Play Now-Pay Later vs. Pay Now-Play Later

Today we have a guest writer! TQO one of our TLC friends wrote this as a help to everyone who reads this blog. Enjoy!

hkwonder.blogspot.com/

Play Now-Pay Later vs. Pay Now-Play Later. One way financially binds you vs. the other way financially Frees you. It’s your choice. Because Money does matter… to God, to you, and to me. You want to be in control of your finances, not your finances in control of you. Don’t get buried in “interest”, “contracts”, “termination fees”. Every decision matters, even the cell phone and cable. It is easier said than done. It takes hard work, commitment, planning. I call it “Diligence”.

Lenders & credit card companies will qualify you for more than you can afford, appealing to your “I want it now” need. They are setting you up to fail, in order to make their sale. In the long haul, it may have been better for you to have waited until you could have saved more. It is up to YOU to create your own limits.

My husband and I agree on our monthly budget log. It begins with

I Cor. 4:2 “Moreover it is required in stewards that a man be found faithful”.

We then list the 1st paycheck date of the month and the bills to be paid from that, and then the 2nd paycheck date of the month and the bills to be paid from that. We then include any special extras and any big expenses for that month from our “goals for the year” log. We plan the best we can, and leave room for unexpected emergencies.

We’ve tried teaching this to our teen class, but their mind set is on Play Now, Pay Later. The advertising companies are smart to capture this age bracket. Our teens seem to understand they could be paying up to 3times as much for the same item, but for now they just shrug their shoulders as if to say, I’d rather have it now anyway.

Back when I was young and naive, I found myself responsible for over $16,000.00 in credit card debt. It was not my fault, but I had to take action to protect my credit. Praise to the Lord, that debt was paid in full in 9 years, and not one cent to interest! I received 0% interest applications with zero balance transfer fees as needed until it was done! I am now free and loving the financial freedom!

And enjoying our purchasing power!

You can do the same!

Don’t Get Too Comfortable

I have spent some precious time in serious meditation and prayer these days. Yes, there’s a difference between the two. Prayer is my dialogue with the Lord. It’s me, coming before the Lord and pouring my heart out, letting him know what is going on in my life and the direction I’d like it to go. Meditation is where I am still. It’s where I allow his pursuit of me to show me things altogether different from the perspective I have.

With the church just weeks away from completion my prayers have been about smooth transition, wisdom in not getting so caught up in the newness that we forget it’s a building but that the people are what’s important. It’s about the logistics of how it’s all going to happen and who we will call on to help. It’s about lists for the dedication service and not leaving anyone out.

My meditations, however, have been about comfort. The Lord showed me that in every stage of my life, I’ve gotten comfortable and that I mourn transition. When I was a stay-at-home mom and my youngest reached kindergarten, I took a part-time job. Yet, I struggled with the decision. When I took a full-time job and transitioned into a corporate lifestyle I mourned once again, and again when I went into ministry. Each new level, left me looking back at what I was missing. Yet, I can’t deny the fact that each new level had its own exciting possibilities that the others didn’t and it also had its challenges. So for me, it’s about a thought process and on one hand, a trepidation of walking a new path, on the other hand, an excitement of possibilities and challenges.

Yet life changes from thing to thing does it not? I mean my titles have changed throughout my adult life but I am still a mom, I am still an administrator, I am still in ministry, I am still Susan. My perspectives have changes and my skills and abilities have changed and I am more comfortable in my skin. My husband took this picture of me recently and I noticed new wrinkles over the last few years. Yes, the smile is still the same but my eyes show a contentment that I feel in my soul and an anticipation for what the future holds.

Our titles change, our goals change, our lives are shaped differently than we ever could have imagined, but God is at work in our lives. He is molding a life that has adventure and risk. He is calling us all to not get too comfortable in any aspect of our life because one thing is for sure, things will change and more will be required of us. Are you ready for the challenge God has for you? Are you ready to do a new thing? Mourning the old is healthy and natural, but don’t get stuck in the process to where it takes too long and you miss your next step. We must move forward into the things of God for that is where our real future lies!

When Satan Shows Up

Did you know that Satan scuba dives? I had the best time watching this scene. Even the greatest warriors take pause when they see Satan come down the sand and head for the water. Instantly, they all got out of the water, every kid on the beach, parents looked up, he brought pause. This was too big of a fight to deal with! They waited patiently until Satan swam off. Then it was business as usual! 🙂

Warriors

I watched with interest this week, boys at play, as we sat on the shore of Monterey Bay. Those of you who know me, know that I love to see the fearlessness of boys at play. The water on the Northern California coast is COLD. So even though I go to the beach often, I don’t go dip my feet in the water too much, much less get in it.

