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The Life-Changing ‘Magic’ of Simplifying

What does it say about our culture that one of today’s best-selling books is about decluttering and organizing? “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up” has sold 5 million copies and shows no signs of letting up. The book’s author, 31-year-old Marie Kondo, has been branded the Millennial Martha Stewart. Fans pack auditoriums to see her fold clothes and organize closets.
Is it that in our consumer

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Free Indeed – An Easter Devotion

God paid a high price for you, so don’t be enslaved by the world. – 1 Corinthians 7:23
On Easter, we remember Christ’s sacrifice and celebrate his resurrection and I’ve been thinking about the apostle Paul’s words above and how they might apply to our finances.
What comes to mind when you think of financial freedom? For many, it means choices, options. Having enough money to do

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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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Keeping a Steady Hand on the Wheel Under Changing Financial Conditions

The way of fools seems right to them, but the wise listen to advice. Proverbs 12:15
The plans of the diligent lead to profit as surely as haste leads to poverty.  Proverbs 21:5
The way we buy cars offers a great example of what I call “binge/purge” money management.
For the auto industry, 2015 was a banner year. Nearly 17.5 million vehicles were sold, with SUVs and trucks

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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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