He who seeketh, findeth

August 26, 2009

Sad Letter from the President

Filed under: Goals,Happiness,Meditation,Thoughts and Reflections — Steve (Chessiq) @ 11:06 pm

Steve — Michelle and I were heartbroken to learn this morning of the death of our dear friend, Senator Ted Kennedy. For nearly five decades, virtually every major piece of legislation to advance the civil rights, health and economic well-being of the American people bore his name and resulted from his efforts. His ideas and ideals are stamped on scores of laws and reflected in millions of lives — in seniors who know new dignity; in families that know new opportunity; in children who know education’s promise; and in all who can pursue their dream in an America that is more equal and more just, including me. In the United States Senate, I can think of no one who engendered greater respect or affection from members of both sides of the aisle. His seriousness of purpose was perpetually matched by humility, warmth and good cheer. He battled passionately on the Senate floor for the causes that he held dear, and yet still maintained warm friendships across party lines. And that’s one reason he became not only one of the greatest senators of our time, but one of the most accomplished Americans ever to serve our democracy. I personally valued his wise counsel in the Senate, where, regardless of the swirl of events, he always had time for a new colleague. I cherished his confidence and momentous support in my race for the Presidency. And even as he waged a valiant struggle with a mortal illness, I’ve benefited as President from his encouragement and wisdom. His fight gave us the opportunity we were denied when his brothers John and Robert were taken from us: the blessing of time to say thank you and goodbye. The outpouring of love, gratitude and fond memories to which we’ve all borne witness is a testament to the way this singular figure in American history touched so many lives. For America, he was a defender of a dream. For his family, he was a guardian. Our hearts and prayers go out to them today — to his wonderful wife, Vicki, his children Ted Jr., Patrick and Kara, his grandchildren and his extended family. Today, our country mourns. We say goodbye to a friend and a true leader who challenged us all to live out our noblest values. And we give thanks for his memory, which inspires us still. Sincerely, President Barack Obama


August 25, 2009

CPA Exam REG – rougher than AUD

Filed under: CPA,Goals,REG — Steve (Chessiq) @ 9:17 pm

I took the Regulation (REG) section of the CPA exams today. I think I had a rougher time than I had with AUD. I don’t know if my “complaints” that the exam was tough are “dependable” any more, since I have had something to say about the earlier 3 exams and luckily, I passed them. But I had said AUD was rough, and I barely passed it with a 77. I would be surprised if I hit 70. Well, I may score 65, or 90. I overstudied this past week (and yes, up to today) and I confused myself along the way. At times during the exam, I had to dig deep. I closed my eyes with my hands to focus and try to remember some things a few times … and I came out blank one too many times! I am attempted to look up the things I was not sure of, but I think I will not. As I came out of the exam and I was talking to one of the ladies at prometric, I mentioned to her that I would start studying for REG again tonight so that I can be ready to retake it. She said, “no, just wait, it will be okay.” Well, I thought, she could be right. I worried about AUD, and it came out okay. May be this will come out okay. Like Auditing and Attestation, there were times when I was mad at myself for not being sure about what to do. I knew I had read the stuff, I had worked on a multiple choice question similar to that question, but I could not remember the concept/idea. When I study, I almost always go for the idea. I don’t care about the figures, rates, etc. I can “back into” the rates or figures if I know what needs to be done and I have only forgotten what percentage or rate of something. Anyway, this time around, I think I stuffed my brain with too many concepts in a short time than it had to process them and come in handy. I did my best during the exam. I cannot say I did my best in the preparation, except for the last 10 days or so.

