written by Gene Wiggins
My father is my hero. He hasn’t always been, I’m ashamed to say, but he is now.
Here are some of the reasons that my father is my hero:
- He’s always composed and calm. Never out of control, nor does he ever yell, unless someone is yelling too much and too near him. (A person can only take so much.)
- He recognizes he makes mistakes and he apologizes when he hurts someone’s feelings. He knows he’s not perfect but he accepts it for what it is. Some people strive to be perfect and others like to point out other’s mistakes. Which are you?
- He smiles and talks to people he likes and loves. He doesn’t talk to people that he’s either annoyed with, or plainly doesn’t like. But doesn’t say anything negative about that person. He generally nods them to death and pictures a donkey in his head.
- He prefers a person’s company rather than gifts. But if your going to give him clothing make sure he has plenty of room, but that it’s not too big. If you give him candy, make sure it is butterscotch, or chocolate or caramel or all of the above, and always salty.
- He knows when someone wants something from him. He may look like a western hick, but he’s as smart as they come. He’ll catch you in a lie. He’s not forgetful, he’s just slow of hearing.
- He’s not materialistic. He would be happy anywhere as long as he has something to keep the rain off his head, something to keep him warm and a bed to rest in. (I hear you giggling, Donna and Lynda)
- He’s generous and caring. He’s generous with gifts and will give away all his possessions without thinking about it. But somehow he knows who’s genuine, and who’s trying to play him. The devil himself would give up and go back to hell before he got anything out of my old man.
- He’s helpful. He’ll go out of his way to fix something or build a fence for a neighbor. I heard a story from a neighbor who lived next door to my father once. My father overheard his neighbor talking about hiring someone to cut down a tree in his front yard. The man heard my dad shout “I’ll be right back.” Shrugging the man continued his conversation with his friend. A moment later my father came back with the longest chainsaw he ever saw (that’s my dad–overkill). He started the motor up and went to work. The man said he witnessed sawdust and chips flying all over the place. So much that he couldn’t see my father or the tree. Another moment later, the tree slowly toppled to one side. And low and behold my father still stood there completely covered in sawdust, including his glasses. He took his glasses off and said ‘there ya go’ and promptly began sawing it up into fireplace sized pieces. It was all done in ten minutes. He helped his neighbor stack the pieces in the side yard off the lawn. And they became best friends and the neighbor later on became my best man. He loves telling the story to outsiders, just so they would know what kind of man my father is.
- He’s a veteran of three wars. World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam war. Although he never saw combat, he sat behind a gunnery tower keeping his eyes on the night sky and drinking the world’s strongest coffee. Navy coffee. What’s left over they use to remove the paint off the ship. No really, seriously. What does that do to your insides then?
- He is a true believer. He believes in God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. He’s always believed God will get you out of any fix you’ve stumbled into. And he’s had a few close calls.
- He loves me unconditionally. After recovering my long term memory in the hospital I remember how much he had to put up with me. All the trouble I would get into. All the trouble I would cause, and all the trouble makers I would hang with. I always said the wrong thing at the wrong time, pulled the wrong pin, or cut the wrong wire. My dad would just shake his head and sometimes let out a breath of air at the same time, but just walk away. But never did he hit me, never did he say a discouraging word, and he most certainly never spanked my bottom. But he knew there was something not quite right with his son. Dad let me tell you what it was, hormones and the scantily clad girl across the street.
These are just some of the reason my dad is my mentor. I love him very much, as much as my wife loves her friends and family, and I’m glad he’s my father, but mostly, I’m proud to call him my hero.
My Father; My Hero by Westchester Men’s Ministry is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at http://www.facebook.com/notes/william-wiggins/my-dad-my-hero/187371661403412.
In 2010, I created a set of goals. It was an aggressive list of over 27 goals broken into 9 categories. I’ve been working on those goals ever since. They weren’t exactly new year’s resolutions because I knew that was too much to expect but I think the categories might be a helpful way of determining where you need to improve most.
- Know/Love God – Seek to know God & ‘Who needs me Today?’ (Mark 12:29-31)
- Family – Home is the Primary Mission Field (Acts 10:2)
- Finances – Be a Good Steward of Finances (1 Timothy 6:7-10)
- Health – Accomplish All of God’s Will in my Life (Philippians 3:12)
- Career – God is in Control; Work as on to the Lord (Matthew 6:31-33)
- Ministry – Hope for the Hopeless (Matthew 28:16-20)
- Avoid Idols – Starve the old self! (Matthew 6:24)
- Recreation – Observe a Sabbath Rest (Mark 6:31)
For each category above, I create a list of things I thought were critical and that I either aspired to do, or to continue to do. So, for example, under knowing God my list looked like this:
I choose the goal ‘Knowing God’ to show here because it is probably the most generic and many of these goals probably could apply to you as well. My goals under the other categories are very specific to my walk and may not apply.
