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21 Financial Wisdom Keys To Recession Proof Your Life

And Unlock The Door To Your Financial Freedom

By: Shaun Maddox ________________________________________________________________________ Copyright Š 2009 All Rights Reserved Page 1


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TABLE OF CONTENTS Wisdom Key #1 > Wisdom Key #2 > Wisdom Key #3 > Wisdom Key #4 > Wisdom Key #5 > Wisdom Key #6 > Wisdom Key #7 > Wisdom Key #8 > Wisdom Key #9 > Wisdom Key #10 > Wisdom Key #11 > Wisdom Key #12 > Wisdom Key #13 > Wisdom Key #14 > Wisdom Key #15 > Wisdom Key #16 > Wisdom Key #17 > Wisdom Key #18 > Wisdom Key #19 > Wisdom Key #20 > Wisdom Key #21 >

Take responsibility for your life............................................6 Let go of your past.................................................................9 Seek out knowledge and wisdom.........................................11 Create a plan & then work your plan....................................16 Stay focused on your goal.....................................................20 Stay faithful to your goal and to God....................................22 Take action every day............................................................25 Become a new you.................................................................31 Speak and See what you want...............................................34 Learn to love the “B” word....................................................40 Know your wants vs. needs....................................................45 Get ready for the rain..............................................................47 Divorce your debt...................................................................50 Become a copy cat..................................................................54 Stop making excuses...............................................................56 Develop an attitude of gratitude..............................................60 Plant a seed in your time of need.............................................63 Staying prayerful will make you powerful..............................68 Turn over your ownership.......................................................70 Become a teacher.....................................................................73 Make God numero uno............................................................75

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***************21 Wisdom Keys To Recession Proof Your Life*************** Introduction:

I have found that the trouble with most “self-help” books is that most of them are very passive in nature. In other words a person decides they want to make a positive change in their life so they get a book which intended to help them make that change. As they read the book, some of the words may jump out at them and get them a little motivated and inspired, but by the time they get to the end of the book, most of the motivation has fizzled out. Then they proceed to put the book on the book shelf with all the other socalled self help books. This space on the shelf ends up becoming the book’s final resting place.

The person has “good intentions” of implementing all of the good ideas they read about but somehow time just seems to keep ticking on and no progress has been made towards reaching their intentions. This book is different because it allows you, the reader, to participate as you are reading.

The law of inertia states that an object at rest will stay at rest until acted upon by an outside force. The assignments and activities found in this book act as that outside force necessary in order to kick start your success engine and get you moving towards achieving the goals you set out to achieve when you got this book. As you encounter each of these assignments, make sure you do them and complete them before advancing on to the next section.

The New International Version was used to reference all of the scriptures found in this book. Please resist the temptation to just pass over the scripture references in red, in an attempt to get to the next paragraph quickly. What I want you to do instead is actively participate in this book by reading it with your bible close at hand.

I have purposely omitted the scriptures and only provided you with the scripture reference so that you can look them up on your own just like I did in order to write this book. Each time you come across a scripture, you are going to want to take the time necessary to actually look it up, study it, and meditate on how that particular scripture directly relates to your own personal life and your current situation.

I believe that God will reward your diligence and commitment to find out more about what His word has to say about the subject. You will also be showing God as well as yourself that you are willing to go the extra mile to really understand these wisdom keys and make them a permanent part of your life. (Proverbs 21:5)

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Guess what? The scripture above was your first test. If you are reading this sentence and you didn’t even take the time to look up and read the above scripture, then I can pretty much assure you right now, that you are not going to get 100% out of this book because you are not willing to put in 100% and go the extra mile. You will be wasting my time as well as yours. So if you skipped the scripture, why don’t you go on ahead right now and grab your bible and look it up, and if you did, then great, let’s proceed. ☺

You will also notice as you are reading this book that in various sections of the book are hyperlinks which will direct you to additional resources which are designed to also aid you in reaching your goals and achieving success in your life. As you click on each of these links, being careful not to skip any, you are going to notice something pretty wonderful. You will notice that you are getting a lot more from this book than you first anticipated.

Finally, at the end of each wisdom key chapter, you will also find a section for you to be able to write down any thoughts or ideas which came to you while you are studying that chapter. In order to get the most out of this book it is important that you actively participate in every part and in every activity, making sure to look up and reference all scriptures. Ask God to give you insight and understanding and then write down whatever you feel God is saying to you as you read and experience the lessons found in this book.

So are you ready to begin this fantastic journey? Well if so then let’s get started right away with your first wisdom key.

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WISDOM KEY #1 TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR YOUR LIFE “If it’s to be...it’s up to me.” This simple but very powerful phrase has often been quoted by nationally known motivational speaker and author, Brian Tracy. Basically it means that we alone are responsible for the results we have obtained in our lives (good or bad).

Your life right at this moment, is the sum total of all the decisions and choices you have made in the past up to this point. If you are not happy with where your life is right now then spend some time reflecting on what types of decisions you have been making in your life. There is absolutely nothing you can do at this point to change the past or the present, however if you want your future to turn out a lot better, then you better start learning how to make better decisions.

The worst mistake you can make is to take on a “blame the world” attitude. If your life, your relationships, or your finances aren’t what you would like for them to be, then you must not blame others. Instead you need to look within yourself for the root cause of your dissatisfaction. Stop blaming your friends, family, your boss, your mate, the economy, or the government.

When you blame others, you are taking the control for changing your life out of your own hands and placing it in the hands of others. Stop pointing the finger at others and begin looking to yourself.

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***************21 Wisdom Keys To Recession Proof Your Life*************** The first recorded incident of finger pointing and blaming occurred in the Garden of Eden with Adam. You may recall, after Eve took that infamous bite out of the forbidden fruit she then offered her hubby Adam a bite and he did too. When God questioned Adam about whether he had eaten from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, Adam immediately put the blame on Eve.

You see, at that moment, Adam was guilty of finger pointing and not taking responsibility for the actions of him and his wife Eve. It doesn’t end there however; then when God questioned Eve about eating the forbidden fruit, she was quick to blame the devil for her disobedience. You see, neither one of them was willing to take responsibility for their actions. Are you guilty of finger pointing and blaming others? (Genesis 3:9-13)

You may feel that in order for your life to change, others are going to have to change. The sad fact however is that the only person you truly have any power over changing is yourself. I promise you that when you start taking responsibility for your own success you will begin to notice a power within yourself beginning to surface which will allow you to accomplish whatever you set out to achieve in your life.

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WISDOM KEY #2 LET GO OF YOUR PAST Imaging what would happen if the entire time you spent driving on the road you constantly kept looking in the rear view mirror. Eventually you would drive off the road and crash. While you are traveling on the road of life it is important for you to stay focused on the road ahead rather than on what’s behind you.

Unfortunately you have no control over what has happened in your past. Your present has already been determined by your actions and decisions of the past. The only thing you can do at this point is focus on where you want your life to end up and how you intend on getting there.

No matter what mistakes you have made with your finances in the past, always remember that today is a new day. The key here is to learn from your mistakes and make a decision not to repeat them. (Proverbs 26:11)

Eventually everyone will end up having to face the consequences of refusing to learn from their mistakes. If you are human, then you are most certainly going to make mistakes, there’s just no way around it. The key is to be able to learn from them and correct your actions. (Proverbs 29:1)

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WISDOM KEY #3 SEEK OUT KNOWLEDGE AND WISDOM First things first...we need to start off by distinguishing the difference between knowledge and wisdom. Knowledge means to know something while wisdom involves applying that knowledge (what you know) correctly and at the right time. All the knowledge in the world without the right wisdom will prove useless.

The wisest and richest man who ever lived, King Solomon, left numerous pearls of wisdom and advice which can be found in the Bible in Proverbs. The book of Proverbs covers a wide range of topics such as relationships, business dealings, marriage, wealth, and poverty. Proverbs aren’t the only place in the bible where you can find teachings about these topics however most of the wisdom keys and lessons in this book do come from Proverbs.

When we seek to know God and His ways, we are able to connect to God’s wisdom. Always remember that wisdom can only be truly effective when it’s put into action. When Solomon was asked by God what he wanted, Solomon responded with “wisdom.”

Are you seeking wisdom or are you just seeking results in your life? (1 Kings 3:5-14)

Solomon humbly recognized that his knowledge and wisdom was limited and so he asked God to give him a discerning heart. You see, Solomon was smart enough to recognize his need for wisdom. (Proverbs 16:16)

If you were to take all the money in the world and pool it together and then divide it equally amongst each and every person; the sad fact is that it wouldn’t take very long for almost every person to be right back at the same point they started at.

