7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess

( 56 )

Overview


American life can be excessive, to say the least. That’s what Jen Hatmaker had to admit after taking in hurricane victims who commented on the extravagance of her family’s upper middle class home. She once considered herself unmotivated by the lure of prosperity, but upon being called “rich” by an undeniably poor child, evidence to the contrary mounted, and a social experiment turned spiritual was born.

7 is the true story of how Jen (along with her husband and her children to ...

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7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess

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Overview


American life can be excessive, to say the least. That’s what Jen Hatmaker had to admit after taking in hurricane victims who commented on the extravagance of her family’s upper middle class home. She once considered herself unmotivated by the lure of prosperity, but upon being called “rich” by an undeniably poor child, evidence to the contrary mounted, and a social experiment turned spiritual was born.

7 is the true story of how Jen (along with her husband and her children to varying degrees) took seven months, identified seven areas of excess, and made seven simple choices to fight back against the modern-day diseases of greed, materialism, and overindulgence.

Food. Clothes. Spending. Media. Possessions. Waste. Stress. They would spend thirty days on each topic, boiling it down to the number seven. Only eat seven foods, wear seven articles of clothing, and spend money in seven places. Eliminate use of seven media types, give away seven things each day for one month, adopt seven green habits, and observe “seven sacred pauses.” So, what’s the payoff from living a deeply reduced life? It’s the discovery of a greatly increased God—a call toward Christ-like simplicity and generosity that transcends social experiment to become a radically better existence.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
The central principles of living a Christian life, like tithing, fasting, and prayer, might get short shrift from some people but not Hatmaker (A Modern Girl's Guide to Bible Study). The wife of a pastor at Austin (Texas) New Church aims for a more saintly life by cutting back on possessions, food, stress, and other excesses with funny and lively writing that can get overly self-deprecating. Her goal is to convince the reader that a simpler life is a godlier one, which lends a sanctimonious element to some of the writing. Other parts are earnest and moving, such as the final chapter, in which the book drops snarky humor to offer sincere appreciation for prayer, even if the subject matter is divided between prayer and the couple's adoption of two Ethiopian children. For Christians who desire to live out their New Year's resolutions year round, this is worth reading. (Jan.)
From the Publisher

Publishers Weekly - The central principles of living a Christian life, like tithing, fasting, and prayer, might get short shrift from some people but not Hatmaker (A Modern Girl's Guide to Bible Study). The wife of a pastor at Austin (Texas) New Church aims for a more saintly life by cutting back on possessions, food, stress, and other excesses with funny and lively writing that can get overly self-deprecating. Her goal is to convince the reader that a simpler life is a godlier one, which lends a sanctimonious element to some of the writing. Other parts are earnest and moving, such as the final chapter, in which the book drops snarky humor to offer sincere appreciation for prayer, even if the subject matter is divided between prayer and the couple's adoption of two Ethiopian children. For Christians who desire to live out their New Year's resolutions year round, this is worth reading.

 "Jen Hatmaker is a model for her experiment in radical obedience to Christ. May we all be as committed to Jesus' Gospel revolution."

- Richard Stearns, president World Vision US, author The Hole in Our Gospel

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781433672965
  • Publisher: B&H Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 1/1/2012
  • Edition description: Original
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 35,486
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author


Jen Hatmaker and her family live in Austin, Texas, where the city motto is “Keep Austin Weird,” and they work hard to do their part. Jen’s eight previous books include Interrupted and A Modern Girl’s Guide to Bible Study. She and her husband planted Austin New Church in an economically and ethnically diverse, socially unique, urban area of the city in 2008. They are in the great- est adventure of their lives, (thrilled to find out where they have planted is known as the “church planters graveyard”) and have made some incredible new partnerships in ministry. They’ve seen their world turned upside down as they’ve considered what it means to ask God how to live and not just what to do. But it’s a good upside down, as part of that discovery will be the addition of two children from Ethiopia set to join the three they already have. Together they will keep Austin weird and seek to glorify God as they do.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 56 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(40)

4 Star

(9)

3 Star

(4)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(2)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 56 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 5, 2012

    Food for thought, then action

    The author identifies 7 areas of excess in her family's life and chooses to focus on changing their ways in each area. By focusing on one area for 4 weeks, they could see which changes to make and get to work.

    I enjoyed the book thoroughly. I liked the author's approach... self deprecating humor with truth bombs sprinkled throughout and all tied to her faith. I also understand how overwhelming changing habits of excess can be all at once... I appreciate she tackled them one by one.

    Easy read that leaves a lasting impact.

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 27, 2012

    Worth your time

    Well written: just when it gets pretty serious she throws in funny stuff. This is a good wake-up call for all of us who can afford to buy the book. We have a whole lot of stuff we don't need! Even if you don't do the things she does as drastically, moderation is what we need to remember to apply to our daily lives.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 13, 2012

    A True Gift

    If your "closet" is overflowing with food, clothes, money, waste, stress, etc. and you don't have room for one more thing, then this book is a MUST READ. Jen Hatmaker struggles, falls to her knees, rises up again and triumphs in this experiment with excess. She did it not only for herself and her family, but for all of us who question our own "full closets". I found this book to be insightful, helpful, hilariously funny, and demanding. Jen Hatmaker backs all (or most) of her opinions up with His word and what He expects of us. I will be rereading this book, suggesting it to friends and requiring my husband to read it.

