Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. (1 Tim. 6:17-18)

Monday, August 31, 2009

Are you a lifelong learner?

...make the love of learning central to your life. - David McCullough

Lifelong learning, also known as LLL, is the "lifelong, lifewide, voluntary, and self-motivated" pursuit of knowledge for either personal or professional reasons. As such, it not only enhances social inclusion, active citizenship and personal development, but also competitiveness and employability.

The term recognises that learning is not confined to childhood or the classroom, but takes place throughout life and in a range of situations. During the last fifty years, constant scientific and technological innovation and change has had a profound effect on learning needs and styles. Learning can no longer be divided into a place and time to acquire knowledge (school) and a place and time to apply the knowledge acquired (the workplace). [Source: Wikipedia]

Here in the great Information Age in which we now live, if you are not a lifelong learner, you will be in big trouble, financially. With the constant, rapid changes in technology, information resources, and business practices in which we find ourselves here in the 21st Century, you must continue learning constantly if you desire to be successful in your chosen profession.

The gap between the wealthy and poor will become increasingly larger as information grows on an exponential level, because those with a wealthy mindset understand these principles. They read books. They attend classes, seminars, and workshops. They take people out to lunch who are more knowledgeable than they are. They are writers and deep thinkers. Wealthy people are lifelong learners. The poor get poorer by staying ignorant of what they do not know that could possibly increase their value in the workplace

Here is a great equation in which to consider lifelong learning:

Lifelong learning (acquiring specialized knowledge + skills) + Action = Wealth Creation

If you want to create wealth, you must acquire specialized knowledge and skills through lifelong learning, and then take massive action on your knowledge and skills. This will bring clients busting down your doors. This will make you a valued employee in your workplace.

Do you see a man skilled in his work? He will serve before kings; he will not serve before obscure men. (Proverbs 22:29)

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Saturday Roundup - iPod winner, Bizz Buzz Live, Financial Peace University, and Tele-seminar Discount

It's been a busy week for me and I have a lot to cover in this post.

Birthday Celebration Giveaway: iPod Winner!

Earlier this morning, I announced on Twitter and Facebook that I had a winner for my iPod nano giveaway via

I am pleased to announce that Emily Browning (Twitter: @yoimemily) is the winner of my very first giveaway drawing. Congratulations, Emily! I plan on doing more of these, so keep up with the blog on a regular basis.

Bizz Buzz Live Radio Interview

I had an awesome time being on the Bizz Buzz Live radio program this morning hosted by Tim Chin. A special thanks to Tim, Cheri, and Scott for making me sound good. It was truly an honor being on the program with you.

The podcast should be available in a few weeks: Bizz Buzz Live podcast page.

Financial Peace University

If you live in the Kansas City metro area and heard Bizz Buzz Live this morning, you heard me announce our next round of Financial Peace University classes at First Baptist Raytown. This class will begin on Sunday, September 13 at 4:00 p.m. in Room B301. The cost is $95 for the Financial Peace kit. If you already own a kit, you can go through the class as many times as you would like at no cost. You are a lifetime member.

To register for the First Baptist Raytown class online, click here.

Jay Peroni Seminar

If You Invest Any Of Your need to attend this event. Jay Peroni, author of 'The Faith Based Millionaire' will show you how to evaluate investing opportunities from a faith-based perspective. On Sept. 1st at 6:30pm Central, expert sales coach Pierce Marrs will be grilling Jay onthe core steps to faith based investing that you need to know. The class is $20, but I'm giving you a coupon code to get $19 off. Right, it will cost you a whopping $1. You need to hear this teleseminar. Go to the info page, and when you register, enter into the 'Coupon code': jayfbm
The details are at
Jay Peroni, CFP
Author of The Faith-Based Millionaire & The Faith-Based Investor
* Learn How to Unlock Wealth by Placing Principle Before Profits

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Do You Feel God's Pleasure?

God wants you to enjoy life. He wants you to experience pleasure. He wants you to experience the right kind of pleasure that only comes from walking in a strong relationship with Him. He richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment (1 Timothy 6:17b).

A Christian who is rich in Christ knows that He has been created with a God-centered purpose for His life. The Rich Christian knows what his God-given natural talents, abilities, and strengths are. Do all of these abilities have Kingdom purposes? On the surface, it may not always appear that way.

Take for example the famous Olympic runner and missionary to China, Eric Liddell. Eric was born in China to missionary parents, and at a young age, his parents moved their children to England to attend boarding school while they remained on the mission field.

