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Update on Lebanon Crisis

MoneyWise / Rob West and Steve Moore
The Truth Network Radio
February 27, 2024 6:30 pm

Update on Lebanon Crisis

MoneyWise / Rob West and Steve Moore

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February 27, 2024 6:30 pm

The conflict in the Middle East has taken a toll not just in Gaza, but also in Lebanon to the north of Israel, where fighting between Israel and the terror group Hezbollah has caused what many are calling a humanitarian crisis. On today's Faith & Finance Live, host Rob West will welcome Tom Atema and Jack Hibbard with Heart for Lebanon to give us an update on the situation there. Then Rob will answer your calls and financial questions.

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The conflict in the Middle East has taken a toll not just in Gaza, but also in Lebanon, to the north of Israel.

Hi, I'm Rob West. Fighting between Israel and the terror group Hezbollah has called what many are causing a humanitarian crisis there in Lebanon. We'll get an update on that today, a little later in our broadcast from Tom Adama and Jack Hibbard from Heart for Lebanon. And then, of course, we'll be taking your calls today as well. The number, 800-525-7000.

That's 800-525-7000. This is Faith and Finance Live, biblical wisdom for your financial decisions. Well, as I said, I'm looking forward to our conversation a little later in the broadcast with Jack Hibbard and Tom Adama of Heart for Lebanon. You're going to hear about an amazing ministry that provides basic necessities of life to refugees and many others there in Lebanon, all while sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ.

There is a lot going on in that part of the world right now. And what an opportunity for the gospel. And you know, folks, here at Faith and Finance Live, our heart is that you would lean into that opportunity to be a money manager for the King of Kings. And that includes managing money wisely.

So we need to have those financial literacy skills. But that also means being able to hold God's money loosely and live within our means so we can give generously because we know giving breaks the grip of money in our lives. Well, here at Faith and Finance Live, periodically, we want to shine a light on some of those giving opportunities, giving that intersects with the heart of God. In this case today with Heart for Lebanon, we're talking about the ministry of God's mercy for those refugees in that part of the world.

More refugees there in Lebanon per capita than anywhere else on the globe. And so we're going to give you an opportunity to hear from Tom, who's been on the ground recently. Jack Hibbard will join him as well and share just a bit about what's going on with that ministry. And then we're going to invite you to be a supporter as you give to what's going on there as you can be the hands and feet of Jesus. We also want to take your phone calls today.

The number is 800-525-7000. Of course, anything financial is fair game today as we look to bring biblical wisdom to bear in light of your financial questions and the decisions you're making right now. Hey, in the news today, before we dive in, millennials, and you've probably heard this, may inherit as much as 68 trillion dollars. That's right, with a T from previous generations by 2030.

So just six years from now. This is according to Newsweek. Some experts believe this could be the largest transfer of wealth in the history of humankind. What will the younger generations do with all that wealth? Well, studies show the younger someone is, the less he or she tends to give financially.

Not just less in amount, but less in proportion. According to the Barna Group, only 13 percent of millennials and even fewer among the Gen Z population give money on a frequent basis. In the generosity gap, which is a Barna report, it said that 7 percent of those who are 70 or older give 10 percent or more of their income to their churches, but only 1 percent of millennials say they do.

Only 21 percent of believers give 10 percent or more of their income to their local church, while 25 percent give nothing. You know, without a vision for giving as investing in eternity and a sense that God's purpose for prospering us is so that we can help the church and aid the poor and reach the lost, inheriting such wealth could be really a curse more than a blessing. Our role, of course, in Christ's kingdom isn't only as a son or daughter of the king, but also as an investor, an asset manager, and an eternal beneficiary. You see, the command to store up treasures in heaven proves giving isn't simply parting with wealth, it's actually transferring wealth to another location where it can never be lost. Giving to God's kingdom is the most dependable and profitable investment ever, and so may we, and I'm talking to myself as well, always remember that God, not real estate or wealth or anything material, but God alone is our true inheritance and our abundance.

