Courtesy of 123RF Stock Photo/vitalinka
While searching for information on a specific topic, I tripped on a link somewhere in the Google outfield. Down that rabbit hole I fell, coming to rest at the end of a list of thirty comments on the off-topic blog post I’d just read. I longed to reach out to the young author, her like-minded commenters, and all of those who read but left no feedback. I wondered, what should today’s teens know about love?
What does an old lady know about teenage love? Hey, I
Kids today can’t imagine life without a microwave, instant mashed potatoes and packets of turkey dressing. It’s possible to purchase a fully-cooked turkey from the store and just reheat. If going the cook-it-yourself route today, most turkeys are sealed in a bag so the cook need not pull the turkey out to baste the bird. Drawing from childhood memories, I’ll answer the question: What’d a Fifties Thanksgiving Look Like?
Courtesy of 123RF Stock Photo/circleps
Some things never change
Even in the fifties, the day began with the beautiful Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade–in black and white until the mid-sixties. Later, a football game played on in the family room, while ladies washed up dishes before serving the dessert.
14 year-old BFF
With the media’s spotlight focused on the adolescents of the LGBT community, the insecure straight teen can feel left out—again “I’m thirteen. I like Susan a lot. We’ve been best buds since first grade, but—not like that. What’s wrong with me?” To all of you teens and young adults, I say, “Hey, girlfriend, it’s okay to be straight!”
As you develop, you’ll discover two separate attractions. While the pull may differ with some
Search for any advertizing team’s prime target avatar, and you’ll see my smiling face; I’m an advertisers’ dream. Pitch your wares often enough, and even the things I know aren’t a good idea, may move me to the buy button.
Case in point: I’m very aware that eating pork-anything in fast-food restaurants disturbs my digestive system. Nevertheless, several years ago, the five weeks of television’s repetitious displays concerning the mouth-watering delight of the new pork burrito tempted me. Still, I held my ground, forcing myself to remember past experiences.
Alas, during week six, I caved like one of Pavlov’s drooling dogs.
Technology makes adults obsolete. Anything the teenager wants to know can just be Googled. Communication with the older generation is totally unnecessary.
While it sometimes might seem as though our adolescents have adopted that stand, acquiring a load of information isn’t always the only thing needed to make a decision. Often, an injection of experience helps in the processing of the stats and summaries.
The most effective teachers and preachers know that folks of all ages are more likely to recall the main points of any teaching if illustrated by a compelling story. Knowing this to be true in my own life, I filled the weeklong lecture hours on the “Character of God” with personal anecdotes to keep the students in that hot and humid African classroom awake, as much as to help them remember the point of each story. In the evening, my Swiss colleague taught them a lively chorus to drive home the same key points of the day’s teaching.
The marvelous selection of Christian music available at the touch of a stylus (or fingertip) might mean that the teens can find any number of songs to accompany any information their searches may uncover, but they simply haven’t lived long enough to have the personal experience to sort out the volume of information acquired. Enter a trusted senior citizen, eager to share a lifetime of stories showing God’s faithfulness in directing her path.
Over a period of five years of Christian summer camps, teens surveyed came up with hundreds of questions to which they earnestly sought answers. Of course, responding to the survey while attending church camp might have influenced which questions they held in common. These two questions topped their long list: How can I know God’s will for my life? How can I really know if God’s calling me into the ministry?
Surprisingly, these same questions are being asked by Christians of all ages. The young person seeks to make the right start towards a fulfilling future. The employed middle-aged adult wonders the same when, year after year, he feels no satisfaction with his work. Even the person entering retirement asks the question. Her children are grown; her company has given her the retirement party; and now what? How can I know God’s will for my life? How can I know if God’s really calling me into the ministry?