So this is my 40.

6 Dec

So this is my 40.

My reflection on turning 40, has come a little late.  Part of the delay is that I have had a few big issues to wrestle with in the last couple of years (including a career shift, an interstate move, a severely ill spouse, and a crisis of faith.  

Actually my reflection is really late as I am now 41.  I probably would have let it totally pass, but endless requests for letters for friends reaching this same milestone- have completely forced me to reflect on reaching the top of the hill, and I am apparently on my decent.  

So this is my 40.

I still remember the day that I knew I was old.  I was driving to work and was happily enjoying public radio.  As if this recognition wasn’t enough, a glance in the rear view mirror revealed to me that there were now specks of white growing from my chin.  

So this is my 40.

White specks and public radio.  

Oh there is a lot more to this phase of life.  There is my growing waistline, my entrenchment in older fashion (Who is glad that plaid is back?), my befuddlement regarding current fashion, and the failing of certain faculties including memory, hearing, and vision.  

So this is my 40.  

My body is not the only thing that has changed.  

Dreams.  Some dreams have been checked off – Others remain unfinished.  While I may have missed the boat for some ambitions, others I intentionally sunk.

Position.  While many have only seen and known me as a leader, I am not in a place of power.  I am not near people of power.  I actually tend to run from them especially if they tote religious authority.

Placement.  My road map has been frequently updated and my compass at times appears broken.  I never expected to obtain a doctorate that would remain dormant.  I never expected to start a new career in an entry level position at this phase of life.  

So this is my 40.

picture with boysFamily.  I have changed due to the arrival of one, then two, then a third  beautiful boy who resemble me in almost every possible way.  My years pass quicker now that I focus on the changes within them, and celebrating their development.

God has blessed me with a wife who has been faithful by my side  walking on mountain tops and in the valley.

So this is my 40.

Faith.  I was a pillar of spirituality for so many.  A servant of the church who would have done anything for his spiritual leaders.  Unfortunately, that misdirected devotion caused me to sacrifice the emotional and spiritual health of my family and my own soul for the sake of an institution.  

Spiritual abuse that forced me to change friends, locations, and careers.  As a young man, I had never experience pain.  Now, I daily wonder whether my dark night of the soul will end.  

So this is my 40.

Am I disillusioned?  Most certainly.  

Am I suffering a midlife crisis?  Possibly.  

This is my 40.  

I am not the same person. 

While growing up, I missed a fundamental point about adulthood.  

You continue to change.  

Adulthood is not a threshold you cross and enter fully completed.  It is not a plaque earned that gets posted on the wall.  It is not the final hoop that ends the race.  

I somehow missed the fact that adulthood is not the ending but  the beginning.  Adulthood is not the end of development, but simply leads to more change.  I felt adulthood would mean – No more changing.  No more reflecting.  No more wrestling- over who I am or what I want to be.  

But I am so different than I was at 20.  I am much different that who I was at 30.  I am beginning to see that I will not be the same person at 50. 

Life changes you.  

So this is my forty.  

My dear friends from the past, they do not know who I am today because I am different.   They are different too- this is probably why “friends are friends forever” may have rocked our graduation ceremonies in the 90’s, but these relationships failed to last even in a world filled with digital communication. 

So this is my 40.

I have changed, and you have changed.  The world around us has changed.  

So this is my 40. 

My life is strangely beautiful.  At times it is painfully peaceful.  It is better than I imagined and harder than I dreamed.  

But I am here, and I have discovered that I am not alone.  

God is here.  And those whom I love are near.  So whether the future brings me one day, one year, or 40 years, I am hopeful and expectant.

David - Prof 2Dr. G. David Boyd is the managing director of EA Resources, a non-profit designed to equip parents and churches to engage emerging adults. He is also the founder of the EA Network, a community of people who serve and love emerging adults.

The Christ-centered alpha male

15 Nov

Men have a lot in common with wolves. We mark our territory, strut in front of females, and bristle in the presence of another alpha male. We learn this behavior from older wolves more than happy to train us: coaches, fathers, teachers, older brothers, and eventually our bosses. For a wolf pack to survive and prosper, they must be stronger, smarter, and braver than all other packs, requiring direction, plans, structure, hierarchy, discipline and a leader—the alpha wolf.

Alpha wolves gravitate toward positions in the work world providing the type of control they enjoy. They become the leaders in the military, or managers in business, not the employees. 

Read more on the needs of a Christ-centered alpha male – Here.

Excerpt from “The Controlling Husband,” by Dr. Ron Welch, PsyD, and Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group, 2014. Used by permission.

Radio Interview with Neil Stavem

8 Nov

I was recently interview by Neil Stavem on Faith Radio about emerging adulthood, and the delayed development of adolescents.  It was a great time of discussion, and I am thankful for the opportunity to work with their team.  Here is a write-up that they completed of my interview.

Or download the interview – Here.

Dr. G. David Boyd says that while God doesn’t provide a clear definition of adulthood, there is a big difference between what Scripture reveals to us and what our society teaches us on the subject of adulthood.

“For example, if you ask adolescents what it means to be an adult, some will answer that it is about being independent, both financially and emotionally, and of course moving away from their parents’ home.”

“However, God’s design for us as adults has never been independence, but interdependence.God has designed us a social being who should learn to rely on each other as we go through life’s journey.”

