Response 2015

Testimonial/Response/Comment/Feedback INDEX

The most current comments are at the bottom of the page.

Jan.-March | April-June | July-Sept. | Oct.-Dec.

Re: SLW! Blog


I'm looking for resources for a church sponsored financial management class. Faith based but not fundamentalist (needs to be appropriate for all configurations of families including LGBT). any ideas?
Phyllis Jennings

Although Dave Ramsey is a popular faith-based financial advisor, he's quite conservative. I recommend The Faith and Money Network at http://www.FaithAndMoneyNetwork.org. They have a helpful study guide and recent podcast series. My blog post about F&Mnet.

Re: blog: eNews #40-New Collaborators and Champions

Hi Jerry,

These are some really great connections to a much wider audience. thank you for pulling these all together.
I sent this out to several other pastors, family and friends.

Steve Mayberry


Re: SLW! Podcast #37-Duane Elgin: Great Transition Stories

Read 'Voluntary Simplicity' about fifteen years ago and Elgin's ideas were very formative for me, as they have continued to be. Cheers on sharing his work with us!

Colin Richard


Re: blog: Dealing with Post-Christmas Consumerism

It seems we have come full circle. My mother told me that when she was growing up hardly anyone ever went out to eat, and everyone cooked at home. Now, with all of the GMOs, etc., it seems the healthy families are eating at home again and making their own meals. Simple living and a quiet life is a wonderful way to be creative and be happy.

Dwayna Litz


Re: Helpful birthday ideas from Simple Living Works!

Thanks, Jerry - simple living is good every day - keep up the good work.

Iowa State Sen. Rob Hogg, author of America's Climate Century


RE: blog PEACE


Thank you, Gerald for sharing. Shalom
Charlie L. Kyle, Chicago, EEUU (Spanish abbrev. for United States)

Re: SLW! Podcast #38


Thanks, Gerald, for the tip for some good reading. And, Susan Vogt - thanks for your reflective writing.

Charles Kyle, PhD.

Re: LENT Preview - Week Zero


Thank you Gerald for sharing your spiritual art and profound reflections on living a BE ATTITUDE driven 40 days of Lent.

Charlie L. Kyle, Chicago, EEUU


Love your ideas and the drawings you use.
Patricia B Wood

Re: Lent Preview: Week TWO

cartoon: a woman with an overflowing grocery cart, says to a demonstrator offering her a bottle of wine:
'No, thank you, sir. During Lent I'm practicing moderation.'


Thank you, Gerald. Your carefully drawn cartoon packs a wallop of a good message that is easier to accept because your wit delivers the point with a smile. As the drawing above reflects the recent Gospel: 'The scribes and the Pharisees administer the authority of Moses, So do whatever they tell you and follow it, but stop doing what they do, because they don't do what they say. They tie up burdens that are heavy and unbearable and lay them on people's shoulders, but they refuse to lift a finger to remove them.' Matthew 23:verses 3 and 4. CLK, Chicago EEUU

Charlie Kyle

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Re: Lent Preview: Week Three


Love your illustration! How convenient. Best and blessings, Charlie -- Be Attitude

Charlie Kylie, Chicago

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Re: Lent Preview -- Week FOUR

Maybe following Jesus is like 'eggs and new life' as the caption of your great illustration reads; of course, with the understanding that often is scrambled eggs and not even an omelet. CLK Chicago EEUU

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Re: Lent Preview -- Week FIVE

Gerald ,my brother, your thoughts and illustrations are life changing. They call for a BeAttitiude and becoming a GO GIVER, not a GO GETTER nor a GO TAKER. This Golgotha you picture reminds me of the redeeming grace of music shared in the following linked Youtube video of a youth orchestra in Paraguay whose instruments are made from the garbage from the land fill adjacent to their shanty home.. -- http://goo.gl/OIAQv7 -- CLK Chicago EEUU


Hej! Happy B-day! I'd buy you ice cream if either of us were in Copenhagen today!

Ronald Rentner

Why Are Danes So Happy?

