Tears to Joy

Tears to Joy: October 2010

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Movie Review: To Save a Life

I don’t ordinarily write movie reviews, but I couldn’t resist this one. The movie, To Save a Life, is a must see for anyone with adolescent children or who works with teenagers (I don’t recommend letting children watch it.) This movie does an excellent job of addressing suicide, teen pregnancy, drinking, drugs, cutting, and more.

When someone we love dies by suicide, we often beat ourselves up not over what we did, but what we didn’t do. This movie really helps put that into perspective. We all miss opportunities everyday to encourage the people around us. This movie challenges us to be intentional – to look for opportunities to love others.

This movie can be used as a great discussion with today’s youth about the pressures they experience every day. It isn’t a cheesy “B” movie but is top quality and is true to life. Click here to watch the movie trailer. If you haven’t seen it, I encourage you to do so! Be forewarned: Keep the tissues close by!!!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Nan Nan and Papa -- Two of my heroes!!!

Two weeks ago, I had to say goodbye to perhaps the godliest man I’ve ever known – my Papa. Papa faithfully studied the word daily, and he was a man of prayer. He was an incredibly humble man – he would serve others and tell them not to tell anyone what he did because he wanted the Lord to receive the glory. Even since his death, my Nan Nan has shared with me how she continues to learn of acts of service he did for others, things we never knew he did.

Papa was a man of great joy. You didn’t have to be around him long to realize he had an incredible sense of humor. Every Christmas since I was in the seventh grade, I gave him a gag gift. He always knew how to make me smile.

Papa leaves behind an incredible legacy – both of his children, all six of his grandchildren and his great-grandchild all have a growing relationship with Christ. I never really thought about how blessed I’ve been before his funeral. He was my Papa – I loved him dearly. I now realize that not everyone has had the same godly example that we’ve had. I thank God that Papa was ours!

He and Nan Nan had a marriage that was built on the Word. They taught me about commitment, not only with their words, but with their actions. I learned more about marriage as I watched them together the last month of Papa’s life. After almost 57 years of marriage, they still held hands. They weren’t merely two people who shared the same home – they shared so much more!

Nan Nan was truly a servant as she cared for Papa in the final weeks of his life. She laid aside her own wants and desires to be with Papa. She went above and beyond to love him during his time of sickness. Though it was exhausting, and at times frustrating, she never wavered. She kept trusting the Lord and loved Papa with an agape (unconditional) love. All my life, I've watched Nan Nan as she seeks to live a righteous life. I stand amazed at her strength and her faith. I see God in her life, and I pray that I will experience the depth of faith that I see in her.

I thank God so much for my family. We have been incredibly blessed to have each other, and I pray that I never take that for granted.

Just before Papa passed away, I wrote a poem in his honor. I’d like to share it with you:

To Papa

You had a way of making people smile.

At church you always offered to sing

Thankfully, God spared us this horrible thing.

We never knew what you would say

You asked the pastor, “Where’s the beef?”

In a wedding one day!

Let’s not forget your sense of style

Mismatched shoes and Nan Nan’s coat

You’d laugh it off and make a joke.

I’d hide in your truck, afraid of the cows

I’d be really quiet and not make a peep

For you told me little girls they like to eat.

Clonk shuu, clonk shuu!

We’d hear from your chair,

“I don’t snore do I Little Doug?”

Nah, you just growled like a bear

Christmas was my favorite time spent with you.

On its Eve we’d drive and look at lights

One year I was sick

And Santa came to visit me that night

“Let’s hurry and open presents before Paul and Abigail get here!”

“That better not be another gag gift,” you would say

As you opened your last present

Each Christmas Day!

In the morning when I would rise

“Did you wake up sleepyhead?” you would say.

While reading your Bible or bowing your head to pray.

You walked by faith and not by sight

You lived a good life and fought the good fight.

You left a legacy for us to follow

Pray for us as we face each tomorrow.

We love you!


Monday, October 11, 2010

Too much, too skinny!

Yesterday a friend and I decided to take our daughters on a Mother/Daughter fun day. We surprised the girls by taking them to Six Flags. While the rides were tons of fun, I was appalled by the things I saw. It was too much for me to keep quiet!

While you wait in line, televisions are intentionally placed to grab your attention. In the past, we’ve laughed with Daffy Duck but yesterday we were bombarded with messages from MTV. Not only was there a commercial where a person was brutally murdered, but the scantily dressed musicians danced erotically across the stage all the while appealing to everyone there.

Ironically, the loudspeakers would periodically declare Six Flags as a Family Friendly park. I beg to differ. What came on those screens while we waiting in line to ride “kid friendly” rides, I would not dare allow on my screen at home.

As I fumed over what the leadership of Six Flags must be thinking to allow such garbage, I began to think about the influence the media has on young minds. In the time we waited to get on the “Monster Mansion” we had seen teens making out, girls dancing seductively, a teenage boy drinking at a bar and grotesque characters promoting Halloween – all on the distraction screen. While I was gritting my teeth in frustration over this, a teenage girl came up beside me in line. She no doubt suffered from an eating disorder. She was dressed in a tank top with her belly fully exposed. We could see her bones. The strange thing was that it was very obvious that she had breast implants. She was trying to have that “model look” that even models are computer altered to obtain.

This is what the media is doing to our young people! It is altering their perceptions of a healthy body image. This girl looked ghastly, but I am willing to bet if I asked her, she felt fat.

We need to do all we can to be healthy and care for the bodies God has given us, but we have created a generation that obsesses over physical appearance. I want my daughter to focus more on inward beauty than outward. How do we compete with all the opposing messages attacking our children?

Well for starters, I’m going to talk to Jorjanne about what we saw yesterday and use it as a teaching moment.

If you or someone you know suffers from an eating disorder, it is often accompanied by emotional struggles. Anorexia and bulimia are both treatable disorders. Counseling is often very effective in helping people who struggle with this.

In the meantime, we need to focus on whatever is pure, noble, true or praiseworthy! May we all be vigilant to guard the hearts of our children as well as our own.