"Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, "Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?" And I said, "Here am I. Send me!"
~Isaiah 6:8 NIV
"He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?"
~Micah 6:8 NASB

Thursday, October 30, 2008

An American Creed

I Do Not Choose to Be a Common Man

It is my right to be uncommon—if I can.

I seek opportunity—not security. I do not wish to be a kept citizen, humbled and dulled by having the state look after me.

I want to take the calculated risk; to dream and to build, to fail and to succeed.

I refuse to barter incentive for a dole. I prefer the challenges of life to the guaranteed existence; the thrill of fulfillment to the stale calm of utopia.

I will not trade freedom for beneficence nor my dignity for a handout. I will never cower before any master nor bend to any threat.

It is my heritage to stand erect, proud and unafraid; to think and act for myself, enjoy the benefit of my creations and to face the world boldly and say, “This I have done.”

By Dean Alfange

*Originally published in This Week Magazine.Later printed in The Reader’s Digest, October 1952 and January 1954.

The Honorable Dean Alfange was an American statesman born December 2, 1899, in Constantinople (now Istanbul). He was raised in upstate New York. He served in the U.S. Army during World War I and attended Hamilton College, graduating in the class of 1922.


Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Secrets to Raising Healthy Boys

Part 1

Part 2

A Baby's Prayer

Jeremiah 1:5 (New International Version)
"Before I formed you in the womb I knew [a] you,
before you were born I set you apart;
I appointed you as a prophet to the nations."

Jeremiah 29:11 (New International Version)
For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

How They Voted?

Check out here how your Senators and Representatives voted on the bailout. I think it's time we sent these people who like to spend our money home.

Now You Can Vote Out the Bozos

Lest you forget...At the polls, remember to vote out those bozos who ignored our opinions and voted for the $700 billion bailout! See how your representatives and Senators voted.

Democrats — Carson, Y; Donnelly, Y; Ellsworth, Y; Hill, N; Visclosky, N.
Republicans — Burton, N; Buyer, N; Pence, N; Souder, Y.

Bayh (D-IN), Yea
Lugar (R-IN), Yea

Don't forget to vote on November 4th.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Moving Again

I can't believe Steve and I are going to be moving at Thanksgiving again this year. I have decided that this is the last time we are going to move during the Holidays.

My dad's bank foreclosed on a house and he suggested that we buy it. After much thinking and praying and looking at our budget numbers, we decided to go for it. I know crazy, huh? The mortgage payment is will only be about $100 more than our current rent payment. Steve's theory is that when we are ready to move to Texas, we can sell it and make a killing in Equity. It is a 3 bedroom, 1 bath, with an attached garage. It has a nice big back yard too. The house was appraised before it was foreclosed on for $60,000 and we are buying is for $40,000 with a 20% down payment. My parents offered to gift us the down payment because their parents did that for them when they first started out. I love my parents.

I can't help but here Dave Ramsey in the back of my head. He says never buy a house until you have an Emergency Fund, you are out of debt, and have a good down payment. We have our Emergency Fund and are working on getting out of debt, and thanks to my parents we have a down payment.

The house is all electric, so unfortunetly we need to buy a new dryer and a new stove since they are gas. We are going to try and sell them. The house needs a little work, mostly cosmetic. Steve is excited because he gets to use his tools. Anyone surprised? It is going to be a busy couple months. Please keep us in your prayers, as we try get all the money together we need to make the move and to fix the new house. We also need to keep our heads together and prepare Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Christian Families Targeted

Voice of the Martyrs

Please pray for our brothers and sisters in Christ who are suffering around the world.

Romans 8:34-36
Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written:
"For your sake we face death all day long;
we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered."

2 Corinthians 12:9-10
But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

1 Thessalonians 3:6-8
But Timothy has just now come to us from you and has brought good news about your faith and love. He has told us that you always have pleasant memories of us and that you long to see us, just as we also long to see you. Therefore, brothers, in all our distress and persecution we were encouraged about you because of your faith. For now we really live, since you are standing firm in the Lord.

Consumers addicted to plastic?

Consumers addicted to plastic?
Families carry average credit card debt of $8,000.


