Category Archives: Financial Talk

How the Lord can Bless you!

Stuck in a loser’s mentality? The Israelites teach us the dangers…

3 Reasons Why Christians Biblically Should Get Rich

3 Reason Non-Christians Succeed More than Christians (sometimes)

3 Reasons Why Christians DON’T Get Rich

3 Reasons Christians Should Get Rich

Get rich SLOW

Nebuchadnezzar’s statue: Prosper for people not to show off

Does money bring happiness?

Take a break

Rebranding yourself

Streams in the desert

12 basketfuls

Emotional hijackings


They screw up your success.

Entrepreneurs WATCH for opportunities

Success is a poor teacher. So too is failure.

You want to win? Prepare yourself to lose.

Luck in business and investing

Effort twice as good as talent

Spouses who support entreprenuers

We couldn’t do it without our supportive significant other

MSIs

What are MSIs? Why do you need them?

Hint: Multiple Streams of Income
You need them in case one stream dries up. Or doesn’t produce enough.

Is ok for Christians to want to get rich?

Not an expert yet? Don’t worry.

Stress and boredom are opposites. Both extremes are unhealthy

Can Christians read Think & Grow Rich?

Act. Don’t overthink.

Don’t stop making strides

Team-building

A lot of people hate team-building. But it’s a surer way to success.

The role of PURPOSE in success

Hint: It’s gotta be bigger than you just making a lot of money.

Don’t stress over money when you try to earn it

Grit, more important than talent

The Isaac blessing


Does the Bible promise financial blessing?

Get in the money game

If you don’t play the game, you can’t win it.

Frugal: How penny-pinching can help you retire comfortably

From missionary to millonaire

4 daily habits to put your mind onto success

Your story

Your affirmations

Your why

Your vision board

Miracle money for marine

Just when Jacob and Charlsie tried to honor God by getting out of debt – he took a second job, she got food at the Food Bank – simultaneously both of their cars broke down and needed expensive repairs.

It was a blast of discouragement undermining their newfound determination to “not be a slave to the lender.”

Marines don’t make much money in the first place. The sacrifice of being separated for most of their three years of marriage while Jacob was deployed was already a burden. When they took stock of their growing credit card debt, they felt crushed.

“The joy of being back together was dampened by the weight of, ‘wow, okay, we we’ve got debt and it’s growing,'” Charlsie explains on a CBN video.

“We looked at it, we were like, ‘wow, that hurts.’ And that was kind of our wakeup call where we came together and we were like, ‘we can’t, do this. We need to learn the skills, apply them, and pull ourselves out of this hole,'” Jacob adds.

In a bid to get the upper hand over expenditures, they dropped their cable and internet.

They were just beginning to feel they would soon be above water. Then disaster struck both of their cars. It was a devastating blow.

“Right now, fixing the issues with either car can’t be at the top of our priority list,” Charlsie remembers thinking. “There are other bills and needs that come before doing that.”

They considered downsizing to just one car. But they really needed both. Charlsie volunteered a their church, Pillar Church in Oceanside.

Pastor Mike became aware of their struggles and made… Read the rest: Miracle money for marine.

She put her arms around the gangbanger who took her son’s life

Melanie Washington hugged the young man who killed her son.

“It’s more important to love and forgive than to hold on to the pain and the hurt,” Melanie says on a Long Beach Post video. “I found myself putting my arm around him. I didn’t feel a murderer that killed my son. I felt my son.”

Today Melanie Washington, based in Long Beach, CA, is helping troubled youth make it out of a destructive culture. She herself came out of a childhood that was “pure hell,” she says.

At age 8, she was molested by her stepfather. When “Fred” got on top of her sister Mary, Melanie told her mother, who kicked out the abuser.

He left but showed up the next day with a gun.

“No, Daddy, no,” Mary pleaded.

He shot and killed Mom. He tried to kill Melanie, but the gun jammed.

