Get 70% Off Today’s Soul Shaping Bundle!

Soul Shaping

Today we’re kicking off Vyrso’s Journey to the Cross. Through April 22, we’ll feature seven 24-hour bundles, all about growing closer to Christ and strengthening your spiritual walk. For the next 24 hours, get Stephen Smith’s book, Soul Shaping: A Practical Guide for Spiritual Transformation, along with Floyd McClung’s Follow: A Simple and Profound Call to Live Like Jesus and Hugh Halter’s Flesh: Bringing the Incarnation Down to Earth for 70% off with our Soul Shaping Bundle.

Stephen W. Smith is the founder of Potter’s Inn, a Christian ministry devoted to the work of spiritual formation and care of the soul. Smith has pastored and planted churches in both the United States and Europe. Today, he’s walks us through the four main steps of soul shaping, and how discovering how our soul has been shaped in the past can lead us to a brighter Christ-focused future.

The image of the potter and clay is a timeless one that helps us understand the spiritual journey. As long as there have been human beings, there have been potters who form pots.

The Bible is clear—we come from the clay of the earth. I have North Carolina clay in my soul. I was born there, lived there most of my adult life, and worked there. My wife is from the clay of Africa. Her parents were missionaries, and she was born there and lived there throughout her childhood.

I wrote Soul Shaping to help people see and understand their spiritual journey. It’s a practical workbook, specifically designed for individuals and groups. As you begin the workbook, you’ll see lots of creative ways to explore your history and story. The exercises are designed for different learning styles and folks who think in a more linear fashion and those of us who are visual.

Soul Shaping explores the four basic movements in our spiritual formation:

First, we are formed.

Second, we are reformed.

Third, we are transformed.

Finally, we are conformed.

As you walk through each of these phases, you’ll be given the opportunity to think about your beginnings—your start on the spiritual journey. Who helped shape you? Where did you first experience the love of God? Who helped you grow in your walk with God? To remember is a good thing. We reflect, remember, and become aware of how God has been working in us all along.

As we are reformed, we think about mistakes, hard times, failures, and disappointments that have happened to us in life. This section helps you remember and explore what you learned—what you “got” from these challenging seasons in life. In this phase, we learn to trust the Potter’s hands as they work gracefully and sometimes firmly in our lives and on our clay.

As we experience transformation, we learn how God is at work to bring about change. Deep change is God’s goal for us, but we must always remember that God’s love does not rest upon our ability to change. God loves us too much to allow us to remain the same. Transformation is the process we experience as we change. The Potter presses here, squeezes there, pounds here, and gracefully touches there. It’s all a process. It’s how the Potter brings about change.

We are finally conformed. Being conformed means that there is an ideal goal for us. God is up to something in our lives throughout our life. It’s all for a reason, and in this book, we explore what the ultimate goal and plan for our life is all about.

* * *

Soul Shaping is an invitation to see yourself as you really are and imagine who you can become: download Stephen Smith’s powerful book on Vyrso today.

Comments:   |  Leave a Comment...

Get 17 R.C. Sproul Books for Free!

R.C. Sproul Forever Free

Logos Bible Software is now offering 17 R.C. Sproul books—free! The icing on the cake? These books will always be free. And they’ll always be more powerful when used with Logos 5’s smart tools and datasets. Share this post with friends and family so they can take advantage of this awesome deal!

All 17 books are part of Sproul’s Crucial Questions Series. This series aims to address the toughest questions Christians face, including: How can I be sure I’m saved? How can I know God’s will and incorporate it into my life? How does God control everything, and how can spiritual prayer affect the corporeal world? How can I deal with my guilt and find joy in life? Sproul answers these questions and more, while offering practical tips to shape everyday Christians into active disciples of Christ.

Both accessible and transformational, this series offers answers to your most pressing questions. Download the Logos edition of this 17-volume series for free!

Save on more Sproul titles

Sproul is an internationally renowned pastor and theologian. Save on some of his best-selling Vyrso titles today!

Get 35% off Defending Your Faith: An Introduction to Apologetics

Almost every Christian, at some point or another, gets confronted about their faith and how it seems incompatible with reason. In this apologetics primer, Sproul sets forth the core claims of the faith to reveal just how rational Christianity is.

As Sproul surveys history’s streams of thought, he uncovers the common ideologies that work against faith and affirms four principles of knowledge that are necessary for all legitimate discussion. He then demonstrates how reason and scientific inquiry serve as allies in defending two of the most strategic priorities of Christian apologetics: God’s existence and the Bible’s authority.

