En Gedi: Finding rest in the wilderness!

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Posts Tagged ‘dads’

Can I be frank with you men?

Posted by Scott on September 10, 2008

I have been away studying through some great Bible studies the past several weeks.  Over this time politics has really become volatile and the true church is not as visible as it once was.  One observation over the years and especially this year I have listened to men especially Christian men whine, groan, and moan about wimpy stuff.  Today, Christian men are so feminized they complain about the littlest things and whine about things they should be embracing as a man.  The men are now acting like the females while the women are acting like the men.  It is really a messed up world we live in.

Areas I hear the wimpiness coming through for instance is from Sarah Palin’s speech at the Republican Convention.  Come on guys, she did not take some things far enough, but was gracious yet “manly” in her address.  She could have said some truthfully nasty things about the opposite side, but refrained.  She was firm on her convictions as us men are suppose to be.  She was combative to challenge the other side like us men are suppose to do.  She spoke the truth unabashedly as us men are suppose to do.  If Sarah Palin is elected as the VP, it is an indictment on us men for failing to rise up and be the men we are called to be.  We are to be tougher.  We are to be unabashedly truthful in all things.  We are to be firm about our convictions.  We are to be supportive of life from the moment of conception and not bat an eye when telling others our convictions.  It is us men that are to live with integrity all the days of our lives so our kids can see this in us and glorify our God.  This great nation is in need of men that hold to the truth, integrity, and convictions that Sarah Palin has exhibited, but He cannot find any, so He will raise a woman up to accomplish this.

Men, we must get a grip on this life.  It is not easy nor did God ever promise it would be.  We must stop worrying about what the Muslim will think about the truth from God’s Holy Word when presented.  We must speak the truth to them without fail.  We must not shrink back into our shell because of some arrogant atheist point of view…a lost person cannot understand the things of God.  Their intelligence is no match for the wisdom and knowledge of God.  Men must take back their children from the government run schools.  If you want your children to grow up in a godly manner then stop sending them to the most ungodly institutions for instruction.  If we want to raise the next generation to honor our God and bring Him glory then you will have to spend more time with them developing a Biblical World View rather than letting the world develop a secular world view.  This will not come about if you give “Caesar” over 40 hours per week with your children teaching them everything but Biblical truth verses your 5 to 6 hours per week talking about everything else and maybe the Bible…if Romans are teaching them then do not expect them to turn out to be anything but Romans.  Our children need to be indoctrinated on the Scriptures not science and social studies.  Our children need to know the Word of God from beginning to end rather than evolution and that two married men can make up a family.  I am tired of hearing these wimpy Christian men with tales between their legs whining about a woman being a bit too rough on a liberal or the preacher in the pulpit is speaking about the reality of hell too much so his friends will not want to come to church.  Either return to being a man as God made you or stop calling yourself a man.

“He who walks righteously and speaks what is right, who rejects gain from extortion and keeps his hand from accepting bribes, who stops his ears against plots of murder and shuts his eyes against contemplating evil-this is the man who will dwell on the heights, whose refuge will be the mountain fortress.  His bread will be supplied and water will not fail him.”   Isaiah 33:15-16

Guys, the calling is back to righteousness.  God wants us to be a holy and righteous remnant for Him when He returns.  It will not matter how rich you are, what legacy you have left if righteousness and holiness were not a part of it.  At work we need to strive for righteousness.  Do not listen to the nasty jokes.  Be a blessing to those around you looking out for your fellow man rather than yourself.  Be in communion with God all day long whether good time or bad.  are you building your home on the mountain fortress as a refuge based on the Scriptures?  Is your faith growing daily as God stretches your faith with events of life you could not imagine?  Is your life a breath of fresh air to God and those around you?  Does your family think of you as a godly man or a work driven person striving for riches?  How much time do you spend with your wife and kids on a weekly basis compared the amount of work you do?  These are tough questions only for real men….if you are wimpy and whiny right now just reading this then you may not want to read further.

Men, read this next passage very carefully.  Read it over and over.  Understand that this is still in effect today as it was when it was written a few thousand years ago.  Read as though your life depends on it, which it really does.  Read it to your children and to your wife.  Read everyday until it becomes so en-grained into your mind you will never forget it.

Deuteronomy 6:3-19 (New International Version)

3 Hear, O Israel, and be careful to obey so that it may go well with you and that you may increase greatly in a land flowing with milk and honey, just as the LORD, the God of your fathers, promised you.

 4 Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. [a] 5 Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. 6 These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. 7 Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 8 Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. 9Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.

 10 When the LORD your God brings you into the land he swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, to give you—a land with large, flourishing cities you did not build, 11 houses filled with all kinds of good things you did not provide, wells you did not dig, and vineyards and olive groves you did not plant—then when you eat and are satisfied, 12 be careful that you do not forget the LORD, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.

 13 Fear the LORD your God, serve him only and take your oaths in his name. 14 Do not follow other gods, the gods of the peoples around you; 15 for the LORD your God, who is among you, is a jealous God and his anger will burn against you, and he will destroy you from the face of the land. 16Do not test the LORD your God as you did at Massah. 17 Be sure to keep the commands of the LORD your God and the stipulations and decrees he has given you. 18Do what is right and good in the LORD’s sight, so that it may go well with you and you may go in and take over the good land that the LORD promised on oath to your forefathers, 19 thrusting out all your enemies before you, as the LORD said.

One final blast here.  Notice that we men really do not accomplish anything, it is God who accomplishes the success through us for His glory.  We can be a great part of life for our families, friends and most of all-God  We are tools used by the Master to accomplish His greater perfect will.  So, men this is gut check time.  I pray that all those reading will be prompted to step back and take a hard look at their lives to see if you are really being the man you are suppose to be or just whining, wimpy, feminized followers of the world’s secular system.  I have to give myself a gut check often as well to make sure I am “maning up” rather than “wimping out”.

(c) Scott Bailey 2008

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Breaking the Silence of the Morning!

