Friday, August 31, 2012

The Danger of Debt! by Pastor Poppie Paul


I begin this blog with the free confession that money frustrates me!  There are a hundred questions that I have and ongoing debates that dwell within my head.  How much is enough for a Christian?  Do I earn it, or does God provide it?  It ambition sin?  Is contentedness the path to laziness?  I could go on and on and drive us both crazy!  But there is one lesson that I have learned over the years.  It is a lesson our city, state, and country need to learn!

 If more water is running out of the dam,
than is coming into the dam,
it will eventually dry up!

I have had the terrible and painful experience of packing up a church building, and a house.  I know what it feels like to run out of money.  I know what it feels like to beg the Credit Union for another day on the church mortgage.  I felt the pain of Cal Vet taking my house key.  I watched my wife cry!

I have learned that debt is a dagger pointed into the center of your soul.  When you lose your livelihood it doesn't just break your wallet.  It breaks your heart, and it breaks your spirit.  I have sat with grown men and watched tears run down their face.  The tears flowed as they confessed the shame, guilt, and sense of failure that gripped their heart as they saw the devastation that their loss brought their wife and children.  I have cried those tears myself.  I have felt that shame, fear, and anger.

I know what it is like to beg God to save something,
then doubt His love when you watch it fail!

We live in a country that is buried in debt!
They continue to borrow!
We live in a state that is buried in debt!
They continue to borrow!
We live in a bankrupt city!
They have been cut off!

Over the past few years we have been forced to make painful decisions.  We leased our Sierra Way Church property to The Way, and moved to the Elks Lodge.  Karen and I gave our Cloverhill house back to Cal Vet and returned to the house we could not sell.

We have felt the pain of loss!
We have tasted the destructive power
of incurring debt you cannot pay!
When circumstances beyond your control begin to change
the danger of yesterdays decisions become all to clear!
I know that we are not alone.  
Many people have felt this pain, and experienced this loss!

So what am I learning?
What does our city, state, and country need to learn?  
It is very simple!

Tithe 10%
Save 10%
Live on the balance!

Don't borrow investment dollars that you can't reasonably and safely afford to repay!
Don't incur consumer debt with absurd interest!
Don't assume things will always appreciate!
Save, as the old saying goes, for a rainy day!

Most important of all...  DON'T QUIT!  I don't care how bad you have crashed and burned!  
DON'T QUIT!  Your family needs you!  Your church needs you!  

Admit your mistakes!  Ask God to forgive you!  Forgive yourself!  Press on!
Remember this!  You are not in this alone!  THE LORD IS YOUR SHEPHERD!  
Learn what He wants you to learn!  Make the changes He is calling you to make!  
Then trust His ability to RESTORE you and bless you!

I offer you this poem, which is carved in the stone of the courtyard outside the church where Karen and I were married!  Drink in it's words and let them feed your soul!


If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too:
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or being hated don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise;

If you can dream---and not make dreams your master;
If you can think---and not make thoughts your aim,
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same:.
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build'em up with worn-out tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings,
And never breathe a word about your loss:
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on!"

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings---nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much:
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And---which is more---you'll be a Man, my son!

Rudyard Kipling

No comments:

Post a Comment