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Archive for June, 2012

To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, ‘If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples.  Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free’ (John 8:31).”

I finally did it for good. I deactivated my Facebook account.

I had done it before. Once I unfriended everyone and THEN deactivated it.

One person thought they had offended me and wrote me. They hadn’t. I had just had it with Facebook.

However, not long after that “killing” of Facebook I activated it again and got new friends. Meet the new friends, same as the old friends.

This time I am serious though. Facebook just isn’t giving me any joy or fun. Indeed, it is doing the opposite.

I was reminded of this when I responded to a blog written by Tim Chailes, a pastor. He had written about what he calls “the lost sin of envy”. I wrote in his comments section:

Tim, this is great stuff. And as a blogger, I’m envious of you. (Just kidding–really.) U know where I got envious this week: looking at people I knew on Facebook from the old days, people whom I haven’t seen in 40 years. They looked happier than me, more prosperous, and so on. It did begin to rot my bones…. I think one of the faults of FB is its false sense of what’s true and real. Heck. I have no idea if those people are really happy or not.

Tim Chailes responded by giving me his link to his earlier blog post called Facebook Makes Us Miserable.  In this piece Chailes notes that instead of making us happy as we intend it to, Facebook conjures up bad feelings when we see other people portray their successes.

What drove me to drop Facebook for good was a photo which included several people I knew. They were posing, showing off a successful activity of theirs.

I knew most of the people in that photo. In fact, except for what I deem an injustice I could have been with them.

There’s nothing really wrong with the people in the picture. I just didn’t care for some of the rottenness beneath it.  I finally thought that then and there that it was time to say goodbye to Mark Zuckerberg’s fantasy land.

Facebook isn’t the only place filled with posers. Today I was on the bus and encountered two people that made my life tough this year.

One of those persons got on the bus and glanced at me and went on. The other never saw me, as they were riding by on a bicycle.

Both of these people had been dishonest in my dealings with them. When I exposed them, things got difficult for me.

In fact, the bus rider came out smelling like a rose in the community in which we participate. I, on the other hand, am on my way out of this group, having been forced out.

The alternative  to constant musing about all these Facebook friends and other less than forthcoming people  is to look to God. However, as Erwin Lutzer pointed out in a sermon to his church this year, this task can be daunting.

Pastor Lutzer decided to preach on this text:

One of the teachers of the lawcame and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?”

“The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’

 Lutzer told his congregation that thinking about teaching on this Scripture sent him into what he called “emotional convulsions”.  He told them why:

“I thought to myself, ‘this is an awesome passage of Scripture. Who in the world could love the Lord his God with all of his might, with all of his strength, and with all of his heart?  That seems like an impossible dream.’  And I thought to myself,’I’d like to be able to love God like that’, but I looked within my heart and I saw coldness and indifference and thought “who could love God with such passion?’. It seemed impossible.”

I had those same feelings at the time I sought out Lutzer’s message. I had felt led to look at the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20) because I knew my bad feelings about the photos and messages on Facebook violated the last one:

“You shall not covet  your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.” (v. 17)

However, as I looked them over I determined that I daily broke about half of them. Oh, I may not commit murder for example, and thus violate the sixth one seven days a week, but I sure get angry at people in my heart. Jesus equated the two (see Matthew 5:21-24).

Indeed, Jesus calls us to an even higher life than pure actions. He wants holy hearts as well.

Lutzer’s message added another disobeyed commandment to my already full portfolio. I learned from the pastor that I am committing idolatry when I value other people, things or circumstances above God. I sure do this a lot, too.

Thus, I have felt like the Chief of Posers this week and Facebook has contributed to that.  Chailes says it all when he comments about our reactions to the messages we get from Facebook. We believe we are the only ones that are miserable when we view Facebook, and drag ourselves down. He writes:

“What a ridiculous lot we are. What a sad, jealous, envious, idolatrous lot.”

We believe the lie. And the world system we live in is indeed a lie.

It tells us that while we are looking at the loving Facebook couples that our marriages aren’t good enough. It communicates that we don’t measure up while we notice the old friend on a world tour. Yet, if truth be told, what I see on Facebook of other people’s lives is just an illusion, only part of the whole picture.

