From the monthly archives: August, 2015

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

America has frozen its debt limit but it is not good news.

Posted by Chuck Bentley Find me on:  Facebook Twitter The Daily Treasury Statement for March 13, 2015 was the first to show the federal debt closing the day at $18,112,975,000,000. Listen carefully, every Daily Treasury Statement since then has reported the same thing: the debt closing the day at $18,112,975,000,000. That is about $25 million below the current legal debt limit set by Congress. In other words, the United States has “frozen” its legal debt limit for the past 5 months in a row. On March 13, Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew sent a letter to House Speaker John Boehner and other congressional leaders informing them that he was planning to declare a “debt issuance suspension period.” A “debt issuance suspension period,” Lew said in his letter, was necessary because in 2014 Congress enacted legislation that “suspended” the debt limit until March 15 and then reinstated it on that ...

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Are you caught in a financial stronghold?

Posted by Chuck Bentley Find me on:  Facebook Twitter Strongholds are false beliefs and bad philosophies. These happen frequently when it comes to money.  Worry is a financial stronghold that affects every single one of us, and certainly some more than others. Worry is a feeling of anxiety or unease about future uncertainties. It is that feeling you get when your mind is taken over by fear and doubt. You with me? Worry is actually rooted in a lack of confidence in God.  That is why we are taken captive by worry because it keeps us from fully trusting God. A friend of mine lost all of his worldly possessions in the collapse of the economy in Zimbabwe.  Today, he explains to me that the worry about losing everything was far worse than the experience itself. After his worst nightmare did in fact happen, he realized how much of his life had been lost in grinding worry and anxiety and that it was far worse than the real event. Satan wan ...

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Are you caught in a financial stronghold?

Posted by Chuck Bentley Find me on:  Facebook Twitter Strongholds are false beliefs and bad philosophies. These happen frequently when it comes to money. Envy is a financial stronghold that is tucked far away for no one to see. Don’t think you have it? Envy is a feeling of discontentment or a resentful longing triggered by someone else's possessions. It is that yucky attitude you have when you think of all the better things your neighbor has than you.  We may not want their things for ourselves, but we are not happy with what they have! Usually considered one of the 7 deadly sins, it is a form of self-Idolatry. Dante defined envy as "a desire to deprive other men of theirs". In Dante's Purgatory, the punishment for the envious is to have their eyes sewn shut with wire because they have gained sinful pleasure from seeing others brought low. Aquinas described envy as "sorrow for another's good". Let’s get practical.  Envy is when y ...

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Are you caught in a financial stronghold?

Posted by Chuck Bentley Find me on:  Facebook Twitter Strongholds are false beliefs and bad philosophies. These happen frequently when it comes to money. One financial stronghold that is hard to identify in ourselves yet is such a powerful negative influence in our lives is selfishness. Selfishness is living with an attitude and view of the world that everything must work in my favor and to my advantage or it must not work at all! We meet Nabal in I Samuel 25. His name means Fool. That is because he was captive to the stronghold of selfishness. He had plenty of resources but was unwilling to share a single bite of food with David and his men when they were starving! This was even after they had been very helpful to Nabal.  His fate was sealed by his selfishness and he lost everything, including his life. Let’s get practical.  Selfishness is when we are unwilling to share or give of our money, our time or even our love. W ...

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Are you caught in a financial stronghold?

Posted by Chuck Bentley Find me on:  Facebook Twitter Many people have been taken captive to financial strongholds in their life and are likely not even aware of it.   Listen to II Corinthians 10:3-5 carefully… For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ…. What are these “strongholds” we face? In this verse, Paul interprets the metaphor of a stronghold as “arguments against the knowledge of God”. In other words, these are the philosophies, reasonings, and schemes of the world. The “pretensions” have to do with anything proud, man-centered, and self-confident. We often run for safety into the fortress of human reasoning and the pretense ...

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Day 4: Popular money myths that we need to identify and escape!

