“TORN BLOOD” by David J. Bain

Published July 28, 2014 by One Desert Rose



Action-Packed Novel Reveals
Inside Story Of Arab-Israel Conflict


Good news for Tom Clancy fans anticipating his latest unpublished novel. They can discover a new action-packed adventure written by David J. Bain whose fast-paced style and attention to detail appeals to Clancy fans everywhere.

Speaking with his own voice, Bain’s debut novel pulls readers into a vortex of tightly knit action and suspense with riveting plots, layered sub-plots, and intrigues which are the hallmarks of America’s great story tellers.

Bain spent seven years researching and writing Torn Blood (ISBN 13: 978-0-9881710- 0-8), 2013, Bo Iti Press, Wyoming, 568 pages, $17.99, available from bookstores, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble in paperback and eBook. Also available at iBookstore in a digital format).

Torn Blood shows enemies locked in a mortal battle to destroy Jerusalem’s Jewish residents where lives are faced with an existential choice – safety from persecution in America or commitment to a land that calls them home but could demand their lives. 

In his debut novel, Bain enters Jewish history and asks if justice can prevail for a people maligned and persecuted over the ages because of their birthright.

Bain, who collaborated on two movie screenplays, (End of the Harvest and Time Changer), brought together researchers from the United States and Israel to reveal the truth of Jewish rights to a homeland in Israel.

“I was familiar with Israel’s history, politics, and military as well as the habit modern Israel has for coming out on top in any conflict with aggressor countries, but why does this tiny dot of land, Israel, remain the focus of world events?” Bain answers that question in the pages of Torn Blood as readers are drawn into a story capturing reader’s minds and hearts as the ultimate fate of Jerusalem and her people reveals itself in an apocalyptic conflagration.

“Many believe Israel has the right to exist as a Jewish state but can’t articulate why,” adds Bain, “Once they read Torn Blood readers will know the truth of Israel’s historic claim to its land and why that claim is so hotly contested.”

Torn Blood was written so readers will discover the reasons why Jewish people are committed to their tiny nation floating in a sea of enemies and why Jerusalem is the heart and soul of their existence.

The Story Behind the Headlines:

Three weeks before reporting for duty at the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv, Addison Deverell arrives
in Israel on a mission—to find the source of the conflict between Arabs and Jews. Bound to an escort by the embassy, he is unable to begin his search as time is running out.

Mere days before he must report for duty, Addison is freed from his forced escort. As another escort takes his place, Addison issues an ultimatum that, with or without help, he is going into Palestinian territory for answers he can’t find in Israel. Addison races to uncover truth that promises to establish a career as he faces danger from those he seeks to understand and finds himself a pawn in an international plot to drive Israel’s Jews into the sea.

Nearly seven thousand miles away in Oregon, Dr. Janelle Henning confronts a secret that threatens to destroy the only family she’s ever known. A search for understanding thrusts her into a world long buried to confront a birthright hidden by the passage of time. Brought together by events, Janelle and Addison discover hidden identities in a relationship they have shared for a lifetime.

Here’s What Readers Are Saying About Torn Blood:

A Novel of Importance:
Scholarly, Challenging, Immensely Important Insights
“This novel, perhaps more than any other, allows a wider audience to understand the history and commitment to Zionism and the inimitable importance of the city of Jerusalem to those of the Jewish faith around the world. Bain has provided not only an engrossing thriller but also a glimpse at the idea of apocalypse, the ever-present threat of chemical and biological warfare and annihilation of massive groups of people, and a celebration of the indomitable Jewish spirit.”
-Grady Harp, Amazon Top 50 Hall of Fame Reviewer

“This is an action-packed thriller that focuses on biological weapons of mass destruction while also providing insight into what it means to be an Israeli as identity matters. Fast-paced from the opening discussion on anthrax and never slowing down, readers will appreciate this exciting tale; as no compromise and no surrender remains the values of a small nation as depicted by the ‘relative size’ map.”
-Harriet Klausner, #1 Amazon Reviewer in Sept 2008 and Newspaper Columnist

“I enjoyed the complexity of the sub-plots and how they all tied together. It appears Mr. Bain managed to inject many years of his own experiences into some of the characters. Torn Blood is an excellent read and I hope this is only the first chapter of a series that will use fiction to explain the complexities of the Middle East.”
-Paul Sarvela, Amazon Reviewer

