Journal Entry

Ron Herrema

Entrepreneur

Illustration by John-Mark Warkentin

Journal Entry

Ron Herrema

Entrepreneur

10 short sound bites from Ron about his thoughts and discoveries on living out his calling as a Gospel Patron.


10 short sound bites from Ron about his thoughts and discoveries on living out his calling as a Gospel Patron.


01

Hello, I’m…

My name is Ron Herrema and I’m from Long Beach California. I never graduated from high school and I’m self-employed. I’ve been poor. I’ve been rich or whatever rich is defined as. But for me giving is one of the best feelings I could have. It’s very freeing. Giving is really after the heart of God.

02

Giving

My giving journey started fifteen years ago when my wife and I were purchasing our house and had little or no money. We really prayed for God’s direction whether to purchase this house or not and felt like there was all this confirmation that we should buy it. So we did. But when we started fixing it up we realized that it had black mold and had to be torn down. Our $10,000 budget to fix up our house became a $300,000 rebuild which we clearly did not have. So we stopped and prayed. And the message that came to us was ‘Give!’ We were thinking, “God, the thing we need more than anything else is money and you’re asking us to give?” But we did it. We obeyed and started giving regularly and joyfully. And for six months we let the house sit there, while we paid the mortgage. But then at the exact same time our business took off and unbelievably so – complete divine intervention. We were able to build a really nice house and we credit our home 100% to God. It was 100% God’s timing.

03

God’s Generosity

God is generous in so many ways and I try to recognize it on a daily basis. One of the things personally is that I chose an unconventional path at 23 years-old (after graduating from USC and working as a commercial banker) and God blessed me with a very flexible work schedule that has allowed me to work hard, but also to travel and pursue other things. God has allowed me to make more money that I have ever dreamed and allowed me to have even more free time, flexibility, and influence to be used for him.

04

Dangers of Wealth

People that have wealth tend to worry about money more than anything else in their lives. They worry that it’s going to be taken away or that someone is going to try and exploit them somehow. It can be real bondage. I know very wealthy people who are consumed with worrying about money. Several years ago I lived in Beverly Hills and in some very affluent areas and it was some of the most depressed people I had ever been around. And I think it was because they were so driven to create wealth and they thought that when they got it they were going to arrive and be happy. But once they achieved more than they thought they would ever achieve, they realized it didn’t make them happy. And now what? Without God in their lives, they have a gigantic hole.

05

Treasuring Jesus

It’s easy to give if you really believe that everything comes from God. If you truly believe that then giving is easy because it’s not ours anyway. Jesus needs to be the focus and foundation. In times of failure, move toward Jesus. And in times of success and prosperity, move toward Jesus. And thank him for both. We can become distracted, very distracted, and end up spending our time protecting and managing our investments and all that stuff. Not that you shouldn’t do those things, but they can be consuming.

06

I Wish I Knew…

My wife and I got married and took a six-week honeymoon in the South Pacific backpacking. And it was beautiful and it was great. (Although for a honeymoon I would recommend staying in a place that has air conditioning!) During the six weeks, all that we had was on our backs and that was enough. And when we came back to our rental house with all our stuff in it, we recognized that really don’t need much more than that. Two months later our house burned down and we lost everything. Some of the sentimental things like pictures and yearbooks were kind of a bummer, but honestly it wasn’t that big of a deal. It’s just stuff. It’s ok to have some things and to take care of them, but giving things away is very freeing.

07

My Routine

I am not someone who has a lot of repetition. Every day for me is different and I love that. But the one thing for me that I will say is when I wake up I pray. That is the first thing I do. When I wake up and God is on my mind, that’s how I know when I am on a better track.

08

Giving Decisions

I believe in giving to your home church, your home base first. And then for each individual there are so many good organizations and people and missionaries. You can’t give to everything you are asked of. We tend to give more to what resonates with us and what is personal. I like giving where I can see a ripple effect. And then I also like seeking out opportunities to give. I try to step in front of a need and ask what I can do to meet it, instead of waiting to hear about a need.

09

My Mission

My mission, it sounds simple, but it’s to be more and more generous. I strive to be more generous with my time, my resources and my talents. When I see things or I am given things, my first thought is, “Oh wow, this is wonderful. This is great. Who can I share this with?” I am blessed with great tickets to Lakers basketball. (You know, that team that used to be good.) I love basketball. I have followed the Lakers all my life. But I love it when I am able to give it away. I have a house in Hawaii. But honestly I get more joy by giving it away. So that’s sort of my mission. I am thankful to have opportunities to give.

10

3 Words

If I could choose three words to be remembered by, they would be: Generous, Fun, and Available. Somebody recently said of my wife and I that we always show up. I think that’s really good thing.

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