Money…we always had it, we never seemed to lack it, and we rarely talked about it.
This is how I describe my family of origin and what I grew up thinking about money.
As we began our married life, I carried that same understanding of money into the early years of starting a family. This presented some challenging life issues and brought us to a point of needing some help from others.
There were some very important lessons about money that were learned during that time. God provided wise counselors in our lives so that we could learn to “seek first his Kingdom and his righteousness.” God used these counselors to graciously show us the error of our ways and provided us with discipline and new financial freedoms. God also blessed us with many things that we did not deserve, and showed us how to bless others and steward what he has so wonderfully provided for us.
One of the hardest things we all face is dealing with pride. It is hard to admit to others when we have made poor choices. It is hard to let others in when we think that we can handle it on our own. It is just plain hard to ask for help even when it seems so obvious that we need the help.
Proverbs speaks over and over about the wisdom that is found in seeking to connect with those that are wiser than us. Following these wise people and learning from them not only helps us, but also grows us so we can help others.
Dealing with money is a progressive journey. We are still growing in our understanding of how to manage it well. We are still seeking to learn from others and are trying to be generous with what God continues to lavish on us.
I would encourage you to seek guidance from others in understanding how money impacts your life. Talk to a close friend who also follows Jesus. Be open with your community group. Seek out a mentor, be a mentor. Let others in and be authentic with others who you trust. Let God show you all that He has in store for you as you seek to honor him with your life and your money.
“Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you; love her and she will watch over you. Wisdom is supreme; therefore get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding.” Proverbs 4:6,7 (NIV)
The book of the prophet Hosea. Honestly, in first reading, it can be difficult to grasp. There are quite a few movements and shifts in thinking, and our author mixes various styles of writing and a multitude of images and themes. So as I spent time over the course of a week with this book as a reader, and studier, what struck me was that I needed to process and meditate on Hosea as a whole. To step back and see the larger picture. To not get lost in the details. And I kept asking the question, “Is there a major theme here that you are trying to communicate, Father?”
We are now making our way into the “Prophets Before the Exile” section of The Whole Story. I really like the way our Read Scripture plan breaks a bit here from the order of the books of the Old Testament in our common English translation of the bible. For the Read Scripture plan is more in line with how the story actually unfolded.
On Easter Sunday, the Calvary family got to witness God working in the lives of two men who publicly affirmed their faith through baptism. It was a joy to see!
As the Bible is an ancient text, it makes sense that much of it is a recording of history. But to respond by merely reading it as a textbook would be a mistake, for this is history written with a very particular purpose. Namely, it is a theological history — its authors, under the inspiration of God, make theological arguments by the way they tell the stories, and what they include in them.
King of My Heart (Samuel part two)
It’s a little hard to believe that we are already twelve sermons into our adventure through the Bible called The Whole Story. I have been very encouraged to hear from many of you how this pace of moving through the Scriptures week-by-week, book-by-book has helped you see things you’ve never seen before, and appreciate our Father and his Son, Jesus, so much more. Personally, I don’t think I’ve ever enjoyed preaching as much as I have this year, discovering how, as our friends at The Bible Project say it, “The Bible is a unified story that leads to Jesus.”
Eight Acts of Service on Easter
We’ve arrived once again to the glory of Holy Week. And as Easter Sunday draws closer, it is good to remind ourselves of ways we can bless those who don’t normally attend Calvary on this highest attended service of the year.
Samuel Part One
As Douglas Wilson has observed, these are fragile times. And when a nation finds itself in the kind of mess we find ourselves in, there is a kind of widespread longing for a leader who has the qualities, vision, and ability to show the way out. That makes sense. Who doesn’t want to find their way out of a mess? But it’s a dangerous spot to be in. It can leave one vulnerable to charlatans and pipe dreams.