Get 35% off The Consequences of Ideas: Understanding the Concepts that Shaped Our World

The greatest thinkers of all time still impact us today. From public-policy decisions and current laws to the arts and education, history’s most influential philosophies have wrought massive consequences on nearly everything we see, think, and do.

In The Consequences of Ideas, Sproul traces the contours of Western philosophy from the ancients to the molders of modern thought—including Plato, Aquinas, Descartes, Kant, and Freud—and proves that ideas are not just passing fads; they endure for generations. And the greater our understanding of these ideas, the greater our ability to influence our culture for Christ.

Shop more Sproul titles on Vyrso today!

Take 25% off Sproul’s conference

Want more from Sproul? Register for his ministry’s upcoming West Coast conference: “Overcoming the World: Being a Christian in a Post-Christian Culture.” Held from June 6 to June 7 in Seattle, Washington, this powerful Ligonier Ministries conference features respected speakers, like Drs. Steven Lawson, Stephen Meyer, Albert Mohler, and R.C. Sproul Jr. Register by April 11 and get 25% off with early-bird pricing.

Register today!

To kick-start this conference, we’re giving away a MacBook Air, Logos 5 Gold, eight R.C. Sproul books, and two tickets to Ligonier’s Seattle conference. Enter to win today!   

Comments:   |  Leave a Comment...

Enter to Win a MacBook Air, Logos 5 Gold, and R. C. Sproul Books!

Ligonier blog header--largeLigonier Ministries was founded by one of today’s most well-respected theologians: R. C. Sproul. To help kick-start Ligonier Ministries’ West Coast conference, we’re giving away a MacBook Air, Logos 5 Gold, eight R. C. Sproul books, and two tickets to the Seattle conference!

Save 25% on early-bird registration!

This year’s conference, called “Overcoming the World: Being a Christian in a Post-Christian Culture,” will be held from June 6 to 7 in Seattle, Washington. Register before April 11, and save 25% with early-bird discounts! Prices jump from $59 to $79, so register now and save.

This year’s conference is all about being an effective witness in the post-Christian world. Here are the details:

What: Overcoming the World: Being a Christian in a Post-Christian Culture

When: June 6–7

Where: Seattle, WA

Who: Learn from some of today’s top pastors, including Drs. R. C. Sproul, Steven Lawson, Stephen Meyer, and Albert Mohler

Register today!

Enter to win

To help launch this annual event, we’re giving away a MacBook Air, Logos 5 Gold, two tickets to the Seattle Ligonier conference, and eight R. C. Sproul books, including:

1. The Consequences of Ideas: Understanding the Concepts that Shaped Our World

2. Defending Your Faith: An Introduction to Apologetics

3. Proclaiming a Cross-Centered Theology

4. Preaching the Cross

5. Saved from What?

6. The Spirit of Revival: Discovering the Wisdom of Jonathan Edwards

7. The Dark Side of Islam

8. The Doctrines of Grace: Rediscovering the Evangelical Gospel

Hurry—this giveaway ends June 1! Enter to win, and register for the conference today.

Entry closes June 1. We’ll select and notify the winner June 2. If you win and you already own Logos 5 and/or any of the above-mentioned books, you’ll receive Logos.com credit in place of the prizes. The grand prize does not include travel or accommodations. The winner will need to fill out a W-9 in order to claim their prize. By entering the giveaway, you’re opting in to receive emails from Vyrso and Logos. 

Comments:   |  Leave a Comment...

AHA: The 3 Key Ingredients to True Spiritual Transformation

Kyle Idleman

Today’s guest post is by Kyle Idleman, teaching pastor at Southeast Christian Church in Louisville, Kentucky—one of the largest churches in America. He’s also the author of two best-selling and award-winning books, Not a Fan and Gods at War, and he regularly speaks at conferences, events, and churches around the world. His new book, Aha: The God Moment that Changes Everything, draws on Scripture to reveal how three key elements can draw us closer to God and change our lives for good.

The word “aha” is defined this way: “a sudden understanding, recognition, or resolution.” For our purposes it’s “a sudden spiritual understanding, recognition, or resolution that brings about lasting transformation.” Instead of self-help we’re asking for God’s help.

In some ways AHA can’t be explained; it must be experienced.  For that reason it’s best understood through stories. AHA is the moment in someone’s life when there is a beautiful collision. At just the right time there’s a God moment and their life collides with God’s Word and the power of the Holy Spirit.

Everything changes in that collision, which is why watching it happen is one of my favorite parts of being a pastor. I love witnessing AHA. I see it almost every weekend at the church where I serve. I listen to people as they tell about the spiritual awakening that they’ve experienced. They were lost and now they’re found. They were blind and now they’re able to see.

