"Prose is architecture, not interior decoration, and the Baroque is over." -Ernest Hemingway

Sex Talk

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I’ve been starting to prepare for one of those “sex talks” with the teenage girls in our Youth Group. Now, I’ve talked to most of them individually or in pairs or something like that as it came up in conversation on the van ride home or when they get here early and stuff. However, this is the first time with this particular group that we’ve actually scheduled one, as a group (of girls, that is).

So we plan to watch Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants and use that as kind of a warm-up to it, even though the girls know it’s happening. They are good kids we have. They are all going into high school next year and a lot of their classmates are already experimenting. Yeah, you can say we waited a little too late, but I think it’s about the appropriate time for them. They talk to me pretty honestly, so I think we’re still in that window. But still, better late than never, huh?

So, does anyone have any advice or experience with this? We’ve done this with our older group of teens when they were younger, but honestly, they are a different group of kids. Different personalities and dynamics.

We’re doing this on May 2nd, so if you pray, I’d just ask that you keep us, the adults in your prayers, as well as the teens, that they’ll come ready to listen and talk and just have opens hearts to the message.

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The Rancher

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Apparently I came up with a fairly decent analogy tonight in our Women’s Bible study, so I thought I’d blog about it because it was a good Bible study.

We’ve been studying Galatians for the past few weeks and talking about freedom. Tonight we were looking at Galatians 3:28–4:11. We started off talking about the differences in taking something and receiving something. I think we all kind of felt like receiving something sounded better than taking something. Like, you receive a gift. Taking seemed more purposeful, like that you had control over getting whatever. Taking something is an action. Receiving something is more passive. You don’t have to do anything except be open to receiving it.

Anyway, at one point we started focusing on this portion here.

Let me show you the implications of this. As long as the heir is a minor, he has no advantage over the slave. Though legally he owns the entire inheritance, he is subject to tutors and administrators until whatever date the father has set for emancipation. That is the way it is with us: When we were minors, we were just like slaves ordered around by simple instructions (the tutors and administrators of this world), with no say in the conduct of our own lives. Galatians 4:1-3 (The Message)

So we were tasked with understanding what Paul was talking about when he talks about the children being heirs but also equal to the slaves, and just the entire section. It seemed a little hard to understand on the first read through. So, here was kind of my thoughts on it.

Let’s say a father has a son. This father owns a big ranch. While the son is still under the care and control of the father, the father gives him chores. Water and feed the animals, plant the seeds, till the ground, etc…all the things a rancher might to do take care of his ranch.

Once that son has received his inheritance (the ranch), he is free to do whatever he wants with the ranch. He can choose not to feed the animals or take care of the land. The ranch (or gift) is his regardless. However, if he does the things his father taught him, take care it, his ranch will flourish. It’s all a matter of what kind of ranch he wants to live on. It doesn’t mean it’s always going to flourish, or that if he doesn’t feed the animals one day that they will die. It just means that he can choose to do the things that will prosper his ranch in the long run, or he can choose not to do them. It’s still his ranch.

The comparison being that, the chore he had to do as a child were kind of like the laws of the Old Testament. Once Jesus came, and we accepted that gift of salvation, it’s ours…just as, once the son turned of age and received his inheritance, it was his. We can make our choices. The son didn’t keep his ranch by continuing those chores. He was free to make his own decisions, based upon the ranch he wanted to have,  just as we are free to make our own decisions. They may not be the same as our parents or other people, but they are still our choices to make. And hopefully, we will want to make the choices that flourish our lives and not leave them in ruins.

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Lights of Louisville

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I’ve been listening to this song non-stop for the past few days. The song is “Lights of Louisville” by The Muckrakers. The link is to their Myspace and the song is in their player. You should definitely check it out. As a side note, before I get into this post, you should also listen to “Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters.” It may be in the player too.

So, “Lights of Louisville.” Well, Louisville isn’t exactly my favorite place in KY, but the song is great. Something about a song about Kentucky always gets me, but check out this part of it.

