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March 2, 2016

You Might Be Raising A Porn Addict

I realize it’s easier not to know. You don’t want to rock the boat. You don’t want to upset them by restricting the access on their phone or appearing to spy on them. You may even believe that a look here or there is just a natural part of growing up. But you are likely raising a porn addict and you don’t even know it!

A recent survey conducted by Barna found that only one-third of 13-24 year olds believe it’s wrong to view pornographic images…the other two-thirds don’t see anything wrong with it. That same survey revealed that 40% of teens ages 13-17 say that it’s a normal, accepted behavior to look at porn. The impending relational, emotional, and spiritual impact of a generation that finds pornography acceptable is devastating. As a parent, we must place a higher value on the purity of our children and do whatever we can to help protect them!

Here are a few lessons we’re learning as parents:

Start the conversation early and often! The earlier you begin talking about the importance of what we see and hear, the better! And the more often you can talk with your children about choices you make on their behalf and choices they’re making regarding media, the better! For example, before my kids watch a movie, we research that movie and discuss if it’s a wise choice to see it.
Parents must model the behavior! The media I choose to watch and the music I choose to listen to set the tone for what’s acceptable and unacceptable for our family. If I don’t turn the channel during a Victoria’s Secret commercial, why would I ever expect my son to turn the channel?
Accountability is not spying! We’ve chosen not to spy on our children. Spying is done in secret with the intention of “catching someone” doing something wrong. We have a standard of accountability in our home. Accountability allows us to see what choices our kids are making regarding media and have healthy conversations about those choices. Accountability also helps our children make wiser choices in the moment; thus protecting them.
No software monitors everything! There’s software that monitors text messaging and web sites visited and of course you can search internet history and more (and I think you should); however, at the end of the day you can’t monitor everything. This is why healthy, ongoing conversations are so important.
Beware of social media! Social media is not bad – I use various forms of social media. However, most of what your kids will be exposed to will be via Instagram and Snap Chat. Both of these forms of media make it virtually impossible to protect your kids and monitor what they see. You might know what they’re posting or who they’re following, but you’ll never know what they’re seeing! You have to ask, is the connectedness of my child really worth the exposure to immorality and impurity for my child?

February 29, 2016

Sunday’s Quotables

IDont-HeaderHappy Monday from Katie, Stu’s Assistant. Yesterday we continued our series with I Don’t Look At Porn. I know the topic made some folks nervous but I am glad that we are a church that tackles tough topics AND 26 people prayed to receive Christ! On Porn Sunday! That’s pretty awesome!

Here are a few of my favorite quotes:

1. We have a generation that is actually more concerned about what goes into the landfill than about what goes into their minds!
2. Nobody ever regrets purity!
3. A Little = A Lot!
4. The Bible warns us against even a little bit, even a hint of immorality, even a little bit of impurity, because a little equals a lot.
5. The Path Leads To Pain.
6. If you want something fulfilling, something lasting, something satisfying, something that few people have, you’re going to have to do what few people are willing to do!
7. It’s easier today to be impure than it is to be pure… but easy doesn’t lead to intimacy.
8. If you’re a parent of a middle school or high school student…one of the greatest God-given responsibilities that rests in your hands is the protection of purity for your kids.
9. Repentance > Remorse.
10. God’s way takes truth… and truth brings conviction, not condemnation, and conviction leads to hope because conviction says this, ‘I’m going to change the way I’ve been living”.
Bonus: Why fight temptation tomorrow when you can eliminate it today?

February 24, 2016

Video Update: Porn Sunday

February 22, 2016

Sunday’s Quotables

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Happy Monday from Katie, Stu’s Assistant! Here are a few of my favorite quotes from Stu’s talk yesterday called I Don’t Act Like I’m Single.

