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Teenage Frankenstein (Constrictor, 1986)

“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 LP has him returning after a three-year hiatus from the music industry. During that time, Alice was able 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, sober Alice.

I had never been Alice Cooper on stage sober…what if Alice just doesn’t show up?” – Alice Cooper

Alice 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 and ended up on the soundtrack for the movie Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives  (along with the songs “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.

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

A story about the separation and distance experienced through the eyes of a teenage outcast, in many ways, this song 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 – just a group of “Teenage Frankensteins.”

This week, we again get personal. We will 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 particular teens feel misunderstood, unpopular, undesirable, etc. – as if the jocks, the popular kids, and the class superlatives and leaders weren’t affected by the growing pains of that period. The fact is, all teens are struggling.

They are struggling to find their voice, struggling to excel, and 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).

Next week is usually one of my favorite weeks of the year. It’s the one week each year that guarantees several good memories will be refreshed, replayed, and new ones made.

It’s the week we would ordinarily go to summer camp. However, this year (for the first time in 50+ years), there will be no summer camp because of COVID-19. No campfires. No pranks. No early morning devotions. No new memories made. But this isn’t a pity party. It’s a call to action.

As an adult, disappointment is a little easier to swallow. After a few years of experience, setbacks are still “hard pills to swallow,” but they are a little more understood. When life serves up lemons, you make lemonade, but it’s not always that easy during our formative years.

As we navigate all the uncertainty and darkness in this world, we must not lose sight of the younger, more impressionable minds among us. We must strive to share God’s Word and His plan with them (and all we come into contact with), especially during such turbulent times. Life is short and uncertain, but no matter the circumstance, we place our Hope and Trust in Him (Psalm 71:5).

Focusing back on the lyrics of the song, they may seem extreme, but they really aren’t. In previous years at camp, I’ve seen the scenario play out. A group of teenagers show up – some old faces, some new, yet there is always uneasiness in the air, it’s how every week of camp begins. There’s that adjustment period that takes place.

That awkward time spent reacclimating to the changes of a year gone by since those same campers last saw one another. That time when it seems like no breakthrough or miracle could or would ever happen, yet by the end of the week, His Love, Mercy, and Grace have sorted through any hesitations. The uneasiness is replaced by peace. The peace only Christ can give (John 16:33).

While the events of this Summer may be inconsistent with past ones, His Word remains steadfast and unmoved. Hope is alive and well. The Holy Spirit offers His Light in contrast to the isolation and darkness of this world. The truth is, many feel the same way the song portrays its teenage subject.

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

Lonely. Dark. Out of place. These are the words that describe the teenage years for many of us (adulthood for some as well).  The darkness of this world leaves us empty while the Light of His Love offers so much more. When we learn to use Him as the GPS for our lives, we begin to see breakthrough after breakthrough during our time spent here. We find the Love of Christ is the equalizer that levels the playing field and unifies humanity (1 John 3:16).

Unfortunately, this Summer will not provide the same annual outlets it usually would. For many, there will be no church camp, no sporting events, no group activities, or other forms of distraction to replace the fear and doubts many live with and carry.

However, many teens never get the opportunity to experience those things. Many of them aren’t offered one week set aside to focus on a skill, a talent, or His Word. Those can be incredible experiences and can make an eternal difference when coupled with His Love. However, this year will be different.

When we are offered the opportunity to remove ourselves from the world, it’s easier to focus and share His Love. But this year, we are forced to navigate that same challenge without the removal of distraction. We must find ways to share and teach the youth we meet without the benefits of chapel services, family group discussions, and campfire devotions.

This year, we must find a way to unify and provide His Peace to others through new platforms – through a text message, an email, a video, etc. It’s not a replacement; it’s a temporary substitution, but showing them we care is still a necessity – a requirement.

We must find ways to bring others together and remove the divisions of this world. If we remain isolated and apart, the enemy will continue to divide us further.

Church camp is designed to unify the most unlikely people through His Love. The cliques and clichés of the world disappear by the end of the week – no political division, no classifications, little to no vitriol, just a focus on Him and His Word. This year, let us focus on bringing that experience to our homes and communities.  

Let us focus on making His Word a weekly experience for ourselves and those around us. Avoid division as much as possible (Romans 16:17). It’s incredible to see the change His Love can make. Approaching others with that tone and mindset changes lives, not only others’ lives but ours as well (1 John 4:21).

Wrapping this up, 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 chose to break social norms and hang out with all types of people (not just those we relate most to)? Would there still be violence in schools? Would there always be extreme bullying? Would there still be hate?

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. He has asked us to do these things (Matthew 7:12, 22:36-40, 28:16-20). Why shouldn’t we?

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. We need to remember this…we need to remember just how challenging the waters of early adulthood can be.

With that, Alice does a great job of writing narratives. In this narrative, we find a dark, isolated character filled with feelings of self-doubt and disruption, but the secret is, it’s not just this teenager’s narrative. It’s the narrative of adolescence.

In many ways, it’s the narrative of humanity apart from its Creator. Much like a boy or girl becoming a man or woman, there comes a time when we must learn what our strengths and weaknesses are. The greatest lesson in life is learning where our eternal role and gifts come from – where our identity is originated.

This Summer focus on sharing where your Hope is found and what love looks like. Teach and guide the young (and old) about how worthy they are. Worthy of God’s Love – sacrificed for them and all humanity on the cross (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). However different we may seem, we were created by the same Maker – the Author of Life and Love.

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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