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Stewardship: Your Time, Talent, and Treasure

MoneyWise / Rob West and Steve Moore
The Truth Network Radio
September 24, 2020 8:03 am

Stewardship: Your Time, Talent, and Treasure

MoneyWise / Rob West and Steve Moore

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September 24, 2020 8:03 am

Stewardship is one of the most overlooked themes in the Bible.  But when we practice good stewardship, that’s when we find joy by aligning our will with God’s. On the next MoneyWise Live, hosts Rob West and Steve Moore talk with Ken Boa about using God’s resources effectively. We’ll consider how to manage our time, talent and treasure on the next MoneyWise Live at 4pm Eastern/3pm Central on Moody Radio.

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If Christians were asked to name the things the Bible tells them to practice in this life, well, they'd list things like worship, love, and obedience. Now, all those things are important, but what about stewardship? It's one of the most overlooked themes in God's Word, but stewardship is where we find joy by aligning our will with God's. Today, host Rob West talks with Ken Boa about using God's resources effectively. Then it's your calls at 800-525-7000. 800-525-7000. I'm Rich Rozzell.

Stewardship, your time, talent, and treasure. That's next on MoneyWise Live. Our guest today, Ken Boa, is a much sought after speaker and author and the founder of Reflections Ministries, and we've been looking forward to this for some time now.

Well, we sure have. He's also a great friend. Ken, welcome to MoneyWise. Glad to be with you. Thank you.

Well, we're delighted to have you. Reflections Ministries is all about helping God's people know Christ more intimately, but stewardship, Ken, as you know, is seldom cited as an effective way to do that, and that's what we're going to be talking about today. Let's start with why you think perhaps that needs to change. Stewardship is a fundamental motif, a theme that goes throughout the entirety of the biblical narrative from the Old Testament to the New Testament, because it tells us in Scripture that God owns everything, and that thus as a consequence, we are responsible managers of his resources, so that we are allowing ourselves then to be under his dominion to realize that he owns all things, including my time. He controls all things, and therefore he is the one who is the blessed sovereign, and my task then is to know that I'm an accountable person before God. So in all areas of my life then, I'm called to be accountable to the glory of God, because that's what this life is. It's a stewardship, but I also see it as a shepherding dynamic, as well as a servant, because when we talk about leadership, we're called to be stewards. That's our perspective. When we're called to be leaders, we're also shepherds, and these are the people that God entrusts in our lives, and when we're called to be leaders, we're called to be servants, and that's our practice, and so I think stewardship really entails so many components.

Well I love that, Ken, and you're exactly right. You know, so often we hear the word stewardship, and we immediately go to a giving campaign, or the fact that we're to be regular givers, and that's of course true. We see that throughout the Old and New Testament, that we're to be generous and a reflection of the ultimate giver, God himself, but this idea that you just articulated about stewardship being so central to the Christian life and really looking at it completely differently than perhaps the way we have come to is really a big idea. I'd love for you to just give us that fuller context of the biblical view of stewardship.

Yes, because generally when we speak about stewardship, we hear the three T's, time, talent, and treasure, and that's the end of it, but it's more robust than that in Scripture. Yes, God is the one who gives us our time. Everything is at his disposal. He is the one who gives. We are the ones who receive, so our time is in his hands as well as our talent. How do we use the abilities he's entrusted us with? And then our treasure. He also determines our wealth. At the end of the day, he gives us the power to make wealth, and so when we recognize these things, that's very inclusive, but not quite enough. It's even more robust because the biblical vision includes as well truth, that truth is a stewardship, and to whom much has been given, much will be required. And then fifth, the whole realm of relationships, people.

I know I've had a lot of people try to give me five T's and try to shoehorn a fifth T with a team or teamwork or something, but I'll just call it relationships. Here's the point, that the fundamental task in this life is the wisdom of transmuting the lead of the temporal into the gold of the eternal. How do we do that? Here's how we do it. Because the two things in this world that are going to endure forever are God's word and people.

That's truth and relationships. And so that is a fundamental motif of stewardship, and if we are wise then, we will then take that which we've been given, and we will take the time, we'll take the talent, and we'll take the treasure that we've been given, and those are all passing away. And we'll leverage them into that which is going to endure forever. So we're going to use our time, our talent, our treasure to build God's word, God's truth into God's people. I love that. We want to trade the lead of the temporal for the gold of the eternal. Ken, we're going to unpack this much more right around the corner.

That's right. Author and speaker Ken Boa is with us today. He's also the founder of Reflections Ministries, and coming up later in the program, we will be taking your calls at 800-525-7000.

Back with more conversation with Ken Boa right after this. Never Enough, three keys to financial contentment. Available when you click the store button at MoneyWiseLive.org. When it comes to investing guidance, you want advice grounded in God's word. That's the approach offered by Sound Mind Investing. SMI has helped tens of thousands of Christians acquire investing wisdom and confidence. Regardless of your investing experience or how much you have to invest, you can learn to be a wise and faithful steward in the area of investing.

