Monthly Archives: August 2013

Twerking into Happily Never After

 Snow White

You may never have heard of photographer Dina Goldstein or her series, “Happily-Never-Afters” about what happens to Disney Princesses after their happy endings. In this work, Goldstein imagines what their lives would be like in reality. Her controversial photographs are based on depressing scenes from life she has imagined after the happy endings. For example, Goldstein portrays Snow White as an overwhelmed mom with a “not so charming” Prince; the Princess and the Pea heroine is portrayed in a garbage dump with a hoarding problem; Little Red Riding hood struggles with obesity; Belle tries to hang on to her beauty with plastic surgery; and Cinderella drowns palace life issues in alcoholism.

We are horribly shocked by the images. Disney princesses are timeless. They remain pure and perfect. Whether at the theme park or on the big screen, Disney girls have fairy tale endings! Or do they? Of course we know differently, don’t we? Whether it is Miley Cyrus twerking, Britney Spears’ being “not so innocent,” or the recent Spring Break shocker with former Disney girls Vanessa Hudgens, Selena Gomez, and Ashley Benson, the rule seems to be, “be a good girl to get a good reputation until it is time to ‘go bad’ and make the real money.” Even Betty White from the Golden Girls has made a new career of being trashy!

Sadly, It is probably too fairy tale-ish to believe that Miley and the other girls will turn toward a Godly life. Over 300,000 tweets per minute is a fame that tells Miley that she made the “right” decision. But she would do well to remember that nothing is more delicious to a fallen world than a train wreck that ruins purity and a good reputation. Solomon cautioned young people to guard their reputations, saying, “a good name is to be chosen rather than great riches” (Proverbs 22:1).

The life that Miley and the other “Disney Princesses” are choosing is more likely to end in a Happily “Never” After than happily ever after. Seek God while He may be found (Isaiah 55:6) for a true happy ending.

Jailed for “Conversion Therapy” in New Jersey

I like the term, “conversion therapy.” It is kind of what I do every week. Let me be clear, I am not a licensed counselor or therapist. Rather, I am a gospel preacher. I preach Christ crucified, buried, and resurrected. Each Sunday, I have open “therapy” sessions where I encourage “conversion” to three categories of people: 1) those who haven’t become Christians, 2) those who are “Christians” but aren’t living like it, and 3) Christians who need encouragement to remain faithful. It turns out though, what I do might land me in jail soon, especially if I preach in New Jersey!

Why New Jersey? Well, Governor Chris Christie has signed into law a bill that makes it illegal to practice, “gay conversion therapy.” Conversion therapy is a name that opponents have given to therapy that attempts to help patients stop having homosexual desires. The practice is highly controversial, and its effectiveness has been seriously questioned. Nevertheless, it does raise a question about whether preaching is next.

Whether you agree with “conversion therapy” for homosexuals or not, the interesting thing is that it is voluntary! Homosexuals aren’t being grabbed off the street and forced to endure heterosexual ideology. Rather, individuals who desire to stop living one kind of life and start living another life are voluntarily going for help. Wait a second…helping people change their life is what I do!

If it is illegal to attempt “conversion” of homosexuals, what about other issues? Consider the preacher who says, “Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.” What if someone listening actually decided to give up idolatry, sexual immorality, greediness, or swindling? Would the preacher be jailed for “conversion therapy?”

Well, I guess he would be in good company, because that is what Paul preached in 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 and he got thrown in prison too. Jailed for conversion therapy? Ok, if that is what brings glory to God and helps people see the error of their ways, I’m in – guilty as charged.


Sheryl Crow Wears an Eye Patch

As any parent knows, if you play with your kids enough, sooner or later you are going to get injured. It could be that a little one pokes you in the eye, perhaps a head “bonk” to the nose, perhaps a toy is left out that causes a tumble…the list goes on and on of potential dangers. Some days parenting is like a factory boasting “100 days injury-free,” while other days are like an underwriter’s worst nightmare.

As rocker, Sheryl Crow, learned recently, “mommy injuries” aren’t just for normal folks. “Kid-cidents,” occur no matter what your age, income, or celebrity status! Crow posted an instagram picture of herself wearing an eye patch the other day with the hashtag “#mommyinjury,” after getting hit with a tennis ball by one of her little ones. Some things are unavoidable no matter who you are. As I pointed out in a recent lesson, even Superman has to wait for the cable guy to be there between 1pm and 4pm!

Even with all the fame and fortune, Crow had a good attitude and admitted to a simple fact of life, “so this is what happens when you play tennis with your toddler.” When injured by our kids, we laugh about it because we know our kids aren’t trying to hurt us. Kids don’t always have control over what they do. They are learning how to be responsible and what kind of behavior is appropriate. Learning and growing are frustrating experiences…sometimes more for the teacher than the student!

Now imagine how God feels with so many children; all are learning, growing, and making mistakes. The apostle John addresses his readers as “little children,” reminding us of our place before God.  As children of God, our daily missteps are the “injuries” of children who are learning. His amazing calm in the face of our collective “eye-poking” overwhelms me. He loves, comforts, and gently picks us up time and time again.

In trying to follow Christ, let’s train up our children in the way that is right (Proverbs 22:6), helping them to know and obey without exasperating them (Ephesians 6:1-4), but never hinder them from a path to the Lord (Mark 10:14). And let’s have the right attitude the next time a “kid-cident” rolls along.


Image: Test-tube meat

It’s alive! Well, not really. But coming sometime in the next 10 years, you will be able to buy a hamburger that was…wait for it…grown in a petri dish. Yippee! Wait, seriously? It’s true. Earlier this week, researchers fed two food critics hamburger that had been grown in a petri dish. And while the $330,000 price tag to make this burger might seem a little higher than you would pay, the cost is sure to come down soon.

How does one make a petri dish burger? Lab grown beef muscle cells are mixed with salt, egg powder, and bread crumbs. Then beet juice and saffron are added for color because researchers decided the natural grey (no blood in this burger) is not particularly appetizing. And people think veggie burgers are strange! It will take years before “shmeat” or sheet meet (also dubbed Frankenmeat) is commercially viable for eating. Nevertheless, uses such as leather for purses, etc., are not far off at all.

As impressive as it is to take live meat cells and grow a hamburger, we should probably take a moment to remember that the scientists merely grew something “after its own kind.” A fish or bird or tomato didn’t pop out of the meat cell dish. God alone creates and God alone gives life (Genesis 1-2). God alone makes something from nothing. And God’s food doesn’t take years to grow. Whether it is manna from heaven, water from wine, or feeding thousands from a few loaves and fish, God’s miraculous powers are far beyond our capabilities.

Like Pharaoh’s magicians, we might seem impressive at first glance, but in comparison to God’s amazing power of creation, all we do is take the created objects and energy and learn how to redistribute them. And as far as the end of meat as we know it…well, don’t sell the family cow for a few magic beans just yet, Jack. As impressive as this latest feat is, the critics said the meat still has a long way to go on texture and flavor too!