“Most of the time, I’m a hit or miss fan of fiction that is controversial or apocalyptic in nature. But Torn Blood was a book I simply could not put down…The plot is a labyrinth of mystery, and details unfold in their own time, and aren’t easily predictable.”
-Jeff Randleman, Amazon Reviewer

“I know this sounds dramatic, but that’s because the plot of Torn Blood is dramatic. The disturbing thing is that it’s also plausible, given the turmoil in the Middle East. When I started reading Torn Blood and seeing where Bain was headed, I could hardly stand to put the book down. I wanted to know what would happen next and if everything would turn out okay. There were some surprises along the way as well, and I enjoyed each one.”

-Jennifer A. Janes, Amazon Reviewer

“This book is fast-past and suspenseful! It is a book about choices and the consequences of those choices. At times it was a little difficult for me to keep up with the many characters throughout the book, but overall it was a very very interesting, exciting, page-turner!”
-JoJo Sitos, Goodreads Reviewer

“I found it easy to immerse myself into these various characters throughout the entirety of the book. I had times where I had to put the book down, due to other life priorities, and picked it back up with ease. Once again I found myself immediately wrapped up in the action.”
-M. Mancuso, Goodreads Reviewer

About David J. Bain:

David-Bain-3Torn Blood drew its first breath after I collaborated on two screenplays, End of the Harvest and Time Changer. Working on stories that dealt with moments in time conflicting with eternity caused me to reflect on Jewish rights to Israel and their beloved capital Jerusalem which plays out in moments of time conflicting with eternity.

What is it about Jerusalem, this tiny city in a sea of enemies, which compels governments around the globe to shun recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s undivided capital? As opinions give birth to offspring facts are colored by emotion, ignored, or lies are imbued with life in their place.

The truth—having been recorded in ancient documents in plain sight—will challenge your world. And if Providence is paying attention, and there are ancient words to that effect, that could be a very good thing.

Torn Blood is the inaugural release from Bo Iti Press,
a Wyoming-based niche publisher focusing on stories about the Jewish experience and the rights of Israel as a sovereign nation. The author’s desire is that this book will help readers discover the reason Jewish people around the globe are committed to their tiny nation floating in a sea of enemies—and it’s not what one is often led to believe.

Bain owns a consulting company with his wife Doris that publishes technical manuals and papers. They recently founded Bo Iti Press, a niche publisher focusing on stories about Israel and her people. A veteran, David served in Vietnam in the U.S. Air Force.

David and wife Doris live in Oregon.

My Review:

“Enemies of Israel prepare it for annihilation,” a July 14, 2014, article by savingourfuture (dot)com:    


Torn Blood by  David J. Bain, is a novel about the Palestinians trying to annihilate Israel.  It’s been this way from the Biblical times when God gave Israel a portion of land as an inheritance to Israel.  It’s still going on today, as we witness Hamas bombing Israel for days on end since early July, 2014.

Mr. Bain, in his novel, will show why Israelis are the true claimants of the land of Israel.  (Excerpt from the book:  “Ishmael’s spiritual descendants cover our tiny land.  Their great wealth, their massive numbers are not enough.  They scheme to take HaShem’s (God’s) gift from Isaac’s descendants.  Our people are hated because Ishmael, in rejecting HaShem’s covenant, rejected the covenant giver and his birthright, but HaShem is not a man that He should change His mind.”)

The author does an excellent job of creating the hostility, brutality, suspense, and terrorist schemes of the Palestinians in their pursuit of annihilating Israel.  It could easily be taken from some of the major headlines of today and the many years of conflict in the area from the past.  Though it may be a work of fiction, it is closer to reality than one wants to admit.

The characters are very well described, including their individual idiosyncrasies that make the story line intriguing and keep you reading, sometime a little late into the night.  The multiple plot changes kept me from overload about some of the subjects (terrorist training, bomb set-up) and made for an interesting read. The personal lives of each individual brings the story alive. How they are intertwined came at a complete surprise.  The endless rhetoric by the terrorist leaders to encourage their ‘brothers in the war’ to keep up their end of their duty for the Palestinian nation shows, at least to me, the meaningless of their lives as they pursue their annihilation agenda toward Israel.  

The story sure opened my eyes to the dangers Israelis live through on a daily basis.  And seeing live witnesses on TV in the past weeks has made this story even more possible and dangerous. 


