The key to financial success is learning how to enjoy life, and budgeting for fun even during financial struggles

This is for you, if you are living on a very strict budget, either because things are just very tight, or you are digging yourself out of a bad financial situation. This is also for those that have difficulty spending any money on themselves or their family, for anything other than the normal necessities.

Personal finances can be a heavy and difficult subject. Money management, at least from a Christian perspective can be laden with a lot of worry or fear. This is especially true if we have financial problems, since it carries a lot of emotion. You might be taking financial class, receiving financial counseling and doing everything you can to improve. It’s hard work, and during these lean times, all of your money is going for things like food, housing and debt, and you are not spending anything on fun. You are enjoying little entertainment and it’s been forever since you’ve been on vacation. You wonder if it is going to be forever before you can enjoy life again, or if you can have fun in the meantime.

One thing I’ve come to realize is that if you are not having some fun and enjoying life along the way, then more than likely you will fail in this. Life is just too stressful and besides we have been created by God to enjoy life. So if you don’t know how to enjoy life, financial management is always going to be associated with drudgery and withholding things that make life fun.

For me writing this fun, I do this sometimes late into the evening and on days off. This was especially fun to write, because it reminded me about all of the reasons I have to be joyful and experience fun things that I can soon do.

A warning though should be given to those of us, who don’t have any difficulty saying no to themselves, when it comes to over indulging in as many pleasurable things as possible. Hedonism is a word that we don’t use very often and it means that pleasure is the proper aim of human life. Hedonism is the triplet brother to materialism and greed. The Declaration of Independence drafted in 1776 says that one of the foundational “self-evident truths” of our country are three unalienable rights, “The pursuit of happiness,” for all Americans is right up there with life and liberty. God did give man the ability to enjoy pleasure, but contrary to the Declaration, it’s not the reason we live. Therefore, limiting our diet to it, as Jesus disciples us in stewardship is a good thing. However, pleasure and fun is not a bad thing, and since we are made to have it, a good financial plan should include it.

Lie 1:  Christians aren’t supposed to have fun

Some Christians can’t have fun or enjoyment, because they just don’t think Christians are supposed to. If they do, some feel guilty, for enjoying earthly pleasures. Somehow they think good things can only be experienced within the confines of the church building, or doing religious activities. Many Christians attach negative attitudes towards marital sex, entertainment, and just having simple fun.

Truth 1: God designed up to enjoy pleasure. God thoughtfully desired to bless us with 5 senses to enjoy his creation: taste, smell, touch, sight, and hearing. He created sex, thought, imagination, love and a full range of emotions and feelings. All of these mysteries that we can experience in our body, most fully in moral boundaries that he erected to give us pleasure, and a lot of times without spending much money. God is truly amazing.

Put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment (1 Tim 6:17b)

Truth 2: God created everything for our enjoyment. God provided creation for us to enjoy, that is why there is nothing better than to be outside in a woods, walking through a park or strolling down the fairway at the golf course, staring up at the sky during a warm summer evening, and sledding down a hill on a frosty day. Being in nature is one of the most nurturing things we can do for our souls, especially if we’ve left things behind like Smartphones.

Truth 3: Jesus is the abundant life and not things. Jesus indicates the “abundant life” is (John 10:10) through life with him and not stuff. He talked about the fruit of life, with him:  “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing (John 15:5).” Examples of the fruit we get to enjoy are “love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” These rich blessings are available to anyone regardless of the amount of money they have, also come with eternal life (John 3:16), the Holy Spirit (John 14:26), and all that he brings. Jesus even promised that he will provide for our needs (Matthew 6:33). Focusing on these things, helps us to let go of anxiety and worries, giving us a joyful light heart.

Lie 2: You can’t have fun unless you have a lot of money

While writing this section, I checked my Facebook status, and front and center was a picture of a friend from high school and brother in the faith. He and his bikini clad wife are staring back at me from a boat in Cancun. Next to him, I believe are his daughters, all tanned, with 14 Amberjack fish they just caught in the foreground. They are smiling, and holding beverages. Meanwhile I sit in Columbus Ohio, during a late day in March with temperatures in the 40’s and rain. It’s pictures like this that people envision when they think of having real fun. This is a lie, life can be good everyday.

