Hope for your financial life and beyond

My Fantasy Football Obsession: Finding Life Balance

fantasy football obsession

Hidden Nuggets Series #8

The NFL season kicked off last night with the Denver Broncos playing host to the Baltimore Ravens. The long, tedious summer of Major League Baseball is coming to a close and there is no better remedy than good old-fashioned football. Let’s be honest, MLB doesn’t hold a candle to the NFL (or college football for that matter) in popularity.

It also doesn’t compare in fantasyland.

I started playing fantasy football in 2006 in an 8-team league with some of my friends. I won our leagues’ inaugural championship going 12-2. Since then, I’ve lost in the championship game two other times and have only incurred one losing season. My overall record stands at a healthy 60-36.

If you have never played there is something you need to understand…fantasy football COMPLETELY changes how you watch an NFL game. If you are not careful you may develop a fantasy football obsession.

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If You Had One Wish, Would It Be For Money?

Hidden Nuggets Series #7: “Ask! What shall I give you?” – God speaking to Solomon in II Chronicles 1:7

“Oh, no…not me. My values are nobler than that. Money doesn’t hold that kind of power in my life that it would be the first thing I would wish for.”

Genie bottle

Image at FreeDigitalPhotos.net


Careful Pinocchio.

A respected gentleman in my life circle likes to say, “It’s not the money, it’s the money” in reference to decisions that have a financial related angle. Another way to say that is “money answers everything.” Know where that last phrase is found? If you said in the Bible, you would be right. Look it up, it’s there in Ecclesiastes 10:19.

I’d love to ask Solomon, the writer of Ecclesiastes, what he meant by that. I know money can’t buy our way into heaven and I’m pretty confident he knew that also. It can buy pleasure and perhaps bring a sense of happiness but cannot produce joy. It can construct a multi-million dollar church facility to initially get people in the door but it’s not what keeps them coming back.

His statement in Ecclesiastes becomes a bit more confusing when we realize that Solomon didn’t always think that money was the answer for everything.

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Burn the Obstacles: Getting Rid of the Junk That Holds You Back

Hidden Nuggets Series #6  – “Also many of those who were now believers came, confessing and divulging their practices. Also, many of those who had practiced magic brought their books together and burned them in the sight of all. And they counted up the value of them, and it totaled fifty thousand pieces of silver. So the word of the Lord grew mightily and prevailed.” – Acts 19:18-20

What’s standing in the way of you and an awesome life?

fireA few pounds?

A damaging relationship?

A pessimistic attitude?

An addiction?

A spiritual connection?

Sometimes it’s tough to see what’s holding us back. In general, we don’t have a great track record of diagnosing our own personal issues. Others are much more skilled at pointing out areas of our life that could use some improvement.

Even when we are able to pinpoint the issue, it’s not always easy to alter our course. We offer excuses, rationalize actions and justify our way out of change. We’d rather keep hurting our chances at an excellent life than face the harsh realities of what are our faults.

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Is the Effort to Get Rich Worth It? (Proverbs 23:4-5)

Hidden Nuggets Series #5 – “Do not overwork to be rich; Because of your own understanding, cease! Will you set your eyes on that which is not? For riches certainly make themselves wings; they fly away like an eagle toward heaven.”   Proverbs 23:4-5

What’s the most hours you have ever worked in a week?

hard work to get richOne college summer, I regularly put in 80-hour workweeks shuttling between two jobs. I arrived at the construction site each morning at 7:00 and clawed my way through a grueling 9-hr. day until 4 pm.

In the next hour, I would grab a quick bite to eat, while driving to my night job as a lifeguard. From hammer to whistle, the norm that summer was 13-hr. weekdays. And, to top it off, I added more lifeguard time on the weekends.

The Effort to Get Rich

Was the effort that summer worth it? In retrospect, probably. I learned a lot about work ethic, time management and discipline. Plus, I needed the money for my car payment, work and school clothes and textbooks for my courses in the fall. And it was for only three months.

But there was a great personal cost for all my efforts:

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Attachment: The Giving Killer

Hidden Nuggets Series #4  – ”You shall not delay to offer the first of your ripe produce and your juices…” – Exodus 22:29

1993 JeterMy baseball cards are pretty special to me. My first ones were collected in the early 1980s as rewards after our Little League games. Our coach would give us each a dollar to use at the concession stand when we won. I always purchased a small Barq’s cream soda and two packs of baseball cards. The trip home from the ball field was spent shuffling through the cards to locate my favorite Cincinnati Reds players, all the while chomping on the stale gum from the card packs.

That began a favorite hobby of mine that has continued off and on to this day as I’ve amassed around 12,000 cards. If you came to my house though, you would never know it because for the last 10 years 98% of them have been boxed away in the basement, tucked neatly into baseball card pages and three-ring binders. The other 2% are in the fire safe box, also basically locked away from view.

Every so often, I think about selling the cards, thus ridding myself of the torture of always moving the boxes when they are in the way. Something holds me back though.

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The Benefits of Living in the Moment

Hidden Nuggets Series #3  – “Give us this day our daily bread.” – Matthew 6:11

In what year are your thoughts?

In what year are your thoughts?

I’m a personal finance blogger. It’s my business to help others plan for and navigate through the future. Yet I find myself often neglecting one of the simplest messages Jesus ever gave his disciples.

Focus on today.

Jesus’ challenge to his disciples came in the heart of what would later be called “The Lord’s Prayer.” He was modeling for them the appropriate way to approach and speak with God. He was alleviating any confusion they had as to what prayer should be. (I assume they were confused because they asked Jesus to teach them how to pray.)

So in the middle of the “Our Fathers” and the “Deliver us from evils,” Jesus asks his disciples to voice this line each time they communicate with their heavenly Father – “Give us this day our daily bread.” It’s a powerful request, and it is just as relevant today as it was 2,000+ years ago.

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Sometimes I Trust in the Wrong Things

Hidden Nuggets Series #2 – “Some trust in chariots and some in horses; but we will remember the name of the Lord our God.” – Psalm 20:7

HorsesMisplaced trust. I’ve done that before in an effort to help me get by.

Friendships. Money and material possessions. Love. And, of course, my wide array of incredible talents. (OK…it may not be a wide array, but I have a few there.)

I love friendships. I enjoy money and appreciate the material possessions in my care. I love being in love. When my talents are used to accomplish something great, I’m thrilled.

There is a big problem however, with all these and other external things I put my complete trust in.

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This Little Light of Mine

CandleHidden Nuggets Series #1

Have you ever lost your way? I have on more than one occasion, including this past year while writing for Luke1428. Unintentionally, I strayed from the vision that sparked the purchase of this domain name in early 2012.

It started sometime this past January when I began to incorporate less and less of a spiritual perspective in my writing. My vision for Luke1428 had been to share what God had revealed to me about money and personal finance through my reading of the Bible. It’s littered all through the Bible’s pages, really valuable and practical applications that anyone, religious or not, could appreciate.

I started out gangbusters on that vision.

I ended blog year #1 fizzling out on it.

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