Re-Breaking the Blogging Ice

As of today, I’m officially starting back to blogging. 

Way back in 2004 or 2005, when I first started blogging, I was on the blogger platform. Then around 2007 or 2008, I got in a self-hosted WordPress site. That was like going high-tech back then. 

Blogs had a totally different feel back then. They were more personal opinions. They could be about anything on the writer’s mind. Having a brand or a niche wasn’t the point. It was what people with anything to say did before social media had really taken off. It was truly a web-log of thoughts or teachings. 

Now blogs are supposed to be super focused on specific topics and have strategic monetizing and all this other crap. It’s literally what I’ve done on and off in various capacities for various businesses over the years as a way of earning a living. It can be a lot of fun and at the same time, it can take a lot of the fun out of being online. 

I’ve allowed what everyone else has influenced blogging to become to take away the joy I used to experience from creating…the joy of having written out thoughts just for self-expression…regardless of whether or not it is read by anyone or is correctly done (as evidenced by this run on sentence) or ever makes a dime of revenue. 

So I’m picking up the modern-day ‘pen’ again (so to speak – it’s obviously a keyboard). Over the years, as I’ve neglected this, I’ve actually jotted down a ton of notes of things I’d like to ‘talk’ about. Writing will have to do (at least for now). Obviously, I like parentheses’ thoughts as well. 

If you happen to see this because you’re still subscribed to my blog through RSS, I apologize. Take that however you want. I either apologize for leaving you hanging or for whatever potentially unwanted email in which you might be receiving this. Honestly, I’ll be shocked if anything even still works on my site when I go to copy this from my notes app into WordPress. 

Obviously, I’m gonna have to do some work on the ole site if people actually start coming to it again. It’s so out of date. The picture of my family is probably about 8yrs old, I’ve only written a couple of times over those years, and a lot of my experiences in life have changed my views on some of what I used to write about. It’s called maturing. Most of us do that as we get older. I’ll never stop trying to improve. 

Anyway –  I just needed to get this post out as a way of breaking the ice – more for myself than anything else (I like hyphens too). 

This post will not be SEO’d. I will not post it on social media. In fact, I might not do either of those things much or ever with future posts. We’ll see. As I write these words I’m literally thinking it’s like I’m talking to myself but if anyone else happens to read it I’m happy to be talking to you as well. Either way, I’m ok with it. 

Ok – til the next post… living our adventure. 

Merry Christmas 2015!

Just want to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Asbell Family Christmas 2015

Governomics Isn’t Working

When I was broke I did the same thing the government is doing – kept adding to the debt and consolidating loans and eventually I was unable to borrow more, then unable to pay, then almost lost everything.  We had to change our lifestyle drastically for quite some time to correct the problem. If we had done it sooner it would have been a lot less painful.  But at least we didn’t wait any longer than we did – that would have been disastrous.

If we think our economy has been tough the last several years we need to imagine how bad it’s gonna be when other countries are no longer willing to lend to us.  Imagine how bad it’s gonna be when we can’t pay all the bills we owe to those countries.  Now imagine how much worse it’s gonna be the longer we wait to stop borrowing and cut spending.

How many national parks will have to be closed?  How many furloughs will have to be mandated?  What programs will they finally decide to cut or manage more diligently?  What entitlement programs will they finally decide to steward more wisely?  How many jobs will be lost in that process?  How much higher are taxes going to go in that process?

I’m no economic genius but I don’t think it takes one to see our governomics ain’t working.  Our governomics budget hasn’t REALLY been balanced in decades.  Robbing from funded programs to “balance” the budget doesn’t work without adequately cutting or killing the robbed programs.  When my family has to rob from our vacation fund (social security for example) to pay for an emergency (war on terrorism for example) then we have to either delay vacation long enough to replenish those funds or we have to cancel the vacation indefinitely.  What we don’t do is try to fund everything using debt we hope to repay.   Hope doesn’t pay bills.

Our governomics hasn’t addressed the poor spending behavior that has gotten us into this position.  When my family has to decide between eating out every night or getting to have a nice vacation we have to choose which one is more important.

Unfortunately the approach our government has been taking just continues to produce the same results – it’s the ole insanity thing – “continuing to do the same thing and expecting different results.”  The band aids aren’t working.  It’s time to rip (not slow peel) the band aid off and take drastic measures stop the bleeding so our economy can begin to heal.  Governomics doesn’t work for individuals and it won’t work for our country.  It’s time to go further than the “change” politicians promise.  It’s time to TRANSFORM our country by getting rid of governomics and start using the peoplenomics that apply in the real world the majority of us live in.

Tipping Well At Restaurants

Here are a few reasons I love tipping well at restaurants:

  • It blesses someone who works hard and might really need that unexpected extra.
  • It blesses me at least with joy and maybe even reward from God.
  • It honors God when I feel his prompting to do it.
  • All that could lead to God doing a work in the recipient, me, or anyone who hears about it.

