Live with Jim Burress

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What even is Periscope?

Apparently live-streaming is the next big thing. Apps like Meerkat and Periscope give you the ability to stream videos live straight from your iPhone or iPad.

Murray State graduate Jim Burress returned to campus Monday afternoon and gave us a perfect opportunity to test out this new technology, Periscope.

Since it’s not yet popular in little ol’ Murray, we received no likes or comments on our live-stream despite of the question-and-answer session that we were able to attend.

Aside form testing out the app, the session with Burress was very fruitful. He gave insight into his current job as senior reporter at WABE in Atlanta. Also, he spoke about his previous experiences in the news industry. Since this is something that our class is entering into, it was interesting to get his take on different matters.

One key point that he made was that he was at first interested in TV, but soon realized the glamour that TV portrayed was not so much. And that’s how he got into radio. It started as a part-time job with Murray State’s own radio station, WKMS.

Over time he fell in love with radio and the characters that he could create.

“I fell in love with radio because it allowed me to do things that TV never did before,” Burress said.

Later in the talk he mentioned that it has been difficult for him to adapt to the multi-media world we live in today. Like Austin and I, he had no idea what Periscope was. He says that new technology has changed the way he has looked at covering news events.

Periscope gave us the ability to possibly share our experience with Burress with anyone who was willing to watch, despite the fact that no one decided to tune in.

Live-streaming has its perks, but it doesn’t have a strong enough foothold yet to make a big enough impact for news organizations to lose sleep over just yet.

Lauren Miller and Austin Lamb

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The Gift of Giving

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When most people hear the word philanthropy they immediately think “Greek life” or possibly about the movie House Bunny, but what most of those same people don’t know is that the Murray State University athletic teams are also involved in this same desire to promote the welfare of others as the fraternities and sororities on campus.

The Murray State Racers athletic department is involved in many activities year round to help the Murray/Calloway County community. Just a few of these activities include: reading to elementary school students, giving out candy at the annual volleyball “Volleyween” game on Halloween, donating canned goods, and many more events throughout the year.

In the spirit of the holiday season, Racer athletics hosts an annual canned food drive to benefit the local food pantry. Starting November 4, all of the Murray State sports teams began bringing in canned goods to their pre-determined location. Canned goods will be collected by each of the teams until classes are dismissed for winter break.

This event is held and made into a competition among all of the teams each year. The teams compete against each other to see who can raise the most canned goods. The team that collects the most canned goods by December 6 will get to eat first at the All-Athlete Banquet held at the end of the school year. Those who know anything about athletes know this is a huge incentive because athletes love to eat.

In the past, the soccer team donated the most canned goods and was able to eat first. Now, though, the baseball team might give them a run for their money as each baseball player is required to bring at least one canned good before the deadline. There is about 40 players on the baseball team, making their total automatically at least 40 canned goods, but junior pitcher Andrew Bramley donated four cans himself. If each player has that same generous spirit it will not only benefit this team but extremely help the needy families in this community.

Each team has their own approach to raising the most canned goods. The track team for example is not required to bring a certain amount of cans but is encouraged to bring four to five cans each. Their current total of donated canned goods is 12.

Though this is a much different approach than the baseball team, it allows each member to consciously decide whether or not they are going to help someone in need. That is really about what this competition is about in the first place- giving back.

 

Challenge Accepted

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Well, I certainly accepted the challenge to unplug from any type of media for 24 hours, but I wouldn’t necessarily say I conquered it. I will admit that I lasted much longer than I ever imagined. For about 10 hours on Saturday I successfully went without the use of any media or texting, and I am pretty proud about it too.

It wasn’t that hard for me because I am really not that dependent on my phone in the first place. I mean, I do use it a lot, but I don’t thrive off of it like most people my age do. What also aided in this challenge was the fact that my boyfriend went hunting in the morning and again in the afternoon. That is the main person that I text, so with him being busy I didn’t have to rely on that form of communication from him.

What was hard, though, was spending time with my roommates as they sat on social media and texting the entire time. This opened my eyes to how I guess I am too sometimes. We were just hanging out in our living room talking, but they could barely carry on a conversation because every few seconds they would have to check their phone for something new. It was getting very annoying. 1. Because it was rude. 2. Because I didn’t have that escape to distract myself with. So in this aspect I would have to say that my experience was quite similar to those students’ in the study by Susan Moeller. I did not go into withdrawal symptoms like some of them said, but it was eye opening and riveting, especially being able to have quality conversations with people, as those students said as well.

