Sifting through the Media

 Perhaps you grew up watching your mom or dad juggle half a dozen papery coupons at the grocery store, waiting patiently with them as they fumbled with these tiny slips of tattered currency. Maybe you have stood behind people who sifted through their purses or pockets, looking for that one coupon so that they might save ten cents on fabric softener, and so perhaps now you hold a less than favorable view of coupon clippers. These days we have e-coupons, electronic coupons delivered to our email accounts promising huge savings.

I used to have a dim view of coupons. Was it truly worth sifting through the weekly newspaper inserts to save a few cents here and there at the store? The following is from an AP story from July 7, 2011:

BOISE, Idaho -- The women sat expectantly as Monica Knight told them she once routinely spent $600 a month on groceries for her family of four. Breaking into a broad smile, Knight says that figure has been reduced to only $100 to $150 a month.

Most have watched the television series "Extreme Couponing," which debuted on TLC in April and follows shoppers whose intense devotion to finding bargains can whittle a $555.44 grocery store bill down to $5.97, to cite one extreme example.

After reading the above excerpt from an article on extreme couponing, I have a new found respect for coupon clippers!  While most of us do not have the time or desire to research, clip, sort and catalogue potential savings on our food bill, we can see the benefits for those that do. What about in the area of media consumption? Many of us worry about the impact on our children and families of a daily steam of information and entertainment coming into our lives. We know that as a family we have numerous sources of entertainment and influence entering our homes each day. From smart phones to cable television to e-readers to Netflix and Spotify, our lives are connected to the world in innumerable ways. How can we as individuals, parents and believers guard against the onslaught of the worldview assault that comes at us and our families each day? How can we enjoy the richness of entertainment while disposing of the filth? How can we possibly keep up with what is out there and what is coming in?  How can we guard against becoming mindless consumers?

I was at a youth conference this last week and sat under the teaching of a wonderful teacher and student of culture. Walt Mueller and his organization spend a great deal of time looking into the world of culture and entertainment, from a Biblical world and life view, and seek to help individuals, parents and students to think from a Christ-perspective; to be in the world but not of it, to impact the world while not being unduly impacted by it.

The Center for Parent/Youth Understanding is a wonderful site ( to add to your regular daily internet consumption. This is a repository of hours of researching, clipping, sorting and cataloguing, not for potential savings on our food bill, but for potential savings of our minds, hearts and our children from the dangers of this world. Go regularly to understand how better to surf the currents of our culture with a deeper understanding, insight, vigilance and zeal to see this world impacted for the Lord.