Hope for your financial life and beyond

My Go To Bible Verse When I Worry About Money (or anything really)

Hidden Nuggets Series #67 – “…tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” – Matthew 6:34

worry about moneyIf there is one thing I’ve discovered while monitoring my own finances through the years it’s this – the future is friends with worry. It’s inevitable – at some point I will worry about money.

I think a lot of you are right there with me…worrying about money for retirement…worrying about how to budget for the monthly bills…worrying about career options, housing options, how to pay for college, and having enough to buy those Christmas presents. If we are not careful we end up exhausting ourselves when we worry about money.

Worry seems like a selfish act in that it places the whole burden on me. I’m the only one that can make it happen. I have to manage all the details. I need foresight into all the external factors that may arise so that I can juggle my decisions to achieve the desired outcome.

In reality, there is someone in my corner who knows my needs far better than I. And I can rest my worry about money (and all things really) at His feet.

Comforting Words When You Worry About Money

My go to Bible verse when I start to worry about money is actually a series of verses. In the midst of perhaps his greatest sermon, Jesus challenges worriers with these words in Matthew 6:25-34:

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Interview with a Centenarian: At 100, My Grandfather Reflects on Life, Faith and Finding Purpose

To be a centenarian – 100 years of living. Amazing! Most of us would settle for 80% of that. It’s hard to fathom the changes and life events someone born in 1914 has experienced.

centenarian

Byron Miller – Preaching at 100 years of age

What will you be up to at 100 years of age? My grandfather, as shown in the picture, preached a sermon the day after he turned 100. His challenge to those who listened:

1. Practice Gratitude (be thankful)

2. Express Certitude (in the things of your faith)

3. Develop Fortitude (build the power to endure)

Oh, and he played his guitar and sang a short chorus at the end. The song’s message – “Just a little bit longer Lord…just a little bit longer.”

Not a dry eye in the house.

In the weeks leading up to his 100th birthday, my grandfather was kind enough to answer some questions about his life. I’d encourage you to take five minutes to enjoy this thought provoking read about a man who has experienced the Depression, the loss of siblings, financial challenges, joys and regrets and 60+ years of ministry.

Q & A With a Centenarian

1. What is the most amazing thing you have seen in your lifetime? Why did that stand out?

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The Benefits of Living in the Moment

Hidden Nuggets Series #3  – “Give us this day our daily bread.” – Matthew 6:11

In what year are your thoughts?

In what year are your thoughts?

I’m a personal finance blogger. It’s my business to help others plan for and navigate through the future. Yet I find myself often neglecting one of the simplest messages Jesus ever gave his disciples.

Focus on today.

Jesus’ challenge to his disciples came in the heart of what would later be called “The Lord’s Prayer.” He was modeling for them the appropriate way to approach and speak with God. He was alleviating any confusion they had as to what prayer should be. (I assume they were confused because they asked Jesus to teach them how to pray.)

So in the middle of the “Our Fathers” and the “Deliver us from evils,” Jesus asks his disciples to voice this line each time they communicate with their heavenly Father – “Give us this day our daily bread.” It’s a powerful request, and it is just as relevant today as it was 2,000+ years ago.

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Infamous Days Are Not Show-Stoppers

Arizona Memorial OverheadInfamous days dot the landscape of American history. Gettysburg. Pearl Harbor. 9/11. These were days when our great nation went down for the count. Atrocious, dreadful, unforgivable days, where it seemed like the essence of who we were as a country might be lost forever.

Infamous days hurt.

They raise puzzling questions.

They leave us scarred and frustrated.

They are filled with fear.

They also serve as turning points. They are the proverbial fork-in-the-road of life. In these moments, do we choose to remain on the canvas, bloodied and bruised? Or do we rise to our feet, receive the standing eight count, and continue to press on?

Infamous days also punctuate the landscape of our personal life. A family tragedy. Complete financial ruin. Words spoken that destroy a friendship. They may not be as grandiose in scale as a national event, but they still raise hurts and questions and fears.

When I was in graduate school, through sheer laziness and inattentiveness, I missed the deadline to apply for my internship.

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In Whom Do You Trust?

Tree by waterChristmas 2012 is behind us, which means there are only a few short days until the calendar turns the page to a new year. If you are like me, you have already begun to plan ahead and maybe have already listed two or three resolutions to pursue in the upcoming year. It’s always beneficial to set goals as they set us in motion, give us direction and produce intensity to accomplish great things.

