One day, in 2001, I needed some big cash to pay for a project I was working on. I was tithing 10% of my little paycheck as a school teacher and praying all the time back then. I got on my knees at 7 am and asked God, if it be His wil to send me what I'd learn in the book Prayer of Jabez, blessings overflowing..
I went to work and at 9 am, for the first time I had been in my classroom, my phone rang. It was the principal. Now you must first understand that in my line of work (education), everyone addresses each other by their last name, so the principal did not know me by Ace, only Mr. Hall. So anyways, he says,
"Mr. Hall, good morning. I'm sorry to disturb you but I want you to run an afterschool program for me. It's for suspended kids. It will be from 4 pm to 6 pm. I'm calling it the A.C.E. program, which stands for Alternate Center of Education. Will you do it?"
Of course, my first reply was, " The ACE program? He said, thinking I was being hesistant, "Yes, you will get an 18 thousand dollar raise." I did not have to have my arm twisted, at that point. I answered with an enthusiastic Yes.
Wow, I thought. And whispered a silent prayer of thanks because I knew that God had literally sent a blessing with my name on it. I began tithing 10% of my earnings which were now over 100 dollars a week. It felt weird, but I remained a cheerful giver and do you know that same year Mayor Bloomberg gave all teachers an 8 thousand dollar raise. So in that year, thanks to my being a good steward, God not only answered my prayer with a blessing with my name on it, he allowed me to have an 26 thousand dollar raise in my first year as a NYC teacher.
As soon as I got married, I slowed down going to church, which was Crenshaw Christian Center, I stopped tithing, because in my mind, my wife and two step-children took over my budget and do you know I lived the parable in Matthew 25:14-30. I became a bad steward and have been struggling financially ever since. After church yesterday, the weekend of my dear sister's death, I went to CCC's sister church in NYC CCC East and Apostle Frederick K. C. Price was there. His sermon seemed to speak directly to me. I am now re-committed to being a good steward.
Dr. Price said, "Faith comes by hearing and hearing and hearing and hearing and hearing and hearing and hearing..."
Which I have learned first-hand that staying out of church and living and working in environments that are not in alignment with my spiritual goals can be detrimental to my spirit maintenance. Afterall, I am not perfect.