Monthly Archives: July 2011

Who’s The Bait For?

*ASSERTION

* BANDWAGON

*CARD STACKING

*SNOB APPEAL

*SLOGAN

*LOGO

*TRANSFER

*PRICE APPEAL

*STACKING

*REPETITION

*GLITTERING GENERALITIES  *TESTIMONIALS  *CELEBRITY STATUS  *CAUSE AND EFFECT  *EMOTIONAL APPEAL  *CONFUSION  *SEX APPEAL  *TECHNICAL JARGON  *NAME CALLING  *PLAIN FOLKS

Are these terms familiar to you? and are they familiar to your children?  When recognizing the influence media has on our children and how much their world is bombarded with its messages,  our responsibilities as parents becomes critical.
When I was in high school, I took a class on marketing strategies and we learned about how the advertising world targets varying ages, social groups, genders and personality types to lure them into buying or trying their product or believing the messages they are trying to deliver.  This opened my eyes to the world of bait and hook, and I realized that is also Satan’s specialty.  He loves to find the thing that we least suspect to be a hook, and he just waits for us to take the bait and run with it.
It is a wise thing to use filters and parental controls on the forms of media our kids have access to on their own…but it isn’t foolproof.  We can’t protect them from being exposed to some things that will be potentially dangerous or harmful to them.  It is good to empower our children with knowledge and to teach them discernment when we can.   The internet has many resources for learning about these marketing strategies so that we can teach our children.  We can watch TV with them and spend time on the computer with them showing them things that are meant to deceive them, and discussing the differences between what may be portrayed in a TV show with worldly influences and God’s standards.  There are so many opportunities to engage our children in meaningful discussions and to involve them in the process of learning to think for themselves, instead of just following the crowd and easily taking the bait.
There are also many resources for learning about the various forms of media our children are interested in that we may have limited knowledge about ourselves.  A very good resource is Be Web Aware http://www.bewebaware.ca/english/default.html, part of Media Awareness Network.  This site has many interactive tutorials, links, and resource tools to help you become an educated and involved parent.
A PRAYER FOR YOUR CHILDREN:  May God equip them with discernment and may they experience an open, involved communication with their parents that will help them to see through the deceptions of the world and empower them to look to God for guidance and wisdom as they live out the concept of Being IN the world, but not OF the world.

Image above courtesy of: Copyright (c) <a href=’http://www.123rf.com’>123RF Stock Photos</a>

Media and Our Marriages….Do we recognize the potential problem?

Copyright (c) 123RF Stock Photos

..walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, 2 with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love.       Ephesians 4:1-2

The marriage vows….
Our wedding day…. 
On that happy day, we make vows, not just to our spouse, but to our Heavenly Father.  It is supposed to be the beginning of a journey of learning self-less unconditional love.  In those sacred vows, with our marriage founded on Christian love, we have a Helper to bless and nurture our marriage all the days of our wedded life.

What happens when the honey moon phase is over?  We discover what kind of love our marriage is really being built on….selfless Christian love or love of self.  It is easy to think we love someone and not realize that we are actually using that person to fill up the loneliness, emptiness, and restlessness that only God can fill.

If we are not placing God as head of our marriage, then the emptiness, loneliness, and restlessness will return.  It is then that we become vulnerable to the vices and temptations that can destroy our marriage.  In this day and age, the internet, texting, chat boxes, and other social outlets make it very easy to be enticed into being dissatisfied with our marriage partner and looking for other self gratifying ways to plug up the holes inside.  It could be engrossing ourselves in hours of entertainment, internet surfing, etc, or it could be the danger of an emotional or physical affair.

We have to recognize the source of the problem.  I have found myself vulnerable in times that I felt disconnected from my husband, but more importantly from God.  Fortunately, God enlightened me as over the past months I have watched friends get caught in these traps.  When their marriages break on the crashing rocks of infidelity, they very quickly turn to the social outlets to fill up the holes, and dull the hurt and pain.  Instead of turning to God to be their lifeline, they immediately repeat the same vicious cycle.  How can they expect their relationships to turn out any different?  How can they expect God’s blessings on their life or future marriages?    Why can they not see that God can’t fill up their emptiness because they keep beating him to it, and filling up the holes with their own self-gratifying quick fixes.  Why can they not see that it is a relationship of death.

Why is it death? Because a relationship is a living thing.  It is either growing and thriving or it is stagnating and dying.  Only if God is involved can the relationship be truly maturing and growing.  People make the mistake of thinking the relationship is alive because it is currently making them feel good and feeding their ego.  Without God, however, it is certain death.  It may be quick or it may slowly wither and fade over months and years.   We have to put hedges up around our marriages, especially with the temptations so readily available to distract and destroy us via modern technology and social sites.  We have to be diligent about guarding our minds, thoughts, and passions because we all could easily fall into the traps.

