Image "My Friend" by Helen Thomas Robson (Used by Permission)
Minimalism from a Biblical Point of View —

Biblical Minimalism is "a complete, whole-person release of anything unlike Jesus, a letting go of everything that hinders us from following Him wholeheartedly and single-mindedly, and a relinquishing of all that brings us under bondage to this earthly, very temporary life." Cheryl E. Smith

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Today, I'm Sharing at No Sidebar

I am so grateful for the opportunity to share my heart today over at No Sidebar

I hope you can join me there!

Minimizing The Physical ~ Part One

There are a lot of things that make up the "physical" part of our lives.  For the sake of Biblical Minimalism simplification, we will divide them all into two basic categories —the physical body and tangible, material, physical possessions.

"Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus."  Philippians 3:13,14

Before we go a step farther, let me reiterate once again that I have NOT arrived, and I fall very short of God's glory.  I fail miserably.  I see the mark of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus, but I am nowhere near attaining to it.  As I weigh myself (pun somewhat intended!) against the Word of God and how I should be as a follower and lifetime disciple of Jesus Christ, I feel pretty hopeless.  I long to be like Jesus and walk in His footsteps, but there is still so much excess in my life that holds me back and hinders me from being "all-in."  I am working on it, though, and just the pressing toward that mark gives me a sense of hope.

One of the key points in these verses is to forget those things which are behind.  Today is a new day.  We are starting a new page.  Never mind the times we have tried and failed in the past.  We are going to forget about what happened yesterday.  God has forgiven us, and we are going to forgive ourselves and move forward.  No more wasted energy on regret and wishing we had done things differently.  God's grace covers all, and we are going to walk in the light He is shedding on our path.

Hosea 4:6 says, "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge."

Sometimes, we see the excess in our lives, and we are paralyzed from doing anything about it because we simply do not know where to start or how to begin.

Jesus said, "And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free."  John 8:32

Finding the truth and facing up to it are the first steps toward making a change.  This requires a great deal of courage because uncovering the knowledge of where we really stand can be intimidating and overwhelming.  Ignorance can be bliss, but life cannot be improved if we insist upon burying our heads in the sand and not owning what is real.  There is real freedom in knowing the truth and embracing it for what it is.

Our Physical Bodies

This is a subject that many of us try to avoid.  Yet, next to the spiritual slice of the Whole-Person Pie© it is the most important and comprehensive part of us.

We obviously only get one body to go through this life, and sadly there are no do-overs.  It is human nature to make allowances for excess in this category because we tell ourselves it is "our" body, and the things we do concerning our physical bodies only affects us and that we aren't hurting anyone else by indulging in sinful or abusive behavior.  As Christians, we could not be more wrong in making these justifications.

I Corinthians 6:19,20 says, "What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?  For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's."

Jesus paid the ultimate price for our redemption, and when we choose to follow Him, He deserves a whole-person surrender, with nothing held back.

We live in a day that the prophets of old only longed for and saw from afar.

"These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth."  Hebrews 11:13

They saw, through prophetic eyes of faith, what you and I have the great privilege of experiencing.  In their day, God's glory would come down and fill a building, but He promised us something greater.  

"Moreover, I will make a covenant of peace with them; it shall be an everlasting covenant with them: and I will place them, and multiply them, and will set My sanctuary in the midst of them for evermore.  My tabernacle also shall be with them: yea, I will be their God, and they shall be My people.  Ezekiel 37:26-27

"God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that He is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; Neither is worshipped with men's hands, as though He needed anything, seeing He giveth to all life, and breath, and all things."  Acts 17:24,25

"For ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.  Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,  And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be My sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.  Having, therefore, these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.  2 Corinthians 6:16-18, 7:1

The Temple of God 
Words and Music by Daniel S. Warner & Barney E. Warren
Not in the temples made with hands,
Though beautiful by art,
But God in mercy condescends
To dwell within my heart.

Oh, glory to Jesus so sweet in me,
My body, Thy temple shall forever be.

How wonderful that He would take
This poor abode of sin,
And wash me in His precious blood,
And now abide within.

No more I think of God afar,
But see Thee, Lord, within;
Oh, shine in me, Thou morning star,
And keep Thy temple clean.

