This Is What Happens When You Reminisce About Good Times Past

Thankfully, Sweet T and I are at the age where we can look back and joyfully recall our childhood memories while commenting about how much times have changed since way back when. So it’s not unusual for me to find myself reminiscing about good times past.

Sweet T and I dig kicking back and binging on Netflix and we love watching movies. We talk a lot about current events and what’s going on in the world. Thanks to my 6th grade teacher Mrs. Williams (shout out to J.H. Moore Elementary!), I’m a bit of a news junkie. She urged all of her students to make a habit of reading the paper and watching the evening news (which was way more limited than it is today). Thankfully, T appreciates my news habit and indulges my penchant for docu-dramas. (FYI, if you haven’t watched it yet, check out Cuba Gooding Jr. portraying O.J. Simpson in ‘The People vs. O.J. Simpson’).

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Growing up in the Ark-La-Tex, I remember that we only had three channels, not counting PBS. The national news came on at 5:30 p.m., followed by the local news at 6. Walter Cronkite and Harry Reasoner were among the nightly staples, along with the local news pros like Al Pierce, Liz Swaine,  Al Bolton, and Bob Griffin. And who can forget the legendary Bill Moyers? Credibility and accuracy in reporting seemed to be more valued back then. Getting it right mattered.

The pressure of today’s 24-7-365 competitive information jungle has elevated being first above getting it right. As one of my old RTV professors observed back in the 80s–“It’s about ratings.” Ratings drive advertising. Advertising drives revenues. Viewers drive both. If we don’t watch, ratings decline, advertisers bail. That’s the case even more today than back then. But regardless of the age you live in, truth and accuracy matter.

A Clip from Bill Moyers ‘Growing Up in Marshall, Texas’

As a kid, there were a number of shows that were mainstays like ‘The Andy Griffith Show’, ‘The Rifleman‘, and ‘Bonanza’. The stories were not only entertaining but also taught life lessons. In those days, the good guys still won and people understood the difference between right and wrong. I find the best stories entertain and edify us.

Conjunction Junction

If you’re anywhere near my age, you’ll remember ABC’s ‘Schoolhouse Rock.’ The animated short made learning reading, writing, arithmetic, and science fun. The program, on-air originally from 1973-1985 and revived in the 90s for a second tour of duty, celebrates the 45th anniversary of its debut this year. The toe-tapping, sing-a-long taught us civics, history and much more. I can’t help but think it’s definitely a show whose multi-faceted lessons we seem to be missing today.

Energy Blues

Along my journey, I’ve learned that faith and science are not mortal opposites, but complement each other. I can be a person of faith and reason simultaneously.  Learning math, science, and how to read and write is critical to living excellently. Growing in our understanding of the Word of God helps us maneuver the trials and trails of life. To me, it’s more of a both/and rather than either/or. The wonders of science cause me to marvel at the work of God, not question it.

Keeping up with what’s going in the world is important. At the same time, having faith—believing in something greater than ourselves— is critical. Without hope, we remain lost.

Over the centuries, storytelling has served our civilization well. Stories teach, explore, and illuminate the world around us—present, past, and future. Once upon a time, people relied on oral storytelling, verbally handing down history and sharing current events. In our modern 21st century, we have more means to communicate at our disposal than ever before in history. Yet, at times, we talk right past each other.

I hope we remember to use these tools to tell stories that are important and pass along valuable lessons as a new generation comes of age. Stories teach us about who we were, who we are, and who we can be. Good stories teach us while making us laugh, cheer, scream, and cry. It’s why God gave them to us. And God should know. After all, when it comes to crafting a story, no one is better than the Lord.

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What’s your story? Tell it.

You can catch more of episodes of ‘Schoolhouse Rock!’ here.

What Code Do You Live By?

Our life is measured by our alignment with the system we have chosen to follow. What code governs your life? Perhaps, you only strive to do right and avoid doing wrong or harm. You treat people the way you would want someone to treat you. You are kind, polite, truthful.  You look someone in the eye when you shake their hand firmly. Or maybe, you don’t see the world that way at all.

Your code could be different than mine. You always look out for #1. You make sure to get yours before someone else takes what’s coming to you. You recognize that people being people can’t help themselves, so you don’t trust anyone further than you can throw them. You are suspicious of others intentions and question their motives. After all, life ain’t fair, and we can all see that it’s a dog eat dog world. And dogs always act like dogs in the end.

Cowboys had their code— their way of living and doing things— just like we do today and like the members of Starfleet have in the future. We’ve grown up, learning and practicing principles that govern our life. What ethics dictate yours? What source do you draw on to substantiate the guiding principles of your life?

At the end of the day, I think most of us look to do right and try not to do wrong. Now if we can only figure out what right and wrong is, we might get somewhere. Do you have a flawless source that shows you how you should live and that you rely on to make your decisions?

Faith: Knowing Without Seeing

Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become as much superior to angels as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs. Hebrews 1:1-4

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Faith. What do you believe?

When you look around you see the world is in a great big pickle caught between blurred lines of right and wrong, love and hate, good and evil. Unlike the old Westerns many of us grew up on, it’s hard to tell who the good guys are these days. It’s difficult to know who to put your trust in. It’s challenging trying to figure out who you can believe and who you shouldn’t believe. Everything we once knew as good and as trustworthy seems to be letting us down. If you put your faith in this world, than that’s to be expected.

You see, this world is filled with flawed people who make mistakes, who disappoint, and who alarm you. It’s also a world in a battle, trying to keep from being overrun by terror and evil.

At the end of the day, there really is only one direction you can turn to. Will you give your life to Christ today? You can hear him knocking. Go ahead. Let him in.