Saturday, March 19, 2016

Wonderful Opportunity for Minimalists

"He answereth and saith unto them, He that hath two coats, let him impart to him that hath none; 
and he that hath meat, let him do likewise."
Luke 3:11
KJV

My family's journey towards a simpler, more minimal lifestyle has been motivated and driven
by our intense desire to follow Jesus Christ and the single-minded, focused life He lived while on earth.

It is impossible to be completely in tune with His mind,
if we are allowing our earthly possessions to overtake and consume our every waking thought.

In Matthew 6:22-25, Jesus said this,
"The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. 
If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness! 
 No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; 
or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.
Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; 
nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. 
Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?"

Is there not more to life than a closet over-stuffed with designer clothes, 
a bigger-than-you-need fancy house,
and excessive possessions?

We cannot serve both God and money, Jesus said.
He said our eye...or our focus...should be single.
When we split our focus, energy, and purpose into trying to serve money/possessions...
and God, simultaneously,
it does not work.

James 1:8 says,
"A double minded man is unstable in all his ways."

God is a jealous God.
He wants to be our all in all.
When we put our focus and energies into accumulating the things that will one day pass away,
instead of in Him and the building of His Kingdom, 
our physical possessions become our god, and we live to serve them, instead of Him.
He knows that we have basic needs, in this life,
and He faithfully provides them from day to day.
But, He doesn't want us to allow anything on this earth to become our master,
including our physical possessions.

Remember when He was providing daily manna for the Israelites in Old Testament times?
They were not to gather more than one day's worth at a time, (except on the 6th day, so they wouldn't have to gather on the Sabbath), and if they tried hoarding up more than one day's worth at a time, it would spoil and be inedible by the next day.
(Exodus chapter 16)

They never had to worry about the supply of manna running out.
The same God who gave them this day their daily bread was there in all of their tomorrows
to provide in the same way.

Hoarding up more than we need and clinging to excess will spoil our lives.
It will cause us to take our single-minded focus off God as being our Provider,
and it will become our master.
It will cause us to buy into the delusive illusion that we are self-sufficient.
In reality, that will never be the case.

Jesus said, 
"...without Me ye can do nothing."
John 15:5
and 
Acts 17:28 says,
"For in Him we live, and move, and have our being."

What if we followed the example of the early church and gave away our excess to those who are in need?

"And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common."
Acts 4:32

"And all that believed were together, and had all things common;
And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need.
Acts 2:44,45

What if we heeded John the Baptist's advice and took our extra coats and gave them away to those who have no coat, and gave away our extra groceries/meat to those who are hungry?
(Luke 3:11)

How would our world change if each one of us made the choice to shed our excess,
to give to those who are in need,
and to follow Jesus' example of maintaining a single-minded focus on what is eternal?

"Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, 
and where thieves break through and steal:
But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, 
and where thieves do not break through nor steal:
For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also."
Matthew 6:19-21

One of the people who has been most encouraging to us on our journey towards minimalism
is Joshua Becker of Becoming Minimalist.
Joshua's interview is the very first one we conducted for Inner Views,
and you can read that interview by clicking HERE.

Do you feel a longing to live a more minimal life?
A life in which your focus turns more towards things that are eternal rather than temporal?
A life in which experiences become more important than things?
If so, you will love Joshua's new book, scheduled for release on May 3rd.


And, here is the wonderful opportunity I mentioned in the title of this post.
If you pre-order his book, 
you can register for FREE for his 12-week "Uncluttered" Course!!!!
This course has previously cost $89!

We pre-ordered our book today, and I am so looking forward to reading it
and participating in the 12-week online course that will include videos, webinars, challenges,
and other helpful resources to motivate and inspire us all to live a life not stymied by our possessions.

Here are some ways to order Joshua's new book:


Digital: Kindle, Nook, iBooks, Kobo.

Audio: Amazon

Once you order the book, all you have to do to register for "Uncluttered" for free
is to go HERE, click on "Get Free Access Now", and fill out the registration form,
INCLUDING the order number from where you placed the order for his book.

That's it!
Then starting on Monday, May 9th, the "Uncluttered" course will begin!

For more information, you can visit Joshua's Blog.

Kevin, Zachary, and I are feeling a new sense of peace since shedding so much excess from our lives.
As we look around our home and garage, we see that we still have a long way to go.
God is guiding us on this journey, and it is a work in progress that will take time to complete.
But, we are a whole lot closer to our goal than we were when we started.
And, let me tell you, it feels GREAT!

"I have shewed you all things, how that so laboring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how He said, It is more blessed to give than to receive."
Acts 20:35

To read about our minimalism journey, please click the following links:

32 comments:

  1. You're really inspiring me, Cheryl, to go back to the basics and put more faith in God, my provider! Thanks for taking the time to write this series. I appreciate you, friend!

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    1. Thank you ever so much, dear Sarah! I am so thankful this inspired you. Oh, if we could only catch a vision of what GOD wants to do with and through us in this, our season of life! If we could just shift our focus more on the eternal! This is the cry of my heart. I am SO grateful for your visit and encouragement...it just meant so much to me today! God bless you abundantly, sweet friend!

