Posts Tagged ‘Media


Finding my way around “The Golden Compass”

In an earlier post I talked about feeling like a “dial-up dad” in a “high-speed” world. One of the things that I struggle with is trying to stay informed about the various media influences that swirl around my kids. The recent release of the movie “The Golden Compass” is an example of that. What is the good, bad and ugly? I need to know because I want to have an answer for my kids before the “buzz” begins. I stumbled upon this excellent review by Al Mohler while sifting through my feeds and thought I would recommend it to you.



A tip for “dial-up” dads

// you every feel like a “dial-up” dad in a “high-speed” world? I do. Change is constant and can feel overwhelming.

One of the things that I have done to broaden my “bandwidth” is to learn to use a feed aggregator. Simply put an aggregator is a piece of software that enables me to subscribe to various types of web-based content (e.g., news, podcasts, blogs) and brings it together in one place where I can scan, read or save it.

There are a bunch of free aggregators to pick from; I currently am using Google Reader. For sure it took me a while to figure out what I wanted to subscribe to, but now in about 15 minutes I can interact with a wide swath of news, trends and current affairs from my “world” and my kid’s.

What are you doing to up your “bandwidth”? Let the rest of us “dial-up” dads know!


Talking about the bees might be easier you had the talk yet with your kids? That is the missing piece according to one police officer; parents haven’t had the talk yet with their kids.

If you are asking”What talk?” or if you are thinking I am daintily referencing sex ed, then this post is for you.

Our kids’ generation has lots of nicknames, one of which is the digital generation. For most of them they don’t know life without virtual connectivity; it is a dimension of their existence much like height, length and width are dimensions in my life.

Connectivity can bring benefits but it also brings risks, dangers and responsibilities. Online relating may not be our preference, but can we afford as parents to be totally offline when it comes to the impact the digital lifestyle might be having on our kids and family? I think not. Tough as it may be, I think we need to be involved. We need to sit our kids down and talk about online conduct and online dangers.

Let me give you a few bullet points regarding that lifestyle lifted from a recent article:

  • “Canadian educational psychologist Jennifer Shapka discovered that teens send and receive an average of 40 instant messages a day”
  • “A study released last month by the Pew Internet and American Life Project suggests that 55% of online teens have profiles on sites like Facebook and Myspace”
  • “Recognizing the inherent risks of posting personal information, these sites provide several measures of security that empower users to limit who sees their profile. The Pew report suggests that 66% of teens with profiles use these security measures”
  • “Recently several eighth graders in the Toronto area made the news because they were caught passing notes…they posted lewd notes about teachers on the social networking website”

Digital Depression and Teens

iPods, xboxes, text messaging and MSN — these all play a role in the lives of my teens. That probably doesn’t surprise many, but what might surprise you, as it did me, is that excess stimulation from these types of devices contributes to stress and depression among teens. That is the view expressed by Dr. Archibald Hart and Dr. Catherine Hart Weber on a recent podcast .

The doctors went on to explain that one thing among others that we should be on the look out for with our teens is the increasing inability to find pleasure in anything. A persistent and perpetual sense of boredom.

As I reflected on this, it seemed to me that this was just another example of “all things in moderation”. Or to put it another way, my teens and I need to be controlling the technology we use, not being controlled by it.


Eight Principles to Manage Media

We live in a sea of media, much of it not God-honouring. How do we avoid being swamped? Below are some “drown-proofing” principles that I gleaned and reworked from an interview with Bob Klauflin.

1. Don’t assume what the culture feeds you is good for you. Think!

Proverbs 14:15 The simple believes everything, but the prudent gives thought to his steps.

2. You are what you eat…or watch…or listen to. In other words the media you hang around with will influence you.

Proverbs 13:20 Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm.

3. The focus of my attention has to be the “good” as God defines it. Labeling it art doesn’t make it “good” for me.

Philippians 4:8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

4. I choose the things I view and listen to. Just because I can doesn’t mean I should.

1Corinthians 6:12 “All things are lawful for me,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful for me,” but I will not be enslaved by anything.

5. Be persistently and intentionally selective.

Proverbs 4:23 Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.

6. My choices affect more than me, I need to be mindful of others.

1Corinthians 8:9 But take care that this right of yours does not somehow become a stumbling block to the weak.

7. Don’t be casual about your media choices, seek to please God.

1Corinthians 10:31-33 So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. Give no offense to Jews or to Greeks or to the church of God, just as I try to please everyone in everything I do, not seeking my own advantage, but that of many, that they may be saved.

8. I need to exercise discernment and reject media that opposes God’s values.

1John 2:15-17 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world— the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions—is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.


Does your phone come with a chain?

BlackberriesConnectivity. Is it a good thing? I mean is it always a good thing to be available to men and missives? This isn’t the first time I have blogged about this. In the past I have talked about margins in our lives and about practising a digital sabbath.

I think I might be on to something. A recent survey of blackberry-type devices showed that the users of such are working longer hours than the average guy. Users were also beefing that they don’t have enough personal time.

So what is your take? Are blackberrians chained to their work?


Silencing the Screen Sirens

The other day I am checking my team on Yahoo’s Fantasy Hockey when I am ambushed by a Victoria’s Secret “screen siren”. If you surf the web you know what I mean, opportunities to be enticed literally pop-up.

It is not just the Internet. The media and the marketplace are full of the sensuous. At times we feel tempted at every turn of the channel, the page, or the head to steal sexual gratification from forbidden places.

The authors of Everyman’s Battle suggest the following strategy in battling for sexuality purity:

  1. Train your eyes to look away from images/people that tempt us to lust.
  2. Submit your thinking, your daydreaming, your attractions to the rule of Christ.
  3. Strengthen your heart’s allegiance to your wife by cherishing her.

To be sure, these three steps don’t say everything that needs to be said. What would you add?


This blog is a place to wrestle with loving, leading and labouring according to the Jesus Way.


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