Monday, December 1, 2008

Sites that are full of good advice on how to save money and protect your financial interests.

1. 66 Ways to Save Money was developed by a working group of representatives from government agencies, consumer groups, business organizations, and educational institutions that sought to develop and publicize money-saving tips. The initiative was managed by the non-profit Consumer Federation of America (CFA).

2. GasBuddy: GasBuddy is actually a network of local sites (such as for the San Francisco area), each of which allows consumers to find and report high or low gas prices around town.

3. Fuelly: Fuelly is a cool little Web tool that lets you track and keep a history of your vehicle's gas mileage and compare your results with those of other drivers.

4. RetailMeNot: Find coupons (about 85,000, the site says) for thousands of stores nationwide. Many of them are sent in by site users, for others to use. It's not the only online coupon community, but it's the biggest and probably the best.

5. BillShrink: A big chunk of your money probably goes to your wireless carrier every month. BillShrink asks you for your locale, wireless usage habits, and current plan, then recommends other plans in your area that might be better deals for you. It's a small way to trim the fat, but every little bit counts.

6. Prosper: Prosper is like a dating site that brings people who want to borrow money together with people who want to lend it. Borrowers post their borrowing re­­quests, and prospective lenders bid on the interest rate at which they're willing to loan part or all of the money.

7. Kiva: Kiva follows roughly the same business model as Prosper, but adds a philanthropy aspect. The site allows you to extend a loan to a person in the third world who needs the money to get a small business off the ground, for example.

8. Bankrate: This is the largest and most complete aggregator of financial rate information that we've seen on the Web. The site constantly surveys 4800 financial institutions in all 50 states to provide real-time rates on around 300 financial instruments--mortgages, credit cards, car loans, money market accounts, and certificates of deposit--so you can find the best rates and save money.

9. Pageonce: You've accumulated numerous online accounts--everything from banking sites to Netflix to shopping sites to social networking--and they all have separate log-ins. PageOnce brings all of your accounts together in one dashboard where they're easy to access. But it does much more than store passwords: Once the site is linked to the accounts, it notifies you of any changes at them--from payment alerts to new-friend requests on Facebook.

10. AnnualCreditReport: Since 2003, the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act has made it possible for individuals to obtain one free annual credit report from each of the three major credit reporting agencies per year. is the only site that provides them without strings attached.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Prayer and Fasting

Matthew 17: 21 “However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.”
Is fasting required or recommended?
Matt 6: 16-18 "When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show men they are fasting. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that it will not be obvious to men that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.”
Christians are expected to fast! Jesus did not command fasting, he expects it. The Apostles never commanded fasting, but they practiced it. (Matt 4:2; Acts 13:2-3).
Why should we fast?
 To Seek Deliverance.
 King Jehoshaphat prayed and fasted for God to deliver him from opposing armies (II Chronicles 20:3-4)
 Esther prayed, fasted and asked others to fast on her behalf.
 To Express Repentance and remove the wrath of God (I Sam 7:6).
 Nineveh’s fasting for repentance -- Jonah 3:5-8.
 Saul fasted after his experience on the road to Damascus – Acts 9:9.
 There are instances when national fasting is commanded of a nation to bring about repentance -- II Chronicles 20:3; Nehemiah 9:1; Esther 4:16; Jonah 3:5-8.
 To overcome Temptation.
 Jesus’ fasting did not weaken him, but strengthened him to stand ground against the Devil’s temptations (Matthew 4:1-11).
 Matthew 17:20, Jesus said about those that couldn’t drive out the demons that some could only come out with prayer and fasting.
 Discerning God’s Will.
 Fasting and prayer are often linked together (Luke 2:37; 5:33).
 Fasting doesn’t change God’s hearing as much as it changes our praying.
 Barnabas and Saul were commissioned for a special work from God as they were worshipping and fasting – Acts 13:1-3.
 Paul and Barnabas prayed and fasted for God’s guidance with the appointment of elders (Acts 14:23).
 Jesus prayed all night before selecting the twelve disciples.
 Daniel fasted 21 days for God’s guidance in understanding.
 Fasting makes us more receptive to the one who guides us.
How often should we fast?
 Fasting, like praying and giving, is a legitimate spiritual discipline to be practiced in private between a Christian and the Lord. How often we practice it is not prescribed, because that too is between the believer and Christ. When we desire to seek God’s face more than we want dinner, that will be the proper time to fast.
 “It is sobering to realize that the very first statement Jesus made about fasting dealt with the question of motive. “ Matt 6: 16-18 “"When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show men they are fasting. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full.”
 Fasting must forever center on God. How often you fast depends on whom you want to impress. If your fast is for your spiritual benefit and God’s glory, no one else needs to Applaud your commitment.
When should we fast?
 Whenever any matter of difficulty and great importance is under consideration.
 The sacred custom of all ages has been for pastors to exhort the people to public fasting and extraordinary prayer when manifestations of the divine anger appear, as pestilence, war, and famine, etc.
 Prophetess Anna worshiped with fasting and prayer night and day:
 Luke 2:36-37 “There was also a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was very old; she had lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, and then was a widow until she was eighty-four. She never left the temple but worshiped night and day, fasting and praying.”
 Fasting should be limited to a set time, especially when the fasting is from food. Extended periods of time without eating are harmful to the body. Fasting is not intended to punish our flesh, but to focus on God.
 Anyone can fast. Some may not be able to fast from food (diabetics, for example), but everyone can temporarily give up something in order to focus on God.
How should we fast?
 Set the purpose of the fast.
 Determine the length of time.
 Determine the activities from which you are restricting yourself.
 Married person should seek agreement with spouse to fast.
 Begin with short term fast (e.g. no food and only water x one day).
 (one meal at noon x 3 days).
 (No lunch x 7 days).
 (No food and no water x one day).
Focus on Jesus through meditation, prayers and His Word.
Scripture References to Fasting:
 Acts 14:23 “When they had appointed elders for them in the various churches, with prayer and fasting they entrusted them to the protection of the Lord in whom they had believed.
 2 Sam 12:23 “But now he is dead. Why should I fast? Am I able to bring him back? I will go to him, but he cannot return to me!’”
 2 Chr 20:3 “Jehoshaphat was afraid, so he decided to seek the Lord’s advice. He decreed that all Judah should observe a fast.
 Esra 8:21 “ I called for a fast there by the Ahava Canal, so that we might humble ourselves before our God and seek from him a safe journey for us, our children, and all our property.”
Prayer and Fasting - What Does it Accomplish?
• John 5:14-15 "This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us - whatever we ask - we know that we have what we asked of him."
• In the prophet Isaiah's time, the people grumbled that they had fasted, yet God did not answer in the way they wanted (Isaiah 58:3-4). Isaiah responded by proclaiming that the external show of fasting and prayer, without the proper heart attitude, was futile (Isaiah 58:5-9).
How can you know if you are praying and fasting according to God's will?
 Are you praying and fasting for things that honor and glorify God?
 Does the Bible clearly reveal that it is God's will for you?
 If we are asking for something that is not honoring to God or not God's will for our lives, God will not give what we ask for, whether we fast or not.
 God promises to give us wisdom when we ask.
James 1:5 tells us, "If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him."
Have you accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior?

