Break Forth Into Joy!



Break Forth Into Joy! VIDEO

Beyond a Consumer Lifestyle Available Free Online

Ultimate...unforgettable...feel good...you need more...make your dreams come true...celebrate...you can have it all...you deserve love...set your spirit free...you need more...have it all -- we hear and see these messages every day, blasting from car radios, plastered on billboards, blaring from TVs in family rooms across the country.

All too often, we are convinced that if we buy one more this or one more that we'll be happy. But time after time we are disappointed. And yet, so many of us continue to search for fulfillment through material possessions, becoming overwhelmed by daily demands - too many bills, not enough money, long work hours, not enough sleep, too many commitments, and not enough time for family, friends and God. How can we change our direction? How can we become individuals and communities that are accountable to the whole of God's creation?

Break Forth Into Joy! helps us take a critical look at our lifestyle choices and the shape our lives have taken. It helps us examine our search for fulfillment and security through material possessions, and reminds us of biblical teachings on wealth and poverty. We realize how our obsession with buying and owning affects the earth, other people and the human spirit. By sharing feelings, thoughts and practical ideas from a variety of people who struggle to live faithfully in the midst of the consumer society, this video calls us toward a lifestyle that is more fulfilling and joyful.

Break Forth Into Joy! itself is a 15-minute video. Included also are three additional 10-minute sections with longer clips of people featured in the main part of the video. These additional sections have themes of freedom and possessions, family and children, and taking action. Break Forth Into Joy! is ideal for use with adults or senior high youth. Use it in church school classes, workshops or other special gatherings.

Here's what people featured in the video have to say about living more simply:

The longer I live the more I see we don't need much. And our children don't need any more than anybody else's children anywhere on this Earth.
- Mary Spuhler, director of a soup kitchen in Jacksonville, Florida

It's not that people can't have things. It's that we don't want things to own us.
- Barbara DeGrote-Sorensen, Christian educator and co-author of "'Tis a Gift to be Simple" and "Six Weeks to a Simpler Lifestyle"

The less you have, the more emotionally stable you are, because there are less things consuming you. That's it - consumption breeds consumption.
- Young Hughley, director of Reynoldstown Revitalization in Atlanta, Georgia

The difference between want and need is that when you take care of a need it's satisfied - my need for shelter, food, transportation. But when I take care of a want there's always one right behind it and as soon as I satisfy one want there's something else kind of screaming out, 'Buy me, get me, have me,' and I never satisfy that, I never quench that thirst.
- Kathleen Connolly, coordinator of volunteers for the Orlando Police Department in Orlando, Florida

I find it's a real sense of liberation for me to understand that no matter what comes into my parameters, into my personal space, that I have an opportunity to say yes or no. . . .
- Adei-Mai Grenpastures, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) minister and professional mediator in Atlanta, Georgia

Simple life ought to be described with words like celebrative, or eucharistic living. Instead of feeling that it is confined and a great poverty, let's open it up into the fullness that it is.
- John Schramm, writer and Lutheran minister from Minneapolis, Minnesota

Alternatives produced resources on responsible living and celebrating, 1973-2011. It's spirit and mission are continued by Simple Living Works! - equipping people of faith to challenge consumerism, live justly and celebrate responsibly.

This video can be seen free of charge at SimpleLivingWorks.org >> Archives, along with several others produced by Alternatives.


A Review

Break Forth Into Joy!: Beyond A Consumer Lifestyle Video

by Michael Crosby, O.F.M. Cap.

As a member of Alternatives' Board of Directors, I attended a board meeting where we previewed its new video on the challenge of living more fully in the midst of the consumerism and materialism that surrounds us. After viewing the video, I was left in deep awe and gratitude for the powerful gift of hope we have been given in this short 15-minute work.

I guess I would be expected to write a glowing review of the video, given my role as board member. However, I went to the viewing fully prepared not to like it. My first thoughts related to the content of the video: It's going to be too simplistic, was one of my expectations. It will sound too preachy, was another. It will be overkill and create all sorts of guilt, It will be hokey -- People used to the professionalism of television day after day will reject it, were other ideas that came to mind.

Now without shame, I say that I was wrong on all my fears about what the film might say and show. I came to watch Break Forth Into Joy! and I was conquered. Not only is the message very clear, creative and convincing; the medium for the message is first class, inviting and powerful for the viewer.

The video begins with images from television and other media with which we are familiar. The rapid sequence of the shots and their juxtaposition quickly draws the viewer into the message in a way that is familiar. Gradually, from what one perceives as the daily dose of the merchandisers' messages, we begin to hear other messages, messages from people affected by the attitudes and advertising that inundates us. We hear how their values and concerns are challenging them to find realistic and helpful ways to be free of the media's guiles and the merchandiser's seduction.

The people we hear from in the video, representing individuals and families, reflect a broad cross-section of society. They speak from their heart without righteousness or anger at the corporate world or television. Rather, they share the struggle they've had trying to live at a deeper level when so much around them speaks to the safe and the superficial. To develop a healthy simplicity in the process is not an easy task, but the different approaches they have discovered are helpful for the viewer to hear and to see. The use of scriptures, interspersed at various points, has been done, not as an add on, but as a simple call to fidelity and greater persuasion. The way music is used also helps a lot.

The week after viewing the video, I showed it to a group of about 600 people who are concerned about social justice and spirituality, nonviolence and simple living. Their response was wonderful. The way the audience broke into applause at the end of the film attests to the value of Break Forth Into Joy! With that kind of reaction, I came away proud of what this very creative group has done.

I recommend this video wholeheartedly: for the individual viewer's growth, for families struggling with issues related to their lifestyle, and for church-related groups who are trying to make sure the gospel message addresses their Mondays through Saturdays.

Michael Crosby, O.F.M. Cap. is a member of the Midwest Province of the Capuchin Franciscans and a nationally-known speaker and writer.

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