Category Archives: spiritual disciplines

5 Minute Maintenance

whirlpool-strike-w10542314-ap5650274_01_mOne home maintenance item that hadn’t crossed my mind to regularly check and replace was the dishwasher door gasket. I happened to be doing some work on the baseboard and noticed water discoloration on the backside of the wood.  This was not a major leak, probably just a few drips every time the washer ran a cycle, and there was no damage. Still, the gasket needed replacing. Continue reading 5 Minute Maintenance

The Simple Life

Escher’s “Relativity” – People doing simple tasks in a complex environment.

The first time I heard of the discipline of simplicity, I thought it was something extra-biblical that some monks invented. The Bible does not say to “be simple” (In fact, in the KJV we are instructed to move away from being simple (Psalm 19:7, Proverbs 21:11)). However, there is a difference between being simple and living simply. Life is not always simple, but I have found that it pays to simplify where one can. There are probably many facets of life where we can over do it, but to keep things simple, let’s look at two: the physical and the spiritual. Continue reading The Simple Life

Gift Giving

Anyone who has read Gary Chapman’s 5 Love Languages would recognize receiving gifts as one of the love languages. A person with this primary love language not only enjoys receiving gifts, but also giving them. I am writing this post as a person who does not have the primary love language of receiving gifts. I enjoy giving and receiving gifts, but not gifts just for the sake of gift giving. As a person who’s love language is quality time, I would rather a person come to my birthday party empty handed, or with a six-pack of root beer we can share, than to send me a costly gift that I cannot use. Continue reading Gift Giving

Needful Things

As we continue on the journey towards simplicity, I am now asking myself a question. How did I end up with so much stuff?! The answer is simple. Since the only things at my home that multiply on their own are dust and weeds, everything else I either purchased or someone gave me. This post will focus on obtaining things for ourselves, and the next will reflect on gift giving.

In good architecture and interior design, simple does not mean boring. Continue reading Needful Things

Simply Relax

Moving toward simplicity is much like packing to move to a new house. Everything gets messier before it starts getting cleaner. Once we start pulling items out of our hoard, those items need to find a new place to live, perhaps in someone else’s hoard or the garbage. We have growing stacks of books, electronics, and furniture to be given away, sold at a garage sale, or on Craigslist, making our home start to feel a bit maze-like, like the houses on Hoarders. Okay, it is not really that bad, but I did have a broken chair sitting in my office for a couple of months. It took me two minutes go outside, smash it against the sidewalk, and throw the pieces in the trash. Why did I wait so long? Because letting go is difficult . . . at least at first.

Smaug’s hoard Continue reading Simply Relax

Working Towards Simplicity

I am finding that was easier to maintain a life of simplicity than to move to a life of simplicity. When one does not have much, nor the means to obtain more, covetousness is probably a bigger temptation than materialism. However, that does not mean a poor person cannot practice selfish hoarding, holding on too tightly to what little we have. We can all, poor and wealthy, learn from the widow’s gift (Mark 12:41-44). When I was in college, buying a sandwich from the McDonald’s dollar menu for homeless person allowed that person to eat as well as I did. If my father bought me a coat, I had no problem giving away my “old” coat because I really did not have the space to store a large wardrobe.

Continue reading Working Towards Simplicity

Simplicity with Media

One thing I learned about myself during my seminary spiritual formation classes was that I needed to take time to unplug. Between online classes, being a teleworker, personal entertainment, and communication, I was jacked into the internet most of my waking hours. When an assignment called for a fast, it was more beneficial and more difficult for me to refrain from media than food. Recently, my wife and I reviewed our budget, and decided to cut some costs. The two cuts relevant to this discussion were the cell phone data plan and cable television. Continue reading Simplicity with Media