Generation X, God, Church and Religion

Are You There God? It’s Me, Generation X is a play off the popular Generation X coming-of-age youth novel by Judy Blume, Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret.  Practically every Gen X girl read it.

first communion 1971 Generation X

Generation X Looking for God

“But those who came before us will teach you. They will teach you from the wisdom of former generations.”– Book of Job

In 2009, I came across an anonymous poem called Ode to Generation X. This was the last line.

…looking for God in those 2 a.m. cigarettes,
as we look to the stars in the sky on all those many nights.

I’ve never smoked a cigarette, but if I did, and it just so happened to be at 2 in the morning, I’m pretty certain that alone in the smoke and the lamplight, I’d be looking toward God. I’d be inhaling on all the years that have rocketed by and exhaling on all the things I can’t change – like people I love growing up or growing old or moving away.

I’d be inhaling on my cautious hopes for tomorrow and exhaling on how I wish for my Bridgy and Sully and Juliette — and Juliette — and Juliette — a perfect world with no sorrow or pain.

And, then I’d inhale on bigger hope, because life is short and I want to seize the day. Then I’d close my eyes and exhale at the thought of my children, laughing and smiling with most of their lives still ahead of them; and Robert — and Robert, his black hair salted more and more with each passing day.

Not Cigarettes, But Prayer

And, then I’d inhale again at the thought of my own mortality, and that one day, I will leave this world, and I hope my living matters – even if only to them. And, suddenly, I’d exhale, so glad there is a God who understands that all this inhaling and exhaling at 2 a.m. is not cigarettes, but prayer.
And, then, I’d ask Him for a miracle – whatever kind He thinks I might need, because it never hurts to ask.

Most Popular Posts in “God”

What are tears of grace? I wondered.

There were four of us huddled together in the same bed. Two of us were crying and two of us were not. Someone said, “Don’t Cry.” But,…Read More »

Sweet Are The Promises

The masterminds of alienation are always the first to accuse their political challengers of division. Shining a light on the secrets and misdeeds of the political…Read More »

The further I travel the nearer comes my understanding.

The further I travel away from my childhood the nearer comes my understanding. My father taught me so many things I didn’t know I knew until…Read More »

Are You There, Tree? It's Me, Boy.

Our large elm tree is the first tree on our street to lose all its leaves. Sully says the tree told him it’s so we can…Read More »

Gen Y To Church: I'm Just Not That Into You

A recent article on Generation Y and church published on CNN’s faith blog went viral. Three of my friends shared it on Facebook including a young…Read More »

How To Win Through Surrender

{ We are just four people who like to make music together and thus…pass on a piece of God’s love. — La Diju } For nearly…Read More »

Happy Easter. Jesus Is My Gud Shepherd

Happy Easter, everybody! Here’s some artwork Sully drew for Easter. He’s sounding out hiswords, so this year, Jesus is my “gud” shepherd. This was a first…Read More »

Making Friends With Shame

There is no shame beneath this skyI have kissed the past goodbyeAnd mended up my broken heart so torn. –From Big Dream I live about one mile…Read More »

Sowing Wild Oats

When darkness veils His lovely face,I rest on His unchanging grace;In every high and stormy gale,My anchor holds within the veil. The day my friend Louisa…Read More »

Lottie Moon: Heroine for a New Generation of Christians

I pray that no missionary will be as lonely as I have been.–Lottie Moon Stories about missionaries had such a big impact on me as a…Read More »

Generation Y: A Generation in Crisis

Children Praying by Oscar Mota via Flickr with CC License Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:“God is not dead, nor doth He sleep;The wrong…Read More »

What to do when the mountain won't move

  Summer 2011 | Venice Beach California   For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed,…Read More »


Given all the recent publicity about the rapture, I thought I’d provide a link for new readers to a post I wrote a year ago about Generation…Read More »

Divinity of Doubt: The God Question

Vincent Buglios’s new book, Divinity of Doubt: The God Question, became available today. Bugliosi, in case you don’t know, has been called “the quintessential prosecutor.” In his…Read More »

How to be unforgettable

About 11 of 12 years ago, my friend Louisa told me something noone had ever told me before and noone has told me since. She would not…Read More »

Oklahoma City: A Night for the Innocent

Last night, I rented a movie from Blockbuster, Conviction. It’s about a Massachusetts man who spent 18 years in prison for a murder he didn’t commit. (You pretty…Read More »

Jesus is a Liberal Democrat

A clip from and episode of Colbert Nation, Jesus is a Liberal Democrat, has been shared on social networking sites 219,494 times since it aired December 16. I thought…Read More »

The shadow of St. Francis and pumpkin pie

What could be more Charlie-Brown-Thanksgiving than lunch at an elementary school in fall? On Thursday, the church bells rang as kids tumbled out of the Parish…Read More »

Changing Your Life with a Simple Thought

I recently published a guest post on this site by John Edward after I received a review copy of his book, Infinite Quest: Develop Your Psychic Intuition…Read More »

Is Generation X's biggest fear looking stupid?

