I’m ramping up to coordinate my second Financial Peace University session for the year. The Spring session I had the privilege to coordinate was amazing, with 20 families completing the material and over a $100,000 turn around of their finances. It’s great to be able to be a part of a life-changing event for so many people.
If you’ve never taken Financial Peace University, I recommend it. It’s a great first step for families who are struggling with money issues and don’t know where to start. If you’re in the Tucson area, and you’re interested in joining a class, you’re all welcome to join mine.
We’ll be starting with a short orientation meeting for anyone interested in finding out more about FPU. We’ll be going over the class schedule and format, talk about what we expect from class members, how childcare will be handled, and answer any additional questions. That will happen on May 21st at 6:00 pm, and it shouldn’t last more than forty-five minutes.
The schedule breaks down as follows:
- May 21 – Orientation
- June 4 – Super Saving: Why you should save money, and why you need to start now.
- June 11 – Relating With Money: Why families must work together to achieve financial goals.
- June 25 – Cash Flow Planning: How to develop a monthly budget that really works.
- July 2 – Dumping Debt: What myths we believe about debt, and how to become debt free.
- July 9 – Buyer Beware: Why marketing is so powerful, and how to reduce it’s influence.
- July 16 – The Role of Insurance: What insurance you need to have, and what to avoid.
- July 23 – Retirement and College Planning: How to plan for the future.
- July 30 – Real Estate and Mortgages: How to buy or sell a home.
- August 6 – The Great Misunderstanding: Why you should live a generous life.
All meetings, including the orientation will be held at Saguaro Canyon Church at 10111 E Old Spanish Trail. Childcare is provided each time with a suggested donation.
If you want to find out more information or register for the class, you can check out the class page on DaveRamsey.com for all of your answers. Hope to see you this Summer!
Have you taken FPU? What was your experience? What was the most important thing you learned? How did it change your life and your finances?
I wrote a few weeks back about not letting perfectionism get in the way of finishing and putting content out where it can do some good. It’s one of my goals for the year, and I want to highlight it when I see others doing it well.
My good friend, Wayne Daley, has a heart for men in the city of Tucson. He’s the founder and president of MAN Tucson Ministries, which supports local churches in reaching their men through men’s ministry teaching resources, conferences, short-term area mission trips and community outreach. It’s a great ministry, and you should seriously consider supporting it as a part of your giving.
Recently, Wayne has had the opportunity to speak and teach as a leader at his church. In an attempt to improve that skill set, he’s launched MAN Tucson Radio, a weekly live internet broadcast covering the topics of Biblical manhood, male headship, accountability vs. restoration, and commitment. That’s a giant sized leap.
Here’s the thing: Wayne didn’t have to make this effort a public one. There are plenty of ways to improve those skills that doesn’t involve dropping your thoughts and ideas out on the Interwebs for the world to find and hear. What he’s putting out there isn’t perfect. It’s rough in a lot of ways, and he’s saying some controversial things. He’s taking some risks to do this.
But he’s finishing. Every week, he’s going to be putting something out there.
This weekend, if you’re in the Tucson area, MAN Tucson is hosting the Rough Cut Men Movie Experience on Saturday, April 13. This is an unique opportunity, just for men, to delve further into what makes them men. Click the link for more details and to register. It promises to be a great event.
And listen to Wayne put it out there every week, as he continues on his journey to change and grow the men in his community.
This week, we’re beginning a new session of Financial Peace University at one of our local churches. We already have about 30 people signed up, and I’m personally hoping for a lot to happen over the next couple of months. I’ve got a few reasons to be excited.
- Dave Ramsey and his team have recently reworked the course. The last time they updated was before the housing crash, so I’m expecting some new information in regards to that. There are so many people hurting in this area because of their out of control house payments, and I hope that we can really offer a few people some help.
- We have a few families attending. Parents are taking the time to make sure that their older children have learned the basics of handling money before they go out into the world. I love that.
- The course is now nine weeks instead of thirteen. I’m going to miss some of the material that’s been cut, but a shorter time commitment probably means more class retention, which is a good thing. Also, we might be able to fit in an additional session every year, and that would be awesome.
Here are the nine lessons:
- Super Saving – Why you should save money, and why you need to start now.
- Relating With Money – Why families must work together to achieve financial goals.
- Cash Flow Planning – How to develop a monthly budget that really works.
- Dumping Debt – What myths we believe about debt, and how to become debt free.
- Buyer Beware – Why marketing is so powerful, and how to reduce it’s influence.
- The Role of Insurance – What insurance you need to have, and what to avoid.
