Mike Cope's blog

Friday, July 09, 2004

From Philip Yancey: ". . . I went to the local supermarket and looked over the magazines as I stood in line at the checkout stand. The progression of magazine titles over the past few decades tells a story of narrowing interests: from Look and Life to People to Us to Self, from Ladies' Home Journal and Good Housekeeping to Shape and Cosmopolitan. Every magazine on the rack featured a beautiful woman showing off her curves in workout gear, a bikini, or other revealing clothes. Does America have no men? "I looked around at the women standing in line. This being the U.S., a majority were overweight. They wore glasses, had moles and imperfect skin, dressed sloppily, slumped at the shoulders--qualities absent from the magazine cover girls. We all know the lie being sold by the magazines, yet still we buy the promise that straight teeth, an ideal shape, and glossy hair will satisfy forever." No wonder our teenage girls are obsessed with looks and often have low self-esteem from not measuring up! These old words spoken by God to Samuel still speak a fresh word of insight: "Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for the Lord does not see as mortals see; they look on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart."

16 Comments:

  • Mike,

    Spooky.

    In my quiet time today (sadly not an every day occurance - so no bragging)I came upon these words:
    "There was a man from Benjamin whose name was Kish...a mighty man of power. And he had a choice and handsome son whose name was Saul. There was not a more handsome person than he among the children of Isreal. From his shoulders upward he was taller than any of the people." (1 Sam. 9:1-2 NKJV)

    I wrote in my journal these words:
    "God help me to lead like David and not like Saul. Help me to respond to failure like David and not like Saul. Give me David's courage and not Saul's timidity."

    And then I surfed onto your blog...

    May God help us never forget that He is still on the lookout for cheese delivery boys like David who will fight giants after hearing about injustice ONE time instead of hearing it (Goliath's smack) 80 times and running back to our tents full of fear each time.

    Thanks Mike.

    By Blogger Joel Quile, at 7/09/2004 07:27:00 AM  

  • Thanks, Mike AND Joel! Very encouraging today.

    By Blogger Brandon Scott, at 7/09/2004 07:54:00 AM  

  • This Sunday, I leave for camp; I'm counseling for teen week. I'll be spending 6 days and 5 nights (voluntarily! for the ... eighth year?) in a cabin with 14 -20 girls between the ages of 13 and 18.

    What you've put here is what I want so much for each of them to know. I get so attached to these girls, and many of them are the same girls year after year. Some of them are becoming great women of God. I'm excited to see the way God works in their lives. Some, though, don't seem to know how valuable they are. I absolutely love my girls, but I want them to know how much more God loves them -- and not for anything they've done, but just because they're his.

    And it reminds me of the same thing.

    By Blogger Q, at 7/09/2004 08:05:00 AM  

  • Though on second thought....

    ... I object to the idea that glasses are a bad thing. Mine are actually kinda cute. =oP

    By Blogger Q, at 7/09/2004 09:31:00 AM  

  • Mike,
    I know this doesn't really directly relate to your blog today, but I thought I'd share something from Henri with you today:

    I can only fly freely
    when I know there is a catcher to catch me.
    If we are to take risks,
    to be free,
    in the air,
    in life,
    we have to know
    that when we come down from it all,
    we're going to be caught,
    we're going to be safe.
    The great hero is the least visible.
    Trust the catcher.

    — Henri Nouwen quoted in Raw Faith by John Kirvan

    All the best,
    Teresa

    By Blogger TKP, at 7/09/2004 10:57:00 AM  

  • This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    By Blogger wes, at 7/09/2004 12:47:00 PM  

  • I love reading Phillip Yancey and Mike Cope. Christian leaders that engage culture...not throw stones at it. Great Stuff...it has sucked me into the BLOG culture!!!

    By Blogger Lovell's Lookout, at 7/09/2004 12:49:00 PM  

  • "The person in the mirror doesn't look like a magazine. But when I look at you it's clear to me that I can see the fingerprints of God; when I look at you. And I can see the fingerprints of God. And I know it's true; you're a masterpiece that all creation quietly applauds. And your covered in the fingerprints of God." Steven Curtis Chapman writes some of the most inspired lyrics in Christian music as far as I'm concerned.

    As far as whether or not America has men, pop culture has a very established pattern of objectifying women and ridiculing men. Movies, sit-coms and even commericals enforce the idea that husbands and fathers or morons and women are over-sexed bimbos. Add that to a huge list of other absurdities we must try to overcome as parents and it makes you wonder how people even dare attempt this task without God's help.

    By Blogger Val, at 7/09/2004 12:59:00 PM  

  • Speaking of culture: Support bacteria! That's the only culture some people really have.

    By Blogger Val, at 7/09/2004 01:05:00 PM  

  • Besides, I think Yancey's point was more along the lines of "Why the heck are all the pictures of women?" Either they're objectified, like Val said, or the male of the species are simply extinct leaving the photographers no choice.

    I'm not bettin' big ones on the latter...

    By Blogger Q, at 7/09/2004 01:56:00 PM  

  • Q, To which I answer, sinful men. See the rest of my comment.

    By Blogger wes, at 7/09/2004 02:01:00 PM  

  • Spooky for me too! I was having a conversation today about how we notice the guy with the physical handicap from Wal-Mart when he visits our church, but we do not notice other people who may also work at Wal-Mart. Kind of the inside out/upside down. It gives me great comfort that God does not see man/woman as we see them. We try so hard to overlook imperfections or else we key in on them. We can’t seem to just accept people as creations of God made in His image. My goal for myself is to look at others as I want them to see me

    By Blogger DJG, at 7/09/2004 03:00:00 PM  

  • At times, it is so difficult for us to incorporate the handicapped and less fortunate into our lives. They seem to bring out the "there but for the grace of God go I" fear syndrome and we simply do not want to think about it.
    I wonder what God wants us to see - what is His purpose in knitting them together in their mother's womb just as they are?
    Maybe part of the answer lies in what a dear friend in La Mesa, CA once said to me. She said, referring to a beloved member there with severe CP, as her "speed bump" - that Rita made her slow down the frenzied pace; made her give the time Rita needed to get her thoughts out, which at the same time allowed her to consider her own thoughts, to be more introspective before speaking.
    One of my own great joys in life has been to sit with Rita in church, especially during the music worship and watch her face - she glows with love for God as she 'sings'. Hers is a beauty no camera could possibly capture, and she reminds me that we are all handicapped in one way or another by the flesh, but all of us are healed by His stripes. She helps me praise and worship Him more than I possibly could have had I not known Rita.
    Rita is one my friends left behind in San Diego that I miss the most.

    By Blogger Kathy, at 7/09/2004 05:52:00 PM  

  • Wes,

    I read the rest of your comment before I replied. It's apparent that eisegesis is not solely a phenomenon of encountering a biblical text.

    By Blogger Q, at 7/09/2004 09:23:00 PM  

  • Thank you so much Mike for addressing this issue. In regards to focusing too much on outer appearance, we all need God's grace!...both in the way we see ourselves and in the way we see others!

    By Blogger Amber, at 7/10/2004 05:46:00 PM  

  • Part of my frustration on this is how we (as Christians) have adopted this culture in creating our subculture. Christian music hits me most on this. We create our own music in order to avoid the world's music. Then the album covers and videos (especially with female artists) feed this image of perfect body, perfect makeup, perfect hair. This isn't a knock at all Christian music (Rich Mullins' $2 haircut, jeans and undershirt served as a HUGE exception to this rule), but I hate that we our trying to play our game by cultural rules. Thanks for this post.

    By Blogger chrismith, at 7/12/2004 11:50:00 AM  

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