What is a 30-Day Secular Media Fast?

What if the noise of godless media is drowning out the voice of God? Not all media is bad... but maybe the distraction away from God is making harder to hear and see God at work.

This is a journey of a group of high school students who have committed to take 30 days to focus on God through God-centered media. This includes TV, movies, books, magazines, smart phone apps, and many social media outlets.

Here, you can follow their stories, their lives, and their challenges. Feel free to leave comments and encouragement.

Read
Relate
Respond

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Crossing the Finish Line

I just want to first congratulate everyone on a successful media fast! I know how hard this sacrifice is for all of us and I really hope that some good came out of this experience for you guys! For me personally I am happy to say that I was secular media free! I had a very difficult time this past week just trying to stay focused but luckily with all the colleges I was visiting over this spring break it helped to keep my mind occupied. I also found some fantastic christian bands and songs as well which really helped me get through this fast (Shout out to NF). This was such a great experience and I am so honored and happy to be doing something as special as this. I am really looking forward to seeing all of you guys this July in Arizona! Lastly I would like to thank all of the sponsors and those praying for us! It really meant a lot! One cool bible verse that I found while reading through proverbs was proverbs 18:10, "The name of the Lord is a fortified tower; the righteous run to it and are safe."
I think this verse for me sums up my experience this media fast, in tough times go to God. He knows our struggles and what we are doing is no easy task, so we can go to him and he will never let us down. Once again congrats everybody on a great and God filled media fast! 

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Oh, Mamma Mia!

      "Mother says I was a dancer before I could walk, she says I began to sing long before I could talk." If any of you have class and know the musical "Mamma Mia!" or listen to the old ABBA songs, you have probably heard this lyric of the song, "Thank You For the Music," which also happens to be the theme song by which I live my life. Being a musical theater fanatic, it is rather hard not to listen to musical soundtracks including, but not limited to, Little Women, Hunchback of Notre Dame (New Broadway Cast Recording, NOT the Disney version), Thoroughly Modern Millie, Newsies, etc. The above lyric rings so true in my life as I have been musically inclined my entire life: dancing and singing before I can even remember. Needless to say, giving up theater music is a BIG thing for me.
      I have learned a lot about integrity and wisdom this month. I think integrity is one of the most important things a person can have. How can anyone trust if you do not have integrity? Integrity is defined as: adherence to moral and ethical principles; soundness of moral character; honesty [1]. The moral and ethical principles of a Christian are found in the Bible, and includes utmost honesty and truth. I got to thinking the other day and I thought "wow, in this world it would be so easy to say 'I'm on a media fast' and then listen to whatever you want and no one would probably know." Which is so true, but integrity is doing the right thing even when no one is looking. That is a high standard to be held to, but that is the standard of which we are called. I'm not saying we have to be PERFECTLY perfect in integrity, because our sinful nature gets in the way of that, but that should be what we strive for. Wisdom has also been a theme of this month. Reading Proverbs, I've read a lot about how the wise man is the man that fears the Lord and etc. But also wisdom in our choices. Even without the influence of media, we must be wise in the choices we make with our days. I'm sure we all could find a lot of things much funner (yes, I said funner, deal with it grammer enthusiasts) than homework, even without movies, shows, or music to distract us. I certainly could, but it is a wise choice to do our homework because it makes us be productive and produces good grades, which gets us into college, which gives us an adult life after that. Okay, maybe not so dramatic (I am a theater kid after all...) but you get the idea.
      I have come to the conclusion that the Media Fast is just what our generation needs, so thank you, Matt and Student Life Team. At the beginning of the fast, I was telling my friends about it and what the purpose was and my friend said, "Can't you fast from something else this year? What are we supposed to do when we hang out?" That sort of snapped me into reality of how much we really do rely on our movies and shows to carry conversation for us. How much more do we need the media fast? And good news, I got my friends to actually speak at lunch! Imagine that! This month I have been listening to GODSPELL! a musical following the accounts of the gospel of Matthew, and watching spoken word videos done by Jon Jorgenson (a Broadway star who was just in the Broadway Revival of Mamma Mia, and who I have personally had the pleasure of meeting). I am blessed by these things as a change of pace from Christian radio, although I enjoy that too.
      I find myself grateful each year at the the end of March for the media fast, and for the time I had away from my TV to depend on Christ and be productive in my spiritual walk, and my academic walk. But of course, like every other teen I have shows to catch up on and movies (like Zootopia, so stoked) to watch, so I'm glad it is only a month. Oh, Mamma Mia!
Congrats to all you Media Fasters on making through this month :)
Signing off until next March,
Michaela Biggs

