Category Archives: Tech

Yes, Our Kids Are Sheltered in Their Entertainment. Yes, We Want It That Way.

Our family loves movie night! On Friday nights when we are at home, odds are we will have a simple supper and sit down in our living room to watch a movie. It’s been a tradition now for 4 or 5 years, and we love it.

We also enjoy going to movies sometimes. While it is expensive, we enjoy making it a special outing. We don’t go see every “kids’ movie” that is produced, because we want a trip to the movies to be special.

Though we watch quite a few movies, have a couple of favorite TV shows on DVD, and enjoy listening to the radio at times, we are very selective in what we let our kids see and hear through the entertainment media.

Very selective.

If they take the Lord’s name in vain? We don’t watch it.

If there is cursing..at all? We don’t watch it.

If there is homosexuality? We don’t watch it.

If there is immodesty? We don’t watch it.

And, yes, there is more on our “don’t watch” list, but I figured you didn’t want to read every possible thing we will not watch.

I sometimes hear parents talk about choosing movies and TV shows and they have very low standards for their children (sometimes, even small children). One reason they often give is this: “I don’t want my kids to be sheltered as to what is really out there.”

Really? That’s our logic?

Now, let me say this: I fully understand that we cannot keep our kids as “kids” forever. Virtually every day I am struck by how quickly they are growing. In fact, as I write this, my “little” boy will be 10 in just a few days, so both of my children will be in double-digits for their ages. They will not be kids forever.

And I want them to know that sin is real and it is out there in the world. We are not trying to hide the fact that people do bad and sinful things. We are not trying to make them think that everyone on the planet goes to church and always speaks properly and always dresses in modest apparel (a trip to a shopping center or high school football game will teach them that that’s not the case).

Two Reasons Why I Feel This Way

But, when it comes to entertainment? Yes, I want to shelter my children. Yes, I like it that way. And here are two reasons why.

First, I want to teach them that just because it is produced for entertainment does not mean that we have to consume it. It is remarkable how many children in Christian homes are experts on virtually every entertainment option that is produced. They have seen all the movies. They watch a constant stream of TV shows. They can name music artists and songs…

…just like people in the world can.

We are not required to be entertained in order to survive! I want to teach them discernment in their entertainment. (By the way, that means I must model that in my own entertainment choices, as well.) Instead of just vegging out in front of whatever is on, I want them to see that there is more to life than just mindlessly consuming whatever is put out there in the world of entertainment.

Second, I want to shelter them because I do not want Hollywood opening the eyes of my children. It is not up to Hollywood to educate my kids. It’s not up to record producers, radio stations, iTunes, DirecTV, or Google, either. It’s up to me!

Christian parents, we have got to quit just giving lip service to saying our children need to be morally pure. We cannot say that and then let the entertainment industry teach them their version of morality. Hollywood’s morals are going to slide further downward over time. We know this.

But since we know that, how can we just let them feed our children more and more rude, crude, vile, and immodest material? Our children, literally, are not ready for what Hollywood feeds them, yet we let them have the minds of our children.

Not this parent! I want to show them what sin is from the Bible, and show them how to stay away from it. I want to be the one to help them begin to think through how to face temptation, not let them see Hollywood’s “just do what feels good” message.

So, yes, they are sheltered when it comes to entertainment. And, yes, I like it that way.

Because it is one way in which I, as a parent, am refusing to abdicate my responsibility to parent.

I will not set before my eyes anything that is worthless.

I hate the work of those who fall away; it shall not cling to me. (Psalm 101:3)


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AUTHOR: Adam Faughn

Episode 76: Reflections on Louisville, Dealing with Entertainment Choices, You Can Get Your Family to Worship on Time, and More! [Podcast]

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On this week’s podcast, Adam and Leah talk about some recent goings-on, they discuss how Christians can deal with entertainment choices, and encourage families with tips to get ready for worship.

Plus, they talk a little college basketball. It is March, after all!

Resources below.

Links

Is Genesis History? [Homepage]

To Go or Not to Go…” [Amber Tatum; A Legacy of Faith]

6 Tips for Getting to Church On Time” [Of the Hearth]

More from A Legacy of Faith

To subscribe to A Legacy of Faith by email for free click here.

Subscribe to the podcast on iTunes

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Visit the show archives

Episode 72: Capturing Great Family Photos on Your Smartphone (guest: Chad Landman) [Podcast]

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With smartphones now having great cameras, how can families take good pictures? Where do you store those pictures?

On this podcast, Chad Landman rejoins the program to talk with Adam about taking great pictures with your smartphone, and then what to do with those pictures.

Lots of links below!

