Category Archives: Culture

Integrity by Dr. Henry Cloud – Part 1

This book is deep water. I expected a discussion on how honest and forthright behavior contributes to success in life and business. I’m getting so much more. Here are a couple of example quotes:

“When you empathize, you feel for the other person, but still know that its not your experience. In that way, you can be a bridge to a new and different experience from the one that they are having… such as hope.”

“True listening and understanding occurs only when this happens… The other person understands that you understand. And that only happens when your character is connecting enough to get you out of your own experience, and into the experience of the other. To do that requires a makeup that is not detached, or self-focused.”

Dr. Henry Cloud in Integrity: The Courage to Meet the Demands of Reality

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Lyrics – Part 2

This is the 2nd installment in my argument that contemporary Christian music, like hymns, can contain some serious theology. This one is from the song “So Long Self” by MercyMe (Coming Up To Breathe Album).

Believe it or not but life is not apparently
about me anyways…
But I have met the One who really is worthy
So let me say

So long, self
Well it’s been fun, but I have found somebody else
So long self
There’s just no room for two
So you are gonna have to move
So long self
Don’t take this wrong but you are wrong for me farewell
Oh well, Goodbye, don’t cry
So Long Self

I love this phrase: “believe it or not but life is not apparently about me anyways…”. What if I had learned that when I was 20 years old? I also like the quirky way the phrase is put together (for some reason).

Life is not about me anyways. This is on the short list of ‘things I hope I know now, and wish I had known when I was young’.

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Lryics – Part 1

I’ve heard more than one person say that the old hymns contain some serious doctrine if you listen to them closely. I can’t and won’t argue with this. I have noticed recently, however, that some contemporary Christian music also contains some profound messages, assuming you are willing to listen closely.

Case in point: “Lose My Soul” by tobyMac (portable sounds album). What makes this song even more amazing is that it is what we in the over 45 crowd would call “Rap Music”. Normally I can’t turn it off quickly enough, but this song has me hooked.

Anyway, back to my point. “Lose My Soul” has some deep water in it, such as:

Man I wanna tell you all something, Man.
Man I’m not gonna let these material things, get in my way, you all.
I’m trying to get somewhere.
I’m trying to get somewhere,
That’s real and pure and true and eternal.

Amen to that. And another example from the same song:

Lord forgive us when we get consumed by the things of this world,
That fight for our love, and our passion,
As our eyes are open wide and on You.
Grant us the privilege of Your world view,
And may Your kingdom be, what wakes us up, and lays us down.

Grant us the privilege of Your world view. Yes…. please do.

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The 10 "Cannots"

The 10 Cannots
By William J. H. Boetcker

  • You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift.
  • You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong.
  • You cannot help little men by tearing down big men.
  • You cannot lift the wage earner by pulling down the wage payer.
  • You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich.
  • You cannot establish sound security on borrowed money.
  • You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatred.
  • You cannot keep out of trouble by spending more than you earn.
  • You cannot build character and courage by destroying men’s initiative and independence.
  • And you cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they can and should do for themselves.

This kind of thinking is conspicuous in its contrast to the popular culture of America today. I long for a day when this philosophy is prevalent in our country again.

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Media

I was going to blog about Dancing with the Stars, but a meeting at Ryan’s High School last night changed my plans. I attended a presentation by CJ Hitz of MediaTalk101, who talked about the impact of media on your spiritual life. He put into words some things that I have been anxious about for a while. His presentation on media covered a broad range of media influences, not just TV but also music, the internet, blogs, movies, video games, “social media” like Myspace, etc, etc. Some things I wrote down that I thought were particularly impactful thoughts presented by CJ:

What do your media choice indicate about your relationship with Jesus?

He talked about how we often consume media almost constantly, several hours a day. One possible explanation for ‘staying constantly stimulated’ by some form of media is that we are avoiding some real issue on our plate. (if I avoid silence, I can avoid hearing what God might say to me)

Another thing he said really hit home with me. “All media has a message, and the message has an impact on your life.” (it’s not just entertainment)

Finally, he used a great illustration of being in a large, well lit city, and complaining that you can’t see many stars at night. The light ‘distraction’ and ‘pollution’ keeps you from seeing the stars. The stars are overhead in a big city just as they are in a pitch dark canyon in the middle of the country, the only difference is that the environment that you have immersed yourself in is preventing a clear view. He then asked whether the media influences that we consume every day are preventing a clear view of God. Great question.

I’m not preaching, I found these questions very convicting.

Photo courtesy of dailyinvention, used under the Creative Commons License.

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Television

Nielsen Media Research recently announced that during the 2004-05 season, the average American household watched TV an average of 8 hours, 11 minutes per day.

Per day! Average! Arghh! I can’t stand it. I’m stunned. If you don’t believe it, the press release is available here:

http://www.nielsenmedia.com/newsreleases/2005/AvgHoursMinutes92905.pdf

In a related statistic, Nielsen reports that the average American household receives 100 channels of TV programming.

On a completely unrelated topic, I’m searching for a study that would explain the mysterious root cause behind the following maladies plaguing Americans:

  • Decline in physical fitness, increase in obesity
  • Decline in student achievement, particularly in math and science
  • General “lack of available time” to:
  • Focus on relationships
  • Spend time with God

If somebody could identify the root cause, they would really be on to something.

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