Heard It On The Radio..."
Mentioned by Daniel Britt
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Ebay is the popular place to auction everything
under the sun, including used clothing and shoes, but
you might also consider selling your clothes by consignment.
Consignment stores will sell your clothes and usually
give you 33 to 50 percent of the sale price-which usually
beats the price you would get at a garage sale. To get
started, shop around for a store that suits your needs.
All have different standards, from very inexpensive clothing
to boutique quality, and in some cases, near-boutique
prices. Find out what they sell: Is it women's clothing?
Children's? Men's? After that, keep in mind that most
consignment stores follow some general guidelines, looking
for in-season, in-style clothing, in pristine condition.
They will not accept clothes with tears, missing buttons,
or stains. Your clothes should be cleaned and shoes polished.
Also, if you have an eye for good clothes and the time
for it, you can also find great clothes at garage and
yard sales that people practically give away, items that
you can buy cheap and resell through consignment, as well,
and make a profit.
In choosing a consignment store, see how the clothes are
displayed (would your items be visible?), check the condition
of the merchandise, and how clothing is priced. Find out
if your clothes will be on consignment for 30 or 60 or
90 days. Most stores will give unsold clothes to charity
after a certain amount of time. You may want to ask if
you have the option to pick them up, and to donate the
clothes to your own church or charity. Ask about their
policies and get the terms in writing. Consignment stores
frequently go in and out of business, so look for a store
that is established ideally for three years or more.
Are you stuck trying to think
of a suitable Christmas gift for the person who has
everything or the person who never wants anything? Consider
a camel. You can get one for $75. Or, you can buy 10
fruit trees for $45. You can buy either a warm blanket
or a pair of rabbits for $25. If you still are not sure
what to buy, there are lots of other things listed in
World Vision's Gift Catalog, which can be found online
at www.worldvision.org To
really help a needy recipient, you can buy everything
from a life-changing cleft-palate operation for a Cambodian
child for $120 to a deep well for a village for $12,500.
The concept of the catalog is to make a real difference
in the lives of people in need, most of them living
in third world countries. World Vision says that last
year, people shared more than 33,000 life changing gifts
worth 3.1 million dollars with people in need from its
catalog. Since it's getting late in the Christmas shopping
season, you can not only choose a gift and make your
donation, but you can create a gift card online, too.
By choosing a gift from the World Vision catalog, you
can honor Jesus by making an eternal investment, and
you can give someone in a need a gift that is designed
to "keep on giving."
| Daniel Britt, 12/13
|| MONEY-SAVING MONDAY… During the holidays, newspaper classifieds
are filled with ads for pets, "just in time for Christmas."
Before you give into the temptation to hit the ultimate
gift homerun with your kids, be sure to do your homework.
It is important to decide if you and your family are emotionally,
physically, and financially equipped for such a commitment.
A goldfish may live for six months or so, but some breeds
of dogs live to be 15 years or more; some parrots live
for up to thirty years. A hardy breed may require little
more than standard shots every year, but another breed,
genetically prone to disease, may require high veterinary
bills. A rabbit may do fine with a dry bag of pellets,
but reptiles often require special diets and climate controls.
Save your family heartache, aggravation, and financial
stress by carefully researching the purchase of any pet
that requires a longer term commitment than a goldfish.
Find responsible breeders for whatever animal you choose,
or consider pet adoption through the humane society or
animal rescue groups.
|| MONEY-SAVING MONDAY
Car pooling to and from work has become commonplace in
some areas, but considering the recent spikes in fuel
costs, it may be time to consider car pooling during
the holidays. For instance, if you plan to travel from
during Christmas, there is a good possibility that someone
with whom you work or attend church plans to leave the
same area for some spot in between. It would be difficult
for a family of four to fit another family in one car,
but many singles and couples travel during the holidays.
If you are able to find someone with whom you enjoy
spending time and who is traveling in your direction,
and you could save money, enjoy the extra company and
possibly encourage someone in the Lord who needs a little
drive time with someone who has a listening ear.
|| MONEY-SAVING HINT
It will be more complicated in 2005 to claim a tax
deduction for cars donated to charity. If you're considering
giving a car to charity, you may want to go ahead and
make your donation this year. Beginning January 1, a new
law will be in effect that says you cannot use the standard
car guide valuations to determine how much you can claim
as a tax deduction for a donated car. After January, donated
cars will be taken to an auction by the charity, and the
auctioneer will have to report back to the charity how
much money the car brought at auction. After that, your
charity will tell you the amount that your car brought
at auction, and that is the amount you will be permitted
to deduct. It could be months from the time you donate
your car until you receive information from the charity
about the amount your vehicle brought at auction. Cars
sold at auctions typically sell for much less than the
vehicle's fair market value. This means charities will
collect less for donated cars, too. The IRS requested
the rules change because it said people were abusing the
donated vehicle write-off.
Fall is great weather for yard sales, which are
great places to earn extra money for the holidays. Here
are a few suggestions for having a successful sale:
Organize - A week or so before the sale, identify and
collect all the items you want to offer. Be sure to
clean, label, and organize items, particularly clothing,
by either size or similarity. No one wants to buy dirty
merchandise or guess at prices or sizes. For very tiny
or odd items, consider making brown paper grab bags
and selling them for a dollar each. If more than one
family is selling, you can color code price tags.
Set prices according to what you would pay at a garage
sale. Clothing will go for much less than you originally
paid because people cannot try them on. Appliances and
tools will usually fetch a better price, particularly
if you can provide a box and/or a manual.
Get card tables and racks in advance. Display items
attractively. Hold some good items back to restock shelves
as the day grows long. As the tables empty, put them
away one by one and move scattered pieces to a central
location. Buyers like to shop from a full table.
If you have an item that is a recent purchase, a toy,
for instance, try and find a picture of the item in
a catalog and tape the ad to the one you have for sale
so that buyers can see the savings.
Most buyers are honest, but be cautious about the few
that are not. It is wise to keep jewelry or DVDs in
your sight. Carry your money in a pack around your waist.
Lastly, if a garage sale seems too daunting a task,
you might check the Salvation Army's Valuation Guide
- you could help needy families and you will benefit
from the tax break.
| Daniel Britt, 11/8
|| MONEY-SAVING HINT
your AA batteries in your CD or Walkman start to fade
during your morning walk, don't throw them away when
you get home because there still will be enough power
in them to run a clock for six months, clock chimes
for even longer, and doorbells for a couple of years.
| Daniel Britt, 10/25
|| MONEY SAVING MONDAY
How many times a week do you cook pancakes, waffles
of french toast for breakfast? Do you spend more money
than you have to by buying these items pre-made and
frozen? Rather than waste time and money try making
larger batches at one time. These freeze well and can
be reheated in either the toaster or the microwave in
What do you do with the crusts or heels of a loaf of
bread? Do you throw it away or give it to the birds?