This book was provided free by Media Contact, Scott Lorenz, from Westwind Communications, in exchange for my honest review.  No monetary compensation was received, and I was not told to give a positive review. 


Mimicking Supermodels, Christian Girls Posting Seductive Selfies

Published July 22, 2014 by One Desert Rose

Why are Christian Girls Posting Seductive Selfies?
Reposted from 7/20/201 KRISTEN CLARK

When I was in high school, Bethany and I decided we wanted to do a really cool photo shoot of ourselves.

We put on the most modern outfits we could find, layered on the jewelry, doubled the mascara and headed to a prime location—our roof. We recruited (begged) one of our younger sisters to be our photographer. We all climbed onto the roof of our house and she snapped away with the camera.

Yes, a roof is a random place to do a photo shoot, but we did it there to get that perfect “modelesque” breeze to blow our hair just right. For each picture, we posed exactly the way we had seen the professional models do it with their lips puckered, one eyebrow raised, hand on hip, and serious eyes.

Without being told how to pose seductively, we were pros and knew exactly what to do. We proudly posted our photoshoot to Facebook and waited for the compliments to come in.

Seductiveness is the new norm.
Sadly, we live in a culture that “trains” our minds to view seductiveness as the norm from a very young age. Just take a quick walk through the mall and you’ll see poster after poster featuring models striking a sexual pose. Since the invention of Pinterest, Instagram and other apps, sexualized images are in our faces more than ever before.

As Christian girls, we’re being bombarded by our culture’s message that seductive and sexual poses are cool, hip and normal. Taking seductive selfies isn’t raunchy anymore… it’s acceptable and praised. Since we live in a fallen world it makes sense that our culture praises and encourages girls to act this way.

It makes sense that the supermodels and non-Christian girls don’t have a problem posting selfies like this.
The question I have for you is this: Why in the world are Christian girls posting seductive selfies?

I’m shocked sometimes when I get on my Instagram and see some of the sensual poses a few of my Christian friends are posting. What surprises me even more is the comments I read from other Christian friends who are complimenting these images and calling them “beautiful.” So what’s up with this? It seems like an epidemic over the past few years.

Why are Christian girls so fond of posting seductive selfies?
I know the answer to these questions because I used to be one of those girls. I used to be the girl behind the iPhone flip-phone snapping those seductive poses. I was the girl on the roof doing a photo shoot so I could show off the results to my friends.

For me, I posted those pictures because I wanted guys to notice me. I wanted people to compliment “how pretty I was.” I loved hearing the praise and affirmation from my friends. It was never an accident that I posted a picture of myself. It was always intentional and planned. I had seen enough images of fashion models to know what a “hot” picture was supposed to look like.

Many of you reading this blog know exactly what I’m talking about because you’ve done the same thing.

The truth is, posting seductive selfies is just an outward symptom of a much deeper issue.
It’s a sign of a girl who is longing for something more. It’s a sign of a girl who is trying to fill up her affirmation tank through the praises and compliments of her friends. A girl who craves attention from guys and hopes they’ll notice one of her pictures. A girl who wants to appear confident, but is weak and lonely on the inside. A girl who enjoys seducing guys by making them “want what they can’t have.”

Seductive selfies are nothing more than an image that screams, “Look at ME!” They’re an opportunity to point the spotlight on yourself for a brief moment and hope that someone will notice.

As Christian girls, God calls us to a much higher standard than to play the seductive selfie game.
The whole purpose of our lives is to point others to Christ, not to ourselves. These types of photos are never Christ-centered, but are always self-centered. God calls us to live morally pure lives in every way. Posting seductive pictures of yourself isn’t promoting purity or holiness within the body of Christ.

Since that day on the roof, God has convicted me about the motivation and condition of my heart. Tell me if you think seductive selfies are okay according to Ephesians 5:1,3: “Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children … But sexual immorality and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints.”

What do you think?
First we’re called to be imitators (reflections) of God to the world around us. You and I are God’s children! We need to reflect the character and purity of our Father well. Second, we’re commanded to stay away from any form of sexual immorality and all impurity. Did you catch that? “Any form…all impurity.”

Seductive selfies don’t stand a chance against these verses.
Our culture tells us that holiness and purity is lame, and that being too strict on yourself will lead to a life of boredom. If that’s the case, then why are so many girls lonely, sad, depressed, insecure and needy?

