2013 in Review


The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 2,300 times in 2013. If it were a cable car, it would take about 38 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

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Fibromyalgia and Alternative Treatments


Fibromyalgia and Alternative Treatments

 

Today I want to discuss a topic that many of my close friends call major pain…fibromyalgia.  Fibromyalgia is a neurosensory disorder characterized by widespread muscle pain, joint stiffness, and fatigue. The condition is chronic (ongoing), but pain comes and goes and moves about the body. The disorder is often misdiagnosed or unrecognized and is and often complicated by mood and anxiety disorders.

According to the American College of Rheumatology diagnosis criteria,

Cover of "The pH Miracle: Balance Your Di...

Cover via Amazon

fibromyalgia affects about 3-5% of women, most of whom are between ages 20 and 50, but only 0.5- 1.6% of men. Some experts feel the actual rate is much higher. Fibromyalgia is more prevalent in adults than children, with nine times more women affected than men. People with fibromyalgia are most likely to complain of three primary symptoms: muscle and joint pain, stiffness, and fatigue.

There is no known cure for fibromyalgia; therefore, the goal of treatment is successful symptom management. Treatment usually requires a combination of pharmaceutical therapies, appropriate exercise, proper sleep hygiene, and good nutrition. As of early 2009, the only drug specifically approved for treatment of fibromyalgia by the United States Food and Drug Administration was pregabalin (Lyrica), an anticonvulsant whose mechanism of action in the treatment of fibromyalgia was not completely understood.

Antidepressant drugs that alter the levels of neurotransmitters in the brain help improve symptoms of pain and disrupted sleep in many people with fibromyalgia.

Our bodies are meant to be alkaline, and our highly acidic diets put enormous stress on our systems.  When you eat foods that create acid in your body, most of the toxic waste is eliminated from your body by the bladder and bowels, and some is eliminated by breathing and through the skin.  However, some of the waste is stored in protective fat cells, and some is absorbed into the blood stream and carried throughout your body.

The key to dealing with almost any disease, and especially fibromyalgia, is to eat an alkaline diet and drink alkaline ionized water.  While converting to an alkaline diet is often a struggle, drinking ionized water is simple and very effective.   That doesn’t mean you can drink alkaline ionized water and continue to fill your body with acidic foods. While I don’t have fibromyalgia, I do have gout, and I found that starting with the water allowed me to experience the benefits of being alkaline, which encouraged me to slowly convert to a more alkaline diet as the benefits became more and more obvious.

I talk with people frequently who have struggled with fibromyalgia for many years.  Several have found that they can experience almost total relief from fibromyalgia on an ongoing basis simply by drinking alkaline water and being more mindful of their diet. Nothing works for everyone, but I have talked with too many fibromyalgia sufferers who have found relief by drinking the water to simply discount it as “hocus pocus”

Secondly, eating a diet high in vegetables and fruits (preferably organic), and lower in meats and grains is another established approach to alkalizing the diet; however, most people don’t do this on a regular basis.  NSA Certified supplements are a great source for those who do not get their daily intake of fruits and vegetables. Robert Young, Ph.D., author of The pH Miracle, reports that drinking alkaline water “neutralizes stored acid wastes and gently removes acids from the body”.

Lastly, deep breathing and relaxation breathing exercises for stress management can dramatically alter the body’s acid/alkaline balance by oxygenating and eliminating carbon dioxide and aerosol wastes. However, breathing exercises won’t be much help if you’re breathing polluted air. Cleaning up your indoor air quality by using a world-class air purification system can reduce pollutants of all kinds including acid producing components and provide a better environment for deep breathing. Cracking windows for ventilation can sometimes be a superior air cleaner as recent studies have shown that outdoor air is many times cleaner than indoor air. More involved programs of acid/alkaline balancing should be done in conjunction with a knowledgeable health care provider. If you would like to research this topic further, there are many popular books available on acid/alkaline balance and diet. The pH Miracle by Robert O. Young, Ph.D., and Shelley Redford Young; and Alkalize or Die by Theodore Baroody, M.D. are two respected resources.

Fibromyalgia is a complex disorder in which many factors play a part. Acid/alkaline balance is not a “magic bullet” by any means. However, many people can experience significant benefits by taking a good look at their overall acid/alkaline picture and by making sometimes very simple changes to diet, lifestyle, self-care, and home environment.

