The Story of Amanda Todd

Amanda Todd

Read a story on CNN.com today that brought me to tears. The story of Amanda Todd. A fifteen year old girl having to deal with things that no teenager should ever have to experience.

Amanda had been suffering severe bullying, both personally and online, due to being taken advantage of and as a result….making a string of poor decisions…which lead to more severe bullying.

Amanda posted a video on YouTube telling her story.

Amanda included this description on her video:

    I’m struggling to stay in this world, because everything just touches me so deeply. I’m not doing this for attention. I’m doing this to be an inspiration and to show that I can be strong. I did things to myself to make pain go away, because I’d rather hurt myself then someone else. Haters are haters but please don’t hate, although im sure I’ll get them. I hope I can show you guys that everyone has a story, and everyones future will be bright one day, you just gotta pull through. I’m still here aren’t I ?

    -AmandaTodd

According to a few sources, Amanda posted this video when she was 13 years old. A short 2 years later, Amanda succumbed to her suicidal feelings, no doubt due to the seemingly never ending barrage of insults and bullying.

Such a tragic story. One that is becoming far too common.

Toward the end of her video, she showed this card;

    I have nobody, I need someone

If you or someone you know are being bullied, PLEASE talk to someone! Talk to us! YOU ARE NOT ALONE!

Watch Amanda’s YouTube video here.

Stop Bullying: Speak Up

www.CNN.com

www.stopbullying.gov

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Spoken Word Poet Jeff Bethke on Christians and Tattoos!

Spoken Word Poet Jeff Bethke, posted a You Tube video on Christians and Tattoos and seems to have stirred up quite a controversy on his You Tube and Facebook accounts. A controversy that RelevantChristian.org is very familiar with.

Click here to watch the video!

Props to our friends at Christ.Culture.News for bringing this to our attention.

Is Marriage the New Divorced?

I have been having a lot of fun conversations lately with a variety of people. It all started with a radio show. I commute a fair distance, so I hear a lot of radio and the truth is that I get a little tired of music so I listen to stations that have more talking.

A few weeks ago they began talking about the current divorce rate. It actually went up with these last round of research tests. One of the radio personalities was talking about her life as a little girl. She talked about how taboo it was if someone got divorced. She actually said something along the lines of, “That happened to those people…”

Then she said the money shot.

She said, “Now, if you’re not divorced at least once….”

She let it trail off, but I thought how interesting that was. It began to confirm something that I’ve had marinating in the back of my head for a long time.

Married is the new divorced. If you get married before twenty-five people expect you to get divorced. Of course, if you get married after twenty-five, people expect you to get divorced too. If you’ve been married for more than a few years and you tell people you’re happy being married, they look at you as though you’re crazy.

Some people are actually feeling pressure to get divorced. I can’t offer this with empirical data. Certainly, though the people I’ve talked to all seem to agree that there is pressure to not be happy in your marriage.
(read entire post here)

About Joe Martino

I’m Broken, And That’s Ok!

The required façade of belonging to the “I’ve Got It All Together Club” was all consuming and exhausting. It became too much to keep up with. The need to hide every emotion, hurt, or fear so deep within, was draining me, killing me, the real me, ever so slowly. I couldn’t let up, I had to continue on. It is what was expected of me after all. I could never let those I am ministering to ever know that I too struggle with the very same things they do. I too have fear, anxiety, and moments of doubt. I was too afraid to share my heart, too afraid to show my insecurities. My thinking was “who wants to follow someone who can’t get their act together?”
Read Entire Post Here

To Be Known So Well

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To be known so well by God, is a comforting and terrifying thing.

To think that He knows me so well…sees even the deepest recesses of my soul, all of my inconsistencies and failings…yet loves me so passionately deep, limitless, and boundless, is unfathomable.

To know that His mercy and Grace is equally the same as His love…brings such joy to the heart of this sinner.

Knowing that it is by such love, that His Grace is my hearts salvation, brings me peace.

Though my finite mind cannot concieve the thought of His infinite love, I will forever be thankful for His love for me!

Boyfriends and Girlfriends and This and Such

In boyfriends and girlfriends and this and such
Hormones are raging,
not thinking too much.
Getting carried away by the lust of the skin
With no thought for tomorrow
or what happens then
Where is commitment or saying I do?
In lust, not love, mistaking the two?
Remember God’s word, His perfect plan
A husband, a wife
One woman, one man.

~Jimmy Eldridge~

A Little Advice In Dealing With Spouses

I have several friends that are going through marital hell right now. And I know that there are always two sides to every story, so I try to be careful and not choose sides.

Over the last several weeks, I have been doing some reading in regards to relationships and have come to the conclusion that most men have no idea what it means to be a good husband. Face it ladies…We are clueless!

