Sam Miller is one of the early readers of my Support Team content. After the Great Recession in 2008 ruined his mortgage officer career, he became underemployed, in debt, bankrupt, 70 lbs overweight, depressed, suicidal and even angry at God. Here is Sam's testimony in his own words on how he turned things around by learning the real Good News of the Kingdom that Yeshua taught (and Christianity never has) and began "seeking first the Kingdom" by following the Sermon on the Mount as explained in the supporter studies. - Tim
Something happened to me this year that I'd like to share. This is the reason why I've been so transformed by finally understanding the Good News of The Kingdom and also why Tim's convictions about the end coming in 2026 don't scare me and instead excites me!
To do so, I'll need to give you a little bit of a background. I've been a mortgage loan officer for 20 years or so. When the real estate market crashed in 2008 my income dropped by 75% over night. At that time there were not many jobs available and the ones that were available that paid anywhere near the money I needed to manage our debt load and sustain our lifestyle required a college degree, which I didn't have.
The only thing I knew how to do was to work harder and invest in my business and if I did this, eventually everything would be OK. So that's what I did BIG TIME. I mean I worked my tail off everyday. I barely slept and I was convinced that my hard work would eventually fix everything. But to my dismay, it did not. Within a couple of years I had gone through my entire life savings and accumulated such a massive amount of debt, I had no choice but to ultimately file bankruptcy. I was working so hard during this time that I gained 70 pounds, became clinically depressed, developed high blood pressure, Sleep Apnea and even developed some strange fungal infection on my face. I won't even get into the huge strains this caused on the relationship with my wife and children. It's a miracle we're still together.
My wife shouldered an immense amount of pressure, stress and anguish during this time period. She did amazingly well keeping our children grounded and feeling secure during this time. For the period we were separated there were times when our neighbors needed to feed my wife and children. Foreclosure notices were arriving weekly and collection calls were flowing in all day long. Our phone and internet was shut off and my wife and kids had to sit with no technology for a couple of weeks. I know, I know, these are laodecian, western culture problems but problems are relative. At this time we were separated and I was a bit oblivious to what was going on at home. I was too focused on trying to fix what was broken that I failed to communicate with my wife. Big mistake!
So on top of my failures as a husband and father, here I was at 40 years old (at the time) several months behind in my house payment, separated from my wife, working 16 hour days (sometimes all-nighters) trying my best to earn enough money to keep it all together, while making almost no money and having nothing left to show for my life in the way of a savings. I was stressed beyond belief and I had no answers to give to my wife on how I was going to fix this mess. Weekends would come and if I wasn't still working, I would pretty much collapse on the couch in shear exhaustion and sleep all day, literally.
I could go into a lot more detail on those years but suffice it to say it was the worst time of my life, BY FAR. I'm sure there are many people reading this who can totally relate with what I went through. I wasn't alone. There were millions of people struggling during this time. The one positive in my life was that I was also studying the Bible and prophecy more than ever, which I'm convinced is the only thing that kept me from putting a bullet in my head. I had actually considered suicide frequently, to the point where I knew exactly how I was going to do it. I figured if I couldn't support my family, at least my life insurance could. That is, until I realized the cash value portion of the policy was no longer liquid enough to keep the insurance in force. With this there was nothing more that I could do but to continue to seek God.
It was in my search for truth that I found Tim's website. Even though I didn't have any money, I invested the $34 to buy his book Know the Future (don't tell my wife). I spent nearly all my free time I had reading that book. I must have read it 5 times during that time period because it was the only source of sanity I could find. I still to this day refer back to it regularly. My wife used to get IRATE with me because it's all I wanted to do if I wasn't working (making NO money) or sleeping (on the weekends).
It was also at this time that I had begun to realize through reading Tim's book and in my own experience that the Christian church was not all it was cracked up to be. I had been a member of the same church for 15 years or so and had tithed thousands of dollars to this church. Just before the market crash I had written the church a $10,000 check for a "pay off their building drive".
During our financial struggles, I had gone to the church to investigate what programs they had available to help people like me who had been faithful members of the church and who found themselves in hard times. I was shocked to learn they had no program at all. Nothing! I was simply told "we don't give out cash".
