Family_watching_television_1958

Cal Jernigan – Senior Pastor

The times, they are a changing. Again.

Go with me on a little journey regarding one simple area of change. Let’s talk about our TV viewing habits. Depending on your age, you’ll just have to jump in at whatever point in history you entered the story.

For some, just getting a TV was memorable. If you are of a certain age, you probably remember when this hit your home for the first time. You also probably remember when you got your first color set as well.

If you are anywhere near my generation, when you were growing up it was great to have a TV, but there were only three channels to choose from (and one really fuzzy one you could get if you switched the connections on your antenna). Oh yeah, and speaking of antennas—every TV had to have a pair of rabbit ears on top of the set. This was really not a problem because the sets were HUGE and there was more than enough room. If you were really well off, your family had an antenna on your roof and got the best reception in the neighborhood (snobs!). While our family didn’t have a roof antenna, we did have a remote control on our TV (my mom would whack me across the head and tell me “get up and change the channel!”). Those were the days.

What’s most relevant about this era is how you would plan your week around what was being shown on TV. The Disney hour was a must, but it was only shown on Sunday nights. If you wanted to see “Gone with the Wind”, or “The Wizard of OZ”, or any other movie, you had to make sure you cleared your schedule and were home on the night and at the time it was playing as it only showed once a year. Commercials were critical to the game because without them you would have no bathroom breaks. Someone was usually posted for the purpose of shouting out, “It’s starting!” and everyone would race back to their seats (usually with refreshments).

And then it all changed.

The VHS tape player was invented. This brought with it two critical changes. First, you could actually record the movie or show in your absence and watch it at your own convenience (if you could ever figure out how to work the clock on the machine!). Second, you could actually go down and rent the movie you wanted to watch and bring it home with you. What a game changer this was. The convenience of this was off the charts. It simply couldn’t get any better.

And then it all changed.

Cable entered the picture and the choices exploded. In this same time era DVD’s replaced VHS tapes. Both of this created a market of “video stores” where you would go and walk down the aisles and find the movie or two you wanted to watch, bring it home and Bam! Couldn’t get any better. Movie sections also started appearing in Walmart’s around the country and we began to “buy” movies.

About this time TIVO was invented which allowed you to actually stop shows you were watching and then begin them again when you were ready. And then DVR’s became the standard way to record the movies you now received via satellites.

And then it all changed.

Enter the internet. Now you can get your movies via Netflix and your TV shows via Hulu. What also happened is that you don’t need to be home any longer to watch any of this. Now you can watch all of this on your computer, tablet or phone. Who even needs a TV anymore?

By the way, as of this week Bloomberg is reporting that Netflix and streaming video are now making more money than the sale of DVD’s. This is a first.

And then it all changed.

While all I’ve talked about in this post is the medium in which we view our content, the biggest change of all is in the content we watch. In the early days of television every network had censors whose job it was to edit out offensive material. There was a day when it was not considered moral to show or suggest a married couple even slept in the same bed. To do so was considered scandalous.

And then it all changed.

There is no need for me to suggest what you can now view on your TV (or computer, or tablet or phone). You are probably all too aware of it. What will we be seeing on our devices in the days to come? Are you ready for this?

The question to wrestle with is simply, “How has all this changed you?” Proverbs 4:23 admonishes us,

“Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” -Proverbs 4:23

There are some things you must NOT let change. Stand your guard!

And Then It All Changed

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