Author: Andrew Brooks

Stewardship Is More Than Money. It’s Everything.

Stewardship. What does this word make you think of? For me, my mind always goes right to church and managing money. Yes, we do say it in church and yes, we do steward money, but there is more to it. Stewardship is simply the conducting, supervising, or managing of something. While managing or stewarding money is a big part of our lives, there’s a lot more to manage than just money. My boys, Liam and Levi, are now 5 and 4 years old. They constantly keep Kelli and I on our toes. Sometimes managing the two of them seems impossible. But we seem to manage. (See what I did there?) We signed them up for fall baseball back at the end of summer, moving Levi up an age bracket as wanted them on the same team so we were together as a family on game days. The Rec Department needed more coaches so I volunteered to help. I was excited. This marked my 3rd time coaching, but my first time head coaching, both my boys …

Can You See Clearly Enough to Help?

God is constantly teaching me through my role as a parent. I know, I know… My last blog was about parenting. Bear with me. Kelli and I make a great team and being a parent is a lot more difficult without my wife/baby-mama. Monday through Thursday, Kelli leaves the house at 5:00 AM for work. Which means I have to get our two boys up, ready, and to school all by myself. It was tough for the first few weeks until I applied what I call the “Wooden Plank Principle.” In Matthew 7:5, Jesus says, “Hypocrite! First get rid of the log in your own eye; then you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend’s eye.” Some versions use the word “beam” or “plank.” Simply put, the Wooden Plank Principle is being sure to take care of yourself first. You may ask, “Isn’t that being selfish?” Actually, I believe it’s the opposite. I believe there are many areas in our lives where we can focus on our self first and thus be enabled to serve …

Exposed Disobedience, Timely Parenting, and Authentic Repentance

Parenting isn’t easy. Countless times,  I have found myself frustrated when the boys disobey. Let’s be honest, with a 5-year-old son and almost 4-year-old son, disobedience is a common occurrence.  Often it seems as though there is a streak of disobedience. No matter how many times we tell the boys not to do something, they do it anyway. It’s really a pain (sometimes I wonder if the troublesome thorn in Paul’s flesh was a secret kid he didn’t tell us about… maybe his son’s name was Thorn). However, there are times God uses my own mouth when speaking to my boys about obedience to speak directly to my heart. A few weeks ago, I had to discipline Liam for disobeying. It was one of those times when speaking softly didn’t work so well so I pulled out the stern, from the chest, oh-junk-I-better-listen-cuz-daddy-ain’t-playin’ kind of voice. Now I had his attention. I don’t remember what it was about, but after I said what I had to say, Liam said, “But I love you, daddy.” “I love …

3 Ways to Better Manage Your Money Today

Kelli and I were drowning in our finances three years ago. We were frustrated and often found ourselves bickering about our financial situation. Overdraft fees and spending freezes were a part of our weekly routine. Like fools, we kept doing the same things and surprisingly nothing changed. Finally, we decided to make a change. We began studying and following a plan that has totally changed our lives when it comes to money. We’ve learned so much over the past few years, but here are three tips I’d like to share with you that can change the way you manage money starting today.     1) Stop thinking it’s your money. A few weeks ago, before Kelli was about to take the boys shopping, I asked Levi if he was going to buy me anything. He said he didn’t have any money, paused a moment, then he told me he did. I said, “Oh, yeah? What kind of money?” He went into his silly Levi voice and shouted, “Yo mon—ey!” I lost it laughing. As silly …

This Week For Sunday

I recently traveled to Vegas with Lime Biscuit for a promotional products expo. We landed, claimed our bags, and found a taxi. From that point on our eyes began to consume all that was around us. I’ve seen Vegas on TV a hundred times, but there’s something different about being there. The big screen doesn’t do the size of the city justice. After checking-in to our hotel, we ventured out to see where our expo was and explore the strip. What we saw over the days to come was all but normal for us. From a bird’s eye view, Vegas is a pretty cool place. It’s a cool place to go and there are lots of good things to do there. But there’s a reason Vegas is referred to as Sin City. There were so many times that we felt like foreigners. Not like out of town “foreigners,” but like I-can’t-get-back-home-to-heaven-fast-enough foreigners. I have no doubt that people go to Vegas to gain the world and end up losing their souls. We talked to several …

