Are you a victim of injustice?

Most of us have been a victim at one time or another, and if not we’ve been guilty of unjustly treating others. More than likely we have been both.

Through the years I have been a victim of injustice from time to time. Sometimes in very simple things that are easy to deal with and other times in more severe ways. Some time ago, 13 men, through various ways, inflicted a great deal of injustice on my entire family. I was angry and I wanted vengeance! It simply wasn’t right!

While reading my Bible, the Lord reminded me that it was not my job to get revenge. In fact, it was my job to forgive! UGH! I did not want to, but the Spirit of the Lord would not me let ignore the command. So with the help of the VCY Bookstore (10707 W. Capitol Drive, Milwaukee, WI 53222) I found myself the proud owner of copy of Erwin W. Lutzer’s book “When You’ve Been Wronged” and began to read it.

In his book, Dr. Lutzer quotes John Perkins from his book “Let Justice Roll Down”

In that book he writes:

“This Jesus, this one who had brought good news directly from God in heaven had lived what He preached. Yet he was arrested, falsely accused. Like me, He went through an unjust trial, He also faced a lynch mob and got beaten. But even more than that, He was nailed to rough wooden planks and killed. Killed like a common criminal.

At that crucial moment, it seemed that even God Himself had deserted him….
But when He looked at that mob who had lynched Him, He didn’t hate them. He loved them. He forgave them. And He prayed to God to forgive them. ‘Father, forgive these people, for they don’t know what they are doing.'”

As is often the case when we can step away from the emotions of a moment, a different perspective began to become clear to me. Jesus suffered the greatest injustice of all! He gave up his life, in a torturous manner, for me. He was arrested, for me. He was beaten, for me. Furthermore, the people who beat Him, who spit on Him, and ultimately who killed Him, He loved! How than can I do anything but love those who have treated me unjustly?

By God’s grace, I have been able to forgive these 13 men.

I have learned much through this experience. Most recently God has shown me that there are people who I have treated unjustly. Through His love, amends have been made and some relationships restored! Some relationships have not yet been restored, I pray that one day those people may forgive me. All things are possible in His time!

If you have not yet received the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior, what are you waiting for? He loves you and he wants you to be forgiven!

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Our Banking System is in Shambles

Several years ago the taxpayers of this nation bailed out several large banks in denominations so large they are nearly impossible to comprehend.  (http://projects.propublica.org/bailout/list )  The idea was that we needed to “prop them up” or get them “back on solid ground.”  In my opinion that type of bailout doesn’t fix a problem, it simply empowers the problem to continue or perhaps even make it worse.  In fact, I would contend that the bailout of the banks, as well as the car companies, and others, by enlarge has moved us closer to the edge of economic Armageddon.  But that is a conversation for a different day.

As a result of the “Too Big to Fail Bailouts”, our Nation passed the Dodd Frank Act which was supposed to protect us from having to bailout banks again.  Like much legislation that has been passed in recent memory, it hasn’t really changed anything for the better.  (http://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2013/07/22/dodd-frank-wall-street-reform-economy-column/2572929/ ) In fact, you could make the case that it has setup the Federal Government to take even more control of banking, in turn taking more control of money, and setting up a more likely Government takeover of banking.  Imagine what kind of a mess the Feds could make out of the banking system if they controlled it entirely?

Having experienced first hand the problem of Federal influence in daily banking decisions, I don’t trust the Feds or the Banks to even hold my money.  Unfortunatly, given the mostly cashless society that we live in, it is nearly impossible to get along without at least some money in a bank.  The Feds and the Banks are, I believe, in cahoots to get more and more of our money.  Yours and mine! Don’t believe it?  Take a look at this article from Ellen Brown:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ellen-brown/banks-confiscation_b_2957937.html and if you aren’t a Huffington Post fan, take a look at this segment from a recent 60 Minutes episode:   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JhW0uXlOQJs  The Government is setting themselves up to have unfettered access to our money so they can “tax” us at will.  Make no mistake, they want 100% of our wealth.

