Blog Archives

MARRIAGE, BUSINESS, FAITH & MONEY

THEY ALL MUST GO TOGETHER?

Lets get to it.

There’s no cookie cutter checklist on how to maintain a healthy balance in each of these areas. (Marriage, Business, Faith & Monday.)

But should we strive to grow in each of those areas?  I hope.

I am convicted occasionally of being out of balance in one area more then the other three.  But if we don’t have a boundary or a desire to grow in each area, how will we?

Your will to stay keep up your boundaries is only as strong as your resolve.

At times we will have weeks/months where we have a big project at work and we’ll be allocating more time towards work.  Even when those times come, strive to spend time in the other areas.

If you are enjoying the heck out of your marriage, AWESOME but you’re not spending the amount of time you need to stay in business or meet a sales goal, then you will be jobless.

I challenge you to strive for excellence through being intentional with your time in each area.  Your marriage, business, faith & money.

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A BIGGER SPLIT UP THEN PAYPAL AND eBay?

There’s so many ways to speculate the need for PayPal to spin off from eBay.

Was the spin off influenced by the recent IPO of Alibaba that measured Alibaba’s market value at $231 Billion? (Yes, with a B)

Was the spin off influenced in hopes to sale one of the two entities in the future?

But as much attention that Carl Icahn brought to the story by wanting the company to separate, imagine if that was the attention you received by splitting up with your household or business budget?

Since you (you and your spouse if you’re married) are the CEO of your household, would you fire you if you were/are a business owner and your CFO handled the corporate budget the way you handle the household finances?

When was the last time you and your partner discussed the month ahead?

Discussed what you wanted to allocate funds for this month, quarter, year, etc?

It’s a new month (Love October!) and no better time then now to sit down with your partner and compromise a plan.

If you need a super-duper awesomeness spreadsheet (aka Financial Snapshot) that I have, just let me know.

Regardless of your net worth I encourage you to live intentional.  Strengthen those characteristics that will be passed on to your kids or grand kids.

Steward the resources you’ve been blessed with.  If you can’t be faithful with the small stuff why would you be trusted with greater stuff?

It’s not just about building wealth.  It’s also about applying the resources you’ve been blessed with to what you feel lead or called to do.

If you’re not striving to fulfill a vision or a goal then what is it that you are living for?

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7 OUT OF 10

3 OUT OF 10 HOUSEHOLDS ON YOUR BLOCK SAVE MONTHLY

Unfortunately 7 out of 10 live paycheck to paycheck.

When we think about this case, primarily we think about how this household needs to save to build wealth.  And yes that’s an important characteristic.

But the characteristic that is not being worked out that is most alarming is the characteristic of self-control.

Self-control will always demand our attention.  In all areas of our lives.

But in our household finances or business finances if we lack self-control we are jeopardizing our self as well as our family and/or our businesses.

And for the business owners, the more self-control you have with your household finances you will gain margin in your household.  Which gives you the freedom to lower your overhead rate on your corporate budget in hopes to win more work.

When living paycheck to paycheck it’s not only the wealth you’re missing out on.  Your missing out on strengthening the characteristics to better steward the income we are blessed to have in hopes to use that wealth for a mission God has for your household.

For those of you that don’t live paycheck to paycheck, thank you.  Thank you for making the needed sacrifices.  Thank you for stewarding your time and treasures.

Continue to behave well with your income.

So you can give more, save more, live more.

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EVERYBODY WANTS IT, FEW HAVE IT: MARGIN

Reality is, most everything I know about time management I know from not having enough.

And learning from mistakes I’ve made mismanaging time and that precious resource called time.

One thing I’ve learned is the only way to have margin in our time is to create it.

The same applies if we want margin in our finances.

Our boundaries we create through a tool called a calendar (Or however you record your “to-do’s) are only as strong as our resolve to accomplish what we scheduled to do.  Let me say it again, the boundaries we create are only as strong as our resolve to accomplish what we scheduled to do!

How strong is your resolve?  How much do your priorities matter?

Make space in your calendar to breathe.

Margin isn’t a matter of luck, it’s a matter of self-discipline.

Carve out time for your priorities.  If it’s working long hours to provide, keep up the good race!  But please carve out time for a water break.

Carve out time for your faith.

Carve out time for your family.

Carve out time for your mission.

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DREAMS WITHOUT GOALS ARE JUST DREAMS!

We all have a gift!  Now use it!

It’s not how much we have it’s what you do with what you have.

Watch Denzel Washington speak from the heart to young actors and challenge yourself to use what He has blessed you with!

Use it.

That’s what counts.

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REMEMBER WHEN ESPN WAS JUST HIGHLIGHTS?

I’m confident we can all agree times are changing?  And that can be a great thing!

Somewhere on our timeline we have been in a rough situation and you need a few months or few years to dig out of the hole.  Whether it’s to progress financially, physically, relationally or spiritually.  Changing times can be good or bad.

It’s up to you how you want your attitude to be during today’s “changing times” when ALL you see on ESPN lately is a lot of sports icons being investigated for doing bad stuff, while the NFL is modifying their drug policy.

As a huge sports fan and as a huge fan of fellowship, food, friends, family, football and fun (lots of F words), it’s very easy this awesome time of year to sail the ship off course on a Saturday or Sunday or heck Monday night football or even Thursday night games.

If one way your family gets together is over tailgating and football that’s awesome!  Not saying we should never watch football again.  Just use moderation and don’t let it get in your way.

And some of you sports isn’t your area where you could be tempted to allocate a lot of your time.

Your temptations that could possibly distract you from achieving what you sailed out to do could be something fun like reading.  Obviously reading is good.  Just use moderation and don’t let it get in your way.

Steward your time.  While enjoying life.

Prosper over time.

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PREPARED FOR $100MILL?

What would you do with $100 million?

I know lots of money.  But check out here what the highest paid ever NFL defensive player did.

Do you ever stop and ask yourself, “Am I or my kids prepared to receive a lot of wealth?”

Sure wealth can be more then just money. But regarding money, is your heart and mind grounded enough once you receive a large amount of wealth?

