Solomon Group National Education Center

Solomon Group National Education Center
Creed: To Glorify God and help people.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

But Wait! There's More!

So, I began this blog thing at a particular time in my life where I was discovering much about my plans for the future, etc.  I wrote when compelled, but most of the time, I just let it slip.  It is one of those "easy to do, easy NOT to do" kind of situations. 

My company, The Solomon Group, has been on an interesting journey the past four years and I want to talk about it. I want to share what I have learned.  So, here goes....I am getting the band back together!!!  I have an opinion.  It is based on over 30 years of working in one industry and I believe my time served will be a value to those who read and participate. 

Please share my blog with those you know.  I will do my best to make it valuable and meaningful and insightful.  And I need your help....what are those issues that worry you the most about money, investing, taxes, etc.  I want to help. 

Here goes!!!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

What to say when I have nothing to say

What to say when you don't know what to say

The news from Aurora, Colorado spread as our country sat shocked, once again, at a senseless display of violence.  How can this be?  Why is this happening to us again?  What is wrong with people?  Shouldn't the government do something?  How can we stop this from happening?  Why would God allow this to happen?

There are times in our lives.  This is one of them.  We live in a fallen and condemned world and it is scary some times.  We live in a world full of guns and knives and bombs and grenades and beliefs and thoughts and actions that would make most people want to live fully protected in some underground bunker somewhere.  How shall we persist?  How can we move on?  Couldn't we just make guns illegal and make it go away?

Sorrowfully, that won't work.  See, there are already laws against murder, yet, when one deranged human decides to live outside the law, government intervention will always be meaningless.  Guns are here to stay, as are crazy people.  It is a normal reaction to look to the government for help, or at least some form of comfort.   But can your government really give you the peace you are looking for?

I feel so sorry for anyone who has had to deal with events such as the one that happened over the weekend.  I cannot imagine the terrible and personal sense of loss that must exist inside this community.  I just want to crawl into the fetal position and wake up to find out that it was just a bad dream.  I want to hug my kids and lock them away from the world.  I am scared.  All of this just seems so surreal. 

Is there anything we can say?  Anything we can do?  Should we send out search parties for loner types and hug them into submission and let them know they don't have to go to such extremes to get noticed?  Maybe that is a good starting point.  Wait, is there someone ELSE we can blame for this?  Yes, that's the ticket...find someone to blame. 

Nah, this is an unbelievable loss, and only one lost person is to blame. End of story.  Our desire to blame is just a deep inner sense of loss trying to find a way to feel better.  For each of us, our patience and faith, and belief has been stretched to the maximum and now, again, we have to evaluate how we can best handle this inside our homes and our families. 

This is just something I cannot explain.  I have wept for these people, and for this town, and for our country.  We live in a fallen, imperfect world, but it is still a beautiful place.  How beauty will be made from this tragic event is beyond my comprehension, but I believe it will happen.  I cannot imagine the grief right now, and could never find words to subdue the gravity of this moment. 

I believe in God, and that there is an eternity waiting for us in Heaven.  I believe Jesus died for me, as well as for those we grieve for, including the perpetrator of crime.  But I still can't understand it.  God gave me this life and doesn't have to explain it to me.  Perhaps it is like me being required to explain myself to a cockroach. 

A day after this event, 14 people were killed in a single auto accident in South Texas.  All around the world, day after day, bad things happen to good people.  Yet we must persist.  We must find something in ourselves that allows us to find the good in each day and move forward. I submit. 

Finally, an old Hymn comes to mind.  I could not have written this hymn under its circumstances, but to know of a person's faith and how it can indeed carry them through, inspires me and gives me hope. 

Here is the hymn and a bit of its history:


When peace like a river attendeth my way
When sorrows like sea billows roll
What ever my lot you have taught me to say
It is well, it is well with my soul

Though the devil will ruin, though trials may come
Let this blessed assurance control
That Christ has regarded my helpless estate
And He shed His own blood for my soul

It is well, with my soul
It is well, it is well with my soul

My sin, oh the bliss of this glorious thought
My sin not in part but the whole
Is nailed to the cross and I bear it no more
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, oh my soul

It is well, with my soul
It is well, it is well with my soul

It is well with my soul
It is well, it is well with my soul

And Lord haste the day when my faith shall be sight
And the clouds be rolled back as a scroll
The trump shall resound and the Lord shall descend
Even so, it is well with my soul

It is well with my soul
It is well, it is well with my soul

It is well with my soul
It is well, it is well with my soul

This hymn was written by a Chicago lawyer, Horatio G. Spafford. You might think to write a worship song titled,
'It is well with my soul', you would indeed have to be a rich, successful Chicago lawyer. But the words,
"When sorrows like sea billows roll ... It is well with my soul”, were not written during the happiest period of
Spafford's life. On the contrary, they came from a man who had suffered almost unimaginable personal tragedy.

