Archives For June 2012

I was walking the hallways of the church yesterday when my son jumped out of his office with the phone in his hand.

Mom, this lady just called in to buy a resource. She is very upset and really needs to talk to you. Can you talk to her?

I ducked into a nearby office and asked how I could help.

Her story immediately brought tears to my eyes.  Christian family…Christian school...14 year old daughter...Sexually abused by the "favorite" teacher in the school....Media camped out on the parent's front lawn...

Teacher arrested after more than 70 letters from him to the girl found....Started with sweet little "nice girl" encouragements...He liked to cheer for her at the sporting events....Asked her to sit by him on the school  bus trip....

Until one day he touched her.....So she brought her parents the letters she had been saving for many months...Explicit tomes that made her parents gasp....

Now many of the students in the school are mad at the girl for removing their favorite teacher...Even some of the teachers shun her in the halls...

And the mother received an anonymous letter of apology from another mom whose daughter had also been abused and parents had not told...

In a news story related to this family's case, the prosecutor was quoted as saying.... “We've definitely seen an increase in the last two-three years in situations where adults or caregivers such as teachers or coaches have been involved in improper relationships with those under their care.”

The prosecutor also said it will be a tough case even though the evidence is clear.

This mama is crying herself to sleep.   Her story hit buttons on the inside of me….Memories that I did not know were still raw. I felt her pain as the sea of regrets threatened to sweep us both away into a land neither of us wanted to visit.

We were both intelligent women with strong protective homes. This was not supposed to happen to our children!

Why had we not learned the truth about predator grooming behaviors before we and our girls were deceived?  As our hearts were knit together by our common pain, we recognized the poignancy of the moment.

Only 3% of sexual offenders will ever see a jail cell. But 100% of mamas want their children protected and whole.

What if we dared to tell other moms our stories, we began to conjecture? What if they began to believe us?

The statistics do not lie: the chances of your child encountering a sexual predator exceed the chances of your child contracting many of the dangerous diseases we rush our kids to doctors to prevent.

Would the answer to Unmasking the Predators be as close as the mamas stepping into the cause?

I do not know exactly what the Lord would have my new friend and I to do together yet, but I asked her permission to tell you part of her story today. She asked me to do just that. She is too weak right now to tell you herself.

Frontline moms, I am convinced you are reading this today because we are called to make a difference. Will you help my friend and I warn other moms and equip them with the information and strategy they need?

I know this is not a comfortable topic. It is "sticky" and offensive by very definition. But it is one that will not be going away as our world spins deeper and deeper into perversion.

I know somehow the Lord will equip us to battle for our children's purity even as it feels like a David and Goliath fight.

I am looking for at least 50 Frontline Moms (or dads or grandmoms) who will help us today by:

1. Sending this post to five of your friends and asking them to become a Frontline Mom by joining this blog site.

2. Go buy a copy of Unmask the Predators at a bookstore or online vendor today. Read it. Grasp deeply this concept of grooming. And then pass it on to a friend. (All my author proceeds I will put back into helping more families like my friend today.) If you truly cannot afford to buy your own copy, email me. (Lisacherry9@aol.com)

3. Pray for the grace and wisdom for us at Frontline Family Ministries as we earnestly seek to assist parents in Unmasking.

4. Message me back to let me know you did 1-3.

I have seen the Power of Moms before. I believe it is our turn now!

By Lisa Cherry, Author of Unmask the Predators

Image courtesy of Sanja Gjenero

Linking up to  Weekend Whatever.

remnant scraps 31280_panoI remember the seeds of this post germinating when I was just a little girl in the fabric store with my grandmother.

Mom Renshaw was a woman of great strength and determination who knew how to make every dollar count. She sewed her clothes, my grandfather’s clothes and wanted to sew mine when she could find a good deal.  She always stopped by the remnant bin to see what she could find.

I think somewhere in the back room of fabric stores with Mom is where I first developed my inner suspicion for that word remnant.

