Humble Dogs

That they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts. Matthew 13:15b

Archive for the tag “television”

Oscars and the Church

Did you watch the Oscar Presentations last evening?
The Academy Awards are the premier entertainment event of the year. According to http://www.mediamarketjournal.com/, “Time-adjusted ratings have come out and it shows more of the same–pretty much flat numbers overall. The viewership was 39.4 million which was up 4% with less than 1% shrinkage in the 18-49 demo year-to-year as that rating currently stands at 11.7.

Who do you glorify? God or entertainers?

Who do you glorify?
God or entertainers?

-What standards does the Academy Awards nomination committee set?
-How much does the Oscars influence the Nation’s entertainment viewing?
-How much does entertainment influence the Nation’s attitude toward God and morality?
-How much has the Church been influenced by: Entertainment? Advertising? Fashion?
-How do we draw the line between glorifying entertainment and glorifying God?

Twenty years ago, John Piper pondered these questions.

Has the Church Been Disarmed by the World?
December 9, 1992 | by John Piper | Topic: Education

Reading 1 Samuel 13:19-23 this morning caused me to ask if the church has been disarmed by the world through becoming too dependent on the world.

19 Now there was no smith to be found throughout all the land of Israel; for the Philistines said, “Lest the Hebrews make themselves swords or spears”; 20 but every one of the Israelites went down to the Philistines to sharpen his plowshare, his mattock, his axe, or his sickle; 21 and the charge was a pim for the plowshares and for the mattocks, and a third of a shekel for sharpening the axes and for setting the goads. 22 So on the day of the battle there was neither sword nor spear found in the hand of any of the people with Saul and Jonathan; but Saul and Jonathan his son had them. 23 And the garrison of the Philistines went out to the pass of Michmash.

Evidently the Israelites had allowed themselves to lose all their own blacksmiths to the Philistines. Now they had become accustomed to depending on the Philistines for sharpening all their tools.

This had not seemed a problem in peacetime. All seemed well. But in wartime there were no weapons and the Philistines had, in effect, disarmed the people of God because Israel had come to depend on them for all their sharpening.

Is this a picture of the church’s dependence on the world in many ways? Some are perhaps innocent enough—like sewer and water and light and a lot of other shared services and commodities. But the weapons of our warfare are not like that. The issue is truth and values.

Has the church become dependent on the world for the sharpening of the mind and the spirit? Which in fact only looks like a sharpening if we see life as a time of peace. But it is really a dulling and a disarming if we look at life as a time of spiritual warfare for the minds and hearts of men.

We have come to depend on the world for most of our education and most of our leisure and entertainment and most of the interpretation of the news and events of the world. In doing so I wonder if there are any weapons left?

It raises for me the question of schooling for God’s people. And all the dimensions of information and opinion and entertainment and advertisement that shape our minds. How shall we have ourselves well-armed if the Philistines have taken all the blacksmiths and made us depend on them to sharpen all our weapons?

Pastor John
By John Piper. ©2012 Desiring God Foundation. Website: desiringGod.org

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God Has Made it Plain

“…What may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities–His eternal power and divine nature–have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made so that men are without excuse” (Rom. 1:19-20)

I highly recommend the PBS program Earth From Space which aired last evening on most PBS channels.

For all who missed watching last night, it is available for direct viewing.

Earth From Space

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/space/earth-from-space.html
Earth From Space
Detailed satellite images reveal the web of connections that sustain life on Earth. Aired February 13, 2013 on PBS

Program Description
“Earth From Space” is a groundbreaking two-hour special that reveals a spectacular new space-based vision of our planet. Produced in extensive consultation with NASA scientists, NOVA takes data from earth-observing satellites and transforms it into dazzling visual sequences, each one exposing the intricate and surprising web of forces that sustains life on earth. Viewers witness how dust blown from the Sahara fertilizes the Amazon; how a vast submarine “waterfall” off Antarctica helps drive ocean currents around the world; and how the sun’s heating up of the southern Atlantic gives birth to a colossally powerful hurricane. From the microscopic world of water molecules vaporizing over the ocean to the magnetic field that is bigger than Earth itself, the show reveals the astonishing beauty and complexity of our dynamic planet.

None other than Divine creation could have designed such an amazing life sustaining sphere. Although the program does not directly say so, it is plain to see; This is not by cosmic accident!

Ezra Levant and Sun News

I am not a regular viewer of the Sun News Network but I will often flip to see what they are commenting on during commercial breaks. Most of the reporters and journalists are generally good and give fair and honest reports. Then there is Ezra Levant. The first time I heard him, I thought I had tuned in to Fox News by mistake. Levant needs to take his twisted, ultra conservative, one sided agenda to Fox and play to the all the little minds who love to gobble up and feed on his type of garbage.

He loves to take sound bites from interviews with people he doesn’t agree with and totally twist them out of context. On Elizabeth May he says;
“Elizabeth May is likable enough, but her recent comments are more of her off the wall, delusional speech.”
“Elizabeth May does not know what she’s talking ABOUT!”

Sorry Ezra, but it is you who hasn’t done the research.

Here is some of what Ezra Levant says on the pipeline hearings;
“Opening Gateway hearing to ‘anyone’ — literally any person, any child, any foreign citizen — just a waste of time, money
The only question is whether Leggett is naive, incompetent or biased against the pipeline.”
“Some of the forms have been faxed in. They helpfully have the fax signature stamp at the top of the page, showing which foreign-funded lobby group is working to gin up names.”
“Those foreign billionaires are getting their money’s worth — they’ve managed to delay the hearings by a year before they’ve even started.”

“What a fool. No court would permit such a gong show. And Leggett has court-like powers.”

