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Scriptures on Lending

Scriptures on Lending

Matthew 5:42
Give to him who asks of you, and do not turn away from him who wants to borrow from you.

Deuteronomy 15:8
But you shall freely open your hand to him, and shall generously lend him sufficient for his need in whatever he lacks.

Psalm 15:5
He does not put out his money at interest, nor does he take a bribe against the innocent. He who does these things will never be shaken.

Luke 6:35
But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men.

Proverbs 3:27-28
Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to do it. Do not say to your neighbor, “Go, and come back, and tomorrow I will give it,” when you have it with you.

Exodus 22:25
If you lend money to My people, to the poor among you, you are not to act as a creditor to him; you shall not charge him interest.

Leviticus 25:35-37
Now in case a countryman of yours becomes poor and his means with regard to you falter, then you are to sustain him, like a stranger or a sojourner, that he may live with you. Do not take usurious interest from him, but revere your God, that your countryman may live with you. You shall not give him your silver at interest, nor your food for gain.

Psalm 37:26
All day long he is gracious and lends, and his descendants are a blessing.

Deuteronomy 23:19-20
You shall not charge interest to your countrymen: interest on money, food, or anything that may be loaned at interest. You may charge interest to a foreigner, but to your countrymen you shall not charge interest, so that the Lord your God may bless you in all that you undertake in the land which you are about to enter to possess.

Proverbs 28:8
He who increases his wealth by interest and usury gathers it for him who is gracious to the poor.

Deuteronomy 24:10
When you make your neighbor a loan of any sort, you shall not enter his house to take his pledge.

Psalm 37:26
All day long he is gracious and lends, and his descendants are a blessing.

Nehemiah 5: 1-13
Now there was a great outcry of the people and of their wives against their Jewish brothers. For there were those who said, “We, our sons and our daughters are many; therefore let us get grain that we may eat and live.” There were others who said, “We are mortgaging our fields, our vineyards and our houses that we might get grain because of the famine.” Also there were those who said, “We have borrowed money for the king’s tax on our fields and our vineyards. Now our flesh is like the flesh of our brothers, our children like their children. Yet behold, we are forcing our sons and our daughters to be slaves, and some of our daughters are forced into bondage already, and we are helpless because our fields and vineyards belong to others.” Then I was very angry when I had heard their outcry and these words. I consulted with myself and contended with the nobles and the rulers and said to them, You are exacting usury, each from his brother!” Therefore, I held a great assembly against them. I said to them, “We according to our ability have redeemed our Jewish brothers who were sold to the nations; now would you even sell your brothers that they may be sold to us?” Then they were silent and could not find a word to say. Again I said, “The thing which you are doing is not good; should you not walk in the fear of our God because of the reproach of the nations, our enemies? And likewise I, my brothers and my servants are lending them money and grain. Please, let us leave off this usury. Please, give back to them this very day their fields, their vineyards, their olive groves and their houses, also the hundredth part of the money and of the grain, the new wine and the oil that you are exacting from them.” Then they said, “We will give it back and will require nothing from them; we will do exactly as you say.” So I called the priests and took an oath from them that they would do according to this promise. I also shook out the front of my garment and said, “Thus may God shake out every man from his house and from his possessions who does not fulfill this promise; even thus may he be shaken out and emptied.” And all the assembly said, “Amen!” And they praised the LORD. Then the people did according to this promise.

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Seven Books on Christian Leadership

Seven Books on Christian Leadership

Below is a list of seven books on leadership from a Christian perspective. The book “Lead like Jesus” is on my wishlist on Amazon.com.

Christianity needs powerful voices in today’s world, voices from strong leaders guided by God and devoted to Christ. Spiritual Leadership will encourage you to place your talents and powers at His disposal so you can become a leader used for His glory.

With simple yet profound principles from the life of Jesus and dozens of stories and leadership examples from his life experiences, veteran author, speaker and leadership expert Ken Blanchard guides readers through the process of discovering how to lead like Jesus. He describes it as the process of aligning two internal domains-the heart and the head-and two external domains-the hands and the habits. These four dimensions of leadership form the outline for this very practical and transformational book.

