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The Divine No

Dear Friends,

I have many articles and recommended readings that come across my desk on almost a daily basis. Some of them are incredible, some of them are ok and some of them, to put it nicely, don’t fit the previous two categories.

Today I am sharing with you an article that was given to me 16 years ago by a dear friend when I was struggling with having boundaries in busyness. Many of us struggle with having too much on our plates. This article helped shape the way I felt and responded when a “God” opportunity presented itself. I hope it will be a blessing to you as well.

God Bless, Kyle

THE DIVINE NO 

by Alice Fryling

If I were a prophet, in the Old Testament tradition, I would put on my long robes, gather a crowd, and call out, “God says, ‘No!’”  I would lean over and point my finger at the distraught pastor who cannot bear the burdens of her congregation, and I would say, “Let go.”  I would look at the harried mother hurrying from the office to the day care center to a PTA meeting, and I would say, “Don’t go!”  And I would grab the tired executive who was all week on a trip, came home to kiss the children, and is now on his way to the church baseball league, and I would put my face close to his and say, “Slow down!”

Indeed, there are prophets in our day who are saying just that.  Richard Foster in Freedom of Simplicity calls Christians to a life of simply doing what God wants, rather than being pushed and pulled by inward and outward demands.  He quotes Thomas Kelly, “We have seen and known some people who seem to have found (a) deep center of Living, where the fretful calls of life are integrated, where no, as well as yes, can be said with confidence.”  Foster describes that confidence as simplicity.  It could also be a more difficult act of obedience than saying yes.

When I say no to a good idea for the sake of a better idea or activity, I am acknowledging that I am a creature rather than a creator.  I cannot do everything that comes before me.  Even good ideas, if they are not the will of God for me, can become the vehicles of pride, sin, fatigue, and depression.

Rather than take responsibility for these symptoms of imbalance, we often blame God for our busy lives.  How many times have we heard, “Oh, I am just so busy (doing good deeds, Christian services, and fulfilling spiritual obligations).”  I suspect that our busyness stems from complications we have brought into our lives (our homes, social and political clubs, gardens, even some employment).  But even if we could prove our busyness is only doing “God’s work,” it is blasphemous to imply that our loving Father wants us to do more than He has equipped us to do.

Common to the lifestyles of busyness is a “bless-this mess” syndrome.  It goes like this.  I see a need.  Or I have an idea.  Or some one taps me for a project.  Without carefully evaluating the request for my time, I say yes because I like to help people, I like to be creative, and I don’t like to let people down.  Then when the Continue reading The Divine No

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Joy and Happiness

“The less I spent on myself and the more I gave to others, the fuller of happiness and blessing did my soul become.”

 -Hudson Taylor

As I’ve been talking with folks throughout the last several months there is usually one of several topics that come up; the economy, the stock market, the unemployment rate or the national debt. If I were to describe the feelings and emotions of the people I have talked to the words joy & happiness probably would not be used.

As a follower of Jesus I know through John 10:10 that Jesus comes to give life and life to the fullest and that the thief comes to steal, kill and destroy. When my joy and happiness is regulated by the economy, the stock market, the national debt, etc then I am letting the thief “win”. We should always be aware of what is going on in our world and country but that awareness shouldn’t dictate how we feel throughout our daily lives- our relationship with Jesus should dictate that.

There are many ways to spiritually combat “the things that steal, kill and destroy”; being in Christian community and being in God’s word on a regular basis are two examples. As I came across Hudson Taylor’s quote this morning I found another one- focusing less on me and giving more to the needs of others. Through my giving journey I have always experienced joy but until now I had never thought of it as a way to combat the “thief”. What a great and practical way to experience the joy of the one who gives us life to the fullest!

I pray that if you are struggling to find joy and happiness in your life that you will look to Jesus- the one who created joy, created happiness and is the giver of fullness of life.

God Bless, Kyle

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Kyle Hasbrouck is the Vice President of Compass – finances God’s way.

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Qualities of Leadership

I usually get two questions that I can bank on getting throughout my day. The first one is “What do you do at Compass?” The answer: “Depends on the day.” The second question is “What’s it like to work with your father-in-law (Howard Dayton)?” The answer: “Depends on the day.”

I’m actually totally kidding about the answer to the second question. I have had a great time working with Howard and have gleaned some incredible leadership traits from him that I’ll be sharing today. He doesn’t know I’m doing this and will probably be incredibly embarrassed- oh well!