I wouldn’t necessarily say I missed not having any contact with the world over the internet during that time, because I spent it doing other things. I filled my day with going sleeping in, going shopping, baking, and resting. It wasn’t that I did those things just because I didn’t have my phone, because I would do those activities anyway. But I really got to enjoy them because I wasn’t constantly trying to update or impress people with my “totally fun day”.

It did change my view about society’s dependency on the internet and media. We are so into what others are doing and what they think about what we’re doing that we don’t really enjoy those small moments anymore. We miss so much just simply because we are looking down at our phones instead of up at the world. Anything is instantly at our fingertips that we’ve lost the joy of just relaxing and not doing anything. “Not doing anything” now entails watching TV or scrolling through Twitter and Instagram. We post things just to get a reaction from others behind a screen instead of seeing the reaction on someone’s face personally.

What I have taken away from this is that media is not that important. There are still things to do that you don’t have to Google to find out or post on Instagram to see how many “likes” you can get. Though I will have to admit texting is possibly one of the greatest and most convenient inventions to date since I hate talking on the phone. I am now going to try to spend less time on my phone and more time making personal connections with people. There is still so many advantages to the mobile world we live in today, but I will not let myself be consumed by it.

 

Future of The News

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The future of the news is headed towards the all-digital path. I believe that in the future print media will completely go away. As younger generations are all about immediacy, print media for the news will start to fade. It is too slow of a source, only coming out a few times a week. This medium is mainly directly towards an older demographic, which, unfortunately, will not be here much longer.

 Using the web, social medianewspaper5, and television to deliver the news is rising more and more. People want what they want right when they want it. Using social media, like Twitter, as a news medium is becoming increasingly popular. It helps reach to a younger audience and gives them exactly what they want. News isn’t news unless it’s new anyway, right? Putting links to stories at a source’s website links them not only to that story, but to the people that brought it to them. That’s the main reason anyone delivers the news- high viewership and profit. Without people reading a certain source’s stories, there is no need for them.

That is why it is crucial for the news to become more digital. Reaching an audience is the most important criteria for news. As newer audiences rise, the news must change to grab their interest. Making the news shorter and to-the-point will help bring in those new audiences. Using more pictures and videos will help as well. People like to see what their reading about. That is most helpful for me anyway. A good visual of exactly what is happening in the story helps me to understand, sympathize with, or remember. If the audience doesn’t remember what they read, is it really helping them? The future for the news must adapt to the rise of younger generations need for technology and immediacy by using more web and social media based directives.

I do plan on reporting and writing as well as photographing the news as my future career. I recently had an internship at a local newspaper in my hometown, and I loved it. I like knowing the people around me and seeing how what I write affects their lives. So I would like to stay in a somewhat small-town environment to write the news. Though I know print is dying, that is what I like best. Local papers are still doing somewhat well, so I believe that could still do that. I think I would also be able to help those small-town papers transition into a digital environment using the web and social media. I am both excited and nervous to enter into the journalism field with all of the changes and possibilities ahead.

Completely Stuffed

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It’s Tuesday at The Lake News, and that means one thing- paper prep. The paper goes to press in the morning, that afternoon it comes back, and we have to stuff it with ads. It’s not fun, like in the least bit.

Four of us stuff about 600 papers each. It takes about an hour. Your hands get all dirty from the ink. Your shoulder starts hurting. And it’s just completely tedious.
When I started to think about the word “stuffed”, many things came to mind. Things such as: food, Thanksgiving, Build-A-Bears, pizza crust, and then my life flooded my mind.

“Whew, I’m stuffed” is a very common phrase used when eating, but what are we stuffing into our lives/bodies besides food?

This is not something I particularly want to think about. Usually I’d probably try to avoid such a question. But today, since I didn’t have much to do at work, I began to ponder the question.

It’s so easy to fill our lives with all kinds of stuff, but is it really filling us up or just taking up space?

We stuff ourselves with relationships. We try so hard to find Mr. (or Mrs.) Right. We worry ourselves sick that we’ll never find the right person and that we’re gonna be single forever. I’ve done it, I’ll admit it. And I have seen many, many friends do the same. It’s a common girl thing. We stuff these relationships into our life when we know they aren’t healthy for us.

