Tuesday, December 23, 2014

You Can Chase Your Dreams, Just Don’t Run Away from Your Responsibilities

Part of my volunteer experience involves working with a group of men who have a common cause to help mentor young men in a way that they recognize the responsibilities that God has for them. This group of men represents a broad swath of the economic landscape. They include business leaders, those in sales, instructors, scientists, and councilors. It sounds like a mixed bag of interests, and in a way, it is. However, we have a common focus: to live our lives in a way Jesus would live our lives. We have noticed a trend in our own personal networks where there has been a lack of mature, responsible young men coming into the work force and/or volunteer arena. This wasn’t something that we intended on focusing with our time, but it was more of a product of discussion… over time. Recently, it seems there has become more of an epidemic for young men to accept their responsibilities. This has become most clearly evident with employers trying to find “good help”.
Our group has been meeting for several years, discussing numerous topics from a biblical nature. We started our gatherings as a way to make ourselves better: Better husbands. Better fathers. Better employees. Better business owners. Better leaders in our communities. The thought was, as we got better, those around us would become better as well. 

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

The World Doesn't Need More Words

Flipping through the channels this weekend, I skimmed across an interview where the interviewee made the following statement: “we are drowning in words, while starving for wisdom.” I kept channel surfing, but the statement stuck. It wouldn’t leave my head. I slept, woke up, worked, played with my kids, kissed my wife, and it was still there. I have learned that in these moments, when something won’t leave my brain that was so random, God is trying to tell me something….

Friday, December 27, 2013

Kids Without Parental Controls

We got satellite TV recently. Before you start congratulating us, you should know we have intentionally been without satellite/cable for almost 4 years. During that time, our TV experience was exclusively streamed service via the internet. Our primary service was Netflix, and loved every minute of it. 

We controlled what our kids watched. 

We didn’t watch commercials. 

We could watch entire seasons of a show. 

It got to the point where when our kids went over to friends’ houses that didn’t have streaming services, they ended up saying things like, “oh, you have to watch commercials…” It was awesome.

Unfortunately, our new house is considered “in the middle of nowhere” by most, including all local cable subscribers and high speed internet providers. Therefore, we got satellite TV with internet.

Probably the most interesting thing I have found so far with the service we got was the parental controls. You type in a code that locks out all the adult channels, provides limits on TV time, sets up access to kids only channels, and a plethora of other features. And that got me thinking……

I don’t want parental controls. What I want is for my children to not even want to do things that parental controls limit. 

I want them to not want to watch porn.

I want them to limit their own TV time. 

I want them to turn the channel when they see things they know are inappropriate.

For that matter, I want them to walk away when the conversation goes sour. 

I want them to stand up for the guy who is getting made fun of in the youth group. 

I want my daughter to call me to come pick her up when her date is being inappropriate.

And that is hard as a parent. Its exhausting. Why? Because you have to give up the things you want to do, and get to KNOW them. We have to do things they want to do. We have to put down our phones, A LOT, look them in the eye, and listen to them. Talk to them. Make them answer us. Tell them what is right. Over and over and over. Understand how and why God brought them into this world and point them in that direction, instead of trying to make carbon copies of ourselves. 

I want a child who doesn’t need parental controls to make wise decisions, to stand up for those who can’t stand up for themselves, and to say no when the time comes.