I Know the Plans You Have For Me

Whenever you are stuck thinking about your “dreams” and maybe even what you have yet to accomplish … remember that God’s plans TRUMP them all! Use this post by Britney L Clark to inspire you that God has great things in store … and His plan is better than anything you could ever imagine.

Meet the founders of Faithful with Finances:
Tony Amaradio and his wife Carin. 

Path to Queendom

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Your Goal for 2015 : Savor Life

 

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Your new resolution to keep for 2015:

“In 2015, I resolve to buy less, waste less, want less, and live more. I will love more, laugh more, give more, ask more, share more. In 2015, I will savor life.”

We think this is a pretty good resolution! What about you?

– Faithful with Finances

Meet the founders of Faithful with Finances : Tony Amaradio and his wife Carin Amaradio. 

Help! I’m Broke!

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Photo Credit: https://www.behance.net/gallery/12848761/Bible-Verse-Quote-2

Now that Christmas is over, many of us are realizing the damage we did in spending … mainly over spending. 

The common thread going around is, “Help! I’m Broke!”

We love the gift-giving process, but in the end, we are left wondering how we will make it through the following year.

This inevitably leads many of us to make financial new year’s resolutions!

The list goes something like this …

1. Make a Budget

2. Stick to a Budget

3. Save, Save, Save!

Whether we have bills to pay or expenses coming up, we could all use a little more in savings – and this time of year reminds us of just how real that is!

Let me encourage you to take a few steps this week or next to eliminate stress and give you a great start to the New Year!

1. Breathe, Relax, & Pray About It

Do you have big expenses coming in the next year? Or maybe even a large debt to start paying off? Relax. We are called in scripture to give our requests to God and He will in turn give us peace. Let that be your mantra for heading into the new year. You won’t be able to do anything on your own – only through the grace and power of our Lord. So rely on Him for your worries, and remember to bring it to Him in prayer.

Philippians 4:6-7 

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

2. Write Down Your Goals

Nothing is worse than having a goal in mind and never sticking to it. Make it a habit to write down your goals. It’s better to have one solid goal than many hard to attain goals – so if you must, simply write down one! Have it somewhere that you can easily see it. Post it on the fridge, on a bulletin board at work, write it in your calendar and set an alert. Seeing your goal on a consistent basis will make it more of a reality.

3. Start Small

All big goals can be realized in time if you start small. Maybe you have a goal to be financially independent, or to pay off your home. While these goals sound impossible right now, they are not impossible if you start today. Start small with a simple savings schedule. Before you know it your savings can grow and compound and you will be amazed with the amount that is contributed.

If you practice these 3 steps in the new year you will be on the right track, and before you know it, the stress of the Christmas spending will be behind you!

– Erika from Faithful with Finances

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Do You Consider Yourself a Steward?

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Believe it or not, if you are a Christian … you are called to be a steward.

You may have never realized until now that this is the job you were called to, but God takes great delight in making you a steward of His resources, and He is waiting for you to become faithful with what He has blessed you with.

Charles Spurgeon puts it this way …

“Every child of God is where God has placed him for some purpose, and the practical use of this first point is to lead you to inquire for what practical purpose has God placed each one of you where you now are? You have been wishing for another position where you could do something for Jesus: do not wish anything of the kind, but serve him where you are. If you are sitting at the King’s gate there is something for you to do there, and if you were on the queen’s throne, there would be something for you to do there; do not ask either to be gatekeeper or queen, but whichever you are, serve God therein. Brother, are you rich? God has made you a steward, take care that you are a good steward.”

If you have ever spent your days wishing or hoping for a different position in life – it’s time to stop!

God has placed you EXACTLY where you are for a reason … and He wants you to be a steward in that position.

What does this look like if you’re a stay at home mom? Or a cubical worker? Or a garbage collector?

All occupations, all callings, all lives can be lived for the glory of God – no matter where you are or what you do.

Here are 3 Ways to Become a Better Steward Today:

  1. Look for Opportunities to Share the Gospel

We are stewards of the great message that Christ has given us – the gospel! Because you have been entrusted with this, don’t be afraid to share it. Take special care of that message and reach souls for Christ when you get those opportunities.

  1. Live Your Life Out In Front of Others with GREAT Stewardship

Do you take care of the little things? The big things? People will notice. Let the words of your mouth be gratefulness, an attitude of contentment & gratitude. (Need inspiration on how to do this? Check out our last post on gratitude.) Before you know it, others around you will see the stewardship in your life.

  1. Take a Hard Look at How You Spend Your Time, Talents, & Treasures

The three important areas we are called to be stewards of is our “time, talent & treasures”. Take a look at how and where you spend your time, if you are using your talents to your full ability, and the way you handle and give your money.

Remember that becoming a good steward doesn’t happen overnight … it is a slow process that grows us to become more and more like our Savior.

Do you have ways that you practice stewardship in your life? Share with us!

– Erika from Faithful with Finances 

God As the Ultimate Giver

Have you ever thought of God as a “generous giver”?

He is the ultimate example of what it means to give generously and freely to others.

A popular verse we hear thrown around very often is John 3:16 …

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

The cross was a pure act of generosity. God chose to give us His Son. To allow Him to be dragged through the mud, beaten, scorn. And He did this all for us – to GIVE us this free gift.

In James 1:17 we read “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above…”

Every gift we receive in our lives that is “good” and “perfect” comes from the ultimate giver of gifts.

He specifically places special acts of grace within our lives to let us know that He cares.

Think of a thoughtful fiancé that wants to let his future wife know he is thinking of her … so he leaves a dozen roses for her to come home to after a long day at work.

