Purpose

This site is dedicated to providing a reliable straight shooting road map for Christian men and women who are looking in the Bible for answers about money, finances, debt, tithing and giving.  The fact is, if you don’t know what the Bible says about being “rich” or being poor, about tithing or about debt, you are setting yourself up for financial failure. Most Christians don’t take the time to read the Bible, cover to cover, let alone secure their financial future using its teachings. This site’s sole purpose is to dramatically shrink the learning curve and help you learn the secrets to Gods financial blessings.  If you want to get valuable training & resources then stop wasting your time wading through the insane amount of misinformation trying to sell you some new magic potion on the net.  You’ve found your home – all the good stuff you need is here!

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A letter to my Pastor: the 40 day prayer challenge, the Bible and Revelation

Hi Pastor Peter!

How are you?!

I know this email is, like the last one, really random but as I’ve been participating in a “40 Day Prayer Challenge” I’ve been reading Mark Batterson’s “Draw the Circle: the 40 Day Prayer Challenge” book. A passage I read this morning literally made my heart stop. It said,

“…Hardly a day goes by that I don’t hear a story that makes me want to cry or give God a round of applause. Those testimonies have lit a fire under my faith unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. Here’s why: If God did it for them, He might just do it for me. Maybe that’s why Revelation 12:11 places such an importance on sharing testimonies. And maybe that’s why the enemy wants us to keep our testimonies silent.”

That last sentence is what has really been bothering me.

I know for me personally, I’ve been seeing signs and miracles in my own life.

But I haven’t really been sharing them.

I think the reason why I probably don’t share is because behind miracles, there is usually a lot of pain, maybe embarrassment or shame- I know there are behind mine.

But I want to share it with you.

I told you before that I moved up here because my life had been turned upside-down, well it was because I found out about the first of many of Saul’s affairs. I didn’t know what to do, I didn’t know if I should file for divorce or try and fix my marriage or what.

Around the same time I started coming to Grace I started reading a book called “Spirit Driven Success” by Dani Johnson. I remember sitting on the couch, reading this book, bawling my eyes out and asking God for answers. I literally turned the page in the book and that next page was the story of Saul turning into Paul. That was my first sign.

That was 2 years ago. This past Christmas eve, things seemed to be going well. Saul and I haven’t been living together for the past 6 months or so, but things seemed to be on the mend and he seemed to want to work on being a family. He was (and still is) seeing a therapist, and he was spending some time with our son and I in our home.

On Christmas eve, Saul went to church with us and that was the mass you gave us the “Circle Maker” booklet. Saul came back to our house with us and as I was taking a picture of Saul and Branden in front of the Christmas tree, an orb floated up the middle of my camera screen and lingered between Saul and Branden’s faces. It literally took my breath away. Less than two hours later I found out Saul had a girlfriend in the area. A girl I knew- we went to high school together.

I remember throwing my phone and wedding rings in a pile on the floor and just started walking around them. I don’t know how long I walked for- I prayed for healing for Saul, for the breaking of his bondage and I prayed for the reconciliation of my family. I got down on my face and made a covenant with the Lord that I would fast every Sunday for the next two years if he would free Saul and bring reconciliation to my family. I haven’t stopped praying those prayers.

It may sound crazy, but I confronted Saul about his girlfriend, but didn’t ask him to break up with her. It’s going to sound mean, but my husband is often like a teenage- quick to rebel when “told” to do something…so I just let it go.

Instead I started researching “protection” and the Bible. I didn’t know that St. Michael is the Archangel of Protection…but that is where we got married- St. Michael’s Maryland.

I bought him a medal, Pastor Kevin blessed it for me and he started wearing it on the same chain as his cross and his dog tag. He broke up with his girlfriend and started coming to church without me asking.

I know we have a long way to go, and I am sure a lot of people would think I’m nuts, or that I’m putting to much stock in “signs” or that I’m making it up…but I’m confident that this is the path I’m suppose to be on.

