Friday, July 17, 2015

An Irrational Dream Regarding Millennials and the Culture

Standing in a dimly lit room for a long period of time, our "awareness - o - meter" is not spiked when the room grows gradually darker.

To expect a generation to be rattled by a moral decline, an oversized government that continues to grow, or the impact that broken social values have on our economic and cultural structure - is a dream. An irrational assumption, and a fairy tale dream.

However when a small light appears on the scene of the described dark room, while we may not immediately sense the need to pivot to it, we may eventually notice it. Our intrigue will grow as the light increases in size and quantity. The greater the presence of light, the darkness runs into the shadows. Once we see the authentic truth of the light, and its fruit that bears resemblance to no other, its appeal will woo us and we will recognize we're ready to move on from the dullness of the night. Realization will strike us that "our room" is dark and ill-fitting to our intricately woven purpose sown into our dna that we crave to pursue. We will respond.

In translation from analogy to reality - the room is our culture and "we" are the Millennial Generation (young adults between the ages of 24 - 35).

If you as the Presidential Candidates of 2016, community leaders, concerned parents, corporation CEOs, or anyone in between - want to convince us our nation is headed down the wrong path, you need to show us a light to walk towards. Convince us by your personal and genuine display that the world we currently reside in is pitiful compared to what we as Americans, and children of God are meant to - and can - embrace.
  • Get your finances in order before pointing fingers at us and our irresponsibility.
  • Decrease your dependence on government before telling us we lack responsibility and need more independence.
  • Get your relationships right among friends, morally, sexually, and among a fellowship of community before telling us we should not be isolationists.
  • Live out your patriotism, and American dream. Show us your story of why America matters to you.
  • Respect authorities and the rule of law if you want us to appreciate and do the same.
  • You want us to have a grasp on history, and a vision for the future? Do you?
  • And are your words proceeded by actions? 
Do not leave us alone to abide in our growing abyss of destructive darkness. But instead live out an example - shine a light by your own life.

The purpose OF this post is not to extend guilt or condemnation, but to offer a perspective. Your heart grieves at the apathy of Millennials and our perceived lack of patriotism and engagement. Recognize that we do not appreciate the full depth of a danger we are in because we have grown up in a "gradually increasing dark world" for most of our lives. It is what we know.

But YOU ... you have the ability to draw us to a better way. Start the redemption process of America story - with you. By your living example, you can remind us of the foundations, stoke our passion, demonstrate we have hope to move towards, and illuminate how the "wrong way" things are being done now provide a dismal future.

Standing in a fully lit room, we'll see the truth and in turn we will cause the beacon on the hill to shine bright once again.

- ajh

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Political Leaders: Do Not Fundamentally Transform a Nation Because of a Generation Who Has Yet to Know Who We Are.

How to engage the young people is a byline political, and cultural leaders pose for discussion. Yes, it's true that they are (we are!) an important market. So if they want to reach us, they need to figure us out.

I'm a political nut and my head is reeling from all the Presidential Candidates to date. In fact, I think it's a bit ridiculous (and I'm fine with options and choices in this matter) to have this many people.

The questions that will be ASSUMED upon the Millennials the pollsters CHOOSE to poll will pertain to jobs, college debts, homosexual "marriage", the economy- oh and don't forget choice. The all significant choice for women on whether they can have an abortion (never mind that many of the Millennials are MISSING from the cultural discussion BECAUSE they have been aborted. They could have made all the difference in our economy but wait, I digress).

Ask anyone in their 60's or 80's if they knew themselves in their teens, 20's or even 30's. Few people I would guess were settled in their own identity, their own grounded philosophy or even career and family structure when they were the Millennials' ages (approximately between 1980 and 1991).

So, why is it that the mainstream media, and other influential voices are looking to young adults NOW as to their opinions on matters and letting that DRIVE the discussions? Why are they letting young adults create a narrative?

Let's not forget the Middle Age market, and the Senior Citizens of our nation. There is way too much worship of youth in this culture but that's for another post.

Our - the Millennials - participation is very vital, wanted, and we bring some great points to the table. However, the theme of a nation on important policy topics should not be driven by those who are - overall - still unsure of themselves, let alone the identity of a nation.

Presidential Candidates, and political operatives: As you rush to cater to us so that you can catch our vote, consider this: Millennials will respect you more when you stand for something - even if we do not agree - that we would for you changing with the wind, especially for our account. 

Give us WISDOM from the ages, not political correct speak. We are still discovering ourselves. Respect us - but do not transform a nation because of a generation who does not yet know who we really are.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

American Dream in Progress

A man ran for President in 2012 by the name of Mitt Romney. He chose a Vice Presidential candidate by the name of Paul Ryan. A Congressman from Wisconsin, a man in his 40's, a dad and husband who of course was hopeful he might win the number 2 most powerful seat in America. But something else happened. Mitt and Paul lost.

I don't think he expected what was to follow though.

In his campaign travels he met some people, whose stories gripped him, and he could not shake the impact. He had to help tell their narrative. Watch this short video - Episode 1 of his Comeback Episode 1. You are about to be blown away.

In a political world that is used to generating solutions for poverty, and a number of other issues, this policy wonk decided if we are to truly bring solutions we need to go outside the walls of government. We must see what people are doing in the communities.

I don't think people knew that he was on the scene for more than a moment. Possibly a catalyst to a shot of adrenaline of hope into our culture.

Thank you, Mr. Ryan for seeing beyond just your own political ambitions.  America, God is doing incredible things in our nation. The BEST IS YET TO COME! And what you are about to witness is the real Comeback Story ...

Full of hope,

Saturday, July 11, 2015

God's Favorite Sign

Anyone else "collecting rainbows"? I keep seeing rainbows in the heavens!!!!
I know we have a lot of rain however I love it that it's God's sign of faithfulness and they are being displayed NOW in this interesting hour of history.
To those in our culture who have claimed it as their brand ... EMBRACE IT. Because each time you change your profile picture or wave your flag, you are reminding the world that GOD IS FAITHFUL. And it seems He really REALLY wants YOU to know it too. Don't you think it's interesting that of ALL THE EMBLEMS you could have chosen you chose A RARE EXAMPLE IN HISTORY THAT God specifically said THIS IS A SIGN FOR FOREVER of one of MY CHARACTERISTICS?!
He could have told us the rainbow reminds us of His anger, or that sin doesn't win, or anything ... but HE CHOSE to remind us FOR FOREVER (and ever and ever) of HIS FAITHFULNESS. HE WILL NOT ABANDON US, OR HIS PROMISES OF GOODNESS to us.
God has great dreams for you ... He is faithful to YOU. He will NOT walk away from His promises.
GOD IS GOOD. And His rainbow is beautiful. But more so the God it represents behind it. So keep waving it in our faces. There is a remnant that is rejoicing. We can see beyond your political aggressiveness ... God is going to do great things in the "rainbow community." You will be KNOWN as a community that learned of God's faithfulness ...
God's sweet blessings of revelation to you beloved rainbow community. God's awesome things are to come for you!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Improvement Among Republican Party Should be Applauded

According to this article, THE GOP IS DOING BETTER! Maybe we should all take time to THANK the men and women who have been working so hard to improve it.

Are any of us perfect? NO. Either engage or stop complaining. 

And let me tell you: "conflict" is NOT BAD. We are not a one world order in the GOP. Different IDEAS from different people SHARPEN us. We grow! We think! We challenge! We learn! I don't want to be part of a party that everyone thinks the same way. We are a party all about FREEDOM, Dignity of LIFE that values all life, and limited government BECAUSE WE WANT EVERYONE TO Thrive on the VALUES AND PRINCIPLES that make America great.

Sample from the article: 
"At the state level, the GOP's share of governorships is the ninth-highest since Reconstruction, and the third-highest in the post-war era (1996 and 1998 were higher). The party's showing in state legislatures is the highest since 1920, the ninth-highest ever, and the third-highest since the end of Reconstruction."

So here's my thanks to Reince Priebus, Chris McNulty, Bobby Schostak,Ronna Romney McDaniel, Chad Connelly, Saulius Saul Anuzis, Betsy DeVos, Dick DeVos, and SO MANY OTHERS for your great work in the Republican party. America is on its way to thriving again.

With love to those who disagree, 

Rant over. For now. 

- ajh

Sunday, May 17, 2015

An Expensive Run

The clouds were heavy. Thunder had been intermittently testing its voice. But at "this" moment, there was no rain. So, a 4 mile run was in order.

There is nothing like the threat of impending rain to cause one to test one's speed, with the hopes of beating its downpour by making it home - first. 

Forget making it home dry. Rain like Bible-Famous-Noah's Tsunami hit about mile 3. Ignoring the option to turn off to many family members' alcoves along the way, I pressed on. The rain surpassed my speed and did not slow down. 

Like all 21st century runners, of course we have something tech close at hand for listening entertainment. My proverbial smart phone was in an armband case. How funny of me to assume it could survive. 

By the time I made it home, I was soaked wet. And everything on me as well. I can survive with a little rain but not the phone. With a bit of dismantling, drying with a towel, consulting YouTube for how to use the magical "dry rice" treatment, and some big hopes - I succumbed to the idea that it was in trouble. Hello, Verizon Service Guy - can you help me? 

Thus ensued my discovery that not only was the phone shot, but I'd have to wait for a new one to be shipped to me. In the meantime I was dealt a loner. That was a horrific experience in itself (so bad, I was almost ready for a rotary phone. You laugh. But it was awful). Over 12 days later and the "smart phone" still had not come home. The wait ensued. 

Here's my point: a fast run, to stay healthy and disciplined, with the goal of making it home before the rain was an initial great goal. But the demolishing of a phone, in the rain, and days of being without my right hand has given me pause. 

Guilty. I'm just like many of the 21st century phone touting adults. Used as a tool for work, time killer, entertainment, a way to keep in touch it is indeed second nature for me to consult it - constantly. It's my crutch for my introvert-ness self in a crowd who does not want to talk to people: I hide behind my phone. It's my anthem of coolness - carrying a smart phone, and using it for maps, directions, flight details, tracking world news, taking pictures, and more. And it's my resource to make sure every moment counts for productivity. The trivia a Verizon Rep shared with me did not come as a surprise: that for many people it is the first thing they touch in the morning, and the last thing they touch at night. I'm not sure why this is trivia to some of us - it's just fact. 

So my point of this piece is more of an examination in the mirror: I like my phone, use my phone, but have abused my phone. In the same way you're thrown off your stride when you can't use a hand, or you're without a car, this has been expensive by throwing me off my rhythm. 

Truth be told - the expense was probably worth it.  Being without it has shown me how much I don't need it. Don't worry I'm not going rogue and throwing it away but I hope to be more mindful that there is life beyond the screen. And becoming obsessed with a phone and everything on it is not healthy. This too is good to remember.

So, here's to runs. In the rain. And finding the 21st century magnificent technology is not yet perfect. With rain - and the quality moments of life as examples - it just can't beat or replace everything. And that's ok. It is still annoying to be without the grandiose smart phone but life will continue.