Posted by Scott on March 24, 2008

Have you ever gone through a period of time not knowing what to pray?  Deep from within yourself your body groans and aches for an answer from the Lord or even to come up with words to express your heart to God, but those words just do not come about!  I think almost everyone that is honest about their spiritual lives experience this at different times in their lives.  This very morning was such a morning for me.  As I woke up early in the darkness of the morning still looking for God to answer several prayers yet today I just did not feel I knew what to pray, ask for, or even meditate on.  In the way the Lord usually takes my inner hurts and springs forth life in me, He showed me a chapter in Psalm that continues to sustain me through some of the darkest hours, loneliest days, and still of nights.  The following passage was such a joy and direct answer to prayer I wanted to share it with you. You can certainly read it in whatever version you wish, I included two versions as I usually study from several different versions in order to fully take it all in…I don’t like to miss anything from God’s word.  May you enjoy it and may it take your breath away if you have been looking for direction, answers, words, and for our Lord to break His silence in your life.  May the God of this very hour be honored by the reading and sharing of His holy word!

  

Psalm 20 (The Message)

A David Psalm

 1-4 God answer you on the day you crash, The name God-of-Jacob put you out of harm’s reach,
   Send reinforcements from Holy Hill,
   Dispatch from Zion fresh supplies,
   Exclaim over your offerings,
   Celebrate your sacrifices,
   Give you what your heart desires,
   Accomplish your plans.
 5 When you win, we plan to raise the roof
      and lead the parade with our banners.
   May all your wishes come true!

 6 That clinches it—help’s coming,
      an answer’s on the way,
      everything’s going to work out.

 7-8 See those people polishing their chariots,
      and those others grooming their horses?
      But we’re making garlands for God our God.
   The chariots will rust,
      those horses pull up lame—
      and we’ll be on our feet, standing tall.

 9 Make the king a winner, God;
      the day we call, give us your answer.

Psalm 20 (NIV)

For the director of music. A psalm of David.

 1 May the LORD answer you when you are in distress;
       may the name of the God of Jacob protect you.

 2 May he send you help from the sanctuary
       and grant you support from Zion.

 3 May he remember all your sacrifices
       and accept your burnt offerings.
      
Selah

 4 May he give you the desire of your heart
       and make all your plans succeed.

 5 We will shout for joy when you are victorious
       and will lift up our banners in the name of our God.
       May the LORD grant all your requests.

 6 Now I know that the LORD saves his anointed;
       he answers him from his holy heaven
       with the saving power of his right hand.

 7 Some trust in chariots and some in horses,
       but we trust in the name of the LORD our God.

 8 They are brought to their knees and fall,
       but we rise up and stand firm.

 9 O LORD, save the king!
       Answer [a] us when we call!

May this chapter of scripture be a blessing to all who read and meditate on it.  God’s never ending blessings upon us today!

“Heavenly Father, we humbly pray that You will teach us to draw upon Your well of spiritual water, to know that every demand made upon us as husbands, dads, and men is a direct demand made upon You as well, and Lord, we know that as these demands pile upon us You are ready to live Your life through each of us in all situations and at last to magnify Your grace.  AMEN!”

-Scott Bailey (c) 2008

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Praying through Difficult Times…Psalm 5!

Posted by Scott on March 5, 2008

Guys, if you are like me praying can be difficult to do sometimes.  I mean, just to set down with enough time to effectively pray from our heart and mind.  Many times just finding the words to say can be difficult as we are down or depressed.  As easy as many preachers and teachers will tell you praying is, it is not that easy sometimes.  Throughout the past several years I have found it fruitful to spend a great deal of time studying and meditating on the Psalms.  This is especially true after studying about the life of David so intensely over the years.  Before David was on the throne, he spent numerous years fighting his enemies, running from them, stressed out over his situation, in trouble, in constant song and prayer, but all the while growing in His faithfulness to God.

Praying for our families, job situations, friends, our health, the health of others, and even our enemies can be a task if we desire to pray effectively.  This morning, a pattern became clear to me in my plight to pray effectively and purely before my God.  This is not true of every single time we are to pray, but I can imagine most dads, husbands, or men in general are much like me and are dealing with such a load on their shoulders that the simple opportunity to pray seems like one more piece of luggage upon their back.  The chore of prayer I speak of has nothing to do with our love for God, just our state of being…I still love my Lord more today than I ever have in my entire life and cherish what I am learning from Him.  If this is you, listen closer.

As David prayed throughout Psalms it started many times with a deep groaning, agony or a plea for God to hear his cry (prayer).  “O Lord, hear me as I pray; pay attention to my groaning.  Listen to my cry for help, my King and my God…” Have you ever sat down to pray really not knowing what to say, but just from the bottom of your gut this growl or hurtful groan came up?  This is the depth agony that I am speaking of here…that deep groan which was many times holding back tears and shaking as it came forth.  You and I may think we said absolutely nothing, but God heard it loud clear.  He understands exactly what we are going through.  He knows exactly what we said even though we do not know what we said.  Understand He put His only Son here on earth, to be watched over by a very young couple, in a world He knew would be hostile towards His Son, a couple that was not sure why this came about on them, and eventually this world or society would e so hostile it would kill Him.  So, do not think that God does not understand what we go through as a dad, because He really understands sacrificially. 

There has been numerous mornings that I have gotten out of bed at 5 am in the morning from a restless night of sleep as something was bothering me or (I hate to admit it but) something was worrying me.  As a dad of 10 children I can fill that weight of responsibility all too well jump on my back early every morning.  However, I have learned to take this load with me to the place I pray, meditate and study in God’s word each morning so that I can unload it there on my Lord.  He wants it, so I try to leave it with Him.  Guys, I am as human as anyone else and must admit that I am not 100% successful in leaving my sorrows, my load, my cares at the cross each day.  I find myself tying a string to it and dragging along with me although I was suppose to leave it with the Lord.  This is just a part of life that we must continually battle and fight through. 

As I continued to observe David’s prayer here in chapter 5 after he groaned and pleaded with God in his struggle David simply states  “Each morning I bring my request to you and wait expectantly.”  This is exactly as we should do.  Once we have spilled our guts to God and unloaded that pile of junk that was clinging to our backs, we need to be confident in our God to go about our day knowing in the back of our minds that God will answer our prayers in His time.  What joy, peace and rest we can obtain if we can practice our faith this way. 

