The eighth graders, their parents, and I have just returned from Student Leadership University. We had a tremendous time of learning and fun. We worked hard and played hard while we were in Orlando. Thank you all for helping us by praying for our trip and supporting us through bake sales, Chick-fil-a Tuesdays, etc. We were joined by around 300 other Christian students in grades 8-12 from private schools around the nation. We were all blessed to learn from business leaders, college professors, youth pastors, and others including Pat Williams, a basketball Hall-of-Famer, currently serving as co-founder and senior vice president of the NBA’s Orlando Magic and author of 100 books and our very own Ryan Bowman who holds a senior position at Chick-fil-a.
It is fitting that our Habit of the Month this month is Self-Control. We learned a great deal about what it means to be a leader, especially one of biblical character. Students were instructed to do things like we do here at CCS, such as picking up after themselves, leaving a place better than they found it, and finding ways to serve others. I am convinced that these small character qualities will add up over time to allow students to be “salt and light” in a culture full of self-absorbed and distracted people.
The Lord has been working in my heart regarding how different our students will be from the ‘culture at large’ through the relationships we build at CCS and the habits we cultivate through training and modeling. There seems to be a deficit in character and integrity at every level of American society. It seems as though the enemy has encroached on our American values of hard work, honesty, integrity, honor, and freedom of expression to a degree that these values are not nearly as common as they should be or even used to be.
As parents, we must remain vigilant about the communities in which our children are involved. We have to pray fervently for God’s will for their lives and protect them from the onslaught of digital and cultural influence. They must be “in the world, but not of the world.” An important part of that covering of protection is filtering what they see online. Due to the dangers available online and through social media, we do not recommend that any of our students have cell phones. We also advise you to closely monitor all use of the internet in addition to maintaining hardware and software filters at home. We use layers of protection at school, but are unable to monitor them at home. Therefore, I am including some information from Focus on the Family to help you keep your kids safe at home. You can download their guide on Technology Safety and view their recommendations for Parental Controls, Web Filtering, and Internet Accountability software. They also have articles about dangerous apps, cell phone rules, and other guidelines to help you navigate our increasingly technical world.
My prayer for you is that you will take the time to read these resources and be vigilant about monitoring and maintaining your child’s digital landscape. It takes a bit of self-control to follow through, but when we consider the potential dangers of exposure to pornography, online predators, gaming addiction, sleep deprivation, cyber-bullying, depression, and anxiety, the urgent need to do so becomes clear.
At the very least, please use Google Chrome as your browser and follow these instructions to enable Google Safe Search and filter explicit content on You Tube.