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***************21 Wisdom Keys To Recession Proof Your Life*************** In other words, the formerly rich would be rich again and the formerly poor would be poor again. You may ask how is this possible? It’s because each person would still be operating and making decisions based on the exact same knowledge as before.

This is why it’s so important to continually invest time in improving your knowledge and wisdom. Donald Trump is a perfect example of this wisdom key. Here is a person who started off rich and developed knowledge and wisdom. He then lost just about everything and ended up having to file bankruptcy but managed to bounce back and end up on top again.

So how did he do it? He already possessed the knowledge and wisdom necessary to become wealthy which allowed him to be able to regain the wealth he had previously lost. (Proverbs 17:16)

Here is a question for you to think about. Be honest. Would you rather someone give you $5,000 cash right now or would you rather be mentored by a millionaire for the next 12 months? What if you could receive $15,000 right now instead? Did your answer change?

How you answered the above questions, believe it or not, has a lot to say about you. Short term thinkers would jump at the chance to receive the $5,000 or $15,000. Maybe you could pay off a few debts, buy a few things, or take that vacation you always dreamed of, but then what? (Proverbs 8:10-11)

Long term thinkers would have taken advantage of the opportunity to be mentored by the millionaire and gain their knowledge and wisdom. Remember, knowledge will follow you all the days of your life but money may not. If you want to become financially independent, you are going to have to develop a long term perspective of money and a desire to seek out knowledge and wisdom.

Unfortunately many of our school systems do very little to prepare kids for the financial journey they will embark on once they leave school. When I was in school, I can remember learning how to dissect a frog, but never anything about money and finances. Last time I checked, there weren’t too many people earning a good living from dissecting frogs.

There is no Money 101 class that a child can take while they are young, which means the majority of knowledge a child will obtain about money is going to come from their parents. Now if the parents were never taught about money either, then you can see the problem that occurs here. ________________________________________________________________________ Copyright © 2009 All Rights Reserved Page 12


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The reason I love reading so much and listening to audio books while driving is because I have learned to love learning. I have often told people that when I die I want to be buried with a book in my hand. That way I can have something to read on my way to heaven.

How much time do you commit each day to learning something new? Most people often say that they just don’t have enough time, but I say you have to “make” the time. Why not sacrifice 30 or 60 minutes you would normally be spending watching your favorite TV show? Instead you can record the program and watch it later and save some time by skipping over the commercials which usually take up about 50% of the show anyway.

If you drive, chances are you have a CD player in your car. (If you still have an 8-track player then please refer to wisdom key #10 and budget for a new radio). Rather than listening to the radio or playing your favorite music CD, why don’t you pop in a good audio program designed to educate you with your finances. Begin today to turn your automobile into a university on wheels. (Hosea 4:6)

“Until you know more you’ll never grow more....and until you do more...you will never have more” ~ Shaun Maddox ~

The bible let’s you know that if you lack wisdom and desire to obtain it, then all you need to do is just ask God for wisdom and He will give it to you. Now can it really be as simple as just asking God and it will suddenly appear? (James 1:5 / Proverbs 2:1-6)

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***************21 Wisdom Keys To Recession Proof Your Life*************** There are a few things you should understand, first of all the bible tells us that you have to do more than just ask. You must ask in faith, without doubting or wavering in your faith. (James 1:6-8)

You may recall the passage from the bible when the disciples were in a boat out in the water and Peter saw Jesus walking on the water towards the boat. Peter then asked Jesus to bid him to walk to Him on the water. When Jesus did, Peter then got out of the boat and began walking on the water, but shortly after, he began to have doubt and started to sink. What things are you asking for from God and are you asking for them in faith or with doubt? (Matthew 14:28-31)

Continually seek out the advice from those who already have a wealth of knowledge and experience that you may be lacking. Read a book, listen to an audio CD, go to a seminar, or watch a DVD which will help you get the knowledge you are seeking. I find it disheartening that in today’s society, there are more people who own a video rental card than those who own a library card.

Why not make the library your second home. You can find hundreds of books on saving money, reducing debt, starting your own business, and building wealth at your local library. Learn from those who have already traveled down the road you are currently on, and already discovered victory.

Make a commitment today to devote at least 30 minutes a day (minimum) to reading, watching, or listening to something which will improve your life spiritually, mentally, physically, or financially. You will be glad that you did.

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WISDOM KEY #4 CREATE A PLAN & THEN WORK YOUR PLAN Unfortunately, most people take the CYFP approach (Cross Your Fingers & Pray) when it comes to planning for their financial future. A majority of people spend more time planning their vacation than they do their own lives. In fact only 3% of the population has clearly defined, written down goals.

A goal is nothing more than a dream with a deadline. Goals are designed to help you be, do, and have more in your life. When you fail to plan, by default, you plan to fail. If you are going to achieve financial success in your life then you are going to have to choose a better plan than the one you are currently using. Below I am going to give you some tips to setting goals for your life.

Goal Setting Steps: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.

Decide exactly what it is you want. Write it down. Set a specific deadline. Make a list of everything you must do to accomplish your goal. Organize your list in order of priority. What must be done first, second, etc.? Take immediate action towards the accomplishment of your goal (no matter how small it may be) 7. Do something each and every day that will move you closer to your goals!

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Goal Setting Keys: 1. Break down larger goals into smaller attainable goals. 2. When setting goals always use present tense as if they were already achieved. 3. Make sure your goals are well balanced between Health, Finances, Career, Spiritual, Personal Improvement, and Family. 4. Reward yourself appropriately when you achieve certain goals. 5. Set short term goals as well as long term goals. 6. Review your goals daily and rewrite them monthly. 7. Visualize and Affirm your goals every single day.

For this assignment I want you to take a few moments to really think about what it is you want for your life and then write below the top 10 goals (financial and non-financial) you want to achieve over the next 12 months. (Habakkuk 2:2-3)

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***************21 Wisdom Keys To Recession Proof Your Life*************** Once you have completed this assignment you can come back to this list later (don’t procrastinate) and complete the assignment by setting a deadline and creating your plan of action. Be sure to refer to the fourteen goal setting keys you learned from above.

1. _________________________________________ 2. _________________________________________ 3. _________________________________________ 4. _________________________________________ 5. _________________________________________ 6. _________________________________________ 7. _________________________________________ 8. _________________________________________ 9. _________________________________________ 10._________________________________________ For the above assignment you were asked to write down ten goals you wanted to achieve over the next twelve months. These would be considered short-term goals, but it is equally important for you to also have long range goals (five or more years out) that you want to accomplish in your life. The best way to achieve any long range goal is to break it down into smaller goals.

For example, if you have a five year goal to save $5,000 then your first step would be to break this goal down. You could set a three year goal to save $2,500. This might be what is needed for you to be on track for your five year goal. Next you would set a one year goal of $1,000 which would put you on track to reach your three year goal.

Finally, you would need to break it down even further into monthly, weekly, and daily goals which would be necessary for you to achieve your longer range financial goals. ________________________________________________________________________ Copyright Š 2009 All Rights Reserved Page 18


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WISDOM KEY #5 STAY FOCUSED ON YOUR GOAL It’s important to always push to stay focused while you are on your road to financial independence. The devil will attempt to throw every distraction he can at you in an attempt to get you off track, but you must always keep your eyes on the prize. (Proverbs 4:25)

Just when you start saving a little money, that’s when something will cross your path that you absolutely must buy. Right at the time you are ready to read a book on finances, that’s when the phone will ring, someone will be at the door, or the kids will be making too much noise. It is at these moments that I want to encourage you yet again to stay focused on your goal. Don’t let the devil’s distractions become your destruction.

You must stay persistent and never give up on your goal. Remember Moses had to go back to Pharaoh 10 times with God’s command for him to let the Israelites go, before he finally saw any results. Stick with it until you see results manifest. (Exodus 7 – 11)

The Story of the Moso Bamboo Tree The moso bamboo tree is a plant that grows in China and the far east. After it is planted, no visible growth occurs for about five years, even under the best conditions. All of the sudden, as if by magic, the tree begins growing at the rate of about 2 ½ feet each day until it reaches a full height of ninety feet all within just six weeks. The moso bamboo tree is able to reach this extraordinary height in such a short amount of time due to the miles of roots that it developed below ground for the first five years.

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WISDOM KEY #6 STAY FAITHFUL TO YOUR GOAL AND TO GOD Your situation may appear to be hopeless right now and you might find yourself worrying how in the world is God going to get you out of the hole you have dug for yourself. Just remember that God’s ways are not our ways and that our minds are finite while God’s mind is infinite. (Isaiah 55:8-9)

God can deliver you from or get you through ANY situation in ways that you would never even be capable of imagining or conceiving. I learned a long time ago to stop trying to guess how God was going to do it and to just simply trust that He would.

