Archive for November, 2008

My Moleskine

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I filled another journal today!  I try to journal each day as I read the Bible.  Some people will journal online, some have applications for their computer, I have my Moleskine.  I love to write. There is something comforting about actually writing on paper.  I love the feel of pen on paper, gliding over the pages as I pour out my thoughts, ideas, and observations.  I organize my journal from both ends.  On the front half I keep my daily Bible journaling.  On the back side I keep notes from sermons, meetings, and ideas that I have for upcoming projects and events.

 

The Moleskine notebook is said to be the legendary notebook of people like Ernest Hemingway and Vincent van Gogh. These things date back a couple centuries. It went away for a while but now is back–bigger than ever.

“My aim is to put down on paper what I see and what I feel in the best and simplest way.”                                                – Ernest Hemingway

It has become the cornerstone of lifehackers and those wishing to improve their productivity and ideation.

Tomorrow I begin again.  Fresh, clean pages await me.  It may sound odd but I have great anticipation for the start of a new day and a new Moleskine.  

Lord, speak to me in a fresh, new way as I begin this journal.

People Spent, I Saved

Today while everyone was out spending lots of money on gifts that will probably be opened and unappreciated I sat at my kitchen table and reviewed our auto insurance policy.  We own both of our vehicles outright and they are not worth more than a few thousand dollars each.  With those two pieces of information I made the decision to remove our collision and comprehensive coverage.  With the deductibles that we were carrying and the value of the vehicles we would end up with very little to show for it from our insurance company if we are involved in an accident.

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By removing the collision and comprehensive coverage I was able to save myself $343.00 per year on our policy!  I have begun to be much more mindful of the money that I am spending and wanting to ensure that when I have to pay out money that it is worth what I am spending.  I want to be a good steward of all that God has entrusted to me (which is all of my money because it all comes from Him!) so I am taking second glances at every bill that we have.  We turn off additional lights around the house, keep the thermostat down low, drive more intentionally to several destinations per trip in order to conserve gas and I only shower when I know I will see people I know to conserve water.  (That last one is a joke.  I have a well that costs me nothing for water and I like to be clean!)

The less money I have to send out to pay bills the more that I have available to help provide for needs around me.

Get creative with your money.  Examine what you are paying out each month and see where you can cut back.  With the economy where it is right now we can all make what we have go further if we look hard enough.

The Reveal

Yesterday I posted about our upcoming vacation to Disney World and how we were going to finally let the girls know about the trip (been keeping it a secret for 11 months now!)  Today we did it.  My in-laws made a little video  (it was really cheesy and they wouldn’t give it to me because they were fearful of their acting debut being made here on my blog) telling the girls that we would all be going.  I knew the reveal was taking place so I set my camera to take shots every 3 seconds.  Here are the results of the reveal.  I love the look on Megan’s face when she finally puts it all together!

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Delayed Gratification

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving.  Tomorrow is also the day that we reveal to the kids the secret that we have been keeping from them since January of this year…

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We’re going to Disney World!

That’s right.  This is the dream vacation that we have been talking about for the last 9 years and it is just 2 weeks away.  We have waited to tell the girls until Thanksgiving so that we didn’t have to hear, “Is it time to go to Disney World yet?” every day for the last 11 months.  It also will give my in-laws who are paying for the trip and going with us the joy of revealing the trip to them.

I can honestly say it has been very hard to keep this secret from them.  Kim and I have been chomping at the bit to tell them and we are probably just as excited for this trip as they will be.  I feel like I’m ten years old again.  I am so looking forward to this time away with the family!

While the wait (9 years) has been a long one, it will be so worth it.  Delayed gratification is a good thing.  We could have pushed ourselves and tried to make it all happen on our own but by waiting for the right timing we have been blessed with an all expense paid trip.

What should you be waiting on?  What are the things that you can look forward to but not push to make happen?  What are the things that you want to do or have that will be that much sweeter when you wait for them?  For me, it’s this trip.  I can’t wait to see the girls faces tomorrow when they hear about the trip!

My Kids Rock!

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This past weekend a few kids got together and baked a bunch of stuff to sell in a bake sale.  My kids were two of those kids.  I love the fact that I have kids who like to serve others.  I also love the fact that they understand the needs in this world and are willing to do some hard work to help bring aid to people in need.  The proceeds of the bake sale went to help drill clean water wells in Rwanda.

One of my personal values is acts of service.  I am so thankful that my kids have acquired that value as well.  What are some values that you desire to pass along to your kids?

Advent Conspiracy

With Christmas fast approaching I wanted to post this video.  

We all have desires for what we want for Christmas.  The bottom line is that most of purchase the things that we want or need long before Christmas comes around (I think that’s the real reason fruitcake exists) which leaves people wondering what to give us as a gift.

