Budgeting – Dave Ramsey Money Makeover
The Power of a Budget and Baby Steps to Beat Debt and Build Wealth
His path to wealth is based on seven, simple, common sense baby steps.
However, before taking the first step, he teaches the importance of a written monthly budget.
Ramsey’s book “The Total Money Makeover”made the NY Times Best Seller list. He also teaches these principles in other books and courses. Plus you’ll find him on the radio, TV, at live events and his website is www.daveramsey.com.
Dave Ramsey’s recommended baby steps are below:
1 – $1,000 to Start an Emergency Fund
We all know it is only a matter of time before the unexpected emergency happens. This is for the unexpected things we can’t plan for.
2 – Pay Off All Debt Using the Debt Snowball
List all of your debts and begin paying them off starting with the one with the smallest balance. Once the first one is paid begin using the “extra money” toward paying the next on the list, etc.
3 – 3 to 6 Months of Expenses in Savings
After the first two steps are completed it is time to start building your full emergency fund.
4 – Invest 15% of Household Income Into Roth IRAs and Pre-Tax Retirement
When you reach this step, you’ll have no payments except your house. Now it is time to get serious about building wealth.
5 – College Funding for Children
Make sure you have already started investing 15% of your income in step 4 before saving for college.
6 – Pay Off Home Early
Now is the time to begin putting all extra money toward the mortgage to realize the dream of life without a house payment.
7 – Build Wealth and Give!
Time to build wealth and give like never before. Leave an inheritance for future generations and bless others with your excess.
video clip of Dave Ramsey:
Our society today is lacking in financial common sense and discipline. Everyone wants to have things “now” but figure out how to “pay” later.
There is hope though, and there is help for anyone who wants it. I’m always very encouraged to hear the success stories of those who have gone through the Dave Ramsey course.
If your finances are a mess, it is not too late to reach out for help, make a plan, and begin taking the first step to turn things around! 🙂
May you be blessed to be a blessing!
God bless you always,
Joy Unspeakable – Todd Agnew Live on K-Love
Todd Agnew plays live on the K-Love Morning Radio Show
“Joy Unspeakable” by Todd Agnew
“I found His grace is all complete – He supplies my every need,
While I sit at Jesus feet – I am free indeed.
What kind of joy is this? It is Joy Unspeakable…
All You’ve done for me – It’s indescribable,
just to taste of Your glory – and it’s unnatural,
not to tell the story of all you’ve given me…
my words are incomplete – It’s Joy Unspeakable…
“Whom having not seen, you love; in whom, though now you see Him not, yet believing, you rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.”
— 1 Peter 1:8-9
Enjoy this song today. I saw Todd Agnew live in Minneapolis a few years ago and have always enjoyed his music, because he really sings from the heart.
Have a great day!
God bless you,
P.S. Amazon has a large collection of Todd Agnew’s music
Growing Prosperity – Generosity is Like the Secret Sauce of the Abundant Life!
How to Virtually Guarantee You Will Experience Growing Prosperity?
Generosity is like the secret sauce of an abundant life because it causes a person to receive more than they give…
It is said that the two greatest motivating forces in a person’s life are their desire for gain and their fear of loss. Generosity directly affects both.
Generosity Equals Growing Prosperity
If there was something you could do to virtually guarantee you would never lack for your physical needs, and that you would experience growing prosperity, would you want to know what it is? Well good news, because that something is available to you today. All you have to do is to become truly generous.
The wise Solomon tells us that if we are generous we will never lack for anything, but every true need will be provided and we will have growing prosperity. (Proverbs 11:24-25)
A generous person readily and freely gives a considerable portion of what they have to meet the needs of others and they do so without any expectation of getting something in return. And being generous isn’t just limited to financial and material generosity. It is actually about meeting the real needs of others, regardless of whether it is with your finances, actions, or emotional help.
Too many people think they have to be rich before they can be generous. But this is simply not true. We all have something to give, such as; time, kind words, thoughtfulness, and considerate acts.
Additional Benefits of Generosity
Generosity is one of the most admired characteristics anyone can express. Think about the business man who donates large amounts to charity, or the child who gives his hard-earned allowance to a disaster relief, or the elderly woman who freely gives a portion of what little food she has to a food drive. We appreciate and admire their generous giving.