How are you and your household communicating and managing the wealth and the income you have now?

Most of you have been working on a project or projects for a loooooong time. And in the past you wasted a lot of the fruits from that labor.

But see that’s what’s awesome about grace.

You have an opportunity to better steward this new harvest of blessings coming your way.

See when we continue to apply our labor and our skills that we’ve been blessed with inside the marketplace; then we are given opportunities every day to primarily glorify Him and also to prosper!

(The plans of the diligent lead to profit as surely as haste leads to poverty. Proverbs 21:5)

Whether it’s a new contract you have been awarded or you are working on a proposal now. Continue to challenge yourself and/or your business to best steward your time, money and resources.

Don’t ever feel like you have it figured out. Surround yourself around others who will keep you accountable.

I’m not sure how God works. But I wonder if He looks down and is waiting for us to better steward our current situation before He blesses our labor with more fruit?

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Why even give?

Why even give?

Some months are harder then others.

And that’s when the growing begins.

Those that enjoy giving love to add value to others. For you to want to carve out time and give your time to help a friend move is adding value to your friends situation.

When giving your time or talents with a good attitude you are serving and also able to benefit or add value to someone else.

When giving your money to a mission you believe in and a mission that is behaving well with money, you are adding value to their resources.

Adding value is like adding good seed to good soil. But first to give or plant on a regular basis one must be intentional.

And when one is being intentional and gaining margin to give you are also gaining margin in other areas like saving and living.

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KIDS, GRANDKIDS AND MONEY.

When you think of the word spoiled nothing good comes to mind? Especially when it has to do with your food or your family.

If you’re in a position where you can encourage and influence kids then it’s important that you train them up to behave with money.

No don’t train up a bunch of little hitlers running around talking about money all day. Instead include practices on your kid, grandkid or loved one so they can better behave with money. And the inheritance that one day you hope to pass on.

Remember we have a FREE lunch break webinar that starts at 12:00 Central time EVERY Friday! And hear more about practices and concepts you can implement depending on the age of your son, daughter, grandchild, etc.

Give more, Save more, Live more.

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A YEAR’S WAGES AND PERFUME

A year’s worth of wages in perfume. I know, try to process that again, A YEAR’S WORTH OF WAGES IN PERFUME!

But why would someone have that much value tied up in perfume? Why wouldn’t this perfume sold and the money given to the poor? That’s the same question Judas asked.

Who’s Judas? One of the 12 dudes who Jesus called disciples.

When Mary poured out a year’s worth of wages in perfume on Jesus I can understand why Judas would question this behavior. That’s a lot of money in perfume.

But Judas didn’t ask this because he was concerned with serving the poor. Judas was the keeper of the money bag and see Judas also was a thief and would help himself to what was put into the money bag. (John 12:6)

As always Jesus knew what he was up to and said, “Leave her alone. It was intended that she should save this perfume for the day of my burial. YOU WILL ALWAYS HAVE THE POOR AMONG YOU, BUT YOU WILL NOT ALWAYS HAVE ME.”

Not surprising that those behaviors and characteristics Judas had would lead to Judas selling his Master’s life aka big man upstairs aka Jesus for 30 pieces of silver. Sold out for 30 pieces of silver.

Jesus’ response doesn’t teach us to ignore the poor so we can spend money extravagantly. Unfortunately we will always have a culture that has a poor mindset.

But instead to glorify Him in all of our purchases both large and small. Be creative. Enjoy rejoicing.

And maybe think twice before your thoughts begin to be used to speculate on someone’s spending behaviors. If you knew how much they gave you may be speechless.

Give, save, live.

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THE LANDOWNER AND PAYROLL

The verses you are about to read are the red words.

“For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire men to work in his vineyard. He agreed to pay them a denarius for the day and sent them into his vineyard.” Matthew 20:1-2.

“About the eleventh hour he went out and found still others standing around (the marketplace.) He (landowner) asked them, ‘Why have you been standing here all day long doing nothing?’ “Because no one has hired us,” they answered. He (landowner) said to them, “You also go and work in my vineyard.” Matthew 20:6-7

“When evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman, ‘Call the workers and pay them their wages, beginning with the last ones hired and going on to the first.’ Matthew 20:8

The workers (represent us) who worked starting in the eleventh hour were also paid a denarius just as the workers who were laboring in the vineyard all day. This is just one of many many many many parables Jesus used a story to relate the kingdom of heaven to managing, work and money. And in this parable I believe He is telling us/workers how much grace and mercy our owner (Jesus) has.

Whether it’s the dude criminal who repented as he was dying (Luke 23:40-43) or one who has served Jesus for many years (the workers who worked all day); not one of us should feel more superior because they have spent more time with Christ. And to new believers as reassurance of God’s grace. Because no one deserves eternal life. Thanks to His grace we have it.

But notice where the landowner was involved in the hiring process but when it came time for payroll another department took care of that. Just like the parable, our owner gives us the money, now we are to be trusted to manage it appropriately in hopes to impact other workers (people.)

How could you be more involved in the hiring process for your company, church, mission? Or how could you modify the hiring process to make sure you are hiring a team of winners?

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JESUS THE RETIREMENT PLANNER!

I want to take you to where Jesus advises us on retirement planning. Before you get your bible app or bible open to Luke 12 ask yourself what the word retirement means? Or as Dave Saviola puts it, why are you saving in your 401k?

Money is such an important topic in the Bible that it is the main subject of nearly half of the parables Jesus told. The Bible offers 500 verses on prayer, fewer than 500 verses on faith, and more than 2,000 verses on money.

Ok, so the Bible is full of verses about money. This begs the question “why?”

Because I believe there is a fundamental connection between our spiritual lives and how we think about and handle money.

Before you get the wrong impression, saving for the future is needed. It’s also backed by a Proverb. “A good person leaves an inheritance for their children’s children, but a sinner’s wealth is stored up for the righteous.” Proverbs 13:22. But before one can do the discipline it takes to store up for our children’s children we must first consider training ourself and our children, nieces, nephew, loved one, etc. Proverbs 22:6 suggest to us, “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.” What are you training and in result training your children?

