“Hey Jude” a timeless truth

The 1960’s was an era of psychedelic drugs, anti war protests, and also an era of music that shaped the way that music would be written for years to come. From Led Zeppelin to The Monkey’s, the 1960’s were full of influential bands who are still being listened to today. Arguably the most influential band in history came out of this era was a band that was led by a young man by the name of Paul McCartney. Paul McCartney, John Lennon, Ringo Star and George Harrison were the teen icons of the day. Their image was unlike anyone had ever seen before, 4 British gentlemen who had shaggy hair, and could command an audience with ease. All of this mixed with their ability to write songs and work a crowed landed them as rock god’s in this era. One of their most, if not their most famous songs is called “Hey Jude”, written by Paul McCartney and George Harrison in 1968.



The song was written for John Lennon’s son, Julian to help him get through the divorce that John and his wife Cynthia were going through. Paul viewed himself as part of the family, so one day he decided to drive out to Cynthia’s house, and the lyrics came to him on his way there. He started to sing “Hey Jules – Don’t make it bad, take a sad song and make it better”, but he later changed the lyric to Jude because he like the name, and it was one of the characters on Oklahoma. Because this song was written for Julianto help him through his parents divorce, when listening to the song there is a very upbeat happy tone to it. Almost as if it is an encouragement to anyone and everyone who listens that “you can make it through the tough times.”

There is much to gain by listening to this song, and even in the 60’s where it seemed as though everyone was looking to find themselves, it serves as a reminder that even if society disowns you for trying to become who you think you are, you will be able to make it through. In a time where people were trying to find out who they really were, there was insecurities, and many other side affects that came along side insecurities.

Though this song was written in 1968, it has a timeless message that can speak to anyone in any generation. The idea that you can make it through everything brings into mind Philippians 4:13, and that verse says “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.” It is very easy to tie this song into a pastoral approach, and could even be used as a sermon illustration. It brigs out emotions, it brings hope, but most of all it is directly in line with many biblical truths that we find from scripture, especially Philippians 4:13. It is as if Paul is saying “Your world is falling apart, but you’re going to be just fine”, this is the same message that Philippians 4:13 is saying. No matter what happens in your life, God is going to help you overcome your adversities.

All in all, this is a great song by a great band that will be forever played. It is encouraging, uplifting, and it instills hope into all that hear it.  


2000s – Harry Potter



The Harry Potter Franchise

The Harry Potter franchise consists of seven books, eight films, and a worldwide fan base with a culture of its own.  The books themselves have won numerous awards since the first book came out in 1998.  It was in the 2000s that the books and film grew into a worldwide phenomenon.  The success have made Rowling the first and thus far only billionaire author.  Just for the release of Goblet of Fire, FedEx used nine thousand trucks for the sole purpose of delivering the books, while Amazon and Barnes and Nobles pre-sold over seven hundred thousand copies of the book.  The numbers kept growing after that for each book.  For the last book Deathly Hallows, more than one million copies were pre-ordered through Amazon and Barnes and Nobles, and more than 11 million were sold in the first twenty-four hours of its release, making it the fastest selling book in history.



Trailer for Deathly Hallows:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I_kDb-pRCds

The story of Harry Potter, which consist of a young wizard’s adventures at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry and his battle against the world’s most evil wizard, has captured the hearts of many fans.  The eight Harry Potter films grossed over eight billion dollars, while working with a budget of over one billion dollars.  The first and last films were the most successful, with the last film, Deathly Hallows, breaking records for opening day, opening weekend, and yearly sales.  It ranks fourth worldwide among all films in sales.


The franchise impacted pop culture in many ways.  Even the word “Muggle,” a term within the series in reference to a person born into a non-magical family and incapable of performing magics, made it into the Oxford English Dictionary.  The craze for the Harry Potter films created the term “Pottermania,” and diehard fans have even planned their wedding theme around Harry Potter.  Fan conventions are another thing that popped up into the culture.  These events consist of Potter-centered activities, including the hosting of professional keynote speakers for Q&A sessions and presentations about the series.

