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In a recent conversation with my aunt who is a reading specialist (for lack of official title) for elementary children, she said that children need at least 30 praises a day.  <<< Take a minute to let that settle in your mind…30 praises a day…

This comment was made as we discussed how much better children perform when they feel successful.  They’re more motivated to do something if they have confidence doing it.  That makes total sense to me.  Positive reinforcement is especially important for our developing children.

Hmm…I’m an encouraging person who tries to be positive and bring out the best in my children, and I do try to praise them, but how many times a day do I give them praise?  And now that I think about it, how often do I praise my husband?  And what about myself? 

You see, we’re all children.  We’re all God’s children.  We all have a need to love and be loved and all of us feel better, perform better, and see the world from a better perspective when we feel confident, successful, and have a postivie self-image.

I’ve also heard that you should give your children two positives for every negative you give them.   What does this mean?  Well, as adults, it’s inevitable that we will have to reprimand, scold, and maybe even punish our children or those we teach or tend to.  Believe it or not, rebuking and reprimanding – when done out of love and in a loving way –  are part of the Spiritual gift of exhortation (being an encourager, coming alongside others to help them along or lift them up).  Sometimes we have to point out or correct other’s faults to help them perform better or to be better people.  If you spend a day with a child of any age, you will undoubtedly have to remind them of something, correct them, or reprimand them about something – probably several times in a day.  So, for every negative you say, it is recommended to also say two positive things.  

With these things in mind, how are you doing so far today?  Did you give your children a few words of praise or encouragement before sending them off to school today?  What about your spouse, loved ones, others you’ve encountered or spoken with?  Did you build them up with positive words?  What about yourself?  Are you latching onto the positives about yourself and respectfully acknowledging the negatives in a way that will help you along?  Or are you letting the negatives of the world take over your sense of well-being? 

A few years ago I made it a point not to scold my children off to school.  I was finding myself lecturing my son on his way out the door about not keeping shoes together and faulting them for the things they were or weren’t doing that caused us to be harried or late getting ready for school.  Then I realized 1) I’m the mom.  It’s ultimately MY responsibilty to have us organized and able to have smooth mornings.  2) If they really did do something that warranted correction, I’d save it for after school.  Why send them off feeling defeated or bad about themselves before their days had even begun?  I came to this realization one morning as I saw my child ‘sink’ inside then watched as he left with his shoulders slumped and his gaze cast downward.   You might expect the rest of the world to do this to him, but not his own mother!  His father and I are the ones he’s supposed to be able to count on to help him along and lift him up!  Boy, did I have a lot of thinking to do that day!

Ok.  Back to the praises…30 praises a day for children… husband?…others?…self?…and most importantly, what about GOD?  

When it comes to the other people in your life, maybe you don’t have to give all 30.  Hopefully your children are getting praises from their teachers and other loved ones.  Regarding self…same thing goes.  Hopefully you’re receiving AND ACCEPTING praises and encouragements from others.  If not, give yourself your own encouragements and affirmations of good things about yourself, and let the Bible help you, too! 

As for the 30 praises for God…that’s something you have to do yourself.  It might sound  like a lot, but it should be easy!  Look around you!  God created this world and all living things!  Give praises for the skies, the weather, the beauty of nature (even if you have to look at pictures – I keep nature photos of different places and web cams of NC on my homepage to enjoy every day).  What about the MANY blessings in your life?  More reasons for praise!  How has God been present in your life?  More reasons for praise!  The more you praise, the more reasons you’ll have to give praise. 

What does the Bible say about all this?  Plenty.  Here’s a few verses for a sampling:

Let us consider how to stimulate one another to and good deeds.  Hebrews 10:24

Here’s a good one:

Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.   Ephesians 4:29

Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.  Proverbs 12:18

Could you use a praise for yourself?  Here’s one for you.  Whether or not I know you, I know there is beauty and goodness in you.  You are one of God’s own creations.  It doesn’t matter who you are or what you’ve done that might not be good, YOU have goodness inside you.  As such, I think you’re a great person and appreciate your stopping by to visit at this site.  Please come back again!

