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7 Upsides to the Current Economic Cycle


You have probably noticed the past year or so has been a down cycle economically. Many people have lost their jobs, value of investments have taken a major hit, people are having to rethink retirement and it seems the majority of folks have gone into survival mode. I am sure that most people can relate to feelings of distress and concern. Yikes! Can there be an upside to all this? Here are some that I have discovered...


  1. Consumerism "pursuit of happiness through possessing" as my son Andy defines it is under the microscope as we think it through as a lifestyle. Hopefully this time is giving all of us an opportunity to rethink what is important in life and making adjustments that will last for years and reshape how we pursue "happiness" into the future.
  2. Purchasing habits - Rethinking the use of credit. Hopefully tighter credit requirements will result in people changing their spending habits by staying out of staggering debt with all the pressures that it puts on their lives, marriages, etc..
  3. Patience - Learning to wait and being content...what a concept.  Adjusting to the fact that you don't have to have it now.
  4. Simplicity - Our lives can become more meaningful as we uncomplicate them through having less and appreciating what we do have more. People are learning the freedom that can be found by not having so much stuff.
  5. Family - Learning that it is people that matter more than what we own and enjoying the simple pleasures of being together.
  6. Discovering a new future - Evaluating what we do, why we do it and how we do it. This has been a great opportunity for people to evaluate their lives and pursue a new future.
  7. Trusting God - a lot of prayer has gone up all over this planet over the last year as people have cried out for mercy and help. That has got to be a good thing. Some people have turned from the God of money to the worthy master in Jesus.

What has been your upside to this down cycle?  How are you going to go into the future a better person?


19 comments so far:

Bummer! I thought you were going to have some great investing tips. Just kidding. Thanks Tom.


Thanks for the comments. I have often thought how when Americans actually began to save just a little bit, it throws the entire encomony into a tailspin. We are a consumer society, and I for one would like to see a shift in that to the things you list here without it collapsing our entire economy!

I work in a nursing home. I have thought over and over again as I watch the clients, how some of them being alone is due to other family members being a slave to their career. What's the balance between relationships and "earning a living"? Again, at what cost?

It's really something that begins decades before. Where will be all be when another family member may need us? If we are spread out all over the world or states, it's so hard to be there like others need.

Sometimes we need to be apart, it can't be helped. But really, it is something we need to plan for as we do other areas of retirement. In the end and at our greatest hour of need, relationships are ALL that really matter.

Good word brother! Hi Linnea and family.


Good stuff Tom! Thanks!!

Right on!

Hey Tom, That is a mouthful to say the least. Well we owe more on our house than what it is worth at least for now, it has been on the market over 2 years! We would love to have this weight off of our backs, but what do you do? Give it away or make the best of the situation, we have a great college age bible study at our house, and it is big enough of a house to split our group up into 4 smaller groups, which is pretty cool, so when you are given lemons don't just make lemonade make lemon meringue pie! We are longing for a simpler life and we are going in that direction, and as I am getting closer to retirement age I am going to seminary so that I can have a future in ministry, the older I get the more I realize I don't know and have so much more to learn. Thanks for sharing Tom, these are things that Debbie and I have been talking about over the years.

This is good stuff! A very healthy perspective of the current affairs. I love seeing this in print when so much of what the news spews forth is the negative.

Some say we are now beginning to show economic recovery... good...maybe... I hope the real recovery is in our perspective on materialism!

Four years ago my wife Susan and I were standing in the Mamertine prison in Rome where the apostle Paul wrote the book of 2nd Timothy. A single, small domed rock prison cell with a hole in the ceiling to the guards quarters above, it is a terrible place to live and have any sense of optimism. Yet, this is the man who wrote "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." I pray that myself, my family and all believers can walk in faith rather than fear through these uncertain and challenging times.

Such wisdom in your words! They are worth saving to reread and pass on.

This morning I was reading Prov. 2 It says that "the Lord gives wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding; He stores up sound wisdom for the upright;" He certainly has given you His wisdom for this time.

Blessings on you and your family!



