Start STRONG in 2016

FINANCIAL FREEDOM GOD’S WAY ON-LINE ACADEMY

Spiritual and financial change, growth and transformation are part of your God-given legacy!!! 

The Bible gives you account after account of people who become better, kinder, stronger, more effective, more powerful, more successful than they were before, and it can be the same with you!  As a matter of fact, the word for “Hebrew” literally  means “one who crosses over”. Like Abraham, you are invited by God to “cross over” from wherever you are to where He would have you to be, spiritually and financially. More specifically, you are invited to “cross over” from wherever you are to become part of the Financial Freedom God’s Way On-Line Academy.  As you “cross over”, you will discover that “Financial Freedom God’s Way” has little to do with birth, luck, or circumstances, but everything to do with choice, commitment to change, discipline, self-improvement and hard work. If you are looking for hope, if you want to move from spiritual and financial information into spiritual and financial transformation, if you want to not just act differently but become a different person, if you want a fresh start, and most importantly, if you want to learn to be used by God to help others do the same–then welcome, you are at the right place! What God has in store for you is so much more than just a transfer of information, He is waiting to lead you into a transformation of life!  

NOTE TO YOU FROM BOB: According to the Bible, the Lord wants to move you from where you are spiritually and financially to where He wants you to be spiritually and financially.  He did it for me, I’ve seen Him do it for others, and I know He will do it for you! This is why the Lord has put together this 4-Phase Financial Freedom God’s Way Online Academy.
* Phase 1: He will show you the most important spiritual and financial principles.
* Phase 2: He will give you some great spiritual and financial tools.
* Phase 3: He, you, and I will customize Phases 1 & 2 to get those principles and applications       up and operating in your life.
* Phase 4: You will learn how to lead others through Phases 1-3.
God’s work in and through you as He, you, your Academy small group, and I work through this Academy together will absolutely and positively move you from just spiritual and financial information into spiritual and financial lifestyle transformation! 

“360 Days to Financial Freedom God’s Way”

Start with Phase 1: The FREE* 90-day “Your Finances in Perilous Times” On-Line Seminar

* Comprehensive and innovative approach to Bible-based personal financial transformation.

** Built on three questions God asks you if you want to make a spiritual and financial difference in His Kingdom. ** Discover/apply the links between spiritual warfare, God’s spiritual armor and your personal finances.
   ** Dig deep into six critical Bible “money” verses
** Learn some Greek, see some Jewish “word pictures”, and have some fun along the way.
* 50 Web-based sessions presented through a unique, interactive educational web site.
** Includes 35 one-to-one personalized video coaching sessions (average: 37 minutes each).
** Includes historic faith-based art, modern day photography, movie and TV video clips, and Power Points.
** Videos, audios, transcripts, and supplemental materials are all downloadable for you to keep, use, and share. ** High accountability required to include homework and blogging assignments.
* Built on 27 years of experience with Christian financial authors & teachers like Dave Ramsey & Larry Burkett.

Click here for more Academy information! AND To watch two examples of actual Seminar videos

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A $ Word From The Bible

Hosea 13:4-6
“But I am the LORD your God, who brought  you out of Egypt. You shall acknowledge no God but me, no Savior except me. I cared for you in the desert, in the land of burning heat. When I fed them, they were satisfied; when they were satisfied, they became proud; then they forgot me.”

Beware of Self-Sufficiency!
When abundant possessions made Israel feel self-sufficient, it turned its back on God and forgot Him. Self-sufficiency is as destructive today as it was in Hosea’s time. Do you see your constant need of God’s presence and help?  Learn to rely on God both in good times and in the not-so-good or even bad times. If you are traveling along a smooth and easy path right now, beware of forgetting Who gave you your good fortune. Don’t depend on your gifts; depend on the Giver (see Deut. 6:10-12 and 8:7 for God’s warning.)