  1. Howard first and foremost loves the Lord- I’m not sure I know anyone who is so disciplined and consistent in spending time in God’s word. Almost (he is human) everything he does flows out of his relationship with Christ. People are usually drawn to Howard for a number of reasons, but whatever the reason is he always points them to the Lord rather than himself.
  2. Howard’s priority is people- I was sitting with Howard coming back from a flight after meeting with Dave Ramsey and his team. He had his calendar open (paper of course) and on the left side of his calendar was a section labeled “Tasks”. I would normally consider a task list as stuff to get done, but under Howard’s task list was a list of people’s names. People he was praying for, people he wanted to encourage, people to follow-up with etc. It was all about people- don’t think I’ll ever forget that.
  3. Commitment to Core Values- With Howard’s leading and encouragement, our team (as a team) consistently reads through and shares our Core Values. They are rich and deep and can be found on www.compass1.org in the About section. Howard lives these core values.
  4. Humility- He may be the most genuinely humble person I know. If you’ve met Howard, you know this.
  5. Life Transformation- Howard is all about life transformation. His desire is to see people experience the Lord in an incredibly intimate way. He would rather have one person go through a Compass study and experience radical transformation than 100 people through it and have a “good” experience.

There are probably many more of these that I could share, but I want to make sure Howard doesn’t get a big head (would hate to have to cross humility off the list). I believe I can speak for our whole team in saying that we are blessed by Howard and his leadership qualities.

God Bless,
Kyle

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Kyle Hasbrouck is the Vice President of Compass – finances God’s way. For more information about Kyle, please click HERE.

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Second Chance

About a year ago, Danielle and I bought a new home. There were many things we were excited about with this new home but one of the coolest things was the 1 Year Home Warranty. If anything broke we didn’t have to pay a dime to fix it!

Well, today is one year later, and the final walk through with the home builder to fix anything that may be potentially wrong inside or outside the house. We came up with a list of even the smallest details for them to fix before our warranty expires. This ultimately is our last chance to have anything that needs to be fixed on the house for free- so we really want to get it right!

As I was writing out the list of things that may (or may not) need to be repaired it made me thankful that God doesn’t give us just one chance to get things right. We serve and love a God of second chances. This especially true in how we handle what the Lord has entrusted us with financially. No mistake, no mishap and no sense of defeat is too big for the Lord. As Christ followers we always have an opportunity to experience forgiveness and a second chance.

I pray that you experience the God of second chances in a remarkable way today!

God Bless, Kyle

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Kyle Hasbrouck is the Vice President of Compass – finances God’s way. For more information about Kyle, please click HERE.

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Jealousy

“You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God…”

Exodus 20:5

I always love it when I come across scripture that describes God with emotions that I experience. It affirms in me that my relationship with the Lord is just that- a relationship. It’s a real relationship- with peaks and valleys and with strengths and weaknesses and with a variety of emotions.

As I came across this verse in Exodus it made me realize how often I probably make the Lord jealous. The biggest way I do this is through lack of contentment. When wants suddenly phase into needs. Before today I don’t think I ever thought of God being jealous. But for some strange reason, I like it. I like that I have a relationship with a God who cares and loves me enough that when other things become a priority over Him it truly affects him.

Jealousy is an emotion that I have never been too fond of experiencing personally. It stirs up suspicion, rivalry, and resentment. If I don’t enjoy feeling this way, I’m pretty sure God doesn’t either. I have learned over the years that the antidote for jealousy in my life has always been gratitude. The more grateful I am for God’s provision in my life, the less jealous I become and the less jealous He becomes. I always love a win-win situation!

I pray that you experience the Lord in a great way this week and with a spirit of gratitude for all He has done for you and yours!

God Bless, Kyle

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Kyle Hasbrouck is the Vice President of Compass – finances God’s way. For more information about Kyle, please click HERE.

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Every Area

“But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.”

Galatians 5:16

My wife, Danielle, and I are currently reading through the book Love and Respect. We have both read this book before but we are now discussing a chapter a week to help us better understand each other’s needs. So far it has been incredibly fruitful.

There have been some great revelations I have received from doing this, but three things have really stuck out to me from reading this book:

  • A husband’s unconditional love for his wife reveals his love for Christ.
  • A wife’s unconditional respect for her husband reveals her reverence for Christ.
  • In the ultimate sense, your marriage has nothing to do with your spouse. It has everything to do with your relationship with Christ.

