On December 4, 2017 at 7:00pm, Josh Bryant will be hosting a free interactive webinar called Making the Family Budget. What does a budget have to do with the law? Great question! In short, a budget is a great risk management tool. A budget can help you manage financial struggles by "telling your money where to go instead of wondering where it went" (a famous Dave Ramsey-ism). Financial struggles can lead to all sorts of legal troubles: divorce, bankruptcy, foreclosure, eviction, repossession, wage garnishments, and more.
In the interactive Making the Family Budget Webinar, we'll discuss:
We'll conclude with a unique time of question and answer where you'll not only have an opportunity to ask questions, but provide encouragement and your own best practices to others in the group.
Normally, a webinar like this would cost $10 per household unless you signed up for one of our membership plans. The Online Access plan would give you a 20% discount, so it would only cost $8 per household. I'm giving this one to everyone for free as if you were an Attorney Access member. See all the benefits of the membership plans I have available and subscribe for one here.
Sign up for this free webinar by Josh Bryant called Making the Family Budget by clicking here. Don't forget to use Facebook to note your attendance as well.
Christmas has come and gone. All the Christmas stuff has been moved to the clearance aisle, which means that the colors of the holiday aisle have been transformed from green, red, and gold to pink, red, and white. It's time to start thinking about Valentine's Day already. Why not invest in some real, quality time with your spouse or fiancé this Valentine's Day by attending Marital Matter, a 2-day marriage workshop at First Baptist Rogers? Here are 10 reasons why you should come.
1. Decrease the risk of diabetes and obesity. A quick google search indicates that Americans will spend over $1 Trillion on candy, including over 36 million boxes of chocolate and over 8 billion of those chalky candy hearts. Don't contribute to the risk of diabetes and obesity of your significant other (or yourself if you're like me and eat what you bought your spouse)!
2. Make the world smell better. Google also shows that over 200 million roses will needlessly die in February. Can you imagine how much better the world would smell if we wouldn't kill so many beautifully smelling plants?
3. Increase cotton supplies. I don't know how many teddy bears are sold each Valentine's Day, but it's a lot. Let's keep cotton prices down by not increasing demand and decreasing supply so much in February.
4. Break the consumer cycle. In all seriousness (or at least some), Valentine's Day has become a bit of a consumer holiday. Some studies estimate that as a couple you'll spend around $225 on stuff this Valentine's Day. Marital Matter is substantially more affordable!
5. Get a better return on your investment. Ok seriously, you'll get a better return on your Valentine's Day expenditures by coming to Marital Matter, where you'll discuss budgeting, your view of money, and other ways in which money comes into marriage. If what you learn saves you just $100 per month, next year you'll have paid for the next six Valentine's Days. In 10 years you'll have saved $12,000 and in 50 you'll have saved $60,000. Are those bears, candies, and roses going to do that for you?
6. Spice it up. Ok guys - you know what Valentine's Day is really for. Let's just say there's a reason why pregnancy test sales double in February. At Marital Matter, you'll learn that there's so much more to sex than just sex. There's intimacy, connection, romance, affection, and so much more. You'll hear what the Bible has to say about the incredible gift of sex.
7. Tone it down. Now I know most of you have never gotten into an argument with your significant other. Ok, that's a lie. I know most of you have. At Marital Matter, you'll learn how to resolve the inevitable conflict that comes into your relationship in a manner that both of you don't walk away feeling awful, and hopefully without any screaming, yelling, pushing, shoving, kicking, biting, or other less productive activities.
8. Get it out. Are you tired of hearing her say, "share your feelings with me" or something similar? When he's talking are you already planning your comeback? At Marital Matter, you'll discuss the two components of communication (assertiveness and active listening) and learn skills that help you do both better than you do now.
9. Bring Him in. My Dad officiated my wedding ceremony, and he described marriage as a triangle with my wife and I at opposite ends of the bottom corners and God at the top corner. His point was that the closer we got to God, the closer we'd get to each other. At Marital Matter, you'll learn why spiritual beliefs are a key component of marriage, and what marriage is itself more of a spiritual union than anything else.
10. Know where you stand. My former boss told me on my first day of my first job out of college that you can't manage what you can't measure. At Marital Matter, you'll take an assessment that identifies the degree to which you agree on several different components of marriage and how satisfied each of you are in those areas. This is a very fruitful and wise exercise. Knowing where you stand and learning skills to improve your marriage will help you walk away from this workshop ready to make 2016 the best year of your married life!
Sign up here!
