In Part 4, Gina Valdez Shares How To Be Used For The Glory Of God
How To Be Used For The Glory Of God (Part 4)
To be used by God we need to die to self and be like Jesus. When we become like Jesus it won’t be you living but Christ living in you.
And He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again. (2 Corinthians 5:15)
We need to glorify God in our bodies.
Do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s. ( 1 Corinthians 6:19)
Disclaimer: I am not a financial adviser. I have no license or professional training. I am offering my personal experience with stock trading and investments.
Michael Furlonger’s Story
To share a little bit, I started stock trading years ago. For me, it wasn’t some sort of “get rich quick” scheme or anything, I just wanted to learn how it works. I had been reading about how YouTube monetizes videos, Google, bloggers, app designers and so on. If there was a way to make money, I wanted to know it.
Do you ever feel that way?
That’s what it’s sadly all about these days, right? You’ve seen the popup ads, “Learn How To Make $700 a Day While Living On The Beach. Click HERE.” Or is that just me that sees these ads?
For me, it wasn’t so much about having money, it was about how does it work.
To me, it’s like the game Minesweeper. Remember that old game that came on every Windows computer. I have a theory, that a lot of people have NO IDEA how it works. They just randomly push buttons and hope not to set off a mine. And I felt like that’s how a lot of people view the stock trading and the economy in general.
What I like about Minesweeper is that, when you learn the rules and certain “patterns”, it’s enjoyable. And I wanted to learn the “patterns” of stock trading.
When I told people that I was a stock trader (as inexperienced as I was), I was often met with disgust. This idea that I made $200 in the morning, as opposed to the hard working people who go out to make a living. Let me point out that the stock market, essentially, exists so that people can work. And at the time, I owned a lawn care business and after taking a semi-quick look at the market in the morning, I would go out and cut grass.
I love hard-working people. Without the stock market, those hard working people wouldn’t have jobs.
Mcdonald’s restaurant (ticker symbol: MCD) wouldn’t likely have moved much from it’s founding in 1940, San Bernardina, California without the stock market.
Apple (ticker symbol: AAPL) may not have left Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak’s garage if not for the stock market.
Ford Motors (ticker symbol: F) was founded in 1903 by Henry Ford.
The stock market is an opportunity for you to “own” a portion of a business. It’s about putting your money to work for you.
Of course, there are many different forms of investment opportunities. The more money that you have, the more investment opportunities you have. But for me and my account size, the penny stocks is the place to be.
I’ve heard it said that a lot of these big companies aim for 10-12% earnings within a year’s time. But with penny stocks, although they are volatile, they can have huge movers. So while a company is looking for that yearly 10%, I’m looking at a daily or weekly 10-20%.
And this is good. I took my small $1000 and was able to enter the big world of stock trading.
Bull and Bear Markets
Of course, we all know that you can make money when stocks go up (bull market). But, did you know that you can also make money when stocks go down (bear market)? I didn’t know that. But I do now. And this helps the markets stay moving.
Allow me to explain:
When you are making money when a stock goes down, it’s called Short Selling. You are putting shares of a company into the market (example at $1.25/share) and as the market drops, you buy back those shares at the new value ($0.95/share). This earns you $0.30 per share.
The problem with short selling is that it only works when your broker has shares to short.
What Interests Me
There are many styles of trading in the market (even penny stocks), but as for me, I was interested in patterns. As I mentioned, it’s like Minesweeper. I was shown how stocks “operated” through patterns. My favourite was called a Head & Shoulders pattern or Reverse Heard & Shoulders pattern.
The photo provided illustrates a typical Head & Shoulders pattern (Bear Market/ downward trend). You can see in the photo that there are three spikes: The two shoulders and the head as it were. The blue line, which is labeled as the “Neck Line” is called the “Support Line”. As you can see, when the stock would dip, it would bounce from that line.
The difficult part is predicting a “Support Line”. It’s easy to recognize afterwards, but with practice it is possible to recognize “Support Lines”.
Are You Interested?
When I shared on social media about my previous winnings, I was contacted asking to share more as a financial blogger. While I don’t feel equipped to come off as some form of an expert. I thought about sharing some of my own experiences, knowledge and advice.
