The Money Test

Money in hand

I had two interesting experiences that happened recently regarding money, and I have to say they were almost comical. Each had the potential to pocket me a nice chunk of change, if I had no moral foundation or fear of the Lord. In the end, each proved that I could withstand the money test and walk in the kind of integrity that is needed to deal with financial increase when it comes.

The first incident happened one Friday night at my local bank. It was about 10pm and I needed some cash so I headed for the outside ATM. There were about 5 cars ahead of me when I arrived and I eventually made my way to be next in line at the drive up machine. What I noticed was that the driver ahead of me inserted his card, punched in his pin and waited. A moment later his card was spit out along with a receipt, but there was no cash. He did the same thing again, with the exact same results, and then finally drove off as cashless as he had arrived.

I moved into position next and inserted my card into the ATM. I supplied the pin number and then punched in the amount of my withdrawal. The machine made it’s usual noise as if counting out my money, but then nothing happened. The door did not open and no cash was presented even though my receipt came out and recorded a withdrawal. True to my nature I had to see what was going on so I pulled out my jack-knife and began to pry open the cash door. If my money was in there I wanted it and I was not about to leave without at least trying to get it. To my shock the door finally did pry open and hundreds of dollars fell out on the ground and spilled out over the curb.

Apparently the cash door had been stuck shut, and even though the cash had been properly counted out, no one could get to it and it simply built up behind the door. I gathered up all the $20 bills, put a note on the machine and drove off with my withdrawal and that of quite a few others who had gone before me. The next day I walked into the bank and asked to see the manager. When I dumped the pile of bills on her desk the look on her face was priceless. I explained what had happened and what I had done. She was stunned but profusely thanked me. I was her hero for the day and had rescued her from a very difficult situation.

A week or so later I went into our local post office and noticed that the employee behind the counter was somewhat distracted and over worked by a flood of mail  and packages that had not yet been sorted. At the same time his supervisor had instructed him to empty his cash drawer of all that had built up throughout the day. He placed all of this in a blue cash bag and then as a side note handed me my back mail. Without either of us realizing it, he had handed me the bulging cash bag along with my pile of mail. I thanked him, walked out the door and proceeded to drive down the street. At the first stop sign the mail shifted when my vehicle slowed down and the cash bag slid right out on to the floor.

I pulled to the side of the street and in all honesty my curiosity got the best of me so I unzipped the bag and peaked inside. Neatly stacked was a small pile of checks and a three inch thick pile of $5, $10 and $20. In all, I would estimate there was well over two thousand dollars in that bag, and most of it was in cash. I immediately turned around, parked across the street from the post office and hid the bag inside my jacket as I entered the building.

The place was empty as I pushed through the door and saw the employee behind the counter busily sorting that massive pile of mail and packages. As I approached the counter and he greeted me, I opened my coat and handed him the bag saying, ” I don’t think you intended to give me this”. The shock on his face was evident and while wiping away a tear he shook my hand and said, “you just saved my job… oh… thank you, thank you so much!”

When the test of financial integrity comes will you pass or will you sell out? It matters not if it is over $1 or $50,000. What the devil really wants to know is how much will it take for you to throw away your principles, reputation and character. If you are called to abundance and have not been tested, make no mistake about it, you will be. If you pass the test, it demonstrates you have what it takes to experience increase and not be corrupted by it. If you fail, you have simply sealed your own fate at the lowest possible financial level.

Consider this the next time a money issue comes up. Do you keep your word? Do you act honorably and with integrity? Do you do what is right even when you could easily get away with acting otherwise? I was told many years ago that money is simply one of the tools that God and the devil can use to amplify what is really in us. My hope for those who read this blog is that the sweet sound of victory will be amplified when the money test comes. Pass it with flying colors, and then you can get ready for the favor and abundance of God to manifest in your life. My question is, why would you ever want to live any other way? Now…  go out there and do what’s right and be overrun by the blessings of God!

Attitude And Altitude

birds storm

Leonardo da Vinci was a man of many talents. He is the quintessential Renaissance Man and an example of one who developed the art of being patient. He was branded by the church as one working heresy, branded by the ignorant as one doing witchcraft, but he was embraced by patrons as a genius who birthed brilliant ideas well before their time. It was the fear and lack of understanding of those dark days that brought him persecution during several seasons of his life.

It was in one of those difficult seasons that he recorded the following in a hand written journal. “Patience serves as a protection against wrongs as clothes do against cold. For if you put on more clothes as the cold increases it will have no power to hurt you. So in like manner you must grow in patience when you meet with great wrongs, and they will then be powerless to vex your mind.”

When you consider the simplicity and truth of this statement it really is quite amazing. Because of patience not only are great wrongs unable to trouble your mind but great things are quite often discovered. A case in point is Thomas Edison. He had been experimenting with how to use electricity to produce light. He was convinced it could be done but every attempt he made ended with the wrong results.

After more than two years and 2000 tries he finally hit the correct combination. He discovered that a tungsten filament held in place in a vacuum would glow brightly when an electric current was pass through it, and it would not burn up. When a reporter asked him what it was like to go through more than 2000 failures to solve the problem, Edison’s answer was amazing. He said he had not failed 2000 times, he had simply gone through a 2000 step process to achieve success.

How we view our current situation in the laboratory of life makes all the difference. If we see every season of difficulty as a personal attack, then those cold days will surely have the power to hurt us. If we see the setbacks of life as personal failures that hold us back, then we will never embrace them as a healthy learning process that can redefine us and make us better.

Patient endurance is a master key for us all. It can bring forth major victory in something that had the potential to unleash a life-altering disaster. You cannot control what others may say or do and you cannot stop what life circumstances may come your way. However, the good news is that you can choose how you will respond to them and that fact makes all the difference.

It is the power of personal choice that gives us all the ability to rise above any storm and endure any difficulty. We can either hide in a hole in the ground when the storm comes, and try to minimize the damage, or we can use the winds of adversity that are blowing around us to lift us higher. These have the power to propel us with fresh insight into heights we never dreamed possible. The choice is yours, and yours alone, to make.

Your attitude in the storm will ultimately determine your altitude, and your altitude will determine your destination. My question today is this, “Will you spend you life wounded in a hole in the ground, or will you spread your wings and explore the high places only found in the blessing that comes with the winds of adversity?” The truth is quite simple, we all choose to take up residence in a grave or on a launch pad, that is, in the storm ….or above it. I’ve made my choice and I look with anticipation from a high place of expectation. My hope is that you will choose to spread your wings the next time you see an approaching storm. Let it carry you into your future or it will bury you in the present.

Renewed Hope For America!

flag celebration

I have to say that I woke up today with a joyful heart and a renewed hope for America. In fact I am sure that every conservative Republican, known as Reagan Republicans, woke up the same way. The changes that happened last night during our national mid-term elections were amazing. It was a massive landslide and the biggest national shift we have ever seen in American politics. I watched as state after state voted to hand down a verdict that was clearly a united judgment against Obama, Harry Reid and the radical agenda of their form of liberalism. I am happy to report that the radical vision to transform America through socialism, and leading from the back of the line, has ended!

Republicans took the Senate over and gained an additional 10 seats in the House of Representatives, which they already controlled. More over, Republicans were elected as state governors and local leaders in a sweeping national purge. This stunning overthrow has been a wake-up call to the biased liberal media, the Democratic elite and those politicians who believed the nation would blindly follow them into the false hope of a welfare mentality and the deadly change of ungodly laws. What I am really thrilled about is that this massive shift is NOT about the demise of a false ideology. It is actually about the world finally hearing the voice of those who really know what America is.

We are a nation of patriots who believe in the dream of America, and that it can still be a beacon of light, hope and leadership to those who will follow. We are a nation of moral Christians and hard-working families from every class and strata of society. We are fathers and mothers who love our children and want the best for them without government control, government interference or government hand-outs.

We are the people you meet every day who run small stores or may work at Walmart. We are those you see eating at the local diner. We are entrepreneurs who start and run our own businesses and we are the mothers and fathers who watch our children play ball. We are the farmers who feed the nation, the policemen who track down criminals, the firemen and rescue workers who keep us safe. We are the pastors who teach God’s Word, pray for their congregations and serve the community. We are soldiers who guard this country and the parents who teach their kids to hunt and fish, or take them to music lessons and gymnastics. This is the real America and I am thrilled it has finally taken the nation back!

Yes, this is America at the core and it is a beautiful, magnificent country. It is a place where anyone can get an education, anyone can start a business, anyone can come up from poverty and discover the untapped potential God place in them, if they will take reposnsibility for their own life. It is a place where any  honest, hard-working man or woman can step up, step out and build the life they want. It is a land where no dream is too big and no setback can hold you back forever. This is the America of our fathers and it is the one we must dedicate and we must consecrate ourselves to preserving.

The next two years will be the acid test of the Republican party. If they demonstrate true leadership, transparency, honesty, unity and strength they will have the heart and loyalty of the American people. In addition they will also have the Whitehouse in 2016. Republicans hold the potential in their hands to bring a much needed tsunami of genuine change. This can effectively reverse the deadly direction that high-jacked  this nation over the past 6 years. My hope and prayer for our newly elected officials is that they will seize the opportunity God has given, and begin to demonstrate the kind of unified leadership our founding Fathers set before us.

Keep praying America! Because of last night’s election, we have the chance to bring this nation back and see it restored. Let’s keep seeking God together so that the division, racial tension and leadership void demonstrated over the past six years will now come to an end. May those who have been set in place by the American people honor our wishes, and fulfill their sacred duty to rebuild this nation. Most of all, may God smile on this country and extend grace to us so we may once again shout from every living room, court room, class room and board room that we are and always will be “One Nation Under God”!

Your Vote Is Your Voice

Ferguson-burning-flag     When it comes to change, some things are slow to catch on while others are inflamed by the ignorance of emotionalism and misinformation like we see in Furguson. In the current hostile racial and political climate there is a massive change that has happened, and another change that needs to happen, if our nation is to survive. It seems as if those in power have leaned so far to the left that they have lost all sense of balance from a national historical perspective. This election day, my hope is that people who care will care enough to vote.

We have become a nation over-run with self-interests, no personal integrity and no personal responsibility. Many blacks now believe the lie of victimization and are demanding reparation for the slavery some of their ancestors were impacted by. My great grand father fought in the Civil War to free black slaves, so should I get reparation from the black community for that? People who refused to get an education and can’t find a decent job, are now demanding the government cover their expenses and they are angry if they don’t get a free ride. Illegal aliens have flooded the nation and are demanding health care, welfare and citizenship. Adding to this toxic mess is the fact that officials of the current administration lied about the attack on Benghazi, abused their power through the IRS, “lost” incriminating papers and emails, continually misrepresented the facts about Obama care and will not talk about our nations lack of economic and job “recovery”.

It seems as if more politicians than ever have been convicted of misconduct, greed, immorality, corruption and graft. In addition, more and more laws are being passed to control our lives and force lifestyles and practices that are contrary to every Biblical and ethical standard that once made our nation great. Because of this, there is a growing anger and resentment within the population beyond anything we have ever seen. It, in turn, is breeding a mistrust and rebellion towards all law enforcement, government agencies and laws in general. We are headed down a very dark, slippery slope. People are angry and they are disconnected from the political system that once was their voice. The bottom line is, we are a nation in trouble and something needs to be done quickly!

This truly is a referendum on the failed liberal left and on their leader Barack Obama. The radicalization of America under his watch has been a frightening thing. The murder of unborn children is at an all time high. The legalization of perverse lifestyles is being forced upon the nation by a small group of activist and the judges who support them.  Even the legalization of “recreational” drug use has taken huge strides forward. Beyond all this are sweeping, unwarranted gun regulations and the humiliating retreat of the US from Afghanistan and Iraq. This void of leadership has opened the door for the demonically inspired Muslim group ISIS to terrorize the world.

My question is, are we done yet with Obama’s policy of leading with political correctness from the back of the line? Have we realized that a nation can’t be an influence for good if it is a mindless follower of evil? Have we discovered that we can’t turn our back on our strongest supporter, Israel, and remain strong ourselves? The hope for America on this Election Day is that we who love America, will vote out of office the weak, the corrupt, the inept, the self-promoting officials who rule for personal agenda and not for what is best for those who elected them. Your vote is your voice! Don’t fail on this day to be heard, get out there and VOTE !!!!! Then, we can all sit back tonight and smile as the totals come in and we have taken our nation back! May God help us if nothing changes today… because it will most certainly change for the worse in the two years yet to come.