One woman told me about her impulsive eating habits. For her, there was nothing a day could throw at her that she couldn’t eat away. Facing anxiety from an upcoming project, she would preemptively bring home two or three desserts and eat them all in one evening. Despite trying every diet and exercise fad, she reached 325 pounds. This seemingly unstoppable weight gain put her at a point of absolute depression, which only furthered her eating habits. After months of the vicious cycle of depression and binging she realized, food is never going to fill the emptiness in my heart. She had been trying to satisfy her soul by feeding her stomach.

When she came to church she heard a message from John 6 where Jesus describes himself as the “bread of life.” She suddenly realized in that moment that she had been turning to food to do for her what only Jesus can do. That was four years and 170 pounds ago. But the outward change is really just a byproduct of the inner transformation she experienced when she started to look to Jesus to fill the emptiness of her heart.

AHA.

Another couple told me their AHA story: “My husband and I both had an AHA moment about two years ago when we realized we were living as fans of Christ instead of completely committed followers. We decided then to totally surrender our lives to God. Soon after that we felt led to adopt a little girl from Ethiopia. We didn’t know at the time that God’s plan was actually for us to adopt a sibling group of three! Our lives have never been crazier, but neither have we ever felt more joy or fulfillment!”

AHA.

3 essential ingredients

So what is AHA? My wife has this cookbook at home, a gift from our wedding. It’s called The Three Ingredient Cookbook. She would want me to tell you that she doesn’t really use it. When she cooks there are typically more than three ingredients involved. The truth is I’m the one who uses The Three Ingredient Cookbook. On the rare occasions I’m allowed in the kitchen, this cookbook is my go-to cooking companion, because honestly, three ingredients is about my capacity.

One of the things I’ve learned the hard way is that when using The Three Ingredient Cookbook,  all the ingredients are necessary. Apparently when making _____, _____ really is necessary.  This is the downside to The Three Ingredient Cookbook. You can’t cheat it. If you only go with two, it doesn’t work out very well for you.

The same is true for AHA. I have listened to the AHA experience of hundreds, if not thousands, of people over the years and I’ve studied numerous transformation experiences of biblical people. With striking consistency, AHA always has three ingredients. If any one of these is missing, it will short-circuit the transformation process:

1. A sudden awakening

2. Brutal honesty

3. Immediate action

If there is an awakening and honesty but no action, AHA doesn’t happen. If there is awakening and action but honesty is overlooked, AHA will be short lived. But when God’s Word and the Holy Spirit bring these three together, you’ll experience true AHA in your life.

* * *

Have you had your “aha” moment? Understand the reality and power of spiritual transformation with Kyle Idleman’s Aha: The God Moment that Changes Everything—get it for just $9.74.

 

This article was adapted from AHA, 2014 by Kyle Idleman. Published by David C. Cook, www.davidccook.com. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

 

Comments:   |  Leave a Comment...

A Look into A Christian Author’s Process: An Interview with Travis Thrasher

Travis Thrasher

Travis Thrasher is a critically acclaimed author who has written over 25 books. His work runs the gamut from supernatural thrillers to love stories to helpful resources for writers. He’s worked with filmmakers, musicians, and pastors; and one of his latest books, Home Run, is based on the major motion picture starring Vivica A. Fox and Scott Elrod. Download Home Run for just $4.99 on Vyrso today!

1. Many of your books feature broken people on their path to redemption. Where does the inspiration for these stories come from?

I have no idea. Because my life is pretty much perfect and I’m this glorious shining star . . . Oh wait. No, I get brokenness. I’ve made plenty of mistakes in my life. But who hasn’t? I’m attracted to broken people. To me, the best stories out there are people who end up having nothing and finding peace there. Maybe some kind of hope. And to me, my faith is the only hope that I can point toward.

2. What inspired you to write Home Run?

I was fortunate enough to be contacted by David C. Cook Publishers and asked to do the novelization for Home Run. Some people don’t know what those are. Simply put, a novelization is when they make the movie first, and then follow it up by having someone like myself write a novel based on the screenplay. A lot of the big movies out there have had novelizations.

3. What was the process like to adapt the motion picture into a novel?

The first step was meeting with two of the producers on the film (Carol Mathews and Micah Barnard) to hear about the heart and the soul of the movie. Carol gave me free license to really do whatever I wanted with the story. They trusted me with their baby, so to speak. I was very honored by this and really tried to match their passion with the novel.

I feel with novelizations, the screenplay is the Bible. You start with that and then build outward. I tried a few things but eventually landed with the right tone and feel.

