Booyah!

Stuart Scott pic

While growing up, our family did not have cable. I never fully appreciated ESPN or Sportscenter until I got to college, where you could imagine it would be on in the lobby pretty much 24/7. At night, I remember sitting in my room with various roommates, and we would catch up on the day’s sporting events, and one of my favorite hosts was always Stuart Scott.

After multiple battles with cancer, Scott passed away today. I spent some time today watching some of the tributes made about him and his journalism career. Many thought he was unorthodox in his approach to sports journalism, with his catch phrases and his attitude and his style, but that’s what made him memorable. That’s what made you want to tune in and listen.

Its a great testament to who he was when you read all of the celebrities, athletes, politicians, etc. who went to Twitter today and wrote their farewells. You can read some of them by going here: ESPN Stuart Scott Farewells

These are the things that make manly men tear up and weep a bit. I, too, pretended to blow my nose so I could wipe tears away while my wife was on the couch reading.

It makes you stop and ask yourself – what impact are you leaving behind? What do people think of you? What are you doing to make your world a better place? You’re only here for a little while, what are you doing with that precious time?

Stuart Scott

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Walk the Walk

walking-the-walk

Our text for Sunday morning at the Granny White Pike Church of Christ:

As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received.  Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one bodyand one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.                             Ephesians 4:1-6

As we begin 2014 – are you ready to walk the walk?  I hope you’ll join us Sunday morning as we consider how to take these steps.

The One About Addiction…to Anything

addictionAddiction is a word that is heavily associated with things such as alcohol, smoking and drug abuse.  The problem with that is for those of us who have absolutely no problem with alcohol or drug abuse, we tend to feel like addiction can’t take a hold of us.  Like to drink soft drinks multiple times a day?  Can’t start your day without a cup of coffee?  Do you have a compulsive need to finish that bag of chips you just opened?

 Want to go deeper?  Addiction is NOT just dealing with things you consume.  Pornography is one of the things that has a grasp on many.  Maybe you don’t struggle with pornography, so you feel as if you don’t have an addiction problem to anything – but you just might.

Facebook much?  Pinterest much?  Text much?  Candy Crush too much?  Have you played Temple Run so many times that your thumbs are raw?  Do you find yourself going to the internet to look at one thing, and two hours later wonder where your time went because you got sucked into a vortex of web surfing?

The real problem with addiction is that it is possible to be addicted to pretty much anything – and whether that addiction is to something hardcore like alcohol, drugs, or pornography, or whether it is to something less physically dangerous like Facebook, the internet, or games on your phone – it consumes you.

I’m fearful for people when they start to go down a path with things that consume them.  Denial is a big part of the problem with addiction.

After years of consuming diet soft drinks, specifically Diet Dr. Pepper, I realized I had a problem.  I could not go 5 minutes in the morning without cracking open a can and enjoying the bubbly fizz and taste of that sweet nectar of carbonation.  The caffeine would kick in, and I’d be good to go.  That is, I’d be good to go until I got to the office, or to a gas station, or to a fast food restaurant, or anywhere else where I could grab another diet drink.

One in the morning, one when I got to the office, one for lunch, one after lunch, one in the afternoon as a pick me up, one at dinner, one before bed.  If I had gone to a restaurant that day, I would have gotten 3 or 4 refills as well.  I was hooked.  The thought of drinking anything else but a diet soft drink repulsed me.  I knew I had a problem.

I had tried in the past to get off of drinking my diet drinks, but to no avail.  The longest I had gone was a month or so, but I would always cave in, giving in to stress or cravings.  But this time, on March 23, 2012, I woke up with a mission.  I was going to stop depending on this chemical to provide me with life.

Today, I have gone 410 days without having a soft drink.  99% of what I consume as a beverage is straight up water.  And let me tell you, its liberating.

Food tastes better, life is better, my stomach feels better, and I rarely have headaches anymore.

But do you want to know what happened?  My addiction moved from diet soft drinks to other things.  I started to eat more, specifically chips.  I started to play mind numbing games on my phone/ipad to calm me down.  Thats when it hit me – addiction is going to try to find a way to rule your life, especially when you have an addiction problem.

The problem with addiction is that it is a constant struggle.  It rears its ugly head when it can.  It reminds you that you need something to fill the void of something else that filled a void.

