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Entries in Financial Testimonies (12)

Monday
Nov142016

Money Finder

“A quarter!” My five-year-old daughter picked up the shiny coin from the grocery store floor. My husband and I smiled, while her older siblings looked disappointed. I knew exactly what they were thinking: Why is she the one who always finds money?

It was true. Our youngest child seemed to find a coin or bill every time we went out. She also had a stash of money in her bedroom, while the other two usually did not. What made this little girl so special (aside from the fact that she’s my daughter!)? I saw it early on, and I’ve watched the pattern develop throughout her life and now into adulthood: She has always been a giver. Her experience has been the very picture of Proverbs 11:24: “One gives freely, yet grows all the richer; another withholds what he should give, and only suffers want” (English Standard Version).

We taught our children to give to the Lord, encouraging them to give a portion of their increase, from allowances to earned money to birthday money. Yet my youngest tended to go above and beyond, willingly giving more than her small percentage. She sometimes emptied all her spending money into the children’s church bucket.

At times, when we hear about giving, we think of big checks or wallet-emptying offerings. However, this kind of thinking doesn’t account for all that I’ve seen in my daughter’s life. When she was in first grade, she had learned enough math to become a “huge blessing” to her brother. For months she did her brother’s fourth-grade math assignments. Every day! She took “helping a brother in need” literally! Although I did explain to her that this kind of “giving” was actually cheating (and I reassigned weeks’ worth of math to my son), I knew she saw it as just giving of her resources.

Over the years we have seen her grow in faith for God’s provision. As a teenager and young adult, she has gone on several missions trips, each one costing progressively more money. We love watching what God does to provide for these trips. From bonuses and increased commissions to profitable group fundraisers and unexpected checks, money just keeps coming her way.

It reminds me of what Andrew has been preaching from 2 Kings 4, where a widow woman with two sons pleaded with Elisha for help. The woman was broke and in debt, and the only thing she had of value was her sons—who were about to be taken as slaves by the debt collector. As the prophet of God, Elisha heard the clear directive from the Lord to teach this family how to depend on Him as their Source.

In 2 Kings 4:2, Elisha asked a simple question: “Tell me, what hast thou in the house?” Well, maybe in the King James Version it’s not so simple. However, Andrew has come up with an easy paraphrase of this: “What’s in your hand?” The woman had a little bit of oil, and she poured that oil out into borrowed jars and sold it for enough money to pay her debts and then live off the rest. She gave what she had in her hand and watched God miraculously multiply it.

Over the years, my daughter has had some money issues. When she feels stressed or even angry about her problems, she always looks back to her lifelong experience of letting go and allowing God to bless her. When we let go and give freely, God’s Word says we grow “all the richer” (Prov. 11:24, ESV).

So, whether it’s a nickel, a hundred dollars, or help with homework, look at what’s in your hand. Can you give that? It is only when you give something that God can multiply it. And multiply it He will.

Post a comment below if you’d like to share your experience of seeing God’s provision in your life!

 

Join Andrew Wommack in Phoenix, Arizona! Make plans to come out January 5-7, 2017, for the Phoenix Gospel Truth Seminar. (Special room rate available until December 5.) For more information and to register, visit this page.

Monday
Feb082016

Prospering by Accident

Tim and Nikki AbelloTim Abello and his family were exploring a small Christian bookstore near their home in Oklahoma when he discovered a book by Andrew Wommack—You’ve Already Got It! He found the back cover description to be a humorous reflection of his life and walk with Christ. After purchasing it, Tim couldn’t put the book down. In search of more teaching, he visited Andrew’s website and downloaded 250 hours of free audio messages, loading them onto his MP3 player. Little did Tim know that that encounter would be the catalyst behind where he and his family are today.

A year after discovering Andrew Wommack Ministries, Tim felt the Lord leading him to attend Charis Bible College in Colorado Springs (now located in Woodland Park). While there were many reasons this seemed impossible—the Abellos owned a business, had five children, and had recently moved into their dream home—Tim was almost certain they were supposed to go.