Saul comes from a family that has a history of divorce with children and alcoholism. When Saul’s mother left his father when Saul was little, she broke the generational curse of alcoholism for Saul and his brother. She stood in the gap. I believe that I’m suppose to stand in the gap for this generational curse.

That’s my first story, lol (I warned you this was a long email!). My second thing I wanted to share with you was about your message last week regarding bold prayers, and how God is insulted with small “wimpy” ones:

The last weekend in January I flew down to Texas to see Dani Johnson speak live. Dani is a business leader but she teaches concepts based on the Bible. One of the things she said that stuck with me was to “have a giving goal, not an income goal”. So as I sat in the airport on my way home from the conference and started thinking about my giving goal. I wasn’t thinking about it in terms of a monetary value, but how many people God could use me to impact. So I started a list. Aside from tithing at GCC, I have been trying to “give” at least $25 to four different charities each month. So thinking of those charities I decided in 2013 I want to:
1.) feed 1,000 orphans
2.) fund the building of 10 wells
3.) sponsor 2 children’s life-changing surgeries
4.) feed 1,000 Americans

I started visiting each website and getting figures…I became overwhelmed.

There is absolutely no way- it’s literally impossible.

1.) feed 1,000 orphans- it’d cost 97,000 (97/yr per orphan)
2.) build 10 wells- 100,000 (10,000/well)
3.) sponsor 2 surgeries- 12,000 (6,000/ea)
4.) feed 1,000 Americans 540,000 (540/yr per American- crazy the difference in feeding an American vs an orphan..but anyways)

The total giving amount would be 749,000 for the year…68,019 a month- not including tithing!

lol so if I’m living 10-90..that’s quite an income.

So that is my big, huge, impossible prayer.

There is literally no way I can even come close to that on my own so I’ll keep working and praying..but I am SO excited to see what God has in store.

Casey

Random posts from my other blog

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40 Day Prayer Challenge

Hey Everyone!

How are you?! It’s hard to believe my first “prayer challenge group” ends next week! Yikes! The 40 days FLEW by!

Good news though :) I am starting another prayer challenge on Sunday, February 17th. So, if you are interested, leave me a comment on this page with your email address and I’ll get you the details!

The 40 Day Prayer Challenge comes from the book, “The Circle Maker” by Mark Batterson. In that book (pg 160 to be exact) it talks about a prayer experiment done by a girl named Selina.

“Selina recruited nine friends, and together they formed a prayer circle. The covenanted to pray for each other every day, and they decided to focus their prayers on their greatest struggles…Not everybody in the prayer circle knew each other. In fact, not all of them liked each other. But as they started praying for each there each day, God began to bond them. They would often call each other if they felt prompted to share what the Lord was impressing on them during prayer, and it was amazing how often their prayers were perfectly targeted or timed…What would happen if you focused your prayers on one thing for one person for one month or one year? There’s only one way to find out: do your own prayer experiment.”

Our first prayer challenge group had six people in it and I know for me it was a good way to challenge myself. If you are interested in participating in this 40 Day Prayer Challenge, again, please leave me a comment so I can find out a.) you are interested and b.) what prayer you would like the group to pray for on your behalf (the more specific the better!).

The goal is to start the prayer circle on Sunday, February 17th so please email me before than so I am able to email the prayer list out to the group. 40 days from Sunday will bring us to March 28th. If there is anyone else you think might be interested in participating please forward this post onto them :)

xo

Casey

If you have any questions please contact me!

Random posts from my other blog

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What Is Wealth?

What is wealth? Well, first let’s take a look at the definition:

wealth  (wlth)n.

1.a. An abundance of valuable material possessions or resources; riches.

b. The state of being rich; affluence.

2. All goods and resources having value in terms of exchange or use.

3. A great amount; a profusion: a wealth of advice

Hmm. Ok. Let’s take the first definition and define abundance:

a·bun·dance  (-bndns) n.

