A Culture At Risk–Gordon Pennington

The question we need to ask is, are we a culture at risk? Have we lost the wonder? Do we just want to be distracted? We are a nation of consumers but what are we consuming? When you hear the language, when you view the media in all its forms you wonder about the culture of America and I might add North America.

Nothing seems to shake us anymore. We have seen it and we have heard it. The papers used to say if it bleeds it reads but even that has lost its meaning. We have, I believe, 100 per cent sensory overload. Many of our children are zombie like as they stare into screens and play games that are so graphic in what they portray and we then wonder why we see so much violence being acted out in society.

We have fake sporting events that everyone knows is a show. The show is filled with themes of sexism, bullying, racism and your basic anti social behaviour. The show sells out the largest auditoriums. The amount of pornography that is available to anyone and everyone is out of control but no one seems to care.

So I could go on and on but do you agree that we as a culture are at risk of losing our centre, our purpose?
Are you shocked by anything anymore? So what do you think is the answer?


I wonder why we as a society enjoy seeing other people screw there lives up? If I was an alien and my project was to study the earth beings and all I had as a reference was based on movies, television and the world-wide web, I wonder what my impression of the earthlings would be?

I thought I would check with folks on the street here are some of their random thoughts.

Personally if I Were the alien and all I saw was Mad Men, CNN, Fox News, E.T. and the view or any movie put out by Sacha Cohen I would simply conclude, there is no sign of intelligent life on planet earth. If I watched the United States Election process I would be convinced there is no intelligent life on planet life.

Richard Branson and Christy Clark ….Insight to tacky

THE STORY IN British Columbia Canada had to do with Branson’s visit to Vancouver and the announcement that Virgin Airlines would be flyhing fom England to vancouver . This did not turn out to be the big story. When Branson landed he was greeted by the premier of B.C. Christy Clark, they had a brief conversation and Branson invited Christy to go Parachute sailing on his back and she invited him to go cold water surfing in british Columbia.
Later after Branson had left he tweeted and said the condition for parachuting on his back was you had to do it in the nude and he showed a picture of a super model on his back, nude. This made the headlines for days and I agree it was in poor taste.

However, what I think is odd is how the print media handled it. Most ran many stories on this and each time they showed the picture of Branson and the nude super model. They had a hay day with the story and everyone knows nothing sells the news like naked super models on billionaires backs.

So while they were trashing Branson for his tacky remarks, they were being just as tacky by running over and over again the pictures of Branson and his parachute flying, super model, in the buff buddy.

So I guess tacky is as tacky does and when it comes to tacky newspapers will do all most anything to keep the presses rolling.

So, we wonder why we have such a moral decay in our society. Just read the headlines and see what garbage, onetime, respectable papers put into print. If it bleeds it reads , used to be the bi-line. Today you can add, if its in the buff, it cannot be printed enough.

So what do you think? Love to hear your comments.

A new political platform

I was watching a hockey game with my grandson Sam and a huge fight broke out. We have accepted this for years. Can somebody ask the question what does this say to a nine year old? What is the message? Be honest, why do we tolerate this as a society? Why do we tolerate the foul language in public places? Why do we tolerate the cesspool called Hollywood that continually puts out garbage directed towards our young? Have you seen the music videos today.

The reason we tolerate it is we have given into free speech. We are paying a huge price for free speech. Nobody wants to be seen as a right wing fundamentalist who is on a witch hunt. Ok I get that, but in the meantime we have tolerated the smut mongers and money grabbers who could care less about morality and they are piling garbage into the minds of our young people everyday with little restraint.

President Obama I challenge you to stand on a new platform. Bring the country back to some simple standards. Honesty, Integrity and character. Challenge the leaders of the entertainment world, challenge the teachers of our children and challenge the parents to rise up and be the examples to our children that they need to be.

Challenge our pro athletes to take a stand. Ask them for the sake of their own children to clean up the image and speak out. Mr. Obama it starts at the top, take the challenge and be a world changer not just a politician.

HERE WE GO! Vancouver Canucks, Part One

The Vancouver Canucks start the playoffs. In Vancouver this is bigger than Christmas and Easter rolled into one. For some it transcends sports and almost reaches a religious quality. (All hail the Canucks) The Vancouver team will play some lads from down South. (California boys) The deal is if I lived in California I would rather be on the beach than on the ice. These California boys have a great goalie and they play tight defence and plan on winning low scoring games. It has worked so far.

The Vancouver Canucks are playing cat and mouse with their superstar, (Dan Sedin) and even though his brother says he’s 100% they did not let anyone know if he would play in the opening series. MY guess is he will. There is also a goal tending question. Roberto or Schneider? No question in my mind, Roberto gets the call and he will be on a short lease.
I am a Roberto fan. Anyone who can play as well as he does under the constant scrutiny of Vancouver’s negative media is good with me. From listening to the media you would think we snuck into the playoffs and don’t really belong. The truth is we came in on a winning streak and we won more hockey games than any other team in the league.

