Tuesday, July 14, 2020

'Biblical Minimalism' Giveaway * The Bookbag

Welcome back to The Bookbag, my dear reading buddies!

I hope your libraries are opening up and that you're beginning to work your way through the pile of reads that are now being offered to you.  I must admit that the first few books I had put on reserve months ago were a big let down, their covers closed for good within 50 pages.

One was darkly oppressive ... and who needs that right about now.  And the other was too cutesy, the dialogue too forced.  They went back to the library quickly.

Meanwhile, my friend Cheryl asked me to review her brand new book, Biblical Minimalism: Following Jesus from a Life of Abundance to a More Abundant Life.  I said 'yes, please!' for two reasons.  First, Cheryl is a sister blogger with a lovely heart of gold.  And second, I've been a big proponent of a more minimalistic lifestyle for about seven years ever since I started to clear out my endless collections of all things vintage.

I'll be sharing the beginning of that story in our next post.  Stay tuned! {7/19 Update - Farewell, My Little Vintage Friends.}

Meanwhile, Cheryl's book unfolded in a powerful, unexpected way.  Not only did she share her own life-altering downsizing story and talk about the practicalities and rewards of doing so, but she also expanded on subjects near to my heart.

*  Like waiting room seasons where our temptation is to gaze backward instead of anticipating what God has for us around the bend.

*  And shaking off the dust when it comes to toxic relationships.

*  Ministry obligations that run amok and how to disengage while still honoring Christ.

*  Feeling stuck and unable to launch forward.

*  And 11 hugely helpful questions on figuring out what God might be calling you to do in this next season.

*  Plus a beautifully focused chapter on pursuing personal peace.

I loved this surprise emphasis on these personal challenges most of us will encounter head on sooner or later.

For the Christian, minimalism is far more than downsizing and superficial tossing of unneeded possessions.  It's about following God's leading to remove all that deters and distracts us from looking deep in our hearts and following God's direction into our future.

'Biblical minimalism is not just about letting go of our physical belongings.  It is all-encompassing to the point of stripping away every source of excess, entanglement, and what will hinder us in living the abundant life of freedom Jesus came to enable us to live.  It means getting down to the bare bones of trusting God to supply all our needs.  It means releasing anything in our lives that cause us to live under extreme stress ... It means paying off what we owe and eliminating tormenting bondage.  It means whittling away stumbling blocks in our lives, so we are free to fulfill the mission for which we were born and to reveal our true identity in Christ.'
- page 111 -

Biblical Minimalism is a helpful little traveling companion that is strongly grounded in Scripture.  It's Cheryl's story but it's so much more.  A guide to contentment, a calmer lifestyle, a peace-filled family life.  A super Bible Study for yourself, for your family, for your small group.

One very fortunate, random commenter on this post will receive a FREE copy of Biblical Minimalism.  Please leave your thoughts by this Friday at 8 pm {eastern}.  USA only please.  And do be sure that your comment has a link where I can get hold of you if you're the winner!

Be blessed ~
Linda

Cheryl Smith is the author of the book Biblical Minimalism, the story of her family's journey from a life of abundance to a more abundant life.  She is the author of the blogs Biblical Minimalism, where she writes about minimalism from a Biblical perspective, and Homespun Devotions, where she writes devotionals and conducts 'Inner Views.'  She loves to spend time with her husband and son in the mountains, sing and play Bluegrass music, and write.  To purchase the book, click HERE.


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CONGRATS TO THE GIVEAWAY WINNER!!
Bev Rihtarchik
@
Walking Well with God

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visiting with 
Mary & Lisa & Anne

38 comments:

  1. I love the idea of minimalism, Linda. I agree that we get too distracted with the "stuff" we collect. This was brought home forcefully when Hubby and I decided to clean out the basement of the house we have lived in for 35 years this spring, in anticipation of downsizing. "How did we accumulate so much stuff?" we asked each other? Paul Tillich wrote often about focusing on our "ultimate concern", which he equated with faith. Thanks for this very good review!

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    1. Oh Laurie, I love this about focusing on our 'ultimate concern.' How recalibrating right about now with all that's demanding our concentration, our peace, our plans.

      Jesus only.

      Yes, yes.

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  2. Linda, like you, I've sent a few long-awaited books back to the library before finishing them lately. If I have to stop and say, "Wait, why am I reading this again?" that's a good sign my time is probably better spent doing something else. :-) Cheryl's book sounds like a breath of fresh air!

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    1. "Wait, why am I reading this again?" is question that begs a definitive answer, doesn't it, Lois!

      Sometimes I'm left wondering where did I find this title and what was I thinking when I reserved it?

      So many books, so little time to waste on stuff that's sub-par.

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  3. Dear friend, thank you ever so much for your precious, kind words concerning our book! You have touched and blessed our hearts, and we appreciate you so very much! Much love and gratitude being sent your way! May the Lord richly bless you.

