Category Archives: Uncategorized

God never made a promise that was too good to be true.” ―Dwight L. Moody

Walking In God’s Favor: And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Roman 8:28

Do You Put People Before Possessions?

We Christians in America have become so materialistic in our thinking. You have probably heard someone say, ” The one who dies with the most toys wins” or “The one with the gold makes the rules.”

The things in this world are temporal, but the things of God are eternal.  I believe Jesus Christ is returning for a people – not possessions. So, what are you doing to build intimate relationships with those you love? How are you investing your financial resources to better your relationship with God and meaningful others?

What Come Easy Won’t last Long And What Last Long Won’t Come Easy

When you develop intimate relationships, you do it one-to-one. Your attention is focused on one person. Their needs become your priority. Dr David and Teresa Ferguson, co-authors of Intimate Encounters says, “Intimate relationships takes time and communication”Photo

Recently Ardella and I had the wonderful experience of celebrating our 36th wedding anniversary. For me the best part of the celebrating our anniversary is the time we spend together alone. No children, no grandchildren, we forget about our ministries, our investments, we turn off our phones and we take time  to focus our attention on each other.

This includes sharing one’s feelings, putting others first, sympathetic listening, and caring for one another. Sharing your heart with family and having meaningful relationships with others is what life is truly about. Life is meant to be shared. Sharing the love of  God with those we care about is priority for the Level 4 Steward.

Surround Yourself With People That See Your Value and Celebrate You For it

There is nothing like the power of your own life story. Everyone has a story to tell.  How are you being blessed today? Sharing your life experiences with others encourages them and gives them hope.  Tell others how you have overcome life’s struggles; how your faith brings stability in your life; how living by biblical principles gives you the wisdom to look around the corner to prepare for the storms of life. And finally tell others of your spiritual discovery for your life’s work.

Michael J. Vance - Bio Introduction -page-001

You are invited! It’s Not About Us Ministries  Wednesday 12noon September 4th at 224-D Church Street Downtown Huntsville, Alabama. I will lead a discussion on the “Principles of Loyalty” as a key spiritual factor in successful Christian relationships & businesses. Limited seating! RSVP Pastor Adolphus Elliott 256-755-1176 to reserve your seating. Refreshments with be provided. Underwritten by It’s Not About Us Ministries and open to the community.

Prayer of Blessings; Lord, help us keep first things first.

Michael J. Vance is the co-host of the 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 the president of the  Alabama Independent Insurance Agents Association  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 International 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”.

Advertisements

Something in human nature causes us to start slacking off at our moment of greatest accomplishment. As you become successful, you will need a great deal of self-discipline not to lose your sense of balance, humility, and commitment. Ross Perot

Walking In God’s Favor: I can do all things [which He has called me to do] through Him who strengthens and empowers me [to fulfill His purpose—I am self-sufficient in Christ’s sufficiency; I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him who infuses me with inner strength and confident peace.] Philippians 4:13 AMP

The struggle is real, don’t judge people.

How serious are you about becoming the person God designed you to be? Many times you say words with your lips that are inconsistent with your actions. Why is there so often a disconnect between what you say and what you do?

The answer to this questions is not the same for everyone. For some,  its just lip service, but for so many others it has sincerely been a struggle to do the things you know to do. Can you relate to Paul when he says in the bible “For the good that I would, I do not; but the evil which I would not, that I do.” Romans 7:19  (KJV)

Ardella and I journey out of financial bondage has been a long, tedious one and it stills continues. There have been times when we felt like we were treading water, making no progress at all. Then there times in which we would take one step forward and one or two steps backwards.

Prayer is the most important conversation of your day.

What is it, that motivates us to keep going, even when we could not see the light at the end of the tunnel? We have two answers for that question; prayer and bible promises.

Powerful conversations with God has given us strength, power, and wisdom to make tough decisions and change our lifestyle. Listening to God’s spirit has given us hope when we felt weak or discouraged. We remained faithful to bible promises even when it looked like it was impossible to remain faithful.

Wherever you are in your financial journey, find a bible promise that you can use for whatever situation you find yourself in. The bible contains over 3,000 promises concerning your financial victory and one has been tailor made for you at this moment in your life.MJV Rocket Photo

Invest in yourself, do the work, your time will come.

You have a God who is bigger than your problems. He knows the beginning and the end. He is personally concerned about your needs. How can you not succeed? There is no limit to what God can do the lives of faithful stewards.

When you begin to experience success and victory,  be sure to recognize God from who all blessings flow.  Resist the tendency to feel like you did it by yourself. Remember the words of  Wernher von Braun ” I have learned to used the word impossible with the greatest caution.

You are invited to visit our Financial Peace University Class Sunday 4:30pm September 29th at the main campus of the First Seventh-day Adventist Church, in Huntsville Alabama. You can be debt-free.

Prayer of blessings: Lord help us to stay faithful to You.

Michael J. Vance is the co-host of the 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 the president of the  Alabama Independent Insurance Agents Association  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 International 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”.

A very rich person should leave his kids enough to do anything but not enough to do nothing. Warren Buffet

Walking In God’s Favor: Romans 13:8 Don’t run up debts, except for the huge debt of love you owe each other. When you love others, you complete what the law has been after all along. (MSG)

It’s better to go to bed hungry, than to wake up in debt & broke.

We believe overcoming financial bondage is one of the greatest struggles for anyone seeking financial freedom. Many of you only dream of saving money. In many instances you do not experience financial health because you are trying to borrow yourself into wealth. You want to look rich to cover your raggedness. You desire to appear prosperous to hide your poverty. You feel that wealth can heal your wounded-ness.

Many of you do not see anything wrong with living in debt. The more I can borrow the better. I didn’t either at first; just like the story of the frog . I’m told if you put a frog in a pot of water on a stove with no lid, and gradually turn up the heat, the frog will remain in the pot until it is cooked alive, even though the frog has the ability to easily jump out of the pot at anytime.

Every time you borrow money, you’re robbing your future legacy.

Initially I felt debt was a good thing; just a financial tool. It allowed me to obtain things I felt I needed  now and I could pay for it later….WOW! That sounded like a good deal… Just like when the serpent lied to Eve in the Garden of Eden. He told Eve if she ate of the tree of good and evil she would not “surely die”. Listen to me people, if you play with snakes you will get bitten.

Debt has been successfully marketed by banks and financial institutions in the United States as your pathway to prosperity. As a result, many of you have found ourselves in financial bondage with little or no hope of ever experiencing financial freedom again.

SOW 70Freedom from debt is worth any amount you can earn.

If you are in bondage because of debt, your first step into financial freedom is to admit your finances are out of control. If you continue to live in denial, you won’t seek help and you won’t break free.  The Bible says that “the borrower is slave to the lender”. Ask God, in prayer, for the power  to break break free of  debt. With God, and a made up mind, you can experience financial freedom.

Prayer of Blessing: Lord, help me to become wise with money.

Michael J. Vance is the co-host of a 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”.

Only by God’s grace have I made it to see today and only by God’s grace will I ever see tomorrow. Jesse Owens

Walking In God’s Favor: I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns. Philippians 1:6 (NLT)

To Move to The Next Level Your Spirit Must Be Stretched

Level 4 Stewards have taken care of business. They have a last will and testament  in place and a financial plan for the golden years. (Age 70 is now the new 65 for retirement) Level 4 Steward continues to  develop their talents and abilities well beyond their 60’s, 70’s and 80’s. Level 4 Stewards are always growing mentally, spiritually, and emotionally. They age gracefully with wisdom and live exceptionally active lives.

Are you called to a higher level of stewardship? Are there pieces of your life you know needs to change.  We define stewardship from a holistic perspective. Beginning with our body temple.   How are  you taking care of yourself? Are you positively pushing yourself  beyond your physical boundaries by making healthy choices daily.

Every Next Level Of Your Life Will Demand A Better Version Of You

Gound Zero

Have you prioritize your time in relationship to your life goals,  dreams and  purpose?  Moments in US history like September 11th can change your priorities forever.  Level 4 Stewardship must learn when to say no to the good in order to say yes to the great. They prioritize  activities  that  align with their life mission.

What is your bucket list of  things you want very much to accomplish, experience or become.  What gifts have you been given that you have laid aside  that you need to pick back up. Ardella and I have  always loved music, it is a lifelong passion we’ve both had since childhood.  Over the years  we have found creative ways to  keep  the music  playing in our souls and share our lifetime passion of music with others. Don’t die with your music still in you.

Obtaining Next Level Results,  Requires Obtaining Next Level Thinking

The Level 4 stewards intentionally mentors and sows into the lives of  the next  generation. They willingly share their life experiences and resources with family, friends and meaningful others.  The Level 4 stewards looks for ways to significantly impact the lives of people around them and the community they serve. They believe in the Givers Gain philosophy or law of reciprocity.

Prayer of Blessing: Lord, where You lead I will follow.

Michael J. Vance is the co-host of a 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”.

Children learn the value of money and the discipline of self-control through saving. Randy Alcorn

Walking in God’s Favor: The wise man saves for the future, but the foolish man spends whatever he gets. Proverbs 21:20 TLB

 The Struggle to Save

Many of you only dream of saving money. Here’s a quick snapshot of America’s finances. The Wall Street Journal indicates that 70% of all Americans live from paycheck to paycheck. The Oprah Winfrey Show indicated on an online survey that 70% of responders has no savings anywhere. You almost have to pull a gun on Americans to get them to save.

SOW Blog

Preparing For The Storms of Life

We have learned in Financial Peace University (3) key reasons to save money; for emergencies, for purchases and to build wealth. With Ardella and I having careers in the academic and risk management arena for over 25 years, we label emergencies in 5 categories we call the 5 storms of life or the 5D’s.

1Disasters – Car accidents, weather related perils, any unexpected incidents.

2Disability – Any physical condition that prevents your daily living activities.

3Downsized – Loss of employment, bankruptcy or divorce.

4Death – The loss of a person who contributes to your financial well being

5Deployment- Active& reserve military called to serve 6 or more months away

If you want to become a faithful steward you must begin the process of saving money. Moving to a higher level of stewardship requires dedication, discipline and diligence. Living the life of surplus and overflow takes wisdom.

If You Are Saving, You Are Succeeding.

Many of you have struggled so long in your financial lives you get comfortable with a life of stability. Now is not the time to rest, keep moving. There is so much God have for you to learn, experience and become. You must choose to make saving a top priority. The choice can change your family tree.

Prayer of Blessing: Lord, help us to become savers.

Michael J. Vance is the co-host of a 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”.

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”.

Better HFM

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.”

SOW

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”.

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

Paris 15

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

10583990_10203664620729399_5113568531027268905_n

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”.