ONE FAMILY'S JOURNEY
Our Family Journal
Share with our family through 8 months of living on
The Shrewd Christian Principles
By Kirk & Faith Bates
A couple of months ago my wife, Faith, and I approached Neil Atkinson about writing a journal for his website. Our lives have been so transformed by the principles in The Shrewd Christian that we felt compelled to tell others, who might benefit, in any way we could.
Our goal in sharing 8 months of our lives with you is simple. We hope and pray that what has happened for us, by carefully living out the principles of The Shrewd Christian, can happen for you too. We are so thankful to get the chance to share with you how God answered our desperate prayers, rescued us, altered our direction as a family and ultimately changed our lives forever.
January - April
Faith and I are feeling desperate all the time. Our bills are always overdue and there is never enough money. We know that we are one small disaster away from financial destitution and every day seems darker than the day before. We have lived this way for way too long.
The past year was a year of real learning and growing in the Lord. For that, we are very thankful. But, something is still missing from our financial life. There's something that keeps us living on the edge all the time. I can't put my finger on it, but no matter how many books I read and how much time I put into our finances, I just can't get to the root of the problem.
Because of the money problems, we are always stressed and often depressed. To make things worse, we feel guilty about the depression. After all, we are born again, Bible believing Christians and we shouldn't be depressed, right? In retrospect, which is how I am writing this journal, I can clearly see now that debt is amazingly powerful. Debt can put a stranglehold on you and make you its' prisoner. That's what happened to us. We became captive to our own debt. Depression was just the natural side effect.
By April, we were over $3,000.00 behind in our rent and two car notes behind at the bank, plus thousands of dollars in debt in other areas. Were it not for the grace of God providing us with a landlord who liked us, we would have been on the street a long time ago. The days were filled with fear and stress and we were sinking to dangerous lows.
We began to pray, desperately, for God's help. Faith and I were so hungry for an answer to our ongoing financial problems. We spent a lot of time on our faces before the Lord, seeking for His direction. But, instead of begging God for His mercy and help, we begin to ask the Lord for something more risky...
Our prayers went like this: Lord, we don't want a BandAid. We don't want $5,000 or $10,000 to temporarily fix our problems. We want the answer to our financial problems! We want to know why we are always looking for "missing" money we thought we had. We began to pray this way every day...No more BandAids, Lord, show us what we cannot see! And, do you know what happened? God answered our very specific prayers in a very specific way.
Neil Atkinson was a guest on Moody Radio's, Midday Connection. I was driving when I heard Neil. The compassion and the hope in his voice made me want to read his book.
We bought The Shrewd Christian that day and I started absorbing it immediately. I finished it in a day or two and then I read it again with Faith. We were taken by the simplicity and the profoundness of Neil's ideas. It took a month or so for us to realize that God had given us an answer to our prayers that day and that it was anything but a BandAid.
Meet Neil Atkinson
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The Shrewd Christian
"This is an important book!
It spells out simple tried
and true ways in which
you will become financially
“Neil Atkinson has an extremely solid, biblical perspective on personal finances...I highly recommend this book. It’s fun, serious and full of practical helps.”
–Denny Rydberg, president
of Young Life