Hope for your financial life and beyond

Why You Should Never Discount Success When Others Praise You

Have you ever received praise from someone because of a great personal success and then downplayed why that success came? In other words, do you discount or make excuses for personal achievements when people applaud you? I find myself continually tempted to do this even though I know it’s damaging.

woman receiving an award Last month I had my most successful day and month ever on this blog…more page views and revenue than I realistically thought possible considering what I’m doing. When my wife complimented me on a job well done I assumed my best Floyd Mayweather stance and went into defensive mode.

“Well, if it hadn’t been for this and this and this then…”

“It really wasn’t anything I did, it was because…”

“It was just one month…I don’t think it will carry over.”

I sucked her praise right out of the air.

I didn’t accept it.

I didn’t acknowledge it.

Instead I downplayed it and swatted away her alley-oop praise pass.

Why Do We Act This Way?

You’d think we would relish the chance to be recognized for worthy achievements. I love awards and a pat on the back as much as the next guy. But why do we become a downer in the moments immediately after receiving praise for a success?

Perhaps it’s because…

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Technology Is Revealing One Big Flaw That Crushes Our Finances

The world is changing rapidly. It’s moving so fast sometimes it feels like your head is spinning faster than the earth on its axis. You wake up one day and say, “Whoa…what happened? How did we get here?”

technologyThe tough part is when we get the sense we are falling behind the times. It’s as though we are hamsters in a wheel – continually running but never catching up.

This rapid change and our pursuit to keep up is nowhere more evident than with technology. And while it has helped create a great standard of living for us I’m afraid it’s revealing one big flaw we’ve yet to conquer.

A Technological Revolution

I think technology is awesome! It has literally shaped the world, perhaps no more so than in the past 150 years. Just think about the inventions since 1850 that have altered life:

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The Bribe That Fueled the All-Time Greatest Easter Myth

Hidden Nuggets Series #82 – “…they gave a large sum of money to the soldiers, saying, “Tell them, ‘His disciples came at night and stole Him away while you slept.’” – Matthew 28:12-13

Money is at the heart of many cover-ups. Flash enough cash and some people could be encouraged to keep quiet. Make that sum of money big enough and they could even be persuaded to promote a lie.

We’d call this type of gift a bribe. It’s money given so that you act in someone’s favor – usually in a dishonest or illegal fashion.

Bribes have been given in different circumstances throughout history to conceal an action or advance an agenda. In one instance one was used to push an Easter myth that continues to be believed by many to this day.

The Event That Fueled the Bribe

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How Reckless Driving May Affect Your License, Career and Credit History

Enjoy this article today from New York based attorney Zev Goldstein. Just don’t read it on your smartphone while driving.)

When it comes to traffic violations, reckless driving often ranks just below driving under the influence. A violation can affect every aspect of your life, from your job to your ability to attain future credit.

What Is Considered Reckless Driving?

Although the legal definition of reckless driving varies from state-to-state, it’s generally taken to mean driving in a manner that indicates a wanton or willful disregard for the safety of others.

Excessive speeding, tailgating, not signaling appropriately and running lights and stop signs are commonly considered reckless. Distracted driving from talking on the phone or texting behind the wheel can also fall under recklessness.

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How to Enjoy a Life of Guilt Free Spending

guilt freeI would love to enjoy a guilt free life when it comes to spending money. Ever heard the same voice rattling around in your head that I’ve heard in mine. It usually says something like, “Why did you spend that money? That was stupid! You know you shouldn’t have done that.”

When that thought occurs it’s typical to spend the rest of the day kicking yourself and feeling like you’ve done something wrong. That same night might be spent seeking forgiveness from your spouse, while the rest of the month you struggle to figure out how to make the budget cover for your spending decision.

Guilt is powerful. But have you ever stopped to consider why?

6 Possible Origins of Our Guilt

Why do we get so wrapped up with guilt when it comes to spending money?

I think the root of guilt can be traced to several factors, some of which may have started long ago in our childhood.

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Man Shall Not Live By Bread Alone (Matthew 4:4)

Hidden Nuggets Series #74 – “But he [Jesus] answered and said, “It is written, ‘ Man shall not live by bread alone , but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’” – Matthew 4:4

man shall not live by bread aloneMan shall not live by bread alone. You may have heard that phrase once in your life and wondered where it came from. Well it was Jesus quoting a passage from the Old Testament of the Bible in response to a pretty serious temptation.

The Bible tells us that before Jesus’ ministry began he went into the wilderness to pray and fast for forty days. After 40 days had passed the Bible says that “the tempter” (i.e. Satan) came to – well, tempt Jesus. And right off the bat Satan hit Jesus with his most pressing need – physical nourishment.

He goaded Jesus by saying,

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32 Billion In Est. Profits: The Amount Generated by Human Trafficking

Hidden Nuggets Series #71 – “Open your mouth for the mute, for the rights of all the unfortunate. Open your mouth, judge righteously, and defend the rights of the afflicted and needy.” – Proverbs 31:8-9

boys carrying logs on train trackEach year I download a free calendar template from Microsoft to schedule my blog posts. I’ve found it really helps me plan ahead and keeps me focused on finishing my content. Nothing says “Get er done!” like an open publish date on a calendar for which you have not yet written a post.

