Professor Media Matters

I am a media professional with 6 years as a TV producer and reporter, and college professor in the field of Communications. I am also a Conservative with a passion for pop culture. This will be my attempt to put the "me" in media. It will be my take on movies, TV, books, magazines, newspapers, the Internet and all that is the worldwide media.

Monday, July 16, 2012


"We pour out our miseries
God just hears a melody
Beautiful, the mess we are
The honest cries of breaking hearts
Are better than a Hallelujah."

These are the lyrics to "Better than a Hallelujah," a song by my favorite singer Amy Grant. They speak to me of the soap opera that is life -- beautiful people full of heartache.

I have been drawn a lot to soap operas lately. Trying to figure out why. It may be that I am unemployed and am looking for things to occupy my time. I was unemployed for 9 months 8 years ago and I dabbled with watching "All My Children" during that hiatus.

With all this free time on my hands I have been trying to write more. (Thus this blog post.) A couple of the writing projects I have in the works are stories with soap opera-like twists and turns. So that may also be why they keep coming to the forefront of my brain.

Twice in the last month I have sat down to actually watch a soap opera episode. After about 40 minutes of "The Young and the Restless" I just felt depressed. There was one extremely violent scene that disturbed me. And my heart felt heavy. I turned the TV off figuring there was a better use of my time.

An episode of "General Hospital" held my attention better. It was faster-paced. And the hour I watched had a decent cliff-hanger, making me want to tune in the next day to find out what happened. I didn't though because it also oozed a lot of sexual tension and images, and as a married man with time on his hands, I don't need something triggering my mind to lust or fantasy or something worse.

So even though the elements of a soap opera have  been on my mind frequently, I continue to avoid them like the plague. But I have been getting my soap opera fix from somewhere else. The Old Testament.

Seriously, it is like "Days of Our Lives" in ancient times. It is full of drunkeness, incest and murder. And that is just in Genesis chapter 19! The Old Testament is full of stories with great tragedies and triumphs. Plus lots of strong characters who will lie, cheat and steal just to get ahead -- even some of the godly ones. Moses was a murderer. Abraham and Sarah repeatedly lied to others about their marriage. Noah got drunk and naked in public.

The Old Testament writers show God's people as they were -- warts and all. God still used them. Still blessed them. The same is true today. We all have sordid stories to tell about others...and ourselves. When we tell them to our Creator, "pour out our miseries" as Amy's song says, "God just hears a melody." He knows we are a broken people. Our sin and soap operas don't catch him by surprise. And while we shouldn't celebrate them, we should acknowledge them before God. "The honest cries of breaking hearts are better than a hallelujah." 1 John 1:9 says "If we confess our sin He is faithful and just to forgive us our sin and purify us from all unrighteousness."

You don't need to watch a soap opera. Chances are you and the people around you are already living one. Take your soap opera to God.


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