1. http://www.dictionary.com/browse/integrity?s=t

Monday, March 28, 2016

O-o-oh, Listen to the Music

The end is drawing near, and I feel more alive and ready to face a godless world more than ever before. I'm really excited to end the Media Fast, but not because I just can't wait to get back to secular media. In fact, it's just the opposite. I'm realizing that all the things I thought essential to my life are actually quite worthless - except, of course, for God. I decided that I'm not going to immediately jump back into Instagram, secular books, movies, or TV shows, but rather stay my walk with Christ and avoid those things. There was one thing I didn't mention, however, and that's music. Music is one of my strongest passions. Playing, singing, or listening to music always makes me happier. 
     I have been listening to KLOVE almost every day this month, and I've grown to know and love most of the songs they play. Music was the medium that brought me the closest to God. Yes, reading a Proverb and a Bible plan definitely drew me near to Him, but because I have found such a deep resonance with music, it has influenced me and empowered me the most. Listening to the words of others who are passionate about the Lord is awe-inspiring to me, and then to put it to song is even better. So, although Christian music has been my go-to this month, I have also struggles the most with secular music. Often times when I would start to sing a secular song with my sister, I wanted to listen to the real deal, but would then remember that I couldn't. It also reminded me that God gave us voices for a reason, and we should use them to glorify Him, not the world. My only worry for the end of the Fast is that I'll immediately turn back to secular music, because no matter how hard I try, I can't get the longing out of my head and my heart. I pray that God will use this strong temptation to show me the necessity of His worship rather than the world's worship.
     I pray that we will all finish strong and continue to live out our lives to the fullest for Him after the Fast. We're almost there!
     Madeleine

The Home Strech

It's the last week of Media Fast! Which is crazy, it all went by incredibly fast (like media fast, see what I did there? I know, I'm hilarious). It feels like just the other day I was dreading starting it and now here I am in the home stretch. Honestly as bad as it sounds when we first started the media fast I really didn't expect it to help me or for me to be changed by it. I sort of just imagined it as an inconvenience. But the media fast has been really cleansing and weight lifting.It has helped get so much closer to God and learn more about his word. It has also changed my view of media (mostly social media) more than I ever thought it would. I definitely think it will change my habits after the media fast.
I think one of the best things that has come out of this, is not just my own spiritual growth but also my conversations about the media fast with other people. Social media is such a large part of our culture that it's hard for it not to come up multiple times a day. I have found that almost every day I ended up talking about the media fast with someone whether it was someone who I had already talked about it with or someone new. Some people just thought I was crazy for doing the media fast (and then insane for actually enjoying it) but I actually had some really great conversations with some of my friends about and because of the media fast. I have also been introduced to a lot of great Christian music, movies, and stories I don't think I would have discovered otherwise. I'm especially grateful to have the media fast over spring break, which I know would have been wasted on social media and secular movies and tv otherwise. I know it's going to be harder to limit my social media once the fast is over, but I'm hoping I will be able to. This truly has been an amazing month! I hope everyone else continues doing well with the fast! Have a great last couple days!
-Jill

The End Is Near!!!

     Repent!! The end is near! You need to get Sanctified or.. chicken fried. Just kidding, that's not the end I'm talking about.  I'm talking about the end of this amazing fast we've been on.  Actually, I haven't really been worried or counting down the days to the fast, but it sorta just crept up on me.  I have been experiencing exactly what you would expect from a month without secular media, which is a closer and noticeable connection with the Lord.  I have had to make small and big decisions lately, and I have actually prayed about it! (Crazy right?!) I didn't just say that I would pray about it, but I actually did, and I made sure to clear my mind of distractions for just a short while, and reserve that time for just God.  I definitely know that I didn't take any time to talk with God in my previous times before the media fast.  Even last year, my communication with the Lord was minimal, and therefore, my trust and relationship with him was also minimal.  I have noticed a large difference personally when I read my bible more often, and when I pray and the result or response has not always been immediate, but I feel at ease knowing that it's in God's hands.

     This last week (the break) was very difficult, because even though I had a lot to keep me away from media, I still found time where it was difficult to not listen to secular music, or watch a movie on my DVD player or read a book.  Instead I played guitar, or read a chapter of proverbs, or even prayed.  I also watched some veggie tales :)), and the movies Risen, and Miracles from Heaven. (which were pretty good but don't beat Veggie Tales, obviously!!).  I have learned quite a bit on both patience and trust during this media fast so far, and especially during the break that we had.  We all have only TWO days left!!! So keep strong everybody!  Oh and get right with the Lord or... Drive a Ford?

Friday, March 25, 2016

5. 4. 3. 2.