This constant lying in our midst should not surprise. Lying is the native tongue of Satan, the ruler of this world (John 8:44).  We’re all just using our mother tongue.

I know I need to learn a new language: God’s truth.  It’s main textbook is the Bible.

The Bible tells me who God, who I am and who other people are. It tells me what I am supposed to believe and to do.

I’m better off spending my time in the Bible than on Facebook, which Chailes tells us “sucking 700 billion minutes between the lot of us every month.”  At least in the Scriptures I’ll learn the language of truth.

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“Turn and answer me, O Lord my God!  Restore the sparkle to my eyes, or I will die.  Don’t let my enemies gloat, saying, ‘We have defeated him!’ Don’t let them rejoice at my downfall. But I trust in your unfailing love. I will rejoice because you have rescued me (Psalm 13:3-5).”

I once had someone tell me in a professional situation,”I can tell you’re not happy here. I can tell by the way you walk.”

I initially was offended by this statement. For one, the person had hardly seen me in three months. In addition, I wondered what my ambulatory methods had to do with my performance in a job that was more mental than physical.

However, the more I thought about it the more I tried to take these comments to heart. It was not the first time someone had commented on my appearance as I walked. Someone close to me once said,”You walk like you have the weight of the world on your shoulders.”

So lately I have been trying to get more of a spring to my step. I have been out walking in the forests in my community, giving my body a good hearty push. No more of this dead man walking stuff!

While I initially had reservations about someone commenting on my body language, in all fairness our nonverbal features do communicate. I should have known better since I teach language and cultural behavior.

One of the great incidents in American history involved a nonverbal action which may have saved the country during the Revolutionary War. It involved an attempt by George Washington to convince his officers not to rebel against Congress due to this bodies lack of payment for the army’s services.

According to William Safire, the officers called a private meeting. Washington learned about it and showed up where he really wasn’t welcome and gave some remarks to persuade them against their potential insurrection.

The speech apparently didn’t have much affect, but something Washington did after it  carried the day in his favor. Here is Safire’s account:

At the conclusion of his speech, which he read from pages of his own clear writing, Washington looked at his sullen audience and drew a letter from his pocket. It was from a member of Congress, he said, explaining the straits the country was in and what the body was attempting to do to pay the debts of the war. He squinted at the writing in the letter and could not go on. The audience of officers sturred in their seats, wondering what was wrong with their commander. Washington then groped in his waistcoat pocket and drew out an item that only his intimates, and very few in his audience, had seen him use. They were stunned to see him requireds to put on a pair of glasses to read the crabbed writing.

“Gentlemen”, he apologized,”you will permit me to put on my spectacles, for I have not only grown gray but almost blind in the service of my country.”

Biographer James Thomas Flexner writes.”This simple statement achieved what all Washington’s rhetoric and all his arguments had been unable to achieve. The officers were instantly in tears, and from behind the shining drops, their eyes looked with love at the commander who had led them all so far and long. Washington quietly finished reading the congressman’s letter. He knew the battle was won, and avoiding, with his instinctive sense of the dramatic, any anticlimax, he walked out of the hall…”.

Actions sometimes do speak louder than words. Erwin Lutzer emphasizes how the father of the prodigal son demonstrated his joy at the boy’s return.

Luke describes it:  “But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.(Luke 15:20).”

Lutzer mentions how uncharacteristic the father’s behavior would have been in the culture of the time. So would have been clothing the boy with his own robe and ring, symbols of authority, as the father did.

I figure that sometimes I just worry too much and it shows. I tend to wear my heart on my sleeve.

In talking about the our great country and its standing with God, Lutzer mentions that in the great scheme of things we should as individuals put our presents and our futures on His loving shoulders. I think if I do that there will be more of a lively step in my gait, and a gleam in my eye.

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“But many who are first will be last, and many who are last will be first (Matthew 19:30).”

Lyla Garrity is standing on the side of the highway. Her car has just broken down.

She has just turned in her late-model vehicle to her father, a car dealer, and bought a heap from another person, one her father calls a “crook”. However, Lyla is estranged from her Dad, Buddy.  

In fact, Lyla is isolated from just about everyone in the town of Dillon, Texas, her home. As Lyla says to another high female high schooler, Tyra Collette: “It’s been a crappy year”.

