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The 700 Club

Discovering God’s Recipe for Financial Freedom

Cheryl Wilcox - 700 Club Producer
Zsa Zsa Palagyi - 700 Club Producer

“I just love to cook in general, no matter what it is,” declares Jamar Sheffey.

Jamar worked as the sous chef and head of catering for a large hospital before God launched him full-time into his own catering business.  

“It felt God was, more than a little nudge, I felt like He just pushed me off the cliff,” Jamar explains.

Building the business took time and was slow going, making it hard to provide for his stay-at-home wife Katy and their kids. 

“There's a few times where I was like, ‘I don't know if this is gonna work,” Jamar admits. "So, yeah, it definitely got discouraging at some point.”

And while the couple wanted to tithe, they didn’t think they could afford it. 

Jamar says, “I mean I felt like every single penny was - it was like life or death. Sometimes it would just get so heavy, it would be crushing.” 

They already had a consolidated loan and didn’t want more debt. They didn’t even have money to replace their flooring, which was causing bad allergic reactions.

“We had to apply the charges to our credit card. Not something that I personally wanted to do,” admits Katy. “But I knew for the health of my daughter and myself, we had to take those steps.”

Other critical home repairs were set-aside, while basic family living expenses kept piling up. The couple needed a breakthrough. Then, at their church’s New Year’s 2020 Vision Night, they decided it was time to start tithing.

Jamar recalls, “I didn't want to stand before Him and have to answer the question of why didn't you give me your best first. I just couldn't do it no more.”

Not long after that, the pandemic hit. 

“We started getting emails and calls of clients wanting to get refunds because they had to reschedule, or they just had to simply cancel,” Jamar shares. “And I do remember us refunding close to $10,000 around that time, which was pretty much all we had.” 

Katy adds, “Our bank account was to a point where it was like, ‘How are we going to make it into the next day?’”

They couldn’t keep up with their utility bills, and they also had to use food stamps. 

Jamar humbly says, “It's never a good feeling not to be able to have enough money to pay your bills and I mean, it's not a good feeling just as a man, period. You know, sometimes you just kind of feel like a failure.” 

Their church helped them to get by. Meanwhile, the couple got pandemic relief money and surrendered one of their cars before it was slated for repossession. During that time, they gave offerings when they could.  However, as much as the Sheffeys desired to, they still didn’t put tithing first. 

Jamar admits, “We weren't putting all our faith in God at that time. I call it like the inner conflict. It was, ‘Do I still want to remain close-fisted, or do I want to fully trust God and open up my hands and give Him everything that I have?’”

Jamar says what God said next helped him to let go.

“He just said, ‘Next year will be the best financial year you ever had,’ Jamar proclaims. “And He wanted me to say it. So, I turned to my wife, and I told her.”  

Katy remembers her response, “I think I had a blank stare on my face like, ‘Y---eah, right.’ Like, ‘Come on, babe. Like, let's be realistic.’" 

Soon, Jamar was hired as a consultant and trainer for a new barbeque restaurant. And when Vision Night came around again, he heard God tell him they were supposed to give $10,000 the next year, no matter what. 

“I said, ‘Okay, I'm gonna see if your Word is true. You say, your Word doesn't come back void. We're gonna test it,'” Jamar shares. “At that point, I was able to put the pressure on God.”

Katy adds, "It was almost like an aha revelation moment, like you know, you tell your children over and over again the same exact thing until they're finally like, ‘Okay, I get it.’ And then they obey. So, I think it was kind of like that.”

By faith, they finally put tithing first and ended up giving even more than they’d planned to. With his new position at the barbeque restaurant and increased catering work, Jamar’s income quadrupled by the end of the year. The Sheffeys had enough money to take care of their home repairs, plus pay off their remaining car and part of their loan.

Katy explains, “It was our heart to pay off those to bring debt down to have more financial freedom to give so others would experience, like, ‘Why are you guys so generous, why are you so freely giving,’ and we always say, ‘That’s not us, that’s Him.’”

Jamar has acquired several new catering contracts and now has his own cooking show in the works. His income continues to go up, and the couple plans to tithe and give more than ever. 

“I can't afford not to tithe,” he smiles. “Cuz God can't lie.” He concludes, “So. if you do your part, He has to bless you. Just start tithing and don't stop.  It’ll just change your life forever.”

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