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Guest Post: I Want to Win the Lottery!

June 9, 2009 · Filed Under Intriguing · 1 Comment 
Today we have the first-ever guest post on BFN provided by my friend Brian. For many years, Brian was an Area Director for Young Life before becoming a pastor at a local church a few years ago.  I’d recommend that you check out Brian’s site as well – LiveForChristResources.com .  LFCR is not only a blog but also a place to get some great resources (a lot of them free) to enable you in your walk with Christ.

I want to win the Lottery! No I don’t, yes I do, no I don’t, yes…no!, maybe? In my town there are lottery ads on every billboard, sometimes the pot gets up to 350 million dollars! What in the world would someone do with 350 million dollars? We haven’t a clue. But our desire is to win the lottery. It would solve all my problems. I could buy a new car and never worry about it breaking down and not having the money to fix it. I could go to the grocery store and not have to pinch pennies or hand over any coupons. I could go on dream vacation after dream vacation. We would figure out a way to spend it.

But do I really want to win the lottery? We’ve all heard story after story of how people who have actually won the lottery have ruined their lives. It has destroyed marriages instead of strengthening them, it has caused family relationships to get worse not better, all that money makes people do things they would never have done. Most of the money is just wasted. Studies have shown that many people who win the lottery end up broke and lonely. But that would never happen to me…right.

Winning the lottery probably would destroy my life. But because I still have this desire to win the lottery, I am forced to examine my desires. Each day I have different desires. Here are some that I have had lately:

  • I want a new car
  • I want a house on a lake
  • I want a super vacation to Acadia National Park (our family is going but I really don’t have quite enough money and I’m worried I will come back with a big VISA bill)
  • I want to accomplish something great and have everybody know about it
  • I want to go on a trip to the Holy Land
  • I want a perfectly manicured lawn

The list could go on and I am sure that you have some things you have been thinking about lately as well. But, what I was created to desire does not match up with these earthly desires. I struggle each day to desire the things that God wants me to desire rather than my own personal lusts.

I believe we can find out what God wants us to desire from studying the Scriptures. I decided to test this idea this morning. I said, “I’m going to read Ephesians 1 and find out if it says anything about what God desires for me to desire. Here are a few things I found:

  • God wants me to desire to be faithful to Christ
  • To desire experiencing peace with God through Jesus
  • To desire spiritual blessings from heaven (not from earth)
  • To desire holiness
  • To desire the riches of his grace (not the riches of the lottery)
  • To desire an eternal inheritance (not an earthly one)
  • To desire to love the saints
  • To desire to give thanks
  • To desire prayer
  • To desire a spirit of wisdom
  • To desire Christ’s power exhibited through my life for his glory (not my own)

I can’t wait to continue to pour over the Scriptures and find out more desires that God has for me. The earthly desires of what I want need to be replaced with the heavenly desires that God wants me to have. I was created this way. My desires need to be God-centered not self-centered. I truly believe my life will be rich and full and satisfying if I desire what God has in store for me rather than what the lottery can buy at the store for me.

Lazy is the Real Mother of Invention

September 5, 2008 · Filed Under Blog Links, Intriguing · Add a Comment 

We’ve all heard the phrase "necessity is the mother of invention." Well, I say nuts to that! (what a strange saying). Sure, necessity has generated a number of inventions and improvements over the years. Let’s get real here, though, I contend that lazy is much more effective at inspiring improvements (and especially conveniences)!

Image by haydrienne

Ok, so maybe necessity triggered numerous medical improvements over the years, but lazy triggered being able to see your doctor, walk down the hall to get your blood drawn for labs, and check a special voice mail in a few days to get your results.

We’re too lazy to mail letters, so email was invented. Too lazy to walk over to the phone handset to make a call – here’s a cordless phone.  Too lazy to wait until you get home to make a call – here’s a cell phone.

Too lazy to load 45 1.44 MB disks into your computer one after another to install the latest and greatest version of your favorite software application?  That’s why we have CDs and now DVDs.

