The western idea of retirement is an interesting one, and to be honest, it may be one of the weaker ones out there. We are supposed to take care of our kids, our aging parents, needs in our faith communities, and the larger communities that we live in. At the same time, we are supposed to stockpile enough savings to carry us through 10, 20, or sometimes 30 non-working years referred to as retirement. Additionally, we are expected to live a long, healthy life, independent of all assistance from our grown children, our church, or our government.
This is the American Dream for retirement, and for some, they have been able to be prepared in this manner. However, for many of us, this is the American Nightmare full of shame, regret, and tremendous pressure.
Our community is awash with spring fundraisers. It seems like the majority of the churches are having spring-break mission trips. All of the the nonprofits are targeting tax-return season. It can be overwhelming, and if you are not careful, you can become a bit jaded or bitter towards the requests or potential requests you are receiving. However, if you have a plan for your finances (specifically your giving dollars), this can be one of the greatest times of the year for you. Giving opportunities, when you have money set aside for giving, are some of the more encouraging uses of your finances. It’s like being a kid in a candy store with a little change!
I heard of a man recently say, “I wish all these kids would stop sending me letters about their mission trips.”
Some say that He spoke as much about money as heaven or hell. Ever wondered where the Bible verses are located regarding this topic? We have taken the guess work out of it. We have identified the key passages in the gospels where Jesus talks about money, uses money to illustrate something or where money intersects strongly with the topic at hand. Click here to get the study!
Side note: Some of the parables about money are in more than one gospel, so we included it all. You can compare between them for your own edification!
You may not believe this, but missionaries are not assuming that you are going to give to their ministry. They hope you might. But honestly, they have no idea where God is going to send the money from. All they can do is meet with folks, share their vision, and wait to see what happens. They don’t think less of you or judge you. They just want you to consider their cause. Earlier I wrote an article entitled “Why Would I Say “No” To a Missionary?”where we addressed the great opportunity to be involved as a financial and prayer partner with ministries around the world. However, the reality is that the Lord will not lead us to support every cause we are exposed to. He knows, and we know, that we have limited resources and must be strategic with the money we are stewarding. Continue reading “What Should I do if I don’t Feel Led to Give to a Missionary?”→
I had a world changing meeting at Cracker Barrel this morning. I had the privilege to sit down with a young couple committed to reaching college students for Christ. Their story was like many other missionaries’. God has called them to make a difference in a specific part of our world, and they are in the process of working full time in their ministry and are looking to identify potential financial backers who will give regularly. They were asking me and my family to pray about becoming a financial and prayer partner. The answer is yes. It is always yes. Why would I say no to a missionary? Old kingdom guys like me are praying for young kingdom guys like them to take up the torch and do the work of Christ. Continue reading “Why Would I Say No To a Missionary?”→
The long and the short of it is simply an issue of trust. Can you and I trust God? Can you trust Him to make all things work out for good in your life? This is the essence of the faith walk: trust. Without faith (trust) it is impossible to please Him and faith (trust) is in its very nature a belief in things we cannot see. If you and I must walk by sight we will struggle in the faith walk. And if I am honest, it is at this point that I struggle. Can I trust Him?