Posts Tagged ‘Teens’


Parents and Facebook

I recently posted a guest-blog for Covenant Eyes on the role of parents in establishing Facebook parameters for their kids:

According to a recent survey, 75% of teens have a Facebook profile, 54% check their status once a day, and 65% of them access Facebook through their mobile devices.

Teens are living, increasingly, in a social world. So how do parents handle this? Some have tried to ban their children from Facebook outright. This may work, for a time, but ultimately, I think, it only serves to isolate the child from life in the 21st century and ill prepares him or her to making discerning life choices

You can read the rest here: A Parent’s Role in Preventing Facebook Addiction: | Covenant Eyes.


Five Things to Consider When Looking for a Christian College

This time of year many Christian junior and senior high students are looking at their college options. Many are considering Christian institutions. I asked Whitney Reed, owner of, to share five important things to consider, when looking at evangelical institutions: 

If you are a student who is interested in earning your degree in an atmosphere that serves the Lord, a Christian college may be perfect for you. There are several different Christian colleges out there that offer many different things, so there is much to consider when applying for admittance.

Before you apply to a Christian school, ask yourself the following questions:

1.     Is the school affiliated with a particular Christian denomination or is it non-denominational?

All Christian colleges will accept all qualifying students, no matter what their religious or denominational background. However, this is an important question for you as a student to ask, because if you feel very strongly about your particular denomination’s teachings and traditions, you will want to attend a school with a similar viewpoint. There are many different types of Christian colleges out there. Some are affiliated with a particular Christian denomination (such as Baptist, Catholic and Methodist), and some are non-denominational. Before you make a decision, it is best to find out each school’s specific perspective of the Christian faith and what it means to be servant of the Lord.


2.     What majors and certificate programs are offered, and does the college have a graduate school?

Why are you interested in attending a Christian college? Do you want to study the Bible and start a career in church work, or do you want to earn a bachelor’s degree in secular work? Or do you want both? All of these are possibilities, but because Christian colleges are typically smaller than most other colleges and universities, some only offer a select number of majors, certificates and graduate programs. You will need to make sure the college you choose offers the programs of study you are interested in before making a decision.


3.     Does the college offer a weekly church service on campus, and what other churches are located near the college?

Check out what options the college (and the town it is located in) has for worship and Bible study. You may expect a particular form of worship, study and service, so before making any decisions, make sure you first feel comfortable with either the weekly campus worship service or the worship service at a nearby church. Also, if you are interested in any other particular church activities outside of worship, make sure the college or a nearby church offers these activities for students.


4.     Does the school offer a study abroad program?

Are you interested in a semester abroad? Some smaller Christian colleges do not offer a study abroad program, so make sure to check out what schools do and do not offer this service before you apply. In addition, if you want to take part in mission work while in college, make sure either the college or a nearby church offers this before you apply.


5.     Does the school have an athletics program?

Are you an athlete who is interested in playing college sports, or are you interested in club sports? Some smaller Christian colleges do not have a formal athletics department or organized club sports teams, so make sure you choose a college that offers your sport of interest before you apply.



When Gratitude is Tested

I wrote about the difficulty of gratitude in hard times for my weekly Crosswalk devotional. Here’s an excerpt:

We can only summon the strength to gratitude when we understand the goodness of a sovereign God. James reminds us that God uses our trials to shape our character, so that the perfect life of Christ is worked out in us. He has the courage to tell Christians to consider the hard sufferings as opportunities for joy. And when you understand how God is in firm control and shapes our discomfort for our good and His glory, you can begin to “give thanks” even in bad times.

Read more here: Then and Now Daily Devotional for Christian Families, Family Bible Devotions.


Friday Five: Vanessa Van Petten

Vanessa Van Petten is one of the nation’s youngest experts, or ‘youthologists’ on parenting and adolescents. She now runs her popular parenting website,, which she writes with 120 other teenage writers to answer questions from parents and adults. Her approach has been featured by CNN, Fox News, and Wall Street Journal. Her next book, Do I Get My Allowance Before or After I’m Grounded? is being released in September 2011 with Plume Books of Penguin USA.

Vanessa was kind enough to stop by and chat for today’s Friday Five:

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Developing Decision-Makers

“Will they make good choices?” This is the question that every parent asks, especially parents of teenagers. Its what keeps you up at night, fretting, hoping, and praying.

In my work as a pastor, I often counsel young people on the wide array of choices that lie before them. And even though I’ve talked to scores of teens from a wide variety of backgrounds, I can usually categorize them into one of two groups: those who have been equipped to make good choices and those who have not.

I’ve found that its not enough for parents to simply help them through tough choices. A good parent works hard to equip their children for a life of making those choices on their own.

How do we do this? I’ve developed five key principles that I think help to build every child’s decision-making muscles:

Read the rest as part of my guest post on Radical Parenting:


Free Tip Sheets

Free Tip Sheets

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7 Factors to Determine Your Direction

I run into a lot of young people who are pretty committed to following Christ with their lives and yet they sort of live in this fog about exactly what that looks like for them. We tend to over-spiritualize God’s Will as if it is some hazy, foggy, wispy thing when it is really not that hard to discern.

Here are some biblical guidelines for pursuing, finding, and obeying God’s direction for your life. Read More


Crash Course Reviews

Two new reviews of Crash Course:

  • Christ Focus Book Club:
  • Teens Read Too: