The Best Christian Resources Wherever You Are!

Rally Point Chapel is partnering with Right Now Media to make available the best Christian resources wherever you are.   Many of you are on the go, deployed or in transit.  Your location doesn’t have to get in the way of your spiritual growth.  If you are interested in being a part of this oportunity contact us here or on Facebook.

 

An Empty House

The house feels different today.

I park my car in the same place as before. I unlock the same beveled-glass door, and the same slobbering chocolate Labrador greets me. I set my keys on the same table and see the same pictures on the wall.

But this doesn’t feel like my house.

There are no shoes littering the entryway, threatening to trip anyone who dares to enter. There are no bicycles gathered in the driveway, and no baseballs on the couch. There are crumbs on the counter, of course, from a half-eaten breakfast muffin, but no one is arguing over who gets to use the computer first.

The start of the school year has robbed my house of its life today, and my identity went right along with it.

You see, I have been a stay-at-home mom for 13 years now. I always considered myself blessed to have the option, and I always knew – as did my husband – that it was a good fit for our family.

But my kids are in school now. And somewhere deep inside me is a nagging voice, telling me that I should get out and do something. That I should contribute financially to my family. That it’s self-indulgent to stay home in an empty house.

In years past, when this voice got the best of me, I worked as a substitute teacher, because it offered me an opportunity to work and keep a schedule that matches that of my kids. The income was nice, but the dynamic of our mornings and afternoons changed, because my stress level was higher.  My kids weren’t crazy about it (maybe because I was teaching in their respective classrooms?) but they tolerated it in the name of supplementing our budget.

Fast forward to now, and the voice is still there. My substitute teacher application is as yet unacknowledged, and I’m home in an empty house. Still trying to find the answer.

I think back to a friend from years ago who told me she stayed home until her last child graduated from high school. She didn’t do it because she wanted to be available to “rescue” any of them from consequences (like forgetting homework.) She did it, she said, because there were moments when her children needed her immediately. Urgent problems that her kids were unsure how to handle. Important questions that required answers. And if she had been at work or otherwise unavailable, she would have missed the opportunity to guide them.

Like the other day when one of my children asked me a private question on the way to school. None of the other kids in the family were around, and we were alone in the car. Because I had a few minutes to spare, I was able to pull into a parking space and answer the question.

Or when my youngest child came home from school and cried inexplicably. It seems she was “exhausted” from the first days of school, and her emotions got the best of her. I laid down with her and talked to her about her day, and within a few minutes she was napping.

Then today, I read this:

“Don’t love the world’s ways. Don’t love the world’s goods. Love of the world squeezes out love for the Father. Practically everything that goes on in the world – wanting your own way, wanting everything for yourself, wanting to appear important – has nothing to do with the Father. It just isolates you from him. The world and all its wanting, wanting, wanting is on the way out – but whoever does what God wants is set for eternity.”  — 1 John 2:15-17  (Msg)

It lead me to think that perhaps going back to work because I feel compelled to is different than going back to work because it’s the right thing for my family. It caused me to think that perhaps I’m right where I’m supposed to be, at least for the moment. And it reminded me that I’ll always have an opportunity to take a new job, but my children won’t be here forever.

The Word For Today, “Hero”

One of the greatest hitters in the game, Babe Ruth hit 714 homeruns in his career. But in one of his last major league games, the aging star performed badly. In a single inning, his errors were responsible for five Cincinnati runs.

As the Babe walked off the field, boos and catcalls cascaded from the stands. Just then, a young boy jumped over the railing and ran onto the playing field. With tears streaming down his cheeks, he threw his arms around the legs of his hero. Ruth didn’t hesitate. He picked up the boy, hugged him, and set him down on his feet with a playful pat on the head.

Suddenly the booing stopped. A hush fell over the entire park.  For a brief moment, the crowd saw a different kind of hero: a man who in spite of a dismal day on the field could still care about a little boy.  He was no longer being judged by his accomplishments, but by a completely different standard.  It was a relationship that mattered.

Living in a performance oriented world, it is easy to ignore, even justify the disregard of relationships. Four qualities that mark such disregard are: Criticism, Contempt, Defensiveness, and Stonewalling.

The away game is almost over. It is time to go back to the home field advantage. Be careful that none of these qualities go with you. You will hit a lot more homeruns at home. And there is no better place to be a Hero.

The Word For Today, “Family.”

“If you can tell me who your heroes are, I can tell you how you’re going to turn out in life.”

~ Warren Buffet

“He who brings trouble on his family will inherit only wind, and the fool will be servant to the wise.”                                                                                                                                                                    ~ Proverbs 11:29

Raising a Gentleman

I am rather old fashioned when it comes to gender roles.  I supposed that this is evidenced by the fact that I stay home with our children while Brandon works to provide for our family.  More than that, I like Brandon to open doors for me, help me in or out of a car/bus/train/whatever I’m getting in or out of, pay for my meal (even though it all comes out of the same pot) and generally treat me as a lady.  This is not to say that I don’t have an opinion or that I don’t like to share it frequently.  I definitely have a mind of my own.  But overall I like to be treated like a delicate flower.

Now that our son is old enough to understand some of these things, we are training him to be a gentleman.  Because I spend the majority of my waking time with him, this task falls largely to me.  He now knows to open doors and hold them for ladies (including his sister).  He is never to hit a girl and he is not to wrestle with girls.  We are currently working on not pushing or shoving to get ahead of someone, especially not a girl!  (Did I mention he is only 4 1/2?)

All of my instruction, reminding and harping can only do so much.  Sometimes the lesson has to be experienced.