Another form of relationships we stuff ourselves with is friendships. Friendship is such a beautiful thing, and can be so blessed by God, but step back and analyze yours. What do you and your friends do? Do you spend time in the Word and in prayer or do you spend time in the bar and in gossip? I love my friends. I have a large variety, those that have always and will always be there for me no matter how long it is between talks or seeing each other. I have those that I can talk to absolutely anything about, and they encourage and support me throughout it all. I have those that help strengthen my relationship with The Lord, sometimes not even in a direct way. And then I have those that sometime get me in trouble, but help keep life fun and exciting. Each friend has helped grow and shape me. Not all of them are Christ-centered, but that’s okay. Because if all we had were Christian friends, how could we tell others about Jesus? I love my sinner friends, just like you should. But be careful. Are you being more of an influence on them or them on you?

We stuff ourselves with ways to try and find acceptance and a false sense of self-confidence. We spend money on things we don’t need to impress people we don’t even like. It’s crazy. We just want people to like us. I know, I’m 20, I get it. I’m there. But guess what, there were a lot of people that didn’t like Jesus and look at all the lives he was able to touch and forever change. If we want to be like Christ, we have to live differently, and some people aren’t going to like that. But we don’t have to worry, because God will protect us.

“Now, who will want to harm you if you are eager to do good? But even if you suffer for doing what is right, God will reward you for it. So don’t worry or be afraid of their threats. Instead, you must worship Christ as Lord of your life. And if someone asks about your hope as a believer, always be ready to explain it. But do this in a gentle and respectful way. Keep your conscience clear. Then if people speak against you, they will be ashamed when they see what a good life you live because you belong to Christ. Remember, it is better to suffer for doing good, if that is what God wants, than to suffer for doing wrong! Christ suffered for our sins once for all time. He never sinned, but he died for sinners to bring you safely home to God. He suffered physical death, but he was raised to life in the Spirit.” 1 Peter 3:13-18

We stuff ourselves with so much that wastes our time. We put so many simple things above spending time with God or our family or helping others. We fill our lives with so many things of the world that don’t matter at all. We strive to make the most money, have the cutest clothes, marry an awesome husband, and have beautiful children. But what does any of the matter if it doesn’t revolve around Christ. Christ should be the center of everything. We should be hungry for Him, stuffing ourselves with the teachings of His Word.

It’s so easy to quickly grab the things of this life and put them in our lives, thinking they’ll satisfy. But they will soon run out. The only thing that will completely fulfill your life is the forgiveness, love, grace, joy, and life given to you by a relationship with Jesus Christ.

Just like stuffing newspapers, when we stuff our lives with all of these different things, they waste time, make a mess, and cause pain. These things are sinful, worthy, and temporary. And there is absolutely so many more things that we stuff into our lives, but these few things just came to mind first.

I pray that you are so fulfilled by the spirit of The Lord that these other things won’t even be appetizing. I pray that you crave the things of The Lord, and see His will above all else.

“Like newborn babies, you must crave pure spiritual milk so that you will grow into a full experience of salvation. Cry out for this nourishment, now that you have had a taste of the Lord’s kindness.” 1 Peter 2:2-3.

P.S. I’m currently studying 1 and 2 Peter, so hope you like it! Haha. These are two of my favorite books of the Bible. It is full of so much wisdom and guidance for believers. Check it out!

Glass House

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Do you ever feel like someone or everyone is watching your every move? That they’re waiting for you to mess up so they can call you out or tear you apart? Or that you just can’t do anything right because you’re being compared to or comparing yourself to others?

Well, welcome to the club. As Christians, we live in a glass house. Everything we say and do is seen by someone else. Sometimes it can be seen in the Imagewrong light and reflected to look badly. But there’s always the other times when the sun is just at the right angle, and it creates a beautiful silhouette. A silhouette that you can’t even see. But others can.

Sometimes rocks are thrown at your glass house. They can be the betrayal of a friend, the death of a family member, the discouragement of not getting the new job. Many things cast rocks out our house. Each time a rock hits your house it makes a crack. And each crack creates a new chip. Eventually your house is going to fall down. Maybe because you’re out of the energy or resources to repair it.

Satan will do anything to tear your house down. That is his job, and he’s pretty good at it. This happens all the time when you have a relationship with The Lord. It is not easy. You’re not promised a perfect life because you accepted Jesus Christ into your heart. You are promised a perfect Savior and a perfect reward in heaven, though.

So I just want to encourage you to not let your house fall down. Don’t let the small cracks get you down. Don’t cut up your hands trying to fix them. Let The Lord put the pieces back together.

When times get hard, lean on God. When times are easy, lean on Him even more. I know that’s the exact opposite of what you’re probably used to hearing. But don’t only run to Him when you have a problem. Walk with The Lord daily. Thank Him for the beautiful house he has provided for you.

Don’t shun others away because you’re afraid they might break your glass. Allow them in. Let them see the real you. Reflect the Light in a way that is inviting to others.