Links and Resource List

Chad’s website

Active Digital Parenting

Camera and Photo apps for Android Phones 

Google Photos

Google Camera

Instagram

VSCO Cam

Camera Zoom FX

Snapseed

Camera and Photo apps for iOs (Apple) Phones

VSCO Cam

Instagram

Snapseed

Snapfish

Chat Books

Mosaic

More from A Legacy of Faith

To subscribe to A Legacy of Faith by email for free click here.

Subscribe to the podcast on iTunes

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Visit the show archives

Connected to What?

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Leslie Stahl may not be well known to those of us who choose to worship on Sunday evenings. That may be due to the fact that she is a regular contributor to the long-running (on Sunday evenings) CBS program 60 Minutes.

lesley-stahl-becoming-grandma-book-jacketMs. Stahl (she is married, but is one of those thoroughly modern women who does not use her husband’s last name) also appears on other CBS news shows. As the picture of her book cover shows, she is also an author.      

Recently, I watched part of an interview with her about her new book. (The interview was not on 60 Minutes, by the way.) As you can see from the picture of the cover of the book, the book is about being a grandparent and how, at least in her mind, that role has changed in recent years. 

What you cannot see is the “behind the scenes” story about how the picture was taken. I found that part of the interview to be more fascinating than Ms. Stahl’s views about being a grandparent. 

What the picture supposedly shows is a grandmother sitting with two adorable granddaughters who are fascinated with a book. According to Ms. Stahl, that is not what was going on when the picture was taken.

According to her, the older granddaughter was, indeed, fascinated by the book. She posed willingly for the picture. 

That was definitely not the case with the younger granddaughter. She was causing all kinds of problems until a solution was found.

The solution was that somebody thought to tape an iPhone into the book!

The smaller child is not reading. She is being entertained! She was, in fact, watching a movie! Instead of connecting her mind with the book and her will to that of her grandmother, she was “connected” to an electronic device. 

I’m not so much of an old fogey that I resent and oppose modern technology. I went online to find the picture of the book. I’m typing these words on a computer. I plan to attach this post to an email to send to our son. You may read this on a computer or some sort of digital device. As I see it, there is nothing inherently wrong with any of that.

However, in my mind, there is a danger when entertainment becomes a substitute for some very important things. I have in mind things like true education, interaction with family members and others, and worship. Have you ever noticed that many of us don’t talk about what we think any longer? Instead, we talk about how we feel

I am not advocating that computers, tablets, or smartphones should be thrown into the trash. I am advocating, though, that these things need to be put aside fairly often in favor of an old-fashioned book. 

Read. Think about what you read. “Argue with” what you read. Take notes. Make comments in the margins. Do something besides turning your mind off and a device on. 

Maybe we could even expand on this a little. Instead of an email or text message, how about a handwritten note? Instead of Snapchat (whatever that is), how about a phone call? Instead of a Facebook post, how about a personal visit and conversation? Instead of being LinkedIn, how about being “tuned in” to your spouse, your children, your friends, and others as they communicate with you?

How about being connected to the things that really matter instead of things that are of much less importance?


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[Episode 66] Family Friendly Entertainment (guest: Robert Hatfield) [Podcast]

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Entertainment is not bad in itself, but Christians are to be discerning in all they do. How can we, and our families, enjoy entertainment when there seems to be so little of it to be found? Robert Hatfield joins Adam on this week’s podcast to talk about the dangers of entertainment, as well as how to find wholesome forms of entertainment.

LOFpodcast

Resources

The Light Network (homepage)

The Light Network Facebook group

Arrows in Our Hand (family podcast)

Common Sense Media

Plugged In

More from A Legacy of Faith

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Subscribe to the podcast on iTunes

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Visit the show archives

About Video Games in Worship

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I see it virtually everywhere I preach, both at 9th Avenue as well as in various guest speaking opportunities. It is a trend that is disheartening to me, not just as a preacher of the Gospel, but also just one who loves the hearts of children and who wants to see them grow to love God and His Word.

It is kids playing video games during worship.

They bring their iPad, tablet, or phone and while many of us are singing “I Surrender All,” they are striving for a high score. While we are praying to God, they are playing baseball. While we are mining the depths of God’s Word, they are on Minecraft.

Parents, may I just ask: what are we teaching our children about worship?

It’s boring.

It’s only for adults.

It can’t compete with electronics.

It’s something you do if you can’t find something more interesting.

Those lessons, spoken or unspoken, are what your children are picking up when you allow them to play games during worship.

And I know that there are plenty of Bible apps and websites that are also being used by some. That said, I have randomly asked children at places I have spoken about what they were doing on their iPad (or other device) during worship. Never–not a single time–has it had something to do with the sermon. It has always–every single time–been about playing a game or watching videos. (Yes, I’ve seen kids with headphones hooked up to their tablet during worship. Not a good way to show that they are paying attention to the worship service!)

