Our Awkward Family Photo

A couple of years ago my friend Andrew Pray, myself, and our wives were online looking at ‘Awkward Family Photos‘. I told him I felt like I had one that qualified. When I showed him this photo he laughed as hard as I ever saw him laugh…and it went on for a while. I promised him that one day around the start of the Christmas Season that I would either submit this to the Awkward Family Photo web site, or just post it myself.

On this day, his birthday, and in the hopes of making others smile and laugh as hard as Andrew did, I submit to you ‘Christmas Eve 2008’. What can I say? We have a Disney Side! For the record, my wife looks amazing, my boys are handsome rascals, but I look like a Christmas Creeper. Celebrating the life of my friend, who is gone far too soon, with a wink and a smile.IMG_5330

Same Old

So I’m sitting in a Doctor’s office waiting room while my wife has some surgery done. We have had this day circled on the calendar. We knew it was coming. We don’t do this every day. To us, today is a big deal.

A couple of minutes ago a male nurse came in. Let’s call him Gaylord just for fun! He walked into the room and the female nurse at the desk very mechanically slid some papers under his pen. He signed and slid them back and signed some more. She gave him just a glance and asked a question, “How’s it going today?” Based on the title of this post, you can guess the answer, “Same old, same old”. She actually echoed his response. That was the extent of their exchange.

There’s a little something inside of me that wants to go over and bring something to their attention. For us, today is different. You people are taking care of my wife! For Gaylord, today is the same old thing.

I experienced the same thing buying paint over the weekend. We had saved some money in advance for a home project. My wife was excited to change the colors on the wall. We have talked about colors for weeks. She has looked through magazines, we’ve had samples on the wall and considered morning light, artificial light, and evening light. For us walking into the paint store marked a small milestone. To the young guy at the counter, we are just two people a little too excited about a shade of beige.

I have worked at the same church for over 750 Sundays. I love this place. I believe in the vision and the work that is being done. And every week since we started, without fail, we have had guests. I have no idea what their circumstances might be. Some come with deep hurts, and are looking for comfort. Many have no church affiliation and haven’t been since they were kids. Very few just pull in. Most have made a plan to come before they get here. Their particular day is a big deal. And I believe they might hear a message that could change their family in an incredible way.

We have to guard against ‘Same old, same old’. Today is different for somebody, and we get the chance to be right there in the middle of someone’s unique experience. We have to give our very best because today could bring about something brand new.

Everyone belongs,

Paul

Mo’ Money

About three weeks ago my wife came home from the grocery store and freaked me out! She told me what the grocery bill was before she employed her coupon strategy. It was a much bigger number than I was used to hearing. She always saves a criminal amount of money at the grocery store, but I immediately thought, ‘There’s no way she saved enough to make up for that kind of damage.” I was wrong. My wife had walked out of a grocery store saving 75% of her original total.

It is becoming a bit ordinary at our house for her to come home having saved triple digits. That’s right, $100 or more. I’m a very proud husband, but not of just the numbers she puts up week after week. You can find plenty of people that have coupon strategies (all inferior to this one of course) What I am most proud of is the heart of why she does this.

Angela and her friend (and now business partner)  Dana Reagan started Clipsy Chicks around a year ago in a home. They had been couponing and sharing notes, and some friends invited them to come share what they had learned with other ladies. They put it in the form of a presentation, targeted at the women in the room, and they were a hit. Just by word of mouth and a series of invitations they have now spoken more than 40 times to hundreds of women in churches, business, and retreat centers. It’s just been word of mouth, because they are just that good, and because what they are teaching works.

They had two things at the heart of this that they really wanted women to understand. Whether or not they are talking to women who are Christ-followers this is part of the message you will get:

  • This is about stewardship. There is no reason to blow money at the grocery store that can be saved. You can carve money (lots of it) out of your budget right now. Think about your monthly grocery bill. Do you have any idea how much you spend? Whatever it is, cut it in half (at least). Now, what would you do with that much more money in your pocket every month without working a single extra hour outside the home?
  • Anybody can do this. Both Angela and Dana have teacher’s hearts. They want to see everyone that they encounter have success. They have created a system of shopping and saving that is easy to mimic, along with tools that you can use to start saving money right away.

On Thursday night, March 31st at 7:00pm (that’s this week by the way) the Clipsy Chicks will be at West Ridge Church dropping some knowledge that you can use right away. You are welcome to come, but it would be even better if you registered in advance. You can click here to do that.

Everyone Belongs,

Paul