The first boy I saw was with his three older sisters and his parents. His father stood stoically, watching his family, the girls squealed and ran from the waves each time they came near. The boy however, who was no more than 4 or 5 years old, kept running towards the waves. His mother, out of her fear, kept yelling at him, to stay to her right. He would straighten up and get on her right side, meaning the water would float over his ankles but this was quickly boring and pretty soon, he’d lose control and run towards the wave. He finally exhausted his mother and got a good swat on his bottom and she told him that he couldn’t swim, the tide could carry him out and if he didn’t listen he’d have to go stand by his dad. He pouted, got red-faced and got in his place, but not for long. You see, the warrior in him needed to go conquer the waves. He needed to go feel the water not just on his ankles but on his body as well. The struggle arrived because he was fearless and his mom was fearful. Welcome to the world of women, I said to my husband.

Then two boys arrived, older boys, maybe 10 or 11. “Dare me to dunk myself in the next wave.” “Okay, I dare you, is it cold?” “Of course it’s cold, it’s freezing but you just have to do it!” I had to laugh because this is the battle cry of little warriors, they must overcome the obstacles and look bold and strong in front of their friends. While the girls on the beach that were about the same age as the boys, laid on the sand and talked on their cell phones, and giggled and listened to their ipod, the warriors had work to do. They had contests to see who could build the best fort out of sand, they had to go run through the girls blanket and get it wet and full of sand, they had to make mud balls to fling at each other and at the girls. They had to dare each other to jump from the pier, which they did with gusto, never even considering how deep or shallow the water was. They had water guns, and when that didn’t work they threw pebbles at each other and wrestled and hit. They got mad at each other and then made up quickly. They tried their best to outdo each other in each endeavor they took on.

It’s so important that we recognize this innate nature in the life of a boy. We must celebrate it and not try to subdue it. It is their design. They do consider themselves warriors and they do have a battle to fight, even if right now, it’s imaginary, it is nevertheless preparation for the life they will live as men. Later, as they grow older, they will discover the battles on the sports fields, the battles on the golf course, the battles in the workplace, the battles for the girl worth fighting for, the battles as the armchair quarterback, the battles of a husband and the battles of a father. Celebrate those little warriors. Although most of us women will never truly understand their need to conquer their fears and confront the world in which they live, we must recognize their need to be victorious and to be the hero in their life. We will thank God one day for the man that fights for his family and will do whatever it takes to lead them and keep them safe at any cost.

A Common Money Mistake

http://www.deeppencil.com/ blogging-bloggers

We know quite a few people who think this is a way to SAVE money for a vacation. Can I just tell you that you’d be so much better off taking the money and investing it, even in today’s economy, or paying off life-choking debt? Here a paragraph from an article you can click here to read for yourself.

Overpaying taxes: A big tax refund can be a source of much needed cash each year. But a tax refund is the result of having too much tax withheld from your paycheck, which gives the government an interest free loan with your money. Instead of letting the government hold on to your money for up to a year, adjust your withholdings so you can pocket your money now. The goal should be to match your withholdings as close as possible to your tax liability.

Slowing Down

http://www.flickr.com/ photos/ 23073236@N02/ 3395155961/

Recently while listening to talk radio, a speaker made two statements that multi-tasking, actually first of all, makes things take longer, and second, destroys brain cells in the frontal lobe of the brain. Not one to just hear something and accept it, I looked for articles on the Internet. Which then led me to research because not everything you read on the Internet is true. So here is what I found out.

The ability to multi-task is done by the executive part of the brain called the prefrontal cortex. When we stress that part of the brain out by overload, it causes damage to the cells in the hippocampus which is where new memories are formed. So being stressed from overload causes forgetfulness, stress, and depression. Actually the articles I read said excessive multi-tasking is causing more problems than it’s solving AND it goes on to say that it actually takes us longer to get things done because we keep stopping what we are doing to do something else. Multi-tasking has also shown in studies to cause a person’s creativity to slow way down. So workers get into a “mode” of just doing what they have to do to get by. This means, free thinking goes away as we try to hurry through our tasks.

I learned two things that weren’t good for my lifestyle, actually three things. Here they are:

1. That I have a part in my body that has a name like hippocampus, which brings a visual of hippos communing and for any woman that is a freaky thought.

2. That all this time I thought multi-tasking was actually saving time and instead it was only serving to stress me out. I had this idea that I was so efficient and now I find that it’s no wonder that I was feeling frustrated.

3. That my forgetfulness isn’t because I’m 45 and a woman, but rather that I am on work overload.

That being said I am going to have to change some things in my life. I am going to have to take one project at a time and not get side-tracked. It seems like a daunting task. Multi-tasking is such a way of life.

My biggest question is we’ve raised our children on this mode of operation so how are we going to change this? Kids can listen to an ipod, text on the phone, chew gum, do their homework and ignore you all at the same time. Now we are going to have to tell them to slow down. Can you imagine this? We could actually a change a culture and slow down a pace that would bring us back to a more relaxing time in America. What could it be like to only do one thing at a time? One can only dream!