Tag Archives: thought of the day

Dave Ramsey Update

So I mentioned awhile ago that I had started reading Dave Ramsey’s book The Total Money Makeover. I really enjoyed it and I enjoy a lot of the principles that Dave puts out there in his book. It’s very simple and very straight forward, but it’s somewhat time consuming. Like, a lifetime, time consuming. But I think it’s going to be worth it.
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Unsung Heroes

I am a Gleek. I admit it. I LOVE watching that show. The music from it are the most listened to songs on my ipod. I think it’s an awesome show. If nothing else it reminds me of the joy and the feeling of belonging I felt when I was in a musical group back in high school. You felt special when you were in a group like that. As terrible and blasphemous as this sounds, you felt like you had some form of purpose being in one of those groups (Lord, please don’t strike me down!).
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Speaking of Writing – Part Deux

So… that last post about NaNoWriMo? Yea… Just ignore it. I kinda ran into a few dozen walls along the way that have kept me from being able to write and I’ve fallen WAY behind in the writing process. So I am going to concede for this year and try again next year.

But I have been inspired to get back into writing in my blog more often. I’d really like to become more consistent at writing down my thoughts. I’ve got a journal, but just like this blog I’m terrible at using it. So I’m going to endeavor to keep writing and get myself putting more of my thoughts down on paper or, in this case, on the Internet for the world to see.
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Can’t sleep

For some reason tonight, my mind will not be quiet. I keep thinking about all the things that need to get done. Theresa and I decided to move into a different apartment on campus. While the cost is about the same, the school is paying for both Internet and heating. Removing those two things will cut about $75-$100/month from our budget.

The savings are AWESOME. No complaints there, but being on campus Internet means I lose access to one of the most consistent things in my life for almost five years: World of Warcraft. Yes… I know. It’s a game. Not that big of a deal. And you’re right, in a lot of ways it is just a game; but at the same time there is more to it than that. Whenever I’ve played WoW, I’ve always been able to interact w/ people. Having fun conversations and getting to know them and their lives. I’ve built relationships and have made friends through WoW. How deep those friendships go depends on the friend but there have definitely been several connections made through WoW over the years and it’s going to be hard to lose those. It’s a tough but necessary sacrifice. Besides, there are plenty of other games still out there for me to play like KotOR, KotOR II, Zelda: Twilight Princess, Final Fantasy XII, Final Fantasy IX, and Final Fantasy VIII just to name a few. I’m sure there’ll be more coming out that I’m gonna wanna play but those should hold me over for the rest of summer I think.

I think this decision has also been prompted by the book I’ve started reading. I picked up Dave Ramsey’s “The Total Money Makeover” awhile ago but never got around to seriously reading it. It took too much time and I was too busy w/ school/work to worry about it. But now that summer’s here and I have a lot of free time on my hands, I decided I needed to get serious about reading it.

I start reading through it this morning and I’ve read through the first three chapters. So far the book is very slow. It’s right now explaining about how I need to make an attitude change and change my belief’s regarding debt. I think Dave’s absolutely right when he says the biggest hurdle to financial freedom is me. I really need to put my big boy pants on and put in the time and effort it takes to start building wealth. Theresa and I can thrive on our incomes, if we manage them well. Most of his points about debt make sense to me. I’ve been trying to avoid going into debt as long as I can but things like school, unfortunately, I haven’t been able to pay for without taking out student loans… C’est la vie.

Hopefully we can get our collective butts in gear and start getting ourselves more financially stable. It’d be really nice to start being able to start putting money away for the future; for things like a house, a new car, baby products, a vacation, etc. This is going to be hard but the motto from the book is really awesome:

IF YOU WILL LIVE LIKE NO ONE ELSE, LATER YOU CAN LIVE LIKE NO ONE ELSE

So here’s to hoping things go well w/ this. I pray that Theresa and I can get our butts in gear and stay in gear and move forward w/ our lives.

Lent

Lent, a somewhat odd spiritual practice of some of the more liturgical denominations, has come around again and I have decided to partake of it this year. I decided this year would be a good year to give up pop, more specifically caffeine, and see if I can go 40 days without it. I have admitted to myself several times that I am a caffeine addict and lent has given me an excuse to try and get over my addiction. The hardest part in all honesty is going to be after lent is over. I am fairly certain I can go 40 days without a pop, but it’s the time afterwards, what do I do with pop now that I’ve gone without it?