Many years ago I remember one of my rental properties had been vacant for several months and this loss of income was causing a huge strain on me financially. This happened right after I had purchased a new investment property and money at the time was very tight. To make matters worse, it was also tax time and I needed to send my uncle some money (Uncle Sam).

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***************21 Wisdom Keys To Recession Proof Your Life*************** I made a decision I was going to stop worrying about my situation and stay faithful. I decided that I was going to stop focusing on my problems and begin focusing on God’s promises. So I sent off the little bit of money I had left for taxes and told God the situation was in His hands. A few weeks after, I was showing the apartment to this woman and she asked me something that I had never heard before in my 10 years of renting apartments. (Hebrews 11)

She asked me if it would be alright if she paid me seven months in advance. Would it be alright? Just try and stop me from accepting it lady!!!! My bottom jaw just dropped and hit the floor when I heard this. I would have never guessed in a million years that this was how God was going to deliver me from my situation. God’s ways truly aren’t our ways and I am so thankful for it because compared to God’s thinking, our thinking will always be way too small.

We sometimes make the foolish mistake of trying to guess how God is going to get us out of our mess. We try and figure out all of the options available that God can utilize. I want to let you in on a little secret. You will never be able to come up with more options and ways than God to deal with your situation. This is the time when we need to just trust God and not worry. He always provides for your needs. (Proverbs 3:5 / Matthew 6:25-34)

When the Israelites were fleeing from Pharaoh’s army and made it to the Red Sea, I’m sure the first thoughts to run through their minds were: “Now what are we going to do?” You see, that would have been their first mistake, adding WE into the equation. Instead they should have been saying: “What is GOD going to do?” (Exodus 14)

Always remember that we serve an all knowing and all powerful God who is the same today as He was before, and as He will always be. He is the same God who parted the Red Sea to deliver the Israelites from the hands of the Egyptians and He is the same God who can deliver you from your situation. (Exodus 14:5-25) ________________________________________________________________________ Copyright © 2009 All Rights Reserved Page 23


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A Story of Persistence (Fictional Story) There once was a business man who had a great idea for a new beverage and he decided to call it 5-Up. After many months of trying he just couldn’t get it to sell so he just gave up and decided to sell the company. The new owner decided to change the name of the beverage to 6-Up. He also tried for many months to get the new beverage to sell but he also had no luck. After some time, he just gave up, and he also decided to sell the company. The next owner also spent many months trying to get the product to sell, but the only difference was that they didn’t give up. Instead they stayed persistent and renamed the product for the last time, and the rest is history.

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WISDOM KEY #7 TAKE ACTION EVERY DAY The bible teaches us that faith with out works is dead. In other words, get up off that muscle and take action. I hate to bust your bubble, but no matter how much faith you have that God will bless your finances, I seriously doubt that you will be able to go to bed tonight and wake up tomorrow morning with your room filled with stacks of hundred dollar bills. (James 2:17)

We must first give God something to work with, which in this case is our actions, thoughts, and words. I always tell people that “FAITH initiates but ACTION activates.”

“What I hear I forget. What I see, I remember. What I Do, I understand.” ~ Confucius ~

You won’t be able to do what God can do and God won’t do what you are capable of doing. God certainly can multiply your efforts but you must keep in mind that zero times ANY number will always equal zero.

You absolutely must do your part. For example, when I was believing in God to bless me with a wife I understood that there was certain things that I needed to do on my part (the natural) and I would have to leave the rest up to God that I couldn’t do (the supernatural)

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So what exactly did I do? • • • • •

I started reading, watching, and listening to every resource I could get my hands on regarding making a marriage work. (I did these BEFORE I even met my wife) I began speaking it into life each day as if it were already here. I kept God first and focused on Him rather than on finding a wife. I stayed prayerful and thankful and content with the season God had me at until he would bring my wife to me. I planted seeds into other people’s marriages.

So what exactly did God do? •

HE BROUGHT MY WIFE INTO MY LIFE. I won’t get into the details of how he did it in this book but I will tell you this: He reached across over 2000 miles and found me a wife. I was living in New York State and my wife was living in Nevada. Through a series of divine (supernatural) connections I ended up meeting my wife’s aunt who ultimately introduced me to my wife.

I often hear people quoting the phrase: “knowledge is power.” Well I believe that nothing could be further from the truth. To me, knowledge is simply “potential” power; “applied” knowledge is actually power. If a person gains all the knowledge in the world but still takes no action to implement it, then their time was wasted.

“I will begin working on my financial independence tomorrow” are the famous last words of so many people who suddenly realize after it’s too late that tomorrow never comes. There’s always a new reason or excuse for putting off planning, reading, or taking action. Procrastination is the biggest thief of opportunities in our lives. Don’t allow yourself to get robbed anymore. (Proverbs 6:9-11 / Proverbs 24:30-34)

Before you know it, you wake up one day realizing that your life has passed you by and you have nothing to show for it financially. Tomorrow always tends to be the busiest day of the week for the procrastinator.

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The Parable of the Procrastinator (Author Unknown) Long ago, in a kingdom far-far away, there was a man who was going to be executed. The reasons are unimportant. Before being executed, he says “I would like to speak to the king, I have important news for him.” So they take him to the king and the king asks him what is this important news? He says “King, give me one year and I will teach your horse how to fly.” The king is intrigued and gives him one year’s time. The prisoner’s friend asks him, “Hey, you have no clue how to make a horse fly, why did you tell him that?” The prisoner says, “Friend, many things can happen in a year. I might die, the king might die, and for all you know, the horse might fly!”

Many people fail to take action because they feel they don’t have enough information about a situation. They feel they must first know everything there is to know about something before they can take a step forward. Don’t put it off another day. If you wait for all the lights to turn green before you head into town, you will end up never leaving your driveway.

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I am not advocating blindly moving forward without taking the necessary steps to educate yourself, what I am saying is that you shouldn’t let the fact that you don’t know everything there is to know about something, stop you from moving ahead. Here is a simple formula you can begin using today: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

Do what you can The best you can With what you have and know Get more knowledge Repeat the steps

“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step” ~ Confucius ~

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Here is an assignment that I want you to do right now before you move on to the next wisdom key.

In order to achieve financial freedom in my life, I am making a commitment right now to take the following ACTIONS!!! I am committed to taking the following action TODAY: ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ I am committed to taking the following action(s) THIS WEEK: ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ I am committed to taking the following action(s) THIS MONTH: ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________

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WISDOM KEY #8 BECOME A NEW YOU God doesn’t want His children living in poverty, lack, or in debt. Many people have the false belief that if they were to somehow miraculously come into a large sum of money, then all of their financial problems would be solved.

The truth of the matter is that for some people, more money would only lead to more problems in their life. You may be asking: “how on earth can more money lead to more problems if someone is in debt?” The reason for this is because money can’t change the behavior and way of thinking that got you into the mess you may be in.

In fact more money will only intensify those problems. A great example to illustrate this point would be all of the lottery winners who started out broke and in debt and after they acquired their new found money, next thing you know, their life begins to go on autopilot on a crash course to destruction.

Now I hear you saying: “Not Me...If I were to win the lottery I would do a lot different.” Well I wouldn’t be so sure of that. Depending on how old you are right now, If you were to add up all of the money you have earned over the last 15 years at an average of $25,000 per year; that would mean that you have seen somewhere around $375,000 pass through your fingers.

Ask yourself this, how well did you do with that money? In order for your finances to improve, you must first be willing to improve yourself starting on the inside. In order for your behavior regarding money to change, you must first become a new person by changing your belief system about money. YES, you absolutely can teach an old dog new tricks, but you first must be willing to learn. (2 Corinthians 5:17)

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If you had a car which wasn’t running right, you would never think of solving the problem by taking it somewhere to get washed and waxed would you? Of course not. The first thing you would do is look up under the hood and check out the engine to find out why it wasn’t running properly.

“The significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them.” ~ Albert Einstein ~

It’s no different when it comes to your finances. You first need to check up under your hood (what’s on the inside of you) and determine what the root cause is for the financial circumstances you are currently in.

In order for your circumstances to improve, YOU must first improve. You do that by gaining knowledge, changing your thinking, and through the modification of your behavior. When you want something you’ve never had, you must be willing to do something you’ve never done.

You must first be willing to dismiss many of your old ways of thinking and acting that have resulted in negative results in your finances. It has been said that the definition of insanity is doing the exact same thing over and over again but expecting different results. What particular habits or ways of thinking are you currently stuck on? What are you prepared to do NOW in order to change them? (Proverbs 16:25 / Proverbs 14:12)

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WISDOM KEY #9 SPEAK & SEE WHAT YOU WANT I am sure you have heard the saying “you are what you eat.” Well let me be the first to tell you that you are what you speak. Always be mindful of the words you allow to come from your mouth.

