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I recently had the privilege to speak to about 40 teenagers on a topic that many churches aren’t teaching to their youth. The series was called “money 101” and to be honest when I got the invitation I didn’t know how much I could explain about money to people who:

a.) probably don’t make any money because the don’t have jobs
b.) think money grows on trees
c.) is completely out of touch with the cost of living

After feeling sorry for myself for a while I decided to ask myself a question: “What could I have heard that would have helped me learn about money when I was their age?” Truthfully, I think anything could have helped me when I was that age. I didn’t know at the time but realized later in life that my dad was teaching me some lessons about money in a very ninja-like fashion. He would make comments that would sound something like this: “If you want it save up your money and buy it.” Thus teaching me the value of work and I would care for things more if I earned them. However, even with all of those “tuff love” lessons there were still some things that I wish someone would have told me.

I can remember in school when students would discuss their “dream” jobs and what they aspired to be. I never remember hearing people discuss how they wanted a mediocre paying job without a corporate ladder. I realized later that people weren’t talking about jobs that would bring them happiness, they were selecting the highest paid jobs that they hated the least. Why? Because teens believe that money brings happiness and success. And that is because the majority of adults believe the same thing.

So here goes nothing:

Relationships come before money! – I have seen to many parents try to provide for their children with things and opportunities that they themselves never had by working a lot…….all the while their family grew apart because relationships were not prioritized appropriately.

Do what you enjoy because you can be happy, successful, and retire well with even a low paying job! – Learning how to budget effectively and live within your means can create even a minimum wage worker a multimillionaire by retirement. Don’t believe me? Check out Dave Ramsey! That guy will rock your financial world upside down.

Jesus talked about money more than a lot of other topics because he knew how off track our lives could get if we pursued money instead of Him! The church should be teaching about it as well!

Pastor Aaron

Identity

May 18, 2013 — Leave a comment

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. (Ephesians 1:3, 4 ESV)

Over the next couple months our church will be going through a series based on Ephesians. Ephesians, written by the apostle Paul and inspired by God, is a letter to the church/saints/sinners regarding how we view ourselves and why. Over the next several weeks I will be breaking down some of the passage from Ephesians to prompt thought, inspiration, and hopefully enlightenment.

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A couple things that jump out at me from this passage is:

a.) our blessings are “in Christ”

It’s easy at times to think that our blessings come from our hard work, dedication, sweat, thinking capacities, etc. However, it’s true to that any blessing, big or small, comes from him. This way of thinking is preceded by the understanding that God owns everything and if any of his items end up in our possession it is surely not because of the “good” that we have done, rather its the “good” that is in His son.

b.) He (God) “chose” us before He created the world.

Warning: this thought has the potential to be life-changing! To understand that you were “chosen” even before the foundations of the world were established gives a hope that we have a purpose in life. No one can “choose” something without having a thought correlating with the item chosen. God chose you and assigned a specific thought and purpose to you.