Well we have made it to the final 5 days and I'm starting to fell pretty good about the month, so far I have stayed focused on God and have stayed away from secular media. The end of the media fast is kinda bitter sweet for me. I am looking foward to being able to watch TV and all that again, but I also am kinda bummed because other than this month I realy don't have the perseverance to actually give up stuff like the media and focus on God.
Well happy fasting, remember 5 days left
-Erik

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Day 23

Day 23 of the media fast and I think this has been one of the easiest media fasts I've ever done. I think partly because I've grown to accept media is not what people need to be focused on. There are far better things to do like today, a couple of the girls doing the media fast and I went hiking. It was so much fun just spending time with people who are on the media fast as well and just spending time in God's creation. 7 more days to go!!!

The Final Week!

Well guys, we have one more week of this media fast to go. I'm sure for all of us there have been some difficult days. But only 7 more days to go! For me this media fast experience this week has been great! I've gotten to watch some fantastic Christian movies, as well as read some fantastic Christian Books and short stories. Through all of this I have realized one thing, that the whole point of the media fast is not to just avoid secular media (although that is good). The whole point is to take a break from our day to day lives, put down the phone and to just spend one simple month focusing on Christ. I have to say, I am really happy with how this media fast is turning out! I pray that all of you are being blessed by the media fast and all of the good that can come from it. Have a great last week everyone!

Impressed

Can I just say how awesome of a youth group we have right now! Our students are stepping up as leaders in some amazing, and not-so-up-front ways... between taking 30 Days to avoid media not focused on God to serving Middle Schoolers to finding ways to influence their friends... it's amazing to me to see God work in the lives of young people. Maybe that's why I love pushing, encouraging, inspiring, and playing with these students. Every year, we have a group of kids take a month to focus on God, in midst of school, Spring Break, sports, homework, chores, jobs, family tension, friend tension, church, youth group, etc. Maybe some of adults need to jump in for this last week and join them in their commitment... yes, the Final Four is vastly important to our stress release (sarcasm intended)... but maybe... just maybe... focusing on the Gospel for a week "may" do the same thing? Yes, I'm using a guilting tactic... but it doesn't make the fact any less true: The Gospel changes everything.

Keep it up everyone! I'm proud of you all!

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Week Three You Guys This Is Crazy

I mean can you even believe it? Already week three. That kinda blows me away. Like, by next Tuesday we'll be saying, "Only one more day!" and I don't know if I'm looking forward to it or dreading it. I've realized that my self control is terrible (not during the Media Fast... don't worry, I've kept off the media!). What I mean is that before the fast I was constantly on media, especially when I needed to be doing homework. Even when I wasn't doing homework, if I had nothing else to do, I would immediately turn to media to satisfy my need for "entertainment". And the things I scrolled through and listened to weren't exactly "wholesome" In fact, some of them tore others down or used crude humor, and the worst part was that I didn't even give a second thought about it. There was rarely a moment where a big warning sign popped up and said, "Now Madeleine, is this the kind of stuff people should be saying to each other?" Instead, I often kept scrolling through my feed, letting my mind be filled with things that didn't honor God or His creations.
     Now, whenever I hear secular music (in a restaurant, store, or blasting in someone else's car) I try not to listen, but if I do happen to catch the lyrics, I try to evaluate them. Are the things being said things that I would repeat? Things that I would be proud to say I listen to or hold fast to? Most of the time, the answer is no. So then I ask myself this question: Why is everyone so infatuated by this secular music if the things that are being sung are so awful? I don't have a straight answer, but I do think that one of the reasons is that it's appealing to the current culture and the human mind, although the ideas behind the songs could appeal to the human mind no matter what the time period. I'll admit that when I hear a song that I know and like when I'm out, I'll start to sing along, but then I stop myself and ask why I like the song. Is it because of the tune? Maybe, but that's not likely. Usually it's because of the lyrics, and although most of the songs I used to listen to are pretty clean, there are a couple that I realize have pretty bad lyrics (and even if they're not obviously bad lyrics, I know that the subliminal message is still there).
     So, having said all that, I come back to my original statement of being unsure about the end of the fast. I pray that when the end comes I will be able to retain my self control and continue to limit my use of social media (especially when it comes to homework time), but I know that I won't be able to do it alone. So, in a way, I'm looking forward to the end, because it will give plenty of opportunities for God to help me control myself; however, I will need lots of prayer and I know that I won't always be able to control myself.
     OK. That was a lot. Thanks for sticking with it, all of you. I know God has been working in all of us during this time, and I know He'll continue to work in amazing ways. Praying for you all!
     Madeleine

Monday, March 21, 2016

what a crazy week

so im running a kids camp with my friend and there is never a moment of rest. Its always energetic, always going, always moving. I came home today SO tired, i thought i was going to die. okay, not really, but you get the picture. It is days like these when i lay down on my floor and just listen to some good old Newsies, but oh yeah, can't do that. So what do i do instead? Well, i am weary and in need of rest, so i turn to my comfort, Christ. What a good oppurtunity to relax in the arms of Jesus.
Good luck Media-fasters!
-M

Friday, March 18, 2016

Have We Got a Show For You!