The overall story of Harry Potter is about good versus evil.  Harry Potter, whose parents died when he was just a baby, creates a storyline that many people want to be a part of.  Just like superhero movies, Harry Potter fills a void in our hearts that the culture wants us to chase after.  Stemming from our feelings of loneliness and the desire to be special, this entire franchise makes every person reading the book or watching the movie want to root for the main characters.  Despite all odds and obstacles, Harry Potter becomes the hero, and that is what every single person wants to be.


As a Christian, there can be many mixed feelings about the Harry Potter franchise.  While conservative Christians denounce the series based on things like the use of magic and witchcraft, more liberal Christians seek to simply enjoy it for entertainment.  Our focus should not be on ourselves but rather on God.  The series teaches us to fight for what’s right, and it’s important to apply anything we learn into God’s ultimate plan.  There isn’t a distinctive right or wrong in enjoying these books or films, but it’s important to not get caught up in fantasies when we have a duty in our everyday lives to live out our purpose in Jesus Christ.


Family Ties- Television in the 1980s

Family Ties is an American sitcom that aired from September of 1982 until May of 1989; it centers on the Keaton family: Ex-hippie parents Steve, Elyse their conservative son Alex, and daughters Mallory and Jennifer.  Family Ties is set in and aired in the 1980s and much of it keys in on differences between the younger generations of the 80s rejection of the counter culture from the 1960s-1970s and their embrace of more conservative politics. (Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Family_Ties)

For the purpose of this blog, I viewed at the pilot episode of Family Ties.  This episode focuses on Alex pursuing a girl named Kimberly Blanton; she is from a rich family and Alex’s sister describes her as Barbie with and yellow convertible.  In the first scene of the episode Alex is anxiously waiting for Kimberly to call him on the house phone.  The phone rings a few times and when it is for his younger sister both times he starts to get angry because he doe not want her on the phone when Kimberly calls.  There was no such thing as cell phones and not many people had second telephone lines in their houses.  At this point in time, communication over distances was much more complicated than it is now.  This fact comes into play later in the episode.

When Kimberly is coming over for dinner Alex is frantically running around the house trying to make sure everything is perfect.  His mom says to him, “Alex, if Kimberly doesn’t like you or your family for who you are, then maybe she isn’t worth caring for at all…” to which Alex replies, “are you gonna wear your hair like that, or are you going to put it up?”  He wants to make at good impression on her at the risk of not being true to himself.  This is further magnified when Alex opens the door for Kimberly; he says, “sorry I had to answer the door myself, our butler is off tonight.”  He is self conscious of his family’s socioeconomic standing in light of Kimberly’s family.  He is attempting to sound rich to her because he is afraid that his real family standing will not be good enough for her.  Later at dinner he says to his dad, “So dad, are we going to sail around the world this summer?”  Alex is creating a lie to impress Kimberly.  It is not of consequence to him that even if a relationship with her worked out, it would be built on lies.  Some of this action by Alex is promoted by consumer culture; Alex sees his worth in how much he has or does, so to impress Kimberly, a girl coming from a family of means, he tries to pretend that his family is rich.  In his mind, if he has any shot with Kimberly Blanton, he has to seem rich.

Eventually, Steve goes to speak with Alex at the private country club that Kimberly’s family took him to dinner.  He wanted to ask him to come home, but could not get a hold of him over the phone.  Today, all he would have needed to do was sent Alex a text message explaining why he wanted him home, instead, he had to drive all the way to the club, walk in and embarrass his son.  Means of communicating in the 80’s was much different than it is now.  They did not have access to a phone, text messaging or a full web browser in their pockets like youth today.

The main point of this episode is Alex trying to win over Kimberly by being something that he is not.  The message that this could promote is that pretending to be something or someone that you are not can work out in your favor.  Alex ends up spending more time with Kimberly.  Youth in the early 80s were concerned with their image; particularly they wanted to put forth the image that they had as much as the next kid.  This is still relevant today as youth strive to have the next iPhone or to wear the cool hipster clothing.  As a pastor it is important to remember that this consumer culture that tells youth that what they have is a reflection of who they are is still very relevant.  We have the responsibility to speak truth into the lives of students regarding their worth, aside from what they have.