Eric's athletic prowess was evident at a young age, and while attending college in Scotland, he became known as that country's fastest runner who was destined for Olympic greatness. But Eric was not just known as a fast runner. He was also known to be a young man who was "entirely without vanity" as well as a man strong in his Christian faith. From this position of athleticism and faith, Eric was asked to be the speaker for the Glasgow Students' Evangelical Union.

Eric eventually went on to the 1924 Olympic games in Paris, France. Interestingly enough, because of his faith, he refused to run in the 100 meter race (which was his strongest race) because it was held on a Sunday. Eric did, however, train for the 400 meter race and went on to win the gold medal, achieving a new world record. Through all of his Olympic success, he always honored God.

On the surface, being an athlete seems like such a self-centered activity. Much time is devoted to practice and training which seemingly could be devoted to more "spiritual" activity. Why didn't the young Eric just throw away his running and move straight on to the mission field?

God has different seasons of life that he wants all of us to experience for our own personal growth, knowledge and experience. God gave Eric the athletic ability of running very fast, and Eric was able to combine this passion with his love for Him. God allowed Eric to achieve great accomplishment and fame in order that He could be a testimony of a committed Christian on the world stage of the 1924 Olympics. God gave him the platform of a gold medal Olympian on which he could accomplish even greater ministry as a result.

As a young man, did Eric Liddell understand all of these things? Perhaps, but in his own words, Eric just knew that God created him to be a fast runner and that he experienced God's pleasure when he ran. For Eric, it was as simple as that.

I believe God made me for a purpose, but he also made me fast. And when I run I feel His pleasure. - Eric Liddell, Olympic athlete and missionary to China

What personal passion, activity, or talent allows you to feel God's pleasure? Can God through you use this pleasurable activity for Kingdom purposes?

Monday, August 24, 2009

It's My Birthday! | Apple iPod Nano Giveaway

PLEASE NOTE: I am pleased to announce that Emily Browning Soulliere (Twitter: @yoimemily) is the winner of my very first giveaway drawing. Congratulations, Emily! I plan on doing more of these, so keep up with the blog on a regular basis.

It's my birthday today, and I'm celebrating all week by giving away to one blessed winner a brand new Apple iPod nano 8 GB Blue (4th Generation) NEWEST MODEL.

Enter to Win by:


Tweeting this to your Twitter friends:

RT @RichChristian giving away iPod nano to celebrate birthday **RT to enter to win**


Mention this giveaway on your website, then come back to this post and leave a comment with the URL of where you mentioned it.


Leave a comment on this post telling me what kind of music or videos you would download to your new iPod.

Do one of the above by Friday, August 28th at 11:59pm CDT for your chance to win!

I will randomly select a winner using The winner will be announced on Saturday, August 29th. Good luck!

Here's a listing of some of my favorite blog posts:

Friday, August 21, 2009

The power of choice

You have the power to choose today. You can choose to:
  1. prioritize your day and focus on the most important things in your life.
  2. have a focused quiet time with the Lord.
  3. love your spouse, even if they're unlovable right now.
  4. be happy even in difficult circumstances.
  5. wake up early to write morning pages or journal your thoughts.
  6. invest your life into your children.
  7. make a difference where you work.
  8. give back to the Lord in time, talent, and treasure.
  9. learn a new skill.
  10. write a book.
  11. mentor someone.
  12. be mentored by someone you respect.
  13. be loving, yet firm with people.
  14. make a difference in your community.
  15. go to bed on-time and get enough sleep.
  16. control your thoughts.
  17. control your emotions.
  18. control your spending.
  19. live on a budget.
  20. pay your bills on-time.
  21. save money.
  22. make informed financial decisions.
  23. lead people to a higher level.
  24. live in faith.
  25. do the right thing, even when everyone else is not.
What positive choices do you need to make today?

Go out and make a difference for Him!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

When do you ditch the beater?

Today, I have written an article which is being featured over at the Christian Personal Finance Blog. In this post, I discuss the decision making process on repairing or replacing an older used vehicle. Check out the post here.



Monday, August 17, 2009

The year of drought

This is what the LORD says: "Cursed is the one who trusts in man, who depends on flesh for his strength and whose heart turns away from the LORD. He will be like a bush in the wastelands; he will not see prosperity when it comes. He will dwell in the parched places of the desert, in a salt land where no one lives." But blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in him. He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit." (Jeremiah 17:5-8, NIV).

