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Faces of Simpler Living BLOG Year 2

Sioux Falls #125-129
KS, OK, TX #130-158
Albuquerque #159-160

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Sioux Falls Mini-Tour

POST #125


Darrel and art

Sioux Falls Hospitality

I drove to Sioux Falls, SD, in a snowstorm vowing I will never travel earlier than April again. Darrel F., long time friend, put me up for the night.

He and his significant other Magda (or Maggie) from Poland recently bought much more house than their needed so that they could have gatherings and be a hospitality place for people needing a temporary place to stay, especially musicians who live elsewhere and commute to play in the South Dakota Symphony. More and more players are coming from Eastern Europe and Asia. She’s principal of the second violin section.

Darrel has been a simpler liver most of his life. His Dad Marv takes care of some farmland in South Dakota. Marv was a high school counselor before he retired. He’s a long time volunteer (with wife Joanie) of Alternatives. He has been a simple Christmas celebrator for a long time to the chagrin of his four adult boys when they were children. He drove slowly to save gas even before it was required in the 1970s.

Darrel has been a professional picture framer for 16 years. He just turned 40. He is now a freelance writer. He writes everything from historical fiction of South Dakota, to political speeches, to essays on spring. He’s also a freelance blues singer and handyman/contractor.

Darrel has been a long time volunteer. Read his personal talk outline here. Or at Volunteers >> Activities >> Simple Living 101 additional material 1.

Read MORE about Darrell at post #129.

Next time: University of Sioux Falls

Why this blog? Visit entry #1.

Simple Livers need to support each other, even if they’re far apart. If you want to be in touch with some of the folks I’m introducing here, let me know and Ill forward your message to them.

POST #126

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Univ. Sioux Falls Campus Ministry

University of Sioux Falls

After a fine breakfast and helping Darrel feed the birds, I drove to the University of Sioux Falls (USF), affiliated with the American Baptist Church (ABC). I had met chaplain Dennis T. (pronounced tomb) a year earlier and he invited me to be one of two annual speakers. This year they are focusing on lifestyle.

The chapel service included 15 minutes of praise songs and a solo, My Jesus, I Love Thee by a recent seminary grad, Kristi H., who is going to graduate school in church history. Speaking before college crowds is relatively new to me and I worked hard to hold their attention.

Afterward the chaplain seemed satisfied. Since this is one of the more conservative colleges in the ABC, I had avoided any political issues that could turn them off. One student urged me to cite the sources of my statistics.

I met the friendly assistant chaplain. Carl K., who recently graduated from SD Wesleyan, came to hear me because he received my email invitation. He’s planning to go to seminary on the east coast for the United Methodist ministry. He’s involved in several Peace & Justice organizations.

I set up our display in the Student Commons, right outside the cafeteria door, and greeted everyone who walked by. No one stopped to talk. I think I need a gimmick, maybe a handout.

Dennis fed me lunch of stir fry. I learned more about the diversity and problems of the ABC than at any other time. He was involved in prison ministry before coming to USF.

Next time: Ten Thousand Villages

Why this blog? Visit entry #1.

Simple Livers need to support each other, even if they’re far apart.

POST #127


Randi & Nancy

Ten Thousand Villages

I met at Ten Thousand Villages, Sioux Falls, SD, with Nancy L. and three of her volunteers -- two elderly sisters Helen and Delcy, and Randi H.

Nancy enthusiastically invited me when she received my email invitation. She gets the connection between Fair Trade and simple living. She’s downsizing in her own life and Christmas. For her simple living is common sense that our culture does not teach us. She said (this could be a bumper sticker) -- [Simple living] It’s buried deep but it’s in there.

She ordered our The Good Life curriculum for her church and Merchants of Cool video for her young teen group. She and her group write puppet plays. She’ll send me some.

When I left, I had a parking ticket. But there was no charge and an invitation to come back to Sioux Falls -- now that’s good PR!

Next time: Augie

Why this blog? Visit entry #1.

Simple Livers need to support each other, even if they’re far apart.

POST #128

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Sara, Kari & Kristin


At Augustana College, Sioux Falls (affectionately called Augie) I met with Sara, the chaplain intern, a student at Luther Seminary in St. Paul.

Two of her Student Advocates came to meet me -- Kristin W. and Kari L. For the first year, 13 students visited DC for ecumenical advocacy training, met with SD and MN congressional representatives. They wrote their mission and value statements. They were given scholarships and did their own fundraising. No chaperone went along with them to DC. The event had eight tacks, such as domestic, Africa, Latin America, middle east, etc. Some 250 students attended (ages 18-30). Only 50 students had attended the year before! The speakers were widely varied in experience, race, etc.

They will have Long Walk Home -- hunger awareness in April.

Dr. Anna M. uses Living More with Less in here class Theology, Community and Discernment.

Next time: South Dakota Hunger Activist

Why this blog? Visit entry #1.

Simple Livers need to support each other, even if they’re far apart.

POST #129


Cathy B., South Dakota hunger activist

South Dakota Hunger Activist

Darrel F., Cathy B. and I had a wonderful time in Sioux Falls. We had fun viewing Pete’s A Dome Odyssey DVD about moving The Earth Dome (geodesic) from Sioux City to Sergeant Bluff.

I listened and learned a lot. Cathy’s been an advocate for Bread for the World for years. Currently Bread is promoting the ONE campaign, know internationally as the Global Call to Action Against poverty. It’s based on the UNs eight Millennium Development Goals, involving 180 countries, by 2015.

She’s leading six workshops with Tami Walhoff, regional Bread staffer. They do this tour every two years, alternating with Bread Days lobbying in Pierre, the state capital.

Pastor Erika L. bakes 105 loaves of bread to give one to each state rep.

At the workshop, they break up into eight groups, each one thinks of a way to illustrate one of the eight goals -- song, skit, poster, etc. -- they got in Bread’s Offering of Letters kit. They write letters during the closing worship.

The goal is to get 1% of the US budget to poverty focused aid -- $25 billion. That’s a $5 billion increase per year; now it’s $1 billion.

She’s going to use Bonos Prayer Breakfast sermon at her church, and possibly at the Bread workshop, done by a teen actor.

She suggests painting The Earth Dome as a turtle for it’s symbolic value of holding up the world.

She has two sons -- 27 and 32 -- who’ve never owned a car. She has no TV in her house.

On Good Friday the local Peace and Justice Center has a Vigil on the Death penalty. Contact Jeanne K. for litanies.

Get more organizations and companies (such as off the grid-types) to link to our web site. Call them sponsors. That’s how well get higher on the Google searches.

Cell phones lead to detached people, e.g. parents talking and not paying attention to their children in public.

