More On 5.0

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  1. Babylon's Dread says:

    Thanks Michael

  2. Michael says:


    I had to get it all out! 😉

    You should write as well…you have an open invitation.

  3. Bob Sweat says:


  4. Tim says:

    Ummm…Bob….we gotta talk, man. In English, the order generally goes, “First, second, third.” 😉

  5. Michael says:

    LOL 🙂

  6. Cheri (sisterD) says:

    Getting real. We look at what is around is and see a lot of real. Kids on skate young boards talking about drugs and sex. Men and women looking for work and there is none. Retirees who thought there would be plenty…only to find there is not.

    Real-God. Simple and so complex. I know Him in the quiet and then I get caught-up in the life part and forget. I want what my brother has-Sabbath rest. I want the peace he shows when people around him act like fools and threaten his peace. I want to not be afraid or angry or frightened.

    I have a friend who is 74. He goes to the park and watches and listens to these kids AND he PRAYS. Last week he was a mess. Questioning God and himself. Do our prayers matter? Why do we not SEE? Why does it seem our prayers go unanswered? I told him about Alan and rest and I told him what I have heard God tell me recently. I am not God. Period. I cannot change things to be what I want or protect those I love by being right there with them every moment. He can and does.

    So we are on this journey together. I plan to learn what is in me that does not belong. To see what lies I have adopted and get rid of them. To SEARCH and HUNGER and THIRST and BEG to See HIM and know His ways. I want to hear His voice, but I have to quiet all other things and be still. HE has told me to BE STILL. To BOW DOWN.

    It is way past time for me to DO IT. Can’t wait to know Him more deeply and lose myself in His presence and die to self and the world around me that is dieing. This is NOT what He has planned for us at this time. We/I have to stop living like I am dieing and begin living like His child. I am tired of living on auto pilot and letting life live me. I don’t want to live like the world. We/I are/am set apart.

    Lord, please help us/me~

  7. Reuben says:

    Skatepark story resonates with me, man.

    I have been spending Friday nights on the outdoor mall in Charlottesville. I have seen and heard things there that made me blush, and I was the worst kid in my school. I watched with a former city council member one night, he showed me how the parents drop their kids off at the end of the mall around 5 pm, and typically don’t return till 11 pm or so. They hand the kids cash, and send them on their way without a change of expression.

    I watched a near riot break out when a street preacher visited the mall one night. A teen boy protested louder and louder with a guitar singing obscenities. I had my video camera handy. If this passes the filter, watch this…

  8. Bob Sweat says:


    Thanks for the correction! FIRST TO SAY FIRST! 😉

  9. Michael says:


    That was AWESOME.

    Thank you!

  10. Michael says:


    Man…it eats me alive to see these kids in this state.

    What do we do?
    How do we interject Jesus into all of that?

    That whole scene is what flustered me enough to come back to work…

  11. Reuben says:

    @10 I have a check to drop off, but man is that a conversation for later.

  12. Michael says:


    I would love to hear your thoughts when you get back…

  13. BrianD says:

    test…making sure the Conspiracy isn’t messing with the blog 🙂

  14. justmom says:

    Just put my kid in public school after homeschooling him his whole life. Socially he did great because he has social parents :), scholastically, tested really well. But as we experienced this new culture I noticed that many of these kids live in a very sheltered and small world. They know only one thing- their school subculture. Of course I’m talking generally because I know there are great kids and great teachers in the school system but, being accused of sheltering my children for homeschooling , I do believe the kids in the system have been more sheltered then mine. Kids imitate what they see and hear everyday, and many aren’t exposed to any other cultures, never traveled, only listen to one genre of music, and hear the fowlest of words daily. My kid has heard more vile, vulgar language in one day then he has his whole life. He seems to be doing good so far because we believe that God led us to make this decision and we trust him. My heart goes out to this generation of kids. I pray everytime I go on campus knowing that most of them will grow up and be normal adults. But will they know Christ? What a huge mission field. I too have gone to the skateparks. Being the only mom out there at times I get a chance to pray for these great kids that have such talent. Will they ever be able to use it for anything other then self gratification? I hope they do. I put my kid in God’s hands just as I put the kids on campus and the skatepark, and etc. in God’s faithful hands. My this be a generation that worships Him. I wonder…..

