The big news this new year? Kim Kardashian is now pregnant with boyfriend, Kanye West. So get ready people, we have nine months of incessant media coverage that will satisfy anyone’s appetite for minutia. Apparently we are completely fascinated with anything Kardashian. In 2012, Kim Kardashian was the third most searched topic.
Kim is certainly not the first celebrity to have a baby out of wedlock, but she is one of few people who seems to garner public interest with every move she makes. And why many people think Kim is all harmless fun and fashion, I think her influence is far sweeping in a different way.
Last year after Kim Kardashian ended her 72 hour marriage to Kris Humphreys, the Christian Post reported Kim went to church. Kim also tweeted that she was going to begin a Bible study with some friends. This Hollywood blend of religion is a confusing concoction of values. The message is that religion doesn’t really impact behavior. And that message has been a problem for the church for many years. From televangelists, priests who molest children to celebrities, hypocrisy isn’t new. But the glamorizing of hypocrisy is–it is now fashionable. Pull out God when it works, put him in your pocket when you want to do what you want to do. Bring Him in to the picture in a distorted way that confuses people and brings no real hope for change. Just read the lyrics of Kanye West’s huge hit Jesus Walk.
God show me the way because the Devil trying to break me down
(Jesus Walks with me)
The only thing that that I pray is that my feet don’t fail me now
And I don’t think there is nothing I can do now to right my wrongs
(Jesus Walks with me)
I want to talk to God but I’m afraid because we ain’t spoke in so long
There is something that can be done to right a wrong. It’s called repentance, which brings forgiveness. God’s grace erases the sin and a person begins clean. God isn’t scary to talk to–He is full of grace and mercy. Yet the lyrics of this song leave a seeking person confused about God. The devil is trying to break us down, but the Holy Spirit in us, helps us overcome. Where is that hope?
So much of what we see in Hollywood religion is this type of confusion. No real understanding of the true God and the transforming work of the gospel. It’s a gospel of no power where appetites reign supreme.
Pop culture has tremendous influence over a generation. And a generation that is Bible illiterate, refuses to judge sin or even call sin sin, and thinks tolerance means having no standards, is in danger of never seeing the power of the Gospel. Like Jesus Walks, Jesus is present, but powerless to change lives.
How sad. How misguided. How uninformed.
The Kardashian news reminded me to have more conversations with the young adults in my life. How does this brand of religion impact thinking? And while that question may not be consciously on the minds of people, the constant spotlight of glamorizing our feeding of our appetites and doing what feels good with no shame or real fear of God, influences.
The church needs to be talking about this. Not in a way that criticizes sinners, but in a way that sorts through the confusing messages of Christianity in American culture. Jesus walks and talks. His power transforms lives so that the devil won’t break us down.
The challenge this New Year is to live out that Gospel and show the world the real power of a life transformed by Christ.
Given all the violence in the news, are there things you do to raise children who are peaceful, loving and kind?
Take a moment and evaluate how well your family is doing in several significant areas:
1) Is our family life full of stress? We all have stress. But too much stress over long periods of time depletes our abilities to cope. People reach a breaking point and sometimes act out in violent and aggressive ways. Are our stress levels manageable?
2) Do family members support one another? People do better at coping with stress when they have support. Everyone needs love, caring, affirmation and regular support. Do we provide support for each other?
3) Are we vigilant when it comes to monitoring our kids? There are simply too many dangerous influences in the culture. We have to keep on top of what kids are exposed to and what they bring into our homes. Privacy, in my opinion, is overrated in most households. There has to be supervision and screening of media. Kids and teens are not mini adults. They need guidance. You can’t guide when you don’t know what is going on or are too busy.
4) How well do we communicate? Without communication, you won’t know what is going on in the minds and hearts of your kids. You need to ask because they won’t always volunteer information.
5) Do we have healthy ways to resolve conflicts? Are we modeling and teaching anger control and nonviolent ways to handle life problems? Are we teaching problem-solving skills, conflict resolution and patience?
