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Initiatives

Breathe has launched several initiatives to help people break the consumer mould. These include:

Consumer Detox – a programme of suggested actions and reflections

Conspiracy of Freedom – 4 video shorts to provoke discussion in small groups and friendship networks

Promise of Life – an aspirational covenant, begun in April 2009

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17 Comments leave one →
  1. February 14, 2011 11:34 am

    Consumer Detox

    I am a consumer.
    The more I buy, the sooner
    We come out of recessions,
    In praise of possessions.

    The untransformed mind
    Is clearly defined
    ‘I am, because I buy’,
    No need to ask ‘Why?’.

    I may be squeezed
    But don’t want to be freed.
    It’s much too bold
    To replace the mould.

    The social norm
    Is to closely conform.
    It takes faith and grace
    To give His Image space.

  2. Kristy Cameron permalink
    April 1, 2011 2:24 pm

    I am reading the book now and cannot put it down! I am looking at my lifestyle, my possessions and how I can give up. I have been seeking this knowledge based on Christian faith because as an American, I know this is not how we should be living. We have it so wrong! We easily spend $5 at the coffee shop every day without thinking how that $5 could go to help others elsewhere. Our walk and our talk do not match when we can drive to church in our expensive cars, sit in cushioned chairs and listen to the entertainment of a rock concert, just so we can feel good about ourselves while others in the world are dying because of their Christian faith.
    Thank you for such a wonderful book!

    • Mark permalink*
      April 1, 2011 3:05 pm

      Thanks for the encouragement, Kristy!

  3. Christopher Baxfield permalink
    June 6, 2011 1:01 pm

    Great stuff, Mark! Perhaps the most compelling part of the book for me is the suggestion that we model our own lives on the Trinity. As God gave himself in Jesus Christ but was blessed completely in the reconciliation of Himself with creation, so we give ourselves completely to God and are blessed by the purchasing power of the Holy Spirit. As you write, ‘Give, give, give’ is a mark of God and it should be a mark of Christians, in whatever form we can manage it. Indeed, I appreciate the book’s lack of prescriptive ‘we should be doing x,y,z’ and its more measured ‘here’s what I am doing but I am not perfect’ encouragement to the reader. Of course, you also throw in a lot of ‘here’s what I am doing and they did it in the Bible so maybe you should do it too.’

    I enjoyed the book’s stroll through Western European literary history. Well done especially for employing Dostoevsky’s the Idiot and Lucian!

  4. Jackie Brown permalink
    September 7, 2011 4:29 pm

    Are you the Mark Powley who had a business in New Canaan, CT?

    • Mark permalink*
      September 7, 2011 6:58 pm

      HI Jackie, I was in CT earlier this year, but just on a speaking tour. I’m based in the UK.

  5. Chris Schollar permalink
    October 31, 2011 7:02 pm

    I am loving this book, and although not a great spender I have learned and been encouraged by so much. I am now doing a stall at our village flea market on Saturday to sell some stuff to raise money to help build a well in an African village. I feel God spoke to me while reading your book. Awesome. I have encouraged our local church Youth Group to join in. Can’t wait to see the results. Thank you for a brilliant book, when’s the next one coming out.

    • Mark permalink*
      November 2, 2011 12:06 am

      Thanks Chris – I hope this leads to really good things. There’s no follow up planned at present as I’m devoting more time to researching these things more fully, but we are hoping to spread the word about the Detox and provide ongoing comment through this Breathe site. Thanks again for the encouragement!

      Mark

  6. Kate permalink
    February 16, 2012 12:25 pm

    Oh no! Now, I have to buy another book!!!! Sounds good though!

  7. April 16, 2012 4:41 pm

    I shop-give to charity it is an endlesss lonely life I am liviingDoreen in Calgary-these books could help me!Thank you Lorna-wonderful show.DoreenCalgary

  8. April 16, 2012 4:42 pm

    I need both these books Lorna I need to change.

  9. cdlm permalink
    August 7, 2012 1:29 pm

    I’m confused doesn’t the idea of buying this book (and others) not fly directly in the face of getting more stuff????

    • Mark permalink*
      August 7, 2012 1:42 pm

      Don’t be confused! The book is about how to live more simply, generously, freely and thankfully. If you already do this perfectly well already, no book required! If not, and this kind of book helps, then that one bit of stuff (the book) may help you manage all the rest of your stuff much better, hopefully with a very generous result!

  10. cdlm permalink
    August 16, 2012 2:13 pm

    I get that, but isn’t there a danger it will land up as yet another book on a shelf? Surely there must be a less commercial way of distributing this idea?

    • Mark permalink*
      August 22, 2012 8:03 am

      Good point – that’s exactly what the website is for, and the monthly emails we’ve been sending out for some time. We’re trying!

      Books are good for some purposes, though. Personally I feel that our challenge is not how to disavow all commercial means, but how to use them well and for a greater purpose.

  11. Annie Briscoe permalink
    January 28, 2013 5:49 am

    I really loved finding this book. I am still in recovery as a consumer, but I am feeling positive about overcoming the condition. 🙂 Thanks for your work.

  12. Mark permalink*
    January 28, 2013 11:12 am

    Thanks Annie!

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