Parents Who Fight

Jesse & Sarah Siegand

What we’ve been up to lately… developing a campaign on social media to educate and encourage parents who are fighting for the purity of their kids and their communities! It started out with a simple desire to bring some needed information to our boys’ elementary school parents, which turned into a parent education seminar. As we prepared for the seminar by gathering info and resources over the Christmas break, we realized we also wanted to get this info into the hands of parents on a larger scale–through social media. In thinking about catchy names for our social media profiles, Parents Who Fight was dropped into our hearts and momentum for the campaign developed very quickly!

 

The purpose behind Parents Who Fight is to get the information on what we’re facing with the porn industry, social media dangers, and technology developments into the hands of parents who seem to be quite HUNGRY for it. The more people who start to incur damage from their kids’ exposure to pornography, whether they’re young children or teenagers, the more interest we get from them reaching out for real help and solutions. There are already SO MANY amazing organizations working to equip parents in this area, and we want to serve as a funnel for the most pertinent and helpful tidbits… delivering them to the moms and dads we interact with everyday throughout our community.

 

Our first parent seminar at the school went great, and we just participated in a larger one last week at our church that went equally as well. We’ve started to get requests from other area churches, schools, and organizations, so we are working on getting more pieces in place. Look for a web site and some  video assets coming soon! We can’t wait to share more!

 

For now, it would be awesome if you would share our social media posts on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook with parents in your social circles who are fighting to preserve the spiritual and emotional health of their kids by fighting the harmful effects of pornography.

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Chipping Away

chippingYes, I have been slightly MIA during the month of November. It’s been a pretty crazy whirlwind of a month, and I am nearly in denial that December is just a week away. I continue to chip away at the ugly beast of sexual brokenness wherever I come in contact with it. This month, I asked another retailer (my local WalMart) to please consider putting magazines with overtly sexual covers (i.e. Cosmopolitan) back in the magazine section of the store instead of at every single checkout aisle.  The manager was extremely easy to talk to about it and completely agreed with me, saying he would bring it up to his superior (we’ll see what happens).

 

One of the most exciting things that happened this month was hearing back from my sons’ public school principal that he was giving clearance for me facilitating a 3rd/4th grade parent workshop about protecting our kids from pornography. I can’t tell you how pumped I am about this!  What an opportunity to build bridges with parents and talk honestly about the strongholds that families are up against. Praying God would use it as a catalyst for healing and protection for families and generations.

 

This month a sweet mom from Tacoma, WA reached out to me to ask for advice about fighting  a full-color electric billboard for a strip club (pics are super disturbing).  She used to be a teenager in the youth group we were leaders at 17 years ago, and she’s one determined woman.  Proud of her fighting spirit! I was able to contact someone I met in D.C. last May who has done a great deal in the state of Kansas to clean up communities. He gave great advice, so we’re moving forward… stay tuned!

 

Also, I was able to meet with two other freedom-fighters in my area who are working their own spheres in the anti-pornography movement. We’re talking strategy and connecting resources, which is exciting. Even looking at how to converge efforts for a national marketing campaign against pornography. Love the fire in these ladies!

 

I’ll close with a SHOUT OUT to my local Kroger store… after complaining about some inappropriate movies right next to the kids cartoons (as in literally, surrounded by cartoon DVDs)… they changed their “planogram” (retail talk for the schematic that determines how items are displayed) and when I went back a few days later, I didn’t see the inappropriate movie AT ALL, and all the kids movies were safely grouped together. Way to go, Kroger!

 

If you’re getting the impression that I complain A LOT to retailers and others about inappropriate stuff, you’re right on the money. And I’m not going to stop. To borrow a lyric from one of my favorite songs right now:

“I’m not meant to just stay quiet, I’m meant to be a lion; I’ll roar beyond a song with every moment that I’ve got.” (Francesca Battistelli / “He Knows My Name”)

 

Photo cred:  © wayne denman / flickr

Speaking Up

WRAP

The empty rack in this picture is where Cosmopolitan Magazine used to be at the Target closest to my house. To my astonishment, my complaint got it removed.

 

Just before hitting Target to help my kids spend some grade money, I had listened to a recorded Morality in Media Google hangout about standing up to fight sexual exploitation right in your community. One of the guests on the segment had specifically mentioned the fact that she has brought inappropriate magazines to the attention of store managers. I am no stranger to this concept, to be sure. But magazines are ALWAYS there, and I guess I just felt like this kind of complaint would fall on deaf ears. I mean, this is big business… Target and Cosmo. Continue reading…

Pray For Miriam

Miriam

Several months ago, I became aware of an 18-year-old college girl who was making headlines because she had chosen to pay for her tuition by making porn. Although known under an alter ego identity in the sex industry, her real name began to be used in interviews and articles… Miriam.

