Category Archives: Personal

Drinking from a firehose isn’t always the best way to learn

drink-out-of-a-hose[1]So lately I have been reading a ton of blog posts on biggerpockets.com and listening to just as many podcasts and webinars. It is overwhelming.

I have been learning about buy and hold, multi family housing, buying notes, wholesaling, crowdfunding properties, etc. etc. etc.

Well wouldn’t you know it, I have a chance to meet someone who knows his stuff and potentially grow my counsel of wise elders and of course I screw it up.   Continue reading

Volunteering is a blessing – to you and others

Volunteer-Badge-300x293[1]A little over a year ago I wrote a post about working like a volunteer. I was writing as an encouragement to myself to work as unto the Lord while in the midst of struggling to understand why I was there and if I should leave.

Since then I was given a choice to change my work description and hours or promote myself to volunteer. I choose the promotion. As of four months ago I am officially a volunteer. It has been a blessing at times and a sorrow at others.  I love camp and all those I was working with.

Today I wanted to share my most recent experience as a volunteer in hopes that it will encourage you to volunteer and involve others with you. Continue reading

Teach them to Suffer Well

Passing on What Matters MostGenesis 50:20 As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result, to preserve many people alive.

We have a responsibility to teach our kids, our grand-kids, our friends etc.
It’s a fallen world, life is hard, life is unfair, God is good, God is in control, and just like Joseph, He will actually use the most painful, difficult, sinful injustice, betrayal, everything you go through to fulfill His ultimate purposes if we, like Joseph, say “You know I don’t always understand this – but I’m not bailing out. I’m gonna trust God.”

God I don’t understand, but I’m confident of this – that He who began a good work in me will perfect it until he day of Christ Jesus. Continue reading

Eager in your Heart…

Do not be eager in your heart to be angry, For anger resides in the bosom of fools.  Ecclesiastes 7:9

How often do we as people, as believers, succumb to this? When was the last time that you were not just angry, but “eager in your heart to be angry?” I thought about this verse and what it really says and asked myself: What does it mean to be eager to be angry? Here is just one example of how I have been eager to be angry in the past. Driving to work or to a meeting with a couple people I knew were going to cause trouble, and what thought came into my head? The thought of an argument that has not happened but I expect to happen at some point during that day or that meeting. What do you do when that thought comes along? I play out the argument from both sides, but mostly my own side because I want to be prepared to give the answer that will:

  • Do the most Good?
  • Do the most Harm?
  • Put someone in their place?

Finish the sentence as you would, but think about it.  Are you being eager in your heart to be angry?  “I am just playing out a scenario.  I am not trying to be angry with anyone, this is just the way our conversations usually turn out.” Stop kidding yourself! Say what you like (and I do,) we are becoming eager in our heart to be angry.  This particular scenario ends up with me being angry before I step out of the car and either my day or my meeting is predetermined to go downhill. Now admittedly those times are fewer and far between these days but they still happen on occasion.  That is just one example of being ‘eager in your heart to be angry.” Can you think of other examples of how you are eager in your heart?

Now lets look at the second part of the verse – what is a fool?  Am I really a fool?

I always held to a pretty strict interpretation of this verse: The fool says in his heart “There is no God.” They are corrupt, their deeds are vile; there is no one who does good. Psalm 14:1 My interpretation has always been a fool is one separated from God. However using the limited free access I have to Logos Bible software, I came to see the word for fool in Ecclesiastes 7:9 is not the same interpretation as in Psalm 14:1, but more accurately means Stupid or Insolent as in the following verses:

He who conceals hatred has lying lips, and he who spreads slander is a fool. Proverbs 10:18

The mind of the intelligent seeks knowledge, but the mouth of fools feeds on folly. Proverbs 15:14

So are you being a fool today?  Have you played the fool lately?   Remember that when you are preoccupied by anger you are deliberately keeping yourself separated from God.  Yes, deliberately.  You have a choice.  It is an easy choice to see, but much more difficult to put into action. This is of course only one example of being eager to be angry, but it is the one most easily seen in my day to day.  What about yours?  Are their other ways you are being eager in your heart to be angry? Next time you are arguing with someone in your head over something you have not even discussed yet, remember, Do not be eager in your heart to be angry, For anger resides in the bosom of fools.  Ecclesiastes 7:9 Actively seek peace in your heart with God.  Remember – only by His power can you truly overcome it.   Blessings! Chris

Jehovah-Jireh, The Lord Who Provides

Count Your BlessingsWe just got the appraisal back for our refinance.  It seems the house is currently worth $40k less than what we bought it for even after spending $10k in renovations.  So we ‘officially’ fall into the upside down mortgage category.  So much for refinancing.  I guess we’re in the two steps backward stage of the old adage.

Thank you Lord that three steps forward is the next part 🙂

So this post is really just my putting on paper the things I am thankful for so that I can move through the things that are weighing heavy at this moment.

