Summary: Two of the more powerful nuggets of truth listed in this series. The first makes a biblical application to Tom Petty's 1989 song, while the second details an actual American ghost town which is current on top of fire (an oil fire started under the earth y


In 1989, rocker Tom Petty produced a song about a breakup that had a catchy rhythm that can be heard regularly on the radio or even at high school dances. In the beginning of the song, Petty describes the typical American girl growing up in the late 80’s. His words say “she’s a good girl, loves her mama, loves Jesus, and America too. She’s a good girl, crazy ‘bout Elvis, loves horses, and her boyfriend too.”

Well, today is 2008, and the “good girl” from 20 years ago has some similarities with a “good girl” today. Coming from the standpoint of a professional who deals with youth on a regular basis, I feel pretty good that I can say that today’s “good girl” loves her mother. Even in families that have been challenged in various ways, the love a young persons’ heart still is for her Mom. In addition, I believe that our young ladies today are patriotic, just as I was when I waved the American flag for our first Persian Gulf War. “Good girls” today are crazy about their boyfriends, are fond of the country, and are crazy about music (even though there is a far greater chance they would download a song by “Journey” on the internet than Elvis).

But, there is one thing that is much different than a generation ago. Today’s “good girl” does not love Jesus. She does not love Jesus, because she does not know Jesus. Don’t take my word for it, let’s check out the statistics.

According to a study done by “The House of Hope,” a Michigan company devoted to healing the lives of our troubled teens, they made some interesting findings. Well over 50% of our teens in relationships have sex readily, 1/3rd of 18 year old girls has been sexually assaulted by another teen, 1 in 8 girls has an eating disorder caused by a desire to look the “right” way, and 2/3rd of all STD’s contracted are contracted by teenagers. There’s more. 56% of youth say it would be easy to obtain marijuana. 21% said heroin would be easy to obtain. 10% of girls have seriously contemplated suicide, teens spend an average of 40 hours a week listening to music (guess what’s on their ipods, have you listened to it?), and a staggering 4 in 10 teenage girls get pregnant at least once before the age of 20.

Does this sound like a someone that knows Jesus? Even for those that attend church regulary, does it affect the way they live? If a person’s walk is the best evidence for someone knowing the Lord, then what does this say about our young people?

The Bible says in the book of 2 Corinthians that “if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation, the old has gone, the new has come!” Exactly one chapter later, Christ states “therefore come out from them, and be separate.” The key word there is separate—be holy and set apart. And that seperation and holiness should be apparent in the walk of a believer.

Parents and grandparents, we have got to be active with our faith in front of our children, for there is no question about it and we can no longer wait. We must commit our families to Christ fully, without exception, and place our commitment to worshipping God to a weekly, daily, and hourly test so that by it we can raise up Christ-knowing youth whose lives echoes Jesus. My friends, our childrens’ lives are being run over like a highway through our own yards, they are not seeing what is standing in the shadows, and their walking around with broken hearts. They are free-falling.

It is time for us, the adults, their families, to catch them in the love of Christ. Let us all work together.


Centralia was a small mining town in the eastern part of Pennsylvania with about 1000 residents making their income off of the coal dug just underneath the crust. The town had existed the same way for over a century when pre-Civil War settlers moved out to dig up the anthracite from the earth.

But in 1962, a small fire created from trash burning near the dump swept slowly into the tunnel causing a problem that the city couldn’t figure out how to deal with since they couldn’t come up with the couple thousands dollars needed to extinguish the flames.

Today, the fire rages. At the heart of this underground inferno are blazes that register hotter than Mercury, an atmosphere that is as poisonous as Saturn, and lethal clouds of carbon monoxide and gaseous chambers that would frighten even the strongest and most distant star. Spurred on by mild flows of oxygen that cannot be prevented unless every hole in the county was adequately covered, it would appear that the fire in Centralia will continue to burn. The cost of containing the fire has been put in the billions of dollars, and that would be the cost of just containing it—not stopping it.

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