11 questions to think about in 2011!

The last week of the year I always spend time thinking about where we have been over the last year and where we are headed for the upcoming year.  As I was contemplating 2011, ambulance I realized that God had blessed 2010 and had shown me a few things that parents were struggling with.  I compiled a list and wanted to share these 11 questions with you to prompt your thinking for 2011.

  1. Do I want my children to know more about money then I did when I left my parents home?
  2. Do I own the things that are in my possession?
  3. How can I be a successful manager of the possessions in my control?
  4. Can my children learn about money and character at the same time?
  5. Do I need to improve my money management skills?
  6. Do I give my kids an allowance?
  7. At what age are my children ready to learn about money?
  8. How will I teach my kids about money?
  9. What kind of example am I to my kids?
  10. Should I help my kids begin a business?
  11. What questions need to be asked when I consider buying my teenager a car?

I will be writing about each of these questions over the entire year of 2011.  Of course, cialis the answers are in my book, story Dad Cents as well.  Have a great year!

 

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Monday, January 3rd, 2011 Teaching No Comments

The top 10 things I learned in 2010!

The last week of the year I always spend time thinking about where we have been over the last year and where we are headed for the upcoming year.  As I was contemplating 2010, I realized that God had blessed the year but had also taught me a few things.  I compiled a list and wanted to share the top ten with you.

10. I have a tendency to work too much.

Running a one-person ministry is a huge challenge.  I am the janitor, president, book keeper, author, marketing director, executive assistant and the list goes on.  I always have one hundred things that need to be done and never enough time.  So, I work in the evening or on the weekend which takes away time from my family.  I am purposing to become more focused, which will improve my ability to be effective and efficient to curb this tendency.

9.  Don’t give up your carryon bag when traveling overseas.

My trip to Romania in early December 2010 was exciting in several ways.  I had my first experience of my luggage being absent six days of the eight day trip!  Not cool.  I gave up my carryon bag instead of insisting that I keep it.  I had two extra pairs of jeans and my medicine in the bag.  This lesson will not be forgotten.  

8.  I love going to Europe.

Before 2010, I had not been to Europe.  God blessed me with the opportunity to visit twice in 2010.  The history and culture of Europe are fascinating and continues to draw my interest in returning.  More importantly, I see God moving in a really amazing way in Eastern Europe, and I am so excited to have the opportunity to be used through my book, Dad Cents.

7.  I love coming home to my wife and daughters even more!

Traveling has been awesome but as my return trip nears, I have experienced a fresh excitement to return home.  I love experiencing new things, and so I feel I need to explain a bit.  I never want to leave home but the excitement of Europe, ministering and seeing God move always tug on me.  Simply stated, without my wife and daughters I have a hole in my heart.  I love coming home to them!

6.  Sports are not important.

My wife and those of you who know me well are not going to believe I am writing this.  For me, sports played a great role in molding me into a team player, taught me many fantastic lessons, helped me develop physically but at a specific time in my life.  I have fallen into the trap of watching tons of games, reading too many articles and neglecting the time I should be spending other places.  I have not watched a full NFL game this season and until last night ( I am writing this on Dec. 30) had not watched more than 10 minutes of a bowl game!  This is not to pat myself on the back but to give some of you an idea of where I am.

5.  Money is a much broader topic then I had even imagined!

God continues to teach me every day, and as I have a fresh perspective, I see His truth in a new light.  He has shown me that we use money or something represented by money, somehow, someway in everything we do.  Did you ever wonder why there are more verses about money than any other subject?  I did and God has opened my eyes as to the reason.  With God’s leading, I will continue to develop thoughts and applications on this idea.

4.  Why I have a thorn in my flesh.

Some of you will think, uh, duh, but I had an epiphany in November.  As I struggled, once again, with my thorn, I asked God to take my thorn away!  By the way, I am very familiar with the whole idea of why Paul had his thorn and his writing in II Corinthians but sometimes experience is the best teacher.  I did not hear audible words but in my mind was the thought, “Because, YOU (Shane) need to trust in Me and not do things on your own!”  I know my thorn is to keep my eyes on Him and not the world.

3.  I have the tendency to see the direction God is moving, get very excited and then run ahead of Him.

Wow, I do not think I need to explain much on this one.  Prayer is the key to moving at God’s speed!

