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Activated February 2015

Finances - February 2015

We spend much of our lives working for a living—and that’s necessary—but let’s not neglect what money can’t buy: friendship, family, and peace of mind.
 

01-02-2015
How Much Is Enough?
How Much Is Enough?

God recognizes our material needs, and His Word contains plenty of promises of supply, even in abundance.1 But Jesus also warned that a vain pursuit of wealth can be a stumbling block to a Christian life.2 Human nature also makes it difficult for us to correctly assess our needs. As Benjamin Franklin observed, “The more [money] a man has, the more he wants. Instead of filling a vacuum, it makes one.”

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01-02-2015
My Caring Journey
My Caring Journey

I have spent the past several years caring for loved ones. I helped care for friends who had serious illnesses, and I became a full-time caregiver for my mother until she passed away from terminal cancer in 2009.

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01-02-2015
The Key of Simplicity
The Key of Simplicity

Our true treasures are not money and possessions. Our true treasures are the kingdom of God, His love and interaction in our lives, our salvation, God’s provision and care for us, and our coming rewards. Understanding this puts our finances and their use in the right perspective.

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01-02-2015
Can’t Buy Me Love
Can’t Buy Me Love

In their 1960’s hit “Can’t Buy Me Love,” the Beatles capitalized on a simple, well-worn truth. They could just as well have sung, “Can’t buy me truth” or “happiness” or “peace of mind.” Those things weren’t for sale either, and they’re still not. While this is a simple truth, it’s not an easy one to live.

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01-02-2015
A Working Alternative
A Working Alternative

I first met Ivan in 1995 while collecting aid in Italy for delivery to refugee camps in Croatia and Bosnia. I remember his smile and warm handshake.

It was a few years before we saw him again. He called to offer us some boxes of clothing he had collected, and we went to his home, where we met his wife, Francesca, and their two children. From then on, we stayed in touch, and over time, we’ve learned a lot from each other.

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01-02-2015
More Where That Came From
More Where That Came From

Money was scarce when I was growing up. I never lacked anything vital, but I never had so much that I could casually give something away without feeling the pinch.

Once when I was 17, a homeless person asked me for some money. I had been taught that giving brought good things back to you, so I calculated how much money I needed for my train fare home and gave him the rest—around ¥500, or roughly US$7. It was difficult giving away my last bit of pocket money. While I can’t say that because I gave $7 I got back X...

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01-02-2015
Living, Loving, Giving
Living, Loving, Giving

A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.
—Proverbs 11:25 NIV

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Remember, there’s no such thing as a small act of kindness. Every act creates a ripple.
—Scott Adams (b. 1957)

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01-02-2015
The Jug of Oil and the Fuel Tank
The Jug of Oil and the Fuel Tank

One of my favorite Bible stories has also been a guiding light to me since I first started working as a volunteer in foreign lands back in 1978. Over the years since then, it’s served as both a promise I could depend on and a nudge I couldn’t ignore.

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01-02-2015
Nine Financial Fixes
Nine Financial Fixes

Under financial pressure? Struggling to stay on top of your bills? Here are nine fixes that just might help bring you through.

 

Trust in God—He wants to take care of you and supply your needs. “God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19).

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01-02-2015
Living the Dream
Living the Dream

“I need money—lots of money!” My friend sighed deeply, stirring his coffee at our kitchen table.

“Why?” I asked him a little surprised. My friend wasn’t poor and seemed to have all he needed to be reasonably happy.

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01-02-2015
Accessories Not Included!
Accessories Not Included!

Advertisements generally portray more than the item on sale. An ad for a plastic inflatable pool might show a happy family having a great time splashing in the water. But if you get the pool, will you get a happy family too?

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01-02-2015
Flowers of Heaven
Flowers of Heaven

It’s not surprising that the Bible has inspired countless artists; the text is full of vivid pictures. Take this passage, for instance: “You have planted much but harvest little. You eat but are not satisfied. You drink but are still thirsty. You put on clothes but cannot keep warm. Your wages disappear as though you were putting them in pockets filled with holes!”1 As true today as it was two millennia ago, we can easily visualize what the prophet Haggai was talking about: job dissatisfaction, the struggle to make ends meet, vain attempts to keep up with the dictates of...

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01-02-2015
The God Factor
The God Factor

Nearly everyone in the world experiences financial pressure at one time or another, but some people deal with it better than others. The difference is often not so much these people’s circumstances, but to whom they turn for help. The secret to overcoming financial problems is actually the secret to overcoming any problem: Do what you can, and then rely on the “God factor.”

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