Don’t Eat the Berries

Don’t Eat the Berries

Some years ago I watched the movie “Into the Wild,” which is based on the true story of a young man named Christopher McCandless who journeyed alone through the North American wilderness in the early 1990’s. My convictions have changed since then and I don’t watch R-rated films anymore. So if you’re interested in seeing it, be warned that I wouldn’t watch it again. (Also spoiler alert, because I’m going to talk about the end of the movie.) There seems to be an epidemic of loneliness among believers, and it even mirrors the one we see outside of the faith, in the rest of society. I’ve been thinking about this for the last few weeks, and this movie keeps popping into my head. To summarize it, Christopher McCandless is the son of wealthy parents, and he graduates with honors as a top student and athlete from Emory University. Instead of launching into a promising career, Christopher decides to give all his money away ($24,000), destroy his identification documents, and basically set off on a journey of self-discovery, stripped of his previous identity. He doesn’t tell his family where he’s going and merely sets off. On his way to the Alaskan wilderness he meets a hippie couple named Jan and Rainey, who take him under their wing. There’s one scene that keeps running through my mind: Jan tells the story of her disconnection from her own son and how she hasn’t spoken to him for years. She then lovingly grabs Christopher’s face with tears in her eyes and asks, “Do your parents know where you are?” It’s a powerful image–the...
A Problem We Can’t Ignore

A Problem We Can’t Ignore

Disclaimer: In the next few blogs I will be addressing the subject of pornography. If you tend to faint or swoon at the subject I advise getting a pack of smelling salts before moving forward. Removing the stigma around addressing pornography and sexual wholeness is at the heart of what my husband and I are all about. We both know that the first step toward breaking free is speaking to a supportive community of believers.  It’s how you start to own the problem. Unfortunately, in our current church culture, starting a conversation about the use of pornography–for women especially–is close to impossible. There’s no room for it. I often try to imagine opportunities in which to creatively breach the subject. Maybe that time in between worship songs when we take a moment to greet each other. “Hi, good to see you. My name is Liz. Do you continually look for NC-17 movies on Netflix?” Or perhaps during our next after-church potluck: “These hotdogs are delicious. Can you pass me the mustard? Do you continually erase your computer history?” Or maybe during the next friendly basketball game in the church parking lot: “Ok, I’ll be on the skins team. By the way, how much skin did you see over the weekend?” Obviously, corporate group settings are not the best route in beginning private conversations (although I hope that one day they can be), yet creating a culture where people don’t run from their sin depends on a few things. Get Educated: This is for all of us. Do you know why pornography is harmful? Do you understand what the Bible...