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Barna on YthMin

I read a report from the Barna Group that shared some interesting research on teens that showed they are some of the most religiously active Americans. It also showed this "programming activity" doesn't necessarily translate into "personal disciplines":

Compared to American adults, teenagers are more likely to report engagement in corporate forms of worship and spiritual expression - such as attending church, as well as participating in small groups, youth groups, and Sunday school. However, young people are less likely than their parents to pray (72% of teens, 83% of adults) or read the Bible in a typical week (31% of teens, 41% of adults).

From an article you can read here.

I hope any programming (youth meetings, trips, activities, etc.) isn't just a destination, but part of a process wherein our teens are coming to know the person of Jesus and committing their lives to Him.

As the article said near it's conclusion:

"Still, the maturation years are ripe with spiritual possibilities," the president of The Barna Group concluded. "Helping them connect with God, learn about their faith, and serve others, in a loving and relational environment are their top desires from a church. Keep in mind that young people are not spiritually transformed merely by attending a church, knowing a few Bible stories or being friends with the youth pastor. It takes addressing teens on a much deeper, personal level - such as developing their intellect and vocational passions as well as cultivating their curiosity for the complexities of life."
Also, I notice that it reports 72% of teens are likely to pray in a typical week, but only 31% are likely to read the Bible. I've got several thoughts on this I'll share later, but I thought it was worth noting here.

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Guiding Star

I first heard Vusi Mahlasela on a live recording of “Everyday” by DMB. I was interested and saw this video from a TEDtalk. So I bought his newest CD “Guiding Star” last week (bought it two weeks ago, received it last week).

I’ve enjoyed the variety of styles throughout the CD: some songs being in African languages and others in English, the rhythms and beats, and his vocals are on par with Dave Matthews (who I think is one of the tops).

Coming through the anti-apartheid movement of South Africa, Vusi has much to say about forgiveness, compassion, morality, and love. He seems to be a pretty amazing person.

Personal favorites right now: Jabula, Everytime, River Jordan, and Thula Mama. (But I'm sure the next time I listen to it, I'll fall in love with another one.)

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So Shall This Night Soon End In Joy

I've recently been enjoying the Jar of Clay song "God Will Lift Up Your Head". Fun tune and good beat, but the words have such depth. Here's a taste:

Give to the wind your fear
Hope and be undismayed
God hears your sighs and counts your tears
God will lift up, God will lift up, lift up your head

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Misc Thoughts Tonight

Like Jesus said, I want people to see my good works and give glory to God.
More often, I feel like people see my mistakes and blame me.


God told Noah it was going to flood and he should build an ark. Did God wait for Noah to finish the boat before it started raining or did Noah just finish his work in time? What if Noah had taken longer to finish the work? Would God have held the rain back longer or just have flooded him out because he took too long? Did Noah build the ark and collect the animals himself or did he have help? And if he did do it all himself, should he have sought help to accomplish the tasks more quickly?


I sure am glad the Mets missed the playoffs. I think I might dislike the Mets almost as much as I like the Braves. Here's my MLB playoff predictions sure to go wrong: Cubs over Rockies, (having a hard time with AL b/c I could see it going a couple different ways, but I'll say...) Boston over Cleveland, and whoever comes out of AL over Cubs in a fun couple of nights hanging with Luke. (I'll say I'm hoping it's the famed Boston over Chicago matchup.) But, should the Cubbies finally take care of business, I'm claiming float number 3 in the Peg-Wen parade!

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