Finance And Tithes Affect Global Economy









Finance and Global Economy

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Proclamation for America

Father, God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob,

Your Word declares that if we, Your people, who are called by Your name, will humble ourselves and pray and seek Your face and turn from our wicked ways, then will You hear from heaven and You will forgive our sin and will heal our land. (2 Chronicles 7:14)

We bow before Your sacred throne and humbly ask Your forgiveness for the sin of idolatry! Your word demands; “Thou shalt have no other gods before Me”, yet we have, under the banner of pluralism and hedonism, embraced and worshipped the gods of this world. Take us back to the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob! (Exodus 20:3)

Through moral and spiritual compromise and complacency, we have allowed our nation to conform to the ways of the world by turning away from our spiritual roots found in Your Word. (Romans 12:2)

Our silence has produced a secular nation and all nations that forget You, shall be forsaken. We ask that You hear our cry, for we need You, in these desperate times, to lead us out of our politically correct fog of constant confusion and take us back to Your moral clarity. (Psalm 9:17)

O Lord our God, King of the Universe, we confess that America cannot survive without Your presence. Your statutes founded this blessed land and we look to You, Father God, to preserve it, for “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord.” (Psalm 33:12)

As commanded in scripture, we pray for all who are in authority who govern our nation; may their decisions be led by the perfect compass of your Holy Word which clearly discerns right from wrong. (I Timothy 2:1-3)

O Lord our God, You have promised to raise up righteous leaders into high places and to remove those who have displayed unrighteous authority. We earnestly pray that You will once again exalt the righteous and expose the deeds of the ungodly. (Proverbs 14:33-35)

America must have spiritual renewal for moral survival! In this season of prayer, we unite in humble heartfelt hope and ask that You forgive us and deliver us from the folly of our transgressions. Guide and sustain our nation as we turn from our sin and return to You, the God of our fathers. (Psalm 51:1-17)

The time has come to declare our trust in You to heal our land. (2 Samuel 22:2-4; Psalm 5:11-12; Psalm 57:1-3)

We pledge to exercise our God given rights of “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” in voting for future leaders from the county courthouse to the White House who obey and honor Your Word. (Deuteronomy 28:1-14; Psalm 119:44-48; Psalm5:11)

We pledge to vote the Bible in selecting those that will govern our country. (Deuteronomy 16:18-20)

Blessed are you, O Lord our God, for You are good and Your mercy endures forever. We petition heaven with our united prayers as we seek Your blessing, Your peace and Your protection for America. (I Chronicles 16:34; Numbers 6:22-26; Romans 15:13; Psalm 5:11)

May the Lord our God, be with us, as He was with our forefathers; may He not leave us or forsake us; so that He may incline our hearts to Himself, to walk in all His ways... that all peoples of the earth may know that the Lord is God and that there is no other. (1 Kings 8:57-60) Amen

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HOW FINANCE AFFECTS OUR GLOBAL ECONOMY



What has the price of oil in Bahrain or wheat in Australia to do with your financial well-being? If you live in the United States or Canada or somewhere in Europe? Is there really a connection, for example, between Mexico's huge international debt and a burgher's life' in Stuttgart, West Germany?

The answer is that the world, figuratively speaking, is one economic ball of yarn and we are all strands interwoven together. But the personal effects of some far distant crisis may easily be disguised.

World Crises, Economics and Your Finances

Today, almost anything of import that occurs in our world has "This Affects You" stamped on it. Defense spending, for example, deeply impinges on our personal prosperity-our pocketbook, our land and our security. The health of a people may affect the nation's productivity, as well as burden its economy. Cocaine and heroin usage are linked to crime. Crime, in turn, is linked to what we as victims of crime may lose in money and possessions,or pay in greater costs for insurance or for an expanded police force and the maintenance of prisons. Defense, health and crime are but three strands woven into the complex fabric of the world's economy and your finance future. Here personal needs, governmental decisions and individual or international crises all find themselves inextricably bound together.

That Was Then, This Is Now

A thousand years ago families in Europe were tied together by a lord of the manor in small social and economic communities. People often lacked protection and freedom from the ravages of nature as well as the local lord. But humans had within their grasp an economic boon that eludes us today. The yeoman's paradise of the romantics may be hard to find. But it was often a fact of existence that most people could either work on their own land or that belonging to a nobleman.

