4 comments Sunday, June 21, 2009

Just a really quick note here. I'm in the middle of nowhere Northern CA. I have no cell phone signal and would have to travel at least half an hour to get one. My only access to the digital world is through a dialup connection. OK sure it may not be third world but compared to my normal near cybernetic existence it is as if I have lsot one of my senses.

Not one of the important ones like sight, hearing, or touch. No one of the elsser senses like taste and smell. Sure it is handy to be able to taste and smell but people that ahve lost those can carry on as if they have no handicap whatsoever just as long as they remember to bathe regularly.

I speak from personal experience having known someone without a sense of smell. She made a ahbit of bathing regularly except for during the summer. She was a teacher and so tended to shower before church all summer long. Let me say that I would have gladly given up a sense of smell when I was around her during long hot summer days when she chaperoned a youth retreat I went on as a young man. I feel for the poor girls that had to share a room with her.

Anyways, I imagine my lack of digital sense is much like that. In a couple days we are driving down south to the real world again. Until then I am living in the 90s. How weird.

7 comments Monday, June 15, 2009

Hey, you know what I hate? The word Xtreme. Yeah I’m so sick of that word. The name of the Youth group used that word and I made it a point to change that but people around here don’t seem able to comprehend change. Xtreme was cool in the 90s but nearly 2 decades later it is the opposite of cool (not hot the other opposite). Groovy Youth would be a better name. Sure it is further out of date but that’s the point. Either it would be a new ironic name that would be cool and trendy or the group would have been so die hard to hold onto it for longer than I’m alive and so it would have real lasting coolness. Xtreme is lame.

On that note I would like to talk about the Block Party that we had on Saturday. It is called “Xtreme Teen Revolution.” I’m pretty sure that was a DDR game from 2001. I’m pushing for a name change and we were going with XTR which is almost acceptable but then all the sudden it went back to Xtreme again.

Still the party (or should I just call it a partay and be done with it?) was frigintastical. Seriously it was amazing. Last year was my first time to be involved and it went great. This year we had 2-3 times as many people there and the bands were way better.

Picture time.

This is the banner that I designed last year. We have 6 ministries on it right now but we've had a few others joining up with us so we need to add them in. There were 2 new ones at this event so that is frigintastic.

Just some crowd shots. I know some of these people but not all.

More crowd shots. We had 200-300 people there. I need to see if anyone counted cuz I'm so the suck at that.

Awesome shot of the banner at night while Restless Street was playing. They were awesomtastic.

Finally I have a crowd shot at night. I took about 700 pictures but this will be enough to get you an idea.

So anyways, I also got to shoot off my t-shirt canon. I got rid of the last of my tees plus a few from other churches and one of the bands, Hasten My Demise, donated a shirt for us to shoot off. I rubber banded one of the shirts for more distance and it went over the trees across the parking lot and into the woods behind the gazebo. Amazing. Then after dark I shot glow in the dark bracelets out of the canon.

Next year I think we can top this by dropping the name Xtreme. That right there will be a win.

6 comments Saturday, June 13, 2009

Our frigintastical fanatic of freedoms is confronted with an engine of doom. The Bored of Elders has activate the church split machine because SYP was able to resist their mind numbing boredom.

The ground was shaking under SYPs feet and the drywall was already cracking. He stumbled into the sanctuary are saw a large crack forming at the back of the church and crawling to the front. The church was literally splitting in half. SYP rushed back into the bored room and grabbed the Elder Grump.

"What have you done?" He cried above the roar.

"What have I done? It is what you have done. You left us no choice. IF you don't listen to us we must split the church for the greater good."

"What are you talking about? How can this be good for anyone? Tell me how to stop it"

"It's too late, once the engine has been started it will take on a life of its own."

SYP threw the Elder against a crumbling wall and rushed to the one that had activated the machine. SYP snatched the controller out of his surprisingly strong grip. It only have one button and pushing it again didn't change a thing.

"Where is the source of the split?"

"I'll never tell you."

SYP dropped the man and went to Super Pastor who was fully alert by this point.

"They've done it haven't they? They started a church split," Super Pastor lamented.

