My thoughtful and wonderful wife (49 years and counting!) came up with a great birthday surprise for me this year. She was inspired to invite friends and family to not only send greetings, but to also share what my life and friendship had meant to them. My son Matthew suggested they also extend the invitation to our web members, and the SMI staff conspired to make it happen.
When I opened my gift box, there were a few hundred emails and notes wishing me a "Happy Birthday" and briefly sharing their stories. Susie and I had a wonderful time reading through them!
I'd like to share some of the comments with you. I hope they will serve as an encouragement to those in the SMI family who have, for whatever reasons, not yet begun to apply our biblically based instruction and guidelines to their personal situations. It takes a little work to dig in, but if you'll make the effort, perhaps next year at this time you'll have a story of your own to tell!
- We have been readers for years, and the constant reminder of truth every month has impacted our lives so much! For all the help your investing advice has been, the consistent reminders of our place as stewards of all that God has entrusted us with have been even more valuable. – S.N.
- My wife and I are missionaries, and we were introduced to SMI by another missionary. We've followed the plan for six years and God blessed us so much. We were faithful in saving, and God used SMI to multiply what we had into a sizable down payment for a house. We are amazed at how God did this through SMI. – D.S.
- SMI has had a dramatic influence on our lives and family tree! We have learned so much over the past few years. Thank you a million times for all you do to support the efforts of families trying to live more godly financial and Christian lives. – J.G.
- Because of your ideas and inspiration, I have been able to retire at the ripe old age of 63. I cannot begin to tell you how many times I have "stayed the course" and stuck to my plan in the midst of chaos, primarily because of your wise counsel. – G.S.
- We started subscribing to your newsletter when we were 45 and had $350,000 to invest. This year we'll turn 60 with $2,200,000. More importantly, with your encouragement we're giving a little over 20% of our gross income to our church and various ministries. Never would have happened without you! – D.R.
- The main blessings I have received from my association with SMI include the biblical insight into God's plan for our resources, the biblical wisdom in handling money and dealing with debt. I believe this also strengthened my marriage because my wife saw the SMI materials, read many of the articles, and that gave her a peace that I was acting responsibly. – T.M.
- Several years ago a friend started a men's financial group meeting monthly. We meet monthly and probably spend half of the time discussing info and experience given to us from SMI. You have been a very special blessing to us and many others. – P.P.
- Thank you for all of the excellent investing advice you have written over the 10+ years I have been reading SMI. My husband and I are debt free, including our home, and have increased our giving from 10% to 15%. It is such a joy to be able to do this. You have truly helped us to become cheerful givers. – L.F.
- Back in the day I did all my own investing because I had my NASD and SEC licenses. When I retired I decided to give SMI a try with about 20% of my portfolio. I gradually surrendered more and more to SMI. Now 15 years later, SMI has it all thanks to the fantastic success of your strategies! – T.M.
- Being church planters, there just hadn't been much in the way of retirement savings. But in the last few years, we have been educated through your newsletter. We see SMI as part of God's faithfulness to us as we've ministered. – E.O.
- In great part due to your sound guidance and generosity in gifting books (The Treasure Principle, among others), we continue to increase our giving and set a larger goal each year. SMI has encouraged us to invest with the kingdom/eternity in mind. – M.J.
- I have really been blessed by your newsletter and the many articles you print showing God's heart. They have been instrumental in changing my life and have influenced my family as well. The Lord has surely blessed us! – S.E.
I thank each person who took the time to write. Every note was read and appreciated! It's Thanksgiving season, and one of the many blessings for which Susie and I and our staff are thankful to the Lord for is this wonderful ministry He's given us. We're very grateful that it's been so helpful to so many.