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Archive for April, 2009

Not all the points given herein may apply to you. There are a number of ideas that you could put to work and perhaps a few may come as a life saver. These are tried and found useful so you may benefit in these cash strapped times.

1. A community garden of 20×30 foot where a few families could pitch in to grow fresh organic produce all year around. It bonds your community and more important still, teaches your children some life skills. Of course it keeps you active as well.

2. Savings bonds. Make a habit of putting away a 10% deduction on your pay packet and after a few years you will have a tidy sum to buy savings bonds.

3. Learn to put away all raises /bonuses towards 401(k) and if you reached the maximum put the surplus to HAS and then to a savings account. This way you can create an emergency fund.

4. If you cannot afford to put the entire raise try splitting it by half. Half you keep and half is put into a monthly retirement vehicle. It is a foolproof way to retire early.

5. Tracking spending (even for 30 days) allows you to know exactly what you spend. Track of our spending on a month-to-month basis, we spend less. Put away loose change in the change jar and you don’t know how it can come handy whenever you have an urge to make an unexpected trip to attend a funeral or a get-together.

6. Do not carry any significant amounts of cash. This applies to your partner as well. Have approximately $20 to $40 maximum in each wallet. Let your motto be,’ if we pay any interest charges, they must be tax-deductible!’ All purchases — food, gasoline and nominal retail purchases — are on the card. All credit purchases are paid up completely every billing. Savings are twofold: 30-day float and no credit card interest ever. Use reward points into cash, restaurant certificates, gift cards at various stores and so on. You could make $40 to $70 a month by doing this as some couples who have tried this.

7. Save With Coupons. Keep that money in a change jar or a piggy bank. Years ago the stores gave you cash back for coupons you used, but now it’s just deducted from the balance you owe at the store and your receipt shows how much you saved. But you haven’t really saved if you aren’t actively saving that money — you are just spending less. Start saving by taking the amount of cash out of your wallet and putting it away.

8. Use Direct Deposit The best savings secret is using direct deposit from your paycheck into a savings account.

9. Leverage Automatic Savings. Here is an example ‘The key in our household is automatic deposits. Here are some examples:

A. Every month we have a set amount taken out of our checking account and put into our two children’s college savings plans — $50 each. In this way we are setting aside $600 per year for each child for their college education. At $600 each year for 18 years we will have a lot more than I, or my parents, had saved for my college education. They will be expected to work, apply for scholarships and take out loans if necessary to help fund their education.

B. Part of our paychecks goes to various savings accounts automatically: * Savings accounts for each of our children (both are under age 8) to buy them clothes or other necessary items. We save $10 per month for each, so that is $120 per year for each child, plus birthday and Christmas money they receive from relatives helps toward clothing expenses. * A money market fund for future vacations to the tune of $50 every two weeks, which turns out to be $1,300 per year. We usually take a big vacation every two years, so we have at least $2,600. Any money not spent on a previous vacation is left in the account. * A money market fund for the down payment on our next vehicle. Whenever we pay off a vehicle, that money gets set aside instead of spent, currently $150 every two weeks, which turns out to be $3,900 per year. We try to go at least two to four years after paying off a vehicle before replacing it. * A savings account for Christmas spending; we save $80 per month, or $960 total, to put toward Christmas presents for family and friends. C. We fund our 401(k)s directly through our employer, taken out of our paychecks pretax. Paying for our retirement comes first. By having our money moving automatically around to various savings accounts or into the college funds or 401(k) plans, there is no way not to have that money available for those reasons’. — Jen Richardson

10. Pay Attention to Progress I keep a chart of my debts and assets, including school loans, car loan, mortgage, my savings account and 401(k). Then I watch them closely, actually daily right now, to see my savings grow and my debts come down. At the top of the chart I put how much I originally owed, and it has been very motivating. My savings account shows me daily how much I’m earning — by doing nothing! I’ve always been a saver, but don’t have much. For many years, I was a single mom with two children, no education and no child support — earning $5 an hour in Southern California. The kids are now on their own, and I’ve been at the same job for almost 10 years making a decent income. I just can’t figure out why I didn’t make the chart before. It has significantly helped me save while paying off my debts. — Cindy Troyer

