Archive for the ‘Rant’ Category

Where’s The Good News?

          If you are anything like me you must be tired of watching the network news. Bad news seems to be pouring in at an unprecedented pace, to the point that we are almost numb to its impact. We have flooding, earthquakes, tsunamis, wars, financial chaos, political corruption, and Charlie Sheen. Charlie is all about winning, I’m just trying to get my mind around the prize. He’s now decided to take his act on the road and is booked to sold-out crowds around the country. As the highest paid TV personality he seems to have a following, even the network executives want him back on the show. He’s hot, he’s selling and he’s in demand. WHY? What’s the attraction, what’s the prize? Maybe it’s the hearts and minds of a lost generation.

          People are hungry and desperate for something to feel good about. Human beings are born with the need to believe in something. God created us that way. He did so for His purpose and has presented us with the opportunity to live this life with an overflowing abundance of all that we need to fulfill our needs and He stands ready to enable us to live above the moral degradation of society. When any person chooses to live outside this provision they are left to fill the void inside with anything and everything that comes along, even the likes and philosophies of Charlie Sheen. His TV persona as a womanizing, party hardy, self-indulged character seems to emulate his off screen lifestyle. His indiscretions are not occasional but rampant. We’ve come an unfortunate distance from “Leave It to Beaver”. As a society the impact is obvious. Divorce is a major business, over half of our families are broken, our education system is failing and our children encouraged toward the heretofore unthinkable. Tell me they are not influenced by the immoral behavior portrayed as normal on TV and in the movies. The legislature continually tries to overcome these issues by enacting more laws to govern behavior. They are currently considering ways to prevent teen “sexting” via smart phones, a problem reportedly involving 22% of our young people. As a result of all of this brokenness teen suicide has reached an epidemic level.

         The networks themselves seem to be addicted to “bad news”. When a slow news day comes the filler pieces are most likely something scrounged off “You Tube” and almost always the content is negative (not to mention unworthy of prime time news).  So I ask, where’s the “good news”? Has society sunk so low that there exist no interesting and uplifting human interest stories? In a world that is desperate and needy for something to feel good about it seems the networks are not really all that interested.

          In the midst of all the chaos and turmoil, trials and tribulations, really “Good News” does exist. There is hope, there is a future, and there is truth, a way and a life. These things can only be found in the saving grace of Jesus Christ. Perhaps the only thing worse than the lack of good news on TV is the deafening silence of the American church in proclaiming the only real “Good News” available to everyone who is willing to listen, if only given the chance to hear, even Charlie Sheen. Each of us must take personal responsibility for finding and living in God’s truth. If you are skeptical let me ask just one question. Given the fact that our society was founded on Judeo-Christian principles, yet in the wisdom of the courts we removed prayer from our schools and largely abandoned the beliefs of our founding fathers, is it really working for you?

“The Smell of Politics is in The Air”

          “Who saves his country violates no law.” This quote by Napoleon Bonaparte sums up his thoughts on patriotism. Did I miss the campaign ad in which anyone running for office had a clue about saving our country? The ads on my TV were quite proficient when it comes to explaining what a no-good, low life, cheating, lying, tax dodging, scoundrel each person has for an opponent. Usually their opponents’ ad comes on right behind the first ad with the same kind of rhetoric. It’s the Hatfield’s and McCoy’s without the guns and showing a lot less class. Seriously, is this the best we can do? Is this all we have to offer?

          Unfortunately, I get the fact that most politicians are completely out of touch with their constituency and I’m believing that most hard working honest Americans are fed up with the campaign mud wallowing and are hungry for someone who has at least one good idea to improve our country or way of life. It seems that each camp is so busy trying to figure out how to bash the other guy that there is no time left for the foreign concept of having a “good idea”. Even the bashing is low quality. If you listen carefully, and I hate to listen at all, you can hear the half truths and twisted innuendos. If we were to believe all that is being said we really wouldn’t need a voting booth, a dart board would do just fine.

          The real tragedy is having our children watch this tripe during prime time viewing. What example does this set for the adults of tomorrow? Our local schools promote a program called “Character Counts”. The idea behind the program is to teach our students integrity and manners that will serve them well in society. Perhaps we need to pass a law that would require our elected officials to take continuing education classes in character development. If we are lucky perhaps they will be able to perform at the fifth grade level in a few years.