The biggest weapon of mass destruction is typically our own mouths. Many times we make the terrible mistake of allowing our words to undo the very thing we are praying and believing for in our lives. There is no point in having faith that God is going to do something for you, and taking positive action towards achieving it, just to uproot your seed of blessing with negative, self defeating talk.

It makes no sense to believe God is going to turn your financial situation around if every chance you get you are continually repeating how broke you are or how hopeless your situation is. I can’t tell you the number of times in the past I have found myself saying to myself: “Me and my BIG mouth.” Don’t let this be you.

I have a good friend who was believing God for a husband, and one day we were discussing this and I was telling her how God had blessed me with my wife (my fiancé at the time). My friend went on to tell me that she was afraid that by the time she finally got married, she would be so old that she would need a wheelchair to get down the aisle to the alter.

What type of message of faith do you think she was communicating to God with those words? Not a very good one I assure you. The bible tells us that the words we speak are very powerful, so we must be very careful about the words we use because everything we speak will eventually bring about a result. Whether it’s a positive result or a negative result is totally up to you. (Proverbs 18:21 / Matthew 12:36-37) ________________________________________________________________________ Copyright © 2009 All Rights Reserved Page 34


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You can make a conscious effort to improve the words you are speaking through positive affirmations. An affirmation simply involves speaking out loud and on purpose over and over, a result you want to achieve, as if it has actually manifested itself in your life.

I hear you asking: “do affirmations really work?” Can repeating these words over and over again really have the type of effect you are talking about? Well let’s take a moment to see.

Below are a few “affirmations” that marketers use repeatedly everyday in order to get their products into your head so that you will spend your hard earned money with them. See how many you can recognize: 1. Which company repeats “So easy a caveman can do it?” 2. It’s the quilted, quicker picker upper. 3. Melts in your mouth...not in your hands. 4. It’s the choice of a new generation. 5. Strong enough for a man, but made for a woman. 6. Never leave home without it. 7. Just do it. 8. You’re in good hands with..... 9. Snap, Crackle, Pop 10. Which product is good to the last drop?

So how did you do? Chances are pretty great that you were able to figure out just about all of them. Remember, words repeated over and over again can have a tremendous influence over you.

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Answers From Previous Page ANSWERS: 1) Geico 2) Bounty 3) M&M’s 4) Pepsi 5) Secret Deodorant 6) American Express 7) Nike 8) Allstate 9) Rice Crispies 10) Maxwell House

Relax....this assignment is super easy because I have already done most of the work for you. Below I have listed some positive affirmations that you can begin speaking today. There are just 3 rules you are going to need to follow when doing them. 1. You need to say them with as much emotion as possible. 2. Even if your mind may be telling you it’s not yet true, don’t worry, eventually you will begin to believe it and then eventually you will become it. 3. Make sure you repeat your affirmations at least once a day. If you can, try and repeat them once when you start your day and again before you go to bed.

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Warning: Affirmations will not take the place of action. My God shall supply all of my needs I am highly favored and blessed by God I put God first in all areas of my life This is a new day and I boldly declare I am more than a conqueror The best in my life is yet to come No weapon formed against me shall prosper I am an anointed child of God I take positive action every day towards the achievement of my goals Greater is He who is in me than he who is in the world All things are working in my life for my good I am able to see the positive in every situation My net worth is improving with each week My income exceeds my outgo I declare that everything I put my hands to do will prosper I thank you Lord that I am blessed to be a blessing I thank you Lord that I am financially independent I am a wise steward over my money Giving is my way of life My giving always creates more I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me The money that I create keeps multiplying I experience abundance and overflow in my life I live a debt free life and only pay cash for what I want Each and every day I am getting better and better in every way

As you read these affirmations each day, don’t hesitate to write down any new ones that you might think of. What I have done is put each of my own affirmations on individual index cards so that I can read them at the start of each day.

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What you see is what you get. For the most part this is very much true. What type of images do you hold in your mind on a continual basis? Are they images of failure, defeat or poverty or are they images of success, wealth, and abundance? (Philippians 4:8)

I remember reading a story somewhere once where an experiment was conducted with a basketball team. For this experiment, the team was divided into two groups. One group was allowed to actually practice making free throws on the basketball court. The other team was placed in a room and could only practice free throws in their mind. This group however was instructed to imagine that every free throw shot they attempted actually went in.

When the time was up, both groups were brought together and told to make as many free throws that they could within a specific amount of time. Can you guess which group made the most shots? The group who only visualized making the shots actually performed better than the group that got to actually practice on the court.

“Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve” Napoleon Hill

Can it actually be possible to perform better by simply visualizing something over and over again? Well let’s take a look at a few real life examples at work. The air force and the major airlines spend millions of dollars training their pilots to fly by using flight simulators. These simulators are simply machines designed to help the pilots visualize flying before they actually get to fly in a real plane.

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Visualization involves seeing in your mind how your life would be if you had already achieved the goal you are shooting for. It’s sort of a way for you to see into your future and see the success you have and will become. You want to make the image or scene as bright and vivid as possible while putting a lot of emotion into it as well. In no time, you will begin to see a change in your life for the better.

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WISDOM KEY #10 LEARN TO LOVE THE “B” WORD The dreaded “B” word that almost everybody despises is a BUDGET. Most people never bother setting a budget because they either don’t know how or they believe budgets don’t work and they can’t see the benefits of using them.

If you can track where your money is going then you will be able to control it. You would be amazed at where your money is going and how it is being wasted once you begin tracking where your dollars are being spent. It’s usually an eye opener for many people. (Proverbs 27:23-27)

Take it from someone who used to never do a budget, budgets don’t have to be complicated or fun robbing. Budgets allow you to speak to your money and tell it what you want it to do. The best way to do this is to use the KISS rule by Keeping It Short and Simple.

Basically a budget allows you to track where you want your money to go each time you receive some income. Most people always say that by the time they end up paying their expenses they never have enough left over to save. The trick is to treat savings just like it was an expense, the same as your gas or electric bill.

It has been my experience that the best type of budget is a zero based budget. The way a zero based budget works is you take whatever your income happens to be for that pay period and you spend every penny (on paper) before you actually spend it in the real world. Get your free zero based budget form now.

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I am sure you have heard the old cliché, A Penny Saved Is A Penny Earned. Well I’ll let you in on a little secret. It makes no difference how many pennies you end up saving, what matters is what you choose to do with those saved pennies.

Who doesn’t love saving money, however what difference would it make if you saved $100 on your expenses only to end up squandering the $100 that you saved? The trick is to save the money that you saved.

Financial independence doesn’t just come from bringing in more money. It also involves working on preventing the money you currently bring in from disappearing. Picture a bucket being held under a faucet with water running in it. Now imagine that bucket has small holes in the bottom of it.

As the water runs into the bucket, there is also water running out of it from the holes in the bottom. In the scenario described, the faucet represents your source of income while the holes in the bucket represent all of the expenses you pay out each month.

The goal for you is to try and plug up as many holes as possible and reduce the amount of money that is flowing out. You can use your budget to determine where your biggest leaks are and develop a plan to stop them. You want to make sure that you use the money that you save to pay off your debts and help build your wealth. (Luke 16:11-12)

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Saving vs. Investing Most people don’t realize that there is a difference between saving money and investing money. Saving is simply the act of delaying spending. Saving is good for reaching your short term goals like saving up to pay cash for a TV or stereo instead of charging it. Investing involves putting your money away for maximum long term growth (typically 5 or more years)

Another great tool that you can use in addition to your budget is your net worth statement. While your budget basically allows you to track your spending, a net worth statement lets you know what you are worth after adding up all of your assets and then subtracting your liabilities. Get your free net worth statement form now.

You want to start off completing your net worth every three months for one year and then every six months after that. I must warn you, at first you probably may not be too happy with the results but the goal is to keep focusing on getting your assets to add up to more than your liabilities. If each time you complete your net worth statement and you notice your net worth is increasing each time (no matter how small), then you are headed in the right direction. Just remember to always keep your eyes on the prize. (Proverbs 27:23)

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That’s right...it’s time to complete another assignment. Is it just me or are all of these assignments beginning to remind you a little of back when you were in school? Needless to say, if you skip these assignments you won’t have to stay after school or go to detention. However there will be other consequences but I am sure by now you already know what those are don’t you? 1. For your first assignment you are going to fill out a budget sheet for your next pay period. Don’t worry about making it perfect; the object here is to begin the habit of doing it. Remember...don’t skip this assignment because God is watching and you want to get a good grade don’t you? ☺ 2. Next you will fill out a net worth statement. Again, don’t worry about it being perfect; instead focus on just completing it. This part of the assignment may or may not take a little longer depending on what information that you may need to look up. Just be sure to do it BEFORE advancing to the next wisdom key. NOTE: When calculating the value of your assets, keep in mind that they are only worth what you could SELL them for quickly and not what you PAID for them.