I gotta get out. Wanna get out. Won’t you help me get out? Gotta get out.

And you lose yourself, find who you are.
And you fight to breath. It shouldn’t be so hard.
And you lose yourself, when you’re all alone.
Let the lights of Louisville carry you home. Let the lights of Louisville carry you home.

I just like it. Don’t we all have our own “lights of Louisville” that take us home? I’m not sure what mine is. Lately it’s been the lights of Nashville as I’m flying back home. Or maybe the 90-Bypass, depending on if I’m heading to Monticello or Granny’s. But you know, as someone who has been away from “home” for over four years now I find it increasingly easy to lose yourself. I don’t think its a bad thing though. I’m not going to speculate what this song is about, but the part “when you lose yourself, find you who are” is true for me. I think I had to let go of myself, and get lost, to really find who I out who I am. It’s hard sometimes being out here all alone (alone as in, away from family and people I grew up with), but I can safely say that without this part of my life, I wouldn’t have ever found myself, and probably not ever really appreciated home.

There is a pretty good sense of ease that comes over me when I’m home. It’s like almost a sense of relief and calmness. In fact, this isn’t a new thing. I had a college friend (Kelli Giorgio) who used to tell me when she’d go to Monticello with me on the weekends that I was so much calmer, relaxed and nicer when I was there. Like there was no pressure. Sure, family can be pressure, but it wasn’t pressure put on me. I think it’s just that unconditional acceptance and love that you get there.

Looking at the spiritual side of that whole “finding home,” I am thinking right now that’s what Heaven is gonna be like. Hanging out at Nana’s house, climbing the mountain, and eating Granny’s mac and tomato juice. That is life my friends.

Anyway, this was about a song. Listen to it and The Muckrakers. Rob is a baseball fan, so you gotta like him for that, even if he is a Reds fan.

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Bust A Move

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I’m officially old and one of “those” adults. I was driving the teens home from a late movie last night around 11:30pm. I have one kid who lives out in Marina, which takes about 7-8 minutes to get there and the kids always want me to take her first so that they get to be home later. It works for me usually that way I’m not sure in the vehicle with one child all the way out there (Child Safety rules and all).

We’re driving down Hwy 1 back from Marina, listening to their crazy music and they are playing a bunch of old school songs mixed with new stuff like “Take My Breath Away” (not the Jessica Simpson version) and then they pull out “Bust-A-Move” which was pretty hilarious (come on, you all know that you know it still).

She’s dressed in yellow, she says “Hello,
Come sit next to me you fine fellow”
You run over there without a second to loose
And what comes next, hey bust a move

If you want it baby you’ve got it (repeat)
Just bust a move

Well, other than the chorus, that’s the part I know. So I did that “thing.” You know, the thing that adults do to try and be cool, act goofy, sing, make the kids laugh at us because we’re old and trying too hard. So, here’s the deal. I started singing, being goofy. It wasn’t to try and be cool or make the kids laugh, I was just being myself. It wouldn’t have matter who was in the car with me for the most part, I would have sang to make fun of the song. But to a kid, I’m sure it came across as the other way.

At any rate the kids laughed, but I also got that same look I used to give my parents or other adults. You know the look. It’s the, “wow, you are weird and old, but we’re laughing because you are embarrassing yourself,” look.

Ah, the life of a youth worker.

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Youth Councils Video

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This is a little embarrassing…

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Okay, I’m going to admit something a little embarrassing. Embarrassing only because it’s not “cool” for a grown-up to be all up on this stuff, but oh well.

So I’ve been kind of following this Britney Spears stuff. I made the mistake of going to TMZ website one day and have been addicted since. But addicted in a bad way. Like, initially, it let to random rants of how there are no “real” journalist anymore and that someone, some media agency that matters, needs to recognize that and start putting ethics down. Stop paying tons of money for Britney Spears or Brad Pitt photos and maybe, just maybe people will leave them alone, at least more than they do now. Anyway, that’s a rant for another day. We’re talking about Britney here.

