Not Watching American Idol.

Our family is going to be participating in what many in America consider to be a horrible thing  –The National TV Turn Off Week. 

The bigscreen will finally be put in the repair shop (blue tube is going out).  The, yes — count them….4 (!) other televisions will be unplugged and laid to rest for the whole week…..it will be just HORRIBLE!!!  🙂   

We are doing this to be a part of the family emphasis that someone (?) started some time ago.  I don’t really know the history of it all, but National TV Turnoff Week has been going on for many years now.   

Why would I put our family through such an “awful” thing?….because I do agree that television watching takes the place of a lot of family time and other things that should be priority.  Families in America are so dictated by their schedules that we miss out on the regular sharing of our lives together.  I read stories about how the family used to sit down and read their bible together, have regular devotions, share time, and pray together.  Honestly, we have always struggled with this in our family.  Try as we might, it seems like we continually have a conflict that prevents us from making family devotions a regular part of our week.  However, this week, we are going to unplug the tube, and do what we can to make our time together count. 

I have already begun reading “Where the Red Fern Grows” to the boys tonight.  This timeless story still brings tears to my eyes, and I think they will love to hear it.  (and …we have promised to rent the movie to show them at the end of the book reading…  ha ha — next week, of course!!) 

Another priority I will focus on this week will be to read more of my bible.  As part of a wonderful 17 member e:mail accountability group, I issued a challenge for us all to find extra ways to utilize this week to do some catch up reading.  After brainstorming, the list of examples for catch up activities became: 

