Friday, June 10, 2016

How Much News Should We Pay Attention To?

Hello Ladies,

We are saturated with sensational news, which overwhelms and causes distress and anxiety.

 The Victorians of the 1800's had the same problem. Women were warned about the harm it would do them if they got into a habit of reading the news, especially if the news was always sensational and bad. One old article I read which was directed to women of the era suggested that they put their minds "to better use."  

The article went on to list things worth reading and learning, including developing knowledge and skills that would benefit them for life and provide help and comfort to their families. Refinement Schools admonished young ladies to better themselves by improving their minds in serious study of things more important than newspapers--often called "rags" because of the rag-paper they were printed on and the questionable reports they printed.

 Of course this warning was interpreted by modernists as being against women, (when it was intended to prevent depression and promote happiness.) Women also knew, even before modern scientific studies, that the mind was the center of emotion which affected their over-all female health. It was thought that a woman's cycle and reproductive system, physical stamina and mental health were greatly affected by her associations, what she read, watched, talked about, etc. The mind is intricately connected to many things in the body.

As guardians of the home, many women took seriously the duty of keeping corrupt conversation and bad influences from the family. 

This may have been one reason they were cautioned about reading news reports.  I think we all know it is true today, too.  The news makes us think life is so unstable that the sun and the earth could collide any day; that the economy is collapsing. *️⃣ (See this symbol, at the end of the post)This makes us unable to concentrate on creating a happy home. 

We cannot be the light of the home to anyone when our minds are clouded over with the latest bad news.  The news affects our emotions, and robs us of a sense of well-being. When that happens, our families feel our nervousness and it affects them in different ways.

Modernists have always despised the Victorians for their so called restrictions, but as our world news  gets crazier, we can see their restrictions more as protections. In many ways, women then were treasured and held in higher esteem than today.  Such attitudes are reflected in the poem by Edgar A. Guest, called "At the Door", reminding men to leave the cruelty and harshness of the world at the door before entering the home; not to bring home any bad news. In those days, people believed that home life should be free from the worries of the world in order to create a haven of rest.  It was considered poor form if a man put pressure or burdens on a woman at home.

It is interesting that Mr. Guest (1888-1959) was a newspaper reporter (from England) whose job it was to find human-interest stories and poems to fill up sections of the newspaper.  He finally decided he could write the poetry and put a positive light on life. He wrote over a hundred poems about the home and family during war time.

At the Door

Edgar Guest

He wiped his shoes before his door,
But ere he entered he did more:
'Twas not enough to cleanse his feet
of dirt they'd gathered in the street;

He stood and dusted off his mind
And left all trace of care behind.
"In here I will not take," said he,
"The stains the day has brought to me.

"Beyond this door shall never go
The burdens that are mine to know;
The day is done, and here I leave
The petty things that vex and grieve;

What clings to me of hate and sin
To them I will not carry in;
Only the good shall go with me
For their devoted eyes to see.

"I will not burden them with cares,
Nor track the home with grim affairs;
I will not at my table sit
With soul unclean, and mind unfit;

Beyond this door I will not take
The outward signs of inward ache;
I will not take a dreary mind
Into this house for them to find."

He wiped his shoes before his door,
But paused to do a little more.
He dusted off the strains of strife,
The mud that's indecent to life,

The blemishes of careless thought,
The traces of the fight he'd fought,
The selfish humors and the mean,
And when he entered he was clean.

Now let us take a look at some of the early newspapers in the west. One historical record about newspapers in the Victorian era claimed they were not considered very respectable and in fact were originally called "yellow journals" because the subject matter was so sordid and not fit for healthy, intelligent minds.   Often the reports were exaggerated in a sensational way in order to keep people buying the papers to keep abreast with an ongoing event.  You can read more about that here:

News reports keep people in a constant state of anxiety, and like the yellow journalism of the past, not everything they report can be proven. Some reports, even from conservative news media, are designed to get a desired response from people.  When you read or hear a  broadcast, think for a moment what it makes you feel like doing.  Does it make you want to live a life of praise, or does it make you feel despair? Does listening to the news make you feel like cleaning house, sewing a dress, styling your hair, reading a good book, doing something creative?    Notice which companies provide advertisements to support the news, and notice  what they are hoping you will buy.  The news is not free. While it creates fear and anxiety, it may also be selling you a cure from its advertisers.

When you understand the agenda of news reports, you can stop trusting in them and your anxiety may lessen. We know the Bible teaches that Christians should not be anxious all the time, especially about things they can never solve or never control. Of course, if you are doing something wrong in God's sight and not doing His will according to His Word,  then, you will not have peace of mind. That is a legitimate thing to bite your nails over.   It is the important to take care of what you can personally take care of, and let God take care of the rest of the world. Most of us can take care of ourselves but are powerless to take care of the rest of the world.

