Archive for October, 2008

The Treasure Principle

October 28, 2008

So at the suggestion of my pastor, my wife and I started reading through a Bible study called, “The Treasure Principle”, by Randy Alcorn.

The first chapter starts as an introduction to what the Treasure Principle is, and the reward it entails.  My wife and I were impressed by the fact that storing up worldy treasures is pointless, because our worldly treasures will fly away like a bird.  When John D. Rockerfeller died, his lawyer was asked how much he left, and the answer:  “All of it.”

As a Christian living in the US, I can be easily distracted by bills, and necessities, and material things.  We frequently struggle with paying the bills, but somehow we are able to do so each month.  Recently we have started to prioritize our tithe before our expenses.  Not that this is some magic formula, but in the last month, I have received $100.00 in Gift Cards, and a family member is offering to supply us with some money so that we can install a picket fence, and repair some household items!

The Treasure Principle means two things.  First, our giving (whether in money or in self) should be done joyfully.  The reward is that once in heaven, we will receive three types of treasures:  Jesus.  Heaven.  Physical Treasures rewarded a hundredfold!  Second, our giving rewards us with joy.  Joy is underrated and underutilized.

As we start to change our focus of tithing, I think we have become more aware of our expenditures.  We have definitely cut back on eating out all the time, and buying unnecessary material items!  God has shown that He has been blessing us, but we have been poor stewards of our blessings.

This is not something that has occurred over night.  Years ago, we were about $40,000.00 in debt!  We prayerfully considered our actions to cause that situation and immediately cut our credit cards.  When the credit cards were gone, we were able to quickly pay off our school loans, car loans, and personal loans!  We were out of debt within a couple years of praying about it.

Sure we had our ups and downs, but God blessed us.  Had we known then what we know now, we may have had a tidy savings, instead of an empty bank account.  This is our next step, I believe.

Yes, I know I’m more focused on our personal income, but this all ties together.  I have to take care of my family, and it starts with being a good steward.  Good stewardship takes manly discipline.

If you are interested, you may purchase this short book for only a couple of bucks at Amazon.  I think it will open your eyes to some Biblical principles that are largely overlooked these days, but are perhaps just as important as ever in Christian history!

We will be reading a chapter each week, so I’ll update this site each time and try to be upfront about our progression as we seek to be joyful givers!

Greece, Rome, and now…

October 23, 2008

It is no secret that societies which embraced and accepted immoral attitudes eventually fall.  Maybe it is more of a sign of a society that is already fallen.  A culture that became so weak, that the small minority of those who accepted such obscurities became outright vocal and powerful.

Rome had those boy slaves used by the upper class and nobility.  Greece had its share of immoral behaviors.  These two empires eventually failed.

Of course, I’m not trying to say that immoral behavior is the main reason these empires failed.  Again, I think it is probably a condition of a weakened society.

Over the past few decades, America has grown more decadent.  When marriage is no longer safe, we know we are in for a heap of trouble.

Look, we have economic failures as a result of greed.  Abortion is a failure because we promoted free love and sex without the consequences.  AIDS is a reality because of the immoral choices we make.

Yes, the blatant acceptance of immorality is a sign of weakness.

Do I stand here like a fierce God and condemn everyone?  No.  This is not my job, and frankly, I don’t have the qualifications to attempt it.  I’d have to condemn myself first.  It is my job to warn others, though.

I believe the church is largely at fault too.  We Christians have become somewhat exclusive in our ability to love thy neighbor!  I’m guilty.  We also have those pretending to be Christians while promoting hatred towards sinners.  Fred Phelps would have been kicked out of the temple like the money changers!

Sin.  This all boils down to sin.  And as Paul said, of which I am the chiefest.

And there are consequences to sin.  Whether you stand as an unbeliever like the three monkey trio.  The fact is, your unbelief will not make the truth a myth.

Some societies were eventually wiped out by the hand of God as a result of their sin.  I don’t take God lightly.

There is hope.  People can be changed.  If they are truly open minded, they will receive Jesus Christ as their personal Savior!  Those who are truly open minded have done so.  Those with a narrow-minded stubborn pride will continue to deny God’s existence, therefore leaving no chance for change.

Also, God wants you to come as you are.  If you are gay, come as a gay person and let God sort out your issues.  If you’re a crack head, don’t feel you have to quit the crack before receiving the Messiah!  Let God sort that out.  If I thought I had to be perfect before becoming a Christian, why would I need to go to God?  I’d be perfect.

Our society is failing.  God isn’t.

So, um ehum, how about those Celtics?

October 20, 2008

So as my memory begins to fade, I almost forgot that earlier this year, the Boston Celtics were crowned the NBA Champions.  This is what I’m taking solace in, my friends.

Yeah, we Boston fans have become just a tad spoiled.