Not only does God give us little gifts like this, He also gives us BIG ones …

Our family, our health, our finances, our children …

He will always be there for us, looking for ways to give us special gifts every single day.

Knowing that this is the character of God, His true giving character, how do you feel about the way you are giving back to Him?

Have you given Him “good” and “perfect” gifts from what you have?

Take this week to reevaluate your giving, and if needed, make a change to be more generous. God will ultimately reward those that will chose to let go and give in a more sacrificial way.

– Faithful with Finances

What it Takes to Live Below Your Means

loose changeYou want the hard truth? The absolute hard truth?

Living below your means is NOT easy.

You will have to make sacrifices … on many occasions.

You will feel like giving up.

You will take each purchase seriously … even when it’s your favorite Starbucks drink.

You will want to complain.

You will feel deprived at times.

But in the end … you will GROW to love this lifestyle.

You will see your bank account slowly grow.

You will feel a huge relief from stress.

Your heart and mind will begin to seek God.

You will let go of the material, and look towards the immaterial.

You will appreciate the little things.

You will care more about the people around you … not the things around you.

You will meet your goals.

You will banish debt.

You will release contentment.

It can happen to you … yes you!

The only way to start is to start today.

Think about the sacrifices you will have to make, but more importantly, think about the rewards.

– Faithful with Finances 

How to Handle Worry

 

Worry can consume even the most steadfast and faithful servants. God never intended for worry to enter our lives. He loves us and steadily takes care of us…worry is not a part of His plan!

 

Matthew 11:28-30

“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

 

His desire is for Christians to FULLY trust in Him, to give Him their complete confidence. The sad truth is that many of us fall short of this.

 

Here are a few simple ways to put TRUST into action…and worry in the backseat!

 

1. Start Your Day with an Honest Prayer

 

Give the Lord your worries at the start of every day. Whatever it might be. Your mortgage, your bills, your kid’s upcoming college tuition. He will listen, and He does care. Give it to Him in the utmost honesty, because He already knows how you feel…before you even pray about it!

 

2. Deliberately Give Your Problems to Him

 

At the end of that prayer, make sure you go out of your way to say, “Lord, this is now in your hands.” Give it specifically to Him, because in the end, He is the one that will take care of it! His heart is to watch over you, and going this extra step to give Him the praise will only cause your relationship with Him to grow even stronger.

 

3. Meditate on Scripture that Causes You to Trust

 

One of the best ways to guard against ungodly emotions and feelings is to hide scripture in your heart. Have it ready on the tip of your tongue so you can fight whatever emotional battle comes your way. Meditate on scriptures that specifically cause YOU to trust in the Lord, and that minister to YOUR needs.

 

In case you need a little help getting started, here are a few of our favorites:

John 14:27

 

“Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.”

 

Philippians 4: 6-7

 

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

 

Psalm 55:22

 

“Cast your burden upon the Lord and He will sustain you; He will never allow the righteous to be shaken.”

 

Start each new day giving the Lord your praise and He will turn back around and bless you for it. Never forget His promises and find peace in His great, almighty plan!

How do you combat against worry? Do you have a specific way to give your trust over to Him? Share it with us below!

Radical Giving

When most church-goers think about giving, the first word that typically pops into their mind is “the tithe”. This is what most people feel is their duty, and often times, they will faithfully give that 10%. Yet, we see throughout scripture that our Lord calls us to give with our hearts, and this can sometimes mean stepping out of that 10% boundary in BIG ways!

The challenge here is to think of giving as a journey, not a destination. Your giving should continually reflect the attitude of your heart, and your dependence on the Lord.

When we first become believers, at some point, someone has instructed us that giving or tithing was required, or the right thing to do.  Chances are, we began with an attitude of reluctance.  I remember as a child growing up in the Lutheran church. They would pass around the wooden offering bowl that had a red velvet lining on the bottom.  My mother would instruct me to place my quarter in the tray, and I did so, but with reluctance. My heart wasn’t necessarily in the right place, I was just giving because I had to.

As faith grows, you begin to acknowledge that what we are really doing is returning a portion of that which belongs to the Lord. Therefore, our attitude changes and now becomes one of obedience, and reverence to our Lord. At this point in the journey, we are usually still calculating a percentage and faithfully and obediently giving. We must become careful, because many get stuck here in their giving journey without venturing any further.

At some point in your life, someone might begin to challenge your thinking to step out of the obedience box and really get a hold of the concept that ALL of what you have belongs to the Lord, and the freeing part of the journey begins when you begin to give more than a calculated percentage. You venture into the area of giving beyond what may be considered “normal”. When you take this serious step of faith, you will experience joyful giving.  It’s a sort of emotional high from becoming part of the financial leg of a ministry or church relay team. You are no longer concerned about percentages or calculated tithing; it’s more about joyfully helping and using your financial talents to serve.

Soon – almost automatically, you become passionate in your giving journey. No longer does that cap on the deductibility of charitable giving matter as your accountant prepares your income taxes. You begin to see things through different, heavenly- bound eyes. You are a “cheerful” giver (Greek translation, HILARIOUS giver) enjoying the process no matter how upside down it may seem to the world – and oh, does God LOVE a cheerful giver.  You consider your earthly balance sheet and compare it to your heavenly one. The heavenly one must be stronger. You start to think about the amount of inheritances to be left to family members. You sense the urgency of God’s work in this world, and you act to help get it done!

So I challenge you ladies the “purse strings” and the “heart strings” are in your hands. Get control of your spending, save and invest wisely, and ultimately accomplish great things in the area of Passionate Giving! Your Heavenly Father can’t wait to tell you, “well done…good and faithful servant”.

By: Carin Amaradio