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8/08/2005

ENOUGH

AX048719An apartment. A bike. A card table and chairs. Three meals a day. A black and white TV and a beanbag chair.

Is that enough?

A two bedroom siding covered house. A garage with a car bought used inside. A couch and overstuffed chair. A grill on the back porch and the occasional steak in the freezer. A color TV with basic cable.

Enough yet?

A three bedroom brick and siding house. A two car garage with a SUV and four door car inside. A couch in the den and one in the bonus room. A deck, basement and playground for the kids. A neighborhood swimming pool and association dues to match. Eating out a couple times a week. A 32 inch TV with extended cable.

How's that?

A four bedroom brick house with hardwood floors in a gated community with pond out back. A sports car and SUV in the garage. A boat in the works. Couches and chairs and coffee tables and lots more in the sun room, den, sitting area, master bedroom, bonus room and finished basement. A wrap around deck, swimming pool, fenced in backyard with benches beneath lush shade trees. Intercom, speakers and built-in vacuum system throughout. Membership at the club. Golf once a week. Eating out daily. A flat screen HD-TV with full cable pumped through a surround sound entertainment system.

How about now?

There are 6 billion people in the world.

“Today, 1.3 billion people live on less than one dollar a day; 3 billion live on under two dollars a day; 1.3 billion have no access to clean water; 3 billion have no access to sanitation; 2 billion have no access to electricity.” (James Wolfenson, The Other Crisis, World Bank, October 1998, quoted from The Reality of Aid 2000, (Earthscan Publications, 2000), p.10)

We're putting a "For Sale" sign in our yard this week. Our first step away from the American dream and towards helping those without enough. Your move.

Got thoughts? Post a comment below or discuss on my message-board.

18 Comments:

Anonymous nancy tyler said...

more, more...tell us more.

8/08/2005  
Blogger supersimbo said...

wow. the stats like that never cease to make me humbled and slightly agitated that i dont do more to change it for the less fortunate than me...........during our sonshine week... www.sonshine2005.blogspot.com
we try so hard to make a difference to people who really need it......kids, old people, families etc i have not any pics of those actions tho but stop by for a look if you aint already

8/08/2005  
Blogger Kathryn said...

POW! that was powerful. My move is that i'm still living in my little 'starter home'. . while anyone and everyone i know has moved to bigger and better! We drove around 2 rusted old vehicles. . we just replaced our 12 year-old Chrysler mini van cuz it was dying. The other car, it'll do for several more years. We are trying to live a lifestyle of simplicity, we don't buy something until we really need it and the other something is used up. When we do things, we try to find the most economical way possible, we reuse whenever possible. We both feel the strong desire to be accountable to God in what we purchase and use, even how we dispose of items, donating them to help others and being conscious of waste, how its dealt with and recycling as much as possible. Good for you for making that bold move. . A lifestyle of simplicity is very hard to live these days. . we can always pare it down further. . absolutely, thanx for the challenge. I went thru my closet yesterday. . found some clothing that we don't use. . we do this several times a year - usually charitable organizations call for the items. .but I've discovered that our local food bank takes clothing donations, esp finer clothing to help people go for job interviews, etc. I found out that they recycle tons of stuff to help with their expenses. . so now we've changed our recycling habits, so that they can have more value.

Everyone can take stock of their 'goods', their situations and they can absolutely do many, many things to live a simple lifestyle, with gratitude and awareness of others and action for the greater good.

8/08/2005  
Blogger Teresa said...

I basically fit into catagory #1 most of what I have was given to me because there is no way I could afford it on my own, but I still feel that I am comfortable and more than enough!

I found out that the guy who pan handles down the street from where I work makes more money/day than I do. Even our poor are rich!

8/08/2005  
Blogger Toby said...

What is enough? It is exactly what God gives when he gives it. currently it is an older three bedroom home that is to be used for neighborhood ministry. Previously it was a two bedroom single wide for a family of 5 that served as home and Sunday School space. Whatever. God provides and all we have is at His disposal.

8/08/2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The new enough = transparency, selflesness...pondering...

Romans 9:31-33

8/08/2005  
Blogger Bar Bar A said...

Thought provoking. I admire your decision to move so you are able to give more.

Some Christians are called to give in different ways. I think of my dentist. He has a nice house, drives a Mercedes, his kids go to private Christian school. But for "vacation" every year he spends ten days in a third world country fixing the teeth of people who have never seen a dentist before.