  15. Reuben says:


    This is a new ministry in the works. We are still formulating a plan, evolving as we go. On this particular mall, there is between 200 to 400 teens on any Friday night. Our objective thus far has been as simple as we can make it. Become part of the scene on such a regular basis, that the regular prowlers of the mall identify us as regular prowlers of the mall.

    So we meet at the church on Fridays, pray, asking simply for one opportunity to converse with someone, and beg the Holy Spirit to orchestrate opportunities. It happens every single Friday night thus far. I look for any opportunity to get into the scene without being as vile as street-preacher pictured in that video. For example, there is a huge freedom of speech wall that people can write or draw whatever they want on it. The teens on the mall love this, but some more obnoxious teens steal the chalk. So I walk to the toy store on the mall and buy sidewalk chalk, and hand it out to the teens looking at the wall. That strikes up conversation enough.

    Another Friday I got a bubble gun from the store, and shot at kids, they loved it. I don’t know if it was more of a promotion for the toy store owner, who told me that later on that night she sold 8 more bubble guns, (and has become a regular visit for me on Friday nights) but it was making myself a friend to all on the mall in a totally neutral way.

    The riot that night proved to be more of a conversation opportunity than I had imagined. Kids on the mall wanted to vent about the yelling street preacher who would not listen to them, or answer their questions, and I let them vent. I got to tell a number of them that I am a youth pastor, and I would love to answer questions, or talk about whatever. I met a number of christian teens that night who were desperately trying to calm the rage, and explain that street-preacher was probably not the best way to go about representing Jesus.

    This is all still formulating, and we are praying about it quite a bit. I may show up on the mall some night and buy out the stock of the flavored pop-corn at the mall’s pop-corn store (dual purpose there, the owner of the store is a guy I regularly visit too) and hand it out to teens that look unhappy.

    Through these nights, God moves in mysterious and awesome ways! I was bubble gunning a little kid in a stroller (I think I had a light saber too) and ended up talking for an hour to a guy (father to little kid) who has filmed and produced multiple documentaries, (some of which people here may have seen) and he may end up working with me on a mall project that we see very eye to eye on in the not so distant future, specifically concerning the teens in this generation!

    I don’t have an answer, but I want to be there, in their line of sight enough, so that they know they can trust me, and rely on me being there. I want to be their friends, and spring right into opportunities to gently question where they are at in life, and walk with them to Jesus!

  16. Michael says:

    ‘I don’t have an answer, but I want to be there, in their line of sight enough, so that they know they can trust me, and rely on me being there. I want to be their friends, and spring right into opportunities to gently question where they are at in life, and walk with them to Jesus!”

    That is one of the best things I’ve heard of in quite some time…and you’re on my prayer list Friday night from here on out.

  17. What about church youth groups? Are they still functional? I hire a full time Youth person whose goal is to inspire and equip Christian kids to live as followers of Christ into college years (when most walk away from the faith) and beyond, and to evangelize outsiders. We (at least attempt to be) a very Jesus oriented church…I think most would agree with that… but I’ve got to be honest and say that reaching kids for Christ or even “keeping them for Christ” is a tough task these days. Looking for some input….

  18. I’ve got to also be honest and say that while I know a Sovereign God is in control, I am, at times, fearful for the future of Christianity

  19. It seems to be a generation away from extinction…

  20. Michael says:


    I think we’re all looking for input at this point.
    I’m with kids from 8-19 when we’re at the park and they have zero concept of the faith.

    Part of the problem seems to be that we lost the generation that is their parents…it’s a mess.

  21. Michael says:

    I wonder if this is what Europe looked like 20 years ago…

  22. Reuben says:

    Michael, you can’t know how much I appreciate that! This mall deal has become epic to me. I really want to seek the Lord for what needs to happen there. This is the totality of a weeks worth of stored up energy being released on Friday nights for most of these kids, and it is a big deal to be there and reach out in love. I am building relationships with the cops, the store owners, the local government, the kids, and hopefully all to change what happens on this mall on Friday nights. Not to shut it down, but to make it a place of refuge, safety.

  23. Michael says:


    This is epic to me as well…I would be very pleased if you would fill us in weekly on what you’re doing, who responds, and how we can pray.

    You’re doing God’s work with God’s heart, my friend.