A short video webinar on profit and peace of mind is available now at SoundMindInvesting.org. You probably haven't been to a junkyard lately, have you? A junkyard isn't scrap engines and transmissions and tires like you might think.

It's really potential, waiting for the right opportunity. It's a headlight or a carburetor that could replace a broken one. You know, it's the same with people. Problems, stresses, and situations break us down, add extra mileage and wear us out. God is there, however, to salvage us, recycle us, and give us new life. God's repair manual says we need to believe that Jesus died on the cross for us. He crushed death to take away the penalty of our sin and give us new life. Life with Jesus is fresh and positive because the broken has been replaced by the new.

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That's Christian credit counselors.org or call 800-557-1985. So glad to have you with us today on MoneyWise Live. I'm Rich Rozzle sitting in for Steve Moore. Rob West is our host, of course, and our special guest today, Dr. Ken Boa. It's good that he's here because we are looking for someone who can help us unpack stewardship. What is stewardship and how do we go about being good stewards of our time, our talent, and our resources?

Rob? Well, that's exactly right, and Dr. Boa is the man to do that for us today. In fact, we like to call him Dr. Dr. Boa because he's got a doctorate from University of Oxford as well as New York University, not to mention that Masters of Theology from DTS. Dr. Boa, you were just explaining really a biblical viewpoint of stewardship before the break, and some may be surprised by what the biblical responsibility is of a steward. Explain that for us. Yes, I believe that we are told in Scripture that we are prudent managers of God's resources when we understand and treat the temporal as such and the eternal as such. The wisest thing we can do is to treat things according to their true value. And most people, I fear, are living as if the temporal is going to go on forever, as if the eternal was just something that a pie-in-the-sky fantasy. The reality is we are called to treat the temporal each day as if it's the only day I've got left, so that if we're wise, we will live this day in light of that day and only have two days on our calendar, today and that day.

And this is why the concept that came up earlier in our discussion about leveraging the temporal and the lead of the temporal, that which is passing away and transmuting that into the gold of that which is going to endure forever. And that is called wisdom. And this reminds me as well of Jesus' story, as you know, in Luke chapter 16, the famous parable of the unrighteous steward, which is, I fear, so often overlooked or misunderstood because Jesus summarizes this and he praises him because he is an illustration of how he lives consistently according to his worldview. And he says, if you're prudent, then you will also do the same thing. Because the concept is, he says, make friends for yourselves by means of the wealth of unrighteousness so that when it fails, and we know it's going to fail, our time, our talent and our treasure, all these will be gone, but they will receive you into the eternal dwellings. And he's telling us then that it's going to be eternal people and eternal truth that will meld together. If you are wise, then you're going to take that which is passing away, this little bit of time that you've been allotted in this planet, in this soul forming world, this amount of talent that you've been given, and this treasure that's all mine.

I gave you the power to make that wealth. And if you are wise, you're going to transmute those things that are dying, that you're going to give away. Don't define yourself by that which is passing away, but rather have an aspiration for that which is going to endure the gold of eternity. And if you're prudent and wise, then you will leverage those things that are passing away. You're going to invest your time, your talent, your treasure, and you're going to invest that into people. And by building God's truth into people, the two things in this planet that are going to go on forever, that's called wise living. So they will receive you into the eternal dwellings.

I love that. Dr. Bowell, you talked about how we get so fixated on the temporal and yet the eternal is the far better reward and aspiration. Talk about your rhythms personally. How do you really guard your own life and heart against becoming too fixated on the things of this world?

Yes, sir. That's a good, good, good question because you're really relating to the whole idea of spiritual formation. And at the end of the day, I alluded to this phrase, a soul-forming world. You and I are eternal beings who have a temporary sojourn in this soul-forming world. Our spirits are already with Christ in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, Colossians three, for example, but our souls and our bodies are immersed in this transitory arena. And it's so that we can be shaped even by sufferings. One of the books that I've written on this topic, Shaped by Suffering, how temporary hardships are preparing us for eternal citizenship in heaven. But another answer to that book is the whole idea of practicing his presence and training ourselves and habituating ourselves to realize that everything matters, that every act, every conversation, every bit of beauty and goodness and truth, everything we're exposed to and encountered by, that whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God, the father, that we are to abide in Christ, we're to walk by the spirit, we're to set our minds in the things above, we're to rejoice always, we're to pray without ceasing and everything give thanks.

These are all clear calls to ongoing practice. You don't just love God in the morning and maybe a little bit before you go to bed tonight. You don't just love your neighbor in the afternoon. This is an ongoing reality of practicing his presence, which I fear has been largely overlooked in the church. Yes. Yeah.

I would agree with you. Dr. Bo, when it comes to this idea of stewardship, one of the things you've taught me over the years that I've never forgotten is this big idea that it's about faithfulness to opportunity. Talk about that word faithfulness and how it connects to this idea of stewardship.