     Hello everybody! I had lots of fun this week and anticipating the fun I am going to have over the break!  It's still just as surprising how much fun you can still have without using social, or any kind of media really...   I have encountered some more challenges than usual, now that it's been longer than two weeks, and i'm less busy.  One example was the other day I went bowling with my friends, and they play music and music videos on the back wall, and it was torture for me, because a great song by my favorite band was playing!!  It was so difficult to not sing along with it, and even more difficult not to listen to it when I got home that night.  I concentrated on not focusing on it, and then said a silent and urgent prayer to God to help me restrain myself, since the friends I was with weren't christian, so the only person that could hold me accountable was myself.  It seems like such a simple and meaningless thing, but the issue was not physically listening to the song, but spiritually dwelling on it, and resisting the temptation to break a commitment between yourself and God.  I found that it was the perfect time to talk about it because this last Thursday at youth group, we talked about a verse in proverbs (I think? I can't remember which verse this was based off of :(((  ) and how God will take any worries or anxieties that we have, and carry our burdens for us, if we let him.  The conversation was focused a little more on the bad habits that he could help stop, but it was a very similar message to the 1st peter reference I made in an earlier post.

     Hey I also just recently watched some veggie tales movies at my Aunts house, and I still remember how good those used to be when I was younger, and (they are quite addicting and fun) I am planning on watching a few more for the duration of the media fast, (and maybe even past that ;) ) Well, good luck to those doing the media fast, and congratulations for getting this far!!   -Larryboy out

Thursday, March 17, 2016

"Duty" to Post?

I feel like the media fast has opened my eyes. As I have been going through this I have come to the conclusion that I don't need media... crazy right? As I have thought about I realized that my attachment to social media is almost unhealthy but I don't really enjoy it as much as I thought I did. I think one of the main reasons I'm on Instagram and Twitter is simply because that's what teenagers do. I can think of so many times when I was scrolling through my feed because I felt like I had a "responsibility" to look at my friends' posts. And this has only become more evident through the media fast. I find that I'm too busy too really miss social media or tv. Before the fast I thought I it would be super horrible, but I have found that I don't like social media as much as I thought I did. I mean I still find it challenging but just not as much as I thought it would be. It's not horrible like I thought it would be, I actually feel like it has lifted this "duty" to be on social media. All my friends look at me like I'm crazy when I tell them I'm doing a media fast, and they are even more shocked when I tell them it's for a whole month. The media fast has already allowed me to grow closer to God, learn more about myself, and media in my life, I can't wait to see where else it takes me.
-Jill

Easier With Time

This media fast has gone by so fast, I mean we're already halfway through. When we first started I expected it to drag on and feel like forever. At first it was hard for me, I was constantly tempted by phone and tv, but I decided that whenever I would think about going on social media I would instead read the Bible, and it has actually been getting easier as time goes on. Sure I miss my favorite tv shows and want to know whats going on on social media, but when I'm not thinking about it and just living my life, it doesn't inconvenience me that much. I never realized how much time I was spending on media until I wasn't able to spend any time on it. I find that I had been spending hours and hours on my phone that could have been used for so much more. Now I have more time to read the Bible and be productive. The media fast is not only letting me grow closer to God, but has also allowed me to see how little I actually "need" media.
-Jill

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

What a world we live in...

Dear Media-fasters,
Happy Halfway! Well, this week was a little bit crazy. My class is planning an event for the juniors and seniors, and that has been hectic with making posters, advertisements, financial aid announcements, and begin to sell tickets. In the back of my head this whole week is Christ saying, Be Still. I find that I often tell myself, "I'm too busy to be still right now, I will be still later" quite ironically in the very sense of the word. The only stillness I get is at lunch, because my friends are mostly on their phones. Wow, what a world this has become. My friends Sam and David were literally sitting across the table from each other, but they had to be DM'ing each other instagram rather than talking. This just shows how much our generation really does need the media fast. It gives us a taste of old-school traditional reality, and frankly, it's kind of nice. I'm excited for the next two weeks of fasting, and maybe I can even get my friends to talk to each other out loud.
Good Luck!
-Mick

And then their were 2

2 down and 2 to go
The halfway make has gotten here so fast. The thing is I barely notice, I almost never watch TV shows or movies, and I only had my instagram for a week before I started, so these weeks are going by super quick. Though I am not being tempted with the media, I can see how God is working in me and through me. I already wrote about the interaction I had with my friend, and I also feel just a little wiser through  reading psalms. I am realy enjoying reaping the rewards of the media fast. Thank you to all my sponsors for your prayer and support and everyone else.
-Erik W. Washburn