"SP you gotta tell me how to stop this."

"I'm afraid you can't. When powers collide it often sets off a chain reaction that cannot be stopped."

SYP was already leaving as SP went on. The second he heard the word, "can't" SYP headed for the door. He could barely walk now but found his way to the sanctuary. The crack was huge. At the back it was large enough for a man to fall into. Then SYP did something crazy. He jumped into the fissure. SYP figured the Split Engine would be at the base of the opening. He fell for some time before tumbling into a cavernous chamber. With his super ability to see in the dark he had no trouble seeing in the dimly lit space, and what he beheld was a sight to see.

There before him stood the single biggest machine SYP had ever seen. It has massive pistons attached to the foundation of the church and electricity sparked within the spinning generators like lightening. It seemed to exude doom, but SYP was still full of his high caffeine energy drink and rush straight towards the towering giant.

Despite himself SYP yelled at the beast, "you come against this church with grease and electricity but I come against you in the name of the Lord, and possibly a little ADD."

There didn't seem to be a control panel so SYP started pulling at wires. They shot out great jolts of electricity but nothing slowed the device down. If anything his efforts seemed to make it worse. SYP tried using biting sarcasm to cut the pistons from the foundation but they didn't react to anything he said. Super Pastor might have been right, but SYP wasn't ready to give up.

He pulled and strained against the shaking and bucking monster but couldn't budge it. The device towered over him and not even super strength could move it. The cracking foundation was raining down about him now and he could see the split had moved through most of the sanctuary. The cross at the front was clearly visible now. The machine bucked SYP and he spiraled to the ground amidst the raining debris. A huge chunk of the foundation narrowly missed SYPs head. In frustration he picked up the great chunk of concrete and heaved it at the machine. It wedged into the sparking generator and fouled one of the contacts. The machine began to lose steam and SYP began picking up more and more slabs of foundation. He eventually had to pull out chunks of the chamber wall and throw those into the machine trying to foul the rest of the contacts. As the last of the shaking subsided SYP collapsed. The crack had reached the front of the sanctuary but didn't split the church.

SYP crawled into the broken and crumbling church. It had not been split but there was significant damage. The church would need to have serious repairs done to the foundation and it would be a long time before it was right again. SYP was exhausted but went back to deal with the Bored of Elders. As he pushed the door open he saw they had all fled. Super Pastor stood there in shock.

"I can't believe they did it. I thought if I didn't push them they would never split the church."

"SP, they didn't. I was able to stop the machine. We have a lot of work to do but they failed."

Will the church ever be repaired? What happened to the Bored of Elders? Who is going to clean up this mess? Find out on the next SYP. Same SYP time same SYP blog.

6 comments Friday, June 12, 2009

Chapter 1: A god Among Men

It was an amazing day to be at the beach. The sun began to break over the houses behind the water causing the inky black waves to blaze with all the colors of the rainbow. Already there were surfers in the water waiting for the first big sets of the morning. Soon the beach would be too crowded for them as the sun quickly raised the temperatures from the brisk 67 degrees is was to the 91 degree forecasted temp.

This was the day of appointment, but Alex didn't know it. He sat on his board watching the sun rise and counting the seconds till he would catch one of the burning waves. He felt the swells growing as they passed through him. A few of the other surfers waiting had caught some of those for a quick first turn and were now paddling back. Alex let one more wave roll past then began chasing it down. It quickly left him behind but then a large swell rose and overtook him. He dropped in and began to cut down the wave. It was the first wave of the day big enough to form a tube and he was going to be in it. The sun was nearly blinding as the wave started to cascade over him. There really are no words to describe that experience. It is why he woke so early on his day off and got into the too cold water before the sun cleared the horizon. One might say it was like flying through a rainbow, or maybe the sun itself. As Alex approached the open end of the wave the brilliant colors gave way to the blinding sun once again and he momentarily lost his balance. Alex cut up into the wave and bit it hard as the board came down across his back. Alex rolled down under the wave and grabbed his board in time to be rolled by another wave. He was coughing as he turned into a third wave that he had to dive down under.

