Dear Old Folks- From a Youngin’

I’m not sure if you have noticed lately.

But there is a widening generational gap.

Not only are people different in age…but its like they come from different worlds….

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All the bells and whistles that come with the year 2014

make it seem like we (younger people) are so much different than you old folks.

Its not true.

I believe technology has just publicly announced what has been going on for hundreds of years. These new “struggles” that this younger generation is dealing with are not “new” its just now out in the open.

Back in the “day” it was just hidden better. People whispered….or kept it to themselves. Now we take pictures of it and put it on Instagram.

So with the bells and whistles….older people think the younger are so different. When really….deep down….we just make you guys feel uncomfortable.

And you distance yourselves.

And we get worse. And crazier. And louder.

So…

If you would consider yourself older than me… Please listen.

There are some things you need to know.

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1. The younger folks need you.

No not for money. Put your wallets away. I’m talking about something deeper, something you cannot buy.

Attention...love…authenticity.

Just being there. In fact, speeches turn us off. So you don’t need to feel pressured to say the right thing. In fact we don’t want to hear something perfect. Why do you think we abbreviate everything? Because words are cheap to us. Just BE there. Literally.

2. The less “perfect” you are….the better.

I once asked an older lady I admired if she would meet with me regularly over coffee. Call it a “mentor”….whatever. I just wanted to be around her and learn from her. Her response was that she had things she need to “work on” in her life and wasn’t “ready” to have a relationship with me. I am not mad at that lady. It just made me sad, because little did she know that her honestly about her imperfection could have changed my life.

See we admire you when you admit your mistakes….

it frees us to feel like we can share ours.

Sometimes we feel like what we deal with is “new” or “weird”. If you would be brave enough to share your story…you could change our lives.

3. You don’t have to have all the answers.

Again, young people are NOT looking for speeches and opinions…we are looking for someone to just be themselves around us. See most of us grew up in broken homes, some without moms and dads. Just living life around older people is all we need. We need to be around older people who aren’t scared of us.

We aren’t scary.

4. You don’t have to be cool.

Is that a relief? In fact the younger people need to know what human contact is. What a healthy relationship looks like. We are desperate for it. We need to know what things in life lasts through generations, not just be educated on new fads.

Technology changes.People don’t.

We are looking for relationships….not more illusions.

5. Let us be us…. And please just be you.

The issue isn’t understanding our differences.

The goal is to find our common ground.

That’s all that matters. That would mean the world to us.

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So...if you are old(er) please make an effort. Quit being afraid and holding on to your pride. Step up to the plate and help. There are thousands of fatherless motherless young people out your door.

You have the ability to change their lives if you choose to do so.

If you are a young person…don’t give up on finding that “role model”. Dad may have left…Mom may be crazy….but there is someone out there willing to listen. Keep searching. It will be worth it.

 

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Silence your offense. Shout your love.

There has been something that has really been bothering me the past few weeks. I am not going to go into specifics of who, what, how….etc.

Because honestly it doesn’t matter. And that’s what this blog is about.

The things we get so caught up in, the debates we have (myself included), the things we get offended by….are quite honestly ridiculous.

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I don’t want to bash “Christians” because I am one. I still believe in the original intent of proclaiming that over yourself and believe there is hope that one day we will return to it.

In the mean time we have become a people of offense. We believe that becoming hot and fiery over random, small details gives honor to God.

Most of the offense is with each other, most of the nitpicking is with each other.

We have become so consumed with whats going on inside of the church that we have forgot about our purpose for the outside of it.

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I see us scrambling inside of a house fighting with each other and randomly opening a window, hanging out of it, only to shout out random convictions we have in anger before quickly retreating back in and slamming the window shut.

 YOUR PERSONAL CONVICTIONS DO NOT “SAVE PEOPLE”.

The problem is we are so hung up on trying to get people to stop watching a movie, pull their shorts down, not bring coffee in a sanctuary…..and we have forgotten their soul.

What causes the “sin”….is a whole, whole lot of pain.

