Yesterday I mentioned sexual addictions. Like any addiction, sexual addiction causes severe damage to those engaged in its ever expanding practices and demands and to those who are the collateral victims.
I wrote a novel about this topic (Wounds . . . and Healings), without getting into graphic perversions of sexual activities, to demonstrate the power sex holds over particular individuals. As with all of my novels thus far, it's a novel that points to Jesus Christ as the means for healing the wounds inflicted by others besides being the salvager of souls.
Addictions begin with a testing dose of the desired product. When that product creates a demand on the body and the psyche, it's immensely difficult to deny either the pseudo satisfaction of fulfilling the demand or to curtail the activity. The addiction only escalates, never complete with the same dosage of the product. Without alternative actions to stop the created cravings, usually, death results via an overdose, a deteriorating and sick body which can no longer sustain life, a suicide, or even a fatal accident.
Sexual addiction isn't easily recognized by a world that exalts fornication, excuses adultery, and justifies its cravings. Unfortunately, sexual addiction is just as harmful to its unsuspecting victims as it is to the ones who are indulging the activity. The wounds left to the crux of the human heart need the touch of the One who designed it.
Father, help us all to guard our hearts. We're prone to choose evil. May your rescue penetrate all we do and keep us safe from our wanton ways. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.
There are so many kinds of darkness in this fallen world. Many of them turn into personal addictions as unsuspecting individuals find themselves enthralled with a certain sin. When people consider addictions, they usually think of drugs and alcohol, but it's becoming more and more common to find tales of those who are addicted to sex.
Using the tools of the internet and smart phones, from politicians to athletes to the everyday male and female of almost all ages, personal photographs of body parts designed to entice and reveal, sexual language texted or emailed via pornographic conversations, all pour through the wireless devices. Homes are sabotaged, lives are ruined, and people's cravings drive them deeper into darkness.
The depravity and perversion of sexuality is on the increase even though there is nothing new under the sun. Every sin entered this world when mankind fell apart in the Garden. It's sad to realize that something precious God gave to man for a holy union has been corroded and diminished by the evil one. And it's sadder still when people fail to see that God has always known what is best for the human race, and addiction never had a part in it.
Father, heal our hearts and our land as we humble ourselves before you. We're all desperate for you. Every single one of us. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.
When a little boy is discovered dead in the woods by his neighbor Ben Crawford (Ryan Phillippe), Ben becomes the main person of interest for his murder. Detective Andrea Cornell (Juliette Lewis) leading the investigation provides constant pressure on Ben as she combs the neighborhood for clues - seemingly to prove Ben is the murderer. However, she's too clever in a wooden, relentless way to assume the killer is Ben without solid evidence.
With few exceptions the neighborhood turns on Ben and, although there is no known motive for him to kill the child, they assume he's guilty because of the ongoing pursuit by Detective Cornell. During the course of the investigation, all kinds of secrets and lies are exposed, not one of the members of this neighborhood without something to hide.
Secrets and Lies refuses to give concrete clues as to who the murderer is and doesn't allow the viewer to let Ben completely off the hook for it - even though there's no obvious reason for him to commit such a terrible crime. Ben attempts to find the murderer himself because he doesn't trust the detective to do her job. His life shows signs of unraveling, alienating the few friends he has left.
Dark and somewhat dreary contrasted to the Christmas season in which it takes place, it's similar in tone to last year's mini-series drama Gracepoint.Secrets and Lies is based on an Australian TV drama of the same name and is in the midst of its slated ten episode run on ABC at 9 PM (PDT).
Father, people bring so much destruction upon themselves while others force evil upon unsuspecting people. The world is desperate for you, Jesus, but so many refuse to consider you. Please open hearts, Lord, to understand you gave it all for each one of us. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.
The latest springboard in the CSI series collection is CSI Cyber. A poignant effort for this era of Black Hat hackers and major computing invasions and identity thefts, this new attempt to present relevant television spares no geek-speak while alerting the general viewership of exactly what's being done in cyber-land, both good and evil.
