I'm going to be intellectual for awhile in this appendix. Eisenhower defined an intellectual as, "...a man who takes more words than necessary to tell more than he knows."
What I am including in this section may be just that.
In light of the comments made in this work concerning pastors and their
working in secular work I feel that this section may be of help to the
PRINCIPLES FOR VIEWING MATERIAL THINGS,
IN LIGHT OF YOUR PROBABLE LOW PAYING MINISTRIES
- OR -
HOW TO ENJOY HAMBURGER 555 WAYS.
When in college we helped produce a college students cookbook designed
for the poor wife that had to figure out how to fix the hamburger tonight.
I might add that the wives were very inventive. The college was given a
truck load of Scooter Pies (chocolate covered graham cracker and marshmallow).
After awhile they were trying to decide how to fix scooter pies in a tasty
manner. We ate them for breakfast, lunch and dessert for supper.
These are just some thoughts and illustrations that might help you to
understand, how some believers chose to live, and it may challenge your
own life now, or in the future.
One of the frustrations of my early Christian life was the lack of help
I had been given in knowing how to live the Christian life. I stumbled
and faltered my way through until I finally found some answers. The area
of finances was a real problem to me at times, for I had some ideas of
what God wanted, but I was constantly hearing "experts" in money telling
me that I was doing it all wrong. I hope that some of what I teach will
help you avoid some of the frustration and confusion that I had to go through.
You will all come to a place where you need to make some real commitments
to the Lord in the area of finance. This study is not to show how spiritual
I am nor is it meant to shoot how other people live their financial lives
before the Lord. I know many people who live according to similar principles
and don't feel there is anything special about themselves other than possibly
in the area of their commitment.
God has chosen to deal with Faith and I as He has, and I have decided
to walk as I have, with the full discussion and assistance of my wife.
We are in agreement concerning how we live and enjoy it as is.
I want to illustrate these principles so you have some practical guide
to go by if you ever need to use them.
I might introduce these thoughts with a reminder of the widow and her two mites. She was one of the last illustrations that Christ gave to
the disciples before his death. You should note as you consider her
offering, that it was all that she had. She could have saved half for food,
but she didn't. Do you suppose she had heard Christ tell the followers
not to worry about what the morrow shall bring. She gave till she was forced
to live by faith in the Lord's provision. Can you imagine how many missionaries
we could send out if all Christians began to practice that philosophy of
Principle one: Be a good steward - as directed by God.
Not as directed by someone else. You get on your knees and see what
God wants for you!
Stewardship may mean investing to some. I disagree if you are looking to save up for rainy days. If God gives us an overabundance we usually find places to put it. If we don't have needs, we try to find others that do. We try to share what we have with others. If we have an abundance of food we invite people over to share it while we fellowship. If we don't have extra food we still invite people for the fellowship. It isn't wrong to have someone in your home without food,
though with food is more fun!
Principle two: Always be willing to give up all you have to move to
another ministry, or to another place of residence if the Lord should lead
you to do it. For that matter be willing to give up all you have if the
Lord should lead you to do so.
We have sold all we could sell several times to finance the trips cross country to college and to ministries. One time we sold everything we wanted to get rid of and loaded the trailer. The next day we headed to the next town where our in-laws lived and found that our car did not have enough power to pull the trailer. We drove in 2nd gear for 40 miles. We backed up to their garage - unloaded everything and began sorting the essentials from the non-essentials. We began a large pile of stuff that we wanted to leave and decided that we should give it away. We called the pastor and asked him to contact needy families and send them over. WE MADE THEIR DAY - AND I MIGHT ADD HE MADE OUR DAY!!!
We really enjoyed seeing those folks get some of the things they needed.
We reloaded with about half the stuff and continued on the next day. Miss
the stuff? Some we have missed at times, but those things we really needed
we always had the finances to replace them when we needed them. For the
most part it was non-essentials that we left.
We have always felt that our belongings were for conversion into cash
if we had need. We have sold many things at many different times to make
up where the bankbook left off.
It has been interesting at times to consider the things that we absolutely
could not sell. We for five years tried to sell our piano at a very good
price. There were no takers. We did finally sell it when we were selling
everything that we could so that we could make a move. That particular
move was very expensive and our income was interrupted for a sizable time.
