“Teenage Frankenstein” Lyrics:

I’m the kid on the block
With my head made of rock
And I ain’t got nobody
I’m the state of the art
Got a brain a la carte
I make the babies cry

I ain’t one of the crowd
I ain’t one of the guys
They just avoid me
They run and they hide
Are my colours too bright
Are my eyes set too wide
I spend my whole life
Burning, turning

I’m a teenage Frankenstein
The local freak with the twisted mind
I’m a teenage Frankenstein
These ain’t my hands
And these legs ain’t mine

Got a synthetic face
Got some scars and a brace
My hands are rough and bloody
I walk into the night
Women faint at the sight
I ain’t no cutie-pie

I can’t walk in the day
I must walk in the night
Stay in the shadows
Stay out of the light
Are my shoulders too wide
Is my head screwed on tight
I spend my whole life
Burning, turning

I’m a teenage Frankenstein
The local freak with the twisted mind
I’m a teenage Frankenstein
These ain’t my hands
And these legs ain’t mine

“Constrictor”, released in 1986, is Alice’s ninth solo studio album. The album has him returning after a three year hiatus from the music industry. The product of that time spent away gave Alice the chance to redirect himself – breaking ties with Warner Bros. records, replenishing his health, and focusing on his new addiction, golf. All of these factors helped bring the Godfather of Shock Rock roaring back to the stage. “Constrictor” and “The Nightmare Returns” tour brings a new Alice to the forefront – a clean, renewed, reinvigorated, sober Alice. Alice recounts this moment saying, “I had never been Alice Cooper on stage sober…what if Alice just doesn’t show up?” But he did show up and has ever since. This new “Heavy (Metal) Alice” was a vicious villain. Not the whipping boy of yesteryear. He took charge and commanded the stage with authority.

“Teenage Frankenstein”, the first track on the album is pure ’80s metal. A story about the separation and distance placed between a teenage outcast (“the local freak with the twisted mind”) and the ‘rest of the guys’. In many ways, this encompassed the Heavy Metal genre. So many people just didn’t understand it. They placed many labels on the music and those that enjoyed it. “Teenage Frankenstein” ends up on the soundtrack for the movie Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives along with “He’s Back (The Man Behind the Mask)” and “Hard Rock Summer”. Alice was able to find success weaving his image into the Friday the 13th franchise combining rock and horror. In turn, setting the tone for his tour.

This week, we again get personal. A continuation of last week in many ways, this week we look at the teenage mind and the ‘battle in the trenches’ known as adolescence. It’s a bittersweet time, one I often look back on with endearment and horror at the same time. What’s funny about this stage (in life) is how society looks at it. There’s often this unrealistic notion that only certain teens feel misunderstood, unpopular, undesirable, etc. As if the jocks, the popular kids, and the class/superlative leaders weren’t affected by the growing pains of that time period. The fact is, all teens are struggling. Struggling to find their voice. Struggling to excel. Struggling to figure out who they are.  Struggling to wade through the mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual changes happening during their wonder years. The older we get and the more we know, we find out that everyone struggles – some openly, some inwardly, some together, some alone. But life is a battle – especially as we enter adulthood (2 Corinthians 10:3-5).

This coming week was and is one of my favorite weeks of the year. It’s the one week every year that guarantees a number of good memories will be refreshed, replayed, and new ones made. It’s the week we go to summer camp. Packing up 3 pre-teens in a minivan full of clothes, toiletries, a guitar, Bibles, and other camping gear, we head from Merritt Island, Florida up to Seymour, Indiana – the home of John Mellencamp and my childhood summer stomping grounds. Geographically, it’s all the same beautiful landscape but in my mind it’s new territory. Instead of going as a camper, I go as a counselor. Instead of going to be fed the Word, I’m asked to help feed the Word. Instead of pouring out my soul, I’m asked to listen and maybe give some advice. This is the week when faith is tested, strengthened, and renewed all at once. It’s sacred in its own right. It’s a privilege (Colossians 3:16, Psalm 32:8).

The lyrics to the song may seem extreme, but they really aren’t. At camp, I’ve seen the scenario play out every year – week in and week out. A group of teenagers show up – some old faces, some new, yet there is always an awkwardness in the air, it’s how every week of camp begins. There’s always that adjustment period. That time when none of them want to say much or be around each other. That time when it seems like no breakthrough or miracle could or would ever happen. However by the end of the week, almost all boundaries and barriers have been broken. Through His Love, Mercy, and Grace everyone has found a way to sort through their differences. The awkwardness has been replaced by acceptance. Acceptance of and through Christ (Romans 15:7). Some of the more haunting lines in the song are “I ain’t got nobody”, “They just avoid me”, “Stay in the shadows”, and “Stay out of the light”. Isolation, loneliness, darkness – these are the ways of the world. We are offered something more, something better in the Light. His Light. What’s evident at camp is the power of His Love. His Light. His Ways. As these teens learn to allow Him to be their GPS, you begin to see their differences and the cliques they’ve formed fade away. His LOVE is the great equalizer (1 John 3:16).

Unfortunately, every week of the year is not church camp. In fact, many teens do not have the opportunity to experience anything like it. One week set aside to focus on His Word is an incredible experience. Something that makes an eternal difference. An impact. A transformation. A change. Even the adults, staff & counselors, lay down their differences – leaving politics, ideology, social issues, and other divisive topics at home. Camp is designed that way, but there’s no reason life can’t be lived the same way. Focus on making His Word a weekly experience for yourself and those around you. Avoid division as much as possible (Romans 16:17). It’s amazing to see the change His Love can make. Approaching others with that tone and mindset changes lives, not only others’ lives but yours as well (1 John 4:21).

One last point. What if we decided to embrace those who are different? The teenage mind. The outcast. The lonely. The hungry. The poor. What if we decided to extend a loving arm or a helping hand to those we may not understand or even like? What if we decided to break social norms and hangout with all types of people (not just those we relate most to)? Would there still be violence in schools? Would there still be extreme bullying? I’m convinced that the Love of Christ is the answer to such issues. I’ve never seen anyone reject His Love. What I’ve seen rejected and repelled is the vitriol and judgment of man. It’s time to break down the clichés of the religious and step out in faith. It’s time to love and do to one another as we do ourselves. As He has asked us to (Matthew 7:12, 22:36-40, 28:16-20).

In conclusion, there’s a lot to digest here. If we all grew up to be teenage versions of ourselves, most of us would be embarrassed, imprisoned, alone, or even worse, dead. It’s important for us to remember this…we need to remember just how difficult the waters of early adulthood can be. The things we now consider trivial matter most to them. The things we take for granted are still new experiences for them. The friends and acquaintances they’ve made at church, school, and other activities are most likely ones they’ve known for most of their lives. The teenage life is a much different experience than our own. They must be shown where strength comes from, where identity comes from, where hope comes from, and what love looks like. They must be taught what they are worth. They must be shown God’s Love – sacrificed for them and all humanity on the cross (1 Corinthians 6:19-20).

Have you accepted Christ as your Savior?

If you would like to accept Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, please pray the following prayer:

"God, I believe in you and your son Jesus Christ.  I believe that Jesus died on the cross and rose from the grave to save me. Today, I invite Jesus into my heart to stay.  I make you Lord over my life. Make me new. Wash me, Lord, and cleanse me. In Jesus Name, Amen"

If you have just prayed that prayer, we want to celebrate your new victory with you.  Please contact us at prayers@oceanfloorministries.com so we can welcome you into the kingdom.  We don't want you to have to walk alone and we have some resources we would like the opportunity to share with you.

 

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