Thursday, December 23, 2010

Planning for the future: Establishing a legacy

We picked up a free book on personal finance by pastor Jamie Munson from Mars Hill Church Seattle. Chapter 13 is a good chapter and talks about a similar planning type strategy that I hope to evaluate at years end. Excerpt from Money: God or Gift by Jamie Munson...

What would we like to see in ourselves and in our family in the next 5, 10, 15, 25, 50 years?

What would it look like? I actually expand on some of them with more questions to help push me to next steps.

Walk with Jesus - Who will be impacted by my walk with Jesus? A particular age group, culture, neighbor, family member? In what ways will I walk in holiness, seek greater faith in doing, serving? How am I growing in grace?

Giving - How much will I give between today and my last day? Have I given generously throughout my life, and will I continue to do so through my estate? How have I planned my investments to give to be as generous as possible, as consistently as possible, and as sacrificially as possible?

Family - What will my family look like? How many children? Where will we live? What kind of education do I want my kids to have? What kind of relationship do I want with my wife? How am I building these relationships? What am I teaching my children to teach their children and their children's children?

Friendships - Who will my friends be? To whom will I have been a friend? What kind of friend will I be? Who have I befriended that is further down the road with more experience that I can learn from? Who have I befriended that is a newbie that I can speak my life into?

Mission - What will I have done in obedience to Jesus' commandment to "make disciples of all nations" and fulfill the Great Commission? In what ways am I doing this now?

Career - What will I have spent my life working on or working for? What kinds of skills will I need? What type of continuing education will I need? What types of mentors am I seeking out?

Housing - Will I pass on real estate as part of my legacy? Where do I want to live? How much room do I need, how much parking? What type of kitchen does my wife like? What kind of office do I need?

Finance - What will I leave behind financially and to whom? Where will the money God has entrusted to me have the greatest impact for the gospel? Am I being a good steward with my purchases? How is my budget? Are there excesses that I can cut out? Am I saving for future expenses including college, retirement, house, etc.?

Note: italics are my questions to ask...

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Frugal in life, generous in death

What do you think? Save as much as you can, so you can give as much as you can?

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Monday, December 6, 2010

A Christmas Carol

Just watched Disney's A Christmas Carol with my kids off Youtube! As I was watching the character of Scrooge McDuck, I couldn't but help notice the similarities I have with him.

He is very meticulous in counting his money and doesn't let anything go to waste. He is very stringent on how he spends especially on frills and other things. Not even a piece of coal to heat up his office. There's enough heat to go around.

The one thing that got to me was when he went with the Spirit of Christmas Past and saw the girl that he loved. He was engaged to her for 10 years and finally she gave him the ultimatum. Do you love me or do you love your money more? Not even looking at his girlfriend, he gives her a foreclosure notice for a payment that was one hour late.

Oh, how easy our hearts are captivated by things of secondary and tertiary concerns. Money as with is a tool for building relationships, to be used for charity and security but when it becomes primary in one's life it turns into a god. That's why scripture is so clear concerning money: it warns us to flee from the love of money. Not to be lovers of money, but rather lovers of God... For us not to store for ourselves treasure on earth, but store treasures in heaven... concerning charity to give in proportion to how much you make... in all things, to be generous since God has been so generous to us.

May God bless you this Christmas with a change of heart... not like the Scrooge of Christmas past, but the repentant and compassionate Scrooge after he wakes up.

(around the 3:30-6:00 mark)