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Thursday, June 28, 2012

Quotes on Frugality

"The philosopher Diogenes was eating bread and lentils for supper. He was seen by the philosopher Aristippus, who lived comfortably by flattering the king. Said Aristippus, "If you would learn to be subservient to the king you would not have to live on lentils."

Said Diogenes, "Learn to live on lentils and you will not have to be subservient to the king."

- The Song of the Bird by Anthony de Mello

"You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift.
You cannot establish sound security on borrowed money.
You cannot keep out of trouble by spending more than you earn."

- Abraham Lincoln

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Keeping Up With the 'Christian' Joneses

From iPhones to fancy cars, Christians aren't immune to "keeping up with the Joneses."  This spirit of the world has even taken hold of the church.  If one brother or sister has it, then another gets it and pretty soon, it is the thing to do.  The got-to-have-it-now mentality shouldn't be something that Christians practice on a day-to-day basis, but sadly it is growing.  It comes from immaturity, greed and selfishness.  Not being able to save, wait or do without but rather leaning towards impulses and instant gratification is opposite of true maturity.

You wonder sometimes how people in debt, claiming to be Christians, continue to pile up massive amounts of debt in order to display to others a sense of wealth or coolness.  It smacks of high school and the faddish public school system and seemingly a lot of adults can't leave that atmosphere behind them in their youth.  If you are in debt, you shouldn't be buying a house, a car or whatever else, on more debt!  Unless of course you want people to know you are that stupid.  You also shouldn't be having the latest smart-phone, buying new clothes every month and going out to eat every week.  That is the old-school wisdom that is disappearing that we need to bring back!

Christians should lead the way in living debt-free, modestly and displaying the financial principles the Bible teaches.  Recently, we have been looked at as some weird kooks for not having a cell phone, text plan and/or smart phone.  You should see the looks we get when others find out we aren't doing what everyone else is doing.  We learned a few years ago to live debt-free and not have expenses that are not necessary and I'm sorry but a smart-phone is a toy and convenience and is not necessary!  Yet, the ones that look at us so weird are the ones that are in debt, owe a car payment, credit cards, don't even buy their own food or insurance and yet........they have a smart phone!  These same people will in later years blame the church or some in leadership because they have no money to support themselves.  Rather than placing the blame on themselves, where it goes, they live in denial of their slavery to debt and blame others.  

It is time to stop "keeping up with the Joneses" because the Joneses are BROKE!  Start practicing Godly financial wisdom according to the Word of God and don't be slave to a lender, in other words, don't take out debt or live in it.  Trust God to bless you, not the government!  Trust God to feed you, not the hard-working people of America whose taxes you live off of!  Only then, can you open the windows of Heaven and experience a true blessing from God - one that comes from doing things right and defies the spirit of this greed-filled society.

Proverbs 22:7

The rich ruleth over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender.

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Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Back to Freezer Cooking....

After a week of cooking meals, I decided I do NOT miss it anymore lol.  Not only did it take up time I used to use for relaxing, reading or cleaning up after homeschooling, it also left so many dishes to wash each day UGH!  I realize how valuable freezer cooking is to my life and how much time it saves, not only in cooking but with washing dishes.  So, I decided to do a take-out meal today and then continue on tomorrow with our freezer meals.  We still have a lot left and then there is spaghetti on Tuesday and pizza on Fridays that should get us through till mid-July.  Then, I will have 2-weeks to do freezer cooking, since I don't foresee being able to do it all in a week for 6 hours a day being preggo!

I also did not like having meat everyday, I'm bloated, feeling disgusting and tired of all the meat - I actually miss my beans and meatless meals.  Meat takes 4-7 days to digest, so it basically rots in your gut and I hate that feeling and miss the "clean" feeling we had during the week on the meatless meals, saving the weekends for the gut-rotting experience, when we can rest.  Having all this meat has made my family and I extremely lethargic!  We haven't been able to do the amount of work we normally do during the week, as the meat really does make you sluggish.  That is ok for us on the weekends as they are generally restful days, but during the week is not working.

