Tag Archives: finances

Do I expect or demand?

Recently I’ve been thinking about a few situations in the lives of friends/family/acquaintances of mine.  These circumstances have led me to question some areas of my own life in relation to how I feel about what God is doing or perceived to NOT be doing in my life.

I have been cornered with a question that I am not so certain the best answer nor am I even certain as to whether I can always know the answer.

This question is simply this Continue reading

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Ladies & Gentlemen I JUST DID IT…

That’s right – I did it – I opened up the website – I checked a couple necessary columns of currency – I opened another website – I logged in and then I did it – I PAID OFF MY LAST BIT OF “non-housing” debt! Continue reading

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Good things man….

so I don’t have time to go into a FULL ACCOUNT right now but some REALLY good things are happening for me.  God has started “nudging” me to consider some future things, I have started making some more definite plans for the coming months, and then TODAY God opened the HUGE FLOODGATES of some financial support.

I can’t go into too great a detail on the finances but let me just say that even as much as I am CERTAIN that I fully rely on God for meeting my needs – HE NEVER CEASES to AMAZE ME in the goodness that would be His rich & bountiful blessings!

So let me PRAISE GOD for this awesome thing but also let me say a HUGE THANKS to my many supporters who so graciously and sacrificially give and are used by GOD to encourage me so I am able to minister in the “unconventional” ways that I am able to.

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The Numbers just don’t add up…

AND I LOVE IT!!!

I’ll be honest – I have written and re-written this post in my mind numerous times.  I have edited and re-edited and sometimes come to the point where I decided not to share, but was then convicted that this is TOO GOOD NOT TO SHARE.

Now I’ll put a small disclaimer on this post Continue reading

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Final 4 Finances – How in the World??

So as many of you know I just got back in from my UNREAL EXPERIENCE of traveling to the Final 4 to watch the Tar Heels play & WIN the 2009 NCAA Men’s Basketball NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP!!!

I finally sat down this morning to figure up the final costs of the trip to see just how FORTUNATE & BLESSED I was to have been able to do something like this on a limited budget.

So here is what I have deduced – 

Travel cost of Gas for driving Friday morning through return late Tuesday night, Atlanta to Cincinnati (left my car there and rode with my cousin from there to Detroit) and back home again  + food costs during the entire trip + accomodations & hotel costs (well that was provided, thanks Rob & Renee & Nadia for providing a place to crash on Friday night, as well as Thanks Stephens Crew for the Hotel hook-up)  +  Tickets to ALL FINAL 4 GAMES & Hoop City festivities (thanks CBS lady for getting those for FREE!!)  +  1 National Championship T-shirt bought @ stadium   +   2 Final 4 Game Programs   +  any other “incidentals” such as riding the “People Mover” around Detroit as well as paying to park for the games      ===   GRAND TOTAL   ===  Approx.  $300  for the ENTIRE TRIP!!!

That is basically $300 for 5 days – so about $60 PER DAY for this AMAZING EXPERIENCE – even after doing all the math – I am still completely amazed – Thanks for everyone who helped out and participated.  Thanks for checking out my videos (there are still more to come to wrap up the whole trip) and thanks to GOD cause there is NO DOUBT HE BLESSED us with so many of these things – there is no rhyme or reason as to why, but I TOTALLY know that HE did – so there is NO DOUBT that we must give credit where credit is due – SO THANKS GOD!!!

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The Power of 10

men-10

number10I was reminded this morning of something I have heard talked about many times in life, but it made me stop and ponder it a lil bit more today.  You see we just came out of a “money” series at our Church this past month.  (It was called $PENT and was about whole financial life, not simply a “ploy” to guilt people into giving more money – check out the series online HERE).  Anyway a lot of the discussion invariably turns to a discussion about “tithing” and giving that first 10 percent back to God’s work.  (now I know recently there was a MUCH DISCUSSED debate, on a friend’s blog, about this whole subject and I do not desire to see that all happen again – I am simply sharing some quick thoughts)number-10-chain

I do believe that God has set a precedent for our giving and I often believe we so often focus on what the “required” amount is instead of the heart of the matter of being so thankful to God that we continually seek new ways to give EVEN MORE – to GROW in our habit of giving each and every year.  It is funny to me that we will debate till the day we die about whether or not we need to give 10% but so often never even discuss the idea of “growing in our giving”.  

