Posted in Family, Kids, LifeHacks, Marriage, Parenting, Technology

Web Filtering Available NOW on IPhone, iPad, and iPod (iOS 7)

iphoneIf you have updated your iphone, ipad or iPod in the last few months to iOS7, you now have the ability to have websites (and other content) filtered.  This is a HUGE weapon for families in the battle against pornography.  If you haven’t activated this on your child’s device or had your accountability partner activate it on your device, be sure to do this TODAY!

Here is a link to the steps for setting this up.

Its easy and effective.

Posted in Bloggers, Books, Culture, Education, Homeschooling, Kids, Leadership, Parenting, Technology, Theology

Navigating New Technology and Spirituality (Tim Elmore)

Last week I was able to hear Dr. Tim Elmore give a talk entitled, “Marching Off the Map: A Compass to Help the Next Generation Navigate New Technology and Spirituality”. Last year, after reading his book, “Artificial Maturity” I started following him at his website

Below are the notes I took during his talk. If you have or work with young adults (teens through 30 year olds) I suggest you start reading the blog , books, and resources from Growing Leaders.


This is the first generation that

  • Doesn’t need adults to get information (They need us for interpretation)
    • They don’t need us to access it but to process
    • Helping our kids learn how to think not what to think
  • Can broadcast their every thought or emotion
  • Enjoys external stimuli at their fingertips 24/7
  • In social contact at all times yet often in isolation 
    • Extremely social but not relational
    • Most sleep with phones
    • Showering with a cell phone
    • Low Emotional Intelligence for kids and Adults
  • Will learn more form a portable device than a class
  • Adults have actually been enabled to be narcissistic
    • Every year Narcissism is going up in Students
    • People are into themselves – Selfy Pics
    • However, The real world is not about them
  • Uses a phone instead of a wristwatch, camera, wall calendar or board game.


Dr. Elmore refers to the Millennial generation as, Generation iY, because life is pretty much about “i” (Self Centered)


Generation iY S.C.E.N.E

  • Accustom to S- Speed: They Assume Slow is Bad
  • Accustom to C- Convenience: They Assume Hard is Bad
  • Accustom to E-Entertainment: They Assume Boring is Bad
  • Accustom to N-Nurture: They Assume Risk is Bad
  • Accustom to E-Entitlement: They Assume Labor is Bad


So, How should we lead them?


1.  Don’t think Control, think Connect (Be authentic, Real)

        We must build bridges of relationships that can bear the weight of truth.

        Balance Screen time with face time. Every minute on device is a minute in person.

2.  Don’t think Inform, think Interpret (How think, not just what)

3.  Don’t think Entertain, think Equip. (Share why they need what we teach, before what)

        Churches are good at preaching, but not equipping.

4. Don’t think “Do It for Them”, think “Help Them Do It.”

        Let them fail (They took the monkey bars off playgrounds becuase we didn’t want them to get hurt now in their 20s they won’t take risk.)

5.  Don’t think Impose, think Expose. (Expose beats Impose every time)

6.  Don’t think Protect, think Prepare.

       Unbelievable, some school district no longer use Fs , the lowest is D is “Delayed Success”! Graces does not take away truth.

7. Don’t think Tell, Think Ask (Learn to ask good questions)

8.  Don’t think Cool, think Real. (To these kids the only thing that is worse than being uncool, is being unreal)

9.  Don’t thin Prescriptive, think Descriptive

10. Don’t Lecture, think Lab. (Missional experience: Serving Others)


Over the next several weeks I’ll be posting other notes from this conference (Catalyst 2013) I recently attended.

Posted in Entertainment, Family, Parenting, Technology

Family Tech/Media Agreement

Someone called and asked me about this today; so I thought I post and share. It’s a combination of others that I found online.  I print this out and discuss it with the kids a few times every year.  Then I have them sign it and post it in the kitchen.

