Friday, June 26, 2009

Our founding fathers and principles of Christianity

The following article was written by Chuck Bentley, CEO of Crown Financial Ministries. I feel called to share this with you in its entirety. Please read it to its’ conclusion. I'd love to hear your thoughts, so please send me feedback via the blog or email.

233 years after the Declaration, our freedom is at risk

“As they penned their names in the summer of 1776, the 56 signers of the Declaration of Independence noted their “firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence” and pledged to each other their lives, fortunes, and sacred honor.

Their words illustrated the enormity of the sacrifices they might be required to make and their dependence on God’s help for the success of their cause. Victory would require nothing short of a miracle. America’s poorly trained Continental Army was outnumbered three to one by the British and their German mercenaries.

Years after America’s miraculous victory in that war, John Adams said that the “general principles on which the fathers achieved independence were the general principles of Christianity.” Adams was among the signers of the Declaration of Independence alon with men like Benjamin Franklin and Benjamin Rush.

Franklin said that Jesus’ system of morals and religion is “the best the world ever saw or is likely to see.” And Rush noted that the U.S. Constitution was “as much the work of a Divine Providence as any of the miracles recorded in the Old and New Testament”

These are just a small sample of the statements confirming the Christian worldview of our founding fathers and their dependence on God. They understood the need for divine protection and provision – something we must never forget if we hope to experience God’s continued blessing on our nation.

Because our foundations were built upon honoring God, He made our nation great. Our prosperity was a gift. We made a practice of rewarding merit, and the practice helped fuel continued progress. And, we became one of the most well-ordered societies in history.

Instead of looking to God, many Americans are now looking to man and human wisdom for solutions to the ongoing financial crisis. The majority appears open to more government intervention and control, consequently limiting the freedom we have enjoyed, which has allowed our creativity and innovation to flourish.

Today, on many levels, we have shunned God. We have taken his blessings of prosperity and made them a higher priority than Him. Our drive to preserve our national and individual prosperity is leading us to bigger government with more controls over the private sector and dependence upon foreign credit.

The same events that would have led us to fall on our knees and ask for God’s help now cause us to seek help from Washington. This help is extremely costly, and as a result, we’ll be adding trillions of dollars to our national debt over the next 10 years.

These massive government deficits must be covered by taxing Americans, borrowing from other nations, or printing more money. Tax increases hurt the economy and cost jobs, borrowing makes us dependent on nations like China, and printing more money devalues our currency and causes inflation.

All of these tactics are misguided attempts to restore prosperity and good times, and they will all result in less freedom and potentially, future bondage. President Obama was recently quoted as saying that our federal debt is “unsustainable” and that we are “mortgaging our children’s future.”

I believe there is a great urgency for God’s people to turn back, to reset our dependence on God rather than on man and man’s wisdom. However, this won’t happen unless we are willing to live a life of obedience to our Lord. Our example is Christ, who gave up much in order to fulfill God’s purposes for this world. Paul examined our Lord’s unselfish attitudes in Philippians 2.

He then addressed us as believers, encouraging us to obey God “with deep reverence and fear” (verse 12 NLT) to be effective, we must “Live clean, innocent lives as children of God, shining like bright lights in a world full of crooked and perverse people” (verse 15 NLT)

This means we must order our lives according to the principles of God’s economy, not man’s. We must reset our dependence upon those principles and make God, not His blessings, the object of tour our in the life. I too say, let us pledge to God our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor and live in firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence.

Considering the current course of events in our nation, we cannot afford to wait. We, and we alone, are the salt and light of America, and what we do in the next few ears could largely determine the course our nation follows for decades.*

We look forward to lending insight to your mortgage and financial needs. Please call us at 913-642-3334 or email us at or Blessings

* Reprinted with permission from Money Matters, a monthly economic magazine published by Crown Financial Ministries, Gainesville, Georgia. July 2009, Issue 376

Friday, June 19, 2009

Ethical Actions

Daily we are all faced with making ethical choices, some more obvious than others. And, as a business owner and manager, I must make on the job decisions that affect the success of the business, my staff and their careers. Success to me is defined by strong values and high integrity and not by dollar signs!

