Monday, September 16, 2013

Take Time for Friends

If you want to know why there are two smiling fellows in the picture, it won't take much to figure it out. Mike Roux has taught me more about fishing and hunting in a short nine years than most learn in a lifetime. I would be the first to say that any success that I have in the sport would be to his credit.

We had an opportunity to get together last Thursday evening for a quick fishing trip. Mike moved to Springfield last winter and our time together has been limited. I couldn't wait to catch up on his life. From the minute I got into the truck until I got out, we were talking, making plans, and catching up.

I've missed Mike and wanted to make the most of the evening. Mike can flat out get it done in the field and on the water, but I have a way of making each time interesting for him. We like competing, yet I am the one who sets the rules. I find a way of winning every time no matter how well he does. Tonight was not an exception.

I decided that the first to hook a fish would be the winner tonight. I had no idea what was about to happen. As soon as we got into the water I cast, and bammmm!!! I hit a monster. She came out of the water and shook off my lure. We knew that the night had some amazing potential.We tend to have amazing success together and this was the start of a night to remember.

Two casts later, I got the first fish into the boat. I won!! And couple of minutes later I got the second one in the boat. Mike started to catch a few fish. We proceeded to catch twenty-five small mouth bass in a short two hours. It averaged out to catching a fish every six minutes. That is a great time for anyone on the water! Mike ended up destroying me with the size of his fish. He ended up catching three four-pound-plus bass for the night.

We were so excited to be together, having a blast blowing up lines with fish. Hunting and fishing is fun, but there is nothing like experiencing life with someone else. Make sure you take the time to spend quality time with your friends, living life together.

Ecclesiastes 4:21 says,"And if one can overpower him who is alone, two can resist him. A cord of three strands is not quickly torn apart."

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Does Your Paycheck Have A Purpose?

We have been talking a lot about work at Columbus Road over the last few weeks.  The scriptures have taught us that we are created by God for work. Genesis 1:28 states, God blessed them and said to them, "Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground." 

We receive a reward for work. Sometimes it comes in affirmation or a sense of accomplishment.  I find work to be rewarding when it matches my passions and gifts. Most of the time, we look for the paycheck as the reward for our labor. Money empowers us to leverage resources for the priorities of our life. 

When you receive your next paycheck, challenge your thinking with these five simple principles and then take a moment to evaluate how you meet up.

1. God is not a fan of debt. Proverbs 22:7 The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower becomes the lender’s slave.  If you have debt, what is your plan to retire the debt? It is no fun feeling like a slave. By choosing debt we often choose to place ourselves into slavery.

 2. Contentment is key. I find it hard to go to the mall and remain content. For you it may be the car lot or the furniture store. Some struggle going into a home improvement store without coming out with a cart full of "gems". 1 Timothy 6:8 says, If we have food and covering, with these we shall be content. Now there is a verse that could use some consideration. So what stuff are you discontent with?

 3. Start saving. Proverbs 21:20 says, There is precious treasure and oil in the dwelling of the wise, but a foolish man swallows it up. How much money did you save in July? I know that might be a strange question, but when I asked it at a recent men's group meeting, everyone looked at me like I just stepped off of a spaceship. The reality is this: saving money takes discipline. If you did not save anything last month, the chance that you will save something this month is slim to none. 

4. Create a budget and follow it. Luke 14:28-30 says, For which one of you, when he wants to build a tower, does not first sit down and calculate the cost to see if he has enough to complete it?  Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who observe it begin to ridicule him, saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish. A budget is simply a plan. Plans should be reviewed regularly. If God is the one who has the plan for our lives, it would only be logical that our budgets would reflect His plan.

 5. Work hard, really hard. Proverbs 6:6-8 says, Go to the ant, O sluggard, observe her ways and be wise, which, having no chief, officer or ruler, prepares her food in the summer and gathers her provision in the harvest. I love this verse for a couple of reasons. One is that I like visuals. To watch ants work is an incredible thing. They never stop and they work with such purpose. 

So, how is it for you?  Are you working hard with a plan and content with God's provision?