1. You’ve got to embrace the place you are and celebrate the place you are and apply these principles to the place you are.
2. So dudes are like pots and ladies are like palaces.
3. This is the word picture of God’s plan for your marriage – united as one flesh.
4. We Not Me.
5. Action Not Intention.
6. It takes good work, not good intentions, for a good marriage.
7. Change Me Not Change Him/Her.
8. Stop trying to change your spouse into the perfect mate but instead focus on changing you into the perfect mate.
9. Forgiveness Not Fault-Finding.
10. Start keeping track of everything he or she does right and stop keeping track of everything they do wrong!

February 15, 2016

Sunday’s Quotables

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Happy Monday from Stu’s Assistant, Katie. Yesterday we kicked off our new series, I Don’t, with I Don’t Live By My Feelings. Here are a few of my favorite quotes:

1. Feelings are fickle.
2. The #1 reason people will give to me for being in a position where they want to quit their marriage is this one: “I’m just not feeling it.”
3. Is that love or is that Taco Bell?
4. It takes a lot work from both people in the relationship to have more wow days than vow days.
5. I think the #1 feeling that damages most marriages today is the feeling I will call disappointment.
6. I don’t know who defined it this way first, but I think the best way to describe disappointment is it’s the gap between what I expect and what I experience.
7. Determine to show love, express love, be love, even if you don’t feel love and watch and see what happens because if you’ll focus on determination not disappointment…you’ll find that the feelings follow the facts.
8. Jesus said, even though I’m not feeling it, I’ll still show it.
9. If you have experienced the love of Jesus, then you have the capacity, you have the ability, you have the fortitude, you have the wherewithal to love others even if you’re not feeling it, you do, because we don’t live by our feelings.
10. Love isn’t about what you feel, love is about what you do.

February 11, 2016

Stu’s Suggestions for Your Money

Everybody wants to make a plan to win with their money, but few ever actually do anything about it. It’s action, not intention that ultimately will lead to a change in your life and in your finances. If you truly want to win with your money, these tools will help you put action to your plan:

If you want to develop a plan and stick to it, I suggest the EveryDollar app. EveryDollar is a free app developed by Dave Ramsey that allows you to make a plan and track your spending, all from the convenience of your smartphone. It’s incredibly user-friendly and allows you to track your progress throughout the month, even on the go!

If you want education and specific steps to reach your financial goals, I suggest Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover. It’s a great resources, broken down into “baby steps” that will coach you to budget, get out of debt, invest, and more.

If you want to consistently give, I suggest watersedgechurch.net/give. Set up a recurring contribution so that your giving is automated. Automated giving takes the guesswork out of giving and it relieves the pressure of remembering to give and removes the temptation not to give. Set up your automated giving to coincide with your paydays so that the first thing you do with your money is give back to God.

If you want to consistently save, I suggest capitalone360. Here, you can have multiple FREE accounts that are linked together so that you can set up automated savings. For example, I have savings accounts named “Christmas” and “Car” and “Vacation”. Every month, a portion of my paycheck automatically gets transferred into these accounts.

If you want to get out of debt, I suggest Dave Ramsey’s debt snowball approach. Begin by listing all your monthly debt payments in order from smallest to largest.

– Find a way to accelerate your debt payoff with extra money. This may mean cutting household expenses from your budget or taking on a 2nd job.
– Apply every dollar of extra money to pay off the smallest debt first, while paying the minimum payment only on all the other debts.
– Once the smallest debt is paid in full, take the extra money and the minimum payment you were paying on the smallest debt and apply it to the next debt.
– Continue this process until you are completely free of consumer debt.

February 9, 2016

The 3 Biggest Budget Busters

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If you’re going to Give – Save – Spend according to a plan, you’re likely going to need to make some hard financial choices. Here are three decisions that might actually save you more than you think – and could keep you on track to Give-Save-Spend:

1 – Control Your Appetite! Eating out is one of the biggest budget busters you face. A lunch here and a drive-thru there and a Starbucks in between will bust your budget! You’ve got to control your appetite! Set a strict plan for what you spend in this category and make sure you stick to it.