After many years as a mortgage consultant for other companies, (nationally known names) I became increasingly aware of the sometimes not- so- straightforward methods employed by these companies to obtain mortgage loan business. Clients weren’t individual with specific needs, they became a “transaction”, a number to add to the volume closed that month. So, we chose to put our client’s needs first and foremost. Thus, InSight Mortgage Group was founded on the principles of integrity, superior customer service, and biblical principles of stewardship. I am a qualified member, one of three mortgage professionals in the entire country, of Kingdom Advisors. Kingdom Advisors is an organization that equips the financial professional to walk out their faith and biblical principles in the marketplace and to pass along sound financial wisdom to their clients. You can learn more about them at

We’ve promised to deliver the best possible solution to our clients needs even if that means losing the loan. It disturbs us to see what many mortgage companies are continuing to do these days: over promising and under delivering. And in this tough economic climate it’s happening a lot. Typically what happens is a lender quotes a lower rate than the competition, and is charging additional fees and not disclosing them, or hiding them under the guise of other charges. And what impact does this have? First, the client who has just experienced a closing with unexpectedly higher costs, feels trapped at the last minute without other choices and ends with a highly negative attitude and end result. Then, the bad experience reflects poorly back on the industry as a whole, possibly lumping all mortgage consultants together as crooks or liars.

Proverbs 11:18 teaches us: “The wicked man earns deceptive wages, but he who sows righteousness reaps a sure reward.”

We believe in building relationships and have appreciated the repeat business of many clients, and the referral of business from their family, friends and associates. It’s a foundation of trust and the knowledge of being treated with respect and honesty. A mentor and friend, Rick Boxx, said it best, “Selling with integrity can be very difficult. It takes self control and a relational approach, rather than a self-serving transactional approach.”

"Michele is Believer who has based her Mortgage company, Insight Mortgage Group, on all the Christian principles from the Bible, and who does not believe in gouging the clients. In fact, her whole company is based on Christian love and care for each other and making sure that her clients are getting the best deal possible within the Mortgage industry. Of course, just like you, she needs to make a living along the way, but she does not make her living hi-jacking unsuspecting buyers. God rewards his trusted Christian believers for their service and for their honesty and caring of our fellow man." - V. Thomas

There will be daily temptations to give in to greed, take advantage of others, and cut some corners. Stand strong and do what you say you’re going to do, speak honestly, be responsible and accountable for your actions and make good ethical decisions. Let your actions show that you are a person of integrity. Talk is cheap. Do you want to work with someone who talks a good talk but then doesn’t deliver? Remember this one: Actions speak louder than words.

"What I can testify is the fact that Michelle, after many tearful phone calls of desperation, took a clear and unbias look at our situation and clearly explained our options, sure we could refinance or try to move and solve the short term problem. We would have been stuck with a crazy interest rate and a larger monthly payment, and have lost some equity in our home, but in my eyes we would have skipped a house payment, stopped our late pays and late credit reporting, and avoided foreclosure. Michele also gave me some hard words to hear in terms of dealing with our financial situation, it would not be in our best interest, and the amazing part is she put our best interest first in turning our eyes upon the true inner nature of our situation. I know she could have made money off of our unfortunate situation, but she didn't. She gave us some wonderful contacts and advice to dig in and work with our mortgage company to resolve the issue, save our home, and face the bad habits that put us in that situation to begin with. Looking back I am so UNBELIEVABLY thankful we never refinanced and put that bandaid on a quite larger wound. We worked with our mortgage company, had our loan modified, became current with our mortgage, and we learned some hard but awesome life lessons along the way. She will always have our business. And because we learned(and still learning) how to manage and handle our finances, that in turn enables us to move in the near future" E. Hammond

A principle we strive to embody is from Philippians 2:4 "Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others”.

At InSight Mortgage Group we want to help people make good sound choices, ones they can live with today and in the future. Please call us at 913-642-3334 or email us at or for trusted, client-focused answers to your mortgage or financial questions. Blessings

Friday, June 12, 2009


Aren’t we all ready for some good news about the economy, even if it’s a modest dot of light at the end of the tunnel?

Thursday (6/11) saw reports with better than expected results in the retail sales sector and jobless claims, which pushed stocks higher. As consumer spending accounts for about two thirds of our economic activity, investors watch retail sales numbers carefully. This piece of good news has lead to reports that “the recession may be easing” by those in the know on Wall Street.

Another piece needed to put the economy on the road to well being is the recovery in the housing market. And we do have some good signs in that direction as well.

Purchase and refinance applications are remaining steady following a burst of activity the past several months, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association, despite a small uptick in fixed-rate mortgage rates. As of Thursday, the average weekly Freddie Mac rate for a fixed rate 30 year mortgage was 5.59%, which was up from the previous weeks 5.29%, BUT down from a year ago, which was 6.32% .

According to the Federal Reserve’s Beige Book, which reports on real estate transactions,many Federal Reserve districts are seeing an increase in home sales. It's reported that new home construction “appeared to be stabilizing at very low levels”. This increase can be attributed to low interest rates, declining home prices, seasonal factors, and the tax credit now available for many first-time home buyers. (Also noted is a weakening of the commercial real estate market.)

