10/19/10 – Proverbs 19:17

Proverbs Post #1-

I have been reading through the book of Proverbs for most of the last four years.  I followed the path many have when reading this book, by reading the chapter that matches the day of the month.  I am going to attempt to write daily, on a verse that speaks to me as I read.  Today I was reading in chapter 19, since it is the 19th day of the month, and verse 17 struck me today.  It says:

Proverbs 19:17 The one who is gracious to the poor lends to the Lord,

and the Lord will repay him for his good deed.

Several things stuck out in my mind as I read this verse.  The first is, we have a tendency to insulate ourselves from the realities of the world.  I wonder, how many people actually are in a position or put themselves in a position to help someone who is poor?  Think about your life for a minute.  When was the last time you gave someone (who was poor) money to eat lunch or buy groceries, paid someone’s utility bill or donated clothing to your local mission?

The second is the promise of repayment.  The Lord “will” is a powerful statement because God always fulfills His promises.  I want to caution those who read this and think “If I give to the poor God will give me a bunch of money!”  The repayment is not specified in this verse.  We do not know if it is an earthly reward or a heavenly reward.  But one thing I do know, I want whatever kind of blessing my God is willing to give me!

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, October 19th, 2010 Proverbs No Comments

Intentional Thinking

A couple of weeks ago I was mowing the yard when I noticed baby robins chirping away every time the mama or daddy robin flew to the nest.  The robin’s had built their home on the back of our house and was full of eggs before I had not become aware of the nest.  Since the mama robin had already laid her eggs I did not feel I could take the nest down until the baby birds were old enough to leave home.

The mother robin seemed not to mind my close proximity while I was mowing which gave me the opportunity to see the baby birds pop their heads up with mouths opened wide chirping for food.  I was fascinated as I saw the mommy bird continually bring food for the baby birds.  As I was watching, capsule something in particular caught my eye.   One of the babies was a different color than the others.

I was curious as to the color difference and grabbed a ladder to take a closer look.  Upon closer inspection, the baby bird at the back of the nest was underdeveloped and appeared as though it was not getting as much food as the other babies!  I am not sure why but my fathering instincts kicked in and I was off to solve the problem.

The garage was my first stop to get my shovel and off to the back of my yard I went.  My compost pile was the perfect place to dig for worms.  After digging a couple of very productive holes in the dirt, I had seven or eight worms to feed the baby bird.  I climbed back up the ladder and began feeding the undernourished baby bird.  I would tap on the side of the house and he would pop his head up and begin chirping for food.

I continued to feed him for three days when the unanticipated happened!  A strong storm literally blew in with 60-70 mile per hour winds and actually blew the nest off the house.  I was very disappointed, as I feared for the baby robin’s life.  The parents and the three other babies had disappeared while the baby I had been feeding and affectionately named “Junior” was on the ground with the nest.  I found him standing on the ground chirping for his parents and I thought to myself, “He will be dead in a couple of hours if I leave him on the ground.”  I quickly used a piece of plastic to help him back into the nest and barely escaped the attack of the momma robin while I put the nest back into place.

It was now time to play the waiting game.  During the time, I was feeding the baby the momma bird seemed oblivious to my help and now anytime I was in close proximity to the nest she would swoop in and attack.  I was very confused why she would keep me from feeding her baby all the while she did not feed the baby!  I called my dad, who after received his undergrad in biology and worked at Yosemite National Park for a summer, and he told me to let the momma bird take care of her baby.  I had great fear with this plan but I listened to my dad and unfortunately the next morning brought my feared conclusion.  Junior was dead.

I am sure to some this seems trivial but as I processed these events I realized several lessons but one stuck out the most.   Robins have God given instincts that guide them in their short life.  If something happens that is out of the realm of those instincts they only have the ability to stick to those instincts.  The momma bird did not know what to do except protect the baby bird from me.  She did not know how to think and I realized she did not know how to come up with a solution for this new problem.

