16Jan

7 wise ways to speak into and guide your teen’s digital life

cyberbullies, sexting, texting, IM, teens and social networks, Toni Birdsong, Christians onlineHis divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. ~ 1 Peter 1:3

This is the third and last post in a series on parents, teens, and Facebook.

By Toni Birdsong
It takes courage to be a parent in this digital age. However, we often forget it takes more courage to be a teen.

Think back to junior high and high school. Think about the peer pressure, the competition, the cliques, and the conflicts. Now, magnify that. Imagine carrying that weight of the hallways home with you every single day.

That’s what kids today have to do. As digital natives who have grown up with mobile devices and social networks, teens must communicate and “get through” social jungles we never dreamed of.


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9Jan

part 2: what every Christian parent needs to know about Facebook

cyberbullying, Christian parenting, Facebook, Christians online, social networking and teens, internet safety, teens and Facebook, internet filtering, staying safe online

whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. ~Phil. 4:8


This is the second in a three-part series on parents, teens, and Facebook.

By Toni Birdsong
This week we’re going to dive deeper into some savvy ways you as a parent can stay ahead of the cyber curve and help your teens enjoy the upsides of Facebook and avoid (or manage) the downsides.

The goal of this series isn’t to teach you how to spy on your teen or question every move he or she makes. The goal is to encourage you as a parent to simply get involved and equip your teen to live a godly, honorable and safe life online. Once you have a sound foundation of teaching with your teen—some of these suggestions may not apply. Every family and every circumstance will differ.

12 Facebook Tips for Christian Parents

1. Communication is key. Talk openly and often about the privilege and responsibility that comes with using Facebook (and being online) and the consequences of breaking the rules. Remember, Rules without Relationship = Rebellion. The Facebook conversation is an ongoing one—not a one-time thing, which makes Facebook an opportunity to build a deeper relationship with your teen so go for it!


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4Jan

What Christian Parents Need to Know About Facebook


First in a three-part series on parents, teens, and Facebook.

by Toni Birdsong
One of the most common questions I get asked by parents is if it’s okay to let their son or daughter have a Facebook page. The first thing I do is gage where they are emotionally with social media. Then I listen. To their concerns. To their hearts. It’s a really big deal. Facebook has added an unexpected—and sometimes overwhelming—dimension to parenting today.

The good news is that God has given us as parents everything we need to lead these beautiful, expressive, swift-moving digital natives He’s entrusted to our care.

To clarify, this series is written to Christian parents in general and does not address the exceptions that exist in every family.

In general my answer to the Facebook question is yes. You should let your teen have a Facebook page if and only if you intend to monitor it—consistently. For teens today, Facebook is a vital connection channel where life, friendship, art, memories, music, and conversation intersect hourly—whether parents agree with that, or even like it.

That doesn’t mean that Facebook is a free-for-all graffiti wall for kids to write or post anything they feel like. Proverb’s directive to Christian parents to “Train up a child in the way he should go” extends to the digital hallways and hangouts.


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28Dec

10 simple and deliberate actions to jumpstart 2012

But according to His promise we are looking for new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells. ~ II Peter 3:13

By Tami Heim

Yes, I’m still savoring Christmas, but I know this calendar year, whether I’m ready or not, is steam rolling into the history books. For some it’ll end like a strong sprint across the finish line or, at the other extreme, it’ll wash over as a muddled mess. Either way, 2011 is ready to wave its final good-bye and that leaves you and me almost standing face to face with 2012.

During this little gap between Christmas and New Year, are you trying to get a grip and orient towards whatever is new, better, and hopeful? How are you building your bridge between the timelines of the old year and the new one coming?

Our Prayer for 2012

We pray you will grow and discover new ways to make your voice heard. We ask God to give you a sense of urgency and an intense willingness to amp up the digital expression of God’s love and life in you. May the body be the body and radiate a magnificent cyber glow, living out boldly this great faith online. The world is desperate to see God’s glory in this time and place. You, beloved Christ followers, are His chosen point of contact. We pray you embrace the assignment and live each day to make Him known in the world.

We Encourage You

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26Dec

will you refuse to surrender?

The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told. Luke 2:20, NIV

They remembered. “Glory to God in the highest heaven"

By Tami Heim

By any chance, did you wake up wishing Christmas lingered a little longer this year? I did. I’ve been thinking about the shepherds and the afterglow they experienced seeing the heavenly host of angels and then gazing on the face of the baby Jesus. I image they shared the story of that night often and every time they did it brought them new comfort and joy. I simply refuse to surrender the sacred sweetness of this Christmas season. Will you refuse, too? I’m making some choices today and invite you to join me.

Today I’m going to…


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