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Distracted to Death, Part I

Lisa Cherry —  September 19, 2013

Weapons of Mass Distraction 6875893248_07146d1191

Guest Post by Beth Groh

A Note from Lisa:   How about an insightful yet caustic letter from hell to shake up your kids? That is exactly what our  friend C. S. Lewis did for us when he penned the Screwtape Letters.

Have you read this classic work that allows us to peek into the thought bombs leveled at us from the forces of darkness?

I remember the profound impact those letters had on me as a young Christian. So what if someone wrote an "updated version" of that classic to enlighten a new generation of Christians?

That is exactly the question my sister, Beth, was pondering the day she took a stab at some Screwtape Letters for her own teenagers. I asked her permission to share them with you and your family.

Here are my questions for you after you read these thought provoking letters:

Do you think Beth's insights are correct? Are we being Distracted to Death?

How would you pen a letter if it was your project to attempt?? 

Thanks Beth for sharing your creative writings. They are truly making me mindful of the thought bombs deployed in my life!!

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities,
against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Ephesians 6:12

Distracted to Death, Part I

By Beth Groh

Dear Gall,

Don’t whine about having such a “tough assignment.” Really?! You think it’s tough to steer a soul towards Our Father in today’s society? Wah, wah, wah…

You’ve got everything you need right at your fingertips: 24/7 distractions, disinterest in all things spiritual, a bombardment of Our Father’s handiwork everywhere, rebellion, lawlessness, you name it.  And don’t forget our weapons of mass distraction: Facebook, Twitter, You Tube and the like. 

You’ve got it so easy. You don’t even have to battle truth like we did back in the day. We used to have to nudge people into rejecting what the Enemy held out as truth. (It was actually quite fun, I must admit, and easier than you might think.)

But today, these dull sheep don’t even believe in truth anyway because one person’s “truth” is another’s “heresy.” These intellectual slobs like to play nice and accept everyone’s views on faith (or no faith) as valid.

How tough can it be for you to nudge someone into rejecting the Enemy’s version of truth when they deny it exists?

So give me a break with all your complaints…I have little patience.

But I do have orders from the lower minions to keep you on task. So I will have to put up with your sniveling while I guide you through this process over the next couple of weeks.

Why? Well, I’m ordered to, for one thing.

But also Our Father realizes that the stakes are quite high right now. He’s reaching a tipping point--not just capturing a few souls, but in decimating an entire generation. 

That, in turn, could get us the soul of a nation.

Ah, yes, the sweet smell of victory is in the air. (And wouldn’t that be juicy revenge for that naïve promise in the Garden at the beginning of the ages that victory would be in the hands of the “good guys”?! Ha!)

So let me know about any resistance you might face and I’ll walk you through it.

I will also try to stay awake watching you do your thing, although it’s really quite boring and lacks the vigor I used to face in the day when I had to pick off those who truly did know the Enemy’s words. (Now THAT was fun. This is mere child’s play.)

But I’ll do my part. Just keep me posted and look for opportunities, even though you don’t have to look too far.

Your affectionate uncle,

Screwedup

 

Dear Gall,

Would you quit texting and just pick up the phone?

Yes, I know your patient went to a church youth group thing last night. And, yes, I know he was singing along with songs praising the Enemy.

So what?

He went there to be entertained. He was. He went there because he liked a girl who was going.  She was.

He was just there for the entertainment and didn’t come with a lot of curiosity about what was being said.  (So did you really have to send me an urgent message?!)

Instead of getting so worked up about him singing the “Jesus” word, all you had to do was stay calm and remember your most powerful weapon: distraction.

When your patient’s mind starting to listen to the pastor’s words, all you had to do was nudge someone to text him. You stir curiosity about where is other friends are tonight. You plant a thought about the homework he still needs to complete. You draw his eyes towards what all the girls around him are wearing and what they’re doing. (Lust also is a powerful tool.)

Think about it, Gall. Is it really too hard to get him thinking about anything other than a message about the Enemy when he’s surrounded by other amusements?

How often does your patient ever unplug anyway and truly think anyway? Does he ever really ponder heavy stuff that might allow him to tap into his memories of Bible stories from his youth about the Enemy? His brain darts from one idea to another throughout the day as it is. If it’s not his phone, it’s his TV, his iPod, his Xbox.

Even in school, he doesn’t have to do that much deep thinking. He just has to remember concepts long enough to check A, B, C, or D. Deep thoughts? Hardly.

So don’t overly complicate this, Gall. Distract. Distract. Distract. Nine times out of 10 that will shut down any meaningful reflection that could allow the Enemy to infiltrate.

Next time, I’ll give you some other tips. But in the meantime, just keep it simple, OK? And, remember, this is soooo easy…

Your affectionate uncle,

Screwedup

 

Dear Gall,

Calm down. So your patient went to a Bible study class with a few friends after that Enemy concert. Big deal.

