Who Died and Made You Responsible?

Originally published April 15, 2004.

From a letter to the Talkback (Letters to the Editor) column in the January/February, 2004, issue of Group:

"I don't mind comparing my salary package to other youth pastors through the U.S., and it's always good to understand the postmodern generation better, but do those things really help me, as a youth pastor in the field, to deal with the real life problems and issues that I face with my kids?

"When is someone going to have the guts to discuss and provide advice on the issues that every youth pastor faces at one time or another, but no one seems to want to talk about openly? What do you do when your senior pastor's son is having a sexual relationship with a girl in your youth group?

Truly Helping Those Who Answer to God

Originally published July 2003.

This is another Pair of Cleats that really is a bunch of questions for you to ask yourself. But before the questions, I want to share a story that played itself out in my local newspaper.

I live in Virginia which is considered the South. Those in the South do not handle winter very well. Just the forecast of a winter storm coming sends droves of people to the grocery store to stock up on those essentials. Like they will not be able to get out of their house for days on days once the storm hits. This past winter we did get hit by one of those large winter storms and, surprise surprise, you were able to get out by the next day. You certainly wanted to after being stuck in. So why the need to stock up? Truly. If you are from the North, I grew up in Minnesota, this is hilarious and silly.

Teenager as a Noun

Originally published June 2001.

A faux dictionary definition of teenager:

1) A mammal found extensively throughout the planet, often clustered in groups in front of television sets (See Sloths). Thought to be a member of Homo Sapiens due to physical similarities, though social and emotional behavior leads many researchers to consider Teenagers to be a completely different species altogether (See Parents). Very territorial. (See It's My Room, Stay Out of My Room.)

Teenagers are extraordinarily social animals, seeking contact with their peer groups to such a great extent that they will forego family, chores, food, and responsibility (See Parents, Quotations Of). The males of the species forage for food constantly (See McDonald's) and can consume three times their weight every day. Some females too but some also eat small amounts until they get into their nests where they gorge out.