Thursday, November 19, 2009

Biblical Principles of Finance



The Word of God is truly amazing in that it deals with every aspect of our lives.  This is also true for the topic of personal finance.  In fact, there are over 2,300 scriptures that deal with money and possessions.  The Bible outlines many principles that can help us to make better decisions regarding our finances.  Following these principles will not turn the “straight and narrow way” that we walk on into “easy street”.  However, they can help you avoid some of the pitfalls that so many people seem to find.  We all know of people that have become “crippled” by falling in one of many financial “potholes”.  This can be a very painful experience and can often take years to recover from.  However, by following the financial guidelines of the Bible you can circumvent many of the problems that others face.  In fact, you will put yourself in a position to be able to receive additional blessings from the Lord.

1. Obey the Lord if you want His favor!  It all begins with realizing that everything comes from Him.  “But mine eyes are unto thee, O God the Lord: in thee is my trust; leave not my soul destitute.” (Psalms 141:8)

2. You can’t afford not to tithe!  It’s sad that less than 4% of Christians nationally even tithe.  Yet many of these same individuals believe in a “prosperity gospel”.  Although tithing was not listed as one of the Ten Commandments and there is no specific punishment for not doing so, you are definitely missing out on the blessings of the Lord if you’re not tithing.  These blessings may not always be financial, but there are greater blessings than just being blessed financially.  It’s hard to put a price on having your family in church, a great marriage, seeing your children filled with the Holy Ghost, etc.

3. Don’t go any deeper into debt!  The Washington Post reported in January 2004 that the average American household has $9,000 in credit card debt.  If you find yourself in a hole, the first step to getting out is to stop digging.  Many times it’s easy to not realize how much your actually charging on your credit cards each month.  If this is the case, it might be a good idea for you to simply put your credit cards away and only pay cash for the items you buy.  This way you will maintain better control over how much your spending and if you can’t pay cash for something then you just don’t buy it.  You’ll never get out of debt if you keep charging everything.

4. Put aside a cash reserve for emergency use only!  This should be at least $1,000, but could be more as your financial situation allows.  This should not be used as your vacation fund, your going out-to-eat fund, or any other non-emergency use.  In fact, you should forget that you even have it and only draw on it if you experience a bona-fide emergency.

5. Get out of short-term debt!  Just making the minimum payment each month won’t accomplish this.  Once you’ve stopped creating more credit card debt (#3 above), it’s time to start getting rid of the debt that you’ve already incurred.  There are several ways you could go about doing this.  The one most recommended by financial advisors is to pay off the debt that has the highest interest rate.  You could also begin by paying off your smallest debt and working your way up.  Regardless of where you start, it all has to be paid back.

6. Put aside enough money to sustain you for six months in case a catastrophe should happen!  Although no one can accurately predict the future, it’s always a good idea to be prepared.  “A prudent man forseeth the evil and hideth himself” (Prov. ).  You never know when you might lose your job, or when the economy will go through the next major recession.  In this world that we live, nothing is certain.  So having the financial resources to get you through such a crisis will save you a lot of heartache and worry.

7. Have supplies on hand in case of emergency!  Solomon advocated being prepared for the evil that might come.  Proverbs 22:3.  Hopefully, the evil will never come, but it’s always good to be prepared.  The Bible does talk about perilous times that will come in the last days.  Even in 20th century American there have been times when different items have had to be rationed out due to shortages.  No doubt there will be similar circumstances that will occur in the future. 

8. Pay off your car!  In our current society, too many people simply buy a new car every three to four years.  Many of them don’t even buy a vehicle, but simply lease it during that time span.  If you can afford to do this then there is nothing wrong with it.  However, for most of us getting a new car every couple of years is a luxury that we can’t really afford.  Some people might be surprised to find out that cars don’t just stop running after three years.  In fact, most vehicles will last for well over 100,000 miles.  The average person drives their vehicle about 12,000 miles per year.  So if you pay off your car in four years, you can continue driving that vehicle for several more years.  If you would continue to set aside that money that was formerly going towards your car payment, then when your ready to get another vehicle, you could probably pay cash for it.

Another tip for saving money when you buy a car is to buy a used vehicle.  This doesn’t mean you need to drive an old rusted-out car that you’re scared to even start.  Contrary, go ahead an find a new vehicle that you like.  Then look to see if you can find that same vehicle listed for sale as a used vehicle.  Often times that same vehicle is available with only a few thousand miles on it, but priced several thousand dollars lower.  So you still get the same vehicle you wanted, but you pay much less for it.

