"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

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Thanksgiving 2008

Thanksgiving is a day to think about all the things you are thankful for. It's about being with family. I know there are some people that aren't able be with family during Thanksgiving and I feel for them. If you are able to spend time with family, I hope that you do it.

I will be spending Thanksgiving in Ohio visiting Steve's family. The day after Thanksgiving I have to work at Sears from 7am to 3. If anyone is out and about, feel free to come visit me back in the Hardware Department.

In wouldn't be Thankgiving if I didn't reflect on why I am thankful.

1. First, I am thankful for a God that is patient. We serve an amazing God and I think sometimes I forget that. He has done so much for me that I know I will never be able to thank him enough.

2. Second, I am thankful for a husband that is patient. I have the greatest husband ever. You may think you have the greatest husband, but you're wrong. :o) The way he loves and serves me is something that I really appreciate and love about him.

3. Third, I am thankful for my family. My parents are just great. They have been married for 28 years and after all these years they still love to hang out together. I hope that someday when we are in our 50's that our marriage is as strong as theirs. My siblings are crazy but I love them.
They are the people that I know will have my back no matter what. We are a pretty tight-knit family. Maybe that is because there isn't many of us. In my entire famiy, on both sides, there is about 35 of us.

4. Fourth, I am thankful for my friends. I have the greatest friends anyone could ever ask for. Some of the best friends that I have right now have been my best friends since Elementary school. We have been through so much together. We have celebrated eachothers weddings, births of kids, getting new jobs, getting raises, purchases of our first homes, countless Holidays, passing of tests and exams, becoming a CPA (soon), College graduations, High School graduations, and so much more. We have been there for eachother through the death of spouses, job losses, moves, marriage stress, roommate stress, kids stress, financial stress, stress because it's Monday, and countless others. How many people do you know that have friends that would drop everything and help you move during the Holidays, not once but twice. I truly am thankful for you guys. I hope you know that I would not be who am today without you. We have laughed together, prayed together, and cried together.

Philippians 1:3-5 (New International Version)
I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, 6being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

Catalyst Conference Dave Ramsey

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Tuesday, November 25, 2008


How is this not discrimination? Can you imagine if Hollywood was "blacklisting" supporters of Gay Marriage? The ACLU would be all over it crying discrimination. But discrimination against Christians and supporters of traditional marriage is ok.

Romans 8:35-39 (New International Version)

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."[a] No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[b] neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

2 Corinthians 12:10 (New International Version)

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.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

School Children Advise Obama

These kids seem pretty smart to me. They wrote some pretty well thought out papers, I thought.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Pre-Marital Sex Destroy Real Love Everytime

This story is heart-breaking to me. These girls have totally lost their innocence and not even their parents are standing up for them. It seems like parents have just given up. Parents today just assume their girls are going to be having sex, so instead of teaching their daughters to respect themselves and wait, they just stand back and watch. Then these parents always seem so surprised when their teenager tells them their pregnant or has an STD. Then the parents steps in and decides to be parent again. Where was that parent BEFORE she throw her life away?

I have been doing middle school ministry for almost a decade and I have seen girls give themselves away so many times. Girls, you are so worth the wait. Any guy that tells you different is not worth the ground he is standing on.

There is absolutely no love in pre-maritial sex, girls. Pre-maritial sex is all about lust and relationships based on lust never last. Really true love is based on so much more. Don't let yourself fall into the trap of believing that you have to have sex to be popular. It's just not true.

There are ways to protect yourself:
* Avoid tempting situations: Double date, don't go into your bedroom with a boy, always tell people where you are, etc

* Decide in advance: Choose your values in advance so when tempation comes you have them to fall back on

* Find an Accountabilty Partner: An accountability partner is someone who is going to watch out for you. An accountability partner is one of the most important things you can invest in. Find a friend or family member that you can trust. Pick a time and location to meet with them every week or more often if you want, and discuss what is going on in your life. What have your struggles been this week? What have your success been? Where have to you trimphed? Where have you failed? Honesty and trust are key because you can't be afraid to tell the whole truth to your accountability partner.

