Posts Tagged 'faith'

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How do you spend time with your children? I’ve got a great activity that doesn’t cost a dime.

Our lives are so busy that by the time everyone arrives home in the evening, we may be tempted to “veg” out. But did you know that reading aloud is one of the best things you can do with your children? According to Sally Clarkson,“Reading aloud is… meant to be a delightful, bonding time together and a fantastic way to disciple your children through stories.” She and her husband never made the children just sit and listen, but encouraged them in quiet activities. Drawing, working puzzles, building Legos, knitting or painting are all acceptable ways of working the hands while listening. At the end of a chapter you can ask the child to summarize what they just heard. This is a terrific exercise that will be valuable later in life. They will beg you to keep reading if it’s a good book, so be prepared!  Studies repeatedly show that a child who is read to has a higher IQ than children that are not read to. Ask the Lord to show you what to read to your children. ...

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Is success a confirmation of God’s blessing? Not so fast.

I have seen many times that a man or woman can be a stellar success in Man’s economy and an absolute failure in God’s economy. Let me explain. Material success is far too often viewed as God’s endorsement of our actions. Now, before I sound pious, this applies to businesses and ministries alike. To be sure we are not deceiving ourselves about our success in man’s economy, we need to consider two criteria. First, our actions must be in accordance with God’s written Word. Some decisions are objective enough to be eliminated based on direct contradiction to the Bible. Second, because the Christian life is not a set of rules that can be obeyed to the letter of the law and thus justify all our actions, we must consider the conviction of the Holy Spirit. We are held to an even higher standard that requires constant input from the Holy Spirit to keep our motives pure and to do the right thing, especially when we come under pressure. We should never defile our consciences by doi ...

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This New Year, make Christ-honoring financial choices.

We are inundated with financial advice. The list of sources for the latest and greatest on how to make and manage money is all around us.  The vast majority of what I read can be condensed to this formula – do this or that to increase your earnings and to have more money. It is stated or packaged or even disguised in thousands of ways, but the common denominator is usually the same.   However, The Bible does not offer this advice. The Scripture tells us primarily what we are to believe about money. This is a profound difference than telling us what to do.    Romans 12:1-2 says we are not to be conformed to the world but transformed by the renewing of our minds. This means we must change our beliefs if we expect to be truly changed. One simple application of this for 2017 is to ask yourself, “Is the financial choice I am making honoring to Christ and His kingdom?”   The only way you can confidently know is if you know God’s Word. For ...

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Do you struggle with consistency in your personal daily devotions?

In this dark world, we need help to see our way. Psalm 119:105 declares that “God’s Word is a lamp to our feet and a light to our path.” Yet many, who claim to know the Lord, do not rely on this power on a daily basis. Tim Challies at Challies.com defends personal devotions for a reason greater than self. He states that the benefit of knowing God extends to your family, your neighbors and your church. If you aren’t doing devotions for your own benefit, then won’t you do them for the sake of others? Husbands & Wives: Read the Bible as an expression of love for your spouse. Growing in the knowledge of God’s love will bring humility in light of His majesty, realization of your sins and greater dependence on Him. A greater love for God will overflow into greater love and appreciation for your spouse. Parents: Time in the Word will grow you in virtues needed to parent well. Patience, mercy, respect, and self-control can develop out of time spent with the One who ...

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Tis the Season for Charitable Giving

Originally posted on the Christian Post on December 23. To learn Biblical answers to your financial questions, you can #AskChuck @AskCrown your questions by clicking here. Questions used may be lightly edited for length or clarity. Dear Chuck, My mail and email are full of requests for end-of-year donations, and there are so many good causes. But it’s hard to balance how to give at a time of year when I’m shopping for so many. How important is it to close out the year with charitable giving? What kind of choices need to be made? It’s hard to get the money together for Christmas, but I feel guilty when I see those financial needs piling up. How should I balance these things? Charitably Challenged.   Dear Challenged, Since there are so many great and worthy causes, I can understand your challenge. I will speak to the question of balance and priorities, but the importance of giving is the focus of my response. You ask a great question that’s really about the st ...