And may we live and give accordingly so that we inherit what God has intended for us, the blessing from God's hand and the ability to be participants in God's activity in your communities and around the globe. That conversation today with Jack and Tom of Heart for Lebanon a little later will certainly point to one of those incredible opportunities. Again, we'll be taking your phone calls as well during this hour, and the number to call is 800-525-7000.

Again, that number 800-525-7000, you can call right now. I'll look forward to chatting with you. We're going to take a quick break and back with much more. This is Faith and Finance Live. I'm Rob West, and we're delighted you're with us. Stay tuned. I'm so glad you're along with us today here on Faith and Finance Live on Moody Radio. Well, as I mentioned today, we will be getting to your calls and questions. We've got some calls coming in now.

If you're on the line holding, please continue to do that. I'm looking forward to diving into your questions a little later in our hour, but for this portion of the broadcast, we have an incredible opportunity to hear about a ministry that is reaching people, meeting their needs in a desperate part of the world with real physical needs, and also with a spiritual need lost and needing the hope that is provided only through Jesus Christ. I'm joined today by Jack Hibbard and Tom Adam of Heart for Lebanon. Gentlemen, thanks for stopping by today. Thank you for having us.

It's a privilege. Well, Jack and Tom, looking forward to hearing more about Heart for Lebanon. Tom, I want to start with you as a co-founder. I'd love for you just to share with our listeners just a bit about the history of Heart for Lebanon and the philosophy behind the ministry.

Thanks, Rob. You know, I started going to Lebanon in 2001 when I was working for the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. Mr. Graham sent me over there to teach biblical servant leadership to pastors from Syria, Jordan, Iraq and Lebanon. Two hundred and eighty five people got together twice a year. We did that for about 13 years.

And so I had deep relationships. So when the war broke out between Hezbollah and Israel back in 2006, actually on July 12th, 2006, it devastated southern Lebanon. And I said to my co-founder of Heart for Lebanon, Camille Melki, I said, you know, you run a Bible institute and I've been teaching leadership.

Now you're in another crisis, not of your own, but that Hezbollah and Israel have made for southern Lebanon. What is our Christian response? How are we going to respond to this? Will we respond to this? Will we take this as an opportunity? And he said, sure, let's do it together.

And so Camille does the work on the ground and I'm kind of the back support. And we launched Heart for Lebanon. Now, here's what we didn't know. We didn't know really what to do, but we knew what the scripture said. And when the scriptures tells us that we're going to show people the love of Christ and tell people the love of Jesus Christ. It's like two hands, two arms, one to do humanitarian good work, education, whatever that means, and the other one to share with them the gospel of Jesus Christ. So as people in southern Lebanon were devastated throughout Lebanon, the embargo made it very tough to get food in and out of Lebanon and the people became full of despair.

We would not just give them food to help them survive 20, 22, 23 days, but we would help them with their emotional by sitting there and talking to them, building a relationship with them, caring for them, showing our interest in them as a people, wanting to know their dreams and their future, what they hoped for. Back then, Lebanon was known as the Riviera of the Middle East, that people would flock there from all over the world to go to the beautiful beaches and ski in the mountains. And they didn't have a Syrian crisis. They didn't have an Iraq crisis.

They didn't have another Hezbollah Israel crisis like they have today. And what we learned very soon was is that people would say to us after about a month or two or maybe even three, why are you giving me this food? Why are you educating our children?

Why are you? All Jesus questions. And we would respond to them. We take the time to talk to them, to understand them, build a relationship with them.

And they eventually would say, so why are you doing this? Well, we're doing this because we love Jesus and he's told us to share his love with you. And we had their attention because we had their trust. And that allowed us to plant churches. And that's allowed us to do missional leadership training. That's allowed us to do a whole lot for the Kingdom of God. Right now, Lebanon is in a disastrous state.

In fact, standards and poor global said that Lebanon is in a selective default, all because of financial corruption. And that came to a head in October of 2019. So this is an historic moment, Rob. I just got back, as you mentioned, from Lebanon just a couple of days ago. And I can tell you that more Muslims are coming to Christ. This is unprecedented. The good news is it's Lebanon, right? This is a free democratic country where you're allowed to proselytize. But so is everybody else. If we don't answer these questions, if we're not there for these people, trust me, I saw it with my own eyes. I heard it with my own ears. Radical groups are recruiting people because they've got the prayers of their religion and the finances to convince people that they're right, but they're wrong.

