Hope for your financial life and beyond

7 Positive Lessons from Job’s Friends on Helping Hurting People

Ever felt like you had no clue how to help someone who was hurting? It doesn’t matter if the pain is physical, emotional or spiritual. Too often we simply freeze, not really knowing how to best help our friends in need.

Should I give them advice? Try to cheer them up? Give them a hug? Offer to help them in some way? Who really knows, right? It’s simply hard to know the appropriate way to respond so as not to hurt or offend them further.

job's friendsThe Bible records a story for us about a man named Job (pronounced “jobe”) who felt some of the deepest emotional pain one could experience. In his time of pain, three of his friends came to be with him. The initial steps they took serve as an example to us all on how to respond when one of our friends is hurting.

[Read more…]

The Best Solution For Those Buried in a Snowdrift of Debt

In the winter of 2004, we had the fortune/misfortune of visiting my parent’s house in Ohio just before a severe winter storm hit. We had arrived just as the snowfall began and it…just…never…stopped…falling. Snow, snow, snow for two straight days.

van buried in a snow driftBy the time the skies cleared their tiny little town had received over two feet of snow – a kid’s dream but an adult’s nightmare. It had blanketed and buried everything in sight, including our van as you can see by the picture to the right.

Walking through that knee-deep snow I kept thinking to myself, “How will we ever get out of this mess?” It’s not like it’s going to magically melt away. No one in town is going to come rescue us – they have their own snow problems.

In fact, some exacerbated our problem. Thank you snow-plow man for clearing the road and pushing another two feet of snow to our curb.

Even worse, as I started to look at the mountain of snow from different angles the situation seemed even more desperate. At least in the first picture I can still see the van. From this viewpoint hardly anything is visible…

[Read more…]

The Final Destination Is Worth the Pain of Starting Over

Today I’m guest posting and commenting at the personal finance blog Budget and the Beach. Click the link below to read the rest of this post.

Piece of paper reading No Pain No Gain

Image at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Tonya, the owner of this blog and I share an affinity for physical fitness. Her go-to activities are beach volleyball and more recently running, while mine are biking and running. Neither of us train for competition at a world-class level. Our efforts are solely designed to fulfill our enjoyment, keep us fit and produce energy to tackle our respective daily activities.

Accept when they don’t…because we get hurt.

Her injury bug was a bum shoulder that kept her from playing beach volleyball awhile back. My most recent ailment was the dreaded…

Continue reading at Budget and the Beach

Next Post: Happy Anniversary! Luke1428 Enters the Terrible Twos

Prior Post: Debunking a Few Home-Buying Misconceptions

Bad Personal Finance Habits Only Change When the Pain Spikes

frustrated, pain

Are your bad money habits causing pain?

All of us are a mixture of logic and emotion. We think and we feel. The two interact continuously with one another – mind acting upon the emotions and emotions acting upon the mind.

One of the toughest emotions we deal with is pain. We know it’s going to come from various sources and in varying intensities throughout our life. So we prepare for it as best we can, hoping we don’t have to endure great amounts of it along the way.

The personal finance portion of our lives can’t escape the issue of pain. In fact, our habits often facilitate the onset of pain because we make poor decisions with money. We spend too much, fail to pay off debts and don’t plan for what the future holds.

The problem is that we seem to be OK with certain levels of pain. We may get frustrated about it, but most pain is not powerful enough to force us to drastically change our patterns of behavior. Instead, we endure all kinds of abusive relationships, deplorable job situations, poor physical fitness levels and sinful behaviors until the pain engulfs us.

I believe for real change to happen we need to experience pain levels so severe they lead us to scream “I’ve had it!” At that moment, our mind is ready to make changes that will alter behavior and subsequently move us forward.

The “I’ve Had It!” Moment Visualized

[Read more…]

3 Big Victories, 3 Big Disappointments From My 2013

Times Square Ball

Adieu 2013

2013 is nothing more than a Times Square Ball drop from being in the books.

As excited as I am for 2014 to arrive, I’ve been thinking over the Christmas holidays of the incredible year 2013 was for myself and my family. As I’m sure yours was also, our year was filled with ups and downs. So today I’m going to conclude my writing for the year by sharing the biggest victories and disappointments I encountered this past year.

3 Big Victories

[Read more…]

Infamous Days Are Not Show-Stoppers

Arizona Memorial OverheadInfamous days dot the landscape of American history. Gettysburg. Pearl Harbor. 9/11. These were days when our great nation went down for the count. Atrocious, dreadful, unforgivable days, where it seemed like the essence of who we were as a country might be lost forever.

Infamous days hurt.

They raise puzzling questions.

They leave us scarred and frustrated.

They are filled with fear.

They also serve as turning points. They are the proverbial fork-in-the-road of life. In these moments, do we choose to remain on the canvas, bloodied and bruised? Or do we rise to our feet, receive the standing eight count, and continue to press on?

Infamous days also punctuate the landscape of our personal life. A family tragedy. Complete financial ruin. Words spoken that destroy a friendship. They may not be as grandiose in scale as a national event, but they still raise hurts and questions and fears.

When I was in graduate school, through sheer laziness and inattentiveness, I missed the deadline to apply for my internship.

[Read more…]

Change Your Family Tree – Be a McFly

Each Christmas, the church I attend produces a musical comedy/drama to tell the story of how Jesus Christ came to be born into this world. These productions are written and directed by our worship leader who develops each year’s theme around a particular movie title or television show. Over the years, we’ve run the gamut, from “A Star Trek Christmas” to “Castaway” to “O Christmas, Where Art Thou?” Yes, I know, it’s interesting – you would just have to see it to understand. This year I am fortunate enough to play a supporting role as George McFly in “A Back to the Future Christmas.”

Of course, I go through a personal life transformation in the play where my character’s persona changes as the events of time are altered. My wife Lorraine accidentally sets off one of Doc Brown’s experimental time-vortex coffee machines he had left in the care of Marty and Jennifer. In our play, my change was no fault of my own. It was much different, however, in Back to the Future, Part I.

[Read more…]

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.

[Read more…]