This Week For Sunday

I love Christmas time. It’s the most wonderful time of the year. (See what I did there?) Christmas music makes me feel all warm and cozy inside. Silent Night is a classic Christmas song, but I imagine it wasn’t so quiet that night in the spiritual realm. Evil and sin had been flexing their muscles for a long time. Finally, after much waiting, the Son of God came to earth. The Army of Heaven sent their best to the front lines, knowing that victory would soon be theirs.  I bet all of Heaven let out a battle cry like never before.  I imagine Satan and his demons were terrified knowing defeat was close.  They immediately set out to kill Christ by striking fear in King Herod, which only helped fulfill prophecy (see Matthew 2:15) and further confirmed the Messiah had come. The Light stepped down into darkness and darkness did not understand it and could not contain it. Jesus may have come to earth on that silent, first Christmas night, but Heaven flipped the world upside …

This Week for Sunday

Has anyone ever revealed a secret to you with the caviat that you can’t tell anyone and then later you told another person saying “I’ll tell you this secret, but you have to promise you won’t tell anyone”? I’m guilty. In Colossians, Paul writes about a secret; an ancient secret, a secret that can now be shared with everyone: God has given me the responsibility of serving his church by proclaiming his entire message to you. This message was kept secret for centuries and generations past, but now it has been revealed to God’s people. For God wanted them to know that the riches and glory of Christ are for you Gentiles, too. And this is the secret: Christ lives in you. This gives you assurance of sharing his glory. – Colossians 1:25-27 Christ lives in us! That’s something to get excited about. That’s something to tell people about; it’s the secret to a fulfilled life and eternal hope that we simply can’t keep to ourselves! We’re singing “Your Love Awakens Me” again this week. The bridge of …

This Week For Sunday

When I was younger, dad would always use the phrase, “This hurts me more than it hurts you,” while spanking my butt. Liar. Or so I thought. My son, Liam, is approaching his 4th birthday. It seems like we are dealing with disobedience issues on a regular basis now. Monday of last week, his teacher told us that he was deliberately disobeying and being disrespectful. That night, I sat down with him and told him he deserved a spanking. I explained to him again, for what seems like the 100th time, how we love others and how we listen, obey, and respect those in authority. The very next day Kelli had the same conversation with his teacher. She told me about it as I was leaving work. I had the 15 minute ride from Carrollton to Villa Rica to think about how I would respond when I got home. Realizing I had to give him a spanking, I started to feel that pain my father always told me about. Disciplining isn’t easy or fun, but it is loving. At home, Liam and I …

This Week for Sunday

We’ve been having a hard time getting Levi to go to bed at night. He does everything he can to keep us in his room. It gets to the point where he’s screaming so loud that I’m waiting for a DFCS swat team to drop out my ceiling and lock us all up. August 23 was no different. Kelli and I put the boys in bed and Kelli stayed to get Levi to calm down while I started to work on a Bible study. Despite her efforts, he became more and more emotional. My patience ran out, I stomped into the room, and told Kelli to leave.  I throw my dominance and power around, I raised my voice, spanked him, and left him there to scream his heart out. I walked out of the room to hear my virtuous wife say, “He feeds off your impatience and frustration.” Then I said, “Well, nothing else is working.” I walked away frustrated at her, too. I went back to my Bible study and turned to Proverbs 16:32: Better to be patient than powerful; …

Profound Truths Learned in Simple Moments

Have you ever been doing something insignificant and in that moment God speaks? We recently took a little weekend trip down to Savannah to visit some family and spend some time on the beach. I wish you could have seen how excited my boys were to be on the beach. They wanted to be buried in the sand, build sand castles, chase seagulls, play in the water, and take sand baths. We did it all! However, once we started to build the sand castle, the boys quickly wanted to move on to something else. So, I ended up building the majority of this massive sand castle by myself. Every 10 to 15 minutes the boys would come check my progress and do just enough damage to think they were helping. In the midst of all that, God reminded me of several truths. To be restored, one must break first. Our lives are just like the walls of a sand castle. At first, it’s frustrating how often the walls cave in. However, every time a wall would fall, I …