Monday, January 31, 2011

Monkey See Monkey Do

One of my traits that I'm not proud of is my temper.  I've always had it.  Most of the time I hide/control it very well...but every now and then- it explodes to the surface and when it does it's very ugly.  I also have a very good sense of humor, so more often than not, my temper manifests itself through that humor.

Just the other day, I was driving w/ my daughter and my niece in the car when a young man, driving recklessly, communicated to me using sign language.  I saw red!  Adrenaline poured into my veins and my heart rate went through the roof.  But I could see the girls playing and giggling in my rear view mirror.  I had a decision to make: Do I prove my manliness and show that punk who he's messing with or do I just let it go?  It was difficult to be honest.  I wanted to reach out and slap that kid.  In the end, I just blew him some kisses and clapped at him.  The girls laughed, and I realized how lame I could have looked.

I can't believe that I'm the only one who deals with anger.  And I know I'm not alone when it comes to dealing w/ anger and my kids.  I do not want to pass that along or allow myself to get so angry with my children that it damages my relationship with them.  Ephesians 4:26-27 says:

“In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold.

Here is a great article with some very practical ideas on dealing with anger.  ANGER  Use these ideas to show your kids how to deal with anger now, before it becomes a problem later in their life.

I stopped to think about what might have happened if I had allowed my anger to boil over at that kid.  I shudder to think about what my daughter would have seen in me that day.  Monkey see, monkey do parents.


Wednesday, January 26, 2011

What to do?

It's a difficult thing to walk the line between sheltering your student so much they rebel and allowing them to be exposed to so much they become desensitized to sin.  Where is that line for parents?  I'm not sure I can answer that.  What I can say is that what we allow our students to watch, listen to, and surf through has a direct impact on their relationship w/ Christ!


This article (click the link) is on one of TV's most popular teen shows right now.  It's referenced everywhere and you can buy or download music from the show.  There are Glee viewing parties all over the country.  So what to do?  Do we as parents, who are followers, allow our students to watch and use it as a launch pad into relevant discussions on our culture and scripture?  Or, do we make a stand and teach our students to discern what they spend their precious time on?

I honestly believe that both answers are right.  Life is messy and so are most of the answers in life.  I would encourage all you parents (no matter what you decide to do) to show your student/s how the words of Christ are relevant to this time and to this issue.  We can use Scripture to show how we as followers react to others who live or believe differently. 

I would also highly encourage you to actually read through Scripture together and individually.  If your student doesn't know where to start, start by downloading 31 Days With Jesus.  Here's the link:


Making sure that our students are anchored in the word of God is THE most important thing we can do as parents and will help in answering some of life's toughest questions.


Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Dear Parents

Hey moms/dads/guardians/chieftains- this is a great blog post on the relationship we want with you as parents of teens in our student ministry!  Please click on the link below, read and feel free to let me know what you think!


Monday, January 24, 2011



There is a new program on MTV called Skins.  It's a show based on a UK television program of the same name.  It revolves around a group of students who party, drink to excess, dabble in drug use, have sex with multiple partners, and lie to their naive parents all the while.  The program has a TV-MA rating and yet is clearly targeted at teens.  On the opening, night it drew 3.3 million viewers or a 3.4 rating.

The show is actually under fire right now for skirting child pornography laws.  In an upcoming episode, a 17 year old actor will be nude (from behind) on screen and the plot will center around a certain body part and male enhancement drugs.  All of this aimed at your 12 - 18 year old child.

It sickens and saddens me that this is on the air.  It sickens and saddens me that more people are upset that Jay Cutler ( Chicago Bears quarterback ) didn't play the whole game, than by this smut parading around as a T.V. show.  It sickens and saddens me that 3.3 million viewers watched this show and I wonder how many were students!?!

As a parent who is a follower of Christ, I am offended that this show tells my daughter that she is nothing more than a piece of meat to be used for pleasure.  I am offended that this show tells my son that he is nothing more than a penis and should look at young women as objects.  I am offended that this show tells my kids that it's ok to lie to me and pollute their bodies with all kinds of poisons.  I am offended that this show communicates that this is the way that teens live.

In a post-modern culture we must teach our children to discern right from wrong.  The only real way to do this, is to anchor God's word DEEP in their hearts.  We do this by reading it ourselves, and to them.  We must pray His word over them and live it out in our lives.

Psalm 1
 1God blesses those people who refuse evil advice and won't follow sinners or join in sneering at God.  2Instead, the Law of the LORD makes them happy, and they think about it day and night.3They are like trees growing beside a stream, trees that produce fruit in season and always have leaves. Those people succeed
in everything they do. 4That isn't true of those who are evil, because they are like straw blown by the wind.
5Sinners won't have an excuse on the day of judgment, and they won't have a place with the people of God.
6The LORD protects everyone who follows him, but the wicked follow a road that leads to ruin.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

We have started our new series "GREEN" in Crossfire (our mid-week service for middle & high school students).  It's an amazing journey that we have started.  It all begins with Jesus using a metaphor for our relationship with him.  A simple metaphor that has rocked my world.  It's found in John 15:1-5

 I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener.  He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.
   I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.

It's rocked my world because of Jesus overtones of simplicity.  How simple is it for a branch to receive it's nourishment- it's life from the Vine?  It's so simple that the branch does nothing other than just that- receive.  Because it receives all it needs from the Vine, it then grows fruit.  SO SIMPLE!

I have read and re-read these verses over the years and never completely understood what Jesus was saying to His audience and to me.  But something clicked this past year.  All the tumblers fell into place and I saw.  My job is to not "be" like Jesus- that's impossible.  My job, as a branch, is to do nothing more than to remain (abide/ stay close) in Him.  It is then that my life will change to reflect Him and His glory.

I blogged about this passage some time ago and it's effect on how I look at things, and will continue to blog and teach on it over the next month.  Our students will hear again and again that Christ desires for them to receive from Him everything, that there is nothing more satisfying in this world, than what He gives us.  These thoughts are not new or really even mine but have changed how I see Jesus, my relationship with Him, and how I teach about what it means to be a follower.