Treasures on Earth-

from Words of Encouragement June 2016 addressed to prisoners but
relevant to anyone with a heart for Christ

“But God said to him, ‘You fool! You will die this very night.
Then who will get everything you worked for?’
Luke 12:20

“Yes a person is a fool to store up earthly wealth but not have a rich relationship with God.” Luke 12:21
Why is it important to talk about money management, budgeting, meal planning, being resourceful, being frugal, and living within your means-contently?
I am so glad you asked!  In the most authentic way I see you woman and men as my children and being a Mom you want to protect, educate, and prepare your children and that’s why I’ve been sharing my heart with you guys on these topics. In fact it’s my gift from the Lord to be a number crunching, resourceful, frugal, money managing, meal planning, budget, life hacking gal. We each have a gift and a talent that we can share as parts of the Body of Christ, not all are called to be preachers, teachers, ministers, evangelist, we need all our gifts, talents, and skills to serve the Children of God. He’s given me this platform and ministry and I want you to be prepared with the knowledge and skills to use your money wisely. Two things lead to the greatest pain in our lives: relationships (need for love) and money (need for wealth). I dont claim to be an expert on either but what I have learned the last 7 years as a new believer and disciple of Christ, also a stay at home mom with a single income family raising two children I’m going to try my best to share with you and pray it will help you. I also have resources online and started recording youtube videos as a hobby and to help you guys/gals.

So let’s take a look at Luke 12 verses 13-21. How many have tried to store up your treasures on earth so you can finally retire and enjoy? How many know someone who is doing this now? I know many people who coupon and stockpile like there's no tomorrow. The truth is they are self-sufficient, self-made, maybe there own heroes or god. Jesus calls this behaviour foolishness. We can’t serve both money and God.

Admittedly I struggle with this do you? Probably not right now but did you before? Do you think you might when you get out of prison? Have you been to prison more than once? Then I’d say yes you struggled with that. It’s so easy to think that you are righteously serving God behind bars when you don’t have all the distractions and struggles that you will when you get out of prison. I know I thought I had it all figured out but boy was I wrong! If you are a new believer I’d suggest you give this some thought but you don’t have to be a new believer to fall flat on your face back into temptation, sin, and addictions do you? I don’t have it all figured out, nor do I think that I ever will. That’s what humbles us isn’t it. We either become self-sufficient or admit that we are nothing with God as our strength. I’m nothing without God as my light, I need his direction, His Word and His grace daily to lift me up when I have fallen which happens daily and often. How do we survive the struggles of life?
We open up the Word of God daily and, “Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and he will give you everything you need.” Luke 12:31 In Matthew 6:25-34 and Luke 12:22-32 we are taught by Jesus about Money and Possessions. This is worth more to me than a full time job or a college degree. This is real life skills that matter to God and that’s what I want to learn and how I want to live my life to please God. Now, do I struggle YES! I tell yall that openly. Please don’t ever see me as some perfect saint whose got it all figured out because that would be a fairy tale lie. I am the least of the least of the saints. I have anger isssues, i cuss and have self-control issues, I dont see myself as beautiful or a very good mom or wife but through Christ who is my strength I  prevail. I know that I’m dirt poor without my Lord and Saviour and I want you to know that too and to live a humble content life in prison and when you get out because God’s Children when you get out I most likely will never hear from you again and that breaks my heart because I care about you and just hope that you are doing okay and that I don’t get a letter from you from prison again but unfortunately that’s usually what happens and I want to do my part in helping you stay out and live a righteous life serving the Lord.

I think learning how to manage your money is important regardless of your role in society. You want to be able to plan out each paycheck or it will just go on whatever. My husband Joseph and me are struggling right now, we are in a season where he’s working 75 hours a week at 2 jobs, average pay after taxes is $10 per hour. We have two cars that are constantly needing work this year we’ve spent close to $2k on our cars. We have been renting the same house for almost 6 years and we want to save up enough money for a 20% down payment on a house that we can buy in under 10 years- our goal is to save up $10-$12k by next summer and buy a house for $50k or under that we can pay off in 8 years. But last night we stayed up worrying about our cars and looking at newer cars that we’d need to get a loan to pay for and have a $200- $300 a month car payment. Is temptation real?! You better believe it saints! I’m just praying we can overcome this and use our cars and pay minimal on any work to keep them running and be able to achieve our goal. We’ve decided that we don’t want what the world has: brand-new everything, houses, cars, clothes, shoes all paid on credit. It’s really true that the borrower is slave of the lender; especially when you are trying your best to live on cash. We want to be that example to our children and that’s why my husband is working so hard and I am trying so hard to stretch every dollar my husband brings home. But, we are still joyfully giving an offering to our church because we don’t want to be greedy and attached to that money or any stuff, we want to serve God where he has us and sometimes the only way you can serve is by giving money but we know God’s in control of our life and His plans are the very best for us so with much sweat and hard work we push forward.
I guess I’m sharing my heart and our plans in a very informal journal form this is how I best articulate my thoughts and remain most transparent. Here’s another tip for staying on track admittedly again one we have trouble doing but we are working on this: writing your goals down and putting on the wall in front of you as a daily reminder.


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