One day when I was about 16 years old I had a conversation with a fairly wealthy man, the father of a high school acquaintance. This was a good family, and we had a lot of fun together snow skiing in Aspen and water skiing on lakes. As I recall the conversation, he me that having an enjoyable life involved making good money, and being able to have a lot of fun. 35 years ago I still recall this conversation, because over time I have struggled with what he said, what I thought, and how I think now. I wasn’t a believer in Christ then, but I knew at the time something didn’t ring true about this. Many people believe this way that they have to endure less than enjoyable work, in order to have fun on the weekend. Christians often fall into this same trap of equating enjoyment to money, and more enjoyment to more money.

Truth 4: Simple pleasures have the best memories. Another truth is that when you look back at your life and the wonderful experiences you’ve had, great vacations, trips to Disneyland, and flying down the reservoir in a boat, the best memories are nothing like that at all. My best memories of growing up were simple times, requiring very little money, having home-made Chef Boyardee pizza at a birthday party, laughing so hard milk came out of my nose. Simple get togethers around my daughter and son-in-law’s backyard fire, acting silly, with my wife as she rolls her eyes as I howl at the moon. Fun is a state of mind, and you can have fun driving down the road, just laughing at the silliness of crazy drivers. I think Jesus in part wants us to be more childlike enjoying simple pleasures when he told us “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 18:3)

Truth 5: There are a lot of things, to do that cost little to no money. In almost every community there are plenty of free concerts, libraries full of books, music and movies to borrow. TV has proven to decrease people’s happiness. We fool ourselves thinking that it is relaxing, but it really drains people more than it gives life. My wife and I reduced our viewing to a few hours per week, and replaced it with listening to free internet radio through our low-cost home internet radio audio system. Our attitudes have remarkably improved. We can listen to endless legal free music, something we really enjoy doing as we read. Music, the arts, museums, zoos and discount movie theaters provide us with a lot of low-cost entertainment options.

Truth 6: Include in your budget items for fun and enjoyment. Even if your finances are really tight, make sure that you plan some money for simple things, within reason. This might include eating out, movies, inexpensive concerts, and nice food that you buy for a really nice home cooked meal. However, when you add up your entertainment expenses for the month include cable TV, as well as monthly costs for Smartphones. When we go to a restaurant to eat, or spend money on a vacation that we have budgeted for, it’s so much more enjoyable. In the past we might charge it, and have no idea what’s going on in our budget, so something intended for fun didn’t feel as enjoyable. Now when we spend on these budgeted fun things, it seems more enjoyable.

Truth 7: Community is one of the greatest sources of joy. Some of the happiest people on the planet are those that live in poor crowded communities, research has proven this. God has created us as relational beings, who are most happy when in we live in community with friends. Americans isolate themselves in their homes filled with toys, and man caves. Our personal castles, that become shrines unto ourselves. We hide behind curtains; confine outdoor activities to backyard decks with perfect ‘don’t step on the grass’ moats out front.

So I recommend having fun, because there is nothing better for people in this world than to eat, drink, and enjoy life. That way they will experience some happiness along with all the hard work God gives them under the sun (Ecclesiastes 8:15 NLT).

The “Preacher” of Ecclesiastes tells us that one of the most enjoyable things humans can do, is to have a great meal and beverages, with your friends. This is one of simple but potentially most fun thing humans can do. Make it a goal to have a least one really great meal at home each week, and invite people over to enjoy it with you. Stay up late playing games, snack on things you don’t normally eat, and celebrate life.

Lie 3: God will not bless me with good things in the future

This post is titled the lies we believe, why we can’t have fun today, but this lie works in the inverse, thinking we’ll never have fun, so we have to splurge today. I’ve had people tell me they don’t believe God will ever bless them with what they want. Sometimes they joke saying they might die before good things happen, so they have to live for today.

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11).