Horatio G. Spafford and his wife, Anna, were pretty well-known in 1860’s Chicago. And this was not just because
of Horatio's legal career and business endeavors. The Spaffords were also prominent supporters and close
friends of D.L. Moody, the famous preacher. In 1870, however, things started to go wrong. The Spaffords' only
son was killed by scarlet fever at the age of four. A year later, it was fire rather than fever that struck. Horatio
had invested heavily in real estate on the shores of Lake Michigan. In 1871, every one of these holdings was
wiped out by the great Chicago Fire.

Aware of the toll that these disasters had taken on the family, Horatio decided to take his wife and four
daughters on a holiday to England. And, not only did they need the rest -- DL Moody needed the help. He was
traveling around Britain on one of his great evangelistic campaigns. Horatio and Anna planned to join Moody in
late 1873. And so, the Spaffords traveled to New York in November, from where they were to catch the French
steamer 'Ville de Havre' across the Atlantic. Yet just before they set sail, a last-minute business development
forced Horatio to delay. Not wanting to ruin the family holiday, Spafford persuaded his family to go as planned.
He would follow on later. With this decided, Anna and her four daughters sailed East to Europe while Spafford
returned West to Chicago. Just nine days later, Spafford received a telegram from his wife in Wales. It read:
"Saved alone."

On November 2nd 1873, the 'Ville de Havre' had collided with 'The Lochearn', an English vessel. It sank in only
12 minutes, claiming the lives of 226 people. Anna Spafford had stood bravely on the deck, with her daughters
Annie, Maggie, Bessie and Tanetta clinging desperately to her. Her last memory had been of her baby being
torn violently from her arms by the force of the waters. Anna was only saved from the fate of her daughters by a
plank which floated beneath her unconscious body and propped her up. When the survivors of the wreck had
been rescued, Mrs. Spafford's first reaction was one of complete despair. Then she heard a voice speak to her,
"You were spared for a purpose." And she immediately recalled the words of a friend, "It's easy to be grateful
and good when you have so much, but take care that you are not a fair-weather friend to God."

Upon hearing the terrible news, Horatio Spafford boarded the next ship out of New York to join his bereaved
wife. Bertha Spafford (the fifth daughter of Horatio and Anna born later) explained that during her father's
voyage, the captain of the ship had called him to the bridge. "A careful reckoning has been made", he said, "and
I believe we are now passing the place where the de Havre was wrecked. The water is three miles deep." Horatio
then returned to his cabin and penned the lyrics of his great hymn.

The words which Spafford wrote that day come from 2 Kings 4:26. They echo the response of the Shunammite
woman to the sudden death of her only child. Though we are told "her soul is vexed within her", she still
maintains that 'It is well." And Spafford's song reveals a man whose trust in the Lord is as unwavering as hers

It would be very difficult for any of us to predict how we would react under circumstances similar to those
experienced by the Spaffords. But we do know that the God who sustained them would also be with us.

No matter what circumstances overtake us may we be able to say with Horatio Spafford...It is well with my soul....

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

A Crooked Line In The Sand. Just Eat Salad.

So in my infinite wisdom, I let nearly a year slip by before writing another ill concieved blog post to myself.  A year has gone by and so much has happened in that year, it almost seems like a lifetime, and some of it seems like yesterday.  Wierd.

How do reasonable people let a year go by without doing things they enjoy?  How is it that it is so easy to get "STUCK". I am so worn out with resolutions, proclomations, promises, and drawing lines in the sand.  Just last February I was on track to get my health and wellness under control and here I sit, tired, eating a donut, and still overweight.  I am sure there is some protein pill, vitamin, or workout system that actually works, I just haven't chosen the right one yet.  Yes, the things I have at my disposal do work, but I don't work so well.  It is me.  Yep, I am the problem.  Let me guess, I need to wake up the warrior inside of me and declare war on fat, fitness, financial, and feline juggling?  I asked these questions to another and she said, "Just eat salad".

Ok, so I am starting off another calendar year with much to do, much to prove, and lots to erase.  I have so many good things in my life that I worry about sounding unappreciative, but it is my shortcomings that have always seemede to define my self-worth somehow.  Do you ever feel that way?  I have more faults than an earthquake store, and I want to make some changes.  I like that I have zero readers of this blog so that I can still keep my thoughts to myself, but also write them down here on digital paper. 

