Top 20 Unfortunate Lessons Girls Learn from Twilight

From a male point of view, the only redeeming feature of the Twilight books and movies is the ammunition they provide against female claims of innate moral superiority over men.

Whenever a woman criticizes a man’s lust, aggression, shallowness or any other lesser angel of his personality, the quick-witted fellow can point to the millions of women addicted to the base, insipid, bad-boy-worshiping, misogynist syrup so many female viewers of all ages knelt to this past weekend, when The Twilight Saga: New Moon raked in $147 million at the box office, setting several records.

In the spirit of speaking truth to diamond-skinned power, enjoy this list of unfortunate lessons girls learn from Twilight. (The list operates under the principle that any grownup female who embraces Twilight’s junior-high dreck temporarily sacrifices her “woman card.”)

And so, with an insincere “love is forever,” we begin.
 

  1. If a boy is aloof, stand-offish, ignores you or is just plain rude, it is because he is secretly in love with you — and you are the point of his existence.
     
  2. Secrets are good — especially life-threatening ones.
     
  3. It’s OK for a potential romantic interest to be dimwitted, violent and vengeful — as long as he has great abs.
     
  4. If a boy tells you to stay away from him because he is dangerous and may even kill you, he must be the love of your life. You should stay with him since he will keep you safe forever.
     
  5. If a boy leaves you, especially suddenly (while telling you he will never see you again), it is because he loves you so much he will suffer just to keep you safe.
     
  6. When a boy leaves you, going into shock, losing all your friends and enduring night terrors are completely acceptable occurrences — as long as you keep your grades up.
     
  7. It is extremely romantic to put yourself in dangerous situations in order to see your ex-boyfriend again. It’s even more romantic to remember the sound of his voice when he yelled at you.
     
  8. Boys who leave you always come back.
     
  9. Because they come back, you should hold out, waiting for them for months, even when completely acceptable and less-abusive alternative males present themselves.
     
  10. Even though you have no intention of dating an alternative male who expresses interest in you, it is fine to string the young man along for months. Also, you should use him to fix things for you. Maybe he’ll even buy you something.
     
  11. You should use said male to fix things because girls are incapable of anything mechanical or technical.
     
  12. Lying to your parents is fine. Lying to your parents while you run away to save your suicidal boyfriend is an extremely good idea that shows your strength and maturity. Also, it is what you must do.
     
  13. Car theft in the service of love is acceptable.
     
  14. If the boy you are in love with causes you (even indirectly) to be so badly beaten you end up in the hospital, you should tell the doctors and your family that you “fell down the steps” because you are such a silly, clumsy girl. That false explanation always works well for abused women.
     
  15. Men can be changed for the better if you sacrifice everything you are and devote yourself to their need for change.
     
  16. Young women should make no effort to improve their social skills or emotional state. Instead, they should seek out potential mates that share their morose deficiencies and emotional illnesses.
     
  17. Girls shouldn’t always read a book series just because everyone else has.
     
  18. When writing a book series, it’s acceptable to lift seminal source material and bastardize it with tired, overwrought teenage angst.
     
  19. When making or watching a major feature film, you should gleefully embrace the 20 minutes of plot it provides in between extended segments of vacant-eyed silence and self-indulgent, moaning banter.
     
  20. Vampires — once among the great villains of literature and motion pictures — are no longer scary. In fact, they’re every bit as whiny, self-absorbed and impotent as any human being.

 

From WIRED online.

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Twilight: Love and…Blood? (Part 1)

(This series of posts is my attempt to put into writing the In-Depth sectional I taught on this subject at the 2009 Higher Things conferences.)

The image chosen for the cover of the first book in the Twilight series foreshadows what is to come in the subsequent books.  What is behind this symbolism? 

The apple, the woman’s hands…take us straight to Eden and that fateful day with the serpent and the tree and the fruit they were forbidden to eat. That tempting, shiny, red, ripe, juicy and tasty looking apple, here being offered to…whom? 

The Original Forbidden Fruit

Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?”

And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.’”

But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate.

Then the eyes of both were opened…

(Genesis 3:1-7)

We know what that apple carried with it in Genesis – the entire fall of mankind into sin and death.  What does this apple symbolize and bring into fruition?

Effects of the Fall

The man said, “The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit of the tree, and I ate.”

Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this that you have done?”

The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.” 

(Genesis 3:12-13)

The blame game. That’s something we got from the Fall. In Genesis 2, it, Adam can’t get enough of woman and she’s the most amazing and beautiful creature ever to exist and how wonderfully amazing that God made her just for him so they aren’t alone! He even bursts into song over it. A matter of hours after the fruit, it’s a completely different situation. It’s everyone’s fault but my own. There were extenuating circumstances. You made me do it. It’s her fault, I wouldn’t have done it myself but she TRICKED me!  In fact, it’s YOUR fault, God, because YOU made her and YOU gave her to me.  What were you thinking?  What a stupid idea!

