Altar Call – Opelika-Auburn News
January 5, 2014
Good time to review your investments
The beginning of a new year is a good time to review your investments. Many people view the stock market as a good investment. Though it is risky the chance for a good return on your money is quite alluring. But the “prophets of doom” continue to warn us that the market will crash again before long.
I invested in some oil wells in Kansas and made a little profit before the wells were shut down. The little guys could not compete successfully with the big boys in the oil business. I tried several other “golden opportunities” in search of other “sources of revenue” and lost my shirt every time. Determined to supplement my salary as a preacher I followed some poor advice. It sounded good but like so many ventures it turned out to be “too good to be true.”
Hopefully at my age I am a little wiser and I now believe that the best investments are people. So for the past couple of decades my wife and I have devoted a few dollars – beyond our tithe to our church – to helping people.
Who are those people? Some are family members. Years ago we sold some pine trees to help two of our sons get an education. That was a good investment. Since then we have tried to help some of our grandchildren go to college. Education is very important. We share the belief of George Washington Carver that “education is the key to freedom.”
Some of the people we have helped in a small way are “adopted” children – like Anxious Muleya of Zambia. When we met him in 2006 he was a poor orphan boy in a remote village – but a good student in high school. We invited some friends to join us in helping Anxious go to college. In December he graduated from college and is now enrolled in medical school. He wants to become a doctor and a preacher. We believe that this investment in our Zambian “grandson” will pay wonderful dividends in years to come. Will it put more money in our pockets? No, more joy in our hearts!
Others we have invested in are missionaries. Having visited mission work in 30 countries around the world we have seen the difference that missionaries can make – and the need they have for financial assistance. For that reason we recently made a small gift to help build a soccer field in Colombia and another to provide outhouses for the very poor in Nicaragua.
Are there not critical needs at home in our local communities? Yes, of course. That is why we sent a small check to Christian Care Ministries in Opelika, Alabama – to help fund their food pantry and soup kitchen. And that is why we support the work of Alabama Rural Ministry in Opelika and Mary Ellen’s Hearth, a ministry in Montgomery helping homeless women and children.
Am I bragging about what we are doing? I hope you will not perceive it as such. I only want to explain what I mean by investing in people. And what I really hope to do is to inspire you, dear reader, to review your investments – and to make sure in 2014 people are at the top of your list. In the long run your return will be better than money. + + +