Thursday, August 17, 2006

30 Days of Nothing

I read this on another site, I can't wait for John to come home tonight so we can discuss whether or not we should do this as a family. I thought I would post it incase anyone else wanted to participate.
30 Days of Nothing
We're out of touch. Let's just be honest about that right up front.

Today, across the world, 1.3 billion people live on less than one dollar a day; 3 billion live on under two dollars a day; 1.3 billion have no access to clean water; 3 billion have no access to sanitation; 2 billion have no access to electricity. 1

Think about your children; about the hard work you put into raising them.
Now imagine doing it with no electricity.
No bathroom. No garbage service.
No clean water.
On $2 a day.
Is it any wonder that 30,000 children under the age of 5 die every day from poverty-related issues? That's 210,000 a week or over 10 million a year, if you're counting. 2
I have four children. When they woke up this morning I kissed them and made them a good healthy breakfast. 30,000 other children died.

Americans spend $110 billion a year on fast food, 3
39 billion dollars a year on their pets. 4
We are carrying over 2 trillion dollars in credit card and auto debt. 5

The disparity haunts me. How does a Christ-follower reconcile the needs of the world with the realities of every day life in an affluent nation?
I just don't know - but we're going to spend a month trying to find out.
Beginning September 1st, I invite you to join me in a 30 day fast from consumerism.
For 30 days, my family will buy nothing except our basic necessities. No clothes or books. No movies, no trips to the ice cream parlor. No paper, or pictures, or magazines. No fancy hair gel or take-and-bake pizza. Lattes? Nope. Nothing except what it takes to live. During that month, I will journal our experiences, and blog my thoughts about poverty and hunger and our response to those issues. I'd like to try and identify with some of the "least" ( economically) of the world. We will try and live without electricity for a day; eat only rice for a day. Perhaps the family will sleep together in one room for a night - on the floor; or walk six miles one day - the distance some African women walk daily to get clean water.
The goal of this month-long fast is to break the grip of materialism in our hearts and minds. We want to live in gratitude, not discontent; and we want to live with awareness of the great responsibility our affluence has laid on our shoulders.
I encourage you to pray about participating in this challenge. For those of you who are interested, take the next two weeks to pray about the parameters. Decide as a family what are your necessities and what you will give up . You can participate as much or as little as you feel led. Beginning September 1st there will be a separate discussion page at Intent where you can share your experiences and thoughts.
Please feel free to use the 30 Days of Nothing button on your blog and spread the word. (If you need help with the button, just email me.)

"Is this not the fast that I have chosen, to loosen the bonds of wickedness, to undo the bands of the yoke, and to let the oppressed go free, and break every yoke?
Is it not to divide your bread with the hungry, and bring the homeless poor into the house; when you see the naked to cover him; and not to hide yourself from your own flesh?" Isaiah 58:7
"...happy is he who is gracious to the poor." Prov. 14:21

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