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Archive for May, 2011

#notallblackguysneedabass

May 27, 2011 2 comments

On Monday, May 23, I “graduated” from Financial Peace University (otherwise called #FPU), a 13-week financial literacy class taught by best-selling author, nationally syndicated radio show host and financial guru Dave Ramsey . You may ask yourself, “What is a brilliant guy like this, the author of #Hashtagfairytales, taking a financial literacy class for?” And to that I say, shame on you for ending your sentence in a preposition, I also say that #FPU is great for anyone who cares about where their money goes.  Here are a few things I learned from @DaveRamsey and #FPU:

  1. Money is like a spoiled toddler!

Money is valuable…and kinda cute, but if we live like money is in control of our lives, it will be, just like a spoiled toddler. Once we start saying things like, “My money just cycles through my fingers; it’s spent before I get my paycheck.” We are letting that little thing that we’ve been entrusted with rule our lives. Why not just give a toddler a lollipop and watch her run up the walls? How do we say that we’ve let our money get out of control? If we pay it attention, give it care, and tell it what to do (instead of the other way around) we can watch it grow and we can further invest. Otherwise, we may as well consider it in Lindsay Lohan Limbo sure it’ll be a valuable asset, but sometimes, it’s just not all there. Money, like an uncared for or undisciplined child, when we get old and we really need it, it won’t be there for us if we don’t manage it now!

  1. “Dave Ramsey says…” is not a vulgar phrase!

After about the third week of the course, when I would go out with my friends, and loved ones, I started saying that little phrase that made me nervous, “Well, Dave Ramsey says…” I stopped myself at times from saying it. But then it hit me, “Wait a tick,” I said to myself—for in my mind I am British—“that Ramsey fellow is on to something.” Why should I be ashamed to say something that is true? Bleep me if you want when I say “D@√* R@ʍ$*¥ says I don’t need a credit card“  but the man is right, and I’ll say it…Even in front of my mom!

  1. Financial Peace comes at a cost!

There was this phrase that I thought was really “un-hip” that went, “If you live like no one else, later you can LIVE like no one else!” When Dave would repeat this phrase, I would internally mock it, until I realized that that is exactly what it comes down to isn’t it? It’s uncomfortable to budget sometimes, I liked my impulse buys on Half.com and my useless buys on Amazon—apparently #notallblackguysneedabass—but I had to give them up if I want to LIVE like no one else! It costs a whole lot not to spend money; that’s one of the biggest sacrifices I ever made, but here at the end of the course, I say that it is worth it!

  1. Dave doesn’t want your money…but he doesn’t want you to keep it either!

The last class was about giving once you have achieved Financial Peace, and I just knew that for 12 weeks Dave was getting on our good side just so he could tell us in the last week that we ought to send our $$$ to him in Nashville because his teaching has given us so much, that we ought to give back; and I thought he would be justified in doing that, but #boywasiwrong.  Dave didn’t want a dime from me, he specifically told me to care for widows and orphans; he told me to share his materials with those who need them; he told me to share what I have learned. To be frank, I feel like Dave Ramsey wants me to be rich, and then out of my abundance give to as many people as I can. I am just a manager of any wealth that I build, and I have a responsibility to use it to build up others. Because if I get to LIVE like no one else, I get to LOVE like no one else! The true sign of Financial Peace is not a big bank account, but a big heart (Wow Jacob, you need any Pancakes? Cuz that was sappy!).

Friends, I would recommend anyone take #FPU, or at least listen to The Dave Ramsey Show (available on podcast). Dave has a practical way of dealing with this stuff; the man knows what he is talking about. There are two kinds of people I never want to listen to about money: The first is the life-long millionaire/overnight success, because their story is not one that is relatable to everyone, theirs is a one-in-a-million tale that is usually spun on late-night television. The second is the broke guy who is saying, “Don’t make the same mistakes I did.” I don’t care what you are telling me man; I don’t want to hear it if you are still broke, that means you don’t know how to do it. But Dave is a different breed; Dave was a huge success at a young age, and then he went broke, but he’s not broke anymore! That’s the guy I’ll listen to, and so should you. This guy is #financiallywinning, and if you become the company you keep, I wanna have lunch with this guy!

(This post is simply from a satisfied customer, not a paid endorsement, if it were, it’d be writted much more gooderly)

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#paininthearse

May 21, 2011 1 comment

Boy how life is grand! Isn’t it? The sun is ever-shining, the birds chirping away. #5.21.11 (or as Family Radio Worldwide called it “Judgment Day”) has come and gone, and we are all yet in one piece. Spring has sprung, #Hashtagfairytales is in full swing, and somewhere in the world, there is a baby laughing which means an angel just got its halo! Life gets better everyday doesn’t it? We grow and we only get better with age like a good wine or fancy cheese. Osama bin Laden was killed earlier this month, and that means evil has left the world! That’s quite the illusion is it not? Sure, life has its benefits, and our world contains many good things, but overall, life is a #paininthearse isn’t it?