2.  God WILL provide.

I cannot tell you how many times this year God has come through at the last minute.  Whether health in was due, a house payment or many other needs, we received exactly what we needed!   is so hard not to worry, but I am getting better.   am so grateful for God’s people listening to His direction.

1.  I am in ministry to honor and glorify God and not for other people.

Once again, some of you may wonder why it took until this year to learn a somewhat obvious concept.  Several times this year I was treated differently than I thought I should be.  As you might think, I was upset by these actions and confided in a couple of close friends.  One of the friends helped me see it is so easy to put our efforts into helping others see how important the things are we think God is telling us instead of doing those things!  Furthermore, if God is telling you to move forward, does it matter what they think?  I realize that everyone I meet will not jump on the boat.  I was getting mixed up with their reaction and what they thought instead of who the real audience is;  God.  He is my motivation, my all in all, and the source of everything.  I need nothing else.          

I have learned not to dwell in the past but learning from our history is very important to avoid repeating the same mistakes.  I would challenge you to look back and see where you have been, if it was profitable and where God would have you go in 2011! 

Blessings to you and your family.

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Friday, December 31st, 2010 Learning No Comments

12.22.2010 Proverbs 22:3

Proverbs Post #28-

Today I was reading in chapter 22, decease and verse 3 jumped out to me today.  It says:

22:3 A shrewd person sees danger and hides himself, hospital
but the naive keep right on going and suffer for it.

The end of the year always brings thoughts of tasks completed and plans for the next year.  I met with my advisory group early this morning and as we looked through the plans for next year, sick God placed a thought on my mind.  I am planning for business or more specifically the ministry path but how much effort have I put into the path for my family in the coming year?

I began to think about the time I am spending working versus the time I am spending building God into their lives.  Since our children are one of our greatest responsibilities, we cannot just go through the motions in raising our kids!  If we do not build into the lives of our children, we will have problems when they are in their teen years.  Proverbs 22:6 says, “Train a child in the way that he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.”

“A shrewd person sees the danger and hides himself,” means we need to look ahead at the possible consequences of current our actions.  Am I building into my child(ren)?  If we do go down a path of spending little time with our children, “the naïve keep right on going and suffer for it.”

What are you doing to build into your child(ren’s) lives?

I want to challenge you to take up reading the Proverb of the day and the entire chapter as well.  Lord, please help each one of us to keep our focus on things above and not the things of this earth.  Amen.

I am using the Net Bible to quote from for these posts

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Wednesday, December 22nd, 2010 Proverbs No Comments

Proverbs 21:31 – 12.21.2010

Proverbs Post #27-

Today I was reading in chapter 21, vialis 40mg and verse 31 jumped out to me today.  It says:

21:31: A horse is prepared for the day of battle, patient
but the victory is from the Lord.

Wow!  I did not intend to take this much time off from writing Proverbs posts but Thanksgiving and a trip to Romania drew the bulk of my attention for several weeks.  My wife tells me that if she had a nickel for every time I have told her “You are not going to believe this,” she could be a millionaire.  So I will tell you instead, “You are not going to believe this!”  God showed me today, through a friend, that verse 31 was for me today.

If we pay attention, God will give us gentle reminders of His love, grace and direction.  Over the last several months, I have been gung ho, moving forward with ministry.  Working hard and focusing on the task at hand, I have been dependent on my efforts.  “A horse is prepared for the day of battle,” means that we are to be prepared “but the victory is from the Lord,” means that He accomplishes it. The notes in the Net Bible say, “Ultimate success comes from the Lord and not from human efforts.”

Are you working hard for God or working hard to stay out of God’s way?

I want to challenge you to take up reading the Proverb of the day and the entire chapter as well.  Lord, please help each one of us to keep our focus on things above and not the things of this earth.  Amen.

I am using the Net Bible to quote from for these posts

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Tuesday, December 21st, 2010 Proverbs No Comments

Romania – December 2-8, 2010

I was unaware the beginning of my trip would be an indicator for the first three days of my travel.  A great friend and mentor took me to the Airport and as God would have it, allowed me to be 2 1/2 hours early.  I was excited as I got to the ticket counter because there were only eight people in front of me to check in for the first step of my flight from Kansas City to Detroit.  When I stepped up to the counter, I was immediately informed that my flight was delayed by 2 1/2 hours, and would need to be re-routed through Minneapolis.  The Delta agent worked furiously to find me a seat on a flight that was leaving in 35 minutes.  I made the flight and caught my connection in Minneapolis to Amsterdam.