Picture yourself online getting ready to book a cruise in the Caribbean, and your finger is hovering over the complete purchase button. Maybe you are in the auto dealership getting ready to buy a car that you can barely afford. You’re starting to come to your senses, and you hesitate. Then you hear this voice, “I’m going to do this, if I wait on God he’ll never bless me with this. Who knows what tomorrow holds, I’m going to do this today!” The truth is God has a lot of good in store for you in the future, but don’t make a bad decision today and mess up some future blessings he might have in store for you tomorrow.

Truth 8, you can have fun today, but not at the expense of tomorrow’s. I love the saying of Dave Ramsey: “Live like no one else, so that you can live like no one else.” Essentially this says that we can avoid some stupid financial mistakes today, so that in the future you will have more money and can afford to some things that those who kept living stupidly, won’t then be able to do. This is the truth, and there are a lot of things you can do, for little to no money that have been just covered.

Lie 4:  There’s no fun or joy until all problems are resolved

Do you hope someday that you won’t have any problems so that you can finally enjoy life? I have bad news for you; this side of heaven that day will never come. Good spiritual and mental health requires the ability to enjoy life in the middle of stress and chaotic seasons of life many of us are in. Don’t get caught in the in the ‘if only trap.’  If only I had more money, I could afford to make my problems go away. If only this or that problem went away, then I could enjoy life. America seems to be increasingly full of OCD fanatics. People that are mild or severe Obsessive Compulsive Disordered people who demand perfection, and total order and they can’t relax unless everything is just so.

Life is hard and for many people things just haven’t worked out the way we always dreamed they would. When we were children we imagined the perfect marriage, beautiful house, beautiful spouse and kids, perfect body, sexual satisfaction, great successful spouse, and successful career with a lot of money. Some people never figured they might have challenging marriages, singlehood, bad economy; mismatched career or health challenges would come their way. People never imagined the mistakes they made, and the regrets they now have. Some people think you can’t be happy now that life has worked out the way it has.

When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me (1 Cor 13:11).

I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world (John 16:33).

Adulthood is waking up to the fact that not all of life’s dreams will work out. We will have troubles. Christian maturity is accepting this, and not blaming your spouse, others or God. It is not living in a constant state of being mad and bitter, it is accepting things for what they are today.

Truth 9: Life will never be perfect.  If you peel back the veneer on life, scratch beneath the surface of your perfectly clean house and facade, you are a mess. We all are, so welcome to the club. I’m a mess, you’re a mess, and everyone around you is mess. You can quit pretending everything is okay, on your way to a perfect life. Perfectionists can relax too, there’s always going to be one more mess to clean up, thing to paint, and car that needs its oil changed. I’m not saying to let it all go, and live in squalor, but let it all go your attitude of perfection or absence of problems goal. It’s never going to happen, no matter how hard you try, life sometimes just sucks.

Dr. Leo Buscaglia told an interesting story during a lecture I once attended that really caught my attention, and has spoken to me for years, even though he died in 1998 it continues to inspire me.  I recall this author and motivational speaker telling a story from his childhood, where many of his stories come from. In this particular real life event, his father came home from work, after finding out they were financially destitute, because the business partner took all of the money and bankrupted the business. Leo’s mother’s response was to celebrate life. She cooked up a big meal, and they enjoyed the blessing of the day. There is a clue to happy life imbedded in that story.

I was let go from my dream job 2 days after Christmas 2006. My wife and I stood in the kitchen hugging, crying, repenting and forgiving. Yes, they recruited me from a high paying secure corporate position with great benefits, and after a few days, told me the last ten people they hired for that position didn’t work out either. So we dreamt of the future of what God had in store for us, and we had a great meal together, just like Leo’s family did decades ago. It’s been hard, but we got through it, and I am happier now than ever. Yes life sucks sometimes, but forgive and move on. We don’t appreciate the good times, unless we’ve gone through bad seasons.