Actually, it’s almost easier to steal somebody who’s actually flirting with the Enemy’s ideas and offers of peace, salvation, love, blah, blah, blah.

We can still win them. And, the truth be told, we can sometimes mold them into one of our ambassadors without them even knowing it. (Truly, it’s a delicious sport that we’re about to play here!)

Now your first order of business is to remember your most basic tool. You do remember that Gall, correct?

Yes, it’s distraction. If he reads the Bible or is in a Bible study class, then don’t forget the obvious first step, which is to plant ideas that take his mind off the Enemy’s words. Sometimes that alone is enough to shut down the entire threat.

If that doesn’t work, then the real fun begins. You must follow the lead of Our Father and his most tried and true tactic. (If it worked in the Garden of Eden, it can surely work today.) You play on the patient’s pride and encourage him to trust his intellect.

How did Our Father do that? He simply planted doubt on the Enemy’s promise with one question, “Did God really say…?”

VOILA! Eve took the bait. She questioned. She used her own mind to trump God’s word. She arrogantly thought she knew better than the one who created her.

And it gets even better…she then shared those ideas with her mate, Adam. It was a 2-for-1 deal for Our Father!

Sure, the Enemy made this promise that he would someday overcome Our Father. He made a good run at it, too, with the whole cross thing.

But I look around now and see how many souls we have won—and how many more are just so ripe for the taking—and I can’t help believe that Our Father has momentum on his side. (That’s why we’re moving so fast and furiously right now to keep building on those gains.)

So think about it, Gall. The first two people the Enemy made—who had all the beauty and things of this world right there for the taking—rejected that promise, even though they used to walk with the Enemy in that Garden. Do you really think it’s that hard to get someone thousands of years later, who is simply reading about these stories in a book, to question and doubt?

Easy breezy…

Just, one, plant those doubts in your patient’s mind and get him thinking he knows more than the Enemy’s word. Then, second, plant the idea that this book is filled with a bunch of fairy tales anyway that have no real meaning today.

Got it? You simply have to get him to Exalt Reason, instead of simply using reason. Then you have to Discredit the Word. And I can give you a whole lesson on that next time.

Your affectionate uncle,

Screwedup

Image: By birgerking  “Weapons of Mass Distraction”
License: Attribution 2.0 Generic via Flickr Creative Common

Related Post:
Distracted to Death Part 2

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Women Helping Women

Kalyn Cherry Waller

By: Kalyn Cherry Waller
 
 
Have you ever had a heated discussion in your home about wardrobe choices? I know in my teen years, clothing became a source of regular disagreements between my parents and me. Often times, it became a downright ugly scene, ending with misunderstandings, hurt feelings, and rebellion mixed all together.
 
Many times there is such a disconnect between a parent's wisdom and a teen's desire to fit in, that common ground is hard to find.
 
If just the word "modesty" brings tension in your home, I encourage you not to give up on the issue. It is a hard topic, filled with sensitivities. But I believe God is able to help you guide your teen through clothing choices and even have the courage to draw the lines where the lines need drawn. I am very thankful my parents did just that!
 
Here is a great resource to help you get the conversation started:
 
http://www.therebelution.com/modestysurvey/

 

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Right now we are offering our POTTS (Parents of Teens and Tweens) subscription for $15 instead of $20.  This is an annual subscription that includes ongoing support and monthly videos to help in your parenting journey.  The kit includes (1) Stick book, (1) 4-part DVD curriculum, Monthly Video Sessions, and Support from POTTS. You can find out more about our POTTS ministry HERE.

POTTS Parents of Tweens and Teens

Full Repair??

admin —  April 21, 2013

Repair Shampoo

by Doug Cherry

I showered this morning and did what millions of men across America will do today.  I picked up my wife's shampoo to use on my own hair.  As I looked at the name of the shampoo it inspired hope!  Could this shampoo really live up to its name?   You can see from the top of my head a full repair (for me) would be a notable miracle.  It would take something almost the magnitude of raising Lazarus from the dead (after three days in the tomb).  I really do not have anything left to "repair," I need a full regeneration!Doug Cherry head
 
As I thought about the faith struggle to bring life from the very pits of death (hair from near total baIdness), I likened it to the plight of many parents I speak to as I travel across America who are in the middle of a teen crisis that looks pretty much impossible to heal.
 
We were in that sort of a crisis a few years ago.  It looked like we were down for the final count.  But God had a different plan.  We watched Him snatch our teen daughter out of the jaws of depression, rebellion, eating disorders, self mutilation, and hopelessness.  He did a "Full Repair" on our family.
 
