family life, journey, judgment, self-acceptance, Uncategorized

Millennials make us uncomfortable… (That’s why I love them…)

marketing-to-millennials

I was talking with a colleague recently about a vision I had to start a unique think tank of sorts. I expressed my desire to acquire a building where people from various generations could rent space for events, or utilize office space for their daily business activities. I continued explaining how awesome it would be to hear the ideas of Millennial Creatives, then have more seasoned professionals act as their coaches. The older, more experienced generation would help them to add sound infrastructure to the businesses they envisioned. The person quickly responded, “I don’t do Millennials, they don’t like hard work”!

As I to listened to him, I’m sure I had a look of incredulity on my face that was perplexing to him. You see, I am a Baby Boomer to the core; not the hippie Woodstock kind of Boomer, I am a traditionalist. I love rules. They make me feel safe. My friend knows this about me.  Yet, the Millennial generation are some of my favorite people in the world. They are courageous and innovative. They take risks. They dream, and dream big. Some wonder if they are all talk and no action. I’m sure my friend wondered why I would ever want to do business with men and women of this generation.They bring discomfort to our need for a steady existence. They tend to shake up the norms that we have come to embrace in business.

My mother retired from the Federal Government after working for over 30 years. The image of my grandfather receiving his gold watch and pension from Sears Roebuck Department Store, is a vivid and proud memory for me. The family that raised me taught me to find a good job, work hard, and retire with a good pension. That was the way I intended to live my life as well. However, when I entered the workforce, the world was changing. New and creative opportunities were on the horizon. Staying on one job, doing the same thing for 30 years or more was horrifying to me. In some cases that kind of tenure was not even an option.  I like many of my peers, I received promotions by moving from job to job waiting for someone to recognize my talents and offer me a job that they thought would be right for me. Management of my career was passively given into the hands of others.

Having children that are now Millennial young adults has changed my life. When I was raising them, I thought that they would be traditional people too. I tried to steer them into traditional fields. I wanted them to have careers that would keep them “safe”. I was passing onto them what had been passed on to me. But my children wanted no part of what I was offering. They had visions and dreams. Dreams that they dare to walk in every day. They are artists, musicians, graphic designers, writers, filmmakers, and anything else they dare to be and do. They are all very successful leaders. They may not always feel successful, but they are. Moment by moment, they embrace their unique personalities and talents. When they were children, I taught them about different learning styles and how everyone was created with a different “bent”. I taught them that all of the different learning types and temperaments have value. They believed me. They are walking that truth out in their lives every day.

In the community where I serve, the Millennial members are often the most creative and productive people among us. They work very hard. To many onlookers, it may not look like they are not working hard because they work differently. They actually love what they do and have fun doing it. They make us feel uncomfortable because we don’t always understand their process. They come up with the most innovative ideas as they are tossing a ball back and forth joking and laughing among one another. Although they experience stress in their lives, for the most part they keep moving. Many don’t have long term plans; they plan as they go.  This is not their fault, it is the times that they were born into. They have been forced to become possibility thinkers. The fact that they succeed and fail, then do it all again the next day inspires me. They are a resilient, hopeful group. This is why I love them.

Gifts, Holidays, judgment, Love, self-acceptance, Uncategorized

LOVE REMAINS….

WHERE’S MY GIFT

The days leading up to February 14th were very tense, anxiety filled days for many people in our society. For many, the contentment and comfort of their world comes crashing down as they begin to muse about the question of whether or not they will be someone’s Valentine this year. As flowers and other gifts show up in offices etc., both married and single people ask the question, “What about me? Where’s my gift? Who will love me?”

valentines_heart_box

Long after all of the heart-shaped balloons, chocolate candy, flowers, jewelry and candle light dinners; after all of the media hype and marketing for February 14th, Valentines day, comes to a close, love remains. Less than 24 hours later, the same items that have been advertised as something that you must purchase to make the loves of your life feel special are marked down to 70% off of the original price. They are tossed aside to the “Clearance” section of the store, as if they have somehow lost their value. They are no longer important. We are on to the next thing, the next season.

The marketing plan appears to be intentional effort to make people believe that the absence of these material things somehow make the individual of less value, that they too should be placed in the clearance bin because no one wanted to “purchase”  them and take them home.
We are made to believe that there is some defect associated with us. That we are somehow in some way not enough.

