Tag Archives: wisdomwithpops

 Wisdom With Pops: Volume 3

$100,000.

That was his number for as far back as I can remember.

Pops would always say he could get by with that much.  Not every year.  Just one time.

$100,000.

Let’s analyze…

Say you need $3000 every month to live on (takes care of all your bills and expenses).

Then a one-time $100,000 would last for 2 years and 9 months.

If you need $5000 every month to live on, it would last for 1 year and 8 months.

$10,000 every month, 10 months.

You get it.  Easy math.

That would be a nice break from work, but assuming that you are maintaining your current lifestyle and not adding any income to that amount of money, it would run out soon.

What if you had it with your current lifestyle and you continued working?

Hopefully, you would apply it towards giving, debt, savings, investing, and then a trip with your spouse.

But how long would it last for you?

Honestly, if I had $100,000 in a lump sum right now, it would be gone within a week.  After Jesus money, paying off our car, putting a significant amount towards our house, savings, and mutual funds, it’s gone.

It’s a powerful amount of money, but it’s gone in a day.

And that’s with no stupid purchases.

It’s a lot of money, but it isn’t.

I don’t know if Pops would really be set with that kind of money.  I don’t know if he would’ve had it all together with that one-time amount.  I don’t know.

But I do know that he believed in this:

“…give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with the food that is needful for me…”

That is part of a Proverb.  From Agur.  I don’t know who Agur is other than the son of Jakeh, the man of Massa.  ESV footnotes…

Pops didn’t care to be rich.

I’ve always admired (and envied) that.

I struggle with it now.  I imagine that riches would eliminate most of my doubts and all of my worry.

But I was never taught that by him.

That’s a thought I’ve formulated myself through over-analyzing everything and watching television…

And listening to Mammon more than Daddy.

I found  this interesting:

“I think everyone should get rich and famous and do everything they ever dreamed of so they can see that it’s not the answer.”

I want you to guess who said that.

Five seconds…

1…

2…

3…

4…

5…

Jim Carrey.

Is that a lackluster answer?  I didn’t think so.  I thought it was incredible.

Hopefully, you know that Jim Carrey is rich and famous and is speaking out of experience.

He has earned the right to say that.

To me, profound.

I just did a Google search about chasing wealth, and one of the links is “Why Chasing Money is Worse than Dogs Chasing Cars.”

I’ll try not to be graphic, but have you ever seen dogs chase cars?

Number 1, it does not always turn out so well.

Number 2, what in the world does that dog think it’s gonna do if and when it actually catches the car?

Number 3, sometimes that car is pulling a trailer, and the dog doesn’t see it.

To me, profound.

How about this:

“But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction.  For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils.” – somewhere in the Bible

The next verse says to flee from these things…

To me, profound.

Flee from riches?

Advertisements, commercials, music, people, my mind, etc…

They all tell me to get rich or die trying.

But the Bible and Pops have always taught me differently, so there must be a reason to not chase riches…

Here’s the rest of Agur’s proverb from before:

“…lest I be full and deny you and say, ‘Who is the Lord?’ “

Recall that he said “give me neither poverty nor riches” (emphasis mine).

He didn’t want the worst and he didn’t want the best.  He wanted the in between.

He wanted peace.

He wanted contentment.

He wanted freedom.

That’s what Pops was always trying to teach me whether he knew it or not.

It’s not about riches.  It’s about freedom.

Do not conform.

Wisdom With Pops: Volume 2

I recently told Pops that he isn’t as wise as he once was.

I don’t have a filter.

Daddy was a wise man.  Pops is my friend.  Maybe that’s the difference.  Same dude, different person.  I don’t know.

But I have a cool story.

I came out of college at the end of 2011 and was as broke as I’ve ever known myself to be.  I was getting married in 4 months and had to find a job immediately.

I found one three months later at Sylvan Learning Center and brought home maybe $1100/mo.

Not bad.  Smokin’ Hot Wife was working too.

I was budgeting like a mad man back then, the same as I am now except with just pencil and paper.  I made tons of mistakes.  I would spend hours trying to find out why the bank and my paper showed different numbers.

Anyway, we did not make a ton of money.  And we did not save ANY money.

