$$$ : Give – Save – Spend

“When I make more, I’ll be able to give more.”

Heard that before?

I’m learning what it means to be content no matter what the circumstance.

  • Content with my possessions,
  • content with the size of my banking and investment accounts,
  • content with … you fill in the blank.

I’m learning to love people regardless of whether or not they can reciprocate things back to me.  That’s the heart of a giver.  That’s who we ought to be.

In the endless pursuit of finding balance in the handling of money, I hope you will set your heart on being a giver IN this current season.  As you pursue the principles of giving, saving and spending, keep this one piece of advice on the forefront of your mind … get out and stay out of debt.  You’ll never hear a lender tell you that.

GIVE – Let your generousity be be contagious.  It’ll change your world.

SAVE – Position yourself for the rainy days.  No matter how heavy the rain may get in some seasons, you’ll be able to come out unphased.

SPEND – Position yourself to live below your means, but enjoy the moments you’ve been given.

[TRUE CONFESSIONS] of an Associate Pastor : Starving People

Back in August, both kids came up to me in a frenzy indicating there was NOTHING to eat in the house …

I pondered for a moment, and walked them both over to the kitchen.

Opened the refrigerator door.

Opened the freezer door.

Opened the pantry door.

Now once you become a parent, you are given exclusive rights to the ‘rolodex‘ of lectures. I was juuuuuuust about to break out the “there are starving kids in Africa” lecture and thought to myself …

“Self? You can do better than this.”

I quickly held a conference call with the board of directors at the George household (my wife), and concluded on a course of action. So here goes …

At the end of this month, I’ll be taking Isaac to Honduras on his first missions trip to see how people outside the US live. He’s heard all my stories about trips overseas, and now I’m giving him the opportunity to see for himself.

Pray for us. I’m not sure how this will all go down, but my heart is that God will drop an incorruptible seed in his spirit.

[TRUE CONFESSIONS] of an Associate Pastor : Give. Save. Spend.

This weekend I explained to Isaac the concept of giving, saving and spending.

He saw something he wanted at the store and used it as an opportunity to teach some things about money.

He earned $10. So I told him …

$1 goes to Jesus. Give.
$2 goes to savings. Save.
$7 goes to whatever you want. Spend.

Simple enough. I brought his $1 to church today and left service just after it started so he could have his offering in kids church.

Tonight I explained to him that in time he will have enough to buy that thing he wanted.

I also said people will sometimes get something and say “I’ll pay for it later”. It made no sense to him and he gave me the “that’s dumb” look. I’m glad.

Both my wife and I learned principles of money from our parents and it’s something I want my kids to learn from us too.

Give. Save. Spend.

Simple enough. Teach a child in the way he should go and when he’s old he won’t depart from it.

Give. Save. Spend.

[DEVOTIONAL] : Consumerism

It should not catch anyone by surprise that North America is a consumer driven society.  In 2008, National Geographic published statistics[1] that Americans are estimated to live 77.75 years and consume 31,350 gallons of gasoline, read 5,054 newspapers (43 trees), discard 64 tons of garbage and use 1.8 million gallons of water.

It should not surprise us that our consumer driven society has also infiltrated the ranks of the Church here in North America.  There is much to be said about the existence of consumerism in the Church.  How will the Church serve me?  How will the Church meet the needs of my marriage?  How will the Church meet the needs of my children?  How will the Church … you fill in the blank.

Our world says, let me make sure my world is taken care of before I even give consideration to your world.  Humanistic Psychologists like Abraham Maslow[2] introduced the hierarchy of needs that reflects levels of needs humans seek which include:

From a human perspective, this school of thought makes sense.  Let me take care of me, and figure out who I am, so I can help you do the same.

The Gospel of Jesus Christ presents a lifestyle that completely contradicts Consumerism.

Matthew 6:33 says, “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” Jesus takes this school of thought and flips the script all together.

In a Kingdom, there is a king.  In this case, His name is Jesus.

In the kingdom of me, you are the center of the universe. 

In the Kingdom of Heaven, Jesus is King.

The King has royal power, rule and reign.  The King’s will be executed, administered and all jurisdictions reside with him.  In His Kingdom, it’s not up for discussion or debate.

Seeking first His Kingdom indicates that this must be our life’s first and greatest priority.  Put the needs of others ahead of your own.  Jesus says, don’t worry about the basics; He will take care of that when we put his directive first.

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?”  – Matthew 6:25

Serve another and trust the Word of God will do what it says.  Seek first His Kingdom in your life, your priorities and your actions; and He will take care of the rest.

If you’re focused on your unmet need, be challenged to align your heart and pursuit with the priority of the Kingdom of Heaven, not the priorities of our consumer driven culture.

“And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.”  Philippians 4:19 (NIV)


[1] *http://www.nationalgeographic.com/xpeditions/lessons/14/g68/HumanFootprint.pdf

Repost : Free Birds and Nerds

I haven’t said much about money and management lately but it’s worth a re-visit.

Linzy and I have worked through Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University which took a few years and was well worth it. No one ever wants to fess up that they struggle with proper money management but unless you’re doing it right, chances are you’re stressed in ways you never thought possible.

Dave Ramsey says, in most homes there are the “free spirits” who are the I don’t have a care in the world and couldn’t care less about budgeting and/or planning.  Then there are the “nerds” who plan and prepare with a greater level of detail.

As we head into the holiday season, I’m always reminded of the statistics that come out that reflect increase spending on plastic and the debt incurred. Whether you don’t know how to budget, can’t budget, or are afraid to even go there …

There’s help.

If you needed some help with getting control of your budget, email me and I can put you in touch with some people that are trained advisers who are willing to walk you through your situation for free.  I do this often, I do this a lot.  You’re not alone.

Yes, I said free.

We will be hosting a financial session on November 8th.  You’ll want to be there.

mailto:ageorge@cloverhillag.org

Confessions of an Associate Pastor : The Biggest Decision

Dave Ramsey says there are “nerds” and “free-birds” when it comes to handling money.  I’m definitely the nerd in our home!  🙂

As we go into the New Year, the biggest decision isn’t about how much to save, the mortgage, tithing or even missions giving.  We just do that stuff.  It just happens.

The biggest decision was actually putting aside some money every pay check to date my wife.  It could be a few dollars to go to sweet frogs (a frozen yogurt place here in the 804), a nice dinner or a movie.  But something.  We are rolling into our 8th year of marriage and I’ve found it harder to remember, make time and actually go on a date.  So, I counter it with a definitive plan to make it happen.

So … I hope you do the same.  Tag team with another couple and have your kids stay there one evening and you return the favor.  Sorry babysitters … y’all are great but make a date night super expensive!!!

Date nights are now a line item in the budget!  🙂

I know I’ll be better for it.

Snowball

This year the George’s have adjusted our family budget. We’ve increased in some areas of spending while decreasing in others. All in all, it’s taken a few weeks and still need to do some planning so we’re prepared (as best we can) for what’s to come. I’m still reminded of the verse: “In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps.”

Linzy and I have worked through Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University which has taken 4 years (and still going) and was well worth it. No one ever wants to fess up that they struggle with proper money management but unless you’re doing it right, chances are you’re stressed in ways you never thought possible.

What’s your legacy going to be for your kids and their kids as it relates to money? Cheerful, wise, and generous are on my radar.