Shocked and overcome by grief, Melanie, who didn’t know where to turn, blamed herself for her mother’s death.

“I was the one who told my mother that he was doing this,” Melanie explains. “She put him out, and then he came back and killed her the day after Thanksgiving. I went through a life of never forgiving myself for that. I kept telling my mother, I’m sorry.”

Melanie graduated from high school and, falling in love with a handsome young man, married him. After the second month of marriage, he began to beat her.

Again, Melanie blamed herself.

“I was just wondering … Read the rest: Forgiving her son’s murderer.

Nikki Cannon, building African American wealth in Los Angeles

People told Nikki Cannon’s mom, diagnosed with dyslexia, to be a typist. With bigger ambitions, she, notwithstanding, graduated with a bachelor degree, a master’s and a Phd. She became a university professor and a consultant for the U.S. Congress on social justice.

Triumphing over tough times was always part of Nikki’s life. Today she holds six professional licenses and an MBA and is building a team of financial professionals with World Financial Group. “I definitely did not grow up with a silver spoon in my mouth,” she told The Pace.

While she was in high school in Hawaii, her mother packed one suitcase and she and Nikki fled a physically abusive husband/step-dad. Mom and daughter landed in LAX, got a hostel room for two weeks and ate at soup kitchens until Mom got a job at Burger King.

Yup, a PhD flipping burgers. “She made it work,” Nikki says. “Honestly, I don’t feel like I came from poverty. I had a great childhood. There was never any obstacle that she was not going to overcome.” Eventually, mom landed a job with Children Protective Services and segued back to academia. For her part, Nikki was a stellar student at Los Angeles High School who, ironically, didn’t plan to go to college.

“Have you heard back from any of the colleges you applied to?” a college counselor called after her one day. No, she responded. She wanted to take time off to help out Mom. He looked at her grades and her SAT. It was too late for the UCs and Cal States, but she could still apply for private schools. At his insistence, she applied to four universities and was accepted into all four. Read the rest: Nikki Cannon financial advisor

Kevin Robinson couldn’t afford to buy books, so he just read them at the bookstore. Today he is rich.

Despite making millions in real estate, Kevin Robinson, 38, scrimps on groceries, eating oatmeal, tuna out of the can, and frozen grapes instead of ice cream. He makes a point of always buying in bulk.

“My family thinks I’m just as cheap as hell,” Kevin says on a MarketWatch video. “They say, you’re just cheap. Go buy some real ice cream. But little things start to add up for me, and (living frugally) has been very, very good for me in building up my net worth.”

Today, Kevin Robinson — who calls himself Kayr — administers a real estate empire, but he grew up in “deep poverty” in Philadelphia. He serves as an example of someone God provided for abundantly as he gave to God’s work.

“No one in my family was financially literate,” he says. “What happened to me is that I was motivated because when I was 13 or 14 years old, I noticed my mother struggled with money and our local church was always raising money.”

So, he went to the local bookstore and read everything on finance, money management and real estate. He didn’t buy the books. He didn’t have the money to do so. He didn’t even have money for the bus to get to the bookstore. He walked there every weekend and spent the day reading them in the store throughout middle school and high school while his friends played sports.

“I would say, ‘I’m going to master this material. No one’s going to know more than me,’” he remembers. “I sat down. I read the book for free. I put it back.”

Throughout his childhood, Mom had to move 10 times. Though instability was not ideal, Kevin found inspiration.

“It looked like the landlord had all this power. He gets to decide who lives and who stays in his property,” he says. “I said to myself, ‘What am I going to do? Am I going to become the homeless person or the teenage dad? Or am I going to become the landlord or the business owner?’

“I decided to become the landlord and the business owner.” Read the rest: He read books on riches at the bookstore because he couldn’t afford them, then Kevin Robinson became rich.

Developmentally disabled couple wants kids

Chloe fell in love with and married Jason Ivey. It’s a heart-warming and romantic story. There’s just one notable piece of information to add. Both spouses are developmentally disabled.

