Joey Sparks
3Mar/130

The 5 Money Personalities (by Scott & Bethany Palmer)

Every person has strong emotions and specific visions about how he/she should use money. So when two people get married, the oft-differing perspectives can create all sorts of difficulties. If left to the changing winds of emotions and assumptions, money tension can effectively end marriages, or at least render them unfulfilling.

Kinda like Dave Ramsey meets the Five Love Languages

Kinda like Dave Ramsey meets the Five Love Languages

Scott and Bethany Palmer are not trained marriage counselors, but they are financial counselors who've seen their fair share of marriages devastating by money difficulties. In The 5 Money Personalities: Speaking the Same Money and Love Language, they walk through their self-identified 5 "Money Personalities" for the purpose of addressing the potential for conflict in marriage over money. They especially emphasize ways to make differing personalities work together. The second-half of the book deals largely with the emotional foundations of financial conflict in marriage. They address the role of financial infidelity and take an honest look at why it hurts so much. They close the book with practical strategies for maintaining healthy communication in marriage when it comes to money, including how to "fight fair."

I can't say that I enjoyed reading the book. But the majority of the reasons why I didn't are largely "external" and related to how the book was organized and approached. The content of the book is especially helpful, however. I highlighted over 30 quotes in my Kindle for future reference. It's clear they know what they are talking about. I just think they could have had some better advice or editing when it comes to laying it out clearly in the book.

I was especially intrigued by the notion that criticism about our money personalities is extremely painful because we feel as though our perspectives about money are noble, right, and in the best interest of our marriage.

There are a lot of helpful and eye-opening aspects to the material here. Though it's ideally written toward all married couples, I would only really recommend it to couples with particularly strained relationships. It would also be helpful for those who counsel couples with financial difficulties or those with specific financial interests.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com <http://BookSneeze®.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

23Sep/110

You Are the Shortest Distance

The shortest distance between two points is a straight line.

The shortest distance between children’s hearts and Christ is their parents (Deut. 6:6-9).

From the beginning of creation, God designed the world to operate through parents raising children, who then become parents who raise their children, etc. Modern societies spend countless hours and dollars attempting to transform current generations into upstanding citizens. Yet God’s design places them into the care of people who are relationally and emotionally in the best situation to protect them, teach them, and introduce them to Him.

  • They are blessed to listen to you pray thanksgiving for their food.
  • They are blessed to see you show affection to your spouse.
  • They are blessed to interrupt your quiet personal study of God’s Word.
  • They are blessed to notice your graceful and calm response to difficulties at work.
  • They are blessed to discuss perplexing spiritual questions while you’re in the car.
  • They are blessed to ask you about sensitive and embarrassing things they hear at school.
  • They are blessed to cry on your shoulder when you tell them about death, pain, and loss.
  • They are blessed to observe that your commitment to the Lord guides your every decision.
  • They are blessed to approach God’s throne while you tuck them into bed each night.
  • They are blessed to receive the discipline you lovingly provide.
  • They are blessed to hear your words of praise more often than words of correction.
  • They are blessed to witness your example of service to the Lord and others.
  • They are blessed not just to have someone. They are blessed to have you.

The ugly side of this blessing is that parents are also the shortest distance from their child’s heart to hypocrisy, apathy, resentment, and rebellion. Each day’s decisions are building something in their hearts. You have the opportunity to ensure what it is.

15Jun/090

Weekend One Thing

I had a great day Saturday with Amanda. We went to the Pepper Place market in Birmingham & scored some green tomatoes, jalapenos, corn, peaches, plums, cheddar cheese, Gouda cheese, and some huge blackberries. We also fixed an awesome meal together: steaks with Gouda on top, fried green tomatoes with corn & jalapeno relish, corn on the cob, and peach ice cream with fresh peaches and fresh blackberry syrup.

Here's the one thing I'll remember from the weekend: nothing is more special (or important) for a husband and wife than spending time together--and to do so alone. Free Saturdays (or any other day of the week) come at a premium during the summer for Youth Ministers, so it was great to enjoy it with my best friend and closest companion.

9Jun/090

Principle of the Path (Andy Stanley)

principleofthepathcover

Andy Stanley can do a lot of things REALLY well (lead groups of people, preach, write, etc.). One thing he cannot do is navigate a vehicle with a keen sense of direction. He uses his directional disorientation--and several entertaining examples of it--to demonstrate the power of The Principle of the Path, which is defined as: "Direction--not intention--determines destination." As a principle, it is true for every person in every place in every time. Stanley acknowledges that he is merely verbalizing and illustrating the principle's power.

I am highly impressed by the  message of the book. Though most who read the book will likely agree with Stanley's Christian perspective and his appeal to the Bible, the principle itself applies to those who don't share the same perspective. As one who teaches the Bible to young people on a regular basis, one of the greatest compliments I can give the book is the degree at which I've been incorporating its material into my lessons. From lessons about purity, friendships, and finances, I've been able to effectively apply the truth about the principle.

As a piece of literature, The Principle of the Path may not be as well-written as Communicating for a Change or Visioneering. Though I do recommend both of those titles for church leaders/ministers, I give a higher recommendation to Principle of the Path because of its universal and paradigm-shifting message. Stanley also offers the material in a series of audio sermons (entitled "Destinations") from North Point Community Church outside Atlanta.

Reviewed as part of Thomas Nelson's Book Review Blogger program.

Side Note: I was delighted to see Julie Faires listed as the cover designer for the book; we were members of the same social club in college. Great job, Julie!

28Nov/082

Trey Morgan: Sex, Porn, & Marriage Links

Over the past several months, Trey Morgan has published what has become a good series on men, sex, pornography, and marriage. These issues need to be addressed from a Biblical perspective much more often than they currently are. I figured linking to his articles was the least I could do for the present. Don't miss the two chilling emails from female readers. Powerful stuff. Most recent posts are listed first.

Pornography in Marriage (November 25, 2008)

Pornography and Marriage (October 22, 2008)

Men and Sex (October 15, 2008)

The Porn Myth (August 4, 2007)

Free Porn or Porn Free (January 23, 2007)

Thanks to God for the beauty of a holy marriage and thanks to Trey for these helpful posts...