    4 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 27, 2013

    Great book for thought

    This book will quickly help point out any possible excess you may have in your life and/or force you to think about how others survive with what they have and how you might change your lifestyle to help others. After living the 7 experiment, you can't help but thing of "things" differently.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 11, 2012

    Highly recommend...very entertaining and enlightening!

    By the time I was half-way through the second chapter, I had already ordered 3 more books for my friends and family to read. This struck a cord in me, a sense of ingratitude that I couldn't shake...still can't. Even if a person just improved on one of these areas in their life, they and their community, would be the better for it. Great job, Jen!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 15, 2012

    I was asked to join a handful of women to go through 7 beginning

    I was asked to join a handful of women to go through 7 beginning in September. I had no expectations but was left more than a little bewildered after our introductory meeting in June. I just finished the book and my world has certainly been turned upside down. I work at a mega church much like the ones Jen describes and cannot shake the eerie notion that Jen is right ... if members of the early church walked in to our doors they would be totally bewildered and think God's word must have really been altered since they read it. Looking forward to meeting with my group tomorrow night to discuss. As far as wearing only 7 articles of clothing in September ... that I'm not looking forward to as much, ha!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 6, 2012

    Far & above what I ever imagined - Well worth your time to read!

    For me, time is of the essence - so if I'm going to read a book, I prefer that it is non-fiction and ultimately enriches my life somehow. This book is that and so much more. Recommended as an excellent book by one of our pastor's wives whom I respect very much, I purchased two copies - one for me and one for my sister who reads even less than I do. We each devoured our own copy, reading slowly, allowing it to marinate in our minds. Coming together on our lunch hour, excitedly sharing our thoughts, ideas and reactions...and ultimately our convictions, we are determined to follow in Jen's footsteps, who definitely appears to be following in God's.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 19, 2012

    AWESOME book!

    Another great book by Jen Hatmaker! She challenges you, but in a humble way, sharing her own struggles & difficulties, all while making you laugh hysterically!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 2, 2012

    Life-changing!

    A friend asked some friends to read this book to discuss. I am an avid reader and decided to check it out. I was a little skeptical reading the summary but the book truly changed my perspective on my Christian walk. We are not called to continue to bless the blessed. We are called to those less fortunate. To the unlovely. To the lost. I am using this book as a discussion point in a new women's group I am starting to help women find their calling. Where does God want you to be?

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 29, 2013

    It's sounds cliche but this book was life transforming for me.

    It's sounds cliche but this book was life transforming for me. In the best possible way. Not only did this book make me laugh all the way through, but it made me take a closer look at so many things that have become so 'normal' in my day-to-day life. She makes you really give thought to the excess in every area of our lives, but in a way that will make you feel enlightened, encouraged, empowered to change what you'd like to, and always does it with scripture and the most wonderful kindness with people at the heart. Her writing makes me want to be a better person.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 1, 2014

    Terrible and Misleading

    She came across as way too superficial and materialistic for me to even finish this book. I gave it some time, hoping it would get better, but by Chapter 6, I gave up. She's incredibly boastful and repetitious in her book. Hatmaker most certainly did not behave as a woman of God.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 1, 2014

    To: horselover10

    You just told the world you are disobeying. :)

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 29, 2014

    To:puppylover09From:horselover10

    I'm reading in bed and texting and nobody knows(:

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 20, 2014

    Loved 7!

    I thought this would be a good book about clearing out my stuff. Hatmaker instead taught me some serious lessons about how little I really need to be happy and how important it is to really love your neighbor. She is super funny, too! Love the book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 13, 2013

    Fantastic! Thoughtful! Great Insights!

    Jen Hatmaker is such a "real" person! Her books always make me think . . . do I do that? Am I like that? Her faith inspires me to try harder and relax more. I loved 7. I loved how she was honest with how each month went: seven items of clothing and forgetting to pick a coat in winter, eating chicken for a month, how her kids and her husband felt about giving up technology . . . 7 sounded so drastic when I first read about it, but as I read each month, I kept thinking, I could do this! I could learn to live with less and it would be good for me to get the "stuff" out of the way so I can listen more. I loved how she backed up each month of 7 with facts on consumerism, hunger issues, poverty facts. It was thought provoking and really made me exam how my family and I live our lives. Are we caught up in the "isms"? Do we perpetuate the problem? Could one person or one family make a difference? I think that is the whole point that Jen was getting at. By changing her lifestyle, she changed the lives of those around her. Now her book is out there making the rest of us think? I know because I read 7, I stop and think before I spend money on something, before I throw stuff out, before I shop in the grocery stores . . . is the best choice I can make for my family? For myself? If you feel you need to make a change and get rid of the stuff in your life. If you need to listen to God more or even just listen to your family more? If you need to get your family to listen . . . 7 is the book you should read!

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  • Posted December 10, 2013

    Loved it and couldn't put it down!!

    I read this in about 2 days and can't wait to start reading more Jen Hatmaker!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 10, 2013

    Absolutely stellar book. This is an easy read, it's funny, it's

    Absolutely stellar book. This is an easy read, it's funny, it's biblically referenced and it's a great book to take in and use in your life. I will be purchasing these as gifts as well as more of Jen's books in the future. 

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 29, 2013

    What a journey!

    Jen really takes you on a journey and opens your eyes to how good we truly have it and shows you new ways to "pay if forward" or give back to the community some of what God gives to us. A very good read and journey!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 25, 2013

    Amazing read!

    Jen is so funny and real! Great book for girls bible study group! Makes ya wanna make a change!

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  • Posted March 8, 2013

    Must read. For everyone. EVERYONE.

    Just read it. Seriously.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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