Thursday, October 30, 2008

I need to write an article for The Edge newsletter, so I figured I'd write it here and then give it over to Pat for publication/inclusion, since I usually write that sort of stuff here as well.

How to live in God's provision

God promises us in the bible repeatedly to take care of us. Why then, in tough economic times, do we struggle with provision? I have recently gone through this in my life, when we recently had a child. We made the decision to cut back on a lot of things in our life so my wife could be a stay at home mom, sacrificing her salary. We were living happily and in abundance before, and I am glad to say we are also living in that abundance after little Judah has joined our lives. It really comes down to the definition of abundance, and what we do with what God has given us. You see, God provides. He gives us what we have, and how we use it is up to us. Yes, we have signifigantly less money now. Are we any less happy? Absolutely not. Eating out, spending more money, having nicer things does not lead to happiness- what leads to happiness is having eachother, serving God, being a giving family with what we do have. Often times people find themselves in situations of less provision, but instead of restructuring their lives to enjoy what they do have, they continue to live an old lifestyle that is unsupportable by their finances, or is only sustainable for a short time- something our society has taught us to do, with credit cards, the ease of getting loans, and so on. It is perfectly acceptable in this society to rely heavily on credit, instead of on what God has given you.
I'll make this challenge- if you see your finances getting squeezed, or you feel light headed at the prospect of making due with less, find things that bring you happiness, and ask yourself if it's really the money or spending that makes you happy, or the people you are with- the time you spend, the sights you see. Give more. Giving is probably the easiest thing you can do to enjoy your life- it sounds a little backwards, recieving sounds more fun sometimes, but blessing others with what little you have is more rewarding by many multiples, even if all you have to give is hugs and smiles. And, the end all be all of enjoying and using your finances the Godly way: Live within your means.

Have a great month The Edge!


I hope that inspires someone...

Ricky

Monday, October 27, 2008

Christmas Gifts...


Every year, people start asking me what I want for christmas around this time, and here is what I say (every year):

Get me a .

This is boring for people who like to buy things, because in some cases, they don't even know what the piece or part does, or they don't have any interest in the hobby, and therefore have no interest in furthering the hobby for me (I thought gifts were about the person getting the gift? hehe)

But the problem is, the only thing I'm really interested in at that time in my life is my current hobby/obsession. I mean, I guess I could fill my "wish list" with a bunch of $10 items that I'd probably never use just so people could get me things that they would feel good about getting me, but I'd have trouble putting those things down on said list, since I just don't want them or have a need for them.

And I don't want "useful" presents... whoever want's a mop or some sheets for christmas is missing it, in my opinion. I want something completely un-usable in real life scenarios, because this proves to usually be the most fun for hobbies or having fun. Because, as most people know, having fun is diametrically opposed to getting something done. (Dishes, anyone?)

There are very few things under $50 that if I want, I don't just go out and buy. This time, there are a few things- some mags for my most recent firearm purchases. But, this still falls into the first catagory above- no one really cares about me furthering my target shooting hobby. So alas I'll probably get by with used garage appliances people had on hand, and the occasional creative gift (usually from my wife or mom) that can be fun and useful at the same time (for some reason, women are good at mixing these two even though it is impossible- see above.)

Well, I guess we'll see how it goes- but, for the last few christmases, I just haven't held out any hope for anything that I haven't bought myself (or for myself on my wife's behalf). I guess it's just that much better when I do get those creative gifts. :)

Ricky

Friday, October 17, 2008

I'm seriously a little depressed about the whole election deal right now...

the thought of having a socialist president, AND democrat majority congress (no checks and balances) makes me really concerned. I mean, part of me thinks that if the majority of our country really wants Obama, then they deserve it. If we've fallen so far that we want the government to babysit us, after we've seen what the government does. Namely, waste our money, bicker over how much they waste, and use their power to line their pockets from special interest groups. Talk about an easy job, that's for sure- who else has aides to do all their paperwork and research, gets tons of cash from companies vying for attention, and gets more than 100 vacation days a year? heh.

