“People go through three conversions: the conversion of their head, their heart and their pocketbook. Unfortunately, not all at the same time.” -Martin Luther
In 1517, Martin Luther nailed his famed 95 Theses on the Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany. This act of protest would spark the Protestant Reformation. While the content of his concerns were salvific in nature, he went on to teach everything under the sun about living out the Christian life, including the need for us to have a conversion experience related to the way we think about our money. Continue reading “We Need a Reformation of the Pocketbook!”
I am in the middle of processing payroll and about to pay bills. Looks like it is going to be a MANNA month. What is a Manna month you ask? A manna month is one in which the Lord is providing exactly what we need and no more. On the surface that sounds great but the reality is that I prefer a SURPLUS month. I like to look at my payroll account and my savings account and see a lot left over. And yet it seems that we have more months that are “manna” than “surplus” which seems to be the Lord’s preference. Let me backfill the Manna part for you. Continue reading “Manna Living”
Warren Buffett is known for his one-liners and one of his most memorable ones is about financial mismanagement. He says, “You only find out who is swimming naked when the tide goes out!” By that I think he means that if you are not managing your finances well, then when you encounter a tough time your vulnerability will be obvious to all. That is why we are so insistent that every family needs a financial spending plan. As we discussed in our previous post two out of three families are just winging it when it comes to their finances. And as Mr. Buffett says time will reveal what we are wearing under the water. Continue reading “Signs of a Healthy Financial System: Generosity”
We all grow up dreaming of a Wonderful Life. Family and friends who love us. Good job. Nice house. Plenty of food. Enough money to take care of our needs and even some of our wants. When I got married one of my friends was asked to give us marriage advice. His advice was classic. “Tim, give Terri everything she wants.” “Terri, only want what you need.” I can still remember his wife catcalling from the background about his bad advice. But, behind his playful banter was a principle. And the principle is this; for a family to be successful the family has to be on the same page and have a plan. Particularly in the area of money. Nothing will challenge a marriage more than how to manage the family resources. Continue reading “Signs of a Healthy Financial System: Do You Have a Good Plan?”
There was a day in the not so distant past where balancing your checkbook was a given. Before the days of the debit card and electronic banking, it was pretty important to make sure that you agreed with the bank about how much money you had. The bank would snail mail your statement and then you would painstakingly check off the bank charges, bank interest, the checks that had cleared, and the deposits that had cleared and then figure out what was still outstanding. Every month like clockwork. But not these days. Continue reading “Balance Your Checkbook Please!”
Last night my son exposed me to the biggest star that science has discovered to date. The name of the star is VY Canis Majoris. Before I begin to spew my Astronomical ignorance or steal the thunder from the video we have embedded, let me just say that this star is huge. Even the name, Canis (dog) Majoris (big), implies the girth of this big dog star. The picture shows its size as compared to the earth’s orbit around the sun. I see this and all of a sudden I am struck with the immensity of our God and the finiteness of myself. Our God literally spoke a word and the universe came into play including Canis Majoris. Continue reading “Is Your God Big Enough for Your Money Troubles?”
One of my favorite marriage books of all time is Robert Lewis’ Rocking the Roles. Coming from a divorced home where there was a definite disconnect from Biblical roles in marriage, I was hungry for someone to tell me what the blueprint was supposed to look like. Lewis does exactly that in that he describes the Biblical role of the man as the head of the home (said another way as the leader of the home) and the Biblical role of the wife as the helper of the home (said another way as the heart of the home) (Ephesians 5). These roles describe a complimentary set of ideals where the husband fights off his inclination towards passivity and actually provides proactive, loving, servant leadership. While the husband is learning to lead the wife is fighting her own battle to fight off her own inclination to want to take control of her environment. She has to learn to trust him. He has to learn to honor her in her role. It is a thing of beauty when done right. Continue reading “Rocking the Financial Roles”
We see it every day. College graduates (some of them not so recent) saddled with the repayment of school loans that is quite frankly eating their lunch. It is becoming apparent to me that we are not doing a good enough job helping our students do the simple math of the loans. The simple math of how much to borrow and what is will actually cost you to repay the loans. Borrowing is the easy part, repayment is the bear. It is obvious that the lending institutions are expecting the student to figure out how much to borrow and the students still live in the la-la land of “someday they will be making it big and will have plenty of money to repay whatever loans they incur”. What is worse is that many parents are taking a cavalier attitude towards preparing their students to navigate the loan game. Seems that everyone these day put themselves through school walking up hills both ways in the snow with a full time job. Continue reading “Are Students doing the Math on School Loans?”
Have you ever supported someone or some ministry for a long time at the very same amount? When I was on staff with a student ministry we had many families who locked into their $25 a month for 10 plus years. Now don’t get me wrong I appreciated their faithfulness, but someone who is that committed to our ministry has a lot of time, prayer and energy toward seeing us be successful. True partner kinda of folks. And I always wondered why they didn’t consider increasing over time. For some of them I don’t think it every crossed their mind. Now maybe I should have chatted with them about considering raising their support, but I didn’t always. What the point you ask? Continue reading “When should my missionary get a raise?”
Have you ever considered what it would feel like to be completely out of debt?
- No mortgage payments.
- No car payments.
- No school loan payments.
- No consumer loan payments.
- No medical debt payments,
- No personal loans.
- Nothing. Notta. Zilch.
What does that feel like? Freedom? Liberation? Continue reading “Is it possible to be completely debt free?”