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Dying Declaration

Luke 23:33-34, "When they came to the place called the Skull, there they crucified him, along with the criminals—one on his right, the other on his left. 34Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing."[a] And they divided up his clothes by casting lots."
The scripture says that the words of Jesus were like no other words. When the Roman soldiers heard the words of Jesus, they came back and they reported to their superiors, they said, "no man has ever spoken like this man. For his words had authority, and not like those of the scribes." In the words of Jesus, He could still the storm, He could raise the dead, and He could cleanse the lepers, in the words of Jesus there was power and there was light.
Matthew 24 tells us "that heaven and earth will pass away but my word will never pass away." Jesus himself said in John 6:35, "the words I speak to you, they are spirit and they are light." No other man could say that about his words and so the words of Jesus are extremely important.
I believe that the words Jesus spoke from the cross are very importance. Why? They reveal the very heart of God. If we wanted to know the heart of God, if we want to understand the Father, then we need to study the words Jesus used on the cross. Then we will understand the heart and the mind of God as in no other words in the bible.
Many times we hear people say, "Nobody’s perfect!" The Bible wholeheartedly echoes this point. Look at Romans 3:23: 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
Micah tells us that shameful men "do evil with both hands earnestly" while Hosea proclaimed, "they sin more and more." Sinful folk rise early to corrupt their own lives (Zephaniah 3:7) and become as chaff which God blows away! The vain nothingness of corruption is best described in: Jeremiah 3:25: "We lie down in our shame, and confusion covereth us: for we have sinned against the Lord our God, we and our fathers, from our youth even unto this day, and have not obeyed the voice of the Lord our God."
Paul wrote of men who were without God and without hope in this world (Ephesians 2:12)? In Hebrews 3:13 we read of the deceitfulness of sin and in II Corinthians 2:11 we learn of Satan's devices. Only being steadfast and loyalty to Christ can we withstand his wiles (Ephesians 6:10-12).
Sin is like the lizard which change its colors to meet the surroundings. Sin is dangerous because the Devil is clever and man is gullible. Too many people would rather believe a lie and be condemned than to joyously embrace the Truth and be saved (II Thessalonians 2:10-12). As Isaiah state, rebellious children sin more and more (Isaiah 30:1) we know that as time pass "evil men wax worse and worse." It takes little effort to be a sinner while righteousness requires the very best production of our lives. The path of least resistance makes crooked rivers and ungodly people.
The penalty of sin is death. Death is both physical and spiritual in nature. Our sin dooms us for all eternity. But God in all His grace has offered us a free gift. One that cannot be earned, and is most certainly undeserved. That gift is Life...Eternal Life. Only God could give us this gift and once given He will never take it away.
Jesus replied, "I assure you, unless you are born again, you can never see the Kingdom of God." John 3:3 (NLT)
That free gift of Eternal life is amazing. It begins with a new beginning. Spiritual birth takes place, we receive a clean slate as children of God.
Just as God has given the gift, He has provided a way to receive that gift, but there is only one way...Jesus Christ.
John 14:6 (NCV) Jesus answered, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. The only way to the Father is through me."
One way means there is only one way to God. You can’t get there by being a "good person", going to church, by being "religious" or by being baptized. Only through Jesus Christ can we come to God...there is no other way.
Jesus died so that you might live.
Corinthians 5:15 (NLT) He died for everyone so that those who receive His new life will no longer live to please themselves. Instead, they will live to please Christ, who died and was raised for them.
Jesus died for everyone. No one is so "bad" that Jesus did not die for them. As with any gift, God’s gift of salvation must be received, it’s a free choice. With salvation comes new life, a fresh start, a chance to live for the purposes in which God has created you.
Will you open the door of your life today?

