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Posts tagged ‘Business’

EU Vs Nigeria On Corruption: Time to Fashion Made In Nigeria Solution. By Ifeanyi Izeze.


Who would have believed that the European Union would one day come out publicly to accept that massive corruption has been a serious problem in their individual governments and businesses in their countries since time immemorial?

Highlights of a research by the European Union (EU) Commission revealed that bribery and corruption at ‘breathtaking levels’ costs Europe’s economy 120 billion Euros (£100billion) every year and the rate keeps increasing.
Three-quarters of people across Europe felt corruption was widespread in their own country. Even in Britain, seventy percent of the people said ‘bribery and connections’ were often the easiest way to get the best out of public services.

The new study also revealed that over eighty percent of the people believe that close links between business and politics in their countries lead to corruption.

The report on the problem of corruption presented by the EU Home Affairs Commissioner, Cecilia Malmstroem said the true cost of corruption was “probably much higher” than the 120 billion Euros pegged.

Just as the pathetic situation we have here in Nigeria, the report said bribery is widespread in EU country governments and businesses and “the political commitment to really root out corruption seems to be missing.”
Comparative deductions from the EU’s Commission report show that Corruption risks are generally greater at local (LGAs) and regional (states) levels just as we have in the Nigerian situation.

Public procurement (public bodies buying goods and services) form about one-fifth of the EU’s total output (GDP) “and is vulnerable to corruption and so requires better controls and integrity standards.” This is not different from the problem we have here in Nigeria that necessitated the promulgation of the Public Procurement Act 2007/2008 and subsequent establishment of the Bureau for Public Procurement.

As said in the EU report, many shortcomings remain in financing of political parties. “Often codes of conduct are not tough enough and the existing rules on conflicts of interest are inadequately enforced.” Is this not the Nigerian situation?

Over half of the businesses surveyed by Eurobarometer, the assessment standard, described corruption as an obstacle to doing business in their countries. It was disclosed that “white-collar crimes like bribery and VAT (sales tax) fraud plague many EU countries,” just as we have in Nigeria.
An official of Transparency International in Brussels, Carl Dolan was quoted as saying, “Europe’s problem is not so much with small bribes on the whole. It’s with the ties between the political class and industry. There has been a failure to regulate politicians’ conflicts of interest in dealing with business.”

Despite all the smear campaigns to steer away from the real culprits, the sleaze in the nation’s oil sector was introduced and taken to a devilish height by two prominent (if not dominant) European operators in Nigeria’s Upstream oil sector. They are also critical partners in the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas Project. These two European companies have been doing all sorts of terrible things in their operations to shortchange both the host communities and the Nigerian government in their joint venture relationships. The community crises across the oil producing areas of the Niger Delta were deliberately created predominantly by these two companies with the aim of weakening the community muscles to ask for their rights.

Till tomorrow, no single Nigerian either in the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) or National Petroleum Investment and Management Services (NAPIMS) can authoritatively say with any iota of exactness the volume of crude oil that actually leaves the three export terminals (Bonny, Brass and Forcados) operated by these two major European players in Nigeria. The amount this nation has lost to European oil thieves who are in joint venture with the NNPC is only better imagined.

All the propaganda about NNPC’s default in cash call payments was because few straightforward and honest-minded administrators of the nation’s oil sector at certain time started raising questions about the ever-increasing joint venture capital expenditures which these European operators spend unilaterally and turn around to ask for either outright refund or deductions from NNPC’s shares of produced crude oil. These operators would tell NNPC they used N300 million to build a six classroom block for a host community in the Niger Delta or N150 million for a water scheme which actually on ground is just one borehole that is not up to 50 metres deep and an overhead tank with five dispensing pumps. They would go and bring South American and Filipino okada and bicycle repairers and call them certified engineers all in attempt to defraud and siphon monies out of this country. And this is still going till tomorrow.

These are the same countries and peoples that have been teaching us how to fight corruption. No wonder the more our agencies (which we copied from them) try to fight corruption, the worse and more sophisticated the menace becomes.
Look at the two anti-graft institutions- Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and Nigerian Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (NEITI) we copied from the European template. They are not only disabled, they were outrightly structured to fail and it was deliberate.