That's exactly right. Well, Tom, I'll tell you, we are so excited just to take a few minutes to shine a spotlight on this ministry. Folks, if you want to learn more or get involved, there's a way to do that at slash lebanon.

That's slash lebanon or call 888-201-5577. Tom, we've got two minutes before our next break. Give folks a sense of how they can be a part of the solution here. What is the ask and the opportunity for folks who want to get involved?

They ask is simply this. Pray about it and see if God would have you invest. And I love that word, invest one hundred and sixteen dollars to help us bring supplement food, emergency supplies and the gospel of Jesus Christ for the next four months to a child and their family. Help them survive.

Help them see and hear about the love of Jesus Christ. This is a transformational moment. You want to be in on it?

Yeah, you sure do. slash lebanon. Tom, you said a moment ago that it's ripe for the gospel because it's open and free. If we don't step in, those with radical ideologies will.

But talk about just the need here for a moment that exists today. Give folks a sense of the desperation in terms of the physical needs with regard to these refugees. I was in the Baka Valley and we got a knock on the door one day when I finished teaching my class on leadership.

And it was an army soldier. In fact, there was two of them at the door and they said, could you please help us? So we got into a conversation with them and eventually said, yes, we'll be more than happy to give you some food and stuff.

But why do you need that? They said, well, we don't get paid by the Lebanese government anymore. In fact, we want to thank you, Tom. We want to thank you and your government for paying our salary. But our salary is only one hundred and ten dollars a month.

And I have a family of seven people to feed and I can't live on one hundred and ten dollars a month. So we sat there and we talked to them and found out their background, found out their history and found out a lot about them. Well, just a few moments ago, before we went on the air, I got a text message, WhatsApp message from our co-founder, my co-founder, Camille. And he said, you remember those soldiers that came to your meeting? They just showed up in our Bible study tonight at our church.

That's exactly what happens. There's desperate, so desperate that they're open to a conversation about our wonderful Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. It's incredible. slash Lebanon. Jack, you've been hearing Tom share his heart, the heart behind the ministry. You've been a part of this for some time now. And you feel like and share this thought that there's a real opportunity here, right?

Well, no doubt, Rob. I mean, as as Tom described, the country of Lebanon is in desperate shape. But, you know, one of the things that we've learned even as a ministry is the more the deeper the desperation, the bigger the thirst for hope.

And we have that hope today. Our opportunity as a body of believers is to surround these people. Give Hartman Lebanon the resources that they need to be able to share the hope that only comes in Jesus Christ.

I mean, we'll talk here in a couple of moments about some practical ways that we're doing that. But at the end of the day, it's all about the gospel. You know, if all God wanted to do was to feed people, he would have sent a chef in Jesus. But instead, he sent a savior. And today is our opportunity to introduce that savior to these hurting people.

Such a good word. Well, folks, that's the opportunity before you today. We're going to have just a few more minutes, one more segment with Tom and Jack just around the corner so you can hear the story of a life that was impacted. And as Jack said, we'll share the physical ways that their needs are being met and how the gospel is being shared by the team on the ground in Lebanon right now in the midst of a desperate situation. slash Lebanon is how you can be involved or triple eight two zero one five five seven seven back also with your questions just around the corner.

Stick around. So thankful to have you with us today on faith and finance live on this program each day we gather together to talk about how we can apply biblical wisdom to your financial decisions and choices. And we talk a lot about money being a good gift from God that is to be used for our enjoyment and to provide for ourselves and our family, but also to give to be the hands and feet of Jesus as we give to those things that intersect with God's heart. And one of those is clearly the ministry of God's mercy. And more than ever, that's needed right now in the midst of a desperate situation in Lebanon to the north of Israel, where there's more refugees per capita than anywhere on the globe, where 99 percent of Syrian refugee households don't have enough money to buy food.

