Swiftwater Journey

faith, culture, and growing up in a rapidly changing world

Be Brave – with what you want to say July 31, 2013

Filed under: Adolescence,Identity — billmacphee @ 11:51 am
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This is my favorite song of the summer for several reasons:

  • Sticks and stones can break my bones, but words can maim and kill.
  • Bullies intimidate thoughtful people into silence.
  • Open dialogue is the pathway to understanding.
  • Fear is paralyzing but can be overcome.
  • I need to hear what you have to say.
  • Sara recruited regular people to dance in her video; there is hope for me.

I am one of those people who needs more than a moment to construct my thoughts so that my words offer wisdom instead of nonsense. The fear of saying the “wrong” thing sometimes causes me to stay silent when what I am forming in my mind is actually kind of helpful. It is frustrating missing the moment and then feeling poorly because I withheld a valuable word. I just need to be brave [in the moment], and also risk coming off less prepared, and even a little foolish. “My history of silence” won’t do me any good, and actually I don’t mind if others think I “took the wrong pill.”

I wonder how many young people around me want to say something but fear judgment, disapproval, or laughter. I’m going to be brave and listen in a way that invites others to say what they want to say.

“A person finds joy in giving an apt reply–and how good is a timely word!” Proverbs 15:23


learning my lines. . .: Miley Cyrus. . . Have You Been Listening? . . . . October 15, 2010

Filed under: Adolescence — billmacphee @ 8:42 pm
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Watch the video. Miley seems so uncomfortable with this new image. Her eyes seem to me to betray that others, older adults, have manipulated her into playing a role in order to capitulate to what kids may want in a pop star.

This almost comes across as parody.

Miley is a masterpiece – Ephesians 2:10 – God’s artwork, his handiwork, his poiema/poem. Her identity is not determined by pop status or album sales, but by who God has made her to be – his beloved daughter.



Teenage Sailor Teaches Me About Being an Adult May 16, 2010

Filed under: Adolescence — billmacphee @ 9:53 am
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Jessica Watson Sails Around the World – 16 but really an adult

Government initiates artificial markers for entrance into adulthood but Jessica’s journey illustrates that being adult is defined more by a sense of knowing who you are, taking ownership and responsibility for one’s choices, and finding your place among other adults.

“People don’t think you’re capable of these things —¬†they don’t realize what young people, what 16-year olds and girls are capable of. It’s amazing, when you take away those expectations, what you can do.”

Jessica has a new goal now that she is back on land — learn to drive a car and get her driver’s license. Getting one’s drivers license, graduating from high school, joining the military, voting, or turning 21 and hitting the bars, are not clear markers of entrance into the adult world.

Read more from Jessica – http://jessicawatson.com.au