Debt Free Legacy

Practical Advice for Potential Business Start-Ups and the Self Employed

Practical Advice for Potential Business Start-Ups and the Self Employed

by Debt Free Legacy

Practical Advice for Potential Business Start-Ups and the Self Employed

For almost 20 years we have provided training geared to help people achieve and sustain genuine Financial Freedom, using God’s principles coupled with practical advice.  Meanwhile I (Bill Sitter) was operating a small business and employing these same concepts.  During this time my wife and I, and our volunteer small group leaders often encountered potential entrepreneurs and self-employed people who lacked the basic financial wisdom to succeed.  There are scores of books and courses devoted to business start-ups and even to offer self employed guidelines.  This short article will attempt to outline a few foundational principles that may spell the difference between a successful business venture, using Godly principles, and a dismal failure.

First steps must involve getting a very good handle on your personal and family financial status.  Sounds simple and obvious but all too often we speak with ladies and gentlemen who are ready to jump into a business opportunity without a firm grasp of their own finances.  This can be rectified by first completing the exercises in Chapters 1 – 7 of the “Legacy Edition of Financial Freedom in 7 Weeks Plus.”  Doing so will ensure that singles and couples have an understanding of God’s principles for money and business.  Short and long term goals are written down as part of this training, to clearly identify targets and timelines, for all involved parties.

In the process of completing this 7 week study (individually or in a small group) you will learn how to prepare all the following financial forms:  Income and Biblical Giving, Debt Repayment Schedule, List of Assets, List of Liabilities, Personal Balance Sheet & Net Worth Statement, Estimated Monthly Living Expenses, and a Cash Flow Control system.

“Guidelines for the Self-Employed” are provided in Chapter 2.  Over the years we’ve been shocked at the number of business owners who lack an understanding of gross revenue (gross business receipts) and real “increase”.  These few pages in the workbook are a MUST for anyone considering self-employment or a small business launch.

God’s Word – the Bible – gives us over 2,000 scriptures relating to finances and the proper stewardship of the resources we receive from God.  These include instructions on honest business practices, fair treatment of employees, and even advice that relates to providing excellent customer service.  God wants men and women to succeed in the business world and to be salt and light to a hurting and lost world.  So, if God is leading you to run a business, small or gigantic, or to join the ranks of the self-employed, then embrace these two scriptures from Proverbs 16:3 and 21:5 (NIV):

        “Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.”
        “The plans of the diligent lead to profit as surely as hast leads to poverty.”

We encourage you to maximize your understanding of the business venture you are considering.  Seek wise, godly counsel.  The “Legacy Edition of Financial Freedom in 7 Weeks Plus” can be used for individual study or with a small group.  It will provide an excellent starting point for any potential entrepreneurs or those considering self-employment opportunities.

Money, Prosperity, the Devil and Spiritual Warfare

Money, Prosperity, the Devil and Spiritual Warfare

by Bill Sitter

For over twenty years I, (Bill Sitter) owned a successful executive recruiting firm. A vital component of a successful executive search initiative was, and is, the development of a clean and comprehensive position description. We devoted hours of Q&A and pages of detail to the formulation of an excellent job description. We invested this effort because we knew how essential it was to delineate the exact target….The bull’s eye, before launching a nationwide recruiting campaign.
In John 10:10 Jesus provides the two most important jobs descriptions, and as believers we must know them well! 
“The thief (devil) comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” (ESV). This one passage of scripture makes it clear, beyond any doubt, that our enemy is the devil and his mission, as explained by Jesus, is to steal from all of us; to kill us; and to destroy us and our loved ones. Fortunately our Lord explains that He alone is the life- giving and redeeming answer. And, God’s Word provides specifics for believers to be pro-active in our Spiritual Warfare. Ephesians 6:10-18 describes the “Whole Armor of God” that we are to put on and never take-off. We, like our military, only need armor for battle, but we see from the devil’s job description that we must be ready for battle day and night 24×7. 
“Financial Freedom in 7 Weeks Plus – Legacy Edition” devotes an entire chapter to the topic of:  “Spiritual Warfare… Breaking Curses, Blockages, Judgments and Strongholds that Control Our Finances”. Our lead scripture is Ephesians 6:12 (KJV) “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” 
When we hear the public testimonies of graduates of the small group 7 week study we are no longer surprised to hear that most major breakthroughs resulted from practical application of 2 core course concepts: Biblical Giving and Spiritual Warfare.
In case you have yet to acquire your copy of the work book, I’d like to leave you with a basic Spiritual Warfare example “from page 33” that believers can adapt to almost any situation.  You may find it helpful to put copies of this on your mirror, refrigerator or PC.

Spiritual Warfare Example:  “In the might Name of Jesus Christ, and in accordance with God’s Word, we take authority over Satan and all his demonic forces that try to come against us.  We are God’s children, protected by the blood of Jesus, and we declare that you – devil – were defeated at the cross and at the grave of Jesus and you remain defeated.  Your weapons will not succeed or prosper.  So we command you to take your hands off in Jesus’ Might name!  And all God’s people said…Amen!”

Financial Knowledge & Wisdom

Financial Knowledge & Wisdom

by Debt Free Legacy

Today there are more books, courses, TV programs, CD’s and DVD’s on money than ever before. Despite this deluge of “information”, it appears that families, businesses, countries and many churches are in really bad financial straits. How can that be? This short article will address some basic problems that we believe are root causes and will provide advice for reversing this trend. 
Most folks would consider “prosperity” to be their top financial goal. Since this means different things to different people, we will use the definition of “Godly Prosperity” from the Legacy Edition of “Financial Freedom in 7 Weeks Plus”: “Having all the resources (time, talent/skills, and money) needed to accomplish the mission you have been called by God, to accomplish.” The Bible warns us not to compare ourselves to others and not to envy or covet. So, it’s logical to conclude that we are “prosperous” if we have all the resources necessary to fulfill the roles we individually are assigned Our Creator. For some this may be caring for a family, or running a business, or participating in ministry or mission work, or possibly as a professional athlete or a doctor. 
Knowledge may be equated with having a grasp of factual information. For example, a financial expert may be informed on the latest accounting and tax regulations and have a solid grasp of principles, such as compound interest, how to calculate present and future values, and the pluses and minus of leasing versus renting versus outright ownership. So, let’s simply say that knowledge means knowing the facts… In this case – money facts.  
Wisdom is far more precious (than factual knowledge), as we see in the following scriptures:
Ecclesiastes 2:26 (NIV): “To the man who pleases Him, God gives wisdom, knowledge, happiness, but to the sinner He gives the task of gathering and storing up wealth to hand it over to the one who pleases God.” 
Proverbs 16:16 (NIV): “How much better to get wisdom than gold, to choose understanding than silver.” 
Proverbs 4:6-7 (NIV): “Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you; love her, and she will watch over you. Wisdom is supreme; therefore get wisdom. Though it cost all you have get understanding.” 

I like to explain true Godly wisdom as being able to use factual knowledge in the framework of practical application advice, as found throughout God’s Word. Psalm 37:30 (NLT) makes it abundantly clear that wise Christians should seek Godly wisdom from trusted council: “The Godly offer good counsel; they teach right from wrong.” Therefore, we should seek out and listen to men and women who have factual knowledge in our areas of concern (financial, medical, marriage, etc.) but also have established a proven track record as Godly counselors.

Greed and the Taiwanese Monkey Trap

Greed and the Taiwanese Monkey Trap

by Debt Free Legacy

We understand that the Taiwanese utilize a very simple device to trap monkeys; one that is painless and works great. A box with a small opening, just large enough for the monkey’s open hand, contains a juicy banana. The monkey reaches in, grasps the fruit, but can’t get the closed fist and banana out of the hole. Rather than let go of the enticing meal, the greedy monkey refuses to let go and is easily captured. Since most of us are not in the monkey trapping business, you might wonder what this has to do with Godly financial principles. The common thread of truth is GREED… As we see in 1Timothy 6:10 (NIV): “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with griefs.”
Money is not good, nor is it bad! It is merely a form of exchange that can be used for evil purposes, for wasteful pursuit, or for the well being of our families and the growth of The Kingdom of God. In the “Financial Freedom in 7 Weeks Plus” course and workbook, it is made clear that how each of us spends money, or use other resources (time and talents), is important; therefore “all financial decisions are spiritual decisions.”

We live in a modern world where much of the advertising is aimed at making us crave things we don’t have and often don’t need. The appeals may seem harmless but many have the effect of stimulating envy and greed. This becomes a slippery slope that, just like the trapped monkey, can lead to making idols of things and of money itself. Falling for the “greed trap” can lead to making hasty and unwise decisions that are out of line with God’s best plans for us. So what’s the solution? Let God, not money, be at the center of our hearts. If we start to be enticed by “the money banana”, let go and ask God how He wants us to steward the resources he has provided. Let’s close this article with Matthew 6:24 (NIV): “No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.”

Financial Happiness…Charles Dickens and God’s Word

Financial Happiness…Charles Dickens and God’s Word

by Debt Free Legacy

FINANCIAL HAPPINESS…CHARLES DICKENS and GOD’S WORD

In his famous book “David Copperfield”, author Charles Dickens gave a very simplistic formula for happiness: “spend less than you earn”.  Fortunately, God’s Word – the Bible provides a great deal more depth with over 2,000 scriptures relating to financial matters.  Wouldn’t it be wonderful if America, and all the world’s debtor nations, as well as all families, would follow even this most basic advice from Dickens.  The United States of America has set a horrible example for financial management .  For years, this country (which we love) has spent far, far more than the money it received.  The result has been debt and the printing of more and more US currency, and the astounding expansion of our national debt…a debt that future generations will have to repay. 

It will take many years for wise men and women leaders to return America to a stable financial platform…assuming they have the courage to stay the course.  However, the average person or family must take a fast track approach.  After all, we cannot just print currency (at least not legally) and we cannot float bonds or borrow long-term from banks and foreign nations, like China.

Fortunately, the Bible is loaded with real world advice on how Christians can be good stewards of the resources God has blessed us with.  As a quick refresher, take a few minutes to read Deuteronomy 8:18, Psalms 50:10 and 1st Chronicles 29:11-12.  These are just a few of the scriptures attesting to the fact that God owns everything and only He gives us the power and ability to get wealthWww.debtfreelegacy.com is a ministry dedicated to helping people achieve their God-given destinies.  The Legacy Edition workbook “Financial Freedom in 7 Weeks Plus” helps people work through practical exercises, backed by scriptural support, to get their own financial houses in order.  Part of the course uses Charles Dickens’ logic of spending less than you earn.  However, the training goes far beyond that by leading people on a path to true Financial Freedom….God’s Way!

Tithing….Is It Really for Today?

Tithing….Is It Really for Today?

by Bill Sitter

I am privileged to address the topic of tithing because it is one of our favorites. Tithing is extremely vital, just as life blood is to the human body. Before going any deeper, I would like to share our observations from 20 years of teaching Biblical Principles for Finance. Maureen and I have seen hundreds of people complete the seven week small group course and begin to faithfully tithe. The fruit has been absolutely amazing, time and time again. And, we have Never seen or heard of these tithers wishing they had never learned about tithing on their first fruits, their increase, to the Lord…..Never!

Malachi 3: 8-12 tells us that tithing keeps us from robbing God and positions Him to rebuke the devourer (the devil) on our behalf. God then pours-out huge blessings on us; which is what He longs to do. Okay, but that’s the last book of The Old Testament. Good News: in Matthew 23:23 Jesus personally reinforced the ten percent tithe when He rebuked the Pharisees for tithing on their garden plants (being legalistic) but neglecting the weighty matters of justice, mercy & faithfulness. They were neglecting to show love and compassion to others, even including their parents. Jesus basically said: (my paraphrase) “you should have tithed, but that’s no excuse for neglecting these other Kingdom Principles”. This same message is also stated in Luke 11:42.

Some may say that tithing is “under the law”; it is good to reflect on the fact that Abraham set the example of tithing ten percent of the spoils of war to Melchisedec (a representation of the coming Lord Jesus). It is essential to note that Abraham’s full ten percent tithe occurred long before Moses was even born, and prior to the Old Testament laws ever being written. (Hebrews 7:1-4)

I believe the case for tithing today is very clear: tithing is validated in (the above referenced) Scriptures, by Abraham – before the law, under the Mosaic Law, and then by Jesus’ reinforcement in the New Testament.

I realize that many readers of this article are committed tithers who are not seeking excuses to avoid tithing. However, you may be able to refer to these scriptures when faced with tithing questions. Hopefully these Scriptural references will prove helpful as you witness to others, so they can enjoy the benefits of being able to (not forced to) tithe a full 10 percent of their “increase” (which for most normal wage earners is their gross pay, before deductions for anything).

Chapter Two in our small group workbook: “Financial Freedom in 7 Weeks Plus…Legacy Edition” is devoted to the topic of true Biblical Giving. It emphasizes tithing and gives examples of how to properly calculate “increase”. This chapter also addresses a three part Biblical Giving Plan which includes tithes, freewill offerings to spread the Gospel and alms for the needy.

So, the answer to the title question is….YES! Tithing is really for today!