For years I’ve been writing about screen addiction, digital detoxes, and electronic boundaries to protect our families and our children. The first post was a letter to my boys about why I limited their electronic usage. After watching that post go viral multiple times, I realized this was a topic important to millions of families just like us. I began exploring the topic more and sharing my findings and insights here with you all. You can find many of those posts here.
I’ve never been a fan of a smartphone in the hand of a kid or even a young teen.
When Zachary turned 13 we bought him his first phone. It was a flip phone. I thought that would be the safest option. As it turns out, it’s not much better than a smart phone. On the flip phone you are unable to disable internet access. Yes, the flip phone has internet access. But with little to no parental controls.
We have bought 2 flip phones. Each time we’ve gone to the store we’ve been told there was only 1 option, 1 flip phone. No choices. We have also been told there is no demand and soon we will have no flip phone options.
I disagree with the lack of demand. I talk to too many parents and listen to you all share your heart for wanting a safer option.
Now that Zachary is almost 15, a flip phone isn’t the coolest thing in the world. To text on a flip phone is not super easy. So he’s reached a point where he began asking for a smartphone, but we aren’t ready to open that world to him at this point. He has more than enough internet access via computers and iPads in our home, we really don’t want him carrying access to the world in his pocket. And let’s be honest, we adults struggle to manage the distractions, so expecting our kids and teens to filter through the mess online is a setup for frustration.
I’ve scoured the internet for safe phones for teens. I end up finding nothing. Then one day as I scrolled Facebook an ad popped up. This one instantly spoke to me because it advertised a phone with no internet access, the look of a smartphone, with all the major functions important to us.
The price was perfect, the monthly service was the exact amount I already paid, so I bought it right off the ad. I don’t think I’ve ever bought from a FB ad before!
Ya’ll! I’m in love with this phone.
Put really simply, our mission is to protect children, connect families and encourage life outside the screen.
This video explains the heart behind this company and their mission. Created by a dad who found himself in the same place I did, standing in a phone store realizing the market held nothing to give our kids what they wanted while protecting them the way we want to protect them.
Key features of this phone:
Phone, Text, Camera, Calendar, Calculator. Unlimited talk and text for $19.99 and month. And the coverage is excellent!!
No internet, no app store, no social media, no games, no ability to send and receive pictures (which is becoming a major problem with inappropriate images sent and received by kids).
I bought our phone when it was on sale for $69. Currently the Gabb phone is being offered for $49, plus I have a promo code for an additional $5 off. Just use promo code RENEEROBINSON when you check out.
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Here’s some posts over the past several days. Scripture I’ve pondered, books I’ve read, thoughts I’m taking to God. And at the end of the day, settling back on the only unchanging hope we have. He is good always.
The only power to help us
“The crisis of the age we live in is the abandonment of truth, inevitably in the decline of moral values.”“Most of the early twentieth-century sociological works I read claimed that crime was caused by environmental forces such as poverty and racism. But in 1977 psychiatrist Samuel Yockelson and psychologist Stanton Samenow published a landmark seventeen-year study called The Criminal Personality, which refutes that claim. The only adequate explanation for crime, they conclude, is individual moral choices. The solution to crime, therefore, is “the conversion of the wrongdoer to a more responsible lifestyle.”
“But in an age of relativism, this worldview has steadily lost its grip on American culture, largely because Christians themselves have failed to recognize how God’s truth applies to every aspect of life.”
Charles Colson quotes from Born Again.
I just finished book 46 of 2020. Born Again by Charles Colson. He was convicted of Watergate-related offenses and spent time in prison on those charges. Jesus Christ saved Him, made him a new man, and used him to shine a light in the dark prison world. He has a unique story from inside the White House and political system, inside the prison system, inside law and justice as an attorney, and finally as a converted man, saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ.
This book, again, was timely and powerful for me to read.
Let His Word settle you
“We are not made for brilliant moments, but we have to walk in the light of them in ordinary ways.” Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest.
This inspirational #teatowel reminds us that the majority of our lives are filled with ordinary, mundane moments, but lived in the Spirit of God they are holy.
May we do all for His glory.
Anyone weary? Our souls weren’t created to receive the load of information and news we take in each day. Is God asking you to come to Him and receive rest?
“Don’t be deceived: God is not mocked. For whatever a man sows he will also reap.” Galatians 6:7
Jesus told the crowd that it wasn’t what they ate that made them unclean, it was what was already inside them, residing in their own hearts. The disciples came to Jesus, talking about the religious Pharisees, and said, “Do you know that the Pharisees took offense when they heard this statement?”
I love how Jesus responds in Matthew 15:13 “Every plant that my Heavenly Father didn’t plant will be uprooted. Leave them alone! They are blind guides. And if the blind guide the blind, both fall into a pit.”
In the margin of my Bible I have written “it’s not worth arguing with the blind.”
Jesus spoke the truth and the truth offends. Period. The truth is offensive to the blind. Is it our job to make them not offended? Nope. We speak the truth in love. It may offend. Jesus didn’t go back to make sure they weren’t offended. He said “Leave them alone.” They are blind and my Father will deal with them.
Another thing worth noting, be careful we aren’t following the blind. Otherwise, we may find ourselves in a pit when they fall. Stay in step with Jesus and you never worry about being on the wrong side.
For the full account read Matthew 15:10-20.
There will come a day…
Imagine a day where millions of people simply disappear from the earth. You are driving down the freeway and cars start running off roads because drivers disappeared into thin air. Planes fall from the sky as some pilots are gone. You are at the checkout counter and the clerk is gone. Literally people vanish. Chaos is everywhere. And no one knows what has happened to all the people. Then lawlessness takes over. Evil has taken over. Sounds super freaky and far fetched right? Well, it’s not. It will happen. And I believe sooner than we realize.
Here’s some of my story.
I’d been resisting God for years in my life. I didn’t have all my questions answered, I thought my life would become stale and boring, and I didn’t think I could live to God’s standards. So I kept pushing Him away. But He chased me down. Everywhere I turned someone was telling me about Him or inviting me to something. Then my mom gave me the book Left Behind. I devoured the entire series. I read about what the Bible says will happen at the end of the world and I was stunned. I was terrified and realized I didn’t want to be left behind. The horrible things were coming to deal with evil. Yet I didn’t feel I fit on the side of God or of evil. I was just hanging in the middle, doing “good” on my own without repenting and surrendering to Jesus. I realized that by default put me on the side of evil. I had to make a choice now before it became too late which side I wanted to be found on.
I gave my life to Jesus and He made me a new person. The burden that lifted off me that day I didn’t even know I’d been carrying. I remember standing in an atrium feeling free. Like a prisoner who was just released from jail. I didn’t know I’d been living in chains.
That was almost 20 years ago. I’d been married for 4 months. Jesus saved my life and I have made the rest of my life about knowing Him and making Him known to the world.
I remember in Left Behind the main characters trying to figure out where their mom and brother had disappeared to. The mother and brother were Christ followers but the dad and sister were not. The beginning of the book became about survival.
When Jesus takes me and my family out of this world while He deals with evil once and for all, I know that strangers will be in our home taking all the things we left. I wrote a letter placed in a Bible explaining where we went and how they can join us there. How they too can still be saved.
My goal in the next few days is to make copies of that letter and place it in all our Bibles and all over our home. When evil comes in, I want to still leave the path that leads towards hope. To Jesus.
“Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. 14 For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. 15 According to the Lord’s word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. 18 Therefore encourage one another with these words.” 1 Thes 4:13-18