Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Father's Day, Daddy!

Mommy, Anna, and Eli have hijacked Daddy's blog for the day to say:

Happy Father's Day!

I asked Anna to tell me a few reasons why she loves her Daddy and this is what she said:

He goes to work
He loves Jesus
He goes to the zoo with me
I love jumping with Daddy
Daddy's funny.

I love that even a 3 year old knows what's important - that her Daddy goes to work to provide for us, that he spends time with them going to the zoo, jumping, playing in the water, and that he spends a lot of time laughing with them. But most importantly, how great is it that one of the things she said is that "He loves Jesus!" What better honor could be given to a dad than to know that his children know He loves his Maker.

Happy Father's Day, Mark. We love you.

Mommy, Anna, and Eli

Saturday, April 11, 2009

The Angels Were Waiting

Standing on an edge of a cloud,
Thousands of Angels are gathered 'round.
Thoughts of fear go through their heads.
The scene below has them scared.

The Angels are ready with their weapons in hand.
They may have to help the One with nails in His hands.
They wait for a cry of help from below.
He should have called them long ago.

He hasn't given in, but He's growing weak.
The crown of thorns has sent blood down His cheeks.
He hangs there one hour after another.
People say He's no better than any other.

He raises his chin from off His chest.
He looks down upon all the rest.
With the power He has left, He speaks.
Words we still hear that make our hearts weak.

It is finished. It is finished.
No more, no less; that's all He said.
The Angels look sad, but they know it had to be done.
That was the whole purpose of God's only begotten Son.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

His, hers, or ours

When God said in Genesis 2:24, “They shall become one flesh,” He was not just talking about the physical sense. God created marriage as the highest, most honored, most intimate of all human relationships. As such, the husband-wife relationship takes precedence over all blood-kin ties.

Spiritual reflection
God almost always puts opposite personality types together in a marriage, not to frustrate them, but to allow the strengths of each spouse to balance the weaknesses of the other.

However, it is not easy to see beyond the differences and begin working toward common goals as a team.

In the New Testament, Jesus draws an interesting parallel between the way people handle money and the way they handle spiritual matters.

In fact, the way people handle money very well could be the best outside reflection of their true inner values. “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:21). God uses money in the lives of any couple to draw them closer together.

In contrast, Satan wants to drive a wedge between a husband and wife. Why? In hopes that the resultant turmoil will drive them away from God.

Ours not mine
In a marriage, there is no “my money” and “your money” or “my debts” and “your debts.” There is only our money and our debts.

A couple cannot be one if they separate their lives by separating their finances.

God will bring a couple closer if, from the very beginning, they establish God's Word as their financial guide and then follow those principles.

A marriage is not a 50/50 relationship, as many people think. It is a 95/5 relationship on both sides.

Each must be willing to yield 95 percent of their rights to their spouses. If they are not willing to do that, it will not work.

No viable marriage can survive a "his or her" relationship for long, because it is totally contrary to God's plan.

Couples should avoid having separate financial anything, including checking accounts, because when they develop a his money/her money philosophy, it usually leads to a him-versus-her mentality.

Unwillingness to join all assets and bank accounts after marriage is perhaps a danger signal that unresolved trust issues could still be lingering or developing in the relationship.

Budgeting can be difficult, if not impossible, when spouses do not agree on basic money management principles. Therefore, they should make all budgeting decisions together.

They also need to agree to hold each other accountable for meeting their financial goals, and devise a plan for regular evaluation of how well they are succeeding.

The couple should come to an agreement on the amount of money that can be spent without first checking with each other. The specific amount will depend on the budget category and the couple's particular circumstances. “Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor. For if either of them falls, the one will lift up his companion. But woe to the one who falls when there is not another to lift him up” (Ecclesiastes 4:9-10).

Practically speaking, only one person should keep the books.

Even though one person primarily handles balancing the checkbook, both should be fully trained and able to do it.

There is nothing wrong with the wife handling the finances in the family if she is the better administrator, but God still holds the husband accountable for the ultimate decisions.

When there is an impasse, the wife must yield to her husband and allow the Lord to work it out. As they work together, encouraging one another, God will show them His favor and grace.

Nevertheless, being responsible as the leader does not mean the husband is a dictator; the couple should discuss and agree on financial management.

Both spouses should be involved in paying the monthly bills. Doing so will keep both fully aware of their financial status.

January 18, 2005

by Crown Financial Ministries

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Monday, December 01, 2008

10 Reasons You're Not Rich

Many people assume they aren't rich because they don't earn enough money. If I only earned a little more, I could save and invest better, they say.

The problem with that theory is they were probably making exactly the same argument before their last several raises. Becoming a millionaire has less to do with how much you make, it's how you treat money in your daily life.