Do we need to be told in this country that the hottest spot in corruption and misuse of public funds is the government and public service? And funny enough, the two European-modeled anti-graft agencies- EFCC and NEITI were tied to the apron- string of government- the Presidency where they exist as units for breastfeeding (funding sustenance). So how does anybody expect any credible fight against corruption when the most corrupt ( at least as alleged) seat is where the two major anti-graft agencies go to beg for money for their operations (to fight corruption)?

This is the tragedy of copying templates that are not even working in areas where they were developed and until we change that mindset to begin to fashion home brand solutions to our domestic problems, way no way and go no go go o!

IFEANYI IZEZE is an Abuja-based Consultant and can be reached on: iizeze@yahoo.com; 234-8033043009)

 

The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of SaharaReporters

4 Vital Parts to Reproducing Great Leaders.


Church leadership meeting

“It’s time to make time count.”

That’s the place we’re in as a church. I’m not getting any younger, and it seems we are losing Kingdom ground on a national and international level. The only answer to reversing that is building and growing Kingdom and mission minded leaders who will do the same.

I feel a great sense of urgency that we have to equip and empower an entire new army of leaders, younger leaders that have incredible passion for the mission of the church to multiply. In response to that, we have revamped our leadership development process.

At its core our new process has four parts:

1. A pre-process. It’s important that potential leaders know you are serious about multiplying leaders. That it’s not just another “program” they can sign up for. Make your leadership process by invitation only, and where some pretty high standards must be met prior to being allowed in.

2. A basic beginning. Start all at the same point. It’s important that all those with you know the vision, passion and direction of your church. Don’t make any assumptions! Remember what they used to say, “Assumption is the mother of all _________.”

It will be difficult to build on a foundation if you didn’t lay it from the beginning.

3. A measurable middle. You can’t manage what you can’t measure. You will never know where people are in their abilities if you don’t measure their progress.

Some will complete a portion of your process, and not have the gift set to continue to the next level. It’s better to know that in the middle, and release them to use what they have learned, than to frustrate them and waste unproductive resources and time.

We can’t nor should we expect that all those in our process will become level-five leaders. We have a tremendous deficit of level three leaders as well.

4. A clear call. Leaders that complete all parts of your leadership process should be equipped and have a clear call to go and multiply themselves into others. Your leadership culture must be one of calling leaders to multiply.

The end of all can’t be just completion, but one of a deep sense of call. Empower and equip your leaders to reproduce themselves. If this last step is neglected you will have only succeeded in producing a tribe of new Pharisees that will guard their territory rather than seeking to enlarge it.

It’s time to make time count.If you don’t have a leadership process, start one, a simple one. Change it as you go, but have a process! You have no right to complain about loyalty, the lack of volunteers, that no one is giving or no one is “stepping up” if aren’t imparting that to potential leaders.

Written by Artie Davis

Artie Davis wears a lot of hats and leads a lot of people. He’s a pastor at Cornerstone Community Church in Orangeburg, S.C. He heads the Comb Network and the Sticks Conference. He speaks and writes about leadership, ministry, church planting, and cultural diversity in the church. You can find his blog at ArtieDavis.com or catch him on Twitter @artiedavis.

For the original article, visit pastors.com.

Changing Careers: The Grass Isn’t Always Greener.



Holly Johnson

Earlier this year, my husband and I made a decision that will change the course of our lives, for better or for worse. After 10 years in the mortuary industry, we decided that it was time for my husband to make a change. He was frustrated, burnt out, and tired of working weekends, late nights, and holidays. He began to wonder if there was something else that he could be doing to make a living, and started combing over job postings online. One day, he found something that he thought could work.

“I want to work in sales,” he said. I looked at him in disbelief. It was hard for me to picture my husband selling anyone anything. After all, when I worked with him at the mortuary, I would often hear him steering people away from all of the expensive options. Instead, he would listen to their needs and suggest services that wouldn’t require them to spend any more than necessary. And, he never put an ounce of pressure on anyone. It just wasn’t his style.

“Are you sure?” I wanted to be supportive, but I also wanted to be realistic. Greg has so many amazing qualities but I didn’t think that a knack for sales was one of them. But, after talking for weeks and months about his potential career change, I started to wonder if it was the right move. After all, if he succeeded, he had the potential to make a lot more money than he was making as a mortician. And to be honest, the thought of my husband getting a huge raise started to sound pretty darn good. So, I gave him the green light. “You’ll never know unless you try,” I said. And, he did.

