“I used to stare down and wonder at the fall. Would it be quick or slow, or would images haunt me forever Until somebody pulled me from the edge and taught me to fly?”
This is a quote written by a student during last week’s Mental Health Awareness campaign. It’s about the battle with suicidal thoughts and a young person waiting to be rescued by someone. Continue reading It takes five…
Research shows that young adults are 40% less empathetic than they were 10 years ago.
But why the change?
Well, it turns out that social media and screen time might actually be a central part to this problem. Continue reading Empathy: is it in short supply?
I had a birthday this month. I am now a few years into the second half of my first century. Not too big a deal.
I tell people that I still feel thirty. The truth is, I don’t really remember what I felt like at thirty. The lines get a bit blurred for me some days as to what the number of my age means.
One of my students shares the same birthday as me. She turned 19. Just starting life. Becoming an adult, she said. A big deal. I turned 53. Old by my students’ standards. Not a big deal. Continue reading I’ve been ready all my life
We had a guest in one of our classes a few weeks ago and he said something that I’ve found myself thinking about a lot since. He’s a youth worker with the heart of an evangelist who never gets to speak about Jesus in the place he works.
Continue reading Me? A missionary?
Last month I met an 18 year old boy who was joining our Lifeteams group for a inner city missions trip. He was angry. Angry with life. Continue reading Pluggin’ the Meter
When I was in Lifeteams, there was a very simple lesson that the instructors emphasized multiple times over the course of the year: Do what you do “Because of, not so that.” Continue reading Because of and not so that…
Lately, I’ve found myself yearning for spring. Granted, I live in BC, where winter doesn’t ‘really’ happen by Canadian standards, but still, Continue reading Spring
Last night I was driving my boys home from a friends when we came to a stop light in front of the local hockey arena. As we sat there waiting for the light to turn green, it Continue reading How do they get on without me?
Our kids are pretty excited about the Jungle Book these days. I suspect you haven’t seen it in years (if ever)–so here’s a small recap: Mowgli is a boy who gets lost on the jungle. He ends up being raised by wolves (just go with it), and then a panther and a bear take over his education. And that bear is Baloo.
Continue reading How I’m like Baloo the bear
I heard a story from a young man yesterday – a gifted, compassionate, gentle young man with a contagious smile on his face. It was a story of despair, of lostness, of profound rejection by the very people who should have loved him the most. But the story didn’t end there – God’s story never does. He told of a note that changed his life. Nothing profound – nothing grand – a simple one line note by a person who moved through the periphery of his life, yet took the time to stop and write a simple note directing him to something that was good and right and true. And since then, everything has changed.
Continue reading The power of noticing
Growing up I was a sterio- typical Canadian kid. Playing hockey on frozen sheets of water in fields, backyards, lakes and community rinks. My dad was the typical hockey dad. Maybe a super hockey dad even. Kind of like Walter Gretsky without the famous and talented hockey player son. Continue reading Before the puck drops
There was a message on my phone Christmas Eve from Nancy:
“Mom, I really miss you tonight. My family is so messed up and I feel so alone and discouraged. We’re trying to make life different for our little girl, but it’s hard. I love you and I’m glad you love me, but I feel so sad.”
Nancy was my foster daughter 25 years ago when she was a teenager on the streets in Winnipeg. She came from a hurting family that came from a hurting culture with a heartbreaking story of abuse and injury. Sometimes I get discouraged and wonder .
Continue reading It matters to me
Self-harm becomes an addiction because it works – in the short term. Quitting cold-turkey is very difficult because of this. Be sure to respond non-judgmentally and be willing to walk the long road to recovery with your youth as they have their ups and downs. The “replacement” list below offers a few ideas to help you and the youth compose her/his own list of “replacements”, to offer themselves options when the self harm urge takes over.
Continue reading Replacement Skills
When I started working with youth I thought that if they weren’t following God it was because they had never heard the good news, or because they heard but didn’t believe. A few years in I’ve learned that there was a third option.
They hated Him.
Continue reading Recipe for youth work success:
“My parents won’t adopt me because they get paid to take care of me because I’m in foster care.”
This kid is too smart for his own good.
I dare ask him, “And how does that make you feel?”
“It makes me feel used.” Continue reading Caring for Orphans