Week 2 Verse – Matthew 16:26

Matthew 16:26 (NIV)

“What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul?”

This is one of my all time favorite verses.  It’s one I go back to a lot. Especially when I start to feel sorry for myself about what I don’t have or envious of what others have.

To me it translates this way… if you get everything you could ever want but lose sight of God… then you really don’t have anything at all.  Material things aren’t what matters.  It’s our relationship with God and living our lives the way he wants us too.

Matthew 16:26 is the basis for one of my favorite songs:  TobyMac’s Lose My Soul.

What I like most about this song is it starts and ends with prayers that I can really relate to.

Father God, I am clay in your hands,
Help me to stay that way through all life’s demands,
‘Cause they chip and they nag and they pull at me,
And every little thing I make up my mind to be,
Like I’m gonna be a daddy whose in the mix,
And I’m gonna be a husband who stays legit,
And I pray that I’m an artist who rises above,
The road that is wide and filled with self love,
Everything that I see draws me,
Though it’s only in You that I can truly see that its a feast for the eyes- a low blow to purpose.
And I’m a little kid at a three ring circus.
I don’t want to gain the whole world, and lose my soul.

Then it wraps up like this:

Lord forgive us when we get consumed by the things of this world,
That fight for our love, and our passion,
As our eyes are open wide and on you.
Grant us the privilege of your world view,
And may your kingdom be, what wakes us up, and lays us down.

As long as I have the love of my God and my family I have everything I need.

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Identity Theft Protection

Target, Snapchat… Identity theft has been in the news a lot lately. Sure, you may have thought the movie Identity Thief was funny but in real life identity theft is a big headache.  It’s a problem that isn’t going away.  In fact, it’s only getting worse.

According to the Identity Theft Resource Center 2013 saw a 30% increase in data breaches over 2012.  There were over 600 breaches exposing nearly 58 million records.  The FTC estimates identity theft happens every three seconds and the number of identity theft victims in the US rose to 16.7 million in 2017.  Scary stuff.

Until Target’s data breach late last year I hadn’t given much thought to protecting my identity.  I did all the common sense stuff everyone says you should do (create strong passwords, destroy sensitive documents before disposing them, avoid clicking on links in emails from people you don’t know, etc.) but that’s about as far as I had taken it.

Last night my wife and I got serious and made the decision to purchase identity theft insurance for our family.  We insure our home, our vehicles, our life… I guess our identity is the next logical step.  It really isn’t that expensive either.

We went with Zander Insurance and for less than $13 a month our entire family is covered.  That’s up to a million dollars in expense protection.  The thing I like most about the coverage is they handle all the work of restoring our credit if something were to happen.  Some reports I saw say that it takes 6 months and 200 hours of work to recover from identity theft.  Sounds like plenty of headaches, sleepless nights, and frustration that I don’t need.

This post isn’t meant to be a ringing endorsement or commercial for Zander Insurance.  There are plenty of resources out there.  Some that cost and some that are free.  Hopefully I have made you think about better protecting yourself from identity theft.

Take time to educate yourself.  Be vigilant.  At the very least get a free copy of your credit report.  A little time spent reviewing it now might save you a lot of time later.

What are you doing to protect your identity?

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Stepping Out Of My Comfort Zone

Have you ever been asked to do something that you knew you could probably handle but doing it would be a little uncomfortable?  This happened to me yesterday.

There was a basketball tournament for 7th and 8th grade boys in our town.  It was a fundraiser for my daughters’ dance team and they needed volunteers to help.  No problem, I thought.  Take tickets, sell a few candy bars.  I could do that.

Unfortunately, those positions were filled.  What they really needed was someone to help referee or run the scoreboard.  Since my basketball knowledge and experience stopped in 8th grade reffing was out.  That left the scoreboard.  Something I figured I could handle, but still it made me nervous.  What if I messed up?  I’ve been to kid’s sporting events before and know how “intense” some parents can be.

I’m happy to say I made it through 3 games without messing things up.  I was fortunate to have some very knowledgeable  people who could help out when my brain couldn’t keep up with the action.   Thank goodness it was only middle schoolers playing.  Keeping up with a really fast paced game would have been tricky for me!

I’m glad I didn’t let my fear of messing up prevent me from helping out.  In the end everything turned out all right.

I met a nice grandfather of one of my daughter’s dance friends.  I showed my daughters that you should not be afraid to try new things even if they might make you uncomfortable.  And the tournament raised some money to help fund the dance efforts for my daughters and their friends.  It was a winning day!

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