In March, 2020 I signed up for an e-mail newsletter by @chroniclesofnate on Twitter. You’re first reaction to looking at his profile wouldn’t be that he’s a pastor, but he is. He also takes you on a journey every day with his tweets. A journey to church; but, not a religious one. I’m talking about the Church of Money.
Like a heathen, I knew the knowledge was available, but I didn’t listen to the financial word. I ignored the e-mails, glazed over the tweets and continued to allow my finances to sit stranded out in the hot, arid wastes that now consume the once prosperous city of Babylon. The course I purchased from him in June, Holy Shift, continues to act as a better dust collector than the pivot I wanted it to be.
That leads me to yesterday, when I reached out via direct message and told him that I would get started. I wasn’t looking for permission to start or anything, I just thought I’d put it into the universe that I needed a change – a shift if you’re so inclined. Considering I feel like I needed divine intervention to get start – it’s convenient that his course is named Holy Shift. Just by “confessing my sins” about not starting, there’s a little bit of guilt attached to it. That guilt got me here, today, working on it.
My plan is simple:
- Go through all his e-mails and action the items to the best of my ability. This includes reading “the Richest Man in Babylon”.
- Complete the Holy Shift Course.
- Write about my experiences here.
I’ll go through his e-mails and the chaperts, pull out any quotes or ideas I find helpful or interesting and post them here. Considering this website started as a way for me to note my ideas and the things I’ve come across, this is a great place to start.
This first e-mail focuses on the forward, note from the study guide and to the reader. I didn’t get the study guide, but the information was summarized nicely in the e-mail. Long story short: money is a tool. It makes things happen. It’s plentiful – if you understand the rules around it. I don’t – that’s why i’m here on this journey.
Nate says in his e-mail: “Some people see money as evil; it is not. It is a tool that can be used for good or evil. A nation full of good people that have wealth is a much better country than a nation full of good people who have no wealth.“
Here are the 7 cures for a lean purse, that Nate outlined for me:
- Start thy purse to fattening.
- Control thy expenditures.
- Make thy gold multiply.
- Guard thy treasures from loss.
- Make of thy dwelling a profitable investment.
- Insure a future income.
- Increase thy ability to earn.
I won’t comment on them yet. We’re asked to read them and come to our own understanding first. Then, as we go through the book, we’ll explore and expand on them.
The second e-mail focuses on Chapter 1 – A Historical Sketch of Babylon – which gives us an idea of what Babylon was like. Nate’s friend describes this area today like this:
“Yuma is barren, hot, dry, and had a blinding horizon. I do not remember seeing clouds, but the sand had a lot of iron in it. While I was there, it was over 100 degrees during the day and cooled off to the high 80s or low 90s at night. I would never voluntarily live there.”
Despite this, the area flourished during the Babylonian times. It was the wealthiest city, with fertile soil and river water. By leveraging these assets by digging canals and building dams, the Babylonians were able to create an area full of abundance. It takes time to build these systems and I think that’s the purpose of the chapter – to remind you that it takes time to build things. When they’re neglected, like Babylon eventually was, it falls to ruins.
Here are a few questions that we’re asked in the e-mail to consider and my thoughts about my current situation today.
“What do I have working for me?” I wanted to say nothing, but that’s not true. I have a bread pan that makes making loaves of bread easier and I sell, very rarely, my bread to others. Outside of that, I don’t really have any assets working for me.
“When we look at our lives, what assets are working for us?” Does goodwill count? Basically, our family has a great relationship which means that we at least have people in our lives that can pick us up when we are down. My children’s grandparents are involved and live close, so having someone to take care of the kids when we need a break or have something come up is probably the only assets we really have working for us.
“What assets do we not have?” I could write too much here. I have debt which works against me – so my money isn’t making me money. I don’t have investments. I did, but we’re cashing them out to get out of debt. My personal health isn’t so great, I can move around and stuff but i’m over-weight, eat like crap and I’m not always with it mentally. I lack some self-control and purpose.
“What systems can we develop to produce a richer life, land, and culture?” Habits that move me forward, not back. Sacrifice. Systems for the mind, body and soul. Better parenting skills. Reading. Systems that are built around making things happen rather than allowing things to happen to me.
Babylon fell because of Pride – a king who thought he could do whatever he wanted. Instead of using his defensive strength, he went on the offense against a warlike king and was defeated. Maybe that’s why I’m stuck where I am – pride. Maybe that’s why I often feel miserable – pride.
I always thought of myself as above average. While I was young, I always achieved great things in whatever I did, like scouting and, cadets. I told myself while graduating high-school that I’d be a millionaire someday, have my own business and all that. I also said I’d have abs. I have a prideful view of myself and I’m always mentally holding onto that great version of myself and comparing myself to him.
So, I’m uncomfortable in saying I’ve failed and by ignoring what I should do, I don’t have to draw any attention to it. We’re asked in the email what our fertile soil is: maybe it’s Pride. That pride trips me up a lot, but it’s also the reason that I have accomplished things. It’s a double-edged sword – tainted fertile soil. It produces good results sometimes, but sometimes the crop just makes you sick.
Nate encourages us to look at our abilities and see how we can use them to irrigate our own Babylon. What I do know about me is that there is a stubborn pride, it’s just unfocused. I know that, when I do focus, I achieve. When I set my mind to something and action it relentlessly, I can make it happen.
What I choose to take away from this is that I have irrigation canals, they’re just all clogged up with garbage and I’ve lacked the motivation to clean them. Step 1 stop putting off all the things I know I should do. Stop letting all the knowledge I’ve got decompose in my inbox.
Action those e-mails. Finish those course. Make those tweets. Eat that good food. Get more sleep. Read more. Exercise more. Meditate. Build better relationships. Separate the fear of judgement from my pride. Keep the stubbornness and use it to move forward.