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Use What’s In Your Hand

For the past few weeks, I have been chronicling the Smart Money, Smart Kids book because I have believe strongly in placing a firm foundation for our children to grow on. Something that may have come across your mind or even the mind of the passerby who doesn’t know about that foundation and that is; what if I don’t have the money to teach my children or what if all my children are grown and out of the house? Like anything in life, I like to connect the dots with the Word. As Godly fathers (and mothers), we want to do what is best for our kids and there’s no question about it. There are times that we feel that we just don’t have the resources available to give our children the education in life that they need.

I had one of those moments when I was writing a post recently when a friend of mind was writing a message for his church. He went to the scripture in Exodus 4 where Moses was before God and God was instructing him to go to Egypt to free His people. Moses came up with excuse after excuse for why he wasn’t qualified and why he couldn’t fulfill what God had called Him to do. First he said, “what if they do not believe me or listen to me and say “The Lord did not appear to you?” God’s response? “What is your hand?”

I would be like “um, excuse me?” But here is what transpired next;

“A staff” he replied. “The Lord said, ‘Throw it on the ground.’ Moses threw it on the ground and it became a snake, and he ran from it. Then the Lord said to him, ‘ reach out your hand and take it by the tail.’ So Moses reached out and took hold of the snake and it turned back into a staff in his hand. ‘This’, the Lord said, “is so that they may believe that the Lord, the God of their fathers – the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob – has appeared to you.”

God didn’t call Moses to go to Egypt after he went and got right with God or when he had enough money, but with what he already had in his hand. Let me encourage you, friend that you can do anything that God has put into your heart to do at no matter where you are in the race of life.

Go ahead…. Use what’s in your hand and go for the Promised Land.

Smart Money Smart Kids by Dave Ramsey & Rachel Cruze

 
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Posted by on April 24, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

Blessings and Curses

“I call heaven and earth to witness this day against you that I have set before you life and death, the blessings and the curses; therefore choose life, that you and your descendants may live.” Deuteronomy 30:19 AMP

I am super stoked about today. Today is the day that I have been waiting for for the last month. This is the launch date for the Smart Money, Smart Kids book! I know many of you have been following this blog for a while and have been reading about this great book.  There are a few that may have wondered “what is all the hooplah about this book? Why should I care?”

To be honest, as a Dad we want to see our children be successful adults as they leave our house. The consistent thing that I have read throughout this time of review of this book is this; “I wish I had known this when I was younger.” I have to be honest with you, I am one of those. I want to see my children never go through the financial chaos that I went through as a young adult. The Lord doesn’t see debt as sin.  He doesn’t see it as a heaven or hell issue.  However, if He talks about it over and over through the word, I think it is something that you and I should look at.

What blessings are you leaving your children if, God forbid, something happens to you? Or are you leaving curses? It is certainly something to think about while you are reading this blog. As a Godly Dad, what are you doing to better your family tree? My hope is that not only financially but spiritually that my children will live a long and prosperous life that changes millions of lives.

 

 
Smart Money Smart Kids by Dave Ramsey & Rachel Cruze

 
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Posted by on April 22, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Put the Fun in Dysfunctional Put the Fun in Dysfunctional

I loved this title of Chapter ten in the Smart Money, Smart Kids book. I don’t know one family that isn’t dysfunctional. Like Dave says about those who want to change, “The first step to fixing a problem is admitting that there is one.” It’s so true. Sara and I are fortunate not to have too much dysfunction in our families.

But it is important to tackle the topic of family dynamics when it comes to money and raising kids.
The main thing that Dave and Rachel talk about is getting them grown and gone. You may wonder what that has to do with dysfunctional families. You aren’t raising children, you are raising adults. We are not growing our kids up to stay kids but to become adults. If we raise dysfunctional kids…let us just say Dr. Phil will have his show lasting for decades. I am not saying that we have to be perfect parents and there are times when dysfunction happens just because the child decides to defect. We are all witnesses to the child who was raised in a good, Godly home that completely went weird.
To help, Dave and Rachel talk about many different aspects of the dysfunctional family. I highlighted a few areas to cover their thoughts.
1. Dethrone the Princess. I laughed at this one. Everyone knows someone who has a princess in their home. You know the one who cries and gets every single thing that they demand. Dave makes a great statement; “my best advice is not to have a throne or a princess in the first place.” Every child that tries to test their boundaries and will take advantage of the ones that you give into.
2. Spoiled Kids and Wimpy Parents. Have you ever opened a gallon of expired milk? The milk didn’t cause itself to become spoiled. The person who had control over it left it on the counter or didn’t use it before the expiration date. You and I have responsibilities to get control of our children to help them to become great assets to society.