Who wants to be a farmer, you might ask? The point is not one of preference but rather a realistic economic finance fact. A family had access to a producing homestead, however humble it may have been. Even a serf could grow his own food. A well-stocked barnyard could ensure eggs, milk and poultry. There was no need for a central water supply stretching hundreds of miles. Wells on the land or in the community could provide much of the needed water.

The central power-generating station did not exist. Wood was used as fuel. (But the forests were depleted through misuse, forcing the Europeans to turn to coal and the steam engine.) Transportation was also literally homegrown on local lands, in the form of, say, horses or mules. No need for expensive capital outlays, such as for tractors. A healthy beast of burden did the job.

The use of living things had one important aspect: They were economic finance assets as each was self replicating. Seeds came from crops; a cow would give birth to a calf; a horse to a foal; a goat to a kid. The economy of people in the Rhone-Saone valley in France did not depend on a Japanese car, oil from Saudi Arabia and a computer from America.

For most people, things economic were limited to family, or at most the village where basic products and services were traded in fairs or bazaars. The other side of the economic coin was the scant protection from drought, flood, disease epidemics or a harsh nobleman. These were real economic as well as personal bugbears that man hoped would disappear as the Industrial Revolution and the Age of Rationalism held out promise of finance utopia. In the late 1700s a new world was dawning. New technologies, new political and economic systems were emerging, all holding out hope for a better future.

We Are One Economic World

Today, we control floods, droughts are circumvented, disease epidemics are nipped in the bud, and voters can turn out any "nobles" of government with which they are not satisfied. Paradoxically, we have not gained our economic finance freedom. We have, in effect, become each others economic serf and slaves of the very technology and socioeconomic system on which this freedom is based. No longer do we have personal access to the basic means of production and necessities of life. We are, for the most part, dependent on other people and nations for our food, our fuel, our transportation, our machinery and our clothes. We must often borrow our capital from abroad. If basic financial service were cut, we would be unable to survive for the most part. In that sense, economically speaking, we have never in the history of our existence been more helpless.

International dislocations and crises become our own. The long economic arm of government or corporate policy can reach deeply into our finance pocketbooks or lift the bread from off our table. Such unwanted relationships are often paradoxical and take on a life of their own. Some examples:

An American in Chicago or a Japanese citizen in Osaka may heartily welcome lower gasoline and heating oil prices. But these savings mean increased economic woes for citizens in Mexico City, Lagos, Nigeria, and even among the Chicagoan's kinsfolk in Houston, Texas. If the U.S. government makes a deal to sell its wheat to the Soviet Union, then Australia will be left literally holding its bag of wheat. Such ironies exist everywhere in the world economy.

Bizarre Effects of world Finance Economy

Most governments employ subsidies to protect their industries, whether in Europe, Latin America, Japan or the United States. The result can often be economic musical chairs.

A case in point. A part of an urbane New Yorker's tax dollars may be earmarked to pay a Wisconsin dairy farmer so that their mutual government can purchase some of the dairy farmer's cheese and distribute it for free to the poor. The same New Yorker must now pay more for his cheese than he would have had to if he hadn't supported the Wisconsin dairy farmer in the first place. But if he hadn't supported the dairy farmer, the New Yorker might not have any cheese at all. Why? Because the dairy farmer could not afford to produce it at a lower sales price.

Let's look at a few other finance paradoxes of this global economic village we all inhabit.

. A lending nation such as the United States may counsel debtor nation Brazil to "trade away" its debts by increasing exports. But the United States may deny Brazil access to its markets by raising barriers to Brazilian products--and vice versa.

. If the government, of say the Federal Republic of Germany, is asked by the United States to help drive down the value of the dollar, it may mean the Japanese yen will rise against the dollar. The final result may be that the American consumer may be forced to pay more for his Japanese car.

. Britain may pay into the European Economic Community farm subsidy fund. This fund, in turn, will pay the French farmer so that he can sell his wheat at a lower price to the Soviet Union.

Things "economic" occur in the context of real world happenings, not in abstract graphs. An economic crisis may be the result of a deep social problem. To illustrate, if someone in Los Angeles, California, desires cocaine, another someone in Bizarre Effects of World Economy Most governments employ subsidies to La Guajira, Colombia, is happy to supply it. As long as enough dollars chase cocaine, a supplier will surface.

