Husband. Dad to 5. Student Ministry Pastor. Follower of Jesus. Yatta yatta.


Last summer I was in the heart of the “OC” with some students from our high school program for a leadership conference. There was a day when all the groups were sent out to various service projects around the city with little-to-no-warning or plan. All they gave us was a sheet of paper with a proposal to see what we could do to help in a per-determined area of need. Some groups collected money from strangers, others distributed sandwiches to the homeless, while our group was given the task of gathering food items for the needy.

We decided to park our crew in front of a Ralph’s grocery store in a fairly nice part of town. We asked the manager for permission, set up some tables and made some signs at both doors, and then started collecting food. All in all we had like 300 items and something like another $200 in cash donated in a several hour project in the afternoon.

After our food collection time was up, we went over to the Golden Spoon to get some frozen yogurt and while there, these 3 girls walk in dressed to the nine. They pulled up in like a mercedes SUV and were dressed identically. Each had spent a lot of money and time on themselves and all had like some kind of cheetah/leopard print thing going on. When I asked what they were dressed up for, they said they were going to their friends MTV Super Sweet Sixteen birthday party. Which if you’ve ever seen the show, is like the most ridiculously over the top, comparison game of a birthday party for a spoiled rotten kid in the entire world.

Then today, I was reading ypulse (a great teen culture trends sight) and found an article about this kid who is turning sixteen. By the looks of his personal website, he’s not too financially hurting. He’s also heading to the House of Blues in downtown Hollywood to host a personal birthday party with a $5 or $10 cover charge- all going to the Los Angeles Homeless Services Coalition which provides aid and services to the over 90,000 people who are homeless in the area.

Interesting. I wonder if MTV will cover this? I hope he’ll be having a sweet 16 birthday. Only thing that would make it better would be if after the party, everyone went out into the community and spoke to, and loved on, and encouraged those without homes. Maybe dropped by the shelters and then handed a check to the LAHSC personally that night. I think it’d also be cool to walk the streets before hand and find some sober and hard on their luck homeless who really need a leg up on life and invite them to come and forget their worries at the party too. How sweet would that be. The high school elite of LA mingling with the homeless, all trying to better the community. That, I think, would be something Jesus would do.

3 cheers for youth who value serving others when most people say they serve themselves.

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