He started training to sell life insurance and investments at the beginning of June by studying and preparing for the various licenses that would be required. Then, by the beginning of July, he started the classroom portion of his training. And while I thought that things were going relatively well, I could tell that something was wrong. He looked tired, stressed, and unusually miserable for days at a time. So, after several weeks of training, I confronted him. “Honey, what’s wrong?”

The grass isn’t always greener

“I absolutely hate it…” The man I love was absolutely beside himself with worry and shame. “I’ve ruined our lives,” he cried. “I don’t know what to do.”

So, we talked for hours and tried to figure out exactly what he hated about his new job in sales. And the truth was, he hated all of it. His new job required that he call 40 people per day on the phone in an effort to set up appointments. And while he knew that ahead of time, he found that the idea of it and actually doing it were two entirely different things. He hated calling people he knew. He hated calling people that he didn’t know. He just hated calling people. Period.

He hated it so much, in fact, that he didn’t want to go back. And we decided that it didn’t make sense for him to continue. Since it was a sales job and 100 percent commission, he wasn’t getting paid to be there anyway. So, the following Monday he went to his new office, packed up his belongings, and came back home.

So, there we were. At age 34, my husband left his stable and well-paying job at a mortuary in search of greener pastures. And unfortunately, the greener pastures turned out to be just an illusion, and simply out of reach for someone with his personality and temperament. And since his old employer had already hired someone else to replace him, we knew that there was no way to get his old job back. So, he decided to look for a new job, a different job. And we put our heads together to figure out what his next step should be.

Back where we began

After briefly looking for jobs in another industry, my husband had some sort of breakthrough. He began to miss directing funerals. He missed helping people. And, he missed the industry that he was entirely sick of not too long ago. Sure, working in a mortuary isn’t perfect. As we all know, no job is. But, while it isn’t perfect, it is reliable and well-paying. They can’t ship his job out of the country or force him to relocate. And unless people stop dying altogether, there’s only a slim chance that he could ever get laid off or downsized. It’s also a job that comes with a lot of perks that have nothing to do with money, like the ability to help people who are often experiencing the worst day of their lives. And, while my husband is awful at sales, he’s amazing with people who are hurting, afraid, and stressed out. Like it or not, the mortuary business is where his heart is. It’s where he belongs. And we’re lucky that it’s an industry that is almost always hiring.

After a week of looking, he was offered a job with similar pay, hours, and benefits about 30 minutes away from home. After what amounts to a three-month hiatus from the working world, we’ll soon pick up almost exactly where we began. That is, of course, except for one large, life-changing exception. We have to move.

Big mistakes have consequences

Since Greg’s new job requires that he be on call part of the time, we have to move. So, after countless tears and seemingly endless heartache, we put our house on the market. Because of the decisions we’ve made, we have to leave the home where we brought our daughters home from the hospital for the very first time. We have to leave the house we love, and the place where nearly all of our memories from the last six years have taken place.

And although we know that we’re only human and allowed to make mistakes, we now know that big mistakes, like this one, have consequences. We’ve learned that the grass isn’t always greener, and that sometimes you just have to learn to be happy with what you have, whether it’s your career or your car or your house.

The silver lining

The good news, I suppose, is that the move will take place before my oldest starts kindergarten next year. We’re also moving to an area with some of the highest rated schools in the state, and a place that I happen to like. In fact, it’s a place that we’ve often fantasized about living, but couldn’t because it would be too far from work.

My husband starts his new job next week. And he’s starting it with a new appreciation for everything that he has. No, his job isn’t perfect, but no job on Earth is. Every job has its perks…and its downfalls. But sometimes it’s OK to be happy with what you have, instead of wishing for something different, or something more. We know that now, and we’re excited to put this all behind us and move on. And, at the end of the day, sometimes a job is just a job.We have each other. We have our family. We have our health. And, truthfully, those are the only things that ever mattered anyway.

Have you ever made a bad decision that altered the course of your life? If so, would you go back in time and change it?

Article originally posted at Get Rich Slowly. Used with permission.

Holly Johnson is a wife, mother of two and frugal lifestyle enthusiast. On top of writing and running her own blog, Club Thrifty, she also works in a mortuary with her husband and is the queen commander of her household. Many would describe her as an nonstop workaholic who is obsessed with getting the most out of her money, her work and her life. Holly’s hobbies include blogging about money, theater, movies and traveling with her young family. Follow Holly Johnson on Google Plus.