Other quick observances in Psalm 5 that are tremendous to me starts with the fact that God hates sin as it states “He cannot tolerate the slightest sin”.  So, we need to deal with that first and foremost each day.  Now, for those of us who are repentant of our sins daily we can trust in His unfailing love…always, trust Him to be our guide…always, trust He will show us which way to go…always, trust He is our refuge…always, trust He is our protector…always, trust that God is our shield…always, and trust that the Lord blesses the godly…always!

So, as you go about your day today remember you can trust in the “always” of God and those deep groanings you have had lately in your prayers or even as you are just going about your day really do speak volumes with God.  He is listening and God is looking in the hearts of men all over for those willing to groan before Him and then listen expectantly for His answer.

-Scott Bailey (c) 2008

 

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A Site For Single Dads & Moms Raising Daughters!

Posted by Scott on February 3, 2008

Growing in Grace-site for your daughters

 I wanted to let you know about a new online magazine for girls.  Growing in Grace is just getting off the ground and I think they are off to a great start.  I have included their own description of their ministry below.  I’m excited about this.  I think it is so important to not just teach our girls truth but to live it out daily and this group of moms are doing just that.  They are taking their passions & desires and sharing it with you and your daughters.  Their website is full of great articles geared towards women of all ages.  Go over to Growing in Grace & check them out!

 

From their site…

 Welcome to Growing in Grace Magazine! We are a mother-daughter ministry publication that desires to bring encouragement to relationships in the lives of women of all ages. Our most treasured and valued relationship is with our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. When we have our relationship with Him in it’s proper place, then all our other relationships can be blessed by Him. The Bible says that there is none righteous, no not one. Praise the Lord for His saving grace. He freely gives us His grace, knowing full well that we are not perfect. Our relationships will never be perfect, but as we are ‘Growing in Grace’ we will see His love and mercy abound as we strive to live in that grace.

2 Peter 3:18, “But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.” (KJV)

www.LivingStones4Moms.com

-Scott Bailey 2008

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Guest Blogger, Dana Bailey: A Brand New Thing!

Posted by Scott on January 11, 2008

Isaiah 43:19.  

“For I am about to do a brand new thing.  See, I have already begun!  Do you not see it?  I will make a pathway through the wilderness for my people to come home.  I will create rivers in the desert!”   (NLT)

I have the 43rd chapter of Isaiah marked in my Bible with the date of 01-30-01 beside it.  I’ll never forget the night that the Lord took me to this chapter.  I was a very fearful and anxious person.   My husband was gone on a short business trip and I was so gripped with fear that he would not return that I couldn’t sleep.  I remember sitting up in bed, grabbing my Bible and telling God that I didn’t want to be afraid anymore.  Then I heard him tell me to go to Isaiah 43.  I don’t ever remember hearing the Holy Spirit talk so directly to me like that before, but I knew it was him as soon as I began reading the first verse, “Do not be afraid for I have ransomed you. I have called you by name, you are mine.”  “WOW!”  I remember thinking.  I fell quickly to sleep that night knowing that my husband would be o’k and I had no reason to fear anything.

Many times since then the Lord has used chapter 43 to comfort my anxious heart.  Verse 19 was one of those verses that he used to remind me that he was working on me and starting am new thing in me.  He has taken my family through very difficult times and this verse has been a great reminder that he is at work.  In the midst of a spiritual desert, he is creating streams of water to nourish and refresh his people. 

But he asks in the verse, “Do you not see it?”  I know that sometimes I am so consumed by the trials that I cannot see the new work that he is starting.  I do not recognize the rivers in the desert because I am too focused on the wilderness.

We are beginning a new year.  Is God beginning a new thing in you?  He has already begun, but can you see it?  No matter how difficult your circumstances may seem, God is at work!  Do you believe that?  Even when the rent is past due or the medical bills are piled high, God is at work…do you see it?  Even when your husband walks out leaving you with the children & the mortgage, God is at work…do you see it?  Even when you lose a child and you can’t bear to even get out of bed, God is at work…do you see it?

Look for the rivers in your desert that are meant to nourish you.  Look for the pathways through the wilderness.  Do not ask him to take you out of the wilderness; you are there to draw closer to him.  Rather, use the wilderness to grow you in your knowledge and understanding of God. 

In verses 20 & 21, Isaiah writes, “Yes, I will make springs in the desert, so that my chosen people can be refreshed.  I have made Israel for myself, and they will someday honor me before the whole world.”

I know that my God’s love for me is so great that I cannot even begin to comprehend it.  I know that he will not take me into a desert and not replenish or refresh me.  He has promised me this.  I also know that he wants me honor him in the midst of my wilderness.  This is not easy, but he never asks us to do anything that he knows we cannot do. 

What is God doing in your life right now?  What are you learning about him that is new?  Do you see the paths through the wilderness that he is making for you and are you being refreshed by the springs in the desert that he has provided for you?  I do not ask any of this without knowing my own answers to these questions.  My family is living in our own desert right now and learning to walk in his pathways and bring honor to him while in our desert has become a daily lesson for us; a lesson well worth learning.  Our lives are a brand new thing and that is very exciting!

I pray that you are blessed by your rivers in your desert this brand new year!

(A river in the Mohave Desert)

For further articles by Dana Bailey goto LivingStones4Moms.com

-Scott Bailey 2008

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-Fierce Warriors in the Hands of God!

Posted by Scott on January 5, 2008

“Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of one’s youth”
–Psalm 127:4

You may be thinking right now that I am crazy for using Spartan Warrior within Christianity, but read the entire piece before passing judgment.  Spartan Warriors were fierce fighters.  They would fight to the death for their family, king, and kingdom.  They were ruthless and unconventional in their process and training.  However, my research on Spartan Warriors turned up better qualities for these fighters that many of us as Christian men need to pay attention to. These warriors were trained from the very young age of 7 to be fierce in battle.  The meaning of Spartan is to be “totally devoted to one cause, self-deprived or stripped down to nothing, but the bare essentials, undoubting and courageous”.  They were trained to give their lives without hesitation.  These warriors did not think anything about danger and always expected to win or die trying to win.  These were dreaded men in battle. 

