The Year without a Purchase: One Family's Quest to Stop Shopping and Start Connecting  -     By: Scott Dannemiller
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The Year without a Purchase: One Family's Quest to Stop Shopping and Start Connecting

Westminster John Knox Press / 2015 / Paperback

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Product Description

Filled with humorous wit, curious statistics, and poignant conclusions, the book examines modern America's spending habits and chronicles the highs and lows of dropping out of our consumer culture. As the family bypasses the checkout line to wrestle with the challenges of gift giving, child rearing, and keeping up with the Joneses, they discover important truths about human nature and the secret to finding true joy. The Year without a Purchase offers valuable food for thought for anyone who has ever wanted to reduce stress by shopping less and living more.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Vendor: Westminster John Knox Press
Publication Date: 2015
Dimensions: 9.00 X 6.00 (inches)
ISBN: 0664260683
ISBN-13: 9780664260682

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Author Bio

Scott Dannemiller is a writer, blogger, worship leader, and former missionary with the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). He and his wife, Gabby, reside in Nashville, Tennessee, with two very loud children.

About the Book

The Year without a Purchase is the story of one family's quest to stop shopping and start connecting. Scott Dannemiller and his wife, Gabby, are former missionaries who served in Guatemala. Ten years removed from their vow of simple living, they found themselves on a never-ending treadmill of consumption where each purchase created a desire for more and never led to true satisfaction. The difference between needs and wants had grown very fuzzy, and making that distinction clear again would require drastic action: no nonessential purchases for a whole year. No clothes, no books, no new toys for the kids. If they couldn't eat it or use it up within a year (toilet paper and shampoo, for example), they wouldn't buy it.

Editorial Reviews

"In bite-sized morsels of real-life struggles iced with wit, candor, and faith, Dannemiller serves up a way of life in which you learn to like the taste of living with what you have and reducing your helpings of a gluttonous spending in order to live a life in community and service."
—Gene Wilkes, Ph.D., author of Jesus on Leadership and President, B. H. Carroll Theological Institute, Irving, TX


"Often hilarious and always thought provoking, Scott Dannemiller deftly peels back the layers of what we want, what we think we need, what we actually need, and who we really are underneath it all. You’ll finish this book motivated to do more with less and feeling like you’ve just had a very satisfying conversation with a good friend about what really matters in life. Hint: It’s NOT 'stuff!'"
—Lindsay Ferrier, blogger at Suburban Turmoil




"This book—playful, thoughtful, substantial—is a must-read for North American Christians who are purposing to pattern their lives after the person of Jesus. It provides an honest glimpse into one family’s experiment in living more simply and charts a path for the rest of us as we attempt to live faithfully in the world today."
—Margot Starbuck, author of Small Things With Great Love: Adventures in Loving Your Neighbor


"The Year without a Purchase is as compelling to read as it is challenging to personalize. Very few books can actually change your life, but this is absolutely one of them."
—Lee J. Colan, Ph.D., author of Stick with It: Mastering the Art of Adherence

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  1. California
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: Female
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    Inspirational but at times disappointing
    September 10, 2015
    Library staff
    California
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: Female
    Quality: 4
    Value: 3
    Meets Expectations: 3
    The Year without a Purchase left me inspired and yet also disappointed.

    The author did an excellent job of writing in a way that kept me wanting to read, even when I wasnt always interested in a particular issue he was coming to grips with. He offered backup to his conclusions from research he had discovered, and the stories he told were humorous and often self-effacing.

    He offered a host of profound and painfully honest thoughts told in a light-hearted manner, and I was glad he didnt limit himself to just discussing the purchase of unnecessary stuff. I especially appreciated when he criticized the over-abundance of possessions people horde for no useful reason.

    All in all, he had a lot of convicting as well as helpful observations about worldly habits that Christians should seriously examine.

    However, despite that, there were a few things he wrote that troubled me. A couple of times he wandered into theology and seemed to lose his way. For example when he said the Holy Spirit indwells every human being (page 234). Or when he wrote this on page 121 about Jesus multiplying the loaves and fishes: I wonder if the miracle may have been less an act of Jesus himself and more an act of God moving within those present. Huh? Hes a little confused. Perhaps thats why, though hes a Protestant, he hangs in his home a calendar of Catholic saints (page 231).

    Also, the Dannemillers mission statement was great (page 23) until the last part about building a world without need. Believers are to love as Christ loved, and should seek to be used of God to fulfill the needs of those around them, but a world without need will never happen until the Lord returns. So for me that ending threw cold water on the whole statement.

    Several times he said he was thankful or grateful or blessed, but I wondered why he didnt finish the sentence by saying that appreciation was to God. In fact I dont remember him ever acknowledging that. Im not certain why that bothered me so much but it was like hearing someone offer a tribute without saying to whom the praise was for.

    In addition, he curses on a half dozen occasions and flips off Father Time (page 147). These may seem insignificant to some, but its not like these things slipped out accidentally and he missed them in editing.

    Ive no doubt there are some things he wrote that I may have misinterpreted. The vast majority of what he wrote was worthwhile, but I wonder if he will lead people astray in those areas where he either falls short of Biblical truth or seems to hold a worldly perspective.

    I received this e-book free of charge from the publisher via Net Galley.
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