Its overpowering.  Its strong.  Can’t have a drink?  Can’t have a smoke?  That’s fine, fill it with food.  Fill it with pornography.  Fill it with ___________ .  Addiction can rule your life.

We tend to trivialize some addictions.   Coffee – oh, I’m not addicted to coffee, I don’t have to have it…yet you’re nonfunctional without it in the mornings.

Facebook?  Oh, I could close my account right now and never miss it…yet you get off the computer and go straight to your Facebook app on your phone.

I noticed the other night how addicted we are to just filling a void with something.  Its almost as if we are scared of the quiet, scared of just doing nothing, scared of having to interact.  My little girl was watching a show while sitting on my lap.  I had my phone in my hand scrolling through facebook.  My wife had her computer out looking through Pinterest.  Show goes off, my daughter goes to bed, we come back downstairs, I get my computer out, scroll through Facebook some more, and my wife gets out her computer and does the same.

So I’ve made a more conscious effort to quit relying on other things to fill the void in my life.  Maybe I should God fill that void.  If you were to clock your time – do you spend more time on Facebook or more time with God in prayer and scripture each day?

Do you spend more money a month on Starbucks or soft drinks than you put in the collection plate on Sunday?

Or if you do have a serious addiction to dangerous things such as drugs, alcohol, smoking, pornography – have you sought help?

If you’re looking for something to fill the void of a past or current addiction, or if you see yourself struggling with something that could very easily become an addiction – do something about it.

Turn to God.

Turn to a friend.

Turn to a spouse.

Don’t go at it alone.  Get some help.

Facebook, the internet, Candy Crush, coffee, soft drinks, drugs, alcohol, the list goes on and on – don’t let these things define who you are.  Don’t let them control you.

And when you give up your addictions, don’t replace them with other bad addictions.  Let go, and Let God in to your life.

A Year of Regrets?

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Its at this point in every year that many blog posts are written about New Year’s resolutions.  People want to lose weight, pack on muscle, make more money, save more money, learn a new skill…the list goes on and on.

And every year, people continually blow it.  They don’t follow through on their resolutions.  I’m not really sure why, but it happens.  Weakness, willpower, control – all reasons these resolutions aren’t fulfilled.

Last year, I didn’t make any resolutions, so it was very easy for me to say on December 31 that I finally achieved exactly what I resolved to do.

But regardless of whether or not you made a 2012 resolution a year ago, and looking past the idea of whether you achieved your goal or not – let’s look at something else.  

Simply – did you have any regrets this past year?

Did you start a 3 month diet plan, and give up after 2 weeks, and then when 3 months had passed by, wonder what could have been if you had just stuck with it?

Did you start maybe something like a P90X workout, and after a few weeks give in to schedule challenges and fatigue, and after 90 days would have been up – you look in the mirror and wonder “Would I have been ripped by now?”

Or maybe, it wasn’t even something you set out to do, maybe it was just something you didn’t do.  

Do you regret wasting away 2 or 3 hours 5 or 6 nights a week watching television instead of reading?  Or playing with your kids?  Or spending quality time with your spouse?

Do you regret not going to church more often?  Do you regret not tackling that home improvement project?  Do you regret not making that investment?  

There are things I regret not doing this past year, and my real goal in 2013 is to not end the year in regrets.  When you have an itch, scratch it.  When you have a passion to do something, do it.  If there’s a book you want to read, read it.  If there’s a project that needs doing, do it.

Don’t make 2013 a year of regrets.  

100 Days…Now What??

On Saturday, June 30, I will have gone officially 100 days with only drinking water.

Its been a challenge, to say the least.

For me, I had to give up my biggest addiction – Diet Dr. Pepper – of which I was drinking 6-8 cans a day, sometimes more.

While the taste of Diet. Dr. Pepper to me was absolutely divine, it had gotten to a point where I wasn’t even drinking it for the taste, I was drinking it because my body demanded it, and I had such a strong craving I could not deny myself.

I was invited to come and speak at a Area Wide Youth Service at the Ashland City Church of Christ on the topic of sobriety. I was also invited to go and speak at the Mayfair Church of Christ for their Wednesday evening service on the topic of temptation. As I began to study and prepare for these two topics – I realized I had no business speaking to people on how to avoid when I could not avoid things myself.

