Tag Archives: music

The Language of Crying

As is customary for me on Christmas Eve, I can’t sleep. It used to be caused by the anticipation of Santa Claus stopping by to fill up the area underneath the Christmas tree. Let’s be honest: I was 22 or 23 before I stopped getting absolutely giddy about Christmas morning for that very reason, Santa or not. :)

For the past few years I’ve been unable to sleep for a very different reason (and thankfully a much better one). The story of God coming to earth in the form of a baby has gripped my heart in a new way (and a different way each year) over the past few years.

I began a bible study on the book of Malachi on Monday. One of the very first subjects the author of the study covers is this idea of “rhetorical disputation.” To quote the Grinch, “Holiday hooby whatty?!” It’s the concept of God saying something to his people, and his people automatically respond with something along the lines of a ‘prove it!’ mentality (in other words, they question it), to which God gives them one heck of an answer that more than proves his original point. The book of Malachi starts with God saying, “I have loved you,” and his people responding with, “How have you loved us?” Go read Malachi 1 for God’s pretty poignant response. The beauty of the statement is the verb form of “have.” It lends itself to meaning that he has loved them – period. Not, “I have loved you because you got your act together,” or “I have loved you as a result of the good works you do,” or “I have loved you because you’ve followed the rules.” If there was ever a nation that didn’t do what God said, it was his own people Israel! But the “have” there implies that God has already loved them before they straightened things out, before they walked the straight & narrow, and outside their efforts as humans. Way cool.

Malachi has had me thinking about the 400 year silence between the end of his book and the beginning of the New Testament time period, which begins with the birth of Jesus. And here’s what has struck me this year that I’ve never thought about before: The first time God speaks in 400 years, he uses cries and whimpers instead of intelligible words. A newborn baby’s first screams and shrieks outside the womb are the very first sounds to come from Heaven in 400 years! One moment God hasn’t spoken for four centuries, and the very next moment the silence is broken by childbirth. By this point, Israel wouldn’t have necessarily known what to even listen for when trying to hear Yahweh. They’d never experienced it. They were 400 years removed from the last time a prophet brought the Word of the Lord to the people. Who would have expected to listen for God to speak through one of our most common reactions to life, heartache, struggle, overwhelming joy, death, victory, a baptism, conviction, repentance, loosed chains of addiction, music, love, lost love, burning anger, sadness, life-altering news, and a host of other situations? It’s crying. He cries. Think about it: What better way to communicate to the world than with the reaction that is so common in so many circumstances that every human experiences at some time? It’s a universal language! The first time God ‘speaks,’ he uses a language that anyone could have understood: the cry of a newborn baby. John 1:4 – “In him was life (emphasis mine), and that life was the light of all mankind.” Life is never more apparent than the first few moments after a mother gives birth! It’s never more anticipated than then! And it’s marked with a cry.

If we need to know and see how personal, how real, how raw, how relatable, how tender, heck – even how forceful and strong (have you heard a newborn cry recently?! The little dudes don’t hold back!) our God is, we need to look no further than the manger and hear the first sounds that rang out from Heaven in over 400 years. Jesus’ cries were, in that moment, heard only by those who surrounded his manger that night, but they have echoed in eternity as the most relatable speech he could have brought to earth to begin his life.

And that life is full circle. He both begins and ends his life crying. One cry brought about the newness of life and the beginning of a 33-year-long journey that led to his final cries on the cross as a grown man, battling all of hell’s forces to save the wretches like you and me.

Our God truly is amazing, and he is so, so good even when our lives or situations are not. I hope you’ll take time this Christmas Day to consider Jesus’ cries, and to express to him the cries of your heart. He knows it. He gets it. Lay your heart’s cry at the manger, and listen for his. What a beautiful way to break 400 years’ worth of silence: the cry of newborn life.

Merry Christmas.

..Hannah

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I’m moving to Virginia!