For related reading see previous post titled, “Your Tongue, Does It Woo or Wound?”, in April 2007 archives (posted 4-17-2007).

God bless you!  Love,

Renee

 

 

What are your goals this summer?  I look forward to lazy mornings and relaxed days, good summer foods, days on the lake with our boat, a vacation week up at Lake Lure, a few summer camps for the boys, and most of all…SUMMER READING. 

Through the school year I’m so occupied with the daily reading and study required for my Disciple 1 Bible study classes that I don’t have much time for other things I’d like to read. Over the past few years my book shelf has acquired quite a collection ‘must read’ books still waiting to be read.  Each year I figure I’ll read them over the summer, but then I don’t.  This summer I’m going to my books!  AND…I’ll continue with my Bible reading, too.  How about you?  What will you be reading?

The books patiently waiting for me are:

My Bible (Life Application Study Bible)  The study I lead covers approximately 80% of the Bible.  This summer I want to read the books and chapters I haven’t yet studied. 

A Day with a Perfect Stranger (sequel to Dinner with a Perfect Stranger)   Author: David Gregory   Each of these are quick-read fictions that are readily engaging.  Begin with ‘Dinner’ first, then read ‘Day’. 

90 Minutes in Heaven  This is a true story by about a pastor who dies and experiences heaven.  I forget the author’s name. 

The Next Level by David Gregory who describes it as a parable of finding your place in life

Christmas Jars by Jason F. Wright  This book was loaned to me by my dear friend, Sue.  It looks like a similar read to Dinner with a Perfect Stranger and A Day with a Perfect Stranger.  Can’t wait!  (I have to finish ‘Day’ first, though.)

Praying the Names of God by Ann Spangler  A daily reading guide for studying and praying the names of God from the Bible (i.e. Yahweh, Adonay, El Shadday, Elohim, and many others)

The Power of Praying Together by Stormie Omartian and Jack Hayford   This book talks about praying in groups, with partners, with your spouse, as a church, for your nation, and many other things. 

What a Husband Needs from His Wife by Melanie Chitwood    Melanie lives nearby so I’ve been fortunate to meet her.  She is warm and genuine and seems to have found her niche applying Christian truths and perspectives to marrital and family issues.  And by the way…what a husband needs isn’t necessarily what you might think!  (wink, wink)

OTHER SUGGESTED BOOKS:

God’s Purpose for Every Woman by Rachel Olsen and Lysa TerKeurst of Proverbs 31 Ministries    I was blessed and privileged to assist Rachel with this book.  It’s a collection of P 31’s Encouragement for Today devotions.  I’ve given many copies as gifts and they’ve always been well received.  Treat yourself to a copy!  Go to www.Proverbs31.org to order this and many other great reads! 

The Faith Club by Ranya Idliby, Suzanne Olive, and Priscilla Warner   I LOVED this book.  It’s the true narration of thoughts and conversations of three NY City mothers in the post 9/11 days as they explored each other’s faiths as well as their own.  Fascinating!   Ranya is Muslim, Suzanne is Catholic, and Priscilla is Jewish.    I HIGHLY recommend this book! 

 The Power of a Praying Woman, Power of a Praying Wife, Power of a Praying Parent all by Stormie Omartian    You can read through these a chapter at a time (which I recommend), or use them as go-to reference books as needed.

How about you?  What will you be reading?  What do you recommend? 

Whatever you look forward to doing this summer, I hope you’ll make it a goal to stay in God’s Word.  This can be done by reading a Psalm a day, choosing Bible books, chapters or verses that interest you, or at least reading a daily Bible devotion.  For great daily online devotions that are FREE, go to www.Proverbs31.org 

God bless you.  