On the Gateway Pipeline he says;
“Obama may not want our oil, but let’s not sabotage ourselves”
“Our choice has to be to putting Canada’s interests first. We should do everything we can to press Obama to approve Keystone XL. But we’ve got to work on Plan B: Finding other markets for our oil.”
“Which is why the proposed Northern Gateway Pipeline is such an obvious answer.”
“It would be a win for Canada. And a win for the communities in B.C. ravaged by anti-logging extremists who killed their lumber industry. International lobby groups such as Greenpeace, along with billionaire foundations from the U.S., drove thousands of British Columbians out of work, and destroyed dozens of towns that depended on forestry.”

No Ezra, What killed the forest industry is exporting to countries who are allowed to buy raw logs instead of processing them in Canada and selling the lumber. The number of jobs in BC from the pipeline, perhaps 40, max.

This is Ezra Levant who claims; “Global-warming, a sham”. “Evidence gathered from torture is sometimes necessary to protect lives.”

If you really want to listen to or read some of his mostly trash for yourself – Ezra Levant

Overstocked Sale

We are Overstocked

We are Overstocked

One ad that keeps popping up on radio and tv is the
“We Are Overstocked Sale”

I have been in business many years and one the single most important factors in management is inventory. Stock costs money. Overstock is working capital tied up in storage. When most businesses are operating on limited budgets, inventory excess means someone is not getting paid or a bank note is needed to meet expenses. Either way, overstock is a drain on profit.

Inventory is probably the easiest part of business to control. It is a tangible ingredient. Not like the effects of economic downturn, or customer growth and loyalty which are intangibles, ingredients one has to work with and around. Or bank rates, which generally are out of business control, or repairs and maintenance which can bring sudden surprises. Employee relations are another of the intangibles, more than simple counting and ordering.

Yes, there is need for sales projections, but if you are on top of your game and watching the pulse of the industry you are in and look back on past performance, what inventory is required to cover sales should not be such a burden on the company budget.

My point is this; Why would I trust buying from a company which advertises their poor management? Especially when it is the same companies, most often furniture and appliances, telling the same “Overstocked” story over and over again. They are either extremely poorly managed or outright lying to customers and just using overstocked as a sale strategy. Either way, I don’t want to do business with them. They think people are stupid. The ads are directed at the gullible.

If poorly managed, then the services they offer will be poorly managed. If they are lying about being overstocked, then they most likely will lie about their product and service.

Employees Needed

Seeking the person who is willing to work a minimum 1 hr. per day for a large national corporation and pay for the privilege of doing so?
Apply to any television carrier in your area.

Each time you watch 3 hrs of television, that’s 1 hockey game, you have sat through and watched at minimum 1 hr of commercials during that time. The TV producers will even hold up the game, TV timeouts they are called, so that they can run the ads. Fair enough, some one has to pay for the air time, but, did you turn to that channel to watch commercials or watch the game? The commercials are deterrents to your enjoyment of the game and therefore the viewer should be compensated for his time. Since we pay the carrier, Direct TV, Bell, Rogers, whomever, to deliver that program, why then should we not be compensated for the time spent watching the ads. The producer is getting paid, let the advertiser pay the carrier to deliver their ads to the viewer. Why should the viewer pay twice?

Does the post office require the receiver of mail to pay for another stamp? NO. Does UPS expect to be paid by both the sender and the receiver? NO. Why then for TV? It’s just another product. I wouldn’t mind paying for the product commercial free, but even pay for view has those commercial time outs and includes subliminal advertizing.

What adds insult is oft time the carrier owns both the program or the rights to and the network you are watching. That is triple payment.

What I’m really waiting for is the television carrier who offers free satellite TV. The first carrier to do so will capture near all the business and force the TV networks to pay the carrier to include their stations. It will happen some day. Just not soon enough.

Advertizing is everywhere and people are just not willing to show their displeasure even when they pay to watch it. Purchase a video and the very first thing you see is advertizing. The producers of the video are being paid twice. So bold are they that they have even made it so that you can’t skip or fast forward over the commercials. Yet very few people complain.

A question – Would you be willing to trade in your digital wide screen TV for a 30″ analog without commercials and no carrier fees?

Interesting reading on advertizing – Why Americans Hate Advertising “Sixty percent said their opinion of advertising “is much more negative than just a few years ago.” It’s always been negative. Why should anyone like advertising? It’s a tax you pay to be entertained.” “…life in the early 21 st Century can’t be lived without continuous obeisance to Mammon.”

Commercial Love

People love advertising, commercials. So much so many will even pay to see them.

I don’t understand peoples’ fascination with advertizing. Is it the media that builds the desire to watch?

Advertisers pay huge amounts to place their newest commercials on Super Bowl time, part of the value must surely be that they know that even stations that don’t carry the Super Bowl game will still play the ads as part of their news or sports broadcast. Do they play them for free or are they being paid for the hype?

Many television stations have a once a week segment showing what they consider the best or funniest commercials. That I can perhaps understand, do they get paid to show them?

The biggest mystery to me is brand name clothing. Why would anyone pay extra to have Tommy Hilfiger in bold letters printed across their chest or back. Or Nike. Or Bum. You can buy the same quality shirt or pants without advertizing for less than half price at other stores and often at the same store. This is a day and age when it is very hard to have people volunteer their time for free, yet those very same people are willing to pay the garment distributor for the privilege of advertizing for them. I say, if you want me to be your billboard, give me the shirt.

Then there are the Home shows, Car shows, Boat shows Garden shows and a host of other advertizing venues that charge admission to go and see a suppliers product. What’s up with that? Pay 20 bucks or more to see the same product you can find at any building supply outlet or garden center.

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