I know, and science proves, that the highest achievers all have one thing in common… you guessed it, they set goals. So, I’m reviewing my goals before I start the year so I can make sure I focus my attention. I’m far from where I want to be and likely even farther from where God wants me to be.
So, why not share your new year’s resolutions here, or on our Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/NYMensministry
I hope you have a very happy new year’s day and a blessed 2013!
New Year’s Resolutions by Westchester Men’s Ministry is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
Please join us for our annual Christmas dinner next Tuesday, December 18th at Community Bible Church in Yorktown, NY. Please RSVP by going to our evite page at: Westchester Men’s Ministry 2012 Christmas Dinner
I hope you can join us. Merry Christmas!!
Annual Christmas Dinner by Westchester Men’s Ministry is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at http://nymensministry.com.
I received this prayer request from one of the men in our ministry and he said that I could share it here. I would bet that we can all agree with the sentiments of this prayer. May the true meaning of Christmas shine through this season, for all of us!
My prayer is that coming into this holiday season, we not forget the true meaning of our celebration and that we guard our hearts and minds from distractions, subtle behaviors and not so subtle behaviors that could pull us away from God and grieve the Holy Spirit.
I know in the past, it has been very easy for me to conform to the world’s point of view and start setting up and worshiping idols. It is in these times that Screwtape gets a hold of me and says it’s okay to participate in certain behaviors and attitudes because it’s the holidays and it won’t offend the Lord. That leads to a very slow and steady decent into self deception and before I know it I am far far away from God.
“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” – Romans 12:2 NIV
“Do not set foot on the path of the wicked
or walk in the way of evildoers. Avoid it, do not travel on it;
turn from it and go on your way. For they cannot rest until they do evil;
they are robbed of sleep till they make someone stumble. They eat the bread of wickedness
and drink the wine of violence. The path of the righteous is like the morning sun,
shining ever brighter till the full light of day. But the way of the wicked is like deep darkness;
they do not know what makes them stumble. My son, pay attention to what I say;
turn your ear to my words. Do not let them out of your sight,
keep them within your heart; for they are life to those who find them
and health to one’s whole body. Above all else, guard your heart,
for everything you do flows from it. Keep your mouth free of perversity;
keep corrupt talk far from your lips. Let your eyes look straight ahead;
fix your gaze directly before you. Give careful thought to the paths for your feet
and be steadfast in all your ways. Do not turn to the right or the left;
keep your foot from evil. ” -Proverbs 4:14-27 NIV
Christmas Prayer Request by Westchester Men’s Ministry is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at http://nymensministry.com.
We visited Staten Island yesterday to help with the relief efforts. Our trip was coordinated by Trinity Church of Greenwich and was in partnership with Movement SI Disaster Relief (see first photo). Please continue to keep those impacted by the storm in your prayers. God bless!
More pictures are available on our Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/NYMensministry
My daughter lived 780 days (2 years and 2 months) and we often wondered after she died, if she knew Jesus. She Did! We know we will see her again and I hope her story will be a comfort to others who have experienced loss. May God comfort you and bless you!
Emily was born on February 13, 2002 with Carnitine-acylcarnitine translocase (CACT) deficiency which is a genetic disorder that prevents the proper breakdown of fats. This leads to excess ammonia in the blood (hyperammonemia), an enlarged liver (hepatomegaly), and a weakened heart muscle (cardiomyopathy). Emily died on April 3, 2004 of cardiomyopathy.
Carolyn and Terence miss Emily very much. We know that she lights up heaven just a little more with her presence but this world is that much dimmer without her.
A Father’s Testimony by Westchester Men’s Ministry is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at http://nymensministry.com/2012/11/08/a-fathers-testimony/.
Dick Wiedenheft is the pastor of Community Bible Church in Yorktown, NY. Given the current economic challenges, we recently talked to him about how he and his family budget and the advice he has for others who are trying to be better stewards of the finances God has given them.
Dick, I overheard you talk about you and your wife’s budgeting process and I thought it would be valuable for our readers to hear about it. First, why do you think budgeting is important and why did your family start?
According to creditcard.com, the average credit card user has $4,600 in credit card debt. When you consider the fact that a majority of credit card users don’t have any credit card debt and you focus on the remaining users who do, their average debt skyrockets to $16,000 per household. As a pastor, I can assure you, these people are in our churches.
