Tips for a Troubled Economy

Michelle and I work together in ministry and doing marketing jobs as self employed entrepreneurs.  I thought, because of the nature of our jobs that we would be invincible in this economy, but I guess not.  We've been feeling the stress of the economy all year in various ways.  I assume that most of us in the US and even the world are feeling our budgets tightened lately, especially over the past few months.  Because of all that's going on I wanted to list a few thoughts on how we can stay strong through this:

1. Count Your Blessings - a large percent of the world's population lives on less than $1 a day.  If this sounds crazy to you, you probably have a lot to be thankful for ... even in today's economy.  Jobs will shift, budgets will get tight, but we will survive.

2. Give to the Poor - there's a shocking principle in 2 Corinthians 8 - "out of the most severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity ... they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability."  Maybe one of the greatest things we could do in the middle of having to cut out some of our unnecessary bills, would be to give to the poor.  There's so many ways to do it; I'm sure I don't need to give any recommendations.  It will remind us we are and have been so blessed, and will connect us to those with a joy and trust beyond monetary wealth.

3. Invest in Your Retirement Fund - A crazy suggestion seeing stocks slide right now.  It's probably not very safe to invest in stocks right now, but if you have an IRA and it mirrors the US or world market, it may be a safe and incredibly rewarding time to invest.  Don't do this to a point of putting your needed "rainy day" fund at risk, but if you have some money to spare, your funds will be nearly half price of what they were a year ago and will thus multiply much faster over the years.