 Gentlemen, I am here to inform you that if you did not know this before now, we are in the battle of our lives and the lives of our families…time to wake-up!  I am afraid that unless we as Christian fathers do not began to train our young men to be like these Spartan Warriors, the future looks very dim.  We need to be training up our boys to be fierce when in battle and this battle takes place daily.  Young men that will not back down from authority that makes rulings in direct conflict with the scriptures.  We need young men that do not mind being ridiculed when they stand up for the under-dog or under-privileged or as they share the gospel to a neighbor or friend.  In some cases this may mean taking up arms to defend our nation and our families from the enemies abroad or even within our midst.  On a daily basis, we need to equip these young fighters with the Truth of God’s Holy Word above all else… God’s Holy Word is not found in the Koran! 

Within the pages of the Bible are many fierce warriors who fought bravely like King David as one example.  The Lord helped him fight with full control of himself and bravely.  David fought mightily with the hand of God on his life…”And David became greater and greater, for the Lord God of hosts was with him.”  2 Samuel 5:10 (NAS)  He as a warrior for the Kingdom of God and Spartan Warriors in ancient Greece were courageous and self-sacrificing.  The crusade I am speaking of today is for the minds and hearts of our young people.  Many Christians have already given up this crusade long ago and have decided to just blend in with the rest of the world in order to have peace.  They may go to church and bible study, but nothing  is different in their lives or the lives of their kids.  We have bought into the society belief that we can be immersed in the life style of the world and still maintain an effective evangelical witness. 

 Titus 2:12(NIV) says, “It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age…”  In John 15:9(NIV)  it states, “If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.”   

Just hoping our kids will turn out alright is not the answer.  Our adversary, Satan, would like nothing else than for parents to take this approach.  Of course by the grace of God some do turn out alright and frankly that is how we all turn out alright. However, these kids are placed in our hands for a short time for training and preparation for the future and we do not want to let them down if at all possible.  The battle for the heart and mind of our children today include homosexuality, pornography, drunkenness, illegal drug usage, over eating, moral relativism, unfaithfulness, theft, lying, and so on.  This corruptness is being taught in nearly every public forum and institution in America as being “right”.  Our children are being taught that there is no sin and there is no right or wrong.  Their cry is that we all need to be more tolerant of each other.  They are taught that Adam can marry Robert and Eve can marry Laura and it is “ok”.  The truth is that homosexuality is sin and it is not “ok”.  This sin is as forgivable as over eating, as is drunkenness and so on. Glory to God that they are forgivable, but I do not want this deviant trash taught to my children and grandchildren as being “ok”.  Pornography is down played as just a natural thing that men and women desire and it is “ok”.  Christian men are not immune to this.  Men it is not “ok” even in the privacy of your own home.  What we put in our minds has a direct impact on what comes out of our life each day.  Much of the violence against women today stems from pornography.  If this kind of trash goes into the mind then I can guarantee you that vile trash will come out in some form of your life.  Drunkenness is very accepted these days as well, although it is nothing new to the ages.  Drunkenness is mind altering and you will do and say things that will not honor God in any way and will bring shame upon your family. 

Psalm 23:33 says about too much wine, “Your eyes will see strange things, and your mind will utter perverse things.” 

God has always spoken out against drunkenness in His Word.  I said here, “drunkenness”, not a glass of wine at dinner…I just wanted to clarify that.  A trendy activity nowadays is to go to church on Sunday and raise your hands and sing in what is perceived to be praising and worshipping God.  Then the rest of the week live as you wish and on the weekend get stumbling drunk with your buddies and come to church on Sunday to be holy again.  Is this truly grace in action?  What a mockery to the glory of Jesus Christ!  Does this show a deep love for our Savior?  Does raising our hands to the “bouncy” music in the churches today that stirs up the emotions really make us spiritual and holy?  I am not attacking praise worship music entirely, but in observing the true impact of this movement that has forgotten the testimony of the hymns of old, I have witnessed people actually growing more vile in their lives rather than a closeness to the Lord as the music stirs up emotions rather than a deep seeded devotion to worshipping Christ in the music and message of the pastor. 

Men, take a hard look into your heart….is that burning desire to know Jesus and love Jesus really there?  What is your reason for going to church or reading your Bible?  Another hot trend within the world today is embracing the Muslim or Hindu or Buddhism religion as another way to heaven…that we should be tolerant.  We are told that there are many ways to God. 

 Matthew 7:13-14 speaks of those broad roads and narrow gates, “Enter by the narrow gate, for the gate is wide, and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and many are those who enter by it.  For the gate is small, and the way is narrow that leads to life, and few are those who find it.” 

We are taught to believe they should have equal access to the minds of our children, our culture, and we should move over for their ways and embrace their teachings.  I will make this statement as clear as I can, men, NO ONE has the right to access the mind and heart of my children other than God Himself.  God gave those children to me and my wife to love, nurture, train and protect.  The liberal left does not have the right to them, the Communist left wingers do not have a right to them, the Muslims, Hindu’s, or Buddhist do not have rights to them, the homosexuals do not have rights to them or the legalist within the church today do not have the rights to them, or any other kind of evil that permeates this dark world we live in today.  If I sound a bit combative in this, I am combative.  This is no powder puff football game we are in, people. 

So, I am declaring today that we must start raising our sons ,as the Spartan Warriors of the 21st century, that will carry on these truths that are in God’s Word and do it unashamedly.  We need a crusade where young men will give their lives so that our future generations can survive without having to bow to the vile images that are so prevalent in our culture today or be subject to the horrific views and taunting by the homosexual leftist agenda.  A desire must exist for young men to train themselves to be satisfied with only the bare essentials as Spartan Warriors were disciplined to be and not raised under pampered lives like so many of the Christian and worldly kids of today.  These young men need training to buffet their bodies and keep their actions under control regarding women, children, money, alcohol, politics, and the things of this world.  Our world is groaning for young men who have a deep seeded desire to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ.

