Hope for your financial life and beyond

Some Say There Is No God. What If They Are Wrong?

I recently published an article highlighting some short Bible verses that hold tremendous meaning. For a couple of weeks, I promoted that post on Facebook. The article was well received, generating over 1.3k likes. But of course, as Facebook goes there are always dissenters. I had some fairly interesting comments posted on my page from people asserting that there is no God.

there is no godI don’t mind. I’m used to that kind of stuff.

I’ve always been fascinated by people who claim there is no God. Questioning whether there is a God is one thing. At least that person is thinking it through. But to deny the possibility altogether seems unimaginative.

I had a professor in grad school who fit this description. He thought we Christians in the class were shallow and narrow-minded. He scoffed at our belief that there is one God who oversees the entire universe. To him, we needed to open our minds and embrace other philosophical and scientific realities.

I always found that ironic. He chastised our singular vision and wanted us to be more open. Yet he himself was never open to the possibility that we might be right.

Which brings me to ask this question to anyone reading this right now:

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3 Reasons Kids Should Watch Every Moment of Olympic Coverage

Today my kids will drag themselves out of bed and head back to school. Unfortunately, our back to school season is clashing with another major world event happening right now – the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. So there will be no more 10-hour, lying on the couch veg-out sessions, flipping back and forth to the many channels of Olympic coverage.

I have to admit I love the summer Olympics. I can do without the opening and closing ceremonies, which I know many people love. But I’ll take anything and everything else that happens. The Olympics are a sports enthusiasts dream.

My love affair with the Olympics started in 1984 when they were hosted by Los Angeles. I was 11 years old and still remember being in awe of the athletic performances. If you are under the age of 25 and have never heard of Carl Lewis, Edwin Moses, Mary Lou Retton, Greg Louganis or the Zola Budd collision you need to spend some time on YouTube. Great athletes with great performances in a great atmosphere.

Now I’m raising four kids who are growing up in an age where there is a greater variety of Olympic events and they have greater access to them. There weren’t 7 stations broadcasting the competitions in those days. And we certainly didn’t have streaming options via computer or mobile phone app.

So far my kids are eating this up. There have only been a few days of Olympic coverage but they are fixed in the TV room, cheering the USA on at every turn. I’m usually one to limit TV and computer viewing because I don’t think it’s healthy for kids to be looking at a screen all day.

But here is why until the Olympics are over I’ll be stretching the viewing limits and bedtimes a little farther even with school being in session.

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13 Encouraging Bible Verses for Men


Let’s face it – men need encouragement. We try to act tough like we can handle everything on our own. But deep down, if we are being honest, we need to be lifted up just like anyone else. So it’s a good thing there are many encouraging Bible verses for men from which we can draw inspiration.

encouraging bible verses for menThe Bible is full of encouragement to all people. There are so many stories and verses that give us inspiration, strength and comfort in our time of need.

But are there verses that speak a little more directly to men and our issues? I think so. Men have challenges that women don’t face on the same scale or level of intensity. There is nothing wrong with that as we are all made differently. And some Bible verses may mean more to one person over another or one gender over another based on what we struggle with.

So today I’d like to highlight a few encouraging Bible verses for men that stand out to me and share a little about why they do.

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12 Short Bible Verses that Pack a Powerful Message

There is no doubt about it – the Bible is a big book. Within its pages you will find over 31,000 verses that teach, guide, warn and encourage. While all the verses are meaningful in some regard, some of the best are the short Bible verses that drive home a powerful idea.

short bible versesThe best thing about short Bible verses is that they can be memorized. Psalm 119:111 says, “Your word I have hidden in my heart that I might not sin against You.” Short Bible verses help us fight off sin and encourage us in other times of need. And, because they are short, it will be easier to recall them and draw strength from them as you handle the challenges of life.

There are so many short Bible verses to choose from so I’d encourage you to do your own study and seek them out. I’ll give you 12 here today to jump start your journey.

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Here Are the Top 9 Bible Verses for Teens to Know

Hidden Nuggets Series #105 – Bible Verses for Teens to Know

It’s challenging being a teen in today’s world. I should know – I have two of my own living in the house. Teens today face so many personal struggles and so many difficult life situations that they often feel a sense of hopelessness and confusion. Not to mention the daily bombardment of temptations that lure them in the wrong direction. It’s no wonder so many teens throw up their hands in despair and say, “Why even try?”

bible verses for teensThe good news I share on a regular basis with my own kids and with the youth group I pastor is that God doesn’t want teens to feel that way. God wants them to feel strong. They can be filled with hope and be optimistic about the future. He wants them to be filled with hope and to be optimistic about the future. And the only way they can be that way is to embrace the Word of God and find what they need for life within the pages of the Bible.

The challenge for teens though is knowing where to start. The Bible is a big book. Does God have specific Bible verses for teens to help with something they are facing?

I believe He does.

There are many verses that could be applicable for teens. I’ve boiled it down to 9 to keep it short and simple and to touch on issues I know teens are going through. The great thing is these Bible verses for teens are short and easy to memorize. That will help them have an arsenal of verses to focus on as they go through the challenges of life.

Valuable Bible Verses for Teens

If you are a teen and are looking for some help within the pages of the Bible, start with these 9 verses:

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The Most Important Reason You Do Not Worry About Tomorrow

You’ve probably heard it said at some point, “Hey, do not worry about tomorrow. Focus on today and let the future take care of itself.” That’s not bad advice really. The older I get the more I’m realizing why.

do not worry about tomorrowWe all have things that affect our daily actions. Things we’ve done in the past affect us in the present. Things we are doing in the present affect us in the present. And believe it or not, things that we will do in the future affect us in the present even though they haven’t happened yet.

