Theater Shooting in Colorado Prompts Question – Should Young Children See Violent Films?

I woke up this morning to the news of an overnight shooting at a movie theater during a showing of The Dark Knight Rises. Reports are still out about the number of people killed in the incident, but some say up to 14 people, and at least 12. Dozens are being treated for injuries. As the news unfolds and people who were present in the theater come forward with their stories, it make me think of a deeper topic. The shooting itself is a horrible tragedy and it makes me sick. But there’s more.
Photo from IMDB
I’m seeing 17-year-olds talk about being in the theater with their 12-year-old brothers. I hear a woman talking about stepping over a 6-year-old victim. This makes me ask, “What were those kids doing in a movie theater at midnight?” And it isn’t really the time of day that concerns me so much, but the content of the movie. One reporter called this a “very violent movie” this morning on the news, and Common Sense Media describes it as “ultra-violent.” Others have prematurely speculated that the gunman was acting out some of the violence from the movie and was dressed in character representing one of the movie characters. Regardless, if this is violent movie, why were there such young children there?
What do you think? Do you think young children should be at movies such as The Dark Knight Rises? The movie has a PG-13 rating for “intense sequences of violence and action, some sensuality and language” according to IMDB movie info. Do you think this is an appropriate rating? How do you decide which movies you as an adult, or your family of older children will see?  If you have watched the rest of the Batman series and plan to see this film, I’d love to hear your perspective, since I haven’t seen the movies. 
My children were young teens when The Dark Knight came out, and they weren’t very happy with me for not allowing them to watch it. Do you agree with my decision? Or do you think I’m overprotective?

Surpassing the Kardashians – Hot Topics Friday

My husband’s grandparents have been married for 74 years. Kim Kardashian was married for 72 days.
I’ve never watched the show “Keeping Up with the Kardashians” but the family is featured on the news a lot. Mom of the crew, Kris Kardashian-Jenner is married to former Olympian Bruce Jenner. Yeah, the guy who used to be on the Wheaties box when I was in third grade. I looked at him in his moment of victory every morning.
The Kardashian/ Jenner family tree is complicated. Kris has 4 children with her late first husband. Jenner has 4 children from two previous marriages. And together, they have two children. Whew! That’s a lot to keep up with.
This week, the news headlines have gone crazy over Kris Jenner’s daughter Kim Kardashian. Are you thinking, who cares? Well I do. Because if I’m supposed to keep up with these Kardashians, I want to know where they’re headed. 
You know I’m not serious about keeping up, right? It’s Hollywood, even if it’s called reality TV, there’s nothing real about it. But we can learn something from the news headlines.  After 72 days of marriage, Kim Kardashian announced this week that she is divorcing famous husband, Kris Humphries, a player for the NBA’s New Jersey Nets.
I want to challenge people all over America, not to keep up with the Kardashians, but to surpass them. 
The Challenge
  • For the married, commit to your marriage and take that commitment seriously. Marriage is a complicated thing and it takes work.
  • For the unmarried, remember that a million dollar wedding can’t fix a cheap relationship. There’s no way a relationship goes sour in only 72 days. The problem had to have been there on the day they said their vows.
  • For the young girls, and women who watch the show, forget about keeping up. Set the bar higher and aspire to a relationship with someone who respects you and treats you like a princess daughter of Jesus. Anything less is a waste of your time.
  • For the men who care about the Kardashian story, remember a woman’s beauty doesn’t come from fashion, hair or fake eyelashes. It comes from a pure heart that loves the Lord.
Forget about reality TV. Let’s make our reality something that surpasses the Kardashians.

Why I Don’t Ask Pat Robertson for Marriage Advice

This week, TV preacher and 700 Club host Pat Robertson got himself into a bit of hot water over some comments he made about divorce on his show. See the story at CBS News
Robertson was giving advice to a viewer whose friend was seeing another woman while his wife suffered from Alzheimer’s. Imagine how my jaw dropped when I heard that Robertson essentially condoned the actions of the husband by suggesting that he should divorce her and go ahead and date another woman. 
Photo from CBN.com
His logic to write off the “til death do us part” marriage vow? Alzheimer’s is a kind of death.
Really.
So if someone says their marriage essentially died because the other partner was no longer who they once were, it’s okay to divorce and start over? This is rationalizing at its greatest.
Alzheimer’s is a sickness. Nearly 22 years ago, I promised to marry my husband in sickness and in health. Even if he has to be cared for in a nursing home. Even if he is incapacitated. Even if he becomes mentally ill, paralyzed, or terminally ill. Marriage is marriage. 
Now, don’t get me wrong. I understand that Alzheimer’s and other conditions are extremely stressful for the caregiver. And marriages are strained by unforeseen events. But that’s part of taking the vow. Too many young people don’t look down the road and see what could happen. Too many marriages end because one or the other partner didn’t anticipate real life. 
It isn’t easy. But “in sickness and in health”, “forsaking all others”, “til death do us part” mean something. Death is death. As in no longer breathing. If you find an Alzheimer’s clause in your Bible, I want to see it. Robertson opens the door for all kinds of wishy-washy interpretation of scripture with his statements. 
In his estimation, adultery must not mean adultery either. And on his slippery slope, murder won’t mean murder, and stealing won’t mean stealing. Not so long as we can come up with a clever way to justify them.
In the meantime, that’s why I don’t take marriage advice from Pat Robertson. I don’t advise that you do either.

Do We Use “God is In Control” to Cover Up Our Neglect?

Today, I’m adding a new feature to the blog. I thought I’d tackle a hot topic (or maybe it’s more of a hot-button issue) to get you thinking. I’ll be bringing up some topics for thought on Thursdays in the future too.
I hear the phrase “God is in control” often, but sometimes, it seems as though we use it to cover up our own lack of prayer and planning. For example, let’s say I procrastinate a project that’s as big as Mount Rushmore, and then the night before it’s due, I sit down and try to extract an idea from my dried up brain. Now, let’s imagine I beg for sympathy from my friends about my time dilemma, but when one of them asks why I didn’t budget my time better and plan ahead, I respond with, “God is in control. It will all work out.”
Really? Will it all work out if I haven’t used my God-given ability and organized the project in such a way that it would be completed long before the deadline? Is it okay to give less than my best knowing that God is all-powerful? Can I expect God to be the fixer of my intentional neglect? Of course, He can fix anything. But is it right to use “God is in control” as the antidote to my irresponsibility.
I don’t see how it’s any different than driving towards a cliff with the throttle wide open with every intent of flying right off the edge and hoping God will scoop me up before gravity takes its toll. On the way down, bystanders call out their warning, but only hear my, “It’s okay…God is in control,” echo off the canyon walls right before the big explosion.
On the other hand, I very much DO believe God is in control. Thank goodness He knows what’s up when we receive bad news from the doctor even when we’ve lived a healthy lifestyle. Thank goodness He’s there when projects and plans go awry despite careful planning and organizing. And thank goodness He’s all-knowing, because I’m so forgetful I can’t even remember that the last place I had my glasses was right on top of my head.
So, tell me what you think of all this rambling. Do you think we ever toss the phrase around when trying to cover up our own irresponsibility? Maybe you disagree with my analysis. Or if you agree, how can we respond when someone uses that expression on us to seemingly discount a legitimate concern?