Classic Chic vs. Levi Jeans: The Cross-Cultural Fashion of the 1960’s


Elvis Presley                                     Audrey Hepburn

Casual rock and roll lifestyle                   Fashion icon and classic actress

Legacy includes mansion that got turned into meuseum    Legacy includes humanitarian work in Africa

Notorious for jeans and tee shirt             Wouldn’t be caught dead without a dress and pearls

In the years prior to the 1960’s, culture was very classical, uniform, and predictable. The youth culture of the 1960’s was one of the largest, seeing as it was the decade where the products of the baby-boomers were coming to the age of adolescents. Widespread cultural phenomenon such as the Vietnam War, Civil Rights Movement, The Peace Corps being introduced, and others was taking what was a uniform society, and turning it into a society of varied interests and perspectives.

The youth in this decade were tired of being prim and proper with such madness going on in the world around them, so they took it into their hands to change the culture around them. Levi’s blue jeans, which were once considered to be the uniform of the poor working class, was made to be “stylish” by the youth of the 1960’s, and not only that, but adolescents would destroy their jeans to make even more of a statement of how worn the jeans were. Others invested in the pill hat, a signature of Jackie-O, to show how chic they were. The flower children invested in bell-bottom jeans and Birkenstock sandals to show the liberty and free range of motion they wanted in their clothes.

Regardless of what clothing they chose to wear, their clothing sent a message on how they wished to be perceived. You wouldn’t find an Audrey Hepburn wannabe at Woodstock wearing a flower crown, that wouldn’t fit the order of what her fashion statement was making. In Turner’s book Popcultured he references clothing as a form of communication saying, “On another level we need clothes that communicate messages because we use clothes to let people know how we feel about ourselves, what we aspire to, what we believe in and, ultimately how we feel about the world around us and our status in it”(114).

Having many different styles of fashion across the youth in this decade makes a statement on the condition of society. There were elitists, hippies, activists, and people who just wanted to live a simple life, and that was all reflected in their fashion statements. Youth in this decade were all about living the life they wanted instead of what was expected of them. Like Turner talked about, their fashion statements communicated what they wanted their life to look like and where they wanted to fit into society. To the youth of the 1960’s, the world could be whatever oyster they wanted, and they would let the entire world know what they wanted that oyster to look like.

Ministerially, I think we need to be aware that the youth and culture of the 1960’s is very similar to the youth of today. While decades like the 80’s had very set styles and trends, today and the 1960’s are decades with a wide range of trends, because of all the chaos in the world. Just as the youth in the 1960’s recreated society through their fashion statements because of their discontentment, we need to watch out to see youth students who maybe are changing their fashion statements. Just as the youth of the 60’s were making these choices out of discontentment or to make a statement to what is expected of them, we need to understand that this is still something youth do today. I’m not saying we need to attempt to control the way youth dress, but use their style as social queues to see what kind of statements they are attempting to make to the world.


Natalie Broman

The 2000’s TV Show Family Guy


Family Guy1

By: Freddy Genther

Everybody loves cartons growing up. I have many memories of Saturday morning Animaniacs, Loony Tunes, and The TICK. The cartoons I loved so much as a child faded as I aged. Some people (me being one of them) wish that the Saturday morning cartoon times would never end. Seth McFarlane is one of those dreamers with talent. Seth McFarlane created an adult cartoon show called Family Guy. Family guy has been a cartoon family phenomenon throughout the 2000’s and continues to be a popular show. Family Guy first aired in 2001, with a rocky start Fox dropped the show. After the show was cancelled people bought up the first two seasons on DVD. Fox noticed the popularity and brought the show back in full swing in 2005. The popularity of the show has made it almost impossible to not recognize the main characters.

Family guy, is a show about a family with a dumb fat father at the helm Peter Griffin, his skinny wife Lois, their three kids: one daughter who cant find her identity Meg, the chubby loner Son Chis, and the baby main character Stewie, the family is accompanied by their super intelligent speaking dog Brian. Peter Griffin has his best friends as neighbors. The show is pretty much about what this family does. The carton would be considered a satire as the whole show makes fun of politics, people, and especially religion.Family Guy

Family Guy is popular because of the humor that appeals to a lot of young people in the 2000’s. A humor that seeks out people, to make fun of, and if the show is not explicitly picking on one person or people group, the show on a whole is making fun of the “typical American family”.