4. Tell us more about the research process for this book—what did it entail? Did you spend significant time watching baseball?

I would have been a lot more comfortable writing a story about a pro football player, to be honest. But Home Run is about a man who happens to play pro baseball—it’s not all about that. But I did immerse myself in all things baseball so I could get even little things right. It was like cramming for a final the night before. But I’ve been doing that my whole life!

5. What is your favorite writing process, and why? What’s the most difficult part of the writing process, and why?

I love trying different things out. Like in the Home Run novel, I thought of adding these little poetic things between chapters, which I called interludes, that feature glimpses into the main character’s life. It’s sort of a map that shows how he got from being this little kid with a mean father to becoming a mean drunk himself. I didn’t know if this would work out but everybody liked them.

I don’t find any part necessarily difficult. The tough part is writing something that you feel is wonderful and nearly perfect, only to have an editor come back and tell you otherwise. You have to trust them however. Every book I write teaches me a little something more about the art of writing a novel. It’s never easy, but it’s a wonderful thing to be able to do.

6. You have a new book coming out in May; could you tell us more about Marvelous?

Marvelous is the first in a four-book young adult series called The Books of Marvella. The premise is this: what if God spoke to a teen girl and told her she would end up dying for someone else. And what if you were the boy who fell in love with this girl?

7. In your new book, you make the switch to teen fiction. What pulled you to this genre?

I wrote another series for teens called The Solitary Tales. I really love that genre. Maybe because those years were so impactful on my life, for better or worse. Maybe it’s because I still think like a teenager sometimes. A lot of people have encouraged me with my first young adult series, so I decided to do another. I love these stories.

8. Do you have any tips for potential authors trying to get published?

Develop regular routines. Write as often as possible. Finish what you start. Don’t give up. Realize there are more publishing opportunities now than ever before. But also realize everybody is writing and publishing books. Have thick skin and remain persistent.

* * *

Thrasher’s powerful book, Home Run, tells the story of an alcoholic baseball player forced to face down his demons and find redemption in Christ—download it today for free! Then preorder his latest young adult novel, Marvelous, for 35% off!

Comments:   |  Leave a Comment...

Get 70% Off: All Money Makeover Bundles Extended!

Vyrso_Money_BLOG_HEADER-1

That’s right. All Money Makeover bundles have been extended through the end of the month!

In case you missed any of our 24-hour deals, we’re offering powerful bundles for up to 70% off through March 31. Everyone should be able to afford financial advice, and we want to be sure you have every opportunity to access the financial wisdom of best-selling authors, like Mary Hunt, John Piper, Ronald J. Sider, and Dani Johnson. These bundles are specially designed to provide you with counsel, advice, and insight that’s relevant to your financial situation. Whether you’re a parent or a college student, at your financial peak or at rock bottom, there’s a bundle for you.

Don’t wait—all bundles end March 31 at 8 p.m. (EDT).

Save now so you can save later!

Money Makeover bundles give you huge savings now, so you can save money in the future, learn to make financially wise decisions, and faithfully use the assets God gives you. Here are some of our best-selling bundles (just use the arrow buttons to scroll through the bundles):

Day 1: get 64% off the Master Your Finances Bundle

Learn to save and balance your budget so you’re prepared for anything—even times of economic uncertainty and crisis. Apply the seven money rules of life from bestselling author Mary Hunt, discover the five attitudes that can keep you from debt and financial stress, and more!

Day 4: get 70% off the Living for a Mission Bundle

This bundle is perfect for missions workers and leaders. Discover the nuances of cross-cultural partnerships so you can establish missions efforts built on integrity and transparency. Start applying your God-given leadership style and live a simple life that energizes you for Christ.

Day 6: get 69% off the Money Guide for Smart Dads Bundle

This bundle is filled with practical advice for being the faith leader in your home. Impart God’s wisdom to your children about their finances, work ethic, and communication; and spend time each day learning new ways to fill your home with joy and strength—even when life tries to bring you down.

Day 9: get three books for $4.50 with the Biblical Promises Bundle

Get a powerful collection of God’s promises throughout all of Scripture, a biblical examination of what the modern church member should look like, and John Piper’s Rethinking Retirement.

Day 11: get over $50 off the Tackling Socioeconomic Issues Bundle

Learn from Ron Sider—one of the most prolific evangelical social justice pioneers of our time, along with Ben Witherington III and Will Davis Jr. Take a closer look at your priorities and your pocketbook, discover what really matters during times of economic uncertainty, and learn to live simply in a world of overconsumption and greed.