My FIRST and GREATEST piece of advice is this: If you want to learn, do it. If you have spare money and you want to try it out, go for it. Sadly, 90% of stock traders lose money because they are ill prepared. Consider setting up a paper trading account which is an account keeping track as if you were trading, but it’s not with money (so it’s free).
Below are the people that we have learned from:
Timothy Sykes– Tim Sykes got me started with a lot of the learning and how it all works with his videos and weekly stock picks.
Paul (Superman)– I followed Paul’s stock picks as he was more focused on the uptrend of the stocks, as opposed to Tim who, at the time, was a Short Trader.
Analyze Your Trades– This third option may interest you if you are interested in the simple learning of the market.
One of the social media questions was, “How can I know what a company supports? (Abortion, pro-Israel, etc)”
While I hope to get deeper into certain topics of stock trading, including SEC filings, the simple answer is research.
Let’s say, for example, you are looking at Daily Top Gainers (the biggest stock gains of the day). You see a company ticker called XYZ, for example. Look up what the company is, look up news articles (rarely will stocks move without news), and most, if not all, companies, have a website.
So to answer this person’s question is to do your research.
I traded stocks with a small account because I wanted to learn a skill. As mentioned, I traded stocks with a small account of $1000 while still working. I encourage this same approach.
People choose to enter the stock market for different reasons. I’ve heard of people who have traded “casually” while in college. Many of Tim’s Sykes student started out with small 4 figure accounts.
In Part 3, Gina Valdez Shares On How To Be Used For The Glory Of God
How To Be Used For The Glory Of God (Part 3)
As Christians, the Lord wants us to separate ourselves from the unbeliever. This also includes family members that want to continue living for the devil. Then the Lord will receive us as sons and daughters. Please see 2 Corinthians 6:14-18
Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? 15 What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? Or what does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? 16 What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said:
“I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people.”
“Come out from them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you.”[d]
“I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.” (2 Corinthians 6:14-18)
Just kidding… This isn’t a book. I just thought, as opposed to Point 1, Chapter 1 would be an attention grabber.
Have you ever noticed how everything you enjoy is bad? Carbs- bread, pizza, sugar- all bad.
My wife and I have been trying to be more conscious of what we eat as my wife is diabetic. She has definitely seen a difference in her mental alertness when she goes without a lot of heavy carbs. Definitely something to consider.
My wife and I watched this documentary called Fat Fiction on Amazon Prime. It discusses how the common food pyramid, which encourages a heavy carb base diet, is flawed. Definitely check it out.
Ok… Seriously. If I’m not active, I like to snack. Taste wise, I prefer potato chips or Sweetish Berries (I’ll share an alternative below), which is a big jump between sweet or salty. But as I’m trying to be healthy, on a modified Keto diet with my wife, I have a bowl of mini carrots to snack on. And, truthfully, it’s not so much the taste, but texture: I like the crunch.
Chapter 3: Sugar Is Bad
As it turns out, carrots have “natural sugar” in them. I try to modify my snacking to something more healthy, and guess what? Natural Sugar is supposedly also bad.
Sugar turns into a carb. Carb turns into fat. And fat turns into shame (sad face).
Chapter 4: Moderation
My father told me that life (all things in life) is about moderation.
It’s ok to have a “cheat” day. That’s what any trainer that I’ve ever had has said. “It’s ok to have a popcorn at the movie theatre. It’s ok to have a donut, or slice of pizza, or… whatever on occasion.”
I hate cheat days because they ruin my progress. It’s like the potato chip commercial says, “I bet you can’t eat just one.”
For me, I have to either fully commit or not at all.
Chapter 5: Eat What You Want! Look And Feel Great!
On popular demand, I have been asked to share a on how to eat what you want and look and feel great. So hear it is.
My wife and I have been taking these Keto pills on and off since February. This has helped boost our metabolism as we are unable to get out of the house considering the COVID.
This is definitely helpful. If you have any health problems, perhaps talk to a doctor before using.
Chapter 6: Snack Alternative
My alternative to Sweedish Berries are called Smart Sweets. They taste quite similar and drastically less calorie count (80 Cal/ 50 grams Smart Sweets vs 140 Cal/ 39 gram Sweedish Berries).
Definitely something to look at. The price is a bit more than a single pack at the Dollar Store, but considering I only eat them while watching a movie, it’s definitely less than a bag of candy at the theatre. (SHHH!)