So, on Friday morning, March 23, I cracked open my usual morning can of Diet. Dr. Pepper, drank about 4 sips of it, and felt sick about it. I could no longer continue letting one thing have such control of me. I put the can back in the fridge, got a bottle of water, and didn’t turn back.

That can stayed in the fridge for a good 60 days or so, along with 12 fresh cans. I was tempted and tried every single day, but did not give in. My life was not going to be controlled by a craving.

Finally, my wife asked me what my long term goal was going to be, and at that point, I realized I didn’t really have one. On Saturday, it will have been 100 days since I last put that wonderful beverage can to my lips. 100 days is a monumental moment for someone who was pouring the beverage down his throat every chance he got. But I have to say…now what?

Most of us have a problem with this – once we think we have a hold on something, we realize we don’t. I’ve kicked that sin for so many days, I have control of it now! Next thing we know, its back in our lives, because we have slowly let it take control again.

I feel like at this point in my life, I could keep them out of my life forever. But at every meal, there is a temptation and a craving still. Not too long ago, I had stopped at a Zaxby’s to eat some dinner. I was by myself. I had my cup for my water, filled it with ice, and instinctively reached for the Diet Coke, and filled my glass half full before even realizing what I was doing. I quickly poured it out and rinsed my glass, and filled it with water instead.

That just shows me how powerful cravings and temptations are. Sometimes, they have such control over us that we don’t even realize the effect they are having on us.

So, here’s to another 100 days – its become a personal challenge. I challenge you to do the same. Give up something for 100 days. Believe me when I say that if I can give up my Diet Dr. Pepper addiction, you can give up yours for 100 days.

What is it in your life that is controlling you? Maybe you need to give up Facebook for 100 days. Maybe you need to give up french fries. Maybe you need to give up smoking, drinking, cursing, soft drinks, or something else that has you wrapped around its finger.

Give it up – for 100 days – and see how much better you feel! Take control of your life again!

My Prayer for 2012

As I think back on the year we have just finished, I can’t help be be ever so thankful to God for what He has blessed me and my family with.  Our God is an amazing God, and there is truly none like Him.

Even though God is not confined by space and time, we here on earth are bound by its limitations.  The start of the New Year is probably not that big of a deal to God.  For various reasons, however, we as humans are infatuated by the end of a year and the beginning of a new one.  

For many of us, it gives us a chance to put something behind us.  For some, its a time to make resolutions for the new year.  While thinking of how I want to start my 2012, my mind goes to Colossians 1:9-14.

For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding.  And we pray this in order that you may life a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in ever way:  bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all peer according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light.  For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

I look at this and wonder about a lot of things, namely:

1.  What would our lives look like if in the past we had taken time to pray this prayer for ourselves and each other?

2.  What could our 2012 look like if we do the same?

When was the last time you prayed for God to fill you with the knowledge of His will?  Not just a tiny bit, but filled!  Wouldn’t you love to be filled with the practical knowledge of God’s will?  Wouldn’t you love to understand even more what God has in store for you in your life?  Instead of guessing, why not pray that his will be revealed in your life?

In verse 10, Paul prays that the Colossians will also bear fruit in every good work.  Not just one good work, but in every good work, so God will be glorified!  Are  you being fruitful?  Are you willing to pray for God to help you bear more fruit for Him in 2012?

He also prays they will grow in their knowledge of God.  Think of the impact you can have on your life and others if you pray to grow in the knowledge of God, and pray the same for others!  How will you daily increase in your knowledge of God this year?

Finally, Paul prays they will be strengthened with all power so we can have endurance and patience.  There is a power to experience, a glorious wondrous power to experience, if allow God to do so.  Remember, Philippians 4:13?  I can do ALL things through Christ.

He also prays for their patience.  Were you lacking in patience in 2011?  Maybe its time to step up and pray for more of it.  I know I need it.  Patience is so hard to have, that maybe it would serve us well to pray for more of it!

God, will you bless us in 2012?  May you help us to desire to be filled with your will.  May we be filled with your wisdom and spiritual understanding.  In 2012, may we walk in a way that is worthy of wearing your name.  

May we bear good fruit this year.

May we grow in our knowledge of you.

Will you please give us the endurance we need to make it through this year?  We know there will be constant attacks from the evil one.

Will you give us patience with each other, with the world, with everyone we come in contact with?

Bless us in these ways, so we can share in your inheritance!

A Gift for the Mrs.

