With many things to do this week, I’ve had to recommit myself to focusing one one thing at a time to get it all done.
How do you stay focused on one thing at a time?
If you’re in youth ministry, creating “Daniels” is the goal. It’s the prize. It’s the ultimate win.
Why do I say this? Oh, for so many, many, reasons; but let me share a little background first.
I happened to be reading and studying Daniel in the two weeks leading up to our Bridge Youth Ministry parent meeting, which we hold annually. As I was spending some time preparing and meditating on some things to share with the parents, a whole new appreciation began to dawn on me, and a realization that creating “Daniels” is the ultimate goal in youth ministry.
We obviously know Daniel most famously from the story depicted in the painting above: Daniel in the lions’ den. But the book of Daniel shares much more [...]
Hey y’all, I’ve got a great idea!
As soon as someone has a reasonably reliable income, let’s push them into taking on a huge load of debt as soon as they can to purchase an “asset” that doesn’t move with them and can possibly cost them more money than they’ve ever spent in their life!
After all, “rates are at an all-time low” and “it’s a buyer’s market out there.”
The unbelievably low interest rates that we’ve experienced over the last several years have led many people to jump into home purchases before they’re financially ready because…
“Rates are so low, I can own for just as much or even less than I pay in rent each month.”
While your payment might be low, that doesn’t factor in [...]
There’s always a healthy tension when trying to decide how to handle your money well. The tension exists because you have to make difficult decisions about how to handle the limited resources in your life. It’s especially hard when you feel called or led to give to a person or a cause, but you didn’t “budget” or plan for that kind of giving.
In honor of the Christmas season, and going along with the giving theme of an excellent post that my good friend Em wrote yesterday, I wanted to share a little bit about our “Blessing Fund.” It’s something we established after we paid off our home, but you don’t have to wait to do that in order to use the idea for yourself.
30 days, y’all, till the end of the year! I’m excited for a new one. 2013 has been a bit of a mixed bag, so I’m excited for new things!
I’m excited about the holidays and everything they bring. Obviously rest, family, food, and gifts are great, but one of my favorite parts of December is the reflection and looking-forward process that Nancy and I undertake.
We spend time reflecting on the things that went well and didn’t go well this year. That generally happens over a Christmas dinner date. Then look forward and set goals for our next year based on where we are and what we WANT our lives to look like.
It’s going to be a great month, y’all! What do you want to [...]
Traditionally, my family traveled to another city in North Carolina over the years for Thanksgiving. It was like a mini family-reunion every year complete with lots of extended family. We went because my grandparents were there and it pleased them for us to go.
A hallmark of the trip was the awkward interactions: Those interactions with distant family members whom we only saw on that occasion every year. We (my brother, sister, and I) could never remember their names or who exactly they were in the family.
“Hey! Happy Thanksgiving! So good to see you…how are things?”
“Great to see you too!” (clearly also not remembering our names) “Things are good!”
The other mainstay tradition was the “Thankfulness List” that my mom insisted we do every year. As [...]
Gratitude and entitlement stand diametrically opposed.
One – gratitude – is rooted in our humility.
The other is rooted in our pride.
Gratitude focuses on what we have.
Entitlement focuses on what we lack.
Gratitude says, “I deserve nothing, so I’m thankful for everything I have.”
Entitlement says, “I deserve this/that, so we’re gonna have problems if you don’t give it to me.”
Gratitude brings people together.
Entitlement alienates others.
Gratitude cultivates contentment in our lives.
Entitlement leads us to the never-ending quest for “more.”
Gratitude leads to a feeling of blessing.
Entitlement leads to a feeling of lack.
Gratitude gives credit to where credit is due: to the giver, whomever that may be.
Entitlement doesn’t care who gives it or how, as long as it’s received.
The byproduct of gratitude is spelled J-O-Y.
The byproduct of entitlement is spelled [...]
I was moved in my heart recently about how we in youth ministry must make sure that our students know that foundational, basic truths and doctrines of Christianity.
It’s important they know God has a plan for their lives, how to relate to each other, what the Bible says about ________ (fill in the blank). But it’s vital that they understand on a deep level who God is, who they are, what eternity is, what the Bible is, and the purpose of church.
I was hoping the series would be longer than this, but scheduling wise we’ve only had two weeks. So we’ve been on a series I called “Base Camp.” We’ve been discussing the foundations of Christianity, the basic truths that we know and understand. Obviously “base camp” [...]
How much money do you give away? Who do you give it to? Why do you give it? How much should you be giving? Do I give when I’m getting out of debt? What is a tithe and what is an offering?
Questions fly fast around the issue of giving, like bees circling a hive in summer time. It doesn’t help when we have opportunistic preachers promising this and that if you’ll simply make a “faith pledge” to their ministries. It doesn’t help when we are so deep in debt we are barely scraping by anyway.
But establishing giving as a part of your life is vitally important. I posted earlier about the benefits of giving, which are numerous. Furthermore, it’s what we’re called to do. [...]