Quote for the Week

Your Personal Legacy
“The number-one correlating factor among the exceptionally wealthy (wealth according to God’ definition) is unbelievable, radical levels of integrity. You cannot leave a lasting legacy without it.” (Dave Ramsey)

Ask Bob

Are you better at asking financial questions than you are at finding answers?  “Ask Bob” utilizes a question-and-answer format to respond to your “money” questions.  Each week Bob will prayerfully respond to as many of your questions as possible based on his 30+ years as a financial coach and counselor.  You may view previous questions and responses by clicking the the “Past Ask Bob” link a the top of this page.

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Questions & Bob’s Responses

Question: My Question: “We would like to use a home equity line of credit to pay off the remaining mortgage on our home, currently 5.75%, payoff 16,000 in old credit card debt, and make some repairs to the house. is it a sound biblical principle to use credit this way in our ultimate quest to be debt free in 5 to 8 years? the home equity rate is between 5.29 and 6.25% depending on eligibility. Bob’s Response: First of all, thanks for your email…and congratulations and praise the Lord for the desire He has put on your heart to become debt free! To answer your question…”Maybe”!  The answer could be “yes” or “no” depending what else you and your family are doing.  I would NOT consider an equity line of credit until…(1) You have prayerfully turned “your” finances back over to Him. (2) You are receiving Bible-based financial coaching from an experienced Bible-based financial coach ( daveramsey.com or www.crown.org or become part of our Financial Freedom God’s Way Online Academy). (3) You have a solid biblical understanding of what the Lord has to say about money and how to manage it in ways that are pleasing to Him. (4) You are living on a written budget for at least three months.  I pray this helps!

Question: From lack of prayer and discipline I’ve accumulated an excessive amount of credit card debt. I was looking at a local credit counseling company for help when I noticed your site. Do you offer any kind of 1 on 1 credit counseling?  Bob’s Response: We no longer offer consumer credit counseling services (CCCS) nor are we likely to ever offer them again.  We were the top CCCS organization in the nation for years when it came to program retention–better than 98% of our CCCS clients stayed with their program as compared to 40-45% national average.  However, we came to realize that even our retention rate didn’t help folks stay out of debt in the long run…once the pressure was off, folks returned to their poor spending ways.  We now work to help people change their lifestyles based on God’s Word, NOT just get out of debt for a season.  If you do choose a CCCS organization, please check them out carefully with the Better Business Bureau, get references, and don’t send anyone any money prior to reading and signing a contract.  I also recommend you do NOT even talk to anyone who offers credit “repair” services. We do offer the Financial Freedom God’s Way Online Academy and a new Crisis Financial Coaching program which you can read about on this site

Question: “Is there a way to invest in a mutual fund or a 403B retirement fund where we can choose to invest only in the stocks, bonds, etc that are for companies which maintain ethical practices?  We don’t want to invest in companies which are supporting abortion, or funding money into same-sex marriage, etc.  We have an opportunity to have company-matched funds, but we do not have a peace about investing in companies that we don’t support.  Please help .”  Bob’s Response: When it comes to investing wisdom I rely on faith-based experts.  I believe one of the best is Dave Ramsey.  According to Dave, you can certainly choose faith-based mutual funds, but it’s not something he recommends.  Here’s why: (1) In values-based investing, you pick between two similar mutual funds that align with your beliefs–a good concept.  (2)  However, few of these funds stand up to Dave’s criteria for picking mutual funds–5-year or longer track record of strong rates of return, professionally managed by a team of mutual funds managers, etc.  (3) This is a very personal decision you will have to make.  It’s what is known as a slippery slope.  If you no longer invest in funds that might invest in a company that supports abortion, to be consistent, you will need to stoop shopping at the grocer that  sells pornography.  You would also need to stop banking because nearly all banks contribute to the United Way which supports Planned Parenthood.  (4) Don’t choose these funds out of guilt.  Don’t make poor investment decisions to choose these funds.  You can read more about Dave’s investing philosophy here:  http://www.daveramsey.com/article/daves-investing-philosophy/