Publication date: December 26, 2013

Denver Issues First Recreational Pot Sales Licenses.


The first batch of Denver businesses approved to sell recreational marijuana are getting their licenses.

The city is giving out licenses to the owners of 42 medical marijuana shops and growers Friday.

Denver is one of 19 municipalities and seven counties in Colorado that will allow retail sales of recreational pot to those 21 and older under voter-approved Amendment 64.

Only existing medical marijuana businesses in Denver are now allowed to make the transition to recreational sales. Of the 42 approved so far, eight are retail shops, 30 are growers and four are infused product manufacturers.

The state has approved 348 marijuana business licenses in Colorado.

© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Source: Newsmax.com.

U.S. Sends Iraq Weapons for Fight Against Terrorists.


Image: U.S. Sends Iraq Weapons for Fight Against TerroristsU.S. Raven surveillance drone

By Sandy Fitzgerald

The United States has been sending Hellfire missiles and surveillance drones to Iraq to help its government fight back against an al-Qaida-backed extremist group, but experts worry that the response may not be enough to reverse increasing terrorist incidents.

The group, the Islamic Slate, has intimidated towns in northern and western Iraq,reports The New York Times, including an incident last week in which the commander of the Iraqi Army’s Seventh Division and a dozen officers were killed.

Editor’s Note: Obama’s Budget Takes Aim at Retired Americans 

The Christmas Day bombing attack on Christians in Baghdad has also been tenatively linked to al-Qaida interests.

Senior Obama administration officials have asserted that Iraq has become less violent, but more than 8,000 Iraqis have been killed in 2013, including 952 security force members, according to the United Nations, marking the highest violence level since 2008.

The U.S. aid, for which the Iraqi government is paying, includes 75 Hellfire missiles that were delivered last week. Iraq is also expected to receive 10 ScanEagle reconnaissance drones from the U.S. by March.

Meanwhile, American intelligence and counterterrorism officials report they’ve mapped out al-Qaida network interests in Iraq and are sharing the information with the country’s government.

The Obama administration has also given the Iraqi government three Aerostat balloons, reports The New York Times, and plans to deliver 48 Raven reconnaissance drones before 2014. Next fall, the first of the F-16 fighter jets the county has bought will be delivered as well.

Some experts claim that sending reconnaissance drones, and not armed ones, will hinder Iraq’s efforts.

“Giving them some ScanEagle drones is great,” said Michael Knights, an expert on Iraqi security at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. “But is it really going to make much difference? Their range is tiny.

“There is one place in the world where al-Qaida can run a major affiliate without fear of a U.S. drone or air attack, and that is in Iraq and Syria,” Knights said.

A plan to lease and sell Apache helicopter gunships to Iraq is on hold, though, with lawmakers hesitant to sell Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki weapons he could use to intimidate his political rivals.

Urgent: Do You Approve Or Disapprove of President Obama’s Job Performance? Vote Now in Urgent Poll 
Related stories:

Allen West Warns Iraq Will Turn to China or Russia
Iraq: No Success Tracing Killers of Iranian Dissidents

© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Target Offers 10 Percent Off Following Security Breach.


Target is offering a store discount and free credit monitoring after what’s being called the second-largest credit card breach in U.S. history.

The Minneapolis-based discounter says it will offer 10 percent off for people who shop Saturday and Sunday.

Target says it’s heard of “very few” reports of fraud since thieves stole the credit and debit card information of about 40 million shoppers. But the chain is continuing to reach out to customers.

Some potential fraud victims say they’re having trouble getting in touch with Target through its website and call centers. CEO Gregg Steinhafel apologized Friday and says the company is working hard to resolve the issues.

Target hasn’t disclosed exactly how the breach occurred but says it has fixed the problem.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/business/Following_security_breach_Target_offers_10_percent_off.html#YgyDcZ2M4qrB6MbK.99

© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Source: Newsmax.com

President on Obamacare: ‘We Screwed It Up’.


Image: President on Obamacare: 'We Screwed It Up'

President Barack Obama on Friday defended his administration’s decision to delay for some people the requirement to buy medical insurance under his healthcare law, explaining that the rollout of his signature domestic policy is a “messy process” — and admitting “we screwed it up.”