They don't know where their next meal is going to come from. And in the midst of an open environment for the gospel, meaning you're allowed to freely and openly share the good news in meeting those physical needs, an opportunity presents itself to share the gospel. And that's the incredible work that heart for Lebanon is doing right there on the ground right now. And so we're taking a moment, a portion of our broadcast today just to shine a light on that great work, because if you're like me, you probably woke up this morning always wanting to be involved in kingdom work, but we don't always know where to turn. And especially during a season right now where we know there's unrest and there's fighting and there's carnage in the wake of that, we want to be able to help.

And we just don't know how. And heart for Lebanon is getting that done. And Jack, you know, the model here of meeting physical needs and then opening the door to being able to share Jesus is one that heart for Lebanon is used for some time. And it's incredibly effective. Talk to us about what's happening. Well, it really is, Rob.

And of course, it was modeled by Jesus himself, obviously. And look, I mean, we knew that if we were going to have an impact in a Muslim culture, as Tom said, when we found it hard for Lebanon, we knew that it wasn't going to be through the transaction. You know, if you if all you do is is supply emergency essentials and food, that's important. I mean, we need to meet these physical needs, especially in the desperate state that Lebanon is right now that you just described a couple of moments ago.

Listen, when people don't know where their next meal is coming from, you've got to meet that need first. But we knew that if we were going to make a real impact for the kingdom, that we'd have to do more than just that transaction, because that's all you have if you just provide relief. We don't want to be known as a relief organization.

We want to be known as a relationship organization. And we use that relief, as Tom said, to open up the door to a relationship. And in many practical ways, Rob, this is helping people not have to make some really difficult choices. You know, I think sometimes when we when we hear somebody say, hey, today you have the opportunity to save a life. You know, I think sometimes on the other end, people are listening and going, that sounds that's that's hyperbole, right? But the truth of the matter is, this is what's happening every single day in the country of Lebanon, and it's happening more and more with the people that we meet.

To illustrate this, I want to share a story with you. Listen to what happened to Noria and her son. Noria and her 14-year-old son, Sabhai, survived the unthinkable in Syria. The majority of their family was killed in an airstrike, and Noria's husband abused and abandoned them.

They arrived in Lebanon with very few possessions, no money, and a great need. You see, every two weeks, Sabhai needs to go to the hospital for lengthy blood transfusions. Noria works tirelessly cleaning houses, but with the collapsing economy in Lebanon, it's never enough.

With the money, I make cleaning houses. I can only afford either food or blood transfusion for Sabhai. I thank God Heart for Lebanon has kept us from choosing. Sabhai and I can now eat and be sure he can go to his next treatment.

I'm so grateful. It's investments from friends like you that makes this possible. Your gift to Heart for Lebanon today will provide emergency supplies and the Gospel.

Please be as generous as you can when you call or go online now. I mean, Rob, can you even imagine for a second as a mother, a father, having to make a choice between, you know, a life-saving blood transfusion and eating that day? I mean, these are the situations that everyday people in Lebanon are facing, the people that we serve. But thankfully, just as you heard in that story, friends, just like the ones listening today, just like you were willing to step in the gap, provide the emergency essentials that they needed, the food that Noria and her family needed so that they could really literally save their 14-year-old son. That's what's hanging in the balance today, and we're asking you to stand with us. We can't do it without your help.

As Tom mentioned earlier, $116 will help one child and their family. Listen to this, for the next four months, and I don't know if you've tried to take your family out to dinner lately, but that's hard to do for that price if you took your family out tonight. This will stretch for four months, but can I tell you something?

We have never accepted a family into the ministry of Heart for Lebanon and dropped them after four months. I like to look at this almost as we've all heard of the Kickstarter campaigns. This is almost a spiritual Kickstarter because what you're going to do is you're going to do exactly what we talked about earlier. You're going to give Heart for Lebanon the opportunity to provide for physical needs, but more importantly, start a relationship that is going to give us the opportunity to share the gospel. And Rob, we're doing that in so many ways, as Tom mentioned, through churches, through our Hope Educational Program, where children are getting the opportunity to learn, but learn from teachers who love Jesus and share God's love with them. And more than any other time in our history.

In fact, even the secular news agency Al Jazeera, which I know a lot of us don't follow, has stated that more Muslim culture people are turning to faith in Jesus Christ than never before. As Tom said, this is our moment and you are needed like never before to connect to what God is doing there. And can I tell you, that's what it's all about for us.

We want you to get in on that blessing right now when you call 888-201-5577, or you can go online to slash lebanon and be a part of it right now. Well, gentlemen, appreciate your time. We're so grateful for the opportunity to be able to shine a light on this incredible work and just grateful to be able to spend a few minutes with you today. Listen, we'll have you back sometime in the near future, but in the meantime, keep up the great work and thanks for stopping by. Thanks, Rob. We really appreciate you.

All right, you too. Folks, if you want to be involved, again, 888-201-5577 or slash lebanon. We'll be back with your questions for the remainder of the broadcast just around the corner. Stick around. The opinions offered during this program represent the personal or professional opinions of the participants given for informational purposes only.

Any information provided is not intended to replace advice from a financial, medical, legal, or other professional who understands your specific situation. So glad to have you with us today on Faith and Finance Live. I'm Rob West. All right, it's time to turn the corner and take your calls and questions on anything financial. We've got some folks that have been waiting patiently. We do have a few lines open. 800-525-7000 is the number to call. That's 800-525-7000. Let's dive in.

We're going to go to Indianapolis. Hi, Bruce. Thanks for your patience, sir. Go ahead. Hi, Rob.

Thanks for taking my call. I will be 62 and a half of 2025. My wife is about five months younger than me. Will she be able to collect half of my Social Security amount when she retires?

Or is it prorated? Yeah, no, she will get as long as you have to be at least 62 and you have to be receiving benefits. Once you're receiving benefits, though, she can get up to 50% of your benefit. And so if she waits until her full retirement age, then she would get a full 50% of your benefit. And then she'd either be able to take that or her own benefit based on her own work record, whichever one is higher. Yeah, she has a quarter in. She would get like $800. But there's about a $300 difference between half of mine versus what she would get.

And she does have a quarter in, so there's that. Okay, yeah. I can't really find a good age, 60, because we're both going to retire at 62.

I'll be 62 and a half, but she's a little younger than I am. Okay, yeah. And are you planning to start taking benefits right away? Yes.

Okay, yeah. So hers would be reduced quite a bit just based on that work reduction or that reduction based on her taking it prior to full retirement age. You would as well. So she may get, you know, I think the number is around 32 and a half percent of your primary benefit amount by her taking it at 62 versus waiting until full retirement age. Is that in addition to what she would get on her own?

No, you can have one or the other, whichever is higher. So one option is she could start taking her spousal benefit and let hers continue to grow and then at some point switch. But whichever one she takes at 62 is going to lock in a permanent reduction. So as a spousal benefit, you have the ability to earn up to 50 percent at full retirement age.

In the case of her taking it at 62, that would cut it down to that 32 and a half percent. Okay. Yeah. All right. Is that helpful?

You're welcome. You know, I think the key, Bruce, is just kind of run those numbers, do that budget and start with what is our lifestyle spending? What do we believe God's called us to and from a dollars and cents standpoint in this season of life? And then how are we going to piece, you know, all of that together to be able to provide the income that we need and the extent to which there's not additional savings? I think obviously the longer you can wait to begin taking that benefit, you're going to lock in an additional roughly 8 percent a year of increases that will last for the rest of your life.

So, you know, I think being able to match that up with the need that's there on a monthly basis is really the key so that you're solving for, you know, that budget and then planning for, you know, increased expenses down the road, whether it's long term care or something like that. But hopefully that helps you, my friend. Thanks for your call today. We've got some lines open, folks.

800-525-7000 is the number to call to Redding, California. Hey, Mike, go ahead. Hey, Rob, thank you for taking my call. I appreciate your ministry so much.

