Where Are Your Treasures?

I was reminded this AM, of one of my most favorite Scriptures.

Matthew 6:19-21

19“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

During such difficult times we really should turn off the TV, and radio and put aside the Wall Street Journal or Washington Post. For, we shouldn’t allow them to instill in us fear. I believe that when people are afraid, they will fall for anything OR anyone. And in light of our political atmosphere it seems as if that may be the case.

It’s times like this that we should remember what God has taught us throughout history. Do we want to be like the Israelites who kept walking in circles for 40 yrs. They had the promised land in sight when fear took over. They said, that it was a land filled with giants and they were like grasshoppers.

Are you a grasshopper?

I’m not.

God has taught me, especially through these last 8 yrs of suffering that He IS all sufficient. That I don’t need to worry or fret. He will do as He has promised in Scripture to do. He will do as He has always done. He is faithful and I can take that to the bank. He is in control. He has never forsaken the righteous.

I’m reminded that this earth is not my home. That I can take nothing with me. That the only things that really matter while I walk in this place are the eternal souls of people. I only want enough. Enough to provide for our basic needs and enough to continue to support the outreaches we are involved in all over the world. We will never stop giving to the work of the Lord even when hardships come. We hold everything with an open hand.

So I do what I’ve learned to do…..REST & TRUST. I rest in the everlasting arms of my Father God. There’s no better place to be.

He loves me and He loves you.

~~~

My family went through some very difficult days when I was growing up. My father was in some shady business deals and we lost our home….in the 1970’s there were no bankruptcy laws that protected the one in debt. We lost it all. Our home went up for Sheriff Sale. We were virtually homeless and we lived in poverty.

I learned a lot. For one, I never want to go back to that place. We lived without running water. Yeah, a basic necessity we did without. A neighbors hose was our water source. God bless our neighbor. Our homeless home, did not have heat, but it had one fireplace. Our house was not insulated, yes we could see out the cracks. We lived on food stamps and received food baskets from the church. It was a very humbling time. Especially since I was only 17 yrs old. It was during those times of suffering that I first drew ALL my strength from my Saviour. As a new believer, I read Scripture constantly for it was my source of hope.

Hope is what’s needed when you have nothing. That’s why I have such a compassion for the poor. Not for those who have lived outside their means. Not for those who have lived up to their eyeballs in debt and want to continue in that lifestyle. No, for the poor. The fatherless. The homeless. The hungry. The naked.

What’s really important right now is your family and your relationships. Pull together and come up with a plan. If you have a plan then you won’t panic. Get the whole family involved….make it fun for kids, don’t scare them.

Whatever you do, get out of debt. It’s not too late to cut up your credit cards and start paying them down. Then start increasing the payments on your home if you can….a little here and a little there. Before you know it, it’s payed for. If you are in debt then talk to your creditors. Make a deal with them so that you can pay whatever you can. Go in and talk to the bank. They use to be very willing to work with people. I’m not sure anymore.

Then start saving. You should have a goal of 3-6 months of a paycheck in savings. If you loose a job, then you will need this to live on until you find another. If you have sticky fingers then put your savings into a penalty CD. At least if you really really need it you’ll pay the fine and still be ok. But it will be safe making a little interest.

First make a budget and stick to it using a cash envelope!!! It works. STOP using credit!!!!! Only pay CASH! Your budget should look something like this:

SAVINGS $$$

Giving $$$

Mortgage $

Electric $

Debts $

Water $

Food $

Clothes $

When everything is paid then you can figure the food and clothes and maybe entertainment. You should always save 10% and give 10%. I learned that from the late Larry Burkett and it’s been a truth that has gotten us through rough times.

These are some things that you can do to stretch your paycheck.

1. Turn off all your lights during the day. Only use lights at night that you really need. Don’t light up the whole house and for heavens sake turn off the outside lights.

2. Eat less meat. Eat more soups….they stretch the dollar further. And make sure they are nutrient dense!

3. Start cutting back…if it takes 10 teabags to make pitcher of tea, use 8.

4. Only do full loads of laundry.

5. Hang your laundry on a line or a rack.

6. Turn back the heat and grab a sweater or snuggle with your honey under a blanket! 😀

7. Use as much passive solar as possible….pull open the blinds and shades and let the sun in!

8. Shop at the Thrift Store. I heard that sales at Good Will are up!!! I have an eye for designer clothes….don’t ask me why, I never bought them new, but I can land them dead on at the thrift store!

9. Don’t run to the store for a couple items. Make a list and only go when you must. Learn how to shop 1x month. It’s really not hard. I’ve been doing it for almost 20 yrs. Except for perishables…but they freeze well too! Plan a menu and then you’ll be able to shop less.

10. Pack lunches. We always have, so I can’ t begin to tell you how much you save. A sandwich, some veggies or fruit and a drink. I’ve always packed Honey’s lunch and even on Saturdays, he wants his yummy sandwich! Many times I packed leftovers. I think most lunches out run around $3-5! My swimming teacher bought lunch the other day and it was $13!!!!!!!!! That’s outrageous! I’m sure I pack a lunch for Honey for around $1 or less. You can go lower!

11. Use off brands. TP. PT, Tissues.

12. Stock up. Buy in bulk whatever you can. Dry goods will keep. But only buy what you eat. Don’t think that since you have to you will like something….you won’t!!!!!

13. Here’s one of my favorites….watch your electric meter spin! Then go in and start turning off appliances and see what’s using the most electric. We always can figure out what needs to go.

14. LIKE unplugging appliances. We unplug everything not in use….the toaster, the coffee maker, et. Especially if it has a digital readout…it’s sucking electric. We don’t have a single clock plugged in anymore. I do have a battery clock in the family room. I love the rhythm of the ticking.

15. Use a power strip. Make sure you plug all those unwanted machines into it so when it’s off they aren’t sucking electric. You’d be surprised how much you save doing 14 &15!

16. Drive slower! When taking off, remember you aren’t a jet plane and imagine a raw egg under the accelerator. Press very gently…it’s not a race and chances are you’ll see that guy at the next light and you can wave. One of our favorite sayings today is….”I’ve got more time than money!”

17. Make what you can by scratch. Cookies, bread, yogurt, kefir, soups, hummus….everything. Not only will you save money but you will have better quality food that is nutrient dense.

18. Eat nutrient dense food. You will eat less and save. It’s more filling.

19. Learn to sew and mend. Learn to knit and spin.

20. Learn to grow your own food. I figure every time I go the garden and cut lettuce, I’m saving $5.00. I’m putting up small hoop tunnels for my greens this winter. They should be finished next week.

21. Obtain and grow heirloom plants. You will always have seed and will never have to dish out any money again, unless you want to.

22. Learn a skill that others will want.

23. Get a copy of The Encyclopedia of Country Living. It teaches you how to do everything. Even birth animals!

24. Get chickens.

25. Get a goat or cow.

26. Learn to cut hair. I’ve been cutting my families hair forever….27 yrs! That’s a ton of $$$$ saved!

27. Wash clothes in cold water. It’s really ok. Mine always come clean. Unless you really need the hot for disinfecting, like diapers.

28. Use cloth diapers. I did!

29. Turn back your hot water heater.

This is really just the tip of the iceberg. I know you’ll think of many other things you can do to cut the cost of living.

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