Tuesday, September 22, 2009

For Sure

As I sat in the medical waiting area with my daughter Alex earlier this week and flipped through a copy of Oprah Winfrey’s magazine, I came upon a delightful interview with 30-Rock star and former Saturday Night Live fixture Tina Fey. The last question Oprah asked Ms. Fey was, “What do you know for sure?”

That’s a good question! Here are a few things I know for sure:

* I know for sure that Houston Texans coach Gary Kubiak is the real deal; his players respect, like and want to win for him. In a recent Wall Street Journal interview, former Indianapolis coach Tony Dungy said (I paraphrase), “The Texans are a team people should be talking about. They are doing things right. Every time we played them, they were better than the last time.”

* I know for sure that I would like for people to say about me, “Every time I encountered him he was a better man than the last time.”

* I know for sure that a good spouse is one of life’s greatest blessings.

* I know for sure that after months of drought, a steady and gentle rain is almost magical.

* I know for sure that there is a huge difference between coming home to an empty house and coming home to a house with a dog.

* I know for sure that when dozens of ladies every Thursday morning walk purposefully into our building for Ladies Bible study, and leave ninety minutes later smiling and chatting with one another, that is a good indicator of the church’s health, and it makes me smile every week.

* I know for sure that the more we ask the government to do for us the less we will take responsibility for doing for ourselves; it is just human nature.

* I know for sure that this is one of life’s ironies: friends of mine who are between jobs are desperately restless and want to be busy; friends of mine who have jobs are desperately busy and want to rest; and it is very hard in life ever to achieve balance between these two poles.

* I know for sure that when I am sitting in a medical waiting room and flipping through a magazine, and a man sits down across from me and starts to witness to me about Jesus, that conversation will be a lot more interesting than anything I am reading in the magazine.

* I know for sure that Jesus Christ reclaims lives and transforms people. I know this for sure because the man who witnessed to me in the hospital waiting area was a former Aryan Brotherhood leader who spent a quarter-century in a federal penitentiary for heinous crimes he declined to detail out of respect for my daughter, and who was supposed to serve his remaining years in a Texas prison except for a legal glitch that allowed him to go free, and having become a Christ-follower, now runs a Christian camp for troubled adolescents who need the kind of tough-but-gentle love and masculine guidance he never got as a kid, and who is so filled with gratitude to Jesus that when he comes to the hospital every two weeks for his hepatitis treatments, he engages whomever he is sitting near in a spiritual conversation that gives him an opportunity to tell others about what God has done for him.

* I know for sure that I want to be more like that man.


Blogger Jay said...

I've noticed people talking about an interview with Tina Fey in Oprah Magazine and I've come across your blog because I'm looking for the source of this interview. My first reaction upon hearing these quotes was one of complete disbelief. The language used does not in any way sound like something that would come out of the mouth of a far left wing person who often makes fun of christianity, like Tina Fey. Upon hearing these quotes, I became highly suspect of them.

I decided to search the internet to find the source of this, what I believed to be, hoax interview. So far I have found only two links that pertain to this interview: your blog (and one or two others who quote you) and the actual interview with Tina Fey on Oprah.com (http://www.oprah.com/article/omagazine/200902_omag_ocut_tina_fey/10).

The interview on Oprah.com also has the question, "What do you know for sure?" and Tina Fey's answer is this:

"I know for sure that you can tell how smart people are by what they laugh at. I know for sure that a hard-boiled egg is two points on Weight Watchers. I know for sure that my kid needs my husband and me to be with her more. And I know for sure that I can't get comfortable with all the attention I've been getting because it won't last forever. It's just a moment—and there will be other moments when people don't care what I'm doing."

Obviously, this is not even close to what you have quoted. So, I have to ask the question, did you actually read this in Oprah's Magazine or did you just quote it from some other source?

9:50 AM  
Blogger Matt Soper said...

You misread the essay. I referred to the interview with Tina Fey in Oprah, which I read while I was sitting in the waiting area of a medical center with my daughter. I then reflected on Oprah's final question in the interview: "What do you know for sure?" The rest of the essay is about things I (Matt) "know for sure." The answers you refer to as being from Tina Fey are indeed the ones she gave in the interview, and they are obviously different from mine. Note the key transitional line in the essay, "Here are a few things I (i.e., Matt) know for sure."

Thanks for reading my blog though!

10:32 AM  
Blogger Jay said...

I did misread it. My apologies.

Here's what happened to me: I was in church on Sunday morning and the minister was talking about reading an article in Oprah's magazine and he said all of the things you just said claiming that they were the words of Tina Fey.

I even asked him about it after the sermon and he said that she indeed had said that. So... it looks like he found your blog and just quoted you while saying, incorrectly, that he had read it in the magazine himself.

Ahhh this kind of stuff saddens me.

It saddens me that a Church of Christ minister (not you, the one at my church) would make up a story about reading something in a magazine when in reality he just misread a blog and decided to quote it. He even made a joke about being a guy who was reading Oprah's magazine!

It saddens me that the christians who had assembled that Sunday morning are now telling others about what Tina Fey had supposedly said, thereby making us all look like buffoons to those outside the church. It just gives them a reason to ridicule us, and that really bothers me.

I'm pretty familiar with Tina Fey - a politically minded liberal who makes fun of religion quite often - and I knew there was almost no way she had said those things and so I was just looking for the source of this misinformation.

Obviously, you were not quoting her and I thank you for clarifying that.

12:19 PM  
Blogger Matt Soper said...

That's pretty pathetic behavior from your minister and I hope you will talk to him about it. It's one thing to quote from someone else's blog without attribution, but then to make a joke about actually reading the original magazine article!

1:03 PM  
Blogger Jay said...

Yeah, that's what I thought! I may say something to him.

3:35 PM  

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