Chapter Two- Managing our Minds in Tough Financial Times

JPEG Cover-VibrantBy Tim Howington

Chapter Two

 Managing our Minds in Tough Financial Times

I remember when my son studied about Johnny Appleseed in his first grade history class. Some think that Johnny was a fabled character who embodies the generous spirit of America. But, he was a real person. He was an entrepreneur type who loved his apple trees and made it his mission to plant nurseries of apple trees all over his part of the country. By the time he got through there were apple orchards all over the place. Johnny was a planter. And he spent his time and effort planting seeds that would blossom into trees that would provide sustenance to millions. Our topic in this chapter is not about agriculture, but is neurological in nature. The question today is what kinds of seeds are you planting in your mind? What kinds of thoughts are consuming your days? There is a battle going on for the mind and it is being lost at the seed level. We are planting the wrong kind of seeds and therefore we are growing the wrong kind of trees.

This is really true when it comes to managing our minds during tough financial times. The key to winning the battle for the mind has to do with what we allow our minds to focus on. If we focus on what we do not have, then we will plant seeds of anxiety that will grow into mind-trees of hopelessness. If we focus on what God is able to do, then our minds will grow beautiful orchards of contentment. Now I know that our thoughts may not pay the light bill.  But thinking about the right things keeps our hearts with the right perspective, which affects our attitudes, which allows us to struggle well in times of adversity.

What should we be thinking about?  Continue reading “Chapter Two- Managing our Minds in Tough Financial Times”

Chapter One- Managing Yourself When There is No Money to Manage

JPEG Cover-Vibrantby Tim Howington

Chapter One

 Managing Yourself When There is No Money to Manage

 I attended a college meeting once where the speaker asked for a couple of volunteers from the audience to come and illustrate a point he was making.  He chose a big burly football player and a petite cheerleader type gal.  He had a large clear pitcher of water, filled to the rim.  He handed this to the cheerleader and told her that her task was to keep the water from spilling out of the pitcher.  He then told the football player that his task was to make her spill the water.  Well, as you can guess the football player was successful. The speaker then turned to the audience and asked “why did water spill out of the pitcher?”  The audience was split: some said it was her fault; some said it was his.  Then the speaker made a profound statement that I have never forgotten.  He said, “Water spilled out of the pitcher because water was in the pitcher.”  He then went on to explain that life will bump us from time to time and whatever is in our hearts will spill out. Continue reading “Chapter One- Managing Yourself When There is No Money to Manage”

How to Manage Yourself When There is No Money to Manage – Intro

JPEG Cover-Vibrantby Tim Howington

This book is the by-product of a painful process of financial anxiety over about a 12 month period where the Lord sustained my family by the hair of my chinny-chin-chin.  We paid every bill, ate every meal, and never lost our housing, transportation or the clothes on our back.  So, by those standards we were very blessed, and to some degree, we learned to be content.

But, every night I prayed diligently for the Lord to intervene in our lives.  Every day I worked hard to secure the funds we needed to survive.  And while I desperately wanted the “Lord’s will” to be financial stability in my family’s life, I knew that there was something else going on that was bigger than just me paying bills on time.  The Lord was stripping me of my pride and my independence.  The Lord was teaching me about how to manage my spirit when there was no money (little money) to manage.  The Lord was connecting me to the needs of families all around me who are living paycheck to paycheck and asking themselves if God can be trusted. Continue reading “How to Manage Yourself When There is No Money to Manage – Intro”

The Blessings of Daily Bread- Intro

naanI would not have made a very good Israelite in the days of Manna.  You remember those right?  The nation of Israel had recently exited from Egypt under the strong arm of the Lord and had left the Egyptians in complete disarray.  The victorious nation with heads held high would soon war with the nations of the promised land and live in a land full of milk and honey or said another way- a land so blessed that they would have everything they needed and more.  The plentiful vision of the land to which they were heading set up an expectation that would come to haunt them for the next 40 years or so.  As you probably know they would receive the Law of God in the middle of a Golden-Calf revolt.  Then they would “chicken out” at the border of the Promised Land at Kadesh Barnea.  Because of their lack of faith, they would spend the next 40 years wandering through the wilderness.  How disappointing! Continue reading “The Blessings of Daily Bread- Intro”

Free Book

how to manage yourself when there is no money to manageFor a limited time, we are offering a free copy of Tim Howington’s best selling book How to Manage Yourself when there is No Money to Manage.  We say best selling tongue in cheek since Tim has written two books and this one has sold more than the other.  Seriously though, this book is geared for families who are dealing with a difficult financial situation and are looking for a Biblical way to manage their hearts in a stressful time.  It is also available at Amazon if you prefer to read on your kindle. Continue reading “Free Book”

Is Your God Big Enough for Your Money Troubles?

