Surviving Black Friday

I love this time of year - the holiday parties, the Christmas decorations, the hot chocolate, peace & goodwill toward men, and trampling one another to save $5 on a waffle maker. Wait a second. One of those doesn't seem to fit.

But here's the truth, whether we like it or not: The holiday season includes the monster that we now call Black Friday...even though it now starts on Thursday.  But that's a whole different issue altogether, so I digress.

I wanted to share with you 3 Simple Steps To Surviving Black Friday and keeping the focus on Christ this Christmas.

#1:  Act Your Wage.
If you choose to jump in to the deal extravaganzas this weekend, remember to act your wage. Don't spend money you don't have just because you can't pass up a sale. And remember, most of us spend money we don't have, to buy stuff we don't need, just to impress people we don't like. Don't get caught up in the frenzy.

#2:  Have A Plan. It's been said time and time again that if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Stores are banking on customers just like you making lots of impulse purchases. Come up with a game plan based on your budget and stick to it. For our family, when it comes to our son, we have a simple gift plan. Our son gets four gifts each year: Something you want, something you need, something to wear, and something to read. It's a simple plan that keeps us focused on the real reason for the season.

#3:  Give Generously. If you really do believe that Jesus is the reason for the season, then you will show it with your pocketbook. Don't spend so much on Black Friday that you don't have the resources to be generous and give to the King of Kings this season. At Timber Ridge Church, we give our very best to Jesus at Christmas through our Christmas offering. (You can find out more about that by clicking here). If you attend Timber Ridge, I encourage you to begin to pray & plan so that you can be a part of this incredible opportunity we have to make a difference this Christmas. If you don't attend Timber Ridge, I encourage you to find a place to generously give this Christmas season to impact the lives of others with the love and hope of Jesus.

Black Friday may cost you to lose some hours of sleep, but don't let it force you to lose focus on what this holiday season is all about.


6 Lessons From This Presidential Election

It's 11:15 PM and I've been watching the election coverage on various news stations for a little more than two hours now. I've also been following the thoughts/posts/idea of my friends in social media circles tonight and the past few weeks in regards to this election.

Here are 6 Lessons We Can Learn From This Election:

1.  Regardless of who is our President, Jesus is our King. While my temporal citizenship is in the United States, my eternal citizenship is in the Kingdom.

2.  Jesus is the hope of the world and the church is his chosen delivery method. With a nation in the midst of turmoil and great need, what an incredible opportunity for the church to serve the world and be the agent of hope, love, and light that God intended for us to be.

3.  People on both sides of this presidential election have GROSSLY misused God's Word to prove their points. I'm not sure I have ever seen Hebrews 13 more mishandled in all my life, mostly by people who know better - or at least should.

4.  The Bible seems to be pretty clear that God has a hand in the placement of the leaders of the nations.  And it's clearly communicated that we are to pray for our leaders.  As Christ followers, we should pray for God's leadership, grace, and direction for their lives.

5.  People on both sides of this presidential election who claim to follow Jesus follow a political ideology far closer than they follow the King. I'm saddened by the hatred and lack of love that we have shown each other and the message we have shown the world.

6.  Regardless of who is elected President, we still live in a nation where we are supremely blessed. The freedoms, choices, and liberties we have in America are unbelievable.

Just my two cents worth...Feel free to share your thoughts in the comment section!