Friday, March 21, 2014

Guest Post from Kate Brown

When I asked Kate to guest blog for me, I didn't know that I would be needing these words within days of asking her to write about teens. Thank you so much for sharing with us today Kate!!!

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The youth of today..

Hey there! My name is Kate and I blog over at Simply Be. I was so excited when Katie asked me to guest post for her for a couple of reasons. 
  1. I adore Katie’s heart and sincerely believe in the work she does for the Kingdom
  2. She inspires me on a whole other level
  3. & I admire the ministry her family does! 
When Katie asked me to speak about the youth and teens in our world, I really had to sit back and pray about what I should say. I could write for days about teens, their hearts, the challenges they face, their breakthroughs, their horrible smells, fun memories and so much more! As I began this post .. a couple of times, God brought me back to this one single thought:

The youth of today cannot be shielded from reality. 
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I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to walk with the same group of teens for the past 6 years now. I’ve seen their ups and downs. Laughter and tears. Anger and Love. But one of the key elements I’ve noticed that has played a major role in all of those emotions was their misunderstanding of reality. Now, believe me, I know that there are things in this world that children and teens should not know about until a certain age. I’m well aware that maturity plays a big role in the knowledge of children and teens. What I am saying though, is that our teens should not be guarded from our world today.
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 Now, I know some may be wondering if I have kids .. and I do not, yet! But, I have had the opportunity to watch parenting from a distance.  Proverbs 18:5 says, “The heart of the discerning acquires knowledge, for the ears of the wise seek it out.” I firmly believe that if our youth of today does not have the opportunity to experience life and our world, including the hurts- scary things and celebrations, then they will not fully be able to prepare their hearts and minds spiritually when it is time for them to claim their faith.  In those moments when we allow our child to deal with conflict, hurt, anger and happiness it permits a time of conversation with our teens, whether it is with a friend, mentor, Grandparent and especially the parents. During those conversations is where our teens are able to gain an understanding of how to face this life we live in. Those times of conversing also allow space for truth to be spoken into a teen’s life and at times even a chance for the teens to speak truth to others as well.  

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I feel strongly that through conversation and simple time together and where challenges and encouragement arises. It’s a chance for a parent, small group coach or mentor to dig into the word with a teen. It allows for a time of questions and reflection when a teen doesn’t quite understand God’s Word and it is also a great way to hold all of us accountable as an example to a teen.  Some teens better understand from actions rather than words!  I think the best way to take down the shield on our teens today begins with pray. We must cover them and pray His power over our teens and WITH our teens as a tool to go to battle in this dark world.
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I pray today, that wherever you may be – whatever you are doing – where God has you during this season of life .. you have conversations that stir your soul. Conversations that bring about joy, challenges and encourage you to do battle for the Kingdom in this place we live! 
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