Does inheritance include other areas outside of money? Absolutely. But today we’re talking about money.

So Luke 12:16-21 the rich man in Jesus’ story died before he could begin to use what was stored in his big barns. Planning for retirement, preparing for life before death is wise, but neglecting life after death is disastrous. Verse 19, “And I’ll say to myself, “You have plenty of good things laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.” But GOD said to him, “You fool!” And verse 21, “This is how it will be with anyone who stores up things for himself but is not rich toward God.” God never says in these verses that the stuff itself we accumulate is foolish but instead what is our attitude in wanting to procure our stuff? If the attitude is just to build up wealth and stuff to take life easy and drift off into death then we are being foolish. Or are we hustling and working for the Lord in hopes to use the tool called money to impact others and to hopefully one day have our next generation trained up to pass on the paton so they can use the fruits of our labors to work for HIM?

Are we balancing out giving, saving and living or are we out of balance while we accumulate more stuff?

I challenge you to include in your thoughts and prayers to seek guidance on how to best manage the income and assets you’ve been trusted to manage. And to consider your wealth you have been trusted to manage for life after death. Retirement money is not all about YOU. But also for others you have trained up to be used to impact the Kingdom.

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Back to School and August is here!

Summer vacation for the students is fading which means it’s time to get Jr. some stuff for his new school year.  Before you go on a shopping extravaganza this weekend during the tax-free weekend, I want to encourage you to do two things.

1.  What does he/she NEED.

2.  And how much do you have budgeted for Back to school shopping.

It’s very easy to get caught up in the shopping spirit.  Be intentional.  That doesn’t mean you can’t buy something fun for school, just stay in touch with how much you have to spend.

If none of this applies to you; please consider blessing/pay it forward/giving (whatever you want to title it) some school supplies to a local school or a local ministry that is serving families that don’t have the funds to get school supplies.

And finally, August is tomorrow!  Sit down with your spouse or partner and go over your August budget.  Talk about life and any plans you or your household have.  We will be having a FREE lunch-break webinar tomorrow from 12:00-12:30 on budgeting.  Whether you get paid a fixed amount each month or your income changes month to month, we need to budget and be intentional.  You’ll enjoy tomorrow’s discussion.  Forward this to any co-workers, family or friends who may want to join.  Register here for FREE.

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/4938588777633950210

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Giving part 3: Because of your freedom

Remind yourself to give just because of the freedom you have. The freedom to apply your efforts towards your passion each day. Sure some days we won’t be pumped about doing some stuff that you dread. But in general we have the freedom in America to do what you desire to do each day. Whether for an occupation, your faith, your family, etc. Give back expecting nothing. But give because of what you have already received. Even the next breath of air. Give somehow and someway to someone who gave their time and even their life to fight for your Independence.

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Financial Storehouse on the Dave Ramsey Show: Part 2

Long story short, Dave Ramsey’s office called to cancel because he’ll be out of the office Wed – Friday so they had to cut some programs on the air this week. Yea you’re thinking right, one of the programs he cut was with me.

Not sure how or when Financial Storehouse we’ll be used or if used at all with Dave’s show but so much good has come this past month preparing to get on the show. Just the motivation to prepare to speak with 5 million listeners has catapulted the mission.

If anything it has given us all something to pray about. Thanks for including me in your prayers. Feel free to continue.

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Financial Storehouse on the Dave Ramsey Show

I want to stop by real quick to ask for your support. I have been given an opportunity and invited to speak with Dave Ramsey on air this Tuesday 22JUL. Here’s how you can support… Please pray that this opportunity is glorifying Him. And this platform is used to be able to serve others.

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Summer: A great opportunity for kids to work. Part 2.

This may have been a summer filled with significant life changing events or summer filled with vacations and family time. Or maybe a little of both. But incase you missed part 1 feel free to read it here http://financialstorehouse.com/summer-a-great-opportunity-for-kids-to-work

In part 2 I want to encourage the parents, grandparents, guardians, etc. to encourage their kids to finish strong this summer and get closer to any goals they set. Sure it’s summer time and they are getting ready to get back into a heavy school schedule. Heck your son or daughter may be heavily involved with activities this summer. But if it’s just one or two days a week where your son/daughter finds two neighbors that want their yard cut or one day a week go find cars that need to be washed. Or if they are crafty make bracelets and sell them at your local summertime outdoor events. Find something they are interested in and challenge him to leave the house and create an income. It will create conversation and lessons on what to do with the income he gets. Now he can apply that money to giving, saving and living.

Make sure they do a little of each.

Obviously it’s your household and your rules but consider having your child save for a portion of their car purchase. They’ll treat it differently when you buy it for them. Encourage them to save for the activities they will be doing with friends after the football games on Friday nights. Or even the spring break trip coming up in March.

Summer is almost over. Create learning lessons. Create a family that is being intentional with their income.

Big picture: In a world where we are being marketed to through our phones, tablets, ebooks, magazines, facebook, twitter, instagram, etc we must train up a child to relate work with money in hopes to install characteristics of saving up cash to make purchases. Currently our culture’s trend is to buy something we want with money we don’t have. The results are households with to much debt.

 

COLLEGE_PLANNING_2

 

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Giving part 2: With money

Sure some are suffocating when it comes to not having financial margin.  Almost as suffocating as when your big brother or sister use to dunk us in the pool over and over and over.  And hoping we can get free so we can breathe again!

If we are being suffocated by stuff we have to make changes.  With the similar intensity as if we were struggling to take the next breath above water!  But if you have created your boundaries and are blessed with an income and you have eliminated your non-mortgage debts (Step 2) and you have 3 months of expenses saved in cash (Step 3) and on top of that you are putting money away for retirement and kids or grandkids college (Step 4 & 5); then you get it!  You get what it feels like to continuously grow financial and relational margin in your life as well as your family or business.  Those characteristics are passed down generationally.  The characteristics of not only gaining margin but doing such a radical thing like committing to never going back into debt again!