At the beginning of the first seaon of “Friday Night Lights”, a TV drama centered around Dillon and its high school football team, Lyla is “sittin’ on top of the world”. She is a popular cheerleader who is dating the Panthers’ first string quarterback, Jason Street.

Then, Jason is paralyzed in an on-the-field accident. This tragedy causes a huge ripple effect on the lives of the people featured in “Friday Night Lights”, Lyla included.

Lyla supports Jason, but once it is clear he will never walk again, she has trouble coping. She has an affair with Tim Riggins, a star on the team and Jason’s best friend, who is also dealing with the pain and doesn’t know how to handle it. Lyla and Tim comfort one another. All this becomes public knowledge, to Lyla’s shame.

Tim also happens to be Tyra’s boyfriend. Tim is not exactly a fine, upstanding citizen. In fact, he’s an alcoholic whose father is also a lush and doesn’t live in the home. Tim’s brother watches out for him (sort of).

Tyra herself is what could best be described as “trailer trash”, although she doesn’t live in a trailer. However, she is loose morally and is known to imbibe, also.  

She is trying to get her act together and go to college, which is how she connects to Landry Clarke, a geek who liker her. He tutors her. Landry also comforts Tyra after she is almost raped by a stranger outside a restaurant while she is waiting for him to show up for one of their math sessions.

 So, are you with me so far!?  Good. Now Tim Riggins is not the only connection between Lyla and Tyra.

Lyla’s father Buddy,who is also Dillon’s most influential football booster,  hires Tyra’s mother Angela Collette as a receptionist with less than pure motives. After they have an affair, Buddy fires her, trying to assuage his conscience by paying her a large severance.

Mrs. Collette publicly slaps Buddy outside of church All this leads to a divorce action between Buddy and his wife, i.e.  Lyla’s Mom.

But that’s not all of the sordid stuff in Dillon. Jason forgives Lyla and they become engaged. However, as he is recovering physically and pyschologically he begins an affair with a girl he meets at a quadriplegic athletic event. Lyla discovers them and ends the engagement.

Fast forward to Lyla on the side of the road, standing next to her junky broken down car. Like much of Dillon she is on her way to Dallas to watch the Panthers play for the state championship.

As she stands next to her junker, who should come along but Tyra and her “ride” Landry. In Landry’s wagon is also Tyra’s Mom, Tyra’s sister (a stripper), and the grandmother and guardian of Dillon’s replacement quarterback, Matt Saracen.

All of these women are the abused female outcasts of Dillon society, even Mrs. Saracen. She has Alzheimer’s. In fact, she was intending to take the bus to the game when Landry spotted her and offered her a ride.

Landry insists on stopping for Lyla, too. However, this doesn’t set well with Tyra. But  Landry says “it’s the Christian thing to do.”  

As Tyra and Lyla argue on the highway, the latter asks Tyra,”Why do you hate me so much?” Tyra’s reply:

“Oh, I don’t know. Maybe the fact that your Dad slept with my Mom and then tried to pay her off with 700 dollars. Or the fact that you slept with my boyfriend, how about that?”

The two trade accusations until Tyra, referring to Lyla’s sleeping with Tim, says:”You don’t know how that felt.”

“Actually, you’ll be glad to know I know exactly how that felt”, replies Lyla. It is then that Tyra understands that Lyla is part of the “abused women’s” club.

Tyra invites Lyla into the car. After the game is over, with the brave boys of Dillon having been victorious partly due to the abusive men who “love” them, Tyra catches Lyla tossing away her cheerleader paraphanelia.

When Tyra comments about it, it is then that Lyla makes the “its’ been a crappy year” comment. Tyra respond to this by saying “We won State” as this makes it all worth it.

 Lyla replies, “I think it’s time for a change.” She offers Tyra a ride home and the latter accepts.

Lyla now knows how it feels to be what the Scriptures refer to as “the poor, blind and lame”.  Jesus refers to them as he tells a parable about a man who has invited  the “great men” of society to come to a lavish banquet.

The movers and shakers make excuses to the man’s servant who is making the invites. They excuse themselves.  Jesus describes the results:

The servant came back and reported this to his master. Then the owner of the house became angry and ordered his servant, ‘Go out quickly into the streets and alleys of the town and bring in the poor, the crippled, the blind and the lame.’ ‘Sir,’ the servant said, ‘what you ordered has been done, but there is still room.’  Then the master told his servant, ‘Go out to the roads and country lanes and compel them to come in, so that my house will be full.  I tell you, not one of those who were invited will get a taste of my banquet.’

The downtrodden women  who were in the car with Landry when they stopped for Lyla  represent today’s “poor, blind and lame”. They shouldn’t have even been at the state championship. Tyra and Landry were supposed to go with Tim’s 50 yard line seats, but he gave them away to the neighbor lady with whom he was currently having an affair.

To placate Tyra, he gave her 4 crummy seats. They were in the nosebleed section. Even so, the women were happy to be there.

The Bible describes a time in the life of King David of Israel that seems very much what Lyla experienced. In David’s case, he was minding his own business and running his successful kingdom when his life came crashing in.

David’s own son Absalom rebelled against him. David and his followers had to run for their lives. On the way out of town David got to experience how “the other half” lives. He was verbally abused by an angry man named Shimei, who also added some theater by throwing stones and tossing up dirt.

To David’s credit, he held his peace when his men offered to chop Shimei’s’s head off. He told them:

“Leave him alone and let him curse, for the Lord has told him to do it.  And perhaps the Lord will see that I am being wronged and will bless me because of these curses today.”  (II Samuel 16:11b,12a)

Earlier, David had told Israel’s priest that he was putting his life in God’s hands.  He told  Zadok that if the Lord saw fit He would restore his fortunes. He added: “But if he is through with me, then let him do what seems best to him (II Samuel 15:26).”

David now knew how it felt to be part of the “poor, blind and lame” club.

Those who “have it” in this world generally have no clue what the poor, blind and lame go through until they have their own calamities. I’m not rich, but I am not so poor that I can really say I do either. Still, I sometimes get a taste of it when somebody more economically, physically or politically more powerful than I am treats me unjustly.

What do I do in those cases? I get angry and frustrated. Imagine how the extreme poor, blind and lame feel.

Jeffrey Sachs has some idea. He is an economist who has been studying the causes of extreme poverty for 30 years.

Sachs notes that part of the problem is due to how the “rich” countries of this world ignore the causes and refuse to deal with them. How does he feel?

Bono, the famous musician, gives some idea in a foreward to Sachs’ book “The End of Poverty”. He describes Sachs when he speaks to groups on the subject as “angry”.

Mr. Sachs anger is righteous in my view. So was the rage of the man in Jesus parable who threw the banquet and couldn’t get the high and mighty to come.

So how does Jesus feel when the poor, blind and lame are ignored, even abused? Well, first He is angry at the abusers.

 But even more, the special place in His heart for these folks comes to the fore. One day the feted and praised of this world are going to be shocked when they find that the people in today’s cheap seats are sitting at the front of Jesus’s awards banquet. 

Maybe the celebrated will be in the arena, sitting along the wall. Or maybe they won’t even have a ticket in.

 

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“In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, O Lord, will keep me safe (Psalm 4:8).”

It’s hard sleeping this time of year. I live in a Nordic country which is currently experiencing “white nights”.

One former colleague posted the sunrise and sunset times in her hometown above the Arctic Circle on Facebook yesterday. There was about 45 minutes in between these events.

In my location farther south it isn’t as bright,but it’s close. The sun officially sets between 22:00 and 23:00 and rises again about 3:30 am. In between is twilight and perhaps about 45 minuted of darkness.

It’s hard enough to sleep in this kind of environment unless you have good curtains or eyepatches. But it’s even worse when your heart is troubled.

I will be unemployed in about three weeks and I am looking for work. Having to write and talk about myself so much to strangers, especially professional ones, is nerve wracking.

Although I have a lot of strengths on a professional level, I haven’t been perfect. In fact, my recent history includes a failed work experience.

 There are all kinds of details I will leave out here. Also, I do not intend to use this space to argue my case or assign blame. Let’s just say that things did not end well.