You've blessed me and my family tremendously. So I'm involved in a marriage ministry at the church, and the leadership has asked me if I would be interested, they want to expand the marriage ministry into the financial area. So my question is, if I was to go before the elders, they, I'm sure they want to search my heart and who I am.

I know a couple of them pretty well, but how do I prepare? What should I be praying for specifically? And then curriculum, if this goes to the next logical area, where should I go for that?

Yeah, yeah, very good. Well, first of all, in terms of preparation, I mean, I think what you said is really just being able to articulate the vision that you have for what's possible if they were to lean into the financial area as a part of the marriage ministry, whether that's premarital or for married couples. But really, just in your mind, and maybe you take some time to kind of write it down and process it on paper. But I think ultimately, when you show up to that meeting, the most important thing is that you can just clearly articulate the vision that you have, kind of the why behind it, and your desire, what outcomes you would hope to see come in the lives of these families and couples as a result of this ministry. I think, obviously, your background in terms of any prior teaching that you have, the time and availability that you'll have to give to oversight of this, because this would typically be run by a volunteer coordinator that might be a part of the stewardship or the education ministry of the church, but it takes time to coordinate the classes and get them on the schedule. And whether you're the facilitator or teacher, or maybe you're finding others who are going to serve in that role alongside you, that all takes coordination. So beyond your vision for the ministry and the outcomes that you would hope and pray for, your availability and willingness to serve in that coordinating and support role, I think is key. And then finally, the practical pieces of the ministry, what you're envisioning, whether that's classes, and that would be great.

If you want to offer coaching, what your plan might be for that. Thirdly, I think one amazing opportunity that I've always wished more churches would do would be to pair older, more seasoned couples with newly married couples specifically, maybe for the first six months, and specifically related to finances, just to journey with them for a period of time to answer their questions. Because the biggest challenge in terms of money and marriage is we bring to the marriage relationship our different, not only the way God has wired us is different, but we bring different money backgrounds. And certainly we bring backgrounds that are different across the board, but it seems like this money area is the one that tends to be the conflict.

Because often, you know, maybe one grew up with an abundance and one, you know, grew up in a very meager financial situation and one maybe had a budget modeled and what, you know, generous giving and the other didn't. And so you bring all of that to the marriage relationship and it just can be on a collision course for good communication and good planning. And so being able to have a couple that could journey alongside a brand new married couple, specifically around, you know, money management, if they're willing to take the counsel, I think could be invaluable. So those would be my suggestions, Mike, in terms of some resources. One would be Howard Dayton's book, Money and Marriage God's Way.

That would be a great resource. Again, Money and Marriage God's Way from Howard Dayton. Another is from our good friend Art Rayner. He's got a book called The Marriage Challenge, a finance guide for married couples. You can find that at

Art's a gifted communicator and writer and has a real passion for money and marriage. So I think either of those would work. Is that helpful to you, sir? That's really helpful, Rob. I really appreciate that.

I'll get that stuff coming. I feel not qualified. I'm a contractor, of course, so that's really helpful for me. I'm glad to hear it.

I think you've got this. You're going to do a great job. Call any time, Mike. We'll be right back.

Stick around. Hey, great to have you with us today on Faith and Finance Live. Hey, let me invite you to check out our brand new FaithFi study.

That's right. We produced our very first study diving deep into God's word around themes that are critical, I think, to each of our role as stewards or managers of God's resources. The first study that we produced is called Rich Toward God. It's a deep dive into the parable of the rich fool, which uncovers some really important topics around what is true abundance. You know, if you think about it, it's not that God is the access to our abundance.

He is our abundance. How do we view that in light of material possessions and understanding that our abundance, despite what the world says, doesn't come through the things of this world? What about the pride that we can have in prosperity?

How do we wrestle with that? What about the uncertainty of tomorrow? How do we do prudent planning given tomorrow's uncertainty and our need to trust in the Lord? And then finally, what does it mean to be rich toward God? That the ending of that parable is that we should live rich toward God.

What does that mean? I think it's an invitation from Christ into the abundant life, and we explore that in this beautifully designed four-week study. We'd love for you to check it out. You'll find it on our website there at Just click shop at the top of the page. That's

Just click shop and check out Rich Toward God today. All right, back to the phones we go. Let's head to Chicago. Darlene, go right ahead. Hi, yes, Rob. Thank you for taking my call.