Mix building financial and relational margin with giving (money) and you get a return on your investment that no mutual fund, TSP, 401k or any single stock can ever give you.  Not just giving to anyone or any business but a business, mission or individual that is on a mission you believe in.  Incorporate in your prayer and thoughts a mission or missions you can give (money) to.  Whether it’s $5 or $500,000, watch how you receive fulfillment by making an impact on a mission or person.  And watch what happens to your mission.  Don’t give expecting great things to come right away.  But give because great things have happend to you already.  Sure you can give in other areas besides money (We talked about that in Part 1) but enjoy allocating a % of your money for giving.

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Giving part 1: Without money

I mentioned recently my wife Shannon and I closed on a house.  But I want to share some of the blessings that were given from others.  And what is awesome is that none of these gifts that I’m sharing were gifts of money.

When Shannon was pregnant with Neyland and the year lease was coming to a close at the two bedroom apartment, we (that includes the yellow lab) began thinking about finding a place to rent that had a yard and more room.  And then here comes Bryce and Franny Jeter.  They offered us to rent their four bedroom rental property for the same amount we were paying for the two bedroom apartment!  They very easily could have rented it out to another customer for more.  This was huge.  At this time Shannon and I were saving up in our Storehouse fund (3 months of expenses saved) as well as saving up for a down payment.  This gift from them allowed Shannon and I to continue to have margin to save for the rainstorms and to save for the purchase of a home.  We couldn’t of done this without their gift.

After living in the house for almost two years we were ready to buy a home.  Long story short Bryce and Franny sale Shannon and I the house.   For a great price.  Just like the rental price, they could have gotten more by selling it to another interested buyer.  I can’t speak for Bryce and Franny but I believe they enjoy giving and blessing others.

After the house closed we replaced the roof.  And a friend blessed us by saying, “You buy the products and bring workers, I’ll put on a roof for you.”  And next thing you know it over 5 days (it rained off and on) we had family and friends dropping by to give their time to help work on the roof.  A good friend Marcus Elliott has such a giving heart he was there from start to finish.  I understand not everyone could do that but while he is inbetween seasons during his professional basketball carrer he decided to workout on the roof.  Without expecing a dime for compensation.  And during the week my buddy Nathaniel that’s a skilled electrician said, “After work I can hook up the power to get your irrigation pump turned on.”  Wow!  Folks just looking for an opportunity to give their time and talents!  When others plant seeds and enjoy doing it, it not only benefits the person receiving the gift or blessing but it impacts the giver.  When we enjoy giving we have a community and a village of folks that want to serve others.

I could go on and on about the dozen different folks who dropped by.  They all shared this.  Their attitude was in a place of wanting to give and expecting nothing in return.  I challenge you to give to someone today.  And it doesn’t have to be money.  Just give.  Somehow some way.

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July is coming

June was a hot month.  Not just temperature but Shannon and I closed on a house, put on a new roof and dealing with my mother and sister receiving 4 weeks of treatmant in Orlando for lyme’s disease.  Oh and Shannon’s doctor wants us to go see a specialist in Pensacola in week 18 of her pregnancy.  (Whenever you are advised to see the specialist the anticipation never goes smooth.)  Why am I sharing this?  Because we are going through a rainstorm and when rainstorms come that means the harvest of the seeds you have planted are around the corner.  Your June may have had a death in the family or your June may have been the greatest month of your life.  Regardless if you’re in a rainstorm or it’s a clear sky, we have to wake up daily and be thankful.  Rainstorms will continue to come.  Expect them.  Not only is our character being built during the storms but our character is being revealed.  Before your feet hit the ground in the morning find 5 things to be thankful for.  Start your thoughts for the days in thankfullness before you start rocking and rolling during the day.  Enjoy the storm.  Stay thankful.

July is coming.  Fireworks with Lee Greenwood, cookouts, summer camps and roadtrips.  Enjoy the 30 minutes to an hour talking with your partner about what is going on in July.  The communication brings peace but also being intentional with the additional spending gives you the boundaries that you need.  I know I know, you and your partner may be doing just fine with money and your financial plan has ran smooth for years.  But stop to ask your partner what they want to do in July and for the future.  Dream together.

Get a clear plan.  If you or your kids or grandkids could use a plan click on the link to get started.

http://financialstorehouse.com/squeezepage/?page_id=44

By having a plan it helps when you go through the rainstorms.  It also gives you the opportunity to be intentional in your giving, saving and living.

http://financialstorehouse.com/squeezepage/?page_id=44

Live intentional,

 

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Summer: A great opportunity for kids to work

Most of us either have kids, grandkids or will have kids someday. And one of many great inheritances you can pass down is the characteristics on how to behave with money. It’s not about building wealth. It’s about creating margin through giving, saving and living.  Mark Cuban puts it like this, “Cut up your credit cards. If you use a credit card, you don’t want to be rich. The first step to getting rich, requires discipline. If you really want to be rich, you need to find the discipline, can you?” http://www.businessinsider.com/how-to-get-rich-2011-8#ixzz33lllD77D  King Solomon put it like this, “The plans of the diligent lead to profit as surely as haste leads to poverty.”  Proverbs 21:5.  If you are reading this thinking there’s much more to life then to be rich; you are absolutely correct.  But rich can mean so much more then growing your dollars.  But you are able to give and bless others (using money) a lot more when you are rich.  One example of being rich can be being debt free with $20k in the bank.  Don’t compare your situation to others.  Enjoy being rich.  Enjoy blessing others.

I don’t think Mark is saying you can’t be rich and use credit cards. We all know someone who is wealthy and uses credit cards. What I believe Mark is leading to is if you are rich/wealthy, create the discipline that it takes to not use credit cards. That is the CHARACTERISTIC that is being strengthened in your life and the life of the kids or grandkids that are observing you through your actions and conversation. More is caught then taught.

Lets encourage our kids, grandkids, nieces and nephews to create an income. Lemonade stand, washing cars in the neighborhood, cutting yards, blowing leaves, walking dogs (yes, people will pay to have their dogs walked). You get the point. Now that they are creating an income we can create the teachable moments. If they are real young (elementary age) get 2 washed out peanut butter containers. Remember as a kid how awesome it was to see crumpled up dollar bills in your piggy bank?!?! Create this experience for them. As it grows, they will actually see the progress! Label one as “giving,” one as “saving.” When they receive their pay, have him/her put a portion in each container (you come up with what’s best for your household.) So when your child or grandchild wants to buy that next video game or doll, begin the exercise of saving up in the ole’ peanut butter container until they have enough. And remember along the way they are funding giving to. These creates a characteristic of one who will enjoy giving but has prepared the funds for giving.

