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Tag Archives: preparing for the future

Why an Emergency Fund is Essential

Rainy day funds are usually used to apply to the funds maintained by most U.S. states to help deal with budget shortfalls in years where revenues do not match expenditures.  In the days of fiscal responsibility, state leaders annually balanced their budgets rather than borrowing from the future to pay for present unforeseen costs.  The state of Texas uses an Economic Stabilization Fund as their rainy day fund, tapping into this when deemed necessary.  Unfortunately, most modern leaders rely on the federal government as their piggy bank, taking more than putting back.  Thus, when disaster strikes unexpectedly, many are left begging the United States for federal assistance.

The younger of them [inappropriately] said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of the property that falls to me.’ So he divided the estate between them. 13 A few days later, the younger son gathered together everything [that he had] and traveled to a distant country, and there he wasted his fortune in reckless and immoral living, Luke 15:12-13.

The parable of the prodigal son is one of the most referenced stories in the Bible.  Yet, few recognize the mention of an emergency.  Just as this immature son wasted his inheritance on wild living, a great famine swept across this region.  Luke uses the phrase “he began to do without and be in need.”  It sounds like this young man was forced to be become a pan handler, scrounging around the streets to survive.  Like Joseph during the famine in Egypt, you have to save during times of great abundance to endure lean periods.  The prodigal son was so consumed by indulging his sinful nature that he neglected to create an emergency fund.

Now when he had spent everything, a severe famine occurred in that country, and he began to do without and be in need. 15 So he went and forced himself on one of the citizens of that country, who sent him into his fields to feed pigs. 16 He would have gladly eaten the [carob] pods that the pigs were eating [but they could not satisfy his hunger], and no one was giving anything to him, Luke 15:14-16.

While human beings make plans for the future, only God knows your ultimate fate.  Two weeks ago I felt fine, unaware of the internal state of my body.  Today, I have to watch everything I eat and drink so that my blood pressure returns to healthy levels.  I’m not homeless like the prodigal son, but I am forced to re-evaluate my diet, exercise and daily routine.  Foregoing my favorite meals is going to be difficult, but if I want to improve my overall healthy changes must be made immediately.  Emergency funds are a biblical concept to help you through transitional phases in life.  When medical conditions take you away from work or the ability to earn money, savings are there to fall back on.  May this blog inspire you to prepare like Joseph in the Old Testament, making the most of rich harvests by establishing an emergency fund.

by Jay Mankus

Isolated Showers

 From a meteorology perspective, weather systems can stall on occasion, creating isolated showers in the same location for hours or in a worst cause scenario for days at a time.  This phenomena is known as a stationary front, where a boundary is formed between two air masses neither of which replaces the other.  Whenever a weather system travels less than 6 miles per hour, its deemed to be stationary.  Unique wind conditions makes this possible as the north side of a stationary front move in a East to West direction.  Meanwhile, on the southern edge, winds reverse, moving from West to East.

 

According to a September 15th article in the U.S.A. Today, experts are blaming an unusually strong ridge of high pressure parked over Western Canada for the deadly flooding in the Boulder region of Colorado.  Over one month later, hundreds of people are still unaccounted for, likely washed away in the torrent rapids flowing down the Rocky Mountains.  This natural disaster has conjured up memories of the Big Thompson flash flood of 1976 where 144 were killed just north of Boulder.  Those who believe in God often struggle to make sense of these storms, wrestling for answers to grasp why.

 

Although every geographic area does not encounter the same natural disasters, all regions experience isolated showers.  Literal storms can bring lightning, thunder and heavy rains.  Spiritual storms offer a different challenge, testing your faith, patience and soul.  While people can seek shelter for isolated showers, life’s trials are often unexpected, resulting in an invisible tsunami attempting to wipe you out spiritually.  It’s not if these isolated showers will occur, but when.  Therefore, when a spiritual stationary front knocks on your door, arm yourself with the words of Jesus in Matthew 7:24-27.

by Jay Mankus

The First Pawn Star

Prior to 1950, pawning was the leading form of credit for consumers in the United States of America.  While chess players refer to  a pawn as the least valuable piece on their board, pawning is when someone exchanges an object or possession for cash, used as collateral in case this person can’t pay back a broker or business owner.  The History Channel’s hit show Pawn Stars, starring 3 generations of the Harrison family’s Gold & Silver Pawn Shop in Las Vegas, has popularized this ancient practice.

As I read Genesis 47:13-26, I realized that Joseph, governor of Egypt during the great 7 year famine, became the first pawn star on earth.  When the Egyptians ran out of money after the first few years of this drought, Joseph began to barter food in exchange for cattle, donkeys, goats, horses and sheep.  Once residents had pillaged all of their possessions, land and labor were offered up for food.  Ahead of his time, this shrewd business man developed a plan, similar to a tax, pawning grain at a 20% interest rate, expecting to be repaid once their fields were restored.

Whenever you think you’ve had it tough in this economy, please read Genesis 47:13-19.  After hearing this sad story of poverty, may God help you see how blessed you truly are today.  This passage serves as a reminder to be prepared for a rocky future by saving as much as you can now.  If God didn’t give Joseph a vision for the future, Egypt would have been caught off guard.  Therefore, take this message as a wake up call, ready to bare down, living a frugal life so that when famine returns you and your family will survive.

by Jay Mankus

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