Little did I know at the time, Amsterdam would become my home for the next two days.  As we arrived in Amsterdam, snow was gracefully falling from the sky.  Upon arrival, I was very hungry, since I had not been able to eat lunch in Kansas City.  As I walked through the airport I spotted a McDonald’s and decided to eat at what I thought would be the least costly option in the airport.  Unfortunately, I ate the most expensive quarter pounder I’ve ever consumed, then waited for my 11:20 a.m. connection to Bucharest.

After a delayed a boarding process, we took our seats on the plane at approximately 12:30 p.m.  I was carrying a computer bag and a carryon suitcase at the time.  The boarding agents instructed me that my carryon suitcase would need to be checked for this flight.  Unaware of the potential situation, I quickly agreed and checked my bag.  Hindsight being 20/20, I wish I would put up a little resistance to checking the bag.  Unbelievably, for the next almost five hours, we sat in the plane on the tarmac continually being told that we would depart in 30 minutes.  At 5:15 p.m. we were finally told the flight had been canceled, and we were to exit the plane.  We were then instructed to move to the transfer station and get in the queue.  (For those that have never been to Europe do not have airline counters they have transfer stations, and you don’t stand in line you’d get in the queue.) After waiting in line for 1 1/2 hours, we were told that there would not be another flight to Bucharest until the next day.  We were then instructed to get in line, I mean in the queue, to receive a hotel room paid for by KLM.  I proceeded through customs, made my way to the queue with the other 125 people waiting for a hotel room.  Thankfully, through this process, I met several guys who I bonded with and held each other’s place in line for the next four hours.

Upon receiving our room, we made our way to the hotel to get some rest.  Fortunately, God had provided the foresight to have a way to call the United States.  Within 20 minutes, I had called Delta, made my reservation, and called home to update my family.

The next day return to the airport to wait for my new flight that would take me to Paris and connect me to Bucharest.  This flight was to leave Amsterdam at 4:00 p.m. and have me arriving in Bucharest at 9:00 p.m.  A little after noon, I was told that this flight also had been canceled.  Once again, I was participating in my new favorite activity, getting in the queue. You can imagine by this time the KLM employees were at their wits end dealing with frustrated travelers.  Thankfully, the employee who helped me was ready to do whatever was necessary to get me to Bucharest.  She booked me on a 9:00 p.m. direct flight to Bucharest and was blessed with being upgraded to a business class ticket.

The flight arrived in Bucharest early Saturday morning, almost two days behind schedule.  I proceeded to the baggage claim only to find out that my nightmare was not over.  I inquired about my bags while in Amsterdam and had been told they were already in Bucharest.  Once again, I got in the queue, to see if the company that handled lost baggage had my luggage.  My bags were nowhere to be found!  I submitted a claim and left to find my host, Radu.

The first seminar I was to speak at had to be canceled, which freed the schedule for Saturday.  On Saturday and Sunday, we visited his mother, who lives about 25 minutes outside of Bucharest.  Sunday morning I was able to attend a Romanian Orthodox service.  The church was in a very small village next door to the mother’s home.  I had never been to an orthodox service, so I truly enjoyed watching and participating.  Ok, I could not understand anything, because I do not speak Romanian, but I could still watch the people and observe their emotion during the liturgy.      

I did not need a university degree to see that most in attendance had experienced a very difficult life.  For those who do not know, Romania was behind the Iron Curtain until 1990.  Most of these people had worked in manual labor for a majority of their lives.

As the service closed, my host asked me if I would say something to those in attendance.  The thoughts racing through my head were something like this: “I have not prepared anything, I don’t know what to say, I don’t feel worthy.”  I responded by telling my host that I was not prepared but at the end of the service, the priest motioned for me to come to the front of the church.    

Obviously, my response was not communicated!  As I walked to the front, I thought, “Ok, Lord what do you want me to say?”  As my friend moved beside me to translate my words, I became very calm.  I greeted them, thanked them for their wonderful hospitality and told them I was in Romania to help fathers.

