Author Archive

Jonathan

Rev. Jonathan Cronkhite has been serving youth and families in full time ministry for the last 23 years. With the heart of a pastor, he encourages and equips families to have Homes Devoted, through conferences, workshops, coaching and writing. Married to Carrie for 17 years, they have 5 children, run a home school co-op, drama club and chess club and invite 50 people over once a month for airsoft battles.

Raising Selfless Kids In A Selfish World

Written by Jonathan on . Posted in Blog, Challenging, Encouragement, Ideas, leaving a legacy

 

By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”  John 13.35

One of the greatest ways to “love one another” is to give away your time.  Even with all the social media connections, people are relationship starved.

How can your family love others this week with your time?

It’s so easy to let self-indulgence, fun and entertainment (soccer, judo, movies, YouTube, TV, social media, parties) take up a majority of our time, especially, because many of these things are “good”, but if we continue to cater to the entertainment desires of our kids without any thought of blessing others, they will probably grow up to be adults that continue this “i” mentality.  Fast forward 10+ years.  If your grown kids served as much as they do now, how much time would they be devoting to “loving one another?”

In our effort to raise kids that seek out how to love one another regularly, let’s find ways to get the family together to serve others outside our own universe.

This summer we went on a family mission trip and our 5 year old was playing Charades with all the nice folks at a nursing home.  She was the highlight of their day.  Even at 5 years old, she knows she can use what she has to bring joy to others.

We don’t have to train our kids to be selfish.  But it will take time, training and persistence on our part to join our kids (living by example) in serving and loving others.  Each time we do, they become a little more Christ like and we as a family grow closer together.

What are ways we can serve together?  It doesn’t have to take a day or week or even an hour a day.  We can help our kids have a mindset of helping others and thereby showing our love for Christ, simply by:

  • putting the garbage out for a neighbor
  • bringing in the mail for an elderly person
  • writing a note to someone
  • visiting a nursing home for an hour
  • baking extra cookies for a neighbor
  • picking up sticks after a hurricane (Can you tell we live in Florida?)
  • And those random things that just can’t be planned: praying as you drive by an accident, putting a shopping cart back for an elderly person after they put their groceries in the car, holding the door open for someone, etc. etc.

We have a saying in our house: “Perceive the need!”  We want our kids to have a mindset within all our activities and fun, that there are needs out there (and in our own home) and we are called to serve Jesus by loving others.

John Maxwell said, “People are selfish.  Speak to their need first.”  When we meet a need, it’s a way Christ in us speaks to them.  That is powerful!

By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”  John 13.35

Make Browsing The Internet & YouTube Safer For Your Family With These Two Online Settings.

Written by Jonathan on . Posted in Blog, Challenging, Porn, Tech Stuff, Web Stuff

Whether you saw the Connect documentary or not these are two practical settings to help safeguard your family online today and best of all, they are free. With 79% of our children being exposed to explicit material at HOME, the dark side is seeping through our computers, cell phones and tablets.  This means that our kids are just stumbling on it.

The Force has a light side and these settings will help fight the dark side on every phone, tablet or computer.   Want more suggestions/tips, etc.?  Click here for info on our Parenting Techies workshop and read many reviews from parents as well as our promo video, fliers, description, etc.

1. Google’s Safe Search. Make sure your browser’s search engine is set to Google (instead of Bing or Yahoo, for example)  On each device, type in https://www.google.com/preferences.  At the top is SafeSearch Filters.  Set it to “Filter explicit results”.  When you are on a pc, you will see the option on the right to lock this setting.  Click it and follow instructions to keep it locked on that browser. You will need to do this on each pc.