Simply run them through the food processor and freeze
until ready to use. You will never have to buy breadcrumbs
again. If you prefer the seasoned variety, add some
basil, oregano and garlic powder while processing. They
freeze well in a plastic container or freezer bag.
Okay, so now you have too many breadcrumbs. What else
can you do with those crusts and heels of bread? Make
stuffing! Take the frozen bread crusts and cut into
cubes (note: it is easier to cut clean cubes when the
bread is frozen). Toast these bread cubes in the oven
at 400 degrees F. turning once during cooking until
golden brown. While baking sprinkle with whatever herbs
and spices you desire or leave plain
| Daniel Britt, 10/18
|| MONEY-SAVING MONDAY
Adding extra insulation to the tank on your electric
water heater, lowering the water temperature to 120
degrees, and installing a timer on the heater are all
simple, inexpensive ways to reduce your electric bill.
Using a timer is simple. The longer the water heater
is off, the greater your savings will be. Be sure to
get a timer that offers multiple on-off times. For instance,
if you begin using the shower at 6 a.m., schedule the
timer to turn on the heater at 5 a.m. Set the timer
to turn off after everyone is off to work or school,
to turn on again before the first of your family arrives,
and to turn off again at bedtime. There will be a reservoir
of warm to hot water available all the time, even after
the unit is off for hours, provided your tank is properly
insulated. If the people in your household are using
hot water 24/7, it might be impractical. Having the
timer turn off the heater for less than three to five
hours at a stretch is not worth the expense.
| Daniel Britt, 9/27
|| MONEY-SAVING MONDAY
You can save time, gas, and money - and possibly avoid
impulse buying - by using the Perfect Car Finder in the
Advice section of the Kelly Blue Book Web site, www.kbb.com
. By choosing your price range, your choice of new or
used vehicles or both, and your preference of car manufacturers,
you can get a list of all the vehicles that meet your
criteria, including model comparisons, photographs, and
price quotes. You can find local listings, free records
checks, and insurance quotes for cars that interest you.
| Daniel Britt, 9/20
Saving Monday Tip of the Week: What to do financially
if you find yourself “suddenly single:”
Identify what worked and didn't
work in the past
Find all important documents
Have these available and organized
Social Security card
Life insurance polices
Other insurance policies
Pension, profit-sharing and other retirement
Corporate buy-sell agreements
Divorce or separation agreements
Create a new income,
expense and net worth statement
Make a list of financial
Clean up your credit
Retitle your property
Set your individual
Reassess your risk management
needs, a code word for insurance
| Daniel Britt, 9/13
|| MONEY-SAVING MONDAY
Would you like for your child or spouse to be able
to get help in case of a highway emergency, but you don't
want a monthly cell phone bill? FCC rules require cellular
phone companies to respond to a 911 call, even if it comes
from an inactivated cell phone. Your loved one can use
an old cell phone to call 911 without having a contract
with a cell phone service and pay nothing at all. FCC
requirements state that ALL cell phones, regardless of
the status of service, shall be able to dial 911. Even
if you do not have a telephone number or have not signed
up for service, the cell phone can connect to 911.
Be sure to purchase a cigarette-lighter adapter cord with
your phone (you can buy these at any cell phone store,
Wal-Mart, and so on.) You can also buy cell phones without
service inexpensively at garage sales or at www.emergencycellphones.com
or www.ebay.com <http://www.ebay.com/>.
| Daniel Britt, 8/30
|| MONEY-SAVING HINT
Having an emergency fund is key to avoiding debt.
However, extreme circumstances can test the best-laid
plans. At this writing, at least 450,000 people remain
without power in the aftermath of Hurricane Charley. Listed
below are sources of information for hurricane victims,
those who want to help survivors, or for anyone who wants
to know practical things to do to prepare for a disaster.
- FEMA, the Federal Emergency Association, can tell you
how to donate or volunteer effectively. They provide a
list of agencies who are members of NVOAD, the National
Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster.
- The Better Business Bureau has information for individuals
and for businesses, including Post-Disaster Red Flags,
Post-Disaster Scams, Disaster Charity Appeals, and Insurance
- Using the key word "disaster," you can find
information at the IRS Web site about special tax provisions
that may help taxpayers recover financially from the impact
of a disaster, especially when the President declares
their location to be a major disaster area. Publication
2194 is the IRS "Disaster Kit for Individuals,"
and Publication 2194B is the IRS "Disaster Kit for
- Web site for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security
where you can learn how to make a kit of emergency supplies
and how to prepare a plan for what you will do in an emergency.
| Daniel Britt 8/23
|| MONEY-SAVING MONDAY
Prepaying on your mortgage principal each month
can really whittle down the life of the mortgage, and
you can save a fortune in interest. If you pay a set extra
amount on the principal each month, it will be easy to
calculate how much you will save over the life of your
loan. For instance, if you owe $150,000 on a 30-year mortgage
and you consistently pay an extra $150 on your mortgage
principal each month, you will save $44,674.79 in interest
charges and pay off your 30-year mortgage in 18 years
and 7 months. You can use the Mortgage Prepayment Calculator
in the Tools section of Crown Ministries’ Web site, www.crown.org/tools
, to calculate the effect of various prepayment
amounts on your own mortgage.
|| MONEY-SAVING MONDAY
Visits to state and national parks are ways to
create wonderful summer vacation memories that don't cost
an arm and a leg. Detailed information about every state
and national park is available at your fingertips at www.recreation.gov.
You can choose from a list of sports or outdoor activities
like biking, hunting, fishing, climbing, hiking, boating,
auto touring, horseback riding, camping, fish hatcheries,
or wildlife viewing. You can locate every park in all
50 states that offers the things that interest you. The
national park service also posts weather reports, water
levels, and the level of difficulty for your sport or
activity where appropriate, as well as reservation information,
maps with road closings marked, and more.
In addition to planning your route, you may be able to
buy a park pass and save money at any national park you
visit that charges an entrance fee. The pass costs $50
and is valid for one full year from first use in a park.
There are special passes for senior citizens and people
with disabilities, too. For information about different
park passes, you can call 1-888-GO-PARKS, or visit http://www.nps.gov/fees_passes.htm.
| Daniel Britt, 8/2
|| MONEY-SAVING MONDAY TIP
With gasoline costing an average of $2 per gallon for
the first time in U.S. history, it would be a great time
to consider carpooling to work. Besides saving gas, carpools
reduce travel monotony, pollution, and traffic congestion.
Make certain your gas cap fits properly. During the summer
and in hot areas, gas can evaporate from your car if the
gas cap does not fit properly. You easily could lose 5
or more gallons per month, so a properly fitting gas cap
could pay for itself in less than a month! You really
can save a considerable amount of gas just by driving
the speed limit. Cars get about 21% more mileage when
driven at 55 mph rather than at 70 mph. In addition, traveling
at fast rates in low gears can consume up to 45% more
fuel than is needed. If you have a luggage or ski rack
on top of your vehicle, you may want to remove it when
it isn't being used to reduce air "drag."
| Daniel Britt,
TIPS TO BEAT THE HIGH COST
(National Examiner) The
cost of gasoline has soared to an all-time high, but
there are things you can do to ease the sticker shock
at the pump. Here are 15 tips from the experts on getting
the most bang for your gasoline buck:
Don't buy at the first gas
station you come to. Do some comparative shopping
around town to find the lowest prices.
