Rise Above The Storm

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I love social media almost as much as I hate social media.  It boggles my mind how news outlets are so quick to report what people are tweeting and posting online with social media as if it’s fact.  Who is the person posting?  Are they even qualified to give an informed opinion?  Why should we even care about someone with a staggering 63 followers on Twitter?  Twitter seems to have become the Wikipedia of mainstream news organizations.  I’ll say it loud and clear, “Hey Media, stop giving unqualified and uninformed people a voice!”

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As of this writing, the city of Houston has began to recover from one the worst floods to ever effect the United States but don’t worry, that doesn’t stop the haters from hating online, especially towards Pastor Joel Osteen and the Lakewood Church.  Critics argue that he didn’t open his church doors soon enough.  Pastor Joel has said that his doors have always been open once they deemed the building safe from flooding itself.  People don’t seem to realize from the comfort of their own home that a church isn’t staffed with trained Police officers and emergency responders.  They also don’t realize that you don’t just open a building and let anyone in without supervision, even with supervision, it was a mess in the Superdome during hurricane Katrina.  People online are upset because the church staff didn’t rush down to open the doors, but instead made sure that their families and belongings were ok.  The staff of Lakewood was under the threat of the storm just like everyone else in the Houston area.

Various media outlets reporting on this story included Twitter screenshots with the report.  Since when has a random persons tweet or Facebook post become important enough to be reported as news?  I’m not saying that all tweets are not news, because a lot of it is, but some random, uninformed person is not news.  Back in the day if you had a problem with someone, you really had to take an effort to get the word out, now you can do in 3 seconds and move on and really never be held accountable on whether it was true or not.

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Hey, I believe in free speech and the right for people to have an opinion, whether it is informed or uninformed.  I just wish that the media wouldn’t keep giving these tweets a voice.  Get the person on the phone, challenge them, ask them how they got their information and the logic behind the criticism.  But no, it’s easier to search for the #hashtag for the exact quote that they want for the exciting story and go with it.

Just know that whatever you set out in life to do, you will always have the critics.  The critics will usually be those shooting you down from a distance.  I can’t think of a critic that has given hope to a hopeless situation.  To succeed in life, you have to outlast the critics.  You have to stay true to your calling and mission, not letting others pull you off track.  

I’m thankful for people like Joel Osteen who refuses to drop to the critics level and to not allow himself to be bullied by these, well, bullies, and to keep on doing what Lakewood has been doing for over 60 years, and that is helping and giving hope to people in need.  People will always be critical of those actually getting the job done.  Don’t let it stop you.  Ignore the critics, don’t drop to their level, and get the job done!

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If you want to help people in Houston, go to our site, www.arise.church/giving and choose Hope For Texas.  We as a church are giving to Convoy of Hope as they are actively distributing food and supplies to those in need.