My personal goals have to begin with my most important relationship. So today as I begin this New Year’s Resolution Series, I would like us to (re)consider the value of placing our trust in the right thing.

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The Best Food Budget Ever

What would it be like if you could go 40 days without food? If you could, that would seriously put you ahead on your monthly food budget. In my family of six, I estimate approximately six weeks of no grocery shopping or going to restaurants would put us to the positive about $1,800. (I know…we don’t coupon much.)

I think there would be a revolt in my house if I tried suggesting this and rightly so. None of us could naturally go this long without eating…unless maybe we had a supernatural meal to sustain us.

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God Is Doing This For You Today (Psalm 23)

psalm 23Perhaps no passage of Scripture is more familiar than Psalm 23. Here, I’ll get you started – “The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want…” Here’s the rest.

What follows below is not my attempt to improve on God’s written Word. I think He did a pretty good job without my help. Rather, it’s just what went through my mind as I read this passage again recently. Perhaps today, we can stop and consider all that God has and is currently doing for us.

My Reflections on Psalm 23

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Snickers Isn’t the Only Thing That Satisfies

Around 3:00 pm this Thursday afternoon, I expect to be settling down into the leather reclining love seat in my living room for my annual post Thanksgiving Day meal ritual. Kids will be running around the house, there will be the noise of dishes getting cleaned in the kitchen and the CBS football analysts will probably be dissecting a helmet-to-helmet personal foul call.

Yes, there will be a lot of noise, but it won’t matter. I’ll have a really satisfied feeling. My body will need to allocate more energy towards food digestion which means less blood flowing to other parts of the body, including the central nervous system. With blood flow to the CNS decreased, I can foresee only one possible outcome…nap time.

We love food that satisfies. In fact, Mars, Incorporated in the 1980s developed an entire add campaign for one of their candy bars around this theme. C’mon…you know the tune. Sing it with me. “Snickers satisfies you!”

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God is Not a Cosmic Killjoy

cosmic killjoyAmong the many false opinions that have developed concerning the nature of God, lies one that speaks about God’s goodness. Many people envision God as a cosmic killjoy, like a cop standing in the middle of all the world’s traffic. He’s ready to blow His whistle when one car veers slightly to the left or right.

People who have this view of God would basically see Him as the spoiler of all their fun.

“Stop that!” “You can’t go there!” “You don’t need those nice things!” “One more time doing that and I am going to zap you!” “Don’t you dare cross that line!”

At the heart of this belief people are really asking the question, “Does God really want to bless me and meet my needs?”  In other words, “Can I truly believe that God wants to provide for me?” Well, the answer from the Bible is that He does in more ways than we can imagine.

Cosmic Killjoy or Not?

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Should I Borrow Money to Get What I Want?

borrow moneyWe live in a “Have It Now” culture that screams, “Borrow money now to get what you want!”

We want our fast food within 5 minutes or less in the drive-thru.  We want to make quick money for as little work as possible. We drive fast cars so we can get to our destination sooner. We are first in line for the newest technology gadget the day it is released. Can’t wait…gotta have it.

This “Have It Now” culture has also skewed our reasoning ability, in that it has masterfully helped us change our “wants” into “needs.”

We no longer want the new bass boat – it is a need.

We no longer want the week-long cruise to Bermuda – it is a need.

We no longer want the $5,000 Hall of Fame rookie card – it is a need.

We no longer want…(fill in yours here)…it is a need.

Borrow Money to Get What We Want

Think through all of your major purchases in the past year. How many of them would truly be classified as “needs?”

Put these two things together – getting what we want quickly and “wants vs. needs” – and a real problem begins to arise for most everyone in society. We don’t have the money to pay for these items!

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God Places Us For A Purpose

Are you sick and tired of your job? Wish you could win the Mega-Millions Jackpot and escape to paradise, never to work again? If so, maybe some reflection and a new perspective is in order. Humans were endowed with the nature to work from the very beginning and they could not escape it, not even in paradise.

In Genesis chapters 1-2, we are told of God’s spectacular creation of the universe and all that it contains – the heavens, planets, stars, plants, animals and human beings. God was very pleased with his creation and when he was finished he commanded mankind saying, “…have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth” (Genesis 1:28). And then God did something awesome. He created a garden of paradise – in a place called Eden.

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