While a little stressful to do something in front of people that you normally don’t do, my Father’s Day Message at our church proved to be a blessing.
I’ll boil the whole thing down into my central point:
We have an awesome power at our fingertips:
Our choices determine the outcomes in our lives, now and into eternity, either positive or negative.
(Sure some things happen to us we have no choice or control over, but overwhelmingly the outcomes in our lives are based on our choices!)
We learned that God lets us be involved and choose what happens in our lives; blessings or curses.
Who in their right minds would choose curses?
We all do it every day by not using the Power of a Positive Choice in our lives.
God wants a personal relationship with us as our Heaavenly Father and the same is true for us Dads.
Making a Positive Choice requires right priorities.
God wants us to Choose His Presence (person) over His Presents (things).
The video attached is an example of my daughter’s family making this kind of positive choice. When I see something like this as DAD, it feels the same to me as the first time any of my children came running to me yelling Daddy, Daddy, Daddy. It warms my heart and delights my soul (the same way God feels when we go to Him!)
I shared one small example from my own life. My dad was much older when I was born. He was a product of his generation; the great depression and both World Wars. He never had any kind of emotional relationship with me and actually called me, “Big Dummy.” In 4 years of college I never got a letter, visit or even a phone call from either of my parents. This left scars I carried around for many years (maybe still do).
But when I was in my forties (my Dad died when I was about 30) my older sister said, “Do you realize how proud Dad was of you? He talked about you all the time!”
No, I didn’t realize that! And in fact felt just the opposite.
But my feelings were wrong! And I chose a curse instead of a blessing by not making a Positive Choice to believe in how God makes a Fathers heart toward their children instead of just listening to words and filtering circumstances through my own imperfect and self centered view.
Last week I had two different people share their life stories with me. One was abandoned at birth by their Dad and another a young lady told by her Dad at 15 he wanted nothing to do with her. In both cases The Power of a Positive Choice by these two people, resulted in blessings in their lives!
As a Dad myself, I now know better the heart of a Dad toward their children and how we may fail and even some of us may fail really bad. But I choose now to believe my own Dad loved me and really wanted what was best for me. What a blessing!
So we concluded with a time for all of us to make a Positive Choice and not ascribe wrong motives to our own Dads and if necessary to forgive our Dads for the things they did to harm and scar us.
And then Choose their Presence (person) over their Presents (things).
That is where the Power of a Positive Choice intersects with Blessings!
(I’ll make the message available online when I get a copy of it.)
Are credit cards and other debts eating up your hard earned money and creating unbearable stress in your life?
Need a TURNAROUND!
Although my career has been in business finance and management, I found the principles I used to turn troubled companies around to be just as successful in turning personal finances around.
I have read many books on personal finance and have taught seminars and even done one on one financial counseling though our church with couples. In all the materials I have seen, none give this next foundational secret to solving every financial problem. It has never failed with scores of families (and several companies)!
So what is this secret principle?
Change what you are paying attention to!
Yep! Change what you are paying attention to!
Here is what I mean.
Financial problems are always made up of many smaller problems. These probelms accumulate over time and then all of a sudden seem to spring up from nowhere. But the “springing up” is just when the many small issues build up to a point that something breaks. A mortgage payment is missed, a surpise medical bill comes through, or a job is lost. Suddenly more and more bills can’t be paid and the phone starts to ring and collectors become more and more persistent.
The standard way to respond is to pay attention to the most intense collection process at the time. This may solve one problem but other new ones begin to form and fester. The cause of the problems in the first place has to been solved! Other old problems go from small problems to bigger and bigger ones. More new problems start.
Over time the total financial problem grows and grows and grows. This is the wrong way to solve any financial problem!
Paying attention to individual problems and responding to the ones with the most pressure at the time simply causes a Financial SNOWBALLto grow and begin rolling downhill. This Financial Snowball picks up speed and more small problems and its momentum gets faster and more powerful rolling down that hill.
So if this is the wrong way – what is the proven successful right way?