A couple of weeks ago we were on Disney’s Epcot ferry returning to our car after a very long and exhausting day at the park.  Being first on the boat, Brandon, the kids and I all sat on a bench.  It was plenty large, so no great sacrifice there.  But as the boat continued to fill, all of the seats became occupied.  Brandon, being the gentleman that he is, stood and offered his seat to an older woman who was stuck standing.  She gratefully accepted the seat and we proceeded across the lagoon.

After a moment, my son leaned over and asked me why daddy got up for the lady.  I was so pleased and proud to be able to explain to him that daddy is a gentleman and a gentleman always offers his seat to a lady.  He accepted this answer and we rode on in silence.  But I can’t help but be thankful that our son received such a wonderful lesson from his dad.  It wasn’t planned, it wasn’t scripted, it was just Brandon being who he is: a gentleman.

What are you training your children to become?

What lessons do they learn just by watching you?

Web Site Review: “The Dating Divas”

I recently came across a really fabulous marriage web site geared toward women.  The Dating Divas is a site dedicated to celebrating and encouraging marriages by providing unique dating ideas to refresh marriage relationships.

Reading through their ideas got me so excited to try some creative dates on my own.  They have very unique ideas that will appeal to all types of women.

  • Want to get away from the cell phone and into the outdoors?  Try the Stuck With You Date.
  • Are you a home body?  Spend a special night in with one of their movie themed dates.
  • Hubby going to be away on your anniversary (again!)?  Check out their long distance anniversary ideas.
  • Looking for something a little spicy but not sinful?  They have that too.  Check out their Intimate Moments (but be prepared to blush).

The Divas have neatly broken their ideas down into categories to make it easy to find something that appeals to you.  I encourage you to check out the site and take your next date night from dull to dazzling!

Baby Step #2 – the “Debt Snowball”

As we continue our journey to “Financial Freedom” we will introduce Baby Step #2 – the Debt Snowball, as taught in Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University class.

Just like with anything else in our lives, career, marriage, parenting, education, we must develop a plan if we want any chances of success.

The bible says in Luke 14:28-30, “For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it? Lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to mock him, Saying, This man began to build, and was not able to finish.” KJV

A plan is extremely important when handling God’s resources which He has entrusted to us. When we live God’s way we can trust the He will guide us to live His will.

In Baby Step #1 we saved $1000.00 for an Emergency. This money is for true blue emergencies only, make sure you are locked in with that mindset, or the plan will not work.

Now we can move on to Baby Step #2.

This step is designed to get you out of debt as quickly as possible. Just imagine how much you can give, save, spend and invest if you didn’t have any payments.

To set up this Step you will want to list your debts, all of them, minus your mortgage, (we will get to that in a different Step), smallest amount owed to the largest, regardless of the interest rate.

Then you will pay the smallest debt off as quickly as possible. Once that one is paid off, you can then concentrate on the next debt, rolling all of the payments you were making in the previous debt into the next target.

Keep rolling your previous debt payments into the current debt target until all your debt is gone and you are ready to move to Baby Step #3.

This method causes all of the math folks a fit, however, this method is used to achieve quick victories, therefore ensuring that you stay on track. For example if you have a debt of $3,000.00 that has a 29% APR and a debt of $1500 with an 6% APR, you will pay off the smaller balance to get that quick victory. You are more likely to stick to the plan if you allow yourself to knock off some financial weight quickly, versus taking 5,6 or 7 years to knock out a larger debt.

This will only work if you want and do everything it takes to get out of debt. Work hard, make a plan and stick to it and you will win. If you decide to take your time and stay in debt for a long time, this will not work and you will have to find a different plan.

Go to the following link: www.daveramsey.com to get a free copy of the Seven Baby Steps.

Also, we suggest going to www.iwbnin.com to download a free “ZERO” based budget form developed by Joseph Sangl. This is a great tool to plan your spending, before the month begins, instead of wondering where your money went at the end of the month.

That is all for now. Let’s get those Baby Steps Rockin’ and Rollin’ and allow God to do great things in our financial lives.

Anger – Destruction in the Making

Anger is a basic human emotion, placed in us by the Creator of the Universe to help us survive.

But anger can get out of control and cause damage to those around us.

In this installment of the Chaplain Therapist, we will begin to look at the effects of anger on those around us as a starting point for personal change.

Enjoy this edition of the Chaplain Therapist and check back often to see new videos.

Extra text.

Extra text.

The Word for Today is… Honor

At the Verizon Heritage PGA Tournament in April of  2010, Jim Furyk
and English golfer Brian Davis were tied after the final round. This led to a
sudden-death playoff hole, which Furyk won. Davis lost not because his short
game failed, not because he sent the tee shot sailing way right; but rather
because he called a penalty on himself. While attempting to chip the ball onto
the green, he saw out of the corner of his eye that he had moved a loose reed
in the middle of his backstroke. He immediately called the judges over. After a
brief review, two strokes were added to his card.

Slugger White, the PGA Tour’s tournament director who administrated the penalty, said
Davis’ actions were classy and appropriate for a sport based on honor. White
said Furyk came to Davis after and asked he was sure it was a penalty. “I
know I did it,” White recalled Davis’ response, “and I couldn’t live
with myself if I didn’t.”

It is one thing to play a sport with honor, it is another thing to serve in a
profession of honor, but the greatest thing is to live a life of honor.

The word for the day, “HONOR.” Sir – This concludes my brief.

Slide Content:

“Nobody can acquire honor by doing what is wrong”

President Thomas Jefferson

“Those who honor me I will honor…,”

1 Samuel 2:30