Mark Ames, the Gen X founder and editor of The eXile, the notorious Moscow-based, English-language newspaper shuttered last year after a raid by Russian authorities, has published…Read More »

The best thing anyone has ever said to me

I put Sullivan, my five-year-old, to bed and he asks me to lay down with him for a few mintues, and so I do. We talk…Read More »

5 ways to get your intuition flowing

Photo by Navrasa [very slowly catchin up's] via Flickr with Creative Commons Do you believe in psychic ability? That word, psychic, always trips me up. I guess I’m…Read More »

Gen X, Gadgets and God

According to a lengthy essay by Rebecca Drescher, Gen X, Gadgets and God, published in Religious Dispatches, Gen Xers aren’t losing religion, they’re rebuilding it via…Read More »

If this is God's house then where is He?

Photo by me =) On Wednesday night, we took the kids to church. Sullivan was causing a raucous at the water fountain and so I reminded…Read More »

a question for God

Do not tell me what you think I need to hear Tell me what I want to hear, butCan’t believeFor life is shortAnd our dying inevitable…Read More »

What will complete you?

Jesus said to him, “If you wish to be complete, go and sell your possessions and give to the poor.” –From the Gospel of Matthew  Business Insider…Read More »

Why on earth this Gen Xer became a priest [excerpt]

photo from nathan gibbs via flickr with creative commons “…Yes to the priesthood on the surface does not seem an attractive choice to a Gen-Xer…“Now that…Read More »

I See Sally

In March 2008, one of the leading Constitutional law scholars in the U.S., Jonathan Turley, posed a question on his blog in regard to Sally Kern,…Read More »


We’ll have it goodWe’ll have the life we knew we wouldMy word is good – From the Plain White Ts and Hey There Delilah   One day, several…Read More »


I was renting the Hurt Locker at the Red Box DVD at the Walgreens two blocks from Oklahoma City University when two young women, tanned and wearing swimsuit coverups walked up…Read More »

Talk about creating buzz

Fr. Sean Ferrell shared this with me today via Twitter. I think it is just terrific and gives a whole new meaning to word-of-mouth marketing. See what…Read More »

When all your prayers go unanswered

You told yourself years agoYou’d never let your feelings show–From Lobo and I’d Love You To Want Me At 5:30 this morning, this was on my…Read More »

Vintage Religion: Generation X, Rapture Sermons and Apocalyptic Songs

Members of Generation X (b. 1961-81) who were raised in typical, conservative, Evangelical churches in the late 60s and 70s (especially older Xers), grew up on a steady diet…Read More »

Radical Welcome [excerpt]

This is an excerpt from Shane Phelan’s blog, God Talk. Phelan is priest-in-charge of St. Luke’s Episcopal church in Haworth, New Jersey. She’s a Gen Xer.…Read More »

Pretend this flip flop is God

O spread the tiding round Wherever man is foundWherever human hearts and human woes abound…The Comforter has come… –From the 1890 hymn by Frank Bottome, The Comforter…Read More »

the winning ticket

Where I’ll find comfort, God knows‘Cause you left me, just when I needed you most–from Randy VanWarmer [this might be a poem] I left myself the…Read More »

Out of the Blue

For the past few years, I’ve carried a prayer in my heart for a friend who went through an awful divorce. Today, I called her out…Read More »

It was probably on a Friday.

Photo purchased from Istock.com I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. –From Ezekiel In 1979, Amy Grant…Read More »

When I Survey the Wondrous Hollow Chocolate Easter Bunny

A milk chocolate Easter Bunny. (Photo credit: Wikipedia) It is 2 a.m. and the spring winds, notorious for producing tornadoes in Oklahoma, are keeping me awake.…Read More »

Is the Biblical View of Church Multi-Generational? Multi-Cultural?

