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Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Why Do Some Girls Who Truly Love the Lord Dress Immodestly?

A long time ago, two teen brothers were talking to me about this subject. One of the young men said he thought girls who dressed immodestly did it on purpose. I disagreed. He said they knew what they were doing. I disagreed. He said they wouldn’t dress that way if they really loved God. I disagreed.

Why do beautiful, godly young women dress immodestly?

Just so we’re understanding each other, let me define modest and immodest dress.

Modest dress covers the body. It isn’t short, tight, or low-cut. Modest is not sexy or provocative. A woman wearing modest clothing looks respectable. The beholder is drawn to her smiling face.

Immodest dress may or may not cover the body. It is suggestive and may include slits, openings, off the shoulder, low neckline, or be short or tight. It attracts the beholder to the wearer’s body and away from the face.

So, why do precious girls who profess Christ wear short shorts, skirts above the knee, skimpy swim suits, let their tops fall off their shoulders, show off straps, and put on clothing that fits like shrink wrap? I believe it’s because of:
  • Ignorance—The woman genuinely doesn’t understand how her dress affects others. She doesn’t understand that the men and women who see her make judgments about her character by how she covers (or doesn’t cover) her body.
  • Peers—She dresses like her friends. She wants to be like them.
  • Parenting—Dad and Mom don’t insist on modest dress. They might even encourage her to show off her figure and skin. They might buy her immodest clothing.
  • Misunderstanding—She doesn’t understand the concept of mystery. A beautiful girl who consistently dresses modestly shows she has dignity. Anyone who knows her feels respect and awe. What you don’t show the world is special. Modesty understands this.

Here are a few real problem areas when it comes to dress:
  • Sports and exercise—Today, many girls wear sports bras with clingy pants to do these activities. Are they modest? No. Are they necessary? No. You can do a workout in a long crew neck T-shirt and looser pants. No problem at all. Choose modesty. (There is never, ever any need to wear short shorts.)
  • Weddings—I hear the excuse all the time, “I went to the bridal shop, and all they had were strapless dresses.” I did the same thing some years ago with my own daughter. One store’s sign bragged “1,500 dresses on site,” but they didn’t have one with sleeves. (They did offer an out-of-style bolero jacket.) We decided on Plan B: we called all the bridal shops in the city and found four that had dresses with sleeves. We visited all of them. We also went online. If you type in “modest bridal gowns,” you will find everything you can possibly imagine and more, many in a price range you can afford. These sites usually also have beautiful dresses for your bridesmaids.
  • Swimming and beachwear—Again, if you want to be modest, you can be. Search online for “modest swimwear.” There is no reason at all to be mostly naked on the beach!
  • Fashion—“This is really ‘in’ and all my friends are wearing it.” Okay, fine. You can choose to be a clone, or you can choose to be “in” and wear modest clothes. You can really look fabulous and be modest. It isn’t either-or. Take the challenge and look for beautiful, in-style, modest clothing. This year, midi-skirts and maxi-skirts are stylish. Find one, pair it with boots, a great jacket, plaid shirt, and a wonderful scarf.

So, you see, it’s all how you choose to dress, how you choose to live. How do you want to be perceived?
  • Do you want everyone to look at your body, or do you want to save it pure and holy unto God—and for your husband’s eyes only?
  • Do you want to show off your body or show off your dignity?
  • Do you want a little bit of mystery about you, or do you want everyone to know everything?
  • Can people who see you tell you’re a Christian? Or do you look like everyone else?
  • If you don’t know how dress impacts both men and other women, do some reading on this subject.*
  • What are you advertising through your dress? A sweet face? Your body? Christ?
I’m not talking about looking like you stepped off the set of Little House on the Prairie. I’m also not advocating looking like a sect that wears “one pattern fits all.” I am, though, concerned that some wonderful girls who love God with all their hearts are sending the wrong message—perhaps unknowingly—with their clothes.

Quite a few years ago, a young man was talking openly with my husband about some of the Christian girls he knew. How did he describe them? By how they dressed. (He later chose to date and marry a young woman who was consistently modest. He admired her character.)