God made us different from the animals because He has given us the ability to think.  We have the ability to recognize a new situation and think through a new solution, or better known as logic.  Many times, we act like the momma bird instead of using the capabilities God had given us.  I want to encourage you to be diligent, not just going through the motions with your kids, recognizing different personalities, learning skills, abilities and situations utilizing your gift of logic.

If you have more than one child, as my wife and I do, you cannot teach every child the same way.  One of my daughters loves to serve and will always help look for extra jobs to earn more money.  Another daughter dislikes helping but rarely spends her money and is a spendthrift (her momma says she is like her daddy).  And then comes our youngest daughter.  If she has money, it burns a hole in her pocket!  She never has money but always has a huge assortment of lip gloss.  We have a tremendous challenge in communicating financial concepts even in our family.

My recommendation: it’s important to understand your children’s learning styles and use that information as you teach them. My wife and I have used a book called The Way They Learn by Cynthia Tobias to help us in this area with our daughters. I suggest you get your hands on that resource or another one which provides insight into learning styles.

Friday, June 25th, 2010 Learning No Comments

Do Not Be Surprised!

Do not be surprised!

For those of you reading this blog post and have kids that are younger than 5, viagra buy watch out!  After the publication of Dad Cents in October of 2009, I have had several people question the practice of beginning financial training at age 3.  They have said, “Do they really understand at that age?” or “That is pretty early to think about money!”

Let me tell you about our youngest daughter, Josie, who is soon to turn 5 years old.  As I suggest in Dad Cents, we have not started allowance for Josie because she has yet to turn 5.  Being the youngest of our three daughters she has watched her sisters very closely and does not act like very many 4 yr olds!  She wants to carry a purse with makeup, a cell phone (an old one of mine that does not actually work) and money!  She also watches her sisters get allowance, go to the store and make purchases with THEIR money.

Josie usually gets money for her birthday, and a few other times when grandma and grandpa are feeling generous.  We realized not too long ago that she needed an intermittent income source so we have allowed here to help with some special projects to earn money.  As you know, every child has a very different personality and Josie is our spender.  When Josie has money it burns a whole in her pocket.

A couple of days ago, Val and Josie were going to the mall to look for spring clearance sales and Josie did not have any money; surprise, surprise.  Val decided on a project that Josie could help accomplish to earn some shopping money.  Fortunately, shopping money for a 4 yr old is usually not very much.  We usually give her a quarter per job.  This time however, when Val told Josie that she would get some money, Josie quickly replied, “Mommy can I get a paper one?”  Do not be surprised at what age your children will begin to catch on!

Friday, April 30th, 2010 Teaching No Comments

“Helping Kids Distinguish Between Needs and Wants”

This article is posted on www.fathers.com/dadcents which is the website for the National Center for Fathering.

NCF logo white on 301

The Luxury Marketing Council of Florida says that luxury spending has seen an annual growth of 20-30%, where general retail spending has seen an increase of 5%. One Encarta Dictionary definition of luxury is “an item that is desirable but not essential, and often expensive or hard to get.” Translation: needs are up 5% per year, and wants are up 20-30%!

One of the most challenging traps for our children (and for us) when it comes to money is distinguishing between our wants and our needs. But if we can keep this straight, we’ll be well on our way toward equipping our children to make wise buying decisions for years to come.

ImageSo what is a need? Food, shelter and clothing. Generations of people have lived and continue to live with very little money—only a fraction of what most of us live on. That’s the baseline for where we start talking about needs. Living on very little money is not fun for anyone, and that desire for an easier life or the things other people have is what often gets people into financial difficulties.

Obviously, wants are things that our children would like to have. Usually wants come disguised as needs. I need clothes, and this name brand that is 50% more expensive will make me cool. Kids want to fit in with classmates. The problem is that the non-name-brand clothes provide the same basic benefit. They provide protection against the weather conditions.