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Blessings to you! I appreciate all your efforts to redeem our planet.

Gerald Stolp


Happy Birthday Gerald!

You may remember me from a visit you made to Texas as part of your cross country tour many years ago. A small, rural church with 4 or 5 people who showed up, including my dear member with a big heart who is totally hard of hearing.

Keep up with your posts. Thanks for continuing this important work.

Jim Abbot

So good to hear from you, Jim. I well remember my visit to your congregation. You can read Post #150



Gerald, thanks for the reply and link to your visit. Scrolling down to find it I ran across #143 - your visit to the Waco and a conversation with the editor of Wittenburg Door. I still cherish my copy of their last print edition. I think that humor about our small-minded approaches to God has a place. I grieve the loss of this voice of sanity in the world of faith.

Keep up the good work.

- One of the things mentioned was the Campus Ministry program at Texas A & M. Since your visit and a new campus pastor the program has grown - more than tripled and taking care of creation is now part of the DNA of this group.


Jim Abbot


Happy Birthday, Gerald!

Thanks for making me think, David.

3 Questions...

1. Best (most rewarding) part of last year? (2014)

a. Participating in the development of our children and grandchildren, despite challenges.

b. Developing Simple Living Works!

2. Worst (most discouraging) part of last year? (2014)

The gullibility of the American people and the flood of corrupt money that allowed the Republicans to take over Congress.

3. What do you anticipate in the coming year? (2015)

a. Pres. Obama will use his leverage - which he could have used early in his first term - to prevent collapse of our government.

b. Our daughter and granddaughter will flourish in grad school and kindergarten.

c. To accommodate billionaires and mega-corporations, the Paris Summit will not produce a plan sufficient to begin reversing global environmental implosion.

Peace, David Zahrt

I look forward to interviewing the editor of the 40th anniversary edition as I did the 30th anniversary edition of Living More with Less in episode 12 of Simple Living Works! Podcast -- Gerald Iversen

Thank you so much, Gerald Iversen, I just listened to it, it's great to have discovered your podcasts. Doris Janzen has had a huge influence all my life.
Leda Clare Ofs

More-with-Less: Changing the world, one recipe at a time
March 11, 2015
Cookbook fans invited to help choose, revise recipes through survey
HARRISONBURG, Va. and KITCHENER, Ontario--With one simple idea, a movement was born. As the classic cookbook of thrift and Christian compassion, the More-with-Less Cookbook has given generations of cooks healthy basic recipes that are gentle on the budget and mindful of those who are hungry.
A new 40th anniversary edition of the bestselling More-with-Less Cookbook by Doris Janzen Longacre is planned for 2016.
The cookbook was originally conceived by Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) and then staff member Janzen Longacre to address world hunger concerns by encouraging MCC's constituents to reduce their food consumption by 10 percent. The book offered recipes using less meat and fewer environmental resources before that concept became trendy, and it quickly became a landmark book capturing interest far beyond Mennonites.
The new edition will include color food photography, updated nutritional information, revised recipes based on current knowledge, and other revisions.
Rachel Marie Stone, author of Eat With Joy: Redeeming God's Gift of Food, will manage the revision, working with an advisory group including a dietitian, representatives from MCC and Ten Thousand Villages, and other users.


May 11

RE: blog In the Steps of St. Paul

Happy anniversary! Glad you enjoyed the travels. You were in our footsteps, as well.
Ronald M Rentner

Sounds great -- couldn't happen to a nicer guy!
Glen Gersmehl

Congratulations you two!
Karen Hebel


RE: podcast Livin' Simply 'n Lovin' It!

Thanks, Gerald. You really walk the walk!

Charlie Kyle, Chicago


Gerald, I have been listening to your podcast. It is much more workable than it was, now I can just click and listen.

Can I make a suggestion? I know you are trying to honor others and help people get information but to me it is like listening to commercials as you wind through all your directions, referrals and other info that doesn't have to do with the meat of the story. Perhaps if it was at the end of the podcast it wouldn't seem so invasive. Sorry if I sound negative. I would just find it easier listening if I didn't have to wait through all the introductions, etc.