I really understand girls who don’t dress modestly, yet they love God. In my youth, I wore some things that weren’t modest. I wasn’t aware that my walk wasn’t consistent with my talk . . . or my heart, which truly wanted to please God. I sincerely didn’t understand.

If you want to stand out for Christ, dress modestly. If you want to be refreshingly different and attract the right kind of attention, dress modestly. If you want to show you are a serious, respectable person, dress modestly. If you want to be accepted for your ideas, intellect, and personality, dress modestly. Most of all, if you want to represent the Lord Jesus Christ, dress modestly.

In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel,
with shamefacedness and sobriety;
not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array;
But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works.
(1 Timothy 2:9-10)

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Fiction Review: Forbid Them Not

Photo courtesy of Serge Bertasius Photography, Free Digital Photos
Forbid Them Not by Michael Farris is a legal novel. You may recognize the author’s name, as he is a leading defender of Christian families. Farris is a Constitutional lawyer, one of the founders of the Home School Legal Defense Association, and Patrick Henry College. This book was inspired by the secular threat to American families, which opposes their Constitutional rights to homeschool, discipline, and teach their children according to biblical principles.

The story begins when Nora Stoddard, head of the National Commission on Children in Washington, visits a Sunday school class in a Bible-preaching church. Nora takes notes and later meets some of the families. She is friendly, complimentary of their children, and asks if she can make home visits to two families. They say yes, and she visits.

A short time later, these families risk having their children taken from them. The accusations? Spanking, homeschooling, and indoctrination in hate. (“Hate” because the children are taught there’s only one Way to heaven, through Jesus Christ. “Hate” because they’re taught that other religions are false.)

The families are devastated. A young lawyer with some experience in Washington takes the case. Cooper Stone is a handsome, intelligent, and hardworking young man, a partner in his small law firm.

The rest of the novel is about the opposition, which includes a very attractive Ambassador to the U.N. who tries to compromise Cooper, a budding and difficult love story between the Sunday school teacher and Cooper, and the court case itself.

I enjoyed the book, mostly because of the main plot. I personally don’t go for the romance. Although Mr. Farris didn’t overdo it, it still was a bit simplistic and goofy. The love triangle was somewhat childish in places with jealousies and lack of trust. Another problem I had was in the legal case itself. I enjoy legal novels usually, but I found this one overly detailed and plodding. Since I’m not a lawyer, I had a hard time reading through it all, blow by blow, “States Parties” by “States Parties,” followed by numbered Articles. The last tenth of the book is only this, and frankly, I skimmed it and read only the interesting points of law—of which there were a few. The novel is over before this section.

Forbid Them Not was, though, interesting. I believe we need to be informed and careful. What do we allow? May government people observe our Sunday schools? Will we let them question our children? Do we open our homes to them? These are all valid questions, and unfortunately, we may need to make these decisions sooner than we would like.

My personal opinion is that Mr. Farris should stick to writing non-fiction, although maybe this novel accomplishes his purpose.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Mary, the Mother of Jesus: Her Reactions Tell Why She Was Chosen

Photo from Free Bible Images

On Sunday, we heard an excellent message from Pastor Suni about the different reactions in the Christmas story. My wheels started turning about Mary’s reactions before Jesus’ birth and afterwards. I made some notes at the time and gave it some thought afterwards.

When Mary saw the Angel Gabriel, her first reaction was puzzlement over what the angel said. (Usually, when someone saw an angel, he was afraid. Mary may have also been afraid, as later, Gabriel says to her Fear not.) She wondered why the angel would say, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women (Luke 1:28). What did that mean? Why would the angel have said she was highly favored and blessed? The angel understood her thoughts and repeated, thou hast found favour with God. Gabriel added: And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end (Luke 1:30b-33).

Then Mary said, “What? Don’t I get a say about this? What if I don’t want to?”

I’m kidding. She didn’t say that at all.

Mary only needed an explanation. How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God (Luke 1:34-35). Gabriel assured her that God is able to do the impossible. He gave her the illustration of how God had helped her sterile cousin Elisabeth conceive, and said, For with God nothing shall be impossible (Luke 1:37).