My prayer for any reader of this post is that God would richly bless your marriage,  protect and nurture it,  and continue to grow it into a beautiful, living, thriving relationship that teaches you selfless love and dependence on Him.

This site is linked to:

http://womenlivingwell.org/category/media-mondays/

If I Could Speak to a Family Member Who Has Passed

Angel

I would speak to my Gran. She was a jolly soul with the melodic voice of an angel, enthusiastic and creative kindergarten teacher, and just alot of good ‘ol fun. She was someone who lived out unconditional love and her faith in God was so strong. Her love for me and the time we spent together for the first 18 years of my life gave me a source of strength and encouragement that I draw from daily.

WHAT WOULD I ASK HER?

I would ask her to tell me a story…any story….she could tell a story like no other!

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God…can you hear me now?

Copyright (c) 123RF Stock Photos

A high priority in our daily walk with God should be taking time to communicate with Him.  In this modern world of technology, communication gadgets, and information overload, we have to make sure that we don’t let our relationship with God get squeezed out.  Technology is a neutral thing that can be harmful or beneficial in our walk with God, depending on how well we manage it’s use and impact in our daily lives.

I admittedly have allowed the various forms of media to take me down paths away from God because I allowed the wordly views and cultural appeal that can be found there to influence my thinking. It’s easy to get caught up in all the “fun stuff”.  Even when the appeal has not been necessarily something that should hinder my relationships, I have let the entertainment of it gobble up large portions of my time.  It’s easy to get caught up in playing a fun computer game for hours at a time, days at a time because of the addictive fun.  When our media gadgets start to crowd out our time with God, however, and to shuffle our priority list…..it’s time for a Reality Check.

God is all about communication, gaining of knowledge, and connecting with others in rich and fulfilling ways.  Today, more than ever, we have tools at our fingertips to easily access information and to connect with the world around us.  Online, I have found numerous bible study aides, as well as Christian blogs, videos, and social sites that have encouraged me, inspired me, increased my knowledge of God and connected me  with other believers.  Knowing how easy it is to fall prey to wrong influences and distractions, I try to navigate through these pathways keeping in mind that I should focus on those things that would honor and please Him.  I try to gaurd my time and priorities carefully.


I believe God can richly bless us through the medium of modern technological communication.   At the end of the day, however, we should assess if we have been good stewards of how we have used our resources.  It’s not enough to ask ” God, can You hear
me now?”……but rather God, can I hear You now?”

This post is linked to Women Living Well Media Mondays

http://womenlivingwell.org/category/media-mondays/

We Each Have A Castle To Gaurd.

This is Dunrobin Castle in Scotland.  It is a majestic thing of beauty and yet it represents all the strength and fortitude a castle should.  Many of us will never get to travel to an authentic ancient castle, but we each have our own castle to gaurd…it is whatever God has entrusted to us on this earth.

He loves us enough to give us the resources that we need to defend our castles.  Castles have high walls and many are built on high hills or mountaintops so that the view upon the enemy is an advantage.  If we are his child, our  castle is built high upon a rock, the ROCK WHICH IS CHRIST.  He is an unmoveable, unchangeable, solid Rock.

Castles have many windows and vantage points.  These serve the dual purpose of letting in the light of the sun (they didn’t have electricity back then) and providing a view of the surrounding grounds and terrain.  From such a vantage point, an approaching foe or friend could be identified from miles away.  Our castles have windows to let in the LIGHT of God’s direction.  If we keep a vigilant watch, He will show us any approaching enemy and he will allow us His perspective and view on the surrounding world.

Castles often have protective features of  a controlled approach and entrance.  Many even have drawbridges and moats.  A moat is the water that prevents the enemy from being able to get ladders against the walls of the castle or otherwise provides a barrier to challenge the enemy’s ability to get close enough for a full fledged assault.  This forces the enemy to keep a distance in attack and makes it easier to defend the castle.  In biblical terms, WATER represents the LIVING WORD.  By staying in the Word of God, we add a protective defence to help us gaurd and defend our treasures and to keep the enemy at a distance.  The Word teaches us the battle plan and strategies for living a safe, protected and honorable life.  The Word keeps us holy, pure, and seperated from the world around us that is full of ungodly living, and wrong choices.  We need to monitor carefully what we allow to enter our castle for the enemy can often sneak in through something we allow, and then have the advantage of launching an ambush from within.

Did you also know that the castles of Medieval times had dungeons.  I think our castles should have a dungeon as well.  What goes in the dungeon?  The wrong thoughts, the wrong influences, the wrong associations, anything that is contrary to God’s will for our life, that would hinder our relationship with him and dishonor Him.

casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ  2 CORINTHIANS 10:5

What are  my treasures?  My home, my family, the Earthly blessings I have been given to be a trusted steward over, and most importantly…

My relationship with my Heavenly Father, the most high King and gaurdian of my life…for I am his castle to gaurd.

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