Don't be a "jack rabbit"
starter. Accelerate slowly.
When traveling at constant
highway speeds, keep the windows closed and turn
on the air conditioner> Open windows cause air
drag and reduce fuel efficiency by 10 percent.
Getting regular tune-ups
helps the engine deliver 15 percent more miles per
Inflate the tires to the
maximum recommended by the manufacturer.
Slow down. For every five
miles you drive over 55 mph, you lose about a mile
The more weight you carry
in your car, the lower your MPG rating. So get busy
and clean out all that junk.
When it's time to buy or
lease a new car, pick a fuel-efficient model instead
of a gas-guzzler. Automatic transmissions, all-wheel-drive
vehicles and big engines with lots of horsepower
will all cost you more at the pump.
If your car has an automatic
transmission, keep it in overdrive as much as possible.
Buy gas during the coolest
time of day, when the fuel is at its densest. You're
charged for volume, not density, so you'll actually
be putting more gas in your tank than when it's
Park in the shade. Gasoline
evaporates in hot temperatures.
Don't use premium or even
mid-grade gasoline unless your owner's manual specifies
Don't rev the engine, especially
just before you turn the car off.
Avoid speeding up and slowing
down. Driving at a steady pace will give you better
When approaching a hill,
accelerate while you're still on level ground --
not after you start climbing.
| Daniel Britt,
|| MONEY-SAVING MONDAY
College students have now graduated, many owing
student loans. If you or someone you know faces college
debt, now is the time to refinance these loans. You
can consolidate student loans once under federal student
loan guidelines, and rates now are lower than they have
ever been ─ as low as an annual 2.85 percent for
those with good credit. If you refinance now, the rate
will be fixed for the life of your loan, but the rates
are scheduled to change in the fall. They are unlikely
to get much better. In fact, Congress thinks the rates
are a little too good and wants to phase out the consolidation
program, making student loans "float" ─
this means that if you have not consolidated your loans
by the time changes come, you might start out with a
low interest rate, but find yourself suddenly burdened
with much higher monthly payments. Congress could decide
by September or October to refuse to renew the consolidation
program. Don't let student loan payments become your
worst nightmare. Look for more information about consolidating
student loans at <http://www.loanconsolidation.ed.gov/>.
| Daniel Britt,
|| MONEY-SAVING MONDAY
Are you in the market for a car? You can save a
lot and still get a great deal if you buy a used car.
Here are some tools to help you shop wisely.
You can find several articles about purchasing a car in
the Articles section of Crown Ministries’ Web site:
Read articles and tips from consumer experts: <http://clarkhoward.com/library/tips/used_car.html>
Shop for the best insurance deals and see Quotesmith's
ratings of insurance companies: www.insure.com
It is best to use cash to buy a car, but if you need to
finance, you should understand financing terms, what research
to do before visiting a dealer, and consumers' rights:
For prices, reviews, and information on new or used cars:
A used car may have been wrecked, stolen, or had the odometer
adjusted. It is worth the modest investment to sign up
with Carfax at www.carfax.com
<http://www.carfax.com/> for a vehicle
| Daniel Britt,
If you live on a limited income and have no prescription
insurance, don't go without your medicine because you
cannot afford it. There may be a way for you to afford
costly prescription drugs.
Listed below is contact information for some of the
drug companies and organizations which offer price reductions
for people who cannot afford the regular cost for prescriptions.
The Medicine Program: 537-996-7300 or
Lilly Answers Program: 877-RX-LILLY (877-795-4559)
The National Council on Aging: www.benefitscheckup.org
Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers
of America (PhRMA): 202-835-3400 or www.helpingpatients.org
For a 30-day supply of any Pfizer drug
for $15: 800-711-2712 or www.pfizersharecard.com
For a discount on GlaxoSmithKline drugs:
For a discount on drugs from many pharmaceutical
companies: 800-865-7211 or www.togetherrx.com
To obtain information about reduced prescription
costs for veterans from the Veteran's Administration,
877-222-VETS (8377) or www.va.gov/revenue/vetinfo/rxcopay.cfm
| Daniel Britt,
|| ALPHARETTA, Ga. (BP)--Kevin Goza has long understood
the importance of training church members to be comfortable
in sharing their faith. Like many pastors, though, he
knows that the number of people willing to receive training
often depends on the length of the commitment. His solution:
the entire membership of Immanuel
in Pace, Fla.
, was trained during a Sunday School session
and worship service earlier this year in a simple method
for sharing their faith. The basis of the training was
the North American Mission Board’s One-Hour and One-Day
Witnessing Workshop materials -- completely rewritten
earlier this year to fit today’s audiences and now available
for free by a computer. About 1,700 pastors and other
leaders from 11 countries and 72 different denominations
or ministries have downloaded the resources since they
were posted on the Internet, with plans for training an
estimated 140,000 individuals. The materials currently
are available in Spanish and English, with Korean and
Chinese language versions planned for release later this
To learn more, or to download the complete materials,
| Daniel Britt,
Col. Oliver North says that while
the national media continues to pound out stories about
the indecent treatment of some of those prisoners, the
truth about the majority of American troops is being
Witness Testifies to Compassion, Care Expressed by American
Gis in Iraq
Also, Family Advocate Not Surprised by Prisoner Abuse
at Abu Ghraib
By Bill Fancher, Agape Press
May 12, 2004
(AgapePress) - Families and friends of the American
GIs being court-martialed for their mistreatment of
Iraqi prisoners are saying that kind of action is contrary
to the character of these soldiers. One observer --
Col. Oliver North -- says that while the national media
continues to pound out stories about the indecent treatment
of some of those prisoners, the truth about the majority
of American troops is being obscured.
What are U.S. troops really like? Oliver North recently
returned from Baghdad where he spent three weeks with
American troops. The retired Marine officer says the
true picture of the character of those troops can be
seen in what he witnessed as he sat in a medivac helicopter
and watched a corpsman carrying an Iraqi on his back.
"And then he staggers aboard the helicopter and places
the wounded Iraqi gently next to the wounded Marines,
all of them tended with the same battle dressings by
that same corpsman," North recalls.
"As he staggered back off the helicopter, a reporter
shouted out to him: 'What did you do that for? Didn't
you notice it was an Iraqi?' And the young corpsman
looked over at [the reporter] with disgust and said:
'Didn't you notice he was wounded?'"
Addressing a Washington audience during National Day
of Prayer events, North said that U.S. troops in Iraq
are courageous and honorable -- and that all Americans
should be proud of the soldiers those young people have
"That same youngster now mends and tends his own clothing.
