian community. “Not crying on Sundays” was a huge lyric for me to write. I cried and cried in church for a year, believing that I was going to Hell, trying to reconcile ‘the demons’. At some point, it became absurd. I will not apologize for love. And my God, the God that I believe to be true, would never condemn love like this.”

Today is Sunday. I went to church twice today. In both services I stood in the presence of the Lord, surrounded by friends and family, and tears rolled down my cheeks. The phrase – “Not crying on Sunday” – is where Ms. Lambert just misses the point. Yes. I went to church on Sunday. Yes I cried out to God. But it was not just an act of condemnation, but an earnest attempt to communicate my heart to my God.

“Hear my cry, O God; attend unto my prayer. From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I. For thou hast been a shelter for me, and a strong tower from the enemy” (Psalm 61:1-3).

If truly believe there is a God and that he hears the cry of my heart, why would I stop crying on Sunday? If Ms. Lambert also believes there is a God, why would she forfeit this opportunity to commune with Him? There is only one reason you give up in this way. There is only one reason you stop letting yourself cry on Sunday. The issue is sin. Crying out to God requires honesty, purity of heart. The penalty of sin is guilt. When we decide to stop crying on Sunday we have decided to ignore the sin problem. Ms. Lambert has convinced herself that crying is the problem, when in reality it is part of the solution.

Crying out, asking for help, pleading our case before the Almighty, repenting and turning from sin is the way we receive the great gift of God’s grace. We don’t get the luxury of changing God’s nature by saying what we think He will or will not condemn. He is sovereign. To believe in Him is to believe in His Word. He will not contradict himself. We don’t get the luxury to pick and choose which parts of His divine authority we accept and reject. We don’t get to decide among ourselves what defines sin and what doesn’t.  If we accept Him we accept His definitions and His authority over us and our thoughts and desires. When we sin against Him we must cry out. We must truly search ourselves that we stand before him with clean heart and clean hands.

“Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom. Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice. Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me. Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit” (Psalm 51:6-12).

The joy of walking with Christ comes from our repentance. It makes us free of the weight of sin and the consequences of separation from God. We cannot quit crying on Sunday because it is the very thing that gives us peace on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.  When we are honest before Him he is faithful to forgive us and we reap the benefits of a life lived within the boundaries of His Spirit. Great joy, great anointing, and great power to live an overcoming life are available to us through Christ. We cannot simply opt out of crying on Sunday.

“The eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous, and his ears are open unto their cry. The face of the Lord is against them that do evil, to cut off the remembrance of them from the earth. The righteous cry, and the Lord heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles. The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the Lord delivereth him out of them all. He keepeth all his bones: not one of them is broken (Psalm 34:15-20).

Post # 4 – Watch & Sniff

Watch & Sniff?

If the saying, “art imitates life” is holding true in reality television, we are in desperate trouble. If you browsed through a “People” magazine recently you just might have found an interesting accompaniment for viewing one of cable’s most popular shows entitled, “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo.” The show follows a family with an especially precocious little girl whose claim to fame was her participation in child beauty pageants. Honey Boo Boo as she is called was just six when the show first aired. Although, I do not have a television in my home and have not seen an episode of the show in its entirety, it is hard to avoid the barrage of influence that these types of shows have had. And, I have endured a few painful viewings of previews and highlights in researching this article. Most people will readily admit that reality TV represents some of the lowest forms of popular culture, but the advertisement that ran in several magazines, including “People” takes low-class to a new level. It was entitled, “Watch & Sniff” and included a page of fragrances that could be scratched at precise moments in the show so that you could better experience things like the family’s belching and flatulence.

Television programming from the 1950s and 60s has been criticized for its idealization of life, but you have to wonder, given the state of popular entertainment choices today, if that was really all that bad? So, America saw housewives who raised children in adorable little houses with white picket fences and immaculate lawns. So, children looked at mothers who had dinner on the table, perfectly pressed clothing and hair that seemed to never go out of place. What was wrong with a little idealism? The “Leave it to Beaver” and “I Love Lucy” era may have been aspirational, but was that so bad? Admittedly, patriarchal themes, sexism, racism, and other social injustices needed to be rooted out of early TV programming. But, can we truly say that we have advanced? Surely we could have evolved while making better compromises than allowing kids to grow up aspiring to be childhood beauty queens who lack all social graces, manners and for that matter, just general control of bodily functions.

