Archive for August, 2006
Beginning my pilgrimage into journalism in the 1980s and 1990s, I found few better inspirations than I did in Hillary Ng’weno’s crowd at the Weekly Review.
My dad would religiously buy me the Daily Nation, the East African Standard, the Weekly Review and the Step magazine to complement our evennings together beside his transistor radio, after which we would then talk over what had been reported.
That was a few years before I discovered that an international media order (beyond the BBC and DW radio) existed 🙂
Back to the Weekly Review…I have been excited to re-read Sarah Elderkin again after quite some time.
She’s the kind of probing journalist you want to have telling your story 🙂
I don’t know you, but am convicted in my heart to pass this on to you anyway…
You are going through some tough moments.
Your “why” questions are reminiscent of my struggle with unanswered prayer, expectations that have not been met, could have beens (including people and opportunities) that are not.
Some of my questions in the past have generally included:
a). Why is waiting so much part of being a Christian?
b). Why can’t God just give us what we need now?
c). We certainly need justice for the oppressed, equality and equity in the world for the poor, elimination of terror, etc, don’t we? Why do such disturbing situations linger before our eyes for ever so long?
d). It is about 2,000 years since the resurrection, why should we still be waiting for the Kingdom of God? How come we are still preaching the Gospel of Christ?
II Cor. 4:1-11 has often been helpful.
Vs. 7 says: “But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.”
So I can look at those scars of the past and present them as badges of honor which declare that any victory is from God.
Not that it is easy.
It is humbling; you admit that you are not the best in everything.
Yet it is liberating.
You marvel at God’s grace in continuing to use such imperfection in the way He does.
Life goes on and may you find Him true today and in the days ahead.
Remember too Timothy Radcliff’s words: “God is not a god. He is not a powerful celestial superman. The coming of the Lord is not like the chattering of cavalry coming to our rescue, but that God comes from within, inside our deepest interior.”
This is where we least expect him to come from and therefore calls for patience and waiting for He not only endures with us but will also show up when we need Him most.
Now, God also gives His best in life to those who leave the choice to Him.
May He hide you under His wings and carry you through every corner of this life.
17 no weapon forged against you will prevail,
and you will refute every tongue that accuses you.
This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD,
and this is their vindication from me,”
declares the LORD.
New International Version
International Bible Society
Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984
1 Sing joyfully to the LORD, you righteous;
it is fitting for the upright to praise him.
2 Praise the LORD with the harp;
make music to him on the ten-stringed lyre.
3 Sing to him a new song;
play skillfully, and shout for joy.
4 For the word of the LORD is right and true;
he is faithful in all he does.
5 The LORD loves righteousness and justice;
the earth is full of his unfailing love.
6 By the word of the LORD were the heavens made,
their starry host by the breath of his mouth.
7 He gathers the waters of the sea into jars [a] ;
he puts the deep into storehouses.
8 Let all the earth fear the LORD;
let all the people of the world revere him.
9 For he spoke, and it came to be;
he commanded, and it stood firm.
10 The LORD foils the plans of the nations;
he thwarts the purposes of the peoples.
11 But the plans of the LORD stand firm forever,
the purposes of his heart through all generations.
12 Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD,
the people he chose for his inheritance.
13 From heaven the LORD looks down
and sees all mankind;
14 from his dwelling place he watches
all who live on earth-
15 he who forms the hearts of all,
who considers everything they do.
16 No king is saved by the size of his army;
no warrior escapes by his great strength.
17 A horse is a vain hope for deliverance;
despite all its great strength it cannot save.
18 But the eyes of the LORD are on those who fear him,
on those whose hope is in his unfailing love,
19 to deliver them from death
and keep them alive in famine.
20 We wait in hope for the LORD;
he is our help and our shield.
21 In him our hearts rejoice,
for we trust in his holy name.
22 May your unfailing love rest upon us, O LORD,
even as we put our hope in you.