So sue me.

Tampa Bay was the better team, and I have a feeling they are going to throw the Phillies to the side like a cat throwing a dead mouse in a busted alleyway.

The Red Sox?  Time to update that lineup.  The bottom three of the order stranded too many people in key situations during this year’s ALCS.

Oh well, there will always be game 5, right?

At least the Yankees didn’t even make the playoffs (repeat that to yourself).

And, the Celtics should be competitive.  17!

I’ll be honest, folks.  While not shocked about this outcome, I am a bit annoyed.  The Red Sox have made the comeback series a fashion statement, and this year they became like other teams who came back only to lose at the last minute.

Have we entered the Curse of the Mannytrade?

Only time will tell.

For now, at least I’ll be getting more sleep.

And, at least the Celtics look good.

Wait til next year

October 17, 2008

Oh well.  It is 5-0 right now.  I believe the Rays are the team to go all the way.  Sorry Phillies, I hope you can do it, but these Rays just look darn right dangerous.

Sox had a good season, but when they get to the ALCS, fans expect them to get to the World Series. Sure, the Yankees didn’t even make the playoff, but I’m still left feeling a bit empty.

So here are my list of excuses:

1.  Injuries, including Lowell, Drew, Ortiz, and Beckett.  Don’t forget, we lost Schilling this year, and he’s probably the most clutch pitcher in October history.

2.  Manny.  You lose the best right handed hitter in probably baseball history, you lose something.  Jason Bay is an above average player, but he’ll never enter the Hall.

3.  Manny/Ortiz factor.  See above.  Ortiz seems more deadly when pitchers are forced to pitch around Manny to get to him.

4.  Rays.  They came in their own this year.  They are tough, fast, and domineering.  No mercy.  This will be a team to last for a long time.

5.  Beckett.  Again, he’s not the same pitcher he was last year.

6.  Wakefield.  He’s a bit too old now, I believe.  I hate to say it, but I think he needs to hang up his glove.

7.  Varitek.  The captain.  His offensive production is atrociuos.  I really don’t want to see him go, because he still offers a lot behind the plate, but when the runs don’t add up, there is a glaring hole in the lineup.

8.  Ellsbury.  He seems like his vacation started a week early.  You can’t win games if your leadoff doesn’t get on base.  I hope he has an MVP year next year.

9.  Terry Francona.  We’ll keep him, and he may help us to bounce back next season, but he kept Beckett in too long during game 2!  The entire ALCS may have finished differently if he had pulled him out before that 5th inning.

10. The Fans.  Booing Varitek during a playoff game?  Give me a break.  You all are an embarrasment, and I hope you all jump on the Rayhawk Wagon this season.  We don’t need your stupid pink hat-wearing types around to bring down the Red Sox fans collective IQ.

Rays are destined.  And now the AL East will have three highly competitive teams, which will make the Wild Card less of an automatic selection for the Boston Red Sox.  Hopefully the Sox will pick up some good pitching, and hitting during the off season.  Hopefully Manny stays on the West Coast!

UPDATE:  12:18 PM EST.  –  Umm…They’re not done yet.  Good night.

Sure they were down 3-1 last ALCS, but…

October 15, 2008

This year they don’t seem to have that drive that they did last year.  Besides, two blowouts in a row will serve little to inspire a team to overcome a 3-1 deficit.

I think it is safe to say there will be no repeat.

Darn.

Don’t think we’re out yet!

October 14, 2008

Sure, the markets had record growth yesterday.  I would hold your excitement off for quite sometime.   I don’t believe the economy is done with this downturn yet.  In fact, check out some of the highest growth rates in history, and a majority of those being in the 30s.  Woohoo!  Anyone for some possum soup?

The End is Near!

October 13, 2008

Sox are losing 4-0 right now with Lester getting slammed and it is only the top of 3rd.

I think I’ll play some guitar tonight, study, and play some Madden.

“Ron Paul is wrong!!”

October 3, 2008

Said a fellow co-worker as we debated the bailout.  His feeling is, if the government does nothing to prevent Wall Street from crumbling, we are all screwed.

Right.  And if Ron Paul is wrong, why has he been right for so many years?  Why did he predict the fallout of a weak market system because of government OVER regulation and a cheap dollar??

Sure, my co-worker wants change.  He has hope.  He is hopeful that Obama will be able to straighten out this mess.  Nope.  You can count on more regulation with him or McCain.

My co-worker is a smart guy.  He understands systems and technology better than most.  He has no understanding on economics.

Don’t worry, the bailout will pass.  And then what?

I’m Tired…

October 2, 2008

It is just past 1 o’clock in the morning.  Sox are on top 4-1, Papi just driving in Ellsbury for a little more insurance as the bottom of the ninth is set to begin soon.

I love the postseason, but man can it be tiring!