(Surfing,Texting Social Media, iPod, Gaming)

1. I will not give out personal information such as my address, telephone number, parents’ work address/telephone number, or the name and location of my home without my parents’ permission.
2. I will tell my parents right away if I come across any information, photos, or videos that makes me feel uncomfortable.
3. I will never agree to get together with someone I “meet” online without first checking with my parents. If my parents agree to the meeting, I will be sure that it is in a public place and bring my mother or father along.
4. I will never send (email or text) or post a picture of myself or anyone else without first checking with the person photo’d and my parents.
5. I will not respond to any messages that are mean or in any way make me feel uncomfortable. It is not my fault if I get a message like that. If I do I will tell my parents right away so that they help me avoid future content.
6. I will talk with my parents so that we can set up rules for going online. We will decide upon the time of day that I can be online, the length of time I can be online and appropriate areas for me to visit. I will not access other areas or break these rules without their permission.
7. I will not give out account passwords to anyone (even my best friends) other than my parents.
8. I will check with my parents before downloading or installing apps or doing anything that could possibly hurt our computer/phones/iPods or jeopardize my family’s privacy.
9. I will be a good online citizen and not do anything that hurts other people or is against the law. I would never write or post things that I would not want shown on the evening news.
10. I understand that bad people can be VERY GOOD at pretending to be a friend of your age. I will NEVER talk to strangers even if they are my age.

I understand that using Technology is a privilege and my parents have installed apps and software to keep evil out of our lives. I understand that if I break the rules my parents give me then I will lose my technology/media privileges.


Children sign here

Posted in Church, Technology, The Word

Believing in God vs. Believing God

There’s a BIG difference between “believing in God” and “believing God”. This importance cannot be over emphasized!

I’m concerned for those who build a religions image around “believing in God”. I suppose we all begin our spiritual journey with a general idea of “believing in God”; but if we truly believe there is a God ; wouldn’t we desire to know Him more?


A person doesn’t have to read the Bible or go to church to believe in God. But if we do believe in Him; wouldn’t we want to invest our time in things to help us know more about Him? It seems to me that our behaviors confirm our beliefs and if we believe there is a God we will seek him through the church and through the scriptures. And as we grow spiritually we will move from simply “believing in God”, to “believing God”; His word, His character, and His leading in our lives. This is what it really means to have faith IN God.

“And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” Hebrews 11:6 (NIV)

Posted in LifeHacks, Technology

Backing Up Your Memories

With the emergence of digital cameras over the last ten years, the need to back up your captured memories is greater than ever. Not only do our computers now contain our favorite music, but pictures and videos we have captured of our kids growing up. So when your computer crashes, how do you plan to recover these files?

There is a growing popularity of services that allow you to back up your PC to “the cloud”. While I daily enjoy DropBox, I do not think cloud storage is a wise solution for permanent storage. Questions around security and reliability should lead us to look for a safer way to back up our most special memories.

Below I have listed the plan I use. Even if you don’t use this system please use some plan to back up your files.

  1. Designate one computer as your main PC. The computer should have a large hard drive (1 Terabyte or Greater) to hold your growing collection of digital media.
  2. When downloading music online, or pictures from your camera use the main computer. You may choose to save then elsewhere as well, but be sure they are saved to the one main computer.
  3. Connect an external hard drive, like a Western Digital My Book, to your main computer. There are some backup software tools out there, but I manually backup of my computer by:
  • Creating a folder with the Date (Ex. Backup 08282012)
  • Using windows explorer I highlight the folders (Documents, Music, and Videos) and copy and paste them into the newly created backup folder.
  • I set a calendar appointment to remind me to do this every quarter.

     4.  The final step is to take the external drive to a safe location other than your home. That way in the event of a disaster at your home, you will be able to recover your data from your backup hard drive.

Let me know if you have any other suggestions or if you need help backing up your data.