He keeps his feet dry and his canteens full. He's totally
self-sufficient," North stated. "The kid who once wouldn't
share a candy bar with his little brother now gives
away his last drop of water to a wounded comrade, gives
his only MRE to a hungry Iraqi kid, and splits his ammo
with a mate in a firefight."
This, North said, is the true picture of American troops.
Still, Americans are reacting with disbelief and anger
regarding the mistreatment and sexual abuse of Iraqi
prisoners. Pro-family consultant Pat Trueman with the
Family Research Council says the public should not be
surprised that Americans are capable of such dehumanizing
treatment. He says those involved in the abuses grew
up in a culture that embraces such behavior.
"I would guess that everyone who is involved in this
sexual deviance ... is not new to this genre of material,"
Trueman laments. "They've viewed it on the Internet,
they've probably purchased it, they've probably participated
in this kind of activity."
This kind of treatment is nothing new, says the long-time
defender of family values. "I think there's a common
thread in the kind of humiliation and sexual deviance
that we saw in this prison in Iraq that you see among
pornographers, among consumers of pornographic material,
among sexual traffickers worldwide," he says.
According to Trueman, this kind of treatment of human
beings can even be found in music videos and video games
available through the American media.
| Daniel Britt,
With gas prices at all time highs, some people are rethinking
vacation plans. If your automobile has poor gas mileage
and you are planning a long trip, you may be able to
save money by renting a car. Compare the costs of driving
your own car with renting a more gas-efficient car and
avoiding wear and tear on your own. Some airlines and
auto clubs offer special discounts to members for rental
cars, and a credit card that offers points for cash
might allow you to use points to rent a car.
| Daniel Britt,
400 ONLINE TOLL
Beginning 5/10, commuters using Georgia 400
can pay their toll online. The online service will allow
motorists to open up a Cruise Card account over the
Internet and conduct their transactions on their keyboards.
The move is meant to get more commuters to use the card,
which automatically deducts a toll every time a motorist
passes a toll booth. Currently, there are about 95,000
Cruise Card accounts representing more than 150,000
cars, trucks or SUVs that regularly travel the highway.
More than $20 million is collected annually on the road's
50-cent toll. Georgia transportation officials see the
online service as a first step toward their eventual
goal of a single monthly bill that will take into account
all transportation-related costs of a commuter, such
as parking, bus service and highway tolls. The online
service can be accessed at www.srta.georgia.gov
| Daniel Britt,
Below are links to
www.bankrate.com articles that offer
consumer tips on wise shopping.
1. Do you know the difference between list, factory
outlet, and special purchase pricing? http://www.bankrate.com/brm/news/cheap/20040319a1.asp
2. Do you know which months you are most likely to find
the best deals on consumer goods?
3. Would you like to be more proficient at using the
Web to find bargains? http://www.bankrate.com/brm/news/cheap/20021206a.asp
4. Do you know how little time it takes you to save
a lot by comparison shopping? http://www.bankrate.com/brm/news/advice/20030428a1.asp
| Daniel Britt,
|| AMERICA'S FAVORITE CITIES
We went over America's
Favorite Cities, here are number ones from Travel +
Leisure at travelandleisure.com
For honeymoons: Honolulu
For people watching: Las Vegas
Most attractive people: San Diego
Most stylish people: New York
For Shopping: New York
For public transportation: Portland
To visit in Spring: San Diego
For dining out: New Orleans
For Cleanliness: Minneapolis/St. Paul
For peace and quiet: Santa Fe
For Historical Sites and monuments: Washington, DC
| Daniel Britt,
|| MONEY-SAVING MONDAY
If you are ready to do some spring house painting
but often find yourself going through too many brushes,
there is an easy way to clean and preserve brushes longer.
When you finish a job, wipe excess paint off using the
edge of your paint tray, mold your used brush into the
desired shape, fold aluminum foil around it, and put it
in your freezer. When you are ready to paint again, the
frozen paint can be raked off with a wire brush. It slips
off easily and your brush will be as good as new. This
trick works with latex paint only, not with oils.
| Daniel Britt,
|| THE DOVE AWARDS ARE
DOVE AWARDS NO MORE The Gospel Music Association
has decided to change the name of the award show to the
GMA Music Awards. The award will still BE a Dove, but
just not CALLED a Dove Award.
| Daniel Britt,
INCREASING ICE CREAM PRICES?
Gasoline isn't the only thing that's costing more as
summer approaches. The National Ice Cream Retailers
Association says ice cream prices are going up, too.
Executive director Linda Udderback blames the rise on
what she calls a "perfect storm." Prices for
ice cream's essential ingredients - butter, milk, vanilla
and chocolate - are on the rise. She predicts the average
cost for the frozen treat will go up between 20% and
30%. Industry experts say ice cream is a $20 billion-a-year
market, with more than half the sales coming from out-of-home
sales at ice cream shops.
| Daniel Britt, 4/22
CHEAP EATS IN ALTANTA:
1 Doc Chey's Noodle House
1424 N Highland Ave NE, Atlanta,
Americanized noodle shop hits
it big in Morningside with affordable, large portions.
600 Ponce De Leon Ave NE, Atlanta,
Midtown slacker favorite specializes
in inexpensive, flavorful meals.
3 The Varsity
61 North Ave NW, Atlanta, GA
North Avenue landmark serves
up throwback fast food and neon-drenched old Atlanta
5 Fellini's Pizza
2809 Peachtree Rd NE, Atlanta,
Low-key intown pizzeria features
thin-crust pies, quality ingredients and top patio real
8 Waffle House
1701 Northside Dr NW, Atlanta,
10 Atlanta Bread Co.
220 Sandy Springs Circle NE Ste
155, Atlanta, GA
| Daniel Britt,
YOUR TAX RETURN WASN'T SO BIG
Here is a couple of ways to make some quick cash under the table;
Tutor kids with their homework - with busy parents and
school cutbacks, having the academic touch could put
you in high demand. House-sitting or Pet-sitting while
your neighbors go away on trips. Organize local trips
for adults at senior centers, my 92-year-old grandma
just went out on a "date" to watch the stars
with her retirement home friend. Proves that your never
to old to use the pick up lines from high school.
Spruce up a local business
- maybe sewing is one of you hobbies, make aprons for
a local restaurant. Plan kiddie birthday parties - take
care of everything from setup to clean up. Help local
businesses by offering up your skills part time for cheap-small
businesses don't have a lot of cash or time for extra
stuff, so see what skills you have and give them a call.
