Jan 30

Recently I read in “Psychology Today” that in the year 2000 there were 50 books written about happiness. Now during the year of 2008, Barnes and Noble reported that 4000 books have been published on happiness. So what is going on? The years from 2000 to early 2008 were the boom years, the “Roaring 2000’s” as they say, so why is everyone writing about happiness? Doesn’t prosperity and abundance make you happy?

 

I can’t explain what is going on with everyone, but it certainly proves that it’s not just prosperity that makes someone happy. So let me take you to another level that is even more important on this issue and I am going to use an incident with my daughter and my wife to explain.

 

This past year was a difficult one for our family because our two dogs, who have been with us for over 10 years, both had to be put down. Our first one was a beautiful female Bernese Mountain dog named Kita. Our second dog was a 180 lbs male Newfoundland named Mac, a knucklehead in every sense of the word but dearly beloved by us all especially my daughter.

 

Newfoundlands are big dogs and loved to be hugged, kissed and even at 180 pounds will try to sit in your lap if you let them. At his age he was suffering and we were advised to let him go, so we did.

 

Recently my daughter was asked if she wanted a friend to come over with their dog. We are a dog family and love dogs so I was surprised when she said she just couldn’t do it. Then it came out that she still so grieved over Mac that right now she didn’t even want to think about dogs.

 

Some might say, “The best way to get over it is just go find another dog, just forget it and be happy”. And that is what a lot of people have tried to do with many areas of life today whether it was about a dog or not. But there is another element to this that many don’t understand. You see I really don’t have the right to tell my daughter how to feel, or to “just be happy”.

 

I first learned this from my wife many years ago after she had breast cancer and I just wanted her to heal up and be happy again. Losing a breast didn’t make her any less beautiful or wonderful in my eyes, I just wanted her happy. She told me that while she was thankful for my love there was still some pain in her heart that she needed to deal with on her terms, just like my daughter and her beloved Mac.

 

God explains this very clearly in Proverbs 14:10a “The heart knoweth his own bitterness;…”  You see only the heart of a person can really know how they feel and what they need to do about it. So it’s not my place to say, “just be happy”. There is a way to get over that bitterness, to let it go, to release it for good and move on and God has given us the ability to do so once we learn how, but only that person can do it and only when they are ready.

 

So even though I want my family to always be happy, I should never make light of their pain or grief, but just let them know that I love them and that when they are ready to let it go, I’ll be there to help them.

Have a great day,
Duke 

 

 

Jan 25

You remember the old Robin Hood theme don’t you, “Steal for the Rich and give to the Poor”? So is that what God is doing with today’s economy?

 

Twenty-two years ago I stood in a music store that was going out of business. For forty years this family owned business had been running in that little town and now it was time to close the doors.

 

It was a mad house. This was an old fashion music store with vinyl records, sheet music, guitars, organs, pianos and piano lessons and even some accordions. The buzz in the store was almost giddy and I saw a few older women grabbing handfuls of Christian sheet music and albums then rushing to the register paying 10 or maybe 25 cents on the dollar while asking for even more discounts on volume.

 

“Isn’t God good!” one lady said cheerfully to the other. “We are a poor church you know and now look at the deal God has given, us—He really takes care of the righteous doesn’t He?” Her friend totally agreed. In fact it appeared that everyone in the store agreed. The frenzy was like that scene from the nature channel when some poor unsuspecting animal tries to cross a stream filled with Piranha and half way across the feeding madness begins. This 40 year old business was like that helpless animal being picked to the bone.

 

But, hey, it’s capitalism, right? Only the strong survive. I certainly would rather have heard that, then the comment that God was somehow now benefiting so many poor Christians with the sale of this business. But wait, doesn’t it say in the scriptures that God will take the riches from the unrighteous and give it to the righteous? That the ungodly may prosperous for awhile but in the end God will balance it out—right?

