Two Settings To Keep The Dark Side Out

Written by Jonathan on . Posted in Blog, Tech Stuff

Cell Phone

With 79% of our children being exposed to explicit material at HOME, the dark side is seeping through our computers, cell phones and tablets.  With the Force, we must do our best to safeguard our children from being exposed to the potential threat of pornographic material that is lurking in the web’s storm troopers.  It does happen and over 83% of the time, it’s accidental.  This means that our kids are just stumbling on it.

Follow the light side of the Force, which created these settings to fight the dark side.  Every phone, tablet and pc needs these settings in place.

  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 can lock this setting.  You will see this option on the right, click it and follow instructions to keep it locked on that browser. You will need to do this for each browser you use.   

When you are on a portable device, remember to click “save” AND there is a little bad news.  On portable devices, there isn’t a way to lock this setting.  Which means this is great 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.  

2. Youtube: Restricted Mode.

In an effort to appease the light side, Youtube has set up a Restricted Mode.  On a computer, as with Google, you can lock this in your browser.  At Youtube’s home page, scroll to the bottom, the very bottom.  Click on the box Restricted Mode.  Then follow the steps to lock it.   Once it’s locked, you will need to enter your Google password to turn it off.  Note: This will filter out most of the very bad stuff, 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 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 block the Youtube app altogether and only allow access to Youtube through your filtering browser, like Mobicip. 

Now if you already have a filtering browser on your portable device and think it is filtering Youtube, this may come as a shock, but NO filtering browser can infiltrate the dark side of the Youtube app (or any other app.)  

Want more suggestions/tips, etc.?  Host our Parenting Techies workshop. See our promo video, fliers, Powerpoint slide, description, references, etc.

Questions? Comments?  Post below so I can help.

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Don’t Make This Movie Mistake

Written by Jonathan on . Posted in Blog, Ideas

Movies  are a big part of our society.  It may be a regular source of entertainment for your family.  Unless we are proactive, we could end up watching with our kids or letting our teens see on their own, some terrible movies that look so funny and family friendly from the trailers.

Well, worry no more.  We have www.pluggedin.com. (This sounds like an infomercial.)  Recent movies, books, and video games are reviewed, listing in detail the good and bad.

When your kids want to see Daddy’s Home which looks funny and innocent from the trailer, you think to yourself, “It can’t be all that bad. After all, there are little kids in it.” All you have to do is look it up at Plugged In.  Here you read:

AT LEAST 15 S-WORDS. “B–CH” AND “A–” ARE EACH UTTERED ABOUT HALF A DOZEN TIMES; “H—,” THREE OR FOUR TIMES. THERE’S ONE USE EACH OF THE FOLLOWING VULGARITIES, CRUDITIES OR PROFANITIES: “B–TARD,” “FOR CRIPES’ SAKE,” “P—Y,” “WUSSY,” “PR–K,” “BUTTHOLE,” “HOLY BALLS,” “NUTS,” “D–KIE” AND “P—ED.” GOD’S NAME IS MISUSED BETWEEN 15 AND 20 TIMES (TWICE PAIRED WITH “D–N”). WE HEAR ONE ABUSE OF JESUS’ NAME.

I wonder how many parents make the mistake of bringing their kids to see a movie only to shrink in their seats or put their hands over their eyes during scenes?

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One of the best things you can do, so we can impact more families is to forward this on to others.  You can also “like” our Facebook page and subscribe to our weekly texts (info on the left side.)

Helping you have Homes Devoted,

Jonathan

Family Devotion: Christmas {5 minute devos}

Written by Jonathan on . Posted in 5 Minute Devotions, Blog, Challenging, Christmas, Christmas, Family Devotions

Elizabeth & Zacharias: Patience

Read Luke 1:11-25

The Bible tells us that Zacharias and Elizabeth “were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless” (Luke 1:6 NKJV). Zacharias was a priest who served in the temple. We’re also told that they were “well advanced in years.”

Despite this, they had no children because Elizabeth was barren. This could not have been easy on them. For the people of Israel in this time, it was considered shameful if a woman was unable to have a child. Imagine the grief this must have caused them, particularly Elizabeth. No doubt, the light of hope in a child of their own must have dimmed and burned out long ago.

Around the time of the first century, the duty of burning the incense in the temple fell to Zacharias. As he stood alone in the Holy Place, the angel Gabriel appeared before him to proclaim that their long wait was finally over . . . God had ordained for them to have a son named John. Gabriel told Zacharias that his son would be his joy, great in God’s sight, in the vein of Elijah. He would be the forerunner for the King of Kings; the one who would “make straight the way for the Lord.”

Sometimes, God puts something in our hearts, a great passion and desire, but then wants us to wait for His timing so His perfect plan can unfold. The wait, especially if it’s a long one, can cause us to doubt and lose heart.

You’ve probably heard the age-old expression, “patience is a virtue.” All throughout the Bible, we see God rewarding those who patiently wait upon Him, who trust in His promises and His faithfulness to fulfill them. We also see those who don’t wait and often learn difficult lessons. Elizabeth and Zacharias patiently waited upon God and trusted He knew best. Though the reproach of others hurt, this righteous couple found comfort in the arms of the Lord, and in His time, He took their shame away!

It’s not always easy to wait on God’s timing, but the rewards we reap when we do are well worth it!  

Are you experiencing some situation that, like Elizabeth and Zacharias, is testing your patience?

What might God be teaching you?

Elizabeth didn’t see what God was up to …for years.  Even if you can’t see how God is at work, what can you do to trust Him?  Will you trust Him?

*This devotion was edited from a devotional from Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale called The King Has Come: Prepare Your Heart.  It can be found in the Bible app.

2.5 Years After Saddleback Cancels Youth Worship: Follow up Interview with Josh Griffin

Written by Jonathan on . Posted in Blog, Challenging, Ideas, Why Kids In Worship

Our first interview was 5 months after Saddleback started canceling youth worship once a month to have families worship together, appropriately called: Worship Together Weekend. As expected, everyone was excited about the change…at first….

In this second interview with Josh, we talk about the importance of kids in worship, what Saddleback has learned and how they have adjusted since starting Worship Together Weekends.

PS. My wife corrected me. Our boys were 3 and 5 years old…Not 5 and 7… 🙂 How time flies.

Give Family Experiences vs. Stuff

Written by Jonathan on . Posted in Blog, Challenging, Family Devo Tips, Ideas, leaving a legacy

A friend of ours sent this link to us and I wanted to forward it on as well.  With it, she said, “Kids won’t remember their best day of TV or video games, but they will remember family times, family events, family vacations, family projects, family ministry, etc… My Christmas encouragement to you is for you to plan to use your time and money to create meaningful family experiences rather than just giving lots of stuff. ”

She is so right!  There is great insight in this article about giving experiences. 46 Ways to Give Experiences Instead of Stuff and Why.

Kids-dont-remember-their-best-day-of-tv

I want to add the importance of spending time together experiencing God’s Word.

How much are you going to spend this Christmas giving your family something that deepens their faith over the next decade?  Give experiences and not just stuff.

Helping you have homes devoted,

Jonathan

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