This year I am declining all offers of gifts for Christmas, as well as my birthday (December 12).  Rather than giving me a gift of any kind I would ask that you donate to Global Benefit in my honor.  The money that you donate will be used to drill clean water wells in Rwanda, Africa.  Let’s face it, I am a blessed person.  I don’t need anything given to me this year.  However, there are people in Rwanda that die each day because they don’t have access to clean water.  You can help save lives by drilling clean water wells in Rwanda.

Drink Responsibly

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I’ve been drinking this new blend of coffee that I picked up at our Fall Leaders Conference a couple weeks ago.  The coffee is a blend of Ethiopian and Sumatran beans and it is roasted and sold by the Global Benefit Coffee Company.  GBCC is no ordinary coffee company.  GBCC is a side industry that exists to cover the overhead expenses of Global Benefit.  

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Global Benefit is all about engaging this generation to do their part in overcoming the suffering and the hopelessness found in places of extreme poverty and natural disasters. We believe if we all work together, even if it is something small, the cumulative effect can be significant.  Providing affordable shelter, caring for the homeless, providing clean water, finding healthcare solutions, and ensuring children have the opportunity to learn and grow strong in their minds, their body, and their spirit, are just a few things we do.  It’s all about a life that touches a life that touches another life, and the ripple effect continues for generations to come.

My friend, Mark Warren, began this organization several years ago in an effort to assist missionaries that were doing such great work and yet struggling to raise the financial support that they required to continue their work.  Over the years Global Benefit has branched out to sponsor children so that they can receive an education, drill wells in Rwanda to provide clean, safe water to people who have none, and help fund AIDS/Selenium research.  

By purchasing coffee from GBCC you help ensure that every cent that is donated to Global Benefit for drilling well, sponsoring children, and assisting in AIDS/Selenium research goes directly to the need.  The purchase of this coffee covers the overhead expenses of the organization.  

Do you drink coffee?  Why not purchase some from GBCC?  It’s all Fair Trade and Certified Organic.

A Greater Impact

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This Sunday we gather all together in one giant combined Family Celebration Service to make our commitments to the Greater Impact building expansion.  I can’t even begin to say how excited I am for this weekend!  All along we have been talking about how this expansion is for those yet to come – and it is.  Over the last 4 years we have seen over 600 new people begin a life changing relationship with Jesus Christ.  We know that this region has so many more people that need to connect with God.  

“The best is yet to come.”  That’s a direct quote from Pastor Jack Hayford as he shared with us just over a year ago.  I believe this whole heartedly.  God has placed us in this region and shown us amazing favor.  Each person who calls GCC home has the ability to make an impact in the lives of many others.  As we follow the calling of God in each of our lives we see more added to our church body.  As we expand our facility for future generations we look expectantly to the Greater Impact that will be made here in Central NH.

As you prepare for this Sunday’s Family Celebration please be in prayer.  We are asking each person to make a sacrificial commitment towards the Greater Impact campaign.  It’s not equal gifts, it’s equal sacrifice that we are challenging people to.  We’ll see you all at 9:30am this Sunday for a standing room only service that will exceed our imaginations!

For more info you can check out the Greater Impact site.

50,000 Pairs of Shoes in 50 Days

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I wrote here and here about our barefoot experience at Grace Capital Church a couple of months ago.  Souls4Soles is an incredible organization that has set a lofty goal.  Over the next 50 days Souls4Soles is trying to raise the funding for 50,000 pairs of shoes.  By clicking here you can donate $5.00 which will purchase 2 pairs of shoes.  

Can you imagine what life would be like without shoes?  Walking around glass, rocks, metal, and disease with no protection?  Today, 300 million people look down as they walk from school, or to their jobs, or back home.  We can make a real life difference in their lives.  By donating just $5.00 to Soles4Souls we all have the ability to provide shoes for people who have never before owned a pair of shoes.  

This is a huge challenge to meet a huge need!

Donating is easy and takes just a click and a couple of minutes.  It requires no shipping, no wrapping and no trips to the post office. The monetary donation is small with $5.00 buying two pairs of new shoes.  Anyone can click and give, and all donations are tax-deductible.

After 50,000 pairs have been donated, one person (with a guest of their choosing) will be selected at random to deliver the shoes they purchased to someone in need on one of Soles4Souls’ trips to Mexico!

I just personally gave to this.  I challenge you to do the same.

Text

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We are finding that the absolute best way to connect with youth and parents about upcoming events is through text message.  Below you will find links for either parents, leaders or youth please click on the link and spend the next 20 seconds updating our accounts…thanks.

Parents

Leaders

Youth