Now don’t get to legalistic. Obviously there will be times you will buy your child somethings because it’s your child. Baseball cleats, clothes, etc. But find the opportunity for the child to save up for “that special purchase.”

The same principles apply for an older child or grandchild but you may want to use envelopes instead of a clear plastic jar. Encourage them to create an income or maintain an income while doing weekly taskings around the house. But the older kids or grandkids will have 3 envelopes. Give, save and live. As they are saving for a car they also need to practice on saving for living. Going to the movies, gasoline, eating out with friends.

As your loved ones watch you and hear you discussing your monthly plan, they will be more encouraged to do one each month too. Hopefully this summer 2014 you can create or continue these teachable moments to strengthen the characteristics to steward the money God has blessed us with. Yes we work and work hard for it. But without Him creating us, blessing us and loving us, we would be nothing.

Live intentional.

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SACRIFICE

Very rarely do you hear the word sacrifice and think of it as a word of encouragement.  Like when you turned down the piece of pie yesterday because of your diet, you made a sacrifice.  When you go run in the morning before work you are sacrificing your extra 45 minutes of sleep so you can get your day started with a jog.  And to turn down going out to eat because you have already used your money for the week.  You make another sacrifice.  When going into the sacrifice, whatever it may be, we don’t jump up and down doing spirit fingers.  We just know we have a resolve or we have a reason to stay focused on the course to achieve the milestone.

Today I want to challenge us to make a sacrifice when we come across a man or a woman who served or is serving this blessed United States.  Are there other blessed countries.  Absolutely.  But today we reflect on my home.  America.  As we enjoy spending precious time with our friends and family today, find at least one who has served us and sacrificed missing their kids for months for us or some that didn’t make it back.  And bless, pay-it-forward or some type of an act of kindness, for that serviceman or servicewomen you come across.  It may even be their spouse or another family member.  Sacrifice at the highest level you can do.  Make a huge sacrifice in your day today.  Whether it’s your time for mowing their yard or your money you use to pay their June – December rent.  It is much less of a sacrifice but an act that they will always remember and appreciate.

Get your sacrifice together and go rock someone’s world.  To all those reading this that have served.  These words in this email can’t begin to show you and your family the appreciation you deserve.  Thank you for all you do.

How are you and your family going to make this Memorial Day happy?  Enjoy making someone else’s life really happy today too.

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DISCONTENTMENT

Thanks to reality TV and social media,  we are growing up in a culture that pumps out discontentment by giving us a steady stream of what everyone else has, what kind of vacations they take, how nice their houses are, what kind of cars they drive, etc.  It’s a continuous comparison game, and it feeds discontentment through your “news feed.”  Of course not every thought you have while watching TV or unconsciously strolling through her wedding photos on Facebook bleeds discontentment.  But it has at some point?  

I’m just saying be cautious.  I have found myself navigating through pinterest in hopes to get ideas on things, only to later on feel like a 5 year old at toys r us that wanted the newest toy.

Guard your heart.  Enjoy the thankfulness in your life while celebrating the blessings of others and develop goals to achieve similar blessings.

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Stewardship didn’t come from Christians.

Stewardship is really not a Christian word, but an Old English word.  The word is describing a person who didn’t own anything,  but managed the affairs of the lord of the realm.  This manager’s title was “steward.”  He had a nice house, beautiful clothes, and fine food, but it wasn’t really his.  He enjoyed all of the benefits of the lord’s wealth, but he felt no sense of ownership over it.  Similar to those medieval stewards, when we realize we are simply managing someone else’s money, it changes our focus.

Regardless of your faith or if you believe in any God, we are fortunate to have the health and knowledge to create an income.  Just as we are fortunate and blessed to have what we have, steward your income to be able to pass on blessings. (Or the “pay it forward” concept)  Regardless of how you choose to label your giving, enjoy giving and watch how much more you enjoy life.  By giving, you are creating margin in your life.  Similar to gleaning.   

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THE STRONGEST GROUP IN AMERICA?

I’m at Ft. Walton Beach high school waiting for our coaches meeting. 

As I wait in the parking lot, enjoying a sunny day, I’m witnessing multiple parents from multiple schools discuss intensely their band programs.  Yes, band parents are the strongest organized group in America.  

Don’t believe me?  Mess with their band.

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SOMETIMES THE RACE ENDS BEFORE IT BEGINS

Three time Olympian was disqualified before she left the starting line.  The rule doesn’t care how much hard work you put into training and qualifying for an Olympic event.  Not your local city league.  But an Olympic event.  All the dreams of receiving her gold medal after competing in the 2006, 2010 and now 2014 Olympics comes to an end, just. like. that.

Do you have areas in your life where you work so hard and so long to get something and only to watch it disappear?  Could you have done something different to avoid being disqualified?  Let’s do whatever we can to be pro-active to avoid any future disqualifications.  Let’s have something to show for all this work.

Keep working hard.  Keep enjoying the ride.  Now let’s finish the race.

 

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COMFORTABLE IN UNCOMFORTABLE SITUATIONS

Things or behaviors that are good seem to taste bad or hard to practice initially?

And we should be thankful for that.  More people would run that extra mile if that extra mile was so easy.  More people would be patient and save for a car purchase if patience was easy.  More people would communicate with their partner or spouse about short-term and long-term goals if it were easy.

We have it easy when comparing it to Apostle Paul.  That dude was beaten with stones multiple times and constantly defending himself while continuing to do what he was here on this earth to do.  Spread His word.

I know and respect all of our struggles and busy schedules.  Continue to fight for time that will help your household behave with your income so that you can benefit.  And HIs Kingdom will benefit.  And the people who you encourage to behave with money will benefit.

