Sunday, September 23, 2012

Approved for All Audiences. Nudity on TV. Making a Difference. Cultural Influencers. When Predictions Fail. Saudi Oil Found.

For “Scripture Sunday”:

Life Hope & Truth

This Commentary Approved for All Audiences

“The last time you watched a movie, whether it was in a theater or in your home, you probably noticed its rating—a set of letters and numbers designed to alert a moviegoer to potentially undesirable content in a film. In the United States, these ratings range from “G,” for “General Audience,” all the way to “NC-17,” for “No One 17 and Under Admitted.” A rating above “G” is usually accompanied by an explanation of what content prompted the rating.

The concept is simple: If you’re about to watch a movie you’ve never seen before, you can look to the rating. If it’s rated “R” for sexual content and strong language, then you have to make a decision—is that kind of content something you  want to expose yourself to, or should you  find something else to do?

Wouldn’t it be great if there were  a similar rating system for people? Imagine being able to look at a crowd of people and see messages appear: “Warning! Has a mouth like a sailor,” or “Warning! Extremely dishonest,” or even “Warning! Never returns what he borrows.” You’d know in advance what kind of content you’d encounter before you even say hello, and you could choose to avoid it before being exposed to it.

As it turns out, there is such a rating system. You might know it better as “reputation.”

There are probably people in your life whom you heard about before you ever met. Their reputation preceded them and, before they ever spoke a word, you had expectations about who they would be—what kind of person they were.

A reputation is not always accurate. Thanks to the tireless grinding of the rumor mill, it’s not uncommon for an event to be blown out of proportion, a character trait to be skewed, or a personal view to be distorted. Unfortunately, accurate or not, reputation is the de facto rating system most people use in their dealings with others. That’s probably why the Bible notes, “A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, and favor is better than silver or gold” (Proverbs 22:1, English Standard Version).

So how do we make sure our reputation is a good one? We work on developing what sits at the core of our reputation—that is, our character. This starts early in life. The Bible again points out that “Even a child is known by his deeds, whether what he does is pure and right” (Proverbs 20:11). All through life, who you are and what you do inevitably feeds into how other people perceive you. In other words, our primary focus shouldn’t be improving how other people see us—it should instead be on improving who we actually are.

The process is one that will span a lifetime, but if you’re looking for a place to start, then take a look at the words of the apostle Paul when he wrote, “Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things” (Philippians 4:8).

When we adopt this view as our own—when we become people who strive to develop better and better character—a good reputation is simply part of the package.” From:


Nudity on TV

“Are you totally passive as you watch TV? Have you noticed the 6,300% increase? What are you watching and what should you do about it?”

Transcript at:


Cultural Influencers

“Movies and music are among many influences shaping our morals, ethics and behavior. What—and who—should be shaping behavior in ourselves and in our children?”

Transcript at:


Making a Difference

“We sometimes berate ourselves for not making more of an impact or difference with other people, or when facing the trials and difficulties of life.

We wonder if our feeble effort has any value. None of us are an island. We all have parents, siblings, children and friends in whose life we make a huge impression just by living. We are born into a family, community and nation—and that already has an impact. We affect many people.

The question is not “Can you make a difference?” You already make a difference. It is just a matter of what kind of difference you want to make. Will we act to make this world a better place, or will we allow our erroneous thinking drive us to complacency and self-defeat? Think about that and how you can make a positive difference.”  From: September 18, 2012


The program on WGN this morning:

Christ's Second Coming: When Predictions Fail

“Be wary of self-proclaimed prophets. Only God the Father knows the precise time of Jesus' return.”

Transcript at:


Another interesting article about this, and the Mayan culture:


On This Day:

Standard Oil geologists arrive in Saudi Arabia, Sep 23, 1933:

“On September 23, 1933, a party of American geologists lands at the Persian Gulf port of Jubail in Saudi Arabia and begins its journey into the desert. That July, with the discovery of a massive oil field at Ghawar, Saudi King Abdel Aziz had granted the Standard Oil Company of California a concession to "explore and search for and drill and extract and manufacture and transport" petroleum and "kindred bituminous matter" in the country's vast Eastern Province; in turn, Standard Oil immediately dispatched the team of scientists to locate the most profitable spot for the company to begin its drilling.

As automobiles and other internal-combustion machines proliferated, both in the United States and around the globe, Standard Oil was eager to control as much of the market for gasoline as it could. As a result, it would do almost anything to have first dibs on Saudi oil. The partnership between Abdel Aziz's government and Standard Oil became known as the Arabian American Oil Company (Aramco). (Texaco soon joined the partnership; about a decade later, so did Standard Oil of New Jersey and Socony-Vacuum Oil.) The company promised to provide the Saudi government with a steady income, along with an outright payment of 50,0000 British pounds; in return, Aramco got exclusive rights to all the oil underneath the eastern desert. In 1938, the company's gamble (after all, while Aramco engineers knew there was oil in the region, no one knew exactly where or how much) paid off: its geologists and drillers discovered oil in "commercial quantities" at the Dammam Dome, near Dhahran. The next year, Aramco exported its first tanker-load of petroleum.

In 1950, once it had become clear how very much oil there was under that desert, Aramco agreed to split its profits with the Saudi government. In 1980, after several years of squabbling over the price and availability of the country's petroleum (Saudi Arabia was a founding member of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, or OPEC, whose 1973 embargo precipitated a massive fuel crisis in the United States and other parts of the industrial world), Saudis won total control of the company: It's now known as Saudi Aramco. The next year, the kingdom's oil revenues reached $118 billion.”



After my daughter and I had our long Saturday phone call, I got ready for church.  I went to the one close to me, the afternoon service in Willis.   I arrived early, so that I could also participate in the 12.30 PM Bible study which was the continuation of the lesson about “Man of Sin/Antichrist”.  The key texts were 2 Thess 2: 1-12 and Daniel 9.  There weren’t so many people at the church, as many were at a conference in Dallas. 

The service was about “Practical and Sensible Thinking” from the book of Jude.  The potluck and fellowship afterwards were very enjoyable.

Just a quiet and happy Sabbath Day.

1 comment:

Dizzy-Dick said...

Quiet and happy are the best way to spend a day.