I did not like the fact that I waited almost 30 minutes before I could start the exam, but that’s okay. It was a busy day for the people at the site, and they were nice as usual. Anyway, after the fingerprinting, picture, emptying pockets, … came exam time. I logged in, and clicked through the first couple of screens, and then I stopped just before the last screen (before the exam starts) to write up how much time I would spend on each testlet and the start times. According to the Gleim Audios, the recommended start times were 3hs 0 min, 2hr 25 min, 1hr 50 min, 1hr 15min, and 0hr 40 minutes. I was two minutes behind on the first testlet, and that carried through to the second testlet. I think by the time I finished the third multiple choice testlet, I was 5 minutes behind schedule, which was okay. It was okay because I had 5 extra minutes (overall). I spent quite a bit of time on the research tab of the first simulation, may 20 minutes, which was not smart at all. I had planned to spend 7 minutes on each tab, and then move on to the next tab. So, I spent 8 minutes on the written part. That’s writing and reviewing. I spent may 2minutes, 4 minutes and 5 minutes on the other tabs… and then a huge amount of time on researching something, that I am sure I got wrong. I actually went back to it after completing the other tabs and researched some more! Urrghh! I was smart enough to just choose something and move on. I had may be 25 minutes for the other simulation. So, I guess I spent more than 20 minutes on the research, which is more time than I have spent on any exam question through all these exams. I think I was frustrated that I had spent sometime on the Wiley 14.0 simulations last night (or this morning between 1am and 4am) and I was able to find all the required IRC sections being asked. Anyway, I was lucky to find my research response within a minute on the second simulation, so I made up for some of the minutes lost earlier (6). The other tabs were as okay as the multiple choice testlets – which means, not great. I did what I could. The essays were the easiest part of the whole exam for.

Lessons learnt

Know the fundamentals

I was going over the notes that I wrote in my trusty moleskin notebook after FAR, BEC, and AUD exams – and a constant theme is KNOW THE FUNDAMENTALS. I think my problem is that I get the gist of the matter, but I also want to know the details so that I end up “being lost” in the details. So, if I am going to retake this section, I will focus on the fundamentals. What are fundamentals? Well, my definition of it is, it is something on which everything else seems to rest. The foundation, the common them. If you are reading a study unit, you can see that almost 80% of the questions are addressing a particular theme in one way or the other. Once you get that, everything thing that comes your way, has to be looked at from that point of view. Similar to a frame of reference. Ethics for example, the theme may be Google’s motto – “Do no evil” – of course, you can add a phrase or two, for example, “Do no evil, in reality or in appearance”. If you are talking about Property, you have to understand Basis, Adjusted Basis, and how everything else flows from there (gains and losses). All the exceptions and limitations are just details. If you are talking about Gross Income, knowing some of the definition may help… “from whatever source derived” etc. Well, that’s what I think. That’s what I think will work for me if I have to retake the exam. I think it worked enough today. We just have to wait another month to find out.

Last minute preparation helps, but it also sucks!

I got a few points from the work I did last night and this morning and up to an hour before the exam. I think that even if I had prepared well all along, I would still have put in some more hours of work yesterday, last night, and this morning. There was nothing more important to me to do in the last couple of days, up to the time of the exam, than study and prepare for the exam. So, if I have time, why not use that to study something or take another 20 multiple choice study session?

The part that sucks is that if you see something that you have not seen all along and it looks important, on the one hand, you are glad you have seen it. On the other hand, you are wondering what else is out there that you don’t know about, and may show up on your exam! It can demoralize you. I want to say it can also mess up your memory, for example, if what you are seeing contradicts what you studied and believed you understood. Should you change a month’s or a week’s work because of a moment’s glance?

Pace yourself

What can I say? I need to spread things out. The problem is not that I do things last minute. It is that when I start doing something, I go all the way, intensely, and then when I burn out or decide to give myself a break, I take a big break as if I am done with the thing. Of course, sometimes I am actually done with it! Whatever the case, the intensity is not sustainable for long periods of time. So, going forward, on my next big goal, I will spread my effort around.

Do it all

The exam tests a lot of material at the same time. You cannot study it all at the same time, even if you have a 10 day plan like I did. You have to “do it all” just like the exam does. What I mean by that is that every day or every other day, you have to do, say, a total 30 questions from all the chapters. That is about a question or two from each chapter. This keeps part of you on the whole picture and you don’t forget the things you studied a couple of days ago.

