Wednesday, October 9, 2013

THE POVERTY GOSPEL (WHEN WOMEN OF GOD PROSPER)








One day in 2005 my life changed as my focus from my rapidly chaotic worldly pace halted, as I heard God say “GO”..”Go for my children. Adopt!”  I had been successful in business with razor sharp focus of building my entertainment company in NYC.  But during that journey to the top I remember standing on the Plaza stage surrounded by celebrities thinking “is this all there is?”  I would watch plates of food being thrown away, 80k dollars worth of flowers tossed to the curb after a one hour ceremony and people passing by the homeless to jump into the limousines (with champagne glasses in hand).  I knew there was more to life than the pursuit of money.   I also knew that my money could be better spent on the lives of the vulnerable children over a new car or an expensive watch.  Since that time we have adopted 5 children from hard places, Guatemala, Ethiopia, Ukraine. 



Our lives and sense of community changed to be surrounded by new friends online and in person via forums, social media sites.  As my income dropped and we were pursuing adoption funding we petitioned friends, had garage sales, sent in grant applications, looking through our taxes for overlooked money and taking out credit that was considered ill advisable as a way to fund raise for adoption. We did it anyhow.  And I do not regret it.  Since adopting, life had been very different from the days on the Plaza stage. We struggled with foreclosures, potential bankruptcy, nightly calls from debt collectors and a 6-month stint eating expired food turned away from the homeless shelters.  This can happen when you trade your evening gown for a tshirt that says “It’s not about me!” 



The spark that God planted in my heart for the orphan and vulnerable hasn’t gone away.  I suspect this is a life long condition I will go to the grave with. And like most of my friends, I would give my life for a vulnerable child without thinking.  We are passion driven and not driven by the pursuit of money.  As a Christian woman, I often would ask myself and wonder “why is it that so many of the ‘wrong’ people have all the money?” I hate admitting this but it is true. In my daydreams and prayers I would ask the Lord about reallocation of wealth. “Dear Lord,  my sisters and brothers who have given it all for PURE RELIGION need and desire your intercession. Open up the Heavenly STOREHOUSES and rain down on them.  Break through the bondage and obstacles of lack of money.” Don’t get me wrong, I would never preach a prosperity Gospel where God only rewards us when we somehow continue to pay the televangelist on the screen of the Christian television show or in a large over packed stadium to a questionable money focused ministry.  But if the word of God says things like this…


Ask, and It Will Be Given
Matthew 7:7-8 “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened.”

And we are knocking, wouldn’t God answer the door when his children knock?? The Bible says He does. In desperation, late March of 2013, I sat in a mall parking lot desperate in prayer, in my realization that buying a new pair of sneakers for my son was stressing me out. “How can we afford the pair of sneakers?” I called out to God because I knew of an opportunity in a company that could potentially bring me income while allowing us to start feeding our family the best food on the planet over the expired food intended for the dumpster.
Jeremiah 33:3
‘Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.’

In tears, we decided to take a leap of faith in of all things a nutrition and wellness company that had a network marketing model.  I knew that I had friends and families that could use great nutrition but I didn’t believe they would respond. And I didn’t have real knowledge and faith in how the network marketing model had been endorsed by some of the most prominent business leaders in the world.  I had little faith that finances would come.  I also had another hurdle to get over.  When I really searched within my heart, I realized that I had been hanging on to a giant lie.  While I didn’t believe in the prosperity gospel and I would shout that out to the world, I was holding onto another false gospel. I call it the ‘poverty gospel’.   Contrary to the prosperity gospel, the poverty gospel will whisper and shout the following untruths into your ears. 

“people of God are meant to suffer and God must want you to remain poor..”
“Pursuing money is evil…”
"Rich people rarely are righteous or holy and most of them do not have a firm relationship with Jesus" or
"God wants us to suffer..."

But the Bible says this: 

Luke 16:13
13 No servant can serve two masters, for 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 God and money.”

What happens though if you are serving God? Does God withhold money when there is a cause and a purpose to your work. Does He require you to be poor?

The Bible doesn’t say money is evil, but rather the LOVE OF MONEY.

1 Timothy 6:10
10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.

I had been holding on to a false pride, believing that my struggles and my poverty and my suffering somehow made me more righteous, more qualified to be an orphan advocate. But the scripture says that wandering FROM the faith creates the pangs…not absorbing yourself in faith. 



So as I shook off the lies, and moved full steam ahead with simultaneous fear and joy. Fear from the naysayers who told me I had a crazy vision to want to share a strategy to finance families post adoption while pouring funds into the hands of orphan advocates and missionaries, I realized that letting go of that “poverty gospel” and my personal perception that poverty is more righteous and holy, was all I needed to do to take the  brakes off of the treasurehouse vehicle that God wanted to bring to those of us who have worked hard for the orphan. 

Hebrews 11:6
And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.

With faith, I started to watch as friends said YES to the possibility of receiving a stay at home income People like my friend Carolyn Twietmeyer who I had known from her tireless efforts in advocating for HIV adoption and the very friend who gifted us 3000 of her own money during her own financial woes to adopt my son. She was now seeing finances come in for her family to help support a mission to support HIV orphans in Guatemala. I watched as my friend Tracie who had nursed her son back to life was now working toward a decent income. I watched mothers in tears feeling like they have their lives back after losing weight or feeling happier on great nutrition and energized.  And then I saw women like Adeye Salem who adopted a 14 year old who had weighed 14 lbs start to recover from the stresses of adoption via this nutrition.

Our Adoptagenix team has now over 1000 people.  Many of whom are shaking off the burden of the poverty gospel and moving forward into understanding that when the WOMEN OF GOD prosper, they give back. And when the Women of God prosper and have shaken off the Poverty Gospel…they give to the children.   There are more funds to adopt. There are more funds to provide for once orphaned children. There are more funds to finance support for missionaries and families post adoption.  Cleft palate surgeries are possible. It is possible to provide medical support for languishing children and the ones at home can live up to the potential and purposes that God has planned for them.

Sometimes WHEN THE WOMEN of GOD PROSPER there are people who still linger in the echoes of the poverty gospel and like to say things like, “How dare they promote a money making business to their girlfriends”..or  “I thought they were HOLY but since they are sharing these products with their friends it must be all about them.”  God wants us to follow HIM and love HIM. But He is a generous loving God with the keys to the riches of Heaven. When we cling to Him, awesome things happen.

I now have a great job with a great income leading this Adoptagenix team. I don’t worry about sneakers or food.  I can spend 500 of the money earned to buy a surgery for a baby with a cleft palate in China.  And it is so amazing beause I’m really just doing the same thing I’ve been doing for years, sharing my favorite things and hopes and dreams with my best friends. The difference is that now that I am no longer bogged down with the lies and influence of the poverty gospel, I know that I can continue on with bringing the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the nations. This Gospel says that He gave EVERYTHING, He paid handsomely, He left no debt for you and all the men, women, children of God deserve to abide surrounded by the storehouses of Heaven where there is no poverty. On earth as it is in Heaven…..

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