From the monthly archives: January, 2015

We are pleased to present below all posts archived in 'January, 2015'. If you still can't find what you are looking for, try using the search box.

We Are All Generous

Posted by Chuck Bentley Find me on:   Facebook Twitter Todd Peterson, a friend of mine and a former NFL kicker, came up with my favorite quote about generosity. “ We are all generous… Nobody has to teach us anything about being generous.  The challenge we face and the choice we must make is are we going to only be generous towards ourselves or are we going to be generous towards God.”   Our late founder, Larry Burkett, believed that if all American Christians used our surplus resources (those God provides beyond our foundational needs) to advance God’s Kingdom, that we have been entrusted with enough wealth to spread the gospel to every nation. In other words, if we can simply break the habit of self-generosity, the kingdom of God will spread to the ends of the earth.  If our ministry were to help every man and woman on the face of the earth get on a budget, get out of debt and have money in his or her savings ac ...

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I Don’t Believe in Luck

Posted by Chuck Bentley Find me on:   Facebook Twitter “Good luck”!  That sound’s so strange to say, especially coming from a Christian. I don’t believe in luck and I hope you don’t either. Instead of wishing someone good luck, I prefer to say, “May God bless you.”  Proverbs 24:3-4 says this, “By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established; through knowledge its rooms are filled with rate and beautiful treasures.”    What a wonderful insight into God’s economy.  The blessings we receive come not through luck or random chance but through wisdom, understanding and knowledge.   God wants us to rely upon these characteristics that He provides, not on what the world calls luck. Lotteries are promoted as an inexpensive way to get what we need and to get it all at once.  Tickets are purchased based on chance. Buying a lottery ticket is an admission ...

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Join the Ants!

Posted by Chuck Bentley Find me on:   Facebook Twitter Can you come up with $1000 cash for an emergency in the next 24 hours?  According to the latest Bankrate survey, more than three in five Americans don't have money in their savings accounts to cover any unexpected bills such as a $500 car repair or a $1,000 emergency room visit. In fact, only 38% of respondents said they have enough funds in their bank accounts to cover even the most mundane of spending emergencies.   ·        26% said they would have to reduce spending to come up with an extra $1000. ·        16% said they would borrow from family or friends. ·        12% said they would have to use their credit cards.   So maybe this is old news for you or you are in that group of 38% who have some money in saving; however, if you fall into the other 62% th ...

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Working Out for Better Finances

Posted by Chuck Bentley Find me on:   Facebook Twitter Today, I have some counter-intuitive advice to help you manage your finances better in 2015. Russell Clayton, along with other colleagues, writing for the Harvard Business Review introduced new research that demonstrates a clear relationship between physical activity that is planned, structured, repetitive, and purposeful  – in other words – exercise - and our ability to manage other aspects of our life.  I found it to ring true with me own experiences. First, and least surprisingly, exercise reduces stress, and lower stress makes the time spent in other realms more productive and enjoyable.  A reduction in stress is tantamount to an expansion of time. Reminds me of God’s advice not to worry. Second, the survey found exercise increases self-efficacy. The term refers to the sense that one is capable of taking things on and getting them done. The research suggests that people wh ...

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BBB Top 5 to Avoid Scams

Posted by Chuck Bentley Find me on:   Facebook Twitter Scams and frauds will not go away in 2015, but here’s some advice to avoid them harming you. Just recently I received two email scams within an hour of each other: one instructed me that I was being charged with “fraudulent use of software” and had to hire legal counsel immediately. The other was from an official looking company informing me that I had a settlement coming for a “consumer complaint” I reportedly had filed.  Both were directing me to take action now and click the link they provided. I could not identify the source of either email.  The gimmick was to create fear in the first one and greed in the second one so that I might react and give up my personal identity information.  I deleted both and so should you if you ever receive these “phishing emails.”   The Better Business Bureau released five tips to help us guard against scams this new year. Follo ...

