Day 28: What I learned from watching, "The Walking Dead."

I have a confession. The Walking Dead is my favorite show on TV right now. I probably wouldn't have admitted that two years ago when I first started watching it. I was disturbed, as most people are, at the amount of gore and gruesome deaths involved. But then I kept watching, becoming more and more attached to the characters and story line. I felt kind of ridiculous trying to persuade my friends and family to watch it. Like I was encouraging them in some kind of "evil deed." But after the numbers came out last week that showed 16 million people tuned in to the premiere of the fourth season, not to mention a ton of those friends and family I once tried so hard to persuade, I now realize I'm not so alone anymore. And it feels like the right time to discuss it.

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walking-dead

To stick with this month's theme of "being content," I want to address contentment when it comes to moral decisions. Specifically, our movie and TV choices.

You may think I'm stretching here. Wondering what contentment has to do with our moral convictions. But I know, from experience, that there is definitely a correlation. So stick with me.

I want to go ahead and say that I don't believe there is a "one-size" fits all moralistic code that we are supposed to abide by as believers. Which means, what is okay for one person may not be okay for another. I used to believe differently, and tried to push my moral convictions on other believers. Then I read Romans 14 and the Holy Spirit convicted my heart.

What I do know, is that we should be content in whatever we have decided when it comes to our moral choices. And be so confident, that we are willing to stand before God one day and give a personal account (because we will, by the way).

What I can tell you about our personal decisions is that we don't watch nudity, sex, scantily dressed men or women or anything that encourages lustful thoughts. Sometimes this means turning off "The Voice" because Christina chose not to cover up the top half of her body that night. Most of the time this means skipping the Super Bowl halftime show, and certain scenes in movies when we pick up on the sexual cues and innuendos. This is a moral conviction we have set in place for our family, and not just for my husband's sake, but for mine and our children too. Lust is not just a "man's issue" in our house.

Anything that falls outside of this issue, we tend to take case by case.

The Walking Dead is one of those case by case examples. There are very few times we have to fast forward this show because of sexual innuendos. I can count them on one hand. It's probably one of the cleanest shows in regards to that. But as far as violence? It's probably the worst.

But I can name another movie that was so violent it received a rated R rating, yet was passionately advocated by the Christian community - The Passion of the Christ.

The reason we take these movies and TV shows case by case, is because we see the value in what they offer. If the show is a nonsense, horror flick about chopping up bodies (i.e. The Saw) you can count me out! But if the show is teaching us a lesson on humanity and the value of life, I can totally get in to (and learn from) it.

I'm not here to encourage you to allow violence in your life, in fact I discourage you from allowing anything that causes you discontentment in your spirit. But let that be the guiding decision for your moral choices and not an invisible code that you believe not only applies to yourself, but to everyone else around you. Trust me, you will never be content when you try to live this way.

I know, because for a long time I wasn't.

This post is part of a series I’m writing for the month of October entitled “31 Days of Being Content.”  See all other posts in this series by clicking hereOr enter your email address in the sidebar on the right to subscribe to this blog and receive posts straight to your inbox!

Day 27: When You Smile, I Smile.

I think Justin Bieber was on to something when he pinned the words to his hit song, "U Smile. Want to know what makes me super content and happy? When these two are super content and happy.

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Really, though. Is there anything better than a fall day at the carnival eating funnel cakes with the ones you love? Not on this Sunday. :)

This post is part of a series I’m writing for the month of October entitled “31 Days of Being Content.”  See all other posts in this series by clicking hereOr enter your email address in the sidebar on the right to subscribe to this blog and receive posts straight to your inbox!

Day 25: Spending a Day in Rest

"And God blessed the seventh day and declared it holy, because it was the day when he rested from all his work of creation." Genesis 2:3

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rest

Let me start by saying, I don't keep the Sabbath.

Well, not in the sense of the true observance of it at least. But if I did (and I really wish I did sometimes) it would be today.

Friday is the only day of the week: - my husband is off work - we have no commitments - can make our own plans

This day has been reserved as "family day" and we happen to love it.

Basically this is a lot of people's Saturday or Sunday. But since we serve in full-time ministry, Saturday and Sunday are some of the busiest days of the week for us.

So Friday is my favorite. It's when we get the most rest.

Sometimes rest can be a touchy subject for people. Mostly because a lot of us don't get enough of it. And some feel it's even a sign of laziness. But when I read Scripture, more often than not I feel encouraged to rest.

"Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest." - Jesus, Matthew 11:28 

This idea of resting isn't something that was created by man. The need for rest started with God himself. If this was something that was so important that even God needed it, how much more important should it be for our lives?

And yet, so many times I get discontent about resting. Looking for something to fill the extra time in my day, get out of the house, spend money, and on and on. Anything to escape the feeling of doing, well, nothing. Actually, I think they even have a name for this discontentment in resting. They call it restlessness.

A lot of Christians today have removed the Sabbath from our lives, myself included. It was one of the 10 commandments, observed by those who followed the Jewish law. It's not a necessity for us as believers today. But just because it is not a necessity for salvation, doesn't mean it's not a necessity for sanity.

I believe that resting one day out of the week is so important. Not just for our personal health, but for the health of our families. If you had to stop and think about it, how many days of the week do you spend completely with your family? If you work a full-time job, the truth is you probably spend more time with your coworkers than your loved ones. There is something about taking time to detox from your work, job, hobby, whatever it is… and soaking up rest with your family, that is so very crucial and important.

I remember when I was growing up and would get in a fight with my little sister, one way my parents would encourage us to get along would be to make us "hug it out" or "spend time with each other." And eventually we ended up laughing and playing together again.

If we had more rest together as families, I think we'd see less divorce. 

Bold statement, but think about it. How can you be unhappy while resting? Why would you be? I think a lot of times divorce is caused by tension, and tension builds when we don't have… rest. There was a study done recently linking the relationship between lack of sleep and stress.

It's a fact that when we don't rest, we get stressed. And I'm sure I don't need to educate you on all the ways stress can cause a decline in our health.

So why not give it a try this weekend? Or today? Or whenever that one day off is for you. And just spend the day in rest. And maybe your problem today is that you don't have one. In that case, some changes need to be made. If the God who created the universe took a day off to rest, you better believe you need one too.

This post is part of a series I’m writing for the month of October entitled “31 Days of Being Content.”  See all other posts in this series by clicking hereOr enter your email address in the sidebar on the right to subscribe to this blog and receive posts straight to your inbox!