Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. (1 Tim. 6:17-18)

Thursday, February 26, 2009

48 Reasons I'm still Rich in 2009

In spite of all the negative news about the US economy in the past few months from both our elected leaders and the news media, I still feel incredibly blessed and wealthy. I know that feeling this way is not politically correct these days, but I resolve to stay positive even though negativity flows all around us.

Here are 48 Reasons I still feel rich and blessed in 2009:
  1. I am an adopted child of the King.

  2. I know where I'm going when I leave this earth!

  3. God owns it all and has promised to provide for me.

  4. God keeps His promises!

  5. God's economy does not equal our economy.

  6. With God's help, I can survive and thrive in even the most difficult of circumstances.

  7. I am in the center of God's will.

  8. I am doing what He has called me to do.

  9. My calling is a perfect blend of my talents, abilities, interests, and fun.

  10. I serve a great church.

  11. My pastor and and my boss are the best.

  12. I love my work!

  13. I have a wonderfully flexible work environment.

  14. Our church orchestra is a great, close-knit family that I feel privileged to serve.

  15. I have been blessed with the awesome opportunity in assuming a secondary role of Stewardship Pastor at my church.

  16. My work pays me well.

  17. I have been blessed in developing a side-business that provides additional financial support and a creative outlet for my abilities (

  18. We are blessed to have the ability to financially give above the tithe.

  19. I am blessed with a beautiful, supportive wife.

  20. My wife loves me and I love her with all my heart.

  21. My wife has a good part-time job that provides additional income for the family.

  22. My wife is an incredibly talented singer.

  23. I have two beautiful, intelligent daughters.

  24. My daughters love me and I love them with all my heart.

  25. We are blessed that both my wife's and my parents are still living.

  26. I have two cool brothers...

  27. And two great sisters-in-law

  28. My wife and I both have great extended families.

  29. My family is healthy.

  30. We are blessed to have good health insurance.

  31. We're debt free as of June 2007 thanks to Dave Ramsey and Crown Financial Ministries!

  32. We have a small emergency fund.

  33. We can cashflow expenses, needs, and desires.

  34. My wife and I have a new KING size bed. It's awesome.

  35. We have a roof over our heads.

  36. We have two reliable, paid-for cars.

  37. We have an abundance of clothes and shoes to wear.

  38. We have heat in the winter and A/C in the summer.

  39. We have a washer and dryer to keep or clothes clean and fresh.

  40. Our house has a 2 car garage to store our vehicles and keep them out of the elements (side note: other than regular routine maintenance, I think this is the second greatest reason we are able to keep our used cars going as long as we do.)

  41. We can afford to take time out of our busy schedules to travel to see the various sides of our family on a regular basis.

  42. We can afford to take a family vacation at least once a year.

  43. My wife and I both have cell phones and a home land line.

  44. We own two TVs

  45. We can afford cable and high-speed internet.

  46. We own a desktop PC, a notebook PC, a Mac iBook, and a wireless router to connect them all.

  47. We can afford to eat out for both time convenience and pleasure 2-3 times per week.

  48. I can (begrudgingly) afford to pay my federal and state estimated income taxes, sales taxes, gas taxes, utilities taxes, property taxes, business taxes... (hmmm, I think we're paying too much in taxes!).
I know I could easily list another 48. Maybe I'll post another list next week...stay tuned.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Update 2: Daddy/Daughter Dance 2009

As an update to my last 2 posts, I thought I would share my 8-year old daughter's story that she wrote a few days ago.

Father daughter dance
Jasmine Jones

I was at school working. And all of the suddin [sic] I herd [sic]

on the speeker [sic] I herd [sic]: can we have Jasmine Jones pless [sic]?

Yes you may said my teacher. I went home. I took a shower. I got in my dress.

And we went to the Father dader [sic] dance. I aet [sic] some lossanah [sic].

And a roll of bread. And then we danced. So much fun I said to myself. And I saw my

friends. We playd [sic] together. We did the chicken dance. And we

lived happily ever after. The End.

I have the best kids in the world! These types of investments with your family pay big dividends. Don't miss out on the best things in life.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Update: Daddy/Daughter Dance 2009

Today, I have a brief addition to my previous post, so here's some more of the story:

My oldest daughter is in second grade and has taken to the idea of writing down her own stories and keeping them in a notebook (smart kid; she sounds like her old man!). At bedtime last night, she was working on a story and walked out to the living room to share her story with me, and lo and behold, she wrote down her own version of the Daddy/Daughter Dance story in perfect chronological order!

