Okay, I admit it. I have been watching TLC. Sometimes late at night, when I am writing for this blog, I have been watching the new reality show Extreme Couponing. Now being a stay at home dad, I have been trying to find ways to save money and be a good steward of what God has blessed my family with, and one idea that has popped into my mind is…COUPONS. I just hope my “man-friends” don’t start making fun of me.

I haven’t gone crazy and started dumpster diving for left over newspapers, as I have seen some do, but I have taken the first step and started to actually buy the local newspaper. This practice goes beyond all my reasoning because I know I can find any news I need for free online or on some blog…BUT I have to say it has been kinda fun looking through the pages, searching for those money-saving cut-outs. The only questions I have is…NOW WHAT?

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When I first start started blogging, really only less than two months ago, I had set a goal of reaching 1000+ hits in my first three months. Well, thanks to you guys, yesterday I surpassed my goal. It has been my desire to write about the random things in my life and uncover life lessons that can impact and help others. YOU have made this possible. Thanks.

Blogging isn’t about just writing though and the number of visits or hits you can generate. It is about building a community and sharing life and conversation about the topics and issues that tie them together. I hope I can continue to do that and that you continue to read, visit and share. Don’t forget that you can always get updates sent to you when I post something by subscribing through RSS to my posts, or even have them emailed to ya directly. Also, follow me on Twitter for extra bytes during the week.

In celebration of this milestone in my blogging adventure…I want to challenge you to help me reach my next goal of 1000 visits a month!!! Simply choose your favorite blog post and then select to share it with someone else through Facebook, Twitter or your favorite social media site. THANKS FOR DOING LIFE WITH ME!

So, the question today I have for you is…what are the topics that matter to you most that you would love to hear about on this blog?

 

When I first start started blogging, really only less than two months ago, I had set a goal of reaching 1000+ hits in my first three months. Well, thanks to you guys, yesterday I surpassed my goal. It has been my desire to write about the random things in my life and uncover life lessons that can impact and help others. YOU have made this possible. Thanks.

Blogging isn’t about just writing though and the number of visits or hits you can generate. It is about building a community and sharing life and conversation about the topics and issues that tie them together. I hope I can continue to do that and that you continue to read, visit and share. Don’t forget that you can always get updates sent to you when I post something by subscribing through RSS to my posts, or even have them emailed to ya directly. Also, follow me on Twitter for extra bytes during the week.

In celebration of this milestone in my blogging adventure…I want to challenge you to help me reach my next goal of 1000 visits a month!!! Simply choose your favorite blog post and then select to share it with someone else through Facebook, Twitter or your favorite social media site. THANKS FOR DOING LIFE WITH ME!

So, the question today I have for you is…what are the topics that matter to you most that you would love to hear about on this blog?

 

I remember when I was in high school, I swore that when I graduated I would never read a book again, but little did I know that most of my time in college would be spent reading for an exam or class assignment [thank God for cliff notes]. It wasn’t until I was launched into ministry and leadership did I understand the benefits of reading. Maybe I like it so much now because know one is forcing me to do it…lol

Everyone has different tastes in how and what they read. Some like fiction, biographies, love stories and how-to-books. Some people read the paper, blogs, on an e-reader or through audiobooks. Personally, I like to listen to audiobooks, but will read a “book” if one is not in audio format. I have found that I prefer fiction or how-to-books in order to learn and expand my influence. I am actually a huge book-junkie and love to refer a great book or blog to people I encounter that might be looking for answers to certain life, business and ministry questions. I am also a firm believer that if you are not growing or reading…you ARE NOT going to have influence or see growth in your life. Period.

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They say that everyone loves hearing the sound of their own name. In fact, if you take any type of training on sales or read any books on how to influence others, experts will usually suggest to you to try to use the customers name as much as possible. BUT, as a parent, the one thing I love to hear more than the sound of my own name is when my kids call me “Da-Da”. I have three boys and I can remember exactly when each of them said those words for the first time…and being competitive in nature, I am pleased to announce that each one of them said my preferred name, “Da-Da”, before they learned how to say, “Ma-ma” or anything else. And…since I have all boys, their 2nd word was…of course…”ball”…sorry honey.