Chapter 7: The Routine
I did an interview with my friend, Farr (you can find it on the YouTube page or search my blogs). From that, I was contacted about sharing my faith and my workout routine with Christian Women Living.
In the interview post, I share that I was hit by a car as a child. It caused brain damage, I was in a coma, I had to relearn to walk and talk, and more.
I explained that I don’t have a “huge” workout routine. I’m not a huge body builder. For me, working out is more or less just about staying active. As a teenager, I would walk for miles because I was told that I can’t. And that’s sometimes the basis of “Working Out With Mike” is all about. Keep the body active and do things that are difficult.
Ok. Three topics that seem very disconnected, but I want to connect the dots: Heaven (dot), Socialism (dot), and The Shire (Dot).
Socialism is a form of political party. Arguably, I watched a video with Dinesh D’souza on YouTube whereas he said Communism and Socialism are cousins: Socialism is the economic side of a communist political party. But I digress.
A lot of people think that Jesus Christ was a socialist considering his views on taking care of the poor, the widow and the orphan. However, Jesus said that we should take care of the poor, widow and orphan despite the political party that is currently in office. If you are “taking care of the poor” because the government taxed you and used it, that’s not you taking care of anyone, that’s you paying your taxes. Again, I digress.
It’s good to have a socialist attitude. In theory. As a child, where you don’t think about the work and cost of living, etc, it’s good to look at those in need and say, “This person deserves a warm shower, meal and bed tonight.” Jesus would agree with that.
The difference between socialism and free market capitalism is one says, “The government should take responsibility of this person.” And people are highly taxed to take care of that person. The free market person says, “I should take care of this person.” Again, I’m not trying to get in a political argument over which is right, I’m addressing my three dots.
To be honest… I really like the book ‘The Hobbit’ and movie ‘The Lord Of The Rings’. The Hobbit was a good read (but I didn’t like the movie) and The Lord Of The Rings was a long book (good, but long) and I really enjoyed the movie.
I have recently stopped watching Lord Of The Rings movies and books as I saw it mimicked in church as a form of spiritualism and I don’t want to associate with it. But, I used to be on a Facebook group that would discuss all things Tolkien (the author of The Hobbit, Lord Of The Rings, and a number of other books). And as it’s an election year, the group turned political and someone said, “The Shire Is Socialist.”
I replied, “No, it isn’t. If it were, Bilbo would have been taxed of all of his gold.”
Now, in The Hobbit (and Lord Of The Rings) the key character is Bilbo Baggins. He lived in a nice hole in the ground, as was the hobbit way. And his extended family, the Sacville-Baggins, were jealous. In The Hobbit, he is chosen by Gandalf the Wizard to go on an adventure with dwarves to reclaim their mountain of gold. Upon returning from his quest, he was given a chest full of gold for his troubles helping the dwarves.
If The Shire were socialist, he would be taxed on his income of gold and jewels. Because socialism is this idea that everyone should have the same amount of everything (money, potatoes, toilet paper, etc).
So, I told them, “The Shire isn’t socialist. It’s minimalist. They aren’t overly divided by the ‘haves’ and ‘have nots’, because everyone naturally desires a peaceful and quiet life.” No sports cars, pent house apartments, etc)
Now, I know that you’re asking yourself, “How or why is Michael connecting these three things together?” Well, I’ll tell you.
Work… is not evil. Work… is not bad. In Genesis 1, God worked: He created. On the seventh day, “he rested from all the work” (Gen. 2:2). God blessed that seventh day and made it holy: “because on it he rested from all his work.” And before sin had entered the world, God “put man in the Garden of Eden to work.”
“Why do I bring this up,” you ask?
I bring this up to say that work is not the enemy of a godly life. And less work is not the evidence of a godly life. How often do you hear in church that if you turn to God, you will earn more, work less, and prosper?
I was having coffee with a friend. It feels like it was years ago, considering the COVID isolation, but it was probably back in February. We were having coffee at a small diner, and while we were talking about Sylvester Stallone and the hopes of a new Rocky movie, a woman came by and said, “Top it up?” And she proceeded to fill my half empty (or half full- optimist) cup with coffee.
How bazaar! What would cause someone to do that? Because, unlike my friend and I, she was there to work.