And it’s not just Adam, Woman follows his lead. She can’t very well blame Adam, since she manipulated him into eating the forbidden fruit and she knows it. Oh, but there’s the serpent! It’s the serpent’s fault – she was deceived into eating it by the serpent.

The Lord doesn’t buy it one bit. You just can’t fool an omniscient God. Duh. (Apparently sin makes mankind somewhat less intellectually savvy too.) God starts where the blame game left off and curses the serpent. He puts enmity between the offspring of the serpent and the Offspring of the woman, and foreshadows the defeat of Satan to come in Christ.

Then it’s the woman’s turn on the hot seat. There’s the stuff about childbearing and the pain of passing a watermelon sized object through an opening the size of a grape. Personally, I think it goes far beyond labor and delivery, but that’s the stuff of another post. Then there’s the more ambiguous proclamation,

“Your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you.”

(Genesis 3:18)

This is an interesting situation if you think about it. Woman was specifically created to be a partner for the man and humanity’s work to tend to creation, and be an essential participant in human reproduction. She really blew it with that whole apple thing, didn’t she? God had every right to erase her from history and start over. Or He could’ve just exiled her and cut her off from the man.

He doesn’t do that.  In the Fall, she retains those vocations most unique to womankind – that of wife and mother. But those relationships would now be twisted, corrupted, sinful versions of the ones that would’ve existed before the Fall. Childbearing would be fraught with pain and her relationship with man would be framed terms of power.

That innate desire with which God created woman when He made her specifically for the purpose of being in relationship with man is now commonly known for young women as being “boy crazy”. Girls will do just about anything to get and/or keep a boy’s attention. Getting involved with drugs and drinking, eating disorders, wearing clothing that advertises the availability of their most nubile and fertile body parts, going all the way (or almost all the way), compromising morals and values and standards, putting up with being treated poorly and even abusively etc. That’s that good desire to be with man gone sinful.
 
 

Back to Twilight…

“I intuitively knew – and sensed he did, too – that tomorrow would be pivotal. Our relationship couldn’t continue to balance, as it did, on the point of a knife. We would fall off one edge or the other, depending entirely upon his decision, or his instincts.


My decision was made, made before I’d ever consciously chosen, and I was committed to seeing it through. Because there was nothing more terrifying to me,  more excruciating, than the thought of turning away from him.  It was an impossibility.”

– Bella

 

To be continued…

So the Words DO Matter!

Actual LCMS Praise BandIt looks like the Baptists are starting to get it.  We’ve known this for centuries – literally.  So why do so many Lutherans seem so eager to abandon our wealth of hymnody in favor of vapid praise ditties?  And if lex orandi, lex credendi is true, what does this move confess about what many Lutherans (and Lutheran congregations) believe and teach?


Combining simple language, theological substance and poetic richness “is a challenging task,” said Tim Sharp, executive director of the Oklahoma City-based American Choral Directors Association, the national professional association of choral conductors and others in the choral music industry. “Hymns were meant to pack theology into a tight, memorable suitcase that Christians could take with them.”

Sharp, a graduate of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky., is struck by an irony.

“The great hymnists of the 19th century were always sort of apologetic about hymnody, because a hymn is one of the simplest musical compositions that exists,” he said.

“Actually, when you look at the profound nature of the text and the meters you realize it’s a complicated thing to write a good one, but they were always saying it was simple, was easily accessible to a congregation and the text was memorable in the way that the mind tracks it.

“It’s kind of scary that in the following century we had to get even more simple in praise-and-worship choruses.”

Worshipers want more than simplistic words, Sharp said, noting recent surveys indicate Americans are becoming more literate, not less. But worshipers still long for spiritual depth.

“I think congregations are more engaged than some composers assume,” he said. “I’m seeing in people a hunger for thought-provoking text work. A mantra doesn’t seem to be satisfying them.”

Hayes warns against music that undercuts the words.

“You really want to avoid an ‘entertainment’ quality, because if it goes too far with jazzy rhythms — and I’ve done this myself — then it gets in the way of connecting people with God,” he said. “The music overwhelms the text.

“That’s not to say that there aren’t times when you want to feel [in music] the full force of God’s majesty. But the style, groove, vibe — whatever you want to call it — can’t supersede what the words say. That kind of music doesn’t instruct.”

One way to test it? “Set those lyrics in strophic [stanza] form and accompany them with a pipe organ, and see what impact they have.”