  24. I don think that doing a youth group at church takes a lot more work than it used to. Used to be have some fun activities, open the bible, sing a few songs worked. Its my observation that kids today are more sophisticated–and educated. They think on a more global scale and they aren’t necessarily looking for answers through religious means; in fact they see that religion has been the source of a lot of the problems that take place in the world. In many cases, when you explain to a person under 25 the gospel, rather than conversion we are frequently met with skepticism or cynicism

  25. Xenia says:

    Well it’s true that many young people today know absolutely nothing about the Christian faith. When I was at UCSC a few years ago, the professor who taught an art class that covered Late Antiquity (church mosaics, icons and the like) had to explain each and every Bible story portrayed because many of these kids- Anglo-Saxon type kids- didn’t even know the Noah’s Ark story. She finally told everyone to go buy a Bible. It was really depressing. They didn’t know a thing about Christianity but they did know they didn’t like it very much.

  26. I do know this: Our youth leader took a group of Christians and a few non to Haiti (they are there right now). They spent 4 days together at a YWAM base and thru the experience, one kid has received salvation…that’s encouraging.

  27. Michael says:

    I do have one advantage…as soon as Trey meets a new friend the first question he asks them is “Do you believe in God or are you going to hell” ?

    Might need work on the technique… 🙂

  28. justmom says:

    Many youth group pastors tend to treat youth as though they are incapable of understanding deeper truths. Evangelism is the norm, not discipleship. I see a lot of fun things done to attract our kids but nothing to keep them there. Concerts can be fun. Outreaches can be effective but unless we work hard at discipling these kids they will go back to that small sub-culture and forget their momentary emotion. A good youth pastor will work closely with parents. He dares to teach teens apologetics ( they love to argue at this age) And will treat our teenagers intelligently. Many teens want to do things that matter not just go to the bowling alley on Friday nights. Train them to go out and witness. Take them on missions trips, but prepare them first. This is a priviledge not a right. Kids these days have such a sense of entitlement. When we serve we should serve with excellency. Our kids are capable of understanding this.

  29. Reuben says:

    Man, Chad and I talked quite a while with this guy last Friday night named Peiro Zendic (assumed name, he would not tell us his real name). His blog here…

    He belongs to a farm community of planet savers called Zendic, (google for the site) based on the writings and leadership of a dead guy named Wulf Zendic. This looks like a cult. A way out there cult. I found some survivor blogs of ex-Zendic people. He needs prayer bad. He is on the mall raising money for “the farm” by selling t-shirts that say “Stop Bit–ing Start A Revolution”

    I bought one. He seemed desperate. I got a bumper sticker and a magazine too.

    We prodded him a bit on his religious beliefs, and he told us all about how Jesus was a rebel, fought the system, and I just wanted to hug the guy. So close to the truth, yet so tied up in Zen and green-idolatry. Not a teen, but I sure hope to run into him again, or more of his kind from “the farm”. I really break for these idealistic kids that get tied up in what they believe to be the answer, and end up slaves to their own version of a system, a system that they claim to stand against, a system that owns their lives.

    Peiro Zendic.

  30. just mom
    Yeah…we’ve learned the same thing…you have to meet the kids on an intellectual level…guess that’s what I meant when I said running a youth ministry was tougher now days. Discipleship is the key (we’ve found). Works better than concerts, or skateboarders, celebrities or bowling other emotionally driven (manipulative?) stuff . Although we do some of those things discipleship drives our youth group. In fact Tom just finished a 6 wk or so long class on the very thing you talked about: Apologetics

  31. justmom says:

    That’s great to hear. Was it the True You series?

  32. No..our youth guy is one of Western Seminary’s top students. He came up with the topics and format (which involved a lot of discussion at the end) on his own. Dealt with some of the basics I think

  33. Linnea says:

    Regarding youth….it’s a tough world to be young in. We have a high school here, in an affluent area of town, that has a huge black tar heroine problem. Why? These kids get hooked on oxycontin at $80.00 a pill and can’t afford the habit….the cheaper solution is black tar heroine. One of my ex-coworkers has a 16 year old daughter giving birth any day now. Thank God Mom encouraged her to keep the baby, but Mom is a single Mom, too….it’s going to be rough haul. These are real problems facing our youth….it requires down and dirty counseling and a non-Pollyanna attitude. It’s rough to be a youth pastor.

  34. Tim says:

    +1 to the need to disciple young people in youth group, rather than entertain them.

    Our youth group recently finished going through “13 Letters”…a survey through the Pauline epistles, based on the hip-hop CD of the same name (by Clique 116). They were challenged, but for some of the kids it really pushed them to do more than just glance at the Scripture.

  35. ( | o )====::: says:

    as a public service to all musicians still struggling to write a hit song, the following 4 chords are all you need…


    Proof is at

    a passing F-bomb will be worth ignoring (they’re from Oz afterall…) 😉

  36. Linnea says:

    MB…I wondered if dealers were lacing pot with meth or heroine. You’re right…churched and unchurched kids take the bait. What do we do?

  37. Erunner says:

    “The instructors told us that the reason is strictly financial — there is a small profit to be made off weed, but an even more substantial profit to be made off a new found heroin addict who of course will now be coming back to that dealer quite regularly for a new “fix.” Multitudes of teens in our city are becoming addicted to black tar heroin “accidentally.” It is a huge, HUGE problem here, as witnessed by our local newspapers.”

    M*B, When I read the above and the total disregard for others simply to make a buck and keep them coming back, it angers me greatly. This of course is the norm for so many in other types of sin. People become a commodity. The innocent suffer and one wonders how long God will allow it all to continue.

  38. Em says:

    ya know there were people sounding the warning of what was coming for a very long time, it isn’t just our kids that are deaf to reality… praying that somehow God can make us discerning and teachable…

  39. Erunner says:

    Linnea, Oxycontin is a huge problem out here. Our son has been to two funerals for young friends who overdosed on it. Another was killed because of it. Another may be headed to jail. Last year I talked with some young people and asked them why so many are going down such a dangerous path. A young lady told me it was to kill the pain. That said a lot.

  40. Em says:

    Grendal, the old lady here appreciated that link 😉 it’s all in how you sell it – everywhere, i guess….

  41. BrianD says:

    Inadvertently deleted post that fell into the spam filter…

    2010/07/05 at 8:26 pm
    oxycontin at $80.00 at pill? that seems almost unreal.

  42. Eric Hoffman says:

    It is a sad state of affairs, though I can’t say I’m shocked. Jesus said this would happen.

    On the other hand, I don’t see kids as being much worse than when I was a teenager (I’m 37), though they’re more publically open about it. The difference I do see is the lack of fear and respect for adults, which I feel somewhat stems from the fear many adults have for disciplining children. If I said some of the stuff to my parents kids do today I would have had my can kicked in warp speed.

    Michael: Glad you’re back. Though I never really post much, I have learned a lot from many here which has equipped me for ministry in more ways than I could ever be thankful enough for. Bless you!!!

  43. Believe says:

    Grendal, your 8:01pm…that was hilarious! What a brilliant satire of Pop music!

  44. Michael says:


    Thank you!
    “The difference I do see is the lack of fear and respect for adults, which I feel somewhat stems from the fear many adults have for disciplining children. If I said some of the stuff to my parents kids do today I would have had my can kicked in warp speed.”

    That is way too true…they fear neither police, nor parent, or any other authority.

  45. ( | o )====::: says:

    Don’t lose heart.

    Each and everyone of us has to make that transition from childhood to adulthood.
    There WILL be bumps in the road, twists & turns, but Jesus Himself can be trusted with each of our children. This is about His faithfulness, it always has been and it always shall be.

    The early followers of Jesus had no bible but the OT, and if they were gentiles, it was a tougher thing to learn the Jewish history, and most didn’t, they just focused on Jesus. Ultimately each and every believer made the transition, every day, all throughout history.

    Jesus IS faithful.

    He will keep us even to our ancient ages (me, 50’s, in His grip since I was 15).

  46. ( | o )====::: says:

    Glad you all are enjoying the link!


    Once I learned that trick I could pretty much do any worship song too!

  47. Another Voice says:

    Oxycotin addiction is one of the most intense, pathetic things you can watch. For those of you who might not know, It is not eaten as a pill (typically) it is smoked through tin foil (one reason one pill is so expensive, it can go a long way as opposed to just swallowing it).

    The rush is more intense and immediate than shooting up, but fairly short-lived. Addicts will keep hitting the tin foil over and over again, no matter what else they might be trying to do during the day.

    It also is EXTREMELY dangerous when smoked this way.

