From the monthly archives: February, 2016

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As Culture Shifts on College Campuses, Be the Salt and Light

“In case you had any doubts that America’s college campuses are dominated by Godless communists, fresh statistical evidence is at hand.” That quote is not mine. It is taken word for word from a recent article on a leading financial website, MarketWatch.com.   The author Tom Bemis goes on to say “The Communist Manifesto” still ranks among the top three most frequently assigned texts at American universities. By contrast, the Bible doesn’t show up at all. That’s according to data from Open Syllabus project, which tracks books and other works assigned to students in more than 1 million syllabi.  Each text is assigned a count, registering the number of times it appears in a syllabus, and a teaching score described as “a numerical indicator of the frequency with which a particular work is taught,” according to the site. Karl Marx’s classic receives a count of 3,189 and a score of 99.7. It doesn’t actually show up under econo ...

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Are you Financially Unfaithful?

Friday's Handwriting on the Wall posts will feature Chuck's newChristianPost.com column, Ask Chuck. Chuck will be answering questions about what the the Bible has to say about money. Please share on #financialfridays and submit your own questions here. @AskCrown Originally posted at Christian Post February 26, 2016. Dear Chuck, I saw you quoted in an interesting article in Fortune Magazine about a survey on “financial infidelity”, and they said this, “One in twenty people in the U.S. admit to having started secret bank accounts or credit cards without their partner’s knowledge.” You talked about how financial secrets were not good for a marriage, and I was wondering whether you think it is ever acceptable to set money aside that your spouse does not know about, or does that make someone financially unfaithful? Curious about Joint Checking   Dear Curious, When the Bible says that two become one in marriage, it acknowledges something t ...

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Two things are certain, death and taxes….

With tax season right around the corner, Americans are starting to gather their tax forms and related documents. To help those who might be unsure which tax-filing method is best for them, leading personal finance website GOBankingRates.com surveyed over 5,000 Americans to uncover their tax-filing habits. The most popular filing method this year is digital tax prep tools, however as adults get older, use of an accountant becomes increasingly common. The survey results are as follow: Digital tax prep tool (34.5%) I have an accountant file my taxes (28.5%) A friend or family member does it for me (10.9%) I use the IRS forms and calculate myself (8.5%) Brick and mortar company e.g. H&R Block (8.3%) I do not file my taxes (9.2%) The report also includes information on the pros and cons of each filing option as well as insights by age and gender.  To see this information along with data visualizations of the survey findings, visit:here.  One of the benefits of fi ...

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I have a plan better than playing the lottery.

So many Christians developed lottery fever that I want to propose a far better option to help you avoid falling into the trap of wasting $2 or more on worthless tickets. Aesop wrote a fable about this principle called The Tortoise and the Hare.  Of course, if you remember the story, the rabbit dashes ahead in the race only to get fatigued and passed by the slow and steady turtle that never quit.  His fable mirrors the principle found in Proverbs 21:5, “Steady plodding brings prosperity; hasty speculation brings poverty.”  You see buying a lottery ticket is hasty speculation.  It is actually a path to poverty not to prosperity. Satan lures us in by the deception that it is an easy victory to easy street.  The truth is, the slow and steady, day to day habits of working, controlling your spending, saving a little at a time are the sure steps to prosperity.  To me, those who resist the temptation of the lottery are the ones able to resist the foolishness of other wild i ...

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Do you suffer from financial stress?

According to Reeta Wolfsohn, founder of the Financial Therapy Network, worry and stress over money “contributes to headaches, stomach problems, ulcers, heart problems, high blood pressure, and other ailments.”  Most of you who live with this stress will easily agree with her assessment of just how far reaching the problem can become.  When my son was in the military, he often told me of the financial pressures experienced by the soldiers and their families.  I found a study that revealed soldiers suffering with money problems rated their financial stress higher than combat stress! Let me give you some advice to overcome this pain.  Earnestly invite the Lord to intervene in two ways: First, to give you peace in the midst of your trial. And to give you wisdom to make wise decisions. Create a plan. If you are in a crisis, create a Crisis Budget. That means making drastic changes to your spending and earning to be sure you have addressed the problem. Make correct ...

