Archive for the ‘Entertainment’ category

Tom T, Roger and a Young Carpenter

December 2, 2011

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Painting word pictures is a powerful teaching tool. A great story hangs in the heart. I always liked Tom T. Hall he made Clayton Delaney and the hitchhiking orphan boy a part of the fabric of our lives. Roger Miller could put us on a river bank or in a box car with just a few do wacka dos.

Tom’s and Roger’s stories standout in our minds because they speak to and from the commonality of human experience. Great stories take something we know and illustrate things we don’t. Roger was a master at turning a phrase upside down to make a point.

“I lack fourteen dollars havin’ twenty seven cents.”

What better way to say you wasted your rent money boozing it away? The song shows just how low one stoops to climb a high barstool. It does not pass our notice the sad story is set to happy music.

Tom T. Hall taught us the sage summation of what is most important in life “Old Dogs, Children and Watermelon Wine.” Although we do not endorse the wine part we can agree that life is good because of the simple things.

A young carpenter from Nazareth was the master teacher because of his ability to couch divine enlightenment within farming acumen. He could profoundly portray eternal principles with paradoxical phrases. We remember that God elevates the humble because Jesus said “the first shall be last and the last first.”. We see the greatness of giving all by a widow sacrificing her meager mite.

Jesus could have had a big career in the country music business if he decided to live on Music Row. Instead the sweet story teller changed the world with his amazing way of living his teachings.

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You Gotta’ Watch What You’re Watching

May 14, 2010

We are living in the media age.  TV, Internet, Movies, Podcasts all type of mediums strive to gain our attention.  Sadly, the Wicked One uses those images with messages to tempt us and turn our hearts from God.  How can we protect our hearts and minds and those of our families?  It is a challenge but fortunately it is one that can be met with some practical tools designed to filter and block unwanted information from tainting our viewing and surfing.  Here are a few products that Christian parents should be aware of.

Television and DVD Filters

If you watch TV you know that swearing and fowl, course language has become so common that even prime-time programing is filled with it.  There is a filter box called TV Guardian that scans the closed-captioned feed of programing and erases the fowl speech before it plays.  Sadly, it won’t filter live programing that has no closed-caption track.

Similar in function is ClearPlay.  It will remove entire scenes with sexual content, drug use, and bleep fowl language.  You have to use an online service with the box you purchase.  You pick the DVD, download a file onto a little thumbdrive, put the thumbdrive into the ClearPlay box and it works its magic removing the content you’ve chose to filter.  The ClearPlay player costs around $125 plus a monthly subscription of $7.99.

Internet Filters and Software

We all know about Google and Yahoo search engines.  They have some parental controls that you can set to filter nudity. OpenDNS is a program that lives on your computer that blocks various websites.  There are free and paid versions available.  It takes a bit of tech savvy to set it up and eventually your 13 year old will figure out how to disable it or circumvent it.

Surf Logging Software

Let’s face it some folks have a difficult time overcoming the temptation to look at pornography online.  It might help these people to know that every site they surf to is being recorded and sent to someone who will hold them accountable for their surfing habits. Covenant Eyes is a service that does just what we are talking about.  Any attempt to circumvent or disable Covenant Eyes will lock up the computer.

If the Seeing Don’t Get You The Hearing Can

Music is one of the most powerful teaching tools available.  The devil knows he can control the hearts of men by setting sinful lyrics to a catchy tune and snappy beat.  If you are like me you can’t really understand what Snoop Doggy or Fifty Cent is saying if we listen.  However, you can easily search lyrics on the Internet.  So before you or your child buys that CD or downloads a song search the lyrics to see exactly what they are saying.

Remember most of all, the best filter for any media is a responsible parent.  Monitor your child’s activity.  It is dangerous to let your children have a TV set, Internet access or cell phone in the privacy of their own bedroom with out the watchful eye of a parent.  Same is true of husbands and wives.  Make sure your screens are visible to everybody so you won’t be tempted to watch things that are harmful spiritually.  It only makes sense to guard our eyes and hearts from seeing images that will reside in our minds from now on.  A good plan is  to stop them before they enter our home or flash on our screens.

What are your favorite tools to help you surf safely and avoid inappropriate Television?

Joe Chase

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