In the last couple years of launching and leading Renovation I’ve learned one lesson the hard way that I wish someone had shared with me at the start…financially it’s often feast or famine. There has been very little in between.
So here’s something to consider if you’re early in your plant, or just dreaming of starting this ridiculous and painful yet glorious, God honoring process. SAVE! If you have any “extra,” save more than you normally would consider, because lean times are always crouching in the early years.
Where I’ve failed, and where you might as well is when the famine is on you live meager, budget strong, and make cautious monetary decisions in order to make ends meet.
But, when the feast is on, YOU FEAST. You buy the things you wish you’d bought when you were making ends meet. You do the things you wished you could do and go places you wished you could go when the famine was in full swing. And none of that is necessarily wrong, but it is considerably unwise.
So here’s a thought. Try and save, during the feast, the numerical amount you sometimes lack for necessities and small treats during the famine. If you do this consistently for some time, then the famine will cease to be as severe. This has been invaluable for my family over this last year. And this little bit of discipline has allowed for a much less tense, much more fun filled time as a family, even during the famine.
Now facts are, if you’re honest, and you’re in an entrepreneurial endeavor, this is you. So from one risk taking individual to another…at least consider this a means of not learning or re-learning this the hard way.
I don’t know a statement more true than the one on the picture above. After 6 years with my wife, 5 of them married, I’d actually say it’s an understatement, but it is definitely true. When something is stagnant it is no longer fresh or life giving. That is what all relationships, but especially marriages, become if they are not growing in and toward something.
This Sunday we begin an 11-week journey through the scriptures on what marriage is supposed to look like. If we can faithfully live out God’s intentions for this relationship, we can almost certainly do it in any other. Please don’t miss this opportunity to be challenged, affirmed, and encouraged by what God has to say about all human relationships, but especially about marriage.
Most days I leave before my family wakes, and there are a few that I have returned when both of my girls were already asleep. It is ridiculous to go an entire day and not see the people who matter most to you…even in the name of the mission of God. Most of us spend so much time running, that we neglect what matters most, and run right through our lives until we wake up one day and wonder where it’s gone. This is the shortest blog post I’ve ever written, but maybe one of the most important. God does not expect us to sacrifice our families at the altar of ministry. If this convicts you the way it did me, repent and carve out time to give your family the best of you, not whats left over.
My beautiful and incredible wife wrote this after being re-diagnosed with M.S. this last week. I wanted to share this in hopes that it not only tell her story, but more Christ’s story and the magnitude of what He has done and is doing in her life……..
So after 7 years of remission from Multiple Sclerosis, it’s back again. After losing vision in the lower right quadrant of both of my eyes, I knew something was off. Turns out that a lesion from the MS had become inflamed and was putting pressure on the part of my brain responsible for that line of vision. So after two weeks of doctors appointments the result is that MS is still in my body. Surprisingly, I have taken the news so much better than I expected. I have a peace and joy that I know can only be from God. It’s quite amazing, and quite beautiful to see the grace of God at work!
So I could be questioning God right now. Why did my symptoms suddenly disapear 7 years ago only to find out now that MS is still in my body? Did You really heal me? All the answers to these questions I don’t know. But I do know that God is sovereign over all and He gives grace to His children. I know that He did heal me of my symptoms for 7 years and that is a beautiful thing. He allowed me to be symptom free as I was growing in my relationship with Him and coming to a dependence on Him. The difference between my initial diagnosis at 19 and me now at 27 is that I know who I am in Christ. I know that my body is a temporary thing. It is not eternal. Why should I fret over temporary things? My treasure is in heaven with the creator of my body! This doesn’t give me a license to mistreat or abuse my body through lack of care for it, as it is a temple of the Holy Spirit, but it means that I use my life to bring Him glory in any way that I can and don’t allow the fact that this temporary shell may be falling away, to get me depressed or upset. My body is His temple, where He resides, I will take care of it to the best of my ability through nutrition, exercise, and rest, but I will not be caught off guard when I find that my temporary home on this earth may have a few cracks in it’s foundation. God is still God, and I love him.
