All posts tagged: Money

‘Your Money or Your Life!’

“Your Money or Your Life!” Believe it or not, someone actually said that to me. He cornered me in an alley and backed me up against a wall. I remember his hand on my shirt and the look on his face. He was a young guy, younger than me and way thinner. But he was taller and tried to look scary. The problem was that I was not scared. In fact, I laughed. I don’t why I laughed. I guess it was because I didn’t take him seriously. After all, it’s a pretty cheesy line to say when you want to rob someone. As soon as I started laughing, he lost his nerve and actually looked embarrassed. Poor guy. I felt sorry for him. I wonder if I actually had money if I would have been so cavalier in my response. I had no money so the question seemed absurd.  For me, there was no choice. But for many, it would be a tough choice. What if someone demanded that you give them your wallet …

It was legal until God said ‘No’

An interesting thing happened to Howard Kirby who lives in Ovid, Michigan. In 2019, he bought an old couch for $70 from a Habitat for Humanity Restore. After he had brought the couch home and set it up in his man-cave, it didn’t take long for his family to notice that the foot cushion was exceptionally hard. For several months, Kirby just put up with it, but finally his daughter-in-law couldn’t take it any longer and in January 2020, she cut it open to find out what was going on. Inside, she discovered a box stuffed with $43,170 in cash. It was a miracle. It was enough to pay off the mortgage on Kirby’s home and a lawyer even told Kirby that the money was legally his. But in an interview with, Kirby said that God had a different opinion on the matter. “The Holy Spirit just came over me and said, ‘No, that’s really not yours.’” After God spoke to Kirby, he found out through the store who had donated the couch and …

How much money do you need?

“Money can’t buy happiness.” We have been told this since at least 1750. It is probably true that money can’t buy happiness, but money does generate unhappiness when it goes away. So, how much money do you need? What will make you happy? 95 thousand U.S. dollars. Researchers studied income and happiness, and they now have an answer: an income of $95,000 USD per year will give you “life satisfaction” and $60,000 to $75,000 USD per year will give “emotional well-being.” Now you know. The research is too simple, in my opinion. I know places where that money would make you the richest person in town, and there are other places where you couldn’t afford to buy a house. The researchers could probably explain and modify their findings, and it is interesting that they studied money and happiness, and they have a scientific answer. READ: Experts say there’s an ideal income for happiness — here are three ways you can reach it But is there a spiritual answer? I am writing this as a Christian, …

Religions: Who has the money?

Any time you want to offend people and start an argument, talk about religion and money. Tithing, or regular giving is also a good spark. I believe that giving regularly leads us to manage all of our money carefully; counting is accounting. But who has the most money? Atheists and Agnostics are near the top, and among religions, Jews, Hindus, and Episcopalians (Anglicans). Mormons are average, Jehovah’s Witnesses are below, and historically black groups are poor. Managing what we have, much or little, is a project for everyone, and it’s a lesson some haven’t learned. Jesus told us about a disorganized man “This person began to build and wasn’t able to finish.” (Luke 14:30) READ: You’ll Be Surprised at Which Religions Have the Most Members with $100K+ Incomes

Will God Give Us Money?

I was travelling for work recently, and on a quiet evening, in a hotel with free cable TV, I surfed the channels to find something interesting. One show had a television preacher asking people to send him money. Apparently, if we send money to him, God would send even more money to us. We couldn’t lose. You might know the song by Janice Joplin, where she makes a joke about people who send money and believe in the ‘Prosperity Gospel.’ It’s an old joke, but some television preachers are still serious about it, and many people still believe. So, what is the truth? Will God give us money? Yes. On my travels, I learned some lessons about free stuff from God, either money or things we could buy with money. 1) We are asking God to do something twice, and 2) we need to patch the holes in the bucket. The Bible tells us about “purses with holes.” Give careful thought to your ways. You have planted much, but harvested little. You eat, but never …

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Show Me The Easy Money

I once met a couple who won a lottery. They were ordinary people in a small town, and no-one would call them especially good-looking or interesting, they were just the neighbors. Before they won, they worked at jobs, and the cost of living was low in the small town. I think they had children and I’m sure their bills were all paid. After they won, they invested their winnings in expensive horses. They did not invest in each other, but they had to travel to the bank together to take out money, so they still had a relationship. I don’t know how anyone can make money on horses, and by now the money is probably gone. My best advice is, ‘Go back to work, that’s where you were successful.’ A woman in Canada won the lottery, one thousand dollars a week, for life. And guess how she is spending her money? She is not into investments, expensive jewellery, or sports cars. I made that up, but she is not doing what we expect. She decided …