Lie 5: The advertising and media messages are right

Culture’s voice can never be silenced, and is always calling out, and interfering with your thoughts about the things money touches. The advertising world is constantly screaming out to us why we aren’t satisfied, or worse how insufficient, ugly and unhappy everyone is. Of course they do that making us want to buy their thirst quenching products. Advertising is everywhere, we are constantly being drowned in it, either on our Smartphone, internet, TV, radio, and on about any kind of property that advertising space can be purchased on. Even the end of the gas pump handle, park bench, car bumper and shopping carts are adorned with some kind of advertisement. Remember truth number 9, you are a mess on the inside. You can buy something that will medicate the truth, or cover it up so that people might not see it, but in the end, you’ll probably be less happy and have less money, so don’t buy into the lies.

Lie 6: You have to earn and deserve enjoyment

Many Christians have difficulty enjoying life. Often they are consumed by worrying about earning God’s blessings, or if they are anxious and worry about being Christian enough to justify receiving good things from God. Many Christians live with a perennial cloud over their head, believing that they just can’t be happy until God blesses them. Some Christians even believe they are under some kind of condemnation, and God doesn’t want them to be happy, because of something that they’ve done, or has been done to them.

Truth 10: You are God’s beloved. You are deeply loved, richly gifted, forgiven, highly favored, and abundantly blessed. You are the righteousness of God: when God looks at us, he sees us through Jesus, and we are completely accepted and clothed in Jesus’ righteousness. These are great things, and can’t be purchased or earned. God may bless us more if we obey him, but at the core, we are loved because of who God is. At the end of the day, the things you buy will never satisfy or fulfill you like Jesus will.

Lie 7: All I do is work, I can only enjoy weekends and look forward to retirement

Going to work everyday for many people is hard, how can you endure it, and not have it eat you alive? You might be wondering how to endure and not be that person that walks around with a cloud around your head every day.  This is a real problem for the Christian in the workplace.

People yearn for relief, and an end to it all. They can’t wait until the weekend, vacation, and ultimately retirement, when they don’t have to work. The time away from work is when we can enjoy life, the rest of it is drudgery. The truth be known though, is that we were created for work in the garden, and we will be working in the eternal kingdom. We have programmed our minds to think that work is that thing we do in between having fun. While writing about this lie, I got up to over one thousand words. There’s just not enough space in this context here to provide a satisfying explanation, so I’ll reserve this for the next blog post, but here are a few things to chew on in the meantime:

Truth 11: We can have joy while enduring. This is perhaps one of the hardest things for us to grasp and learn how to do. Work might not be satisfying, fulfilling and embracing our passions, but we can be joyful in our work. The keys to doing this are: learning to be content during good times and bad. Being thankful for whatever you have, knowing that your blessings are rich in Jesus. It helps me to remember that even minimum standards of living in America are 95% better than the rest of the world. The following Bible verse is a great one to chew on, maybe read before heading off to work everyday.

Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men; knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve (Col 3:23-24).


Does everyone have a sense of entitlement?

by Kent on February 16, 2015

Several discussions I had recently, are leading me to believe that we all have some sense of entitlement, whether we have a lot or not

This week’s money and stewardship devotional from the four Gospels* is from Luke. In Luke 22:35-38, the apostles were looking at their possessions and then looking back to Jesus, wondering if they had all they needed?

Then Jesus asked them, “When I sent you without purse, bag or sandals,did you lack anything?” “Nothing,” they answered. He said to them, “But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don’t have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one. It is written: ‘And he was numbered with the transgressors’; and I tell you that this must be fulfilled in me. Yes, what is written about me is reaching its fulfillment.” The disciples said, “See, Lord, here are two swords.” “That’s enough!” he replied.

Chapter 22 of Luke details The Last Supper. It was a poignant time of ministry from Jesus as he washed dirty apostle feet (John 13). He ministered, taught, conversed and they ate together as brothers. I’m sure they shared laughs, and they said dumb things too, like most of us do during social interactions (Luke 22:24). Jesus gave them their first communion and prophesied.  He prepared and warned them by telling them things to come. Since many of them left occupations that put food on their tables, Jesus asked them if they lacked anything during the first time they were separated from him, when the apostles were sent out on their first missionary journey (Luke 9). They answered “Nothing!” This should cause us to pause, to reflect on this scene described in scripture.