This pic was from a few months back when I was working on my well being.  I was attacked by donuts and french fries and have gone into seculsion.  I gotta make some changes. 

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Yo, Chubby

I grew up skinny.  I was the "runt" of my class, a little bitty dude with bad teeth and skinny, skinny arms.  My mom used to hold my forearms in just one hand and comment on how skinny I was and that she was worried about me.  One day, I got fat and felt good about it. 

I recall eating everything I could find as those skinny, worried comments really stuck with me.  Then I got fat, then fatter, then even fatter.  What could have been passed off as a mere childhood worry morphed into a real live adult worry.  After retiring from the bmx scene and opting for the academic and work world, I ballooned up like a free range tick.  At the top of my fat acquisition program, I was up to nearly 245 lbs.  That is basically two people in just one body, hence, my multiple personalities. 

I made a decision about 75 days ago to change my life, my outlook, and my chances.  It is working wonderfully and I am so please with my results and my new lifestyle.  At times, I get to eat whatever I want.  I can have a frosted funnel cake fiesta with cheese and cream gravy every so often as long as the other 90 percent of the time I am living a healthy lifestyle.  It works.  In just a couple of months I am down well over 20 lbs and a couple of dress sizes!  My multiple chins are decreasing.  I am getting healthy, not skinny and I love how it feels.  I can do it. 

So, I've listened to modern doctors, philosophers, and diet product salesmen tell me how bad off we are in the United States.  They say we are in an epedemic of fat, diabetes, and choice related disease. The government, in their wisdom, initiated health insurance because of all the uninsured and sick people.  Ha.  I scoffed with great scoffiness.  Surely these people are wrong....uh oh, I just got back from the beach in Port Aransas.


I decided to check the stats.  I had to walk a bit from my car to the funnel cake stand as we approached Sand Fest 2011.  I would make a count of people that were:

1.  Over 30
2.  Did not appear to have just had a child
3.  Males and Females randomly
4.  Chubby went into the "healthy" category, really fat went into the "fat category". 

Here is what I found out:  The government is right, we cannot OR will not take care of  ourselves, so they need to do it for us.  I am part of the problem, but I repent.  I reject bad health as a choice.  Here are what the numbers showed me and I am disgusted:

104 Sample People

78 Were grossly spilling out of their swimsuits and looked like three quarts of marshmellow fluff in a two quart pan. 

26 Were chubby or less, with some actually appearing to be athletic.  I did not count skinny kids of which I used to be one too. 

About 75% of the beach population has chosen to live a less than fulfilling life, or a life with less health.

What is bad health and good health?  Is good health just a lack of disease or symptoms?  Nah, good health is something up the scale a bit where you are strong and feel good.  Bad health is something less than zero on the scale.  We need to choose good health.  We need to treat the causes of our diseases where possible, and not treat the symptoms. 

Tomorrow I start another 24 day advocare challenge with the people in my life.  This time, I am stepping it up a bit and I don't even know what that means.  We are also starting "40 DAYS OF PRAYER" at The Solomon Group.  We sit around and pray with each other over our lives, our family, and our goals.  Those 40 days end about May 27.  If I hit my goals, and Audrey hits her goals, here is how May 28th plays out:

8:00 a.m.  Limo picks us up and takes us to breakfast at Kerby Lane

8:45          Head to the local shopping to shop like a rockstar.  Audrey gets 10 new outfits along with all relevant bling, shoes, hats, etc.  I get a new wardrobe as well. 

12:00        Noon  Limo takes us to Dave and Busters (Audrey's Fave!) where we have lunch and play games for a couple of hours

2:00           Head to local Apple store:  Audrey, Katy, Jenn, and I get to each purchase one item of our choice. 

3:00          Finish shopping requirements

5:00           Limo takes us all to dinner at Melting Pot

7:00          Movie

9:00          Ice Cream

9:30          Limo Driver is exhausted and gets to go home!

It is a good goal, and I am eager to succede.  Girls, this is for you. 

I am so thrilled that we live in a country where we still have a choice to the outcome of our lives.  Take that choice and make it count. 

Cash Matthews

Friday, April 8, 2011

Wow, Thanks, 23/68 And Beach

I need to blog more.  It is theraputic for me and for the one of you out there reading this, I am confident that my writing makes you feel better about your own life!  There is so much going on here, a blog is a great way to bring it all together and look at your mess from a top down view.

