The Howitzer Rants

New Book at Amazon

JPEG Cover-VibrantI am excited to announce my new e-book that has just been published at Amazon.  The title is How to Manage Yourself when There is No Money to Manage.  This is a book I have been working on for a little over a year and is a diary of a financial crisis that my family went through last year as we were establishing our ministry in NW Arkansas.  Our ministry is to help families with their finances (ironic huh?) and the Lord took us through a tough patch.  I think so that we would be able to identify more authentically with our clients.  This is my first attempt at a bigger volumn so I hope my brief blog writing style doesn’t get in the way.  You can get your copy at Amazon.  Hope you enjoy!


Spiritual Disciplines: Write a commentary

CommentaryWho me? I can’t write a commentary.  That is for the spiritual giants right?  How do you think the giants got big?  They processed large chunks of Scripture and then wrote down their comments (commentary) on what they thought it meant.  For those of you stuck in an endless loop of reading and trying to apply the Word.  Maybe you need to try your hand at teaching it.  Something about teaching the Word (commenting) helps you to synthesize your thoughts and even apply it personally.  Honestly, many times I write stuff down so that it forces me to think it all the way through.  I publish some of my thoughts on this blog for public consumption (all 4 of you).  But a lot of my writing is for my eyes only.  Right now I am working through John 17 because I want to understand what Jesus is saying in His High Priestly prayer for the disciples and me and I am writing a commentary.  How do you write a commentary? (more…)

Financial Difficulties a Blessing?

What if our financial difficulties are really a blessing in disguise?  Listen to the song by Laura Story..


Friend of God?

“You are My friends if you do what I command you. “No longer do I call you slaves, for the slave does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I have heard from My Father I have made known to you. John 15:14-15


Managing our Emotions in Tough Financial Times


My dad calls it a flesh break.  I call it the tirades of a crazy man.  The Lord calls it sin.  I have to admit that I was a little surprised by the string of expletives coming out of my mouth.  Even though I whispered my displeasure toward the Lord, I think my heart screamed inside.  And there is no doubt that He heard me to my chagrin.  It has been a long time since I had been that upset.  Before I became a believer I had a pretty foul mouth but that was one of the things that I really hadn’t struggled with afterward.  That is till the other night when I hit the wall: the financial stress wall.  The Scripture says that anxiety in the heart of man weighs it down. Said another way anxiety in the heart of man wears him out.  Just like a marathoner hits the physical wall, a person who is dealing with ongoing financial struggles hit the emotional wall.  Growing up in a chronically poor family, I saw it first hand with my mom who must have had the patience of Job.  But, ever so often she would lose it.  Not like I did but she would have to collect herself and work through her emotions.  Managing our emotions in the face of financial adversity is a key to managing yourself.  But how do you do that? (more…)

Managing our Will in Tough Financial Times

Will Power Cropped

You wouldn’t know it by looking at me now but when I was a kid I used to be pretty fast.  I was not blazing by any stretch, but I ran a respectable quarter mile (54.5 was my best time).  The quarter mile is the race that separates the men from the boys.  One time around the track as fast as your little legs would carry you.  It tests a lot of things but especially your will power. The first part of the race is navigating the opening curve.  Your legs are fresh and your adrenaline is pumping so it’s pretty easy.  The backstretch is pretty boring and even though you are not tired there is a temptation to step off the track in the and walk straight out to the bus.  By the last curve, you are starting to feel it but there is something about being almost done and the curvature of the track that this part is kind of fun.  Then you find yourself staring down the final straightaway.  You can finally see the finish line and out of nowhere a 100 pound gorilla jumps on your back.  Your legs are burning.  Your lungs are exploding. And your mind screams at you to stop.  By this phase of the race I used to look down occasionally at my legs to make sure they were still moving.  The only thing that moves you forward is the will to finish what you started.  The key to managing the will in the quarter mile is to not look at the track, or the crowd or even your own physical capabilities but you must look at the finish line.


Managing our Minds in Tough Financial Times

johnny appleseed

I remember when my son studied about Johnny Appleseed in his first grade history class. Some think that Johnny was a fabled character who embodies the generous spirit of America. But, he was a real person. He was an entrepreneur type who loved his apple trees and made it his mission to plant nurseries of apple trees all over his part of the country. By the time he got through there were apple orchards all over the place. Johnny was a planter. And he spent his time and effort planting seeds that would blossom into trees that would provide sustenance to millions. Our topic today is not about agriculture but is neurological in nature. The question today is what kinds of seeds are you planting in your mind? What kinds of thoughts are consuming your days? There is a battle going on for the mind and it is being lost at the seed level. We are planting the wrong kind of seeds and therefore we are growing the wrong kind of trees. (more…)

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