Posted by Chuck Bentley Find me on:  Facebook Twitter   A popular money myth is that poverty makes us more godly or righteous.  Many times we think of people who live in strict self-denial, or who are extremely frugal or who have taken vows of poverty as holy and more righteous than others. This myth is built upon a belief that money is bad and only corrupts people. Another term for this myth is the “poverty gospel”.   It can be just as devastating to our effectiveness as Christians as the “prosperity gospel”. Jesus never condemns wealth in the Bible. He also never exalts the state of being in poverty. Listen to Proverbs 30: 8-9. “Two things I ask of you; deny them not to me before I die:  Remove far from me falsehood and lying:  give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with the food that is needful for me, lest I be full and deny you and say, “Who is the Lord?&rdq ...

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Day 3: Popular money myths that we need to identify and escape!

Posted by Chuck Bentley Find me on:  Facebook Twitter   A popular money myth is that all wealthy people must be greedy. It has become popular on social media to express outrage over the incomes, lifestyles or spending choices of the rich and to paint them as self absorbed, indulgent or greedy. This myth is built upon a belief that money is accumulated because of greedy motives or manipulation or even deception. First, there are some wealthy folks who are greedy and who make bad choices. But this is also true of poor people.  Greed is a motive of the heart and we should not be quick to judge a person’s motives. In my own experience, I have known many wealthy people who are not motivated by greed whatsoever, they are in fact just the opposite: very generous people.   The Bible condemns two rich people in the New Testament. One is a foolish farmer wanting to tear down his barn to build bigger barns to store his l ...

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Day 2: Popular money myths that we need to identify and escape!

Posted by Chuck Bentley Find me on:  Facebook Twitter A popular money myth is that money equals influence. We often think to ourselves that if we just had more money, we could influence more people. This myth is built upon a belief that money is needed to influence others to our cause, our beliefs of our view of the world.   True influence does not come from money.  History is replete with examples of wealthy people who had no influence whatsoever - men and women who died rich, but in lonely obscurity. It is also replete with examples of poor people who had tremendous influence: Harriet Tubman, George Washington Carver, Mother Teresa, even Jesus Christ himself did not see money as necessary for his mission to be accomplished.   Mother Teresa had almost no money or possessions; yet her influence spread from the slums of India around the world and ultimately led to the Nobel Peace Prize. I was recently with a Brazilian pastor whose c ...

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Day 1: Popular money myths that we need to identify and escape!

Posted by Chuck Bentley Find me on:  Facebook Twitter A popular money myth is that money can indeed buy happiness.  The saying goes, “Whoever said money can’t buy happiness doesn’t know where to shop! ”   This myth is built upon a belief that our material comfort is the ultimate path to achieve our personal satisfaction in life. First, this myth is contradicted by the Bible – Hebrews 13:5 says - Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you." The Lord is saying that your stuff will leave you and forsake you but He will not.  Materialism – placing our hope and joy in things - is actually the road to emptiness and misery, not joy. Second, the myth is contradicted by scientific studies. According to a study from Princeton University, money sort of buys happiness — but only up to about $75,000 a ...

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Does your teenager have a bank account? It’s a good idea.

Posted by Chuck Bentley Find me on:  Facebook Twitter My 17 year old has had a summer job outside the home, so we needed to cash his checks and put them in a bank account.  It was a great experience and I learned a few things. First, a student can open a bank account, at most banks, for free if they are age 25 or younger.  If they opt out of the printed bank statement and do on-line only, there is no monthly charge.  This allows them to have access to a Debit Card and ATM machines plus on-line banking and automated bill paying services. Experts, writing for a recent article in Yahoo Finance agree with me that, “If you want your student to learn money management skills, get him or her a checkbook instead of a credit card.” In fact, a recent survey of 42,000 first-year college students found that the earlier teenagers had access to credit cards, the less prepared they felt for managing their own money in college. ...

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