Connecting to Combat Apathy

In 2005 I was in South Africa listening to a very well-educated young woman speak to me about the future demise of their next generation.  Most of the adults had already died from AIDS, leaving the children to fend for themselves.  I ask you, how does our society differ?

We have a North American disease that is picking off both adults and young adults, and leaving our children to fend for themselves.  It is called APATHY.  This disease is rampant, both in our community, and our churches.  This disease does not put us six feet under immediately, at least physically, but spiritually – absolutely!  We don’t need pills to combat this disease, but there is a high cost.  A cost that is going to obliterate our nation’s future and suffocate any signs of hope for THE family.

We religiously sponsor children in other countries, to save their lives.  Don’t get me wrong, this is a generous thing to do and we should do it.  I suggest, if you are sponsoring a child right now, look around your neighborhood and get involved with a family right here, in your own home town, over and above your sponsorship.

Many choose sponsorship because relationship is not required.  Now this isn’t true for all of the sponsor organizations or sponsors involved, but if we are to be brutally honest with ourselves, and how we buy into our culture, it is – money first, relationships later, if at all – unless there is something in it for us.  This is who we really are.

We have programs that run over the school year, and camp programs throughout the summer, many designed to emphasize mentor-ship.  But all too often, once the program ends, so does the relationship.

Oh, I can hear you – “what’s wrong with the kid’s parents?”.  Take a good look in the mirror and ask that question again?  None of us are perfect and we should all be so blessed to have someone interested in walking along side us and our children, whether we’re parenting or teaching, coaching a sports team, or listening to the birds sing.

So what’s the cure for our disease?  How can we change so that our children will grow into strong caring individuals, full of purpose and joy?

One on one relationships.  Getting to know Jesus is the best one on one relationship there is.  If you catch a glimpse of His commitment to you, you will want to commit to him.  He’s going to ask you to love people.  Watch for his lead, listen for his voice.  Guaranteed – he’s not going to give you an impossible task, and He isn’t going to wait for you to become perfect.  He’s going to ask you to get involved as you are, and love others as they are, and together we will learn who He is.

Sarah Young tells us in “Jesus Calling” that a “mind preoccupied with planning pays homage to the idol of control”.  Connect instead!

No matter where you work, no matter where you play, or what program you’re involved in, find someone to mentor,  and commit.  This isn’t a trial drug, this is a cure we’re talking about.  You must be willing to commit for life.  Think about it, we commit to a whole lot of stuff, except for people?

The big picture is too overwhelming, so remember – one on one connections is the best place to begin!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Creating a Collage of Achievements

Knee surgery, among other less invasive issues, has kept me from my spring cleaning.  But it didn’t stop us from  having a house concert with Ben Rogers, Dan Zepick, and our daughter Julie Palin!  Class act indeed!

After the dust settled and Monday morning came, I hobbled slowly down the stairs to choose another forgotten object off the shelf.  This time – a Fire Fighter license plate.  My husband volunteered with our hometown Fire Department for fifteen years.  Once he recognized (in his own words) that he wasn’t getting quality time with his toddler children, he quit.  Everyone thought I put him up to it, but he made that decision on his own.  I think he decided being part of his children’s lives was just as important as saving lives.  He may have stopped putting out flames, but having him home kept the home fires burning.

Recently I framed his Carpentry Apprenticeship Certificates and hung them above the desk he made for his final project.  This license plate is going to add to the collage of his achievements.  However, rather than frame it just because I can (we own and operate a custom framing business called; My hometown Framing), I thought hanging it much like a sign would be the trendy thing to do.

I visited http://www.pinterest.com and pinned a few of  my “license plate” choices on a new board called; license plate art.  The selection is vast and varied, but I selected only those that suited our home.  One in particular stood out, with a black background.  I was actually looking to find choices with the plate standing alone (without a frame).  If I decide to hang the plate without a frame, I want to use the same hardware you would use to fasten a plate to your vehicle, but only a false front look, as you don’t want big nut and bolt holes in your wall.

Next, I searched pinterest for ideas on hanging different kinds of art on the wall together.  It is one thing for me to create a collage of art on our art rail, and a whole other story to create a collage above my husband’s desk.

We have a letter “P” that my sister gave us one Christmas.  I noticed that many of the wall collages contained different shaped frames with an object or two, like a “letter/alphabet” to create interest.  I’ve decided to hang the letter in the collage as well, since it represents our last name.  The letter was designed with an inset hanging device on the back, so a simple nail should do.

I’ll be sure to pin a picture of this collage – to my pinterest board, http://www.pinterest.com/search/pins/?q=hanging%20art%20collages