“Leaders, over time, learn to be comfortable in uncomfortable situations.” – somebody

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BOUNDARIES

Do you eat your retirement?  Or you counting on the inheritance you’ll get to use for retirement?  Or maybe you don’t make enough to contribute towards retirement?  Maybe your car payment is keeping you from retirement savings?

I beg for you to budget the amount you need for restaurants, vacations, entertainment, mortgage and other cost each month so you can also be intentional with allocating funds towards saving for the future.

Ask your parents or grandparents what they think.

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Marshawn Lynch vs Richard Sherman

I ain’t ever seen no talking win me nothing… I’m bout that action, Boss.”      – Marshawn Lynch

“I’M THE BEST CORNER IN THE GAME!  THAT’S WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU TRY ME WITH A SORRY RECEIVER LIKE CRABTREE!”  -Richard Sherman

Sure Richard Sherman choose to talk about the game moments after the final play (adrenaline high) and yes there was beef between Sherman and Crabtree that goes back to a function from last summer. 

But the question remains the same.  Are  you interested in your actions speaking for themselves or you prefer speaking about your actions?

Both personalities have resulted in success.  Stop.  I’m not insulting Richard Sherman.   Just curious what personality you prefer, boss?

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ICED IN

One of the greatest moments in my young fatherhood took place while Shannon, Neyland and I were iced in.  Neyland stood up and walked.

One of the greatest milestones he will accomplish that cannot be taken for granted.  But it took a process over a period of time to produce that great accomplishment.

What journey are you on that will hopefully produce a great accomplishment 30 days, 3 months or 3 years from now?  Be intentional.  Have fun.

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STAY AT HOME DAD

Shannon and I knew the time was coming soon where I would be separated from my day job working for a defense contractor and entering into my dream job serving people and businesses to be intentional with their income.  That’s starting off wonderful.  Meeting with businesses that want their employees to be in a better financial situation is awesome.  Meeting with individuals that want to be at peace with their finances is fulfilling.  Serving in that environment gives me more of a rush then Richard Sherman’s post game interview.

But even a better feeling then that.  I have been able to be with my one year old son Neyland two days a week.  The time I have deposited with him is priceless.  I know I will look back and be thankful for these times.  Initially it was hard on my pride since I feel like I need to be away from home 50 hours a week working.  Those days will come again as this business picks up in the coming years.  But for now, I’m thankful where I am at.

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TOP 5 QUESTIONS PARENTS ASK ABOUT COLLEGE SAVINGS. PART 5

Question 5:  What if my kid is already a teenager, and I’m just getting started?

Don’t get discouraged.  Just by being intentional with your money from this point on will pay off.  But there will be some suggested or recommended strategy to move forward with your kids college.

If you have five years or less before your teen starts college, you need to take a savings, rather than investing approach.  Piling up cash in a money market fund instead of using an ESA or 529.  Your kid can also help make up the difference by making scholarship hunting his new part-time job.

Stay focused on saving.  Don’t panic.  Remember, college is about education, not pedigree.  And student loans are off-limits.

START SAVING TODAY

Just like investing for retirement, the sooner you start saving for your kids or grandkids college, the more money you’ll have when the time comes. Don’t wait any longer.  Unless, you haven’t taken care of steps 1-4 first.  Reminder, we need to have 1.) $1,000 in savings.  2.)  No debt (not counting mortgage) 3.) Three months of expenses saved in a money market account.  4.)  Saving 15% towards retirement.

Once we accomplish those steps we are ready to contribute to your kids college.  You ready?

Don’t hesitate to contact Financial Storehouse to get you on a plan that will set up your family for generations to come.

 

 

Reference:  Financial Peace University pg. 112.

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TOP 5 QUESTIONS PARENTS ASK ABOUT COLLEGE SAVINGS. PART 4

Question 4:  What if my child doesn’t go to college or gets a free-ride scholarship?

If the beneficiary of the ESA or 529 doesn’t use the money by age 30, you can change beneficiaries at any time and as often as you want.  Siblings, parents, nieces, nephews pretty much anyone in the family is eligible.

If you decide to use the money for non-educational expenses, you’ll pay a 10% penalty plus income taxes on the distribution.

Good news… If your child’s expenses are covered by scholarships and you withdraw money for non-qualified purchases, the 10% penalty does not apply.

What’s your plan?

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TOP 5 QUESTIONS PARENTS ASK ABOUT COLLEGE SAVINGS. PART 3

Question 3:  How much control do I have?

Like a Roth IRA, you can invest in any mutual fund in any allocation you wish in your ESA.  That’s what makes an ESA a better option than the 529 for most people.

You can also change funds as often as you want.  Most 529 plans are limited to one fund family and restrict the number of investment strategy changes you can make each year.

Before investing into your kids or grandkids college, you need to be debt free (besides mortgage), three months of expenses saved up in your storehouse fund and finally putting 15% of your income away towards retirement.  Don’t begin saving for your loved ones college until those steps just mentioned have been completed.

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TOP 5 QUESTIONS PARENTS ASK ABOUT COLLEGE SAVINGS. PART 2

How much can I invest?

It is never to early.  If you plan to open your college fund with $2,000 or less, go with an Education Savings Account (ESA). 

You can contribute up to $2,000 per year per child in an ESA.  If you want to save more, or if the child’s parents make more than $200,000 per year, a 529 has no annual contribution limit or income restrictions.

Continue to show the kids the importance of hardwork and being trusted with the little things.  So later in life they will be trusted with the big things like paying for their college to chase a dream of being a doctor, lawyer or teacher.  Not that college is for everyone, but it might be for your child.

Start now.

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TOP 5 QUESTIONS PARENTS ASK ABOUT COLLEGE SAVINGS. PART 1

Many parents believe they owe their children a full ride to college at all cost.

College is important, it does not rank above retirement or your Storehouse fund. And it is not a reason to go into debt.

Once you are debt free and have saved up three months of expenses in your Storehouse fund and your contributing 15% of your income to retirement, now let’s contribute to our kids or grandkids college fund.  We recommend investing in good growth stock mutual funds and an Education Savings Account (ESA).

Question 1:  How can I use the money? 