In the process, innocent citizens may suffer. A Colombian may not want cocaine produced in his country and an American may not want it used in his. But the Colombian may be murdered and leave a wife and children without economic support. The American may be robbed of all that he has by the hooked user supplied with cocaine from Colombia. The outcome in both cases has its economic dimension; both American and Colombian citizens have been devastated finance as well as socially speaking.

Another situation. Tribal farmers in an African nation may starve but not solely because of drought or poor farming. It may be politically or militarily expedient for the military to destroy the crops of those opposing them. War and social evils stand in the way of finance prosperity for all. There are other factors, of course. Ignorance, poor health are two. Natural disasters have taken their toll.

Economic systems such as feudalism, capitalism, socialism and communism were devised in hopes that they could provide abundance and finance prosperity. But the world is yet searching for the utopia of perfect economic theory and practice.

Capitalism, for example, claimed that the individual is the most important part of economic growth. Adam Smith, in his 1776 book, The Wealth of Nations (the "bible" of capitalism), argued that each individual should be allowed to pursue his own interest and personal gain. By so doing, his selfishness would actually promote the common good. ..And he is in this led by an Invisible Hand to promote an end which was no part of his intentions," Smith argued.

It is no coincidence that while in 1776 Smith's book was on English printing presses, across the Atlantic, the Declaration of Independence was being signed. Both ideas had a common root. A politically free individual would guarantee his nation political finance prosperity in the same way that the individual free from government interference in the market would usher in economic prosperity. It soon became apparent that capitalism had deep social problems of injustice and inequality. Within 75 years a new economic philosophy was born-communism. In the year 1848 the communist Bill of Rights was published under the title The Communist Manifesto. Karl Marx's Das Kapital (the "bible" of communism) was published in 1867.

Marx claimed that communism was the wave of the future. It would supplant a decadent capitalism as capitalism had overthrown feudalism. But the death notice of capitalism was, as they say, slightly exaggerated.

Communism had its first say in 1917 in the Soviet Union, as Nikolai Lenin came to power. The ensuing history under Stalin proved once again that economic theory cannot be separated from political and social reality. Human problems were, unfortunately, alive and well under communism well as under capitalism.

Many nations have flirted with varying degrees of socialism while capitalist nations have become mixed economies subject to ever greater government interference in the marketplace.

But war, greed, desire for profit, scarcity and other social and political problems -the things of the spirit-have always had more cavernous appetites than any economic philosophy or government structure. No nation that has succumbed to the weaknesses of the human spirit-its own or others-can survive hale and hearty, economically speaking.



Choices Right and Wrong



Individuals, businesses and governments all must make important finance choices on spending and production. But these three groups do not always make wise economic decisions. Often, they are forced by circumstances to make decisions that have unsatisfactory results.

Nations, like individuals, may borrow beyond their capacity to pay. Or purchase that which they do not need. Or be unable to sell at a profit that which they have produced.

But in all cases it is people who must write the check covering the debit in the economy's account. "The buck stops here" is an old cliche. In economics, the buck stops at you and me.

If you're like most people, having enough money for a decent and secure life is one of your major concerns.

Those on fixed incomes may be especially worried about creeping inflation, the rising costs of goods and services. The threat of unemployment or job loss (or business failure) also causes the jitters.

Perhaps you're a single mother with several children and in great danger of falling under the poverty line. What will you do about improving your finance situation? Or you're deeply in debt. How will you make your payments and become debt-free?

Reasonable prosperity is something all of us would like to achieve and hold on to.

But, in many nations, people face nearly insurmountable finance problems. The things that most of us in the developed nations take for granted-automobiles, electronic gadgets, savings accounts, adequate clothing and furniture-are out of reach for vast numbers of the human race.

Many developing nations face staggering poverty, near runaway inflation, unpayable national debts, vast unemployment and underemployment. We know that people in such nations must think in terms of basic survival rather than finance prosperity.

To some degree, as they read this article, they will have to look over the shoulders of those who live in the well-off nations and who have opportunity to improve their finance situation.

Let's, then, look at six finance principles that can help one reach for a more secure personal finance situation.

Increase Income

The first step toward finance security has to do with maximizing our income. We need to have sufficient money and resources to make life what it should be without jeopardizing our mental, social and spiritual needs.

Most people are paid an hourly wage or work on salary for someone else. If you're in this situation, your chances for suddenly increasing your income by a large amount are not that promising.

You may receive automatic but small raises based on a company formula or union-management agreement. In some cases, your company may grant built-in cost of living increases.

