Thursday, October 18, 2007

Up For A Challenge?

One of the things Freedom's Call is doing right now, is memorizing Romans 12. Now, we aren't on any sort of time table, we have just committed to hide this passage in our hearts. I did really well the first week or so spending 5-10 minutes in the morning and 5-10 minutes in the afternoon on this passage. I struggle with memory work, so I was asking God to make this happen. I felt and still feel that when I put forth the effort, He will bless that. Lately though I find that it has been harder for me to dive in and spend the concentrated time I need to on this.

In between ironing and folding laundry this afternoon, I picked up my Bible and looked at this passage again. Just reading through it from verse 1 down to verse 21. When I got done, I went back to verse 2. Oh how it stirred something in me.

Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world. But be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is. His good, pleasing and perfect will.

Verse 1 reminds us that we are to present our bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God. I don't really know how to start this post without sounding preachy, or judgemental. So I'm praying that you will understand, as much as possible through the interweb, :) my tone.

God has really put on my heart that I need to be very aware of what I allow myself to watch on t.v. I'm really pretty strict with the girls, but probably not as strict with myself.

Several years ago when I was just beginning to do Tuesday morning Bible Study with a group of ladies in Chattanooga, I asked God to show me where I had time to spend 45 minutes each day doing my homework. Immediately, He said 12:30 - 1:30.

I said surely you don't expect me to get up in the middle of the night to do Bible Study 5 days a week!!

God said "P.M."

I trembled. Didn't He know that I lived for this hour. Chloe napped during this time and I folded laundry while I watched "The Young and the Restless". This can not be. Niki and Victor were the highlight of my afternoon.

I agreed, because I didn't want my homework to be imcomplete. Yes, I'm one of those. Every question must have an answer and every outline completed. You have no idea how freeing it was for me when we moved to Dacula and discovered that our pastor here doesn't print study guides for his sermons. Anyway.......

I would love to tell you that one day was all it took, but it wasn't. Each time I would choose Y & R over Bible study, God would interrupt. I am not kidding. One time the power went out, another time Chloe woke up running a fever. Then there was the time I flipped it on only to find March Madness. Which for me is just as tempting, but do you see where I'm going here.......

The times that I left that t.v. off, God spoke. It was life changing. Chloe napped the entire time and somehow, God multiplied my time and I got everything done. Our days were better, much better.

I was visiting my grandparents one afternoon about a year later and Y & R came on. My mamaw is a die hard fan. I was shocked at what I saw. It was as if, God had given me new eyes, and I felt so sick. I had allowed that story into my home, but more importantly into my mind and heart.

As I loaded Chloe into her little carseat to go home, it was all I could do to hold back the tears. I had lost time with Him and that grieved my heart. God gave me this verse that sits in a frame next to our DVR box.

Psalm 101:3 I will set before my eyes, no vile thing.

Today, God reminded me of that time. I don't watch a whole lot of t.v. now unless it's H.G.T.V or Food Network. (or Survivor and that gets to me at times.) I just feel like there is so much on that goes against Phil. 4:8 Whatever is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, whatever is excellent or praiseworthy, think about these things. We become what we expose ourselves to, I want to be Phil. 4:8, I long for my daughters to be Phil.4:8.

This is an on-going battle for me because it's so easy to just flip on the t.v. and veg out. But God tells us on down in Phil.4 that :

I can do everything through Him who gives me strength.

I'm asking God to give me the strength to keep the t.v. off when what I want to watch doesn't line up with Phil. 4:8. I know and believe He will because the word says :

And My God will meet all your needs... Phil.4:19

I need more of Him! I'm believing God to knock my socks off. Something t.v. just can't do! (Unless of course you're watching Wednesday's With Beth on Life Today! God is all over that 1/2 hour of television!)

My friend Angela says it best to her college age girls. "You can't leave church, go home and watch Desperate Housewives and expect God to bless that!" It just doesn't line up with the word of God.

I'm challenging myself to keep a t.v. journal for the next 5 days. I'm going to write down every show I watch. Then I'm going to ask the Lord to show me if there is anything I need to stop watching. So I challenge you to do the same. Let's just see what God has to say to us.

I love you ladies, you are precious to me!!


jenmom said...