The news never helps me get my kitchen cleaned or a meal prepared.

The Gospel of Christ is the good news; the national news media dispenses the bad news. While the good news is free and has good side effects, the bad news is costly in many ways. Think about how you would choose your food. Would you knowingly eat or drink anything that would give you food poisoning?  Of course not. You would prepare the best for your family, and yet, we do not always treat the mind as carefully.

Today, just as in Victorian times, we are in a battle for the mind. Why does the New Testament command to put on "the whole armour of God" including the "helmet" of salvation? It is because in battle, a helmet protects the head.  If the enemy can injure the head, the rest of the body will not be able to work very well. 

If we allow our minds to be debilitated by all the yellow-journal, rag-reporting, we will give up our creativity and our ambition.  With your mind weakened by the news, you can be controlled by the power of pessimism, rather than the holy spirit of the Bible. To overcome such an addiction, we need to substitute a "yes" for a "no" by using news time in different ways. Let it be filled with creativity and achievement. List the things you   need to do and would like to do, and pay yourself for not listenning to so much bad news by enjoying some of those other things and living positively. 

Most of us have a dozen unfinished creative projects or are behind in hospitality, are behind on our   Bible study and other reading, correspondence, and leisure activities-- all these can be substituted for the news habit.  If you have children, you need to know how short a time you have to give them " a happy, carefree childhood, free from worry and heavy responsibility." They should not get a steady diet of bad news or have to worry about constant disaster.

We ladies especially need to have clear minds, free from the news propaganda, if our husbands and sons are being innundated with it in their work.

You can finish all those projects you have stashed away in  boxes under the bed, or, make a newsy letter about your own life and illustrate it with your own doodles.  It is more important than what comes over the wire from API, UPI, ABC, and all the other "alphabet channels."  (One wonders why there are so many news channels when the news on each one of them is the same. They are not in competition as much as in sync to discourage everyone.)

I can understand why our Parents, even in the 1950's when education was already quite liberal,  monitored our reading material. In those days, our Dad's were very particular about even the comic books we read. They knew the influence of reading for good or for ill.  In those days, people would pass boxes of used books and magazines on to other people and they would read them and then pass them on again to another house.

 Our parents sorted through the books and sometimes threw some of the magazines and comic books in the fire if they deemed them inapporopriate or if they contained religious error or false teachings.  Stories that were "scary" caused nightmares and mental distress, and other reading materials might be banned just for being banal or too foolish or beneath our intelligence. Our Mothers and Fathers were really something in those days, were they not? They knew how important their minds were. I know they listened to the news but the women did not seem to be as personally disturbed by it as women are today.

Getting back to the subject of how much news we can take, the Bible says to love God with all your heart, MIND and soul.  Many Christians have no trouble giving the Lord their hearts or their souls, because that sounds so spiritual, but the mind seems more important, intelligent; educational.  We often put the mind above the heart and the soul.The mind, however, has to be taken care of, cleansed and rested and given proper "nutrients."   The mind has to be guided with good reading, learning and thoughts because it guides the heart and the soul. 

We need to guard our minds and our hearts so that we can be fit for our own business: our homes and families. It is very hard to create a happy home when your mind is worried about the news.  If you are in the habit of worrying about the news, you may wake up one day and realize your children never knew you as a happy and confident, stable-minded mother.  Count how many years of your married life or your child's life that you were in a state of apprehension over the news.

The Bible is the good news. Reading it gives health and life and balance to the mind.  Popular news is the bad news most of the time and a diet of it can create depression. 

Life is like a vacation that ends too soon.  It is just too short to waste time on the always-changing news that will re-play bad memories in your mind. Why not read and listen to God's words that are the same yesterday, today and forever, and  have sweet dreams and pleasant thoughts, free from this world's anxiety? 

There is so little time to learn and do all the positive things there is to do. There are courses to take and books to read, things to finish -- there is not enough time to do everything you may dream of doing at home.  The news may slow you down and defeat your plans. 

The news wants you to be addicted to it because it is designed to make you respond in a certain way by protesting something, paying for something, praying for something, etc. It wants you to have its subjects on your mind all the time. The news chooses the subjects for you to think about all day, but if you read God's Word and other pleasant and useful books, or engage in useful study of some skill, you will have something that really feeds your mind with health and life.

Think how different it would be for your mind and ultimately the way you live, if the Bible was your news. If you had Philippians 4:8 running through your mind instead of news, and if you substituted prayer for news (or thoughts of news) you would have a different perspective on life.

ro 16:24  Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones.