Question: Question: Hi Bob, here’s my question and situation.  I’m in over my head in debt.  I thought the way out might be to sell my vehicle.  I am single, 54 yrs old, and do not have another vehicle but my parent’s have an extra vehicle that they are not using which they would allow me to use.  My parent’s vehicle is older & their mechanic has told them that the next thing to probably go out on the vehicle would be the transmission so it may not be reliable transportation but I have a very short commute to work.  I have had my vehicle listed in Craigslist & have it priced below low book which would still be enough to pay off the car loan with about $3,000 to spare to make a dent in some other debt.  I planned on using the debt snowball.  The problem is the truck is not selling even though I have it very reasonably priced.  I need to do something quickly as I am behind almost 2 payments on the truck & am very close to getting it repoe’d.  I am finally caught up on my mortgage.  I have considered debt consolidation because that would probably allow me to keep the truck.  But, what I don’t like about that is I have some small debt ($1,000 or less) along with larger amounts ($8k).  I don’t like the idea of all that being lumped together as I feel I can pay off my debt a lot quicker if I used the debt snowball…however, I’m running out of time.  I need to be able to sell the truck to have some breathing room to pay off debt and the truck hasn’t sold.  I’ve been trying to sell it for about 2 months now.  Any suggestions?  Bob’s Response: The quick answers include the following: 1) use your folks’ car for as long as you can to include making any absolutely required repairs.  2) I agree with your reasons for NOT using a bill consolidation loan.  3) lower your asking price for your truck until you get it sold without receiving less than you owe.  4) If the truck doesn’t sell and you can’t afford the payments then talk to the mortgage holder and work it out so you can give it back to them–you need to understand the possible consequences as they explain them to you. HOWEVER, the right answer is to spend some time with a financial coach in your area at either www.daveramsey.com or Crown Financial Ministries (www.crown.org) so you can develop an overall strategy rather to respond to your financial crisis not react to it. 

My family  and I all have the same problem with finances. We all work but none of us seem to get ahead. I am single with no children. My car is paid for and I make enough money to pay my bills and should have some left over. I’m not a shopper and I cook my meals. To those who know me, especially my family, I am cheap. I pay my tithes but it seems that it is increasingly difficult to even do that anymore. My family has the same problem. all my siblings are struggling when there is no reason that we should be. This has been going on long enough.  What scriptures/Prayers can we put with our actions to break what I think is a curse? I’m ready to do battle. My parents are getting to the point that us kids need to be stepping up but we cant afford to.”  Bob’ Response: If you click through on the “Christ at the Center” link on the sidebar to the right, you will find some categorized groupings of Bible verses that deal with money and some of the other material areas of your life.  HOWEVER, just knowing what God has to say is not enough!  You need to move from Bible-based financial information into spiritual and financial lifestyle transformation.  That means you and your family need individualized help to organize and live out what you learn, to include an understanding of how to share what you learn with others.  I suggest you check out our new Internet based  “Financial Freedom God’s Way Academy”–it’s FREE (we do ask for donations to our Scholarship fund) and is exactly what you need.  I also suggest you check out the materials and courses offered by Dave Ramsey (www.daveramsey.com) and Crown Financial Ministries (www.crown.org).  Each will cost you some money, but it will be money well-invested.

Question: I need help with my life. I am overdrawn on my checking account, over the limit on my two credit cards, and am unable to handle my debt. My husband and I have three kids. I need a miracle very soon before I lose everything. Thank you! Bob’s Response: Yes, you do need immediate help.  It sounds like you need to first “stop the bleeding” and then start anew with your finances. You need immediate help that we are not yet in the position to give (our new “Crisis Coaching” services won’t be ready until early in 2016). So here’s what I suggest.  First, contact either the Dave Ramsey organization (www.daveramsey.com) or Crown Financial Ministries (www.crown.org) to see if either have a coach in your area. This will give you immediate help and also be able to see you into some Bible-based financial lifestyle changes. Second, if there are no coaches available to you where you are, then I suggest you prayerfully check out the closest Consumer Credit Counseling office…find them on the Internet AND also prayerfully check them out with the Better Business Bureau before you sign any agreement and give them any money. Third, you may also need professional legal help which none of the above can give. Remember, according to the Bible finances are never your problem.  The symptoms may be financial but the problems are always spiritual. So, as you go through whatever financial process you choose, please remember to get close and keep close to the Lord. He loves you right where you are more than you can ever imagine AND He promises to direct you from where you are to where He would have you to be–spiritually and financially.