When debt becomes deadly

I had the privilege of sharing “Utanggalin” to 15 individuals last weekend.  Utanggalin is the freedom from debt seminar/workshop developed by the Wealth With Purpose ministry. 15 participants had the opportunity to learn God’s plan in the middle of a financial storm.  There is sweet rescue from imminent financial harm, and God has made a way out.

During the seminar, participants were given time to share their stories. Yes, it was a tearful and emotionally charged time.

One specific participant, Martha (not her real name), is a wife to a seaman. Their family is deep into debt. I can’t go into details, but their financial pit was so deep that Martha contemplated suicide this month. God intervened when she received the invitation to attend. Oh, God is so good to come exactly at the time of distress!

Sharing this brief story with you because I need you to pray for me. I hold an Utanggalin seminar/workshop 2-3 times a month… FREE.

If you would like to support this campaign, contact me, we should be working together! If you would like to financially support this campaign, thanks!  Please use this link to send help. I will use any help I receive for the following purposes:

  • duplicating seminar workbooks / worksheets
  • purchasing a portable/durable sound system
  • purchasing simple snacks or lunches for participants
  • paying for transportation fares to bring me to the venues

Visit my EVENTS PAGE for more information.

 

 

How can a Pastor negotiate his salary

5 steps to consider in preparing for "the talk"

I LOVE SPEAKING TO PASTORS, I love being in a room filled with so much inertia. I know they will take the presentation, bring it to God and run with it. I can guarantee 100% of them will do honest work and bear so much fruit. It’s like planting the best seed in the best soil.  Such a talented, vibrant and interactive group filled with a genuine thirst to learn.

Here’s our class photo, a very productive time with CBN Asia church partner’s last February 15, 2017. This was the first batch to discuss the following Wealth With Purpose modules:

And here’s a quick summary of the most interesting topic discussed “Negotiating A Pastor’s Salary”. They were all ears! Let me drumroll with this verse to lay down the foundation:

“Do not muzzle an ox while it is treading out the grain,” and
“The worker deserves his wages.”
1 Timothy 5:18


 

5 STEPS IN NEGOTIATING A PASTOR’S SALARY

STEP 1 : PRAYER

Nothing, absolutely nothing, will bear fruit without putting it into sincere prayer before God. If you like to negotiate your salary, you need to talk directly to the Big Boss.  He holds the purse, He holds the operations, everything.

STEP 2 : COMMIT TO HONESTY & TRANSPARENCY

Write your request down, submit and file it. Diligently explain why you need a reasonable salary adjustment.  What made you decide on the “more ideal” level? Perform thorough research, make sure the numbers line-up very well.  Be accurate, honest and firm.  Write your lead pastor and/or write the board.  Be open to occasional meetings, they’re good for you. Engage in sincere discussions.

STEP 3 : OPENNESS TO FEEDBACK AND EVALUATION

Wait. Feedback will come. Be patient. During this period, continue being an excellent worker. Shine and continue to interact with respect. This is the “business as usual” period. Don’t push, wait patiently.

STEP 4 : DETERMINE CLARITY

Prepare to be asked for more information. A proper forum will surely be set. Wait for God’s timing, plan your follow-up (not too often).

STEP 5 : TRUST YOUR LEADERS

When you finally hear back, trust the message and the messenger. God speaks through your leaders, listen carefully. See the Lord’s hand in the response. He is such a good provider and He will definitely, beyond any shadow of doubt, PROVIDE for you!

We have certainly discussed so much more than this page can handle. If you’d like to bring this seminar to your church or pastoral care group please write me to set an appointment. I am available to walk with you, as you journey in the Lord’s harvest field.

 

 

The SECRET behind a superstar VA

4 ways to keep shining for your clients

Two years ago I met a team of Virtual Assistants (VA) from Davao, Philippines. They are quite well-known and well-loved among the VA community.  I have friends who will really speak very highly of them, not only because of the high-quality work they do but mainly because of the high value they place on client relationships. They respect and treasure each client encounter.

They’re never late to deliver project milestones. Prompt and prepared in online meetings. Client email was prioritized and business solutions quickly proposed.

Was that the secret? Not really.

In an interview, I asked them what REST does for the team, here are their answers:

  1. Keeps our brain sharp and creative – our clients hired us to deliver efficient solutions to their business needs. Rest allows us clarity to see the probable solutions needed.
  2. Improves our ability to remember, learn and grow – our minds need time to analyze and develop information. It cannot be all input, one after the other. We need time to appreciate every detail by “floating” it in the sub-conscious. Let your imaginations play around with new information during rest time.
  3. Prevents over-fatigue and illness – your brain is like a muscle. Just like your biceps, you need to “un-flex” the brain and allow simple musings and inactivity.
  4. Offers emotional balance – getting enough rest is like pressing the reset button. Your brain, your body just works better when you give it a rest.