Is this what we want for our children? As we are gathering around God’s throne to praise His holy name, do we want our kids to be off in virtual gameland? If I may say so, I want my children right in God’s throneroom with me as I praise Him!

Excuses, More Excuses

“They can’t sit still through a whole sermon.” “They pick up quite a bit as it is.” “They don’t understand what’s going on.” “It helps me worship because they are still and quiet, at least.”

I’ve heard all the excuses. They just don’t fly. Worship is something that children must be trained in, and it starts when they are very little. What’s more, if they are trained how to act during worship when they are younger, children will most likely come to enjoy worship as they grow up.

Of course, children will be restless during worship (especially the sermon). That’s part of it, and it is understandable. But putting Temple Run in front of their face is not the answer. All that teaches our kids is that they can act up in worship, and they are rewarded for it!

What Can I Do?

I am not saying that children–especially smaller children–need to sit perfectly still during a worship service with just a King James Bible open to the text for the sermon.

But there are far better things to do, or even to give your children, than a video game (or social media access, for the older ones).

When they are really small, give them Bible pictures, Bible story “board-books,” or even small stuffed animals (and whisper in their ear, “God made the dog on day 6,” or “God made the birdie on day 5”). That way, though they have something in their hands, or that they are looking at, it is teaching them to focus on their wonderful Lord during these few minutes.

As they grow a little older, Bible story books are a good idea. Also, make sure they are at least trying to sing and that they are still during the prayers. They can do this much!

Another idea is to have little worship worksheets that they can draw and write on. (Note: We offer these for free in our “Training for Worship” pdf that’s in our store. Again, it’s free!) These sheets let them write the names of the songs or something we prayed about. Have your children draw a picture of something the preacher talked about on the sheets, or write down the verses he used in his sermon.

It’s Not Easy, but It’s Worth It

I know that all this means that you may struggle to worship at times. During those younger years, those children are forming such valuable thoughts in their little minds. Wouldn’t you rather struggle a little bit and have them grow up loving to worship and understanding what is going on?

Then please, not for the sake of the preacher, but for the sake of the souls of your children, nix the video games.

Replace Mindcraft with Matthew.

Replace Temple Run with Titus.

Replace sports games with singing with grace.

God is worthy of your effort. It will be a fight for awhile, but the eternal destiny of your child is in the balance. It’s worth every effort.

Resources

“Training for Worship” [Arrows in Our Hand podcast. Contains other helpful links, especially for parents of smaller children.]

“Training Your Children for Worship” [A Legacy of Faith podcast]


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AUTHOR: Adam Faughn

What Could be Better than Facebook?

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Facebook is, by far, the largest social media site in the world. According to some information I have seen, there are over 1.1 billion Facebook accounts. Facebook is about three times larger than its nearest rival, Twitter, which still has several hundred million accounts.

I am not writing this from the vantage point of an “internet Nazi.” I am not among those who believe that the internet in general–and Facebook in particular–are inherently evil. 

Yes, there are dangers, but there are dangers with all other forms of media. There are dangers inherent in driving, but I choose to do that instead of walking everywhere I go (and maybe getting run over by a car!). There are dangers involved in just about anything we do.

Even with all of its dangers, I have found the internet and some computer programs to be a valuable tool for research, Bible study, etc. With a few keystrokes or a mouse click or two, I can now find and/or link to information that it would have taken hours (if not days or weeks) to find in earlier years. It is helpful to connect with all of that information in such a short time.

It is also great to connect with people by means of Facebook. I do get tired of reading and seeing some of the things that people post on Facebook. (I’m sorry, but I really don’t care a great deal about the latest trick your pet can do.) I also get discouraged when I see people who wear the name of Christ approving of and practicing things that sully His name. 

I’ve also seen way too much indecency on Facebook–indecent jokes, indecent language, and indecent attire. I wish I could honestly say that all of this has been posted by non-Christians, but, sadly, that is not the case.

Even with all of that being said, Facebook remains a wonderful way to connect with family, friends, old classmates, and others. Because of Facebook, I have been able to connect with people I’ve almost (if not altogether) lost track of. 

As wonderful as Facebook can be, what could be better than that? What could be better than connecting with people all around the world? What could be better than using the internet to access information from countless sources and countless centuries?

How about this:

Face in the Book

When I put my face in the Book (God’s Word), I am also connecting. I am connecting with Him and with His truths. I’m connecting with people who, throughout the ages, have been loyal to Him. I’m connecting with His Son and my Savior. I’m making the ultimate connection.

So, there you have it. I think that some of the time I spend connecting with people via Facebook would be more profitably spent with my face in the book.

How about you?


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Learning Leviticus [Video]

Okay, so most of us avoid the third book of the Bible unless we “have to” read it for our daily Bible reading. Leviticus is a difficult book to read, mostly because there are almost no stories. Instead, the book of Leviticus is filled with law after law after law.

