T.D. Jakes: “Your big house is not going to make you happy… Peace and joy is in your heart and not in your stuff.”

A few days ago, the video below was posted to YouTube featuring Bishop T.D. Jakes as a guest on the Steve Harvey Show.

In the segment about finding happiness, Jakes states, “Your big house is not going to make you happy… Peace and joy is in your heart and not in your stuff.”

The conversation seemed to be related to simpler and smaller living, so we posted it to our Facebook page.

In just a few hours, it had already turned out to be one of the most popular posts to our page in recent months.

At the time of this writing, just a few hours after posting the video, over 3,000 people have viewed the post and there are over 30 likes.

Controversy

Despite the apparent interest in the video (it has about 5 million total views in three days), three people were apparently offended by it, primarily due to criticisms about T.D. Jakes.

Comments included, “Doesn’t this guy live in a mansion worth nearly $7 million?” and “The hypocrisy is staggering, and this is pretty inappropriate for the list.” One person commented, “This from someone who’s parishioners have paid for his biggest house(s).”

Someone responded to these criticisms saying, “but he is saying a big house doesn’t make you happy and he should know!”

 

A simple Google search on T.D. Jakes and the word scandal produces over 180,000 results. That’s probably typical for any powerful high profile person today. Depending on your viewpoint, Jakes is either a villain or hero. If you’re among his 4 million Facebook fans, you probably think he’s a hero.

Focus on Promoting Smaller Living

There are people helping promote the message of simpler smaller living who may have views and motives contrary to ours. Some may be builders, bloggers, authors, and others in the movement for purely opportunistic reasons. Others may be public figures promoting a message of simpler smaller living. (We know little about T.D. Jakes’ personal life or where he stands on various issues.)

One approach would be to censor, silence, criticize, marginalize, and discredit anyone we don’t agree with, or those we feel aren’t ‘true followers’ of the movement.

However, the approach we take is this: If a builder, blogger, author, or public figure is promoting a message about smaller and simpler living, we’re going to consider them as valuable to our cause.

There are people who seem to be taking advantage of the movement by launching websites filled with advertising. Their primary goal appears to be making money on advertising, and they don’t seem to care about the movement. Others care deeply about the movement and are selflessly giving of their time and resources.

While at some level we care about people’s motives, ultimately if their activities are promoting our message, we’re not here to judge people, but to spread a message.

T.D. Jakes Impact

Years ago, when the Oprah Winfrey Show contacted us about a small house episode, we didn’t refuse to work with their team because Oprah lives in a big house. We didn’t start judging Oprah’s lifestyle choices. When prominent public figures with millions of followers show an interest in the smaller and simpler message, we support them.

T.D. Jakes has a significant following and impact through social media. So, regardless of whether someone is a supporter or critic of him, his message about simpler smaller living, is a message that is important.

Here’s a brief summary about T.D. Jakes social media reach:

So, if T.D. Jakes wants to talk about simpler and smaller living, that’s fine with us.

The Message and The Messenger

Maybe you’re someone who feels that you’re more perfect than the next person. Here’s something to consider…

There are plenty of broken and imperfect people in the world. Despite their failings or even apparent hypocrisy, these people accomplish much good in the world.

Sometimes an inspired and valuable message will come through an imperfect messenger.

 

In varying degrees we’re all imperfect and each have our shortcomings. We’re all doing the best we can to have a positive impact on the world. Let’s do our best to work together cooperatively and respectfully.

Midwest Tiny House Symposium & Expo, 25 April 2015, Decorah, Iowa

The Big Tiny House Event

Tiny Houses in the Midwest:
how they fit into peoples lives,
communities and futures 

Date: Saturday, 25 April 2015
Time: 10am-12:30pm

Photos

Click here for some photos from the event.

Video Presentation

Click here for a re-recording of the presentation by Greg Johnson.

Contact

Jonathan Williams
willjo08@luther.edu
(319) 330-4053

Location

Environmental Science & Biology [Map]
Valders 206
700 College Drive
Decorah, IA 52101

Map

Join the Growing Community of “Going Tiny”

  • On Saturday, April 25th, the Center for Sustainable Communities at Luther College is hosting local tiny house owners and enthusiasts who will present their stories, motivations, and knowledge of the go-tiny movement, followed by an informal table Expo giving participants an opportunity to ask questions.
  • Hundreds of people have downsized to homes of 50-400 sq. ft. which are more environmentally sensitive and efficient, enable money savings, and maximize time and energy available for friends, family, and their community.

Presenters

  • Grant & Anna Olson – Grant has personal experience in tiny home building and living, and the pair has a designed a tiny home with construction starting in early April.
  • Greg Johnson – Founded the online resource, Small House Society, with Jay Shafer in 2002. He also lived in a tiny home from 2003-2009, and continues to be an advocate.
  • Kim & Ryan Kasl – Live in a 207 sq. ft. home with their two children, and were featured in a FYI’s Tiny House Nation Episode.

