Archive | June, 2009

The Prosper Magazine Adds Scripture Tagging

The Prosper Magazine Adds Scripture Tagging

We found this great technology that automatically lookups a scrpture for you once you scroll over it.

For example, Psalms 37:23.

The technology is called RefTagger, http://www.logos.com/reftagger

I like it, how about you?

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You’ve done goal setting before! Kind of…

You’ve done goal setting before! Kind of…

Today is the day you decide to pay off your credit card debt. Or maybe you make your mind up that your passion or hobby could prove to be profitable if you formed a business around it. Perhaps you have an interest in leading a healthier lifestyle. Whatever your aspiration, it is important to set a goal and have a plan of action that accompanies it. The bible says in Proverbs 21:5 (NIV) the plans of the diligent lead to profit as surely as haste leads to poverty.

How many times have you heard that “you have to do something differently in order to get something differently”? I’ve heard it too many times to count, but the relevant point here is that goal setting helps us identify what things we need to do differently in order to make our goals a reality.

So if you have to do something differently (i.e. something unfamiliar), how is it that the title of this article is “You’ve done this before! Kind of…”? Consider the following scenarios:

  • Have you moved to a city or town where you knew absolutely no one?
  • Did you ever take a job without knowing or being proficient in all of the tasks required of you?

If you can recollect any such memory then you, my friend, have done what is necessary to set and achieve a goal. If you moved to a new city, you started chatting with your colleagues, or researching what your new locale had to offer and you stepped out and explored. If you took on a new job with responsibilities you were not completely familiar with, you increased your exposure to resources (ex. Colleagues, articles, Google) that made you comfortable with executing these tasks. My point is that you would not have otherwise done these things, but since becoming acclimated to your new environment or keeping that new job was important, you did a few things differently. You went out of your way and in the end, you made it happen.

So what if you don’t know where to start? Don’t fret. Open your mouth and start asking some questions. You’d be surprised at how many people would be willing to help you achieve your goal (and hold you accountable to it). Importantly, these folks can share their experiences of achieving similar goals. Also, do some research; there is no shortage of publications touting ways to eliminate debt, start a business, be healthy, or do whatever it is that you want to do. Sort through these ideas, and be careful not to “analyze until you’re paralyzed.” Achieving your goal ultimately requires action.

As a die-hard fan of Golden Girls, I can’t help but recall a moment when Dorothy says to Rose “If you take a chance in life, sometimes good things happen, and sometimes bad things happen. But if you don’t take a chance, nothing happens.” Take a chance at succeeding. Set a goal, be realistic about how you will achieve it, and act!


As Christians we walk be faith and not be sight, so at times we’ll have to take that chance in trust in the lord. Peter in the disciples were on the boat crossing the Sea of Galilee and saw Jesus approaching them walking on water. Though they were afraid, Jesus told them to be of good cheer, but Peter wasn’t happy of just that. He took a chance and told Jesus if it is you let me come to you via the ocean. Jesus, but as always our faith falters just as Peter’s did because he took his eyes off of Jesus but as soon as he cried out to Him, He saves us from our troubles. Just keep that in mind when you take that chance in life, keep your eyes on Him and he’ll lead you to victory.

Suggested Reading:

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Two cents regarding your personal budget

Two cents regarding your personal budget

  • BREATHE. Rest assured that you can beat your budget! So many people let their money woes get the best of them, and it negatively affects their decision making. Yet, there are people who remain optimistic (and realistic) and stick to their goals of paying off debt/cutting expenses/increasing income and succeed! You can be that person, too. Just be very clear about what your goals are, remind yourself of these goals every single day, and work towards achieving those goals every single day. It’s no walk in the park, but we have to do something differently to get something differently, and if you’re committed to improving your financial situation, then you will make the difficult decisions necessary to achieving such.

What are your main money concerns?

  1. Is it debt?

i. Who do you owe and how much to each?
ii. What types of debts do you have? (Ex. installment, revolving, medical, utility, other)?
iii. Which debts are most important (ex: most expensive/highest finance charges, closest to your limit (if a revolving debt), due date)
iv. What are the minimum payments for each debt?

  1. Is it unexpected expenses?

i. What types of expenses are these? (ex: car repairs, medical, job related)
ii. How often have these “unexpected” expenses occurred in the past three, six, and nine months? Perhaps it’s time to look at factoring this expense into your budget or making an investment to eliminate maintenance costs (ex: newer car, surgery to keep away from patchwork fixes, etc.)

  • Two ways to “find” this additional money is to increase your income (ex: overtime, part-time job, bartering, yard sale/consignment shop etc.) and cutting back on your expenses (ex: eliminate cable or cut back to basic, don’t pay for what you don’t use, use coupons, shop on sale only, etc.)
  • Track your expenses for at least a month (i.e. write down where every single penny goes). This will give you a bird’s eye view of where your money is going and you’ll be better equipped to make decisions on cutting expenses. For example, if you notice you spend $400 a month on eating out & groceries, you can make decisions to cut back by shopping at food closets, Farmer’s Market, coupons, sale only items, etc. The savings that you reap should go towards your financial goals. Categorizing your expenses is also very helpful (ex: transportation = gas, oil changes, auto insurance, car washes; food= groceries, eating out; bills= rent/mortgage, utilities, phone, cable/Internet; savings= emergency fund, vacation money; etc.)
  • SAVE. SAVE. SAVE. Your money is cheaper than anyone else’s. In case of emergency, or you spot something that you want but isn’t accounted for in your monthly budget, having a little money on the side will allow you to weather the unexpected and/or purchase what you want. Financial planners recommend that we have at least three to six months of our living expenses set aside. A more realistic and immediate goal, however, may be several hundred dollars. To ensure your success with saving, automate it (payroll deposit or automatic transfers after you get paid; you can’t spend what you don’t see).
  • If you consider increasing your income, think about the additional costs of doing so. For example, if you work overtime or get a part-time job, and it requires you to drive a lot (gas/tolls) or increase your child care expenses, would the income you generate exceed the expenses of earning that income? If not, think about other alternatives; if so, go get that money!
  • Stop using credit. If that means cutting up or placing your credit cards in the freezer, do it. The progress you would make paying down your debt would be defeated by the additional purchases you make. So please, stop using credit.
  • Start today: procrastination is a dream killer. Even if you start saving five bucks a week, it’s something! 1 Corinthians 16:2 (NIV) says on the first day of every week, each one of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with his income, saving it up, so that when I come no collections will have to be made.


A little something extra…

I absolutely LOVE www.bankrate.com. They offer great insight on debt management, budgeting, saving, and so on. Check it out!

You might also want to pull your credit report and see if all of the information being reported about you is accurate. Misinformation on reports affects tons of people’s ability to get credit and maintain good credit scores. Visit www.annualcreditreport.com to get a free copy from all three of the credit reporting bureaus.

Lastly, Proverbs 27:12 (NIV) The prudent see dangers and take refuge, but the simple keep going and suffer for it. Simply stating that those who are committed to a budget refusing to take on unnecessary debt are wise, but those who go out and buy, buy, buy knowing that can’t afford are setting themselves up for major financial and emotional suffering.

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