Category: Social/Political

So I’m Going to Write About Old People

I’d like you to consider how the title of this piece made you feel. Did you think it disrespectful of me to say “old people”? Did you think about just moving on to something else because, who wants to read anything about old people? Maybe you are an old person and feel like you know all you need to know about being old. Well, I am fifty. Some people say fifty is the new thirty, so I’ve got at least four decades until I will be considered old, right?

Not according to my oldest son who asked me when I will start doing “grandmother things”. I wasn’t sure what he meant by “grandmother things” other than his little Italian Greyhound is cold and he would like to have a sweater for it. Maybe he thinks I should knit? (I wanted to say, “When you make me a grandmother”… but his sweet girlfriend was there, and I ‘m trying not to scare her away.)

nick-karvounis-381270We don’t like the thought of getting old in our society. No one looks on the elderly with admiration anymore. At 50, I feel it already from younger people at work and even at church. (Step aside, Mrs. Past-Your-Prime… We’d like to see youth and inexperience lead us forward.) When we were an agrarian society, and our culture was built around the home, generational families depended on the wisdom and experience of their elders. They were held in highest esteem. Now? Now, we have Google. Who needs an elder’s wisdom if you can just watch a YouTube video? You can literally see how to do anything on there. Right about now, we are doubling the knowledge we have about every 12-18 months. Way back when, like a 120 years ago and before, we doubled our human knowledge every 100 years. Amazing.

So where does that leave our elders? In many cases, it leaves them out in the cold. If elders were valued for their wisdom, and now that need is met elsewhere, how do the old folks among us garner value? I mean they are a drain on society, aren’t they? They take up the bulk of the US healthcare dollar, and they are often dependent, frail and needy. Most of them have no idea what a modem, gigabyte, or band width is. (Come to think of it, neither do I.) And have you ever tried to teach an elderly person to use a cell phone or computer? Puh-lease. I have. Can we step into the 21st Century? It’s not rocket science, Grandma. Oh wait. Maybe it is. I mean 150 years ago we didn’t have phone of any kind, and now I can call a friend in Japan and Facetime with them. I mean, if I had a friend in Japan. And in that same 150 years, we have increased the human life expectancy by more than three decades.

All of our efforts toward improved healthcare, diet and exercise have worked! We are living longer! Only we didn’t consider that living longer would not make us young for longer. I makes us old for longer. Curses! We didn’t quite think that one through, did we? And what do we fear almost as much as we fear public speaking? Getting old. Why? Because we know that what we think won’t matter anymore, we won’t look as hot as we do now, and there will be nothing of consequence left for us to do.

But what if that’s not really true? Well, I mean we won’t be as hot as we were… but the rest? Hogwash. Did you know that Grandma Moses started painting at 76? Gladys Burrill ran a marathon at 92. Ouch. Peter Roget invented the Thesaurus at 73. (Thanks, Peter. I mean, with gratitude, Peter.) At 68, Sir William Crookes invented a device for detecting alpha particles. You can Google what those are, but you likely still won’t understand it. Asa Long was 70 when he became the oldest U.S. checkers champion… okay. Bad example. But still. Momofuku Ando invented Ramen noodles in a cup at age 61 and at 22 cents a serving, has saved countless college students from starvation. Ray Kroc created McDonalds at 52, and is now singularly responsible for a nation of fat people. My personal favorite is John Pemberton. He created Coca-Cola at age 55. Praise be to God.



fabrizio-verrecchia-180329By 2030, there will be more than 70 million people over 65 in our country.  8.5 million of those will be over 85. We might like for old people to fade away, but they aren’t gonna. And let me remind us all, we’re talking about the Baby Boomers. The “me generation”. They are going to speak up and be heard. They are not going to go quietly into the dark night. Move over, youth and vitality. Age and experience is moving in and staking a claim.

We are going to have to do better by our elderly. Why? Because societies are judged by how they treat their children and elderly. Because it is on the shoulders of the elderly that we climb and reach higher and farther. Young people have it so much better than the generations before, but they have shown up late to the party. Old people have striven and survived with fewer conveniences, and pushed through to provide a better way of life. Weak, frail, and dependent? Not so much, really. How about we muster up some respect and honor for our elders. With any luck, we’ll join them one day.

Epidemic: The Crisis of Identity

The mid-life crisis. When I was growing up, it was the only identity crisis anyone made any kind of a deal about. It was the one some middle aged men had that caused them to buy a toupee and a ridiculous red sports car. They fooled no one. It arose from fear that life had passed them by, they had missed out on taking advantage of opportunity, and for a brief time, they would look and act ridiculous. While some of them went so far as to trade their wives in on younger models, most of them got over the crisis and after a time, sold the car, and settled back in.