Event Poster

Below is the event poster as a JPG image file. Click the image for a larger view. Or, click here for a downloadable PDF version.

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Media Request: Producer Seeks Small House Builder

Organization: Pink Sneakers Production

Type of media: Video

Contact: Trish

Email: patrizha@pinksneakers.net

Deadline: Friday, 3 April 2015

Location: North America

Request:

Seeking family owned and operated small home building company that has sold homes for waterfront locations (e.g. river, lake, ocean). The documentary show to be produced will focus on one building company only. The show will be recorded at the builder’s location. Would like to have a Skype or phone conversation with prospective candidates on or before Friday, 3 April 2015.

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Small House Society on WWL Radio New Orleans

On 5 March 2015, at 12:10 PM Central Time, Greg Johnson of the Small House Society will be interviewed by Garland Robinette for “The Think Tank” on WWL New Orleans.

At 12:35 PM, Garland will be interviewing Chris Leinberger, director of the Center for Real Estate and Urban Analysis at the George Washington University Business School.

Listen Now. Use the player below to listen to the show now.

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#TinyHouseNation Seeks People Planning to Build a Tiny House

Organization: FYI Network and Tiny House Nation

Type of media: Video

Contact Email: casting@loudtelevision.com

Request:

Loud Television and FYI, an A+E network, are seeking prospective tiny house owners for season three of “Tiny House Nation.” Cameras will follow tiny house-obsessed people who are building or planning to build with our expert team of designers who specialize in one-of-a-kind and fully functional designs that maximize small spaces. Each design will suit the unique needs of each client while significantly increasing the value of the property.

We are seeking people who are building or planning to build any type of tiny houses (house types include cabins, cottages, mobile homes, floating homes, container conversion homes, vacation homes, second homes, etc.). All applicants should have an allotted, available budget and have specific ideas and plans in place as it relates to their purchase and/or build of their home.

For inquiries or to apply, email the following information to casting@loudtelevision.com: name, location, renovation budget, information on who lives with you, why you want to live in a tiny home, and what you would like your space to look like. Additionally, please include photos of who lives in your home as well as contact information.

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Small House Society on National Public Radio (Boston)

Greg Johnson of the Small House Society was featured on a special OnPoint radio broadcast along with Chris Leinberger, director of the Center for Real Estate and Urban Analysis at the George Washington University Business School. Other guests included tiny house dwellers from across the nation. The show aired 4 March 2015 on National Public Radio (Boston, WBUR).

Listen Now. Use the player below to listen to the show.

20150303tu-portlant-tiny-house-DSC06257

Media Request: HGTV Seeks Small Housers

Organization: HGTV

Type of media: Video

Contact: Jason Preston

Email: smallhouses@pietown.tv

Deadline: (to be announced)

Request:

Are you looking for or about to buy a tiny house – 500 square feet or smaller? If so, the producers of HGTV’s “Tiny House Hunters” is currently casting for people buying tiny homes to feature on upcoming episodes. Energetic, fun and enthusiastic tiny house home buyers interested in being on Tiny House Hunters should email smallhouses@pietown.tv. Or call Jason at (818-205-0640).

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Microhouse Video by Portlandia Features Tiny House Satire

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P6pj3jVgeh8]

 

Today, for the first time in over 12 years we had a member leave the Small House Society. So, the Small House Society is now a little smaller. Here’s what happened…

In response to the above video posted to our Facebook page, Mary P. stated:

“this shot will definately get me to ‘unlike’ …. sorry … we all know IT happens …. I’m guessing you’re trying to build up your likes ….. if this is so …. then I, for one will have to say bye bye ….. seriously??? I’ve seen WAY too many other FB pages that actually know how to build a desk seperate from the toilet …. SHAME!!!!”

Mary left before we could respond to her.

We’re thankful to everyone for the lively Facebook discussion and many positive comments/likes in response to this video. For the few people, like Mary, who were upset about the video, we wanted to respond with the following.

This video appears to have been created by people close to the small house movement, and we assume it was not mean spirited or meant to offend.

It may have been created as a way of being satirical and self-effacing, or it may have been created as an effort to be mean and try to discredit the small house movement and tiny house dwellers. Either way, it belongs here as part of the larger discussion about simple and small living.

We don’t silence and censor our critics. To the extent that people have criticisms about the small house movement, we want to hear those criticisms, reflect on them, respond courteously, and work to improve what we do.

For this reason, in any movement, it is essential to become the authoritative source and platform for the criticism of your movement. Instead of censoring others in an effort to create a cult-like myopic sectarian strict observance of narrow dogma, it’s important to have a diversity of ideas, the ability to laugh at yourself, and recognize your own faults or areas that can improve.

This is the spirit upon which the Small House Society was founded, and in that spirit we continue.

Small House Society Annual Fundraiser

20150203tu-annual-fundraiser-stones

3 February 2015

Dear Friend,

At the start of each new year, we focus on fundraising for only a few weeks.

