From the monthly archives: December, 2016

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Making New Year’s Resolutions You can Keep

Originally posted on the Christian Post on December 30. 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, I’m closing out my year, thinking of goals for 2017. Do you think it’s a biblical idea to make resolutions? And if so, do you have any advice on how to make resolutions that I can actually keep? Ready For Change. Dear Ready, Yes, I think resolutions can be supported by Scripture and are an excellent idea! For the past two years, my personal resolution has been to drink water only (plain or sparkling) in order to eliminate much of my sugar intake. Eliminating coffee, tea, juice and sodas has saved me money and helped me to be more disciplined in maintaining my health. By God’s grace, I have been able to keep my resolution, so I definitely have some advice for you! Making plans and setting goals are really vital for achieving a ...

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Jay Leno has never touched a dime of the money he earned on the Tonight Show.

According to an article at Yahoo Finance, Leno says "I always had two incomes. I'd bank one and I'd spend one." And he made sure to spend the smaller amount. "When I was younger, I would always save the money I made working at the car dealership and I would spend the money I made as a comedian," he says. "When I started to get a bit famous, the money I was making as a comedian was way more than the money I was making at the car dealership, so I would bank that and spend the car dealership money. I've never touched a dime of my 'Tonight Show' money. Ever." I wonder if he realizes he is using a biblical principle with this two-income strategy? Ecclesiastes 11: 6 says: Sow your seed in the morning, and at evening let your hands not be idle, for you do not know which will succeed, whether this or that, or whether both will do equally well. Mr. Leno not only had two sources of income, he learned to live on the smallest of the two. As we wrap up the year, think about this example and how you can apply it t ...

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Groucho Marx once said “I find television very educating. Every time somebody turns on the set, I go into the other room and read a book.”

How about you? Are you aware of the importance of reading?  Tim Challies reveals that “if you do not read, you deny yourself a great way to learn who God is and how he acts in this world.” Tim gives four reasons we need to read:  to know, to grow, to lead, and to love. He says the best reason to read books is to know God. He reveals Himself to us through His Word, but we glean from what others have learned when reading books. John Piper, in Think: The Life of the Mind and the Love of Christ, says that when reading, “… we are working hard with our minds to figure out meaning from texts. Then, of course, we go on from there to think how that meaning relates to other meanings from other texts and from experiences in life. On and on the mind goes, until we build a coherent view of the world so that we can live a life that is rooted in a true understanding of God’s Word and its application to the world.” I currently have books overflowing from my be ...

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The New Year is right around the corner. Have you decided on your New Year Resolution?

New Year’s Day is traditionally when people set new goals for themselves. But, did you ever think about the fact that the first day of a new year could be one where new habits are formed or bad ones finally broken in order to bless others? Adopting that mindset may keep you motivated. Some people want to lose weight, exercise more, read through the Bible, memorize Scripture, stop smoking, pay off debt or save money. These are admirable, but the reason behind them is something to consider. What we resolve to do should first line up with Scripture. Does it bring glory to God? Will it benefit the body of Christ? Will it bless my wife or family? Can I achieve it without putting undue stress on the loved ones in my life? After thinking this through, then define the results you want. Set SMART goals. Supposedly, the term SMART first occurred back in 1981 in an issue of Management Review by George T. Doran. SMART in an acronym for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Result-focused, and Time-bound. ...

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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 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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Are you guilty of buying things you don’t need? Are your closets full? Maybe you get a rush shopping?

All of us have probably purchased something we didn’t need. But, do you know why? Lauren Greutman, gives reasons in an article she wrote for the Huffington Post. Here are a few she discovered, with my solutions to the problem. You want to impress people. Solution: Find your true identity in Christ. Greed and pride can stunt your character and will keep you in bondage. You’re in the habit. Solution: In just 21 days you can break the shopping habit and develop a savings habit instead. Only go to the store if necessary and then, with a list. Avoid any impulse purchases. Pray before you go to avoid temptation. You don’t think through what you already have before buying. Solution: Could it be that you are not thankful for what you have? Or, maybe your closets are so full you have forgotten what is there? Use what you have and donate or sell the excess. You’re depressed and you feel better buying stuff. Solution: In the long term, these purchases are not ...

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Our world teaches that more is better. But have you ever considered that less is more?

Dolly Parton grew up in a 1-room cabin in the woods and says being poor was good for her. Why? She saw her parents struggle and stretch a dollar. Think about it. When you don't have as much, you develop skills that those with much don’t have the opportunity to learn; things like sewing, cooking, cleaning, and home and auto repairs. You learn how to manage time when you must hold down several jobs. You trade favors with friends and family rather than just buying what you need. You learn to make do with what you have. You know how to live without things others consider necessities. Instead of going to the movies, concerts, ballets and sporting events, you host your own concerts, write your own plays, and compete against yourself or family members. Creativity blossoms when economy demands. Growing up with less can actually breed perseverance, self-discipline and humility that propel the talented into successful careers. Famous singer, Celine Dion, a native of Canada, is the youngest of 14 c ...

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Thinking about selling your home? It may sound crazy, but there are good reasons to list during the holidays!

Recently I shared some good reasons to buy a home at year end. Today, I want to share why it is good to list your home for sale during November and December. Three years ago, we sold our home in November after listing it with Nikki Bonds. She is a successful realtor with some good reasons to list your home during the holidays. See if you’re convinced! First, people who look for a home during the holidays are more serious buyers. Since there are fewer houses to choose from now and less competition, that means more money for you. Second, houses often show better when decorated for the holidays. Serious buyers are more emotional during the holidays and more likely to pay your price. Buyers have more time to look for a home during the holidays and some people must buy before year-end for tax reasons. Nikki reminds us that January is traditionally the month for employees to begin new jobs. Since transferees cannot wait until spring to buy, your home should be on the market now to capture those ...

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If you are in the hunt to find a job or change careers, you need to do well in your interview.

A recent article at listed 10 things you should never say in a job interview. Here goes. How much does this job pay? Typically, money is not discussed during the first interview. If, at the end of the session the interviewer should ask what salary you expect, give a realistic range of salaries you can accept without pricing yourself out of the job or limiting your earning possibilities.   What does your company make or do? Do your research before the interview. Find the company online and learn as much as you can. Slang words or phrases or improper English. The interview is a formal conversation, so if you want to be taken seriously, use proper English. Otherwise, you may come across as disrespectful, casual, and not serious about doing good work.  What are the benefits, vacations, promotions, and bonuses? The first interview is about what you can offer the company in the way of skills, talents and experience.  Avoid: Curse words or profanity of any ...

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