The part of the show that I dislike the most is the ignorant based humor of religion. And the most made fun of in the show is Christianity.  The show makes a point to make fun of God, and people who believe in God. By taking uninformed opinions to tear down Christianity, and make fun of God just for some laughs. The blame does not belong to the writers of the show, because they wrote this stuff but the fans think it is hilarious and want more. The effects of message on young minds, gives them a uniformed opinions about God, and Christianity. It makes religion one big joke. I think back to the book “Pop cultured” where the author states that we no longer have people who study and teach philosophy. We have movies, and TV shows that implicitly or explicitly gives the writers worldview.

Today I look at the peers I grew up with, who have such strong opinions about Christianity. The worldview of Christianity in American is viewed as a joke. As pastors our goal should be standing up to the ridiculous statements thrown around on Family Guy. Maybe showing a scene from Family Guy that bashes Christianity, and then talk about the biblical truth that combats those statements.

Illustrations of the 50’s


In today’s world there are many forms of advertising. There’s the use of television, radio, posters, and even social media. While the fifties had the use of things like television and radio; the most influential form of advertisement, was the use of “illustrations”. This form of advertisement was used to promote consumerism, to create the legacies of symbolic figures; like Elvis Presley, illustrations were even used to change the view people had about sexual freedom. (Skender 2009)

The strength of the economy was a lot better than what it was in the forties. According to Martina Skender, from Fuel Your Illustration, “During the 50’s the average salary in the USA went up by 50%, a middle class arouse, credit card was introduced…” The change in the economy started the spread of consumerism. Since men were now getting longer hours, the ability to buy a car improved; and companies took advantage of that. During the fifties there were a ton of new brands and products introduced. And the “Leave it to Beaver” family lifestyle is what families strived to become.

During the fifties, not only was their improvement in the economy, but there was a change of what got youth excited. According to Skender, “Young people wanted new and exciting symbols of rebellion and Hollywood responded. Anti-hero’s like Marlon Brando took on the role, and sexy non conformist anti-heroines like Marilyn Monroe added excitement.” While movies were used for the creation of these rebellious characters; the use of illustrations was a key source of advertisement for the movie and television industries. (Skender 2009)

Along with illustrations being used to create the rebellious symbols that young people craved, illustrations were also used to change people’s views on sexual freedom. During the fifties Pin Up girls grew popular. It was very common to see illustrations of Pin Up girls in businesses, restaurant, theatre, clubs, and locker rooms. Pin Up girls were considered to have changed the view of sexual freedom, because the illustrations consisted of “beautiful” women dressed in lingerie or some sort of sexual clothing. That fact that these illustrations were used so much in public changed the view of sexual freedom in the fifties. (Skender 2009)

If one was to approach illustrations through ministry. One would probably try to warn others of false advertisement, and how to deal with temptations it could bring.

The fifties saw a lot of change; it saw a change in economy, life style, and changed the way people thought about sex and strived for rebellion. While advertising styles have changed since the fifties, many of the things that were the focused on in the fifties are still focused on today. There are still advertisements the focus on consumerism, trend setters, and sexual freedom. It’s like Turner says, “the change of technology doesn’t just mean the same message is transmitted in a different format. It also shapes the message.” (Turner 2013)



Works Cited

Skender, Martina. Inspiration/History. September 21, 2009. http://www.fuelyourillustration.com/1950s-illustration-when-mass-media-met-pop-culture/ (accessed April 21, 2014).

Turner, Steve. Popcultured. Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2013.



The 2000’s Music (Eminem)