When you are on a portable device, remember to click “save.”  On portable devices, there isn’t a way to lock this setting.  Which means this will work for the little ones, but if your teen chooses to look into the ways of the dark side, they will probably figure it out.  This is why many people use the highly recommended software, Mobicip to assist in keeping the bad stuff away.  (Trust me.  It works.  Just ask my kids.)   🙂

2. Youtube: Restricted Mode.

In an effort to appease the light side, Youtube has a Restricted Mode.  On a computer, as with Google, you can lock this in your browser.  At Youtube’s home page, look for your icon on the very top right.  (You have to be logged in. If you aren’t signed in, you will see SIGN IN.)  At the bottom of the drop down, you will see Restricted Mode.  Follow the steps to lock it.   Once it’s locked, it will ask you for your Google password to turn it off.  (Note: This will filter out most pornography, but Mobicip will be MUCH more thorough.)

On portable devices, the app has the same setting.  It’s easy to turn on, but also easy to turn off and doesn’t include a way to password protect it.  Open the Youtube app, click on the upper right hand icon and go to Settings>General>Restricted Mode.   Again, great for the little kids, but easy enough for teens to step over to the dark side.  How can the light side win?  With the Force on your side, you could block the Youtube app altogether and only allow access to Youtube through your filtering browser, like Mobicip. (Another insight we share in our workshop is that NO filtering app can infiltrate the dark side of the Youtube app.  Confused?  Have I mentioned that we do a workshop?) 

Questions? Comments?  Post below so I can help.

Many churches and schools have benefited from our Parenting Techies workshop.  Pass this on to your church/school leaders, so they can host our workshop to equip other parents, too!

One of the best things you can do to help other families is to forward this on.  You can also “like” our Facebook page and subscribe to our weekly texts.

Helping you have a Homes Devoted,

Jonathan

5 Benefits of Praying Together as a Family

Written by Jonathan on . Posted in Blog, Family Devotions, leaving a legacy, Prayers, Praying Together

We say mealtime prayers and pray with our kids at bedtime, but let’s also gather the family to seek God with the expectation for Him to answer!  Let’s fervently seek God’s heart and will; praise Him, thank Him, ask for forgiveness, and pray for others and our needs.

George Barna’s research revealed that less than 10% of parents in the church pray together with their kids other than at mealtimes.*  Let’s change those stats one family at a time starting this Easter as we lead our kids to trust Him through prayer.

Here are 5 benefits for praying with our children:

  1. Teaches them how to approach God.  Telling someone how to change a tire is a lot different than doing it with them.  How we pray is most probably how they will pray.  Praying together models for them, guides and teaches them.  What a privilege it is to lead our children to connect with God!
  2. We hear what’s on their hearts and minds; their major concerns.  We learn about their character as they share their challenges about friends, tests or siblings.  It’s such a blessing to hear their prayers for those who need help or God’s healing touch.
  3. Helps us connect with God and each other.  Nothing can restore relationships better than asking for forgiveness!  We teach our children to ask for forgiveness from God and each other.  We want them to know God does forgive and that we are all in need of a Savior, even mommy and daddy!
  4. God answers the prayer of children!  God hears a child’s prayer.  God listens to children; God uses children. It was a child who had the 5 loaves and 2 fish (John 6:8-9).  Do you remember Josiah, the faithful boy king (2 Kings 22)?  He was used to restore a nation to God. Sharing these scriptures and encouraging our kids to build their relationship with God now, communicates to our children that God wants to work through them and that He listens to them today, not just when they are older!   It was Jesus who said, “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 18:3
  5. The most important benefit is so our children will experience GOD AT WORK.   Too many children are going to church and hearing terrific stories of what God has done in the past, but aren’t experiencing what He is doing today outside of Sunday mornings.  This is the biggest reason why the majority of children in church today are walking away: they are not experiencing the fruit of a home devoted.  We must point out God’s answered prayers, so our children know He is at work; that He still answers prayers!  Let’s make God known at home for doing great things here and now and then when our kids grow up and reach that age when their only hope is to rely upon God, they will know He is alive and working in their lives; that He is faithful; that He cares.

Let’s continue to sharpen each other. Respond with your comments, thoughts, questions below.

