Hope for your financial life and beyond

All Work and No Play: Combating the Dangers of Workaholism

All work and no playDo not fear. I’m not writing from a snowed in mountain resort lodge. I have to admit for years I assumed the proverb “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy” came from that Stephen King horror novel turned Jack Nicholson movie thriller The Shining, which mistakenly came in front of my eyes as a youth (thank you older cousins). I say mistakenly because no one under the age of 21 should put that imagery into their head. (And maybe if you are over 21, you shouldn’t either.)

As it turns out the phrase “all work and no play” was originally published in Proverbs in English, Italian, French and Spanish (1659) and is attributed to a writer by the name of James Howell.

The warning of the all work and no play proverb seems clear enough to me. If we don’t release ourselves from the pressures of work from time to time we will become dull and uninteresting. We become like the automated robot on the assembly line who only finds fulfillment in one thing – doing its job. When life becomes our work, we neglect time for hobbies, family, friends, exercise, watching sports, reading, or just plain vegging, all of which could add significant value to life if we let them.

That type of existence doesn’t spark a fire in me at all. Work definitely has value and should be something we take seriously. But life is so much more than working all the time.

So what should people battling with workaholism do? Fortunately, there is a path forward to a better work/life balance.

A Guideline For Work

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Here Are the Top 9 Bible Verses for Teens to Know

It’s challenging being a teen in today’s world. Teens today face so many personal struggles and 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 teens today are dealing with anxiety and depression like never before and are throwing up their hands in despair and saying, “Why even try?” But are there Bible verses for teens to know that could help them with this?

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

The challenge 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.

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Why Godliness With Contentment Is Great Gain (I Timothy 6:6)

“For godliness with contentment is great gain.” – I Timothy 6:6

Godliness with contentmentContentment is a virtue that challenges our do-more, get-more, be-more society. This is especially true as it relates to money and possessions. By and large, we are constantly striving to get more money and secure better possessions to enhance our lifestyle.

In our minds, we think that there is always a greener pasture than the one we are in right now.

This issue isn’t new to 21st century earth. Since the beginning of time, mankind has been dealing with issues of contentment. After all, it was Adam and Eve who were not content with what God had given them in the Garden of Eden. They coveted the only thing God said they couldn’t have.

Their disobedience of eating the forbidden fruit cost them their perfect world.

Interestingly enough, the church hasn’t found itself immune to the issue either. That’s why in the New Testament of the Bible, Paul had to counsel the young pastor Timothy about the issue of contentment. Let’s take a look at the issue Timothy was dealing with and what we can learn from it.

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A Soldier’s Pledge – on Freedom, Courage and Sacrifice

“America is depressing…mixed up…adrift…an afterthought.” Have you sensed these messages creeping into American culture and thought in the past few years? Our soldier’s pledge to keep our nation great remains strong, but a lack of pride in who we are among the general public seems to have blossomed. There exists less and less passion for greatness. And few believe America’s best days lie ahead.

a soldiers pledgeEveryday the news points out our flaws. Our economy isn’t right. We can’t resolve our racial issues. Our foreign relationships often teeter on shaky ground. American individual liberties are under assault.

Everything rises and falls with leadership – including a nation as big and powerful as America. So perhaps our attitudes can be contributed to the uninspiring and ineffectual leadership we see in our government, in our communities, in our churches and even in our homes.

For many it’s a bleak picture that seems to be spiraling out of control. But we don’t have to settle for this course. We can choose a different path. Nothing predetermines that we must feel indifferent or uninspired about America.

How do I know this?

Because of freedom. Freedom is the one constant that can again ignite our passion and love for this country.

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Should I Borrow Money to Get What I Want?

There is no denying it. Credit is available everywhere. Our cultures screams “Have It Now!” to us at every turn. “Borrow money now to get what you want!” people say.

We expect fast food within 5 miborrow moneynutes or less in the drive-thru.  We want to make quick money for as little work as possible. And we are first in line for the newest technology gadget the day it is released. Simply put, most of the time we can’t wait. We gotta have it.

This “Have It Now” culture has skewed our reasoning ability, in that it has masterfully helped us change our “wants” into “needs.” Our brains have reclassified the things that we desire to have into things that are priorities. And in some cases, our wants are taking precedence over issues that are needs.

So why don’t we just go ahead and borrow the money to get the things we want? Seems like a logical step. However, blindly borrowing money to satisfy all your needs can cause great damage to finances, as well as your mental and emotional life.

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The Bribe That Fueled the All-Time Greatest Easter Myth

easter mythMoney is at the heart of many cover-ups. Flash enough cash and some people could be encouraged to keep quiet. Make that sum of money big enough and they could even be persuaded to promote lie, even manufacture the greatest Easter myth ever created.

We would call this type of gift a bribe. It’s money given so that you act in someone’s favor – usually in a dishonest or illegal fashion.

Bribes have been given in different circumstances throughout history to conceal an action or advance an agenda. In one instance, a bribe was used to push an Easter myth that continues to be believed by many to this day.

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17 Psalms of Comfort for When You Are in the Storm

The storms of life come in all shapes and sizes. For instance, some are literal storms like hurricanes and tornadoes that ravage communities. Others come in physical or emotional illnesses like cancer, viruses, depression or anxiety. And still other storms come as a result of day-to-day circumstances like losing your job, being in an accident, having a loved one pass away or having a friendship fall apart. It’s in these times we can look to the Bible, specifically for psalms of comfort.

psalms of comfortI don’t know if King David ever endured an actual storm from mother nature. But it’s obvious from reading the Bible that his life was filled with many personal storms. For starters, his brothers disliked him. Additionally, a jealous King Saul tried to kill him on more than one occasion. His own son Absalom attempted a coup against David’s throne.

David even battled his own personal sins. And sadly, he had to watch as one of his son’s died in infancy.

Yet through all the pain and loss, the Bible describes David as a man after God’s own heart. In fact, David often looked to God for comfort during the difficult times. And really it makes sense for all of us. Who else can we look to when all is or seems lost?

 

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15 Bible Verses About Helping the Poor You Need to Know

“…For the poor will never cease from the land…” – Deuteronomy 15:11. This is one of many Bible verses about helping the poor, a major theme within the Bible. Jesus famously said in Matthew 22:39, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” This statement can best applied in how we treat the poor.

bible verses about helping the poorDeuteronomy 15:11 says that the poor will always be with us. The world cannot escape it. We can try through economic and political systems to pull people out of poverty and create an environment where they can better themselves. But even the best system that leads to prosperity for many can’t reach everyone.  There will never be an instance in this present life when someone somewhere isn’t experiencing poverty.

Because of that, we should consider all manner of ways in which we might go about helping the poor.

God clearly has a special place in his heart for the poor. His words about the poor are littered throughout the pages of the Bible. So today, we are going to look at 15 powerful Bible verses about helping the poor that show us how we might best meet their needs.

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

Oh, to be a centenarian – 100 years of living. It’s simply 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)

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 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 actions from day to day. 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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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. It’s so long, many people embark on a long journey to read the Bible in a year. And 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 easily be memorized. Psalm 119:111 says, “Your word I have hidden in my heart that I might not sin against You.” It wouldn’t take but a few minutes to commit that to memory.

Short Bible verses help us quickly fight off sin, encourage us in our times of need and help us minister to other people. And, because they are short, it will be easier to recall them. When the time comes, you can pull a specific verse out of your memory banks and draw strength from it 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 the process.

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