Thursday, August 2, 2007
When I think of the term blog, I picture something like the little green guy from Monsters Inc. Alot of people don't know what a blog is. A blog is a website that takes the form of an online journal, updated frequently with running commentary on one or many topics.
Why blogs matter
There are few who will discount blogs' role as a key component of online culture. If anything, blogs are quickly becoming popular with established users of the Internet, according to a late 2004 study on blogs by the Pew Internet & American Life Project.
Pew conducted two telephone surveys of nearly 2,000 Internet users, and found that 32 million Americans, or 27 percent of Internet users, say they read blogs -- a 58 percent jump from the prior year (with a huge growth in readers 30-49 years old). More than 8 million Internet users have created a blog or web-based diary. Twelve percent of Internet users have posted comments or other material on a blog.
Nonetheless, the blogging concept is still evolving among the majority of Americans. Sixty-two percent of online Americans do not know what a blog is, according to the Pew study.
So far, I know I am pretty much talking to myself with this blog. I have read that it takes approximately six months for a blog to begin to develop a meaningful following. Thank you for checking out the Lois' Lodge blog. I hope you will find information that is interesting and meaningful to you. Key benefits of a blog include opening new channels for documentation and knowledge-sharing, especially for for non-profits that have been constrained by the time and costs of other web technologies; enlivening our group's Web presence; and the engagement of clients, supporters and strangers alike in our work. I receive all kinds of great information on almost a daily basis regarding issues that are important to us. I also love to read and learn and desire to share what I learn with you. I hope that you will find this blog meaningful, that you will share your own comments and thoughts, that you will forward this blog to your friends to enable them to learn more about Lois' Lodge and will send me information that you come across that you would like to see shared through this blog. Thanks for checking us out. Please come back again soon.
Wednesday, August 1, 2007
Effective communication with teenagers can seem challenging for parents. But the topic of dating can give you an opportunity, Dad, to interact with your son in an area where he may have a lot of questions and where he may be open to listening to your observations and experiences. This can be a time and a topic around which you and your son can strengthen your relationship. Read below for a few suggestions on helping your son prepare for dating.
Respect and support your son’s mom. Your son is constantly observing how you model behavior with members of the opposite sex. Respecting, supporting, and loving his mom will help him understand from an early age how to act in the best interests of another person—especially the best interests of a woman with whom you have an important relationship.
Help your son understand what love is. True love is not an emotion which makes the heart race or the stomach churn. True love is genuine concern for the other person—a sincere desire to learn their feelings and thoughts and to care about their well-being. When your son wants to go out with someone, discuss his motivation with him. This can be an opportunity to help him understand the importance of focusing on the value and well-being of the young woman.
Help your son keep relationships at the friendship level. The young woman who is currently the object of your son’s interest will probably not be the person he marries. The relationship may develop into something more serious in the future, but as a teenager, he’s not usually prepared to handle the full responsibilities of a serious “true love” relationship. And, if the friendship does lead to a serious romantic relationship, having been good friends can be excellent preparation for that more serious stage in the process.
Encourage group dating. Having other peers around may help your son develop social skills more easily and may help him more easily avoid the temptation to engage in risky behavior.
Encourage your son to meet and know the young woman’s parents. This will help your son learn more about how to positively interact with adults. It will also help him know the young woman more fully and be able to better understand her family situation and the ways it has impacted her life.
Make sure your son understands boundaries regarding his behavior. This is a time to continue to discuss with your son, as you have in the past, the topics of sex, drugs, alcohol, and appropriate behavior in every area of life. Your son should know that if a young woman he dates tries to get him to do something that makes him feel uncomfortable, it is a sign that she is not interested in his well-being, and the relationship should come to an end.
Share your personal dating experiences with your son. Your son wants to know “how you did it” and “what you learned.” This is an excellent way to be “open” with your son, to help him know you better, and to strengthen the father/son relationship.
Monday, July 30, 2007
Can you imagine what it would be like having me for a mom? I have been known to bring home brochures on Sexually Transmitted diseases and pass them out to my kids and all of their friends. One day my daughter, Jess said to me- "Mom, if Justin or I ever develop a problem in this area you can be confident it is not your fault. We certainly have received ample information on the subject!" Not sure if she meant that as a compliment but I'll take it that way anywaz. :) I am emailing the article below to my kids. You might want to do so also.
Campus Life, June/July 2004
What Do I Say to My Friends?
Answer by Mark Matlock
Q. How do I explain to my friends why I don't want to watch certain movies or TV shows? I don't want to go against my faith, but I also don't want them to think I'm weird.
A. Great question. Two answers: One way to have more confidence talking about the issue with your friends is if you know exactly why you're not watching something. Think it through. Are you avoiding a certain program because the sexual content makes it more difficult for you to keep your mind pure? Or because it depresses you to hear your God's name used so disrespectfully over and over? Or because the violence seems to make you angry?
Once you know exactly what your faith has to do with your choices, you'll be better able to answer the question for yourself—and your friends. They may not think your specific reasons are so "weird."
Second, realize that you don't have to explain the reason for your choice to your friends. The fact is, when you say "no," that should be good enough for your friends. If they really care about you, they should respect this decision.
On the other hand, telling people exactly why you don't watch certain things is a great way to show your friends that you're committed to living for Jesus—and to guarding your heart (Proverbs 4:23). And who knows? Someone else might have the same views you do, but maybe they're afraid to go against the group. If you take a stand, you might find out that you're not alone!
I've also found that my non-Christian friends respect me for my beliefs just because they see me sticking to principles I've really thought through. Will some friends still think you're weird? Probably. But anyone committed to living like Christ is a little weird in our culture. That's OK. If you stick out a little because you don't go along with the crowd, then you're probably on the right track.
Copyright © 2004 by the author or Christianity Today International/Campus Life magazine.