Thank you, Hoover Public Library. Thank you for the discovery of the joy that is Jennifer Love Hewitt's musical spirit.
Promised a reaction to the NYTimes article I posted on Friday, which if you don't remember or want a refresher, you can read it here.
Here's my thoughts on this... as someone who has worked in the youth department of Valleydale Baptist Church, and now Valleydale Church (an sbc fellowship), for the better part of 7 years, I've witnessed many students go up to that altar in a fit of passion during a youth camp or revival. Tears in their eyes, sobbing, and a committment to be what God wants them to be. Some have kept those vows. Watching them grow up, I've seen some who haven't. Some have turned completely opposite.
The article says that out of every 100 students, basically 4 or 5 are real in their faith. Maybe that number is a bit low, or the total teenage number is a bit high... the source of the stats himself says the numbers are skewered because the research itself is 10 years old.
My point? I think we are starting to see teenagers becoming real in their faith. Not just going through motions, not just saying the right church answers, but becoming walking, talking, evangelical machines... most not even going into the ministry, but carrying Jesus in their hearts, lives and actions into whatever career they choose.
My brother in law, Tyler, has said to me a few times that he feels like there is a revival coming soon. He feels that God is preparing he, and several other students in the high school ministry of which he's a part of (at Valleydale Church, an sbc fellowship), for something big soon. And I believe him.
Tell you what... let's take that only 5 out of every 100 teenagers will become "Bible believing Christians" statistic. That would translate to 10 out of 200, right? That Alabama math teachins ain't fer nuthin'...
Fine. How about you give me Tyler, Kid Sister, both Trey & Jamie Cartledge, either Kelley twin (cause both wouldn't be fair), either Long twin (pick one), Haley Heckman, Garrett Cheney, Jessica Compton and Bradley Pinkerton, and you can choose any 200 half-hearted sorta-walking-but-not-really-believes-in-the-Bible-but-you-wouldn't-know-it-outside-of-church teenagers you choose. Toss in Grace Mintz, and you can have 25 more of yours. And I'll bet my Teen God Squad of 11 starts a revolution. (some of you don't know any of these kids... but I wouldn't choose just anyone to make my point here)
Teenagers losing faith? Perhaps. But I'll bet the kids that responded mostly aren't ones that were living in Faith to begin with. I think the article is exciting. Gone are the Sunday-morning-believers, being replaced--and quickly--with those who are chasing God's heart.
Just got back from the post office a few minutes ago. Stood in line for about twenty minutes to mail a few letters (they were oversized envelopes, so I had to get proper postage). Chick in front of me had her kid with her... kid was probably three, maybe four. At first, he was just an energetic little tyke (you know where this is going, don't you?), but as he waited with Mommy longer and longer, he started getting more restless. He was running all over the little lobby, as Mommy was trying to get him to stop, relax, calm down. And of course, the more he was getting scolded, the more he was protesting.
Now it just so happens that there are only two postal workers actually working. Like Wal-Mart, there were a number of registers (five here), but most were un-manned. The two workers each had a different Asian/Middle Eastern family at their post, looking to me like they were trying to get passports. The point is, they were taking a really long time, long enough for Junior to go absolutely nuts. He was wailing, crying, running all over the place, and Mommy was doing her best.
When she had him cornered across the lobby, he was sitting, crying, and I noticed Mommy just stood there, with her hand on her forehead, looking like she herself was about to go postal. The older gentlemen behind me in line, obviously from the "whoop-that-hiney" generation, said softly to no one in particular, "Looks like she's past the talking stage." I softly said, "Yeah.. I would have a whoopin' in my immediate future." Both the older gentleman and the lady behind him both chuckled. He made another comment that I didn't quite understand, and then I realized that I was coming across as making her sound like a bad mom, when in fact, I had no idea what her mommy capabilites were. I hope they are somewhat good, as she has another one on the way.
I heard her threaten Junior with the word "spanking", so I said softly, to no one in particular, "Looks like he's got a whoopin' in his immediate future." Of course, back in the age of 4, which was 1979, my mother would have probably just opened the post office front door and thrown me into the parking lot, daring me to move until she got done. She was still in there dealing with Junior's emotional state when I left.
Went to Taco Bell for lunch. The one on 280 is actually quite nice, the one with a Long John Silvers attached to it. People there are usually friendly, and the drive thru is quick, as is the cafe everytime I've been there. Not so with the Taco Bell right around the corner. Its the one right down from the Galleria, next to Guthries and Blockbuster, in the Bruno's shopping center.
Last time I went in there--keep in mind, I order the same thing every time, a double decker taco and a grande soft taco, both with no lettice, and a medium Mountain Dew, so it's nothing complicated--it took me almost thirty minutes to get out. I walked in and there were six people ahead of me. The only reason I moved up in the line is becuase one by one, each person left before even ordereing. They were short handed, with one guy running the register, two people in the kitchen, and one guy on drive thru. Keep in mind, the one on 280 has a DT you can bolt from anytime... with this one here, once you get in the drive thru lane, you are locked in. There's nowhere to go.
One little red-headed chick was ruling the kitchen, barking out orders, while everyone lese was hustling. The guy at the register ran to the kitchen to help out, then would come back out to take orders... it was in his disapperance that they lost the six people in front of me. Then, the announcement came that they were out of hard shells. Yes, Taco Bell ran out of tacos. That's like Starbucks running out of coffee. Well, once we did run out of Espresso, but we used French Roast, which is a very viable substitute. Ther's nothing you can do when you are out of hard-shells.
My guess is that Sherry was late. Sherry was the short girl who came strolling in, taking her sweet time in wandering behind the counter. The reason I guess she was late was that Red-Head gave her a death look when she saw Sherry. I mean, if looks could kill, Sherry would have ben in four pieces splattered on the wall.
Working at Starbucks gives me a new-found patience when it comes fast food. Not that it excuses anything, but sometimes I just wait it out.
Today was a little better... though they were still slow as molasses on a sunny Alaskan December day. As I finally got my two tacos, I sat down, hearing John Legend's "Ordinary People" overhead. Fitting. "We're just ordinary people, we don't know which way to go. We're just ordinary people, maybe we should take it slow... take it slow."
Forget "Run for the border", use "Take it slow" to get that whole truth in advertising thing down.
I'm just saying.