2 – Deal With Less Channels! Did you know it’s possible to live without cable TV? Most people spend well over $100 / month on their cable and internet package… that’s a budget buster! Cut back to basic cable. Cut back to a slower internet speed. Cut off the home telephone if you have a cell phone. And…if you feel like you’ve still got to watch your favorite TV shows, invite yourself over to a friend’s house!

3 – Say NO To Your Kids! This is a hard one for most parents, but kids are a big budget buster because most parents never say NO! I’m giving you permission to say NO to every extracurricular activity. Say NO to school pictures and yearbooks. Say NO to expensive birthday gifts for every friend. Say NO to going to the movies every Friday night. Say NO to the most expensive pair of shoes. It’s okay because if you say NO to some of these less important things, it allows you to say YES to more important things! How about YES to a family vacation? Say YES to a college savings fund! Say YES to one sport per season instead of three.

Nobody likes to make tough financial decisions and they’re never easy to make. However, if you’re going to stick to the Give – Save – Spend plan, you need to look at your budget busters and make some hard choices.

February 8, 2016

Sunday’s Quotables

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Happy Monday from Katie, Stu’s Assistant. I hope you made church a priority yesterday because Stu brought a super-practical message to finish up the Crashproof Your Life series. Here are a few of my favorite quotes:

1. 70% of you will agree that this is among the top 3 challenges you’re facing in 2016.
2. This is God’s plan, by the way, for how you and I can crashproof our finances, we can GIVE first, SAVE second, and SPEND last.
3. Make a plan and stick to it!
4. It is far sexier to be the dude with a half a dozen pink carnations and no debt than to be the dude with a dozen red roses and credit card debt out the wazoo!
5. The key to saving is automate it!
6. Giving first demonstrates your dependence on God.
7. I’m the boss of money but God’s the boss of me.
8. You will never regret living by God’s plan: give, save, spend.
9. Take us up on the [90 Day Tithe] Challenge and see what God will do in your life.
10. Our money is the single greatest indicator of our heart.

Next Sunday we start a new series called I Don’t and it is the perfect time to invite someone to come with you!

February 1, 2016

Sunday’s Quotables

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Happy Monday from Katie, Stu’s Assistant. I hope you joined us yesterday as we celebrated Baptism Sunday! Stu continued Crashproof Your Life with a talk called Grow. Here are a few of my favorite quotes:

1. There’s nothing more depressing than getting to the end of a year, only to look back to discover that you didn’t accomplish what you had hoped to accomplish that year.
2. It’s unhealthy to not move forward.
3. You want to check yourself before you wreck yourself in 2016, GROW!
4. You and I were always to grow as part of the church.
5. The church is God’s plan to grow you and you are God’s plan to grow the church.
6. My job is to equip you, which means to help you and challenge you and encourage you and inspire you and push you and resource you, that’s my job.
7. I want to see 100% of the people listening to my sermon today take a step toward growth.
8. How do I mature?
9. The Growth Map answers that question and very clearly points you to a next step that you can take to grow and mature.
10. To Crashproof Your Life, you need to take one of these steps today: WEC U, Be Mentored, Attend Regularly, Be Baptized, Experience Missions, Volunteer, Invite, Give, Join A Group, Read the Bible, or Lead.

January 25, 2016

Sunday’s Quotables

Happy Monday from Katie, Stu’s Assistant. I hope you joined us for the special online blizzard service yesterday! If you missed it, you can check it out here. Here are a few of my favorite quotes from Stu’s talk:

1. Now that you’ve experienced church online, if you know somebody maybe that lives out of the area why don’t you introduce them to it and invite them to attend?
2. How Do We Crashproof Our Church?
3. When you flourish in God’s house, God’s house flourishes!
4. #1 – Who Are You Inviting?
5. We all need a story.
6. #2 – How’s Your Group?
7. #3 – What Did You Love About Sunday?
8. #4 – How Are You Investing?
9. One of the greatest things you can do for your church, for our staff, for your Campus Pastor, for me and my family, for the movement of God, for our mission is to pray!
10. We’ll do more if we’re crashproofed in your life and we’ll do more to build God’s kingdom than we’ve ever dreamed possible.