Get Millard Fuller’s graduation speech at Ottawa University -- Get in the short lines.

She and Darrel also talked about the chance of electing new people to state government since SD passed anti-abortion legislation.

Next time: Trees for Life

Why this blog? Visit entry #1.

Simple Livers need to support each other, even if they’re far apart.

Return to Table of Contents (top)

Kansas-Oklahoma-Texas Tour

POST #130



Trees for Life staff and volunteers

Trees for Life

The People:

Trees for Life has 12 volunteers and staff. Volunteers receive a stipend of $65 to $100 per month, plus room and board.

Housing at Trees for Life in Wichita, KS, was dormitory style. We were in a former kindergarten room. They rent the old school for $10/year, spent $100,000 renovating it, mostly through donated labor and materials.

After a good nights rest and breakfast, we joined Quiet Time, which runs each weekday 8-8:30, followed by holding hands in a circle, and singing, then hugs and a brief preview of the day. Quiet Time clears our minds from distractions.

David K., the executive director, started as a volunteer in 1985. He gave us a tour and answered our questions.

Karen’s been here a year; Darcy P. has worked five years in the office. Treva M. has been the office manager since 1986. Balbier M. is the founder and president. Jeffrey F. from PA has been here 13 years, writing and editing, now is the managing editor of the new online journal. He also teaches India chant. Caroline W. from North Carolina has been a volunteer for two weeks. Jason V. from Washington came here via the Brethren Volunteer Service. He maintains the web site and helps with the journal. Scott G., the art director from MA, has been here 16 years. He coordinates with the numerous affiliated schools in India.

Bibek S., an Iowa State grad in computers, moved to the US from India when he was three. In his 20’s, he's been a full time volunteer for 3-1/2 years.

Saras Wati C. from India has had experience with the 12 step program, simplicity circles, environmental work, Buddhist meditation and service, and Gaviotas. She recommends Future of Food documentary by Deborah Garcia Koons and Mary Ashcrofts books.

Balbier came from India in 1958 as a traveling consultant. He had a vision of the Earth as a seed. A small pain developed so that he was bed-ridden for two years. He went on a five day fast and was healed.

Treva is a member of the Church of the Brethren. The youth let them use their room as their first office outside their home. Now they’ve been at the school for six years.

Next time: More Trees for Life

Why this blog? Visit entry #1.

Simple Livers need to support each other, even if they’re far apart.

POST #131



Rita and the Executive Director

More Trees for Life

The philosophy of Trees for Life, Wichita, KS, is that the resources you need are right under your nose.

1. Whenever people come together and lock their minds as one, miracles happen.
2. What we teach you, you teach others.

TfL has been done by acts of love, by church groups, e.g. Spring fling. Over 50% of the churches in Wichita are involved. Wichita has a metro population of 500,000. High Schools require volunteer hours. An Eagle Scout made tables out of old doors.

People around the world learn organically, through art, music, stories.

They believe in Providence. They’re not fundraisers or solicitors. They focus on the work.

Their latest emphasis, the Moringa leaves, grow the same places where there’s malnutrition. But there’s a stigma attached to it as a sign of poverty. They’re developing anecdotal evidence of miraculous cures to help spread its use.

They receive small salaries. Balbier gets $20,000/ year. He’s a pragmatist -- whatever works.

TfL has its own child sponsorship program with no overhead, all web-based for $10/ month.

Their education kit for teachers costs $1 per student. Over two million kids plant and name their tree.

At a daily lunch for staff and the community they recognize volunteers. Also they invite them to ten events per year with email or card and then follow-up with a phone call. Every volunteer gets an award button.

All volunteers get the high award button -- using a family model, not competition. Donors don’t get an award for dinner. We honor those we serve.

They may ink jet designs directly on to shirts for a $20 donation to plant trees.

George McGovern volunteered to be on the board of directors and he recruited Charlton Heston for balance. The board of 15 meets four times a year for about two hours.

Next time: Alternative Gifts International

Why this blog? Visit entry #1.

Simple Livers need to support each other, even if they’re far apart.

POST #132


Harriet and Stephan

Alternative Gifts International

Harriet P. hosted a soup luncheon at Alternative Gifts International, Wichita, KS (

Stephan R., is web master. Pat C. from Peace and Social Justice Center and Interfaith Ministries joined us.

AGI is involved in education, advocacy and fundraising for 30+ international projects per year. They help fight poverty and restore the environment. They ask, How to motivate donors? They note a growing hostility toward the poor, e.g. immigration.

Wichita has a 20 church holiday gift market. Holiday gifts markets are interfaith, including many NGOs (non-governmental organizations).

They're developing emergency disaster relief. They do credentialing after due diligence through the Better Business Bureau, and

All agencies want them to come to see their work and to celebrate. Transformational Travel!

A new interagency project is reforestation of Haiti. 25 agencies are involved. Wants to get young adults involved. We can list opportunities in our new materials and web site.

Possible areas of cooperation.
1. No mailing list or email sharing. All names are protected.
2. Include our summer/pre-Christmas flyer in their 300-500 holiday gift market kits. Not now.
4. Recommend books through us instead of Amazon.
5. Swap articles in paper newsletters.
6. Simple Living column (4 per year), not just Christmas time.
7. Have a booth at concerts of social concerns singers, e.g. If you love Sarah McLaughlin video, youll love. . . Get permission, comp tickets for volunteers?

Get sample greeting cards.

Two additional staff leaving that have been on loan. Harriet seems distressed. (formerly Zero Population Growth)

Next time: Even More Trees for Life

Why this blog? Visit entry #1.

Simple Livers need to support each other, even if they’re far apart.

POST #133


Volunteers at Trees for Life

Even More Trees for Life

Treva Malthur hosted a potluck supper for Trees for Life volunteers, at their home Wichita, KS.

Max and Helen. Max maintains TfL garden for volunteers and staff use. He’s moving from vegetables to fruit trees because young volunteers cook less. He writes stories for his kids to preserve history.

Steve Carter teaches ESL at Wichita State. He likes the organization because it’s not top down; it involves people.

Balbier, 71, wants to sell their home and down scale. He doesn’t want to retire but to let someone else take leadership at TfL.

Visit Friends University, Wichita.

Immigrants pay sales tax if not income tax. 85% of those polled are opposed to immigrants in Wichita.

Sr. Rita Roble runs Great Plains Earth Institute. Max teaches six-week film course at church St. John Episcopal on Earth Care.

Waste has so deeply permeated our society.

HAVA - Help America Vote Act -- leaves no paper trail. Has Steve worried.

Caroline prefers that Alternatives produces one poster (rather than a series), trendy, artistic, not serious.

A computer consultant can determine our page click rate.

