Issuu on Google+


/

unl'iEJQ lll!f 0.lQ

U3.lpl!'1:J s;pot) .lOd l!3A J!UlOUOJfl 3t[.L 6U!ItOUl3H

600l-800l l~XtlN S,,~VHM


Copyright Š 20071, Falcon Group ISBN 978-0-9799340-0-1 LCCN 2007935333

This book may be freely reproduced in digital form and All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reprodistributed in full or in part in digital form with duced or transmitted in any or by anyand means, elecattribution to the author, Dr.form Jim Dragun, tronic or mechanical. induding photocopying, recording, reference to www.learnwhatsnext.com. Tthishis or by information storage and retrieval systems, without the written permission of the publisher, except by a reviewer who may quote brief passages in a review. Printed in the United States of America.


TABLE OF CONTENTS

I:

I

I I-

Introduction

v

Chapter 1 A Long Time Ago in a Land Far, Far Away ...

1

Chapter 2 Would You Seek the Advice of a Convicted, Jailed Felon?

11

Chapter 3 How One Man Gained the Entire Wealth of a Kingdom

17

Chapter 4 Two Million People Who Willingly Gave Away Everything They Had

27

Chapter 5 Even God Recycles

33

Chapter 6 As For Me And My House ... Where Are The Blueprints?

43

Chapter 7 Use It or Lose It!

57

iii


iv

What's Next? 2008-2009

References

61

Appendix

63

About the Author

77

Risk Disclosure

79


INTRODUCTION

The American news media would have you to believe that everything is okay. In fact, they paint a fairly blissful picture of the U.S. economy today. National newscasts inform us regularly that all is well on the-economic front. If we have any doubt of tI1is, daily financial information shows affirm this picture: all is well. Yes, they admit that there are bumps in the road ahead-some areas and market sectors will even experience slowdowns and downturns, housing prices included-but, as they say, these are only temporary events. They assure us that we should not worry. All is well.

If you were to base your information on them, are we facing a good economy? However, as I am fed the notion that everything is okay, I cannot ignore the forecasts of various notable financial experts and officials, which arise in the press. We're talking predictions that stop me dead in my tracks and virtually take my breath away. There are several examples of these,

v


vi

What's Next? 2008-2009

and I certainly want to share with you a few in particular that I found in a national U.S newspaper. In 2005, the aforementioned nationwide newspaper printed a front-page story in which the Director of the u.s. Congressional Budget Office stated that h e is "terrified about the budget deficit in the coming years. " Terrified. A strong statement, no doubt: it is not often that a man in such a position would admit to being terrified. If that is the case, it must be much worse off than the portrait painted for us would describe. In the same newspaper story, a Brookings Institution economist compared the growing gulf between what the government spends, and what it brings in, to a "category six fiscal hurricane. " Note that the highest hurricane devastation rating is a category five. Therefore, it can be assumed that the macro economic-or big picture-situation is horrible enough to be charted off the scale! What's more, in this article, a U.S. Senator from North Carolina asserted, "We are not preparing for what we all know is to come. We're all sleepwalking through this period." I wonder what we will bump into as we wander asleep, with eyes closed, in the blackness of the economic night. The Comptroller General of the U.S.A. contributed to this article as well. His claim was, "The U.S. can be likened to Rome before the fall of the empire. Its financial condition is worse than advertised. It has a broken business model. It faces deficits in its budget, its balance of payments, its savings, and its leadership." He also stated, "Anybody who says you are going to grow your way out of this prob-


Introduction

vii

lem (the U.S.A.'s financial condition) would probably not pass math. We face a demographic tsunami that will never recede. " Imagine it: a tsunami-like the South Asia Tsunami of December 26, 2004--that never recedes? Keep in mind that this is the Comptroller General of the United States! (A comptroller is a corporate officer---or in the case of government, a very high-ranking official-who audits accounts (like a CPA) and supervises the financial affairs of the organization.) As a company president of nearly two decades, if my comptroller reported such a financial state, assuming that I survived the ensuing massive heart attack, I would immediately do anything and everything I could to keep the company alive! I would slash any and all expenses to the bone, completely restructure management and staff (i.e., layoffs and re-assignments), and find a way to make enough money to keep the company out of the morgue! To a company president, tllis report is equivalent to a diagnosis of terminal cancer.

Whose diagnosis do you believe? Is the economy good or is the economy bad? What's Next? As do other presidents and CEOs, I conduct my own macro economic forecasting, as well as utilize industrial sector forecasting. As useful as these tools are to everyone, they are especially important to me and my industry. It is an industry that has been ravaged by the horrible depression of the latter 1990s and early 2000s. The effects


viii

What's Next? 2008-2009

were so bad, in fact, that over 50% of its businesses ceased to exist at its worst point! Having survived such a catastrophe, if trouble is coming, we know how dire a forewarning can be. From this point of view, I will tell you that, today, I do not like what I see. Wha t about you? Are you a living a life devoid of the effects of a failing economy? Are life and the economy good to you, leaving you a happy camper? If so, wonderful! However, will you remain this way forever? What if the economy is not so rosy? What if you feel uneasy? A bad economy can hurt you in many unforeseen ways! Do you know how to protect yourself? Your family? Your home? Your job? Your savings? Your retirement?

Once again, I will ask you: is the American economy a good economy or a bad economy? Once again I ask, what's next? Fortunately for me, I have a really great Dad. He is infinitely smart, and his wisdom overflows. He always knows what is happening-always. My Dad cannot be fooled. He is constantly at my side, helping me. He has the answer for everyone of my questions. So I asked Him, "What's Next?"


CHAPTER I

A LONG TIME AGO IN A LAND FAR, FAR AWAY ... Ancient Egypt. Circa 1900 B. C. Approximately 4000 years ago. Wait! Arm't we headed in the wrong direction?

It's no mystery that Egypt was one of the greatest civilizations of the ancient world. In fact, it still holds an air of intrigue and romance for many today. Just think about the numerous museum exhibits dedicated to Egyptian mummies, art, and artifacts. Hollywood also capitalizes upon and propels this fascination, producing countless films about fateful pharaohs of old, or archeologists caught up in the adventure of a lifetime while digging up the gold and bones of the ancient king. Atop all this, we are still baffled and amazed by the pyramids to this day. Surely, such an empire that can still entrance so many must have been great! They must have been rich, full of influence and power! They must have been like the Greeks, or Rome, or, well ... the western world of today. Inevitably, like any other empire on the pages of history, their day of dynasty would come to an end. The question is how: How is a society, one that has risen so far above the rest, brought so thoroughly to its knees? Another question is, 1


2

What's Next? 2008-2009

what has this to do with what's next? It may seem frivolous to go digging up facts about a distant andentland. However, it is here-in the politics, religion, geography, economy, and general history of Ancient Egypt-that we will find the foundation for the answer of the "What's Next" question.

A Breakdown of the Past The history of Andent Egypt is commonly divided into three main eras, the Old Kingdom, the Middle Kingdom, and the New Kingdom. The Old Kingdom began in approximately 3100 B.C. and lasted until about 2180 B.C. It is considered by historians to be one of four primary dvilizations of the andent world, the others being Mesopotamia, the Indus River Valley (comprised of parts of western India, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Turkmenistan), and northern China. With a population believed to be around two million, tIllS andent kingdom cultivated the government into a highly centralized structure. Being a theocratic state, the pharaoh was thought to be divine, the link between the gods and Ills people. Under the god-king, the palace administered everything from national politics to the economy. The vizier (comparable to a prime minister) managed the vast bureaucracy, wlllch, in turn, administrated the country down to the village level. In this strictly hierarchical sodety, both wealth and power were hereditary (though commoners could rise in the scribal bureaucracy and the army). Proper order was thought to ensure the wellbeing of the nation.


A Long Time Ago in a Land Far, Far Away. ..

3

On top of having an intricate government, the people of the Old Kingdom also advanced in arts and sciences. They were the ones who had begun the development of Egypt's famed architecture: Here can be seen the construction of Cheops' Great Pyramid of Giza, the Sphinx, and the second and third pyramids at Giza. This kingdom was that of a people cultivating many aspects of science, culture, and a growing economy. Contrary to what may be thought of the abilities of an ancient civilization, the Egyptians of the Old Kingdom possessed knowledge and application in astronomical measurements, medical diagnostic teclmiques and systematic treatments, applied sciences, mathematics, irrigation-based agriculture, civil engineering, glass manufacturing, metallurgy, mining, sea trade, tanning, hieroglyphic and cursive writing, literature and instructional based books, and art. This society was both highly functional and productive. The next era, the Middle Kingdom, lasted from 2040 B.C. to 1550 B.C. By this time, as most other eminent societies, Egypt had even dominated the surrounding areas. This included a land to the northeast called Canaan-a region that had developed city-states around 3100 B.C. (likely as a result of trade between Mesopotamia and Egypt), and which would cover much of modern-day Israel. Egypt had gained full political control over the land of Canaan, ruling through local vassal kings. Like the civilization of the preceding period, they also expanded in wealth and population. (This is the age from which we can glean the most-particularly 1883 B.C. to 1869 B.c.-and thus it will be expounded upon in following chapters.) Here, during


4

What's Next? 2008-2009

the time of Joseph-the popular figure from the Bible's book of Genesis-Egypt experienced seven years of overwhelming agricultural abundance followed by seven years of devastating famine. The last division of Ancient Egypt, the New Kingdom, endured from 15 50 B.C. to 1070 B.C. Scholars would say that the population reached approximately between five and seven million in this era. It is believed that the monarchy peaked in areas of wealth and influence in this post-Joseph era. Vivid illustration of this can be found in the staggering lUXury of the legendary tomb of Tutankhamen (King Tut). Here, archeologists have found extravagant riches such as inlaid chests and gaming boards, jewelry, ostrich-feather fans, fly-whisks, a goldplated and inlaid throne, alabaster vases and four dismantled chariots of gilded wood. However, the greatest riches of all lay around the mummified body of the king. The innermost coffin and death mask were each made of solid gold, inlaid with semi-precious stones and glass. Despite all this, King Tutankhamen was not a major pharaoh of the New Kingdom. Imagine the vast riches buried with the greatest kings of the dynasty!