If there is a possibility of "moving up" financially you will have to demonstrate your usefulness. Make yourself more valuable to your boss or company. Put the emphasis on helping your organization earn more money, save money or improve its product or performance.

If you personally want a raise, you'll have to do it the old-fashioned way: You'll have to earn it.

Suppose you cannot do better in your finance even though you work harder and smarter? You have two options. Stay put or move out to another job or company. (But don't quit your job without having another one lined up!)

Perhaps your type of employment has only limited monetary value. And you've achieved the highest pay possible. Can you educate yourself and improve your value in the job marketplace?

Perhaps you have the ability to create your own job by starting a small business. If you already own a business, the same principle applies. You will have to make your product or service more valuable and desirable to the consumer.

Simply put, being able to earn more in your finance plan depends on your attitude of service to others. It also means making the most you can of your abilities and situation.

Budget Money Wisely

A most important point to remember: Make the most from the money you already earn.

If we spend our money more effectively, it's the same as increasing our salary. When we spend more wisely, it's as though we're giving ourselves a tax-free raise.

How's your "money management quotient"? One well-known family financial counselor wrote, "Managing your money may well be the single most important thing you can do today." How true that is!

We may learn to be money earners but can still end up as paupers. We have to become wise money spenders as well. Studies show that even those individuals who earn large salaries still feel financially strapped. It seems that many people's outgo for needs and wants almost always exceeds their income.

Sound money management teaches us a basic financial maxim: There is never enough money for everything we might want or need. That is a fact of life for even the wealthiest of individuals or nations.

So we need a sensible spending plan. A spending plan is like a road map. Every business and government must have a spending plan and must strive to follow it. Such a plan guides the effective use of money in many ways. It helps us:

. Live within our means. A plan gives us greater control over our financial resources. We can immediately know whether something we desire to purchase is affordable.

. Realize personal goals. With a spending budget, we can plan purchases properly, service debt payments, accumulate savings, save for the future.

. Spend money effectively. Merchandisers know that humans make spur-of-the-moment purchases. Items on supermarket counters are often positioned in such a way as to encourage purchases.

A spending plan helps us to circumvent impulse buying. We buy only what we planned to buy and only those things our plan tells us we can afford. A spending plan helps us to ask the right questions about our money. Is this the time to buy this product? Is this the most economical way to buy this product? Would we rather have this product than something else? Do we have the money to buy it? Does this product fit in with our goals in life?

A spending plan helps us to balance the desire for present enjoyment with long- and short-term financial needs. A plan encourages a savings way of thinking. Instead of buying now and paying later, we begin to think of saving first and then buying when we can afford it. If you don't know where the money goes, you can't get it to go where it should. That's an obvious maxim. A budget or spending plan should include three important areas:

. Emergencies. We should put money away each month for unforeseen circumstances such as car and house repairs.

. High-cost items. Don't buy that couch today. Each month put money into a savings account. Buy the couch for cash-on your terms, without interest and at the most financially appropriate time-such as during a timely sale.

. Annual or periodic bills. Put away money each week, month or pay period for a future bill such as insurance or taxes. For example, if you pay an insurance bill once each year, put away one twelfth of the total in your savings each month.

Use Credit Wisely Credit is touted as a heaven-sent blessing. It can be helpful when borrowed money creates products or services that can be sold. But credit used to buy all sorts of consumption items has its pitfalls. First, that kind of borrowing doesn't create anything. Second, credit doesn't come free. It costs us interest. This inflates the cost of the object we want to buy and squeezes out other possible purchases. Obviously, whether to buy such a major purchase on credit is something we should give real thought to. Most family financial experts agree that we should not purchase small consumable and luxury items on credit cards where the interest can exceed 20 percent. Credit makes unwise purchases easy. It can transform us from a cash-using into a credit abusing society. We have to aim at an acceptable living standard well within our incomes. We can achieve this goal by resetting our financial clocks. That is, save and have ready cash available ahead of purchases, rather than allowing this cash to lag behind what you buy. We need to live within our current income-producing ability. We shouldn't bank on the hope that future salary, commission or profits will increase and catch up with our present overspending.

Trim Expenses

We live in an "Era of Aspirations, "as one money management authority calls it. That is, we order our lives on the belief in and need for a constant upgrading of personal demands. We take this increase in our standard of living for granted. We spend our money on that assumption. It may seem strange, then, to say that we should take a hard look at what we buy .or use-and cut down expenses. Yet, that is exactly what we should all be doing if we want to increase the value of our money.