Contact college administrators. Reach out to freshman orientation, college prep., PTAs.

Start a simple living presentation with personal struggles.

Caroline is marketing a catering business in NC, which gave its profits away.

All education supports the status quo.

For Girl Scouts to earn a badge, give them a task to report back that’s money related. Such as, price five blouses, interview five friends. How much is their allowance? Keep track of every cent you spend this week. Reach them by what they see you doing, not by what you say.

Ask volunteers in early childhood development to have a deep impact, e.g. psychologists, marketing for packaging games, those familiar with podcasting. Ask a specific question, define a specific problem. People will respond to this type of email.

Jill Daking, a friend of John Kerry, developed a course to make for high schoolers money conscious.

Each TfL newsletters tells one story. TfL will recommend our catalog. Balbier will think about how to do it.

Treva has a comb bound calendar of family photos.

Next time: Peace Connections

Why this blog? Visit entry #1.

Simple Livers need to support each other, even if they’re far apart.

POST #134
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Peace Connections People

Peace Connections

Myrna K. hosted a luncheon at Peace Connections, Newton, KS.

Peace Connections holds classes for children of all ages -- making cards, using rubber stamps. They work with latchkey kids, also Sunday School classes.

What can be accomplished through legislation?

Cookie says: It takes only a nanosecond to make a dramatic change. It takes a lifetime to maintain it.

The conflicts of emerging adulthood occur because changes happen at key events when we make commitments.

Cookie runs a young adult Sunday School on line -- Web 2.0 at By Wed. they post the topic. On Sunday they post sticky notes on their web board, and then post them afterward. The discussion has no fixed end point. It’s interactive.

A broad spectrum of people come to the store. Newton has embraced Ruby Paynes Bridges out of Poverty. It involves the community, e.g. health care people. Co-author Bill Ehlig of What Every Church Member Should Know About Poverty. Also Phil Diuval and Jody Far. Newton got a grant from a private foundation. The store is the hub, coordinator of the effort. Ruby Payne has a three-year contract with Hutchinson, KS.

The school superintendent brought in an AHA process presenter Jim Ellis. The focus is on Harvey County.

Nonviolent Communication by Marshall Rosenberg poses questions and strategies. Speaking Peace CD workshop is for the general public but it has a spiritual component. He uses puppets and ears.

Guilt is a major challenge. It inhibits aliveness.

After sorting stuff, I feel cleansed.

What matters is what happens in a home -- a good time -- not its appearance.

Cookie is starting about whole life stewardship, targeting young adults seeking to serve. Funded by Google targeted ads.

Next time: O-klahoma!

Why this blog? Visit entry #1.

Simple Livers need to support each other, even if they’re far apart.

POST #135


Dorothy & Myrna


Dorothy M. hosted a soup supper in Edmond, OK.

Scott B.’s 89, a retired Disciples minister. Mona B.s a teacher and Director of Christian Ed. They have four children.

Leigh T. (daughter of Myrna R., granddaughter of Dorothy), 35, is finishing a Masters in Art Education, moving to Taos, New Mexico, is a simple liver. Works as a nanny, likes kids.

Jane V.: Mother-to-mother mentors single, low income moms. It’s interdenominational operating in eight states, started by a minister and maintained by Church Women United.

Scott: Healthful foods are more expensive.

Southern Hills Christian has had an Alternative Christmas Fair for over 15 years, on the second Sunday in November. They sell handmade cards for $5 each in 17 booths, plus they have Fair Trade items from SERRV. Kids decorate white sacks to carry the cards one buys.

Scott: ask for bigger gifts, e.g. one’s monthly car payment. On Dec. 1st ask for the cost of a suit of clothes -- something concrete.

Financial Peace University, a national group uses local trained volunteers, teaches budgeting, charges tuition ($65) and meets once a week for 12 weeks.

The basic of stewardship is that God is the owner of everything, we are the stewards.

We ask our kids to give donations in our honor instead of thing gifts.

Dot was impressed 20 years ago by couple in Bartlesville, OK. Living examples.

Next time: John Paul & Betty

Why this blog? Visit entry #1.

Simple Livers need to support each other, even if they’re far apart.

POST #136



Betty and John Paul

After a quick detour to my alma mater, Universty of Oklahoma, Norman, and by chance to meet the pastor at University Lutheran Chapel, we reached Denton, TX, by evening.

We stayed with John Paul and Betty E. Then Betty hosted a supper for us the next evening.

Betty is a part-time church librarian. He’s 70, a former United Methodist pastor, retired university professor, a reluctant Republican who’s running for city council. He served on faculty with Buckminster Fuller.

He’s author of 40 books (mostly text books) and 400 articles. Mending Broken relationships about Racial Reconciliation (from Connecting & Bonding Inc. -- A Time to Co-author Curtis May is board prospect, as is Stanley D. Murphy, both African-American, in 50’s.

He’s visited 147 countries, marched with MLKing,

He will serve on board, pay own travel and donate $200 per year.

Ideas: How to make our streets and neighborhoods safer. Pro-business / pro-environment book -- Good business is God’s business.

Diplomacy Journal received 1983 UN Award for Peace Education.

Rita: Simple Living is big and beautiful: more time with family, more money to help the world and make a difference, bigger heart -- care more about people, bigger hospitality -- more time and energy, more time to grow personally -- red and learn. (Use the Texas attitude).

John Paul is very competitive. Two sons have opted out; the youngest is very competitive. Daughter lives locally, has problems with alcoholic husband who is 22 years older than she.

Their kids in Oregon interested in voluntary simplicity. They live richly, steeped in culture. She speaks Spanish.

Matthew is seeking a topic for his Masters Thesis on faith and culture. Robin is pastor at University Chapel, Eugene, ELCA. [They invited me too! See BLOG Post #179, Year 2.5]

Mark Eddy, Ph.D. is clinical psychologist, Eugene.

Read Financial Meltdown in the Mainline from Albin Institute.

Church members lead their churches to be overextended like they are.

After the Baby Boomers come the Baby Buster generation saddled with debt.

What wrong with being responsible, accountable?

Seminaries are inadequate in business and church administration. Ministers need to learn to live with less.

People want a vital experience in a small group. Don’t want to support the institution -- buildings, education system, even missionaries. 250-600 members best. Large salaries for ministers are a problem -- they’re deceiving their children.

Next time:

Why this blog? Visit entry #1.

Simple Livers need to support each other, even if they’re far apart.

POST #137


Guests at Betty and John Paul's Place

Supper Talk

Gloria and N.C. Thomas, retired UMC pastor and DCE at University Park UMC.

Martha and Jack Watson and daughter Sue, former staff at First UMC. Sue came alone.

