Monday, December 06, 2004

Yes! We Have A Winner!

Undoubtedly many of you have heard (h.t. Drudge) of the new king o' the hill.

Why is this a problem? A problem, that is, for us consumers? We simply spend more with plastic. Why do you think they're trying to place these card readers anywhere a transaction can take place? Geez, blame obesity on the use of plastic -- why not!?: Card companies say McDonald's found the average transaction rose from about $4.50 to $7 when customers used debit and credit cards instead of cash. Hello! People who swipe buy more. Can you say, "Super-Size?"

Oh, and higher limits, well, we dig that! If we use the plastic it just downright doesn't register like cash does. If you lay down Visa on the counter and sign for $76, that's a far cry from counting out and letting slip through your fingers, three $20's, a $10, a $5 and a $1.

But there might be a sliver of good news that comes from the credit backlash with which some of you have been dealing. Our kids might be learning something by example.

And just in case, here's help.

Friday, December 03, 2004

Debt Is Dumb

Your financial security blankets are being eaten away by moths (a.k.a. Banks). During the season, try using cash. If you can't afford to buy the gift(s), what makes you think you'll be able to down the road? People will understand. And if they don't, is it really a gift?

Use your cards and you help the "... the credit card business, which is now the most lucrative segment of banking," thrive. And your accounts to dwindle.

The best gift you can give is one to yourself: A new path toward greater financial freedom. Break the cycle. Use cash. That way you'll have more of it in January. In time you'll be stronger and from that strength comes an increased ability to give.

"Never spend your money before you have it." - Thomas Jefferson

Proverbs 22:7

Why God, Inc.?

Let me start by saying that through searches on the net, I've found that this name, this concept, has been used to describe glowingly the idea of stewardship. Yet even more frequently, it seems, derogatory uses regarding the church and financial matters are presented. I'm desiring to represent a viewpoint using this title that arises from a biblically-based view of stewardship and falls in the former camp. The idea initially came from a teaching and I'm including some passages I've written previously:

"God, Inc., that’s different," I thought, as my Pastor shared a metaphor to help us understand how we should approach stewardship. The term stewardship to which he was referring relies on that might presently be considered an antiquated use: it has to do with how we individually manage God’s resources, His business. Nowadays the use of this term in the Church commonly refers to teachings or discussions to describe opportunities for offerings, fundraisers and even tithing. However, my Pastor’s application of this metaphor, which he used to present a more purpose-filled and applicable definition, induced in me an "aha," the type for which any caring teacher could hope. I got it. It made sense. The light popped on.

The title expanded:

Inc.’s the abbreviation for incorporation. This title -- a concise, simple, written representation – is used, first and foremost, as a reminder that God is the owner, the CEO, of everything and that we should be incorporating His ways of doing, using, caring, handling, growing, nurturing, discerning, embracing, releasing, sowing, reaping, loving, living and giving into our everyday lives. If we consider that all we have: money, possessions, relationships, talents, weaknesses, abilities and so on, are of God and from God, then as believers we’re to care for and use well that which God’s provided. In other words, we’re to consider ourselves stewards.

The job developed:

This is certainly a job that involves finances, but the financial aspect of this job is perceived primarily as a tool. It’s a mere measurement that’s secondary in importance to other aspects of this job and is indicative of the effectiveness of the one who’s performing in this role. This job, this role, this position I’ve entitled Asset Manager for God, Inc. And we’ll be defining the Job Description and addressing the training that’s essential for this position.

Essentially, that's how I happened upon this path. Basic concepts, yes. Easy to follow, no.

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Work In Progress

I'm posting on a blog for the very first time. And I'm not so certain why.

As of late, I've become interested in the power of the blog by following the politically charged blogosphere that occurred prior to THE election. I walked through the door to blogging known as Hugh Hewitt and discovered, via his direction and inspiration, a world of intellectuals who've amazed, taught and inspired me.

For a year or so I've been writing about stewardship from a Christian perspective that's beginning to look like a book. I believe that this blog may be a place that I'll work through thoughts on this, offer/collect some ideas, and hone my writing skills, but I speculate that it won't be limited to these areas alone. I don't think. Hmm, that's certainty.

Please take into consideration that I'm learning about the technical aspects of blogging as well as the Christian aspects of stewardship. I look forward to any comments and assistance on both. Like, how do I get those doggone links on here? And, what about a counter? Ya know, fun stuff like that.

So here goes.