Clicking here goes to information on the icon.Welcome to the St. Luke Web Page.
Search the site.Listen to Father Borichevsky's restored radio programsSee What St. Luke Orthodox Church has planned.Visit and sign our guest book.Contact the St. Luke Orthodox Church Web Development Team.
Find something on the site in a hurry.
St. Lukes Orthodox Church Home PageDonate Now!Shop for Orthodox goods from your Computerchurchdirectory Pages that deal with St. Luke the Evangelist Orthodox Church. What's the news at St. Lukes.View all the previous and current Evangelist newsletters.View the Sunday bulletin.Information about St. Luke Orthodox Church including the Mission and Vision statements. Pages for 'keeping in touch' with God. Information on prayers and prayingView the prayer of the week and all other previos prayers of the week.Need to pray for something? What is the Orthodox Church and how/why do Orthodox Christians worship? What is the Orthodox Church of America?Who were the Saints, and why do we honor them?Find and explore many different liturgical texts we have available, including the Divine LiturgyWhat is Pascha?  See what it's like at St. Luke's.How is Orthodoxy playing a role in the present times?Learn what are icons and how are they used in the Orthodox Church today.BellsSee what we have to offer!Current Issues Pages for Organizations of St. Lukes. Christian Education, Youth Group, Music, Church Resource Center, Adult Education, and Junior Olympics.Maintenance, New Building, Strategic Planning, Cell Phone Tower, Inventory, Cemetery/Memorial Book, and Historian.Outreach, Charities, Internet, Evangelist Newsletter, Media, Prison, Sanctity of Life, and Mission.Liturgical, Altar Servers, Bell Ringers, Cemetery, Readers, Greeters, Choir, and Vestments.Fellowship, Supply Coordinator, Prayer, Women's Ministry, New Americans, Sunshinem, Flowers, and Vestments. Some stuff Study the bibleSearch the bibleOrthodoxy on the lighter side...Words of Wisdom...If you've got the taste for great Orthodox foods, this is the place to be.Children friendly section of the pageMessages


Discovering the Journey to Financial Freedom
By Pearl Homiak

"Owe nothing to anyone except to love one another."
--Romans 13:8

"Americans spend $1.22 for every dollar they earn," declared Debbie Harper of Crown Financial Ministries. "In addition, 62% of Americans don't save money for emergencies." This was the focus of the Journey to Financial Freedom seminar presented at Calvary Church in Orland Park, IL, on Saturday, February 15, 2005. Over 100 attendees, including a small group from St. Luke, learned how to get out of debt and stay out.

The eight-part seminar began with the important acknowledgement: God owns everything (Psalm 24:1) and wants us to be free from bondage (debt) (Proverbs 22:7) so we can have financial peace (Proverbs 10:22). God does His part by fulfilling all our needs (Philippians 4:19). We do our part by being faithful (I Corinthians 4:1-2) and accountable (Matthew 25:14-29).

The Attitudes and Symptoms of Debt

Four attitudes foster debt: ignorance, or lack of financial training (Proverbs 22:3), indulgence, or unrestrained gratification (Proverbs 13:25), imprudence, or poor planning (Proverbs 16:3), and isolation, or lack of communication (Proverbs 28:13). However, by seeking God's intervention through repentance (Acts 26:20) and establishing the right relationship balances in life (Colossians 3:17, Ephesians 5:21 and 6:4, Psalms 127:2, I Peter 4:10), it is possible to get out of debt, i.e., financial bondage, and stay out.

The symptoms of financial bondage include a spendthrift attitude (Proverbs 28:22), overdue bills and late fees, (Proverbs 3:27-28), habitually making minimum payments, and using one credit card to pay for another. These behaviors cause worry, envy, resentment, bitterness, pride, rebellion (Hebrews 12:15), stressful relationships, unwillingness to share, and hasty decisions (Proverbs 21:5).

This lack of self-control leads to unmet family needs, over-commitment to work, and no planning for emergencies. "I want more things, so I spend more money. But then I have unexpected expenses for which I have no savings. So I work more hours and become over-committed to solving financial problems. However, this sucks away my time, and I get depressed. Then I go out and buy something so I will feel better."

Debt Relief According to God's Timing

Relief from debt allows me to more readily respond to the Holy Spirit's promptings and, thus, fulfill God's purpose for my life. I become more open to His teachings regarding prayer, self-control, cooperation, communication, direction, and timing (Hebrews 13:20-21), which directly involves my wants and needs.

There are two Greek words for time: chronos, (chronological time), and kairos, (opportune-fullness of-time). Often we expect God to respond to us through chronos, timing perceived through our senses. However, He usually communicates to us through kairos, timing according to the Holy Spirit.

To live and work according to God's timing, I must first clearly identify my actual needs and wants (not frivolous desires). Then I need a written plan to make sure I use God's resources responsibly in all areas of my life. (Only 3% of people actually write this out). This prevents spending guesses and the impulse buying that is based on my checkbook balance.

Creating a Meaningful Financial Plan

Debbie Harper explained the steps to creating a financial plan based on what I'm really doing, not just what I think I'm doing. The handbook distributed at the seminar contains guidelines and various forms for creating and implementing a financial plan. Also, a chart shows the suggested percentage allocation for each of several categories of spending, such as contributions, taxes, housing, clothing, etc. A "Savings" category is included (God wants us to save for the future-Proverbs 21:20), which prevents credit-card use for unexpected emergencies. Debbie mentioned various mistakes that cause debt and the remedies for getting out of it. These mainly involve credit-card abuse and unaffordable house and car purchases.

Tithing is also a part of the financial plan. I learned that if I think I can't tithe, I am probably struggling financially or spending unwisely. As I reduce my debt and learn to manage money more effectively, I can more easily increase my giving to the church. This more fully glorifies God, meets the spiritual and other needs of people the church is trying to help, and allows the church to also become debt-free.

God expresses His love to us by giving (John 3:16), and we are called to express our love to Him by also giving, not only money but also time, attitude, forgiveness, and encouragement. We grow spiritually when we give through the promptings of the Holy Spirit and obediently share from our abundance (2 Corinthians 8:2-15). And God also wants us to give sacrificially, i.e., do without a need or want so someone or something else can benefit. For all this, God has "eternal rewards" waiting for us (Matthew 16:27).

The Journey to Financial Freedom seminar was very valuable. I was especially encouraged when Debbie Harper said she and her husband got out of debt (even while tithing and saving for emergencies) in eleven months, not the three years they thought it would take.

To find out more about using God's resources Biblically, go to www.crown.org. You will be glad you did.

Back to Previous Article
Back to Evangelist Listing
Go to Next Article