Just for fun, download a recording of 900-some teenagers singing HYMNS at the recent Sola conference in Grand Rapids.

Oh, and read the rest of the article.

Where are the Grown-Ups?

A great article on youth ministry from Breakpoint


Our Adolescent Culture
Where Are the Grown-Ups?

“There was a time, literally, when there were no teenagers.”

What Diana West is suggesting in The Death of the Grown-Up: How America’s Arrested Development Threatens Western Civilization will undoubtedly sound ridiculous to thousands of youth pastors, family therapists, and advertising gurus whose livelihoods depend on entertaining, counseling, and selling to teenagers.

Nevertheless, West argues that adolescence didn’t always exist. In fact, it is a quite recent phenomenon. The word “teenager” wasn’t really used until 1941, after all. In virtually every other culture in the history of the world prior to late 20th century Western culture, kids became adults. Not so anymore. They now become teenagers, or, to put it in more sociologically acceptable terms, they become adolescents.

THE CREATION OF THE TEENAGER
What happened to bring about this new stage in human development? The sexual revolution and political upheavals of the ‘60s are, of course, the most obvious suspects. However, West suggests a number of other things, some earlier than the ‘60s: a generation of disconnected fathers trying to deal with what they experienced during WWII, factories which once produced necessities for war began producing non-necessities for consumption, new marketing engines selling these goods to people who didn’t realize they wanted them, Chubby Checker’s Twist, Elvis’ hips, the Beatles’ hair, automobiles—perhaps more than one—in every home, the growth of Hollywood, and the recognition by the marketing engines of the fortune to be made from this brand new segment of the population.

Today, of course, adolescence is considered a fixed stage of development. We expect students will lose their minds from ages 13 to 18. “Kids will be kids,” we say. Only we aren’t referring to kids anymore, we’re talking about 15-year-olds. In other cultures, “teenagers” were marrying, farming, fighting wars, writing books, and in one case, bearing the Messiah.

ADOLESCENCE AS APEX
One of the complications of adolescence is that this fixed stage of development is not very fixed. Its grip has forcefully expanded beyond teenagers, and in both directions. On the front end, we have “pre-teens” or “tweens,” whose financial potential marketers quickly spotted. On the back end, whereas 18 was once considered the end of adolescence, it is now considered the middle. The National Academy of Sciences now defines adolescence as the stage from the onset of puberty (around 11 or 12) to age 30.

But there’s more. The reach of adolescence is even greater than this. Adolescence has become, and this must not be missed, the goal of our culture. Somewhere along the way, we ceased to be a culture where kids aspire to be adults and became a culture where adults aspire to be kids.

THE MARKS OF AN ADOLESCENT CULTURE
What are the marks of a culture with a dominant adolescent mindset? Not surprisingly, they are precisely what we have come to expect from adolescents themselves.

  1. Demand for immediate gratification. We want what we want now, and we will not wait or work for it. Spiraling credit card debt, addiction to new technologies, bouncing from church to church, abandoning marriages—the list goes on and on.
     
  2. Absence of longterm thinking about life and the world. Hand-in-hand with a demand for immediate gratification is a distraction from the real issues that actually matter. Ours is a culture largely ignorant of economic theory, political distinctions, or the rules of logic, but one which is fully up to speed on latest from American Idol.
     
  3. Motivated by feeling rather than truth. This is a key indicator of a volatile person, and an even more significant indicator of a failing culture. Truth is murdered by pooled and polled ignorance.
     
  4. Wanting grown-up things without growing up. Ironically, despite our addiction to all things adolescent, we still expect to be treated like adults. “Don’t tell me what to do,” we say. “Every opinion matters” and “Treat me with respect,” we add. Of course, fools actually do not deserve respect and their opinions are, at best, a thorough waste of time and, at worst, dangerous.
     
  5. Expecting bailouts rather than accepting consequences. Not thinking before acting is a trait of adolescence as is making excuses. Bad mortgage decision? The government should help. Sexual immorality? Birth control, abortion, and HPV vaccines. Falling grades? Reduce standards. Poor behavior? Ritalin will do the trick. And once we accept adolescence as normal, we are then forced to excuse poor behavior. “They’ll grow out of it,” we suggest. A quick look around reveals that “they” are not.
     
  6. Focusing on appearance rather than depth. Seen in everything from fascination with celebrity to the way presidents and churches are chosen, cultures that choose style over substance quickly become silly cultures. Neil Postman proved this in his classic work Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business. Worse still, silly cultures are easily deceived and destined for tyranny. History proves this.