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These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.  Products referenced are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. These statements are not intended to be medical advice. Consult your health care practitioner for specific medical advice and treatment.

Spring Cleaning for Your Finances


 

 

Spring Cleaning for Your Finances

 

 

As the temperatures climb and the days grow longer, many people start

Finance

Finance (Photo credit: Tax Credits)

thinking about “spring cleaning.” It’s time to wipe away the cobwebs of the
winter and welcome in the sunshine and warmth of spring.

Spring is a time of new beginnings, and this doesn’t just apply to our homes. It can also apply to our finances. Many people make the New Year’s resolution to get on a budget or to better manage their money, but most resolutions are forgotten after a few months.

Spring is a great time to get back into that groove of biblical money management.  When spring cleaning your home, you take a close look at those things that need cleaning or updating. Do the same with your finances.

Take a close look at your budget. Assess your present spending and look for areas that need adjusting. After the spending frenzy of the holidays is over, you can get a better idea of how much you actually spend each month. Keep track of your spending for 30 days and then use the Crown Spending Plan Calculator to make a budget. (Learn more about starting a budget here.)

 

 

As you are spring cleaning your home, you may find items that you no
longer need or that are outdated. As you are tracking your spending, you
may find the same applies to your budget. Assess spending for cable,
Internet, and phone service. Ask yourself if you really need all the
services you are paying for or if you could bundle your services or find
a better deal that would be cheaper.

Do you pay for a daily or weekly newspaper but hardly ever read it? Perhaps you could read the news online and cancel your delivery subscription. Save money on food by eating out less. Use coupons at the grocery store and use a weekly menu for meal planning.

 

 

Also, take a good inventory of your debt. Are you paying a high
interest rate on a credit card? Could you find a card with a lower
interest rate and transfer your balance? Also, look for areas in your
budget where you can cut back on spending and use the extra to pay off
those credit cards. Buy off debt faster by using a rollover plan to pay off your credit cards. Debt is an extra burden that we shouldn’t have to carry.

 

 

Need to generate some extra income? Look around your home for things
you can sell. Outgrown or outdated clothing items, sports or exercise
equipment, electronics, CDs, DVDs, old furniture, baby items, and
kitchen items usually have good resale value. Collect these items, clean
them up, and have a yard sale. Put ALL of the profits toward paying off
debt or funding your emergency account. You will generate extra income and free yourself of things that can clutter your home.

 

 

The final step in spring cleaning your finances is to get organized.
Misplaced bills can cost you late fees. Develop a good filing system to
keep up with your incoming bills and other important financial
information. Use products like the Bill Organizer to keep track or try using an online bill paying service. Crown Mvelopes and Crown Money Map Financial Software are great ways to track your spending online.

 

 

Before you know it, your spending plan will be running smoothly, and you will be on your way to true financial freedom.

 

 

by Crown Financial Ministries

 

 

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If you would like to have Crown Financial in your church or organization for a seminar or workshop, or if you would like to order Crown resources, contact Crown Associate, Brian Raines,  at brianraines@bellsouth.net

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Painful Three…Fibromyalgia, Lupus, and Arthritis


The Painful Three…Fibromyalgia, Lupus, and Arthritisreflex_lrg

If you’ve ever experienced fatigue, joint stiffness, sleep disturbance, numbness, tingling, and swelling of your joints, then you’ve experienced some of the symptoms of these three conditions.  For me personally, it is the third…arthritis. Specifically, I suffer from gout.

The muscle and joint discomfort associated with an active lifestyle can be hard to ignore.  I usually don’t use my blog to blatantly promote one specific product, but today I am.  I am doing so, because I have found one product that has personally given me great relief, and I feel obligated to share it. For relief, I found RE:FLEX by Vollara.  Re:Flex contains a proprietary blend of enzymes, powerful herbs, and antioxidants specifically formulated to support muscle and joint health.

Re:Flex provides highly concentrated proteolytic enzymes, including bromelain, to support the body’s natural anti-inflammatory systems. These enzymes are combined with powerful herbs, like Boswellia, that have been used for centuries in herbal medicine to support the body’s natural healing processes.