As someone who does well with simple concepts, these three thoughts really resonated with me. It made me think beyond my relationship with Danielle to other areas of my life as well. One of them being the area of stewardship:

  • How I handle what God has entrusted me with reveals my love for Christ.
  • How I handle what God has entrusted me with reveals my reverence for Christ.
  • In the ultimate sense, how I handle what God has entrusted me with has nothing to do with me. It has everything to do with my relationship with Christ.

Many times we tend to compartmentalize our relationship with the Lord- often without realizing it. Our relationship with the Lord is key to every area of our lives; finances, marriages, family, work, etc. I would encourage you to evaluate these areas of your life and see where your relationship with Christ fits in with each. As you strive to put Christ in the forefront of every area you will be able to love, serve and honor the Lord and those around you in a significant way!

God Bless,
Kyle

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Kyle Hasbrouck is the Vice President of Compass – finances God’s way. For more information about Kyle, please click HERE

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New Studies are Here!

This is the week our team has been patiently anticipating for many months! On June 10th we will have two new small group studies- Navigating Your Finances God’s Way and Money and Marriage God’s Way available on our website. Howard and our team have spent the past year working on and developing these life-changing studies. Here is a preview of what you can expect:

NAVIGATING YOUR FINANCES GOD’S WAY

$35 for a single set and $45 for a couples set

This nine week small group study teaches individuals God’s perspective of managing money and possessions. It will provide the practical applications of handling finances, and really gets to the heart of the matter.

Topics include:

  • God’s Part & Our Part
  • Debt, Honesty & Counsel
  • Generosity
  • Work
  • Saving & Investing
  • Crisis & Perspective
  • Eternity

Features of study:

Practical budgeting tools can be accessed in the workbook as well as electronically and on-line.

  • Budgeting options:
    • Traditional hardcopy
    • Electronic spreadsheets
    • Money Lounge – an online budgeting tool which utilizes Mint.com and Smartphone applications
  • Downloadable audio notes
  • Online financial calculators and dictionary
  • Online facilitator training and tools

A free copy of Howard Dayton’s book, Your Money Counts is included with the study.


MONEY AND MARRIAGE GOD’S WAY

$25 for a single set and $35 for a couples set

Financial stress can devastate a marriage. But there is a better way — God’s way! This six week small group study will show you how to discover God’s approach to managing your finances and strengthening your marital relationship.

Topics include:

  • Building a healthy marriage
  • Giving, saving, debt and investment decisions
  • Resolving conflicts
  • Setting goals
  • Dealing with crisis
  • Improving communication in your marriage

Whether you’re engaged, newly married, or empty-nesters you can benefit from this study. A free copy of Howard Dayton’s book, Your Money Counts is included with the study

We look forward to how the Lord will use the studies to impact people’s lives and draw them closer to Him! These studies can also be ordered by phone by calling 407-331-6000.

God Bless, Kyle

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Kyle Hasbrouck is the Vice President of Compass – finances God’s way. For more information about Kyle, please click HERE

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Core Values

Until this year, I had never been involved in a start-up.  There have been times over the past year that have been filled with incredible joy and enthusiasm and times where I have felt completely lost and confused. Normally this would drive me crazy as I like to stay pretty steady, but I (and others) have been blessed with an incredible gift from the Lord that has been helpful in both the great times as well as the times of struggle- our core values.

Our team has diligently worked at seeking the Lord’s direction about who we are as a ministry and what it is that we hold close to our heart. It has been through these conversations, dialogue and many hours of prayer that the Lord has developed our core values that are seen in the diagram below:

We are in the last stages of publishing our final version of these core values, which will soon be posted on the Compass website and bring much greater detail. These values have been instrumental in shaping how we develop materials, what delivery methods we will use and the impact that these resources will have on people’s lives. They have also guided us in how we operate as an organization or “family”, how we serve our staff and affiliates and they keep us focused on our goal of life transformation.

Each week one of our staff shares with the team a specific core value that the Lord has put on their heart. They will share how they have experienced this core value, how they have seen it lived out in the lives of other team members, or how they try to implement it in their daily life. Each time one of our staff shares, the Lord teaches or reveals to me something new. It is one of the highlights of my week. I am grateful that our core values aren’t just a document for our team, but that they are a way of life- what a great blessing!

God Bless – Kyle

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Nuts and Bolts of Compass

Many people have asked me over the past several months what kind of technology we use in Compass. So today I’m going to share with you some of the tools that the Lord has revealed to us regarding technology in our operations and in our materials.

Operations– The name of the game for us is to keep things as simple as possible and as financially lean as possible. This perspective drives how and what we use to operate the Service Center. Here are some tools we are currently using that have been effective for us:

  • Carbonite: Carbonite is an online backup tool we just started using for our computers. It is $50 annually and automatically backs up all our files. The initial backup took a long time (4-5 days), but after that the automatic backups are quick. The great thing about Carbonite is that they have an app that allows you to access any of your files from your smartphone- this has really come in handy!
  • Dropbox: We have just started utilizing Dropbox. By having our administrator invite all our staff to join Dropbox, it has allowed us to accumulate a significant amount of free space for files. Although this is a change in our email and attachment culture, we have found it to be highly effective to this point. The price is free and Dropbox also has an app with similar functionality as Carbonite to access files from your phone.
  • Salesforce: We are just now exploring using Salesforce as our database. We have several folks on our team who have used it successfully. For non-profits there is no cost. We’ll keep you posted on this one as it comes to fruition. If you know anyone who has experience setting it up we would love to meet them!

Materials– Our goal with materials has been to give people options that best fit their need. We feel we have made great strides with this in several areas:

  • Money Lounge: Money Lounge is an online budgeting tool that utilizes Mint.com. It is amazing and was developed by Doug and Robin Michaels. This will be a great option for those going through our Navigating Study who are tech savvy. This also has a smartphone app with incredible functionality. There is no cost to users!
  • Online Training: Along with on-site training, we will also be using an online format to train people to facilitate the Compass Small Group Studies. We have utilized the GoTo Meeting platform, which has been an incredibly effective tool. We have had a great group of our staff folks developing this training- it will be released and available at the end of May.
  • Navigating App: We are currently exploring developing an app for our Navigating Study. Rather than someone purchasing the hardcopy edition, they would be able to purchase the app for their Ipad. From the Navigating app, students would be able to access all the online tools, budgeting options,calculators, scriptures, homework questions and much more all from their Ipad. This could be very cool!
  • Online Small Group Experience: We are also looking at how we can recreate a small group experience on-line. We have looked at several options over the past year and are excited about one in particular. We will be having our first demo of this study May 31 with several of our International and US staff. The vision of this format is to be at your computer from home, see all the participants in your class and conduct the study just like you would a normal small group (with some obvious technical differences!) The ability to have multiple languages gives this the potential to spread globally as well.

Well, I hope this gives you some insight into how the Lord has been working and revealing himself to us. There have been a lot of folks who have put many hours and days into developing and testing all of these tools. We would love it if you had any suggestions or insight from your experience regarding utilizing technology!

God Bless, Kyle

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Starting from Scratch

“Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.” -Isaiah 43:19

A couple of years ago Danielle and I lost one of our most precious family members- our dog Homer. He was the kind of dog that was just about perfect. He lived to please us. He would rejoice with us when we were happy and pout with us when we were sad. He never left the yard, would never jump on the couch and followed us around everywhere. When we had to put him down because of cancer it was one of the saddest days of our lives. The only way we knew how to ease the pain was to get another dog. And that’s when Barnabas came into our lives.

We were hoping Barnabas would be the next Homer- help heal our pain and be an encouragement (hence the name Barnabas- “son of encouragement”). Well, apparently Barnabas didn’t get the memo because he was a rascal! He ran around like a wild man, never listened to us and acted like we were put on this planet to serve him. The first couple of months were pretty trying to say the least. But as days and weeks continued we began to see a different side of Barnabas. We noticed how playful and goofy he was, how he would sit in your lap and fall asleep in a matter of minutes (all 70 pounds of him), and how he became more and more obedient.

Barnabas asleep on the couch

Our expectations were that Barnabas would be the next Homer, but that was unrealistic. He could never live up to that. We slowly realized he wasn’t the next Homer, but the first Barnabas- and with him we had to start from scratch.

This is very similar to how I have felt during the “start up” year in serving the Lord through Compass. There have been times where my expectations have been over the top, but also times where I have seen God working in ways that I would have never expected- clearing the wilderness and providing rivers in the desert. I have come to the realization that over the past year God has not needed me to help start the ministry of Compass. He has used this last year to help me see how much I need to trust and rely on Him. In some ways I am just like Barnabas- learning and striving to be more and more obedient so I can seek the approval of my master. And just like Barnabas, I am still a pup (although I am 259 years old in dog years) with a lot more to learn. I look forward to this next year of serving the Lord through Compass, to the “new things” and seeing all that “springs forth”!