Saturday, April 27, 2013

More or Less by Jeff Shinabarger: Choosing a Lifestyle of Excessive Generosity

I read a lot of books…  And it seems like they all try to sell you on something.  Follow these three steps and you will be….. you name it.

So when I received a copy of MORE or LESS by Jeff Shinabarger back before it released it ended up on my stack.  I really ‘wanted’ to read it but just assumed it would be like all the other books that challenge you, leave you feeling bad about yourself because you don’t live in a shoe box and give your house and entire income away to others.  As a father of 6, two of whom we have adopted, I don’t have a lot of access in my finances.  Just coming off the Adoption 7 months ago, Hearing aids over the past 4 (Which Insurance doesn’t cover) and now Cochlear Implant Surgeries I don’t see extra money on my ledger sheet anytime soon.

So I expected to start this book and then put it down… you know, one of those SKIM reads.  Well, I started this book with the introduction by Bob Goff whose book I really enjoyed.  His honest words came through sounding genuine and not showing the typical air of “I really only read 4 pages of your book, but let me make a catchy and ironic statement about this title being as good if not better then my book…”  He gave a heart wrenching applaud for this book.  So I was curious.

In one sitting I read 5 chapters.  I couldn’t stop reading.  Jeff writes in a simple way that helps to steer you without prodding, to guide without shoving. 

When you look at our lives if we look truthfully we can find access.  This book gives you examples of how people took the simple things in their lives and made them extraordinary.  The topics all hit home and leave you with a ‘I CAN DO THAT’ feeling.  Making life change simple and compelling!

Some of the topics are finding excess in: your Junk (those items you really don’t need); your kitchen Pantry; Your Clothing; Your gift giving and getting; your time; Transportation; Access; Gift Cards; etc…
Have you ever thought of simple things you could do to raise awareness and funds for a local ministry?  What if you had a Game night and charged a Gift Card (Used one at that) as the admission fee?  20% of gift cards go unused!  Yet for example the local Pregnancy Resource Center could use them to supply needed Bottles, Formula etc. to their clients.  Maybe your kitchen… ever look at your pantry and fridge and say “There is nothing to eat?”  yet you have multiple can’s etc.. staring back at you.  What if you took the challenge to eat only what you have in house (getting milk, bread and eggs occasionally)… how long could you go and how much could you save to give to a Food Pantry or homeless shelter? 

The ideas that Jeff shared REAL examples of are endless.  He has saught to create a new culture in giving.  It is not just about FINANCES.  You don’t have to be rich!  Just use what God has given you!

I am drawing my lines on the ENOUGH scale.  I am personally looking at my closets and giving away.  I am personally looking at my income and setting a ENOUGH level.  I want to be the one to set the level on what ENOUGH is in my life, not the media, culture etc..

So why don’t you take this challenge with me!  Check out this book and then take the challenge in the area God is calling you to take it in!  Together we can make a difference in our communities!

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