The Great Recovery is Coming!

The Great Recovery is a grassroots movement spread by people who are tired of looking to Washington for answers. The truth is that the government can’t fix this economy. It’ll be restored one family at a time, as each of us takes a stand to return to God and grandma’s way of handling money.

Together, we’ll bring this country back on track—one family, one church, one community at a time.

Join Dave Ramsey on Thursday,  July 21, as he addresses leaders from around the nation! You can register to watch Dave’s free message at http://www.thegreatrecovery.com/.

Thursday is for Thinking

January is a great month to reflect on the previous year and plan for the coming year. Things are usually a little less hectic and the weather tends to keep us inside more. What a better time to think about what you want to accomplish this year. Last Thursday we looked at the skill you wanted to learn or improve on. This week’s question is more about others than yourself.

Today’s question: To what need or ministry will you volunteer to help this year? Will you try to give more time and money this year?

There would be two for my wife and I: the Mission of Hope and the Ronald McDonald House. Both of these organizations strive to help families and children in need. The Mission of Hope concentrates on serving people throughout poverty stricken rural areas of Appalachia in Southeast Kentucky and Northeast Tennessee. The Ronald McDonald House of Knoxville provides a “home away from home” for families of seriously ill children receiving treatment at nearby hospitals. These and many other organizations work hard to meet the needs of those who need it most.

Alright, it is your turn. Will you meet a need this year?

The Adverse Spiritual Impact of Debt

The Adverse Spiritual Impact of Debt
by John Deal

According to Romans 13:8 we are to owe no man anything but to love him. How can debt be pleasing to God when it causes us to owe a man something other than to love him, and the lender to be our master rather than Jesus? We cannot, but He still loves us regardless.

Jesus came to set us free. He does not want us to be in bondage to other men, for then we will not be free to serve Him. It is our relationship with the world, sinful impatience and covetousness that cause us to deny our God ordained heritage of freedom, and make the lender our master in the place of Jesus. We cannot serve both God and man (Matthew 6:24).

In the process of deciding whether or not to go into debt, to borrow or not to borrow is not the question; rather, the real question is: whom do I want to choose as my master, Jesus or the lender? Why?

1. Because the lender is our master(Proverbs 22:7); and

2. We can serve only one master, Jesus or the lender(Matthew 6:24).

So, the adverse spiritual impact of choosing to borrow is to choose the lender as our master rather than Jesus Christ. Now this does not mean that Jesus is not our Savior if we borrow. We could borrow all of the money in the world, and it would not divest Jesus of being our Savior.

We must recognize that Jesus wants to take us far beyond just being our Savior. He wants us to make Him, and not the lender, our Master. If we do not think the lender is our master, just miss a payment or two!

Insight to Freedom was founded in 1983 by John and Donna Deal.  This ministry was born out of John and Donna’s walk out of $6,500,000 indebtedness from 1974-1986.  For more information, visit www.insighttofreedom.com.

Are You Worried about the Jones’?

We can spend countless hours reading books, websites, and using other financial resources in our pursuit of making wise financial decisions. When it comes to our finances, there are a lot of factors to consider, and at the end of each day we want to be able to say that we saved enough, gave the right amount, had the right insurance coverage, did not pay too much in taxes, etc. Unfortunately, in the midst of the often complex decision-making process, we can veer away from focusing on wise stewardship, and consciously or subconsciously let how others might view us creep in. Our personal financial decisions (and satisfaction with them) become a product of a tendency to compare ourselves to the proverbial Jones’.

You may think, I’m a pretty down-to-earth person. I don’t think I’m buying things just to impress the neighbors. But this problem hits us on many levels – and sometimes in ways we don’t expect. Let me share a struggle a friend of mine recently approached me with.

His job with a large international organization required meeting with affluent executives and others in positions of influence and power. The problem was that he would occasionally need to drive them to and from the airport and to various functions. His late model Honda Accord, though cost effective, was not necessarily the best means of transportation for his position. Ironically, my friend could afford a luxury car (without impeding on other financial goals such as giving), however he was fearful of what others would say and how this would impact his reputation at his church. He was known for promoting wise stewardship, so how could he drive a luxury automobile?

We discussed this issue at length and my challenge to him was twofold. First, any spending decision should be weighed in light of its impact on other financial areas, but more importantly it should address the question, “What does God want me to do with His money?” Second, I asked my friend to consider how much he was allowing the opinion of others to affect his decision on what to drive. How would he feel about the decision if he went to a church where everyone drove luxury cars? Or, better yet, if he attended a much less affluent church where even their family’s minivan would be seen as a luxury car?

After pondering these two questions, he realized he was allowing others and their possible opinions of him to direct his decision-making rather than God’s viewpoint on his decision. He was subconsciously comparing himself to the Jones’ – in his case it was not about keeping up with them but about not getting ahead of them!

Not unlike my friend, many of us “feel good” about our stewardship as long as we fit the mold of those around us. However, we must never let the opinions of others take priority over God’s perspective of our financial decisions. Ask yourself, “What does God want me to do with His money?” He will answer your spending questions.

My friend did make the decision to purchase the “luxury” car and did so joyfully — not out of guilt — after seeking God’s guidance and developing a proper perspective. That perspective included his employer’s expectation that my friend’s compensation was generous enough to provide a car for business use when necessary.

Who is guiding your financial decision making – the Jones’ or the One who owns it all?

Article courtesy of Crosswalk.com

Links of Interest: Dave Ramsey, Crown Financial Ministries, Ronald Blue & Co.