  1.  Make it priority over everything else.
  2. Set a goal, and stick with it.
  3. Rise an hour early everyday this week just to have coffee with the Lord.
  4. If you are busy with projects around the house, read five chapters, then complete a task, then read five more chapters, and complete another task.  Keep this up until you’ve read a whole book in one day.
  5. Commit to read half of a book at one sitting.
  6. Ask a friend to babysit for you one day this week, so that you can focus on reading.  (By the way…I’m available for anyone who needs it!)
  7. Volunteer to babysit for a friend who needs some alone time with God.
  8. Keep sticky notes handy to mark scriptures you want to research further, that way you can read through it quicker, coming back to dive deeper later.
  9. Sit down with your bible, a commentary, and a dictionary all at once so that you can look up unfamiliar scripture quickly.
  10. Put a visible marker on the page where you should be according to the calendar Cynthia gave us.  This will give you motivation and a goal.
  11. Stay up an hour later each day this week just to read.
  12. Take a vacation or personal day from work this week to read all day.  We take vacations for everything and everybody else…why not for the Lord?
  13. Take your bible to work everyday, along with a sack lunch.  Commit to using your entire lunch time everyday to read.
  14. Use audio tapes or CD’s of the bible to listen to on the way to work or as you run errands.
  15. Make a rule:  No TV unless you’ve read at least 20 chapters (or more)!
  16. Plan simplicity in your daily schedule for a week, so that you can use the time reading. 
  17. Cook using the crock pot, instead of spending two hours over the stove so you can read.
  18. Use paper plates and plastic cups to cut down on dish washing time so you can read.
  19. Hire someone to mow the lawn this week so that you can read. (By the way, there is probably some youth at church who could use the money for summer camp!)
  20. Use accountability as an advantage….commit to post your progress daily.  Nothing gets me going more than having to admit what I haven’t done!?
  21. Ask a friend to call you everyday this week to specifically ask how much you’ve read! (ouch!)
  22. Get in your car, drive to the park, and read.
  23. Let your house go…..don’t clean anything for a day!  It will end up looking like mine (?!), but at least you will have been able to read quite a bit J
  24. Drug the kids so that they will leave you alone to read.  (JUST KIDDING…..really!…..DON’T DO IT!!)
  25. Ask your husband/wife to take the kids for a fun day so that you can read at home.
  26. Get away to the library to read.
  27. Commit to read during every meal this week.  It’s a time that you usually at least sit down, and most of us can eat and read at the same time!
  28. I would love to know how many of us use the bathroom as a reading room?  Well…just substitute your bible for “Uncle John’s Big Bathroom Reader”!
  29. Ask God to help you, and then diligently commit to a reading plan.
  30. Read outdoors!  There’s something inspiring and motivating about the fresh air!
  31. Read out loud!  Involve your children and spouse…teach good habits, infect them with God’s words!
  32. Go to church an hour early, find a quiet, unused room, and read.
  33. Take your kids to McDonald’s or to the playground/park and read.
  34. Make reading your bible the first thing you do everyday…even if it makes you late for something else.  Most likely, the first day you are late for work or an appointment, you will realize that getting up earlier is what needs to happen, and change your habits from then on.  Yet…you will have honored God still by putting Him in His rightful place….FIRST!
  35. Motivate yourself with a reward if you read a certain amount this week.  …Tickets to the Ranger game, a new dress, new nails, a new fishing pole, dinner out, etc.  speaks loud and clear when we want it bad enough!!
  36. Put pictures of your reward around the house to remind you of the week end’s prize!
  37. Put notes that say, “Have you read your bible today?” all around the house.  There’s nothing better than a constant, nagging reminder to be obedient!
  38. Keep your car keys inside your bible.  Commit to read five chapters before you leave to go anywhere.
  39. Keep the remote control inside your bible!
  40. In the spirit of the “baby project” at high schools across the country…..carry your bible everywhere you go, to every room in the house, to every store, in the car, etc. until you have reached your goal this week.  When it “cries” out to you, stop to read. 
  41. Recognize that it’s all about Commitment, Willpower, and Priorities!
  42. Ask members of your Sunday School class to pray for you, and check in on you through out the week.
  43. Sticker charts are acceptable for adults, too!  Get your creative cap on, make you a chart that shows your progress, and award yourself a sticker after you read each chapter, sets of 10 chapters, book, etc.  Then….go get yourself an ice cream when you fill up the chart!! J  (Sorry….I’m a mother of a preschooler!!)
  44. Consider what you normally do with your free time.  Make a list of the time you have between sunrise and sunset that is not taken by your employment schedule.  Then…do away with those distractions this week, and “plug” in the word “Bible” during those hours.  You will probably be surprised how much time you COULD be reading!
  45. Try to sit down and make a list of acceptable reasons why you should NOT read your bible….see if you can get to #1……and then…go read!
  46. Pray before you read everyday.  Ask God to open your eyes and mind to His Word.
  47. Make it fun!….enter into a contest with a friend to read a certain amount of chapters….the first one to complete it buys lunch!
  48. Memorize this passage:  “How can a young man cleanse his way?  By taking heed according to Your word.  With my whole heart I have sought You; Oh, let me not wander from Your commandments!  Your word I have hidden in my heart, That I might not sin against You.”  Psalms 119:9-11, and then recite it out loud ten times, each time you try to talk yourself out of reading that day.
  49. Take your VCR apart, piece by piece, and then try to reassemble it.  (Most likely you won’t be able to, without an instructional manual as a guide.)  Then realize that life is much like a VCR….we need the bible to instruct us daily.
  50. After you are caught up in your reading plan, go buy another VCR!!

I thought I would just share this with you, wondering if there was anyone in “Blogdom” that might like to join us this week by reading your bible, too! 

Turn your tv’s off, find a good chair, and soak in the warmth of God’s Words.  I guarantee you that it will be better than Simon Cowell! 

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18 Comments

Filed under American Idol, Bible, Blogging, Children, Church, Commitment, Faith, Family, God, Identity, Life, Morals, Obedience, old-fashioned, Priorities, Tears, Television, Time, Wisdom

18 responses to “Not Watching American Idol.

  1. parmelee

    Some good ideas! May God bless your efforts this week. And be careful- at the end of the week, you may put the TV’s to the curb.

    As for American Idol, with web sites like YouTube.com and a high speed internet connection, you can catch the performances and cut off the rest.

  2. Julie

    Thanks Parmelee. Glad you stopped by!

  3. Hi, Julie!

    You’ll love the longer segments of time to read and reflect. I look forward to the liesurely Sunday morning walk through the Word with my Lord in the front room and a cup of coffee (or now that it’s getting warmer, it’ll soon be the table on the deck.)