These days, identity crises are on the rise and everyone seems to be susceptible. Some might even suggest they are at epidemic proportions. It’s as if we no longer know who we are… so we just give in to who we feel like we are, or who we would rather be. This seems like such a fluffy, all inclusive, comfortable way to allow people to live, but it is anything but that. In the end, this skewed view of our identities will bite us hard.

I read an article recently that told of a middle aged man who decided that he identified as a six-year-old girl and would live his life as that person. I’m not joking. I wish I was joking. In the comments section, precious few people were willing to speak to the obvious serious issues this guy was having for fear of being labeled as intolerant. So who’s more messed up? The grown man who wants to live like a six-year-old girl, or the people who think it is okay that he wants to live like a six-year-old girl?

How far are we willing to allow people to go before we address this epidemic? Countries such as Canada and Germany are leaving blank the sex determination on birth certificates when parents wish to let the child determine their sex later. They are going to let the child decide? Canada is considering it child abuse if parents refuse to allow their young child to transgender. How about we let the children decide everything, and we, as parents, can kick back see what happens?

Many in society are desiring to behave is if there is no blueprint for living, and it has become a free for all when it comes to determining our own identity.

Here’s the quite unpopular truth about identity. Our identity, every bit of it, is predetermined. I am probably not who you say I am. I am likely not even who I say I am. You can be wrong. I can be wrong. I am who God (who is never wrong) says I am. And who does He say that I am?


I am the Daughter of the Most High King. I am a Pearl of Great Price. I am created with a divine purpose and set apart for His glory. I was designed with clarity and intention with no detail left to chance or speculation. My identity was determined before the foundation of the earth, and it is wrapped up in the person of Jesus Christ.

God Almighty is the beginning and the end. He does not leave loose ends, and in Him there is no uncertainty. If we cannot believe in ourselves, we can believe in Him and who he created us to be. I know who I am because I know who I am in Christ.

If you don’t know who you are, get close to the One who made you. He loves to tell you all about you. You are precious to Him. He took time to design you, mold you, make you. He shaped your nose just so, and put those bright eyes in place with that special glint in them. He made you distinctly female. (Or He made you distinctly male… for the random male who made his way to this blog.)

What you feel does not determine who you are. God determined who you are. Some days I feel like I identify as a crazy woman. I, however, am not actually a crazy woman no matter what my opinion might be that day. I have the mind of Christ. How do I know this? God told me in 1 Corinthians 2:16.

We have to protect ourselves from the epidemic of identity crisis. Romans 12:2 tells us “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” Conforming to this world will leave us in a heck of a mess. I mean look at the stuff going on and passing for okay. It’s not okay, and it’s okay to say it’s not okay. As a matter of fact, we have to say it. Folks need to know that on days when they struggle with knowing who they are… that they were designed by the God who knows them more intimately than they know themselves, and their identity is secure in Him alone.


My Racism Theory

I have a theory. This is my theory.

Back in the Garden of Eden, and up through the great flood of Noah’s fame, all the way until folks decided to build a tower to heaven, we all pretty much looked the same. I don’t know what that look was, but I am suspicious that it was not the Irish/English look that I am sporting today.

Some say the Tower of Babel was built near a place called Shinar that was south of Mesopotamia, while others believe it was actually in today’s northern Syria. All that is really irrelevant except to say that the world’s population was all together, and somewhere in the Middle Eastern region of the world at that time. The survivors of the flood (Noah’s family) hung together, and you can see how prolific those folks were if you take a look at Genesis 10. They were all about post flood re-population!

The story of the Tower of Babel is found in Genesis 11. Noah’s descendants decided to build a tower to heaven in order to make a name for themselves. My question is, “Who were they trying to impress?” There was no one else!


Anyway, God wasn’t having it. So he confused their speech, giving them different languages in order that they could no longer communicate well enough to complete the tower. Eventually, they grouped up by language, and set out to distant lands. In time, very different people groups emerged, depending on what region they inhabited.

Those who landed in hot, arid regions developed darker skin; God added the greater melanin content to help protect them from the harsh rays of the sun. Others landed in more northern regions where the climate was cooler, and there was no need for this added melanin. God gave them lighter, fairer skin. Those who stayed in the sandy areas that are now Syria, Iraq, and Israel developed that olive complexion they are known for today; a complexion God thought well enough of that He gave it to Jesus. You see where I’m going?

