Friday, May 30, 2008

Kids Will Be Kids?

In America, this is Prom time. It's a time when young men and women get dressed up, go to a catered dinner at a fancy banquet hall and dance the night away. The popular ones will be crownded King and Queen or at least be named for the Homecoming Court. Others will stay home and a few brave ones (at least in my generational view) will go alone. In my day, if you were solo you didn't go. Period. It was a couples function. No more. If you are unattached you can still partake in the evening's festivities. I wonder if they buy themselves their own corsage?

But, one thing has not changed since my day: the rite of passage after-prom trek down the shore. However, while the destination has remained the same, the amount of time spent down there has not. In my day (oh how that sounds so...archaic!), one drove down to the beach on only a few hours of sleep from the evening before. We'd arrive bleary eyed in the early hours of the next day ready for a day of fun. I'm not quite sure why we went so early. Prom for us was usually before Memorial Weekend, the official "opening" of the summer season so nothing was really open yet. But, we all felt so very grown up going off on our own with our own agendas.

So, we'd arrive en masse to the shore location of our choice, although it seemed we all favored mostly the same spots. We'd frolick on the sand, dip our toes in the ice cold sea, eat some fast food somewhere and then call it a day in late afternoon to face the long drive back home. That was sufficient for us back then.

Ah, but that was then, this is now. Nowadays kids make post-Prom an entire weekend. They pile into hotel rooms and party hearty without adult supervision. That most are under 18 and still considered minors by the law of the land doesn't seem to faze anyone. Their parents reserve and pay for the rooms. Someone always knows someone who is old enough to supply the alcohol...and of course, because as I was told today over lunch, "kids will be kids," there will most likely also be sex going on as well.

Kids will be kids, I was told. The group consensus was that nothing much could be done. This was the way it is now, besides kids could have sex anytime. They didn't need to wait for post-Prom weekend!

I was taught that people rise to your level of expectation. If we expect our children to indulge in sexual relations, then they probably will. After all, society says it's ok. Just take a look at what's being offered to our teens on television. There is one show on now that showcases its teenaged characters having sex, drinking and using drugs. There are no adults around, no repercussions for their behavior or choices and certainly no one telling them they shouldn't be doing these things---not on the show, nor the writers. The tone is that this is what kids do, no judgement, no lessons, no punishment.

Really? Is it foolhearty to think that our children could be offered different choices; that their fate is not yet sealed? If we never offer checks and balances, whose fault is it when our children then do what they want or are pressured by peers to join in and have no resources to say no? After all, if their parents don't seem to have a problem with it, then why should they? And, even if the child hesitated or didn't feel ready, since everyone else was going or doing it and even their own parents didn't say no, how could they have the strength and courage to not go along with the flow? It would take a very strong individual indeed.

I think there are more teens than society gives credit to who don't want to indulge in premarital sex. Now, if these teens had the knowledge that there were programs and people backing them up, I wonder how many more would step forward for their convictions?

Having sex isn't a right. It's an intimate act; it's a loving act. Our children need to respect and shelter their bodies right alongside their hearts and souls. We worry about their education, we worry about their feelings so why don't we worry about them offering themselves to someone who may not love them back, may have a disease or impregnate them?

Instead of offering them condoms, instead of renting hotel rooms for them, instead of shrugging it off with "kids will be kids" mentality, why don't we give them reasons to wait? Not with brimstone and fire reasons but reasons that will connect and communicate with them.

Kids are kids, which means they are not adults. We should, as parents and a society, role model for them how to respect, honor and love themselves enough to say no to behavior that is potentially harmful mentally, physically...and yes, spiritually.

Let's turn the tide by continuing to disapprove of parents who look the other way or give subtle permission to behave irresponsibly. Let's stop the message of "it's ok to have sex" aimed at our children by complaining to networks and movie producers who glamorize this type of behavior and fool our children into thinking it's ok and "everyone is doing it" because the truth is, they are not.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Dance Like There's No One Around!

Fairies, elves, tinies and dragons--oh my! Just another Friday night event at Z9 Christian Rock Club in Second Life. DJ Allan rocked the
house with tunes from Bon Jovi, Toby Mac, Whitesnack, Rainbow, Def Leopard and more. Guests kept the DJ busy with all their personal favorite requests.

At high count, 19 people from around the world danced the night away under a confetti filled moonlit night. Even the dragons (Maggie and Bonnie) boogied the night away, although it did get a bit dangerous with their fire breath!

Next time we'll have to bring marshallows, graham crackers and mmmm chocolate!

S'mores anyone?

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Happy Souls

Elysian fields is a place where happy souls gather. I hope so. Peter and I created a lovely retreat for souls to gather, reflect, commune, communicate and connect. There are nature sounds to soothe the heart and wind chimes softly tinkling in the background. And, in the center is our campfire circle where people from all over the world gather to listen, witness and discuss.
So far we've had two campfire circle gatherings. The first topic was about the power of prayer. The second was a well attended session about spiritual warfare. We will have more in the coming weeks, from life stories to the crucifixtion to miracles and more.

Our next campfire meeting will be Saturday May 17 from 9am-10amSL. We'll be participating in the Center for Digital Story Telling's International Day for Sharing Stories. We have an open invitation to Second Life citizens to join us and tell us their testimonies and witnessing experiences. This will be a special session for Christians and nonChristians alike. We even have a colorful "story stick" to pass around!

Soon, we'll be adding a book discussion group to our spiritual center. Book lovers will be able to share their thoughts with others and gain useful insight.

Elysian fields was designed to be multidimensional. It is a park, a spiritual center, a "library" and a retreat. It is also a place for fellowship, prayer and meditation. But, mostly Elysian Fields is a place for us all, no matter what the reason.

Please come and visit soon. You'll be glad you did. Elysian fields is located right next to Z9 Christian Rock Club on the Wings of Hope sim in Second Life. Just Im me inworld for a tp or landmark.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

A Meeting of the Minds

Tonight was our very first Campfire Circle Discussion Group meeting and by all counts it was a success! We had 2 from England, 1 from France, 1 from Germany and 3 from the USA. Our topic was the "power of prayer" and many offered their comments about how they approach prayer, how to encourage it when life gets tough or why they've fallen away from prayer. It was a time of sharing and understanding.

As time goes on, we're hoping the group continues to grow together spiritually and with trust so that we can offer a safe place to discuss what is on our hearts and minds without fear or judgement.

As usual, SL offers chances for new friendships and limitless exploration of every kind, including transcending time zones. Despite all the negative press of the media, there is good to be found in SL. Just seems to me they don't look hard enough to find it. Still, you have to wonder: what would happen if they did...would they seize the moment and promote it to spread awareness? Or...does God and the idea of people trying to connect across cultures and time zones frighten them?

After all, that would be radical news, wouldn't it?

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Sometimes its Good to Rest

Type A' s never seem to rest. Even when they are "resting" they are thinking, dreaming, planning or discussing their next project.

That's ok, it's part of our DNA but sometimes our "busyness" makes it hard to listen to the quiet, still voice of our hearts and souls. That's the voice that steers us, guides us and nurtures us. If we allow our lives to get too loud and too busy, that soft whisper can get lost.

So, sometimes it's good to just rest and be still. It's even better when you're doing that with your best friend in the world.

A new life has begun! II Cor 5:17

A new life has begun! II Cor 5:17
God's GPS