Wow.  Almost two years has gone by since we opened the new Solomon Group building, with all of the hopes and dreams so fresh.  Today we reached another milestone, at least for me.  Without too much fanfare, we made payroll.  And rent.  And a major website to support our program.  And a few other things....not often do I get to pat myself on the back, but for some reason today I am feeling some major relief. 

 God has blessed us so richly with love, kindness, and opportunity.  Our "B.O.N.G. events have flourished and I continue to find myself surrounded by believers who are for us.  Our North BONG sold out and had standing room only.  One of our goals is to help promote ethical commerce in Austin, and then the U.S. and to help the small business person thrive.  Somehow, we seem to be accomplishing these things and I know that all the credit has a Divine origin.  I continue to meet individuals who amaze me, and this cannot be an accident. 


1.  David Temple.  Our 2010 Advisor of The Year at The Solomon Group.  David is one of the most dedicated learners of our business, and he continues to grow and thrive in ways that truly inspire me.  I love his quick wit and his manner around our office.  David is truly a team player and someone I admire greatly.

2.  Ben Randle.  Another outstanding fellow, Ben has grown into a hihg-caliber business person and his ability with people one-on-one is so impressive.  He is one of those who you just love when you meet him, and it shows in how people respond to him.  We are lucky to have Ben and Tammy as part of our growing company and I look forward to watching him as he has set his sights high for the coming months and years!

3.  Kevin Hollemans.  Wow.  I don't care if you spell WOW backwards or forwards, but Kevin is a WOW factor.  This guy is on fire in so many ways, people are showing up just to watch!  He is on fire for God, for his family, for his business, and it is so cool to see a man of his caliber making and accomplishing goals.  Wow.  Did I say wow yet?

4.  Jennifer Eskina.  Possibly the most talented person I know.  Perserverance would be one word for her.  Dedicated could fit in there also.  Gobs of talent, and all of it is something she has worked for.  Tomorrow she will be speaking to hundreds of at risk girls.  Her talk is about girls/business and her relationship with God.  She juggles so much, and always makes time to do the right thing.  Lives get changed tomorrow, and there are going to be kids who will benefit their whole lives through after this program at First Independant Baptist Church.  Jenn, you are THE MAN!

God has put so many great people in my life, and I am thankful for them all.

Ok then, this is day 68 and I am still down 23 lbs and a bunch of dress sizes.  Well, belt loop holes!  I feel better too, which is nice.  I didn't realize I was just a decision away.

Tomorrow I am off to the beach house to do some work.  Sand Fest is coming up.  Wanna come and play? 

Goodnight Sarah and Audrey...It is impossible to say how much I love you both. 

Woof. I am a lucky dog.

Above:, super cute !

Above:  Me with Sarah at Port A...No fish,but an excellent time!

Above:  Jennifer Eskina, SGI Executive VP, a rare photo of her NOT working or saving the day!

Girls!  Lots and lots of girls!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Fat Party

Mark the date...April 18, we are getting a crew of folks together who might like to encourage each other and do the "24 Day Challenge" at the same time.  It would be amazing if we could get 100 people to do the challenge with us and if we each lost 10 lbs, that would be 1000 pounds!

The 24 day challenge info can be found on Katy's Advocare site at

Join us for better health!

This is day 50 or so for me with the new lifestyle change.  Just yesterday I tried on a shirt that two years ago was much too small.  Yesterday, I wore the heck out of that shirt.  Yes, it fit.  Ahhhhh............I am doing this.

Monday, March 14, 2011

People I Love!

David and Windy Temple...David was our Advisor of the Year for 2010!

I am so blessed to work with a great group of people.  I just want to post their pic here and say a few things about them.  Mostly, I want to publicly say thanks to those folks who are willing to work with me, support me, or be part of this journey.  I love you all, and am honored to be near you.

Pastor Mike Marcellus,(left) First Independent Baptist close friend and advisor!

Dawn Dotson....Mortgage genius, Wonderful friend!

Donna Haas....Kenny married UP!

Ivette Zuliani...definitely one of the good eggs!

Jackie and Sue Mills...Solomon's MVP for 2010!!!

Jennifer Eskina...Executive Vice President and Master of The Redfish!

Kevin and Shari Hollemans..Director of Money Matters Ministry

Laura Deaton, my life long friend from first grade...

The Hope Award Winner for 2010...she is heroic

Ben Randle, Leonard Rice, David Temple

Fishing 2010

Sunrise Service...The Whole Gang!  August 2010

40 days of Prayer Group!

There are many more for whom I do not have photos of, but thanks to all of you who are so fantastic and such a major part of my life.  Please know, that if we are friends, I count YOU as a blessing!