Thursday, September 30, 2010

Curb Your Materialism

My wife and I have never subscribed to the consumerist philosophy but lately we have been even more vigilant than usual in guarding against materialism. Aside from the obvious financial benefits of living within our means, it has also freed us from the pressures of possessions. We’ve discovered that the less we possess the less we stress.

From the start of our marriage, a scriptural principle from Matthew 6:33 has guided us: “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” What it means to us is that as we place the things of God first in our lives then the things of this world stay in their proper place. In other words, we possess our things instead of them possessing us.

Throughout this year, we have intentionally gone through our house paring down our possessions in anticipation of living a more mobile lifestyle. In fact, our mantra has become, “Minimize to mobilize.” Instead of materialism we’ve embraced the tenets of minimalism. Less IS more and we are reaping the benefits of it daily. We’ve never strived to own tons of stuff, but we’ve even whittled down what we had.

As part of our move toward minimalism, I’ve followed several minimalist blogs, including one by Dave Bruno at, which advocates what has come to be known as the 100 Thing Challenge. It simply suggests trying to downscale one’s possessions to 100 things. While I am not there yet, and may never be, it got me to thinking about how much extraneous stuff I own and has motivated me to donate hundreds of books and countless spare household items to my local library and thrift store, respectively.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Outlive Your Life

Bestselling author Max Lucado has another blockbuster hit on his hands with his latest book titled Outlive Your Life: You Were Made to Make a Difference. With his finger firmly on the pulse of today’s reading public, Lucado stresses the value of living for more than the next paycheck or pleasure cruise by using the biblical book of Acts as the roadmap for living a life of dynamic faith.

Lucado reminds readers that Acts is the one book of the Bible still being written today in the sense that believers are commissioned to continue doing the works of Jesus and His contemporaries. His signature conversational style makes his latest title a pleasure to read also and its meaningful message of living with eternity in mind makes one think of how to better live the one life each of us has been given.

With poignancy and passion Lucado challenges readers to look beyond themselves and their circumstances toward a selfless life filled with good deeds done in the name of Christ and His cause: “Here’s a salute to a long life. Goodness that outlives the grave, love that outlasts the final breath. May you live in such a way that your death is just the beginning of your life.”

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.