Beware of Big Foot!

  In 1958, several very large footprints were found that has led some to believe in the existence of a Sasquatch or Big Foot. We’re still looking of course and if you find him, please let us know! However there’s another footprint that could really mess up your life and believe it or not–it’s your own!

It’s your own “social media footprint”.

Many companies now check a job applicant’s “social media footprint” before hiring. According to some job and headhunter sites, assessing a candidate’s social media presence is one of the top things recruiters do. So here are some things potential employers check out that may disqualify an applicant from being offered a job.

 

  • Badmouthing Employers. Employers realize that some have the habit of creating discontentment in the work place – so never be critical or spread gossip about an employer online. Instead, we should be an encouragement. “[Employees], be submissive to your [employer], not only to those who are good and gentle, but also to those who are unreasonable” (1 Peter 2:18).

 

  • Getting too personal. Another thing potential employers look out for is applicants who don’t demonstrate discretion by sharing too much personal information.

 

  • Questionable Content. Risqué photos, foul language, shady activities, drug use and sexual references can cost an applicant a job. Even inflammatory political posts can be offensive.

 

  • Dishonesty. Contradictory posts, such as, “I was in an accident and unable to work for a week,” which doesn’t sync with photos of the person waterskiing the same week. Employers are looking for people of integrity that they can trust.

 

I love what 1 Corinthians 10:31 says, “Whether, then you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God”. And that includes the Social Media Footprints you leave. I encourage you to think twice before you post.

Warmly in Christ,

Howard Dayton

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Show me the money!

Gambling! It’s all about the money.

A couple of years ago I watched an interview of the governor of Pennsylvania who was leading the charge in getting casino gambling legalized in his state. When the interviewer pressed him on why he would risk so many of his citizens become addicted to gambling, he argued, “If we don’t provide it here, they will travel to another state, and the Pennsylvania state budget will lose more than a billion dollars of gambling income.”

Forget the fact that proximity to a casino dramatically increases the number of pathologically addicted gamblers.

Forget the lives and families that are ruined. The divorces. The children who don’t have a mom and dad in the home. The financial cost to the individuals who squander their paychecks instead of buying groceries. The worker who invades his 401k retirement funds and becomes totally dependent on the government when he no longer is able to work. It’s all about the money.

Let’s tell it the way it is! Far too often governments hungry for revenue have sacrificed the welfare of their citizens by colluding with gambling interests. Slick marketing that never reveals the pain and hurt.

Sophisticated techniques used by casinos to hook unsuspecting gamblers.

For example, there is a new breed of what used to be called slot machines or three-armed bandits. There are now about 850,000 of these new-breed machines that are high tech and literally captivate people. These machines are programmed to say “You won” after every bet. Forget that the bet cost you $1.00 and the machine says you “won” $.45 cents – you really LOST $.55!

God’s people should stand against this tsunami of gambling that has swept our nation. Pray for the Lord to work in the hearts of people to take away the desire to bet. I believe that we should individually make the commitment to never gamble even one penny. We should not risk becoming addicted to gambling nor should we support an industry that destroys so many people.

Warmly in Christ,

Howard Dayton

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He Is Risen!

Dear Friends,

Easter! The day we focus on celebrating the most important day in human history, when our Savior was raised from the dead after willingly giving his life on the brutal cross. “Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:2).

I’ve been thinking about Philippians 2:10, “At the name of Jesus every knee will bow . . . and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

Those who know Him will say, “Jesus Christ is Lord” out of a heart of adoration, worship, and eternal gratitude. Our hearts will be bursting with joy over the prospect of being with Him forever in an unimaginably wonderful place called heaven.

However, those who do not know Him as Savior will acknowledge Him as Lord grudgingly out of a massive sense of defeat, hopelessness, and regret. Their hearts will be overcome with loneliness and terror.

By God’s grace, may you and I recommit ourselves to spend our time, money, and opportunities to live for Christ and influence as many others as possible to come to know Him. We look forward to the day that every knee shall bow and every tongue confess  that Jesus Christ is Lord.

Love in the risen Christ,

Howard Dayton

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Good News if You’re Struggling to Pay Your Income Tax!

April 15! With the April 15th deadline for filing income tax returns right around the corner, it can be a really stressful time—especially if you don’t have the money to pay your taxes.

If that’s your situation, we’ve got encouraging news. The IRS has created what they call the FRESH START INITIATIVE which is designed to help taxpayers who owe taxes, but can’t pay them now. Here are the highlights from this initiative that might really help you:

  • For some unemployed taxpayers, the IRS will wave failure-to-pay penalties
  • The IRS will enter into payment plans for those who can’t pay and owe up to $50,000
  • For some that the IRS believes will not be able to pay, even in installments, they will offer to compromise the amount due

The IRS has developed a series of short videos, titled “Owe Taxes?” that does a good job of explaining the Fresh Start Initiative. To learn more click on the link below:

http://www.irs.gov/uac/Newsroom/IRS-Fresh-Start-Program-Helps-Taxpayers-Who-Owe-the-IRS

 

Remember, anytime you are stressed out or anxious about your taxes,  God’s word provides a solution. Philippians 4:6 tells us what we are to do: “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made to God.” And once we have prayed with thanksgiving telling the Lord our request, we have this amazing promise in the next verse: “And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, shall guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”

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Tsunami Stones

March 11, 2011, started out like most other uneventful days along Japan’s northeastern shore, until a magnitude 9.0 earthquake unleashed a massive tsunami that left more than 28,000 people missing or dead.

