"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, February 26, 2009

City Not Participating in the Recession

Embedded video from CNN Video

Monday, February 23, 2009

Thrifty spending the newest style?


Article published Feb 23, 2009
Thrifty spending the newest style?

Expert says consumers should save for future, spend smartly.

By KIM KILBRIDE Tribune Staff Writer

Terri Sibaja has come up with her own version of unemployment insurance: Shelves stocked with enough food to feed her family of three for the entire winter. Tucked away in a small room in the basement of her Cape Cod in Mishawaka is an unexpected storehouse of food.

Shelves spanning 15 feet across, from floor to ceiling, are packed full of canned soups and vegetables, dried beans, rice and pasta, flour, sugar and evaporated milk.

It's all about saving money, she said, taking advantage of sales and stockpiling during the warmer months when her husband, Jose, a painter, is busy.

Now, the family can eat almost exclusively from its reserve to make it through the cold-weather work slowdown and the recession. South Bend mom Tama Crisovan belongs to a cooking group that meets monthly to swap homemade frozen meals."

As the economy has tightened," she said, "rather than making six meatloaves (to exchange), we'll cook beans from scratch and bring six containers of chili."

It's hard to say how much money she's saved by the endeavor, she said."But, I don't have to have that pizza night where I spend $20," she said. "I have ready-to-go entrees in my freezer."

From scaling back on cable and Internet services to brown bagging it to work and cooking more meals at home, it seems everywhere you look these days, people are finding ways to cut corners. In some cases, folks who once were loyal donors to local Salvation Army thrift stores are now the customers.

From October of last year through January of this year, Maj. Timothy Best reported, sales at the Salvation Army's seven area thrift stores were up 12 percent to 15 percent."

Anecdotally," he said, "we're hearing people can't afford to shop elsewhere."

Goodwill of Michiana, which operates some 20 thrift stores, also reports an increase in sales since last fall.

Across the country, people are also saving more -- 3.6 percent of their income in December compared with negative numbers just months earlier -- because they're somewhat uncertain about the future and they're concerned they won't be able to draw on easy credit to finance major purchases.

Heck, even Oprah recently featured "The Thriftiest Family in America" on her show. It seems that frugality, once a term reserved for miserable misers, is now stylish. But, is what's good for families also good for the economy?A flip side to thrift?

Grant Black, an assistant professor of economics at Indiana University South Bend, explained what's known as "the paradox of thrift." There are two opposing schools of thought on whether spending or saving is best.

One view, he said, is that spending in the short run is good because it drives a lot of economic activity. More consumer spending leads to an increase in output among businesses and potential job growth.

On the other hand, Black said, savings allow financial institutions to loan money to businesses and individuals." This is important for longer-term growth," he said.

Can a healthy balance be struck between mindful spending and saving?" People need to be smart spenders," Black said. "It's not good to sustain high levels of debt."

That said, even during recessionary times, prices and interest rates can drop. Then, he said, "People can spend a little more or borrow a little more with lower prices and easier lending (terms.)"Will it last?

Will Americans who adopted newfound saving ways sustain them after the recession?"

It's unclear," Black said. "I think we're going to have to wait and see." Unlike their predecessors who lived through the Depression, he said, today's generation tends to have the view that everything will always turn out OK.

Sibaja, meanwhile, said she figured out a way to strike a balance between curtailing her family's spending on food this winter and enjoying an occasional meal out. She asked for gift cards to restaurants for the holidays.

"Some people think that's impersonal," she said, "but it didn't feel that way when we were (out at a restaurant) eating our steaks last week."

Asked about her new, in-vogue attitude about money, she laughed. "I don't feel sexy. It's just necessity that's caused me to use what we have instead of going out to shop.

"When the recession's over?

"Yes, since I'm on the 'Dave Ramsey Debt Diet,'" she said, "my miserly ways will continue."

Staff writer Kim Kilbride: kkilbride@sbtinfo.com (574) 247-7759

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Inspiring 5 Year Old

Embedded video from CNN Video
If you can't see the video, go to CNN video and search for "Boy Asks for Food, not Toys."