Meanwhile there were programs to raise all kinds of money for all kinds of things in the church; one to pay off the building (you know the one I contributed $10,000 too), another to raise money for missionaries going to Africa (you know the ones where when they get back, they get to stand in front of the church exclaiming this "life changing" experience while receiving praise from the entire church for their selfless act of service to the world ). There was even one I learned about on Facebook where church members raised money to send one of the pastors on an all expense paid trip to Israel for his birthday. Wow! But sadly, no programs that raised money for the people who really needed it.
I had also been meeting with my pastor for weekly counseling sessions during this time and I remember leaving each meeting thinking what a complete waste of time it was. Without judging him, it seemed like he was there to fulfill his obligation but really gave me nothing that helped. I was astonished at how ill equipped this man of God was to counsel a "member of his flock".
That's when I stopped going to church and started seeking God on my own even though I was pretty irritated with Him at the time. I continued to study prophecy and felt in the back of my mind that this was all a refining experience that I needed to go through and someday I'd be able to look back and see exactly how God was working in my life.
Fast forward a bit and things began to turn around a little in 2012 when I found a job that paid a decent salary. We ended up being able to keep our home through a loan modification and with the bankruptcy finally behind us, we were actually doing OK because we were able to stop the collection calls and had a repayment plan that was commensurate with my new lower income.
Incidentally, I think I'd have filed bankruptcy sooner and been able to keep at least some of my life savings if I had not been lead to believe through my christian faith that bankruptcy was a sin. In fact, Tim McHyde was instrumental in me finally feeling OK about pursuing bankruptcy. In a conversation we'd had over Facebook messenger, he explained that bankruptcy was in fact biblical and in the OT, the Israelite's were required to forgive debts every 7 (Sabbath) years. It was not an easy decision even though I trusted Tim, I still felt a great deal of shame for filing. I did a lot of studying on this topic before doing so. In the end it came down to the reality that I had nothing left and if I didn't do something I'd lose my home and everything else in it.
I know bankruptcy is a touchy subject for some. It was a big deal for me too. I exhausted my entire life savings paying back my creditors and labored over my decision to file bankruptcy for quite some time. I started with a chapter 13 so I could pay back my creditors while still being able to afford the monthly payment. After two years, rates again increased and I was let go from the job I spoke of earlier. This was completely unexpected. It was then that I decided to convert to a chapter 7 full discharge. Also, in case you're still inclined to look down your nose at me for this decision, I don't live in a big expensive home. We purchased this home when I was 24 for about $104,000, below the median price of homes at the time. Its a very modest (still below median home prices) home. I've never been one to accumulate toys, cabins or big houses I couldn't afford. I've made mistakes by overspending, no question. But "keeping up with the Joneses" has never really been an issue.
Now on to the post crash anxiety phase.
After all of this and while our life returned to a fairly hum drum lifestyle, I found myself being in a constant state of fear and anxiety over my finances. I had lost my life savings and our income now was not enough to save like we had in the past. Also, if the market could crash once, it could crash again. This time around I was not making nearly the money I was accustomed to making as I had decided to take more of a production type of position in the mortgage industry, at least for the time being. Part of the reason for this is I didn't have the energy or the confidence to go out and prospect again to build new relationships with referral partners (SALES). All the Real Estate Agents I had worked with before were either out of the business or referring their customers to new loan officers. Being an introvert, it was difficult enough for me to manage this when I was young, but at this age I didn't have it in me to do it again since this type of position was a commission only position.
I figured eventually I'd get my license back and start originating again, which was the process I started at the beginning of this year.
I studied for and aced my licensing exam (best score in my office, LOL). For the first time in a great while, I was actually excited about my career and the direction it was going. I even started learning about how to generate leads on Facebook. I was super excited about this because this would allow me to generate leads without having to go out and sell myself to real estate agents again. In fact, I had this vision that they'd be chasing me since I would be the one with the magic wand that could generate leads at will and for $1.00 or less per lead. I had big plans!
The first ad I placed on Facebook resulted in 18 leads and 3 loan applications, all within a couple of days. I felt like I'd hit the jackpot. As it turned out, they were not quality applications and it basically took my entire weekend but still...I was excited. If I could have these results in this short period of time, imagine what could happen if I stuck to it and perfected my ads over time. Heck, I thought I was going to make more money than I'd ever made. Who cares if I was going to have to focus all my time on working again! Finally, after 9 long years, I'm back! I felt like I was on the road to real recovery in my finances and would soon be making similar amounts of money (or more) that I had become accustomed to in the "good old days."
