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New Year’s Resolution – Don’t Be a Stagnant Pool

“You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.” 2 Corinthians 9:11
“One always receiving, never giving, is like the stagnant pool, in which whatever flows remains and whatever remains corrupts.” John Angell James (1785-1859) on “Liberality” in A Dictionary of Thoughts, edited by Tryon Edwards (Detroit: Dickerson,

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A Peace That Transcends Understanding

Each Christmas season, the bedtime routine for our young children included singing some traditional Christmas carols like Silent Night and O Holy Night.  The songs make for a soothing transition from playtime to bedtime.
Silent night, holy night.
I find the songs soothing as well, a helpful antidote to the constant negative news coming across our television and computer screens.
All is calm, all is bright.
Maybe you’re out

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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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The Ripple Effect of Our Financial Choices

Who are your financial role models? Which of your relatives, friends, neighbors, or co-workers motivate you to make smart money moves?
For me, it isn’t the wealthy people I know who live in big homes or drive fancy cars. It isn’t the people who are always the first to own the latest gadgets. It’s the people I know who happily live well within their means.
Actions Speak

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Creating a Cycle of Positive, Lasting Financial Change

For far too many people, money is a source of stress or frustration.
Consider these findings from a Federal Reserve survey:

About 46% of U.S. adults said they would be unable to cover a $400 emergency expense without selling something or borrowing the money.
About 31% of non-retired adults reported having no pension or retirement savings at all.
Among respondents with a 401(k) or IRA, 48% said they were

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Why is Managing Money So Difficult?

It happened again just the other day. Someone who appeared to be doing fine asked me for help with his finances. I give him a ton of credit. It’s hard to ask for help.
Even though it’s happened countless times in the 20+ years I’ve been involved in stewardship ministry, it still usually catches me off guard. People who look to be doing great on the

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What Does It Mean To Be a Christian Money Manager?

I was listening to a Christian financial writer and speaker who referenced a Wall Street Journal article that caught my attention. It argued that the recommendations of Christian financial planners are often little different from those of secular planners. It all made me think about what really does distinguish Christians in our approach to money—or what should distinguish us. I mean, shouldn’t our use of

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Common Questions About Biblical Generosity

In last month’s devotional, I described generosity as An Irrational Financial Act, going on to explain why it’s actually essential for anyone who wants to experience simple, meaningful financial success.
With this devotional, I’d like to answer two very common questions about generosity.
#1 How Much to Give
I believe the first principle to follow when deciding how much to give is one that cannot be measured in

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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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Character-Building Privilege

“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 (NIV)
In Old Testament times, it was essential that parents pass land ownership to their children and grandchildren. Many people were too poor to buy land. With no inheritance, they would end up enslaved or unable to care for their parents and grandparents, who normally

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