Connecting The Dots At School – (A Pondering on our Youth)

I went to High School today…I mean I visited one, not attending one…I did attend several years ago.
We were handing out backpacks the school social workers and counselors for youth in need.
The “teenage” years are so pivotal and sometimes uncomfortable especially if you are poor and/or your parents live in constant poverty situations.  Times are hard and teens don’t need that added pressure while at school if their families can’t afford the basic needs such as backpacks, pens and pencils and other school supplies.

It was a lot more this:
high school
Than it was this:
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backpacksWe dropped the backpacks off at various schools today, with the knowledge that there are nine additional high schools to connect with before we are done.  I looked down the hallways of those high schools and I saw a ghost of myself;  scrawny, projecting a macho attitude, and yet scared…I was still naive and unsure of the world around me at that age.  I couldn’t imagine having to go without something  (like a backpack and school supplies) while enduring zits, ridicule from peers, mounting pressure to grow up way too fast, and dealing with constant assignment due dates in various classes.

Walking those overly waxed hallways made me realize how much we need to pray for our young people.  They need our support in prayer and in encouragement.  Sometimes they may act like complete grumpy bears but deep down they are searching for significance in life and we can help shape them if we just take the time to care and understand them.

Can we help connect the dots?
Can we provide a listening ear?
A Shoulder to cry on?
Can we be a friend?
Can we be role models?

This school season, let’s support our youth as best we can, after all, they are our future leaders!
Something more to ponder today!
-God Bless!

Dear Salvation Army, “Raised by the Corps”

Dear Salvation Army, 
You have a purpose and reason to exist.  Don’t ever forget that!
You will never be a mega-church, nor truly ever fit the “church” model…we are more than that.
We serve within brokenness.  There are countless families, children and people who come to us bent and broken by life and sin.  We cannot shirk these responsibilities.  It is like a Lighthouse to many.  Turn off the light and the jagged rocks will capture these souls.  Do not let your lights go out!  Do not take these great responsibilities to the bent and broken for granted!
Youth1
Christian Orphans…
It’s not so much a physical orphan than it is a spiritual one.  Many parents drop their children off or have them picked up by the Army van on Sundays or for certain programs in the week.  These Christian orphans do not have a rich soil of faith at home and are left to figure out this relationship with Christ on their own…but are the corps raising them up to be strong children of faith?  What an amazing opportunity we have with these young people!

I have heard many of these such stories.  Even my Grandmother came to the Army and was raised by the Corps in her faith.  I would imagine many out there who are reading this can relate, either by having taught a Sunday school class to such children or having been an orphan Christian.

soldiers5Dear Corps…
Never stop teaching these children!  You might be the only light of Christ that they experience in this world.
It might become burdensome to pick them up every Sunday.  It might grind against you that their parents show absolutely no interest in the spiritual nourishment of their children…but don’t give up on the child!  Keep feeding them breakfast on Sundays.  Keep teaching them the principles of this faith.  Keep striving to improve their daily lives.  Don’t give up!  What an awesome responsibility for not only the future of this Army, but the future Saints of the next generation!  The seeds you plant, or water now could blossom and grow into a future leader or preacher of the gospel.  Take this seriously!  Heed these words:  What you do with the young people who come into your corps MATTERS!

“[Kids] don’t remember what you try to teach them. They remember what you are.”
-Jim Henson.

Be something that these future saints will aspire to!
Be their hope!
Be consistent in your faith!
Be the evidence of Christ’s love for their lives!

Dear Salvation Army,
What a great honor and power you wield in the formation of these priceless children of God!
Keep on keeping on…and don’t you ever quit on them!

Something more for our Army world to ponder today!

Bury your head in the sand?

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Contrary to the notion that Ostriches burying their heads in the sand…this is simply not true.  When faced with fear, their first instinct is to run.  And since an Ostrich can run at a sustained speed of up to 40 miles an hour/ 65 km their first instinct is probably their best instinct.

So where did this fallacy of buried heads in the sand come from?  Traditionally Ostriches do not make nests like a traditional bird, since they are so big and most trees couldn’t hold them they will bury their eggs in the sand.  From a distance it can appear that an Ostrich is putting its head in the sand when in fact they are simply checking or turning their eggs.

So what they do in fear is actually out of necessity for the survival of their young.  If they didn’t run very fast and distract other predators from their nests, the Ostrich would cease to exist and suffer extinction.

Isn’t it interest that what we thought was cowardice is really a parent protecting their young?  Perhaps there is something to learn from this huge, fast birds…are we protective of our youth today?  Instead of being fearful of the world around us are we protecting our youth by nurturing them and not really caring how it would appear from the outside world?

Our youth needs us!  They need people of God who will instruct them and protect them from the predators in our world.  Perhaps there is something to learn from the Ostrich, perhaps we might even reconsider what it means to bury our heads in the sand.

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