Monday, February 17, 2014

Her Talents. HIS Glory.

This is a picture of my sweet friend Jamie Williams. Beautiful, isn't she? Well, she's beautiful on the inside, too! She is absolutely driven to invest herself in other people's lives!

It's the Holy Spirit in her who is driving and she'll be quick to tell you that, too!  She's the one who passionately founded the AWAKEN With Joy Women's Conference in 2008 in Canton, GA. Her God-inspired dream of a women's conference became a reality of glorifying God and encouraging women. It was a far-reaching, fast-growing gathering every November in the Northside-Cherokee Conference Center. After five years of joyful, sacrificial leadership of AWAKEN she passed the mantle on in order to continue to follow God's call on her life.
Oh, yeah, Jamie is also the founder of Five Talents Wealth Management, a Christ-centered financial planning firm in Canton, GA. She is living what she advises her clients to do: live in accordance with the passage of Scripture found in Matthew 25: 14-30. Yes, it's the parable of the talents!
I invited Jamie to write for my blog to help all our sistas find financial stewardship and freedom. Yes. WE are the Body of Christ. WE are the light of the world!

 Now, here's Jamie...

I love Polly. When she asked me to write a blog focused on finances, I was excited to write something light-hearted and fun…you know, like Polly!  I had a vision of chatting with a young lady over a cup of coffee, enjoying life, and talking casually about her spending being a bit out of hand and her desire to give her children the things she didn’t have growing up.  I would then lovingly give her a few good financial tips and we would call it a day.  But today isn’t a light hearted day for me.  In fact, my heart is so heavy for a friend who will bury her sixteen-year old daughter today that all I can think about is living, dying, peace, pain and a flood of other emotions.  Simply stated, it all just makes me want to be a better mom, wife, business owner and child of God.  It makes me want to love well.  It makes me want to invest well…in all aspects of my life. 

I have counseled thousands of people in my career on finances.  One thing I know for sure, we will never find true joy in stuff and neither will our children.  You simply cannot continue to spend more than you make and expect to have a healthy walk with God or your children and not feel the impact and stress.  The toll of living beyond your means that will be on your marriage and mental health is tremendous.  So what do you do if the financial path you are currently on needs to be made straight?  Here are some tips.
 First, apologize to God.  Yep, own it!  We try to dance around personal responsibility, but the majority of time financial issues are self-induced.  Start by repenting and telling God that you are sorry you have sinned and made these poor financial choices.  Now you can ask God to help you overcome this stronghold so you can honor Him and live the victorious life Christ died for you to have.  (If you are married, you need to do the same with your spouse and seek marital unity around your finances.)   Reality check – yes, open up the books and statements and face reality.  It won’t be easy, but I promise it will be worth it.  Enroll in a program such as Financial Peace University, especially if you have any sort of consumer debt.  Most churches offer this or CROWN and it is great to work the program with others who are seeking the same goal – peace and victory over finances and a healthy relationship with money.  See links below.          
Next, adopt this plan of action right away:  GIVE, SAVE and LIVE off the rest.  I heard this taught years ago by Andy Stanley and have applied it personally as well as educated my clients on this principle.  Notice I did not say how much to give or save or even where to give or save – that is between you and the Lord.  The point is to do it.  God owns it all and contrary to what we may believe He does not need our money.  To give from our “first fruits” is to acknowledge that all things come from the Lord and He is worthy.  Many believers who tithe a tenth will testify that their 90% truly did go further than 100%.  I am one who has seen this to be true.


 Lastly, I make my living investing for others so I love to see people save money.  But, it’s so much more than just trying to see how soon someone can retire.  It’s about seeing God’s children make provisions for the future, living within their means, make preparations for the drought that more than likely will come at some point and leaving a legacy for your children of wisdom, obedience and sound judgment.  Not a legacy of debt, materialism or failure to plan.   
 So, you want that new outfit or to take a fun vacation.  That is okay, too!  There is nothing wrong with enjoying nice things.  Balance is wonderful and God doesn’t mind us having things – He just doesn’t want our things to have us (Andy Stanley).  If we have given money away, saved and paid off debt so you aren’t a slave to your lenders, then by all means….go and enjoy! 

 Jamie Williams is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ Professional, Certified Long-Term Care Specialist and member of Kingdom Advisors.  She is Founder and Senior Financial Advisor of Five Talents Wealth Management, a Christ-centered financial planning firm based in Canton, Georgia.   She is wife to David and mother to Faith and Kaylee.  She believes there are five principles to financial success:

1. Spend less that you earn - Proverbs 13:11

 2. Avoid the use of debt - Proverbs 22:7

 3. Build liquidity - Proverbs 6:6-8

 4. Set long-term goals - Philippians 3:14

 5. Believe that God owns it all - Psalm 24:1

Financial Peace University -

Jamie Williams is a Registered Representative and Investment Adviser Representative with/and offers securities through Commonwealth Financial Network, member FINRA/SIPC, a Registered Investment Adviser.  Fixed insurance products and services offered by Five Talents Wealth Management, Inc. are separate and unrelated to Commonwealth. 
This is Polly again! Big-hearted Jamie did not put her contact information on her blog post. I told you she was driven to invest in people and not exalt herself!  So I'm going to give you her contact information:
All for HIS glory, Sistas!