These kinds of signs are all over the place.  They are not political, they are factual.  You don’t have to be a genius to see the far reaching, dramatic, and extremely scary scenarios that will be presented to us in the near future.  It doesn’t matter if you are the staunchest conservative, the most radical liberal, the strongest Tea Party supporter, or a fierce Libertarian, you can’t escape the effect of these policies on our economy, and worse on our money.

If we expect to make any significant change to the direction our country is headed, we need to take back control.  The best way that I see that is by keeping our money away from the Feds as much as possible.  No, I am not suggesting we don’t pay taxes.  Taxes are necessary and important.  What I am saying, is that we make sure that the Feds only get what they are due and that we keep as much as we possibly can out of their control.  There are several ways to do that, but lets face it, money in Federally Insured Banks, or Government sponsored retirement programs, like 401K’s, are not safe in any way shape or form.  Find a place to park your money that is outside of the Feds control.  If enough of us do so, we might just be able to create a movement that will change the direction our Country is headed.

If you are interested in learning more about money and how we can change course, here is a good read. It really is a book, so it will take some time and commitment, but it’s well worth the time.  http://consultingbyrpm.com/uploads/HPBRW.pdf  If you don’t want to read the book, feel free to get in touch with me, I would be more than happy to correspond or speak with you about these topics.

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Why Private Family Banking

A couple of years ago I was in Atlanta at the Metalcon Convention.  My brother was along with me and we were looking for ways to build our sheet metal business.  We each learned quite a bit from the show but I had no idea that I had been introduced to people who would ultimately play a huge role in my future!

I attended a session that was titled “Becoming your own Banker” and the presenter was Rocky Nystrom.  As Rocky introduced his topic I became very interested.  He was saying all kinds of cool things like, “eliminate the middle man, earn the interest you’ve been paying to others, put that interest to work for you” and “put your money to work smarter!”  I was very interested in what he had to say right up until he started talking about how to do that through whole life insurance!  Ick!  I had just wasted an hour and a half of my time, or so I thought.  I pretty much checked out of his talk and probably started responding to e-mails or whatever.  I certainly didn’t hear anything he had to stay after he got into this lousy life insurance crap.

You see, for my whole life I had been a term life buyer.  Whole life insurance was so cotton pickin’ expensive, why in the world would anyone buy it?  And life insurance, what a miserable thing in the first place!  Paying for something that you only need in the event of your death?  Seriously?  It’s a necessary evil, and one I was not at all interested in learning more about!

Later that same day as I was walking the trade show floor, I ran into a guy who had invented a fall protection system.  For those of you who don’t know, fall protection is an industry term in the roofing industry relating to anything to keep workers from falling off of a roof.  It ranges from flags, signs, and other types of warning systems to scaffold and ropes and harnesses.  This individual had developed a railing system for commercial flat roofing that was easy to setup and easy to work around.  I was intrigued because most flat roofs require some type of railing system and most of these systems get in the way and slow down production.  We got to talking and he mentioned that he had seen me in the “Becoming your own Banker” seminar and wondered what I thought.  Not always being the most politically correct I promptly told him that I thought it was a load of crap and a waste of time.  He chuckled and said that was an interesting position.  Then he went on to tell me that if he hadn’t started his own banking system that his business would have been shut down a couple of years earlier as his volume had taken a big hit and the banks would have come calling.  By the time he was done talking, I knew I was going to have to look into this thing a little bit more.

While we were talking, Rocky ended up joining us and we exchanged business cards.  It took me nearly a year of talking with Rocky before I decided I would go ahead and start a Private Family Bank.  So on June 8th of 2012 I started my very first bank!  As with any business venture it takes time to build.  The plan for this bank was to take over a truck loan from the bank by June of 2013.  Of course I was out of business before that could ever happen.  As the old saying goes, “If I knew then what I know now” I would have started my bank much sooner.  In fact, if I had started my bank just six years sooner, I would not have been forced out of business earlier this year!