O Lord, enshrined within my breast,
My constant joy and peace;
My soul can now forever rest,
Secure in Thy embrace.

No longer do we view God from afar, but we see our Lord within!  When we present our bodies a living sacrifice to God, we relinquish total control to Him and our bodies literally become the sanctuary in which He dwells.  What a glorious thought and revelation to know that the very Holy Spirit of God lives within these mortal bodies!  

What a glorious thought, yes, but what a sobering thought, at the same time.  Imagine how differently we would live our lives, moment by moment, choice by choice, if we lived with the continual realization that the spirit of God is ALIVE inside of us, looking out upon every single thing we do, hearing every single word we speak, knowing every single thought we think, and observing every single thing we allow to come in to His temple!  Would we not be more careful?  What would we do differently?  With these thoughts in mind, what do you readily identify that needs to be cut off and minimized from the physical slice of your "Whole-Person Pie"?

 I Corinthians 3:16, 17 says, "Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?  If any man defiles the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are."

There are countless ways we can abuse our physical bodies, thus defiling the temple of God.  When I think of this, the first things that come to my mind are blatant sins and unhealthy habits that need to be laid aside and minimized, such as smoking cigarettes that have been proven to damage the lungs and heart; drinking alcoholic/intoxicating beverages that impair thinking, cloud judgment, stun senses, damage the liver/stomach/other organs; using illegal drugs that alter brain activity, cause aggressive behavior, modify personality, cause strokes and heart attacks, and inflict irreparable damage to all bodily systems; abusing prescription narcotic drugs that are addictive and lead to all sorts of health repercussions; participating in illicit/adulterous/unBiblical sexual relationships and activity; and pornography.  Of course, this "off-the-top-of-my-head" list is far from exhaustive, and there are many other individual acts of disobedience to God's Word that, if participated in, are detrimental to the temple in which God dwells.  

"Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us."  Hebrews 12:1

It is one thing to identify those "off-the-top-of-our-heads" issues and sins, but what about the "weights" that need to be laid aside?  Common sense things like overeating/gluttony, eating foods that are damaging to our physical health, not taking care of our bodies the way we should, carrying around excess literal "weight" in the form of obesity, not exercising, slothfulness, laziness, not getting enough sleep, depriving our bodies of nutritious foods, overindulgence in stimulants, salt, etc.  

This is where it cuts close, and I will be the first to tell you, that my heart is heavily convicted right now.  As God reveals things to include in the Biblical Minimalism Bible Study Guide that will accompany the book "Biblical Minimalism©", my heart is very stirred, and I am very much in need of His forgiveness and grace.  I feel very unworthy to write the book at all, for I fall so incredibly short.  I am learning and repenting as I go and doing my utmost to correct the areas in which I so sorely lack.  

We will delve into the physical category more deeply in the next post.  I hope you will stay tuned!

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Everything Springs From The Spiritual

The spiritual slice of the Whole-Person Pie© is all-encompassing.  It is interwoven into the fabric of everything we say, do, own, and allow to exist in the tapestry of our lives.  So, even though it feels like we are moving forward from that slice, as we work our way around the pie in a clockwise direction, we are actually using the spiritual slice as a springboard.  Each upcoming post about the physical, mental, emotional, relational, financial, occupational, and obligational categories will spring from the perspective that every sector of life stems from a spiritual root

"Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life."  Proverbs 4:23

(Incidentally, as I was working on this post, after I wrote the part above, imagine my surprise to find that the word "springs" actually replaces the word "issues" in Proverbs 4:23 in other versions of the Bible!  The English Standard Version reads "Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life." The New Heart English Bible reads, "Guard your heart with all diligence, for out of it is the wellspring of life.")

Whole-Person Biblical Minimalism causes us to look at all aspects of life through the lens of God's Word and Jesus' mindset. 

"For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart."  Hebrews 4:12

The true thoughts and intents of the heart come to light as we peel back the multiple layers and minimize our lives through a Biblical lens.  We begin to ask ourselves questions like "why am I still holding on to this grudge?", "why am I still nursing this emotional wound?", "do I love this more than I love Jesus?", "is He pleased with this relationship?", "should I buy this if it requires me to go into debt?", "what is my motive for doing this?", "has this become an idol to me?", "what is my motivation for having more than I need and use?", and a plethora of other soul-searching questions.

