George Mueller

Up front, please forgive the exclusivity of this question. I don't mean to isolate anyone by way of it, but it is a question related specifically to faith, and to perhaps the Christian faith in particular.

I have been reading of the life of the famed Englishman George Mueller, who, as his story goes, relied on the Lord to provide all the finances necessary to help orphaned children in 19th-century Bristol, England. He would see a need -- for a new building, perhaps, or utilities, or for help to assist in the boarding of orphans needing a place to live and people to love and take care of them -- and he would pray and watch God fulfill the need. He never asked for a penny, so goes the tale, yet none of the thousands of orphans that went through his doors went hungry, cold, or homeless.

It got me thinking, I wonder how a budget could allow for that kind of experience. I am wondering how to create a category group, perhaps, of items that are needed but are way out of my own league to accomplish, at least at the moment. These would be prayer items, things to petition the Lord for, things to trust in conversational dialog with Him, things to ask to see if He would supply. And then allow the budget to record the responses.

I realize it is a bit of a clash of philosophy, perhaps. The YNAB way (and it is brilliant), is to be aware of and in control of each dollar. Direct it. Be "lord" over it, if you will. What I am proposing is opening up a space in the budget to allow the Lord to, well, have a say, I suppose, even direct some of the finances.

I haven't thought this through too deeply, but I am curious if any of you would have thoughts on this. Again, I am so sorry if this sounds elitist or divisive; that is not my intent, and I recognize that it could be controversial. If it doesn't resonate with you, feel free to skip on ahead to the next post. But if it is intriguing, or if perhaps you have some thoughts on the utility of implementing this within the budget, I would love to hear your thoughts.

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  • I'll jump in.  I love the story of George Muller. I think the closest idea on this forum is called a seed farm or wish farm. It's a group of categories that are too big for the current budget, but people still want to track them. Then as they make room in their budget they can move one of the seeds into a group to be funded. 

    Another inspirational story, on personal and business levels, is of Stanly Tam. He wrote a few books on his life. They are all good. Here's an overview, but still recommend his books:

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    • Khaki Storm , thank you. I'll check into the story of Stanly Tam! I agree that the seed/wish farm sounds like a close approximation to what I'm thinking. I am wondering how I might "record" in the budget the way the Lord may respond to it, how budgeting can be an interactive experience with God.

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  • I like the wish farm item idea from Khaki Storm - make categories for things that pull your heart and fund them as you can and see what God does with that.

    Another great story is that of R.G. LeTourneau.  This is a good overview , although it skips the later part when he started the school that became LeTourneau University (I spent 2.5 years studying there).

    Personally I think a good part of it comes down to your heart and faithfulness. If you truly have a heart for something and faithfully do what you can for it, He will honor that in some way or other.  It could be something as minor as one of your necessary expenses lowering in cost to allow you to put more towards your goal, to something more significant like a major raise.

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    • TechieM2 Thanks so much. I'll check out R.G. LeTourneau.  I think you're right... budgeting this way does come down to the interaction with God around my being faithful and seeing what God might do with that.

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