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Ha Ha

The Making of a Millionaire A woman proudly told her friend, “I’m responsible for making my husband a millionaire.” “Well what was he before he married you?” the friend asked. “He was a billionaire.”

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WISDOM KEY #11 KNOW YOUR WANTS VS. NEEDS So what exactly is a want? A want will be for you exactly what you allow it to be. What I mean by this is that most people justify their wants in their mind, so you are going to have to really think about this.

A want is anything you desire to have in your life that you do not need for your survival. Period. A need then is obviously something that is required to assist us in our survival, such as food, shelter, and clothing.

Now of course I realize that certain designer clothes fall under the category of clothing, and I won’t argue that steak and lobster fall within the category of food. I will however question whether these particular items would be considered a need.

Poor people typically spend everything they earn and then some. There is a huge difference between what wealthy people buy on payday and what poor people buy on payday. The formula for financial success is to spend less than you earn and then invest the difference. (Proverbs 21:20)

Many years ago I used to manage a store for one of the largest rent to own companies in the United States. The one thing that sticks out in my mind is a time when I was looking over the reports which showed me the accumulated rent for the merchandise in my store. Basically it showed me how much money all of the customers had paid in total to rent a particular item.

I remember looking at the numbers for a VCR, and noticed that a total of about $1,000 had been spent to rent out that VCR. The reason for this is that someone would rent the VCR for a period of time, and for whatever reason they would return it because they could no longer afford the payments. Then the VCR would end up being rented to another person until they could no longer afford the payments. This of course happened for some time until the total accumulated rent reached over $1,000.

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The point I am trying to make here is what if these customers would have just delayed their purchase for a while and saved the money that they were spending to rent the VCR? The reason they didn’t do this is because they felt they “needed” the VCR when in actuality it was just a want.

Learn to distinguish between what you really need and what you really want. Doing so will help move you further along the road to financial independence a lot quicker.

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WISDOM KEY #12 GET READY FOR THE RAIN If the weatherman were to warn you that a tornado was moving closer and would be hitting the area, chances are pretty good you would take precautions and prepare for it, wouldn’t you? You would begin boarding up the windows, making sure there was food in the house and batteries in the flashlight.

So why doesn’t everyone take the same type of precautions with their own finances? Statistics show 10 out of 10 people will definitely grow old and reach retirement if they don’t die before then. What are you doing to prepare for when that time does eventually come?

Noah began preparing for the rain by building the ark. David prepared for his battle with Goliath by gathering stones to slay the giant.

Smart savers put away money in order to prepare for a rainy day. The best way to do this is to set up an emergency fund of $1,000 so that when financial emergencies come up (and believe me they will), you will have something set aside to be able to pay for them. This is certainly a much better plan than having to run to your credit card every time an emergency happens in your life. (Proverbs 6:6-8)

You may be thinking, “How in the world am I going to come up with a $1,000 dollars for an emergency fund when I can barely pay my bills right now?” The answer is simple....one dollar at a time. In other words, make a decision that you will, then take action and open up a separate account not linked to your other accounts, and label the account strictly for emergencies only.

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If all you can afford is twenty dollars per week to put into your emergency fund then do that. If that’s still too much then lower that amount if you have to. For now it’s more important that you form the habit of saving this money, than it is the quantity of what you save. The goal here is to take action and do something....anything...that will move you closer to your $1,000 emergency fund goal.

Next step is that you want to be absolutely clear as to what constitutes an “emergency.” Here’s where things might get sticky. You are going to have to sit down and really make some hard decisions as to what you consider to be an emergency worth dipping into this fund for. (Make sure you re-read wisdom key #11) I’ll give you a few examples. Let’s pretend it’s December 20th and you haven’t purchased one single gift for any one yet for Christmas, and to make matters worse, you only have $10 in your regular savings account. Wait a minute, you just remembered you have $700 saved up in your emergency fund, and after all Christmas is less than a week away and you can’t forget to give a gift to Aunt Sophie right? WRONG!!!!!!!!

I will let you in on a little secret; Christmas falls on the same day every year and therefore is predictable like a lot of other so-called “emergencies” that tend to pop up in your life.

The key here is to plan ahead for normal expenses that are sure to come your way, that way you won’t have to touch your emergency fund unless it’s a true emergency.

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WISDOM KEY #13 DIVORCE YOUR DEBT Most likely one reason you are probably reading this book is because you have made the mistake thousands of other people have made in the past (including myself) of overextending yourself by getting deep into financial debt. It seems that in today’s society, paying by credit card has become a way of life.

We live in a microwave society where people want things NOW and the thought of having to save up to pay for something is as foreign as the distant galaxies of the universe.

Once upon a time long, long ago, people only used credit when they purchased their homes. Nowadays, you find people going into debt on just about everything under the sun. People all over are going into debt for homes, cars, electronics, household furnishings, and yes even for their vacations.

In ancient times a person could be sold into slavery as a means for repaying their debts. Did you also know that a common way to deal with unpaid debt just prior to the 19th century was to put people into a debtor’s prison? Although the Debtor’s Act of 1869 abolished imprisonment because of consumer debt, you still find thousands of people living in their own prison of debt they have built for themselves. It’s time for you to plan your prison break! (Proverbs 22:7)

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***************21 Wisdom Keys To Recession Proof Your Life*************** If you find yourself in a hole the first thing you need to do is STOP DIGGING. In other words, stop spending money you don’t have. Make a commitment right now that you are only going to pay cash for what you want. If you don’t have the money to purchase something then it just doesn’t get bought. Period! (Proverbs 26:27 / Romans 13:8)

So how exactly do you get out of the hole you dug for yourself and break out of your “debtor’s prison?” You do it the same way you eat an elephant; one bite at a time. I remember watching a movie called the Shawshank Redemption starring Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman. Tim Robbins played the role of a banker (Andy Dufresne) who was wrongly accused of murdering his wife and her lover, and the judge sentenced him to two life sentences.

While in prison he made up his mind to break out of prison and got himself a small rock hammer from Red (Morgan Freeman) and dug his way out. Each day for many years he used that rock hammer to break away a small piece of his cell wall and dig a tunnel to freedom. Each day he would place a small amount of dirt into his pocket and carry it out into the prison yard when the prisoners were allowed to go outside.

After so many years of imprisonment, Andy finally made his way to freedom one pocketful of dirt at a time. I want to encourage you that you too can break out of your debt prison by doing the same thing Andy did. One portion at a time by keeping your mind focused on the end result (financial freedom) and not on the current problem (debt).

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I mentioned earlier that the best way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time, and the best way for you to eliminate your debt is one dollar at a time. Why don’t you take a stand today and make a commitment that from this day forward, you will only pay cash for the things that you want.

If that means delaying gratification and waiting for what you want, then so be it. Remember, if you are willing to do what others aren’t willing to do, then the day will come when you will be able to do what others aren’t able to do.

When you allow debt in your life it is the same as being in bondage. Below is how I personally look at DEBT:

D oing E verything B ut T ithing Get interested in interest. Every dollar that you waste paying back interest on your credit cards is money that you could have been using to build wealth for yourself. One fact is true: people who don’t understand how interest works end up paying it to their creditors, and people who understand how it works end up getting interest from their investments.

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WISDOM KEY #14 BECOME A COPY CAT If you are going to copy anybody, then you are going to want to make sure you are copying the right people. One trap that many people get themselves caught up in is their desire to want to “keep up with the Joneses.” If someone they know gets a new car, then they have to get one too. If your neighbor buys a new toy like a boat or surround sound system then so must you.

After all, you can’t let anyone upstage you now can you? The one thing however that the Joneses don’t share with you is that they are broke and deep in debt and sooner or later you find yourself falling off the same cliff as them wondering how this could have happened to you. (Proverbs 12:9 / Proverbs 13:7)

If following the Joneses is a sure fire way to crash and burn, then who should we be trying to copy? Common sense would tell us that if we want to improve our financial situation and become financially independent, then we need to copy those who have already achieved what we are looking to achieve.

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***************21 Wisdom Keys To Recession Proof Your Life*************** It stands to reason that if you do exactly what poor people do then you will get similar results that poor people get. If you do what wealthy people do then it only makes sense that you will get similar results that wealthy people get. Curious enough, I have noticed that wealthy people and poor people don’t do things differently; in most cases they do exactly the opposite.