11. Save a Little Each Week I needed to save money for several long-term goals and ongoing bills, such as a new car, vacation fund, emergency vet fund for my pets and my personal emergency fund, and so on. So I created an ING account for each fund. I started out the first week by putting $1 in each account. The second week I put $1 into each account plus an extra $1 into the personal emergency fund, third week went $1 into each account plus $2 into the personal account, and so on. The second month I put $2 a week into each account plus the extra $1 into the savings. Third month was $3 into each account each week plus the extra. Doesn’t sound like much, but you slowly learn to live without the money — paying yourself first! At this point I am putting away almost $100 a week spread out over several accounts. Some accounts are just gathering funds for long-term goals, for instance a new car, while others get tapped into on a regular basis. Alexis Heydt

12. Check Grocery Store Ads I have found that one of the best ways to save a few bucks is to watch out for grocery store ads. I retired about 10 years ago and love to grocery shop. At my local grocery market there is never a week that goes by that they don’t have a great discount on something. I save on average $40 to $45 per week, or $1,300 to date this year. Every item I buy is something to eat or use for the household. It beats the heck out of coupons. David Swanger

After compiling this it gives me an idea. A buck saved grows. I ought to be practicing what I preach here. But where do I go for my first buck?

Compiler:benny

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Soul of man gives him a taste of truth. But does he take it seriously? To Everyman truth invariably presents itself in everyday things. Also in his daily interaction with others. No matter what his soul is it is the only article he has to rely upon. For better or worse.

The only Welshman ever to hold the office of Prime Minister of the British government never dreamt he would go that far. But David Lloyd George despite his straitened circumstances and in Llanystumdwy, North Wales  found all that necessary to equip himself for that highest post. Of course such a rise came in degrees. His uncle Richard, a master cobbler and later a lay Baptist preacher was a strong Liberal who encouraged him to take up a career in law and enter politics. A great deal of his self-confidence came from having been brought up by one who trusted in his abilities and provided a good role model. One day while sitting on the branch of a tree young David in a flash saw he was someone special. Soul gives such flashes of intuitive understanding and it without exception is couched in Truth. Spirit of man however must tap on the spirit of the times and know how to negotiate with those who are all competing with him.

For those who take their cues from the Scriptures, the soul works more or less in similar fashion. Soul looks at Truth through the window of words. Certain passages are signposts and comfort or warning in the verses at times come with far greater force that one who is spiritually tuned to the Word cannot miss them.

2.

If our soul is adequate to lead us to Truth why some seek signs and wonders? In Jesus’ time also such curious folks did exist and they followed Jesus but not for knowing Truth. (Jn 4:48). Fellowship of saints or believers do have great power when each soul is a free agent. In the day of Pentecost those who heard Peter and other apostles knew Truth was at the heart of the extraordinary event. Their souls did vouch for that. We read that they didn’t ask for a replay or another miracle. ‘Men and brethren what shall we do?’ They asked and  submitted themselves to the promise the Word held out to them.

John was a cousin of Jesus. John in his time did no miracle or toadied to the shallow whims of his audience. Of him Jesus said he was the greatest born of women. (Mt.11:11) Since a Christian is born of Word, Spirit and Water he is born again. He is raised up to the heavenly places (Eph. 2:4-6) and his Soul as such does not need silly tricks we see some preachers employ to finance their rich life style. These false preachers succeed with those who hold their souls in light esteem.

Tailpiece: there is no magic bullet that can demolish your disbelief than your own soul. benny