These special events really do have meaning for your children. Take the time, energy, and finances to invest in your kids, and they will fondly remember these moments for a lifetime.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Storytelling: Daddy and Daughter Dance 2009

Over the last several weeks, I've been striving to invest more time and love into my family. There have been certain activities that have been more successful than others, but for the next few posts, I thought it would be good to share some of my stories.

At the beginning of the year, an opportunity was presented to me through our school system regarding a special Daddy/Daughter Dance on January 30th. I immediately signed up both of my daughters and myself and purchased tickets for our special night together.

Once I purchased these tickets, I really talked up the night with my girls so there would be a sense of anticipation for the dance. My wife purchased special red dresses for them and I ordered special red rose wrist corsages to put the finishing touches on the evening.

On the afternoon of our dance, my wife spent time getting the girls ready and fixing their hair. I changed into my tuxedo, gave them their corsages, and took pictures of them before we jumped into the car and drove to the dance.

Once at the event location, we took this picture with a professional photographer, ate a Lasagna dinner, and then danced together for a few minutes.

Here are some reasons I thought it important to invest the time, money, and energy into this special time with my daughters:
  1. I need to create special memories between my daughters and myself that we can reflect on for our entire lives together. They can also have fond memories of me when I've gone on to be with the Lord.
  2. I need to communicate to my daughters that they are special and Daddy loves them very much.
  3. I need to be an example to them regarding how a gentleman is supposed to treat a young lady. They are 8 and 6 years old right now, but pretty soon they're going to be teenagers going out on dates!
  4. I need to provide opportunities to display love and affection for them to build their self-esteem and self-worth. I've read a number of daddy/daughter books in which the various authors stress the extreme importance of this in order to save them and you disappointment and hardship with all peer pressure and temptations they will face as teenagers and young adults.

I feel rich today knowing that God has blessed my wife and me with two beautiful, intelligent, and healthy daughters, and I pray that I will continue to be a good steward and leader of my own family.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Investment #7 - Invest your energy in winning!

Today, I continue my series "7 Investments that place you in the flow of God's wealth." You can see all of the related blog posts in the series here.

"I play to win, whether during practice or a real game. And I will not let anything get in the way of me and my competitive enthusiasm to win." - Michael Jordon

"Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air. No I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize." - 1 Corinthians 9:26-27

"Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead. I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus." - Phillippians 3:13-14.

The Poor Christian is characterized by a defeated, excuse-ridden attitude.

The Rich Christian is characterized by a determined, never give-up attitude.

Before you can invest in winning, you need to actually determine the "win" in your own life. For example, I believe the Apostle Paul's own personal win was preaching Christ in every part of the Roman Empire where it had not been preached before.

In order to discover your own definition of winning, I suggest taking time to explore your strengths, talents, abilities, and what God has laid on your heart to accomplish for His Kingdom. Use a notebook or journal to record all of this information, and then meditate and pray, asking God for clearer guidance on how He wants you to "win."

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The Pursuit of Happyness - Time and Productivity

In the movie The Pursuit of Happyness, we have a great reminder of what can be accomplished if we focus our energies only on what makes us productive for our employer.

In this movie, actor Will Smith plays the real-life role of Chris Gardner and accepts an unpaid internship at brokerage firm Dean Witter Reynolds that promises employment to only one trainee at its conclusion. Because of Chris's responsibilities as a single dad, he can not stay late at the office each night because he needs to pick-up his son from day care. Chris soon realizes that he needs to make sales calls very quickly and formulates a plan to make these calls faster than the other interns:
  1. He learns to save time by not hanging up the phone between calls. As soon as he finishes one call, he clicks the phone "hook" and immediately dials the next number.
  2. He figures out early on how to bypass secretaries and other barriers of protection in order to talk to the real decision makers of the companies that Chris desires to gain their investment money.
  3. He aggressively goes after these decision makers by meeting them in places outside of the office.

Because of this strategy of fast, single-minded focus, Chris is able to outsell his fellow interns and land the one and only position available at Dean Witter Reynolds.

What makes you valuable to your employer or in your business? Do you have that same singular focus as Chris Gardner that launches you into the realm of incredible productivity?

Monday, February 9, 2009

Investment #6 - Invest time in what really counts! (Productivity)

Today, I continue my series "7 Investments that place you in the flow of God's wealth." You can see all of the related blog posts in the series here.

The Poor Christian stays very busy while accomplishing very little.

The Rich Christian has focused intensity and productivity on their life's purpose.

