Friday, July 27, 2007

TV Train Wreck?

I noticed an interesting article that showed up in my inbox this morning.

This article claims that as of February 18, 2009 television sets that are not equipped to receive a digital signal will become useless pieces of furniture. That’s interesting. I already view TV sets as useless pieces of furniture.

The article goes on to describe the woes that the senators will feel when their constituents are no longer able to get meaningful communication out of their “idol.” I say, “Hoorah!” Maybe this will be the first step in watching the monster get a black eye. According to the article 61% of the American public is unaware this is going to happen. Count me among that percentage…until today.

My opinion is that nothing (with the possible exception of the government school system) has brought greater harm to Christian families than the infernal television set. This evil monster has stolen billions of hours of otherwise productive time from families. It has taught our children bad language and bad behaviour. Our sin nature teaches how to be evil well enough on its own without the “help” from a television set. The “wholesome” programs of the 1950’s and 1960’s (which were still very big time wasters) gave way to immodest, irreverent, God hating programs of the 1990’s though the 2000’s. I believe the 1970’s through the 1980’s witnessed the transition from the earlier programming to the lewd filth being spewed forth today.

We sold our big screen TV for $25 when we moved from Nashville in 2005. My only regret is that I wish I had done it sooner. My disdain for the TV set runs deep. It seems that no matter where you go these days, we are subjected to the immoral, immodest message that the TV set propagates. You can hardly dine in a restaurant without having one luring your glance toward it. I hate it because I watch it if it is there. It is a tantalizing drug. I find it impossible to deliberately look the other way. Most of the time in these restaurants, if you look the other way then you notice the one mounted on the “other” wall.

So, I sit back with a bit of satisfaction of considering that millions of Americans may be without a signal on February 19, 2009. If only it would just stay that way…sigh. Unfortunately, though, I’m sure that by the end of that week, the majority of these people will have charged whatever they need to on their credit cards to get their set working again. Or even worse…our legislators may give out vouchers for a “free upgrade.” After all, if the people had their media taken away they may actually start thinking for themselves. We wouldn’t want *that* to happen, would we?

As for me and my family, we won’t notice the transition to digital signal. A missing TV set doesn’t care whether digital or analog signals are traveling through the air.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

What Are You Reading?

The other day I was sitting in my car in the parking lot with my windows rolled down reading, as I like to do from time to time when the weather is actually cool enough to do so. A coworker walked by and asked if I were working.

“No. I’m reading,” I responded.

“Harry Potter?,” she asked.

“No. The Bible.”

She walked away rather quickly after that. I’ve written before that there is very little fiction I find worth reading. Often, even if I do find fiction that is worth reading, I have trouble making time for it amidst all the non-fiction that I have on my “must-read” list.

But Harry Potter? You must be kidding! What is it about this series that would captivate young and old alike? Doug Philips recently wrote an excellent article about this entitled, Dining on Harry Potter, in which he likens this stuff as poison to your soul. I could not agree more.

Let me state for the record that if you name the name of Christ, you have no business reading this filth. If you are a Christian parent and you allow your children to read this filth, then you are a child abuser.

In speaking of Manasseh in 2 Chronicles 33:6, the scripture states plainly:

And he caused his children to pass through the fire in the valley of the son of Hinnom: also he observed times, and used enchantments, and used witchcraft, and dealt with a familiar spirit, and with wizards: he wrought much evil in the sight of the LORD, to provoke him to anger.
(2Ch 33:6)

God says these things “provoke him to anger.” Witchcraft falls right in the middle of a whole host of things that God warns will prevent a person from inheriting the kingdom of God.

Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
(Gal 5:19-21)

Witchcraft is not child’s play. It is not something with which to trifle. Witchcraft, whether “good” or “evil,” is all evil. It is from the father of lies. (John 8:44)

You may object saying, “You haven’t even read Harry Potter. How can you soundly condemn it?” I answer you that the scripture gives reason enough to stay far away from this stuff.

Abstain from all appearance of evil.
(1Th 5:22)

We are told what we are to fill our minds with.

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
(Php 4:8)

Does Harry Potter fit this bill? I think not.

If your children want exciting fiction to read, there are plenty of better choices than “Harry Potter.” Consider R.M. Ballantyne or G.A. Henty. Both of these authors wrote extensively about adventures that took place in the annals of history. So, as your children (or even yourself!) read these works, not only will they be entertained, but they will gain an understanding of history that is rare among today’s poorly educated youth. Both of these series are available from Vision Forum. We have some of the Henty books. We’d like to order the Ballantyne books. Yet, even with these excellent resources, you must excuse me while I return to my excellent non-fiction reading list, of which I feel will never end. (Ecc 12:12)


Monday, July 02, 2007


Go to now, ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain: Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that.
(Jas 4:13-15)

Ironic it is that on 6/27, I issued a blog entry detailing my plans for the short term future. Though these plans have not changed, another event transpired late on Friday afternoon 6/29. The company for which I work, Dobson Communications Corporation announced that they are being acquired by AT&T. This was quite a surprise. The closing is estimated to take place in the first quarter of 2008.

What this means for the Southerland household remains to be seen. I have thoroughly enjoyed working for Dobson. The management here has been outstanding. Any desire I have had to work for myself has been for reasons other than not liking my job, like those of family heritage and passing on a vision to my children. This could very well be God’s plan for me to launch into business for myself. Whatever happens, I know that He will provide, and I have no need to worry. God is faithful to provide for His own. I know that He will continue to keep me and my family in the palm of His hand.

I will be stepping up my efforts to get that real estate IVR application off the ground. On my last blog, someone made a suggestion of trying to publish the documents I am writing for my children. I may very well explore that possibility. In one way or another God will provide our needs. I have peace that we are walking in His will.