Love,

Renee 

 

For many people, Memorial Day means a three day weekend that marks the official beginning of summer. However, Memorial Day is much more than that.  Memorial Day is a day to remember and honor the brave soldiers who have gone before us, giving their lives, to protect and defend our United States of America.

Although many cities claim to have birthed Memorial Day, history gives credit to Gen. John A. Logan who sought to honor fallen soldiers with a day dedicated to their memory.  That first Memorial Day occured on May 30, 1868.  It was put forward in General Order No. 11 and was not about partisan politics, but about erasing lines of division and uniting as a nation to honor soldiers whose lives had been lost.  President Lynden Johnson made it an official national holiday in 1966.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again.  It doesn’t matter whether or not you agree with a war (past or present), we should always support our fellow Americans who are willing to lay down their lives for our freedeoms, for you and me, for our children and their futures.   

Do you know someone whose beloved soldier never returned?  If so, I hope you’ll reach out to them with a spoken or written word to let them know you appreciate the sacrifice their loved one made.   Do you know a veteran?  Express your sympathies to them for the soldiers they’re remembering on this day.  Tell your children about the importance of this national holiday.  Is there something you can do memorialize the memory of a loved one?  Or help someone else to memorialize the memory of their loved one? 

We cherish too, the Poppy red

That grows on fields where valor led,

It seem to signal to the skies

That blood of heroes never dies.

By:  Moina Michaels 1915

Personally, I give prayers of thanks for the soldiers whose lives are now marked with a cross or other marker in the ground.  May I always feel humbled by the sacrifices they made and respectful for lives that were willingly given to protect yours and mine.  May God bless their souls and the loved ones they left behind. 

Recommended related sites: 

www.memorialdaytribute.com  

www.usmemorialday.org  for more information on the history of Memorial Day

I just turned on our local Christian radio station, New Life 91.9, and learned that Stephen Curtis Chapman’s 5-year old daughter, Maria, was struck by a car driven by her brother.  It was a serious accident that happened in their driveway and she didn’t survive her injuries.  Oh, this just makes my heart so sad, heavy, sick.  Please join me in praying for this family.

Dear God, Please tightly wrap Your arms of love around each member of this family, that even through the numbness of shock they will feel Your love.  Please make Your presence known to each of them and stay with them in the coming days as they work through the various emotional stages they’ll be going through.  I pray that this will not drive any of them away from You or cause them to doubt You in any way.  Instead I pray they will all draw closer to You through this, that they will cling to You tighter than ever before; and that through their grief, mourning and loss You will work through them to reach out to others.  That even in this terrible time of loss, they will see blessings and You, oh Lord, will be glorified.  In Jesus’ precious and holy name I pray.  Amen

In case you’re not familiar with who Stephen Curtis Chapman is…He’s a well-known and highly respected contemporary Christian praise music singer& songwriter.  His current song is Cinderella.  It’s a song about a dad whose daughter is growing up and getting ready to marry her prince, so he makes the most of his dances (moments) with Cinderella. How blessed Maria was to have a father who cherished his moments with her. 

Stephen Curtis Chapman and his wife, Mary Beth, are huge advocates for child adoption.  I think they even started a foundation that helps make funds available for those who need financial assistance to get through the adoption process.  Maria was one of their adopted children, the youngest of three girls adopted from China.

My mind goes to the song, Held, by Nicole Nordeman (sp?).  She sings of the unimaginable loss of an infant and reminds us that God’s promise isn’t that we’ll be spared from loss and suffering, but that when we go through times of loss and suffering we’ll be ‘Held’.  May He hold each of the Curtis family members in ways He never has before and may they know they’re being held by the One and Only.

A Web site has been set up for people to learn more about Maria and to leave expressions of sympathy: chapmanchannel.typepad.com/inmemoryofmaria.

Condolences also may be sent to the Chapmans in care of P.O. Box 150156, Nashville, TN 37215. A memorial service will be Saturday morning in Nashville’s Christ Presbyterian Church.

