Tuesday, June 23, 2020

When Less is More


Matthew 6:19-29
Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.  But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.

In recent year, society has embraced such buzz-words as "decluttering" and "downsizing."  Think of the rise in popularity of tiny house, and the international success of Marie Kondo's tips on how to tidy up your home, and get rid of things you really and truly don't need.  Streamlining and simplifying our daily lives are the goals that so many people have embraced.  And certainly, these practices are admirable in and of themselves, but can a deeper meaning and reason for minimizing have Biblical roots?

Author, Cheryl Smith, in her new book Biblical Minimalism - Following Jesus from a Life of Abundance to a More Abundant Life, would answer you with a resounding "YES!"  She recounts the journey her own family embarked upon with the goal being to rid themselves of worldly baggage, anything and everything that stood as a barrier between them and a closer, more intimate walk with Jesus.  Cheryl's engaging writing style and honest reflections immediately draw the reader into her world.  I found myself reexamining my own priorities as a Christian, and vowing to shed myself of any idols, physical, mental, and emotional, that could be stumbling blocks blocks to Jesus' desire that I humbly submit to the abundant life He offers.

Along with sharing her personal journey, Cheryl has peppered Biblical Minimalism with generous examples from Old and New Testaments, which attest to why our treasures should be stored in heaven, not on earth.  And she also gives clear guidelines as to how we, too, can approach the practice to disarm and dismiss our idols, and come to understand why less is more.  Here is how Cheryl describes the essence of Biblical minimalism:  Adopting the mind of Christ and being willing to live the kind of life He lived is what true Biblical minimalism is all about.  It is a Biblical path to peace, both in the heart and in the home, and it really is quite simple.

After you read Cheryl's book, I think you will agree with her and with me - yes, it is quite simple, and something each and every one of us can accomplish with God's help.  I guarantee you will read devour Biblical Minimalism and come away a changed person, eager to embrace a more abundant and satisfying life with the Lord!

About the author:


Cheryl Smith, with her husband, Kevin, and their son, Zach, are enjoying a Biblical minimal way of life.  She blogs regularly at her inspirational site, Homespun Devotions, where she not only writes devotionals, but conducts "Inner Views" with other Christians interested in sharing their personal testimonies.  When she isn't writing, Cheryl loves spending time with her family, visiting the mountains, and singing and playing bluegrass music.

30 comments:

  1. Wonderful book review, Martha. Thank you.

    God bless.

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    1. It's an amazing book, Victor, so the review was really easy to write.
      Love and blessings!

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  2. You make the book an enticing one to read Martha. Thanks for a good and well-thought out review. Now...where did I put that thing? Maybe if I move some stuff I might be able to find it quicker. :)

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    1. Yes, Bill, it is definitely a book worth reading; hope you will order it soon!
      Love and blessings!

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  3. Dear Martha! Thank you SO much for your wonderful review and your kind words! This means so much to my family and me. May the dear Lord bless you for all you do. We are eternally grateful to you!

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    1. So glad you liked the review, Cheryl, and I pray that your book will bless so many readers. What a joy it was to review!
      Love and blessings!

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  4. I love the idea of Biblical Minimalism. Or minimalism of (almost) any kind. This sounds like my kind of book. I must check it out. I am often inspired by the times when my oldest son would purge himself of all of his possessions that did not fit into his car. He said they weighed him down. Of course, that was before a wife and son! :)

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    1. I love that your oldest son realized the importance of "you can't take it with you" when loading his car. It really is a concept we should all embrace, and Cheryl's book will definitely inspire you to do so, Laurie. If you click on the "Biblical Minimalism" links in this post, it will take you right to Amazon.
      Love and blessings!

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  5. While I never bought into Marie Kondo-ism, our cross-country move into a smaller home pretty much mandated we rid ourselves of an embarrassing amount of baggage. This book's message sounds intriguing! So much so, I'm going to bring it up with my Bible study pals for future consideration.

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    1. Oh, Myra, this would be an excellent read for your Bible study group!!! Lots of scripture and practical advice for ridding ourselves of the extra baggage we don't need to be carrying around with us. You can order a copy at the links above.
      Love and blessings!

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  6. Sounds like a wonderful book and I am sure I SHOULD read it, as minimalism is something very foreign to me with my house full of "treasures". We did give away many things when we moved this past summer. I know I have a long way to go, but I do enjoy the reminders of our family history. I also look forward to the treasures that are being built and stored in heaven...and will gladly leave this earth and go when God calls me home, and never look back. Thank you for sharing these thoughts today. They do give me things to think about.

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    1. It's an amazing book, Pamela, and I know you would love reading it. Cheryl is careful to caution people about being too hasty about getting rid of certain items, especially, as in your case, if they hold precious family memories. What I love about her book, too, is her advice about how to also release emotional baggage that keeps us from living an abundant life with Jesus. I hope you'll order the book!
      Love and blessings!

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  7. Thank you for this review, Martha Jane! I agree with what you have said here!

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    1. It is an awesome read, Terri. Hope you will order it! :)
      Love and blessings!

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  8. Thank you for introducing us to this book and author, Martha. Biblical Minimalism sounds like something I need.

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    1. I think we all can use a dose of this in our lives, Beckie. Cheryl really is a fabulous author, and her knowledge of scripture is bar none! I think you would really enjoy it.
      Love and blessings!

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  9. Martha, this sounds like a most interesting book. Its message is likely one that many Christians (in the First World, at least) need to take to heart. While I've parted ways with a sizable amount of "stuff" in the last twelve years, there's yet more that should go at some point.

    Love and blessings!

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    1. Yes, this is a First World issue in many ways, Kim. But Cheryl goes beyond shedding our lives of physical clutter, and asks us to examine what's within our hearts that keeps us unwillingly to submit our all to Jesus. Such a tremendous read!
      Love and blessings!

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  10. This reminds me of a quotation I like -- "The price of staying awake is every reason you have to stop loving." When we shed everything that is not from God, then we are left with all that we need to live an abundant life.

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    1. Amen, Galen! We need to put off the things that really don't matter so we can get on being about God's business, and living that abundant life.
      Love and blessings!

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  11. Thank you for sharing this concept, book, and author intro Ms. Martha. It would have been sad to have missed this.

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    1. Thank you, J. D., for your kind words here. Yes, this is quite the amazing read for us as Christians. Hope you will check it out!
      Love and blessings!

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  12. I imagine such intentful living of de-cluttering in the natural sets the stage for more room to spiritually listen to His prompting with so much less weight to own and manage.

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    1. Yes, it certainly does, Valerie. Cheryl has written a marvelous book, and I hope you will order yourself a copy.
      Love and blessings!

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  13. I had not heard of this book, Biblical Minimalism. I believe I fall far short of that but the basic intent is excellent.

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    1. Barbara, you haven't heard of it because it was just released! Cheryl gave me a launch team copy to review. You can order a copy for yourself at the links above.
      Love and blessings!

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  14. This sounds wonderful. I hadn't heard of it but will definitely check it out. Thanks!

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  15. What a beautiful review you have done, dear friend! Cheryl's book is powerfully written, a wonderful source of inspiration, even if you are not on a minimalism path, but just want to follow Jesus more closely than ever before. I too, loved Cheryl's writing style, and how she drew you into her life and story, and the difficulties of trying to follow Jesus, along with lessons learned, and scriptures that are woven deeply into the fabric of her book. I pray the book is a blessing to many! With love to you dear friend!

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