The National UMW conference is in May.

Rose Watson, UMW Pres., into social justice, Peace by Peace group.

Bob and Mary Harris are college teachers. They teach young adult singles class at church. He has 2 PhDs, she’s Dean. He teaches Statistics (previously sociology), does research on alcohol use among college students. He’s interested in visualization of stats -- figures, charts, and graphs. Go to eChujg.___

Joanne (mom) and teachers Sue and Mary discuss the effects of technology, especially on kids.

Gloria Thomas -- Teacher education and administration at UNT -- Univ. No. TX. Living single (35-50 year-olds). Singles divided from singles with children.

Mt. Sequoias, Fayetteville, AR, So. Central Jurisdiction Conference Center, Sacramento, NM. In lab schools teachers work with children and leaders and were evaluated. They’re defunct in UMC now.

Rotational Sunday School is a fad -- good for 5 years. They lack interaction on a long-term basis. Godly Play is Montessori based, expensive, must have a dedicated space.

Andy Stoker, youth Pastor, interested in social justice at First UMC, 201 S. Locust, Denton 76201

Barbara Wendlund (Waco) newsletter, Temple, TX questions church traditions.

Ask to be included in Board of Global Missions annual prayer calendar. Ask Global Ministry to sponsor Whose Birthday?

Put the board game on the web site so the players can talk to people they don’t know. Visit -- about me. Young people develop it, and can say, This is how I feel about it.

Young adults seek tradition and stability. Like hangin’ out We cant expect electronics to give they values.

Comparison of cultures -- how young adults elsewhere deal with life.

Programs for young adults -- getting ready for college, consumer self-defense.

James Coleman The Consumer Game (simulation) -- 10+ years old.

Crunchy Conservatives, a new book (see recent editorial in Dallas Morning News).

Work with extension services (USDA), 4-H, urban gardening, job prep., parenting.

Young people (teens) shop at Vintage stores for retro style.

We are setting an example with every choice and decision we parents make. The pressure of high living -- conspicuous consumption -- is high in the Dallas area. Expensive birthdays -- bands, hotel, limos, 10-year-old makeovers.

How about Helpful Proverbs, such as "Make do or do without."

Recycled Christmas -- exchange gifts from things you already have.

Imagine If conversation game is popular. April planned a Harry Potter extravaganza. She might help develop game. Ask, Would this be fun?

Break Treasury of Celebrations into smaller booklets. See Phi Delta Kappa, Indianapolis. They publish 50 pagers in education, small, inexpensive.

Contact Tammy Gaston, Wesley Foundation, Univ. No. TX, chaplain.

Eat less, rejoice more -- Eddy-gram.

Contact Mott Foundation -- How to make a better world at pastors conferences. Also Kellogg. Lilly Foundation for seminaries -- the Bible and Global Warming. Start with professors to develop grant application.

Alternatives is where the church (and other responsible groups) needs to be.

Why Do I Love These People? -- Po Bronson, p. 18 -- Live simply to survive. (Random House)

Biggest marriage problem is finances, when they can’t meet their materialistic goals.
Teach: getting value, e.g.. cars, housing; how to buy the...
How to negotiate for best mortgage.
Eating Out -- cooking together instead
Buying airline tickets
Buying used instead of new (Buying new requires both to work, to move, to seek advancement)
Spiritual view
Giving money away -- now or invest and give later -- or both
Hobby money concept
Protesting tax increases on assessment
Teach children to manage money
Save money and keep your sanity
Famous name write testimonial -- like Greenspan
Pragmatic common sense

Community access TV show -- Living Simply with John Paul.

Next time:

Why this blog? Visit entry #1.

Simple Livers need to support each other, even if they’re far apart.

POST #138

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Guests at Wesley Foundation, Fort Worth
Pastor Brian Y. gave me a campus tour at Texas Christian University (TCU), Fort Worth, TX. I met several of his colleagues.

He hosted a supper conversation at the Wesley Foundation (United Methodist campus ministry) where he pastors.

Lindy, admin. asst.; Katie, associate pastor

Bryan F., Dean of Students at Brite Divinity School (at TCU), teaches stewardship class in spring and uses a classic Richard Foster text.

Jack Hill, Religion Dept. (ethics)

Angela, TCU chaplain, recommends Paradox of Choice. Bring a simpler living message to resident halls. Prepare a booklet for Resident Assistants. They raised $30,000 selling T-shirts for hunger week. TCU has a small graduate school that’s in strong social work and religion.

Angela wants to hire a graduate coordinator for justice groups. They hold a film festival and planned an Action Fair for Social Change to go beyond service. Scary thought for Halloween -- Christmas is only two months away!

DePaul University in Chicago has 16 community and justice groups. Their Amati Houses stress service, spirituality, simple living and social justice.

Student Seth organizes Fair Trade and wears a Green Living Dallas T-shirt. The National Fair Trade Convergence occurs in February.

STEP -- Students Together for Ecumenical Partnership (Disciples and United Chiruch of Christ) -- holds a national gathering called Celebrate every four years. The event on Dec. 28, 2006, in New Orleans, had 80-90 workshops. World Christian Student Movement is made up of eleven denominations.

Podcasts are appealing.

Catholic universities have business school chaplains. They offer help with computers and marketing. is the National Assoc. of MBAs working for the common good.

Next time:

Why this blog? Visit post #1.

Simple Livers need to support each other, even if they’re far apart.

POST #139

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Guests at Wesley Foundation, Fort Worth

TCU Talk

The DISCUSSION at the Wesley Foundation at Texas Christian University (TCU), hosted by Pastor Brian Y., included:

Compost gardening

College meal plan locks students in. Ask, What to do in a dorm?

Bottled water problem

Economical ways to live ecologically

Too much looking short range.

Brian likes our Worship materials.

Stuff and shopping experience.

Hybrid cars produce toxic waster in manufacture.

Fashion consultants can help students learn to reuse clothes. Buy used clothes, Fair trade T-shirts.

Food co-op -- truck delivery twice a month. Buy in bulk.

Jason feels crazy about consuming. Stressed from being the Body of Christ.

Next time: Baylor

Why this blog? Visit post #1.

Simple Livers need to support each other, even if they’re far apart.

POST #140


Gerald presents Katie a copy of Worship Alternatives.
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Guests at Baylor University, Waco, TX


Katie C. and some friends hosted a lunch at 7th & James Baptist Church in Waco, TX, near Baylor University.

Katie Cook helped prepare Alternatives Worship Alternatives.

Use Gerald’s red socks as a fundraiser or as a poster symbol for the principle of Non-conform Freely. -- People, Planet, Profit.

Political corruption in developing countries.

