Friday, September 13, 2013

A Taste of Friday withe Pamela Carmichael and Financial Empowerment

Pamela is involved with the John 3:16 Marketing Network September Launch.




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PAMELA CARMICHAEL is a financial services professional with over 10 years’ experience.

Her book Financial Empowerment gives God-based solutions to personal finance challenges with the purpose of bringing empowerment.


 

CHAPTER 1

Why Money?

Why is money such an important topic today? Everyday activities revolve around money. We can’t do much without it. Money also shows the intents and contents of our hearts as well as our attitudes toward God and others. Money is important because it can have eternal value.


The Bible provides God’s solution to man’s sin problem. As believers we know that Christ has saved us from sin and eternal death, given us eternal life, delivered us from sin’s bondage, healed us physically and emotionally, and given us countless blessings. Yet many Christians do not see Christ as the solution to their financial problems. Though the Word of God says much about money and promises that God will meet the needs of His children; many struggle in this area of their lives. As believers, this ought not to be.
If the Word of God is our compass throughout our Christian walks, why do we not heed its advice when it comes to our finances? If we so believe God and His promises, why do we not heed His instructions in this area?
In one or more areas of their lives, Christians have difficulty obeying God’s Word regarding money, whether it is to tithe, to give, to count the cost, to use money and not to serve it, or to be wise stewards. If Christians became free of money—understanding and knowing how to handle it correctly—their lives would greatly improve. Not only would positive changes emerge in their financial positions, but their correct view of money would be reflected in their relationships with the Lord.

SO WHY TALK ABOUT MONEY?

Money Is Personal

No one on this earth is unaffected by this resource called money. Almost everything we need in life finds its value or weight in this resource. It is—without a doubt—the currency everyone carries. Some people tell us that money is unimportant, but as long as we are on this side of life, money will have a role in our lives. We may have a lot, just enough, barely enough, or none at all. For each of those levels, money will have some effect on us. We will worry about having too much, not have enough to meet our needs, or want more for us, our families, and others around us.
Money affects every life. Money is a personal thing.

Money Answers All Things

The Word of God says that the Lord has given us, His children, all things pertaining to life and godliness. I believe that includes money. We also know that money answers all things – there is little that can be accomplished without the use of money. ‘All things’ includes things like food, clothing, education, health care, and spiritual life. ‘All things’ is related to the physical as well as the spiritual. We may ask, “How can ‘all things’ be spiritual?” Money pays to maintain our church buildings, to source teaching materials and office supplies, to send us to conferences, and to provide other resources to build us up in the faith. As the writer of Ecclesiastes 10:19 says, “A feast is made for laughter, and wine makes merry; but money answers everything” (emphasis added).

Money Is Good, Not Evil

After all these years of reading the Bible, many still think money is evil; however,  the Word of God tells us that the love of money, not money itself, is the root of all evil (1 Timothy 6:10). Money is good if used but not loved. Often many make the fatal mistake of loving money rather than God and His people. Some Christians are afraid of money simply because they fear it will control them. Others downplay its importance in their lives and in building the kingdom of God.
For money to remain a valuable resource, you must master it, see its usefulness, and use it effectively. If you see money this way, you won’t ‘fall in love’ with it, get greedy, or hoard it. But you will find good uses for it.
Money is good and useful.

Money Is a Servant (a Tool)

If we view money as a tool the Master has placed in our hands, we will learn to use it better. Money doesn’t function on its own; it needs human intervention to bring about its usefulness. God puts money in our hands to serve as an instrument of blessing not only to us but also to others. Money is available to serve our interests as well as God’s. We need to employ money to work for us and the kingdom of God.
Just as money in the hands of the righteous can bring about good, so money in the hands of the wicked can promote evil. Hence, the Enemy fights or wars against every believer who desires to bless and promote God’s work with his or her money. He fights by convincing many to spend their money foolishly and, as a result, become bound by consumer debt. Sometimes he creates problems that cause them to easily lose their money.
If you remain alert to the Enemy’s devices and are proactive, you will be able to have more than enough money to do good. Money stands ready and waiting for you to use it to do good. Use it well.