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Identity Crisis

Our society as a whole and many people in our society are going through an identity crisis. The question many people are asking is who am I?
Many in an effort to answer that question go on a journey to find themselves -- maybe a physical journey a relationship.........
You will fine some folks going to a psychologist who may help them answer this question as to their identity. But I am convinced that this is the wrong question to be asking. The question that we should be asking is, who is God?
Genesis 12:2-3. states that Abraham had an encounter with God, vs, 2 state that God spoke to Abraham "I will make you a great nation, I will bless you and anyone that bless you I will bless him, and anyone that curse you I will curse him.
Jacob had an encounter with an angel of God. Genesis 22 vs 24-28. The angel asked Jacob, "What is you name?" and Jacob answered "My name is Jacob" the name Jacobs means a deceiver. The angel said to him "From today your name shall no longer be called Jacob but Israel".
According to the book of Genesis 37:5 Joseph had an encounter with God in a dream.
And over 3,000 years ago an 80 year-old man was standing on a mountain in the Sinai desert according to the book of Exodus Chapter 10-30, Moses was standing before the burning bush -- his sandals were off because he was standing on holy ground. And God told Moses that he had been chosen to deliver God’s people from Egypt. "BUT MOSES SAID TO GOD, `WHO AM I THAT I SHOULD GO TO PHARAOH AND BRING THE ISRAELITES OUT OF EGYPT..’"And God did not answer Moses question as to his identity, but rather told Moses that the God who is will be with him.
I believe that man’s fundamental problem is not a "self identity crisis" -- it is a God identity crisis -- If we want to know who we are -- then we need to know who God is.... When we find out who God is -- then and only then will we know who we are...
This question was asked by Jesus 2,000 years ago -- and it is still be asked today WHO DO YOU SAY THAT I AM? This question has to do with the identity of Jesus -- In the 16th chapter of Matthew, we find Jesus and the disciples traveling into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, and as they were going along, Jesus paused and asked the men a couple of intriguing questions. First, He wanted to know who others thought He was, and then He wanted to know who they thought He was.
The most important things we will ever do in this life and the most important decisions we will ever make hinge on those questions,
Peter said, "You are the Christ." In other words, you are the Messiah, the Anointed One of God.
The name Christ is the official title of our Lord, occurring 514 times in the New Testament. It means that He was anointed or consecrated to His great redemptive work as Prophet, Priest, and King. He is Jesus the Christ. To believe that "Jesus is the Christ" is to believe that He is the Anointed, the Messiah of the prophets, the Savior sent of God.
The scripture tells us that Joseph the carpenter, the husband of Mary, the stepfather of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, was also the father of James, Joseph, Simon, and Judas. In Mark 3:21, Jesus’ brothers were ready to take Him away as a crazy man. In John 7:3-5, his brothers mocked Him, and it says point-blank that they did not believe in Him. Moreover, this was while it was popular and safe to be one of Jesus' disciples.
However, something changed after He had died, rose from the dead, and returned to heaven. Acts 1:14 says that Jesus' brothers were among those who were praying in the upper room, waiting for the Spirit to be given. It does not say "some of Jesus' brothers." It says, "Jesus' brothers." That means all of them, all four of them. Now that Jesus had been condemned and executed as a blasphemer, now that being a follower of Christ was not quite so safe anymore, now His brothers are following Him. They were being right up front with their faith in Jesus. I Corinthians 9:5 say they all married Christian women. Moreover, it is commonly believed that James, the Lord’s brother, wrote the epistle of James and that Judas, the Lord’s brother, wrote the epistle of Jude. These are the same men who, a couple of years before were mocking Him and thought He was insane. What happened to turn these people around?
Is it because He rose from the dead?
The Bible says that Jesus is Lord.
· He is our comforter
· He is our advisor
· He is our mediator
· He is our advocate
· He is our strength
· He is our inspiration
· He is our protector
· He is our provider
· He is our shepherd
· He is our master
· He is our peace. Who is He to you?