I would like to provide attribution for this artwork, but can’t locate any. If you know who painted this wonderful image representative of the song Jesus…Read More »

i was so lost, i should have died. how 'bout you?

I was so lost I should have died But You have brought me to Your sideTo be led by Your staff and rodAnd to be call…Read More »

a valentine for single moms and dads

photo from shoot art not each other via flickr In 1994, Sheryl Crow recorded Strong Enough, a song in which a woman begs a man to…Read More »

the reason hope will never disappoint us

photo by my own worst nightmare via flickr Early this morning, I awoke to the sound of Sully crying for me. Mommy! Mommy! Mommy! Mommy! I…Read More »

sally kern cartoon in the tulsa world

There in the Sahara winds Jesus heard the whole world cry For the healing that would flow from His own scarsThe world was singing My Deliverer…Read More »

leaving you just when i needed to most.

Let me just tell the world: I left you today. And I’m certain when I did,I chipped a tileFrom the Mosaic The fractured Bride of God.…Read More »

how did the blood of jesus get inside the welch's grape juice bottle?

Older Gen Xers at their First Communion, 1970 St. Joe’s Orphanage, Louisville, Kentucky photo from st. joe’s kid via flickr I have a confession to make. When…Read More »

why my christmas cards have kwanzaa stamps

photo by smcgee via flickr Yesterday, I went to the mall to buy a Christmas present. They say Christmas is for children, but the mall and…Read More »

where is God in oklahoma city?

C’mon, admit it. You’ve thought at least once or twice in your lifetime that God was, ummm, dead. And, if you haven’t or aren’t going to…Read More »

juliette sings come emmanuel in the school christmas program

Last night, Juliette had the final solo in her school Christmas program. She sounds like an angel, because she is angelic, I’m telling you! I want…Read More »

virtual sunday: world aids day

There in the Sahara winds Jesus heard the whole world cryFor the healing that would flow from His own scarsFrom Mullins and My Delivererfrom ginnerobot via…Read More »

november poem: God was in the field the whole time it burned

Take me to the edge of the incinerated prairieWhere a wall of locust cut through a perfect morning.I want to cradle the sower upon the scorched…Read More »

oklahoma's pulpits fall silent despite rising tide of child poverty, neglect and death

photochiel And you know, their little lives can become such a mess. –from Pat Benatar and Hell is For Children National Public Radio calls them driveway…Read More »

one of the most effective prayers anyone will ever pray

When I worked as the public information officer for the Emergency Medical Services Authority in Oklahoma City, I had access to information about every call EMSA…Read More »

gen x halloween [1970s schoolyard parade]

A Schwinn banana seat with sissy bar, bobbed fender, and slick, square-profile tire, on a bicycle. (Photo credit: Wikipedia) I can’t believe we’ve gotten to the…Read More »

generation x juxtaposition

photo by pixiegenne via flickr …As God has shown us by turning stone to bread So we all must lend a helping hand. -From Jackson and…Read More »

jesus has a role in michael moore's "capitalism: a love story" [excerpt]

Image via WikipediaFrom an interview on Larry King Live. “…Capitalism is the legal system that allows this greed to take place and in recent times what…Read More »

thou anointest my head with oil, and where was God when annie died?

photo via Jenn Long Every Sunday, my father, who was a minister, got up early to shine his shoes and iron his shirt. He put on…Read More »

generation x falling behind [2008 income stats, etc.]

Should we lose each other in the shadow of the evening trees I’ll wait for you And should I fall behind Wait for me… –From Springsteen’s…Read More »

8 things i learned from the most boring book in the bible

In 1977, the State of Texas ruined my relationship with numbers. They hired an alien to come into my classroom at Kermit Elementary and teach the…Read More »

the in-between

“…When has it ever paid you to turn your face from life? Keep your faith, Bay Ly:” From Le Ly Hayslip’s When Heaven and Earth Changed…Read More »

virtual sunday: adam and eve were lookers

I wonder about the impact these incredibly happy pictures of Adam and Eve had on me as a kid. For sure, charming Bible illustrations did much…Read More »

5 clichés from the death of michael jackson

wisdom via M.Dot It’s not easy to find special meaning in clichés, those tired-out phrases that long ago lost their ooomp and effect. Still, several have…Read More »

Conspiracy Theory and Salmon Dinner with a Spokane Indian

Be it the rain or the wind Or the moon up in the sky The spin of the earth or the change of the tide I…Read More »

missing michael jackson more than i missed him before

Yesterday, as Generation X mourned the loss of a childhood icon, and while every radio station in Oklahoma City played Ben, Beat It or Billie Jean,…Read More »

when virtually everyone was going to hell

via julie krugerart  If I go up to heaven, you are there. If I make my bed in hell, you are there. Psalm 139:8 In 1974,…Read More »

The Crosses We Bear Are Good For Many Things

Someone left a comment on a post I wrote a few weeks ago, Letters to God. Here it is: Why is life so full of disappointment,…Read More »

yesterday, i felt like quitting.

