One of the greatest needs of the modern Christian church is for it disciples to swim away from the shallow banks of peripheral Christian living and plunge into the deep water of faith and loyalty. Julius Scruggs

Walking in God’s Favor: If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.  John 15:7  KJ

A Life, If Well Lived, Is Long Enough 

Level 4 Stewards realize the importance of time and manage their time wisely.  Staying connected to the Source is always their first priority. Level 4 stewards are aware that the choices you make today will impact future generations.  So staying connecting to the Source is critical to the success of your life legacy.

We agree with what President Barack Obama says  “Focusing your life solely on making a buck shows a certain poverty of ambition. It asks too little of yourself. Because it’s only when you hitch your wagon to something larger than yourself that you realize your true potential”.

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We have discovered in our spiritual journey, when we allow God lordship over our will, dreams, and ambitions we experience more peace, love and happiness in our world. God’s blessings in the life of  the Level 4 Steward will also be a blessing in the life of others. We believe God blesses the lives of Level 4 Stewards so they can be an example of  what He can do in a life that is connected to the Source.

Does Your Life Empower Others?

We have developed the daily practice of investing time in prayer.  This allows us to say no to the good in order  to say yes to the great.  For example, in order for us to live a healthy life style we say no to certain foods that may taste good and yes to foods that gives us proper nutrition to support our goal of healthy living.

Here’s another example, in order for us to live a life style of financial freedom we avoid debt and say yes to investing to support our goal of building generational wealth. The tension for Level 4 Stewardship is the ability to stay connected to the Source when you can have, do, and be anything you desire.

A Person Striving To Become Better, Leads By Example

We believe connectivity to God is the source of all blessings.  Connectivity to people is the how the blessings flow from the Source into your life. We love what Mary Kay Ash  said “Don’t limit yourself.”

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Many people limit themselves to what they think they can do. You can go as far a your faith takes you. What you believe through Christ,  you can achieve.  Level 4 Stewards are determined to stay connected to the Source and intentionally practices the process of connecting to others.

Prayer of Blessing: Lord keep us connected to You.

Michael J. Vance is the co-host of a weekly podcast Better Husband Father Man hub for all things; parenting, marriage, and self-improvement. He is a financial & benefit risk manager with Hundley Batts & Associates Insurance Agency  and co-founder of Stewardshipofwealth.com  Ardella Vance volunteers her time, talents, and financial resources to causes she is passionate about. She is a gifted educator and a Master Guide in the Pathfinder Club, a global organization empowered to teach life and leadership skills to young people. The Vances have been married well over 3 decades and share their lives with four adult children and ten exceptional grandchildren. They currently reside in Huntsville, Alabama and blog from their workbook “Stewardship of Wealth”.

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Does Love Motivates Your Decisions?

Walking in God’s Favor: Love God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength and with all your mind and love your neighbor as yourself. Luke 20:27 NIV

We love others better, when we love God first

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Faithful stewards have discovered in their  spiritual journey that God’s nature is love.  That He gives each of you the freedom to discover his loving nature for yourself.  The Creator freely gives you opportunities to experience His divine love.  Faithful stewards understand that He only wants what is best for your good and His glory.

The Creator has a purpose for your life and He is calling you to a higher level of stewardship. I love what the book of Jeremiah says in chapter 29 verse 11. “I know the plan I have for you, declares the Lord. Plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans for your hope and a future”. Wow! Now that is the kind of God I choose to worship.  I know He has everything under control. When you learn to let go and let God….that’s when things start happening.

A happy marriage requires falling in love over and over again with the same person

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I clearly remember when I began the process of looking for a life partner. I prayed that the woman who I planned to marry would be someone who truly loved God.  That she would be someone I could spiritually connect with. It was very important to me that we shared our love for God with one another. I was raised in a home where I observed my parents praying to God with one another, worshiping God with one another, and trusting in God with one another. That seemed to be high priority in their relationship.

I am so thankful for God bringing Ardella into my life. Every area I have allowed Ardella to touch in my life has turned to gold. I have prospered in my spiritual life, family life, professional life and financial  life.  Over the years God has blessed our marriage, our family, and our lives as we continue to grow more in love with Him as well as each other.

God loves you everyday

Faithful stewards have learned to make intimacy with God their highest priority. God is faithful. He loves you with an unending love. There are no boundaries to God’s love for each of you.

Prayer of Blessing: Lord, Thank You for loving us without limits.