   Can we train up young men that will carry as their motto, “Give me Christ and Christ alone”?  We long for young men who are willing to die for the cause of Christ.  This does not come naturally…it comes as we battle forward immersing ourselves in God’s word and let Him develop in our hearts and minds a “biblical world view”.  God is sovereign!  He has never moved or changed His mind.  He is not surprised by the darkness that envelops the world we live in today.  He created this universe and every living or non-living being in it.  He is not bashful about war, battle, death or even love.  So, our challenge today as fathers of sons is to bring up a new generation of young men that will fit the image of God, like a warrior for truth, justice and become a loving family man.  Steve Farrar put it very plainly with this quote from his book, “Standing Tall”:

“Gentlemen, we are raising our kids in this sewer of moral relativism.

If your kids buy into this philosophy, it will ruin their lives.

Here’s the deal, guys.  Our kids won’t know anything unless they see it in our lives.  Our kids won’t know that there are moral absolutes unless they absolutely see those truths lived out in our lives.”

-Steve Farrar, “Standing Tall” 1994

 

This is what I am talking about.  The training is about walking and talking God’s truth daily.  It does not mean we are perfect, but that we are able to show our weaknesses as well as our strengths.  We need to show our kids that God creates strength from our weaknesses.  There is a loud voice trying to wake up our countries Christian fathers.  I am afraid though we have ear plugs in or are ignoring this loud call.

“The Christian world is in a deep sleep. 

Nothing but a loud voice can waken them out of it.”

-George Whitefield, 1739

 

Guys, I cannot tell you what to do or how to raise your kids.  I cannot make you do anything you are not entirely willing to do from your heart.  This is not a legalistic set of rules or point of view even though it is my opinion.  I abhor legalism in all of its form when it comes to the scriptures and the life God would have each of us live.  However, I am simply challenging you to rethink how you are training your children, especially the boys and how you are living as an example for them today.  Is it with sacrifice or from a life of pure luxury?  At the age of 7, are you training warriors to do battle for their future wives, children, countrymen, and ancestry or just over educated athletes in hopes of landing that multi-million dollar contract so they can buy more boats, larger houses, more jewelry and filthier women?  What is their view of supporting the ministries that abound in their area today?  Do they have a worldly view or a biblical world view?  Can you see a servant’s heart or a future adult that will be demanding and hard to live with?  Think about what is important in this life that enhances your eternal life and the eternal life of others.  Out of your actions and training which of those give glory to the Lord?  Does baseball, football, basketball, the finest schools, dances, an exotic vacation, or other activities like these have an eternal purpose?  They could have, but just think for a moment how it is coming across to the kids.  Does giving them every single toy they ask for prepare them for the battles ahead in life?  Does saying yes to their every plea really give them a proper outlook on the future?  Does taking their side in every argument truly help them in preparation for debating the liberal left wing of this world?  Do they see you react to a problem with prayer and digging into your Bible or do they observe you speaking harshly of that person or problem and vow your revenge? 

Men, I am not bringing this message from an attitude of having all the answers or that I always do it right, because that would be a bold face lie.  I battle the same sins and problems you do.  I battle the same pride and ego that every man fights.  But the truth is what it is, guys.  I cannot speak totally from example, but simply from God’s truth.  We need fighters, warriors, kids that grow up knowing the Bible and believing that the Bible is completely true as the inspired word of God and fall in love with their Lord Jesus Christ.  Our world can stand young men that will be devoted to their wives, children, and country and see them as a blessing upon their lives rather than a curse. 

 Today, I encourage you to pray sincerely about all that you have read here.  Reach down deep into the pit of your heart to find that which God placed in your heart years ago.  Lift up your family, co-workers, in-laws, and enemies in prayer.  Dress down spiritually and put it all on the table, guys.  Leave it with the Lord…all of it…the hurt, the pain, the tears, the stress, the financial problems, sexual problems, weaknesses, family problems…all of it.  Leave nothing behind to carry on with you.  Then take a long deep breath and set there for a while in silence to listen to hear if God will speak to you.  It may take Him days, weeks, months or years to speak, but He will speak to you.  See if He speaks, not audibly, but spiritually, through His word, through His people, and through the circumstances.  It is better to not move a muscle until you hear God speak then to do anything that would be in direct disobedience to His calling upon your life. 

“Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, let your mind dwell on these things.

The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things; and the God of peace shall be with you.”    Philippians 4:8-9 (NAS)

 

Guys think on a few questions this very day:

-Would the Lord have you change anything about your life, the treatment of your wife and children and then the training of your children?

-What change can you make today that would be positively noticeable to your family when you got home from work that would inspire them to want to follow you and serve the Lord more? 

What changes would bring glory to Christ today?

-Do you have a servant’s heart like Christ or is pride and ego in the way?

-Why do you go to church, bible studies, and other “religious” functions?

-What kind of men do you hang around with everyday?

-Most importantly, do you have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ or are you just playing church or religion because it is the cultural thing to do? 

This is serious guys…your life and the lives of our children and grand-children depend on the decisions we make today….tomorrow may be too late.

Scott Bailey 2007 ©  

*Disclaimer:  In no way am I against sports, athletes, vacations, or money.  Joe Lewis, the late great boxer, once said that “no, money isn’t everything, but it sure ranks right up there with air…try to live without for a day.”  Each of us have a God given purpose in life and is according to what God’s desire for our lives are and we should be obedient to Him in that purpose if we want to live a successful life.  That could mean a pro baseball career for example or using your income to provide for families in need that live around you.  So, please reread this with an open heart and mind and look at it from God’s side as to what He might be seeing in us right now.  He wants us to be completely devoted to Him in all things and my heart felt belief is that we have missed this as dads on nearly all accounts…I am as convicted of this in my heart as anyone else. 

May God bless you as you go out each day to provide for your family and as you work hard to make that much needed time to spend with your wife and children.

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-From A Dad: Praying Dads Through Psalm 119-Week Two!

Posted by Scott on December 2, 2007

Here is week two of “Praying Dads Through Psalm 119!

