Wednesday, June 25, 2008

New Crown Ministries Short Film Series - Crown Financial Ministries True Financial Freedom Blog

As you can see, it's been quite some time since I last posted. A new baby, ministry and business opportunities and other life fun will do that to you.

Just the same, please check out this great post from the new blog about the Crown Financial Ministries short film project. It features Crown CEO Chuck Bentley discussing production of Crown's upcoming short film series.

I'll attempt to post more Crown stories soon. In the meantime, be sure to check out Chuck Bentley's new Money Life podcast and other Crown resources linked to the right of this blog.

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Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Couple Digs Hole, God Digs Them Out

Enjoy this Crown Story from this month's Crown Money Matters E-Newsletter. Click here to subscribe.

My husband has been driving a truck over-the-road for the past 14 years. In January he made a sudden decision to "hang up his keys" and get a job so he could be home.

We were aware that this decision would create a financial challenge, but we thought it would be worth it to have him home. Wow! We could not imagine how challenging it would be.

With only two days of driving left, the differential went out on the truck, resulting in repairs exceeding $7,000 before we could even put the truck up for sale.

The truck, on which we owe approximately $60,000, has not sold, no longer produces income, and still requires a sizable monthly payment. Our fixed expenses exceed my husband's new take-home pay by $800 a month.

The good news is we were forced to reevaluate and study our non-fixed expenses as we urgently searched for ways to cut back. In so doing, we discovered we had a water leak. (I had thought the increase in our water bill was due to the fact that a son was doing his laundry at home.) It is very satisfying to plug two leaks, one of water and another of money to pay for that unused water.

I got out Larry Burkett's budget guidelines and compared his percentages to what we were spending. We are overspending on insurance, car, and house. We are in the process of bringing one of those areas into line with our new income. Please pray for us to have the courage to deal with the other two!

God provided a little three-hour-per-day job for me. I will only earn $400 per month—half of our shortfall—but it is in food service, so God is richly feeding us because I am allowed to bring home food that cannot be served a second day.

The most awesome thing about this experience is the sense of God's loving, non-judgmental presence. I know it is our foolishness that has brought us to this point, but He just offers us grace.

When I only had enough money to pay the principal on the truck loan, I followed your counsel to communicate with those whom we owe. Along with the check for the principal, I sent a note, explaining that we had put the truck up for sale, that I had taken a job, that we were aware of our debt and intended to pay it in full.

In just a few days, we got a fat letter from the loan company. I was sick at heart, fully expecting it to be a reproof and threat.

Instead, we found that they were rewriting our loan, giving us grace in the month of April (no monthly payment due), charging us basically only principal in May, and then beginning us with monthly payments again in June. With an income tax payment due in April, this grace gift is so appreciated.

God has shown me how to be creative with the resources I have. He has reminded me that He provided enough manna for one day at a time, and He has uplifted me with gracious prayer—and notes from Crown.

Sincerely, John and Ann

Editor's note: Since this letter was written, John and Ann's truck has sold. They had used two loans (from different creditors) to buy the truck and hoped to make enough to pay off both creditors. The price for which the truck sold was enough to pay off one of the loans, with an additional $101 remaining. The creditor issued them a check for this amount. They have four payments remaining on the other loan.

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Friday, April 4, 2008

New Crown Money Life Radio Show - Crown Financial Ministries Stories Blog

Hello friends! Check out the new Money Life show from Crown Financial Ministries featuring Crown CEO and experienced entrepreneur Chuck Bentley.

Click here to listen and learn more.

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Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

God Teaches Crown Friend to Trust and Obey...Even in the Small Things - Crown Financial Ministries Stories Blog

"The area that I was most dealt with during the CROWN small group study was the area of my motivation. When I came up against certain situations, I was really tested.

My wife and I travel a lot, coordinating seminars and training leaders of the Ancient Paths ministry. We are often hosted in the homes of Christians. My wife, always very careful, would pack my personal hygiene items, including shampoo and conditioner.

But my heart motivation was twisted and I was caught by it: I would go into the bathroom to take a shower and suddenly I would be faced with a situation that some might think normal, but it wasn’t for me. I would look at my little bottle of shampoo, looked at our host’s shampoo... and you guessed it...I would leave my simple shampoo aside and use my host’s “imported” shampoo!

Normal thing to do, right? But for me it was an area that God dealt with. I realized that when I did that, with such a small thing, I was annulling God’s role as my Provider and I remembered the word in Matthew 25:23, “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things: I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’ ”

I believe the Lord can use a big debt or even a simple bottle of shampoo to deal with our motivations. Today, because of the revelation of God through the study of his word, I am completely healed in this area of my life and in other areas where I was deficient.

My life and the lives of my wife and children have been restored day by day to the Glory of God the Father."

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Monday, March 17, 2008

Crown Co-Founder Finds Spiritual and Financial Freedom - Crown Financial Ministries Stories Blog

Today's Crown Financial Ministries story features Crown co-founder Howard Dayton.

Click here to enjoy a 3-minute audio clip from the Crown Money Matters Show, in which Howard shares how God put everything in his life in order, after Howard placed his faith in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. Blessings...

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Tuesday, March 11, 2008

New Jersey Crown Financial Ministries Friend Shares Crown at Home and Abroad - Crown Financial Ministries Stories Blog

Greetings all! Enjoy this great letter to Crown Ministries from a friend who learned to live debt free and bless others in the United States and beyond through Christian Financial Concepts (which merged with Crown Ministries in 2000).

"About seven and a half years ago I started to study about Christian Financial Concepts from a book written by Ron Blue (Master Your Money). This book came with the study guide produced by CBN entitled 'Finances by the book'. These materials totally changed the way I live!

In 1997, I became a certified Counselor and Teacher by CFC. Then I started teaching this material in churches. I have traveled to New Jersey (were I live), New York, Connecticut, Ohio, Maryland, Florida, Virginia, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic and Venezuela.

During these years, many people have come to me to tell me what a life transformation the teachings have worked in them. Our Associate Pastor B. Matias, told me about 3 years ago that after 20 years of marriage they went on their first vacation debt-free. Our Senior Pastor is committed to become debt-free, so both he and his wife can go full time into ministry.

The Lord Jesus Christ has continued to show His Love and Grace upon us. Through the years we have chosen to live debt-free. We are committed to our church and over ten other ministries with our financial support.

Thanks to your Ministry we have developed “Mayordomia Financiera Cristiana,” a bilingual ministry that is under the leadership and guidance of Woodbridge Christian Center and its Pastoral Staff.

Thanks for your ministry; we will continue to teach others as you teach us.

All Glory be given to Jesus Christ, the author and finisher of our faith!

In His Grip,

Nelson & Magali Ruiz
Servants of Our Lord Jesus Christ!

* This letter has been edited for length and English grammar. Click here to read the original.

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