The money from the piano carried us through those incomeless days.
We have never suffered from having sold anything. There are times when
we wish we had such and such but we have either replaced it or done well
It has been fun to see how the replacements of things we wanted to replace
came about. When it came time to replace, quite often the only thing in
our price range was something on sale that was much better quality than
what we had sold.
We started our college days with a $10 stereo amplifier and a very poor
am/fm tuner. The next one was a stereo that didn't work that was given
to me in about 100 pieces in a cardboard box. I was able to repair it and
we sold it later for a sizable price. We sold and replaced many times with
very little cash outlay over what we sold the old one for and today we
have a 30 watt AM/FM tuner amp and speakers that are worth more than $400.
We paid very little for it. By the way we have tried to sell that outfit
many times and couldn't.
Principle three: Always be willing to give of your prizes as He leads.
I became interested in coin collecting in the 80's when the silver and
gold prices were low. I was not selective in coins that I purchased, but
bought those that caught my interest and those that might increase in value.
I had quite a collection of neat coins gathered together. I was becoming
quite attached to them because they were so very interesting.
One day the silver prices started going wild. I watched the market and
decided not to buy any more silver coins. As the market went up I decided
that to own silver coins was foolish. There was no way that I could collect
them on our budget, so had been thinking about selling them.
One day at church a friend mentioned he wanted prayer for their finances.
He was due to register for seminary shortly, and had to come up with several
hundred dollars to pay off the preceding semesters bill in order to register.
Faith and I wanted to help but had no money. The coins crossed my mind
so we discussed it and went for it. We had no idea what we could raise
in the way of money, but decided anything we could do would be a help.
I packed up all the coins and headed for the coin store. The silver
price was up even more than before. The man totalled up all that was before
him and he gave me the figure. I told him to give me the cash.
The total was enough to pay the seminary bill plus enough to reimburse
us for all that we had invested in the coins. The very next day the silver
Principle four: If you are offered free insurance or retirement benefits,
it would be sensible to accept them.
This may be the method by which God is going to provide for you.
We have had this come up several times in our lives. We have seen God
provide for medical needs and dental needs through free and very inexpensive
insurance. Faith worked for Penneys and they offered med/dental insurance
for the family for under $15 a month. We opted for it and received benefits
far above the premium, in care.
He does not always provide in that way. We had an emergency a few years
ago that cost more than $2000 and took me away from work for a couple of
months. We had no insurance and little income. Would you believe that the
Lord was able to handle it? He provided through a good job after the time
off, that gave us enough to live on and pay on the bill. He also provided
through a good church that helped in many ways.
YOU DO ALL THAT YOU CAN AND GOD WILL FILL IN THE GAP!
I was offered a retirement plan that was totally free. I was planning
on being in the area only three years and it would not have benefits for
five years so I told my Jewish boss no thanks and told him why I thought
that it would be unnecessary. He said, "Stan you don't know how long you
will be here so you sign it." I signed it, and we were in the area for
seven or eight years.
When I left the company they informed me we would receive two checks over the next few months, but they didn't know how much they would be.
We moved away and found that we had some large needs when we arrived
at our new ministry. The first check arrived and it was for over $1000,
and it took care of the needs. See, God can provide our needs, at times
eight years before we know about them. The second check was around $800.
All that for a signature. Anyone want to make me an offer like that today?
Principle five: Keep your eyes on God, and not everyone else's paycheck.
I GUARANTEE THAT THIS WILL BE A MAJOR JOB! Realize that God deals in
different ways with different people. He may chose to put you through the
mill and some one else on easy street.
During our first year of college we were eating pancakes to many times
a day. We were really in a bad way. One day in chapel they opened a time
for testimonies. One of the Sophomores stood and told that he had gotten
a job at a grocery store and that the boss was giving him a good wage and
told him that he wanted to provide all his groceries for the rest of his
Yes, I was wondering why him and not US! God needed to teach me through
that testimony time that He does as He wills. The pancakes still filled
us and so we went on for a time.
Principle six: In particular situations seek all info - figure - think
- pray - decide.
You must use the wisdom that God gives to you when you ask in accordance
with James 1.
