Archives For debt

No President will get elected on a platform of restraint and cutting back. Political and economic decisions are often made for today without thinking of the future.

In South Africa, where I live and work, we are having an electricity crisis. They need rolling blackouts because the demand exceeds capacity. The attempt to shut it down as little as possible, puts us dangerously close a national blackout because the buffer is so little.

Perhaps they should shut down power in more of the country so they can fix the problem faster?

Even in our personal lives, how often does the lure of “now” influence our purchases? That new cell phone or the upgraded car seem so needed, so we lock ourselves into a long-term contract. Don’t even get me started about debt versus savings rates in most homes!

As a believer, a dangerous belief lurks nearby desiring to take root in our hearts.

It’s subtle. It creeps in and begins to affect our emotions and our thoughts.

Entitlement.

Phrases which start with “I” and include verbs like “deserve”, “am owed”, “expect”, and more.

This false belief rears its head in many ways, mostly subtle, but poisonous.

It’s a cancer

I want to discuss this in the context of missions, but it applies to all believers.

Here are 6 Signs of Missionary Entitlement. 

1. I’m obeying, so God must….
I’ve seen people use missions as an attempt to earn the favor of God, or worse manipulate Him to get what they want. Too many missionaries are serving out of guilt or a need to feel worthy.

In our prayers we approach God with an attitude which says he owes us. After all, He is very aware of the sacrifices we are making.

A Plastic Community

July 16, 2012

We all have seasons in our lives where we struggle financially.

When you live on support or through donations, a regular paycheck does not appear each week or month.

Whether business, sales, of the missionary life, some months are good and some are difficult.

There are two kinds of people when times are lean in missions (or life for that matter.)

  1. Those which share their struggles and rely on one another.
  2. Those who use the convenience of the credit card to remain isolated and independent in their struggles.

Prior to the rise of credit cards:

  • If you needed a cup of sugar you would walk to a neighbor’s house.
  • When a family was struggling, the church was a great line of support.
  • Even in the Bible, the poor were allowed to glean the edges of a field.

This was an acknowledgment of need.

Is America Broken?

October 27, 2011

On several recent trips to America, my wife and I have noticed the immense pessimism that is surrounding politics and the economy. People feel like America is going down the drain. They complain and lament about the excesses, greed, and injustice they see. Politics is no longer about the best idea, but who (and what party) proposed the idea.

Can this change? Where does change begin?

It starts with us. It starts with the church with the Word of God as our foundation.

I have been listening to Andy Stanley’s recent series called “Recovery Road”.

I found myself stunned. I have not heard a teaching series in a long, long time that I shouted “Amen” as much as I did this one.