What you do in your house is worth as much as if you did it up in heaven for our Lord God. We should accustom ourselves to think of our position and work as sacred and well-pleasing to God, not on account of the position and work, but on account of the word and faith from which the obedience and the work flow. ~ Martin Luther

Friday, January 10, 2014

Finances on Friday: Our Abundance

 Matt was out of town all week, so we didn't have time to do any financial goal planning.  That will have to wait for now. In the meantime~ here are a few quotes to ponder.

“Do you not know that God entrusted you with that money (all above what buys necessities for your families) to feed the hungry, to clothe the naked, to help the stranger, the widow, the fatherless; and, indeed, as far as it will go, to relieve the wants of all mankind? How can you, how dare you, defraud the Lord, by applying it to any other purpose?”
John Wesley

  “Abundance isn't God's provision for me to live in luxury. It's his provision for me to help others live. God entrusts me with his money not to build my kingdom on earth, but to build his kingdom in heaven.”
Randy Alcorn, Money, Possessions, and Eternity 

“God is not glorified when we keep for ourselves (no matter how thankfully) what we ought to be using to alleviate the misery of unevangelized, uneducated, unmedicated, and unfed millions. The evidence that many professing Christians have been deceived by this doctrine is how little they give and how much they own. God has prospered them. And by an almost irresistible law of consumer culture (baptized by a doctrine of health, wealth, and prosperity) they have bought bigger (and more) houses, newer (and more) cars, fancier (and more) clothes, better (and more) meat, and all manner of trinkets and gadgets and containers and devices and equipment to make life more fun. They will object: Does not the Old Testament promise that God will prosper his people? Indeed! God increases our yield, so that by giving we can prove our yield is not our god. God does not prosper a man's business so that he can move from a Ford to a Cadillac. God prospers a business so that 17,000 unreached people can be reached with the gospel. He prospers the business so that 12 percent of the world's population can move a step back from the precipice of starvation.”
John Piper, Desiring God: Meditations of a Christian Hedonist  

And here are the financial efforts for the week:

* I was given several old printers that were no longer needed so I was able to replace our old broken printer (without buying a new one! hurrah!) and share the others with people who also needed printers.

* We bought color ink cartridges for the "new" printer using some of Matt's Staples Rewards "bucks" to get them for $4.00 instead of $60.00.  (Thanks, Mattie!)

* Did monthly grocery trip and, while out, picked up a few more Christmas clearance items: Several different types of candles including large apple spice and pumpkin pie jar candles for just $1.00 a piece (80% off)- I light candles at the dinner every night and sometimes throughout the day so I try and stock up when they are on super-sale.  The jar candles will provide some cheap, small emergency presents to give throughout the year if needed too.  I got two dollhouse christmas presents for about .50 cents a piece and a few muffin liners (80% off) for taking cupcakes places (for muffins and our own use, I just use spray.)  I also got two birthday presents for two children for $4.95 (originally $24.99) and another gift for an adult for 80% off- all $5.00 and less. I'd tell you what more about that but I now have children who read my blog! :-/  (This complicates things...) Oh- and two frisbees for this summer for 30 cents a piece. 

* The grocery trip was taking longer than expected and dinner was fast approaching.  I called home to let Matt know I was running later than I had hoped. He said he would have dinner ready when we got home, instead of me picking something up at the grocery store.  I came home to a most delicious husband-made ham and cheese souffle'.  The man earned some SERIOUS bonus points that night.

I wish the lighting had been better- it was quite beautiful in real life.
 * made ham and bean soup using dried beans.

* Made and printed return address labels

* saved and dried orange peels from Christmas oranges.  (14 Uses for Orange Peels).  You'll see what I do with them next week..after I actually DO it.  ;-)

* the children made thank-you notes using the Christmas cards we received this year and stampers.

 * Matt put battens on the barn.

* Paid bills.   I hate January bills, in particular, because all the once-a-year bills pop up...life insurance, garbage, etc.  I try and pay as much as I can in one lump sum to avoid those pesky "installment fees" which they often rack you with. ($5.00 per bill?  I don't think so.) January always leaves me feeling poor~ but paying as many bills up front and in full will not only save me money in the long run, but it saves me headache throughout the year too.  I guess it is worth feeling poor for a little while.  :-)

* I paid the yearly garbage bill before the special discount deadline to get one month free (Savings= $20.00)

* Over Christmas, two bills somehow got lost in the shuffle and I had missed them, resulting in two $25.00 late charges.  I called both companies and asked them if they would waive the late fee if I paid with them over the phone.  (I didn't really think they would, but I have always been an "it never hurts to try" kind of person.)  I am not sure if it was because I was a "first offender" or if this is common protocol for people proactive enough to ask, but they did (Savings=  $50.00)

* Filled out and mailed an application for Homestead Tax Relief Act.  Not sure if we qualify, but it never hurts to try.  ;-) 

* dehydrated 10 trays worth of apple chips for snacking (using our bushels of apples in storage)

* printed some famous artist drawings to color from DOVER free samples.

* Made whole berry cranberry sauce for dinner and none of the children liked it (WHAT?!?!) Matt and I did, but there is only so much cranberry sauce a person can eat- we ended up having quite a lot left and the only thing to do was figure out a way to get them to eat it or throw it away (and with it, the money it took to buy the ingredients.)  I thought about freezing it in small portions for smoothies but then decided just to puree it with applesauce to make cran-applesauce.  Not only was it a deep, beautiful red color- but everyone loved it.  Problem solved.
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