"Thou shalt not make thee any graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the waters beneath the earth:  Thou shalt not bow down thyself unto them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God."  Deuteronomy 5:8,9

Though we now live in the dispensation of grace, God's conditions for wholehearted service remain the same.  He still deserves single-minded devotion and absolute ownership of every part of our lives, and He does not want to be in competition for our affections.  

It is not enough to give Him full right-of-way on Sunday and hold Him at arms' length every other day of the week.  It is unfair to relinquish control in matters that are spiritual, yet tell Him our physical possessions, relationship choices, career paths, and financial decisions are off-limits.  

"I beseech you, therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.  And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God."  Romans 12:1,2

Presenting our bodies a living sacrifice to God means giving Him our whole person.  Everything.  All that we are, all that we own, all that we do, and all that we allow to be a part of our lives.  It is all His.  What He asks of us is not unreasonable considering He laid down His life for us.  Should we not lay ours down for Him, in return?  Isn't this our reasonable service?

Too often, we futilely attempt to live a post-redeemed life while still clinging to a pre-transformed mindset.  This is where the conflict comes in.  We are made for more than to try to conform and fit into the manmade molds of the unregenerated world around us.  Biblical Minimalism necessitates a renewing of the mind as we filter not only the spiritual part of us but all of the other seven categories through Scripture.

"Conversation" means conduct.  "All manner of conversation" includes every area of our lives.  

In the next post, Lord willing, we will move forward and dive into the physical slice of the pie.  I hope you will follow along!

Saturday, May 19, 2018

So, Where To Begin?

"Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us."  Hebrews 12:1

Just as a marathon runner could never run a winning race while laden with a backpack full of bricks, a Christian cannot run a successful race without lightening their load of weights and "besetting" (entangling, encompassing, surrounding) sins.  Jesus must increase, and we must decrease.  (John 3:30)

In the last post, we talked about the Whole-Person Pie© and how the pie is made up of eight slices that are common to us all, namely, Spiritual, Physical, Mental, Emotional, Relational, Financial, Occupational, and Obligational.

Looking at that pie, at first glance, can be completely overwhelming, especially if you realize during that first look that there are things that need to be laid aside and whittled off in every, single category.  I think most of us could agree that we have far too much excess that needs to be shed from our individual lives to free us to "run the race that is set before us."

But, where to begin?  The task seems beyond daunting, and we obviously need help from a power that is greater and higher than us.  This is where "Biblical" is added to minimalism.  This is where God comes in.

In order to reach a sense of perfect balance, God must be at the very center —the hub of the wheel— of our lives.

Do you see how the chart is broken up into eight pie-shaped slices?  Do you see how the slices are in the shape of triangles, and each triangle reaches toward God in the center?  Do you see how the slices become narrower the closer they get to the center where God is?

The closer we draw to Him and endeavor to align our lives with the way He lived His life in an earthly body for 33 1/2 years on earth, the less encumbered we will be.  It is a matter of Him steadily increasing and self-decreasing.

"Then said Jesus unto His disciples, If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me."  Matthew 16:24

As we tackle the subject matter that makes up each of the eight categories, I would like to start with the top right slice of the pie, that part of us that is spiritual because truly that is most important.  Our soul will live forever and is the only part of us that will leave this world and return to our Creator, God.

In John 10:10 Jesus said, "The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life and that they might have it more abundantly."  Jesus wants us to live abundantly in each of the eight parts of what makes up the whole of our lives.  The enemy of our souls will do all he can to keep that from happening, and his sole purpose is to steal our joy, kill our happiness, and destroy everything good in each of the eight categories of our lives, none more so than the spiritual.  

We all come to God with a checkered past, hang-ups, addictions, and all sorts of baggage.  To run a winning Christian race, a lot of shedding, pruning, and minimizing has to take place.

Thankfully, God is a patient, loving God who understands and empathizes with our humanity.

"For He knoweth our frame; He remembereth that we are dust."  Psalm 103:14

As we walk with Him, day by day, He ever-so-gently and continually reveals the parts of us that are unlike Him.  The more time we spend with Him, the more we come to understand who He is, and who we are, in comparison.  As we draw nearer to Him in our Christian walk, His holiness illuminates those parts of us that need to be minimized and laid aside.  This is what it means to "walk in the light".

