Mar

25

2015

Spiritual Stage Parents

“I would never behave like those crazed mothers on shows like Toddlers & Tiaras and Dance Moms,” we parents tell ourselves. “Spray tans on a four year old? Competition that takes all the joy out of childhood play? I would never live my ambitions through my kid!”

Parental ambition come in plenty of shapes and sizes. Most of them aren’t featured on basic cable, but are everywhere we turn during our active parenting years:

  • The dad who goes a little ballistic about a bad call during his son’s Little League game.
  • The mom who signs up her daughter for gymnastics at age four so she’ll have a better chance to make the cheerleading team in middle school, then high school, thus guaranteeing her girl the popularity the mom never achieved during her own adolescence.
  • Braggy mommy playgroup talk focused on children’s achievements.
  • Fathers who shrug off a child’s B+ as not good enough.
  • The former high school thespian now directing church or community theater productions who automatically gives her child a plum role.

There is a particular strain of stage parenting that is especially noxious. Spiritual stage parents are those who live out their own need for the affirmation of their peers and/or their own church political ambitions through their children. Scripture tells us that one measuring stick for potential church leaders is a well-ordered family: “He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him, and he must do so in a manner worthy of full respect. (If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God’s church?” (1 Tim. 3:3-4). 

A wise guideline can become a goad in the hands of a fear-controlled parent…

Read more: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/pilgrimsroadtrip/2015/03/spiritual-stage-parents/#ixzz3VQHtcHb5

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Last week the Tonight Show was in reruns, and one of the shows they replayed featured Jimmy Fallon and Neil Young singing Young’s “Old Man”. I saw it the first time it aired, and have watched the clip below probably a couple of dozen times since then. Maybe the shows producers saw the bit as a way to showcase Fallon’s eerie imitation of Young’s windblown, aching tenor, but it was so much more than that, whether it was intended to be or not.

Slate’s Forest Wickman thought so, too. He noted, “…this new duet, his first one with the real Neil Young, is almost poignant. Fallon’s abilities as a vocal chameleon—the T-1000 of comedy singing—sound just as uncanny when heard side-by-side with the genuine article, and when he sings ‘I’m a lot like you were’ next to the real Young, now 69 years old, it’s less funny than it is just a perfect moment.”

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Click here to watch the video 

Young was 27 when “Old Man” first released. The Source Of Usually-True Internet Knowledge, Wikipedia, says Young wrote the song 43 years ago about…

Read more: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/pilgrimsroadtrip/2015/03/old-man-i-really-really-am-a-lot-like-you/#ixzz3VQHa1rF3

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Mar

25

2015

The Upside Of Nepotism

So much of my Christian journey has been marked by the way those in power have used their social privilege to either protect themselves or promote those in their families or their inner circles. I’ve written about nepotism in this space before. Others (click here and here) have raised lots of important questions about nepotism and related forms of cronyism in the church. These practices live directly at the intersection of a leaders’ joy in seeing his or her children/pals following the Lord and those unflinching words James wrote about favoritism. And every time I think I’ve seen it all when it comes to those in power using their privilege to fast-track a family member to prominence, I discover a new variation on the theme. So because I keep running into it in churches large and small, I thought I’d volley a new question about the subject, below.

Read more: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/pilgrimsroadtrip/2015/03/upside-of-nepotism/#ixzz3VQHRnfem

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Mar

09

2015

#1, #2, Me, You

When my husband came to faith in Jesus, he got the idea that really good Christians didn’t poop. Or pee.

You have to know he was 18 at the time. He was a member in good standing of his high school’s audio-visual team, student council and chess club. I say this to highlight the fact that he was (and is) a very bright guy. He attended a Unitarian church for a while during his childhood, but had no first-hand experience with evangelicals to that point in his life. In fact, no one ever shared their faith with him. On his own during the fall of 1972, he read a tract, then read the gospel of Matthew in three days’ time. At some point during that process, he surrendered himself to his Savior.

When he found his way to church sometime after that, he drew some conclusions about what a good Christian was like. Apparently, he picked up the notion that Christians mastered their impurities in such a way that they no longer produced any. Growing in holiness meant fewer trips to the loo, apparently.

Read more: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/pilgrimsroadtrip/2015/03/1-2-me-you/#ixzz3Tx3Z0iVs

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After a couple of false starts thanks to early February blizzards, my husband and I finally got to use those frequent flyer tickets for a trip to Florida. We’ve had a couple of overnight trips in the last year, but haven’t been away just to get away in a very long time. We’ve had lots of fun visiting with friends who live here or just so happened to be “in the neighborhood” while we were here. A definite highlight for me was a visit to the Kennedy Space Center. Who knew those Gemini and Apollo rockets I watched being launched over Walter Cronkite’s shoulder when I was a kid were actually three miles away from his broadcast booth? A couple of days later, standing on Cocoa Beach in the darkness, we watched a live rocket launch. [Read more]

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