A few examples.

Look at the things you're already spending money for. Do you need that magazine subscription? The services of a gardener? What about the things you've decided you want but haven't purchased? Is that new car necessary? Will a less expensive one do? One important reason why our money doesn't buy what it should is that we are using far more services than ever before. Most services depend heavily on labor costs. If we carefully budget our money, we can identify these services that generate intensive expenditures. Then we can take appropriate action to change our spending habits. Let's look at some of these areas.

. Laundering and dry cleaning.

Can we begin to wash and to iron some of our own clothes and alter our clothes-buying habits to rely less on garments that must be dry cleaned?

. Washing the family car.

Why not wash the family car instead of using the car wash? You can save some money and get some exercise.

. Eating out in restaurants.

The fast-food industry is booming in the Western world. Start today keeping track of the money you spend eating out for a few months. You'll be astonished at what you spend. Want some more shocking information? Take a single spending event such as eating a meal out at a restaurant or a trip to the car wash. Then, estimate how many times you do this weekly and multiply the amount spent by 52. You will find the yearly sum spent on these services can be astonishingly high.

Invest for the Future

If we include a regular savings plan within our budget, we can build up a goodly nest egg over the years. Perhaps our income is not that large. Can we save at least a small portion each year? If we do this over a 30-year period, we'd be surprised at how much we would have for the closing years of our lives. From this nest egg, we could draw an income upon retirement from the interest we receive on our investment. If that investment happened to be in tax-free municipal bonds, we would be that much better off.

Consider your long-term financial goals early in life. Make these a part of your spending plan. What about a possible home purchase, costs of rearing children, their education expenses, and money for your retirement years and old age? It's important to think through your goals in life as early as possible. However, it's never too late to do so. In terms of financial goals you must first plan for today. That's obvious. But you must also carefully consider your senior years.

So far we've considered several points on increasing income and spending it wisely. Now, let's turn to the most important way in which you can guarantee a secure and prosperous future for yourself and your family.

Make God Your Partner

Strange as it may seem, what we are able to earn depends very little on us. Any income we produce is dependent on assets that we did not create. And they don't really belong to any human being, corporation or government. Regular readers of The Plain Truth Magazine (see our Plain Truth Page for a FREE subscription) know we teach that a personal Creator God made and sustains all that exists. Would not this God, by virtue of having created everything, have good reason to claim that everything-including ourselves-belongs to him? God does make such a claim. "The earth is the Lord's, and all its fullness, the world and those who dwell therein" (Psalm 24: 1).

He says the wild animals and cattle are his (Psalm 50:10-12) and so is all the silver and gold (Haggai 2:8). Everything that's produced is dependent on some element originating in the earth. Our product may be a tomato, a steel girder or even a piece of plastic. But the primary elements have already existed in some form. Man has merely reshaped or reconstituted what has existed in a previous' form or state. Man cannot really create something out of nothing. We only alter that which was created by God.

Ah, you say, we used our energy to create, say, a song or write a book. Yes, but where did that energy come from? Who made your hands, your eyes, the human body-your ability to sell, manage, invent or create? God did. Of course we apply a certain thinking process to whatever we do. But God still has a prior claim. God created the human brain and mind that we use.

Thus, we finally stand naked before God. We have brought nothing into the world. Everything we have has come as a gift from the Creator. Out of this truth comes another basic and far-reaching income generating and -spending finance principle: Since God ultimately gives us everything we need, we are dependent on him for our economic survival and prosperity. And so God warns us as he did an ancient people before they went into the Promised Land: "When you have eaten and are full, then you shall bless the Lord your God for the good land which He has given you. Beware that you do not forget the Lord your God by not keeping His commandments" (Deuteronomy 8:10-11).

He tells us, as he did these ancients, not to say, "My power and the might of my hand have gained me this wealth'" Rather, we should think of God as our senior partner in any economic endeavor and prosperity we might achieve. "And you shall remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth" (Deuteronomy 8:17-18).

Certainly, we should do our part in working harder and smarter both at earning and spending our income. But we must go on to trust and acknowledge God as the author of finance economic prosperity. If we do this, we can have financially secure and prosperous lives.