Donations help us have greater impact throughout the year ahead in promoting and supporting the small house movement.

You can give using PayPalFundly, or by sending a check to: Small House Society, PO Box 2717, Iowa City, IA 52244-2717.

Those who give are added to our listing of contributing members.

As we start a new year, it’s good time to reflect back on what’s been accomplished and what we hope to do in the months ahead.

This past year has been amazing. Here are just a few highlights of what we’ve accomplished this past year:

  • We’ve been able to help with the launch of two major network television shows focused on the small house movement: Tiny House Nation and  Tiny House Hunting.
  • We helped with the website launch for a local small house group, TinyHouseIowaCity.com.
  • We’ve connected with major media from coast to coast and around the world.
  • We’ve responded to numerous emails and phone calls from those wanting to embrace smaller, simpler, and more sustainable living.
  • We’ve also helped promote small house designers and builders.
  • Our website now has almost 17,000 followers through direct subscriptions and various social media sites.

If you you’re able and willing, please consider giving or our work as indicated above.

20110201tu-gregory-johnson-mobile-hermitage-small-house-photo-by-makur-jain-IMG_6311-450x630-70percent-214x300Thanks. I want to thank the global team of volunteers and contributors “behind the scenes” who help make all this possible. I’m very grateful to the many people who continue to uphold and advance the mission of the Small House Society.

Everyone who is connected with the Small House Society at any level is part of the success and progress of the movement. However you’re involved, your work is appreciated and having an impact.

Thanks again for your support. Please let me know if there is any way that the Small House Society can serve you better.

Regards,
Gregory Johnson, Facilitator, President, Co-Founder
Small House Society

Internet: http://www.smallhousesociety.org
E-Mail: shs @ resourcesforlife.com (without spaces)
Postal: c/o Resources for Life, PO Box 2717, Iowa City, IA 52244-2717
Phone: (319) 621-4911
Subscribe. Enter your email address below and click the Join Now button to be notified when the latest Small House Society newsletter is available.

* * *

Global Reach. During a typical week, we have thousands of visitors from over 120 countries visiting our website. The map below is just a snapshot of just a few hours. So, the need for additional helpers is great. We have over 15,000 people that we communicate each month through email, phone, or these updates. Click for a larger image.

20130331su-small-house-society-website-visitors-1024x651

Small House Society News 201501

Small House Society – News 201501 | 31 January 2015 |  Saturday

Dear Friend,

20110201tu-gregory-johnson-mobile-hermitage-small-house-photo-by-makur-jain-IMG_6311-450x630-70percent-214x300Here’s the latest news from the Small House Society.

Annual Fundraiser. At the start of each new year, we focus on fundraising for only a few weeks.

Donations help us have greater impact throughout the year ahead in promoting and supporting the small house movement.

You can give using PayPalFundly, or by sending a check to: Small House Society, PO Box 2717, Iowa City, IA 52244-2717.

Those who give are added to our listing of contributing members.

As we start a new year, it’s good time to reflect back on what’s been accomplished and what we hope to do in the months ahead.

This past year has been amazing. Here are just a few highlights of what we’ve accomplished this past year:

  • We’ve been able to help with the launch of two major network television shows focused on the small house movement: Tiny House Nation and  Tiny House Hunting.
  • We helped with the website launch for a local small house group, TinyHouseIowaCity.com.
  • We’ve connected with major media from coast to coast and around the world.
  • We’ve responded to numerous emails and phone calls from those wanting to embrace smaller, simpler, and more sustainable living.
  • We’ve also helped promote small house designers and builders.
  • Our website now has almost 17,000 followers through direct subscriptions and various social media sites.

If you you’re able and willing, please consider giving or our work as indicated above.

Thanks. I want to thank the global team of volunteers and contributors “behind the scenes” who help make all this possible. I’m very grateful to the many people who continue to uphold and advance the mission of the Small House Society.

Everyone who is connected with the Small House Society at any level is part of the success and progress of the movement. However you’re involved, your work is appreciated and having an impact.

Thanks again for your support. Please let me know if there is any way that the Small House Society can serve you better.

Regards,
Gregory Johnson, Facilitator, President, Co-Founder
Small House Society

Internet: http://www.smallhousesociety.org
E-Mail: shs @ resourcesforlife.com (without spaces)
Postal: c/o Resources for Life, PO Box 2717, Iowa City, IA 52244-2717
Phone: (319) 621-4911
Subscribe. Enter your email address below and click the Join Now button to be notified when the latest Small House Society newsletter is available.

* * *

Global Reach. During a typical week, we have thousands of visitors from over 120 countries visiting our website. The map below is just a snapshot of just a few hours. So, the need for additional helpers is great. We have over 8000 people that we communicate each month through email, phone, or these updates. Click for a larger image.

20130331su-small-house-society-website-visitors-1024x651