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Surprised

I had a super cool experience today. I was driving my friend home (because I'm 18 and that legal now, whoo), and she turned on the radio to secular music. Naturally, I had to explain to her that I couldn't listen to that music because of the media fast. Unlike the many negative responses that I have received to it this year, she was totally cool with it. It actually spawned a conversation about church and God. I told her all about Hume SD, and now she is thinking about going with our youth group. I was super surprised and excited to see her take interest in something like that. I love to see the God's work in my life and others. Happy media fasting.
-T

Halfway Point

Wow. Halfway point. I can't say as I've really struggled with parting with the media for half a month. In fact, I know it's been a huge help for me because I have been going through two very overwhelming school weeks, and had I not had the fast to keep me in line, I know i would have whittled away my time on Instagram. I have been doing a lot of on-the-phone and in-person talking because of a group project (which we finally presented today - all done!). However, now that it's done, I realize that I miss the talking to people instead of texting them, and I really don't even want to text people. This longing for interaction with people is a good example, I think, of what God intended for fellowship with other believers. Even though the people in my group weren't Christians, it still made me desire real contact with people, and it made me lose my desire for the media and texting community. I want to form real relationships with people, especially other Christians, and the removal of media has helped me do that.

On another note, I found a Bible plan on my Bible app that I've been using every day. Each day has a new topic, but the underlying theme relates to fellowship and community. I hope that even after the fast is over God will continue to strengthen my desire for Christian fellowship, and I can continue to grow in wisdom from the advice I receive from believers.

Love and prayers,
Madeleine

Halfway

We are now officially at the halfway point of this media fast, and I am happy to say that so far I have been media free. It is a great feeling being off of media, but yet I feel that it hasn't been distracting me most of this week. I've been very busy, and this week was probably one of the toughest weeks of my life. Not because of the media, but because our family had to put our beloved dog frizzle down on Sunday. It's really hard to lose someone that you care about so much, especially when it was as unexpected as it was. I know it was for the best however, and that frizzle is enjoying himself in doggie heaven. Since then, I have not even focused what so ever on media. I have no desire to think about it which is good, please pray for me and my family as this has been a very tough week. I hope that everyone else is staying strong in their media fast. I know that this week will be hard for me, but I still am trusting that God will draw good both out of the media fast and out of my tough times. After all God is good and he does good things. Congrats on hitting the halfway point! My prayers with all of you for the next half, and thank you sponsors for all of your support.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Yikes

Honestly, this year's fast has been the hardest it's ever been for me. You would think after four years that this would become a routine part of the year, but it's not so. Each year brings new challenges, but with that God reveals something new to us. I just haven't figured out what that is this time quite yet. I'm praying for you all. Have a spectacular month.
-T

Thursday, March 10, 2016

And then their were 3

One week down, 3 to go. I can't believe how quick this is going by, in exception one time, I have not realy been tempted with media and the week has flied by. However, the exception i said was when I went to my friend house to play some board games. My friend was about to put on some music as we were playing. I kindly asked him to not or put on some Christian music, he asked why, and I was able to give him an overview of the media fast as well as a tell him a little bit about the gospel, (he is not a Christian.) He did not realy soak in what I said about the gospel but respected why I could not listen to the music (pray for him). I am hoping through the media fast God will give me more opportunities to share the gospel.
I'm keeping everyone in my prayers and happy media fast
-Erik

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

One week down.

Wow, one week has already passed in this media fast. I'm not sure why this is, but this media fast so far is much easier than I remember. Maybe it's because I've been keeping busy, but regardless the media fast is still very challenging. I find that in school where most of my friends are on their phones I'm either reading scripture or trying to make conversation. For the most part my friends haven't necessarily been majorly supportive, but they have been understanding and are respecting me and my media fast. One thing that I have noticed immensely is not only how little people talk face to face, but  when they do talk a lot of times it is about something that pertains to what they found or heard on social media. These times can be challenging, as I feel like I live under a rock with all of these people talking about things happening in the world. I am a football fan and it hurts how I can't keep track of what my favorite team is doing, some friends told me today about what had happened when normally I would just see it on my ESPN app. It's ok though, I am more than willing to sacrifice some football knowledge to get closer to God. This week I have been reading scripture as well as watching veggie tales! Thank you to whoever made a complete playlist of all the veggie tale episodes on dailymotion, that helped a lot! I hope everybody else is having a great media fast, and I thank all the sponsors once again for your prayers and support.