9. Invest Wisely!  Once you’ve accomplished the points above, you’re in a very enviable financial position.  You’re out of debt (except for possibly a mortgage), you’ve set aside enough savings to get you through any emergency/disaster, you’re able to pay all your monthly bills, and yet you still have money left over.  Just holding onto this money or finding new ways to spend it is not very wise.  In fact, Jesus condemned the servant who simply hid the one talent that he had instead of investing it to create additional gain.  Matthew 25:14-30.  So now it’s time to start letting your money make you more money.  This could be in the form of capital gains, dividends, interest, etc.

Investing doesn’t just include the stock market either.  Solomon said, “Give a portion to seven, and also to eight; for thou knowest not what evil shall be upon the earth.”  Ecclesiastes 11:2.  A wise financial steward will also diversify their holdings to minimize their risk.  There have been times when the stock market has performed very poorly, but real estate or bonds have done quite well.  Spreading your investments between stocks, bonds, precious metals, real estate, etc., can help you maximize your returns while reducing your risk.

10. Pay off your house!  Most people today don’t ever plan on owning a home outright.  As their financial situation improves they simply upgrade to a nicer house which, of course, comes with a bigger mortgage.  However, Paul does say “owe no many anything.”  Romans 13:8.  Since a mortgage is also a debt, this is also something that you need to work at eliminating.  This is also important since your mortgage is usually your biggest monthly expense.  A person without credit card debt, without a car payment, and without a house payment would definitely be considered as blessed of the Lord.  You would no longer be forced to always be working just to pay your bills.  Maybe most important is that you could be free of much of the financial stress and worry that so many people experience.

In conclusion, the answers to all of life’s problems are in the Bible.  This includes answers to the financial problems that plague so many people.  By simply following the Biblical principles laid out in the Bible you can help avoid many of these problems.  If you have not been applying these principles to your life, then you need to start as soon as possible.  If you are already following these principles, then you have probably already seen how the Lord blesses those that trust in him.  These blessings aren’t just one-time occurrences either, but they last a lifetime.  By following God’s principles on finance you can enjoy a much better quality if life than you can by doing things your own way.

Source: By Joshua Goodwin
http://www.echristianfinance.com/eChristianFinance/biblical_principles_of_finance.htm

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

A Pastor's Salary




“Let the church keep the pastor poor and God can keep him humble.” How often has this statement been the point around which congregations rally when the issue of paying the pastor has been addressed?

Even though congregations may not have said it verbally, over the years more times than not a congregation's actions have spoken volumes in support of this statement.

The apostle Paul wrote to Timothy, “The elders who rule well are to be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who work hard at preaching and teaching. For the Scripture says, ‘You shall not muzzle the ox while he is threshing,' and ‘The laborer is worthy of his wages'” (1 Timothy 5:17-18).

Typical Salary in America
Today few pastors receive an unreasonably high salary.

A reasonable income is based on what would ordinarily be paid for like services by a similar organization under similar circumstances.

Most ministers serving in pulpits today are highly trained and well educated. In obedience to God, congregations should pay them what they are worth.

A recent study conducted by The National Association of Church Business Administration points out that the average American pastor with a congregation of 300 people earns a salary of less than $28,000 and that one out of five pastors has to moonlight for supplemental income.

The study also indicated that only 5 percent of American pastors earn more than $50,000 a year, and 14 percent earn less than $25,000.

A Responsibility of the Church
The Word of God is specific when it says that laborers are worthy of their hire. This means that churches should give the maximum amount of support to their pastors, without jeopardizing the overall financial stability of the church.

Pastoral compensation is a two-edged sword: pastors should be paid what they are worth, but the ministers should be worth what they are paid.

Income paid to pastors should be fair and a reasonable indication of the congregations' evaluation of the pastors' worth. Yet, it should also relate to the responsibilities, the size of the congregation, the economic level of the locale, and the experience of the pastor.

A good rule of thumb to determine how much salary pastors should receive is either to pay them the same salary as the average wage of the church ruling board, the average estimated wage of the families in the congregation, or base the salary on a proposed budget presented by the pastor to the appropriate financial authorities for their consideration.

An annual review of a pastor's pay is vital, and the pastor should know exactly what to expect from the congregation during the coming year.

However, if a church does not increase the pastor's pay each year by at least the cost of living, it has in effect reduced the salary.

