Hope for your financial life and beyond

Fall in Love With Work (Again)

Patched HeartAre you in love? Perhaps it’s that special someone you’ve chosen to share your heart and soul with for the rest of  your life. Or maybe it’s that favorite caffeinated beverage you must consume each morning to jump start your day. I’m sure others (not me) are completely in love with one of the two teams who will be pursuing the BCS Championship on Jan. 7th.

What about your work? Are you enjoying the daily grind of your career? That’s a tougher question for many people to truthfully answer.

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What I Learned About Blogging From My First 50 Posts

Blog WorldWe can learn by reading and studying a topic, but nothing serves as a better teacher than experience. There comes a time in any endeavor when you are required to gain that experience by jumping in with both feet. I chose to jump this past July when I started Luke1428.com.

Last Friday, I wrote about the 4 things my first 50 blog posts taught me about myself. Today, I would like to share 6 things my first 50 posts taught me about blogging.

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What My First 50 Blog Posts Taught Me About Myself

shakespeare bloggingOn July 3, 2012 I started writing this blog. It’s taken six months of part time posting to reach this, my 50th blog article. So in honor of this personal milestone, I am writing a two-part series on what my experience has taught me thus far about myself and what it has taught me about blogging.

So, for part one – 50 blog posts have taught me these things about myself:

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How to Get the Most Out of Christmas

I know stores already have decorations on display, but for me, Saturday, December 1st will officially begin the start of the 2012 Christmas season. In the next 25 days, we will attempt to cram more into each 24-hour day than is usually desirable. For me, the annual cramming revolves around two specific lists – my December “To Do List” and my December “Present Wish List.”

The “To Do List” for December is very important for me because as a teacher I receive a two-week vacation as school is out of session for Christmas break. (Not really a vacation because I take care of our four kids.) This gives me a greatly needed window of time to catch up on tasks at home. “Yes dear, I am putting that storm door up soon.”

The “Present Wish List” is all about what I would like to receive on Christmas day during our annual gift exchange.

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Have a Dream? You’ll Have to Change This

Daily schedules can be an exhausting grind. We wake up, hit the morning home routine and life doesn’t stop all day…kids to school…rush hour traffic…(some of you are worn out already)…hectic, mentally draining work-day…kid pickup from school…rush hour II…quick dinner…county rec-league sports practice…evening projects…10 minutes (maybe) talking to your spouse…your favorite late night show…repeat again tomorrow.

But wait, I missed a step in the daily schedule…a step that is crucial to us being able to “repeat again tomorrow.” Our bodies can’t do without it and, if truth be told, it is something we all look forward to everyday.

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A Simple Answer to Election Results (and Other Life Decisions)

On Tuesday, President Barack Obama won a second term in the White House by defeating Republican challenger Mitt Romney. President Obama prevailed despite a laundry list of national challenges that were present in his first four years in office. Here is a short recap:

– Rising unemployment

– Expansion of national debt

– Higher gas prices

– Lower household incomes

– Controversial health care reform

– Government takeover/bailout of an auto company

– Soon to be higher tax rates

– Tense foreign relations (especially with Israel)

Logic dictates these challenges would not bode well for a sitting President. How did he overcome these seemingly devastating national issues? How was he able to convince 60 million Americans he was still the man for the job? The answer lies in a simple word: pain.

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Of Marathons and Money: Recovery Week Edition

Recovery. It begins the moment you cross the finish line. First step, take the shiny, thermal blanket to stay warm. Then, keep walking…drink…eat…stretch. Once you are home, it’s hot tub soak…eat and drink some more…and Tylenol PM so you can sleep. The next few days means no running, maybe a massage, and lots of stretching to relieve muscles soreness. All in all, the physical recovery from completing a marathon takes about a week for most people.

The mental recovery will most likely take longer.

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Of Marathons and Money: Post Race Edition

Success! I completed the Atlanta Marathon Sunday morning in 4:07:54. That time ended up being a 9:23 pace per mile which I was really satisfied with. A 9:30 pace had been my goal. The weather was in the mid-50s and cloudy. We ended up running through several patches of drizzle but nothing to make one uncomfortable.

Overall I ended up 321st out of 982 finishers, placing 38th out of 113 in the 35-39 age group.

The biggest challenge of the race was the physical wall you hit about mile 20. I knew this was coming because I had read so much about it and had experienced it a little bit in training.

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Of Marathons and Money: Pre-Race Edition

When was your last life-changing day? We have these randomly littered at various points throughout the course of our life. Most life-changing days we never see coming…they just spontaneously happen. The day of that spiritual awakening…the day you get a proposal and a diamond…the day of a personal tragedy…the day we get fed up with __________ (fill in your blank) and decide to do something about it. It is the day we realize, “Huh…things are going to be different.” My most recent one occurred on October 15, 2011, the day I finished my first 5K race.

Something about finishing that race drove me to continue running. Now – almost 800 miles, 7,000+ minutes of running, and 3 half-marathons later – I am set to tackle my first full marathon this coming Sunday. 26.2 miles. Crazy…I know.

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“Chew On This For Awhile”

How are you getting by? Are you making an above-board living? Are you putting in an honest days’ work for an honest days’ wage? Is the money you earn done so legitimately?

Or are the increases in your personal wealth due to dishonest practices? Are you cheating or stealing? Intentionally deceiving others in a business deal? Twisting and manipulating tax laws? Hiding money you earn from your spouse? If so, the Bible has a warning for you. And your mouth is not going to like it.

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God Places Us For A Purpose

Are you sick and tired of your job? Wish you could win the Mega-Millions Jackpot and escape to paradise, never to work again? If so, maybe some reflection and a new perspective is in order. Humans were endowed with the nature to work from the very beginning and they could not escape it, not even in paradise.

In Genesis chapters 1-2, we are told of God’s spectacular creation of the universe and all that it contains – the heavens, planets, stars, plants, animals and human beings. God was very pleased with his creation and when he was finished he commanded mankind saying, “…have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth” (Genesis 1:28). And then God did something awesome. He created a garden of paradise – in a place called Eden.

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