Friday, October 9, 2015

Free Media #84: "Pexels" (Stock Photos & Videos)

" Pexels Videos offers completely free videos. All videos are licensed under the Creative Commons Zero (CC0) license. This means you can edit or change the videos and use them free for personal and even for commercial projects. All without asking for permission or setting a link to the source. So that attribution is not required. With our swiftly growing database of videos, you are guaranteed to find the perfect footage for your website header, product promotion, or anything else. Every video we have available is free for any purpose - including commercial...." 
(CLICK HERE to check it all out!)

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

News U Can Use: "8 out to 10 Teens Are Not Think About What They are Posting Online?"

", the world's largest social Q&A network, today announced findings from Digital Families 2015: Evolving Attitudes Around Social Media and App Use, its study of social network and mobile app use and perceptions among both teens and their parents across the US, UK and Ireland.

Key among the findings in the US was 61 percent of teens say it doesn't matter whether parents follow them on social media, and 79 percent indicate they rarely say things online they regret, which demonstrates the extent to which digital behavior has increasingly become a casual extension of everyday life for today's digitally native teen population.

According to the study, teens may be right not to worry about parents keeping tabs on their online behavior. While half of parents (52 percent) say their biggest concern is how much time their teen spends on social media, more than two in five (43 percent) admitted they do not monitor their teen's digital activity. In addition, while the overwhelming majority of parents (88 percent) say they are aware of all or most of the social networks or apps their teens engage with, many have not created accounts on these services. For example, Snapchat and Instagram are among the top five social networks American teenagers say they use, yet almost half of American parents have never used them before (49 percent and 45 percent, respectively)...

Monday, October 5, 2015

Top 10:Reasons I Love My Middle Years (5th-8th Grade) Students"

10. FUN & PLAY. They still enjoy a great game and can still play. Too many adults have forgotten how to really play and have fun.

9. EXCITEMENT. Life is still exciting and they can still get genuinely over the top excited about life, experiences and the things of God. Come on seriously have every heard a 5th-8th grade girl scream when something is exciting.

8. LAUGHTER. Things that are funny are still FUNNY! There is no holding back and trying to be all polite and reserved. There is no "adult worship sermon chuckle". Either they laugh or they don't. Body function humor and random silliness is still hilarious!

7. NO EDIT BUTTON. What they think... you hear. If they think "God Sucks" today because of something that happened at school or at home, that is what they say....period. There is none of the holier than thou, "church correct" fluff. The adult "edit button" just hasn't developed yet!

6. PARENT CAN STILL BE CALLED. Come on you know you love it. You may not do it unless you really have to, but in the back pocket of every MS/JH youth worker is still the "I am going to call your parents" card. You can't do that as much in Sr. High. You maybe should with some of the college age students. I DEFINITELY wish we could with some of the adults. The benefit and the curse of 5th-8th grade students ministry is parent may still be involved.

5. I AM STILL COOL..Sort Of!? Once again lets be real, we are all getting older. We think and act like we are hip and relevant, but at the end of the day we are just dorks who love Jesus and students. The Sr. High students who are my former students love me and think I am kind of cool, but my pre-teen students are still completely duped into thinking I am the coolest...well maybe?

4. LIFE IS NOT ALL FIGURED OUT. They are getting into the whole "know-it-all" stage, but you still get through to them about life, God, and everything else. We will have opportunities to talk to them because they don't think the have it all figured out yet.

3. UGLY DUCKLINGS. The fact is in my world I get to be there when the cute little 5th grader moves into my ministry and then in 6th grade turns into the clumsy and geeky 7th and 8th Grader, before they turn into the beautiful swan in Sr. High. I love it every time. Pull out the 5th grade head shot compare it to the graduating senior picture. It is one of the reason I still believe God performs miracles today!

2. WILLING TO LIVE THE LIFE. A life lived for Christ is still possible and real. They are still willing to believe they can live the life! No careers, bad break-ups, and pride to slow them down yet. You say "Hey this is the Christian life, lets go live it" and they are willing to get it a shot! They may fail, but they are willing to bounce back up, full of energy and give it another try.

1. WET CEMENT. I know this one has been used before, but it is has to be the #1 here too. MS/JH students are truly forming and developing, for better or worse. It is a time of change and transition. They are truly wet cement. I LOVE being able to with God's help write on their lives and hearts thing that will hopefully become permanent parts of who they are. It is HUGE and scare fact, but my students are choosing who they are going to be for the rest of their lives. I get to stand beside them and help them hold the stick that draws the picture in the quick-dry cement of their life, and that is Such an Incredible Privilege! 

Friday, October 2, 2015

Free Media #83: "REFE" (Stock Photos)

Always free high-quality imagery for your projects. Perfect for aspiring designers, bloggers and freelancers...CLICK HERE (to get some FREE stock photos)

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Youth Group Challenge: "Living Off Of Food Stamps for a Week"

"... a few weeks ago I got an email from the food bank announcing their 2015 Hunger Challenge. The premise seemed simple: For five days live off of what the average food stamps recipient would have available to them. That is, the equivalent of $4.50/day plus a bag of supplies typical of what would be given out by a local food bank.

I immediately wanted to participate in the Hunger Challenge for a couple of reasons.

First, although I don’t have any children, I was hoping to gain a better understanding of the struggle my parents (and so many others) go through having to cook and eat on an insanely low budget. Second, and more importantly, if my participation could help bring awareness to worldwide hunger, even just a little, then it would definitely be worth attempting....