by Tim Howington
I am a thinker. Or at least I think I am. Descartes says, “I think therefore I am”, so I guess I am. I am an engineer at heart, my degree is in computer science engineering (linear thinker, problem solver, logical and sequential). But I am also a bit of a philosopher (love to engage with the abstract and essential life questions like- who am I, where did I come from, where am I going). That combination of engineering and philosophy puts me in a spot to ponder a variety of issues and then come up with some practical solutions.
I love the Bible and theology because it holds real insight to the real issues of the world. I always find it amusing when people discount the Bible as relevant because in my experience it is the only thing that makes sense in real life. I am a self-proclaimed practical theologian which basically means that the part of theology I enjoy is the application of our theological studies in the real world.
But when a problem gets beyond my ability to solve (and that happens more than I care to admit) I begin to freeze. My thoughts become cloudy and even though I keep pondering the situation, if I am unable to come up with a solution my mind begins to panic. My strength of thinking transitions to be my worst nightmare. I now begin to think through the consequences (real and imagined). Unless I begin to focus on truth, I can allow my mind to take me to places that I have no business going. And I begin to lose the battle.
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 our problems, then we will plant seeds of anxiety that will grow into a real sense of hopelessness. If we focus on what God can do, then our minds will begin to experience contentment. Now I know that our thoughts may not pay the light bill or get us that promotion or fix that fractured relationship. 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 “think about such things” →
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.
How we wish we could go back and talk to our 22-year-old self and plead with him or her to put more money aside, but we can’t. To our chagrin, our retirement days can be some of the scariest we have faced. Can God be trusted during these days? Continue reading “Can GOD be Trusted in our Old Age? Psalms 71” →
Ever wonder what Jesus had to say about money?
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!
One of the biggest transitions for a newly married couple is moving from me to we. After a life of singleness, the coming together can be a challenge for the two-some. 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 covers verses from Acts to Revelations. This portion of Scripture looks at the early church (the 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 us know if you want a copy! Info on Resource Page.