Articles

Material Wants 

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It is okay for you to have nice things in your life.  In fact, it is important for you to have nice things.  Whether it is a car or a house or any type of luxury item, if you are living correctly then you will have these things.  Treat yourself to the things in life that you want.  Remember though do not use credit.  If you use wisdom and practice stewardship, you will be able to get nice things without credit.   

Sleep! 

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Your body needs rest!  The “experts” recommend six to eight hours a night.  I recommend whatever your body needs.  It has become a “badge of honor” in our society to push yourself beyond your limits.  I hear people boasting all of the time about their lack of sleep and I can’t help but think to myself how foolish they are.  Your body needs sleep.  Your mind needs sleep. 

I understand that there may be times in the short term, when you may have to put in some extra work time or emergencies may develop which prevent you from getting a good night sleep, but they should be the exception.  Take care of whatever pressing issue is at hand and get yourself back on a normal sleep schedule. 

Wise  Money Decisions 

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It is important for you to begin taking responsibility for your current situation.  You need to start making wise decisions with your money rather than foolish one’s.  For an example of what wise decisions will produce in your life I like to point out the story of the talents in the Bible.cxliii  We all know it, but few of us have actually thought about the decisions made by the three servants and how they apply in our lives.  Basically, the two servants who made wise decisions with the money entrusted to them were given more, while the servant who made a foolish decision was stripped of all he had.  As Dave Ramsey so bluntly puts it, “If you sow stupid, you reap desperate and broke.”cxliv   There are certain things you can begin doing, right now, to help you start making wise decisions with your money immediately and therefore begin reaping the good that comes with these decisions. 

Stick To Your  Health Plan 

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The purpose of this article is to convey the importance of staying well.  You will never grow spiritually if you are out of shape and overweight.  I meet many people who are seeking a successful spiritual life but they often fall short.  Many times, it is the lack of proper diet and physical activity that causes them to fall down.  “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore, honor God with your body.”xcv  I often find that this is an overlooked missing link between a mediocre life and a great life.   

Who Do You Want To Be? 

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It’s a great question, but so few people have actually thought much about the answer.  It’s easy to avoid this topic, especially if you have been caught up in the world’s version of success.  You have probably been too busy to think this through logically but you can now. 

Answer this question now.  Don’t just write: I want to be a good person or a better spouse or a better parent.  Describe your life in detail.  Look at every facet of your life.  Write about your relationships, finances, health, spirituality and any other area of your life that you would like to change or improve.  Why are you doing this?  Because you become what you think about.  The Roman emperor, Marcus Aurelius said, “A man’s life is what his thought makes of it.” 

Eliminating Debt 

Living in debt has become a way of life for many people.  In doing this, we have become slaves.  Proverbs 22:7 clearly says, “The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender.”cxxxvi  Many people today have been fooled by complex marketing strategies created by today’s mega corporations.  We have been fooled into thinking that debt is an acceptable way of life.  We have been taught that the way to success and prosperity is through the use of loans or credit cards.  In fact, many of the advertisements of today make you believe that you are somehow more important or sophisticated if you have their credit card or loan.  It doesn’t have to be this way.   

Create A Health Plan 

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I thought about supplying sample exercise plans and sample diets in this article, but I decided against it.  At first, I thought that if I supplied the plans, then more people would follow through.  As I thought about it further, I realized that if somebody were going to follow through, they would be willing to do the work.  I believe that if it is important enough to you and I gave you the facts, you would do the research and figure out exactly what you need to do.  I did not want to influence your health needs with what I do.  You need to figure out what will work best for you. 

Giving Back For The Gift You Have Found

The question you are probably asking yourself: “Why should I share my success with other people?”  The answer is

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quite simple.  Every time you share with another person, you are taking a step to assure that you don’t slip back into your old lifestyle. 

Sharing your success is a great way to repay others and society, in general, for your past misdeeds and mistakes.  No, you can’t change the past, but by introducing someone to a better way of living, you are conveying the message that you care and that means a lot. 

The Beginning: Real Success 

The first thing you need to determine is who you are now.  This may seem like an easy task at first and it should be easy, but I believe that there has been so much confusion about who or what a person should be, that they might be unable to define who they are.  The good news is that after a short time, it will become easier to answer the question: Who are you?  Once you are able to answer this question clearly and truthfully, it will be easier for you to determine who you want to become. 

Disciplined Saving & Investing 

It’s time to tackle a very troubling habit that we as a society engage in.  It causes us much uncertainty and

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sometimes a great deal of stress.  I am talking about a lack of savings and investing.  “If you would be wealthy, think of saving as well as getting.”cxxxii 

The instant gratification that we get from buying “stuff” causes us to fall far short of any savings or investing that we need to live a successful life.  Let’s first look at the facts:  As a society we actually have a negative saving rate.  That means we spend more than we make.  I did some research and found the following information.  In Japan, people on average save 27% of their income.  Here in the United States, that amount is actually negative.  Our average net worth is around negative nine thousand dollars.