Pro 4:22  For they (My Words) are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh

Pro 12:18  There is that speaketh like the piercings of a sword: but the tongue of the wise is health.

Sometimes the news is more filthy in subject matter than the soaps or movies, but because it promotes itself as knowledge, it appeals more to the minds of people who admire intellect.  The news is not necessary to life and godliness, and you do not get any credit in the end from faithfully reading or listening   to it. However, you will store up treasure in heaven  when you put the Word of God in your mind. Why not dwell on one of these verses or find one you like, and begin to build up that treasure which give you so much more today and in later years.

How much news should we pay attention to?  We may benefit from knowing what is happening in our own town, so the local paper can keep us informed. These things may have a direct effect on us and it helps to keep abreast of local events that to participate in.  Local news is more easily verified for accuracy.  There are some people who can take any kind of horrible news and it doesn't bother them a bit, but if you are depressed by it, it is not a good idea to include too much of it in your intellectual diet.

*️⃣ It is always reassuring to see the farm trucks loaded with produce driving on the country roads and highways, and the mail-truck delivering mail (including the bills) to the mail box at the end of our little road, as though they are not paying any attention to the news reports of doom and gloom. Apparently, business people expect to have a functional day. As Christians we need to trust that the Lord is active in our lives and that He expects us to do the work and live the role He has given us.

Please do not forget to read this. It shows how two newspaper competitors created yellow journalism, a plague that is still with us today.

Ps.  i am very interested in elections and government. I just do not believe the media is honest about it. We have to get information elsewhere.


Anonymous said...

So true Lady Lydia.

Our news in Australia is filled with terrible atrocities, tragedies and crimes that have occurred locally and around the world that day. Then they add in political propaganda and lies which would frustrate me no end. The news would end with sport and weather, and a little feel good story to try to balance out the rubbish that's been delivered into our minds and homes.

Avoiding this daily dose of highly negative and depressing stories has been wonderful for me and my family. I am so glad that we stopped.

Sincerely, Mara.

Lydia said...

You will not miss anything when you stop with the news. Someone will always tell you or you will find out some other way. I have a lot of fun wondering who is going to be the first to phone me and tell me who the president is, because they know I wont pay any attention to the news.

Laura Spilde said...

I feel I must block the name 'hilary clinton' shun it from being printed across my internet screen. She does not seek the love of christ, so it essentially is not valuable information to hear information about such wear abouts. Such women who promote planned parenthood, are essentially blind to their own internal ill wills about true love for humanity. Yes, I know midwives knew various herbs even back in the time of english and early immigrant settlement. The native american women were not unwise.

Mrs. White said...

You have done an excellent job describing this in great detail. I have mostly avoided the news as much as possible - particularly 24 hour a day news as bad for our minds. But your description is even more thorough and helpful that I even imagined. What a peaceful and pleasant way to explain what can disturb the mind! You have also offered wonderful alternatives! Thank you!

Mrs. White said...

Lydia, I also get phone calls from others telling me some news story. I am also looking forward to getting a phone call to tell me who is the president! You are so right. We won't miss anything that is important by not watching or reading the news!

Laura Santos said...

Thank you for this. I have been depressed lately with the world and my kids in it...asking Jesus why he would pray for us to not be taken out of it. I feel I have some direction find joy again.

deborah harvey said...

over 20 yrs. ago had cancer.
have mostly avoided the news since then as every time i saw or read it i became so ill and depressed.
when i see it, very rarely, what sticks out is the twisting and propaganda and the dwelling on garbage--'celebrities' and whom they are fornicating with.
better for peace of mind to avoid most of it. and peace of bodily health.
last election i asked someone who was president. he said 'of what?'! i said 'of usa'.
that is how i found out who 'won'.
God save us and our nation.

Lydia said...

I always like seeing Australians waking up in the morning on their side of the world. They are often the first to comment after I publish a post in the evening here.

There are so many things God has provided for us to enjoy, And we can have a lot of alternatives the monopoly of the news. People don't become artiists, inventors, city planners, architects, fashion designers, or raise good children based on news. Ladies at home are in charge of the mind, and the mind shoukd not be wasted.

There are a lot of things we can do that are lovely, to get the news out of our heads. The media is a big mind control machine. It says jump amd we all jump. We need to be wise and discern just how much of it is necessary or true. Teach your children how to analyze it and see what is missing or added....remember the old who, what, when, where, why and how much. Moat of the time these days you cannot even trace the stories to anything for real, and sometimes they leave out entire stories we need ro know.

Lydia said...