What Every Teenager Needs to Know:
They are not alone on this journey of life. Sometimes tough things happen but everything happens for a reason. I am convinced that the Middle School years are the toughest. In some situations they are expected to still act like children, because they are. But in other situation, people expect them to act like adults, so when they encounter a new situation they either act out or withdraw because they feel lost and confused. And to add on top of that they are experiencing hormones and feelings they don't understand and that can be painful. They search for whatever they can find to take the pain away and most of the time those solutions are only temporary, so they try the "drug" again. So the next thing you know, you have a middle school student addicted drugs, alcohol, sex, or whatever they chose for their "drug". As an Oasis leader, I try to give my girls a permanent solution to the pain and that is Jesus. Jesus's love is never temporary.

Parents WAKE UP!!! Sex is every where. Teenagers are being bombared with it from music, TV, and other media and seldom do they show the negative consequences. Girl are sexualized in music and treated like sex objects. What is that teaching our girls or our guys? When was the last time you saw someone on Gossip Girl get an STD or come home pregnant and heart-broken because now the guy wants nothing to do with her or her baby? Even in Juno the movie, the 16 year old gets pregnant and there was no negative consequence. She just moved on like it never happened. In Friends, Rachel gets pregnant and somehow is able to afford a baby and her huge New York city apartment with a job at small coffee shop job working part-time. You never see her struggling with money, trying to get food stamps or welfare, or trying to find a babysitter. Somehow everything just always seems so perfect. That is not reality and our girls are being handed a pack of lies. Our men are too. They being taught if they aren't having sex, they aren't cool. Guys need to hear this too. There is nothing "cool" about it. Just think, someday you might be a father. Would you want someone to be thinking about your daughter they way you are thinking about your girlfriend. I doubt it. She deserves respect and so do you.
The most important thing you can teach your daughter is self-respect and confidence. Fathers, I think, are the most important person in a daughters life. Daughters without fathers in their lives are far more likely to get into destrucive behavior. The girls are looking for love and they think love=sex, so the first guy that comes along and says sweet things to them...they are hooked. The first guy a daughter hears "I love you" from should be her father.

1-800-Quit Now

Quit Smoking. It's the best thing you can do for your health.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Domestic Violence Hurts Everyone

Domestic Violence does not just affect women. Men can also be victims of Domestic Violence. The most innocent victims of Domestic Violence; however, are the children. Last year at the YWCA of St. Joseph County were served about 600 children. 10% of the children were victims of some sort of physical, mental, or sexual abuse. Children that are victims of abuse of significantly more likely to be involved in abuse as an adult, either as the abusee or the abuser. We have to break the tragic cycle of abuse. Almost 70% of the children were born to single mothers, most with no income or high school diploma.

These children need someone to be on their side for a change.

Here's how you can help:

* Become a Women of Vision

* Donate Cell Phones

* Have a Garage Sale and donate the proceeds to the YWCA

* Have a food drive or collect winter coats, hats, or scarves drive for the residents

* Plan a "Baby Shower" and donate the items to the YWCA

* Help us with our Christmas Wish List

Thank you in advance! The children are worth it. Never think that if you aren't a big donor, you can't help.

Mark 12:41-44 (New International Version)
New International Version (NIV)
Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by
International Bible Society

The Widow's Offering
Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts. But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins,[a]worth only a fraction of a penny.[b]

Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, "I tell you the truth, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on."

Send all Support Checks or bring donations to:
YWCA of St. Joseph County
1102 S. Fellows
South Bend, IN 46601

All contributions are tax-deductible.

Our New House

It has been a crazy few weeks. Apparently, I haven't been updating people on the house very well. Sorry Shere.

The process seemed to be going really smoothly until we got the inspection back. The Realtor didn't think we should get one, but I'm glad we didnt listen to her. The inspection said the furnace was bad and several other things like the electrical panel and roof have problems.
We got several different quotes from different companies on the furnace and the electrical panel. Steve's dad, who is does electrical work, said that the electrical panel is fine and that the inspector may have been wrong.