In silence I close…

 “Our lives are a Christ-like fragrance rising up to the Lord.”

2 Corinthians 2:15

This has been a great Spring here in Charlotte.  It’s usually hot and sticky by now, but this year temps have remained mild and the humidity low, making it so enjoyable to be outside.   One of the things I’ve enjoyed most is being able to drive with the sunroof and windows open, enjoying the fresh Spring air – especially the heady aroma of honeysuckle that grows wild throughout our neighborhood and in many nearby places.  Magnolias are blooming, too.  They, too, give such a wonderful fragrance!  Another favorite fragrance of mine is that of petunias, and soon the gardenias will also delight passersby with their pretty fragrance, too.  Every time I catch whiffs of these flowers I can’t help but think, “Ahhh, the sweet fragrance…” 

God likes pleasing fragrances, too. This is evident in the many wonderful fragrances He created for us to enjoy here on earth.  It’s also evident in the Bible.  References are made to the pleasing aroma of properly given burnt offerings.  The Bible also mentions incense being used in worship giving a fragrance that was also pleasing to the Lord.  In John’s vision described in Revelation he talks about prayers being put in a golden bowl, then burned with incense.  As someone who spends much time in prayer, this is a beautiful image to me.  It shows me that our prayers rise up to the Lord like the pleasing fragrance of incense, meaning that our prayers bring pleasure to God.  The Gospels tell of Mary Magdalene anointing Jesus with a fragrant oil that was so fragrant it filled the house. 

The Bible also points to us when talking about fragrance.  2 Corinthians 2:15 says, “Our lives are a Christ-like fragrance rising up to the Lord.”   Whoah!  My life is a Christ-like fragrance?!   Oh, my!   How did I live my life today?  What kind of fragrance did I send up to the Lord?  Was it pleasing?  Hmmm…that’s something to think about.  It’s quite a challenge to think about the fact that the Bible calls for us to live a Christ-like life in such a way that we send a fragrance up to the Lord. 

Dear Lord, Just as I delight in the pleasing fragrance of honeysuckle, I want to live my days so that You can delight in a pleasing fragrance from my life.  Please help me to live today, tomorrow, and everyday in a way that sends a pleasing fragrance up to You, that when You take notice of me You say, “Ahhh, the sweet fragrance….”    In Jesus’ Holy name I pray.  Amen. 

The faithful will abound with blessings.   – Proverbs 28:20

AMEN!!!!

Wow.  I had my best Mother’s Day ever.  Yes, I got great gifts, but it was much more than that.  From the very start of the day my husband and sons were acknowledging the day, making me feel special, and through it all making me feel so loved.  That’s what made it the best Mother’s Day I’ve had.  It was the one that made me feel the most loved. 

In addition to the joy I felt from the day,  I couldn’t help but reflect on many other gifts of joy I’ve received from God recently.  He’s been blessing our family in wonderful and unexpected ways.  Prayers for others have been anwered with amazing grace – showing miracles in some situations.  Our Disciple Bible study wrapped up with a retreat so full of the Spirit and love that I’m still reveling from that joy, and then yesterday in church God blessed me with a wonderful gift for the heart. 

As I knelt at the altar to pray, I felt someone else kneel right beside me.  Since they knelt so close, I expected it to be one of my sister-friends coming to pray alongside me.  However, when I finished my prayer and looked to see who was there, I was pleasantly surprised to find my sweet little friend, Katie, who’s all of 6 or 7 years old, kneeling beside me in her own moment of prayer.  Did your heart just do a flip-flop?  Mine did when I saw her there!  I couldn’t help but put my arms around her, hug her close, and say a prayer for her.  I spoke quietly so she could know the prayer being said for her.  It seemed to be as sweet for her as it was for me, which touched me even more.  Katie is one of God’s special blessings.  She was a treat for my heart, on Mother’s Day especially.    God bless you, Katie, now and always. 

