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Monthly Archives: December 2013

Say, “Yes!”

“So, what do we choose instead?” Hundreds of emails, thousands of comments, lots and lots of texts and FB posts and Tweets – all asking me to point toward what we do about the problem of destructive material in our media.

I have a lot of answers now, and a couple of the bigger ones will be announced shortly.

ImageIn the meantime, I wanted to respond specifically to all of you who said you’d disengaged with media. I want to ask you to engage with one specific product. Earlier this year, DreamWorks purchased Classic Media, which is the parent company of VeggieTales. We are enormous Veggie fans in our house (okay, not so much at the table, but definitely at the TV!). When DreamWorks acquired VT, I got a little nervous. The same company that gave us “Free Birds” (which Eric Metaxas so beautifully discussed for Breakpoint) is going to be the parent of Bob and Larry? The French Peas? Madame Blueberry?

Yep. And that is INCREDIBLE. Those are good values, being acquired by an enormous company, and disseminated to an even more massive audience.

Which is why I’m asking every one of you to download the new VeggieTales app (first one since the DreamWorks acquisition, it was created by Cupcake Digital). Let’s be sure DreamWorks is reminded that there is a loyal audience for Veggie, and what it represents.

Go to your app store and search for “It’s a Very Merry Larry Christmas”. If you wanna go all out, get the DVD, too, “Merry Larry and the True Light of Christmas”. It even features Si Robertson from Duck Commander.

[Full disclosure: Glass Road was hired to help get the word out about the app. Even fuller disclosure: I’d have been talking about this and buying it anyway.]

We can’t just be a people of “no” – we have to say, “YES!” as loudly as possible when good media is created. And this is good, folks! Uber-high quality app that my two kiddos have pronounced, “The coolest ever!” Any of us who have watched VeggieTales DVDs can speak to their high production value. This is a brand that sets the bar.

I love it when we have excellently produced, thought-provoking, high-quality, entertaining media to choose. If you know of other NEW media (we all love the classics, but I’m asking for NEW), let me know in the comments below!

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Posted by on December 13, 2013 in The Misc Bucket

 

LOL…or not

On a recent trip to Nashville, I had the ridiculously fun opportunity to catch up with Jessica Dotta – and, boy, were we in for a thought-provoking experience.

(Jessica was the first person I hired into Glass Road, over 8 years ago. She worked at GR for about a year, then took a position to help another ministry grow. I hired her back when GR expanded and she brought her indefatigable spirit and staunch work ethic to bear. A year later, this brave soul decided to focus full time on her writing. Now, my incredibly talented friend is a published novelist with Tyndale whose first release is going gangbusters.)

It’s been over a year since we talked and I was excited to hear about Jessica’s book release, share with her about the big announcements coming up in my world (yes, the announcements are coming!), and just enjoy each other’s company again. We met at my hotel for breakfast.

As we laughed and shared stories and fell into that camaraderie that is forged in the trenches and always picks up right where it left off, the minutes flew by. I think I’d just told her about the strange looks I garner at the gym because I laugh out loud while watching “Friends” and running (I go to the quietest gym on the planet – it’s eerie) when a gentleman with thinning gray hair, round glasses, loose cardigan and slacks pulled up a bit too high, approached our table.

old2-man-cardiganHe stood there a moment, cleared his throat, and said, “Ladies, I had to come over here.” I prepared to be asked to quiet down (we were loud). The man clasped his hands in front of him. He looked toward the floor. He shook his head slightly and shrugged. He seemed to be trying to get control of his emotions and I wondered if Jess’s storytelling brain was going at mach speed with mine to envision a tale that would necessitate this poor older man being in such a state. We’d been discussing our faith pretty openly, too, so maybe he needed prayer? Jesus? A glass of water?

He raised his head and looked at each of us. “I had to come over and tell you how much we have enjoyed listening to you laugh. It’s just so good to hear girls your age laughing and talking like you’re doing.”

Relief at him being okay and us not being reprimanded for our volume flooded through me and I saw a grin on Jess’s face that probably mirrored mine. The man went back to his seat and Jess and I continued catching up.

A2rrrrggghhhAnother 10-15 minutes passed and here came another older gentleman. Again, he stood at the end of our table. This one appeared a bit more gruff…serious look on his face but a twinkle in his eye. Mr. No Nonsense. We ceased our chatter and looked toward him.

“I’m sorry to interrupt, ladies, but I wanted to tell you that I’ve loved listening to you two laugh. To hear your happiness in the room. It’s good to hear laughter again.”

As he went away, that last word echoed in my soul. I turned toward Jess. “Hey, he’s right. When did the laughter die?

2012-10-11 21.50.43That was three days ago and I’ve since had 14 hours of driving alone in the car to ruminate. I checked with friends of several generations and they echoed the idea – we don’t hear laughter like we did a few years ago. When we do hear it, it’s canned on TV. We walk into restaurants and there isn’t a hum of happy people talking. We walk down streets and see people, but don’t hear joy. A pall has settled on us.

Now, here’s the thing: in the second (maybe third – my memory ain’t what she used to be) year of “Grey’s Anatomy” (this was when “Private Practice” came on after it), I remember Meredith and Christina asking each other if they were happy. In the “Private Practice” episode afterward, the same question arose. I remember wondering why they seemed to be valuing “happiness” as the ultimate life goal…and assuming they’d find it primarily in whomever they slept with.

happy-faceWe hear it everywhere now. Parents just want their children to “be happy”. Spouses leave their spouses because they “just want to be happy” or “deserve some happiness”. Ads and therapists alike hound us women to get manis, pedis, massages, and facials so that we can take care of our “happiness” because, if we don’t, we can’t make anyone else happy.

Good grief, even pet stores are telling us to buy all kinds of toys and treats to make the darn dog happy. (Ours is good if I scratch his ears just-so, which is free, so he gets it a lot.)

Yet, despite all this attention on chasing happiness, it appears that we’ve become a people who smile and laugh less.

I’m pretty sure that’s because we’re worshiping at the altar of self and, ultimately, we make for pretty crappy gods. We’re way too fickle to be masters of the universe.

Today’s “happy” means managing to stay within my calorie allotment. Tomorrow’s is a donut … or two.

I’d love to hear if you’re experiencing this in your neck of the woods. Do you hear people laughing, see them smiling, as much as you did ten years ago? If not, why not?

 
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Posted by on December 6, 2013 in The Misc Bucket