Archives For November 2011

By Lisa Cherry

Until a few years ago, I would have dismissed the Penn State scandal as a rare and bizarre problem ripe for the AOL news feed, but remote from my small-town life. Until one day in 2002 when my own family’s world was turned upside down. An $800 cell phone bill revealed a secret abusive relationship between our 15-year-old daughter, Kalyn, and a 46-year-old “responsible” man from our church.

Image courtesy of Dave Dyet

That day we officially joined the throngs of those asking “How?” How could something so ugly happen to our child when we thought we were going to extraordinary measures to protect her? How could a trusted family friend face us with a smile, knowing what he was doing to our daughter in secret? How could our intelligent, bright, high achieving girl fall into such a dirty trap and still not ask our help to get out?

Kalyn’s own words penned while still in her teen years provide us some clues…

“I had fallen in a pit over my head, and it was beyond my ability to climb out. Unable to escape the cycle of excitement, guilt, pleasure, and deception that tormented me, I felt trapped—not just by a person, but by the powers of darkness seeking to destroy my life. I was torn. I had seemingly found the acceptance my teenage heart so desired, but with it came the devastating effects of sexual abuse day after day.

I lived in a fantasyland within my own mind. Whenever my thoughts wandered into reality, I felt trapped in a predicament with no way out…

I learned to pretend as though I enjoyed the sexual exploration and desires communicated to me by this much older man. Terrified of losing his “love,” I went along with all his perverted ideas, even when they made me feel filthy, violated and used. I believed the lie that he needed me to meet these needs in his life lest he be lonely and miserable…

This perverted man had found a way into my young life, shattered my values, and convinced me to believe his sick lies. Yet instead of running from him, I ran to him night after night, giving him my fragile heart and all my trust. I was no longer my own, but I was possessed by this horrific monster whose manipulation had overtaken my life.

This was my secret hidden from the world, the source of my secret pleasure and my inner turmoil. I would do anything to keep it from being exposed, yet deep down I longed desperately for someone to detect it and pull me out of this sinking pit.”

                                                            from Kalyn’s Secret, page 42-43

If only someone had known about Kalyn’s abuser and had blown the whistle...but would they have done it? Would they have been able recognize the abuse for what it was? Would they have had known what to do, and had the courage to do it? Or would they have been intimidated and fearful of offending the perpetrator?

Ignorance is one of my greatest mothering regrets over my daughter Kalyn’s life. I had lectured her well about saying “no” to bad touch and running from the trench-coated in the park. But like 90% of abusers, he was known to her. We trusted him. We didn’t realize he had groomed Kalyn and us for his evil purposes.

As the story continues to unfold from Penn State, I believe we will learn of the recognizable predator characteristics that were missed and the long trail of clues that were ignored. The questions we have should cause us to face head on the silent monster of sexual abuses lurking in the shadows of our hallowed halls.

All around us are others waiting to be rescued from their tormenting pain. With estimates ranging from one in three to four girls and one in five to six boys being sexually abused in America by age 18, obviously thousands are in desperate need of help! Are we, as the church, prepared to hear their cries and respond? Who will be Jesus’ voice of compassion to them?

Protecting our children and healing our walking wounded will require a special grace from our Heavenly Father. The church—not just the government—must prioritize this issue if we are to see a generation made whole. Ignoring the epidemic and pretending it would never happen to us “good Christian folk” is both naïve and dangerous!

Will you begin sharpening your understanding and alertness even today? Start by taking the Sexual Abuse Awareness Test which shatters some of our long-held views.

God, help us to know our kids’ world and constantly stay alert to hidden dangers that they cannot see. Help us to extend Your healing, redeeming hand to those we encounter who are trapped in a secret world of pain.

Lisa Cherry is the author of Kalyn’s Secret: Every Parent’s Battle to Save Their Children, and co-founder of POTTS (Parents of Teens and Tweens). She speaks to parents at Acquire the Fire events, and co-pastors Victory Dream Center in Carbondale, Illinois with her husband Doug. They are the parents of ten children and the grandparents of three. Follow Lisa at POTTSgroup.com and FrontlineMoms.com.

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Image courtesy of Tiffany Szerpicki

By Lisa Cherry

When I heard of my precious 17-year-old's recent classroom experience, I was heartbroken.

She’s taking a class this semester at our local junior college, and over and over she has encountered the nightmarish tactics that conservative Christian worldview experts have warned us about.

Long classroom discussions on politically correct, "inclusive" language; vicious attacks in class from a fellow student calling her a "homophobe" when she expressed her view that homosexuality is wrong; lectures from her teacher on "tolerance" coupled with disdain for anything but liberal immorality... Truly my daughter is being tested in her faith to stand.