Steve and I sent a counter-offer to the bank with a request that they put in a new furnace before closing. They refused and said they only sell foreclosures "as is." Needless to say, I was pretty upset with that. We almost walked away from the deal because we dont really have the money for a new furnace. We could probably scrape it together out of our emergency fund, but i dont really want to do that. My dad has offered to pay for our new furnace and have it installed before closing. I am so greatful for that. I wish we didnt have to do that though. I hate borrowing money from my parents.

Our originally closing date was November 21st, but the bank changed it to December 3rd. I guess this is sort of a good thing for us because now we wont have a mortgage payment until February. It does make things busy for us during the Holidays though.

We are trying to plan our budget right now around all the work that needs to be done. Most of the work is cosmetic, except for the furnace. The previous owner left the place a big mess, tore all the light fixtures out of the ceiling and even stole the air conditioner. The biggest challenge right now is finding the time to get in the new house and clean up before we move in. With the original closing date, we would have had 2 weeks with both the house and the current apartment, but now we will only have a few days. The bank did say that we could get in and clean before closing but we wont have the utilities turned on yet.

Our budget is going to pretty tight for the next few months but we can survive. We have done this before. When Steve and I had our hours cut last summer, we lost almost $500 of monthly income and we managed to survive. It sure wasn't easy. Last month, Steve got a raise and they put him back to 40 hours. Thank God for that. I told Steve this is the last time I want to move during the Holidays. It just way to busy during the Holidays. I have this afternoon off from Sears, so I plan is to start cleaning and packing a bit. Anyone that's bored and wants to come over and visit, give me a call.

I'm still a little nervous about the whole process but I think we can get this done. Once we get started on the process I think I'll start to feel better. I do look forward to going to Lowes and picking out the light fixtures and sinks and stuff.
WWDRS? What would Dave Ramsey say? If we play our cards right and don't get to off tract, this should be a great thing for us in the long run.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Extreme Savings Plan

Extreme savings plan
Extreme savings plan

Extreme Savings Plan
Nov. 12: From unplugging appliances before going to work, to bringing their own lunch each day, WRC's Jim Handly profiles one couple's mission to save their cash.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Can You Survive Without a Credit Card?


3 Steps Back to the Sanity of Cash

Waiting until you have the money in your pocket has its disadvantages (we're hand-washing our dishes) but it will buy security later. Call it "real-income living."
By MP Dunleavey

"While many Americans can and do handle borrowed funds responsibly (taking out what they need, repaying what they owe), millions more have slipped into a fantasy world, thanks to credit -- a fantasy that you could buy now and pay later. And that somehow, somewhere, when you least expected it, you'd pay it all back. "

Thanks to all that easy money, a fog descended: Credit made us all believe we were richer than we were.

Step 1: Get out of the fog Here's a giant reality check question:

If every ounce of credit now available to you, in the form of cards or home equity or whatever, if all of it dried up, what would your life be like?

The fact that that's hard to imagine is a sign of how deeply entrenched credit-think has become.
Studies by behavioral economists show that credit divorces you from the "ouch" of spending actual money -- and thus it not only changes how much you spend (people typically spend more when they use plastic), it also creates fuzzy thinking around your finances.

One study showed that shoppers who paid with plastic didn't remember what they'd spent, whereas those who used cash did. (If you've ever been to a mall, this isn't news.)
Credit creates a fog. Cash will snap you out of it.

Step 2: Think of Grandma

The second step is switching to a cash-based mindset. That doesn't mean giving up all forms of plastic. It means learning to think and spend based on how much money you actually have.
That's how your grandma did it, and my grandma, and anyone's grandma who lived back in the 1930s, '40s or '50s -- before you could borrow yourself into oblivion.

Grandma (and Grandpa) somehow managed to furnish a house, raise and feed a family, procure a car and save for emergencies -- all with cash. Why? Because credit as we know it today did not exist. Actual credit cards became common in the 1970s. When you bought something, you paid for it and then got the item, not the reverse.

What was it like, living on cash -- and why is it so powerful that it can turn your financial life around, even now?

Step 3: Find your means

Alas, "living within your means" is just a giant personal finance cliché at this point. People have lost track of what it signifies. LWYM has come to mean that you're fine if you spend every dime you make.

If you have to use plastic to cover a few gaps here and there -- your vacation, the holidays, some groceries -- that still counts as "living within your means" because you eventually pay it all back. Probably.

So it's really about spending a small portion of your income to live, and saving a large chunk of it -- for emergencies big and small, for the unexpected and for a warm, cozy, secure and happy future.

You're not going to turn Tupperware containers into shoes. And I'm not suggesting you grow a bailout garden and can green beans (unless you're so inclined). As scary a time as this is, we as a country are unbelievably wealthy compared to those who survived the 1930s.

But we all need to come down to earth, to a more solid and sensible way of living, with cash as the anchor.

Published Nov. 5, 2008

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The Election is Over

The election is finally over. This is the longest election cycle that we have ever had. I voted for McCain. McCain had his faults, but I liked his stance on social issues. McCain also has the experience that this country needs. We are in 2 wars and in the middle of a perceived financial crisis. This is the not the time for eloquent speeches and fancy ads. We need change, but I don’t think it’s the change that Obama wants to bring. My vote for McCain was more of a vote against Obama then a vote for McCain. I am nervous about the direction this country is heading. I believe most American people want less government interaction in their lives, not more.

I understand that everyone has to pay taxes, but I do not believe it is “patriotic” to pay more taxes, so people who don’t pay taxes can get more free money from the government. I do not agree with Obama’s stance of "spreading the wealth around." I already pay a bunch of taxes so lazy, high school dropouts can keep having kids out of wedlock paid for by my taxes. I pay for Medicaid, food stamps, welfare, WIC, TANF, and some people that qualify for those aren't even American citizens, so they don’t pay taxes either. Why do they feel entitled to more of my money? Maybe they should get an education, go out and get a job, and better themselves, so they don't have to rely on the government for money. I'm glad I don't have to rely on the government to be successful. Welfare was originally designed to be a temporary help to the poor, not an excuse to be dependant on the government. It has become a “hand-out”, instead of the “hand-up” it was intended to be. If Obama said he wants to cut taxes for 95% of Americans. Does he not realize that 30% of Americans don't pay any income tax? You can't give someone a tax-refund when they didn't pay any taxes. What you giving them is a government welfare check?

I have to say that I am very disappointed in the results. I had a least thought that my state of Indiana would think with their head and not blindly follow the media. Indiana did look like it was going to go for McCain until the very end. I guess more money still trumps substance. I don't think that it's fair or right that we elect a President because he has more money and can give better speeches. This year people didn't know or care about the issues. I heard so many people say that they were voting for Obama because he made them feel good, or he got young people to the polls, or he is historic because he can be the first black president, or he was energizing, etc. Those are not reasons to vote for someone. What does he stand for? What is he going to do as President? They don't know or care and that scares me.

I hope NBC and Hollywood are happy their candidate won. It is a sad, scary place we have gotten in this country when news stations can actively campaign for a particular candidate. What happened to objective journalism? What happened to when journalists would fully tell both sides of the story and let the audience decide their opinions.

I pray for this country. I can only hope that Obama can bring action to his "inspiring speeches."
I hope that I am better off in 4 years then I am today, but if I am it will not be because of who the President is. It will because I worked hard, got out of debt, spent less then I made, and strived everyday to better myself.

"You will be the same person in five years as you are today except for the people you meet and the books you read."
- attributed to Charles Jones

Monday, November 3, 2008

The 10 Cannots

The 10 Cannots

By William J. H. Boetcker
(misattributed to Abraham Lincoln)

1. You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift.

2. You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong.

3. You cannot help the poor man by destroying the rich.

4. You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatred.

5. You cannot build character and courage by taking away man's initiative and independence.

6. You cannot help small men by tearing down big men.

7. You cannot lift the wage earner by pulling down the wage payer.

8. You cannot keep out of trouble by spending more than your income.

9. You cannot establish security on borrowed money.

10. You cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they will not do for themselves.

William J. H. Boetcker (1873 – 1962) was an American religious leader and influential public speaker. An outspoken political conservative, Rev. Boetcker is perhaps best remembered for his authorship of a pamphlet entitled The Ten Cannots. Originally published in 1916, it is often misattributed to Abraham Lincoln.