Parent Review: Disney’s Circle

What is it?
This little cube is a filtering device for your home that allows you to protect your family from inappropriate sites and content on the internet.  circle

A couple years ago, I looked around, as my children were growing older, and noticed that there was very little by way of family filters for the whole house available to the public.  I even asked a tech friend of mine for some help, and the ways to tweak my router (which is provided by the company we use for internet) were very complicated and truly beyond my “networking” skills…trust me, I tried.

Then I saw this new device that began as a kickstarter and eventually was picked up by the Disney corporation – A.K.A – Disney Circle.

We’ve had our Circle for about a month and I would like to do a review on it for you.

Ease Of Use: 
This device sells for $99, and we bought ours at Target, but I believe most major retailers will have this device for sale.  Basically we took this sleek looking box home, opened it and once we plugged it in, it was a easy to set up.  Have your internet router’s password available, walk through the app (which you install on your mobile device or cell phone) and once it connects the real magic and ease of mind can begin.

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The app is easy to navigate and you can add then add your entire family to the “Circle”.  Once you add your family, you can then assign specific devices (which are visible to the network) to each person.  So, for example if your son has a google tablet, it will show up within the local devices and you can assign that tablet to your son on the circle.

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The Filtering Software:
If you are worried what your children might watch on Youtube or even apps on their Apple or Android devices, here is some ease of mind.  You can assign the filter level of each child based upon their age.  All of the apps available on an app store can be filtered because this Disney Circle interfaces with the home router.  Even if your child is on their Xbox or Playstation console, it must still get its information from your home router, and Disney Circle will filter out the inappropriate content that you do not want your children to have access to.  I recently let one of my teenage boys use my Ipad, so since the Ipad is assigned to my profile, I adjusted my filter to “Teen”…when I went on my phone to access one of the streaming apps I use to watch tv, I was stopped, and I realized I had been filtered via the Disney Circle – it does really work!  This device, in my opinion, is totally worth the $99 I paid for it!

This device gives parents peace of mind when their children use the internet and/or various electronic devices throughout their homes.  No longer is finding a family friendly, easy to use filter a hard thing to do – I completely recommend this device for your home!

Other Perks to Disney Circle:
1) You can set a bed time for each profile/person in your home.  When the clock strikes that hour, the internet turns off for those assigned devices to that profile/child.
2) Does your child spend too much time on devices?  Then set time limits!  Once the time limit has been met, the internet will also turn off.
3) Pause the Internet in the entire house by hitting the “Pause” button on your device loaded with the Disney Circle App.
4) There is no work around, once the Disney Circle has been paired to your home router!
One of my kids tried to unplug the Circle and just use the router, and it wouldn’t work.
5) “Insights” – You can view all of the content your child views by using your Circle app.  You are the House Admin (and your spouse can be as well).  View the time your children spend on specific apps or site.  Learn what they enjoy doing, also start to see just how much time they spend in a day on these devices.

One word of caution, and this should be obvious, but here goes:
Do not load the Disney App onto devices your children will be using, this is the only “Work around” to the filtering software.  The one(s) who has the app loaded can control what is fed to all the devices.  So parents, you load the App, and you will ensure you children are protected in your home from unwanted, inappropriate content.

Should you buy Disney Circle? 
That’s entirely up to you, but we love ours and as our kids are getting older, it gives us peace of mind that they will not be subjected to pornography or other harmful content because of this little device and what it does.

I am giving Disney Circle thumbstwo thumbs WAY up!!!

For further review check out these youtube reviews/videos:
The Official Website:  Disney Circle
Disney’s Cirlce
Disney Circle Unboxing and Review

A Year In Review

It has been an amazing year for Pastorspondering.org and I cannot wait to see what is in store for 2016!

This past year, pastorsponderings has been viewed another 100,000 times…that’s simply mind boggling and humbling to believe!  Wow, thank you, dear reader and follower of this blog.  As always, I am committed to writing what matters from my perspective while engaging in your comments, questions and requests.  We have truly done this together!

The 5 most viewed articles of 2015 are:

1. 5 Things They Don’t Prepare You For In Officer’s Training
2. Dear Salvation Army, Expressions Of An Officer At Christmas
3. 3 Things Officers Should Know About Their Soldiers
4. 3 Questions To Ask Before Becoming An Officer
5.  3 Things Soldiers Should Know About Their Corps Officer

Thank you again for reading pastorsponderings, and we look forward to much, much more in 2016!  As always, if you have a topic that you would like discussed and/or been struggling with, please send me a message. Let’s join the conversation together!

