Friday, 12 May 2017

Money Matters

My eye has just caught sight of a verse, it read:-
 ‘It is not how much we have but how much we enjoy that makes happiness’

Later watching a TV programme about people in debt I thought about that. There is no joy in being in debt in fact it is a real kill-joy!

But is debt something we really like to talk about? When I meet with friends we talk about what we have been up to and people seem happy to talk about what they have just brought and the holiday they have just had and we might like to share a problem or two, but from my experience few of us like to discuss our money matters (unless there is plenty of it of course!)

I remember a few years ago a friend asking me how our business was going. We are in the business of construction, and back in 2008 as you may well be aware, there was a crash and it affected us quite badly. It had taken a while for the backlash of it to emerge, but it had left us struggling, not a nice place to be in. It certainly was no fun so I just started to reply, ‘well we were having a bit of a slump’ when she immediately changed the subject.

If I am honest I was glad she did. I couldn’t lie to her and say we were doing great, but at the same time I didn’t want to admit money was a problem. For some reason it made me feel like a bit of a failure. We had had our business about three years, it had all been going swimmingly. But you have to keep an eye on things. I should have made some cutbacks much sooner, but I didn’t. I could have kicked myself!  

But kicking myself would not solve our problem. It had to be sorted. I have faith, I knew we could do this, and as I prayed in my mind’s eye a plan soon unfurled itself.
We needed to cut our cloth by a third. There were obvious things we could do.  Eating out in the city was replaced by a meal down the local, and I was surprised as it was just as much fun. We still treated ourselves to a take away once a week too, but it was with a Chinese from the supermarket rather than the takeaway. Who cares if you have to heat it at home?

The next step was quite a test. I got out our latest bank and credit card statements and I went through every item.
The ones that were essential e.g. gas electric mortgage/rent got a tick.
The ones that were not essential were circled. I felt I should total up all these non-essentials.
 It was quite staggering!
The next time I went shopping as I picked something off the rack I felt something prompt me.
‘Do you really need this? Does your life depend upon it?’

It really humbled me.

So if you need to make a few cut backs take the test. You need to be the master of your money not the slave.

‘We end up buying things we don’t need with money we don’t have to impress people who don’t care. The freedom to decide your destiny is determined by what you owe not what you earn.’  
(UCB Word For Today)   

 Other inspirations can be read in ‘On Earth as it is in Heaven’ by Julie Prentice.  Available on Amazon or email for stockists.                            Follow us on twitter JulieJules07
on face book page Beauty & Belief  

(Photograph not my own found on twitter)                                                                                      

Tuesday, 1 March 2016

The Waiting Game

I had a notification come up on my face book page yesterday. Somebody had liked a post my daughter had put up last November where Daughter had said she was glad I was blogging again! Funny I thought, that I should be reminded of that today, but to be honest my writing has been put on the back burner this year. Not intentionally of course. It’s just that our household has become such a flurry of activity lately.

I had been praying for so long that my son would meet a nice young lady. I remember talking to my children several years ago and asking them what they wanted in life. Although both were hoping to go to university their main aspiration was to be happily married.

Well my daughter has been with her boyfriend for 3 years now. They first set eyes on each other on Valentine’s Day actually!! I noticed the change in her immediately, she seemed so much happier, yes love is a wonderful thing! Son on the other hand, being three years older had had a bit of a bashing at University and had become very wary of the whole ‘Love thing.’ As a mother my heart felt sore for him, we used to chat and I would say, ‘When you meet the right one it will just hit you. I feel with you it will all happen very quickly’ Why I said it I don’t know because every hint I dropped to him about asking a girl out was met with an excuse. So eventually I decided to let it go and keep quiet, I did not want to appear the nagging mother. To me he was just too shy.

