Hope for your financial life and beyond

Living Life With an Open Hand (Part I): Giving to the Needy

We live in a socioeconomic divided world. There are the “haves”, the “have-nots” and the “have-in-betweens.” Your status, in regards to wealth, can determine how much influence you have, how much access you have to important people, and how many things you can buy for yourself. It is a measure of your success, power and importance. You are somebody if you have money, and you are nobody if you have none. At least that is how most of the world sees it.

So we have this financial asset disparity present in our world, yet we all, rich and poor alike, have to share the same space. We only have one earth. With that being the case, unless NASA (or Sir Richard Branson) decides to start a colony on the moon where only the rich will be able to afford the space ride, we are stuck with one another. That means we will have to figure out how to coexist peaceably, figure out how to treat one another, and figure out what our responsibilities are to those who have more or less than we do. And we already have seen how hard relationships can be. 

The Bible’s Take on Giving to the Needy

The Bible weighs in often on how the rich should treat the poor. Perhaps no verse better sums it up than Deuteronomy 15:7-10 which reads:

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Why to Develop a Strategic Plan

It has been a tough summer in many parts of the Midwest as crops have suffered due to the lack of rain. Drought conditions reduce crop yields, lessen the food supply and can put a farmers entire livelihood in jeopardy. In some countries, a severe drought can lead to famine as crops completely disappear over an extended period of years.

These type of conditions are very difficult for a farmer to plan for because they never know when one might occur. One person from history, however, did get a heads-up about a drought/famine and, because of his foreknowledge of the event, he quite possibly enacted the greatest crisis management plan the world has ever known.

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God’s Provision (Part II): Our Attitude Plays a Role

We saw in part one how God provided for Elijah during a terrible drought in Israel. I Kings 17:6 tells us that ravens brought him bread and meat each day and he drank water from the brook.  Everything was going fine for him, that is until the brook dried up because of the drought. “What now God?” Elijah is surely thinking. “How will I survive without water?”

God wasn’t through showing his miraculous powers to Elijah. No more water…no problem for God. He next instructs Elijah to go to the city Zarephath. When Elijah arrives at the city gate, he meets a woman gathering sticks. This is their interaction in verses 10-13:

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God’s Provision (Part I): “You’re Feeding Me How?”

“I’m starving,” the little girl said as she walked into the kitchen after school. It would be another hour before dinner was ready and the thought of going that long without something to eat was too much for her. “Please daddy,” she pleaded…“just a little something, I feel like I’m going to die!”

The father knowing how overdramatic his 8-yr. old daughter was being, thought about launching into a discussion about what “starving” truly meant. Or maybe he could explain the intricacies of the human body and how God had designed it to go on for days without needing food, only water. Or maybe just a “No!” would do.

Then he looked at his daughter, with those cute curls and big eyes looking up at him.

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For the Love of Money

“Money money money money, MONEY!”

“Some people got to have it…Hey, Hey, Hey – some people really need it…Hey, listen to me, y’all do thangs, do thangs, do thangs – bad thangs with it

Well, you wanna do thangs, do thangs, do thangs – good thangs with it…talkin’ about cash money, money…Talkin’ bout cash money – dollar bills y’all…”

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Do You Want to be Debt Free?

Breaking the chains of debt is key to gaining financial freedom.

Where do you stand on the concept of debt?

It is huge issue in our culture today with proponents pushing both sides of the debate. And probably no Biblical issue about money has been more widely and passionately discussed than this one. We can all find justification for our particular position from the pages of the Bible or from just an everyday practical, money management standpoint.

So, the purpose of this post today is not to expound on and discuss the virtues or vices of debt. We will have plenty of time to do that at a later juncture. Rather it is to help us understand this one irrefutable core concept from Scripture…

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In All Labor There is Profit (Proverbs 14:23)

in all labor there is profitWe have been working our way through the seven core concepts or themes found in the Bible that deal with the topic of money. Today, its time for us to go to work, so grab your lunch pail and your tool belt. Here we go.

There is an interesting story in the book of Nehemiah. Nehemiah has been granted permission by Artaxerxes, King of Persia, to return to Jerusalem and rebuild the wall around the city that lies in ruins. [Read more…]

Can Two Walk Together and Bring Financial Success?

My wife is really different than me. She is outgoing, a get-things-done-now driver, and loves to save money. I’m more reserved, prefer to take my time with decisions, and love to spend money.

Despite our different personality types, we really don’t argue about a whole lot because we have so much in common.

Both of us have a relationship with God that rests at the core of how we relate to one another.  We both enjoy the outdoors and the same type of foods.  We hold to similar views on politics, education, child rearing, and who our friends will be.

And, because we learned that statistics say a leading cause of divorce in America is financial related issues, we made sure to establish guidelines and parameters for our finances that met my needs, her needs and the needs of our children.

When Two Walk Together

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Successful Relationships Bring Financial Success (Part I)

couple arguingThe Bible is full of relationship issues.

In the first 13 chapters of Genesis alone we see a man who can’t say “no” to a woman when offered a piece of fruit; the murder of a sibling; a man deciding it was OK to marry more than one wife; humanity’s spiritual relationship with God being so strained that man is wiped off the earth (save for Noah and his family); and two relatives quarreling over land use for their livestock.

Ugh…What a mess! In the words of Jerry Seinfeld, “People…they’re the worst.”

Relationships with those around us are challenging enough and adding money issues to the equation can bring a whole new level of tension. Improperly managed relationships are financial dream killers. They can scuttle any hopes of building wealth.

Some Unhealthy Relationships

Any of these sound familiar?

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Count the Cost: Stick to the Plan to Win (Part 3 – Luke 14:28)

All of us want to finish our lives with honor and dignity. We want to look back over the years that we have been privileged to live hear on earth with a sense of pride, accomplishment and satisfaction that our lives have been well spent. We want to have reached our goals and contributed in some small way to the lives of those around us. We want to have been winners at life.

Wasn’t that the goal of the builder in Luke 14:28?

He wanted to win by finishing his tower. And he knew that weighing the costs of the project ahead of time in some serious get-down-to-business strategic planning sessions was going to help him accomplish his objective.

The point of the verse is about planning but the goal was to finish. What does “finishing” look like in regards to finances?

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Count the Cost: Find a Plan to Win (Part 2 – Luke 14:28)

George Bailey is beside himself at the prospects of living here.

Recently, a few miles from where I live, a house was sold for a minor sum of money after sitting vacant for years. The buyer, instead of choosing to live in the property, had the house bulldozed to the ground. Now this doesn’t seem like that uncommon of a thing to have happen to a property. After all, you have to make way for new construction, right?

The irony of the situation, however, is that it was new construction the buyer had leveled…well, at least it was new 7 years ago when they started building this beautiful, upper six-figure mansion of a house on a perfect, 5-acre corner lot of country land. No one had ever lived in that house. The original owner/builder only managed to get it about 75% completed.

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