Barb's Space

Observations about life, family, church...anything else that is on my mind from the perspective that God rules, no matter what

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Location: Indianapolis, IN, United States

I am a 66 year young woman who has changed much in the last few years. I'm single again. I changed jobs twice (learned new skills), had a serious stroke in 2008, "retired" and after getting better started taking up new interests, and am continuing to get more fit. Some things have matured. I've enjoyed watching my three guys grow into men I respect and am proud of. One waited 11 years to have his first birth child. Today I'm a grandma of six (four boys and 2 girls between two families) with a third girl on the way. I have learned to love Jesus even more, and I have regained my sense of adventure. Someone said, "The best is yet to be."--I believe it, if I keep an open mind and heart and keep growing and walking with God.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

A Teenager's Voice...

I was looking through my old web page, and found this—think it fits as well in today’s landscape as it did in 1999 and bears repeating. Our nation isn’t any less violent than it was then, and throwing God and His values out caused our morals to become subjective. Many of our teenagers know this is true. This article is about that, but it is also about those young people God wants to use in this day. Are you one of them? How does God want to use you? After reading this, please let me know under Great Ideas below. Every adult reading this can use the encouragement

“I found this passed to me on my email. It was an excellent article that came with an internet-ready copy attached, so I assume its author, Sarah Roney, doesn't mind if I edit and use it. I don't know her personally to ask her, but I believe she would be happy to see the message go out far and wide. I hope, pray and believe there are many more teens like her who have the courage to prayerfully think, then speak. In case you ever see this, Sarah, I respect and appreciate you. Thank you for sharing your thoughts, and I pray they go into people's hearts. It is young people such as yourself whom God delights in using in this disobedient, hurting, broken world. - Barb Irwin 05-17-99”

A Teenager's Voice from Inside the Culture of Death

On April 20, 1999, there was yet another gruesome shooting in Littleton, Colorado. Kids killing kids. And again, the entire nation in its uproar is trying to figure out why.

I am eighteen years old. I live in a small town near Madison, Wisconsin, just like the ones where these horrifying shootings always seem to take place. Every time those stories come on the television, I can't help but notice how easily it could be my small town next. And I want to know why this is happening just as badly as any parent or police chief or anchorman.

The thing is… I am in the same age group as all of these high school kids. So I may have some insight… .

The night of the Littleton shooting, I heard something that struck a chord in me. An anchorman asked the mother of a victim in the Jonesboro shooting, "If you look at America in the 1950's, you will find that this kind of thing never happened; whereas if you look at America today, this kind of thing is becoming more and more frequent. Why do you think this is happening?"

The woman, of course, could not answer the question. In fact, she didn't really even try. But I did. I thought about it for a long time that night. And again the next morning, when my favorite morning radio talk show asked its listeners why they thought this has been happening. Many people said it's the parents of the kids. Many people suggested television and video games and popular musicians, looking to put the blame somewhere.

But I will tell you what I, a regular teenager riding on the coattails of Generation X, think it is. It is not the parents or the movies or the rock stars. It is AMERICA. It is this culture of death, this culture in which liberals and feminists and activists are so anxious to let anything be "OK" that the once tightened, knotted rope of society is unraveling right beneath us.

Don't you see? There can be no order without discipline. All of those things people think are causing children to run into a school and shoot their teachers and peers and even kids they don't know - the movies, the video games, the parents, the rap artists - they are only REFLECTIONS of our society. Society breaks down, from one big metaphoric "family" into 50 metaphoric "families" and so on and so on, until you have the actual FAMILY, the one with the parents and the kids and the dog. It is not one thing or two things; it is the attitude of an entire "familiar" nation being reflected back at us in the kids.

Just as that anchorman suggested, something was different about the 1950's. WE WERE CONSERVATIVE. We had boundaries; we had a definite knowledge of right and wrong throughout the entire nation. We didn't have feminists pushing women so hard to go get a job that a woman who didn't have a job was somehow "bad," thereby leaving kids at home with inadequate parental guidance and often times with parents who were truly unhappy. We didn't have liberals fighting so avidly to legalize everything that it was at the point of completely blurring the line between good and bad. We didn't have a nationwide media surge dedicated to sex and violence so intense that if you weren't playing killing video games at age 14, then you were trying to choose between contraceptives beforehand or abortion afterwards. We didn't have disputes over whether or not we should help someone who is dying die sooner, over whether or not we should ASSIST them in committing SUICIDE. And we certainly didn't have a President who was in favor of NATO bombing and killing children in Serbia come on the television to grieve the loss for the families of children killed in America.

We live in a loosely tied society, a culture dedicated to death. If you don't want the kid, kill it. If you don't want to live out the rest of your God-given days, kill yourself. Or better yet, have someone else come help you do it. I guess, no matter how horrible or gruesome or gut-wrenching it may be, it was just a matter of time before someone got that "killing-as-a-means-to-an-end" idea stuck in their head for the part between birth and death as well. Everything that happens in families and cities and states and countries is the mirror image of the big picture.

We are falling apart as a society. Am I, some random normal teenager in Farmertown, U.S.A., the only one who sees that? It's sad and it's hard to believe, but what's worse is that it's scary.

I think it's time for our-America's-Mom and Dad to ground us-to say, "If you don't shape up by the time I count to three..." And then really count to three. Because we are running wild and pretty soon we're going to be too far from home to ever get back. [Barb here—I will add that it is every person’s responsibility to embrace God’s values and influence others in that direction to become a culture of honor and respect again.]

There was once a great saying by a famous man that has rung true throughout the history of mankind - in every family and in every society and in every social group and in every religion - it was a frighteningly true statement that cannot be disputed. I am reminded of it now, in the wake of yet another indescribably tormenting result of a nation gone haywire...

"By their fruits you shall know them."

1 Great Ideas:

Anonymous Daniel said...

I like this, Barb. And I think you are right, that it is just as applicable today as it was then. And I think that Sarah is right that our culture has embraced death and it has seeped into every crevice available.

I'm not sure if my thinking is right, but I see more than a simple decline since the 1950’s. After all, it was the culture of the 50’s that birthed the culture of the 90’s. I might be wrong, but I see a pattern at play in the growth of the culture of death. It’s a cycle of brokenness. It originates both at the "top" - in political, academic, and business arenas - and at the "bottom" – in the basic nuclear family unit. The brokenness in the family influences the "top" (via voting, etc.), and the brokenness at the "top" influences the "bottom" (via legislation, etc.)

The solution comes by taking a stand. Whether a person, a family, or group. To stand firm. The difficulty in standing firm is that everything opposes your stand. First oppression starts, and then your brokenness rises to the surface like wood in water. Once that happens, the temptation to shrink bears its face.

So, the challenge to Sarah’s call is to stand. And when you have done all else, to stand.

That is my challenge. Thank you for sharing this.

December 02, 2012 9:21 PM

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