Tuesday, June 10, 2008


Discouragement is dissatisfaction with the past, distaste for the present, and distrust of the future. It is ingratitude for the blessings of yesterday, indifference to the opportunities of today, and insecurity regarding strength for tomorrow. It is unawareness of the presence of beauty, unconcern for the needs of our fellowman, and unbelief in the promises of old. It is impatience with time, immaturity of thought, and impoliteness to God. William Ward.
The books of Ezra, Nehemiah and Esther are the last three history books found in the Old Testament. These three books tell us what happened to the Jewish people after the Babylonian Captivity. Discouragement is not new to God’s people. Going from the mountaintop to the valley. I think of Elijah. From Mt. Carmel to underneath a little tree.
Over a thousand years ago, the nation of Israel was defeated, and taken into captivity by King Nebuchadnezzar. They were dragged off to Babylon, where we learn in Jeremiah 29 they would have to live, dwell, raise their families for how many years? (70)
The 70 years did pass, and it would seem that this season of hardship was over. The prophet Daniel initiates a period of prayer and fasting in the life of Israel, and the Lord personally begins to work and move on their behalf. In fact, we can read in 2 Chronicles 36 that the Lord Himself comes to the King of Persia, King Cyrus, a Gentile, and directly appoints him to initiate the building of the temple in Jerusalem.
So Cyrus takes a national offering, restores the treasures that Nebuchadnezzar had taken from the Holy City, and issues a decree authorizing the people of God to return to Jerusalem.Then we come to the book of Ezra 4:4 which states, “Then the people of the land weakened the hands of the people of Judah, and troubled them in building.”
Okay, check this out. These people begin talking into the ears of the Israelites. They write a letter to King Artaxerxes, who ends up issuing a letter demanding that the work on the temple stop. And look at verse 24 (read).
Scholars estimate that this work of restoring the temple stopped for almost 20 years. 20 years! And it was stopped in part because of blackmails, and false accusations, and political fear . . . but what are we told was the start of this downward spiral? “Then the people of the land. . .” What? “Discouraged the people of Judah.” Discouragement is an enemy that is powerful in its ability to paralyze us in our Christian walk towards. It is at times subtle. Often unforeseen. And if not discerned, crippling. So, by definition, what is discouragement? It is to deprive of courage, hope, or confidence; dishearten; dispirit; weaken. Most of our translations use the word weaken, or discouraged. And when we move it to our English language, and apply the word we think best describes what the original language was talking about, we end up with this word that has two parts to it. Dis, which is a prefix which means such things as the opposite of, or to deprive of or the exclusion or expelling of, and courage.
For someone to discourage you, is for someone to deprive you, to exclude you, to make you the opposite of someone with courage. Sounds about right, doesn’t it? How many of us are ready to conquer the world when we are discouraged? How many of us are ready to take on great challenges, scale new heights, launch new adventures, and build a temple for the Almighty God when you are discouraged? How many of us are ready to fight the enemy, battle the spiritual, physical, mental and emotional demons of our lives, when we are discouraged? And that is why discouragement is a powerful tool of the enemy in its ability to paralyze us in our Christian walk towards victory. Subtle, but powerful. And if not discerned, crippling.
How does this happen? How does discouragement enter into our lives and our spirit?It is really quite simple. Through our senses. This is how it works. Our senses receive negative information, our attention, our mind, our spirit turns its focus towards those negative pieces of data, and discouragement enters our life.
No matter what our position in life, we all encounter disappointment that can quickly lead to discouragement and paralysis. No one is immune. While everyone suffers in this way, some seem to be down and out much longer than others. It is important to realize discouragement is a choice. We can settle into disappointment and accept our discouragement, or we can look straight at it and consider our assets. Is there a broken temple needing repair in your life? He who is in you is greater than any obstacle hindering its repair.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Giving and financial management are spiritual issues

In giving, many go back to the Old Testament law of the tithe, the giving of ten percent unto the Lord. This is a good principle for giving, and perhaps a broad benchmark, yet the New Testament nowhere specifically commands tithing. The New Testament speaks with great clarity on the principles of giving. It teaches us that giving should be regular, planned, proportional, and private.
(1 Corinthians 16:1-4, 1 Now about the collection for God’s people: Do what I told the Galatian churches to do. 2 On the first day of every week, each one of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with his income, saving it up, so that when I come no collections will have to be made. 3 Then, when I arrive, I will give letters of introduction to the men you approve and send them with your gift to Jerusalem. 4 If it seems advisable for me to go also, they will accompany me. (1 Corinthians 16:1-4, NIV

Giving Is Church Centered
Now about the collection for God’s people: Do what I told the Galatian churches to do. On the first day of every week…
Paul is responding to a question that had been raised in the letter that the Corinthians had sent to him about the collection that had been organized as a special offering for the poor among God’s people, especially the saints in Jerusalem. There was a great need there, and Paul was pulling together money from various churches to help them.

Regular Giving for Everyone
On the first day of every week, each one of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with his income…
God has a plan for giving. As a matter of fact, God has a plan for everything. People maybe capricious and unpredictable, randomly changing their mind and behavior for no apparent reason, but God is immutable or unchanging by nature. That means that he planned and designed everything according to his sovereign purpose. It should not surprise us that he has a plan for giving.

As God Has Blessed
On the first day of every week, each one of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with his income…
How much should we give? Well, it depends on what we’re talking about. Here Paul was talking about a special collection that was being set aside for the poor saints in Jerusalem. I am sure that he expected each person to pray about how much they were to give considering the blessing of God in their life. When he encourages them to give in keeping with his income, he is asking them to consider just how much God has blessed them.

God’s Work
Now about the collection for God’s people… your gift to Jerusalem……
The specific application of our text is Paul’s instructions concerning the collection for the poor saints in Jerusalem. The reason for the collection was that there was a great need.