-Day One-

Psalm 119:41-48

“O Lord, continue to pour out Your unfailing love as well as the salvation You have promised me.  I will then have a testimony for those who attempt to taunt me, because I trust in Your word.  Father, never take away Your word of truth from me, because my only hope is within Your scriptures.  I will continue to set the high goal of obeying Your commands forever and ever.  Upon Your merciful and gracious salvation i now walk in freedom and can nowbe devoted to Your word.  If You , O Lord, will permit I will speak to the people in high places about Your faithful instruction and will not be ashamed.  Almighty God, how I delight in Your commands as I find myself loving them as they keep me rooted in Your rich word.  Father, Your instructions i will love and honor and meditate all the days of my life.  AMEN!”
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-Day Two-

Psalm 119:49-56

“Heavenly Father, remember the promises You made to me, this my only hope in this life.  Your promises are what keep me going each and every day.  They revive me so that I may accomplish Your great work.  Your promises comfort me in times of great trial.  Although the arrogant of this world look down upon me, I will not turn away from Your word of truth.  Lord, I will meditate on Your timeless truth for they comfort me.  The wicked of this world claim You are not real and do vile things in Your name which make me furious.  Lord, these have rejected Your holy word.  Dear Lord, my family and I have been on a pilgrimage for all these years and Your principles have been what has sustained us throughout.  Father, Your principles are like music to my ear.  As precious as the music of angels.  Father, at night I lie in my bed reflecting on who You are.  My desire to obey Your is ever increasing as my freedom in Christ becomes more and more real.  Obedience is the true joy maker as it is a blessing to You, Father, when Your children obey Your commands.  AMEN!”

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-Day Three-

Psalm 119:57-64

“O Lord my God, as I set here in my distress I am reminded by the Holy Spirit that You, my Lord, are mine.  I say this with exuberance in my voice.  I want to obey Your word.  Father, with all my heart I want Your blessings.  As much as I want Your mercies and rescue I long for Your blessing on my life.  Please, be merciful on me and my family as You have promised.  This day, O Lord, I ponder and reflect back on the direction of my life.  I have had to turn many times from the way I was going in order to follow Your instructions.  From this day forward, I will hurry, without lingering, in order to obey You.  Many sinful people try to persuade me into disobedient schemes, but my feet are firmly anchored in Your word.  I wake up many nights to thank You for Your word.  People who respect You and obey Your laws are my friends as well.  Heavenly Father, everywhere I look is full of Your unfailing love, please, continue to teach me all of Your principles and decrees found in Your holy word.  AMEN!”

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-Day Four-

Psalm 119:65-72

“My gracious Lord, You have done many good things for my family.  You have been so gracious to this servant just as You have promised for God always keeps His promises!  Father, I trust in Your commands totally.  They will only lead me closer to You, my Lord.  As You desire to increase my knowledge and good judgement, i will accept the training as hard as that can be at times.  In my former years I constantly went astray, lured out by the worlds wealth, fun, and ways.  I was like a calf untamed.  However, Lord, You touched me and disciplined me as a good father would.  Now, I desire to follow closely after Your word.  Father, You are so good and only good is found in You.  So, please, teach me Your ways.  Be my instructor so that I will gain Godly wisdom and knowledge.  Even though people around me that are so full of themselves may lie about me to others, it is Your truth I wish to obey with my whole heart.  Lord, Your precepts are richer than all the money in the world.  These arrogant people  puffed up by their own prosperity are so vain concerning their worth, but Lord, my delight is in You.  O merciful Father, the suffering I have experienced so far in life, sent by You, has been good for me.  The suffering has taught me to pay close attention to Your word and Your precepts.  It has proved to show me where my true priorities should be.  My enemies will always be around in this life, but my focus must remain on You, my sovereign God.  Lord, Your word is far more valuable to me than the finest gold and purest silver in the world and all of its worth.  AMEN!”

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-Day Five-

Psalm 119:73-80

“Father, You are the One who created me and made me.  Please, dear Lord, give me the good sense to follow after Your commands and direction.  Lord, I pray that anyone who has a fond respect for You will find great joy in my testimony that You are faithful.  All of my hope in this life is in Your word.  Merciful Father, Your decisions are more than fair and I know this.  All the discipline I have received so far is because I needed it in order to stay on the right trail.  O my loving Savior, now I need Your unfailing love to comfort me this day.  I have many battles to fight and I cannot win them without You at the head of my life.  This is in accordance with Your promise to me, Lord.  Surround me this morning with fresh new mercies that will carry me all day so I may go on living without Your mercy I feel dead.  Your principles and precepts are the delight of my life.  Heavenly Father, bring disgrace on those arrogant souls who may lie about me and set their lives about ruining me.  Even so, I will attempt with all earnestness and strength to concentrate on Your holy word.  Help me to be rejoined with all who fear You and know Your word.  May I be found blameless in Your eyes in the keeping of Your principles made possible by accepting Your call to accept Jesus Christ into my life as my Savior and Lord some thirty years ago.  If so, I will never have to be ashamed.  Lord, there is o true fear of You without the true knowledge found in Your holy word.  AMEN!”

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May the Lord bless each reader in direct proportion to the time they spend in God’s holy word. 

-Scott Bailey (c) 2007

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-From A Dad: Devotional For Dads/Psalm 119:1-8 One

Posted by Scott on November 29, 2007

All of us dads have times in our lives when we feel like we are being chased and persecuted by our enemies.  It does not matter how spiritual we seem to be or our devotion to God…the enemy will attack without notice.  Sometimes it depresses us, causes us ulcers, gives us a headache that seems to never go away, drives us to anger, and at other times it creates in our minds a sense of helplessness.  Psalm 119 has been instrumental through my trials and tribulations as I long to experience the fullness of God Himself and deal with each issue that thrust its way into my life.  In my in-depth look into the heart and mind of God I have found a place of solitude that surpasses anything I have experienced in my life.  In the midst of praying through Psalm 119 a divine devotion has grown from the fertile ground that God placed His word in….my heart!

I will share with you on a daily basis the verses and devotion that God so poetically engraved into the soul of my being.  I encourage you to glean from the passages and testimony the encouragement, instructions, promises, and restful peace that is found there.

-Day One-

Psalm 119:1-8 (1599 Geneva Bible Translation):

Blessed are those that are upright in their way, and walk in the Law of the Lord.” 

-Those are blessed that keep their conversation and ways without hypocrisy.  They are not blessed who think themselves wise by their own judgement with no regard for God’s wisdom.  Nor is this blessedness for those that think themselves with a certain kind of high holiness.