Yes, I got to be ‘Queen for the Day’, and now – as one greeting card stated – there’s just 364 days until my next break!   🙂

How perfect it is that as I conclude this message 91.9 fm radio is playing one of my favorite praise songs,

“Holy is the Lord, God Almighty, the earth is filled with His glory…”  

God bless you and love to all,

Renee

 

 

 

Are you trying to figure out what to do for loved ones for Mother’s Day?  How about giving them the gift of words. 

1) TELL HER YOU LOVE HER.

2) Make sure the KIDS TELL HER THEY LOVE HER.

3).  COMMIT TO SHARING WORDS WITH GRANDMOTHERS ON A WEEKLY BASIS.  This can be done in person, by phone, via email, or by sending notes or letters.  I saw a grandmother last week who said she just wants to hear from her kids once a week to say ‘hi’, let her know how their kids did on their spelling tests, cute or funny things that happened, and how everyone is doing.  Even if you just talk for five minutes, it will be a cherished gift.  

4)  They say a picture is worth 1,000 words, so I’m sure they’d like to receive photos or children’s art work, too.

We sent photos with our Mother’s Day gifts and I typed a ‘key’ to explain each photo, give dates and ages, etc. 

45 DO YOU NEED TO SAY MORE THAN, “I LOVE YOU”?  HOW ABOUT THE WORDS, “I’M SORRY”? Is something holding you back in your relationship with your mother, grandmother, your children’s mother?  Are grudges being held?  Are there hurts that need to be healed?  If so, remember that the Bible tells us that “love covers all sins”.  Christ loved us enough to sacrifice himself for our sins.  His love covered all our sins.  In doing so, He made it so that we can be forgiven anytime for anything just by going before God our Father and seeking mercy.  The Bible also tells us that God wipes the slate clean, we’re washed whiter than snow, and we can start all over.  We don’t have live burdened by the weight and guilt of our sins.  And the Bible assures us that God’s mercies are new every morning! 

So, two things…

A) DO YOU NEED TO BE FORGIVEN FOR WORDS OR ACTIONS OF YOUR PAST THAT HAVE HURT YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH YOUR MOTHER OR SOMEONE ELSE IN YOUR LIFE?  If so, just seek God’s mercy in prayer.  All the things I just said will be true for you. 

B) DO YOU NEED TO SEEK FORGIVENESS FROM YOUR MOTHER OR SOMEONE ELSE?  It’s easy after you’ve sought mercy from God.  You can ask Him to be with you as you seek forgiveness from others. 

They may or may not forgive you.  Even if they don’t, it’s ok as long as you have God’s forgiveness.  Trust the rest to Him.

6) DO YOU NEED TO FORGIVE YOUR MOTHER OR ANOTHER LOVED ONE?   I used to wait for others to ask for my forgiveness so that I could forgive them.  However, while reading The Power of a Praying Woman by Stormie OMartian, I learned that usually others will not ask for your forgiveness.  They don’t know they’ve hurt you or they don’t care.  FORGIVE THEM ANYWAY!  Say a prayer and forgive them from your heart.  Drop the grudges and hurt feelings that hold you back from loving, being loved and having peace in your heart. 

7) ASK FOR BLESSINGS FOR OTHERS:  Pray for your mother and other loved ones. 

8) IN ADDITION TO FORGIVING OTHERS, ASK FOR BLESSINGS FOR THEM!  I’ve read through the Bible several times, but just recently something ‘new’ jumped out at me.  The Bible tells us to not just forgive others, but pray for them and bless them!   Immediately a few people came to mind that I needed to do this for.  It was the same people I forgave when I learned you need to forgive people whether they ask for it or not.  It helped to forgive them and not just ‘show them grace’.  It helped even more to ask for blessings for them!  It really softened my heart for them.  I actually look forward to seeing them again, and I used to dread it! 

