A Dot-Com Bomb: A $40K Loss that Miraculously Turned Around!
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As a producer for The 700 Club, Lori Stewart sees first-hand the impact CBN has on people’s lives. She says, “I love telling people's stories, stories of people finding Christ and the way God just radically transforms people. It just, it just never-ending joy to see that happen.” For almost 20 years, Lori has also been a CBN partner. That story begins in the late 1990s when she and her husband were living in the bay area of California, and the dot-com boom was in full swing. Lori recalls, “He was an associate pastor at a church. I was working at a Christian school as a teacher. We weren't making much money, but God was faithful.”With two children and a third on the way, Lori and Matt decided to sell their home and buy a bigger one. But instead of using the money for a down payment, they invested it in the booming stock market. Matt recalls, “We literally bought $40,000 worth of technology stocks.” Lori remembers, “In the immediate future we started to see those numbers go up and we were excited.”
Then, the dot-com bubble burst and Lori recalls, “I was actually at home watching TV and watching the numbers on the NASDAQ just dropping like in real time. We had lost, you know, almost $40,000 really within probably 24 hours.” Matt says, “We just went back to being really tight and had to relearn how to live, you know, what to buy, what not to buy. And it got real tight.” Even then, Matt and Lori continued to tithe but they were reluctant to give more. Until one day Lori happened to flip on The 700 Club. Lori recalls, “I don't think I'd had it on for more than three minutes when a woman was asking for people to give pledges and to join The 700 Club. And I just remember so clearly the Holy Spirit said, ‘I want you to give’." She immediately started making excuses and reminding God of all the money they’d lost. She remembers, “He said, ‘That's why you need to give, you need to give toward that loss. You need to give in spite of that loss’.”
Soon after she sent in her pledge, Lori started to see unexpected blessings. She says, “My sister, who had been away from God for 25 years, got saved watching The 700 Club.” Lori says God also opened a door for her to teach at an exclusive private school. Not only did it pay more, but her 3 kids could attend for free. Then a family member gave them the down-payment for a new house. Matt says, “Which came out of nowhere. We were not expecting it.” Lori adds, “And that down payment was the money we had lost in that dotcom. And it was just mind-blowing.” As the Lord blessed them, the Stewarts increased their CBN pledge. Lori says, “I want to show Him by giving that I trust Him, that He's faithful, He's going to come through.” Matt believes, “God just really blessed us in that time.”
In 2005, Lori and Matt answered God’s call and moved to Virginia. She went Regent University while working part time in the CBN prayer center. Matt continued working in church ministry. Still, they were faithful to give, and God was faithful to provide for them and their family. Matt says, “The Lord has always been there to pick us back up, to put us back on our feet and give us a future.” After graduating, Lori went on to work for The 700 Club and today she is a producer for the show. Lori says, “The mission statement of CBN has really been my life's mission, which is to preach the gospel around the world.” Matt and Lori want others to know that trusting God was the key to turning their finances around. Matt says, “There is a blessing that I cannot describe. I cannot put down on paper and I can't figure out a math-mathematical formula for it. I know that as I gave, as Lori and I made that decision to give, the blessings of the Lord begin to immediately show up.” Lori believes, “If the Holy Spirit's telling you to give, say ‘yes’, because there's blessings on the other side of that obedience.”
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