The Benefits of having a budget

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Unlike our government officials which don’t seem to understand that at some point there will be consequences for our consistent habit of overspending, individuals and families must find a way to balance their revenues and expenses. It just makes sense to do so.

One crucial activity that I would highly recommend for every individual and family is to have a monthly budget. Having this plan will produce many significant benefits for you, including:
* Builds discipline for achieving long term goals
* Avoids uncertainty by clearly showing what your true financial condition is
* By knowing what your actual revenues and expenses are, you’ll be able to plan for your future
* Builds accountability –again, unlike the government, consistently overspending will cause you very harmful consequences—why go down that road if you don’t have to?
* Strengthens spousal unity— having a family budget is like a mutual “project”–it is something you will work at together

I’m sure if you gave it much through, you would be able to come up with even more reasons why keeping a budget makes sense, literally–:) .
So, give it a try if you are not doing so already. I believe you will never regret doing so.

what would people think about you (from John Maxwell)

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“when people think about you, do they say to themselves, “my life is better because of that person”? Their response probably answers the question of whether you are adding value to them. To succeed personally, you must try to help others…you can do that by:

1) putting others first in your thinking
2) finding out what others need
3) meeting that need with excellence and generosity ”

from John Maxwell’s – “A Leaders’s Heart” pg. 171

Bono said what about Jesus?

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In an interview with ROLLING STONE magazine, Bono was asked his opinion on Jesus with this question: “Christ has his rank among the world’s greatest thinkers. But Son of God, isn’t that far-fetched?” The lead singer of U2 and global crusader against poverty responded:
“No, its not far-fetched to me. Look, the secular response to the Christ story always goes like this. He was a great prophet who had a lot to say along the lines of other great prophets,be they Elijah, Muhammad, Buddha, or Confucius. But actually Christ doesn’t allow for that. He doesn’t let you off that hook. Christ says, “No, I’m not saying I’m a teacher, don’t call me a teacher. I’m not saying a prophet. I’m saying: I am God incarnate.” And people say: No, no, please just be a prophet. A prophet we can take. So what you’re left with is either Christ who was who He said He was – the Messiah- or a complete nutcase.

As told in Mark Batterson’s The Grave Robber (Michka Assayas, Bono: In Conversation with Michka Assayas (New York, Riverhead, 2005, 205

The Obstacle is the Way – Ryan Holiday book review

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We all experience problems and frustrations. That’s life.

How we deal with those “negative” circumstances can have dramatic consequences, good or bad.

The majority of us will deal with those “negative” circumstances in the same way–we get angry, discouraged, or bitter. However, we would all probably agree that very little good comes from reacting in that kind of way.

In the book, The Obstacle is the Way, Ryan Holiday, the author, helps us to see that these “negative” circumstances can in fact turn out to be “positive” experiences if we handle them correctly. We can learn from our mistakes; we can be stretched to persevere; and we can be pressured to think more creatively.

Holiday provides some very practical suggestions on how to deal positively when troubles come our way. Some of the chapter titles include “steadying our nerves”, “controlling our emotions”, “thinking differently”, “preparing to act”, and many more.

Not only did I appreciate his practical insights on coping with challenging times, but the biographical examples of people who dealt positively with difficult times was very helpful in reinforcing the different principles Ryan was writing about.

“The Obstacle is the Way” is a book that you will enjoy reading and also applying the content.

My experiences (and yours) can help others

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Many of you know that I have been trying to memorize chapters
4-10 in the Old Testament book of Deuteronomy. It has been an amazing experience.
At times, it has been like trying to drink from a firehose. The depth of wisdom in this section of the Bible has been huge.
Anyway, as I was meditating on a verse this morning, I read the following about God, “…and (He) loves the foreigner residing among you giving them food and clothing. And you are
to love those who are foreigners, for you yourselves were foreigners in Egypt” (Deut. 10:18b-19- NASB).
One thing that jumped out to me was the idea of the Golden Rule, “treat people the same way you would want them to treat you”.
God is saying to the Israelites, (my paraphrase)—remember when you were in the land of Egypt, you were foreigners, you know what it felt like to be among a people that
were different than you. They didn’t treat you well. I want you to do things differently.
I want you to be known as a holy people. If there are foreigners living with you, treat them as people, (not as animals), treat them with respect.”
Another take away that I have from this passage is in regards to mentorship. I’m reminded about a few golf books I’ve read recently.
In these golf books it seems a fairly common practice for a veteran golf player to embrace a rookie in the golf circuit and to take them under their wing. They show them the ropes. They explain the expectations for a golf pro, what to do, and what not to do.
I was challenged by these thoughts. Have I taken the time to help new people at my work know about the realities of their new job? I’m not talking about taking over the HR job, but real world stuff. How to deal with the pressures of the job? What to do when things get tough?
Do I have a mentor mentality with teenagers and friends (and family) that are younger than me? Do I express a compassion and empathy towards them to say, “I know what
it was like to be your age and have all these thoughts going on in my head”?
Consider your own influence.
Look around you. Is someone at your work, or in your family, at your church, in your neighborhood that you can have this “been
there, done that” kind of mentoring experience with? You can have a huge impact on someone’s life, if you just make the effort to pass along what’s happened (and still happening) in your life.
Take a chance and be a blessing to someone today!

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