There are a lot of people in the United States who are extremely nervous right now. The economy is tanking, unemployment figures keep climbing, and a Democrat run Congress as well as President Obama are swinging hard left into a socialistic agenda in order to (supposedly) fix the nation's economy. From my tone you can probably deduce that I'm not in favor of this approach, but that is not the point of this post.

As a nation, we have entered into a time of drought. All of the financial numbers point to the fact that we have entered into a major recession that will take some time from which to recover. Many Christians and non-Christians alike are worked up about the fiscal policies that are coming out of Washington right now, and I don't blame them. I support the right of every US citizen to protest against bad financial policy.

As Christians, though, we need to be very cautious of one thing: in times of drought, be sure your trust is in Almighty God and not man. If we are to be blessed as a nation financially, we need to move back to our Judeo-Christian roots not only in terms of money, but also in morals and ethics.

Man's way only leads to more drought and lack of prosperity.

God's way leads to a confident prosperity. Trust in the Lord and place your confidence in Him.

Friday, August 14, 2009

You don't really have money problems...

The presence of money problems in your life is not really your primary problem. Money problems are just symptoms of deeper internal issues. These financial symptoms could include:
  1. Overspending
  2. Gambling
  3. Hoarding
  4. Living paycheck to paycheck
  5. Overextended in debt
  6. Upside down on one or more vehicles
  7. Constantly overdrawing on your bank account
  8. Too many credit cards
  9. Creditors calling to collect on overdue bills
  10. Being behind on your mortgage payments or rent
  11. Foreclosure
  12. Paying late charges
  13. Investing in risky schemes
  14. Impulse purchases
  15. Keeping up with the Joneses
  16. Retail therapy - shopping/compulsive spending to deal with emotional problems
The internal issues that could be the cause of these symptoms include:
  1. Lack of financial knowledge
  2. Lack of a money system or budget
  3. Lack of planning
  4. Sloppy accounting practices
  5. Greed
  6. Materialism
  7. Laziness
  8. Marriage problems - lack of agreement between husband and wife
  9. Lack of self-control
  10. Depression
  11. Anxiety
  12. Boredom
  13. Addiction
  14. Lack of consistency in behavior
  15. Pride
  16. Time management problems
OK, so what are the solutions to these problems in order to alleviate the symptoms?
  1. A foundation of Biblical financial wisdom
  2. A deeper relationship with Almighty God
  3. Knowledge - books, seminars, small group studies
  4. Counseling/therapy
  5. Prayer
  6. Generosity
  7. Thrift
  8. Diligence/perseverance
  9. Self-control
  10. Goal setting
  11. Advanced planning
  12. A better paying job or more successful business
  13. Patience
  14. Stronger marriage with Godly submission to one another
  15. Humility
  16. Contentment
What resources are available to help people get a handle on their money and the behavior that have led to their financial problems in the first place?
  1. Financial Peace University - hands down, this is the best small group study for practical knowledge to run your family finances. If you want to beat debt and build wealth from a Godly, Biblical, and practical perspective, you have to attend this class.
  2. Crown Financial Ministries - Crown has a number of small group studies that give you a Godly, Biblical perspective on your money. Their entire (and correct) premise: it's not your money to begin with. It's God's money that He has blessed you with to manage properly!
  3. Budget software tools - there are numerous budgeting tools available on-line; just do a quick Google search here. I still use the same Crown Financial Excel spreadsheet that I received from a Crown small group study many years ago.
  4. Envelope systems - both Dave Ramsey and Crown Financial have cash envelopes systems readily available to help with your budget organization.
  5. Financial coaches - check out Crown Financial coaches as well as Dave Ramsey's certified financial coaches.
  6. Books - check out my all-time favorite personal finance books on here.
  7. Blogs - there are a number of great personal finance blogs. Check out the Christian Personal Finance Blog's list of the Top Christian Blogs.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Delivered for a purpose

In my previous post on Puppy Dogs and Rainbows, I closed with this verse:

The LORD said, "Surely I will deliver you for a good purpose; surely I will make your enemies plead with you in times of disaster and times of distress." (Jeremiah 15:11, NIV)

Even in times of difficult circumstances, God has a plan. He is always at work around us, using people and circumstances to accomplish His purpose in the world and in us.

He will deliver us from these difficulties for purposes we cannot understand and may never understand this side of Heaven. All we can do is have faith and trust in Almighty God that His will, will be accomplished.

While we go through our trial, we need to bloom where we have been planted. God wants us to grow and mature in whatever circumstances we find ourselves.

Take for example all the officials from Judah that God sent into exile in Babylon. God had the prophet Jeremiah write a letter to them to encourage them to settle into their captivity and prosper while they waited for God's deliverance.

This is the text of the letter that the prophet Jeremiah sent from Jerusalem to the surviving elders among the exiles and to the priests, the prophets and all the other people Nebuchadnezzar had carried into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon... It said:

This is what the LORD Almighty, the God of Israel, says to all those I carried into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon: "Build houses and settle down; plant gardens and eat what they produce. Marry and have sons and daughters; find wives for your sons and give your daughters in marriage, so that they too may have sons and daughters. Increase in number there; do not decrease. Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the LORD for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper..."

This is what the LORD says: "When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will come to you and fulfill my gracious promise to bring you back to this place. For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you," declares the LORD, "and will bring you back from captivity. I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you," declares the LORD, "and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile." (Jeremiah 29: 1-14)

Hang on during the trial. Have faith in His good purpose. Pray for growth and prosperity as you go through your time of difficulty. Deliverance will come.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Puppy dogs and rainbows

The life of a believer who is rich in Christ is not always going to be puppy dogs and rainbows. God calls some of his followers to times of difficulty.

For example, look at the life of the prophet Jeremiah. God called him to preach and prophesy to the nation of Judah during the most difficult time in the nation's history - before and after the exile to Babylon.

Jeremiah was persecuted by the king and leaders of his homeland. He had to go into hiding. He saw his friends and fellow countrymen dragged off to a foreign country.

Does Jeremiah's hardship mean that he was being punished for sin? No. God gave Jeremiah a specific mission to carry out that involved much difficulty and challenging circumstances.

Jeremiah should have felt honored by God to be called to a life of difficulty. Perhaps God gives His most challenging assignments to those He knows who can handle the pressure.

Are you in the center of God's will? Do you have a clean conscience before Him? Are you encountering some major difficulties in your life? Consider yourself blessed to be deemed worthy to be tested by God in some difficult assignment ordained by Him.

Difficulties show men what they are. In case of any difficulty remember that God has pitted you against a rough antagonist that you may be a conqueror, and this cannot be without toil. - Epictetus

The LORD said, "Surely I will deliver you for a good purpose; surely I will make your enemies plead with you in times of disaster and times of distress." (Jeremiah 15:11, NIV)

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Redecorate Your Life

Definition: re·dec·o·rate (r-dk-rt)
v. re·dec·o·rat·ed, re·dec·o·rat·ing, re·dec·o·rates
To change the appearance or furnishings of; refurbish.
To change a decorative scheme.

Over the last few weeks, I have had two major redecoration projects going on simultaneously. First, my home office has received a much needed upgrade with a great new desk/workstation and two wood shelving units to hold my growing library of books and CDs (by the way, these two purchases were made via and I received great deals on both!). Second, my church orchestra has been in the process of repainting our rehearsal room with a great new color scheme. I have to say that this project turned out extremely well.

Among the ministers and directors on our church staff, we have a long standing joke about sermons and services that are focused on rededicating our lives. We often joke that instead of people rededicating their lives to the Lord, they often just "redecorate," and change the appearance of things in their lives.

Rededication deals with the internal processes. Redecoration deals with the external, the superficial.

Dealing with internal issues is a priority over external ones. For example, if you have a house that has a damaged foundation and a severe termite problem, it doesn't make a whole lot of sense to slap on a new coat of paint and consider the home all fixed. But, if the internal structure of the home is sound, redecorating the exterior and interior of our homes can aid tremendously in selling a home and adding value to its overall price.

When the Titanic suffered damage from an iceburg, internal problems needed to be addressed. Redecorating the ship by rearranging the deck chairs would have been an exercise in futility. The ship was sinking!

If internal processes and structures are sound, though, sometimes it's a good thing to do a little redecorating. Redecorating can give you a much needed morale boost during difficult times. It can also add tremendous value with a low expenditure of time, money, and resources. I know a little redecorating the last few weeks has helped me with my mental focus during one of the most difficult summers of my own life.

Make some much needed changes in your own life. Do some redecorating and see what happens. Don't get stuck in a rut.

