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Our Latest Blog Posts
- Thank You, Day Camp Sponsors! August 23, 2016
- End of Summer Day Camp Field Trips August 10, 2016
- 2016 Summer Celebrations July 27, 2016
- End of Summer Wrap-Up July 27, 2016
- Seeking Simplicity: Weeks 6 and 7 of ARM’s 2016 Youth Mission Camp July 27, 2016
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Hillary is a recent graduate from Auburn University and has taken on an amazing challenge called Bike and Build. Since early this summer, she and others have been cycling from Jacksonville, FL (Atlantic Ocean) and will end in Monterrey, CA … Continue reading
“Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom. Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will … Continue reading
If I have learned anything over the past several months and especially the past two weeks, embracing simplicity, seeking a lifestyle marked by simplicity, is anything but simple. It is actually quite complex. Requiring us to evaluate our heart and intentions it then manifests externally.
Why even have a discussion about simplicity and its importance in our discipleship and our integrity as follower’s of Jesus? Why does it matter and what does it mean? For one, we do after all follow a Savior who said, “foxes have holes and birds have nests but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head” (Luke 9:58). And even more haunting, “what does it profit one who gains the whole world but loses their soul” (Mark 8:36)?
“Seeking Simplicity” is the theme for the youth groups we are hosting this summer. Our summer ministry team aka summer staff have been digging deep using the parable of the Rich Fool found in Luke 12:13-34 to develop nightly discussions and morning and lunch devotions around the principles in Jesus’ parable and follow on teaching about not worrying and seeking his kingdom first. It is pregnant with meaning and equally disturbing for we are embroiled in a consumerist culture which demands nearly 24/7 that we buy, accumulate, and acquire. We are deeply confused and conflicted about what is a need versus a want. Rarely do we consider how our buying and spending patterns affect others globally i.e the U.S. uses 1/4 of the entire world’s resources.
Will we ever solve the significant issues of our time such as hunger, housing, disease, water resources and the like when we stand to lose if our population does not thin itself out in these ways? Here is the most disturbing question: Do we really want to save all the thousands of people who die every day from solvable problems such as these? Because if we do solve these and people do not die…then we in the U.S. will have to significantly reduce our consumption patterns or we will all be fighting over basic resources such as food, energy, shelter, clean water, and medicine. At the rate we, US citizens, consume energy alone, we would need four more Earth’s if everyone consumed as North Americans do. That should give us pause.
So, instead, we use shopping as a comfort. We stand in long lines for hours to get new iPhones and the opening of the local Krispy Kreme while other people die because they cannot eat and they waste away, slipping out of site unnoticed by most of us. It does not affect us because we cannot see it nor do we really want to.
How do I respond as a Christian living in the wealthiest country on the planet consuming life giving resources at an unsustainable rate for the rest of the world? How do I live responsibly and with integrity “loving my neighbor” yes, the one in Ethiopia or Calcutta, “as myself?”
Today, I do not have an answer. Just questions. Just principles so that I guard my heart against hoarding, accumulating, and living beyond my means. There is freedom and responsibility that I as a follower of Jesus I must grapple with and pray for grace and wisdom. So, before we go shopping again just because it is what we do… I hope we deeply consider if we need it and how it might affect someone else around the world.
Just a few musings for your Friday… “live simply so that others can simply live”-Mother Theresa
I can’t think of anything more fun on a Monday night than hanging out with people committed to serving others, eating some awesome tailgate cuisine (don’t tell a real chef I put those two words together), and celebrating what God … Continue reading