So, I said all that to say.......I'm back to freezer cooking!  I'm looking forward to pulling that freezer meal out  tomorrow to thaw and enjoying that hour of my life back around 4-5pm and the half hour of my life back after dinner, spent not having to wash loads of dishes - Hallelujah, amen!!

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Saturday, June 16, 2012

Homeschooling on Rise Among African-Americans

*There is an ad that plays before the video and sometimes they are not so clean, just fyi!

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Tuesday, June 12, 2012

June 12-18 Meal Plan

It has been years since I cooked daily meals, I've been doing freezer cooking for so long now that I forgot what it feels like to have to cook dinner everyday lol.  Well, I don't really feel like doing freezer cooking this month and we have so many meals left because, being pregnant, I haven't wanted to eat what we had.  I decided to see how it goes shopping for a week and planning a weekly menu since my cravings and aversions change so frequently.  I knew it was going to be WAY more expensive than shopping for a month and since I'm adding in more meat, I was going to forego organic slightly to ease the extra cost.

Hubby's birthday was today, so I made his all-time favorite meal, my homemade mac n' cheese.  Here is this week's menu:

Tuesday - Mac n' cheese
Wednesday - One-pot Spaghetti, garlic bread
Thursday - Chicken Fajitas
Friday - Pizza
Saturday - Chicken n' Dumplings
Sunday - Taco's with all the fixin's
Monday - leftovers or freezer meal

I will see how this goes, it will take some getting used to as I don't even think about dinner really anymore and now I will have to AND cook it!

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When Birth Control is Needed

It doesn't matter how many times I post on hot topics, such as birth control, I always seem to confuse some. I've posted a lot in the past 5 years on this blog about birth control and I believe my *own* personal beliefs have been well stated but I can see where someone can misinterpret and think I'm making blanket statements.  So I wanted to do a post to tell you where I believe birth control is needed, as it sometimes is in marriage, for various reasons.  Ultimately, it is between you and your husband before God what you do or don't do, but this is my blog, therefore I share my beliefs in hopes to make you think or challenge your own ideas.

Birth control such as hormonal therapies with the pill, IUD's, Depo-shot, etc. are NEVER ok as they have a chance of killing a baby, and that is documented fact.  However, there are many other safe birth control options such as withdrawal, timing/calendar and other methods that will NEVER kill a baby.  There are times when they are needed and times when they are used because the risk of having a child is far too great for the mother or family.  I believe God wants us to use wisdom and plan even our families.  Yes, it is ultimately up to Him, but killing yourself in the name of God is not Godly wisdom, let me explain.

Some reasons birth control may or is needed:

  • Medically necessary - the mother or even father may have medical reasons for preventing offspring, such as carrying on a disease that is genetic or when it is not safe for the mother.  If the mother's life would be in danger or made worse, wisdom says use your brain!  If I knew I was going to die if I had another child, I wouldn't tempt the Lord by going ahead and getting pregnant.  It is making you just as much as murderer as you would be if you had an abortion, in my opinion.  Also, waiting at least 2 years after a c-section for healing is recommended before your body is fully capable again to conceive and not risk your health.  I can't tell you how many times we used birth control methods in times I was very ill, hospitalized and on drugs that would have killed a baby had I gotten pregnant, so wisdom in these situations say prevent!
  • Financially incapable - if you can't even feed yourself and your husband and live off government assistance, as a Christian, why would you bring a child into the world not being able to pay for it yourself?  Too many Christians err in this area as God's Word teaches against living off others but rather eating your own bread, working and providing for your OWN.  Having children in addition to this and living off the government to pay for those children is in itself stealing and brings shame to the gospel.
  • Unloving mother - there are just some women who hate children and refuse to have children and I believe they should continue to use birth control methods.  Having a child we would hope would change these women but if they are bent on treating them as little nuisances, I think it is best they keep themselves purposely barren.  Too many mothers today, even in Christian circles, constantly talk about how bad their children are, how much of a bother they are, how they can't wait to send them off to school to get 'rid' of them and have their "free" time - these women should probably just stay childless, it would be better off that children are not brought up in this kind of verbal abuse and lack of Godly, motherly love!
  • Husbands decision - when one parent, even husband, doesn't want a child, why would you go ahead and have one?  The child will feel it is unwanted, you can't hide those feelings as they come out in the things you do or say to a child you didn't want.  If the husband declares he wants no children or no more children, the wife should respect his decision as the leader of the home.

