Ramsey's message heard at LifeSong

Wednesday, April 29, 2009
At LifeSong Family Church are, from left, Debbie Ingram, Torrie Mowell and Amy Bisig.

About 55 people attending a Town Hall for Hope at LifeSong Family Church on Ellington Parkway last week included a sampling of folks who said they left inspired, hopeful and informed on economic issues.

Quoting radio talk-show host Dave Ramsey, the church's secretary, Debbie Ingram, reported that given current economic circumstances, Americans "'should not freak out, but we should be more responsible with our money.'"

About five years after the stock market crash of 1929, President Roosevelt met with economist John Maynard Keynes who advised the Great Depression could be ended with government spending and employment, Ramsey said in a national telecast received at LifeSong. A decade later, unemployment dropped from 25 percent to 1 percent, but that ignores World War II when men were in uniform and women built airplanes.

Keynesian economics have since been challenged by Milton Friedman who said government mismanagement led to the Great Depression, Ramsey explained, calling for moral restraint.

Depression era unemployment rates overshadow current rates, Ramsey said

It's 8.5 percent nationally, 16.9 percent in Marshall County, 15.6 percent in Maury County, 11.2 percent in Bedford, 6.9 in Lincoln, and 9.6 percent statewide, according to government figures for March.

As sub-prime mortgages are cited as a cause for current economic ails, Ramsey recommends use of the "politically incorrect" word no.

"No, you can't buy a house," he said. "You are broke. You are going to lose the freaking thing."

Impressed with the "down to Earth humor," Michael Powell, 53, of Cornersville, said Ramsey "uses analogies in the way Jesus used parables, a technique Powell sees in "better speakers and pastors."

Ramsey "takes you back in history," Powell said, relating to the message about World War II, in part, because his employer, Steelcase Inc. in Athens, Ala., made the table on the USS Missouri used by Gen. Douglas MacArthur to accept surrender from Japan.

Failure is instructive, according to Ramsey. "If it's chasing you, it will run you toward excellence."

Jake Isham, worship pastor at LifeSong, works for Ramsey at his Cool Springs' studios and with Jonathan Flippen, another LifeSong member. They facilitated the program here. It was one of 6,000 churches in North America and overseas to receive free reception from the program in Oklahoma City.

Powell agreed with others that attendance "probably" would have been greater had Ramsey not signed with the Fox Business Network to simulcast the show on cable TV. That might emphasize how easy it is to stay home.

Also attending were Gene Gillum, 45, of Lewisburg who's looking for employment, although his jury duty continues through May 15. Ramsey's messages of personal responsibility resonated with Gillum who's shunning "loser talk."

The man with nearly nothing in his checking account said he expected Ramsey to give people "more hope than what they were expecting," and he seemed motivated to get a job "doing almost anything" since his employment with a manufacturer of circuit boards.

Amy Bisig has taken Ramsey's Financial Peace course and attended Thursday to get "more ideas on how to stay positive."

Torrie Mowell is a self-described Ramsey "fan" who attended with Bisig.

Speaking in jeans and a blue blazer, the radio talk-show host referred to the current economy as the "amazing car wreck," as well as a deceiving windstorm when "Even a turkey can fly in a tornado."

Ramsey got applause when he mentioned a former candidate for the GOP nomination for president, Mike Huckabee, who's now got his own show on Fox.

Ramsey described his participation in some TV talk shows and his reactions from observations at Times Square where he apparently suffered an overload of bad news and experienced fear about America's economy.

Upon his recovery, Ramsey recommends calm examination of the facts.

Ingram, LifeSong's secretary, agreed, recalling Ramsey's message: "Fear is not one of the fruits of the spirit and we need to stop making bad decisions. Jesus is our hope for the future."