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Name Your Blessings

Remember the world of wonders he has made,
his miracles, and the verdicts he’s rendered…
– Psalm 105:5

Our son, Cash, is almost 20 months now. It has been an incredible experience seeing his personality develop over these months. He is a sweet boy and the “apple of Daddy’s eye”! The Lord is constantly using Cash to teach us about Himself- patience, trust and faith are all areas we have grown in as a result of our son. The latest teaching moment was really eye-opening to us.

In our culture of want and consumerism, it can be very easy to forget the ways that God has blessed us. It is sometimes easier to look at what we don’t have rather than what we do have. Generally speaking, I always thought that Danielle and I have done a pretty good job of being thankful for the ways that The Lord has blessed us- until Cash showed us up one night!

We had put Cash to sleep, and as we often do, we watched him on the video monitor as he went to sleep- it is a precious thing to see. While we were looking at the monitor, Cash started chanting “Mama, Daddy, Elmo, Blanky”. He did this over and over again until he fell asleep. The next night he did the same thing and every night there after- “Mama, Daddy, Elmo, Blanky”.

Continue reading Name Your Blessings

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Skewed Vision

Matthew 14:22-33

Many of us have heard or read this story of Peter walking on water. I recently was reading
this passage during one of my devotional times and wanted to share a few things that stuck out to me and challenged me as well- I hope they do the same for you.

The disciples have been out in a storm for potentially ten hours, going roughly only three and a half miles. I would imagine they are not only discouraged, but feeling pretty beaten up. Having been in a few actual storms myself, it becomes hard to see with a piercing rain in your face, your body tenses with every flash of lightning and I can only imagine that ten hours of this would be exhausting.

The disciples are in survival mode, doing whatever they can to conquer this storm and come out of it alive. There are no lifeboats and no coast guard to bail them out if things get worse. They will need to rely on their instincts and experience to get out of this storm.

And that’s when Jesus comes on the scene- and Continue reading Skewed Vision

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The Principle of Pause

Over the past weeks I have been going through a devotional called Devotions for Lent by Bible Mosaic. I didn’t know much about this devotional before getting it- it was free on Kindle so I thought I’d give it a shot. I haven’t been disappointed. The Lord has used it several times to speak to me, challenge me and encourage me. One challenge and affirmation has been related to the subject of fasting and the many ways one can fast.

I have found fasting can essentially be an “extended pause”. Regardless of how long the fast is, its purpose is to draw us closer to the Lord, to put us in a position to hear His small, still voice and to allow Him to lead and guide us.

One of the things we teach people to do before making any “major” financial decisions is to pause before making a purchase. This helps to eliminate impulse buying and instant gratification. It puts us in a position to allow the Lord to guide and direct us before making Continue reading The Principle of Pause

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Growing Old Together

A few years ago, Danielle and I had several friends that we were extremely close with move away from St. Augustine. It was an incredibly sad time for us as they were all dear friends who were a great part of our journey with the Lord. We had talked about things from our kids growing up together to all of us living in the same nursing home. We were going to miss them greatly!

After about six months of all of us being scattered apart, we decided we needed to have a long weekend together each year. It wouldn’t be the only time we would see each other, but it was “required” that we all be there for this particular time. We were going to do our best to grow old together even if proximity was a challenge.

Over the past few years of doing this I’ve learned some things that Continue reading Growing Old Together

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Integrity and Honesty

I am a huge fan of sports- particularly football, but lately I have been flabbergasted by all that is going on in the sports world. I am not intending to pass judgment, call people out or point fingers at specific individuals but there seems to be a common theme to the demise of individuals and teams- the issues of integrity and honesty.

We have seen over the past several months in the sports world the consequences of being dishonest and lack of integrity. “Legends” of the fields have fallen, people have been physically and emotionally wounded, lies have been used to cover scandal, trust has been broken. But it is just not in the sports world.

The reality is this: we all have struggled and will struggle with honesty and integrity. It may not be as transparent as the issues we have seen lately, but scripture is clear about how dishonesty can spread, “Whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much.” – Luke 16:10.

So here is the TWO things that I would tell the fallen “legends” of sports, the people who are trying to justify “minor” lies, and what I would tell myself, family and friends to do if struggling with being dishonest:

  1. RESTORE YOUR FELLOWSHIP WITH THE LORD: When we are dishonest, we aren’t able to experience our relationship with the Lord the way God intended. We must admit our sin and receive God’s mercy and forgiveness.  “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from ALL unrighteousness.” John 1:9.
  2. DO YOUR BEST TO RESTORE YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH THE HARMED PERSON: “Confess your sins to one another” James 5:16. I’m not going to lie (haha), this one is pretty hard to do! But the fact of the matter is that the Lord wants us in a right relationship with Himself and others. The way we can do this is by swallowing our pride and sharing with those we have harmed how we have wronged them.