Did they lack anything?

Jesus told them he was getting ready to go away from them, and in their hearts they wondered about their own physical needs, didn’t they?  Why else would Jesus have asked them if they: “lacked anything”? he knew what they were thinking. Jesus often did this; he answered questions people around him had on their minds, like he knew. He knows what’s on our mind, doesn’t he?

Examples of entitlement?

The term entitlement has become more popular and is used to describe what was once called welfare benefits. On a national basis, they comprise 70% of our Federal budget for things like Social Security Disability, retirement, unemployment, Medicare and Medicaid, food stamps, Section 8 housing and Title 20 daycare. Some people are judged for their entitlement dependence.

What got me thinking about this was something that happened several months ago. During a small group discussion following watching a Dave Ramsey Financial Peace University class video. The members were describing various ways they’ve saved money on groceries. Several commented that they shop at Aldis. For those of you that don’t know, Aldi’s is not an upscale market. It’s a great place to save money on groceries, but it’s not as nice place to shop as regular mainline chains are. The people shopping there don’t look wealthy at all. However, one lady in the circle said, she’s been to college and has a good job, and shouldn’t have to shop a Aldi’s anymore.

The other day I was having a conversation with a young person with a modest income at church. He said that he only drinks beer that’s made in craft breweries. Those golden drops cost 8 – 16 dollars for a six-pack. He said he can’t even think about drinking down market brews like Budweiser. He said young people today have refined tastes for nicer things. This makes me proud of my relative who is happy with Pabst Blue Ribbon.

A few days after that, I was talking to an older man about some of these discussions, about how I was starting to believe that we’ve all developed some general sense of entitlement. He agreed that we all have some sense of entitlement, admitting that for things like housing, clothes, vehicles, and food, his standards are much higher now, compared to when he was younger and made less money. He said he felt entitled to certain things in his higher station of life. Yet, he confessed since he has worked hard he feels he is entitled to more. He’s re-thinking his point of view, since his belief that he is a temporary manager of God’s money and possessions, shouldn’t necessarily compute to more stuff for himself.

It’s a proven fact for most people, as we move along in our careers and make more money, our standard of living rises to the next level along with our incomes. People tell me that they feel they’re entitled to live a certain way because they’ve worked hard, come from a certain family, or graduated from college. In the world’s economy, this is totally acceptable, but to Jesus, is it?

The more we make, the higher our lifestyle floats up and we spend more money. I’ve always joked that we should be careful not to buy expensive wine, because your tongue will get used to better quality, and the $3.99 bottom shelf variety will leave you feeling discontented. Another common example is our automobiles. If you get used to driving nice cars with a smooth ride with rapid acceleration (for us car-guys) going down-market is almost painfully impossible.

There is a downside to upscale living. The more we spend, the less we save and invest, so we are much more susceptible to financial difficulty if we lose our job or face some other financial difficulty. Even worse, the more the average person spends on themselves, the less we have to be generous in tithing and giving to other charitable organizations.

Do you have enough?

The disciples showed Jesus their belongings, and he said with force; “That’s Enough!” (Luke 22:24). It is a very good question to ask Jesus. In your mind or on a piece of paper list the things you own, and what you spend for fun and leisure; then ask him if that is that enough?  Jesus should I live this lifestyle, or step up a level? Do you want me to scale down?

What God said to Baruch

What God provides is sufficient, he knows our needs and he knows our challenges. God has lately been reminding me of Baruch, Jeremiah’s secretary. It appears God warned Baruch “But as for you, you keep seeking great things for yourself. Do not keep on seeking.” We don’t know what they were, perhaps prominence, selfish ambitions, or material prosperity, but Baruch was “worn out with groaning and {could} find no rest.” Jeremiah 45:2-5.

*This Monday blog post is a chronological walk through of the four gospels, examining any verse that involves money and stewardship.  This is the sixty-third post in this series.

