On Guard! 5 Ways to Protect Your Kids from the Bombardment of Technology

Life can sneak up on you sometimes.  It has a way of flying by.  My sister was giving me a hard time the other day because I had written that I was in my mid-thirties.  She is nineteen months younger than me and she seemed to think that she was in her mid-thirties and I was in my late thirties.

For me, the surprise is in having a daughter that is going to be 13 this year.  A teenager.  I may be in my mid-thirties, but I remember being a teenager.

I can remember holding my daughter in my hands when she was 6 pounds, 13 ounces.  Now, she is a beautiful young lady who is delicate and complicated.

As a dad, I want to protect my family.  It seems that protecting your kids can be increasingly difficult now.

We can no longer simply keep kids locked away from the world; we’ve actually invited the world into our homes.

I Can’t Be Your Friend Anymore!

I Can't Be Your Friend Anymore

It was Thanksgiving, about 7 pm.  We were at my mom’s house.  All together there were fourteen of us; seven adults and seven kids.

My son calls them, “The Cousins,” like they are a band of superheroes or a rock group.

We had eaten our meal and the football game was on the television.  The kids were running around playing and it was a nice end to a good day.

My son Joel had brought along one of those blow up balloon balls with the rubber band attached to one end.  You can hold the rubber band in your hand and bounce the ball back and forth.  I think this was created simply to annoy parents, but I’m not sure.

My niece, Emma, who was celebrating her fourth birthday along with Thanksgiving, had gotten ahold of the yellow bouncy balloon.  She was running through the living room and into the kitchen, lost in the moment of bouncing this wonderful toy.

Suddenly, a loud POP! rang out.   Immediately, Emma burst into tears, almost simultaneously with the bursting of the balloon.

She ran to her Dad crying and saying to Joel:

I can’t be your friend anymore!


It was the saddest thing.  To watch her go from pure joy and playing to absolutely being crushed by the weight of her transgressions was heart wrenching.

Of course, all of the adults went to comfort her and my son went to hug his little cousin and let her know that it was no big deal that she broke the toy.

But after thinking about this it struck me how different we act as adults when we do something wrong.

Emma knew that after breaking the balloon it could never be made whole again.  She knew that even though it was an accident, it was her actions that caused it.

How different from the way we behave as adults.

When we do something wrong, we may feel remorse over it, but not at that gut-wrenching level of immediate remorse.

Usually we try to rationalize it away or hide what we have done.  We make excuses for why the person we wronged wronged us first.  We say that they deserve it and we aren’t perfect.  We are content with leaving the discarded pieces of our mess on the ground and going forward and finding a new toy to play with.

I wonder why we don’t rush into the arms of our Father with a broken heart like little Emma did?

It is funny how kids can teach us such grown-up lessons.

Perhaps it is time to remember what it felt like when you were a kid and your world was a lot smaller.  It really felt like the end of the world when you hurt someone else.  You immediately felt crushed and you tried to fix what was wrong.  You went running to Mom or Dad and begged them to fix the pain you felt.

Why don’t we do that now?

It was a wonderful image to see my brother scoop his little girl up into his arms and wipe away her tears.  To tell her that it was ok and that Joel still was her friend and that she didn’t do it on purpose.

That is what God wants to do for us.

I know that the consequences of damaging a relationship carry a lot more weight than the consequences of breaking a toy, and the healing process is a much longer road.

But the grace offered in forgiveness feels just the same.

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How To Become A Hero–Guest Post




Every so often, you find something that you just have to share.

KC Procter is a blogger and podcaster at KCProcter.com.  KC does some great work showing men what it means to become a great dad and a great husband.  His mission is to move beyond mediocrity and help others do that as well.  Here is an excerpt from his about page:

I don’t want to be a good dad, I want to be a great one.
I don’t want to be a good man, I want to be a great one.
I don’t want a good marriage, I want a great one.

KC provides insights and resources to help men to become better dads and better husbands through his blog posts and his podcasts.

KC was kind enough to allow me to guest post on his site today.  I wrote a post titled “How To Become A Hero.”

I wrote this post to remind dads that it is time to become a hero to your kids.

They need someone to look up to.  Make sure that someone is you.

Since KC has an affinity for all things Lego, and Lego Man makes his debut, it was a good fit for the DadLifeRules section of his blog.

I encourage you to swing by at KCProcter.com and take a look.



My Dad, A Carpenter By Trade, Taught Me Who I Am

Hand and hammer

Carpenter, by trade

Sometimes it is hard to pin down exactly what our mission in life is because we don’t really know ourselves all that well.

My Dad had a friend named John W. Kelso.  They met while they both worked at a lumberyard.  Dad was around 40 and John was about 20.  They formed a friendship that lasted for the next 25 years.

