Monday, June 27, 2016

Great quotes on Money

Earlier this month I taught a message on Money. During my research I found some great quotes that made sense to share here.

As long as you want anything very much, especially more than you want God, it is an idol.
-A.B. Simpson

The thieves don't always poke a pistol in your ribs. Most of our assets are not taken with a pistol but with a pencil—just like that. Clarence Jordan

A person is no fool to give up what he cannot keep in order to gain what he cannot lose.
-Jim Elliot

I think everybody should get rich and famous and do everything they ever dreamed of so they can see that it’s not the answer. -Jim Carey

Never put your security in something that can be taken from you. -Rick Warren

Greed is not a financial issue. It's a heart issue. - Andy Stanley

Money has never made man happy, nor will it, there is nothing in its nature to produce happiness. The more of it one has the more one wants. - Benjamin Franklin

Money cannot buy peace of mind. It cannot heal ruptured relationships, or build meaning into a life that has none. - Richard M. DeVos

I have held many things in my hands, and I have lost them all; but whatever I have placed in God’s hands, that I still possess. -Corrie Ten Boom

If your heart’s crammed tight with material things and a thirst for wealth there’s no space left for God. -Ian Morgan Cron

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Summer Reading Idea

Summer is usually a time when our normal schedule is thrown out the window. Think about this with me.

Students- you are on summer break. Whether a junior high, high school or college aged person you are on break. That means: no reading, no going to classes, no homework and no opening your locker on campus.

Adults- you are loving the warmer weather. People are traveling more and you are seeing places you've never seen on your Instagram feed. You're roommates may be out of town or you might have an old college friend visiting you this summer.

Parents- you are still waking up early because your kids don't know how to sleep in. You're trying to figure out what to do with your kids. You're creating awesome adventures with your kids or dreading some days when you have no plans.

Grandparents- you might have the grandkids for a week or two this summer so that your children (who are adults now) can get a break. You are loving the change of pace and the new routine of having the little ones around.

No matter what stage of life you find yourself in we can all agree that summer brings about change. With this change that means we may find it tough to have a Bible reading plan. What if this summer you made a commitment to read two Gospel accounts in the Bible? What if you said, "I'm going to read Matthew and Mark"? You may not read every day but you can sure try your hardest.

The Gospel of Matthew is 28 chapters long and Mark is 16 chapters. That means 44 days of straight Bible reading. You might miss a day or two here and there but you could finish both of these books by the middle of August with no problem. It would require about 5 mins of reading a day. Did you hear that? Five minutes of reading is all it would take to read one chapter a day! Make it even better and use the YouVersion Bible App to help you out.

Take a summer reading challenge and start reading God's word today!

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

The way we handle our finances affect every part of our life

A couple Sunday's ago I started out our summer series at Central Peninsula Church Foster City Campus. We looked at the topic of money and how that impacts our life. To talk about money I wanted to look at what Jesus had to say. We went to the Sermon on the Mount.

As Jesus continues teaching, He wants to reveal how we handle our finances affect every part of our life. He does something He has done before. He says the same thing in a different way, inviting His hearers to slow down and ponder what He had just said.
“The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eyes are unhealthy, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness! Matthew 6:22-23
Jesus started the conversation by grabbing their attention with a familiar topic and is now moving it to a deeper level. Jesus wants to make the point that a person’s use of money reveals the intentions of that person’s heart.

If a person’s treasure is found within their heart, then their eye will be focused on that treasure. The eye is the lamp of the body, letting light into the body and focusing on where the body will go. When the eye is focused on Heaven and Kingdom aspects, it will bring light and health to the rest of the body because that is what humans were made for. But, if the eye is focused on wealth accumulation, then the whole body is going to be dark and the actions of the person will be focused on dark things. Another way to say it is, what you look at is what you think about. What attracts your eyes is what captures your heart. Where your eyes are focused reveals the desires of the heart.

Jesus tells a parable in the New Testament about a man who thought that all he had was his. He was a rich man who had just had an abundant harvest. He was overjoyed with all the grain he just harvested. It’s like when “WhatsApp” was bought by Facebook. One day they didn’t have much, and then the next day they have everything. This man in the parable decides the best thing to do is to build a bigger barn to store all his grain. His rationale is that this extra grain will equal security. But that night he dies in his sleep and everything he thought was his, is no longer his.

The story is so popular because it reveals the inner human condition many people struggle with, but no one wants to admit. It’s no secret that the love of money has consumed the heart of many. This story reveals the inner working of the human heart. The story exposes that many people trust more in money and feel more secure with money than they do with God. God gives us money to steward and share in order to build His Kingdom not to hoard or amass for ourselves.

In this parable, Jesus is talking about grain and not money, but as in all parables there is a deeper truth. We can use what we have to bless others or we can be selfish. It’s not bad to own a car or a home or to have an iPad. There are great Christians who have been blessed with financial resources and who have not allowed money to own them. God still owns their heart and they have learned how to be fantastic stewards who build His Kingdom.

The point is that we need to evaluate what has more of our heart. Andy Stanley once said, “Greed is not a financial issue. It's a heart issue.” Jesus is essentially saying, “The way you handle your finances affect every part of your life; either for the good or the bad.”

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Fabulous Family Friday's /// 2016

For the last few summers our family has done what we call Fabulous Family Friday's. The name pretty much describes it all.

What we do is fabulous (and fun)

We do it as a family

It happens on a Friday (it's my day off)

This summer we came up with a list of what we want to do this summer. Most of the fun we have planned is something we have never done as a family. I say most because when we sat down to come up with this list, as a family, Sophie and Leah both immediately asked to go to the waterpark again. The waterpark has been on the list every summer. The first summer it was our first time going. The next summer they had to go again, so we go again this summer. To be honest, I love the waterpark with my kids. I wish they would ride more waterslides but just chilling in the lazy river with them all day isn't a bad way to spend your Friday.

I was hesitant to share our list with you. Not that I think you will text me and try to join in on the fun, I think you will respect this is a family building memories in the summer together. I feel like this is a personal part that I wasn't sure if it would help to share.

Then it hit me, "Why wouldn't I share the list?" I bet there are tons of families out there that need to have some more fun together this summer. The family fun isn't just because we have kids. The family fun is for building our marriage also. I want my kids to see how much I love their mom. I want my kids to see Charity and I laughing together. I want our kids to see us kiss and smile. I also want to have a rad time with my kids. I want to laugh with them, buy them treats and take silly pictures.

So let the Fabulous Family Friday's begin. I can't wait for tomorrow!

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Trending Now- Money

On Sunday I kicked off a new summer series at our church. This summer we're going to tackle tough topics that are taking center stage in our culture. I started out the series by talking about money. Some people wanted to know what the controversy with money is. The question made me think. There is so much controversy around money that we have bought into that lie that there is no controversy about money. Our money use shows the intentions of our heart.

Here is the entire sermon I preached:

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Four areas Christians are confused on money!?

You don't have to be a Christian to know money is a confusing and polarizing topic. People have all different sorts of thoughts on money based on their: education, environment, bank account size, job, family size, demographic and race. Last Sunday, June 12, I preached about this topic. To help prepare our people for the conversation it seemed wise to start out by addressing some areas Christians are confused on money.

If you’re not a Christian, you might get a chuckle out of this list because you’ve seen your Christian friends struggle with these. If you are a Christian, this list may or may not resonate with you. You might find yourself sharing one or two of these confusions but not all of them. This is not a comprehensive list but just a few to get our money conversation going, because the topic can be confusing.

1) Money is evil
The biggest misconception Christians seem to have is this statement. You can’t go through life without hearing someone say that money is evil. It’s interesting for people to say that money is evil, because money is an inanimate object. How can money be evil on its own accord? It would need someone to make it do evil things, right? That is why Paul wrote to Timothy and said: “The love of money is a root of evil.” (1 Timothy 6:10). Money, on its own, is not evil. The love of money is a root of evil, just one of the many roots of evil in our world. Money and wealth are not the problem, greed is. Contentment and not greed is our goal as a follower of Jesus.

2) I have to tithe
Did you know that nowhere in the New Testament is tithing commanded for a believer? The New Testament does talk about generous giving (read 2 Corinthians 9:7). The church in Corinth was encouraged to be generous and cheerful in their giving. It’s like the person who pulls out a $20 but has a hard time letting it go into the offering plate. This is called tipping, not tithing.
To provide some clarity, tithing originated in the Old Testament and refers to giving ten percent of what you have. In fact, if you study the Old Testament, you will find out the Israelites were really giving around 22%-27% of their goods to the Lord. Their giving wasn’t typically done with money but with goods they had harvested. Their giving was grain, oil or an animal from the herd. Many of us aren’t bringing chickens as an offering, so our focus will be on money we give.

3) Possession of money equals God’s blessing
This is one we have to fight, especially in our culture. This is also a statement that is plaguing the global church. Many great people have thought that their bank account total equals their value to God. This is a complete lie. To some He’s given a lot, and to others not as much, but He has made Himself available to all. It’s not about how much money you have but how much of you God has. If you’re confused on this point, start praying Proverbs 30:8-9. Agur, the writer of this proverb, understood this. How much we possess is not equal to God’s love for us.

4) It’s mine
Some Christians act like the seagulls from Finding Nemo when it comes to matters with money. They’re sitting around saying, “Mine, mine, mine.” Let me give you a little secret to being happy in life: money is not ours to possess. Money is ours to steward, but we do not own it and cannot let it own us. In fact the U.S. Government has given each of us a daily reminder that money is not ours. Each U.S. bill has an eagle on it to remind us it will fly away! We can’t keep a grip on it. Listen to what Corrie Ten Boom said: “I have held many things in my hands, and I have lost them all; but whatever I have placed in God’s hands, that I still possess.”

These are just a few areas of confusion Christians have about money, and there are probably more. Maybe one, or more, of these four areas have brought confusion in your life at one point. Maybe you are even confused on one of these areas right now.

Thursday, June 02, 2016

Joshua 24 Responsive Reading

Last week our Young Adults ministry finished up a series on the life of Joshua. We finished with the famous verse that many Christians have posted in their home. It comes from Joshua 24:15 and basically states the commitment Joshua made in front of the Nation of Israel,
"As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord."

Joshua presented an option to the Israelites to decided that day who they would serve. Would they serve the gods of the foreign lands of would they serve God? Would they serve the gods on the other side of the river or would they serve God? Would they serve the gods in Egypt or would they serve God? Joshua never pressured the people to serve God, he simply stated what he would do and invited the people to do the same.

To conclude the series I wanted to do something creative, something we normally don't do. I had ideas of giving everyone a piece of paper and letting them write out a commitment to God. We talked about other creative ways we could close it and then it came. We decided to do a responsive reading and invite people to respond as Israel did with a commitment to serve God. Understanding the nature of our group I had to set this up well and make sure no one felt pressured or forced to make the commitment. It was up to them to participate or not.

Here's how it went:

Leader- Now fear the Lord and serve him with all faithfulness
People- We will serve the Lord our God and obey him

Leader- Choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve
People- We will serve the Lord our God and obey him

Leader- You are not able to serve the Lord. He is a holy God
People- We will serve the Lord our God and obey him

Leader- You are witnesses against yourselves that you have chosen to serve the Lord.
People- We will serve the Lord our God and obey him

Leader- Throw away the foreign gods that are among you and yield your hearts to the Lord
People- We will serve the Lord our God and obey him