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September 2, 2009
From homeless to debt free, man found the keys to financial success in the Bible
By Roxanne King
In 1995, Thomas Zordani was married, had six children and was homeless.
Today, he, his wife and four of their now eight children live in their dream home, have six months of living expenses in savings and—since the year 2000—have been debt free except for their mortgage.
Where did he find the advice that led to his financial freedom?
“The big step came in a spiritual transformation that occurred in a grocery store reading through greeting cards,” Zordani recalled. “A passage jumped out: ‘Call to me and I will answer you; I will show you things that you do not know’ (Jer 33:3).”
“I’d been looking for answers to financial problems I was having at the time,” he explained. “I began to pray and read the Bible and live my faith. I’ve never done anything different since that day.”
Eager to share the successful biblical principles he learned about finances, Zordani wrote a book, “Faith Finances” (Tate, 2009, $14.99), which was released in June.
“The book is about stewardship and in particular one aspect of stewardship—the financial aspect,” he said. “Stewardship deals not just with our treasure, but with all the gifts (time, talent and treasure) we have.”
His study of the Scriptures led him to three foundational points regarding financial stewardship: giving, managing and increase. Zordani’s book charts eight steps to putting these principles into place.
“‘Faith Finances’ is the guide to the eight steps,” Zordani said. “It outlines what the person needs to do to change their life by implementing things that can be done today to transform them into a true steward.”
Step one in Zordani’s book is: “Keeping a written budget.” Most people would agree that keeping a written budget is good common sense. Unfortunately, Zordani noted, many who see the wisdom of doing so simply don’t follow that counsel, which he points out is “commanded” in the Bible.
“It says: ‘These are the things you should not be ashamed of, and do not sin from fear of what others think. … Whatever stores you issue, do it by number and weight, spending and takings, put everything in writing,’” he stressed.
“This step may have come naturally to some people,” Zordani acknowledges in the book, “but I certainly was not one of them.”
The other seven steps Zordani describes in the book are: tithing, paying yourself first, eliminating all debt but the mortgage, constructing an emergency fund, implementing retirement savings, paying off the mortgage, and giving and saving in abundance.
“My book is just as much about faith as it is on finances,” Zordani said.
“Deuteronomy 14:29 talks about if you’re a giver (expressed in tithing) you’ll be blessed and a debtor to none,” he offered. “We’re a slave to those we’re in debt to—and many of those are our enemies. If you’re in debt you’re a slave. Is this what Christ redeemed us for?”
Rather, God redeemed us from our sin and wants us to be free people who put him first and who live lives of blessing and prosperity, Zordani said. We put God first and show trust in his providence and blessing through tithing. To those who cringe at the thought of tithing, Zordani declares that you already are; the question is, to which god?
“The one true God,” he writes, “or the god of mammon—the god of Citibank, the god of Ford Motor Credit, the god of Exxon-Mobil, the god of Starbucks Coffee, the god of Wal-Mart, and even the god of McDonald’s?”
Through the prophet Malachi, Zordani notes, God said: “Bring the full tithes and dues to the storehouse so that there may be food in my house, and then see if I do not open the floodgates of heaven and pour out a blessing for you in abundance (3:10).”
“I believe that people will be tremendously blessed by following the information in my book because of God’s promises (in the Bible) and God keeps his promises,” Zordani said.
Zordani, 43, is a native of Colorado. He majored in Spanish and history at several colleges in the state, owned a business and has worked for a Fortune 500 company in payroll and human resources benefits assistance. He is now self-employed and lives in Denver with his family.
“I talk to churches educating people about financial stewardship,” Zordani said. But, he added, “Writing the book enables me to reach a lot more people.”
“I consider myself to be just the messenger,” he said. “I put the words on paper, but (God) left us a handbook. We need to pick it up. Not just to change our lives financially, but in all aspects.”
Title: “Faith Finances” featuring author Thomas Zordani
When: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Sept. 26
Where: John Paul II Center, Rooms 123-125, 1300 S. Steele St.
Cost: Free, but space is limited. Sponsored by the Marriage and Family Life and the Social Ministry offices
Title: “Faith Finances”
Author: Thomas Zordani
Publisher: Tate, 2009