When I mentioned fathers, their faces glowed!  The Romanian church struggles with one of the same issues as we do in the American church.  How to get men involved.  I purposefully did not mention, to this point, the attendance which was 80% women and 20% men.  After the service concluded, I stayed to meet the priest.  As we spoke(through translation), I was asked for ideas to help draw men to their church.  We spoke about the importance of fathers and parted ways.  Sunday evening we headed back to Bucharest to prepare for Monday and Tuesday.

It was noon on Monday when my bags finally showed up from the airport!  I felt like a new man when I was able to change my clothes.  That afternoon was my first meeting in Bucharest.  I met with the executive director of the American Christian school in Bucharest.  We met for an hour to discuss the school’s involvement in future Dad Cents seminars and Savvy Dads seminars in Romania.  It was an amazing time and a little slice of America all at once.  A good friend always tells me “God is the great connector”, and it was so awesome to see how two “strangers” could meet in Bucharest to move God’s kingdom forward.

Tuesday was the day I was to make a three hour presentation to a group of business leaders.  The presentation went very well, and it was fun to see the attendees come out of their shell.  We had great discussions and I introduced multiple, new ideas to the group.

Through this discussion, I learned some scary things are happening in Romania.  Take mortgages, for example, which have been recently introduced into Romanian Society.  As you know, in the United States, when we take out a mortgage for our home, we place the house as collateral.  In Romania, when a mortgage is issued against a home the house or apartment is not the only collateral required to fulfill the contract.  Let me explain.  In Romania, if a homeowner cannot make the payments not only is the home repossessed but their future earnings can be attached as well.

Let me give you an illustration.  If a home sells for $100,000 and the owner defaults, the bank repossesses the house.  If the bank then sells the home for $80,000, the bank as the right to the mortgagee’s future income for the $20,000 difference!  I told the business leaders I would have a hard time signing them mortgage, unless I had a substantial savings account to cover my payments for 12 to 24 months.  This is just one example of things that are happening in the financial world in Romania.

Before I left Romania, we discussed more seminars for 2011.  I am very excited to be involved with Romania.  God has opened some amazing doors to bring Biblical and practical financial ideas to the Romanian people.  They have only been out of the grip of communist control for 20 years, which has left them with a generation of parents trying to wade their way through capitalism.  The current generation of parents carries a huge responsibility and needs to be successful in teaching their children financial truth.

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Friday, December 10th, 2010 Teaching 1 Comment

11.23.2010 Proverbs 23:12

Proverbs Post #26-

Today I was reading in chapter 23, help illness and verse 12 jumped out to me today.  It says:

23:12 Apply your heart to instruction
and your ears to the words of knowledge.


“Apply your heart to instruction” is a great command for kids!  It means to apply your heart or mind in the process.  We see many kids today going through the actions because their parents never teach them the reason for obedience.  Josh McDowell told me, view “Without a relationship they are just rules!”

“Your ears to the words of knowledge” simply means to pay attention.  This is such a struggle with kids because most kids are too poor to pay attention! We need to add “emotional money” to their account by spending time with our kids.

Will you take the time to build a relationship with your child(ren) as a foundation for instruction?

I want to challenge you to take up reading the Proverb of the day and the entire chapter as well.  Lord, please help each one of us to keep our focus on things above and not the things of this earth.  Amen.

I am using the Net Bible to quote from for these posts.

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Tuesday, November 23rd, 2010 Proverbs No Comments

11.22.2010 Proverbs 18:11

Proverbs Post #25-

Today I was reading in chapter 22, and verse 18 jumped out to me today.  It says:

22:18 For it is pleasing if you keep these sayings within you,
and they are ready on your lips.


As parents, we have the opportunity but more importantly the responsibility, to teach our children biblical truth.  If you do not know, my specific bent, is teaching children biblical financial principles.  This is primarily due to my training and background but God had opened my eyes to why money is so important.

Money is not just cash as we think of today. Money or mammon in the Old Testament was any and every possession, not just gold or silver. Try to think of a single incident in our daily life where we do not use some type of possession to interact with others. Let me give you an example of the first 60-90 minutes of your day.  When we wake up we get out of a bed, we have clothing on our bodies (hopefully), we get food to eat, we shower, we get in a vehicle or pay to ride public transportation to the destination where we make the money to pay for everything we have!