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A Day In Slugville ©

Grandma Doris was a water rat who lived in a cottage by Harper’s Fork. By sunrise she was up and she knew it was going to be a glorious day. “Oh I am happy!”she said. “Is there anything I can do to make you happier, grandma?”asked Jamie her grandson. Silence. “Perhaps I can go to the town? run an errand for you?”
”You run along and enjoy yourself.” So Jamie took off instantly.
On the way he came across a slug with a woebegone face. “Never have I been put to shame as this morning.”
“Aha this sounds promising,”Jamie thought he was going to hear a story. “How did that come about?”Jamie asked helpfully.
Tim was his name and he replied morosely,”the gnome who tended the cabbage patch saw me stepping out prim and proper, and he tells me roughly, ‘don’t you run as if you own the whole place.”
“But you don’t run. You crawl at a snail’s pace.”
“What! I don’t run?”Tim looked as he was shocked and he asked,”am I going at a snail’s pace as you put it?”
“Of course!”Jamie replied,”snails are slow and they can never run.”
In reply to this Tim the slug burst out in tears.”Oh shame!” “come, come there is no shame in that,”Jamie said softly,” snails and slugs move very slow. It is common knowledge.”
“Common knowledge!” the snail raised himself on his belly and exclaimed,”Poppycock!” Jamie kept silent.
“We slugs have been vilified! Oh double shame!”
Jamie at first thought that Tim was pulling his legs. But Tim cried loud and tears fell thick and fast. “There, there take hold of yourself Tim!” Jamie said sharply. But Tim was not to be silenced. After he had dried himself he lashed out at everything in sight and in the end he accused the world had some grouse against the folks from Slugville.
“So you live in Slugville,”Jamie asked in excitement,”and there slugs are fast on feet.  Is that what you wanted to say?”
“Of course we are the fastest creatures that have ever seen the daylight.”
“Impossible!”Jamie exclaimed.
“See, there you go again, with your unfriendly comments.”
“How can I comfort you then?”
“Plenty of ways I can suggest.”
“For instance?”
“You can say slugs are intelligent.” “Are they?”
At this Tim did a somersault and said in a fury ,”You are bent on annoying me. Ask me anything.” “OK” Jamie said in seriousness,” Does a hungry bear watch salmon run?”
“A salmon can barely run !”replied Tim off-handedly,”with a hungry bear around.”
“Bravo!,”Jamie observed,”You are the sharpest slug I have ever come across. But do you run? Well. Ahem”.”
“ You are being unfair.”Tim said among sniffles,” Have you ever been to Slugville?”
“No, I have not.”Jamie replied. He said,”It is only fair that I see for myself.”
“Good,”Tim replied drying his tears. “I shall take you there.” Suddenly he stopped short and said,”You must know the password. Without which no one can come in.”
“Password?”
“Yes,”Tim replied,”Slow in reverse is wols.”
Tim took Jamie to the cabbage patch and whispered,”see that gnome, he has not moved even by a hairbreadth?”
“How can he?”the water-rat asked in amazement,”he is stuck on a pedestal and shall not go anywhere even if he wants to.”
Tim and Jamie stopped before the gnome who introduced himself as Gnome Bert. Jamie said the password and the gnome observed, “I guess I will have to let you in.”
As they were about to go in he called out,”Hey Tim you have been out for sometime. Ages I must say.”
Jamie thought it was some mistake. “The day has just begun. Tim only came out to say hello to me!”
“So? He took ages just the same!”
“Really?” Jamie thought something was wrong. He asked, “Bert tell me how many hours make your day?”
The gnome in red and blue dress with a cap almost crumbling at the point thought for a while,” A trillion and three hours and five minutes to be exact.”
Tim nudged Jamie to whisper,”Hurry up, my folks must be frantic with worry. I told them I shall be back for soup. It must be getting cold. ”

Later that night Grandma Doris wanted to know where he had been. Jamie replied:”Slugville”.
“So quickly you came back,”she asked with some concern, ”what, weren’t you sufficiently entertained?”
“I thought a minute in Slugville was the longest hour I spent.” He groaned and said,”I feel as some antediluvian!” His grandma snorted and said,”Whatever it is, you are using words with syllables that go on and on. Don’t spoil my day!”
The End

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9.

Tantalus was like a second father to Basileus. Iadmon was often away on something or other and the boy always looked to Tantalus for guidance. Once he asked Tantalus of what stuff his spirit was made of. He said his tutor swore by it whereas he could not make head or tail of it. Tantalus knew the boy of 14 was serious. He explained spirit as something similar to heat that accompanied the lighting of the oil lamp. “The life of man burns and the light which we see from his actions would generate heat. The City of Athens is a city of lights, fame of which is supplied by so many men and women. It is the spirit of the city which gives heat in such intensity much more than, say in a small town.” Basileus thought over it and said, “It is the spirit of the times which is the key.” “No, spirit of man is the key,” Tantalus said with a smile, ”If it were not for that how we can judge the quality of any age?” Spirit of man gives his age and place its special flavor. What moves Sparta with their Spartan way of life would leave an Athenian cold.