  48. Linnea says:

    MB….I hang on to this:

    “Train a child in the way he should go,
    and when he is old he will not turn from it.” Proverbs 22:6

    I have to believe that the teaching and example we give to our children will not be for naught. Sometimes it’s hard to stand on that verse…

  49. eric says:

    Not sure if there is anything new under the sun, when I was in High School it was weed laced with PCP, we called it Helmet bud. Then some moved on to Heroin or pure Dust (pcp) or coke…most grew out of it, some are still addicted and others are dead.

    In the 70’s it was Acid and Dust and Weed…

    It sucks but it seems to be an ever present part of American adolescence. As for the kids becoming more outspoken and aggresive, we lived in a not so great neighborhood before we lost the house. We are renting in an even more not so great neighborhood, and to be honest I dont see any more of it then I did when we were kids. Just the roles are reversed we are the old fogeys now.

    The main difference is that you cant just take for granted someone goes to church (notice I didnt say a Christian) anymore. I do think the Commercialization of Christianity has turned alot of the kids off of church. You look at TV and see Bhuddhism represented by a happy monk in an orange gown doing good works, and you cee Captain smiley in a white suit raping grandma of her social security check in a give to get scheme, it doent take a genius to figure out which one you would be more drawn too.

  50. London says:

    wow…you old people really are gumpy! :mrgreen:

    anyone know any GOOD kids or have any stories about the good things kids are doing?
    Maybe kids just get sick of trying because no one ever recognized the good things they do, they only complain about that bad.

    There’s some pretty dang awesomely wonderful kids out there in the world. I’m excited about the future they are creating for themselves and each other. They are smart, and technologically inventive, they are globally aware and active.

    Let’s encourage them to continue doing well.

  51. eric says:

    London, knock that off… good kids, HUH who ever heard such nonsense

  52. Na'amah says:

    i know and interact w LOTS of young people that do listen to and are logical. They understand that no matter how much we may like the idea put forth in the movie Avatar…it is a fantasy.

    They are willing to do the work ahead of them. I do not know when God is going to call ‘time’ on us here on earth. I just know that if all of us who have ‘bowed out” of the political discussion and process get involved again, we will make a difference.

    And in making the difference there will be many, many more brought into the Fold.

    I really like adolescents. They ‘see’ the possibilities because they have not been jaded by life yet. (okay, some of them have due to messed up parents) but they still want to believe and hear the difference a nation (aka government) built upon Judeo/Christian concepts of the value of the individual is the exception of Man’s history.

  53. jlo says:

    Mabell. Your son will do great things, not just today. Keep on him, but in a gentle way.

  54. Michael says:


    I hope I didn’t leave the impression that I thought these were ‘bad” kids.

    They aren’t…just misguided and misinformed.

    We’re there very day…and right now my ministry is making sure that their bikes are locked, they own and wear a helmet, and they stay hydrated.

    Along with removing any weirdos who come in with bad intentions…

  55. Michael says:


    Have we mentioned that we’re glad you’re here? 😉

  56. eric says:

    Na’amah –
    I actually think if the Church universal would take its hand from under Politics dress and get back to its job we would see a much better return to values. Unfortunately millions of dollars are funnelled from the local church to Focus on the family and any number of other “Para-church” ministries to the Republican party.
    I still vote every election, of all the votes ive cast in the last 21 years the two I regret the most were cast for George W. Bush because I succumbed to the pressure of my religious friends. Won’t ever make that mistake again

  57. jlo says:

    “We’re there very day…and right now my ministry is making sure that their bikes are locked, they own and wear a helmet, and they stay hydrated.
    Along with removing any weirdos who come in with bad intentions”

    Sounds like the optimal ministry to me.

  58. London says:

    I desperately need to see people trying to make a postive difference and see things for what they could be instead of what they are.
    I can’t see that when people’s words are all about how rotten things are in this country and the world, how much the government sucks, and the world is gonna end in a flaming ball of fire and everyone is going to die and go to hell…

    I need the good things, the stories of courage, of compassion, of cooperation and resolution.

    I need hope that things are not going to stay the same or get worse but that people are actively looking for the good in others and not having their souls sucked out by depression and negativity.

  59. Michael says:


    I understand that…but I think both are necessary.

    Problems don’t go away because we ignore them…and my opinion about the state of things is far more dire than I have even begun to mention here.

    Waaay more dire…

    Having said that…if I can help one of those kids channel their considerable energy in a positive manner than that will have a ripple effect down through the years.

    It also helps me to dwell on something positive when I’m submerged in tales of negativity.