Anyway, June of 2013 rolls around and I’ve got this bank that I’m not sure what to do with.  I called down to Private Family Banking to talk about the options and what I thought would likely lead to closing my new bank.  One thing lead to another and Rocky offered me an opportunity to join him at Private Family Banking.  At the time I still wasn’t sure what I was going to do but as pissed off as I was and am at the banking industry in this country, I was interested.  When I first learned about Private Family Banking I was told I should read the book “Becoming Your Own Banker” by R. Nelson Nash.  ( http://www.amazon.com/Becoming-Your-Own-Banker-Infinite/dp/B001NZO1DS/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1384270586&sr=8-1&keywords=becoming+your+own+banker ) Even though I had started a bank, I had never read the book.  I decided I probably should read it before I made any decision about pursuing a career with Private Family Banking.  ( http://privatefamilybanking.com/ )

Regardless of what you think about life insurance, becoming your own banker, Private Family Banking, or investing, you really need to read the book.  If you don’t want to read that one, you can also take a look at this video by one of my new partners at Private Family Banking, John Commuta.  ( http://www.johncummuta.com/Bankers_Secret.htm ) Finally, another very good read, and it’s free!  Is found here: http://consultingbyrpm.com/uploads/HPBRW.pdf

After reading the book and doing some other research, I decided that I really could be passionate about life insurance!  Quite a change when less than 24 months ago I HATED whole life insurance!  What I’ve learned since has been life changing.  You really should take some time and learn more about using life insurance as a tool for supercharging your finances.  You’ll likely be surprised what you learn!

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Random Ramblings

I heard somewhere that November is some type of blogging month.  You’re supposed to write 1,000 every day of the month for some reason.  To me that would begin to scare readers away.  I mean what could one possibly write every day that would keep readers attention?  Well maybe some people are exciting enough to keep that kind of attention but it would be difficult for me to believe that you guys would read a post from me everyday so I will continue to shoot for two a week.  Of course if a lot of you write me to tell me you can’t wait until the next post, perhaps I would change my mind!

So what to write about today?  Furlough Ministries, or whatever it will end up being called!  (You guys should begin to think of cool names for this new ministry.  Send them to me and I will set up a poll – those are always fun!) 

After I was forced to close my business earlier this year I wasn’t sure what to do next.  I had a few different opportunities and ultimately landed with Private Family Banking.  Prior to that, I was approached by a good friend with an outline of his dream of starting a ministry to provide missionaries with dependable, nice quality cars, trucks, and vans.  His vision is to provide these at affordable prices to missionaries who are home on furlough, hence the name Furlough Ministries.  His vision actually takes on a bigger picture than just transportation.  Among other things, he has a hope to provide hands on training to young people who are pursuing a career in the automotive repair industry, perhaps even some type of apprenticeship or scholarship program.   When he approached me with the idea, I was not terribly excited about the possibilities or the opportunity.  Quite the opposite, I was not at all certain there was even a need and I really didn’t want to get involved. Regardless, as a good friend I owed him a solid effort to give some thought to his dream. 

Over the next few months I did a little research.  What I found out surprised me and I began to build a little interest in his idea.  As I began to learn more about the need it has become quite clear that the need is quite a bit larger than I ever imagined.  Living in NE Wisconsin it is quite important to have a car or two.  They are relatively easy to acquire and are in great supply.  It’s easy to take independent transportation for granted.  However, for missionaries, many who don’t have a permanent address here in the States, it is much more complex, difficult, and sometimes seemingly impossible.  As it turns out, we have a unique opportunity to use our resources and start a new ministry as a full time auto shop!  

As more and more research was done things began to take shape.  We started to reach out to other people who are providing a similar service to other parts of the Country.  One organization we spoke with last week was very excited to hear about our efforts because there is a significant need in the northern part of the Midwest.  (St. Louis and Indianapolis are covered reasonably well with already established automotive ministries.)  Another organization we spoke to was also very excited as they have 60 cars and are booked solid through July of 2016! 

