Pornified Culture

Pornography.

Chances are that word made you recoil a bit. There are plenty of stigmas, judgements, and emotions that come along with the discussion of pornography and those reactions are not frequently discussed openly by the church. They may be discussed in one-on-one mentoring or during prayer times but there are rarely seminars in the church, or sermons covering this issue.

On October 27, 2015 Julia Beazley of the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada came into to give a guest lecture at my university on the topic of Pornified Culture. The lecture was well-attended by students and faculty as well as a number of attendees who were not directly connected with the school. Packing out the main Lecture Theatre, where chairs had been added in the back to create more rows, Beazley explained the dangers of Pornography not merely from a Biblical stand point but also from a political stand point.

Through her talk in the morning Beazley explained that pornography is the dehumanization of predominantly women, girls, and boys, and this objectification of people cannot help but spill over, affecting the real-lives and relationships of porn users. Porn teaches that sex is not about intimacy, love, or a relationship with your sexual partner, instead it teaches that women like to be dominated. This translates into a society that views violence against women and children as being “sexy,” directly leading to the “rape culture” we struggle with today where “no” is no longer accepted as meaning no.

As Christians the fight against pornography involves rescuing those who are abused and trafficked for it as well as provided support and a safe space for people to come when they are ready to break the addiction. Pornography is an addiction just the same way as drugs or alcohol can be, in fact, Beazley mentioned studies in her lecture that have proven this fact, it is the same reward centres in the brain that are being stimulated with porn as it is with drug addiction or alcoholism.

There are ways that pornography can be fought however and in her afternoon discussion Beazley mentioned a number of ways the team she is on is trying to fight against it including branding pornography as a public health crisis. I found this a fascinating point. Pornography affects an astronomical amount of people, making up about 25% of all online searches. It is a health issue, starting with the actors on the sets all the way down to the users who are slowly destroying their relationships because you can’t help but damage relationships when porn is brought into play. It’s not real but it can create dissatisfaction with the real.

I’ll close with two quotes that Beazley opened her lectures with, both from speaker Matt Fradd,

“We were made by love, to love, for love. Love is our origin, our vocation, and our density.”

“Christianity is not about the annihilation of sexual desire, but about the orientation of it for the sake of love.”

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Learning to Grow

Two things today:

I’m learning to pray, “Not what I think Lord, but what you know.”

And I’m taking encouragement from Psalm 32:8, “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you.”

-B

Bread We Break

This evening I went to Bread we Break which is a young adult worship night in Winnipeg that happens every two or three months. It was started by a group of young adults in I believe the summer/fall of 2011 (but that could be wrong ;P) and its basically just 400-600 young adults from a variety of churches in Winnipeg and the surrounding areas coming together to worship God, have communion, and followship together! It’s super cool and open to absolutely everybody!

The next one isn’t until March but if you’re in the Winnipeg-area and this sounds like something you’d be interested in coming to then:
a) DO IT! You should totally come, that’d be awesome! It’s a young adults event which, if we’re getting super technical, is around 18-30ish but anyone is welcome to come =D
and
b) Check out Bread we Break’s facebook page and/or website! (They also have an instagram, twitter, and youtube but you can find those links yourself ;D)

Talk to you tomorrow!
-B

A Visit!?!

Today my brother and I got to go see my mum!! When she wrnt in we were told we wouldn’t be able to see her until she got home, she was only allowed two visitors to minimize any contact with germs as she’s on high immune-supresents as her body gets used to having a new organ in it. Without the immune-suppresents her body would attack the new kidney as a virus or invader and destroy it. So the immune-suppresents are a good thing, just not for my brother and I. My dad was obviously one of the apporved visitors, and the other was my sister who’s out of school and took the week off work.

So I had resigned myself to not seeing mum until she comes home (which could actually be as soon as Monday now!! exciting!) but then today I was texting her (gotta love technology) and she said, “The nurse said you can come visit if you want to” and I was like what, like now, okay I’ll come now!! So my sister came and picked up my brother and I and off we went!

Mum’s doing well, pretty tired and sore, kinda hard sleeping in hosptial beds and soreness is a normal post-surgery ailment, but she’s recoving. In fact, today the doctor told her her phosphates were low and she should eat some chocolate! She hasn’t been able to eat chocolate for seven or eight years now because her phosphates were always too high!! So dad got her a selection of things and she nibbled away at them guilt-free =)

Then this evening after I’d come home, my dad posted on facebook that my mum’s “blood clearance levels are now officially NORMAL! That means that [her] new kidney [(from my uncle)] is already cleaning her blood to such a degree that she’s getting the very same blood-test results that someone with a pair of healthy kidneys would get! Her nurse just exclaimed that she has never seen anyone reach NORMAL so quickly after a transplant! Thank you Lord!” So YAYYYY that’s exciting!! =) There’s still a ways to go with recovery but so far everythings good and God willing it will continue this way =)

Thanks for all the thoughts and prayers, they’re very appreciated! Talk to you all tomorrow!
-B

My New School

So post-skating soreness hit me this evening… I thought I was okay this morning, but nope, stairs could be an issue.

