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TITLE: No Longer Hopeless(Revised)
By Elizabeth Hale

I really want feedback on this one. Thanks! I have revised this a bit on the good advice of a reader. Thank you, reader!
My son and I play a game called 'Pick Apart The Song'. I am a music lover. I enjoy all music styles. I know my son will listen to his beloved rap whether I want him to or not, and he will listen also to his heavy metal. Instead of forbidding him to listen, I make him listen to it with me. I like some of it, but a lot of this really isn't worthy of the title 'music'.Blessedly, programmed into our radio dials is also The Light, a contemporary Christian radio station brought to us by our friends down the road, Liberty University, along with Spirit FM, and Joy FM. Our town is blessed with many musical choices.

Like many kids his age, he went through the Eminem phase. Let me tell you, Eminem has a few powerful messages--he is no dummy. If you think so, listen a little closer--your children are. There are some truths contained within this style of music, if you can get past the presentation of it.

Kids love the shock value of this music. It's a way for them to push the envelope with their parents. Dusty and I talk often about why we think these rappers cuss and talk about killing and sex so much. We pick the songs apart, trying to figure out if there is any kind of positive message encased within. Sometimes, there is--more often, though, it's just shock rock. If it is just a horrible song all the way around, Dusty skips over it, usually without any prompting from me.

Eminem has a song called 'Stan'. It's about a guy who seems to be searching for any connection with another human being, and he is trying to force a connection between himself and his favorite singing idol. He can't seem to understand that this star, in all his fame, just doesn't have time for this kind of connection. Stan tries to compare their lives in various ways, desperately, it seems, trying to get some kind of response yet feeling ignored. He finally snaps in anger that this idol will not respond to him, and he drives himself, and his pregnant girlfriend over a bridge, killing himself, and her, and their unborn child, not knowing that his idol has just penned a response to him, urging him to get help for his mental despair. It is a very sad song. Powerful, too. If you ever hear this song, listen to the message, and try to ignore some of the language.

People, I am here to tell you plainly that if you are searching for validation from any human being on this planet, be it your husband, wife, parents, children, bosses, or whoever, you are searching in vain.

Until you face and accept the fact that you were created by God, until you receive the gift that was made available to you at a tremendous price, and until you realize that, regardless of any person or any thing in your life, that you must get off the fence and make a decision for yourself about which direction you will go, you will NEVER have a life worth living.

Every good thing you lay claim to is a gift from God. He provided everything you have, your family, your house, your car. He provided the air you breathe.

There is not a human being alive on this earth who can give you what you need. Only God can do this for you.

Ask, and you will receive. Your life will not become a bed of roses. If you think of this as a quick fix, a temporary solution to all your problems, forget it. It isn't happening.

Your life will have meaning and you will experience the peace that comes from knowing God. Perfect peace in all circumstances. I don't understand how people live if they don't know this, if they don't have God. I never will. Why does this seem to be such a difficult, 'must think it over first' thing?

We who know God are NEVER hopeless. We may get angry and upset and wonder endlessly Why? But we have hope in our souls because we never walk alone through anything this world presents us with. Good or bad.

As the saying goes--you were born alone and you will die alone. What you do between these two events is your life. How are you spending yours?
Hopelessly? Or Hopefully?

You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You. (Isaiah 26:3, NKJV).

Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you, not as the world gives do I give it to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.(John 14:27, NKJV).

Thank you, Lord.
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