He is in the business of bringing life out of the cold grave.  He wants to do that for you as well.  We are praying for you today.  Let us know what your family needs so that we know exactly how to pray.
 
Doug Cherry
Author of "Stick - Making the Handoff to the Next Generation"
Cofounder of POTTS (Parents Of Teens and Tweens)
Pastor - Victory Dream Center of Southern Illinois

If you are not a current subscriber of POTTS we invite you to join this month and be a catalyst for Godly parenting across the nation.

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Right now we are offering our POTTS (Parents of Teens and Tweens) subscription for $15 instead of $20.  This is an annual subscription that includes ongoing support and monthly videos to help in your parenting journey.  The kit includes (1) Stick book, (1) 4-part DVD curriculum, Monthly Video Sessions, and Support from POTTS. You can find out more about our POTTS ministry HERE.

POTTS Parents of Tweens and Teens

Finding Beauty in Suffering

admin —  April 6, 2012

What a breathtaking photo…such a look of joy on a face scarred by unspeakable horror.

This young woman named Yubelina nearly died for her Christian faith, left severely burned when Muslims attacked her village in Indonesia.

Voice of the Martyrs ministry featured her disfigured image on its January newsletter cover—and it has become a picture that has struck a chord with Christians worldwide.

Joy in suffering. Beauty in the ugliness of persecution.

An image and reminder we need on this week leading into Easter.

It’s so easy in our modern “feel good” culture to focus on Easter, jumping over the unpleasant description of Christ’s suffering for us on Good Friday so we can fast-forward to his triumphant resurrection celebration on Sunday.

Sadly, in our society Good Friday has become another shopping day for Easter baskets or dresses. Or just another day at work before a holiday weekend.

Long gone are the days I remember as a child going to hear my grandfather preach about the passion of Christ on Good Friday afternoon (which always seemed to be a dark, dreary day with a thunderstorm, as I recall).

We don’t want to dwell on the gory details of how our beloved Jesus was mocked, mauled and left in a mangled state of dislocated joints and skin as He hung dying on the cross. “But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities…”(Isaiah 53:5) The prophet Isaiah also foretold that His “visage was marred more than any man.” (Isaiah 52:14) Would His face have looked worse than Yubelina’s?

Yes, we know in the abstract sense that Christ suffered for us. Likewise we know, abstractly, that Christians like Yubelina suffer in the world today for the Gospel.

But it’s not a place we like to stop and stare.

Certainly it’s not a place we necessarily want to take our children (those old enough, and mature enough, who could handle such discussions or images, that is).

My instinct as a mom?

Shield and protect them from seeing evil. But, shame on me, that should not be my action as a Frontline Mom, who wants to instill a biblical worldview in her children.

Suffering is real today, just as it was 2,000 or so years ago on a cross on Calvary.

Ugly? Yes.

Necessary? Yes.

Beautiful? Truly beautiful? Yes.

How could His suffering be beautiful?

Well, without His willingness to suffer punishment for all of our sins, a disfigured young lady like Yubelina would have no reason to smile—no joy or hope in her heart.

Yet the look she offers out of her one good eye says it all. She loves her Savior. And she bears witness with her scars—and smile—of how beauty lies in His sacrifice.

As I look at our sweet sister, I caught myself humming the hymn, When I Survey the Wondrous Cross, as I wrote this message:

“See, from His head, His hands, His feet,
Sorrow and love flow mingled down.
Did e’er such love and sorrow meet,
Or thorns compose so rich a crown?”

Sorrow and love flowed down our Savior’s body as His blood was poured out for your Salvation and mine.

Embrace that thought today…and share it with others. Let Yubelina’s smile inspire you to reflect the sacrificial love of our Lord tomorrow on (truly) Good Friday.

Image courtesy of Voice of the Martyrs

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By Beth Groh

A note from Lisa: I am so excited to introduce my sister, Beth Groh. She is an awesome voice to moms of today!!! As a gifted writer, she will regularly contribute to our site to help us train our kids to think like a Christians. Thanks, FrontLineMom Beth. Good to have you on board, sis!

Want to attract stares at your son’s basketball game?

Sure, you can stand up and cheer at the top of your lungs, “Good try, good try,” when your son hits an air ball feet away from the basketball goal, or “Way to go” when he scores.

Or you could do like I did a few weeks ago. Set up a colorful table at the gym with a sign, “Creation Corner”… and see what happens when you hand out tracts such as What Really Happened to Dinosaurs?, Was the World Really Made in 6 Days?, Who’s Cain’s Wife?

What will you get?

A few stares. A few polite nods. A few eager takers of the tracts.

And some stopping, quite hungry to talk. “I’ve been really confused about this,” one man started as he sat down to chat. “I have a hard time believing many Bible stories as being true.”

Continue reading “Dinosaurs, Basketball and One FrontLine Mom” »