Yes. It is required of a steward that he be counted faithful. We must all give an account for ourselves at the judgment seat of Christ. And this is a powerful image that Paul really used to motivate him. He says at the end of the day, then each of us is going to be building either using gold, silver, and precious things, or also wood, hay, stubble, or straw.

So that at the end of the day, then it's all going to be burned up at the judgment seat of Christ. And Paul lived in light of that day. He says, therefore, knowing the fear of the Lord, I persuade men, because fear is the other side of love.

What you love defines what you fear, because if you love him most, then you fear the divine displeasure and your fear, not hearing, well done, good and faithful servant, enter into the joy of your master. So we're called, I believe then, to have this holy aspiration to transmute everything, to turn everything that we have, every conversation we have, every act we have into the glory of God and to practice his presence by serving other people and embedding our lives in the lives of other people by living the life of Christ before them, by allowing him to live his life in us and through us. And in that way, we begin to become agents of change and transformation.

Yeah, that's beautiful. We've got to have you back to continue to unpack this, Dr. Boal. We just have about a minute remaining. I want you to finish by addressing what you say as one of the great obstacles to obedient stewardship, and that is the fear that God won't live up to his end of the bargain. Address that for us. Yes, I believe this is an insightful question, because there are two things we must, in fact, embrace and believe in order to obey God, in order to trust him enough to obey him. Number one, that he's in control and we're not. And number two, that he has our best interests at heart, and we don't even know what they look like.

We suppose we know what our best interests look like, but actually, we can only judge according to appearances. God sees the consequences, so he says, trust me. And have you ever regretted an act of obedience in your life? And you know the answer. And have you ever come to regret acts of disobedience every time? It's a no brainer.

And yet this day, we suppose we have a better idea than God what our best interests look like. I love it. Dr. Boal, you've just scratched the surface, but you've fundamentally changed the way we should look at stewardship. So thankful for you, my friend. Appreciate you being along with us today. It was a joy and a privilege to be with you this day. And you can find out more about Ken Boa and his work with Reflections Ministries at kenboa.org.

And Boa is spelled B-O-A, kenboa.org. We'll be back with your questions at 800-525-7000. Again, 800-525-7000. Or, of course, you can email questions at moneywise.org. And this is MoneyWise Live. Do you know if you have enough? Enough money? Enough house?

Do you know how much is enough? If not, Ron Blue can help with his book, Master Your Money, a step-by-step plan for experiencing financial contentment. Learn how to save, invest, and give wisely, how to create a long-term financial plan, and how to get out of debt.

You'll find it all in Master Your Money by Ron Blue, available when you click the Store button at moneywiselive.org. Hebrews 4-12 says, For the word of God is quick and powerful and sharper than any two-edged sword. Here's Beth Moore with a quick word. So here we have the word here that's coming from, many are invited, but few are chosen. That word chosen right there, very important. Chosen is the verb form of the noun used in Romans 9-11, translated election. When it says to show his purposes in election, this is the same word, only it is used here in the verb form.

We might say it this way. For many are called, if we were to use the other word in Romans 9 in its translation, many are called, but few are elected. I ask you, who are the elect? In the parable of the wedding banquet, who are the elect? The ones who came, the ones who received the invitation.

Now, here's what I want, this is a very interesting part of it. Of course, the king sees a guest that's not wearing the wedding clothes and he says, how did you get in here like that? Well, the guy's speechless because he doesn't have an excuse for it and he throws him out. All right, this is where Romans 9 election is all over this passage, all over it. That's why I'm saying, which is right? Both are right. Both are right.

Our limited, our finite minds cannot wrap themselves around the concept, but somehow both are entirely right in the infinite wisdom and sovereignty of God. You've been listening to Beth Moore with a quick word for today. The study of Galatians is now available as an online experience. Sign up today at Bethmoor.org or join Beth in January, 2021 for the release of the printed workbook edition.

Glad you could join us for a quick word with Beth Moore. The financial wealth you leave behind could be the best thing that ever happened to your loved ones or the worst. In Splitting Heirs, giving your money and things to your children without ruining their lives, Ron Blue explains why it's important to make these decisions now instead of forcing your heirs to do it later. Splitting Heirs will foster a real appreciation for the precious resources that God has entrusted to you. And it's available when you click the store button at MoneyWiseLive.org. So grateful for our guest, Ken Boa, who joined us for the first two segments on today's program. It is our goal here on MoneyWise Live not only to help you be a godly steward, a godly manager of your money as well as your time and talents, but also to use your resources and give of yourself with the right attitude. Proverbs 16 2 reminds us, all the ways of a man are clean in his own sight, but the Lord weighs his motives. So we want you to be good stewards and cheerful, grateful stewards.

But again, it's the cheerful grateful that's got to be a part of the mix too. If we can help you do that, please give us a call today, 1-800-525-7000. And Rob, I guess we'll begin at, well, at the top of the list here.

