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Showing posts from June, 2018

6 Ways to Cut your Expenses and Improve Your Budget

My wife is a saver. I am a spender. In 10 years of marriage we started off in a place where my inclination to spend was a big problem because we moved for my job as the housing market crashed, leaving a Condo we couldn't sell, and she had trouble finding work in our new city due to being 'overqualified'. So, very early on we got on a budget. We used a modified version of Financial Peace from Dave Ramsey and started using the envelope system for anything outside of bills. At the start, my envelope didn't have much in it! $5 a week was my 'spending money'! We'd get to the end of a month and I would have nothing, and my wife would have $20. Our date nights for almost a year were $5 'hot-n-ready's' and a Redbox movie! Thankfully, with her budget skills, good planning, and God's favor we got on track and, for the vast majority of our marriage, have been much better financially. In fact, for a good 2 years we kept our budget in terms of bil

A Do NOT Do List?

We’ve all most likely heard about the need to make lists and prioritize the things we need to do. And it’s true. For almost everyone, having a to-do list helps keep us focused and makes us more productive. A mentor and coach of mine recently talked about the need to have a DO NOT DO LIST. This really got me thinking, and as he talked about it more, and shared his own list for the current year of things he wanted to stop doing, it really got me thinking... Don’t we all have things that we do we wish we didn’t?  Aren’t there things that take up our time, capacity, and focus that we know we should cut out? Well, as with anything, instead of hoping and wishing, what if we made a DO NOT DO list for ourselves, and started focusing with the same energy and tenacity on the things we want to quit doing as we do with the things that we know we have to do? Just a thought. For me, I came up with three things immediately that I want to stop doing that: 1) I WILL NOT w

Determining Your Net Worth

People who are preparing to make a large purchase often think about their credit score, and for good reason. It is a measure with which lenders decide your credit-worthiness and risk. However, for some people, the whole process of credit (while important) and managing it can be overwhelming. That is why I suggest taking a slightly different approach, not just as you think about buying, but with your entire life: Focus on your net worth. There is a great FREE downloadable mini book from Seed Time you can get called " The Christian PF Guide to Getting Out of Debt ". I suggest you download the 40-page booklet here:  Seed Time In that mini book, they talk about many great factors regarding how to look at debt, how to get it under control, and how to eliminate it. But one chapter talks specifically about net worth, and I want to share a portion of that with you for consideration to help you understand why its so important: How to calculate your Net Worth This shouldn&

Doing Family Devotions

One of my big things is the idea that I am a resource to parents and families, not the replacement for mom and dad as the primary influences in their children's spiritual development. A while back I actually taught a Sunday morning about influence and the need for parents to be parents. I provided a variety of resources at that time that were user-friendly and ready for mom and dad to pick up, read, and apply in their families. One of those resources was a simple two-sided sheet of paper on how to do family devotions. I've heard so many parents say that they don't do devotions with their kids for all numbers of reasons, the greatest being they don't know how to relate spiritual truth to children. In my efforts to find something a dad in a hurry or a single mother could use that offers practical instruction, I came across this blog post from 2006 by Pastor Erik Raymond. As soon as I read it I thought 'this is it! This is usable!' So I did a google search,

Here's a thought...Act like a Christian

Years ago, BC (before Children!) each Sunday night we had a worship ministry called the Upper Room that meets for 1 hour in the church I was on staff with. This time of worship, prayer, and fellowship was so rich and refreshing. It took me back to my Bible School days in the living room of one of my good friends' homes, as we'd have CD worship and pray, and just wait for God to talk. He always would. Recently I came across some notes from one of those nights where God impressed something on my heart that I would like to share: Being a Christian is supposed to mean being Christ-like. But what is that? Our definition of Christianity has become so convoluted and polluted that most people have no idea what its like to be Christ-like. Their head is so full of other peoples ideas of Christianity that they wouldn't understand Christ-likeness if Jesus Himself stepped in front of them and smacked them in the face. Today, Christianity has been reduced like a broth to basic re

Put the Glass Down!

Stress is everywhere and is no respecter of persons. It doesn't care if you have a million things to do, if you are getting ready to have a baby or move, or if you just can't take much more and want to beat your head against a wall. That wonderful little pressure comes from our job, our family, our friends, and ourselves. In small amounts it pushes us. Sometimes, even large amounts over short periods of time can drive us toward some accomplishment. But mountains of it over long periods can be crushing to our will and our health. Thankfully God has a plan to de-stress your life. Its so simple that most people can't do it...not because it doesn't work, but because they can't buy into it. Like someone handing you a blank check and telling you to fill in the amount, God gives us His anti-stress plan and we stand staring at Him like He has feathers for eyebrows. What is this great plan? I'm so glad you asked! Ps 55:22- Cast your cares on the Lord and He will s

Stress Managment

People worry about all sorts of things that cause extra stress in their lives. We think about aging and if we have enough for retirement. We worry about the mortgage payment. We worry about the safety of our kids or spouse when they are a few minutes late. We worry about if we'll lose our jobs. We worry about our bodies falling apart or being consumed by sickness. That's a lot of worry! But think, what if you could determine how much you let stress rule you...or how much you rule over it. Consider a few myths about stress first, from Loretta LaRouche's "Relax-you may only have a few minutes left": Stress is the same for everybody- WRONG! It is different for each person. What is stressful for one person may not affect another at all. As an example, having dinner guests over my be very stressful for the wife, but may not bother her husband one bit! (who's doing the cooking and cleaning, I wonder!) Stress is always bad for you- NOPE! Stress is to life wha