Officials said late Thursday that people whose insurance plans were canceled because of new standards under the law may be able to claim a “hardship exemption” to the requirement that all Americans must have coverage by March 31, or face a penalty.

The sudden change came four days before the deadline to sign up for coverage, which starts on Jan. 1 under Obamacare. It threatened to further dampen enthusiasm for the law, which has suffered a chaotic rollout that has driven Obama’s public approval numbers to historic lows.

Republicans seized on the latest announcement as further proof that Obamacare is unworkable, but Obama said it was just a bump in the road.

“I’ve said before, this is a messy process,” Obama said during a news conference before leaving for Hawaii for the holidays. “When you try to do something this big, affecting this many people, it’s going to be hard.”

Obama also pointed to a surge in enrollment, after the disastrous launch of the glitch-ridden HealthCare.gov website resulted in fewer than 27,000 people signing up through the federal marketplace in October.

Officials said that more than 1 million people have signed up so far for new coverage under Obamacare through state and federal marketplaces.

Still, there are lingering problems. Consumers were unable to access HealthCare.gov for a few hours during the middle of the day Friday, a critical time before the Dec. 23 deadline. Officials said they needed to repair a website error that occurred overnight.

The rocky rollout of the law since Oct. 1 has been embarrassing and politically damaging. Obama again accepted blame, saying: “Since I’m in charge, obviously we screwed it up.”

Part of the recent backlash came when millions of people received policy cancellation notices, forcing Obama to apologize for a promise he made that people who liked their insurance policies could keep them under the reforms.

Officials estimated that fewer than 500,000 people would be affected by this delay in the so-called individual mandate. The mandate is a core part of the 2010 Affordable Care Act that aims to provide coverage to millions of uninsured Americans.

However, the announcement raises fairness questions, as it gives a subset of Americans relief from the requirement to buy insurance. “It is the beginning of the end of the individual mandate,” said Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina.

Republicans have opposed the healthcare law as an unwarranted expansion of the federal government.

An insurance industry trade group, America’s Health Insurance Plans, criticized the change that could divert more consumers away from the new plans offered under Obamacare.

“This latest rule change could cause significant instability in the marketplace and lead to further confusion and disruption for consumers,” AHIP President and CEO Karen Ignagni said in a statement.
© 2013 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

Source: Newsmax.com

How to Make the Most of Your Holiday Time Off.


 

Family chaos
(Stock Free Images)

You finally get to use that vacation time and have some time away from work to spend over the holidays. What will you do?

Before you go planning a thousand things and overwhelming yourself, make sure some quality, fun and relaxing family time is included. You should make the most of your family time during this time. Here’s how.

1. Be flexible. You may work from a rigid schedule at work, but now is not the time for that. Throw that out the window. During this time, be flexible and even spontaneous. Be prepared to go with the (family) flow.

2. Be intentional. No matter what you do, try to include your family as much as possible. They are going to be so excited and looking forward to a lot of uninterrupted time with you. But if you are not engaged with them, they’ll be very disappointed. Even without planning everything, you can be intentional and focused on making family time a priority.

3. Be relaxed. Your main goal is to love on your family well. And let them love on you too.  So take it easy, relax and don’t pressure yourself to do a whole lot.

4. Be creative. If you live where it snows, you have some great opportunities for winter fun. You can go sledding, ice skating or even skiing. Date nights can get more creative in the winter. Think outside the box and do some fun, creative things with your family.

5. Be fun. Above all else, have fun and be fun for your family. Making this time full of family and fun will have you ready to go back to work and take on the world when your time off ends. Just be sure not to overschedule your family.

What will you do to make the most of your time off over the holidays?

Source: CHARISMA MAGAZINE/ NEWS MAN.

For the original article, visit allprodad.com.

Volunteers and Safety Procedures: What Works?.


Children's ministry

(Lightstock)

Safety procedures are some of the more important and more minute aspects of children’s ministry. These details of ministry are critical to creating a safe environment for kids.

The challenge with safety procedures is their regularity. Some safety processes you use so often, you don’t even think about them, like diaper changing, restroom procedures or illness.

Other procedures you use so rarely that it’s easy to forget the proper process to handle them—like situations that include bleeding or vomiting, for instance.

As a ministry leader, I want to make sure our volunteers have the knowledge and resources to handle these situations, no matter how frequently or infrequently they occur. The question always comes down to “How?