Do calligraphy. You can make $10-$25 per hour. They sell
instructional books and the pens, but they are kind of
| Daniel Britt, 4/19
TO SURVIVE MONDAYS
Everyone hates Mondays. In fact,
they can actually be hazardous to your health. But you
can take some of the stress out of the day and actually
start the workweek feeling good, with the help of famed
psychologist Dr. Robert Butterworth. "Mondays are
so stressful that they can be life-threatening,"
declares Dr. Butterworth. "The highest proportion
of workplace injuries on Monday." He says Mondays
are also characterized by an increase in on-the-job
heart attacks. Here are 10 great tips from Dr. Butterworth,
to get you sailing instead of slumping into work:
Don't stay out late Sunday
night. Just take it easy -- and on Monday morning
you'll head for work and refreshed and raring to
Take a look at how you spend
your weekend. If you're exhausted after two days
off, schedule more leisure time for Saturday and
Exercise on weekends, especially
if your job involves physical labor. Working out
will help keep your muscles loose so you're much
less likely to hurt yourself when you get back into
Avoid heavy, fatty foods
on Sunday night. Research shows that heart attacks
frequently occur after eating like this, and many
heart attacks happen on Monday mornings. By combining
risky food with a risky day, you're playing with
Try to wrap up projects on
Friday if you can. You won't have to worry about
the unfinished work all weekend -- and you'll arrive
at work with a fresh outlook.
Allow extra time to get ready
Monday mornings. Arriving late will add to your
stress and get you off on the wrong foot.
Don't over schedule your
Mondays. Avoid setting urgent deadlines that day.
Spread your workload out over the week.
Plan as few chores as possible
for Monday nights. If you always do the laundry
on Monday nights, for example, consider switching
it to a different day. Use the time to unwind instead.
Line up a pleasant social
activity for Monday. Have lunch with a co-worker
or rent a video you've been wanting to see.
Eat breakfast Monday morning.
Have an energizing meal of juice, cereal and some
type of protein. If you don't, your blood sugar
will be so low by mid-morning that you'll just be
dragging your feet.
| Daniel Britt, 4/13
anybody do Spring Cleaning anymore? If you should decide
to do a little spring cleaning here are some professional
start at the top of the room and work your way down.
all your cleaning tools with you into each room to avoid
unnecessary trips back and forth.
the phone and the turn off the TV.
clutter. An uncluttered home looks better than one strewn
with odds and ends.
a hamper in every bathroom.
everyone in charge of making his or her own bed and
picking up their stuff.
pickup the TV room before bedtime and start the dishwasher.
get the entire family involved.
a checklist, when a job is completed, check it off -
you'll feel as though you are really accomplishing something.
| Daniel Britt, 4/12
The tax deadline is near. If
you have not filed your tax return yet, the IRS Web
offers a complete list of sites for filing services
that are free or nearly free. You can a file
for an extension if necessary, but even if you owe
more than you can pay by April 15th, be sure to file
by the deadline.
Avoid rapid refund offers - companies
offering this service claim that you will get your
return in a few days and you do - through a loan! It
sounds great, but with the exorbitant fees they charge,
you could end up paying back several hundred percent
on the loan. You will be much better off to wait a few
extra weeks for your refund.
In 2003, Congress passed a little
known law called the "Military Family Tax Relief
Act" to help members of the military and their
families to get more tax breaks. Under this law, soldiers,
sailors, reservists, and the surviving relatives of
military personnel receive special benefits and tax
breaks, among other things. These benefits are retroactive
to September 11, 2001. This law makes it easier for
soldiers and sailors to sell their homes without having
to pay capital gains taxes, as well as providing added
benefits for travel expenses. There are also special
tax provisions for national guardsmen and reservists
who are going to and from assignments. More information
is available at http://www.military.gov.
| Daniel Britt, 4/5-9
Ways to Read Scripture More Effectively
1. Listen. In truly reading Scripture,
we are often in a sort of "prayer conversation"
with God, listening intently for his voice, and responding
with our honest thoughts-and our lives. It is in this
way that we can improve our reading simply by imparting
some basic communication skills from our relationships
with others. As we listen to other people, we focus
on them, considering who they are as we listen to what
they say-but allowing room for our own misunderstandings
that stem from our limited knowledge of them, and seeking
out truth when we do have a hard time understanding.
We listen not only for their information, but to know
the speaker. We take notes and post them in a prominent
place if there is something we may forget. We ask questions
when important information is revealed…you get the idea.
2. Consider the Source. Sometimes
it can be easy to detach ourselves from what Scripture
is: the written word of God's mouth (2 Timothy 3:16-17,
2 Peter 1:20-21). How can you treat what you read as
such? Consider what kind of attention you feel it should
be given in your reading. For example, you may feel
led to focus more on the text rather than glance over
it. You may want to put it to memory. You may want to
write down application points, or "know the whole
truth and tell it in love" (Ephesians 4:15) to
others. You may want to read it out loud to further
its penetration in your mind. You may read it over and
over again so as not to miss a thing. To meditate further
on this idea, check out the verses above, as well as
Deuteronomy 29:29; 2 Samuel 22:31; Psalm 1:1-3, 18:30,
19:7-10; and Hebrews 4:12.
3. Take it with you. Don't allow
your "reading" of Scripture to stop when you
close your Bible (see Deuteronomy 11:18-21). Mull over
that passage as you go throughout your day-perhaps during
less "brain intensive" times (washing the
dishes, driving), or perhaps whenever you carry out
a certain activity in your daily routine (like brushing
your teeth). If you need help to remember what you've
read, try writing the passage on an index card and putting
it in your pocket, on your bathroom mirror, or on your
dashboard. You may also look into resources designed
for this very purpose, like The Hands and Feet Deck.
4. Seek understanding. In any
close relationship, as our attentiveness and responsiveness
in that relationship increase, so does our desire to
accurately understand the other person. This carries
into our relationship with God (see 2 Timothy 2:15).
Use other Scriptures and sources (which answer to the
authority of Scripture) to increasingly seek more understanding
of what you read. (Commentaries and cross-references
aren't just for pastors and teachers!)
5. Use your toolbox. A number
of methods (lectio divina, the inductive method, etc.)
have been developed to help you get more out of Scripture.
Make the most of them! Feel free to use more than one
method on a specific passage. Be careful not allow yourself-and
more specifically, the Spirit's influence-to be confined
to a method rather than viewing Bible-reading methods
as tools, or means to an end.
| Daniel Britt, 4/5
A home energy audit can identify
ways to save up to hundreds of dollars a year on air
conditioning and heating your home. Ask your electric
or gas utility if they can do this audit for free or
for a reasonable charge. If they cannot, ask them to
refer you to a qualified professional.
Web Resource: http://hes.lbl.gov/
| Daniel Britt, 3/29
|| MONEY-SAVING MONDAY
If your county or town has a dental college or hygienist
school, you may be able to get your teeth or your children's
teeth cleaned at a considerable savings. These hygienists
in training are supervised by a dentist, and treat your
children's teeth methodically. At an average cost of
$8 per child, they can get their teeth cleaned, plus
they can receive fluoride treatments, sealants, and
X-rays if necessary. On top of that they also get new
| Daniel Britt, 3/22
|| MONEY-SAVING MONDAY
Turn an old cookbook into a handy 3-ring binder bargain!