WE WIN

One of my favorite terms associated with Tennis is “to hold love”. This term means to win the game when serving, with the opponent scoring zero points. I am so thankful that God has initiated the serve in our relationship to him. There is a wonderful sense of confidence in knowing that God is always “holding love.” I am always reminded that Romans 5:8 says, that God commended his love to us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. In the midst of all of our broken places, flaws, and poor choices, Christ stood in our place. He makes all things new. We are new creations in Christ Jesus… worthy of love in its various forms.

loveGod

Whether you are single and longing for an expression of love from another person, or if you are in a relationship where you feel that there is a deficit of tangible expressions of love, Love still remains!

NEW PATTERNS

It is so important that we do not conform any longer to the patterns of this world, but to be transformed by the renewing of our minds. Then you will find God’s good, pleasing and perfect will. (Rom. 12:2)

God knows about all of our deepest longings. He created us, shaped our hearts and designed our intellect to chase after him. 1 Corinthians 13:8-13 is a critical manifesto for the believer in Christ Jesus. It begins by saying, “Love Never Fails.” It goes onto say that, “Now, I know in part, then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. And these three remain: faith hope and love. But the greatest of these is Love.”

mp_love_never_fails-web

SOUL HUNGER

PSALM 62:5
“Truly my soul wait thou on God, he alone is my rock. All my expectation comes from him.”

Those of us in relationships must stop putting all of our emotional eggs into the basket of our mates. Those who are single must confront the lie that their emotional happiness and well-being rests with another human individual. What we really have is a soul longing. I have seen many a person reject the well-intentioned gifts of a lover or friend because it failed to meet the soul hunger.

In this world where true love is often lost in the midst of commercialism, we must be like be like David who hungered and thirsted for God in a dry and weary land. Be filled with God’s great love for you my friends so that you will hunger no more.

God’s love is sweeter than any chocolate found in a box!

journey, judgment, self-acceptance

Do You!

“Be sure to carry out the ministry the Lord gave YOU.” (Colossians 4:17 NLT)

Have you ever noticed that when we get excited about something, we want everyone else to be excited about it too? I find that I not only want or desire others to be excited about the same things, but I go further and assume that that they will be just as impacted as I was. When that doesn’t happen, I have a tendency to look around and say, “what’s going on here? Did they just hear what I heard, or see what I saw?”.

If the person or persons doesn’t respond in a given way, I am often tempted to evaluate and make judgements about the person or myself. I want to find out whether they missed the point, or did I make too much of the issue. Either way evaluation can be very dangerous.
Evaluation begins from the premise that you are standing on a firm foundation of “rightness”. Surely, my thoughts about this situation are correct. It is so important to remember that our thoughts are not His thoughts, and our ways are not His ways. His purpose is working deeper in us then we can imagine.

That is what the Scriptures mean when they say,
“No eye has seen, no ear has heard,
and no mind has imagined
what God has prepared
for those who love him.” But it was to us that God revealed these things by his Spirit. For his Spirit searches out everything and shows us God’s deep secrets. No one can know a person’s thoughts except that person’s own spirit, and no one can know God’s thoughts except God’s own Spirit. (1 Corinthians 2:9-11 NLT)

When we evaluate people based on our emotions, we may completely miss what God is doing in us and them. We must be careful about make comparisons and believing that one part of the body is more valuable than another. In Colossians 4:17, Paul says, “be sure to carry out the ministry that God gave you.” Ephesians 4:1 says, “As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received.”

Be careful not to cast off the work of the master architect. He is the God of intelligent design. Who we are, how we think and process things is something that only God can fully understand. “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” (Ephesians 2:10 NIV)

The Body of Christ, much like the human body is a very complex mystery. The mystery of how all of the systems work are known only by our creative God. It makes no sense therefore to evaluate or compare ourselves to one another.
“If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be.” (1 Corinthians 12:17, 18 NIV)

There is a better way to interact with each other. In fact, 1Cor. 12:30b says,” I will show you a more excellent way”. This is a set up for the next chapter which is all about love. Because, love never fails.

When you are tempted to evaluate, or make swift judgements, pause and ask God to show the beauty of his handiwork in the other person. Choose a heart of gratitude for a person who has different gifts, and who may be on a different part of the journey then you are on.
The world would be missing much beauty and creativity if everyone was just like me.

Christine James is a wife, mother and pastor at CareView Community Church. This is her first blog. She is glad you came.