I start school again on Monday. The Christmas holiday hasn’t really felt a whole lot like a holiday, I had a grand total of three day offs but it was a good time and I had a school-side mental rest even if I didn’t get a full physical rest. But today I ordered my textbooks and I’m arranging rides fro school and I’m looking forward to it.

I started at a new school this September. I graduated high school in 2011, took a gap year in which I went to England (2011-2012), and then went to the University of Winnipeg for a year (2012-2013). I did not enjoy that year. At the time I was still dealing with coming out of some mild depression (I made a post about it a while ago) and I wasn’t sure who I was or what I wanted to do and I didn’t like school and I literally avoided people I knew when in a “mood” while at school and actively did not make new friends. I didn’t make a single friend at school. Not one. I don’t know if that’s normal, but I feel like its kind of not… It might have been me coming from a very small school to going to a larger school; it might have been the age, post-high school can be rough; it might have been the program I was in not being what I wanted; it might have been a mix of all of those things. Needless to say as I left the university after my last exam I said to myself, “I am not coming back here again. Ever.”
And I didn’t.

The next year I did an internship program with my church which I really enjoyed and then I was once again faced with the “where to now?” problem. I ended up choosing a smallish Christian University just outside of Winnipeg. Starting there I only knew one person through some mutual friends and I think that was a benefit for me because it meant I couldn’t hide behind friends I already had, I had to put myself out there and make new friends. I also could start afresh, no one knew me, or had any preconceptions about me, I could just be me and be accepted as such, not as “how I used to be” or “how I’ve changed”, but who I am. That was really nice.

I now commute every day with new friends, I’m happy to go to school in the morning (well I don’t like actively waking up, that sucks, sleep is the bomb-diggity, but, like, I’m generally happier to face the day ;D), I enjoy walking through the school doors each day, and leaving for Christmas break last month I felt genuinely sad – I was going to miss these people!

I’ve also enjoyed my classes a lot more, being happy somewhere is a major motivator for me to work hard in assigments and stuff (but not the only motivator, some class just suck but you gotta do them, it’s a thing). In the year at the university of Winnipeg I got 4 B’s, an A-, and a C. This past semester I got straight A’s. I got to take a class on religious themes in literature and we studied The Chronicles of Narnia. We had a Narnia party.

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My Narnia class is cooler than your class…

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We brought Narnia related snacks, dressed up in costumes, and watched The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. I got marks for making and bringing a jelly roll to class.

(also, yeah, I made a jelly roll this year. I baked that. By myself. I was/am really proud of it so, yeah…)

One of my friends did a year long program at this school last year and when we were talking about school stuff recently she described the school as “The place where even the most unique characters can find belonging.” and it’s so true. Everyone I’ve met there is so unique and fun and different in their own ways and yet everyone seems to fit in and be happy and be friends, we all manage to click.

I love it. I’m so happy. I haven’t felt belonging like this in a very long time. It’s nice.

-B

Viewing and Filming

On Tuesdays we have a morning class and then the afternoon off and an evening class so the five of us have taken to going to one of the guys apartments to hang out. Today was an olympic watching day and we watched the Olympics for like, three or four hours…? It was fun though, I don’t get to see much Olympics because my family doesn’t have cable and I don’t even actually know if the family I room with does because I have the wifi password… I don’t really go out of my way to watch any competition other than figure skating though, that’s my favourite, but if it’s on, I’ll totally watch it and probably get really into it =D

Doing some more filming tomorrow for another video for my old school. The other one I made is now live on youtube so feel free to check it out! It’s my first proper “work” type video and I’m kinda sorta pretty proud of it =)

Talk to you tomorrow!
-B

Video Project

I forgot to mention that yesterday I started doing filming for a project I’m working on. I’m doing a project for my old school, filming a bit of an advert video/get to know the teachers/why the school is great sort of video so yesterday and today I spent the afternoons talking to/filming my past teachers which was fun. I love doing this kind of thing! I hope the final product turns out well! That’s kinda what I’m focused on right now =D
-B