Friday, November 20, 2015

"Now Where Did I Put My Buck Rogers Decoder Ring?"


"The following program is brought to you in Living Color."

If you remember the saying above.....congratulations...you have just dated yourself.
It is almost like a secret password to our generation that will get you into the club house.
We started out life while the Korean war........er...police action was going on.
We remember Sputnik and Echo...
Space dogs and chimps.
We had our eyes on the stars and the future seemed endless.

We were a blessed generation.
Our parents had lived through the Great Depression...had fought a world war.
The were the "Greatest Generation". 

Father's went to work in the mills, plants and factories earning good wages.

Mothers stayed home and took care of the family. There was no disgrace in being a housewife. We went to school and had daily prayer as well as Bible readings. No one was offended. No one threatened to sue the school board for such a blatant display of religion.

We loaded up our bikes with stacks of comic books every Saturday morning and made our way to friends houses to swap books. You swapped even...$.10 comic for another $.10 comic. If you happened to own an Annual (which was usually twice as thick as a $.10'er) then you could either take one of their annual's or you could get two $.10'er's for your annual. There were rules and regulations that govern such kid's transactions. Saturday night would find you piled up in your bed with a fresh stack of books to read. If you were lucky, you had your 8-transistor AM radio dialed into WLS out of Chicago.

We survived and saw Alan Shepherd become the first American in space.
John Glenn became the first American to circle the earth three times.

All the men who made up the Mercury Space Program became more than celebrities...
They were real American Heroes.

Mercury gave way to Gemini Space Launches, and Gemini gave way to the Apollo Program who took man to the moon. 

We saw a President assassinated.
We saw his alleged killer gunned down on live TV during a jail transfer.

Things would never be the same.
Viet Nam...
Mistrust in our government....

Protests...
The Counter Culture..and the list goes on and on.

Why am I writing all of this?
Because my world view was affected by all of these events.

Part of who I am today was shaped by what has happened in my life.
In fact, I am, in reality, no longer a native to the culture of today. I am an immigrant living among the natives to the culture. I try to understand what I see and what I hear, but it just doesn't add up to what I believe. I try to give leeway to those who are younger and listen to their concerns and voice, but I find it hard to reason what they say with what I believe.

I wonder if my parents and grandparents had the same problem?
Truth is, I know they did.
"You call that music!" my dad would loudly proclaim to me. This was always followed by "Now back in my day"....

I find myself repeating those same words, not necessarily out loud, but definitely in my mind.
It's official...
I have turned into my dad. SO why take this trip down memory lane. Because a verse jumped out at me this morning.


Joel 2:28
"Then after doing all those things, I will pour out my Spirit upon all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy". 
Here it comes...
Are you ready?

"Your old men will dream dreams, and your young men will see visions".

We could probably debate the finer points of this passage, but to me it clearly speaks of life change as the Holy Spirit works in each of us as we age.
My place in the grand scheme of things has changed. I was 46 when I started hanging out at Rapha ( a drug and alcohol treatment center). I was a volunteer for 6 years before coming on staff as the pastor/counselor. 

Eighteen years later, I have changed in more ways than simply growing older.
I have seen things...
I have learned things...
I have experienced things...
And all the while, the Holy Spirit was working to change me.

My role, as one of those old men we read about in Joel, is to help equip and train others to work in recovery. My call now is to be an encourager to those who are just taking their first steps into this new found relationship with Jesus.  To speak truth and show love to those who haven't gotten enough of the old life. They aren't ready to change, but God is there when they do respond to His offer of new life.

Am I sad because things have changed in my life?
Not really.
In fact, one of the things I repeated over and over is that "change is the fuel of the Kingdom of God." 

In fact,  like who I am today.
I am grateful that God still allows me to play in His kingdom. I get to "Do the stuff". It never grows old when I see someone turn will and life over to the care of God. I still consider that pay day. In fact, I would go as far to say that "life is good", not to mention that God is good.....
Every day.....
All day long....

God on you....

michael b.

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