My Question was on the Clark Howard Podcast

I would use the phrase “as many of you know” but the reality is only a couple of people read my blog so I can’t really use the word “few”. I will therefore use the word “couple” since it is more accurate.

So as a couple of you know personal finance is kind of a hobby for me. I read and listen to as much information as I can concerning how to be wise with our finances and every now and then help someone else with their finances. The whole subject means a great deal to me because Pam and I have had to be very careful with our finances. You see, despite what you might think from televangelists, ministers aren’t known for getting the best salaries, and youth ministers and pastors of small churches are definitely not known for having large salaries. So we have needed to be very careful with our money and listen to wise voices in how to best control our finacnes.

One of the voices that has helped me the most is Clark Howard and his team. They have helped us with great advice. Seriously if you want great instruction on how “to save more and spend less” you should listen to his show. This is why I was super pumped today when a question I had submitted to the podcast website was read online today.

They read, and answered, my question at nine minutes and thirty-five seconds in today’s episode.

My question was pretty mundane concerning whether we can contribute to a 529 plan for Noah and still get the Wisconsin tax credit. It was a pretty exciting, however, to hear them say on the podcast “Robert in Wisconsin says…” while I was walking Clive. Seriously, Clark Howard is the best. You should listen to his show.

Soul Toupee

Thanks to Conor H and Adam T I regularly listen to the wonderful Mockingbird podcast. If you enjoy listening to podcasts concerning faith I encourage you to give it a try. I believe they do an excellent job of exploring places where they see grace and its absence. In this past week’s episode, they brought up a term that they had used earlier but I had not had the fortune of hearing. The phrase is “soul toupee”.

A “soul toupee” is what one of their friends uses to describe the behavior that a person does to cover up an insecurity of theirs that in fact only draws all the more attention to the insecurity, like a really bad toupee calls attention to the lack of hair that the toupee wearer is so desperately trying to prevent us from noticing. If you have ever seen a really bad toupee you will get the image. It is hard to look away from it.

The attempts to look and act younger than a person is probably acts in the same manner. As a fan of The Office I can’t help but think of the time that Creed, scared for his job, tried to convince everyone he was 30 years old.

All Creed’s behavior does it draw all eyes to him. SIDE NOTE – I love Creed in The Office. Back to the too young behavior, being older is a good thing, and dressing and acting like you are twenty merely tells everyone around you that you are UNcomfortable being older.

I know I can relate to the behavior of trying to cover up something I don’t feel great about. I am reminded of my insecurities often and every now and then I catch myself doing something in an attempt to hide them. Like other people can’t see through my attempts to hide my insecurities. Ha! I’m sure my attempts are often pretty hysterical.

If only I can remember that I am accepted, loved, and belong – insecurities, failures, and all. There is no need for a “soul toupee” when you realize being bald isn’t a detriment.

Advent is Coming

For years Tapestry has participated with many other churches in the Advent movement known as Advent Conspiracy. The goal of Advent Conspiracy is to celebrate our Lord’s Incarnation by focusing on the following four actions. We will:

  • Worship Fully
  • Spend Less
  • Give More
  • Love All

The above commercial from Coca-Cola is a pretty good reminder of one of the key aspects by which we try to do these four things. We try to give more presence which doesn’t necessarily mean giving more presents. This is always important but all the more so during the time we are currently living through when so many people feel isolated.

Giving presence requires much greater creativity and sacrifice than giving just presents. You can give a present with just money, and to quote Grandpas George from “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” “there’s plenty of money out there, they print more of it every day.”

Giving presence on the other hand requires giving of yourself and there is only one of you. It is much more precious.

This doesn’t mean not giving a gift. Going all Scoorage doesn’t really celebrate Advent either. It just means that when we give the gift is more about the one(s) receiving and the one(s) giving the gift than it is about a mere exchange of goods. Some of the best gifts of presence I have ever received have been presents, but it was more about the thought put into the gift than the gift itself. I imagine we have all received gifts that were costly in money but basically cost nothing in the currency of presence.

Advent Conspiracy puts out resources each year to help us to celebrate the birth of the Messiah in a manner that He would enjoy. HERE are this year’s resources.

I hope you enjoyed the commercial. I know I did.

Advent begins November 29th this year.