Mary’s immediate reaction? It’s amazing. She knew exactly what it would mean to be pregnant without a husband. She knew it might make Joseph reject her. She knew she could even be stoned for adultery. But she said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word.

And the angel departed from her (Luke 1:38).

Why did God choose Mary out of all the other young women? We have a hint in the words we saw at the beginning: highly favored (God’s opinion), blessed, and the Lord is with thee. Mary was a godly girl who had a personal relationship with God. We also have clues from her unusual deportment. She reacts in sweet submission. She doesn’t question (except how), she doesn’t complain, and she doesn’t rebel. She knows she was chosen for a task—a very difficult one—and she is ready and willing to accept it. It’s her mission for God. She’s prepared and willing.

I couldn’t help but think how her response, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word compares with the qualities of a meek and quiet spirit. God says those characteristics are in the sight of God of great price (1 Peter 3:4). This is from a biblical passage that speaks about the way women should be in their hearts.

I wonder how I would react? Would I sweetly say, “So be it.” Or would I ask a million questions and then decide how I wanted to answer?

Mary was already a God-fearing girl. She was already submissive to His will for her life. She already had a controlled, quiet spirit. That’s why God chose her to be Jesus’ mother.

The rest of Mary’s story is fascinating, and I’ve written about it several times. (You can access those posts here, here, and here.) I’d like to address one other idea in the context of her quiet spirit. Do you remember the phrase, But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart? (Luke 2:19)

After Jesus had talked with the wise men in the temple when He was twelve years old, Mary’s response was the same: his mother kept all these sayings in her heart (Luke 2:51b).

Mary was a woman whose heart was attuned to what God was doing.

Are we?

How are our reactions?

When God is doing something unusual in our lives—expect it!—how do we respond?

When we witness God proving Himself powerful on our behalf, showing Himself to be all-knowing and present in our lives, do we store these things up in our hearts? Do we meditate on them (repeat them over and over) in our minds?

Do we have meek (self-controlled) and quiet spirits?

Why did God choose Mary? It’s because she had a beautiful character.

God was pleased with her yieldedness and knew He could trust her to be the mother for His only Son. God blessed her with this privilege.

Can God trust us with special privileges?

Be it unto me according to thy word.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Why the Stable?

Photo: FreeBibleImages

The Bible tells us the story of Joseph and Mary traveling to Bethlehem because of the census. They went to Bethlehem—the city of David—because Joseph was a direct descendent. The Bible says, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn (Luke 2:6-7).

I’ve heard some awesome readings and stories based on the fact that there was no room in the inn. Why wasn’t there room? We don’t know.

Why was God in Flesh born in a stable?

If God had wanted, Jesus could have been born anywhere, in any conditions. His birthplace could have been a palace, a lovely house, a beautiful place. After all, Jesus fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah 9:6, For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

The wise men expected to find the King in a palace. They traveled to Jerusalem to ask about the new King, saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him. And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he demanded of them where Christ should be born (Matthew 2:2, 4).

But, Jesus wasn’t born in a palace or a beautiful house.

Why a stable? Actually, the Bible never mentions a stable or barn. It’s a logical place for a manger. We know that Baby Jesus was put there after he was born (three times in Luke 2). Some scholars believe Joseph and Mary stayed in the ground floor of the house, where the animals would have sheltered. Others believe Jesus might have been born in a cave or a separate stable. We don’t know, but the Baby was laid in a manger.

The manger was a sign to the shepherds. They would know where to find Him. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger (Luke 2:12, 16).

It was part of Jesus’ humbling Himself and taking on the form of a servant. Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father (Philippians 2:5-11).

Yet Jesus was and is the Promised King. When Jesus appeared before Pilate, Pilate therefore said unto him, Art thou a king then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice (John 18:37). Jesus said He was born so that the world would know truth.

Why the manger?

Maybe it’s because Jesus is the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world (John 1:29b). It was the most fitting place for a Lamb.

