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Financial Peace

September 20, 2015

by Linton Phillips

Having watched a significant downsizing in the Military in the mid-1990’s, I changed careers by moving into the “business world” in 1996, and have held various positions in the Pharmaceutical Industry for 19 years. Similar to my military experience, I’ve seen ups and downs in “downsizing” or “rightsizing” of many peers and that includes living in Midland seeing DOW and DOW CORNING experience change. In full disclosure, though, I’ve not personally experienced “job loss;” I’ve spent many hours (and many sleepless) nights with a fear of “what would we do” if this were to happen to “us”… In 2010, I made a company change and it was then I decided to make changes in our life beyond just a job. You see, through the news, or reading, or others’ advice – not only did I need to develop a plan that could help me take care of my family in case of job loss – but also I knew that I needed to “save for college, 529s, save for retirement, IRA, ROTH IRA, 401k, pay my house off, help my extended family, give more to the church, etc…” As I sought “financial advice,” if you looked inside my head, you’d know that though it was financial advice, it really was me needing direction that would help get the stressful thoughts out of my head and give me “peace.” I was allowing much of this to suck the joy of being a Christ Follower out of my life.

It was then that I heard about Financial Peace University. A class was being hosted at another church here in Midland and it piqued my interest. Honestly, I wasn’t sure it was what I needed – I really didn’t want to sit through 13 weeks of a budgeting class and it wasn’t like I had insurmountable debt that I was trying to wade through. But I gave it a shot. The 13-week class taught me a ton! It teaches biblically based principles on giving, saving, spending, etc… and then offers practical, step by step instructions on how to prioritize all those other things I mentioned that were spinning in my head. Not only did it help with the financial aspect I was seeking, it helped Heather and I focus and align more on what our goals and dreams were. It has helped me teach my children many concepts I didn’t know growing up. Hopefully they can avoid some of the mistakes I made earlier in life.

This class made such a dramatic effect in me that I sought out Pastor David. The conversation went something like: “FPU has been one of the best classes I’ve ever been through. Though it helped me with financial planning and stewardship, the benefits were significantly more on the spiritual end – I now have a “Peace” in this aspect I’ve never felt before.” I then told him, “I was irritated that I had to go to another church to find this class” and “that our church should be feeding our flock here, at Midland Free.” His response was, “Linton, when would you like to start teaching it?”

And here we are. Our church has offered on average, 1 to 2 classes per year. This fall, we are offering two separate 9-week classes:  Sunday mornings and Wednesday nights. I believe this is part of my calling here at MEFC – to share what I’ve learned through FPU. It is a video-based series and we will have the opportunity to discuss specific questions from the curriculum and address questions you have. It does require some homework, it’s fun to do, it will help you communicate with your spouse more (if you are married), and you will learn a ton. No matter your “financial” situation, we all can learn something new in this class. Maybe you have it all figured it out but can use pearls from this class to help teach your peers or the next generation. “Financial Peace” is part of the gospel to me. Imagine what can GOD do through us when we abandon our own selfishness and are committed to following his principals – that includes financial stewardship.

If you are interested in signing up, please follow this link. There is a fee associated with the materials but please do not let this be a deterrent for you. There are scholarships available.

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