Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Financial Hope -- 3/9/09

Last night's class was an encouraging and uplifting time. We had a great discussion and wonderful time of prayer and ministry to one another. Here are the notes from the class--


Sometimes the toughest issue we deal with in implementing and sticking to life changes is our own attitude. It’s not always as much about information as it is what I do with that information. Fear, discouragement, hopelessness and regret are just some of the attitudes that give us trouble.

There are some very practical things that we can do that will help us through to a new attitude.

1) Resist fear – fear is debilitating – both to your health and to your decision making. “For God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” (2nd Timothy 1:7)

2) Lay down the past. Focusing on your mistakes and regrets will not help or encourage you and will definitely not fix the problem. The past is done. You can’t change it and in real life you don’t get a do over. Everybody makes mistakes. “Fear not, for I [am] with you; Be not dismayed, for I [am] your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.” (Isaiah 41:10) Sometimes we think we've messed up so badly that God won't help us. That's a lie. We didn't deserve salvation and yet Jesus died for us.

3) Don’t compare yourself to others. Comparison is a form of judgment that you speak on others and on yourself. “For we dare not class ourselves or compare ourselves with those who commend themselves. “But they, measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise. (2nd Corinthians 10:12)

4) Stop making excuses. “That may work for others but…” kind of thinking will keep you in bondage. “ God is no respecter of persons.” (Acts 10:34) What He has done for others He will do for you.

5) Get with people who will encourage you. As much as you are able cut off the flow of negative information. It will drag you down emotionally. “Now Judas and Silas, themselves being prophets also, exhorted and strengthened the brethren with many words.” (Acts 15:32)

6) Hang on to joy. “Count it all joy when you fall into various trials.”(James 1:2) You can count it all joy when you know that God is helping you!

7) Walk in God’s love. That’s not just about loving others but gaining understanding about how much your Heavenly Father loves you. “For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but faith working through love. (Galatians 5:6)

8) Watch your words. “Death and life [are] in the power of the tongue, And those who love it will eat its fruit.” (Proverbs 18:21) This is not superstition or name it claim it theology. Your words have power. Negative talk and saying things that are contrary to God’s Word does affect you.

9) Use your faith. I use that phraseology on purpose. Faith is not a passive hoping that God will do something. Your prayers have power. James 5:16 says, “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.” God’s Word is still true today. “So Jesus answered and said to them, "Have faith in God. For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, 'Be removed and be cast into the sea,' and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says. (Mark 11:22-23)

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Financial Hope 3/2/09

Monday’s Financial Hope Class was spent on cash flow planning or to use a simpler term, budgeting.

The point of a budget is not to punish you but to insure that you are in charge of where your money goes.

A really simple but effective budget is Dave Ramsey’s zero based budget.

Here are the links to two forms from Dave Ramsey—



The first link is to a quick budget plan you can work on when you are just starting out. The second link is to a more involved plan.

As an aside – Financial Peace University is a 13 week course that will change your life. If you ever have opportunity to go through the course take advantage of it. We are looking at running the course again at Grace Restoration Church in the near future.

Some keys to a zero based budget—

Income minus expenses each month should equal zero. That means that if you do your budget and have money left over give it a name somewhere. for example, you could put it in the savings or blow category or add it to your giving.

Budgeting is a process. It’s not something you do once and forget about. You will make mistakes. You may leave something out. That’s okay. Pick yourself up and keep going. Budgeting is a dynamic, ongoing process.

For yearly expenses, like Christmas, decide how much you want to spend and average it out each month. If you pay your car insurance quarterly the amount by three to come up with a monthly amount.

One tip when you are starting out is to save receipts and start writing down how much you are spending on things like groceries and entertainment. Keep track and see where your money is going. You may be surprised and a little shocked.

Lon Purvis also talked about how to do a yearly budget. It’s a great plan that can simplify the process for some folks. I’ll blog more details about it later.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

A Couple of Videos

Here are a couple of videos from Hillsong United-- enjoy a blessing.