Archive for January, 2011

Out Of My Mind

January 28, 2011 Leave a comment

Terrie Todd is now blogging on her own site. If you are interested in Terrie’s writing, you can follow her on Blogspot

If you go to her site, she has a contest on to win a copy of “Chicken Soup for the Soul” in which she has three stories written. Check it out! On another note, just to let you know, Terrie submitted her novel, “The Silver Suitcase” in a contest and it made it to the top ten. Way to go, Terrie. We’re so proud of you!

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Keith Kitchen Concert

January 25, 2011 Leave a comment

Don’t miss out on a great evening of music!  Saturday, January 29 (THIS Saturday) at 7:30pm, Portage Alliance Church is hosting singer/songwriter Keith Kitchen for an intimate concert.  This is a concert that absolutely everyone will enjoy!  Admission is a freewill offering, CD’s are $20.  See you there!

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When Bad Christians Happen to Good People

January 9, 2011 4 comments

By Alison Lehman

When I was on my way to church this morning to pick up Cole, after Tim had walked him to his run-through meeting, I heard an interview on the radio with Dave Burchett,  the author of When Bad Christians Happen to Good People. I turned the radio up when Dave was asked why he thought Christians judge so much. His answer, to me, seemed bang on. He said we seem to have a wrong view of righteousness. We think righteousness means not doing bad things like  smoking, going to movies, drinking, living with someone before marriage – add your bad thing here____. We think if we do the right things, that makes us righteous. Actually what we are judging is someone’s morality. Righteousness has nothing to do with what we do or don’t do, it is about what Christ did for us on the cross.  Christ makes us righteous, not good deeds. We have sins on a moral ladder and put some of them at the top such as sexual sin, stealing, lying. When it comes to gossip, not looking after the poor, not revealing everything about our taxes etc, we see them as mild shortcomings.

It’s so easy for us as Christians to judge other people, but that’s not our job. It’s God’s. We are called to love each other as God loves us.  In the acknowledgments Dave mentions his dog Charlie, how faithfully loyal and loving he is. Then he goes on to say, “If I loved people as much as Charlie does, we would have a perpetual revival in our neighborhood.

Sometimes we as Christians have trouble loving people. Instead we condemn them, judge them and look down on them in self righteousness. After hearing this on the radio this morning, I want to do better at the loving and do less of the judging. I already have a plan in place and have thought of this more than once before. When a judgmental or negative thought comes into my head about someone, I am going to do my best at turning that negative into a positive and purposely think of a good quality that person has. I won’t always be successful but I want to do my best.

One other point Dave made is that Christians often isolate themselves in safe bubbles, surrounding themselves only with other Christians. This is bad news because if we all do that, how are  non believers ever going to come to know Christ? Jesus hung out with sinners, with the people that needed him most. He didn’t hang out with “perfect” people. Dave says that it really makes him sad that we don’t make an effort to hang out with the secular crowd. I need to make more of an effort in this area. I like my alone time so it takes energy for me to be with anyone.

At any rate, this author gave me some things to think about and I’m interested in reading this book. If anybody has it and is willing to lend it out, put me on the list please.

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Financial Peace University

January 3, 2011 1 comment

Financial Peace University: Starting January 11, 2011

This is a 13 week course on financial planning and learning how to use your money wisely. Sign up at the info booth if you would like to join this course.

Tim and I took this course last January. When we first started I was somewhat apprehensive and thought Dave Ramsey’s way of planning was going to seem restrictive. At the time of the course I was a spender so the accountability aspect was good for me. In a way I didn’t want it but knew I needed it. It’s a bit scary cutting up those credit cards but you don’t do that until you have $1 000 in the bank as emergency money. It’s been a year since we’ve taken the course and we haven’t needed that money until now to cover a broken window. Last January we had a line of credit at a total of about $30 000 and now? … it’s down to $4 000 and will be gone by April or May. Before we took the course if we had kept our spending habits the same, we would’ve taken approximately five years to pay off the LOC.

What did we learn over the 13 weeks of the course? To trust God, plan responsibly, budget for the expenses we  knew were going to come and expect emergencies once in awhile. It was hard and we had to communicate clearly with each other what our needs were. We were all of a sudden accountable in a way that we hadn’t been before. At least I was. It was good for me. It’s been 10 months that we’ve budgeted the way Dave Ramsey suggests and it’s been a peaceful year. When something comes up, we’re not surprised but ready. We don’t lose sleep at night wondering how we’re gonna pay for something.

I’m so glad we took the course and I would recommend it to anyone who has an open heart and mind and wants to learn. If you are a very controlling person, I’m guessing it’ll be a struggle for you because this involves submission. Not everybody is okay with someone telling them how to deal with their finances. It’s okay to have “hot spots” though. God uses this stuff to make us grow. With God’s help, anyone can do this.

—Alison Lehman

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