Archive for February 2012

Are You Enslaving Your Children? – II Kings 4:1

This is a series that appears on a weekly basis here at – “Biblical Financial Lessons”

I believe that the Bible is the best money book ever written, and I really want to take some time each week to share the money lessons I have learned from the Word.

Debt Enslaving Children

II Kings 4:1  The wife of a man from the company of the prophets cried out to Elisha, “Your servant my husband is dead, and you know that he revered the Lord.  But now his creditor is coming to take my two boys as his slaves.”

In this incredible story, a man has passed away while still having young boys in the house.  Apparently, this man had incurred substantial debts, and his untimely death placed the family into a financial tailspin.  The situation is so terrible that the creditor is going to take the two boys as slaves to repay the debt.

No one prepares to die before they grow old, but we see obituaries of young people all of the time.  It’s awful.  Without a plan, this situation can literally enslave the family just as is recorded in this story.

It’s time for you to ask yourself two questions.

1.  Has your debt situation become so bad that it has enslaved you and your family?

  • Are you BOUND to your job because you have to receive the paycheck?
  • Are you doing things at work that you are morally or ethically against, but your financial situation has prevented your standing up for what you believe?
  • Do you have a second job or demand overtime just to pay the bills?
  • Are your children paying a tremendous price because of your financial situation?

If so, it is time to calculate your Debt Freedom Date and start the journey toward freedom!  Being a slave to debt is a terrible way to live life!

2.  Would your family prosper even if you die prematurely?

  • Do you have substantial savings that would sustain the family over a two to three month period?
  • Do you have life insurance that is equal to 10-times your annual take-home pay?

I have met with families after the untimely loss of a spouse.  I have seen families that had no plan and were enslaved.  It was a terrible moment, as I watched the family move toward poverty overnight.  On the other hand, I have met with families that had planned appropriately, and they were able to focus solely on grieving.

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Biblical Financial Lessons – Proverbs 15:22

This is a series that appears on a weekly basis here at – “Biblical Financial Lessons”

I believe that the Bible is the best money book ever written, and I really want to take some time each week to share the money lessons I have learned from the Word.

Proverbs 15:22  Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed.

Have you ever attempted to accomplish something that was HUGE for you, yet failed in spite of all of the planning?  First, let me welcome you to the club!  Second, let me ask you a question – Did you have a set of mentors to help you?

Perhaps one of the top things I have learned as I have launched a couple of businesses and purchased another is this – “I do not know everything!”  The act of ASKING FOR HELP and ASKING FOR WISDOM from people who have “been there – done that” has been so rewarding.

My mentors have helped me in the following ways:

  1. Helped me identify potential major issues
  2. Asked me great questions that forced me to really evaluate WHY I was even considering the initiative
  3. Provided connections to other people that had experience with what I was attempting
  4. Prayed with me, for me, and for the initiative
  5. Provided key steps for me to take to safeguard against or avoid pitfalls
  6. Shared options with me that I would have never even thought of (this was HUGE)

QUESTION:  Do you have a set of mentors?  Who could you ask TODAY to begin coaching/mentoring you?

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I am passionate about helping people win with their money.  This means that I really focus on the statements that people make and how they make them.  I observe their body language, tone, pitch, and wording.

There are some statements that are particularly telling of what I call a “broke mentality” – the thinking of a financially broke individual.

One of those statements is “How much are the payments?

People who are not broke ask the better question – “How much is the total cost – the purchase price AND the ongoing operating expenses?

I have observed that people who ask “How much are the payments?” are more likely to:

  • Pay a much higher purchase price
  • Pay a much higher rate of interest
  • Be unaware of the ongoing operating expenses
  • Finance their purchase versus pay cash
  • Still be paying for their purchase even after that item has been discarded

We are ALL susceptible to falling into the “broke mentality” – Have you ever made decisions this way?  Would you mind sharing your story in the comments?

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5 Swings Of An Ax – John C. Maxwell

I am a HUGE fan of leader Dr. John C. Maxwell for many reasons, but here are a few of the top reasons:

  • His book, The 21 Indispensable Qualities Of A Leader, was given to me by my friend and pastor Perry Noble when we were launching NewSpring ChurchThis book impacted me immeasurably.
  • He combined his entrepreneurial spirit with ministry.  I didn’t know that was really possible.
  • He is a continuous learner.
  • He makes complex topics understandable and applicable.
  • His voice is ridiculously great.

Anyway, I heard him share a story once at a conference we were speaking at, and it is so good I wanted to share it with you.

5 Swings Of An Ax

Suppose you want to cut down a huge tree in your front yard and all you have is an ax to cut it down with.  You could approach it a couple of ways:

  1. Go after it!  Swinging vigorously and mightily until you were completely worn out.
  2. Pace yourself.  Swinging strongly 5 times each day.

If you were to choose Option #1, you could swing vigorously and mightily until all of the strength had left you body, but all you would end up with is complete exhaustion and a tree with some chop marks in it.  And because you had exhausted yourself so completely, you might not even be able to bring yourself to pick the ax back up!

If you were to choose Option #2, you would make a serious mark each day with your five swings and there would be NO QUESTION of “if” the tree were going to come down.  The only question would be “when” the tree would fall – because with this method of 5 swings of a ax EVERY DAY, it WILL fall!

This is so important when pursuing a financial goal.  If you go crazy and loco after the goal, you might make a short-term difference, but chances are high that you will burn yourself out and just give up.

Choose instead to establish a pattern of “5 swings of an ax” toward your goal.  Every single day, get up and take 5 swings toward your goal.  Every. Single. Day.

Then your goal is no longer a matter of “IF” – only a matter of “WHEN”!

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Biblical Financial Lessons – Proverbs 22:7

This is a series that appears on a weekly basis here at – “Biblical Financial Lessons”

I believe that the Bible is the best money book ever written, and I really want to take some time each week to share the money lessons I have learned from the Word.

Proverbs 22:7  The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender.

This verse is merely an observation of reality.

When you have margin, you are positioned to fund dreams, build businesses, and have influence over others. Wealth positions you to have conversations with people that focus on “What if?” instead of “That’s impossible.” Have you noticed that people with money are the ones who are building houses, businesses, and funding huge projects?

The borrower is truly a servant to the lender. Anyone who has ran into trouble paying their bills clearly understands this part of the verse. They know EXACTLY what it means to be a servant to their lender. The lender is super nice when the money is provided to the borrower, but the sharpness of the lender’s teeth are felt the very instant that the borrower fails to fulfill their obligations.

You must perform exactly to the terms set forth in the loan agreement, or else you will have serious issues such as law suits, judgments, and harassing phone calls or even person visits from the lender.

YOU have a choice – to be rich or to be poor – and it all starts with a mindset.  A mindset of “I am not going to live a broke-to-broke life.” and “I am going to apply biblical wisdom to free myself from the bondage of debt and poverty.”

THE DAY that I decided to stop being broke was THE DAY that my family started winning with money. It happened on December 2, 2002. Of course, it was a process to move toward financial freedom, but it started with a declaration that we were no longer going to live a lifestyle beyond our income.

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