There are thousands of women…right now….who are being sold and brutally abused and raped. Statistically sexual abuse comes from people who they already knew (family, friends, etc)
Child Pornography is rampant (last statistic I read there are 116,000 searches for CHILD porn everyday)
Substance abuse, divorce, abortion, suicide….etc.etc.etc.

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But truthfully …we as the church are “unmoved” by this stuff. We may shake our heads or send five bucks every once in awhile when prompted…

But you only see TRUE fire when one of us is offended by something………sad.

I truly believe the eyes of God are turned on the pain and hurt that people are experiencing right now, and we as the church have the power to bring a fierce love that could change everything.

See…we don’t save anyone. God does.

That’s a hard pill for people to swallow because once you get saved we don’t nurture you and allow you to grow and teach you to love. We commission you to stop everything “wrong” you are doing right this instant and muster enough power and resolve to not only conquer yourself but go conquer other people.

We have left God out of the mix, placed our self righteousness on a pedestal…and forgotten God’s heart and our purpose.
We have missed it.

However….I believe there is hope.

Let’s become these kind of people:

If you see someone wearing something that offends you, take them out to coffee and LISTEN to their story. Forget their clothes, their heart matters.

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If there is a strip club in your town….bring the girls flowers and tell them they have purpose. You never know what brought them to that place.

If you see a movie that offends you….focus all your attention on this next generation of movie makers, and take them out and listen to their story. Invest in them.

If someone in church doesn’t shake your hand…go give them a hug.

See its not our offense that makes us holy…its how we respond to it.

Be someone who is productive, kind…someone who invests in others.
Don’t shout your offense . Shout your love.

Human Behind the Lens

My friend Becci (Hi Becci!!!) showed me this amazing facebook page

“Humans of New York”

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https://www.facebook.com/humansofnewyork

With 4M (yes…as in million) likes, and with each posting generating thousands of likes, the guy behind the lens is doing something right.

I immediately loved the photographs coupled with stories, and was curious to find out more about the guy behind the camera.

I was shocked. Its just a dude. A dude in a grey tshirt.

Amazing how something just simple and genuine can touch so many people.

If your idea is simple, keep it simple. No telling how far it could go.

“Screw it…I’m going to Greenland”

I love the part in Walter Mitty where he decides to say,

“screw it…I’m going to Greenland”

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He doesn’t actually come out and say that. But he is looking at his familiar surroundings, and just decides to go.

I love this part because it demystifies the line between “doing” and “not doing”.

We normally think things have to be in order, in place, perfect….

before we make a move in our desired direction.

Bull.

Life moves when decisions are made.

Circumstances change when we make a choice.

“You can’t do it”

People love to tell you that you “can’t” do something.
I’m not sure why, but more often than not “words of encouragement”  are just a beautifully disguised message of

“DON’T DO IT!!!…too risky!!…too much!!!…you can’t!!!!”

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People will argue that you should be more “wise” or “godly” by bucking down and not pursing the vision or message that burns inside of you.

And we wonder why the world hides from the message of Christianity….   because we tell them “you can’t” more than “YOU CAN”.

That’s not the message of Jesus.

If you are one of those people, who have been too afraid in your own life that you constantly discourage the dreams of others…..stop.
I’m sure you are not a bad person, or mean to do harm, but recognize that your own fear is never satisfied.

                It is not satisfied in stopping you from living…… it wants more.                   It wants to stop others as well.
Fear is an illusion.

Its something that will only leave its victims feeling useless, unfulfilled, and angry. Don’t carry fear….and don’t pass it on.

So whatever burns inside of you, run after it.

Don’t listen to the voices on the sidelines (they are the ones not even in the race;)

More than “okay” with change

Things are going to change….its inevitable.
To be who we need to be ….we have to be more than just “okay”with change.
We need to want it.
Embrace it. Look for it.

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Most people hate change. They want whats comfortable and easy.

Growth is change.

So if you hate change, you actually hate growth.

I may have to move.

 I may have to change my mind.

I may have to meet someone else.

I may have to stop something.

I may need to do something.

Do what it takes.

Grow.

Be more than okay with change.