Article by Dr. Les Hollon, Pastor, Trinity Baptist Church, Edited by Dee DeWitt


Family is God’s gift of opportunity.


The opportunity is for us to form loving, meaningful, and enjoyable relationships.  What we do with family is our choice to make and how we make that choice goes a long way to shape our own happiness or unhappiness.


Consequently let’s work to get it right.


Family life is complicated. There’s no easy way to be and do family life.  But there are best ways and bad ways from which to choose.


Family life – God’s gift to us – is also meant to be our gift back to God and for each other.  There are four basic blessings that each family can give in order to win as a family:


1) focus & faithfulness;

2) delight in each other;

3) memories worth keeping;

4) growth & opportunities. 


Family life is also meant to be our gift back to God and for one another.  As a family, let’s trust God’s promises with such devotion that we succeed with each other and we help each family to succeed.


Pastor Les Hollon


Jesus then left that place and went into the region of Judea and across the Jordan. Again crowds of people came to him, and as was his custom, he taught them.  Some Pharisees came and tested him by asking, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?”  What did Moses command you?” he replied.

They said, “Moses permitted a man to write a certificate of divorce and send her away.”

It was because your hearts were hard that Moses wrote you this law,” Jesus replied. “But at the beginning of creation God ‘made them male and female.’ ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.’  So they are no longer two, but one.  Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate.”

- Mark 10:1-9 (NIV)


People were bringing little children to Jesus to have him touch them, but the disciples rebuked them.  When Jesus saw this, he was indignant.  He said to them, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.  I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.”  And he took the children in his arms, put his hands on them and blessed them.

- Mark 10:13-16 (NIV)


This article was written by Les Hollon, Pastorof Trinity Baptist Church.  For more information about God and your place in His world, contact Dr. Hollon, click over to Trinity Baptist Church.


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Posted on 15 January, 2010 in Finance & Family, Spirituality
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Article by Dr. Les Hollon, Pastor, Trinity Baptist Church, Edited by Dee DeWitt


Families in America spend billions of dollars to communicate.  We travel to see, touch and talk in person.  We speed dial to talk with our mobile devices.  We text to get and give quick information.  We tweet to be concise.


What are we saying with all of these efforts?  Well … a lot.


Bottom line, we are saying to each other that being understood and understanding is important to us.  To be effective we need to talk through matters that are important to us … even when the matters are initially difficult to discuss.


Condensing the thickest and best books on family research reveals that the healthiest families are not those who avoid talking about difficult subjects.  Instead it’s the families who can lovingly and respectfully talk through the difficulties that develop the strongest bonds.


Families who build from their strengths create the additional strength to work through any difficulties that show up.  Families can then live with a confidence of trust … and not be shackled by fear of the un-discussed.  Family members who trust each other are those who have the freedom to love without fear.  Which is when family life becomes fun. Read More »

Posted on 11 January, 2010 in Finance & Family, Spirituality
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Article by Mary Bea Sullivan


Because I spent the early part of my career as a financial planner, sometimes people believe I have some magical financial gifts.  If only … The truth is I struggle as much or more than the next person with my relationship to money.


In fairness, those early years might have ruined me.  It was the late 1980′s and I was instructed to work only with people earning six figures and worth over $1 million.  I was surrounded by extravagant lifestyles … travel, clothes, fine wine and dining.


Many of my wealthy clients were very happy … had families they loved and meaningful work.  These folks seemed to have a healthy attitude about their money – they enjoyed it, but they weren’t defined by it.  There was an openness about them … with their resources and with their hearts. Working with them was rewarding and enjoyable.  They seemed to appreciate the gifts they had been given.


Others seemed to have insatiable appetites for more, and a fierce determination to hold on to what they had – no matter what the cost.  For example, I remember a young surgeon earning $450,000 per year.  He had every luxury you might expect for someone in his situation, but he feared losing his money.  It was as if holding on tight caused him great pain.  His wealth was a source of stress, instead of relief.  When I reviewed his tax return and saw he only donated $1,500 per year to charity, I was disappointed (and sorry to say, judgmental).  This same man repeatedly cancelled appointments and had little respect for my time.  Ultimately, I fired him as a client.


When my husband Malcolm traveled to Zambia five years ago, he was deeply touched by the generous spirit of the people there.  Even though most earned less than $1 per day, they seemed to be living joyfully.  Young orphans in tattered clothes prayed fervently with Malcolm, they laughed and played on the grounds of the Catholic Convent they called “home.”  A woman living in nothing more than a tin shack smiled broadly when she learned Malcolm was a minister and wanted him to know, “God has been good to me!”  Families destroyed by AIDS would take in yet another mouth to feed, sharing joyfully the little that they had.


This money thing, it is tricky for many of us. Read More »

Posted on 1 December, 2009 in Finance & Family, Happiness
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Article By Dee DeWitt


The idea of “enough.”  It’s one of the most important concepts in our lives.  Often we want more than we have now.  I have been guilty of it most of my life.  I still am … however I am working on it.


More money, more toys, better furniture, a bigger/better house, more or better cars, more clothes, more success …


And what happens when we get more?  Mostly we aren’t satisfied.  There are ads for new cars (“we’ll even make your payment if you lose your job”!), new computers, new cell phones, new clothes.  There are entire television channels dedicated to selling you more stuff or to making you think what you have is not good enough.  It’s impossible to satisfy that hunger for more, because our culture is not satisfied with what we have.  We are wired to want more.


Ask yourself how much is enough.  How much do you need in order to be satisfied? I suggest that the answer is that most of us (including me) already have enough … possibly more than enough.


So … what does “enough” mean? Read More »

Posted on 2 November, 2009 in Balance, Finance & Family, Happiness
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Article by Judy Mosley

For my family, this year has proved to be a lesson in money management.


Through the recession, we made a plan for our money to ensure that our basic needs were met.  Our bills were paid, but we often had to forgo the fun spending to make sure that happened.  Instead, we created our own fun by using our imagination and deciding what we really wanted to do when did get a little extra “play” money.


As my husband’s hours increased, so did his paycheck.  And during the first few weeks, we started going out again, and doing a few nice little things for each other.  But we quickly noticed how fast we would run out of “play” money. By the end of the month, we started feeling confused about where our money was even going.


We realized that if we wanted to get the best out of our money, we had to be more intentional with it.


Whether you have a lot or a little, money is something that everyone must learn how to handle.  If we don’t discover how to use our money to create a more fulfilled life, it will be squandered in little ways, leaving us wondering where it went.


Here are a few things that my own family has been learning in the process of handling our own funds. Read More »

Posted on 13 October, 2009 in Finance & Family, Goals, Simplify
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