Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Who wants to be average??

I was thinking about this today about the number of hours spent each day and "coincidentally" the Bureau of Labor and Statistics released a report summary of the American Time Use Basically this survey looks at the American population and shows a breakdown of the number of hours spent doing activities each day by the average American. I would like to look more at the data later, but for now there were a couple of interesting findings that caught my attention.

The average male spends about 3.10 hours per day watching T.V. and 0.12 hours in "Religious and Spiritual Activities". That is for all surveyed, of course not all people engage in watching TV or Spiritual Activities, but this does say a lot about our society. This table is really interesting and deserves a look, but another interesting fact is that only 7% of the male population surveyed participated in any "Spiritual Activities", but nearly 83% spent some time watching T.V.

Here is the table of data from the BLS: Its actually really interesting even for non-data folks :).

From the survey notes:

"Religious activities include those

normally associated with membership in or identification with specific
religions or denominations, such as attending religious services; parti-
cipating in choirs, youth groups, orchestras, or unpaid teaching (unless
identified as volunteer activities); and engaging in personal religious
practices, such as praying."

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

No More Car Payment

Kristi and I have been married for over 7 years and for 6 of those years we have had a car payment. That ended yesterday and what a burden has been lifted from our shoulders. We will be a one car family for a few weeks but knowing that we will never need to make another car payment is a good feeling. About half of our debt was from the car and so we have slashed the total debt to less than 15k :). Kristi pointed out that we made a car payment for 6 years with nothing to show for it, but we did get to drive them for 6 years. The main thing I was hoping for is that we would not be too far upside down in the Honda, but we actually came out a little ahead and to celebrate we got some pizza hut pizza last night. I will say that I highly recommend Craigslist for selling ANYTHING. So far we have sold a watch, purse, stroller, and the Honda.

The best part of selling the CR-V was that the new owners are just amazing people. The transaction went smooth and Saturday night we spent a few hours just talking and hanging out after the test drive. Dori (the CR-V) has a great new family and we are 18 months closer to being out of debt. A true win-win, I think we are all going to a San Antonio Missions game once the weather cools down :)

New Schedule :)

Pmt# Sallie Mae 2 Sallie Mae 2
08/01/10 698 157
09/01/10 698 157
10/01/10 530.77 324.23

Friday, July 2, 2010

For the LOVE of Stuff!

I have spent many years focusing my life on what I didnt have and how I was going to get it. We should all have goals but along the way we should be helping and giving to others. And although I volunteered and loved on other with unselfish motives, I used that as a justification of deserving more. I do all this so I NEED to HAVE this. I remember saying or doing the following things... Like I didn have the Louis Vitton Purse, so I would settle for a Coach. I want more and bigger diamonds, This Dooney is not what I WANTED but it will do for now. Can i have a new car, this one doesnt have power windows or doors. I would go buy new clothes instead of doing laundry. I had a job and worked hard, Brian had a job and worked hard, we lived a a nice apartment with nice things, we had a few acquintances, but no real friends, we partied a lot, and if we argued the only way to fix it was to go buy something expensive. Like a tv, a computer, new cell phone, Ipods (i think at one point we had 7 forms of Ipods), or we would drink more. And it was all justified because sometimes we would do nice things for others, and I volunteered.
I look back at how silly this all sounds now. Just saying it and writing sounds crazy, like did i really live my life like that? I never thought of my self as a selfish person and I dont think that I am or was, I just think that all of it was for the wrong reasons, and since God was not the center of our lives it was really that we were WORSHIPING our STUFF and not GOD! And that is what makes it wrong today. That is what makes that life style not the one I want for my self or my kids.
I just finished reading Crazy Love by Frnacis Chan, and that was really the tipper on me letting go of all THINGS and giving it all to God. THINGS/STUFF to me was the last thing that I could control. I determined what I bought was mine, but its not. And I can have a closet full of Coach purses, but for what reason. They only provide a TEMPORARY happiness. I want a life full of happiness and joy, not empty stuff. The only way to get that life is through Jesus. I want to store up my treasures in Heaven not on earth. I read where you have a birthday and a death day and you have no control over either. But you do have control over what you do in between. And I dont want that in between to be full of ugly, selfishness, greed...STUFF. I want it to be full of love, grace, mercy, caring, compassion, service. I want to feed orphans in Ethiopia, and then bring them home to a bed and a family. I want to save lives through nursing, I want show my kids what it means to truly love God, a crazy kind of LOVE!
So I ask, what are you doing with the in between time?