Moreover, just as the members of a congregation expect their employers to provide them with a cost-of-living pay increase each year, a pastor should expect the same.

Outside Employment
In some situations, pastors are forced to seek outside employment in order to supplement low salaries, especially in smaller churches.

Many churches justify encouraging their pastor to seek outside employment by calling attention to Paul's outside occupation.

The fact is, too much emphasis is placed on Paul's life, in which he was both a missionary and a tentmaker.

Paul was primarily a missionary and was supported as a missionary; tent making did not support him.

Today many congregations expect pastors to be tentmakers because they do not want to support them in a manner pleasing to God. Paul said, “So also the Lord directed those who proclaim the gospel to get their living from the gospel” (1 Corinthians 9:14).

If pastors feel committed to earn their living outside the church, so they will not have to take money from church members, that commitment must be from God.

As such, pastors should be given the freedom to pursue second jobs without fear of stigma.

However, if pastors are working because their churches will not support them, that is wrong, because it is a lack of commitment on the part of God's people and a lack of faith on the part of the pastors (see Philippians 4:19).

Before allowing their pastors to take outside jobs, the church board must honestly determine if they have the resources to assume their full and adequate support.

If pastors are torn between the loyalty of a job in which they earn a living to provide for their families (1 Timothy 5:8) and the call of ministering to people, they will have divided minds and the overall stability of their churches very well could suffer.

Conclusion
Inadequate income does produce negative consequences. Pastors who are concerned about providing the basic needs of their own families may not have the emotional energy to concentrate on the needs of their churches. Financial burdens may contribute to a lack of enthusiasm, a low self-esteem, and a negative attitude toward the ministry. Ultimately, that will harm the congregation. “Appreciate those who diligently labor among you, and have charge over you in the Lord” (1 Thessalonians 5:12).



Source of Article: Crown Financial Ministries

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

LATEST POST - WA University Covers All Corners



Latest Post

By Albert Kang


Before my good friend, Jul, joined Wealthy Affiliate University, I warned him that what he would learn will not be a get-rich-quick scheme. He understood that completely.  Even though he is a senior manager in a service industry, he wants to have a business that will give him freedom to do God's works and also a good income for his retirement. He promise me that he will work hard and now is on his way to internet marketing success.


The WA University is for people who really want to get into the real internet marketing business. The learning process and study demand are similar to those offered by any other universities and courses. For example, if you want to become a dentist, you will have to spend a couple of years learning and practicing dentistry before you even make your first dollar. By the time you graduate, you would have spent thousands upon thousands of dollars in school fees.


Thankfully, the school fees at WA University is only USD39. However, this school fee can become absolutely free if you were to introduce 2 other persons to take this course. WA University will pay you USD20 for every referral and that is a monthly amount. So, if you have two referrals, you would receive USD40 every month. After deducting your monthly school fee, you still make USD1. Some internet marketers just make money recommending WA courses. ^_^


So, for people who want to just dabble with internet marketing and hope to hit the jackpot, WA University is not for them. Maybe they should go to Vegas or even to the new casino in Singapore when it opens. The truth is that most gamblers will lose their shirts in the long run. Because if not, how can all the casinos survive and flourish. 

WA University is for those who seriously want to make a livable income by learning the rope of internet marketing. Just like in any professions, there are the really competent ones and those who do not make it. So, you have to decide whether you are the kind who will discipline yourself to do this home-based business without the 'whip' of a supervisor or manager. That is to say if you can manage your life and time, this is agreat industry to join.
Yes, when you join WA University, you will have to spend time to read, understand and do the exercises recommended. Everything is done online. You can ask questions but most of your questions have been anticipated. So there is answer for every question. They really cover all corners.


During the first few weeks, you will discover that you need time to understand all the important principles and concepts. If you have some business or IT backgrounds, then it will be a little easier. You will be shown many ways to make money online. After you choose your niche business, you will learn how to build your blogs, lens and even websites. All these are user-friendly and so they absolutely easy to handle.


The key to internet success is to work SMART and HARD. Grace and I are still spending hours at WA University websites, soaking in the new information and applying them to our internet marketing business. You see, both of us are not really internet savvy. After five weeks, we made two sales which give us residual income. We also earn money through pay-per-click and Adsense. We are in the momentum of success because WA University answers all the answers before we even ask. The founders and trainers have anticipated everything.

How much can you earn? Well, the sky is the limit. If you put in your effort, you should be able to at least earn USD1000 a week. The good internet marketers of course make more than that. Quite a number earn USD 1000 a day. Well, like in all businesses, if you find a need and meet that need, you will have a viable internet business.



