Jan 09 2015

Verse for the Day: Deuteronomy 8 : 11-16 11-16 Make sure you don’t forget GOD, your God, by not keeping his commandments, his rules and regulations that I command you today. Make sure that when you eat and are satisfied, build pleasant houses and settle in, see your herds and flocks flourish and more and more money come in, watch your standard of living going up and up—make sure you don’t become so full of yourself and your things that you forget GOD, your God, the God who delivered you from Egyptian slavery; the God who led you through that huge and fearsome wilderness, those desolate, arid badlands crawling with fiery snakes and scorpions; the God who gave you water gushing from hard rock; the God who gave you manna to eat in the wilderness, something your ancestors had never heard of, in order to give you a taste of the hard life, to test you so that you would be prepared to live well in the days ahead of you. (The Message)

I grew up being so blessed to have parents who loved the outdoors. From my earliest days I can remember going camping with them and my mom loved it as much as my dad. As I grew up my parents gave me many opportunities to experience different ways to grow, prepare and develop in my love, ability and desire to enjoy the outdoors. From my personal time with them to Cub Scouts, Four H, Boy Scouts and Order of the Arrow they helped to prepare and equip me to be who I am today and to live out the Boy Scout motto "Be Prepared". In turn I have tried to pass on the same love for the outdoors to my kids and the Boy Scout motto "Be Prepared"

The Boy Scout Motto "Be Prepared" is a motto we should all take to heart and apply to every aspect of our life not just camping or enjoying the outdoors. And the closer I get to retirement the more I realize how important it is to plan for the future while you’re young. Like a lot of people, especially the young, Jo and I haven't always been the best stewards of all that God has blessed us with over the years. At times throughout our life we have let our personal desires, wants and wishes distract us from being the best stewards of what God has given us. It's not that we haven't done a decent job of preparing for retirement and things are looking pretty good, but the fact is, as I look back on all God has blessed us with over the years, I could have been a lot better prepared for the day I decided to retire and the need to work to just to survive.

From my earliest days I can remember my parents setting up saving accounts for my brothers and sister telling us about the importance of saving and that has stuck with me throughout my life. I also remember getting an example about the importance of saving early and constantly from one of the companies I worked for early in my career.  I still have a copy of it today and it stated this: “If two people decided to save $2000 a month over a forty year period in an IRA that returned 10% interest and the first person started year one and put the $2000 in their IRA for the first 8 years and quit putting anything else into the plan. The second person started their saving at year nine and continued till year forty. The person who started early would have incredibly more at the end of the forty years than the person who invested over the next thirty two years. That’s hard to believe but that’s also the power of planning and preparing early.

God wants us to be "Be Prepared" and to be good stewards of all He has given us. Our time, our talents, our gifts and yes our money. And giving at least 10% back to The Lord is something we all need to do. The truth is God really doesn't need our money He's more concerned about our heart and our attitude about giving. But here is a something I heard the other day that we all need to consider and really think about. God is more concerned about the 90% we keep and how we use it versus the 10% tithe we give back to Him.

So, how are you preparing for your future? Will you Be Prepared for the day you decide to retire from worldly work? Have you been a good steward of what God has given you?  And more importantly than wealth, possessions, property or anything else are you prepared to meet The Lord face to face when you take your last breath here on earth and give an account for all He has given you and what you did with and through His Son? Let’s come back at another time and visit more about living out the Boy Scout Motto "Be Prepared" and how we can know without a shadow of a doubt we will be prepared for the coming of The Lord.