Tim downloaded all of Andrew’s teachings onto his MP3 player and listened to the messages for several hours each day.As he considered the prospect of moving his family, Tim told the Lord, “God, if I obey You and move to Colorado and You don’t come through, I’m going to sink like a rock in a pond.” God spoke so clearly to his spirit, “Tim, if you stay here and I don’t come through for you, you’re going to sink like a rock in a pond. Wouldn’t it be better to just go ahead and obey Me?” Things became clear for Tim, and he began confessing that somehow, he and his family were going to prosper more by accident in Colorado than they ever would on purpose in Oklahoma.

Tim and his family traveled to Colorado that fall. He and Nikki started first-year classes even before they had found a place for the family to live. God blessed the Abellos as they moved forward with their plans, and Tim soon secured a place for his family to call home in Colorado Springs. For the first year and a half, this family of seven relied on credit cards to survive. They quickly found themselves more than $60,000 in debt on the cards alone. They also fell eight months behind on their mortgage for their home in Oklahoma and three months behind on their tuition payments.

Abello's RoofingIn the face of negative circumstances, God continued to speak to the Abellos. With a voice of assurance, He said, “Peace, be still. Rest.” Tim eventually landed a part-time job in sales, working for a roofing company. The Lord’s favor was upon him as he performed his job, but as time went on, he found his employers to be handling his customers with less than the highest integrity. After prayerfully considering what he should do, Tim decided to start his own roofing business. As he was thanking and praising God, the Lord spoke to him, “Tim, you’re fixin’ to step into a level of prosperity that you have never imagined. The only thing that will keep you from stepping into it is you’re inability to imagine it.” Since that moment, the Abellos have purposed to stretch their imaginations.

Over the first ten months in business, Abello’s Roofing did more than $2 million in business—more than enough to clear their debt and to begin blessing others. In the Abello’s second full year of business, they saw an increase over the previous year’s earnings. Tim heard the Lord say to him, “The reason this worked is because of your confession. When you spoke those words two years ago…those words went out like little soldiers to perform and create the destiny that you spoke into existence.”

As the blessings continue to overtake the Abello family, they have come to realize that it hasn’t been through their effort that they have prospered; it has been through rest in Jesus’ finished work. Do you want to walk out the will of God for your life, like the Abellos? Check out Andrew’s How to Find, Follow, and Fulfill God’s Will book, and learn how to prosper not just in your finances but in every area of life.

Post a comment below if this has encouraged you.

Thursday
Jan302014

Benjamin Hutcherson: A Good Steward

Benjamin Hutcherson, wise steward, college graduate, artist and CBC-Chicago student.
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Just out of high school, Benjamin Hutcherson was unsure of his future. He made the wise decision to move forward with his college education as inexpensively as possible. Intent on managing his limited finances well, he chose to attend a small community college near his home, just south of Chicago. At age 20, during his two years at South Suburban College, he came across Andrew's Gospel Truth program on television. Benjamin happened to tune in to an episode mid-way through Andrew's teaching on Financial Stewardship—a series that would radically change Benjamin's future.

Although Benjamin had stumbled across The Gospel Truth quite by accident, he recognized Andrew from his childhood. Benjamin's dad, Bruce, would often listen to Andrew, and sometimes he would have the whole family (Benjamin has five brothers and a sister) sit down Benjamin with his father, Bruce, and his mother, Thomesa, during his time at the community college.
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to listen to a particularly impactful part of a message. Benjamin said, "I had a lot of respect for Andrew. The primary thing I remember learning from him back then was the importance of the baptism of the Holy Spirit and speaking in tongues. It was in May 2011 that I began actively listening to Andrew’s teachings on my own."

Benjamin was on board with being a good steward of finances, but Andrew's teaching brought something new to Benjamin's attention. He said, "What really impacted me from Andrew’s Financial Stewardship teaching was when he taught from the parable of the unjust steward in Luke 16. I realized that the primary and highest use of my finances is not for my physical necessities, Benjamin (far right) and some of his family. (Click to enlarge)but rather, to make an eternal difference in the lives of other people by sowing into the Kingdom of God."

When he was attending the community college, Benjamin paid for school out of pocket. While his wages, working for a large office supply store weren't high, he was able to tithe as well as cover his college costs. He knew that if he wanted to earn a four-year degree, he would have to transfer to a larger full-time college or university, and he knew his expenses would be significantly higher. As he considered what to do, he continued to listen to Andrew's teachings. He listened to the Financial Stewardship series repeatedly and meditated on the principles he was learning. He also studied Andrew's, How to Receive God's Best,Spirit, Soul & Body, and The Lord met Benjamin's needs even when Benjamin came up short on his end. During his last semester, his school costs were higher, and he actually worked less because of travel. Here he celebrates his 22nd birthday. (Click to enlarge)You've Already Got It.