GUIDELINES

Many people would be surprised to learn that the Bible contains a wealth of information about economics and finance.. Here are a few of the many guidelines that. if diligently followed, would help individuals and nations enjoy economic stability and finance success: Hard Work Pays Off He who deals with a slack hand becomes poor, but the hand of the diligent makes one rich (Proverbs 10:4).

Do you see a man who excels in his work? He will stand before kings; he will not stand before unknown men (Proverbs 22:29).

The Principle of Savings in finance, Go to the ant,you sluggard! Consider her ways and be wise, which, having no captain, overseer or ruler, provides her supplies in the summer, and gathers her food in the harvest. (Proverbs 6:6-8).

Debt and Credit

In finance The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender (Proverbs 22:7).

Avoid Get rich Quick Schemes for finance gains

A faithful man will abound with blessings, but he who hastens to be rich will not go unpunished (Proverbs 28:20).

Money Is Not Everything

Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one's life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses (Luke 12:15).

For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil (I Timothy 6:10).

A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, loving favor rather than silver and gold (Proverbs 22:1).

The Give principle It is more blessed to give than to receive (Acts 20:35),

Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, Shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you (Luke 6:38).

Honor the Lord with your possessions, and with the first fruits of all your finance increase; so your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will overflow with new wine. Proverbs 3:9-10.

Finance planning requires discipline

*******Spiritual, commitment, persistence, faith to believe, review, and accountability.*******

"God has set up a system in finance to bless and prosper you; it’s the system of sowing and reaping. When you give, God promises that blessings will come back to you in greater measure. Just like sowing a seed in the ground produces an abundant harvest, when you sow financially, you will reap a harvest of blessing in your life in return. Notice in the verse that God is concerned more about how we give than what we give. He loves it when you give with a cheerful heart because that shows that you are trusting in His promises. It shows that you love Him and love following His commands. When you understand that God wants to bless you, you can’t help but give with a cheerful heart! Meditate on His wonderful blessings today and allow that joyful attitude to rise up in your heart. Be a cheerful giver and expect His finance increase and blessing in every area of your life.".......Joel Osteen ministry

Let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. II Corinthians 9:7






Money-It's Part of Life

HOw many times have you said to yourself, "Once and for all I've got to get my fi­nance in order!"? There is no better time than right now! So why not put a budget into effect that will give you a sound finance footing and lay the foun­dation for the future?

Like it or not, money is an important part of our lives. You've heard the cliche, "Money can't buy happiness." That may be true. But a lack of money can certainly contribute to a lot of unhappiness. Properly managed, money can enhance fam­ily relationships. Money can be a springboard for family discussions that will help the entire family pull together for common finance goals. Not properly managed, money becomes a great curse. A family staggering un­der the oppressive weight of debt is obviously under more strain than the debt ­free family.Yet modem society has encouraged debt.

It is con­sidered "normal" to have a home mortgage, an auto­mobile loan of several thousand dollars and personal credit debts amounting to nearly 20 percent of the family income.But just because that is "nor­mal" or "typical" doesn't make it the best form of money manage­ment Rather than go into debt, the average person should set about to get out of debt-and stay out of debt. But where should you start with this finance goal?

See the finance Need

Time was when a family needed a major item, they began to save for it. It might have taken a few years. But when they bought it, it was paid for. Then times changed. Through the world of credit fi­nance, many families have ac­cepted an automobile payment as a permanent part of their family budget. If you ever hope to get out of debt, your very first step is to bring a quick halt to credit buying. Especially on the common items of life such as clothing, appliances, furniture, food, meals out and recreation.

Many families will carry a long term home mortgage. And many families will be forced to finance an automobile for three or four years. Your goal will be to cut credit buying to a minimum of these two items.

Then-a Long-Range Finance Plan

Most of us have taken many years to establish our spending habits, accumulate our debts and dig ourselves into finance holes. It is not easy or logical that we should be able to snap our fingers and get out of debt and on a sound finance footing by next week. Not even next month. Not even next year. But a sound plan, carefully thought out, can bring a finance success in the future. We live in a "now" oriented society. We want everything done yesterday, or by tonight at the lat­est. Such a hectic pace of living is not realistic. You need to sit down as a fam­ily and layout a practical long ­range plan. Find out exactly where you are right now. Get all your finance bills and statements in or­der. It may not be pleas­ant to find out how deep you are in debt, but you might as well face it. Oth­erwise, you'll continue in the same old rut-digging ever deeper. Once you have noted all your debts, put down what you realistically can expect in the way of in­come.