At times it is wise to wait. At times it is wise to move quickly - let
God tell you which one.
We needed a car in a very bad way at one time. We had prayed and the
Lord had given us $200 toward a car. We were looking and praying. We found
several possibilities, all of which seemed good and affordable. We did
not have peace about any of the cars. We waited and prayed. We waited for
over a month with this looking and seeking and no peace.
Finally, I told Faith that I thought that we should go back to our hometown
and see what we could find. I called my father to ask him to begin looking
around for us. He picked up the phone and we went through the hi, how are
you routine, and before I mentioned anything about cars, he said, "By the
way Stan, could you and Faith use a car if it was free?" Naturally, I told
him we weren't interested. HA! We went back to pick it up and it was unbelievable.
The car was a former highway patrol interceptor and believe me, a neat
car! We drove the car for some time, free of charge!
By the way we have had three cars given to us over the years that have
given a total of around 150,000 miles. Two of them came from people that
had no idea that we needed them.
On the other hand we have driven cars that belonged in junk yards, because
that is what the Lord had provided. One we had burned oil so bad that when
you stopped at a stoplight and the sun was shinning you could see this
cloud rolling from under the hood. I used to sit in total embarrassment
when we got caught on a red light. However, we drove that car for over
a year and a car dealer gave us $250 for it when the Lord provided another.
Principle seven: If you find that you have an excess of money and you
usually are broke, don't go out and spend it immediately, unless you have
the Lord's direction that you should.
Many times in our lives we have been given large sums of money - get
all excited about how we were going to use it, and find out in a few days
that the car needed a set of tires, or the daughter needs teeth pulled,
or the wife is in the hospital, or what ever God may have provided it for.
At other times the Lord just enjoys making a bright spot in your day.
Principle eight: God promises to meet our needs. I assume that is a
I will warn you that trusting in this promise gets harder as your age
increases. As the poor health years approach and the possible need to stop
ministering due to health approaches all sorts of worry can set in. This
was especially real to me when we moved to Cheyenne, WY and could not find
work of any sort for some weeks. Then as I worked at my part time janitorial
job, I really wondered about the wisdom of not having had a savings account,
paid for home and an IRA.
Just another thought: As you reach retirement consider - God has provided
your needs for 65 years and didn't go broke so 15 to 20 more years shouldn't
strain Him too much.
Principle nine: Give as you are able and as God directs.
We've attempted never to go below a tenth, and have given at times as
much as 50%.
There were times when we felt that the Lord would have us really skimp
in our own lives and give heavily to help missions. These have been usually
brief periods of time. I have often wondered if He was just interested
in seeing if we would do it. There are other ways of giving as well. There
are material things that can be given to missionaries.
We had an electronic keyboard for a number of years. We never used it
and had it out at every garage sale that came along at a ridiculously low
price. During a missions conference a man ministering in South America
mentioned they used them in Brazil. My brain lit up! A way to get rid of
that thing in the closed that is always covered with dust. God had a place
for it and He just asked the Dericksons to keep it dusted.
Principle ten: Watch and enjoy how God decides to provide for you!
God has a good sense of humor and timing. I had a professor in graduate
school that took most of a class period to tell us that God does not provide
for students through the mail box. Now, I don't know of many students that
have not at one time or another gained great financial help through their
mail box. It is just one of the ways that God works with Bible school students.
God does do great things through mailboxes!
True we should not sit on our duffs waiting for the bucks to fall, but at the same time God gives through the mailbox at times.
I do not fault this faculty member, because he was formerly a banker
that had never had any reason to live by faith. He always had the money
and always controlled it well.
After this long session on the practical aspects of money, I was in
the library and one of the students asked me if I agreed with the professor.
I said that I didn't and shared some of the times when the Lord had supplied
through the mail box. He had been very concerned that he was in error,
because the Lord gave money to him at times through the mail box.
I didn't think to much more about it. We were preparing to make a major
move cross country and had decided we would need around $2000 for a different
car and trailer expenses. We hadn't really been praying about the money
yet because we hadn't done any exact figuring.
That day when I went home for lunch I stopped for the mail and found
a letter with a check in it. $2000. The next day I sat down by the student
and said, "Say, do you know what I found in my mailbox just after we talked
yesterday?" When he said no, I slid the check out of my checkbook enough
for him to see the amount.