Questions to ponder individually, as a couple, or as a small group:

  1. How do our children experience God at work?  
  2. When will they experience God’s answered prayers for themselves?
  3. Why do you think the majority of children in the church grow up and out of their faith by college?
  4. When can we pray together?  (Suggestions: at a meal, in the car, after dinner, before going to bed, etc.)

*(Barna, Transforming Children into Spiritual Champions, p. 78)

2 Nights Only in Theaters: CONNECT. You Could WIN $50!

Written by Jonathan on . Posted in Blog, Tech Stuff

In a social media-centered world, the smart phone has become a cultural rite of passage for kids.  How can this generation of parents blaze a new trail to equip their kids to thrive in an ever-changing digital environment while steering clear of the dangers that lurk nearby? CLICK HERE FOR TRAILER

You’ve heard a lot about our most popular workshop: Parenting Techies and now you can get inspired and encouraged to protect your kids on their screen by seeing this on the big screen in this new documentary by Kirk Cameron.  With six teens, Kirk Cameron fully understands this dilemma. So he went to the experts and what he learned will enlighten, challenge, and encourage parents. And best of all: it can help strengthen your family! Join Kirk on this important journey of discovery in his brand-new documentary, CONNECT—only in cinemas for two nights: Tuesday, February 27 and Thursday, March 1.  You can purchase tickets HERE.
After watching, get some parents together to host our Parenting Techies workshop and we will walk you through many ways to protect your family with device settings, software, apps, etc.  See here for more info and reviews on our PT workshop!!!  Forward to your church or school and give parents the confidence they need after the movie.Win $50!  Take a picture with your crew at the movie and post it on Homes Devoted’s Facebook page and/or Instagram (jctherev_homesdevoted) and tell us one thing you learned that every parent should know!  We will do a drawing on March 2nd for a $50 gift card to a Darden’s Restaurant (Olive Garden, Longhorns, Cheddar’s)!  Share a photo and encourage other parents at the same time!

Helping you have Homes devoted!

#1 Reason NOT to “GIVE” Your Child/Teen A Smartphone For Christmas

Written by Jonathan on . Posted in Blog, Tech Stuff, Teen Girls, Teen Guys, Texting

​I know how much joy you would get from giving your teen the latest and greatest smartphone.  Or even one that’s not the newest model, but one that you can at least read the screen. (I didn’t know cell phone glass could crack into so many pieces!  My daughter’s screen is barely readable!)

The joy on their faces would be so satisfying if you were to hand them that new device.  They would adore you forever.   Well…at least until the next time you told them to clean their room.

Here is why we don’t GIVE them a phone.  We buy the phone and let them use it.  We make it clear it is OUR phone.  Yes, there is a difference.

It may feel like it’s theirs, but make it known from the beginning that it is yours and therefore it can be taken away at any time for any reason.  You can ask to see it.  You can go through it.   When they spend too much time on it or you sense there are issues, you have the right to take it away for a while.  (Um…Aren’t you paying for the service, anyways?)

Since it is your phone and they are borrowing it and because it is a privilege (It’s not an American right), you can use it as leverage.    “Not doing well in school?”  No more cell phone.  “Disrespectful?”  Gone.   “Didn’t do your chores?”  Say good-bye.

There are dangers that come with these devices which means there is added responsibility.  Please check out this post about protecting your loved ones: TWO SETTINGS TO KEEP THE DARK SIDE OUT.

For those of you who are new to having a child with a cell phone (or tablet), you may want to look at this agreement (edit it as you see fit).  This is the best way to start giving them this new responsibility.    Click here for more info on hosting our Parenting Techies Workshop.

For those of you who have already made that purchase and planned to put it under the tree, wait until all the gifts are unwrapped and explain to them that they have a “loaner” phone.  Trust me, they will be just as excited.

Have a wonderful Christmas!

Helping You Have Homes Devoted!
Jonathan & Carrie

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Get in Touch

694 Hammock Rd.
Melbourne, FL 32904

321.223.1163 jc@homesdevoted.com