Justin Bieber has been in the news a lot lately. Mostly because of stupid choices that he makes. Young stars seem to be in the news because of either drugs, childish behaviors and messed up thoughts.
When I was listening to stories of his arrest and the hateful messages that are being thrown in his direction, it makes me feel for him. He is a 19 year old kid who has grown up in the public eye and given anything he wants. His parents wasn’t really there for him and gave into his whims. For the most part he has a whole herd of yes men and women around him, parents included. Makes me wonder if they are afraid to tell him no, because he is their cash cow. But really, Justin is no different than a lot of kids his age. He is just under the microscope 24/7.
Shoot, I remember when I was his age. People see me know, but back when I was his age, I made terrible choices. Even though I had a lot of medical issues with the Guillian Barre Syndrome. I still felt invisible and I could do what I wanted. I was an official adult now. At-least according to the law. I could make my choices, be accountable and drink or smoke if I wanted to. I did choose not to smoke for the most part. I tried the whole pot thing. In the 70’s and 80’s it was all over the place, or at least was with the friends I had back then.
For those who know me know, they wouldn’t think I was the same person. Which I’m not. I have always believed in Christ, but there were times when I was very worldly. Smoking pot was more of a social thing. If I was with my friends, I may take a couple puffs, but it gave me a headache and made me feel worse. So that wasn’t really a me thing. I never really got drunk. I would drink on special occasions, but usually just one or two and that was it for me.
I think for me, my language was a major barrier. My husband was in the military, and is a truck driver. I worked in a truck stop. It was common to sling around all kinds of things. I didn’t really see anything wrong with what I was saying, because quote un quote, everyone around me was doing the same thing. So not a biggie in my book at the time. About 20 yrs ago, that changed though when we moved to Utah. We were in a restaurant, or I was. I was having my kind of a general conversation. God must have put it on my heart to really and honestly listen and hear how I sounded. I didn’t like what I was saying and how bad it sounded when I was the only one talking that way. So I think that was the last time I swore and to this day I feel uncomfortable around the language. Cold turkey is what I did and I find it interesting how easy it was.
There was also a time when I played with a Ouija board. I thought it was just a game and nothing more. Man oh man, was that a nightmare literally. For those who may think it is a game, think again. That game gave me answers to things, and I could feel a dark force around me when I started playing it. It is NOT a game or toy. It freaked me out so bad one night, I called a prayer line and was beside myself. I was afraid to go to bed. I knew I unlocked a door that would be hard to shut. The turning point was when the board spelled out a Bible verse in Revelations about the second death. I did read the Bible, but went and read that particular verse and I broke down in tears and it was torn up into shreds. The board surprisingly helped me look at my life and the bad choices I have made. It made me realize that even the devil knows what the Bible says and that the devil will use what is a seemingly innocent looking game that is sold at Kmart to get to you.
Some may be surprised that I was no different than Justin in many ways. I was a teenager that rebelled and wanted things my way. I ran away from home and hitch hiked across the country when I was 17. I moved into my now husbands home and we weren’t married. I ended up very sick and in the hospital because of the flu shot and pregnant. This is all at 17. While in the hospital I called my pastor in Arizona and he was stern, but loving at the same time. I never thought twice about keeping my daughter Jessica. And Chuck and I did get married after a short time and we are still married after 33 yrs. I was very much living in a world that is full of sin and I was far from where God wanted me to be. Thankfully, He never left me, even when I was my worst. Like any parent, He gave me room to make mistakes and learn from them. But it wasn’t over night.
Many back then and those I went to school with said I wasn’t that bad. But in my eyes and in God’s eyes, I was. I was sinning and in a downward spiral at times. If I was in the limelight, I would be no different than Justin Bieber. Justin and other teen stars are being held to a higher standard than I was. I don’t know if that is a good thing or not. Because no matter who a person is, they are still an imperfect child of God. I guess because of my own bad choices and where I am now, I know that there is hope for Justin Bieber and all those stars that are being judged in the public eye. God can and does make our bad choices into something good if we allow Him to.
When I read the headlines of the trouble Justin has gotten himself into again, I think of him as a child. But I also think of all those headlines that people seem to miss about how he has a heart for kids. He has a younger sister that means the world to him. He has gone out of his way to make wishes come true.
Justin Bieber, became the first recording artist in Make-A-Wish® history to grant 200 wishes to children with life-threatening medical conditions. He joins only 4 other celebrities to have reached that milestone since Make-A-Wish was founded in 1980. Bieber’s 200th wish occurred during his last stop on the Believe Tour when he met 8-year-old Annalysha.
Justin also works with an organization called Child Hunger Ends Here. Justin was in Guatemala for a tour stop and joined up with Pencils and Promise to help the people there build a school for the community. This was part of Bieber’s Believe Tour, in which they agreed to help the organization, a non-profit that dedicates its time to building schools for communities in need.