Those are just a few of my thoughts on when birth control is needed, with the first one being the most obvious reason.  If after this pregnancy, I realize that another one could endanger my health and life, I'm not going to tempt God by going ahead and getting pregnant again.  Rather, I will take my husband's decision and own wisdom, coupled with prayer, and make a decision.

Having a child is a choice, God leaves it up to us as we are free moral agents, no longer under the law but having freedom to choose our way in life.  However, He will never stand for killing a baby through abortion or birth control and the hateful rhetoric against children and views of them as nuisances, which is not inspired by God but rather Satan who loves to speak against God's creation.  God Himself counts them as a blessing and we should as well, our hearts should be open to children, even if we are barren!  You never know when someone you know or a member of your family may die or become incapable of taking care of their children and need you step in and be that parent.  Adoption should be something most Christians race to, but sadly, there are more homosexuals fulfilling that call of caring for the orphans.  Having a heart always open to children should be inside every woman, as women are made to be mothers and loving, caring, nurturing souls - it is what God created us for.

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Tuesday, June 5, 2012

The Gift of Procreation vs. Pleasure-Only Marriages

I've agreed wholeheartedly in the past with many of Albert Mohler's articles as he echoes truth that seemingly not a lot of ministers in our nation will stand up and say.  Today he shared a wonderful article on the question, "Can Christians Use Birth Control?"  I wanted to share it with you all to read, and also share some quotes that I found particularly worthy of pointing out.

First, we must start with a rejection of the contraceptive mentality that sees pregnancy and children as impositions to be avoided rather than as gifts to be received, loved, and nurtured. This contraceptive mentality is an insidious attack upon God’s glory in creation, and the Creator’s gift of procreation to the married couple. 
To demand sexual pleasure without openness to children is to violate a sacred trust. 
In reality, the Pill allowed a near-total abandonment of Christian sexual morality in the larger culture. Once the sex act was severed from the likelihood of childbearing, the traditional structure of sexual morality collapsed. 
Christian couples are not ordered by Scripture to maximize the largest number of children that could be conceived. 
Christians may make careful and discriminating use of proper technologies, but must never buy into the contraceptive mentality. We can never see children as problems to be avoided, but always as gifts to be welcomed and received.

I agree on the one part that we are not mandated to just keep popping out children with no care to our health, our husbands or financial means.  However, using the pill or IUD or other devices that are capable of abortion, is murder, there are other safe non-abortificients that do not have a chance to kill a baby.

Too many Americans and especially Christians, are centered on child-avoidance and would rather have wealth, fame and their own selfish careers over one of the greatest gifts to man - children.  I know some that have this mentality and they are generally self-centered women whose money, time and energy is spent on themselves, either in buying material goods or pursuing their every whim each day.  That is a sad life to live and one that will cleave to them in remembrance when they are old and filled with regret.  Then, I also know women who were like this and came to the realization of their error, but at a time too late in their life and they do live with sadness.  Women who can't conceive are not exempted from this because there are millions of children in this country and many other countries that are waiting for that couple to love them and adopt them as their own.

What I want you to take from these thoughts are this - Where has this sex-centered, child-avoidance-filled society gotten America?  Are we better because of the pill and the sexual revolution?  Are we a better civilization because of the "freedom" to have sex without procreation?  Are marriages better?  Do they last when sex is all there is?  What we do have is a society filled with sex-crazed, lust-filled men and women who, even when they have a family, don't have time for them.  It has created a self-centered society, a civilization built on pleasure-only that is doomed to fall.  

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