    TV is a lot like crabgrass, ya’ know? It crowds its way in EVerywhere!!
    It’s one of the things that bit the dust when I decided to finally go back to grad school … and the appetite for it never returned. 😀 Lucky, hmm?

    I remember friends of ours unplugging and stashing theirs during the summer each year; so far as I know their kids turned out well.

    Enjoy ~!!
    Phil—

  4. I like how you think. You think action and not theory. Good stuff. I will also be turning off my TV but that is because we are moving and everything is infront of it. Does that count? 🙂

  5. Pingback: JoWiKi ™ » Blog Archive » Faith Makes Things Doable…

  6. Day #1 Update

    Day #1 Without TV —
    I had to hide the remotes! Daughter #2, upon discovery of our participation in the event, went straight to the computer, which of course, is still legal! I really didn’t get any reading for myself done, because it took more time and energy to keep the boys occupied. We’re moving right along in “Where the Red Fern Grows”…Billy just got his “dawgs”! The Five-Year Old thinks they are going to be named “Sam and Sarah”?! A special treat was that Dad read to us for a while during his lunch hour, a time that we would have normally spent in front of the tube.

    I noticed that I had a habit of just turning on the tv, particularly after the evening meal, and also when I go to bed. –Not that I really wanted to watch tv, but just something that I do. I kept walking in the room, and approaching where we normally keep the remotes before realizing that I really didn’t want to watch it anyway! — A creature of habit, I am. 🙂

    Thanks, everyone, for your support this week. I will keep letting you know how life without Dora and Barney is going!

    Oh…a little blogging tip to you….you will increase your stats if you mention “American Idol” in your post! (not planned….but just a little extra perk) 🙂 🙂

    Have aNOTHER blessed day today!

    Julie

  7. Day #2 Update

    Day #2 Without TV – The first thing the 3-yr old said this morning was, “I have a GREAT idea, Mom…just take a little tv from the bedroom and bring it to the living room and then it will work”!! Then….a few hours later he brings me over to the tv, points out the plug which has been detached from the wall and thrown behind the tv for the week, and shrugs his shoulders! ha ha

    “Billy” just caught his first ‘coon…the 5 yr old is really loving this book 🙂

    Hooray!…I read 11 chapters in 1 Samuel today!

    I was almost tempted to turn the tv on during all the tornado warnings in the metroplex area, but instead tracked it with the internet radar.

    So….no disasters as of yet, we made it without American Idol live, son #2 learned to listen to Veggie Tale CD’s again, instead of Veggie Tale movies, and all is still well!!

    –Julie

  8. JeremyH

    Hey Julie. Thanks for the awesome ideas! I did not know about this week and the tv thing. We are a couple of days behind but can we join you? Sounds GREAT! I love to read but seem to always be doing something else. This will be great to curle up with the Word more for the rest of the week.
    Keep posting ya’lls progress. It is encouraging to read. The boys will remember those readings for years to come!
    Blessings!
    -Jeremy

  9. TV OFF IS GREAT! WELL, TILL GAME TWO OF THE MAV’S. OOH WELL, THE WAY THEY PLAYED GAME ONE, I WON’T MISS MUCH.
    HAVING A BETTER TIME READING AND I GET TO READ SOME TO MY BOYS. IF YOU HAVE NOT READ WHERE THE RED FERN GROWS, YOU NEED TO AND THEN WATCH THE MOVIE.
    THANKS, JULIE FOR DOING THIS FOR US, ( NOT TO US.)
    BY THE WAY, WHERE IS THE REMOTE?

    LOVE YOU

  10. Julie

    Day #3 Without TV – The 3 year old still is convinced that he can “fix” the tv…he turned on the one in my bedroom and it showed the satellite logo, and said “See!”

    I listened to Christian radio at home for the first time in forever this morning. I love music and the radio, but usually only listen to it while in the car. At home, it’s typically been the tv, but not this week!

    Looking forward to Billy’s first real ‘coon hunt at bedtime tonight. He’s got his dogs all trained and ready to go!

    Other than that, we really didn’t miss the tv much today since we had to make the long trip to Dallas and back. Hey! Now that I think about it, we didn’t even take the portable DVD player to keep the boys entertained!! — Have we “crossed over” already?!!

