Category Archives: Optimizing Life

A Light In The Darkness

We have probably all experienced a time when we are in true darkness. Perhaps camping in the woods on a very cloudy night? Maybe just in our house when the power goes out at night or we wake up at night and walk around the house without turning lights on so as not to disturb our family. Sometimes we can start to remember our way around if it is familiar circumstances… but how well do we do when there are unexpected obstacles (e.g. toys left out in pathways, etc.) or imagine if someone rearranged all the furniture! Usually we will not do well. We will trip or fall or gather bumps and bruises. It is really hard to get around without being able to see where we are going… to recognize clearly what are the obstacles that could hurt us and which is the safe path to travel. This is how many feel about managing their personal finances and trying to get beyond paycheck to paycheck or day to day living and into planning and strategy to prepare for what is to come in the future.

That is why God has given us the Bible! What a glorious gift to His people to have His written instruction book for life. If we choose to use it, it serves to light up our path so we can safely find the right path for living and avoid the traps and obstacles that could hurt us.

Psalm 119:105

105Your word is a lamp to my feet
And a light to my path.

Proverbs in particular serves to provide timeless wisdom for us in how we should deal with our fellow man and also with God. It reminds us of what is good and what is bad. Remember, true goodness is that which is identified by God as right, not that which is identified by man as right. Man often gets it wrong. That is why God wrote it down!

Read Proverbs often, and not as if you are trying to win a race for reading quickly but rather pausing and considering how each verse is relevant not only in life today, but specifically how it may apply to your life. Then allow yourself the humility to admit where you are wrong and work to change your behavior and attitude. Those who are too proud to admit they are wrong, never get the benefit of learning to do better.

Proverbs 16

Contrast the Upright and the Wicked

       1The plans of the heart belong to man,
But the answer of the tongue is from the LORD.

      2All the ways of a man are clean in his own sight,
But the LORD weighs the motives.

      3Commit your works to the LORD
And your plans will be established.

      4The LORD has made everything for its own purpose,
Even the wicked for the day of evil.

      5Everyone who is proud in heart is an abomination to the LORD;
Assuredly, he will not be unpunished.

      6By lovingkindness and truth iniquity is atoned for,
And by the fear of the LORD one keeps away from evil.

      7When a man’s ways are pleasing to the LORD,
He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.

      8Better is a little with righteousness
Than great income with injustice.

      9The mind of man plans his way,
But the LORD directs his steps.

      10A divine decision is in the lips of the king;
His mouth should not err in judgment.

      11A just balance and scales belong to the LORD;
All the weights of the bag are His concern.

      12It is an abomination for kings to commit wicked acts,
For a throne is established on righteousness.

      13Righteous lips are the delight of kings,
And he who speaks right is loved.

      14The fury of a king is like messengers of death,
But a wise man will appease it.

      15In the light of a king’s face is life,
And his favor is like a cloud with the spring rain.

      16How much better it is to get wisdom than gold!
And to get understanding is to be chosen above silver.

      17The highway of the upright is to depart from evil;
He who watches his way preserves his life.

      18Pride goes before destruction,
And a haughty spirit before stumbling.

      19It is better to be humble in spirit with the lowly
Than to divide the spoil with the proud.

      20He who gives attention to the word will find good,
And blessed is he who trusts in the LORD.

      21The wise in heart will be called understanding,
And sweetness of speech increases persuasiveness.

      22Understanding is a fountain of life to one who has it,
But the discipline of fools is folly.

      23The heart of the wise instructs his mouth
And adds persuasiveness to his lips.

      24Pleasant words are a honeycomb,
Sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.

      25There is a way which seems right to a man,
But its end is the way of death.

      26A worker’s appetite works for him,
For his hunger urges him on.

      27A worthless man digs up evil,
While his words are like scorching fire.

      28A perverse man spreads strife,
And a slanderer separates intimate friends.

      29A man of violence entices his neighbor
And leads him in a way that is not good.

      30He who winks his eyes does so to devise perverse things;
He who compresses his lips brings evil to pass.

      31A gray head is a crown of glory;
It is found in the way of righteousness.

      32He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty,
And he who rules his spirit, than he who captures a city.