I thought I heard you say before, but I wasn't sure. I was speaking with a committee at church. We'd have a budget that we're putting together, saving money for a new building, but it's in a regular checking account, and it's not getting any interest. And I thought you were speaking on the fact that we could put it into a credit union and gain interest for a certain period of time, and that would be feasible for a church to do.

Yeah, it sure would. What's the timeframe on this building project, Darlene? Do you know? We've got a while. We could do it. We don't have to keep it in a long time, but even we could keep it anywhere from even starting at six months to a year and a half.

Okay, yeah, very good. Well, there's a great CD option at Christian Community Credit Union. So, for instance, for 10 months, you could get five percent.

For five months, you could get five and a quarter percent, which would be a great option for you all. You just want to head to That's And they have offerings for individuals and businesses, but also for ministries. And I think what's great is that these are not only really competitive, but the money is growing and it's helping churches and ministries get the funding they need for Kingdom Impacting projects. And so you'd be aligned with an institution that really shares your ministry heart, but offers a really compelling rate of return while you're waiting. And so I think that could be a great solution while you guys are putting your plans together for the building project. Again, one more time,, okay?

Okay, thank you so much. All right, Darlene, thanks for your call. Let's go to Kansas City. Hi, Liv, go ahead. Hi, how are you? I'm doing great. Good.

Yes, I just have a question. I keep hearing from various sources that the stock market, it's inevitable that it's going to crash because of inflation and all these different things. And you hear a lot of these different programs saying that you should really invest in gold and silver and get out of the stock market because we're in for a big fall. I just wondered what your opinion was on that. Yeah, you know, I would push back on that, Liv.

I mean, let me say this just for context. I mean, do we have some problems, some challenges in this country? Certainly. Namely, our sky high national debt that's just increasing at an increasing rate. Our largest federal expenditure is soon to be interest on the debt, and that's not good. We're at one hundred and twenty five percent of gross domestic product. Can we handle that?

Yes, absolutely. But the trajectory needs to change with some really strict budgetary guidelines and, you know, a pro business policy. And a lot of that has to do with the elected leaders that we will elect in the days ahead. The other big problem we have working against us is our demographics. We're just not having enough babies to replace the workers that are retiring.

And so as the baby boomers leave the workforce, we're not replacing those workers. Now, we have to grade ourselves on a curve against the rest of the world, though. And, you know, there's a lot of articles right now talking about China being the future, you know, in terms of the world leader economically. Well, the problem with China is they're going through a major problem right now with real estate. They're massively dependent on real estate and their biggest real estate fund just collapsed. They've got massive private debt and their demographics are worse than ours because they had the one child policy.

And so I think they've got real problems. You know, so I think ultimately, you know, there are some things to be encouraged about. I mean, we're still the biggest and largest economy in the world. The ingenuity of the American worker, artificial intelligence, what's happening with technological advances. I mean, there's there's a, you know, still a good case for us to to grow well into the future.

And what we need to pray for is leaders who will make the necessary decisions, the hard decisions to bring our spending in line. Now, what about a collapse? Well, I would say that in terms of, you know, we just evaluate the financial system. It's healthier today than, let's say, in 2008, 2009, where we had real systemic problems. But even then, you know, we had a major downturn in the market, but we recovered. And our financial system is stronger today, certainly than it was back then, just based on the amount of reserves in place, the reserve requirements of all the banks. You know, so I would say that those who are maybe I'll say fear mongering on the potential for a stock market crash, quote unquote. I mean, we've been through plenty of market corrections and even some crashes and we've always recovered. And the challenge with gold is it's the fear trade.

And so you've got a lot of people, quote, marketing gold just playing off of people's fears. But if you look at the real data, you know, gold is selling for around two thousand forty dollars an ounce right now. That's actually five hundred dollars lower than in 1979 adjusted for inflation.

