For Zoe (Befores and afters for the New Year)

Elizabeth Taylor-actress

Soundtrack for today's blog (clicking doesn't change page)

Darling daughter! Happy new year! You will be 11 years old this year. I can't believe how mature you are getting already. I am writing this blog post to you, but I am not going to have you read it for a couple years yet. If you find it before then you'll probably get mad at me… Oh well hehe... Hopefully some of my friends that read this blog will get some wisdom out of it and pass it to their daughters.

I am so proud of who you are. You work so hard at school, and you work so hard at home. You treat others kindly and I know that you want to try to be who Jesus wants you to be! What more can I want? Nothing.

But I am scared. You are going to junior high soon and I know that you will be faced with all kinds of messages, problems, and challenges that you can't even imagine now. The beautiful, simple, innocent world that you live in will be so different in a few short years. 

So... I have something that sounds very brutal to say to you. The world does not care about you. Culture does not care about you. Most of your friends don't know this, and most of their parents don't realize it, but the same forces that are trying to get you to be prettier, listen to the latest music, watch the latest movies, wear immodest clothes, send naked pictures on your cell phone, and have sex with boys, are the same forces that will hate you if you get chubby, don't have much money, get pregnant, get a sexually transmitted disease, or act too much like a "Christian."

Who is "culture"? Who is "the world"? It's not a specific group of people. But at any given point in time we all perceive there to be a group of people that are smarter, more attractive, more cool, and more excepted than we are. We all feel that there is some group that is "in charge." Then, we all make choices as to what we will do to be accepted by this imaginary group.

Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
— Proverbs 31:30

No matter how pretty you are, no matter how beautiful your clothes, no matter how perfect your make up is… It will all go away. You will get old. You will get wrinkly. And you will not be "pretty" like the world tells you you should be.. Want proof? Here are some pictures of some of the "prettiest" people ever. They had millions of dollars to buy all the latest things… And they still got old and wrinkly

Madonna - singer

Rita Hayworth - actress

Goldie Hawn - actress

Cher - singer

Not only will the world lie to you when it comes to your looks...

...it will also lie to you and tell you that money and possessions will provide you with lasting happiness. Actually, "the world" just wants all of your money, and it would chew you up and spit you out.

I know it's hard to imagine, but almost all the companies that produce music, movies, cars, phones, clothes, perfume, and jewelry, don't care if you end up without any money or even if you end up dead. They just want you to buy their product. Sit down for an evening and pay close attention to the commercials on TV. "The world" will tell you that you need a super fancy car and a new smart phone every year. T-Mobile, Verizon, AT&T and Sprint advertise "zero dollars down" while Mercedes-Benz and Infiniti make us feel like giving a car for a Christmas present is something we should consider doing.

Original iPhone and iPhone 5s. 

Even though your daddy is very enamored with all things Apple, are we really getting that much more with the iPhone 5s than we did with the original iPhone? Look at this picture? We have calendar, pictures, camera, texting, maps, weather, Internet, phone, and email all on the original iPhone? Do I really need thumb scanning security? Probably not. It's a phone, not a nuclear missile launch protocol.

In area after area, what is trendy, profitable, or worth knowing today, will be forgotten and discarded tomorrow. All across our planet and all across time, humankind has a tendency to invest their hearts and lives into things that are temporary.

I want you to base your self-worth on something more lasting than what the world says you should. I want you to have a value system that looks at the reality of things, not at what the companies that are making money off of you say you should.

Zoe, I know all this stuff sounds scary, but I will be here for you and we can work through it all together, okay? I love you and I want you to have a great year!

Michigan Central Station, Detroit, MI - bustling transportation hub for decades

  Olympia Cotton Miil, Columbia, SC - One time World's largest cotton mill now vacant

Olympia Cotton Miil, Columbia, SC - One time World's largest cotton mill now vacant

Posted on January 4, 2014 .