Devotional

Mam Tor mountain at sunrise in Peak District

Go Slow to Go Fast

"Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth." Psalm 46:10 Stillness is devalued and often discouraged in society. All around us, people shout for our attention. Project deadlines press us hard on every side. The pace of life saps both our [...]

The seedlings are growing on the coins, thinking about financial growth.

A Counterintuitive Kingdom Mindset

Churches and ministries need funding to address local needs, aid those in crisis, teach students, and deploy missionaries. As stewards, what should our mindset be in regards to sustaining our resources? The world says, “Resources are scarce. Supply is limited to man’s capacity. So, as a result, you must hoard or store them up to ensure [...]

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How To Truly Change Your Financial Life

Financially speaking, what are you trying to change? Are you trying to get out of debt? Earn more? Save more? Part of the process will probably involve gaining some new knowledge. And part of it will involve changing behavior. But getting to a better financial place is not just about knowledge and behavior. It is [...]

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Automating Financial Wisdom

I almost titled this post, “You Can’t Automate Financial Wisdom.” But then I realized, you can. A little background I have a love/hate relationship with financial automation. On the one hand, automation can be a wonderful help. In our household, we have some of our bills set up as auto-pay — those that cost the same amount every [...]

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2024 – An Adventure Ahead

It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to. — Bilbo Baggins, “The Lord of the Rings” We were made for adventure. It’s the adventures, the experiences that contain an element of risk [...]

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You Are the Light of the World

So, they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. – Luke 2:16-18 A few [...]

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Thanksgiving Stories

Typically, Thanksgiving is a time to gather with extended family to enjoy food, fellowship, and perhaps some football. But could it also be a time of sharing life-changing stories from those gathered at our tables? When my wife, Jude, and I became parents, we received some unusually helpful advice from our friend, Sibyl Towner. She [...]

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Biblical Approach to Investing

As with most financial topics, there are biblical principles that should guide our investing, but many of the specifics are left to us to figure out, hopefully motivated by a heart to consider how a good steward would invest. To figure out what a biblical approach to investing might look like, think about a spectrum [...]

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Fostering Within Our Kids a Heart for Wise Money Management

Helping our kids become wise money managers involves more than simply teaching them what to do. If we want the lessons to stick, we have to get their hearts involved. “Guard your heart for it is the wellspring of life.” – Proverbs 4:23 So many of the messages of our consumer culture are aimed squarely [...]

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How Matt Bell Found Financial Freedom

 “God paid a high price for you, so don’t be enslaved by the world.” – 1 Corinthians 7:23 I’ll never forget the day my parents invited me home for a little chat. They had started to sense that all was not well, and they were right. I was in financial trouble—deep trouble. My credit card [...]

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What Does Your Investment Do?

I have developed a phrase over the last couple of years composed of two questions; “Does it make sense on paper”? and “Does it make sense on purpose”? I use these questions to describe to a potential church borrower how we generally consider their loan application, but I think the same questions could be posed [...]

June 2023 Teaching child about Money

Teaching Children the True Power of Work

I had the most remarkable experience the other day. An arborist I had made an appointment with, called to say he was running early and asked whether that was okay. It was. When I met him, he was the nicest guy, and he was clearly very knowledgeable about trees. He quickly alleviated some concerns my wife and […]

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Stronger Than Fear

I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength. – Philippians 4:12-13 […]

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Nobody’s Fool

“Of what use is money in the hand of a fool, since he has no desire to get wisdom?” – Proverbs 17:16 No one wants to be thought of as a fool – not on April first, not at any time. The Bible uses that strong term only a handful of times in regard to […]

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Who Are You?

Financially speaking, do you know who you are? I realize that most people probably haven’t even thought about their financial identity. Even for those who have, what in the world does it have to do with finding some financial breathing room, getting out of debt, or investing more successfully? Since you’re reading this devotional, I […]

Its sunlight on the peak. Wooden boat on the crystal lake with majestic mountain behind. Reflection in the water. Chapel is on the right coast.

The Other Side of the Boat

“He called out to them, ‘Friends, haven’t you any fish?’ ‘No,’ they answered. He said, ‘Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some.’ When they did, they were unable to haul the net in because of the large number of fish.” – John 21:5-6 Do you have any recurring problems in […]

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May It Be

“For nothing is impossible with God.” – Luke 1:37 I love the start of a new year. It’s a chance to begin again, to set fresh goals and make new plans for the months ahead. As we make plans for 2023, whether financial or other types, let’s make sure that our plans are God’s plans. We […]

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The Heart of Wise Money Management

There’s a popular myth that managing money effectively is about knowledge and behavior. Figure out what to do and then do it. That’s it. Simple. But there’s a crucial factor missing from that equation: The heart. Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. – Proverbs 4:23 Marketers understand that […]

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How To Get Past the Worry

I still remember the first time we took our first child to the pediatrician. There was nothing wrong; it was just a normal first check-up. However, my face must have looked like I was carrying our newborn across Niagara Falls on a tightrope. The doctor took one look at me and said, “It’s okay, one […]

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Let it Go

I’ve spent way too much time in recent days feeling very wronged. And by a fellow Christian, no less. Somehow, a firm commitment made a few weeks ago – something that seemed like a miraculous gift from God; something I was extremely hopeful about – went from a couldn’t-have-been-any-clearer “yes,” into a “no.” In response, […]

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One of the Truly Great Financial Adventures

When my wife, Jude, and I got married, I was making almost three times as much as she was (she worked in full-time ministry while I had a corporate job), and yet she had more money in savings, more money in investments, a paid-off car that was two years newer than my paid-off car, and […]

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Who Really Owns Your Stuff?

How would you describe your house? What type of car do you own? How much money do you have in your checking account? All of those questions seem normal enough. But wait. Is any of that really yours? My main mentor when it came to learning about and then teaching biblical principles of money, Dick Towner, […]

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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 recent 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 […]

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Everybody Has A Story

During what would turn out to be my father’s final year of life, he had several caregivers in and out of his house. Since I worked within about a 45-minute drive of where he lived, one day I decided to take a long lunch and pay a surprise visit to check up on the care […]