God gives us standards for purity and holiness because He knows it’s what’s best for us. True joy and contentment won’t come through the applause of your friends, it will only come through obeying and honoring God. “Blessed are those whose way is blameless, who walk in the law of the Lord! Blessed are those who keep His testimonies, who seek Him with their whole heart” (Psalm 119:1-2).

I know you want to be blessed by God. I sure do! Instead of striving after the empty applause of this world, strive for the fulfilling applause of your King.

You will never be happier than when you’re living your life for God’s glory.
As Christian girls we have a duty to honor our King in every area of our lives. We have a responsibility to bear the image of Christ to the lost world around us.

Will you join me in rejecting the trend of seductive selfies? Will you say no to posting self-glorifying pictures that put all of the attention on you?

Our world is in desperate need of Christian girls who are willing to stand up for God’s truth by displaying something far greater than themselves.

Let’s make it personal:

Are you guilty of posting seductive selfies? If so, what is your motivation behind posting them?
Are you willing to ask God’s forgiveness for not reflecting well on His image? If so, confess your sins and ask God to create a clean and pure heart inside of you.
What ways are you tempted to put the attention on yourself instead of God?
Kristen Clark is co-founder of GirlDefined Ministries.

“Woman of Courage” by Wanda E. Brunstetter

Published June 23, 2014 by One Desert Rose


Quaker Woman Risks All to be a Wilderness Missionary to the Nez Perce’ Indians

womanofcouragecover Books

Amanda Pearson, a Quaker woman suffering from a broken engagement, leaves her home in New York and travels West to minister to the Nez Perce Indians. Along the way, she encounters many problems, yet she never gives up. Like a true woman of courage, Amanda trusts God to see her through, even when she fights illness, abandonment, misunderstandings, and an unexpected event. Set in 1837, this historical novel has many twists and turns that will take readers from the rugged Rocky Mountains to Oregon Territory and the home of the Spalding Mission, where the Nez Perce Indians were first introduced to Christianity.

Note from the author:  It was during a time when my husband and I lived in Idaho, not far from Lapwai, that I began to research the Nez Perce Indians and how Rev. and Mrs. Spalding started the first mission there. I was interested in the fact that several years prior to the Spaldings’ arrival, a delegation of Nez Perce had gone to St. Louis, MO on a quest to find out more about the Book of Heaven (the Bible) and ask for missionaries to come to them. Although the story of Amanda Pearson, my Quaker heroine in the story, is purely fiction, the details I incorporated into the book about traveling through the mountains and the things she had to deal with are based on facts I learned while researching. 
Book Trailer:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Tzx0q7CWLk
About the Author:  http://www.wandabrunstetter.com/about/


My Review:

With Wanda E. Brunstetter being one of my favorite Amish writers, I quickly agreed to review her book, Woman of Courage, though it was about a Quaker woman’s experience in the 1837 wilderness.  Wanda is very well known for her accurate descriptions of the scenes, people and adventures, and she didn’t disappoint in this book.

A motherless young Quaker woman is jilted by her fiancé, so she and her father start out to the Oregon Territory with a guide, over a 3,000-mile trip, so Amanda could fulfill her desire to be a missionary to the Nez Perce’ Indians with Reverend Henry and Eliza Spaldings.
Tragedy strikes and Amanda eventually finds herself in the cabin of Jim and Mary Beck, healing from her wounds and a ferocious fever.

This book is not necessarily a fast read, as it accounts for a 3,000-mile trip.  The adventures, tragedies, attacks, and romance are told over nine months of a time period.  That does not, however, make it a boring book.  It gives Wanda the time to describe each and every episode, personalities of each of the characters (and some are pretty wild), and the relational experiences in-depth.  Her main character, Amanda, thinks this will be the adventure of her life, only to find firsthand the harsh realities of traveling through rough, unsettled territory to reach her destination, the dangers of hostile Indian groups, and the loss of loved ones.  Though these characters are fictional, the story line itself is not.

The loyalty and courage of Amanda’s desire to teach the gospel to the Nez Perce’ Indians will cause you to do an introspective examination of the depths of your calling to preach the gospel to others.  Will the realities of a hard life quash God’s calling in your life?