Answer:  Obviously, you’re opening this account to pay for educational expenses, but each plan defines that differently.  ESAs allow you to use funds not just for education but also pay for off-campus housing, computers and other education related expenses with your ESA.

But eligible expenses for a 529 plan are limited to college tuition, room and board, school-required books and supplies.

Protect your money from uncle Sam.  Even if you have plenty of cash.  Utilize the tax free growth.

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MONEY IS LIKE MANURE

Don’t let your money pile up in one place.  Like manure, if it piles up in one place it stinks.  Spread your money around [diversify], like manure, it makes things grow.

Let’s talk. 

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DAY JOB

I’ve been working under my pops for 6 years.  That will end on 12/13/13.

My day job has been very beneficial.  It has taught me how to do business as a government contractor.  Serving customers from the FAA, Navy, NGB, Air Force Academy, Eglin AFB and others.  As the firm’s Contracts Manager for 250 employees and multiple contracts, there was always a cost proposal to do or a bill to submit.

But after 12/13/13 my customers will be individuals, families, churches and businesses that want to seek counsel on having a plan to manage or steward income.  That is my passion.  Regardless if you’re a 5th generation millionaire or fighting to keep your house.  I want to encourage and convince as many people as possible to be intentional with their income that we work so hard for so we can teach the generation we leave behind how to steward.  The cycle continues each generation.

If we aim for nothing, we hit nothing.

Looking forward to this.  A lot.

For more info.  www.financialstorehouse.com

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:01

I’ve always respected the value of time management.  But after witnessing the 2013 Iron Bowl, I have a new understanding on the value of :01.

Just one second can make a difference in our day, week, month or career. 

The decision that was made just now can impact your revenue just like the decision Auburn made to prepare for a kick return if the Alabama field goal kicker kicked it short.  The kick went short.  Auburn returned it 108 yds for the win.  Watch the fans reaction.

Auburn’s “bottom line” benefitted from the counsel of the coaching staff during the final :01.

Continue to work hard and expect the best but always have a plan for the worse case.

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THE OPPOSITE OF BITTERNESS?

Thankfulness.

When we consistently remind ourselves how thankful we are, it keeps us separated from bitterness.

Remind yourself daily.  Whether it’s toothpaste, clean underwear or your health, practice being thankful and enjoy contentment.

Keep working towards your goals and keep being thankful each step along the way.

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A HOMERUN EXAMPLE

On September 14, 1990, something happened that has never happened before or since.  Late in his career, Ken Griffey, Sr., who had been a key member of the World Series champion Cincinnati Reds years before, was signed by the Seattle Mariners.  His son Ken Griffey, Jr. was just starting his major league career.  In the first inning of a game against the Angels, Griffey, Sr. hit a home run to left center field.  His son followed him to the plate and hit another home run to almost exactly the same spot.  It was the only time a father and son had hit back-to-back home runs in baseball history.  Ken Griffey, Jr said later that his father greeted him at the plate by saying, “That’s how you do it, son.”

We all want to see our next generation hit a home run.  Before a home run is hit we also coach and parent when our son or daughter strike out.

Set the example you want the next generation to fallow.  When it is later on in our career (life), set up the next generation to hit home runs.  And when you meet him/or her at the plate, be sure to tell them, “that’s how you do it.”

It’s up to us on what example we set.

 

 

 

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MAKING A LIST CHECKING IT TWICE

Friday, November 29th, 2013.  A retailers Super Bowl. 

That’s right, the Friday after Thanksgiving where consumers finish their turkey dinner with the fam and immediately go set up camp in front of the big retail store.

Where retail store credit cards are getting worked out like the cardiovascular machines on January 1.

Where American Express is consistently expressing itself one swipe at a time.

Where $13.6 Billion in revenue is expected to go down.  Ladies and Gentlemen, black Friday.

Before you get caught up in the buying/giving spirit, make your boundaries.  Who you will buy for?  How much?  What charity you will be giving to?  How much? 

Make your list, check it twice.

Don’t be paying for Christmas in May.

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WHY DO YOU GIVE?

That time you gave away your time to impact someone else.  Felt good?

That time you gave away your kids clothes once he out grew them.  Felt good?

That time you gave items you no longer use to a family that could use them.  Felt good?

But why do we give?  Is it to clean out our house or storage unit of all the stuff we accumulate?  Or because we know that person needs something we have and we can provide it to them?

After you drop off your canned foods at the next food drive, take 49 seconds to ponder on why you give.

Then find a date in the near future to find another area where you can give to impact another persons life.  Once we transition into sincerely enjoying to give; watch how the things you receive in life increase.  Enjoy the joy you receive.

Give.  Save.  Live.

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His and Hers

If your fortunate to have a significant other or you want to someday, avoid living separate lives.  Duh, right?

Oprah believes you should have a separate and joint checking account.  And she’s really popular so that makes her right?  Wrong Oprah.  When you and your spouse take the same last name and you become one, it is time for your accounts to become one.

It requires transparency and communication.  Great concept?

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PLAYSTATION 4 OR BUST

1000’s line up today to purchase the new Sony Playstation 4.  Always respected a brand that can get consumers to set up camp outside retailer’s doors to purchase their product.  I spent countless hours in front of a gaming system, from the age of five (duck hunt, Tecmo Bowl, Contra) until the age of 24,(NCAA Collage Football) with some good folks.  We would fight, yell, cheer, high-five and most importantly, bragging rights were always at stake.  Yes, we took gaming seriously.  (Bless my wife.  We went to Travis‘ house  for a NCAA tournament after our sushi dinner on our first date.)  Thanks babe for sticking with me!

Could I have done better with my time?  You could create a good argument for that.  The issue for me is not whether or not I was wasting my time back then.  The issue is the understanding from this point forward where my time is allocated. Balance and be intentional with your time and make sure each day gets you closer to where you want to be.  If you believe in a God, start your day off with whoever you believe created you.  If you have a spouse, invest in your relationship so you can set the bar high for your kids.  If you have kids, remember they learn through what you do.  Finally, take care of yourself and your finances so this train can keep chugging a long.

