Monday, January 28, 2008

Saving Sex Week 3

last night was a very intense night at 24t7. The night was titled "Wreckage" and we discussed dealilng with and preventing sexual abuse. The statistics on sexual abuse in our country are shocking :

Every two minutes, somewhere in America, someone is sexually assaulted.
Rape is forced sexual intercourse, including vaginal, anal or oral penetration. Penetration may be by a body part or an object.
Sexual assault
Sexual assault is unwanted sexual contact that stops short of rape or attempted rape. This includes sexual touching and fondling. (But, be aware: Some states use this term interchangeably with rape.)
In 2006, there were 272,350 victims of rape, attempted rape or sexual

One in six American women are victims of sexual assault, and one in 33 men.
One out of every six American women have been the victims of anattempted or completed rape in their lifetime. A total of 17.7 million women have been victims of these crimes.

About three percent of American men — a total of 2.78 million men — have experienced an attempted or completed rape in their lifetime
In 1995, 32,130 males age 12 and older were victims of rape, attempted rape or sexual assault.

>Studies indicate that dating violence affects at least 1 in 10 teen couples
>Over 50% of high school boys and 42% of high school girls believe that there are times when it is "acceptable for a male to hold a female down and physically force her to engage in intercourse."

A former member of Ikon who is now in college came in and shared her story of being sexually abused. She talked about how it affected her, how she thought of herself, and her relationships. She also shared how she was able to deal with it with the help of God and the people in her life.
The most amazing part of the story was that now, 5 years, latter she was able to forgive the people that did this to her. She was willing to share her story because she wants to help other people who have been or will be affected by this. She wanted them to know that they are not alone, they are not worthless, and that God has the power to restore our brokenness.

As i said, this story was very powerful and sparked a lot of emotion in many of the kids there.

After this, guys and girls split up in to separate groups to discuss what they had heard. in the end, both gender groups prepared statements to share with the other group. the girls expressed their desire to be respected and protected by guys. The guys wanted the girls to know that they will strive to be Godly men and asked them not to accept any guy who is anything less than their "Knight in Shining Armor". they made a pledge to respect, protect, and stand up for girls and to hold each other accountable. Every guy that was there signed this sheet of promises that were made. we are going to have it enlarged and posted in the YMC. I can't express enough how proud of both the guys and the girls for the statements and promises they made.
The night ended with the singing of "From the inside out" and our normal sending song of "Tell the World"
Though this was a tough and emotional night, we wanted to make sure everyone left last night knowing that no matter what you have been through in life that there is hope in Jesus Christ. It is our prayer that this night brought heeling to some, awareness to others, and hope to everyone.

If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to contact me or any other of the Ikon leaders.

In Christ,
Peter L-B

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Saving Sex

Hey Ikon parents,
I just thought i would update you on what we have been talking about at Ikon this past . If you are curious about what we are trying to accomplish with this series check out Pastor Mielke's message on the parent section of the Youth Web Site. This past Sunday we talked about Porn. we discussed how it affects our sexuality, our relationship with God, and our relationships with other people. Girls and guys also split up in to separate groups to discuss the impact porn has on guys and girls. Here are some of the statistics we discussed:

Size of the Industry
$57.0 billion world-wide - $12.0 billion US

The pornography industry is larger than the revenues of the top technology companies combined: Microsoft, Google, Amazon, eBay, Yahoo!, Apple, Netflix and EarthLink
Porn revenue is larger than all combined revenues of all professional football, baseball, and basketball franchises.
US porn revenue exceeds the combined revenues of ABC, CBS, & NBC (6.2 billion).
Internet Pornography Sales
$4.9 billion

Pornographic websites
4.2 million (12% of total websites)

Pornographic pages
Porn Pages

United States

Pornography Time Statistics
Every second - $3,075.64 is being spent on pornography
Every second - 28,258 Internet users are viewing pornography
Every 39 minutes: a new pornographic video is being created in the United States

Children's Exposure to Pornography

Average age of first Internet exposure to pornography
11 years old

Largest Consumer of Internet Pornography
12-17 age group

15-17 year olds having multiple hardcore exposures

8-16 year olds having viewed porn online
90% (most while doing homework)

Breakdown of male/female visitors to porn sites
72% male - 28% female

* August 7,2006: 50% of all Christian men and 20% of all Christian women are addicted to pornography. 60% of the women who answered the survey admitted to having significant struggles with lust; 40% admitted to being involved in sexual sin in the past year; and 20% of the church-going female participants struggle with looking at pornography on an ongoing basis.

· 38 percent of adults believe it is ‘morally acceptable’ to look at pictures of nudity or explicit sexual behaviorMorality Continues to Decay. Barna Research Group, 3 November, 2003. * 59 percent of adults believe it is ‘morally acceptable’ to have sexual thoughts or fantasiesMorality Continues to Decay. Barna Research Group, 3 November, 2003.* 38 percent of adults believe there is nothing wrong with pornography useMorality Continues to Decay. Barna Research Group, 3 November, 2003. * 42 percent of surveyed adults indicated that their partner’s use of pornography made them feel insecure.Marriage Related Research, Mark A. Yarhouse, Psy.D. Christian Counseling Today, 2004 Vol. 12 No. 1. * 41 percent of surveyed adults admitted they felt less attractive due to their partner’s pornography use.Marriage Related Research, Mark A. Yarhouse, Psy.D. Christian Counseling Today, 2004 Vol. 12 No. 1.

As you can see, pornography is a huge problem in our society and it greatly affects young people. It destroys the gift of sexuality and can really mess up our relationships and how we view members of the opposite sex. We hope that this night encouraged your teens to question what society sees as "OK" and to realize that God has called us all to something much better. As always, let me know if you have any questions.

God's Peace,

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Good to be Back!

Hey Next parents!
Last night marked the beginning of our second semester of Wednesday Nights! It was great to be back after a long and enjoyable Christmas Break. Our series for the next 4 weeks is entitled "Risky Business" This series will take a look at some lesser-known risk takers from the Bible and examine the risks and rewards they faced. Last night we looked at Acts 4 and the risks Peter and John took by sharing Jesus. We discussed the risks involved with being a Christian and sharing your faith but how the reward is very much worth it. In small groups the youth were challenged to find practical ways to share Jesus with others in their life. Please e-mail me with any questions you may have. Have a great Week!