National iPhone Day

29 06 2007

A couple of videos in honor of National iPhone Day (June 29th for all you PC users).
*Brief disclaimer – I am not a Republican and I am not a Democrat and I am definitely not a PC user.





Great Quotes: Marketing

29 06 2007

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“Selling to people who actually want to hear from you is more effective than interrupting strangers who don’t,”

Seth Godin

Seth Godin’s Blog – Great read





I Hate Church Signs!

28 06 2007

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I hate church signs. What is the point. I think in everything we do we need to keep in mind who are we trying to reach. I would love to hear from someone who drove by a church sign that said “Tired of being a loser turn to God” and they said “yes I am a loser what must I do to be saved.” 

I think that most people in most churches want to reach people who don’t know God. Although some signs would lead you to believe different.

I believe church signs are for information not inflammation. They are not for cute sayings that make other Christians laugh and people who are not Christians YET angry.

 They are not for clever sayings to make us feel like we are fulfilling the great commission. I don’t understand why people do this? We are eternally offending the people God has called us to reach.

 This is like:

1. A McDonalds employee saying “Good morning fat slob, can I suggest you leave and go get something healthy but you can stay if you want.”

2. A Walmart employee saying “Good luck with all this cheap stuff, you must be poor and stupid.”

3. A computer salesman saying to a potential customer “(Laughing) Your looking for a what. You don’t even look could operate a calculator.”

  Churches put out signs like this and wonder why God isn’t sending people to their church, and why no one is getting saved.

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Maybe because you are marketing yourself and you don’t even know it. Ask someone they will tell you “Oh, you go to the church with crazy sign.”

I don’t want to go to that church ever.  I want to go to one where life change happens. I want to where my kids will love church. I want to go to a church that says they care about people looking for God and actually do.

For more funny church signs click here





21st Centry Allowance

26 06 2007

I remember all the way back to the 20th century, I got my allowance in cold hard cash…..for one week. I never really got an allowance but learned a lot about elbow grease. Both my parents were and are hard workers so I have yet to decided how and if and when my young children will receive allowance, but if I was giving them allowance now I would check out this application I came across on Techcrunch.


I think as children’s pastors and children’s workers it is our job to help parents not try to replace parents. So for all you parents out there check it out. For all you children’s workers check it out so you can help give tools to your parents to better do their job, because as I am finding out. More kids = less time for anything.


payjr.jpgPAYjr teaches kids how to earn money responsibly while helping parents manage the

allocation of household chores. PAYjr offers an allowance and chore system that allows parents to assign household chores online, designate a money value for those chores, and provide a financial reward when chores are successfully completed. PAYjr supports instant messaging, e-mail and text messaging to notify children when their parents assign new chores or when money has been deposited into their PAYjr account or other savings account. Likewise PAYjr notifies parents when a chore has been completed, building up a record of chores over time.

PAYjr is sort of a CRM billing system for the family. The use of online tracking applied to kid’s chores is a good idea, adding support for TXT and IM makes it better again. Parents with kids looking for a different way of managing the allocation of chores will like PAYjr.





Things to NEVER say in front of your childrens pastor

25 06 2007

Karl Bastian “The Kidologist” has a great website with lots of stuff for children’s workers. I joined his site and have benefited greatly. I urge you to check his site out. He has lots of helpful tips, some are practical and some are very humorous. I decided to take one of his list and feature it here. I did a similar one a couple of weeks ago. I hope you laugh, enjoy and learn.

His

  • Do you think you’ll have a real ministry someday?
  • When I was growing up in church, we didn’t need to have fun.
  • What do you do with all that money the board gives you?
  • You’re disturbing the MAIN service.
  • Choir members shouldn’t have to work in the nursery.
  • How come VBS is only five days long?
  • I don’t think anyone will mind if we add another worship service.
  • Just announce it in the bulletin if you need more workers.
  • After church lets out, I need to talk to someone; just keep my kids in children’s church for a while until I get back.
  • My kid says you won’t even last as long as the last one.


Mine

  • They are just Kids.
  • Can you just show the kids a movie.
  • What do you do during the week?
  • I can’t teach, this week. I really need to be in church.
  • You are supplying childcare right?
  • Take your time picking up your kids, they are having a great time.
  • I think our worship service should be longer.
  • Here is the BIG churches old sound board. I doesn’t work to good. You can use it for the kids!
  • What if i miss out on something in Big church?
  • I only come for the candy.
  • Our kids get more out of the adult service so, we keep them with us.




IM Safely?

22 06 2007

I think we would all agree one of the most dangerous and important aspects of online life is the instant messenger. It is where many kids get into trouble and should be on the radar of every parent and children’s workers. It is through the instant messages and social network that many kids or preyed upon by online predators. The 10 commandments of online safety apply to instant messaging as well so be sure to check out that post.

