Saturday, November 22, 2014

"Money: God or Gift", by Jamie Munson

I know that I have not posted to this blog in a long time but when it comes to my spiritual walk with God, blogging is a tool that I have found to be very helpful. I love journaling and some things are worth sharing because the conversations I have surrounding those simple thoughts I've posted help to solidify the impact in my life while also having the chance to bless others. This week, I finished reading a new book called "Money: God or Gift", by Jamie Munson. This book immediately made me want to share what I learned with as many people as I could. This is why I have decided to pull my blog out of retirement. I know many readers still frequent the past posts but I'm hoping even more have the chance to get motivated to read this new book. Money was originally released to accompany a church study on stewardship but Munson decided there was so much more to share on the topic and release it again with new information added. I'm so glad he did. I have read numerous books on the topic of financial stewardship from a biblical perspective. This one brings even more to the table and the approach Munson takes in Money provides a much better understanding of who God is and how He wants us to use money. My plan is to share some quotes or excerpts on my Twitter or in future blog posts. Please stay tuned, or even better go buy the book. This is one of those books that you will read and be blessed. Then you will pick it up many more times to read back through for continued motivation for years to come. Hit me up on Twitter if you want to discuss it more.

Saturday, March 20, 2010


It would seem that this blog had not been used in a while. I appologize for the inconvenience. I have been doing lots of microblogging on and Another blog was also created at so that seems to be where all of the efforts went. Please check them out and join the conversation.

Saturday, January 02, 2010

New Year

Well, it is a new year and I'm planning to do more blogging this year. If it's possible to post one a day, I've already managed to miss the first day of the year by about 10 minutes. Oh, well. Maybe I'll post twice and make up for it.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Tatum and the story of Noah's Ark

Tonight I sat down before the girls went to bed and read the bible story of Noah's ark out loud. Tatum came over and showed great interest at first. The pages didn't have any pictures, but were just full of words that she does not yet understand since she's just 4. As I read, she started to fiddle around with some things and I felt bad for her trying to pay attention because there was quite a bit of repetition. She stayed with me nonetheless. After I read past the part where God filled the boat with animals, I asked her what she thought about the story so far. To my amazement, she was able to retell the whole story even down to the detail of Noah making a window in the side of the ark. Even though she was playing with her hands and flipping pages through a nearby book, the clear reading of scripture got through to her and she really learned something. Don't be fearful of reading scriptures out loud in your home, the best thing that could happen is someone's life might be changed for Jesus' sake. It's a lesson I'm still learning, but I'm thankful for the little bits of encouragement that God gives us along the way.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

The crushing of the enemy - vs. - Joy

Today was a strange day with conflicts and crushing from the enemy, but there was still much joy to be had. God has a strange way of granting us moments of joy. I came home today from church without my wife and oldest daughter because they had more going on at church, and I had the two younger ones with me. They needed to go to the bathroom, and were restless from being at church all morning. Turns out that I didn't have a key to the house, and couldn't figure out the way to get to the spare key, so we were in distress. I got frustrated with myself and with the girls, but asked them to just go play, and it just so happens, by God's plan, that the kids really just wanted to play outside, and that's exactly where we were. They played for a while around the back yard, and we ended up leaving to get some lunch and use the bathroom. When we returned home, I found the spare key and our afternoon was ready to start. I hadn't really lost my joy by this time, but I hadn't really experienced it either.
Zoe asked me about the leaves in the back yard. See, the leaves have been falling and huge piles of them are all around. Zoe remembered that jumping in leaf piles was a fun option and asked me to help her out. I was deep in school and trying to press on, but I thought that it would cost very little time to set up a good pile and I could watch them from the window while I worked. Well once we got out there, they just lit up with excitement. There was nothing that could get in the way of their fun with the leaves. I piled them up again, and they played even harder. I was really surprised with Zoe because she was so big compared to our pile, that the leaves were just a formality in her playing on the ground, but she still had that joy that only kids can have because the burdens of life have not yet attacked them. I can't explain the sheer abundance of happiness that came out of those two little girls. This blessed my heart. I needed the blessing, too, and God knew it. This fleeting moment of happiness didn't completely dissolve the troubles of the world that have been weighing me down, but it made me realize that God really cares about me and He wanted to show me that the worldview of a pair of Christ following baby girls is the prescription glasses that I need to put on every once in a while in order to even be able to see Him in all of his glory. The burdens are a barrier between me and my Lord, and unless I take a moment and allow Him to show me pure joy, I will be crushed.

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Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Wouldn't it be cool...

I was up late and thinking, wouldn't it be cool if I just posted something to my real blog instead of microblogging, ie. Twitter? I had forgotten what it was like. I can type more than 140 characters and people on my Twitter will eventually get a link from my Twitter because I set up some service long ago that tells Twitter that I posted something. I guess it would be nice to know how I did that so I could actually turn it off sometime, but that is not the point. Anyway, now that I'm way over 140 characters, my thumbs are tired from typing on my iPhone. I guess that's all of the rambling I should subject you to for now. Have a great day!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Different Person

I just went back and read the first 3 months worth of posts on this blog.  I am now blessed, again.  I'm not entirely sure why, but I think it's really because I was a different person at that point in life.  I was different from the years before, and also somewhat different from the man I am now.  That point in life was a point of beginning for me in ministry.  I was learning to serve, lead, and worship.  At that point, I was not yet a target for the enemy's heavy attack.  I was entering into battle, and the record of the changing in my heart was captured in those few months worth of blog posts.  

I want to return to that time in life.  I was a sponge absorbing the Bible, and I included my family in all the cool things I experienced.  I was also under much less attack.  So many times I feel like giving up on ministry would be so much better because the attack would stop, but then I look at the man several years ago that was becoming a disciple, and the zeal he had for Jesus, and I realize that I am doing what God wants by remaining in His service, and God is in charge.  I am a disciple of Christ, and that crazy time of getting to know God doesn't have to end.  I should be embracing the battles that God has allowed for me to walk through in expectation that He will use them to perfect me.  My hope is to digest those same encouraging words that I wrote 3 years ago, and repeat the process until desired results are achieved.  Rinse and repeat.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Water cycle

Ecclesiastes 1:5-7 - Reading this little passage of the bible didn't mean that much to me when I first read through it but I prayed about it's meaning and was given some pretty neat insight. What it looks like to me is a description of what we commonly know as the water cycle. The winds blow, the ocean is never full, it all completes a cycle. This was written many generations before science discovered the water cycle. This amazes me and really solidifies the authenticity of the bible to me. If the bible can clearly define something a few thousand years ago that scientists have only recently discovered, then it proves to me that there is a designer. If there is a designer, then that designer must be God. If I'm not God, than I better worship the true God and get to know Him.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

What causes joy?

1 Peter 4:13 - Rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ's sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad in His exceeding joy.

Why does the bible frequently speak of finding joy in suffering? Doesn't the writer know that trials are difficult and manytimes cause unbearble heartache?

Well in the verse above, we start to see a glimpse of the plan of God. He wants us to give Him all the glory and praises. You see, when you partake in Christ's sufferings, and pull through the hard times of struggles, God will reveal that He was there all along and you will praise Him. That is His desire, you praising Him. You will be glad in His exceeding joy and will be filled with joy as well.

Long story short, when you suffer, remember Jesus suffering as He died for your sins and give Him praise, which He deserves, and He will bless you with gladness and joy.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Above Reproach

1 Peter 2:11 Dear friends, I warn you as “temporary residents and foreigners” to keep away from worldly desires that wage war against your very souls. 12 Be careful to live properly among your unbelieving neighbors. Then even if they accuse you of doing wrong, they will see your honorable behavior, and they will give honor to God when he judges the world.

The gospel rapper, DA Truth, said it best, "If Heaven's where home is, I guess it's safe to say that God's people are homeless." The point is that we are just temporary residents here on Earth. In the view of eternity, our 78 or so years on this planet is tiny. Dedicate those short years to Jesus.

The passage above mentions that the unbeliever will know that we follow Jesus by the way that we respond to adversity. I think that our response will be righteous, only if we can succeed with the statements above, "keep away from worldly desires", "be careful to live properly". Fight off temptation to be worldly, and the world will see your love for Jesus. The inner battle against temptation will show through to the onlooking world if not controlled, so be above reproach, and reject temptation to sin, and instead of the world seeing a conflicted man, they will see the Glory of Christ.

JESUgraf S