1. A great or plentiful amount.

2. Fullness to overflowing: “My thoughts . . . are from the abundance of my heart” (Thomas De Quincey).

3. Affluence; wealth.

4. Chemistry The amount of an isotope of an element that exists in nature, usually expressed as a percentage of the total amount of all isotopes of the element.

So, in a nutshell wealth is “more than what you need”. If you look at some of the words used to describe wealth and abundance, you’ll find a common theme: fullness, a great amount, overflowing, abundance of resources.

So we are told to find a balance. Remember when we talked about Proverbs 22:7 “..borrower is servant to the lender”? So we know we don’t want to be in-debt, but we also don’t want to have  excess. Through the Bible we know the Kingdom of Heaven is reserved for the poor, and that the rich have the most difficult time getting into heaven (“the last shall be first and the first shall be last”).

So we must live in the balance. What excess do you have? I know for me, by going through Dani Johnson’s “War On Debt” program, I’ve learned where there is excess within my own budget. Just by keeping better track on where/ what I spend my money on, we’ve “cut” hundreds of dollars out of our spending each month.

So where does it go now? We use this money to give more. We tithe our 10% to the church every month and we’ve chosen 12 charities that we give to each year. We give to four charities for three months, and the move on to the next four charities, and then the last four charities.

This is our “planned” giving. I do a bible study with a woman and this subject literally brings her to tears. She’s always striving to do more and give more and she never feels like she can do enough. One of the things she said in the past that stuck with me is, “give to everyone who asks” even if it’s $5.

If you’re like me, you probably don’t even realize how much you get asked for money until you actually start giving each of those organizations or people money. Start now and find out :)

Now, let me make clear. Giving of money is not the only way to strive for living in the balance. It is, however, a way to push you out of our comfort zone. In our Beth Moore Bible study this week, “Mercy Triumphs” we talked about dignifying people. Acknowledge their existence! How many people do you pass every day without saying a word? Beth told a story about how she said hello to a cleaning lady in an airport bathroom. The lady said to her, “you are a kind person” and Beth, floored at this statement asked her back, “why? What have I done for you to think I am good?” And the woman responded basically saying most people don’t even notice I am here.

James 2:14-16
What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can his faith save him? If a brother or sister is without clothes and lacks daily food and one of you says to them, “go, in peace, keep warm and eat well” but you don’t give them what the body needs, what good is it?

Share your wealth- whether it is money, time, groceries, conversation, carpooling, whatever!

I’d love to hear your giving stories and how you’re living life (or trying to live life) in the balance.

Our God is good <3

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What Does It Mean To Be Connected?

It’s a common theme throughout the Bible. We are called to connect with each other but most importantly with God through Jesus.

In Ezekiel we learn about the Valley of Dry Bones. Before life can be breathed into them, the bones must first be connected to each other- with ligaments, tendons and muscles. The body represents us as a community; joining together and working together for a common purpose or goal.

Ezekiel 37:4-1o 

 4 Then he said to me, “Prophesy to these bones and say to them, ‘Dry bones, hear the word of the Lord! This is what the Sovereign Lord says to these bones: I will make breath[a] enter you, and you will come to life. I will attach tendons to you and make flesh come upon you and cover you with skin; I will put breath in you, and you will come to life. Then you will know that I am the Lord.”

7 So I prophesied as I was commanded. And as I was prophesying, there was a noise, a rattling sound, and the bones came together, bone to bone. I looked, and tendons and flesh appeared on them and skin covered them, but there was no breath in them.

Then he said to me, “Prophesy to the breath; prophesy, son of man, and say to it, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Come, breath, from the four winds and breathe into these slain, that they may live.’” 10 So I prophesied as he commanded me, and breath entered them; they came to life and stood up on their feet—a vast army.

Jesus is the cornerstone. We are the body, Jesus is the head. A body cannot function without a head, and we as a community cannot function without Jesus. We need to be connected.

John 15:1-8

“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes[a] so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.