Tribune Staff Writer


That's how much the average American family is said to carry in credit card debt.

If they pay the minimum on this balance every month, it could take more than 20 years to get out of the red. That means two decades from today, you could still be paying off that DVD player, laptop computer and shirt you bought in the heat of the moment last Christmas.

It's an overwhelming reality for the many consumers who have fallen victim to a buy-now, pay-later society, where people take out loans and carry multiple credit cards without giving it a second thought.

"It piles up so quickly, I think, especially when you're young," said South Bend resident Kelly Sanford, who said she learned her lesson after tasting her own share of credit card debt in the past.

"You get one of those credit cards that have a low introductory rate and, before you know it, it's up to 27 percent."

Throw in the nation's mortgage crisis, rising oil and food prices and the stock market's volatility, and it's no wonder consumers are sinking deeper into a sea of red.

Fortunately, whether you're a few thousand dollars or half a million dollars in the red, you can take steps to rise above it, experts say:

-Set up a budget. First, don't wait until 2009 to start setting up a household financial plan that is accurate, comprehensive and reflective of all your debt, says Amanda Walker, manager of GreenPath Debt Solutions, which has offices in Mishawaka and Elkhart.

Add every individual debt together to determine your total debt, and mentally commit to changing your past or current spending patterns by adhering to your budget. For many consumers, budgets are vital because they provide a good reality check of what's happening right now and ways to best prepare for the future, Walker said.

Granted, budgets aren't always fun, but neither is foreclosure, she said.

-Track your cash. Take your monthly income minus expenses to see how much extra money is left at the end of the month and whether a surplus can be used to pay additional credit card payments. If you see a deficit, decide what expenses you can realistically cut, such as daily coffees and eating out. Also don't hesitate to drive your car an extra year, said Sanford, the South Bend resident.

-Say "no" to credit. Don't borrow more credit to pay off a credit bill, and consider a credit card hiatus while you're trying to climb out of the red. Lock your cards away, or cut them up, until your debt is more manageable.

That's because surveys done by Consolidated Credit Counseling Services indicate consumers are likely to spend more using a credit card than when paying in cash.

"I don't have a credit card — I just have a debit card," said Saint Mary's College nursing student Caitlin Fitzpatrick. "I do know people my age with credit cards who are in tremendous amounts of debt. I just think it's kind of dangerous."

-Chip away at old debt. Make your biggest payments on debts with the highest interest first, and pay more than the minimum on your loans, says LendingTree. Also be sure to earmark end-of-year bonuses, raises and income tax returns for paying off debt, too.

-Prioritize payments. Set aside money first for debt repayment and then budget for things such as saving for college or retirement, before spending on discretionary items.

-Be realistic. Remember that while your goal is to fully pay all of your bills on time, it isn't always feasible. So if you must make a choice when it comes to bills and credit cards, pay on loans secured by collateral first, such as mortgage and vehicle loans. Then pay off utility bills, insurance, loan payments and household expenses such as groceries and gasoline. Pay off unsecured credit card accounts and medical bills last.

-Lower your interest. If your credit score is good, and you're receiving a variety of low-rate offers, consider transferring your balance to a lower-interest card while you work to pay off the debt.

Also, don't hesitate to negotiate a better deal with your lenders, who often would rather you get back on track than see you file for bankruptcy.

-Weigh the pros and cons of debt consolidation. Consolidating many debts into a single loan can reduce your number of payments and creditors, making managing your money and financial planning much easier.

But it can cost more in the long run. Most consumers end up paying for the debt over 10 to 30 years, spending more than they would have had they kept each individual loan.

-Check your credit reports. This report tells you about any outstanding debt you owe, according to Debt Reduction Lessons. You can typically request a credit report for free every year from the three major credit bureaus — Experian, Equifax and TransUnion.

Staff writer YaVonda Smalls:
(574) 235-6248

Friday, October 17, 2008

McCain the comedian

Sen. John McCain pokes fun at himself, his rival, and others at the Al Smith Memorial Fund Charity Dinner.