We'll go to Crown Point, Indiana. Irene, welcome to MoneyWise Live. I understand you ran into a potential Amazon scam. Yes, sir. I'm pretty sure I have.

I have been listening to your program for a very long time. And if I'm not mistaken, you were talking about this and this is why the red flag went out. So long story short, I made a couple of purchases on Amazon and the return date has expired. And so I thought, I'm just wondering if someone can help me to return my items. So I called, I Googled the number and the representative said he confirmed some information. He had all the information there, like the purchases, how much the purchases were, the fore-ending numbers of my credit cards. So I didn't think anything of it.

I thought, how awesome is this? They're going to, you know, I was not expecting a refund. I just wanted to know if I could still return them, which he, you know, implied that he's not only, they will not accept because of COVID returns.

However, they can refund my purchase if I do this and this. And so he stayed on the phone with me for a good half hour at least. He told me, he sent me a couple of links on my phone, which I, against my better judgment, I clicked on because he said that he needed to verify something. And then he tells me that I need to go to a local store such as Walgreens or Kohl's and purchase a gift card. And there went the red flag, but so I'm like, uh, why, why do I need to do that? And then, um, so I did, he, he explained and I went to the store and then he says, okay, so I need to purchase a gift card of $200. And I'm like, Oh no, no, no.

I heard about this on the radio. This is a scam. And he got kind of upset. Um, I tried calling my husband and you know, to see if, you know, just, I don't know, maybe Amazon did change, um, because of COVID recently.

I wasn't sure. And so, um, I got scammed, right? Well, you know, there's so many pieces to this story and several of them don't make sense, uh, including the gift card. You know, if you go to amazon.com slash gift card scams, you'll read right there on their website about the gift card scams that, uh, are the most common. And basically they'll tell you right there, no legitimate sale or transaction will require you to pay, uh, specifically with gift cards. And they don't want you to provide gift card details to anyone you don't know or trust. I think the other piece is that the fact that you Googled customer service as opposed to getting the contact number direct from the Amazon website. So I would always go direct to amazon.com and then click on the help button or click on this customer service button and get the phone number there.

That's always going to be the best option. If you Google it, you may be getting a fraudulent website that's pushing you to call a number that is in fact someone other than Amazon. But the fact that a gift card was even referenced as a part of what you're trying to do, uh, causes me to believe that this was in fact fraudulent. So I think the key for you right now is recognize number one, Amazon will make accommodations from time to time.

And so even if you're beyond your window, it's worth asking. But always make sure that you're getting the phone number directly from their website. If you hear somebody asking for personal financial information, account numbers, credit card numbers, things like that over the phone, that should be an immediate red flag.

If there's a gift card involved, that should be as well. And, um, and I would, uh, at this point, uh, monitor your credit reports. I would monitor your financial accounts moving forward.

You may want to put a Fred credit freeze with the three bureaus. And I would go ahead and call Amazon, but again, using the number that you find directly on their website. So no way to tell exactly what went on there, Irene, but there's enough that resembles and, uh, has, uh, connections back to known scams resolved, uh, revolving around Amazon that I would be suspicious for sure. Irene, I'm curious about one thing. You, you didn't let this piece of information out in your description. Did you actually end up buying the gift card and providing that or the numbers on it to this scammer?

Absolutely not, sir. I, okay. So when he told me that I need to go to the store, he did not give me all the information. He said he will let me know the rest as soon as I get there. And so he was on the phone with me the entire time I got dressed. I went to the store. Um, I actually went to two stores because the closest store to me was, uh, another store that did not have the gift cards that he was asking for. So I said, okay, I'll go across the street to Walgreens. As soon as he told me that last detail, I was like, oh no, no, no, we're not doing this cause this sounds like a scam.

I heard about this on the radio and then he got kind of upset. So he's, you know, he's like, I've been on the phone for almost an hour and now you think I'm a scammer and I'm like, yes, this is not this, this, no, this is not right. And he's like, well, if you, if you feel threatened, just hang up. And I said, okay, well thanks for your time. I hung up, I called my bank wrong way. I called my bank and had my, um, my car canceled right away. Excellent. Well, you did the right thing.

And the, the, the word is a scammer tried to scam you, but you didn't fall for it. So that's the great news. We so appreciate your calling and letting us know about this as well. We talked about this on the program yesterday.

It's happening more and more often. You're listening to Money Wise Live. Your host is Rob West. I'm Rich Roslin for Steve Moore and we've got phone lines open for your calls and questions at 800-525-7000. 800-525-7000. Or send us an email to questions at moneywise.org.

Back in a moment. How should we as Christians think about investing? What if we could invest our money in a way that aligns with what we believe? At Eventide, we believe it is possible to love God and love our neighbor in the very practice of investing. We design investments for performance and a better world so you can invest for the future with a sense of wholeness and purpose. We call this investing that makes the world rejoice.