Christina Rossetti, one of my favorite poets, wrote this in 1859:

            Before the paling of the stars,
            Before the winter morn,
            Before the earliest cockcrow
            Jesus Christ was born:
            Born in a stable,
            Cradled in a manger,
            In the world His Hands had made
            Born a Stranger.

            Priest and King lay fast asleep
            In Jerusalem,
            Young and old lay fast asleep
            In crowded Bethlehem:
            Saint and Angel, Ox and Ass,
            Kept a watch together,
            Before the Christmas daybreak
            In the winter weather.

            Jesus on His mother’s breast
            In the stable cold,
            Spotless Lamb of God was He,
            Shepherd of the Fold:
            Let us kneel with Mary Maid,
            With Joseph bent and hoary,**
            With Saint and Angel, Ox and Ass,
            To hail the King of Glory.*

Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ (Messiah) is born of God:
and every one that loveth him that begat
loveth him also that is begotten of him.
(1 John 5:1)


* The Poetical Works of Christina Georgina Rossetti, with a Memoir and Notes by William Michael Rossetti (1904), Page 217. 

** We aren't told Joseph's age in the Bible, but tradition says he was much older than Mary, simply because she was a widow when Jesus was crucified. We don't know if he passed away young or old.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

14 Ideas for Christian Dates and More for Getting to Know Each Other

So, you’ve met someone interesting. What now? As a Christian, how are you supposed to date?

First, make sure he/she’s a born-again Christian, too. The Bible says, Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? (2 Corinthians 6:14) Can two walk together, except they be agreed? (Amos 3:3)

Some people say they’re Christians, and they only profess; they don’t possess. Watch for the fruit of the Spirit in his life: love, joy, peace, longsuffering (patience), gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness with and temperance (self-control). (from Galatians 5:22-23).

Ask his pastor. Find out if your person of interest acts as he should. Unless the church is huge, the pastor will know what kind of a reputation he has. This is a very important step and can save you much heartache. If you get a good report from his pastor, then you might want to date.

Date in public. What I mean by this is that you go places where someone might walk by at any time. Here are some suggestions: 
  1. Parks
  2. Concerts, dramatic productions, etc.
  3. A walk in the city
  4. The mall
  5. Restaurants, coffee shops, ice cream
  6. Festivals, car shows, antique malls, county fairs, craft shows, rodeos, etc.
  7. Museums
  8. Tourist sites
  9. At home with the family
  10. A bike ride—built for two, anybody?
  11. Hiking with friends
  12. Church and church socials
  13. Ball games and other spectator sports activities
  14. Play sports (tennis, mini-golf, golf, Frisbee, catch, bowling, ice skating, roller skating or blading, skiing, etc.)

I’m sure you’ve already thought of more!

Do not:
  • Park a car in a secluded place.
  • Go on a hike in the wilderness, just the two of you, all alone.
  • Date in an apartment or house, alone.
  • Sit in the dark.
  • Be anywhere that someone might not walk by at any time.

Why these suggestions? Well, let’s face it, when you start dating someone to get to know him, you want to be in a neutral setting. Then, when you begin to care about that person, you will naturally be tempted in ways you weren’t before. So, date in a public place. You may need to discuss your dating standards. It’s great to have them! They are, after all, for your protection. For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another (Galatians 5:13). Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart (2 Timothy 2:22).

The whole purpose of dating someone is to find out what he’s like. I think it’s good to see your friend in the normal world, especially if you’re both going to a Christian university. Visit his family. See what he’s like at home and with his mom, dad, and siblings. See how he acts in his church. Watch how he interacts with friends. Observe him doing normal, everyday things. Let him visit your family and see you in the same circumstances.

It isn’t enough to text back and forth. It isn’t enough to talk on the telephone or Skype. You need to actually be together and see each other in the context of normal, daily life.