After deciding to continue his education, Benjamin prayed about what school to attend and how to cover his expenses. Although he could have gotten some financial assistance in the form of college loans, both through the school and through his parents, he chose not to borrow any money. Having seen how so many college students had racked up mountains of debt, he decided that he did not want to take out a student loan or allow his parents to get one for him. "All of those specific teachings were foundational in my decision to go to college debt free. I continued to meditate on those principles," Benjamin said. "I just considered financial debt as bondage and as a curse as described in Deuteronomy 28. I believed that the borrower is servant to the lender as it says in Proverbs 22:7. I didn’t want that for me or my family," he said.

Benjamin pursued his degree in Film & Video with a focus on traditional animation. This is a Character Visualization project from 2012.
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Benjamin's passion for art, drawing and animation to be precise, led him to attend Columbia College in Chicago. His tuition costs leapt from $1,600 per year to $10,000 per semester, plus books, materials and a $150 per month Metra train ticket—a staggering increase. "I did not have a clue as to how I was going to pay for Columbia. So, I registered without knowing how I was going to receive the money. I resolved that either God would pay for it or I would just drop out, simple as that," Benjamin recalled frankly.

Benjamin mediated on the Word and took comfort in the Scriptures about Abraham, and how he simply believed God. "I told myself, 'I don’t care what my bank account says, what my Benjamin and his mother Thomesa, after graduation from Columbia College in Chicago...debt free.
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college advisors say, what my parents say, or what anybody else has to say. I’m going to trust God, and He’s going to provide for me.'"

Although Benjamin refused to borrow money, he did apply for several scholarships, but he never received any of the funding. He said that one of the things Andrew's teaching inspired him to do was give freely. He had always tithed, but had never really sowed into offerings or special projects. Benjamin learned that even though giving may seem like you are moving away from your financial goals, it actually works the opposite way—it moves you closer to your goals. "What liberated me to give so radically was this: Since with my personal money alone, I could never afford to pay to go to college, I would just give as much as I pleased because even if I saved it Today Bruce, Thomesa, Benjamin and his brother Rueben are all studying at CBC-Chicago. (Click to enlarge)all, it would never be enough anyway." Benjamin gave extra to his church and to other ministries, tsunami relief organizations, and he became one of Andrew's Foundation Builders for the new CBC-Colorado campus. Sometimes Benjamin would give away half his paycheck. With regard to his Foundation Builder partnership he said, "I figured that since I wanted to go to school, I should sow a financial seed that would help other people go."

Benjamin learned to trust God and rest in Him. He gave freely, and he received freely. Each semester began the same way; Benjamin would start classes without any idea where his funds would come from, and the provision would come. Even for his last semester, during Benjamin and his brother Rueben, enjoying the 2013 Christmas party at CBC-Chicago. (Click to enlarge)which he incurred higher than normal tuition and book fees, and he actually worked less hours at his job, the provision still came. "When I look back, I think to myself, 'How in the world did I manage to do that every month?' It was an absolute miracle because whenever I try to figure it out mathematically it doesn’t make sense. So I just stop trying to figure it out," Benjamin said.

Benjamin not only earned his degree in Film & Video with a concentration in traditional animation, but he did it with straight A’s and perfect attendance, and he graduated with honors. He did it all debt free!

The summer after he graduated, having not heard back from the places to which he applied for work, Benjamin laid his cards on the table before God and declared that he was willing to put his animation dreams on hold, to do whatever God wanted him to do. To his surprise, God used Andrew's program again to help guide Benjamin. After Benjamin's declaration, he came across Andrew's, How to Find, Follow, and Fulfill God’s Will series on the Gospel Truth. It was the first time Benjamin had ever heard the teaching, and a short time later, he knew that going to Charis Bible College in Chicago was God’s next step for him.

Today Benjamin, his brother Rueben, his mother Thomesa and his dad, Bruce, all attend CBC-Chicago. And of course, Benjamin is attending debt free.