If you’ve ever been in that type of situation, you might have found yourself thinking the same thoughts I was thinking:

What can I do?  –  Which means… I’ll do almost anything to make more money.  I applied for countless jobs.  Put myself in humiliating situations to ask for jobs.  Hated it.  I had a math degree, which meant nothing to an employer, and I had no idea what my thought process was to get that degree.  Which led to more questions:

What can I even qualify for?  –  Which means… what can I do with a math degree?  The answer, in case anyone is wondering, is nothing without more learning.

We couldn’t afford more learning.  It crossed my mind to go back to school, as it does most people who panic and need more money.  But my wife and I decided early that I would not go back to school if it required going into more debt.

Keep in mind, our minimum monthly payment on student loans was $442.

So the last question came:

What… can I do… that I am qualified for… that will take very little money… but just a lot of work… and time…

Turns out there was an answer to that one for me.  Actuary.

I won’t bore you, but if you want a misrepresented version of one, see Ben Stiller’s character in Along Came Polly.

There were several tests, and I needed to pass the first 2 on my own before I could find a job and continue in that field.

So I bought a book and started studying.  I studied a lot.  I knew that math too.  I could teach you the math.

I was a good student by the time I finished college.  I could learn just about anything anyone was willing to teach me, but I was not, and still am not, very good at teaching myself something and applying it to real world situations.

Same thing happened here.  I failed the first test.  After months of studying.  Months.

Talk about deflating.

By this time it was 2013 and I was 25.  Training at my new job was $12/hr, 40 hrs/week.  A slight bump from Sylvan, but only because I was working 40 hours.

I was grateful for something new, but I still wanted to be an Actuary because they do make tons of money.  Look it up.

So I found this thing… Looking back, I’m not so sure it was legit.  But it was a company who would take me on as an intern type thing, let me get actuarial training and teach me the material for the first two actuarial exams.

Catch…. I wouldn’t get paid.

Of course.

Well, obviously I couldn’t do that, but I thought we could make it work.  Smokin’ Hot Wife and I were on different pages.

Of course.

She didn’t think that moving to a different state and not having jobs was a good idea.

Of course.

It wasn’t an argument, and we weren’t angry with one another.    She was obviously right.  I just thought we could do it and that it would benefit us greatly in the long run.

So one night I called Pops.  I don’t know why.  Just felt like he was the one to call.

I think I woke him up from a nap.

Quick side note:  Chris Hogan tells a story about his grandmother.  He says that when he finished college, he had all these different options offered to him:  pursue professional football, train to become a boxer, get experience with a major corporation (or something like that, I can’t remember).  Well, his grandmother could tell he was “distraught” and asked him what was wrong.  He said that he was just trying to decide what he was going to do with his future, and he couldn’t.

She said, “Oh, that’s easy.  Forget the chances and focus on the opportunities.”

You can read the rest yourself.  I’ll make that one of the free book giveaways soon.

I gave Pops the short story of what was happening, not with Chris Hogan… with me… along the lines of, “I know I need to jump on this.  I know I can do well.  I know I can be the best.  And I know I can make a bunch of money.”

But Pops didn’t respond.  Daddy did.

Nothing is guaranteed, son.

Out of the dark, unexpected, retro Daddy-o.

Old school.

I can recall several times when words changed the course of my life:

You are forgiven.

I do.

Jett Walker Foshee.

Rhodes Evander Foshee.

If you love me, you will keep my commandments.

Nothing is guaranteed, son.

If there is a way to knock the self-imposed wisdom out of me, this was the way to do it:

Give me some actual wisdom.

Several things come to mind when I think back to those brilliant words:  the brevity of life, the finiteness of money, the uncertainty of tomorrow.

We plan and prioritize.  We think and toil.  Solomon already told us all of this is worthless, a chasing after the wind.

You ever chase the wind?  Did you catch it?

Nothing is guaranteed.

Really, this is why absolutes are dwindling in my life, and the truths are digging deeper.

I’ve heard someone say before that Pontius Pilate walked away from the greatest question ever asked:

What is truth?

Shoulda stuck around for that one, buddy.  No better person to explain it to you.

So… my point is, since nothing is guaranteed, it’s far better to live in such a way that will not result in a response like this:

“Fool!  This night your soul is required of you, and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?”

Talk about a counter-cultural mindset…

Do not conform.