Here are some ideas for topics of conversation:
  • Find out about the family. Ask about mom, dad, siblings, and relationships. A person’s family is a window into everything he knows about family life, so ask away! You can’t ask too much. (Remember, when you marry, you become part of his family.)
  • Find out about his interests. You’ll observe his values as you date, but feel free to ask questions, too.
  • Find out how he thinks. Ask his opinion about anything. It’s good to know!
  • Find out how he treats people. This isn’t really a topic of conversation, but it’s so important; I didn’t want to leave it out. Watch how he treats women (mother, sisters, aunts, other girls). Watch how he relates to others. Does he strut about and tell them how great he is? Is he humble? Does he berate himself? Is he anti-social? Is he a manipulator—always trying to get people to do things, mostly by shaming, blaming, threatening, and lying? (If so, run!!!) Is he violent? Does he easily lose his temper and lash out? Does he ever slap another person? (If it wasn’t in self-defense, run!!! If he will slap in front of you now, beware!) Does he speak with tact? Does he yell? Does he use ugly language? Observe how he treats others in word and deed.
  • Find out his true values. Is he all wrapped up in his car, his gadgets, his things? Is he addicted to video games, online gambling, or any substance? Does he really love the Lord? Does he demonstrate that love for God and His Word in his personal devotion, in his speech, in his involvement in his church, and in the way he treats others—including you? What is most important in his life? Observe how he spends his time and money. Talk about values.
  • Find out his work ethic--or lack thereof. Observe him. Is he lazy? Is he a workaholic? Is he hard-working? Does he know how to relax? 
  • Find out his personal standards. What are his standards about dress and entertainment (movies, music, TV, etc.)? Find out if he drinks alcoholic beverages. Find out about all his other standards. They will be important if you decide to marry him and build a home with him.
  • There are lots of other important subjects, and nothing should be off limits. (Don’t discuss the physical relationship in marriage until after you’re engaged.) You want to know how he thinks. You want to share and understand each other.

What if you see red flags? What if you observe something about your interesting person that looks like a game changer?
  • Confront. Ask him about it. Listen well. See if it’s truly a problem. If he agrees to change, watch for change afterwards.
  • If it’s important enough that you don’t want to live the rest of your life with this particular character flaw, and you continue to observe that he doesn’t change, break off the relationship. It’s a lot better to break up now than to spend a lifetime wishing you had. Also, it’s better to break off earlier instead of later. Even if the wedding is already planned, and you don’t wish to marry this person, it’s better to break up than to go ahead and regret it for the rest of your life.

Use your head. Yes, of course, the heart and emotions get involved, too. We’re human beings. But, it’s so important to evaluate a possible future husband or wife as he/she is. What is this person really like? Do I want to spend the rest of my life exclusively with this person?

Evaluate. Communicate. Think before you promise your faithfulness.

Marry in the will of God, and have a wonderful life!

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

How to Recognize Grooming and Avoid Becoming a Victim

First, let’s understand what we’re talking about. If you think grooming means combing one’s hair and washing one’s face, well that’s not what we’re talking about in this post. We’re addressing a second definition:

Grooming = To prepare or train someone for a purpose or activity. “The criminal activity of becoming friends with a child, especially over the Internet, in order to try to persuade the child to have a sexual relationship.”*

First, let me say that grooming, while many times aimed at minors, also happens with adults. Grooming is when an adult or teen prepares or trains another person so that what happens later (the abuse) seems normal. Grooming can occur between members of the same sex or opposite sex.

I believe we need to be aware. I believe we need to understand what’s happening when we see it. Especially if you have children in your care, you need to understand what to look out for. You need to recognize the signs.

Grooming is nothing new. It didn’t just pop up in the last ten years. It’s always been around. But, it’s more of a problem today for two reasons:

  1. Children are online and unsupervised.
  2. There are more perverted people, due to pornography and damaged souls.

It’s easy to tell a parent, “beware of grooming” without helping him to have any idea what to look for. We need to understand how an abuser acts.