For all of my life cars have been pretty important to me.  As far back as I can remember my dad was restoring cars.  The first one I remember working on with him was a 1966 GTO convertible.   I can still remember the smell of the paint remover that we used as well as riding in it after it was done.  It had a 389, tri-power, 4 speed, power antenna, and even a factory 8 track!  It was always fun when he would do a burnout!  Most recently I restored a 1957 Chevrolet pickup.  (It had to be sold this spring and I sure miss it!)  I absolutely love cars of many kinds.  I used to be a Pontiac only guy, then it was GM only, and now I appreciate all kinds of different cars.  The idea that perhaps God is leading me into a ministry that would give me the opportunity to help further the spread of his Gospel through the automotive industry is very cool! 

Over the last month or so things have started to come together.  We have developed two very different business models.  These of course need to be dissected, re-worked, discussed and molded into a final plan.  We have a pretty solid start to a budget but it needs more scrutiny and fine tuning.  We even have a car that is ready to go.  We even have missionaries in Europe who have heard about our efforts and have contacted us with preliminary requests!  Even so there are still a few major decisions that need to be made, the biggest is funding.  If you think about it, please pray for wisdom and clear guidance for us as we try to understand how God wants us to move forward specifically in the area of finance.  Hopefully if everything goes according to our time table, we will be up and running by the 1st of June next year. 

The coming months are of course the most critical.  In the next few days I am meeting with a local school administrator and hopefully with FVTC to begin the process of planning a training program.  We have reached out to an attorney to begin the process of structuring the appropriate legal entity.  Next month we are planning a visit to at least one of the organizations that is already up and running.  Our hope is to visit at least two or three places and talk to the men and women who are running them to learn from their experience.  I plan to be able to update you sometime after our first visit.  In the meantime, would you please share this post with all of your friends who know overseas missionaries or have a heart to the spread of the Gospel?  Thanks everyone!

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Bucket List

Do you have a bucket list?  I didn’t, or at least not formally.  I suppose there are things I would love to do but I’ve not intentionally created a list.  This came up over the last week or two while talking to my wife.  She was asking about things that would be on most peoples bucket list.  She was trying to find some helpful things to post to help boost her business as a travel agent. ( If interested, you can visit her at http://www.candeotravel.com/)

Her question got me to thinking and of course there are things I would love to do.  One of those has been in the forefront of my mind since her question, a train trip around the country!  I would love to take all of the main Amtrak lines out of Chicago and travel the country, taking in the scenery that we miss out on when we use the interstate or airlines to travel!  Image

To do it right would take a great deal of time and a fair amount of money.  Recently,  a friend of mine suggested that I take the train to Arizona for a training event and then take it back.  While this would be ok, it’s not exactly what I had in mind.  Using Amtrak for the purpose of transportation to and from a destination simply to get there and back seems to me to be inefficient.  Train trips are long, not all that cheap considering the time ramification, and the schedules are not usually conducive to much of anything.   However, train trips for the purpose of seeing the country seem to make a lot of sense. 

Today I did some quick calculations.  To take a trip from Columbus Wisconsin to Seattle, down to San Francisco, and back to Columbus through Denver and Chicago would cost about $2,500, including food and lodging for time spent in several cities along the way for a night or two.  (That is of course assuming you stay at budget lodging and eat cheap.) The total duration of the trip would be about two weeks.  In the past the time to take this trip was the obstacle, today it is the money.  Perhaps one day I will be able to justify the expense and still have the time!  Or maybe there is a way to make that trip and get paid to do it?  Maybe a publisher would like to hire me to write a book about my trip, or maybe Amtrak would?!  Ah well, here’s to dreaming!

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Thank you to everyone at http://railroadforums.com for the photos!

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The next steps.