In case you weren’t aware, my wife and I about a year ago, after being dedicated Dave Ramsey listeners, proudly became Debt Free.  One of the hardest things about being debt free is remaining debt free.  Its so tempting at times to justify things, saying “we’re debt free, so let’s go ahead and get it”.  However, then you remember how much freedom there is in being debt free, and you remember how your goal is to continue to be that way, and it makes decisions a lot easier.

Again, I’m not bashing anyone who is not debt free.  We aren’t officially debt free, because we do still have a mortgage.  However, aside from that we owe nothing to anyone!  I want to encourage all of you who think that debt is a way of life, to rethink that idea.  Being a minister for all of my adult life, I have not brought in a ton of money.  I feel we live a very modest life style.  We don’t have a lot of luxuries.

So, when it came time this past week to look for a new car for Kristen, we had a lot of things to think about.  We have enough money to get a car payment and it not break our backs completely.  We would have been able to get a newer car with less miles.  But it would have completely nullified all we had worked towards.  We had been setting aside money knowing this day was coming.  We got a decent offer for our trade in, and we put cash towards the new car, and walked out of the dealer with a 2005 Toyota Highlander with 72,000 miles on it.

We’ve always liked the Highlanders.  The new models are very attractive.  However, we knew that we didn’t have $30,000 to buy one, nor did we want to pay $300 a month towards something for 5-6 years.  So we settled on a much cheaper vehicle.

No, its not new.  No, its not as shiny.  But its an upgrade from the 04 CRV.  And most of all, my wife is ECSTATIC!!  I really want to encourage everyone to aim for a debt free life!  YOU CAN DO IT!!  I know you can!

Here’s a picture of Josie and Kristen with the new ride:

Kristen and Josie modeling in front of her "new" car!!

Course Correction

In Jeremiah 29:10-14, we read a story of a group of people who had everything going for them, and then their lives got turned upside down and shaken up over and over as well.

We’ve heard it said that God loves us and has a wonderful plan for our lives. It’s easy to agree when we like the plan. But sometimes, things in our lives take a turn.

The same thing is true of the Jewish people in Jeremiah 29. The year is 597 BC. God is judging the nation of Judah because of their unfaithfulness. The Babylonians have attacked Jerusalem. They’ve taken 3000 prisoners back to Babylon, including the king, the court officials, and the craftsmen. And the Jews are saying “This isn’t supposed to happen to us! We’re the chosen people! We’re the apple of God’s eye! What is going on?”

The Babylonians invade the land of Judah in 597 BC, the captives are probably thinking, “This isn’t going to last long. God is going to come through for us like He always does! The prophet Hananiah said in Jeremiah 28 that in two years, God will break the yoke of the king of Babylon, and we will be free! We’re coming back home! Praise God!”

But in Jeremiah 29:1-6, Jeremiah writes a letter to the captives in Babylon. And basically, he says “You’re not coming home for a while. Build houses and settle down. Plant gardens and eat what they produce. Marry and have sons and daughters. Be fruitful and multiply.” In other words, ‘You’re not ready to go home because I have plans for you right here in Babylon.”

And then in verse seven, Jeremiah says, “seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the LORD for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.”

And the Jews would have been thinking, “You want us to pray for the community that carried us into captivity? Jeremiah, have you lost your mind? These people are the enemies of God! These are the people who ransacked the city of Jerusalem! How can you ask us to pray for these people?”

And then down in verse ten, God says something else that would have gotten the Jews riled up. He says “When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will come to you and fulfill my gracious promise to bring you back to this place.”

The Jews had to be thinking, “You mean we gotta live in this rotten country for the next 70 years? Most of us are going to be dead by then! What kind of a plan is this, God?”

But if you look at the Old Testament, you will see that God accomplished great things in the lives of His people during those seventy years.

Number one: Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were three of the captives that were taken to Babylon. They went on to become three of the best administrators that the country ever had.

Number two: Daniel was another one of the captives that was taken to Babylon. And because Daniel was able to interpret the dream of King Nebuchadnezzar, he was made ruler over the entire province of Babylon.

Number three: With Daniel’s help, Nebuchadnezzar becomes a believer in God. In Daniel 4:37, he says, “I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and exalt and glorify the King of heaven, because everything he does is right and all his ways are just. And those who walk in pride He is able to humble.” This beautiful moment in the king’s life would probably not have happened if it weren’t for the presence of the Jewish people in the land of Babylon.