Since I’ve known since January, I figure it’s time I announce this. :) That picture you see is in the choir room at a school tucked away in the mountains in Virginia. So….

I’m moving to Grundy, Virginia to work at Mountain Mission School!

For those of you familiar with MMS, you know that this is such a unique opportunity – one that still makes me ask God, “Are you totally sure you have the right person for this?!” I’ll be teaching choir and living with the high school girls. For those unfamiliar with the school, the staff is full time. Like, full time: The staff members are teachers, counselors, mentors, shoulders to cry on, cheerleaders, etc – and I think those are just the roles they play before 10 AM. :) Life is lived day in and day out with these kiddos. It’s a mission of the neatest kind. Kids from 18 months through 20 years old are living and being raised to know Jesus at Grundy. I’ll be moving on June 29.

Common questions I’ve been asked recently:

Are you excited?

Yes, I’m excited, albeit completely terrified. I’ll be excited once the stress of the move is over and I figure out what I’m doing (And no, I haven’t started packing, so if you have any boxes you need to get rid of, I’m your girl! …or if you want to sell me a flat screen TV at a decent price :) Doesn’t have to be flat screen, but they’re easier to mount :) ).

How in the world did this come up?

Long story short, I heard about the job not being filled and tried to avoid it like the plague. SOMEONE (read: Dave Sims) told them I had a music degree and a background working with juvenile delinquents & teens in general. The rest is pretty much history.

Are you near the beach? (Where’s Grundy?)

The exact opposite, actually. :) It’s in Appalachia right next to the Kentucky border – about 45 minutes from Pikeville, KY. I’ll be about 6-7 hours away from FoCo. In other words, not so far that y’all can’t saddle up the horses and come visit. :)

Is that the choir that comes to Sterling every now & then and sings?

Sure is! MMS’s choir is a traveling choir (so much like Chorale, for those of you fellow IWU Chorale clods). I will, of course, post all tour dates. If you can, come see the kiddos sing! You will not regret it! Friends from college & friends all over, I would love to see you again if we’re ever singing in your area, and I know you’d be blessed by their songs.

How can I be praying for you?

Short answer? Yes. That’s how you can pray for me. All of the things need prayed for. :)
Allow me to be transparent for a second. When I made the decision, there wasn’t an, “Ah ha!” moment with God where the sky split open, a dove descended, and I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that this is what I was meant to do. Quite frankly, I don’t much buy into this ever-present idea of seeking out a calling for one’s life day after day. I can tell you what your calling is: Go and make disciples of all nations (did I mention Grundy has over 60 countries represented there?). That’s what you’re called to do. You’re called to make disciples wherever you’re at. I believe God places calls on peoples’ lives, absolutely. Paul is a great example. But Paul was going about his business, doing what he thought he was supposed to be doing when God made his red carpet appearance (Granted, Paul was murdering Christians for their faith, but he was convicted that he was doing the right thing, and he pursued that. I’m not saying that makes it right. I’m saying he went about with his daily life and God stepped down into that to get him to go elsewhere. He didn’t spend night after night agonizing over whether or not he was “following God’s will for his life.”) All of that to say, I’m leaping in faith. I’m diving in head-first and not looking back. I’m doing it because I’m (at least somewhat) equipped to do it, and Grundy has a need. There’s the bare-bones answer. So I need prayer! Ways to be praying:

Pray for the kids. This whole thing is first of all about Jesus and second of all about them. They need your prayers to continue to grow and be shaped into the people God wants them to be. Pray that whatever it is God needs them to know, I get out of the way and teach it in such a way that it goes beyond choral music. Pray that this is never about the music, but that the music is just another avenue to glorify God. Pray for a smooth transition for them as they adjust to a new teacher!

Pray that I stay open to opportunities and surrender my abilities to God. I was recently asked to teach elementary music, and I have absolutely zero experience in that arena. I feel like the widow bringing two small coins. I have literally no experience, but I’m willing to try it. Pray that continues. I’m the kind of person that either shuts down completely when I don’t have immediate success, or I go all-out and fight to get to the top. Neither of those are healthy, obviously. Pray for balance and just a willing heart. That’s all God needs to work through people, if I remember correctly.

