What happened in 1999, besides the Y2K meltdown that the end of the world was near? That PayPal was one of the worst business ideas of the year? That Who Wants to be A Millionaire aired for the first time? The idea of writing a course called, Financial Freedom Through the Word of God, came to my mind to sort of sort out this upside-down world!
One day, I was standing in front of my kitchen stove boiling some water in my tidy little townhouse condominium nestled in the woods of Leominster, Massachusetts. Outside the window, it was a peaceful beautiful autumn day, but inside my mind, there was a raging battle to know what God’s plan was for my life. As I wrestled with my thoughts, suddenly, I saw myself pregnant! At the time, my husband and I were trying to conceive a baby, but somehow, I knew that it wasn’t a natural baby I was carrying. I knew I was pregnant with a burning desire to teach the Word of God!
Doing Things My Way
Let me back up a little bit to 1986 and give you some context. I was 34 years old when I had made up my mind one day that I was going to leave the path of doing things the world’s way, the common way, the ordinary way, and I decided to embrace God with all my heart and soul and live life on His terms. I had just read an article in the Boston Globe newspaper about a book by Norman Vincent Peale entitled, the Power of Positive Thinking.
You need to realize, at this stage of my life, I had everything I thought I needed to be happy: a handsome husband, a great career, two nice cars and a new home. Then, why was I still so unhappy?! This little book opened my eyes to a positive God for the first time in my life, and I became hungry for this journey to true happiness in Christ. I sensed a deep purpose for my life like I was on the verge of something powerful and meaningful, and I chose to answer the Call to come up higher. It was as simple of a decision as turning right at the light, and I decided to walk with God all the days of my life. Of course, I didn’t know what that meant or how to do it God’s way. Like most people, I had always lived my life by my own wits and on my own terms. I did it my way as the song goes.
Change Was on the Way!
As in the course of life though, trouble came and my first husband and I divorced, and my life took a very different path than I expected. Being alone I sought God even more. I bought a Catholic Bible and I started to attend a church recommended by a friend who lived up the street. It was a Pentecostal Assembly of God Church! And Wow! How different it was from my good little quiet Catholic background.
It was so alive to me that I started to attend every meeting including an early morning prayer get together. In one such meeting, God spoke a word through my own voice, and I heard these words, “Sow the tithing principle into the hearts of God’s people.” At the time, I did not understand what He meant by “sow.” I actually thought He meant “sew” with a needle and thread. In retrospect, I suppose it could really mean both. God wanted His tithing principle sown securely in the hearts of His people. I kept this word hidden in my heart for a long time and pondered what God could mean by it.
The Power of the Tithe
Six years later, I met my soon-to-be husband, John, a man of God with great honor and intelligence, and my life took another turn… for the better! A few years after we married, we started to attend a Foursquare Gospel Church, where once again, I found a terrific Bible Study to attend.
One day during the class, a woman from across the room raised her hand and pelted the teacher with question after question about tithing – she seemed to be really distressed and preoccupied over the concept. My heart immediately exploded with an overwhelming desire to explain it to her! Although at that exact moment, there was no opportunity for me to share with her, my heart continued to burn with desire to teach anyone and everyone who wanted to know more about the power of the Tithe.
My Passion for Finances
You see, my mother was a bookkeeper extraordinaire, so I naturally grew up with a passion for finances and administration since I was young. I was like the little kid who organized her entire playroom and saved pennies in my piggy bank for some important occasion. As a teenager, when I realized that nursing was not in my DNA, – a common path for most girls my age – I decided to attend Fitchburg State College and got my first degree in Business Administration with a major in Accounting. And in 1983, I received my MBA at Anna Maria College. Now, I was in the zone of my ultimate calling!
After graduating, I secured a management position at Data General Corporation managing $25 million-dollar budgets with 2-year project cycles and saved hundreds of thousands of dollars for the company. In 1990, I started working with American Express Financial Advisors (now Ameriprise Financial) successfully managing portfolios for their clients. Sales notwithstanding, I learned a great deal about people and practical financial management at American Express Financial Advisors along with estate planning.
With this level of experience and confidence, I decided to discuss my desires to teach with my pastor at the time, and he encouraged me to write a course on finances. That seemed logical and fun at the same time. The church offered elective classes on Sunday evenings and members could post information about the classes they would be leading on the church bulletin board for people to sign up. I diligently studied, took notes from the Word of God and anointed teachers, and wrote a 96-page workbook called, Financial Freedom Through the Word of God.
Financial Freedom through the Word of God
Writing the course Financial Freedom Through the Word of God was different from writing thesis papers for college. There was very little labor to the process and it certainly didn’t need a college degree to write what God put in my heart… it flowed simply through my mind from the Holy Spirit. The real challenge to be honest, was mustering the courage to teach it from a pulpit!
As time went on, God opened up opportunities for me to teach this course at other local churches, and then as a seminar in another state, and then it became a course we needed to capture on cassette tape so it could be duplicated beyond my reach. (Of course, this was long before CDs and MP3s!)
After we moved from Massachusetts in 2000, the opportunities to teach were limited, so I asked the Lord what He wanted me to do with this burning desire for this course. There were many years of silence on the subject, but my hunger for God only increased. During this time, I attended two Bible Colleges: The first one was Life Christian University in North Carolina where I was actually able to teach a course on Biblical Finances. I also obtained here a Doctor of Philosophy in Theology. The second one was Charis Bible College in Colorado. There, I was blessed with a Master of Biblical Studies degree and a Certificate of License.
Having graduated from Charis, I had to ask myself, “Now what?” Is it time now to teach this course or write a book on Financial Freedom? A friend has challenged me on all the
precepts listed herein… are they real; are they true; do they really work? In my experience, the answer is emphatically, YES!
Why an Eagle?
Why put an eagle on the cover of my course? Eagles have been noted as symbols of strength, bravery and courage. When all other birds try to flee from the storm and hide its fierceness, eagles fly into it and will use the wind of the storm to rise higher in a matter of seconds. They use the pressure of the storm to glide higher without having to use their own energy.
Throughout Scripture, the eagle is often used as a metaphor of God’s work in God’s people. The eagle is mentioned no less than 34 times in the Bible to describe the power God wants to give us for living. Isaiah 40:31, “But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles…” God wants us to learn to fly!
As we take this journey together, you will experience a powerful new freedom in your heart and in your finances like an eagle soaring through the air. Are you ready to let your wings soar? Let’s do this!
P.S. Our Financial Freedom Through the Word of God course will be available soon. Connect with us and we will let you know when we have it available for you!