Here are 10 possible reasons you aren't rich:
You care what your car looks like: A car is a means of transportation to get from one place to another, but many people don't view it that way. Instead, they consider it a reflection of themselves and spend money every two years or so to impress others instead of driving the car for its entire useful life and investing the money saved.

You feel entitlement: If you believe you deserve to live a certain lifestyle, have certain things and spend a certain amount before you have earned to live that way, you will have to borrow money. That large chunk of debt will keep you from building wealth.

You lack diversification: There is a reason one of the oldest pieces of financial advice is to not keep all your eggs in a single basket. Having a diversified investment portfolio makes it much less likely that wealth will suddenly disappear.

You started too late: The magic of compound interest works best over long periods of time. If you find you're always saying there will be time to save and invest in a couple more years, you'll wake up one day to find retirement is just around the corner and there is still nothing in your retirement account.

You don't do what you enjoy: While your job doesn't necessarily need to be your dream job, you need to enjoy it. If you choose a job you don't like just for the money, you'll likely spend all that extra cash trying to relieve the stress of doing work you hate.

You don't like to learn: You may have assumed that once you graduated from college, there was no need to study or learn. That attitude might be enough to get you your first job or keep you employed, but it will never make you rich. A willingness to learn to improve your career and finances are essential if you want to eventually become wealthy.

You buy things you don't use: Take a look around your house, in the closets, basement, attic and garage and see if there are a lot of things you haven't used in the past year. If there are, chances are that all those things you purchased were wasted money that could have been used to increase your net worth.

You don't understand value: You buy things for any number of reasons besides the value that the purchase brings to you. This is not limited to those who feel the need to buy the most expensive items, but can also apply to those who always purchase the cheapest goods. Rarely are either the best value, and it's only when you learn to purchase good value that you have money left over to invest for your future

Your house is too big: When you buy a house that is bigger than you can afford or need, you end up spending extra money on longer debt payments, increased taxes, higher upkeep and more things to fill it. Some people will try to argue that the increased value of the house makes it a good investment, but the truth is that unless you are willing to downgrade your living standards, which most people are not, it will never be a liquid asset or money that you can ever use and enjoy.

You fail to take advantage of opportunities: There has probably been more than one occasion where you heard about someone who has made it big and thought to yourself, "I could have thought of that." There are plenty of opportunities if you have the will and determination to keep your eyes open.

by Jeffrey StrainWednesday,
October 1, 2008 provided by
Copyrighted, TheStreet.Com. All rights reserved

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

A Remarkable Quote on Marriage

Here is a thought from John MacArthur that I found in a book I'm reading:

"No person deserves salvation, forgiveness, and a place in God’s kingdom, but Christ made the greatest sacrifice for the most unworthy people. The contrast is incredible: An absolutely holy, righteous God made the greatest, most magnanimous sacrifice for the vilest of all people. Husbands, don’t tell me about your wife’s problems that make it hard to love her – you’re not far removed from your wife as God was from sinners, yet He loved you. Your wife may be a sinner, but so are you. Don’t lose that perspective. "

He goes on to say,

"Men who explain away their difficult marriages by claiming they no longer love their wives are being disobedient to God’s command."

Taken from Devine Design by John MacArthur

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Dave's Thoughts About the Election

Dave, which bozo should I vote for in this election? Who’s going to fix the economy? Who’s going to give me the most money?

Well, I’m here to remind you that you’re going to fix the economy because your personal economy is up to you. It's not Washington's job to fix what's going on with you. If you are waiting on Washington to change something, you've got a long wait!

You’re going to give yourself money as a result of your hard work and persistence. Waiting for money to be taken from others and given to you is a spirit of envy, and it's wrong.

I’m not here to tell you who to vote for. But I am here to tell you that the government doesn’t have the capacity to fix your problems. Washington is full of bozos, and I am doing my part to send a lot of them home!

This economic mess is a reality, but we can each only control one thing—our reactions. Does this stuff define you? Only if you let it. The weird thing about the economy is that YOU are the economy! I learned this the hard way. I got my real estate license when I was 18 years old. By the time I was 21, interest rates had risen to 17% fixed-rate … and I still sold houses. How? Because I worked hard.

As bad as USA Today meant a recent article to be about what we think of the suffering economy and upcoming election, I think it’s rather encouraging that no one thinks that President Bush or Barack Obama or John McCain can fix the economy!

This may be the beginning of the biggest level of prosperity this nation has ever known if we don’t look to a candidate to fix our lives. How about we say, "I’m going to vote for the candidate who’s going to fix the nation. I’m going to fix my life, so leave me alone and let me do my own thing."

