Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Top 10 (Plus 5) Reasons to Earn a College Degree

There are plenty of reasons why you can’t achieve your dream of earning a bachelor’s degree, but you only need one reason why you can. Focus on that reason and don’t allow negative thoughts to steal your future. Five years from now you’re going to be five years older, with a degree or without. If earning a degree is one of your goals do something today towards making it happen. Go after your dream! You will have the rest of your like to enjoy the benefits.

Top 10 (Plus 5) Reasons to Earn a College Degree
(In no particular order)

1. Bucket List – Earning a degree is a personal goal lifelong goal and you just want it for self-satisfaction.

2. Set an example for your kids – Great reason. Studies show that children will either meet or exceed the education level of their parents. If you want your children to value hard work and an education model it for them.

3. Reinvent yourself – Perhaps you are tired of your current career or lifestyle and want to make a change. One way to do that is to earn a degree in a new field.

4. Earn a promotion at work – I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been told by different adult students that they are back in school because they were passed up for a promotion for not having bachelor’s degree and someone younger with less experience was given the position because they had a degree. 

5. Build confidence – There is a certain level of confidence gained once you’ve earned a degree that money can’t buy you. The satisfaction of knowing you accomplished this great milestone in life and no one can take it away from you. This intangible benefit will spill over into every area of your life.

6. Gain respect – People that earn a bachelor degree share a mutual respect for one another and those that don’t have a degree admire those that do. Additionally, one reason employers look for applicants with a degree is that they know degreed applicants have the perseverance it takes to stick with a goal through to completion and stick-to-itiveness is a characteristic worthy of respect.

7. Expand your mind – Challenging yourself at an educational level will help develop your mind to deeper levels of thinking including the esteemed ability to think critically.

8. Prepare for unknown opportunities – While we may not know exactly what the future holds for us we should always be preparing for the future. Abraham Lincoln wisely said, “I will prepare and one day my chance will come.” We might not be able to see what doors could open up for us if we prepare, but we never will if we don’t.

9. Expand future choices – Without a degree your choices and opportunities will be limited, but with a degree your entire life could change by the opportunity of one additional choice. You never want to live with the regret of - if only I had completed a degree 10 years ago I could take advantage of such and such opportunity today. One of my favorite quotes is by an unknown author and reads, “The future is that time you’ll wish you had done what you aren’t doing now.”

10. Build a larger network and increase resources – Not only will you meet people in class that may become lifelong friends and even professional colleagues, but you will forever be a part of an alumni network of an academic institution and enjoying the benefits such camaraderie affords.

11. Have more control over job opportunities and your life – A degree will give you more control over what type and level of job you are able to interview for and can open the door for jobs in a specific field or industry for which you lack experience.

12. Stretch yourself – Discover what you are able to accomplish and push the limits of your threshold. You can increase your mental and physical perseverance when faced with scholarly and rigorous academic adversity.  You will be amazed at what you can achieve when stretched.

13. Separate yourself from competition – Make yourself more marketable and desirable to potential employers. All things being equal the applicant with a degree will get the job.

14. Recession Proof – While a degree does not provide complete immunity during a recession, you may survive a layoff given that those without a degree are typically the first to go.

15. Become a professional – Occupations as a lawyer, doctor, psychological counselor, university professor all require graduate level education. The stepping stone for such careers is the bachelor degree. 

If you’re an adult looking for a flexible degree completion program I recommend DBU’s College of Professional Studies.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Shake Your Booty at Satan

Praying with my children every day is one of my greatest joys in life. It’s a commitment my wife and I made early in our parenting. Each night before bedtime we read from the Bible and then get on our knees as a family to show our reverence for Christ and take turns voicing a prayer to God. My middle child demonstrated great insight last night in commenting that “when we get on our knees and bow our heads to God we show our booties to Satan and when we pray it’s like we shake our booties at Satan.” Well, Satan sure doesn’t like it when we pray to Jesus so when we get on our knees in prayer I guess it kind of is like mooning Satan. I’m not sure that’s Biblical, but I think it’s good theology for a 7 year old and we should all practice it more.

If you’re not praying with your kids each day you are missing out on one of the biggest blessings you could ever experience. You get to hear the tender hearts of your children expressed in prayer to the Lord and you will learn a lot about what is going on in the life of your child. You will learn about their struggles and what they are most thankful for. There have been times my wife and I have been so touched by the precious sweet prayers of our children that we get choked up and teary eyed. On other occasions we’ve been so tickled by some of their innocent yet humorous remarks and struggled to contain our giggles. We’ve also come to understand what Jesus meant by a childlike faith and some evenings feel we learn more from our kids than we’ve taught them. Maybe sometimes the prayers God enjoys hearing the most are the honest prayers of children. 

If you aren’t spending time each day praying with your family I want to encourage you to start today. Starting a prayer time doesn’t have to be perfect. Trust me, I know evenings can be a crazy time trying to get your kids ready for bed. Some nights it’s a victory if you can just get them all in the same room. Keep in mind that conditions don’t have to be perfect and you can always come up with an excuse as to why you should start tomorrow. Just start today and make praying together a priority for your family each day. Don’t worry or get frustrated if your kids get distracted or the prayers are perfect. I can promise you they hear everything and there prayers will develop as their faith matures. Just do your best to model for them what a prayer should sound like. Likewise, don’t be afraid if your prayers aren’t perfect. You prayers will also develop and deepen over time. If you’re not sure where to start begin with the model prayer Jesus left us with in Matthew 6:9-13. The important thing is that you’re spending time together as a family praying and helping your children develop a relationship with God. Before long praying with one another will seem very natural and through praying together as a family you will see your child's confidence and security increase. So start shaking your booty at Satan today!

Trust God With Your Money

I am grateful to have parents that modeled for me obedience in tithing. After my wife and I married in 2001 we discussed and agreed tha...