MONDAY MORNING REFLECTIONS – SPARKY ANDERSON, VIDEO GAME VIOLENCE. A WORD FROM JESUS AND MORE

They called him “Captain Hook.” He was famous for pulling starters and a prolific use of the bullpen. Some consider Anderson the innovator of the way bullpens are used today. He once said he was the polar opposite of the real Captain Hook’s antagonist, Peter Pan. “That SOB never got old. I’ve never looked young.” In fact, his awkward use of grammar rivaled Yogi Berra. He was the skipper of the World Champion Cincinnati Red in 1976 and the World Champion Detroit Tigers in 1984. He was George Lee Anderson, known as Sparky, and passed away last week at age 76. One of baseball’s greats in my lifetime, he created teams that I rooted for as a young man growing up in the Midwest and which helped imbed my love of the game. Thank you, Sparky. Read more at BECK

On Election Day 2010, while the nation was voting for its leadership in Washington and statehouses around the country, the Supreme Court took up a case on video game violence involving a law passed by the State of California and signed by Governor Arnold Schwarzennegger. Here is a video from USAToday outlining some of the issues, most of which revolve around the First Amendment and its protection of free speech. Warning: Even this news video contains some graphic images. So the question is, what should be the deciding factor? The answer to that is too complex for this brief blog mention, but here’s what I will simply say this morning.

http://c.brightcove.com/services/viewer/federated_f9?isVid=1

1. Retailers, enforce the codes at least as seriously as we do the prohibition of the sales of alcohol and tobacco to minors. I know those are laws and these are voluntary codes, but you set up these codes so enforce them.

2. Parents, learn about those games. Use common sense about the influences on your children before you buy them and confiscate what your kids shouldn’t have purchased. (Playboy and Hustler are protected by law, but you wouldn’t let your kids carry them in their back pack. Or would you?) Be responsible, assertive parents.

And today’s word from Jesus. “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” – Matthew 11:28-30

Some assorted random thoughts to stimulate your personal reflections today as you think about how Life Matters.

* Too many children on this planet suffer because their parents act like children. Parents want their preferences, prejudices, and unproductive patterns to be unrestricted and unrestrained. When they do this they tell the children, “It’s really all about me, and when you get to be an adult you can make it all about you.”

* Not all politicians lie to us, but we lie to ourselves when we don’t hold them accountable for being truthful. Unfortunately too many politicians tell us what we want to hear because they know if they told us the truth we don’t want to hear, we’d never vote for them.

* Forgiveness is not over-rated, it is under-practiced. We set too many boundaries on what we are willing to forgive and forget that “all have sinned and fallen short of God’s glory.” In the end, it is God who rights the scales, He has the final say because He is the only one who will ever know all the facts. His punishment of wrong-doing is always just for that very reason. Our attempts at justice are too often self-serving and focusing one other people’s sins instead of being honest and accountable about our own.

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