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I met Erin Brooks & her family last week.  Erin is a 9-year-old future surfing champion and an amazing young lady.

In last week’s surf competition she came in 3rd.  I was impressed with Erin and her entire family; and the tremendous support system they’ve built. Her father had a great perspective.  While he could have listed the legitimate reasons she was at a disadvantage, he focused on the character that was being developed as part of these trials and errors, these wins and losses.

From the moment you said yes to Jesus, you were meant to be amazing.  Your setbacks are merely preparation along the way.  You can choose to let the setbacks drag you down or choose to look beyond them and see that God’s plan is still at work.

God has big plans for you, but our attitudes will either carry us on to our destiny or cause us to miss it completely. So carry the Brooks family perspective with you, always.

By the way, if you want to cheer Erin on, you can find her on Instagram & Facebook @ErinBrooksSurf.

The IMF, Germany & Greece continue to disagree over the next steps relating to the Greek bailout.

For Memos, Anthony, your churches and our friends in Greece, we encourage our followers to pray for you.

While there have been numerous (and legitimate) concerns on all sides, the bottom line is that the situation is unsustainable.

The middle ground seems to be that as Greece “proves faithful”, then some level of their debt would be forgiven. Unfortunately Germany is strenuously fighting under the belief of fiscal austerity.

You may think you are facing challenges, those under 30 are facing over 50% unemployment.

BUT, in Memos’ church when someone loses a job…the church prays. And they get a better job!

One of the results of the great recession, as it has become known as, is a trend towards a healthier financial state for the American middle class.

At the beginning of the recession it was obvious that American’s were saving more and putting a greater emphasis paying down their debt.

For quite some time we were unsure of whether this was a trend or a temporary emotional reaction. Eight years after the initial meltdown, the evidence continues to indicate a significant cultural shift.

American’s continue to save more, strive to eliminate their debt and are more judicious in their spending.

As a side note, a recent survey found that 25% of families say they are now debt free. That is up from 14% just a few years ago.

To Brexit or not to Brexit, that is the question

Having just returned from the UK, by my informal survey the exit vote has the momentum.

The voices arguing for remain are focusing on potential economic fallout. What they seem to miss is that after the great recession, people don’t feel like the economy is amazing.

More importantly the British public is more concerned with the free movement within the EU. The perception is that this allows immigrants to come in and claim benefits as well as leaving an open door for Islamic terrorists to make their way to England.

An out vote would still require a 2 year negotiation of new terms before Great Britain left.

Until the vote is concluded next week, prepare for potential volatility.

I’m currently in Amsterdam and had dinner with Memos Sakallariou a pastor friend from Athens, Greece. To put our conversation in context, Greece has suffered from a massive economic downturn, refugee influx from Syria and political turmoil.

Currently unemployment for those under 35 is running in excess of 53%. People are struggling to get by. Suicide is rampant.

Memos also shared with me how God is being faithful to HIS people. Their church is working. People have jobs, even the young people. If someone loses a job, they pray and get a better one.

In these kinds of circumstances it is easy to become fearful and depressed. Memos and I made a commitment to each other. Instead of being afraid, “we were going to live until we died!”

God has big plans for his people…only fear can hold us back.

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