Millennials and Achievement

This is a great video about the overemphasis on quantity over quality in education…but it also points to, what I think is a CRUX of the cultural issue of Millennials

Are we lazy?
Is it the economy?
Do millennials have too high expectations?
Who raised these millennials to think this way?
Did we give too many trophies?
Why do millennials have to show off everything via social media anyway, isn’t that just being self-centered?

I think the millennials are an achievement based generation. One in which achievement is the highest value. And that culturally, we have hit a time where unacknowledged achievement feels worthless.

Boomers (mostly) valued themselves on their own achievements and so they encourage millennials to be high-achieving.
High Expectations: because (we) are encouraged to achieve..although mine are fairly reasonable due current conditions https://katyandtheword.wordpress.com/2013/09/14/one-millennials-expectations/
Social Media; To acknowledge achievement…I have a joke that big events (babies, marriages, etc) aren’t real until they are noted on facebook, I don’t think its just self-centered, I think its culturally about achieving the next goal
Trophies: Those were merely acknowledgments of our achievements, to me (and most people I know) the achievement was reward enough, but the acknowledgement was part of the “reality” that the world recognition makes it more real…
Laziness; I am still not convinced that laziness exists, most people I know who don’t reach their “achievements” are clinically depressed, or have ADHD or have severe home issues that get in their way of getting things done. What most people mean when they say “I was too lazy and didn’t do the laundry” is that emotionally they didn’t have the oomph/gumption to get behind doing that work that day, because life was just too overwhelming….which can be easily confused with laziness but shouldn’t be….

I have a friend who told me “your fairly ambitious….which I gggguessss is a good thing” It brought me up short. How can being ambitious be a bad thing? I mean I know I’m ambitious in what I consider a GOOD way, I don’t value money really (all I want is to be able to afford food and rent for me and mine)…I don’t want public recognition, but I do want to be effective, to be useful, to make a difference in the world…..

Successful church’s are helping people to belong and do hands on work, my generation is one of the greatest for volunteering, creativity is being valued over money and small/creative/homemade items are being more and more valued as real achievements…
because the achievements we hoped for: steady jobs, families, to buy a house, are so often out of reach.

But sharing your couch (couch surfers), opensourcing (Firefox/linux), carsharing (relayrides), farming (CSA, community gardening) and personalized crafts (Etsy) can be https://katyandtheword.wordpress.com/2013/05/10/open-sourcing-and-laziness-2/

I am fairly ambitious
I am achievement oriented
These can be good or bad things

But no matter what, they are definitely DEFINING for me and my generation

Narrative Lectionary: Saints, Prophets and Love!

Let it be known that I am pairing this week’s scripture (of which I am using 1 Kings 19: 9-15, John 12:27-28)

with 1 Corinthians 13:1-3….

Saints, Prophets and Love, oh my!

1 corinthians 13

If I speak in the tongues of mortals and of angels, but do not have love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3If I give away all my possessions, and if I hand over my body so that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.

Something about the sound of Love, and Silent presence, Silent Love are among my musings…I feel like this ties it all together…

So I am doing THREE readings for Sunday (how unpresbyterian of me boowahahahahahah)

Something to consider as you sermonize!

PS Hallows not Horcruxes might make its way in there too!

Root Beer & M&Ms

To me, church tastes like root beer and M&M’s, thanks to First Pres in Malvern Arkansas that had old school GLASS bottled root beer. My parents office had an M&M machine.

Being a pastor’s kid, I’ve probably put in more hours at church than most people, I’ve also probably done a lot more at church, so I feel comfortable.

To me, church feels like home.

Which is awesome, because it doesn’t matter where I am (or even what type of religious house I’m in), to me its a place to call home!

Church is a place for God to dwell. Its a place for us to enact the body of Christ. Sure we aren’t perfect, but in church we are more reflective, we think more carefully about our interactions. (the faults tend to sting more but, more importantly) the good actions are even more meaningful. These moments are what make church important, and for each of us, we start to accumulate these sacred moments, we start to build sacred relationships and the more we build, the more we are able to carry them onto our lives.

That is what is meaningful to me about sacred spaces and sacred relationships in a time where being spiritual-but-not-religious is another way to go.