“When I am connected (to Jesus) like a branch to a vine, then Jesus’ life will flow through mine.” In other religions and in other cultures, it’s “acceptable” to worship Jesus and our God as well as other gods. As Christians, we see this as unacceptable. However, some of us aren’t that different. We may not worship gods of other religions, but what about false idols like celebrities, or possessions, money or even our family?

When we hold up these other areas of our life, we take away from our relationship with God and our ability to be “pruned” by Him, falling short of our purpose and falling short of our full potential.

By focusing on what we think we are capable of doing “on our own” or without letting God pour into us, we are really just bearing “sub-par fruit” or no fruit at all.

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Should CEO’s Keep Their Religious Convictions To Themselves?

Catches your eye, doesn’t it?

The article is from Business Week: (http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2012-07-26/god-and-gay-marriage-what-chick-fil-a-could-learn-from-marriott#r=read) and is titled: “God and Gay Marriage: What Chick-fil-A Can Learn From Marriott.”

It’s a good and interesting article and it definitely left me thinking. Here are two business owners, both have similar personal views but take totally different approaches when applying their beliefs to their businesses. Marriott opts to separate his personal beliefs from business, saying, “We have to take care of our people, regardless of their sexual orientation or anything else. We are an American Church. We have all the American values: the values of hard work, the values of integrity, the values of fairness and respect.”

Dan Carey (President of Chick-fil-A) recently made some controversial remarks “by saying he supports the ‘biblical definition of a family’ and believes Americans have a ‘prideful, arrogant attitude’ about gay marriage that risks ‘inviting God’s judgment on our nation.’” [Businessweek]

So what do we do? How do we act within our own businesses, workplaces, and towards others in general? In times like this, I think it is important to refer to the 10 Commandments and when in doubt, live by those. If we live by the Commandments, then the reality is we’re putting it in God’s hands. As an individual, you may not agree with how others are living their lives, but you are suppose to love them. In addition to reviewing the Commandments, it’s important to reference Mark 12 (below Exodus 20:1-21)

———————————————————————

From Exodus 20:1-21

And God spoke all these words:

“I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.

“You shall have no other gods beforeme.

“You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.

“You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.

“Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns. 11 For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.

12 “Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you.

13 “You shall not murder.

14 “You shall not commit adultery.

15 “You shall not steal.

16 “You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.

17 “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.”

18 When the people saw the thunder and lightning and heard the trumpet and saw the mountain in smoke, they trembled with fear. They stayed at a distance 19 and said to Moses, “Speak to us yourself and we will listen. But do not have God speak to us or we will die.”

20 Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid. God has come to test you, so that the fear of God will be with you to keep you from sinning.”

21 The people remained at a distance, while Moses approached the thick darkness where God was.

From Mark 12:28-34

28 One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?”

29 “The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.[e] 30 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’[f] 31 The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[g] There is no commandment greater than these.”

32 “Well said, teacher,” the man replied. “You are right in saying that God is one and there is no other but him. 33 To love him with all your heart, with all your understanding and with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself is more important than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.”

34 When Jesus saw that he had answered wisely, he said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” And from then on no one dared ask him any more questions.

————————————————————–

We’ve addressed this in a similar way before, God wants us to give him the glory. He wants us to share His word through the marketplace. We are suppose to be messengers. But messengers through judgement, discrimination or greed? No way. We all no that’s not what God and His kingdom are about! Let him be the only judge. Glorify Him and spread His message that way!

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Psalm 37:4

Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart Psalm 37:4

This was our discussion topic this past Sunday at Church, and I think it’s a good topic to address here as well. How exactly do you “delight yourself in the Lord”? Answer: it is through prayer! He wants us to come to him with our troubles and struggles, dreams and ambitions. People pray for all different reasons- and the great thing about it is there is no “right or wrong” way! Whether you pray at night, at Church, 12 times a day or once a day. Pray for guidance, pray as thanks, pray for whatever is in your heart!

