Brett.Ullman

How to Raise Religious Teens

What happens is belief becomes a buffet and it is clear that only some of the items make their way to our plate. Inconvenient ideas like talking to people about our faith, or giving a percentage of our income to God are ignored. Quickly teens pick up that we nod agreement in church but have no intention of doing anything differently than last week.

http://youthministryunleashed.com/raise-religious-teens/

My husband is not my soul mate.

This article is a really interesting on the concept of dating and the idea of “soul mates”

And then he gave me some of the best relationship advice I ever got: There is no biblical basis to indicate that God has one soul mate for you to find and marry. You could have a great marriage with any number of compatible people. There is no ONE PERSON for you. But once you marry someone, that person becomes your one person. As for compatibility, my mom would always pipe up when my girlfriends and I were making our lists of what we wanted in a spouse (dear well meaning Christian adults who thought this would help us not date scumbags: that was a bad idea and wholly unfair to men everywhere) that all that really mattered was that he loved the lord, made you laugh, and was someone you to whom you were attracted. The rest is frosting.

http://theartinlife.wordpress.com/2013/07/22/my-husband-is-not-my-soul-mate/

Cheaters, Thieves, Scammers and Liars

Wrong And Right

Last month my family went to a farm for the afternoon during the Thanksgiving Season (Canadian Thanksgiving). This farm was awesome and had everything from a large corn maze, apple picking, tons of activities for kids and even an event where pumpkins were shot out of canons (my favorite). I had a great time with my family but I found it really interested some of the people the we encountered that day. There were 4 stories that really frustrated me that day:

1. Cheaters: we were in a barn and there was a small .25 cent machine to get food for the animals.  I was in line with my kids  and watched the lady in front of me watching the guy from the farm very closely. The moment the farmer left the bard she said to her young 4-5 year old  “You don’t have to pay, you just jiggle the machine and the food comes out” All I could think of was how this young girl is being taught at a very young age how cheating the system is ok as long as you don’t get caught.

2. Theives: When apple picking you choose the size of bag you want and then go pick your apples. While my family is picking apples there are a few parents and about 6 kids on the other side of the apple trees from us. The mother got all the kids together and told them to “Shove apples into your pocket”s as they were leaving and wanted to get more. Again another young kid said truth “But mom, is that not stealing.” The mother said that they paid for a bag and the little girl replied “But our pockets are not part of the bag”. Again truth from young kids.

3. Scammers: While picking Apples you could use a Wheel barrow to hold your apple bag. Once finished there were lots of signs that said please don’t take the wheelbarrows from the field. There was a place to leave them clearly marked off. As I was walking back with my own apples in hand I heard a father tell his family he would distract the farm guy while his family escapes with the wheel barrow to the car. To which the kid said “But dad we are not supposed to take the wheel barrow’s out of the field” The fathers response was to just ignore the little guys valid point.

4. Liars: at a certain time of the day the activity area for children closed down. I was coming back with my bag of apples to put them in the car and had to put the bag down. Just as a put the bag down a man came to his family which was directly beside me and told them “The area is closed down. Lets go over and tell them our cousins are in the area and they will let us in.” To which the 10 year old replied. “But our cousins are not in there. Its just us” To which the father told him to (and I quote) “Get with the program” I wondered how the father will like it when his son is doing the same things to him in upcoming years.

I am shocked at how many parents I saw in one day that seemed to have just quit parenting. What morals and values are these parents teaching these young kids? What was fascinating was that all of these kids knew better. All of them challenged their parents on what they were doing.

Parenting is a strategic, intentionally pursuit.

You need to teach your kids how they should be in life and one of the best ways to do this is to model it by your life. These parents are modelling the way to be Cheaters, Thieves, Scammers and Liars. I find it so interesting that in all these 4 stories the kids ALL knew the difference between what is wrong and right. How do we lose this as adults?

What do your actions as a parent say to your kids?

The Secret Language of Girls on Instagram

Love to hear some responses from girls on this article is correct or not. I do like the last paragraph which says:

While girls may seem addicted to their online social lives, it’s not all bad — and they still prefer the company of an offline friend to any love they have to click for. (In a survey that would surely surprise some parents, 92% of teen girls said they would give up all of their social media friends if it meant keeping their best friend.) And, of course, likes aren’t everything. As 13 year-old Leah told me, “Just because people don’t write me a paragraph on Instagram doesn’t mean they don’t like me.”

Click this link for the article!

http://time.com/3559340/instagram-tween-girls/

4 Ways to Make the Stand-and-Greet More Personal

This is a great follow up article to the one I posted last week http://www.brettullman.com/church-stop-stand-greet-time/ which has had over 800 views this week. Tim Challies had some interesting thoughts:

Why are you part of a church community? Why are you a member of a church? Why do you go to the public gatherings of the church on Sunday morning? Broadly speaking, there can be two reasons: You go for the good of yourself, or you go for the good of others. There is a world of difference between the two.

http://www.churchleaders.com/outreach-missions/outreach-missions-articles/177148-tim-challies-ways-to-make-the-stand-and-greet-more-personal.html

An ‘epidemic’ of self-harm: Why are more Canadian youth hurting themselves?

Pajer said the type of person who self-harms now compared to 20 years ago has changed. She said she used to expect someone with severe mental health issues such as depression or psychosis. But it’s become far more common.

“More and more of the kids don’t have what we might call a severe mental illness or a severe substance use disorder but instead are really experiencing sort of a crisis of meaning in their lives or an inability to handle their negative emotions except by cutting,” Pajer said.

“My point is that a lot of these kids don’t fit into one of our neat diagnostic categories.”

She suggested kids need to be taught at an early age to deal with and learn from negative emotions.

http://globalnews.ca/news/1678914/an-epidemic-of-self-harm-why-are-more-canadian-youth-hurting-themselves/

One Hilarious Video Perfectly Sums Up a Big Problem With Western Humanitarianism

Wow. As someone who has been on 12 humanitarian trips this article asks some really thought provoking questions. I would push back on the comment about the “White Savior Industrial Complex”. This statement is really ignorant of the multicultural society we live in today in North America. Coming from Toronto we have every culture in the world in our city. I might instead call it the “Western Savior Industrial Complex”. Please take a few minutes to read this article.

The video, produced by the Norwegian Students’ and Academics’ International Assistance Fund (SAIH), is satire in the same vein as ‘Humanitarians of Tinder.’ It skewers the trend of “voluntourism,” where well-intentioned Westerners journey to distant places as volunteers with little regard for culture, history or the ethical challenges their presence brings into communities that aren’t their own.

There is nothing wrong with the humanitarian impulse. That those with the time and means choose to devote themselves to helping the less fortunate is noble and to be commended. But as the SAIH video shows, this aid often comes in the form of activities that make little difference or misunderstands the cultural context in which it operates.

http://mic.com/articles/103788/one-hilarious-video-perfectly-sums-up-a-big-problem-with-western-humanitarianism