The national media has tended to overlook some recent reports that indicate the housing market could be turning upwards finally. Instead, the focus in on foreclosures and increased delinquency rates. Trying to keep up with all the data and reports available to brokers on rates, activity on loan generation, and real estate sales keeps me hoppin’. We all know we need to focus on what happening in our local marketplace. But, by looking at the overall trend nationally, and at some specific areas, we can get a look at what’s happening on a deeper level than reported on the evening news. Remember, bad news sells more than good news, or gathers more viewers.

Clear Capital just released its Home Data Index report. It shows that within larger troubled markets small pockets of price stabilization are occurring; Cleveland and Sacramento – which are among the hardest hit markets in the US – as examples.It also reports that price declines are continuing, but appear to be slowing down, and especially in the Midwest and South.

The most encouraging signs are coming from the nation’s hardest hit markets, where a turnaround has started. The past three months in the San Francisco-Bay area, American and foreign investors, as well as first time buyers, are snapping up bank-owned properties as soon as they’re listed. And, amazingly, agents are witnessing bidding wars even on short sales according to a recent RISMEDIA report. In February 2008, California’s statewide inventory of unsold homes was a 15.2 months supply, compared to March 2009’s number of 5.8! Historically, a six month supply of unsold homes indicates a stable market; neither a buyers market nor a seller’s market.

Per RISMEDIA, Las Vegas, one of the worst markets in the country, has just seen March set the fourth best month for closed sales. The record months, set back in the "boom period", is predicted to be broken during this summer. A board member of the Greater Las Vegas Association of Realtors, Forrest Barbee, said “Things have been looking up but it’s going unnoticed. It’s going to take the data a little longer to catch up to the reality.”

The National Association of Realtors reported a rise of 6.7% in the number of pending sales of existing homes in April. It’s the biggest jump in more than seven years.

By looking at how the market is improving in the most depressed markets, we can evaluate the overall strength of the national market. The markets of Florida, California, Arizona, and Nevada comprise nearly half of the national foreclosures, so an upturn in those markets will be critical. I’ll be watching those numbers and sharing this data with you.

So, cautious optimism is the phrase of the day!

We want to thank you all for your continued business, and for sending InSight Mortgage Group, the referrals from your family, friends, and business associates. Please call us at the office, 913-642-3334 with any questions or comments. Regarding purchase loans or refinancing, email me at or We always look forward to providing you with the best customer care. Blessings.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Facing Pressure with God's Help

Being under pressure is a subject I seem to be hearing a lot about these days, whether in the news or in daily conversations with friends and clients. In the mortgage business I regularly interact with people who have a wide variety of financial needs, and I’m asked about ways to achieve financial good health. I like to consider both emotional well-being (making good decisions) as well as the bottom line.

Our success or failures can be related to how we react to pressure. Do you have a general pattern for reacting to pressure? Maybe you become cranky (or worse), play the avoidance game, or even fall apart entirely?

In our general day to day life we may feel the pressures pushed down on us, even as we believe and walk with the Lord. If life seems to be treating us well and the devil isn’t putting too much pressure on us, then we’re ok. But how do we react when the big problems crop up? Do we take our tension or anxiety out on our loved ones, co-workers or the boss at work, or even on strangers?

The best way to live more stress free is to “cast all of (our) cares on the Lord”, Peter 5:7. We may struggle with this at times, but when faced with adversity or pressure, this is the only way to become free of the anxieties and not feel overwhelmed by them. “I sought the Lord, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears. This poor man cried out, and the Lord heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles.” Psalm 34:4,6

Kenneth Hagin gives some great advice on how to handle pressure by listening to the voice of God, focusing on Him and asking Him for direction. I’ve paraphrased his major points and hope you find these words helpful:

Maintain focus on God: Instead of seeing only the negative and what’s going wrong in our life, and having a feeling of hopelessness, we need to focus on God and believe that our situation CAN have a positive result. Replace worry and doubt with faith. As in ISAIAH 26:3 “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.” Have you had a minor challenge grow into a major problem because you focused solely on it, and soon it grew bigger and worse than at the start? We need to look to God and His Word to give us peace through these turbulent times. “Whatever is impossible with man, is possible with God” (Matt. 19:26) No one can control your thoughts other than you; your success and how you react to different situations is controlled by you. But with the focus on God, and not on the negatives we’re dealing with, we shall rise above these pressures.

