Summary: The Body of Christ is not doing anything to stop youths from going down the road to the Valley of Dead Dreams and Failed Visions and, unless we do something to change our attitude or actions to them, Satan will help us bring them to despair and heartache.
Text: Ezekiel 37:1-14
Topic: The Valley of Dead Dreams and Failed Visions
Prepared by Derrick Whitt, D.Min.
Pastor, Maranatha Fellowship
Syracuse, New York
Introduction: Christian parents and pastors must play an aggressive role in reaching out to our youths more than ever in the wake of the tragedy in Red Lake Senior High School in Minnesota on March 22, 2005, where ten people were killed, before 16-year-old gunman, Jeff Weiss, killed himself.
Another sad reminder that the American youth is beocming more frustrated and angry with a society that does not see them at his/her worth on his/her way to The Valley of Dead Dreams and Failed Visions.
I. The American Youth
A. Seeking a sense of acceptance, belonging in our changing society
B. Looking to give his/her contribution to society constructively, willingly
C. Desires to spend time learning, experimenting things with parents
II. Adult’s View on The American Youth
A. They are seen and not heard
B. Single, selfish parents: "They are an accident. They should not have been born."
C. 67% of adults in America have a negative opinion about youths
D. Message from the Theory of Evolution taught in our schools: "no reason for living, no purpose on earth"
III. Struggling American Youths
A. Facing physical, emotional struggles as they are developing as adults
B. Trying to impress adults and peers that they can make a difference
IV. Weary American Youths: Giving Up Trying to Pursue Dreams and Goals
A. Low self-esteem
B. Becoming more angry, frustrated
C. Feeling despair, emptiness inside
D. Acting out their frustrations in a violent, self-destruct manner (Violence)
1. Other ways Youths Harm Others, Themselves
a. Substance Abuse
b. Promiscous Lifestyles
2. Aside from painful experiences, they are influenced by:
d. Role Models
e. Other peers
Please Note: The media is providing messages glorifying rebellion against parents/authority, abusing women on women, crime and drugs; and these are profusely being presented through the media.
What do adults do? Buy more things to pacify them. Drugging them to submission through psychotropics. Sending them to abusive adults who we know. Allowing the TV set be the babysitter. No attention given to them at institutional churches when they should play a big role in the work of the church, instead of letting a few do it (and I am grateful to Jehovah to have internet churches and ordination ministries giving anyone who has a love for Jehovah and others to serve in capacities without any formal training...only a desire to serve and learn from seasoned ministers who had been in the ministerial work for so long.)
We also discourage them with our mouths, pronouncing failure and misery in their lives. We know what those phrases are: "You are not going to amount to anything." "You cannot be my child if you continuing to bring in grades like these." "Can’t you do anything right?"
How about pushing youths to fulfill dreams that we as adults have not achieve or getting them into doing something you enjoy but they wish to do something different? We are the ones to ruin their individuality and their opportunities, plus it causes our youths to be very resentful and angry at us.