Master Taxation

In the exam, I noticed that I had an easier time with the third testlet which had more business law questions that tax questions. I only had 3 items that I really needed to review, and I think I totally guessed on just one of those. I think part of the reason is that I had done most of the business law when I started studying for REG, and then I stopped for a couple of weeks, and then went back to it and the rest of the stuff. So, I went over business law (obviously, excluding tax) a couple of times. This was not smart, considering that tax is (over) 60% of the exam! What can I say? [Hopefully, the third testlet was not “easier” because I blew the first two! Well, you know what I think about those “myths”.]

Summary (What next?)

Overall, it has been a nice experience taking the CPA exams. I hope I will not have to retake REG. If I do, I am confident that I will do much better. I will try to do it the way I am proposing here and I think it will work.

I have a few other posts that I intend to post up regarding the CPA exam, and those will come when I am done with it all.

I think next week I will study for the Ethics exams so that if I have passed REG, then I can just go ahead and apply for the license.

Sweetheart, Chess, family, friends, books, blogs, dreams, success, happiness, righteousness, … all ye, here I cometh! 1+2+3+4+5+6+7+6 =?

It is a wonderful life!

[update: I failed REG, 74, and retook it and passed, 89.]

August 23, 2009

CPA Exam REG prep continues … 8/23/09

Filed under: CPA,Goals,REG — Steve (Chessiq) @ 4:54 pm

Here is my rough guide to living the next 2 days with regard to preparing for the CPA exam’s Regulation (REG) section:

Chessiq's CPA exam - REG prep last 2 days

It is a wonderful life!

August 22, 2009

Passed AUD

Filed under: AUD,CPA,Goals,REG — Steve (Chessiq) @ 2:00 pm

Praise be to God in the highest and peace to His people! I found out about 20 minutes ago that I have passed the CPA exam’s Auditing & Attestation section! Barely passed; 77.

Chessiq's CPA exam AUD results

Thanks to all the people who helped me in all sorts of ways. Thanks for the faith and encouragement. Thanks for the prayers. Thanks for reading the blog. Thanks for the comments. I am at the library studying REG which I am taking next Tuesday, so I have to get back to studying so that I can be 4 in 4! That would be exciting! I have to believe!

It is a wonderful life!

August 21, 2009

CPA Exam REG prep continues … 8/21/09

Filed under: CPA,Goals,REG — Steve (Chessiq) @ 11:02 pm

Last night after I got home, I decided to work on one more module.

12:30am – 1:08am Regulation of Employment and Environment 37MCQs.

12:30pm – 1:29pm Partnership Taxation MCQs 1-20

7:00pm – 8:54pm Partnership Taxation MCQs 21 – 46. Took about 5 minutes break. A little tired. I think decided that starting tomorrow, I will try to sleep at least 7 hours, and on the night before the exam, I will shoot for at least 8. I hope that I will stick to that plan!

This is 9:19pm. I have spent the last 25 minutes or so, reading a couple of pages I photocopied from my Wiley Book that I use to track the Modules completed, and do a quick “review” of the topics that are covered in the MCQs. I had photocopied some pages that talk about Researching Tax Issues, Examination Content, Taxes on the Regulation Exam. I just didn’t want to carry the whole book around, so I have about 13 pages that I carry around with me. Of course, I [always] spend a couple of hours reading the first couple of Chapters in the CPA review book, (the introduction to the CPA exam stuff.) I believe that those non-technical matter chapters have excellent information that is essential in understanding the exam. That is, the CPA exam as a concept and how to approach it. So, I will give those chapters another, probably on Sunday or Monday.

 Today, I challenged myself with the 3 challenges from yesterday. I have not done great when it comes to “sitting up straight” or “no touching face”, but I have done great with the “no Internet until 10pm” challenge. Another 33 minutes, and I will get to surf the net and see if AUD came out. I think I will stop here, and start working on Gift & Estate Tax. I am not sure if I will take a break before I finish that module to go on the Internet, or I will try to finish it first! Yesterday, I mentioned that I would talk about the benefits of not going on the Internet (for me) later on. Well, I can say that I feel like when I don’t get on the net, I get more accomplished, or I feel like I have accomplished something great. Part of it is because I am getting the studying done, the other part is that I am proving to myself that I can “live without the Internet”, albeit for a few hours. I am not sure whether I would be able to live without the Internet. I live without watching TV, but I was never a great TV watcher in the first place (except for watching soccer). Internet on the other hand, I am almost addicted. I have experienced some withdrawal symptoms these past couple of days! Time to go!