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  2. Cheryl: I like all the scriptures you shared. Acts 17 grabs me: In Him we live and move and have our being. That is central in our lives for sure. I became a minimalist when my satellite died and Tom challenged me to go without it or Cable TV. No more Hallmark movies for me. But I'm politically bent, so here we are in election year and I want to follow the news. I was told "No! Read more and research before you cast your vote." I have to tell you, I have learned so much more this way. So many lessons for me and I have had to study to get passed all the propaganda to the facts and much less emotion. It's all good. Recently I visited my girlfriend, Judy, and asked her if I could watch Fox New in her living room while Tom fixed her faucet. I had a good time! This must just be a taste of your conviction to live with less. I like it.

    I am sorry I'm inconveniencing you and will try to get my blog comment problems resolved. I don't know what to do. Love to you! Have a blessed week.

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    1. Oh, dear Mary, you are not inconveniencing me!! Bless your dear heart. It is surely not your fault. I still have no answers, either, and I have just had to put it in God's hands and let it go for now. I love that Scripture in Acts 17, too...oh, we are so dependent upon our dear Lord! For life, for breath, yes, for all things. I do believe you certainly have tasted a bit of our conviction in living with less. We don't have cable TV in our home, either. The only thing watched is what we choose to put into a DVD player, which is minimal, or online, which is again very selective. God convicted me of getting too caught up in the news, too. I had to let it go, because it was bringing me down, and there was nothing in it that edifies my soul. I do stay very informed, as you do, by reading a LOT and seeking God for Holy Spirit discernment. He is so faithful. I long for the simple days of long ago when there was so little noise...no electronics, too, but then I would never have met you and so many other precious friends through this blog! All things done in moderation, and as God leads. :) Thank you for your sweet visit, kind words, and support. You are a dear blessing to me!

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  3. Sounds wonderful Cheryl. I'm getting the itch to declutter more and more. I really need to start with books. I have more books than anything else, and my youngest is 14. So many of the books have stuck around for many years because there are 10 years between my eldest and youngest.

    Have a wonderful week! I'm so glad you get to read the book and participate in the training. It's great preparation for the big move. I'm excited for you.

    Blessings,
    Laura

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    1. I know what you mean about getting the itch to declutter! Oh, my, it is like it is contagious or addictive or something! The more we downsize and declutter, the more I want to! :) There is just SO much that we accumulate in this life that we do not need, want, or use. I want to always maintain a Biblical perspective on it all and keep in mind WHY God is leading us to minimize. You are a blessing to me on this blogging journey, and I can't thank you enough for your sweet visit and kind words.

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  4. I did find out the hard way that the things we often seek to own end up owning us. I'll use this as a good reminder. My wife's pretty good about de-cluttering every couple of years. Even so more now... Something's a move here!

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    1. Wow, Floyd! I love the way you worded that..."the things we often seek to own end up owning us". You articulated so well what I am trying to say. The borrower is servant to the lender, oh, those words echo in my mind very often. Owning things usually requires borrowing, and, at the end of the day, nothing feels as good, financially, as being debt-free, and it is just not worth it to become so enslaved. Thank you for your faithful support on this journey. You are a blessing to us.

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  5. I am so glad that God led me to you! Your heart and passion for God and His way and word is moving. This post is exactly what I have been struggling with. It is about feeding my mind, my life in the things of God and not the things of the world. I do hold onto that He is working

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    1. Yes, how very true, dear Kristina! I am so thankful God brought us together, as you are certainly a dear blessing to me, too. I loved the Scriptures you shared in today's post, and there was one that especially ministered to me in light of some things my family and I are facing. God just spoke straight to my heart through what you wrote. I am thankful that He is teaching you to let go of the world and cling more to life in Him! How wonderful! Sending you much love and many blessings today!

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  6. Thank you so much, Cheryl, for this post full of sense.

    Thank you also for visiting me and explaining your absence of late. I was concerned when I noticed you were no longer Blogging regularly. I have responded to your comments on my Blog.

    It is good that we have met on the Internet and that we encourage each other in spreading God's Word.

    May I wish you and your family, as well as your many readers, a blessed Easter week and may God bless you and yours always.

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    1. Thank you SO very much, Victor! I will visit you to read your comments. You are a blessing to us, and we appreciate your encouragement so very much. I trust you and your family have a wonderful Easter, too, filled with God's richest blessings!!

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  7. I agree with Sarah Coller. We've been working on this for years and I must say...it is life-giving. Christ is the center and most other things are usually a drain or a waste. Thanks for all you do and the biblical encouragement, Cheryl!
    Did you ever find where to subscribe in the sidebar?

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    1. Thank you ever so much for your sweet visit, dear Jacqueline. It was so nice to hear from you today and to see that you had stopped by. I am still unable to resolve the subscription issues to receive any Google blogs. Oh, it has been a trial! Thank you for caring so much! God bless you abundantly, and have a Happy Easter!!!

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  8. I so desperately need to unclutter. Setting aside a day to do this is a good way. Like making an appointment with myself to attack a closet or cupboard. Thank you for sharing your interesting post with us here at Tell me a Story. Also the information about the free course for ordering the book.

