Beginning of the year, Legacy’s blog will be new and much nicer and updated at least weekly! :-)
Check it out after the 1st of the year!
Peace and One Love,
The Legacy Team
Happy 2010 from the Legacy Staff! May this year be a year of positive life change and God working in your life!
Peace and One Love for this coming year!
So you are full of Thanksgiving turkey and the tryptophan has begun to flood your system… sleep is coming soon. You doze off and begin to reminisce on your favorite Christmas cartoons of yesteryear.
You wake up in a bar on Sunday morning and begin to wonder how you got there… Oh, that’s right. Turkey dinner. And you realize that you weren’t dreaming, Legacy Church really is doing something with your fav Christmas Cartoons! Grab a friend and check out this new series as we see how some of our best loved Christmas cartoons relate to us their stories and ours, and then we tie it all up with God’s epic love story.
Better wrapping couldn’t come on a present! See you Sunday at 9:30 AM!
So yesterday we talked about what it looks like to live frugally so we can be better stewards of God’s money, so we can live generously. In fact Richie was so kind as to give us a couple of ideas from various lists he has come across in his years of financial struggle. So, I thought it a good idea to post a top ten list every day this week so you have a good reference point to come back to. Also, if there are things that you have tried and found worked for you, would you share them on the blog so we all may benefit?
1. Set up “Financial central” somewhere in your house. Pick a place in your house, set up a desk and computer, and make that the place where you immediately place incoming bills for payment, etc. For me it’s my home office desk in the basement.
2. Create an “incoming bills to be paid” file on your desk. Everyday when something new comes in I file it. I have a simple three-section file I got from Staples and have divided it into first pay period bills, second pay period bills, and misc.
3. Buy Quicken 2008. Like yesterday. A number of years ago I switched from doing the checkbook by paper to doing it on my computer. My financial organization quadrupled. Instead of hours, I now spend minutes doing our finances. Quicken is set up to look like a checkbook and is so simple that, well, I can do it. You can set up a budget, print reports, etc.
4. Automate your bills. Every single on-going bill I pay, including my tithe, is done through automatic withdraw. Doing so saves time and postage. I have created a “Bills Due Schedule” and check off each bill I pay on which pay period.
5. Take 10 minutes a day, every day, to reconcile your checkbook. Every morning I gather our receipts and enter them into Quicken. There is an “update” feature in Quicken which automatically reconciles your computer ledger to the bank. I know what I have in checking to the penny, every single day. Each transaction is labeled and linked to my budget. Every morning I take a post-it and write down how much is in checking and stick it on the top of the checkbook for Lisa to see.
6. Create file folders for all your receipts. Once a year, every year, I create new files for all my receipts – “2008 Debt – Mortgage” or “2008 Housing – Electric”. They are stored in my desk. Every expense I have has a corresponding file in which that receipt goes. Each time I pay a bill I put that receipt in its file folder. Years ago I used to just throw receipts into a big plastic tub and spend years trying to find receipts to return stuff and prepare for taxes.
7. Print your budget vs. expenses each month and discuss it with your spouse. At the end of every month Lisa and I look at our Quicken budget income vs. expenses budget report and talk about how we can improve the next month and what bills we have coming up. If you’re married, like in everything else, communication and common planning is vital for staying organized financially.
8. Find a great tax person. My tax guy saves me thousands of dollars every year. No joke. I used to brag that I did my own taxes and then realized that my tax situation was becoming too complex. Little did I realize that if I had started using a tax professional years prior, I would have saved even more money and had been vastly more organized. I’ve learned that to become frugal you have to think monthly quarterly and annually, instead of weekly. A great tax guy will help you plan your year, prepare/save for any taxes owed, and as a result give you piece of mind. If you are confident your taxes are so simple that you won’t save any money by using a tax professional, I’d still use a program like Tax Cut.
9. Get a will. Do you have one? Is it up to date? One inexpensive option is to get Willmaker 2008. It will walk you through the creation of your will, and once done you can get it notarized and filled appropriately. Willmaker will also walk you through designating your final healthcare wishes, funeral arrangements, etc. Simply put, if you don’t have a will that takes care of your kids and property after death, your lack of organization will hurt those you love severely. Get Willmaker. Contact a lawyer. Something is better than nothing.
10. Create a Balance Sheet. Every accountant and business type knows what a balance sheet is. It is a statement that shows your financial position. It is a listing of all your assets (money in saving and equity in property owned) minus your liabilities (all debts to be paid). What’s left-over is your family’s net worth. I think one of the keys to getting and staying organized is creating a balance sheet that you update once a quarter. True wealth is not your lifestyle (houses, cars, vacations, clothes, clubs), but your net worth (what you would have in the bank if you sold everything and paid off all your debst). If you don’t see your net worth go up quarter after quarter, you aren’t building wealth. Keeping that target in mind at all times is a great motivation to becoming more frugal.
What is up? Great week so far, lots of great things happening and we as a staff are so honored that you are a part of the Legacy story. Speaking of stories, we want to give you guys a vehicle to share your stories of giving… Ta-da!
So as we continue this series called Thanks – Giving, we want you to share your stories of how you used the money we gave you on Sunday, November 1st. To listen to the sermon again go to the Legacy website at http://www.lvlegacy.org and click on the media page and launch the sermon player.
So that’s it! Use the comments section below to share your stories and lets see what God has in store for the Lehigh Valley!
Hey there Legacy Peeps!
So Sunday we talked about a passage from the book of Mark. It was the story of when Jesus talked to the Rich Young Man, found in chapter 10, verses 17 thru 31. And while there is no doubt this passage talks about money, what this passage really talks about is discipleship. Discipleship is defined as; “a person who is a pupil or an adherent of the doctrines of another; a follower.” In this context we are talking about following Jesus… not just following, but living a generous life and what that looks like.
So here’s the story, there is this rich guy who runs up to Jesus and asks him what he must do to inherit eternal life. Jesus answers his question with this; “You know the commandments: ‘Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not give false testimony, do not defraud, honor your father and mother.” I can just see the young man begin to beam, knowing and then answering, that he has kept these commandments since he was a boy. This is where the story turns…
Jesus looked at him and loved him.
One thing you lack,” he said. “Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”
Jesus challenges the Rich Young Man, but how does he challenge him? He challenges him with what he knows is holding him back from living a good story, from being a Christ follower, from being a disciple. See… this is not just about money. Jesus knew this man; he knew of his wealth but he also knew where his heart was and it was not in following Jesus apparently, because He walked away. See at this point – he had a chance to live a good story – The Generous Life; but he walked away. Then, when you look at the discussion with the disciples you see Jesus’ real intent here; to follow Him and live a great story, you have to overcome the conflict (in this man’s case – wealth) to get what you want and that is a great story right? So, the question to you today is this. What is preventing you from living the generous life and living out a great story? As always, the comment section is your playground… run free!
Hey there peeps!
Welcome to the Legacy Christian Church Blog. Just like church on Sunday mornings, we are glad that you are here and want to make this blog a welcoming and inviting place for you to check out on the regular. It is our intent with this blog to keep you up to date on the happenings of Legacy Christian Church, and also share with you insights from the hearts, prayers and lives of the staff. Hopefully you will not only get to know us better, but also share your stories too… and by doing that we all know each other better.
Speaking of stories, this week we start a new series @ Legacy. A four week series called “Thanks – Giving.” In this series there will be some really great stories that are shared from friends, possible future colleagues and hopefully you. We have something just for you this Sunday, so be sure to be there! In the mean time, look around the new blog, check out our links and feel free to drop us a line! Comments are encouraged and very welcome!
Here’s to seeing you on Sunday!