Our own potential in God: We can focus on the potential we have in God, and not on any weaknesses we have. We can’t accomplish many things in our own strength alone. But we can accomplish anything with God’s help, “…let the weak say, I am strong.” Joel 3:10 Let’s make “I am strong” a daily affirmation. This belief of “us in God” will see us through adversity or crisis. We can overcome circumstances with our potential in God. Hebrews 12 can shed some more light.

What is God Saying: I’m sure we’ve all experienced the situation where we were talking to someone and realized that the person was not hearing a word we were saying, even though the person was standing right in front of us. His mind was wandering and not paying attention to what we had to say. Well, God talks all the time, but, are we listening while He speaks? The main way God speaks is through His Word. But do we take the time to find and read His Word while under pressure? We can find strength and peace in His Word. And with prayer and focused thinking on the Word, God will show us the path to take to walk through the difficult time. “…and come unto me: hear, and your soul shall live …” Isaiah 55:3

Talk about God: “…talk ye of all his wondrous works.” Psalm 105:2 The Book of Psalms is filled with many different writers talking about the vastness of God, His goodness, and more. When under pressure, or experiencing adversity, it’s the perfect time for us to talk about who He is and how big He is. This talking about God being bigger than anything else puts the devil in his place. As we talk we will be refreshed anew and the pressure will be relieved.

No matter how dim the future may look, God is bigger. No matter what other negative comments people may make, God can bring you through. With Him all is possible.

So as this summer begins, and our busy lives go full throttle; we may get bogged down with the negative daily news reports, maybe even experience the pain of a lost job. Whatever causes the pressure, remain steadfast in your faith and remember:
You, O Lord, keep my lamp burning; my God turns my darkness into light. With your help I can advance against a troop; with my God I can scale a wall.” Psalm 18:28-29

At InSight Mortgage Group, we strive to bring integrity to the mortgage loan business and treat all our customers according to the Golden Rule. Whatever your financial situation may be, we will work to find you the best solution. Please call us at 913-642-3334, or email us at or . Blessings.

Monday, June 1, 2009


A new national bill has just been signed which addresses the credit card companies seemingly endless ways of making arbitrary changes. We have all read or watched the news covering the issues of unexpected account closures, sneaky rate increases, big late fee charges and other nasty credit card related practices. And maybe you’ve even experienced one or two of these unexpected changes yourself?

So, does this new law provide actual relief for us as consumers and will it make an impact on our struggling economy? No easy answer to that, sorry. We’ll all have to take a “wait and see” approach. But, let’s review the highlights of the bill and think about what this means for us as borrowers.

* No overnight change: The bill allows nine months for the credit-card companies to implement the changes. Many consumers would be happier with a faster turnaround time in this tough economy; the good news is that these changes take place sooner than the new Federal Reserve regulations which become effective in July 2010.

* Free and easy bill payment: Credit card companies must now accept telephone and internet payments, and best of all, these services are to be free! This is a big change from current practices, where most credit card companies collect extra revenue from charges for online and telephone payments.

* New on-time policy: Did you realize that some companies required our payment to arrive by 9am or noon on the due date to be considered on-time? If it arrived in the afternoon mail delivery on the due date, it could be considered LATE. Now, if our payment arrives by 5 pm on the due date, it is to be considered an on-time payment.

* Be forewarned: We will get a notification 45 days in advance of an interest rate increase, according to the new rules. Meaning: we’ll see this coming and be able to make adjustments to our budgets or plans.

* Grace period: Once the bill is implemented, we will no longer be immediately charged a higher interest rate for being late on a payment. The lender has to give a 60 day grace period to us before they retroactively charge a higher rate to existing balances.

* Restoration: According to the new bill, if a borrower falls more than 60 days behind, we’ll be able to get back the earlier, lower rate after six consecutives months of on time payments.

* Promotional rates: The special promotional rates are allowed, but must be a minimum of six months and card companies won’t be able to raise rates during the first year an account is open.

Other provisions include making credit cards harder to acquire for college students under 21 years old, and eliminating tiny print in the applications and disclosures.

There seems to be a “but …” following the good news, right? Well, there is speculation that the issuing banks will add new types of fees and find ways to get around the new rules. After all, they profit from the fees they charge as well as the rates on balances carried month to month.

As with all things financial, use good common sense, ask questions, be responsible for your actions. Another resolve would be to just pay off all credit card debt. Prov. 22:7 says ”Just as the rich rule over the poor, so is the borrower servant to the lender.”

Avoid the financial stress by working on getting out of debt. Insight Mortgage Group has folks who can help you achieve financial freedom. Please give us a call at 913-642-3334 or email me at