I don’t have a problem with name-brand clothing, especially when I can buy the clothing at the same price as the generic or discount store option. By shopping around and being patient, I can often find name-brand items—Nike athletic socks or Polo button-up shirts, for example—just as inexpensively as comparable options that are generic. Also, it’s appropriate to account for the difference in quality during the decision-making process.

Because of advertising, peer pressure or a range of other factors, we too easily blur the lines between needs and wants. We convince ourselves that our wants are really needs. I guess I’m talking about us dads now. But our children are watching and learning from what we do. Raising our children with a healthy awareness of their needs and wants means addressing this question ourselves. We need to take a hard look at our financial decisions and priorities.

Is it wrong to have some things that are “wants” and not “needs”? Probably not, although that’s really a question that you, your family and your budget will need to settle between yourselves—and each family’s priorities and financial situations are different. But I will say that it’s dangerous to start thinking about pursuing things that are “wants” if there’s no bigger plan and a limit for your spending in place. It’s just too easy to go overboard.

So, like with many areas of fathering, your modeling is huge. To be more proactive in teaching your children about wants and needs, I recommend having regular conversations with your kids as teachable moments come around. Whenever they use the word “want” or “need” in reference to something, question them on why they used that word. Is it really a need, or a very strong desire? What likely caused that desire?

If your children can get a good grasp of the difference between needs and wants, it will be a big benefit to them for the rest of their lives. We can usually communicate the ideas pretty simply, but applying the ideas to real-life wants becomes very complex. So it’s vital that we’re intentional with this. And there’s no substitute for spending time with your children so you have those needed teachable moments.


  • When you shop for groceries or clothing with your child, find two items that are virtually the same except for the brand name. Talk about the difference in price and which one you want versus which one will meet your need, and what other factors (quality, fit, taste, etc.) affect your decision.
  • The next time your teenager wants a new pair of jeans or shoes, give him the money to buy a reasonably priced pair. Then tell him that he can keep any money he doesn’t spend on the item. This will allow him to weigh needs and wants, priorities, and many related issues as he makes his buying decision.
Monday, March 29th, 2010 Uncategorized No Comments

Teaching generosity!

Monday, shop January 18th, was a significant day for our family.  The significance came from the celebration of Martin Luther King day and the opportunities to serve our community.  Martin Luther King was a great servant to our country and community organizers have utilized that memory to inspire others to serve in his honor.

I was able to take my wife and oldest daughter to Manhattan to volunteer in some of their community activities.  We choose to help an organization that sends school supplies to kids in Iraq and Afghanistan.  The organization is called Help us learn…Give us hope.  We were able to pack about 50 boxes of school supplies to send overseas.

Before we began to pack boxes I explained to my daughter what we were going to do and what the supplies would do once they reached their destination.  During my explanation a big smile came across her face and her eyes opened wide with anticipation.  I was truly blessed as I watched the enthusiasm in my daughter as she helped me pack the boxes.

I really want to encourage dads with this post.  Did I do anything amazing that any other dad could not do himself?  No, I simply was intentional in helping my daughter learn about being generous with her time.  Since we had the day off from work and she had the day off from school it would have been very easy to stay home and play or do something else she would consider “fun.”

Dads, again I want to encourage you to look for ways to enjoy time with your kids and be able to pass on important lessons at the same time.  As I mention in my book Dad Cents, most lessons are caught and not taught!

Tuesday, January 26th, 2010 Uncategorized No Comments

10 Principles of money to teach your children in 2010

Money has a huge impact on your children now, for sale later in life when they are adults and maybe even parents as well.  You have a tremendous responsibility that can effect generations to come.

