Abundant Simplicity: Discovering the Unhurried Rhythms of Grace, By Jan Johnson

Abundant Simplicity

Discovering the Unhurried Rhythms of Grace

by Jan Johnson

Abundant Simplicity
  • Length: 173 pages
  • Dimensions: 5.5 × 8.25 in
  • Published: April 28, 2011
  • Imprint: IVP Formatio
  • Item Code: 3547
  • ISBN: 9780830835478

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Which activities give you energy and connect you with God? Do you know what behaviors are life-draining for you, separating you from God?

Simplicity is about choosing the engaging, relational life we were meant to live. It means shedding obligation and pretension. It means spending

  • time
  • energy
  • money

in ways that help us become clear-headed. It means being intentional about what we do and how we live. These choices allow God's power to move through us and bless others as we have space to do good.

In each chapter Jan Johnson provides small experiments with simplicity as well as questions for discussion or reflection to get you started.

Come and discover the unhurried rhythms of grace.

"Time and possessions, words and worries are the raw material that comprise daily life. They are also the places where students of Jesus often experience the 'simplicity gap'--the distance between their desire for simplicity and their experience of it. In Abundant Simplicity Jan Johnson wisely, gently and creatively demonstrates how that raw material of ordinary living can be transformed into extraordinary kingdom living through experiments and adventures in simplicity. This is a book of lived truth and uncommon yet simple wisdom."

Howard Baker, Instructor of Christian Formation, Denver Seminary, and author of The One True Thing

"If life is what you want, you must free yourself from trivial entanglements. St. Francis of Assisi advised us to wear the world like a loose garment--one which touches us in few places and there lightly. Most people fail in their efforts to do so. Jan Johnson can help you. She combines profound insight into the concrete realities of a life lived in Christ's kingdom with specific directions on where and how to cut--to eliminate stuff that does not matter at all or matters very little. Do what she says. Deliverance is at hand."

Dallas Willard, author of Renovation of the Heart

"Once again writer Jan Johnson proves herself to be a wise, welcoming and eminently helpful guide as we follow Jesus day by day. Abundant Simplicity assists readers in taking a long, grace-imbued look into our deepest selves, discerning what within us is in keeping with our journey of faith, and then, by God's grace and spiritual discipline, discarding what is not. As Johnson demonstrates in theologically sound and practical ways, when we are winnowed toward holiness, what remains is, indeed, simple and abundant."

Susan S. Phillips, Ph.D., author of Candlelight: Illuminating the Art of Spiritual Direction and executive director, New College Berkeley

"In a world where abundant has come to mean prosperity and simplicity is often equated with scarcity, Jan Johnson proposes an alternative. She introduces us to a biblical lifestyle of fullness--full in ways that only God can fill. In our materialistic, over-scheduled, stress-filled world . . . we need to tame the monster called 'more.' Abundant Simplicity is a monster-tamer."

Paul Borthwick, author of Simplify and Six Dangerous Questions to Transform Your View of the World

"For our hurried and harried existence, both within and without the church, Jan Johnson proposes fruitful pathways leading to a simpler and less cluttered lifestyle. Abundant Simplicity offers guidelines that commend to readers life-giving simplicity through protocols such as economy of speech (clipping our tongues), loosening our grip on possessions (frugality) and creating margins in life (leisure). The more I read, the more engrossed, convicted and encouraged I became to pursue the abundant life for the glory of God and the good of others."

Bruce Demarest, professor of Christian formation, Denver Seminary, and author of Seasons of the Soul

"Jan Johnson writes in a clear style that seeks to make spirituality--following God?s Spirit in daily life--more accessible to the reader. She challenges readers yet expresses sympathetic patience with the difficulty of practicing spiritual disciplines."

Gordon Houser, associate editor of The Mennonite

"What I find so engaging about Abundant Simplicity is the natural way Jan Johnson unfolds spiritual disciplines as partners in the abundant life of God. . . . The regular practice of asking our hearts, 'What is running me?' may not only reveal motives we're not proud of but also offer opportunities to lead a more peaceful, simple life."

Dr. Norvene Vest, author of Gathered in the Word and Re-Visioning Theology

"Jan Johnson believes that an outwardly simple life yields great inner riches. Weaving together Scriptures, stories and practical suggestions, she paints an inviting picture of simplicity and encourages the reader to embrace this countercultural, yet fruitful, spiritual practice. Her winsome and engaging perspective is urgently needed today."

Lynne M. Baab, author of Sabbath Keeping and Friending

"Jan Johnson's Abundant Simplicity opens up an inviting spiritual path with clear explanations, rich references to a long Christian spiritual tradition, searching exercises in self-examination and piercing questions. Her vivid style and depth of perception help us to practice authentic simplicity and gain the abundant blessings of doing so. All under the power of God's grace."

Emilie Griffin, author of Souls in Full Sail

"Abundant Simplicity is more than a primer on simplicity. It is a lesson in humility and a reminder of who we are as Friends."

Ellen Michaud, Friends Journal, November 2011

"Johnson's easy writing style and highly practical approach to everyday problems, paired with her obvious depth of relationship with God and the fact that she practices what she preaches, make this book a worthwhile read. I heartily recommend it to those considering simplifying their life, but it also a good read for those ready to reevaluate their commitment to simplicity and to take some new steps into God?s abundance."

Christine Sine, PRISM, July 2011

"Johnson's firm yet inviting counsel should arrive as a welcome change to the prevailing tone of much contemporary popular spirituality; recommended for Christian individuals and church groups."

Graham Christian, Library Journal, May 1, 2011

"Abundant Simplicity is a quiet yet powerful resource for all who desire to make space in their lives for more of God."

Elaine Raxon, CBA Retailers + Resources, June 2011


1 Abundant Life With God
2 Coping With Plenty
3 What Do You Really Want?
Interlude: What Simplicity Might Look Like
4 Fewness and Fullness of Words
5 Living Light In a Land of Plenty
6 A Generous, Not Grasping, Life
7 The Intentional, Unhurried Life
8 Putting the "Free" in "Free Time"
9 Everyday Life Simplicity
10 Worry No Longer Necessary



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Jan Johnson

Jan Johnson is the author of over twenty books and more than a thousand magazine articles and Bible studies. A speaker, teacher, and spiritual director, she writes primarily about spiritual formation, social justice, and living with purposeful intentionality. Her books include Meeting God in Scripture, Abundant Simplicity, Hearing God Through the Year (editor), Enjoying the Presence of God, and Spiritual Disciplines Companion.

Jan holds a DMin in Ignatian spirituality and spiritual direction from the Graduate Theological Foundation and lives with her husband in Simi Valley, California.