I honestly think there is something good about Justin. My own thought is that he is being surrounded by people who don’t really care about him. There are some that have taken them under their wings like Usher and a few others. Justin like any other child that gets into trouble, needs to be accountable for their actions. I can’t help but wonder about how all these people that are targeting him and hating on a kid they don’t know has done the same things. Are they free for stupid choices? At 19, he is still learning who he is like any other teenager. He may be an adult by law, but he is still a kid. And the whole deporting him back to Canada thing is ridiculous. I do think his parents need or should have remembered that being a parent to him is more important than being his best friend and stroking his ego. There are plenty of childhood stars that are amazing people now. And it is because the parents were the parents. They set guidelines and made rules.
Yeah, I’m defending Justin because I know in my own life I made many mistakes and have hurt people. I have done stupid things and somehow I am still here to share what they are. And with the right people in Justin’s life he can change too. For some reason people have it in their head that this kid has to be the perfect role model to their children. I don‘t understand that. He is an entertainer second and a person first. He isn’t accountable to us and he is far from perfect like anyone else. I feel sorry for him and if his friends were real friends they would be there helping him instead of hindering him. I don’t think there are many in his life that is real, family included.
I don’t listen to his music because it isn’t my style. He is the Shawn Cassidy, Andy Gibb and Leif Garrett of my generation. Eventually Justin will grow up and I pray that all those who are there only because he is a star is dropped from his life. If people would stop seeing the star in him instead of the person, they would see he is a kid. He could be any of our children. There are a lot of holier than thou people out there when it comes to stars and pointing out the faults of others. I guess for myself, I look at him as a child still and one that needs to be loved unconditionally and he is needing help.
When I think of stars that have had issues as children stars I think of Kirk Cameron. I was watching a clip from his video Unstoppable. I ended up buying it. Kirk was part of the party scene and had made bad choice and such when he was younger. He is now one of the biggest advocates for Christ. God changed him from the inside out. For those from my church or our area, I’m hoping to use the program and work books as a small group. There is hope for all the Justin Biebers, Miley Cyrus’s and stars. Maybe if people started praying for them instead of judging them, they can see that there is hope too.
I want to use one other person as an example of how they can change. And that person is my son in law Jason Barton. I have to admit for many years, I would get very frustrated and sometimes hurt because I didn’t really know Jason. On his my-space page and such, I would read horrible posts and things that were far from God. Because he is married to my daughter Beckiah, I guess I was harder when it comes to my feelings. I liked him, but it was hard to know him. We barely knew him when they got married and our relationship was far from what I would hope a son in law would be. But a few years ago at Christmas, Jason took to the side. He apologized and told me that he accepted Christ as His personal Savior. I have prayed for me to like him more and for their family.
Jason’s family was quite different than ours was. And I didn’t feel comfortable around them or really at home in their home. As a parent, we want what is best for our kids. And all I seen was someone who wanted to party all the time, get into fights, and fast to anger. For me, this was too much like when I was younger. But when I shared with me that he was saved and gave me a hug and apologized. It was like the weight and worry for my daughter was lifted at the point. I broke down crying. Others in the house didn’t know exactly what was said, they knew I was crying in the kitchen. That Christmas gift I had to say, was the greatest gift I have ever gotten from anyone. Christmas gifts are great, but that Christmas gift had nothing to do with material items, it was about love. It was about forgiveness and hope. To this day, I will look back at that moment and still tear up. I think back to then and how I was being judgmental in many ways and didn’t think he would ever be the kind of husband and father my daughter deserved. But God taught me and changed my heart through Jason. Jason showed me what real grace, forgiveness and love is. I can honestly say that I love Jason. The image I posted here is one of many samples of messages he posts now on Facebook. I couldn’t be any prouder of him and my daughter Beckiah.
If God can change Jason’s heart and my heart. One day it will be nice to have them come to church with me and hopefully in time that would happen. I invited them to come this Sunday to a concert at our church and hope they do, but if they don’t that’s OK. They do go to a Bible believing church though and I praise God that Jason has taken on the role that God has intended him to have. I can actually see Jason going into some kind of a ministry. He can reach people that some would say are unreachable. And I can honestly say that I now consider Jason a son, not a son in law. He isn’t just my daughters husband. He is family and a child of God. And I can say that I have love and respect for him. I’m not sure if he will read this and if you Jason, thank you for loving my daughter and grand-kids. I feel blessed to have you in our family.
Lastly, I just want to leave you all about casting the first stone:
When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” John 8:7
Jesus faced a mob that was eager to execute a woman caught in adultery. He put a stop to it with a simple challenge: anyone who has no sin in their life should step forward and throw the first stone. That sentence is often cited as a reminder to avoid judging others when there are faults in your own life that need to be addressed.
We don’t know the real Justin, we see what the media wants us to see. But God knows him and loves him.