The template comes coded with special dates highlighted each month. There are the obvious ones like all your major holidays. But they also include “awareness days” like International Woman’s Day (Mar. 8th), International Picnic Day (Jun. 18th), International Left-Handers Day (Aug. 13th) and World Vegetarian Day (Oct. 1st). Curious how nobody cares about men like me who like to eat steak with our right hand at the dining room table.

Those are fun awareness days to be sure but one day stood out to me as taking on a more serious tone. January 11th is Human Trafficking Awareness Day.

Human Trafficking: A Global Problem

I don’t want to come off in this post as someone who routinely has championed for the victims of human trafficking. I’ve never taken up the cause even though I’ve been generally aware that it’s an issue that impacts certain parts of the world more than others. But that little tickler posted on Jan. 11th in my calendar template got me looking into the issue a bit. I can’t help but tell you I was surprised at the depth of the problem.

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Pushing Against Evil: I Have My Basketball Goal Back!

Hidden Nuggets Series #68: “Who will rise up for me against the evildoers? Who will stand up for me against the workers of iniquity?” – Psalm 94:16

Superman fighting Lex LuthorSeveral weeks ago I wrote about being robbed and how we were dealing with the theft of a portable basketball goal at our house. After some investigation on my own, I discovered that the neighborhood kids in the subdivision behind ours took the goal and had placed it in their subdivision’s park area. The big complication to the whole situation was that the subdivision directly behind ours is in another county.

Because I didn’t have proof like a model number for the goal or any personal identifying marks inscribed on it, our local police would not cross jurisdictions to retrieve the stolen property. So we were left frustrated about what to do.

In the end we felt resigned to let the issue rest. It seemed dangerous to retrieve the goal ourselves in that it might incite the teens to take some further action against us. The wise course of action was to just chalk this up as one of those unfortunate life situations that you are forced to stomach.

Before we closed the book on the case though, we had one last route to consider (which some commenters here suggested). Now I’m glad we decided to push back just a little bit more.

How We Got Our Goal Back

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My Go To Bible Verse When I Worry About Money (or anything really)

Hidden Nuggets Series #67 – “…tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” – Matthew 6:34

worry about moneyIf there is one thing I’ve discovered while monitoring my own finances through the years it’s this – the future is friends with worry. It’s inevitable – at some point I will worry about money.

I think a lot of you are right there with me…worrying about money for retirement…worrying about how to budget for the monthly bills…worrying about career options, housing options, how to pay for college, and having enough to buy those Christmas presents. If we are not careful we end up exhausting ourselves when we worry about money.

Worry seems like a selfish act in that it places the whole burden on me. I’m the only one that can make it happen. I have to manage all the details. I need foresight into all the external factors that may arise so that I can juggle my decisions to achieve the desired outcome.

In reality, there is someone in my corner who knows my needs far better than I. And I can rest my worry about money (and all things really) at His feet.

Comforting Words When You Worry About Money

My go to Bible verse when I start to worry about money is actually a series of verses. In the midst of perhaps his greatest sermon, Jesus challenges worriers with these words in Matthew 6:25-34:

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The Biggest Home Security Issue Everyone Is Missing

When it comes to home security issues, we typically think of analyzing and paying for the basics: quality dead bolt locks, an alarm monitoring system, and multiple smoke detectors. Maybe we also purchase a dog for the heightened sense of awareness they bring. These are all commonplace methods to deter entry into the home and keep us feeling safe.

home securityYet there happens to be another major home security issue that is usually overlooked. This one is so big it’s hurting individuals and destroying families. Though we know it’s out there we refuse to take the necessary steps to stop its incursion into our home.

What could be so devastating?

The lack of internet security as it relates to online access of pornography.

Your failure to attentively monitoring the use of technology – mainly the access to apps and the Internet on computers and mobile devices that have become the main tool for the distribution of pornography – may be causing untold damage to your family.

Why the Internet Is a Big Home Security Issue

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We’ve Been Robbed! Dealing With a Theft at Our Home

basketball goalLast Saturday I pulled out the leaf blower for the first of several fall sessions of blowing leaves out of the yard. I went around the side of the house to begin clearing leaves out of our secondary driveway. As the motor roared to life I looked around and something didn’t seem right. It only took a few seconds before the puzzlement lifted.

OMG…our portable basketball goal had been stolen!

You know the five stages of grief people experience when dealing with a relationship loss? I went through all those in about 30 seconds (except I skipped bargaining). Honestly though, after reaching acceptance, I reverted to anger for the rest of the day. That’ll make sense when you find out the details.

So, step 1…inform the wife, so she can experience the five stages herself.

Step 2…get on Realtor.com and start looking for another house. OK, that’s not exactly what we did but wouldn’t you feel that way? Talk about feeling violated and insecure and vulnerable. It’s a sickening feeling knowing people have been traipsing around your house.

We decided to call local law enforcement and a sheriff arrived within 10 minutes. We knew the likelihood of getting our goal back was close to zero but felt it was our responsibility to report the theft. I want to live in a secure neighborhood and the more they know about the area the better.

He asked the basic questions you would expect for a police report. When was it stolen? What did it look like? How much did it cost? How long have you had it? We answered as best we could and then thanked him for coming. Dejected, I went back to my leaf blowing wondering how and why someone would do such a thing.

My Discovery

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