Last night my son exposed me to the biggest star that science has discovered to date. The name of the star is VY Canis Majoris. Before I begin to spew my Astronomical ignorance or steal the thunder from the video we have embedded, let me just say that this star is huge. Even the name, Canis (dog) Majoris (big), implies the girth of this big dog star. The picture shows its size as compared to the earth’s orbit around the sun. I see this and all of a sudden I am struck with the immensity of our God and the finiteness of myself. Our God literally spoke a word and the universe came into play including Canis Majoris. Continue reading “Is Your God Big Enough for Your Money Troubles?”

Are Students doing the Math on School Loans?

We see it every day. College graduates (some of them not so recent) saddled with the repayment of school loans that is quite frankly eating their lunch. It is becoming apparent to me that we are not doing a good enough job helping our students do the simple math of the loans. The simple math of how much to borrow and what is will actually cost you to repay the loans. Borrowing is the easy part, repayment is the bear. It is obvious that the lending institutions are expecting the student to figure out how much to borrow and the students still live in the la-la land of “someday they will be making it big and will have plenty of money to repay whatever loans they incur”. What is worse is that many parents are taking a cavalier attitude towards preparing their students to navigate the loan game. Seems that everyone these day put themselves through school walking up hills both ways in the snow with a full time job. Continue reading “Are Students doing the Math on School Loans?”

Is it possible to be completely debt free?

chains-break-free-freedom-600x477Have you ever considered what it would feel like to be completely out of debt?

  • No mortgage payments.
  • No car payments.
  • No school loan payments.
  • No consumer loan payments.
  • No medical debt payments,
  • No personal loans.
  • Nothing.  Notta. Zilch.

What does that feel like? Freedom? Liberation?  Continue reading “Is it possible to be completely debt free?”

One Million Dollars is a lot of Money to Save

I have been doing a lot of thinking lately about retirement. Unfortunately, I am one of those guys who didn’t listen real well in the Investment 101 class. Come to think of it, I am not sure I got invited to the Investment 101 class. I heard about it and even got some of my friends who shared some of their notes and highlights with me. Best I can remember, the curriculum is pretty simple: invest money early in your 40 year working life and that money grows over time and will hopefully grow enough to tide you over in your 20 years of retirement.

Let’s do the math on the American Dream. Young professional settles in to a working rhythm by age 25 and works 40 years till he hopefully retires at 65. Retiree enjoys healthy golden years and hopefully gets to put in another 20 years where he/she dies peacefully at ripe old age of 85. Because it is no longer cool for said retiree to depend on children or anybody else they must have saved enough money over the 40 years to help them remain “financially independent” till they die.

That sounds awesome. All I have to do is figure out what I want to live on and then save it. Simple right? Continue reading “One Million Dollars is a lot of Money to Save”

What is Modern Day Contentment?

I have a new necessity in my routine… Shave Butter. Where have you been all my life? The makers of Shave Butter say that I have been “flying blind” all these years in my shaving. And I guess that’s true because I really can’t see my face with the old traditional foams and gels. But Shave Butter is clear and it “transforms the dread of shaving into the joy of softly wiping whiskers off your face”. Lest you think I jest, this stuff is pretty cool. But it adds yet another opportunity for me to express my discontentment. What happens when my $8 container of Shave Butter disappears? Can I ever go back to plain ole gel?

The modern world we live in is full of these kinds of things. We fill our homes, our cars and our lives with things designed to make life easier and then find ourselves cluttered with stuff. Sometimes we dream of the good old days when they didn’t have 17 choices of ketchup like we do in our super-duper markets. Continue reading “What is Modern Day Contentment?”