Happy New Year!  Hardly seems possible another year has come and gone.  (How many times will I write 2008, instead of 2009?)  A new year is a time to reflect on the past and plan for the future. 

As we reflect on the past year, the one thing that is often mentioned is the down turn in the economy.  In view of that I would like to share the following with you.  I have seen it published in various places over the years. 

In 1928 there was a meeting of the world’s most successful financiers. They met at the Edgewater Beach Hotel in Chicago. The following were present:

- The president of the largest utility company,

- The greatest wheat speculator,

- The president of the New York Stock Exchange,

- A member of the President’s Cabinet,

- The greatest “bear” in Wall Street,

- The president of the Bank of International Settlements,

- The head of the world’s greatest monopoly.

Collectively, these tycoons controlled more wealth than there was in the U.S. Treasury.  Their lives were touted as successful and held up as examples for the coming generation to follow. 

Twenty-five years later, listen to what happened to each of these powerful and successful men.

- The president of the largest independent steel company, Charles Schwab, lived on borrowed money the last five years of his life and died broke.

- The greatest wheat speculator, Arthur Cutten, died oversees, insolvent.

- The president of the New York Stock Exchange, Richard Whitney, served a term in Sing Sing Prison.

- The member of the President’s Cabinet, Albert Fall, was pardoned from prison so he could die at home.

- The greatest “bear” in Wall Street, Jesse Livermore, committed suicide.

- The president of the Bank of International Settlements, Leon Fraser, committed suicide.

- The head of the world’s greatest monopoly, Ivar Drueger, committed suicide as well.

Is money and success the final solution to our problems?  Is this the way you would like things to turn out?  What happens when success is gone and the economy fails? 

James Hewett commented, “All of these men had learned how to make money, but not one of them had learned how to live.”

Far more important than what we HAVE is who we ARE, and even more importantly, WHOSE we are.  Your finances and the economy may fail you, but your faith in Jesus Christ can carry you through the most difficult times of life.  Regardless what happens this coming year, hold tightly to your faith in God.  He never fails.