Resolutions: Getting to the Root

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Yesterday we were treated to a tour of an orchid garden like nothing I have ever seen or even imagined. Some friends of ours have somewhere around 2000 orchids between their backyard and the yard of their neighbor. It’s their livelihood and clearly a deep passion. While he was giving us a bit of an education about these delicate and unique plants, he said one thing that stuck with me. Every year he has to re-pot the plant. There are two reasons for this. First of all, the moss which acts as nourishment breaks down and is not useful anymore. Secondly, he takes that opportunity to cut the dead roots because if he doesn’t, he explained, the dead roots will poison the plant from the inside out.

There is a lot of cynicism surrounding the idea of New Years Resolutions. But even in God’s creation we clearly see the wisdom in deep assessment once a year. There is a physical need to re-pot the plant, add fresh nourishment, and cut the dead roots.

The first step is taking the plant out of the pot. From year to year, do you just stay where you are because that’s where you are? Take a moment to ask the Lord, “Is this where you want me to be? Show me your plan for me. Let me hear a word behind me saying this is the way, walk in it, wherever I go to the right or to the left.” (Isaiah 30:21) The Bible says that we have not because we ask not. In James we learn that if we ask for wisdom He will give it to us. So don’t forget to ask the Lord where He wants you as you begin this new year.

Do you need fresh nourishment? Have you been reading from the same devotional for 20 years? Maybe it’s time for a new one. I am looking forward to reading Tim Keller’s 365 days through the Psalms in addition to personal Bible reading. Our family has set a lofty goal of reading through the Bible this year. It’s so doable. I know this because people do it. Ha! Maybe you could ask us how we’re doing! Remind us how important it is. Start a prayer journal. Find a prayer partner. Try something different, something new to revitalize and energize your spirit.

Finally, find all the dead roots and cut.them.out! (Insert hand motions from Joey of “Full House”) According to the dictionary definition roots are the part of a plant that attaches it to the ground or to a support, typically underground, conveying water and nourishment to the rest of the plant via numerous branches and fibers. Sometimes there are parts of our lives that are taking up time and space that no longer bring us life. Maybe it is a toxic relationship. Maybe it is a job. Maybe it is hobby or hang up that is bringing you down instead of closer to the Lord. Now is a great time to sit before the Lord and ask Him to show you what root, what area of your life is no longer viable so that you can cut it free. There is no neutrality here. If it isn’t bringing you life, much like the orchid, it will slowly poison you from the inside out.

Ditch the cynicism and ignore the naysayers. There is beauty in taking time once a year, at least, to assess and evaluate. Humble yourself before the Lord and ask for wisdom for this coming year. Share your goals and aspirations with a trusted friend. Make a plan. Don’t be afraid of failure. Re-pot your plant, add some fresh nourishment, and cut off the dead roots and watch what beauty the Lord has in store for your heart.

The Bold Decision Our Church is Making for the New Year.

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This New Year, our church has made a decision that many would question, disagree with, or downright object to. They have decided to suspend all the different small groups Bible studies and focus on one topic. And that one topic is the one topic that our church previously prided itself on talking very little about. Money.

The truth is that I, for one, could not be happier. I could go on and on about my happiness, but I will contain myself and just get to the point. (You’re welcome mom) 😉

Calvary Ft. Lauderdale and all of the campuses are doing a church wide study with Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace.

As with any drastic decisions a church makes, I am sure this commitment will draw some curiosity and questions. So I thought I would comment on some that I have heard.

1) Shouldn’t we be helping families instead of talking about money?

To that I would say: Why not do both?

FPU helps every type of family:

Married?

According to “Examining the Relationship Between Financial Issues and Divorce,”  published in the Family Relations journal (v. 61, No. 4, Oct. 2012), financial disagreements were the strongest disagreement types to predict divorce for both men and women. Helping the church see money God’s way will save marriages at a supersonic rate.

 

Single?

What better way to prepare for a future mate then to be debt free with savings? My friend brought $50,000 into her marriage through investing on a teachers salary.

 

Single parent?

You will receive the guidance and support you need to succeed where society expects you to fail.

2) If money is the root of all types evil, then shouldn’t we avoid the topic in church?

Nope. According to the Bible, the LOVE of money is the root of all types of evil. Financial Peace teaches you to look at money as a tool not an idol. You will learn to give possessions their proper place. The ultimate goal is financial freedom so that you are free to give to a world in need.

3) I can’t afford the class.

Actually you can’t afford NOT to take the class. With the tools we garnered from FPU almost 10 years ago, our family paid off over 10,000 in the first year! And because of the philosophy we acquired, we were saved from the housing crisis and able to move from a townhouse to a house. (more on how in the next blog)

Personally, I am extremely excited that Dave Ramsay is coming to our church to kick it off on January 9th and 10th. For us, the timing is perfect. While our family still doesn’t use credit cards, and has no debt other than our mortgage, I was recently made woefully aware that I need a refresher. A couple weeks ago, I went to Office Depot and somehow got to talking to the cashier about how careful I had to be with what I purchased since I was paying with cash. The girl, about half my age, said, “oh, I only use cash, otherwise I buy more.” So there’s that. But since I am a little slow, the Lord gave me another lesson. A week later my debit card was compromised, and I had to use cash for a few days. When I got to the register at THE DOLLAR STORE I was humiliated to realize that I didn’t have enough money. It’s so easy to pile things in the cart without paying attention to the bottom line. And those extra dollars spent add up throughout the year.

Whether you are a wiz with your money or feel like a total failure, I guarantee the skills and philosophies taught in this life changing class will impact you in an eternal way and open your eyes to the freedom that God intends for us to have. Make the bold decision for a year of freedom! Sign up today!

If your life was changed by FPU, tell us how in the comments!

https://my.calvaryftl.org/free/