“You’re astonishing. How dare you waste it.” -From Godin’s The Dip The other day, I received an email from my mom. It went something like this:…Read More »

xcerpt: When Harry Met Sally

Read More »

generation x and a macaroni God

A kabillion years ago, I attended Vacation Bible School at a Nazarene church in Walnut, California. I still remember Mrs. Burleson waving around those Sugar Daddies,…Read More »

there will absolutely be no laughing in church

34, by Peonies and Polaroids Growing up as a preacher’s kid in the Church of the Nazarene, Wednesday night prayer meetings were a regular stop on…Read More »

Death is Not Dying

This morning, I went for my annual mammogram, except it was more like a half-decade mammogram since I haven’t had one since I was 35. Bad,…Read More »

symbols of faith exhibit at oklahoma city national memorial

When Robert and I first met, we attended the First United Methodist Church in downtown Oklahoma City. It is located across the street from the Oklahoma…Read More »


Read More »

Letters to God

*Checco* According to Checco, the Israeli postal service sorts more than 2 million pieces of mail daily, and inevitably some of those letters come addressed to…Read More »

2 a.m. and cigarettes

A few days ago, I posted a link to a poem at GotPoetry.com, an ode to Generation X. Here’s the last line: …looking for God in…Read More »

spires and swings

Recently, I started posting various images under the label “vintage religion.” This is one way I am exploring the primary theme of this blog, are you…Read More »


Read More »

a happy {mother's} day

We see that when the activities of life are infusedwith reverence, they come alive with meaning and purpose. –From Zukav’s Seat of the Soul A Happy…Read More »

may day maypole

In the 3rd grade, my teacher, Mrs. Donna Pittman, helped my classmates and me make May Day baskets for our mothers. They were made out of…Read More »

evangelicals most likely to support torture

According to a survey released yesterday by the highly reputable Pew Forum, the majority of people who attend religious services weekly support the use of torture…Read More »

amber waves of grace

St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church, Oklahoma City (photo by jen/enhanced at 50 percent – picnik.com using “vibrance” tool) I’ve been waiting for the right time…Read More »

Oklahoma City Bombing

Oklahoma City National Memorial on the evening of the 14th anniversary. Oh, it seemed like a holy place, Protected by amazing grace And we would sing…Read More »

*this* is what i've been trying to say for awhile now

“Keep, o normal churches, your nice people, your beautiful people, your people who have their shit together and put on pretty faces… Send us all of…Read More »


And when you’re ready to leave it behind you You’ll look back, and all that you’ll see Is the wreckage and rust that you left in…Read More »

junk find fitting for holy week

I purchased this small watercolor painting today at a garage sale in the Cleveland neighborhood of Oklahoma City. A dirty old frame did a good job…Read More »

Joss House

“Coincidence is God working anonymously.” On March 20, I published a post about an amazing painting I found at a junk store in Oklahoma City by…Read More »

Largest Social Movement in US: The Ordinary Radicals

“The Christian faith is based on love of God and neighbor. Why then, is Christianity in America viewed as unforgiving, homophobic, fear mongering, hypocritical…?” The film,…Read More »

Shane Claiborne

If anything I’ve written on this blog about Christianity, the Emergent Church or Red-Letter Christians* has piqued your interest, then I invite you to check out…Read More »

Virtual Sunday: The Song Froggy Says To Me

Sully playing with a ladybug . Today, Sully, Juliette and I finally felt well enough to get out for awhile, so we headed up to Edmond,…Read More »

virtual sunday: don henley, and sometimes the stars perfectly align

March 12 Snowfall, Oklahoma City (jen’s car) March 21 – First Day of Spring, Oklahoma City (median in Mesta Park) Yesterday, Shane left a comment that…Read More »

saint super bridgy

This is my little Saint Super Bridgy. Look how special she is! The light just darts out of her and winds its way into all my…Read More »