On the worldwide scale, there is death; there are tsunamis, hurricanes, and strife. On an interpersonal and emotional scale, there is immense of pain and hurt; that’s just a part of human relationships. Even on a physical scale there are tons of things from paper cuts to bullet wounds that are painful. The problem of pain is a huge issue that many people twice as smart as I am have addressed, and I have had a few thoughts on pain that I want to share. No friends, this is not a guest post by Debbie Downer; just the opposite. There is a general perception of pain throughout a vast majority of western thinkers (if not the world over), the perception is: Pain is bad. I however would tend to disagree, Pain—my friends—is good.

Now before you click over to ThreeFiftyCakery, let me say that I haven’t lost my mind! I understand that pain feels terrible; of course, who could disagree? Pain sucks, and no matter which branch of the above-listed pains we deals with, we are left with a very deep and profound conclusion. The conclusion—and I’m just going to go out on a limb and say it—pain hurts. I know, heavy stuff right? Just let that wash over your spirit. #sarcasm

Yes, pain hurts, but I cannot help but live by the maxim: Pain is good. Now I don’t mean that old pansy arguments, “Pain helps build character.” “No pain no gain.” I cannot buy the fact that pain is good because we get something on the other side! That’s totally bogus! (Did I just say bogus? Oh #hellothere1995 ) This argument does not truly say pain is good. Pain is still the bad guy, but whatever comes next somehow rescues us? That’s some lazy logic! No, pain itself IS good.

A few weeks ago I had a bruised rib (or at least I think it was, I know that it hurt to breathe deeply), I started thinking, “Geez, this hurts, something must be wrong, maybe I ought to see a doctor to try and get this fixed.” Pain communicated with me didn’t it? Whether it hurt or not, my rib would have been in the same condition, the pain just let me know, “Hey breh, somethin’ is wrong here.” Pain comes alongside us and says, “Um, I think something is wrong here, I wanted to let you know before it kills you.” Some say that pain is punishment from God; I disagree fer sure! When our physical body goes through pain, our cognizant mind says, “This isn’t ok with me.” We then go on a quest to fix it; why wouldn’t this apply to other types of pain?

When a relationship starts getting tough, someone starts to feel something different; a little pain here or there likely occurs. The two people ought to either fix it or end it, but some action must be taken. Why? Because a bit of pain presented itself and gave no other option. And how bout that worldwide pain. When tsunamis hit Japan, and hurricanes rage the south, people die, and natural disasters cripple people and economies, we all as a people must look around and say, “Hey guys, something isn’t right here.” This cannot be it. This pain is saying to us, “Fix it, please! It can be better.” Pain is calling out to us. Pain is on our side. Pain is telling us, look beyond this, there is healing and restoration somewhere, now, go and find it. Pain is good.

(Wow, that was deep, I think I’ll go eat cotton candy and play Frisbee now)

#momapprovalsdontcount

May 15, 2011 4 comments

After having started this blog I have been more worried about the perfection of my writing. I have obtained a BA from #PattenUniversity, and am currently working on an MA from #GonzagaUniversity (Go Zags); these are respectable, regionally accredited Universities. I had to write a Baccalaureate Thesis that was upwards of 30 pages, and in my line of work I have to assist in the writing of federal grants and reports that go to the organizations Board of Directors. When writing those things there is not nearly as much tension or anxiety as when these clumsy frying pans I call hands start going at the keyboard slapping it like I’m Flipper. #marinebiologicaltelevesioniscool

Now granted, I am not an amazing writer to begin with, but for some reason the “great unknown audience” (or as I like to call you, “Both of my readers”) puts a measure of pressure on me somehow. WordPress—who I must say makes the blogging experience extremely smooth—keeps track of my “site stats” and I can see how many people are looking at #Hashtagfairytales, but I have no idea what you are thinking. You may like it; you may hate it. I have gotten one sole comment and the complete, unchanged transcript of said comment was as follows, and I quote:

“#goodstuffkittenkisses”

Who was it from you ask? Ah yes, that’d be my mom. Sure that means ONE reader likes it, but #momapprovalsdontcount. If I’ve got “a blog only a mother could love” should I have a blog? Now, I am not one for self-deprecation (that’s only for smart people), but there is just a fear that comes over me when I put a bit of myself on this blog. I want perfection; I strive for it! Each of these sentences is being edited and parsed as I write them. Friends, blogging is proving a bit more difficult than I first thought.

Apparently it is not all book reviews, witty anecdotes, and YouTube references; there’s work to be done. Though my audience is one that I cannot see and hear from, I want to give you a reason to be here; I don’t want to waste your time. Blog posts must be selfless to be valuable. I started this bad boy thinking it was somehow about my points and getting them across, but it isn’t about me at all—while I will inevitably state my own opinions—it is and of right ought to be about those whose eyes are reading this text.

To quote best-selling author and blogging icon Jon Acuff:

“90% perfect and published always changes more lives than 100% and stuck in your head”

Now I don’t claim to be in the life changing business, but if I can figure out a way to engage, to light a proverbial fire, or to start a discussion I would call that perfection whether it is perfectly written or not. Is this 90%? Maybe not even that, but if you are near satisfied, I consider it #Winning!