I understand that controversy is what sells papers and provides listeners. It must be a tough way to make a living, trying to find something negative to say everyday to appease the boss. The job application for a sports reporter must have a section that says, “Are you able to write negative comments about the best team in the NHL? If not you need not apply)

To be continued in our next number…

The War Of Words, Part Ten

Words have the power to inspire us. Words can activate great things in us. A good coach can motivate his team to overcome great adversity. A great speaker can move a nation. A great actor can create a lasting impression. The words from a movie can become part of pop culture.

Years ago a business man from Portland Oregon spoke into my life. He challenged me to overcome my fears and step out of my comfort zone and start speaking to students. He said, “you will travel the world with your message of hope and decision makings.” I am so glad that I believed those words. Years later after traveling around the world speaking to young people I bumped into this person at a meeting in Portland Oregon. He was blown away at what I had to share and how the words that he spoke to me created a world-wide outreach.

So what words are you listening to? Perhaps the important question is what words are you acting on? Sow words reap a vision. Act on the vision and create a reality…act on your reality and reap a destiny.

I believe in you. God believes in you. You can do it. So go after that dream and don’t be afraid to dream big.

So what do you think?

The War Of Words, Part Nine

The power of words. Wow, I didn’t think we would be doing this long of a series. Let’s recap some of the main points in what I have been sharing.
Words form pictures or images, so words are instrumental in forming what we call, “Self Image.” Your thoughts form your world. What you speak has creative power. Your words can be constructive or destructive. What you focus on in your life grows. What you think about expands. What you dwell on determines your destiny.

It has been said, “that you will never go any higher than you think.” So what do you think of, yourself, others, your job, your future? What dreams and visions do you have inside of you that needs to come out. So many people live on, someday Isle. The music is still inside of them. The key is to embrace your dreams and make them your realities.

I believe God loves you and He has great plans for your life. You are not an accident you were wonderfully created and you have endless opportunities. Excuses are no longer valid. Step out and step into the dreams that are in your heart. You can do it but to do it you need to do it. You were not born a loser you were born a chooser and if you think you can you can.

I believe in you and if you believe in you there is nothing stopping you. There is always a way. You may stumble and fall but get up again and get going. This is a war but the truth is we are not fighting for victory we are fighting from victory. The reason most people fail is not because they plan to fail it is because the fail to plan. Write your dream down and then start writing down what needs to be done to make it a reality and then start doing it.

So what do you think?

The War Of Words, Part Eight

Words they come in many forms and in many languages. Words can left you or drop you.
Words can make you laugh or cry. They can be misunderstood and they can clarify. Words can heal or they can inflict great pain. Words can bring regret or thankfulness. With words we can cuss or we can bless. Words contain truth or lies. If we knew how powerful our words are perhaps we would be more careful how we use them.

When is the last time you told someone you loved them? When did you let them know how much you appreciate their friendship. I have been accused of looking at life through rose-colored glasses. I think I do. I have looked through the other glasses but the negativity almost killed me.
“As a person thinks in his heart so is he.” What gets planted in our hearts comes through the power of words. So what are you planting.

So what do you think?

The War Of Words, Part Six

Don't let words an imprint
Don't let words an imprint

So I remember waking up and hearing my father screaming. He was having another war nightmare. My father was a Chaplin in World War 2. He had a tough job, part of what he did was to write the letters to parents informing them that their son or daughter was killed in the war effort. He was also on the front lines of some of the worst battles of the war. He never fully recovered from the experience. These nightmares that my father had left a deep impression on me. At a young age I hated war.

Fast forward about 12 years and guess how I felt when I received my draft notice. I was to go for my physical two days after Christmas. I had just gotten married and I was in a moral conflict. I did not agree with the Viet Nam War and I felt that young men were giving their lives for something that was ill-defined. It was strange, I went to Oakland California for my draft physical and one doctor noticed my high arches. I tell people I missed the army by two feet.

The important part of this story is how the experience with my fathers nightmares left a deep impression on me. To this day it is hard to watch a documentary or movie on war. Imagine how many people have had some event in their childhood that has left a deep impression on them. It could be a divorce, a death, a sexual attack or a number of negative things that occur during childhood.

We think as we grow older that these things are behind us. However, if we have not learned how to deal with this negative images, we will be dealing with them later on in life. What has been holding you back all these years may be the fear that you experienced as a child. You might not fully realize how deep this thing goes but it is there.
The only way I know how to deal with a negative image is to take replace it with a new image. That will take some work but believe me it can be done. We will be talking more about this in the near future. So what do you think?

The War Of Words, Part Five

Sex such a small word and so overused, are you? That was a question that was in an ad a number of years ago. So many people are looking for love and they end up with sex. Sex is good, it is God’s idea but sex without real love can leave a person feeling used and abused. I do not believe sex is a recreational sport. In my belief system it is to be part of a committed relationship that is built on the foundation of real love. Now the question is, what is real love? Love comes in many forms and degrees in the North American culture. We love cars, shoes, our dog and people. May I suggest that you google 1 Corinthians 13. It is a passage from the Bible, but I believe it gives the best definition of what real love is all about. If you are not a believer it does not matter that is a great definition of love.

It says things like, love is patient, love is kind, love does not keep a record of wrong done and love never fails. Powerful words to think about.

I have been married for over 40 years and I love my wife more today than I did 40 years ago. I cannot imagine doing life without her. We could talk about love for a long time and I would love to hear what you think when I say the word love.

So what do you think?