Thursday, March 28, 2013

Jesus Pictures Creep Me Out

First of all, I have had several friends forward me a link baiting me to post on something specific, and I can resist no more. There has been a new book released based on the miniseries "The Bible", and it isn't THE Bible. So, a show based on a book has written a book based on the show that is already based on a book. Pretend for half a second that we aren't talking about the holy word of God here. Say you love the show "Sherlock" and you would really like to read more about the main character. Do you hope someone writes a book series based on the show, or do you maybe pick up The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes which is the original work? See, even when you take God out of the equation it is still completely silly. They don't even credit the original work! The book cover actually says, "Based on the epic tv miniseries". When I said that the book was better than the movie, this is not the book I meant.

Now that is out of the way, on to my strange title. I'm not watching "The Bible" show. I didn't see The Passion movie either. There are a few reasons I could point to for excuses, but the truth is depictions of Jesus creep me out. It's not him. We don't know what he looked like. We have stereotypical images of what people kind of hope he looked like, but they are all based on some regular person's features. Then there is the voice problem. For the rest of my life when I read a Harry Potter book Dumbledore will sound like Michael Gambon. Frodo will always sound in my mind like Elijah Wood. It is just how our brains work. Isn't it bad enough that Moses sounds like Charlton Heston? When I'm reading my bible and I get to the red letters I don't want to be thinking about the Count of Monte Cristo. Maybe my brain attaches to these things worse than others, or maybe I'm just crazy for letting it bother me. Either way I don't think I'm likely to change my mind. When I stand in judgement before God one day my thoughts will not be, "I thought he'd sound more like Morgan Freeman."

Monday, March 25, 2013

I Don't Buy It

In case you haven't heard, the internet is blowing up with anger over Victoria's Secret's intent to market to middle school girls. You can read details here at The Black Sphere. The VS facebook page is overflowing with people declaring their intent to boycott. Many people are wondering why they would think this was an acceptable marketing plan. As the mom of a middle school girl, I can tell you exactly why they thought it was a good idea. Every time I see a girl walking into school with that PINK logo on their clothes, I know. There are parents who allow their middle school girls to shop at VS. I wish I could say it was just one naive parent who doesn't realize how much the word pink written on the back of pants says, but it's not. It is a whole group of people who would rather write their kids a blank check than sit down and have an honest talk about why the world tries to sexualize them. They don't want to have to put their foot down over a pair of yoga pants. Besides, they look cute in them, right? I have heard that rational way too many times. I actually snapped one day and replied, "Pedophiles think it's cute, too." I was not a popular mom that day. They didn't want to look at it from that point of view. As a parent, it is our job to consider that point first. This is why I'm not too concerned about VS and their marketing plans. My middle school girl isn't allowed to set foot in their store. She isn't allowed to wander around the mall unsupervised. She doesn't buy clothes without consulting me. I didn't make a rule about this. I set a pattern from the start, and she accepts that it is how our family works. Maybe she'll test these boundaries later, but she has made it through middle school without once pushing this limit.
The funny thing is, the world at large has been marketing VS to middle schoolers for sometime now. This new campaign doesn't actually change much. Parents like me will still not shop there. Girls with permissive parents will still turn a blind eye. If you really want to make a difference, start in your own home. Don't just stop shopping at places like this, cancel the catalogs, block the swimsuit editions, stop getting the magazines promoting this attitude. Talk to your kids about the real meaning of words like "sexy" and "provocative", and why they should never, ever apply to children. We can not control what the rest of the world promotes, but we can control what we let into our homes.

Friday, March 22, 2013

I hope I get lice! ?

I was in the grocery store today, and a Passover display caught my eye.  I stopped to look at the seder plates and different food items they had there. Then, I noticed a few things marked for entertaining children. I won't go so far as to call them toys.

If this had not been $11 someone would have found it in their stocking this year, probably my brother. I have to hand it to them, at least they are trying to make the real meaning of Passover fun... interesting... um, on a child's level? What do we have at Easter? Chocolate bunnies. That has absolutely nothing to do with resurrection. Then I saw this.

"But Mom, Sarah got to be locust last year. I want to be the locus. Why am I always the first born? I don't like playing dead. Can I just be boils?"
Who thought of this? A better question might be why do I want to go back and buy it? It gets funnier the more I look at it.
This leads well into a funny conversation I had with JD the other day. He noticed an advertisement for The Bible miniseries. He asked if I had been watching it. I told him no. I haven't taken the time to research who made it, what their take on things is, etc. Then he says, "They probably added a bunch of violence to keep people interested." I laughed, and explained that they's be hard pressed to get half of the violence in the Bible past censors. I don't often think about it, but the Bible is an incredibly violent book. Plagues, wars, deaths, beheadings  and lets not forget crucifixion. It is not for the weak of heart. I don't think JD had ever stopped to think about it that way.
Passover starts next Monday. We will be taking time out as a family to go over the history behind Passover and remind the kids and ourselves of the violence we all escaped thanks to the blood of Christ.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Why Don't We Share