My favorite cookbook from more than 20 years ago was
literally falling apart. The binding was broken, the
front cover was hanging on by threads, and many of the
pages were stained from repeated use. Yet this book
remained my favorite for several reasons: (1) it calls
for ingredients that I keep stocked in my kitchen, (2)
it contains my best bread recipe, and (3) it was a gift
from my husband on our first anniversary. I knew that
I had to do something about the condition of this prized
book or it would begin losing pages, but the estimated
cost to have it rebound was $30 to $50. Being a cheapskate
at heart, I decided to ask the copy store what it would
cost to remove the binding and punch holes along the
side. To my surprise, the price was only $5. I placed
the precious pages in a sturdy ringed binder, and voilà!
My favorite cookbook has a brand new look. ─ Elaine
| Daniel Britt, 3/15
weeks, moviegoers sent a message with their money to
the entertainment industry about the kind of movies
they appreciate. They made Mel Gibson's, The Passion
of the Christ, a box office success. If you attend movies
and you want to be choosy about the tickets you buy,
for the perspective of a Christian movie reviewer, you
may be interested in subscribing to Phil Boatwright's
online Movie Reporter at www.moviereporter.com As the
overwhelming success of "The Passion of the Christ"
reverberates through Hollywood, producers and studio
executives are asking whether the movie industry has
been neglecting large segments of the American audience
eager for more openly religious fare.During the weekend
the film took in another $31.6 million, increasing the
total box office to $264 million in nearly three weeks,
according to Exhibitor Relations, which tracks ticket
can't ignore those numbers," said Mark Johnson, a
veteran film producer. "You can't say it's just a
fluke. There's something to be read here."
| Daniel Britt, 3/13
|| You Know You Are
Living in the 21st Century When . . . .
. Your reason for not staying in touch with family
is because they do not have e-mail addresses.
. You have a list of 15 phone numbers to reach your
family of three.
. You call your son's beeper to let him know it's time
to eat. He e-mails you back from his bedroom, "What's
. Your daughter sells Girl Scout Cookies via her web
. You chat several times a day with a stranger from
South Africa, but you haven't spoken with your next
door neighbor yet this year.
. You check the ingredients on a can of chicken noodle
soup to see if it contains Echinacea.
. Your grandmother asks you to send her a JPEG file
of your newborn so she can create a screen saver.
. You pull up in your own driveway and use your cell
phone to see if anyone is home.
. Every commercial on television has a web site address
at the bottom of the screen.
. You buy a computer and 6 months later it is out of
date and now sells for half the price you paid.
. Leaving the house without your cell phone, which
you didn't have the first 20 or 30 years of your life,
is now a cause for panic and you turn around to go get
. Using real money, instead of credit or debit, to
make a purchase would be a hassle and takes planning.
. Cleaning up the dining room means getting the fast
food bags out of the back seat of your car.
. You just tried to enter your password on the microwave.
. You consider second day air delivery painfully slow.
. Your dining room table is now your flat filing cabinet.
. Your idea of being organized is multiple colored
. You hear most of your jokes via e-mail instead of
. You get an extra phone line so you can get phone
. You disconnect from the Internet and get this awful
feeling, as if you just pulled the plug on a loved one.
. You get up in morning and go on-line before getting
. You wake up at 2 AM to go to the bathroom and check
your E-mail on your way back to bed.
| Daniel Britt, 3/9-3/12
Family a Priority
your time. The biggest mistake people make is failing
to prioritize their time. Example: At the office, rather
than working on the big projects early in the day when
they are freshest, many men work on their mail or phone
call list. Later in the day, when they are tired, they
try to turn to the important projects. The result: feeling
overwhelmed by a "lack of time."
Keep a daily "To Do" list. To help prioritize tasks, make a "To
Do" list and prioritize the items on the list.
Be sure to include both family and work activities for
that day. Make sure your family comes out high on your
list of daily priorities. Share this list with your
family as a way to help keep you motivated to stick
to your priorities and as a subtle means of emphasizing
how high up they are on your list.Don't worry if you
don't finish all things on your list; most people don't.
The important thing is getting the highest priority
items completed, and that should include spending time
with your family.
Root Out Time-Wasters
off the television. Television is the great family-time
killer. Limiting both your own and your children's television
viewing will greatly increase the amount of time you have
available to spend with each other.Eliminate time-wasting
habits. Many people spend too much time on activities
that are relatively unimportant or could be accomplished
in much less time. Example: Spending 45 minutes reading
the newspaper, when a quick scan of the headlines will
give you essentially the same information. It's a good
idea to monitor your daily habits and search for ways
to reduce the time you spend doing them.
Prepare for the day the night before. Using the night
before to prepare for the next day is a great time-saver
because it allows you to use the morning, when you are
at your best, to accomplish the important tasks. Examples:
Lay out your work clothes for the next day before you
go to bed.
your coffeemaker on a timer so your wake-up brew is already
made when you wake up. Organize your briefcase the night
before and place it by the front door or in the car. Make
your daily "To Do" list before you go to bed
instead of first thing in the morning.
| Daniel Britt, 3/8
When you need to replace a major appliance or vehicle,
you can save an enormous amount of money by buying used.
We suggest that you (1) study Consumer Reports and shop
for items that are excellent in every category and (2)
scan classified ads and make a lot of telephone calls
to find people who have a genuine reason for selling.
Studies indicate that new cars depreciate as much as 20%-40%
in the first year of ownership. Why not let someone else
pay for that depreciation?
| Daniel Britt, 3/5,
||GOOD TAX NEWS
Later this month, a trip into cyberspace could prove
profitable for about 33,000
taxpayers. On March 15, the state Department of Revenue
will post on its Web site, [www.gatax.org],
the names of taxpayers who haven't claimed some previous
years' refunds, The department has refund checks averaging
$300 for those taxpayers,. The department's Web site
currently lists the names of the state's 400 biggest
delinquent taxpayersThe Revenue Department usually releases
a list each year of taxpayers whose refund checks were
returned by the U.S. Postal Service as undeliverable.
But a backlog has accrued, and these refund checks are
for tax years 2000, 2001 and 2002.
for bad news, check to see if you are deliquent on Georgia
| Daniel Britt, 3/1
Many brides-to-be are working on plans right now to
prepare for their June weddings. Here's a list of resources
available to help you plan a beautiful and economical
wedding. Some wedding preparation Web sites that you might
find helpful are www.blissezine.com
For the honeymoon trip, you can find travel savings information
at the Web site of consumer reporter Clark Howard, www.clarkhoward.com
<http://www.clarkhoward.com/>, and at
sites like www.hotwire.com <http://www.hotwire.com/>,
and at www.travelocity.com <http://www.travelocity.com/>.
||Things heard by tech
Customer: "I have Microword Soft."
Customer: "Microwave Windows?"
Customer: "Will this upgrade include Microwave
Customer: (Referring to Microsoft Defrag.) "I
ran Microwave Defrost, but it didn't help."
Customer: "I have Microsoft Exploder."
Customer: "I have Microscope Exploiter."
Customer: "I have Netscape Complicator."
Customer: "I have Netscape Regulator."