In addition, Re:Flex provides a combination of antioxidant nutrients to help the body fight the free radicals which may be released after an injury or in inflammatory conditions. Re:Flex utilizes the CAeDS® mechanism to insure maximum effectiveness

Benefits of Re:flex

Promotes faster recovery from exercise and competition

Helps maintain healthy muscles and joints

Take Re:Flex if:

You need extra support for joint and muscle health

You plan to participate in strenuous activity

You want to recover more quickly from exercise, sports or other physical activities

You want to support the body’s natural healing processes

Re:Flex also contains turmeric, and this has many benefits.

Order Re:Flex here

According to Health Diaries.com http://www.healthdiaries.com/eatthis/20-health-benefits-of-turmeric.html  the active ingredient in turmeric is curcumin. Tumeric has been used for over 2500 years in India, where it was most likely first used as a dye. The medicinal properties of this spice have been slowly revealing themselves over the centuries. Long known for its anti-inflammatory properties, recent research has revealed that turmeric is a natural wonder, proving beneficial in the treatment of many different health conditions from cancer to Alzheimer’s disease.

 

Here are 20 health benefits of turmeric:

1. It is a natural antiseptic and antibacterial agent, useful in disinfecting cuts and burns.

2. When combined with cauliflower, it has shown to prevent prostate cancer and stop the growth of existing prostate cancer.

3. Prevented breast cancer from spreading to the lungs in mice.

4. May prevent melanoma and cause existing melanoma cells to commit suicide.

5. Reduces the risk of childhood leukemia.

6. Is a natural liver detoxifier.

7. May prevent and slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease by removing amyloyd plaque buildup in the brain.

8. May prevent metastases from occurring in many different forms of cancer.

9. It is a potent natural anti-inflammatory that works as well as many anti-inflammatory drugs but without the side effects.

10. Has shown promise in slowing the progression of multiple sclerosis in mice.

11. Is a natural painkiller and cox-2 inhibitor.

12. May aid in fat metabolism and help in weight management.

13. Has long been used in Chinese medicine as a treatment for depression.

14. Because of its anti-inflammatory properties, it is a natural treatment for arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

15. Boosts the effects of chemo drug paclitaxel and reduces its side effects.

16. Promising studies are underway on the effects of turmeric on pancreatic cancer.

17. Studies are ongoing in the positive effects of turmeric on multiple myeloma.

18. Has been shown to stop the growth of new blood vessels in tumors.

19. Speeds up wound healing and assists in remodeling of damaged skin.

20. May help in the treatment of psoriasis and other inflammatory skin conditions.

Contraindications: Turmeric should not be used by people with gallstones or bile obstruction. Though turmeric is often used by pregnant women, it is important to consult with a doctor before doing so as turmeric can be a uterine stimulant.

Re:Flex and other Vollara products can be ordered direct at https://store.myvollara.com/%28raines%29/Site/ReFlex

 

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

 

 

Biblical Principles of Borrowing


Biblical Principles of Borrowing

1739 Edition of Poor Richard's Almanac

1739 Edition of Poor Richard’s Almanac (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Principles of borrowing appear in God’s Word, although it should be noted that principles differ from laws.

A principle is an instruction from the Lord to help guide our decisions. A law is an absolute. Negative consequences can result from ignoring a principle, but punishment is the likely consequence of ignoring a law of God.

An example that shows the difference between principle and law: the principle of borrowing given in Scripture is that it is better not to borrow if the loan must be taken with surety. “A man lacking in sense pledges and becomes guarantor in the presence of his neighbor” (Proverbs 17:18).

The law of borrowing given in Scripture is that it is a sin to borrow and not repay. “The wicked borrows and does not pay back, but the righteous is gracious and gives” (Psalm 37:21). The implication of this Scripture is that the wicked can repay but will not, as opposed to those who want to repay but cannot.

Principles are given to keep us clearly within God’s path so that we can experience His blessings. To ignore them puts us in a constant state of jeopardy in which Satan can cause us to stumble at any time.

Principle 1: Debt is not normal
Regardless of how it seems today, debt is not normal in any economy and should not be normal for God’s people.

We live in a debt-ridden society that is now virtually dependent on a constant expansion of credit to keep the economy going. That is a symptom of a society no longer willing to follow God’s directions. God told His people what He would do if they kept His statutes.