You can tell i am not good at hitting the tiny keys in ipad and ipone when ai comment. 😒

Joyce Ackley said...

I don't have a family at home who is affected by my moods or state of mind. However, I am very sensitive to some of the news stories and find myself greatly stressed or troubled by them. I can't get the images out of my head, and it's depressing. I am selective in what I read in the papers or online and I'm careful about watching the news on tv.

I am greatly distressed, as many are, about the candidates running for president this year. It's frightening, to say the least. However, as a citizen of this great nation of ours, I am interested in the outcome of the election. As slanted, biased, and untruthful as many of the news reports are, I will continue to do as good of a job as I can in making an informed decision about whom to vote for. I will pray for wisdom in this process.

Lydia said...

The news has some of the characteristics described in this passage and other verses like it, that says men will captivate the minds of silly women, subverting whole households with their talk thst spreads like gangrene: subversion means to undermine the foundation of something to take Away the power of what it supports. Think of that in regards to the news and the home.

News reports contain a lot of these items:

2Ti 3:2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,
2Ti 3:3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,
2Ti 3:4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;
2Ti 3:5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.

2Ti 3:6 For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts,

2Ti 3:7 Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.
2Ti 3:8 Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith.
2Ti 3:9 But they shall proceed no further: for their folly shall be manifest unto all men, as theirs also was.

Susan Maly said...

Coincidentally, these very issues have been plaguing me for a long time.
After being an information junky for awhile, I became "paralyzed" somewhat. I couldn't get enough of the terrible news. I wasted hours reading my favorite news
sites and blogs trying to "educate" myself. I found that the more I learned, the more I became depressed and my household suffered for it. One day, I became so angry at myself that I deleted the links to those sites so as to not be tempted to
go to them. By God's grace I garnered the strength to do something. The remedies have been to pray more, and focus on my family and what I can do to invoke change in my life.

Thank you Lydia for this site and for LAF. I found the latter years ago, and it was
inspirational for me, by helping me get in touch with my womanhood and femininity. How humiliating to have to say such things as a woman. But it is true. I recently returned to LAF and your blog to help me get back on track, and to reinforce what is
important in life. Your pages are still beautiful and the advice and direction calm but direct. You and I are probably about the same age, but I "see" your direction as a daughter learning from her loving wise mother. Thank you!

Anonymous said...

How blessed I am to read your blog. You have been available to so many year in and year out. Your encouragement and stability give many strength. Please keep reminding us of these truths Lydia. You are blessing many more folks than you realize and I appreciate the effort it takes to do what you are doing. I hope you will also post a lot more videos as I enjoy watching them and feel comforted by your voice and gentle encouragement and instruction.

A grateful sister in Christ

Curmudgeon said...

I came here from Adrienne's Corner. She had the most wonderful things to say about you and from what I've read in your post here I must agree with her.

Thank you for the breath of fresh air and for expressing "the breathings of your heart."

All the best to you.

Mrs. Christopher Daniels said...

The comment above by Susan is so sweet! How blessed you are to receive such words. To God be the Glory! Hey I live that you are beginning to embrace the emojis.😍😄 I feel like my bad news habit was what was going wrong in the black community and not so much National news. I've cut back a lot! I stopped in the grocery store by the candles there were pretty inspirational books. It was A collection of scriptures for women bounded in vibrant colors and cut in a wavy pattern that I couldn't resist picking up. After reading a few scriptures I walked away so calm and with a peace that felt wonderful. How much do we miss by not gaining such peace from the words of God? Love ya, bye!

Liz Lynn said...

Thanks for this. I tend to be a bit of a news junkie. I don't watch, but I follow on the internet. It does effect my mood and sense of well being. As I am older and partially disabled I cannot do things as I used to do. I have decided to make more of an effort to get things done. Hopefully I can do better going forward.

ladypinktulip said...

Thank you, great post. We must take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ. The news is such a joy stealer. I do not pay attention to it much at all any more. This weekend I am planning to spend some time doing freezer meals for later, stitching on a table runner I am making and reading Elsie Dinsmore. Kelly T.

trailbee said...

I like and appreciate your blog. I saw you mentioned in Adrienne's Corner and thought I would visit. I am amazed at the work that went into yesterday's post. Incredible. Art is one of my loves, and appreciated the inserts. I am Bookmarking you into my Daily Visits, right after Adrienne, until you become a "second nature" click. :)

Lydia said...

