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FIRST-PERSON: Wishful thinking & real hope

McMINNVILLE, Ore. (BP)–I like the concept of “new.” For me, the idea of “new” is full of excitement and possibility. Thus, when presented with something new, I am always hopeful. While “new” is not always better, “new” at the very least is full of promise. For me, hope always plays follow-the-leader with “new.”

As we stand on the threshold of a new year, I am anxious to see what the next 12 months will produce. Some people try to predict what might transpire in each coming year. While I am not fool enough to attempt any prognosticating, I don’t mind sharing what I hope might come to pass in 2004.

In no particular order, I hope that:

— Pop-singers actually have to possess talent to become popular. Currently they only have to behave lewdly while wearing very little clothing.

— The current hip-hugging, belly-baring fashion trend would disappear and that piercings and tattoos would follow suit.

— The public at large would get excited about reality, rather than “reality” television. Come on people, get a life! That also goes for those who spend way too much time “in” Internet chat rooms and posting on forums.

— Rap music would be seen as oxymoronic and cease to be popular. Mother Goose could rhyme and made more sense.

— Hollywood would make more decent family movies that are not about cartoon fish. I’m not knocking cartoon fish, but how about a few more movies about people who live inspiring lives?

— Mel Gibson’s movie, “Passion,” is a box office blockbuster. I look forward to the public being treated to an accurate portrayal of Jesus.

— NBA star LeBron James turns out to be as good a person off the basketball court as he is a player on it. He is going to influence a lot of kids. I hope he does so in a positive manner.

— The federal judiciary would interpret the U.S. Constitution as to its original intent. It was meant to be the anchor of our society, not a swimming pool floaty.

— The economy continues to improve. And not just so President Bush will be re-elected. It is simply right to desire economic opportunity for everyone. When the economy is bad, average Americans feel it most. I live in Oregon and know all about bad economies.

— Homosexual activists would get a clue. The only sure way to stop the spread of AIDS, syphilis, etc. is to stop having unbridled, unnatural sex.

— Among teens, abstinence until marriage would become cool. Pregnancy and STDs are not possible if you are not having sex.

— Abortion clinics would go out of business for lack of clientele. A life is a terrible thing to throw away.

— Integrity would be the by-word in political campaigns. How refreshing it would be to have politicians simply state what they believe and where they stand on any given issue.

— Gambling in all of its shapes, forms and fashions would be seen for the sham that it is. You might as well flush your money down the toilet as to buy a lottery ticket or play a slot machine.

— Pornography’s rotten reality of objectifying women and degrading God’s gift of sex would be realized and rejected. Animals exercise more discretion than most porn stars.

My greatest hope for the coming year is that many around the world would find new life in Jesus Christ and, as a result, meaningful hope.

Most of the “hopes” that I have listed above are nothing more than a lot of wishful thinking, some would even say fantasies. However, Jesus Christ offers a real hope that does not fade with the passing in time. In fact, the hope found in Christ becomes more profound with each passing day. With that thought in mind, I wish you a most hopeful New Year!
Kelly Boggs’ column appears each Friday in Baptist Press. He is pastor of Valley Baptist Church in McMinnville, Ore., and chairman of the Northwest Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Committee.

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  • Kelly Boggs