“Now it shall be, if you will diligently obey the Lord your God, being careful to do all His commandments which I command you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth….The Lord will open for you His good storehouse, the heavens, to give rain to your land in its season and to bless all the work of your hand; and you shall lend to many nations, but you shall not borrow”

(Deuteronomy 28:1, 12). Borrowing is never God’s best for His people.

Principle 2: Do not accumulate long-term debt
It’s hard to believe that a typical American family accepts a 30-year home mortgage as normal today or that it is now possible in some cases to borrow on a home for nearly 70 years.

The need to expand the borrowing base continually forces longer mortgage loans, because expansion through taking on debt causes prices to rise through inflation. As prices rise, mortgages lengthen.

Today it requires from 40 to 70 percent of the average American family’s total income to buy an average home, even with a 30-year mortgage.

The longest term of debt God’s people took on in the Bible was about seven years.

During the year of remission, the seventh year, the Jews were instructed to release their brothers from any indebtedness (see Deuteronomy 15:1-2). Thus, the only debts that could exceed seven years were those made to non-Jews or from non-Jews.

Principle 3: Avoid surety
Surety means accepting an obligation to pay without having a guaranteed way to make the payments.

The most recognizable form of surety is cosigning a loan for another person. But surety also can be any form of borrowing in which an unconditional guarantee to pay is committed.

The only way to avoid surety is to collateralize a loan with property that, if sold, would cover the indebtedness, no matter what.

Currently Americans charge in excess of $400 billion annually on their credit cards, of which $50 billion or more is for annual finances charges, and they carry an average monthly balance of between $3,000 and $5,800 at 12 to 21.5 percent interest.

These credit card purchases have become the most common form of surety in America today. In a credit card transaction, one merchant sells a consumer a product and another finances the purchase, unless the credit purchase is with an in-store credit card.

In the event of a default, the return of the merchandise to the original merchant does not cancel the debt because the finance company has no interest in the merchandise purchased.

Principle 4: The borrower has an absolute commitment to repay
In this generation, situational ethics is widely accepted—so much so that it’s easy to rationalize not paying a debt, especially when the product or service is defective or when family financial situations seem to be out of control.

Unfortunately, many borrowers discover that it is possible for them to accumulate far more debt than they can repay and still maintain the lifestyle they want. As a result, they bail out.

Currently (2002 standards) over one million people a year now choose bankruptcy as a way to postpone or avoid repayment.

Nevertheless, in some cases voluntary bankruptcy is acceptable—but only in the context of trying to protect the creditors, never in the context of trying to avoid payment.

A Christian needs to accept that God allows no exceptions to keeping vows. “It is better that you should not vow than that you should vow and not pay” (Ecclesiastes 5:5).

Conclusion
Benjamin Franklin’s Poor Richard’s Almanac quotes, “Neither a borrower nor a lender be.” Although it is good common sense, it is not from God’s Word.

However, many Christians feel that all borrowing is prohibited according to Romans 13:8, “Owe nothing to anyone except to love one another; for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law.”

To properly interpret this Scripture, it must be considered in light of the context in which it appears. In this particular reference, Paul was not talking specifically about money—teaching that we are never to allow people to do things for us if we are not willing to do even more for them.

Scripture very clearly says that neither borrowing nor lending is prohibited, but firm guidelines are given.

Borrowing is discouraged and, in fact, every biblical reference to it is a negative one. “The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower becomes the lender’s slave” (Proverbs 22:7). The scriptural guideline for borrowing is very clear. When you borrow, you promise to repay. Literally, borrowing is making a vow and God requires that we keep our vows.

by Crown Financial Ministries

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Brian Raines is a former Senior Financial Advisor for an international firm, and is now an associate with Crown Financial Ministries.  If you are interested in utilizing Crown resources in your church, school, or business, please contact Brian at brianraines@bellsouth.net

All Water is the Same, Right?


Everyone is concerned with their health and drinking more water, but how do icebergyou decide which water to drink? Today, we are going to look further at the various types of water that are available.

Reverse Osmosis

Reverse osmosis, or RO, water is water that has been purified using reverse osmosis techniques. Osmosis is something that occurs naturally, it’s when a solvent (something that is dissolved in a solution) passes through a semi-permeable membrane from an area where there is a lot of it, to an area that does not have a lot of that solvent.

