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Just A Thought

The Same Old Tune

Every now and then when I am driving, I like to turn on the radio, and enjoy the diversity of the song selection. After awhile, however, I hear the rhythm and beat of the song I heard earlier that day. If I were to return to my car the next morning, I would more than likely encounter that same tune, yet again. Why? What is it about a particular song that makes me have to listen to it so much? Once is fine. Twice is okay. But to hear the same chords, chimes, and movements a few times throughout one day? Is that really necessary?

What I’ve found out is that what is popular is what is played the most. What is at the top of the charts is what gets blasted through the speakers of my car. What is “hot” at the time is what I have to engage with if I want to keep in step with what is going on in the music world.

The question becomes: who determines what is popular? What qualifications does a song have to meet in order to be played over and over again? Many people would say, we, as the consumer have the right to determine that. Yes and no. Yes; there is the occasional request hour; and yes, consumers are asked to poll what they believe is popular and what is not. More likely, though, what is played is determined by the power structures: the corporations that run the studios; the recording studios who find ways to get their client’s songs played; the promotions that are offered which necessitates quid pro quo arrangements. Consumers think they have the power, but their power is limited in relation to the power structures in place.

With all this said, we, as consumers must deal with what is deemed popular, whether we agree with its popularity or not, whether we enjoy the song or not, whether we think the song is worthy or not. We have to hear the same song over again—whether we like it or not.

On July 5th, 2016, Alton Sterling, of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, was senselessly murdered outside of a store, selling CDs. Subsequently, Philando Castile, of Falcon Heights, Minnesota was shot while riding in a car. We needn’t go into their backgrounds to drudge up past issues; we must focus on the their lives ending so carelessly. But Continue reading “The Same Old Tune”

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Love Him with Our Mind

 

Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment…” (Matthew 22:37-38, emphasis added)

Facebook. Twitter. Snapchat. Instagram. LinkedIn. YouTube. Netflix. Are these names familiar? Many of us are engaged with one or more of the aforementioned. We receive our news from our timelines. Our updates come through our 140-character feeds. We binge on our favorite shows. Our personal and professional connections are established and fostered. With all these different media we have, have we considered how they might be impacting our livelihoods as believers?

If we are committed to loving our Lord with all of our being, we must be committed to cultivating and sharpening that which the Lord has given us: our mind. Many of us have not considered how we glorify God with our entire mind; and thus, we do not challenge ourselves to strengthen an important part of who we are.

How often do you read? What do you read? What preachers (or speakers) do you listen to the most? Do they challenge your intellect, as well as inspire you? Do you accept everything that CNN or MSNBC says? Or do you investigate and analyze stories for yourself? When was the last time you conversed with someone who looked differently than you? Could you name the last time you went to a museum, a symphony concert, or took a class?

Our Creator has given us a beautiful gift. Are we being good stewards over it? We glorify God by thinking critically through issues that affect other people. He is magnified when we study and investigate the scriptures for ourselves, not relying, solely, on a quick-fix sermon preached by the pastor. Our tolerance for reading the scripture is enlarged when we engage with activities that strengthen and stretch our mind. The Lord’s compassion is instilled within us, our biases are agitated, our bigotries are confronted, and our perspectives are broadened when we read/hear the words of those who may believe or live differently than we do; we are able to sympathize, or empathize, with their situations. Our attention spans while reading, studying, listening to the Word, or being in worship, will be elongated and disciplined when we care for gift we have been given.

How we treat the gift we receive from someone tells us a great deal about how we view the person who gave the gift. Let us honor the Continue reading “Love Him with Our Mind”

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