Surprisingly, there were a handful of villages unscathed because they heeded the warnings of ancient “Tsunami Stones.” Some of the stones are almost 10 feet high and bear the carved warning, “Do not build your home below this point.” A few are more than 500 years old and hundreds were erected along the coast to warn future generations of past devastating tsunamis.

In our time, most Japanese living along the coast ignored these ancient stones left by their ancestors. Instead, they built close to the ocean choosing to trust in modern seawalls and sophisticated technology to protect them.

We are faced with an eerily similar situation in our country with our finances. Jeremiah 6:16 warns us, “This is what the Lord says, ‘Stand at the crossroads and look, ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls.’ But you have said, ‘We will not walk in it.’”

 God’s word—the good ancient path—discourages the use of debt. Romans 13:8 says, Owe nothing to anyone except to love one another.” And Proverbs 22:7 adds, “The borrower is slave to the lender.” Our government, many businesses and individuals consider this kind of thinking old fashion and no longer applicable in a sophisticated country that owes $18 trillion of Federal debt and has increased this debt an average of $2.31 billion a day since 2012.

But for each of us, the question we have to answer is simple. Who I am going to trust—God’s eternal word or the invention of today’s economists and politicians? I believe your financial future rests on your answer.

Warmly in Christ,

Howard Dayton

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Top 3 Ways Teens Think They’ll Become Rich

 A survey of young teenagers found that 56% of them believed that they would become rich during their lifetimes. That’s not too surprising, but this is. The top three ways teens thought they’d get rich were by becoming a professional athlete, winning the lottery, or cashing in on a large lawsuit!

Can you believe it? They didn’t even consider the possibility of becoming financially well off through hard work and wise spending. This demonstrates how important it is for us to train children how to handle money God’s way. Proverbs 22:6 says, “Train up a child in the way he should go, even when he is old he will not depart from it.”

Well, how do we train children to wisely handle money? We need to become MVP parents. That’s an acronym. The M stands for Model. The V for Verbal communication and the P stands for Practical Opportunities.

We need to be models of how to handle money because children soak up parental attitudes toward money like a sponge soaks up water. Paul recognized the importance of modeling when he said, Be imitators of me, just as I also am of Christ” (1 Corinthians 11:1).

Then we must, verbally tell our children why we handle money the way we do. For instance, share with them that you are getting out of debt because Proverbs 22:7 warns us, “The borrower is slave to the lender.” And finally, we should provide kids practical opportunities to apply what they are learning.

Well, if you have children, I pray that you’ll become a MVP parent. You can’t start too soon.

The ABC’s of handling money and the Secret of Handling money God’s way are great tools for parents. They each have a workbook for the child and a practical leaders guide for the parents. You can find them here- http://bit.ly/1BKiiI3

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Bridging the Wealth Divide

Ken Battles is an extraordinary person by any measure. In Orlando, he was the last employee (out of 3,500) still working for a Fortune 500 Company that went through a series of downsizings and mergers! His latest assignment involves leading a global team responsible for an IT security service utilized by 55,000 employees of a large multi-national company.

More impressive is Ken’s love for Christ and his heart to serve. He founded Compass African-American Ministries which focuses on helping African-American churches and organizations teach God’s way of handling money, love and leadership.

Ken and I agree that the wealth divide in our country is real and exists between various segments of the population: rich and poor, male and female, and ethnic groups. The perspective on the cause, impact and solution for the wealth divide often varies because of political affiliation, race and gender.

The government, business, education and the church all should play a role in addressing the wealth divide. But the foundation for genuine change is only found in God’s word. Hundreds of members have completed the Compass small group study at Ken’s home church—Antioch MB Church. Look at the survey results of their Compass graduates:

  • 81% reduced debt
  • 69% increased savings and giving
  • 100% are making better spending decisions
  • 94% have a closer relationship with God
  • 62% are serving more in ministry

Ken says, “These results can be replicated anywhere and the wealth divide reduced because the heart change will cause:

  • Acknowledgement of God’s ownership and control
  • Spirit-led giving, spending and saving decisions
  • Understanding why we must work hard
  • Understanding why employers must treat employees fairly
  • Understanding why employees should honor their employer
  • Creation of jobs that pay a living wage
  • More concern for the poor
  • More generous giving and funding the Great Commission
  • Less hoarding of wealth

Ken Battles is uniquely qualified to use his experience and love for Christ to help the African-American church reduce the wealth divide. Contact him at ken.battles@compass1.org.

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