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WISDOM KEY #15 STOP MAKING EXCUSES Were you aware that there is a fatal disease going around which is infecting and killing off the dreams of thousands of people all around the world? The name of this deadly disease is called EXCUSITUS and like most other diseases, it tends to get worse if left untreated.

The cure for this disease is for the victim to take one dose of responsibility and make a decision that you are no longer going to make excuses anymore. Keep in mind that you can make excuses and you can make progress but you will never be able to make both at the same time.

"Ninety-nine percent of failures come from people who have the habit of making excuses." George W. Carver

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***************21 Wisdom Keys To Recession Proof Your Life*************** The 1K Excuse Rule: This is a simple rule to implement. All you have to do is ask yourself if someone were to give you $1,000 to do whatever it is you are making an excuse about…could you? If the answer is yes, then the odds are pretty good that it is just an excuse and not a viable reason.

For example: “I just don’t have the time to read any books about financial abundance.” Now apply the 1K Excuse Rule. If someone were to give you $1,000 to “find” the time to locate a good finance book and read it…would you? Most of us could find the time if given that amount of money, couldn’t we? So then why haven’t you already?

Excuses are nothing more than bricks used to build a wall of failure between you and your goals. The truth is, for every excuse you can think of, there has been somebody else on this planet with the exact same “so called” excuse, who overcame it and didn’t let it stop them from reaching their goals.

Below are a few of the excuses that many people use for why they haven’t achieved financial independence in their lives. As I address each one, ask yourself if you have ever found yourself using any of these excuses.

I’m Too Old > So you say you are too old to become financially independent? Well I hate to stick a pin in your balloon, but there are countless numbers of people who didn’t achieve wealth until their golden years. Take Coronal Sanders for example; he started Kentucky Fried Chicken after he received his first social security check.

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I’m Too Young > You are never too young to achieve your goals. There are many stories out there about teenagers who have started their own businesses and because of that went on to become millionaires. If they can do it, then so can you.

I Don’t Have Enough Time > The truth is, we are all born with the same 24 hours in a day as everyone else. What counts is what you do with your 24 hours. Donald Trump has the same amount of hours in his day as a person bagging groceries at the supermarket. Each day, you have a choice whether to use the time given you on working to achieve your goals, or spending that time on meaningless activities that don’t move you closer to your goals.

I Don’t Know How > I remember watching a science fiction movie called the Matrix starring Keanu Reeves and Lawrence Fishburne where people were able to connect to a machine and learn any skill they wanted to in a matter of seconds. The truth is however that no matter what problem you may be going through or situation you may need solved, there has already been someone who has experienced it and wrote a book about it. There is absolutely no excuse for not knowing how to do something when there are so many ways available to you to find out how.

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I Don’t Have or Make Enough Money > Contrary to popular belief it doesn’t always take money to make money. Many times all you need is creativity and a good idea. People mistakenly believe that wealth consists of the dollars and cents that you have in your wallet, however true wealth can be found right between your ears. Countless people have started off with barely two nickels to rub together and have achieved financial freedom and so can you.

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WISDOM KEY #16 DEVELOP AN ATTITUDE OF GRATITUDE Always make an effort to have a good attitude in whatever season or circumstance you may find yourself in. Trust that God is in control and can turn your situation around. (Philippians 4:11-12)

No matter what your financial circumstance may be at this moment, give God praise and thanks for what you already have as well as what you are believing He is going to do in your life. (Psalms 34:1)

It’s easy to complain and focus on those things which may be lacking in your life. I want to challenge you to focus on all of the wonderful things that God has already blessed you with.

You might be tempted to complain about the house you live in until you realize that there are thousands of people who sleep in the streets every night.

You might be tempted to complain about the clothes you have until you realize that there are people who can’t afford to buy new clothes and many times may have to wear the same clothes for months. (Philippians 2:14)

You might be tempted to complain about how rundown and old your car is but remember there are people in the world who will never know the “luxury” of having a vehicle and must rely on walking to get around.

You may even be tempted to complain about the food you have to eat until you realize that there are thousands of people young and old who will be going to bed hungry tonight without anything to eat.

The truth is that there will probably always be something you can find to complain about, but instead what I want you to do is to make a decision to be thankful for what you do have and watch how God will work in your life. No matter how bad your situation, there is always a reason to praise God and give Him thanks. (Acts 16:20-26) ________________________________________________________________________ Copyright © 2009 All Rights Reserved Page 60


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Before you go any further, I want you to take a moment to reflect on all of the reasons you have to be thankful to God about. Wait a minute Shaun, you never said anything about having to do so many assignments! Relax, this one shouldn’t be too difficult (or will it?) You see, most people’s attention is typically focused on their problems and what they don’t have. (1 Thessalonians 5:18)

For this assignment you are going to make a list of at least 10 things you are thankful for. I even did you a favor by starting you off with the fist one. All you have to do is come up with another nine more. Don’t cheat...make sure you complete this BEFORE you move on to the next wisdom key. (Feel free to write down more than 10 if you desire) 1. I am thankful for waking up this morning and being alive

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IF YOU SKIPPED OVER THE LAST ASSIGNMENT REMEMBER YOU ARE ONLY HURTING YOURSELF IN THE LONG RUN. WHY DON’T YOU TAKE THE FEW MINUTES NECESSARY NOW TO COMPLETE IT. OK....LET’S CONTINUE!

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WISDOM KEY #17 PLANT A SEED IN YOUR TIME OF NEED Many people convince themselves that once they start earning more money, then they will begin tithing. However the truth of the matter is that if God can’t trust you to do what he asks with $100 then what makes you think He will trust you to do what is right with $100,000?

Don’t be like the man who sat in front of his fireplace shouting “when you give me heat, then I will give you wood.” When I think about the act of giving and receiving, sometimes I can’t help but think about the age old question: “what came first...the chicken or the egg?” Are you going to be able to give once you receive more or are you going to receive more because you were first willing to give? The bible tells us to trust in the latter answer.

I haven’t been able to find anywhere in the bible where it mentions that you must first reap and THEN sow. Anything that you want to receive in life you must first be willing to give away. If you want respect, then you must first sow it. If you want love, then you must first sow it, and if you want more finances, then you must first sow it.

Tithing: The act of tithing is more than just about giving money; tithing represents our faith in God to provide for us. It’s our belief that God can take a little and do a lot with it. When you tithe 10% of your increase you are basically saying to God I trust you to be able to multiply the remaining 90%. (Malachi 3:8-12)

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Don’t get me wrong, God is great at adding into our lives but I am especially thankful that he is an even better multiplier. With God, 1+1 doesn’t equal 2...instead the possible results are infinite.

Most people can never imagine how God can work with the little that they have. They say “How can I ever be financially independent when I have hardly anything saved?” You must first realize that the God we serve really gets a chance to show you what He can really do when you are working with less. In fact, God can take your “little” and multiply it even to the point where you not only have what you need, but you also have an extra abundance. (John 6:1-14 / 2Kings 4:1-7)

I want to share something with you. When I first set out to write this, it was only supposed to be a one page article designed to help others. God, being the multiplier that He is, ended up walking me through this and turning my little one-page article into a book that I could share with you and the world.

Giving: One step beyond tithing is our giving. Our giving allows us to sow a seed into something else besides ourselves. I know what you are thinking....”times are already hard enough Shaun without me having to become a giver as well as a tither.”

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Think about it from a farmer’s point a view. Let’s say a farmer has a bag of apple seeds but times are rough for him and his family. He has a couple of choices that he can make. He can choose to eat those seeds or he can choose to plant those seeds. If he chooses to eat the seeds then obviously he has satisfied a temporary need but what is he going to do when they run out?

The other choice is that he can plant those seeds, work the soil, and care for them. By doing this, the farmer will end up eventually seeing his seeds grow into whatever he has planted. Here is where the power of multiplication steps in. From just one of those seeds grows a tree which produces many apples. It doesn’t stop there though. Each apple now has even more seeds in it which the farmer can now plant. (2 Corinthians 9:6)

Each time we make a choice to give (above and beyond tithing) we are also making a decision not to eat that seed but instead to plant it. I will give you a non-monetary example of this.

When we sow into other’s lives, God is able to supply us with more so that we can be an even bigger blessing to others. When you give, it teaches you that God’s resources are endless. When your hand is open to give, then that means it is also open to receive. (Proverbs 11:24-25)

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***************21 Wisdom Keys To Recession Proof Your Life*************** Many years after my first marriage had ended, I recognized that God was a restorer and was believing in Him to bless me with a wife. I made a conscious decision to sow a seed into other people’s marriages so that God could have something to work with and cause it to grow. Every now and then I would run into a stranger or a friend who was having marital problems and I would purchase marriage resources to give to them.

