Category Archives: Physical Stewardship

Debt-Free Series: Is Anything Too Hard?

Trying to live a debt-free life without Christ is empty and much more difficult than one who lives debt-free IN Christ. Remember Philippians 4:19? “But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” Isn’t that a beautiful promise? Think about the phrase, “according to his riches in glory.” The One Who owns the cattle on a thousand hills, Who made the earth and hung the sun, moon and starsHe is the One Who provides for our needs. WOW. He has the means. Do we have the faith and depth of character to receive it?

We certainly don’t abide in Christ so He will provide for our needs. We abide in Christ for blessed fellowship with the One Who loves us and died for us. “As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love. If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love” (John 15:9-10).

Providing for our needs is a blessing of abiding in Christ. It’s as natural as the vine giving nourishment to the branches. It is like parents providing for their children. As you raise your children, you aren’t keeping track of everything you spend on them so they can repay you when they are on their own. You provide for them because you love them.

The Psalmist said, “The idols of the heathen are silver and gold, the work of men’s hands” (Psalm 135:15). Likely that is why it’s been said that “anything we turn to to meet our needs is a competing god.” Are we content in Christ Who will supply all our needs? Does the reality of our day-to-day life—the decisions that we makeprove to those observing us that He is our God, Whom we trust and live for? Who/what are we looking to for our needs?

Steve

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 “For every beast of the forest is mine, and the
cattle upon a thousand hills.” Psalm 50:10

“Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh:
is there any thing too hard for me?” Jeremiah 32:27

Debt-Free Series: What is Our Example?

Our children are watching us and our example is being imprinted on their lives. We must ask ourselves, is it really about teaching our children to be debt-free, or the more important commitment, to love the Lord Jesus with all our heart, soul, and mind and obediently follow Him? I endorse the latter.

At the heart of our walk with Christ is whether we believe Him. Obviously, believing in Him, Who He is, and what He has done for us on the cross is essential for salvation. However, believing His Word is essential for abundant life in Christ. Do we truly believe what His Word says?

It is one thing to believe He has saved us for eternity with Him after we die, but does He provide and guide us while we live? If so, am I really willing to follow Him? Could it be that our willingness to trust and obey Him in life is an indication of our real trust in Him? Do we actually believe something if “it” doesn’t affect the decisions we make?

In the garden, Satan led Eve to sin by “encouraging” Eve to doubt what God told them. “…And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said…?: (Genesis 3:1). As a result of that exchange, sin entered and passed to their children and down through the ages to us. Foundational to teaching our children to be debt-free is for them to observe parents who truly believe God and follow Him.

Scripture is very clear on whether God will provide for us. “But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19). Is it true? Of course. Do we believe it always? most of the time? some of the time? none of the time?

Our actions are determined by our decisions. We make decisions based on what we believe to be true. If we believe that God will supply all of our needs, what do we do when we don’t have money for something?

Do we first seek the Lord as to whether He considers it a need or a want? God will not supply all our wants, but He will supply all of our needs in His time.

Our children are watching. They remember our actions. We set the example. If we justify wants as needs, they will also. Then when God doesn’t supply money for their wants, they will borrow like everyone else.

Are you content in Christ? Are you trusting Him to meet your needs? Are you teaching, by example, your children to walk in faith, obediently following Jesus?

Steve

“Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.” 
1 Corinthians 11:1

Debt-Free Series: Excited to Begin

For some time I’ve had it on my heart to encourage families who have the desire to raise children to live debt-free lives. From my discussions with people, I believe the vast majority of Christians today are burdened down with debt. They believe it is just a fact of life – unavoidable.They have labored for years under the weight of it, not thinking it is possible to live without it. Praise God there are some who desire and are committed to something better for their children. If that is your desire, this series is for you.

I recently asked those who receive the Seriously Dads’ email if they were committed to raising their children to be debt-free. My purpose was to reply to them directly and encourage them. However, too many responded for me to dialog with each individually. To give you an idea, however, of the mindset of today’s conservative Christians, ONLY 2% replied that they are committed to this endeavor for their children. That grieves my heart not in any sort of condemnation, but because of the bondage they are experiencing and the freedom in life they are missing.

Still, I was encouraged that many responded that they are committed to raising their children to be debt-free. That also meant I needed to find another way of corresponding with you. I realized we could do it via the blog and for those who wished could sign up to receive the blog via email (see the right side bar). That is why the addition of a new topic thread to the titus2.com blog.

What to expect, (Lord willing):

  • Hope! Hope is the essential, beginning point for commitment and achievement.
  • Practical ideas and resources that build upon that hope.
  • Encouragement. One brother shared how all his friends were suggesting that he get a mortgage and that it was a ridiculous idea to try to save for a house. This will be a “place” of encouragement.
  • A place for you to be involved. You can respond via e-mail (not by comments), give me your thoughts on questions, share your heart, and ask questions. (If you wish to respond, you can do so via our Contact Form or replying to a Seriously email.)
  • God’s grace. He gives it bountifully when we seek to follow Him.
  • Life in Christ, Who is the Hope of the world, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

 

Share these posts with others who you believe are open to living debt-free and/or raising their children that way. Even though you may be surrounded by those thinking it isn’t possible, why not help them escape “Egypt” with you? Create your own encouragement community around you.

Question: What do you think are foundational aspects for someone to be debt-free?