      33The lot is cast into the lap,
But its every decision is from the LORD.

Challenge yourself to identify at least one, but maybe even up to three specific things, that you want to try to work on related to managing your personal finances. As an example, you might consider focusing verse 3 or verse 8.

      3Commit your works to the LORD
And your plans will be established.

8Better is a little with righteousness
Than great income with injustice.

Apply these goals to specific decisions and strategies you need to make in regards to your personal finances. If you can, share what you are working on with a trusted friend or family member who is a genuine follower of Christ. There is something for all of us to work on… we just need to admit it and then get about pursuing it!

My top pick for me personally today…

20He who gives attention to the word will find good,
And blessed is he who trusts in the LORD.

What will you work on? Remember to ask God in prayer to help you!

—-

Remember that all you have belongs to God. Manage your money God’s way. Visit GrowGodsMoney.org .

Let Us Give Thanks to God with All Our Heart

No matter what your situation financially, let us give thanks and sing praises to YHWH. Let us bow down before him and submit our lives to him. Reflect on his lovingkindness toward his people.

Psalms 138

Thanksgiving for the LORD’S Favor.

A Psalm of David.

     1I will give You thanks with all my heart;
I will sing praises to You before the gods.

      2I will bow down toward Your holy temple
And give thanks to Your name for Your lovingkindness and Your truth;
For You have magnified Your word according to all Your name.

      3On the day I called, You answered me;
You made me bold with strength in my soul.

      4All the kings of the earth will give thanks to You, O LORD,
When they have heard the words of Your mouth.

      5And they will sing of the ways of the LORD,
For great is the glory of the LORD.

      6For though the LORD is exalted,
Yet He regards the lowly,
But the haughty He knows from afar.

      7Though I walk in the midst of trouble, You will revive me;
You will stretch forth Your hand against the wrath of my enemies,
And Your right hand will save me.

      8The LORD will accomplish what concerns me;
Your lovingkindness, O LORD, is everlasting;
Do not forsake the works of Your hands.

—-

Remember that all you have belongs to God. Manage your money God’s way and use it for His glory rather than your own. Visit GrowGodsMoney.org .

Let Us Give Thanks

We should always seek to be thankful to the Lord for all He provides, but Thanksgiving is a great time to remind ourselves to come together as a family and as a community, and as a nation to give thanks together to God. For those who follow Jesus, we always have that most important gift of salvation through grace by faith for which to be thankful… no matter what else may be going on in our lives.

I have found it is very easy to lose focus on God as we get busy with our holiday traditions and celebrations… even Thanksgiving. It seems God dropped a surprise in my shopping bag on a trip to a store some years ago. I want to share it with you. Lifeway Christian store put together a small booklet of scriptures into a “Thanksgiving Table Devotional”. We have it at our table and we read and share as we come together to eat our meals.

Psalm 106:1

1Praise the LORD!
Oh give thanks to the LORD, for He is good;
For His lovingkindness is everlasting.

1 Thessalonians 5:18

18in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

Colossians 3:17

17Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.

Philippians 4:6

6Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

Psalm 9:1-2

1I will give thanks to the LORD with all my heart;
I will tell of all Your wonders.

      2I will be glad and exult in You;
I will sing praise to Your name, O Most High.

As we read these scriptures together we take time to go around the table and ask about examples of things that are specific to us for which we are grateful to our Father who provides. This is not particularly unique, but it sure is easy to overlook. I appreciate the Lord putting these scriptures where I would find them as I was looking for ways to make Thanksgiving more meaningful and focused on Him for my family. Praise the Lord He cares for each of us as His children!

What will you make the focus of this Thanksgiving season? Football, shopping, food, fellowship… or our Creator and Father and a right attitude towards Him? My suggestion is to focus on our Father with a healthy side of family fellowship.

—-

Remember that all you have belongs to God. Manage your money God’s way and use it for His glory rather than your own. Visit GrowGodsMoney.org .

Resist When Sinners Entice You

There are right ways to increase your wealth and wrong ways. The truth of what is right and wrong is not determined by whether or not you gain money but rather by the standards God has provided us in His written word. It is better to be poor in finances and walk with God than to be rich in finances and live without Him.