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Your Money and the Church – Part 3

Here is one of the best secrets for managing your generosity and giving of money: Don’t. If you spend any time among religious people, you will be asked for money. When I go to church on Sunday, there is always an offering, a time when all other business stops and the ushers collect money from us. I have lived with this all my life and I have an acquired immunity, but some people who come with me are offended and disoriented. What will God think about them if they don’t give enough? So, don’t give. The exercise will be good for you. Yesterday I was walking in the mall. It’s not really my place but I had a meeting with someone. At an intersection in the walkways, I saw a display booth with two young women looking hopeful. They represented one of those Christian charities that sponsor children and they were looking for sponsors. I won’t name the organization, but there are several and they do very good work. What bothered me was all the …

Island jutting out of Australia's Great Barrier Reef Credit: matlacha/Flickr/Creative Commons

Babylon is Imploding

In Australia there is a disagreement among scientists about global warming and the death of the Great Barrier Reef. Now the ‘disagreement’ has produced threats of firing and career termination for university professors, and lawsuits in court. I worked in a large university, in Canada, and I know one thing is true; if you want to understand any controversy in the system, just follow the money. You might believe there is a secular world system that stifles all dissenting opinions, including Christians who believe in Jesus; and you might be correct. But, in my experience, the system is supported with taxpayer money, and it is filled with scared people who are counting the days to retirement. The evil world system is imploding with money problems. In Australia, agriculture and industry and tourism could lose billions, and university professors could lose, or gain millions in grant funding because of the Barrier Reef. That’s the new way to pay for higher education, with funding applications. I understand the fight, even though I have never been to Australia. …

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No, You Cannot Have a Billion Dollars

I am sure that you are here for a reason. Every human being has a purpose attached to their existence, and feeding ourselves is not the meaning of life. Building important things means more than becoming the richest person in the cemetery. Recently I had to wait in a parking lot for someone, while a thunderstorm poured water on everything. I was safe and dry in my truck, but I got bored so I drove over to a huge home improvement center and went inside until the rain stopped. Window shopping for paint, and power tools, and patio furniture distracted me for a while, and just when that got old, a friend walked around a corner and said hello. My friend goes to the church I used to attend, until I moved, and we talked for a while. One thing was clear, my friend wasn’t hiding from the rain; he was working in the mega home improvement store. The economy is in a recession, where I live, and my friend found a low paying retail …

The banker with interest — in others

[by Earl Blacklock] Amadeo Pietro Giannini was an innovative banker who was responsible for most of the services we now consider part of what we can expect from our neighborhood bank. Where other banks opened from 10 to 3 weekdays, Giannini’s Bank of Italy opened from 9 to 5 every day but Sunday. Where other banks limited their business to businesses and industry, Giannini served the middle income wage earners from convenient branches. Where other bank executives closeted themselves in expensive offices, Giannini insisted his executives be out on the floor, visible and accessible. The bank was consistent in making a profit, even in the midst of the worst economic conditions. Only two years after starting the bank, Giannini’s biggest challenge arose with the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. He saw the challenge as an opportunity, however.

Is the Canadian government moving towards a cashless society?

The Bank of Canada, which prints and manages Canada’s currency, has stated it is exploring producing its own version of digital money. Bank of Canada senior deputy governor Carolyn Wilkins suggested this move in a speech at the University of Waterloo in Ontario in early November. The announcement, reported in The Globe and Mail, was prompted by the rise of  digital currencies such as Bitcoin. There is concern that virtual currencies could eventually challenge the Bank’s monetary authority.

Give Me All Your Money

There is one common criticism of all Christian churches; “They just want my …” and I don’t need to finish the sentence. We all know. Instead of defending something wrong, we should admit that there are serious problems with money management, everywhere. Religious groups beg and most people don’t want to give. Jim and Tammy Bakker took money for their PTL ministry and spent it on an amusement park and an air-conditioned dog house. Oral Roberts said ‘send me a million dollars or God will take me home’ and he was paid by the owner of a dog racing park. We are all infected with wrong thinking about money. The best of us earn and save, and spend carefully, and the rest miss at least one of those points “earn – save – spend.” The formula is simple and it applies to everyone, you, me, and church leaders. It is simple, and it is fundamentally wrong.