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Archive for March, 2011

Let’s step away from looking at inheritance as solely a monetary gift. One of the most important gifts you can give your children is an education. If you’ve decided that your child should attend college, then it’s time to ask God whether you should fund your child’s college education as part of his or her inheritance.

I have been told that many parents take money for college tuition out of their retirement funds, so your children really are getting part of their inheritance when you pay for their college! I know it was a strain on my parents to send me to Baylor, and I am so thankful that they were able to do that, but I am even more thankful for the lessons I learned through the experience.

Wisdom is worth so much more than money. When God told Solomon to ask for whatever he wanted, he didn’t ask for gold or power. He asked for wisdom. Today’s let’s pray that we all have the wisdom to listen to what God is telling us to do in our lives and with our money.

Blessings,

Caleh

 

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College Funding

Money for college is a subject very close to my heart (and my wallet). As a Baylor student, I know exactly how much it costs to attend school, and Baylor is NOT cheap. When I was deciding on where to attend college, the price wasn’t really an issue I thought about. My parents certainly thought about it, especially my dad. Up until this school year, when I started paying for college completely on my own, every time I went home I’d get the “Do you know how expensive your education is?” speech, which was not usually pleasant for anyone involved.

Sometimes I wish my parents could have paid for my entire college (my life would be so much easier!); even if they could have paid for it all, they wouldn’t have, because they knew the lessons I would be learning are good ones. And I have to admit, having to pay my own bills and have a part-time job while in school taught me a lot. Although it has been difficult at times, I feel that I am more prepared to enter “real life” than my friends who get monthly allowances from their parents.

So when it comes to thinking about how to save money for your children’s education, I believe the most important factors are the experiences you want your kids to have and the life lessons you want them to learn. No, I didn’t
always have money to go to the movies, but I do know how to budget my money
and pay my bills on time. Each child will be different and require a different approach to saving. I guarantee your children will not only be learning in the classroom.

Blessings,
Caleh

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The Vineyard Story

For those of you who have a copy of Steve’s book, you’ll know what the title of this post references. For those of you who don’t have a copy, go to the column on the right side of this page under Blogroll and click on the first link “Buy the Book!” to purchase a copy. It’s a great investment! The story Steve paraphrases in Day 22 is too long to copy down here, but feel free to buy a copy and read it for yourself.

Once again we’re talking about being good stewards. The important lesson to take away from this story is to protect the wealth God has given us for future use in His kingdom. We can protect this wealth by instilling the proper values into our children and bequeathing money to them, and by donating to kingdom-centered charities. This way we will know that the money will continue to be of use in God’s kingdom according to His purpose.

The subject of tithing also comes up in the “Action Points” section of the chapter, and I think it’s an important one for all of us. I have to admit, I’m not very good at tithing. I make excuses for myself, saying I need the money to pay rent, the electricity bill, and my Baylor bill, among others. But it is so important that we give back to God what it rightfully His. Looking back, the times when I tithe, I never am in want of money. The bills always get paid, and sometimes, life is even a little less stressful.

It’s amazing how much simpler life can be when we trust in God. He knows when a single hair falls from my head; I know I can trust Him to take care of my financial needs.

Blessings,
Caleh

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Inheritance

You wouldn’t want people to steal money from you, would you? I didn’t think so. But in essence, we are stealing from God when we bequeath His money to our children!

Now, I don’t have any kids, but I can speak from a child’s point of view. We never really think about the money (at least as kids); we think more about the stuff. For example, my older brother will get the piano, and I want the nativity scene my grandma hand-painted. But I never really thought about my inheritance until my mom told me where their will was before they took a trip, in case something should happen (which, thankfully, it didn’t). And I still don’t really think about it.

Your kids shouldn’t be your only heirs. Instead of simply thinking of your heirs when dividing up your wealth, include your church and your favorite charities among your list of recipients. After all, it’s God’s money, so shouldn’t we ask Him where He wants it to go?

Blessings,
Caleh

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Barns

What does a full barn mean to you? Does it mean being able to put your kids in expensive schools and having nice cars? Or does it mean having enough money to pay the rent and put food on the table? For most of us, a full barn probably means living somewhere in between those two extremes. But what happens when our barns fill up and we have some left over?

Sometimes we extend our views of what constitutes a full barn. Is that new boat really something you need? We have to figure out what we truly need and from there strive to become “rich toward God.” If God gives us all that we need and more, let’s figure out what God wants us to do with all the extra.

I know it may sound like I’m repeating myself, but God owns everything. So we shouldn’t keep everything we’re given to ourselves since it’s not ours to begin with. It’s better to give than to receive, especially when we’re giving to the Kingdom of God!

Blessings,
Caleh

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A Pile of Money

Who doesn’t love the idea of a big pile of money sitting on their kitchen table? It’s amazing how much money we actually have when we look at our assets in terms of their cash value. But what happens when it’s time to decide how to give away all that money?

Gifting doesn’t have to be a complicated thing. Steve mentions a tip from Ray Lyne that I believe is a great idea. His tip is that you should make a list of your heirs and favorite charities, then pretend you only have 24 hours to decide who gets what. Not only does this help you to get it all done quickly, but because of the time crunch, you can really get down to what’s important and make good decisions.

The most important thing here is to allow yourself enough money to last the rest of your life on earth, and then give as you feel God is leading you. What, and how, you bequeath leaves a lasting impression on those here on earth. So make your last impression one that demonstrates your love and commitment to God.

Blessings,
Caleh

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Giving

I have to admit, I was pretty excited to read Day 18 of Steve’s book, because it’s about garage sales! To fully understand my enthusiasm for garage sales, you have to understand that every Saturday morning during the summer my mom and I wake up early and drive around looking for garage sales. It has become a mother-daughter tradition. We’ve found so many good deals (last summer I found an amazing rocking chair in great condition which I have deemed my “reading chair” for $20!) and it’s great to be able to spend that time together talking and just having fun.

Needless to say, I was pretty impressed when I found out Steve’s family has garage sale giveaways where everything is free! Now that is just awesome. Not only for avid garage sale goers like my mom and me, but because of the message it sends. To be able to give things away to those who are in need is an incredible gift.

There are two types of people who shop garage sales: those who do it for fun (like my mom and me) and those who are truly in need with little to spend. I can only imagine the impact a free gift has on the latter type. Because we have been blessed, we should in turn, strive to bless others by giving. Through Steve’s garage sale giveaways, he has been able to spread the Word of God by giving away Bibles and religious tracts and booklets. The free stuff brings them in, but the message is what they take away.

Can we improve our giving habits? I know I can, and I encourage you to do the same. Because you never know who God will send your way, and who will need your kindness.

Blessings,
Caleh

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