Archives For Money

This post was adapted from my book Money: God or Gift. For a limited time, Money is available for free by writing a review of the book via Story Cartel, plus receive a chance to win a Kindle Reader.

Are you a Rich Fool?

Sounds harsh, I know. The thing about the Rich Fool is he doesn’t even have to be rich. He simply needs to care more about his stuff than the Creator of all his stuff. We can all fall into the foolish trap and forget that “life does not consist in the abundance of our possessions.”

This trap poses a lot of questions for managing our money. Does this mean we’re to avoid possessions entirely and take a vow of poverty? Should we not then be saving for retirement? How can we be wise and plan for the future without becoming the Rich Fool?

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“Money is the answer for everything.” – Solomon 

How often do you have that day? That day when the answer to every one of life’s problems seems like it could be answered simply by having more money. You could buy a better car, live in a bigger house, pay someone to cook you dinner, take the vacation to somewhere warm and tropical, quit your job, get out of debt, impress your friends, retire, travel, or even afford that one thing that always seems out of reach. There are very few things in life that money can’t buy–they’re important things for sure, but money does answer so many problems.

A more serious problem though is the reality that money so easily becomes our god, the thing we live for. I know, because I’ve lived that way before and am tempted to continue to live that way. The alternative is a much better way to live. And it’s the truth. Money is a gift from the real God. It is something we’re given to enjoy and steward.

Here are the seven most important things to know about money, taken from my book, Money: God or Gift.

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Last week, my two daughters – 10 and 7 years old – gave me a 15-page PowerPoint presentation about how they want to upgrade their room, including a budget.

Part of their plan was to set up a lemonade stand to raise some of the money, so that we did. They named themselves the “Sweet and Sour Sisters”. 

lemonade_stand

To no one’s surprise, they sold out in an hour. 

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I was recently asked by a couple of people about my e-book publishing process. The actual process of publishing the book is fairly simple, but don’t kid yourself: it’s a ton of work. I’ve learned a lot about it and want to share some of the best practices and tools to help things run more smoothly and efficiently. Tom Corson-Knowles might have the most helpful book on the market when it comes to Kindle publishing in particular. A few of these things I wish I would have learned beforehand.

Here’s some info on how I’ve done it up to this point and how I’ll do it moving forward.

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A few people have asked me if they could use the “Gratitude or Greed” chart from my book Money: God or Gift. Because it seems the chart itself is a valuable resource for people teaching on the subject of financial stewardship, I pulled it out of the book and made a separate PDF of the chart. 

You can download it for free here, and you are welcome to share it.

 

Money, Authority, and Change

January 10, 2013

The titles of the three e-books I’m working on. Money is already out and the other two will release in the next few months.

When I transitioned from my role as Executive Pastor, that I held for over 12 years, I set out to write a longer, more traditional book on leadership. Then I thought: why am I writing a longer book? I hate reading long books, and many of the books on my bookshelf are only marked-up and highlighted through Chapter 4.

I decided to apply this realization to my writing; why not write the way I like to read? Who cares if no one else reads it, at least I will. For those who know me well, I’m not interested in a lot of fluff. In fact, writing can be lot of work for me, but it’s a discipline that forces me to think through my thoughts and convictions.

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What Will You Leave Behind?

January 7, 2013

This post was adapted from my book Money: God or Gift. Buy it for $2.99 and read it on your Kindle, or on a free Kindle Reader application.  

“Blessed are those servants whom the master finds awake when he comes.” (Luke 12:37)

You will die. What will you leave behind in your absence?

Have you ever asked yourself that question? Or maybe you’ve dismissed it because you feel too young (“I don’t need to worry about that right now”) or too old (“It’s too late”). Both excuses are untrue. As long as you still have life, you need to use it. Don’t delay it, and don’t diminish it, or else you’ll waste it.

Where do you want to go? What are you pursuing? What drives you? What bugs you? What do you want to see changed—in your life, in your city, in the world?

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“For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing.” (Luke 12:23) 

We often separate desires into arbitrary categories of “wants” and “needs” to help us make decisions with our money. But this way of thinking can be problematic: almost nothing is technically a “need.” Because of this, honest attempts to manage your desires can either lead to guilt (My conscience won’t let me eat anything besides tap water and vitamin paste) or self-righteousness (If God wanted man to wear shoes we would have been born with Velcro on our feet).

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Gratitude or Greed

December 31, 2012

“One’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” -Luke 12:15

The Rich Fool of Jesus’ parable in Luke 12 could be a poster boy for the American Dream. He worked his land, earned a good living, and planned to enjoy the fruits of his labor. But he could also pass for what is too often the American Reality. Ruled by selfishness and greed, he ignored the One who created the land, the One who made it produce a harvest, and the One who numbered his very days.

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