Making And Managing Money
Everything is spiritual all the time, even very earthy things, and nothing illustrates that truth as clearly as money, otherwise known as filthy lucre. Let me explain.
When I was a kid my mother always made me wash my hands after handling money. “You never know where it has been” she would say, and over time I learned what she meant. Money is passed from one person to another (clean hands or not), kept in unhygienic places, even falls on the ground and stays in circulation anywhere from 18 months to several years. During that time it never gets washed. I never really understood how filthy money could be, however, till I moved to South Africa and discovered all the places people hid the stuff to keep it away from thieves. I won’t elaborate. You can imagine.
It isn’t difficult to make a spiritual connection here since cleanliness is next to godliness. Right?
But I also learned from an early age that money can be enticing. Read more
Filed under: Book Reviews, Making Money
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Did you know that most Americans retire on an annual income below $10,000? Better yet, do you know why? If you can’t answer the question not too worry. Dave Ramsey’s book, “Financial Peace,” explains why this happens and tells us how to avoid landing on the wrong side of that statistic.
Financial Peace is a reference book, how-to book and biography all in one. Ramsey gives financial advice based on his personal experience instead of what he learned in a classroom. It’s the best “school of hard knocks” book around and his approach has proven so useful to so many that he presently conducts a nationally syndicated daily call-in radio program, regular seminars and a twelve week training program (Financial Peace University) all dedicated to financial health.
But it wasn’t always great for Dave.
Ramsey was on top of the world or so it seemed before going bankrupt at the age of 26. Following popular trends he used borrowed money to invest in more than $4 million worth of Nashville, TN real estate only to realize that unexpected events can change everything. He learned that “high on the hog” can be synonymous with “brink of disaster.” Jaquars, designer suits and even a good name didn’t help much when the banks called in his loans. Read more
Filed under: Bible Study, Christian Living, Evangelism, Making Money
The Parable of the Talents (Matthew 25:14-30) is one passage that places great significance on human productivity. Not activity, not busyness, not even consistency but results. Caution is almost spoken against. If we read this parable properly we get the idea that God is more concerned about the growth we stimulate than He is about the methods used to get there.
In the passage Jesus tells of an investor, the Master, who gives money to three different asset managers. The amount given to each is proportionate to his abilities.
One man receives five thousand dollars, a second receives two thousand and a third receives one thousand and obviously, the intent is for each to increase those monies through investment.
After an appropriate amount of time the Master returns to check on the growth of each account. To his approval, the first two double the original investment to ten thousand and four thousand dollars respectively.
To his dismay, the third gained no increase and the explanation for this failure draws severe criticism from the investor. Read more
Filed under: Making Money
I just spent the last two weeks searching and arranging details for my first home purchase. It was a time consuming process but I learned a lot and hope to share some of that learning with you. I haven’t closed on the property yet and will post information as we proceed but I wanted to write about some of the initial stages while it is still fresh.
Because this was my first purchase I proceeded very cautiously and I recommend that approach for every new home buyer. It can be a complicated process and mistakes in the early stages could create pressure in the latter stages. You can get into trouble if you aren’t sufficiently prepared or knowledgeable. The large number of foreclosures on the market is evidence of that. I have been planning for this transaction for a few years and the planning involved several key issues three of which I will address here. Read more
Filed under: Making Money
When it comes to Christian living, there are two areas that each believer must revisit regularly: financial growth and church growth. These things are hard to get right and require constant monitoring.
We weren’t born with a fully developed strategy for financial growth and we weren’t born AGAIN with a healthy concept of church growth and we don’t readily recognize the connection between the two. But they do connect.
- One measures the health of your secular life; the other measures the health of your spiritual life.
- Financial growth provides resources to fuel church growth and growing churches teach people principles for managing finances properly.
We must not neglect these two issues. This post will focus on financial health. Read more