Book Notes | How to be Rich

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How to be Rich: It’s not What You Have. It’s What you do With What You Have by Andy Stanley is not your average financial or giving book.

It makes the point that if you live in America, you are rich. You part of the top 4% earners on the planet. The problem is that our culture has no idea “how to be rich.” We don’t know what to do with what we have. Stanley writes to a “bunch of have’s who live like have not’s.”

The problem he says is:

Examples we read or hear don’t really prove you’re rich, they only serve to convince you that you’re not poor. My hunch is you’re a lot richer than you realize. It just doesn’t feel like it. So let me give you a few more scenarios to consider. If I told you I was offering you a job with a salary of $37,000 a year, would you feel rich? Probably not. Chances are, you wouldn’t even be interested. A salary of $37,000 would represent a pay cut for most Americans. But for 96 percent of the world’s population, $37,000 a year would be a significant increase. Maybe there was a time when that sounded like a lot of money to you. And it should. In fact, if you earn more than $37,000 a year, you are in the top 4 percent of wage earners in the world! Congratulations! You are in the 4 percent club. You are rich! Yet I’m guessing this startling realization didn’t cause you to leave the comfort of your couch to dance around the room. But you should have. On the world’s scale, you should have no problems at all, other than a handful of rich-person problems. Problems that the majority of folks on this planet would love to have. Bad cell phone coverage? That’s a rich-people problem. Can’t decide where to go on vacation? Rich-people problem. Computer crashed? Slow Internet? Car trouble? Flight delays? Amazon doesn’t have your size? All rich-people problems. Next time there’s a watering ban in your neighborhood, just remember that many people, mostly women, carry jugs on their heads for hundreds of yards just so they can have water for cooking and drinking. They can’t imagine a place where there’s so much extra water that house after house just sprays it all over the ground. Feeling guilty? I hope not. That’s not my purpose. On the contrary, I’m hoping our time together leaves you feeling grateful.

This book is a great resource for that.

Here are some things I highlighted:

  • We always had enough. But rich is about having more than enough. We had what we needed. But rich is about having more than you need. Rich is about having extra. Isn’t it?
  • Rich is the other guy. Rich is that other family. Rich isn’t just having extra. Rich is having as much extra as the person who has more extra than you do. Rich is having more than you currently have. If that’s the case, you can be rich and not know it. You can be rich and not feel it. You can be rich and not act like it. And that is a problem.
  • Most rich people aren’t all that good at being rich.
  • The richer you get, however, the more your priorities begin to separate from actual needs. When all of our basic requirements are met, our appetites for progress don’t turn off. We simply turn from the things we need to the things we want. And that’s when we enter the world of the subjective. Wants are harder to define. And easier to confuse.
  • We’re so absorbed in the effort to get rich, we no longer recognize when we are rich.
  • In our Western culture today, we observe a five-day workweek. Think about what that means. Most people have to work only five days in order to have seven days’ worth of food and shelter and clothing and health care. We take it for granted. But that’s unique to our little window in history. And it’s still not the case everywhere. What’s more, there are households of three, four, or more people that send only one person out into the workplace to earn money. And with that one person’s earnings, the entire family can amass enough money in five days to give them food and shelter for seven days. In many cultures, that’s inconceivable. Outside of work, that leaves at least fifty hours per week for nothing but leisure.
  • “Rich” is a moving target. No matter how much money we have or make, we will probably never consider ourselves rich. The biggest challenge facing rich people is that they’ve lost their ability to recognize that they’re rich.
  • People who are good at being rich are the ones who are willing to admit they are, in fact, rich. Until you relax into the reality that you are rich, you will never become intentional about getting good at it.
  • Simply possessing wealth doesn’t make you good at managing it.
  • Being good at being rich is not just a matter of deciding what to do with your money. You must also concern yourself with what your money is doing with you — or, more accurately, to you.
  • Money has an effect on its owners. And that effect, in turn, alters the way they see and handle not just money, but everything else as well. Everything. And while we’re at it — everybody.
  • The key, as the old saying goes, is to possess money without it possessing you.
  • Wealth has its own gravitational pull. It will always draw those who have it in the direction of those two things. It is in this way that wealth eventually possesses its possessors.
  • The problem with a word like generosity is that it’s as hard to define as the word rich. In fact, just as nobody thinks he’s rich, everybody thinks he’s generous.
  • When you make giving a priority, something happens inside of you. Especially when it’s financially challenging to do so.
  • Without a plan, giving is sporadic at best.

I was really challenged by this book and how I look at what I have. Good heart work for me.

To see other book notes, click here.

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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.

book

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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I Worry

Here’s what I lay awake at night and think about:

  • Health
  • What will my kids be like when they grow up
  • Finances
  • The economy
  • Will the Steelers get their act together this year
  • My parents aging
  • Will Revolution be successful
  • Safety

All of us worry. It is natural. In fact, some of us worry about worrying too much.

But is worry a lack of faith?

