New Rockford Transcript - Official Newspaper of Eddy County since 1883

By Pastor Jeff Halvorson
Sheyenne-Oberon Area Ministry 

Sermonette- June 17, 2019


June 17, 2019

I realize that this is giving away my age somewhat, but way back in my youth a rock and roll group by the name of The Rolling Stones came from England to tour the U.S. The “English Invasion,” a phrase eventually coined by the media was just beginning. The Beatles could be honored, or blamed depending on your point of view, for the phenomenon. The “Stones” weren't far behind them. What is hard to believe is the Stones are still touring world-wide after all these years. With the lifestyle they led, one would think they would never have lasted.

One of their biggest hits back in the 60s was “(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction.” Us kids didn't pay a whole lot of attention to lyrics back then. All that really mattered was the quality of the music and singing, as well as a good beat for dancing. But as I reflect back on that song now, a lot of it was actually an indictment of commercialism and how it tries to lead us, if not actually doing our thinking for us. It was also a sad statement in that no matter what he tried, this guy just couldn't get anything to work out for him. I particularly remember a line in that song about how a television commercial about a man who told him in order to be a man, you had to smoke the same brand of cigarette as he did. Now over 40 years later, we have different mediums, different products, but the message is still the same. The marketers are telling us how to live our lives. Thank goodness they don't have cigarette commercials on television anymore, but we are still bombarded with commercial messages that tell us how great our life could be if we would only buy a certain product. Seemingly, the only way to have fun on the beach is to drink a particular brand of beer. The most fun way to watch a sporting event is in a bar drinking the sponsor's brand of beer. I could go on and on of course.

I do understand that we live in a world where electronic media has become a necessity and it does have its good points. We had very accurate warnings of approaching snow storms this winter, for example. Announcements of school closings or other goings on as well as change of schedules, etc. are available at the push of a button. As an indication of how times are changing, a group of local pastors meet for scripture study on a weekly basis and a number of us, not including me, don't bring a bible. They have downloaded an app on their cell phones and they read the bible on their phones. Someday I may be one of those, but for now I'm still bringing the “old fashioned” printed bible. Come to think of it, what a great idea to pass on to our children.

How many of us know what apps our children have on their phones? Are they appropriate? If our children have televisions in their rooms, do we know what they are watching? Do they believe a certain make up or aftershave lotion brings on hordes of adoring opposite sex? How about putting a bible app on their phones? How about setting up their computers so that when its boots up, a daily bible verse shows up? Since they live in and will grow up in a world of technology, let’s not surrender to it, let us use it to show them that God is ever-lasting and that his word never goes out of date. They need to be shown that there is no such thing as the “new and improved” version like the products they see being sold everyday on television. You never have to download God version 2.0. He is, was, and always will be the one and only. His blessings to you all.


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