More could be added here, but the point is that sometimes what is normal, well, shouldn’t be. Adolescence is a recent and foolish invention. And, as noted scholar, Richard Weaver taught us, ideas have consequences. Good ideas have good consequences; bad ideas have bad consequences.

THE OPPORTUNITY
Still, there is good news. Cultures like ours have a leadership vacuum. Therefore, there is a terrific opportunity for influence from those who produce the leaders, especially if they produce leaders who can think beyond the current cultural shallowness.

How can we do this? I suggest we go after the students themselves, from those intolerant of adolescence to those who seem most susceptible to it.

First, we need to challenge students, rather than coddle them. We aim too low with teenagers. Students do not need more entertainment, whether from the television, the IPod, or the youth group. They need and want to be challenged. We see this every year at our Summit student leadership conferences. At Summit, students endure over 70 hours of lecture and instruction on worldviews, apologetics, culture, and character, and they love it. They thrive when they realize that their faith need not be silly or superficial.

Second, students need a thorough education in worldviews and apologetics. There are three components of this type of education. First, students need to know what they believe. Too many see Christianity as merely a private faith rather than as a robust view of reality that offers a tried and true map for life. Christianity is not a narcissistic self-help system, but truth about all of reality. Second, students need to know what others believe. Non-biblical worldviews are battling for their hearts and minds, as well as for our culture. An isolated faith is an immature faith and often a scared faith. Third, Christians must know why they believe what they believe. Too many Christians cannot answer, and are even afraid of, challenging questions about God, Jesus, the Bible, morality, or truth. When they learn that their faith can be defended, they get excited about defending it.

Third, students need to know that Christianity is not just about what we are against, but what we are for. Proverbs says that without vision, the people “cast off restraint.” One of the main reasons that students are casualties of immorality is that they lack vision. While they may know what they are not supposed to do, they fail to understand what meaning, purpose, and impact following Christ offers. Christian students often get the impression that we are merely saved from, and not to. They miss the "re" part of the salvation words that sprinkle the Scriptures: renew, regenerate, reconcile, redeem, etc. They miss that Christ not only came to save us from death, he came to save us to life–and abundant life at that!

Finally, we need to confront students with, rather than isolate them from, the major cultural battles of our day. Historically, Christians have sought to understand and respond to cultural crises. They understood that these crises were the battlefields for competing worldviews.

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THE CHALLENGE
Unfortunately, many Christians today are oblivious, apathetic or avoidant of issues like embryo-destructive research, euthanasia, emerging technologies, the arts, film, fashion, legislation, human trafficking, politics, and international relations. In the Garden on the evening before His death, Christ prayed these astounding words for his followers: “Father, do not take them from the world, but protect them from the evil one” (John 17:15). Our prayer and preparation for our students should be no different.

The Church’s approach to students must never embrace adolescence as normal. “Meeting them where they are” is no excuse for leaving them where they are. Students are designed with the capacity, and thus the calling, to think deeply and broadly about their faith and their culture, as well as to champion the Gospel by confronting evil, injustice, and lies. By appealing to God’s design for humanity, rather than this cultural fabrication of adolescence, we may find our ministries more relevant to students than the culture itself.

This article originally appeared in BreakPoint WorldView Magazine, June 2009.

John Stonestreet is executive director of Summit Ministries, a ministry dedicated to training students in worldview analysis and apologetics so that they will defend and champion the Christian worldview. He is co-author of Making Sense of Your World: A Biblical Worldview. John holds an M.A. in Christian thought from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School and is on the bblical studies faculty at Bryan College (Tenn.). He, his wife Sarah, and three daughters live in Colorado Springs, Colo.

Mini Moo

I’ve always thought a miniature cow would be the coolest thing to invent. 

We’ve got teacup pocket-dogs and itty-bitty kitties, miniature horses, relatively smaller potbelly pigs – all who can live in our homes as our beloved pets.  I even read an article recently about a blind woman who used a specially trained mini horse as a service animal since she’s Muslim and they don’t keep dogs. 

But mini cows…that’d be really cool. 

Little did I know…they’ve been around for a good 20 years!  Unfortunately, I don’t think they can be housetrained very easily so I won’t be getting one anytime soon.

ANYONE can do youth ministry…

 

(Earlier this evening, Isaac borrowed a notepad and made me some lists to give me some suggestions on how to do my job at church.)

 


VPS List
Activitees
Nintedo Time
Reeses (20:00)
Christe Time in th Sanchuewarey
Office Time


Rulse

  If you fit no reeses.
No fithging
No hiting


Youth List
Toc about Jusesse
Get sum papere an right about wat youv laernd
Read 5 chapters on the Bible.
Pizza and drinks
Nintendo Time 40:00
Bak to work for 10:00
Finish things
Games all night