Did you ever wonder why there are over 2300 verses in the Bible regarding money or possessions?  I think, because of what I just mentioned about everything being money or a representation of money, we cannot escape the impact it has on us.

I want to leave this thought with you.  I think Proverbs 22:18 is referring to the admonishment parents are given in Deuteronomy.  Chapter 6 verses 6-9 give us God’s expectation of our parenting responsibilities.

6:6 These words I am commanding you today must be kept in mind, 6:7 and you must teach them to your children and speak of them as you sit in your house, as you walk along the road, as you lie down, and as you get up. 6:8 You should tie them as a reminder on your forearm and fasten them as symbols on your forehead. 6:9 Inscribe them on the doorframes of your houses and gates.

Will you teach your child(ren) to be a godly man or woman?

I want to challenge you to take up reading the Proverb of the day and the entire chapter as well.  Lord, please help each one of us to keep our focus on things above and not the things of this earth.  Amen.

I am using the Net Bible to quote from for these posts.

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Monday, November 22nd, 2010 Proverbs No Comments

11.19.2010 Proverbs 19:11

Proverbs Post #24-

Today I was reading in chapter 19, and verse 11 jumped out to me today.  It says:

19:11 A person’s wisdom makes him slow to anger,
and it is his glory to overlook an offense.

“A person’s wisdom makes him slow to anger,” may be a shocking statement to some. We have the tendency to think our rights allow us to express anger when we are wronged.  Another penchant is to jump to conclusions when we are not patient.

“It is his glory to overlook an offense,” offers a different thought process that we are accustomed to utilizing.  Why?  We want justice.  I might suggest that you, nor I always know the circumstances of many situations.  Have you ever unintentionally had something backfire as a result of misread intentions?  I have seen and experienced evenings and family excursions ruined by quick anger.

Are you slow to anger?

I want to challenge you to take up reading the Proverb of the day and the entire chapter as well.  Lord, please help each one of us to keep our focus on things above and not the things of this earth.  Amen.

I am using the Net Bible to quote from for these posts.

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Friday, November 19th, 2010 Proverbs No Comments

11-18-2010 Proverbs 18

Proverbs Post #23-

Today I was reading in chapter 18, tadalafil and verse 11 jumped out to me today.  It says:

18:11 The wealth of a rich person is like a strong city, price
and it is like a high wall in his imagination.


“The wealth of a rich person is like a strong city, stuff ” which provides protection. Money can offer protection and shield us from some things.  Our possessions can offer a roof over our head, protection for our bodies and sustenance for our bodies.

“It is like a high wall in his imagination,” offers a different view point that we are accustomed to hearing.  Our money only gives us the feeling of protection, like a high wall, but in reality can be gone in an instant!  Do you have a good job?  Do you have a nice house?  Do you have a large investment portfolio?  They can be gone in moments.

Where do you place your trust?

I want to challenge you to take up reading the Proverb of the day and the entire chapter as well.  Lord, please help each one of us to keep our focus on things above and not the things of this earth.  Amen.

I am using the Net Bible to quote from for these posts.

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Thursday, November 18th, 2010 Proverbs No Comments

11.17.2010 Proverbs 17:16

Proverbs Post #22-

Today I was reading in chapter 17, order and verse 16 jumped out to me today.  It says:

 

17:16:
Of what use is money in the hand of a fool, ed
since he has no intention of acquiring wisdom?

 

“Of what use is money in the hand of a fool, viagra order ” is a pretty strong statement. Money is a tool that we can either use wisely or foolishly.  If a stranger looked at your check book, debit card or credit card would you be accused of being wise or a fool?

“Since he has no intention of acquiring wisdom,” makes me wonder how many continue their education process.  Are you passing on a  tradition of financial wisdom or ignorance?  Wise choices are not accidental.  How much time do you spend thinking about how the money in your possession is used?

Do you use money foolishly? 

I want to challenge you to take up reading the Proverb of the day and the entire chapter as well.  Lord, please help each one of us to keep our focus on things above and not the things of this earth.  Amen.

I am using the Net Bible to quote from for these posts.

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Wednesday, November 17th, 2010 Proverbs No Comments

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