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Interested? Learn more by calling 800-791-6225 or online at chministries.org. Hi, my name is William, a communications major at Moody Bible Institute. The Moody Radio Verse of the Week is found in Proverbs 10, 4 through 5. A slack hand causes poverty, but the hand of the diligent makes rich. He who gathers in summer is a prudent son, but he who sleeps in harvest is a son who brings shame. That's Proverbs 10, 4 through 5, the Moody Radio Verse of the Week.

You may know that you're loved by family, friends, by God, but do you really feel it? Dr. Gary Chapman and York Moore have teamed up to write Seen, Known, Loved, Five Truths About God in Your Love Language. In it, you'll learn how to know your own love language and how God uses it to communicate with you personally. Learn how God is intimately involved in your life in beautiful and unexpected ways.

Purchase your copy of Seen, Known, Loved at moodypublishers.com. God cares a great deal more about our money than most of us imagine. In fact, Jesus says more about our use of money and possessions than about anything else, including both heaven and hell. In Managing God's Money, author Randy Alcorn breaks it all down in a simple, easy-to-follow format that makes it the perfect reference tool if you're interested in gaining a solid biblical understanding of money, possessions, and eternity.

Managing God's Money is available when you click the store button at moneywiselive.org. With SRN News, I'm John Scott. Authorities are pleading for calm in Louisville, Kentucky. A new round of demonstrations in U.S. cities was set off by outrage over a grand jury's failure to bring homicide charges against the officers who announced themselves and then entered Breonna Taylor's apartment six months ago.

The state attorney general said the investigation showed officers were acting in self-defense when they responded to gunfire from Taylor's boyfriend. Public support for protests against police brutality has fallen among Americans, according to a new poll from the Associated Press, NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. Forty-four percent disapprove of the protest, while thirty-nine percent approve. In June, fifty-four percent approved of the protest.

Stocks closing slightly higher, Fidel gained fifty-two points today, the Nasdaq ahead thirty-nine, and the S&P 500 up nine. This is SRN News. Welcome to MoneyWise Live, so glad to have you with us today. I'm Rich Rozzle, sitting in Steve Moore's chair, trying to keep the chair warm, water the plants, do whatever else I need to do here. Meanwhile, our host, the guy who actually knows stuff, Rob West, is here taking your calls at 800-525-7000, so if you've got a question, we've got some open phone lines, and Rob, we're gonna head to Buffalo, New York now. Sue is calling and I believe has some questions about getting some debt paid off. Sue, welcome to the program. Hi Rich and Rob, nice to be on air with you.

Well, nice to have you. What's going on? Well, in this pandemic-ish situation, I've had the opportunity to stay home and got unemployment and put aside some money, and I've paid, started paying off, paying down my debt. So I paid off my little stuff first, but I have a credit card that is delinquent, it's in collections, about $4,200, and I received a letter and so I called and I said, well, what kind of a settlement would you accept on this? I said I have about $2,000 to put towards it.

So they gladly said, well, let us check with your lender, and they did, and they came back and they said that the lender would only accept $2,900 as a settlement because I'm not showing that I'm in a hardship because I have no other debt at this point, and they'll only accept the $2,900. Yeah. So my question is, do I pay it off because I do have the money right now and it's not, I mean, I would have enough left over for, you know, enough, or do I wait and see if they'll come down on the settlement?

Yeah. You know, Sue, I would actually not, if you have the ability to pay it, I would do that. You know, Proverbs 3.27 tells us, don't withhold good from those to whom it is due when it is in your power to do it. And I think the big idea there, the spirit of what we're reading there, is if you're able to pay the settlement amount offered, and you believe you have a legitimate hardship, which resulted in them being willing to take a lower payoff, then I think you should pay it. And, you know, it doesn't mean we can't negotiate in certain situations, but I think in this situation, because you made a commitment to pay it, you charged it, now you find yourself in a situation where you're out of work, you've offered to pay a lump sum, they've agreed to it, and I think you proceed. But I think the extent to which we try to push that number down even lower when you have the ability to pay it, I just wouldn't have some concern or caution about that as you move forward. And I think the big idea here is that, you know, as we're able to work, certainly it's great to claim unemployment if you're in a need situation there.

But I think moving forward, you know, I would be really out pursuing what God has for you next, recognizing that, to the extent you have the ability, God calls us to be workers and to be productive and to take the skills and gifts and abilities we have and put those to work so we can generate an income to provide for ourselves and our families to be able to be generous and really take care of the needs that we have. But related to the settlement, again, I think if you have the ability to do it, I would proceed. You also need to recognize, though, Sue, that any kind of settlement will generate a taxable event. If a debt is canceled, forgiven or discharged, the IRS will allow that amount to be added to your gross income.

It will be taxable. So I don't want you to get caught off guard on that unless there's some exclusion or exception there. So appreciate your call today. I think I would proceed if I were you and let us know when you find work and we'll celebrate with you on that. Sue, we really appreciate your call today and do wish you well with that. Thank you so much. 1-800-525-7000 is our phone number. Fred is on the line with us now, joining us from Florida. And Fred, welcome to MoneyWise Live. What's going on?

