5/02/2008

The Holy Alphabet


A beautiful devotion I stole from Home Word Ministries
This devotional was written by Kelly McFadden from Home Word Ministries

Look at my Servant, whom I have chosen. He is my Beloved, and I am very pleased with him. I will put my Spirit upon him, and he will proclaim justice to the nations. He will not fight or shout; he will not raise his voice in public. He will not crush those who are weak, or quench the smallest hope, until he brings full justice with his final victory. And his name will be the hope of all the world.—Matthew 12:18-21

Although things are not perfect
Because of trial or pain
Continue in thanksgiving
Do not begin to blame
Even when the times are hard
Fierce winds are bound to blow
God is forever able
Hold on to what you know
Imagine life without His love
Joy would cease to be
Keep thanking Him for all the things
Love imparts to thee
Move out of "Camp Complaining"
No weapon that is known
On earth can yield the power
Praise can do alone
Quit looking at the future
Redeem the time at hand
Start every day with worship
To "thank" is a command
Until we see Him coming
Victorious in the sky
We'll run the race with gratitude
X-alting God most high
Yes, there'll be good times and yes some will be bad, but...
Zion waits in glory...where none are ever sad!*
*Author Unknown

5/01/2008

Random: About Me, my websites


In my free time I like to play around on Adobe software and HTML. I actually selfishly purchased CS3 (WebMaster/Design Premium Edition) software last September. I have built a few of websites for profits and some just fro fun:

Crosspointefwb.com

Crosspointecrossfireyouth.com

TheBabyBiz.com

Overthehillrecords.com

I helped with other websites, but that is my background so far...

4/30/2008

Getting online as a parent and letting your kids online


I am not a parent but I have collected some tips and resources that I think would be helpful if I were a parent. I am a youth minister and I want to help parents connect with their teenagers and grow them closer to the Lord.


Stats on how many teenagers are using laptops and spending a lot of wasted time online.
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/20/nyregion/nyregionspecial2/20laptopsct.html?_r=1&ref=nyregionspecial2&oref=slogin

http://www.commonsense.com/internet-safety-guide/ - Internet Safety Guide for Parents:
"Check site histories, set appropriate age filters, and check out the parental controls on your browser. Teach your kids the basics of safe searching (Google has a safe-search setting), and give them a digital code of conduct. Don't let them figure it all out by themselves. " Another helpful page: http://www.commonsensemedia.org/parent_tips/commonsense_view/index.php?id=270

According to CPYU.org - Center for Parent/Youth Understanding, we should:

First, we need to find out why our kids are visiting these sites.
Second, we should make sure we are equipping them properly to deal with the types of information they are confronted with both on these sites and in the world. Third, we must foster an environment of trust.
Fourth, we need to model for them what healthy relationships look like
Fifth, our kids must learn the difference between information and advertising.
Sixth, we need to make sure our kids are safe on the Internet.
(I cut the main principles, go to CPYU.org and read the details under the articles section).

http://www.cnet.com/4520-13384_1-6721000-1.html - CNet shows in this article some physical tools you can actually use and place on or around your computer to monitor and block certain activities.

http://protectkids.com/parentsafety/socialnetworking.htm
- "Rules N Tools" is the page title. I really love this website. It has a lot of good ideas for rules and more tools to help you and your kids figure out social networks and the internet.

Internet-Related Safety Tips for Teens from the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children

1. Don’t give out personal information about yourself, your family situation, your school, your telephone number, or your address.

2. If you become aware of the sharing, use, or viewing of child pornography online, immediately report this to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children at 1-800-843-5678.

3. When in chatrooms remember that not everyone may be who they say they are. For example a person who says "she" is a 14-year-old girl from New York may really be a 42-year-old man from California.1

4. If someone harasses you online, says anything inappropriate, or does anything that makes you feel uncomfortable, contact your Internet service provider.

5. Know that there are rules many Internet Service Providers (ISP) have about online behavior. If you disobey an ISP's rules, your ISP may penalize you by disabling your account, and sometimes every account in a household, either temporarily or permanently.

