How to Know, Live & Love Your Life Purpose (Part 3 of 4)

3 Ways to Live Your Purpose and Overcome the Resistance

In recent weeks, I have blogged a little about my personal purpose story and how we can know the purpose for which we were made. This week, I am addressing the third part of the series, Living our Purpose.

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I believe everyone would agree that it is great to know our purpose; however it is a pity when people know it but aren’t living it. Is this you today?

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Marriage and M.O.N.E.Y.

Meant to Go Together

It’s here! The wedding day! The bride has been dreaming of this her whole life. The groom is an aisle walk away from seeing his favorite girl like never before! It’s exciting times on marital bliss lane and married life is about to become reality. After becoming a believer in Christ, I learned that marriage is a blessing from the Lord. Today, I view the holy institution of marriage as two of God’s unique creations, man and wife, united in a powerful way to change the world. I have heard it said God designed marriage to make us holy, not happy. When I became married, myself, I quickly learned God wanted to change me first. I wasn’t ready for the “heavenly” makeover.

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There are many lessons to learn through marriage. One of the hardest, yet one of the most influential is the M.O.N.E.Y. lesson. The purpose of this writing is to you help you with this powerful tool God gives us.

Make money a part of your marriage mission

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My Personal Journey in Biblical Stewardship

I started attending Grace Family Church in November 2006, partly because of a referral from my previous church in Orlando. When I saw a billboard at the intersection of Dale Mabry Highway and Kennedy Boulevard that read, You Matter to God—Grace Family Church, that sealed it.

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I had only been attending a few months when Pastor Craig Altman gave a series of sermons on finances. I wanted to meet with him and discuss Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University (FPU) course. I told the Pastor that I wanted to help someone lead FPU because I knew nothing about personal finance, yet desperately needed help in that area.

During college, I had ignored my parents’ advice and signed up for a ton of debt. (Yes, I got the free T-shirts and Frisbees). I thought I was buying happiness, while also trying to impress people. After graduating from Ohio State, I leapt into business and continued to feed my debt habit. A few years later, at the age of 25, I filed Chapter 7 bankruptcy, after months without a job. At a time when many young professionals were launching successful lives, mine was sinking.

I was ashamed and embarrassed to tell anyone about my financial problems. The situation sent me into a tailspin that lasted almost five years.

Like the billboard said, however, God showed me that I mattered to Him. He had plans to prosper me and not to harm me, just as the Bible declares in Jeremiah 29:11. God had a future and hope for me. He pulled me from the distress of debt and showed a poor steward of His gifts that His grace is sufficient for me. He used Grace Family Church to teach me about salvation through Jesus Christ. I learned that I didn’t have to be buried under my mountain of mistakes.

In March 2007 the Lord led Pastor Craig to have faith in me, despite my financial ignorance. I had talked with him about helping someone else lead FPU, but Pastor Craig asked me to lead the first class of 18 people—alone. I learned later that a cellophane-wrapped FPU kit had already been sitting in the church’s storage, unopened. I opened it, and the GFC Stewardship ministry was born.

Since then, God has authored countless stewardship success stories, including my own. As a single man, I learned how to give, save and spend God’s way. I eliminated more than $37,000 in debt and saved over $20,000 in an emergency fund in less than two years. Two years later, I was married to my beautiful wife, Becky Dean Horvath, and we began our marriage anchored in financial agreement. We even paid off our home—all before I turned 40!

Now in our seventh year of the Stewardship Ministry, we are growing just like the rest of Grace Family Church. FPU has expanded to annual enrollment of 300 to 500 people. So far more than 2,000 people have taken FPU. Together, they have eliminated more than $4.5 million in debt and saved over $1.5 million in emergency funds. We have furthered our reach with other small groups, classes and workshops, including Dave Ramsey’s Legacy Journey, Financial Freedom 1-Day, Money Mentors Financial Counseling, Foundations in Personal Finance for College, and Generation Change for High School. In 2014 we launched the Purpose Vocational Ministry.

Through it all, I have learned that God’s way works no matter how many resources you have. He has worked financial miracles in my life and in the lives of so many others who sought to become good stewards. The results that followed over the years have proven what God can do when we trust Him with everything, including our finances.

Article originally published in Grace Family Church 20th Anniversary Magazine and Ramsey Solution’s Stewardship Central.org.

Question: What pivotal moment caused you to surrender and trust God with your finances? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

How Apple’s WWDC Helps Us Build Dreams and Achieve Them

A while back my wife asked me what my dreams where and I told her I don’t know.  Well, that isn’t true but I have challenges in reconciling dreams that God gives me with what I know as reality.   In Michael Hyatt’s Life Plan e-book, he encourages to see an “Envisioned Future” and analyze the “Current Reality” to determine the necessary commitments to do more than just dream.  He believes it will help achieve!

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Sometimes I get stuck in neutral where I have found an end to my dreaming capacity.  I have found that I need more than the average dose of inspiration.  So, I go searching for that inspiration to get me through the rough patch. Many times, it comes in the form of music, movies, prayer, fasting, sleeping.  Every once in a while, I like to find different ways.

Recently, the source of inspiration was watching the WWDC 2014 keynote address via my AppleTV.  WWDC is the abbreviation for the Apple WorldWide Developers Conference that occurs each June.  Apple’s CEO, Tim Cook, gave a marketplace update regarding Apple.  That’s great, but the fun begins when his team demonstrates the latest and greatest technologies. This is the place I start dreaming again.

My wife and many of family and closest friends know me as a person who, at times, needs an intervention from his technology.  While some may laugh at my interest in iOS devices or MacBook computers, I see it as a place to have fun with what some might consider monotonous.  I see it as a place where I can dream.

While technology names or programming languages like Swift, SDK, CloudKit, Objective C, Frostbite, and Xcode don’t hold much ground with me, I sure do like the results of these “techno geek” phrases.  These references bring on the best in mobile and desktop technology that revolutionize how I am even writing this blog post.  They fuel my web page, my phone, my conversations with my family and friends and my dream-building.

At the WWDC, there are around 5,000 attendees and most of them are software/hardware developers.  These folks are there seeing what Apple has to “show and tell” and while they are “ooing” and “ahhing”, they are dreaming.  They are leaning in to see what they can do next and how they can do it.  They are hopeful and they are brainstorming all the ways they can get to the developer table to unleash the power of these dreams.  This is the reason why a LifePlan outlines the current reality and envisioned future — the belief that these things will happen.

So, how do I use things like WWDC to drive toward my goals?  It’s not that much different than what I already do, it is simply used as a way to fan the flame of the passion that God has put into me for Stewardship, Productivity, Leadership and Business.  This makes my heart leap to get on to do the things that I believe I have been placed here to do.  Some people love to run, bike or do push-ups for this same result.  No matter what method I choose and use, this helps me encourage my wife by telling her my dreams the next time she asks.

Question: What dreams do you have today — right now?  What inspiration will you use to fan the flame of hope?  You can leave a comment by clicking here.

 

The Secret Sauce for Starting a Stewardship Ministry | Part One

Over the next week,  I will be posting a 3-part series of blogs entitled,  “The Secret Sauce to Starting a Stewardship Ministry at your Church”.  This is an exciting write for me because I never dreamed I would be on the path that I am today.  I am thankful God has led to me being a stewardship director at a 7,000 member church.

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I have had the privilege of leading the Stewardship Ministry for 7 years at Grace Family Church in Lutz, FL just outside of Tampa. During this time, I have learned that the most important thing to starting and growing a Stewardship ministry is having the Secret Sauce.  Using Financial Peace University, the ministry has been able to graduate almost 2,000 people, pay off over 6MM in debt and save 2MM in emergency funds.  How did we accomplish this?  It’s because we used the Secret Sauce for Starting a Stewardship Ministry, its called VMG.  It’s VISION – MISSION — GOAL.

VISION

Grace Family Church Stewardship Vision Statement:
All people are educated and empowered to manage God’s resources God’s way.

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