By: Freddy Genther A.K.A The real Ski Shady

Rap music has been around since the early 1970’s. The popularity of rap music has grown exponentially over the past 30 years. As the music became more popular rap artist started to get recognized and some made it to the top. Not too many rappers have done what Eminem has done in the industry, not only making it to the top, but also making it the top as a white boy in a predominantly black music scene. He started rapping when he was in high school but never made it until he signed a deal with FBT production. After the rap Olympics in 1997 where Eminem placed second, Dr. Dre heard him and had to hire him. This was the turning point for Eminem’s career and what launched him into being one of the most popular artists of the 2000’s.  Eminem and Dr. Dre released their first album together in February of 1999, The Slim Shady LP. The album went triple platinum. Rolling stone magazine said that Eminem was the most popular artist in the 2000’s. With all this fame and popularity Eminem stayed with his in your face, say what ever he wants, style of rap. The style that stamped him as an artist would also bring him his biggest fans. Not just the style of Eminem’s music drew a crowd, but his pasty white skin. Eminem pretty much was the first white rapper to make it to the top, which got him noticed. With this new sound and color to the rap industry more, and younger white kids started listening to Eminem music. Exposer to this kind of music and lyrics caused a change in the youth of the 200’s. The move form 1990’s grudge to the 2000’s bag clothes wearing rappers. The young people loved Eminem. The effects of slim shady on the young people cannot be proven. It was a time that I lived through as a young person. Listening to his music planted this desire to do whatever I wanted to talk to people however with no regards for them as a person. I love the opening scene from the movie 21 jump street. Where Joan hills character plays a high school student in the early 2000’s. The song playing is slim shady, the camera pans down to see a nerdy bleach blonde haired, student with braces and huge baggy pants. The scene was perfect it was the picture of how a majority of youth wanted to be seen. Like Slim Shady. A gangsta white boy who don’t take anybody’s crap. Looking at this issue pastorally, I would consider looking at some of Eminem’s songs similar to how we did the media reviews. The majority of Eminems songs talk about the pain in his life and the fact that he can’t be the man he wants to be. Critically looking at his life, how much pain he has, and how he tries to heal it could be a good conversation starter._eminem_royce

Rebel Without a Cause

By: Ian McLeod

The 1950’s saw the rise of a teen culture, as we know it today. Because of the rise in popularity in cars (with new highways to drive them on), rock ‘n’ roll, and the post World War II world they lived in, teenagers were beginning to create a subculture from the greater culture around them. Male teenagers began to develop their own distinct fashion taken from the first pop icons in men like Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, and James Dean. While the first two men were chart-topping musicians, James Dean was an actor of only 3 movies before his death by car crash in 1955, and perhaps the most influential of his performances was in Rebel Without a Cause.

In Rebel Without a Cause Dean plays Jim Stark, a teenager whom every teenager can relate to. In the movie Dean’s character lives the teenage rebel life style, interacts with bullies, and has to deal with parents who do not understand him. Perhaps one of the most well known lines from the film is when Dean’s character yells out “You’re tearing me apart! You say one thing, he says another, and everybody changes back again” in response to his parents being unsure what to do with their son after he gets in trouble. Throughout the film Dean’s character has similar encounters with his overbearing parents, even yelling at his father “What can you do when you have to be a man?” Dean’s character would also rather be with his friends than parents who only wish to control his life, as seen when he runs away from home to be with his friends.

Teenagers everywhere could relate to Dean’s character in Rebel Without a Cause. Not only did teen culture begin to rise in the 1950’s, but also the awareness of teenage angst. The feelings of not being understood, the desire for freedom and love, and the hurts from others at school, and an overall feeling of being lost. All these elements existed in Rebel Without a Cause. As Dean’s character finally found people that would understand him at the end of the film, so teenagers viewing the film felt like someone could understand them as well, even if it was a character on a movie screen. While not offering any solutions to their questions and hurts, teenagers found solace in that they were not alone in their struggle to find meaning. Dean’s performance in Rebel Without a Cause gave teenagers something they had previously not had: someone to look up too that understood them.

The influence of Rebel Without a Cause was great in the 1950’s, and even beyond. James Dean’s influence iconized after is his unexpected death in 1955, making him almost a martyr for teenagers everywhere. Dean’s influence ranges even to the modern age as well: Justin Bieber has even posed as James Dean on his Instagram page. Dean’s influence reaches far and wide, and in the 1950’s gave teenagers less of an example of someone they could be, and more of someone the could relate too. James Dean became an icon for men and teenagers everywhere, and his influence is still around today.

Should I Stay or Should I Go? In the 80’s?

