James Meehan - How Should Christians Think About Fashion?
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Bo Brown: What is up Culture Makers? So good to be with you guys today. We have some exciting things we're talking about. We're talking about fashion, we're talking about tattoos, and we're talking about the Kentucky Derby. And my name is Beau Brown, I get to be your host today and I'm here with the lovely, the magnificent, the sister I never wanted, Riley Savala.
Riley Savala: Hi, I'll take it. The sister you never wanted, I will wear that proudly.
Bo Brown: Thank you for joining us today. If you are new, welcome to the "Culture Makers Show". This is the time where we get to talk about what's happening in the world in ways that we can look at it in a different perspective maybe, and hopefully in a Godly perspective. And so make sure that you like, comment, share, hit the little bell to subscribe.
Riley Savala: Smash that like button!
Bo Brown: Yes, smash it, yes, smash that button. Let's go ahead and just jump right in. I'm specifically talking about fashion. What, like, what do you love about fashion? What do you look to in fashion? Just tell me your fashion sense. Obviously you have a little bit, so let's...
Riley Savala: A little bit?
Bo Brown: So let's hear about it.
Riley Savala: I don't know if I'm like the queen of fashion by any means but I just kind of wear whatever I like and whatever, but I do love following the fashion trends and kind of checking out what is like popping' and what's new and cool. And so one thing that I've noticed is like the baggy jeans are back. Like not the, mom jeans have been a thing and I've sported mine today, but the baggy jeans like I'm talking like early 2000s jeans, and I love it. The thing about these new trends that I'm seeing is that they look so good on other people. But then I think to myself, I just don't, I don't know if I can, I don't know if I can do it. It's like you have to be, I think fashion is all about like your confidence level.
Bo Brown: Absolutely, absolutely.
Riley Savala: Like you can wear anything if you wear confidently, you know? But like, if you're like hesitant about it, like me with the baggy jeans, I don't know if that's going to work
Bo Brown: I feel like my legs are way too short. Like most people's look like chicken tenders. Mine are chicken nuggets. If I'm wearing like just straight JNCO jeans, like it is just it's not a great look. So, but yes, I also love fashion, but what I love about fashion is the way that you get to express yourself and the confidence that you can honestly find in fashion and show in fashion and something that I've noticed, you may have noticed that as well, you may have even heard of it from other people, but in the realm of appropriateness, like where do you fall in that realm? Do you fall in the realm of what your parents say? Do you fall in the realm of what culture says? Do you fall in the realm of what you believe to be true about yourself? Because what I know is as a guy, like I'm always looking at ways that I can be appropriate, but also fashionable, but also appropriate, because you don't want to be walking around with shirts to tight, shirts that don't cover everything, shirts that you should not be wearing, because you always want to make sure that you're not creating a stumbling block for other people around you. So like where do you fall in that realm?
Riley Savala: Absolutely, yeah. I mean, I think with everything in life, you try to think about how is this like conveying myself as a Christian? Like how it's conveying what I believe, because what, anything that you do, anything that you wear, like all of your actions, they say something about who you are. And so it's like all of the things that I wear, I want there to be no question what I believe or you know those kinds of things. And so I think there's a good, healthy boundary of like, you can still, like you said, you can still dress appropriate but you can still dress like fashionably. Like there's a mix and there's a good, and I don't think that there's one like right answer of like, oh, well, if your shorts are this long, then you're good, you know, whatever. But I think it's just kind of based on, if you have to question it, like, if you're like, oo, is this appropriate? Then I would say, that's probably a good measure to say maybe it's not. Because if you're questioning it at all, for me anyways, if I'm questioning it at all, I just don't wear it because it's like, well, just leave the questions out.
Bo Brown: That's good, leave the questions out. Come on, wow wow wow.
Riley Savala: But man I still rock some cool things.
Bo Brown: You do. I saw a picture of you the other day, you were wearing like this half shirt and half other shirt.
Riley Savala: Yes. It's two shirts, yeah, sewn together.