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Christmas and Stewardship

by Kent on December 17, 2014

A quick blog article to help you spend less and focus on Jesus this Christmas

Christmas is a wonderful time of year and it’s only a week away. During this busy season of parties, shopping and eating, it’s easy to throw the budget out of the window. If you are like me at all, once you have made one mistake, then it’s the start of a multiple bad decisions. This especially applies to my eating. For example, I could really be closely watching what I eat, since my pant’s waist is getting pretty tight. However, during the Holidays, I’m surrounded by rich food wherever I go, it seems. So, just this once I’ll toss a goodie in my mouth. “Oh well, why not another one, the first one didn’t hurt, another one can’t matter that much,” and then on it goes, into a steady stream of sweets and rich food, that I don’t refuse myself to eat.

The same thing happens to me when I spend during the Holidays. More gifts, more eating out, I struggle with appearing generous or cheap. If I overspend a little here and there, then the floodgates open wider, and before you know it, I’ve totally blown my budget. What I do to avoid this is to discuss with my wife a budget amount we can afford for gifts, entertaining, fast food in-between busy activities, and any extras we want to gift ourself. We then purchase online to avoid impulse purchases, or go to the store with our lists, and buy only what is on them.

A scripture comes to mind that can give us strength to not over eat or over spend:

You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures. James 4:2-3

A friend of mine in her 70′s who has been serving Christ her whole life in signficant ways, reminded me of this verse. She said it was taught to her by her parent missionary organization early on, to help them manage a modest income. She said the verses’ key points were that our purchases can sometimes be categorized:  our desires to possess, indulge and impress. Modern western society celebrates these things, but God wants us to “live by faith, not by sight.” (Corinthians 5:7). Stewardship is a life based on Jesus, not many of the things we fill life with.

The Holidays can be enjoyed in the richness he blesses us, and giving him rich gratitude of that. Celebrating Jesus’ joy and hope, the wonderful people he has brought into your life, during this time of the extra abundance of his presence, is God’s plan. The verse from James mentioned we quarrel and fight, easy to do at family gatherings, but this year give the gift of joy and hope, faith and forgiveness to those surrounding you. Be generous in your giving of material gifts, celebrate with great food and parties, but stay within your boundaries. Spread the love he places in your heart, unconditionally to those around you, to friends, family, lonely, the poor and immigrant. Get strength from Jesus to resist the desires to possess, indulge and impress, but to bless instead.


Weekend Blog Roll: Informative Articles from Other Sites

November 21, 2014

This weekend’s blog roll has links to 11 helpful articles covering everything from retirement and financial planning to eyeglass savings and mutual fund guru David Snowball. On my other blog at eFinPLAN I posted the following articles within the past month. Typically on JesusMoney I post articles about God and Money, but at eFinPLAN I write about […]

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Quote on Living Within Your Means

November 10, 2014

“There is no dignity quite so impressive and no independence quite so important as living within your means. “ This is quite an unusual quote. Calvin Coolidge our 30th President, served in office right up until 1929 on the eve of the Great Depression, was quoted as saying this. Wow, to hold living within one’s […]

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Jesus Talking About Your Greatness

November 3, 2014

Do You Want to Be Great and Have Financial Greatness? This week’s money and stewardship devotional from the four Gospels* is from Luke. In Luke 22:24-30, Jesus responded to the dispute that some of the apostles were having. They were arguing about who would be the greatest? A dispute also arose among them as to which […]

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Giving Thanks is at the Core of Stewardship

October 13, 2014

What does it mean to ‘Give Thanks’ and why is this important to stewardship? This week’s money and stewardship devotional from the four Gospels* is from Luke. In Luke 22:14 – 19, when  Jesus served the wine and broke the bread, and gave thanks. When the hour came, Jesus and his apostles reclined at the table. […]

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A Story of Life Changes, Faith, Risk, Tithe and Blessings

October 7, 2014

Life can be interesting for many of us. It seems as if only a small percentage of people work for the same company until retirement, and then are set financially for the last chapter of life, living on a good company sponsored retirement plan. While many others of us, our careers and life is more like […]

