In HOPE 10.2

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David Timms

 Prayer for Today

Father, guard my heart from growing inoculated to the woundedness and brokenness of the world. Protect me from the hardening of my spiritual arteries. Keep my heart tender. And grant me the wisdom to discern the forces that would keep me from becoming all that You want me to be. Amen.

Hope Happenings

I'm delighted to write that Dr. Paul Alexander has been appointed as our new Vice President for Academic Affairs. He has been a faculty member at Hope International University for about 15 years and will be leading the restructure of the University over the next 15 months.

Other Writing

David Timms, Living the Lord's Prayer (Bethany House, 2008) -- Now available in paperback with a Study Guide (Jan 2010)

David Timms, Sacred Waiting: Waiting on God in a World that Waits for Nothing (Bethany House, 2009)


“As those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved,
put on a heart of compassion...."
~ Colossians 3:12


Inoculated Hearts

Cameron Lee has gotten under my skin. In his book Unexpected Blessing (pp.85-86), he writes a couple of paragraphs that may irritate you in the same way.

[Our] video-saturated entertainment culture has changed the very way we think. For example, not only does the television news overexpose us to human folly night after night, the very way in which the news is presented lulls us into indifference. We see a favorite local news team, immaculately groomed, serving up a smorgasbord of unrelated snippets of stories. First a story about political genocide; if the anchor is shocked by it, it doesn’t show in her face. The story is read with a certain detachment. Our knowledge of the world is being mediated by someone who presents each tragedy as just one more piece of information. And even if we are inclined to reflect more seriously on the story about political genocide, before we know it, we find ourselves looking at a graph showing how many points the Dow Jones average fell today or watching a commercial about laundry detergent. This is news as entertainment, a program that even has its own theme song.

News as entertainment puts us at a distance from the tragedies represented in the stories told. We are given enough to stimulate our voyeuristic impulses, but not enough to make us feel grief or remorse about what happened. As James Twitchell has observed, the cardinal rule in television is to never make the viewer feel bad.

Web-based news is no different. Scroll over the headline and get the 12-15 word summary…”200,000 estimated dead in Port-au-Prince” … “2 U.S. killed by bomb in Afghanistan” … “Wall Street ends week with a steep slide” … “Actress Jean Simmons dies at 80” … “Caught on Tape: Amazing Dog Rescue.” And after a quick scan we shift to the next task, untouched and unstirred by the more grim realities of the world.

Yes, Cameron Lee has gotten under my skin.

Does my 15-minute news grab at 10pm help or hurt me? Are my news-junkie tendencies inoculating my heart against the compassionate heart of Christ? Am I so desensitized by the dispassionate presentations of tragedy that I simply accept them rather than respond to them?

This strikes me as a deep discipleship issue. In the struggle for our hearts, is CBS, CNN, NBC, or Fox News winning the battle on a battleground we’ve not even identified? May we have the wisdom—and the heart—of the Father.





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You can find back issues of "In HOPE" (2005-2009) at .

David Timms serves in the Graduate Ministry Department at Hope International University in Fullerton, California. "In HOPE", however, is not an official publication of the University and the views expressed are not necessarily those of the Administrators or Board. "In HOPE" has been a regular e-publication since January, 2001.