But there is more to the book than just a series of laws. If you are not familiar with The Bible Project on YouTube, I hope this video encourages you to check out what they are doing. In less than nine minutes, they share more helpful information about Leviticus than you may have ever seen before. Enjoy, then check out more of their videos on YouTube.

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10 Ways Every Congregation Can Utilize Periscope [Video]

Recently, I recorded a short video about Periscope. This free online tool is one that I think congregations need to be using more and more. In this short video, I shared 10 quick ideas for how every congregation–no matter their size or budget–can utilize Periscope.

One additional note: I got a phone call later in the day from someone who had watched. She had a great reminder that I failed to mention in the video. She mentioned that, when you stream events–especially involving children–you need to have permission from parents. At the very least, you need to have your location setting turned off. Just a simple online safety tip, and I appreciate the reminder!

5 Things a Real Man Has on His Calendar

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I admit it: I live by a calendar and to-do list. I am a total time nerd.

Side note: If Google Calendar ever goes out of existence, I might just be going out of existence, too!

Admittedly, though, I have struggled through the years with a calendar that was filled by everyone else. A few years ago, however, I heard a fellow preacher teach a session at Polishing the Pulpit about time management. He suggested (very strongly) that we need to put everything on our calendars.

I started doing that as best as I could, and what a difference it has made!

The reason is simple: when you put everything on your calendar, your priorities truly set the agenda. This is not necessarily about being a time management ninja; it is about spending time doing what is most important.

With that in mind, I want to speak to men. Specifically, Christian husbands and fathers.

Too many men put “the game” on their calendar (which is fine), but not things that are of far more eternal value.

So, what does a real man have on his calendar? Here are some things to make sure you prioritize on your calendar.

1. Worship

I am a preacher, and yes, I have worship on my calendar. Well, sort of. You see, 9th Avenue has a public Google Calendar with all our events, and we make certain to include worship. I simply subscribe to that calendar (which you can see here), and am reminded of worship.

It may seem silly to have that on my calendar, but if nothing else, it shows my children the absolute priority of worship in our lives. But also, to be honest, there are some dads who need that reminder, and that is okay (at least for awhile).

2. Time with His Wife

Husbands and wives need to continue to date each other. And it must be a priority.

Husbands, let me put it this way: if you are not prioritizing time with your wife, then it is as if you are “dating” your job and hobbies before her.

You may not have the resources to go on a date every week, but surely you can find something romantic to do together once each month. Put it on the calendar and don’t move it for anything, save a major emergency.

3. Specific Time with His Children

Daddy/daughter dates. Specific outings with that strapping boy. It is so easy to let those things slide in all the hurry of life. It is also easy to take your kids to their ball games (or band rehearsals, whatever) and act as if that has been special time.

Real men spend time alone with each of their children. It does not have to be extravagant. It could just be taking her out for an ice cream cone, or taking your boy to shoot hoops in the park.

By the way, it may almost seem callous or cold to actually put these on the calendar, but I disagree. We set the times as a family for one “big” outing each month (we call them “daddy/daughter date” and “time with Turner”). Of course, we do other things together throughout the month, but the kids anticipate these special days or evenings so much.

4: Time Alone with God

I will confess: I do not add this to my calendar now, but I used to, until it became part of my daily routine. For many busy men, reading the Bible and/or prayer time falls by the wayside, simply because it is not given a priority on the calendar. There is no shame in having “time with God” or “read Bible” on your calendar, if it helps you grow closer to the Lord.

5. Birthdays and Anniversary

I know the dates of my wife’s birthday. I know the dates of when my two precious children were born. I know the date of my wedding anniversary.

But I also know I am way busy, so they are on my calendar. I want to see those dates upcoming, not just so I won’t forget to buy something, but so that, from first light in the morning until bedtime, I am celebrating those special days with my family through words of affirmation and praise!

Conclusion

Let me ask, how differently would your life look if these five things were prioritized on your calendar? Would you be closer to the Lord? Would you be more connected with your wife? Would you know the heart of your children better?

Then get out whatever you use for a calendar and start putting your priorities on that grid. That’s what real men do!

RESOURCES

Need a little help with organizing your calendars? Especially if you use Google Calendar (or would like to try it), here are a few resources you might want to check out.

“Google Calendar Tutorial 2015: Quick Start” [VIDEO; YouTube; A very basic starter guide, but very well done]

“Why I’m Trying Google Keep for My To-Do Lists” [VIDEO; Katch.me; I made this video about 2 months ago on Periscope, and am still using Google Keep for my to-do lists.]

“5 Hidden Google Calendar Gems” [VIDEO; YouTube; A bit more advanced, but I love the ideas on this video, and have used almost all of them at one time or another.]

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AUTHOR: Adam Faughn