Chloe has Down Syndrome. Jason has autism, ADD and bipolar disorder.

“People with autism want to feel important; they want to feel needed. Honestly, it’s magical. That’s how I actually feel,” Jason said in an interview with Special Books for Special Kids, a YouTube channel that promotes understanding of people with disabilities. “Yeah, there’s ups and downs. But I’m telling you Chloe is such a perfect wife. And even when I’m down she lifts me right back up and makes me so happy.”

To see Chloe and Jason talk about marriage and how God brought them together is a moving reminder that God has not made anyone inferior. People with special needs have much to teach others about happiness and simplicity in a world that seems overly complicated to many.

“I feel like I’m hit with a love bug. Sometimes I would say, ‘Thank You, God, for everything, all the positive things,” Chloe says. “I feel like I want to cry. I feel like I’m on top of the world.”

The love oozes from the video. “She is like drop-dead gorgeous,” Jason says. “I was worried, like, ‘Lord, I am way marrying out of my league.’ My goodness! Look at this beauty!”

But their fairytale story also raises unsettling questions the video doesn’t address: Would they have children? Would their offspring be more prone to being born with a disability? Who would care for the children?

“Sometimes I think in my mind ‘I want a baby so bad,’” Chloe says. She has a realistic doll that she treats as her baby. “This is Giselle. She represents what we want for the future.”

Both Chloe and Jason recognize their limitations. They say they are 80% independent, which means that 20% of their adult responsibilities are handled by care-givers, often family members.

In a world where abortion is pressed on parents when an ultrasound reveals a potential disability, in a world where government imposes decisions on private citizens in the name of the common good, some questions linger:

Who decides if they have kids? Should society try to prevent a child being born into a world where foster care is a strong possibility? Find out more: Should developmentally disabled couples have kids?

Navy SEAL David Goggins, once obese, says God trained him

David Goggins was a 300-pound exterminator recovering from the trauma of beatings by his father — a pimping owner of a roller-skating rink who made young David sanitize skates and scrape gum off the floor until midnight.

Then David watched, with milkshake in hand, a Navy SEALS reality show and made a decision to be a SEAL. When he showed up at the office, the recruiter scowled at his obesity. He would have to lose 100 pounds in three-months, the cutoff to get training. David decided to redirect his childhood pain into the arduous physicality of SEAL training.

The pursuit of that impossible goal is what made David Goggins the person he is today. He’s arguably America’s fittest man, the only serviceman to complete not only the Navy SEALs but also Army Rangers and U.S. Air Force Tactical Air Control Party. He now runs consecutive ultra-marathons and is a motivational speaker.

David Goggins credits the voice inside his head, God’s voice, with training him.

Just as the Apostle Paul went into the Arabian desert for three years and was trained by Jesus himself, God’s voice led David through SEAL training.

“Even though people may not believe it because I cuss (which I think is hilarious), I believe in God big time,” David says on a YouTube video. “I’ve had this voice in my head since I was a young boy. What trained me was that voice. This voice in my head guided me to the spot where I’m at today.”

David Goggins, now 46, grew up in Williamsville, New York, where he was regularly subjected to racist taunts. His late-night work at Skateland started at age six, where he aired out the bathrooms from marijuana smoke and collapsed around midnight on a couch where his dad hid a loaded pistol.

David’s father, Trunnis, ran a side hustle of hookers, with whom he would indulge himself, cheating on mom. He was a brutal monster who regularly beat David and his mother until they escaped, with the help of a neighbor, to rural Indiana. The toxic upbringing left him poorly adjusted, and he drifted through school hovering slightly above a failing grade point average.

In his junior year, he decided to join the Air Force and amped up his studies to graduate and get in. He completed a 4-year stint but dropped out of Pararescue training because he was afraid of water. He was not fearless but would eventually learn how to turn his fears into energy to perform herculean feats.