This describes the normal progression of grooming: 
  1. Friendship—The potential abuser is the nicest person around. He (the male pronoun represents both men and women throughout this post) might be a family friend or someone with easy access. He is friendly, funny, sweet, and he can be with his victim a lot. In the case of online friendships, he may lie and say he’s a much younger person, but he will be friendly, talky, funny, and sweet.
  2. Gifts—In general, the friendly person becomes even more beloved because he gives gifts to his victim. They can be actual gifts, privileges, or rewards.
  3. Touch—The potential abuser begins to touch his victim in an unthreatening way. He might begin with side hugs, touching the victim’s hair, or pats on the shoulder, thigh, or knee. Usually, the victim doesn’t even notice the progression and enjoys the warmth and touching. This “innocent” touching soon changes to stroking.
  4. Personal touching—The abuse has begun. The abuser touches his victim in a sexual way. Almost always, he swears his victim to silence. Sometimes, it’s a threat like “I will hurt you (or your siblings, parents) if you ever tell anyone about our special relationship.” Sometimes it’s making them promise, “Promise me you won’t let anyone in on our special friendship. We wouldn’t want to spoil it.” At any rate, this is why much abuse doesn’t get reported. The victim is afraid either he or someone he loves might get hurt if he tells.

Notice what’s happening in grooming:
  • There’s access. The victim doesn’t feel threatened at first. The parents aren’t uneasy. The victim is exposed to this perverted person time after time after time. There’s a high level of trust.
  • The abuser is patient. He (or she) doesn’t expect immediate gratification. Grooming is a process over time. The abuser is seeking a long-term relationship.

So, what can you do? If you’re a parent, caregiver, friend, or even a potential victim, and you notice something isn’t right, what can you do?
  1. Prevent—Make sure you know everyone who has access to your child. Make sure you know where he is, who is supervising him, and are aware with whom he chats online. Don’t let your kids do sleepovers, unless you are sure the children will be supervised by like-minded parents. Make sure you know every child and teen that will be there. If you have any doubt at all, it’s easier to say no the first time. (Quite a few parents never permit their children to do sleepovers at all. It’s not a bad idea.)
  2. Watch—Monitor your children online. (If you don’t know how to do this, find out.) Caution your kids not to tell anyone online where they go to school, where they live, etc. and not to show their location with photos, either. Watch for teens and adults who pay special attention to your child (or to you, for that matter).
  3. Say “no”—If anyone asks to drive your child somewhere, one-on-one, the answer is no. If an adult wants a play date with your child, the answer is no. (This is not normal!) If an adult seeks alone time with your child, view it as totally weird, and say no. (The same goes for adult-adult grooming. You don’t need to be alone with anyone not family.)
  4. Be alert—Do you observe someone hugging a child all the time, sitting close to him, touching his hair, or rubbing his back? If it happens more than once, go over to that person and advise him that you don’t think that’s appropriate behavior. If you’re not the parent, go to the child’s parent and report what you’ve noticed. If it doesn’t stop, do everything you can to make it known to any authority that needs to know (parents, pastor, school teacher, principal, etc.).
  5. Educate—Help your child from the time he is quite small to know the names for all the parts of his body. Help him know which parts are private and not to be touched (except, if necessary, by medical professionals). Tell him to report to you or his father if anyone ever touches him there. As children get older, ask pertinent questions—not often, but as occasions present themselves. Make sure nothing is happening that you don’t know about. Make sure your kids are comfortable talking to you.
  6. Ask—If you think you smell a rat, ask your child if Potential Abuser Name has ever made him feel uncomfortable. Then ask why. Don’t put any words in the child’s mouth. Listen. Let him tell you in his own words. If he admits to feeling uncomfortable, and it sounds like grooming, ask if Potential Abuser told him not to tell anyone. If so, you can be sure something’s going on that’s not right.
  7. Tell—I understand the factors. I really do. People are afraid of reprisals, of not being understood, and of court cases. Some predators are married with normal families. Some may be “responsible” members of a church. But, do you really want the abuser to be free to groom others? Most abusers are never reported. Never. This isn’t right. They will only move on and abuse more people. Were you abused? Was your child abused? Report it. Call the police. Get that person out of your life, and protect others. Was it adult-adult abuse? Make it public. Report it to the authorities. Why do people report crimes like theft, breaking and entering, and assault, yet sexual grooming and assault goes free? It’s a crime against someone’s body. It is a crime, and it should be punished.