Bruce E. Winston, Ph.D., School of Global Leadership & Entrepreneurship (2002)
This is a rediscovery of Jesus’ principles of leadership through a study of the Sermon on the Mount showing the values-base of leadership as presented in the Beatitudes and the application to today’s organizations. Winston also develops the biblical base for leadership as he takes the reader through the Fruit of the Spirit as presented in Galatians 5. Finally he presents a working profile of a leader as he analyzes the Romans 12 motivational/spiritual gifts.

Best-selling author of The One-Minute Manager, Ken Blanchard, along with Phil Hodges, reveals the meaning of servant leadership modeled after Jesus Christ. Based on Blanchard’s and Hodges’ Faith Walk seminars, business leaders come to realize that teams are more powerful than the sum of the individuals and to recognize their people as appreciating assets.

Servant Leader summarizes the Four Dimensions of Leadership:
# the head (leadership assumptions and methods)
# the hands (application and leadership behavior)
# the heart (edging God out)
# the habits (solitude, prayer, study of scripture, unconditional love, etc.)

The idea that a happy workforce is an effective one isn’t new. However, organizational consultant Manz (Business Without Bosses, Wiley, 1993) brings a fresh approach to the concept, showing how the deeper vision of the gospels can teach business leaders to emphasize commitment over a bottom-line agenda by recognizing the value and contribution of every individual. Applying lessons from Jesus’ parables to the corporation, Manz illustrates the effectiveness of “mustard-seed power”: that truthfulness, humility, compassion, forgiveness, and love are the farthest-reaching approaches a leader can use to inspire others to contribute their best work efforts. Written for a broad audience, this is suitable for both public and corporate libraries.

The business world is rife today with books about leadership styles (e.g., Covey’s Seven Habits of Highly Effective People). In their book, Briner and Pritchard hold up the example of Jesus as a leader worth emulating by modern leaders. The book is composed of 51 short reflections on verses of the Gospel of Mark that demonstrate the principles of Jesus’s style of leadership. Each chapter opens with a long passage from Mark and then focuses on one key verse from that longer passage. The remainder of each chapter is a mini-devotion on the particular leadership quality illustrated by each passage. For example, Briner and Pritchard narrate the story of Billy Graham and the temptations he has faced as a great modern leader as an illustration of Mark’s story of the temptation of Jesus by Satan. Some of the other principles of leadership that emerge from this book include the ability to delegate, the practice of strategic withdrawal and the practice of loyalty and honesty. Because of its choppy style and its vignette-like structure, the book ultimately lacks any coherent vision of leadership style.

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Scriptures on Investing

Scriptures on Investing

Proverbs 24:27

Prepare your work outside and make it ready for yourself in the field; afterwards, then, build your house.

Proverbs 28:20

A faithful man will abound with blessings, but he who makes haste to be rich will not go unpunished.

Ecclesiastes 11:2

Give a portion to seven, and also the eight; for thou knowest not what evil shall be upon the earth.

Proverbs 15:22

Without consultation, plans are frustrated, but with many counselors they succeed.

Matthew 25:14-26

“For it is just like a man about to go on a journey, who called his own slaves and entrusted his possessions to them. To one he gave five talents, to another, two, and to another, one, each according to his own ability; and he went on his journey. Immediately the one who had received the five talents went and traded with them, and gained five more talents. In the same manner the one who had received the two talents gained two more. But he who received the one talent went away, and dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money. Now after a long time the master of those slaves came and settled accounts with them. The one who had received the five talents came up and brought five more talents, saying, ‘Master, you entrusted five talents to me. See, I have gained five more talents.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful slave You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.’ Also the one who had received the two talents came up and said, ‘Master, you entrusted two talents to me. See, I have gained two more talents.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful slave. You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.’ And the one also who had received the one talent came up and said, ‘Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow and gathering where you scattered no seed. And I was afraid, and went away and hid your talent in the ground. See, you have what is yours.’ But his master answered and said to him, ‘You wicked, lazy slave, you knew that I reap where I did not sow and gather where I scattered no seed. ‘Then you ought to have put my money in the bank, and on my arrival I would have received my money back with interest. Therefore take away the talent from him, and give it to the one who has the ten talents.’