Mayann Lorraine


Hello Jerry,

I was a member of Alternatives for Simple Living for a time. Though I'm not a religious person, I appreciated its message and ideals.

When the letters, catalogs and emails stopped coming, I kind of wondered what happened. I'm glad to see that you are still around and have embraced a new ``business'' model. Making information freely available seems very appropriate for an organization that advocates for simpler living.

So kudos to you and best wishes for your work going forward!

Colleen Vachuska


RE: blog SLW! Weekly: Site Problem Resolved


Gerald, I love your original cartoons. The guy/gal in this post is someone my Spanish speaking charismatic Catholics friends might call an 'Alabare' fellow follower of The Way (i.e. Acts of the Apostles). Many thanks for your continuous inspirational posts.
CLK, Chicago
Charles Kyle, Ph.D.

RE: blog I'm glad to pass along many links from... SLW! Weekly: So Much Help!


Thank you, Gerald for soooo much help in finding enjoyment in a simple life!
CLK, Chicago
Charles Kyle, Ph.D.

P.S. Your illustrations are a joy unto themselves.


RE: Earth Mama Podcast


Gerald, This is just wonderful. You have a great voice for broadcast and I really appreciate the time and planning you put into your shows. I am VERY pleased to share this widely and hope it reaches out to many more for both of our entities!!

Thank you SO much for including me in your work and this network.

Could you do me a favor and LIKE Earth Mama, musician band on Facebook, from Simple Living page -- if you have not already.

Blessings and best,

Joyce Rouse

Thanks for sharing this important story. Another modern day hero like yourself.

Charlie Kyle, Chicago

RE: Earth Mama - SLW! eNews

That's awesome. I bookmarked the websites EarthDay.fm and Earth Mama Music. Glad to hear people playing music with worthwhile lyrics.

Keep up the great work,



RE: Whose Birthday Is It, Anyway?


We are planning to do an alternative Christmas workshop at our church next month and would like to have copies of 'Whose Birthday Is it, Anyway?' #27 for participants.

Please let me know when these will be available and how we can obtain them.

Thanks so much.

Barbara Chung

Greetings, Barbara,

Glad to hear from you. 'Whose Birthday?' 2010 was the last edition distributed on paper. Since then I have published it on the internet. The 2015 ed. is scheduled to be on our website in Sept. When it's ready, I'll announce it in the Simple Living Works! weekly blog and monthly eNews.

You're welcome to assemble and copy a version that meets your local needs. All of our resources and service are now free of charge.

To make your selections, please visit the 'Whose Birthday?' index.

Also check out the index of Advent/Christmas Alternative articles taken from 'Whose Birthday?' and our Christmas Packs.

Choose graphics (art).
more art

For help with your workshop, visit parts 2 & 3 of Simple Living 101.

I plan to continue issuing podcasts of audio from 'Whose Birthday?' Hear past episodes.

Keep in touch.


RE: SLW! Weekly - Submit to 'Whose Birthday?' + Fall Festival Resources


Thanks, Gerald. I am especially impressed by your original cartoons that always transmit a great message.
Charles Kyle, Ph.D., Chicago

Re: SLW! Podcast--Kristina Kahl's Ph.D. Dissertation on Alternatives

Hi Jerry,
What a great surprise to hear from you! I hope all is going well with you and Rita. It is good to see that you are keeping the organization - at least the materials - alive and well.

I would be glad to pass the dissertation along. Just to be clear - it is a dissertation not a thesis. Thesis is for Masters. Dissertation is PhD. I am only articulating this difference because while it might seem insignificant and hair-splitting, I assure it is not. Dissertations are a very big endeavor. And as you know - I spent many a years with organization so as to produce such a product.

That being said, this is a project that uses a sociological mindset. Again, another perspective that gets misunderstood. Most people align it with psychology. Not the case. Sociology looks at how people and society interact. It is more of the nature vs. nurture argument - sociology being the nurture.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy the dissertation. I worked really hard on it and feel it offers a strong qualitative account of simple living, the relationship between faith based beliefs and simple living, as well as the role a national organization played in the larger conversation of simple living.

