Mistakes Parents make with Technology

I love my cell phone-- it brings such convenience and connection. I do not long for the old days of pay phones, rotary dials and long-distance charges. Cell phones have a dark side. Ten years of research has uncovered an unprecedented rise of anxiety and depression among teens. This is unlike any generation before and feeds higher rates of self-harm. The corresponding factor to this epidemic is the explosion of intense cell-phone use. I don’t think the answer is to demonize technology. The goal is to help our families adapt in healthy ways to technology. With inspiration from blogger Jeff Henderson, here’s a few mistakes parents should avoid: 1. Allowing children to take cell phones into the

Hot dogs and chips!

On a hot Thursday afternoon last February in Rio Bravo, I found myself walking through the streets inviting people to come to church. I've never had any Spanish lessons but I was delighted to find out that I already knew the Spanish I needed that day. The two Spanish words we shouted as we moved along were these: "Hotdogs!" and "Chips". You may laugh but it was incredibly effective. Within twenty minutes a crowd of about 130 people had gathered in the broken concrete churchyard of El Sembrador Methodist Church. There some of us frantically passed out the advertised fare. The pastor greeted each one personally and invited them to return for services on Sunday. He gave each one a tract telling

I'm the problem

Jesus said, “Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven” (Luke 6:37) If I have a besetting sin it would be this: I judge people. Many people today stay away from all things Christian because of judgmental people like me. Have you judged anyone lately? Here’s something I’ve discovered about my judgements of others—they almost always turn out to be wrong. I let some annoying facet of someone else completely blind me to the strengths and virtues that others see. In my experience this sin is difficult to resist. I know it is wrong and it will make a fool of me, yet I can’t resist the opportunity to heap some condemnation o

On the Potawatomi Trail

With Karen off on adventures with her sister in Oklahoma, I strapped 18 pounds of rucksack on my back and struck down the Potawatomi trail for two days off the grid. It was a steamy day tramping through the jungle of oak, maple and walnut that shrouds the hills of Pinckney Recreation area. It was a mercy to be in the shade. Nettles and poison ivy gave grim notice to stay on the path! Forget the sauna, just take a hike in July. My reward came not less than 100 feet down the trail. The distinctive “drink-your-tea” call of the Towhee; the endless “pleased-to-meet-cha” song of the chestnut-sided warbler and the marvelous “chick-burr” of a scarlet tanager who graced my eyes with his vivid color

Follow no one?

The best part of my week was Sunday when one of our teens, Germane announced that he had done it. He’d read through the entire New Testament in one year. Wow, I was impressed! He is well on his way to making scripture his first language. That is a key task to form disciples: helping people make scripture their first language. Most of us already know how to read and speak our culture. We were born and raised in it. Replacing our cultural ability with scripture is a great challenge. What does it mean to have scripture as your first language? It means that the Biblical word shapes your life in fundamental ways. It means the Biblical Word lives within you. (Colossians 3:16) We speak the word (2

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