Worship The origins of early Egyptian religion remain relatively obscure to this day. Inasmuch as the pharaoh was considered to be divine, religion was as centrally organized as the government, and the two strongly intersected. However, divine


A Long TIme Ago in a Land Far, Far Away. . .

5

as h e supposedly was, the pharaoh did not manage everything. Worship was led by the "Overseer of all the Prophets of the Gods"- a position that was sometimes held by the vizier, and other times by the High Priest of Amun. What the Ancient Egyptians worshiped was a bewildering host of gods in a variety of forms. These manifestations induded abstract, inanimate, human, animal, and even humananimal hybrid forms. Each region had its own patron deity, and as such, the importance of any given god varied with the changes of pharaohs and capitals.

Geography The Nile is arguably the best-known river in the world. However, to Ancient Egypt, this defining point of geogra phy was far more than just that. Utilizing tins great natural resource, most of the cities and towns of Egypt situated themselves on or near the banks. It became to them the principal artery of trade and communication, as well as the underlying source of provision and prosperity. Without it, tile economy and food source of tins agricultural society would collapse. The Nile flowed from the kingdom's southernmost region to the north, emptying into the Mediterranean Sea. Lower (Le. northern) Egypt contained the Nile Delta, the point of convergence for its seven branches. Herein also lay 67% of Egypt's arable land. Meanwhile, the upper (Le. southern) regions were characterized by seven hundred fifty miles of the river, wInch flowed northward to the


6

What's Next? 2008-2009

delta. The other defining feature of this area was the Nile River floodplain, a long and narrow segment of land on either side of the river. This thirteen-mile wide strip was protected by extensive and uninhabited deserts on its eastern, western, and southern borders, providing a strong natural defense against potential invading armies. Important as it was, the Nile was not Egypt's only significant resource. In fact, the land was generally endowed with valuable raw materials. The deserts that flanked the Nile were rich in metals and stones that proved essential for the grandiose building schemes of the Old Kingdom. Expeditions mined and quarried copper, tin, and turquoise as far away as the Sinai (to the northeast), and gold in the Nubian Desert (on the southern border of Egypt).

Economy The foundation of the economy was agricultural, and the peasant farmer was its backbone. It was they who supported all other members of society-craftsman, priest, scribe, etc. Wheat and barley were staples, though other crops included beans, lentils, chickpeas, onions, grapes, figs, dates, and flax (cultivated for the textile industry). Egyptians bred domestic cattle for both food and ploughing, sheep for meat, and donl(eys for pack-transport. Also, the horse was introduced to Egypt around 1750 B.C., but was primarily used for warfare. Ancient Egyptian tomb wall paintings provide an extraordinary comprehensive picture of their daily life, depicting tasks such


A Long Time Ago in a Land Far, Far Away. . .

7

as farming, herding, harvesting, baking, and even brewing beer! All of this food production took place on approximately only 12,500 square miles of cultivable land. Scant in rainfall at the delta, and no better off upstream, the agriculture of this farming society was utterly dependent upon the annual flooding of the Nile River. This season of inundation occurred between July and October, depositing water and rich, fertile, black silt alluvium soil onto the river floodplains. In the following season, occurring between November and February, the waters would recede and crops were sown. All of this was followed by a third, and arid, drought season from March to August. In this way, the flooding of the Nile River transformed a desert into a prosperous agricultural land. Thus, the Egyptian economywas at the complete mercy of this river. Without a sufficient flood, cultivation could not be possible. However, the annual floods were always erratic: the area that would be watered and fertilized often varied, somerimes drastically. illustrating this point, in the period of 3100 B.C. to 2400 B.C., the flood level ranged from a high of 14.1 feet (4.3 meters) to a low of 1.6 feet (0.5 meters). Low Nile floods always carried with it the potential of widespread ecological, famine, and political crises. For example, elephants, rhinos, giraffes, and gazelles all existed at one tinle in the Old Kingdom, but disappeared due to the lowered Nile, during the period between 3000 B.C. and 2600 B.C. Ancient records indicated that the Nile's annual water levels were lowering overall, corresponding with a shrinking flood plain. Inevitably, this led to falling agricultural productivity and famine. Such destitution, enduring


8

What's Next? 2008-2009

seven long years, is known to have occurred during the 2600s B.C. By 2400 B.C., the Nile itself, along with its low levels, delivered a harsh blow to the enfeebled monarchy of the Old Kingdom. By about 21 50 B.C., the unpredictable river struck again: a period of consistently low floods precipitated fifty years of disastrous famine, finally ripping apart the Old Kingdom. Another famine likely hit during the 1200s B.C. when grain prices rose to twenty-four times their former level! Not long after, in 11 53 B.C., riots caused by a crisis of food shortage marked the end of the period of greatest power and prosperity for the New Kingdom. Egypt n ever regained its former glory.


A Long Time Ago in a Land Far, Far Away. . .

CHAPTER SUMMARY Ancient Egypt lays a foundation crucial for grasping what is to come. The key aspects, which will be of importance in future chapters, have been summarized below. 1. Egypt . was an extremely wealthy nation,

abundant in resources, and ruled by a king (a pharaoh) who was believed to be a god. These kings directed the government, economy, and religion. The kingdoms dominated surrounding regions, one of which was the land of Canaan. 2. Egypt's economic wellbeing was agriculturally based, and the foundation of their very society was the peasant farmer. 3. Their economy was at the mercy of the Nile River, which provided the moisture the soil needed to make crop production possible. 4. Low Nile floods caused widespread famine and/or political crises at least six times during Egypt's ancieni history, induding a disastrous famine that tore apart the Old Kingdom.

9


CHAPTER 2

WOULD YOU SEEI{ THE ADVICE OF A CONVICTED, JAILED FELON? Joseph's life illustrates for us how things aren't always as they seem.

Born almost four thousand years ago to a wealthy, prominent nomad named Jacob, this young lad was the eleventh of twelve sons, not to mention the favorite. Being the firstborn of Jacob's most beloved wife, his father lavished upon him gifts and privileges not given to his older brothers (such as his coat of many colors). After years of being tattled on and passed over for the younger son, his older brothers were jealous and spiteful enough already. Then, when Joseph told them of a dream indicating that they would, one day, bow to him, they grew indignant. The opportunity presented itself, and, in their anger, they threw him in a well and intended to leave him for dead. A slave-trader passed by, and his brothers took the chance to evade bloodguilt, not to mention make a little money. They sold their little brother as a slave, but little did they know that by tIlis, they sent llim 11


12

What's Next? 2008-2009

on a journey that would be the catalyst for his dream to corne true. (This story is found in its original form in Genesis 37-47, as cited in the appendix. If you know it very well, then skip ahead a couple pages to Chapter 3.) Joseph's first significant stop was the house ofPotiphar, an official of the pharaoh. The favor of the Lord being clear to see in his life, Joseph was promoted to the head of Potiphar's household and put in charge of all his money and affairs. However, a false accusation took that lifestyle away as well, and landed him in prison. It wouldn't be a stretch to say that, to Joseph, being ripped from his father and stripped of his freedom was probably the worst thing he could imagine; but then, to have the consolation of his prominence in Potiphar's house yanked away as well was way over the top! However, he had yet to realize that God would redeem him from both of these injustices and use hinl to save nations. It was not a fluke that the dream Joseph shared with his family would eventually corne true. Nor was it something he made happen. Rather, it was the first example in the book of Genesis of his incredible gift. The Bible records several instances in which God has spoken to people through dreams. To Joseph, God had given the ability to correctly interpret the meanings of dreams. He first demonstrated this ability upon meeting two of Pharaoh's servants in prison. For one man, Pharaoh's chief butler, Joseph had a favorable interpretation. For the other man, Pharaoh's baker, the interpretation was fatal: With these two, the fulfillment of the dreams happened within days. The baker was beheaded, and the


Would You Seek the Advice of a Felon?

13

butler was restored to his position. Two years later, the butler found himself in a key spot: Pharaoh had need of a man with the wisdom of God. One night. Pharaoh's dreams had grown quite alarming. He dreamt that he was standing beside the Nile. There appeared seven cows, beautiful and plump. They came out of the river and grazed in the reed grass. Tailing the seven big cows were seven Sickly and emaciated cows. They too came out of the Nile and stood beside the healthy cows on the bank. Then, to his horror, the seven sickly cows devoured the seven plump, beautiful cows! After this, Pharaoh awoke (Who wouldn't after a dream li\(e that?), but this wasn't the end of the warning. He fell back to sleep and had a second dream. This time, he saw seven ears of grain growing on a sta))(, full and ripe, and looking tasty. Tlus sight soon disappeared as seven other ears-thin and shriveled by the east wind-sprouted close behind them. As it had happened with the cows, the thin, shriveled ears swallowed up the ripe, full ears! This time, when he woke up, Pharaoh was greatly disturbed. The following morning, desperate to know the meaning of these dreams, he summoned all the magicians and wise men in the entire nation of Egypt. However, try as they may, none were able to come up with an explanation that satisfied him. After all. no one but God knew the answer. In the void of anyone wise enough to tell the meaning of the dreams, God opened the door for Joseph, the man wrongly imprisoned, to find favor in the eyes of the king. The clue! butler knew firsthand of Joseph's ability to interpret dreams. Having remembered


14

What's Next? 2008-2009

him at this time, he told Pharaoh of his experience. This caught the attention of the king, and Joseph was brought forth from his jail cell. From the pit to the palace, he now stood before Pharaoh, who asked him about his gift. He humbly declared that the ability to interpret was beyond him, but that God would reveal the answer. He listened as Pharaoh detailed the distressing nightmares. As God imparted it to him, Joseph not only interpreted with accuracy, but he also shared with Pharaoh the plan that was needed to prepare for the coming famine of which the dreams foretold. Recognizing the wisdom of God in Joseph, Pharaoh immediately elevated him to second-in-command of the entire nation. This began the restitution for his years of tribulation. During these times, as the foretold famine reached Canaan, Joseph's brothers were forced to seek provision in Egypt. There, as his original dreams predicted, they bowed before their brother-not recognizing him-and beseeched him for food from the storehouses. Though his position would have easily allowed him to take revenge upon anyone he desired, Joseph graciously forgave his brothers for all they had done to him. He eventually sent them home with food and the instruction to bring back all of their clan to Egypt, including Jacob. At last, Joseph was reunited with his much-loved father and was recompensed for all his troubles.


would You Seek the Advice of a Felon?

CHAPTER SUMMARY Joseph, an obscure boy from Canaan, became a major player in the history and welfare of Egypt. 1. Born to a wealthy nomad, he was sold into

slavery, then wrongfully imprisoned, and subsequently gained a reputation as an interpreter of dreams. 2. Joseph was called upon to interpret the dreams of Pharaoh. He did so accurately, with the wisdom of God, and forecasted an imminent, devastating famine headed their way. 3. Joseph was elevated to a position only surpassed by the Pharaoh himself. He was reunited with his family, and forgave his brothers for selling him to slave-traders.

15


CHAPTER 3

HOW ONE MAN GAINED THE ENTIRE WEALTHOFA I{INGDOM So, what's next?

The story of Joseph leaves the reader feeling triumphant! Surely, suffering and tragedy are not in vain! The good win out in the end! Endurance is all that is needed: endurance and faith, and any injustice can be overcome! That's the point! That's the lesson to be learned! Time to walk away, dose the book, and smile yourself to sleep! But wait! There's more to it than meets the eye, more than our pastors preached and Sunday school teachers taught! Yes, the story of Joseph is glorious, but what about the story of Pharaoh? We've all put ourselves in the sandals of Joseph, the suffering servant of God, but how many have tried on the golden slippers of Pharaoh, king of the world's dominating empire? Isn't h e the big winner as well? Maybe it's about time to shift our gaze. To gain an accurate picture of Pharaoh's point of view, it is imperative to read the entire story (see Appendix ), but this time from Pharaoh's perspective. Imagine what 17


What's Next? 2008-2009

18

it was like for him as he listened to the interpretation of

his dream. Consider what he must have thought as he faced the grave crisis of impending famine that Joseph foretold . Think of how he must have felt as he watched the events unfold in the same manner that he had been told they would happen. Put yourself in Pharaoh's shoes. In addition, as you read, watch how the following three-part "cookbook recipe" develops and leads to Pharaoh's prosperous outcome. (2)

(I )

God's Specilic Warning to Pharaoh

+

God's Specilic Plan for Pharaoh

(3)

+

Ph~raoh's

Action

=

Pharaoh's Prosperous Outcome

Familiarize yourself with this recipe; it is foundational for the remainder of this book.

(1) God's Specific Warning to Pharaoh Wouldn't it be great to receive advanced notice of a huge catastrophe that was on its way? How much hassle could be saved? How much trouble could preparation alleviate? Only a fool would ignore it and go on as if nothing would dlange! Right? Perhaps that is how the Pharaoh ofJoseph's time felt. After ail, he received such a warning and then responded accordingly. This is not the only time that God has given a warning of an upcoming monumental event; it has happened quite regularly. In fact, a warning of similar proportion had been given to another Pharaoh of Egypt: the


How One Man Gained the Wealth of a Kingdom 19

Pharaoh of Moses' time. During this reign, God told the Israelites through Moses that he would force Pharaoh's hand, and they would soon be released from slavery. God admonished that He would tum the waters of the Nile River into blood. In fact, He even forewarned of each of the ten plagues that Egypt suffered, including the deaths of the firstborn sons! This Pharaoh's reaction was far different from that of the Pharaoh of Joseph's time. Consequently, so was his fate. Frequently, as people have approached problems and times of trouble, God has implemented a simple, straightforward, two-step modus operandi (mode of operation). Step one is a specific warning. If the person, group of people, or nation heeded God's warning, their outcome was favorable and prosperous. However, if they ignored the warning, the ensuing result was far from satisfactory. As is detailed in the biblical story of Joseph, God presented Pharaoh with advance notice of the cataclysmic tribu1ation heading his way via the two dreams. The seven healthy cows and ripe ears signified the seven years of prosperity. The seven ill cows and ears represented the following seven years of severe famine. The duplicity of the dreams confirmed that the events would matriculate quickly. Most importantly, note that God did more than just warn Pharaoh. God gave him a fourteen-year time line containing two events of immense, imminent economic importance for his nation: o

7 years of great abundance throughout the land.

o

7 years of severe famine.


II I

20

What's Next? 2008-2009

In light of the first chapter, imagine the impact this prophecy would have on Pharaoh. Surely, he was well aware of his kingdom's history. He knew all too well that Egypt's economy would live or die by the Nile. He understood that low waters meant no crops. He must have considered the political crises that widespread famine had created for his nation in the past. Pharaoh had to know that he was in imminent danger of losing his throne, his power, his wealth, and his entire kingdom to a famine over which he had no control!

(2) God's Specific Plan for Pharaoh .God said to the king, seven years of famine are at your doorstep! Thankfully, he didn't end his admonition there. God isn't the type to warn of impending doom without offering an escape route. Rather, He followed His modus operandi and gave Pharaoh step two: a specific plan to follow (see Genesis 41:33-36):

• Select a discerning and wise man, and set him over the land of Egypt. • Appoint collection officials to gather '15th of the produce of the land of Egypt in the seven plentiful years. • Prepare grain storage. • Collect a food reserve. • Keep grain in the cities.


How One Man Gained the Wealth of a Kingdom 21

The warning and the plan were both given while Egypt was still blessed and prosperous. The timing was right to gather: it was a time of abundance.

(3) Pharaoh's Action Another king, such as the Pharaoh of Moses, might have ignored the dream. He could have turned his nose up at a warning given by a prisoner claiming to speak for a God of whom he had never heard. However, this Pharaoh had the sense to listen and obey, even though he did not know the God of Joseph and his father Jacob. Recognizing the wisdom of God, Pharaoh even made Joseph the head of the stockpiling project. He appointed him as second-in-command and gave him the responsibility of implementing God's plan throughout the nation. Then Pharaoh commanded his commission to build reserves around the towns they would support. He gathered food while the people went about their normal lives, planting and harvesting their crop. In this time, he stored up more grain than could be measured! Perhaps, in this way, Pharaoh was much like Noah. This ark-builder indubitably appeared foolish, building a massive boat in a landlocked region of a world that had never seen rain. However, both Noah and Pharaoh prepared for a cataclysmic event that was both hard to believe and unforeseen by men. It must have taken much dedication and determination on the part of Pharaoh in order to build storage facilities and collect grain during


22

What's Next? 2008-2009

the seven years in which it abounded. In fact, his subjects may have laughed behind his back, joking about his actions: Store grain? What for? Has Pharaoh lost his mind? What has he been drinking . .. other than this beer we're brewing? Obeying God cost Pharaoh far more than a blemish on his reputation. Putting his plan into action would have required billions and billions of dollars to build the storage facilities, pay for the collection of grain, and to maintain the silos. It, no doubt, took great faith to pay a fortune based on the advice of a convict, whom he had found in his own prison. However, time would tell just how greatly Pharaoh would be rewarded. Keep in mind that Pharaoh did not veer from God's plan. He did not alter it, nor add anything to it. He did not skip or delete any steps. Pharaoh did not try to build water storage facilities. He did not venture into new irrigation projects for the floodplains. He did not seek out drought-resistant plant species. Nor did he attempt to strike new deals with Egypt's trading partners for food reserves. With great discipline, he stuck with God's plan.

(4) Pharaoh's Prosperous Outcome If those who have been admonished heed God's warning and act according to his specific plan, the net result is prosperous. Those who ignore such a warning face disastrous results. Inasmuch, those who listen to a warning, but do not act upon it, can find their results to be just as


How One Man Gained the Wealth of a Kingdom 23 devastating. Pharaoh heeded and obeyed, and he received a favorable outcome. God promised seven prosperous, abundant crop years, the occurrence of which is recorded in Genesis (41:29,47, 49). Afterwards, famine ensued and progressed gradually (Genesis 41 :3 1-57, 47:13): 1. Famine occurred initially in the world around, but "

not in Egypt (a sign confirming that what God foretold was about to happen). 2. Famine struck Egypt. 3. Famine increased in severity. 4. Famine climaxed in all lands. No planting or harvesting took place for a minimum of five years, similar to America's Dust Bowl of the 1930s. Indubitably, life is brutal for those who survive such catastrophes. The Bible tells about the harsh, economic severity that famines placed on societies in ancient times, recording two such monetary and national crises. One example can be found in 2 Kings 6:24-25 (see Appendix). Here, the king of Syria besieged Samaria, causing a great famine. As a result of the enduring siege, a donkey's head was sold for 80 shekels of silver, or about $40, and one-fourth of a kab (112 quart) of dove droppings sold for five shekels of silver, or approximately $25. (What did they do with the donkey's head after they bought it? What about the dove droppings? YUCK!) The picture painted here is anything but pleasant!


24

What's Next? 2008-2009

However, since Pharaoh followed the plan he had been given, when the famine struck, he fared much better (Genesis 47: 16-25). 1. Pharaoh bought all of the Egyptians' and Canaan-

ites' money with grain. (Note that he did not buy grain with money, but money with grain!) In his day, gold was money. Therefore, Pharaoh collected an immense treasury of gold! 2. Over a period of approximately one year, he bought all of their livestock with grain. 3. Pharaoh bought all of the Egyptians' and Canaanites' land with-you guessed it!-grain. 4. After this, Pharaoh bought all of the people with grain in an astonishing culmination of a horrific economic event: After exhausting their own food supplies, the people of Egypt and Canaan sold their money, cattle, land, children, wives, and finally themselves to avoid starving to death! 5. Then, Pharaoh moved people to the cities. 6. Finally, he put the Egyptians and Canaanites to work farming, collecting 20% of the gross revenue. Pharaoh was prepared for all that happened during Egypt's famine. He positioned himself to reap inestimable windfall profits! Pharaoh used grain (the main source of food) in order to facilitate the greatest-known non-violent transfers of wealth, land, and labor of an entire nation to one person: himself!


How One Man Gained the Wealth of a IGngdom 25

CHAPTER SUMMARY After setting aside the dust-ridden sandals and stepping into the golden slippers, it becomes apparent that Joseph would have been but a voice proclaiming doom if it wasn't for Pharaoh's response. 1. Pharaoh was the big winner, and it is wise to

observe and emulate winners! 2. God gave Pharaoh advance notice, via two dreams, of a monumental. impending famine on its way to his nation. 3. God did not leave Pharaoh helpless: He gave him a specific plan to follow. 4. Pharaoh obeyed God, acting on his plan. 5. Pharaoh's action positioned him to reap unbelievable windfall profits.


CHAPTER 4

TWO MILLION PEOPLE WHO WILLINGLY GAVE AWAY EVERYTHING THEY HAD Chokepoint: a narrow channel or bottleneck to be passed through in order to last through a time or place of danger. The essence of the word conveys the concept of imminent peril, sLich as a hand gripping a throat and squeezing, cutting off ail: As the famine progressed, the people of Egypt and Canaan were presented with a choice: eat or die. The decision was obvious, but food did not come easy (In fact, as we will see, it's a game of give and take.) . A desperate people, the Egyptians and Canaanites would eventually exchange everything-their monies, cattle, lands, wives, children, and their freedom-for what? For food, whidl had become more valuable than money. Wealth alone could not save them. Food was their chokepoint. Economic crises inevitably present opportune monetary periods for some, wllile bringing about great financial destruction for others. Wealth does not disappear. It only 27


28

What's Next? 2008-2009

changes hands. As this book has explained, such a crisis occurred in Egypt, and Pharaoh came out on top. He took advantage of the opportunity, but at whose expense? Who exactly were these unfortunate folk who lost everything? Inasmuch as winners provide a pattern to follow, losers lay a blueprint of what not to do . Sorry, but that means it's time to give Pharaoh back his slippers and put on sandals once more! Only, you will find that these sandals are bit more tattered than Joseph's. The Bible gives no indication that God gave any warning directly to the Egyptians or the Canaanites of the coming famine. Nor is there any record that they received a specific plan. The reason for this is unclear. However, as this story unfolds, it will be plain to see that, if they were given advanced notice or a plan of action, they neither gave ear to the warning nor obeyed instructions (Genesis 47:13-26). As stated in the previous chapter, the famine did not cause an instantaneous crisis. Instead, it progressed grad ually, as did the plight of the Egyptians and the Canaanites. However, they were unprepared from the onset. Without any food reserves, what could they do? It wasn't long before they gave all their monies to buy grain. ALL their monies. This would be the equivalent of emptying out the checking account, savings account, stocks, bonds, the 401k, the retirement plans, and the kid's piggy bank in order to buy foodl This is precisely what happened to the ill-prepared survivors of the famine. As it escalated in severity, the people were forced to return to the government once more. There they begged


2 Million People Who Gave Away Everything 29 for help, crying, "We're broke! We are going to die! Give us food!" The government responded with, "Give us your horses, flocks, cattle, and donkeys, and then we will feed you." For todar's western society, that is the equivalent of forking over factories and businesses, along with their myriad of products, services, and profits. Not exactly a fair trade, but they had no choice: They had to eat! Imagine what it must have been like. Envision life as a business-professional, or entrepreneur, being forced to beg your government welfare office for food, saying, "I am broke! I am going to die without your help! Please, I need food! In exchange, I will give you my business, my tools, my vans, my office equipment, my machinery ... take it all so that my family and I can eat!" Now you might understand how they felt. Unfortunately, this is not where their problems ended. In fact, things got worse. The famine peaked and the people once again reached their chokepoint! Helpless, they pled, "We are still broke! We are still going to die! Please, give us more food! We have nothing more to offer, except our land and ourselves, but we will give both in exchange for food! " Yes, it was food that transferred complete possession and power from the people to the ruler. The chokepoint was food, not money. Wealth alone could not save the Egyptians and Canaanites; nor is money necessarily the determining factor of survival in an economic crisis. The plight of the Egyptians and Canaanites continued beyond the loss of possessions. Their situation got as bad as it could get: Pharaoh not only came to own all of their


30

What's Next? 2008-2009

wealth, but he also came to own them! They lost their freedom and became slaves to the king. At will, he moved them into the city, put them to work, and collected 20% oftheir gross revenue. Anyone in the business world who was being forced to pay 20% of their gross revenue to someone else would close shop and quit working! For all practical purposes, 20% would be all, or at least most, of their profits. They would be left with only enough money to pay the outstanding bills and salaries-nothing more!


2 Million People Who Gave Away Everything 31

CHAPTER SUMMARY An ill-prepared people gave everything they had

until they were at the utter mercy of their government. Theirs is the example of which to steer clear! 1. The Egyptians and Canaanites, over two mil-

lion people, lost big-time and showed us exactly what not to do. 2. Biblical text does not indicate that God gave either people group a warning or a plan, but if it was given, it certainly was not heeded. 3. The general public of Egypt 'and Canaan couldn't be less prepared to deal with the severe famine. Without any reserves, food was their chokepoint. 4. Food had become more valuable than money. Egyptians and Canaanites paid everything from their money to their families, and even their freedom, in order to avoid starvation.


CHAPTER 5

EVEN GOD RECYCLES

At last we come to what's next for today! Finally, it's time to pull together the pieces of this mystelY puzzle! Recall, if you will, Pharaoh's cookbook recipe. Nowalmost four thousand years old, it still applies today. After all, it is God's formula. Remember step one: God gives a specific warning. The recipe is once again printed below, but this time, it is slightly modified. No longer is it Pharaoh's. It is now yours and it is designed to work for you. (1)

God's Specific Warning to You

(2)

(3)

(4)

+ God's Specific +

Your Action

Your Prosperous

Plan for You

Outcome

The famine-and-fortune event of Pharaoh may still seem inconsequential to the present. After all, yesterday is yesterday, and today is today! That was then, this is now! Right? Well, not really. The Bible sometimes refers to a Iittleknown, and often-overlooked, concept known as cycles. Although this notion is farniliar to most, its prevalence is not. Many mathematicians, scientists, and some economists and 33


34

What's Next? 2008-2009

economic forecasters are strongly familiar with them. They would testify that cycles are everywhere-all around usand constantly occurring! The Bible clearly states, "While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest. cold and heat, winter and summer, and day and night shall not cease," (Gen. 8:22) . It also says, "That which is has already been, and what is to be has already been," (Eccl. 3:1Sa). In other words, what has happened in the past is happening now, and will happen again in the future. If this is so, then God recycles! He declares that events recycle. The popular 1962 song by The Byrds, "Tum! Tum! Tum!" is actually based upon a selection of scripture that illustrates this point. The passage is found in Ecclesiastes 3:1-8:

To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die; A time to plant, and a time to pluck what is planted; A time to kill, and a time to heal; A time to break down, and a time to build up; A time to weep, and a time to laugh; A time to mourn, and a time to dance; A time to cast stones, and a time to gather stones; A time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; A time to gain, and a time to lose; A time to keep, and a time to throwaway; A time to tem; and a time to sow;


Even God Recycles

35

A time to keep silence, and a time to speak; A time to love, and a time to hate; A time of wm; and a time of peace. The history of Ancient Egypt has already illustrated the existence of one of these cycles, that of famine: • 2600 B.C., Seven years of famine. • 2400 B.C., Low flooding of the Nile caused devastating effects. • 2150 B.C., Consistently low floods resulted in half a century of disastrous famine. • 1980s, B.C., Seven years of abundance were followed by seven years of destitution. • 1200s, B.C., Grain prices increased twenty-four fold, indicative of another severe famine. • 1153 B.C., Riots over a food shortage brought on the end of the great power and prosperity in the New Kingdom. This pattern shows at least two time cycles-possibly a third! (Hint: note the famine cycle recurring about every 200-250 years.) Famine recycles! God did not only announce the coming of the famine to Pharaoh. He also revealed its timing. That is because times and timing are always crucial: they enable the warned to know not only what to do, but also when to do it! Thankfully, we have a Father who cares enough to warn us, even when we're oblivious. However, that is not an excuse to sit on our


36

What's Next? 2008-2009

haunches and do nothing: our Dad would rather that we seek out His wisdom. Since much can be gleaned from understanding cycles and times, it is important to discern the cycle of today's times. Its basis can be found in the book of Judges. This book documents the cycle experienced repeatedly by the nation of Israel during the era for which it accounts. The archetype of tlus pattern is as follows: Prosperity

Self-Will

Rebuilding

Moral Decline

.J.

i <- Rescue

<-

Repentance <- Distress/Misery

At about 1375 B.C., the nation of Israel began to "recycle" through this loop. It did so at least six times, over a time period of three hundred years or more. Their cycle commenced in prosperity, as they served God. However, they did not stay there. They turned a deaf ear to God and to the laws He established: "everyone did what was right in his own eyes," (Judges 21:25). Their self-will led to moral decline, and intense suffering commenced. They endured such catastrophes as civil war, oppression, and-not to mention-being conquered, at various times, by the nations of Mesopotamia, Moab, Philistia, Canaan, Midian, and Ammon. Such subjugation can always cause extreme misery and distress. Thus, each time, the nation was brought to its knees. The people came to their senses and repented. Being mercifuL God subsequently sent them a "judge" to rescue the nation. These were not the type of judges who preside over a court of


Even God Recycles

37

law, as we are familiar with today. Rather, God appointed these individuals to preside over particular affairs of the nation as He transitioned it from a state of distress back to a state of prosperity. However, tllis state would not last long, as they inevitably strayed once again and found themselves back on a moral decline, leading to yet another political and economic collapse. Biblical scholars and ministers are not the only ones who have been conscientious of the present-day signllicance of tllis cycle. Consider the wisdom of the late Ronald Reagan, 40th President of the United States: If we ever [orget that we are one nation under God,

then we will be a nation gone under. Consider the insight of the late General Douglas MacArthur, the llighly-decorated U.S. Army General and field commander during World War II: In this day of gathering storms, as moral deterioration of political power spreads its growing infection, it is essential that every spiritual force be mobilized to defend and preserve the religious base upon which this nation is founded; for it has been that base which has been the motivating impulse to our moral and national growth. History [ails to record a single precedent in which nations subject to moral decay have not passed into political and economic decline. There has been either a spiritual reawakening to overcome the moral lapse, or a progressive deterioration leading to ultimate national disaster.


38

What's Next? 2008-2009

Examine our times in this light: the u.s. experienced a period of increasing prosperity which began around the 1940s and exploded in the 1990s, even into the onset of the 2000s. However, starting in the 1960s, self-will began to overpower established moral standards. These attitudes often surfaced through music, such as Frank Sinatra's popular song lyric, "I did it my way," or the Fifth Dimension's lyric, "Go where you want to go, do what you want to do, with whomever you want to ... ," or the Isley Brother's lyric, "It's your thing, do what you wanna do." In recent decades, the prevailing attitude of many has emulated that of the Israelites during the era of the Judges. The assumed idea is that God will ignore this society's growing lust for self-indulgent sins. In addition to the moral uprooting of the 1960s, the mid-1990s began to tack on the belief that anything we want is possible, that everything will go our way. The common notion is that "it's all about us," adding to the indications of the times. It isn't too hard to see the other telltale signs either. In fact, the footprints are all around us! For instance, consider the way that many conduct their financial affairs: several are living above their means! Credit card debt is astronomical. People even take out second mortgages on their first homes just to pay for vacations, second homes, and big toys (such as skiboats, jet-skis, motorcycles, ATVs, snowmobiles, and other nonessentials)! The average family is only two paychecks away from severe financial crisis. Still, we keep buying big SUVs on five- and six-year car loans. In fact, nineteen out of twenty cars on the road are not owned by


Even God Recycles

39

the people who drive them. Many seem to think that financial assets will always keep appreciating in value. After all, we believe what we have been told-that all is well: the jobs providing for our two-income family's standard of living will always be there; the paychecks will continue to flow into our bank accounts and checkbooks as long as is deemed necessary. These have all been signs of the time period: The Time of Illusion and Delusion. Birthed ill the mid-1990s and lasting Imtilthe beginning of 2008, it is al1 era lIIarked by unsubstantiated ezzthusiaslll. Most people are living "in the future" with rose路colored glasses, and velY few are "living in the now." Commonly, a YOlltl1ft" belief is possessed that anything is possible, that "evel)'thing goes Illy way!" The econolllY especially is based lIIore 011 illusion alld delusion than 011 facts. Howevel; il1 early 2008, reality will begin to upstage illusion and delusion. Despite this, some illusion Gild delusion will linger IInti12011.

Consider these footprints! Many are still thinking just like the Israelites in the book of Judges! People commonly seem to think that God willjust continue to ignore their everincreasing appetite for self-gratification, self-centeredness, escapism, drugs, greed, materialism, mindless entertainment' extramarital sex, and other indecencies and indulgences. Perhaps this is rooted in that belief from the mid-1990s, that anything is possible and everything will go our way, no matter what. If you do ponder this, you will see that we have been in the Time of Illusion and Delusion. So what? Life during


40

What's Next? 2008-2009

this time hasn't seemed so bad. For many, it's been pretty good. It's nothing we can't live with, right? The truth of the matter is that most of us have been living with it, and it does seem to be working. That is, at least for now. However, the Judges' cycle forewarns of what will inevitably follow such an era of self-will and moral decline: The time to come is The Time of Breakdown. A two year period (2008-2009) will introduce a new era. It will usher in the beginning ofsome very profound changes, radical transformations, severe diffiCillties, and resistance. This time period will be characterized primarily by the onset of breakdown for some big agencies, big businesses, and big institutions. Past wrongs and abuses of power will be revealed. People will start to "live in the now. " They will begin to get along with less and less, even to the point of scarcity in

some cases.

This time is nothing new. It is found repeatedly in the Bible. Go back and reread the descriptions of both times: the more you ponder, the more you will see.


Even God Recycles

CHAPTER SUMMARY Cycles and seasons are repeatedly found in the Bible. Since there is nothing new under the sun, little has changed: we must look to the past and the present to discern where we are going and what we should do about it. 1. Pharaoh's four thousand year-old cookbook

recipe still applies today. 2. Even if we are unaware of impending trouble, like a good parent, God will still give specific warnings to his children. 3. God declares in His Word that events recycle: what has happened in the past still happens now, and will happen again in the future. The time we are experiencing now is one characterized by illusion and delusion. This is followed by a time characterized by the beginning of breakdown. These have happened in the past. They are here again.

41


CHAPTER 6

AS FOR ME AND MY HOUSE ... WHERE ARE THE BLUEPRINTS? Now having answered the question of "what's next" on a macro economic scale, there is something more important to ask: What can you do about it? What's next for you? Like Pharaoh and everyone else who has received a warning from God, you now have a choice to make: you can accept it or ignore it. If you accept it. there are two more steps to follow before the cookbook recipe is complete. Next, we will focus on the second step. ( 1)

God's Specific

Warning to You

(2)

+

God's Specific

Plan for You

+

(3)

(4)

Your

Your Prosperous

Action

Outcome

In light of what is to come, a specific plan is needed, similar to that given to Pharaoh. The instructions to collect grain for seven years proved to be outstanding in wisdom. What about you and me? Is this what we are to do? Hoard for seven years? Not exactly. The situation we face is different, for at least two reasons. 43


44

What's Next? 2008-2009

First, Pharaoh's warning was simple: famine is coming. His problem was one-dimensional. Recall our Ancient Egyptian history lesson, if you will. The society he ruled was agricultural. based on food production and dependent on the Nile from top to bottom-so much so that low floods caused widespread famine and political crises several times during Egypt's history. Today, we face a multi-faceted warning. The world in which we live is entirely different than that of Pharaoh. Our society is a largely complex, interconnected web of economic industries and sectors, spanning the entire globe! This web is completely integrated, induding agriculture, biotechnology, chemical industry, computers, defense, emerging markets, environmental services and technologies, financial services, food industry and services, health care, information technologies, intellectual property, manufacturing, nanotechnology, retail, telecommunications, transportation, and much, much more! Therefore, there is no "one size fits all" solution to the situation; what will work for me most likely will not work for you. Second, God revealed information to Pharaoh indirectly' via two dreams. He never spoke directly to Pharaoh. After all, he had no established relationship with God. Rather, God sent a prophet who would minister and speak personally to Pharaoh for the duration of this fourteen-year crisis. Your situation is much different. It is not very likely that God will send you your own personal prophet to advise you exclusively for years! However, that does not leave us any worse off. After all, you and I have a one-on-one relationship with God. The mo-


As for Me and My House . ..

45

ment that the penalty for all your sins and transgressions was paid, you obtained the right to communicate immediately with Him-any time, any place. He is your Father and he has a specific plan for you. It is now up to you ask him to reveal it. Remember, there is no "one size fits all" solution! What works for one may not work for another. You must find the plan designed specifically for you. This task may seem overwhelming at first. Many may be asking where they should even begin. The first thing to do is to seek God for wisdom. As you do, remember the words found in James 1:5: "If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him." Now,that you have sought his wisdom, ask God to reveal his plan for you. Search out his counsel regarding all of its specific factors. It is also important to obtain guidance concerning all of the people encompassed within your tailored plan, such as your spouse, children, and any other dependents. It will help to have a series of detailed questions with which to approach God. It may seem much like piecing together a jigsaw puzzle: as you ask more questions and receive more answers, things will begin to take shape. Eventually, as more and more pieces are added in, you will even be able to see a completed picture. As a starting point, I have listed several questions that you may find helpful in your pursuit to understand God's plan for you. Read them through, praying over each one, and note those that apply to you. Keep a journal of your


46

What's Next? 2008-2009

answers; it may prove a valuable reference in times to come. While doing this, it may become apparent that you should be asking questions other than those listed. That's good. Remember, this is only meant to serve as a starting point. It is not meant to be all-inclusive. Its purpose is to get you thinking, and, as you journal, you may find yourself laying the foundations of a roadmap.

Your Income (Your Current Job & Source of Income):

Should I stay at my present job? If so, how long?

In what way should I establish myself there? What, if anything, should I be doing differently where I now work? What different experience(s) should I gain in my present job?

Should I look for another job? If so, when, and for what type?

How is this new job important to strategically position me? What type of industry or business sector is right forme? Where would this job be located? Close by? Another state or country? How long should I stay there?


As for Me and My House ...

47

Do I need additional training for my current profession? Would it be best to pursue education in an entirely new field? If yes, in what field or discipline? At which institution? What is best, full-time or part-time? Day or evening classes? How should I pay for it? What type of extracurricular study should I pursue? What books should I read or seminars should I attend? Should I become self-employed? Should I start a business? In what industry or business sector should I start it? What is the best way to plan this new venture? How should I get started and when? Will I need a business partner? If so, who? Your Personal Financial Plan & Lifestyle: Am I living in the right home? Am I living in the right general location?

If not, where should I move, and when?

What kind of home should I live in (e.g. apartment, townhouse, detached house, etc.)? How much should I budget for housing expenses? For living expenses?


What's Next? 2008':'2009

48

In critiquing each area of my lifestyle, what should I

change? What spending habits should I change? Am I spending too much in any area?

What changes should I make in regards to my debt situation? Should I live a few steps lower on my "economic ladder"? Am I saving a sufficient amount of money? How much should I save?

What do I have to do in order to save the right amount? Is my money invested in the right places? Are the right people handling my money? If not, what should I do?

Your Family:

What are my family 's particular needs? What special provisions and preparations will my spouse and children need? Where should I steer my children's lives? Education? Where should my children go to school?

Your Business (if you are a business owner) or NonProfit Organization:

What challenges will my customers and business confront? How can my business help my customers with these challenges?


As for Me and My House . ..

49

How do I best prepare my business for the next five years? Ten years? Do I make any changes in its products and services?

What changes do I make in the marketing plan? Operations plan? Financial plan? Risk management plan? How do I minimize business risks? How should I prepare my staff? What should be done differently? What should the corporation do with its profits? Do I relocate the business? If so, where? Now? In the future? Should I sell my business? If so, when? Now? In the future? .

Your Church or Ministry (for pastors/ministers):

What challenges will confront the community surrounding my church or ministry? How can we best aid the community? How do we prepare? What challenges will we confront? How do I position my church or ministry for the next five years? Ten years? How should I prepare my church members? What should I teach my congregation? In critiquing each area of my church or ministry,

what, if anything, should change in it's mission


50

What's Next? 2008-2009

statement? Business plan? Operations plan? Departments? Programs? What new programs should I begin? What should I do differently?

Miscellaneous:

What do I need to do, if anything, about the basic, everyday necessities of my life? What are the chokepoints that I must confront? How do I address them? There are several other points to remember as you seek your specific plan. First, in order to address issues pertaining to your personal lifestyle and finances, it is imperative to already be adhering to a personal financial plan (Le., a budget). Unfortunately, 80% of people do not have such a plan, nor do they even know their own spending habits. Unawares, they are "leaking" money. For these people, how much they spend on gratifying purposes remains a mystery. However, this is not difficult to change. If you are one of the 80%, begin to determine where your money goes. Start by taking a look at your credit card statements and checkbook register from the past six months (If you do not have a credit card and have not kept records, you can begin now by tracking your expenditures.). Write down how much you have spent. and on what, for each month. Your list should be similar to the following:


As for Me and My House . ..

51

Rent

Car maintenance

Mortgage payment

Donations/charitable giving

Upkeep of your home Utilities

Entertainment (e.g. friends, holidays)

Phone

Educational expenses

Cable TV

Medical & dental expenses

Internet connection

Prescriptions

Groceries

Kids: expenses

Morning coffee/bagel

Gifts (birthday, Christmas, anniversaries, weddings)

Lunch during the workweek

Family vacations

Clothes

Emergencies

Insurance

Other unexpected expenses

If, for any of the above expenses, you do not have a record, make a logical estimate for now. While tracking your fu ture spending, you can make adjustments as needed. Also, remember to account for expenses that occur infrequently or once a year. For these, make a gross estimation (or guess) of what it would cost if averaged out monthly, over a twelve-month cycle. For example, you do not buy new tires for your car or pay for an oil change every month. Still, if you own a car, you inevitably will at some point in the future. Therefore, take a look at past car maintenance receipts and then estimate how much money should be allocated each month for car maintenance. It is important to know exactly where you are spending all of your hard-earned money!


52

What's Next? 2008-2009

Make sure not to focus solely on where to invest. Although it will be a part of your specific plan, it is still only one part of many. Also, keep in mind that the best use of your money may not necessarily involve financial investment vehicles. For instance, God may want you to invest your money back into yourself (Le., your education). Or, maybe it is His will that you payoff your debts-freeing you to invest elsewhere at a later date. Don't worry. He is faithful to tell you where to "fish," just as Jesus did with his disciples (John 21:2-11, Luke 5:1-7). Please note: I am not saying that you shouldn't spend money. Nor am I saying that you should not enjoy the fruits of your labor. Becoming a miser or a scrooge isn't the point either. However, I cannot stress enough the importance of tracking your money and understanding how to improve your financial condition. Do not get discouraged if you analyze your present economic standing and find that you come up short. Yes, it is important to recognize and understand your present financial state. However, it is more important that you gain experience a'nd are prepared with a plan from God. After all, He is the one who sets you up to succeed and prosper. Remember Joseph, who started life in a wealthy family but then lost everything, becoming another man's slave. However, in that time, h e learned how to run an estate. He then spent ten years in prison, where he was promoted again and became its administrator. When the time was right, his experience gave him the foundation necessary in order to lead one of the most powerful na tions on earth through the worst hardship of his genera-


As for Me and My House ...

53

tion. Tribulation cultivated in Joseph the aptitude that he needed. God then replaced the technicolor robe, of which his brothers had stripped him, with a second robe of privilege: tins time, the robe he wore was that of the Prime Minister, second-in-command in all of Egypt. You may currently be in between robes. In fact, like Joseph, you may have to endure trials before you triumph. However, never forget that our God does not change. What he did for Joseph, he can also do for you. Don't underestimate the importance of a holy, obedient life! Be sure to check your lifestyle with God's word. Take inventory: are you living a life that honors and pleases Him? Are you following His directives? Are you adhering to his prescription for tithing? Are you maintaining a pure lifestyle? Never forget that it is His desire to help you. He wants to be your "Boaz" through times of trouble. (Read the story of Ruth and Boaz in the Biblical book of Ruth.) The psalmist also speaks of His great provision for those who love him: "I have been young, and now 1 am old; 1 have not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread," (Psalm 37:25) , and "The Lord is near to all who call upon Him, to all who call upon Him in truth. He will fulfill the desire of those who fear Him; He also will hear their cry, and save them. The Lord preserves all who love Him. But all the wicked will be destroyed, " (Psalm 145: 18-20) . Keep in mind that Pharaoh-a man who was not only ignorant of God, but was also glorified as divine by his subjects-accumulated exorbitant wealth as a result of the Egyptian fanline, wealth for which he did not ask. In


54

What's Next? 2008-2009

fact, he had not asked God for anything. How much more will God give to those who ask? To those who love Him? Furthermore, God did not promise or guarantee Pharaoh anything, as He has for us. Pharaoh simply obeyed God, and the reward he received was God's idea, not his. Be encouraged! God wants to provide for you! He also yearns to talk with you. He desires to establish and maintain a relationship with you. He longs for you to reach a higher plane: His plane. He hungers to communicate with you. Take some time and talk to Him.


As for Me and My House . .. .

CHAPTER SUMMARY Having received the warning, it's time to search out God's plan. 1. God gave Pharaoh the key to his prosperity: a five-part specific plan. How much more will he look out for His children? We only need to ask and obey. 2. God has a specific plan for you. Get it! Seek God's guidance! Learn the details and piece them together until you see a completed picture. 3. God wants to help you. He wants you to prosper. He wants to establish a relationship with you. Take the time to seek out a relationship with Him.

55


CHAPTER 7

USE IT OR LOSE IT!

Having received your warning and being well on your way to understanding your plan, all that you are missing is the third step of the cookbook recipe. (1)

God's Specific

Warning

(2)

+

(3)

God's Specific

+ Action

(4)

Prosperous

Outcome

Plan

It may be last, but it certainly is not least! If you have

followed through on the instructions in the previous chapter, you have already taken a big step forward: you have asked God for wisdom. You are seeking His guidance concerning the elements of your specific plan. Now, however, you must not let it lie dormant! Act on your plan now! Do not delay! Do not be like the disciple who dragged his feet at Jesus' invitation to join him: "Lord, let me first go and bury my father," (Matt 8:21-22). In other words, he would follow Jesus, but only after his father died, whenever that would be. God does not keep the window of opportunity open forever. It can close quickly. Pharaoh had seven years to prepare. You do not. 57


58

What's Next? 2008-2009

You can start putting your plan into action by doing something every day that brings it closer to fulfillment. Remember to be like the ant: "Consider her ways and be wise, which, having no captain, overseer, or ruler, provides for her supplies in the summer, and gathers her food in the harvest," (Proverbs 6:6-8). Don't stop if you get discouraged, or even if things start looking up! Work it out for as long as it takes. For some, this may be a matter of months. For others, it may be over a year. Whatever it does take, keep going until you reach the goal! Remember, "With God, all things are possible," (Matt 19:26). Make it your aim and adopt a die-hard mindset: implement your plan or bust! As you act on your plan, don't become concerned with other people and what they are doing. Remember that humans are creatures of habit, and-unfortunatelymany will continue routines today, tomorrow, and dayafter-day exactly as they did it last week, a year ago, and for the past decade. Do not worry. Remember these words Jesus spoke:

Do not worry about your life, what you will eat, nor about the body, what you will put on. Life is more than food, and the body is more than clothing. Consider the ravens, for they neither sow nor reap, which have neither storehouse nor barn; and God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds? And which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature? If you then are not able to do the least, why are you anxious for the rest? Consider the lilies, how they grow:


Use It or Lose It

59

they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you, even Solomon In all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. If then God so clothes the grass, which today is In the fie ld and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will He clothe you, 0 you of little faith? And do not seek what you should eat or what you should drink, nor have an anxious mind. For all these things the nations of the world seek alter, and your Father knows that you need these things . But seek the kingdom of God, and all these things shall be added to you. Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom. (Luke 12:22-32)

Be diligent, so that you can prosper. It is God's will that you do so. Keep in mind, however, that prosperity is far more than just the accumulation of material possessions and money! True prosperity encompasses every aspect of life: health, having a sound, peace-filled mind, contentment, wholeness, a solid reputation, the well-being of spouse and children, protection in times of danger, the fulfillment of everyday needs, love, joy, fruitful and satisfying relationships, rest, deep sleep, wisdom, knowledge, understanding, guidance, a balanced life, help in time of trouble, a bright future, and so forth. After all, what good would it be to have all the riches of Pharaoh, and yet be afflicted with Alzheimer's disease? Money isn't everything. Check your desires. Check your motives. God reveals specific plans to the Body of Christ for our protection and benefit. It is your Father's desire for you to be prepared and prosperous. Fortunately, you have a really


60

What's Next? 2008-2009

great Dad! He is so smart-infinitely wise. He knows what is happelling and what is going to happen-always. No one can fool Him. He wants to be your constant helper! He has all of the answers to all of your questions. So, keep asking Him, in detail, about yourself and your future. Keep asking your Father: "What's next?"


REFERENCES

Holy Bible. New King James Version. 1982. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, Inc. Langer WL (editor). 1968. An Encyclopedia of World History. Fourth Edition. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company. McGee N. 1982. Thru The Bible with J. Vernon McGee. Volume II. Pasadena, CA: Thru the Bible Radio. Robinson R. 1993. Business History of the World. Westport, CT, USA: Greenwood Press. Scarre, C. (general editor). 2003. Past Worlds: Atlas of Archaeology. Ann Arbor, MI, USA: Borders Press and Harper Collins. Stearns PN (general editor). 2001. The Encyclopedia of World History. Sixth Edition. New York: Houghton Mifflin Company. Unger, ME 1979. Unger's Bible Dictionary. Chicago: Moody Press.

61


APPENDIX

Genesis 37:1- 36 (New King James Version) 1. Now Jacob dwelt in the land where his father was

a stranger, in the land of Canaan. 2. This is the history of Jacob. Joseph, being seventeen years old, was feeding the flock with his brothers. And the lad was with the sons of Bilhah and the sons of Zilpah, his father's wives; and Joseph brought a bad report of them to his father. 3. Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his children, because he was the son of his old age. Also he made him a tunic of many colors. 4. But when his brothers saw that their father loved him more than all his brothers, they hated him and could not speak peaceably to him. 5. Now Joseph had a dream, and he told it to his brothers; and they hated him even more. 6. So he said to them, "Please hear this dream which I have dreamed: 7. There we were, binding sheaves in the field. Then behold, my sheaf arose and also stood upright; and indeed your sheaves stood all around and bowed down to my 63


64

What's Next? 2008-2009

sheaf." 8. And his brothers said to him, "Shall you indeed reign over us? Or shall you indeed have dominion over us?" So they hated him even more for his dreams and for his words. 9. Then he dreamed still another dream and told it to his brothers, and said, "Look, I have dreamed another dream. And this time, the sun, the moon, and the eleven stars bowed down to me." 10. So he told it to his father and his brothers; and his father rebuked him and said to him, "What is this dream that you have dreamed? Shall your mother and I and your brothers indeed come to bow down to the earth before you?" 11. And his brothers envied him, but his father kept the matter in mind. 12. Then his brothers went to feed their father's flock in Shechem. 13. And Israel said to Joseph, "Are not your brothers feeding the flock in She chern? Come, I will send you to them." So he said to him, "Here I am." 14. Then he said to him, "Please go and see if it is well with your brothers and well with the flocks, and bring back word to me." So he sent him out of the Valley of Hebron, and he went to Shechem. 15. Now a certain man found him, and there he was, wandering in the field. And the man asked him, saying, "What are you seeking?" 16. So he said, "I am seeking my brothers. Please tell me where they are feeding their flocks." 17. And the man said, "They have departed from here, for I heard them say, 'Let us go to Dothan.'" So

, t


Appendix

65

Joseph went after his brothers and found them in Dothan. 18. Now when they saw him afar off, even before he came near them, they conspired against him to kill him. 19. Then they said to one another, "Look, this dreamer is coming! 20. Come therefore, let us now kill him and cast him into some pit; and we shall say, 'Some wild beast has devoured him: We shall see what will become of his dreams!" 21. But Reuben heard it, and he delivered him out of their hands, and said, "Let us not kill him." 22. And Reuben said to them, "Shed no blood, but cast him into this pit which is in the wilderness, and do not lay a hand on him"-that he might deliver him out of their hands, and bring him back to his father. 23. So it came to pass, when Joseph had come to his brothers, that they stripped Joseph of his tunic, the tunic of many colors that was on him. 24. Then they took him and cast him into a pit. And the pit was empty; there was no water in it. 25. And they sat down to eat a meal. Then they lifted their eyes and looked, and there was a company of 1shmaelites, coming from Gilead with their camels, bearing spices, balm, and myrrh, on their way to carry them down to Egypt. 26. So Judah said to his brothers, "What profit is there if we kill our brother and conceal his blood? 27. Come and let us sell hinl to the 1shmaelites, and let not our hand be upon him, for he is our brother and our


66

What's Next? 2008-2009

flesh." And hls brothers listened. 28. Then Midianite traders passed by; so the brothers pulled Joseph up and lifted him out of the pit, and sold him to the Ishmaelites for twenty shekels of silver. And they took Joseph to Egypt. 29. Then Reuben returned to the pit, and indeed

Joseph was not in the pit; and he tore hls clothes. 30. And he returned to his brothers and said, "The lad is no more; and t where shall I go?" 31. So they took Joseph's tunic, killed a kid of the goats, and dipped the tunic in the blood. 32. Then they sent the tunic of many colors, and they brought it to their father and said, "We have found this. Do you know whether it is your son's tunic or not?" 33. And he recognized it and said, "It is my son's tunic. A wild beast has devoured him. Without doubt Joseph is torn to pieces." 34. Then Jacob tore his clothes, put sackcloth on his waist, and mourned for his son many days. 35. And all his sons and all his daughters arose to comfort him; but he refused to be comforted, and he said, "For I shall go down into the grave to my son in mourning." Thus his father wept for.him. 36. Now the Midianites had sold him in Egypt to Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh and captain of the guard.


Appendix

67

Genesis 41:1-57 (New King James Version) 1. Then it came to pass, at the end of two full years,

that Pharaoh had a dream; and behold, he stood by the river. 2. Suddenly there came up out of the river seven cows, fine looking and fat; and they fed .in the meadow. 3. Then behold, seven other cows came up after them out of the river, ugly and gaunt, and stood by the other cows on the bank of the river. 4. And the ugly and gaunt cows ate up the seven fine looking and fat cows. So Pharaoh awoke. 5. He slept and dreamed a second time; and suddenly seven heads of grain caine up on one stalk, plump and good. 6. Then behold, seven thin heads, blighted by the east wind, sprang up after them. 7. And the seven thin heads devoured the seven plump and full heads. So Pharaoh awoke, and indeed, it was a dream. 8. Now it came to pass in the morning that Ius spirit was troubled, and he sent and called for all the magicians of Egypt and all its wise men. And Pharaoh told them his dreams, but there was no one who could interpret them for Pharaoh. 9. Then the chief butler spoke to Pharaoh, saying: "I remember my faults this day. 10. When Pharaoh was angry with Ius servants, and put me in custody in the house of the captain of the guard, both me and the cluef baker, II. We each had a dream in one night, him and me. Each of us dreamed according to the


68

What's Next? 2008-2009

interpretation of his own dream. 12. Now there was a young Hebrew man with us there, a servant of the captain of the guard. And we told him, and he interpreted our dreams for us; to each man he interpreted according to his own dream. 13. And it came to pass, just as he interpreted for us, 50 it happened. He restored me to my office, and he hanged him." 14. Then Pharaoh sent and called Joseph, and they brought him quickly out of the dungeon; and he shaved, changed his clothing, and came to Pharaoh. 15. And Pharaoh said to Joseph, "I have had a dream, and there is no one who can interpret it. But I have heard it said of you that you can understand a dream to interpret it." 16. So Joseph answered Pharaoh, saying, "It is not in me; God will give Pharaoh an answer of peace." 17. Then Pharaoh said to Joseph: "Behold, in my dream I stood on the bank of the river. 18. Suddenly seven cows came up out of the river, fine looking and fat; and they fed in the meadow. 19. Then behold, seven other cows came up after them, poor and very ugly and gaunt. such ugliness as I have never seen in all the land of Egypt. 20. And the gaunt and ugly cows ate up the first seven, the fat cows. 21. When they had eaten them up, no one would have known that they had eaten them, for they were just as ugly as at the beginning. So I awoke." 22. "Also I saw in my dream, and suddenly seven

heads came up on one stalk, full and good. 23. Then be-


Appendix

69

hold seven heads, withered, thin, and blighted by the east wind, sprang up after them. 24. And the thin heads devoured the seven good heads. So I told this to the magicians, but there was no one who could explain it to me."

25. Then Joseph said to Pharaoh, "The dreams of Pharaoh are one; God has shown Pharaoh what He is about to do: 26. The seven good cows are seven years, and the seven good heads are seven years; the dreams are one. 27. And the seven thin and ugly cows which came up after them are seven years, and the seven empty heads blighted by the east wind are seven years of famine. 28. This is the thing which I have spoken to Pharaoh. God has shown Pharaoh what He is about to do. 29. Indeed seven years of great plenty will come throughout all the land of Egypt; 30. but after them seven years of famine will arise, and all the plenty will be forgotten in the land of Egypt; and the famine will deplete the land. 31. So the plenty will not be known in the land because of the famine following, for it will be very severe. 32. And the dream was repeated to Pharaoh twice because the thing is established by God, and God will shortly bring it to pass."

33. "Now therefore, let Pharaoh select a discerning and wise man, and set him over the land of Egypt. 34. Let Pharaoh do this, and let him appoint officers over the land, to collect one-fifth of the produce of the land of Egypt in the seven plentiful years. 35. And let them


70

What's Next? 2008-2009

gather all the food of those good years that are coming, and store up grain under the authority of Pharaoh, and let them keep food in the cities. 36. Then that food shall be as a reserve for the land for the seven years of famine which shall be in the land of Egypt that the land may not perish during the famine." 37. So the advice was good in the eyes of Pharaoh and in the eyes of all his servants. 38. And Pharaoh said to his servants, "Can we find such a one as this, a man in whom is the Spirit of God?" 39. Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, "Inasmuch as God has shown you all this, there is no one as discerning and wise as you. 40. You shall be over my house, and all my people shall be ruled according to your word; only in regard to the throne will I be greater than you." 41. And Pharaoh said to Joseph, "See, I have set you over all the land of Egypt." 42. Then Pharaoh took his signet ring off his hand and put it on Joseph's hand; and he clothed him in garments of fine linen and put a gold chain around his neck. 43. And he had him ride in the second chariot which he had; and they cried out before him, "Bow the knee!" So he set him over all the land of Egypt. 44. Pharaoh also said to Joseph, "I am Pharaoh, and without your consent no man may lift his hand or foot in all the land of Egypt." 45. And Pharaoh called Joseph's name ZaphnathPaaneah. And he gave him as a wife Asenath, the daugh-


Appendix

71

ter of Poti-Pherah priest of On. So Joseph went out over all the land of Egypt. 46. Joseph was thirty years old when he stood before Pharaoh King of Egypt. And Joseph went out from the presence of Pharaoh, and went throughout all the land of Egypt. 47. Now in the seven plentiful years the ground brought forth abundantly. 48. So he gathered up all the food of the seven years which were in the land of Egypt, and laid up the food in the cities; he laid up in every city the food of the field which surrounded them. 49. Joseph gathered very much grain, as the sand of the sea, until he stopped counting, for it Was immeasurable. 50. And to Joseph were born two sons before the years of famine came, whom Asenath, the daughter of Poti-Pherah priest of On, bore to him. 51. Joseph called the name of the firstborn Manasseh: "for God has made me forget all my toil and all my father's house." 52. And the name of the second he called Ephraim: "For God has caused me to be fruitful in the land of my affliction." 53. The seven years of plenty which were in the land of Egypt ended, 54. and the seven years of famine began to come, as Joseph had said. The famine was in all lands, but in all the land of Egypt there was bread. 55. So when all the land of Egypt was famished, the people cried to Pharaoh for bread. Then Pharaoh said to all the Egyptians, "Go to Joseph; whatever he says to you, do." 56. The


72

What's Next? 2008-2009

famine was over all the face of the earth, and Joseph opened all the storehouses and sold to the Egyptians. And the famine became severe in the land of Egypt. 57. So all countries came to Joseph in Egypt to buy grain, because the famine was severe in all lands.


Appendix

73

Genesis 47:13-26 (New King James Version) 13. Now there was no bread in all the land; for the famine was very severe, so that the land of Egypt and the land of Canaan languished because of the famine. 14. And Joseph gathered up all the money that was found in the land of Egypt and in the land of Canaan, for the grain which they bought; and Joseph brought the money into Pharaoh's house. 15. So when the money failed in the land of Egypt and in the land of Canaan, all the Egyptians came to Joseph and said, "Give us bread, for why should we die in your presence? For the money has failed." 16. Then Joseph said, "Give your livestock, and I will give you bread for your livestock, ifthe money is gone." 17. So they brought their livestock to Joseph and Joseph gave them bread in exchange for the horses, the flocks , the cattle of the herds, and for the donkeys. Thus he fed them with bread in exchange for all their livestock that year. 18. When that year had ended, they came to him the next year and said to him, "We will not hide from my lord that our money is gone; my lord also has our h erds of livestock. There is nothing left in the sight of my lord but our bodies and our lands. 19. "Why should we die before your eyes, both we and our land? Buy us and our land for bread, and we and our


74

What's Next? 2008-2009

land will be servants of Pharaoh; give us seed, that we may live and not die, that the land may not be desolate." 20. Then Joseph bought all the land of Egypt for

Pharaoh; for every man of the Egyptians sold his field, because the famine was severe upon them. So the land became Pharaoh's. 21. And as for the people, he moved them into the cities, from one end of the borders of Egypt to the other end. 22. Only the land of the priests he did not buy; for the priests had rations allotted to them by Pharaoh, and they ate their rations which Pharaoh gave them; therefore, they did not sell their lands. 23. Then Joseph said to the people, "Indeed I have bought you and your land this day for Pharaoh. Look, here is seed for you, and you shall sow the land. 24. And it shall come to pass in the harvest that you shall give one-fifth to Pharaoh. Four-fifths shall be your own, as seed for the field and for your food, for those of your households and as food for your little ones." 25. So they said, "You have saved our lives; let us find favor in the sight of my lord, and we will be Pharaoh's servants." 26. And Joseph made it a law over the land of Egypt to this day, that Pharaoh should have one-fifth, except for the land of the priests only, which did not become Pharaoh's.


Appendix

75

John 21:2-11 (New King James Version) 2. Simon Peter, Thomas called the Twin, Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two others of His disciples were together. 3. Simon Peter said to them, "1 am going fishing." They said to him, "We are going with you also." They went out and immediately got into the boat, and that night they caught nothing. 4. But when the morning had now come, Jesus stood on the shore; yet the disciples did not know that it was Jesus. 5. Then Jesus said to them, "Children, have you any food?" They answered Him, "No." 6. And He said to them, "Cast the net on the , right side of the boat, and you will find some." So they cast, and now they were not able to draw it in because of the multitude of fish . 7. Therefore that disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, "It is the Lord!" Now when Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on his outer garment (for he had removed it), and plunged into the sea. 8. But the other disciples came in the little boat (for they were not far from land, but about two hundred cubits), dragging the net with fish. 9. Then, as soon as they had come to land, they saw a fire of coals there, and fish laid on it, and bread. 10. Jesus said to them, "Bring some of the fish which you have just caught." 11. Simon Peter went up and dragged the net to land, full of large fish, one hundred and fifty-three; and although there were so many, the net was not broken,


76

What's Next? 2008-2009

2 Kings 6:24-25 (New King James Version) 24. And it happened after this that Ben-Hadad king of

Syria gathered all his army, and went up and l:iesieged Samaria. 25. And there was a great famine in Samaria; and indeed they besieged it until a donkey's head was sold for eighty shekels of silver, and one-fourth of a. kab of dove droppings for five shekels of silver.

Luke 5:1-7 (New King James Version) 1. So it was, as the multitude pressed about Him to

hear the word of God, that He stood by the Lake of Gennesaret, 2. and saw two boats standing by the lake; but the fishermen had gone from them and were washing their nets. 3. Then He got into one of the boats, which was Simon's, and asked him to put out a little from the land. And He sat down and taught the multitudes from the boat. 4. When He had stopped speaking, He said to Simon, "Launch out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch." 5. But Simon answered and said to Him, "Master, we have toiled all night and caught nothing; nevertheless at Your word I will let down the net." 6. And when they had done this, they caught a great number of fish, and their net was breaking. 7. So they signaled to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both the boats, so that they began to sink.


78

What's Next? 2008-2009

books and one patent. He has been the editor-in-chief of an international scientific journal for over 17 years. About 10 years ago, Dr. Dragun began conducting his own economic, business, and market monitoring and forecasting. Dr. Dragun has visited over 25 countries and world regions seeking profitable opportunities (e.g. Japan and the Pacific Rim, Germany and Eastern Europe, England and Western Europe, the Middle East, Africa). In addition to the above, in 2000 Dr. Dragun became the director of the School of Business and Entrepreneurship in Southfield, MI, USA. He lectures on product/service creation and development, business plans, business investments, contracts, forecasting, market analysis, marketing strategies, operations, organization and management, business financial plans, and risk management. Dr. Dragun has been a commentator on the Oh! Oxygen TV Network (Canada and USA nationwide). He has appeared on Fox TV News (Canada and USA nationwide), KAKE and KWCH TV (Wichita), KMBC TV (Kansas City), WACX TV (Central Florida), WJBK Fox TV (Detroit), World Talk Radio Network (worldwide) and other radio stations. Dr. Dragun has received several awards for his professional achievements and contributions to the community.

Dr. Dragun can be contacted at: www.LearnWhatsNext.com


,

,

I

I

I

.~

RISI{ D ISCLOSURE

Since we live in a society that has to warn people that fire logs are flammable and coffee is served hot. it is necessary to provide a risk disclosure statement. This text is a compilation and summation of the author's personal research. The purpose of this text is to educate and inform the Body of Christ. The information used in this text is believed to be correct and from reliable sources; however, it cannot be guaranteed. In no part of this text has the author attempted or intended to give investing and trading advice, stated or implied. This text is not an invitation to invest or trade. You are responsible for all your business, career, and personal decisions. Also, you are responsible for your investment decisions; if you are unwilling to accept this responsibility, then you should not invest in any financial market.

79



/What%27s%20Next%202008-2009