“Blessed are they that keep His testimonies, and seek Him with their whole heart.”

“Surely they work none iniquity, but walk in His ways.”

-These are under God’s rule and embrace no other doctrine but His.

“Thou hast commanded to keep thy precepts diligently.”

“Oh that my ways were directed to keep thy statutes!”

-Here David is acknowledging his imperction, but he desires that God reforms his life and conforms it to God’s word.

“Then should I not be confounded, when I have respect unto all my commandments.”

“I will praise thee with an upright heart, when I shall learn the judgements of thy righteousness.”

-True religion stands in serving God without hypocrisy.  In God’s precepts is His perfect righteousness.

“I will keep thy statutes, forsake me not overlong.”

-David refuses to be tried by these temptations, however, he fears that he may faint if God does not aid him in his troubles in time.

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Integrity is a hard characteristic to develop, but our joy is found in the law and instruction of the Lord.  This integrity will be challenged on a daily basis by our enemies.  As we are obedient to His commands and search diligently for Him with our whole heart we will discover Him in ways we never could have imagined.  Sometimes in prayer I find myself groaning from the depths of myself that I did not know existed.  This groaning comes during times of great distress and even in times of deep depression.  The Holy Spirit takes those groanings to the very throne of our merciful Majesty in heaven and turns it into words that God will understand and has been waiting to hear.  Psalm 34:18-19 (NLT) says, “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted, He rescues those who are crushed in spirit.  The righteous face many troubles, but the Lord rescues them from each and every one.” When we are at our lowest point and groanings begin to growl out of our mouths from our hearts that are broken, God is there to rescue us and pick up the pieces of our lives that have been left shattered in the wake of the storm.  The Lord tells us that we will encounter many troubles…it does not give us an option in that.  However, He will rescue us from each and every trouble…guaranteed!  It will be according to His graciousness and richness, but whatever way God chooses to rescue us will be the best way and we can all rest assuredly in that.

As a father of 10 children I find that I must stay the course and not compromise with evil doers or compromise my integrity for anything.  Don’t get me wrong, I am not perfect by any means and fail daily, but the goal is to stay on course and correct known mistakes immediately.  No amount of money, wealth, or instant gratification is worth lowering my standards for.  Praise Him always and rejoice in the Lord.  We will not be disgraced no matter what people may try to do to us as long as we keep His commandments and word.  It has been my goal daily to consistently be a reflection of principles of my heavenly Father.  So, as always I ask the Lord not to give up on me even though I may fail from time to time.  I cry out daily for new mercies, so I can make it through another day.  I am guaranteed that He keeps His promises always.  Jesus has told those of us that are weary and heavy hearted to place all our cares upon Him and take His rest.  So, rest in the peace that God will give and believe that He will see you through.  We will never know the depths to which God may draw His peace, rest, encouragement, rescue, wealth, healing, and more from…He has already charted a trail for us to follow in His word and I intend to do my best within the power of the Holy Spirit to stay on that trail…bumps, cliffs, trees, tall weeds, beast, and all.

-Scott Bailey (c) 2007

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-From A Dad: Praying Dads Through Psalm 119-Week One!

Posted by Scott on November 29, 2007

Each day of our lives takes on new meaning.  As a dad of 10 children, each day for me is heavily weighed upon my back. In my efforts to make sure I pray according to God’s will I started using Psalm 119 as my guide.  I can identify with David in so many ways as he had a time in En Gedi running for his life from false accusers and slanderers.  This prompted me to pray through different sections of Psalm 119 each day in my words as I pray using Psalm 119 as a basic guide.  So, the prayers are based on the passages, but many of the words come from a groaning deep within my heart as the Spirit influenced them to be uttered.  I encourage any reader to use this as a simple guideline to utter your own prayers.  Remember, the prayer Jesus uses that is call “The Lord’s Prayer” is a model of prayer, not a prayer that needs to be recited word for word all the time, but as Christ said “pray like this”.  All the honor and glory belong to our Lord Jesus Christ.

 

Psalm 119:1-8

-Day One-

“Lord Most High, how joyful I am as You grow my integrity through the troubles of life You draw me into and as I strive to follow your word.  Anyone that obeys your commands and decrees will be happy and joyful all the days of our life.  Heavenly Father, I search for You with all my mind and heart.  Each day I work hard not to compromise with evil, for my hearts desire is only to walk the trails You have set before me.  Sovereign Lord, you have charged me to keep Your commandments carefully.  I pray that my actions and choices will consistently reflect Your principles.  When I compare my life to Your commands I will not be disgraced.  As I learn of Your righteous laws each day, Lord, I want to thank You by living as I am suppose to as I am now free to do.  I want to be to the praise of Your glory all the days of my life.  Gracious Father, I will obey Your principles, so, please don’t give up on me.  Lord, I look for Your new mercies each day.  AMEN.”

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Psalm 119:9-16

-Day Two-

“O Glorious Lord, how can a young person stay pure?  By being obedient to Your word and following each of Your instructions carefully.  I am seeking after You with all my heart and soul.  Father, please, never let me wander away from Your commands and Your word.  It is daily I hide Your word deep into my heart, so that I can fight off the sin that wants to prevail against You, my Lord.  Bless You, my King, please, keep teaching me Your principles.  I recite each and everyday in my heart all the scripture You have hidden there.  I am rejoicing in Your mighty promises and instructions more than even in great wealth.  Sovereign Father, I will continue to meditate on Your ways.  It is so wonderful to be delighted in Your principles, Your instruction, and help me, O Lord, to not forget Your infallible word.  AMEN.”

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Psalm 119:17-24

-Day Three-

“Almighty God, please be gracious to Your humble servant, so that I can  llive and obey Your word.  Please, help me to open the eyes to my heart and see Your wonderful truths that are all throughout the scriptures.  As a chosen child of Yours, my heavenly Father, I am a stranger in this world.  Daily I am in great need  of Your guidance from the commands in Your word.  O my Providential God, please never hide Your word from me.  Today, I am so overwhelmed with a deep desire for Your word.  Lord, You are holy to the point of rebuking those proud people who have rejected Your word and Your truth.  My Lord, please don’t let them ridicule and insult me, for I have labored to obey Your commands.  Although people in high places may speak out against me, even so I will continue to meditate on Your truth and Your principles.  Sovereign Father, Your word is pleasing to my soul.  Your word gives me the wise advice I need on a daily basis.  AMEN.”