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Spiritual advice is practical advice.

I often hear that people simply want practical advice when it comes to money. Spiritual advice is often viewed as dealing only with the soft issues of life and not with the hard, bottom line, tangible issues. Many people are deceived into thinking about money in the same way the Pharisees thought about being “unclean”, that it was an external matter that does not involve the heart or mind.  But they were wildly mistaken.  Listen carefully to Jesus’ words in Matthew 15: 18-20: “But the things that come out of a person’s mouth come from the heart, and these defile them.  For out of the heart come evil thoughts—murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. These are what defile a person; but eating with unwashed hands does not defile them.” You see, all of our financial problems start in the heart. We make bad practical choices because we have bad spiritual beliefs, attitudes and motives.  Unless we allow God&r ...

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From Kanye West to Seattle Seahawk’s Marshawn Lynch, money lessons in the headlines.

Friday's Handwriting on the Wall posts will feature Chuck's new ChristianPost.com column, Ask Chuck. Chuck will be answering questions about what the the Bible has to say about money. Please share on #financialfridays and submit your own questions here. @AskCrown Originally posted at Christian Post February 19, 2016. Dear Chuck, This week the always vocal Kanye West has been tweeting that he is $53 million in “personal debt,” and asking billionaires involved in charities to support him because he is “the greatest artist of all time,” meanwhile I’ve been intrigued by the example of Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch who has reportedly not spent any of his $50 million salary, living quietly instead on his endorsement income. Do you see some financial advice for the rest of us in the headlines? Intrigued by Celebrity Headlines   Dear Intrigued, The mistake that many of us make with money – rich or poor, ...

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Do you have a biblical financial philosophy?

David prayed a beautiful prayer in  I Chronicles 29:11-12: Everything in the heavens and earth is yours, O Lord, and this is your kingdom. We adore you as being in control of everything. Riches and honor come from you alone, and you are the ruler of all mankind; your hand controls power and might, and it is at your discretion that men are made great and given strength. Let’s walk through some of this together: First, David acknowledges that God owns everything, we are not the owners. This is a major paradigm shift and a change of philosophy from acquiring the world to being God’s temporary manager or a steward. Second, he says he adores God because He is in control.  That should make all of us breathe a little easier, our anxiety and stress should drop right now.  He then acknowledges that God has sovereign rule over our lives.  Now think about your personal circumstances: your job, your boss, your income, your career and thank God that He is in control.  This ...

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Are you ready to make a big change in your finances? Here is a little tip…

Many people set goals and struggle to keep them because they are trying to do it all themselves. I refer you Solomon who long ago gave us this helpful advice in Ecclesiastes 4: 9-12 “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.” So what do you need to do to have that cord of three strands? First, invite the Lord to be your primary source of wisdom, counsel and support. Specifically commit to reading your Bible and praying for financial wisdom every day. Next, if you are married, ask your spouse to participate with you.  I find spouses who never talk about their goals are actually surprised to learn that with a little kindness and humility towards one another, they can actually make a very good team.  Don’t give up if your spouse is resistant, keep loving them and praying for them to have a change of heart. If you are single, conside ...

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Are you rich towards God?

Jesus told a number of parables of rich men.  One was of a rich farmer who wanted bigger barns to store up for his retirement so he could “eat, drink and be merry”. He was rebuked because he was not “rich towards God.”  The story should arrest our attention and cause us to ask: How do I become rich towards God?  Becoming rich towards God begins with changing our identity from owners to    stewards. We must acknowledge that God owns everything, including you and me!   A popular misconception about stewardship is that it is ordering our finances in such a way that we are free to spend money however we want.  The real focus should be on our hearts. We are not truly stewards until we organize our finances in such a way that God can freely spend us however He wants! Next, to be rich towards God you must love Him with all of your heart, mind and soul and your neighbor as yourself.  You and I must also be faithful to obey Him. Did you know ...

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