And I though of how blessed I was to have this cup of coffee with my friend. I prayed that in heaven, we would have times like this, to sit and drink coffee and discuss various topics. But, who would fill my cup of coffee?
This probably makes me sound horrible, doesn’t it?
The only point I’m trying to make is that work is not the enemy. Work is not the result of sin entering the world. God worked.
In the new heavens and the new earth, I believe that we will work.
Years ago, I asked my pastor if there were people in the church who needed work done. I didn’t care to be paid, I just wanted to work. My pastor said that I’m quite the man and proceeded to call me co-dependent.
What a bazaar thought that someone simply wants to work.
My grandfather lied about his age for 2-3 years so that he didn’t have to retire. Upon retiring, he got a job (under the table) working at a tobacco farm. Now-a-days, people want to make quick money so that they can retire as young as possible.
What’s My Point Again?
Sorry, seniors moment. I forget my topic.
Scripture tells us that God is working to this day.
So, because Jesus was doing these things on the Sabbath, the Jewish leaders began to persecute him. In his defense Jesus said to them, “My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I too am working.” (John 5:16-17)
Evidence of a godly life is not how much or how little we have. There are those who “think that godliness is a means to financial gain”, but Paul told Timothy “godliness with contentment is of great gain.” (1 Tim. 6:5-6)
If God is still working, and we and this universe is bound by time and space, what will we do in the new creation that isn’t bound by time and space?
My point is that we should pray for contentment. Look, if you cut grass, do it for the glory of God. If you are a waitress at a diner, do it for the glory of God. If you’re a scientist shooting rockets into space, do it for the glory of God.
Michael And The Devil Addresses How The Devil Infiltrates The Church and The Cowardliness In The Church
In this video, author Michael Furlonger shares his concerns for cowardliness in the church. While many think the Devil is outside of the church, Michael is concerned on the fact that the Devil is in the church (2 Corinthians 11:1-15). Today’s verse is from Revelation 21:6-8.
He said to me: “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life. Those who are victorious will inherit all this, and I will be their God and they will be my children. But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.” (Revelation 21: 6-8)
Michael shares that we must be willing to read the Bible and not be afraid to address issues in the midst of the political times.
On July 21/2020, my wife and I “celebrated” our second anniversary. I quote “celebrate” because in the midst of the COVID-19, everything is closed or just opening, so we had no plans. But I did manage to get her a couple small gifts and we ordered in some dinner. Sadly, there aren’t any good movies out, so we couldn’t even find anything to Pay-Per-View.
Anyway… While I was in the shower the other day singing a worship song by Third Day, I was thanking God for my wife. Marriage is definitely a blessing, one I do not deserve at all, but I am grateful. And with so many divorces in the world, even in the church, I wanted to share a very important responsibility that a man has.
Of course, Apostle Paul gives a responsibility in Ephesians 5:25-26 where “men are to love their wives as Christ loves the Church and gave himself up for her.” We are to “Wash our wives in the water through the word.” All of this is very important, but what came to mind is from Proverbs 31.
Most know Proverbs 31:10- “A wife of noble character… (is) worth far more than rubies.” While non-Christians believe that the Bible tells women to remain barefoot and pregnant as the saying goes, that’s far from the truth. Feel free to read Proverbs 31:10-31 to get a great view of godly women.
But I want to share on the role of men. Men are only mentioned three times.
A Husband’s Responsibility
Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value. Her husband is respected at the city gate, where he takes his seat among the elders of the land. Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: “Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.” (Proverbs 31:11, 23, 28-29)
Do you see that the husband has a responsibility to “praise” his wife? We can discuss the difference between “praise” and worship, whereas we are commanded not to worship anyone but God alone. But to “praise” is to lift up someone; emotionally, not necessarily physically.
To the men: When was the last time you said to your wife, “Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all”? Maybe not in those exact words, but you ‘praise’ your wife for what she does.
Men, we need to praise our wives. With so much “main stream” television and the stuff that pops up as advertisement on the Internet, women shouldn’t have to compete. Everything has sex or sexual innuendos these days which makes it so difficult to even find something to watch.
Tell your wife that she is beautiful. Complement your wife’s cooking. Say those three words your wife needs to hear, “I Was Wrong” and “You Were Right”. I joke (but seriously). Or the three words, “I Love You.”