Bo Brown: That was so cool, did you sow that?
Riley Savala: No, we derailed a little bit, but you know, it's fine, it's fun.
Bo Brown: What we talked about was the question. And what question are you asking when it comes to fashion? But also what question are you asking when it comes to your body in general and transitioning into that, we talked about tattoos, and now this is a widely debated topic in the Christian world, in the world we live in in general. And so I would love to hear from you, like, well do you have tattoos first off? And what do you believe about?
Riley Savala: Yeah, I do have tattoos. I've got two, I've got these mountains right here and then I've got my little dinosaur, his names Elroy.
Bo Brown: Elroy!
Riley Savala: Yeah, he's super cute, love him. So all of the people in my office think I should get a party hat on him. And I was honestly, I was on the verge of getting a party hat, but I was talking to a student the other day and they brought up this thought, is if I don't get a party hat, what I can do is seasonally, with Sharpie, create new hats. So like for my birthday, I can draw a party hat on there. For Christmas, I could draw a Santa hat. So many options, I love options. So yes. So anyway, so about you. I know that you have a lot of tattoos, I don't even have to ask.
Bo Brown: Yeah, they're just a bunch of freckles that have come together to create some really cool designs.
Riley Savala: Just magically.
Bo Brown: Yeah. So tattoos for me, honestly, and what we need to be very clear as is if you're under 18, tattoos are a no, all right? This is something that is a big decision. It's going to be on your body for the rest of your life. And so it's something that you want to make sure that you're wrestling with and understanding. And also even if you're living with your parents and your parents don't agree with that, like, let's honor our parents, let's honor the people who God has given us to lead us and let's finish well, especially if you're finishing well at your home. For me specifically, when it comes to tattoos, I kind of have a different perspective in the way of, tattoos can actually be a tool that you minister to people with. And so my tattoos are very meaningful and they are actually what I would consider to almost be monuments of ways that God has moved in my life. So I can look at a tattoo and I can tell you exactly what it means, exactly what it stands for, exactly where I was in my life. And I can be, my faith is being built upon that reminder. And so some simple ones, the January 3rd, 2013, that's the day I gave my life to Christ. That's a sunrise like the dawn of a day, like a new day, a new creation. You got 7-11 right here, that was a baby of mine and my wife's that passed away. That was the due date of it. I mean, you can look everywhere and you can see different things that God has shown up in in our life, and cool story actually, the other day I got asked to do a funeral, which is not cool. I got a chance to meet with the family and I was talking with them and just trying to figure out how I could best serve them. And at the very end of our meeting, they looked at me and they said, "All right, but we have one more question, one more ask of you". And I was like, "Okay, what what"? They're like, "Will you please wear short sleeves"? I was like "What? What? Why do you need me to wear short sleeves"? And they said, "Because we have people in our family who have never felt comfortable coming to church before, but I know, I know that when they see you, they're going to feel comfortable. And then they're going to be open to what God wants to do through that funeral and through that hard circumstance". And so it was, those types of things remind me of how God can use anything in our life to bring good and to bring joy into our world.
Riley Savala: So my dinosaur is also a great, it's a great opportunity for ministry. I kid you not, I have so many questions on it whenever I like get my food from a drive-thru window. Cause you know, I'm driving right here and ah, you see it.
Bo Brown: There you go, okay.
Riley Savala: And then that opens conversation. And then I invite a lot of people to church via my dinosaurs. So I mean, tattoos can be used for a lot of good and they can be a lot of fun, but yeah. I love what you said about making sure you're over 18 because I remember. Listen, I've always thought I wanted tattoos. And at like 15, 16, I remember, like I would pin tattoos that like I really wanted. And I went back the other day and looked at them and it's like, man, I am so glad, my taste has just changed so much. I'm so glad I did not get the tattoos that I liked at 15 or 16. So just hold off and have conversations with your parents and talk with people that are important to you. And yeah, I think those are all great things to keep into account whenever you're talking about tattoos.
