Links I Like

Links I Like is a collection of blogs, articles and books I’ve come across recently and thought they were worth sharing. Click here for past Links I Like.

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Dorie Clark on Why we can’t stop working.

The ROI of work is immediately apparent. You get instant feedback and, oftentimes, instant gratification in the form of raises, promotions, new contracts, or general approbation. The arc of family life is different. In the moment, it can be banal, boring, or discouraging.

Perry Noble on 7 ways to be rich.

Give it TIME…what we spent years messing up will most likely not be fixed in three days, or even three weeks!

Dave Bruskas on 4 priorities for pastors from Christmas to Easter.

Christmas, with all its ministry demands, has come and gone. You’ve had a few days off. But you are still very tired as you approach the long run to Easter. How should you prioritize your time and energy? What can you do to recover?

Will Mancini on Ministry trends of 2014 leaders can’t ignore.

Sometimes you can dismiss a trend as a fad. Like Crocs, the Harlem Shake, or flash mobs. At other times to dismiss a trend is just a mistake. As in every era, some of today’s trends will become tomorrow’s reality. Innovative leaders aren’t afraid to embrace change and to be some of the first in on the shifts they see around them. In that spirit, here are 5 trends you’ll no longer be able to dismiss in 2014.

Tony Merida on 9 benefits of expository preaching.

Expository preaching is an approach that is founded on certain theological beliefs, such as the role of the preacher according to Scripture, the nature of the Scripture, and the work of the Spirit. Therefore, many of the benefits for doing exposition are hard to measure. However, nine practical-theological benefits are worth noting.

If you miss your family, you miss everything.

7 crippling parenting behaviors that keep your kids from becoming leaders.

I was intrigued, then, to catch up with leadership expert Dr. Tim Elmore and learn more about how we as parents are failing our children today — coddling and crippling them — and keeping them from becoming leaders they are destined to be. Tim is a best-selling author of more than 25 books, including Generation iY: Our Last Chance to Save Their FutureArtificial Maturity: Helping Kids Meet the Challenges of Becoming Authentic Adults, and theHabitudes® series. He is Founder and President of Growing Leaders, an organization dedicated to mentoring today’s young people to become the leaders of tomorrow.

Ed Stetzer on 5 ways to teach your kids to hate the ministry.

To put it bluntly, a lot of pastors’ children hate the ministry. My team interviewed 20 pastors’ kids who are adults now. They provided some insights that were both inspiring and disturbing. Children with a pastor-parent can grow to hate the ministry for many reasons, but there are five guaranteed ways you can make sure they hate being a pastor’s kid (PK).

OK Go “This too Shall Pass”
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Top Posts of November ’09

In case you missed them, here are the top posts of November 2009:

  1. Things I’m Excited about this Holiday Season
  2. A Million Miles in a Thousand Years
  3. 90 Day Tithing Challenge
  4. “I Don’t Have Enough Money” (A Question about Giving)
  5. Why People Don’t Give
  6. Posts on Marriage & Relationships
  7. Budgeting to Tithe
  8. Discerning Your Idols
  9. Links to Kick off the Week
  10. Saturday Night Mind Dump… (11/14/09)

Budgeting to Tithe

As we are going through this series and specifically the tithing challenge, I have gotten a lot of questions about giving back to God and what that means practically. The biggest question centers around what to do if you are barely making ends meet right now, how do you give back to God?

The conversation will go like this, “After we pay all of our bills, there is not 10% left to give back to God, so do we just tithe and not pay our bills?” This is a completely valid question and one that many people have, and one that I had for awhile. The answer to this question is actually not the answer to this question.

Here’s what I mean. It is coming at it from the wrong perspective.

Tithing like anything fits into a budget. As Dave Ramsey says, “Every dollar has a name on it.” We decide whose name goes on each dollar that comes in and out of our home. Tithing for the first time means you will have to think about your budget differently and probably redo your budget. Your current budget does not have it in there.

When Katie and I first started to see our money differently, we had to budget differently.

This means creating a budget where you give back to God first, before anything else. Then you fill in your budget with the rest of your bills and family’s needs. This means, you may not have some things in your budget that you do now. You may cut cable, not eat out as much, not buy as many clothes as you used to.

This is where many people get tripped up. For me, this has created a sense of freedom from stuff as well as a contentment I didn’t know existed. Some of the stuff “I couldn’t live without” are now things I can’t imagine having.

But you may ask (as many do) “If I sell something like my car, I may take a loss or not be able to afford the same kind of car. Would God want me to take a loss?” Again, this is a valid question but it looks at God incorrectly. Here is my follow-up question, “Does God want you to honor Him with your finances?” If you believe the answer is yes (as I do and I believe the Bible teaches this) then we need to do what we can to make that happen. If that means we sell some stuff and take a loss on it, I think that can honor God. Getting more and more into debt and not giving back to God does not honor Him with our finances.