7 [Book In Review] Chapter 6

Basic Review
“We’re in the home stretch here, hang in there kids,” is what I can imagine the author saying to her kids to encourage them to finish the goal. For the Hatmaker family, it has been 5 long months of fasting and this month is equally as challenging. The author describes her month of spending at 7 approved retailers.

1 farmer’s market, 1 gas station, online bill pay,
 kid’s school, emergency medical, Target, limited travel fund

Now she is a traveling speaker so if she wanted to “work” she would need to spend some money which is why that last one is thrown in there. They reduced all eating out, entertainment purchases and leisurely activities for the month and spent quality time with friends and neighbors in their homes. Also please keep in mind that giving and spending are completely different things so they continued to give away their money to those in need.

Favorite Thoughts From The Author
What if wealth and indulgence are creating a polished people rotting from the inside out, without even knowing it? Jesus never utters a positive word about the wealthy, only tons of parables with us as the punch line and this observation: It is terribly hard for us to receive His kingdom, harder than shoving a camel through the eye of a needle…What if we are camels, on this side of the needle?” I know this topic of money can be controversial, but I’m not a blogger to shy away from controversy. Money can be so deceiving. I think it’s only prudent to look ourselves straight in the heart and ask, am I a camel trying to get through the eye of a needle? No one can answer that question for you; it’s between you and your Maker. But when we get to the Judgement seat, we will give an account for how we spent our wealth. “The ‘my vote doesn’t really count so why bother?’ attitude that our generation loves won’t fly when it’s all said and done. If you don’t believe your wealthy read, Blessed Beyond Mudcakes. We have been entrusted with a lot of money and resources in America. We consume 86% of the world’s stuff. What if:

Annual US and European spending on perfume: $12 billion
Clean water for all global citizens: $9 billion
We could solve the water crisis if we put our minds to it collectively. I have a friend who is only eating rice and beans for the next 40 days to raise money for clean water in Africa. Check it out and give if you feel so obliged.

When I look at the Earth’s resources and all the humans it needs to sustain, I have to adopt an “as for me and my house” perspective on responsibility. Stewardship is like that…Just because I can have it doesn’t mean I should.” This is a thought process that I am trying to brainwash my children into adopting. Every time I tell them no, they ask if our bank account has run out of money. I find this question sometimes hilarious and other times discouraging because they have not learned the skill of self denial. They interpret my answer to mean that I cannot buy the item for them instead of I will not buy the item.

As the author sums up this month, she explains the connection between our social lives and consuming. I find this to be true in my own life as well. When we want to meet with a friend, or spend time with someone, we generally choose a meeting place outside of the home, thus perpetuating the cycle of spend, spend, spend. Where do we meet? Starbucks, Panera, Chipotle ect. As a body of Christ, we have successfully brainwashed ourselves into this rhythm. As the month wore on, the author found that she missed her friends because she was unable to meet at the gathering places for lunch and then it dawned on her that they could meet in a home, much like the early church in the book of Acts. She says, “This exits the expediency of consumerism and enters the realm of hospitality.

Word(s) That Last
But the master said to him, “I know you Pharisees burnish the surface of your cups and plates so that they sparkle in the sun, but I also know your insides are maggoty with greed and secret evil. Stupid Pharisees! Didn’t the One who made the outside also make the inside? Turn both your pockets and your hearts inside out and give generously to the poor; then your lives will be clean, not just your dishes and your hands.
I’ve had it with you. You’re hopeless, you Pharisees! Frauds! You keep meticulous account books, tithing on every nickle and dime you get, but manage to find loopholes for getting around basic matters of justice and God’s love.” Luke 11:37-42 Msg

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