Money

Impossible dream

The original premise of LifeVesting is, what would happen if we applied principles of financial investing to all the areas of our lives?  Some of the things we have explored in the process are:

  • There are four – and only four – things you can spend your time and money on.
  • It is possible, like the Bible’s “Proverbs 31 woman,” to position yourself so that you laugh at the future rather than worry about it.
  • God has an economy and you can be rich in it.

Nearly ten years after my son proposed the idea, it still intrigues me.  Lately I’ve been thinking about some wisdom I got from my friend Kirk the Builder.  Kirk works for a major contractor who has built multi-million-dollar facilities all over the country.  One day we were having lunch and talking about the biz, and Kirk shared some profound wisdom.

In construction, he said, people can pick any two of three options:  good, fast, and cheap.  We want all three, but we can’t have all three.

We can have good and fast, but it won’t be cheap.

We can have good and cheap, but it won’t be fast.

We can have fast and cheap, but it won’t be good.

What intrigues me about that is that the principle isn’t limited to bricks-and-sticks construction.  [click to continue…]

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(A Conversation)

200291528-001The Kids

I’m impressed with your kids. Well, most of the time.

They’re not my kids.

What?

Not mine.

(Gasp!) You mean…

Noooo, not like that!  I’m their father.

Oh, so they are your kids.

Nope. I gave them away a long time ago.  In fact, on the day they were born.

To who?

To God.  He’s the one who gave them to me in the first place.  “Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a reward from him.  Children born to a young man are like arrows in a warrior’s hands” (Psalm 127:3-4, NLT).

Okay, whatever, but they’re your responsibility.

Oh, of course.  God gave them to me for a season to help turn them into strategic weapons for His kingdom. So I feed them, clothe them, and train them.

Train them to do what? [click to continue…]

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Remember when you wanted that whatever-it-was from Santa Claus?  Or your employer?  Or your spouse or parents or educators or whoever… only to get it and be disappointed?

Remember when you thought, “If I could just make this amount of money, I would be content?”  And you did… and you weren’t?

Remember the time you dreamed and dreamed and dreamed some more about a meaningful goal and were disappointed?  But it didn’t keep you from dreaming some more?

Remember when you didn’t have your health or didn’t have any money or didn’t have anybody and it was all you could think about?  Then when health or wealth or somebody showed up, it only served to point out something else you don’t have – and now all you think about is that?

All these and more are examples of something that stirs us, motivates us, alarms us or moves us in a certain direction, but never quite allows us to rest once we get where we think we’re going.

I’m talking about your Driving Force, and yes, you have one.  Maybe more than one. [click to continue…]

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Did you that Visine WILL clean out your nose if you squirt it in?  But neither Johnson & Johnson nor I recommend that you use it for that purpose.  (Don’t ask me how I know.)

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There are two ways to learn by experience – be amazing without realizing it, or be imperfect and realize it.  Either way, it helps to have someone else to help you do the realizing.  The word for that is, “teacher” or “mentor.”

If you’re amazing and know it, fine.  But that’s not learning.  If you’re imperfect and remain clueless about it, that’s not learning either, because you’re still, well, clueless.

The role of the teacher or mentor is to be a “realization specialist.”  Sometimes that means being a passionate encourager.  Sometimes it means being an honest critic.  Always, it means pointing toward excellence and inviting someone to join you on that journey.

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Be amazing in your grace.   [click to continue…]

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No telling how many times I’ve said to someone, “Put this in your oven and let it bake for a while,” or “I don’t have this all sorted out yet – it’s still in the oven.”

I thought I’d share some of the “bread” that’s in my oven right now.  Here are seven half-baked, half-raw ideas I’m heating up.  I may toss ‘em.  I may cook ‘em up.  Put them in your oven too, and let’s see what comes out.  You can help, if you’d like, by sharing your thoughts in the comments below.

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There is no such thing as a porcelain healer.  There are expert healers, wounded healers, bloody healers, spiritual healers.  But if your goal is to look pretty on a shelf or remain detached from the broken, the sick, the wounded, or the dying, you aren’t much use.  For God’s sake, stay out of the way of those who are.

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“The Lord has made everything for its own purpose…” (Proverbs 16:4). If God is purposeful, He must be faithful to complete His purpose.  Otherwise, He’s an idiot or impotent, a scoundrel or attention-deficit, careless or passive.  In other words, if He is purposeful but not faithful, He’d be created in our image.

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Even my dog hates closed doors.

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The Ultimate test of a leader is whether he will “lay down his life for his sheep.” In other words, will he say no to his instinct toward self-preservation and do what is best for the people he leads?  If you must maintain your position, your salary, your perks, or your title at all costs, you are no leader.

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“Have you ever considered how often we judge ourselves by our intentions while we judge others by their actions?  Yet intention without action is an insult to those who expect the best from you.”  –Andy Andrews, The Noticer.