I was very fortunate to witness from an early age 2 people that have set an INTENSE example of giving.  I had heard the stories of a couple that agreed upon getting married that they would set apart 15% of their income to give back to God, but not just stop there.  It was their desire and goal that each year of their marriage they would increase by 1% for as long as they felt like they could do so.  It was not till my college years that I found out that those 2 people were my own parents.

You see the beauty of this is that they always showed the example of giving and taught the lessons and value of trusting God with our tithes and offerings to my sister and I – yet at the same time never “touted their own giving as the standard”.  This subject and area of giving is so seemingly difficult to share examples from your own life because we often don’t want to go in conflict with what God’s Word says in Matthew 6:3 – But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing,”.  So often times we sit by quietly not sharing and challenging people to grow in their giving.  I will say I learned some extremely valuable lessons on giving from my parents, but to this day STILL HAVE NO IDEA what actual amount or percentage they give, which to me is pretty cool.

So what about this idea of “growing in our giving”?  Would it not seem awkward if someone who learned the prayer “God is great God is good, let us thank Him for our food, by His hands we must be fed, Thank You God for daily bread – Amen!” to still be using that same prayer when they are 40 years old leading the family prayer at Thanksgiving.  Or how about someone who simply memorized at a young age “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” – to not be digging deeper into scripture as they got into their 30’s????   Yet those who may have already grabbed hold of the challenge of tithing (giving 10%) when they are younger are still doing the same some 30 years later in their life – this befuddles me (yeah I said befuddles – it is a cool word!)

Does that mean that we have not grown in our level of TRUST in God for providing for us, or have not grown in our desire to see more done in His Kingdom through our giving, than where we were that 30 years ago when we were already giving our 10% – I really struggle with this and cannot understand or accept that we think this is okay.

But back to my being reminded of this in a story this morning.  I was reading in a book and it referenced the story of Jesus and the 10 men with leprosy, found in Luke 17:11-19.  In this story Jesus comes upon 10 men with this dreaded disease, and they are outcasts, they cry out to Jesus for mercy and healing.  He tells them to go show themselves to the Priest (the custom to determine one was now clean and could return to normal living and go back to friends and family).  While on their way they realize they have been cleansed and out of the 10 only 1 of them returns to show Jesus how grateful he was.  He runs back and falls at Jesus feet to thank Him.  Then Jesus asks if there were not actually 10 that were healed, then what happened to the other 9.  I can sort of hear the disappointment in Jesus’ voice – I know He was please to see this 1 man return and I am sure Jesus felt great about the change that had occurred in this man’s life, but probably felt the hurt and sting of the lack of appreciation from the other 9.

When we read this we think to ourselves – that is SO STUPID, for these other 9 to not go back to thank Jesus – I mean how LAME could these guys be?  How easy to have turned back to go and give Him the thanks He so RIGHTLY deserves – HE GAVE THEM THEIR LIVES BACK – THEIR HEALTH BACK – THEIR FRIENDS, FAMILY, COMMUNITY BACK – what could they have been thinking!

Well folks – YOU DO THE MATH – 10% of the men DID return to Jesus, yet for us, in all of our JUDGMENTALISM that is STILL NOT ENOUGH????  Why does this set off a tinge of anger and injustice in our minds?  Yet so often we are COMPLETELY AND TOTALLY OKAY with NOT EVEN being able to give back at least 10% of our own time, treasure, and talents – HEAVEN FORBID we even give more!

