The light began to dawn for this Veteran...

Crown Financial Ministries on 3/5/16 11:30 AM

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Willie served our nation, on active duty in the military for 24 solid years. When he left the service, he worked various jobs: truck driver, supply supervisor, realtor ...

But at home, there was trouble. His marriage gradually dissolved.

Stressed and confused, he walked away from a good job.

Things went from bad to worse.

“I used up all my savings, and got deep in debt with credit cards and personal loans,” Willie says today. One day he realized he was in a hole $70,000 deep.

His years in the military had given him stamina. “I refused to go into bankruptcy,” he recalls. Eventually he re-enlisted — and devoted every possible penny of his paycheck to whittling away at the debt load.

“This would not have happened without the mercy of God,” Willie says.

But he was exhausted from the effort — and he still didn’t really understand the dynamics that had led him to get into financial trouble in the first place. Within a few months, he was headed back down into the same kind of dungeon.

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A congregation sees God's heart...

Crown Financial Ministries on 2/27/16 11:30 AM

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Pastor Ron Tucker looked at his congregation — at Grace Church in St. Louis — and saw trouble.

“Couples and single people of every income level,” he observed, “drowning in debt not knowing which way to turn, stressed out to the breaking point.”

But that was more than 10 years ago.

“Our church has been using Crown’s Biblical Financial Study for more than a decade now,” Ron says. “It doesn’t just give you practical application; it shows you God’s heart.”

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Remembering His First Tithe Check...

Crown Financial Ministries on 2/5/16 10:30 AM

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I had been a Christian since 1985, and it was now January of 1993. I never tithed, in fact rarely gave anything. I had every excuse in the books as to why, and to me they were all valid. I remember thinking that I would not have enough to pay my bills, I was going to be about $400 short.

Well, however it happened, I actually ended up with about a $400 surplus. Without thinking about it, I wrote a check for $400 more than I would have paid to lower a debt, and was driving to the Post Office before work to mail it.

Then God spoke to me:

“When are you going to trust me with your money?” He
asked. “You thought you would be short, I gave you a surplus,
and you still don’t trust me? When are you going to change?”

I decided right then to drive to work, tear up the check, and write a new (smaller) one, and start tithing. 

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Doors Wide Open to Cuba

As U.S.-Cuba relations begin to normalize, God has thrown the doors wide open for Crown's Ministry in the island nation, for the very first time!Cuba.jpg

Dr. Frank Gonzalez, Crown’s leader in Latin America,
traveled at the end of September with a team to Cuba, where he taught sessions using Crown’s God Provides Films. The team also began developing stewardship leaders using Crown materials. In attendance: leaders from 30 different churches all across the nation.

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If one more thing went wrong, we would have been in serious trouble...

They seemed to be living the American dream. Jake and Kayla both landed great jobs right after their wedding. They were making good money — so of course they took out a loan for a nice car. They took out a mortgage on a nice house. They bought a big dog — “just because we could,” Jake says.

But they kept on spending ... and the credit card debt began to mount. 

It was a tenuous time for this couple. They were on the brink of financial disaster.

“If one more thing went wrong, we would have been in serious trouble,” Jake says. “If a car had broken down, an appliance
would have quit, or one of us had gotten sick, we would not have made it out ...

“We realized our spending was out of control,” Jake remembers. So when they heard about a Crown class, they signed up.

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In Her Own Words

From Susan Ellington,
Crown’s U.S. Field Director:

I’ve facilitated the God Provides™ study several times in my own church, and I’m amazed at how God uses it in such powerful ways. The most recent example ... we used it in the home group I attend. Before the study began, I invited a gentleman named Don Krupp to join our group. Don was hearing-impaired and had been looking for a DVD study that offered closed captioning. The first week he attended, Don expressed excitement about being able to fully experience the beauty of God’s Word. Not only could he see the Biblical stories visually, he could follow the dialog through the closed captioning.

In addition to being hearing-impaired, Don was blind in one eye. He had never been married and had no children. He lost his job a year ago and hadn’t been able to find steady work due to the struggling economy. From the world’s perspective, he had very little to celebrate. Yet Don was filled with the joy of the Holy Spirit. He inspired our group as he talked about his love for Jesus and his complete trust in Him.

During the fifth lesson, our small group watched Rich Man and Lazarus. We talked about whether we live our lives as if Heaven and Hell are real. We discussed what the world values vs. what God values. We shared what we would do differently if we knew when our lives would end. We were reminded that what we do in this life matters for eternity.

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There was no Plan B...

Crown Financial Ministries on 12/26/15 10:30 AM

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Brittany was counting on the military.

Life at home was tough. At 19, she knew she needed that kind of structure. There were lots of other reasons, too. She was sure: The U.S. military was her ideal career path.

There was no Plan B.

Until the physical.

That day, Brittany was diagnosed with binocular vision disorder. She was disqualified from military service.

Shattered, she turned to Seasons Counseling, a counseling service in her area. She wept bitter tears as she said eight simple words: “I don’t know what I’m going to do.”

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She was following the world's blueprint of materialism...

Sure, Akil Cole was a Christian ... “Yet I was ignorantly following the world’s blueprint of materialism,” she says.

It was a Crown class that totally changed her perspective.
She had graduated from college with student loans, a car loan, and credit card debt.

“Crown showed me through God’s infallible Word that I was in bondage,” Akil says, “and not free to serve God completely.”

She calls it an “abrupt awakening” — and it spurred her to make every effort to get out of debt.

When she achieved this goal, God began speaking to her heart about sharing what she had learned.

Which is why you’ll find her in Panama today.

“A Christian mentor helped me discover my passion in life,” Akil says, “which was to share Crown’s message primarily with historically oppressed people groups. Because I had been incorporating God’s principles of stewardship for many years, I was free, spiritually and financially, to answer His call to Central America to study Spanish. In Panama, I am not only learning Spanish, but also learning about the beautiful Latino culture, which has dark strokes of corruption painted throughout its wonderful colorful landscape. Crown’s message of hope is needed here.”

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We had given it “our all” — but we had not given it all to God...

Crown Financial Ministries on 12/18/15 10:30 AM

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At the start of 2015, our business was struggling tremendously and we were seeking direction. We attendedthe Crown Financial personal study in hopes of gaining guidance and some strength or encouragement. We gained a lot on a personal level but God wanted more. We had a growing business, but lacked the incentive to run it 100% in God’s will. We had given it “our all” — but we had not given it all to God!

It was a true “God thing” that we were led to Knoxville to the Business By The Book™ Seminar — not knowing much about it, but seeking His will with a broken spirit.

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Meat means ends meet...

Crown Financial Ministries on 12/16/15 10:30 AM

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“I was set free!” 

Meat — there had to be meat — with every single meal.

Dinart Barradas’ wife and children couldn’t understand his obsession. In fact, neither could he. It was a fixation born of poverty.

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