Thank you very much. Hi, folks. I'm actually calling because I'm curious. I'm wondering if I should refinance and my current state and of course, the current conditions of the market.

Yeah. Tell me about I'm sure you're talking about your home mortgage. So tell me about the home. What is it worth? What is your mortgage value today? I'd also love to know the interest rate and the remaining years on the term.

Sure. Yes, it is a mortgage for a home, a house. And okay, so I had a 30-year mortgage at 5%. It's about, what is it, 10 years?

2009, so about 11 years in. Outstanding principal is at 72,000. And yeah, so it's 5%. Outstanding mortgage is 72,000. Great. When do you think the home is worth, Fred? Well, currently in the area, homes have been over 200, probably in the 220 to maybe 260 range somewhere around there.

I think I fit right in dead center in the middle of that, if not closer to 250. Excellent. So it sounds like you got quite a bit of equity. How about your credit score? Is it pretty good? It's excellent. Okay, great. Yeah. So I think this is really a great situation for you to save a lot of money, assuming you're going to stay in this home, I would say for a minimum of five years.

And here's why. There's obviously going to be a cost to the refi, typically 1%. So it could be $700 to $1,000, could be as much as $1,500 if it was 2%.

But I think obviously there's going to be a cost here. The good news is I would look at a 20 year mortgage because we don't want to extend the term at the most, you certainly could even look at a 15 year, which would be even better. And you're going to be talking about a rate at this point, if you have good credit, probably around 2.7%, which would essentially almost cut that rate in half from what you have been paying. So as long as you have some time to recoup that interest savings and offset the cost of the refinance, meaning you're not going to be moving anytime soon as far as you know, then this is a classic example of where you can really put yourself in a strong position as long as you don't go back to another 30 year mortgage. You will want to factor that 20 or 15 year mortgage into your budget, make sure it fits well, but I assume it will because of the reduction in the interest rate. In terms of the lender, if you have somebody there locally you've worked with in the past or a local bank, certainly check with them. I'd also look at the online lenders starting with bankrate.com just to see what's out there and make sure you count the cost. You're going to want to compare those good faith estimates in terms of whether there's origination or any discount points one to another to make sure you are in fact getting the best deal. But this is a great example of where a refi in this low, low, historically low interest rate environment can really work to your advantage.

And Rob, I didn't catch whether you said this or not. I think one other factor is how long do you think you'll stay in the house. Right, we talked about five years minimum. Yeah, yeah. Right, right. Very good. Fred, we appreciate that. I hope you took notes because Rob gave you a whole lot of information there. I will mention you or anyone, if you'd like to re-listen to one of our programs, we post them all on our website moneywiselive.org.

So if you go back and check out everything that Rob just said, you can certainly get it that way. By the way, Rob, we opened the program today talking with our guest, Ken Boa, about biblical stewardship, not only of our money but our time and our other resources, our talents and skills. Our Facebook question of the day today is, what does stewardship mean to you? We've gotten a few answers there. Brenda writes, being responsible with all God has provided, not just financially but my time, my body, health. That's something we often forget about is staying healthy because your body is God's.

Anything God has given for my use, home, car, etc. So sounds like she may have been listening. She got the attitude thing right and is recognizing that everything is God's, and we certainly hope that you all will recognize that as well. If you're listening to MoneyWise Live, we'll be back with more calls in just a moment, and incidentally, if you'd like to join the Facebook community, you can do so. Go to Facebook and look for us. We are at MoneyWise Media.

Back with more after this. Buying a home is the largest, most nerve-wracking purchase most of us ever make. It doesn't help that you're entering a maze of unfamiliar words and confusing options that can leave you intimidated, frustrated, and afraid you've been taken advantage of. Navigating the Mortgage Maze by Dale Vermillion helps you clear up the confusion, unrack your nerves, and make the best mortgage decisions possible with confidence. Navigating the Mortgage Maze, available when you click the store button at MoneyWiseLive.org.

Hi, I'm Barry Maguire. I'm here to help you understand how urgent and how fun it is to share your faith at every opportunity through the eyes of a layman. Most of us know God's promise in Romans 8-28 to make everything in your life work for good, but just like His promise of eternal life has requirements like confessing your sin, Romans 8-28 requires that you live your life for God's purpose.

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Join us at IgniteAmerica.com. Do you remember that old ad from the 1970s for Clayton's? It's the drink you have when you're not having a drink.

Hi, I'm Bernie Dymett. Clayton's has become part of our language. A Clayton's drink looks as though it's alcoholic, but really it isn't. A Clayton's anything is something that looks real, but isn't. Question, is it possible to have a Clayton's person? You know, a person who's not really a person. A baby in its mother's womb, is that a Clayton's person?