This week has been rather rough.  I have been unable to accomplish any of the goals I set out to do.  It is rather depressing as a commissioned salesman when all you get is no’s.  Fortunately I was able to get a head start on next week’s goals, but this week, as far as sales, is shot.  Furthermore, I got several bits of bad news, piled on other bad news.

In the past I would have thought that this type of week just was “one of those weeks.”  Through the events of this year, my eyes have been opened to what is really going on.  You see, a friend of mine and I are trying to get a ministry started to help spread the good news of Jesus Christ.  When I ran out of things I could accomplish for my personal sales this week, I focused my attention on this ministry. It is for these efforts that Satan has been attacking me with these bits of bad news.  He has been trying to get my attention off the Lords work, and at times he has succeeded.  Fortunately God was able to overcome my shortcomings and allow for progress to be made on this ministry.  I will tell you all more some time in the future, but as I write this today, I am extremely excited about what the future holds.

For those of you who know what I’m talking about, please pray that God would give us wisdom as we move forward and that he will provide clear direction for our steps.

For those of you who don’t know what I’m talking about, I believe that the Bible is God’s Word to us.  It tells us what is true.  It is really quite a simple message, we are all guilty of sin and that separates us from God.  (One need not look much further than ones surroundings in our Country to see this clearly.)  Because of our separation from God, we are sentenced to death apart from him.  The only way to pay this penalty is to die.  Fortunately God is a loving God and provided for us a replacement.  He sent his perfect Son, Jesus Christ to die on the cross so that we may be saved from this horrific punishment.  All we need to do is accept this great and wonderful gift.

If you would like to know more, please do contact me.  Or if you don’t want to contact me, at least grab a Bible, if you don’t have one there are several available online, and begin to read it.  One of my favorites is https://www.bible.com/

I’m looking forward to reading your comments.  Take care everyone and have a great weekend!

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Introduction

How does one introduce themselves to the blogging world?  Admittedly I’ve not spent much time reading what blogs say or researching what they look like but I’ve heard that they are good to have for various reasons.  I’m not sure what to expect from starting one, but I suppose time will tell if I am successful at blogging or not.  Please beware I am fairly opinionated and I’m not known for being politically correct.  I’m not a writer and I probably have poor grammatical skills.  That’s just the way it is.

If you happen to venture a little bit and read my about page, you won’t find a whole lot of specifics there.  My education consists of 6 years in an elementary parochial school, 7 years in traditional public school, and two years in Bible School.  I suppose my continuing education also includes 30 years in the roofing industry. (Being that I’m only 42 I suppose you might question that, nonetheless it is true.)  For about 15 of those years I was at least part owner in the company and for a little more than 3 years I was the sole owner.

It was in May of this year that I sold off the assets of my company and found myself unemployed, with no money, no source of income, no unemployment benefit, no health insurance, and no clue what to do next.  I was unable to sell the company for the debt owed, so I still have a substantial debt to pay.  It’s amazing when you find yourself in a situation such as this, how fast you find out who your real friends are.  This bit of history is the launching point for this endeavor.  I imagine that through the days ahead I will touch more specifically on the why’s and wherefores and whatever.  But for now I am most startled by the people who left me hanging.   Some of my closest “friends” were the first to throw me to the wolves.

What amazes me is the people who reached out to me early in May, by enlarge were people that I would not have counted as more than acquaintances.  These were people who offered my wife and I assistance, groceries, a kind ear, but most of all, love.  This gave me pause as I was forced to re-consider why I counted the people as close friends that I did.  What I found was most of the people who I thought were my friends, had no interest in friendship at all but were simply using me for their benefit.  When I no longer provided them with any kind of benefit, they were no longer interested in me or my family.  While there certainly is a lot of hurt that I am dealing with, the beauty is that I have found true friendship – that is people who love and care for me, just because I’m me.

I don’t know what God has in store for me going forward, but I know that he has blessed me with true friendship.  For that I am very grateful!

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