Meanwhile, the S&P 500, the 500 largest companies in the United States, went from four hundred and thirty one dollars in 1979 to nearly five thousand dollars today, a tenfold increase. So what do you do with that? Well, I think there's a place for gold. What I would say is, you know, certainly a five percent allocation, no more than 10 percent. And then the rest I would put in a stock and bond portfolio because you're investing in companies with real sales and earnings operating here in the United States.

Many of them, which is the strongest economy in the world, despite our challenges and internationally. And I think that's the very best place to build wealth. Now, if we have a major economic collapse, well, we've got bigger problems than whether or not you're in gold versus stocks. Now, how would you approach that five percent?

Here's a recommendation, may not be the right thing for you, but I'll throw it out. I would look at a five percent forever allocation in gold and physical gold. You could buy, you know, gold coins or gold bars. You store that, you secure it, you plan to keep it forever, pass it down to your kids.

If you need it, you got it. And then if you want to ratchet your allocation from five up to 10, one option there would be to use one of the gold tracker funds. So there's exchange traded funds that track the price of gold. They have real gold in vaults behind them, but you're buying in to a fund that's moving with the price of gold. And therefore, if you wanted to lower your allocation from 10 back down to five, you're not finding a dealer who's going to buy your physical gold.

You literally just put the trade in on this on the ETF and it's sold in a matter of seconds. So that would be one way to think about it. But this idea that we would exit the stock market and or the banking system and put all of our money in precious metals. I just don't think the data is there with regard to the performance. And I don't share those concerns that we're heading for a cliff, you know, that we're going to fall off of and everything's going to be reduced to rubble.

That's just not my perspective based on the, you know, the economists and the the tacticians that I follow. Does that make sense, though? That makes a lot of sense. I have one other question. Have you heard anything about like all these nations? It's called the BRIC where they're all getting off the dollar. And that's a whole part of this. Do you have any comments on that or on that?

Yeah, I do. You know, the BRIC's currency has been talked about a lot lately. And, you know, I just don't think it's something we need to be very concerned about. Primarily because two of the letters in the BRIC's are C for China and R for Russia, and they just can't be trusted. And so, you know, we've never had a situation where an authoritarian dictatorship was the nation's reserve currency. They manipulate their currency. And because of that, I just don't think we'll ever see that fully replace the U.S. in terms of a reserve currency. Now, what could happen is a slow leak, if you will, away from the United States.

But still today, Liv, 90 percent of global trades happen in the form of U.S. dollars. And that's not going to end overnight. Even if we had a debt crisis here in the United States, I don't think we would lose, for all intents and purposes, our reserve status. And it's certainly not going to come, in my view, at the hand of China and Russia just because of what I said.

I mean, there's significant trouble with the rule of law, and we've never had a world reserve currency with an authoritarian dictatorship. I just don't see it happening. Makes sense. Thank you so much. I appreciate it. Absolutely. Appreciate your call today.

Thanks very much. Well, folks, listen, we're just about out of time. Maria, I know you were holding very patiently there in West Palm Beach, as well as Tina in Indiana. And I'd love to get you two on the program first tomorrow. And so if you wouldn't mind holding our team, we'll see if we can get you scheduled for tomorrow's broadcast.

I certainly don't want to rush it and not give you the time you deserve. But thank you for your call today, and I apologize we didn't get to you sooner. Folks, let me just say how grateful I am that you tune in each day to this broadcast. I was delighted to be able to share more about Hartford, Lebanon, as we exposed you to, along the way, every now and then, some ministries doing some incredible work in the name of Jesus as a giving outlet.

If you want to learn more, just go to slash lebanon. By the way, another amazing giving opportunity is coming up in just a few weeks with our spring share-a-thon here at Moody Radio. Can't wait to invite you to be an investor in Moody in the days ahead. I'm also thrilled about our team here that brings you this program each day. I'm thankful for Amy and Dan, and Jim couldn't do it without him, as well as Lynn. Faith in Finance Live is a partnership between Moody Radio and FaithFi, and we'll see you tomorrow. Bye-bye.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-02-27 21:43:02 / 2024-02-27 22:00:11 / 17

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