    I’m all about legacies…and I want mine to be that I helped build something in the rubble.

  60. London says:

    I know, that wasn’t really directed at you specifically….just that you asked the question.

    I think I need to just remove myself and go focus on something else.

    Ciao for now…

  61. Michael says:


    Just a heads up…tomorrow we’re talking about death.

    It will be a difficult but important thread, but probably not much fun.

  62. Na'amah says:

    Thanks Michael 🙂 and pssst…some of them are ‘bad’ they are choosing to make really bad, evil choices and they are aware that they are…. very few and far betweens… but i have met them (my hair on the back of my neck stands up when i interact w them, had one mock the praise song i was humming in my head)

    Eric i do not think most of us sitting in pews have any awareness nor self ed regarding politics. We have assumed ‘it’ will take care of itself and now find ourselves in a nation we do not recognize. Only 30% of eligible voters vote. Women in Iraq completed their ritual death acts prior to walking for 3 days to exercise their right to vote for the 1st time.

    If all of us (and i am NOT endorsing any political party) participate and make our voices heard WE will make a difference.

    London i love how you work in the here and now all of you here are what makes this a nation of possibilities and the opportunity to further the Kingdom, and that is w a big K 🙂

  63. Nomans says:

    I am raising a 13 year old young man of God, and I will say I am all alone in my parenting methods. Most parents of my boys friends are dis-engaged. It is very strange. Love from parent to child is waxing cold in these days that we live.

  64. Another Voice says:

    Unfortunately millions of dollars are funnelled from the local church to Focus on the family and any number of other “Para-church” ministries to the Republican party.
    I’m with Eric. The Republicans should take their cue from the Democrats and have their candidates just go straight to the churches during their campaigns, where they find a welcome pulpit and the IRS turns a blind eye.

    Cut out the middleman! 😉

    P.S. One of these conservative para-church groups, the Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins, just a couple of months ago advised their followers NOT to give money to the Republican party….

  65. Na'amah says:


    Perkins is saying to not give money to RNC, the organization is not fiscally/socially conservative consistent in the candidates it chooses to back w their money.

    a wee bit different than saying he is excluding all Republican candidates in general.

    “where they find a welcome pulpit and the IRS turns a blind eye.” except when it is a Republican/Libertarian candidate, IRS doesn’t generate the questions, but the local media reports it as well as ‘watchers’ in the community who suddenly bring up the separation of church and state

    believe me, even at the state level, our ‘representatives’ in all political parties are living priviledged lifestyles on the citizens’ income. There is more than enough tax proceeds to address many required services and then some. The ‘horsetrading’ that goes on is appalling, disgusting and in need of clear thinking, average, everyday people in their midst in very large numbers.

  66. Na'amah says:

    #70 Nomans
    “I am raising a 13 year old young man of God, and I will say I am all alone in my parenting methods. Most parents of my boys friends are dis-engaged”

    Please locate a local group known as ‘parents w/out partners’ or other parental support group for you and your son. The groups offer lots of activities, support and general agreement in parenting methods.

    i was continually amazed at how unattended my childrens’ friends were after beginning middle school & throughout high school…probably why there were always ‘extras’ at our dinnertable and why i clocked 15k miles in 3 mths on a new 7 peep vehicle one year. It is the new American social demographic that most are unchurched, as well as their parents, oh, maybe grandma went to a church. We just let the kids bring their friends home and to church stuff, a seemed the parents were glad/relieved for me to have facetime w their children for more hours than they did each week. I know they liked my taxi service, as well as i did since i knew the ‘taxicab driver” was sober. 🙂

  67. Cheri (sisterD) says:

    This may have been said. I have not read all of the thread.

    Kids are just like we are. They are looking for what is real. We have not shown them by our lives. We have talked about living Godly lives but we have not lived it in the flesh. They hear us say trust but they see us worry, fear, struggle. One of my sons said that very thing to me to me a few years ago. They want proof. They want flesh and blood living in victory and hope.

    We have given them more than they need. We have allowed trash in our homes on TV. We have taken or sent them to every activity known to man. No satisfaction for them OR us. No simple answers.

    I found out a boy I knew long ago-a good,respecting, all-American type started smoking pot at 16 and now at 21 he has ” made it through two suicide attempts, a week in psych ward and 3 stints in rehab.” His Dad was a youth minister. He was always in church. He just made a wrong choice that changed everything.