9) WORDS OF PRAISE GO A LONG WAY.   Life goes so fast that we often fail to express good things in our hearts.  Make a Top 10 list of things you appreciate about your mother.  Ask your kids to the same for their mother. 

Or think of a specific experience or incident with your mom or loved one that meant a lot to you and share it with them – use spoken words or written words. 

10) COMMIT TO PRAY FOR YOUR MOTHER, YOUR CHILDREN’S MOTHER, OTHER LOVED ONES EVERY DAY.  Lift your loved ones in prayer for their health, well-being, for God to watch over them, protect them, guide them, bless them according to their needs, and to bless your relationships. 

 For related writings on Mother’s Day:

Read the post below for my thoughts as a mom.  See May 2007 archives to read about how my mother and mother-in-law taught me about love. 

Renee

 

 

I didnt’ dare admit it at the time, but there was a Mother’s Day several years ago when all I really wanted for Mother’s Day was a day at home by myself WITHOUT my husband and kids.  I just wanted to be left alone in peace and quiet.  I was ashamed to feel that way.  That was during a stressful time in our lives.  It wasn’t the kids’ fault.   I have two great boys.  Things were just too much for me at the time.  My heart wasn’t right.  I hadn’t yet turned it over to God. 

Fast forward a few years. My heart is now SO of God.  We have a peaceful home (most of the time 🙂 ) and are a loving family.  Getting right with God has made all the difference.

I’ve learned to treasure each day with kids at home.  Seeing how quickly they’re growing, I know that all too soon they’ll be leaving for college and then going on to pursue their own lives.  The house gets too noisy at times; if there’s not a mess over here, then there’s one over there; and we still have arguments and problmes from time-to-time, but it’s all good!  One of these days the house will seem too quiet!  I’ll miss having evidence of growing children to clean up. 

My children are precious and special.  I love them so much!  I no longer lose moments of time by wishing my days away – longing for when they’ll grow out of a certain phase or stop/start doing something else – so that we can move on in life.  We’re moving in life now and I want to make the most of each moment! 

In a recent conversation with my step-mother, she was looking back at 21 years of marriage, surprised at how quickly the years had gone by – especially since some days seemed to drag on and go so slowly.  I agreed that when we look back, we realize time has passed way too quickly.  I realized, too, that when we look back it’s not the slow times or tough days we see, it’s the good times.  They’re what matter most. 

For Mother’s Day this year I just want a day of good times WITH my family every moment of the day (and maybe a rose plant, too).  We’ll begin the day by celebrating our FATHER since it’s from Him that every good and perfect gift comes – including that of a much improved heart, home, and family. 

God bless you all.  And if you’re a Mom, happy Mother’s Day! 

For related posts, see May 2007 archives.  I recommend the post about Handprints. 

Love, hugs and blessings,

Renee

Dear Friends,

I am very concerned about rising gas and food prices, ongoing losses of jobs, and the financial hardships these situations cause.  I am worried about rising debt in America and the resulting hardships people will face later if they rely too much on credit cards now.  One or two years of accruing debt can easily take 10-12 to pay off. 

I’m not a financial expert. In fact, my husband would laugh if he knew I was writing this.  However, I’ve been in debt and want to 1) help others avoid mistakes I made, and 2) share things I’ve learned since.

CHRISTIAN FINANCIAL TEACHING:  Check out Crown Financial Ministries.  www.crownfinancialministries.org

To avoid drowning in debt, keep these things in mind:

CREDIT CARDS

1) Only spend what you have.  If you don’t have the cash, don’t buy it. 

2) Try to avoid using your credit cards.  If you DO have to use them, go on to #3, 4 and 5.

3) Total your receipts EVERY DAY and don’t allow yourself to spend more than you’ll be able to pay at billing time. 

4) Unless you’re paying your credit card bill in full each month, only allow yourself to use credit cards for things you absolutely need but can’t pay cash for. 

