Why I beat up on the iPad…

Over the past month I have been doing a few posts about MONEY.  It all started when I was asked by my pastor to teach on debt and “acting our wage”.  This topic was not new to me because April and I had been pursuing becoming debt free by using a version of online envelopes (called MVELOPES.com) and the Dave Ramsey plan.

The iPad

This week a friend of mine pointed out that I have been really beating up on the iPad and to be honest I have.  But, I probably need to clarify my position and give you a picture of why that device has been the source of my posts.

I am the Pastor to Students at Chestnut Mountain Church, and for the most part I have a role in teaching middle school and high school students on a regular / weekly basis.  As a teacher we try to find those things that will connect with the audience that we are teaching.  Over the past four years as a student pastor / teacher I have realized that modern technology gadgets are like candy to teenagers.  Most of them (yes, not all), pursue a new phone, iPod, computer, or even the iPad.  Consistently I hear them say that family tension is because of their desire to the next greatest gadget.  ”My mom won’t let me have … or my dad says I don’t need…”

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Why is $$ off limits?

Call me crazy, but I really don’t care who knows how much money I make.  I do find it interesting that we are very open to hold each other accountable in almost every area of our lives except our money; why is that?

Maybe I don’t make enough for it to matter what I make, or maybe I just really don’t care.  Yes, you can call me crazy… the reality is, I probably need someone in my life to hold me accountable in the area of money.

Have you found that person in your life that helps hold you accountable in the area of money?  When it comes to money maybe we need more accountabiity than what we really think.

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Surrendering to the money – Personal Story

For the past few weeks our Church has been doing a series called “Taking Care of Business” and it has ignited a passion that I did not really know existed within me.  What is that passion?  I want to help people get back on track with their finances and truly surrender in that area of life.  Here’s were it all started for April and me…

One Faithful Move:

In August of 2007, April and I had been married for a little less than 1 year and we decided to get serious about money.  Before that we had been living high on the hog as a newly married couple with a dual income household, and money was not tight, but in fact… it was easy.  But by August of 2007 all had changed.  I took a job making less money and we moved back to Gainesville, GA (where we live now, and where I grew up).  Our expenses grew larger while our income had dropped.  We realized that it was time to get on a budget.

I picked up Dave Ramsey’s “Total Money Makeover“.  It was mind blowing to see the financial principles that could help us, yet we were just playing stupid.  We worked through the budget sheets, listed our debt, and “spent” our money to the penny; and the adventure began.

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Falling in Love with the HOW

Last week I wrote about a vision for the how.  If you didn’t get a chance to read it you can check it out here.  But, if you did then you are in great shape for us to discuss one of the greatest flaws when it comes to the strategy or how of the vision and mission.  Let’s get started…

I was listening to the Leadership Podcast by Andy Stanley and he said a phrase that stood out to me like a sore thumb.  ”Marry the mission and date the how.”  He began to talk about the process of falling in love and the commitment that marriage requires.  So, I can’t take credit for these thoughts, but I think everyone should understand this principle.

I understand this concept now because I have been married for over 4 years now, and the whole commitment thing is a big deal.  The commitment is the foundation for my marriage.  Now, many times we get this flipped around when it comes to Church.

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Controlling the Surrender

I am probably a control freak… not really sure what that even means.  People around me have mentioned it as a character trait of mine.  This is what I know about myself…

  • The thought of the unknown scares me.
  • I hate being unprepared.
  • I like making things happen.
  • I hate being told “no”.
  • I think through every possible situation that may happen.

You ever find yourself “forcing” a situation to happen?  You think about all possible outcomes and you do everything in your ability to control the outcome?  You tell me no, and I’ll fight to control the outcome.  I’m not proud of these traits, and in fact it’s something that God continues to remove in me.

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A vision for the how

This is part ___ (who knows) of my series about Mission, Vision, and How (Strategy).  This is a practical series about these concepts.  People who are much smarter than me have written about these concepts.  This is just my view of how things sort out.  Also; Trey is doing a series about the mission and the Bible; you should check it out.

The goal of this blog is to remain in surrender to the MISSION of Jesus, but I need to clarify the difference between mission, vision, and how.

In my last post, I talked about how to define the mission.  You can’t read this post without the context of the previous post – so go there now.

Now, we need to talk a little about vision.

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The mission & basketball

What is a mission?Basketball Hoop

According to Dictionary.com there are 16 different definitions of the word “Mission”.

My favorite definition found at dictionary.com is; “the business with which such a group is charged.”

This past weekend I attended a local high school basketball game.  This isn’t unusual for me, I love watching student athletes compete.  What I love about athletics is that each person is “sold-out” for a shared mission.  These boys were flying all over the court in an attempt to make a play that will propel their team to a win.

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Love the Mission or the Style?

In a world that is all about style, should Christian’s be all about style?

For many years I fell in LOVE with the style of Church rather than the mission of Jesus.  Yes, that’s right, I fell in love with a style.  The style of the worship gatherings were appealing to me and relevant to my life, in fact God used that style to communicate to me.  But, after a while of singing the songs, watching the videos, doing the dramas, and listening to the sermons, I got real comfortable with a style.  I got so comfortable with that style that I lost sight of the mission.  The STYLE became the mission.  I thought that every church in this nation should do church with a edgy, modern,

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Resources that helped surrender in 2010

Here are just a few things that helped me surrender to the mission of Jesus in 2010.

Top 5 Books (the ones I recommend):

  • Doctrine – What Christians Should Believe by Mark Driscoll & Gerry Breshears (still in the process.)
  • Parenting Beyond Your Capacity: Connect Your Family to a Wider Community by Reggie Joiner, Carey Nieuwhof
  • Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream by David Platt (Actually read through it twice this year.)
  • The Cross of Christ by John R. W. Stott, Alister E. McGrath
  • Axiom: Powerful Leadership Proverbs by Bill Hybels

Top 5 Podcasts (People I love to listen to):

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