Coconut Generation

The Next Generation of Asian Indians

Off to Urbana December 27, 2006

Filed under: Events,Ministries — Sam George @ 3:44 pm

I am just about to leave for Urbana Missions conference. Driving from Chicago to St. Louis. I have fond memories of past urbana – about the worship, message, standing at a India Mission booth, sharing about mission with students and everything else that goes on at such large conferences.

This is my third urbana and the Coconut book is being released there. I will be at the South Asian Lounge during the breaks. Dr. T.V. Thomas, past urbana main speaker and who wrote the foreword for the Coconut Book will also be there. If any of you are going to be there, pls come and see us.

Wish you all a blessed new year!

More blogging next year!!!

 

Addiction with Cold-Cough Medicines December 26, 2006

Filed under: Culture,Family,News,Youth — Sam George @ 6:38 pm

A good news – Illicit Drug usage among young people is on the decrease. But the sad news is that young people are getting addicted with off-the-shelf and prescription medicines. They no more look for street corner drug peddlers, but walk right into their local pharmacies or order online in order to get high. Drug culture among teens still persist, it just changed and taken a new form.

See this report on ABC News

Regular painkillers and even cold-cough medicines are being used by teens in heavy dosage to get high. Prolonged usage of these regular legal drugs causes same effect as cocaine, marijuana or crack.

Young people tend to experiment or peer pressure is what get them into drugs. Sometime it is their inability to cope with their pain or struggles or absence of caring adults that lead them to this path. They often want to pop in pill and fix their problems. Early detection of addictive behaviors can help enormously.

If you are youth worker, have you broached these and other hard-core topcis with your youths. Or are you still stuck up in sunday school approach to ministry to kids who dabbling with life-threatening and real issues they are faced with.

Lots of helpful resources for parents and teens – http://www.drugfree.org/. Also here is how to drugproof your home

What are your kids high on?

 

Americans & Premarital Sex December 23, 2006

Filed under: church,Culture,Family,News,Resources,Youth — Sam George @ 4:12 pm

Last week, Chicago Tribune reported findings of study that most Americans (9 out of 10) have had premarital sex.  According to this finding, 99 percent of the respondents had had sex by age 44, and 95 percent had done so before marriage. The study came out of the Guttmacher Institute, a private New York-based think tank that studies sexual and reproductive issues and which disagrees with government-funded programs that rely primarily on abstinence-only teachings. It claims to examined sexual behaviors of thousands of Americans over time. 

First of all that kind of numbers are shocking…. or they have been surveying the wrong crowd! At least not true representation of a society. Moreover the study seems to have political undertones to counteract current government’ standing and policies. It reveals the researchers and institute’s extreme liberal views and advocating a immoral behaviors are absolutely normal.

No wonder issues like this evokes strong anti-American sentiments to immigrant families and traditional relgions like Hinduism or Islam. That is why rest of the world hates Americans for ultra-liberal morality. They even equate Christianity with such morality and make Christ less attractive to rest of the world.

How would a teenager read such a report? Everybody is doing … everybody has always done it. So what is wrong with that. Have you talked to your kids about sex, Has youth group had ‘those’ talks yet?

Heritage foundation has many reports contrary to this findings. Abstinence only is still the proven and best sex education formula. Also increasingly many teens are choosing to remain chaste until marriage. See programs like Focus on the Family’s resources or Sex Respect.

 

TV program on early Christianity December 22, 2006

Filed under: Bible,Culture,News,Resources — Sam George @ 6:45 am

Who got time to watch TV during Christmas holidays… especially days leading upto it. Travel, shopping, decorations, cooking etc.

Let me suggest a program that you would not regret watching. CNN’s seasonal special feature called After Jesus -The First Christians . This week in the evenings.  It is a 2-hour program on the development of Christianity from the time of Jesus to the Nicene Council (323 AD).

You may not agree with everything, but it will spark your curiosity and force you to reread gospel narratives of Jesus’ birth in a new light.

 

Nativity Story – Being God-bearer December 21, 2006

Filed under: Culture,Resources,Youth — Sam George @ 8:59 pm

Hey, seen the new movie – The Nativity Story yet?

I hope to make it before Christmas. Or it will be next year when the DVD version comes out. I am sure this will make this familiar story come alive. Last week, a friend of mine saw the movie and spoke highly of it. Since then I really wanted to go. Just the scheduling difficulty. See the official site www.thenativitystory.com. Read a review of the movie.

The Nativity Story doesn’t recite word for word from scriptures as in Jesus Film made by Campus Crusade. But it is heavily drawn from the gospel narratives of the birth of Jesus. The movie is the story of Mary and Joseph making their laborious journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem in obedience to the governmental edict and to fulfill the ancient prophecy of a Messiah in the Old Testament.

Since the success of the Passion of Christ, so many bible based movies are coming out. Hollywood seems to be keen on gaining access to wallets of Christians. It makes perfect business sense. You either make biblically accurate movie or contrary to its teaching. Both gets lots of publicity and its makers gather their booty!

But the message of the movie is this – a teenage girl became a God-bearer. God still are looking for teenagers and all who are willing to be worldchanger, by birthing Jesus into our worlds and making him real in our contexts. May God find favor with us to be God-bearers!

 

India-US Nuclear Deal December 20, 2006

Filed under: India,News,Youth — Sam George @ 4:53 am

The civilian nuclear deal has been a big deal in international relationship betweeen the two nations, and particularly for India. Last week, President Bush signed the deal, allowing fuel and know-how to be shipped to India even though it has not submitted to full international inspections.

See the story in Washington Post or USA Today.

Some Indians are crying foul saying US is trying to contain India’s nuclear ambitions and it is too restrictive. Check the other view in Outlook  and Asia Times. Indian needs US more than the other way around. We may have to see how this issue cements or fracture the relationship between the two nations and the future of the world.

There is a great deal of partnerships going on between Indian and rest of the world. I sincerely hope to see a greater level of co-operation and partnership between ministries in India and the global Indian Diaspora. There are lots of synergy. If only we are willing to learn from others and encourage others in their own church or ministry. When will we get out of our shells and our ghetto mentality!

 

Superbusy kids

Filed under: church,Family,Ministries,News,Youth — Sam George @ 2:09 am

The ambitious Indian American parents are daily raising the bar for their children – more academic and extra-curricular activities than ever before. Extra math and science classes, advance standing courses…. every parents is trying to make their kids into a prodigy (and into ivy league colleges!). Then soccer, basketball, swimming and Lacrosse (their Indian friends are still figuring out what kinds of a game is that!)

Then there is cultural elements – learning Indian music, Instruments, dances, languages  etc. Not to mention faith of their forefathers. Parents often say, “We came to America to provide best of opportunity for our kids. We never had it so good and we want our children to be more successful than us.”

ABC News recently carried a story on Busy Kids. Another story on Fox how parents are using text messaging to keep track of overscheduled kids.

Result is evident all around us: frustration, stress, burn out, depression… even suicidal tendencies. Most children are pushed beyond what they naturally capable of. Also their strength are never taken into account. Often children are forced to achieve the unfulfilled dreams of their parents. Hyperscheduled, superbusy kids, taking university classes at jr. high etc are all too common among Indian Americans. And many are paying a high price.

Psychologists tell that children should be allowed downtime, free play and simply hang out with friends. The second generation in most cultures are less motivated and success oriented as compared to their immigrant parents. Due to their extra academic pressures, often they have no time for church or faith related activities.