As Christians, each one of us is called to tell others about Jesus. We don’t need to be stuck in our glass house afraid to step out and reach others. We need to go out and find people that need to hear the Good News.

“You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house.  In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.” Matthew 5:14-16Image

In the past couple of days I have seen something absolutely wonderful on Instagram. There was a challenge going around to post your favorite Bible verse. 1 person would get challenged and then that person would challenge others, and so on. This was possibly one of the best things I have ever seen done. My timeline was not full of lake pictures, selfies, or of Starbucks. It was filled picture after picture with Scripture.

I don’t know how everyone else felt about this, obviously not too bad sense they accepted the challenge. But for me, it was a small glimpse of the love of God on those around me.

Many of them have some shattered house. (You can see in their other posts) They might not be living like they are called to be. But The Lord has a way of watching over His sheep. If someone followed the same people I do, and they haven’t accepted Jesus as their Savior, I hope that challenge touched their heart like it did mine.

That small thing gave me such encouragement. Encouragement not to give up. Not to let the cracks in my house crumble to pieces. It was encouragement to be a light. That one small post, one smile, one hug, one prayer can do wonders.

God is amazing. He hasn’t trapped us in a glass house. We built them ourselves. But with Him as the foundation, it will not fall. No matter how big of a rock is thrown at it. He will keep it standing, so that we might reflect the light of The Lord into other’s lives.

When Life Gives You Lemons

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Everyone knows the ever-so-popular phrase, “When life gives you lemons, you make lemonade.” It’s easy to understand. When something bad happens, make it into something good. It’s encouraging phrase about positivity.

The only thing wrong with that is what if life doesn’t give you lemons? Or what if you don’t like lemonade? Or you’re out of sugar? Because sometimes bad things are just bad things. They suck. Life sucks. Everything sucks. I think everyone can relate to this feeling at some time or another, probably more than once actually.

Sometimes you don’t want lemonade. Sometimes you want chocolate milk. And you definitely cannot make chocolate milk out of lemonade. Image

You might think I’m a pessimist right about now. But think again. I know you can understand what I’m saying. But why am I saying it?

Because I’ve recently experienced and seen first hand the effects of not getting lemons, of running out of sugar, of wanting chocolate milk. And these things look a little something like discouragement, frustration, irritability, fatigue, loneliness, and many more faces.

Life isn’t easy, and no one ever said it would be. It is so easy to get caught up in all the things of this world, though. But why? Because we’re searching for lemonade? What if I told you you didn’t have to search, and there’s something much more thirst-quenching than lemonade?

That something is Jesus.

Jesus came to give you life and life more abundantly. He is there for you in times of despair and times of joy. He came so that we don’t have to search for the lemons to make lemonade. He is the lemonade. Actually he is a million times better than lemonade (and I really like lemonade). He is living water, wanting to flow through you, fill you up, and pour out of you onto others. 

You might be tired. I understand. You might be discouraged. I understand. You might be ready to quit. I completely understand. But you don’t have to, because Jesus also understands. 

“This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin. So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.” Hebrews 4:15-16

I love this verse. Always have. It shows that we are not alone in our struggles. Jesus lived on earth! The Bible states right there that “he faces all of the same testings we do”. So whatever it is you’re going through. Give it to God. He knows just what it’s like to be discouraged, to be lonely, to be frustrated. There is not a problem that you have that God cannot fix. You just have to be willing to boldly approach his throne. That is where you will find grace and mercy and comfort, and healing and peace and love.

Don’t get hung up on the pity problems of this world, because Jesus has overcome this world. He was imprisoned, beaten, hung on a cross, killed, buried, and raised to life three days later as the ultimate sacrifice of love and forgiveness. Wow, isn’t that just awesome? I could talk about it all the time. God loves me enough to sacrifice his own son so that I may live. Wow.

There’s no shot I deserve it, but that’s another awesome thing. It’s free. You don’t have to do anything to deserve the love, forgiveness, and grace of Jesus Christ. It is a free gift. 

I think there was many times when Jesus was handed lemons but he didn’t have a pitcher. Or he was handed collard greens. (ew, who wants collard greens?). But guess what, that didn’t stop him. He probably just ate the lemons straight and planted the seeds. And I bet he gave those collard greens to someone who probably needs ’em more. I’m not saying you should pass on your problems, but there is ALWAYS a solution. Don’t let your problems stop you either. Remember, you always have a friend in Jesus. And he understands what you’re going through and he wants to help you. Give it to him.