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21-Day Fast from Complaining

21-Day Fast from Complaining

Do you ever wake up in the morning and regret that you don’t have one more hour of sleep? You get up and prepare for a day at work and lament that you haven’t gotten promoted after three years of dedicated diligence and an impeccable attendance record. You frown at seeing your superiors because you loathe his/her direction. And as you sit in morning rush hour contemplating on how dissatisfied you have become with your life, you become outraged with how slow the traffic is moving. This becomes the typical start of your Monday morning, a routine that has become so customary to you that you’ve grown to see nothing wrong with it.

You’ve accepted pity and grief as suitable emotions. Faith and gratefulness suffer lack. In the book of Job, a servant speaks of worrisome nights and days swifter than a weaver’s shuttle. He speaks of living without hope. He complains of Christ not being by his side and how his own life has become a burden to him. He speaks of choosing death over life. “Therefore I will not refrain my mouth; I will speak in the anguish of my spirit; I will complain in the bitterness of my soul.”(Job 7:11). He begins to question “And why dost thou not pardon my transgression, and take away mine iniquity? For now shall I sleep in the dust; and thou shalt seek me in the morning, but I shall not be. (Job 7:21). His view of life was one of great displeasure and criticism. The gift of life that God has given him is being disregarded. It is no longer considered a gift, but a burden. This is not any different than the way you may feel about your job, your home and finances, your relationship, or even your confidence about your personality or appearance.

What we as Christians must remember is that life is not meant to be easy. Your success is measured by your faith, your dedication to Christ, and your ability to share your testimony amongst others. A synopsis of what I just said would be to simply stop complaining. Stop expressing grief, discomfort, and discontent for all that your life has become or all that you possess in life.

It’s time to test your ability to thank God for what you have, and pray for more. “A faithful man shall abound with blessing; but he that maketh haste to be rich shall not be innocent.”(Proverbs 28:20), it goes on to say; “He that hasteth to be rich hath an evil eye, and considereth not that poverty shall come upon him.”(Proverbs 28:22). Testing your ability, tests your faithfulness to Jesus Christ. So I recommend starting your spiritual growth with him by initializing a spiritual fast.

Fasting can be defined as an act of denying something physical to glorify God and go deeper with him in the spirit. Biblically, fasting is abstaining from food, drink, sleep, or sex to focus on a period of spiritual growth. You choose to deny something of the flesh to glorify God, enhance your spirit, and go deeper in your prayer life. In this case, instead of abstaining from something physical, abstain from something mental to gain a little more self control.

Will Bowen, a Kansas City minister, challenged his congregation to go 21 days without complaining. I would like to challenge you the same. Thus, I call “The 21-day Fast from Complaining.” He challenged them to place a purple bracelet on their right arm, and every time they complained, they were to move the bracelet to the left arm and start from day zero.

Now lets define complain. According to dictionary.com, it means to express dissatisfaction, pain, uneasiness, censure, resentment, or grief; find fault. So basically, expressing negativity. Your goal is to refrain from expressing negativity. Jesus endured the most brutal death known to man for you. As they beat him over and over again with whips, place a thorned crown on his head, and nailed his hands and feet to the cross, he had your best interest in mind and he did not complain once. He knew no sin, spoke of no negativity, and suffered for your sins. So think before you complain. Tell yourself, if Jesus could make it through that tragedy, then I can make it through this tribulation. Gain a deeper relationship with him by renouncing from discontent and showing gratitude for his sacrifice.

So then on Monday morning, when your alarm goes off, jump out of bed and thank him for another day. And as you think about your well overdue promotion, you remember three years ago when you were unemployed and desperately seeking employment. You thank god for your job and pray for a promotion. And as you sit in morning rush hour, you thank God for giving you a vehicle to get back and forth to work.
Give God the glory, show appreciation for the gift that God gives you every morning, that gift is another day. Initiate your “21-day Fast from Complaining” to build a compelling relationship with God “…..Worthy is the lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing. (Revelation 5:12)

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Scriptures for Entrepreneurs

Leviticus 19:13
You shall not oppress your neighbor, nor rob him. The wages of a hired man are not to remain with you all night until morning.

Deuteronomy 25:13-15
You shall not have in your bag differing weights, a large and a small. You shall not have in your house
differing measures, a large and a small. You shall have a full and just weight; you shall have a full and just measure, that your days may be prolonged in the land which the LORD your God gives you.

