Attention American Express Card Holders: Save Even More on Your Holiday Purchases

Yes, I use credit cards. No, I’m not trying to convince you to go out and get a credit card.  However, if you currently have an American Express credit card in your wallet, I want to be sure you’re getting the full value out of your card. American Express has been running some nice statement credit promotions lately.  If you're going to be shopping at eligible retailers, it’s probably worth … [Read more...]

Imagine How Thankful We’d Be if We Could See Everything God is Doing

Over the last few months, instead of just praying for the blessings I see and recognize as blessings, I’ve also been asking God to help open my eyes to the blessings that go completely unnoticed. The problem with our thanksgiving is that it’s typically only a response to those events in life we understand as good news. We struggle with giving thanks in all circumstances (1 Thess. 5:18) … [Read more...]

Embracing Enough in a Not Enough World

Watch an advertisement, and I’m sure you’ll be convinced that you don’t have enough. Peer over the shoulder of a friend who’s showing off the latest and greatest gizmo, and you’ll quickly realize that you don’t have enough. Create a wish list of things you’d like to do.  Write down projects you’d like to complete.  Think about all the upgrades you’d like to make. Enough is a mirage in our … [Read more...]

Deathbed Wisdom That You Don’t Want to Live Without

About three weeks ago, I was visiting with an elderly woman from our church.  She died five days later. Last night, I sat down with a man who is in hospice care. I asked both of these elderly Christians a similar question.  To the one, I asked: what would you tell a young person today about life that you wish you’d known?  To the other, I asked: if you could go back and tell yourself … [Read more...]

Money as a Counterfeit God: Sermon Audio

Several weeks ago, I taught a class on money as a counterfeit god.  The class is an overview of the dangers of money in the Christian life. Obviously, the danger of money is only one half of the equation.  There are some ways we can use money to the glory of God, but that’s beyond the limits of this class. The class is about 30 minutes long. To listen or download the class, you can click … [Read more...]

Ramp Up Your Excitement 10x & Save Thousands By Lowering Your Expectations

Yesterday, I took my four-year-old daughter on a lunch date. Of all my kids, she’s the one who’s easiest to excite, but I’ve got to tell you that the Wendy’s kids meal at lunch resulted in a permanent smile. Perhaps it’s because she also got to drive with the window down in the winter temperatures, and her face actually froze that way. The total cost for lunch was $5.47 for both of us to … [Read more...]

7 Dumb Things We Believe About Money and Happiness

When asked a direct question, we usually all seem to have the right answer - can money buy happiness? No. Somehow there doesn’t seem to be consistency between how we answer the question and how we order our lives. Traditionally, when Americans are asked what would improve their quality of life, their most common answer has been “more money.” (Jason Zweig in Your Money & Your … [Read more...]

Our Approach to Giving is Broken & Why the Cross Must Be the Central Focus

The better we understand the cross, the more generous we'll be. We (teachers, preachers, churches …) have tried all sorts of things to address the dismal giving situation in America. Ultimately, I believe we've merely danced around the subject for the last few decades. At one point, it was assumed that the reason Americans gave so little is because there is such a poor understanding of … [Read more...]

Is the Pursuit of Happiness Just a Bunch of Baloney?

This weekend, we had a group of teens from around Montana travel to Billings for the Yellowstone Valley Youth Rally. I was one of the speakers for the event, and since I've lived overseas for six of the last seven years, I didn't feel especially in touch with the modern teen.  In preparation, I decided to try and see if I could figure out what's currently happening in the world of teen … [Read more...]

How to Live on One Income and Still Feel Loaded

My wife hasn't worked outside the home for eight years. Still, I hear people talk about how it's "impossible" or "practically impossible" to live on one income in America today. To that my only intellectual reply is baloney. What does it take to live on one income in 2013? God's blessing along with focused and Intentional living. I've always believed that a penny saved is more valuable … [Read more...]