Here's a great tip that I picked up from author Tim Ferriss of The 4-Hour Workweek: on regular intervals throughout the day, stop and ask yourself this question, "Am I being productive right now or just busy?" It is so easy to get sucked into time wasting activities such as e-mail, phone calls, web-surfing, and mindless TV. If our purpose or mission in life is clear, we need to be constantly refocusing our minds and activities toward what God has called us to do, so that we may become even richer in Christ.

In your business, career, and at your workplace, focus on adding more value to your immediate supervisor, clients, and fellow employees. Adding value to the "right" people can propel your vision and mission exponentially!

Also, learn to leverage time, people, and assets. Delegate any detailed, time-consuming work, and focus your own energy on what makes you truly productive.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Book recommendations on how the wealthy think and act

Two books that have been great resources of information as I have researched the wealthy mindset have been the following:
  1. The Millionaire Next Door by Thomas J. Stanley and William D. Danko. This book can get a little deep on statistical data, but I found it extremely intriguing regarding the behaviors of the "typical" millionaire in America.
  2. The Middle-Class Millionaire: The Rise of the New Rich and How They Are Changing America by Russ Alan Prince and Lewis Schiff. Again, this book is a fascinating account of the values and spending patterns of families with a net worth between $1 - $10 million.

A big part of becoming wealthy is doing intelligent, wealthy actions. We have to know how wealthy people think and behave, and then integrate these patterns into our own lives. The best way to find out this information is to read books such as these.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Investment #5 - Invest in financial planning and education

Today, I continue my series "7 Investments that place you in the flow of God's wealth." You can see all of the related blog posts in the series here.

"A fool may make money but it requires a wise man to spend it." - Unknown

"For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it." (Luke 14:28)

"By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established; through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures." (Proverbs 24:3-4)

The Poor Christian participates in feeling-based spending. He does not have a budget and has a debt-driven lifestyle.

The Rich Christian makes wise spending decisions. He avoids (bad) debt and budgets/plans all spending.

Most wealthy people know how to spend money properly, that's why they are wealthy! Here are 6 simple steps you can take to start acting like the wealthy with your money:
  1. Focus on your balance sheet income and assets.
  2. Establish a family cashflow plan (budget) to control your outgo.
  3. Establish an emergency cash reserve in order to avoid debt.
  4. Search for deals, negotiate, and use the power of cash for purchases.
  5. Avoid debt, especially on depreciating assets such as cars, motorcycles, other "toys," furniture, etc.
  6. Purchase a modest home in the best school district in your area.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Do you keep a Daily Journal?

Did you know that most of the greatest minds in history kept a journal? People like Einstein, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Edison, and Sir Isaac Newton all used a journal of some fashion on a regular basis in order to capture their thoughts, ideas, and creative imagination. There is some correlation between journaling and creativity.
Over the last several years, I have kept a journal that has focused on historical days (such as 9/11 and President Obama's inauguration) and random thoughts and musings for my wife and children to read when I've left this earth. But recently, I've turned to my journal as a vehicle to focus on Big Ideas, mindmaps, and goals that will take the gifts God has given me to a greater level.

All you need to do is purchase a notebook and block out time in your busy schedule to focus on Big Ideas, your gifts and abilities, and what God's purpose is for your life. Over the weeks and years of journaling, review your ideas often, and take action on ideas that can benefit the Kingdom, you, your family, and as many people as possible. This will make you an even Richer Christian.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Investment #4 - Focused Thinking

Today, I continue my series "7 Investments that place you in the flow of God's wealth." You can see all of the related blog posts in the series here.

"It is wise to direct your anger towards problems - not people; to focus your energies on answers - not excuses." - Peter McWilliams

Jesus said, "What a generation! No sense of God! No focus to your lives! How many times do I have to go over these things? (Matthew 17:17, The Message)

The Poor Christian has little to no focus or scattered thinking.

The Rich Christian has tremendous focus on life, purpose, goals, and ideas.

God has designed each one of us with unique talents and abilities. The key is to grow and expand in the areas in which God has gifted us. The world's wealthiest people have capitalized on ONE great idea, for example:
  • Robert Allen - Nothing Down (Real Estate)
  • Rick Warren - The Purpose Driven Life
  • Bill Gates - Operating system and software for the personal computer
  • Warren Buffet - Business investing
  • Dave Ramsey - Debt freedom

I would encourage you to spend time daily thinking through and writing down ideas that match your interests, education, and knowledge - keep a journal. Read and research ideas that you have; today, we have the awesome power of the Internet to help us!

So what's your one BIG IDEA that can make this world a better place for the Kingdom, and in turn make you a Rich Christian?