Jesus seems to think so in Matthew 6. After talking about giving and having God’s perspective when it comes to money and stuff, after laying out how to pray and get rid of the idols in our heart, after walking through how and why to fast and talking about what God values versus what we value he says some startling words, “Don’t worry, don’t be anxious about anything.”

How can he say that?

Jesus knows that if we have God’s perspective on life, money, stuff, food we will have faith in a big God that can do anything. You get the sense that Jesus sees worry as not only something we shouldn’t do, but it might even border on sin.

Why?

Worrying about something means we lack faith and trust in God. It means we think something is too big for God.

Saturday Night Mind Dump…

  • Wow
  • I am not even sure how to describe tonight
  • Love when God moves in a really powerful way like that
  • It was awesome seeing Revolutionaries come forward and spend time on their knees in prayer, giving up stresses and worries to God
  • We don’t do altar calls like that a lot, really never, but tonight it worked
  • Awesome to have Paul back leading this week, he brings it every week
  • Great way to end our series tonight
  • Love the chemistry we have and how we can work back and forth really naturally
  • I am loving doing Advent as a church this year, what a great way to prepare for the holiday season
  • This past week, I got to get away for a day of silence and solitude, really an important practice for me personally and as a leader
  • I think the more Revolution grows, the more important this will be
  • God reveals so much when we are quiet
  • This cracks me up
  • In case you missed them, here are the top posts from the month of November
  • Reading by far the best book on teams I have ever read, really worth picking up, our staff team is going to go through it in January
  • Love reading all the comments on facebook and twitter about how people were affected by tonight
  • I said it tonight, we are starting a brand new series next week that is going to be incredible
  • You need to do whatever you have to and get all of your friends to Revolution sometime over the next 3 weeks
  • Seriously
  • I am blown away by our leaders at Revolution
  • Every week, so many people get their hands dirty making Revolution happen and make it a success
  • Thank you for the sacrifice you make
  • We’re starting to plan our creative ideas for the series we are starting in January, which literally is going to be the biggest and most important series we have ever done as a church
  • In case you are curious, starting January 9th we are going to start the book of Nehemiah
  • In case you want to read ahead
  • We had a special creative team meeting this past week and the ideas that were thrown out were awesome
  • I can’t wait to see how God keeps on working at Revolution
  • Looks like I am going to be having lunch with LV Hanson this week, really pumped about that
  • We’ll be finalizing Revolution’s budget for 2010 in the next 2 weeks, we’d really appreciate your prayers that we would have wisdom, be wise stewards, but that we would dream big as we think through 2010 and beyond
  • We finally got our Christmas tree up this week
  • Love having the tree, lights and decorations
  • I just need more Christmas music in my life
  • Huge weekend in the NFL tomorrow
  • My Steelers need to see if they can remember how to win and it is the last weekend before the playoffs in fantasy football
  • Really looking forward to our family sabbath tomorrow
  • Sunday is one of my favorite times of the week
  • Nothing but hanging out with Katie and the kids on the schedule

This Weekend: Worrying about Making it Through the Month

All of us worry, right? Should I worry that I worry more than other people worry? What about worrying about worrying?

Saturday we are going to wrap up our series How to be Rich by looking at what Jesus has to say about worry. Right now, in our economy, worry is as natural as breathing. Yet, Jesus has the audacity to say, “Don’t worry about anything.” How can he say that? What does he know that we don’t?

That’s what we are going to uncover on Saturday.

Saturday Night Mind Dump…

  • Really great night tonight
  • Love all the energy that is in our church
  • I can remember when no one would clap or cheer and now it is part of our culture
  • Awesome
  • It was great having Ben and Austin with us tonight
  • Love their hearts for churches in Tucson
  • Loved Ben’s challenge tonight, let’s make it happen Revolution
  • Do you know how we reach our city? One person at a time
  • I had a pastor ask me this week, “Do you know how your church can double in one week?”
  • The answer?
  • If everyone at Revolution brought someone next week
  • Came across this today about how a church should treat a pastor’s wife. So grateful for Revolution and the elder team who treat Katie in unbelievable ways
  • We are having a special creative team meeting this week to plan atmosphere, props, videos, songs and other things for our series we are starting January 9th
  • I keep telling you, Revolution, we have seen nothing yet
  • In 2009, we saw God triple our church, just wait for 2010
  • Planning to get away on Wednesday for a day of silence and solitude
  • I have fallen behind on this and need to get back into this being a regular practice
  • Would appreciate your prayers on Wednesday as I get alone with God and my moleskine
  • Just picked up the new Dashboard Confessional this week, does not disapoint
  • Wow
  • We started Advent tonight
  • We’ve never done this as a church, but I think it is going to be a cool thing this Christmas to pause and remember Jesus
  • Love how Robert Webber describes Advent, “The inbreaking of God into our world”
  • Totally sums up Christmas
  • I got to do a wedding this past Sunday, love being a part of that part of people’s lives
  • It is a funny reminder to me everytime I hang out with the groom right before the ceremony and how nervous they are
  • So far, I think I was worse than anybody I’ve hung out with
  • Spent most of this week working on the study guide for the series we are starting January 9th
  • I cannot begin to tell you how excited I am for the next few months at Revolution and what God is going to do
  • I am loving hearing the stories of how God is working through the tithing challenge and through the Revolution fast this past week
  • Love when people take steps in their journey and they see how God works
  • Never gets old
  • I need a huge win in one of my fantasy leagues tomorrow to stay in the playoff hunt, I’m playing Paul
  • This past week, Katie and I got to connect with another pastor and his wife
  • Pastors need other pastors, it is one of the ways to have longevity
  • Looking forward to tomorrow
  • Hanging out with Katie and the kids, then football with some friends
  • That’s what I call a Sabbath

This Weekend: He Who Dies with the Most Toys Wins

Saturday is part 4 of our series How to be Rich.

