Wisdom for the Holidays

November 1, 2010

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Dear Friends,

I would like to share  3 things with you very quickly:

1. Thanks to everyone who helped out with the Harvest Festival on Saturday evening at Eastside. We had a great turn out and we raised $241.00 for Prince of Peace. Praise the Lord.

2. This Saturday we fall back and get 1 extra hour of sleep. Don’t forget to turn your clocks back before you go to bed on Saturday.

3. Please take the time to read the following article. I think you will find it very refreshing and helpful as the holiday season approaches.

Wisdom from the “Warrens”
Rick Warren and Warren Buffet can help us in the global recession

Recently, I read  some gems of wisdom on dealing with the recession from two disparate sources: Rick Warren, the famed pastor and author of the all-time bestselling book in American history and Warren Buffett, the richest man in the world.

Rick Warren, author of The Purpose-Driven Life, first pointed out how life works.  He noted that life is not really a series of hills and valleys , ups and downs, or highs and lows,  as is often portrayed.  Instead, he explained, “Life is actually more like two rails of a railroad track, with one rail representing the bad things that happen in your life, and other rail representing the good things. We always have both at the same time- never just one or the other. Life is never all good or all bad. Both come at you simultaneously. No matter how good things are, there’s always something you need to be working on, and no matter how bad things are, there is always something good you can thank God for.”

Warren’s wife, Kay, battled cancer in ’03-’04 right in the middle of the international triumph of The Purpose Driven Life phenomena. With both success and suffering occurring at the same time, the couple kept their perspective by focusing on their unchanging purpose, and chose to not allow either success or suffering to alter their faith or values.  Warren urged business leaders to focus on opportunities, rather than the obstacles, and on God’s resources rather than the recession.

In spite of financial success, the Warrens still live in the same house they’ve lived in for 17 years and the thrifty pastor still drives a 10 year old Ford. Years ago, he stopped taking a salary from his congregation, paid them back 25 years of salary, began tithing 91% of their income and started 2 charities to give away the millions to those in need. They also initiated a humanitarian effort called  “The P.E.A.C.E. Plan” to attack the five global problems by Planting churches that promote reconciliation, Equipping ethical leaders, Assisting the poor, Caring for the sick, and Educating the next generation.

Pastor Warren said, “You’ll never be secure, whether during this recession or after it ends, as long as you put your security in things that can be taken from you like salary, savings, status, success, or even your family. You must find your security in that which can never be taken from you, and the only thing that fits that bill is a personal relationship with the God who created you.” Some of Warren’s financial wisdom:

Value: Never confuse your valuables with your value. Your net-worth is not your self-worth.
Budgeting is telling your money where you want it to go rather than wondering where it went.
Contentment: Use it up, wear it out; make it do, or do without.
Giving: Do your giving while you’re living, then you’ll be knowin’ where it’s goin’.
Saving: The reason we don’t save is envy. We buy things we don’t need, with money we don’t have to impress people we don’t even like!
Financial freedom isn’t determined by how much you make but by how you spend it!
Priority: God uses money to test your spiritual maturity & how much he can trust you.

The other wise Warren – Mr. Buffett –  is just as thrifty and also still lives in the same house he bought before his financial success. He  paid $31,500 for the home he has lived in since 1958. Mr. Buffett offered the same down-to-earth advice for managing your finances during the current recession:

Accounting: Beware of little expenses; a small leak can sink a large ship
Earning: Never depend on a single source of income.
Saving: Never save what is left after spending; Spend what is left after saving.
Giving: I’m giving 99% away. Enjoy the process far more than the proceeds.
Spending: If you buy things you don’t need, you’ll soon sell things you need.
Investing: Be interested in stocks only when no one else is. You can’t buy what’s popular and do well.
Legacy: Leave your kids only enough to do something but not enough to do nothing.

I doubt these two “Warrens” are related, but they are definitely of the same mind when it comes to financial management. END

Grace and Peace,

Pastor VG

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