Please note that I have also used pseudonyms for the organization and all people I interviewed. Let me know if you have any questions! I would also love your feedback!



May I interview you for The Lutheran magazine, please?

HI -- I'm a freelance writer for The Lutheran magazine working on a story about how we can simplify Christmas and live more sustainably during Advent. My editor, Erin Strybis, gave me your name. Wondering if we might talk by phone for 30 minutes or so in the next week.

Thank you very much.

Wendy Healy

[after the interview]


Wendy, here's the summary sentence you requested:

** A simpler Christmas can lead us to discover year-round voluntary simplicity of challenging consumerism, living justly and celebrating responsibly.
** Year-round voluntary simplicity -- challenging consumerism, living justly and celebrating responsibly -- culminates in a simpler Christmas.

Use the one that works best in your story.


Thanks so much. You're very good at this.


RE: SLW! Weekly Digest (blog)

Thanks for spreading hope and challenging us at the same time.

Carol Christ



RE: SLW! Podcast #55--The Simple Life by David Shi

I loved this book.

Belva Jennings


Re: SLW! eNews - Advent Conspiracy

Love the Advent Conspiracy video. Great reminder.


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Re: SLW! eNews - Advent Conspiracy


Jerry, I want to thank you for your e-newsletters. They are just overflowing with food for thought and action ideas for doing and sharing. This time around, I'm getting a good dose of the ever-talented and prolific Bob Sitze...was introduced to Clark Howard while seeking not to be bullied by Consumo...and even learned how to minimize my wardrobe!

I always enjoy reading popular writing that helps people with getting on responsibly with our lives. It is also a good outreach tool. Friends who are not church-related are pleasantly surprised when they find out how practical, easy to read and even fun a faith-based community can be, through Simple Living Works information.

Thank you!!


Lily R. Wu Formerly of the Lutheran Peace Fellowship Board of Directors
and still an occasional Editorial Volunteer

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Thank you so much, Lily, for your encouragement. I plan to use your testimonial in an up-coming podcast.

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Gerald, you're very welcome. Having been in non-profit communications for most of my career, I know that a treasure trove like Simple Living Works doesn't come together on its own. I appreciate the time and energy you take to make it happen so that good ideas can be shared widely.

And it's an honor if any part of my 'testimonial' will be part of an upcoming podcast of yours! 😊


RE: Episode 16 :: Alternative Rites of Passage


You are so awesome! I don't think I've read through anything like that before. So nice to find someone with a few unique thoughts on this subject. Really.. many thanks for starting this up. This web site is something that is needed on the web, someone with a little originality!



Re: SLW! Podcast #57 - WHOSE Birthday? Part 1

Do what I do: It ain't 'Merry Christmas' until my wallet says it's 'Merry Christmas.' And, at that, I don't buy gifts for any of my relatives anymore (a brother and his ex-wife ruined all that years ago), other than for my Service/Hearing Dog. She is always spoiled silly. smile emoticon

Pet Kleckner


Re: SLW! Weekly - 'Is Christmas Christian?' by Richard Rohr

Except Christmas had nothing to do with Christ's birth. It was a compromise made by the church to celebrate the pagan holiday to help them accept conversion.

Tom Criswell


Re: WHOSE Birthday? Podcast series part 2
Christ Was Born to Set Us Free -- Advent 3&4

Advent?? Christmas?? Ephiphany?? Growing up in the Lutheran church, I know exactly what these are all about and NONE of them are scriptural. The Messiah of scripture (Yeshua) was NOT born on 12/25. His birth has NOTHING to do with the pagan holiday of 'Christmas' And to imply that Messiah came to set us free from credit card debt is just BEYOND the pale. Please read and study the scriptures that you may come to truth, Gerald!