MEdia fast

Over and over again I find myself rejoicing in the media fast, more so this year than ever before. I am not dragged down by the distraction of secular media but instead I feel lifted up in its absence. While I truly struggle at times to stay off of social media, not having anything to really do on my phone has given me cause to set it down and occupy myself elsewhere.
               I have devoted my life (basically) to spoken word. Not just any spoken word poetry, but live performances that are full of passion for Christ. Each one brings inspiration and goosebumps, and each poet has a unique message and testimony of their faith. My favorite one so far is called Identity Crisis of a Misfit, and it is talking about how, as Christians we become so focused on our image and on how we appear to others that we disregard how God sees us, which is ultimately way more important. One line in his poem is "I would rather be an outcast now then cast out later." My life should be reflecting God's work in my life, and if that makes me not fit in then so be it. I would like God to welcome me into heaven rather than live halfway in between and be unrecognizable to God. 
At the very beginning of his poem, he says "I began with media, because media begins with ME." I made the obvious connection to the fast and I began to see the real truth in that. Media is designed to show your best you, and in promoting yourself, your attention remains fixed on yourself instead of on God. This spoken word poem has resonated deeply with me and I would suggest it to all of you ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ubhEudCSJHA
Happy Media Fast!!!

Megan 

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Mrmmrnvkingsjnfbtaychasdklfrmit!!!

     Strange title, right?  Looks like gibberish, but it is a sound I have made multiple times the past week!  I haven't really encountered too much temptation, but I have encountered a lot of frustration...     I was in the car earlier today, and my aunt started playing one of my favorite songs from her phone, and I freaked out and got out of the car, mumbling that I couldn't listen  to it because it was secular, (no the car was not moving when I got out, so i didn't get run over...Hallelujah Jesus, Amen!) I also couldn't finish one of the books I was in the middle of reading before the media fast, so I probably should have pick a smaller one, (Les Miserables), so I also was pretty frustrated with that.  Yeah, a lot of other smaller things have come up, but I have done just fine otherwise so far.  
     I have been reading proverbs each day as well, and I have been silently thinking "OK God I think I get the point!"  Anyone who has been reading it knows what I am talking about, since it seems pretty redundant about the wisdom topic, but it just goes to show how important godly wisdom is to the Lord.  It is something that comes in handy in all situations, and Proverbs gives us many examples and advice on many subjects, including temptation, relationships, discipline, friends, marriage, and leadership.  I have also been reading Peter as well, which has given some advice on frustration and worry: "Cast all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you."  If any of you need help with temptation, anxiety, or frustration through this media fast, just pray, and remember that there is absolutely NO reason to worry.  God loves you more than anything, and more than you could possibly imagine.  God, the creator of everything, animals, the earth, the universe and life itself, goes out of his way to ultimately love you, and give up himself for you. This shows how little some of our worries really are, and how he is willing to carry any burdens we have if we let him.  Just this huge truth should be comforting enough!  Well good luck to all of you, and happy media fast!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :)

I'll Just Look That Up...

     I realized another thing that I use more than I thought: Google. I mean, it seems like no big thing, and it's really handy when you need to just figure out the answer to something.
Truth of the matter is that when I don't have to rely on a book or a person to find an answer, and I can look on a device that fits in my hand for the answer to virtually any question I have, I begin to wonder if I really need people. Or books. Or anything that's slower and less reliable (in a matter of speaking) than the internet. And I realize that this category of "slow" might include God and the Bible. God doesn't always give us the answer to our question immediately. All we can do in the time of waiting is pray and trust that the absence of a clear answer is part of His plan. But, in a quickly revolving world where infinite knowledge is literally a tap away, God's all-knowing power seems unnecessary and inconvenient. If God is so great, then why should we wait?
     The answer to this, at least for me, is trust. I know I can trust God with ALL things because He has a Plan for me; one that I don't and can't fully understand, which is the point. The trouble is that I've gotten so used to being able to get the answer right away that I feel very impatient and snubbed by God when I don't get the answer to my questions. My grandma once said that the new age of a world wide web has almost entirely eliminated the phrase "I wonder...". And she's absolutely right. I think that the media fast has been and will bring that "I wonder" back into my life, especially when it comes to trusting God. I pray I will be tested with things I don't have the answer to just so I can practice being content with not having the answer.