Katie edits Hunger News and Hope and makes it available on disc. A sample of the seasonal packet is avaiolable on web site.

She wants to update and upload Hunger Action Handbook. The volunteer resource Invest Yourself is free on paper.

Baylor University is part of Texas Conference of Cooperative Baptist Fellowship (CBF).

Next time: World Hunger Relief Farm

Why this blog? Visit post #1.

Simple Livers need to support each other, even if they’re far apart.

POST #141


Rita at the Waco Art Center

World Hunger Relief Farm

World Hunger Relief is a 40 acre working farm to train interns to serve in US and abroad in hunger work. 25 acres are pecans. Neil R. is the Exec. Dir. Dale, the development director, gave me a tour. They would like to cooperation with Alternatives. Dale also teaches a class at Baylor University in the school of social work.

Over 1500 school children visit annually to learn about hunger issues. Matt is the education guy.

Nicaragua House is used for weekend hunger simulations with high school students called living on the Other Side. They prepare their own food from field to wood burning stove.

During Alternative Spring Break students work for a week. Visit site.

They have a subscription food club with a 60 family maximum. They tithe produce to local Caritas food bank.

Of their $260,000 budget, 60% comes from donations, 20% from grants.

They have a goat dairy, honey, eggs.

Six interns work 12 months and are paid $300/month plus insurance and housing on site. The farm gets 8-10 applicants for each spot. The farm has three staff, plus a few live-in volunteers and many local volunteers.

Waco is 1/3 white, 1/3 black, 1/3/ Hispanic.

Fund raising is a soft sell. Get people to visit and they respond. For the 30th anniversary, the founder is returning. They hold Farm Days twice a year. Thousands attend. They're getting good local and regional press coverage.

The farm’s not political, even though it’s an intentional Christian community. Most everybody can agree on the farm’s value.

P.S. We enjoyed the Waco Art Center more than the Fort Worth Art Center!

Next time: Invest in people, not stuff.

Why this blog? Visit post #1.

Simple Livers need to support each other, even if they’re far apart.

POST #142


Host Skip
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Guests at Lake Shore Baptist, Waco, TX

Invest in people, not stuff.

Skip L. hosted a congregational supper and seminar at Lake Shore Baptist Church, Waco, TX.

The discussion:

We go green for all cleaning supplies, but it’s hard to find Seventh Generation products in Waco.

Attitude problems. We’re full of contradictions. Education is key. We have allergy problems, cancer and chemicals.

Churches don’t talk about caring for the Earth. We need to be active, be leaders.

We need more political involvement beyond education. Education is squeezing out creativity.

Personal buying decisions are the most difficult. We need to ask questions. Commercial advertising says, Don’t ask. You need it.

When playing the needs-and-wants game with kids, start with the concrete, then go to the abstract. Never own more stuff than will fit in your car. Play necessity vs. luxury. Play have/need/want, allow for constructive desire.

We want to be extravagant with our children. But can the Earth afford it?

Spend money investing in people, not stuff, e.g. cello lessons.

Baylor’s past president led the school into Intelligent Design. Now the school's recovering.

Next time: Religious Satire

Why this blog? Visit post #1.

Simple Livers need to support each other, even if they’re far apart.

POST #143


Bob D., editor of The Wittenburg Door, the world’s pretty much only religious satire magazine.

Religious Satire

Bob D. has been editor of The Door since 1988. They’re asking whether to continue print only, to go web only or to move to DVD. They keep going thanks to a few angels. Merchandising now brings in more than the magazine. They’re particularly critical of televangelists. They’re working on a deal to be content provider for cell phones -- audio and text.

The magazine is published by the Trinity Foundation which provides food and shelter for the homeless in the Dallas, TX area. Visit

A regular contributor is Becky Garrison, who has written a piece for Whose Birthday Is It, Anyway? 2007.

Bob made numerous helpful suggestions for improving our publication.

Next time: Recycling Pie-in-the-Face Contest

Why this blog? Visit post #1.

Simple Livers need to support each other, even if they’re far apart.

POST #144

Recycling Pie-in-the-Face Contest

Dean and Terry W. hosted a lunch at their home in Seguin, TX.

Terry was involved in adult Christian Ed and evangelism. She’s interested in SLCN. He worked for the FBI, 1971-96. Both of them did youth work, 1998-2003. course at church: Financial Peace University talks about budgeting, use cash exclusively, buying insurance, envelop system to become totally debt-free (except mortgage). Pay off smaller loans first to see progress. Live like nobody else. Eat beans and rice until you get your debt under control. Cost is $100 per couple for 13 weeks on DVD. He has three-hour call-in show daily on radio.

Texas Lutheran College has a new recycling program with a pie-in-the-face contest between faculty and students.

All six guests are from First United Methodist Church. Candace has offered Unplug the Christmas Machine workshop.

Next time: CHAOS

Why this blog? Visit post #1.

Simple Livers need to support each other, even if they’re far apart.

POST #145


Dean and Terry W. hosted evening refreshments and conversation in Seguin, TX, for students from Texas Lutheran College (TLC). TLC has some 2500 students, many commuters, with Youth Ministry Dept. and a good music school.

Jim J. says helps with cleaning and decluttering by developing routines. CHAOS = Can’t Have Anybody Over Syndrome.

United Methodist Army plans mission trips for youth from Houston. People repair homes, worship and discussion at 80 sites, 100 at each. Wesley Foundation college students take part in UMArmy.

Terry volunteered to lead simple living workshops at a regional Lutheran gathering.

Next time: Camp Capers

Why this blog? Visit post #1.

Simple Livers need to support each other, even if they’re far apart.

POST #146


Camp participant
Joe & Chuck at camp
Joe & Pam with their Prius hybrid

Camp Capers

Joe J. invited us to a retreat at Camp Capers in Waring, TX, for All Saints Episcopal (Corpus Christi). Joe is a retired pediatric radiologist. They drive a Prius (some half dozen members of their parish drive hybrids).

Chuck S. is a member of TexansForPeace, a volunteer opera announcer for his local NPR station and dome dweller. He likes to sing folk songs.

Philip J. teaches communication and theater at Texas A&M. Seems interested in the effects of globalization.

Brenda J. is the very outgoing camp director. She said that college programs offer too much program. Have some fun!

While I talked, the 25+ adults, teens and kids painted their mugs. In the morning Rita and I spent an hour in Yoga class.

Next time: What is the Competing Value?

Why this blog? Visit post #1.

Simple Livers need to support each other, even if they’re far apart.

POST #147


Ray and Mary Gail

Compassion Touches More Than Facts
What is the Competing Value?

