Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for February, 2010

One of the viral pieces of news this week was the tongue-in-cheek site Please Rob Me, underscoring the potential consequences of broadcasting your location (such as, not being at home!) too broadly on social media. You know, inviting bad guys to break in while you’re Four-Squaring at the mall…

Well, right now I’m more concerned about a different kind of digital invasion. Namely, as parents – how do we encourage the responsible use of digital media by our kids while preventing “screen addiction?”

We still have 3 boys at home – 2 teens and an 8-year old. We have TiVo (so glad to no longer be subject to broadcast schedules and commercials!) and Netflix on-demand; a family iMac with all the usual web destinations a click away; a Wii; and each kid has an age-appropriate handheld device.

We’re really not big TV watchers, and my kids aren’t sedentary couch potatoes, but let’s face it – all this stuff can be an endless parade of sight and sound that is an easy default (instead of, say, walking the dog, exercising, reading books – all that boring analog stuff!).

Even Dad has to be reminded at times to put away his iPhone (ahem!).

Now, we don’t want to be rigid and spin out all sorts of rules and timetables and impossible-to-enforce schedules, but at the same time, we need to build SOME fences around this stuff so that it does not overwhelm us entirely. For instance, on the iMac, each child has an account, with a preset time allotment of one hour per day. But that’s just one of the digital conduits!

I’m betting all of you who are parents are struggling with this. How do you handle it (apart from, say, moving to Lancaster County and joining the Amish)? What’s working for your kids/family? Have you figured out strategies to allow healthy use without feeling like you’ve walked onto the set of the Invasion of the Family Snatchers? Please share in the comments!

(Image credit – no, not my kids, but very cute!)

————-

Connect with Steve Woodruff

Twitter: @swoodruff

Subscribe to Steve’s Leaves via RSS or e-mail

Read Full Post »

“Dive, Dive!”

How many times have you heard that classic line in a submarine war movie!

I love those stories and movies – though I must confess to a bit of claustrophobia, and the thought of being in a metal tube under a whole lot of water with depth charges raining down really isn’t at the top of my bucket list.

The image came to mind today as I was reading the first verse of Psalm 130: “Out of the depths I cry to You, O Lord!”

We all end up in the depths. For some, it’s the depths of an intractable disease. For others, the depths of bankruptcy and loss. Some end up in the slough of depression and despair; others have their entire religious self-righteous facade shaken into bits by falling into the depths of gross outward sin. And sometimes it’s a combo pack.

No matter what the immediate cause, it always traces back to a broken union with God, and the sin and misery that results.

However, while we often chafe in the depths (I certainly do!), it occurred to me this morning that being plunged in the depths is really a favor from God. It is when we are weakened and helpless and filthy and impotent that we finally realize that our powers are mere sawdust, and that God our Creator and Savior is the One we need – and the only One who can help. Sometimes, it takes losing it all to some form of selfish folly before we finally cry out – from the depths.

What do we do, shivering in the darkness and muck of some deep place? I’ll leave it to you to read the rest of Psalm 130. Suffice it to say that God has a way of convincing us that we need Him, and breaking down our resistance by letting us plummet into the mire. It’s not fun, when the pressure leaves leaks springing and we’re sure we’re about to drown. But it may be the best thing for us.

Image from the movie Das Boot.

————-

Connect with Steve Woodruff

Twitter: @swoodruff

Subscribe to Steve’s Leaves via RSS or e-mail

Read Full Post »