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Have you ever looked at a pile of your stuff and wondered…how did I accumulate all this stuff?  Do you feel guilty when you walk in your closet and see so much stuff…that you never wear?  How many times do you hear “I want this…I want this” when you take your family to Target?  Are you tired of the constant battle against consumption?  7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess by Jen Hatmaker will make you want to get rid of all of your stuff.  But…not because her focus is organization or simplicity…it’s because her heart’s desire is for us to love Jesus more.  Let’s clear away the clutter and all that we have accumulated while in hot pursuit of the American Dream.  My prayer in reading this book and following Jen’s journey of 7 is that I wouldn’t miss it.  Dear Lord, please don’t let me miss your best for my life because my focus is on me and my comfort.  I want to be radical for the sake of the gospel…and that has to start with my tainted heart of consumption.  Enough is enough…when Jesus uttered “It is finished” on the cross…He meant that I don’t have to collect stuff, jump through hoops, or make myself look good in any way to be in relationship with Him.  The gospel proclaims that I’m already in…and I don’t need to dress a certain way, eat at certain places, or have the right stuff to make that work out.  Jesus is enough.  So now, I need to live like that on a daily basis.

I highlighted several things while reading and posted those notes below…

  • Dedication: For Jesus, who lived so lightly on this earth, He didn’t even have a place to lay His head.  I want so deeply to be like you.
  • 7 will be a tangible way to bow low and repent of greed, ungratefulness, ruined opportunities, and irresponsibility.  It’s time to admit I’m trapped in the machine, held by my own selfishness.  It’s time to face our spending and call it what it is: a travesty.  I’m weary of justifying it.  So many areas out of control, so much need for transformation.  What have we been eating?  What are we doing?  What have we been buying?  What are we wasting?  What are we missing?  These questions grieve me, as well they should.  I’m ready for the deconstruction.
  • I’m hoping for a way back home.
  • While the richest people on earth pray to get richer, the rest of the world begs for intervention with their faces pressed to the window, watching us drink our coffee, unruffled by their suffering.
  • It’s the engine behind this month of 7: giving away is somehow sacred, connecting to the sacrificial heartbeat of Jesus.  It’s as transformative for the giver as a blessing to the receiver.  When God told us to give, I suspect he had spiritual formation in mind as much as meeting needs.
  • The gospel will die in the toxic soul of self.
  • Do not store up for yourselves treasures on rather, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.  But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.  For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.  Matthew 6:19-21
  • I’ve asked God a billion times why I have so much while others have so little.
  • My communion with God suffers not for lack of desire but time. Actually…when I say I don’t have time, I’m a gigantic liar.  I have time.  I just spend it elsewhere.
  • He has showed you, O man, what is good.  And what does the Lord require of you?  To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.  Micah 6:8
  • I’m just beginning to embrace the liberation that only exists at the bottom, where I have nothing to defend, nothing to protect. Where it doesn’t matter if I’m right or esteemed or positioned well.  I wonder if that’s the freedom Jesus meant when He said, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heave.”  Matthew 5:3.  I order for Jesus’ kingdom to come, my kingdom will have to go, and for the first time I think I’m okay with that.
  • The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it; for he founded it on the seas and established it on the waters.  Psalm 24:1-2
  • What if we’re buying a bag of tricks?  What if wealth and indulgence are creating a polished people rotting from the inside out, without even knowing it?  Is there a reason Jesus called the rich blind, deaf, unseeing, unhearing, and foolish?
  • Wow.  We spend a lot of money.  Combing through a year of bank statements, we are not big-ticket item buyers; we nickel and dime ourselves to death.
  • The world is waiting.  Our kids are watching.  Time is wasting.  Are we willing?
  • There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from his own work, just as God did from his.  Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will fall by following their example of disobedience.  Hebrews 4:9-11
  • My eyes are awake before each watch of the night, that I may meditate on your promise.  Psalm 119:148
  • The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.  Numbers 6:24-26

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