     I have been listening to K-LOVE a lot, and I hear a lot of songs that hold this truth in their lyrics. One of them is My Savior, My God by Aaron Shust, and the opening lines say, "I am not skilled to understand/ What God has willed/ What God has planned", which I feel is very accurate, and it brings me peace to hear it in the context of "My Savior loves/ My Savior lives/ My Savior's always there for me". He has a master Plan, and though sometimes it seems like the loving thing for Him to do was change our life from bad to good, we can't see what the future holds but we can be comforted in the knowledge that He loves and cares for us, so His Plan is perfect and holy.
     I know this isn't exactly centered around "How did your first week in the Media Fast go?", but I really wanted to share these thoughts, and I hope that it makes at least a little bit of sense (I mean, it kind of shows my struggles from the week...). Thanks for all of your support! Praying for you all!
Madeleine

Sunday, March 6, 2016

American Noise

Hello Media-fasters! Week one was a success! I partially attribute my success to my busy schedule, the "American Noise" around me. I am someone you might call ADHD, or a busy-body, meaning that I always like to be busy, there's never a dull moment in my life. If i ever don't have something to do, I'll find something to do, for example: this week, when i might have normally been watching a movie or reading a book, I decided to re-organize my room and bookshelves and dresser and closet...three times. On a day to day basis, I go from school to either work or practice, and from there to homework to whatever else i may need to do. But in this busy schedule, where does Christ fit in? I do my devotions in the morning, pray throughout the day, and read what I am required to for Bible class (private school kid). I love to read the Bible on my own, and meditate on the text, but in my busy schedule, sometimes it is hard to do that. This week, God has brought Psalm 46:10 to my mind constantly, "Be still, and know that I am God." So often in my American lifestyle everything is go, go, go, and it's always fast-paced, so we never have to stop or slow down, but that takes away all our time to soak in God's creation and the wonder of the world He created for us. The "American Noise" consumes us and we have no time to be in awe of His presence or marvel at His glory and His character. I have to constantly remind myself, "be still, be still, be still, trust and know that He is God." Our time is God's hands, and He is sovereign to be in control of every aspect of our lives. He is trustworthy, and He gives us rest in the midst of our American Noise.

Friday, March 4, 2016

Not really missing media... Yet

Well... Probably should have posted earlier... but I'm doing it now instead. Yay!

Wow, no media for an entire month, how exiting! Alright, truthfully, I was not looking forward to this month; and I gotta say, even though its only been just under a week, I'm really not missing media that much. The only thing that I do somewhat miss so far, is listening to all my favorite tunes. Which really isn't all that big of a deal though, because I can just listen to other christian artists instead. I think living without media hasn't really hit me yet, maybe because I've been so busy lately. Then again, I still have the rest of the month, so we'll see how I feel after the weekend rolls around.

Anyway, I have high hopes for the rest of this month. Coming from past experience, living without the distractions of "needing" to watch movies, TV shows, or playing video games, can be really freeing. It frees up time that I can use to spend with my family, with God, and doing whatever else media has kept me from. I hope that this month my family and I can grow closer, and that I'll grow closer with my friends who are doing the media fast too. I'll be praying for all you on the fast!

See ya next post ladies and gents,

Myles

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Media Fast!

I've loved reading everyone's posts! I am encouraged by each of you as I also fast from some of my favorite outlets, Facebook and Instagram.  I has convinced myself that I don't REALLY use them that much any more, especially since last Media Fast impacted me so much. I realized yesterday that to post on Facebook is still a habit of mine, yesterday I read an article I liked and I really wanted to re-post it...then I realized MEDIA FAST! So I didn't post it. To be honest I don't even remember the article today which makes me realize it may not have been worth posting.  

I already find myself being more productive, spending more time outside and with my puppy <3

I hope you all are taking each day to read from Proverbs! I love it, I keep Bible Gateway open on my Chrome Tab at work so not to forget to listen to it each day. The first 3 chapters have been refreshing. Those who seek wisdom will receive it, but not only wisdom, the wisdom from God. Keep reading and I am I going to do my best to read a verse twice a day...I feel like its a candy jar, you never know what is going to come out of it each time you dig into it!

Keep updating the blog and encouraging each other!

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Here's to today

             So here we are again, our beloved Media Fast.
             I have to be honest, I spent all day yesterday trying to finish a bunch of TV shows to "make up" for not watching them in March. I love TV, and Netflix, and Fuller House, and I am grateful that I was able to finish all of Fuller House before March, but I am also thankful for March, and the oppurtunity to serve Christ through sacrifice.
             As we begin the Media Fast again, I am actually very excited about living without secular media, as it is so often a trap I, like many teenagers, fall into, whether it be music, movies, or TV. I see it as an oppurtunity to glorify God, grow closer to Him, and be so focused on Him that I bubble over with His love and grace. I wish you all luck, and I know I will need lots of prayer this month and beyond! Love you Media Fasters.
Michaela

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like the Media Fast...

      Ah, the first day of the second year. I will say that I didn't really notice a change in today's flow, as it was crazy hectic with school and project and tests. There were a couple times I picked up my phone and was surprised that there were no notifications... anywhere. It was really strange at first, but then I remembered, "Oh yeah, I'm on a Media Fast and I already logged out of Instagram." It was also kind of freeing, because I haven't been constantly bombarded with notifications and I got to do my homework much more quickly. I am really excited for the fast because I KNOW that I need a break from media; it's been clogging up my time and my life.That's the main thing I'm giving up: Instagram. The other main thing I'm giving up is secular books, which is a huge struggle for me, because I love to read, but sometimes it's hard for me to get interested in Christian novels. I'm excited to see what God's going to do with the time I would have been spending on Instagram and reading, and I pray that I will grow in my faith this month. Good luck to you all!