Proverbs 1:8-19

The Enticement of Sinners

      8Hear, my son, your father’s instruction
And do not forsake your mother’s teaching;

      9Indeed, they are a graceful wreath to your head
And ornaments about your neck.

      10My son, if sinners entice you,
Do not consent.

      11If they say, “Come with us,
Let us lie in wait for blood,
Let us ambush the innocent without cause;

      12Let us swallow them alive like Sheol,
Even whole, as those who go down to the pit;

      13We will find all kinds of precious wealth,
We will fill our houses with spoil;

      14Throw in your lot with us,
We shall all have one purse,”

      15My son, do not walk in the way with them.
Keep your feet from their path,

      16For their feet run to evil
And they hasten to shed blood.

      17Indeed, it is useless to spread the baited net
In the sight of any bird;

      18But they lie in wait for their own blood;
They ambush their own lives.

      19So are the ways of everyone who gains by violence;
It takes away the life of its possessors.

Many people profess that they can help you on a path to having more money. Not all of the paths are righteous according to God’s standards. Choose carefully with the Bible as your guide. Pray and ask the Holy Spirit to help you make the right choices, even when the situation seems dire and there may seem to be no easy way out.

It is better to be poor and dwell with God than to be rich and dwell without Him. Even in matters of life and death, it is better to choose the path that leads to heaven than the one that leads to hell… no matter what earthly wealth you may be promised in order for you to take the wrong path.

—-

Remember that all you have belongs to God. Manage your money God’s way. Visit GrowGodsMoney.org .

Wealth Gained Through Righteous Effort Should Not Be Condemned

Using God’s gift of wisdom to achieve wealth and financial gain is not wrong if done in a righteous way in which you plan and invest wisely, avoid deceit and trickery, and live according to God’s commands. Joseph was a man who was faithful to God throughout his life in good times and in bad. God blessed him with the ability to interpret dreams and then God used that gift to place Joseph in a significant leadership role as governor over all of Egypt. Through Joseph, God blessed the descendants of Israel (formerly known as Jacob) and he also blessed Pharaoh, making him very wealthy and protecting his people from famine.

Genesis 47:1-27

Jacob’s Family Settles in Goshen

      1Then Joseph went in and told Pharaoh, and said, “My father and my brothers and their flocks and their herds and all that they have, have come out of the land of Canaan; and behold, they are in the land of Goshen.” 2He took five men from among his brothers and presented them to Pharaoh. 3Then Pharaoh said to his brothers, “What is your occupation?” So they said to Pharaoh, “Your servants are shepherds, both we and our fathers.” 4They said to Pharaoh, “We have come to sojourn in the land, for there is no pasture for your servants’ flocks, for the famine is severe in the land of Canaan. Now, therefore, please let your servants live in the land of Goshen.” 5Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Your father and your brothers have come to you. 6“The land of Egypt is at your disposal; settle your father and your brothers in the best of the land, let them live in the land of Goshen; and if you know any capable men among them, then put them in charge of my livestock.”

      7Then Joseph brought his father Jacob and presented him to Pharaoh; and Jacob blessed Pharaoh. 8Pharaoh said to Jacob, “How many years have you lived?” 9So Jacob said to Pharaoh, “The years of my sojourning are one hundred and thirty; few and unpleasant have been the years of my life, nor have they attained the years that my fathers lived during the days of their sojourning.” 10And Jacob blessed Pharaoh, and went out from his presence. 11So Joseph settled his father and his brothers and gave them a possession in the land of Egypt, in the best of the land, in the land of Rameses, as Pharaoh had ordered. 12Joseph provided his father and his brothers and all his father’s household with food, according to their little ones.

