The annual Harvest Festival last Saturday night was a great night of food, fun, fellowship, and financial blessings for CMCS! Thank you so much to all who contributed to a fantastic evening through your acts of service, donations, and purchases for the cause of Christian education at Central Minnesota Christian School. Thank you also to the head committee for all of the planning and reconfiguring necessary to make everything work in the new and old portions of our building. Through the generosity of the CMCS community we were able to raise over $60,000 for the Parents' Club. These funds will be used to provide for many needed items not budgeted for by the school. Thanks be to God, the giver of all good things!
Part two of David Eisenmann's presentation was on the topic of Inappropriate Material. This part began with the following question, "How often are you unsupervised and unfiltered on the internet?" The results showed that 65% are on daily without filtering or supervision. Another 20% responded the same for weekly. 6% replied monthly, and 9% replied never. A follow-up question asked long a snapchat lasts. Half of the students responded with the answer of 10 seconds while the other half responded with the correct answer of forever. Eisenmann noted that there are 25,000 search results for how to keep a snapchat.
The second part of inappropriate material related to pornography. Eisenmann noted that in a clinical study, brain scans of habitual pornography viewers resembled brain scans of alcoholics and drug addicts. He also noted that in boys, watching pornography often leads to the objectifying of women and in many cases leads to physical abuse. In girls it often leads to eating disorders and depression as the girls do not feel like they can measure up to the standards of the women portrayed.
Eisenmann's advice was that kids should not digitize anything that grandma would not approve. He also stressed that digital = permanent.
As parents, please filter your internet and monitor your children to keep them away from the bad stuff that is available to them on the internet.
Today our students in grades 7-12, along with CCS participated in a cyber safety assembly led by David Eisenmann, technology director in the Minnetonka Public School District. He shared three main concepts as they relate to internet use:
1. Be Safe.
2. Think First.
3. Do the Right Thing.
He touched on four areas specifically: Cyberbullying, Innappropriate Material, Privacy, and Digital Footprints. Throughout his presentation, students were able to respond to a variety of questions that he posted. The results of these questions indicated that our children fair only slightly higher than the national average in many areas related to internet usage.
Today I will recap the first part of his presentation: Cyberbullying
According to a poll conducted in 2010, 20% of American teens identified themselves as victims of cyberbullying. By 2013 the number increased to 43%. When our students were polled today, 35% put themselves in that category. 80% of our students admitted having posted something online that they regretted putting out there. David Eisenmann emphasized to the students that "Once you put something online, you lose control of it...people can use it in ways you never meant."
David pointed out how bullying is different from cyberbullying.
1. Face to Face 1. 24/7/365
2. Can find escape 2. No safe place
3. Bully identifiable 3. Can be anonymous
4. Reaction is visible 4. Harder to empathize
5. No geographic limitation
6. Target may become bully
The best ways to avoid the cyberbullying trap were identified as: 1. Use privacy settings. 2. Manage comments - disapprove / approve only appropriate comments. 3. Comment constructively to others' posts. 4. Follow the Golden Rule.
Follow this link for resources: http://tinyurl.com/CyberResources
Our theme verse for the year comes from Isaiah 64:8 “But now, O LORD, thou art our father; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand."
Consider a lump of clay. There isn’t much color or shape or natural beauty. You certainly would not display it in its natural state. But give it to a potter and things begin to take shape because the potter has a vision of what the clay can become. The potter looks at it carefully, shapes it lovingly, allows it to dry, paints it, and fires it in the kiln. What results is a masterpiece that reflects the talent and ability of the potter. It is that way for us as Christians. We are not very useful to God on our own. But when we give ourselves to him, He takes over and forms us into something beautiful that reflects His majesty. It is then that we become useful in advancing His Kingdom.
Without the potter, clay loses its moisture, becomes brittle, and is useless. Isolated from God the same happens to us. We lose our softness. It becomes difficult to work with us because we are no longer responsive to His touch. However, unlike the clay we have the choice to do something about our condition. We can get into God’s Word, talk with Him, and choose to obey Him. These practices will keep us pliable for His hands.
What qualities and gifts is God molding into you? Is it compassion? Then you need to use that to encourage others. Is it an ability to speak or write or serve or work with your hands? Each of those gifts and many others provide us opportunities to respond to our maker. He shapes each of us for a purpose. We are tasked with discovering what that is so that we can serve Him accordingly.
Throughout the school year we will explore what it is that God is molding and shaping us to be. It is my prayer that we as a CMCS community are ready to use what we find to serve God in new and exciting ways!