Tag Archives: Money

It’s Time to Pray

We need to pray.  We need to pray for revival.  We need to pray our country turns back to God, instead of turning our back on God.  We need to pray for this election that Christianity would have a voice, and God would be glorified.  We must do what the money in our wallets and in our kid’s piggy banks says “In God We Trust”.  Tomorrow is going to take a lot of trust, but we are in God’s capable hands.  We need Him more than ever.  Pray.  Trust.  Hope.  And remember that God is still in control.

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Book Review: Biblical Stewardship

Book Review:  Biblical Stewardship by Alfred Martin

The Good:

418mr7kDT+L._SX322_BO1,204,203,200_If you have your Bible…This is about as Biblical as a book can be. Scripture is interwoven throughout the pages of this book, and nary was a point made without a Bible verse in support (Did I hear a “nary” in there?).

Wide Focus Lens. Sometimes the concept of stewardship uses too narrow of a lens. What I mean is, when stewardship is mentioned, money is the only thing that is discussed. Well, Martin takes a different approach and discussed how stewardship is a whole-life behavior.

Class Dismissed. This was like taking a seminary level class on the subject of stewardship. The concept of stewardship is so important, and this in-depth look on this lifestyle was enlightening.

The Bad:

Absolutely absolute. On rare occasion, I did catch some absolutes or some verbiage that was a little too strong or dogmatic. It was rare, but still need to be cautious in your read. For example, there was the thought of never saying anything to another Christian about how they spend their time, lest you judge. My response would be, “What if their time is spent in sin?”

Good Morning Class. The flip side of this book being more academic is it sometimes felt that way. With a quiz booklet attached, I felt like I was focused more on studying for a pop quiz than remembering and meditating on key concepts.

The Grade: B. You may not label this book as earth-shattering, but it does still have value. Many pastors do series on stewardship yearly or often, and this would be a good buy for that purpose. It also is a smart read for those early in their marriage or early in the faith as they can properly learn to use what God has given them properly, even their lives.

 

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Why a $325 Million Contract Does Not Equal Happiness

Giancarlo Stanton. If you are a sports fan, you know the name. He is the Miami Marlins star outfielder that just signed a 13 year, $325 million dollar contract. To put it into perspective, this baseball player will make more in one at bat than my current annual salary! Every hour, he makes nearly $3,000 or $70,000 per day. That’s insane, and still some writers say he is underpaid.

stanton_signing.jpg.size.xxlarge.letterboxImmediately following his contract signing, he goes out and parties the night away. His exploits included attending a night club and drinking from a $20,000 bottle of champagne. I blush at the price of a milkshake at Steak n’ Shake sometimes. I can’t imagine paying more for a drink than for my family’s minivan.

You are probably wondering my point. Athletes sign exorbitant contracts all the time. See Kevin Durant, or this list when you have a spare second. You will wonder where the money comes from, and what in the world they do with all that coin (I know I would be tempted to put it all in gold coins and swim around in it like Scrooge McDuck). Big deal (pardon the pun) right? In the end, it isn’t a big deal at all. In fact, I think of the many athletes that squander their money, only to find themselves selling their Super Bowl rings, going bankrupt, or putting their mansions on the market.enter-through-the-narrow-gate-001

What is missing? I can’t help but think of Giancarlo Stanton after he wakes up from a night of partying. Did the money really give him the satisfaction he was hoping for when he picked up the pen to sign that monster deal? (Read Ecclesiastes 5:10-20 for the answer to that question)….

For those that didn’t take the time to read Ecclesiastes, I’ll give you the short answer “No!”. Money can’t buy happiness. In fact, even the hip hop community makes the claim “Mo Money, Mo Problems”. But yet people still buy lottery tickets, flood to casinos on pay day, and hope for that next promotion. But what does money promise? Nothing that lasts.

Although in Matthew 7, we learn that few will take the narrow road to eternal happiness. Many will take the broad road filled with shallowness, futility, and corruptible gains. While there was nothing wrong with Stanton’s contract per se, I just wouldn’t waste your time being jealous of it. For those who know Christ, your reward is much greater.  If you don’t know Christ, I encourage you to sign your life over to him…it’s a contract with no fine print, but many built-in incentives, it’s not performance based, and it lasts forever.

Matthew 5:12a – Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven

DCF 1.0

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Youth Curriculum Review Series (Cont.) – 2013-14 Edition

Curriculum Review:  Generation Change by Dave Ramsey, featuring Rachel Cruzegenchange_home_product

The Good:

The practicality is through the roof with this series. What teenager can’t use a lesson on finances, especially with a Biblical foundation? Seriously, some of these students had no clue how to manage money. If they practice the principles in this series, we are talking about saving them some major heartache.

The Biblical foundation was the best “good” of this curriculum. Without it, you could find these principles on a book in Barnes & Noble. But with the Biblical lessons and Scriptural backing for each point, it gave the material authority and reason for life changes, specifically in the area of money.

Dave Ramsey’s daughter Rachel Cruze was the main speaker on the DVD’s. Her youth served her well in the sense of relevance. She was able to speak the language of the teens well, and tune into what they were thinking throughout the series. Rachel easily held the attention of the room, and did a great job presenting the material.

A word that comes to mind for this series is “sharp”. I would call this sharp material. What I mean is the leader guide was well-designed; the DVD’s were dynamic and engaging, including an artistic presentation in each DVD that was incredible. The overall package was impressive

The Bad:

The price may seem like it should go in the bad category, but when you see the price of the adult material, you will be thankful. However, one bad in purchasing all 3 sets in the series, was there was some material that was repeated. Since these DVD sets could stand alone in a study, I’m guessing that is why the material found itself repeating on occasion.

Another bad, more a slightly bad, would be the Biblical study required a little more prep on the leader’s part. There was definitely material as a foundation, but there were time when it lacked depth. Maybe my standards are high, but I was thirsty for more.

Lastly, there was some advice that was a little “shoot for the moon”. No debt from college? Pay for your 1st house with cash? Now I’m all for not getting into debt and living within your means, but there were statements like these that raised my eyebrows. With the income levels of my students, some debt management statements in my opinion were a little unrealistic.

The Grade: A-

If the students review was any indication of its worth, then it immediately should be considered in the “A” category. When I asked the students what they thought of the series, several of them said it was their favorite one they have studied. That’s a big statement. So, do these students just like talking about money or did this series truly have a spiritual impact? I’m going to go with yes.

Extras:  YouTube Videos: http://youtu.be/1DUYlHZsZfc & http://youtu.be/eGVpKaxnuBU

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