Job 31:13-14
“If I have despised the claim of my male or female slaves when they filed a complaint against me, what then could I do when God arises? And when He calls me to account, what will I answer Him?”

Psalm 112:5
It is well with the man who deals generously and lends, who conducts his affairs with justice.

Proverbs 10:4
Poor is he who works with a negligent hand, but the hand of the diligent makes rich.

Proverbs 11:1
A false balance is an abomination to the LORD, but a just weight is His delight.

Proverbs 13:4
The soul of the sluggard craves and gets nothing, but the soul of the diligent is made fat.

Proverbs 13:11
Wealth obtained by fraud dwindles, but the one who gathers by labor increases it.

Proverbs 16:8
Better is a little with righteousness than great income with injustice.

Proverbs 22:16
He who oppresses the poor to make more for himself or who gives to the rich, will only come to poverty.

Jeremiah 22:13
Woe to him who builds his house without righteousness and his upper rooms without justice, who uses his neighbor’s services without pay and does not give him his wages.

Malachi 3:5
Then I will draw near to you for judgment; and I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers and against the adulterers and against those who swear falsely, and against those who oppress the wage earner in his wages, the widow and the orphan, and those who turn aside the alien and do not fear Me, says the LORD of hosts.

Luke 16:10
He who is faithful in a very little thing is faithful also in much; and he who is unrighteous in a very little thing is unrighteous also in much.

Ephesians 6:9
And masters, do the same things to them, and give up threatening, knowing that both their Master and yours is in heaven, and there is no partiality with Him.

Colossians 4:1
Masters, grant to your slaves justice and fairness, knowing that you too have a Master in heaven.

1 Timothy 5:18
For the Scripture says, “Do not muzzle the ox while it is treading out the grain,” and “The worker deserves his wages.”

James 5:4
Look! The wages you failed to pay the workmen who mowed your fields are crying out against you. The cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord Almighty.

Are there any bible verses that I missed? If we did, add them in the comment section!

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The Incredible You – You Are Closer Than You Think

The Incredible You – You Are Closer Than You Think

Simply put, being Incredible is the realization that you were born that way. So many of us allow life to beat us down and prevent us from walking into our birthright. Sound familiar?

Do you want to live an Incredible Life? Do you desire to be considered Incredible in your own right? Are you ready for this, it will be mind blowing….The only thing separating you from the Incredible You is yourself. Your mindset is the key to unlocking passion, abundance, confidence and expectation in your life. Get excited, you are only a step away from living a PACE life.

Being Incredible has absolutely nothing to do with what others think of you, being Incredible is about self-esteem, self-worth and self-love. Do you believe that you possess the keys to an Incredible life? I believe you do!

When I was twenty-five years old, the bottom fell out of my life. I felt like I had lost everything because I allowed a man to define my worth. When the dust settled and I began to pick up the pieces of my shattered existence, I realized that I already possessed everything I needed to turn my thought process and mindset around. I was the master of my mind and mediocrity was removed from my vocabulary. Because today, I know that I am living an Incredible Life, I was able to finally write a book about that chapter in my life. If You Understood My Past, You Would Understand My Praise chronicles that life’s chapter. But if you understood my past, you would understand why today, helping others define their Incredibleness is so important to me.

What changed? Something simple, I started to believe in myself and I developed a personal relationship with the Lord, giving myself permission to be my best and march to the beat of my own drum. I forgave myself for the past, those wrongs suffered me as well as those wrongs I did to others out of anger, rage or sheer discontentment. I began to dream and think about what I wanted to do with my life whereas before, I wanted what others wanted for me. My passion was born out of my brokenness and I desired to change my outlook so that I could later help others to do the same.

As I underwent this transformation, I stumbled upon these self-determined keys to an Incredible life. I now desire to share them with the world. The keys are simple and indicated below. Stay tuned for my upcoming book, which will highlight these keys, expand upon them with supporting biblical text and offer solutions to make the key changes and mind shifts necessary to walk into your Incredibleness.