May you take the first step and achieve your dream.

FINANCIAL FREEDOM & MINISTRY FREEDOM

Do You Have Problems Paying Your Bills Due To The Lack Of Love Offerings?

As a full-time minister, I am very busy with my ministry. My family and I depend on love offerings to survive. However, most of the time, love offerings alone are not enough to pay the bills.

To make ends meet, my wife, Grace, has to take a full-time job. She is a minister in her own rights and is a great help to me. Her leaves from her job are limited. To give us the freedom to minister together, we have to find another source of income.

Thankfully, a Christian brother introduces us to Wealthy Affiliate University. We soon realize that success in Internet Marketing is within our grasp.

Now Grace and I are on our way to financial freedom and still have sufficient time to serve the Lord in our ministry.

Do you want to be able to pay all your bills and still have time to serve God?

Kindly read on and see if this is the break that God is showing you.

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Related Posts with Thumbnails

To Pastors Who Want To Earn Extra Income - But Can't Get Started!

The Best And Legitimate Way For You To Earn Money At Your Own Time

I have been trying to break into Internet Marketing for many years but success seems to elude me.

As a pastor, I do not like all the hypes and false promises of many Internet Marketing courses.

I notice that there are just too many nonsensical Internet Marketing training offers out to make a quick buck and so this time, I am very careful.

Click The Link Now To Get Your Free Tour of Wealthy Affiliate


Wealthy Affiliate Restores My Confidence in Internet Marketing

Wealthy Affiliate Restores My Confidence in Internet Marketing
Pastor Albert learning WA from Brother Thomas

From A Skeptic To An Internet Marketer

When my Christian friend, Brother Thomas, shares with me WA, i am skeptical at first. However, now I am more than convinced.

You see, like you, I need someone to guide me and show me the rope. I need all the motivations and encouragements for me to work towards financial freedom.

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Step-by-Step, Day-by-Day, Week-by-Week

WA Course Takes You By The Hand

The WA site is really a university. You don't need to know anything about Internet Marketing to join this course.

It takes you by the hand and lead you step-by-step, day-by-day and week-by-week.

Click The Link Now To Get Your Free Tour of Wealthy Affiliate


I Love The Low Monthly Fee

Affordable and Good Return of Investment (ROI)

At least, I do not have to pay thousands of dollars for a 2-day or 3-day Internet Marketing course that just scratches the surface.

Thomas gives me his opinion as to why some people succeed in internet marketing while others fail. He says that those who succeed apply the Nike's slogan, "Just Do It" and just do it.

I concur because when I was a young insurance agent, there were many opinions as to why I should not take on that career. However, I refused to listen and just worked hard. I learned everything possible and within two years, had achieved much to be accepted as a member of the Million Dollar Round Table.

This low monthly fee is a most affordable tuition fee. It is also a great investment. However, it can be easily recovered when you become a WA affiliate.

I am confident that you will see a very quick return to this small outlay.

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Blueprint of Internet Marketing Success

WA Has Helped Many To Succeed In Their IM Business

· You will learn EXACTLY how to earn a steady income online and WA will show you, step-by-step, how this is done


· You are provided with learning resources to walk you through all of the HOT marketing techniques


· Wealthy Affiliate provides you with tools to uncover niche keywords, audiences, and sales angles that sell like crazy


· You will be working along side literally thousands of marketers who are willing to share their success secrets with you


· WA will hold your hand and teach you how to get started (YES, WA offers personal support and coaching)


· You will get the EXACT training that the WA members who earn USD1000 plus per day received (and still utilize)


· You'll learn that you DO NOT need money to make money, WA free techniques will earn you USD1000's per month


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Take A Look At The Potential Income That You Can Receive

This is Brother Thomas' Paypal transaction report.

By doing what WA taught him, he is able to achieve success by working at home.

This is the financial freedom and extra income that I am talking about.

Click The Link Now To Get Your Free Tour of Wealthy Affiliate


Paypal Transactions

Paypal Transactions
Click on the picture to enlarge view

Most People Can Achieve Internet Market Success

Here is another financial report from Brother Thomas' Clickbank. Working hard and working smart will help you earn the recurring extra income that you need.

Look at Brother Thomas' result.
This is the proof of his one-day income of USD 1450.71

ClickBank Transactions

ClickBank Transactions
Click on the picture to enlarge view