However, appreciation and admiration are not the only benefits of generosity. A generous person will experience heartfelt joy when they help meet the needs of others. They will be happier and find that just as they refresh others, they too are refreshed. Their own needs will be abundantly supplied for.
“There is one who scatters, yet increases more;
And there is one who withholds more than is right,
But it leads to poverty.
The generous soul will be made rich,
And he who waters will also be watered himself.”
— Proverbs 11:24-25
What about those who are not generous? Well the same proverb previously mentioned says they will fall into poverty. This could be financial or material poverty, or emotional poverty. They tend to never be satisfied with what they have and continually need more.
Why not choose to develop your generous side? Generosity begins in the heart and is expressed through action. Extending generosity to others is a win-win situation. As you willingly bless others, watch as your own needs are abundantly supplied for in life.
May you be generous always and enjoy growing prosperity!
Be blessed to be a blessing –
Why in the World Would God Allow a Sincere Believer to Undergo Attacks of Evil?
Spiritual Warfare – If God is For Us, How Can He Allow Such Difficult Seasons of Trials and Attacks to Come In Our Life?
However, on a daily basis, we experience all kinds of attacks and temptations from the unseen world; some more intense than others.
Under typical conditions, most godly people will walk steadfast throughout life. Not perfect, but in victory.
God develops strength in us through tests and trials. But why would God allow us to go through intense evil attacks? Well, since God’s ways and thoughts are higher than ours, we can’t completely understand; but there are some answers available to us.
Tests and Temptations of Life
God may test us, but He never tempts us to sin. And He always provides a way of escape for us.
“There has no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that you are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that you may be able to bear it.”
— 1 Corinthians 10:13
We see temptation come through a couple of obvious sources. One is the devil and the other our own lusts. (1 Thessalonians 3:5, James 1:14)
The Example of Job
Before the devil can wage an all out war on a believer, he first has to get God’s permission. Look at Job, for example, and how God allowed him to be tested so harshly. Why? Because God had faith in Job. And Job, having no idea what was going on in the unseen world during his attacks, proved to be faithful to God.
Sometimes in life, the heat is turned up and it is battle on, and things can seem unbearable. But that is when we need to stand firm and trust God. Remember, God is for us and we can come through victorious just like Job!
“Be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might.
Put on the whole armor of God,
that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
For we wrestle not against flesh and blood,
but against principalities, against powers,
against the rulers of the darkness of this world,
against spiritual wickedness in high places.
Wherefore take to you the whole armor of God,
that you may be able to withstand in the evil day,
and having done all, to stand.”
— Ephesians 6:10-13
No matter how bad we get knocked down we need to call on the power of God and get back up!
The Example of Peter
Another example is Simon Peter. Satan wanted permission to attack Peter and attempt to cause him to lose his faith. But God had a different purpose for allowing the shaking. When Simon Peter’s self-confidence was shaken he was brought closer to a true foundation of trust in the Lord, and better equipped to strengthen his brothers.
“Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you as wheat.
But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail.
And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.”
— Luke 22: 31-32
Jesus did not pray that Simon Peter would escape the sifting, but that his faith would not fail in the process.
Why Does God Allow the Attacks?
We see in these examples that the devil can seek permission to come at us with intense attacks. God also allows him permission sometimes. And even though it is not a happy thought, in each of these examples they were tested by God through Satan.
All of us will be tested so we can be refined like gold. None of us will escape some degree of it.
“When He has tried me, I shall come forth as gold.”
— Job 23:10
“Greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, you are in heaviness through manifold temptations: That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perishes though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honor and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ.”
— 1 Peter 1:6-7
God knows what He is doing. And what Satan intends for evil, our faithful God intends for good.
“The very God of peace sanctify you wholly;
and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body
be preserved blameless to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Faithful is He that calls you, who also will do it.”
– 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24
Make no mistake about it: God is faithful and He will do whatever it takes to sanctify us to fulfill our calling. Yes, there are things going on out there that we just don’t understand. But if the enemy has been allowed to attack, and we go through a season of severe sifting, we still have to trust God.
May you faithfully trust God in all seasons and live a life of growing prosperity!
God bless you always,
P.S. Please feel free to share your thoughts, comments, or feedback…
The Cards You Have Been Dealt In Life – Skit Guys Video
A look at life: The Good and the Bad
My pastor reminds us regularly that “Life is Life for Everyone!”