      13Now there was no food in all the land, because the famine was very severe, so that the land of Egypt and the land of Canaan languished because of the famine. 14Joseph gathered all the money that was found in the land of Egypt and in the land of Canaan for the grain which they bought, and Joseph brought the money into Pharaoh’s house. 15When the money was all spent in the land of Egypt and in the land of Canaan, all the Egyptians came to Joseph and said, “Give us food, for why should we die in your presence? For our money is gone.” 16Then Joseph said, “Give up your livestock, and I will give you food for your livestock, since your money is gone.” 17So they brought their livestock to Joseph, and Joseph gave them food in exchange for the horses and the flocks and the herds and the donkeys; and he fed them with food in exchange for all their livestock that year. 18When that year was ended, they came to him the next year and said to him, “We will not hide from my lord that our money is all spent, and the cattle are my lord’s. There is nothing left for my lord except our bodies and our lands. 19“Why should we die before your eyes, both we and our land? Buy us and our land for food, and we and our land will be slaves to Pharaoh. So give us seed, that we may live and not die, and that the land may not be desolate.”

Result of the Famine

      20So Joseph bought all the land of Egypt for Pharaoh, for every Egyptian sold his field, because the famine was severe upon them. Thus the land became Pharaoh’s. 21As for the people, he removed them to the cities from one end of Egypt’s border to the other. 22Only the land of the priests he did not buy, for the priests had an allotment from Pharaoh, and they lived off the allotment which Pharaoh gave them. Therefore, they did not sell their land. 23Then Joseph said to the people, “Behold, I have today bought you and your land for Pharaoh; now, here is seed for you, and you may sow the land. 24“At the harvest you shall give a fifth to Pharaoh, and four-fifths shall be your own for seed of the field and for your food and for those of your households and as food for your little ones.” 25So they said, “You have saved our lives! Let us find favor in the sight of my lord, and we will be Pharaoh’s slaves.” 26Joseph made it a statute concerning the land of Egypt valid to this day, that Pharaoh should have the fifth; only the land of the priests did not become Pharaoh’s.

      27Now Israel lived in the land of Egypt, in Goshen, and they acquired property in it and were fruitful and became very numerous.

Many will complain that Joseph took advantage of the people by taking all they owned for Pharaoh. This view simply does not stand up to careful scrutiny. The people were thankful to Joseph for feeding them and keeping them from death. Further, once Joseph had gained everything for Pharaoh, he allowed the people to work the land and keep the large majority of what they grew. Even though Pharaoh “owned” it all, Pharaoh only collected 20% or 1/5. This is incredibly fair… I can hardly resist comparing this to what we consider a “free” nation of the United States of America today, in which the government takes higher personal and corporate income tax than Pharaoh did! At least Pharaoh owned what he collected income from.

Joseph used the gifts God gave him in a righteous manner to glorify God, support God’s people, and even fulfill the duties of the position under Pharaoh that God had placed him in and to do so very effectively… and he became wealthy along the way.

Wealth should not be despised, but rather only unrighteous behaviors and attitudes should be despised and rebuked. Wealth developed by righteous people is often used to glorify God and help His people. We should be thankful to God and give Him the glory and avoid resenting His servants who become wealthy. Perhaps we should even try to learn from those who gain wealth righteously rather than condemn them.

—-

Remember that all you have belongs to God. Manage your money God’s way. Visit GrowGodsMoney.org .

Find Favor with Both God and Man

It is easy to become full of ourselves, filled with pride when we succeed in the eyes of men. We must be careful to remain humble and serve God even in success. Many wise men, including David and Solomon, started with a close relationship with God and then drifted further from God when they had much success and power… and it was to their own downfall. When we find favor in the sight of God and man by living humbly and righteously according to God’s instruction, do not change the recipe. Keep doing the things that got you there… pray, study scripture, listen to God and obey, work hard, be patient, give glory to God for what He does through us, etc.

Joseph set a fantastic example in  Genesis 41:38-49. Joseph did not change when he was given great power and authority. He worked diligently and responsibly, maintaining his right relationship with God and he continued to experience favor from God and men as a result.

Joseph Is Made a Ruler of Egypt

38Then Pharaoh said to his servants, “Can we find a man like this, in whom is a divine spirit?” 39So Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Since God has informed you of all this, there is no one so discerning and wise as you are. 40“You shall be over my house, and according to your command all my people shall do homage; only in the throne I will be greater than you.” 41Pharaoh said to Joseph, “See, I have set you over all the land of Egypt.” 42Then Pharaoh took off his signet ring from his hand and put it on Joseph’s hand, and clothed him in garments of fine linen and put the gold necklace around his neck. 43He had him ride in his second chariot; and they proclaimed before him, “Bow the knee!” And he set him over all the land of Egypt. 44Moreover, Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Though I am Pharaoh, yet without your permission no one shall raise his hand or foot in all the land of Egypt.” 45Then Pharaoh named Joseph Zaphenath-paneah; and he gave him Asenath, the daughter of Potiphera priest of On, as his wife. And Joseph went forth over the land of Egypt.