People with this kind of debt, experience firsthand the practical wisdom given to us in Proverbs 22:7 “The rich rule over the poor and the borrower is the slave to the lender.” Financial slavery and the stresses that come with it are not what God wants for his people. Rather, he wants us to experience and model his generosity by being in a position to be generous to others (Eph 4:28).
This is where budgeting comes in. Each year we take in so much money and we spend so much money. The goal is to spend less than we take in, and it takes some organization to achieve this. My wife had a simple budgeting method which worked for her when she was single, and we carried this into our marriage. We wanted to know where our money was going and to make sure we had a plan to spend less than we earned.
Dick, what method has worked for your family? Are there any pitfalls that people should be aware of before starting to budget?
We currently use Quicken software (other budgeting programs include: Mvelopes, Mint, etc.) – it allows you to set a budget, to track all your expenses, and to check how far ahead or behind of budget you are. It even allows you to download transactions from your bank and credit cards. The main reason we went to Quicken was because we made too many math mistakes when we did it by hand!
But you don’t need a computer. We started with a small notebook. For each month, we’d write a column for each major expense we had (rent payment, utilities, groceries, savings, offerings, etc.). Then we’d write our budgeted amount for that category. Each time we had an expense in one of those categories, we’re write it below the total and subtract. the balance was our new Total. So we always knew instantly how much money we had in each category. At the end of the month, we’d flip to a new page and start over.
If we had gone over budget in a given category, we’d carry that negative number over to the new month and immediately subtract it from budgeted amount. That meant we’d be starting that new month with a smaller amount in that category. If we went under-budget and had a surplus in a category, we had some choices — we could carry that surplus to the next month, we could transfer it to another category, we could add it to savings, we could give it away, or we could buy ourselves a treat!
Do you and your wife ever disagree about how money should be spent?
Yes, like any other couple, money has the potential to be a big source of tension in our relationship. That’s minimized a lot because we have both agreed to live on a budget and we both try to stick to it. We sometimes have disagreements at the beginning of the year when we’re coming up with our budget, but once it’s in place, things go pretty smoothly because we have an agreed-upon plan.
Two other things we do to keep harmony is we have an agreement that neither of us will spend more than $100 (except on bills) without checking with the other person first. Also, we give each other a monthly personal allowance that we can spend on whatever we want. We have different values about what is worth spending money on, and our allowance gives us each some freedom to spend some money however we want without having to answer to the other for it. If I want to save up my allowance for months to buy a tech gadget and she wants to spend hers on a latte twice a week, we each have the freedom to do that.
In regards to debt, how do you recommend people manage it? Any advice?
This is a big topic. To keep it simple, I’ll focus on credit card debt and leave mortgages and car payments aside. First, it doesn’t work to ignore your debt and hope it will go away. It won’t! Getting out of debt requires the desire and discipline to deal with it. There are several ministries and organizations like Crown Financial and Financial Peace University who offer courses and materials which can really help here.
Second, anything you can do to pay down the cards with the highest interest rates or to transfer balances to a loan/credit card with a lower interest rate will save you from wasting your money on interest payments. Third, once you have your debt under control, you have to honestly ask yourself whether you have the self-discipline to charge only what you can pay off every month. Otherwise, you really need to cut up your credit cards.
Also, it can be really helpful to find a credit counselor. Some counselors charge a fee. Others are free because they get paid by creditors. You’ll need to do some research to find a good one. Credit counselors have saved people thousands of dollars on credit card and other debt payments. They can help you come up with a “doable” budget plan and then they will often negotiate with your creditors to reduce your interest rate or forgive some of your debt. Creditors would rather get some of what you owe them rather than none of it. If a credit counselor can assure a creditor that you have a plan in place and are being diligent, a creditor will often cut you some slack so you can make your plan work. Even if they won’t, often the counselor can help you come up with a plan and help you find the discipline to dig yourself out from your debt.
What if we create a budget and we find that our monthly expenses are greater than our income?
That happens from time to time when we have unexpected expenses, gas prices go up, or our post-tax income isn’t what we expected. Then, we’ve got to sit down and either lower our expenses or figure out how to bring in more income. We have to ask each other what we can do without for a while. Sometimes, if the expense was a one-time hit (like a major car repair), we might dip into savings to cover it, but this isn’t a permanent answer.
Christian Budgeting Basics by Westchester Men’s Ministry is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at http://nymensministry.com/2012/10/10/christianbudgetingbasics/.
Small groups are the best way to create strong relationships and grow closer to Christ. Why not consider coming to a group. There is no commitment and I promise you that you will be welcomed warmly!