One of the blessings of my life was coming to Christ in a discipleship culture. Having grown up just outside the shadows of the church, when I came to Christ on a Sunday evening there were guys ready to help me grow Monday morning. When you grow up unchurched there are so many things that you don’t know. And that was definitely true of me.
I have such fond memories of sitting in meetings and across the table from spiritual mentors that poured into me. There are many things that the Scriptures speak about.
- How to walk with God.
- How to minister and love others.
- How to be a great spouse and parent.
- How to connect with God’s will for your life in your vocation.
- How to manage your finances.
- How to overcome sin in your life.
I learned quickly that God loves us and has a wonderful plan for our lives. He desires to be Lord of our lives and to give meaning and direction to us. He is not only interested in saving us from hell, but helping us to experience eternal life right here, right now. And He allows us to join Him in impacting the world around us.
Continue reading “Is Money on Your Discipleship List?”
“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 would not have made a very good Israelite in the days of Manna. You remember those right? The nation of Israel had recently exited from Egypt under the strong arm of the Lord and had left the Egyptians in complete disarray. The victorious nation with heads held high would soon war with the nations of the promised land and live in a land full of milk and honey or said another way- a land so blessed that they would have everything they needed and more. The plentiful vision of the land to which they were heading set up an expectation that would come to haunt them for the next 40 years or so. As you probably know they would receive the Law of God in the middle of a Golden-Calf revolt. Then they would “chicken out” at the border of the Promised Land at Kadesh Barnea. Because of their lack of faith, they would spend the next 40 years wandering through the wilderness. How disappointing! Continue reading “The Blessings of Daily Bread- Intro”
Our ministry is a stewardship ministry. That means that we help families and individuals respond well to the truth that God owns all things. Even the name of this blog reflects the drum that we beat on a regular basis. In Psalms 24: 1-2 we see that
The earth is the Lord’s, and all it contains, the world, and those who dwell in it. For He has founded it upon the seas and established it upon the rivers.
Continue reading “Is Holiness part of Stewardship?”
Listen in to a classic discussion on the rules of giving kids an allowance…
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”
Have you ever wondered if your faith is genuine? You may be able to recite all the creeds and your behavior is consistent with what you read in the Bible and the Christian subculture you associate with. But, you are looking for something deeper. Something that reassures your heart as well as your mind. I ran across a passage in 1 John 3 that is both convicting and comforting all at the same time.
17 But whoever has the world’s goods, and sees his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him 18 little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth. 19 We will know by this that we are of the truth, and will assure our heart before Him 20 in whatever our heart condemns us; for God is greater than our heart and knows all things. 21 Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God; 22 and whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do the things that are pleasing in His sight.
Continue reading “Alms Giving Gives the Giver Confidence”
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?”