Thursday, July 5, 2012

7: An Online Read-Along Adventure

I recently began reading Jen Hatmaker's 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess. It's good stuff people. Good. Stuff. Turns out some lovely ladies in my Bible study are reading it as well and a few others have decided to include it on their summer reading list. As much as I would love to host a book club every week to discuss the chapters, it's not gonna happen. So, I decided to do the next best thing and host an online read-along. Lest you think I'm a genius, I want to make it clear that I am borrowing heavily from the read along that Marla Taviano did back in February. I'm going to use her format and borrow some of her discussion questions, because she rocks. I may also steal a sentence or two, like her description of 7:

The book in a nutshell: Jen picked 7 areas of excess in her life (food, clothes, possessions, media, waste, spending, stress) and took some simple, but drastic, actions to fight back against the greed, materialism, and over-indulgence that was taking over her family’s life.

Intrigued? Cynical? Looking for something to read with a little more substance than Fifty Shades of Gray? I'd love to have you join us! Here's what to do:

1. Get the book. 

2. Read a chapter a week.

3. Come back on Friday for our discussions - We'll discuss the first chapter on Friday, July 13th. Your options for involvement include, but are not limited to:
  •  Write your own blog post with your thoughts from the chapter and link to it.
  •  Answer one or more of the discussion questions (that I provide) in the comments section.
  •  Reply (kindly) to one or more comments.
  •  Read and reflect at your own leisure with or without commenting.
4. THE IMPORTANT PART: (Again, borrowed from Marla.)
Please take a minute or two to introduce yourself by answering the following question in the comments section of this post. YOU ARE NOT COMMITTING TO ANYTHING. Just saying hi.
  •  Your Name & Location (be as vague or specific as you’d like)
  •  Which chapter (area of excess) do you feel most smug about (because it’s not really a problem for you)?
  •  Which chapter scares you the most?
  •  (Optional) What do you hope to get out of this Read-a-Long?
Here's my answers to help you get started:
1. I'm Alicia and I live in South Jersey.
2. I think I'll have the least problem with stress.
3. The media chapter scares me. I love the Internet. And TV. And my smartphone. 
4. I love having discussion and how hearing how God is moving in others' lives. I want to be more focused on what really matters. 

That's pretty much it. I look forward to hearing from you! :-)


  1. 1. I'm Vikki and I also live in South Jersey.
    2. Clothing will be the easiest for me. I'm not interested in clothes other than them being clean and comfortable :)
    3. Media is also going to be difficult. I have felt convicted about how much time I spend "connected", but I haven't been able to cut the cords just yet.
    4. What I have read so far has really got me thinking and moving. We have started purging our house of all the excess. I am hoping that when we are cleaned out it will help simplify our lives and bring us closer to God.

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  3. 1. I'm Vanessa and I live in South Jersey.
    2. Clothing will be easiest for me - I'm not a shopper.
    3. Stress is going to be difficult for me because I like to be in control and my job requires a certain amount of stress to be effective.
    4. I'm hoping for some clarity to refocus my commitments where they should be (to God) and to do a "spring cleaning" of my spiritual life.

  4. 1. Hi! I'm Jessica and I live in South Jersey.
    2. I think the area of excess that will be the easiest for me will be clothes. I love to shop and have tons (too many) of clothes, but they don't mean that much to me and having only 7 choices would simplify my life.
    3. The chapter that scares me the most is on possessions. I am a "packrat" and have a hard time getting rid of things, especially that family members and friends give me.
    4. I'm hoping to simplify my life in order to focus more on my family and God.