God provides in many ways, so don't try to box Him in even though He
likes mail boxes.
There is one other area that I might mention. Debt or credit.
1. It costs dearly. On one account we had we paid a payment of $22.00
per month and the interest was $18.37 per month.
2. It is very handy to have at times.
3. It can be a trap.
4. It is not against scripture to borrow.
a. Romans 13 mentions owe no man anything. If you are current, you don't
technically owe. When you are delinquent in your payment, then you owe.
b. The Old Testament has laws of usury or interest and it was all right
to loan and to borrow.
5. If you never borrow you will be the better for it. It is spending
what you don't have, and that is never best.
6. A guide: If the benefit of the item purchased is more than the finance
charge, then you will profit from it. (You would profit more if you paid
7. If you know someone in debt don't give them a guilt trip. I became
sick of guilt trips years ago, when the super saints felt we shouldn't
be in debt. At that time we shouldn't have been, but we realized it after
the fact, and the guilt trips helped very little.
We have always tried to stay debt free, but at times take on debt.
Most people who are against debt own homes that are financed. That is
debt even if they call it an investment. Most make payments on cars as
You let God lead you in your decisions. Gather facts - pray - think
- plan - pray and follow Him.
These are just some thoughts that I have jotted down and I'm not sure
that the Derickson family has always functioned under these principles
as we should have.
These are set forth for your consideration and not as a teaching of
scripture. I believe they are based on the Bible and what God would have
us do, however these are convictions and decisions that you need to make
with your mate and your God!
1. Don't expect this type of answers to your prayers.
God is far to inventive to answer yours as he has ours. Indeed, He seldom
answers my prayers like I think He might.
2. We dropped all life insurance in the 60's due to several reasons:
a. We were broke and owed $6000.
b. We decided that God can take care of Faith without my help if I should
die before she does.
c. We felt that this would be more in keeping with the thought of living
by faith and laying up treasures in heaven.
3. Some time ago a student asked me if we saved money, and I sidestepped
the question. My answer? HA!
At times we have put extra aside toward some project or some need that
we knew that was coming. Usually and normally we do not put money away.
In recent years due to our income we have not had reason to consider it.
As far as retirement goes, I am trusting that the Lord will keep me
active until He decides I should go home. We did not opt out of Social
Security as some ministers do, because I could not in good conscience sign
the statement. The statement declares that you feel that it is against
your belief system.
If Social Security fails before I get to the retirement age I will not
be totally surprised, nor heart broken. God can use other means than the
United States government to support us. INDEED, the United States government
may not be here when I'm 65. God has brought about changes that most would
have deemed impossible in 1987 in the Eastern Block. Don't put your stock
in the institutions of this world for they rise and fall, but put your
stock in the Lord - He never changes.
Many lost loads of money when the Savings and Loan scandal hit. Some
will never recover their losses. You cannot really plan for the future.
We have some older friends that had sold a business and invested very wisely.
They had planned for a set amount to live on and a set amount to give on
a monthly basis to the Lord through missions when they retired. The economy
did some strange things after they retired and they are not living as they
had planned. The Lord has supplied and they live nicely and still give
according to what they have but it is not what they had planned.
Do not put your trust in what you can do, save, accomplish, for God may well have other plans for you. Plan to the best of your ability with wisdom from the Lord and allow Him to do the rest.
I trust that this has not been to boring.
I also trust that it has been a time of uplifting the Lord and His watchful
care over us.
In closing, do not tell people this is what I teach as the proper way
to live. You consider it and see if you feel it is Biblical and if it is,
apply it to yourself, and then teach others.
One last point. These principles came about over a period of years.
I didn't just up and one day institute them in our lives. They are things
that Faith and I have discussed and considered before the Lord, and decided
we wanted to be a part of our life together.
Part of all this is that God has always chosen to keep us on short accounts
financially. It is easy to live by these principles in that circumstance.
Give us a million dollars, and I have no idea how we would apply these
You do the very best you can using what God has given you to work with.
You care for your family as you can. If you can't care for them like you
want, or like others think you should, don't worry about it. God knows
what He's given you to work with - He is your master not others.