This morning at church our pastor shared his personal testimony. I don't think I have ever heard a pastor tell the story of his own life in full like that. It struck me how intensely personal so much of it was. I, and all the others in the service, really know who he is now on a much deeper level than before. That is a might big wall to tear down before another person, let alone a few hundred. It left an emotional impact on me. I wanted to hear more, and it also clarified something about myself that I've sort of struggled with.
Have you ever had someone come up to you and say something like, "Do you know Jesus?" Did you cringe inside and smile and nod for fear of provoking an avalanche of crazy? I've always felt a little guilty that my first impulse is to run from people who approach me like that, but now I get it. They have asked me something incredibly personal while giving me nothing personal of their own. God is personal. How can you share about Him without first being personal yourself?
I am a reasonably introverted person. Although I am very open in my blog and on Facebook, I very rarely show that same level of openness in person. I've always kind of wondered why I have trouble witnessing to people in person. I've shared here before and through other sites, but when it comes to outright speaking to people I freeze up. I think it is because I am just not naturally wired to be that personal with people I don't know. On the other hand, sharing online has enabled me to make connections that wouldn't have happened otherwise.
I realized that it is actually very important that we not only share our testimony with people we fear are lost, but it is also important to share with other believers because it forms a bond, a love, and a kinship. Typically when you get a new member of your family you don't have to ask how they got there. They marry in, are born in, or are otherwise brought in with some form of fan fair. It is different when we enter into the family of God. We all got here in a different way, at a different age, and for different reasons.
I guess the main thing I'm saying is that if I haven't personally shared the most important part of my life with you, I'm sorry. I'd like to. Ask me any time. If you do have questions about life, death, eternity, or God in general, I'm more than happy to talk with you. If I can't answer your question, I'll find someone who can. If you just want me to pray for you, I can do that, too. Just because I don't stop you and ask "Do you know Jesus?" doesn't mean I don't want to know and share.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Responsible Parenting

Ever since Nix turn 13 I've been slowly going through all of the "Oh, you have to see this movie" list with her. It has been really fun to watch some of these movies with her for the first time. I love introducing the next generation to beloved classics such as Back to the Future, Buckaroo Bonzai, and Drop Dead Gorgeous. Maybe "beloved classic" is an overstatement on a couple of those, but definitely important to properly warping your child's sense of humor.
Speaking of warping your children, the topic of James Bond came up the other day. I don't think I'm ready just yet to start Nix on those, but when she does she will start with Sean Connery. Starting with any other Bond would be like watching Star Wars Episode 1 before you've seen 4, 5, & 6. You just can't do it that way and really appreciate the series. Just imagine if your first Bond had been Timothy Dalton, and how that would have changed your whole perception of the franchise. I can not do that to her.
One thing I am debating has to do with Keanu Reeves. No matter what that man does for the rest of his life I will always first see him as Ted Theodore Logan. I am okay with that, mainly because I am not really much of a fan of his in general, but do I inflict that same curse on my child? Do I show her Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure before Speed, before The Matrix, before Point Break? Do I want my daughter to grow up where Keanu is Neo instead of Ted? After a little research I realized that Bill & Ted is the only one of those that isn't rated R, so that betters the odds that my daughter will first learn to "be excellent to each other" before she decides if she wants the red or blue pill.

Since I am on the topic of watching movies from our youth, I need to put out a little warning. You might want to rewatch a movie before you show it to your kid. It turns out that most of my favorite movies from my teen years had been edited heavily when I first saw them. A few to watch out for are The Karate Kid (original), Ferris Bueller's Day Off (yikes!), Stand By Me (no wonder my parents didn't let me see it), and Gremlins. I was kind of hoping to show Nix the Die Hard and Lethal Weapon movies, but I don't think I am old enough to watch those unedited yet. I'm starting to think Mel Gibson's backside was in every 80's movie, even the ones he wasn't in.
What are the movies you can't wait to show your kids? I may need to expand our list. After I show her Goonies, I think I've run through all the good ones.

Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Word Extraction Request

Today people have been asked to "spread the word to end the word". Now, usually I am a big proponent of increasing one's vocabulary, however there are a few words that really need to go the way of sagittipotent. The word we are requesting be expunged is "Retarded" and all variations thereof. It doesn't matter if you are using it about yourself, in a medically correct manor, or just out of habit. You need to let it go. For too long it has been used as an offensive term to the point that it can not longer be used without being wrong. Please don't act like this is an odd request, or even something new. There are a lot of words that in the past were used to describe one thing and turned into swear words. Just to name a few, there is the other word for donkeys, female dogs, and the way British people request to borrow a cigarette will get you punched in most biker bars in the U.S. Don't even get me started on the hideous "N" word. So, why is this word any different? It is mean, and not just to the person you are hurling it upon. It is cutting to anyone around you whose lives have been touched by some form of disability. If you attempted to turn other medical issues into an insult, you'd be flogged. Can you imagine someone saying, "You are just a chemo brained looser!"? What kind of jerk would say something like that? Well, in reality saying, "Sometimes I am so retarded" is not any different than saying "Sometimes I am so diabetic" when what you really mean is that you haven't eaten in a while and have gotten kind of irritable. The only difference in those statements is that one is something you hear far too often and the other seems insensitive.  Guess what? They are both insensitive! There are a hundred other ways to say what you mean. There are thousands of words you could use instead that are not degrading to others. Pick one.
If you need more convincing, here is a link to what my friend Tiffany had to say about it.
End the Word Day
She is one of the hardest to offend people I have met. So, if she says it is offensive, it must be bad. :)

* In case you were wondering, "sagittipotent" means someone who is a good archer, and the word is not recognized by spell check. Wouldn't it be nice if our generation could make "retarded" unrecognized by spell check?