Don't react based on fear or panic. Don’t look to Washington to fix your problems. Why would you do that? At what point did Bill Clinton fix any of your problems? At what point did he cause you to prosper? At what point did George Bush end your career or cause you to prosper? When did Ronald Reagan fix your problems? Guess what? I liked Reagan the most, and while he was in office, I hit rock bottom and filed bankruptcy—but it wasn’t Reagan’s fault. It was mine.

So when you go to the polls in a few days to cast your vote, don’t get caught up in following a political party or candidate without knowing the issues they support. Do your research so you can make educated decisions.

From: Dave Ramsey

Friday, October 24, 2008

Why Vote?

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Free Taco!!!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Today I Turn Thirty!

At this very moment, at 9:40 a.m., on October 2nd, I celebrate my 3oth birthday.

It was a Monday Morning back in 1978 when I entered this world. I don't remember that day or the events that unfolded. I am just glad that my parents allowed me to be here.

I don't feel any different today than I did yesterday. But I have grown and changed over those years.

I remember getting licks with a yard stick in Mrs. Halls Kindergarten class. I remember picking up my 2nd grade teacher (I was a strong one). I remember the leprechauns destroying our class that year as well.

I remember 1988 at the age of ten when our school was destroyed by three tornadoes. We spent the next year having school in a church. I also lost a great-grand mother that year.

It was the summer of 1990 that for the first time in 6 years that Lance Gipson and I didn't win the 3 legged race at field day.

It was in 1996 when my grandfather passed away.

I graduated high school in May 1997 and attended Boys State that summer.

I was married at the age of 22 in December 2000 to Phoebe. We moved away from family and started anew.

In 2001, I lost two great-grandparents. One was 96 and the other was 85.

Several years passed as we experienced marriage. At the age of 27, we had our first child Anna. That went well and then at the age of 28 we had another, Eli.

In my thirty years, I've been to Kansas, Virginia, Washington DC; Kansas City (3x), St Louis (5x), Branson (too many x's) and other Missouri cities; Houston (2x), Dallas (2x), San Antonio (2x), Texas; Louisville, KY; New Orleans, LA; Nashville (2x), Memphis (many x's), Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge, Tennessee; Springfield, Chicago, IL; San Diego, CA; Orlando, FL; and all across AR.

These are a few of my memories over the past 30 years. My memory has changed the most. I'll probably think of a few more things later. I found a few trivial tidbits on the Internet today about the year I was born. I hope you enjoy them.

Cost of Living 1978

Yearly Inflation Rate USA7.62%
Year End Close Dow Jones Industrial Average 805
Interest Rates Year End Federal Reserve 11.75%
Average Cost of new house $54,800.00
Average Income per year $17,000.00
Average Monthly Rent $260.00
Cost of a gallon of Gas 63 cents
1LB of Bacon$1.20
Dozen Eggs 48 Cents


Illinois Bell Company introduces first ever Cellular Mobile Phone System

Popular Culture 1978

Popular Films

Saturday Night Fever
Close Encounters of the Third Kind
National Lampoon's Animal House
Jaws 2
Heaven Can Wait
Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope
Revenge of the Pink Panther
The Deer Hunter

Popular Musicians

Bee Gees with " Night Fever and Stayin Alive "
Paul McCartney and Wings
John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John
Rolling Stones
Commodores with " Three Times a Lady "
Boomtown Rats

Popular TV Programmes

Happy Days
Little House on the Prairie
The Rockford Files
Good Morning America
Jim'll Fix It (UK)
Saturday Night Live
Wheel of Fortune
Charlie's Angels
Quincy, M.E.
The Muppet Show
The Love Boat
Three's Company

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Do You Like Free Food!!!

I don't know anyone who doesn't like to eat. But how much more do we enjoy free food.

I have found a few restaurants that give you free food just for your email address. You sign-up to receive their email specials and they thank you with a free meal. You can unsubscribe your email at any time, but if you keep it active you'll get discounts and might get free meals on your birthday too.

Here are a few links to the free food:

Ryan's Buffet

Zaxby's Chicken

Captain D's

Famous Dave's BBQ

Baskin Robbins


Tony Roma's

Firehouse Subs

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Saving While Shopping

Here are four easy ways to save money on your groceries:

1. Don't Go Often
The more you go the more you spend. Try to limit your trips to once a week or longer if possible. Plan ahead!

2. Use Coupons
Use coupons as much as you can. But be careful, companies use coupons to get you to buy things that you normally don’t. There are still places that will double the coupon values.

3. Price Match
This is where we save the most. We get the local sales ads from all the grocers in town and make a list of the best prices. Once we complete our list, we are off to Wal-Mart. They will match all competitors’ ads.