"But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin."  I John 1:7

"Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth Me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life."  John 8:12

The key to bringing the spiritual part of us into alignment with the way Jesus lived His life is to walk in obedience.  As He sheds light on parts of us that need to be minimized and changed, it is up to us to "walk in the light, as He is in the light."

It's hard to own up to where we really are, isn't it?  But if we never face reality and embrace what is true, we will never take the first necessary step toward living a Biblically minimal life.  I have prepared a spiritual assessment questionnaire that I hope will at least get the conversation started and help you assess where you are in your walk with the Lord.  If you would like to download and print it, click HERE.  As you work through the seven questions, be honest and open.  You are the only person who ever needs to see the answers.

As I type, I am praying for each person who ever reads these words.  It is my hope that as we work through the eight categories of the Whole-Person Pie© you are encouraged to draw ever nearer to God and to let go of every, single thing that is holding you back from full obedience to Him, hindering you in following Him, and keeping you enslaved to this consumerism-driven, self-obsessed world.  May your affections become ever more eternity-focused as you lean into His perfect will in every area of your life.

"Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way as to take the prize."  1 Corinthians 9:24 (Berean Study Bible)

Monday, May 14, 2018

The Whole-Person Pie©

Is your life cluttered?  Do you feel out of balance?  Overwhelmed?  If you really want to change and begin the pursuit of aligning your life with the way Jesus lived His, you have to start somewhere.  I believe the place to begin is to identify what needs to be minimized.  As you walk through this process, you may find that there are excess and imbalance in every category of your life.  Don't be discouraged or let the discovering of this reality deter you from your goal.  Taking an initial assessment will give you a true picture of where you really are, and that is the first step to living the free and abundant life God wants you to live.  You are doing a wonderful thing —for yourself and for the ones you love.

In my last post, I said Biblical Minimalism is "a complete, whole-person release of anything unlike Jesus, a letting go of everything that hinders us from following Him wholeheartedly and single-mindedly, and a relinquishing of all that brings us under bondage to this earthly, very temporary life."

So, what constitutes a "whole-person release of anything unlike Jesus?"  What does that look like in real life in a day and time that is consumed with excess, a "more is better" mentality, and an "if it feels good to the flesh, do it, buy it, and deny yourself nothing" mindset?  Excess consumerism and this mentality and mindset are polar opposite the way Jesus lived His life and wants us to live ours, and we are continually left with an ever-present choice.  Will we deny self, minimize the excess, take the road less traveled to follow Jesus, or will we succumb to the demands of this materialism-driven world?

There are many facets to each one of our individual lives, and for the sake of the subject matter of Biblical Minimalism, I have reckoned those parts to a whole pie that is divided into eight separated, distinct "slices" that are common to us all.  I truly hope this plain and practical way of viewing your life will prove to be beneficial and help you identify areas that are out of alignment with Biblical standards or are in need of pruning and adjustment.  Below the chart, I have listed an introductory description of each category, along with some brief examples of things that may need to be minimized, changed, and/or completely eliminated.  Obviously, these lists are inexhaustive, every life and situation is different, and each person must lean wholly on the Holy Spirit for individual guidance.  Lord willing, in future posts, we will devote attention to each distinct "slice" in more detail, one at a time.

As you are reading through, perhaps you will want to think about, of these eight categories, what part of your life feels most out of alignment with the way Jesus lived?  What area of your life feels most overwhelmed and overloaded with excess?  What bothers you most?  In each category, what, in your life, needs to be released and minimized?  

Spiritual - 
This category has to do with our individual relationship with God and matters of the soul and eternity.  
Examples of things that need to be minimized, changed, and/or completely laid aside?  Sin, anything we are doing or holding on to that is not pleasing to Christ, spiritual hindrances.

Physical - 
Material possessions, clutter, disorganization, physical body, health, obesity
Examples of things that need to be minimized, changed, and/or completely laid aside?  Things we no longer need or use or want, unnecessary possessions, excess body weight, habits that are detrimental to our physical health.  