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Psalm 119:25-32

-Day Four-

Merciful Father, I set here as though in a heap of ashes and dust completely discouraged and depressed.  Please, revive me with Your comforting word.  My plans have been revealed to You from within my own heart and You have answered me.  O Lord, teach me Your principles and truth.  Help me to understand what You are saying within Your word and I will meditate on Your wonderful miracles of the past along with each beautiful event.  This day, I just caught up with tears and grief over my current troubles.  Lord, please send me encouragement by Your wonderful word.  Keep me from beating myself up everyday, and grant me the privilege of knowing and experiencing Your truth.  I have chosen in my mind to be faithful, I have decided to live by Your awesome instructions as I cling to Your every word.  Glorious Father, please, don’t let me be put to shame.  If You will give me the help I need, I will certainly run with all my might and speed to follow Your commands.  AMEN!”

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Psalm 119:33-40

-Day Five-

“My Majesty on high, teach me to follow closely after You.  Teach me to follow every single one of Your principles and instructions.  Lord, please help me to understand Your commands, so, I will be obedient to You; For I strive to practice Your ways with my whole heart.  Push me along the trails of Your commands, this is the place I will find true joy.  Father, I want a desire and eagerness for Your word that cannot be quenched.  Help me not to seek out after money and materialism so that nothing can come between our relationship!  Lord, place blinders on my eyes so that I cannot focus on worthless worldly ideas, but do grant me a life that is solidly founded on Your holy word.  Father, show me with reassurance of Your ways, which will bring about honor to Your name.  My gracious Lord, I do not want to live in my former selfish ways with shameful desires.  All I desire is to live in accordance to Your clear instructions.  Father, I so long to be obedient to Your commands.  Please, renew my life today with all of Your graciousness and goodness that is in You.  May the life I live be to the praise of Your glory always. AMEN!”

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This is the first week of prayers in Psalm 119:1-40.  The second week is forth coming.  I do hope that someone can be blessed by it and that it may in some way help you to pray when words are hard to come by.  I have been through the dry spells before when words just were not there and I did not know what to pray.  I understand what it is like to set there early in the morning wanting to speak wtih God, but nothing comes out…our Lord understands this as well.  The Holy Spirit can draw prayers out of us and God’s word is full of model prayers to help us get out what we are trying to say or to simply get started.  Do not be discouraged, God is there waiting to hear from you when your heart is so inclined to speak with Him.  May the Lord bless and answer each prayer.

-Scott Bailey (c) 2007

 

 

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Parents Acting Like Teenagers!

Posted by Scott on November 21, 2007

Dr. Mohler’s Blog

“Freak Dancing” — When Parents Advocate Misbehavior

The Wall Street Journal is out with one of the those eye-opening stories that defies common moral sense. It seems that Jason Ceyanes, the 35-year-old superintendent of schools in Argyle, Texas, decided to crack down on sexually-suggestive dancing at the local high school. But, when the superintendent banned “freak dancing,” he got into trouble with some of Argyle’s parents.

Here is how The Wall Street Journal introduced its account of the controversy:

A new resolve by school officials in this booming Dallas suburb to crack down on sexually suggestive dancing — and skimpy clothing — has sparked a rancorous debate over what boundaries should be set for teenagers’ self-expression. Argyle joins a long list of other schools around the country that have banned the hip-hop inspired dancing known as “grinding” or “freak dancing.”

But in Argyle, a once-sleepy farming community strained by explosive growth from an influx of well-to-do suburbanites, the controversy has gotten vicious. Some parents blame the newly installed school superintendent, Jason Ceyanes, 35, for ruining their children’s October homecoming dance by enforcing a strict dress code and making provocative dancing off-limits. Disgusted, a lot of kids left, and the dance ended early.

Mr. Ceyanes says he fears current cleavage-baring dress styles combined with sexually charged dancing could lead to an unsafe environment for students.

“This is not just shaking your booty,” he said. “This is pelvis-to-pelvis physical contact in the private areas…and then moving around.”

“Freak dancing” is well known throughout the nation, and it involves what can only be described as “sexually charged” physical contact and movement. But many of the kids in Argyle were “disgusted” that freak dancing was banned at the homecoming dance, so they left. That might be fairly easy to understand. After all, adolescents are expected to exhibit adolescent patterns of misbehavior. What makes this story so interesting is that so many parents responded by joining their adolescents in immature response. In fact, their protest of the superintendent’s policy is shocking.

As the paper explained, “Many parents support Mr. Ceyanes’s actions. But another vocal faction has been harshly critical of the new superintendent, creating a deep rift in the community. These parents defend the children of Argyle as ‘good kids,’ and say they should be trusted to dance and dress the way they want.”

Here is one of the moral hallmarks of our confused age. Parents defy authority and propriety and justify the misbehavior of their own children while calling them “good kids.” In this case, they argue that these “good kids” should be allowed “to dance and dress the way they want” — even if that means sexually suggestive dress and sexually charged dancing.

Mr. Ceyanes held a public meeting for parents and played a video of freak dancing. “I cannot imagine that there is a father in this room who could watch this video and be all right with a young man dancing with his daughter in that fashion,” he told the parents.

This is further evidence of a trend long in coming. Fashion styles for adult women now mimic those of adolescent girls. Why? So many moms want to act like teenagers and dress as provocatively as their offspring. Far too many parents want to act like their teenagers’ friends and peers, not like parents. Parents, after all, are expected to act like adults, and this is a society that depreciates adulthood and valorizes adolescence.

When a story like this makes the front page of The Wall Street Journal, something significant has shifted on the moral landscape. When parents demand that their “good kids” be allowed to freak dance at school events, the real story shifts from the kids to the parents.

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The Wall Street Journal also features this video coverage of the story [go here].  We discussed this issue on Tuesday’s edition of The Albert Mohler Program [listen here].

-Scott Bailey 2007

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