Since I teach stewardship and a course called Money and Mission of the Church, I often get asked my perspective on Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University program. For the uninitiated, Dave Ramsey is a best selling author, financial guru, and public speaker. His syndicated radio show on financial matters attracts more than 8.5 million listeners each week. Ramsey is also a born-again Christian and markets his curriculum, Financial Peace University, to churches.
Often on a Sunday afternoon, after I’ve changed out of my church clothes and into jeans and a sweatshirt, after I’ve had a wee nap in the comfy chair, after I’ve unwound from All Things Sunday Morning, a creeping doubt comes into my head: what difference does a sermon make? I’m not fishing for compliments here. I’m pretty realistic about my sermons and I, like everyone else, am an above-average preacher.
About ten years ago I let go of worrying that every sermon I preached had to be wonderful and inspiring.
Even before my first cup of coffee, I often turn the radio on to check the weather report for the day: will I need an umbrella? Should I take an extra jacket? Looking around for my coffee cup, I barely hear the voice in the background: "The sun will be darkened; and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will be falling from heaven, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken."
Earlier this week I e-mailed my parents an article from NPR that caught my attention: "It's Never Too Soon To Plan Your 'Driving Retirement.'" Using the story of a 94-year-old woman who decided to give up driving on her 90th birthday, the article explores this one particular challenge of getting older. In sending it to my parents (who are in their mid-sixties), I was mostly joking. Still, though, there's a little bit of interest—though not at all concern yet—behind my sharing that article with them.