Money Is a By-product of You

Usually those who are not out looking for money make lots of it. Let me explain. The most successful or wealthy people are those who enjoy what they do. They are the kind of people who create a product or service because they believe in it; they fully believe it will benefit those who use it and, as such, never consider that the product or service might not sell. These people live on purpose for a purpose, and out of their driven lives, they must do something outstanding that brings the benefit of financial abundance. They are not necessarily top grade-A students, but they have a gift or idea they followed through on and made money from. They are paid for who they are, what they do well, and what they really enjoy doing. I believe the energy they put into what they do, along with effective marketing, causes their products and services to stand out above the rest.
Have you ever realized that some products stand out more than others? Some brand names are household names more than others, even though other brand names sell the same or better product or service. If you investigate the stories of the people behind these products, you will often find a love for doing what they do, doing it well, and promoting it no matter what led to money in their hands.
Clearly, life is more than money, and money is merely a by-product of who you are. As the Word says, your gift will make room for you before great men (Proverbs 18:16). Money is a by-product of carrying out your life’s purpose.

Money Can Have Eternal Value

Yes, this may sound a bit strange, but money does have eternal value. As we discussed earlier, money is a tool God has placed in our hands to do good. The good it does can be either temporal or eternal.
Think about this. When you give to your local church, you participate in God’s business of spreading the gospel. Through the spreading of the gospel people give their lives to Christ; here you can see the eternal value. Some complain that all the church wants is money, but remember, money answers all good things. You can attach eternal value to your money when you give to your local church or missions, or when you sponsor a child, fund someone’s education, or send a preacher to plant a church. How will someone hear the good news unless someone is sent (Romans 10:14-15)? How can someone be sent without financial support of the local church? Money has eternal value when it is used to spread the good news.

WHAT TO EXPECT IN THIS BOOK

As you walk through the pages of this money book, I will discuss various aspects of financial management. You can see the areas of financial management I plan to cover from this perspective:

 

     Good money management brings positive returns: income generation, tithing, saving, investing, giving, and lending.

     Bad money management leads to negative returns: excessive spending and borrowing.
 

I will highlight the problems we face in each of these areas based on personal experience, observation, and research. We will also discuss some of the reasons for these problems, which are often a reflection of our relationship with God. Certainly we will delve into the Word of God and find the solution to each problem.
Although most solutions will be biblical, I will provide some practical tips to help you along this rocky financial road some have been experiencing. Certainly you will learn that God’s Word, when rightly applied, will benefit you in every aspect of your Christian walk, including your finances. For certain, if you govern your life including your money matters according to the Word of God, you will by all means be successful and prosperous.
I wrote this book to enlighten, educate, and empower the body of Christ to be knowledgeable, understanding, and wise in the use of the money resources God has entrusted to us.
One of the challenges we face is the lack of finances common among many Christians. For me this was a problem for years as I observed Christians struggling through life because they lacked the necessary financial resources. Much more can be accomplished to spread the gospel of Christ, but lack of finances and the unwillingness of many to give hinder the progress of God’s work.
This book seeks to address why this lack exists and what is needed to bring financial increase. Of great importance is understanding how to use the financial increase God provides to bless the kingdom of God. To learn that, we must place eternal value on the money available for our use.
This book calls the body of Christ to get its financial house in order. This is a call to start living as children of God, not orphans or beggars. It’s a call to examine our hearts and attitudes toward God and what He has entrusted to us. It’s a call to use what we have to be a blessing and build the kingdom of God.
When you finish reading this book, my prayer is not that you will say this was a good or powerful book. My prayer is that you will act to change how you handle your finances. I hope you will become stronger in your walk with the Lord. His grace will give you the ability to change the way you manage your finances and align them to His will.
Get ready for financial empowerment God’s way! As you examine His Word, may He give you the grace to obey, for this obedience will lead to His blessing on your life.

 

 


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