The right way to solve a personal (or business) financial problem is to draw a line in the sand and say “NO NEW PROBLEMS!”
Your time, attention and energy needs to be given totally to not creating any new problems.
In the financial arena the line is drawn in the sand and you create no new problems when you set up a “ZERO BASED BUDGET (ZBB).”
You develop a ZBB when you reach a break even point on your bottom line so you are creating NO NEW DEBT.
Then you move the slope of your personal finances from downhill to a level slope. The ZBB is your line in the sand.
In the few weeks, I will go into more details about creating a ZBB and how this gets you out of debt at a surprisingly fast way.
Perhaps you or a friend could use some help in getting out of debt. Why not share this post with them and stay tuned for more help!
How to get the best deal on an engagement ring is something I am an expert at and so here are some questions answered by the article:
What they (the retail and online jewelry stores) DO NOT want you to know.
How You Can Get Bigger, Better for LESS!
How You Can Find Someone You Can Trust.
How Much Are They Really Marking Up Your Ring?
How Do You Know You Are Getting The Quality You Are Paying For.
The article also gives you some questions to ask- here are some of them:
Ask The Right Questions:
1. Do you sell only certified diamonds with a Diamond Grading Report from a reputable source?
These reports are prepared by independent, certified gemologists from laboratories around the world and can help calculate the specific characteristics of your diamonds. A diamond grading report will commonly include a plotted diagram of your diamond and all significant characteristics, including the 4C’s (cut, color, clarity, carat weight).
2. Will a trained and certified gemologist personally inspect each diamond to be sure I am not only getting what is being promoted but that it is a best value for me?
For this size of investment, you deserve personal service.
3. Can I get the Diamond Grading Report number laser inscribed on the girdle of the diamond?
This assures you always get back your stone when the ring is cleaned or repaired in the future, and that you actually got the stone you paid for in the first place.
4. Will you give me an independent appraisal?
You can use this for insurance purposes and is a good next step in your building trust.
5. Can I see copies of all the invoices so I know exactly how much you are making on my purchase? Full Disclosure Pricing has hit the car industry, but this will be a hard yes to get. But WOW what a level of trust if you can!
6. Do you have a money back guarantee if I am not satisfied?
This should be a YES,
7. Can I get a custom stone and ring setting designed to my specifications?
For this size of purchase you deserve to get exactly what you want not just a ring out of someone’s inventory.
If you think the EHow article is helpful, please give it a good rating!
At the risk of every other post on this blog being completely downhill, here is the BEST tidbit of advice I can think of. This is not some feel good psycho blabber, but rather good old meat and potatoes practical advice you can implement immediately!
Where there is UNITY God commands a blessing!
First of all it sounds simplistic. That is because it is! If it were too complicated we’d never get it:-) It is a core principle stated in many ways throughout the whole bible. Unity is the basis of God himself as the Trinity. He says others will know Jesus is truly sent by God by our unity. He calls the church to oneness and unity. Families to unity. Men to unity with one another. So it is simple because it is a foundational principle.
And it works in business, family, friendships, church and on and on.
Plus, it is something we can choose. We choose how to take comments and discussions and what motives we ascribe to others.
This week at work I saw several instances of conflict between co- workers. Usually caused by poor communication and the poor communications were cause by people not trusting each other’s motives so taking offense when none was intended. Then conflict occurred that involved more people picking up offense for the original parties, and on and on.
But when all parties are pulling in unity – amazing things start to happen and the fruit is BLESSINGS.
So today- try this little test. Choose to ascribe good motives to everyone you come into contact with and see the results.
In sports its been my hardest task to lose gracefully. In close contests I wanted to be the one to take the last shot or be up to bat with the game on the line because I knew how much coming through meant to me, and wasn’t always sure of others.
Am I connecting to some of you?
In business situations this can be a help in not giving up in hard times. It can also lead to conflict when someone on the other side of a negotiation gets into a win/lose attitude rather than a win/ win attitude.
