Hope for your financial life and beyond

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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3 Reasons Credit Cards Didn’t Work For Me

Credit Card TrapTo use credit cards or not? That is the question.

Like most of you, I have placed a good many credit cards in my wallet through the years. I believed what every American hears – that using credit is convenient, it’s safer than carrying cash or debit cards, and there is protection on large purchases. I also figured I needed one for emergencies, and of course to improve my credit score for those all-important car and home loans.

Good people come down on both sides of this question and the purpose of this writing is not to discuss the pros and cons of each position. Rather, I would like to share with you why, after years of using credit cards for EVERY purchase, I just finally decided it wasn’t for me. I just couldn’t get past these three issues in my life.

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5 Articles Worth Your Time (12/15/12)

Reading I cute boyHere are my top 5 reads for the week, plus a bonus read. Have a great weekend!

The Top 6 Scientifically Proven Ways to Persuade and Encourage Others (Persuasion is a science not an art. You just need the right approach.)

The Social Sickness (Are you a social media addict? Check these profiles to find out.)

Multi-Billionaire Warren Buffet’s 5 Tips To Live By (Here are five things Warren Buffet passed on to his son, Peter.)

Are You Ambitious Enough For Success (Is ambition alone enough to succeed? What will you have to give up in the pursuit of success?)

How Much Should You Invest in a College Education? (Lists some factors that you might consider before pursuing a college degree.)

Bonus Read:

How Much Money Would It Take to Lead a Great Life? (Have you ever left a great situation just for more money? How did that work out? Was it worth it? How much money would it take for you to leave your current job, family, or environment?)


A Secret to Success (For Men Only)

We men are an interesting bunch. We love our fast cars, big guns, and BBQ on the tailgate. We play Black Ops II until our thumbs cramp, go shirtless with body paint (or armor and skulls) to our favorite sporting event and engage in all types of extreme activity to push our adrenaline to the edge.

And we love to be successful. Way deep down, inherent in our nature, is an extreme ambition to excel.

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5 Articles Worth Your Time (12/8/12)

Here are my top reads from the week. Have a great weekend!

44 Actions You Can Take Now to Boost Your Energy (What actions would you add to this list?)

How to Ask For a Raise (Want to ask your employer for a raise? This article offers 7 tips on this delicate situation.)

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Change Your Family Tree – Be a McFly

george mcflyEach 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.

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Don’t Go It Alone – Effective Leaders Get Help

Have you ever tried to do it all? In my years of serving in various leadership capacities, I have found this to be one of my greatest challenges…the tendency to take on more responsibility than I can manage. It is a basic and constant battle every leader must face and overcome if they are to maximize their effectiveness.

There are many reasons why leaders try to do it all.

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5 Articles Worth Your Time (12/1/12)

Here are five articles I found particular interesting this week. Enjoy!

The Top Five Regrets in Life by Those About to Die (This is written by someone who worked frequently with patients during their last days on earth.)

Personal Finance Lessons That Should Be Taught In High School (Young people need to have a working knowledge of these six things before they go to college.)

How to Handle Financial Stress (This article gives some practical steps to help you reduce stress in your life.)

Why we buy: The science of shopping (Discusses how merchants spend money to influence us to purchase their items. Gives some helpful changes you can make to avoid spending less.)

That’s Not Frugal, It’s Theft (Have you done these things and rationalized that you were just saving money? You may have been stealing.)


The Best Food Budget Ever

What would it be like if you could go 40 days without food? If you could, that would seriously put you ahead on your monthly food budget. In my family of six, I estimate approximately six weeks of no grocery shopping or going to restaurants would put us to the positive about $1,800. (I know…we don’t coupon much.)

I think there would be a revolt in my house if I tried suggesting this and rightly so. None of us could naturally go this long without eating…unless maybe we had a supernatural meal to sustain us.

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5 Articles Worth Your Time

Here are five articles I read this week that you might find interesting.

I Believe and Am Thankful. (This article is from Erick Erickson, editor of RedState.com. He discusses 1) Marco Rubio’s response/dodge to an evolution question from GQ magazine and 2) highlights some problems Christians conservatives need to overcome with the media and in politics.)

The Hard Lessons of Building Wealth. (This article outlines five challenges we face and usually overlook when starting new things.)

Communication Gap (Health and money may be the toughest topics for families to discuss. Gives some tips on how to break the ice.)

Don’t Choke! 10 Interview Questions (with Answers) That Will Help You Land Your Dream Job.

7 Habits of Wealthy People.


God Is Doing This For You Today (Psalm 23)

psalm 23Perhaps no passage of Scripture is more familiar than Psalm 23. Here, I’ll get you started – “The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want…” Here’s the rest.

What follows below is not my attempt to improve on God’s written Word. I think He did a pretty good job without my help. Rather, it’s just what went through my mind as I read this passage again recently. Perhaps today, we can stop and consider all that God has and is currently doing for us.

My Reflections on Psalm 23

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