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Monday, January 1, 2018

Money Makeover Mindset

2018 might just be the year when you get started with a money makeover mindset.

"The most important decision about your goals is not what you are willing to do to achieve them, but what you are willing to give up." - Dave Ramsey

Reflect on 2017 Thoughtfully and Thoroughly

Think about where you were in 2017.  You made it through the year to get here today.

Now think about the highs and lows of 2017.  Reflect on the progress and pitfalls of the past year.

What do you want to relive in 2017? 

What do you want to change in 2018?

If you are anything like most of us, your personal finances are up in there somewhere.  

Remain thoughtful about what you need to eliminate or add, even what you could improve upon in 2018.  Keep that at the forefront of your entry into 2018.  Commit to doing better in 2018.

Total Money Makeover in 2018

Dave Ramsey is one of many voices in the realm of personal finance that says it straight and makes it plain.  The Total Money Makeover was a gift to me some years ago and I have read it again and again.  It has helped me through job transitions and escaping the pressure of an auto loan.  I consider it more of a reference tool than a read nowadays.  I refer to it when I get beside myself with what Dave calls "stinkin' thinkin'" about my personal finances.

I suggest checking out what Dave has to offer in 2018:
  • His books are simple, straightforward reads about complex matters.
  • His classes like Financial Peace University are available at local churches and other sites.
  • The Dave Ramsey Show comes in a variety of formats. I listen on iHeart  myself.
  • There is plenty more tools and other items to explore on his site and at his online store

Why Endorse Dave Ramsey and the Total Money Makeover

In all honesty, Dave Ramsey is an extraordinary resource for staying on top of your personal finances.  Like I said,  he incorporates plain talk for plain folks.  He is frank and candid about his own financial journey.  In essence, Dave wants us all to learn from his mistakes and not repeat them.

Get started with the Baby Steps or simply check out the show.  Visit the New to Dave section of his site.  My hope is that you discover that financial peace is attainable.  My desire is that you would use this or any other resource to reclaim control over your financial life, career and livelihood, even your lifestyle.

It is more than money.  It is a mindset.

Money Monday Messages and More 

Look for more on financial freedom and economic empowerment with Life Path Multimedia Ministries as we start off 2018.  We want to post biblical and practical information and resources to strengthen your stewardship.  Our Inbox Inspirations e-newsletter is a great place to start, too.  

Meanwhile, get plenty of stewardship support via our upcoming blog posts on the following themes:
  • Money Monday Messages
  • Wealth & Wisdom On Wednesday
  • Friday's Financial Freedom 

More is bound to come as we move forward in faith, but I trust that this start will help us to help others discover what God has to offer them in 2018 and beyond.

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Prepare for the Jeremiah Journey in 2018

#JeremiahJourney  #JoinTheJourney

Sunday, December 10, 2017

What Money Means to Ministry

"Money follows the ministry." - Timothy J. Winters

Money is a means for ministry.  We make things happen in ministry with the aid of money.  It can happen in the form of charitable donations, offerings, tithes and other ways that people give to the ministry.  Money helps the ministry.

Wise Words from Winters

When Pastor Timothy J. Winters shared his insights on money following the ministry with me, he was speaking on preparation for a minister to discover his own personal calling.  He stated that some wanted to wait on the money to begin their ministry, an approach that did not signify a high level of faith.  We are to build the ministry, and the money and other resources needed will follow the ministry's work being initiated.

What Money Means to Ministry

We do not need money to operate ministry.  

That's a fact.

There is no doubt that money helps churches, parachurches, faith-based nonprofits and countless coalitions and associations doing good works.  However, money is not the main resource for ministry.  There are other resources incorporated in the anatomy of ministry that keep it going beyond money.

Money helps ministry.

Money helps us help others beyond what we are already doing for people.

Expanding the Ministry

We can expand the ministry from what it has been or who it has been helping, even where it has been operating.  Imagine the vision it took for Robert Schuller to see the possibilities of an empty drive-in movie theatre in Orange County.  It took vision, but it also took money to build the Crystal Cathedral, to produce the longstanding Sunday TV broadcast The Hour of Power, and publish a wide array of books.  With financial support, along with patience and dedication, the ministry was able to expand beyond its origin to world-renowned standing.
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The money did not make the ministry.  The money only served the purpose of helping to expand the ministry.