5) If you can’t pay your credit card bill in full, pay as much as you can.  Remember that credit card providers make their money on interest fees, late fees, all other fees.  MANAGE YOUR ACCOUNTS WELL to avoid having to pay fees.  Credit card providers love it if you only pay the minimum amount due because that means more interest for them.  Your balance due will likely grow if you only pay the minimum amount due = more interest paid to the card provider.  WHEN YOU PAY INTEREST FEES AND LATE FEES, YOU’RE GIVING UP YOUR MONEY FOR THE CREDIT CARD PROVIDER.  

MINIMIZING YOUR GAS BILL

1) Less is more when it comes to saving money by saving gas.  The less gas you use, the more money you’ll save. 

2) To use less gas while driving, ease into accelerated speeds (increase speed gradually), don’t ‘gun it’ when you accelerate.

3) Plan your trips carefully, minimizing and eliminating unnecessary mileage.

4) FYI: In town driving uses the most gas because of all the stops-and-starts.  Air conditioning uses more fuel, too, but opening your windows causes ‘drag’ that pulls more fuel.  A recent car expert said there’s no significant advantage either way, so do what you prefer.  I wonder if adjusting your AC temp in the car helps like it does at home — by keeping AC set at higher temp it won’t run as hard.  Just a thought.  I don’t know facts on that.

SHOPPING

1) Be a smart shopper.  Minimize/eliminate unnecessary spending  <<< For me this is especially important at the grocery and Target.

2) Use cheaper shopping alternatives like Sam’s, Cosco, Super Wal-Marts, etc.

3) Watch for sales for things you need.  Give up buying your ‘regular’ brands and buy what’s on sale.

4) Make fewer shopping trips.  For me, fewer trips means fewer temptations to buy extra things.  Fewer trips to the stores saves gas, too! 

5) Do your own cooking and prep.  Premade foods are great for convenience, but you spend a lot more for them.  Buy your own ingredients and do cooking and preparation yourself.  Kids can help!  My younger son (age 7) loves making foods and eats better when he’s helped with food prep!  Last night he made the Banana Pudding Dessert (You know the one with vanilla wafers and bananas?  Yum!)

5) Store-roasted chickens:  This is one pre-cooked food that I do buy regularly.  Our local store roasts chickens cheaper than I can buy and roast them.  Mine wouldn’t taste as good anyway, I’m sure!  I like to buy them on the days they’re on sale.  When I do, I buy a couple of extras, serve one for dinner and pull the meat from the others to use in recipes calling for cooked chicken.  A quart-size freezer bag is perfect for the meat pulled from one roasted chicken.  You can use it within the next day or two, or freeze for use at a later time. 

6) Check local churches for food ministries.  Our church is getting ready to start ANGEL FOOD MINISTRIES(Weddington Church, 704-846-1032).  This ministry is offered in many locations.

FINDING HELP IF YOU’RE IN DEBT:

The Today Show offered info on this site: www.debtadvice.org 

You can also use services to advise you on how to reduce your debts.  BE SURE TO USE ONE THAT IS NOT FOR PROFIT.  Otherwise they’ll be making money from you, taking advantage of your debt situation!  It is realistic to pay $30-$50 per month for services, even for not for profit organizations.  I’ve heard of some that don’t charge anything.  Your Better Business Bureau might be able to guide you to a good organization.

Have a bill you can’t pay?  Call the creditor and negotiate with them to work out a realistic payment schedule based on what you CAN pay.  Even if it’s just a little bit each month, it’s better than nothing.

As stated above, I’m no expert on these things, but hope to share something helpful if needed.  Each of us needs to do our best individually to avoid debt or our whole nation will be suffering the effects otherwise. 

HOW WILL YOU BE SAVING MONEY THIS SUMMER?  TRIPS?  ENTERTAINING KIDS? STAYING COOL?  FOOD?   I’d love to hear your ideas. 

God bless you!

Renee

 

 

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