Since the New Testament doesn’t emphasize tithing, one might not be strict on it for Christians (though some Christians do argue against tithing on the basis of self-interest). But since giving is to be proportional, we should be giving some percentage - and ten percent is a good benchmark - a starting place! For some to give ten percent is nowhere near enough; for others, at their present time, five percent may be a massive step of faith.
If our question is, “How little can I give and still be pleasing to God?” our heart isn’t in the right place at all. We should have the attitude of some early Christians, who essentially said: “We’re not under the tithe - we can give more!” Giving and financial management are spiritual issues, not only financial issues (Luke 16:11 If then you have not been faithful in the unjust mammon, who will trust you with that which is the true?)

Thursday, March 13, 2008

The power of the mind.

The human mind is amazing. It has great power to do good or evil. It has the power to shape a person’s life. What we think about is what we are or what we do.
Now some quotes.
- “Let the mind of the master be the master of your mind.”
Phil. 2:5 KJV “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.”
NIV “Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus.” To have Christ’s attitude we must have His mind, which will only come from His Word.
- "Whatever you hold in your mind will tend to occur in your life. If you continue to believe as you have always believed, you will continue to act as you have always acted. If you continue to act as you have always acted, you will continue to get what you have always gotten. If you want different results in your life or your work, all you have to do is change your mind.
"Movies can influence a person’s behavior. Kids have watched violence and immorality and then have gone out and put these things into practice.
It is sad to think, however, that the good does not affect us as much as the evil does. Of course, we see less good than we do evil on the movie screen.
- "If you wish to know the mind of a man, listen to his words.
"What a person talks about is what he is thinking. Why do we not talk about the Word of God and Christ? Could it be that we are not thinking about them?
- "Out of sight, out of mind." This is often true.
- "A stale mind is the devil’s breadbox." An empty mind or a stale mind is an open door to the devil.
- "The body manifests what the mind harbors."
- "Your mind is what makes everything else work." ~ Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
"A man is known by the company his mind keeps." ~ Thomas Bailey Aldrich (1836-1907) American writer, editor, poet
- "An active mind cannot exist in an inactive body." ~ George Patton (1885-1945)
- "If you would perfect your body, guard your mind." ~ James Allen (1864-1912) English author of As A Man Thinketh
- "If you don’t control your mind, someone else will." ~ John Allston
- "She unbent her mind afterwards---over a book." ~ Charles Lamb (1775-1834) British writer, poet, essayist & critic.
- "Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body." ~ Joseph Addison (1672-1719) English writer, statesman, publisher, essayist & poet.
As you set out to rid your mind of years of impure thoughts, remember that merely trying to stop thinking bad thoughts will not work. You must fill your mind with the Word of God. There is no alternative plan. We overcome the father of lies by choosing truth!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Don’t lose your joy because of circumstances

Men have pursued joy in every avenue imaginable. Some have successfully found it while others have not. Perhaps it would be easier to describe where joy cannot be found:
"Not in Unbelief -- Voltaire was an infidel of the most pronounced type. He wrote: "I wish I had never been born.
"Not in Pleasure -- Lord Byron lived a life of pleasure if anyone did. He wrote: "The worm, the canker, and grief are mine alone.
"Not in Money -- Jay Gould, the American millionaire, had plenty of that. When dying, he said: "I suppose I am the most miserable man on earth.
"Not in Position and Fame -- Lord Beaconsfield enjoyed more than his share of both. He wrote: "Youth is a mistake; manhood a struggle; old age a regret.
"Not in Military Glory -- Alexander the Great conquered the known world in his day. Having done so, he wept in his tent, before he said, "There are no more worlds to conquer."
Where then is real joy found? -- the answer is simple, in Christ alone.
I am talking about the Joy which is a deep and abiding inner rejoicing which was promised to those who abide in Christ and obey His commandments (John 15:10-11).
It does not depend on circumstances because it rests in God’s sovereign control of all things (Rom. 8:28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose).
John 15:10-11 If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father‘s commands and remain in his love. 11 I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.
God is working things out for my good.Rom 8:28: And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
Life is full of ups and downs; full of all sorts of happenings. One moment you are going full steam ahead, with the wind in your sails, when suddenly, you hit a sand bar. Maybe you are confused, maybe angry, maybe discouraged. All you know is that all of a sudden, your Joy is gone.
There are a host of situations that can rob us of our joy.
* It may be the loss of a loved one.
* It may be the loss of a job.
* It could be the break-up of a relationship.
* What about pressures at work; relationship problems with colleagues or bosses.
* It could be a problem in your family; the behavior of your unsaved husband or wife.
* You expected that promotion and it went to someone else who has only been with the company for half the time that you’ve been there.
* You expected to be used in the church in a certain way but this hasn’t happened.
* You car was written off in an accident and now you don’t have wheels.It could be concerns about the future:
* your children’s education;
* a life partner will I ever get married?
* Exam results what will they be like?
* Will I get a job when I finish school or college?
The list is endless:
* current circumstances,
* people that have hurt you,
* concern about the future,
* even concern about your past.
These things can distract us from the life that God wants us to enjoy. Count it all joyJames 1:2-4: Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. 4 Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Saving and Investing