If you are typical, you'll find your debts cannot be paid off right away. That's where budgeting comes in. Going on a budget to many people is distasteful. It's like going on a diet. Or like being told when you were a child to go to your room. It seems like punishment for alleged wrongdoing.But going on a budget is what you should have been doing all along. So don't look at it as unpleas­ant. Setting up a budget is like getting a new lease on life. It's a way to start over. A way to make a success out of your finances.

Remember, your plan should be long range. The chances are your home mortgage will be the greatest debt you have to pay. That is generally a fixed sum of money. So if you have 10 years, or 20 or even 30 years yet to pay, your long-range budget should be set up as long as you have that one outstanding debt. Then take your debts one by one and layout a realistic pay­ment plan. Your automobile may take another three years. Your personal credit debts for furniture, clothing and other items have to be paid for every month-you may have charged enough that your long-range plan will take four, five, even seven years. But set up a finance plan. That's important. Make up your mind not to cre­ate any major new debts while paying off the old ones. That is not going to be easy, but those debts will all have to be paid. And there is no use putting it off any longer.

A Matter of Character

Many people hope for a sort of "magic" budget. One that will pay our debts faster than our projec­tions. But such a magic budget doesn't exist. You have to set up a budget and stick to it. And that may not al­ways be easy. In fact, it seldom is. Each person or family has dif­ferent needs. There is no one bud­get suitable for everyone. The 35­year-old bachelor will have quite a different expense pattern than the 38-year-old cou­ple with three children. Money and finance management for a 58-year-old couple plan­ning for retirement will be very different from the 23-year-old newlyweds. And the couple with chil­dren have different ex­penses than the couple with no children. So each of us has differ­ent goals. And therefore a different finance plan. Therefore a different budget. Each such budget is neither right nor wrong-just dif­ferent.

The purpose for your budget is to make your money do what you want it to. Too many people have given in to their desires and extended themselves beyond safety in money management. You simply can't budget and spend more than you have coming in. Typical long-range goals are savings for college education for the children, paying for appropri­ate life insurance, a paid-off mort­gage and sufficient funds for re­tirement.

Mid-range goals include furni­shing the home, purchasing and maintaining an automobile and perhaps a special vacation. Shorter-range expenses are clothing, food, utilities and recre­ation. You should make out your own list of goals-long range, medium and short range. But as you set down your goals. and develop your budget, keep these six points in mind:

(1) All goals must be based realistically on your projected income.

(2) In your finance plan provide for the basics first­ then the comforts and finally the luxuries.

(3) Set up a plan for paying off debts already accumulated.

(4) Plan a savings scheme-no matter how small. Add to your savings as your old debts are re­duced.

(5) Spend only based on your budget.

(6) Never give in to temptations to depart from the budget.

Get to Work on It

The most important part of making a finance budget work is not how the budget is set up. The most important part of the budget process is you! You are the only one who can make it work. Many of you have said regard­ing your money, "I just don't know where it all goes." Or, "How come my outgo always exceeds my income?" Or, "I just can't seem to make ends meet."

Form a habit of writing down your expenses. Keep track of your outgo. It's surprising what you find when you get it all down on paper. Set up your own simple ac­counting system. Make columns for housing and utilities, groceries and meals out, transportation, medical and dental, clothing, in­surance, credit debts, the family vacation, recreation and other ways you find that you spend your money. Then when you see how you have been spending your money, set up a plan of how you can best change your spending patterns and habits, if necessary, to accom­plish your new long-range, mid­-range and short-range goals.

Take control of your income and outgo. Become your own "secretary of the treasury." It can be fun. It will certainly be a challenge. Set up a workable budget that every member of the fam­ily understands and sup­ports. Your family can be­come a team pulling together for a common goal. That goal may mean sacrificing now for a col­lege education for the chil­dren later. But it will be well worth it when you achieve that goal. And if you have been in debt more years than you care to remember, it's amazing the wonderful feeling you'll have when you make the last pay­ment on those debts.

The key to a budget that works is not a newfangled miracle budget. Only old­ fashioned hard work. You are the single most important key to that budget. So take the opportunity to be in control of your money-rather than the other way around. Altering a life-style isn't easy. But that's what making a budget work usually means-if you want to get out of the rut. So, if you want to stop always feeling "broke," if you are tired of being dissatisfied with your fi­nances, then set up that budget and make it work!

