Bullying

The new film “Bully” is a long overdue project.  This is a documentary that addresses the affect of bullying in an authentic manner. The language in this film may be terse, but it provides a glimpse into the world of children who are bullied. The movie is a great learning tool for parents, educators and children.

As adults we must send a clear message that bullying will not be tolerated in any form or at any level.  For example, just last three elementary students were arrested here inBaltimorefor fighting.  It was later reported that these elementary children were in some sort of gang and attacked this one child. Now, this tension between these students did not just “happen” this one day.  One student told a reporter that the victim “pushed” her and this was her reason for attacking him.  Now, if this pushing incident happened, where were the teachers and why wasn’t it reported.

Other jurisdictions inMarylandhave tough anti-bullying policies. For example,BaltimoreCountyandAnneArundelCountyhave strict anti-bullying policies that include no “rough housing”, “pushing”, etc.  While we can’t change what happened to any of these children.  We can demand that educators and legislators change the way they deal with bullying. (especially inBaltimoreCity)

Creating tough anti-bullying policies may require additional work on the part of educators; I believe that every child inBaltimoreCityis worth it! Hopefully this movie will spawn enough awareness to encourage parents to lobby for federal tough anti-bullying legislation.

Resources

Violence Prevention Works

National School Safety and Security Services

StopBullying.gov

Kids Health

PBS Kids

Education.Com

National Institutes of Health – National Library of Medicine

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Love, Love, Love

Sometimes I often wonder what God really thinks about some Christian programming.  Don’t get me wrong – I know that He loves us unconditionally and nothing can ever separate us from His love. Maybe it’s just me but most people who say they are Christians come off as mean, nasty, hostile, gossips, slanderers, and unforgiving.  I had to catch myself because viewing one program, I became angry, hostile, gossip, slanderer and unforgiving because I know that this is not the character of God.   Then it hit me like a ton of bricks – these same people NEED love (agape) showered on them like never before.  The old adage “hurt people – hurt people” was so vivid at this moment.

The saddest part is that people viewing this program who were not saved will believe that you must become angry, hostile, mean, gossips, slanderers, and unforgiving to be “saved.”  This could not be any further from the truth.  When you understand that God is love – you understand that being these things is not God’s way of operating. (i.e. Kingdom behavior)

I said all of that to say this…God is love.  The reality is that anything that contradicts love – contradicts God. Anytime someone attempts to separate God’s love from the Gospel of Jesus Christ it’s like separating Jesus from God and you just can’t do it!  At the same time we must remember that everyone has not truly received the love of God which usually explains their behavior. Yes they are saved but have not received His love, grace and mercy. (which why they still preach the law) All of us have been there.  The moment we first gave our lives to Christ (especially if we were in a rigid environment) we became so caught up in legalism that we skipped over the main thing – love.  I can remember wearing dresses so long they looked like gowns. I can laugh now, but back then that “symbolized” holiness.  We focused on the “appearance” of holiness and not the actual substance of holiness.

The one command Jesus gave us is that we love one another. Walking in love and just being living example of God’s love in the earth is what I desire to do everyday.  Does this happen everyday?  Absolutely not! I miss the mark just like everyone else. (sometimes more than others)  Yet, thru grace and mercy, the Holy Spirit gently nudges me and reminds me His love for me never changes and to try again.

Please know that nothing that you have done ( or will do) can separate you from God’s love. His love, grace and mercy are waiting for you, but you must be willing to receive it.  My prayer is that for those who are not saved or those who were in church and just became fed up is that you encounter such an outpouring of love from God that your life will never be the same.