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God Chooses to Bless Others Through You and Me

October 1, 2014

A few months ago, I asked people to email me testimonies about how God blessed them, or blessed others through them. Here is a great story, of something that happened during just a normal activity of life. I have been so blessed by God throughout my whole life, it  would take a book to tell […]

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Testimony of Financial Change Following D. Ramsey Class

August 26, 2014

For today’s Tuesday testimony, a Financial Peace University attendee’s demonstration of the change it brought to her. It sounds to me like she was liberated from money focus, and now wants to bless others. Heart and financial change working together.  The next Dave Ramsey Financial Peace University Class starts September 9th at Vineyard Columbus, and […]

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Jesus, Temporary Stuff & Heart Matters

August 25, 2014

This week’s money and stewardship devotional from the four Gospels* is from Luke. In Luke 21:5-6, Jesus is responding to the disciples asking if he was impressed with the church building that was constructed. I’ll never forget the first time we walked into the brand new building the church constructed in 1991. Moving out of an […]

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Gifts from Jesus Come in Many Forms

August 19, 2014

I love this Tuesday testimony, because it simply communicates Jesus’ heart of generosity and his intimate knowledge of us. He loves us, and knows and loves what makes us tick. Likewise, Jesus shows himself in many form to us throughout every day, and often it’s through the generosity of others. A large part of my […]

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Jesus and the Famous Generous Poor Widow

August 18, 2014

This week’s money and stewardship devotional from the four Gospels* is from Luke. In Luke 20:46-47 and 21:1 – 4, Jesus makes the central point of two teachings, about poor widows. Beware of the teachers of the law. They like to walk around in flowing robes and love to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces and […]

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Two Tuesday Testimonies About God Providing Financially

August 12, 2014

Today, I have two testimonies about God providing. The first one comes from someone I have been doing some budget counseling with, and they are wonderful sweet people. I’m so very proud of their hard work and commitment. The husband just told me about the blessing they recently received. This is what I recall from […]

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Taking a Financial Class Was the Beginning of Transformational Faith

August 5, 2014

Tuesday Testimony, about how a great guy’s financial and faith life was totally transformed after he took Dave Ramsey Financial University at Vineyard Columbus. Our next class starts the 2nd Tuesday in September. For more information and sign-up click here. Here is my family’s story of great generosity from other believers through God’s power: After […]

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Jesus Loves Business, But…

August 4, 2014

This week’s money and stewardship devotional from the four Gospels* is from Luke. In Luke 19:45-46. We see Jesus rebuking people selling in church, yet in Luke 19:12-27, Jesus tells a parable that seems to have blessed the combination of responsible investing, hard work and stewardship- all elements of business ownership. I think Jesus loves capitalistic, entrepreneurs; […]

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Testimony About Giving, Faith and Worship

July 29, 2014

Putting money is the offering plate can be a difficult thing for many people to do. It isn’t easy to part with money, when we have so many needs and wants in life. Giving regularly often begins with letting go and trusting. Even if our hearts aren’t totally into it, God then often blesses us, […]

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Great Example of How We Are Blessed To Be a Blessing

July 22, 2014

Tuesday Testimony, from a friend. It is an amazing story about how he was blessed through the generosity of others and classes he took. God kept his life together, even though he feared it would fall apart, not only was his home blessed, he was able to bless people around the world, and the people […]

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The Joy of Hard Work, Luke 19:12-27

July 21, 2014

This week’s money and stewardship devotional from the four Gospels* is from Luke 19:12-27, is about hard work. Modern society’s view of work, doesn’t always agree with scripture, so let’s see what the Bible has to say. He said: “A man of noble birth went to a distant country to have himself appointed king and then to […]

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Testi-money About God’s Generosity

July 16, 2014

A good friend of mine, sent me an email recently about giving, that I thought might be encouraging.  He has lived good stewardship, and gotten back on his feet financially, after deeply digging out from a failed business venture. “I was looking at our tithe last year and it was indeed 10% but given our […]

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