4. Go Without the Children
This idea just gives you more time and patience to find the best deals. When you children are with you, they encourage you to grab and go. Without them you have the time to get what you need and think through your purchases.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Free Chicken Strips

Free Chicken Strips
Today Only!!!!
Wear your favorite football team or school logo and get Three Free Strips!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Warning Your Children

Let me take you to a passage in the Old Testament that will further define this heart-centered instruction. In Deuteronomy, chapter 6, you have a very important formula given here for the raising of children. Deuteronomy 6, is really a chapter instructing parents. Down in verse 7, it talks about teaching them diligently to your sons. This is all about family instruction, a very, very important chapter. It refers to instructing sons again several times later in the chapter. Now, as you bring them up and as you teach them and as you instruct them, what do you teach them?

Let’s start at the beginning, verse 4:

1. The first thing you teach them in this section, "Hear, O Israel: the Lord is our God, the Lord is one!" The first thing you teach them is to recognize the true God and that He is sovereign. To recognize God, the one God, the Lord who is one. That’s the first thing: teach them about God.

2. Secondly, verse 5, teach them to love God. "And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your might." That’s the second essential in bringing them up.

3. Thirdly, verse 6, teach them to obey God. "And these words which I am commanding you today shall be on your heart and you shall teach them diligently to your sons." Teach them about God. Teach them to love God with all their heart and soul and might and teach them to obey God, all his commands.

4. Then fourthly, teach them to follow your example. Verse 7, "You shall teach them diligently to your sons and talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up…" In other words, show your children that at all times in your life, all experiences in your life, on the tip of your tongue always, is the Word of the Living God. Let them see that your life is dominated by divine truth.

Let them see all of life as a classroom—every occasion in life, an opportunity to teach…every experience in life, an opportunity to point them to heaven. Everything that happens to them is a path back to Scripture. Jesus was the absolute Master at drawing spiritual reality from the world around him—from water, from fig trees, from mustard seeds, from birds, and bread, and grapes, and pearls, and wheat, and tares, and cups, and platters, and nets, and dinners, and vineyards, and foxes, and men, and women, and light, and dark…everything that happened in life opened up a window on divine reality. I must sensitize my children to see the hand of God and hear the voice of God and the "print" of God in every flower, every rock, every mountain, the sea, the sky, the babbling brook, the whispering trees, the cricket’s chirp, the roaring waterfall, the gentle slap of the surf, the fragrance of a flower, salt air, little babies, fresh hot berries, hot buttered baked bread, a puppy, a squirrel, grandma, and on it goes. Everything in life is a classroom to draw them back to God.

Also, it is essential in bringing them up, verses 8 and 9, that they be reminded repeatedly about these truths. Reminded about the true God, about loving God, and about obeying God, and about following your example. How do you do it? "Bind them as a sign on your hand and they shall be as frontlets on your forehead. Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates." All of that—simply ways to say keep the reminder going all the time, constantly, constantly, at all times. Have it, as it were, at the front of your mind. Have it right on your hands. Put it on the doorposts of your house and on your gates so that you are incessantly taking them back to the truth of God.

Then, one other lesson: teach them to be wary of the world around them. Verse ten, "Then it shall come about when the Lord your God brings you into the land which He swore to your fathers—Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob—to give you great and splendid cities which you didn’t build and houses full of all good things which you didn’t fill and hewn cisterns which you didn’t dig…" In other words, they’re going to take over a very advanced civilization already in place, "…vineyards and olive trees which you didn’t plant and you shall eat and be satisfied. Then, watch yourself lest you forget the Lord who brought you from the land of Egypt out of the house of slavery." Warn your children that when they get out in the world and they begin to see all that’s there and they begin to touch, and taste, and explore, and sense, and experience, that they not forget God. Teach them about the true God. Teach them to love Him with all their heart, with all their soul, with all their might. Teach them to obey Him. Teach them to follow your example. Show them that life is a classroom no matter what the scene. Constantly remind them of those things which are precious to them and to you and teach them to be wary of the world.

It was said of Eli’s sons in I Samuel, this tragic statement, "His sons brought a curse on themselves and Eli did not rebuke them." If you read the sad, sad story of Eli’s family, you have the key right there. It wasn’t because of something he did to them, it was because of what he didn’t do. He did not warn them.

The Minnesota Crime Commission says this, "Every baby starts life as a little savage. He is completely selfish and self-centered. He wants what he wants when he wants it—his bottle, his mother’s attention, his playmates’ toys, his uncle’s watch. Deny him these wants and he seizes with rage and aggressiveness, which would be murderous, were he not so helpless. He’s dirty. He has no morals, no knowledge, and no developed skill. This means that all children are born delinquent. If permitted to continue in their self-centered world of infancy, given free rein to their impulsive actions to satisfy each one, every child will grow up a criminal, a thief, a killer, and a rapist." Not bad from the Minnesota Crime Commission. What they’re describing is what? Depravity.

Taken from:
A Crash Course in Christian Parenting
by John MacArthur
Copyright 1997