I stood beside the bed of a friend as the doctor's and nurses frantically worked to keep him alive. They had put unit after unit of blood into his body, but as they were putting the blood in, he continued to bleed out. His clotting factor was so low due to the blood thinners he had been on that a relatively minor surgery now had his life in peril. Thankfully, due to the dedicated work of doctors and nurses they stopped the bleeding and he lived.

In business and in churches a flow of finances is essential to the continued operation and success of the organization. The simple fact is that if there is more going out than there is coming in, then Houston, we have a problem. There are two ways to deal with the financial shortfall: first, increase the in-flow of money, and second, decrease the out-flow. Or a combination of these two.

God has blessed me with the ability to quickly scan the financial situation of an institution and to get a feel for the incoming and the outgoing. I almost always approach the problem from two fronts, both looking for ways to increase the income while at the same time finding and eliminating waste.

In an economy when many churches have felt the pinch, our church has had a strong summer of giving, while at the same time we have tightened our belts. We've had some emergencies come up with air-conditioners failing and such, but thankfully we've been able to match every emergency without having to borrow or beg.

In our own homes and personal finances we need to do the same. Everyone should have a realistic budget and should endeavor to live by that budget. It may mean tightening our belts, but we can survive financial upheaval in our economy if we make wise and God directed decisions.