Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Yes, America, There is a Punxsutawney Phil, and He's Right...Sometimes

Punxsutawney Phil is a large rodent that is supposedly the prognosticator of prognosticators. The greatest predictor of weather that we have available to us today. At least, that's what the people of Punxatawny, Pennsylvania would have you believe. You see, there are movies named after this groundhog, secret societies built around him, and yes, even a day given over to him in our calendar, Groundhog Day which comes every February 2nd. Hard to believe once you realize his predictor of seeing his shadow is only right 39% of the time. "That ain't so bad," I thought. Until you realize what a professor came up with after running the numbers:

Biology professor Stam Zervanos looked back at Punxsutawney Phil, a tradition now celebrating its 126th year. He estimates that Phil or his ancestors could predict with only 39 per cent accuracy that winters continued to be cold for several weeks following the appearance of its shadow on Feb. 2, or were milder than usual after it couldn’t see a shadow.
Is that so bad? Well, consider this:
According to Encyclopedia Canada, 33 per cent accuracy can occur just by chance. AND... When you break it down by city, the chances of any weather-forecasting marmot getting it right in Toronto fall to about 29 per cent.
Realizing, of course, it's all in good fun, I still think it's funny how much trust we tend to place on a fat rodent every February 2nd to predict our upcoming weather.

Here's a some more numbers for you. 100% of people who tried to get rich with credit cards failed. 100% of people who are in debt are enslaved to their lender (Don't believe it? Try stopping your payments for a while.)  And 99% of people who don't have budgets will not be able to fund their dreams, hopes, and future. 

As I deal with families, they tend to live in the same rut: in debt, with no budget, no plan to get out of debt, and no hope. But, there is hope! No matter where you are financially, you can work yourself out of the hole you have dug. It will take a plan and lots of patience. God promises everyone of us that when we choose to obey Him, He will use all of His almighty power to help us obey Him. You make your plan and God gives His power:
So when I planned this, was I irresponsible? Or what I plan, do I plan in a purely human way so that I say "Yes, yes" and "No, no" [simultaneously]? As God is faithful, our message to you is not "Yes and no." For every one of God's promises is "Yes" in Him. Therefore, the "Amen" is also spoken through Him by us for God's glory. (2 Corinthians 1:17, 18, 20 HCSB)

That is what our series "Man vs. Money" is all about, helping you plan so God can work in your finances. My challenge is for you to commit to get out of debt. For that to happen, you're going to have to live like no one else, so you can live like no one else. Join one of our small groups. Get involved in one of our weekend services. And commit to live your finances God's way.

Looking for His help as I rely on His power,

Pastor Trey

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