Monthly Archives: October 2011
Longtime TV Producer Gregg Litman, Talk Radio Host/Author Kim Ketola, PR pro Jon Austin and Attorney/Lawyer/Political Savant Dave Bateson all joined me this week for a great Google+ Video Hangout to talk about the best story pitches we’ve ever given/received, what the “Occupy” movement needs to succeed long-term from a PR/JOUR perspective and more! Check out the conversation below, and join us every Tuesday at 10:30 a.m. Central time for great conversation and networking!
(NOTE: This is part of an ongoing, “real-time” review I’m doing on the book. My thoughts on other chapters are here.)
The best way I can describe Chapter 15 of Beautiful Outlaw: Experiencing the Playful, Disruptive, Extravagant Personality of Jesus is that it feels like a modern version of Jesus clearing the temple.
In short, this chapter is a beautiful beat down of all the religious silliness human beings have attached to simply knowing and loving Jesus Christ.
John Eldredge attacks what he calls this “religious fog” head on, and points out that it is actually “the source of most of the debris keeping people from Jesus.”
He starts with an important distinction: “There is Christianity, and then there is Christian culture. They are not the same.” Think about that for a few seconds.
And what really resonates with me is when Eldredge discusses the crazies out there who portend to speak on behalf of Jesus and all Christians (I’m thinking especially here of politicians or certain TV preachers): “A wing nut talking about Jesus does far more damage than fifty atheists.”
I also love this as a litmus test for any church you are currently attending: “If you can’t take your church culture and language and drop it in the middle of a bar or a bus, and have it make winsome sense to the people there, then it’s not from Jesus. Because that is exactly what he would do. That’s what made him the real deal.”
If you grew up in a religious system or school (as I did), what Eldredge speaks of in this chapter will ring very true.
He outlines in beautiful detail some of the ways the religious fog continues to operate inside our churches and schools today:
- False reverence replaces loving Jesus
- Knowing about God substitutes for knowing God
- Power displays are confused for intimacy with Jesus
- Religious activity is confused with commitment to Christ
- Christian service substitutes for friendship with Jesus
- The holiness of God is taught by making him “unknowable” or unapproachable
- Holiness is substituted with rule-keeping
- A trivial morality prevails
- The system operates on the fear of man
- There is safety in distance (from God)
This chapter is so rich, so full of truth, and so sure to make our modern-day Pharisees mad, that I cannot put into words how beautiful it is. And so long overdue. I’m grateful for the courage of men like John Eldredge to stand up, tell the truth and clear the temple!
With more and more PR pros needing to know how to shoot and edit their own video, thought I’d share a tutorial I found helpful regarding how to do proper lighting when filming someone. Enjoy!
This video (via Mashable) of a deaf woman hearing her voice for the first time makes me think of what people’s reactions must have been like when Jesus healed them – the blind see, the deaf hear, the lame walk. What a sight to behold, and what joy it must have brought Jesus to see their reactions! Not to mention those who witnessed the healing. Makes you understand why people mobbed him everywhere he went!
I love it when moments like this remind me of God’s goodness and of Jesus’ generous desire to heal us (physically, spiritually and emotionally). Helps me remember who the real Jesus is!
Here’s the video:
The details on this woman’s story, from Mashable:
Sloan Churman was born deaf. For 29 years, she has relied on reading lips and, to a very limited extent, hearing aids.
Two months ago, she received Envoy Medical’s Esteem Implant, which utilizes ear drum vibrations to bring hearing back to its users. The reaction, captured by her husband on video, is nothing short of extraordinary. Her pure joy is contagious.
Here’s what she said on her YouTube page: “I had an implant put in 8 weeks ago called The Esteem Implant by Envoy Medical. I was born deaf and have worn hearing aids from the age of 2, but hearing aids only help so much. I have gotten by this long in life by reading lips. This was taken as they were activating the implant.”
I almost died when I was 17 years old.
I still remember the Black Crowes cassette tape (“Shake Your Money Maker”) playing inside my parents’ 1987 Oldsmobile station wagon as a friend and I sped along at 75 miles an hour on the Interstate near St. Joseph, Minnesota.
It was late summer and we were headed to a friend’s cabin for a party. We were driving at night in a remote area, and I came flying down a hill as music blasted out the car’s speakers and blackness enveloped us.
I can still see the deer in my mind’s eye. One second the road was clear. The next, a huge brown beast was right in front of us, staring me straight in the face.
My friend and I both screamed an expletive. The driver-side window shattered and blew in on us. The front windshield spiderwebbed and cracked, but did not cave in. The car fishtailed down the road and ended up being almost completely totaled.
The mechanic who looked at the car afterward told my father that if the deer we hit had landed six more inches to the right, it would have come through the windshield and killed us both. A few more inches to the left, and it would have come through the driver side window and killed me. (I still remember pulling the snapped-off antlers from underneath the driver’s window.) Also, its body had just missed rupturing the car’s gas tank. There was a massive dent on the outside of the car right by the gas cap.
Life can end in an instant.
At the time, I was a 17-year-old kid who wanted nothing to do with Jesus Christ. In fact, it would be another 10 years before I came into a relationship with him.
What if that deer had been another six inches to one side or the other?
“The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9)