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What is it About the Holidays?

We’re entering a season that seems to play out in three different ways for people.
For many, it’s an opportunity to give thanks, “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year,” and yes, as Andy Williams sang, a time of parties, and caroling, and “mistletoeing,” and all the rest.
Of course, it’s also a favorite time of year for shopping, with many people eagerly anticipating the Black Friday


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A Powerful Antidote to Our Consumer Culture

Every day of our lives, we are the unwitting recipients of countless messages designed to foster discontentment. And they work really well, convincing us that we need something more in order to be happy. In order to be worthy of love or respect.
According to one study, more than 60 percent of us always have something in mind that we look forward to buying. That’s what makes the


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Teaching Children to Share, Save, and Spend

Point your kids in the right direction — when they’re old they won’t be lost. Proverbs 22:6 (MSG)
Make “money talk” a priority
If you grew up in a home where your parents didn’t talk about money, it may be difficult to begin the conversation with your own children. But teaching them the basics about budgets, saving, and sharing according to your values will give them a


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One Simple Word

Do you find it more difficult to feel thankful this year?  Do you feel negatively impacted by the national unrest and world-wide turmoil?  Or have the tough times made you more aware of and thankful for some of life’s simple gifts?
We have felt the pain of financial loss in our family, with two important clients of mine falling on hard times and cutting off funding


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An Irrational Financial Act

Of all the things we can do with money, giving it away seems completely, utterly irrational, doesn’t it? It turns out that generosity is a key component of what it means to use money well. Here are three reasons why.
Generosity is Part of Our Design
The Bible says we were each made in God’s image, and since God is infinitely generous, that means generosity is woven


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Going the Extra Mile

On a weekend trip to Phoenix where I had a chance to do what I love to do: teach a workshop on the practical application of the timeless truths about money, I ended up learning quite a bit as well, including some lessons about going the extra mile from some unlikely sources.
Right after I arrived, I boarded a standing-room-only bus headed for the rental car


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The Blessing Box

I love the fact that the holiday season begins with Thanksgiving.  It’s so healthy to take some time to remember all that we’re grateful for.  One of the best ideas for doing so was introduced to me by Bob and Jody.
I met Bob many years ago during a video shoot for a personal finance program.  I met his wife, Jody, more recently.  While telling me


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Much Obliged

Writer Fulton Oursler had vivid memories of an old woman named Anna who helped care for him as a child. When she sat down to eat she would say, “Much obliged, dear Lord, for my vittles.”  Oursler wondered why she thanked God since she would get the food regardless of whether she gave thanks or not.
“It makes everything taste better to be thankful,” Anna said.


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Is Fear Messing with Your Finances?

Did you know that the most often repeated commandment in the Bible is “Do not fear”?  I was reminded of that when reading Donald Miller’s book, A Million Miles in a Thousand Years. That fact seemed to jump off the page, as if reading it for the first time.
I found it surprising, and deeply encouraging.
Fear Comes in Different Flavors
Of course, some fear is healthy. To deny


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Are You Financially Asleep or Awake?

“What does Jesus have against sleep?” our eight-year-old asked on the way to church.
Our family had been invited to lead “a responsive call to worship” that morning – a short time at the beginning of the service in which we were to read some Scripture. We were asked to read from Mark 13, where Jesus told His disciples to “keep watch because you do not


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