I met with Mary Gail N.-J., her husband Ray (who has a keen sense of humor) and their friend Ben S. in San Marcos, TX. Mary Gail is a former nurse, now a parish nurse who writes newsletter articles. Ray is a volunteer in the UMArmy. All three are members of Wimberley United Methodist.

Most parents want their kids to be better off than they are. That drives a lot of consumerism. Kids activities and new experiences are thought to be signs of good parenting.

Ben taught government for eight years, was a tax assessor and a political worker. Now he’s a technical writer. He focused on the issues of race and the James Watt mentality (Reagan's Secretary of the Interior who thought we should use up the Earth's natural resources quickly since Jesus is coming back soon).

Ask, What is the competing value? Then compare that to the teachings of Jesus. Most are looking for excuses to do what they want. We have a group of responsible ones versus irresponsible ones. That removes the incentive. They ignore tax cuts for the rich. At least the rich young ruler was aware of his values. Ask, Which values would God favor? John Wesley professed that all is owned by God.

Facts won't work to break through the hardhearted if they're not open. That's left brained. Compassion puts one’s self in some one else's shoes. That’s right brained. A visual approach is better for young people.

Parents teach their kids to be tough, suspicious, that people are out to get you. This leads to the hardhearted, defensive tough love rules to interpret the world.

Next time: Alternatives' Longest Congregational Member

Why this blog? Visit post #1.

Simple Livers need to support each other, even if they’re far apart.

POST #148


Jim L.

Alternatives' Longest Congregational Member

Sharyl D. and Pastor John C. hosted me at the worship services and Contemporary Issues class at Northwoods Presbyterian Church, Houston, TX. This congregation has been a member of Alternatives longer than any other congregation anywhere.

I stayed with Jim L., a retired businessman who lives in an extravagant new home. He seemed sincerely interested in Alternatives.

About 25 attended the class. I did the 80-20 hunger illustration using my shirts instead of pillows.

Remember Stan Freeberg’s song Green Christmas about advertising.

Although Scandinavian countries have the highest happiness index, they also have a high teenage suicide rate.

Much interest around the display table.

Next time: Quick Stop in Goliad

Why this blog? Visit post #1.

Simple Livers need to support each other, even if they’re far apart.

POST #149


Lutherans in Goliad

Quick Stop in Goliad

Pastor Herb B. invited me to speak at a meeting at St. John's Lutheran Church, Goliad, TX.

I arrived just as the moderator asked for me! I spoke for five minutes, then sped off, leaving flyers on the front table and shaking Pastor Beyer's hand.

Invited us to Feb. 2007 conference. Terry W. and Pastor Jim A. volunteered!

Next time: Can Pastors Learn Simpler Living?

Why this blog? Visit post #1.

Simple Livers need to support each other, even if they’re far apart.

POST #150

Can Pastors Learn Simpler Living?

Pastor Jim A. hosted a supper at Immanuel Lutheran Church, Brenham, TX. He’s a second career pastor, a graduate of the Texas seminary program. Louise A. teaches at Texas A&M Veterinary School. She selects short, thin textbooks. They recently celebrated their 31st wedding anniversary. He doesn’t look over 40!

Ann S., a part-time musician and Kindermusik instructor, and Oscar F., a deaf church historian, attended.

Jim has seen a house using a dry cistern circulation system for air-cooling. At the same house they heat their pool with solar panels.

For $25 per year Jim gets a daily devotional of 200 words at The author is into church health and wellness. He has four panels -- each age group responds to a different question weekly. Jim’s spiritual director, Ron George, referred him to the service.

How about a lectionary-based service The Bible and Simple Living? Could board members nominate contributors? Make this part of a seminary program -- get academic credit for independent study.

Aggie Lutherans -- Campus ministry to 10-12 students out of 43,000 at Texas A&M!

Investigate Earth Day events by college ecology clubs, for example Re-Plant (a response to the campus bon fire tradition).

Los Alamos, NM, has many simple living millionaires.

Pump the foundation program director to get a grant. Lilly helps pastors to take sabbaticals. They work on low-key projects. How about Simple Living as part of the decompression? Develop materials on how to simply life on sabbatical, then carry those ideas back to the parish and share them with parishioners. This is a justice issue for pastors -- connecting Simple Living and Gospel values. Involve board member Dr. Bruce Forbes and his sabbatical experience to learn simple living.

Next time: Five Powerful Ideas

Why this blog? Visit post #1.

Simple Livers need to support each other, even if they’re far apart.

POST #151


Jim C., chaplain at St. Stephen’s School, Austin

Five Powerful Ideas

Chaplain Jim C. hosted me as morning chapel speaker for middle school and high school students at St. Stephen’s School (Episcopal), Austin, TX.

Jim is a layperson serving as associate chaplain of St. Stephen’s. He admires the 3rd Order of St. Francis. His wife Tara is a catholic who admires ancient traditions (like habits). She was planning to be a nun. They have three kids. He’s been associated with JPIC - Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation. (Presbyterian?)

He writes screenplays. He has over 150 hours of taped interviews, beginning with four prominent thinkers, such as Wendell Berry. He works with Jim Douglas on Religion and Ecology.

I developed new wording for the five life standards of voluntary simplicity to appeal to middle and high school.

Five Powerful Ideas:
Use only our fair share.
Care for the Earth.
Care for people more than our stuff.
Learn from the whole world.
It’s OK to be different.

I spoke for about 10 minutes at each chapel service and then spoke privately to two instructors. Jim Crosby video taped me and will send a VHS so we can critique my presentation and decide if we want to issue a well-produced DVD of me talking.

Next time: Concerns for Grandkids

Why this blog? Visit post #1.

Simple Livers need to support each other, even if they’re far apart.

POST #152



Concerns for Grandkids

Greg Rickel hosted me for a luncheon at Austin Episcopal Theological Seminary, Austin, TX.

I talked to Karen Grampp on the phone. She had lost interest because her children and grandchildren were not interested in simplifying. She had offered Unplug workshops and purchased Whose Birthday? for her congregation. She didn’t like the changes and the repeated requests for her email.

She came to the seminary and pledged to renew her membership. Her grand kids see everything as temporary -- single use. They want the latest upgrades and are not equipped to meet crises. In their selfishness to maintain their lifestyle, they don’t care about other cultures. It’s hard for parents to swim against the consumer tide.

Approach the scouts about a simple living badge.

She has a guest room if we return to the area.

The seminary has a visiting fellows program -- lay and ordained. Sabbatical projects are self-directed. Each submits an application.

I spoke for two minutes in chapel. Only three students showed up for the meeting. We had a conflict with choir.

Next time: The Christian path is downward mobility.

Why this blog? Visit post #1.

Simple Livers need to support each other, even if they’re far apart.

