Christian Lifestyles 2006

We are on a journey to move closer to the life Jesus taught us about. Each Sunday, we will discuss another small step and hopefully throughout the week, we will all have a chance to join in and continue the discussion until we meet again.

Just a note before you begin. This is in chronological order, so please read from the bottom up and then feel free to comment and join in.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Week 3: The Ultimate Demonic Instrument

Tony stated that children in the inner cities are failing at school because they watch an average of 8 hours of television each day. At the cost of 8 hours a day, the kids are lost. That is 40 hours a week. Hey, that's a fulltime job!

Okay, the kids are lost. What about us? Hmmmm. I get home about 5:00 pm, and camp out in our oh, so comfy reclining sofa until bedtime. Sometimes I peel myself away to attend an Adult Ministry committee meeting and there is praise team rehearsals. But still, there are a lot of opportunities to gain back time from watching television.

Of course, I need some "downtime." I need to relax after the stresses of driving to work, working (having lunch), and driving home.

I don't' watch that much TV. Of course, I have to watch 24 because it is a true action adventure show that is an "edge of the seat" experience. But that is only one hour a week. Except when they have the special two-hour episodes. Those great young singers on American Idol are to be admired for their talent and to watch the growth that each who survive make. Speaking of survivors, that only takes an hour....

The Parenting 101 class we had at the beginning of the church year called the media- and TV especially- the Dark Star (that's kind of Star Wars-ish. Finally a movie tie-in, John). This Dark Star's gravitational pull (or force field) keeps us from following our true direction (our Christian values and lifestyle), the North Star. It seems like a good analogy, to me.

Remember what the woman on the video said, "If we weren't present to any "reality," the next day, we have no past." If we did not experience life (because we are sitting around theTV campfire), we would never be able to know what is was like.

The Amish don't bring electricity-and television- and the telephone into their homes. The Amish bishop said that, "It changes the rhythm of life." You don't sleep when you should, you don't wake up when you should.

The telephone always rings at the worse moment- when you and someone in your family is having an important discussion. Even if we don't answer it, the loud ring and its sudden intrusion interrupts any rapport that was built during the course of conversation.

[Why do we answer it automatically? The answering machine can screen the call, caller ID can let us know if it is a call from Grandma, yet we stop everything to pick up the call and be mad because the State Trooper Association needs more money. Don't even get me started on cellphones!]

The accoutrements of our culture change our life. Thank you, Mister Demonic Instrument. Life is changed. No one talks to each other anymore.

When we watch TV, how much communication occurs at your house. "Quiet, this is the good part." "Can you believe he did that?" "Who do you think will survive to the next round."

Are these the conversations we should be having as a family. Once we retrieve our lives, then we can add back our time for God. I think that is what Tony is trying for us to see.

He has questions for us:

  • What do you not have time for that you want to add. What will you drop to allow time for the addition?
  • How much discretionary time do you have? If you had more, who besides you would benefit?
Final thought: Tony mentions that a man wanted to follow Jesus, but asked for some time to go home to finish some business. Jesus said that the man didn't have time for that; he should drop everything and follow Jesus.

If we are saying we want to follow Jesus, what will we have time to do?

Comments, please.

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