Friday, April 24, 2009

Town Hall For Hope

Last night, in sort of spur of the moment decision - on my part at least... little did I know it was planned all along for us to go to our church and watch the Town Hall For Hope event put on by Dave Ramsey.

Those of you that haven't known me long - might not know that I'm a HUGE Dave Ramsey fan... he certainly has changed our life for the better, in so many ways. His financial practices are based on Biblical principles, and are a fantastic model for getting your life on track. We actually gained control over our money, and put it to work for US - instead of the other way around.

Not only does he make a LOT of sense, but he makes learning about economics entertaining. He brings it to the level of those of us that aren't number crunchers... and I really dig that about him.

These are some of my favorite bumper stickers that he puts out.

So the Town Hall For Hope was amazing! Beyond words, and YOU have the chance to not miss out on this... they will rebroadcast the entire program this weekend - click here for a list of stations and times. I HIGHLY recommend it to all of you. It was such an amazing ray of light in this whole recession doom and gloom that we've been hearing for the last several months.
Interestingly enough - he proved the point that this isn't even the worst recession we've had since the Great Depression! It's funny though with the constant stream of media - you would think that things are worse that they were back then.
The premise behind the event is that you don't have to participate in the recession... you can choose to live your life, take personal responsibility and go forward. Work... live your life...and don't let your decisions be made out of fear. I of course can't do justice to the message that Dave laid out for us last night, but THIS is how we will be living our lives.
Yes, things are bad for some people right now - you can't make light of that - but for the majority of the nation... people are just simply reacting to what they hear on the news. It's a sad fact, but it isn't their job to necessarily inform you accurately to make your own decisions... it is their job to draw you in to watch more of their programming... and this happens on both sides of the aisle.
So, choose to say "hang on a minute folks" and educate yourself... make your own decisions about what it means and how it effects your life... don't let anyone else do that for you.
Dave had these steps to give us about how to keep going in light of what the media is trying to feed us: (these are his words taken from the website)
  1. Get up and take action

    You are the cure, America. No one else is going to solve your problems for you—that's your job! Find out how you can take control of your money, turn back the fear in your community, and hold your representatives accountable for the decisions they're making on your behalf.

    If you're looking for a turnaround in this economy, then you need to take a look in the mirror. Change isn't going to come from Wall Street, Washington or big business. It's going to come from you. Real change will only happen when we, as a nation, take some personal responsibility and identify the specific things we can do to make a difference. Here are some suggestions:

    Take Control of Your Money
    If you truly want to rediscover hope in this economy, it is absolutely essential that you take control of your money. Like Zig Ziglar says, "There isn't much you can do about the national economy, but there is a lot you can do about your personal economy." You'll find a wealth of information, tools and resources at daveramsey.com.

    Get Informed
    Dave shared a lot of important, yet seldom discussed, facts and figures during Town Hall for Hope. He also shed some light on key historical figures that have shaped America's economy. Empower yourself to defend hope by reviewing this critical information in our Get Informed resource center.

    Contact Your Representatives
    Don't forget, your Senators and Representatives work for you! If you have any concerns with the decisions they're making (and you should!), then let them know! Contact the men and women who are speaking on your behalf.
    Senate
    House of Representatives
  2. Don't listen to loser talk

    We're sick and tired of the "loser talk" that has permeated the media, the water cooler and the internet. Stop listening to the garbage, and start speaking a word of hope!

    No matter where you turn, it seems all you hear is doom and gloom, as a spirit of fear has settled over the whole nation. We’re sick of it! Get away from the “loser talk” that is permeating the airwaves—and the water coolers. If you want to discover hope, you’ve got to remove yourself from those people and places that will always bring you down.

    Turn Off the News
    One of the biggest challenges in restoring hope to the nation is the endless stream of opinions and information that we’re hit with throughout the day. We’re neck-deep in the information age, and it’s killing us! Sure, you need to know what’s going on in the world, but you don’t need to have the news, radio and RSS feeds going 24/7. Our advice: maintain a get in–get out attitude about news.

    Inject Hope Into the Discussion
    You will no doubt stumble upon, or even into, discussions about the economy several times a week. When you do, you have to remember that you will inject either fear or hope into the discussion. Choose hope! Watch what you say, and be mindful that your words and attitude will have an impact on those around you. If you aren’t sure what to say at all, be sure to check out our Get Informed resource section.

    Spread the Message of Hope
    Speak up, America! For too long, we've allowed others to do our talking for us. Now it's time to take the conversation back! Discover all the different ways you can spread the message of hope across the country --and around the world-- in our Get Involved section. You'll be able to spread hope through Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, blogs and more!
  3. Give

    Learning how to give—whether it's money, time or support—changes your whole mindset. Dave says it pretty clearly: "We can't win if we can't give." If you want to win with money and change the nation, you've got to learn how to give again.

    Giving is a natural expression of help and hope in the world. In a sense, we were made to be givers; it’s how we’re wired. If all the money comes in, and none of the money flows out, then we just become stopped up. And anything that gets stopped up eventually begins to stink. The bottom line is that greedy people can’t spread hope in the world. If you really want to make a difference, think about these three giving suggestions.

    Take Care of Your Family First, Then Share With Others
    There is a wonderful ceremony in the Jewish tradition called the Havdalah. Essentially, the Havdalah is a reminder that each individual is first and foremost responsible for taking care of his or her own family. But that’s not all. We’re called to do such a fantastic job at providing for our families that there is an overflow—an abundance of resources. And out of that abundance, we have a responsibility to help others.

    Give Your Time
    It may sound like a cliché, but “giving” doesn’t necessarily mean “money.” Oftentimes, the most meaningful gift you can give is the gift of time and attention. Don’t settle for the Christmas and Thanksgiving shift at the local homeless shelter. Find ways you can spread hope with your hands year-round. Is there a single mom that needs help with babysitting? Does an older neighbor need help with her yard work? Get out of your house and show your community hope in action.

    Out-Give the Government
    Regardless of your political views, remember that it is possible to change the nation without casting a single vote. When everyday American citizens make giving a priority, no one will have to look to Washington for a bail out. Support your local businesses. Give your time and money to your church and local nonprofits. Open your hands and your pocketbook to those in need. Don’t buy in to the notion that the government will supply your every need. Make it your goal to out-give the government.
There you have it friends, choose to live a life of HOPE not a life of FEAR.