Monthly Archives: January 2016

Experiencing the Power of God (A Call to Break the Binge-Watch)

 

binge free challengePower.

I figured out my word for 2016. I thought it was going to be flourish. But as I look back over the last few weeks, I see the word POWER all over the place: my journal, my Spotify playlist, my work-out diary.

This year, I want to tangibly experience Gods power in my life. And I want to see His power impacting the lives around me too:

  • Power over temptations we habitually give in to.
  • Power that ignites faith and rebels against fear.
  • Power to live life to the fullest, instead of just getting by.
  • Power to be bold, speak truth, celebrate hope, and see lives changed because of it.
  • Power over insecurity.
  • Over anxiety.
  • Over depression.
  • And other far-too-common issues that riddle our broken society.
  • Power over self-absorbed tendencies that undermine God’s kingdom-minded priorities.

 

I am convinced that one of the greatest extinguishers of the power of God is binge-watching Netflix.

Or Hulu.

Or Video-games.

Or Facebook, Instagram, IMDB, etc. We know what we binge on. Maybe it’s food, or exercise. Perhaps its sleep.

One way or another, this excess is steadily siphoning out the power of God in and through our lives.

binge free pin

Shane said something the other day that I can’t get out of my mind:
“We spend a lot of time watching movies about people who don’t watch movies.” Hmm…

God has given us brilliant minds, incredible physical capabilities, and the capacity to love and share life with others. His gift of a reconciled relationship with Him begins the flow of His power the heals and energizes, grows and sanctifies, and ultimately provides a whole new life-perspective. Often, when we binge-watch, we put that power on pause. We silence the voice of the Holy Spirit to stay tuned to what happens next to Amy and Rory.

1 Corinthians has 3 things to say about this:

“Everything is permissible for me,” but not everything is helpful. “Everything is permissible for me,” but I will not be brought under the control of anything. 1 Corinthians 6:12
“Everything is permissible,” but not everything is helpful. “Everything is permissible,” but not everything builds up. 1 Corinthians 10:23
If it’s not helpful (in my walk with God, for example), or building up others, then should I be dedicating 4+ hours of my day to it? If it is beginning to take control of my thoughts, impulses, concentration, desires, or time, then I must employ wisdom to deny myself the indulgence.
I am not suggesting a legalistic ceasing of all tv-shows and movies. Like Paul said, “everything is permissible for me.” What I am suggesting is that we all take a 2 week binge-break.
Classes are beginning this week for the students at our local college. For the first 2 weeks, I challenge you (and me and everyone else), to say no to any “loner tv.” This means not watching movies or shows (or playing video games) unless it is used as a community or relationship building event. With all that extra time, you could:
  • Pray for the lost in your sphere of influence
  • Listen to a sermon on podcast
  • Jog off the first week of school tension
  • Host a game night in your dorm and build friendships with someone new
  • Call your mom (your welcome, moms)
  • Clean your room
  • Write a book (instead of a Facebook post)
  • Read a book (before you watch the movie on Netflix)
  • Get ahead on your homework.
  • Reinforcer the life-givers in your world (ideas here)
  • Spend time telling God about your day.
  • Make a to-be list, instead of a to-do list.
  • Rest…. for real. Take a nap or a bath.
  • Embrace the quiet. Learn how to just be with yourself and God.
  • Read your Bible.
And when 2 weeks is up, lets all adopt a healthy and balanced approach to the R&R opportunities in front of us. Sorry Amazon Prime, nothing is really binge-worthy.
Document your progress and connect with others with #bingefreechallenge and #campfiregrace.

Campfire Check-In:

What will you do with your binge-free time?
What is your “word” for 2016?

 

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Weak Way to Enter 2016

It’s not ideal, ringing in the new year with illness. The flu and a common cold has wreaked havoc on our family beginning in the final hours of 2015, holding us back still 2 days into 2016. 

My great expectations to start a new year with strength and momentum failed miserably. 

But I am realizing something profound: sick days are better backdrops for Gods strength and momentum in 2016. 

“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” ‭‭

2 Corinthians‬ ‭12:9‬ ‭NIV‬

Failed resolutions, unmet expectations, have already speckled the landscape of 2016 for all of us who:

  • Indulged in the Christmas cookies we swore off for January
  • Didn’t make it to the gym yet
  • Glanced once more at that image-site we know dishonors God
  • Fell back into gossip
  • Sacrificed another hour to Facebook
  • Have yet to clean out that closet
  • Are still haunted by a dusty goal from 2014

Whether it’s the weather or a sickness or a neglected resolution that has made you feel a failure, allow this weakness to do it’s great work in you. This bent helps us to recognize His greatness, His potential, His faithfulness, His getting-everything-right-EVERY-TIME! He offers this perfection to us in Christ. 

Those of us who have accepted Christ as our Savior get to experience the exchange of our weakness for His Ecxellence in our very identity. And it is when we see our weakness again, it helps us to recognize His greatness, giving us perspective of humility, gratitude, and confidence. 

That’s the SYMOTA I am reaching for this year: His power made perfect in my weakness. 

As a family we ended up spending our sick days reading books, watching movies, and live streaming the Passion Conference. 

 

Rosty Family Worship
 
Instead of getting my house clean for the new year, I watched my toddler son drum his little hands to the beat of songs that magnify Jesus’ power. 

Instead of getting in the work-out I’ve been pining for, I sang and danced alongside the chirps of my 1 year old daughter with the words: FOREVER HE IS GLORIFIED! 

Originally, I had intended to avoid Facebook; but the sick day had me checking “memories” which brought up a picture of us watching the passion conference 1 year ago. God met me in the middle of my weakness, my failure, to draw me to celebrate His strength. I was intent on bitterness, God was intent on being glorified. 

Hallelujah, He is Alive! And because if that, so am I. Happy New Year!

Follow Campfire Grace: its like a smore: you like it, you share it.
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