THREAD COUNT- Knowing Quality When You See It by Marsha L Randolph

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I remember shopping with my mother and Aunt at a linen outlet store in one of the Carolina’s. The sisters were debating which sheets were worth purchasing one with at least 600 thread count or one with a minimum of 800 thread count. I thought they were both to expensive. This was one of the most memorable memories and many incidental lessons my mother and my aunt taught me.

Today when purchasing sheets I look at the thread count, if it is less than a 600 thread count, no matter what the cost, I will not consider purchasing it. I taught my girls about thread counts, I also passed down to them many of the lessons I learned from two very classy ladies.

I feel sorry for the young girls of today, their knowledge of what it means to be a lady is very much lacking. Consider the story of the “Princess and the Pea” the real Princess knew what it meant to sleep in a bed of quality. Young females today focus on quantity not quality.

Many people, males and females, accumulate lots of stuff they have: lots of electronic gadgets, lots of clothes and even lots of relationships. When things brake, became tattered and warn, or no longer interest the individual they are discarded and no interest are sought. No one taught them how to look for quality that would pass the test of time.

When my mother died she had a closet full of sheets that were as good as new. When my aunt moved in with her daughter and the content of her home was sold the items were in as just as good condition as the day she had bought them. Because I was taught by very intelligent women who started out in life not being able to afford the best but learned how to get the best that they could afford I know how to spot quality in not just in things but in people as well.

TO CHARGE OR NOT TO CHARGE by Marsha L Randolph

HAND AND CREDIT CARDMaking purchases on time, as the old folks use to say, is addictive which is why many people have poor credit ratings. From about September through December is the time in the year in which the temptation to not use cash increases particularly when we want to buy nice things for friends and family not to mention all of those wonderful sales!

Because of my debt, and my desire to become debt free, I made the decision to live a cash only lifestyle. This is difficult not because I cannot tell myself no but because other people do not appreciate this concept. Many believe as long as the bill gets paid it does not matter if you charge it. Often people have to work extra jobs to take care of daily expenses such as housing, utilities and food in addition to credit card fees, I do not want to live like that.

Recently I was trying to convince myself that it would be OK to purchase something with in-house financing because it was a business related purchase. The item I needed was to replace the one that I broke, I have gone without this item for 3 months to wait one more month would not be a major problem. I decided to continue doing what I have been doing- just waiting until I can afford to pay cash.

Charging the $50 item may not seem like a big deal however it would not have just been $50, there would be shipping and handling fees in addition to finance charges which could easily bring the purchase total to $80. If I made payments instead of paying the entire balance off in less than thirty days I could easily end up paying over $100 for an item that cost $50 and was worth less than that.

The accumulation of fees charged by various institutions such as: credit card companies, automobile finances companies, and banks that hold the mortgage leads to large debt. Many people have student loans others have outstanding medical bills; things happen, emergencies occur which can create additional financial burdens.

The best thing to do is not do it. Do not use your credit cards to buy Christmas presents. Do not order gadgets on television that promise 3 or 4 payments. Do not pay your tithes with your credit card. I repeat: DO NOT PAY YOUR CHURCH TITHES WITH A CREDIT CARD!!!!

Learning to live a cash only lifestyle is difficult; even a person with bad credit can get some type of credit. Far to many people are using credit cards to pay for things they want but not need. The longterm consequences of buying on time is having to work when you should be relaxing. The long term benefits of living a cash only life now is the peace associated with being debt free.

You may not be able to get the latest iPhone, or the newest flat screen television, your car may be old and in need of a new paint job, you may not be able to afford to go to the movies every week or a restaurant once a month because you do not have a credit card.holding money

You will be debt free sooner rather than later. Even if you are working two jobs now you will soon be down to just one. And you will know who really appreciates you for being you when you see the expression on their face when you don’t buy a gift or the gift is not as expensive as what you use to buy.

 

Today is the best day to stop using your credit card. Of course it will be easier in January because by then you will have reached your limit on everything.

I CAN’T BE STOPPED by M L Floyd

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Satan cannot stop what God has started unless you let him; he will try to stop you. Jesus said:

“The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly” John 10:10 NKJV

Many people do not recognize when they are being attacked because they are focused on what people may or may not be doing. But the thief, Satan, comes to stop you from fulfilling your goals (kill), take away your peace and joy (steal), and sabotage your relationships (destroy). Directly with attacks on your finances, health, emotional well being or indirectly by attacking your loved ones if it means stopping you from moving forward he will do it.

“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation of shadow of turning.” James 1:17 NKJV

The bad stuff is not from God, it is Satan doing his best to stop you from reaching the blessings God has for you. However, if you don’t quit you will have what God has assigned to you. Yes, it is hard particularly when you are in the middle of a health or financial crisis.

As Christians we must remember to keep our eyes on Jesus. We must know and subsequently remember God’s words and His promises. It is because of Jesus that Satan cannot stop you.

“Finally my brethren be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.” Ephesians 6:10-13 NKJV

A WARNING TO THOSE WHO LEAD by M L Floyd

“Woe to the shepherds who are destroying and scattering the sheep of my pastures!” declares the LORD. Jeremiah 23:1 NIV

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It really doesn’t get any plainer than that. If you are in any type of leadership position God is holding you responsible for those you lead. I use to think of shepherds as only pastors; a shepherd is a person who leads a person or group of people. Therefore a shepherd can be: parents, employers, church leaders, and even government representatives. If you expect people to follow you you are acting as a shepherd.

“Therefore this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says to the shepherds who tend my people: “Because you have scattered my flock and driven them away and have not bestowed care on them, I will bestow punishment on you for the evil you have done,” declares the Lord. “I myself will gather the remnant of my flock out of all the countries where I have driven them and will bring them back to their pasture, where they will be fruitful and increase in number. I will place shepherds over them who will tend them, and they will no longer be afraid or terrified, nor will any be missing.” Declares the Lord.” Jeremiahs 23:2-4

God’s will will be done, this is especially good news today. There are people who are creating strife, generating confusion and leading people in the wrong direction by manipulating God’s word, lying and omitting biblical truths from their messages. Those who are children of God will be delivered from this lack of godly leadership because God will put individuals in their path who will point them in the right direction.
But Scripture declares to those who are destroying the people and moving them away from God’s covenant they will suffer the consequences. That day is now.