There was another shooting in a Huntsville school today. This time on the campus at University of Alabama Huntsville. Here is a link to the story on Fox News.
I was devastated but not shocked to read this article about a girl who committed suicide (probably as a result of cyber-bullying) and is still being bullied (after her death) through her social network. I think it is a sign of the technological times that we live in and this makes the role of parent even more important than ever before. Bullies have always been a part of adolescent life. I remember being bullied for milk money and my role being taken by the school bully. However, there is a difference now. Bullying now has the freedom to enter the safety of our children’s home. The place where they should feel the safest can now be easily violated through social networking sites and the internet. So, how do we as parents stop this from happening?
- We must acknowledge the dangers of Facebook, MySpace, LiveJournal and the hundreds of other social networking site available to our children.
- We must watch our children’s site for content written by them and by others. My children don’t like this and yours probably won’t either. This is also a daily activity. You cannot keep up with what is going on in your child’s life online by looking at their Facebook once a week.
- We must visit the sites of our children’s friends. You will learn a great deal about your child’s friends by doing this. I will guarantee the person you child is going to be in 5 years will be greatly determined by who their friends are. It is vital that as parents, you know those who are your child’s friends.
- We must LIMIT their time on-line. According to Facebook, the average uses spends MORE than 55 minutes/day on Facebook. That’s 385 minutes/week or 6.41 hours/week. It is too easy for our children to disappear into the computer world and so much can happen while they are in there. Placing limits is not going to erase all the dangers but it will limit their access.
The best pre-caution that we as parents can do in protecting our children in every aspect of their life is to BE INVOLVED in every aspect of their life. Our children need to know that as parents, we are going to be looking at what they do on-line and visiting the sites they visit. We’re going to take time to get to know their friends (both on-line and in person). We’re going to have an active presence in their life.
What we cannot do is allow the Television/Computer/I-Pods/Video Games/ or friends to raise our children. It’s our job as their parents and it will be difficult, stressful, and time-consuming. However, it will be the most rewarding job we ever do and we owe our best to our children.
St. Jude Children’s Hospital is once again on the forefront of finding a cure for cancer in children. The months during seminary that I spent as a chaplain at St. Jude was some of the most amazing of my pastoral career. The doctors, nurses, chaplains, volunteers, even the cafeteria and janitorial staff are wonderful and there for one reason…to help children.
Here is a great article about a man who was trapped in the Haiti earthquake and used an I-Phone app to treat his wounds and survive. He also writes a journal entry about his situation and ask his wife not to blame God. It’s really a great story and worth the read. Click here to read it.
This is a letter I just received from the President of Memphis Theological Seminary regarding the creation of a scholarship in Matt Millers honor. A fitting tribute for a man who touched so many lives.
Alumni & Friends,
Tiffany McClung, Debra Matthews, Leo Chang, Whitney Brown, and I rode together yesterday to Birmingham for Matt Miller’s funeral service. When we got there, we joined a large MTS contingent of students and alums, and current Trustee Tom Bell, to fill about three and a half long pews. I was honored to be able to represent the MTS community, and told Matt’s parents and brothers that there were many more who wished they could be there and who were praying for the family in their loss. The service was a true celebration of Matt’s life and faith, and was filled with humor, as Matt would have wanted.
Tiffany is working with the Student Senate to plan a memorial service here on February 10th during our regular chapel time. Some of our alumni have already begun working toward an endowed scholarship in Matt’s name to benefit students from the North Alabama Conference. The endowment should be ready by the time of the memorial service, and if you would like to make a contribution, you will have an opportunity to do so at that time.
Please continue to remember Matt, his parents, and his four brothers in your prayers. His presence here will be deeply missed. We are working on plans to award Matt his degree posthumously in May at graduation.
Post tenebras lux,
Memphis Theological Seminary
168 East Parkway South
Memphis, TN 38104-4395
MTS General: 901-458-8232
Direct Line: 901-334-5805
Financial Donations to UMCOR
You can also donate directly to those affected through UMCOR. Mark your donations “Haiti Emergency Advance #418325.”
Every time you give to a designated emergency or program 100% of your gift supports the intended need. UMCOR does not use any of your designated gifts for administrative or home office costs-they are covered by other funding channels (such as the One Great Hour of Sharing Special Offering each year.)
You may give
By Offering - For local church and Annual Conference credit, put your gift in the offering plate on Sunday. Churches may send your check to the Conference Treasurer who will foward it to UMCOR. Mark your check “Haiti Response.”
By Check - Make your check to UMCOR and send to: UMCOR, PO Box 9068, New York, NY 10087
By Credit Card - Call toll-free (800) 554-8583
3 Executives from United Methodist Committee On Relief (UMCOR) are missing in Haiti. UMCOR is the organization that the United Methodist Church sends for relief efforts such as hurricanes, tornados and earthquakes. Here is a link from the United Methodist News Service detailing what they know regarding the 3 who are missing.
Wow is about the only word that I can come up with right now after seeing all the video and photos coming out of Haiti. I’m just taken back and don’t have words that would accurately describe my feelings. If you want to help (like I do) here is a link to UMCOR. UMCOR is the relief agency of the United Methodist Church and 100% of your donations will go directly to the Haiti Relief Effort.
We are going to be taking up a special offering at Behold this weekend and this offering will be going straight to UMCOR. We will also be taking a special offering at The Bridge.
Last week I had the honor of being asked to pray and anoint bikes that had
been donated to the children in foster homes. This is a ministry that Lee
Marshall has undertaken and it is amazing the amount of work which she and
others put into it.
As each bike was brought off the trucks, they were passed down the line and
each one is anointed with oil and then all of the bikes are prayed over. I
cannot begin to put into words the blessing I received from being a part of
this great effort.
Lee, you’re truly one of my hero’s along with all those who give their time
and effort to help out. God bless you and may God continue to use you in
such powerful ways.