In the Christian community, in churches, and in Christian schools, there’s a wonderful family atmosphere, and people trust each other. But more and more, there are wolves among vulnerable sheep. Please heed and be watchful. You may be able to prevent abuse.


* Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary and Thesaurus

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Boys and Dinosaurs: An Observation

Pixar’s new movie The Good Dinosaur features a misplaced green dinosaur, who befriends a little boy named Spot. (The whole concept is backwards, as the dino’s “dog” is a person.)

In 1993, the movie Jurassic Park was a box office smash. DNA from ancient dinosaurs came to life and terrorized the people in the park.

The cute purple dinosaur Barney sang to and charmed a generation of young TV viewers.

I grew up watching the Flintstones and Bam Bam’s pet dinosaur.

Our own grandson showed us his new red plastic dinosaur on Skype the other day.

There’s a funny thing going on. It’s the age-old fascination with dinosaurs, but it’s more than that: it’s the juxtaposition of dinosaurs with people! The secular belief is that dinosaurs didn’t coexist with people. Yet, in film after film, Barney, the Flintstones, and lots of toys, the question is asked, “What if dinosaurs lived with people?” The possibility fascinates us!

I chuckle a little, since those who put dinosaurs and people together in movies are the same people who reject the idea and believe there were millions of years between them.

A biblical point of view puts them together. The animals were created on the sixth day. So was man. You can bet there were some baby dinos on the ark, as well. Would you like to look at some biblical descriptions?

This seems to be some kind of dinosaur. Read the description, especially of its tail like a cedar. Behold now behemoth, which I made with thee; he eateth grass as an ox. Lo now, his strength is in his loins, and his force is in the navel of his belly. He moveth his tail like a cedar: the sinews of his stones are wrapped together. His bones are as strong pieces of brass; his bones are like bars of iron. He is the chief of the ways of God: he that made him can make his sword to approach unto him. Behold, he drinketh up a river, and hasteth not: he trusteth that he can draw up Jordan into his mouth. He taketh it with his eyes: his nose pierceth through snares (Job 40:15-19, 23-24).1

Here’s another one: Canst thou draw out leviathan with an hook? or his tongue with a cord which thou lettest down? Shall the companions make a banquet of him? shall they part him among the merchants? Canst thou fill his skin with barbed irons? or his head with fish spears? Lay thine hand upon him, remember the battle, do no more. Behold, the hope of him is in vain: shall not one be cast down even at the sight of him? None is so fierce that dare stir him up: who then is able to stand before me? I will not conceal his parts, nor his power, nor his comely proportion. Who can discover the face of his garment? or who can come to him with his double bridle? Who can open the doors of his face? his teeth are terrible round about. His scales are his pride, shut up together as with a close seal (Job 41:1, 6-10, 12-15). To the Ends blog says that leviathan “closely matches some kind of plesiosaur or other aquatic, seagoing reptile of great mass and strength, but of limited mobility on land.”2

Isaiah describes leviathan using the word “dragon,” which seems to be a popular term for large sea animals. In that day the LORD with his sore and great and strong sword shall punish leviathan the piercing serpent, even leviathan that crooked serpent; and he shall slay the dragon that is in the sea (Isaiah 27:1).

If someone refuses to interpret these (and more) biblical passages as speaking of dinosaurs, maybe they should check out ancient art and fossils. Even if you believe that the Bible is talking about dinosaurs, you’ll be fascinated by the photos in this blog post titled, “Shocking Evidence Man and Dinosaurs Coexisted.” You can access it here.

Fossils of dinosaur footprints with a man’s footprint inside them have been found in the Biloxi (or Paluxy) River bed in Texas. If you would like to access that information, along with a scientific discussion and photos, please click here.

Whether you believe in man with dinosaurs or not is, of course, up to you. (For the record, I do.) But isn’t it curious that even those who would ridicule such a concept are still making movies about it?

Think of the possibilities!


The dinosaur photo above was taken at the Creation Museum, just outside of Cincinnati, Ohio, in Kentucky. I totally recommend this museum to you and your family!