    Til tomorrow 🙂

    Julie

  11. Julie

    Jeremy — Yes! Please join us! It has been great already. It’s sad to see how much of our life we spend doing worthless things. Television can be fun and entertaining, but for the most part, that’s all it is. We are finding that purposefully turning it off has enriched our family in ways that we haven’t been enriched for many years. Let us know how it goes for ya’ll too, ok?

    Many Blessings,

    Julie

  12. Julie

    Oh Husband of Mine — The remote is being held for ransom! How about a steak dinner?! ha ha —- I’ll never tell 😉

    Love you!!
    Your darling wife

  13. Julie

    Day #4 Without TV – Ok….I admit it, I REALLLLLY wanted to watch Little House on the Prairie today! I remained strong, but almost called this whole thing off 🙂 I can’t believe little Laura Ingall’s would have that much pull…but then, she was always a little feisty, huh?!!

    Kenneth’s birthday was today, so the boys and I spent the day “hiding” his presents, buying food for a great dinner, and then decorating. For those of you who will have toddlers soon….a tip…don’t expect the three-year old to keep a secret!! He very plainly told his Dad that he was getting a chocolate cake and a “grill”. Luckily, he also pronounces “girl” as “grill”, so Dad thought his present was sure to be a “chocolate girl”!

    We’re going to keep the tv off one more day, and then we’ll most likely make a few changes to our weekly tv schedule for the future.

    It’s been a good week!

    Julie

  14. Julie

    Day #5 Without TV – It all came to a screeching halt….at about noon when we gave in. The boys got to watch Barney, and Dad enjoyed the familiar sounds of “Gunsmoke” during his lunch hour.

    Did we cut it short? I don’t think so. The important thing about this week was that we took time to re-emphasize that importance of God, family, and priorities.

    We have very much enjoyed reading so much. We will finish “Where the Red Fern Grows” and then enjoy the time watching the movie. We will continue to put priority on time in God’s Word, instead of hours of mindless television.

    Some new and some not so new goals that we will carry forward: 1) No TV during meals. 2) Keep the tv off unless watching something specifically. 3) No tv until priorities/responsibilities are taken care of. 4) Better control the amount of time the boys watch TV in order to encourage more play time and creativity.

    Overall, this has been a good “experiment”, and I am glad you joined us in the journey! I encourage you to try it for your family if you feel led to do so — you will be sure to get a blessing from it!

    Clicking the remote “off”,

    Julie

  15. code

    the telly stinks. you won’t be missing anything important. 🙂

  16. Good for you. This TV stuff is for the birds. 99% is bad the rest is advertising. Morals went our the windows years ago along with excersize.
    Carl Slicer, cslicer, Blog editor, VernonGop.wordpress.com & Sr Editor, http://www.BandSpaceFm.Com

  17. satisfiedhousewife

    “I read stories about how the family used to sit down and read their bible together, have regular devotions, share time, and pray together.”

    Used to? We do this every night! 🙂 I don’t miss T.V. at all – my family time and study time are far more of a blessing and a reward. 🙂

    Once in a while we will watch some of our Christian videos – but it’s rare – maybe 1-2 DVD’s that are half hour to an hour long per week to two weeks. We just have made this our lifestyle and love it. It’s a blessed life to have the quiet too!

    God bless,
    Jen

  18. Julie

    That’s great, Jen. I’m so happy to hear that there are families out there who practice that on a regular basis. I know of a “few”.

    I have a wonderful family, who loves the Lord and is active in the things of the Lord, yet we still struggle with a regular devotion time. I think it stems from our disobedience when we were younger, and life constraints in general. We began our marriage and family professing a Christian walk, but allowed so much else to assume priority over our time together. Thankfully, the two older girls have turned out great, despite our mistakes.

    Now I am blessed with another opportunity — 13 years later, to raise two boys in the HABIT of daily bible reading and prayer time. As I venture into homeschooling this fall, I plan to make Bible the first “class” we enter into everyday, hopefully setting a standard that will stick with them the rest of their lives.

    Thanks for your insight! Hope you have a wonderful week 🙂

    Julie

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