Men want to look at the scripture that says ‘wives, submit to your husbands…‘ and we leave it at that. Then we expect our wives to do our bidding, be under our thumb, and be completely happy with that. (Those men suffer from what I call the I.D.10.T. syndrome.)

Understand this men….right after that it tells the husbands to love their wives as Christ loved the Church! BOOM! OUCH!

How does Christ love the church? Answer: COMPLETELY! SACRIFICIALLY! PASSIONATELY! UN-SELFISHLY!

Here is a little Dr. Suess inspired poem I wrote on this subject.

    A little advice in dealing with spouses
    Men should be men and not little mouses
    Treat her with dignity, honor, respect
    Love her, cherish her, much more you will get
    It’s not at all about what’s in it for you
    It’s all about her what you should do
    Treat her as royalty and remember how
    She’s the daughter of a King,
    and not some farmer’s cow!

    ~Jimmy Eldridge~

Going to Church is NOT the Answer!

Having a relationship with Jesus Christ is!

You can attend all of the church services you like, from here till Jesus comes back and it won’t do you a bit of good UNTIL you have a relationship with Him!

You don’t need better lighting, bigger buildings, or cooler graphics….you need to know Jesus intimately.

I know some who will claim they have a relationship with Jesus, but what would happen to them if they were unable to attend their church? How would their relationship with Jesus be? Almost non-existent? Maybe so.

So many equate their relationship with Jesus by the church they attend or how often they attend. Not only that….their perception of Jesus depends on what their particular church teaches or believes…NOT on what they themselves have sought out in God’s word and know to be truth. That is scary! This is also why we have a weak kneed Christiandom today.

I for one have grown weary of trying to be Christian Politically Correct and not offend anyone for standing up for what I believe…especially when what I believe is based on sound biblical foundation.

And if i am wrong…I am not ashamed to admit it.

We don’t need more programs, better lighting, cooler graphics, bigger buildings, or hipper/younger leadership.

We need to be reflectant….so that when people look at us they see a true representation of Jesus Christ. We should reflect His mercy. His grace. His love. His truth.

We need to live this Christian life with wreck-less abandon. Abandoning ourselves for His will and purpose.

We don’t need more church…we need more God!

Going to church is NOT the answer….BEING the church of Jesus Christ is!

How Much Does He Love Us?

Psalm 136:1-9 (NIV)

    1 Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good.
    His love endures forever.
    2 Give thanks to the God of gods.
    His love endures forever.
    3 Give thanks to the Lord of lords:
    His love endures forever.
    4 to him who alone does great wonders,
    His love endures forever.
    5 who by his understanding made the heavens,
    His love endures forever.
    6 who spread out the earth upon the waters,
    His love endures forever.
    7 who made the great lights—
    His love endures forever.
    8 the sun to govern the day,
    His love endures forever.
    9 the moon and stars to govern the night;
    His love endures forever.

John 15:9-17 (NIV)

    9 “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. 10 If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. 11 I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. 12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command. 15 I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. 16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. 17 This is my command: Love each other.

Romans 8:38-39 (NIV)

    38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[k] neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Sometimes God just doesn’t makes sense to me

(P.S. I haven’t blogged here in a while, I hope Jimmy doesn’t mind that I slapped this one up).

Yesterday I held a newborn boy.  He was nearly perfect.

I also took my daughters horseback riding at a farm where a little five year old boy lives. He’s dying. There’s a good chance he won’t see the end of next month.

Last night I found out another little baby boy died. He was still born. His parents have been trying to have kids for years. They buried him on his due date.

Life is hard. I’ve had my share of hard times. Compared to kids dying though, they seem like nothing.

It seems that it’s always a matter of perspective. I mean, have you ever just asked yourself, “Who Cares? Who cares about this whole stupid mess?” Certainly the Psalmist did time and again.

Then of course there is the issue of Theology. There’s the issue of people who have no idea what to say, feeling like they have to say something. There is the issue of what is said usually being not all that helpful.

I’m convinced all of our stories were meant to be told together. We need each other.

And yet people hurt us.

There’s so much hurt and anger in this world of ours. So much about life that doesn’t make sense. Can I be honest with you? I think one of the biggest problems we have with God is that there is a lot to Him that we can’t understand. Oh we want to. We rail and scream against our lack of control but at the end of the day we simply cannot wrap our brains around this Divinity.

I think that’s the problem. We refuse to admit there is some ambiguity. We want certainty where God demands faith and obedience. One of my friends lamented to me that there is just sometimes where God doesn’t make sense. I couldn’t agree enough. We can’t see God. We cant’ touch God. I think that’s why God tells us we need each other.

Sometimes, we simply have to trust in God’s character, not our ability to explain Him.