Learning how to handle your money

Wednesday, January 15, 2014
Pastor Andy Lambel, Cassville United Methodist Church, displays educational materials that will be used in the nine-week Financial Peace course. Kerry Hays

Many people make a promise to themselves, and those close to them, to change in areas of their life that may cause conflict as the New Year begins. Financial insecurity is one such area that has the potential to cause a great deal of on-going stress and conflict.

"Everything we have belongs to God, and we need to learn how to handle our money and our resources God's way," said Andy Lambel, pastor at the Cassville United Methodist Church.

Lambel's church will be sponsoring a class entitled "Financial Peace University" beginning Sunday, Jan. 19 at 6 p.m. that will run for nine straight weeks. This biblically-based class was developed by Dave Ramsey, noted financial author of Financial Peace: Restoring Financial Peace to you and your Family. Over the years, Ramsey has been featured on several major day-time television shows and his radio program, The Dave Ramsey Show , is heard on over 500 radio stations across the country.

Lambel will serve as coordinator of the Cassville class that will use Ramsey's materials to learn the skills taught through the program. Each class will last about approximately 90 minutes with most of the time dedicated to an hour-long video presented by Ramsey.

"I know that sounds like a long time," Lambel said, "but it's Dave Ramsey who is very engaging, and there's a lot of humor involved. What he talks about is very timely and relevant to our lives."

At the conclusion of the video, Lambel will lead a group discussion based upon the material covered using additional resources from a kit that participants are asked to acquire based on the program. The kit costs $93 and it can be ordered from Ramsey's website; www.daveramsey.com. The specific materials used for this class can be ordered by finding the Cassville church's class page at http://www.daveramsey.com/fpu/locations/org/47036/class/248431.

Interested individuals are welcome to attend the first class without the materials and just check it out according to Lambel.

"Show up and give it a try," said Lambel. If you like it, register and order your kit."

This is the second year that the Cassville church has sponsored this program. Last year 22 people attended with nearly half of that number coming from other churches in the area. Lambel has kept in touch with those who participated and has seen gradual changes over the year in their lives.

"Several of the participants have cut up their credit cards based on what they've learned from Dave Ramey's teachings," Lambel said. "It's kind of hard to really see a marked change in nine weeks. I do know that all the families and individuals that were in the class are now doing monthly budgets based upon these teachings. They're learning how to handle their money instead of their money handling them."

Nursery services will be offered at the church each week and snacks for program participants will also be provided. On the ninth and final class, participants will be treated to a celebratory meal.

"Instead of snacks, we'll share a supper together to celebrate the fact that we all made it through, and we're making strides to move in the right direction," said Lambel.

According to Lambel, making the major changes suggested in this program now can yield dividends in the future that will free one to live the life they envision -- and give back in a way that demonstrates true stewardship of God's resources.

"God has blessed us with so much," said Lambel, "that we need to learn how to be good stewards with what God has given us."

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