— For sure. And so you might've thought that dinosaurs were extinct, but actually that dinosaur is alive and bringing people to church and letting them know the truth and love our savior Jesus Christ. Come on, somebody! That was my inner James Mehan. Shout out to James, I got you man, I got you.
— Come on!
— But also what people may think is extinct, I love making transitions by the way, what other people might think is extinct is horse racing. But let me tell you, horse racing is alive and well. People are still watching it. People are still gambling on it and people are still getting caught cheating doing it. I don't know if you heard, but in the world today, there was a horse, his name is Medina Spirit who was actually caught, the horse wasn't caught. The trainer was caught giving the horse some unregulated and not supported supplements.
— Oh no.
— Yes. You know all about this, correct?
— Yeah yeah, I'm super educated in the Kentucky Derby. No, I've never, I actually never even really heard of the Kentucky Derby.
— I actually lived right around the corner from one of the Preakness, one of the top four races in in the horse racing world, back in New York, Saratoga National, so yeah, a little plug. Self flexing plug. But I think there's a deeper question here when it comes to horse racing. Yeah, they shouldn't cheat, but I think also the deeper question is, in life, should we take shortcuts? Because obviously this trainer was seemingly trying to create a shortcut to create a victory that may not have been warranted. And so have you ever thought of creating shortcuts in your life? And if so, how did that work out? And the same question to you Riley: shortcuts, good or bad?
— I mean, I think shortcuts are bad in almost every case except for like Mario Kart, shortcuts are good there. Or if there's a shortcut in Universal Studios that saves you time in the park, yeah. So those kind of shortcuts, fine. But in life overall, I would say shortcuts are not okay. And here's why, it reminds me of whenever I was in track in high school, my coach would always tell me I'm not going to count your reps for your workouts. I'm not gonna like make sure that you're doing all of the things. Just know that if you take the shortcuts, then you're cheating yourself in the long haul because like several workouts down, you're going to be not as able to sustain more workouts and you're just not going to be as strong. And so when you think about shortcuts in every area of your life, I think, sure, yeah it might be easy or nice in the moment but you're really cheating yourself in the long haul. You're really just holding yourself back from the potential of whatever the opportunity is, whenever it's like, why don't you actually study for the test instead of cheating? Or why don't you actually finish the workout instead of cutting reps? Those kinds of things, yeah.
— The easy thing is not normally the right thing. Normally we're asked to go through the hard things but the hard things are for a reason because it builds up strength, it builds up character, it builds up perseverance, so that we can continue to do what God has called us to do, in the way that he has called us to do it. And so I think that's incredible. The only shortcut that I think that we need to talk about is control alt delete. Just so you know, Culture Makers is a safe place to ask questions. We encourage you to ask questions and we actually answer your questions. The tattoo question actually came in last week. We answered a couple of those questions last week and we're going to do the same this week. And so this question actually came from SafariGuide1, and he says, "Hey, Culture Makers. Do you have any advice on not being so hard on yourself? Every day I struggle with expecting perfection out of me and end up burnt out".
— Great question.
— Yeah, that's real. I definitely have experienced that in my life. I think we've all, to some extent, held expectations on ourselves that are too high or not reachable. I think it's important to remember like, you are human and giving yourself grace just as much as you give other people grace. As Christians, we're called to give people grace. And for me, it's way easier for me to give grace to other people than it is to give me grace. And so just remember that the same Jesus that died for other people that we preach about and that we tell about is the same Jesus that died for us. And so He doesn't expect perfection from us and He's our creator, He's who we serve. And so if He doesn't expect perfection, then we shouldn't expect perfection of ourselves.
— Yeah yeah, I think perfection, just take that out and just insert the word growth. Like every single day, just taking one step closer to being more like Christ and doing the things that you know that He's called you to do. And so let's take out perfectionism, and put in growth and let's go on that track.
— Yeah. That's so good.
— That's healthy.