I know I’ll still enjoy pop and a large part of me is sitting here waiting for the Monday after Easter to come so I can go buy a Dr. Pepper and enjoy it like I never have before. But is that really what I want or should be doing? Lent is a time where we reflect on life and see how something that we physically do can interfere with our relationship with God. If I have gone through the practice properly and I see that pop for whatever reason is interfering with my relationship with God, should I really go back to it after Lent is over? Am I giving it up for the right reasons?

Lent really is an extended fast from certain things. I don’t agree with some of the weirder rules about not having to fast on Sunday’s and such. Fasting really is a time where you can remove something from your life and focus instead on God. But what happens when you discover that that thing really is interfering with your life?

I think in an ideal world you would be able to completely give it up. Unfortunately, we live in a fallen world. I know for me personally, I don’t think pop directly interferes with my relationship with God but it can indirectly affect things. It can cause me to gain weight and not be as healthy as I could be. Not to mention, spending money on pop is not the best way to spend my money. How better could it be used? Could I use it for things like tithe for church? Maybe put it in savings? I’m sure I can find much better uses for money I would normally spend on pop.

So here’s to 40 days (or more) without pop. I am excited to see what God will show me about myself as I go through this journey.

Why do I write?

There are days when I wonder, why do I write? What purpose do my words have? Who reads them?

From the lack of comments on some of my posts, I have a feeling that very few people actually read this, which is OK. I’m not maintaining this blog for the comments or the glory of knowing that people are reading my thoughts. I’m not seeking to get puffed up about my writing.

What I am seeking to do is to get into the practice of writing more. I want to write because I want to get in the habit of writing often. And not just blogging and putting a stream on conscience on paper. I wanna be able to write poetry and music and stories; maybe some day an actual book. Writing is not my passion but I enjoy having a place where I can speak my mind.

What my passion is though is music. I am discovering that I enjoy music and I enjoy making music. I want to get to the point some day where I trust myself enough to not only write words, but to share them. And not these words, these are just thoughts in my head but I want to be able to write about my deepest intimate thoughts and feel safe sharing them with those around me.

It is a very scary thought to sit down and share music or words that I’ve written down with people. It’s a vulnerability I know all too well. While I’ve never done it, the fear alone of sharing words paralyzes me into not even putting words on paper. I am working on it though. Nobody likes be vulnerable in front of people and I am no exception. In some cases I think of myself as the spokes person for not being vulnerable and trusting people.

I hope to get over that some day and this blog is helping. So, that’s I think the heart of why I write. I think God has blessed me with thoughts to be shared with those around me and He’s blessed me with a heart for music. I hope to someday be able to be vulnerable in front of people and I hope and pray that it turns out OK. Anyways, that’s all I’ve got for now.

How do you measure a year?

I just received from my Netflix queue a dvd of the final performance of Rent on Broadway. It is AMAZING! I love this show. The most famous song from the whole show is called “Seasons of Love.” It’s a stirring anthem asking the question, “How do you measure a year?” In daylight? In sunsets? In midnights? In cups of coffee? These lyrics remind us of how important it is to take advantage of each moment, living life to the fullest each moment of each day.

How does that apply to my life as a Christian? I think it applies really well. Living each day to the fullest for HIS glory is a great creed all Christians can and should live by. Am I relying 100% on Christ? Is His life, lived through me, reaching those around me? Have I shown Christ today? Have I seen Christ today?

Even moreso than just living a life dependent on Christ, are we, as Christians, experiencing the fullness of life in Christ? Are we enjoying ALL the blessings of being a part of God’s chosen family?

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly. – John 10:10 (NASB)

Are we having life abundantly? I know I am learning what it means to partake in the abundance of life in Christ. I hope to someday figure it out but I don’t think I will ever completely figure out. I believe that it one of those things that we won’t know until we reach glory. What a glorious day that will be.

I leave you with “Seasons of Love.” Enjoy!

Seasons of Love
Words and Lyrics by Jonathan Larson
525,600 minutes, 525,000 moments so dear.
525,600 minutes – how do you measure, measure a year?
In daylights, in sunsets, in midnights, in cups of coffee.
In inches, in miles, in laughter, in strife.
In 525,600 minutes – how do you measure a year in the life?