For me, root beer and M&Ms will alway taste and feel sacred–like church….and certain interactions and reactions will alway put me in mind of God, and they are my church, my carrying of Christ’s Body into the everyday world!

Why do we have these buildings for God?

Solomon built a temple, because he knew he couldn’t contain God.

Ironic as it is….

The Temple is empty, except for the 10 commandments, so that all the priest, and elders and leaders and everyone important can come into the temple for its dedication.

And the moment they call on God (we would call this the Prayer of Illumination) God’s Cloud fills the entire temple

And when the priests came out of the Holy Place,a cloud filled the house of the Lord, 11 so that the priests could not stand to minister because of the cloud, for the glory of the Lord filled the house of the Lord. 1 Kings 8:10-11

God is all that is in the temple! The temple wasn’t big enough to hold God, yet God filled it! That’s why it wasn’t about limiting God, but noticing how infinite God is.

This is (one) story of how God came to dwell on Earth.

Another is Jesus

Another is Communion

Another is baptism

Another is us–the people, the body of Christ, Christ’s promise that whenever we gather in his name, he’ll be present.

With Christ, God was invited to be present in church, but not just in the building but in our very relationships.

Faith

Faith is work, its communal, its varied, it contains all our varied beliefs and doubts.

Belief is us reaching towards God

Faith is God reaching towards us

In order to have faith, you must have community. Its different than asceticism or belief, it is more than the individual spirituality.

Spirituality is how we practice our beliefs.

Faith is RELATIONAL, its about our relationship with God and therefore is about our relationship with each other.

Our relationships with one another help us to understand God- hence God gives us Faith.

 

Have Faith!

Book Review: The Runaway King

This is the 2nd book in the Ascendancy Series.

In the first “A False Prince” the Duke takes 3 orphans to try to train one up to take the throne.

In the second, the King runs away to

I don’t want to spoil the plot, but this first person narrative is character driven, giving the author a personalized view of the politicking and shennanigans of the court. I am overtly impressed with the smart plot, ongoing character development (YAY character development) and interesting relationships that are not only about romantic interests.

Here is the thing, the politics are tricky…the “best” course of action is not the safest (or safe at all), so it has to do not only with self-sacrifice but the realities of the intricacies of political intrigue…..All of which means that the hero has to be pretty tricksy to get around all of that!

Huge plus, the main character is wry, making the book itself wry!

Genre Matches: I have my own unique way of looking at genre. A lot of it has to do with the TONE of a book, as well as the broad categories i.e. Fantasy.

Can’t wait for the third book!

so much so, I’m actually re-reading it now.

This book’s TONE and Genre was very reminincance of Mehan Whalen Turner’s “Queen’s Thief” series. Again, I think these are NOT copycat series, just two very well written series that show different versions of genre, tone and characterization.

Another good series for wryness (with first character voice narrative) is Patricia C. Wrede’s Enchanted Forest Series, a little less disguise/court-intrigue oriented, so its not a genre match, but I would say that if you like the tone of The Runaway King I would definitely check out Wrede and Turner

Silly Humans… (or Do you Have a Flag?)

Eddie Izzard explains how we like to lay claim on things, instead of say, naming things (which I think is our Biblical Calling), we take them over and call them as our own. Or worse, say that God prefers us to own this instead of someone else..

How do we do this? with flags of course

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UTduy7Qkvk8

Or in church’s its with keys. The number of conversations, wranglings, making, processing, changing of and trying to account for  keys is amazing. 

Keys to the Kingdom, right? That is what its really about!

But, to me, the doors to church should be wide open..

I guess I should come out…I am anti-key

I know there are safety concerns and I understand why congregants (esp. older ladies) don’t want to be alone in an unlocked building in the middle of town..

But, I don’t know how we can build trust if we don’t practice it…how can we make people responsible for God’s Kingdom if we can’t hand them responsibilities? How can we work together better?

We give each other space–both figuratively and literally, to make mistakes. 

Tearing Down Walls

Some may call this idealistic, I call it practical faith…

I don’t know how we are going to unlock all the doors we put between each other….but Itrust that God will show us the way!

PS watch the link 🙂