That’s why I love this video.  When I say I love tipping well I mean I’ll tip 20-25% on a regular basis and might go as crazy as 100-200% on occasion.  But the guys in this video give me something to aspire to, and I love how they weren’t shy about capturing the moments and having a great time with it.

Book Update – God Centered Finances

The book promotion is going well.  Lots of people are taking advantage of it while it’s free, and I really hope it helps them in their financial journey.  It reached #1 in both of it’s categories Tuesday and is steadily climbing in the overall rank.

number one in two categories

If it can get to the top 100 then a lot of people will find out about it and have the opportunity to be encouraged in their financial journey as well.  One way to help it out is to post some good reviews, so if you happen to have at least skimmed over it and can leave an honest and positive review that would be much appreciated.  If you haven’t had the opportunity to get it yet – click here.

It’s truly humbling to think God can use something like this to reach people.  Thank you for your support in getting it out to as many people as possible.

Merry Christmas 2012

Why I’m Happy For Toby Mac

In case you haven’t heard the awesome news, Toby Mac just topped the billboard charts with his latest album – Eye On It .   Although I don’t agree with how the media seems to be a little snide in their article about it, I do agree it is something that isn’t happening often and is worth getting special attention.

I happen to love Toby Mac music.  It’s great music – the beats, the melody, and most of all – the lyrics that I don’t have to worry about my kids hearing.  Seriously why do so many songs that sound great need to have ridiculously inappropriate lyrics?  Why can’t they put the bad lyrics on those songs that have terrible melodies too?

Anyway – the reason I’m happy for Toby Mac for this accomplishment is because I can only imagine how hard he has had to work as a Christian artist in our culture to reach such a level of success.  The top of the charts are often reserved for whatever freak show wrote the most recent catchy melody with scandalous lyrics about sex, drugs, or money.

Don’t get me wrong – I like the catchy melodies too – despite the lyrics.  As Christians we should get excited about the talent of other Christians more often instead of always just being so focused on whatever our broken culture is idolizing at any given moment.  For once they’ve recognized someone who actually makes good music and has a good message, so I’m proud and happy for Toby Mac.

Check out the album –Eye On It .


It was July of last year that Shawna and I reached debt freedom except for our house. I know of no better time to celebrate it than Independence day. July 4th will forever have a new meaning to me. It is not only a reminder of our country’s independence but a reminder of our personal freedom from debt. Thank you God for both.

Happy July 4th everyone!


A friend of mine recently asked me why I haven’t updated my blog in a while. Well, several reasons, but none of them are really good ones and are probably more like excuses and failures to manage my time. I like writing and I need to do it more.

Anyway, that friend said my writing is like an occasional Tsunami, there’s either a lot of it or none of it and it comes in big waves. Nice analogy friend – thanks. Hey, I’ll call you next time I want feedback. No, really – I’ll call you. Just kidding. Thanks for the gentle kick in the pants.

So I guess I’m writing this to say two things.
1. Make time, even if it is just a little time, on a regular basis, to do what is important to you.
2. You should see more posts from me, at least for the next little while.

Top Posts of 2011

Judging from all the blogs I follow, apparently the thing to do near the end of December is list the top posts for the whole year.  I didn’t start back to blogging until April, and didn’t do it very regularly, so this list might seem like half of what I’ve actually posted for the year.  Oh well, here it is – the top 10 posts of 2011:

  1. Mobile Phone Privilege – I’m pretty sure Zack Morris made this one so popular, but I like to think it’s the fact that mobile phones are a privilege not a necessity.  I’m a little disappointed that this one wasn’t closer to the bottom of the list.
  2. Mark & Shawna Asbell Are Officially Debt Free – This is the most exciting thing that happened to us all year, a major milestone in our lives.  I still can’t hardly believe it and I’m so grateful for it.  I’m selfishly a little disappointed that this one wasn’t at the top of the list.  EVERYONE should be so excited for us and want to read about it  🙂
  3. “No” Is Easy When “Nothing” Is There – It’s no less difficult saying no when there is money in the bank than it is when there is NO money in the bank.
  4. Get Help Now – Stop putting off getting help because of your pride, heart issue, or lack of trust.  Get Help Now!
  5. My Parents’ 40th Anniversary (series) – My parents celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary this year and I wrote a little series to honor them and their example.
  6. Boomerangers (series) – This 2-part series addresses a concern many families are facing these days.  What do you do when your grown children move back home?
  7. Daddy’s Barber Shop – One of the little ways I’m frugal and ever little bit adds up to a lot over time.
  8. Kyle Got Married – My brother-in-law got married and I reflected on some important words of wisdom from my wedding day.
  9. One Major Step Closer To Divorce – A pretty strong case for why couples shouldn’t have separate finances.
  10. Intentional Relationship – We have to be intentional about our relationship or it will “unintentionally” fall apart.
It’s been a great year and I can’t wait to see what this list looks like at the end of 2012.

Happy New Year!