In reverse osmosis, this process is basically, well, reversed. A reverse osmosis machine uses a semi-permeable membrane as a filter and it also uses a lot of pressure, more pressure than the normal process of osmosis creates. The product, RO water, is free of any impurities that might have been present before it went through the machine.

People use these machines to make sea water safe to drink, by removing all the salt. They also use them to purify water that is going to be used in very sensitive environments, such as coral tanks or other marine tanks.

Alkaline Ionized Water

What is Alkaline Ionized Water? Alkaline water is water with a pH of more than 7.0, normally between 8.5 to 9.5 pH for drinking. Some people buy alkaline water or an alkaline water machine because they believe drinking alkaline water has health benefits.

Ionized water (also referred to as electrolyzed water) is water that has been exposed to an electric current which separates the charged particles. During ionization, positively-charged ions are drawn to the negative electrode. Negatively-charged ions are drawn to the positive electrode. Ions with a positive charge like calcium, magnesium, sodium, and potassium raise the pH and produce alkaline water. Negative ions including phosphorous, chlorine, and sulfur lower the pH and produce acidic water.

Bottled Water

Bottled water is another choice for hydration and refreshment because of its consistent safety, quality, good taste and convenience.  The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) fully regulates bottled water as a packaged food product and requires bottled water to adhere to FDA’s extensive food safety, labeling and inspection requirements.

Bottled water is also subject to state regulations and, at the industry level, members of the International Bottled Water Association (IBWA) are required to follow the IBWA Model Code.  Water is classified as “bottled water” or “drinking water” when it meets all applicable federal and state standards, is sealed in a sanitary container and is sold for human consumption.

By law, FDA standards for bottled water must be at least as stringent and protective of public health as standards set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for public water systems.  Some beverages containing certain ingredients or additives may cause that product to be classified as a soft drink, dietary supplement or some other categorization.

Soda water, seltzer water and tonic water are not considered bottled waters. They are regulated differently, may contain sugar and calories and are classified as soft drinks.

Distilled Water

Natural water usually contains a number of microscopic contaminants, along with dissolved minerals, such as calcium and iron. One way to remove these elements from water is to boil it until it changes to steam, a process known as distillation. When this steam is allowed to cool down and condense into liquid form again, the result is a purified form called distilled water. This water should ideally be nothing but hydrogen and oxygen molecules, with a pH level of 7 and no additional gases, minerals, or contaminants.

The distilling process relies on the principle that most solid materials found in water are heavier than the water molecules themselves. When water is heated in a distiller, any dissolved solids, such as salt, bacteria, calcium, or iron, remain solid while the pure water converts to a much lighter steam and is drawn out for condensation. Distilled water has a noticeably bland taste because all of the minerals that give water its flavor have been removed.

Distilled water is safe to drink, but it is used more often for research purposes where water purity is essential or industrial uses where mineral deposits can cause damage over time. It may also be used in steam irons to prevent calcium build-up, but this requirement has generally been relaxed in recent years. Certain baby formulas may use this type of water as a mixing liquid as well. Pediatric bottled water formulated with additional electrolytes may use it as a base.

Deionized Water

Deionized Water has had ionized impurities and minerals removed from it but not bacteria or pathogens.

Tap Water

Tap water is municipal water that comes out of the faucets and has been treated, processed and disinfected. It is purified with chlorine and generally has added fluoride. But one of the byproducts from using chlorine in our drinking water is linked to cancer.

Water: it makes up almost 75% of your body and is absolutely necessary for life. You probably know you should drink 8 to 10 glasses of this life-giving liquid per day, but have you given serious thought to the quality of your water?

Water is one of the most important parts of a healthy lifestyle, so make sure that you are choosing the best possible water, avoiding dangerous plastics, and getting enough vital minerals. With 8 to 10 glasses a day of pure water, you’ll have energy and vitality like never before.

Watch our video on Living Water here or visit us online

 

 

Fearing the Future


Fearing the Future
Crown_Logo

So, what’s in your future? No, this has nothing to do with horoscopes, but many Christians make financial decisions based on fear of the future, instead of trust that God will provide for them.

Fear of the future can cause families to forfeit the blessings of God, because they base decisions on the latest headline or stock market report. Too often, Christians give little thought to God’s ability to take care of them.

This doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t plan ahead to ensure financial stability for our families; however, when Christians find that attitudes of fear and worry are motivating financial decisions, they need to reevaluate their financial priorities, and recommit to trust in the Lord.

WITHHOLDING FROM GOD

Often, Christian families that are motivated by fear of the financial future will cut back on their tithes and offerings. Mistakenly, they see this as a first step in an attempt at financial stability.

Recent events such as U.S. relations with North Korea, war in Iraq, turmoil in the Middle East, gasoline prices, rising trade deficits, major layoffs, threat of terrorism, and an unstable economy, have caused many Americans to be concerned about the future.

The U.S. economic slowdown has the financial well-being of many Americans hanging in the balance. They worry about not having enough money to pay normal monthly bills, and the rash of recent mortgage defaults has devastated many families. Many Americans live so close to the edge financially that a prolonged economic downturn could put them in serious financial straits.

Despite all this, and even though many are very concerned about the financial future, consumer spending has not dropped proportionately. Actually, there has been very little change in the percentage of their income that Americans spend.

Still, there has been a shift in how the funds are spent. Less money is being saved and contributed to churches and charitable organizations, while more is being spent on credit card interest, recreation, alcohol, gambling (primarily through state lotteries) and pets.

This gives us good reason to pause and review what Jesus said: “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also…. No one can be a slave of two masters, since either he will hate one and love the other, or be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot be slaves of God and of money” (Matthew 6:21, 24).

The Bible says we are to honor God with the tithe — the first-fruits of our income. Keeping our financial vows to God is the way to ensure that we will not become victimized by a financial downturn.

Withholding your financial commitments to the Lord so that you can buffer yourself against potential future financial hardships will end up costing your financial security rather than guarding it, simply because God’s blessings will not be on such a self-imposed buffer.

FAITH CONQUERS FEAR

Hebrews 11:1 describes faith as something we hope for that we do not presently have. God’s plan seems to be that we have some needs so that we can develop our faith in Him. It is vital for us to view potential future financial needs as opportunities to exercise and develop our faith.

No Christian can truly serve God and live in fear of financial loss. Jesus makes it very clear in the passage from Matthew 6, that we must make a choice — either serve God or money, we cannot serve both. Fear of our financial future exhibits a lack of trust in God and in His provision. In other words, when we fear the future, we choose to serve the fear of financial loss, rather than to trust and serve God, Who has conquered all fear and holds the future in His hands.

WHOM WILL YOU TRUST?

We live in a materialistic society and generally base our priorities on desires and wants, rather than on needs. The perspective of what is actually a need is often clouded by what our materialistic society says we need.

Although God has promised that He will always supply our needs, He has not promised that He will supply all of the wants that society calls our needs. Even though we sincerely ask God to honor our request to supply the money to repair our microwave, automatic dishwasher or second car, His answer may very well be “no.”

You see, we may be asking with the wrong motives (James 4:3). It may not be the right time, according to God’s will and purpose (2 Corinthians 12:1-10). Or, it may be contrary to His overall plan (Acts 21:13-14). After all, we are to serve God, not expect Him to serve us (Job 41:11).

It’s a matter of “who’re you gonna trust?”

TRUST GOD

There are some important steps we must follow that will help us trust God completely with the present and the future.

— Find God’s direction for your life. Most frustrations that Christians experience are the result of trying to model their lives after someone else’s life. Instead, through prayer and study, find God’s will for you.

— Make a conscious effort to trust God. Put thoughts, words and commitments into action and trust God. Don’t buy on credit. Plan ahead and wait for God to supply your needs.

— Develop a long-range perspective. Trust God’s directives and His guidance (Matthew 6:34).

— Pray diligently. Prayer is the key that unlocks God’s blessings, power and direction (1 Thessalonians 5:17-18).

Although we are bombarded daily with events that can cause doubt concerning our financial future, we must never doubt that God is in complete control. Refuse to panic, and do not be governed by fear of the future. Keep your commitments and vows to God, pray without ceasing and trust your future to Him without reservation.

This article appeared on the Baptist Press Web site on October 24, 2007.

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Brian Raines is an associate with Crown Financial Ministries.  If you would like to have a Crown Financial event in your church, school, or business, or if you would like to purchase Crown materials, you may contact Brian at brianraines@bellsouth.net