Or maybe the street people we walk around on the footpath, they're almost always smelly. Are they Clayton's people? Or maybe those workers in the factories across Asia who make the toys our kids play with and the clothes we wear, all for a few cents an hour. Are they Clayton's people? Jesus said, I've come to bring good news to the poor and to set the captives free. I wonder when He looks around whether He sees any Clayton's people on this earth.

I wonder. Most couples can't talk about money, yet most money books expect them to. But how can you create a budget or pay down debt if you can't even talk about spending or saving with your mate? If you get tense about money or just plain avoid money conversations altogether, Thriving in Love and Money by Shanti and Jeff Feldhahn is for you. And it's yours free when you donate $25 or more to MoneyWiseLive.org.

Thriving in Love and Money, for a better relationship, not just a better budget. You're listening to MoneyWiseLive on Moody Radio. I'm Rich Rozzle, and for Steve Moore, the good news is that Steve is planning on being back tomorrow unless he decides vacationing is a lot more fun.

He never shows up again, but that's a whole separate issue. We do still have a couple of phone lines open. If you'd like to try to get in on today's program, we'd love to talk to you. Our number once again, 800-525-7000. Of course, you can also connect with us by email. Questions at MoneyWise.org or on Facebook or any of our other social media platforms. You'll find us at MoneyWise Media. But back to the phones, 800-525-7000. Louis is calling from Chicago. Louis, welcome to MoneyWiseLive. Hi, thank you for accepting my call.

I appreciate that. My question is, I have several credit cards that I pay down, and I have zero balance on them. I've got one that's got like $6,500 on there, and a loan that's about $1,000, and I'll bring that balance down very quickly. My question is, should I close down the cards that I don't want to use anymore, and just completely cancel them? Yeah, it's a great question, Louis. How many do you have that you would be in a position to cancel?

You know, I want to say probably like five of them. Wow, yeah. Well, I like the idea of you doing this systematically over time. The benefit of canceling these cards you don't intend to use is, A, it's one less account that could be compromised, and because of that, as long as it's open, you're going to need to continue to monitor that account just to make sure there's not any transaction showing up that you don't recognize, which would be obviously a telltale sign that somebody has compromised your account. So by closing it, you remove that possibility. Secondly, it's obviously more credit that's available to you, which will be impacting you on future credit decisions, because even though it's unused when it's available to you, it could be used at any time, and a lender will take that into consideration. I think the key is, from a credit scoring standpoint, we wouldn't want to close all of these at once. You'd want to spread this out over a period of time. So I would say probably close two of them every six months, maybe do two now, and then come back after the first of the year and close a couple of others, and that's going to minimize the impact to your score, but it will simplify your financial life, which I think is a good thing.

So congratulations on getting those paid off, and I think the key moving forward is just to make sure that any time you use credit cards, always use them for budgeted items with a focus on paying them in full at the end of every month. That'll make sure you don't get into trouble. Lewis, we hope that information helps. Thanks for your call today, and we move on to Akron, Ohio next, and let me see if I can pronounce this correctly. Ronda Rica, is that correct? Welcome to Money Wise. Help me say your name properly.

Ronda Rica. Okay, thank you very much. When it's typed up, sometimes my brain just can't process the syllables, but thank you for being on the program today. What's your question?

Yes, sir. The question is, so I have student loans. I know it's like a little bit over $30,000. I want to start paying like, you know, payments back, but I'm only working like part time. So how can I go by making like, or getting some type of payments going on? Because I do believe in being like good stewards and want to pay my debt back in a way.

Yeah, no, I certainly appreciate that. And I think having a strategy to do that is really clear and key as you move forward. You know, there's some key building blocks that I'd like to make sure you have in place here as you move forward, beginning with the spending plan. And so it's really critical that you have a proper accounting of exactly what's coming in and going out on a monthly basis. And you need to make sure that you do enough of the hard work in building that budget that you're capturing not only those things you get a bill for, but the discretionary spending as well, the things that perhaps, you know, are just a part of your lifestyle and daily routine that, you know, doesn't come in the mail or by email, things you spend money on eating out. And, you know, if you stop by a favorite coffee shop every now and then and gifts for family member and friends and those types of things, you want to make sure all those are in there. You also want to look at the non-recurring expenses, those things that come quarterly or every year, like a homeowners association or an insurance payment, something like that. Once you get all that in there, the key then will be to put the minimum payments for the credit cards and the student loan, assuming it's not in deferment and build that right into the budget.

The idea, though, is to generate some margin to dial back your spending such that you have a surplus on a monthly basis that you can apply to your goals and objectives. Now, how do you prioritize those? Well, I'd start by praying through those and really asking the Lord for wisdom.

The good news is God's word gives us some direction on that. I would begin by really looking to establish an emergency fund. And the other thing I would focus on is paying off the credit cards.