- Psalm 33:7 Or sea as into a heap
New International Version
International Bible Society
Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984
Upon a life I didn’t live, upon a death I didn’t die; upon another’s life, another’s death, I stake my whole eternity. – Amy Carmichael.
MTV turned 25 this month—but with uncharacteristic modesty, the cable channel isn’t doing much celebrating. It’s been left mostly to the news media to honor MTV’s many accomplishments.
“Without MTV,” the Associated Press points out, “you might not have reality television. Commercials wouldn’t have vertigo-inducing quick cuts. Musicians wouldn’t need to look like models to survive. Kelly Osbourne [of the reality show The Osbournes] wouldn’t have gotten near a recording studio. And only seamstresses would know about wardrobe malfunctions.”
If that were my legacy, I’m not sure I’d want to call attention to it either. But that’s not really the reason MTV is playing down its anniversary. As the Associated Press says, “When your average viewer is 20 years old . . . perhaps it’s wise not to mention you’re 25. MTV wants to be the perpetual adolescent.” The Washington Post puts it more succinctly: “At MTV, it is always about the now.”
Perpetual adolescence and living only for the moment are just a couple of the twisted values that MTV has foisted upon us over the past twenty-five years. There’s also exhibitionism, voyeurism, promiscuity, greed, and a host of other vices. Through its style as well as its content, MTV has done all it can to promote the cheap, the vulgar, and the flashy over the good, the true, and the beautiful.
I’m not saying that MTV has added anything to the culture that wasn’t already present. All these elements have always been part of sinful human nature. Where MTV distinguished itself was in glorifying these things—moreover, glorifying them for a young audience.
We certainly can’t place all the blame for our coarsened and desensitized culture on MTV. But it deserves a significant share of the blame for a culture in which our children—at younger and younger ages—are surrounded on all sides by twisted views of sexuality. And I do mean “surrounded on all sides.” Even kids who aren’t MTV viewers come up against its culture-shaping influences from their peers, from advertisers, even from their teachers, or from its host of affiliated networks ranging from Nickelodeon to LOGO, the new Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgendered channel. MTV has forced parents to work harder than ever to protect and shape their kids’ minds, while giving them less of a chance of doing so successfully.
Only in a culture shaped by MTV’s kind of values, for example, could Madonna’s latest stage act—hanging on a mirrored cross while singing—draw little more than yawns and “Oh, there she goes again.” Madonna and her onstage antics are a perfect expression of the channel and the culture that helped create her. Or take that infamous Janet Jackson “wardrobe malfunction” at the Super Bowl. As the AP implied, what shocked an audience full of adults was old hat to many of their kids, who had seen far worse in MTV’s videos and reality shows.
It’s not many people who can look back and say that they changed a culture. That can be pretty awe-inspiring. But when you change it in the way that MTV did, you don’t celebrate: You hang your head in shame.
|For Further Reading and Information|
Today’s BreakPoint offer: Rewired: A teen worldview curriculum from the Wilberforce Forum and Teenmania. Tell your youth pastor about it!
“MTV Won’t Say How Old It Is (But It’s 25),” CNN, 1 August 2006.
Hank Stuever, “25 Years Down the Tube,” Washington Post, 1 August 2006, C01.
Ben Mathis-Lilley, et al., “I Want My A.D.D.,” New York, 7 August 2006. (Warning: profanity.)
Rod Dreher, “MTV at 25,” Beliefnet, 3 August 2006.
BreakPoint Commentary No. 040810, “Beyond the Music (Video): MTV’s Cultural Impact.”
BreakPoint Commentary No. 020423, “Reality Bites More Than a Bat Head: MTV’s ‘The Osbournes’.”
BreakPoint Commentary No. 030916, “My Own Private Neverland: A Culture of Lost Boys.”
BreakPoint Commentary No. 010315, “Mooks and Midriffs: Bypassing Parental Authority.”
BreakPoint Commentary No. 050429, “‘Different Together’: The LOGO Channel.”
…man works, man works but when man prays, God works. – Patrick Johnstone.