Hello, i tried to comment on her blog but it was too complicated for me and appears to be members only. But, please give her my regards and tell her I like her blog. The presidential election is always something I pay attention too, but what I wish someone woukd write about is how much more important local elections are, i.e. The sherrif, the judges (if you can find them--they arent very open and never have websites telling who they are) attorneys and the magistrates, city council, etc.the decisions regarding the local things can effect us so much more. These are people that can take away property and raid your bank account and arrest you at your door. They are also people who can help you a lot when you are threatened (even by my online trolls) and they are people that you may have more control over.

Aline Law said...

Dear Lydia,
Thank you for posting this.
I simply cannot watch the news without becoming worried and depressed.
I made a decision a while back to avoid it as much as possible and strive to regularly pray to God about troubling things instead. It works :-)
Thank you for being such an encourager!
Aline L.

trailbee said...

Lydia, as to your issue of local elections: When the Constitution was written, there were no political parties, and from what I understand, local elections are supposed to be non-partisan. Up until recently, I had no problem with that, as our population was a little more benign. However, since 2008, it appears that political party choice seems to matter. The Planning Department in my County is attempting to make serious changes to the County Plan. They have been secretive about the changes the Supervisors wish to make, and the proposed changes, I have seen on paper, are most disturbing. Suddenly political party does matter, and it is difficult to find a pre-election Meet and Greet that will introduce ALL candidates so that we can see them and hear what they wish to do in the County. This presents us with a huge problem, because having been elected once to an office, this activity can also be used as a jumping off point for State elections, which are anything but non-partisan. At least in California. But, I agree, local politics are important and interesting.

LogansMom122911 said...

I really enjoy these kinds of words from you. I feel really sad and hopeless when I listen to the news. It just gets me so down. I find myself snapping at my children when I've taken a "dose" of the news. In fact, my iPhone automatically lists these headline stories (all about Clinton and Trump) when I open it and I wish I knew how to remove it all. No matter how many times I delete the "app" it always pops back up. I have considered getting a regular phone (non smart phone) to avoid all the distractions. I've felt this for a long time but no one else seems to agree with me. Even Christians encourage us to keep up with the news so that we can be informed citizens and not "check our minds" at the door of the church. I just can't stand any of it though. Thanks for this sort of encouragement. Love, Jennifer

Tammy said...

Sometimes I am reminded of the verse "It is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret" Eph 5:12 when I am reading the "news", and am convicted to stop reading. I even remember someone referring to some of the celebrity "news" as gossip, which it truly is. This helps me recognize that sometimes reading the "news" is sinful, depending on what it is. And like some of your other readers, I, too, can get depressed reading news, especially from online sources. My husband noticed that in me one time and said he would let me know if there was something important happening so I wouldn't feel like I had to wade through the garbage to be informed. That's true and he does! I do like to read World News magazine when I visit my parents, which gives the news from a godly perspective. Thanks for the helpful article!!

Lollyg said...

After returning from a few happy days on a little vacation with my husband, we ended the day yesterday feeling irritable. Perhaps just tired from travel, but more likely depressed from catching up on a few days of news that we "missed". Also, I realize that even Christian blogs can promote fear and stress. I love your questions to ask oneself. So true that the "news" is like fast food, addicting, and as unhealthy for the mind as the junk food for the body! Thanks so much for these valuable words.

Paulina Babb said...

Lady Lydia,

This was just the article that I needed to read!
Over the past year, I have gotten very wrapped up in the latest news, obsessing over the presidential race and the insane antics of modern feminists. For me, it had become an addiction to get emotional over the latest atrocity in the news. I would get angry over an article or a comment on an article and feel compelled to add my own comment, hoping I could help others see the truth. But although I had good intentions, this obsession was taking up too much of my time, and I was becoming irritated with my husband because he didn't care to keep up with politics and discuss it with me. He actually told me that it was unattractive when I talked about politics! He told me that I should be focusing on my duties at home and the children, instead of worrying over articles that he suspected were unreliable anyway. At first I was angry at him for discouraging me from keeping up with politics, and I was disappointed that he didn't have any interest in it himself. But then I realized that he was right, just like your blog post is right! I was worrying myself over things that I couldn't control, and I was acting quite masculine and aggressive over it.

I was wondering, if you could suggest some wholesome books that ladies should read in their free time, instead of worrying over the news? Perhaps some great literature, feminine books and Christian books that can help us be more godly ladies?

Lydia said...

Also, preachers and churches need to stick to the gospel. Too often churches are persuaded to get political . Then the preachers start repeating news stories and making moral application. There are enough family problems and accounts in the Bible to develop good applicable relevant lessons. One of the things that is very sad is knowing you will get a rehash of the news next lords day on Bible class. So, even when you disagree with the news, the media is happy that conservative talk shows and churches and Christian blogs are talking about THEIR subjects, the ones the media chose to report!


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