Scripture is not definitive when it comes to faith and income. Deuteronomy commands believers to "remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth", and the rest of the Old Testament is dotted with celebrations of God's bestowal of the good life. On at least one, occasion Jesus holds up well informed business practice (investing rather than saving) as a metaphor for spiritual practice. God looks at much more than how much money a person may or may not have. In the Parable of the Talents (Matthew 25:14-30), Jesus teaches us how proper stewardship of our material goods can lead to tremendous blessing, and how God is actually displeased with us when our lives are not productive.
The church is to be a place where rich and poor meet together (Proverbs 22:2), and we embrace the common goal of coming together in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God (Ephesians 4:13). It is in this sort of environment that mature, stable disciples are made who can learn to rise above their circumstances, whatever they may be, and to become fruitful, productive members of society. It also involves learning proper financial stewardship, which would include tithing and giving, (Malachi. 3:8-10; 1 Corinthians 16:1, 2; 2 Corinthians 8, 9; Hebrews 7:8), saving and investing (Deuteronomy 28:5; Proverbs 6:6-11) and understanding that it is God who gives us the power to acquire wealth in the first place (Deuteronomy 8:18). These are the very laws that Jesus' compassion for the poor are based upon (see Matthew 4:4).
In three of the Gospels, Jesus warns that each of his disciples may have to "deny himself" and even "take up his Cross." In support of this alarming prediction, he forcefully contrasts the fleeting pleasures of today with the promise of eternity: "For what profit is it to a man," he asks, "if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?" It is one of the New Testament's hardest teachings, yet generations of churchgoers have understood that being Christian, on some level, means being ready to sacrifice--money, autonomy or even their lives.

List of Alternative Investment, some paying 10% or more per month.
1.Lew Fam Club/2. Olint Club/.3. F1investments/.4. CashPlus Investments/5. Visions Increase World Wise/10. Advance Investment Finanzas Forex Eng/12. Capital Hill Fx A3Union ../14. Kingdom Investments International Unlimited/15. CAREIF Ltd. :: Home/

Warren Buffet, Berkshire's CEO is the most successful money manager in recorded history. The average annual return for the fund since 1990 has been 18.8%, which is almost twice the long-term average annual return of the Standard & Poor's 500 stock index. Big returns, such as a 57.4% and 52.2% gains in 1994 and 1998, helped power the stock. The biggest loss during that period was a 19.9% drop in 1999, as investors went tech crazy.Berkshire's Class A shares sell for over $150,000 as of December 7, 2007, making them the highest-priced shares on the New York Stock Exchange, in part because they have never had a stock split. Shares closed over $100,000 for the first time October 23, 2006. [1]Yet, some of the above mentioned schemes are paying 10 or more percent per month. A return of 10 per cent per month works out to be about 314 per cent a year. This is over 16 times Warren Buffet's historical average.

Saturday, January 12, 2008


What investment strategy does God recommend?
1Timothy 6:17-19
6:17 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. 6:18 Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. 6:19 In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.
Christ teaching does not advise investments that are safe or investments of limited liability. His teachings always encourage stepping out in faith but coupled with wisdom. In fact there is no safe investment.
Contentment is not related to amount of money or possession.
Philippians 4:12-13
4:12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 4:13 I can do everything through him who gives me strength.
A valuable reminder for property owners.
Leviticus 25:23
25:23 "'The land must not be sold permanently, because the land is mine and you are but aliens and my tenants.
If we put God first, He will take care of all our need.
Matthew 6:33
6:33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

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