Apparently YHVH had different plans though. It was right at this time that I got sick. Super sick. It was nothing spectacular like cancer or anything life threatening but it was just enough to keep me from being able to do anything more with the Facebook ads for over two months. It turned out it was bronchitis but it lasted about a month and it was horrible. My son had it too. When the bronchitis finally subsided I was left once again extremely depressed and filled with anxiety like never before.
I was in such a deep dark place, all I could think about during this time was what a loser I was. I could not figure out why YHVH gave me this hope for a renewed career, only to rip it out from under me as quickly as it began. Here I was once again at 47 years of age focusing again on what little I had to show for my life. We we're paying our bills yes, but not making enough to really save any money. Meanwhile everyone I knew was buying bigger and better homes and cars, getting windfalls of inheritance money, sending their kids to far off places for schooling, buying cabins etc... Someone I knew had received such a windfall of inheritance money they immediately retired.
This on top of the fact that I was (and still am) supporting loan officers half my age, some of which think they've reached the pinnacle of success because they suddenly find themselves having "An Assistant". Forget about the fact that they don't contribute one red cent to my salary. Instead, they simply have a branch manager who has decided it's easier to keep his loan officers from being lead away by recruiters from other companies by investing in guys like me to help them structure their loans and project manage the loan processing. Let's just say it's been quite an adjustment and very humbling for me learning how to be bossed around by people half my age who don't possess even a fraction of the knowledge I have accumulated over the past 24 years in the industry. Heck, I've been originating loans for nearly as long as some of these "kids" have been alive.
Anyway, I got off track there a bit. (Perhaps there remains still a remnant of resentment for these young lads. Lol)
During this time I was praying a lot (shaking my fist more like it) to feel YHVH's presence in my life. He was so far away, I felt, and I needed a reprieve from the darkness that seemed to be enveloping me. One day in particular I was completely overwhelmed with grief and sadness. I sobbed for hours. While lying there in bed sobbing, I decided to reach out to Tim McHyde to see if he could help me in some way. I didn't really know what else to do. To my surprise, He and Katrina agreed to coach me over the phone at 3:00 am my time that same night.
While Katrina was coaching me, I was skeptical that what she was sharing and bringing to light for me concerning YHVH's goodness was going to do me any good. I may have even come across as somewhat apathetic, I'm not sure. If I didn't come across that way, it's how I felt a little, yet I was still thankful that they had taken the time to help me. I think this was just my depression and anxiety still running the show.
Afterward I felt no different at first and was perhaps a bit disappointed. I was super tired since it was 5:00 am already and I had not slept a wink that night but also deep down I may have been hoping for a "mountain top experience" or something. I don't know.
Nonetheless, I agreed to continue going over the verses that Katrina shared with me that night and we agreed to talk again in a couple of days. So that's what I did. I re-read the verses several times and marinated over the goodness that these verses exclaimed about YHVH's nature, which included his plan for not only my life but the life of every living being he had ever created. And what an amazing plan it is!
As I continued to read and re-read these verses I was reminded that YHVH's plan for me and for everyone is a million times better than the christian doctrine of eternal torment that I had spent the majority of my life agreeing with, then questioning and ultimately deciding was false. This was not something that I had just recently discovered, but perhaps something I had lost site of that Katrina had masterfully and patiently helped me to rediscover. It's amazing how easily Satan can deceive us and get us off track.
Tim had just finished writing the 3 Secrets to Finally Understand Jesus' Sermon on the Mount a couple months earlier. Like it usually does, It takes me several times reading something before I get its full message. While reading it and perhaps another article, I can't remember for sure which article it was but Tim had made what I thought was maybe a Freudian slip and threw an end time date out there that I later learned was unintentional. It was before he finally decided that putting a date out there makes sense, when he wrote his latest article.