 9:35pm – 10:43pm Gift and Estate Tax. 36MCQs. I thought the treatment of this chapter Module, at least in the Questions Database, was weak. Most of the questions focused on Tax Return Preparers (which I knew a lot from having done Professional Conduct related chapters with Gleim TestPrep CD.

 I am not sure if I have mentioned that what I like about the Wiley study module MCQ “test bank” is that it has “text links” which you can use to read “excerpts” from the book dealing with the question. Some of the text links are several pages long, which can take long to read, but at the same time, makes up for (my) not reading the book. Gleim on the other hand, does not have text links, but the explanations to the questions are pretty detailed (or detailed enough). The fact that Gleim has a ton of MCQs, at least double what Wiley has, is a winner for me, especially if you have time to go over them (which I did for FAR and BEC). My plan is to compare the number of questions in Gleim to those in Wiley for Individual Taxation, and I will go with the higher number. I intend to do Individual Taxation and Corporate Taxation tomorrow. It will be a long day!

 Here is how my “progress spreadsheet” looks.

Chessiq's study progress 08.21.09

 It is a wonderful Life!

August 20, 2009

CPA Exam REG prep continues … 8/20/09

Filed under: CPA,Goals,REG — Steve (Chessiq) @ 11:13 pm

Last night (or this morning),

12:30am – 12:50am Bankruptcy MCQs 1 – 3 (I also “printed” a PDF file of the whole session, the questions, answer options, answer questions, and testlinks. I found out that this was quicker than printing and saving a question at a time and then combining the files later on. Duh! The only problem is that it is not focused on the areas that I would like to review. Anyway, may be it’s best that I save time now, and then pick and choose what I review later on.)

7:00am – 7:30am Backruptcy MCQs 3 – 10

Lunch with team.

5:56pm – 7:31pm Bankruptcy MCQs 11 – 45. Done with it. I will probably need to review the “exceptions” e.g. what a trustee cannot do, what cannot be discharged, etc.

7:50pm – 8:39pm Commercial Paper MCQs 1 – 22

Break to walk-around, grab something to eat, read the Wall Street Journal. Learnt that the SEC is playing catch-up, technology-wise, when it comes to the advances in trading.

8:58pm – 10:44pm Commercial Paper MCQs 23 – 65. Done with it. Need to review Holder in Due Course (HDC). I think I will be okay even if I just read the summaries on “real defenses” and “personal defenses”.

Today, I decided to give myself three challenges:

1 – No Internet until 10pm (unless it was work related and even then, it had to be something that was critical to my work, for example, printing bank statements to reconcile cash.)

2 – Sit up straight.

3 – No touching my face.

The last two are a problem, especially when I am thinking or focusing and I am burrowing through the monitor! I would say, I was 75% okay on the last two, and 100% on the first one! It was not easy at all. I will try to repeat these goals tomorrow and may be until I take the exam. I will elaborate on the benefits later.

Now, let me check my email and other blogs before I head out!

Here is how my spreadsheet looks:

Chessiq's study progress 08.20.09

It is a wonderful life!

August 19, 2009

CPA Exam REG prep continues… 8/19/09

Filed under: CPA,Goals,REG — Steve (Chessiq) @ 11:35 pm

Got home around 12:30am last night or this morning because I left (this conference room) around 12:00am. I decided to study some more when I got home because my stomach was killing me. I had a banana on the way out, and for the past couple of months, my stomach has not been taking bananas well. Anyway, I decided on Module 31, Property.

