New Series Annoucment - and Book Giveaway

I have delayed writing about the topic of “The Simple Life” for some time now.  There are many reasons for my delay.  Perhaps because I am not sure exactly what the term means – and am convinced that it is not a term that means the same to each and every person.  Another reason in my delay is because it is something that hits at a core level with me and would require me to become more transparent – more open about a subject that can be hotly debated and criticized.  (I know, I have been on both ends of that coin.) 

However, I am convinced that it is something that we as Christian’s need to talk about and needs to be addressed.  I want to convey my thoughts on different matters because I feel very much that it is important for us to dialog and discuss and to challenge our thinking.  Have you ever wondered if what you believe or do is because you have never been challenged to believe or do something differently?  Perhaps a lot of how we live is done by default.  Simply because it is what has always been done and what everyone around us is doing? 

It is my opinion that materialism has a lot to do with the apathetic state of the Christian church in America today.  I will agree that it is not the only contributing factor in the declining condition of the church; but I must say that it is a factor.  It is my opinion that it is a very strong factor.  I also believe that most Christians would say they agree that materialism plays a big part in the overall health of our churches.  However, we often stop there; agreeing that there is a problem; but failing to go further.  To the practical; and perhaps the reason for that is because it hurts.  It hits us where we live and it gets downright uncomfortable.

I know.  I have been made uncomfortable.  Not by materialism in others but in the worship of things in my own life.  The day to day choices I made proved that my heart was worshiping at another alter.  The alter of things, possessions and prestige have consumed my worship too many times.  I would like to say that I never go back to that alter.  I do.  I would like to say that I can confess my sin of idolatry and it never comes back.  It does.  God has showed me and continues to show me how much things permeate my life and the culture wherein I live.  It hurts.  As the Holy Spirit shows me the spiritual cancer that is eating away at my joy I have to consent to let Him cut away at these tumors and remove them from my spiritual heart.  Physical surgery causes pain; spiritual surgery does also.     

I do not want to share these posts with you as one that has arrived.  I have not.  Perhaps like me you will be hit at a level that hurts too – if so, I am sorry for the pain; but convinced that God is leading me on a path that has been difficult at times for me to follow.  Looking back, I am seeing how He has been leading and what 
He has been teaching me; and quite honestly, I am excited about it!

Could it be that the work of God is being hindered in America because we have become so materialistic and “things” oriented.  Forgive me for bringing it down to our level here.  I am a Christian wife and mom.  Could the work of God be hindered in the lives of my children because of my focus on material things and money?  This one hurts because there is nothing that I want more than to see my kids grow up to serve God with all their hearts. I must say that God has showed me that indeed it can!  This causes me to tremble because I care very deeply that my children love God and serve Him long after they leave my care. 

In the posts ahead I challenge you to be open to thinking outside the American ‘box’.  Be willing to ask yourself the hard questions.  You know the questions, they hit at gut level and cause you to squirm and really have to ponder the answer. The Holy Spirit has a wonderful way of asking these questions!  

 I want my children to know that God is real that He does provide and that He can be trusted.   In this series, I not only want to cover the philosophies into materialism; but also delve into the practical things that  give us ideas and knowledge on how to live an everyday life that is frugal and allows us to make decisions that cause us at the end of the day to be able to pillow our heads in assurance that we have been wise stewards of the money and resources that God has given to us as homemakers.

 Money, Possessions and Eternity

If you have not done so I would challenge you to get the book:  “Money, Possessions, and Eternity” by Randy Alcorn.   This book challenged my thinking – I mean it REALLY challenged my thinking.  So much so, that there were a couple of times when I had to put the book down because I was under conviction about the materialistic leanings of my heart.  It was a hard read for me; but one that left me changed and caused my view on things to never be the same.  It is a good read; and a book worth adding to your library.

 Now for the announcement!    I have decided to offer this book as a giveaway item to launch this new series.  Here is how it will work:  There are several ways in which you can add your name to the book giveaway.    

First, by just commenting on this post and telling me you would like to be entered. 

Second, by posting on your blog about the new series; and providing your readers with a link over to my blog. After you make your blog post simply come back to this post and comment and tell me about your post and that you would like to be entered again. (Please provide me a link to your post about the book giveaway).    

Thirdly, by posting on face book about the series every Monday and providing your friends with a link over to my blog. Again, after you place the face book link for your friends to see come and let me know and enter your name in again – (on the comment section of this blog post), commenting to me about your face book invite to my blog.  (Inviting your friends every Monday to join us will allow you to add your name to the drawing 4 extra times!)     

The book giveaway will be promoted until Monday, August 5, 2013.  On that Monday at 8pm EST I will close the giveaway comments section and will draw a name by random.  The winner of the drawing will receive a copy of Randy’s book.  I hope you will participate in the giveaway and invite your friends to join us for this series on The Simple Life. 

The Simple Life series will be posted every Monday morning.  I will continue to post family postings and other devotional blog posts throughout the week; but reserve Monday’s for the Simple life series.  I do not know how long we will continue the series; but am looking forward to posting about The Simple Life and getting your input and thoughts on the matters we discuss also!

So, get ready for the ride.  I am excited to post about some things that are near and dear to my heart.  Thanks so much for stopping by, I am so glad you did; and I hope you will continue to join us for the upcoming posts on “The Simple Life” and invite your friends to join us too! Our first Simple Life Post will begin on Monday, July 15, 2013. 

 ( Due to the cost of shipping, the book giveaway is available only to USA shipping addresses only)


Shari Palmeri said...

Martie, what a great idea and a challenge to me. I am excited to take part in this with you. Thanks for sharing!

Rachel said...

I will enter, only so I can read your blog! :)