Friday, January 14, 2011

A Wise Person Seeks Advice From Many Counselors

"Listen to counsel and accept discipline, That you may be wise the rest of your days."  Prov 19:20

"The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, But a wise man is he who listens to counsel."  Prov 12:15

Many a man has fallen because of pride.  Isn't that what keeps us from following the advice listed above?  How many times have we all stuck our heads in the sand and gone down hard because we failed to simply ask for help?

There will come a time (or times) in each of our lives where we simply can not do it ourselves any longer.  God has made us to be interdependant.  This simply means we were designed to be dependant upon one another. 

God has equiped us each with certain gifts and talents.  The next step is to seek advice!  Call me.  Talk with your spouse, your pastor, your elders, your friends, and your accountant. 

We should seek counsel from many places.  We are supposed to seek counsel.  Once you have the opinion of several counselors you may find that you have varying opinions.  This is where you then go back and pray some more. 

In all liklihood you got as many different opinions as people you asked.  Often we think we are no closer to a solution.  First and foremost remember that many people will give you advice who have no idea what they are talking about.  This is part of why Scripture tells us to seek many counselors.  You will need to weigh who is giving you advice and what their background is. 

Are they a professional?  Are they Christian?  What is their background and what is their experience? 

Call me today at (941) 922-0828 for a free consultation!  I have a degree in finance.  I have been practicing law for 18 years.  I have a real estate broker's license.  I closed loans for 6 years. 

Whether you talk to me or other people, always end it by taking it back to God.  " I will instruct you and teach you in the way which you should go; I will counsel you with My eye upon you."  Psalm 32:8

God is the answer. 

Thursday, December 9, 2010

IS BORROWING WRONG? AS A CHRISTIAN FACING FORECLOSURE, WHAT DO I DO?

“The wicked borrows and does not pay back, but the righteous is gracious and gives.”
                                                                                          Psalm 37:21 

How many times have we seen this verse, yet fail to understand its true meaning? I have taught this verse for years now in bible studies and counseling sessions. I have heard it repeated from memory. I have also heard it wielded as a sword against those who did borrow.

It is not a sin to borrow! God gives us many warnings against borrowing, but borrowing is not a sin. That is not what Scripture says and that is not what the quote above says. The verse only says it is evil if you borrow and don’t repay!!

I want you to read the following verse in the context it is intended: God gives us certain principles. These are instructions to help us live our daily lives. There is a difference between warnings God gives us and sin. So read the following, which I believe is an instruction (warning):

“Now it shall be, if you will diligently obey the Lord your God, being careful to do all His commandments which I command you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all nations of the earth…The
Lord will open for you His good storehouse, the heavens, to give rain to your land in its season and to bless all the work of your hand; and you shall lend to many nations, but you shall not borrow.”
                                                                                              Deuteronomy 28:1,12 

OK, you say, so I shouldn’t borrow money? What if I have borrowed money? What if I now find myself facing the very real possibility of foreclosure. What do I do as a Christian and what does it say about me as a Christian facing foreclosure? I will start with the fact that it says nothing about you other than you are human. Like all of us, we fall short.

Going forward we should recognize that God tells us we should lend but not borrow. That is good to know going forward. You can not go back and change the past. The question still remains where do I go from here?

We know it was not a sin to borrow. God tells us we need to repay when we borrow. But………………..what happens if I borrowed and something happened and now I don’t think I can repay, or if I know I can‘t repay? What now?

Always remember, God is a God of grace. He will forgive us when we come to Him. So the first step would seem to be to take it to God. So start with this question:  Have you gotten on your knees and prayed to God? If not, just do it. Get down and give your worries to God. “God I pray for Your Wisdom. I find my self in this position. I somehow got myself here. Forgive me for not heading Your warnings. Forgive me for my mistakes. Lord, I can not get out of this place without You. I recognize that I can not do it. I am weak. You said that when I am weak, You are strong. Deliver me! Show me where You are in this and give me the wisdom to seek counsel.”

If you have not given your life to God or don’t think you know Him or aren’t sure, then read the following verses: Romans 3:23, Romans 6:23 and Romans10:9. Send me an email and I will talk to you. Search out someone in your church or if you don’t have a church, pray to God to lead you to one.

“I (The Lord) will instruct you and teach you in the way which you should go; I will counsel you with My eye upon you.”Psalm 32:8

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Why am I here?

“Although He was a Son, He learned obedience from the things which He Suffered.”
Hebrews 5:8 
 
When we find ourselves in difficult times, we usually try to look around and figure out why we are in this position. Maybe you have already asked God why or what He is punishing you for. Maybe you already know. I want you to stop right now and consider that maybe you are not being punished for anything.

There are many reasons people can find themselves facing the very real possibility of foreclosure, even Christians. Some people clearly got greedy during some very real boom times in the real estate market. If this is you, then recognize the sins you may have committed. Our God is the God of grace and forgiveness. Seek Him with a repentant heart and He will forgive you.

We do not have to look far in The Bible to find stories of people who committed huge sins, only to go to God with repentant hearts and be forgiven. Many of these men went on after that to be used mightily by God later in their lives. David, the great king of Israel, committed adultery and murder. When confronted by Nathan, the prophet, with his sin David admitted that he had sinned against God and was forgiven. 2 Samuel 12:13.  He later had a son, Soloman, who went on to become the wisest man ever to live.

I could list several others, but I want to propose something different for some of you. What if it is not your fault? Jesus came to the earth and suffered many trials and was eventually crucified on the cross for our sins, yet he was sinless. As stated in the opening verse from the Book of Hebrews, “Although He was a son, He learned obedience from the things which He suffered.” Hebrews 5:8

 Now I am not saying any of us are sinless, for we have all sinned and fall short. However, I use this verse to demonstrate that sometimes God may take us through times of suffering in order that we can learn to be obedient. I believe almost all Christians will find themselves in times of trial at some point in our lives and on our path to sanctification.

I want you to consider that maybe God is using this time in your life to draw you closer to Him. It may be a call to prayer or study. Use this time to study what God says in The Bible. Learn to pray more. Seek the body of Christ.


But……………you ask, I am a Christian and want to know what I should do now that I am facing foreclosure!!
 

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Where am I at? Where do I go?

Let’s get started. I have a lot to say, but often have no idea where to start. I am going to assume that if you have come to this site that you are a Christian and you are either facing the very real possibility that your home will be facing foreclosure or perhaps a family member or close friend is in that position and you want to help.

There are a lot of different reasons people can find themselves in this situation. Some were foreseeable, some were not. My guess is that you have been living with guilt and anguish for longer than you can remember. The weight, though it was once bearable, is increasingly becoming to much to bear alone.

You have called out to God, but feel He is not answering you. Maybe you even think He has left you or doesn’t care about you anymore. This is personal, so you probably have not shared the “shame” with friends, family, your pastor.  Maybe you can not even bring yourself to tell your spouse how bad it is.

At this point you have probably depleted all of your savings, maybe cashed in your retirement accounts and 401K’s. Maybe you have borrowed on all your equity lines or credit cards and they have run out. I mean, The Bible says that you have to pay all of your debts, so there really isn’t anything else you can do.

Maybe you have had some good “Christian” friends that have told you it is not your fault and the bank should not have lent you the money. Some of them have probably told you to file bankruptcy. Some great scholars have shared with you the ancient Old Testament concept of Jubilee (See Leviticus 25), the concept that every 50 years the land that was given by God to the tribes of Israel is returned to them, even if they squandered it away. Many use this concept to encourage you to file bankruptcy now.

Others have probably told you since it is the bank’s fault they can’t really expect you to keep paying your mortgage. Maybe they even go so far as to say that the bank knew you would not be able to pay and therefore do not deserve to be repaid.

You keep reading in the paper or online how the banks have been losing mortgage paperwork. There are allegations that the bank’s attorneys have been forging paperwork. The bank’s have stopped thousands of foreclosure cases. State bar associations and Attorneys General have opened investigations of some of these lawyers and law firms.

Your neighbor or coworker casually mentions to you that he or she has heard how John and Sally got their mortgage thrown out and now don’t have to pay it. Wow! That would be nice if through some legal loophole you did not have to repay the $250,000.00 you borrowed to buy your dream house.

You have researched the topic. There are many attorney websites that scream at you; “You do not need to repay your mortgage,” “Strategic default is the way to go!”, “Call us today and we can show you how you don’t have to pay the bank any more money.” Some firms have developed plans, “For clients who want to walk away from their mortgages.”


It sounds so easy. So refreshing. The weight would be lifted. But…………….


...................Somewhere deep inside you there is this feeling. This uneasiness with it all. Is this really the right thing to do? Why can’t I shake this feeling?
 
 
“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Neither are your ways My ways, declares the Lord.”

                                                                    Isaiah 55

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Does The Bible allow for a Christian to go into Foreclosure?

This is a tricky question.  I am starting this blog because I have come across many Christians who struggle with a very heavy burden when it comes to this topic.  I am a Christian and have researched Scripture as it applies to debt, borrowing, money, lawsuits, and many other related topics.  I do not profess to have any answers, as I believe that each person needs to pray to God for Wisdom before making any decision. 

I have been practicing law for over 18 years in the Sarasota and Mantee County area in Florida.  As an attorney I can offer a legal opinion on an individual's situation and what legal options they may have.  As a Christian I can offer prayer and consultation.  Feel free to join in the discussion or start with your own question. 

"The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man is he who listens to counsel."  Proverbs 12:15