This has been an unbelievable series. Everything from the tithing challenge, to our church fasting this past week. It has been awesome to see the way God has been moving and challenging us as we think about how to be rich.

This week we’ll be looking at how saving, investing, what happens to our stuff and what is really important in this world and the next. Definitely appropriate the day after black friday.

If you want to send an e-vite, go here.

We are also starting the Advent season as a church this week. Really excited about doing this as a church this year and seeing how God uses this time over the next 4 weeks to prepare for Christmas.

See you Saturday at 5!

Saturday Night Mind Dump…

  • Great night tonight
  • Really weird not having Paul there, but Austin did a great job
  • I don’t know if Revolution would be where it is today without the help that Austin gave us at the very beginning and in helping us find Paul
  • If you are interested in participating in Revolution’s fast this week or fasting in your own life, here is the fasting guide we put together to help you
  • In case you missed it, here are some things I am excited for the holiday season
  • Get to perform a wedding tomorrow, love being a part of weddings
  • Got Malcolm Gladwell’s new book What the Dog Saw in the mail today, so pumped to read this
  • Anything he writes is worth reading
  • Some other books I’m hoping to get through before Christmas that I’m really excited about:  Relational Intelligence and The Performance Factor
  • Planning to take Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday to do some serious writing and finish the study guide and small group guide for our series we are starting in January
  • It is going to be the most important series we have ever done at Revolution
  • Seriously
  • We’re having 15 people over for Thanksgiving, love having a packed house for the holidays
  • This past week was my monthly lead pastor coaching network
  • I am blown away by how much I get out of it and how big of a difference it is making at Revolution
  • It was cool reminiscing with Austin tonight as he led worship for us right when Revolution got started a year ago
  • Since the last year at this time, we have tripled
  • Crazy what God has done in the last year
  • The number one question I’ve gotten during this series is what do you do if you can’t afford to tithe, here are my thoughts
  • Really excited to have Ben, Austin and the Common Ground band with us next week
  • Love the partnerships we are building with other churches in Tucson
  • That really is the only way we will ever have a shot at being a force in Tucson, working together
  • Really excited to see how God uses our church fast this week
  • Can’t wait to see how God stretches our church
  • In case you care, I switched from Twitterberry to UberTwitter on my phone
  • Way better
  • My cousins and great Aunt and Uncle came down from Scottsdale tonight to hear me preach
  • First comment, “I was pleasantly surprised, you were better than I thought”
  • Awesome
  • Blown away again tonight just watching all of our leaders, how hard they work, how selfless they are and how sold out they are to the mission
  • Thanks for helping to make Revolution happen
  • I can’t believe I get paid to do this

Types of Fasting

Tonight, we continued our series How to be Rich through Matthew 6. We looked at verses 16 – 18, specifically at the spiritual practice of fasting.

Here are the different types of fasting found in the Bible:

  • Normal fast. A person abstained from all food, solid or liquid, but not from water – usually to prepare for some significant event. Jesus fasted for forty days in preparation for his temptations from Satan and the inauguration of his public ministry (Matthew 4:1 – 2; Luke 4:1 – 2).
  • Partial fast. Sometimes people entered into a partial restriction of diet, but not total abstention. For a three-week period of mourning, Daniel ate no meat or drank no wine, and he applied no lotion to his body (Daniel 10:3).
  • Absolute fast. During a relatively short, urgent period of time, people could abstain from all food and water to discern God’s leading. Esther neither ate nor drank for three days during a period of national crisis (Esther 4:16), and at Paul’s dramatic conversion he abstained from eating and drinking for three days (Acts 9:9).
  • Private and corporate fasts. Fasting is usually a private affair, but at times the people of God came together for corporate or public fasts, such as on the Day of Atonement (Leviticus 23:37), in times of national emergency (2 Chronicles 20:1 – 4), or for seeking God’s guidance in prayer (Ezra 8:21 – 23).

For more information on fasting or to participate in Revolution’s fast this Monday into Tuesday, click here.

Freedom from Financial Strain

Do you know someone who is experiecing financial strain? Do you know someone who needs to find freedom in the area of money and finances, or just life in general?

That’s what tomorrow at Revolution is all about.

So who are you bringing? It is going to be a great night as we try to discover how to find freedom in our lives.

If you want to send an e-vite, go here.