As with most new series TV, CSI Cyber is trying to establish its tone and characters, not quite in a groove yet. Developing the individuals who work together to thwart the plans of sophisticated cyber criminals, the White Hats, some of whom are converted Black Hats, match wits with evil doers who use the cyber world to commit heinous crimes.
Not sure how much I'll enjoy this one, but I'll give it a shot. The actors have shown good chemistry so far, but Patricia Arquette, who plays a "cyber psychologist", comes off as fairly one dimensional in her expressions and approaches to each case. It'll be interesting to see what becomes of this version of the CSI spin-offs.
One final point regarding Wednesday's episode, yet another character had spent years suffering with the inability to forgive a murderer of his family. Don't get me wrong. It would be horrific to endure that kind of pain, and no one can say for sure whether or not he or she would actually be able to forgive someone who committed such a terrible act, but, as a Christian, it is the only thing that can free a person from the burden of hatred and bitterness. As my friend Brenda Anderson expressed in her comment to my Blue Bloods post, forgiving someone doesn't mean forgetting what they did to you. It means you no longer have to carry around that which will eventually destroy your ability to live free from their dominance in your life. The Lord requires forgiveness to free one's soul.
I found it interesting that being unable to forgive has been a prominent part of two episodes on different shows in less than a week. The character in CSI Cyber was far more sympathetic in his expression against the criminal and elicited sympathy in his presentation.
All this about being unable to forgive as the greatest event of forgiveness approaches: Resurrection Day on April 5th.
Oh, Lord, so much I needed to be forgiven for and will always need your forgiveness to my dying day. Help me to forgive. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.
Perception has been cancelled after three seasons. Eric McCormack plays a brilliant schizophrenic professor and neuropsychiatrist (Dr. Daniel Pierce) who fights through his illusions to assist FBI Special Agent Kate Moretti (Rachael Leigh Cook) investigate homicides.
Dr. Pierce's hallucinations frustrate him but also end up expressing situations in their argumentative dialogue with him which lead to "perceptions" of the suspects which then lead him to solving cases. Perception is an entertaining drama rife with the cynicism of a man who understands his condition but can do little to totally eliminate the recurring symptoms. His cryptic scientific explanations and examples of emotions by outlining the precision of the brain's reaction to stimuli often provide his students with embarrassing data and plenty of humor.
Through the course of working with Kate, Daniel denies himself the admittance of falling in love with her, knowing his mental illness makes him fragile and unreliable. When she appears to become a runaway bride, the final episode resolves her disappearance with some vigilante justice which plagues the conscience of the morally ambiguous Daniel.
Perception often mocked the existence of God and insinuated some leftwing slants through Daniel's character, but it was well acted particularly by Eric McCormack. It was at times difficult to watch Daniel's struggles, the creators of the series choosing not to make him a totally sympathetic character and instead designing him as an abrupt, often caustic personality, seemingly unaware of his rude demeanor.
For whatever reasons, viewers didn't seem to follow through with Perception after watching Rizzoli and Isles, and after double digit percentage drops in their audience, there will be no more Perception.
Lord, there are many television producers and writers who push ungodly agendas across the screens, but your Word tells us you will not be mocked. No matter how hard they try, Truth will prevail. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.
I'm a huge fan of Tom Selleck, and I've enjoyed his latest series Blue Bloods. A family of cops, two New York Police Commissioners in the retired grandfather and father (Frank Reagan, played by Tom Selleck), one son (and brother) has died in the line of duty and Tom Selleck's wife has passed away when the series begins.
But seemingly with all series TV, there comes a season where the characters "devolve" and the writing suffers. That would be this year for Blue Bloods. This season the Police Commissioner played by Selleck has become more hard-hearted and less empathetic. The worst episode of the season, and perhaps the series, aired Friday evening (March 13th).
