Jul 25, 2012

Wall Street and Washington Are Broken! How to change a nation.

Folks share really valid concerns with me about Washington and Wall Street. People come in on a regular basis and ask what assets will protect them if the market goes to zero. They ask if they should sell their assets to invest in gold and guns. Families who have saved all their lives are genuinely concerned, and for good reason. It is clear that there are major issues on Wall Street and the gridlock and seemingly unsolvable problems in Washington are frustrating to folks of every political viewpoint. It is as if the curtain has been pulled back on a broken financial system. We have the choice as Americans to close the curtain and pretend we didn’t see the fatal flaws, or to make massive changes.

I share this video because I think it has some beautiful relevance in our country today. Although the setting is far different from life in America, the result of generosity is the same throughout different cultures. These last few sentences from the video say it well:

“We once gave out of a sense of duty, but now are willing and count it a joy in our hearts, because it will make a great change in our community. And this message can work in every situation, in every country, because, surely, generosity is transformational. No longer waiting for outside relief, the grace of giving has replaced a welfare mentality and an entire town was rebuilt.”

Could it be possible that this same perspective could change our nation?

There is hope for our nation. There is abundance. What would happen if we claimed that abundance and began building communities together?

One woman in the video gave her only chicken to help rebuild the community. On her own she would have seemed crazy and her small gift would have been inconsequential, but because a community did what they could with what they had where they were, together, they changed their world.

What steps could you take that would be crazy, ridiculous and un-impactful by themselves? If everyone in your community took those steps, would it make a change?

How can you be the catalyst?

Wednesday in the Word: Money Sermon Marathon & Mowing in the Rain

We are thankful for the rain in Colorado as it is an answer to prayers in regards to the Colorado fires I wrote about here. However, it has made mowing my lawn quite a task. My grass has been wet on the days I’m free and dry on the days I’m gone. Last night I mounted my trusty riding mower in the rain for my three hour trek. I use to fill my time mowing with Dave Matthews and Josh Garrels but have recently turned to sermons by John MacArthur through his Grace To You App.

I’ll point you now to four of his sermons on 2 Corinthians 8 & 9. These chapters are rich with guidance for us on stewardship and give us guidance on how we should treat money. John MacArthur pours through the words of Paul and ties it in with scripture in a compelling way as he teaches about the Biblical View of Money. He walks listeners through a right attitude toward money.  He addresses how not to attain money, and how to attain money.

The Biblical View of Money - Part 1
The Biblical View of Money - Part 2
The Biblical View of Money - Part 3

The Biblical View of Money - Part 4
Not only is the content of these messages excellent, but I find myself laughing out loud often. My neighbors look at me like I am crazy as I mow speedy circles, dripping wet and laughing. I felt a little crazy. I followed these 6 tips from Purdue University before I fired up the mower. Between the downpour and this great message, it was pretty refreshing.

Jul 19, 2012

The Gift of Generosity

Here is a great video put together by the folks at the folks at www.ministryspotlight.org.

What would happen if you gave radically?

Jul 18, 2012

Wednesday in the Word: The Worry Challenge

The Sneffels Range - San Juan Mountains, CO
25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?

28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Matthew 6: 25-34 (NIV)

My boys and I read this today and I asked them, “Are you worried about anything?” I could have filled a page with things that were pressing on my mind. My five and seven year old couldn’t think of a single thing they were worried about. They said they knew that their mother and I were taking care of things. If only I had the faith of a child.

- What does this passage say about your finances, about retirement, a nest egg and financial security?

- Does the world’s formula for prudent financial management jive with God’s formula?

A Challenge:

What worries, concerns or stresses do you have about tomorrow, next year and the economy? Imagine the things that you could put on this list. Here is a challenge. Write out a list of all these things. If you are headed to church in the next week, take this list with you and stick it in the offering plate. Give these concerns to the Lord. If you aren’t headed to church, take the list, and give your concerns to God. Pray that he would take these concerns away. Take each temptation to worry and turn it into a reminder to chase after the Lord.

Jul 17, 2012

Jay Link and the Law of Resupply

Barns and Vats from Stewardship Ministries on Vimeo.

Jay Link of  Stewardship Ministries discusses the law of resupply. We discussed this same cause and effect of generosity here.

I find it extremely difficult to give until it hurts, to empty my barns and vats for others. But I read passages over and over that point to this principle.

You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.

2 Corinthians 9:11

How can I trust God today by being generous with what I have?
Can I give more, trusting that he will supply my needs?

Jul 11, 2012

Wednesday in the Word - A favorable offering

Now Abel kept flocks, and Cain worked the soil. In the course of time Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to the Lord. And Abel also brought an offering—fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock. The Lord looked with favor on Abel and his offering, but on Cain and his offering he did not look with favor. So Cain was very angry, and his face was downcast.
Then the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it. ”

Genesis 4: 2-7 (New International Version)

What do you picture Cain's gift looking like? 
How did Cain live life vs. his brother Abel? 
Does the passage say that Cain's offering was not the best?
How can we prepare ourselves to bring an offering to the Lord that is acceptable? 
Is there an attitude that Abel had, that Cain did not? How can I put that attitude on in life?


Jul 5, 2012

Summer Reading Material

Summer is here and July is a busy month for our family. I'll keep the posts coming but I thought I'd share a few of my favorite blogs, sites and resources.
Christian Personal Finance is a great site put together by  Bob Lotich and a few other writers. They have a great newsletter that you can subscribe to on the home page.

I mentioned Grace To You in this post. One of my Independence Day duties was a bit of repair work around the house and while I worked I listened to a great sermon on 2 Corinthians 9. John MacArthur spoke about our call to generosity and the benefits of obedience. You can listen to that sermon here.

I am surefolks get sick of hearing me say, "I read on MichaelHyatt.com that..."  but it's true. I wrote about Michael Hyatt's Blog on leadership here. He has great stuff to say and also brings in great guest writers.

The National Christian Foundation posts interesting videos and articles. They also have a pile of resources on their site that I use frequently. The Generous Business is a booklet that I pring or forward frequently.

TED always provides thought provoking content. If you ever get the opportunity to attend a TED event, it would be well worth it.

The High Calling is a site that I just stumbled across a few weeks ago. They share content from differeent authors (including me) about work, life and God. www.TheHighCalling.org

After you have subscribed to www.TheStewardshipSentinel.com you may want to add these to your radar.

What are your favorite blogs, sites and feeds on stewardship, generosity and beyond?

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