To paraphrase what Jesus says in Matthew 15:18, “Out of the mouth, the heart speaks.”
Do you have that one person or that one teacher? You know what I mean. It’s that one person that unintentionally had such an impact on your life. That person, that one class, that one sermon that makes you say, “Where would I be without it?”
As I wrestle with my faith and some members of my church this week, I think back to that one man, that one sermon that affected me so much.
Sadly, I never got to meet him. I only listened to him on old recording of his preaching. I find myself disagreeing on some of his sermons, but, man, he could light a fire in a rainstorm with his passion. How empty is the pulpit these days in comparison?
We are so busy trying to get people into the church, but how important are we in getting people into the Kingdom? The great hymn Amazing Grace says, “I once was lost, but now I’m found…” If people don’t know they’re lost, how can they be “found”? People have no issues being lost as long as no one disturbs them.
How Empty Is The Pulpit?
How many times have I heard a call on an “experience”?
“Lord, may we have a new experience today.”
How many marriages fall apart because we have such a high expectation? A need for a new experience? We expect our marriages to be some romantic comedy movie. But the fact is, what we should expect, we should expect weekly wages not getting you to the end of the week. Expect illnesses that really hinders the “romance”. There’s nothing more romantic than helping your spouse go to the bathroom (sarcasm intended). Sometimes there are bad days and the good days seem like they are few and far between. And we say, “I quit”.
Do we expect our faith to stand when the “experience” is less? Plenty of churches these days are great places to get an experience, but we aren’t prepared for those “unromantic” days. Those days, like the Israelites in the desert were unsatisfied with their ‘daily bread’ (Manna) and they were unsatisfied with God.
We’ve Become Unsatisfied
We are unsatisfied with God. We read every verse of the Bible looking for God to speak to us. Am I wrong in being overjoyed at reading the Bible and wanting God?
We fill the church with promises that if you turn to Jesus Christ you’ll get a better job, a bigger house, a faster car. If I was given nothing other than the cross and the Bible, that would be more than enough.
I am already unsatisfied. I am unsatisfied with a church telling me that as evidence of a true believer I should have bigger and better things. They say that I should have all of these “spiritual” gifts and doing speaking tours, prophesying over everything.
Where Would I Be If I Had The Spirit Of A Prophet
The sermon (or sermon jam= sermon with music) was by Leonard Ravenhill and he spoke on The Spirit Of A Prophet. He didn’t speak about me (or put me into the text), he spoke about John the Baptist.
“Truly I tell you, among those born of women there has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptist.” (Matthew 11:11a)
John the Baptist didn’t preach in the church (or temple), he preached in the wilderness. And he didn’t preach prosperity, he preached repentance.
Don’t get me wrong, in no way do I claim to be a prophet, but I question my faith when I’m not prospering. I hear, “God wants you happy and healthy, prosperous, successful,” and on and on. But if you look at those in the Bible, Elijah, Jonah, Paul and so on, did they prosper in this worldly way?
Elijah was afraid… “I’ve had enough, LORD. Take my life.” (1 Kings 19:3 & 4)
Jonah prayed… “Now, Lord, take away my life, for it is better for me to die than to live.” (Jonah 4:2 & 3)
For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. (Philippians 1:21)
Sometimes I just love listening to this man pray. And other times, I love listening to this man speak with such passion on people of prayer. And I can just agree with him, by saying, “Amen”.
In 1 Corinthians 14, Apostle Paul is teaching about the importance of unity in Church. While he encourages speaking in tongues, he says that he’d much rather people prophesy for the betterment of the Church.
For this reason the one who speaks in a tongue should pray that they may interpret what they say…Otherwise when you are praising God in the Spirit, how can someone else… say “Amen” to your thanksgiving, since they do not know what you are saying? You are giving thanks well enough, but no one else is edified. (1 Corinthians 14: 13 & 16-17)
Reading Matthew 4:1-11, Jesus is being tempted by the Devil. Every time the Devil says to do something, Jesus replies with Law (Deut. 8:3, 6:16; 6:13). More specifically, Michael points out that in Matthew 4:6, the Devil quotes scripture to Jesus Christ to get him to sin against God. This is why it’s so important to read scripture accurately.
5 Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. 6 “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down. For it is written:
“‘He will command his angels concerning you,
and they will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’”
7 Jesus answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’”