This past year, we posted our standard safety procedures in each room for things like incident reporting, restroom policies, vomiting or bleeding. They were posted in the form of a flip chart.

The problem I had with the flip chart was that the procedures were posted but not necessarily visible. A volunteer would have to flip the pages to actually review the information. And although that can work, I wanted to try something that didn’t require any flipping—something that kept the information as visible as possible.

Our graphics team created a poster mounted to PVC piping. The posters are incredibly durable yet simple, as they do not require framing. We’ll mount each poster using some heavy-duty 3M double-sided tape (the kind you stick once and it’s there until Armageddon).

I’m interested to see how this works. I certainly like the clean look and simplicity of the sign.

Here are some important things to note:

  • Evacuation maps are not listed on these. Our evacuation routes are posted in the hallways and specific to a grouping of rooms.
  • No sign is the “end all, be all.” Signs become “visual white noise” and disappear over time. This sign enhances but does not eliminate the need for regular training or review of these processes.

What have you found to be effective in keeping safety procedures available to volunteers when they need them?

Gina McClain is a speaker, writer and children’s ministry director at Faith Promise Church in Knoxville, Tenn. For the original article, visit ginamcclain.com.

Written by Gina McClain

3 Tips to Preserving Your Kid’s Online Life.


Every Man Ministries

While the internet brings a wealth of information instantly to our finger tips, it also throws our children into an ocean of risk. Too often, our kids navigate those waters without a life preserver and become bait for the enemy’s piranha-like feeding frenzy to attack the weak.

Parents today have more than their neighborhoods, schools and kids’ friends to worry about. The enemy is cleverly casting nets online fishing for their souls and God’s men must be aware of where their kids are swimming. For example, social media has brought the world together, while giving predators tools to connect while disguised in sheep’s clothing. Online video gaming, once a harmless recreation (remember Atari?), now provides realms of obscene and violent behaviors. And with every online search, marketers of all kinds of dangerous material get closer to home.

The lesson from 1 Peter 5:8-9 is as true as it ever was, saying “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.”

As our kids tune into social media from morning to night on any device, posting, tweeting, instagramming, snapchatting etc., and online gamers disappear from the “real world” to indulge in fantasy worlds, God’s man must be alert, sober minded and resist the enemy.

Here are 3 tips to managing your kids’ online lives:

1.  Engage

Your kids need you to “be alert” as “Big Brother” online. Get engaged in their online worlds, whether it’s social media or video games.

Find out what social media they are involved in. Friend them on Facebook, follow their Tweets, become Instagram friends so you can see who they are following and who are following them. And, you can monitor their posts. For the online gamers, spend 30 minutes or so a week to do your own “scouting” of your kid’s “progress” in the game world.

2.  Enlist Support

We need help. We need other people, including our kids, to watch out for us and who courageously confront us. It’s mission-critical to have additional eyes and ears online, and who will bring issues to the table, help find Biblical answers and share Godly wisdom to sensitive parenting challenges.

Additional practical tips include monitoring their email, download parenting control software to prevent unwanted illicit material from showing up on screen, use privacy settings on your child’s profiles, create safe screen names, keep the computer in open sight, limit data usage on mobile devices, and make sure your kids know what information to keep private i.e. Social security numbers, address, phone numbers and bank, credit card information.

Being of “sober mind” is not just talking about intoxication. It also means to have a  “serious attitude or quality.” Managing your kid’s online life is serious business, not to be taken lightly.

3.  Encourage Communication

God’s man must nurture an environment where openness and honesty are welcomed, for good and bad behavior. It’s best if ease of communication is established in your kid’s early years, but it’s never too late. Talk with your kids about what’s going on online — good or bad. Make your values and beliefs a common topic, and compare them with behavior online.

At my house, our values are 1-love God, and 2-we help people. My kids know this. So it’s easy to ask, “is what you’re doing online accomplishing either of these values?” If so, great. Kudos. If not, then dive deeper into the values and why they are important, and imagine the risks created should those values be removed.

That’s being alert, sober minded and resisting the enemy. If that doesn’t help, try throwing a life-preserver over the keyboard.

*Every Man Ministries was founded by Kenny Luck, men’s pastor at Saddleback Church. Kenny created the Sleeping Giant program as a way to give men the tools and resources to make the most of their own men’s ministries and make the most of their walks with God. Watch Kenny’s teachings at EveryManMinistries.com.

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