One thing that I have learned throughout my financial journey is that you have to be a giver. At the very top of our budget is the word “Giving”. The first thing that comes out of our paychecks is a bi-weekly tithe to our church.
I have often taught people that if you can’t afford to give in that moment then quit giving temporarily. Then I read the book “Taming the Money Monster” by Ron Blue and it says to never quit giving of your tithe. That really made me rethink what I had been teaching.
When we were first trying to find a way through our financial mess, a financial advisor suggested that we quit tithing as an option to find extra money. I thought he brought up a good point when he said that he and his wife started giving their tithe in other ways. They started spending time with people and giving some of their possessions away instead of their money. I have given things out of my stockpile when I could not afford to hand people cash.
Either way, you need to make sure that you are a giving person and your heart needs to remain open to this idea. I don’t think you should be doing this just to get something in return, but I think it makes us remember our place and where we came from. We need to remember our humble beginnings and realize that all of that money is God’s in the first place. What would he want us to do with that money?
I read on a blog once that a lady’s husband was trying to think of a different way every day to be a blessing to someone he came in contact with. How inspiring! That is definitely a giving heart that remembers his place as a Christian.
As a side note…
Just remember that if you are giving to “receive” that the Bible never tells us that God will give to you monetarily. He doesn’t promise that just because you give money towards His work that He will give you money in return. He may bless you in another way.
Share how you will be a more giving person this week. Tell me your beliefs about paying tithe versus tithing in other ways.Read More
I heard that the pastor at my hometown church had given an amazing sermon on debt. I was really surprised when my mom mentioned this because it seems a lot of times that pastor’s steer away from this topic. So, when I heard that he preached a sermon entitled “Debt-Free Living” I begged him for a copy and he obliged. Here’s the first part of his sermon. Enjoy!
DEBT-FREE LIVING – Written by Dr. Mike Rice
God’s Word has a lot to say about money, even though God really isn’t concerned about our money, but He is very concerned about our hearts.
Jesus said, “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matthew 6:21)
In the culture we live in, we can hardly separate the topic of money from the topic of credit. The Word of God does not forbid the use of credit, but it does give warning that unmanageable debt can enslave you.
Proverbs 22:7 says “The rich ruleth over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender.”
Millions of Americans today find themselves prisoners in debt. And while the economic problems in our country and its government are easy targets to blame, it may be that we need to take personal responsibility for our own financial welfare.
Consider the following questions. If you can answer “yes” to three or more then chances are you are a prisoner to debt:
(1) I depend on credit cards to maintain my lifestyle.
(2) I delay payments or pay the minimum amount.
(3) I transferred my credit card balance to another card.
(4) I seldom tithe or save.
(5) I charge things I can’t afford because they’re on sale.
(6) My debt is more than 20% of my monthly income.
I have to admit, I have not always applied these principles, nor do I claim to be an example of how to handle money but I am learning.
Wow! I can’t wait to read the rest of his notes. The next part that I post will talk about Sensible debt versus Senseless Debt. Stay tuned for more to come!Read More
2 Corinthians 12:9
“But He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness…” (NIV)
As I was reading through a blog the other day, I found this verse and just had to write it down. I have a better way of remembering things if I write them down and I did not want to forget this verse!
While rereading the last part of the verse “for My power is made perfect in weakness” I started thinking about how that applies to my life.
There were so many times through all of our financial heartache that I didn’t think I could make it another day. I was searching and looking for all of the right answers and nothing was helping.
We would ask our dads if they had any advice to help get us out of the mundane cycle of living paycheck to paycheck and the only advice offered was that we needed more money. How? We were already working two full-time jobs and barely saw each other as it was.
We would talk to church members and they were kind to help pay for an occasional meal out or help my husband find work when he was out of a job. But these were just temporary band-aids that were not fixing the real problem.
Unfortunately, I can’t remember a time where we ever just opened the Bible and searched for what God says about money (and trust me…He has a lot to say – especially in Proverbs). I don’t remember holding hands and praying that God would show us the way other than saying “Lord, help us with our finances” or “Lord, help us find some money.”
Now when I read that it sounds so selfish. God didn’t put us in the place that we were in. We created that bottomless pit out of greed and the idea that we “needed” something right then and by golly we were gonna get it!
Despite our failures, looking back it all makes sense. As we’ve gotten older and grown up a little God has shown us that He was still at work. He was working behind the scenes the whole time and hoping that we would turn back to him.
This reminds me of the verse in 2 Chronicles 7:14. “If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from Heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”
Spending money that you don’t have is a sin. Period. It is not something to be proud of and it will bring you down fast if you’re not careful and wise in your spending. This happened to Greg and I.
So, after a long spell of trying to fix things on our own, we finally turned to God and He has forgiven us. He has shown me that we can do all things through Him and that His ways are perfect. The part that I love is that He never left us and He let us have a do-over. It’s kind of like when you’re playing kickball and missed the ball when the pitcher threw it to you. Ask for a do-over!
Are you ready to ask God for a do-over when it comes to your life and finances? It’s hard, trust me. There’s nothing worse than giving up your pride and feeling ashamed. Just know that God is waiting with open arms and He was made perfect so that he could help you in your times of weakness.Read More
Our ladies group at church has been going through the study “Unglued” by Lysa Terkeurst and it has been simply amazing! While going through chapter 4 last night, there was a verse brought up that I thought fit really well with our overall life – which includes finances. Here it is…
Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy – meditate on these things. The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.
