And this summer I led a 1st grade class through the Jungle Safari VBS at CBC. It was one of the best things I've done since getting married. There is no greater hope than leading children to the Lord and hoping that they get it and it sticks to adulthood.
The curriculum from Standard Publishing (which I sold to the people at LifeWay in a way) had music from this singer named Yancey. Who is Yancey? I assume she's just this young chick who writes children's music for Standard Publishing. But she's actually really good. She has short, spiked hair with a highlight, dresses in punk clothes, and rocks with a bunch of kids in the background. One of her songs was good enough that we started singing it in the chapel service.
Here is the link to the song, and it actually is a good one.
What became of this revelation for me? It reminded me of the year I enjoyed Paramore. It was a brief spell, but it was also a time when I was trying to influence younger kids. I went through an escapism period where I liked Twilight and therefore Paramore. And I knew young girls who are easily influenced by this. I'm actually really sorry for that.
But Paramore has this one good song called "Fences." It really makes you think of the teen celebrity culture. You think of young people like Miley Cyrus who were raised in a certain mold as a minor. She makes a stand for Christ and celibacy before marriage. Then she turns 18 and kicks loose and now she swings on a wrecking ball in mostly her birthday suit. What happened?
Not defending her or anything, but trying to understand, this chick had to be mature and wholesome with no direction as to its meaning or relevance. Disney presented her the luxurious life of fame, food, friends, and attraction. Then she left any statement she used to have about Jesus and decides to experiment. To her, Jesus and goodness were just her TV image. She grew up as a TV personality and is just know trying to figure out who she really is. But at this time or exploring is now permanently on camera for all to see and to influence young girls. Even if she goes on to repent, which I hope she does, she will still have this permanent record of he folly as she went through adolescent crisis.
I love how "Fences," sung by another young lady who is famous, claims Christianity, but is not real clear on how it changes her life, pleads with these young stars, male of female, to set up boundaries and fences to protect them from the dangling millions offered by Disney. They feel like they have to do everything their manager says, and they get some joy out of it, but they are dying on camera because they abandoned faith in God for this quick temporary pleasure in order to get sponsors. When you are famous, it is hard to have a private life. In fact, I feel really sorry for such kids as Miley, Justin, and even recently departed such as Shirley Temple. Even if, like Shirley Temple, you grow up into respectable adulthood, you still live the Truman Show. You have no private life and any slip-ups from time to time get published into history. Shirley was pro-choice for a spell in the 70s. Justin got arrested. We all know the story of Britney, Timberlake, and Lohan.
If only they had heard "Live Differently" by Yancey when they grew up. Yes, they will stand out, but then again, they'd stand out. Read Boundaries by Cloud and Townsend. Learn to tell people no even if it risks your career. And seriously, you can earn fame when your more mature enough to handle it.