The title of this weeks podcast comes from a verse in an old Al Green song but it is on point for me right now. Many of us are going through some tough times. As I pondered my own issues, I remembered that Jesus is recorded as saying, in John 16:33,
These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world
We as Christians, followers of Jesus Christ don’t have it any easier in this life than anyone else. I know a good dude, who’s wife left him. I know another who wish his wife would. I know a guy who just lost his cat. I know a lady who is still waiting for Mr. Right and trying not to settle for Mr RightNow.
First thing, we are not losers. We are just not loved by this world so the stuff we do doesn’t get promoted, liked, esteemed, appreciated like the other folks. But you have to remember that it comes from the top, Isaiah 53:3 says Jesus is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
So don’t be like the world, and lift up the name of Jesus. I know its not trendy. I know its old fashioned. i know it is not cool, it will get you banned on social media.
Romans 14:11 For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.
I had some challenges this new years with my web properties, I lost them.
How do you keep your faith in the face of adversity. Know this. Its’ a process.
“Winners are not afraid of losing. But losers are”
Most people are trying not to fail, therefore they never learn and they never get better. And because of their mindset they’re destined to live a life of mediocrity.
It is safe for a boat to stay at harbor but that is not what it was made for. Over time that boat will rot because it is sitting still.
We become more afraid to fail than to succeed because we forget that the first step to learning anything is failure. You’ve got to accept it, you’ve got to forgive yourself for failing. You have to look at what you can learn from it. Pick up the pieces and go on. Learn from it and move on.
Always remember it is okay to fail, effort comes in the tries, progression in every lesson learned. A step forward is more than a step not taken.
I’ve never met a strong person with an easy past.
6 Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:
As you might can tell, I like praising God. He has done so much for me. I am not the greatest guitarist but I play my best for him parampapum pum.
We are not asking for anything. We want for nothing. God has been really good to us. I couldn’t always say that though. I didn’t know all that I know now. We’ve been through some stuff. And like the title of this Message this morning,
It’s a Process.
Turn with me now to the NT book of Philippians 1:6, Paul seeks to assure the church of Phillipi that God aint through with you yet. And I am here to reinterate that
It’s a process.
Consecrate me o lord, by thy Word divine, let my soul look up with a steadfast hope, let my will be lost in thine.
But the church is not these four walls. You are the church. But oh if these walls could talk? I bet you got stories about all that you have seen and heard here. But its ok. You are now the church. Where you go, it is. But to make that church strong the foundation has to be the Rock.
and upon this rock I will build my church; (help me somebody) and the gates of WHAT – hell shall not prevail against it. (Matthew 16:18)
Walls are what we put up sometimes, its what keeps us from others, but you ever just think about a wall?
A freshly painted wall is a beautiful thing isn’t Rev. Herbert?
But to make it beautiful, to make the paint stick, to make it flow evenly. You have to prep it don’t you?
It’s a process.
You might have to patch a hole, you might have to sand down a spot, you might have to put some primer over it because of what was on it before.
Some of us, family, are being prepped right now.
We are the walls. Sanding hurts.
We ask God, WHY LORD? These walls can talk. We talk, we moan, we complain. We cry OUT.
I’m here to tell you that God hears you. And it’s a process.
A good painter Rev. Herbert is worth his salt. Worth every penny. Because a bad job shows.
Matthew 10:10 says… for the workman is worthy of his meat.
But you think God isn’t listening or not answering you but He has. He is saying wait baby, it’s a process.
If you short change the process, it looks bad. Its incomplete. It looks cheap like someone cut corners. We didn’t wait on the master.
Ephesians 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
I think you feel me right now. You realize that whatever you are going through will soon be over. Your walls are just getting prepped. You just got a fresh coat of paint. You not going to look like you used to look. You got a shine to you, you starting to look like Jesus.
Somebody is getting it. You got a new coat of L-O-V-E
You lost your job but maybe you needed a rest.
You need more money but you still can eat
You man done left but the Lord is working it out and is going to bless you anyway if you just let him work because it’s a process.
You got holes in you heart from all the stuff people have done to you in your life, well baby, the Lord is patching you up right now, and you know why?
It’s a process.
And while you He is working, you read the Word of God, and learn about the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost.
In 1984, Keith M. English was one of the US Marines I served with in the US Embassy London. Our detachment was close. Close to twenty of us still keep in touch.
My wife and I met him some time back during one of our anniversary get aways in VA beach. he came by the hotel we were staying at and found out he was sick.
Some time has passed and his conditioned worsened.
This is what he told me.
“As a consequence of my exposure to the contaminated water at Camp LeJeune, I’ve had throat, lip and lung cancer. I don’t use tobacco and have no family history of cancer. In my May, my bottom lip was removed because of tumors. Now, the lung cancer has returned and spread. I am at work on light duty because I need to pay these medical bills. I cannot afford to stay home and rest.”— Keith English
Fear thou not; for I [am] with thee: be not dismayed; for I [am] thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness. ~ Isaiah 41:10 KJV
In any little way, Save everyday
Do you want to know one of the secrets to accumulating large amounts of wealth? Here’s a hint: It’s not about making a ton of money.
In truth, one of the keys to saving a bunch of cash is actually quite simple: Automate your finances.
One of the biggest reasons why so many people don’t save enough money comes down to discipline. When we’re forced to think about saving our hard-earned dollars, month after month, our chances of success diminish. Things get in the way, don’t they? Life gets too hectic. It happens to all of us. It’s happened to me, too. We forget. We make other choices.
The solution is automation. Take discipline out of the equation and that completely streamlines the savings process.
After we automate our savings, we don’t have to think about saving money. Ever. Once it’s set up, which is typically very easy to do, all you’ll have to focus on is enjoying your life with the understanding that things are happening behind the scenes, things that will dramatically improve our quality of life when we get older.
Automation means money will be there when we retire.
And it’s easier than it might seem. The idea is to use your company’s payroll system, bank or investment company to fund your retirement and savings accounts automatically.
These three steps to ensure you’re set up to make saving easy:
1. If your company offers a 401(k), use it
These retirement accounts are pre-tax, which means you’re using earnings before it is taxed as income. 401(k) contributions also lower your taxable income, which means you will owe less money to the government. It’s a win-win!
The advantages don’t stop there. Some companies will match a certain percentage of your contributions, commonly around 4 percent. That means if you contribute 4 percent of your income into a 401(k), the company will throw in another 4 percent on top of your salary. That’s free money. Take advantage of it.
Keep in mind that 401(k)s are retirement accounts, which means you’ll need to wait until you’re 59 ½ before withdrawing your contributions (without incurring a 10 percent penalty). Any money that you withdraw from a 401(k) will be taxed as income at that time.
2. Open an individual retirement account (IRA)
There are two flavors of IRA accounts: Traditional and Roth. The biggest difference between a traditional and Roth IRA is when taxes are paid.
Traditional IRAs are taxable when the money is withdrawn (it’s treated as regular income). However, all contributions are pre-tax, just like with a 401(k). A Roth IRA, however, front loads your tax burden (post-tax), but that money is not taxed when you take it out. Note there are some restrictions on who can invest in Roth IRAs based on income.
How much should you save? Strive for 10 percent. If you can’t save 10 percent yet, start small and work your way up. Even if it’s only 1 percent, that’s OK. Start there. Over time, make a point to increase your savings percentage. In a few months, try 2 percent, then 3 percent.
Now, make your 401(k) and/or IRA contributions automatic by asking your employer or payroll service to automatically deduct money from your paycheck before you even see it. This way, you aren’t writing checks or initiating bank transfers. It all happens behind the scenes.
This is called paying yourself first. Before you see any money, your retirement accounts are already funded. Automatically.
3. Open a savings account for emergencies
Use a savings account, rather than your existing checking account, to separate your emergency fund from your spendable cash. I have an interest-bearing Ally savings account that, currently, offers over 1 percent interest every month.
Depending on how much you have saved, this can easily add up to hundreds or thousands of dollars a year. A money market account is another excellent avenue to save money and earn interest at the same time.
How much should you save? I like to keep at least three months of living expenses in my savings account. That money can carry me through most emergency situations and even an unexpected job loss. But don’t worry if you don’t have that much saved yet. Even if it’s $50 a month, start saving. It all adds up.
Make it automatic by setting up a recurring money transfer from your checking account to your savings account. Pick a day to make the transfer each month, then let the system work for you on its own. Most banks offer this capability online.
Remember: Money in your savings account is earmarked for a rainy day. Don’t touch it unless you have a crisis that requires cash fast. The point of a savings account is to separate that cash from your spendable pot of money to reduce the chances of accidentally spending it.
Don’t cheat yourself. Let the system work for you and the cash will pile up.
Ultimately, the key to saving a ton of cash is automation. Once it is set up, you won’t have to think about it: Saving just happens. Use automation to pay yourself first by fully funding your retirement accounts, then use recurring bank transfers to ensure your emergency savings account has plenty of cash to withstand an emergency or sudden job loss.
Automation makes saving easy.
Steve Adcock retired from full-time work in his mid-30s and writes about personal finance and financial independence. Steve can be reached on his website at ThinkSaveRetire.com
thank you for listening. God bless you.