POST #153



The Christian path is downward mobility.

Greg R. hosted me for an evening discussion group at Austin Episcopal Theological Seminary, Austin, TX.

Of the 15 attendees, about 1/3 were new to the group -- folks I’d called or who had heard by email. Two couples were long time simple livers.

Learn from the World Community is the greatest irony. We live with dangerous arrogance. In Jamaica they celebrate death.

Violence around the world affects the well off. They either leave or keep their heads down.

Some immigrants are upset when they see our homeless.

The movie Crash shows that people are capable of evil and heroics.

Learn from the world ecology. Muir learned parenting from the birds.

When Amee decided to do something meaningful, she went back to school, became really poor while her friends were making money. Then she realized she didn't need it. She was freed up to do more of what she liked but she was forced to realize it, while others never see it. They don’t know another way. They have fear of regressing.

In his Three Temptations, Henri Nouwen says that the Christian path is downward mobility. Eric Laws says Christians are always moving toward powerlessness.

In Houston one family lived in an intentional community. Their family of six moved into 750 square feet. Some of the women in the church were upset that the boys and the girls were in the same bedroom. They moved to Austin into another small house. It was discovery and adventure. They learned we don’t get support where we expect it. At puberty they moved into a house with two bathrooms. They had to give away half their possessions. It was a relief putting things in the give-away room. Remember to finish that apple (no waste).

The kids are now 34-25, they figure cost-per-wearing for clothing, travel in Latin America where they were profoundly impacted. They have nothing to do with the corporate grind and do not judge their friends.

David Westerberg says, Consumption will not fill the void.

Simple Living is not hoarding.

Corporations keep some of their executive staff in debt to keep them under control. Don’t let the parish out of debt or the people will give less.

College students are good at connecting buying and justice issues, for example, Fair Trade.

Would Alternatives sell their resources through Wal-Mart?

If everyone lived simply, a lot of folks would be out of work.

Debriefing needed after High School Mission trips to help students make the connection between what they saw and how they live. They need practical ideas.

According to a recent Zogby poll, our #1 problem is greed. Like the Harvard knowing-and-doing gap.

Fear of the unknown is an inhibitor. That’s why some people stay in abusive relationships.

See "How Not to Be Your Childs ATM" by Nathan Duggan.

Corporations now see that consumer debt will kill them.

Speak to social work students.

Next time: The Breakfast Club

Why this blog? Visit post #1.

Simple Livers need to support each other, even if they’re far apart.

POST #154


The Breakfast Club

The Breakfast Club

Ted Z. hosted me for the Breakfast Club in Austin, TX. He's seen the Overspent Americans video.

Three of the five were from Triumphant Love Lutheran.

Jim R. at St. Andrews Presbyterian (Wells Branch) is an activist who holds a monthly film night hosted by Robert H., a University of Texas professor of journalism. In a recent sermon he said, If you’re offering hope, you’d better by authentic. t’s a tough world.

Ecumenical Texas Impacts Breath of Life program urges congregations to use clean energy. Texas is facing sanctions by 2010.

See "Super Shoppers" in US News, 5/1/06 about Chinese and Indian consumerism.

Exporting our morality has international implications. We need to balance the message that not everybody here is that way. In our dichotomy the government is pro-shopping.

Christmas in July is now the norm. Plan ahead.

Get young adults on the honorary board too -- Bono, Vince Young (Rose Bowl quarterback -- Mac Brown’s his coach) and Kirk Bohls, sports writer.

The young love Rick Steves travel books. He’s involved with Bread for the World.

Next time: Young Adult Perspective

Why this blog? Visit post #1.

Simple Livers need to support each other, even if they’re far apart.

POST #155

xxx xxx xxx xxx

Guests at Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary

Young Adult Perspective

Janet M. hosted me for lunch at Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, Austin, TX.

Janet runs a continuing education program for Pastoral Leaders funded by a Lilly Grant. Groups of ministers meet, define excellence and how to achieve it in their environment, set intellectual, spiritual and emotional goals for the group. Ministers know what they need, rather than judicatories like seminaries providing programming, which creates passivity. Most pastors are creative by nature. They have foresight and hope but conflict grinds the creativity out of them.

Penny L. M., sociologist of religion, Samford University, Birmingham, AL, has a sabbatical grant program that’s less complicated than Lilly's.

At the seminary students are organizing an intentional community, a coop, not a monastic model. Austin has a Green Building program.

Most simple living books are for the 40+ set. Super Size Me appeals to the younger.

Airlines now have children frequent flyer programs and send out pre-approved credit card applications to children as young as eight!

Money myths need to be broke, but not by parents. Teens are more likely to listen to someone else.

Connect with Christian Intentional Communities, with student housing cooperatives and co-housing groups.

Alternatives overlaps with environmental groups, most of which are not Christian, e.g. Bio Squad, which are suspicious of Christians.

Teen testimonial: College is the only time to spend more that you have. Mom and Dad won’t find out. They’re living in the moment. Christianity is not attractive, stuff is.

The myth of graduating is that success comes with credentials. We’ll pay off all our mistakes after college.

Movie messages include product placement. On TV Friends work little but have much. That says, you’re entitled.

Freedom means no car payment. We need safe biking.

Share stories of what other young adults are doing in blog (beyond Gerald's travels).

Some young adults are seeking justice. They're against something. Some want to create something. They don’t want to be manipulated. Some end up paying the bills doing work outside their own structure. They have a palate of creativity. Ask, Who are you? How do you feel when you do that? Who do you want to be? For example, the prayer of confession is a reminder of who we are.

With children, turn off the TV and throw out the newspaper ads.

Check out the book Debt Proof Your Kids. Give a salary not an allowance. If you give them a loan, they work it off with chores.

Code word with kids -- be skeptical.

Be careful not to stereotype teens negatively. They’re tired of it. They’re diverse.

Adults teach best by modeling. Teens pull away to find themselves. Then they come back to the way they’re raised.

Contact parochial school parents and PTAs.

LaTonda is a revolving credit pool, communal savings. Each member makes a weekly contribution. Each one gets the money in turn.

Youth ministry class includes much on Christian consumerism. Read Practicing Discernment with Youth by David White.
It confronts consumerism and negative youth culture, promotes intergenerational modeling (instead of praise bands).

Next time: OHIO - Only Handle It Once

Why this blog? Visit post #1.

Simple Livers need to support each other, even if they’re far apart.

POST #156


Some of the guests at King of Glory Lutheran, Dallas

OHIO - Only Handle It Once

Pastor Steve S. hosted me for supper at King of Glory Lutheran, Dallas, TX.

Radio pitch: God blesses us not to increase our standard of living but to increase our standard of giving.

