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TITLE: Then and Now
By Glenn A. Hascall

This piece is aimed at those 35-45. It may prove useful for parents to read who have pre-teens or teenagers. We have become our parents. Hmmmmm.
Whatís up with todayís fashions? I donít know whether to laugh or blush.

When I was growing up things were different. We were sensible, yet fashionable; levelheaded individuals with good taste.

Take for instance our footwear, I recall wearing red and white checkerboard canvas boat shoes. Now, that got you noticed - especially when you danced or when your grandpa wanted to play checkers. What is that smell? King me! And who could forget the popular rainbow colored moon boots? Good memories, especially when you stuffed the bottom of your jeans inside the boots - warm feet, warm heart and huge footprints. Can you say ĎYettií?

Oh and glasses, they were a divine piece of eyewear. Forget subtlety, these bad boys were made of industrial strength plastic in a variety of bold colors and designs. They also covered at least one fourth of your face - per lens. Not like today when youíre not even sure if youíre wearing glasses. They are so tiny and unobtrusive - why wear them at all?

Hair was another component of good taste that seems to be missing. Why, today people run around with all manner of colored hair - sometimes at such odd lengths as to resemble something attacked by a rabid weed eater. There isnít one definitive hairstyle. If you get a bad haircut, who can tell? I remember when most of the guys wore a mullet and the girls wore a shark fin on their heads. I still havenít figured out how they made it do that, especially in wind speeds exceeding 35 mph although they did sometimes resemble a wind surfer during a blizzard.

Now, itís true that most girls wore those legging things over their jeans and I admit that was a little weird, but at least they werenít wearing dog leashes with matching black lips. Yes, the girls back then got their ears pierced but at least their uvula remained unpunctured.

I was at a store recently and couldnít believe what I saw. A young man had a ring inside his ear lobe that, over time had stretched the lobe until a hole 1ľ inches in diameter was clearly seen (I know because I asked). It looks like the eye-piece of a telescope. Why canít people just leave their ears alone. Were their ears bad and required punishment? Bad ears! I canít take you two anywhere!

Whatís with the jeans that droop down four inches past the bottom of the wearers feet becoming frayed and ripped within twenty-four hours of purchase? How about the ones that fit so tightly that the wearer couldnĎt seem to remember to find a shirt that fit either? Well, yes I guess we did have the bell bottom jeans, hiking boots and tie dye shirts back in the day - but they were cool. Right?

Another thing - why canít guys wear their hats straight anymore? The last time I saw a guy wear a hat like that was when our neighborhood garbage man turned his hat to the side so he could see the rearview mirror in an effort to determine when to stop for the two guys who needed to pick up the next trash cans. Then - convenience. Now - a fashion statement.

Why do some teens insist on having stereos in their car that rival those found at concert events? I could have gone to college for what that costs. Ah well, I canít imagine doing something like that to a Pinto anyway.

It astounds me when I see the differences in young people today. When did I get so old? Wasnít it just yesterday when I was the radical non-conformist who defied the odds and started new trends? When did I begin to notice all of the changes and find them somehow distasteful?

Probably the moment my daughter was born. Such perfection - she smelled like a little girl. Ten fingers, ten toes, a nose right where itís supposed to be. No piercing for my little angel. I wanted clothes that fit her just right and I wanted to protect her head from weed eaters. Rules came to the forefront that demand that there be no makeup sessions till she is thirty-five which just happens to coincide with the first opportunity she will have to discuss the matter of dating with me. Of course that places me at retirement age, which should give me more time to chaperone events for my little girl.

You want to know something even more interesting? Jesus didnít come just for people who once wore moon boots, leggings, bell bottoms, carnival like eyewear, mullets, fins and straight hats. Our children are growing up in a different youth culture than we did and many of them will adopt the styles of the day - they may not even necessarily care if we approve. It is this culture that needs to hear about Jesus. Are we willing to care more about our childís relationship with Jesus than a style we may not particularly like? If so, we may find that they outgrow the style faster than we ever imagined possible. Even if they donít, it is safe to say that there is a beauty growing inside that is bound to overshadow the fad and others will notice a difference.

We canít reject people because they are different from us, Jesus wants us to love them with His love, so they see Him and want to be more like Him. We canít do that if we stand to the side judging the rightness or wrongness of a fad. Jesus came for a reason and weíve got to do what we can to share that reason with others - pierced tongues and all.

Luke 19:10: [Jesus said,] ďI, the Son of Man, have come to seek and save those Ö who are lost.Ē (NLT)
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