Alex rode a few more sets before the crowds began to fill the beach and the swells began to wane. He caught a medium ride all the way back in making sure to get off just before grinding his board across the sandy shore. Alex changed out of the wetsuit already feeling the heat of that blinding sun. Several other surfers were making plans to meet at a more secluded beach but Alex had other plans starting at lunch. He took his board and cleaned it and his wetsuit in fresh water. Alex then carefully dried his board and began looking for any damage. He liked to make sure it was in great shape so he could surf at a moment's notice. While he was going through the post surf ritual Alex saw something happening at the shore. People were screaming and coming out of the water. Alex assumed someone saw a shark and ran to see what was happening. He knew that sharks were often in these waters and regularly swam around the crowds without being noticed. If one accidentally bumped a swimmer people would trample one another trying to get out of the water.

He could see a shadow in the water through the often mirrored surface. Suddenly a man broke though the surface riding a large bull shark. The shark dogged hard, breaking left and right trying to shake the man. It was crazy beyond belief but the shark didn't have the man, instead the man had the shark. The shark would dive into the water only to surface again as the figure pulled up against it. It would turn out to sea and the man would fight it to head back into the shore. Alex watch mesmerized as people all around screamed and pointed at this incredible sight. He wondered if he might still be in bed waiting for his early alarm to rouse him. The twinge of pain from the bad wipeout confirmed he was fully awake and this surreal sight was fully real. Eventually the battle between shark and man ended right where Alex had ridden in after his last set. Alex watched as the man turned to the shark and placed his hand on its thrashing head. He could see him say something and then turned the shark back into the sea. This man had turned a large bull shark with his bare hands.

The crowd somehow both pressed in around this god of a man and withdrew in fear. As he walked away from the shoreline the shark swam back into the ocean. The lifeguards were running and pressing through the crowd but as they reached the inner line Alex could see them slow and then stop at the edge of the mob. This whole time Alex stood frozen, taking in the whole scene but feeling like he wasn't part of the event, just an observer. It seemed that the man simply appeared before him when he realized he was inside the inner circle. Alex looked at the man who stood several inches over him and then looked around and knew he was alone with this glorious being.

"I am Narthan, and you are Alex." This statement reverberated through Alex. He knew it was a statement of reality, more than fact. It was as if this being had just explained the first law of the Universe.

"Ho…w?" Alex was a professional speaker but couldn't form the sentence.

"How do I know you? I don't yet but I'm here to meet you. I apologize for the grand entrance. The shark had a parasite in it that drove it to attack me. I could not let it go or it might have attacked again."


"Why did I let it go? It is no longer ill. The parasite is not with it so it will not attack. I must explain a few things to you, but these must not hear. May I ride with you?" Narthan indicated the Jeep with Alex's surfboard propped up against it.

"Ye…yes?" Alex was confused but felt compelled to unlock the vehicle and get in.

Narthan picked up the board and strapped it onto the cleats before seating himself next to Alex. The crowd parted as Alex drove towards the exit and to his house. The whole time he drove Alex was very aware of the presence next to him. He could feel power radiating from this man, this Narthan. As Alex pulled into his drive Narthan spoke again.

"You have many questions and I will answer them all. Every generation in every culture one is chosen to tell the tales and you are the receptor of your generation."

Narthan began to tell Alex of his people and his purpose.

This story came into my head and I had to get it down. I plan on wrapping up the current SYP arc before trying to focus on this anymore. For that matter I need to outline the story and figure out where it is going and how long it will be. I wanted to put this out there for some feedback. Narthan is one of the sons of God. In this tale these are men who are children of Adam and Eve before the fall. They are not Angels, who are spiritual beings, but are men as men were meant to be. They live in Eden with the law that they must not consume the fruit of knowledge of good and evil. God walks with them as He walked with Adam. They only leave the garden to share their tales and help shape their lost brothers or if they are banished for consuming the fruit of knowledge. Each generation one is chosen to go from the garden and meet the receptor of the tales. This is all I know about the story right now, it might be a series of short stories or a regular novel. Either way the idea intrigued me so here it is.

What do you think?


