Vol. 5, Issue 9 | March 1, 2019

Vol. 5, Issue 9 | March 1, 2019

Three Things This Week

1. Is Momo Back?

What it is: The insidious Momo Challenge, which encourages participants to self-harm and even commit suicide, is allegedly resurfacing in seemingly innocent YouTube videos.

Why we need to be vigilant: Some reports say the creepy Momo character is surfacing in Fortnite- and Peppa-Pig-themed videos on YouTube Kids. However, few deaths have been clearly linked to the challenge, and others claim it’s all a hoax that incites panic and outrage over a threat that never existed. Either way, it’s having real effects on real people. It’s a perfect opportunity to talk with your kids about it and online safety in general. Have they heard of or seen Momo? Have their friends? What should they do if they come across it or other harmful material? What should they do if anyone threatens them or their family online? Check out our free Info Sheet for more! (Much more in-depth Parent Guide coming very soon!)

2. Play Like a Girl

What it is:Toni Harris became the first non-kicker, skill-position female to sign a Letter Of Intent with a college football program.

Why it’s counter cultural: Interestingly enough, the same week Harris signed her letter to play football, the U.S. military decided the all-male military draft was unconstitutional, meaning in their minds women and men are equally fit to fight in America’s wars. As odd as these things might sound, most gender stereotypes throughout history are social constructs, not universal traits. Yes, God designed men and women radically different, but how they’ve lived out those differences in society has varied depending on one’s culture. Just because our society has a pre-defined understanding of what our girls and boys should do, as parents we must allow all of our kids to pursue their unique dreams, even when it goes against the grain.

3. #Missions

What it is:Christianity Today looks into how social media has changed missions conferences and why it matters for Gen Z.

Why it’s enlightening: Christian youth have been attending conferences like Passion, Urbana, and Cross for decades as a sort of rite of passage. So in an age when many of the speakers’ messages are already accessible 24/7 online, why are they still flocking to these experiences? “Face-to-face community that shows you’re part of something bigger.” Being connected to the larger community IRL matters to Gen Z as much as it has for all of humanity. The major difference for them is that “the most important thing is not the experience; it’s that other people know you had that experience,” hence sharing everything on Instagram in real time. Let’s help them remember that doing so can help spread the story of what God’s doing, but it isn’t a replacement for person-to-person community or evangelism.

Parent Guide Spotlight: March 6 is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent. This somber time in our liturgical calendar helps prepare our hearts anew to grapple with the paradox that is Easter. Whether you’re new to the liturgical calendar or a veteran looking to refresh your experience, our Parent’s Guide to Lent offers history, inspiration, and practical ways of bringing this season to life for your whole family.

Your Sacred Life

Every so often we read something that changes the way we see God, ourselves, and our place in the world. And when we do, we have to share it with you! Tish Harrison Warren’s Liturgy of the Ordinary is one of those books. Seriously, go buy it right now.

One of the more subtle heresies modern evangelicals are prone to accept as orthodoxy is the dualistic separation of the world into secular and sacred, ordinary or divine. The assumption is that there are certain jobs (missionary) or activities (prayer) that are sacred, and then there’s everything else. We’re made to believe a life in Christ should be edgy, exciting, and a bit dangerous if it is to be authentic. As a wise monk once said, “Everybody wants a revolution. No one wants to do the dishes.” The problem is that most of us spend the vast majority of our lives doing very ordinary things like waking up, brushing our teeth, and, well, doing the dishes. But when seen through the eyes of faith, these ordinary activities are transformed into luminous moments. As Warren reminds us, “God is forming us into a new people. And the place of that formation is in the small moments of today.”

Whether you read her book or not, learn to live your ordinary life on sacred terms. “In the boredom and pain of it no less than in the excitement and gladness: touch, taste, smell your way to the holy and hidden heart of it because, in the last analysis, all moments are key moments, and life itself is grace.”

Amen.

Keep the Faith!

The Axis Team

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