    They want real. They want truth. They want hope. Isn’t that what we all want? And even those things don’t insure a safe passage. Oh, God help us.

  68. Nomans says:

    Sister D
    You are so right here…
    I just had a conversation with someone who was lacking any hope for the spiritual future of the generation coming up under us, and I said it is this generations desperate need for authenticity that will lead them to Christ. A generation that is bent on truth will always find their way to salvation.
    I believe that it is actually more difficult for children of a nation that has a guise of God without the power to actually find Christ than it is for the children of nation who is completely blind, and we are getting closer and closer to spiritual blindness.

    Thank you, but it seems I didn’t phrase that clearly 🙂
    I am alone in my methods, meaning many parents that I come into contact do not care to involve themselves in their childrens lives. I am not literally alone.

  69. Xenia says:

    M*B, yep.

    Oh, how many times have I heard the parents of young children tell me that their lil’ lambs will never be as unruly like my teenagers because *they* are using the proper parenting methods that they learned at some seminar or home-school convention or read in some book and they just *know* that their kids will pass through the teenage years sweet, sunny and obedient cuz God promised them this would be the outcome of following His principles for child-rearing, whatever those are. But the truth is, most kids do go through a “rough patch” in their mid-teens and almost all of them come out the other end ok, given half a chance. The job of the older teen is to separate himself from his parents. If he can do it gracefully, great. If there’s bumps in the road… well, this is just how it is. Unfortunately, today’s bumps in the road can be very dangerous.

  70. Em says:

    MB, i’m going to practice some dime-store psychology here, so it’s obvious what it’s worth 😉
    i gather from your posts that your son’s dad is not in his life? on that premise, he’s got a buried torment that he probably isn’t even aware of – my parents separated before i was born and he died when i was 8. For me it was pretty much a non-issue (i’m sure there’s buried in me some demons). That said, from what i’ve seen, for a boy it hurts to the marrow of their bones. While on the surface they function well, it’s a tsunami of buried emotions (my husband, also, grew up without his dad). I hate pat answers and formulas that don’t solve anything – but love on that boy a whole lot – and that may include a well placed kick or two, don’t know the kid … praying with you

    (I hope little Trey grows up worthy of the special grace God has given his young life…)

  71. Em says:

    post script on loving … not talking about “smother love” … and, truthfully, i haven’t a clue as to how you give a kid ‘space’ to rebel and still give boundaries … moms?

  72. DavidH says:

    I put my parents through hell. I was a teenage boy in the mid Seventies and when 15 hit I went sideways. I lived with both parents and they were good parents. I walked into the maelstrom of drugs and alcohol all by myself. It was my sin and no one else’s. I rebelled against everything my parents stood for, and I rebelled until I was about 21.

    My dad told me a pearl of Okie wisdom from my granddad that goes as follows. “Boys go insane at about 15, most of them regain their sanity around 20.”

    My mom and dad loved me. My dad, although not a Christian (he came to Christ three months before he died), was a man of great wisdom, and the wisdom he imparted to me helped keep me from greater harm. My mom was a Christian and I have no doubt that her prayers saved my life.

  73. Em says:

    MB, dunno about we girls… i didn’t ‘feel’ the lack of one – but for boys i’m sure it cuts way deep and, you’re right, it’s something we moms can’t fix (God can 🙂 ) he’s been blessed with both mom and God – keep praying and praying, eh?

    God has no grandchildren and, these words are harsh ones – forgive my presumption in stating the obvious – maybe they can only be accepted as reality before God: we must not let our love of our children exceed our love for our incredible, loving Holy Triune God.

  74. Na'amah says:

    i had a poster on the wall of my private practice office, it said “adolescents, leave home now while you know everything!” 🙂

    as i’ve said before i really like adolescents. It is an impossible point in all of our development. It is a time when adults admonish us to “act our age” and that could mean we’re being childish or too sophisticated.

    It is also a time of separation, and sometimes if we’ve had a very close relationship w a parent w few times apart the process of separation is INTENSE and pointedly rejecting of what we were taught we must/had to be.