We all go through trials.  We all have ups and downs.  This is a given.  However what is not always a given, is our response to both.  James wrote:

Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

Right now I feel like there are so many trials to be faced and all at once.  I have had the blessing to live for 43 years at this point, sharing 28 years with numerous people around the world because of the Lord’s work in my life through Monadnock Bible Conference, 14 years with my lovely bride Beth, 12 years with my twin boys, and seven years with my beautiful daughter Anna.  That alone is enough to be thankful for.

But just to help me see just a little more of why I should count it all Joy and why I should be thankful in ALL things, not just the blessings, I am going to spend a minute and recount just a few of the blessings that mean the most to me.

Some of my most favorite blessings include

  • I am a sinner SAVED by grace!  Dude! How can you beat that?  All else pales in comparison.
  • My family are ALL also sinners SAVED by grace.  Now if anything could come close to the first, this is it.
  • Jehovah-Jireh is our God!  Could you ask for a more compassionate, forgiving, jealous God?  I think not!
  • Beth has just successfully come through a two hour surgery and is sleeping soundly.  All went great according to the doctor.
  • We still have the house. The purpose in refinancing was to help pay the bills.  At this point there is no real chance of refinancing and we wasted the money to have it appraised.  Bummer.  But it is still ours and we still have the protection of our home over our head.  Another day I will get on a soap box on how people who over reached themselves were getting rescued by bailouts and now own their houses outright or have considerably less to pay because they were rewarded for being irresponsible.  But not today 🙂
  • There is income coming in the door each week.  I am gainfully and happily employed at Monadnock Bible Conference where I get the opportunity to share Christ with thousands of people each year.  Not directly mind you, but hundreds directly for sure.  I came to camp for the first time 28 years ago this past September, and got my first opportunity to work full time just two years ago.  It has always held a dear place in my heart and many of the people I knew because of camp, helped to shape who I am today.  (Especially shaping the thankful person verses the angry one.)
  • Our children are fed, clothed, and schooled. That sounds pretty simple right?  Aren’t we all thankful for that?  Open your eyes and look outside your city, state, and country.  Did you know that 842 million people in the world do not have enough to eat?  Check out this and other astounding stats at the World Food Programme website.  Or if you really have some time and want to floor yourself, just Google “How many starving children in the world?

Anyway – I have much to be thankful for and should do better at counting it all Joy.

Lord please use this post to help me get a better handle on the blessings in my life and the life of my family.

If you spent the time and read through this entire post, you did well.  If this helps you to take a better look at the blessings you have each day then spending the time to write it was worth it on two fronts.

Thanks for stopping by.  Know that God knows you, loves you and wants the best for you.

Give with Passion!
Chris

Upromise

This is a page of links that will allow you to shop at various online and offline vendors and with each purchase a portion will be put towards our Upromise account.

The Upromise account goes toward the college funds for my three kids.  It does not come out of the money you spend, it is merely the vendors agreeing to donate a portion of the proceeds.  Anyway here are the links:

Walmart

For Amazon – they are stingy and you must constantly see if what you want is eligible.

Forget it – it’s easier to just give you the list at Upromise 🙂

http://shop.upromise.com/mall/category/home-improvement

 

 

Paracord Fun

So lately I have been really getting into paracord projects and it is just fun.  I have learned a bit about the cords, the techniques, the history, the uses etc.

So in order to keep track of what I am finding I thought I would start a post on paracording in general.  I may end up with a category of posts, but for now let’s just start with one post.

So here are a few of the sites and resources I have found that I like.  Forewarned is forearmed – many of these links may be affiliate links. Continue reading

Thank you

Thank you.  This is the day the Lord has made – Let us rejoice and be glad [give thanks].

Thank you God for the gift of salvation through your son.  Thank you to my wife who loves me as unconditionally as can be expected of a human being.  Thank you to my kids – you are a blessing to me.  Thank you to those of you who have been an influence in my life in some way.

Today – like every other day – is a day of thanks.  I will admit This outpouring of thanks was prompted by a blog post I just read from Terry Dean – but it is appropriate.  Terry mentions how easy it is to just take every thing and every one for granted.  You know it truly is too easy to forget to say thank you.

I have so much to be thankful for.  Thank you to my mom and dad for being exactly who they are and for loving me for who I am.  Thank you to my brother who I just never seemed to give enough credit to.

Father God – you are my all and all.  I n You will I put my trust alone.  Thank you for NEVER letting me down.

God Bless you all and may you remember today to be thankful for all that you are and have.

Chris

Go Fish

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-JOOMnWcIGQ

Expanding and Defining Your Ambition

Before you start jotting down ideas on MS Word, let’s first take some time to review the idea of ambition. Ambition is often defined as the desire for “power, honor or superiority.” However, it can also be defined as the urge to “be something or do something.” The term has also been defined as something that “requires full use of your abilities.”

Therefore, you don’t have to be arrogant to have ambition, nor do you have to be seeking power or material things. Having ambition could simply mean you want to use your resources for the betterment of your family or even for the good of all mankind. When you have ambition, meaning you know what you want to do and you know what you’re good at, then you make the process of goal setting that much easier.
Continue reading