What is a mother to do when her teen is under such pressure?

I have considered contacting the school. But what if that backfires on her grade? I have considered having her drop the class. But that will adversely impact her academic standing.

So I am left to wrestle it out.

If I did not see her arising, I would pull her out no matter what the cost to grade or finances.

But I am watching an amazing sight. God is empowering her to stand! He is strengthening her resolve as the testing is strengthening her faith.

Wow! I am so grateful.

Fellow parents, we must equip our kids in new ways. Normal Christianity will not survive the level of persecution heading our way.

As you read her recent blog post, will you pray for her—and all our Christian kids—to pass the faith test??

And while you are at it, pray for all the POTTS (Parents of Teens and Tweens) who must disciple the next generation for the remnant!

It began ok, but as time went on, it got worse. I went to speech class at 12:00 P.M., and my instructor was not being fair at all. Our next speeches are due very soon, and they are supposed to be persuasive.  But today in class she started going off on this tangent (pretty much threatening people) that if anyone uses a speech about abortion or anything "Problematic" in her terms, then we had better have some VERY convincing proof. She said this many times to the point where I wanted to raise my hand and say, "Teacher, I shouldn't have to cater to what you believe is right, that is not what a persuasive speech is!" I decided that it wouldn't do any good, so I just remained silent, inwardly laughing and arguing over her derogatory attitude. I know she needs Jesus, and my heart aches for the pain and suffering she will one day endure for the way she has openly accused and blasphemed Jesus Christ. All I want to do is find a way to bring life into my class, but every time I try, I get shot down. That is not the way it is supposed to be. I have already decided that I will not remain silent and watch America crumble. I don't care what it takes; I am determined to do my part! The only thing is that my flesh gets involved very easily. I know the battle is not against flesh and blood, but against principalities of this dark world.  Jesus, help me be a witness to You! I need Your strength. I know you see my heart!

All Saints’ Day: Kid Worldview

admin —  November 1, 2011

Saint Peter

A little-known church holiday gets lost in the hubbub over Halloween—All Saints' Day.

Maybe it’s because many churches don’t follow the traditional liturgical church year.

Or maybe it’s because we might get a little confused—what’s a “saint” anyway? And why should I care?

That’s understandable.

But skipping over this day of remembrance may rob you and your family of an excellent opportunity to explore our Christian heritage—and that’s a real shame if we’re wanting to foster a biblical worldview in the hearts and minds of our children, grandchildren or other young people we love.

First, let’s grab our Bibles and figure out what makes someone a “saint.” Is it only a believer with a “Big League” name, like Mary, Peter, Paul, Thomas or Matthew? Or all believers?

Well, those “big” names appear long after the Old Testament was written. Thumb through Psalms and you’ll find one particularly vivid reference to saints in Psalm 116: “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints.” (verse 15)

That paints a picture of how our Lord rejoices when His beloved believers return home to Him—images echoed in the New Testament, particular in Romans and Ephesians.

So for our purposes today, let’s agree “believers”—all those who have been welcomed into their Savior’s eternal rest.

What does that mean to my family in 2011?

Well, why not use All Saints' Day as a time to talk about the everyday saints in your own family—or others whose faith walk has been influential?

Our family’s story of saints would include Zine, the nickname for my great-grandmother who clung to God’s Word via cassette tapes long after her eyes dimmed as she neared 100…or Pap-Paw, whose child-like faith kept his heart always open to the needs of others…or Grandad, who revered sound doctrine and held fast to a belief of God’s inerrant Word…or Ging-Gi, who continued her faithful witness until her dying day…or Mom Renshaw, whose Lord instilled a heart of compassion for the aged and infirm.

Our children are blessed with a rich Christian heritage on my husband’s side, too…the hearty and direct descendents of religious immigrants from the Saxon region of Germany, who risked their all to carve out a free place of worship and study in the then harsh Missouri backwoods.

What are the stories in your family? Or, if this generation is called as the first to faith, what can you learn from other brothers and sisters in Christ who influenced those in your church? Who are the everyday, unsung heroes who “finished the race?”

And ask yourself this…who am I called to be?

What will my legacy be when someday I am called home?

Will someone one day think of me if they sing that old classic hymn, “For All the Saints?” Will I be one who was faithful, true and bold?

“Oh, may Thy soldiers, faithful, true and bold,
Fight as the saints who nobly fought of old
And win with them the victor's crown of gold.”

by William W. How, 1823-1897