When I graduated from Anderson University School of Theology in 2003, we accepted the assignment to leave Indiana and come to Texas. We had been married four years and had a one-year-old little girl. It was my first (and so far, only) Senior Pastor role. It was an adventure and we had a lot to learn about life, marriage, parenting, ministry and stewardship of our finances.
From Christmas splurges to vacations to nights out with friends to everything in between, it’s easy to spend beyond your budget. Start with a quick review of your budget. You’ll likely find that making a few simple adjustments can get you back on track. Consider using these simple, practical strategies to put your savings on the right track.
Our heavenly Father, as the old year ends and a new year begins, forgive us for the failures of the vanished days. Keep us from vain regrets, and let us face forward in the light of the best that we have learned from the past.
We all have been somewhat spoiled by the smooth upward rise of the market for the last several years, but now that “roller coaster” feeling of the stock market is back. So far, February has been an eventful month for the stock market, dropping nearly 8% from recent highs. Although investors experienced an unusually calm and positive ride in 2017, volatility is back.
If you made a resolution for the New Year, chances are, improving your physical fitness ended up somewhere on your list. And while taking care of your physical health and wellness is important, so is taking care of your financial health.
Our culture puts a strong emphasis on giving (and spending!) during the holiday season. Most of the advertisements you hear during the season involve a sale to help you buy a present to give to someone you care about. At the same time, you hear organizations making their final push to meet their year-end budget goals and potentially attract new donors. It is rare to go the holiday season without being solicited to give a tax-deductible year end gift. This is all for good reason. Giving charitable contributions isn’t only a good thing to do, but qualified charitable contributions to qualified organizations are tax deductible in the year the contribution is made. Sometimes it is even wise to accelerate giving you intend on doing in the beginning of the next year into the end of the current year.
In this season of Thanksgiving, the question must be asked regarding our wealth: do we have a handle on our finances, or does our wealth have a hold on us?
I well remember thanking the good Lord when my husband asked me to marry him 34 years ago. I was deeply in love, thoroughly moon-eyed and so thankful he had asked! But, let me share the rest of the story.
With tax reform and other issues looming that impact churches and pastors, I was privileged recently to be invited by the Church Alliance (a national organization committed to working on church tax and retirement issues) to work on Capitol Hill. Over the two day period I met with numerous Senators, Congressmen and their staff members to discuss issues important to churches and pastors. These interactions were fruitful and helpful to our continual goal at Servant Solutions to “Improve Financial Security for Servants of the Church.”