  1. Ownership – Your kids understanding of their ownership role with money and possessions play a role in a how they treat their family and others.
  2. Managing – Managing is the active part of ownership.  Give your kids an allowance so they can begin to learn how to utilize the money.
  3. Trustworthiness – Developing trustworthiness in your children now will provide opportunity as adults.
  4. Accountability – Give your kids responsibility with money or possessions and hold them accountable.
  5. Generosity – Your children must learn to think of others with their money.
  6. Effectiveness – Your example in getting things done (being effective)so your children learn to get things done will be significant to your children.
  7. Faithfulness – Not only saying you believe something but following through.
  8. Efficiency – Teach your children to figure out the best way to get things done and invest their money.
  9. Disciplined – Teach your children to resist the temptation of quick pleasure versus hard work to attain a higher goal.
  10. Contentment – Teach your children to be happy with the material possessions they have.

Dads, decease the current trend is to take care of the earth but we have an even greater responsibility and that is to take care of our family.  Have a great 2010!

Monday, January 4th, 2010 Uncategorized No Comments

Year end!

God has continued to bless and cause us to move forward even in these challenging economic times.  We are striving to build savvy dads by turning the hearts of the fathers to their children.  This year brought two major projects to the forefront.  Beginning Savvy Dads Conferences on a national basis and completing of our first book titled Dad Cents.

“When your kids leave home do you want them to know more about money than you did when you left home?” is the question that I love to ask dads.  I always get the same response, “sure!”   I will then follow up with the next question, “What are you doing to make that happen?”  I am usually met  with a response of I am not sure, nothing or just a blank stare.  Every dad recognizes the problem but very few are doing much to solve the problem!   My book, Dad Cents, will give dads the tools they need to teach their children the biblical principles of money.

I could fill several pages telling you about the ways God made it possible to publish this book.  Let me give you one example.  Once we decided to self publish the biggest obstacle (in my mind) would be the finances required because  getting the book to completion would require $20,000.  I began to seek the funding but also work with the editor on the content of the book.

After 6 months of little progress in finding funding, and growing weary,  I received a phone call.  The person on the other end of the phone, who had no idea of how much was needed, told me they were interested in helping finance the publishing of the book.  Much to my surprise, they asked me if I needed $20,000 to finish the book!  At the end of October I received the first books from the printer.  To God be the glory!

This year we conducted two Savvy Dads Conferences one was held in Topeka and the other in Wisconsin.  God used both conferences to remind me of the significant needs of dads.  At one of the conferences a dad and son that attended together were both impacted by what they learned from Dr. Ken Canfield.  Another attendee was out in the lobby after the second Saturday morning session and I inquired if he was liking the conference.  He told me yes and that he was going over his notes because he had already learned more than he could implement immediately!

Dad Cents is the only book of its kind which equips fathers/parents to establish biblical concepts about money into the lives of their children.  The Savvy Dads Conference features the nation’s premiere speaker on fathering.  According to Gary Smalley Ph.D. and John Trent Ph.D. “No one is speaking with as much knowledge and authority on fathering issues as Ken Canfield.”  This is where we need your help:

  1. We need to get the book (Dad Cents) into the hands of dads and
  2. inform churches about the possibility of hosting a Savvy Dads Conferences.

We have several opportunities during this coming year with your prayer and financial support  to make this happen.  We have been approached by a national Christian television show that proposes to feature a segment about Dad Cents and Savvy Dads.  Another opportunity is to produce a Savvy Dads video conference that could be available to any church or home in our country via the internet.

Our ministry goals for 2010 include:

  1. Getting the Dad Cents book into the hands of fathers/parents
  2. Finding church partners to host Savvy Dads conferences
  3. To expand teaching opportunities for men via the internet

We need additional ongoing one time and monthly support but would like to expedite these projects as they would be over and above the regular budget.  To accomplish these goals will require  $20,000.  Would you help make this happen?  Please prayerfully consider a onetime, monthly, or quarterly gift to the ministry.  All gifts are tax deductable.

Tuesday, December 22nd, 2009 Uncategorized No Comments

Burst my bubble!