 

So was God acting like Robin Hood and taking from the rich and giving to the poor? That seems to be what people are saying today when they can buy what used to be a 500K home for 100K and then the prayers flow to God for all the blessings finally being poured out to the righteous.

 

The only problem is I knew the owners of that 40 year old Music Store. It was my wife’s parents, my father-in-law and my mother-in-law so I know they were not the ungodly or those nasty unrighteous wealthy business mongers that everyone hates so easily. The only mistake they made was staying too long in a Mall that no longer wanted Mom and Pop stores.

 

I’m glad that in todays hard hit economy some people are benefiting, that some homes and cars and other items out of reach to many are now in their grasp and I really don’t have a problem with them thanking God for their good fortune. But please don’t make the mistake of thinking that God is Robin Hood and while those prayers and praises are heaven bound, perhaps some prayers could be offered for those who lost their dreams on the other end and are having to move on.

 

Yes, there are those that over-extended themselves, but like my In-laws, just maybe there are those who simply made a mistake. I know everyone wants a deal and most Christians are quick to point their stewardship responsibility to make the best deal. All of that is well and good; just remember that in the family of God all His children count so while it is right to thank God for our good fortune, let’s at least leave it at that or perhaps even better, pray for the good fortune of all.

 

Have a great day,

Duke Clarke

Jan 23

The Final Chapter

Maybe some of you are happy to read those words “Final Chapter” and others are thinking they want more…I don’t know which it might be for you, but for me it’s an interesting place to be, because now I have to come up with some kind of brilliant closing statement. I will apologize up front for this being a little longer, but I wanted to get it finished today, so bear with me.

Well, I don’t know that it will be a brilliant close or life-changing conclusion for you, but it has brought to light something interesting for me personally.

So what I’m going to do, as I write this in the early dawn of the Arizona morning before the sun has even hinted of rising over the Catalina Mountains, is explain two things: My personal thoughts, beliefs and actions on this topic and what I believe is sound doctrine and truth on the subject.

Let’s start with me and get that out of the way. My first statement may shock you—are you ready? I hate religion!

Everyone wants to blame God, for what “Religion” has produced over the ages. As I wrote earlier, I studied the writing of the founding Fathers of America while living in Williamsburg, VA. Today everyone screams “separation of Church and State” but when they say “Church” they are thinking “God”. The founding Father never wanted God out of the picture; they want a country set up where no “Church” or “Religion” ran the government like it did in Europe.

Each religion paints a different picture of God. Even within the Protestants each sub-group paints a different picture of God—how can that be?!?

Religion in the Gospels became so important that when Christ healed someone, rather than rejoice they wanted to cover it up. When Lazarus was raised from the dead rather than rejoice, they wanted to kill Christ. When the religion becomes more important than God, it’s time to get rid of the Religion.

Once again, here is where MY confession comes in, all I can do is be honest with you and you will have to sort out how you feel about it. You see, yesterday a very good friend of ours talked to my wife on the phone and said, “There are people who want to support what you and Duke are doing, but it feels like he is not allowing it.”

She was right. Since 1970 I have only wanted to do one thing, to integrate the scriptures into my life and share the benefit of it with others. A few years later I had a full-time position doing just that and I followed that path for 16 years, until “Religion” shut down the road I was on.

As I have shared with you before, I never turned away from who I was. I took who I was and what in knew into coaching football for 16 years. I took who I was and what I knew into business consulting and counseling. From 1987 until 2005 my wife and I held “services” in our home which was interesting since it sometimes reached 30 to 40 people with cars parked up and down our neighborhood.

In 1989 after my “release” from organized religion I started a non-profit group for that small home church partly because I thought that’s what you did. It meant people could get Tax credit for giving, but it is kind of funny that God instituted the tithe long be tax credits were available. During this time, I refused to put obligations to support what we were doing on anyone who came and I refused to cater to or treat any differently those who were big contributors. The result at times meant that very large contributors moved on.

