This year I’m forgoing my usual message about the true meaning of Epiphany – vs. the secular view even among many clergy who should know better. If you want to hear that message, Go to Episode One in our Seasonal Video series, Epiphany: the Manifestation of Christ to the Gentiles. Or listen to the Podcast version of the same.
Instead I offer some New Year advice for those concerned about the state of the media, the lack of civility, and the general decline of standards everywhere. Dealing with it can be stressful, but there is a way to reduce the stress and allow anyone to improve their focus on truly important things. My advice is summed up in a slogan:
Turn It Off. Tune It Out!
Instead of allowing the media to set your agenda and affect your blood pressure, just turn it off and tune it out.
- Turn off the TV and leave it off (except for weather and other emergencies). We dropped cable and satellite TV over a year ago.
- Use one of the many music programming services to select what you want to hear. For example, you can download from Amazon Music and create your own play list that travels with you wherever you have an internet connection. My wife has made up play lists for various categories and we listen only to them on the car stereo through her iPhone/Amazon Music app. These categories include Really Old (1940s-1950s Big Band); Seventies; Eighties; Carolinas (for trips to both of them); County and Western (G. Strait, Meryl Haggard, Texas Swing, etc.); Classical; Brokenwood County (for the great music inspired by the New Zealand video series, Brokenwood Mysteries. The music is often an NZ variant on Patsy Cline.
- Make up your own Favorites list for iPad, iMac, iPhone or Android devices. My categories – which I read first thing every morning – are 1) News (Washington Times/Bongino Report/CNS News Service/Local TV for weather & business news). 2) Opinion (The Federalist/American Thinker/NY Sun/American Spectator/Issues & Insights (a new site from the former editors of Investors Business Daily)/Red State/American Greatness/Steyn Online (Corkie and I are charter members of his Mark Steyn Club)/PJ Media/VDH online/Powerline. These give me access to reliable sources and nearly all have links to the stories on which their links are based. All without subscriptions, fees and endless and mindless babble that fills up the space between the endless and mindless advertising.
- Set up your own home movie theater. All you need is a laptop, an LCD projector and a screen. We watch a video nightly from our collection of classic movies and programming (Midsomer/Lovejoy/Doc Marin/Inspector Frost/Under the Hammer/Morse and its prequel, Endeavour/Longmire/ and many others including the original Hawai’i 5-0 in its first six or seven season).
Give the idea a try for a few months. I’ll bet you will have more peace of mind, which will enable you to have more time for family and friends and to practice your religion as you see fit!
Glory be to God for all things! Amen!