Posted in Family, Friends & Family, Technology

Why Your Calls Aren’t Being Answered

Last week I was on a conference call at work, using my personal cell phone, when someone I know very well called on the other line. Now I was preparing to speak to 50 people or more on this call, so I let the call transfer to voice mail. After the call I went to listen to the message, not knowing I was in for a treatJ. You see, after the call rolled to voice mail, the caller didn’t hang up their phone. So I got to hear the rest of the conversations they were having (I love it when this happens). It turns out they were frustrated with me for not answering their call. “They had things to do” and the fact that I was unavailable at that moment was unacceptable to them. So today I thought I’d blog about three legitimate reasons why others may not answer our calls.

  1. The person we are calling is either on the phone or in a face-to-face conversation with another person. I believe that as default, our current on-going communications SHOULD trump all others. If we are talking to another human it is respectful to give that person our undivided attention. I’m not perfect at this but I trying to get better.
  2. The person is busy with a task that requires their full attention. This is not just for Doctors in the middle of surgery. If I’m in the middle of a tedious task at work I will silence my phone. This helps me concentrate in order to get things correct the first time and this requires forgoing phone calls.
  3. The person we are trying to contact is taking a break, “de-teching”. In an effort to try to balance all of life it is good to step away from our phones for a short period each day. Sometimes I leave my phone at my desk and walk around the office to clear my mind. This helps me break the false impulse I feel to always be available.

When we make ourselves available to everyone all the time the demands of our time will be so great, that we will feel stressed and unable to really focus on anyone. So, if you call me and I don’t answer, it’s not that I don’t care about you, it’s that I’m trying to care about someone else at the time. “Leave a message I WILL return your call later.”

Posted in LifeHacks, Money, Technology, TV

My Top Ten Most Useful Phone Apps

Besides, texting, emailing, and taking photos here are some of the more useful non-standard apps that I use for my Android Smartphone. I will come back on future blogs and give a bit more detail about each of these apps.

  1. X3Watch – Accountability software that only works for the android. It sends my wife a list of apps and websites visited from my phone each week.
  2. Evernote Widget – Provides quick access and updates for all my lists. See GTD System.
  3. EEBA – Envelope Budgeting app that syncs with both my phone and my wife’s phone so we stay on budget each month.
  4. TweetDeck – One stop shop to keep up with my Facebook and Twitter accounts.
  5. Weather Channel Widget – Quick glace so I’m ready for the rain.
  6. Listen – Google App that all my audio podcast (sermons, leadership talks, etc) are synced with.
  7. TiVo – Allows me be schedule TV shows to be recorded when I heard or read something that I find interesting
  8. DropBox – This is where I get all my active documents that I’m working on. Again see GTD.
  9. Flashlight– I hate mine quick working last time I upgraded my phone, but the LED flashlight apps are very handy.
  10. – Quickly (using camera as a scanner) compare in-store items to amazon prices to see how much cheaper I can get them (no tax or shipping) If I’m willing to wait a few days.
Posted in Bloggers, Books, Leadership, LifeHacks, Technology, Uncategorized

Build Your Platform

I have to give credit to Michael Hayatt and his new book Platform for helping me reenergize my blog ( In the book Michael gives step-by-step instructions on how he was able to build his “platform”. The resources in this book are invaluable for anyone who, as the subtitle suggests, “has something to say or sell.”

One of the primary things Michael did in the book was to challenge me to reexamine why I began blogging in the first place. When I started back in 2007, Facebook was in its infancy. Initially blogging gave me a way to let my family and friends know what was going on in my life. But as social media (Facebook and Twitter) matured and everyone seemed to have their own “platform” it made sense for me to simply migrate my “cyber” life from blogging to social media. Unfortunately Facebook and Twitter turned me into more of a consumer than a producer. This realization has motivated me to make a change.

“Platform” has challenged me to build and reengage any audience I may have lost; (Hi Mom). If you own a small business or are in the marketing department of a larger one, I suggest you get your hands on this book. It will help you stand up and stand out in this noisy world.