6. Consider volunteering at your local library, school, or Boys & Girls Club to help younger children online. Many schools and nonprofit organizations are in need of people to help set up their computers and Internet capabilities.

7. A friend you meet online may not be the best person to talk to if you are having problems at home, with your friends, or at school - remember the teenage "girl" from New York in Tip number three? If you can't find an adult in your school, church, club, or neighborhood to talk to, Covenant House is a good place to call at 1-800-999-9999. The people there provide counseling to kids, refer them to local shelters, help them with law enforcement, and can serve as mediators by calling their parents.

8. If you are thinking about running away, a friend from online (remember the 14-year-old girl) may not be the best person to talk to. If there is no adult in your community you can find to talk to, call the National Runaway Switchboard at 1-800-621-4000. Although some of your online friends may seem to really listen to you, the Switchboard will be able to give you honest, useful answers to some of your questions about what to do when you are depressed, abused, or thinking about running away."

4/29/2008

What is truth?


I have some neat analogies relating to religions, post-modernism, and truth. Some of these ideas are from Living with Questions by Dale Fincher, others are from books by Greg Stier...but some are my own.

Post-modern ideas/ false:

A Shopping bag/or a WalMart -there are a lot of choices and things to buy. You are the consumer and the world/store evolves around you. You could go to Eastern section and purchase some Buddhism or go to the Western Protestant section and pick up some Baptist love....

Starbucks - people like their drinks a specific way, a mix of flavors and long, hard to pronounce names...."I 'll take a Grande
Triple Buddha Berry Frappacino, and a Venti Jesus please...."


Truth / Christianity:

-A cure for a specific diagnosis that we all have, sin. And the truth is that there is one specific solution that cures our sin cancer. Jesus is the only solution, there is no other. Having other drugs will not help.

-A math equation. 2+3 = 5. It always equals five and that is not going to change. It is never going to be 7.

Truth is absolute and exclusive. It is impossible for everyone to be right because by saying so you are excluding everyone who thinks there is only one way...

Truth defined and discussed:
Truth is an idea or belief that is a fact or in other words, ideas that reflect reality and in another way, propositions that correspond to reality. Without truth we cannot know things...without the ability to to know things, we cannot use things properly...if we cannot use things properly then we cannot take care of things properly.

Perception of "faith v. truth"
In today's culture the word "faith" has a false connotation to it. May I suggest that it has a false definition to today's culture. I think that in today's culture, faith is thought of as a gift. It is treated as mystical and unknown. Unfortunately many people think of it as the opposite of truth and reason. Some go so far to say that faith is ignorance.
These are misguided misconceptions. Faith and Truth go together, hand in hand. They are friends, not opposites. Faith is based on truth. I rely on evidence and trust God, this is faith. Faith is confidence in the character of something that has proven itself reliable. God has proven Himself faithful and reliable and evident in my life, therefore I have faith in Him. I trust in His Truth.
It is a faith based on Truth. Truth or ideas as they are in reality.
Truth is a proposition that corresponds to reality. It is when an idea or belief shows up in reality.
Say my car breaks down. I bring it to the repair show and then walk down the street to Walmart. As I am in the check-out line of Walmart I get a phone call from the repairman saying that my car is fixed. I now have an idea/proposition in my head that my car is fixed. I have not seen r driven my car so I walk back to the repair shop. I pay the bill, hop in the car and start driving. Everything is working . I know for sure now that my car actually really is fixed. I experienced truth. The repairman had actually fixed my car and was not false. I know for sure because i can feel/ see my car working properly. The idea that my car was fixed lines up with reality, my car is fixed.

steve jobs and youth ministry



This is such an interesting video. While Steve Jobs makes some great points that really do relate to youth ministry, which makes it funny and makes the video...I did some research and and there is no way that Steve is really talking about Youth ministry. Steve is not a Christian and has experimented with Eastern religions. Others say that Apple is a religion. I am guessing this video is edited assortment of clips. Yet I still enjoy it and agree with the concepts that are being applied to youth ministry.