How funny (in a sad way) the irony of when the shoe is on the other foot – how easy to see the fault in those other men, when we so often have a disease far worse than that of physical leprosy eating away at us – the disease of a lack of Trust in our God to provide for us when we faithfully give back to Him.

Hmmmm just some things I am thinking about today – got any thoughts??

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A pretty solid day – all around…

So I feel like we had a really good day @ C3 today (Christ’s Church @ Cobb).  It was my first Sunday back after heading back to NC for post Christmas and some New Year’s visitation with family and friends, and I was really happy to be back with the church family.  We had a wonderful day of fellowship, worship, and the word!

We started a new series last week called $PENT – it is all about finding a solid financial plan that God lays out for us (NO – not all about how we just want people to give us more money).  We are dealing with some MAJOR financial depression all around us, but God has a better plan in store for us.  

Jeff did another SOLID job today laying out some of these thoughts – you can check out our sermons online HERE and also subscribe through itunes.  I would encourage you to check it out.  Also we showed some pretty funny videos.  One of them was the one I posted in my last post about Wii Fit.  Jeff was talking about how we do so much “impulse” buying and how that gets us into trouble.  So we challenged everyone to try this – “Pray before you Pay”.  So we showed the parody Wii Fit video and then showed the following picture to sort of remind them in a funny way….

wii-wait001We are trying to help people grasp the idea that if you can wait and not buy “in the heat of the moment” you end up making a lot fewer bad purchases.

I think it all went over really well and the people were encouraged.  We all could do a better job of not allowing our money or stuff to control us and instead us start to control our money and to use to to do better things for the Kingdom and for ourselves and families.

But today was also a solid day all the way around in a couple other ways.  I want to share a couple other exciting things going on for you to check out.  Some good friends of mine are a part of an exciting new church work in the Midlotian/Richmond area of Virginia called New Venture Christian Church.  Today they did sort of a “relaunch” as they moved from the movie theatre where they were meeting and into a local school setting.  They were really pumped up about the big day.  I have spoken with one of them and they said they had a great day and about 300 in attendance.  It has been exciting to watch them all going through this process and to be sharing with them and praying for them.  You should really check them out!

Then there is a friend of my brother in law Jeff – his name is Vince Antonucci (check out his blog) who this weekend was sharing his last message at the church he started over 10 years ago back in Virginia Beach, VA (church is called ForeFront) – the reason he is leaving is to head out west, like the pioneers of the old days – but instead of staking a claim on some land or getting caught up in the gold rush – he is been guided by God to go out and start a new church work ON THE STRIP of Las Vegas.  That’s right actually ON THE STRIP – WOW what an exciting adventure – you REALLY REALLY should check it out.  The new work is called “Verve” – they are planning some very intriguing things to reach the people in the land known as “Sin City”.

Finally another reason for excitement this weekend was ANOTHER new church work that was getting up and running right here in the HEART of Atlanta.  A young man by the name of Shaun King (no real way to describe his story without you going and reading it on your own – some truly miraculous stuff!) and his family and some friends have been pierced to the heart about the city of Atlanta.  They had their launch service today for Courageous Church – (GOTTA CHECK IT OUT).  From what he shared on his blog they had a lil over 600 in attendance and some real exciting things going on.

Whew – just reading back over all these things gets my blood pumping and heart pounding even faster (and NO that is not the anger adrenaline still flowing from the Tarheels loss tonight @ Wake Forest – if anything that would be casting a shadow of discouragement over this day – but hey I guess we can’t have it all – so I’ll settle for these exciting Spiritual Victories!).  This reminds me that all in all – with all the things that may be going on that are bad – God is doing some TRULY AMAZING and AWESOME things – not only in our local church body, and not just in our city, and not only on our coast – BUT ALL ACROSS THIS COUNTRY and EVEN THE WORLD.  Sort of reminds of some things Jesus said – something about “being witnesses, in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and to the ends of the earth”.

So yeah I think today was a pretty solid day – hope yours was pretty good too!

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