By Tim Howington
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”
by Tim Howington
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”
by 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”
Psalms 3–4 I look up at your macro-skies, dark and enormous,
your hand-made sky-jewelry,
Moon and stars mounted in their settings.
Then I look at my micro-self and wonder,
Why do you bother with us?
Why take a second look our way?
-The Message Version
One of the biggest transitions for a new married couple is moving from me to we. After a life of singleness the coming together can be a challenge for the twosome. This is true for several areas but particularly challenging in the area of finance. The number one cause of divorce is unresolved conflict and while couple fight over a lot of things conflict over finances is at the top of the list.
One of the more interesting analogies in the faith walk is the picture of Christ as husband and the Church as bride. While that picture is compelling, it can also be helpful in understanding how we can relate to the Lord. As we continue our study of Biblical principles about money, this study cover verses from Acts to Revelations. This section of Scripture is a look at the early church (Bride of Christ). From a great history lesson in Acts to instructional letters to the young church from the apostles this section is rich with things we need to know as believers including principles about money.
Let’s us know if you want a copy! Info on Resource Page
This is the year that I am going to clean out my garage. No, really I am! I say that every year and I piddle at it most of the time but this is the year that I am going to go for it. I am getting rid of the extra stuff in my house. I even have a box or two still unopened from when we moved in 13 years ago. I wonder what’s in there?
So, what do spring cleaning and generosity have to do with one another? What if you and I used our spring cleaning ritual to finally get rid of that extra stuff? What if we emptied our homes of the things that we don’t really need? What if instead of hoarding things, we gave them away? What if we gave some of our furniture away before it was completely dilapidated? Or did a hard sift in our burgeoning closets? In our community, there are countless families who would benefit greatly from extra clothes, decent furniture, kitchen appliances, and seldom used sporting equipment. Continue reading “Generosity while Spring Cleaning”
At Freedom 5:one, we consider one our core ministries is to identify resources that will help families in the area of finances. We have listed several below.
I was listening to Ron Blue this morning on Family Life today in a broadcast called Outrunning the Debt Monster you can listen to it on Family Life Today in Little Rock. Family life has a number of great resources that talk about how finances effect the family and marriages. You can check them out at www.familylifetoday.com
Ron is one of the leading wisdom guys in the area of money and money management and has a lot of great resources at his website at www.ronblue.com
5 Biblical Principles he talks about are Continue reading “Outrunning the Debt Monster”