This book was provided free from Julie Busteed of Handlebar Publishing, in exchange for my honest review. No monetary compensation was exchanged for my review, nor was I obligated to give a positive review. 



Published June 17, 2014 by One Desert Rose

Reposted from ONENEWSNOW, 6/17/2014



Michael F. Haverluck   (OneNewsNow.com) Tuesday, June 17, 2014
After running up against an alleged state law that sweeps aside parental rights, a Michigan mom is warning parents about the direction health care is headed in America.

What’s your reaction to a hospital’s plan to have “private conversations” with children about sex?
Did anybody at hospital question if this was right?Amazed mom couldn’t ‘opt out’ of law that didn’t existDo children belong to parents…or the state?It was just a mix-up so no big deal

The mother of a 17-year-old daughter was shocked by what she believed to be a foreboding sign of the times when she arrived at Sparrow Hospital in Lansing, Michigan. Fearing her parental rights had stealthily been swept out from under her, here’s what she had to say:

“Let’s get one thing straight: no doctor or nurse is going to sequester my children in an exam room and talk to them privately. Period.”

Arriving at the doctor’s office to have her daughter’s foot checked out for a recent appointment, Christy Duffy came face-to-face with a sign posted on the receptionist window stating that new laws “require a nurse to have a short 5-minute private conversation with your child.” (See below)

“I asked if this policy was in effect and if so, how could I opt out,” Duffy explained in her blog post. “The receptionist told me it’s a new law and there is no opting out.”

Both sides stood their ground.

“Working to keep my cool, I said, ‘I’m sure there is,’” Duffy recounted. “She said, ‘No there isn’t.’ At which point I asked if I needed to leave and go to the urgent care center because I was not submitting my daughter to such a conversation.”

At this hospital, evidently, parental rights were something that simply weren’t tolerated.

“That did not go over well,” Duffy explained. “The receptionist closed the window … Almost immediately the office manager turned the corner and said, ‘Mrs. Duffy, may I speak with you?’ She said there was a new policy that would allow a child to access his/her medical records online and the child would be allowed to block a parent from viewing the website.”

Parental notice at Mich. hospital

Then the confidential nurse-to-child conversation was addressed.

“The nurse would also inform my children that the doctor’s office is a safe place for them to receive information about STDs, HIV and birth control,” Duffy continued. “That is what the nurse would be chatting about with my children without any pesky parental oversight.”

This message was received with composure, but not compliance.

“I kindly informed her that no one would be talking with my children privately, and I needed to know how to opt out of this policy before bringing Amy back for her physical next month,” Duffy relayed. “By this time, the doctor was ready to see Amy, so I had to cut the conversation short because I was not letting my girl out of my eyesight or earshot … Not when it was clear that these people were angling to undermine my parental authority.”

Parents: Beware

Duffy then took a moment to warn parents about the direction that health care is heading across America.

“Make sure this is crystal clear: what they want to do is talk to your child about sex and drugs (maybe rock and roll – who knows?) without your input,” Duffy asserts. “Is it really such a stretch to imagine that a doctor who does not value abstinence before marriage would encourage your daughters – as young as 12! – to receive birth control?”

She offered her warning to parents of sons, as well.

“Is it really such a stretch to imagine a nurse telling a young boy – because a 12-year-old boy is a BOY – that she will give him condoms so he can be ‘safe?’” Duffy adds. “Is this what you want told to your children without the ability to filter the info through your worldview?”

Duffy clarifies that she understands there is a time and place for questioning, but that medical professionals should not be given the unconditional right to intervene themselves within family affairs.

“Should a doctor ever ask to speak to a child without parental consent?” she poses. “If he/she suspects abuse, then of course. But short of evidence of abuse, a doctor should not need to speak to a child alone.”

But she makes her position quite clear and has no intention of backing down from her role and right to be the primary protectorate and caregiver of her own children.

“I am the Mom,” Duffy proclaims. “I will pick who can talk to my kids about sex and drugs. And rock-n-roll, for that matter.”

Hospital: Um … our bad

Not long after Duffy protested and inquired about the legitimacy of the alleged policy to be implemented on 12- to 17-year-olds, the sign was taken down. Soon afterwards, a representative from the hospital’s privacy department told her that an employee had “jumped the gun” by posting the sign, informing her that she didn’t have to opt out because no law exists mandating parental consent to a nurse to have a private conversation with her daughter.