After an honorable discharge from the Air Force, David picked up work in a pest control business, removing rats from fast food joints afterhours. Low self-esteem and a life adrift contributed to an easy slide towards obesity. Gorging on unhealthy food and a sedentary lifestyle contributed to his weight problem.

That’s when he watched a program about SEALs and decided quixotically to join.

The recruiter didn’t mince words. He was way overweight, and there weren’t a lot of African Americans who passed the SEAL training. He would need to lose about 100 pounds in three months to get in. He was almost too old to try out for the program, so three months was the cutoff. The recruiter probably thought he’d never see David again.

David decided to prove him wrong.

“I realized that not all physical and mental limitations are real,” David writes in his inspirational memoir “Can’t Hurt Me.” “I realized I had a habit of giving up way too soon.” Read the rest: David Goggins, once obese, Navy SEAL

Why I gave a kidney, even in the Third World.

Most people won’t entertain the notion of donating a kidney — even though it’s kind of like a spare tire.

But I did just that — and I did so in an underdeveloped country where surgical standards and hospital cleanliness are subpar.

What led me, a long-term missionary in Guatemala, to want to give up a part of my body to a mere acquaintance?

It started with a long Sunday article in an American newspaper. The author spoke about her own need for a kidney donor and the near impossibility of finding one. She was a public speaker who traveled, so dialysis wasn’t viable.

None of her family members were a match, and acquaintances who were a match demurred. When she’d lost all hope, an almost total stranger offered their kidney.

For reasons I ignore, U.S. law does nothing to encourage kidney donation. You can sell plasma but selling a body part is considered inherently abhorrent. Never mind that the recipient really needs a kidney and the donor could get by with one and probably needs the money. It’s just taboo.

America’s Social Security system is crushed by the national dialysis bill of $100 billion, but the U.S. government offers no tax incentives for donors. Recipients could become again productive members of society and tax-payers but have to wait on interminable lists for vehicular accident donors.

The article stirred me deeply. Here was a way to be like Christ, to give above and beyond to help a needy human selflessly.

I’d been a church planter and school planter for eight years in one of Guatemala’s roughest neighborhoods. We had started with street kids and had worked with gangbangers, drunks, prostitutes and their children. It was an adventure and taking on new challenges turned me on.

It wasn’t long before my desire, which I kept to myself, found an opportunity. Brother Alfredo (not pictured in this article for his privacy) was newly attending our church. Doing ministerial visitation one night, I learned that he had been suspended from work because of kidney failure. The dialysis left him exhausted. He had a strict diet and couldn’t do much. The wait for a donor was years.

How about if I give you my kidney? I asked undramatically.

I don’t know if Alfredo thought I was serious. We would have to make sure the kidney was the right shape, along with the correct blood type. There was a very strong chance I wouldn’t be an adequate match; I’d be off the hook.

As the days of testing in government hospitals drew on, the implications of my commitment began to hit me. I had a wife and three kids to worry about. I also knew that I was on my own on this one: I hadn’t consulted my pastor stateside. But I felt like my offer, given all too easily, maybe even flippantly, was a promise that I couldn’t’ take back. I had to face up to all the potential fallout alone. Part of me hoped I wouldn’t be a match.

But after days of testing at the government hospitals, everything lined up. It was green light. With somber joy and a little trepidation, I knew I was going through with it. Alfredo and I interviewed with doctors, support staff and psychologists.

I wasn’t too enthusiastic to learn that the surgery wouldn’t be laparoscopic… Read the rest: Kidney donation.

During near-death experience, he heard what nurse said, later told her

The nurse nearly passed out when Jim Аndersоn repeated to her what she said outside the room when he had an out-of-body experience in full-blown cardiac arrest in the hospital.

After returning to earth, he hovered over his body as doctors electro-shocked his heart so many times they burned the skin on his chest.

The nurse just outside the room commented to her colleague: “I don’t know why they are working so hard. He’s gone. If they bring him back, he’ll be a vegetable.” It was a harsh reality born from her experience in ICU.

She never expected the patient to wake up and repeat her words to her – words he couldn’t have heard.

Jim felt infinitely drawn to Heaven, but he has such great love for his wife that he asked Jesus to allow him to return to Earth. “Lord, I love you so much, but please let me go back,” he recounts on a CBN video. “My wife needs me, my children need me so much, so much. Please let me go back.”

Jim Anderson had experienced heart problems for the first time in the previous year. His doctor said it could be related to stress from the 12-hour days Jim put in as a supervisor at a waste management plant.

On the fateful day, Jim was in his bed resting when a wrenching pain seized his chest. He called his adult daughter with a blunt message: “You’re going to have to get me to the hospital. I’m not going to make it.”

At the hospital, Jim flat lined. The doctor applied the electro-shock pads on either side of his heart. The electrical pulse often restarts the heart beating. But for Jim, repeated shocks did nothing.

“I could see everyone rushing into the room, but I couldn’t hear the alarms going off. It’s like I had gone under water. The hearing had just faded away. That’s when I began to pray. I knew I was dying. I wasn’t scared praying. As I prayed it got darker ‘til the point it went black.”

As his body remained on the hospital bed where the doctor administered shock after shock, Jim traveled towards a light.

“It was beautiful. It wasn’t blinding but pure and perfect,” he remembers. “As I started to go towards the light, I could see the outer edge of it begins to spiral. And I couldn’t figure out what that was. But as I got closer, I could see it was the words of prayers revolving. The words broke off, going into the light. And I followed into the light.

“I felt I was being embraced, safe and secure. It felt wonderful. It felt like total love.”

Then Jesus returned him to Earth. He hovered over the medical staff trying in vain to revive him. Where was Debbie, his wife? he wondered.

The memories poured. In an instant, “I saw every aspect of our life together; from the first day we met, our marriage, the birth of our children, all the emotions we’ve shared … I couldn’t leave her. I just couldn’t leave her.” Read the rest: Near-Death Experience for Jim Anderson.

How Whispering Danny found God

Benign tumors growing on his larynx require surgeries every three months leaving his voice so weak that his low voice drops off into a whisper constantly. Called Whispering Danny, he’s also a popular tattoo artist in Kansas City, Missouri.

Danny Kobzantsev was a hard-living immigrant from Latvia who hailed from Jewish survivors of the Nazi Holocaust. But when his good friend Shane crashed drunk on his motorcycle and very nearly died, he found himself praying to Jesus for a simple reason:

“It seemed like the thing to do,” he says on an I Am Second video.

Danny Kobzantev came to America with his mother in 1975 to seek better options for treatment of his unusual medical condition. As the plane circled the Statue of Liberty, people were hugging and kissing.

“I didn’t know who or what the Statue of Liberty was, but she was the symbol of America and freedom,” he says.

Danny and his mother set up shop in Kansas City, MO. In high school, he was drawn to tattooing. The more ink he got on his arm, the more he realized he wanted to become a tattoo artist.

“I lived a lifestyle that was pretty self-destructive in many ways and I was okay with it,” Danny says. “I pretty much had completely abandoned anything pertaining to God, and I just pursued my own interests.”

At Exile Tattoo shop, his drinking buddy Shane Kampe roared up on his motorcycle Sept. 4, 2001. He was drunk and had no business riding that day. So when Shane tried to drive off, Danny attempted to dissuade him.

“I watched him try to get on his motorcycle and I immediately saw him drop the bike cuz he was so drunk,” he says. “I begged him, ‘Please Shane don’t do this.’”

A couple hours later, Danny inexplicably felt compelled to go for a drive. He had nowhere to go but he arrived exactly where God wanted him: at the accident scene of his friend.

Shane was lying facedown in a pool of his own blood, his skull fractured open.

“His head was busted wide open,” Danny recalls. “He was laying in a pool of dark, dark blood.”

Shane bent down next to his buddy, even getting his own face bloody, and whispered, “Shane, you’re going to be ok.”

It was a lie. From what he surmised from the injuries, there was no hope. Still he tried to encourage his friend. Read the rest: How Whispering Danny the tattoo artist found God

Christian military man ‘aglow’ showed unbeliever the Bible couldn’t have been written by man

Matt Sinkhorn was seven when his mom slammed the door in the face of a woman witnessing about Jesus.

“If my parents don’t need Him, I don’t need Him,” he concluded, a rejection that stayed with him for two decades.

Matt Sinkhorn was always a good student because his dad was a teacher at the same school where he and his twin brother attended. His cumulative high school GPA was 3.6.

He went to college to study anthropology because looking at bones purportedly millions of years old fascinated him. He believed in evolution. “I didn’t care if you believed in God,” he says. “I just knew that I was on my own.”

But when he got on his own — at college, he couldn’t handle the freedom. While his dad had been present at the school, there was accountability, with less peer pressure to try alcohol or drugs.

“I was a teacher’s son. They thought I was going to narc on them,” Matt says. “They pushed me aside.”

But at college he tried weed later dropped acid. Soon he was skipping classes. After two years, he had lost weight and flunked out of college and was forced to return home. His twin, attending another college, did the same.

“When there were no parents around, it was like, ‘Wow this is amazing. We can do whatever we want,’” he says.

Getting kicked out of college was a shocker. “I had never not been good at school,” he admits. “My mom freaked out.”

But he didn’t mend his ways. Instead, he got a job as a busboy earning minimum wage and continued drinking.

Eventually, both boys figured they were too much of a burden to their parents and so they joined the Air Force, where they continued partying unabated. Matt cycled through a failed marriage in New Jersey before shipping out to Korea, where the hedonism knew no bounds.

By age 28, he was in England hanging out with airmen almost half his age. His life had become monotonous.

That’s when Mark Stoneburner, an older gentleman from Navigator’s, showed up in the Air Force dorms. Matt somehow knew the book in his hand was a Bible, but what took him aback was the visitor’s appearance.

“When I saw him, I actually saw that he was glowing,” Matt says. “There was this light that was inside of him. I said to my friend Elena, ‘Do you see him glowing?’”

Matt walked up to him and asked, “Why are you glowing right now? What’s going on?”

Mark chuckled, chatted and asked, “What’s your purpose in life?”

Matt knew the answer: “My purpose in life is to work to make money so that I can go to the store to buy food so that I can eat so that I can go to work.” Read the rest: Christian military man ‘aglow’ showed the Bible couldn’t’ have been written by man

Anne Paulk’s book dumped from Amazon

The day after being exposed to pornography and being molested, 3-year-old Anne Paulk started dressing like a Tomboy.

“I was no longer interested in dolls,” she says on a CBN video. “It was everything to do with throwing off the feminine because it was unsafe.”

Anne was raised in a Christian home, but the seeds for lesbianism had been planted right there.

“I felt responsible for what an older person did to me,” she says. “I felt uncomfortable in my own body. I felt unsafe.”

When she was six, a little girl “made a pass at” her and kissed her.

“What I realized right then is I felt like I had power as opposed to being powerless in the other circumstance,” she says. “And that ignited a lesbian desire later on in life. That was really the starting point of that turning of my feelings.”

Up until college, she pretty much suppressed the lesbian inclination. But when she entered the university, a libertine environment and substance abuse created the perfect cocktail to carry out her curiosities and cloud her confusion even more.

“I found myself quickly getting involved in alcohol and drugs on campus. They were everywhere. And that also gave me room to explore my sexual desires.”

She sought counseling, but her advisor told her “the Bible and homosexuality go just fine together.”

Nevertheless, “I just sensed that there was something off about that,” she admits.

Even though she had been raised in a Christian home, Anne had only heard about God; she had never known Him personally.

She began attending gay support groups and hoped to find a partner to marry and live happily ever after.

The Holy Spirit had other things in mind. One day right in the middle of the gay support meeting, he spoke to her heart: The love that you’re seeking, you’re not going to find here.

“It felt like a ray of light from heaven hit me right in the middle of this gay meeting,” says Anne. Read the rest: Anne Paulk former lesbian.

Dr. Kizzmekia S. Corbett brings faith to science

At one time, Dr. Kizzmekia S. Corbett didn’t know that there was an academic degree called a PhD. Now, the outspoken Christian is leading a National Institutes of Health team developing a Covid vaccine.

“I would have never thought that I would be in this moment right now,” the viral immunologist says on Black Enterprise. She wonders if she is living in an alternate universe, one in which God is shaking the table.

Kizzmekia grew up in North Carolina and somehow caught the eye of her high school chemistry teacher who hooked her up with summer internships in a lab at the University of North Carolina after the 10th and 11th grades.

“I was in the middle of a laboratory with this world-renowned organic chemist, his name is James Morkin. And he paired me with a black grad student, Albert Russell,” said Corbett. “Beyond the love for science and the scientific process, I learned that being him was possible.”

Mentors helped her climb the heights of science, along with her Christian faith, she says.

“I am Christian. I’m black. I am Southern, I’m an empath,” she says. “I’m feisty, sassy, and fashionable. That’s kind of how I describe myself. I would say that my role as a scientist is really about my passion and purpose for the world and for giving back to the world.”

Researching on the cutting edge of science to counter the world’s deadliest disease in 100 years allows Kizzmekia to combine her faith and intellect to serve others.

“My team is responding to the world’s most devastating global pandemic in the last hundred years,” she says. “There’s something to be said about knowing who you are.”

Outgoing president Trump visited her lab and became aware of her service to the country. Read the rest: women of color in science.

Michael W. Smith took cocaine?

Michael W. Smith played drums at age five, picking out rhythms from the radio and replicating them precisely. He wrote his first song at the same age.

He joined the choir, felt the call of God in his Baptist church and only ever wanted to pick up the guitar and worship. “My heart was really after the Lord,” he says on an I am Second video.

So how did the laser-focused Christian music prodigy become the disoriented, drug-abusing prodigal around age 17?

“All my older friends went off to college and I moved to Nashville, Tennessee, to be a songwriter,” he explains. “I was playing in after-hours bars from 1:30 to 5:30, just in a bunch of trouble.

“I began to be enticed that maybe you could play with the fire and you won’t get burned.”

The first joint brought great guilt but it didn’t stop him from continuing down the slippery slope, using LSD and cocaine.

“I’m just doing this stuff and I got sucked into this thing,” he says. “For some reason, I justified it. You lose perspective. It’s almost like your compass sort of just like disappears and you enter this whole other world and you don’t really realize it’s going down. Then all of a sudden it’s too late.”

Next Michael nearly died when he snorted what he thought was cocaine and wasn’t.

“I thought I was going to die literally, but that’s when I began to pray that God would do whatever He had to do to get my attention,” he says. “I needed to be rescued.”

Rescue came in 1979 after midnight on the linoleum floor of his kitchen outside Nashville.

“I went on the floor and just began to shake,” he remembers. “I was curled up like a baby. I was just weeping, just weeping. I cried. I cried out for the God of the universe. I haven’t been the same since; it all changed.

He made key changes in his life. He got into relationship with the right people, brothers who would hold him accountable.

Eight months later, Michael landed his first songwriting contract.

“I thought I’d died and gone to heaven,” Read the rest: Michael W. Smith took cocaine?

Civil Rights pro abortion? One activist can’t fathom it.

Rev. Walter B. Hoye II believes the Civil Rights movement has sold out on the abortion issue.

“In the middle of the 60s, all of us knew that Planned Parenthood was just a racist dog,” he charges on LiveAction. “We’ve sold our civil rights legacy. We’ve said publicly, ‘a woman’s right to choose’ is a civil right. If you can’t get out of the womb, nothing — nothing — matters.”

In 1965, Cecil Moore, then-president of the NAACP, recognized the threat when he said, “Planned Parenthood’s plan is replete with everything to help the Negroes commit race suicide.”

So how did a movement calling for equality and respect for life degenerate?

It was coopted, Rev. Hoye contends. “The first two pro-life groups in America were Black,” Hoye says. “Even the Nation of Islam and the Black Panthers were pro-life. We’ve always known what abortion is and what abortion does. Always. And what we’ve done as a people — it’s us, it’s not white folk, it’s us — we sold out.

“The problem isn’t that Margaret Sanger fooled us,” he adds. “Yeah there was a Negro Project. And yeah, she paid many of the most influential Black history figures to be part of that project. They’re listed and that’s not a secret. They were getting paid to preach birth control sermons in church.”

Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood, started advocating birth control as part of her eugenicist’s beliefs (the idea of Hitler that the white race is superior and other races needed to be eliminated from the Earth). Abortion factored into the end game.

As a result of this nefarious plan, the black community is in jeopardy of declining as a population, Hoye says. Read the rest: Civil Rights abortion

Ministry in tech: James Kelly and Christian hackathons

Eight thousand people a month searched Google in Canada to ask about suicide and the first article at the top of the search page is: “Seven Painless Ways to Commit Suicide.”

This fact disturbed James Kelly and he resolved to do something by marrying Christianity to technology.

But the young minister in Waterloo, Ontario, didn’t know what he could do. Fortunately, he knew guys who could, techies who were Christians but didn’t know what role they could fill in the church. They didn’t want to do public speaking, and they couldn’t strum a guitar. They were nerds. What could they do for Jesus?

James gathered a bunch of them together in a coffee shop 2016 and asked how to solve the suicide search conundrum on Google. They went to work on the assignment and managed to place a website on top that offers hope and persuades despairing people to NOT take their lives.

A year later, a team member was talking about the site to a friend who suddenly seized her arm with eyes widening. What was the URL? she asked. The team member answered. The friend started misting in her eyes. Just the night before, she contemplated suicide and searched Google.

“I landed on that website and that site saved my life,” she confided.

The URL is howtokillyourself.org, which is a strategy to respond to the search terms. But inside the website there is encouragement for people struggling. There’s a video about Kevin Hines, who attempted and regretted suicide. The three tenets are: you are not alone, here’s information, here’s a phone number.

“Did anyone know where he could build a website that could literally save people’s lives?” James asks on a This Is Me TV video. “The Lord’s like, yep.”

Today, James leads FaithTech, a place where Christian technology is a thing. Since starting in Waterloo, it has grown to major cities in Canada with “hackathons,” events where techies brainstorm solutions for ministries and kingdom business. It has inspired knockoffs in the United States.

James was drawn toward trouble like many 13-year-olds. He had begun to dabble in the party scene. But his dad slapped a Bible down in front of him and asked him to meditate for a couple hours on Matthew 7:13: Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it.

Kelly got it. Instead of living wobbly faith, he made the convictions his own, got baptized and put on a Jesus bracelet, which he would deliberately leave on the table to witness.

His dad and siblings were all business majors in college, so he followed suit. But when he consulted a mentor, he got clarity as to what he most wanted to do in life: usher people into the Kingdom.

With his wife, he lived in South Sudan for three months to see what the rest of the world looked like. From that experience, he determined not to do “parachute ministry” — live in a rich neighborhood and land in a poor neighborhood for short-term ministry.

Along with more than a dozen other young, earnest Christians, he moved into the poorest neighborhood in town and launched raw ministry with the locals. Read the rest: Ministry in tech: James Kelly and Christian hackathons