Kablam! is the sound heard when a punch balloon, for sale like the one seen in this video, advice explodes.  We heard this sound twice over the last two days at our house!  My oldest daughter was responsible for both balloons popping.  On accident, viagra sale she successfully broke both of her sisters balloons.  She felt terrible both times the balloons exploded as she cried and was very remorseful for her actions.  I actually was watching her one of the times and they were both total accidents.  But once again, it was teaching time!

Whether or not she intended on popping the balloons, she was still responsible.  We have a family rule that if you break something, whether accidentally or on purpose, you pay to replace the item.  We believe in teaching our daughters to take responsibility for their actions.  Saturday morning we jumped in the minivan and made the short drive to Walmart.  We finally found the punching balloons (they are not in the toy department but instead are in party supplies.)  Since we had to ask for help in locating the balloons we had a Walmart associate with us as we discovered the balloons.  But as we picked up the bag of balloons it was very evident someone had taken one of the balloons.  The bag had a big hole and only three of the four balloons were still in the bag.  Fortunately for us this was the last bag in the store.

As we walked to the cash register I inquired to the Walmart associate if we  would be able to purchase the balloons for less than the $2.00 marked price since one balloon was missing.  I told her I would be willing to pay $1.00 and she accepted my offer!  Here is a copy of the receipt.

What a day!  Two lessons from one balloon popping.  As we drove home I asked our oldest daughter again why we purchased the balloons and who paid for the balloons.  She told me because she popped her sisters balloon and she paid for the balloon.  I then asked her if she would rather pay $1.00 for a balloon or $.33?  She told me $.33 and we discussed how I was able to negotiate with the employee because even though the product was not whole in our case it was acceptable.

I want to encourage you to be intentional about teaching your children biblical principles of money!

Sunday, December 20th, 2009 Uncategorized No Comments


Benjamin Franklin said “Contentment makes poor men rich; discontentment makes rich men poor.”  Contentment is an interesting topic that few seem to have a grasp of.  Where is your level of contentment?

Wednesday, December 16th, 2009 Uncategorized No Comments

The Grocery Store

My wife went out of town for four days and left me with our three wonderful daughters. We kept very busy while mommy was gone but inevitably we had to go to the grocery store. Why do I say inevitably? Well, you see, I am banned from going to the grocery store with my daughters. I am great at saying no to my daughters everywhere except the grocery store. I always come home with more than is on my list because of the prodding or eye batting of my beautiful girls. Mommy was not home so I thought, oh well, we can have a little fun.

I asked the girls what they wanted for lunch and they quickly responded with pop! “I want root beer” was the first answer and the other two quickly responded “me too, me too”. We made our way to the pop aisle to look for the root beer. My oldest daughter mentioned she wanted the root beer in the “itty bitty” cans. (Note: the “itty bitty” cans come in a six pack and each can is 8 ounces.)  So as we searched for and finally found the “itty bitty” cans I noticed their price. I quickly looked up and saw the price of the two liter of the exact same brand of root beer. My financial instincts told me it was “teachin’ time!”

This particular grocery story places the price per ounce on the price label for each product. I asked my oldest daughter to look at the price per ounce of the two liter and then the price per ounce of the “itty bitty” canned root beer. She told me that the two liter was 2.4 cents per ounce and the canned pop was 36.7 cents per ounce.  As she finished telling me the differences in price, (she is 7 years old) I could tell she did not understand the disparity.

Illustrations seem to be the best way to connect with my daughter so I jumped in to the teaching moment to imprint this situation on her ever forming mind.  I asked her to pick up the six pack of “itty bitty” cans and I picked up three 2-liters.  I simply asked her this question, “if you were going to spend $3.00 would you rather have the six “itty bitty” cans in your hands or the three, big 2-liters in daddy’s hands?”  Even at seven years old her response was immediate.  “I would rather have all of the root beer you have daddy!”

I want to leave you with this encouragement.  Spend as much time with your children as possible because teachable moments rarely can be planned, they just happen!

Shane Barkley
Author of Dad Cents
Friday, November 27th, 2009 Uncategorized No Comments