- Retirement and College Planning – How to plan for the future.
- Real Estate and Mortgages – How to buy or sell a home.
- The Great Misunderstanding – Why you should live a generous life.
If you’ve never taken Financial Peace University, I highly recommend it. It’s a great first step for families who are struggling with money issues and don’t know where to start. If you’re in the Tucson area, and you’re interested in joining a class, let me know. Send me an email and I’ll see if I can hook you up.
Question: Have you taken FPU? What was your experience? What was the most important thing you learned? How did it change your life and your finances?
I’ve spent a lot of time recently thinking about chapter 25 of the Gospel of Matthew. I would say that I’ve been meditating on it or contemplating over it during my quiet time, but using the words ‘the Gospel of’ makes me sound more religious than I’m normally comfortable with anyway, so I’ll just stick with thinking about it. I’m not some heavyweight spiritual guru, just a guy trying to do his best to love his savior.
Matthew 25 is broken up into three sections:
- The Parable of the Ten Virgins (v.1-13)
- The Parable of the Talents (v.14-30)
- The Final Judgement (v.31-46)
Each one of these is a description of what it will ostensibly be like when Christ returns, especially in regard to those who claim to love and follow him. They also supply the reader with some direct application, i.e. what loving and following Jesus should look like every day. In my opinion, these messages interleave and build on one another, and together they paint a pretty clear picture of how, as a Christian, we should approach and handle our resources.
Today, I’m covering the first section, The Parable of the Ten Virgins.
Have you ever read the Parable of the Ten Virgins? I’m not going to paste the whole thing here, because there are plenty of sites where you can go to read it, but let me quickly paraphrase it for the sake of those who are unfamiliar with it.
There are ten virgins (I’m as shocked as you are) who are all waiting for their future husband to show up. Because there’s a good chance he’s going to show up after dark, they all pack lamps. Only five of them, though, are wise enough to pack extra oil for their lamps. The other five don’t.
Sure enough, at the stroke of midnight, the call goes out that he’s on his way. The girls wake up and get their lamps going, but, wouldn’t you know it, five of them are having a rough time of it. They ask the others for some of their oil, but there isn’t enough for all of them. The five without are forced to make a trip to the local lamp-oil dealer.
While they’re gone, he arrives. The five who thought ahead go with him and the others get shut out. When they finally arrive, he won’t let them in, and denies even knowing them.
Matthew 25:1-13 BPV (Bodey Paraphrased Version)
Now, obviously there is a bunch of cultural stuff in here that those of us living in the 21st century won’t immediately get. For example, it’s not a widely accepted interpretation that the parable is condoning polygamy, but only for people with excellent planning skills. I could cross-reference the commentaries and discussions explaining the actual context of the passage, but that takes me back to the whole ‘sounding religious’ problem. I just want to focus on one core point:
A call was made. Five were ready. Five weren’t. Their results varied greatly.
That’s it. Here’s the actual, non-paraphrased verse that struck me the first time I read through it:
And while they were going to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the marriage feast, and the door was shut.
Matthew 25:10 ESV
If you’ve chosen to follow Christ, if you love your savior, you will eventually feel the call from God to respond to what breaks his heart. Just like in the parable, it won’t come at a convenient time. It’ll require a sacrifice from you, putting some or all of your life and livelihood at risk.
That can make it hard to answer. While you may know that serving him will be unbelievably rewarding, you’re just not ready to go. You hold back.
Is it your family? You can’t go where God wants until your kids are older. It wouldn’t be safe for them. You’re not ready.
Is it your finances? Your debts need to be paid, and you have to stay in that less-than-perfect job to keep them current. If you leave it, you’ll be bankrupt and destitute. You’re not ready.
Is it your health? You’ve not taken good care of yourself, so you need the insurance. Traveling is difficult and expensive. Before you can do anything for God, you have to get in shape. You’re not ready.
It can be anything. A few things. Maybe even everything. If we’re not handling the resources that we’ve been given well, it’s easy to find excuses and say “I can’t” when the time comes. And that’s too bad, because he knows the desires of our hearts. The plans he calls us to are as much for the impact they’ll have on each of us as they are for the impact they’ll have on the world. Not being ready means that we are missing out on the best for us.
So, why aren’t you ready? What keeps you from following the dreams he’s planted in you? Figure it out. Give yourself the freedom to respond without having to scramble for more lamp-oil.
If you could change one thing so you’d be more available to God, what would it be? What goals have you set and accomplished that have later helped you respond to God? Do you think that midnight lamp-oil sales was a lucrative business model in the time of Christ?