A young bride-to-be enlists the PC to walk her down the aisle of her wedding because many years ago he was the investigating officer of her family's disturbing murder, and she describes him as like a father to her. She is so important to him that he allows her to show up at his office and immediately gain entrance to talk to him whereas anyone else, including his staff, must keep specific appointments with him.
She receives a letter from the incarcerated murderer but doesn't open it instead bringing it to the PC to read. When he encourages her to wait until after her marriage to make a decision whether or not she wishes to learn its content, she makes the decision to ask what he's written. When the PC tells her the murderer wants to see her to make amends, she goes to the prison with the PC - she with a huge mad on and he with utter disdain and cynicism. To this point, she's a sympathetic character, and we understand the Commissioner's opinion and attitude.
However, the spectacle of the murderer's confession and her reaction to him reverses the sympathy for her. She is hateful, bitter, ugly, and by her own words will never forgive him. While it would've been acceptable for her not to indulge in trusting his confession, the demonstration of skepticism without the putrid outburst and cruel venomous response would have been far more beneficial to view. And all the while, the PC nods his head at her, urging her to get it all out. It's an ugly scene, and totally eliminated any sympathy or empathy I held for her. The Commissioner tells her he's proud of her, and I felt like gagging.
There have been traces of God-mocking in the PC's character, but the portrayal and endorsement of this young woman's ungodly behavior makes me wonder about the "hidden" agenda of Blue Bloods. If these subtle - and not so subtle - examples continue to be held up within the episodes, perhaps assuming this Catholic family's Sunday dinners around the table after saying "grace" will be enough to sustain viewers such as myself, I'm one viewer they can count on losing. Who needs it?
Father, it's almost impossible to forgive those who've done horrendous things to us or our families. You're the only one who can help us forgive, and forgive we must. It never means forget. It means forgive. Your ways are so much higher than our own. We struggle to understand them and to do the right things. Please forgive us for indulging sin in so many ways. We're all desperate for you. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.
Covert Affairswas not renewed. Strong female characters and meaningful interesting male characters, I believe it was the placing of this series that eventually killed it. It's hard to identify the exact moments when these series might've slipped into viewer inconsistency because they're split into short seasons and their return timing is often unpredictable and irregular. This has a lot to do with how the show is followed - or not followed. Viewers miss their returns if DVRs aren't programmed to record new episodes.
In the next to last segment of Covert Affairs (on TNT) the writers changed Annie Walker's (played by Piper Perabo) personality to caustic and at times unlikeable because of it. She attempted to expunge any of her emotional makeup in exchange for a hardened, seasoned covert operative. The change robbed her of her strengths and alienated her closest ally. The last segment restored some of her emotion, made her a more sympathetic character by giving her a serious heart ailment which was not conducive to her bold and physically driven skills.
I will miss this series. I think it was well acted and mostly well written. Perhaps the powers that be backed themselves into a corner by giving Annie a potentially debilitating condition and also bringing an unflinching love interest, a fellow action hero, into her life who proposes to her. I guess we'll never know how that turned out.
I've written many posts about Reckless, and I still believe CBS had no intention of allowing this show to succeed. The network kept the dismal and boring Extant (most likely because it stars Halle Berry) as a summer replacement while dismissing Reckless. As I've explained in previous posts, Reckless had it all. CBS continually moved it around with little promotion and advertised it as a steamy soap opera when they did market it. Reckless was far more than that. Many viewers never saw it on CBS because they didn't know it existed. When Netflix ran the episodes, a flood of new viewers begged for its renewal. So far it hasn't mattered. This brief "series" made it into my all-time favorites during its brief and unfinished debut. Should have been renewed.
Father, your benevolence is so often overlooked or attributed to humanity. The skills you inherently plant in the hearts of people, if recognized, can fulfill the desires of the heart. Only you can accomplish this in people. Thank you for loving mankind in spite of us. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.