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March, 2013

  1. I Want to Meet Your Mother and Ask Her What She Thinks

    March 31, 2013 by Ryan

    I am now ready to admit that I am naïve.

    My car wouldn’t start the other day. I got it in to the mechanic, and while waiting in the lounge, I saw 10 minutes of “How I Met Your Mother” on the TV.

    I had never watched this show, but know that it is a popular program. So I paid attention to see what it was all about.

    The storyline revolved around the incredulous idea that an unmarried woman had not had sexual relations with anyone for five years! The boyfriend of this woman was sitting in a living room, casually discussing this with his mixed company friends. He also admitted that he had not been intimate with anyone for 5 months, and felt that he was experiencing a long drought. The other characters just couldn’t believe that the lady’s behavior was possible or normal. They began openly discussing their longest time periods of being in-between lovers, and speculating on what this meant about the woman, her psychology, her sanity, etc.

    I watched this and wondered, “Is this how people do things in real life?” Does a man go to his friends and share the intimate details of his life and love with them, seeking their advice and input? Do groups of friends simply sit on the couch and discuss so openly these things?

    If so, I am naïve indeed.

    It was very interesting to see their worldly perspective on life and intimacy. It explains how the conversation in the nation is often an unbalanced focus and push toward sexuality. This is one of the most popular shows currently on television. In the name of entertainment, it presents it as socially acceptable to have casual intimate relationships, and to discuss concerns and extremely personal relationship questions with everyone except for the other party.

    I guess I don’t really know or understand these things, but I think being honest and talking it over with the one you love would be a better solution.

    I’m reminded why I don’t watch much TV.

    Further, in the group’s discussion, there was no hint or implication that her sexual self-control could be noble, virtuous, or praiseworthy. There was not even a nod offered toward her behavioral restraint being a positive way to avoid transmitted diseases, pregnancy, nor any other known physical benefit. It was held up as fully freakish, unnatural, and abnormal.

    All of this was done in a meager attempt to say some borderline witty dialog and then play an audience laugh-track.

    Although it was getting harder to stomach, I kept watching. I thought it must get better, or redeem itself. It is a popular show, after all! It had to have something good.

    As I was growing discouraged, the sub-plot came forward. A man, looking for a homosexual companion, picked a wimpy nerd to accompany him. His choice was made in desperation so to not appear in public alone. And what am I supposed to cheer for here? Someone who flaunts his “new moral” values picks a companion to accompany him publicly just to satisfy his own pride. No thought or concern for the other person. Purely selfish motivation. The nerd, obviously suffering from a low self-esteem, accepts gladly in order to be seen with this man and hoping to enhance his social standing.

    At the commercial break I couldn’t take it. There was no voice of sanity. There was no one willing to speak out for reason or morality. Our most moral character decided just before the commercial to end her streak and have relations with this man, as they had been dating for 2 months. That would apparently happen next, after a word from the sponsors.

    I was ready to scream! I left the lounge and went aimlessly wandering through the store area.

    Who finds this entertaining? What redeeming values do you get from this entertainment? How can this possibly make you a better person?

    Is there any voice of reason or sanity on this show? Was there ever any introduction of the thought of integrity, fidelity, or making others a priority over one’s self?

    Integrity is not naiveté! What is naive is to suppose that we are not accountable to God. But if this is what the country is watching, then it is no wonder why the moral values of old are quickly vanishing. They, or anything else resembling them, are ridiculed openly for a questionable punch-line.

    I’ve been naïve to think that they were still talked about or promoted.

    I didn’t get far enough into the show to actually meet the mother, but I am curious: What does their mother think of all of this?

  2. The unrecorded sermon

    March 13, 2013 by Ryan

    It must have been an incredible sermon!

    I imagine the fishermen, tired from toiling all night and catching nothing, now trying to clean up and put away their nets and forget about their poor results.

    Along comes a crowd. The man they are following asks the fishermen if he can use their boat. If they cast off a little ways from land, he can speak from the boat to the people on the shore, and the water will naturally amplify his sermon.

    Probably with nothing better to do, they agree.

    As is often true of the Holy Scriptures, there is a lot that we do not know about this occasion. In Luke chapter 5, between verses 3 and 4, what did Jesus teach? How did it make the hearers feel inside their hearts?

    It must have had a great impact though on Simon, James, and John. Jesus asks them to let down their nets. The nets that they have just been toiling to clean up and put away. All their hard work will be undone if they do as asked. Simon explains that they had a bad night of fishing, and now we have cleaned up and are ready to go home, “nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net.” If You say so, we’ll trust You and do it.

    It makes me wonder what had they witnessed and heard to have that level of trust in this Man?

    They let down their nets, and they brought in the biggest catch of anyone’s recent memory.

    Simon then was firmly convinced in Jesus’s power, and declared that he was not worthy of His miracle or His presence. “Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord!”

    Jesus knew better.

    He called them, then and there, to leave their profession, and follow Him.

    Without hesitation, they said goodbye to their James and John’s father, leaving him and the hired servants to run the fishing business.

    So again I wonder, what was said in that sermon?

    See Luke 5:1-11; Matthew 4:18-22; and Mark 1:16-20