Blogtober 18th – What Then? I Will Rejoice.

Paul in Prison -Rembrandt 1627-

Paul in Prison
-Rembrandt 1627-

Since trying to blog everyday during Blogtober, I’ve found that meandering posts that map out my train of thought behind a central point or theme is the most satisfying. I’ve often gone back to my own writing over the years and at times, I can’t pick up on my train of thought. So, starting at the beginning and winding my way through the hills and valleys of my reasoning is where this one is going this afternoon. ūüėÄ

I don’t watch regular TV. So, I miss out on cable news and local news, shows and movies that play daily, 24/7., unless I’m doing something with the kids or my husband specifically that entails watching a movie or show. The last show I watched was a Dr. Who episode with my son. The last movie I watched was…I don’t remember. I think it was the Hobbit. That was several months ago. I loved this part:

The frenetic pace of TV frays my nerves. I was sitting in the dentist’s waiting room a few days ago and a Disney channel show was on that the kids used to watch. It was painfully annoying. Thankfully, the hygienist called me in to the office in short order and then asked me if I wanted to watch TV while she cleaned my teeth. “No, thank you.” I said.¬†Screentime for me usually means internet.¬†¬†My phone has internet and I get a lot of use out of the many apps. One of my favorite is Kindle. When I go places where I have to wait awhile, like doctors offices and hospitals, ¬†I enjoy having a library of downloaded books to read. Currently, I am carrying around Bonhoeffer, The Life and Words of GK Chesterton, Oresteia of Aeschylus, Eat to Live, Moby Dick and Orthodoxy. I also have YouVersion as I mentioned in a previous post, which is the bible in app form. These are all a blessing to me, because I love to read.

On the flip-side, my love of reading and ready access to the internet has increased my news reading exponentially. Sundays at my home when I was growing up were spent with the Chicago Tribune and Chicago Sun-Times Sunday editions strewn around the livingroom and everyone reading all day. I learned to love it. At six years old, my step dad would hand me a couple of dollars and pull the car up to a newsstand on Saturday night. He told me, “Tell the man – Sunday Times and Trib.” So, I jumped out and handed the man the money and repeated the exact phrase. We would come home with the fat newspaper bundles and start reading. At six, I could handle the comics and the ads and coupons.

Fast forward 40 years and I’ve got it all down.

So, I am on vacation. My usual routine is broken of news, school, news, work, news, sleep, news. I do still check messages and in the course of human events, I trip over the news. I saw a story. The following is an example of how I read news and consequently study and do research for school assignments:

Obama’s Faith and Spirituality Have Changed Since Becoming President

The story left me with more questions than answers, the first of which was why write this story just now. The media and their ways have become the focus of most of my Q’s and A’s when reading news stories. Stories aren’t usually written just because. The title was also not the first title that ran. It was something like “President has a strong Christian Faith”. I read through the article again to find out why they thought the link title above was better. There may have been something added to the article at the end to reflect this new title, because I don’t remember reading a few sentences that are in there now. Maybe I’m imagining it. I decide to try and find out more about Joshua DuBois, because he sends the president daily devotionals. He stepped down from his post as head of the president’s faith-based office earlier this year. He plans to write a book using these devotionals. I hope he has the book proofed by a minister. This passage made me a bit sad:

“At pivotal moments in Obama’s presidency, DuBois sometimes selects texts that offer lessons apropos of the challenges at hand. Before one State of the Union address, it was the words of Isaiah, in an appeal for clarity of speech: “So shall my word be that goes out from my mouth, it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose.”

The passage in Isaiah is a direct quote from God about His own Word. The choice of this quote and the way it was used is unfortunate, because the article was maybe an attempt to reach out to the religious community? Also, I found this same quote in another article somewhere, from at least a year ago. It’s not unique to this article. I also looked up info on Joshua DuBois. He has a bachelors degree in Political Science and a masters in Public Affairs. The current head of the faith-based office, Melissa Rogers, has more of an ¬†actual religion background. In reviewing the entire council list, I found Lynne Hybels name. She is the wife of Bill Hybels, founder of Willowcreek Church. Interesting. I read an article written by DuBois and an article about Lynne Hybels. I’m finding a lot of ‘social gospel’ in lieu of ‘gospel of Christ’. Surprisingly, especially in light of the assertion from the article that the president doesn’t talk about his faith, the most ‘gospel of Christ’ I found after all of the rabbit trails I followed was from the president himself:

2010 Whitehouse Easter Prayer Breakfast – He says he is particularly blessed and thanks his brothers and sisters in Christ.

2011 Whitehouse Easter Prayer Breakfast – He quotes from Isaiah 53

2012 Whitehouse Easter Prayer Breakfast – “Jesus said in this world you will have trouble, but take heart. I have overcome the world”

2013 Whitehouse Easter Prayer Breakfast – “Those of us as Christians remember the tremendous sacrifice Jesus made for each of us, how in all of his humility and grace he took on the sins of the world and extended the gift of salvation”

Someone may say, “Well, he didn’t write any of those speeches. ” I am unconcerned about this. Rather, the first thing I thought of was the Apostle Paul:

“Some indeed preach Christ from envy and rivalry, but others from good will.¬†The latter do it out of love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel.¬†The former proclaim Christ out of rivalry, not sincerely but thinking to afflict me in my imprisonment.¬†What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed, and in that I rejoice.” Phil. 1:15-18

And so, I’m coming to the end of my vacation from my routine being less and less concerned with the things of earth as they grow strangely dim, turning my eyes upon Jesus.

To be continued…


1 Comment

  1. Pingback: Easter Prayer Breakfast at the White House | The Curious Cottage

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