7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess by Jen Hatmaker Download (read online) free eBook .pdf.epub.kindle

7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess

American life can be excessive, to say the least. That’s what Jen Hatmaker had to admit after taking in hurricane victims who commented on the extravagance of her family’s upper middle class home. She once considered herself unmotivated by the lure of prosperity, but upon being called “rich” by an undeniably poor child, evidence to the contrary mounted, and a social experi
Mutant Supermodel

Jan 25, 2012

rated it
really liked it

Oh this book. This book took me completely and utterly by surprise. A friend gave it to me for Christmas because she thought I’d like what she took to be the general theme of the book from the blurb in the back– this lady scales back in 7 aspects of her material life. Yeah I love that stuff. What is not glaringly obvious from the main blurb in the back is that this book is written by a pastor’s wife who’s also a speaker on Christianity. You have to look at the fine print for that pattern and th

When I started the book, this was an unpleasant surprise. Holy bible quotes everywhere. Not to mention the fact that God, Jesus, Christ, Jesus Christ, Lord, Holy Spirit, etc. get mentioned about 5 times per page. Usually bible quotes with a zealous use of Jesus name drops is not a good thing for me. My hypocrisy senses start tingling and I usually back away as quickly as possible without drawing attention to myself.

But this is a book, not a person, and there WAS the whole thing about cutting back the excess in the seven areas of her life: Food, Clothes, Spending, Media, Possessions, Waste, and Stress. And she even broke it down into monthly projects. Which I always am a sucker for.

Oddly enough, I had lately been thinking about the Republicans and the huge conservative shove to strip down “entitlement” programs in favor of a smaller government and more money in their pockets in the form of lower taxes that they have somehow mixed up with a fervent “We love Jesus and the Bible and truly want to protect Christianity” message.

And I kept thinking about how damn hypocritical it was because even though I don’t practice anymore, I sure as heck know all about “Our Lord God and Savior Jesus Christ” thanks to being raised by a really strict Catholic family and going through Catholic education from Kinder through High School. I’ve read the Bible front to back . Heck I even used to read the Bible as I was one of the lecterns at Church. And if there’s one thing I know about the Jesus that is in the Bible I read over and over again, it’s that he can’t possibly be the same Jesus Republicans vow to love and protect.

It turns out Jen Hatmaker apparently sees a lot of the glaring hypocrisies in American Christian churches today that I do. I can’t stand churches and I can’t stand the Christians that practice this hypocritical Capitalism is Awesome form of Christianity.

Let’s face it guys, Jesus was a dirty homeless hippie. And if you really think the same dude who gave away free wine for his first miracle and later sat on a mountain giving away fish and bread all day would be against programs like Food Stamps or WIC, you’re wrong. And if you think the same guy who made it a point to always seek out and include society’s shunned ones would be against extending this sort of assistance to as many people as possible, you’d also be wrong. If you really think the same guy who walked around healing lepers, restoring sight to the blind, and even raising people from the dead would be against free health care for everyone, you’d be totally and completely wrong yet again.

Jen Hatmaker turned my insides cold when she made an observation that speaking on a personal finance level, you could interpret “Love your neighbor as you love yourself” into an equation where you live off 50% of your income and use the other %50 to love all of your neighbors. It was sort of a huge DUH moment and gave me so much to consider.

Jen’s story is inspiring, moving, and interesting. Lots of people do projects where they eliminate this, that, and the other from their lives in big ways. But until Jen’s book, I was yet to read someone who took the experience and turned it into a call to action to help those around her. De-cluttering is only half the battle.

Personally, I don’t think you need to be associated with a faith or a church or anything to look around you and do good for the world but I would likely be very interested in at least linking up with a church like Jen’s because it would give me an excellent way to lend my helping hand to the community. That moves me greatly. Personally I found that my favorite thing about the book was the fact that I would read her experiences and think, “That is a brilliant idea. I want to do that for someone. How would I even start to do something like that?” Her book is at the same time a reflection and a call to action. A really loud, persistent one that somehow manages to remain humble and honest at the same time.

I strongly recommend the book even if you’re like me and things like churches and Jesus Christ give you the Hypocrisy Heebie Jeebies. Because I actually think Jen Hatmaker might be authentic. What she is teaching and what she is practicing makes more sense to me as an example of a true Christian than the classic modern representations of Christians today.

If you feel there is just TOO MUCH in your life– too much crap, too much stress, too much noise, too much madness, too much sadness, too much to deal with– grab this book. I think you’ll be moved.
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Melissa

Dec 21, 2012

rated it
it was ok

Shelves:
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I’m torn about this book. On the one hand, I don’t think I like Jen Hatmaker all that much. It may be that folksy on this level just doesn’t do it for me, but when you start talking about chips & salsa as a food you’d be willing to “commit actual murder for,” that’s just too much needless hyperbole for a book that’s supposed to about living a more Godly life.

On the other hand, reading this made me quite uncomfortable in what I assume is a good way. Beyond the novelty of wearing only a certa

On the other hand, reading this made me quite uncomfortable in what I assume is a good way. Beyond the novelty of wearing only a certain number of clothes a month or eating the same few foods for 30 days, the basic message of this book as I take it seems to be that there’s always someone who is worse off than you, so what are you doing to help them? My family & I are pretty easy with our level of prosperity, or lack thereof; we don’t have any scratch left over at the end of the month, but we do have a wee savings & we get all our bills paid. But how are we assisting anyone who has it worse off than we do? Wouldn’t we like to have help from others if, god forbid, one of us loses a job or we have a medical emergency or whatever terrible contingency you can dream up befalls us? Rather than throwing money at some charity, shouldn’t we be actively trying to help in a more tangible way? I have a lot of thinking to do now.
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