Pray that I would stay out of the way. If I’m going to do this and do this well, it will be purely because of the grace of God. Done any other way, it’s destined to fail. We have a huge opportunity coming up at the end of October and the only way it’s going to be considered at all “successful” (albeit in worldly, human terms) is through our hard work, the presence of the Holy Spirit, and God’s sweet & sovereign grace!

Building relationships with the students. This will have to have careful attention, especially this first year, as these kids neither know nor trust me.

Adjusting to Grundy life. It’s a total 180 from life as I’ve known it for 25 years!

While I’m very sad to be leaving Fountain County, I’m pretty excited (read: still terrified) for what’s ahead, especially considering some prayers I began praying and questions I began asking God around October of 2014.

Many people have also asked how all of this is going to work out now that I’m now dating someone who lives in South Carolina. I’ll tell y’all the same thing I’ve said since Grundy became an option in December when I wasn’t dating anyone: I’m not at Grundy for one year. I’m not at Grundy for 25 years. I’m at Grundy for however long the good Lord wants me there. If that’s one year, fine. If that’s the rest of my life, fine. If that’s 7 years, 8 months, 2 weeks and 3 days, then fine.
God has continually reassured me since making the decision (in January) in the gentlest yet most obvious ways that this is exactly what I need to be doing at this time. As I said before, there was never some moment of the sky being split open and I was given a 100% definitive answer, but since making the decision there has been continual reassurance that I’m walking/tripping/stumbling/skipping/falling flat on my face on the path I should be walking down/tripping all over/stumbling here and there down/skipping down joyfully/falling flat on my face on. :) I watched a video about adoption a few weeks ago and the mom’s words really struck a chord (ha! get it? Chord.. Cord.. I’m teaching choir….) with me: “Pursue it until God closes the door. If the door doesn’t close and you’re continuing to ask him to guide you, keep going.”

Truth be told, I tried multiple times to get the door to close. It didn’t, and it wouldn’t. I’ll be at Grundy until God grants me his blessing to go elsewhere or until he calls me elsewhere. I’ll pursue him where I’m planted, regardless of where that is, and I’ll continue to contribute to making disciples where I’m at, wherever that is. As for tomorrow, I’m not going to worry about it. Jesus can take care of it. I have enough on my plate today. And as for June 29, the day is quickly approaching, and I’d be lying if I said I don’t tear up even thinking about it. I’m leaving a lot of wonderful people and the place that has been home to me.

So there it is in a nutshell! I covet all of your prayers and cardboard boxes. :)
Pray. Seek. Do.

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Stop Slow Dancing with Jesus.

Worship songs have now been ruined for me. *chuckle* No, but seriously…

From some of the horror stories I heard at the beginning of the year, it sounded like I wasn’t going to enjoy any of Dr. Cherry’s classes. Well, false. Completely false. The two classes of hers I’m currently in are profoundly relevant and VERY much needed for what I’m studying. She expects/demands a lot, but I’ve learned more in just these first six weeks about the evaluation of worship songs, styles, etc than I have the past two years. Granted, not all of my classes have been centered around worship, but you get what I’m saying. I am glad, however, that I started out taking Dr. Yoder’s classes first. They laid a FANTASTIC foundation for integrating into the theology department to study worship on top of church music.

Today we turn in a project that evaluates 25 of CCLI’s top 25 worship songs (albeit from February 2005, but hey, they were still top 25 at one point). We had to evaluate them based on the following:

-Whether they were objective (main focus was on God) or subjective (main focus is “I”)
-List all the names for God mentioned throughout the song
-State the members of the Trinity
-Corporate or personal

Our of the list of top 25, only three came out corporate; 23 were personal in nature and weren’t all-inclusive for the congregation as one worshipping body. I don’t have the paper in front of me so the next few details are approximates. Two referred to the entire Trinity (God, Jesus, Holy Spirit).  Most used “Lord.” Lord can refer to both God and Jesus; this isn’t so much a problem, it’s just for clarification and variety. We aren’t referring to God with many biblical names!

