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Seven Steps to Effective Planning
Proverbs 21:5 NKJV tells us, "The plans of the diligent lead surely to plenty." It's good to be a diligent worker, but that is not enough. You must also be a good planner.

As the saying goes, "If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail." Check out these steps to becoming a good planner:
  1. Keep a personal calendar, writing down plans, goals, and deadlines regularly.
  2. As you make your plans, remain flexible to allow the Lord to give you counsel, making adjustments along the way (Prov. 19:21).
  3. As you plan, seek counsel from those around you whom you know well and trust (Prov. 15:22).
  4. Plans without deadlines are just dreams. Give yourself realistic dates to accomplish each stage of your plan.
  5. Write your plan down in a personal journal, referring back to it regularly for inspiration and focus (Hab. 2:2).
  6. Don't try to do it alone. Recruit the help and support you need to pull the plan off.
  7. Never, ever give up. Persistence is the greatest quality of successful people.
Ten Key Questions for Spending Wisely
The Bible promises that if we honor God with our possessions and first fruits (the tithe), our barns will be filled with plenty (Prov. 3:9-10). In the Old Testament, the barn is a storehouse of savings.

If you are going to save effectively, you must spend wisely. Remember, it's not how much you make that counts but how much you have left over when it's all said and done.

So here are eight questions to consider before buying something.
  • Do I really need it?
  • Is the price right?
  • Is it the right time to buy?
  • Is there a substitute for this?
  • Is there any major disadvantage in this purchase?
  • Have I researched the item carefully?
  • Will its value increase/decrease dramatically?
  • Does it compliment my Christian testimony?
Six Attributes of Real Love
You can't buy love, and you can't replace love with money. What many people call love is really "lust."

Read First Corinthians 13 to discover the true definition of love. Here is a quick summary of six attributes of real love.
  1. Love gives with no strings attached. Some people give nice gifts but attach strings. Real love gives expecting nothing in return.
  2. Love looks for what it can give rather than what it can get. This perspective would change 99 percent of American relationships. Do you see people as opportunities to gain something for yourself or as an opportunity to give?
  3. Love is quick to forgive. It doesn't keep a running tab of past offenses. Freely God has forgiven us; freely we should forgive others (Matt. 10:8).
  4. Love is patient. This is tough in today's "must-have-it-now," drive-up-window society. But love is patient with others because God is patient with us.
  5. Love has a humble heart and attitude. Real love knows that anything good we have is because of God's goodness in our lives. We can't take the credit. It all belongs to God.
  6. Love is respectful and courteous of others. Guys, this sounds like being a gentleman; and girls—before you "amen"—this sounds like being a lady, as well.

Source: Every Teenager's Little Black Book On Cash
by Blaine Bartel.
Excerpt permission granted by Harrison House Publishers

Author Biography

Blaine Bartel
Web site: Blaine Bartel
Blaine is a modern-day Lazarus. Jesus resurrected him out of 23 years of sexual addiction and the death of everything he held dear. Today he coaches men out of sexual brokenness and into the Jesus life. Blaine and his wife Lori reside in Tulsa, Oklahoma. They love going on long walks from the kitchen to the living room and have a weakness for reality shows. Along with his speaking and coaching, Blaine is a writer and has recently shared his resurrection story in his latest book, "Death by a Thousand Lies." For the inquiring mind, a complete history is below.

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