Protecting your kids online

Last night we spent time with a group of parents having an open conversation about how they can best protect their kids online.

We looked practically at a range of social networks; Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Vine and WhatsApp as well as looking at how to set up protection through your ISP and phone providers.

We started the evening by watching takethislollipop.com this is designed to scare but shows how important it is to lock down personal and private information you don’t want the public to know, especially location.

Most of the evening was practical demos and conversations.

We believe the best way to protect your kids online is to have an open and honest relationship with your child where you are able to talk through which social networks they are on and how their privacy settings are calibrated.

There are fantastic benefits to social media, helping young people with low confidence to build communication skills. Helping people connect with family members or friends locally and globally. Campaigns have been established and shared worldwide as well as transforming the way we get the news. Companies, individuals, charities and social groups, many people use them and it will only increase in the coming years.

Get on the social networks your kids are on, interact with them in a healthy way encouraging accountability but also individuality. There are many great resources online to help you with this but here are a few we would recommend:

http://www.net-aware.org.uk
http://www.nspcc.org.uk/preventing-abuse/keeping-children-safe/online-safety/
http://www.internetmatters.org

We hope to run future events like this that may help and inspire parents, keep an eye on the website for future updates and events.

3D identity series – God’s not like that

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Over the last couple of weeks we have been looking into the identity of God, understanding the context that Jesus came into and challenging our understanding and pre-conceptions of God.

Last week Malcolm kicked off the series with a great talk on understanding that Jesus doesn’t look like God, God looks like Jesus. Listen back here.

Adam followed on the same theme this week talking about all the things people expected of a messiah and how through Jesus he smashed the pre-conceptions.

Jesus did not come to change God’s mind about humanity, but to change our mind about God. You can listen back to Adam’s talk here.

Finally Adam has written a blog on the series explaining:

God is a God of love, not fear
A God of inclusivity, not exclusivity
A God of forgiveness, not condemnation
A God of healing not affliction
A God of honour not of shame
A God of adoption, not of rejection
A God of community not independence
A God who is with us, not apart from us
A God who is for us, not against us
A God who is relational not autocratic
A God who sacrifices, not the god who demands sacrifice
A God who empowers, not the god who disempowers
A God who calls us in to partnership and agency with Him, not a God who imposes His will on us.

You can read more by clicking here. Please join us in the conversation on Twitter (@yeovilcchurch) or Facebook (yeovilcommunitychurch) and let us know your thoughts or what you are being challenged on and learning.

New music – Touch the sky by Hillsong United


Touch the sky is a brand new song from Hillsong United, preparing the way for the new album coming out in May. The chorus of the song is beautiful because it says ‘I find my life, when I lay it down.’ ‘I touch the sky, when my knees hit the ground’. This is saying in our moment of surrender and falling on our knees in worship that is where we are truly found, where we truly encounter the living God.

So often when we come to worship I think it can be something we fall into a routine of always doing the same thing. We always come to church on a Sunday, we always encounter God in a specific way, going through the motions because its all we know. The most common translation for worship in scripture is Proskuneo which means to ‘bow down, to kiss’. Literally meaning to come on our knees and kiss the feet of the one we want to worship. When the song says ‘I touch the sky when my knees hit the ground’ its a beautiful picture of what worship really should be like.

I was in a teaching session at a conference this week and the speaker said a life of worship is…

A life of adoration
A life of thankfulness
A life of intimacy
A life of submission

Are we coming to sing songs and have a nice time or are we coming to bow down and to kiss the feet of the one we truly love, surrendering our all and giving him all the glory. Do our lives reflect lives of adoration, thankfulness, intimacy and submission? How often do our knees hit the ground? These are important questions for us as we grow in intimacy with God.

I’m always looking out for new music and excited by the new album, I hope this song along with others can challenge us to think about how we come to worship. Enjoy the track!