None of us want to deal with the difficult seasons in life, but that is a part of the package of life. And everyone who walks this earth is going to face them.
Consider Jesus, the son of God. Having already dealt with trials and temptations and then facing crucifixion He prayed, “Father, if you be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but yours, be done.”
Then immediately there appeared an angel to Him from heaven, strengthening Him. And being in agony He prayed more earnestly. (Luke 22:42-44)
May we strive to always be more like Jesus and trust God. To pray that God’s will be done, regardless of the suffering we may have to go through.
“Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”
— 1 Thessalonians 5:18
We don’t have to give thanks FOR the difficult times, but we do have to continue to give thanks to God IN the midst of them.
God bless you,
Help Me! How on Earth Do I Know What God’s Purpose and Will is for My Life?
Knowing God’s Will and God’s Purpose for Your Life
“What is God’s plan and purpose for my life?”
We sooner or later reach a time in life when we find our self questioning why we are here. We come to a point of knowing, deep inside, that there must be something more God would have for us to do with our lives.
Well, how can you know the will of God and what you should do with your life? Good question. And it all starts with the Word of God, since God’s Word is God’s will.
Knowing God’s General Will
The Bible teaches us how to live our lives. It is filled with instructions and directions and it reveals God’s general will for all of us. So, first and foremost, we need to get into God’s Word so that we can know what He wants from us. His Word is very powerful and will guide us.
Here are just a couple examples:
“Present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” — Romans 12:1-2
“Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” — 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
God’s will for man is not a hidden mystery. Anyone can open the Book and quickly see many things that God wants them to do (and not do). The chief aim and purpose of our lives should be to live according to His revealed will.
Knowing God’s Specific Will
Now you might be asking, “How do I know God’s specific plan for my life?” People often want God to tell them specifically what to do; like where to live, where to work, where to go to school, who to marry, etcetera.
Well, God can show us in many different ways. A loud, audible voice from heaven is not required, but listening to that still, small voice is. God has given us the Holy Spirit for guidance. The Spirit of truth is here to guide us into all truth. (John 16:13)
God can also direct us, through the events happening around us. And if we are already living daily according to God’s revealed will, decisions will be much clearer and easier to make. There is a peace that comes when we are pleasing God with our lives.
To get answers, we also need to pray and ask for God’s help and direction. When deciding between two options, the one that brings a greater peace is usually God’s will. Emotions sometimes create a false peace, but true peace will remain even after emotions fall.
Keep in mind: God allows us to make choices, but He is ultimately in control. We should trust Him always in faith that He will accomplish His will in our lives.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart; and lean not unto your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.” — Proverbs 3:5-6
Plus, questions we should be asking are, “Am I doing this for me or for God? Is this what I want or what God wants?” The key is to desire to make choices that agree with God’s will. If a decision does not go against the Word of God, then we can follow our heart.
“It was the Lord who put it into my mind… I could feel His hand upon me… There is no question the inspiration was from the Holy Spirit because He comforted me with rays of marvelous illumination from the Holy Scriptures… No one should fear to undertake any task in the name of our Savior if it is just and if the intention is purely for His holy service.”
— Christopher Columbus (from his diary, in reference to his discovery of ‘the New World’)
Created with a Purpose
God does have great plans for your life! You were created by God, in His image, for a purpose. (Jeremiah 29:11) We have all been given unique gifts and talents. And just like our physical body is made up of many different parts, all unique, and all important to having a fully functioning body; so it is with the body of Christ.
Your gifts and talents have been given to you so you can be a blessing to the kingdom of God and make a positive contribution in life. So step out and act on the revealed knowledge you have already been given and use the talents you already have.
Then trust God to reveal more to you after you are faithful first in the little. Be confident that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion. (Philippians 1:6) God’s purpose for all is that He is glorified and the gospel and kingdom of God be advanced.
In Conclusion: The wise king Solomon tells us the conclusion of the whole matter and duty of man is to fear God and keep His commandments. (Ecclesiastes 12:13) He also encourages us to enjoy life and be happy with our work. Keep the Word of God your foundation and watch His great plan revealed before your very eyes. God is for you and He will help you.
May you seek first the kingdom of God and live a life full of growing prosperity!
God bless you,