If you are new here, we do a small monthly challenge every month and October's challenge was to read The Sermon on the Mount every single day.
I confess that I missed a few days,and that there were definitely some days where I was reading it more out of obligation than to really seek the face of an almighty God. But I was definitely blessed by this challenge.
A few of the days I switched things up by listening to it as an audio file on BibleGateway.com. That was a nice change and I found that every time I listened to the audio version I would get chills at the very end when the narrator reads the part about how the people were astonished because Jesus taught as one who had authority. Sometimes I needed to be reminded that the scriptures aren't just nice heavenly advice.
What struck me over and over again was how much folly there is in my desire to fit in and be normal and look like a super holy soccer mom who has it all together. God wants so much more for us than that. God's call on our lives is a radical one.
If you did the challenge, how was it? What did you learn? Did you miss a few days, or give up mid month? Did God show you something you hadn't noticed before, shake your heart up a little, tenderly lead your life in a new direction?
What's that? You want to know what the November Challenge will be? Well...normally I announce the monthly challenge a few days early, but I am so excited (and nervous...) about this one that I want to wait until November 1st to announce it. So you'll have to come back tomorrow to find out what it is!
We are doing one small thing (almost) every day for a year to create a simpler, greener, more intentional life. Take a moment to read all About Us, check out The Rules of our year long project and sign up for our RSS feed or "like" us on facebook so that you can follow our journey to radical simplicity!
I did it and I challenged my blog readers (all 10 of them) to do it too. I missed a few days and did some audio listening too. I LOVED this challenge though. Thanks for putting it out there!ReplyDelete
I didn't do the October Challenge, as I simply found your wonderful Blog too late to even know about it......I am however, waiting with baited breath to see what the November Challenge will be.ReplyDelete
I didn't do the challenge but we are in the middle of an 8 week sermon series at church on The Beatitudes and reading Life's Healing Choices by Rick Warren as a whole church small group. It has been an amazing journey of self discovery and a process of healing in so many areas!ReplyDelete
I did do the challenge and it was awesome. I too missed a few days and did the audio thing. I found however it was when I sat down and took the time to ask God to speak to me that I gained the most insight. I feel that I am the least among God's people and need to strive to allow His light to shine and get me out of the way. Thanks for the challenge. Now what is November's?ReplyDelete
I suck. I read it once. Sigh.ReplyDelete
Didn't do it. But something that combined simple living and religion came up this month-- the Gospel reading a couple of weeks ago in the Catholic church was the one where Jesus told the dude that he had to give up his belongings in order to enter the Kingdom. Well, the priest gave a fantastic homily (sermon) talking about how when we hold on to stuff that we really don't need (like that extra winter coat, when we live in California) we are failing to trust in God. We keep things "just in case" when really we should be trusting that if that unusual and unfortunate scenario ever came up, God would provide for us. By getting rid of those things that are cluttering up our minds, we're decluttering our souls too, helping people who truly are in need, and restoring our trust in God. I had never heard materialism explained in quite those terms, and I love it! That's the thought I'm trying to keep in mind as I do another round of decluttering. And naturally, I thought of this blog and figured I'd share his thoughts with you. I have inspiration coming from so many directions to strive for a simpler life :)ReplyDelete
I'm an atheist, so even though I have read all of the bible, and know there is some decent advice in there (also some not-so-decent by today's standards) I didn't read this sermon. However, I am enjoying your blog and finding ways to do away with the things my family doesn't need. I will certainly check back tomorrow to see what your next challenge is.ReplyDelete
I confess that I started off with good intentions. I read it every day for more than a week and then started missing a day here and there. I'm not sure when I gave up, but I'm sorry I did. I really got bored reading the same thing over and over, but I did get some new insight from the week or two I did manage to read. I'd like to set a new challenge for myself. In the weeks before Christmas, I want to read through all four gospels. Next year I want to read the entire Bible cover to cover. This October was a good challenge because I am inspired, I have learned a bit, and I have gotten some of the Word into my heart. Thanks.ReplyDelete
I stumbled across your blog on October 31, 2012 (LOVE IT, LOVE IT, LOVE IT!!) and will be doing my SOTM challenge in November! Thanks for all you do!ReplyDelete
I did not do this challenge because I only found it last week! But since then I have read every post and I love and am fascinated by this journey you are on. My church has been through this process called PMC (Partnership for Missional Churches ?). Anyway one of the disciplines they challenged us with was listening. There were many facets to this but one of them was called dwelling in the word. Our church has a passage that we read every time we get together. EVERY time. For Sunday service, for meetings, for small groups, or anything else that comes up. Although its very flexible, the most standard version is: we all read the passage aloud, we are listening to the spirit and we assume that if something sticks out that the spirit may be telling us something so we stay with those words, there is a quiet minute of so, then you find a reasonably friendly looking stranger and listen them into free speech. When you share it's the other person's turn to practice listening. Then the whole group gets together and you share what you heard someone else share.ReplyDelete
This has blessed our church immensely and me personally. I love the dwelling passages, they become like old friends. They inhabit our minds, conversations and permeate our lives. It is a great discipline. The children of our church have witnessed, participated and full joined in this discipline. It is wonderful to hear the words that they speak and to hear what the spirit is teaching even the smallest among us. My children no matter how small have always felt that they have a voice and that what they say is important.
I did it and, although I missed some days - specially, at the end of the month -, it was absolutely enlightening. It was a great way to get acquainted with a part of the Scripture I've seen quoted and heard mentioned a lot of times, but never really knew where it came from, and it definitely had several impressive passages that left me thinking about a lot of stuff. There were some parts that truly spoke to my heart and showed me many of the things I still need to work and improve, as well as others were I'm doing OK. It was absolutely wonderful and I think I may continue to read it every now and then, even if it's not *every day*, so I keep the messages fresh in my mind and find new motivation to improve myself and try to fight my temptations. :)ReplyDelete
Thank you for this challenge! If there were one of these every month about different parts of the Bible, it would be so wonderful for me to finally get to read the whole book at last!
I found this blog last night from joshua beckers becoming minimalist newsletter simplify and immeditaely loved it. I read the sermon on the mount straight away, it is a brillaint passage. So brilliant to find more christians aiming to live like jesus.ReplyDelete
I was doing this and I was really inspired by the way Jesus calls us to live life to a higher standard than what the world expects. However, as a woman divorced from an abusive husband, I had a really hard time reading every day of how I am apparently an adulteress and my current husband an adulterer because I did not stay in my first marriage. It got really hard to keep going over that sore spot in my heart every day, so I gave it up.ReplyDelete
I have followed your blog for about a year now and love to settle down with a coffee at the end of the day and see what words of wisdom you have to offer.ReplyDelete
Thank you so much for your encouragement and advice. We can feel like weirdos if we dont conform to the world. As a Christian family [we have 5 children and a whole lot of debt lol ] We have been making gifts in jars or small Christmas cakes cooked in 'washed' tuna cans these past few years. Thanks for getting your way of thinking out there in cyber space for all to benefit from. Every blessing to your and yours.