There are so many more bundles to choose from! Check out all of the Money Makeover deals, and pick the one that fits you. But hurry—all bundles expire March 31 at 8 p.m. (EDT).

Comments:   |  Leave a Comment...

Chip Ingram Talks Tips for Pastors and Reaching the Unchurched

Chip Ingram

Today’s interview is with Chip Ingram, senior pastor of Venture Christian Church in Los Gatos, California, and CEO and teaching pastor of Living on the Edge—an international teaching and discipleship ministry. Ingram has written 14 books, and has a massive online and radio audience—reaching about one million people every week. Some of Ingram’s best-selling books include Good to Great in God’s Eyes: 10 Practices Great Christians Have in Common, God: As He Longs for You to See Him, Finding God When You Need Him Most, and more! Pre-order his latest book, Culture Shock: A Biblical Response to Today’s Most Divisive Issues on Vyrso today!

1. Over the last 25 years you’ve pastored churches that range from 500 attendees to 5,000. Now you reach over a million people a week—how has your preaching style changed over the years?

I’ve always been committed to teaching through the biblical text, but after a thorough study, I play a game called “spiritual jeopardy.” If this biblical text is the answer, what question does it currently address in our world? As a result, many of the series I teach seem topical because of the titles and introductions; but, in fact, they’re an exposition of the Bible addressing the very specific issue in the twentieth century that was being addressed in the first century.

2. If you were to give pastors one piece of advice for successful ministry, what would it be?

I would encourage pastors to first and foremost make their time with God their number-one priority regardless of demands, and to invest in their families as their first congregation above all else. After that, I would encourage them to hear God’s voice and boldly and courageously communicate the truth by their life and word in a winsome manner. I often tell pastors they should have their resignation in a top drawer somewhere; and by that I mean we must fear God more than we fear man and be willing to address difficult subjects even if it means we lose our job.

3. As the senior pastor of Venture Church in the Bay Area, your ministry is housed in a place of spiritual darkness. What obstacles has your church faced, and how did you overcome them?

About 96 percent of the people in our area don’t attend church. They aren’t anti-God as much as they’re oblivious to his existence. It’s a very multicultural area where God is not on people’s radar; instead, making money, upward mobility, and a successful education is their focus. To overcome these obstacles, we’ve made prayer a priority. We’ve sought to equip every individual Christian to be a minister of the gospel in their network and workplace. We’ve created ministries that meet the needs of marriages and families, since this is a huge need in our culture. We’ve also actively ministered to the community by transforming a public school with 1,500 volunteers, feeding the poor, and seeking to tangibly demonstrate the love of Christ. We still have a long way to go, but God has blessed our efforts and shown himself to many people.

4. What advice do you have for other church leaders ministering in unchurched regions?

It may sound trite, but I would encourage them to take prayer seriously and seek to love their anti-God community from the heart the way Jesus loves them. Often we present the lifestyles and belief systems of those in environments like this, and the big issue is God changing our heart first. Second, there is no substitute for tangible, specific good works that communicate the love of God. I suggest that churches discover their community’s biggest need and organize and fulfill it with no strings attached.

5. Throughout your 25 years of ministry, what powerful story sticks out most in your mind?

In the early days, I wasn’t convinced that giving time to Living on the Edge was a good investment. At that point I personally didn’t listen to the radio very often and I wondered about the value of its impact. About three months after the ministry began; I received two emails that changed the course of my life. The first was one from a woman in the San Francisco area on her way to abort her baby. I don’t know what message she was listening to, or how God used it, but she wrote me to tell me that she was listening to my voice and God spoke to her to keep her baby. I remember reading that letter and tears streaming down my eyes realizing a life was saved and God really does use radio and Internet for teaching.

The second story is a bit more dramatic and God used it to bring me to a point of making Living on the Edge a priority in my time and energy. A woman who discovered that her husband was involved in an incestuous relationship in their home wrote me a letter that I will never forget. She was completely devastated and determined to kill herself. She knew a train came by a certain intersection each day at a certain time. She pulled up to the intersection and pushed the radio button to its loudest volume as she saw the train coming at a distance; preparing to pull out in front of it to kill herself. As the volume grew louder and louder on the radio she heard my voice saying, “Never give up! Never give up! Never give up!” It was a message on perseverance from the book of James and God used it to cause her to abandon her plan of suicide. About a year later, she wrote me another letter and talked about the counseling, forgiveness, and restoration that occurred in her family. Our God is a redemptive and all-powerful God and when I heard that story, I set my face like flint to do whatever God would call me to do with Living on the Edge.

