Are You Dying From Debt Related Stress?

Yesterday we discussed saving money for an emergency fund. Today we will look at what is becoming a lost discipline: saving money for purchases. We live in an instant gratification society and we feel that just because we want something, we should have it right now – whether we can afford it or not. How do we make it happen? Debt!

IDebt Word And 3d Character Showing Bankruptcy And Poverty believe debt is financial cancer and it is killing people financially. Proverbs 21:20, says; “In the house of the wise are stores of choice food and oil, but a foolish man devours all he has” (NIV). It is unwise to just blow all we have and then when we find something we want, we just go into debt for it.

young couple worried at home in bad financial situation stress asking for helpDebt-related stress destroys marriages, reduces productivity in the workplace, and in some cases, it is literally killing people (Check out “Maxed Out” by James D. Scurlock). It is okay to purchase material wants if you are financially responsible when you do so. A big part of being financially responsible is saving up the money to make big purchases instead of going into debt.

Dave Ramsey says, “One definition of maturity is ‘delaying pleasure.’” Remember, “In the house of the wise are stores of choice food and oil, but a foolish man devours all he has” (Proverbs 21:20, NIV). The wise and mature thing to do is save up for big purchases.

debtDebt is a killer! As I said before, debt is financial cancer that is killing people that would otherwise be financially stable. By the way, the belief that the poor must go into debt to get by is a myth. I realize I may get some backlash from that but it is true. As a matter of fact, the less money one has, the more fatal going into debt will be.

debt stressI have had money and I have not had money and in neither case has debt been an asset.   To be honest, over the last 17 years, other than a mortgage I had for about 13 years, I have not had any debt. The freedom I have had during times of plenty and times of…well… not so plenty – I can greatly attribute to my and my wife’s refusal to go into debt.

So, go ahead and get you some “stuff’, just make sure you can pay for it without going into debt. And if you cannot pay for it, at least have the wisdom and maturity to delay that pleasure long enough to save up and pay cash!

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_MG_6842cropTommy Lanham is a dynamic, award-winning speaker who has been training individuals and organizations to reach their God-given potential for 25 years. With a unique blend of Ziglar motivation and ragamuffin faith, Tommy delivers powerful, life changing messages filled with humor, hope, and enthusiasm.

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“You REALLY Should Laugh More. 4 Reasons Why…”

lowres1.JPG4 Reasons You Should Laugh More

Here are some announcements found in actual church bulletins:

“Tonight’s Sermon: WHAT IS HELL? Come early and listen to our choir practice.”

“CHURCH RUMMAGE SALE. A good opportunity to get rid of anything not worth keeping but too good to throw away. Don’t forget your husband.”

“Due to the Pastor’s illness, Wednesday’s healing service will be discontinued until further notice.”

“The peacemaking meeting scheduled for today has been canceled due to a conflict.”

“Don’t let worry kill you…let the church help.”

“Our Church Book Store announces their Semi-Annual After-Christmas Sale.”

“Please help our young people with their Flea Market. They are starting from scratch.”

A man was eating at a nice banquet and bit into something hard that broke his dental plate. The man beside him reached into his pocket and pulled out a dental plate for him to try. He put it in his mouth…pulled it out and said, “This is too big.” The man beside him pulls another one out of his pocket… He tries it and says, “This is too small.” The man beside him pulled a third dental plate out of his pocket. This one actually fit just right. “Imagine that” he said, “I broke my dental plate while sitting right beside a dentist.” “I am not a dentist” the man beside him replied, “I am an undertaker.”

proverbs-17-22Proverbs 17:22 says, “A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.”Studies show that laughter lowers blood pressure and strengthens the immune system. Some hospitals actually use laughter therapy in the healing process. Zig Ziglar used to say “Laughter is low calorie, caffeine free, no salt, no preservatives or additives, 100% natural, and one size fits all. It is contagious, but never committed a crime, started a war, or broke up a relationship. It cost nothing and is non-taxable.”

Did you know the average four-year-old laughs about 400 times a day? The average adult laughs only 15 to 16 times a day. Maybe that is one of the reasons Jesus said, “Unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 18:3, NIV).

There are many reasons we should laugh more often as adults. However, I want to address four specific reasons you should laugh more.

  • It Creates Connection

The more laughter within a group, the more bonding within that group. Companies, churches, families, or friendships; if you want a tighter connection with a group of people, laughter can create that connection. Laughter is an encourager. As long as you are not laughing at someone’s shortcomings, laughter within a group can be an encouragement to people. Who does not enjoy being around people who make them happier? Laughter creates connection. If you want more unity in your company, church or family, create more laughter.

  • It Breaks Down Barriers

Laughter can break down the walls that cause division in your organization. Christian comedian Susan O’Donnel says, “It’s really hard to be really ticked off when you are laughing…You can…But you have to be a parent.” (Those of us who are parents can identify.) Laughter actually shuts off the flow of stress hormones. Therefore, you are more relaxed and more accepting and forgiving. If you want to break down some of those barriers of division in your organization bring laughter to the table.

  • It Makes Communication More Effective

Two boys were dressed up like devils for Halloween. As they were out doing their trick-or-treating, a big storm came up. The boys noticed a church nearby that was having services so they decided to go in to get out of the rain. Just as they opened the door a loud crash of thunder sounded and a large flash of lightning lit up the sky. This caused the lights of the church building to go out for just a few seconds. When the lights came back on the congregation noticed the boys dressed like devils. Sensing the fear in the people’s faces, the two boys decided to chase them with their pitch forks. Everyone in the church began to run for their lives.

One man’s shirt got hung on one of the pews and he could not get loose. One of the boys walked right up to him. The man quickly said, “I have been a deacon in this church for over 20 years…But I have been on your side the whole time!”

Stories like this often help people relax and be more open to what is being said next. Because laughter builds better connection and breaks down barriers it helps in making communication more effective.

  • It Creates Optimism

There was a man in a restaurant who noticed a woman staring at him. It was making him a little uncomfortable when all of the sudden the woman got up and began walking toward him. When she got to him she said, “Forgive me for staring, but you look just like my third husband! The color of your eyes, the style of your hair, the clothes you are wearing, your mannerisms… You look just like my third husband!” “Your third husband?” the man replied, “How many times have you been married?” She answered, “twice!”

Now that was one optimistic woman! If you laughed at that story then your optimism went up as well. Laughter actually triggers a flood of endorphins, the natural compound that induces euphoria. Through that process laughter increases your joy and makes you feel more alive! If you want to increase the moral in your organization then increase the laughter.

Here is a word of caution when it comes to laughter. If you have to be dirty or cruel to be funny then do not be funny. Laughter can be damaging when used the wrong way. If want laughter to have a positive effect, then the dirty and hurtful humor must be removed.

I leave you with some encouragement from Psalm 126:1-3,

When the Lord brought back the captives to Zion, we were like men who dreamed. Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy. Then it was said among the nations, “The Lord has done great things for them.” The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy.  (NIV, emphasis added)

What are some other reasons we should laugh more? 

FOR AACC002Tommy Lanham is a coach, leadership training expert, instructor, motivator, and a believer in Jesus. He is an experienced, trusted and highly enthusiastic speaker who communicates life changing truths in an entertaining way. He connects with his audience inspiring them to take action.

He travels to speak on goals, priority management, faith, personality types and other related topics. If you would like to find out more about Tommy’s speaking and coaching, please visit his website: