WTIS: I am excited and honored to share with you a very special story from a recent Financial Peace University graduation to which I (Pete O’Shea) was invited to speak. The FPU graduation was at Grace Family Church, a terrific Tampa Bay church. Everyone was so warm and kind. I met so many great people and made new friends. My friend, Brian Horvath, does a great job on leading the class. Since Grace Family Church has started Financial Peace University, they’ve paid off 3.5 million dollars in debt, which is just terrific. One person stood out to me at the graduation because he had done something very innovative and it also was very powerful to watch. I would like you to hear his story first-hand. Welcome my new buddy Miguel Lopez. Miguel Lopez: Hi, thank you. WTIS: Tell everybody your story from Financial Peace University. What did you make? It was not just a new accessory but an expression of freedom. Tell us all about it. Miguel Lopez: Well, in the FPU course each week, the curriculum includes asking you to cut up your credit cards. My wife and I were new to this program and we really hesitated to cut up anything because we weren’t committed yet. Week after week, they asked us to cut up our credit cards. Many people did, but my wife and I, at the end of the program had yet to do so. I thought that at our FPU graduation we needed to cut some of our credit cards. I didn’t want just pull out a stack of cards from my pocket. So, I called my wife and said, “Listen, we got to put something together – I want to carry the cards around my neck. Can you design something with them?” She put them on a string and put
34 • February 2013 • Pinellas
a little spacer, some beads with my daughter’s help, and I wore them during graduation. As I was wearing them in front of everybody, my wife cut them one by one, leaving a little chunk of it hanging on the necklace as a reminder of what we had accomplished. WTIS: It was so cool to see and hear the big applause. A nice sized crowd was there to see Miguel and his lovely wife cutting each credit card off the necklace. Everyone was cheering. Does it feel great for you, Miguel, knowing these are out of your life? Is this a transformative situation for you guys? Miguel Lopez: It sure has. With the freedom we have earned through FPU we have accomplished much but we have more to go. We started our debt snowball, baby step two, and plan to have a place for each of our dollars. We look forward to cutting up more credit cards. WTIS: Is this class going to change your family for generations to come? Miguel Lopez: Absolutely. We are sharing this with our children and they also are going through the process with us. When my wife and I were growing up no one taught us how to do finances in any school. We stepped into big holes and the big traps of credit. We never though we could get out of debt until our 40’s and 50’s. Leaving debt behind brings us such peace. WTIS: That is wonderful. There are so many people in debt. We are up to nose in debts but afraid to do anything Say you saw it in the Gulf Coast Family Newspaper
about it. What would you say to somebody who’s afraid to get started with Financial Peace University? Miguel Lopez: There is light at the end of the tunnel. There is hope. You get your life back. You’re going to be back in control. Another thing is my wife and I have a better marriage without arguments. We were short every pay-check. Now, we know where every single dollar goes. Nothing else matters. I encourage everyone who is in debt, who is having financial difficulties, to enroll into the program. You will have great fellowship, make great new relationships and help inspire others as well. WTIS: Amen to that. You know, I still hear excitement in your voice. Your smile lit up the whole room the night of graduation. Are you going to keep that feeling with you forward? Miguel Lopez: Absolutely, we are more focused than ever because we know we have a date when we’re going to be cutting all the rest of our credit cards. We are going to complete all our baby steps. We are also thinking how we’re going to be able to help others. The main goal is be able to give freely. And we want to be able to say to somebody else, “Hey, can we help you out?” WTIS: That’s the best. Miguel Lopez, thank you so much for inspiring us. We encourage you to visit www.daveramsey.com and find the closest church that hosts Financial Peace University. You can also listen to Dave Ramsey each weekday afternoon 2-5 on Inspiration AM 1110. www.gulfcoastfamily.org
Published on Feb 1, 2013
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