Rather than bore you with details of my kids’ phonetic journey, let me get to the point. A couple of days ago, my 7 month old…and last kid my wife and I will bring into this world…said “Da-Da” for the first time. After bragging about this on Twitter, I realized something sobering. This was the last time I would hear those words for the first time.

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As a huge OSU fan, I rejoiced yesterday as the news was “made official” that Urban Meyer was hired as the next head football coach for the Buckeyes. As a former high school football coach, I know the importance of having a man at the helm that can motivate and inspire young men to greatness…and as a current stay at home dad, I learned a valuable life lesson from Coach Urban Meyer’s press interviews and chats yesterday in regards to his new commitments to both OSU and his family. If you are listening closely, and brush aside the football noise, and hear what this “refreshed” dad and coach is saying…there is great wisdom for any parent on what to say “yes” and “no” to in this life.

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One of the best things I can do for myself, my family and those I influence is to “Just Say No!” I know, I know…it sounds cliche…BUT when it comes to prioritizing your life and maximizing on the time and influence you have with others around you…learning to say, “No,” is crucial.

Some may argue that following this advice seems negative. It’s actually a matter of perspective. Every time you say “No” to something, you are in reality saying “Yes” to something else. Think about it…if I say “No” to a guy’s night out, I am saying “Yes” to dinner with my family. If I look at my son and say, “No” almost every time he asks me to buy him a candy bar or video game when we are at the store…I am saying “Yes” to investing that money in something he actually needs. When we say “No” to that temptation that stares us down daily or weekly, we are saying “Yes” to building character, discipline and integrity in our lives. In a world that is constantly screaming at us to say “Yes” to doing this or consuming that…I say no…and I am trying to teach my sons to do the same…BUT…they know it’s okay to say “Yes” as long as doing so is saying “No” to the right stuff. Are you confused yet?

 

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So tomorrow we will feast on turkey, eat pumpkin pie, watch football and take a long nap…BUT what do you do the day after Thanksgiving? That is the important question. What do you do when the bird is stripped down to the bone and the leftovers are placed in the fridge?

Do you wait in line for hours for that great deal on that one thing that you or someone in your family has to have this year? Do you hide your wallet from your spouse? Do you take the kids to a movie, or finish off the pie, or are you like me and just…

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The turkey has become a universal symbol for being thankful. Even my kids know this to be true. Every time we sit down and “spread out the turkey feast” my kids know that it’s Thanksgiving and the time of year we talk about “What We’re Thankful For”…probably because it’s the only time we actually cook a whole turkey. BUT this has got me thinking…how do I teach my kids to be thankful, not just during Thanksgiving, but everyday…or at least once a week? Do I have to cook a turkey every week or feed them turkey everyday? Come to think about it, as a stay at home dad, I probably do feed them turkey sandwiches and mac and cheese almost everyday for lunch…BUT how do I instill in them an “attitude of gratitude?”

I am reminded of something I say often, “If it’s not in you [as a parent] it’s not in them…” So, the questions isn’t “how do I make my kids more thankful?”, BUT “how can I be more thankful?” Ouch…that one hurts because I think at times I fail to show how much I am thankful for the things in my life. It can be easy for me at times to take things around me for granted. Whether we like it or not, the apple doesn’t fall to far from the tree, and the things that we see [or don’t see] in our kids, is really a reflection of who we are.

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Too Chicken To Say Thanks

Eric Baumann  —  November 21, 2011 — 5 Comments

Okay, I admit it. Yesterday during church, the speaker gave a great message to start off the Thanksgiving holiday right, and I “chickened out” during the response time. Maybe it’s because we are new and I am still getting my feet wet, but I decided I would share my response to this message with you guys instead. We read a great passage out of Psalm, which I am sad to say I forgot what exact passage it was…BUT the message stuck, and I memorized half of the whole chapter…it is simply, “His [God’s] love endures forever” no matter what.

At the end, we were asked to fill in the blank to these 3 statements…

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