Number four: Because the Jewish people were able to live in peace under the leadership of Daniel and Nebuchadnezzar, they had time to write some of the greatest books of the Old Testament. 1 and 2 Kings, 1 and 2 Chronicles, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel, Daniel, and Psalm 137 were all written during this seventy year period.

Number five: Most important of all, during this 70 year period, the Jewish people were beginning to realize that they needed to get right with the Lord! They were beginning to see that they needed to apologize for the mistakes of the past. Jeremiah 4:18 says that “Your own conduct and actions have brought this upon you.”

How many of you have ever had someone say, “Your own conduct and actions have brought this upon you?” I probably heard that a million times as a child growing up.  But there are times when we need to hear it. And this time, the Jewish people need to hear it. Because for years, they have been under the impression that because they are the chosen people, and because they are the guardians of the temple of the Lord, they can live their lives any way they please. And God says in Jeremiah 7:4, “Do not trust in deceptive words. If you reform your ways and change your actions, I will let you stay in the land.” But they didn’t listen. And God is using these seventy years of exile to show the Jewish people where they went wrong. And what they need to do to make things right.

So when you look at the big picture, you can see that God is working behind the scenes in the hearts and in the lives of the Jewish people. Even though they can’t see it.

God’s plan isn’t always what we thought it was going to be. But God’s plan is always best. Even if we don’t understand it at the time. Even if we can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel. Even if we would never have chosen this path for ourselves.

And that brings us to Jeremiah 29:11: “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord.” And then Jeremiah says that “God has plans to prosper you and not to harm you.”

When I talk about God prospering us, I’m not talking about everyone in church winning the Powerball jackpot (as appealing as that may sound). I’m talking about enjoying the everyday blessings of God that are mentioned in verses 4-6. The blessings of a place to live, food to eat, families to love, and communities to pray for. All of these things are a sign that we are experiencing God’s plans to prosper us and not to harm us.

Then Jeremiah says that God has ‘plans to give you a hope and a future.’ For the Jewish people, that meant going back to the promised land. But for us, it means going UP to the Promised Land.

If you are a believer in Jesus Christ, you have a hope and a future that goes far beyond the parameters of this life. You have a hope and a future where you will be living in eternity with God himself. You have the hope that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. You have the hope that God will someday be finished with the work He’s doing in your life, and that you will reign with Christ forever and ever! You have a certain hope that God’s promises in your life will come true.

In fact, the whole message of Jeremiah is that the word of the Lord always comes true. In the first 25 chapters of Jeremiah, God says over and over again, “I am going to judge the nation of Judah because they have forsaken the Lord, the spring of living water.” And that’s what happened. Because the word of the Lord always comes true.

And in Jeremiah chapter 30:3, God says “The days are coming, when I will bring my people Israel and Judah back from captivity and restore them to the land I gave their forefathers to possess,’ says the LORD.” 50 years later, the Medes and the Persians conquered the kingdom of Babylon. And the Jews were allowed to go back home. Because the word of the Lord always comes true.

And in Jeremiah 31:31, the Lord says “I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah. With this covenant, No longer will a man teach his neighbor, or a man his brother, saying, ’Know the LORD,’ because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest,” declares the LORD. “For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.”

630 years later, God ratified this new covenant when He sent Jesus Christ to die on the cross for our sins. And because of what Jesus Christ did for us on that cross, we all have an opportunity to know the Lord for ourselves. We all have an opportunity to be forgiven! This helped prove once and for all that the word of the Lord always come true.

And because the word of the Lord is coming true in our lives, we need to reach out to the God who makes His word come true. Jeremiah 29:12-14 says “Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you seek Me with all your heart.  I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back from captivity.  I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back to the place from which carried you into exile.”

It is clear that based upon verses 11-14, that God wants us to prosper, he wants to take care of us.  But I want you to look closely at the condition of them being able to re-occupy the lands they were taken from…

In order for the Jews to get their lands back, they had to obey.  They had heard God, but now they had to obey.  How did they obey in this situation?  They had to call on him, come to him, and pray to him.  And they had to do it with all of their heart.  THEN, they would find God, and THEN they would bring them back from captivity.