Lisa Hathaway

Gerald's reply: Thanks for your thoughtful response, Lisa. Yes, there is something provocative, maybe even mildly facetious, about the cover. I hope as you listen to SLW! podcasts, you’ll discover that we are involved in prophetic ministry, not in the Gospel of Prosperity. If you saw only this cover for 'WHOSE Birthday?' you may not have realized that much of our art has been quite anti-consumerist, or as we say in our submission guidelines, 'art that reflects the tension between faith and culture.'

WHOSE Birthday Is It, Anyway? challenges Christians to walk their talk. We have been promoting faith-based voluntary simplicity for over 40 years. As a rostered leader of the ELCA, I have led the organization for 15 years. We take our mission seriously: Equipping people of faith to challenge consumerism, live justly and celebrate responsibly. We have involved some of the preeminent thinkers and theologians of our time. Whether the church year is a human invention is beside the point. We deal with challenges that people of faith, in this case Christians, face daily, such as Christmas consumerism.

Lisa Hathaway: Gerald, I have not listened to the podcast, as that really is not my concern. There is bigger fish to fry here. For example, you mentioned the challenges that people of faith (Christians) face daily.

Gerald, the one true faith taught in scripture is NOT Christianity. Christianity was an invention of Rome. In fact, it was the state religion by the 3rd century AD. It evolved into Roman Catholicism, which later spawned Protestantism (Reformation). Fact is, the Reformers came out of Rome, but Rome never came out of the Reformers. That's how we ended up with thousands of denominations all claiming to be preaching and teaching the truth. Fact is, NONE of them are. Bottom line, Christianity is a false religion, a cult, essentially with a false 'messiah' named 'Jesus' (a name created by the RCC which has no meaning. It's a transliteration from the Greek Iesous, via Latin)

The one true faith is Hebraic, the faith of the prophets and apostles. It is the same faith as Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Daniel, John the Baptist, and the entire Hebrews 11 crew. Not a Christian among them!!! Paul was not a Christian, neither were any of the disciples. We have NO record of Yeshua ever calling His disciples 'Christians,' and we NO record of the disciples ever applying the term to themselves.

The law, covenants, and promises of YHVH were given to Israel, not the Gentiles. Gentile believers must be GRAFTED IN to the olive tree of Israel through repentance and faith, through being born again, etc (biblical salvation). Gentiles are bound by the terms of the Covenant, which is His law (Torah) written in the heart. Jer 31; Heb 8

Messiah is JEWISH. He is of the seed of David, the stem of Jesse, the lion of the tribe of Judah. His name is Yeshua, which means salvation. He did not come to bring some new religion called Christianity, which teaches the law was abolished On the contrary, Messiah taught that He did not come to abolish the law. Rightfully so, for it was given to Israel forever. It is still in effect.

Gerald, it is my sincere hope and prayer that you will test my words, as we are called to do. Read and study the scriptures that you may come to truth.

Phil Hayes: I don't know how I got this message, but I don't think it is true. This doesn't make sense. I think God has given us the Christ in Jesus. This is not a Roman idea and the New Testament is the Word of God and if it wasn't for the apostles we wouldn't have the truth of the Lamb of God which takes away the sin of the world.

Gerald Iversen: Lisa's reply to my reply has been moved to my site archives because it has been deemed unrelated to Christmas consumerism. If she or anyone else has comments pertinent to this subject, please add them. Phil's comment above relates to both of Lisa's replies. Facebook allows account managers to delete comments or 'unfriend' people who go off topic or abuse another's space.

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Only the 'relative' poverty of retiring in 2009 has gotten me out of the debt cycle so important to the accumulation of obscene wealth by the cabal of International Elites today. 'Sorry cabal of International Elites.' I'm 'tapped out'. Oh and a lot happier.

Michael O'Donnell


RE: Episode 4 :: Beyond a Consumer Lifestyle - 1

Mother and father and caregivers should supervise what youngsters watch to ensure there is no violence or adult material. Creating a TELEVISION free day once a month may train kids that their are many ways to be entertained.

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Outstanding post however I was wondering if you could write a little more on this topic? I'd be very grateful if you could elaborate a little bit more. Many thanks!

This page last updated 16 Dec., 2015

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