6. How can people get involved with Living on the Edge?

There are three ways to get involved with Living on the Edge. First, you can receive our teaching by radio, XM satellite, the Internet streaming, podcasts, and on CDs and books. Second, you can participate or lead a Living on the Edge small group. Our passion is that our teaching would inspire people to get connected in community, do life together, live out their faith, and make a difference in the world. We have about 25 small group DVDs offers help people grow spiritually in a variety of areas. Third, we have a church-wide campaign called “True Spirituality,” which takes an entire church through Romans, chapter 12 and provides an experience that sets the bar for “what it means to be a disciple of Jesus Christ” and how to grow. We also provide training for small group leaders within our resources and also at our website. For business leaders, we have a unique discipleship experience called PrimeMovers that helps them discover their God-given destiny and leverage their platform of influence and affluence for the glory of God.

10. You’ve written 14 books—which one are you most proud of, and why?

There are two books that I’m most encouraged by for two different reasons. God: As He Longs For You To See Him is a book on the attributes of God that grew out of 30 years of reading A. W. Tozer and J. I. Packer and studying key passages about the character and nature of God. I literally read a portion of Tozer’s book every week for the first 10 years of my Christian life, and at least once a month for the next 15 to 20 years. I believe everything in life centers around a proper view of God. Taking what I learned over 30 years and giving people practical ways to digest it and get an accurate view of God, is one of my greatest joys.

The second book is True Spirituality: Becoming a Romans 12 Christian because it’s been a lifelong journey to discover what it means to be a disciple and give people some practical means to live that out. Watching that happen in churches across America and across the world has been deeply humbling and very encouraging.

7. Your ministry talks a lot about “r12” Christians—what do you mean by this?

An “r12” Christian is a biblical profile of an authentic follower of Christ. It’s first and foremost based on grace and mercy as outlined in Romans chapters 1 through 11. It identifies what a disciple looks like in the five relationships of life: God, the world, yourself, believers, and unbelievers. It provides a specific game plan in each of these relationships that moves the concept of discipleship to a relevant and measurable lifestyle of authentically becoming a follower of Jesus.

  * * *

Learn from one of today’s most well-respected teachers and pastors. Shop Chip Ingram’s most popular titles on Vyrso today

Comments:   |  Leave a Comment...

3 Books to Help You Be a Better Saver

Capture

Nobody knows your finances like you do. Maybe you don’t know as much about money as an accountant or financial advisor, but they don’t know the intricacies of your life and the experiences that influence your financial priorities. An expert can tell you the best way to use your money to accomplish a particular goal, but only you know exactly where that goal fits in your financial picture—and how the sacrifices you make will affect your other goals.

When we face tough financial choices, friends and family often share how different decisions they’ve made have affected their lives. For one person, college may have been the key that unlocked a lucrative career and changed their life—but for another, college may have been the key that shackled them to crippling debt. Some people pay off their credit cards every month and benefit from the extra payment options, while others owe more on their credit cards than they do on their house. All of this information goes through the filter of our lives, our mentors, and prayer before we ultimately decide what’s best for us. But that decision-making power doesn’t mean you should ignore good advice.

The more stories we absorb, the more informed our decisions are. That’s one of the many values of good books. Personal experience is a great teacher, but so are the experiences of others. Your own financial journey can be subtly or drastically altered by your knowledge of what has and hasn’t worked for others. The decisions standing before you now could be potential pitfalls or pivotal moments in your financial world. The more you know, the more help you have in deciding which choice is right for you.

These three books are available in the Smart Saver’s Bundle, and offer valuable financial wisdom (and today only, get it for 70% off!):

1. Saving Savvy by Kelly Hancock

Through her popular blog, Kelly Hancock has harvested the collective wisdom of thousands of people just like you. No matter your circumstance, and no matter how much—or little—time you have, you can learn how to take control of your spending and start saving today.

2. Confessions of a Scholarship Winner by Kristina Ellis

If you have kids of your own or you work with students, you know how hard it can be to talk about paying for college. If you, your children, or others you know have decided that college is the right path, then you’ll want to hear what Kristina Ellis has to say about finding financial freedom while pursuing higher education. Check out Confessions of a Scholarship Winner: The Secrets That Helped Me Win $500,000 in Free Money for College—How You Can Too!

3. Living the Proverbs: Insight for the Daily Grind by Charles R. Swindoll

The book of Proverbs offers revolutionary wisdom for troublesome times from one of the wisest men who ever lived. This remarkably down-to-earth study of Proverbs comes from one of America’s most renowned pastors, exploring pressing themes such as how to handle difficult people, what to do when temptation comes, knowing who to trust, how to handle finances, and even wisdom on marriage and parenting.