This makes it difficult when I go to apply for similar jobs as the one I had. When they ask to speak to my supervisor at this place of employment, I inwardly cringe.

I have no choice but to give them a name. I then know that my prospects with the employer I am currently talking with aren’t good.

 So, there’s a lot of stress right now. I really don’t care what time it is because I just sleep when I feel like it. (As an educator my schedule is pretty flexible in the summer.)

It’s easy in my situation to beat myself up over this whole thing.  People have expectations and sometimes you don’t meet them.

Author and pastor Bill Merritt tells of his own experience where he almost lost his job. He notes that talent isn’t enough anymore.

Merritt says that people want you to actually be able  to relate to them. They want you to ask questions and be interested. They want you to be nice.

“Imagine that!”, he writes.

“Nice” was not always my forte on the job I left badly. I think I did an excellent job there, but I could have handled relationships better. As a result there is an irreparable rupture between me and this company.

My apology was not accepted. Subsequent correspondence to this organization has gone unanswered. 

I’ve improved some since then. However, as noted above joblessness is hovering and I don’t have much going on, and this failure hangs around and occasionally surfaces. 

It is hard to recover from personal failure. This is true in the workplace and at home both.

When you fail people don’t trust you. They get mad at you.  Not only that, you get mad at them, especially if you feel as if your treatment is unjust.

You lose fellowship and friendship. What to do?

Well, as a Christian I know that it’s not a good idea to quit on God.  If I stick with Him, He will stick with me. 

However, if I abandon God, He will abandon me. It’s my choice (II Chronicles 15:2).

I noted above that when there is a relational fracture in the workplace that the parties get mad. I notice that God tends to get mad when people don’t treat Him with respect, too.

The Psalmist tells leaders that they had better submit to Jesus, or else!  Destruction is on the way when our Lord is ignored, rejected or rebelled against (Psalm 2:10-12).

The Psalmist says that God is an honest judge. He gets angry at the wicked every day and takes action against them (Psalm 7:11-13).

So, what’s my part?  Well the Psalmist tells ME if I want to sleep at night that I should:

-submit to Jesus myself (Psalm 2:12b);

-control my 0wn anger and trust God (Psalm 4:4,5);

-pray for God’s active protection and action against my enemies (Psalm 3:1-4,7);

-ask God to take care of my reputation (Psalm 4:2,3);

-ask God to rescúe me from the mess in my heart and out there in the world (Psalm 6:1-10).

This last point is especially  profound. Until last night I thought of God as someone who would come in like the calvary to perform his rescue. I didn’t see Him as someone who stuck around the garbage dump I’ve created in my heart and life.

However, it occurred to me yesterday evening that Jesus is down there with me in the junkyard. He is there waiting patiently for me to acknowledge Him while I sit in the stench.

This thought reminded me of an old booklet from my youth. Robert Munger wrote a short story called My Heart Christ’s Home which was popular at the time.

In this piece Jesus is invited into a man’s home. Room by room he begins to set the man’s house in order.

Eventually, the man realizes he can’t keep his house clean and asks Jesus to do it. However, Jesus tells the man that He has no authority there: He is just a guest.

The man turns the deed of the house over to Jesus. From then on, the man is just the servant in the house and Jesus is master.

I learned last night that Jesus is not content to stay on the outskirts of our lives. I had forgotten this and didn’t think He wanted to be down there in the muck with me, but He does.

Yet, the Psalmist says He does. He wrote,”For you look deep within the mind and heart, O righteous God”. (Psalm 7:9)

When we give over ownership to Jesus, we can sleep soundly. David found this out. He wrote:

I lay down and slept,
    yet I woke up in safety,
    for the Lord was watching over me.
I am not afraid of ten thousand enemies
    who surround me on every side (Psalm 3:5,6)

When Jesus enters the trash heap, it is not His intention to let it stay messy. He intends to clean it up, if I let Him.

If I do, I think I will sleep better despite the white nights. I will have the assurance and peace that He is there to take care of my messy heart and the rest of my trashy life out there.

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“We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are. For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. Yet God, with undeserved kindness, declares that we are righteous. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins.  For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin. People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed his life, shedding his blood (Romans 3:23-25a, New Living Translation).”