And in my marriage, my avoiding conflict until backed into a corner then coming out with guns blazing to WIN was a dysfunctional pairing of attributes. Rather than building up my wife I was tearing her down. I was supposed to love her like Christ loved the church, who gave Himself up for her that He might present her spotless and blameless before God. I used that with my daughters dates, but didn’t always live it out in day to day life. Probably still don’ do this as good as I should.
So I do hate to Lose.
Unfortunately for me, that’s not how God feels.
For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.
The Kingdom principle is that its the losers who are the winners!
So much of what I read in the Bible could be changed out with Loser. God loves a cheerful giver (loser); The poor in spirit (losers) will inherit the Kingdom of God; Love your wife like Jesus loved the church who gave His life (loser); ……You can probably give a bigger list.
But this LOSER is someone who is willing to Lose his own rights to benefit others, to exhibit sacrificial love for others, to build others up, to bring glory to God.
So I’m trying to learn the Kingdom principle that Loser is the new Winner because in God’s Kingdom is the ultimate fulfillment of the old saying. “He who laughs last laughs best!”
I taught our youth group a new word this week – syncretism.
Wikipedia definition- The attempt to reconcile disparate or contrary beliefs, often while melding practices of various schools of thought…
Its a fancy word for the “Frog in a Kettle” concept. Many of us have heard this before. How do you boil a live frog? Put him in a kettle of cold water and slowly raise the temp. He just sits there as the temp goes up and boils to death.
This is how the evangelical Christian church has slowly lost its savor in this country. Research by Barna and Gallup suggests that the statistics of “bad behavior” doesn’t differ much between the general public and the evangelical church. Divorce rates, infidelity, pornography etc……
The Bible tells us to not be conformed to the world. So I guess Sync has been happening a long time!
In the world of technology sync is used to mean when 2 databases are conformed into identical copies of each other. What is good for databases stinks for Committed Christians. When business people are Synced we call this operating like Babylon, where money is the only “good” and integrity, loyalty, and service take a back seat.
So if Sync Stinks, what is the answer?
Well, we may not like the answer- The Bible says to let our minds dwell on what is good, to protect our eyes and ears, to not love the World but instead set our eyes on Jesus, and set our minds on the things above.
The bottom line is the fire is getting turned up. Movies and TV are no longer safe for adults to watch much less children. Political correctness is seeping in to our churches. people don’t confront bad behavior. We were hooked on new technologies only to find they are portals to pornography and other temptations. We are too busy to read our Bibles and soak in meditating on what we read. Memorize scripture and study theology so we know principles and can use them in specific circumstances – no way, too time consuming and difficult. I am too busy.
Its not easy to get off the stove, but:
Lets read our Bibles, ask the Holy Spirit to open the meaning up like a beautiful flower after a spring rain, memorize passages so we have them at our finger tips, constantly ask the Holy Spirit to talk to us about every situation we are in and ever person we talk to, praise our heavenly Father for our blessings and hard times, hold each other accountable for bad behavior, and ask to be filled with the fruit of the Spirit:
What is the most important factor when you decide its time to buy an engagement ring?
You might be told one of the “4 C’s” of Color, Clarity, Cut or Carat Weight by the clerk serving you or the web site you found surfing. None are right!
Actually the most important factor is COST.
Your budget is where you should start, especially in today’s economy. But when it comes to a Diamond- as the ads say, “It is Forever.” Therefore, size does matter.
First determine what you can comfortably handle from a cost range. Don’t forget to consider the wedding band and man’s wedding ring also.
(BUYER BEWARE- These settings are where jewelry stores and Internet companies make huge margins!!!! Typically they use up to 3X their cost to set their retail price, that is a 200% mark up!
A typical starting point for your budget is around 2X your monthly income. Please, try to save this before you buy so you are not charging the cost and running up big interest bills which just further detracts from what should be a very joyous time.
Everyone wants to succeed in life. Our definitions of success may vary, but some common themes pass among all of us. Love, family, peace, prosperity, health, eternal security, faith... Lets discover together the principles and choices we can use to succeed in life!