AMEN and AMEN!!!! I just love how your heart is tuned into God and how God speaks through you. I went through this same "test" some months ago. I love Lifetime television or I used to. I still watch the occasional show on there because I love the true stories and such, but I'm much more selective about what I watch. We use to have Lifetime Network, which plays the movies around the clock. Man did I think that was paradise. Or so I thought until I started to be convicted to what those movies were doing to my thought life. Ouch!!!! I now use my little guy's nap time to do my homework for a bible study group I attend on Thursday mornings. My time alone with God is so precious!!!! I could count on one hand the number of Lifetime movies I've watched in the past 6 months! Glory!! The desire is hardly there. As a stay-at-home mom time is a precious commodity and I choose to use mine with my Father!!!!!!!!
By the way, I think I'll begin memorizing Romans 12 with you and Freedom's Call!!! You can help keep me accountable! Love you girl!!

Kathy at Sumballo said...

Stephanie, this really touched me. How easily we let something like TV distract us from God's presence. You are sharing a powerful insight here. Thanks!

Angela @ Refresh My Soul Blog said...

I just LOVE your post girl! Tony and I were just talking about turning the tv off for the month of October! It could start a whole new habit!

I love your memorizing Rom 12. God has really put Ephesians 5 on my heart to memorize. I have been working on that. It lines up with Rom 12 though-both address the Lord's will. Maybe I will tackle that one next.

Thanks too for that quote! Atleast there is one person out there who agrees with me!

Much love my friend,

Abby said...

we were just talking about this sort of thing in my bible study the other and another girl have both struggled with image issues and whatnot and we were talking about how we love to watch things like america's next top model and dallas cowboy cheerleaders...yet so often we become so "into it" that we start striving for their standard of image and beauty, and not the Lords. sometimes it stinks to cut out things like that but wow are the rewards great.

The Small Scribbler said...

I've fought this battle. It was Friends about 10 years ago. Now we have movie nights on Friday night. I think tonight we're watching Herbie Goes Bananas. No commercials. None of today's reality shows. I am definately out of the loop as far as pop culture goes but I don't think I'm missing much. Most of today's TV shocks me. Hey, did you know you sleep better if you don't watch tv (or sit at the computer. sigh.) right before you go to bed.

Anyway. This is a post that needs some publicity. I am often surprised by what Christians are comfortable watching.



darla said...

The Lord took TV away from me about 6 years ago, and now and then I watch again, but it is a new set of eyes that are watching, and soon it hurts my heart that I could want that instead of HIM. Its the whole human thing that we your memorizing..girlfriend-index cards! Take it with you everytime you have to sit, pull it out..thats what I do. I am memorizing Romans 8 so if we keep going between the two of us we will have Romans covered! Love ya, and love the middle of the night lessons with the Lord, HE always pulls it all together!

Heather C said...

Thanks for the testimony! Isn't it amazing how the Lord speaks to us, and if we fail to listen (or obey) often orchestrates circumstances in a gentle rebuke? I loved your application and reflection of the scriptures... I'll be back often to read! God bless you!


Jackie said...

thanks for this, sometimes TV tends to take over even when we don't realize it. we need to keep HIM first ALWAYS...and we have a rule around here, on the weekends the tv is OFF as long as sara is awake- that way we get some good family time in!!

The Preacher's Wife said...

I am so with you on the TV Stuff....I go bonkers when I hear my Christian girlfriends mention Desp. Housewives and Grey's Anatomy as their favorite shows!! Are you kidding me?

But then I have to remember the sin in my own life that would cause them to think the same about me which is why Romans 12 is such constant passage for me. I've also been trying to memorize it when I walk in the mornings so I'm so glad I ran across you doing the same thing!

I loved reading about your group and know God will give you many opportunities for ministry..:)


Anonymous said...

Love this blog! Very well said. I really struggle with TV. A little less than a year ago God told me not to watch Grey's Anatomy. I know that sounds silly, but hear me out :-). I obeyed, but not with a happy heart. It was a show Tim and I loved to watch and the only one we liked to watch together. Most of my favorite shows are Divine Design or Everyday Italian :-). Anyway, the Lord really got me thinking about what I am filtering through my home. He was allowing me to really think about how I was becoming numb to the sinful things on TV and eventually that will lead to conforming to worldly things. I still struggle with this issue, but when I watch shows now they are with new eyes and a lot of times are because the 9TH GRADE girls in my Sunday School class are watching them. It's pretty sad to see the people that they "BOW DOWN TO".