Customer: "Uhh...I have Newscape and Outlook Exposure."
Customer: "I have a US Robotics Sportscaster modem."
Customer: "It's not my computer that is slow.
I have a 200 horse power hard drive."
| Daniel Britt, 2/20
I saw the movie AND read the Book!
Feb 6, 2004
By Chonda Pierce
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)--Ever
since the word got out that Mel Gibson was producing
a new "Jesus" movie, pastors, Christian artists
and speakers have been shuffling about, prodded by their
flocks, trying to take a leader-like position -- most
without ever having seen the movie. So here's MY official
movie review since I saw the movie AND read the Book:
The room was filled with some of the biggest names in
the Nashville entertainment industry: producers, songwriters,
TV and radio personalities, print media, publicists,
country music artists (with a few Christian music folks
thrown in) -- not a typical night at the movies for
my husband and me. Then again, this isn't a typical
Country music entertainer Ricky Skaggs began the night
with a prayer that the movie would change people. He
nodded to someone in the back of the room. The lights
went out and the movie started. Less than 10 minutes
later you could hear sobs across the room.
As the story unfolded and the brutality of what we were
watching set in, you could not only hear tender sniffs
but moans -- mourning, I think. I heard a weeping voice
say, "I'm sorry, Lord. Forgive me, Lord."
I will never forget it -- the sobs and moans of us in
the room co-mingled with the pain played out on the
Our cries became part of the soundtrack.
I had invited my pastor and my brother (also a pastor).
These men, who have dedicated their lives to "Go
ye unto all the world and preach the gospel. ...,"
stirred in their chairs as the impact of the greatest
story ever told was projected through a piece of magnetic
tape and onto a large screen. All that was taking place
on and off the screen mesmerized each one of us.
When the movie was over, no one moved. It was as if
the room could not take a breath. A few minutes passed
and a man stepped up to the microphone as the lights
came on and quietly asked, "Do you have any questions?"
Then he said, "Well ... maybe Mel could answer
your questions." Mel Gibson walked in the room
and we stood and clapped but he shook off the applause,
fanned it away, then sat on the steps to the platform
and raked his fingers through his hair -- kind of quirky,
as if embarrassed because we kept clapping.
I looked at my pastor and said, "I wonder if he
has a clue of what he has just done? He has just unleashed
hell on himself."
People began to fire questions at him right and left.
My husband asked him an artistic question about the
role of the Roman guards, someone asked about the role
Others had questions about lighting, music and filming
difficulties, miracles on the set, his marketing plan,
distribution outlets, etc.
When asked what his goal is for the movie, what he hopes
people will glean from it, he said, "I hope they
watch the movie and want to read the Book. I hope they
When asked what he's doing to "combat the persecution"
in getting this movie out, he said, "You know,
I just pray for my enemies. I don't pray for curses
on their heads. I pray the good angels will go beat
up the bad angels that are making them say and do evil
To tell you the truth, I thought his innocent understanding
of spiritual warfare was refreshing. Here's a man who
spent millions of dollars of his own money, risked his
reputation, laid his career on the line and when asked
to explain why, he says, "Because, I just had to
Weeks after sending my "review" to my database
I am still answering questions about the movie, and
I'm not Ebert or Roeper -- I'm just a comedian. Funny
thing is, people still do what people have always done
-- get bogged down in details, specifics and arguments.
Often someone will ask if the movie is true to Scripture.
My pastor gave it three thumbs up (and he only has two!)
Folks ask where Mel Gibson stands on this issue or that.
Someone even asked me if I think Mel Gibson is going
to heaven. They asked ME? I'm a comedian, not the Gate
I can tell you this: This is a brutal movie. To express
artistically what Christ went through, what the act
of scourging is like, what a crucifixion looks like,
you have to be brutal.
Some in the Christian community seems up in arms about
that -- an "R"-rated, Jesus movie.
But if an R rating were the sole criteria for missing
this movie -- then in the name of "consistency"
I would also suggest that pastors not preach any sermons
about David. Or Moses. Or Adam and Eve. Or Paul. Or
Noah. Or Peter. Get my point?
Maybe Christians who oppose this movie are looking for
a more touchy-feely expression of our faith. We want
to woo the public with words like "love" and
"grace" and a tender understanding of mercy
We don't talk about the cross of Christ. We don't want
to offend anyone, upset their senses or make them uncomfortable.
Believe me, as a comedian I get the big picture of a
But I love my pastor's observations. He said, "This
is not just an evangelistic opportunity but a great
wakeup call for the church."
I just laughed. What a sense of humor God has! The church
awakened by a Hollywood superstar! Now, that's funny!
My movie review of The Passion of The Christ is as simple
as Show and Tell: You can tell others about Christ.
You can tell folks you love Him. You can tell people
why we are Christians. You can tell them that the blood
of Jesus has been shed for them.
And you can show them.
You can show them by the way you live, you can show
them by the way you love -- and now you can buy them
a ticket, take them to a movie and show them what Jesus
Christ did for them.
After viewing the movie, my pastor took a deep breath
and said, "Yes, I'm going. And I'm taking as many
people with me as I can." (Which is remarkably
similar to what he says about heaven!)
Chonda Pierce is a Christian comedian based in Murfreesboro,
Tenn., on the Web at www.chonda.org.
| Daniel Britt, 2/16
"Save Money in 2004 by Keeping your Car out of
the Shop" by Stacey L. Bradford - excerpts from an
article from www.soundmindinvesting.com
and www.smartmoney.com <http://www.smartmoney.com/>.
Come to a Complete Stop
Ever pull out of a parking spot and pop your car into
drive while it's still coasting backward? If the answer
is yes, you can kiss your transmission goodbye.
By shifting into drive while the car is still in reverse,
you're asking the transmission to do the work of the brakes
- and that will wear down your gears, says Edmunds.com's
Brauer. Essentially, you're putting several months of
wear and tear onto that transmission compared with normal
driving, he says. So while a transmission driven properly
should last more than 100,000 miles, one owned by an aggressive
or impatient driver will give out long before that. Fixing
the transmission will run anywhere from $1,000 and up,
while a brand new one sells for at least $3,000.
And by not braking before shifting gears, you're also
wrecking your drive shafts, which propel the wheels forward.
If you notice that your front suspension and handling
start to feel a little sloppy, it could be a sign of damaged
drive shafts, warns David Champion, the director of automobile
testing for Consumer Reports. Replacing both can
cost $500. -- (reprinted by permission)
| Daniel Britt, 2/16
can mess up your mind! For
If you have a rough cough, climbing can be tough
when going through the bough on a tree!
English muffins weren't invented in England.
We take English for granted. But if we explore its
paradoxes, we find
that quicksand can work slowly, boxing rings are
square and a guinea pig
is neither from Guinea, nor is it a pig.
Doesn't it seem crazy that you can make amends but
not one amend?
If you have a bunch of odds and ends and get rid of
all but one of them, what do you call it?
Sometimes, I think all the folks who grew up
speaking English should be
committed to an asylum for the verbally insane.
