I recently read a book I recommend for every parent of a teenage girl, or if your girls will soon become teenagers. A heads up: they all do eventually. The book is called Girls Uncovered. Now hear me out. It's subtitled: New Research on What America's Sexual Culture Does to Young Women.
Here Jesus looks like someone even I could take in a fight. Not a friend I’d feel better about accompanying me through a dark alley. But really, shepherds in the Bible were strong, outdoorsy types. They likely had biceps as big as my thighs. I doubt they applied moisturizer or used mosquito spray. These were manly men who probably didn’t use antiperspirant, sort of how Sulley uses oderant.
You’ve probably figured out by now that I’m a huge fan of Seinfeld. One of the funniest episodes is from an earlier season when Jerry, George, and Elaine spend the entire show waiting for a table at a Chinese restaurant. As their wait drags on, they keep asking the host how long until they’ll be seated. “Oh, five, ten minutes” is his reply every time.
Probably the most difficult thing about understanding prophecy (and thus reading the book of Revelation) is confusion about time. What is past tense, present, future? God exists outside of time, something that’s difficult for us to grasp, because we are enslaved to the clock. Therefore, visions into the spirit realm are fuzzy and difficult to nail down specific time spans. It’s like dreaming while you sleep. How long does a dream usually last?
In John’s first vision, he sees a woman that symbolizes Israel and maybe even Mary, the mother of Jesus, who (like any other woman) cries out in the agony of giving birth. There are typically two takes on Mary: we deify her or we ignore her
Several years ago at the church I served at in Toledo, we presented a short Christmas teaching series that I think may have been called “The Invasion.” I’d like to sort of recycle that series here this week in the hope that it will prepare us for Christmas, not the Santa Claus and elves one nor even the one represented in the crèches most Christians set up in our homes. No, another view of the Nativity.
Many of you probably know about the latest Facebook viral campaign. Last week Facebook friends the world over were changing their profile pictures to that of cartoons, supposedly whatever their favorite was as a kid. I couldn’t think of a favorite, which is probably why I didn’t do it. Vanity Smurf maybe, because at least the picture would still bear my resemblance—the vanity part, I’m not blue.
I realize our girls are getting older, and I won’t be able to walk them safely across the street forever. Soon they’ll be driving crummy cars like the one I had. Keeping them safe becomes less about holding their hands and more about teaching them how to be careful.
A few months ago I noticed something on a bulletin board at a local grocery store. I seldom take time to read notices on community bulletin boards, but this plea caught my attention: LOST—Red Wagon.
Sometimes after bath time we allow Micah to go diaperless. He enjoys this freedom, the cool air caressing his baby booty and producing a fresh buoyancy. Without the constriction of a bulky diaper, he runs around aimlessly, not caring where he’s going as much as how long he can go for. At some point childlike innocence regresses into shame, like Adam and Eve when they discovered their nakedness. Consequently, many of us search our entire lives for the best fig leaves to cover ourselves, all the while growing in our self-consciousness. But worshiping Jesus consists of becoming less self-conscious and more aware of our Savior.