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Having a wallet that’s an inch thick is NOT a status symbol.  (Wait for it… wait for it…  Here it comes… What’s in YOUR wallet?)

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Overheard on “Criminal Minds” a few weeks ago:  “Scars remind us of where we’ve been, but they don’t have to dictate where we are going.”

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Wisdom is Boring

by Andy Wood on January 28, 2010

in Gamblers, Insight, Life Currency, LV Alter-egos, Tense Truths

Wisdom is boring.

Wisdom is a nag.

Wisdom is a boring nag.

Wisdom sucks the life out of the party.

Wisdom is a boring, party-killing nag.

Wisdom asks questions about consequences when all I want to do is enjoy myself.  What’s wrong with a little fun, know what I mean?  Wisdom uses words like “safe,” “abstinence” and “consequences.”  Now THAT’ll get your blood pumping.  Zzzzzzz.  Look, all I want to do is have a little pleasure in my life.  I know there’s more to life than feeling good.  But I can control myself. [click to continue…]

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(A Turning Point Story)

Glavine

Glavine

It was something out of a Looney Toons episode.  The kind of thing you’ve heard about happening, never assumed would happen to you.

It happened to me.

I had gone away on a far journey and entrusted all my worldly goods to my wife and three kids, telling them we’d settle accounts when I got home.

Well, not exactly.

September 13, 2001 – Do the calendar math.  It was a surreal and vulnerable time. I was actually out of town on a consulting trip, when I got a call fairly early in the morning.  My twin daughters were calling, breathless with excitement.  Somebody had gotten the bright idea to leave a cardboard box in front of our house with two kittens inside.

“Daddy, can we keep ‘em, pleeze?  We’ll take care of them, and feed them, and clean up after them.  We promise.”

I wanted to kill them. [click to continue…]

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Okay, all you fans of the amazing possibilities of humans left to their own ideas, it’s time for another edition of Hanukkah Hams!  In case you missed previous episodes, a Hanukkah Ham was named after this, uh, “creative” marketing idea last year.

With all the gloom, doom, and sleepless nights about the economy, I thought maybe we could use a little financial inspiration.

Couldn’t find any, so this is what you get instead…

One of the fundamental truths of the New Testament is that money is “coined personality.”  That is, people can see the “real you” in the ways you respond to and handle money.  If you’re generous with your finances, you’ll be generous with other parts of your life as well.  Same is true if you’re careless, stingy, unorganized, etc.  This raises some interesting questions about some or organizations.  If money is coined personality, we may have a few problems!

A couple of years ago, I walked into a local bank, started writing a check, and told the teller in my best deadpan voice that I needed $30 worth of Federal Reserve notes.  He actually asked another teller, “Do we have Federal Reserve notes here?”  “Ya mean, money?” she asked.

Last month a man in Warren, Michigan figured the best way to get a little extra cash for the holidays was to strong arm somebody and steal theirs. [click to continue…]

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Isn’t it rich?
Are we a pair?
Me here at last on the ground,
You in mid-air.
Send in the clowns.

Isn’t it bliss?
Don’t you approve?
One who keeps tearing around,
One who can’t move.
Where are the clowns?
Send in the clowns.
-from “Send in the Clowns”

No, that’s not the theme song to the next installment of the U.S. Congress.  Then again…

Yesterday I introduced you to a group of Christ followers who were living in a world of mirrors.  The good people of Laodicea were living with the bling, but God had a different estimate of their true wealth.  And in His correction, He revealed some things about a completely different economy that is in operation all around us.  For review, here are the principles we looked at yesterday:

Principle #1:  The root nature of sin is a declaration of independence from God.

Principle #2:  God has a system of economy unlike the world’s system.

Principle #3:  “Economy” is the exchange of all the commodities of life.

Principle #4:  Money has a unique place in the commodities of life.

Principle #5:  It is possible to be rich in the world’s economy and bankrupt in God’s.

So here the scenery changes, and God has some encouraging things to say to His loveable losers: [click to continue…]

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It was the Beverly Hills of ancient Asia.  A center of wealth and high-end commerce.  A medical haven, where people came from miles around for treatment of various ailments.  If you wrote your mama and told her your job was transferring you there, she’d have something to brag about the next day.  This was some place.  And there was a church in town.

How would you like to get a personal letter from Jesus Christ, where the first thing he said was, “I know what you’ve been doing”?  That can be a little unnerving!  But that’s exactly what Jesus said to the First Church of Coolville, alias Laodicea.  He had a few other things to say as well.  Let’s peek at their mail:

I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm – neither hot nor cold – I am about to spit you out of my mouth. You say, “I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.” But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see (Revelation 3:15-18).

Looks like the guys and dolls in Lala Land had a few things to learn about wealth.

So do we.

They thought they were loaded; Jesus said otherwise.  Remember, though, that in spite of its scathing message, this was a love letter.  And in his love, Jesus gave them, and LifeVestors everywhere, a few pointers on His economy. [click to continue…]

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