According to my spreadsheet, this is supposed to have 43 MCQs, yet it has 53 in the Wiley Testprep CD/database – which is good; the more the better. I only managed to get through 10 questions, and I had to sleep because the stomachache worsened, and I was also tired. My reward for studying tonight is reading this post: http://www.personalfinanceplaybook.com/2009/08/only-a-business-owner-can-sell-like-a-business-owner/

 12:45am – 1:22am Property (Module 31) MCQs 01-10

2:24pm – 3:24pm Property (Module 31) MCQs 11-31 (while having lunch)

6:50pm – 7:44pm Property (Module 31) MCQs 31-53. Now I know about Mortgagor and Mortgagee’s rights, deeds (execution, recording, types), Property types, and rights. My favorite has been various State laws regarding recording deeds, Notice, Race, and Notice-Race! I noticed that I was taking almost 4 minutes a question (average) but it is because I was reading all the text links on the questions regardless of whether I got the question right or wrong. I am studying, not just test-taking. If I found the information useful or reviewable, I was printing it, PDF, and saving the file to folder on my desktop. At the end, I combined the pages into one file. Here I have 50 pages to review! There are some pages that have only 5-10 lines, so it is not too much.

 Okay, dinner break! I went a Japanese Restaurant. That’s all the info I can give out right now. I got Chicken Teriyaki, Vegetables & Steamed Rice – YUM! It is kind of nice to shake off the hunger and sleepiness with some “not-home-made-food”. I talked a little bit with the guy who was making my food, Pablo, and he mentioned that a few weeks ago, I used to go there (to the Japanese restaurant) frequently, but I now, it is “long time no see”! I tried to explain that I was busy with work and school, and I am studying during lunch… but I am not sure he understood since his English is not as good as his Spanish. It is people like that that make me want to learn Spanish… so that we can converse. It was kind of nice to know that he remembered me going there frequently, months ago. Anyway, let me eat and get back to studying. May be another 10 minutes? Start at 8:30pm? Deal!

Well, I am one minute over, because I was reading Todd’s interview of Michael Gerber, and I was consumed! I have stopped about one third of the way in. It is really nice. So far, I feel that sometimes you see successful people and you “envy” them, and then you hear them talk… to hear how they got where they are, and you are just inspired to be better at what you do, to some day be able to tell a similar story, and hopefully, somebody will become inspired by your story,… sort of PAY IT FORWARD.

Now, study!

I forgot to mention that I like classical music, so the past couple of days I have been listening to ClassicalMusicAmerica on iTunes, and it is one of the best classical music radio stations I have ever listened to. When I become a CPA, I will probably send them some sponsorship/thank you money!

 When I want to smile or laugh, I sometimes go to this awesome site: http://1000awesomethings.com/

 8:49pm – 10:56pm, done with Module 24: Sales. Now I know remedies available to buyers and sellers, product liability, risk of loss and title, how the UCC statute of frauds is different from the “regular” or “general” statute of statute of frauds. This reminds me of the first time I read business law, I think it was 11 or 12 years ago at PAEC. I haven’t touched anything similar to it since. I thought accounting was way to go then, and then I changed my mind, and now I am back with it, but I don’t know for how long. I am not sure if I want to be an accountant for life. My goal is to be certified, become really good at it, (which I think I am getting there in the real world) and then become a consultant (IT & Accounting). After doing that for a couple of years, I would love to play chess professionally. Why am I saying all this? I don’t know. I just thought I should put it out there.

I am going to drive home. I think I will make it home by 11:45pm. I will probably put in another hour or so and then hit the bed. I think I am doing okay on my studying. The items highlighted green are ones that I have done in Wiley 14.0 this week. The ones highlighted turquoise are the ones that I did a couple of weeks ago in Gleim TestPrep CD. .The ones that are unhighlighted or highlighted red are the ones that are not done. [Red because they are too big and too important!] I will get there!

chessiq's study progress 08.19.09

It is a wonderful life!

July 4, 2009

AUD – Internal Controls, done

Filed under: AUD,CPA,Goals — Steve (Chessiq) @ 6:42 pm

Happy July 4th! I just finished going over the Wiley multiple choice questions on Internal Controls; 178 of them! I had started some time back, and as of last night, I was at question 50 or somewhere there. I went to a chess tournament last night; I joined in the second round at around 8pm. I think we finished a little after midnight. I came home and I started working on the MCQs and I crashed along the way. The next time I woke up, the computer was on, the lights were on, I was in full gear… so I just changed and turned off the lights and the computer. Woke up this morning, read a couple of financial blogs, and ate breakfast around 11am. I have been “studying” from 11:30am til 6pm – with a few breaks to get a snack, join CPAnet’s Facebook club, register at SCRIBD so that I could download some AUD notes, and read news about soldiers who have been killed, etc.