Entire segments of industries have been created to appease our laziness. You can get someone to come to your house to clean it, power-wash it, paint it, replace the windshield on your car, detail your car, or even wash your pet.  You can even get your groceries delivered right to your door!

Internet access?  Lazy.  High-speed internet access?  Really lazy.  Remote control?  Do you even need to ask?!

I think there’s a difference between laziness and indolence

I’ll admit that I am lazy.  I don’t deny it, instead I embrace it.  I am obsessed with efficiency – doing everything in the easiest and most effective way possible.  Why, you ask?  Simply because I am lazy.

Now just because I am lazy doesn’t mean I won’t work hard.  I want to do even more things than I already have time to do – that’s why I am so lazy (makes perfect sense, right!).  It’s 11:09 PM, I have done four things on my evening todo list (working on the 5th as we speak) and have four more things I’d really like to get done tonight.  Therefore, I am lazy with each individual item.  By that, I mean I want to devote the minimum amount of time to get each one done so I have more time to do more things.  Lazy?  Yes.  Indolent?  I don’t think so.

So maybe impatience is a factor as well

As I read back over the post, it strikes me that impatience plays a large role in some of these inventions as well.  I still think lazy is the mother.  I guess that makes impatience that annoying aunt that is always pinching your cheeks and saying things like, "How are we doing today?  Oh, we’re such a big boy/girl now, aren’t we?"

Only a few links this week – guess I was too lazy!

Have a great weekend and God bless…

photo credit: heydrienne

What if Everyone only got Paid once a Year?

August 22, 2008 · Filed Under Intriguing · 9 Comments 

I have no idea what I was thinking about the other day…but this thought popped into my mind:

"Would people take better care or worse care of their finances if everyone only got paid once per year?"

I like to come up with these strange questions to try to get myself and others thinking – I feel like it stretches my brain somehow (not literally) (I guess this is why I ended up having to answer most of my own questions in that Bible study we used to host in Arizona) (I should really stop talking to myself). I know it isn’t practical and it would never work and all of that – but practicality is not the point of this exercise.

Payday

So, on January 2nd (the 1st is still a holiday) (ok, the first weekday after January 1st – how’s that?), everyone got their single paycheck for the entire year. What happens next?

At first, I thought this would be a complete train-wreck. A number of people would have that money blown by Groundhog day. On the other hand, for fiscally responsible people, this would actually be somewhat of a boon. If you had all your entire year’s salary up-front instead of accumulating it little by little throughout the year, you’d be able to earn significantly more interest during the year.

Taking into account how much credit card debt the average American has, I think it is obvious that some people have a problem delaying immediate gratification to focus on the long term.  Therefore, would people flush with cash at the beginning of the year run out and satisfy their every whim?  I would say "probably." (you might say, "at least they’re not using a credit card," and this is true…but come the end of the year all expenses would end up on the CC)

But maybe, just maybe, if people knew that they only got this one paycheck and they were not getting any more, maybe they would be inspired to be more careful about their planning and living. Yeah, you’re right, that’s unlikely and it would probably end up being worse than now.  Now that I think about it, that large lump sum would probably distract some normally fiscally responsible people and cause them to overspend early in the year as well.

So, I would answer the question like this: for some people it would work out a lot better. For some others, they would be inspired to get more serious about saving and planning. Unfortunately, I’d guess that some people would get distracted by the money, lose sight of the long-term, and end up being worse off.  And, of course, I still believe that a number of people would have it all spent by MLK, Jr Day.  The bottom line is it would be a lot better for some and a lot worse for others.

What do you think? Better? Worse? Why am I even wondering about this?

This Week in the Blogosphere

Have a great weekend and God bless…

Caviar: Really Yummy Treat or Really Poor Financial Decision?

July 27, 2008 · Filed Under Intriguing · 3 Comments 

My lovely wife and I, along with our children, recently returned from a vacation to visit my wife’s sister and family in Florida. My brother-in-law is a manager at a very expensive and swanky hotel there (I can’t even afford the family rate). So, one night he brings home some caviar for us to try for fun.

Caviar comes in a really small bottle…
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