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    1. Dear Cheryl, your book will surely be the catalyst for ready souls who've been longing to shed whatever holds them back. Physically, emotionally, relationally, spiritually. All of it.

      May God prosper the work of your hands!

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  4. This book sounds exactly like one I would read in one sitting. I have just recently (in the last few months) become interested in what minimalism really means and in what ways in would benefit my life and my home. Although I would not consider myself a minimalist, I have been learning so much that is helpful and instructive. But I've really only considered it from a physical sense....the application for my spiritual life has been so intriqued. Thank you for the review. I headed over to Cheryl's blog now - to learn even more:)

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    1. I'm thinking that this little memoir / guidebook just might be what you've been yearning for, Jennifer.

      Please keep me posted ...

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  5. Linda, Cheryl is a lovely blogging friend with a heart for the Lord. She is also an excellent writer!

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    1. Don't you just love how God can take our own difficult seasons and turn them into blessings for others?

      Cheryl's doing that. Fabulous.

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  6. Minimalism - it shows up in my photography more than in my life....especially from the unseen things I need to let go. I think those are the worst kind of clutter. Thanks for your recommendation. It has certainly give me things to ponder - as you so often do.

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    1. No wonder I'm such a fan of your work, Debby ...

      ;-}

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  7. This is a marvelous book, Linda; I reviewed it, too! Cheryl's words will bless the hearts of so many readers.
    Blessings to you!

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    1. It's been fun to see all the reviews on different blogs ... everyone has a different style of writing, but we're all speaking highly of our friend's godly character and freedom story!

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  8. Downsizing into 399 square feet has turned me into a book minimalist!!! I only kept what I absolutely had to have!

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    1. 399 square feet! Yep, that's downsizing. I'd love to hear your story, Susan.

      When we moved here I donated about half my books to the library. It was a no brainer, but I ended up keeping what I loved and hope that someone somewhere is enjoying them!

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  9. This sounds like something most of us could use a good dose of. Be included. Although quarantine has shown me that we can do without a lot!

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    1. You're so right, Lauren. One of quarantine's lessons is how little we really need ... and how precious what we have truly is.

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  10. I would love to read this. I have really embraced minimalism since my divorce began my debt-free journey eight years ago. Oh boy, is it wearying. 2021 should be the year with some things being paid off in December or before. Thanks for sharing about this. I am excited to learn more.

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    1. Congrats on your debt-free goal, Heidi! You're an inspiration, for sure. I pray that you'll reach 2021 with joy and anticipation.

      Bless you.

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  11. This book sounds like something I could learn from!

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  12. That sounds like a great book!

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  13. I'm intrigued. Our daughter is very much into minimalism, but I don't think she has considered the spiritual dimensions of it. This might be an interesting mother- daughter read.

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    1. Honestly, I hadn't given a great deal of thought to the spiritual dimension of creating a minimalistic life style.

      I just knew that all the collecting and possessions weren't bringing pleasure when I looked at them and felt oddly weary and restless.

      Love the mother-daughter read idea. Let me know how that goes, ok?

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  14. This book sounds timely for our upcoming transition. We finally got tickets again and will be heading to the states next Saturday. Of course, things could change between now and then but that is the current plan.

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    1. Yay! We will welcome you back home with virtual open arms, TJ! May you feel God's steady presence as you move forward step by step.

      Praying right now.

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  15. I'm anxious to read this book. My beloved mother in law has been gone for three years but we are still struggling to deal with her "stuff".

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    1. I'm sorry about your mother-in-law. If at all possible, what a blessing to take care of our own stuff and avoid the burden it places on our children after we're gone.

      Truth be told, most of them aren't interested in 90% of what awaits for them to sort through.

      Again, my condolences. Thank you for sharing a snapshot of where you find yourself.

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  16. This sounds like a much needed resource -- and I am remembering that I heard about Cheryl's book early on. Gotta check this out!

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  17. Linda,
    Cheryl's book sounds like a wonderful reflective read to dive into during these times. Isn't ironic that we spend so many years accumulating stuff, activities, unhealthy relationships, and other forms of busyness. I'm at the point where I really want to pare down my life and live more simply. My word for 2020 is "Simplify". Sounds like this book would be right up my alley :)
    Blessings,
    Bev xx

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    1. You're the WINNER, Bev! Congrats!

      Cheryl will be sending a copy of Biblical Minimalism your way. I can't wait to hear your take on it.

      Bless you!

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  18. This sounds like the perfect book for this season we are in. The idea of less so we can focus on the One who gives us more is what I need right now.

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    1. You're so right, Mary. This is a book for now, when our world as we knew it has ebbed away and we're wondering what it will look like to move forward.

      If ever we needed to travel lightly, it'd be in this season.

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  19. This looks like such an interesting read!! I have not been reading much recently, so I am at a rare place where I don't have mile long "to read" list! - http://domesticgeekgirl.com/treat-yourself/sunday-riley-luna-sleeping-night-oil/

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    1. Hey girl, welcome back! So good to see you again!

      I hope you and yours are well ...

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