Beliefnet
Faith, Media & Culture

Here’s today’s dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture.

Oprah puts the message first. From The New York Times: The cable network OWN, which she started with Discovery Communications, is emerging from low ratings and management shake-ups…With signs of progress at OWN, Ms. Winfrey now has more time to devote to other media platforms — her magazine, her radio channel on XM Satellite Radio, her Facebook page, which has 7.8 million subscribers, her Twitter account, which has nearly 15 million followers, and her latest content channel on The Huffington Post…“I don’t care what the form is,” Ms. Winfrey said with the conviction of a preacher. “I care about what the message is.”…“Ultimately, you have to make money because you are a business. I let other people worry about that. I worry about the message. I am always, always, always about holding true to the vision and the message, and when you are true to that, then people respond.”

Comment: I don’t always agree with Oprah’s politics but life is about more than politics.  And, to my mind, she has been one of the more responsible providers of content out there in the media landscape. I  appreciate her consistent overall efforts to utilize her many platforms to present wise and thoughtful messaging that can help and encourage people to live productive and fulfilling lives. A while back, following the final edition of her syndicated  talk show, I blogged about the actual wisdom contained in that landmark program.

Once again, the Top 10 excerpts from what she said:

1. “Everybody has a calling, and your real job in life is to figure out what that is and get about the business of doing it…You have to make a living; I understand that. But you also have to know what sparks the light in you so that you, in your own way, can illuminate the world.”

2. Each one of you has your own platform…Maybe it’s 20 people, maybe it’s 30 people, 40 people, your family, your friends, your neighbors, your classmates, your classroom, your co-workers. Wherever you are, that is your platform, your stage, your circle of influence. That is your talk show, and that is where your power lies. In every way, in every day, you are showing people exactly who you are. You’re letting your life speak for you. And when you do that, you will receive in direct proportion to how you give in whatever platform you have…Start embracing the life that is calling you and use your life to serve the world.””

3. “Nobody but you is responsible for your life. It doesn’t matter what your mama did; it doesn’t matter what your daddy didn’t do. You are responsible for your life. … You are responsible for the energy that you create for yourself, and you’re responsible for the energy that you bring to others.

4. “I would tell you that every single person you will ever meet shares that common desire. They want to know: ‘Do you see me? Do you hear me? Does what I say mean anything to you?…Try it with your children, your husband, your wife, your boss, your friends. Validate them. ‘I see you. I hear you. And what you say matters to me.’”‘

5. “People often ask me, What is the secret of success of the show? How have we lasted 25 years? I nonjokingly say, ‘My team and Jesus.’ Because nothing but the hand of God has made this possible for me. … I know I’ve never been alone, and you haven’t either. And I know that that presence, that flow—some people call it grace—is working in my life at every single turn. And yours too, if you let it in. It’s closer than your breath, and it is yours for the asking.”

6. “I have felt the presence of God my whole life. Even when I didn’t have a name for it, I could feel the voice bigger than myself speaking to me, and all of us have that same voice. Be still and know it. You can acknowledge it or not. You can worship it or not. You can praise it, you can ignore it or you can know it. Know it. It’s always there speaking to you and waiting for you to hear it in every move, in every decision. I wait and I listen. I’m still—I wait and listen for the guidance that’s greater than my meager mind.”

7. “God is love and God is life, and your life is always speaking to you. First in whispers.”

8. “Whispers are always messages, and if you don’t hear the message, the message turns into a problem. And if you don’t handle the problem, the problem turns into a crisis. And if you don’t handle the crisis, disaster. Your life is speaking to you. What is it saying?”

9. “Connect. Embrace. Liberate. Love somebody. Just one person. And then spread that to two. And as many as you can. You’ll see the difference it makes.

10. “Gratitude is the single greatest treasure I will take with me from this experience.”

You can read the entire transcript from Oprah’s final show here.

Encourage one another and build each other up – 1 Thessalonians 5:11

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