It was hard at times but I always taught two things–first that God’s promise of the tithe was true and did work and the second point was that giving was an act between you and God so where you gave should also be between you and God as well. Therefore if someone choose to give to some other work rather than what I was doing, I had no right to question that. Nor did I have any right to try to direct their giving to me. If a work is doing what it should and it’s going to succeed then God will see to it, so why should I get in the middle? If what a program is doing helps and enriches someone’s life they will want to support it without me having to beg or coerce anyone. So there you have one of the biggest differences between me and Prosperity Preachers—I never begged.

When I left Williamsburg 4 years ago, I didn’t take that non-profit with me. I built it up for those in that city, so I left it to them and walked away and that was the right thing to do.

What I did that was not right is that I turned my back on others around the country that still believed in what I was doing and wanted to help, so I have to figure that one out and I will. But the main thought I wanted to leave with you is don’t allow anyone or anything to get between you and God. Don’t allow those who misuse, pervert or abuse God’s message to taint that message in your mind. Don’t let others tell you what you “should do”—listen with an open mind, talk it over with God and make your own decisions.

I hope this series has been helpful and if you want to follow other discussions go to http://www.DukeClarke.com and check the blog.

Have a great weekend,

Duke Clarke

Jan 22

Give Up Your Dreams…

Is this what you really want? Do you feel like giving up your dreams? That’s what most people are trying to tell us these days. Day after day, they scream, “Hold on to what you can, because your job could be gone any day”, “Forget about being happy, just focus in surviving”, “We don’t know how long this is going to last, so forget about every thing just try to get through the day”.

Okay, let’s sort some of this out and look at it without fear. I received a letter from an Aunt of mine just after the New Year. She grew up in a family with 8 brothers and sisters, my mother, who has passed away two years ago next month, being one of them. She made an interesting statement about the times that we are in right now in the USA.  She said that she was a child of the depression and the New Deal policies thereafter and now at the end of her life she finds herself right back where she started.

She wasn’t being negative, in fact the comment she made to all her children, grandchildren, nephews and nieces was “My husband and I made it through those times having a wonderful life along the way and so will you…”

It’s great to have advice and encouragement from someone who has lived through something like that but let’s also realize that she only represents one generation. The scriptures cover many generations of good and bad times and God’s message throughout all those times is “You will live through these times and have a wonderful life”.

I do think it is very insensitive of many on the internet today who are not connecting with the majority of people and only want to talk about “the good times are still rolling in MY business, so come on over”. A lot of them have been and are still offering the same old “snake-oil” and “empty dreams”. But to sit in front of your mansion with a bunch of high end cars promoting yourself and the same old “get it now” schemes when people have been shaken to their core is just wrong.

If you have read any of my writings, you know I’ve been saying this was wrong for almost two years. And we are starting to see, cut-rate conference, extended deadlines and endless waste-of-time bonus to draw people in.  But now that that the illusion of fast and easy profits has hit the fan, don’t loose heart, it was the wrong message anyway.

I never like the so-called fast and easy way because you usually have to deceive, cheat or use someone to get there. NOW that doesn’t mean you can’t achieve your dreams rapidly and it certainly doesn’t mean you have to give up on your dreams. It just means we all need to ignore the “You-got-me” headline marketing copy and look at what can help you start laying a realistic solid foundation for your dreams to come to pass.

For years I have been faced with the pressure of NOT telling my story and “preaching” the message of prosperity and hope because of the distortion and corruption that others have put on the message, especially when it has any connection to God. But should I stop because others have messed up the message? Should I give up my dream of helping others prosper, helping Christians get out of feeling like second-class citizens financially, of giving people the information to overcome their poverty mind set?

You should read W. Clement Stone’s autobiography and how his Company prospered during the depression-PROSPERED! Can you think of anything harder to promote? I can hear it now, “I know you need milk, but wouldn’t you really rather have insurance?” But he didn’t give up his dream.