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    1. Oh, my! I know what you mean. It seems that the more we unclutter, the more I realize we do not need, and it seems to be happening in layers. One thing I have learned is to not take on too much at a time. Like if I try to tackle a whole dresser at a time, I find that I do not have time to finish the whole project, and that can leave me feeling so frustrated, as I do NOT like doing something halfway. Oh, my, it is all just a learning process, and one day, I hope to write a post on some of the things I have learned and am still learning. Happy Easter to you, dear Hazel!

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  9. Becoming uncluttered is certainly something I need to be better at bringing into my life. This last week I emptied 3 baskets down to 1 that had been sitting there collecting space and dust. I just don't need to keep so much! It could be the spring weather that is getting under my skin but, it sure felt nice to see those piles diminish.
    Blessings,
    Dawn

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    1. Oh, wow, Dawn! Good for you! I know that felt GREAT to be able to let those things go and finish that project! It is addictive, too...the more we unclutter, the more I want to! Our garage is cleaner and more organized than it has been in years, and I can't even describe how good that feels. I just love all the empty space and not feeling so crowded...and the best part is knowing that a LOT of that unneeded stuff was given away to those who actually need it and are now using!! It is a win/win for all. :) So thankful for your visit, Dawn!

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  10. Cheryl, this is something that's been on my heart lately- just giving stuff away. Not selling it or having a yard sale but giving to those in need. Thank you for this post and for sharing this book! I will definitely check it out.

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    1. Oh, it is wonderful to give, isn't it?? It just feels so good. Jesus' heart comes shining through in moments like these! I am so grateful to you for visiting and for leaving such dear encouragement here. So thankful for your generous heart! God bless you with a Happy Easter, Abby!

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  11. I hear your message, Cheryl. I still have some unpacked boxes from our move over three years ago. Some of it is still there because of just being lazy, but some of it is probably a clinging that isn't good. Thanks for your convicting words.

    GOD BLESS!

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    1. I surely understand about "clinging". I am STILL going through my dear Mother's things...and she will soon be gone for four years. It is SO hard. Letting go of the emotional parts is the hardest...things just seem to connect us to the ones we love who are no longer here. Sometimes, the dreading is worse than the doing, too. I trust you will find the courage you need to tackle what you need to...I know God will be there. God bless you, Sharon, and I hope you and your family have a Happy Easter!! :)

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  12. Great message Cheryl.
    In my house we always pray for God to bless us and also make us a channel of blessing to others. We love to give and we know the blessedness of giving.
    Thanks a lot for sharing, do have a super blessed day!
    Love

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    1. Oh, that is so wonderful, Ugochi! What a blessing that you are instilling these qualities into your boys at a young age. They will never forget how good it feels to give. I am so very grateful to you for your sweet visit. Sending you much love across the miles, and I do trust you and your dear family have a blessed Easter!!

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  13. Yes! I'm very big on clearing away the clutter, and if I needed further motivation, I've moved my mum twice, each time just completely overwhelmed by all the stuff she had accumulated and couldn't bear to part with. I don't want to do that to my kids when it's time to start downsizing.

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    1. Oh, my, I surely know what you mean. To leave that burden behind on others is something I don't want to do either. I am glad you enjoy decluttering, Michele, and I trust you have a wonderful Easter!! Thanks so much for stopping by here and leaving encouragement behind!

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  14. I'm in agreement with so much of the minimalist's way of life. Even in writing, less is generally more, and as my mother says, "Less said, more remembered."

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    1. I like your Mother's saying...another good one is one my dear Mom used to say, "The less said is the easiest mended." Thanks for stopping by, Dayle. Happy Easter, and God bless you!

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  15. What a great challenge! My husband and I have been trying to begin to do that. We are both retired now and the first big challenge was to begin to disperse books we each had accumulated in our offices over nearly 30 years of Christian professional clinical counseling. We love good books and neither of us want to throw any away so we set about looking for new homes for them including to give them to younger professionals and folks in ministry that were just starting out in the field. We both recall dealing with clearing out our parents' homes after their deaths. The truth is that even if you are not intending to be a hoarder, you accumulate a lot of things over a lifetime and for those of us who have lived in one place for about 40 years, it can creep up on you without realizing it is happening. We have also determined we don't want our children to deal with tons of "stuff". We have already given each of them a few things we are not using and have no need of, but frankly, our parents had as well and it can be hard to see all of it unless you are emptying every closet, storage area and drawer. Even so, I am delighted to be your neighbor at the Linkup at Sitting Among Friends and hearing this reminder again!

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    1. I love the thoughts you shared here, Pam. Thank you so much for stopping by and for your sweet encouragement. It was such a joy to visit with you. Sending you love and wishes for a blessed Easter!

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  16. It is so true, you feel so much better when you get rid of clutter! Every year I try to go through the house and give things away to those in need! Thanks for the reminder, it's time to do it again ;)

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    1. How wonderful, Kendra! It is such a blessing that you have made this a practice in your home. God bless you abundantly, and I hope you have a wonderful Easter! Thank you ever so much for visiting here. :)

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