Ah, the remnants. Those lonely pieces of fabrics leftover after all the full paying customers had selected their goods. Too short to wind their way on the bolts any longer, these rejected linen pieces were repackaged into little bundles and colorfully labeled with deep discounts designed to attract the customers.

In my adult life, I have heard preachers solemnly say…..God always preserves a remnant. In every time. In every era. In every culture He always has his folk.

I truly have never doubted what the Bible scholars proclaimed. I knew enough history lessons to know they are right. It’s just that when the preacher made his declaration, my mind raced with other memories of sewing projects with my depression-era grandma.

So when I heard the word remnant, I wondered did I really want to be like those fabrics from my childhood memory? Leftovers. Rejects. Wannabes. Cheap substitutes.

Didn’t I want something more successful for my life than just a cut-rate settling for a position in the bargain bin?

What if my Heavenly Father had something else entirely different in mind when He casts a vision to us of the word Remnant? What if His definition as it relates to Mom’s material was more like this:

The fabric at the end of the bolt that had not been parceled out for other projects or visions.

The fabric selected to finish up a special job.

The choice fabric that is reserved as special and valued for its rarity.

Would that not change my desire to be included in HIS REMNANT?  Would that change my kids’ view to be children of the remnant?

I believe we stand at an apex of history in the body of Christ as we groan to settle which meaning of remnant to adopt.

We have tried to soft sell the Christian family concept for too long avoiding many of the sticky questions that it raises in our own lives and the lives of our kids.

Will we continue to expect a Christian culture look-alike to every trend that arises in the world?

Or will an assignment to the Remnant of the Lord in our generation come with a premium cost to step out and be different?

Can you sense the dawning of a new season? As the darkness has settled in more heavily, we can no longer fool ourselves and our children. We are no longer able to sit on the fence and presume our position.

I was speaking to a group of parents in Pittsburgh recently about parenting the remnant generation when a mom approached me in the auditorium hallway. She was amazed at the timing of our meeting.

Just that week before she and her husband had a very sobering conversation about the shifting of the times and the new season they were sensing. “Lisa, I know in my heart this is true. We will need to adjust as a family and take serious our aiming of our children.”

So I guess my gut-honest question to myself is a great place for us all to start as we begin our pondering of this issue together:

If there is a God-Remnant gathering, Lisa, are you willing to yield to His view of the process and….Do you truly want to be counted as a part? 

Our children will need our support if they are to be able to stand up and be separate. Are we ready, parents, to take our place of Leadership?

“Therefore come out from them
and be separate,
says the Lord.
Touch no unclean thing,
and I will receive you.”  2 Corinthians 6:17

How about you?  Do you see your family as part of God's remnant?

By Lisa Cherry, author of Unmask the Predators

Image courtesy of Ana Labate

Apocalypse 800px-Apocalypse_vasnetsovBy Lisa Cherry

This past school year I led our children in a survey course of the New Testament. It was one of the most exciting honors of my life. I took my well-worn, highlighted Bible and shared my favorite scriptures from Matthew to Revelation.

One day my teenage daughter cornered me saying, "Mom, how did you learn these things you are teaching us?" It took me aback.

I wasn't sure how to answer until it hit me. I have been walking with the Lord for so long that I have years’ worth of highlighted notes that my children need!

Why not be the one who shares these most important words to their hearts?  I was wondering how our study would end up though. I hated to think they would be disappointed with my handling of the last book.

There is still so much of the book of Revelation that I cannot confidently teach them about.  What if I messed them up? Revelation can be a pretty scary book...especially if you are not able to decode all the graphic images.

My worries were totally unfounded. They loved it. The spirits and horns and the smoke were great, but I think our favorite part was the opening five words.

Revelation 1:1 The revelation of Jesus Christ... Wow, so that is the true purpose of this book…To know Jesus more accurately and intimately! I always thought the book was about death, doom and destruction with a few angels thrown into the story.

Why would our kids need to study the book of Revelation?

The answer is becoming clearer to meto gain a heart of honor for their Lord.  …to gain a sense of eternal perspective to their lives.

…to realize that perhaps having the latest Ipad is not going to matter much in the Kingdom  of God.