I mentioned briefly yesterday about having my wisdom teeth pulled. This event fixed a major problem I was having with my sinuses, but it is also a wild story. I have some really crazy stories about growing up. I imagine most people could make their childhood strange and funny but I only need to tell what actually happened and people think I'm making it all up. Actually it is funny because I can tell the truth and people don't believe me but if I lie they swallow it hook line and sinker. Weird huh? This story isn't quite as outlandish as some of the others, but it is true to the best of my recollection, which may not be perfect based on events that will be made clear in the story.

Late in the summer before my senior year in high school I started meeting with the oral surgeon that would be removing my wisdom teeth. We had to go to a specialist because of complications and the depth of the teeth. One complication is one of the roots was partially in my sinus cavity which was causing me to have a series of sinus infections. Also my lower wisdom teeth were growing 90 degrees off angle. Over the course of a couple different screening appointments I was told of the potential complications including death. Honestly that isn't the one that scared me. I was specifically told I needed to be careful about sneezing when the teeth were removed. I could blow out the weak spot in my sinuses if I wasn't careful to sneeze fully out instead of trying to stifle the pressure. How's that for scary?

Yeah, so the specialist was a hippy. He didn't say he was but in the late 90s the guy had hair quite a bit longer than mine, which was shoulder length back then, and grey. Have you seen the movie Independence Day? You know the character Brent Spiner (Data from Star Trek) played? He looked exactly like him. The guy had to be a hippy

Yeah just like that. Anyways, the last appointment before the big show he starts telling me about the drug process. They were a top notch operation. The plan was to start me off with nitrous oxide (happy gas), then put in an IV with something to knock me out followed by local anesthetic before during and after the operation. He said that when they started the IV drip I would count backward from 100 and probably get down to the 80s or 70s. He said a few people get down to the 50s and almost no one gets below that. I'm not sure if they increase the speed of the drip during this count down or what but it is apparently really important to actually count backwards. Someone explain that to me. Candy?

Anyways, the big day comes and my mom brings me there since I'm not allowed to drive afterwards and she used to be a dental assistant anyways, so she probably asked to watch. Yeah she's hard core like that but my dad nearly passed out when I was getting an ingrown toenail fixed. They bring me in and get the gas on my nose after reminding my mom and myself about the risks, procedure, and follow-up. My mom was more worried about dry socket because of her experience in dealing with that but I was still worried about blowing my sinuses out into my mouth. Then the doctor says they are ready to start the IV drip. At this point I don't remember if I said this or thought it but I think I said, "ok put the needle in." Either way I looked and saw the IV was already in so I said, "Wow, you guys are good, there's a needle in my arm." They may or may have said something about that but they did ask me to count backward. So I started, "100, 99, … 98, …..97, ………" Next thing I know I was in a cold room with a very small nit blanker that wasn't helping keep the cold off.

My mother was trying to wake me up and I distinctly remember telling her, "I don't feel good. I don't think I can make it to school today." Yeah that's the first thing I remember saying. I honestly couldn't remember where I was or why I felt like I had a mouth full of cotton. Ok that one made sense once I woke up a little more. I did have a mouth full of cotton. Turns out they had been trying to wake me up for some time. I had even gotten up and fallen back to sleep a few times. I do not handle drugs well.

I can't take Benadryl, real Sudafed, Claritin (I learned that last week) and most narcotics. Well I can take them but they really mess me up in some weird ways. Even taking small doses of them can have some powerful side effects on me. I got stung by a bee and it swelled up pretty good. I went to the pharmacy to get something for it and asked the pharmacist what the best thing was. I ended up getting sting ease and Benadryl for it. I took the Benadryl in the early evening and woke up feeling terrible the next day. It was like I could feel my nerves vibrating. Wicked weird feeling. I felt like this for 3 days.

Turns out that when they put me under it is a job and a half to wake me back up. I also know that there is a good reason for not letting people drive after being put under. Once they got me up all the way and explained once again all the follow-up goodness to me and my mom we went to the car. I had a whole entourage and they were all trying to help me. I'm guessing they were worried I'd fall or something but to a 16 year old guy that is more than a little annoying. I shook off the help when it was time to get into the car, but I kept feeling someone pushing down on my head like they do in cops. Each time I'd stand up and tell everyone to leave me alone. After 4 or 5 times I yelled at everyone to back off and let me get in the car by myself. Of course, by yell I mean yell as well as you can with a mouth full of gauze so more like mutter incoherently while gesturing at the car wildly. This time I made it into the car ignoring the person that kept pushing on my head.

I might mention that I found out later I was smacking my head repeatedly into the car and no one was helping after I told them to back off the first time. I have to wonder what my mother and 3 youngish female employees were thinking as I smashed my head into the 1995 Maxima over and over again only to turn and make agitated grunts like some crazy ape. If I got embarrassed I might have died right there, but whatever.

Later my parent tried to get me to eat apple sauce. I refused but they kept insisting. The gauze was soaked with spit by then and I was getting quite ill from it all. I finally made it clear that I needed all that taken out and about then I also start heaving. I'd say threw up but I wasn't allowed to eat for many hours before the surgery so … well you get the point. Late that night I finally felt well enough to eat a couple bites of apple sauce but that was just because I needed something on my stomach for the pills I had to take. I think it was narcotic because I was unconscious pretty soon after.

The next day I was starving. I ate all my apple sauce but let me say that didn't quite do it for me. I was offered more drugs but I passed in favor of 800mg Motrin. I really don't like passing out. For lunch I had more apple sauce and I was pretty sick of my apple sauce and Motrin diet by then. Come dinner my parents, being evil, made chicken on the grill. I could smell it cooking and saw my wonderful apple sauce in the fridge. Well being a 16 year old guy I went for the chicken. It may well have been the best chicken I've ever had. I ate 2 thighs off the bone but passed on the corn on the cob. The next day they made ribs. Seriously? Ribs??? How can I pass that up, so on Friday I had pretty major oral surgery and on Saturday I was eating chicken off the bone and on Sunday Ribs. If my parents cook like that after every oral surgery then I might go ahead and schedule that root canal.

This is getting pretty long so let me wrap it up by talking about something that happened that Wednesday. All day long I felt something tickling my throat. Eventually I was able to cough and get a hold of it. When I pulled it out it was a black string. A bit after that I realized it was one of my stitches. Of course I freaked just a bit but nothing was hurting or bleeding so I guess it was ok. When I went in for my follow up appointment the doctor couldn't find any of the stitches. I told him about the one I pulled and he said it wasn't uncommon to just swallow them. He said the other three stitches should just move on through and I'd be fine. I don't know when I ate it, but I apparently ate silk along with one of my meals. Who knows, could have been the ribs. Did I mention I love ribs?

9 comments Thursday, June 11, 2009

So I'm gonna take a break from talking about sex. I do have a few important things to take care of today like my Wednesday night wrap up and all. Before that though, I gotta talk about my teeth and sinuses. Don't tell Candy but I haven't been to the dentist for over 10 years now. Well that was until yesterday. I've been having really bad sinus problems since November 2008. Last time I had problems like this it turned out it was dental.

Back in high school I had braces. During my junior year I was sick a lot with sinus infections and strep through. I would basically get sick a few days after getting off antibiotics. The doctor would gripe me out about finishing al the pills even if I felt better which I was doing. He never believed me. Back then a lot of people didn't believe me. I think that might be why I try so hard to listen to my Youth and believe them. Anyways late spring, just before school got out, I got my braces off. Let me say I loved the feeling of having my braces off. More importantly they did a panoramic x-ray and found out my wisdom teeth needed to be removed. The bottom ones were growing in pointed to the front of my mouth and the top were angled towards the other teeth. In addition to that the root of one of the top teeth was partially in my sinus cavity and was surrounded by ick. That is what kept causing my infections. Late that summer I got my wisdom teeth pulled and haven't had sinus infections until the past year.

