Saturday, December 13, 2014

Upside Down World

Growing up, I could have been classified with what most people call sheltered. I went to a Christian school, attended a church where my dad was on staff, and spent every waking moment with family. Meals were had together, prayers were prayed together, and for a small time, we all watched tv together in the living room. With a family of seven, compromise was learned early on. We were even so close in age that many camps, disciple nows, and other youth retreats were spent with siblings.

When I was 14, I remember one trip that our youth took to go canoeing. I was so enthralled with the example set by my older brother. Back then, my world was a Christian world. I didn't feel separated. Jesus was at my school, in my classes, in all the homes of friends, and constantly in the conversations at our home. So many things happened, good or bad, and I was surrounded by people who could and would put out God's hand in all of it.

Junior year of high school I moved to a public school. I was so scared, but soon, I found a group of Christians. Girls, who like me, wore Christian shirts and carried around their Bibles for quiet times in class.

I never once had to think how God would fit into my world. There was always room in my bag for my Bible, space on my wall for a verse, and a word of wisdom from my mama. Jesus lived all around me and I never questioned it. Because it was all I knew.

However, I fear, times are changing. There are more and more cases of Christianity being removed from places. More stories of Christians getting the short end of the stick because of religious freedom. In a world of political correctness, Jesus has all but become a bad word.

AND WE LET IT HAPPEN. This once Christian nation is slowly becoming a nation full of people scared to speak up. So often we find ourselves bending over backwards to keep the peace instead of standing up for what we know is right. Or blindly giving into things, only to realize afterwards it wasn't what we expected.

We've bought into so many lies that we believe we have to have two separate worlds. We have Christian music, Christian schools, and Christian movies. There are Christian books and Christian stores. However, it really wasn't that long ago, that society demanded a different standard. Mainstream media was family friendly, moral, tasteful, and borderline in line with the Bible. There were scandalous things, but as a whole, Christian media and mainstream media were basically one in the same.

These days we as Christians need to band together. Support Christians who are in the mainstream media. Send a unified message that we demand more of that in this world. Spend our money at the box office supporting truly Christian films. Follow people on facebook who are Christians and speak up for us. I love sending them messages of support, whether they read them or not. Fight for the right to have Bibles in school. Encourage your children to do the same. Talk openly with your family about why this is important.

The time for passiveness is over. Jesus made people uncomfortable,  the disciples made people uncomfortable,  and the Bible makes us uncomfortable. If we are trying to make everyone around us comfortable,  are we following in His footsteps? Are we truly doing the will of the Lord? Or are we just trying to make it from this life to heaven without making people upset? Because if that is the case...maybe we're doing it all wrong!

I'd rather make people uncomfortable now, that for my grandchildren to be raised in a world where Jesus is a bad word. In a place where churches are there to make you feel good. To have them raised in a world that doesn't step on toes. If we get to that point, we have failed. It's time to stand up now before it gets too far gone. It's time to band together as Christians and demand to be heard!

Unless we stop standing up for our beliefs,  we will soon be living in a world turned completely upside down. We will lose the few Christian families on tv we watch, movies like Fireproof and Courageous won't be made, and the few Christian artists who have music in the mainstream will lose their footings.

I want my family to be raised in a world like I was. Where there was always room for Christ. Is there room for Christ in your world? Do you want Him in every aspect of your world? Or do you want Him in your home, but not in your movies? In certain tv shows, but not in your music? It's time to evaluate where we have space for Him. We set the example for the world. For our upside society to accept Him into it, we have to accept Him into every aspect of our world as well.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Right Kind of Role Model

I have a very unhealthy habit. I love following People Magazine and US Weekly on facebook. Honestly, almost everything I read or see has something that sends me over the edge. I'm constantly making mental notes of things to never do, people to not let my kids look up too, and the importance of keeping track of the kids in a world growing further and further from things I know to be important.

One of the most read and liked stories I saw was of a celebrity saying she was sad she didn't have any children, because she'd love to have a girl to look up to Beyonce. She is after all the greatest role model for young girls today.

If that doesn't turn your stomach, just read some of her lyrics. Look up a video or two. Watch a performance from an award show. She is the opposite of what I want empowered to look like.

Just when I thought the world was off its rocker and it was impossible to find someone worth looking up to, something amazing happened. Dancing with the Stars announced Sadie Robertson would be on their new season! I had been a fan of Duck Dynasty back when all the Duck Commanders had were hunting videos. Then their show just took me by surprise. Oh how this family touched me every episode by praying in the name of Jesus. They were real, funny, and most importantly shone with the light of Christ.

When I came across the I Am Second video with the Robertsons I cried like a baby. I believe whole heartedly to talk about past mistakes in a way that doesn't glorifying it. Of crediting Christ with the transformation and building from the ashes. What an example they set! It was heart breaking and wonderful to be able to see how the Almighty changed their lives and are changing others too.

From the first time Sadie stepped on the dance floor I just knew God was completely in control. Yes, I selfishly wanted her to win because, Louisiana Y'all. But after a few weeks, I could see the devil trying to get this amazing testimony off of tv. Every time she was in the bottom two and pulled through, I thought, God has something to show through her. And the final show that was it. To hear the judges talk about her light and her personality really just made my heart sing like I was watching a loved one be praised.

Growing up as a Christian I constantly heard to live life so others would know there was something different. That they would ask what this light was they could see. To be so transparent that the only thing that comes through is the love of Christ. Well on this season of Dancing with the Stars I saw that happen. I saw what can happen when you allow the Lord to work in everything you do.

Every time I see the Robertsons on tv, or read an interview by Kirk Cameron, or see how precious the Duggar's speak to each other, I see there is still good. There are people worth looking up to. I believe as Christians we should rally around these people. Lift them up daily in prayer, since they show the whole world what we stand for. Keep in mind they are human like us and will err but the great thing is, when they do, we can see how the Lord moves in it.

I am so overwhelmingly proud of Sadie. If I taught youth, I would make sure every young girl I spoke to knew how rare and amazing it is to be a girl like her. That modestly and a soft word is better than anything. It's not old fashioned or out of date to want to be a Proverbs 31 woman. As a young mom and wife, I want everyone to see the importance of this. If every Christian lived so transparently and taught their children to follow God, how powerful would we be? We would be a Christian nation once again, unstoppable!

The Robertson women are just one example of role models we need. But they are a great one!  Hopefully, together, we can support these Christian families and change the way things are going in a world turned upside down! On a side note, the only bad thing I can say about the Robertson women, is that I'm not one, but I won't hold that against them!