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:
- Make it priority over everything else.
- Set a goal, and stick with it.
- Rise an hour early everyday this week just to have coffee with the Lord.
- 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.
- Commit to read half of a book at one sitting.
- 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!)
- Volunteer to babysit for a friend who needs some alone time with God.
- 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.
- Sit down with your bible, a commentary, and a dictionary all at once so that you can look up unfamiliar scripture quickly.
- 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.
- Stay up an hour later each day this week just to read.
- 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?
- Take your bible to work everyday, along with a sack lunch. Commit to using your entire lunch time everyday to read.
- Use audio tapes or CD’s of the bible to listen to on the way to work or as you run errands.
- Make a rule: No TV unless you’ve read at least 20 chapters (or more)!
- Plan simplicity in your daily schedule for a week, so that you can use the time reading.
- Cook using the crock pot, instead of spending two hours over the stove so you can read.
- Use paper plates and plastic cups to cut down on dish washing time so you can read.
- 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!)
- 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!?
- Ask a friend to call you everyday this week to specifically ask how much you’ve read! (ouch!)
- Get in your car, drive to the park, and read.
- 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
- Drug the kids so that they will leave you alone to read. (JUST KIDDING…..really!…..DON’T DO IT!!)
- Ask your husband/wife to take the kids for a fun day so that you can read at home.
- Get away to the library to read.
- 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!
- 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”!
- Ask God to help you, and then diligently commit to a reading plan.
- Read outdoors! There’s something inspiring and motivating about the fresh air!
- Read out loud! Involve your children and spouse…teach good habits, infect them with God’s words!
- Go to church an hour early, find a quiet, unused room, and read.
- Take your kids to McDonald’s or to the playground/park and read.
- 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!
- 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!!
- Put pictures of your reward around the house to remind you of the week end’s prize!
- 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!
- Keep your car keys inside your bible. Commit to read five chapters before you leave to go anywhere.
- Keep the remote control inside your bible!
- 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.
- Recognize that it’s all about Commitment, Willpower, and Priorities!
- Ask members of your Sunday School class to pray for you, and check in on you through out the week.
- 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!!)
- 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!
- 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!
- Pray before you read everyday. Ask God to open your eyes and mind to His Word.
- 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!
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!