I have many parents ask me what they can do to monitor their kids IM and social networking activities. So i began my search and I found an amazing program called IMSafer. It is fantastic.

Here is what I love about IMSafer.

  • You don’t monitor everything your kids say, so they maintain their privacy.
  • You are however, notified if there are certain keywords that come up like your address, you phone number, foul language etc.
  • It is free for one screen name (unlimited monitoring and Social monitoring are extra)
  • You can monitor MySpace (priceless)
  • You can install it on a Mac and Those other computers
  • As soon as your kids have said something questionable or had something questionable said to them you are emailed.

Here is a quote from their site.

“The parent can view the questionable portion of the IM conversation and explanations as to why the conversation was flagged as potentially dangerous. Furthermore, IMSafer will help parents by explaining slang and IM acronyms that may be related to the questionable portion of the conversation.

IMSafer works hard to honor the privacy of the child by not allowing parents to read full chat transcripts. Spying on children is known to drive their activities underground. Working together is the best way to ensure that your child is protected.”

Stats (We all love stats don’t we)

• “87% of U.S. teens ages 12 to 17 currently use the Internet, representing about 21 million youth. Of those, approximately 11 million teens go online on a daily basis.” (Pew Internet and American Life, “Teens and Technology,” July 27, 2005.)

• “The size of the wired teen population surges at the seventh grade mark. While about 60% of sixth graders use the Internet, by seventh grade the number jumps to 82%.” (Pew Internet and American Life, “Teens and Technology,” July 27, 2005.)

• 47% of children have received e-mails with links to pornographic websites. (Symantec market research report, June 9, 2003)

• Over half (51%) of parents either do not have, or do not know if they have, software on their computers to monitor where their teenagers go online and with whom they interact. (Cox Communications and The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, “Parents’ Internet Monitoring Study,” February 2005).

• 57% or more of parents were unable to correctly decipher the meanings of several common instant messaging abbreviations. (Cox Communications and The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, “Parents’ Internet  Monitoring Study,” February 2005).

 • In late 2004, teachers at Montevideo Middle School in Virginia, surveyed 178 sixth grade students at their school. The resulting data was alarming: 1 in 4 had become friends with a stranger online and 1 in 10 had attempted to meet an online friend face to face. (Montevideo Middle School, “Sixth Grade Computer Survey,” December 9, 2004)

 • Some 57% of parents worry that strangers will contact their children online. These worries are well grounded. Close to 60% of teens have received an instant message or email from a stranger and 50% report emailing or instant messaging with someone they have not met before. Despite this, teens themselves are not particularly worried about strangers online; 52% of online teens say they do not worry at all about being contacted online and only 23% express any notable level of concern. (Pew Internet & American Life, “Teenage Life Online,” June 20, 2001)

• 30% of teenage girls polled by the Girl Scout Research Institute said they had been sexually harassed in a chat room. Only 7 %, however, told their mothers or fathers about the harassment, as they were worried that their parents would ban them from going online. (Girl Scout Research Institute 2002)

• 86 % of the girls polled said they could chat online without their parents’ knowledge, 57% could read their parents e-mail, and 54% could conduct a cyber relationship. (Girl Scout Research Institute 2002)

• 81% of parents and 79% of teens state that teenagers aren’t careful enough when giving out information about themselves online. 65% of parents and 64% of teens say that teenagers do things online that they wouldn’t want their parents to know about. (Pew Internet and American Life, “Protecting Teens Online,” March 17, 2005.)

• 27% of teens said that they have known a friend to actually meet someone whom they only knew online (Teen Research Unlimited, “Topline Findings from Omnibuss Research,” October 2005.)

• Online teens admit that they frequently communicate with people they have never met: 54% have Instant Messaged a stranger, 50% have emailed a stranger, and 45% have participated in a chat room discussion with a stranger (Teen Research Unlimited, “Topline Findings from Omnibuss Research,” October 2005.)

• 28% of teens said they use code words on a daily basis to hide their online conversations from their parents – example: “PIR” means “parent in room” (Teen Research Unlimited, “Topline Findings from Omnibuss Research,” October 2005.)

 





The 10 Commandments of online safety

21 06 2007

The 10 Commandments of online safety for kids.

  1. Thou shalt put the computer in a very public place
  2. Remember thy password and keep it holy
  3. Know thy children’s friends, buddies
  4. Remember thy monitoring software and keep it active
  5. Thou Shalt not allow thy children to post any graven images (photos) whithout thy permission
  6. Thou shalt not allow any contact information to ever be given out
  7. Thou shalt forbid any meeting in person with online buddies
  8. Remember to check thy childs history
  9. Though shalt create a seperate login for each child (on a mac, on those other computers)
  10. Thou shalt not close your eyes and hope for the best

Links

Safety rules for kids
Great monitoring software that works for macs and those other computers
Guidlines for parents
Netsmartz.org
USA Today article
iKeepSafe.org
June is internet safety month