However looking at it today I can see that God was in the plan all along. I had just started to doubt, even though in my heart I had been trying to hold on to the promises God had given me I have to admit I was beginning to lose faith. I even said to Hubby, I don’t know if these visions I have are my imaginations! I had been so sure back then, even down to the colour of the girl’s hair!  But in October last year everything changed and I have to say to me, it now seems no coincidence. Let me share:-

My Son had been attending church for several years, but decided in August last year, (much to my surprise) to join ours. He had only been coming along for a couple of months when by chance he got chatting to a lady from Colombia. It transpired she had been to the UK before - studying in Scotland but for some reason she felt she should return home for a season. However, once back feelings for the UK began to stir in her heart again, so she began another search, and it was then that she stumbled across a course in our City. She was surprised she had not seen it before and was even more surprised when they said ‘YES’ to a part scholarship for her first year.

Once arriving here she began searching for a church and was set to join the one my son had just left. However, by chance she met our Pastor and his wife who invited her to join them for dinner and through that invitation she decided to join our church where she met our Son. 

To my amazement, two weeks later he asked her out and two weeks later it became official. This year to my surprise, they decided to get engaged and are now currently planning their wedding.

My Son reflecting on this smiled and said, ‘It was worth the wait.’
Talking to our Pastor about the wedding he said, ‘They make a lovely couple. Why wait?’

Are you waiting on a promise? 

'For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and it will not prove false. Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay'         (Habakkuk 2:3)

Other inspirations can be read in ‘On Earth as it is in Heaven’ by Julie Prentice.  
Follow us on twitter JulieJules07               on face book page Beauty & Belief

Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Lest We Forget

                                              In commemoration of the Great War.

 It was over 100 years ago that 750,000 young men volunteered to defend their King and Country. Sadly it later transpired that 250,000 of them were not even old enough! In the euphoria to sign up many of them had lied about their ages, they were just boys, barely 15 years old who thought it would be a great way to see a bit of the world, believing that it would all be over in six months. Those who were old enough didn’t know much better either. In their naivety, they were even given leave from their jobs, some being told, ‘it would be a nice little holiday.’

Unlike today, all those years ago news did not travel fast, it was not until they had crossed the channel that the facts began to emerge and as the red hot shrapnel plummeted down on them and the  gas attacks blinded them did the truth  and full horror of what they had been led into emerge.  

It was only in their latter years that some were able to bear their souls and the burdens of their hearts to tell their tales. A film clip of a veteran now passed on,  shed a tear as he shared how his friend with major body parts missing, in shock had asked him for a cigarette, by the time he had taken two puffs he was dead- like a puff of smoke he was gone. Life expectancy was short; if you lasted more than six weeks you were classed as lucky. 

The Great War which these young volunteers anticipated was to last no more than six months actually lasted 1560 days. The ceasefire took place on the 11th Hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918 and more than sixteen million young men lost their lives.

Looking at life today, I think we like to feel things are better, but in a way the world is still at war. News travels much faster nowadays and listening to the news sadly it seems we have not moved on that greatly.  People are still killing each other. So many stories of terrible tragedies. What can we say?

People who are hurting become angry and they will look for somebody to blame, sadly when all else fails many will blame it on God. Even those who say they don’t believe in God will blame God. Yes with regards to faith times may have changed, but when it comes to our final hour has it? Over 100 years ago I believe when those young men lay dying in agony they would have prayed to God. And as it says Acts 2 : 21 

‘Whoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.’

So today I say, to all those who suffer and mourn I pray you will find your faith. it is a fact that many people when in times of trouble will pray, so give it a try, call upon the name of the Lord. I pray that through these terrible tragedies although loved ones may be gone, you will meet them again.
As that old song goes, ‘we’ll meet again don’t know where don’t know when but I know we’ll meet again some sunny day.’

A dedication to my beloved Grandad, who although long gone, fought and survived the Great War.

Other inspirations can be read in ‘On Earth as it is in Heaven’  by Julie Prentice                                                                                                                               
Follow us on twitter JulieJules07 on face book page Beauty & Belief