Money can help us serve more people.  It can help us produce and sell more products like gear and accessories.  It can help us provide more goods and services to the poor and needy.  It can help us take our ministry further than the current borders of our service.

Money can help with expanding the ministry.

Enhancing the Ministry

Money is a means for enhancing the ministry.

In other words, the ministry can grow in a different way and to a different level with the help of money.  You can enhance the ministry with additional elements.  You might change the selection of available items at your food pantry.  You might be able to provide your volunteers t-shirts or buttons to wear while serving.  You could enhance your ministry with more money.

You just have to be careful with sponsorships and donations.  These should help you do what you do, not direct and determine what you do.  You do not want money to inhibit or limit the ministry's ability to do good for others.

Money can help enhance the ministry.

Just keep it all in mind.  Money has a place in ministry, but money only follows the ministry.  Follow your heart first.  Find your calling.  Focus on that calling and its work.  You will be overwhelmed and amazed at the world of supporters out there, especially those who have more to offer than money- a willingness to pitch in and do some of the work with you.

Read more from Rev. Bruce on the Calling to Serve:

Monday, December 4, 2017

The Real Deal on the Love of Money

Some people got to have it 
Some people really need it 
Listen to me y'all, do things, do things, do bad things with it
The O'Jays

For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.

The Truth About Money

Money tends to get a bad rap.  Search the Internet.  The truth is that money is not evil.  It is not "of the devil" as some believers have come to attest and profess.  Money is an inanimate object.  It has no feelings.  It has no intention, either good or bad.

Money is simply a means.  Money is a medium of exchange.

Money is not the problem.

For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. . .

The Real Problem Beyond Money

The real problem with money is our perspective on money.  Many of us as believers have a flawed perspective of money and what it can do for us.  Some see money as a problem-solver.  Some see money as a cure-all and a fix to all of their problems and issues in life.  

That perspective is full of trouble.

With a flawed perspective, we can never put money in its proper place within our lives.  It will always seem to have more power than it warrants if we believe it to be an all-powerful solution to our circumstances.

. . . If riches increase, Do not set your heart on them. - Psalm 62:10 (NKJV)

He who trusts in his riches will fall. . . - Proverbs 11:28 (NKJV)

 For riches certainly make themselves wings; They fly away like an eagle toward heaven. 
-Proverbs 23:5 (NKJV)

The Real Deal Perspective on Money

Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith 
and pierced themselves with many griefs
-1 Timothy 6:10 (NIV)

Do not approach money like these folks that Paul describes to Timothy.  Their desire and eagerness for money caused them to "have wandered from the faith." They found themselves plagued with "many griefs." Money is not worth it when it rips apart your faith and causes you grief upon grief.

Behold, these are the ungodly, Who are always at ease; 
They increase in riches. 
- Psalm 73:12 (NKJV)

You will see some who prosper in spite of their misdeeds.  There will be those who seem to get ahead no matter what comes up.  Yes, "they increase in riches." They seem to have it easy, but you are not guaranteed to see their demise and destruction.  Just as the verses above mention, earthly riches are fleeting.  You can be on top today, and then at rock bottom tomorrow.

A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, 
Loving favor rather than silver and gold. 
- Proverbs 22:1 (NKJV)

Discover what it means to truly be rich.  Look at the Lord's words in Luke 16:11If then you have not been faithful in the unrighteous wealth, who will entrust to you the true riches? (ESV).  There are those "true riches" that the Lord has set aside for us that far outweigh silver and gold, even hard currency and cold cash.

Read Dave Ramsey's Total Money Makeover or his Complete Guide to Money.  Other Christian authors such as Ron Blue or Larry Burkett, even Steve Marr's Business Proverbs, can also give you some insights and inspiration on handling the Lord's blessing of riches.

We just have to get the right perspective on money.  Once we have the right perspective on money, we can make money and truly keep money in its proper place.  That is when we can make room for the true riches that the Lord has for us.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

When It Gets Real For You

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.- Psalm 23:4 (KJV)

If you understand struggle, you understand that it can get real tough to take it.  It can get tough to keep going.  It can feel like you just cannot make it.

You may not see a way to make it through.

Reflect on what God has to offer you during your struggle.

. . . for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me

He is Present with You
. . . for thou art with me; 
God will not  forsake you during hard times or while you are down.
He is present.
He is attentive.
He is aware.
He is active.