After scouring the Michigan Legislature website, the posted statement that “New Michigan Medical Records access laws have been put in place,” has been found to be false, meaning that, contrary to what the hospital told Duffy, minors do not have the right to block parental access to his or her medical records online.

Yet at Title X funded agencies, such as Planned Parenthood, parents do need their child’s consent to access his or her medical records. Furthermore, minors can block their parents’ access to their medical records when they receive sexually transmitted disease detection and treatment, as well as drug abuse services by medical providers.

On the other hand, according to TheBlaze, the Michigan Medical Records Access Act states nothing about any mandatory private conversations between minors and nurses, let alone any state law about minors receiving access to contraceptives without the consent of their parents.

In fact, the hospital later admitted its falsified dissemination of information.

“We made a mistake as we worked to implement new information systems at Sparrow for minors and we apologize for the error,” the hospital released in a statement earlier this month regarding its failed attempt to accurately relay state and federal laws that give minors the ability to receive prenatal, pregnancy, drug abuse, STD and contraceptive services without parental knowledge or consent. “Sparrow will not be implementing mandatory private conversations with adolescent patients.”

When TheBlaze asked Sparrow Hospital whether the sign misled any children to have confidential conversations with nurses, it replied that “The sign was intended to give people a heads-up, and we’re not aware of any private visits being completed.”

It’s about gov’t control … and money

But Duffy insists that the fight over the right to protect her children is far from over, as she indicates that the State is well on its way in its conquest to take control of children’s health and social behavior.

“Regardless what health care provider you choose, please know that no one has the right to remove you from your child’s exam room.” Duffy argues. “Perhaps if more of us stood up for our rights as parents, this ludicrous undermining of parental authority might end.”

She discounts those who might accuse her of a right-wing conspiracy theory.

“But I’m not an alarmist,” Duffy insists. “I have not wanted to believe this was happening in our country. I’m not crazy – not that kind, anyway. I listen to NPR more than talk radio. And y’all know I’m not into farming, camping or living anywhere without serious, made possible by-the-grid facilities … I just want to live with running water, Internet access and my God-given parental rights intact.”

In fact, Duffy has inside sources that she says confirm the direction that the government is headed.

“I have dear friends who work at this medical group, trusted doctors who treat patients in the best way they know how,” Duffy notes. “One of the doctors said, ‘The realities are that the government has more and more control and our hands are being forced in certain directions due to reimbursement issues.’ It’s all about control and money.”

The stalwart mom injects this bit of advice to her fellow parents:

“Here is what all parents need to know: there is NO law requiring a nurse to have a private conversation with your child,” Duffy informs. “If a doctor asks you to step out of the exam room so she can talk with your child, please know you do not have to comply. The doctor cannot force you to leave.”

She ends with an exhortation to all Americans who hold the safety and moral upbringing of their children dear to them.

“Parents, do not miss out on the opportunity to graciously but firmly say that you will be in charge of what your children hear about their medical well-being, including sex and drugs and other hot-button, values-based issues,” Duffy concludes. “These children are gifts for us to steward; do not give up that responsibility and privilege.”

- See more at: http://onenewsnow.com/culture/2014/06/17/michigan-hospital-messed-with-the-wrong-mom#.U6CNORboY1g

Top Ten Mistakes Christian Parents of Teens Make by Pastor Jeff Strong on June 28, 2010

Published June 2, 2014 by One Desert Rose
Reblogged by onedesertrose
Top Ten Mistakes Christian Parents of Teens Make

Top Ten Mistakes Christian Parents of Teens Make

It might be difficult for some parents to read through, but here’s a top ten list that I’ve been wanting to write for a while. Over the next several days I’ll be expanding on each of these in succession, but for now, here is my top ten mistakes Christian parents of teens make:

10. Not spending time with your teen.

A lot of parents make the mistake of not spending time with their teens because they assume their teens don’t want to spend time with them! While that’s true in some contexts, teens still want and need “chunks” of one-on-one time with parents. Despite the fact that teens are transitioning into more independence and often carry a “I don’t need/want you around” attitude, they are longing for the securing and grounding that comes from consistent quality time.

Going for walks together, grabbing a coffee in order to “catch up,” going to the movies together, etc., all all simple investments that teens secretly want and look forward to. When you don’t carve out time to spend with your teen, you’re communicating that you’re not interested in them, and they internalize that message, consciously or unconsciously.

