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Be Bold, Be Strong for the Lord our God Is With Us

Faith, Youthwork and Family…

Month

December 2011

Teenage pregnancies & failed relationships!

A woman takes her teenage daughter to the doctor.

The doctor says, “Okay, what’s the problem?”

 The mother says, “It’s my teenage daughter Darla. She keeps getting these cravings, she’s putting on weight, and is sick most mornings.”

The doctor gives Darla a good examination, then says, “Well, I don’t know how to tell you this, but your daughter is pregnant

The mother says, “Pregnant?! She can’t be, she has never ever been  left alone with a man! Have you, Darla?

Darla says, “No mother! I’ve never even kissed a man!”

The doctor walked over to the window and just stares out it. About five minutes pass and finally the mother says, “Is there something wrong out there doctor?

 The doctor replies, “No, not really, it’s just that the last time anything like this happened, a star appeared in the east and three wise men came over the hill. I’ll be darned if I’m going to miss it this time!

It’s that time of year, when we remember a “innocent young lady” called Mary becoming pregnant, in those days it was very frowned upon to be pregnant without a husband!  But now it appears to be the reverse, it apparently is the “norm” to lose your virginity as soon as you can!  Virtually every teen comedy is about it at the moment!

 There is a movement called the Silver Ring Thing , encouraging celibacy in teens and young adults until they are married.  I heard a criticism of the movement which said “it is wrong to say “wearing a ring for celibacy is the only way to prevent STI’s and teen pregnancies”” but celibacy is a pretty effective way! If they don’t do anything then nothing will happen! Pretty obvious to me anyway!

Then we have the world’s obsession with sex.  The amount of money spent on pornography worldwide is equivalent to Cuba’s GDP!  The ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) have agreed to create the .xxx domain address to encourage “adult” websites to be more obvious so that parental controls and other authorities can prevent access to them by minors etc.  The only problem is universities have bought up domains as they do not want their names brought into disrepute!  Apparently, according to one article I read, the owners of adult websites rely on “accidental” visits or “clicks” so putting themselves in a “corner” out of the way is not an attractive option!

Apparently the male brain has been found to be “hardwired” to see a female in a Bikini in the same way as a power tool! So  if a man is exposed to a series of images of scantily-clad women, they are more likely to see a woman as something to “act upon” rather than “interact with”.

So does that mean that you have an excuse to be allowed to “leer” after people of the opposite sex or even flirt with them?   “It’s not my fault, it’s a natural urge!” Well… NO!  If you constantly subject yourself to images/stories/articles/audio about sex/sexual encounters, then your mindset will be constantly consumed by “fleshly desires”.  You are passively training yourself to believe that sex should be like the film/video you have seen, you may make yourself restless and not content with the relationship that you are in as other people/relationships seem to be more satisfied (but its all fiction! The grass may be greener on the other side but you do not know how much work goes into making it look like that!)

 To combat the “natural urges“, it is necessary to actively think and re-enforce the idea that every person you see in real life or in the media is a wife/daughter/sister/mother/gran or a husband/son/brother/father/grandad!  If you are not able to express the attributes of love as laid out in 1 Corinthians 4-7 towards that person, then you need to not allow yourself to desire them in a sexual way! The problem with having multiple partners in your life time is that your capacity to love is affected!