Don’t ever give up your dreams!!!

Alter them, re-define them, plan a new course for them-but don’t ever abandon your dreams. I’d rather die at 90 still pursuing my dreams, than live a single day longer with no hope and no vision.  Do not allow the economy, bad news, set backs or your family and friends talk you out of your hearts desire.

If you’ve read my series before this “The Last Story…” you know that my job, my career and almost all that I had physically was taken away from me. And no one was looking to hire a “fired” minister. I could have easily said, “That’s it, I quit. If God let this happen to me, I’m done!”

Yes, that road and that journey ended, but not my dreams. I simply re-defined my life, choose a new path and today my dreams are bigger than ever. So regardless of your situation don’t give up on your dreams. They may look different, the path may be different and the timing may have changed, but as my Aunt so graciously reminded our family, a wonderful life is still available.

Tomorrow I’ll try to finish this series…but once again, I’m not sure what the topic will be so stay tuned.
Have a great day,
Duke Clarke

PS – I am here to help you but you have to act first.
If you are serious about wanting some help on this now
go to http://www.DukeClarke.com/6_pillars.html

Jan 19

Do You Have a Purpose for Your Abundance?

 

I believe the biggest problem people have with prosperity is that they are only focused on consuming it as quickly as they get it. They have no purpose for it other than personal pleasure or ego.

 

Proverbs 1:32b says “…the prosperity of fools shall destroy them.”

 

By now I’m sure you know that I believe people should prosper, but hopefully you’ve also seen that there should be a plan, a purpose or a focus for it beyond just accumulation. The mind set of just getting and getting may be classified by most people as greed, I think it has far more serious roots in fear and in the one major point God told the Children of Israel not to forget after they prospered in the Promised Land—and that was don’t forget Who helped provide all this for you.

 

Cutting God out of the picture and saying, “I’ve got it down now so I will not be needing you any more” is one of the quickest ways to total failure.

 

I disagree with most beliefs that think the Christian Church and its followers should be on their hands and knees humbly begging for the rest of their lives. Nor do I think that we reach a level where we are doing so well that we no longer need God and now we are going to be in charge.

 

There is a partnership that needs to be practiced working together with God according to His plan to accept His abundance and the increase that He brings to our lives AND to work with Him on a purpose for its use. With this in place God can trust you with as much as He can send your way.

 

As I have already said the first place to start with the purpose of that increase is to care for your family, to expand your life in a good and positive way and the help expand the lives of those you are responsible for. But then what do you do with the rest?

 

Most people just want to get toys and have fun and there is nothing wrong with some of that, but if that’s all you use it for trouble will soon find you.

 

When I lived in Williamsburg, VA I studied how the United States started out. I read about our fore-fathers and their desire for our country. As I looked closely, it wasn’t the government and all its ever increasing programs that took care of the poor or unfortunate. Do you know who it was? The Church!

 

The Church took care of widows who had no families. The Church took care of orphans who had no parents. The Church took care of families so no one was hungry. It was the Church, but can a Church do that if it is poorer than the people who have needs? NO! Can a Church help anyone if it owes to its leaders and never has any left over?

 

How crazy is it for no one to complain when a government takes your wages before you even see them and say it’s for your own good and everyone thinks that’s normal. Then people turn around and get upset with a Church makes it available for individuals to give of their free will so they can offer help to others. Now if you don’t believe the Church is helping, don’t give—problem solved, the Church goes out of business. But when it comes to the government I don’t even have a choice about giving whether I think they are handling it right or not. At least the Church gives me an option. Okay enough politics…

 

Your plan and the purpose you choose has to be something that stays only between you and God. You should never feel guilty or coerced into giving or supporting anything. That’s why I don’t like written copy that is used to scare or intimidate the reader regardless of where it comes from, I think both parties will end up with bad results.

 

So never put any limits on how high you want to go or how much you want to prosper, but have a purpose, have a plan and make it all count for something.

