Stewardship

18 in '18: An Adventure in Weight Loss

I set out on a journey to lose some weight this year, partly expecting to fail, as in the past. To my surprise, I’ve reached my goal with three months to spare.

My motives for the project were mixed. I wanted to be a better steward of my body, abilities, and energy (1 Cor. 6:19, 4:2). I wanted to demonstrate to my son the power of daily discipline over time (1 Tim. 4:8, 2 Tim. 1:7, 1 Cor. 9:27) and strengthen my ethos in conversations with him about his personal goals. I also just wanted to look and feel better. I have to be older, but I don’t have to be heavier.

What has worked for me may not work for anyone else. But if you struggle with your weight, there may be some ideas here you can use.

Principles

Many factors went into making this effort successful. The biggest influence was unexpected success at work in pursuit of complex, but measurable, goals. I wondered: if, at work, I could reach what seemed at first to be impossible output targets, could I get rid of pounds the same way?

The target took shape as a New Year’s resolution: I’ll lose 18 lbs. in 2018—given my past patterns and my small frame, a substantial goal. The following were the core principles.

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A Christian Perspective on Biodiversity: Anthropocentric, Biocentric, and Theocentric Approaches to Bio-Stewardship

"The focus on intuition in the Deep Ecology movement explains, in part, why feminism allies itself with environmental­ism, particularly with Deep Ecology and animal rights. Contemporary feminism rejects science outright—or redefines it—because science operates in a manner not sufficiently sensitive to 'feminine thought patterns' because it is a fundamen­tal­ly 'masculine' discipline." Cornwall Alliance

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Gone but Not Gone

I love calendars, especially the twelve month variety with a beautiful picture on each page. They usually arrive in December, and I enjoy selecting the ones I will use during the coming year. On the first of January, I hang two new calendars, one in my study and another in my shop, while Marti does the same in the kitchen and at her desk. Of course, we must discard the old calendars, but I can never do so without a moment of reflection. Twelve pages of numbers tossed into heaps of household trash, but what momentous events those rumpled pages represent. Days of our lives now gone, like fallen leaves of autumn.

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From the Archives: Tipping, Tithing & Grace Giving: Giving in the New Testament

Read the series.

Today’s Christian gains big-picture understanding of what the Bible teaches about financial giving by learning the Old Testament background and foundational truths related to the subject. This was presented in the previous article. But the New Testament contains the full teaching that guides what we do in the church and in our individual Christian lives. Join me as we survey Jesus’ teaching, the practices of the newly-formed first century church, and the instructions given by the apostles.

Jesus’ Teaching on Giving

Some say Jesus spoke on the topic of money more than anything else. I haven’t personally verified this assertion, but I do know that He had a lot to say about giving. The following is representative of His teaching on this subject.

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New Year Thoughts on the Meaning of Life

A study by LifeWay Research several years ago found that 75% of the general population agreed with the statement, “There is an ultimate purpose and plan for every person’s life.” That number still seems surprisingly high to me. The same study found that 50% of those who never attend church services said there is no purpose or plan for human lives.

Though Christians are usually clear that there is purpose and meaning in life, many seem confused as to what exactly that purpose is. So my aim here is to answer what is really a pretty simple question:

What is the meaning of life?

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Ordering Finances Wisely Part 9: Planning to Give, Save, & Spend

Originally posted in 2013. Read the series so far.

On “Paying Yourself First”

Perhaps the reader has heard the oft-repeated maxim, “Pay yourself first.” “Pay yourself first” simply means to save first—sometimes at a recommended rate of 10%—and use the remainder for spending. Forbes calls “pay yourself first” “the most important rule for a comfortable retirement.” Investopedia notes that “some financial professionals even go so far as to call ‘pay yourself first’ the golden rule of personal finance.”

The Word of God disabuses this maxim. Indeed we are to give to the Lord first as taught in verses such as:

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Ordering Finances Wisely Part 8: Work and "Using the World Without Abusing It"

Read the series so far.

Key Verses

Luke 11:11-13, “If a son asks for bread from any father among you, will he give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent instead of a fish? 12 Or if he asks for an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? 13 If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!”

1 Timothy 5:8, “But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel” (KJV).  (“Infidel” is ἄπιστος, “without faith;” in ESV, NKJV, NASB, NIV, “an unbeliever.”)

1 Corinthians 7:29-31, “But this I say, brethren, the time is short, so that from now on even those who have wives should be as though they had none, those who weep as though they did not weep, those who rejoice as though they did not rejoice, those who buy as though they did not possess, and those who use this world as not misusing it. For the form of this world is passing away

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