God came down because he loved us,

  • Love never gives up- God never gave up trying to have a relationship with mankind!  Once a relationship gets hard do you “cut and run” or do you try to persevere?
  • Love is not selfish- Jesus was nailed to a cross for you and me! Can you be considerate enough to put another persons needs before yours?
  • Love does not want what it doesn’t have- God loves you and is joyful when you come to him, so are you wanting a different partner to the one you have, are u tempted to have an affair?
  • Love doesn’t strut- God “lowered himself” to become a man, so that we could identify with him in the person of Jesus.  Do you make the one you love “feel worthless” because you are constantly telling them that you are better than them?
  • Love doesn’t force itself on others- God came down so that all could come to him to have a relationship, free will means we have a choice to love him back or not, so don’t force yourself on other people!
  • Love doesn’t remember offences- At the cross, Jesus blood “purified us” so our offences were forgotten, do you keep a mental note of what your partner has done, so that you can throw it back in their face? Have you a list of attributes you don’t want in a partner because of the hurts of past relationships?
  • Love rejoices in the truth- Honesty is a big part of relationships, when lies are told, trust is worn away as you cannot believe them!
  • Love is patient- God gives us time to work out our little questions/doubts, do you give your partner time & space to work things out if they need it?
  • Love never looks back- if you are in a new relationship, don’t look back at the old ones with “rose-tinted glasses”, there is a reason you moved on!  The new person deserves to be treated as if you have no-one else to compare them to!
  • Love keeps going to the end- too many relationships end because they started too early with sex, as the relationship wasn’t given enough time to grow healthily!  If you keep giving up too easily, all you will have left is a history of failed relationships and emotional attachments to numerous people!
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Why am I the Grinch?

I DON’T LIKE CHRISTMAS!

Why?” you ask?

Well, for 4 reasons-

  1. Because it is an expensive OTT time which lasts for 2 months of the year! When Christmas day finally comes round it is an anti-climax!
  2. I am rubbish at buying presents, so when my children opened their christmas presents last year I was surprised as they were about what “we” bought them!  My wife has worked for top cosmetic companies and could get make-up and perfume at discounted prices, also when she worked for a department store she got discount on other items so it was pointless for me to buy items at a higher price.  In the end I got given a list with items that my wife would like and I picked a few extra items that I thought she would like.
  3. I dislike singing christmas carols, why do we only sing of Christ’s birth in December then about his death and resurrection the rest of the year?  It’s no wonder why people who only go to church at Christmas haven’t grasped the power of Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. There is a great clip from Talledega nights which illustrates my point.
  4. Christmas trees!- garish, hard to get right, take up space to store and its a nightmare getting them down! not to mention the waste of electricity each year!

“HUMBUG!” you are probably thinking, but what is it all about?

There is a book about the 5 love languages , how you express your love by-

  • Gifts
  • Acts of Service
  • Words of encouragement
  • Physical touch
  • Quality time

I am not materialistic, if someone bought me an Iphone 4s, I would say “thank you” but would think “I don’t really need it!”  The “love language” which speaks love to me more is words of encouragement, so being asked to write for the “Daily Intersect“, or when a group of young people asked for me specifically to chat with them in a discussion group, I was ecstatic, it told me that someone actually liked me and wanted to hear what I had to say! So, if someone buys me a journal and says “keep writing, here is something to help you” then I would be as happy!

Children love presents, seeing their faces light up when they get a “surprise” gift is incomparable, but what can they do in return? If they are really young, their parents can go and buy other people presents “on behalf” of them but it isn’t the same.  All they can offer is their love and affection, which is enough to melt any heart!

I know of an old lady who tried to organise a Christmas family get together for all her relatives, it ended up being nearer Easter because they couldn’t agree a time!  I know everyone has busy lives, and it’s not always possible to “synchronise” schedules but when it comes to spending quality time with our relatives, surely we should make an effort to make time!?

There are many groups of people who are willing to “sacrifice” part if not all their day at Christmas to feed, help and/or spend time with the needy, the homeless, the lonely which are amazing “acts of service“, but we should also give credit to those willing to spend hours in kitchens around the world, so that you have something to eat & thanks go to the medical staff who will be caring for those unable to be home due to sickness!

One thing I do like is the fact that I am able to spend time with my family, and there is nothing like sitting and cuddling your children in a cosy, warm room!

God expresses his love in those ways too!

I was at a youth event last December, where the minister said Christ’s birth was like James Bond, “God’s mission to save us started in that stable, over 2000 years ago! “Which made a lot of sense to me!

So no, I am not excited by Christmas, but it is what Christ’s arrival was the start of is what makes me feel “Joyful, Joyful!” this time of year!

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