I’m sure that you can relate to this story, but there have been many times throughout our financial disasters that everything seemed to be going wrong. It seemed like we were the only people in debt in the world and that nobody could ever know what I was possibly going through!
My mind then quickly took over and started telling me that I was a failure, an embarrassment to my family, not a product of how I was raised, and the list goes on and on.
All of these things were false! I felt like I couldn’t go any lower when Greg lost his job and I was only working part-time so that I could stay home with my kids. Life seemed hopeless, dreary, depressing, and at times I was ready to walk away and leave it all behind.
Thank God I had a Christian friend who talked me out of that decision!
After that conversation of her telling me everything that we had done right and encouraging me that things were going to get better I was amazed at all the blessings I could see. I felt like my heart was at peace and that God was showing me how blessed I really was.
I have two wonderful, healthy children who make me laugh all the time. I have always had a supportive husband who sees the best in me. But most importantly, I have a God who loves me as His own child. He has never left me, never forsaken me, and He has always provided. We have never been without shelter, food, clothes, etc.
That’s what I started mediating on. I quit feeling sorry for myself and started realizing that God had a plan and now His plan for my life has enabled me to tell people “I know how you feel”, “I know exactly what you’re going through”, “I know…I’ve been there”.
So, what about you? Are you ready to be at peace with your situation and move forward? Are you ready to fully rely on God and know that everything is still in His hands and that peace is on the way? Trust me, it’s coming!Read More
This week I was planning on writing about blog about giving more than just money this holiday season. It seems like everytime you turn around these days, somebody else is asking for money. When you have no money to give or are planning on having a Charlie Brown type Christmas yourself then you can completely understand it when I say that sometimes the money is just not there.
Well, when preparing my thoughts on this blog I woke up this morning to read an excerpt out of “Our Daily Bread – Christmas Edition”. What I read was actually what I wanted to say. Here’s what David McCasland had to say on Week One, Monday.
“Michelle Singletary and her husband decided to reduce their Christmas spending. They made some presents themselves and thought of creative ways to give their time and services to others.
In her newspaper column on personal finance, Michelle summarized her purpose in taking a hard look at her spending: “Building and maintaining relationships – what really matters over the holidays and throughout the year – are priorities that shouldn’t get crowded out by our conspicuous consumption.”
Deciding to spend less money at Christmas is a personal choice. But if relationships are high on our list of priorities, we could resolve to give more by giving ourselves away. Isaiah described the kind of spiritual sacrifice that pleases God as one of serving others. “If you extend your soul to the hungry and satisfy the afflicted soul, then your light shall dawn in the darkness, and your darkness shall be as the noonday” (Isa. 58:10).
Jesus our Savior, whose birth we celebrate, said of Himself, “The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45).
As we observe Christmas this year, let’s give more by giving ourselves away.” – David McCasland
Is your holiday spending out of control? How could you give more of yourself this year and invest in your relationships?Read More
Look at the picture for this post and tell me if you think this relates to your life. Do you think that you and these eggs have much in common? I bet I can show you how your life is like an egg.
PLAIN & SIMPLE
Those eggs that you see in the picture are not just any egg. To me, they are priceless.
How much does a 1/2 dozen eggs cost at the store? Seventy-five cents? One dollar?
That’s probably how much my grandmother paid for those when she began this project. See, my grandmother was an artist.
When she bought those eggs that were just plain white eggs. Nothing special…nothing spectacular.
She was able to turn them into something extraordinarily beautiful!
Do you ever feel like your life is just plain and simple? Nothing out of the ordinary? I bet that your life more intriguing than what you realize.
THE PROCESS OF TURNING AN EGG INTO SOMETHING BEAUTIFUL
To start this project, my grandmother had to poke a hole in the top and bottom of each egg. She did this to let all that junk (yolk and egg white) drain from the egg before she could start her creation.
Well, when my grandmother drained all of this junk from the egg she was able to create the patterns of design and color that you see on each egg. (Don’t ask me how she did this part, but I’m sure it took a lot of time and patience.)
See, all of us have junk. All of us! Don’t look at somebody else and think that their life was just a beautiful egg when it was hatched. Nope! That’s not how it works. All of these eggs started off as plain and white.
Just because you might have “junk” in your life doesn’t make you any less beautiful than anybody else. The process of becoming beautiful just takes time. Trust in the Lord and know that He has something spectacular waiting for your life.
WHAT IS MY PURPOSE IN LIFE?
This is something that I am ready to find out for myself at the age of 32.
Yesterday when I was holding up one of the eggs (the pink one – my favorite) I noticed something on there that I had never seen before.
My grandmother always wrote in manuscript “iris g.” on all of her artwork, but there was a date beside her name.
The date said “1980”. What?! That’s the year that I was born.
I was thinking about my life after 32 years and the life of this egg.
32 years ago I wasn’t thinking that I would be where I am today. All I cared about was food, a clean diaper, and more food!
Now I’m at this place in my life where I’m really trying to figure out why I’m on this earth. What is my purpose for being here?
I’m slowly being led by Christ to figure out this plan that He already has laid out for me. I can tell it’s going to have a beautiful ending.