These keys will lead you to unleashing the Incredible You, a you bursting with passion, abundance, confidence and expectation:

1. Trust that God has your best interest at heart.
2. Have a heart that is ready to serve others.
3. Experience life through eyes of faith.
4. In all things, be grateful. An attitude of gratitude fills your cup.
5. Never give up on yourself no matter what others may say.
6. Create a life where everything is in proper balance and perspective.
7. Release yourself from the issues, hurts and struggles of your past.
8. Expect God’s unmerited favor in your life.
9. Decide that vision is your key to victory.
10. Increase your self-image; you are who you say you are.
11. Be who you were created to be.
12. Live a life that is pleasing to God.
13. Execute your goals and dreams with enthusiastic expectation.
14. You already possess the keys to Incredible Success, believe it!
15. Offer yourself the opportunity to overcome obstacles and adversity with passion and promise.
16. Unleash God’s promises for an Incredible life!

You can do it, I can help.
Be Incredible!

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PRESS – Persistently Run Expecting Supernatural Success

PRESS – Persistently Run Expecting Supernatural Success

As it is said, the past is a canceled check, you can’t get it back yet so many of us, keep allowing it to keep us from our future. Why?

We are all afraid to unlock that little box that holds our family secrets and issues. All of us. For many years I pretended as if it didn’t exist. But finally I wanted liberation. I was so sick and tired of using my past as an excuse. If I had a nickel for every time I said, “But because of how I was raised, I do things this way.” I would be Oprah rich. The excuses, which are nothing more than the tools that incompetent, people use to keep them bound to the issues that they are defending got old. I realized that it was time to put on a pair of big girl panties and deal with my past.

After all, you cannot conquer what you refuse to confront. If you don’t deal with it, it lingers and festers. It starts to stink and when you have an odor, everyone knows. And usually, no one tells you so you just walk around thinking you are cute yet smelling a hot mess! And I don’t have to tell you, that is not cute or productive.

Bondage is not going to get you closer to the Incredible You. You have to free yourself.

We have all had things happen to us in the past. Big deal. It is over. You cannot change the past. In fact, the past is a canceled check. It is no longer worth anything of substance. Why allow it to keep you from getting to where you want to be? There is no good reason why.

It was years ago. Release it and trust that God will ease the pain in your heart. When you hold onto the issues of the past, you are the one who suffers. The one who wronged you is over it, if they are even aware that they hurt you at all. Let it go and walk into your future.

I love what II Timothy 2:21 says, If a man cleanses himself from the latter [the past], he will be an instrument for noble purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work. Need I say more?

Seriously though, when you get past what is behind you, you can be used for good things and be an example for others of the goodness of forward motion and thought can be. Dealing with my past brought me to a place of praise. It was my way of helping others to realize that there is a praise on the other side of your past. Life gets better when you let things go. In fact, life becomes Incredible! Your mind is clear and void of confusion and your heart is whole, absent of anger, contempt or defeat. When your mind is clear and your heart whole, Incredibleness is just around the corner and all you have to do is walk toward it.

When I think about the storms of my life, I get excited because they were all catalysts to my destiny! Had it not been for that betrayal, that abuse, that financial downfall, I would not be the Incredible person that I was born to be. I am able, by the grace of God to be excited about the things that I have been through. The trials and tribulations only made me stronger.

Think about Marvin Sapp’s Never Would Have Made it. He can only sing that song and you and I bob our heads and raise our hands in praise, if we let the past go. Think about it. If you are here and you are alive and healthy, you ought to be praising right now. You have already proved that you can make it through other life trials. So get excited that you will come out of the past stronger, wiser and better. So get excited and let it go.

I have decided to PRESS or to Persistently Run Expecting Supernatural Success. A woman in my church, Sheila, shared her testimony with us and said that she realized that in order to make it through, she had to PRESS and she created this amazing acronym. Sheila is amazing and through this acronym she will bless so many lives.

Pressing is moving forward regardless of what is coming your way. It is important that you press persistently. It means that you have decided that you will not give up. You will keep going no matter what comes your way. Running is about action versus standing still and letting this happen to you; running allows you to be proactive to change and stress. Standing still is the sign of completed work, where as running is about the realization that the work is not yet done but deciding that you will embrace the change and embrace it with a supernatural expectation.

Wow, if you are not empowered now, I don’t know what to tell you. Success will be yours when you decide to take action against the problems, trials and tribulations that come your way.

The Incredible You is just over the horizon from the past hurts, failures and strife that is already over. PRESS toward the future, PRESS toward the Incredible You. Don’t you want to meet the Incredible You?

Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 3:13,14

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You’ve done goal setting before! Kind of…

You’ve done goal setting before! Kind of…

Today is the day you decide to pay off your credit card debt. Or maybe you make your mind up that your passion or hobby could prove to be profitable if you formed a business around it. Perhaps you have an interest in leading a healthier lifestyle. Whatever your aspiration, it is important to set a goal and have a plan of action that accompanies it. The bible says in Proverbs 21:5 (NIV) the plans of the diligent lead to profit as surely as haste leads to poverty.

How many times have you heard that “you have to do something differently in order to get something differently”? I’ve heard it too many times to count, but the relevant point here is that goal setting helps us identify what things we need to do differently in order to make our goals a reality.

So if you have to do something differently (i.e. something unfamiliar), how is it that the title of this article is “You’ve done this before! Kind of…”? Consider the following scenarios:

  • Have you moved to a city or town where you knew absolutely no one?
  • Did you ever take a job without knowing or being proficient in all of the tasks required of you?

If you can recollect any such memory then you, my friend, have done what is necessary to set and achieve a goal. If you moved to a new city, you started chatting with your colleagues, or researching what your new locale had to offer and you stepped out and explored. If you took on a new job with responsibilities you were not completely familiar with, you increased your exposure to resources (ex. Colleagues, articles, Google) that made you comfortable with executing these tasks. My point is that you would not have otherwise done these things, but since becoming acclimated to your new environment or keeping that new job was important, you did a few things differently. You went out of your way and in the end, you made it happen.

So what if you don’t know where to start? Don’t fret. Open your mouth and start asking some questions. You’d be surprised at how many people would be willing to help you achieve your goal (and hold you accountable to it). Importantly, these folks can share their experiences of achieving similar goals. Also, do some research; there is no shortage of publications touting ways to eliminate debt, start a business, be healthy, or do whatever it is that you want to do. Sort through these ideas, and be careful not to “analyze until you’re paralyzed.” Achieving your goal ultimately requires action.

As a die-hard fan of Golden Girls, I can’t help but recall a moment when Dorothy says to Rose “If you take a chance in life, sometimes good things happen, and sometimes bad things happen. But if you don’t take a chance, nothing happens.” Take a chance at succeeding. Set a goal, be realistic about how you will achieve it, and act!


As Christians we walk be faith and not be sight, so at times we’ll have to take that chance in trust in the lord. Peter in the disciples were on the boat crossing the Sea of Galilee and saw Jesus approaching them walking on water. Though they were afraid, Jesus told them to be of good cheer, but Peter wasn’t happy of just that. He took a chance and told Jesus if it is you let me come to you via the ocean. Jesus, but as always our faith falters just as Peter’s did because he took his eyes off of Jesus but as soon as he cried out to Him, He saves us from our troubles. Just keep that in mind when you take that chance in life, keep your eyes on Him and he’ll lead you to victory.

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Two cents regarding your personal budget

Two cents regarding your personal budget

  • BREATHE. Rest assured that you can beat your budget! So many people let their money woes get the best of them, and it negatively affects their decision making. Yet, there are people who remain optimistic (and realistic) and stick to their goals of paying off debt/cutting expenses/increasing income and succeed! You can be that person, too. Just be very clear about what your goals are, remind yourself of these goals every single day, and work towards achieving those goals every single day. It’s no walk in the park, but we have to do something differently to get something differently, and if you’re committed to improving your financial situation, then you will make the difficult decisions necessary to achieving such.

What are your main money concerns?

  1. Is it debt?

i. Who do you owe and how much to each?
ii. What types of debts do you have? (Ex. installment, revolving, medical, utility, other)?
iii. Which debts are most important (ex: most expensive/highest finance charges, closest to your limit (if a revolving debt), due date)
iv. What are the minimum payments for each debt?

  1. Is it unexpected expenses?

i. What types of expenses are these? (ex: car repairs, medical, job related)
ii. How often have these “unexpected” expenses occurred in the past three, six, and nine months? Perhaps it’s time to look at factoring this expense into your budget or making an investment to eliminate maintenance costs (ex: newer car, surgery to keep away from patchwork fixes, etc.)