46Now Joseph was thirty years old when he stood before Pharaoh, king of Egypt. And Joseph went out from the presence of Pharaoh and went through all the land of Egypt. 47During the seven years of plenty the land brought forth abundantly. 48So he gathered all the food of these seven years which occurred in the land of Egypt and placed the food in the cities; he placed in every city the food from its own surrounding fields. 49Thus Joseph stored up grain in great abundance like the sand of the sea, until he stopped measuring it, for it was beyond measure.

Joseph had experienced much suffering and difficulty in his early life… sold into slavery by his brothers, thrown into jail based on lies, and forgotten in jail for years by one he helped. Joseph handled it with great patience and a righteous attitude toward God. Surely we would be tempted to think God forgot about us in his circumstances… to possibly disastrous results if we let our circumstances separate us from God. But now at 30 years old, Joseph stood tall as second in command of all Egypt… right where God wanted him. When he assumed the position, Joseph did not change and take credit or become filled with pride. He continued to honor God and faithfully carry out his work.

Challenge yourself, as followers of Christ, to take on the patience, diligence, humility, forgiveness, and faith which Joseph demonstrated throughout his life… through good times and bad. This is a great recipe to find favor with both God and man.

—-

Remember that all you have belongs to God. Manage your money God’s way. Visit GrowGodsMoney.org .

7 Tips to Find Joy in Your Work

Why do so many of us accept that work should be a burden we must endure, rather than a part of our life in which we find joy or at least contentment?

It is intuitive, but also backed up by studies, that people who are happy at work are more productive and more successful. They perform better at their work because they find joy and satisfaction in what they do. These are people you want to be around.

I am certainly not suggesting that I expect all of us to get paid for doing something we enjoy as much as spending time with our families or going on vacation. However, there are a number of simple things we can do to find joy in our work.

1- Remember that we are more than our work. Our personal value comes from God. He crafted each of us as unique and special individuals to serve Him. Our value is not defined by how we perform or are perceived to perform at work.

2- Ultimately our joy comes from God. Ensure you spend time in prayer and study of the Bible daily.  Not only do we grow closer to God and develop a better understanding of His character and instruction for our lives, but it puts into perspective what is important about our work and our lives.

3- Basic for finding contentment or satisfaction with any job is reminding yourself why you choose to do that work. List the positive aspects of your employment such as providing for your family, enabling you to support your church or honor God with your money, and allowing you an opportunity to reach people for Jesus in your workplace… can really impact your attitude toward your job. Instead of viewing it as a prison with chains, it is a choice you make for specific reasons. If you can not find any good reasons or if the job forces you into conflicts with your Christian faith you likely want to seek alternate employment.

4- Know how your job or role contributes and matters to the bigger picture where you work. Don’t limit yourself to a narrow view of just “completing specific job tasks”, but rather understand the broader picture. It leads to a higher degree of satisfaction.  This concept is described from a classic example:

A man walked down a road by a construction site. He saw three workers laying bricks in what appeared to be a wall. As he asked each man separately what they were doing he received the following three responses… I am laying bricks, I am building a wall, and finally, I am building a cathedral so people can worship and honor God.

Which of the three men do you think was most satisfied with his work? The one who saw the bigger picture of course. He understood not just what he was doing but the value of it to a bigger purpose.

5- Avoid focusing too long in your mind about what a “perfect” job would be like. This type of exercise can be useful to help identify a specific action such as evaluating alternate employment, but becomes depressing if you continually compare your current circumstances to a theoretical perfect job that may not really exist.

6- Look for ways you can take initiative at work to help create the environment in which you want to work. If you want a friendly and Christian environment… then start by acting that way yourself!