— Yeah, cause whenever you're focused on perfectionism, you're more likely to burn yourself out, in like whatever it is, so if it's like a sport and you're heavily focused on it. If it's school, if it's just life in general, you expect yourself to be perfect. You're going to reach a point where you hit a wall and it's like, I can't sustain that. I can't do that anymore. And so yeah, I think growth is so important, because it's like, well, we can't be perfect every day, but we can take one step closer to doing the right thing or one step closer to being a little bit better than we were the day before. And if we're doing that, then we're growing and we're learning and we're not perfect. And sometimes you take a step back, but then you just take another, you focus on taking another step forward. I think that's just, that's a good, you can do one step, it's very manageable. Yeah.
— Just wisdom, wow. What an honor to have her.
— Wisdom hat.
— Wisdom hat, I love it.
— Another question is actually from Abigail Erwin, all right? She says, "Question: is it possible for me to get back to God after I've been away from Him for so long"? Dang, I love that question, it's so good.
— Yeah, it's absolutely possible. Yes. Oh my gosh. There are so many seasons, even when you're a follower of Jesus that you recognize like, man, I feel far from God or I feel distant from God. And you can always come back to Him. Whether or not it's just a feeling, or if it's like actions where you've walked away from a life that pursued Jesus, you can always come back. I think of like the prodigal son in the Bible where the father welcomes the son that ran away from home with open arms and he throws a whole party, saying like "I'm so glad you're home". He was not mad that he left. He was just so glad that he was home. And I think, man, that's such a beautiful picture of how God feels about us and that He's never mad at us when we run away from Him. He just wants us home. A very simple example, but it's a good one, because we can all relate to it. Did you have a dog growing up?
— You ever remember when your dog ran away?
— Yes, and it was like, all you wanted was your dog to be home. I wasn't mad that my dog ran away. I was mad at myself for keeping the door open, but I wasn't mad at my dog for running away. I just wanted my dog home. And then your dog comes home and you're like, "Yes! You came home, like I found you"! And that's exactly how God feels about you.
— And this is something that like, we're still learning as pastors, as people, as people who've been walking with Jesus for quite some time, this is something that you can feel distant from God. You can feel like you're far away from Him, maybe 'cause choices that you've made or circumstances that have been put on you. What's interesting to notice is all those are based on feelings; God isn't based on feelings, He's based on fact. And the fact is is that he loves you and he cares about you. And he's never far from you. I actually was reading in my Bible last night, I learned this last night, so literally learning with each other.
— We're learning together, yes, love it.
— I was reading the Bible, it's 1 Kings, and it's about the prophet Elijah. He defeats this fake God called Baal. So anyways, right afterwards, the person who didn't want him to do that is going to chase after him and to try to kill him. And so he goes into hiding. He's scared, he's nervous. He kind of goes into recluse mode and he was like, I don't, I don't, I don't even know if I want to be used by God anymore. Like, this is scary, this doesn't make sense. I'm running away from you, basically, God. And then he goes on to this mountain, and God is trying to get his attention. He tells him to go out of the cave and he steps out of the cave. And immediately there's a huge earthquake like ooooo, shaking the world. But the Bible says that God was not in the earthquake. And then fire started to erupt everywhere. And you would think that God was in the fire, but it says God is not in the fire. But then it says in a gentle whisper, God spoke to Elijah. And so I think that we have to remember that God is so close, He doesn't talk to us in earthquakes. He doesn't talk to us in fire that rains down. He talks to us in a gentle whisper because He is close and He desires to be close to every single one of us. And that includes you. So I don't know where you are today, but know that God is close and he loves you so so much.
— That's so good!
— Yeah. It's been an incredible time here on "Culture Makers," talking about fashion, talking about tattoos and talking about the Kentucky Derby, the horse race.
— And talking about Jesus!
— Yes! Come on!
— Come on!
— So make sure that you like, comment, share, subscribe. Share this with people that you know, that you care about, that you know it will make a difference in their life. And thank you for joining us. Come back next week and make sure you leave some comments and some questions because we know that you are shaping culture. You are making culture, and you are changing culture in your world everywhere you go.