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Who Are You?
So who is the Prince of Thrift? He is an average guy, like you. He freely admits that he has made a number of bad decisions financially. In 2006, he started the blog DebtFree4ever.NET to discuss in an open forum about his struggles and successes. His goal was to try to learn from his own mistakes and to discuss what the financial gurus teach. In so doing, he hoped that others could learn from his mistakes to, so that they didn't repeat them. He in no way, whatsoever, wants to misrepresent himself as any kind of financial counselor or coach. He simply doesn't have the degrees for that.
Along the way, he met the love of his life. His Princess, better known outside this blog as Pat. Who he married August 21, 2010.
He has spent 18 plus years working at various levels in the retail grocery business. In addition, he spent two (2) years in full time ministry. Along the way, he has also dabbled in writing, politics and acting/modeling.
Kevin, an ordained minister, is currently employed at a local Randall's Food Market (in Austin, TX). He made several bad decisions and got himself deeper into debt then he could handle. Like Dave Ramsey says, he developed the attitude of "I want it, and I want it now," that plagues so many Americans. Now with the advice of Larry Winget, Dave Ramsey, John Cummuta, Clark Howard and other personal finance gurus (after almost 5 years of hard work, Kevin has dug his way out of debt (Oct. 2010), and plans to remain debt free.
Over the years, he has built a small network of websites/blog to better house this financial freedom information. Today the site is WisdomSteps101.net and has various budgeting forms in addition to that blog that he started with in 2006.
Agree with him? Disagree? Leave a comment! Comments are an important part of this site. My personal finances have been affected by readers who have commented and other bloggers who I follow, I believe significantly for the better. So leave your comments. They encourage me.
For more information about Kevin, visit his personal website and resume.
Kevin's TestimonyEarly YearsMy story is like so many who grew up in the church, yet it is my own personal story. When I was nine years old I was at church camp as the preacher preached his fire and brimstone message. As I listened I leaned my head against one of the concrete pillars of the open air chapel and seen in my minds eye a hand turn the combination dial of a safe. Inside I saw the “lake of fire” that this preacher was talking about. I knew I wanted Jesus. I knew I didn't want to go to hell. I had to get, what I now know was “fire insurance.” I was baptized later that same year.
Getting Real With GodI spent much of my early years claiming to be a Christian while living like the unchurched. In my early 20's that included drinking and looking for love in all the wrong places. It was one night, when I was 25, in early 1994 that I was drunk. Drinking tequila, I was the drunkest I had ever been, when the Holy Spirit descended upon me, and reminded me of the scriptures, that say do no get drunk (Eph. 5:18). I immediately knew that the life I was leading was not the life that God had for me. It was time that I stopped playing church and get real about my relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ.
I got home around 2 or 3 and crashed on the couch, not making it to the bed. Bright and early (about 8) that morning I woke up and I knew I had to get myself to church for the first time in weeks. To my surprise, despite the amount of tequila I had consumed, I didn't seem to have a hangover. A fact that I can only attribute to God.
Still it was later that week, while watching the 700 Club, that I actually bowed my knees and prayed with Pat Robertson, to God asking Him to wash away my sins.
God's Moving Me Into MinistryWhat happened next was life changing. I spent much of '94 allowing God to change me. One of the first things that was totally opposite of my previous character, was an acquaintance that I used to work with, and that was now showing up at church was homeless. I felt the Lord tell me to invite him into my house. At first there was some resisting to this, but God had an answer to every rebuttal that I tried to make.
When the Lord told me to invite him to stay with me, I told Him that I didn't have a bed for him. The Lord responded by tell me to go to this one neighbors house and ask them for a bed. At this point I immediately stopped what I was doing and walked across the ally and knocked on this particular neighbors back door. I told them what I was looking for and found that that they had a bed that they would give me, but it didn't have a mattress. I knew the Lord could provide this and I followed the elderly man into his basement to look at what he had. To my surprise it was an antique metal bed with the metal coils. All I needed to find was the mattress. What a blessing! I gladly accepted it and began looking in the newspaper classifieds for a mattress (most of which were $10). I seen one ad for a twin mattress, that I felt impressed upon that I should call, but ignored that thought. After all I needed a full (double) mattress. So after feeding several quarters into the payphone calling about all these double mattresses that had already been sold, I finally called about the twin that God had already told me to call. Rationalizing that a mattress partially covering the bed coils was better then none.
When the man running the ad answered I found that he was a pastor and that the twin mattress he had advertised had been been rained on and ruined. What he said next though stunned me and caused me to wonder why I hadn't just listened to God in the first place. He told me that he did have a full size mattress, if that would help me. What a gracious God, that was the exact size I actually needed. As I accepted that offer, I told him the story of how God was working. He even agreed to deliver it for me as I didn't have a car and I paid him the $10 upon delivery again joyfully telling the story how God provided through an ad that I thought wasn't an ad I needed to even bother calling.
Over the course of that year I ended up with three homeless people in my little one bedroom bungalow and by years end I was being led by God to move to Chicago and go to work for a ministry in the inner-city where I stayed for two years before returning to Kansas.
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