 

Tomorrow…I’m not sure yet, so I’ll let you know later.

Have a great day,

Duke Clarke

  

Jan 17

Being Able to Live with Abundance

Most people would think it is ridiculous to have to be concerned about whether or not someone is ready to have abundance, everybody wants more and the want it now, right? But I can assure you it is one of the biggest problems anyone who wants to prosper will face. How can I say that? Just look at any one who has won that “buy-a-ticket-and-live-in-luxury” game. Almost all of them end up not only back at work in less than 3 years, but usually in more debt than when they started.

Why does this happen? Most people just don’t know how to handle a large increase. Believe it or not it’s more pressure great wealth than having nothing. So what do you do?

If you want increase, especially a big increase, you must start preparing. God gives us the best advice when we are told, “He who is faithful with little, will be faithful with much.” So start being the best steward you can of every detail of your life. You may not have much now, but treat your life and all that you have as if you were among the elite of the world.

Most people spend week after week looking for quick fixes. They seek program after program thinking that’s their problem. They seek guru after guru promising to make it happen overnight. But again I want to warn you, even if that happens, which 99% of the time it doesn’t, if you are not ready for it mentally, emotionally and spiritually it will ruin you.

Everyone thinks quick fixes and instant success are the answers to all their dreams and can’t understand why I don’t promise them overnight success. Again my reasons are very clear; I want people to have long term success, not temporary victory and long term failure.

Prosperity Preachers tell you to plant your seed (with them of course) and all your problems will instantly disappear and the flood gates will open and I have a problem with this. Not that I have a problem with the scriptures because I do believing in giving, but after what I have just told you it should be clear that IF you are not prepared to fully steward and correctly handle a large increase, God can’t afford to give it to you.

Do your homework, prepare like Joseph did in Genesis when he first proved himself with one household, them a large business (the prison where he was made overseer) then finally all of Egypt. Proverbs says, “A man’s gift makes room for him” so work on preparing yourself.

I’m happy to help you in this preparation, but as I said I do not and will not promise overnight riches.

Have a great weekend,

Duke Clarke

Jan 15

Leaving Others Behind

Before I start with this session, let me say that I’m not here to bash or speak negatively about Prosperity Preachers. I’m sure most of them are doing what they really believe in and not trying to take advantage or hurt anyone. My purpose is to share my position and beliefs with you so I am not automatically branded by association and you can see for yourself who I am and what I am talking about.

So, let’s move on to our topic today. Last time we talked about using prosperity and abundance to expand your life and that is great. But there will be a problem that comes up with this expansion. You will have very close friends and family that have made their own choice NOT to expand their lives and as you begin your journey they will be threatened.

You would think they would be happy for you, but that is rarely the case.

The first reaction is to belittle or make fun of your desires, your goals and your action. Comments like, “Who do you think you are, Donald Trump?” or “What’s gotten into you? Aren’t we good enough for you anymore?”

If you continue to want to change your life and move to another level, sadly the attacks can get even worse. You need to understand that most of the time people don’t know they are being unkind, they are just scared that you are leaving them, passing them and that they will not be able to keep up. So out of fear, they want to pull you back down to their level.

The hardest thing about this is when it is a family member. It’s a lot more difficult to move on and leave your family behind, but you will need to make choices in life. It’s not like you turn you back on them, but you just can’t allow their attitudes or their beliefs affect what you want and need to do for your own life.

So just realize that all of life is about choices and sometimes those choices can be painful when you really care about someone. But if they are not going to allow you the freedom to grow and expand your life as God has designed us to do, then you have to make a choice. As I said, this does not mean that you cut them off and have nothing to do with them, there are just certain areas of your life that you may not be able to fully share with them because you are on a different path.

So don’t be surprised if there are some people close to you that will not support your dreams and desires. But on the up side, as you grow and expand you will begin to meet others that are on the same path as you and will be more than happy to encourage and support you. So you will not be alone. Just remember when you physically move from one location to another for jobs or other situations you have to leave some friends and make new friends and that just life. What is most important that you make decisions in life based on what is right for you and your family.