Onward, by Russell Moore, is a refreshing analysis at the state of Christianity in America in light of the moral revolution, and a clear and convincing ecclesiology and ethic that the church should adopt. His argument is premised on the notion that the "Bible Belt" is fraying - that Christians are no longer (if we were ever) a "moral majority." He notes that the movement by that name was not a religious movement, but a political one that included people who desired a return to Judeo-Christian American values, but did not necessarily profess Christ or seek to advance His kingdom. His assessment serves as an indictment against a church improperly focused on utilizing state power to make Christian behavior and thought normative when the Bible depicts the gospel as abnormal by the standards of the world. Here are 7 reasons to read this book:
1. To align social, cultural, and political engagement with a proper balance between American citizenship and the Kingdom of God.
In setting forth several pillars of Christian ethic, Dr. Moore superbly ties them back to the Kingdom of God and the need to acknowledge that while the Kingdom is here in colonies and embassies which we call the church, it is not yet here in full. While we should stand against injustice and defend the "least of these," we cannot expect that the law will institute the Kingdom in full. Only Jesus can do that when He returns, so by expecting governments to do it invests them with authority that does not belong to them. Until His return, the church has the keys to the Kingdom, not the state. We cannot admit just anyone to the Kingdom. Scripture has set forth those requirements, and we must be consistent in how we admit people to our churches. As Dr. Moore points out, our vote for who we receive as members of our churches is as or more important than our vote for who should be President.
2. To rediscover the strangeness of the Gospel.
The church no longer exists in a culture that understands it. For many years, church membership was normative. Now, that is not the case, which presents an amazing opportunity. People should not be drawn to the church because of our sameness with the world, but because of our strangeness to the world. We believe in a dead Man coming to life after having born the wrath of God for the sins of all who would believe in and call on Him. That's strange! We also live in a manner consistent with our calling as children of God, which to the world is equally as strange. If we see that the church is supposed to be different, we can begin to cling to what makes us distinct - the gospel.
3. To put the impetus against abortion and other issues on human dignity.
The pro-life movement is another example of political alliances that do not necessarily exclude people outside the faith. The reason the church should stand against abortion isn't because it's the position of the Republican party, but because we are made in the image of God. Every time an abortionist legally kills another child, the image of God is defaced. That said, we must carry the underlying principle into other arenas as well, such as in how we treat immigrants, racial equality, and so forth.
4. To better articulate the need for and parameters of religious liberty and freedom of conscience.
As we become more and more strange to the culture, attacks on religious liberty will grow more frequent and intense. We must strongly defend religious liberty for all people, not just those who believe what we believe. The ability of the state to prohibit one Hindu from practicing his faith is the ability to prevent all Christians from practicing theirs. As such, we must be able to refuse to do those things which Scripture clearly teaches against. We must stop using Scripture to justify the platform of either political party when Scripture leaves the issue open to conscience and pragmatics. Dr. Moore's focus on religious liberty across all areas of the ethical pillars he discussed is superb.
5. To develop a more holistic theology of the family in a culture that is constantly redefining it.
It is clear that culture is trying to redefine family. Dr. Moore provides a holistic theology of the family as part of the mystery of the Kingdom of God that the church must adhere to. While this includes a stand against same-sex marriage, it also includes a stand against adultery and domestic abuse, as well as an active participation in adoption, foster care, and the like.
6. To evaluate the effectiveness of how we engage our culture.
Too often, we mimic the world in how we engage, including the temper tantrums that we think only demonstrate our passion for an issue. Dr. Moore demonstrates from Scripture that our engagement is to be kind and gentle. This is not a matter of weakness, but a matter of strength. We will not persuade others to Christ by yelling at them or degrading them because of their beliefs right now. Instead of talking about them, we need to talk to them. We cannot be merely civil - we must be kind.
7. To grow.
I have grown as a result of reading this book. I left convicted that often times my response to the corporate, cultural sin that we see today has been angry. Instead of loving others and being kind, I've often begun to despise them because of their beliefs. This is not appropriate. I have been refreshed by reading a theologically and biblically solid argument in favor of consistent, biblical, missional, Christian behavior and cultural engagement. I think you will grow too.
A Word of Caution
I can only give the book four out of five stars because Dr. Moore limited his audience somewhat by presenting very complex arguments utilizing a very advanced vocabulary. I have degrees in both theology and law, but I still had to look up some words. I also found myself having to go back and re-read several pages or even an entire chapter in order to feel comfortable that I comprehended the argument. As such, this is far from light reading. If you're up for the challenge, go read this book!
Dr. Russell Moore is the President of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention.
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I follow Christ. I have a beautiful wife Megan and three wonderful children, Harrisen, Rebekah, and Carter. I have an M.Div. from Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary, am licensed to practice law in several state and federal courts, and live in Rogers, Arkansas. I write a blog and produce a podcast. And I do it all that others may know Christ.