Mental - 
Thoughts/patterns of thinking, perspective, psychological intimidation, motives, anything to do with the mind
Examples of things that need to be minimized, changed, and/or completely laid aside?  Every stronghold, every thought that is not in obedience to Christ, lies from the enemy, negative thinking and outlook, self-loathing, worry, anxiety

Emotional - 
Triggered natural responses to events and circumstances, matters of the heart
Examples of things that need to be minimized, changed, and/or completely laid aside?  Weighted negative baggage from our upbringing & childhood, past experiences, abuse, etc., hatred, bitterness, malice, unforgiveness, remorse/regret, guilt, fear, revenge

Relational - 
Relationships with others 
Examples of things that need to be minimized, changed, and/or completely laid aside?  Toxic relationships, vexing relationships, time spent with those who discourage and bring down the spirit, enabling of unhealthy behavior in others, permissiveness to and perpetuation of abuse, allowing others to control time and actions, aligning priorities with Biblical principles

Financial -
Tithing, debt, stewardship
Examples of things that need to be minimized, changed, and/or completely laid aside? Failure to tithe and put God first above all else, indebtedness, unwise spending, living above means, stop allowing abusers to take advantage of financial generosity, stop casting pearls before swine

Occupational - 
Examples of things that need to be minimized, changed, and/or completely laid aside?  Careful diligence and seeking of God's face for clarity and direction as to the line of work most pleasing to Him and most fitting to one's natural abilities and talents, alleviation of the stress of stretching and trying to fill roles outside of inherent gifts, pushing beyond physical and mental capabilities, allowing greed to drive decisions and dictate how time is allocated and spent

Obligational - 
Time-allocation, schedule, commitments, obligations, ministerial appointments, extended familial pressure
Examples of things that need to be minimized, changed, and/or completely laid aside?  Not allowing anything to come before time with God, managing time according to Biblical principles, doing and taking on too much, trying to do it all, not knowing how to say "no", releasing unnecessary commitments, examining motives and learning the difference between obligation and externally-inflicted guilt, 

Before we go any further, let me just say that I do NOT have it all together, nor do I claim to. I fall SO short of the glory of God and am nowhere near "the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus."  (Philippians 3:14)  Though God has brought me a long way, there are many remaining areas that I feel conviction over and am pressing toward the mark continually.  I am definitely a work in progress, and the precious Holy Spirit is teaching me every day.  I only want to share the lessons and try to encourage and help you in your quest for a more Christlike, Biblically-minimal, simple life.  There is so much we will learn together, as He leads the way!

I hope you will stay tuned and follow along!

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

What is Biblical Minimalism?

Hello, friends!
I am so grateful to all who have commented, subscribed by email, and started following this blog!  Your support, kind words, and most of all, your prayers, mean so much to me, and I am so deeply thankful for you!  I SO want to help you in your pursuit of minimal living that aligns itself with the way Jesus walked.  That is why I'm here.  I pray that every post will minister to you and point you ever closer to the eternity-focused life God wills you to live.

To lay the foundation for this new blog, I am sharing a sneak peek from the first few lines of the introduction to my book, "Biblical Minimalism" —

"If I had to pinpoint just one passage of Scripture that encapsulates Biblical minimalism, it is this. 

“Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:1,2

Biblical minimalism is not just about having fewer material possessions, sparse décor, or a specific number of outfits. It is a complete, whole-person release of anything unlike Jesus, a letting go of everything that hinders us from following Him wholeheartedly and single-mindedly, and a relinquishing of all that brings us under bondage to this earthly, very temporary, life."

In the Berean Study Bible, Hebrews 12:1,2 reads this way, "Therefore since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off every encumbrance and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with endurance the race set out for us.  Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer, and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God."

"Encumbrance" - a burden or impediment
"Encumber" - restrict or burden (someone or something) in such a way that free action or movement is difficult

In this verse, mention is made of two specific hindrances to running a successful, winning Christian race.  There are encumbrances, and there are sins.  Trying to live with either in our lives will weigh us down, impede our spiritual progress, and set us outside of God's perfect will.  Living life on the outside of the perimeters God has set creates continual misery in the human heart.

