I confess. One of the first things I did this morning was check the MacRumors site. I’m a huge fan of Apple, and absolutely love my iPhone, MacBook Pro, G4 Tower, Bluetooth mouse, Apple stock…ok, you get my point.

So this morning, I’ve been excited to see if their next offering will be convincing enough to make me swap out my 3GS.

“What? You don’t have a iPhone 4?” Well, I work really hard to live simply. Ironic when you think about the fact that all these devices CAN help us simplify, but seldom is that our practice.

In anticipation of Apple’s big iPhone announcement today, I’ve been thinking and reflecting on my pace of life and ability to simplify. I love my iPhone and it really does simplify many aspects of my life (scheduling, keeping in touch quickly, directions). I wonder if I am disciplined to limit or simplify. I mean, let’s be honest, how much time do I spend playing Angry Birds or Words with Friends.

In my ideal world, this would be my iPhone. Simple, small, elegant and all I truly need.

So, no matter what phone you have or the number of apps you actually use (way less than what you’ve downloaded) how do we simplify?

Here are three practices that continue to challenge me to simplify:

Practice #1: Fasting
The basics of fasting are to give up something (a meal, technology, etc) for an allotted amount of time to focus that attention on God and to listen for His still, small voice. I strongly encourage you to consider fasting. I placed it first, because it has the ability to clear up the noise in our lives and allow us to recognize what is going on inside of us. Not too many people actually fast from food anymore (sadly) but if you’re up for it, there are some great resources to guide you and I promise, it will deeply affect your walk with Christ.

Practice #2: Sabbath
The basics of a Sabbath are to dedicate a day (or start with a few hours) to not being productive that you might remind yourself that God is in control not you. It is an act of worship to focus our lives on being with Jesus and not on doing something for Jesus. The story of Mary & Martha comes to mind as a great example.

For all of you who work 24/7…stop doing for a bit! You can go crazy for six days!!!
For all of you who work 4/5 (in other words, you’re either unemployed, retired, rich or lazy)…you’re supposed to be productive for God too!

Practice #3: Simplicity
Seems obvious, I know, but simplicity is something we actually have to practice if we are striving for it. There are far too many ways to list them here, but start with a few ideas like: only buy new clothes when the ones you have wear out, don’t spend any money for a week, say “no” to the next thing you really want to do, ask God to show you your needs versus your wants, unsubscribe from some email lists, plan a stay at home family night with the kids, cut something out of your day, and on it goes.

Join me as I continue to simplify – and call me out on it if you don’t think I am. I know for me this idea can come and go in waves, but I hope that the shoreline keeps changing as my life continues to reflect the love of Jesus more each day.

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