Prayer is less about getting something and more about becoming something.
Prayer is what strengthens your relationship with God. It’s what brings you closer. The more you trust Him with, and the more you trust in Him, the more He will trust in you. It Delight the can be difficult to lay everything before God and trust in His plan for you- especially if it’s not the same plan you have for yourself!

Our pastor gave the example that his wife’s mother was dying of cancer. They prayed and prayed for her to be cured of her cancer. She was cured- but in the Kingdom of Heaven. Not the “plan” or “cure” that they were looking for- but she was healed and relieved of her pain.

Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of heart. You pray for money- it may come in the form of an opportunity. Pray for your spouse to change- you may be granted greater tolerance. You may not be able to change others- but God can give you talents, opportunities, tools and dreams to grow yourself and help you overcome those trials.

Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.

 

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“My Own Little World”

Hey Everyone!
If you haven’t heard this song, or seen this music video. Watch it! The words are amazing and ring true with everything we’ve been talking about- giving, tithing, helping others, etc! Click on the image to watch the music video!

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God at Work

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6 Bible Verses About Money Every Catholic Should Know

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men. Colossians 3:23

This is important. If you can remember that you work for God and not for a person or a paycheck. Your boss or co-workers may not see how hard and diligently you work, but God does and so you will prosper. On the flip-side, if you are being lazy, wasteful and disrespectful of your coworkers, boss, family, etc; God knows it, and it won’t go unpunished.

Do not worry about what you will eat or what you will wear because your God in Heaven already knows what you need. Matthew 6:25-34

It’s easy to get caught up in the fear of “not knowing”. But God does know. You need to walk by faith and not by sight. God knows your dreams and desires because he put them in you! Do you really think your God would fill you with all this passion and drive and desire and then hang you out to dry? Heck no!

Give generously to him [the needy] and do so without a grudging heart; then because of this the Lord your God will bless you in all your work and in everything you put your hand to. Deuteronomy 15:10

God wants us to help those in need. Not only with our money but using our skills and resources as well. With him as our Father, we are all brothers and sisters. Not all people are looking for a handout but a hand-up. When you look in another person’s eyes- see God. Know that you are helping Him.

The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender. Proverbs 22:7

Get out of debt. Couldn’t be more simple. Credit card companies, loans, car payments..you are a servant to all of these borrowers. Work like mad to rid yourself of these “burdens” and you will be rich.

Well done, my good and faithful servant. Since you were faithful in small matters, I will give you great responsibilities. Come, share your master’s joy. Matthew 25:21

It’s easy to get caught up in the “well if I only had more money, THEN I could do get out of debt or tithe to the Church” etc, etc. Here’s the reality: if God can’t trust you with what he’s already given you, HOW can he trust you with more? If you child had an allowance, blew all there money on something “stupid” and then came back and asked for more money, what would you say? “Heck no! Show me you can be responsible with what I gave you and then I’ll think about it.” Or you might say, “no, you’ve got to earn it.” God, our Father, says the same thing to us. Pay down your debt with what you’ve got, tithe with what you’ve got, and then you shall be rewarded.

Honor the Lord with your wealth, with the first fruits of all you produce. Then will your barns be filled with grain, with new wine your vats will overflow. The discipline of the Lord, my son, disdain not, spurn not his reproof; For whom the Lord loves he reproves, and he chastises the son he favors. Proverbs 2:3

Did you read this? This is one of my FAVORITE quotes. I read it daily to remind myself. “Honor the Lord..with the FIRST fruits of ALL you produce.” Before you pay bills, before you spend money on dinner, you need to take 10% off your paycheck, right away and give it to God. You may say, “but I need that! I won’t be able to do ____ without it!” Trust me when I say this: When we first started giving God our 10%, I was scared. But somehow, we still managed to pay all of our bills on time, buy groceries, put a little in savings..even with tithing that 10%. It’s like Jesus with the fish and bread..He will make it last.

(If you ask ‘why 10%’? It’s a legitimate question. The reason- tithe translated literally means a tenth.)

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