7- Certainly not last, but at the end of the list because it is something we should keep in our minds as we go back to our daily lives… come before God humbly and ask Him to help you find joy in your work… whether in your current job or by finding another.

For additional resources to help you find joy in your work, check out our Earn Money with a Purpose page at GrowGodsMoney.org.

—-

Remember that all you have belongs to God. Manage your money God’s way. Visit GrowGodsMoney.org .

This Decision Could Impact Your Income By 10-20% Or More – Vote Wisely

What if I told you that a single decision could impact all of your earning potential, savings, and investing by 10-20% or more? A wrong decision moves toward reducing your income, and a good decision moves toward increasing your income. You would immediately want to know what it was and how to learn more about it.

In the United States of America, we have the honor of voting in elections to select who takes many of our public offices at the local, state, and national levels. Elections have consequences and voting matters… a lot!

Our country was founded by Christians who were seeking freedom to worship God freely and Biblically, out from under any tyrannical rule of a king. Freedom was important… and so often not truly achieved.

It is very important to understand that the USA was not founded as a democracy, in which a majority of people can vote for whatever they want, including taking the wealth and possessions of the minority. Instead, God guided our founding fathers to establish a wonderful form of government known as a constitutional republic. We do in fact participate in voting to elect representatives to the national government, but just as important is the US Constitution, which is in place to limit the power of the national government. The intent was to have a small national government doing the bare minimum (such as providing for the common defense… that’s the military) and not getting involved in impinging on the freedom of the states and the people.

Now we have a huge, stifling, mass of national government bureaucracy that tells us even how much water our toilet can flush and what kind of light bulbs we must use or cannot use.  We have fallen a long way and given up much freedom. The Constitution is constantly under attack from those who wish to redefine it and consider it a “living document”, which means essentially… “as long as we can get judges to say it means something else, then it does”. This approach is wrong.  The founders put in place a management of change process for the Constitution… and it is not simply getting people in black robes to say it means something else today than it did a few hundred years ago. It is called constitutional amendments. The process has been used many times, but not recently. The Constitution means what it says until we follow the process to change it. That is the only way to protect the individual rights of the people and the founding fathers knew it! It is supposed to be hard to change!

Not only does the national government continue to grow and impinge on personal liberty, but it continues to spend money it does not have at an increasingly alarming rate… on things it should not be involved in managing and does not manage well. To pay for this, the national government always says we need to spend more money on more government programs and raise taxes or go so far into debt we will never get out. Even if they print enough money to pay off the debt, the money we have will fall in value because of the extra money printed. Our purchasing power plummets! If a business was run this way, the same government would probably throw the business leader in jail.

America was founded as a land of opportunity! Those who work hard can improve their family’s standard of living over multiple generations or sometimes even in a single generation. This is harder and harder to do as the government gets bigger and taxes more and puts in place more regulations and more burdens like healthcare programs for which they have no constitutional authority, despite what a ruling of the Supreme Court may say.

Elections have consequences.   It all ends up affecting your ability to earn income with liberty, to keep what you earned rather than giving it to a government to waste, to save and invest freely and rely on God and the talents He gave you rather than relying always on the national government.

For those who want to get everything for free with someone else’s money… there is not enough of “someone else’s money” to pay for everything you want you will always be beholden to the national government to get by. You basically make yourself a voluntary dependent (e.g. like a child) of the government. On the other hand, many of us want to keep our freedom and the fruits of our labor. We want a small national government and a return to the protection of our personal liberty provided by the US Constitution. We trust in God and ourselves to work hard and get ahead. If we fail, we own it, and we get back up and try again. We don’t expect someone else to always pay our bills or cover our mistakes. We are accountable to God for how we use what He has given us in this life, whether time, talent, or treasure.

I encourage active participation in elections, not only by voting but also by influencing those around you. Research the truth. Do not trust what politicians say, but rather judge by the fruit of their lives as the Bible instructs us. Do not be lazy and believe what TV network news shows tell you, for they are decidedly leaning toward big national government and less individual freedom. The same is true for most social media sites today. Instead, seek out the truth diligently on the internet. Search out confirmation from multiple time-tested, reliable news sources. (You can’t trust everyone’s blog, either.) We are to test everything and discern truth from lies. If someone is constantly changing positions when it suits them, then you know they have no principle. They are political chameleons, and you cannot trust them except to look out for their own best interests. If they are honest but their plans will bankrupt our country worse than today… you may be able to trust them, but you are voting for disaster and loss of freedom. Look for those whose past actions and accomplishments line up with what they say and line up with what God’s word says. Seek those who strongly support the protection of individual rights provided by the Constitution… for ultimately it is your rights they protect!

How much harder it is to manage your personal finances when the government always takes more and more from what you earn, what you spend, what you invest, and even what you own when you die! What good is it to earn and save and invest if the government can just come and take what they want from whom they want?

Elections have consequences. Get involved today and don’t stop trying to influence your elected officials once they get into office. Remain engaged!

—-

Remember that all you have belongs to God. Manage your money God’s way. Visit GrowGodsMoney.org .

Building Wealth for the Sake of Having Wealth Is Not, In Itself, a Meaningful Objective

I received the following article from  Bob Lotich at SeedTime Ministries, www.seedtime.com, from one of his weekly emails. I thought this one was good and wanted to share it. I encourage each of you to check out SeedTime on their website.

Contrary to what some believe, the phrase “wealthy Christian” is not an oxymoron. Wealth and Godliness are not necessarily contradictory terms – it all depends on the motives.

Building wealth for the wrong reasons does not produce Godliness but the right reasons will.

Let’s dig deeper.

Five Wrong Reasons For Building Wealth

1. Advice from an “expert”

I know a couple who started buying houses because some financial guru told them there is a great future in real estate. The problem was not the investment itself; it was that they were making financial decisions solely on someone else’s counsel without thoroughly researching that advice and dovetailing it into their own short-term and long-term goals. Not surprisingly, they got in over their heads and had to unload some houses at a loss.

Seeking advice is actually a good thing. Proverbs 15:22 reads, “Without consultation, plans are frustrated, but with many counselors, they succeed.” Therefore, it is good to listen to seek out several trusted friends and experts for financial advice. Listen and learn and think. Discuss your options with your spouse. Make sure the two of you are on the same page. But never leap into any business venture because you heard it was a “great investment”. That is a bad reason.

2. Everyone is doing it.

Keeping up with the Joneses can be more subtle than you think. Have you ever bought a car because someone you admire has one like it? Do you eat at a certain restaurant because it is the “place to go”? Did you get those season tickets because your friends are all getting them? Did you choose that European vacation because that is what the “in” people do?

Following the crowd is a sign of insecurity and a desire for acceptance. Many will overspend in their desire to emulate someone else, but even if you can easily afford these things, building wealth in order to keep pace with others is not a good reason to do so.

3. Winning a competition

While friendly competition can sometimes bring out the best in us, competition in the realm of finances is an unhealthy game. If you feel like you must out-earn or even out-give anyone in order to win, you will never win. In the first place, someone will always be able to outdo you. But even if you “win”, you have still proved nothing.

If your brain is wired in sports mode, think in terms of cooperating instead of competing. You and your wife are a team. You and your fellow church members are a team. You and God are a team. Be the best team player you can be and you will always be on the winning team.

4. Love of money

People who love money simply because it is money have a warped view of money. These are the people who hoard. Do you love money? If so, you probably have no benchmark established to determine how much is enough. In fact, for you, there will never be enough. You love to check your portfolio to see how much you have, but you always want more. This can be true whether your net worth is $1,000 or $10 million. You are chasing something you will never catch. If you don’t change your priorities you are destined to live a one dimensional, selfish and shallow life.

Hebrews 13:5 tells us, “Let your character be free from the love of money, being content with what you have; for He Himself has said, ‘I will never leave you or forsake you.’”

It is OK to love. Just don’t let money be the object of your affection. Love God first and love others second. The money will take care of itself. Jesus put it this way, “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” Mat 6:33

5. Security

This is a bit of an enigma because scripture tells us to be wise with what we have…to save and plan and to be able to live without being under constant financial stress. Yes, we are to be wise, but if we believe that we can build enough to give us security, we are mistaken.

First, whatever we accumulate here on earth can be taken away or lost. Secondly, financial security is a ruse. Why? Because it is a cheap counterfeit to true security which can only be found in a relationship with Jesus Christ.