Jesus, our example, the One we are to look to and pattern our lives after lived His life on earth with no encumbrances and zero sin.  He was the pioneer, the One who perfected this thing called faith that we are endeavoring to live out in our daily lives.  He could endure the difficult places of His life, even the anguished torment of the cross because He knew this life is not the end.  The temporariness of this life was ever before Him.  Instead of focusing on how hard things were, He kept His eyes on the joy that was set before Him — the afterward, what was beyond the inhumane suffering and intense pain of the most horrific means of death known to mankind.

Jesus never allowed anything to box Him in.  He was 100% free to do His Father's will with nothing holding Him back.  He was all-in at all times.  He did not lay up treasures on this earth because He knew He was only passing through.  His goal was continually on the prize ahead of Him, and it is His will that we live our lives in the same eternity-focused way.

How is that possible, you ask?  How, in this debt-saturated, materialistic, demanding age of time, can we truly live up to such a high standard and such a simplified, minimal life?  How can we live our lives unbound, free, unfettered, and unencumbered when we are surrounded by and entangled with so many consumeristic distractions and expectations?

Stay with me.  You can do this.  Trust God.

In the introduction that I shared above, I said Biblical Minimalism "is a complete, whole-person release of anything unlike Jesus, a letting go of everything that hinders us from following Him wholeheartedly and single-mindedly, and a relinquishing of all that brings us under bondage to this earthly, very temporary, life."

So, what is involved in a "complete, whole-person release of anything that is unlike Jesus?"
What does that look like in everyday life?  Practically speaking, how can we do this?

Stay tuned for the next post in which I will introduce you to what I call the "Whole-Person Pie©."
Sound interesting?  It truly is.  You won't want to miss it!

See you then!

Monday, May 7, 2018

A New Beginning


I am so thankful you made the decision to stop here!  As you may know, I have been blogging at Homespun Devotions for the past six and a half years.  It has been an amazing journey that will continue as long as God leads.  I will still be blogging there about the things God lays upon my heart, along with continuing to conduct interviews with inspiring Christians such as Jim DalyDr. Alveda KingJoni Eareckson TadaWill Graham, and others!

Homespun Devotions will always mean so much to me, but I just love when God does something new, don't you?  Even though it is hard to step out of what is familiar and comfortable, launching out by faith and going into new and undiscovered levels of trusting God includes a sense of excitement, doesn't it?

Biblical Minimalism is brand new.  Well, not the reality, concept, and Scriptural foundation, but the blog that bears its name.  I am calling it Biblical Minimalism because that is the exact approach my little family and I are taking and living out in our daily lives.  A simple life calls to me.  For the longest time, I couldn't identify why.  Then it hit me.  I long for a simple life because of Jesus and the minimal, eternity-focused life He lived while on earth.  I want to pattern my life after His.  In order to do that, "He must increase, but I must decrease."  (John 3:30)  That includes every part of life that contains excess or is contrary to what Jesus would do and possess.  It is an ongoing, daily effort filled with simplifying and letting go of everything God's Word requires.  It is literally stopping and asking hard questions, like "Would Jesus do this?", "Would Jesus take this on?", "Would Jesus have more than one of these?", "Would Jesus give this to someone who needs it more?", "Would Jesus love this more than He loves His Father?" and a thousand other questions just like these.

We are about three years into this incredible journey.  I have so much to tell you!  So many lessons!  So much insight and truth He has taught us in our fervent quest to pattern our lives after His!  So much to share that I felt God leading me to start a new site that focuses solely on this subject matter, and I recently finished writing the book, "Biblical Minimalism©."  I am now in the process of earnestly seeking God as to the publishing direction He wants me to take and hoping He will allow the book to soon be available for everyone to read who has a desire to do so. 

On this blog, we will leave shallow behind and delve into what is deep.

Are you in debt and searching for God's way out?
Do you worry about tomorrow?
Are you burdened under a load of far too many physical possessions?
Is your home cluttered and disorganized?
Have you taken on a ministerial obligation that brings continual misery?
Are there people in your life who are a source of constant vexation?
Is your schedule overloaded and stressing you out?
Do you long to live your life as Jesus lived His?

As you look at the header picture for this blog, don't you feel Him calling you?
Away from the things of this world?
Away from the noise and chaos and craziness?
Can you feel the weight of that higher call?
If you can, you and I are kindred spirits.

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I can't wait to meet you and walk this path together!
God bless you as you seek to draw closer to Him.