Michael J. Vance is the co-host of a weekly podcast Better Husband Father Man hub for all things; parenting, marriage, and self-improvement. He is a financial & benefit risk manager with Hundley Batts & Associates Insurance Agency  and co-founder of Stewardshipofwealth.com  Ardella Vance volunteers her time, talents, and financial resources to causes she is passionate about. She is a gifted educator and a Master Guide in the Pathfinder Club, a global organization empowered to teach life and leadership skills to young people. The Vances have been married well over 3 decades and share their lives with four adult children and nine exceptional grandchildren. They currently reside in Huntsville, Alabama and blog from their workbook “Stewardship of Wealth”.

Surplus Wealth is a sacred trust which its possessor is bound to administer in his lifetime for the good of the community. Andrew Carnegie

Walking In God’s Favor: Remember: A stingy planter gets a stingy crop; a lavish planter gets a lavish crop. I want each of you to take plenty of time to think it over, and make up your own mind what you will give. That will protect you against sob stories and arm-twisting. God loves it when the giver delights in the giving. 2 Corinthians 9:7 MSG

Your Greatness Is In What You Give, Not What You Own

Why would God say He loves a cheerful giver? Giving is an emotional experience that involves the heart.  The word of God says that where your treasures are, that’s where your heart will be also. You must make giving a part of your day to day Christian experience. Here’s how to start.

  • Pray…Ask for God’s power to change your heart. David asked  God for a clean heart. Only God has the ability to change hearts. God can transform your thinking if you give Him permission.
  • Seek…Discover God’s wisdom in His Word. Turn off the TV,  iPad, cell phone and unplug. Get into a regular Bible study group. How can you walk in God’s wisdom if you rarely read His divine road map?
  • Fellowship…Rub shoulders with people who are generous givers of their time, talents, treasure (money) & temple(body) in honor of God. Hang around people who live a stewardship lifestyle and are great examples of faithfulness.
  • Share…Tell your experience to others of how God has blessed your faithfulness. Many times you do not realize God is all you need, until God is all you got.

You Do Not Have To Be Wealthy To Give Generously

People can give more when they are not in bondage to debt and credit cards.  It is difficult to give cheerfully to the Kingdom when you have overextended yourself financially. Learn to say “No” to the person in the mirror and “Yes” to the Giver & Creator of life.

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To Move Forward You Must Give Back

You are invited January 27th to our Financial Peace University Class held at First Church 1303 Evangel Drive Huntsville, Alabama. Ardella and I will share our story how Financial Peace University helped us to become debt- free. The class is open to the community and you are welcome.

Prayer of Blessing: Lord, teach us to become generously givers.

Michael J. Vance is the co-host of a weekly podcast Better Husband Father Man hub for all things; parenting, marriage, and self-improvement. He is a financial & benefit risk manager with Hundley Batts & Associates Insurance Agency  and co-founder of Stewardshipofwealth.com  Ardella Vance volunteers her time, talents, and financial resources to causes she is passionate about. She is a gifted educator and a Master Guide in the Pathfinder Club, a global organization empowered to teach life and leadership skills to young people. The Vances have been married well over 3 decades and share their lives with four adult children and nine exceptional grandchildren. They currently reside in Huntsville, Alabama and blog from their workbook “Stewardship of Wealth”.

What I possess God owns. Howard Dayton

Walking In God’s Favor: Don’t worry about anything. Instead pray about everything. Tell God what you need and thank Him for all He has done. Philippians 4:6 NLT

Stewardship Principles For Life

We were first introduced to stewardship principles by Elder Harold Lee. A young family with four children, Ardella was a stay-at-home mom, while I was serving in the United States Navy at Rough & Ready Island in Stockton, California. Our life’s spiritual journey has never been the same.

God has placed in each of you an abundance of potential, and you must make the choice to develop, or not to develop your God-given gifts. After learning and practicing stewardship principles for over 25 years, we have discovered certain levels of stewardship in which people are living consciously or unconsciously, each day of lives.

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Level 1 Stewardship Life Lessons

The first lesson you must learn in Level 1 Stewardship, is that God is the Creater/Owner of everything, and you are only a manager, apprentice, or steward. This spiritual truth must become the foundation of your life. You can easily become a millionaire and be a million miles away from God, if you do not internalize this truth.

The second lesson you must learn in Level 1 Stewardship, is to put your faith and trust in God. God will supply all you need according to His riches in glory. The wiser steward you become, the more God can trust you with, because He knows you can handle it. The Level 1 Steward walks by faith and not by sight.

Leadership Is About Stewardship Not Ownership

Why is it, when God blesses you with a good education, you worship the education? God blesses you with a successful business, and you worship the business. God blesses you with talent, and you worship the talent. Instead of worshiping the Gift Giver, you worship the gifts. The Level 1 Steward learns to worship God as Creator/ Owner and giver of all gifts. Stay focused on the dream God has placed inside you. Remember keep praying, keep believing with God all things are possible.

You are welcome to visit our Financial Peace University January 27th at 4pm.  Discover how practicing stewardship principles can change your life.

Prayer of Blessing: Lord teach us to become faithful stewards.

Michael J. Vance is the president of the Huntsville Independent Insurance Agents Association co-founder of Stewardship Of Wealth.com and a financial & benefit-risk manager with Hundley Batts & Associates Insurance Agency   Ardella Vance volunteers her time, talents, and financial resources to causes she is passionate about. She is a gifted educator and a Master Guide in the Pathfinders Club, a global organization empowered to teach life and leadership skills to young people. The Vance’s have been married well over 3 decades and share their lives with four adult children and nine grandchildren. They currently reside in Huntsville Alabama, and blog from their financial guide ”Stewardship of Wealth“.

If you do not conquer self, you will be conquered by self. Napoleon Hill

Walking In God’s Favor: When I was a child, I spoke and thought and reasoned as a child. But when I grew up, I put away childish things. 1Corinthians 13:11 NLT

By constant discipline & self-control you can develop greatness in character

Moving from a Level 1 Stewardship life of struggle to Level 2 Stewardship the life of stability is an individual choice. Many of you cannot see yourselves  maturing from Level 1 Stewardship a life of struggle into Level 2 Stewardship a life of  stability; therefore you remain in a life struggle.

Level 2 faithful stewards learn to live on a budget and give their money a mission.  But more importantly, Level 2 faithful stewards are accountable to God. The Level 2 faithful steward has learned to say “no” to the person in the mirror.

One of the keys that differentiate Level 1 Stewardship the life of struggle from Level 2 Stewardship the life of stability is the will to delay immediate gratification for long-term goals. One sign of spiritual maturity is the will to choose long-term goals over short-term  gain.

Self-Discipline is the key ingredient to success  

I clearly remember our parents teaching us the connection between work and money.  As a kid, they would give my two younger brothers and me money for doing chores like cutting the grass, raking leaves or washing the car.  As soon as I received my money, I would run down to the corner grocery store to spend every penny I had earned on Chinese Sweet & Sours Balls, Red Hots, banana flavored Now & Laters, and  my favorite, Hostess Chocolate Twinkies.

My parents would comment how  I had holes in my pocket when they observed how quickly I spent my money. They found teachable moments  to encourage me to save.  They planted seeds of wisdom like ” Money don’t grow on trees” in  my life.  My parents were the first teachers who sowed into my life the importance of working hard and saving money.

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The more discipline you become, the easier life gets

My truth is,  even today as an adult I struggle with the desire to spend money I don’t have, to  buy things I don’t  need, to impress people I don’t know.  That desire to spend money grew into an uncontrollable desire to have wealth without going through the process of  developing the discipline necessary to manage wealth.

In order for you to move to Level 2 Stewardship a life of stability you are going to have to go through the process. It’s your choice. You have the ability to become a better steward of your wealth. We are living examples that God will empower your life  to do that which you cannot on your own, do for yourself. Remember keep praying, keep believing, with God all things are possible.

You are invited to listen to WJOU Christian Radio Station Saturday 5pm December 8th  as we tell our story moving from Level 1 Stewardship the life of struggle to Level 2 Stewardship the life of stability.

Michael J. Vance is the president of the Huntsville Independent Insurance Agents Association co-founder of Stewardship Of Wealth.com and a financial & benefit-risk manager with Hundley Batts & Associates Insurance Agency   Ardella Vance volunteers her time, talents, and financial resources to causes she is passionate about. She is a gifted educator and a Master Guide in the Pathfinders Club, a global organization empowered to teach life and leadership skills to young people. The Vance’s have been married well over 3 decades and share their lives with four adult children and nine grandchildren. They currently reside in Huntsville Alabama, and blog from their financial guide ”Stewardship of Wealth“.

Your faithfulness in handling what God has given you will determine your success. Noel Jones

Walking In God’s Favor: Remember that it is the Lord your God who gives you the power to become rich. He does this because he is still faithful today to the covenant that he made with your ancestors. Deuteronomy 8:18 (GNT)

Faithfulness Lives Where Love Dwells 

Level 3 Stewards humbly recognize the awesome power of God’s favor in their lives. You can feel God’s protection covering your life and you have personally experienced over and over again God opening doors for you.  You know God has given you the power to have the surplus in your life.

Level 3 Stewards cheerfully give their first fruit off the top and then some. You have moved beyond the 10% tithe and generously give a love offering out of your surplus. You have a personal covenant with God and are living examples of what faithfulness is all about.bahamas 1

I agree with Antonio McGinnis when he says in his book The Game Is Deep  “There is no greater feeling than being prepared for every opportunity when it comes your way”.  The Level 3 Stewards live each day as if it’s their last day, but plan as if they are going to live forever.

God IS Faithful To Give You Hope When You Are Hopeless

Most of you know instinctively, that you should have a will and last testament, living health directive and power of attorney in the invent of a major accident or accidental death.  But how many of you invest in the time to secure these valuable life documents. You spend more time planning for a vacation then you do planning for your life.

When Ardella and I invested in the time to plan our future lives together, it was very enlightening. We begin to think about our financial assets and the kind of legacy we desired to leave to our children and grandchildren and soon to be great-grandchildren. We considered the physical and medical challenges of aging together gracefully.  More importantly,  we shared our deepest thoughts of how we each wanted to live our last days and hours of life on this planet.

Many of you will never experience Level 3 Stewardship in your lifetime. You will never feel the peace of  God in this area of financial maturity and responsibility.  You have no desire to move past the known life of stability into the abundant life of sustainable surplus.austin-texas 1Your Faithfulness Makes You Trustworthy To God

The Level 3 Steward’s life has become a reservoir of God’s bountiful blessings.  Blessing seems to overflow in the Level 3 Steward’s life.  I heard someone say it like this, ” I am drinking from my saucer because my cup is overflowing”.  When  God showers His blessing down on the faithful in Level 3 Stewardship, they wisely store some of their surplus for their future, their legacy, and for the storms of life.

Prayer of  Blessings: Lord, our life is in Your hands.

Michael J. Vance is a financial & benefit-risk manager with Hundley Batts & Associates Insurance Agency , president of the Huntsville Independent Insurance Agents Association and the co-founder of Stewardshipofwealth.com  Ardella Vance volunteers her time, talents, and financial resources to causes she is passionate about. She is a gifted educator and a Master Guide in the Pathfinders Club, a global organization empowered to teach life and leadership skills to young people. The Vance’s have been married well over 3 decades and share their lives with four adult children and nine grandchildren. They currently reside in Huntsville Alabama, and blog from their financial guide ”Stewardship of Wealth“.

 

Regardless of what happended yesterday, if you will stick with the Lord today, your yesterday doesn’t have to control your tomorrow. Tony Evans

Walking in God’s Favor:  Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. I Peter 4:10 NIV

You Rise By Lifting Others

Level 4 Stewardship is one of the best ways to describe the heart of a servant. Many faithful stewards start off as servants but end up as celebrities. They become addicted to the attention, unaware that always being in the spotlight blinds you.

God can trust the level 4 Stewards with wealth, power, and influence. The heart of the Level 4 Steward is in giving service to God. Level 4 Stewards makes sure the decisions they make honor God and build His Kingdom.

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Great Leaders Must Become Great Servants

There are four areas of life the Level 4 steward focuses on: How you care for your body (temple),  how you invest your time,  how you develop your talents or gifts, and how you manage your money(treasures). This is a wholistic approach to servant leadership.

God wants all of you, not just little pieces of you. The Level 4 Steward accepts the truth that God owns it all, and you are only caretaker. Level 4 Stewards think like a servant, with God being the owner.

Authentic Leaders Have A Servant Heart 

To think like a servant requires a change in your heart. A servant thinks more of how you can serve others rather than serve yourself. Once you have a transformed heart, you no longer focus so much on your own needs, but turn your heart to the needs of others.

Prayer of Blessing: Lord, give me the mind of a servant leader.  Give me the integrity to serve others not for my personal gain but for Your glory. Help me to see beyond my needs and see the needs of others around me. Guide me in caring for my body temple, so your spirit may have a healthy dwelling place.  Lord reveal to me each day where to best invest my time. Empower me with your spirit to reach my highest potential. Guide me to wisely share my wealth in order to build your kingdom and help those with less wealth.

Michael J. Vance is the co-host of a podcast Better Husband Father Man, a hub for all things; parenting, marriage and self-improvement. He is a financial & benefit risk manager with Hundley Batts & Associates Insurance Agency  and the co-founder of Stewardshipofwealth.com  Ardella Vance volunteers her time, talents, and financial resources to causes she is passionate about. She is a gifted educator and a Master Guide in the Pathfinders Club, a global organization empowered to teach life and leadership skills to young people. The Vance’s have been married well over 3 decades and share their lives with four adult children and nine grandchildren. They currently reside in Huntsville, Alabama and blog from their workbook ”Stewardship of Wealth“.