Today only, get all three books, full of financial insight, for just $13.99—that’s 70% off!

Comments:   |  Leave a Comment...

Robert Morris on Living in God’s Economy: 3 Keys to Financial Freedom

Rober Morris Headshot

Today’s guest post is by Robert Morris, the founding and senior pastor of Gateway Church—a multicampus church with more than 26,000 members. His weekly television show, The Blessed Life, is broadcast to 90 million US homes, and he’s also the bestselling author of The Blessed Life: The Simple Secret of Achieving Guaranteed Financial Results. Discover how to trade in selfishness for generosity, and get the secrets to living a truly blessed life: download The Blessed Life on Vyrso today!  

As a nation, we’re going through some pretty tough economic times. But I want to remind you of a simple yet profound truth right up front—God is bigger than the economy. He will always provide for his children. Psalm 46:1–2 says, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea.”

When living in uncertain economic times it’s difficult to have hope, but here are three principles guaranteed to help you develop the proper perspective and walk in financial freedom.

1. Put God first

The Bible says, “Honor the Lord with your wealth and with the firstfruits of all your produce;” (Proverbs 3:9). Do you honor God with the firstfruits of your finances?

You can claim God has first place in your life—but by observing where your money goes, I can tell you who really has first place in your life. Maybe it’s the mortgage company, the electric company, or even Visa, MasterCard, and American Express!

When God is first, he blesses the rest. This principle is seen throughout the Bible. The first check I write every month is the tithe check. Not the second check, third, or eighth—the first. I want to give God the first part of all my increase, not the last part.

Please understand me. This isn’t law; it’s love! This is expressing love and gratitude and honor to the God who has given us everything.

2. Learn to wait

When Egypt experienced a season of great abundance, Joseph made the Egyptians store up, store up, and store up. Maybe some of the people said, “We’ve got enough grain stored up by now! Why can’t we just use some of this grain, instead of storing it up?” Joseph most likely replied, “No, you don’t understand. If you don’t store it up now, you’re not going to have it later when you need it.”

When it comes to wealth, the Bible teaches us to wait, be faithful, and be good stewards (see Proverbs 28:20). Sometimes people try to get rich quickly because they aren’t willing to live as they should financially. They want to have what they want and have it now!

Before you make a purchase, look at your budget and ask God if this is his will at the moment. In an “instant gratification” society, it’s all too easy to fall into the pattern of buying whatever we want at the moment without being patient or seeking God’s counsel about it.

3. Live below your means

This principle is very important. Truly living below your means dictates that you use less than 70 percent of your income. So, if you tithe 10 percent, put 10 percent in savings, put 10 percent in retirement or other investments, and give something in offerings above your tithes, you’re going to be living on 60 to 70 percent of your income at the highest level.

When my oldest son was away at college, his accelerated academic schedule made working a part-time job unfeasible. So I provided nearly all of his support. Before he went off to school, we sat down and drew up a budget for him based on a set amount I’d send him each month. I was pleased to discover he was doing a great job living below his means. He was being a good steward.

So, as a loving father, I rewarded him! I increased the amount of money I sent him each month. A few months later, he called me and mentioned moving into a new apartment could lower the costs even more. We checked into his idea, and helped him move into the less expensive apartment. Shortly thereafter, he called and shared his costs were indeed lower and he needed less money. But I kept sending him the same amount. He had been a good steward, and I wanted to reward him.

Why don’t we expect God to be as gracious and responsive as I was to my own son? Why are we so surprised to learn that God rewards and blesses us for being good stewards and living below our means?

Where are you investing?

It’s good to save, make investments, and be a good steward financially. But I wonder how many people have an ERA—an Eternal Retirement Account.

Although we’re going through tough economic times, each of us has the unique opportunity to place our trust in our Father who owns it all, knowing that he can provide for all of our needs. I urge you today: be a good steward, give generously, and continue to make eternal investments into God’s kingdom.

* * *

Get more powerful financial and spiritual tips from bestselling author, Robert Morris: download The Blessed Life: The Simple Secret of Achieving Guaranteed Financial Results today!

 

Comments:   |  Leave a Comment...

The Most Important (and Surprising) Aspect of Your Finances: An Interview with Mary Hunt

Mary HuntMary Hunt is an award-winning and bestselling author of more than 20 books—selling over one million copies in total. Hunt is also the founder and publisher of Debt-Proof Living, a popular organization that helps people all over the world get their finances in order. Today only, get four of Hunt’s books for 70% off with Mary Hunt’s Financially Savvy Woman Bundle—part of Vyrso’s Money Makeover.