Tomorrow…The Purpose of Abundance

Have a great day,

Duke Clarke

Jan 14

Don’t You Have Enough?

 

This is a big question that comes up when people who are lacking look at others who seem to be very prosperous. Remember I wrote previously that prosperity is defined by each individual and that no one has the right to judge what another has or doesn’t have, but it still happens.

 

So, “How much is enough?”

 

Obviously you can only live in one house at a time, drive one car at a time, wear one suit of clothes at a time and so on. But is that all we are supposed to have? Is anything above that greedy? So how much is enough and how much is too much?

 

Instead of looking at this as a moral or ethical question, because I don’t think that’s the issue, let’s look at it differently. I believe that this question can only be answered by defining what you want to do with your life. What do I mean by this?

 

Well, it would seem silly to say, “You know you’ve been breathing air and drinking water for over 40 years now, haven’t you have enough?”

 

As I am going through a regular day I require a certain amount of oxygen to run my physical body. But what happens when I exercise? My body will demand a lot more oxygen. When that happens does someone have the right to come up to me and say, “Hey, you’ve been breathing all day and now you’re taking in twice as much oxygen as me, that’s not fair–haven’t you had enough?”

 

There is a point when producing more or bringing more in is beyond what one needs, so then you must decide what you plan to do with it? How do you plan to use it? Again, I have no right to judge another person’s decision, but I should not be judged either if I am using it to expand my life or the lives of my family and others.

 

I believe we have the right, if not the duty to reach our full potential and that takes resources. The United States of American would not be the country it is today if the Founding Fathers had not been men of means so they could dedicate their time and resources to the building of a Nation.

 

I think the answer to how much is enough is going to have to be answered by each individual. How much do you need to support yourself and your family? How much more do you then need to expand your life and the lives of your family with healthy food, medical care, education, life experiences and whatever else fits in that category? Then are there other things you want to do with your life to enrich your town, your community, your country or the world? These are all legitimate questions and the more you want or need to expand, the more resources you will need.

 

So once again, it’s not up to me to judge others no matter what I think about their decisions. Life has a way of balancing out wrong decisions and I’m not the judge or jury on that so the only thing I can do is answer the question of how much is enough for me.

 

Tomorrow we will look at…What do I do about people who are envious of my prosperity?

 

Have a great day,

Duke Clarke

Jan 09

Permission to Prosper

This may sound like an odd title but believe me it is
the heart and soul of the issue. For any person who
has had any guilt or negative association with
prosperity this is huge.

I worked with very successful business man once who
told me that even though he had been successful in
his business ventures, he was constantly in turmoil
because when he was a young man his father had said,
“Son you can be honest or you can be wealthy, but
you can’t be both”. Now imagine a young man who loved
and respected his father now having to take this
information into the business world.

After he shared this, which indeed was very personal,
I said. “Do you realize that Abraham was a very wealthy
man and so honest that he would not take a single item
from the King of Sodom in return for bringing back all
his people and all his goods? Abraham was an honest man
and very wealthy. The Bible also says that Job was a
righteous man and it says that he was the richest man
in the East.”

Once he saw that what I was saying was true, he was
able to let go of his father’s values and realize that
he could prosper and be honest-then he gave himself
permission.

There is a big difference between desperately wanting
something and giving yourself permission to accept it.
I know this sounds odd but it has to do with the wants
and desires in your mind verses what you deeply believe
in your heart-and the heart will always win out. So you
have to address this issue of the heart.

Most people don’t even realize this negative belief
issues even exists, they don’t realize they haven’t
given themselves permission. All they see is the
constant limitation and set backs in life. The see
themselves on the verge of breakthrough only to suffer
another setback and are left wondering why.

