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Wednesday, March 26, 2008

I'm emerging...

...from under my TBR pile. My how quickly it grows! I'm so excited to share some of the great books I've been reading this winter!

Simplify by Paul Borthwick

About the book: The prophet Isaiah urged the people of God living under extreme stress to remember that their strength would be found in quietness and trust. The Psalmist urged worshippers that to be still was key to their worship. Jesus reminded people that sitting in quietness was better than a life of hectic busyness. Even the writer Henry David Thoreau when asked the secret of life, replied, Simplify, simplify, simplify. Almost everyone feels the demands on the limited resources of time and money so how do we build quiet, rest, and simplicity into our lives? Technology can help, but it often adds more stress. Planning is useful, but it often means that we end up doing more and increasing our speed in the hours that we have. Multitasking might mean that we get more done, but its no substitute for the peace of a more balanced life. Realistically, these demands on our resources will only increase as the pace of life and the options on how to expend our limited resources multiply. Simplify is about making choices to restore balance, to build a life schedule founded on the sane realization that we cannot accomplish everything, and to learn to live within our limits. By covering issues related to scheduling, pacing your life, saying No, and even eating more sensibly, Simplify helps the reader live with a greater sense of inner contentment, enjoyment of life, and increased sense of purpose.

This book spoke to the do/cling to/be/clutter/ chaos addict I've become!

From page 180: Jean Fleming writes, "A fast-paced life can become an opiate. We seemingly thrive on activity and pressure, and think all is well because we fly along on the adrenaline of frenzy. Not until our engine cuts (through something like sickness, relational breakdown, or unemployment) do we face the sobering realities that inactivity and silence bring. Busyness saps spiritual vitality... Spiritual vitality is possible only when we take the time to let God's presence recharge us." Simplifying corrects our focus: we put Jesus Christ at the center of our lives and appropriate lifestyle flows form this spiritual renewal.

I loved Simplify's super practical advice. Yep, that's the way Paul rolls...check it out:

#78 Stay Away From "Stuff-Mart", a happy heart is not for sale at the stuff-mart, in the Mall, on the home shopping network, in the catalog, or through the Internet.

#16 Eat Before Food Shopping

#54 Cut A Firebreak, schedule days off three to six months in advance.

Duh, why didn't I think of that.

I think what I liked best about Simplify was that the book forced me to evaluate myself, my family, our life, our end goal. Is the road we are currently on taking us where we want to go?

About the author: Paul Borthwick serves as a senior consultant on the staff of Development Associates International (DAI), a training group dedicated to the character and ministry development of leaders in the under resourced world. Paul also teaches missions at Gordon College in Wenham, Massachusetts. Paul and his wife, Christie, dedicate themselves to mobilizing others for cross cultural missions from their ministry base in Lexington, Massachusetts. Before joining the staff of DAI, Paul served twenty-two years on the ministerial staff of Grace Chapel in Lexington, Massachusetts in a variety of capacities including youth pastor and minister of missions.

Buy the book here

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