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Tim Challies wrote a short piece urging us to consider four questions before we make a purchase.  These four questions might go as far back as John Wesley (though they might be a paraphrase by now):

1. In spending this money, am I acting as if I own it, or am I acting as the Lord’s trustee?

2. What Scripture passage requires me to spend this money in this way?

3. Can I offer up this purchase as a sacrifice to the Lord?

4. Will God reward me for this expenditure at the resurrection of the just?

Tim elaborates and explains each one of these questions in 4 Questions To Ask Your Money.

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This day in church history: October 28, 1949 marks a special day in Christian history. Not because any revolutionary nailed a paradigm-shifting document to a door, not because a famous evangelist was birthed, but rather because a young man with a deep affection for God scribbled some simple words that are now some of the most often quoted Christian words not found in the Holy Scriptures.  What is it? Click on link at beginnning to find out

Texas attorney general to defend abortion law: ” If this case does go all the way, that’s when things could get interesting. Will the Supreme Court revisit any of the major holdings of Roe v. Wade? If it does, the high court’s ruling could have implications nationwide.”–Denny Burk

The Christian Home:  Another Protestant Reformation Blessing:  “The Reformation was a time of rediscovery. The church, in a sense, rediscovered justification by faith alone. The reformation also rediscovered biblical worship, and this was seen as the second pillar of the protestant reformation. As the church was freed from the bondage of a fear based religion, other blessings were brought forth. Other aspects of the reformation affected the life of the church and had profound implications on a developing Christian society. One such blessing in the rediscovery of biblical religion was the Christian home and the Christian marriage.”–Gentle Reformation

R. C. Sproul  shares, “MANY PEOPLE ARE SURPRISED, AND SOME ARE shocked, when they hear of my involvement in the charismatic movement years ago.”  He tells all about it here..  For years now he has spoken against the charismatic movement most recently at Here’s at the Strange Fire conference in a message entitled Undervaluing Pentecost.

Cheer up, Sunday school teacher:  Andre Seu Peterson’s advice after teaching a children’s Sunday School class: “Be like Jesus. Take heart. He didn’t win over everybody in his audience. He didn’t even win over every town. This should encourage parents and middle school volunteers alike. We keep plugging, with the measure of gift we have been given, and we take the long view of our efforts, hoping for a seed here and there to take root in the soil.”

 Air Force officials decide they no longer need God’s help  :  The U.S. Air Force appears to be systematically removing the phrase “so help me God” from the oaths of office taken by officer candidates and enlistees.

Jim Elliot’s Brother, Bert: The Hero You Don’t Know:  “Bert is Jim Elliot’s older brother. He’s the one who isn’t famous. He was a student at Multnomah Bible College in 1949, and he and his young wife were invited by a missionary to come to Peru and join the work there. Other than an occasional furlough, there they have stayed. Now in their eighties, they are still there.”–Trevin

Eleven Giving Guidelines to Fight the Pull of Materialism:  “As long as I still have something, I believe I own it. But when I give it away, I relinquish the control, power, and prestige that come with wealth. At the moment of release, the light turns on. The magic spell is broken. My mind clears, and I recognize God as owner, myself as servant, and other people as intended beneficiaries of what God has entrusted to me.The New Testament offers guidelines for giving that can help us fight the pull of materialism.”–Randy Alcorn”

What is a unique and helpful ministry for stay at home moms in the church?:  Pastor Brian Croft shares four reasons why this unique group of ladies seem to be especially fruitful in assisting in caring for elderly widows.

“The great gospel imperatives to holiness are ever rooted in indicatives of grace that are able to sustain the weight of those imperatives. The Apostles do not make the mistake that’s often made in Christian ministry. [For the Apostles] the indicatives are more powerful than the imperatives in gospel preaching. So often in our preaching our indicatives are not strong enough, great enough, holy enough, or gracious enough to sustain the power of the imperatives. And so our teaching on holiness becomes a whip or a rod to beat our people’s backs because we’ve looked at the New Testament and that’s all we ourselves have seen.

We’ve seen our own failure and we’ve seen the imperatives to holiness and we’ve lost sight of the great indicatives of the gospel that sustain those imperatives. Woven into the warp and woof of the New Testament’s exposition of what it means for us to be holy is the great groundwork that the self-existent, thrice holy, triune God has — in Himself, by Himself and for Himself — committed Himself and all three Persons of His being to bringing about the holiness of His own people. This is the Father’s purpose, the Son’s purchase and the Spirit’sministry. — Sinclair Ferguson”Our Holiness: The Father’s Purpose and the Son’s Purchase” via Of First Importance

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Paul recommends these resources (most of which I am familiar with):

BOOKS/BOOKLETS

AUDIO

More here

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Rick Thomas, biblical counselor, offers a basic plan for financial stewardship:

Last week I had the privilege to work with a couple on the financial issues in their marriage. They were a normal couple, meaning, they made money and spent money, but did not see their responsibility of stewarding money for the glory of God.