3.Spoiled or Blessed? I have to agree to with Rachel when she talked about well-meaning people saying that she was spoiled when in fact she was blessed.  Just because Dad and Mom are well off and take care of their children’s needs doesn’t mean that they are spoiled but blessed.  There’s a distinct difference in being spoiled and being blessed.  When you are spoiled, you reek of the after effects of being spoiled.  When you are blessed, every person around you reaps the benefits.

4. Raising Arrows Not Boomerangs.  I loved this section because in today’s society, it is perfectly acceptable for a middle-aged person to move back home and live the rest of their lives with the parents. Now, I say this knowing that some of you do live at home because your circumstances don’t allow you to live out of your parents home.  You may have filed bankruptcy and are trying to get back on your feet and that’s fine. However, this is for those who willingly don’t work and don’t support themselves. Send your children out in the world like an arrow instead of boomeranging back into the home.

Dave and Rachel talk about the different types of families from conventional to non conventional. No matter what type of family you are a part of, you can’t expect your children to learn if you don’t take time to teach them the right way.

Today is the last day that you can get the new book from Dave and Rachel at an unbelievable price and with awesome perks.

Smart Money Smart Kids by Dave Ramsey & Rachel Cruze

 
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Posted by on April 21, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

One Sacrifice

One Sacrifice

“Whereas this One [Christ], after He had offered a single sacrifice for our sins [that shall avail] for all time, sat down at the right hand of God, Then to wait until His enemies should be made a stool beneath His feet.For by a single offering He has forever completely cleansed and perfected those who are consecrated and made holy…..He then goes on to say, And their sins and their lawbreaking I will remember no more.” Hebrews 10:12-14 ; 17 AMP

Today, we celebrate the risen Christ.  From today, you are forgiven. You never have to go back and ask to be forgiven. It was this one sacrifice on the cross that you and I enjoy the benefits of God’s kingdom. It is finished for He is risen!

 

 
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Posted by on April 20, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

Contentment Breeds Satisfaction

When Dave and Rachel touched on this topic in the book, I was hooked. We currently are battling this with our girls. It seems that no matter what you do, someone is unhappy. I laugh because it is no different from you and me with God. I am going through this right now. I know you all are perfect and holy, however, I still have to work this thing every day. It’s not that I am not grateful for what God has done. But I struggle with being happy where I am because I have a dream for our family. Then I went and read this book which spoke to me on how I could combat that.

No Mercy

With the typical Davism, Dave says to “show the enemy no mercy.” Discontentment is a disease that we should consider the enemy. It gets into the very core of a person and causes them to become unhappy and bitter.  How do you get rid of it? “Surgically remove it”, Dave says.  “Remind your kids that owning stuff is fine, but when your stuff owns you, when you define yourself by a purchase or an amount of money, you are on the road to becoming a disgusting human being.” Okay, so that sounds a little harsh but what he’s getting at is that it is toxic.

Don’t Join the Enemy

It’s real easy for you or me to get sucked into the media of the “I want” bug. However, if you allow it to happen, you will become exactly what you don’t want to. Paul talks about that in Romans 7:15 by saying, “I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate.

Teachable Moments

Something that I am learning, as a parent, is that life is full of teachable moments.  For an example, Maleah just earned the ability to buy something that she has wanted for a long time. Instead of buying it on her behalf, which would have been easier, we sought out the moment.This great couple decided to help us with that when they sold the item. We met at a place to pick it up and the woman explained everything to Maleah that she was going to sell her. She then gave Maleah the option to buy or to pass.  Of course, she’s 5 so she bought it, but it was a teachable moment. When you save money, you get to buy something with it. At the same time, we are showing our children the art of giving. It breaks the chains of discontentment…well, almost. We are still working on that one.

Change Their Perspective

This is an important one. Rachel talks about this regarding a trip that she took to Peru. She talked about a time when she gave some stickers to a little girl who just lit up her world. It was something simple, but it was something that left an impact on her life. Use opportunities and teaching moments to change their perspective.  Maleah is slowly catching onto this one. I heard her say about a situation the other day, “it could always be worse.” It kind of caught me off guard and no one else really noticed it but I sure did.

The rest of the chapter, you are going to have to read on your own because it will challenge you to help your children get out of this disconentment.

Did you know that we are only one week away from launch day for the Smart Money, Smart Kids book? Where did the time go? Don’t waste time waiting to order this book because you have a week left to take advantage of these awesome gifts for pre-ordering! Click below to order.

Smart Money Smart Kids by Dave Ramsey & Rachel Cruze

 
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Posted by on April 15, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Don’t Graduate from IOU

I remember it like yesterday. I had great aspirations to go to the University of Memphis to get my business degree and open up a coffee shop while heading for my Master’s. Such a great plan, right? The only problem is that I try to do it the “easy” way. I took out student loans to fund it. Wait. That’s not the problem. I had to quit I didn’t have any more loans to get after I lost my job. Did I finish? Nope.
 
Let’s fast forward a few years later. I filed bankruptcy with a bunch of debt. Guess what debt wouldn’t go on the bankruptcy? The student loan. Really? Yep. Something I learned that I didn’t get while I was at the University of Memphis was this; you can borrow your way to education…especially when it will not secure a job for you. There is not statistical correlation to your little Junior or Junette getting a job because he/she has a degree. There are currently millions of people with Master’s degrees that are working the battlefield called fast food. Not to say that education isn’t important. Right now, I am currently finishing up the Associates side of my degree. I am doing it on scholarships now. I am also debt free now. Going into student loan debt did not help me to graduate but it hindered me.
 
I know, you’re thinking if you have children about sending those cherubs to school (or even going back to school yourself) and if you can’t take out a loan then what can you do. Dave Ramsey and Rachel Cruze give some great advice on how to fund your cherub’s education in the new Smart Money, Smart Kids book.
 
• Savings – ESA (Education Savings Account) which will allow you to put $2,000 per year per child. You can have it auto debited each month (166.66) into that account. What rocks? If you start from 0 to 18, you can save (with interest being approximate) 126,000. Good news? It grows tax free.

 
• The 529 Plan – It’s the big brother of the ESA and will allow you to put more into it in a mutual fund.
 
• Choose a State School – Most out of state schools charge an expensive fee for you going to another college out of state. There are some exceptions to the rule (some states have clauses where they will waive it for certain states. Look into it with the college you are looking to send your child to).
 
• Scholarships- There are millions of dollars that go untapped every year for college students. For an example, I saw an ad in the paper to apply for a scholarship program through my school. I went online and filled out all the applications that I could fill. One of them that I did win was a bank scholarship that wasn’t advertised publically. You have to go and search for them.
 o There are some programs that you can buy to search these out. I am not skilled in these. However, do your research and check them out.

 • FASFA- Proceed with caution but you can get a Pell Grant and other scholarships from this program. That’s how I was able to attend completely debt free the 2nd go around. Becareful not to choose the one where you have to pay it back.

 • Pedigree- Many well meaning parents and some students believe that going to Yale or some high end school will ensure that someone will get a great job. This is a myth. There are schools that are less pricey and will save you money yet give you the same amount of education.

 
Our children are currently being taught the value of money and education. They are pretty young, but I know that they will remember when they go to school that it pays to go without debt. They won’t have a problem going to school without worrying about having to pay for it for years and years. I heard Dave Ramsey say often that most people “keep their student loans around so long they think it’s a pet.” Most pets….are more fun to play with.

Pssst….. here’s a free book from Dave Ramsey!

Smart Money Smart Kids by Dave Ramsey & Rachel Cruze

 
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Posted by on April 10, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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The Blueprint of Life

Have you ever had a moment when you were driving somewhere and got lost?  Of course, the joke is that man would rather drive for hours instead of asking for directions that would get him somewhere in five minutes. Wait…men don’t ask for directions. We recently put together a new pantry that required a PhD in engineering.  Seriously, who puts these directions together anyway?  There have to be some oompa loompa who put these things into the boxes and laugh as they seal them shut.   That’s another story for another blog.

The directions that we used to put it together helped us to make it a quicker process. I am sure we would have figured it out without the directions but with them, our marriage was kept in tact.

As I have been reading the Smart Money, Smart Kids book, I have been seeing the thread throughout the book that planning is essential to life.  Linking it with the Word of God, we can see that Jesus even mentions it in the book of Luke 14:28-30.

“For which of you, wishing to build a farm building, does not first sit down and calculate the cost [to see] whether he has sufficient means to finish it?Otherwise, when he has laid the foundation and is unable to complete [the building], all who see it will begin to mock and jeer at him,Saying, This man began to build and was not able (worth enough) to finish.”

Teaching our children about money is the same way. In order to be successful at anything, we have to plan.  Benjamin Franklin is credited with saying “if you fail to plan, plan to fail.” Sara and I have a plan in place to open a coffee shop.  A lot of well meaning people have suggested taking out a loan or just follow our dreams.  Those are all great ideas for those who don’t think about the future or think about what could be.  The stats already stack against the new business owner with 85% of all small businesses failing in 18 months. Why?  Stats show because of cash flow problems.  This all stems back to failing to plan.

Will, what does this have to do with children and money? I am believing that one day I am going to leave this business to them or someone so I might as well manage it well now and plan now while I can. Dave and Rachel talk plenty about budgeting and planning throughout this book. You and I have a responsibility to our children to help them to learn how to budget and plan where their money goes. As our kids are growing up, it becomes more evident to us too.

In a few weeks, Smart Money, Smart Kids will be hitting the shelves. If you pre-order through Dave Ramsey or Rachel Cruze, you get $50 worth of goodies on top of it.

 

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Smart Money Smart Kids by Dave Ramsey & Rachel Cruze

 
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Posted by on April 8, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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