Madeleine

Back to the Beginning Again

     Hello everybody!! Excited again (even more so than last year) for this years Media Fast! I come prepared again to give up all secular media that so often dictates large parts of our lives.  This is always a great challenge that allows a small moment (a month to be precise) to empty our ears of the "American Noise" (ha ha get it? Skillet Reference...) and truly listen to what God has to say, and build a stronger relationship with Him, family, and friends, rather than build a relationship with our little screens. (Is that even possible?) Anyways, I will be praying for help for myself and others through this, and use it as an opportunity to build my faith!

Well this is going to be harder than I thought.

This is my first year doing the media fast. That said I did not know what to expect. My first day was hard to say the least. I have not tried to not play video games or watch tv for a long period of time before. I have not  realized how dependent I was on them for escape from my real life how often I run to media to try to forget instead of facing my problems. I hope that this month would help me grow as a person and as a follower of Christ. To everybody doing the media fast I'll be praying for you I know you guys can do it!

Ok... So this is happening

Well, as I'm sitting here at my desk typing out this blog I can already see the impact that this media fast could potentially have on me. Not only am I saying this because I have experienced this media fast before, I am also saying this because I am aware of how different our lives will be just after a few days of fasting. It doesn't take long to realize just how trivial all of this social media is, and yet how it really takes up the majority of most of our lives. For me especially, it is very very hard to resist event the slightest amount of temptation. See, at my school jesuit we use ipads to do just about 99.99% of our school work. And Guess what else you can access on your ipads? MEDIA, I know crazy right. Who would have thought you could access media on an electronic device. This means for me, that while I am doing my homework I am literally one click away from media at all time. It's ok though, I like a challenge. But challenges set aside, what I am hoping to gain throughout this media fast is to become a better man. I feel as though in our day and age, that media affects not only how people interact but how people will behave. I want to be someone that above all else, seeks God over anybody else including myself. I know this seems very cliche but sometimes the most obvious things in life are the ones that are most ignored. I know this media fast will not be easy, and I want to just remind everyone to not focus on not doing media. Instead, to focus on pursuing God above all.  As a Deepak Chorpa once said, "All great changes are preceded by chaos". The media fast may not be viewed as chaotic, but this quote still applies. Just remember, that even though the media fast will be tough. Some good will always come out of it, you just have to look. Good luck to everyone participating in the media fast! I hope you all the best, and for you to stay faithful and to get closer with God.

Year 4 Day 1

Two years ago, at summer camp, the speaker said something that has really resonated with me, even now. (I think that's pretty impressive considering I don't remember what I had for lunch yesterday).
The speaker said "Stay faithful in the mundane" and I am making that my motto for this fast. It can be incredibly hard some days, especially the weekends when you're sitting around, but that's where this phrase comes into play. It is important to stay faithful in the fast and what you've committed to even when it becomes mundane and boring. 
On that note, day one of the media fast is well underway! My primary goals for this month are to be truly dedicated to the fast and to grow closer to God and the people around me in the process. While fasting from secular media is super difficult, I've come to see how important it is to getting an early start on a positive mindset for Arizona.  
I am ready to dive into this month and leave it with a different outlook on media. I am mainly trying to direct my attention away from social media, tv, and music. Those areas are always the hardest (especially since a ton of good movies and music always come out in March), BUT I am determined not to give in to the temptation!
For music I make playlists and only listen to those, on music apps like Spotify. (Predominantly Christian indie stuff but also tons of music without any words) 
For TV, I do extensive research to try to find a Christian movie that a) I haven't seen, and b) isn't obnoxiously cheesy, and c) is actually on Netflix. Usually I end up watching the same ones but I actually have quite a long list ready for this month!
Lastly for social media, there isn't really a substitution for this, which makes it the most difficult. Mostly I just delete all the apps and try to resist the urge to redownload them just to "check what's going on" 
Good luck to everyone this year, remember you get to go to Arizona in July :)

Goals and the beginning

So don't know if I am posting this right because I think this is last year's feed but whatever.
So my goal for this month is to stay off of, of course music, movies, and all that but I am also fasting from social media, and video games also (I think those were not included in the list but they are for me).

So today is the first day and so far so good, last night I deleted instagram as well as my non Christian Pandora stations. I think that this though difficult well be worth it in the end as I can already see a difference. Keep it up everyone this will be fun

Erik W. Washburn