As we talked, they noted how no one had ever carefully walked beside them, to envision them in practical ways of stewarding the Father’s money. The following is a Mind Map, which I created to give them a basic plan for financial responsibility.

Note I said “a” way as opposed to “the” way. Many of you financial gurus will look at this and say, “What about this?” or “You left out that.” You’re probably right. This is not an exhaustive look at fiscal responsibility. The reason for that is because there is not a one-size-fits-all financial plan for everybody.

This is “a” way, not “the” way. The article ”a” is important. My hope is to give a vision and a roadmap you can tweak and implement according to your season of life, size of family, monetary situation, and your age.

Though your plan may not be exactly like this plan, the big ideas in this Mind Map are universal. Let’s take a look.

Lots of counsel to mull over so read the whole article “Mind Mapping a financial strategy. .  .”

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We just finished up a series on financial stewardship in our Adult Bible Fellowship. It was great to review what the Bible teaches about money as well as hear some practical financial wisdom applied to today’s economic conditions.

Nathan Busenitz posted an excellent article that contained many quotes from well-known people (some rich, others just famous) as well as a Biblical summary reminding us that money can’t buy happiness.  Here’s a few excerpts from “Dollars and Sense” :

It was Andrew Carnegie who reportedly said, “Millionaires seldom smile. Millionaires who laugh are rare. My experience is that wealth is apt to take the smiles away.” William Vanderbilt’s comment was this: “The care of 200 million dollars is too great a load for any brain or back to bear. It is enough to kill anyone. There is no pleasure in it.” And Henry Ford concluded, “I was happier when doing a mechanic’s job.”

Even John D. Rockefeller couldn’t find happiness in the millions he amassed. When he was asked, “How much is enough?” he answered, “Just a little bit more.” Toward the end of his life, he said, “I have made many millions, but they have brought me no happiness. I would barter them all for the days I sat on an office stool in Cleveland and counted myself rich on three dollars a week.” And when his accountant was asked, “How much did John D. leave after he died?” The accountant’s reply was classic: “He left all of it.”

In more recent years, the woeful tales of many lottery winners underscore the same principle — even a financial windfall can’t guarantee happiness. In August 1975, Charles Lynn Riddle won $1 million. Afterward, he got divorced, faced several lawsuits and was indicted for selling cocaine. In 1977, Kenneth Proxmire also won $1 million. Within five years, he declared bankruptcy and his wife of 18 years left him, along with their kids. In 1989, Willie Hurt of Lansing, Michigan won $3.1 million. Two years later, he was broke and charged with murder. His lawyer said Hurt spent his fortune on a divorce and crack cocaine. On December 19, 2001, lottery millionaire Phil Kitchen drank whiskey until he passed out on his couch and died.  On July 11, 2002, lottery winner Dennis Elwell, committed suicide by drinking cyanide.

On September 13, 2003, the London Telegraph reported that 16-year-old British lottery millionaire Callie Rogers had lost her boyfriend, fought with her father, been mugged, and been accused of stealing someone else’s boyfriend. She told the Telegraph, “Some days I don’t even want to leave my house because people just scream abuse at me. Two months ago I thought I was the luckiest teenager in Britain. But today I can say I have never felt so miserable.”

Read more from Ben Franklin, Abraham Lincoln, and Patrick Henry as well as some Biblical wisdom here.

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Our Sunday School has been studying biblical principles and practical wisdom on finances.  One of the areas serious Christians will want to think about most is their giving.  In fact, most people think that God only cares about what we do with 10% of our money. They incorrectly think “the rest is mine.”

To help you think biblically about giving, I’d encourage you to read this post by Clint Archer who begins by telling the fascinating story of Hetty Green and then providing six biblical principles for giving.

Start here to learn how to be “wiser than a miser.”

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Denny Burk writes:

John Piper preached a sermon yesterday on giving that I hope everyone will listen to. It is the only time I have ever heard him talk with specificity about how he spends his own money. He acknowledges the risk of sharing his own story but rightly concludes it is worth the risk to share.

Piper says that he gives away all of the copyrights to the books that he writes to the Desiring God Foundation. So he gets none of the royalties from his books. Why does he do this? Because he knows he would be a millionaire if he didn’t, and he doesn’t trust his own heart with those kinds of riches. For Piper, the issue is not how much money you make but how much you keep. He is apparently keeping very little.

This is one of the reasons why Piper is a hero to me. I know that Piper is just a regular guy; he’s human and sinful like the rest of us. Still, he’s a regular guy who fights with all his might to pursue his joy in God. May God help me to do the same.

You can watch or listen to the message here. 

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