In what other language do people recite at a play
and play at a recital?
Ship by truck and send cargo by ship?
Have noses that run and feet that smell?
How can a slim chance and a fat chance be the same,
while a wise man and a wise guy are opposites?
| Daniel Britt, 2/14
1) The bandage was wound around the wound.
2) The farm was used to produce produce.
3) The dump was so full that it had to refuse more refuse.
4) We must polish the Polish furniture.
5) He could lead if he would get the lead out.
6) The soldier decided to desert his dessert in the
7) Since there is no time like the present, he thought
it was time to
present the present.
8) At the Army base, a bass was painted on the head
of a bass drum.
9) When shot at, the dove dove into the bushes.
10) I did not object to the object.
11) The insurance was invalid for the invalid.
12) There was a row among the oarsmen about how to row.
13) They were too close to the door to close it.
14) The buck does funny things when the does are present.
15) A seamstress and a sewer fell down into a sewer
16) To help with planting, the farmer taught his sow
17) The wind was too strong to wind the sail.
18) After a number of Novocain injections, my jaw got
19) Upon seeing the tear in the painting I shed a tear.
20) I had to subject the subject to a series of tests.
21) How can I intimate this to my most intimate friend?
22) I spent last evening evening out a pile of dirt.
| Daniel Britt, 2/12
||Here are ten ways
to encourage Bible reading in your church and home:
Dedicate a Sunday to reading the Bible aloud-utilize
dramatic Bible readings, read a passage of Scripture
to relate to each worship song, and have members
of the congregation read their favorite passage.
Open mic night. For those working with
students, sponsor an “open mic” night at a local
coffee house (great evangelism technique!) or even
in your own facility-but rather than reading poetry,
have them read favorite portions of Scripture. Provide
copies of The Message for easy reading.
Establish a “Book Club” that is committed
to a certain amount of Bible reading for a year.
This group can meet weekly or monthly to discuss
what they’ve read and to encourage one another.
Works as an evangelistic tool!
Get into the habit. After dinner each night,
read and discuss a chapter from the Bible as a family-consider
it your spiritual meal.
Location, location, location. Provide Bibles
at different locations throughout the house for
family members and guests to pick up and read during
“down times”-near favorite chairs, next to the bed,
even in the restroom! Consider using The Message,
as its fifth-grade reading level is suitable for
Celebrate. On major holidays, in times
of celebration, or at meaningful points in your
family’s life, find appropriate passages of Scripture
to read aloud to help add biblical perspective to
the event. (You might consider using The Power
of a Blessing: Words to Speak and Pray from The
Message, releasing on March 15.)
Practice makes perfect. If you teach a
Sunday School class of older children, encourage
them to read Scripture passages aloud, and discuss
the passage afterward to encourage comprehension.
Talk to them about how to read Scripture aloud (for
example clearly, loudly, with expression) in light
of what the Bible is to us. (This is a great way
to emphasize the importance and reverence of Scripture.)
Make a plan. Provide Bible-reading plans
each month in your church bulletin, or post one
on your refrigerator at home. Try reading the Bible
in complete, sequential chapters to capture the
Have fun. Develop a Bible-reading competition
between Sunday School classes that ends with a pizza
party for the winners, or their choice of teacher
with a cream pie in the face, or…you get the idea.
You might track chapters read with large thermometer-style
posters on classroom walls, or even in the church
bulletin to encourage more church participation.
Works for adult classes, too!
Read Scripture yourself, and talk about it
often with your children (see Deuteronomy
||MONEY SAVING MONDAY
Here's a "short course" in what to do to
increase your credit score, pay lower prices, and save
Check your credit report. Find out what's
really in your report and what your score is. The
main credit reporting agencies that keep up with
this information are Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian.
Each one has a website by that name and also a toll-free
contact number. Unfortunately, most people have
never checked their report. If errors are present,
negative or inaccurate information can severely
hurt buying power.
Dispute any errors. Research indicates
that most credit reports have errors in them. Many
of these errors are significant, too, and are causing
the credit score to drop dramatically. If you haven't
checked your report, you could be paying more than
you should and not even know it. Remember, this
system is very secretive and lenders have very little
to gain from you being informed about your score.
If you find errors, report them to the agency that
issues your report. Federal law gives them 30 days
to investigate and remove any mistakes.
Pay all you bills on time. The credit scoring
industry admits 35% of their score is based on your
history of payment. Paying all your bills on time
is the most important thing you can do to get (and
keep) a high score. Lenders use computers to report
you as late, even if your tardy payment was only
an accident. Even paying one or two days late can
deflate your score.
Reduce your credit card debt. 30% of your
credit score is tied to the size of your total debt
as a percentage of your total income. This means
if you owe too much money for their secret formulas,
your score will drop, even if you pay on time. Your
best defense is to pay off debt as quickly as you
can, or at the very least, keep your outstanding
credit or charge card debt less than 50% of the
total credit available.
Pay more than "the minimum."
Paying the minimum required payment is a tactic
used by the credit card companies to lead you to
stretch out your payments. This allows them to charge
you interest for a long, long time. You might even
pay for more than 30 years! However, if you pay
more than what's required, you'll not only save
a fortune in interest, you'll raise your score more
quickly because you won't have as much consumer
debt listed against your record.
Take care of your established credit accounts.
Another way to increase your credit score is by
having a long, positive credit history with a few
lenders. Also, once you've opened a credit account,
don't be too quick to close it. Contrary to public
opinion, closing unused accounts sometimes hurts
Don't apply for new credit unless you really
need it. Credit scores typically drop when you
request or open a new credit account. So be careful
when you open a new charge account. Getting "90
Days, Same as Cash" or even a free floppy hat
or beach towel is not usually worth the hit on your
Check your credit at least once a year.
Make this a part of a regular, financial "check
up." If you're working to increase your score,
check it at least once a quarter and note your progress.
Protect your identity. The FBI announced
recently that "Identity Theft" is one
of the fastest growing crimes in America. Your financial
identity is tracked primarily through your social
security number, mailing address, and other personal
information. Keep this information confidential
or you could see financial accounts opened in your
name and thousands of dollars added to your credit
report that aren't yours. While this problem can
usually be corrected, your credit score could suffer
in the meantime.
Be patient. It will take time for the system
to raise your score. But every positive step matters
and, in nine to eighteen months, you can raise your
Tips for Winter
Rubbing raw potatoes on icy windows is among the crazy
remedies some motorists might try to counter the freezing
weather.Other weird ideas include cracking eggs into
a leaking radiator to seal it until the car has made
it home.Other suggestions include rubbing lip balm into
frozen locks to de-ice them.Covering the distributor
cap with fingerless rubber gloves to prevent damp; keeping
bags of cat litter in the car to give wheels traction
in ice and snow; keeping a candle in the vehicle for
warmth in case you get stuck; covering the engine with
a blanket to aid starting on a cold morning; and using
aspirin tablets to revive a dead battery.