…to know Jesus, so they can live their lives making Him known.

It’s such a simple thing, to pick up the Bible and read together…to admit that we might not understand every verse, yet to know that the central message is clear.

Jesus is coming back some day. And He is coming for a church without blemish and wrinkle.  Our kids need that voice of holiness coming toward them past the voice of "mom's rules."

I challenge you. Dare to pick up Revelation with your children. See what the Lord does in your hearts.

I am so excited about this that I am taking that challenge to my ladies Sunday school class this summer too.

Let me know what happens in your heart and your home when you do!

By Lisa Cherry

Author of Unmask the Predators

 Image courtesy of Wikipedia

Linking up to Visionary Womanhood, The Better MomMonday’s MusingsModest Mondays,  and Big Family Friday.

  “Nobody wins. We've all lost.”   
 
That’s what the mother of Victim 6 in the Sandusky child sexual abuse trial said after hearing the verdict, and I could not agree with her more!
 

I wrote about our experience going to trial in my post Sandusky Verdict Announcement Reminds Me of Our Day in Court.   I hope you will read it.

The tragedy of sexual abuse steals the innocence and security of young lives.  
 
The victims and their families have been through the exposure and upheaval of the trial, and the anticipated closure just isn’t there. 
 
They are still left with a wasteland ahead of them.  Will they ever be able to recover and find a place of peace and safety?
 
God help her as she and her family continue on a journey that no one should ever have to take.
 
By Lisa Cherry

Author of Unmask the Predators

 Image courtesy of Killick1

By Lisa Cherry

In a culture of instant mashed potatoes, instant messaging, and instant entertainment, our children know little of the concept of waiting.

This became even clearer to me as I prepared the last holiday feast with my daughters at my side. Mom, this is sooooo much work! they proclaimed after all the dicing and mixing and table setting.

Sad thing was, I found myself feeling the same way!

It strikes me that waiting in the form of patience is no longer seen as a virtue. It is considered our mortal enemy. However, I am not at all sure that God is embracing our view on life.

His interactions throughout the pages of the Bible are filled with instructions to His children to wait.

So, if we want our children to mature in Godliness, we will have no choice but to go against the cultural tide and train our kids to wait.

Here are some ideas I have thought to help our family.

1. Recognize, as a parent, that your kids are handicapped in waiting for three reasons. First, youthfulness is impulsive by nature. Second, technology and modern civilization has removed many natural opportunities to learn waiting. Third, speed is seen as a sign of strength and value in our world.

2. Teach point #1 to your children intentionally. Show them scriptural examples of waiting:

Abraham and Sarah waited 25 years for their son Isaac.

Jacob waited seven years and a week for his wife Rachel, and then had to work for her father another seven years after the wedding.

After waiting all his “just and devout” life, Simeon finally got to see and hold  the baby Jesus.

After Jesus waited 30 years and fasted for 40 days, He was launched into His ministry.

3. Intentionally do a few things "the hard and slow way" just to give your family a perspective. Though we own a leaf blower, Doug insists we get everyone out in the fall with rakes! And at least a few times a year, we need to shred our own cheese.

4. Laugh with your kids while you do #3. It will bother your "speed" ideology as much as theirs.

5. Encourage your family when you observe them displaying the skill of waiting. Compliment patient behavior. Let them experience something other than frustration when life moves slower than they want.

6. Cultivate the adventure quality of youth. Teens and young adults hate to wait, but love the extreme. Help them to understand that waiting for God IS the extreme.....and the Spirit-led life is filled with drama when we can learn to wait on His voice!  Serving Jesus is a blast.

7.   Look at scriptural promises about waiting:  The Lord is good to those who wait for Him (Lam. 3:25) and those who wait on the Lord Shall renew their strength…(Isaiah 40:31)

What others ways have you discovered to help your children learn patience?  Please share them in the comments.

Image courtesy of Elizabeth French

Linking up to Monday's Musings,  The Better Mom, Visionary Linkup,  Modest MondaysLoving Our ChildrenOn Your Heart Tuesday Teach Me Tuesdays, and Weekend Whatever.