So my theory is that skin color is a matter of where your ancient Noahan descendants landed after the whole Babel debacle.

(“Noahan descendants” is my phrase. Feel free to borrow it.)

Differences in skin color have been an issue ever since… as if any of us had any control over where our nomadic ancestors wandered and ultimately settled. It is common to think one’s skin hue is superior to others that are different. But why?

I can appreciate those who fight hard against racism and say, “When I look at people, I don’t see color.” I don’t think they are lying exactly, but I don’t think they are being completely realistic. When I look at my black friends, I shouldn’t want to ignore their skin tone, or the unique shape of their eyes, noses, or the texture of their hair. When I talk to my Asian friends, how can I not see the beautiful smoothness of their skin and the shine to their straight, black hair? Why would I want to minimize all that diversity and unique beauty infused into them by their Creator?

When we deal with racism, we have to come to the place where we embrace the “different yet equal” truth. It’s no different than how we view the sexes. The trend today is to blur those lines as well. Shame on us! Yes, we are equally valuable, but we are not the same. That is okay. Each sex was created with beauty and precision to serve equally important roles in relationships. The same is true regarding race or skin color. They are different, yet equal. We shouldn’t try to ignore our differences. We need to celebrate them!

Whatever God intends to be a blessing, our enemy sets out to corrupt. Those people groups who went their separate ways were once family! And yet the enemy whispers in our ears that we are better than those who don’t look or act like we do. He tells us we are superior to them, and should not welcome them into our lives. Those people who, eons ago, were family. Separation is the enemy of community and cooperation.

If I am honest, it is often just easier to gravitate to those who look and act the way I do. But when I give in to that pattern, I miss out on so much blessing! Venturing into relationship with different kinds of people is risky. It forces us to address long held prejudices and myths about those who are not like us. Fences that were built by former generations have to be torn down. It’s those fences that keep us apart. We might feel a bit exposed without them at first, but little by little we can overcome our fear of each other and embrace the best in each of us.


But hey, it’s only a theory.

Shine A Light on Slavery Day

Are you in it to end it? What am I talking about? Today is Shine A Light on Slavery Day. Lots of people wrote large red X’s on the backs of their hands and tweeted pictures of said X’s to show their support of ending slavery worldwide. (You can learn more about it all at

What can putting a red X on your hand do to end slavery? In and of itself, nothing. But talking about slavery can get people to thinking about slavery, and talking about ending slavery can motivate some people to do something significant to end modern day slavery.

That’s what happened to a friend of mine. Several years ago, my friend, Debbie learned about the 27 Million people enslaved in the world today. She learned that most of those people are young women, of which, many enter the sex slave/sex trafficking industry at just 13 years old. The overwhelming majority of those who end up in this predicament had no idea they were headed down that road. They answered an ad promising work, or they wanted to be a dancer, actress or some other glamorous sounding job, and listened to people who only wanted to use them and make money off of forcing them into the sex trade industry.

Debbie learned that most of these victims live elsewhere in places like Greece and Russia. But she was surprised at just how many are living and being forced to work in her own backyard. In her own city of Charlotte, North Carolina.

So Debbie did what most of us won’t. Debbie decided to do something. She was one woman. A wife. A mother. But she joined with a few others who wanted to be in it to end it, and Compassion to Act was born. ( CTA is a growing ministry in Charlotte, North Carolina that is fighting the battle against modern day slavery. And guess what? They are winning. I am so proud of my friend. She’s been on CNN, she is in contact with local and federal law enforcement (I’m talking FBI here), she speaks to local churches and businesses and informs them about this problem, and she has managed to raise enough support to have a house where rescued victims can live, recover, find healing and safety. Volunteers from CTA visit strip clubs and minister to the women working there. It is so unreal to me. I am so proud of her.

So maybe you won’t start a ministry like CTA, or like the Wellhouse here in Birmingham. ( But we can still help. My friend Debbie says that when they go to the strip clubs they see the cars parked outside, of course. What do they see inside these cars? Car seats. Diaper bags. The men inside are family men. It’s time we start holding the men who frequent these places accountable. It needs to become unacceptable in our society for men, married or not, to patronize these establishments. It needs to be taboo. Its not okay.

It’s time we open our eyes to this problem. There are more slaves on the earth today than ever before in history. We are outraged at the slavery we know about in our history as a country. So then, how can we turn a blind eye to it today? Inform yourself, then inform everyone you know. It has to be over. It must end. Be in it to end it.