Bottom line: worship songs are in desperate, desperate need of being revamped.

Praise and worship songs, as a whole, tend to focus on emotions. While there is a definite need for this in our worship services, we’ve, well, in my opinion we’ve perverted His love. Yes, you read that correctly. Before stones start being cast allow me to explain. How many of our worship songs focus on love? Think about it. Allow me to give you a few…

Draw Me Close

Draw me close to you,
Never let me go.
I lay it all down again
To hear you say that I’m your friend

You’re all I want
You’re all I’ve ever needed
You’re all I want
Help me know you are near

You are my desire
No one else will do
Cause nothing else could take your place
To feel the warmth of your embrace
Help me find a way
Bring me back to you

Take that out of a church service and insert it into a junior high dance. There is zero mention of God in this song. Sure, you as a Christian look at it and decide it’s to God because the typical powerpoint will have “You” capitalized. This is a love song, but I’m sorry, this isn’t really a love song to Jesus. Jesus isn’t mentioned one time, and no where, NO WHERE in the Bible have I yet to read about God or Jesus loving his people with the AMERICAN view of romance. If you want to throw the view of God being married to his bride, the church, okay, let’s talk about that.

Let’s revert back to New and Old Testament times. Now, if we’re going to do that, we’re going to have to look at society and cultural views of people of this day. Men and women, um, excuse me, boys and girls didn’t fall in love and then get married. Their parents decided who they would marry, they were pledged to be married to that person, and the male had to buy his bride from her family. There was no dating, no courtship, no nothing to see if the two were “compatible,” as Americans would want to know. More often than not they didn’t have sex figured out, they didn’t have love figured out, they honestly knew nothing outside of what they’d seen in their own households. They were married and as time grew on, they fell “in love,” if you will.

Now that you’re thinking as an Israelite 15 year old would have (scared out of your mind? Yeah.), apply that to how it lines up with today.

Oh wait..

It doesn’t.

To win our younger generations over we use highly emotional songs to draw them into worship and feed them with this view that God wants to romance them and win their hearts over. While I will agree that there is truth to that, I will not go as far to say that is entirely true. I won’t go on to say how we’ve messed up girls’ minds with the view of “Jesus is every girl’s boyfriend,” but I’ll cover that at some point. We fill our youth with emotionally high music, and then what happens after the honeymoon phase is over? What happens to them when they leave a revival and two weeks later they don’t have the same “feeling” they did at that revival? We haven’t taught them that the Christian walk encompasses FAR more than an emotional high. Keep going on down the road, they become young adults, and eventually they’re 30-something soccer moms and dads who aren’t involved in our churches anymore. Why? Well, honestly, how connected were they really to a church to begin with? Some of you may not think this has ANYTHING to do with the music we put in front of them, but to quote Plato, “Show me who writes a nation’s songs and I care not who makes its laws.”

Powerful? Yes.
Correct? More yes.

What is the theology our congregations are gaining from our music? I will go to bet that I can ask many, many members of a congregation to give me their top five favorite worship songs and they’ll do it in no time flat. Can I ask the same of their top five favorite sermons they’ve heard? Some may be able to do it, but I’m going to assume it will take them at least a few minutes to figure out five sermons they can even remember let alone deem their favorite. We repeat songs all the time in our Sunday morning services… How often do we repeat sermons? Bottom line: If we’re going to repeatedly put songs in front of our congregations, they better one, have more theological integrity than what we see many have. Two, they need to stop focusing on the subjective, personal experience.

A list…

Here I Am To Worship
Hungry (Falling On My Knees)
Above All
Open the Eyes of My Heart
You Are My King
You’re Worthy of My Praise (I Will Give You All My Worship)
Trading My Sorrows
I Give You My Heart
Lord Reign In Me
Lord I Lift Your Name on High
Breathe
The Heart of Worship (part of me has to laugh at the title and how it talks about ‘It’s all about you Jesus’ but the entire song is more focused on ourselves)

I just gave a pretty healthy list of favorite worship songs (albeit oldies but goodies). I absolutely love some of those songs and I know many of you do as well. Those songs were part of the top 25 list I mentioned at the beginning of this blog.

What a surprise. America’s church is focused on me-worship. Perhaps you personally don’t understand my urgency…

Let’s again revert back to Israelite worship of the Old Testament…
Completely congregational. Their festivals? Their feasts? Hello, THE EXODUS!?!? God chose Israel as his people. He didn’t choose this person and that person. He chose an entire body. Why is our worship so exclusive? Their’s HAD subjectivity to it, for example Miriam & Moses’ song after coming out of Egypt. But the heart of their worship was done on days set aside and they worshipped together.

Let’s talk New Testament…
Paul talks over and over about what bodies of believers should do as they come together. There are canons all OVER the New Testament, and honestly they’re not exactly, “Thanks Jesus for loving ME and blessing ME and making ME feel all warm and fuzzy on the inside.” Are you kidding me? The NT worshippers were gettin’ blessed through persecution, and they saw it as such. We get ticked when bad days come our way, yet they were rejoicing at such an honor. Furthermore, again, they worshipped as a body. We come into worship and expect God to move in a very personal way. I won’t apologize for this: Worship is not for you or your individual “feelings” about God. Worship is FOR God and initiated by Him. We don’t worship until he ushers us in. If you sit in a pew or a chair on Sunday morning, stop believing you’re there because you decided to be. Who wakes you up every day? Who gets you there safely? Don’t tell me you’re there on your own terms. Furthermore, when we show up, we best be thanking God for the privilege to worship him that morning. It’s not like we actually deserve the ability to worship him, thankyouverymuch.  Honestly, it’s not really up to us whether we worship or not. There is always a reason to worship. Christ died and rose again! The man DEFEATED death! I THINK we all have a reason to worship..

I’ve done my fair share of harping on praise & worship, so you’re probably wondering if I have anything good to say about it. Yes. Definitely yes. I think it has a place. The worship that heavily emphasizes “I” and leaves out the congregation as a whole? Use it in your own worship time! I have absolutely no problem singing worship music of this type when I’m in my own room with no one else around. The song is between God and I, so what would the purpose be in using it in a congregational setting? It’s perfect for personal time.

As far as the worship that makes Jesus out to sound like a boyfriend or a lover… Well… I’m sorry. I can’t do that.  While Jesus was on earth, please tell me when he portrayed his love to someone romantically. He didn’t. Just because he isn’t hangin’ around with us physically anymore, how did we all of a sudden come up with this, “Jesus is my boyfriend” garbage? There is SUCH a huge difference between romantic love and intimate love. We’ve lost that understanding.

Do I think songs like Draw Me Close has a place? Yes. Do I think that place is in a congregation where there are people who are on different points in this journey called a relationship with Christ? No. You’ll have some who don’t have a clue what Christianity is about. Couldn’t that song make them wonder what kind of God we TRULY serve if that’s the way we sing about him? For the Christian who is just starting out, again, are we making Christianity into a sea of emotion and nothing more? I honestly don’t think songs like this should be put in front of people unless they’ve been at their walk for a while and they understand the context and understand that it isn’t a song about being wooed by Jesus.

Game on. Pray on.

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Another One Bites The Dust

For those of you who don’t know, Miley Cyrus has just come out with a new video – “Can’t Be Tamed.” Good girl gone bad. Typical Hollywood story. Seriously Hollywood? Do something different. Stop influencing girls to turn into seductive temptresses. The Internet has enough soft porn on it; try a different marketing scheme. This one’s old.

Once again, the girls of America will catch the underlying message of, “This is what I have to be to turn heads.” I’m assuming that nearly half (if not more) of today’s teens and young adults will fall in love with this song. Why? Because it talks about the wild child in all of us. Here are the lyrics, and then my commentary..

I can get a bit crazy
Have to get my way
24 hours a day
Cause I’m hot like that
Every guy everywhere
Just gives me mad attention
Like I’m under inspection
I always get til 10
Cause I’m built like that

I go through guys like money
Flyin’ out their hands
They try to change me
But they realize they can’t
And maybe tomorrow is
A day I never planned
If you’re gonna be my man understand

I can’t be tamed
I can’t be saved
I can’t be blamed
I can’t, can’t
I can’t, can’t be tamed
I can’t be changed
I can’t be tamed
I can’t be (can’t be)
I can’t be tamed

If there’s a question about my intentions
I’ll tell ya
I’m not here to sell ya
Or tell ya to go to hell
I’m like a puzzle but
All my pieces are jagged
If you can understand this
We can make some magic
I’m on like that

I wanna fly I wanna drive I wanna go
I wanna be a part of somethin’ I don’t know
And if you try to hold me back I might explode
Baby by now you should know

I can’t be tamed
I can’t be saved
I can’t be blamed
I can’t, can’t
I can’t, can’t be tamed
I can’t be changed
I can’t be tamed
I can’t be (can’t be)
I can’t be tamed

I’m not a trick you play
I’m wired a different way
I’m not a mistake
I’m not a fake
It’s set in my DNA
Don’t change me
Don’t change me
Don’t change me
Don’t change me
(I can’t be tamed)

I wanna fly I wanna drive I wanna go
I wanna be a part of somethin’ I don’t know
And if you try to hold me back I might explode
Baby by now you should know

I can’t be tamed
I can’t be saved
I can’t be blamed
I can’t, can’t
I can’t, can’t be tamed
I can’t be changed
I can’t be tamed
I can’t be (can’t be)
I can’t be tamed

Here we go.

“I can get a bit crazy.. Have to get my way.. 24 hours a day.. Cause I’m hot like that.. Every guy everywhere.. Just gives me mad attention.. Like I’m under inspection.. I always get til 10.. Cause I’m built like that..I go through guys like money.. Flyin’ out their hands.. They try to change me.. But they realize they can’t.. And maybe tomorrow is.. A day I never planned..If you gonna be my man understand.. I can’t be tamed..”

Any Type A, headstrong girl with even a hint of a wild side in her will love and relate to this song. Congratulations Miley. You’ve written a song that encourages girls to be selfish, egotistical, and rebellious. First of all – If you have to go from sweet to scandalous, chances are your career was never that musically strong or grounded to begin with. It’s probably safe to say that your persona was being followed more than your talent, or lack thereof.

She says, “I go through guys like money” obviously trying to find a guy who won’t change her. This seems like an .. understandable .. thing, but it’s rather immature. If this new video was a stunt to show she’s “more mature,” it failed. Epically. At least it failed for those who walk in faith. And before I get harped on for talking about faith, please read..

In a 2007 interview, Miley Cyrus said that her faith is “the main thing” in her life, and (sounding like her father) she told USA Today that God wants her to be a “light, a testimony” in Hollywood (“Miley Cyrus Fulfills Her Destiny,” USA Today, January 1, 2007).

Read more at Suite101: Is Miley Cyrus a Christian?: The Faith of the Star of Disney Channel’s Hit Show Hannah Montana http://protestantism.suite101.com/article.cfm/is_miley_cyrus_a_christian#ixzz0n1Js1K5o

I’m not exactly sure this video help that whole “being a light” image. Christians aren’t sinless. There isn’t one that is. However, I’m going to put my foot down on this one. This was entirely preventable. Miley, you’ve let those of us who saw you as a decent role model for younger girls down. In fact, I would never EVER recommend Miley Cyrus as a respectable celebrity ever again. She’s lost all credit in my book.

