The MoneySmart Family System by Steve and Annette Economides

Every parent wonders how to impart financial information to his or her child but how do you make sure that the kids get the message? Steve and Annette Economides have used their own experiences to create a helpful guide for parent with children of all ages. Even if you have not started talking to your kids about money, the Economides realize that it is never too late to get started. They put everything together in one book entitled The MoneySmart Family System: Teaching Financial Independence to Children of All Ages.

Every chapter talks about a different financial principle in every paragraph including how to save, how to teach your kids about giving and how to deal with your kids asking for things every time you go to the store. In each chapter, after providing some statistics, experiences and personal stories, the Economides break down ways to apply the information based on different age groups. The book is not just about learn the principles; it is about how to practically apply them to your life.

My son is seven and my daughter is five and we are currently trying out new methods for chores and allowance. This book was a huge help. There were suggestions about how to talk to our kids about certain things and how to encourage them to save and know where every penny is going. While we are not yet ready for the chapters on transportation or marriage, I can see this book being a resource that we look to time and time again as the kids get older and we move into new stages of life.

Steve and Annette Economides are New York Time Bestselling authors and are fondly referred to as America’s Cheapest Family. (Of course, you knew this book was right up my alley!!) I would recommend this to parents with children of all ages. If you want new and fresh ideas for how to approach finances with your children, this book is for you.

I received a copy of this book from Thomas Nelson Publishing in exchange for my honest review.  

The Power of Prophetic Blessing by John Hagee

Over the past month, I have been working my way though John Hagee’s The Power of Prophetic Blessing. Hagee discusses both the prophetic and the priestly blessings and explains how each one can impact a person’s life. He uses examples from the Bible in each chapter to illustrate the points and in the end, explains how to receive these blessings.

I have to admit that this required some analysis on my part of my own beliefs. While it is easy to get caught up in the idea of blessings and how they can benefit and impact a person’s life, there is still a reality that cannot be overlooked. Several passages of the book stood up and left me wondering if Hagee’s theory holds up completely in all circumstances. It was easy to use some instances of the Bible to fit the model of blessing and protection and yet other times, it was completely absent. It seemed to me that he used certain passages to fit his message while overlooking inconsistencies in the logic.

One point that stood out was the explanation of Sarai and the Pharaoh. How could it be that handing her over would be what God wanted? How does this show that he trusted God by deceiving the Pharaoh? While I am in no way a Bible scholar, this one had me stumped. I was also confused with the explanation of, “I will bless those that bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse;” Genesis 12:3 (NIV). If this is the case, why were all the people that helped the Jews during the Holocaust listed on page 93 passed over. He lists out how their lives ended in death or dire circumstances because of their commitment to saving the Jews.

The fact is that God is in control of all things and He is sovereign. There is no getting past this. There is no way to speak a blessing over someone and guarantee that they will become healthy, rich and wise. Unfortunately there were too many inconsistencies that left me questioning the major themes of the book. Just because you are a believer, this does not mean that you are destined to have a life without struggle.  

While I disagreed with many of the books messages, I did appreciate that it sent me back to the Word to verify what was being said.

This book was provided to me by the publisher in exchange for my honest review.