Nothing compares with a well-rested body and mind. Let me offer you a few suggestions to help you take the break you need and deserve.  Let’s remember to R.E.S.T. everyday!

REMIND yourself that you need REST. Say it with me, “I need rest”. You’re not a machine, neither are you part of an assembly line that never tires. You’re human. You need to stop and just enjoy strategic inactivity. This is not doing “nothing”, you are resting. Taking that step back to give you the spring you need to move forward.

 

ESTABLISH a schedule. You need regularity. Either it’s a 10-15 minute power nap, or a full 6-8 hour sleep, make a schedule and do it, build it, defend it. “No” is a powerful 2-letter word to use when a threat tries to steal this precious time. If you’re a parent with small kids, train them to keep the schedule with you. They will struggle but remember you’re the grown-up and certainly the boss.

 

SET the right condition and environment.  Leave your desk, go to another room. Put the phone on silent, dim the lights and get on that comfy couch or bed. Music will help. Try breathing slowly, clear your mind, close your eyes and zzzzzz……

 

TRAP all distractions. Plan to re-direct all emergencies to a reliable co-worker or assistant. You are not to be disturbed UNTIL your rest time is done. Consider rest as an important part of your work. You can only give your best when you are fully re-charged for the task.

 

 

Why others are getting ahead of you!

4 EASY steps to wake up at 4AM everyday.

If every hour is worth a million pesos, what would you do with 24 million? How will you save it? How will you spend it? Will you invest it? Or throw it away? How will you use 115,200 heart beats, 28,000 eye blinks, 25,000 breaths, 5,000 steps? These are the investments a day brings, and all of us have it.

Matagal mo nang nai-plano na gumising ng maaga, pero mukhang #failnanaman. There are many benefits to waking up early pero #hiraplagi ano? Ok, I hear you. Try ulit natin.

Let me share with you The TOP 5 benefits of waking up early:

  1. It’s good for your body – an average human being has about 325 joints and moving each one makes you healthy.
  2. It’s good for the mind – mentally preparing for the day ahead leads to a stress-free living.
  3. It’s good for your faith – reconnect with God as early as you can. Spend these early times in gratitude for all He has provided for you.
  4. It’s good for your family – do not rush a simple smile or a heartfelt “Good morning!” to your loved ones. Start early, cherish more moments.
  5. It’s good for your job/studies – come to work/school early, relaxed and ready for the tasks at hand.

Ngayong alam mo na ang benefits, heto naman ang P.L.A.N. natin para magising ka ng maaga araw-araw:

  1. Place an ALARM near you – if its difficult to consistently wake up at 4AM, you need help. Set your mobile phones to wake you up.
  2. Learn to say NO and plan your nights – set yourself up for success. Your body needs rest. If you need 7 hours of sleep, then sleep at 9PM.
  3. Assume a morning time template for 21 days – Research discovered that it takes 21 days of repeated activity before it becomes a habit. If this works, congratulations! If it doesn’t we both need to find another way. The key is finding a template that’s compatible with you. For example, you can begin at 4:30AM or even 5:30AM, this will depend on how you plan your night.
  4. Name an accountability partner or two – have a friend or family check-up on you every night. Give them the power to be firm with you and keep you faithful to your goal.

Here’s my personal template and I’m giving it to you, free to use. Makakatulong ito at ang suggestion ko pa nga ay i-print mo ito at idikit sa paligid ng kwarto mo. The first few hours of the morning are critical, antok ka pa nga, so kung naka dikit ang schedule na ito sa pader, tiyak mapapadali ang umaga mo.

Your mornings can be very different and I think you need to invest more of your time to productivity. You can do it, I believe you really can!

Be Faithful With The Little Things

4 STEPS to protect your future

The Bible says in Luke 16:10, “He who is faithful in a very little thing is faithful also in much; and he who is unrighteous in a very little thing is unrighteous also in much.” 

How many of you believe this as universal truth that applies to everybody, everything, all the time? I believe it.

This is true with money or wealth. How people handle money, especially in small amounts, determines how people handle big money. I received this letter from one of my readers:

“Dear Jim, I have not been faithful in little things and have been quite compulsive in spending. I don’t buy big expensive items; I rather purchase small things without thought. And this, sad to say, has brought me into a huge issue on paying off debts. Small purchases like gourmet coffee, movie tickets, dinner with friends, a cute blouse and other small trinkets… these are the culprits. It’s just too easy to swipe my credit card, these are small items anyway. I soon found out my monthly bill reached P20,000 ($500)!

I need help. I know I’d soon fall into purchasing big items IF I don’t work on and prevent these small little purchases.”

Faithfulness in small things requires hard work… but be encouraged that it is not impossible work. I know how hard it is NOT to enjoy that gourmet coffee, watch that movie, have dinner with friends or get that cute blouse. How can you ignore those things? The primary step to faithful spending is to create a spending plan.

Let’s use P.L.A.N. as an acronym so we may remember these important steps:

1. Prepare a spending plan.

2. Learn from wise counsel and other’s experiences

3. Acknowledge God’s role in the plan. Pray and always seek His wisdom.

4. Never digress, deviate, get side-tracked from the plan

A spending plan is necessary to reach true financial freedom. As you begin to draft your plan, ask the Lord, pray that He gives you the wisdom. You need to recognize that it is God who will make the plan work. It is He who rewards you with success.

The Bible encourages us to plan in Proverbs 21:5 that, “The plans of the diligent lead surely to advantage, but everyone who is hasty comes surely to poverty.”

A budget is simply a plan – a plan for how to spend the money we have. As Christians, we recognize that everything we have is a gift from God. We are not the owners; we are simply the managers of what He has entrusted to us. Knowing this fact should give us a better perspective on how we handle money. A budget is a great way to make sure we are handling money in the best way.

When you create a spending plan, you can have the peace of mind in knowing that your bills can be paid, you have funds available for emergencies, and you know what you can spend for the things you need and want.

As an initial guide, let’s now make a basic spending plan. A spending plan is, again, a list of things we need to spend on. We’ll discuss it more in the future, for now, here’s a simple spending plan:

1. Tithe 10% of your monthly income. The Bible says so!

2. Save 10% of your monthly income. Put it in the bank, don’t touch it!

3. Prepare for emergencies… save an additional 5% for emergencies… put it in the bank, don’t touch it!

4. Now work on the next 75% and divide it according to priority, for example:

a. List down all your food, shelter and clothing expenses in a month
b. Next, list down expenses such as transportation (gas, fare)
c. Next, list down education, health needs

5. STICK TO THE PLAN

Make a commitment to something and stick to it because that ultimately is what will set you free.

– Jacqueline Novogratz : is an American entrepreneur and author. She is the founder and CEO of Acumen, a non-profit global venture capital fund whose goal is to use entrepreneurial approaches to address global poverty.

Until God sees His face

4 things leaders do in difficult times

Amy Carmichael tells of visiting a goldsmith in an Indian village where the goldsmith would repeatedly put a small vessel containing gold over a fire, then removed it to take off the dirt, and put it back over the fire.

“How do you know when it is finished?” a bystander asked the smith. “Ah,” he said, “when I see the reflection of my face in the gold, I know it is done.”

As leaders, God constantly places us under His fire. He does this so that he can take away all the dirt and imperfections. He does this until He sees the reflection of His face in our lives.

James 1:2-4 “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”

Leaders, if you’re facing difficult times ahead (or even today), let me share with you these 4 awesome ways that will help you stand your ground. It is in this season you are called, lead with God:

  1. Communicate continually, honestly – people will look to you for direction, they will wait for instruction. Whatever you say, how you say it, even your non-verbal gestures will communicate your confidence. Show 100% dependence on God’s rescue. You’re people need hope, real hope. They need to see you TRUST GOD.
  2. Embrace this time, face it, love it – God is sovereign and this difficult situation is a part of His plan. Love it. God will build you up, change you up.
  3. Move forward, charge, never ever retreat – resist the call of defeat and isolation, this is not God’s way.  Step forward in faith. I know it’s difficult, but you just have to TRUST GOD to defend you.
  4. Cheer those around you, stay above the “mess” – you’re not alone, people around you are also experiencing this season.

Planning the year right

6 things that heaven can do for you!

I just finished the very first Career University workshop/seminar at LifeCity Church at the Holiday Inn. I really love speaking to young people because they’re always enthusiastic to listen. Special thanks to the student-participants from The Far Eastern University and the Polytechnic University of the Philippines, you guys rock! I felt your genuine thirst to learn something new.

Here’s a point I repeated several times:

It is great to stress God’s bountiful assurance that they will never be left struggling.  God takes special attention in protecting the young.  He is always available and they are never alone. It doesn’t matter what situation they come from. God doesn’t discriminate. He will respond when they ask, remember James 1:5If you don’t know what you’re doing, pray to the Father. He loves to help. You’ll get his help, and won’t be condescended to when you ask for it. Ask boldly, believingly, without a second thought. “

One particular slide I spent a great deal of time on was this:

This is heaven’s deal when you keep God involved in your career plans. 6 beautiful promises you can read from the book of Proverbs.

Career Journey

I was preparing a deck yesterday and had to look for the etymology of the word “career”.  This word originates from the Latin word “carrus” which meant a “wheeled vehicle”.  Your career is a journey, it’s not a place you arrive at, or a situation you find yourself in right now.  Your career is a continuous journey from one stage of your life to another.

LOVE your journey. It gets exciting!