You may be thinking, “How could that possibly be if those events have yet to occur?” Well, it’s not the event per se that affects us. It’s how we think about those yet-to-happen events and how they lead us to worry about them.

Of those three time lines – past, present and future – I think the future one has the greatest potential to stop us in our tracks. Here’s how.

Why You Do Not Worry About Tomorrow

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Living Through Tragedy When There Are No Answers

I find myself again writing the most difficult of posts. Three years ago it was about one of my high school students who chose to take her own life. This time tragedy struck in our church youth group as on Tuesday we lost a 16-year old girl to the most unlikely of things for someone so young – cardiac arrest.

Her name was Elizabeth and she was a sweet, sweet girl. She was so pleasant to be around. Smiles adorned her face at every turn. And such a committed follower of Jesus.

So young…so healthy…so just getting started on life.

And then she was gone in a heartbeat.

You can read the account as shared by her mother on her Facebook page. As a parent it will make you want to hold your kids tight and cherish the moment. I sure did when my wife and I returned from the hospital.

The toughest part about being with the family at the hospital and helping them work through the funeral arrangements this week was that there are no answers. There are no answers to the “Why did this happen?” question. There are no answers to the “What happened (physically)?” question. There are no answers really at all to how this happened to a perfectly healthy young girl.

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What Should I Do For My Birthday Today?

Birthdays come but once a year. Today just so happens to be mine. And with it comes the obligatory question, What should I do for my birthday?

Some birthdays seem bigger than others. When I was a child, my birthday ranked right behind Christmas as the most important day of the year. I’d look forward to March 7th each and every year because it meant parties and cake and presents. I mean, what child doesn’t like to have those things on Christmas or their birthday or on any given day of the year?

what should i do for my birthdayNow, at 43, there is not so much gifting. There are fewer parties. Sometimes there is cake or perhaps a night out – if a babysitter can be found. More than likely though, the kids just come along on said night out.

The decade birthdays draw a bit more attention like when I turned 40. But for the most part I’m finding birthdays in middle age pass quietly without much fanfare.

And I’m OK with that.

A few months ago I spent some time with my grandfather, just a few weeks before his 102nd birthday. As we sat down to dinner one night, the conversation turned to a discussion about things that had occurred during the last year that we were thankful for. I’ll never forget his response when it came time for him to answer.

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What Does God Want Me to Do with My Life?

Hidden Nuggets Series #104 – “…love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind…‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matthew 22:37-38)

what does God want me to doAt some point you’ve probably asked the question, What does God want me to do? You may have thought about it in relation to your life in general or because of some problem or big decision you were facing. Either way, it seems like a difficult question to answer. How can we figure out what the God of the universe wants for us?

One of the things I love about the Bible is its clarity. Sure it has some cryptic passages and certain issues require a lot of study. But not when it comes to figuring out this question. God’s answers are clear, concise and to the point.

The answer to the question What does God want me to do, initially depends on where you are at in your life. If you don’t have a relationship with Him there is a first step He wants for you. After that, there are two other steps He’d have you take. I’ll take them one at a time.

What Does God Want Me to Do First?

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Encouraging Bible Verses for the Dark Times of Life (Joshua 1:9)

Hidden Nuggets Series #103 – 35 Encouraging Bible Verses

Let’s face it…we’ve all had some dark times in life. Times when we felt like not going on. Instances when we felt like all hope was lost. Periods of life when we hurt. Times that didn’t make sense.

encouraging Bible versesThere is no question we need to be lifted up during those difficult times. But often we don’t know where to turn. Even those close to us like friends and family may not be able to help in the way we need.

Fortunately, there is One to whom we can always turn. God, through His words, has given us many encouraging Bible verses to which we can look and draw hope and comfort. They can inspire us even in the midst of life’s turmoil.

One of the best books to turn to for encouraging Bible verses is Psalms. King David wrote a good portion of that book and evidently he really needed some encouragement. He was routinely calling out to God to give him help, strength and joy in the midst of life’s trials.

Like this one from Psalm 84:11, which happens to be one of my favorites I wrote about,

“For the Lord God is a sun and a shield; the Lord will give grace and glory, no good thing will He withhold from those who walk uprightly.”

Being your light and your protector through the tough times is just a taste of what God has to offer you. There are many more encouraging Bible verses to lift you up. I offer a few of them to you now.

Encouraging Bible Verses

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Should I Cosign? Here Is the Truth About What God Says

Hidden Nuggets Series #102: “Do not be one of those who shakes hands in a pledge, one of those who is surety [ cosign ] for debts.” – Proverbs 22:26

If you’ve ever had a situation where a friend or family member asked you to cosign a loan you know it’s a tough spot to be in. On the one hand you want to help. But the idea of being responsible for someone’s debt has you a little squeamish.

cosignSay “No” and it seems like you don’t care.

Say “Yes” and you are opening yourself up to financial risk.

Maybe as you thought think about what to do, you should have considered asking this question: “What does God have to say about it? Would He want me to cosign for this loan?” It may never have occurred to you to seek advice from a higher power.

The truth is God talks a lot about money in the Bible. He even has advice about cosigning which really surprised me when I found it. For anyone, but especially people of faith, His advice is worth listening to.

God’s Advice on Whether to Cosign

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