“Holistic Hospitality” by Captain Andy Miller III – Book Review

Are you a proponent for The Salvation Army getting back to its roots?  So am I!
There are countless “how to” books out there that offer scholarly advice, some are good, some not so good…some are just pie in the sky theories that have seldom been put into practice.

Captain Miller III and Family
Captain Miller III and Family

The Book: “Holistic Hospitality” by Andy Miller III isn’t just another book that offers scholarly advice with pie in the sky theories.  This is a practical book that provides all of us a clear blueprint that will not only help us to reignite our hearts but our focus on people and real life ministry.  One of the misnomers that Captain Andy Miller III tackles in this book is the notion that ministry only takes place in the corps sanctuary, or “that we must separate Army’s ministries into “social” and “spiritual””.  (p. 30)

As soldiers and officers we have often seen this dividing line in ministry, and it can be a challenge to bridge the two together.  Sometimes we see Sunday as our primary focus but become less involved in the other “social” aspects of day to day “Salvation Army” work.  In this book, Captain Miller provides us with a practical view and a clear walk through of his own team led project of introducing the notion of hospitality into everything we do.  Hospitality is so much more than something that is done at home where you serve guests. Hospitality ushers people into deeper relationship with each other and with Christ.  We can practice hospitality in EVERYTHING that we do as we point to Christ while serving others!

I won’t spoil the book for you and lay out the entire project on this review.
Instead I recommend you pick up a copy of Captain Miller’s Book “Holistic Hospitality – A Bridge To A Future Army” and read it for yourself.  Be encouraged, be inspired, as we strive to lead our Army onward into the future!

This book can be purchased at your Territorial Trade Department or online at Amazon.com: Linked here:
Holistic Hospitality

Something more to ponder today!

TV Review of CW’s “The 100”

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I’m a sucker for Science Fiction television shows.  If you’re anything like me then perhaps you have your DVR set to record many offerings within this genre too.  I’m still upset after all these years that they canceled Firefly

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Don’t even get me started on this one!

I digress:  

The new television show “The 100” follows a group of young people (It’s like Peter Pan’s “Lost Boys” meets “Lord of the Flies”) who apparently were all imprisoned for being rebellious while on Earth’s final hope, the space station, which has been orbiting Earth for nearly a hundred years.  
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Earth nearly destroyed itself through nuclear war and those who survived on the Space station currently don’t even know if Earth is able to sustain life yet.  So they send the prisoners…oh here’s one more catch – the Space Station is quickly degrading and running out of oxygen.  The population on the Space station has outgrown the original design of sustaining life.  

back to the prisoners – Image

 

 

 

They are sent to earth in a space pod (wow they can fit a hundred people in that thing?  that must be cramped!) and each of the 100 has been given a vital signs life tracker on their wrist.

The adventure begins and the world isn’t as empty as they once suspected.  There are others living on the ground that ironically the 100 pod-people label “grounders” (how original).  

Long review short –
There is suspense.  The directors and creators of the show ensure that you are clinging to your seat and take nothing for granted because ANYTHING could happen.  Sure, it’s a teen/young adult catered audience…most actors look like aeropostale or abercrombe and fitch models…but death and betrayal permeate the plot like a pair of stinky gym socks in a locker-room.

Society and Culture:

For me, one the underlying themes of this show is that anarchy reigns within the 100 although there are a few trying to keep the order and peace.  Some have their own selfish agendas, some are power hungry, and some are just psychopathic killers…this really bodes well for us on post-apocalyptic Earth!  Another message – don’t trust a bunch of teenagers and young adults with an important mission to go to Earth in the hopes of saving the human race.  As a matter of fact don’t trust ANY of these (or many) of these “criminals”.  

It is rather telling that the Adults in Space also have ulterior motives, plots lead to real curve balls and just when you think you figured out where the writer is taking the story you get kicked to the curb.  

Conclusion:

If you like a little drama/soap opera with a Science-fiction flair then perhaps you’ll like this show.  One word of caution though, the writers seem intent of killing off numerous characters as the episodes continue so don’t get too invested in many of the sub-characters because anything could happen.  It’s a roller-coaster sort of ride, there is some adult themes from time to time so parents please be advised!  

My grade – I give it a Image

 

But what do I know, I’m just a Sci-fi Junkie who is still bitter Firefly was canceled.  
let me know what YOU think, respond below with your comments.  I’m interested in your television recommendations and thoughts.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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