Dr. Boyd discovered that if we don’t have a proper understanding of what it means to be an adult, we won’t be able to teach our children what it means. As a result, he created an evacuation plan for parents and emerging adults to use during their transition into adulthood. He reviews the three main developmental tasks from the acronym VAC:

“Vocation: are they able to work in whatever God calls them to?”

“Autonomy: are they able to establish autonomy? The ability to make decisions and deal with consequences?”

“Community: can they develop community, the ability to develop and maintain interdependent healthy relationships?”

“If we teach our adolescents and emerging adults, and give them the ability to discover vocation, to establish their autonomy, and to develop community, then they will be a healthy functioning adult.”

Dr. Boyd points out that these developmental factors also resonate with the core of what it means to be human.

“Our basic needs of a human are to be useful, to be free and to be loved.”

He expands our human nature and the importance of having an eVAC plan in place for emerging adults.

“As we discover our vocation as a human it helps us feel useful, as we establish our autonomy to give the ability to be free, and as we develop a community around us to fulfil is our basic human need to be loved.”


David - Prof 2

Dr. G. David Boyd is the managing director of EA Resources, a non-profit designed to equip parents and churches to engage emerging adults. He is also the founder of the EA Network, a community of people who serve and love emerging adults.

Anatomy of Generation – by John Atkinson

25 Oct

I came across this cartoon, and needed to share it with my readers.  There is plenty more laughter at the Wrong Hands website –  Click here.

anatomy of generations

I believe that laughter can be used to build bridges between the generations as long as it is equally given to each age group.  In this comic, as a Gen Xer, I am just happy that the author acknowledges our existence (sniff-sniff).

All joking aside –

There is a need for inter-generational relationships within the church.  Here are some links if you are interested in learning more about how to help your community connect.

David - Prof 2If you are looking for someone to speak to your community or staff about working together to overcome generational differences, please contact Dr. G. David Boyd at gdavid@earesources.org.

10 Christian Team USA Athletes at Rio Olympics 2016 Who Put God

18 Oct

I was doing some reading on male athletes who confess to be followers of Christ.  Please check out this article.

Team USA athletes have fans rooting for them an ocean away while they participate in the Olympic games taking place in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil.

A number of those athletes are making sure to stay rooted in God. The Christian Post has rounded up 10 Olympic athletes who are placing more importance on their relationship with God than the coveted Olympic medals they are seeking.

Here is the full article!

team usa olympics rio 2016

(PHOTO: REUTERS/FABRIZIO BENSCH)  Michael Phelps (USA) of United States (blue and white cap) joins team members as they huddle during a visit to the Olympic swimming venue.

Preaching to your adult child – Here is their perspective.

11 Oct
Image from page 336 of "The history of Methodism" (1902) from Flickr via Wylio

© 1902 Internet Archive Book Images, Flickr | PD | via Wylio

If you are a parent, then there are times when your child feels as if you are preaching at them.  If you don’t know your favorite topics, just ask them (if you are brave).

This article written by an emerging adult explains the thought process for your child as you discuss issues that you don’t agree upon – including faith.  While this article may not reflect the relationship between you and your child, there is much for parents to learn from this writer’s perspective.

Within five minutes of starting the hour-long car ride, she asked me if I wanted to explain my theological beliefs to her.

Awkward.

At this point, I had three options…

Read the entire article – HERE.

I wanted to summarize the points, but found too much that I wanted my readers to see and feel.  But I do want to highlight the author’s main conclusion:

I ask ‘when the preaching will end’ because with conservatives I consistently feel that I am being preached at by people who don’t care to understand me as a person, while with liberals I feel that I am becoming a part of a movement which is built on compassion and mutual understanding.

Within our homes, churches, and the public square – communication is key.  

Most Christians ignore the role of the Holy Spirit, and focus on conversion tactics when speaking with those outside the church – including their children.  Dialogue and diversity are welcome in today’s culture, but when someone in a conversation feels the need to be right – it will turn people from the beauty of the gospel.

This author is a follower of Jesus who was raised in an evangelical home.  Unfortunately, this emerging adult found the “extra baggage” of present-day Evangelical culture (which I use to refer to anything not required by the original tenants of the movement) to be completely overpowering to their spiritual journey.  I believe that some emerging adults find these beliefs so restrictive that they abandon the faith completely.

Related Links:

David - Prof 2Dr. G. David Boyd is the managing director of EA Resources – a non-profit designed to equip parents and churches to engage emerging adults.  He is also the founder of the EA Network – a community of people who serve and love emerging adults.

The Golden Calf of Youth Sports

4 Oct

We usually go to church on Saturday evenings. This happens to coincide with my favorite sport to watch – college football. Often, my team would be playing right up until church starts. I leave the TV set, but keep wondering about the outcome, distracted through the entire church service. I’m not focused on the message or the worship.

andrew-soccerBut, I can focus plenty when I’m in game mode. I make sure the screen and volume are precise. Food is prepared, distractions are limited (kids, wife, phone calls…). I was telling my family, “Family, I’m going to be worshiping the next few hours during this football game – don’t interrupt!”

Over time, I heard God asking me some tough questions:

You can read the rest of the article here!

Chad FosterChad serves as the Middle School Assistant Principal at Christian Academy of Louisville. He is passionate about men leading their homes and our country. He is married to Hollie and is raising 3 children.

%d bloggers like this: