Saturday, March 29, 2008

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Friday, March 21, 2008

How Deep the Father's Love

How deep the Father's love for us,
How vast beyond all measure
That He should give His only Son
To make a wretch His treasure
How great the pain of searing loss,
The Father turns His face away
As wounds which mar the chosen One,
Bring many sons to glory

Behold the Man upon a cross,
My sin upon His shoulders
Ashamed I hear my mocking voice,
Call out among the scoffers
It was my sin that held Him there
Until it was accomplished
His dying breath has brought me life
I know that it is finished

I will not boast in anything
No gifts, no power, no wisdom
But I will boast in Jesus Christ
His death and resurrection
Why should I gain from His reward?
I cannot give an answer
But this I know with all my heart
His wounds have paid my ransom

Monday, March 10, 2008

6 ways to stretch your budget

Written by Francine L. Huff
This article is courtesy of HomeLife.
Determined to be a good steward of your finances? Repetition will help. Use the following guide to begin changing your worst money habits.
Avoid Overspending
One of the main reasons people have financial problems is they live above their means. Do you save for purchases you want, or do you have an “I-need-it-now” mentality that causes you to overspend and assume debt? If you constantly spend more than you earn, you can’t expect to get out of debt and to build savings. Avoid the trap of overspending.

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“Pray before you spend.
When something’s a legitimate need, God will provide. How often do we take matters into our own hands and spend impulsively before asking God to furnish it for us?” writes Randy Alcorn of Eternal Perspective Ministries (
Tithe Faithfully
Practicing good stewardship includes tithing. Proverbs 3:9 instructs, “Honor the LORD with your wealth, with the firstfruits of all your crops” (NIV). Most likely you don’t have crops to give back as firstfruits, but you do have an income and resources God has provided.
Giving tithes back to God is an act of faith that shows you acknowledge Him as Lord over your resources. Tithing regularly also trains you to be more disciplined with money and obedient to God’s will. Whether you make $30,000 or $300,000, forming a consistent plan of giving will help you get on the right financial track.
Dump the Debt
Americans carry a total of about $711 billion in credit card debt. Financial institutions are eager to hand out even more credit cards. (The average credit card balance in the United States is a shocking $9,000.) Getting out of debt means being proactive and forming an action plan for the long haul.
The first rule for dumping debt is to quit spending money you don’t have. If you’re using credit cards to pay for basic living expenses, such as food, utilities, or housing costs, you need to increase your income or cut spending. Analyze spending patterns to see where you may be overspending or wasting money.
Make a plan to pay for housing expenses and other necessary bills first before splurging on extras. If your income isn’t enough to cover expenses, consider getting a second job or starting a part-time, home-based business.
Pay Bills on Time
Paying bills late can result in excessive fees that hurt an already shaky financial situation. Late fees for credit card payments can cost around $35 per incident, and those charges can really add up. Avoid late fees by setting up a calendar of due dates for your bills or paying them the day they arrive.
If you mail payments, make sure you send them early enough to arrive before the due date. Even payments that are just a few hours late may be assessed late fees. If you send payments electronically, make sure you read the rules. Banks differ on how many days it actually takes for payments to be processed.
Build Savings
Putting aside money for emergencies, retirement, or large purchases doesn’t have to be painful. By setting up an automatic savings plan, you can put away money as soon as you receive a paycheck. Choose a realistic amount you know you can stick to each month.
Ideally, you’ll save 10 percent of your income, tithe 10 percent, and use the rest to pay your expenses. It may take a while to work up to those amounts, but even if you only can afford to put aside a tiny amount, do it. The smallest amount of money put away on a consistent basis will add up over time.
Follow God’s Plan
The world’s view of money doesn’t always line up with God’s Word. Choose financial advisors who understand this distinction and your commitment to godly financial principles (Ps. 37:5).