True security will satisfy your deepest needs and can never be lost. Financial security, even if you had enough socked away to cover all your needs for the rest of your life, will not give security for the life to come. Wouldn’t you like to realize your purpose here on earth and live out that purpose with the knowledge that your eternity is taken care of? That is true security. It can come only from God.

What is the Right Reason to Build Wealth?

To enable givers to give generously

As Paul is challenging the church in Corinth to give to the impoverished believers in Jerusalem, he explains, “You will be enriched in every way to be generous in every way, which through us will produce thanksgiving to God.” 2 Cor 9:11

If God expects us to be “generous in every way”, it is up to Him to make us “enriched in every way”.

Summary

God wants what is best for us. He also knows us better than we know ourselves. God wants us to be great givers, not only so those who are needy can be helped but also because we are truly living out our purpose when we are giving.

Do you want to be wealthy? Great. Start by giving. As you give to others, God will enrich your life. Who knows? You might be able to fund numerous missionaries, meet health needs in third world countries, pay for a childless family to adopt, or buy that single mom a new car. Sound like a great life? Go for it. Start giving today.

Special thanks to Joe Plemon for writing this great article!

Bob Lotich (SeedTime Ministries)

—-

Remember that all you have belongs to God. Manage your money God’s way and use it for His glory rather than your own. Visit GrowGodsMoney.org .

Boost Your Short Term Income

Many write on the internet about how you can earn extra money, even from home over the computer. There are an amazing number of ways to pursue incremental income with today’s technology.

Before you leap with excitement to the search engine to identify all the ways you are about to make lots of money from home, you should probably start by thoughtfully considering your goals. What are you trying to achieve?

Are you looking for a short-term boost to your income to accomplish a specific goal, like paying off credit card debt or donating to a church fund to help your community? Are you looking for long-term incremental income that you can do on top of your current daily commitments? Perhaps you are seeking a new profession entirely and want to leave your “day job”. Clearly identifying, and writing down, your objectives can help guide you when you start your search to find the right answer for your situation, personality, and skills.

Ok… I know you are excited but wait just a minute more… nothing is free. All of these activities take time. All too often people refer to the quality of life in regard to only what you can buy and how much stuff you have. In truth, quality of life is more dependent on our ability to be content with what we have. Then we can focus on the true value of our time… we never truly know how much we will have and we can not get any of it back once we use it. So it is very important to consider what time commitment you are willing to put towards any effort to gain incremental income.

Now spend some time setting your goals and limitations (e.g. how much time you are willing to take away from other things you do). Make sure you understand your broader priorities and do not just focus on the pursuit of more money at all costs… that is greed. Then search away to identify a selection of good ideas for earning more income that will work for you!

Don’t forget to evaluate any legal liabilities or safety concerns when selecting something that may be right for you. The following list are just ideas to get your thoughts started… not a recommendation for any specific site, activity, or business.

  • Tutor
  • Wash cars
  • Cut grass
  • Clean houses
  • Babysit, pet sit or house sit
  • Help care for the elderly
  • General household chores or handyman activities
  • Buy water bottles in bulk and sell them at local events. Easy profit and people will thank you for it unless you overcharge.
  • Rent your car through sites like GetAround or RelayRides
  • Rent your home through sites like Airbnb or VRBO
  • Become a driver with Uber or Lyft
  • Hire out through services that coordinate temporary workers
  • Sell extra stuff you have at garage sales, Craigs List, eBay, etc
  • Look for sites that pay you to try new products or visit stores and provide feedback
  • etc…. etc…. etc.

Parting thought… set up a specific time frame to come back and evaluate the activity you selected and compare or steward it to the written objectives you laid out at the start. Is it working as you thought? Did you protect your time and your other priorities (e.g. does your family still know you? still like you?) Just because you started something does not mean you need to keep doing it if it is not working out. That is why you write down your goals/objectives, identify relative priorities, and put constraints on the time commitment before you begin. It is not just about the dollars. It is about the quality of life.

—-

Remember that all you have belongs to God. Manage your money God’s way. Visit GrowGodsMoney.org .