Saturday, April 25, 2009

Thoughts on the Town Hall For Hope

Thursday night was the THFH with Dave Ramsey. At our church the numbers were small, but with only three days to promote it - that was to be expected. Even with the smaller group of people it was pretty amazing to know you were participating with possibly a million people across the country. When their goal was 500 host locations and they had 6000 - you know that the idea of "hope" hit a nerve with people.

Dave Ramsey is a good speaker: very informative, practical, and humorous. I told a friend last night that the night could be summarized with, "speaking the truth in love and humor."

There was TOO much to remember. But, here are a few nuggets that stuck out to me:
  • Failure should be allowed: he wasn't being negative or sadistic in saying that, but this is where the truth in love came out. If you've set yourself up for failure then failure is probably the best thing that needs to happen to teach you different. How many of us have learned some of our best lessons in life after completely messing up. One person asked, "Is this our great depression?" After explaining how historically and statistically this isn't anywhere near the Great Depression, he said this, "If it is going to be our Great Depression - I hope so. Because the people who went through the Great Depression knew better than anyone in our history how to handle their money and lives, and maybe that's what our country needs now."
  • We should not be slaves to fear: Probably my favorite line from the night was when he said, "fear is not a fruit of the spirit, it is the antithesis of hope." One of the things he repeated over and over again throughout the night was, "Calm down!" How true is that? How often do we make rash decisions not out of a spirit of wisdom but responding to a spirit of fear? I try to tell myself and others that all of the time, "Stressed out, hurt, or tired are not the times to make major life decisions." Unfortunately we live in a culture that's news media thrives on pushing fear. Solution - either don't watch the news or have a good diet of the mind as far as news intake.
  • The final three action steps: At the end of the night he told people three action steps to take. First, get active, do something. Inactivity will lead no where. Second, avoid loser talk. The more you around negative, pessimistic, loser people the more you will become as such. As was quoted in our 20's group Tuesday night, "Bad company corrupts good behavior." Last, learn to give again. Whether it is time or money, we need to learn to help one another. Not empower laziness - but serve those who genuinely need it.
Some of the best and also funniest lines he said in the night were:
  • "If your food is disgusting, your prices high, and your service horrible - you shouldn't be bailed out, you should close. You're freaking lame!"
  • "My grandmother always told me that the place to go when you were broke was to work."
  • "Sometimes Christians use prayer as an excuse to not have to face reality. You can pray while you're working!"
It was a great night. The stream at our location was perfect, any technical stuff was at LifeChurch's site - and they handled it quickly. I thought some of the questions that came through were somewhat lame, but I wasn't pushing the buttons so can't do anything about that. I do hope they make a recording of the night available in the future, as I know a lot of people who missed it who would both like to see it and would benefit from seeing it.

I appreciated that at the end of the night he said, "The only sure place you have to place your hope is the nail scarred hands of Jesus - He is the only one who will bring you through and not let you down." Amen, and amen.

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