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We attended the Townhall for HOPE simulcast last night.   Years ago I’d have been inclined to say “You go ahead; it’s been a long week.”  and caught up on highlights after the fact.  No more.  I’m done with passivity.  We were going to be there last night, long week or not.

Brenda and I attended Financial Peace University at our church last Spring and we’re better for it.  Our daughter and her husband are FPU grads and are debt free — in their 20s!   Our son and his wife are taking FPU right now, in their first year of marriage, and I’m optimistic. Their future will be brighter as a result.

There was no hype last night, at least at our location.  We were one of about 6ooo simulcast locations around the country.  A warm welcome a few minutes before the event began, and brief instructions on the drawing that would happen after Townhall for Hope, and we were into the event.

As always, Dave Ramsey was warm, humorous, and enlightening.  He gave us a brief background of how our country grew sloppy in our fiscal principles when things were good. He made the point that stupidity in the US has been stress-tested this last year, though, and that we can’t afford to subsidize or stimulate fiscal stupidity.  He explained how our current economic philosophy (Keynesian economics) came to be predominant in this country.  And he made sure we knew it isn’t the only philosophy; that there are some brilliant minds challenging it, even today.  “Economics?  How boring,” you might be thinking.   Not really, not when you’re trying to understand how our country got itself into this mess. Not when you’re wondering how in the world we’re going to get ourselves out of it. It’s anything but boring; it’s here. Now. And important.

Dave shared his perspective on our current situation, complete with illustrations to help him make his points. He has some wonderful one-liners, loves to make his audience laugh as they get the point he’s trying to make.  Ever find yourself laughing because you know what someone just said is totally true?  There was plenty of that last night as Dave helped us realize:

  • we must  take ownership for our current situation (individually, as families, churches, corporations, not just government),
  • we have to take action (same scope),
  • and we cannot lose hope. We must remember our country has been in worse shape at least three times in the last one hundred years (the recessions of early 70s, early 80s, and the Great Depression).

We must not succumb to a spirit of fear. (2 Tim 1.7)

The last segment of the simulcast Dave answered questions from around the country, assisted by David Asman (Fox Business News) and a team of technicians at the back of the auditorium.

What was my favorite moment?  Hmmm,  I’d have to say there were three.

  1. One was to hear Ramsey correct the impression that home foreclosures are of epidemic proportions. They’re not.  They are up across the country, but more than half of our country’s current foreclosures are in 35 counties in the US.
  2. I was glad that I’ve been actively pursuing a variety of things in the job market, not just one.  Ramsey suggests looking several directions in the current job market if you’re looking for work, and I’ve been doing precisely that.  It felt good to already be doing what he suggests.
  3. The best moment, from where I sat, anyway, was when Dave said:

Failure, when it’s chasing you,
will PUSH you toward excellence.

We all laughed, of course, because we know he’s right. I wrote it down.  It applies to business, parenting, marriage, reputation, lots of things.  I remembered hearing a woman on talk radio this week quote her mom who was a young widow with a family during the great depression.  “I need to be the best waitress there every day,”  she’d say ” because if I get fired there are five people waiting for my job.”   Perhaps our country will find true excellence rises to the top, and self discipline will return to help excellence endure.  I can’t speak for the whole country, of course, but I can tell you I’m not buying into the spirit of fear some are apparently using to drive their own agendas.   There are proven principles, written by the One who created this planet we live on, wrote down what we need to know, and then sent His only Son to give His life so we could have life —abundantly.  I’m going to live by THOSE principles.  Not fear.  Jesus Christ is our reason for Hope.  Now, and always.

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