So I take joy and great hope in the sovereignty of my Creator. I pray that I will have a realization daily that the temporary things of this life will all fall away at some point, and that my treasure is Christ, His redeeming and saving hand in my life. What a hope I have to know that I am loved and cared for by the almighty Creator of the Universe!
Are you investing your time, thoughts, worries in temporary things? Or can your affections be found in the one who is affectionately pursuing you?
Thank you all for your prayers and thoughts!
So lately I have been fairly blog silent. Well, my life is moving at a surprisingly rapid rate right now, and that is why. But, I will take the time to get everyone caught up through wonderful bullet-ed format (I know, lazy writing). Here is what has been going on about the last three weeks:
- We moved to the city into our new loft, and I almost died , seriously, I did. Already wrote about that, so look it up
- Processing and working on church planting details with my brother Dhati, and the Blueprint. We are considering a partnership, but very carefully and prayerfully working through the details. Either way, this thing he is doing is going to blow up.
- Having weekly small group meetings with three different groups of people on different days
- Attending worship services at a couple of different church expressions (I know, it’s semantics to some, but not to me)
- Meeting…Meetings…Meetings, and you guessed it, more meetings. We are making some incredible connections here in Atlanta, and I believe it will all workout to glorify God.
- Some connections include the President of Reformed Seminary here in Atlanta, who I had a long lunch with. He is a great man, and he has an incredible vision for this city and the people they will train to serve it. Buddy Hoffman, founding and Senior Pastor of Grace, and current Pastor of a re-plant Midtown Community, and his son Gabe, who has an incredible mind for the nuts and bolts of church planting.
- Applying to the Acts 29 Network as well as ARC, which are both strong church planting networks that I am excited about being a part of in the near or distant future (depending on how God leads Dhati and I through our processing on Blue Print) The Acts 29 application has been like rewriting my thesis.
- So was my application for seminary here in Atlanta
- Starting another new job (details coming)
- Reading globs of theological STUFF…my eyes hurt
- Working on web content and a first talk for City Aces, an new non profit that my good friend Frank Igwe is launching. City Aces stands for Athletes Changing Expectations, focused of course in the inner city. There will be nationwide events, and we could use all of the setup and marketing help any of you could provide from city to city. Frank has asked me, and I have accepted the role of lead communicator at each event.
- Preparing to finally defend my thesis, which has taken a great deal longer than expected because of publication re-writes (2-3 articles will come out of it)
- Writing the introduction for my first manuscript
- And of course spending time with my two girls (the big (my wife) the little (my daughter))
I think that is everything. If it’s not, it should be.
My daughter hates going to sleep…hates it. She fights nap time/bedtime tooth and nail, so that makes for interesting days everyday. Sunday afternoon we put her down for a nap, and we came back up to the room about an hour later. We were watching a movie when we heard rustling in the crib… instantly she’s up, wide awake.
For some reason we got the idea that if we didn’t move, she would not be able to see us, and so we stayed completely still for about five minutes. I gave a signal to Breanna, and she slowly slipped from the bed onto the floor, and scooted out of the room on her butt. This was hilarious to me. Then it was my turn.
I put one hand and one foot on the floor, and heard movement again, so I stayed completely still until she stopped moving. Then I slowly FELL to the floor. With this I began to army crawl out of the room, keeping the laughter just behind my lips, I almost broke just thinking about how ridiculous this was.
But there you have it…the things you do for your kids. I must have lost my mind!!
My little girl, she’s 1, is the busiest child in the world…you may argue differently, but my position is solid. From the time she wakes in the morning, until the very moment she shuts her eyes at night she is moving.
This morning something different, something miraculous took place…she laid on my chest and cuddled with me for about 15 minutes. This is unusual for her unless she is near sleep, because she is wide open all day, much like her daddy. It was so sweet though…she just laid there, poking my arm.
Her and Breanna have been in Texas visiting her parents for about 8 days, so I guess she missed old dad…