How about love? How about love? How about love?
Measure in love. Seasons of love.

525,600 minutes! 525,000 journeys to plan. 525,600 minutes –
how can you measure the life of a woman or man?

In truths that she learned, or in times that he cried. In bridges he burned, or
the way that she died.

It’s time now to sing out, tho the story never ends let’s celebrate remember a year in the life of friends. Remember
the love! Remember the love! Remember
the love! Measure in love. Seasons of love! Seasons of love.

Bible Failures?

When I think of the characters of the bible, I can’t help but think about the awesome men & women of God that have come down through the history: David, Solomon, Sampson, Ruth, Esther, Peter, Mary and many, many others. These biblical titans are great examples of living the life of constant dependence upon God. Their stories are so great and so well known that it’s hard to not deify these mighty men and women of the bible. Yet the bible itself tells us that they aren’t nearly as perfect as we once thought they were.

Sitting in Bible Study Methods class today, a gentleman (whose name I can’t remember for the life of me) gave a devotional about how a boat had started to sink and the people were looking around for the captain and crew to figure out what to do. People looked in the captains room, the bridge of the ship; they looked everywhere, but the captain and crew couldn’t be found. Someone eventually looked out to sea and saw two life boats in the water, heading towards shore. One boat held the captain and the crew and the other boat held all of their luggage. What a shock that must have been to the people on the ship; to see the person in charge of the whole ship, being concerned with himself and his crew and none of his passengers. What a shock it must have been to see the captain fail the expectations of the people on board that ship.

When those we expect to be heroic and powerful, fail to meet that expectation, what does that do to a person? How do you handle that? Does your world come completely crashing down like so many people in the world? Did your world stop when Michael Jackson died like so many others in the world? How hard it has on the people we idolize to be a gods to us.

The thing I really like about the bible is that it doesn’t pull any punches; it tells the story how it happened. Take for example King David: He is called “…a man after God’s own heart,” yet David had multiple wives, had an affair with Bathsheba, had Bathsheba’s husband killed, and then took Bathsheba as his own wife. Does that sound like the King David we normally hear about at church?

How great is our God that He could use someone who had as screwed up a life as David? How great is our God that He could use someone with sins like mine? It’s a very humbling thought to know that I screw up a lot and yet God is still willing to use me anyways.

Hopeful things in the future

While life is rough apart from Theresa, things are getting better. I’ve got a job interview on Wednesday and I will hopefully soon be employed by the Geek Squad!

I was able to randomly see Theresa this weekend which was great! It made me really happy that I got to see her. Made getting homework done extremely difficult but I was glad to see her. I didn’t realize how much I was in need of seeing her until she walked through the door. Thankfully she’ll be back down here in a few weeks for her birthday.

I also am hopeful about the church I went to last night, interestingly enough called “Door of Hope.” The pastor of the church is the lead singer/songwriter/guitarist for the band Telecast. The church itself is only four months old and it’s a very open and welcoming place. I enjoyed it quite a bit. The pastor, Josh, preaches a theology I believe of Christ in you. Overall it was a good experience. I plan on attending again and looking for God’s direction more than anything else.

Prayers in School

I am SO thankful that I go to a school that prays before each class period starts. It’s so cool to be able to start each class with God. It’s a very unique experience and different experience from public school. We just finished praying in my philosophy class. A class on Philosophy and we’re praying! It’s awesome!

I wonder if this was what classes were like during the 1950s? Were they excited to be able to talk to the Creator of the Universe? I know being able to do that in class is a great feeling.

I really think the best part is that I get to take a class where I get to learn about a particular topic and learn about it from a Christian perspective. In particular my philosophy class has been great. It’s nice to be able to see these different philosophical thoughts and see how they line up with my Christian world view.

Another class where this comes up a lot is psychology. The teacher, Dave Jungward (youngward), is great at explaining the original theories and then asking questions about how it did or didn’t line up with the world view of the students in the class. It’s awesome to be able to think and process through the thoughts and views of the different theories out there that aren’t necessarily “Christian.” It’s really helping me to start thinking for myself and draw my own conclusions.

I’m really glad to be in school here. It’s rough being away from my beautiful wife but I am glad that I get to be here learning about my awesome Creator while getting college credit. It’s awesome! For now I’m gonna head to bed. Be blessed!