6) Do we have appropriate and effective discipline in our home? Do we provide consequences for problems behaviors? Are we consistent and predictable? Not too rigid or not too lenient?
7) Do our children know what is right and wrong? It is our job to train up our children. Have we provided a strong spiritual and moral framework for living? Does our family understand how to employ nonviolence?
8) Do we show family members unconditional love? We need to discipline and correct children but our love is unconditional. Does everyone feel loved no matter what? This is God’s way.
9) Do we have connection and intimacy? So many violent people are loners and feel disconnected to people. Relationships take time to develop intimacy. Take the time, spend time with your kids and know their hearts.
10) Do we address mental health issues when they present. Prevention is possible when we take to heart getting our family members help when they show signs of dysfunction. Don’t live in denial or wait for something terrible to happen. If you need help, contact a professional mental health expert.
11) Do we have strong and meaningful relationships with our children? This is the number one protection for any teen risk behavior.
12) Are we prepared to model nonviolence? Jesus was nonviolent. He showed great compassion for people. He stood His ground but did not become aggressive, violent, foul-mouthed, disrespectful and hurtful to others. His gospel is radical in that it teaches us to love our enemies, pray for those who use us, bless those who curse us and turn the other cheek.
If you’ve never heard of what it means to “bump” your smart phone, let me explain.
Bump is an app for Apple iOS and Google Android operating systems. The technology allows two smart phones with the app downloaded to send contact information and photos to each others’ phone over the internet. You open the app, hold your phones and gently bump your hands together. The data shares via internet. Bump technology is being used to pay for merchandize, split dinner checks at restaurants and more.
The more….was the press release I received.
According to Kathryn Kelly of CWR & Partners, LLP, a new App using bump technology will reveal another person’s STD status. That’s right, you use this App to learn if the person has a sexually transmitted disease! The clearance is reportedly given by a person’s medical doctor and follows HIPAA regulation. One has to volunteer to bump phones and use this sharing.
The promotional piece suggested that this is a way to help college students, divorced singles and other adults know if the person they are attracted to is in the clear when it comes to STDs.
I have so many problems with this:
1) How about if we suggest that people develop enough of a relationship first to actually talk about their sexual histories.
2) There is no such thing as responsible sex. There is always a risk and no app is going to erase that risk to zero.
3) If you can’t talk about this subject in an honest way and need to get this information from an App, the relationship is already doomed.
4) This seems like a way to continue to promote causal sex. Physical “clearance” does little to address the emotional, relational and spiritual fall out of casual sex.I can’t clear those issues with an App!
5) The rampant rate of STIs is never going to be solved by an App. How about an App to zip up ones’ pants?
As a weight loss expert, I know that so much of losing weight is won in the mind. And the easiest thing to do the day after Christmas is to give in to overeating. Many of us think, “Oh well, I might as well give up until I can hit the gym in January.”
Don’t go there. Pace yourself on the leftovers and goodies that remain in the house. It will help you in the long run. Instead, say, “I can have a treat each day but it needs to be a small portion.” This way, you don’t deprive yourself-the thing that makes most of us overeat.
When you feel the guilt of overeating, keep in mind that most of us gain about a pound over the holidays. And while we don’t want to gain weight, a pound can be lost by cutting back and getting into a healthy eating routine once again.
Here are a 5 tips to help you stay on track:
1) Weigh yourself regularly. Sounds counter intuitive, it is not. People who weigh regularly don’t allow that extra five pounds to build.The exception to this would be if you have an eating disorder.
2) Control your portions. It is all about how much you eat, not that you ate that cookie.
3) Don’t go hungry to events. Drink water or have a light snack (e.g., piece of fruit) to curb your appetite.
4) Keep tempting food out of sight–It’s true, out of sight, out of mind.
5) Limit the variety. The more variety of foods available, the more we overeat.
Above all, avoid mindless eating. Don’t use food to relax or for comfort. For more help in that area, order a copy of my book, Press Pause Before You Eat: Say goodbye to mindless eating and hello to the joy of eating. It is filled with practical tips on how to develop a healthy relationship with food and be in control of your eating habits.