Disturbed by her family's comfortableness with American excess, Jen Hatmaker writes in 7 about their unique social and spiritual decision to live by a rule of seven - reducing material possessions and distractions in seven areas (food, clothes, spending, media, possessions, waste, and stress) in order to connect with a greatly increased God. eBook.
American life can be excessive, to say the least. Thats what Jen Hatmaker had to admit after taking in hurricane victims who commented on the extravagance of her familys upper middle class home. She once considered herself unmotivated by the lure of prosperity, but upon being called "rich" by an undeniably poor child, evidence to the contrary mounted, and a social experiment turned spiritual was born.
7 is the true story of how Jen (along with her husband and her children to varying degrees) took seven months, identified seven areas of excess, and made seven simple choices to fight back against the modern-day diseases of greed, materialism, and overindulgence.
Food. Clothes. Spending. Media. Possessions. Waste. Stress. They would spend thirty days on each topic, boiling it down to the number seven. Only eat seven foods, wear seven articles of clothing, and spend money in seven places. Eliminate use of seven media types, give away seven things each day for one month, adopt seven green habits, and observe "seven sacred pauses." So, whats the payoff from living a deeply reduced life? Its the discovery of a greatly increased Goda call toward Christ-like simplicity and generosity that transcends social experiment to become a radically better existence.
The central principles of living a Christian life, like tithing, fasting, and prayer, might get short shrift from some people but not Hatmaker (A Modern Girl's Guide to Bible Study). The wife of a pastor at Austin (Texas) New Church aims for a more saintly life by cutting back on possessions, food, stress, and other excesses with funny and lively writing that can get overly self-deprecating. Her goal is to convince the reader that a simpler life is a godlier one, which lends a sanctimonious element to some of the writing. Other parts are earnest and moving, such as the final chapter, in which the book drops snarky humor to offer sincere appreciation for prayer, even if the subject matter is divided between prayer and the couple's adoption of two Ethiopian children. For Christians who desire to live out their New Year's resolutions year round, this is worth reading. (Jan.) 2012 Reed Business Information
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