In the 1980’s, rock music was evolving into new sub genres such as heavy metal and punk rock. One of the famous bands of this time was The Clash, a British punk rock band who wrote the song “Should I Stay or Should I Go?” The song opens with the line, “Darlin’ you got to let me know, should I stay or should I go? If you say that you are mine, I’ll be here ‘til the end of time”. From the get go, we see the image of a man who is confused about whether or not his girlfriend even wants him. Lines such as “It’s always tease tease tease, You’re happy when I’m on my knees” show that the way she treats him is often unpredictable, and that she delights in his confusion.

What messages does it send?

This song speaks to all sorts of people who are struggling in their relationships. The message, in its most basic terms, can be phrased as “if you don’t want me, tell me so I can leave”. A message like this would have been received well by the youth of the time period, and even today. Messages about relationships were effective in the 1980’s, and even though the styles have changed, the message remains the same.

What is the perspective on youth culture?

The perspective on youth culture behind this song is that it should be a free culture. This can be broadly interpreted, but specifically it is referring to relationships. For example, a line in the song says “If you don’t want me, set me free, exactly whom I’m supposed to be”. The song is saying that people should be free, and that they are meant to be that way. In regards to youth, the perspective is that they are too young to be bound in a complicated relationship. The view is that it is better for them to be free and do as they please while they are still young.

Ministry Reflection

So with all this being said, how can we as ministers respond to a song with such a message?

We must first acknowledge that most students in our ministries will be involved in relationships, and some will find themselves in similar situations.

The song portrays the message that “If I go there will be trouble, An’ if I stay it will be double”, encouraging youth to get out and avoid extra grief. Though this may be appropriate for some relationships, it can foster a culture of always taking the path of least resistance in various facets of life.

As youth ministers, we need to teach students how to properly work out difficulties in relationships, whether they are dating or just as friends. In Matthew 13:34, Jesus teaches his disciples to “Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another”.

In their interactions with people, we must teach students to treat everyone with the love of Christ. Loving people in this way may be challenging, and it may require us to stay through “double” trouble, but in the end extending the love of Christ to those we are in conflict with will prove rewarding and worth the trouble.

Fashion of the 2000’s

By: Jennifer Lancheros

Being on the Glamour top 10 fashion trends of the past decade, boots and miniskirts were clothes that every girl loved to wear in the first decade of the 2000’s.


Along with miniskirts and boots, leggings were also a huge hit. In fact, middle school and high school aged girls often included all of these fads into one single outfit. Miniskirts and leggings were first made popular in the 80’s but in the 2000’s, “leggings were paired with extremely short skirts such as the micro mini which barely covered the buttocks of the person wearing it.” (voices.yahoo)


Fashion of the first decade of the 2000’s was known as the “mash-up” decade, according to speakfashion. Why is this, you may ask, “Because it is the first decade that didn’t have a certain style. In the early 2000s, designers recycled already existing high-end fashion styles from the past decades, where, later on, designers began to adopt a more colorful, feminine, excessive, and ‘anti-modern’ look.” (Speak-fashion) Fashion began to look at previous times and pull different styles to make them well known again.

This was one of the first decades that showed how much fashion changes, and how quickly that change can happen. Because media was blooming over this time, with MySpace and the beginning of Facebook, young girls had easier access to continually look up their celebrity idols to see their hairstyle and outfits. There were also different websites where they could “try on” different hairstyles and outfits to see how they would look in what was trending. Celebrities, such as Jessica Simpson and Pamela Anderson, were well known for setting the ugg boot trend, (Popeater) which was actually “first made popular in the 1970s by surfers and have seen resurgence in popularity among teens and adults during the last decade.” Interesting enough, “Growing up in Los Angeles, Uggs didn’t really do much when it came to practicality,” (Gurl) but even so, many stars wore them often, and set a trend that lasted for years.

This decade did start the trend of tight-forming bottoms, also known as leggings. Since then, leggings have continually been used in today’s culture, along with yoga pants, which are worn more on a daily basis than for strictly working out. Wearing leggings does distract those of the opposite sex, and should be spoken about with the youth so that they know the type of message they are sending with the clothes that they are wearing. Putting on some yoga pants or leggings may not seem like a big deal, considering most girls wear them because of how comfortable they are, but it can be just as distracting as a low cut shirt or wearing a shirt with someone’s midriff showing. Culture sees this as something that can be looked past, but as Christians, we should be respectful of our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. What may be in style, may not be the most considerate.