Yesterday I went to the dentist wondering if I would have something similar. I was worried because the fix could be really expensive, but I am desperate to be done with the sinus infections. Anyways, they didn't find anything like that but I did have a substantial cavity. While I was waiting friends like Helen were kind enough to try and distract me. Although I will say that sharing terrible dentist jokes via twitter to a guy in a dentist chair is not very distracting. So once the Novocain did its thing I the dentist started drilling.

Let me say something about drilling.

I think dentists must have seen this movie at some point and thought, "I'd like to do that." This is the worst cavity I've ever had and I heard some things I've never heard. Specifically as he was nearly done drilling the dentist says to the assistant, "see where it is starting to look a little pink. That's the pulp." Instantly I thought of this movie. Pulp? You really don't mean that do you? A bit later he explains that the cavity went really deep and was on the edge of the pulp, which is the meaty part of the tooth. He told me, "we look ok here but if you puncture the pump that is when blood start gushing everywhere."

Did I mention there were bird outside watching during all of this and Helen sending me bad dentist jokes the whole time? At one point there was a crow on the empty bird feeder. That is just not comforting at all. Someone else on twitter said something about vultures. At that point I would have had to leave and never return. I don't care if there is a big hole in my teeth when the birds call in a vulture as a dental consultant it is tme to leave.

So the drilling is done and the dentist has explained they will need to apply a special layer to protect the pulp and then he leaves to go finish someone else up. Here I sit with a big hole in my tooth. Yeah I had to look while the dentist was out. I might not have but it was a very long wait. In fact by the time he gets back the Novocain was wearing off. I had to get another shot before they could fill the tooth. The rest was pretty uneventful till the dentist explained that I might have a root canal in my near future. It all depends on how much damage Helen did to my nerve or something like that.

So that was my dental experience. I'm not sure if the sinus problem was caused by this cavity, but maybe all of that is behind me now.

Last night was really great. We had Unity play for the first time. That is out new worship band that is a merged youth band. They only did a couple cover songs but it was really good. I talked about drugs and other vices again. Last night was better than the week before because I wasn't doped up from prescription meds. I also got to talk to several students about a lot of things last night so I'm really happy about how the evening went.

Mostly I'm happy I woke up without any tooth pain today. Hopefully I won't have to get a root canal.

8 comments Wednesday, June 10, 2009

OK, so today I have a guest post over at Hey look a Chicken. I'm guessing most people knew that and are coming from there, the problem is that I have a couple of shocking and potentially offensive posts in a row. This is not exactly typical but I have to admit I seem to walk into this a lot. Every time I talk sex with my Youth we seem to have a bunch of visitors even though I don't announce it ahead. Things just happen that way. If you would like to see what I would consider to be one of my better posts that isn't even remotely sex related instead of reading what I have today or yesterday that come with big red warnings then please visit Living in a world of dragons and finger paint.


Today I'm only giving one warning. The following will contain frank language about sex. If you don't want to read it then go visit the link I gave above.

So yesterday I posted about a text I got from one of my students. The student asked if "fingering is sex?" Of course this is part of a much broader topic that comes under the heading of "what can I do and still be a virgin." I have talked with my teens, including this one, in the past about how this is the wrong question to ask. If we are asking this question then we are asking how close we can get to sin and we should be asking how close we can get to God. Of course, the problem is that in the world the teens live in they are confronted with the wrong question all the time and they need real answers to those real questions.

Is fingering or a hand job sex?

Is oral sex sex?

Is anal sex sex?

Is dry humping sex?

Is it wrong to French kiss, make out, fondle breasts, kiss breasts ….

Where do we draw the line?

Here is the problem as I see it. People want answers to these questions and we blush when we even think about the question much less giving our teens the answer. I tried searching 4 different Christian youth resource websites for answers to these questions. I found plenty of articles about sex but nothing specifically addressing these issues. Everything was very generic and pointed to Biblical standards for purity without worrying too much about the details. If my student had tried searching online instead of asking she would have been pointed to everything but a Christian answer in my experience from searching. I did find some secular sites that wrestled with definitions of virginity and what is considered sex. Some of them did a pretty good job of dealing with those questions while others were mostly concerned with what sexual acts could result in what diseases or pregnancy and the proper precautions.

I feel it is important to address the issue as a Christian so let me once again offer this definition.