I am glad I found your blog, through Joe's, I'll be back.

8/08/2005  
Blogger TheKnithead said...

I found this through Nashville Is Talking. Thank you so much for this. I needed to see (especially today) that somebody else is taking this kind of a stand. My husband and I have an extremely similar take on this.
(BTW - I'm a fan of your music as well as your blog.)

8/08/2005  
Blogger pianoman said...

all I can say is wow... your last sentence just felt I slammed up against a wall... two words and a world of meaning... that was amazing... your progression of need (read: luxury) was really revealing... thank you

8/09/2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

sounded almost nice... till that last part

8/09/2005  
Blogger Bret said...

Howdy,
I recently read Jesus: A Revolutionary Biography by John Dominic Crossan. And while I don't agree with all his assertions, his presentation of Jesus was quite startling. He painted Jesus as absolutely committed to his ministry of breaking down social barriers.
Pursuing our own aspirations and merely giving our excess or leftovers away isn't enough. That does not bring healing, it only reinforces the difference between the rich and poor. Maybe it's just me, but I don't imagine that it does wonders for a man's or woman's self-esteem to receive clothing in a trash bag.
What frightens me is that a follower of Christ is like Christ, and for some reason, most days I don't want to be like him.

8/09/2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

First let me say that I admire your conviction and passion. But when you leave, what then? Who will be the voice in that place? Not everyone has the abilities or means to reach certain areas of society. Aren't there still people who are lost? If all believers who currently live in gated communities, elite condos or even the suburbs decided to abandon their lives in these areas in exchange for less, who will be there to be a light to those who remain behind?

I completely understand the needlessness of excess, but also isn't the strength of our economy dependent on spending? Please don't get me wrong, I own a home but have given serious thought to selling it for the very same reason. I am just not sure of what to do.

8/10/2005  
Anonymous Cara said...

makes us think, how appreciative we should be for every little thing the Lord gives us.

8/10/2005  
Blogger Wyman Richardson said...

Shaun,

Great stuff. Very convicting! I was doing a little piece on my blog about a flier I received in the mail last week (big house - subtitle, "This Should be Yours, Now" - I've scanned a picture of it) when I saw your article via Bruce Grinstead's blog. Anyway, I've linked to your article at the end of mine. You really do make the point well. And you've put feet on your convictions. That's guts man. Good going. Makes me think about my own convictions...

8/10/2005  
Blogger Teresa said...

One of my favorite Quotes:

"There are two ways to have enough, one is to accumulate more and more, the other is to desire less." - G.K. Chesterton

8/10/2005  
Blogger Shaun Groves said...

"What is enough? It is exactly what God gives when he gives it." - toby

What? The problem is God allows everything that comes to us to do so, but that is different from God wanting us to accept and keep everything that comes our way. Isn't it?

It appears at first glance that toby would say God wants the bloated orphan in Somalia to have only what he has for the two weeks of life he experiences before dying of dysentery. And it also appears that a billionaire with seven mansions and a plastic faced wife has all that God wants him to have as well. They have what God has allowed them to have but does He want them to accept and keep all that they have? What do you think?

"But when you leave, what then? Who will be the voice in that place? Not everyone has the abilities or means to reach certain areas of society. Aren't there still people who are lost? If all believers who currently live in gated communities, elite condos or even the suburbs decided to abandon their lives in these areas in exchange for less, who will be there to be a light to those who remain behind? "

This shocked me, honestly. What a complex rationalization for wealth. Now excess is a missionary strategy? Wow. As if the only place Christians run across and influence non-Christians is in their neighborhood? These rich people work, go to church, have their kids in schools, send their kids to college, board their dogs in kennels, buy groceries, have their cars repaired and, well, they do the stuff everyone else does don't they? Truth is rich people in my neighborhood spend less time in their neighborhood than outside of it. They have to to maintain their wealth - to service their stuff and get more of it.

And the rest of us can work for them and with them and be an influence and example from our positions without moving in next door. Just my first thought.

What do you think?

SG

8/11/2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am truly sorry that my comment offended you. I wasn't attempting "a complex rationalization for wealth." And I didn't mean to state that "excess is a missionary strategy?". As I do not live amongst the wealthy I should not have attempted to comment.

8/12/2005  
Anonymous Enilisav said...

its all just paper
let it go
use your brains




period.

8/28/2005  

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