Tag Archives: abundant living

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?


Reinforce Life-Givers: Refocus Challenge Week 4

reinforce life giversIn the last 6 months, I’ve had a reoccurring conversation with different people. We all seem to be wondering the same thing: What makes me come alive? What activities draw out joy, pleasure, and fulfillment in my heart? What gives me a boost to be more like me in a way that makes God and me smile together?

Often, we don’t know the answer off the top of our heads. We are caught in the current of to-do lists, job expectations, personal goals, and managing seasonal changes. New moms, college students, and empty-nesters alike have all forgotten what it means to play in their own unique way.

In this season of refocus, I am desperately seeking to know Jesus more intimately, and allow Him to shape my thoughts, behaviors, and attitudes about myself and the world around me. I am convinced He didn’t just die for my sins, but He rose that I might experience joy!

When we build on our identity in Christ with a strong relationship with God, we can use that as a launching pad to be all that God has called us to be. That includes the fun-loving, carefree, at ease versions of ourselves!

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. John 10:10

God has provided abundant, unique blessings that help each of us enjoy life. With a little bit of intentionality, we can rediscover and reinforce these life-givers. Here are 2 steps to start the process:

Step 1: Make a Life-Givers List. This is like a bucket-list for your everyday life. Make a list of the activities, people, food, places, environments and topics that help you come alive, feel encouraged, and reinforce your relationship with God. Here are a few from my list:

  • Painting
  • Hammock
  • Proximity to the water (lakes, ponds, rivers, etc.)
  • Playing piano
  • Watching good movies (well written, complex plot, excellent score, no sex scenes, etc.)
  • Ukulele 
  • Quiet time with Jesus and coffee
  • Projects with my mom
  • Candles
  • Cross-cultural ministry
  • Reading light-hearted fiction (I’m currently reading A Princess Bride)
  • Conversations with my pastor’s wife
  • Tea
  • Popcorn
  • Worshipping with Shane
  • Kayak
  • Locally owned coffee shops
  • Hiking
  • Journaling
  • Jazz
  • Giggling with the twins
  • road trips
  • White string-lights over a patio
  • Museums

Step 2: Make a Time-wasters list: What activities, people, environments, and topics tend to drain life, leave you feeling numb, or steal your attention from what matters. My list is:

  • Unfettered social media scrolling
  • Constant snacking after 9pm
  • Women who play the comparison game
  • Talking about dieting
  • Micromanaging my blog
  • “Sleeping in” (but not really sleeping)
  • Netflix binges
  • Driving in town
  • Too much screen time
  • Messy spaces
  • Texting (vs. actual phone calls)

Step 3: Invest your time, money, and to-do-list space on the Life-givers, not the Time-wasters. It won’t be easy. And it wont always work (we have to do our jobs or clean the house even though it might feel draining). Sometimes, we can transform time-wasters into life-givers. I do this by setting a timer for social media, inviting others to join me as I clean, and focusing on enjoying what I eat. With the right mindset, we can reinforce the things God has given to help us enjoy life to the fullest!

So I commend the enjoyment of life, because there is nothing better for a person under the sun than to eat and drink and be glad. Then joy will accompany them in their toil all the days of the life God has given them under the sun. Ecc. 8:15

Lord, reinforce life givers pin it

Thank you for giving us life! Help us to enjoy it, not just “get-through-it.” Because of Jesus’ resurrection, we can see renewed joy in our daily schedules. Holy Spirit, remind us when we get bogged down by everyday joy-thieves, that your power is available to us to reinforce the life-abundant you have planned for us.

In the joyful name of Jesus,


Week 4 Challenge:

  •  Monday: Take inventory of your life givers. Schedule sometime this weekend to enjoy one hour of a specific life-giving activity.
  •  Tuesday: Make a list of your time-wasters. Pick one to address this week (mine is FACEBOOK!).
  •  Wednesday: Clean up your social media tools to optimize your use of them (networking, family keep up, etc.)
  • Thursday-Saturday: Spend some time enjoy your favorite life-giver with a friend, your family, or just by yourself (is that a novel idea for you?).

Check In:

What is your favorite Life-Giver?