Sex can be given the strict definition of penetration of the vagina by the penis, but that is not the only definition that should be considered.

Sexual acts are any actions that lead to sexual gratification. This can be through climax or through physical pleasure of a sexual nature that does not necessarily lead to climax. This may be with a partner/s or individually, so masturbation is a sexual act as is mutual masturbation, viewing pornography, reading explicit material, oral/anal sex, grinding, making out … the list really goes on and on.

Sexual acts activate various stages of arousal and potentially climax. As your body processes these there are chemical and emotional responses that cause strong attachment. These kinds of bonds are best served in marriage and promote a strong healthy marriage. Outside of marriage there is also a strong attachment, but since there is a less serious bond, or nonexistent in the case of pornography and such, there is a potential for this bond to be severed. This leads to many problems including weakening the potential bond with your future spouse. We are not designed to have this bond broken and reformed over and over.

In other words, the more often a person engages in sexual acts outside of marriage the harder it becomes to bond with a lifelong spouse. Add this to the potential for STDs and pregnancy and it becomes clear why God has told us we should keep ourselves pure until marriage.

Still don't think that sexual acts infringe on purity? Ask yourself this, would you want someone to force a sexual act on you? If someone forced a hundred dollars on you would that be wrong? Some stranger walking down the street sticks a hundred dollar bill in your hand and walks off … is that a violation of your person? Of course not, but if that stranger touched you sexually or kissed you and you would feel violated. That is because we know this is something we should guard.

Years from now many of the people we dated in high school will be strangers to us. Think about that for a minute. What are you willing to let a stranger do to you? I don't know most of the girls I dated in high school to be honest. I think that is something worth considering when we ask ourselves just what we should do with a person.

I feel that I've offered several reasons here for what is not acceptable and why. Do you agree? Did I miss anything? Should we cover this discussion up as Christians?

8 comments Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Today I posted a snarky comment asking "how do you define 'is?" This, of course, was a reference to Bill Clinton's slippery dodge of his claims to not having sexual relations with that woman. So far as I know this is the most well known instance of trying to define what sex is. Of course you know that my attempt at humor would backfire today when a teen asked me a very specific question about sex.


The following contains specific and frank discussion of sex and sexual acts. If this will offend you do not read further. When I talk sex with my teens I don't mince words so don't expect it here.

Don't say I didn't warn you.

Yeah so what do you do when you get a text from a 14 year old girl in your youth group that says, "Hey my friends want to kno[sic] if fingering is considered sex?" There is no way that you can be ready for this question right out of the blue like that. For that matter it is hard to talk about this when you have been planning for it. It is very different talking about it with people your age and people half your age. My response, "The answer is more complicated than a standard yes/no but I would say the short version is that it is a sexual act." Of course that is kind of a copout but I needed time to think and steel myself so that I could give the kind of answer they need from an adult.

You see, teens talk about sex a LOT. You may not realize this but they do. I remember just how much I talked about sex with my friends back then. In fact it seemed like everything could be and was twisted to sound sexual. This is just how teens are. The problem is they tend to talk sex with each other but not a responsible and trusted adult. This means they are really only getting a very small part of the story and that isn't good. Teens are horribly informed and actually have a lot of important questions on this subject, like the one I was asked today. As adults those questions really throw us though because, well from my perspective, they are so young. Why is this a conversation 14 year olds are having? Never mind I probably had this conversation at 14. They are having the conversation because their bodies are gearing up for sex but as adults we are trying to keep them children. This is one of the biggest struggles of adolescence. Parents and other responsible trusted adults need to open up about these things because teens are talking about it with or without us.

Of course the conversation didn't end with my response and will likely involve more sex talks in the near future. The response I got back was, "Okay they are confused and I can't explain it to them so thanks. Just wanted to know. I will have them ask on Wednesday." I feel like she knew I was giving a bit of a copout and my time was up so I launched into a more specific answer.


I'm not warning you again, this does use real adult words and not child words, but I told it to a 14 year old so I feel safe putting it here. If these words offend you don't read this.

