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KINGDOM SECRETS

Curves International: An Exercise in Success!

By Sandy Engel
The 700 Club

"Today we have over 5,000 franchises, and together they and I are meeting the needs of over 2 million women," says Gary.

Gary Heavin is flying high on the success of Curves International. For every two McDonald's in America, there's a Curves fitness center. A new Curves opens about every four hours. Gary and his wife, Diane, who is the co-founder of Curves, live well below their means. And there's a reason for that.

"Our goal," explains Gary, "is to give away 80 percent of our income, and that income just continues to multiply."

But giving wasn't always a priority for Gary. Gary's single mother died when he was just 13 years old, leaving him with two young brothers.

"I had the problem of a father and a stepmother who didn't really want us. I left home at a very young age. Being self-sufficient and being focused on survival, by the age of 26, I had six health clubs and a million-dollar financial statement. I had done it my way. I was a self-made man."

But by the age of 30, "Gary's way" had led to bankruptcy, a failed marriage, and no job. He lost it all.

"The airplane, the nice homes, the nice cars -- I lost the home with my children, was destitute and without anything to comfort me or for me to find pride in. I literally lost everything I owned, but I finally got on my knees and said, 'God, I lived the first half of my life by my will and it's a mess. I'm going to turn the rest of my life over to You.'"

Gary began by reading the Bible and watching The 700 Club.

"One of the great resources that I drew upon in those early years was Pat's book The Secret Kingdom and the Law of Reciprocity."

As Gary began to apply God's principle of giving, he gradually began to rebuild his life. Gary also met and married Diane.

"The moment Gary and I started to give from our hearts, our life really changed in just so many ways," says Diane.

Gary adds, "It's important people understand this: If God can trust you with His resources, if they flow through you and meet the needs of others, then He'll give you more resources. I put God to the test on this a number of years ago, and I tell you, you can't out-give God."

"I can tell you from experience as well," says Diane, "once you learn what a giving heart is, you're blessed so abundantly. It doesn't matter the amount- it's that you're giving it through a giving heart and then it gets so extremely easy after that."

In 1992 Gary and Diane opened the first Curves Fitness Center in Texas. Today Curves International is the largest fitness center franchise in the world because this time Gary built the business God's way from the start.

Gary credit's Pat's book The Secret Kingdom for his success.

"Even today I talk about those biblical principles that I place as the foundation for my business and attribute those principles as the key to that success. God really wanted us to use His resources in a really great way, and He has directed us to CBN because you're the experts. You know how to reach lives. What I love about CBN is, first of all, I can trust them. As an astute businessman, I've done my diligence. I find that The 700 Club takes the resources of this ministry that they've been charged with and they do the things that Christ would have them do. And it's not just feeding the poor and going overseas with the Gospel. The 700 Club is about God's business of telling the truth across this land. And that's important to me."

Gary and Diane are humbled by the record-breaking success of Curves International, but they have no doubts about why God has so richly blessed them.

"Giving is about obedience," says Gary, "and if we have relationship with our Savior and we're able to communicate through the Holy Spirit to know where God would have us give, it frees Him to send us."

Being obedient to God's truth made an incredible difference for Gary and Diane. They made themselves available for God's love to flow through them to others, and they are reaping a blessing themselves as well. Join them in partnering with CBN. You will make a difference in lives around the world, through medical missions, food and clothing programs, humanitarian outreaches and so much -- all in the name of Jesus. Please join today.

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