9. Letting your teen’s activities take top priority for your family.

The number of parents who wrap their lives/schedules around their teen’s activities is mind-boggling to me. I honestly just don’t get it. I know many parents want to provide their children with experiences and opportunities they never had growing up, but something’s gone wrong with our understanding of family and parenting when our teen’s wants/”needs” are allowed to overwhelm the family’s day-to-day routines.

Parents need to prioritize investing in their relationship with God (individually and as a couple), themselves and each other, but sadly all of these are often neglected in the name of “helping the kids get ahead.” “Don’t let the youth sports cartel run your life,” says Jen singer, author of You’re A Good Mom (and Your Kids Aren’t So Bad Either). I can’t think of many good reasons why families can’t limit teens to one major sport/extra-curricular activity per season. Not only will a frenetic schedule slowly grind down your entire family of time, you’ll be teaching your teen that “the good life” is a hyper-active one. That doesn’t align itself to Jesus’ teaching as it relates to the healthy rhythms of prayer, Sabbath, and down-time, all of which are critical to the larger Christian task of “seeking first the kingdom of God and His righteousness” (Matthew 6:33).

8. Spoiling your teen.

We are all tempted to think that loving our kids means doing all we can to ensure they have all the opportunities and things we didn’t have growing up. This is a terrible assumption to make. It leads to an enormous amount of self-important, petty, and ungrateful kids. A lot of the time parents are well-intentioned in our spoiling, but our continual stream of money and stuff causes teens to never be satisfied and always wanting more. Your teen doesn’t need another piece of crap, what he needs is time and attention from you (that’s one expression of spoiling that actually benefits your teen!).

There are two things that can really set you back in life if we get them too early:

a. Access to too much money.
b. Access to too many opportunities.

Parents need to recognize they’re doing their teens a disservice by spoiling them in either of these ways. Save the spoiling for the grandkids.

7. Permissive parenting.

“Whatever” — It’s not just for teens anymore! The devil-may-care ambivalence that once defined the teenage subculture has now taken root as parents shrug their shoulders, ask, “What can you do?” and let their teens “figure things out for themselves.” I think permissive parenting (i.e., providing little direction, limits, and consequences) is on the rise because many parents don’t know how to dialogue with and discipline their children. Maybe parents don’t have any limits of boundaries within their own life, so they don’t know how to communicate the value of these to their teen. Maybe it’s because they don’t want to, because their own self-esteem is too tied up in their child’s perception of them, and they couldn’t handle having their teen get angry at them for actually trying to parent. Maybe it’s because many parents feel so overwhelmed with their own issues, they can hardly think of pouring more energy into a (potentially) taxing struggle or point of contention.

Whatever the reason, permissive parenting is completely irreconcilable with a Christian worldview. I certainly do not advocate authoritarian parenting styles, but if we practice a permission parenting style we’re abdicating our God-given responsibility to provide guidance, nurture, limits, discipline and consequences to our teen (all of which actually help our teen flourish long-term).

6. Trying to be your teen’s best friend.

Your teen doesn’t need another friend (they have plenty); they need a parent. Even through their teens, your child needs a dependable, confident, godly authority figure in their life. As parents we are called to provide a relational context characterized by wisdom, protection, love, support, and empowerment. As Christian parents we’re called to bring God’s flourishing rule into our family’s life. That can’t happen if we’re busy trying to befriend our teen. Trying to be your teen’s friend actually cheats them out of having these things in their lives.

Sometimes parents think that a strong relationship with their teen means having a strong friendship—but there’s a fine line that shouldn’t be crossed. You should be friendly to your teen but you shouldn’t be your teen’s friend. They have lots of friends, they only have one or two parents—so be the parent your teen needs you to be.

5. Holding low expectations for your teen.

Johann Goethe once wrote, “Treat a man as he is and he will remain as he is. Treat as man as he can and should be, and he become as he can and should be.” All of us rise to the unconcious level of expectation we set for ourselves and perceive from others. During the teenage years, it’s especially important to slowly put to death the perception that your teen is still “a kid.” They areemerging leaders, and if you engage them as such, you will find that over time, they unconsciously take on this mantle for themselves. Yes, your teen can be moody, self-absorbed, irresponsible, etc., but your teen can also be brilliant, creative, selfless, and mature. Treating them like “kids” will reinforce the former; treating them as emerging leaders will reinforce the latter.

