from the movie "Secretariat"
Even her brothers and husband turned against Penny Chenery Tweedy. Confronted with a $6 million debt to the IRS, the family saw selling their racehorse stable as the only option.
But Penny had other ideas. She banked on a young thoroughbred named Secretariat, who though untested possessed promise. Her brothers tried to talk “sense” to her. It was a risk that would send the whole family into financial ruins if the horse didn’t deliver against incredible odds.
Penny was willing to take the risk. She prefered to face the consequences of failure over regretting not even trying. She decided to follow her instinct and gamble on Secretariat. It was her passion, her dream, her calling, and she wouldn’t go to the grave with a “safe and secure” life that left her wondering what could have been.
The real Penny Chenery
Secretariat became a racehorse legend, winning in 1973 the Triple Crown for the first time in 25 years. Some race records set by Secretariat stand unbeaten today. Profits flowed to Meadow Farm. Her doubters — those who told her to cash in and drop out of the risky venture of horseracing — were flabbergasted by her success.
Don’t be afraid to follow you call, your passion, your heartbeat. God will grant the resources. Detractors will arise; remain firm in your conviction. Serving God may be “risky,” but the payoff at the end will astound your doubters.
Posted in Financial Talk
Tagged blessing, calling, church finances, dreams, Faith, God, Horse racing, ministry, pastoring, Penny Chenery, prosperity, Secretariat
To watch Secretariat was to laugh at the competition. The thoroughbred liked to start last and then bolt past all the other horses to win often on the last stretch. How the racehorse liked to run! It seemed like he was smiling.
After winning the Kentucky Derby and then Preakness in 1973, Secretariat seemed poised to win the Belmont and become the first Triple Crown winner in 25 years. But his old rival, Sham, stood in the way. Secretariat galloped out, taking the lead early on. His speed was so great, his owner feared he wouldn’t maintain the breakneck pace for the long distance. But Secretariat never slowed and won by a jaw-dropping 31 lengths.
When Secretariat died in 1989, the doctor who performed the necropsy discovered that Secretariat’s heart was twice the size of a normal horse’s heart. Herein lay his success. The powerful machine pumped ample blood to all his system, enabling speed and stamina.
When others look at your ministry, they discount it for superficial reasons. But God doesn’t look at the surface. He sees what counts, how large your heart is. And winning depends not on how large your church or budget are but on how large your heart is.
Prayer changes things
When Abram heard that his relative had been taken captive, he called out the 318 trained men born in his household and went in pursuit as far as Dan. — Gen. 14:14
With a measly 318 soldiers, Abram vanquished a vast army comprised of five separate armies. Abram was Hercules before the Greeks wrote. He was Rambo before Hollywood invented him. He was a superhero, a true warrior. He confronted impossible odds and triumphed.
This story has got to leave you tingling with faith. Whatever the size of your ministry, you can make unthinkable impact!
Don´t measure yourself as the world does — stats, dollars, attendance, hits. The ONLY measure that counts is the faith in your heart. And you can always INCREASE your faith when you bend your knees. The war is not won with superior numbers, it is won with superior prayers.
So I guess what I said about Abram — the invincible — was simply not true. It was not his fierceness nor his dexterity in battle that won the day. It was his relationship with God. And whatever Abram did, we can do, because we have the same God.
We want victories. We want to avoid trials. But victories are inextricably intertwined with trials. Do you wish to serve Jesus? You will have horrible trials that make you wish to return to the quiet life of before. But at the same time, you yearn for Holy Spirit revival. Gold comes out of the furnace.
After Job suffered unimagineable sorrow, he was blessed beyond measure. Jesus first had to be crucified in order to be resurrected. To triumph over death, He first had to die. They don’t teach this at seminary. But this is the path of ministry.
So don’t pray to avoid or even get out of trials. Pray for the victory.
Are finances short? Praise Him. Chances are that victories are just ahead. Pray for victories. When it comes to couples, they say opposites attract. I say that Vicky married Mr. Trials.
I remember praying in my backyard in Guatemala. For over a decade, we had been holding church in the same old run-down warehouse. Today that warehouse is a used tire shop. I remember longing to raise the ministry up a dimension. But it seemed so unreachable. To buy a property was out of our grasp.
Despite the impossibilities, I prayed. Then a raptor flew over head. Words flashed through my head: “If you want to fly, you have to try.”
Trying to get a loan and risking ridicule if it didn’t come through. Trying to find an adequate property and risking wasting time. Trying to break out of current circumstances, which though undesirable were nevertheless comfortable because they were status quo. He who steps into the air at great height either falls or flies, but once you step out, there’s no turning back
I dared to believe in Jesus. Will you dare? God got us out of “the ghetto” and into one of the best neighborhoods in Guatemala City in a colonial building that was 6 times as large. It gave room for growth in terms of space and in terms of location.
Will you dare to believe? Pray.
Confederate troops surprise-attacked Gen. Grant´s forces along the Tennessee River on April 6, 1862 with hopes to driving them into the swamps to finish them off and thwart Northern incursions. After inflicting 1,000s of deaths and driving Union forces back, Gen. Beauregard had reason to telegraph Confederacy President Jefferson Davis: “A COMPLETE VICTORY.” However, Beauregard didn´t know that Grant was receiving 15,000 reinforcements at Pittsburg Landing that night.
Grant was puffing a cigar, sheltered from rain under a tree that night after musketry ceased. Gen. Sherman told him: “Well, Grant, we’ve had the devil’s own day, haven’t we?”
“Yes,” Grant replied, pausing to draw on his cigar. “We´ll lick ’em tomorrow, though.”
Beauregard thought that on Day 2 he would drive Grant into the river. But this time it was HE who was surprised when Grant counter-attacked with fresh troops.
There´s always a turnaround. Things are going bad for you in ministry — maybe real bad. But God is going to deploy strategic resources, and today´s losses will convert in tomorrow´s victories. That´s why we pray as Christians — for the turnaround. Jesus said, “Do you think I cannot call on my Father, and he will at once put at my disposal more than twelve legions of angels?” — Matt. 26:53 NIV That´s the power available for us too! Just pray and help is on its way!
When all is comfortable, we find a zillion reasons to NOT pray. When bills pile up, desperation spurs on prayers that gallop into Heaven and demand a response.
Not an overload, but a healthy measure of anxiety sharpens your prayer life. Thus, Moses pleads, Elijah cries, Job complains, the Psalmists breaks his heart before God. Even Jesus: “During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with LOUD CRIES AND TEARS to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission.” — Heb. 5:7 NIV.
“You must pray with all your might,” said Gen. William Booth. “That does not mean saying your prayers, or sitting gazing about in church or chapel with eyes wide open while someone else says them for you. It means fervent, effectual, untiring wrestling with God…This kind of prayer be sure the devil and the world and your own indolent, unbelieving nature will oppose. They will pour water on this flame.”
And C. H. Spurgeon declared: “Let us agonize in prayer.”
Angst-powered prayers, driven by need are far more effective than feeble mumblings from the half-asleep. Do you want revival fires from prayer? Do you want finances to flow? Then, let anxiety into your prayer closet.
I just got back from my old stomping grounds. I translated for my pastor in the Guatemala church. I saw the school, where scores of kids piled up around me to give me group hugs. The kids smiled and cried out: “Pastor Mike! Pastor Mike!” They wouldn’t let me go and almost knocked me down as they clung to me. It filled my heart with intoxicating emotion, love and happiness.
Nothing in the world compares to that. You can have your razor-blade Ferrari, your Italian suit, your smart phone. I will choose those kids. And I never regret the “sacrifice” of giving 16 years to ministry in poverty. I never regret living with less, eating mostly beans and rice for a lack of money to get something better. The riches of ministry are the greatest riches.
Jesus was also God’s son, a prince. Yet he had no place to lay his head, no house. When you choose to minister, it doesn’t have to be a vow of poverty, but you are definitely defining what your greatest treasure is. It’s God — and it’s helping His people. And the emotional rewards outweigh financial ones every time.
This blog is dedicated to helping you be inspired to prayer for finances so your ministry can increase. God is great and will carry forward His work. It is a great work for Him to have wholly the heart of his minister. Praise Him.