An Abundance of Possessions

We sold our house. After months of working hard to get it ready, we finally listed it on a Saturday morning in late March—far, far later than the planned February date. I didn’t know what to expect. Would there be hordes of people coming to view it? Would anyone come at all? Given the timing, we needed a quick sale. What would God do?

A lot, it turns out. We received a serious offer a mere seven days after the listing went live. What’s more, the buyers love plants. They’re thrilled about filling the windows with indoor greenery and filling the outside beds with veggies. They’re interested in getting chickens. In fact, they love everything about the house that we do. It’s so much easier to let go when you know you’re blessing someone else as a result!

Continue reading

Contented

But godliness with contentment is great gain. (1 Timothy 6:6)

Hopefully you’ve enjoyed both your Thanksgiving feast and your relatives, and are now happily munching on turkey sandwiches. It’s time to move on from being thankful to shopping for gifts intended to make one another even more thankful next year. After all, if we appreciate having some possessions, then we’ll appreciate have additional possessions even more.

Pete and I have been praying about downsizing for several years now, but hesitated to market our house in the languishing economy. Well, one morning last month we both woke up sensing it was time to take some steps. We spent our next couple of “date days” looking at model homes, driving up and down new neighborhoods, and doing due diligence on several prospective builders. Finally we picked out a “good enough” house we liked, and a “good enough” lot owned by a “good enough” builder in a nice new development. We were ready to sign on the dotted line.

Continue reading

Fifth Friday Fotos

It’s the fifth Friday of the month, and the perfect time to take a break. Today, instead of writing a post, I figured I’d let these photographs do the talking. Enjoy!

Karin and I found this house at the beach in Oregon. We hope they don’t walk in their sleep.

Seen in a store window in Johnson Corner, Colorado:

This Erie, Colorado dairy is clearly in trouble:

Cleaning House

For the third day this week, I’m scrubbing floors, disinfecting toilets, and de-fuzzing ceiling fans. Sound like fun? You bet.

It’s a good thing that company’s coming, or this house would never get cleaned. I can think of a zillion other things I’d rather do—like be stuck in traffic, or yank out the spiny thistles threatening my garden—without gloves. (Though it’s interesting that I’m using the housework to avoid balancing the checkbook.)

Three days to clean one house sounds a bit extreme. I can do enough to make things look nice in a few hours—dust, vacuum, swish a brush around a toilet—and that’s what I usually do. And that’s the problem. All the surface stuff looks clean and shiny. The places where guests usually go is neat and clutter-free. Just don’t open the closet.

Continue reading

Sharing Home

As I’ve mentioned earlier, our finances aren’t in the best of shape. Extremely sporadic paychecks make it difficult to budget—how do you know how much you can spend on something like food if you have no idea when the next check is coming? Then there’s the matter of tithing. You can’t tithe on zero.

Last January, I wrote about how to give to God when we’re broke. I mentioned giving away things we already own, and giving our time. There’s a third way we’re currently giving to God that I overlooked when I wrote that article, even though it’s one we’ve been doing all along: we can practice hospitality.

Desperation Leadership Academy (DLA) is our church’s year-long, full time program for young adults aged 18 to 25. As our website proclaims to prospective students, “It is one year of spiritual training that will put you in an environment to accelerate your love for Jesus, His church, and a world that desperately needs Him.”

Since these students come from all over the country (and some years, even from overseas), they need a place to live here in Colorado. To make the program more affordable, the students are housed by members of the congregation, called “home sponsors,” who sign up to provide room and board for one or two kids from September through July.

Continue reading

Another Way to Do Church?

As I mentioned a week and a half ago, I’ve been plowing through lots of books on how to “do” church. My most recent read is Houses that Change the World, by Wolfgang Simson. And I have to say he’s shaken my understanding of church.

The book has been around a while—maybe you’ve already read it. Published in 1998, a number of his predictions have failed to materialize, but that doesn’t diminish what he has to say. (He was merely analyzing trends, not trying to be prophetic, so we don’t need to take him out and stone him.)

In general, Simson argues against churches patterned after the synagogue, with a set routine performed by “professional Christians” in front of a lay audience, and in favor of small “organic” house churches where our faith is lived out in the context of real life. I certainly see his point. He’s very persuasive, and I tend to agree with him more often than not.

Continue reading