For an example of how the this difference in perspective plays out, I’ve written an article entitled “The Future of an Illusion” which is available as a free download from http://www.meredisciple.com (in the Free Downloads section). It specifically looks at my commitment to be involved in “emerging church ministry” as opposed to “youth ministry,” and it you may find some principles within it helpful.

4. Not prioritizing youth group/church involvement.

This one is one of my personal pet peeves (but not just because this is my professional gig). I simply do not understand parents who expect and want their kids to have a dynamic, flourishing faith, and yet don’t move heaven and earth to get them connected to both a youth group and local church.

I’m going to let everyone in on a little secret: no teenager can thrive in their faith without these two support mechanisms. I’m not saying a strong youth group and church community is all they need, but what I am saying that you can have everything else you think your teen needs, but without these two things, don’t expect to have a spiritually healthy and mature teen. Maybe there are teens out there who defy this claim, but honestly, I can’t think of one out of my own experience. As a parent, youth group and church involvement should be a non-negotiable part of your teen’s life, and that means they take priority over homework (do it the night before), sports, or any other extra-curricular commitments.

Don’t be the parent who is soft on these two commitments, but pushes their kid in schooling, sports, etc. In general, what you sow into determines what you reap; if you want to reap a teenager who has a genuine, flourishing faith, don’t expect that to happen if you’re ok with their commitment to youth group/church to be casual and half-hearted.

3. Outsourcing your teen’s spiritual formation.

While youth group and church is very important, another mistake I see Christian parents make is assuming them can completely outsource the spiritual development of their child to these two things. I see the same pattern when it comes to Christian education: parents sometimes choose to send their children/teens to Christian schools, because by doing so they think they’ve done their parental duty to raise their child in a godly way.

As a parent–and especially if you are a Christian yourself–YOU are THE key spiritual role model and mentor for your teen. And that isn’t “if you want to be” either–that’s the way it is. Ultimately, you are charged with teaching and modelling to your teen what follow Jesus means, and while church, youth groups, Christian schools can be a support to that end, they are only that: support mechanisms.

Read Deuteronomy 6 for an overview of what God expects from parents as it relates to the spiritual nurture and development of their children. (Hint: it’s doesn’t say, “Hand them off to the youth pastor and bring them to church on Sunday.”)

2. Not expressing genuine love and like to your teen.

It’s sad that I have to write this one at all, but I’m convinced very few Christian parents actually express genuine love and “like” to their teen. It can become easy for parents to only see how their teen is irresponsible, failing, immature, etc., and become a harping voice instead of an encouraging, empowering one.

Do you intentially set aside time to tell your teen how much you love and admire them? Do you write letters of encouragement to them? Do you have “date nights” where you spend time together and share with them the things you see in them that you are proud of?

Your teen won’t ask you for it, so don’t wait for an invitation. Everyday say something encouraging to your teen that builds them up (they get enough criticism as it is!). Pray everyday for them and ask God to help you become one of the core people in your teen’s life that He uses to affirm them.

1. Expecting your teen to have a devotion to God that you are not
cultivating within yourself.

When I talk to Christian parents, it’s obvious that they want their teen to have a thriving, dynamic, genuine, life-giving faith. What isn’t so clear, however, is whether that parent has onethemselves. When it comes to the Christian faith, most of the time what we learn is caught and not taught. This means that even if you have the “right answers” as a parent, if you’re own spiritual walk with God is pathetic and stilted, your teen will unconciously follow suit. Every day you are teaching your teach (explicitely and implicitely) what discipleship to Jesus looks like “in the flesh.”

What are they catching from you? Are you cultivating a deep and mature relationship with God personally, or is your Christian parenting style a Christianized version of “do as I say, not as I do”?

While having a healthy and maturing discipleship walk as a parent does not garauntee your teen will follow in your footsteps, expecting your teen to have a maturing faith while you follow Jesus “from a distance” is an enormous mistake.

You are a Christian before you are a Christian parent (or any other role). Get real with God, share your own struggles and hypocrisy with your entire family, and maybe then God will begin to use your example in a positive and powerful way.


To order a copy of Mere Disciple: a spiritual guide for emerging leaders, click here.


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