The Tithe

Everything that exists belongs to God. He has the right to keep everything for Himself.

. The silver and gold-symbolic of everything of value-are owned by God (Hag. 2:8).

. God doesn't need to pay or repay anyone (Job 41: 11, Ex. 19:5, Deut. 10: 14).

. God doesn't need to ask us for anything (Psa. 24:1,50:12).

God keeps only a tenth of what we produce by using His resources. That tenth Is His.

. David acknowledged that what we give to God is only that which belongs to Him in the first place (I Chron. 29: 11, 14).

God informs us that the tithe remains His. It is holy, or separated for His use (Lev. 27:30).

God reserves a tenth of our Income to enable His servants to perform His work on earth.

.During the tenure of the Old Testament Levitical ministry, the tenth was used to support them and their commanded duties (Num. 18:21-24).

. When the New Testament Church began, au­thority was transferred to the spiritual priest­hood of Christ-the Melchizedek line. The tenth now supports Christ's spiritual ministry and the work of the Church (Heb. 7: 1-17).

. The Church is commissioned to preach the Gospel free of charge. The tenth pays for this important activity (Matt. 10:8, 24: 14, 28: 19-20, Mark 16:15, I Cor. 9:13-14).

When we give God back the tenth that is His to begin with, He blesses us in a greater way-materially and spiritually.

. If we honor God by giving to Him, our barns will "be filled with plenty" (Prov. 3:9-10).

. God loves a cheerful giver (II Cor. 9:7).

. God tells us we will be more blessed when we give than when we receive (Acts 20:35).

. To withhold God's tenth is stealing from God and deprives us of His blessing (Mal. 3:7-12).

. When we give God His tenth, it is a sign that we trust and believe in Him.

. Abel brought the best of his flock as an offer­ing. God respected his offering (Gen. 4:4).

. Abraham, the father of the faithful, gave Melchizedek a tenth of all his goods (Gen.14:18-20, Heb. 7:1-2).

. Jacob acknowledged God in His life by promising to give him a tenth of all (Gen. 28:20-22).

. Tithing demonstrates that a person worships God (Matt. 23:23, Luke 11 :42).

God Bless!

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The Feast of Tabernacles

What the Feast of Tabernacles is:

The Feast of Tabernacles was established by God, not by the Jews or other men, and thus is God's Feast (Lev. 23:1-2).

It is the sixth of seven annual Holy Day periods whose meanings out­line God's plan of salvation for mankind. The Feast of Tabernacles pictures the millennial rule of Jesus Christ on earth after His Second Com­ing (Rev. 20:4-6)

When the Feast is, and how long it is:

The Feast of Tabernacles is a seven-day festival during the seventh month on God's sacred cal­endar (Lev. 23: 33-36, Num. 29: 12).

It falls during the months of September and October on the calendar commonly used in the Western world today. (The "eighth day" mentioned in verse 36 is a separate festival, the Last Great Day -see John 7:37-38.)

The purpose of the Feast, and how it is observed: .

The Feast is a time of rejoicing in (Deut. 16:15) anticipation of the coming Kingdom of God on earth. Part of your finance is During the Feast God's people enjoy food, drink, fellowship and balanced recreation (Deut. 14:22-29). .

How the Feast is financed.

Each year God's people save 10 percent oftheir incomes to pay for expenses of the festivals (Deut. 14:22-26).

This 10 percent is called sec­ond tithe. The major expense for which second tithe is used is the Feast of Tabernacles, when brethren gather at sites worldwide.

Offerings at the Feast: .

The Feast of Tabernacles is one of the seasons of the year when God's people are commanded to give offerings to God for use in His work (Deut. 16:16-17).

Christ kept the Feast of Tabernacles:

Jesus Christ kept the Feast and commanded His followers to do so (John 7:2, 8-14, 37-38, Matt. 28: 19-20).

The early New Testament Church kept the Feast: .

Christ's apostles continued keeping the feasts of God, which included the Feast of Taberna­cles, after the New Testament Church began in A.D. 31 (Acts 2, 12:3-4, 16:13,18:19-21, 20:6,16,27:9).

The Feast will be kept in the world tomorrow:

The Feast of Tabernacles and God's other feasts will be observed in the world tomorrow under the rule of Jesus Christ (Zech. 14:16-19).

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