10.

Man is a physical and moral being.

Aesop sought his mentor out often in order to clear many of his doubts. One day Hesiod narrated story of a sage who wanted to revive one at the point of death. He sent the monkey-god to fetch a certain herb from a mountain. The time was short so the monkey-god brought the whole mountain to the physician-sage so he could choose the exact herb himself. “It is the task of each to find Truth and not leave it for others.” Aesop agreed with his mentor that Truth was for all occasions. Truth applied to both body and spirit. “The body must be true to Truth: actions give it the correct volume and shape. It has that seal of truth: thereby he is seen as human to all. He also ensures his growth by referring to Truth.” (Ch.2 His Baggage-page 45-46)

benny

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Soul as I mentioned in the earlier posts has its own language; so has our rational mind. Soul of man is a finite representation of something otherworldly. Thus we have two components :body and soul. Both work often at contrary purposes.
Let us take the life of Patriarch Abraham. He was seventy five when the Lord God promised him a nation (Gen 12:2). In the land of Sichem, a Canaanite land God appeared to him in a vision. ‘Unto thy seed will I give this land.’ It is Soul that sets up visions that to a believing heart shall have a great impact. Moses sees the burning bush and what does he do? He removes his sandals in obedience to the vision of God.  Similarly the day of Pentecost prompts Ananias and Sapphira. Soul’s prompting must have been sufficiently strong for them to sell their possession as so many others. But did they follow it through?
Others brought the proceeds from the sale to the common fund. Cold logic however prompted Ananias and his wife to reconsider. ‘If they gave away all their wealth on what shall they live on? (Ac 4:32, 5:1-3) Here we see how differently soul and body exert their pull on man?
Coming back to Patriarch Abraham could not in his worldly wisdom believe Sarai could bear children. He chose to go into Hagar and she bore Ishmael as a result of the union. Since then Ishmael’s seed posed an ever present threat,- and still is, to the children of Israel. We see how sometimes our intellect can trip us up.
Spirit is what settles a man to walk the line after he had believed the Soul’s prompting. Spirit is part of the equation where each and everyone who takes the name of the Lord may live a fruitful life. (2 Pe.1:3-8)
St. Peter begins the second epistle with the idea of divine power, which is a two- fold impact of soul and spirit on a body that is imperfect. We wear our corruptible bodies and yet we are slowly undergoing a certain process that can only be called divine. Since God has begun this change in us we may say godliness begins even in our very imperfections. Only that we are subject to a higher authority while we go through the motions of living on this side of paradise.
Tailpiece: For a Christian the scriptures is the work of Holy Spirit (2 Pe 1:21) Even so how a Christian can be settled in a life of godliness is a slow process. Spirit has much to do since it is a spirit of belief, of knowledge and so on.
benny

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the-rhine

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THEODOSIUS DOBZHANSKY (1900 – 1975)

Geneticist.

This Russian scientist came to the U.S. as a student and chose to remain there when the spurious environmental doctrines of Lysanko became the communist dogma under the Stalin’s regime. He began his research on the fruit fly ‘Drosophila’ but soon became interested in the evolution of human populations. This led him to a study of race and later to the attempt ‘to understand mankind as a product of evolution and as an evolving whole’. In 1959 he was invited to deliver the Silliman lectures at the Columbia University, which formed the basis of ‘Mankind Evolving’. He stressed that the most important point of Darwin’s evolutionary theory had been missed – man not only has evolved but is still evolving. He argued that man, by changing the world, changed also himself both culturally and physically. He saw in this the hope that changes resulting from knowledge could also be directed by knowledge. ‘Evolution need no longer be a destiny imposed from without. It may concievably be controlled by man’. He is best known for works such as Genetic diversity and Human Equality and Heredity and the Nature of Man. His ‘Mankind Evolving’ has been dubbed the most judicious scientific treatis ever written on the nature of man.

compiler:benny

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