My Read of the Month:

Title: ZOOM: The Global Race to Fuel the Car of the Future
Author: Iain Carson and Vijay V. Vaitheeswaran
Published: 2007
Genre: Economics/Politics/Environmental/Business
Ratings: 4.6 out of 5 stars

Did you know that the world consumes about 80-90 million barrels (per barrel = 100–200 litres) of oil each day? And the United States accounts for a quarter of that?

In fact, the US consumes more oil than South America, Europe and Africa combine. Clearly, this nation has quite a fixation on oil.

Interestingly, this book reveals a consequential meeting that took place towards the end of the World War II which would change the course of world history as we know today.

In 1945, Franklin Roosevelt, then US President made a pact with King Ibn Saud, father of Saudi Arabia, home to the biggest oil reserves of oil on the planet, then and now.

That historical pact between the two leaders was the US’ guaranteed access to Saudi Arabia’s vast quantities of oil and in return, Roosevelt promised full military support to the king and his clan.

In the decades since, the impact of that alliance has given rise of the Oil Curse that has plagued our world economy. Think gulf war and the Iraqi invasion by the US and you get the parts of that big picture.

As they say, “Study the past to understand the present in order to peek into the future”. And that’s what this investigative book does as it traces the emergence oil and cars that explains the forces of geopolitics and economics we can observe today.

I like that this book aims to be objective and presents both perspectives of those for oil and those against. This makes it a credible read with its avoidance of being bias or over-selling the opinions of the authors.

The only shortcoming of this book is that it is primarily addressed to Americans. Not that it is any fault of the authors since our economic and environmental woes we faced today are linked to this powerhouse nation, the US. But presenting this as a global challenge for everyone would be the next better approach.

Who should read it:For those interested in world politics or who wish to better understand our environmental challenge in tackling the world’s addiction to oil.

Learning to Master Money

Below is a devotional passage with a message about biblical finance from A.R. Bernard:

Countless books have been written about money – how to make it and how to keep it.

But if you’re a Christian, you probably already own at least one copy – and probably several copies – of the world’s foremost guide to financial security.  That book is the Holy Bible.

God’s Word is not only a roadmap to eternal life, but it is also an indispensable guidebook for life here on earth.  As such, the Bible has much to say about your life, your faith, and your finances.

“The plans of the diligent certainly lead to profit, but anyone who is reckless only becomes poor.” ~ Proverbs 21:5 HCSB

God’s Word reminds us again and again that our Creator expects us to lead disciplined lives.  God doesn’t reward laziness, misbehavior, or apathy.  To the contrary, He expects believers to behave with dignity and discipline… but the world tempts us to do otherwise.

We live in a world in which leisure is glorified and indifference is often glamorized.  But God has other plans.  He did not create us for lives of mediocrity; He created us for far greater things.

Life’s greatest rewards seldom fall into our laps; to the contrary, our greatest accomplishments (including our financial accomplishments) usually require lots of work, a heaping helping of common sense, and a double dose of self-discipline – which is perfectly fine with God.  After all, He knows that we’re up to the task.

God’s Word can help you organize your financial affairs in such a way that you have less need to worry and more time to celebrate.

If that sounds appealing, keep reading God’s book and apply it to every aspect of your life, including the way that you handle money. When you do, God will smile upon you and your finances.

One simple step- Put God where He belongs – first.  Any relationship that doesn’t honor God is a relationship that is destined for problems – and that includes your relationship with money.  So spend (and save) accordingly.

 

Honouring the Lord who loves us

“Trust God from the bottom of your heart;
don’t try to figure out everything on your own.

Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go;
he’s the one who will keep you on track.

Don’t assume that you know it all.
Run to God! Run from evil!

Your body will glow with health,
your very bones will vibrate with life!

Honor God with everything you own;
give him the first and the best.

Your barns will burst,
your wine vats will brim over.

But don’t, dear friend, resent God’s discipline;
don’t sulk under his loving correction.

It’s the child he loves that God corrects;
a father’s delight is behind all this.”

In God We Trust

Recently, I had a conversation with someone on the subject of tithing.

I believe that was a divine moment arranged to encourage that person to develop more trust in God, in particularly in the area of finances.

Trusting God

For certain, it is not uncommon for most of us to be preoccupied with money and practical needs (which is valid). Hence, it is always unnerving for anyone to even consider tithing.

And it does not help that our human reasoning would alert us to the fact that it seems ridiculous to part with money in order to alleviate one’s financial security.

But that’s what faith or trusting in God is. It goes beyond our reasoning. However, we can trust in our Abba God’s word to us (c.f. Matthew 6:25-34).

Tithing by faith

When we tithe by faith, we’re simply acknowledging Him as our God who provides and protects us as He has with Abraham, Jacob and Isaac and Jacob.

More than just parting with a tenth of our monthly income, it establishes our relationship with our covenant-keeping God; placing our trust in Him to sustain us and not in money.

All of us need money in order to survive and make our livelihood.  But by tithing, we put money in its rightful position as our servant and not master.

More importantly, we put ourselves in our rightful position- in His Loving Hands- that declares out loud that “In God we trust!”

The World’s Billionaires

According to Forbes, there are 1,011 billionaires in the world. And these titans have huge control over the global economy, from energy and steel to fashion and telecom. Read the full list of billionaires here>>>.