I have noticed families coming together and sharing their resources---this has to be a good thing. The loaves and fishes seem to expand when we do that.

We need the holy spirit to gade us true it all.

Take care God Bless


Spot on observation. Good to be reminded of something I try to remember always:

! Thess, 5:16-18

Rejoice always;
pray without ceasing;
in everything give thanks: for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.

I'm struck by the use of "in everything", not "for everything."

Trusting in God is the biggest lesson I have learned from the recession. I truly believe that God supplies ALL of our needs. I'm going into the future know that God is in control so that means no stress no worries for me. :)

I find it interesting how we spend our whole lives accumulating stuff, only to find that as it disappears it wasn't really what was important afterall. The first 30 years of my life I was gathering the puzzle pieces to create the life I imagined. The next thirty years the picture fell apart one piece at a time. Bit by bit my dream dissolved. Each time I experienced loss I said to God, "I don't understand, but I know there is a reason for everything that is happening." Sometimes the reason was revealed. Other times not. My life is much simpler now. The advantage is that it is easier to see God without all the stuff in the way. In church today our Pastor said that when we are desperate, we become desperate for God. (Something like that) It is so true! My favorite verse is Proverbs3:5

This has been a big topic for a lot of my friends and family. There certainly is a lot of good in a little hardship. It's been shocking for me to see how deep the roots of materialism really are in our country. People get in debt, lose their homes, get divorced and blame God for it all. I don't make light of people's problems...but we need to remember that a corrupt society and selfish motives have brought suffering upon us all. I have no political response to any of these things. I only see an answer in really looking at Jesus, his teaching and his sacrifice.

There are so many injustices and they all seemed based on someone acquiring something. The injustices of the world just seem so staggering and intimidating. I think it's great that people try and fight these things. Lately I have been thinking even more about the value of giving real love and creativity in the small communities that we are apart of. I don't see how we can fight the survival of the fittest mentality that rules in politics, economics and businesses across the world. Maybe we can just show "lay down your life for your friend" mentality that Jesus taught us with the people that we know around us.

my husband and i will be roatan dec 26th-jan9th. henry and frances zittrower were just at our home for a week and we meet trey vic at the nau sewer system meeting we had. SO, we would love to meet you if you are on the island at that time. in His grip, Ronnie and Jamie

Years ago at a NHRA race in Topeka, a NHRA chaplain dropped by our pit during an very emotional time for me and I came away with this comment which I think applies today: "If everyone would spend more time watering their own yards then the grass on the other side would not be greener...."

Great comments, good perspective and it's time to enjoy the ride a little more which might just be sitting on the front porch and getting to know your neighbors.

Awesome word! As I'm going my 16th month without at job (and Laurie on month #13) we are living that list. The first thing to go was the "dream" house. Now we rent a house within a mile of all our kids and grandkids. A true dream.

One other thought is that, some respects, the list is in reverse order. If you trust God, He will give you a 'future and a hope' that will allow all the remaining points to fall into place. Basically, Matthew 6:33 with a modern twist.

This is a good one!

These are times where I know my situation is bigger than I can handle. This is a job for God and the beautiful thing about it is God is big enough to get me through this. But I still pray His will.

Isaiah 40:12,15

Who else knows the weight of the earth or has weighed the mountains and hisll on a scale? Yet He picks up the whole earth as though it were a grain of sand.

Thanks, Tom.

Mark Grisham

Tom, Sorry for not following you more closely.

Things are a bit scary for many including myself...I have found that digging into Gods Word is my rescue. I read a piece today in 2 Corinthians and the vs's that really stood out to me were in 11 and 12. "You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God." vs.12 "This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of God's people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God."

I am also learning that there is a difference in having faith in God and trusting in God! I have faith in God but I am also trusting in Him to supply my needs.

Although We (Life Coach Ministry) are struggling to cover expences, we are thriving with new clients. We are teaching them to dig into God's Word for their answers. We thank God that the word is out that LCM is there to help minister to people. God is using LCM in a big way.

Tom, If you get the chance take a look at our testimonials at

Tom thanks for doing what you do to help others.
Those verses are for you as well.

God Bless,


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