From a Christian perspective, change is imminent if one is going to stop “going through guys like money.” Yes, get over it America, you’ll have to change pieces of who you are for relationships. Why? Because God better be changing you to prepare you for marriage. I know that there is NO WAY I could ever enter a marriage being who I am right now. Certain things will have to change. What specifically? The part of me that can relate VERY closely to this song. This song could very well be my personal anthem, but instead it sickens me because she’s embracing this as a good thing. Rebelling and “going against the grain” is only good when you’re standing up for something. Standing up for being “who you are” is a load of crap in this case. Let me reiterate that: It’s a load of crap. She’s standing up for not being changed. In what sense? You won’t let go of your wild side? You won’t submit to someone because you’re too stubborn and selfish to admit that YOUR ways might be wrong? Oh cool. Yeah. That screams maturity. If she can’t be changed, then clearly everything she does is correct. I’m just so sick of songs like this for so many reasons!

Let me make all of this a bit more personal..
One of the main reasons I absolutely hate this song is because of how closely I can relate to it. It’s taking a lot of self control to not buy this song off iTunes. Anyone who knows me would agree with what I’ve said entirely. I thrive on not being tamed.. and it’s something I struggle heavily with. It’s been a battle since high school. The song on my senior video is “Wild One” by Faith Hill. I can remember talking with Dave one night and telling him that I never wanted to lose the edge that I have. Settling down means losing a certain level of excitement.. but it also means entering into a completely DIFFERENT level of excitement.  My fear is a very shallow one: losing the edge, losing the appeal, losing the enticement. However, when I’m 50, if I’m still seeking that out, chances are I’m the most immature 50 year old ever. In essence, I’m afraid of not being young forever. Being unwilling to be “tamed” or to “change” means you’re unwilling to grow up. Period.

Here’s the thing: If you’re going to make the claim that your faith is the most important thing in your life, then live like it. Don’t write a song about how you should have your way all the time and then claim to follow Christ. For those of you who say I’m being too harsh, please – just shut up for a minute. I know I’m pushing the envelope, but I’m so disgusted with celebrities claiming Christ and then pulling a stunt like this. If you have a problem, a struggle, whatever, that’s fine. Just own up to it. Don’t try to make it look “hot” and dress it up so you can fit Hollywood’s definition of cool. If you REALLY want to stand out, then don’t do what everyone else has succumbed to. Stand for something. Put some clothes on. Tell girls it’s okay to be afraid of being tamed, but that it’s a sign of growth to sort of “tame the beast.” I know there is a side of me that will never calm down because it’s God-given; the desire to never put down roots, to always be on-the-go, getting to know God’s people, doing ministry everywhere that I can, to fearlessly pursue what he has planned for me.. THAT’S the wild child I shouldn’t ever let go of. Miley has the same side; I hope she discovers it.

Should I ever reach my dream of a famous recording artist, you’re hearing it here first: I will NOT fall to Hollywood’s schemes. I will set an example for young women, and I will live out my faith fearlessly, even if that means not being at the top of the charts all the time. I don’t sing for my own glory anyway. Do I want to be in the lime light? You bet. Why? Because I’m sick & tired of girls looking to promiscuous women for their role models. I want them to look to Christ first, and look to the Christian women around them in their local churches second. I’m so tired of the voice of reason being choked back by what’s “in.” I’m tired of girls being led down the wrong path. Real women stand up for what’s right, even if it isn’t what’s popular.

-steps down off of soapbox-
-screams into a pillow-

Okay. I’m done.

Pray on friends. Pray for those in Hollywood. Pray HARD. And pray viciously.

Matthew 11:12
From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven has been forcefully advancing, and forceful men lay hold of it.

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Victoria Donner

Sometimes you can cattle rope your heart and sometimes you can't.

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