Get Off Facebook, Dad!

This is reprinted from the Axis Culture Translator

the-culture-translatorMiddle-aged Americans (35- to 49-year-olds) are now spending more time on social media (seven hours a week) than their children, with the fastest growing demographic on Facebook being Baby Boomers. I recently asked my daughter’s best friend what she was doing that evening and she responded, “nothing, just going home to watch my parents stare at their phones all night.” Ouch.

There’s nothing inherently good or bad about social media, it just is. Yet, how we use it matters. Is documenting your life online keeping you from actually living it? Maybe the greatest gift we can give our children is presence. Here are five practical ways to model healthy social media habits in your home so you can be fully present and engaged with your family.

1. Practice Faithful Presence: Root your life in the real. Anchoring yourself in the here and now reduces the impulsive need to broadcast your life, which can lead to envy, depression, and FOMO. Instead, embrace JOMO!

2. Resist the Urge to Share: Instead of posting that picture of you and your husband at the beach, keep that moment just between the two of you. Cherish it, and it will become an intimate memory binding you to one another, instead of cheapening the moment by sharing it with the world.

3. Unplug: Our devices tell us there is something more important going on “out there” than what’s going on right here, but that’s not true. Establish tech-free times during the day or tech-free places (dinner table) to encourage deliberate, face-to-face interaction with your family. Or, try giving up social media for Lent this year.

4. Slow Down: Your life’s pace matters. Our friends Matt and Julie Canlis encourage parents to live at “Godspeed”, which means living life intentionally, mindfully, and slowly. Practice it by reading a novel aloud together as a family at night, or play a board game instead of watching a movie. Start small, take 15-minutes every morning just to be with your kids before heading off to work and school. Build a liturgy to your day that encourages you to slow down and subvert the digital culture.

5. Pay Attention: The best way to capture moments isn’t to post them to SnapChat, it’s to simply pay attention. Cultivating an awareness of the world around us is a big part of being fully human. Henry David Thoreau said “Only that day dawns to which we are awake.” Ask yourself from time to time, “Am I paying attention to my life right now?” Otherwise, whole days, even our very life could pass by unnoticed.

Our kids need healthy boundaries around screen time and social media, what better way to provide those boundaries than by modeling them with our own actions and habits.

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Links & Quotes

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“There is a sacred art in being able to handle the shield of faith. Let me explain to you how that can be. You will handle it well if you are able to quote the promises of God against the attacks of your enemy.” —Charles Spurgeon

“Action is eloquence, and the eyes of the ignorant are more learned than their ears.” —William Shakespeare

“It is vain to expect any advantage from our profession of the truth, if we be not sincerely just and honest in our actions.” —Archbishop Sharpe

John Stonestreet discusses the dangers of rushing to legalize marijuana. Also check out my book review of Going To Pot by William Bennett, and some quotes from that book here.

Max Lucado reminds us, “God’s grace is greater than your failures.” Read more about how God uses failures.

Detroit Tigers fans know this is obvious: Alan Trammell and Lou Whitaker should be in the baseball Hall of Fame!

“Science is finally catching up with the truth and its findings are simple: porn is harmful. Did you know that porn can mess with your head, seriously rewiring the actual chemistry of your brain?” Read more in this Fight The New Drug’s post.

Look at the cold, hard data: strong marriages and families build a strong economy.

Links & Quotes

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“Then and there, here and now, more and more: This is how we must think about the Kingdom of God and our involvement in it.” —T.M. Moore

“What is the meaning of God sending His own Son, if less than salvation was intended; if less than Incarnation will do, less than blood, less than death, less than resurrection? Oh let us understand the greatness of God’s provision for us, and in that greatness, read at once our death and our life, our condemnation and our deliverance.” —Horatius Bonar

David Wilkerson says, “It is one thing to speak with what we think of as authority—in a loud, boisterous voice, seeming to have total control. But in God’s kingdom, authority is something altogether different. It’s something you have, not something you simply speak.” Read more in his post The Authority Of Jesus.

Wise words from N.T. Wright when it appears God isn’t at work.

GREAT NEWS: Hilton Hotels & Resorts has officially announced a change in policy and will remove all on-demand pornographic videos from the in-room entertainment services at all of its properties worldwide.

Parents, here is a really good list of Scripture verses to help your children memorize as they head back to school.

TrumpToShakespeare_edit-01Info We Trust has a unique way of analyzing the data from the first GOP debate. I love this!

[VIDEO] Dennis Prager make 5 outstanding arguments about the morality of abortion—

Going To Pot (book review)

Going To PotI have been concerned for some time about the pro-legalization (or de-criminalization) movement throughout our country. There seems to be haste to un-do the laws that have served our nation well for many, many years. One especially troubling aspect is expertly addressed in Going To Pot: Why the rush to legalize marijuana is harming America by William Bennett and Robert White.

One by one, Bennett and White dismantle each of the pro-legalization arguments that are being promoted. And these gentleman are truly in a position to speak authoritatively: William Bennett has served as the Drug Czar and as the Secretary of Education (both Cabinet-level positions), and Robert White served as an Assistant US Attorney. In short, these guys know what they’re talking about!

Bennett and White systematically lay out each argument, and then share the facts which completely destroy the arguments. They talk about drug policies that haven’t worked internationally, and they also show the failure of the legalization of marijuana within our own borders. In addition, they also lay out a very thoughtful plan for our country going forward.

This topic is going to continue to come up for a vote on the State-level, so concerned citizens should read Going To Pot to arm themselves with the facts that will contradict the hype and rhetoric of the pro-marijuana crowd.

I am a Center Street book reviewer.

Links & Quotes

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Some good reading from today…

“Remember that sin must be punished. Any theology which offers the pardon of sin without a punishment, ignores part of the character of God. God is love, but God is also just, as severely just as if He had no love, and yet as intensely loving as if He had no justice. To gain a just view of the character of God you must perceive all His attributes as infinitely developed; justice must have its infinity acknowledged as much as mercy. … Sin must be punished, or God must cease to be. The testimony of the gospel is not that the punishment has been mitigated or foregone, or that justice has had a sop given it to close its mouth. The consolation is far more sure and effectual. Christ has for His people borne all the punishment which they deserved; and now every soul for whom Christ died may read with exultation, ‘The punishment of her iniquity is accomplished’ [Lamentations 4:22].” —Charles Spurgeon

Very interesting reading: Has the war on poverty hurt American marriage rates? Check out this data.

“I think it wise, if possible, to move one’s main prayers from the last-thing-at-night position to some earlier time: give them a better chance to infiltrate one’s other thoughts.” —C.S. Lewis

This Spirit-filled, last-days Church will not hide, but will be on the front lines, fighting a good fight and bringing in a harvest of souls.” Read more from David Wilkerson in his post On The Front Lines.

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