One incident I remember in particular was when a good friend of mine told me that she was leaving her husband. She told me that she just couldn’t take it anymore and was finished with the marriage. Right then, I recognized this as an opportunity to plant a seed. I made her promise me that she would not take any action until I had a chance to mail her a marriage resource that I had purchased in order to give away.

I mailed her the resource and she ended up watching it. Eventually her husband also watched it and I am happy to say they are still happily married and doing even better than before. I am telling you this not to brag, but to impress upon you the importance of what your seeds can do in the lives of others and in your own life.

When you plant apple seeds then you should get apples. When you plant orange seeds then you should get oranges. What I had done was simply plant a marriage seed knowing that God would take that seed and grow it into what I was desiring, which was for Him to bless me with a good wife. What type of seeds are you planting?

Well after a while of following many of the very same principles in this book, God eventually blessed me with a wonderful wife named Adrian. You see, I had sown a seed into other’s marriages and God had given me a harvest in my own.

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WISDOM KEY #18 STAYING PRAYERFUL WILL MAKE YOU POWERFUL Most of the time many people just don’t know what to say to God. They aren’t sure how long they should pray to Him or how to tell if He is even speaking or listening to them. Let me start off by saying first of all God is a good listener and is always interested in what is on your heart.

The good news is that when you want to talk to Him you don’t have to set an appointment with Him because His office is always open 24/7.

When you pray to God it should be no different than when you are talking to one of your best friends and pouring your heart out to them. Let God know what’s on your mind and on your heart. Don’t worry about how much time you “need” to spend in prayer, instead focus on connecting with Him. I have had prayers that have lasted one minute and I have had prayers that lasted 20 minutes or more. (Philippians 4:6)

If you find yourself at a loss for words then just take a few moments to tell Him a few things that you are thankful for in your life (see wisdom key #16)

Prayer is a lot stronger than most people realize. It is our direct connection to our creator. I am a firm believer that if prayer was all that was required to become financially independent then the streets would probably be filled with millionaires.

Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely know that prayer works, however I believe that God helps those who help themselves. In other words, I can sit here all day and night and pray for God to make me the best lawyer or doctor anyone has seen, but nothing is going to happen if I don’t get out of my chair and go to school and begin taking the necessary classes. ________________________________________________________________________ Copyright © 2009 All Rights Reserved Page 68


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Ha Ha

God's Time And Money A man went into his church and he was praying to God. While he was praying, he asked God, "How long is 10 million years to you?" God replied, "one second." The next day the man asked God, "God, how much is 10 million dollars to you?" And God replied, "A penny." Then finally the next day the man asked God, "God, can I have one of your pennies?" And God replied, "Just wait a second."

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WISDOM KEY #19 TURN OVER YOUR OWNERSHIP You must always remember that God has given you stewardship over the financial resources you currently have at your disposal. The definition of a “steward” is someone who manages property for someone else. Just hold your horses Shaun, if I earned this money wouldn’t that make ME the owner? ABSOLUTELY NOT!

I can remember many times while I was a manager at my prior job, that customers would often come in making demands, asking for special treatment, and requesting I “bend” the rules. My typical response to them was usually, “I’m sorry and I wish I could help you but you see I am only the manager. I will need to check with the owner before I do that.” This is the same attitude we should have when it comes to our finances.

God owns everything on the earth and in the heavens because He alone is the original creator. He simply places us in charge over it to manage. A manager of a company doesn’t own the assets he is in charge of; instead he is given the responsibility of managing those assets by the owner of the company. If he does a good job of managing those assets then chances are great he will get a promotion and more assets to manage. If he mismanages those assets then he will lose responsibility as well as the assets he was entrusted with to manage. (Matthew 25:14-29 / Luke 12:42-44)

How well are you currently managing the assets that God has entrusted you with? Are you wasting your money and spending it frivolously or are you saving it and investing it wisely? Let’s say you have a friend or family member who needs your help financially. Pretend for a moment that they needed $100 and you had it to give to them. Now let’s say that after you gave it to them, they immediately went to the bathroom and flushed it down the toilet.

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***************21 Wisdom Keys To Recession Proof Your Life*************** Now let’s say they came back to you a week later requesting $500 this time. What would you do? Would you give it to them knowing what they had done with the money the first time? You see, God wants to bless us with more but how can He do that when we haven’t proven ourselves to be good stewards over what He has already given us.

How can we ask God to bless us with a brand new car when we can’t even keep the one we possess clean or we don’t bother to keep it maintained because we feel what’s the use since it’s already beat up anyway. How can we believe God for a bigger or nicer home when the one we already live in is messy and falling apart. Or maybe our attitude is why be bothered since we don’t own it and are only renting anyhow. (Luke 19:12-26)

The same rule applies to our finances. Can we really expect God to bless our finances when we aren’t honoring and taking care of what He has already given us? We spend up our money on impulse purchases, and throw it away on the lottery and gambling, yet we expect God to bless us with more. We spend more than we earn each pay period and end up wondering why we can’t seem to ever get ahead financially in life.

Don’t let this be you. Part of being a good steward is taking responsibility for your life and your finances by gaining the knowledge and taking the right steps to make sure that you are handling properly what God has already entrusted you with.

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WISDOM KEY #20 BECOME A TEACHER Be willing to teach others what you have learned. By doing so, you will not only be reinforcing what you have learned, but you will also be sowing into someone else’s life. Teaching a topic allows us to “get involved” actively in the lesson, which in turn helps aid our retention of the material. The more involved you are, the greater your chances of remembering what you have learned (see diagram below)

Chances are pretty good that when you were growing up, finances weren’t taught to you in your home by your parents. The reason for this is probably because your parents weren’t taught it by their parents.

Here is your opportunity to break the cycle and teach your children these wisdom keys, and if you don’t have any children, then go out of your way to plant a seed of wisdom into someone else’s child. When I taught the Dave Ramsey financial peace class at my church, I made my niece Brandi (who was 19 at the time) take the class, although I must admit that I did bribe her with $200. I told her that if she attended all 13 of the classes and did not miss a single one, then I would pay her $200.

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***************21 Wisdom Keys To Recession Proof Your Life*************** I am happy to report that she graduated from the class not only with $200 but with a great knowledge and understanding of finances and how to save and invest. Since then she has purchased two cars (paid for in cash), and started investing in mutual funds. Brandi doesn’t buy anything on credit and she has even started a college fund for her baby daughter Nylah (my great niece). It is my prayer and belief that my niece is going to impart the same wisdom she has learned onto her own daughter, that has helped her become successful with her very own finances. (Proverbs 22:6) My Great Niece (Nylah at one yr. old) Isn’t She Adorable?

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WISDOM KEY #21 MAKE GOD NUMERO UNO Of course I have saved the best wisdom key for last, which is for you to keep God first and make Him number one in your life. In a world with so many challenges and problems it can often become easy to take our attention off what matters most (Your relationship with God). Your money may not be right, your kids may not be acting right, your health may not be right or maybe you’re experiencing a combination of all three.

Regardless of your situation, God wants you to always keep Him first in your life. It’s during these circumstances where we need to focus less on our problems and begin focusing our attention on God. We expect God to make us His priority but are you first willing to make Him your priority? (Matthew 6:33)

God commands us in the first commandment that we shall not have any other Gods before Him. I have to believe that there is a pretty good reason that out of all ten of the commandments, He chose to place this one first. In other words, God wants you to make sure that nothing else in your life takes precedence over Him. This includes work, friends, family, possessions, and yes even money. Are you pursuing the creator or are you only pursuing His creations? (Exodus 20:3 / Hebrews 13:5)

God requires for you to keep Him first, and as a result He promises us that the rest will fall into place. Unless you have made God a priority and have rooted Him deep in your life, then the chances of you putting Him first AFTER you get the things you desire are pretty slim. (Psalms 37:4)

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Truth of the matter is, I have realized a long time ago that I can do NOTHING without God. Always remember that He is your source and He is your strength. As you continue on your road to financial independence, keep Him first every single step of the way and I assure you that eventually your efforts will bear fruit. (John 15:4-5)

Ha Ha

Female Intelligence A rich man, who loved money more than just about anything, said just before he died to his wife, "Now listen. When I die, I want you to take all my money and put it in the casket with me. I want to take my money to the afterlife with me. When he died she did what she had promised, came over with the money box and put it in the casket. Then the undertakers locked the casket down, and rolled it away. So her friend said, "Girl, I know you weren't fool enough to put all that money in there with your husband!" She said, "Listen, I'm a Christian. I can't go back on my word. I promised him that I was going to put that money in that casket with him. "You mean to tell me you really put that money in the casket with him!!!!? "I sure did," said the wife. "I wrote him a check."