There is a lot more that could be added, God’s word is full of counsel on honesty and integrity, but if you were wanting to be in a right relationship with the Lord and others this is a really good starting point.

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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Online Small Group Experience

The Online Small Group Experience is Coming Soon!

Over the past few months I have been managing a project that is near and dear to my heart- an Online Small Group Study for the Navigating materials. With the help and expertise of Tim Krauss and Maverick Martin I am pleased to announce that this study will be up and running in the next two weeks! Let me share with you some of the features and the “why’s” of this new online format:

Some Features

The platform for the study is a Learning Management System (LMS) known as Sakai. This system has been used for online classes with schools in the Big Ten. Everything that is currently in the Navigating Your Finances God’s Way Study will now be in an online format; fillable PDF’s for homework & prayer logs, online calculators, electronic spreadsheets for the Let’s Get Practical Section, Money Lounge (our new budgeting tool that utilizes mint.com), instant connection to online resources, connecting to social media and much, much more!

While Sakai will be used for a student’s homework throughout the week, the Big Blue Button (an incredible video tool) will be used to see and host your weekly class. You will be able to see and hear everyone from your small group from your computer. The class will be conducted just as it would if you were live with 12 students in your family room.

While we are currently using just the Navigating Study for this format, we also plan on having all are small group studies available as an online option as well.

The Why’s

The Online Small Group Experience doesn’t replace the original Small Groups that we have, it is an addition. Many people are using the internet for online training and we felt the Online Study would be a key piece of our vision to reach Everyone, Everywhere, in Every Area. The online study will break down a couple of barriers and challenges that we have had in the past:

  • It will allow anyone to now get plugged into a Small Group Study at almost anytime. They will no longer have to wait for the next Compass class in their area.
  •  Have you ever wanted to have a friend or friends be a part of a Small Group Study with you but have been hindered by distance or location? This will no longer be an issue as you can now have people from around the country and world attend your Small Group Study.
  •  It is Global. Not only can you have people from around the world, but the Sakai platform has the ability to do on the fly translation of languages. This will be in the second phase of our project but we are excited about this technology that can essentially break down language barriers!

Although the platform for this online study will be different, the core elements of the study will remain in tact; scripture memorization for each class, daily homework, practical applications, weekly class meeting, loving accountability & encouragement and of course prayer and prayer logs!

I am grateful for the Lord creating this technology and look forward to seeing how He will use it to transform people’s lives!!! We will keep you posted when it is officially available on the compass1.org website!

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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Update from Glen Eyrie

A view of Pike's Peak from Glen Eyrie!

This week our Compass family is spending time together at Glen Eyrie in Colorado Springs for our annual staff conference. It has been an incredible week! I could spend hours sharing about how the Lord has used this time but I’m kind of tired so I will share just a couple of things that has really stuck out to me.

Most retreats I have been at are very agenda driven leaving very little room for the Holy Spirit to move and work throughout the time. This has not been the case this week. I genuinely fee that I am at a retreat; i feel refreshed, encouraged and have really sensed the Lord speaking to me this week.The time with people and the relationships that are being built have a genuine authenticity to them.

We have been blessed from hearing God speak through folks from our team in India and Latin America. We have also been blessed by the presence of Chris and Debbie Lecurto from Dave Ramsey’s Organization and Mark Biller from Sound Mind Investing. It has been incredible to see so many people with like minds and like hearts be moved by the Lord in the same direction.

I wanted to especially give a shout out to Kelly Laughridge and Dan Schilling from our Compass staff for organizing this event. Their work behind the scenes has been a great gift to us all.

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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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Selection & Association

I have recently had the privilege of helping our local Young Life Area with training and recruiting of leaders from within the community. When I was asked to help, the first book I pulled was the Master Plan of Evangelism as it has been a great resource for me in working with our staff in Compass. Every time I read it something new sticks out to me. Here are some thoughts from chapters 1 & 2 regarding Selection and Association.

  •  People were to be Jesus’ method to winning the world to God.
  •  Jesus chose people who were faithful, available and teachable. Jesus can use anyone who wants to be used.
  •  Jesus “did life” with the disciples. He was intentional about spending quality time with them. His daily routine involved being with the disciples.
  • He regularly met with the disciples in a Small Group setting to have discussions, answer questions and bring clarity to the days events and teachings.

These characteristics are probably something you already know or have heard before, but so often they get lost in the hustle and bustle of the world. We have so many different technologies, tools and strategies that sometimes we forget about the simplicity of taking the time and being intentional with people. I know I do.

I pray that you will experience the simplicity of Jesus over this next week and that it will overflow into everything God has called you to!

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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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.