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.


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!

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!

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?