Part of me says if I just keep my head down and keep doing a good job at work it won't affect me too much. And hey, America deserves the consequences. But the other half wants me to believe in accountability, smaller government, less spending, less laws instead of more laws, etc...

I don't really have any control it in anyways, so there's not much that fretting about it will help.

I guess the biggest concern is 20 years from now, when our deficit is even bigger with these Obama crazy spending plans, we're past the point of having a valid government, our dollar is worth nothing, and all banks are owned by the government and the stock market is frozen by so many laws designed to stop a recession that we're in a recession because no one can earn money any more. The truth is, 100% of doctorate level economists agreed that the "bailout" plan will NOT work, it will just patch the system for a short duration and delay the crash that it's supposed to stop. Great... So why do we have politicians making financial decisions? Do they have doctorates in economics? Why is Obama's or McCain's economic plan so great? Why don't we let the economists and free market guys deal with the economy, and let the president deal with presidential issues for gosh sakes!?

Thursday, October 16, 2008

The Seahawks. Yes, I'm writing about the seahawks.

Couple of new key developments: We've signed Justin Forsett back to the team, and he's supposedly going to be returning kicks. I like this, because I really like forsett- he seemed really eager to show Seattle fans what he can do. It also takes some pressure off of our ailing recievers... heh.
next development: We moved Bumpus back to the practice squad. Kind of a so-so move for me, Bumpus did OK, not great, but lost some easy plays here and there. At least they got rid of Taylor, he was awful.

So, the hawks are 1-4... What's up with that?! Their season is pretty much done, unless our team starts playing like the pro's that they are. If we had a couple of games where we could play at the level we were at last year or the year before, we'd have a shot at this. It just seems like our "all pro" team has forgotten how to be pro. I'd like to see some good football this year, but I'd probably haveto change the channel to get it.

On a positive note, I took Rosemary to the Green Bay game, because she'd never been to a hawk's game before. We sprung for club seats and had some good fun, I partially lost my voice, and we had fun seeing the hits in person (man, Football is much more violent in person). Watching the Green Bay quarterback get hit by a 250 pound guy running at full speed is crazy. :)

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Politics?!?!

This entire political process is crazy. I take conservative positions on most everything, and I realize our country is starting to lean a little more to the left, but the stuff I see is mind boggling, with the media very obviously being biased (just think about the recent debates- did gun control ever come up? What about abortion? does anyone even know that Obama supports live birth abortions and taking away our gun rights?)

I'm glad that theres only 30 something days left over. If the CNN/NBC crowd is to be believed, apparently Obama has already won, and he's the best candidate anyway (they keep saying he is better on the economy for some reason... not sure why). But if you look at the independent polls like zogby, etc, he's up by an average of 1-2 percent, well within the margin of error, something most legitimate news sources should be calling a tie right now. Same with the debate- for some reason people really think Obama knocked it out of the park. This REALLY confuses me - I watched the whole debate, and McCain continuously brought up plans and showed great understanding of how things work and ideas to fix things, and he answered most all of the questions, while Obama kept running over his time, interrupting the moderator, trying to rush to his own defense, and failed to answer about half of the questions. I just don't get it... is our country so biased that they don't even see through his rhetoric? I mean, he said a lot of stuff, but had very little substance overall. It seemed pretty clear to me. He is a great public speaker, and it appears he is such a good public speaker that he can make it appear that he is winning a debate when he is clearly not.

I just added a ton of new (read: old) friends from facebook today, and wow is it nostalgic to see some people I haven't thought about or heard from in a very long time. Some people I had crushes on, some people I had intense dislike for, some people I had lots of fun with. I wonder if those people miss the relationships the same way I do? Not that I'd ever want to go back to high school, but the excitement of that time in my life sure was fun. When was the last time I had a lan party?! Life changes, I suppose. :) For the better, if you've seen the latest rediculously cute Judah pictures.

Ricky