Thank you for being a part. Please pray for us as we pray for you.

(Also, WordPress automatically adds what it considers as related posts below.)

Trusting in Christ alone,
Steve

img_8178“Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and
peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope,
through the power of the Holy Ghost” (Romans 15:13).

Return of the Agitator

We just “downgraded” our washing machine and are very pleased with it. Let me share the story with you.
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When the Maytag washer, which my parents had given to us as a baby gift at our first child’s birth, had some major problems about 20 years later, we purchased the new HE front loader Maytag Neptune washing machine. It promised to conserve water, energy, use less detergent, and wash bigger loads of laundry. It never, however, performed well for us, and those machines were eventually in a class action lawsuit. After a few years we decided to cut our losses and try a Kenmore HE front loader. While that one didn’t have the mold problems in the gasket that the Neptune did, it still didn’t seem to clean as well as our old Maytag washer had cleaned.

When we built our house and chose a washer for it, we decided on an HE top loader. It was okay, but still wasn’t cleaning like that original Maytag. As we watched clothes through the glass window on the lid, we weren’t surprised they didn’t seem to get very clean. There wasn’t much motion in the clothes nor much water in the washer.

When recently the bearings went out in the HE top loader necessitating a $130 part plus an $80 tool and the time for Steve to fix it, we decided to do what Christopher and Anna Marie had done – go backwards to an old agitator style washing machine. With the money we would invest in repairing our HE top loader, we could buy an old machine from Craig’s list and fix it, if it wasn’t working.

Christopher had done research and come up with Kenmore Series 80 or 90-agitator style washing machine as being a solid machine, easy to work on, with parts still readily available. Within a few days, we had procured a Series 90 had it cleaned up, and begun using it for less than half of what the repair of the HE top loader would have been. We are happy with the agitator machine’s performance, and it will be much less costly to repair when something goes wrong with it.

We have now decided to get an old Kenmore Series 90 dryer to have on hand for when our new dryer has a problem. We have already had to replace the control board on it. The Kenmore Series 90 dryer will be easier to repair and have parts that are less expensive.

Sometimes the old ways are better.IMG_3029.JPG

Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein. Jeremiah 6:16

Fitness

What a great response to the “test” post on a fitness challenge!! We’re ready to go on our side. We grabbed a few pictures the other night to set out some suggestions on proper form, and they will be with the next post. A rough plan has been completed to cover the next 90 days–we’re looking forward to it.

As Dad did in his initial post, I would like to again provide a bit of encouragement in a few areas.

First, balance. Scripture says that “bodily exercise profiteth little.” We see that there is benefit in exercise, but according to Scripture it is minimal. Our bodies are Christ’s temple; they are what He indwells. But, our spirit is what will live forever. Therefore, to neglect what is important for that which isn’t would not be a good thing. For someone to get their pushups in for the day, but miss their time with the Lord would show misplaced priorities.

Secondly, we are not wanting this to be a catalyst that encourages joining of gyms. We’re sure some will disagree with this, but we don’t see gyms as a wholesome environment for Christians. Between the “modesty”, music, and TV’s–they aren’t edifying. Therefore, our challenge is to encourage physical fitness that can be accomplished at home.

Thirdly, we desire to build the body, not injure it. With exertion there is the possibility of injury if there are existing physical problems or poor form/execution of the exercise. Please be sure you have correct form, and if you have any concerns or questions about your current health status, check with your physician. We won’t consider stiffness an injury. (smile)

And last, this is not a competition. We are not competing against each other. It is an “as iron sharpeneth iron” environment where we can encourage each other to improve. We’re not competing. The goal of this is to provide a forum for interaction, accountability to push on, and programming that makes it accessible for everyone in a family environment.

Scripture says that a threefold cord is not easily broken. I’m looking forward to being a part of that cord with you over the next 90 days.

Watch the blog as the next post will describe how it will work and give you the opportunity to measure your current ability. Look for it Thursday or Friday!

Nathan

“Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31).

A family team
Abby's little stuffed animals were going to take a turn riding.

A Challenge

A short time ago we posted a picture with Nathan doing a pushup with Abigail on his back during a time when he was responding to a “pushup challenge.” A comment we received on that post asked if the Maxwell men would challenge others because the mom writing wanted to see her sons getting involved in some beneficial physical activity. So that’s the background.

Our family has embraced physical fitness in varying degrees as a way of being good stewards of our health. “For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things” (1 Timothy 4:8a). An aspect very important to us is that exercise is kept in balance with the pursuit of godliness.

In discussing this, praying and seeking counsel, we felt we would see if others would like to be challenged to improve their fitness and health in a family-friendly, spiritually beneficial way.  Through the years our family has sought to do things together as a family and this might be something others would appreciate.

The plan is to begin on February 1st with a push-up challenge for anyone in your family who wants to improve fitness at home. It would be great if it was the whole family, but it might be Dad and his sons, Dad and Mom, just the children, or one only. It isn’t a competition, but everyone “wins” who is willing to work at it. No one is being compared to others, but the goal is for each one to improve from their current level of fitness.

We envision this as something families could really enjoy doing together. So with that introduction, let us know what you think. If there is sufficient interest then we will post again with more information. Comment below if you are interested.

God bless,
Steve and Nathan

“For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things” (1 Timothy 4:8a)