"Staying Alive" with CPR

I am not a big fan of this song. In fact, I find it kind of annoying. The only part of the song I actually understand is "Staying alive." I am posting it because of the story that goes with it. I thought it was a funny story. I want to know who had the time to figure this out. Someone had way too much time on their hands.

Study: Bee Gees' 'Stayin' Alive' Has Perfect Beat for CPR
Thursday, October 16, 2008

Sounds like the Bee Gees knew what they were talking about — and were years ahead of medical research.

The band's iconic 1977 disco anthem "Stayin' Alive" provides an ideal beat to follow while performing chest compressions as part of CPR on a heart attack victim, U.S. doctors have found.

The American Heart Association calls for chest compressions to be administered at a rate of 100 per minute during cardiopulmonary resuscitation, or CPR. Ironically, "Stayin' Alive" chimes in with 103 beats per minute, Reuters reports.

In a small study headed by Dr. David Matlock of the University of Illinois College of Medicine at Peoria, listening to "Stayin' Alive" helped 15 doctors and medical students to perform chest compressions on dummies at the proper speed, according to the Reuters report.

"The theme 'Stayin' Alive' is very appropriate for the situation," Matlock told Reuters. "Everybody's heard it at some point in their life. People know the song and can keep it in their head."

The findings will be presented this month at a meeting of the American College of Emergency Physicians in Chicago.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Banking Crisis Foretold???

This article was in the New York times almost 9 years ago. It sounds like this guy could see the future. Maybe giving people loans when they couldn't afford wasn't such a good idea after all.

September 30, 1999

Fannie Mae Eases Credit To Aid Mortgage Lending

In a move that could help increase home ownership rates among minorities and low-income consumers, the Fannie Mae Corporation is easing the credit requirements on loans that it will purchase from banks and other lenders.

The action, which will begin as a pilot program involving 24 banks in 15 markets -- including the New York metropolitan region -- will encourage those banks to extend home mortgages to individuals whose credit is generally not good enough to qualify for conventional loans. Fannie Mae officials say they hope to make it a nationwide program by next spring.

Fannie Mae, the nation's biggest underwriter of home mortgages, has been under increasing pressure from the Clinton Administration to expand mortgage loans among low and moderate income people and felt pressure from stock holders to maintain its phenomenal growth in profits.

In addition, banks, thrift institutions and mortgage companies have been pressing Fannie Mae to help them make more loans to so-called subprime borrowers. These borrowers whose incomes, credit ratings and savings are not good enough to qualify for conventional loans, can only get loans from finance companies that charge much higher interest rates -- anywhere from three to four percentage points higher than conventional loans.

''Fannie Mae has expanded home ownership for millions of families in the 1990's by reducing down payment requirements,'' said Franklin D. Raines, Fannie Mae's chairman and chief executive officer. ''Yet there remain too many borrowers whose credit is just a notch below what our underwriting has required who have been relegated to paying significantly higher mortgage rates in the so-called subprime market.''

Demographic information on these borrowers is sketchy. But at least one study indicates that 18 percent of the loans in the subprime market went to black borrowers, compared to 5 per cent of loans in the conventional loan market.

In moving, even tentatively, into this new area of lending, Fannie Mae is taking on significantly more risk, which may not pose any difficulties during flush economic times. But the government-subsidized corporation may run into trouble in an economic downturn, prompting a government rescue similar to that of the savings and loan industry in the 1980's.
Fannie Mae, the nation's biggest underwriter of home mortgages, does not lend money directly to consumers. Instead, it purchases loans that banks make on what is called the secondary market. By expanding the type of loans that it will buy, Fannie Mae is hoping to spur banks to make more loans to people with less-than-stellar credit ratings.
Continue reading here

Wow...psychic? I may not be a smart economist, but I can't see how no one saw this coming. Oh wait, someone, this author saw it coming almost a decade ago. If someone with no income and no job tries to apply for a home mortage, they should be denied...everytime because they don't have a job or any income to pay for the mortage. Rocket Science??? No, I don't think so.
I don't the government and big banks should all take Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University, then maybe they would stop wasting our tax dollars to fix their mistakes.