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Resources Mentioned by Daniel Britt

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Daniel Britt, 12/27 MONEY-SAVING MONDAY
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.
Daniel Britt, 12/20


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.
Daniel Britt,  12/6 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 Michigan to Florida 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.

Daniel Britt,  11/29 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.
Daniel Britt,  11/22  

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 at <http://www.satruck.com/ValueGuide.asp> - you could help needy families and you will benefit from the tax break.


Daniel Britt, 11/8 MONEY-SAVING HINT 

If 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 minutes. 

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

Monday 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

 Important documents

Have these available and organized


Birth certificate

Social Security card

Life insurance polices

Other insurance policies



Mortgage documents



Your will

Trust documents

Pension, profit-sharing and other retirement plans

Cemetery deeds

Employment contracts

Partnership agreements

Corporate buy-sell agreements

Divorce or separation agreements

Marriage contracts

Marriage certificate

Funeral arrangements

Create a new income, expense and net worth statement

Make a list of financial tasks

Clean up your credit

Retitle your property

Set your individual goals

Reassess your risk management needs, a code word for insurance

Consider professional help
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 <http://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.

www.fema.gov <http://www.fema.gov/> - 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.

www.bbb.org/disaster/after.asp <http://www.bbb.org/disaster/after.asp> - The Better Business Bureau has information for individuals and for businesses, including Post-Disaster Red Flags, Post-Disaster Scams, Disaster Charity Appeals, and Insurance Claims.

www.irs.gov <http://www.irs.gov/> - 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 Businesses."

www.ready.gov <http://www.ready.gov/> - 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.
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.
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.
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,  7/19 MONEY SAVING MONDAY


(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 gallon.

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 per gallon.

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 less dense.

Park in the shade. Gasoline evaporates in hot temperatures.

Don't use premium or even mid-grade gasoline unless your owner's manual specifies it.

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 gas mileage.

When approaching a hill, accelerate while you're still on level ground -- not after you start climbing.


Daniel Britt,  7/12 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,  7/5 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> and <http://www.bankrate.com/brm/search.asp>

Shop for the best insurance deals and see Quotesmith's ratings of insurance companies: www.insure.com <http://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: <http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/conline/pubs/autos/vehfine.htm>

For prices, reviews, and information on new or used cars: www.edmunds.com <http://www.edmunds.com/>, www.kbb.com <http://www.kbb.com/>, www.autotrader.com <http://www.autotrader.com/>

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 history report.
Daniel Britt,  6/7

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 www.themedicineprogram.com

·        Lilly Answers Program: 877-RX-LILLY (877-795-4559) or www.lillyanswers.com

·        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: 866-333-9721 or

·        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,  6/3  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 Baptist Church 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 year.

To learn more, or to download the complete materials, visit www.namb.net/onedaywitness.

Daniel Britt,  5/13

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. 
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 turned into.

"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.

Cultural Deviance
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,  5/10 MONEY-SAVING MONDAY 

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,  5/10 GA 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,  5/3 MONEY-SAVING MONDAY

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 


We went over America's Favorite Cities, here are number ones from Travel + Leisure at travelandleisure.com 

Friendliest people: Nashville 
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,  4/26 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,  4/24 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.

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.



1 Doc Chey's Noodle House

1424 N Highland Ave NE, Atlanta, GA

Americanized noodle shop hits it big in Morningside with affordable, large portions.



2 Eats

600 Ponce De Leon Ave NE, Atlanta, GA

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 nostalgia.



5 Fellini's Pizza

2809 Peachtree Rd NE, Atlanta, GA

Low-key intown pizzeria features thin-crust pies, quality ingredients and top patio real estate.



8 Waffle House

1701 Northside Dr NW, Atlanta, GA



10 Atlanta Bread Co.

220 Sandy Springs Circle NE Ste 155, Atlanta, GA


Daniel Britt,  4/19

Money Saving Monday: 


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 expensive.


Daniel Britt, 4/19 HOW 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 go.

Take a look at how you spend your weekend. If you're exhausted after two days off, schedule more leisure time for Saturday and Sunday.

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 action Monday.

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 fire.

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 SPRING CLEANING 

Does anybody do Spring Cleaning anymore? If you should decide to do a little spring cleaning here are some professional tips. 

*Always start at the top of the room and work your way down. 

*Take all your cleaning tools with you into each room to avoid unnecessary trips back and forth. 

*Unplug the phone and the turn off the TV. 

*Eliminate clutter. An uncluttered home looks better than one strewn with odds and ends. 

*Keep a hamper in every bathroom. 

*Make everyone in charge of making his or her own bed and picking up their stuff. 

*Always pickup the TV room before bedtime and start the dishwasher. 

*Delegate, get the entire family involved. 

*Make 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 site, http://www.irs.gov, 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 Five 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.


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 toothbrushes!


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 F.


Daniel Britt, 3/15


In recent 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 sales.

"You 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 for dinner?"

. Your daughter sells Girl Scout Cookies via her web site..

. 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 it.

. 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 Post-it notes.

. You hear most of your jokes via e-mail instead of in person.

. You get an extra phone line so you can get phone calls.

. 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 your coffee.

. 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

Make Family a Priority

Prioritize 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

Turn 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.

Practice Efficiency

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.

Put 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.
Buy used!
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, 3/6 GOOD TAX NEWS

Later this month, a trip into cyberspace could prove profitable for about 33,000 Georgia 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. 

Or for bad news, check to see if you are deliquent on Georgia Taxes...CLICK HERE...


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 <http://www.blissezine.com/>, www.theknot.com <http://www.theknot.com/>, www.todaysbride.com <http://www.todaysbride.com/>, www.weddingchannel.com <http://www.weddingchannel.com/>, and www.cjpaper.com <http://www.cjpaper.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/>, www.hotels.com <http://www.hotels.com/>, and at www.travelocity.com <http://www.travelocity.com/>.
Daniel Britt, 2/28 Things heard by tech support:

Customer: "I have Microword Soft."

Customer: "Microwave Windows?"

Customer: "Will this upgrade include Microwave 97?"

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 movie.

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 screen.

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?"

Still silence.

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 of "Satan."

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 are changed."

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 deeds."

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 do it."

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 Keeper.

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 and compassion.

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 seeker-friendly faith.

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 MONEY-SAVING MONDAY
"Save Money in 2004 by Keeping your Car out of the Shop" by Stacey L. Bradford - excerpts from an article from www.soundmindinvesting.com <http://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 Screwy pronunciations can mess up your mind! For
example ...
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 ENGLISH LANGUAGE

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 desert.

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 line.

16) To help with planting, the farmer taught his sow to sow.

17) The wind was too strong to wind the sail.

18) After a number of Novocain injections, my jaw got number.

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 many children.

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 story.

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 6:6-9)


Here's a "short course" in what to do to increase your credit score, pay lower prices, and save money:

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 your score.

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 score.

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 score dramatically.


Car 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.