 

 

 

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FINANCIAL STOREHOUSE

Since writing about my “day job” I have been on a transition that is allowing me to get closer to my “dream job.”

Thank you. Hopefully you are encouraged to Give. Save. and Live. All while being intentional with the income you work so hard for. Looking forward to starting this new chapter titled “Financial Storehouse” in my book on life and thanks for getting on board for the ride.

I want to thank some special people who have helped push me to discover my “dream job.”

Drinking lots of green tea and editing with Sarah Schmidt. The brains behind constructing the web page Paul Schmidt.   Brad Benton, Mark Simpson, Stan Akins, Coach Lavin and Travis Smith who brokered the relationship with my wife.  The man who pushed me through his books Quitter and Start, Jon Acuff.  Peyton (my dog).  The Lindsay’s and the Schmidt’s, especially my father who paved a way for me to have an opportunity to work under him for almost 6 years now and also my momma who’s taught me so much.  My brother Kevin who inspires me more than he’ll ever know.  And my sister Abbey who has been my cheerleader since she was two (love ya sis!)  Bryce Jeter, Nick Pleat, Nathaniel Henderson, Ross LeBlanc, TJ McCullough, Wade Morris, Luke Smith, Jb Roberts, Ray Bozeman, Ron Plourde, Dawn Krempa and The Fowler’s.  Dave Ramsey, who showed me how to steward and Jonathan Sansom who continues to mentor me.   My wife Shannon that was sent from God to save me, my son Neyland who motivates me each morning as well as my future kids.  Lastly, the reason why I’m on this journey, Jesus.

Hang on tight and enjoy the ride.

 

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BUILDING A LEGACY PART 3 OF 3

5.  Change family tree

Knowing the 1.) importance of being a good steward.  We don’t own anything we just manage it for God.  Luke 16:10-11  2.) Our responsibility to tithe.  Malachi 3:10  3.) Taking care of your family first. 1 Timothy 5:8  4.) Taking care of the future.  Proverbs 21:20.  Now it’s time to enjoy watching our family tree blossom.  As we live with a heart that desires to give but also understands the importance of saving and spending, we are watering our family tree and understanding the hard work it takes to get nice things.  You’re paradigm of thinking is similar to a Vanderbilt or a Carnegie.  At this point you have fulfilled giving regularly, taking care of your family and taking care of future.  Now fast forward to when the time comes where you have younger grandchildren or children watching your actions.  If we can install these financial practices in the kids now, we are giving them the playbook on how to be able to manage the wealth that we leave for them appropriately.  If you’re fortunate enough to inherit wealth how are you utilizing it?  These steps will set you up and your extended family for financial freedom but more importantly it will satisfy the owner of the money that we are managing for Him.

Good people will have wealth to leave to their grandchildren, but the wealth of sinners will go to the righteous.  Proverbs 13:22

6.  Acts of mercy during commerce

The final step to building a legacy is to enjoy directly blessing others in the market place.  Anything from feeding the hungry to sheltering the homeless.  Maybe even donating a large offering to a ministry or a project that you and your family supports.  When our life is done here, hopefully we can leave seeds planted in our community that our creator will water and will grow His ministry to ultimately lead others to Heaven.  Enjoy living the only life you have.  While you give, save, spend.

We can only control two things.  Our attitude and our work ethic.  -Coach Mo Evans

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BUILDING A LEGACY. PART 1 OF 3

1.  Be a Steward.  We don’t own anything, we just manage it for Him.  

When my father or mother asked me to watch the house for the weekend and I threw a party without their permission (I felt like I owned the house); that’s not being a good Steward (but we had some great memories ; ).  And when I do the opposite of that and actually be a good Steward and manage what’s theres appropriately, it’s not ironic that I was trusted with bigger things.  I believe God looks at us in a similar way.  He gives us 100% of what we have and now he wants to see how we manage it for Him.  “Whoever is faithful in small matters will be faithful in large ones; whoever is dishonest in small matters will be dishonest in large ones. 11 If, then, you have not been faithful in handling worldly wealth, how can you be trusted with true wealth?”  Luke 16:10-11

2.  Tithe (10%) to your local church.

Again, he gives us 100% of what we have.  All He wants from us is to give 10% back to Him.  Remember if we have the mindset it’s ALL His anyways and we don’t “grip” the 100% of what we have so tight , then our hearts will be more soft and we’ll enjoy giving back just the 10% He wants from us.  “Bring the full amount of your tithes (10%) to the Temple, so that there will be plenty of food there. Put me to the test and you will see that I will open the windows of heaven and pour out on you in abundance all kinds of good things.”  Malachi 3:10.  Wow!!!  God tells us to test Him regarding tithing!  Then He tells us He will pour out an extremely plentiful amount of good things if we bring the full amount! (10%)

 

This is the first two steps in building a legacy.  See you all back here later in the week.

 

Much love.

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IT DOESN’T MAKE MATHEMATICAL SENSE TO TITHE?

As long as we made it through elementary math we know that it doesn’t make mathematical sense to tithe.  If you have made an effort to viciously get out of debt then how can you give away %10?  Or you have made an effort to build wealth to save for a major purchase then how can you get to your goal quickly if you’re giving away %10?  But I’ve come to realization that where are treasures go, you will find your heart too.  I have justified not giving a tithe for many years in my life for many reasons but found a way to justify why I had to go to the big SEC football game next saturday that took $150 dollars in fuel just to get there and back.  Or I didn’t think twice about opening up a bar tab Saturday night for hours and on Sunday morning refuse to give my tithe.  We can make the argument that it doesn’t make mathematical sense to tithe but we don’t use that same argument towards other things we purchase because those things we purchase is our hearts desire.  Before purchasing whatever “those” things may be, let’s be sure we have set a side a tithe so we can be compliant with managing HIS money.  Don’t be surprised when HE trust/blesses you with more once you have proven to Him you can manage less.  If you are a man or woman of the Christian faith it clearly tells us in Deuteronomy 14:22 to “Set aside a tithe-a tenth of all that your fields produce each year.”

It might not make mathematical sense but it makes sense to the one who created everything, including math.

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