I just heard John tell the story that every morning, Dad would come up to John and introduce himself, as though they had never met:


Hi.  I’m Bill Barnett, Carpenter by trade.

John said that they would go through this routine each morning.  You had to know my Dad’s sense of humor to fully appreciate the story.  He loved a good joke and always had a smile on his face.  He would have enjoyed giving John a hard time just because he could.

I wonder how many of us could identify ourselves as my Dad did?

  • Jesse Barnett, Writer by trade
  • Jesse Barnett, Teacher by trade
  • Jesse Barnett, Minister by trade
  • __________, _______ by trade

For many of us, we go through one day after another with no clear cut understanding of who we are or what we are meant to do.

I can remember my Dad telling people that we met that we were “trim carpenters by trade.”

I asked him why he made a point to tell people that we are trim carpenters.

He said, “If you can do trim (or finish) carpentry, you can usually do anything under that.  It tells people that you have an attention to detail and a level of skill that they might not have realized that you have.”

I like the idea of knowing who you are 

and what you are about.

If you have a clear understanding of these two things it often helps your life run much more smoothly and along a path that you choose instead of a path that others choose for you.

My Dad knew he wasn’t a plumber by trade, so he stayed away from plumbing.  He knew that he wasn’t an electrician by trade, so he called his friend Harry who was.

I try to keep this in mind as I go about my life and my vocation.

  • What am I called to do?
  • How can I use my talents and abilities to fulfill my purpose?
  • What do I need to say no to in order to focus on my calling?

I have to realize that I am called according to God’s purpose.

Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”

Many of us are familiar with the first part of this verse but may not pay too much attention to the last part.  We have been called according to the purpose God has for our lives.  Of course the initial purpose for our lives is to be conformed into the image of Christ.

I believe God uses us in a variety of ways to make his purpose for us complete. No circumstance, no situation, no thing in life is too difficult for God to work for good.

My Dad knew who he was.  He was Bill Barnett, a Carpenter by trade.

But more importantly than that he was Bill Barnett, Child of God.  Redeemed by the blood of Lamb.  Now he is walking in eternity with Jesus.

He knew what his mission in life was and he fulfilled it.

He made an impact on all those he met, but most importantly he impacted his family and his friends.

What about you?

What are you here for?  What are you called to do?

What is your mission?

Let me know in the comments.  I would love to hear what you have to say.






Are You Living For Today?

Greetings friends, I know that it has been awhile.  It’s good to be back.

I was listening to the song Nothing Compares by Third Day this morning and I my ears perked up when I heard the following line:

…And I find myself just living for today,

’cause I don’t know what tomorrow’s gonna bring.

So no matter if I rise or fall, I’ll never be alone,

Oh no, I know nothing compares,

to the greatness of knowing you Lord…

At first glance, living for today sounds kind of selfish.  It makes it seem like it’s all about us and we are only living for ourselves.

But in the context of the song the deeper meaning is this: we really don’t know what tomorrow is going to bring.  It may be a good day or it may be a bad day.  It may bring joy, but it may bring pain.

 The one constant in all our todays is this.  We will not be alone.

We don’t have to face anything by ourselves.  When we know the Lord Jesus Christ, then truly nothing else compares to that.  It gives us direction, purpose, and peace.

These words struck home with me because of the struggle we have been going through as a family for the past year and a half and culminating on July 27th.

My Dad was battling prostate cancer that had metastasized to his bones.  He fought the good fight, but he succumbed to this illness ten days ago.  As you can imagine the wound is still raw.  My heart aches and it still doesn’t seem real that he is gone.

I know that he is in a better place and feeling no pain now, but even those words ring hollow in my ears when right now, I just miss my Dad.

So I do find myself just living for today.  I wake up and go back to life.  I put one foot in front of the other and move forward.  I don’t know what tomorrow will bring, but I do know what my future holds for all eternity.

I know that I am not alone.  I know that if I don’t know what prayers to pray right now, Jesus is speaking to the Father on my behalf.

I know that part of the difficulty I have in losing my earthly father is that he was a representation of my Heavenly Father.  He was a good man and a great Dad.  He was proud of me and loved me unconditionally.  He showed me what kind of man I want to be.

So here are my words to you: Live for today.

  • If there is love that needs to be shared, share it today.
  • If there is forgiveness that needs to be given, give it today.
  • If there is reconciliation that needs to occur, make it happen today.
  • Live your life today so that tomorrow you will have no regrets.
  • Be thankful for your relationship with the One that saved your soul.

Although I miss my Dad, I can honestly say I have no regrets.  Everything that needed to be said was said.  Love and respect were the cornerstone of our relationship.  He loved the Lord and had a relationship with Him so I know that I will see him again.

I hope that you are able to say the same thing for the important relationships in your life.

If not, do something about it today.

Here is a video of the song “Nothing Compares” by Third Day: