"Should've Been A Cowboy"

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Contentment & Generosity

over the past few weeks my church has been focusing on contentment and generosity. at the end of our service last week the topic was opened up for some discussion. it was interesting to hear the different view points on the topic from those i've know for a while to those i've never seen before. it seems a lot of people, like myself, have had some struggles with this topic. the truth is almost every christian has had some kind of struggle with the topic at one point or another.

i know God calls me to love my neighbor as myself. to give ten percent of all i make as a tithe. if someone asked for my help, give it. if i loan money, do not charge interest. if someone doesn't pay me back as they promised, don't sue them for it. only take what what i need and share the rest with those in need. to not let my wants and desires affect my ability to do the aforementioned things. furthermore i'm called to rely on God and to trust that he will always provide for me. this has caused me to question whether it is right to save for retirement. should i give my tithe, keep what is necessary to cover my current needs, give the rest to the less fortunate, and rely on the Lord for the future? is it wrong to put way for retirement?

my curiosity has sparked some recent reading on my part. i know proverbs 6 speaks of a parable about an ant. it says to pay attention to the ant. to note that it labors all summer gathering food for the winter. when i take this lesson and apply it to my life i come up with the following belief.... i should give my tithe, keep what is necessary to cover my currents needs and a small portion of my future needs, and give the rest to the less fortunate.

to me saving a portion of my income for retirement is what God wants me to do, but at the same time he wants me to do it in a manner that is fitting to his calling for me. i should not save for a lavish retirement, but instead for a retirement as humble as the life he calls me to live now. this can cause one to wonder how much is needed to be saved to live a humble life in the future. if i start saving too late or if i save too little i will end up in distress like an ant that didn't do its job. at the same time i don't want to save too much because i then would be misusing that which God has given me. fortunately history has shown our society to be fairly predictable. thus my future cost of living can be predicted by using some higher math. this way i can save only what i will need for the "winter".

sadly, i've made mistakes in the past that have led me to a lifestyle unbefitting to what God has called me to. all i can do at this point is focus on rectifying my situation so that i can live the life God has called me to live. thankfully he has given me the knowledge and the tools to do so.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Flat Tire

today, on my way to work i got a flat. fortunately i was able to pull into an apartment complex parking lot and change my tire. i'm proud to say that from the time i parked my car to the time i drove away on my good tire, only 15 mins had elapsed. i think that is the fastest i've ever changed a tire. my flat caused me to experienced two first. for the first time in the 11 years i've been driving i had a flat on my own car. also, i've never changed a flat on a car i've been driving. earlier this year i was driving my dad's truck and had a flat, but since there was not a spare with the truck he brought one to me and changed it himself. for the record i've changed several flats in my day. just not for myself. this doesn't mean that i've never had something get stuck in my tire in 11 years. i've had several tires fixed because of nails, screws, and other metal objects. for what ever reason none of the previous objects ever caused my tire to go flat. i've even driven around for 3 months with a bolt in a tire!

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Volunteer work

today i attended the dallas habitat for humanity orientation, and i had a lot of fun. they really seem to have the process down. i like how they held training for those who weren't familiar with construction. i really look forward to volunteering with habit for humanity. i did it a couple of times in garland, tx with my church, and those were good times. i love helping people and i like building things. the dallas chapter is quite large and has a goal of 100 houses per year. which means i will have plenty of opportunities to volunteer.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Barista Art...Amazing!

Tuesday, August 15, 2006


this past weekend i moved...again. it basically reminded me why i hate moving so much. i'll help others move. that i'm okay with, but i hate moving myself. when you help someone move you typically do just that, move stuff. when you are the one moving you have to pack, move, clean the old place, and then unpack. this is all way too much for me not to be disgruntle. at least more good comes out of it than bad. otherwise i wouldn't do it. in this case my younger brother is coming to live with me. we are sharing a two bed/ two bath apartment. i've had a roommate for the first 5 1/2 years after leaving the womb, and i've lived alone for the past year. i'm hear to say i like living with someone. you get a stay at home friend and someone to split the bills with. that's all i feel like typing for now. heck, it is the second time i've typed this.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Saving Money When Moving

would you dumpster dive to save $75? let me be more specific. would you sort through a local electronic store's dumpster, that only contains boxes and packaging material to save money? i know i would. i've done this several times now, and i estimate that i save about $75 each time by doing so. this week i will be moving for the 7th time in 7 years. that sounds pretty crazy right? i don't move every 12 months and i don't even like moving. life just happens and i go with the flow.

in october of 1999 i moved into student housing that my school offered. there were four of us (me, brad, gerald, matt) living in a 2 bed / 2 bath apartment. each of us had to pay $400 a month. this covered rent, water, electric, and furniture rentals. we all decided that this was too much to pay for a 2 bedroom apartment that we could rent ourselves for $650 at the time. so six months later we moved. 12 months after that gerald "came out of the closet" and moved into an apartment with another friend of his, and brad and i kicked matt out for not paying rent for 3 months, which left two of us. shortly after that one of my two best friends, adam, moved to dallas and lived with us for 8 months in a 3 bedroom apartment that we moved to. 8 months later he decided he didn’t like the city and moved back home. which caused brad and i to downsize back to a 2 bedroom apartment. both i and brad were tired of moving at this point. so we stayed in that apartment for 30 months. due to job locations we decided to move again. we managed to live in that apartment for 18 months before i decided that we should go our separate ways due to brad practically living with his girlfriend and constantly being late with his half of the rent. thus, i moved into a one bedroom apartment. i spent the past year in this one bedroom apartment, and i would continue to live in it, but like i said, life happens.

my younger brother decided a few months back that he wanted to move to dfw to go to school. he found out that his student housing would cost him $350 and he would be sharing a 2 bed/ 2 bath apartment with 3 other guys. he didn't like this idea. so i told him he could live with me for the same price and have his own room. which brings me to my move this week. i don't know exactly how long i'll live in this new apartment with my brother, but i don't see it going more than two or three years.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Is Myspace Evil?

it seems that i come into contact with many people who think myspace is evil. largely due to the sexual predators that use it to prey on young teens, but does this make myspace evil? isn't it the predator who is evil and not myspace? when a person drives to a school and bribes a child into the car with candy; is the candy evil or the person behind the wheel? when a minister molests a child in the church; is the church evil or the minister?

there are many good things in the world that are used for evil acts. this does not make the candy, church, or webpage bad. it is the person who is using it in such a way. when a terrorist uses a plane to kill thousands of people do we call the planes evil? no, of course not. we acknowledge the good of the plane and change the rules for which it is used to protect the people who use them. the same should be done with myspace. both myspace and the parents should change the usage rules to protect those who use myspace.