I got 126 question correct out of the 178, so that’s 70.79%, which, as I used to say for BEC, it was “not bad for a first pass through”! I think my score for the Engagement Planning was about the same if not a point higher, so if BEC experience is anything to go by, I am doing okay. The only slight problem is that I intend to get 95 (95%) on the actual CPA exam. So, my plan is to finish the first pass through in good time so that I can go over the stuff one more time. I think that once I am done with the Wiley CD 14.0 MCQs, I will read the book, read my notes, read the notes I downloaded from the CPAnet forum, and then take a bunch of MCQ tests with the Gleim TestPrep CD which I will buy in the next two weeks, the weekend of the exam. In short, I would like to overprepare, if there is such a thing, and see if I can get a 95 or better on the actual exam.

Why 95? It is just a score that I wrote down a few days before the BEC exam. It was a little late for FAR because I had already taken the exam and I was scared I could even fail, but I had written down 85 for FAR, and I got 84. I had written down 90 for BEC and I got 87. Those two do not count as far as I am concerned because I wrote down my goals after the exam or a little before the exam. So, AUD and REG, here I come! Help me God!

I am going to start working on Evidence tonight. I am not sure if I will do much tomorrow because I have to do some work that is due Monday. We just finished a normal Audit last week, and here comes the Bank Audit! I feel that just going through a recent audit has helped me relate some of the things that I am studying to the things that the Auditors were asking for, as I was pretty involved in the process. I look forward to the day when I will send things to my accountant to pull, research, or reconcile!

Anyway, another 3 months at most, and hopefully, I will be done! You have to tell yourself that you can do it. You cannot lose hope. You cannot allow yourself to be negative. Look who is talking! I have to read my mission statement, eat, exercise, shower, watch fireworks, pray, study, and then sleep. By the way, Evidence has 241 questions! Yes!!!

It is a wonderful life.

November 3, 2007

Accounting for Heaven and Earth

Sometimes I have “insights” that are not fully formed, but I just want to write them down so that I don’t forget the ‘idea’. This is one of those times. I am just saying that what I am about to say may not make sense, not just because the reader has a different point of view, but because I have not clearly communicated my thoughts and impressions. Caveat lector!

I rarely think of my work as being related to spirituality. However, the past couple of days, several things have happened that have made me review or revisit how I look at Accounting. For example, there are times when a report or statement is one Cent off, and I cannot go forward without finding where that one Cent belongs. It is easy to “fix” things, but it cannot and should not be done, because: first, it is wrong, second, it just doesn’t work at times. For example, if you are paying $3 million and the report you printed out says you are paying $2,999,999.99, one may think that you can just give one of the payees 1 Cent. No, not really? If you overpay one of the people, they will come back and ask (may be), but surely if you underpay somebody, you might as well not do it in the first place. What if you narrow it down to a particular person? You see to whom the 1 cent needs to go, do you just throw it in there, on her account? Not really, it may belong to a particular invoice, or period (month, quarter, or year)… Things like this make accounting hell sometimes. You cannot check off something as okay (it foots) when it does not. You can bet on it that it will come back to bite you; well, most of the time. Most of the “checks and balances” that you find in life, have their source in Accounting. For example, if you make $1 million during the year, and you make this money from work, gifts, and businesses, you are expected to report that you made $1m to the tax authority. You may wonder, how would they know if you told them that you made only $0.9m? Well, for starters, your employer tells them how much they paid you. Second, the gift giver is supposed to report how much he has disposed of in gifts. Third, the people that made payments to you need to have backup for the claimed expenses, so there will be receipts with your tax id on it showing money flowing to you. Fourth, if you deposited any money in an interest-earning account, the bank has to report the interest that they paid you, and of course, the money you deposited will show. Last but not least, you cannot spend what you don’t have. By looking at your statements, the tax man can have a good idea of how much income you made. Of course, my list is not exhaustive, but it gives you an idea of how, given time, the tax man can figure out how much you made (or spent).