The beliefs that we hold in our hearts are the true
rudders in our lives and no matter how hard we want
to steer our ship into the wide open sea, we find
ourselves heading toward the rocky shoals.

You have to expose these beliefs and rid yourself of
them, but no one, especially men, want to admit they
exists. And no one has shown us how to identify them
or get rid of them. We want to grind our way through,
tough it out, claw our way to the top to make that one
last leap only to find ourselves falling one more time.

This is one of the major issues I focus on in my
coaching groups and in one on one consulting, because
until you can clear this up your results will always
be limited.

Just the knowledge that God wants you to prosper is
not enough, it has to be accepted and incorporated
into your life. This can only be done when all
competing beliefs have been addressed and removed.
This is what I want to show you in this series because
I want everyone to set themselves free from all that
holds them back and get all they want out of life.

If what I have written here sounds like you and you
want help now go to
http://www.DukeClarke.com/6_pillars.html and read
the whole page. I am here to help you but you have
to act first.

Tomorrow…”Don’t you have enough?”

Have a great day
Duke Clarke

PS – If you are serious about wanting some help now
go to http://www.DukeClarke.com/6_pillars.html

Jan 07

Guilt and Hatred

When I first put the word “Confessions” in the title I didn’t realize how much confessing I would be doing. But I’m not here to paint a pretty happy picture, I’m here to tell you where I’m coming from and the only way you can know that is to read the good, the bad and the ugly.

I’m not alone in this boat, many Christians deal with these same feelings but it might be a bit more interesting to hear what ministers think, or at least this minister since I will not suggest that I speak for all. Many Christians, ministers included have long been taught that the “coin of the realm” is evil, that the wealthy are evil, that being rich endangers your righteousness, but then oddly who do they turn to when a building needs to be built?

Once again we are faced with a lot of conflicting messages here because the Christians will say this message of forsaking riches came from Christ. But stop and think for a minute. Christ was the supreme champion of the Jewish faith and declared the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob which is the same God that prospered Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, along with Job, King David and King Solomon. What is one of the first things people think of when they mention the Jewish race—a people of wealth and prosperity. So what happened? Did God make an U-turn with Christ and say now all the prosperity he promised the Nation of Israel is over and done?

No, I don’t think so. Christ had one specific mission and very little time to do it so he stayed laser focused on what he had to accomplish and yet anytime he needed anything whether food or taxes it was there for him. They say he only had one garment but it was so valuable sown from one piece of fabric with no seams, so valuable that the soldiers who killed him argued over it.

The best information that I can find about all the guilt on the wealthy came from the Dark Ages when the land owners and the Church ruled and it was much more convenient to tell the poor masses that their reward was in heaven and not to worry about seeking wealth here on earth. If it was so righteous to be poor why then didn’t the Nobles in the Dark Ages as well as the Bishops, Cardinals and Elders of the Church give up their wealth so they could be rewarded in heaven?

But that confusion has been passed down through wrong teachings for centuries and very few had the courage to stand up against it and see what the scriptures really said. For centuries it was a sin for anyone but priests to even read what the scriptures said. Men who loved God and wanted the people to see what was in the scriptures for themselves were killed and tortured just for promoting the idea.

So over the decades people felt guilty if they had abundance while others felt hatred for those that had more than others. The obvious logic is that if riches are evil why would anyone who loved God want to be rich AND those that were rich logically must have been evil. Can you see the problem?

Just think for a minute, if Abraham could have such wealth that he didn’t need or want any spoil from the King of Sodom and at the same time have such a close relationship with God—why can’t we? King David was a man after God’s own heart and wealth did not corrupt him—can’t we do the same?

I was made to feel guilty when I was a minister if I had any prosperity, because I was suppose to be pure. Who says abundance makes you unclean? Of course I understand that lust after anything make ruin your life, but if other men and walked with God in abundance, why not me? Why not you?

That’s enough to think about for today, tomorrow…permission to prosper.

Duke Clarke