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Are you frugal…or just cheap?

Posted by Chuck Bentley Find me on:   Facebook Twitter I came across this story from our late founder, Larry Burkett, and thought I should share it with you. Larry didn’t like to spend money. Often times Judy would remind him that he was too tight and stringent about their budget. In one exchange, Larry defended his attitude towards spending by claiming to be “frugal”.  Judy was quick to reply, “you’re not frugal, you’re just cheap!”  Larry loved to tell this story as he laughed jovially about Judy’s ability to call him out. So what is the difference?  Cheap means that you have no appreciation for quality. You are a person who just wants to always pay the lowest price and gives little consideration to the real value or workmanship of what you are purchasing.   Frugal means that you appreciate good quality but only at the right price. It is far better to be frugal than cheap!&nb ...

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Observe Those Who are Skilled

Posted by Chuck Bentley Find me on:   Facebook Twitter A new world record was recently set for the selling price of a single photograph. Guess how much! Peter Lik has officially made art history by selling the most expensive photograph ever – setting a world record.  An official press release was issued outlining details on the $6.5 million sale of the black and white masterwork called, “Phantom.”   The picture is taken in Arizona’s Antelope Canyon, a slot canyon carved out by natural flowing water making a subterranean cavern.  It is quite stunning…but $6.5 million worth of stunning? Wow! Lik now holds four of the top 20 spots for most expensive photographs ever sold.  My guess would have been that no living photographer would be capable of earning such huge amounts for his art. Now, I don’t know anything about this photographer but his website says this:   “For over 30 years, Peter has followed a ...

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Put an End to Living Paycheck to Paycheck

Posted by Chuck Bentley Find me on:   Facebook Twitter   Few things are more exhausting than being under perpetual financial stress.  I can remember the first time I heard someone say, “I’m so broke I can’t even pay attention”. At that point in my life, I actually could relate to how that felt and it wasn’t funny…it was true! More than 25 million middle-class American families live paycheck to paycheck, according to a study from the Brookings Institution.  If you live paycheck to paycheck, and you often find yourself falling short on cash or unable to pay bills on time, you may wonder how it can ever be any different for you. Here’s my advice: Making giving your highest financial priority.  Now I know, that is not what you expected to hear!  But it is likely that one of the reasons that you are struggling with your finances is that your priorities have never been established to match Go ...

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God’s Principles Help Us to Thrive

Posted by Chuck Bentley Find me on:   Facebook Twitter According to the US Census Bureau, one in every seven Americans lives in poverty. But there are some very simple steps to reduce this rate… dramatically.  Robert Rector, a senior Research Fellow at The Heritage Foundation, says there are 3 Golden Rules to avoid poverty: ·        Graduate from high school ·        Marry before having children ·        Get a job Actually, being married is even more significant than graduating from high school for avoiding poverty.  But unwed childbearing has risen from 6.3 percent of all births in 1964, when President Lyndon Johnson launched the War on Poverty, to more than 40 percent today. As Rector shows, these single-parent families with children are six times more likely to be poor than are married couples w ...

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God Works, While We Sleep

Posted by Chuck Bentley Find me on:  Facebook Twitter Ever feel like you are living on a treadmill, working around the clock?  Our late founder, Larry Burkett, remembers the day he got off the treadmill of working non-stop.  Psalm 127:2 spoke to him during a time when he was living on the verge of exhaustion:  “It is vain for you to rise up early, To retire late, To eat the bread of painful labors; For He gives to His beloved even in his sleep.”  (NASB) Larry realized he was overworked and under trusting.   This scripture opened his eyes to the sin of work…work and more work. It is essentially an expression of self-reliance. Our culture has changed dramatically since Larry died in 2003. A friend told me recently that he thinks we suffer from CPA, “continuous partial attention”.  Mobile phone, internet, Facebook, email, Skype, We Chat, 24/7 news… We are bombarded with information and the demands to ...

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