  • Two ways to “find” this additional money is to increase your income (ex: overtime, part-time job, bartering, yard sale/consignment shop etc.) and cutting back on your expenses (ex: eliminate cable or cut back to basic, don’t pay for what you don’t use, use coupons, shop on sale only, etc.)
  • Track your expenses for at least a month (i.e. write down where every single penny goes). This will give you a bird’s eye view of where your money is going and you’ll be better equipped to make decisions on cutting expenses. For example, if you notice you spend $400 a month on eating out & groceries, you can make decisions to cut back by shopping at food closets, Farmer’s Market, coupons, sale only items, etc. The savings that you reap should go towards your financial goals. Categorizing your expenses is also very helpful (ex: transportation = gas, oil changes, auto insurance, car washes; food= groceries, eating out; bills= rent/mortgage, utilities, phone, cable/Internet; savings= emergency fund, vacation money; etc.)
  • SAVE. SAVE. SAVE. Your money is cheaper than anyone else’s. In case of emergency, or you spot something that you want but isn’t accounted for in your monthly budget, having a little money on the side will allow you to weather the unexpected and/or purchase what you want. Financial planners recommend that we have at least three to six months of our living expenses set aside. A more realistic and immediate goal, however, may be several hundred dollars. To ensure your success with saving, automate it (payroll deposit or automatic transfers after you get paid; you can’t spend what you don’t see).
  • If you consider increasing your income, think about the additional costs of doing so. For example, if you work overtime or get a part-time job, and it requires you to drive a lot (gas/tolls) or increase your child care expenses, would the income you generate exceed the expenses of earning that income? If not, think about other alternatives; if so, go get that money!
  • Stop using credit. If that means cutting up or placing your credit cards in the freezer, do it. The progress you would make paying down your debt would be defeated by the additional purchases you make. So please, stop using credit.
  • Start today: procrastination is a dream killer. Even if you start saving five bucks a week, it’s something! 1 Corinthians 16:2 (NIV) says on the first day of every week, each one of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with his income, saving it up, so that when I come no collections will have to be made.


A little something extra…

I absolutely LOVE www.bankrate.com. They offer great insight on debt management, budgeting, saving, and so on. Check it out!

You might also want to pull your credit report and see if all of the information being reported about you is accurate. Misinformation on reports affects tons of people’s ability to get credit and maintain good credit scores. Visit www.annualcreditreport.com to get a free copy from all three of the credit reporting bureaus.

Lastly, Proverbs 27:12 (NIV) The prudent see dangers and take refuge, but the simple keep going and suffer for it. Simply stating that those who are committed to a budget refusing to take on unnecessary debt are wise, but those who go out and buy, buy, buy knowing that can’t afford are setting themselves up for major financial and emotional suffering.

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Working for Christ

Working for Christ

If someone asks what you do, how do you answer? Normally people give a job title or a brief description of their work. Rarely does anyone answer that they work for Christ, unless perhaps they work in ministry or as a missionary. Consider, however, that each Christian is urged in Ephesians 4:1 to “walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called.” Paul is asking believers to take up a lifestyle that reflects Christ in every respect, including the work that they do.

It’s unfortunate that many Christians view their work life as separate from their spiritual life. During the Reformation of the 16th century, Martin Luther made the case that the shoemaker working at his bench was doing God’s work just as much as the priest in the church. It is by our actions out in the world, particularly on our jobs where we spend so many hours, that Christ is made known to others.

Whatever your chosen occupation, your everyday work can indeed by sacred work. If you provide an honest day’s work for your pay, market a product at a fair price, do a job that improves the lives of others, or just plain insist on treating others honestly and respectfully, then you can consider yourself as working for Christ. In this modern, complex world, jobs unsuitable for Christians do exist. However, most modern career fields are excellent opportunities for doing God’s work.

When you head to work, consider yourself heading off to work for Christ. Your every action and word reflect your divine boss to your co-workers. Even in work environments where open discussion of your faith is unwelcome or against company policy, you still have the opportunity to work for Christ. In fact all your words are worthless, if your actions don’t back them up. Colossians 3:17 reminds us that whatever you do in word or deed, “do all in the name of the Lord Jesus.”

The next time you’re asked what you do, consider answering that you work for Christ as an accountant, a salesman, a nurse, a teacher, a waitress, a student or whatever your current occupation.

(all scripture references taken from the New American Standard Bible)

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