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***************21 Wisdom Keys To Recession Proof Your Life*************** Conclusion:

Congratulations...you made it to the end which in reality is really the beginning for you. Keep in mind that the road to financial peace isn’t always going to be an easy one. I can assure you that it will definitely get bumpy at times, and it will require some hard work and discipline, but if you stick with it and stay the course, you will get back exactly what you put in. In this book you have been given the tools to change your life. It’s up to you whether you want to use those tools to build a hut or a mansion. The choice is yours.

Keep in mind that repetition is the mother of learning. In order for you to get the most out of this book or any resource for that matter, you need to make time to study and review it on more than one occasion. Don’t just bury it somewhere on your hard drive and forget about it. Each time you re-read and review the information you have learned here, amazingly you will find that there was something important that you missed the previous time.

Always remember that while finances are an essential part of our lives, it should never be the top priority in our life. What good would it do you to have all the money in the world but be in poor physical health. Would it do you any good to be wealthy but be alone without any friends or family? (Mark 8:36)

You are a child of God and He wants all of His children to prosper in every aspect of their lives. The only thing He requires is for us to keep Him first. No matter what happens in my life, no matter what financial circumstance I might find myself in, I am always thankful that I made a decision to accept Jesus into my life.

Many times we find ourselves on a road in which it’s unclear which direction we should be going. With so many choices and so many options, it can get pretty confusing sometimes. I have asked you quite a number of questions throughout this book, but I have saved the most important question for last.

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Which road are you presently on? If you were to die tonight, where do you think you would be spending your eternity? Do you have a personal relationship with Jesus? Have you lived up to and obeyed all of the 10 commandments of God?

If you answered no to the last couple of questions then I want to urge you to accept the free gift of salvation that Jesus gave us over 2000 years ago when He died on the cross for yours and everyone else’s sins. (John 3:16)

All you have to do to accept this free gift is repent your sins and turn from them, ask Jesus to come into your heart, and confess to Him that you believe in Him and his death and resurrection for your sins. I want to urge you to do this now and not put it off because tomorrow is not promised to anyone.

The Devil’s Contest By: Shaun Maddox One day the devil announced a contest in hell where he would reward any demon who could come up with a full proof way to keep people from getting saved. Only 3 demons entered the contest and the first one went before satan and told him that he would simply tell everyone that there is no such thing as heaven or hell and no such thing as the devil or God. After hearing this satan just shook his head and said “You fool...you will never get everyone on earth to believe such a lie. You have wasted my time...be gone.” The second demon went before satan and told him that he would simply tell everyone that there is a heaven and there is a hell but all you have to do is be a good person and your deeds will be enough to get you into heaven. Satan just shook his head and said “This idea is better than the last however we will never get everyone on earth to believe such a lie. You have wasted my time...be gone.” The third demon went before satan and told him that he would simply tell everyone that there is a heaven and hell and that there is a God and there is a devil. I will also tell them that if they follow you satan, then they will surely go to hell and that if they follow Jesus, they will surely go to heaven. The only thing I will add is that I will tell them that they can take their time deciding because they have plenty of time to make a decision. When satan heard this he leaned forward slowly with a menacing grin and said you have done well. You are the winner of this contest, and then satan sat back and began smiling. ________________________________________________________________________ Copyright © 2009 All Rights Reserved Page 79


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If you already have a personal relationship with Jesus, then I hope that you will take action TODAY to share the Good News with others because their eternity is dependent on it. Are you currently going out of your way to seek and save the lost as Jesus commanded us to do? What if someone were to suddenly offer you $1,000 for each person you shared your faith with; would you then be motivated to share the good news with as many people as you could?

It’s great to tell non-believers how wonderful Jesus has been to you but what good is it doing them if you are not actively leading them to accept Christ into their hearts? (Mark 16:15)

Thank you for sharing this time with me. I won’t bother wishing you luck because at this point I am certain you know “luck” has nothing to do with your success in life. I read somewhere once that luck is nothing more than when opportunity meets preparedness. It is my prayer that you will find success in all that you do (not just financially) but in every area of your life. (Isaiah 43:19)

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KEY SCRIPTURES These following scriptures are related to the topic of this book and many of them were not mentioned in the book until now. Be sure to take time out to meditate on the scriptures below. Meditating involves speaking them, thinking about them, and getting them deep into your spirit. Also pray for God to open your heart to receive and understand the meaning of each of these scriptures. I am confident that if you do this, you will eventually begin to see some dynamic and dramatic changes taking place in your life.

Wisdom Proverbs 1:22 James 1:5 Proverbs 16:16 Proverbs 19:8 Proverbs 4:7 Proverbs 2:1-6 1 Kings 3:5-9 Proverbs 23:12 Hosea 4:6 Proverbs 24:3-5 Proverbs 23:23

Money & Budgeting Malachi 3:8 Proverbs 3:9 Proverbs 22:7 Proverbs 21:20 Proverbs 13:11 1 Timothy 6:10-11) Faith Matthew 6:25-34 Proverbs 3:5 Psalms 27:14 Proverbs 29:25 Isaiah 12:2 Mathew 17:20

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***************21 Wisdom Keys To Recession Proof Your Life*************** Sowing & Reaping Proverbs 11:24-25 2 Corinthians 9:6 Galatians 6:7

Praise & Thanksgiving Psalms 107:1 Psalms 92:1 Psalms 136:1-2 1 Thessalonians 5:18 Psalms 150:1-6

RECOMMENDED RESOURCES Below you will find a small list of resources designed to complement this book and help get you moving on your road to financial independence in your life. Make a commitment to obtain and study at least one resource below per month until you have gone through them all. Start your own financial success library that you can always refer to again and again in the future. (Proverbs 23:23)

The Bible (God) Rich Dad Poor Dad (Robert Kiyosaki) Think and Grow Rich (Napoleon Hill) The Richest Man In Babylon (George Clason) Keys To Financial Excellence (Phil Pringle) The Wealthy Barber (David Chilton) The Millionaire Next Door (Thomas J Stanley) Total Money Makeover (Dave Ramsey) Why We Want You To Be Rich (Donald Trump & Robert Kiyosaki) Taking Care Of Business (Lee Jenkins) Rich Kid Smart Kid (Robert Kiyosaki) The Automatic Millionaire (David Bach) Video Education Training Series – VETS (Living Success Network) Multiple Streams of Income (Robert G Allen) 21 Secrets of Self-Made Millionaires (Brian Tracy) The Secret (Rhonda Byrne) www.LivingSuccessNetwork.com Dave Ramsey Financial Peace Class www.spendingprofile.com (great site for tracking your expenses)

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Did you know that if you signed up to receive this book then you were added to our list of people who will be receiving some great additional FREE resources from me that I know you will love. (Just my little way of bribing you to keep telling others about my book) ☺ DON’T WORRY...if someone was nice enough to pass this book on to you and you didn’t have an opportunity to sign up for your FREE resources then you are in luck. You can still have access to them by sending a blank email to: financialwisdomkeys@getmoreinfo.net or online at: www.financialwisdomkeys.com

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***************21 Wisdom Keys To Recession Proof Your Life*************** Feel free to pass this book on and share it with others you feel could benefit from the information it contains. You CAN give it away, use it as a free bonus, prize, or promotional giveaway. YOU MAY NOT sell, change, or alter this book in any way, nor add to, or take away from any part of the content written within this book.

It never ceases to amaze me that whenever someone gets an email stating that they should forward the email or face the consequences of bringing bad luck upon themselves, no one hesitates to pass it along. You’ve seen it before: “forward this email to 10 friends............or something bad will happen to you”, but when something as life changing as this book comes across your screen, you take no action whatsoever to pass along the information that was given to you. The goal of this book is to change lives and give people a new perspective on how they not only look at their financial situation, but also on their lives as a whole. If someone you knew had some very important information that would improve your life, wouldn’t you want them to share that information with you? Of course you would, who wouldn’t? When would you want them to share that information with you? Right away of course! Well if this book has truly inspired you and helped you to be, do, and have more in your life, then why not share it right now with someone who can also benefit from it as well. Don’t let the information stop here with just you. Thank you.

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Make sure you also check out my blog titled: “A PENNY SAVED”. It’s a fantastic resource designed to provide you with plenty of creative resources, tips and ideas on how you can get discounts and save money on just about everything under the sun. The blog website is: www.frompenniestodollars.wordpress.com Do you know a creative way to save money that you or someone you know used? Then visit the blog now and post a comment so that I can include it in the blog. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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21 Financial Wisdom Keys  

Get on the road to financial stewardship as this book teaches you about Christian finances, stewardship, and kingdom economics. Discover how...

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