Holiday survival kit? Why does anyone need a holiday survival kit? One definition of survival is “to continue to live in spite of difficult circumstances.” Have Chanukah and Christmas become difficult times? For many, they have, although these periods are meant to be times of reflection and celebration. That’s why we need a holiday survival kit.
These can be lonely times for many folks. That’s a real important issue that needs to be addressed sincerely and compassionately. However, this is outside the scope of this blog, and I won’t address it here. If you know folks who will be lonely this season, pray with them; ask the Lord how you can help them.
I will focus mainly on the commercial parts of Christmas. (more…)
Applying effective stewardship in business is key to its success. What does stewardship mean today for businesses? Since the Great Recession, executives are more aware of their trust roles. These days, there is greater protection for shareholders. But we have a long way to go before effective stewardship is widespread in businesses.
What Does Stewardship in Business Mean Today
What is stewardship? Stewardship is acting as a steward. Who is a steward? A steward is someonewhogets responsibility and authority from an owner to look after the owner’s property in the owner’s best interest.
What does stewardship mean today for businesses? This will vary from firm to firm. These days, many boards of directors and executives see the need to be more accountable. They see this partly because of new government rules. However, executives know the cost of poor stewardship is huge. It hurts their brands. Greed filled executives in good years leading up to the Great Recession. During this time, many managers made decisions that caused major damage to their firms. (more…)
Unbalanced life? I strive to live an unbalanced life—that’s right, unbalanced. I know this is counter cultural because I hear the balanced life mantra daily. Are you aiming to lead a balanced life? Balancing work and family? Maybe, work, family, church, other activities? I think this balancing act was a key reason for the disturbing findings in a December 1983 Princeton Religion Research Center survey conducted for The Wall Street Journal by the Gallup Organization.
The survey found no significant difference between the churched and the unchurched in their ethics and values on the job. Both groups called in sick when not sick, cheated on income tax, and pilfered company supplies for personal use. If we choose to follow Jesus, He needs to be first and foremost in our lives—every decision and every act must reflect this. We do not need to attend church daily, or slip away to pray and meditate very hour; but we need to do what’s right, and be available to Him always. (more…)
Wall Street panicked this morning (August 24). Fear and hysteria were pervasive. Programmed selling followed—securities’ sales generated automatically at pre-set stock prices. Bargain hunters intervened, the onslaught stopped, and the market recovered some losses.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) plummeted more than a 1000 points in the first six minutes of trading. It recovered to close down 588.47 points, or 3.6%, at 15,871.28. This was the lowest level since February 2014. The carnage was similar world wide. The Canadian S&P/TSX 60 was down 3.1%, Nikkei, Japan was off 4.4%, and Shanghai, China dropped 9.3%.
Is Wall Street out of control? What should you do with your pension and investments? Some have fallen 20%, 30%, or more in the past week! (more…)
Seek first His kingdom and righteousness and all these things will be given to you as well (Matthew 6:33). These are comforting words from Jesus to His followers. What does it mean to seek first His kingdom? Apostle Paul and other disciples are perfect examples. More recent individuals include Corrie Tenn Boom and George Müller. Sadly, we do not grasp the essence of the life of a follower of Jesus because we focus on us and our entitlements. Besides, TV evangelists present God as a celestial slot machine from whom we demand comforts. When we don’t get them, these charlatans blame a lack faith. Meanwhile, their followers support their wealthy lifestyles.
The Bible says a lot about money, wealth, and possessions. Jesus’ essential message on this topic is this: Don’t be greedy; don’t be caught up with material stuff. Seek first His kingdom—focus on the eternal. Many people tell me this is impractical; they say it’s not realistic to be absorbed with spiritual aspects while bills must be paid now. How, they say, do we reconcile the need to put food on the table today with seeking first His kingdom? Often, they tell me they are embarrassed to admit this, but that’s their reality—they must earn an income first. (more…)
Budgeting tips for today’s economy are no different from budgeting tips at other times. However, the state of global economies today will exacerbate the effects of not budgeting or sloppy budgeting.
What is Budgeting
Budgeting is a four-part on going process. The basic parts one and two are difficult to compute. Part one involves estimating resources needed in a future period to do specific goals. Part two follows with allocating needed resources. The often neglected but key parts three and four are crucial for the process to work well. Compare results with the estimate, and then take remedialaction as needed. This is time consuming but must be done to see benefits.
God alone knows the future. Still, you need to plan under his guidance to do what he calls you to do. A well thought out budget will help highlight opportunities and challenges ahead so you might prepare to deal with them effectively.
Global Economic Overview
According to the National Bureau of Economic Research, the Great Recession started officially in December 2007. It ended in June 2009. Six years later, world economies are anemic. They are puttering along without signs of a recovery that might last for a while. Here is an excerpt from the IMF World Economic Outlook 2015:(more…)
Greece’s challenges are structural, not financial. Fiscal signs are symptoms. More money won’t solve Greece’s major structural challenges.
Greece has been here before. It was bailed out in 2010. In fact, the accompanying austerity measures has contributed to the current financial strain. Undoubtedly, a difficult journey lies ahead. But let’s be clear. The current crisis can’t be solved by loans with conditions to make further cuts.
The real choice in the recent referendum was between accepting loans with known austerity measures, or receiving loans later with conditions unknown. Indeed, the referendum means future lenders will impose worse requirements than those existing when the referendum was called. Already, Greece defaulted on 1.6 billion euros owing to the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Do Greeks accept that despite the “no” victory, significant lifestyle adjustments lie ahead? This is a significant issue today.
Greece’s Challenges Show up in it’s Economic Performance
Let’s look at the Greek economy and some structural challenges: (more…)
Personal effectiveness improvement is the journey needed to move away from time management. That journey is slow. It needs a mindset change. Where are you in life’s journey? In college looking to be free from exams and papers? Working but craving retirement? Yearning for a day when you won’t rush from one assignment to another? This utopian dream is unlikely to materialize.
The key on this journey from managing time to personal effectiveness improvement isn’t changing locations or occupations. It’s understanding you can’t manage time, you manage your personal effectiveness in available time. You must journey from trying to manage time to improving personal effectiveness in fixed, available time.
Talking with a recent college graduate highlighted people’s desire to move from where they are to their next stop believing they will be less busy, and better able to cope with life’s demands. This student, whom I will call Peter, was devastated after one month in his new job. He dreamed about how awesome it would be—no homework, no papers, no pressure to perform in class. Sadly, he discovered he became even more stressed than at college. Now, he wants to go back to school to do a masters degree. (more…)
Household indebtedness in Canada is climbing to new heights! Why are Canadians acquiring so much debt and ignoring lessons from the USA’s sub prime debacle? Cheap, easy money is addictive! Besides, history would suggest that in future, people won’t own their actions. When housing prices fall and interest rates rise, many people will use the victim card. They will blame financial firms, merchants, the one percent … everyone, but them.
Household Indebtedness Warnings
Let’s look closely at the size of this household indebtedness problem as reported over the past three years: (more…)
Each person and each family's situations are different and need separate review. Before you implement financial decisions, consult an Independent Financial Advisor.
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