Are you there, God? It's me, Generation X

Are you there, God? It’s me, Generation X is the title of an essay I’ve been working on about the emerging church. I like it so…Read More »

My Mercy Walk: Gen X, Heroin, Chekov and Jesus

I’ve been avoiding swimming in the deep end of the ocean with my muse lately. It’s not that 1,000 worthwhile posts haven’t been marching through my…Read More »

Virtual Sunday: Generation X and Religion

That’s me in the cornerThat’s me in the spotlightLosing my religion–R.E.M., 1991 It’s not hard to correlate Generation X’s rampant distrust of institutions with a palpable…Read More »

Ash Wednesday

I am so thankful that my church offers the sign of the cross with ashes on Ash Wednesday. I am also thankful that my daughter, Juliette,…Read More »

Juliette's Artistry

This is the picture my sweet daughter created for our church’s missions calendar contest. This relates to the post below. I’m so proud of her. Artistic…Read More »

mercy there was great, and grace was free

lord help me jesus i’ve wasted it so help me jesus i know what i am. –from cash’s why me lord today, my 11-year-old worked on…Read More »

A Story In My Eyes

Occasionally, I actually run out of content for my blog. It usually lasts for oh, about 15 minutes so bear with me. I thought about writing…Read More »


Today, I sat in front of Villa Teresa School and watched Sr. Joseph Marie walk from the convent to the primary school while the notorious Oklahoma…Read More »

Virtual Sunday: If Your Sky Is Dark and Falls the Pain

Quick. Go get somebody. Loves’s about to spill over. (Because it adds to the time it takes to load this page, I have removed the video.)…Read More »


“Marriages rarely survive if parasites are present.” –Fireproof, the movie, 2008 Out on DVDRead More »

Virtual Sunday: 5 Minutes, 42 Seconds to Seize the Day

Come on in. Pull up a pew. This is not a cheap date. I planned this just for you.Read More »


I’ve blogged about Kami Huyse a few times. A successful PR practitioner and formidable PR blogger, she knows by now she has had an impact on…Read More »

Beware of The Oprah

Image via Wikipedia In the last year, I have heard churches publicly criticize Oprah Winfrey on several different occasions. I’ve heard someone sarcastically refer to her…Read More »

Someone I Care About Is Gay

In November, I wrote a post that included a mind map exercise, which Zoe Westhof, a freelance writer and blogger, recommended practicing along with her notion…Read More »

The Lowest Hell

Last Wednesday, the kids and I went to church. As I was dropping the last kiddo off at her respective activity, I exited the building and…Read More »

Jesus Watches Volleyball

Untamed by Robert Lamell This is the fourth Saturday in a row (I think) that I haven’t blogged about my “Amazing Garage Sale Finds, which means…Read More »

God Is A Big Black Woman

As a child, I pictured God to be something of a mix between Rankin and Bass’s Winter Warlock and Father Time, and Charlton Heston’s Moses. Although…Read More »

Friend, Do What You Came For

When Jesus was in the Garden of Gethsemane. He was praying and full of sorrow – even desperation. “Stay with me,” was the request He made…Read More »

Running Wild With The Hope

I really have very few heroes, but Rich Mullins is one of them. Mullins was a Christian singer best known for his worship song, Awesome God.…Read More »

Dare not trust the sweetest frame

When I was 11 years old something bad happened to my brother Billy. We were living in Ozark Mountains at the time and there was an…Read More »

The Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life provides ongoing research about generations and religion.
The American Religion Identification Survey (ARIS), 2008

Other Faith-related Tags and Categories

I have used nearly 250 labels (tags) to categorize and “file” nearly 2,300 blog posts on this site. Tags having to do with Generation X and religion include the following:

Vintage Religion
Virtual Sundays
Orthodox Christianity

4 Responses to “God”

  1. Niki Park

    Absolutely beautiful. Bookmarking this is post because I would read it again and again.

  2. Loralee Cooley

    What an incredible discovery: this Blog about “God and Generation X”. I’m of an even older generation than the “Baby Boomers” – I’m a “War Baby” (born during WW 2), and I’ve read and enjoyed “Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret,” too.

    I hope to check this Blog of yours often, now that I’ve found it. How refreshing….how sensitive….how “on target”.

    Thank you.


    P.S. I’m a storyteller. Also a musician (piano, mostly).

    Today is Thursday, May 16, 2013.


Leave a Reply

Basic HTML is allowed. Your email address will not be published.

Subscribe to this comment feed via RSS