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Workshop 2009

 
Meet Steve Craig | Print |

From an early age Steve knew he was destined for the entertainment industry. When all the other kids said they wanted to be fireman or doctors, Steve realized that he could just play them on TV, and wouldn't have to worry about all that schooling. It wasn't until his freshman year as a Theater major at Cal State Dominguez Hills that he realized he may not have the drive it takes to be an actor. After a few years performing at Disneyland, he decided to take a look at other options within the entertainment field. He tried stage management and parade supervisor but soon realized his favorite days were spent at the auditions being able to watch and encourage other performers.

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Homophobic? | Print |

When the words homosexual or gay are used, I often wonder who is more afraid: Baby Boomers or Christians. Although, I bet that very few Boomers older than me had much exposure to homosexuals while growing up and struggle with the idea of homosexuality. Younger generations have grown up with gays and lesbians on TV, in politics, out of the closet, and therefore are much more accepting of the lifestyle. The Barna Group says that Buster and Mosaic churchgoers are about half as likely as Boomers to think homosexuality is a major problem facing America (29% vs. 44%). The gap is even wider for young non churchgoers (17%). Being both a Christian and a Boomer, I think the Christian side has a stronger effect on my attitudes, rather than my age. Before I go on, I should mention that all opinions in this article are expressly mine. I also realize that I am treading on dangerous ground with my faith and age.

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Conversations with Jon | Print |

I know I’ve been writing about the next generations coming up behind us Boomers, and the statistics about what and how they believe. But reading all the data is nothing compared to having actual conversations with a young person to get a feeling how they think, and how they put religion and Christianity together in their mind. I recently had an opportunity to talk to a young man named Jon while I was helping him and his fiancé with some pre-marriage counseling. They were both believers, but Jon’s fiancé (and their pre-marriage assessment) prompted me to ask about where they were spiritually. I was somewhat amazed by Jon’s response.

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The Different Voices of God | Print |

Why is it that we Boomers are so set in the way we like to think about God? And why is our way to worship the only way? So often I hear complaints from people that the music in service was too loud or too modern. Or, that the message “didn’t move me.” I can admit there have been times when I’ve been distracted in a service and not into it, because it wasn’t what I felt I needed. Well, God’s been trying to tell me something lately. (Besides the obvious that the worship service isn’t about me!)

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Not Fast Enough | Print |

Well, I just finished a twenty-one day Daniel fast. It is based on the book of Daniel 1:8-16, where after eating only vegetables and drinking water for ten days, Daniel and his friends were healthier than the other slaves who ate meat and drank wine from the kings table. I have to confess right now that I cheated. I only ate fruits, vegetables, and nuts, and only drank water or fruit juice. I didn’t cheat on what I ate or drank. I cheated on God. The reason for the fast was to become closer to Him. I missed the mark.

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On being an unChristian

I’ve seen this book advertised on Christian sites and in Christian bookstores and it had always caught my eye, but never enough to purchase it. unChristian is an intriguing title, and it is based on research from the Barna Group, which is the place to go for any research on Christianity. One day, while browsing the selves for small group studies, I bit the bullet and bought myself a copy. Bullet indeed. The findings in this book go right to the heart of “boomer” Christianity. It is subtitled, “What a new generation thinks about Christianity…and why it matters.” The unChristians of the title do not refer, as you might think, to the unchurched, but instead, it refers to those who call themselves Christians without acting Christ-like. These unChristians often do more harm than good when it comes to helping younger generations understand what it means to be a Christ-follower. When I started reading, I had to stop in the middle of the first chapter, not because I was upset, but because I had to find a highlighter. There are so many gems and insights on each page.

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Confession is Good for the Soul | Print |

In my first posting I mentioned that I was raised Catholic. Not only was I raised Catholic, I was baptized, had my “First Holy Communion”, confirmed, and went to Catholic school (I’ll have to tell you about the time Sister Anna Joseph beat me with a broom stick for putting a tack on someone’s seat.). I was in church every Sunday, and usually went to mass at least once more each week with my class. I was in the boy’s choir, and often spent recess cleaning up the church after the morning mass. For some reason I never was an alter boy. At the time, I was sure that Catholicism was the one true religion. I was really immersed in all the pomp and traditions. One tradition, or as they call it, sacrament, that I didn’t care for as a kid was confession.

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Sex Conversations with My Mother | Print |

As a father of a teenaged girl I expected to have a talk with her about purity. In fact, it happened during the few weeks leading up to her thirteenth birthday, and culminated at her birthday dinner when my wife and I gave her a purity ring with all the pomp and ceremony it deserved - a lot. What I didn’t expect was to have the same discussion with my mom. I was caught off guard, which probably explained the really bad advice I gave her. I was prepared to be the pastor-dad, but not the pastor-son (At least not in this situation). What made the situation even worse was that at the age of “sixty-something,” my mom is a brand new believer.

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Emergent Boomer? | Print |

This is NOT a definition or defense of the emergent church movement. This is a dialogue. It would take several dozen blogs and pages to scratch the surface of what it all really is. No matter how hard I try, I can’t find a definition of emergent or post-modern (sometimes they are interchangeable or define each other) that makes what they are any clearer to me. And I have looked. It seems to me that everyone who considers themselves emergent (or post-modern) has their own definition of what it is. I can’t think of two words that have stirred up more controversy with in protestant churches. We had quite a backlash among the congregation when a former pastor quoted Brian McLaren (sometimes known as the “Patron Saint” of the emergent movement) during a service. When I say the congregation, I mean the older but more vocal people in the congregation. Do you have to be of a certain age to be emergent?

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Help Me, I’m a Parent | Print |

My daughter is a high school freshman. I know I could probably stop here and let each of you fill in the rest of the story. My daughter is awesome.  She is making all sorts of new friends, she is a varsity song leader, and has maintained her “A” average.  She is never without the purity ring my wife and I gave her at a special ceremony on her thirteenth birthday. What has gotten me crazy is not my daughter, but the BOYS! It is time for me to take the advice that I have been handing out.  My basic advice comes from Proverbs 22:6. (As I mentioned in my last installment) I may not have experienced yet myself, but I have witnessed many children in high school or college who want (need) to assert their independence. 

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Steve’s Boomer Blog | Print |

While getting ready to write my first blog, I have been doing some research about generational differences in the area of religion, not only have I learned a lot, but a lot of thoughts and questions have come to mind while reading a lot of articles and studies. To give you some background (and me some credibility), I was raised in a Catholic home. I went to church every Sunday, and attended a private Catholic School. Unfortunately, even with all that religious training, religion meant very little to me. I believed what I was taught but it didn’t have a significant place in my life. That all changed when I my wife convinced me to try a local Christian church. My ideas about God and religion were flipped when after a year of attending the church I accepted Jesus as my Savior and discovered how little I actually knew. I am now a Pastor at that same conservative evangelical Christian church in Orange County, California that my wife talked me into trying several years ago. I was asked to share my Christian perspective on this site, and am happy to do so.

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