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Wednesday, April 30, 2014

How Being Ambassadors for FPU Just Sorta Kinda Fell Into Our Laps

Jake and Dani speaking at a church
Dani and I visited a church this winter to talk about Financial Peace University. We presented our testimony, talked about the upcoming FPU class at our church and why we believed so strongly in the program. After the service a man came up to me and said, "That's quite a ministry the Lord has given to you!"

I was sort of taken aback because until that moment it had never occurred to me that what we were doing was a ministry. Dani and I are just a Mr. and Mrs. Schmo who took a class and liked it enough to tell others about it. We're not professionals. We don't have all the answers. We sort of just fell into this.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining. It's been great. We have a lot of fun when we visit a church and talk about FPU. We usually show our video, "The Penny Pinching Rap," to garner some laughs after we've talked about how Dave Ramsey's biblical-based money management program helped our marriage.

What's interesting to me is to look back over the last couple years of our marriage and see that being the ambassadors of FPU that we've become is actually an answer to prayer.

When we first got married, we decided to spend the first year of our marriage staying clear of any ministry opportunities or extra work that would occupy large quantities of our time. It's actually suggested in Scripture that couples do this.

If a man has recently married, he must not be sent to war
or have any other duty laid on him. For one year he is to be free
to stay at home and bring happiness to the wife he has married.
—Deuteronomy 24:5

I knew marriage was going to be hard, especially for two people like us who come from fiercely independent lifestyles. So I thought it was wise for us to step back from any extra-curricular activities we were involved in and just focus on our new life together.

And then our first year together came to a close and we began looking at how we could serve our church. I enjoy helping out at church meals, and setting up/taking down after events. I'm skilled with video equipment so helping with our church's video ministry was something I wanted to be a part of. As for Dani, she really enjoys being with children, teaching Sunday School and helping out in the nursery. There was lots of stuff we were drawn to do as individuals, but nothing that we could really do as a couple.

We prayed about it a few times, asking God to reveal to us what we could do together, and, amazingly, he dropped Financial Peace University in our laps. Doing it together has given us something else to talk about with each other, and it gives us shared experiences that we can enjoy. We have yet to see how God is going to fully use us in this area, but it's amazing to look back and see how he has answered our prayer and given us a ministry that we can both be a part of.

Something I try to remember when we visit churches and talk about FPU is that this isn't about us. It's not about me. It's not about Dani. It's about God. I mean, yes, we're there to tell our story and give some details about the class, but it's more important that we give God the glory for all that FPU has accomplished in our lives. I try to always remember to say that Dave Ramsey's program works because it is based on God's Word, that God is the reason why it works, and that the only reason it has helped us so much is because we have prayerfully turned our finances over to the Lord.

Making this plan work for you isn't about budgeting and saving money and following steps—although those are a part of it. What it's really about is recognizing that everything we have comes from God. The more that we, as Christians, recognize that and act on that, the more God blesses.

It's been a fun ride thus far, and it's exciting to think about where God is going to take us next.

Keep pinchin' :-)

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