    Adolescence is actually the ‘finishing’ of developmental stages not addressed for the child before the age approx. 10-11 yrs of age. This is not saying the parents were remiss. We all come w our temperament and style of processing our life experiences. Only we are capable of being so much more offensive at 16 yrs than 6 🙂

    and it is dangerous out there and that is part of what they are attempting to communicate. I am capable of taking risks in life and surviving. Unfortunately we all think we’re immortal at 16…

  75. Nomans says:

    How very painful 🙁
    I will be praying for you, and am grateful for a group of women I can count on who have gone before me for when I go through my rough patches.

  76. Sue says:

    Was there ever a better time to live? Probably not- the saying the nation or world is “going to hell in a handbasket” goes back to the early 20th century. Growing up during the depression and world war 2 was very hard for so many. Of course World war 1, and Vietnam weren’t fun either. And of course drinking, drugs have been around for adolescents as long as I can remember – many of us here had our bout with LSD and whatever was around. Thinking of ourselves as a nation in decline has been part of American culture from our Nations earliest days. Rock music was seen as evil at one time and now its played in churches. And remember the scare about the Y2K ? But today wow – so many good changes for women, minorities , etc. So many good things going on to help people. We will always have problems in every generation – just will have to deal with them the best we can and love and protect and educate ourselves and our kids the best we can and move on forward because life goes on -for those of us here – our gift from our loving God.

  77. TonyP. says:


    Having been that young man at one point in my life, it can be extremely hard at times when the dad is out of the picture (mine was weekends only due to his job). However, never think that the impact of a mother is not felt. He may be in a moment of internal strife, and knowing that you are there and caring for him does indeed make a difference (whether he says so or not). If you are the anchor, then just continue to guide him as you can, and always remind him of your love. There is a point where he has to tread as he sees fit…

  78. Captain Kevin says:

    TonyP sighting!!!!!!

  79. TonyP. says:



  80. puzzletop says:

    I hear these kid conversations all the time because I live with them. Their secret worlds and their developing brains can easily be challenged if you ask the right questions. It’s tough to do as a school teacher because as a school teacher you are an agent of the state. However, legally you can answer their questions if they ask you first. So we put a little bait on the hook and it’s always an opportunity to sew a little seed for the Kingdom. No sense wringing your hands about any of it. It’s God’s business after that.

  81. centorian says:


  82. puzzletop says:

    Hiya Tony P

  83. ryan couch says:

    I think traditional youth groups have become mostly relevant to jr high and under-class high school students. The campy songs, goofy talks, and silly games are not real appealing to most teens over 16.

    Our vision for reaching unchurched youth here in Fort Collins has been to build relationships with students (as Rueben spoke about), begin some small groups that are led by people who have a heart for youth, and as these groups multiple we will then have them gather together once a month for a concert/bible study/hang out time.

    With the students at church we desire to plug them into the body at large…involving them in ministry, allowing them to use their gifts, not separating them but having them interact with older people so that they can see how Christianity is lived out in real life as they transition into adulthood. I think one of the big reasons Christian youth don’t transition from High School to College well, is because they’ve been separated their whole lives…drawn to youth meetings with entertainment, fed a steady diet of moralistic talks, and never truly understood the gospel because they’ve been told that the Bible is a book of heroes we need to emulate, when in fact the Bible has one Hero and the whole of Scripture points to Him. Therefore our youth need to know that while they are complete failures Jesus is their Success and He is the total truth about all of life not partial truth for those aspects of life that have been deemed sacred.

    In short our youth need Jesus.

  84. Michael says:

    Well said, Ryan….

  85. Em says:

    RC, your 8:28 is a great ponder … sounds very right

  86. Captain Kevin says:

    Mr. Potato Head!!! Well said!

  87. Fred and Wilma says:

    I agree with all of you about the world capturing our children. But look at their (they youth) foundations. Even “church” kids are raised in homes where biblical truth is only a short two verse sermon on Sunday. Most youth groups think they did well if the youth leave thinking their leader was cool.

    I would wager most “Christian” homes are divorced, separated, merged, blended and or single parents today. And where is the spiritual leader of the home, the father? Most are either not attending church and show no real interest in the things of God.

    So where are the problems coming from with these children?

    Why don’t parents see their children as a mission? Patch your relationship with your spouse, study scripture at home, talk about scripture and Godly things with your family, pray (at least over every meal) publicly with them, go to church as a hard fast rule and be honest about loving God!

    Oh my! The mission starts with parents! Don’t leave it up to the youth leaders to get your children “saved!” Take time, read their text messages and see what’s going on in their life.

    Be an example of one who believes!

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