"A strict definition of sex would be penetration of the vagina by the penis but sexual acts include any activity that leads to sexual gratification. This is a much more broad definition that includes fingering but should be considered because of the emotional and chemical responses the body goes through regardless of the form that leads to sexual gratification."

I don't know how to make it any clearer than that. I know that I will have to talk about this and explain the ways that the body responds during arousal and how this affects emotional response and even long term commitment issues.

So if you have made it through the sexual talk and want to share your advice on how to handle this or how you have done it then please leave a comment. If you are completely offended that I would be so frank with a young girl, well I'm sorry but what would you have done?

2 comments Monday, June 8, 2009

No not that kind of adult cartoon. I did start to come up with a catchier title but then I couldn't have gone with the opening line that made you feel bad for having your mind in the gutter and that is really more important to me than some great title.

Anyways, I've been watching a lot of anime lately. By a lot I mean about 2-3 hours a week in 20 minute increments. I know I need to clarify that because some people seem to think a lot would be days straight of anime eschewing sleep and other necessary habits. I've seen this when I was in college but never participated. I just don't have that kind of time or attention span. I have to admit 20 minutes is the limit of both right now.

One of the shows I got into is Code Gaess. This is an interesting show that I'd like to catch from the beginning. It is unfortunate that I saw the end before the beginning but whatever. It really felt like something designed to appeal to a child of the 80s that misses good 80s cartoons. What can I say other than it appeals to me. There are hidden morals within the show and the ultimate resolution was more than a little intriguing. The hero of the show is really an anti-hero. Lelouch is one of the heirs to the Empire that is responsible for so much evil in the world. During the climax of the show he makes himself into the Emperor and rules through absolute control and fear. He controls the entire world just long enough for the world to hate him completely then has his premier knight and best friend assassinate him under the guise of Zero. Lelouch was Zero for more of the series so it is a bit confusing. The point, though, is that Lelouch was willing to be hated and killed so that the world could be free from the bondage of hate and tyranny of the Empire.

I have to admit that this particular take on the Messianic narrative is one that I have not seen played out in media often.

2 Corinthians 5:21
He made Him who knew
sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

Usually the Jesus narrative found in literature revolves around the idea of a person being willing to die for their friends but dying as a hero who is then resurrected to become an even greater hero. It is a very common story device, but the other side to Christ's sacrifice is seldom explored. Becoming reviled and taking on evil so that enemies might be freed from those pains through the sacrifice of death is so much more powerful than the standard savior tale.

Think about the cost that Jesus paid for those who despised him. How does that effect your thoughts on Him today?

2 comments Saturday, June 6, 2009

When last we saw our coniving captain of confidence he had just downed a lo-carb energy drink to counter the lulling spell of the siren of boredom and grump. How will he deal with the Bored of Grump now that he is at full ADHD strength once again?

"Put that can down!" Cried the Elder Grump.

"It's too late. Your power has been broken," SYP replied calmly.

"You think that is the limit of my power? I had hoped to do this the easy way but you refused to cooperate. This will be on your head. Elders unleash the church split array."

The church began to shake as one of the elders flipped a hidden switch. The quaking seemed to rouse Super Pastor from his hypnosis.

"Oh no," he exclaimed, "They are going to cause a church split. SYP we have to stop them."

How will Super Pastor and our hero savew the church? Tune in next time. Same SYP time same SYP blog. Or maybe later today since this is all I can send.

3 comments Friday, June 5, 2009

Things have been crazy busy. I've been dealing with a nasty cough the past couple weeks and I've finally gone to the dr about it. Last Saturday I took a small group to 6 flags. It was a great trip but I was already exausted tired so it wasn't as fun as it could have been.

I did get a new toy though. I got a blackberry for only $50. It has built in wifi so I didn't get the data plan. It is nice being able to pull up my schedual so easily and access the internet and email at hotspots.

Youth is going great. They are in spring fever mode right now though. I'm telling you they are swithing couples more often than square dancers switch partners. Next time I hear someone that doesn't deal with 50+ teens on a very regular basis complain about teen angst I'm gonna have to hurt them. Yeah I'm talking to you katdish.