A rut is a grave with the ends knocked out. - Dr. Laurence J. Peter

...Don't become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You'll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you. (Romans 12:1b)

Monday, August 3, 2009

With great power comes great responsibility

Last week, I was watching reruns of the Spiderman movies on network cable TV. If you are a Spiderman fan, then you immediately recognized the title of this post. This is a quote that Uncle Ben told Peter Parker.

If you are a born-gain believer in Jesus Christ, you have been given incredible power. No, this is not the web-slinging, super human strength kind of power. Rather, God has given all believers the ultimate spiritual power in the universe - His Holy Spirit.

He hasn't given us this power to keep it under wraps. God wants us to use our Holy Spirit power to do some amazing things for His Kingdom.

He wants us to demonstrate responsibility on our part on how we wield this awesome Holy Spirit power.

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. (Acts 1:8).

We proclaim him, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone perfect in Christ. To this end I labor, struggling with all his energy, which so powerfully works in me (Colossians 1:28-29).

With this in mind, we constantly pray for you, that our God may count you worthy of his calling, and that by his power he may fulfill every good purpose of yours and every act prompted by your faith (2 Corinthians 1:11).

For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline. So do not be ashamed to testify about our Lord, or ashamed of me his prisoner. But join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God, (2 Timothy 1:6-8).

If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God. If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen (1 Peter 4:11).

His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness (2 Peter 1:3).

Are you wielding His power responsibly, today?

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Are you difficult to fire?

Worthing job losses confirmedImage by percy20 via Flickr

Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might... (Ecclesiastes 9:10a)

Everyone has a fear of losing their job and the security of a steady paycheck and benefits, but during a tough economy, that fear naturally increases. With United States unemployment numbers currently hovering around the 10% mark (some would argue this number is actually closer to 15-16%), many are concerned that we are already in a deep recession.

Whether the economy is good or bad, all of us who are currently employed can be proactive in our jobs by bringing so much value to our workplace that we put our bosses in a difficult position to actually fire us if that time comes. If you are a born-again believer in Jesus Christ, you should be the best employee as a testimony to those around you for His honor and glory! Even if your position ends up being terminated due to budget issues, you can always count on great recommendations from your supervisors and coworkers if you have been a great employee.

Here are some practical ideas about becoming the best employee in your workplace:
  1. Never criticize, condemn, or complain (wisdom from Dale Carnegie). Instead, be positive and upbeat, even if you don't feel like it. "Fake it, 'till you make it."
  2. Be on time to meetings or anywhere your presence has been requested. Your boss (and fellow coworkers) will always notice who is early, on time, late, or blows off the meeting.
  3. Act like a professional. Always be well dressed for your work culture, be well groomed, have good etiquette, and be reliable.
  4. Apply the Pareto principle (80/20 rule) to your work responsibilities. 80% of your results will come from the top 20% of your work activities or responsibilities. What this means for you: spend 80% of your daily time focused on these top 20% activities. Your results will increase, and you will bring more value to the workplace.
  5. Try to be in an area that noticeably adds to your company's bottom line, and work hard to increase their bottom line. Whether we like it or not, businesses, churches, and other non-profits all survive based on cash flow. Figure out ways to decrease expenses and increase income.
  6. Always do your homework. If your boss asked you to do something, then do it on time. If you want to really impress them, do it early!
  7. Focus on productivity. Being busy doesn't cut it anymore. Being on the phone all the time and sending out hundreds of emails means nothing unless this is making you and your company more productive and increases their bottom line.
  8. Be receptive to criticism from your boss. Don't be defensive. Just suck it up and take it, think about the validity of the criticism, and then make immediate improvements in your work. Discuss a plan for improvement with your boss.
  9. Become a lifelong learner. Read books on your area of expertise. Attend seminars. Network with others in your profession. Plan on doing this for the rest of your career, especially during this great information age.
  10. Work independently. Your immediate supervisor should be able to trust you to work hard and be productive without him having to look over your shoulder, telling you what to do.
  11. Be confident. Nobody likes to work with a basket case! If you are having mental, emotional, or spiritual problems, then seek the assistance of a trained Christian counselor outside the workplace.
  12. Be a team player. Volunteer to help get the project done when coworkers are struggling.
  13. Always be offering solutions. Your suggestions or solutions may or may not be accepted, but you will gain a reputation for being a problem solver.
  14. Build strong relationships in the workplace. Maintenance personnel can be just as important as the CEO for increasing the productivity of the company. Be kind, gracious, and helpful to all employees, whether they are above or below you. We can't accomplish every aspect of our job in a vacuum. We truly do need each other.

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