Anyway, it was this date (however unintentional it was) that Tim put out there that hit me like a ton of bricks, now that my mind was open again and aware of God's goodness with Katrina's help. All of a sudden the impending end times events became a reality for me - even though I don't' consider Tim a prophet, although with his unsurpassed knowledge of the scriptures he may be the closest thing to a prophet we've seen since the Apostles died out (just my opinion). But Wow! This is going to happen soon - even if it's not 2026. I'll still only be 61 years old if it is 2 Sabbath cycles away. While I have believed the end is near for several years already, it has never been this real for me. All of a sudden my lack of a life savings and my lot in life became a complete non-issue.
Why? For one thing, I won't even reach the age of retirement to need my life savings any longer. For another, talk about an inheritance? If I'm found worthy to reign with Christ for a 1,000 years, the inheritances being passed around here and now, pale in comparison. They're temporary. They won't do anyone any good once WW3 and Wormwood hit. Another reason is I could stand on my head for 7 years if it means I get to reign with Christ for a 1,000 years, LOL.
But even before the date setting thing, there were 2 other discoveries that revolutionized my walk; the discovery by Tim of the Good News of the Kingdom and his understanding of the Sermon on the Mount. One showed me what to do and who to do it too, i.e. do unto others and the other showed me that if I focus on seeking His kingdom and righteousness, all these things will be added unto me (Mt 6:33).
This switch in my mind to love people, even the ones that annoy me and the ones who have actually harmed me, has made a huge difference in my job satisfaction and my life in general. This is huge. Also, I believe YHVH is looking for servants to reign with him. A servant is what I am. When you can finally accept who you are, it makes a HUGE difference. I'm no longer a "Sr. Mortgage Consultant". Instead I assist (or serve) loan officers in the mortgage industry. I serve them and the customers we do mortgage loans for. Not so bad. I can live with that! After all, Yeshua was a suffering servant. I can be one too.
When I began to pray for YHVH to help me love others, even the people I work with who drive me insane with their "You're my assistant" attitude, I began to feel love for them and YHVH began to draw closer to me. Feeling the presence of the God of the universe is wonderful. It makes anything difficult FAR MORE palatable. And loving others is difficult! It means swallowing your pride often. It means letting people walk on you a bit without retaliation. It means praying for people that you once wouldn't hold a car door open for. (I've even been praying WITH people lately, something I have never done. Like my neighbor who suffers from alcoholism and my brothers girlfriend who has a form of OCD). It means giving money to people who are in more need than you, even if you don't have a lot left over yourself. But more than anything it means recognizing that YHVH has already loved you when you didn't deserve it and will bless you for your obedience.
Seeking first the Kingdom of God (Mt 6:33), has been equally revolutionary. For someone who lost everything due to financial disaster and who has spent years being anxiety ridden that something similar will happen again, it means for me I no longer need to concern myself with this AT ALL. I've decided against pursuing becoming a Loan Originator again at least for now. Not because there is anything inherently wrong with being one but because being a fully commissioned loan originator again means my focus and energy would be on making money and not on seeking The Kingdom. As a loan officer, I was on the clock all the time. Working evenings, weekends, on vacation etc... Also, I believe the production position I'm in aligns better with the way God gifted me and it means accepting who I am as a servant. This acceptance has proven to have amazingly positive results. I actually think I may love my job. Wow! I haven't felt this type of job satisfaction, EVER. For years I struggled to be someone I wanted to be rather the person God designed me to be and apparently when you stop fighting Gods design for your life, great things happen.
I'm still a licensed loan officer (hint, hint for anyone in MN buying or refinancing a home, LOL) and can originate mortgage loans on the side. But, instead of pursuing making more money, I'm giving my finances over to YHVH and if he chooses to bless me with the occasional new loan, where I can make extra money sobeit.
In the meantime, I'm reserving this time to seek Him, His Kingdom and His righteousness.
Don't get me wrong. I don't want you to think that I've got it all figured out. I know there will still be a lot of struggles along the way and I have a great deal to learn. Even after the discoveries I have made, Yeshuas words remain difficult and confusing. Yeshua says his yoke is light yet at the same time, the narrow path is difficult. I don't know exactly how to resolve this dichotomy but I can tell you this: All of these things combined are the turning point for me in terms of feeling YHVH's presence in my life again and having hope that I will one day be able to escape all that is about to happen and stand before the Son of Man.
(If you want to reap the life-changing benefits of understanding Yeshua's difficult words like Sam, consider joining the EscapeAllTheseThings.com private membership Support Team - Tim)
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