Example of Dallas-style extravagance: a child gets $50 for a lost tooth.

Discussion at my table centered on the advantages of teens wearing uniforms in school.

Check out the book Miserly Moms, a guide to make staying home with the kids work.

Co-op Camp. Instead of spending $999 per kid per week of summer camp, take turns swapping kids and activities.

Dallas makes it very difficult to resist keeping up with the crowd. A supporting partner helps. Turn to Christ in prayer and to Scripture.

With kids, using stalling techniques.

Paper clutter problem? OHIO - Only handle it once -- act, recycle or file.

"Buy an opportunity" to build a wheel chair ramp or some other community service project.

Parents example is key. They’re role models of stewardship and finances.

All Sunday School offering goes to Heifer.

Matthew Scully focuses on animal welfare, not rights. Dominion: Power of Man, Suffering of Animals, Call to Mercy. We have a disconnect between presentation of meat and how it got there -- in a nation of animal lovers!

Next time: Simpler Living, Compassionate Life

Why this blog? Visit post #1.

Simple Livers need to support each other, even if they’re far apart.

POST #157

xxx xxx

Mady & Myrna at Phillips, Tulsa

Simpler Living, Compassionate Life

Myrna R. hosted me for lunch and table talk at Phillips Theological Seminary, Tulsa, OK. Phillips has more United Methodists than Disciples; 18-20 denominations are represented. Debra G., student and professional storyteller, preached in chapel.

Mady F. teaches a Simple Living class as part of a master program track on history and practice of Christian spirituality -- all have social justice underpinnings, e.g. Celtic (before the Roman invasion). She uses Simpler Living, Compassionate Life as the text. The student read a chapter, which leads to their practice of the week and a reflection paper. They post reflections on electronic bulletin board and get comments in groups of 5-6. Another option is the six hour simple living retreat (instead of weekly class).

Parker Palmer, a Quaker, wrote Living the Undivided Life (?) on discerning your vocation. The world dims the call of God. The book is reflective, self-revealing.

Stress of Katrina has taken ten years off people’s lives.

June C. from Claremore and her husband served as missionaries in Honduras. She’s been aware of Alternatives since the 1970s. They’re now elderly and ill. She was called and agreed to receive some materials at her church. Her priest at St. Paul’s Episcopal was impressed with the materials.

Pastor Brian P., Austin, returned my call. Ascension Lutheran has a medical loaning closet. He’s been there six years. They provide services to the undocumented and have received TV coverage in this immigration-interest time. Wife Ginnie is a landscape designer, uses xeroscaping techniques. Sixth and eighth grade boys. Coast Rica is sister synod. He’s taken teens to serve there, as well as experience eco-tourism.

Next time:

Why this blog? Visit post #1.

Simple Livers need to support each other, even if they’re far apart.

POST #158

xxx xxx xxx xxx xxx

Guests at Forest Park Christian Church, Tulsa

Spin the Plastic

Myrna R. hosted me for supper at Forest Park Christian Church, Tulsa.

Ideas from the conversation:

Spin the plastic - it’s recyclable. Credit builds up expectations.

Radio reporters take cameras to post footage on radio web site.

TV time together and no electronics time.

Take turns with family devotions.

We need to build up kids self-esteem for them to resist brands.

An ideal wedding gift is Up with Trees.

Contribute to granddaughter’s college fund.

The theme for an entitled niece's birthday -- gifts for the Human Society.

Give granddaughter an appropriate magazine subscription.

Is there a correlation between 20% of world is illiterate and 20% has college degrees? 20% are destitute and 20% are privileged?

Follow God's principles to help teens prepare to leave home. Follow Crown Financial Ministries --

Joel G., Yale Ave. Christian Church, says real security leads to lower consumption. Affluence is an illusion. Short-term freedom is self-indulgence.

Don’t buy me anything else that I have to dust. Give a donation to Habitat House (DOC).

Read Collapse a little bit at a time.

The Huttons hosted me. She’s a psychotherapist; he markets customized caps and T-shirts. Though he has health issues, he has a positive attitude.

Next time: Raising Children in a Multi-cultural Environment

Why this blog? Visit post #1.

Simple Livers need to support each other, even if they’re far apart.

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POST #159


Rita and Tom

Raising Children in a Multi-cultural Environment

LIFE members Jeanne and Tom E. hosted my Rita and Elysha at their home in Albuquerque, NM.

Jeanne is a teacher and Tom is a retired truck driver and union leader.

They adopted five Korean children who are now grown. They have wonderful pictures of the children and their growing years throughout the house. They specifically picked Albuquerque to raise their children so the whole family would be in a multi-cultural environment.

They were both full of ideas and thoughts about how to reach out to young adults. Tom and Jeanne are living a simple and joyful life. They are very deliberate in their choices of food, leisure, and lifestyle. Because they have five grown children, the need to communicate with the next generation is very important to them.

1. If simplicity is going to work it has to come across as: Simplicity Is Fun -- it makes my life joyful and exciting.

2. Provide ways for parents and children to have a connection in a project that is practical and simple and useful. For instance giving Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure entrance fee for a Mothers Day present instead of a gift for mom.

3. Remember that young kids do things with groups of other young adults. They like to do things in small groups.

4. Have young people create their own videos about their forms of simple living.

5. Help young adults understand the trade off in time for the debt that they are creating with their buying of stuff.

Next time: MORE New Mexico: Communicating with Young Adults

Why this blog? Visit post #1.

Simple Livers need to support each other, even if they’re far apart.

POST #160


Elysha and Tom

Communicating with Young Adults

More ideas from Rita and Elyshas visit in Albuquerque, NM, with Jeanne and Tom E.

6. The information needs to be packaged in the current pop culture so young people will listen to it.

7. The video Affluenza needs to be up-dated to have it relate to young people.

8. Give gift certificates to Alternatives for young people so they can give to older people or older people can give to younger people. Give a description about why this is a good thing to give to other people.

9. We need more ways that older adults can communicate how to do Simple Living.

10. Teach young people how their buying decisions impact other people in the world.

11. Focus on What I Like About Simple Living.

12. Do not make Simple Living about politics.

13. Address the greed in all people -- that’s why America is in trouble.

14. Simple Living needs to be defined as a good quality of life.

15. Choices and choice-making is an intregal part to Simple Living. Decision empowerment is important.

16. Idea for a title or bumper sticker: Embrace Simple Living or Embrace the joy of simple living or Embrace Simple Living and its joys.

Next time: Benefits of Honey

Why this blog? Visit post #1.

Simple Livers need to support each other, even if they’re far apart. If you want to be in touch with some of the folks I’m introducing here, let me know and Ill forward your message to them.

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Page updated 15 March 2013