He has Protection for You
. . . thy rod and thy staff they comfort me
His rod and staff can help to clear the way as well as ward off attackers.
His rod and staff can nudge us along the way to greener pastures beyond the valley of the shadow of death and they can be used to rescue us from being caught in the bushes or going astray from the flock.

He has something to offer us.  Do not let what you are undergoing lead to your undoing.

He can help you make it through, even when it gets real for you.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Going through Hell with Help from Heaven

The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; 
and sayeth such as be of a contrite spirit.
- Psalm 34:18

Being brokenhearted can leave you in the dumps.  The damage done to you can leave you feeling like totally damaged goods and all out of sorts.  It happens to a lot of us.

Fortunately, the Scriptures assure us that the Lord is near to those of us who feel broken and contrite.

Can you imagine going through hell without any help from heaven?

It is hard enough to catch hell as a Christian.  We have fellowship with the Lord and communion with Him.  We have fellow saints, brothers and sisters worldwide praying for us and fasting for us in unity.  We have the Lord's Spirit indwelling within us due to our conversion.  We have all that, but we still catch hell and it can break us down.

We can have all of these things to our advantage and still remain vulnerable to satanic attacks and demonic forces that seek to do all sorts of damage to us and our relationship with the Lord.  Yet, we still have more than those who have no relationship with God.  We can catch hell and still know that God is watching over us and He still loves and cares for us.

Though we may catch hell here on earth, we still have:

  • Hope: We have the Lord's will on our hearts.  His will being fulfilled gives us hope that what we may go through is part of the bigger picture that will lead to us having a better perspective and bolder praise.  We go through hell, but we have HOPE.
  • Help:  We have the Lord's Word to provide us with His words of comfort and displays of His miraculous power and lovingkindness as well as longsuffering throughout time.  He extends his hand of mercy and grace to help us when we least deserve it, especially since we cannot earn anything from Him on the merit of our own goodness.  It is good to know that we have His HELP.
  • Heaven: We have heaven on our side.  We have the Lord and His angelic forces, His almighty power that encompasses all things created on earth and in heaven.  I oftentimes wondered why God and the "sons of God" did not launch a full court press on Satan when he walked into the heavenly realm in the Book of Job.  However, as I learn more and more about the attributes of God, I realize that Satan (Lucifer) was summoned just like all of God's other angels in order to stand before Him.  He was subject to God, even in his fallen state. God has all power over all things, even the hell that we go through with help from heaven.
Keep this in mind as you endure what you have to face in this life.  it could be at work or school, in your home or your family.  No matter where you go through hell here on earth, you can depend on help from heaven.

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Discover more about the type of help that God offers us all.  Read my article Praying with Trust and find some simple ways to continue in Christ with deeper faith.  Also, view facing Your Fears in Faith.  I believe that both of these articles can help those who are hurting and are in need of healing that only the Lord Himself can provide.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Facing the Facts about Mobilizing Ministry in a Media Age

The average Facebook user has 20+ "friends," according to Usama Nasir's "16 Social Media & Blogging Stats of 2012"

Digital Buzz Blog states that 55% of Twitter users access the platform via mobile devices.  Additionally, the site also states: Out of the 6 billion people on the planet 4.8 billion have a mobile and only 4.2 billion own a toothbrush.

Is it time for your ministry to go mobile?

Let's face the facts.  People are using all sorts of mobile devices.  It is a global trend.

But you are just getting your website revamped. Let's not to mention the fact that you have yet to update the pastor's blog or the photo gallery that have no new photos since 2010.

I am just saying.  Now you know I don't mean any harm.

Let's get mobilized with the times.  We are called to lead people in the world to Christ. Yet, if the world all are captivated by Miley Cyrus VMA video clips and TMZ news feeds on their iPhones and tablets, then we had better come up with some methods for entering the multimedia marketplace with an action plan and some real strategies that can deliver results without burning out our congregations or volunteers and that won't cost loads and loads of money.  After all, Jesus ministered in the marketplace.  Paul did so, too.  The other Apostles reached people by the methods of their times, too.  Imagine what they would have done with email, text messages, and YouTube.

Stay tuned as I launch several posts in a series on starting your own multimedia ministry.  The series will span several weeks and include some interesting pieces on mobile sites, video conferencing, and other methods.

Amen Me!