3And he said: "I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.
Matthew 18:3

32"Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom. 33Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will not be exhausted, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. 34For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
Luke 12:32-34

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Monday, February 16, 2009

Friday, February 13, 2009

2009 Dave Ramsey Pick Up Lines

Dave Ramsey pickup lines

Thursday, Feb 14 in Funny nice stories, Dave Ramsey pickup lines Comments (42)
Written by our own Chris Russell, courtesy of My Total Money Makeover.com.\

1) I still have money in my "restaurant" envelope ... can I buy you dinner?

2) Would you like to dance? I'd love to show you my Baby Steps.

3) Why am I nervous about talking to you? Because you're better than I deserve.

4) Allow me to introduce myself ... I am "borrower", and you must be "lender".

5) Good thing I got just term life insurance ... because I saw you and my heart stopped!

6) You can't spell Financial Peace University without U and I.

7) I've already kicked Sallie Mae out. Want to take her place?

8) I just bought a bass boat with cash ... and it's a good thing, because you're quite a catch!

9) I'm not mortgage interest baby ... don't write me off.

10) The good news? I'm debt free. The better news? I'm also date free.

11) What would you say if I asked you out? (response: no). That's not good enough

Courtesy of one of Dave's listeners: On a scale of 350-850, I'm a Zero!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Obama Stimulus Package

According to Obama, "Our economy may never recovery if we don't pass THIS stimulus package, right now." I realize that some of these things are probably needed but do they need to be part of this package. How will they create jobs? Does it need to be so big? Is there a better way? I agree that we may never survive if we don't make the right decisions right now. It will probably recover, in time though. My question is...Is this plan, the right decision right now? Why is this package filled with so much pork projects that will not help the ecomony recover or create jobs? Why did Obama remove the "Buy American" part of the plan? Part of what got us out of the Great Depression was the war, because Americans got jobs creating war supplies with American materials. Now, all American manufacturing is outsourced to other countries. Other countries are now prospering when we go to war, because they are creating our materials. Anyone else see a problem?
I seem to remember Bush using the same scare tactics to get his Stimulus Package passed and the whole country was OUTRAGED because he was "scarying us and using fear tactics", but Obama use the same tactics and everything is ok. So we passed Bush's Stimulus and I haven't seen the Ecomony turn around from it yet. I guess he was wrong. But of course, Obama isn't going to be wrong too.
Highlights of Economic Recovery Plan


$32 billion: Funding for "smart electricity grid" to reduce waste
$20 billion +: Renewable energy tax cuts and a tax credit for research and development on energy-related work, and a multiyear extension of renewable energy production tax credit
$6 billion: Funding to weatherize modest-income homes

Science and Technology
$10 billion: Science facilities
$6 billion: High-speed Internet access for rural and underserved areas

$32 billion: Transportation projects
$31 billion: Construction and repair of federal buildings and other public infrastructure
$19 billion: Water projects
$10 billion: Rail and mass transit projects

$41 billion: Grants to local school districts
$79 billion: State fiscal relief to prevent cuts in state aid
$21 billion: School modernization

Health Care
$39 billion: Subsidies to health insurance for unemployed; providing coverage through Medicaid
$90 billion: Help to states with Medicaid
$20 billion: Modernization of health-information technology systems
$4 billion: Preventative care

* $500 per worker, $1,000 per couple tax cut for two years, costing about $140 billion
* Greater access to the $1,000-per-child tax credit for the working poor
* Expansion of the earned-income tax credit to include families with three children
* A $2,500 college tuition tax credit
* Repeal of a requirement that a $7,500 first-time homebuyer tax credit be paid back over time
* An infusion of cash into money-losing companies by allowing them to claim tax credits on past profits dating back five years instead of two

* Bonus depreciation for businesses investing in new plants and equipment
* Doubling of the amount small businesses can write off for capital investments and new equipment purchases

* Allowing businesses to claim a tax credit for hiring disconnected youth and veterans
Source: Associated Press

A True Hero

Watch the Video Here

Read the stories here

This pilot showed an amazing amount of calm and saved every single one of his passengers. Wow! He even walked up and down the cockpit, while it was filling with water, just to make sure everyone got off. Then he called his library and apologized that he would not be able to return his library book because it was in the hull of the plane. The book's subject: Professional Ethics.