I don’t know what is holding you captive in your life today, but if God is not first in your life, and if you are not earnestly seeking after HIM, then you can’t expect to find your new beginning.  Today, will you seek him?  Will you search for him with all of your heart?  God wants to release us from the captivity that has hold of us, and help us prosper…but He can only do that when we look for God before we look for anything else.

We’re Debt Free!


I remember being in college, driving home from Henderson, TN to Lebanon, TN, and turning on Super Talk 99.7 in Nashville. I heard some crazy guy talking about money. Seeing as I didn’t have any money, I thought maybe I should take a moment and listen to this guy. My life has never been the same.

Dave Ramsey has helped many people over many years. His ideas just make sense, at least, for some people. Some of his key points:

1. Don’t have credit cards
2. Don’t spend money you don’t have
3. Pay off debt
4. Don’t lease cars or even have a car payment

There are many other things that he recommends, but you get the gist. He hates debt. I have learned to hate it as well.

When I got of college, I decided I was going to try to adopt the Dave Ramsey suggestions. I still don’t have a credit card. I haven’t had a car payment since 2005. We paid cash for both of the cars we own now (mine has 168,000 miles on it…) and never plan on having a car payment again.

Dave Ramsey understands that paying off a home is a really big deal, and is pretty hard for most people in a quick amount of time. He encourages everyone to pay off student loans, credit card debt (which I’ve never had), car debt, etc, and after that happens, you start saving for college for kids, etc. He wants you pay off your home, but he has a systematic way of doing it.

We paid off Kristen’s old blue Honda CRV about 5 years ago. We paid off my old Ford Explorer before we got married. We paid off Kristen’s Student Loans about 4 years ago. The hardest part was my student loan. I had well over $25,000 in Student Loans. We had spent a lot of our savings on paying off the other loans, and we got a little lazy in paying off mine. We convinced ourselves that the $180 a month payment just wasn’t that big a deal, and we lived with it.

After we moved to Houston, we decided enough was enough. Once again, we lived on less than we make, and paid off my loans. Over the past 6 months, we paid off $18,000 in loans, and now, we are officially debt free except our house. You have no idea how great this feels. I’m hoping we’ll change our family tree. I’m hoping our children won’t have to take out student loans. I’m hoping that our children will think car payments are stupid.

All said and done, almost 7 years of marriage, we’ve paid off about $45,000 in debt. $18,000 of that was in the last 6 months! $3837 of it was today.

Did you know that the average car payment in America is over $400 a month financed over 6-7 years. That is RIDICULOUS! Believe me, I’ve wanted some newer cars in the past. I’ve dreamed of owning a nice truck since we’ve been married, but no vehicle is better than being debt free.

Now believe me, we’re not rich, and now that we’re debt free doesn’t mean that we’re going to be rich. What we are is happy. Its great when it comes Christmas time that we don’t pay for it for the next 6 months. We’re ecstatic that now we can start saving for things we really want, instead of having to pay off debt.

The thing is, YOU CAN DO THIS TOO! If we can do it, anyone can do it. Many of my friends have done this, or are working towards this, and I know you can too! I’d love to answer any questions you have. You can learn a lot at http://www.daveramsey.com or by downloading his iPhone app, which has answers to lots of questions right at your fingertips!

Now, if we can just teach our politicians to live on less than they make…

Time for a Sabbatical

Okay, so sabbatical probably isn’t the best choice of words, but let me sum it up like this — I’m taking a break from some things.

Actually, this is a sabbatical to be more productive.  I have found myself checking facebook, emails, goofing off a lot more than I need to be.  I have found myself glued to the television about the Health Care debate.  It has been eating into my personal time with God, time with my family, and time spent working for God.

Don’t get me wrong, none of these things are bad in and of themselves, but when you find yourself turning to your phone to check facebook statuses, check your email, look at a sports score, etc. — it consumes too much of your time.

So this week, if you see an update on facebook from me, it will be for one of three reasons:

1.  Automatic update from this blog
2.  Accountability post for working out (which I always do right before the workout)
3.  Some sort of emergency prayer request

Basically, its a self imposed internet shortage.  I’m in charge of our worship service on Sunday in its totality.  So, I owe it to the people who worship at West University to limit distractions and help them gain their focus in the service on Sunday.

I’m going to focus this week on taking a sabbatical from the world, and spend my time focusing on God and what I can do for Him.  Feel free to join me.