Accounting has another basic side to it, which may or may not be looked at as “checks and balances”, the double-entry system. For every transaction, there is a debit and credit to it. A simple example would be if you bought a one dollar pen for your business. This is an expense. Your cash would go down $1 (credit your books), your supplies (expense) would go up $1 (debit your books). At the end of the day, your debits and expenses should match.

One last point that I need to bring up, is budgets. It is hard to imagine a functioning business that does not have an accounting budget. This just shows you what you expect to make or spend for the year. The fun is in the details. But as the year goes, you periodically look at items in the budget and see if you are where you thought you would be at a certain point in time. If something is so below/over-budget, you investigate it before the year ends (well, usually).

Well, enough accounting. So I thought about that and I wondered if the principles of accounting are applicable to other non-monetary issues. For example, if somebody hurt my feelings, what would be the equivalent in accounting? If I sinned, what happens in Heaven that is similar to accounting? So here is what I thought of as a possibility.

Assume that we are dealing with Cash, and the normal (or good) balance is a debit. Let’s also assume that good acts are debits. Then if you help somebody out and you feel good and the other person is appreciative of your actions, and Heaven is also rejoicing, then:

Debits: your good account in your heart; the recipient’s view of you; your good accts book in Heaven.

Credits: effort needed to do the good act; the recipient “pay it forward” account; your sin book in Heaven(?).

Similarly, if you hurt somebody’s feelings intentionally for no good reason, you can make the necessary entries.

At the end of the day, how you feel, the financial health of the organization, you and your fellow men, will depend on how accurate and how good your books are. Just like in accounting for businesses, the accounting for both Heaven and Earth, doesn’t lie.

The closest I could come to relating the accounting budget to life in Heaven and on Earth, had to do with expectations and potential. I think that’s what an accounting budget does, it sets expectations for performance with the conviction or commitment that the organization has potential to live up to those expectations, whether it is to cut costs or increase revenues or both. So what are our expectations and potential. On the expectations side: we are expected to love our neighbor as we love ourselves, we are expected to work as if we are doing it unto the Lord, we are expected to discover what we are good at and devote it to the betterment of ourselves and of the human race, we are expected to discover our potential… It is not an exhaustive list. I presume that God and our fellow men, from their exposure and intimate knowledge of us, have a good idea of what we can do/be. That being the case, I do not think it is outrageous to think that each one of us has a budget of good works that we are expected to perform.

What if, in God’s budget, He saw that for the world to be a good place to live, I would have to help one person every day or every week. I would also have to give 20% of my income to my church, etc. If I help twice that number, and give less to the church, I am sure it may throw off the budget, but I cannot say by how much. It is not for me to know what the budget is. All I can do is my best. Just like at a company, the presidential team may have the budget, which the man in the warehouse does not know of. The man in the warehouse just has to do his best; make the best nuts and bolts for himself and the company.

If men can plan things with extraordinary precision, be it accountants, rocket scientists or Chess players, why would God do any less? Why wouldn’t God have a plan or budget for enough food or medication for everybody? Why wouldn’t God have enough leaders and doctors and followers and … for the world to function properly? I believe God has it all properly budgeted. It is just that we don’t take time to figure out what’s important and how best to allocate and manage the resources that we are. We are self-managing resources in God’s budget.

October 12, 2007

Starting over

Filed under: Goals,Happiness — Steve (Chessiq) @ 7:40 pm

It’s been a couple of weeks since I last wrote here. I have all sorts of explanations and excuses, but the fact remains that I didn’t write. My other goals were also left unattended and some good habits that I had developed or I was in the process of developing were neglected. Chess has suffered most. My life has not been all bad. I have enjoyed most of it…

So today is the going back day. I just decided to go back to the things that I was doing or wanted to do. My process will be simple… write my journal – update it, and make sure I log in at least once a day, even if it’s for 2 minutes; review my goals before I go to bed tonight; document the progress I have made or I had made; review the many to-do-lists that I have and see what I can knock out in 2 minutes or less, in 5 minutes or less, etc and chip away.

The most important thing is to get back on track. So blogging and Chess and other things are up and running. 😉

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