Are we better off letting the “Roseanne Barr” model of femininity downgrade what is acceptable for our daughters? Is this truly a reflection of modern American life? Has the American woman become so weak that she no longer can dress herself, or take out her trash? Furthermore, are we insulted by nothing? Will we just swallow each rancid bite of filthy entertainment that is offered to us? What does it say about a culture that would purchase a scented guide to smell human excrement as amusement? At some point we must encourage our children to stop abasing themselves by falling prey to someone’s attempt to trap them into a cultural war that feeds on the undiscerning.

Neil Postman in his classic book on entertainment entitled, “Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business,” states that, “The television commercial is not at all about the character of products to be consumed. It is about the character of the consumers of products.” Do we have the character to turn off the programming that has been designed to manipulate our youth? Do we have the character to resist the advertising and the social pressures that glamorize lifestyles that are contrary to God’s word? Do we have the character to insist that our kids not adopt every trend, destructive habit or the bad manners that permeate pop culture? And, if it turns out that we don’t have the character, we must ask ourselves, “Where does it all lead?”

The lack of character, and a moral compass certainly lead this entrepreneur in an interesting direction. A recent article (Sept. 2013) in the United Kingdom’s “Daily Mail” describes how an American toy maker is making quite a fortune selling alternative toys to accompany certain TV series. The latest is a methamphetamine lab custom block set that looks just like Legos. The kit retailed for $250 and sold out very quickly. It was designed to replicate the props from the television series, “Breaking Bad” that chronicles a former science teacher who becomes a successful meth dealer.

When has looking down ever accomplished anything? Yet, continually society pushes and manipulates its youth to set their sights downward, into promiscuity, violence, filthy language, and lifestyles. When will we require that our children look up, aspire up, dream up? Don’t we want more for them, more from them? Will we heed the admonishment found in Philippians 4:8? “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”

Inevitably, it will be our choices that define us. We must decide if we will look up and begin the trek toward the good things of life — or will we decide to ease into the comfortable pace that comes when walking a downward slope.  Postman summarizes the great battle as he compares the writings of the great futurists George Orwell and Aldous Huxley.

“What Orwell feared were those who would ban books. What Huxley feared was that there would be no reason to ban a book, for there would be no one who wanted to read one. Orwell feared those who would deprive us of information. Huxley feared those who would give us so much that we would be reduced to passivity and egoism. Orwell feared that the truth would be concealed from us. Huxley feared the truth would be drowned in a sea of irrelevance. Orwell feared we would become a captive culture. Huxley feared we would become a trivial culture… As Huxley remarked in Brave New World Revisited, the civil libertarians and rationalists who are ever on the alert to oppose tyranny “failed to take into account man’s almost infinite appetite for distractions”. In 1984, Huxley added, people are controlled by inflicting pain. In Brave New World, they are controlled by inflicting pleasure. In short, Orwell feared that what we hate will ruin us. Huxley feared that what we love will ruin us.”

Advertisement Watch & Sniff Card
Advertisement Watch & Sniff Card

Breaking-Bad-LEGO-Meth-Lab-8 00250065-0000-0000-0000-000000000000_00000065-0820-0000-0000-000000000000_20121001155705_honeybooboofamilytmz Unknown-1

POST #3 – God is Able

Post #3 – God is Able

This is a preview of a work in progress. This is the first section of the
“God Is” Bible study series that I have been working on. The pages may seem out of order, but they are designed for easy front-and-back collating once printed. The idea is that it will serve as a personal study or one that can be used for small groups. It can easily be tucked into your Bible for prayer and study helps. Hope this will be a blessing to you. Let me know if you have any questions.

 

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GOD IS ABLE!!!