1. There are so many facets to a person’s budget—savings, tithing, budget shopping, etc. Is one more important than the others? Why?

Giving is number one. That’s because it’s the antidote for greed, which is the killer of all budgets. Greed is so rampant and so deadly; giving releases God’s supernatural intervention in your finances. If people would only truly believe that God means what he says.

2. What are the biggest issues you see with Christians’ views of money?

That God rewards his children in whom he finds pleasure with great wealth and multimillion-dollar homes and luxury automobiles. I don’t believe that God wants us to be rich. But he wants to pour out blessings on us so large we can’t hold them all; but these blessings aren’t for us to keep, they’re to give to others. If I have enough money to build a ten-million dollar mansion, should I do it? I don’t think so. I believe the Bible teaches that God will supply our needs and the desires of our hearts when we delight in him, and he wants us to be good and faithful stewards. He is looking for money managers he can trust to be distribution points of his riches. God blesses us to bless others.

3. You once pulled yourself out of six-figure debt—how did you find the motivation to stick with a new financial plan?

I really didn’t have the option to not stick with it. We didn’t have any credit and received notice that our home was going into foreclosure. That’s how far out of control my life had become. So I couldn’t rely on credit. I’d really come to the end of the road. Sticking to it was a matter of survival—the only choice I had. The big surprise for me was that my new commitment to giving and saving quieted two things I’d always struggled with: greed and fear. Giving was the antidote for greed; saving quelled the fear. Repaying the debt brought a new kind of satisfaction that was lasting, not the passing euphoria I’d get when wildly spending. It was amazing. The more we paid back, the more determined I became to keep going and pay more and more until those balances all reached $0.

4. The average American has over $15,000 in credit-card debt. What’s the first step someone should take to get out of debt?

Stop adding to it. Remove the temptation. That means hand off all of your credit cards to a trusted friend. Next, you have to face it. The who, what, when, and where of every single debt. Look them squarely in the face. No more denial. Know what you owe. I guess that’s more than one step . . .

5. A lot of children are being raised by parents who’ve made major financial mistakes—what’s the best way to teach our children how to effectively manage their money when we haven’t set good examples for them?

First, get rid of the idea that if you haven’t been perfect with money, you’ve lost your right to teach your children. That would be like saying if you ever got in trouble as a teen, you’ve given up your right to become a good parent. You don’t have any obligation to reveal the entirety of your financial past (or present) to your children. Teach them! Start now. Teaching teaches the teacher. They’ll keep you on your toes for sure. Allowing your children to make their own financial decisions, while still under the safety net of your home and parental authority, is the only way I know of to teach them to become financially responsible adults.

6. What can Christians do to change their attitudes toward money to help prepare for a healthier financial future?

First, pray for wisdom. Be willing to be a good and faithful steward. Every day is a test in trust. God is testing you to see if he can trust you. Will you hold tightly what he gives you to manage? Or will you pass the test with open hands, wisely taking care of your needs and then giving to others. The more you give, the more God will give you to manage, knowing he can trust you. You simply cannot out-give God.

7. Seventy-seven percent of Americans live paycheck to paycheck—how can someone with so little money start saving?

Start with $5. And make it the very first $5 right off the top. You will not miss it if you put it away in a safe place that’s out of reach. Just keep doing it. Then increase it to $10. You’ll find so many places where money has been leaking out of your life to make up for what you are saving. Money in the bank changes everything, and it can start with just five bucks. It changes your attitude.

8. What does a well-rounded financial future look like?

Regular giving and saving. No unsecured debt. A healthy emergency fund so you can fund your own emergencies instead of relying on credit. Anticipating irregular expenses like property taxes and car repairs by planning ahead and saving up for what you know is coming in the future. Living an understated lifestyle, caring for others. An absence of greed and fear. Preparing for the future but not hoarding and not living in fear.

* * *

Start getting your finances in order today! Learn from bestselling author and highly sought-after motivational speaker Mary Hunt with today’s Money Makeover bundle: Mary Hunt’s Financially Savvy Woman Bundle. Get 70% off four of Hunt’s books:

  • Debt-Proof Living: How to Get Out of Debt & Stay That Way
  • The Smart Woman’s Guide to Planning for Retirement: How to Save for Your Future Today
  • The Financially Confident Woman
  • Raising Financially Confident Kids

Get all four books for just $18.99!

Comments:   |  Leave a Comment...

Copyright 2014 Logos Bible Software. All rights reserved.