          OK! I know that there are a few candidates who stepped up to take on the responsibility of public office without climbing into the hog trough with the majority. To those who were willing to put themselves out for our sakes, I commend you. Without good people coming forward, we are cursed with what’s left. The brave few deserve our prayers and support. Our need for them to succeed is enormous and we need more like them, people who will do what’s right regardless of the political consequences. We need people who are willing to save this nation.

          On a good note, the populace has begun to care again. Things are so out of kilter that it would be hard for anyone to miss, yet some still do. Let’s hope, what we have witnessed in this recent campaign is the bottom rather than a continual slide into the abyss. Integrity is who you are. You can’t fake character, you either have it or you do not. We are in desperate need of real leadership. True patriots put the good of others above their own. What a novel change that would be in our government.

We Need Some Celebrity Ground Rules…

imagesThis is a new category for me, the “Rant”. Quite frankly I have some serious observations and questions when it comes to celebrity status and what we as a culture find news worthy. For instance, I think Tiger Woods is the greatest golfer that ever played the game. He brings an excitement to a golf tournament like no other. With five holes to play, he can be four strokes behind the leader, pull an eagle out of his bag of tricks and end up on the eighteenth hole winning the match by one stoke after sinking an unbelievable 37 foot putt. Now that’s worth watching. That, my friend, is news worthy. The celebrity value that Tiger offers the world is his remarkable skill at playing the game of golf. That’s it, that’s all there is, there ain’t no more. As tragic as the events of this week are, I am not interested in his moral failures and I don’t care if he wants to redesign the look of his Escalade by merging with a tree and I don’t care if his wife pounds the windows out of the vehicle with a nine iron. This isn’t any more interesting to me because he is a celebrity as opposed to the average guy down the street who might get an honorable mention on page twenty of the local paper.

          Yet we find all the major networks covering this soap opera as if we should care. We are told that he has been unavailable to discuss his actions with the police. Try that excuse on for size the next time they knock on your door. Here’s an observation that raises a question. Observation – It’s an extreme rarity to turn on any TV show or movie where infidelity is not only portrayed but featured as a normal part of life. Question – Why do the same networks that promote this tripe across the airwaves (and cable) as normal everyday human behavior act so shocked when it manifests itself in real life. During prime time TV it is standard fare but when the 11:00 news comes on it’s a breaking story. The media gurus suffer from their own schizophrenia. One minute they are de-sensitizing us and the next minute they want to play up the shock value.

          Here’s another question for us to deliberate. Why do we expect people who have no moral center in their lives to behave morally? Why should they? Tiger is far from the first of the rich and famous to embark on this path. David Letterman speaks of his infidelities as though he forgot to take out the trash. There was a time in our culture when society would have turned their back on such behavior. Where have our sensibilities gone? Some would say that we are more enlightened than our predecessors. I think not. The truth be told the candle of our enlightenment has been flickering for some time. Those of us who hold to Judeo-Christian values are called to be the light of the world. It’s time to let our light shine. The enemy is making great strides in deceiving even the elect. The most popular trend in naming new TV episodes is to name them after sin itself. Greed, Wife Swapping, Desperate Housewives and the unbelievable latest, Californication. It would also seem to me that a large majority of movies being produced today feature horror, violence, nudity and moral degradation. OK you liberal minded, tell me, who is being glorified in all of this?

          So why then are we so enamoured with those who have acting skills, sports skills or entertainment talents? I think it’s time for some ground rules. Let’s value these people only for their area of expertise and contribution to their craft. More often than not I hear them complain that their  private lives are invaded by the paparazzi and I agree. Let’s leave their private lives out of the news. I’m really weary of it all any way. And while we are at, I would find it refreshing if they would keep their political views to themselves as well. Just because a person can sing well doesn’t make them my candidate for telling the rest of us how we should live. Let’s give them boundaries like the rest of us.

          The moral of the story is just this. Those who think they have it all, often find out that really have nothing. Recently I read this quote by Luis Palau, a Christian pastor, author and broadcaster. “A self-made man doesn’t make much.”