So, I’m all enthralled in what is going on. Not because I’m a fan but because it’s just so sad to me. Like, here is this girl, who we’ve all seen grow up, make some good choices, and some bad ones, who is crying out for help, and yet, for whatever reason, it’s not there. Sure, she probably doesn’t want it, but it’s almost like a wake-up call for our country. Here is someone who can have anything she wants, and the people close to her, that love here, still can’t get her the help she needs. It just emphasizes that it’s never easy in those situations…even if you are Britney Spears, or Britney’s family.

But alas, here’s what I wanted to share mostly. Tuesday night I was sitting here. Not doing anything in particular, and I started thinking about all this drama. I immediately check out to see what is going on at that particular hour in her life (cause TMZ has it all very documented) because I just feel this urge to. It wasn’t anything spectacular, at least for her. But afterwards I felt this immediate sense of urgency to pray for her. So I did. I felt a little weird praying for this celebrity. After all, who am I to her? But I did it anyway. I prayed for just a Godly intervention to get her the help she needs.

So anyway, apparently she was taken to the hospital again last night. Voluntarily from what I read. Not to say that it wasn’t coming, but it made me feel better at least. It made me feel like just maybe, my crazy sense of urgency to pray for this person may have made a difference. I’m sure I wasn’t the only one though.

Maybe there is something bigger here we don’t see. I mean, last week, when you read about the big “celebrity death”…you were probably thinking Britney, or Amy Winehouse, right? I know I certainly was. “Hollywood mourns Ledger’s death” didn’t quiet click with me first. My first thought was,”whoa, didn’t see that one coming.” Not to say people shouldn’t have. But I don’t know all that much about that one, since following this celebrity stuff is not something I normally do.

I just think instead of waiting on Britney to die and that “pre-written AP obit“, we should just be praying for her. Or, if you don’t pray, then sending happy thoughts her way. Seriously, this is re-motivated me for my rant on ethics in journalism.

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Christmas facts

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Here’s a good read in time for Christmas.

Strange and Plain Things Christmas 

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Pre-Recorded Salvation

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So, I don’t have time to write, but I was just reading the article below and found it to be a mix of disturbing, odd, interesting, and annoyed. But that is just me. Can’t argue that it’s not interesting though. What are your thoughts?

Pre-recorded Salvation??

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What’s wrong with me?

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I get so discouraged sometimes. I went out to a Sunday evening service at one of those “super churches” in our community. I didn’t end up staying because although when I went in, people were standing around the door within 5 feet or less of me, the entire time I was in there, no one spoke or acknowledged my presence. Now, I’m the first person to admit that I can’t just walk into a room and start up conversations with people. But seriously, out of the 20 people in the room, no one can say anything to me? I’ve had similar experiences at other churches here, usually larger churches since they are the only ones that seem to have a younger generation type service in the evenings. The other wasn’t quiet as bad. I actually like their services and their preacher, but of the several times I went over the course of several months, I can count exactly 1 conversation I had with anyone outside of “hi” during the welcome time. These places just aren’t very welcoming for anyone who has the slightest problem meeting people. Especially people who go in without knowing anyone else there.

The sad thing is that my main purpose for going is to meet people. I enjoy my morning church service. I wish I had a Bible study or something to go to with people my age, but I’d settle for other Christian friends, as I don’t really have a lot of them (most of my friends out here are not Christian).

It’s just frustrating, disappointing and discouraging. Maybe I expect too much. Maybe I’m used to my church jumping every time a new person walks through the door because one extra person really DOES make a difference when your church is small. Don’t get me wrong about the churches I’ve tried. I’ve seen some great things they do. I’m just saying that I think going into them, a bit outside of what everyone else is, or with someone else, when you’re not the outgoing person, is hard.

So, anyone got any ideas? I’m going crazy and am to the point of giving up.

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