Thursday, October 17, 2013

4 things I learned at the Family Economics and Mentorship Conference

Here at Bowes Academy, we were instructed by the director of our school to write a paper on what we learned at the Family Economics and Mentorship Conference. Below is my "paper" on the subject. :0)
4 things I learned at the Family Economics and Mentorship Conference
1)      Everything I do has eternal value as I play my part in God’s story (R.C. Sproul Jr.).
It is a wonderful thing to be a part of God’s story! The story started in Genesis 1, and its end is already described in 1 Cor. 15:20-24. All of us who realize our part in this story gain a sense of worth and meaning as we fulfill our mandate to take dominion of the Earth and all that is in it (Gen. 1:28). This worth and meaning manifests itself in everything we do, whether it be in work at our job or business, chores at home, play or vacation—everything!
The devil’s story is not like this. His story ends where it started: the Earth randomly forming, and likewise randomly disintegrating. In accordance, we have no purpose in life. We are a result of chance and random processes, primeval goop that just happened to evolve. Anyone who believes in the lies of the enemy will be robbed of their worth and meaning.
How much more fulfilling it is to rightfully believe and live God’s story!
2)      Master the little things (Danny Craig)
When I attended the Conference, my thoughts on what I would learn were somewhere along the lines of receiving advice on how to do grand, awesome, and in general big things in the realm of business. Young Mr. Craig helped steer my thoughts to a more practical level. Among the many helpful things he shared, Mr. Craig emphasized that the little things are important. From a peer to peer perspective, He helped us younger homeschoolers realize that before we think about raising a family and being the master of a (hopefully) highly-successful business, we need to work on the little things.
These little things really are important. For instance, how I treat my mother now will most likely have a strong impact on how I treat my wife in the future, and likewise with younger siblings and my future children someday. Also, the diligence with which I do my small tasks and chores around the house today will decide at least in part how industrious I am in my work and business ventures tomorrow.
So here I have it—motivation for emptying out the trash before it spills out of the trash can! I needed this advice, as mastering the little things is definitely an area I need to work on.
3)      Practical advice for growing a business
There were many helpful business tips from all the different speakers, far more than I can list below. Many of the speakers did a great job in providing both personal insight and practical steps for any entrepreneur wanting to grow their business. I have quite a few notes from the conference now that will be very valuable to look back on as I try to grow my landscaping business!
One of the best tips was an acronym that Danny Craig introduced:
See: See a need or opportunity
Evaluate:  Determine your capabilities and what you can do to fill this need or opportunity
Act: Rather self-explanatory :0)
Eric Weir also had an acronym to share that is useful to evaluate your business and improve it:
4)      Worldly kingdoms fall, but the Kingdom of God will remain (Kevin Swanson)
Kevin Swanson gave a stirring keynote session at the end of the conference, one that gave hope to all even in these increasingly dark times. But before receiving this hope, his listeners had to accept the bad news: America is falling. Using Mr. Swanson’s own analogy, America is like a tall tower of building blocks a toddler would make. The tower gets bigger and bigger as the little one adds block after block till finally it becomes unstable. In one last teetering second, the young builder adds that last block, and the tower comes crashing down.
In much the same way, without anything short of a miracle, America is about to collapse. Our culture is more corrupt than it has ever been before. Our economy is on the brink of self-destructing. President Obama can (or is it “will”?) do nothing to save America now.
But now for the hope! You see, though worldly kingdoms come and go, god’s kingdom will always remain. In Mr. Swanson’s own words, “The Kingdom of God is alive and well on Earth!”  In these words we can have hope and act accordingly. Here are the three steps Mr. Swanson gave to save your family from the impending fall of our nation:
1.       Save your children from the culture
2.       Teach your children to take no thought of tomorrow, for tomorrow will take care of itself
3.       Give your children a Kingdom vision
We can rest assured if we are a part of God’s kingdom no matter what befalls America, for God will protect and provide for all who are his, no matter what!

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