Recently, my church sponsored a class for the men of the congregation (women to follow early next year) to help them find their talents and calling for use in the local body.  Out of that time, I’ve started developing a course on basic bible study and hermeneutical understanding based on the book by Dr. Dan Doriani, “Getting the Message“.  I read most of the book back in seminary, but now, several years later, it’s proving to be a challenge.  First, it’s a spiritual challenge to dig deeper into God’s word.  Secondly, in our ever growing family, it’s hard to find time to do the digging.  I think, more and more, about scrapping the TV all together (and I don’t mean a Technivorm brewer – I don’t have one…yet).  But, nonetheless, I am thoroughly enjoying the study.  Both preparing the class and sharpening my ever-dulling skills.  And the time constraint will only become tighter.  If you ever have navigated over to my wife’s blog, you may know we’re expecting the emminent arrival of our fourth.  Once that one arrives, time crunches even more.  And life gets just a bit sweeter.  But if you want to sharpen your skills at biblical understanding and hermenutics, grab a copy.  I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

Solo Deo Gloria,



About javajeb

Full time dad and IT guy. Part-time Sunday School teacher. Full-time follower of Christ.
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6 Responses to Challenging

  1. Gerald says:

    Thanks for the tip, Jason. I’ll see about getting that book. It might be good to have one to put against “How to Study the Bible for all its’ Worth” by Gordon Fee.

    By the way, someone of questionable sanity has posted a comment on your wife’s blog. I don’t blog, but I think you can remove comments you don’t want.

  2. T. Chris says:

    In our new home we don’t get any T.V. reception. I haven’t watched any football on Saturday or Sunday.

    For years we thought of chucking the T.V. out the window. We’re not about to buy cable so, in effect, we have chucked it out the window–except for the occasional movie.

    I must say that it has increased our family time together and my time for personal reading.

  3. javajeb says:

    Gerald – thanks. I think it’s blog spam, as if email spam wasn’t enough. My wife hasn’t been online in a bit, but she’s aware of it. I hadn’t seen Fee’s book – I’ll have to have a gander at it sometime.

    Chris – I would’ve been ready a few months ago to pull the plug, but then the World Series happened. We both watched that attentively. Still pondering and praying over that one. It’s still seeming to be pushed into less and less use, most of the time.

  4. Gerald says:

    I’ve wanted to make another comment on this post for several days, but time constraints of my own have made it difficult. I think I’ll give it another try now.

    My wife, Beth, and I were leading a Bible study several years ago in which we both felt we were “being told” that television had too prominent a place in our lives. We agreed that we needed to watch less, and perhaps even get rid of the set. But we procrastinated and did nothing.

    A month or so after that Bible study ended, we had friends over. Their three-year-old daughter began playing with our set, turning it on and off, over and over again. After a few minutes of that, it stopped working. We laughed about it at the time saying that, because we had failed to get rid of the television ourselves, God had sent a little girl to do it for us.

    But it didn’t stop there. My parents felt sorry for us so they gave us an old set they had. A local power outage killed that set a short time later. Next, my brother-in-law loaned us an old set he wasn’t using, but it began to have problems with distorted and fuzzy images.
    Finally, we inherited my parent’s set. However, a visiting nephew managed to ruin it a few months later. We began to think that maybe God was serious about our not watching television.

    Well, we gave up television for a couple of years after that until Beth (or was it me?)decided that she just couldn’t take it any longer. So we went out and bought a new entertainment center and a new television set. Drug out my home theater system, hooked everything up, and called the local cable company to come out and reconnect us.

    That night we sat down to enjoy our first night of televison in years. Unfortunately, though, it wasn’t very enjoyable. Our sensibilites were practically assaulted by each program we tried to watch. Every show seemed to try and out-do the others in the vulgarity of its’ content, or in its’ crassness or ungodliness. We could not believe that televison programming had fallen so low in such a short period of time!

    We quickly learned that only the Foodnetwork and Home and Garden tv were safe so we limited ourselves to those channels. Still, there were times when those channels had programs that didn’t interest us so we would channel surf. That always turned out to be a big mistake. Anyway, we finally learned the lesson we think God wanted us to learn several years earlier and turned off the cable again. Our slowness to obey doesn’t reflect well on us, I know, but hopefully God will forgive us.

    Living without television has not been difficult at all. We have more time for reading, just as T. Chris said. We talk more, visit with friends more, play games more, exercise more. Life can definitely go on without television. 🙂

    The question we ask ourselves now is this; did television programming really deteriorate that much in a short period of time? Or did our sensitivity increase during the years that we didn’t watch? We think it was probably the latter because we have had so many godly men and women recommend movies and programs to us in recent years that we could not watch. Perhaps too much television desensitizes us to ungodliness?

    I can’t say for sure, but it is certainly something to consider.


    PS I do find occasions to watch some sporting events. I watched the Rose Bowl earlier this year–the only football game I’ve seen in its’ entirety in many years which is a strange thing to hear myself saying since I was once the biggest sport’s addict around. I’ve also watched a couple of the Spur’s play-off games. However, one of the biggest regrets of my life is thinking back on the incredible number of hours I’ve wasted watching other people play games. I could have made so much better use of my time. Don’t always make good use of my time now, but I’m certainly better about it than I once was.

  5. Gerald says:

    Wow! That was a LONG comment! Sorry about that. My intent was to tell the story of how our family decided to stop watching television. I didn’t realize it was going to be that long a story.

  6. javajeb says:

    Thanks for the story Gerald. Your account is very helpful – helping me see some of the places where I need the encouragement. We’re pretty heavy movie watchers, mostly DVD. Recently, I find that we’re watching TV because we’re tired – but too tired to do much else. And that dependency is what I don’t like.

    Again, thanks.


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