My favorite TV show just completed its last episode, so a couple of weeks ago I went “shopping” for something new to replace it.  I decided to watch “Friday Night Lights”.

The show is supposed to be centered around high school football. However, I really thing they should have called the series “Friday Night Soaps” .

The football is just the framing. The story is really about the human condition of the townspeople of Dillon, Texas.

The Dillon Panthers are their god. Oh, they go to church in Dillon, but they worship on Friday nights at the football stadium.

Their daily devotions concern the players, the coaches, and what can be expected for the following game. For the folks of Dillon, to live is the Panthers and to win is the only acceptable option.

There IS some football, and the storyline does reveal typical problems associated with the sport. For example, one star running back is caught by his Mom and coach using illegal steroids to improve his game. Furthermore, the team experiences a racial divide after a long-time assistant coach makes stupid remarks to the media about the capacity of African-American players.

However, most of the show seems to be about high school hormones. Thus, I have been a little disappointed with the lack of emphasis on sports.

However, I keep watching because like my previous favorite show, the characters are intriguing.  As with the earlier TV drama I watched, the people are all flawed and the show is well written.

The high schoolers and the parents of Dillon are all sinners. They drink too much, have illicit sex and make other bad choices.

What makes for fascinating viewing is what happens when one or more parties are caught in the act of committing one of these bad deeds by the rest of the town populace. If it happens to involve someone related to the football team, it’s Katie bar the door when it comes to the explosion that occurs.

Shock waves hit Dillon High when the starting quarterback, a boy named Jason Street who is destined for stardom, becomes paralyzed after a tackle. The ripple effect of this calamity hits  his girlfriend Lyla Garrity and best friend and fellow player Tim Riggins.

Tim somehow blames himself for Jason’s injury, although he was nowhere near the play. Lyla has trouble dealing with the truth that Jason will never walk again and refuses to believe it. However, when it finally dawns on her, she does not know what to do with her pain.

Since Tim and Lyla both are in great grief over the same issue (i.e., Jason’s paralysis), they turn to each other for comfort. They begin an affair.

When this liaision becomes public, their fellow high schoolers go berserk. Why, how could they treat a crippled star like this?

One cheerleader posts a website of fellow cheerleader Lyla centered around her sluttiness. Some of the Dillon players attack  Tim’s car one night with baseball bats, with him in it.

Both Tim and Lyla are shamed and guiltified. When Jason learns of the affair, he of course is angry and devastated.

What I have learned after watching a plethora of shows from the first season, however, is that people who live in glass houses should not throw stones. Everyone portrayed in “Friday Night Lights” could use some improvement in the ethics and morality department.

God knows our humanity as well and has tried to warn us in the Bible of the ramifications of judging other people. The Apostle Paul wrote:

You may think you can condemn such people, but you are just as bad, and you have no excuse! When you say they are wicked and should be punished, you are condemning yourself, for you who judge others do these very same things. And we know that God, in his justice, will punish anyone who does such things.  Since you judge others for doing these things, why do you think you can avoid God’s judgment when you do the same things?  Don’t you see how wonderfully kind, tolerant, and patient God is with you? Does this mean nothing to you? Can’t you see that his kindness is intended to turn you from your sin?  But because you are stubborn and refuse to turn from your sin, you are storing up terrible punishment for yourself. For a day of anger is coming, when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed.  He will judge everyone according to what they have done. (Romans 2:1-6)

Occasionally, the characters in “Friday Night Light”s rise to the occasion when they try to deal with their human frailties.  One such standout scene occurs between Jason Street and the wife of the football coach, a woman named Tami Taylor, who is also a school guidance counselor.

When Lyla and Tim are both repentant over the harm they have done, Jason consults Tami Taylor for advice. She tells him,”There is no weakness in forgiveness if this is what you should choose to do.”

Indeed, Jason reconciles with Lyla to the point that they plan marriage. However, at the point I am in my viewing, Jason is falling into a potentially immoral relationship with a girl he meets on an out-of-town sports trip.

In this same episode, many of the key characters are in church, listening to a message on forgiveness. It would serve them well if they practiced what they heard preached there and lose the judgmental attitude. My guess, however, is that the hypocrisy will continue. It makes for good TV!

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