Encouragement, Small Groups, Training

The Four P’s

images-5 Have you ever heard of the four P’s? If not, here they are:

People of risk; Places of risk; Possessions of risk; Processes of risk

Those who are in Christ are called a new creation (II Corinthians 5:17) and in order to fight the forces of our past, God will give us wisdom and insight into how to resist the pull of finding ourself off course.images-6

There once were people in our lives who helped us to sin. I call them people of risk. These were the ones who always knew where the party was. As we are learning to walk a different way, people of risk should be avoided. Further, quite often people of risk are found in places of risk. These are the places that you now realize are places of darkness. We, through the discernment of the Holy Spirit, need to steer clear of these places so as to not be tempted to re-enter our former life, at least until we are strong enough to handle the temptations of that former life style.

images-7Possessions of risk are those items that enabled us to disobey God or at the very least did not draw us toward our Savior. An example of one of those items might be inappropriate books. In the book of Acts, chapter nineteen, the new believers actually conducted a book burning. They burned their possessions of risk. In this case, they were books of sorcery.

The last one is processes of risk. This one is a bit difficult to define, but can you think of a time when God spoke to you and revealed that your present way of thinking was a part of your old mindset? The scriptures reveal that we have been given the mind of Christ (I Corinthians 2:16). So, a process of risk might be a return to anger or jealousy in order to get what you want. The Father wants to give you a new process in order to arrive at what He desires for you.images-2

There you have it, the four P’s. How can they help you walk differently today and when can you share them with another?

Children, Parents, Training

18 Ways to Train Children and Teens to be Financially Responsible

images-31Ever wonder why some people have strong financial skills and others missed that class? For the most part, it’s in the parental training or lack thereof. Some young people never experienced financial training or a good example of responsible stewardship while growing up and others had to discover for themselves the hard way, through loss. There is a better way, however. Take the financial lessons you have learned and use them as a teaching tool to those little ones in your life, either as a parent, a grandparent or a caretaker. Their future teachers and employers will love you for it. Author and financial teacher Larry Burkett once said that we are not responsible for our children’s decisions, but we are responsible for their training. Here are some “training” insights to consider when it comes to handling money:images-30

  1. It all begins and hinges on helping them to understand that God owns it all. We are to be the best stewards of everything He shares with us.
  2. Be generous and teach generosity. There is no greater blessing than to give.
  3. Teach the difference between self-discipline, delayed gratification, and immediate self-gratification along with the direct consequences of each one.
  4. Be an example of all things in moderation vs. excess.

images-275. Give your children regular and meaningful responsibilities – jobs without pay, e.g., picking up their toys.

6. Do not give an unearned, free ride allowance, but rather give your children regular jobs with generous pay, e.g., mowing the lawn or folding the cloths.

7. Teach your children to tithe from every dollar earned or given to them. It is all God’s but discipline in regular giving grows a  habit.images-35

8. Teach your children to save a percentage of their income for the future (30-50%), all the while designating a percentage of what can be spent immediately.

9. Teach the difference between an asset and a liability – a consumable.

10. Train your children to follow through. They must learn to complete the job in the way requested or there is no reward.

11.Help them to understand the concept of investing and how that will help them beyond today into the future.

12.Develop a budget with your child as soon as they can comprehend the idea. It will serve them the remainder of their life.images-34

13. Start a savings account and when age appropriate, obtain a checking account and an ATM card. Teach them how to responsibly use and balance them.

14. Train them in the proper use of credit and how the borrower is servant to the lender.

15. Share with them the difference between paying interest and growing interest on their money/investment.

16. Share with your children your financial mistakes and how they can learn and benefit from them.

17. As is appropriate, walk them through all other financial concepts like loans, taxes, utilities, owning a home, maintenance, buying a car, auto repairs, insurance, etc.

18. And finally, take the time to teach your children what God takes the time to teach you about money and His resources. They’re never too young to learn.

Marriage, Postmarital

How to Change Your Wife

images-4How do you change your wife? Honor her. Weird, eh? To realize growth and change in your wife, honor your wife. To honor her means to esteem her, respect her, recognize her, credit her – to accept her for who she is. Consider this, …You husbands must give honor to your wives. Treat her with understanding as you live together…she is your equal partner in God’s gift of new life. (I Peter 3:7) Men, are you treating her as your “equal partner” and as a “gift” from God? She longs for you to do that.

Traveling around the world in ministry affords me the opportunity to observe the male leader who is married. One of the earliest things I like to do is to also meet his wife. When I get to know her and observe her spirit, along with watching how the two of them interact, I can tell if this husband honors his wife. Does she admire him, respect him, speak highly of him or is she weary, angry or unable to meet his impossible standards? It doesn’t take long to discover what kind of man this leader is through the eyes of his life partner.images-3

There is a bit of a caveat hanging onto this honor thing for us as men and husbands. The Apostle Peter writes that if we do not honor this woman and treat her, as we should, …”[our] prayers will not be heard.”

Encouragement, Marriage

How to Change Your Husband

images-3 Wives, did you know that you could change your husband without even opening your mouth? Impossible you say? Let me share my reference. In the same way, you wives must accept the authority of your husbands, even those who refuse to accept the Good News. They will be won over by watching your pure, godly behavior. (I Peter 3: 1, 2) Peter, by inspiration wrote “behavior,” not your strong rebukes, your forceful messages, your threats or your ultimatums. It is your behavior the scriptures state your spouse will observe and then consider change. This Bible verse requires an attitude check for every woman who thinks her Christianity is to be worn on her sleeve rather than in her heart.IMG_0605

Peter continues,” You should be known for the beauty that comes from within…a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God.” I know a woman like this. She found new levels in her spirituality through the Holy Spirit, but never competed with her husband who did not claim the same experience. She prayed at new levels of depth and saw miracles, but never threw those signs and wonders up for comparison with his faith. I watched her go through the loss of a teen child, grieve and then keep serving her many other children and grandchildren. And, I have watched her quickly fading and now heading toward her heavenly home still holding hands with her one and only man of 75 years. She has fought the fight and held onto her life-changing godliness. Her husband has watched, observed, changed and loved the…”beauty that comes from within…”

(I know a woman like that, my mother-in-law, age 93…who early one morning this past week did leave this earth for her heavenly home still loving her husband through a gentle and quiet spirit.  We’ll miss you, mom.)