 

I’m not going to go into details about her story, but I can tell you that it grips me. Recent interviews show her conflict over the choices she’s made,  yet she continues deeper into the pit of the sex industry.

 

One thing I know for sure, God loves her unconditionally. He sees past her scars, both literal and figurative. He sees her brokenness and knows exactly where the healing is needed. No matter how dark her world becomes, His light will never stop shining the way out of the darkness.

 

I’ve been compelled to pray for Miriam, and I’m asking you to do the same.  For some reason, the Lord has prompted me to pray for her as my head hits the pillow at night. The quietness reminds me of how near the Lord is… and I ask Him to be near her as well.

 

Dear Heavenly Father,

Wherever Miriam is right now, I pray you would whisper your love to her. I pray that when her heart feels lonely or unsure of what’s ahead, the stillness of this night would leave her reaching for a love that’s real. Protect her tonight, body, mind and spirit. Reveal yourself to her – your affection and care that never go away. I pray that the rain of your Holy Spirit would soften the places of her heart that have become hardened against intimacy. She has her reasons, and you know them all. Send true believers across her path to show your unconditional love to her. Open her eyes to the truth and give her the courage to walk away from the lies of the sex industry. Show her the future you have designed for her. Nothing is impossible for you, God… draw her into your saving love.

In Jesus Name… Amen.

 

Join me in praying for Miriam, and challenge someone you know to do the same.

 

Ezekiel 36:26, “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them.”

 

When Models Took Over The World

SuzannePotts59213_4.jpg// handsonhips.blogspot.com

SuzannePotts59213_4.jpg// handsonhips.blogspot.com

When I was in college, digital photography hadn’t been invented yet. Photoshop was still in the imagination of it’s creator, Thomas Knoll, and mobile phones were owned by presidents, FBI agents, and only the technologically adept of the world’s wealthiest people. People only took pictures on occasion, unless they were photographers, and there was no way to instantly delete something you snapped.

I'm on the left, my sweet friend Shannon is on the right.

I’m on the left, my sweet friend Shannon is on the right.

 

Photos were very different back then. Here’s one I have of me and a friend in college. I’m not crazy about how I look in this photo, but I obviously kept it because it captured a fun visit with a sweet friend. Until today, this photo probably has only been seen by a handful of people… maybe (kinda doubt it) I took the initiative to show my friend after I had the film developed.  I honestly don’t remember. But maybe because I didn’t even consider who might see it, I was free to be more myself in the picture. I didn’t feel pressure to look cute, thin, pouty or seductive. When it was taken, there was no worry about posting it or who else might post it for the world to see.

 

Boy have times changed. Does anyone look NORMAL or CANDID anymore in photos? Seriously, I feel myself cringing as I happen upon the selfies from girls across various social media platforms. I see lots of sultry looks, taken at the most flattering angle. MOST FLATTERING. Even when the photo is taken by someone else… I’ve noticed women, especially young women, have this certain POSE down. Do you know it? Hands on hips, shoulders back, knee popped.

Photos: left - hercampus.com / right - barstoolsports.com

Photos: left – hercampus.com / right – barstoolsports.com

Honestly, I’ve done it, and you probably have too. I recently went to an event and was kind of disturbed about how many photos came home on my iPhone of me in some version of that pose. It actually made me feel pretty embarrassed and super vain. I posted some of them and was thankful that it was a silly event, so all in all, I didn’t feel too narcissistic. It was all in good fun.

 

But… You realize people don’t naturally stand that way unless there’s a camera, right? Ever. The hand on hip thing is to make your arms look skinnier, but nobody thinks about it unless photos are being taken. Somewhere between 2008-2014, the camera phones turned us all into posers… yes, posers. POSING like… um, models? Weird. When did models take over the world? Why are we trying to be like them? We’re NOT them. Why am I worried if my arms look skinny enough? Who cares? I’m not going to lose a Covergirl job over flabby arms. It does not affect anything other than my own sanity.

 

Here’s a curious piece of info for you. When I went online looking for that little diagram on the bottom of the page, using key words like “posing, photography, diagram,” MOST of the images pulled up were highly inappropriate, and a ton of them were teaching pornographic pose technique. Interesting. What’s the connection, I wondered? Pornography is objectification. In the porn industry, cameras are not capturing life’s special moments. They’re capturing body parts and completely unrealistic situations. Poses.

 

I’m not saying if your hand is on your hip and your knee is popped you’re acting inappropriately or objectifying yourself. I’m just saying this… let’s think about WHY we act the way we do. Let’s refuse to follow the cues of online photos and be led around by our insecurity. Just like Cobie Caillat inspired women to go without make-up and actually “like” themselves, let’s be inspired to take photos that capture REAL LIFE. Who cares about the most flattering angle? Who cares about impressing anyone? Take a picture to remember a beautiful moment or a beautiful you… just being you.

Not a being a model.

 

Picture 51