So with any margin, I would probably split that in half. Beyond the minimum payment, I'd put half toward debt reduction on the credit card so we can get those paid to zero. The other half I'd put toward an emergency fund, because if we don't have any liquid savings, then when the unexpected comes, you're going to have to run up more credit card debt. As soon as you get to $1,500 saved, I'd probably put 100% toward the credit cards. Once those are paid off, I would then pivot back to the emergency fund to get that up to three months expenses. Now, once your credit cards are gone, you've got that emergency fund fully funded, then it's time to turn your attention to two things. One would be to accelerate the payoff on the student loans. The other would be to take full advantage of any matching that you have once you get a full-time job with a 401k or a 403b.

You probably don't have that right now, and that's okay because you're just getting started. So I would then focus 100% of my effort on reducing those student loan payments. I know it's a big number, it sounds like it's going to take a long, long time, and it's going to take some time. But the key is you have a plan, you know what your priorities are, you've prayed about it, you've committed your work to the Lord.

I would be giving systematically right up front, and I trust that the Lord will really give you some wisdom as you lean into this moving forward. Rob, I've heard Ron Blue say this, and the late Larry Burkett say it as well, sometimes it takes us a while to get into debt, so we shouldn't expect it not to take a while to get out, and patience is the key in a lot of these. Ron Derrico, we thank you so much for your call today, appreciate your listening to MoneyWise Live. On to Joe calling from Chicago, I understand you've got a question about your son and his banking and credit, what's going on?

Yes I do, thank you for taking me. My son was 17 when he opened up a checking account, the bank kind of did him a favor because I was in the bank, and he did well for a while, and then he kind of got, he got scammed, he got caught up in this check cashing scam where somebody was sending him money, thought he was doing him a favor by depositing and sending money back. Anyway, so he had bounced some checks, that's the bottom line, and we paid the amount in full, 100%, and we waited for the bank to see what they would say, and they investigated, they returned the remainder, the hundred dollars that was in his account, and the bank itself closed the account, we didn't do it. And now he's a senior in high school, and I'm worried about him getting some student loans, I'm not sure if the bank closure goes on his record, or he was a minor, you know, blah blah blah.

Yeah, well I'm sorry to hear that he got wrapped up in that, that is again one of those scams that's becoming more and more common, and so we need to all be on our guard, and I appreciate, Joe, you relaying that story for the benefit of the rest of our listening audience. You know, generally speaking, an overdraft or a situation like you're describing that's really limited to a banking relationship is not going to be reported to the big three credit bureaus, which are going to be the primary focus for most lending decisions. Unless something goes to collection, or there's a judgment resulting from it, it's typically going to be relegated just to the smaller credit bureaus that focus on those types of things, not on TransUnion, Equifax, or Experian. There are some very specific bureaus though that track that kind of banking information, and that's what banks use to determine whether or not to extend a checking account to you when you go to open one of those. So I would say that if he's going to have any trouble moving forward, it's probably going to be opening another bank account, but given that he was young, it may be that that's not even a challenge, but I think anything beyond that you're likely not going to see on the main credit bureau reports.

But with that, I would go ahead and pull those for him or have him do it, and you be there with him to help him read through those just to see what's out there. You can go to AnnualCreditReport.com. That's the place to access a free credit report from each of the three, Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax.

I'd go ahead and give those a once over just to see what's on there, but I think you'll be pleasantly surprised. Joe, we appreciate your call today. Thanks so much for being a part of the program.

Rob, just a moment or two left. We've got a quick email here. Alice writes, I want to set money aside each month for my grandkids. I don't know what type of account to use, though. Can you help?

Yeah, I can, Alice. I appreciate that question. You know, I love the fact that you want to be systematic in setting money aside for the grandkids. The first thing you need to decide, Alice, is what is the purpose of this money? Is it specifically earmarked for K to 12 education or higher education, meaning college and beyond? If so, I love the 529 plan.

I'd go to SavingForCollege.com and figure out which is the best depending on what state you're in as to whether or not you get a state deduction versus the investment performance that varies by plan. If not, if you want it available more generally, I would keep it in an account in your name, either individually titled or jointly titled with right of survivorship, so that you control it. If you use a custodial account, it'll become their asset at the age of majority, and they can use it whatever they want it for. That may or may not be a good thing, depending on where they're at in their spiritual and maturity journey at that point in their lives.

So I think one of those two will give you the best options. And Rob, do you recall, because I don't, what the annual giving limit is? It's somewhere around, I think, $15,000 or something, isn't it?

So if you want to give a gift to your children and you want to give a really large gift, you may want to spread that out over a few years. That's exactly right. For this year, 2020, it's $15,000. That's per person, though.

And if you're a married couple, you could each give $15,000, so $30,000 per individual. Excellent. Well, Rob, thanks so much. I've enjoyed our time together this week. Steve, we'll be back tomorrow. It's been great. Well, let me also thank our top notch team, Deb, Gabby T., Amy, and Jim. Our host, of course, Rob West. I'm Rich Rozzle, reminding you MoneyWise is a presentation of Moody Radio and MoneyWise Media.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-02-27 23:38:16 / 2024-02-27 23:59:47 / 22

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