Tumbling down

Crystal champagne flutes clinked amid conversation on the terrace of the country club where lights twinkled in the trees. We’d taken Luann’s parents to dinner where, following a round of toasts, my mother-in-law slipped her arm around me.“I’m so proud of you,” she said. I smiled, but in truth I almost passed out.“That means a lot coming from you,” I replied, giving her a quick hug.I joined the conversation and laughed at good natured ribbing, but my mind scrambled to make sense of my mother-in-law.

She’d despised me for years, and hadn’t been shy about sharing those feelings.I’d always thought that she would never approve of me because I wasn’t Frank. But that hadn’t been the case. All it took to win her approval was to be as rich as Midas.Who knew?

My brother-in-law, an engineer for Mobile, had come to work for me, which helped spread the goodwill. I now had 30 employees working in the office and was making more money than I knew how to spend, although in all honesty, we gave it our best effort.I never wondered what would happen if the oil bubble burst. Men like Robert, who’d been in the industry for years, had learned to survive through the markets ups and downs. As an owner, this was my first rodeo. Although I understood the business and was good at it, I’d never experienced a major downturn in the price of oil and gas.

When dealing in commodities, the price is in constant flux. Those changes have to be factored into your equation. Had I run the business in a smaller way and been happy with a good living instead of extreme wealth, we would have weathered the coming storm.But that’s not the way I did things.Which meant that I was unprepared when the market turned. Older and wiser men knew to avoid debt and keep multiple millions of dollars in reserve.I wasn’t older and wiser.I was young and cocky.I never saw it coming.

I’d bought massive amounts of inventory – on credit – when the market turned. It only took two or three weeks before I was upside down. I’d built up a huge cash flow, so although I was losing money at warp speed, it was hard to detect.I felt like I was on a broken elevator in a high rise – free falling so fast my stomach was in my throat.“Listen,” my brother-in-law said, “I’ve made a huge mistake and we’re in serious trouble. You’re not making any money and you can’t continue on this way.”

That evening I read an industry magazine which reported that Exxon was floating checks and the attorney general was determined to stop them. Their plan seemed ingenious to me. They had their account receivables on one coast and their account payable on the other. When they paid their bills, there wasn’t sufficient funds to cover the checks. With receivables on the opposite coast, it gave them time to get money into the account before the check hit the bank.Thus, floating checks.I can do that.

I knew it wasn’t a long-term solution but hoped it would buy some time until the market improved. I set up my payables on the east coast and my receivables on the west coast.
It worked.I got way out there, floating millions of dollars. Then Bank of America started sending my checks back. One morning I got a call from them asking me to come in for a meeting.
I stepped into a plush office where two of the head honchos awaited me. We shook hands and made small talk for a few minutes before getting down to business. The bank president didn’t mince words.“You’re playing the float.”“No,” I said locking eyes with him, “I’m not.”Everyone in the room knew I was lying.

I left the meeting and called my brother-in-law, telling him what they’d said. “Make this look good,” I ordered.“I’m not cooking your books! If this goes down, you’re in big trouble!”
Everything was falling apart. My creditors were getting nervous and asking questions. Now that I finally had the money to keep up with Frank’s legal fees, I couldn’t just watch it all go down the tube. Hanco was hemorrhaging money and I couldn’t pay my bills. I was desperate.One Saturday morning, I called my brother-in-law. “Tell me what to do and I’ll cook the books.”
He heaved a sigh. “I’ll do it.”

The Bible is clear that lying is a sin and is displeasing to God. The first sin in this world involved a lie told to Eve. The Ten Commandments given to Moses includes “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor” (Exodus 20:16).

In the early church, Ananias and Sapphira lied regarding a donation in order to make themselves look more generous than they really were. Peter’s rebuke is stern: “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit?” God’s judgment was sterner: the couple died as a result of their sin of lying. Source

StevieRay Hansen

Evil men don’t understand the importance of justice, but those who follow the Lord are much concerned about it. ~ Proverbs 28:5

Jesus come quick, there is nothing left in society that’s sacred….

It is impossible to find anyone in the Bible who was a power for God who did not have enemies and was not hated.

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