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Want to celebrate Christmas without blowing your hard-earned savings? Today, some tips for a Christmas without the financial stress.

First of all, protect yourself from advertising overload. Companies know how to play on our emotions to get us to purchase their products. Rather, pray for legacy-building ideas that don’t require money. Intentionally plan a stress-free holiday that allows you to focus on Christ, the best gift of all. What do you have? Think about it! Time, talent, and training cannot be underestimated! Give of your possessions. Pass down things that can be treasured by others. Take note of what your children or friends especially like in your home. Write letters expressing your love and appreciation. Think about holiday entertainment that you be do as a family without spending money. Serve together. Is there a needy family, widow, or shut-in who your family could help in some way? Yardwork, cooking, cleaning, and car or home repairs are a few ideas. Play together! Board games, puzzles, hiking, walking and outdoor sports are great. Have a bin of toys to occupy the young ...

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Do you feel a tension between your desire to save more and your desire to give more?

I did some checking online looking for a study on this dilemma many Christians face. So far, I have not found any solid research on the subject! Most articles talk only about increasing your savings, not your giving. The Bible clearly instructs us to make giving our top financial priority. Proverbs 3:9-10 says, “Honor the Lord with your possessions, and with the first fruits of all your increase; So your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will overflow with new wine.” To honor the Lord, we put Him first by giving. This is not because Heneeds our money; it is because we need to be conformed into His image. He is the greatest giver of all. It shows we love Him, care about His kingdom, and want to do good for others. The verse is very clear that the way we do this is to make it an automatic action off the top of everything we earn.  This habit helps break the grip of materialism in our lives and also puts us into a greater dependency on the Lord. This verse does not promise wea ...

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HELP! I’m not Ready for the Holidays!

Dear Chuck, I cannot believe that it’s Thanksgiving week, and Christmas is coming in weeks. Most of the time, I feel more stressed than thankful at this time of year (unless you count how thankful I feel when it’s all over!). Have any advice about making Christmas more about Jesus’ birthday and less about a shop-til-you-drop time of year?! Tis the Season for Stress Dear Stressed, Christmas is my favorite season of the year! It is the largest birthday celebration on Earth and appropriately so! Yet, we have tragically moved from worshiping a child lying in a borrowed manger that first Christmas Day to the modern extravaganza marked by frenzied shopping. Just this week my wife and I noticed a mammoth inflatable of Santa and his twelve reindeer on sale at the home improvement store. For only $299, this “yard decoration” could practically hide your entire house from view. Is there any end to these  needless expenses? I’ll step off my soapbox and get to your question... ...

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God expects us to be a good and faithful stewards…Today we examine what is good

When the Lord commended the 5-talent and 2-talent stewards in the Parable of the Talents (Matthew 25:14-30), He told them they had done “good”. Often times we don't pay attention to that word because we assume we know what it means. But it is important to examine its rich meaning to grasp what the Lord expects of us.  Definition of GOOD:  Morally excellent, pious, righteous, high quality,proper, honorable, worthy. The word is first used in Genesis 1:3,4 - And God said, ‘Let there be light,’ and there was light. God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness. Stewardship is managing in very simple ways. The Bible tell us in 3 John 1:11 - Beloved, do not imitate evil but imitate good. Whoever does good is from God; whoever does evil has not seen God.  We can actually be successful managing money and still miss the mark of doing that which is good. Let me give you an example: If a billionaire gives away his en ...

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Have you unknowingly put your trust in money?

I think we all know that we should not love money.  Read 1 Timothy 6:9,10: "Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and intomany foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many grieves." In his series, "Gods at War", Kyle Idleman suggests that in Scripture, “Money is most often portrayed as God’s chief competition.” He claims, “Your god is determined by what you put your trust in. So for most people, money is their god.” What if this verse was changed to read: "For the trust of money is a root of all kinds of evil." Would that make it easier to recognize that it is an idol in our lives? It certainly does for me. Another way to recognize this is to consider how we would react to losing all of our money. We tend to grieve the loss of that which we love. Paul offered a s ...

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