Eliminating the Junk Mail

Supermarket flyers, advertisements addressed to “current resident”, catalogs you never asked for! It has started driving me up the wall!

In an effort to cut back on the waste in our family, we began recycling our junk mail! I would never have thought that you could save so much space in your kitchen garbage bag by recycling all this paper! I cut back from once a week, to once every two weeks in dumping the kitchen garbage.

But at the same time, we are still often just bringing in the mail and disposing of it immediately in the recycling bins. The question begs to be asked…is this the best way to be good stewards of the earth that the Lord has entrusted to our care? How can we cut this stream of junk mail at the source?

Here are a few options:

1. Register for the Direct Marketing Association’s Mail Preference Service. It costs $1 (only if you mail in, online is free with the provision of a CC to confirm identity, but they do not charge it), and it will stop commerical mail from companies that you don’t already do business with.

2. Email your full name and current address to the Abacus Catalog Alliance ([email protected]), which will take you off the list of its members.

3. Sign up for OptOutPrescreen, which will stop prescreened credit-card offers.

4. Sign the Do Not Mail Registry, a petition to stop junk mail.

4. Lastly, you will still have stragglers to which you will have to give a ring! Hang onto these throughout the week and make a once a week call to the company’s toll-free number. It works! We have been receiving unnecessary gift receipts for our monthly giving to different organizations. I would rather these costs of printing be cut back and used for more effective use. So I called them and just asked for a annual statement for tax purposes. They were more than happy to change this for me.

It may take a few months to notice a difference, but I want to make an effort to cut back on all this junk!

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How to Get out of Debt: Don’t Buy Stuff!

Our family has enjoyed a lot of laughs over this simply amazing and insightful video for getting out and staying out of debt. You may have seen this already, but it is a fresh reminder of how easy we fall into the temptation of spending money we don’t have!

Check it out here.

It works for us! ;)

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Ministry from the Home – Freezer Meals

This past Friday, I invited a few single friends of mine over to make some freezer meals! These were special freezer meals…for they were to be given to a needy family in our church. The mother is bedridden with high blood pressure nearing the end of her pregnancy, while having five children currently to care for. The baby has a hole in his heart and will need surgery right away. They are also in the process of adopting five Liberian children, coming to the States any time. Please consider praying for the Klement family!

Why not have some productive fellowship and make some meals for this family? A great way to minister from my home and bring a few others along for the ride!

Here are some pictures from our days adventures! I had another friend, although not pictured, Holly, who came and helped me shop for groceries and begin the cooking process in the morning.

My friends, Megan & Anna

Putting all the toppings on!

Megan, myself & Anna

The finished product resulted in six freezer meals, even more than we expected! We made two each of chicken enchiladas, shepherd’s pie & Chicken Divan (broccoli, rice, chicken casserole). And they all had to be gluten-free as well! And they were oh so good! We even had enough for the three of us to enjoy a little dinner at the end of the day!

Know of anyone you could minister to in this way? Why not include others and have wonderful edifying fellowship! Little ones can be included as well!

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Kitchen Tip: Cleaning the Blender

Ever had a collection of leftovers stuck beneath the blade in your blender, making it very challenging to clean? Here’s a little tip my mom taught me growing up:

1. Fill your dirty blender about 1/2-3/4 the way up with water and a little soap.
2. Put the lid on and place on the blender base.
3. Turn blender on and allow to wash itself!
4. Dump and rinse…and you should have a clean blender…saving a lot of extra scrubbing time and probably water at that!

Simple…

It’s Kitchen Tip Tuesdays! – What’s your kitchen tip?
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The True Woman: Chapter 6 – Compassion

Welcome to the recap of chapter 6 of our book study on The True Woman by Susan Hunt, brought to us by Marliss Bombardier, a sweet godly woman in my church. Read on for a challenging call to compassion!

This life, therefore, is not righteousness but growth in righteousness, not health but healing, not being but becoming, not rest but exercise. We are not yet what we shall be, but we are growing toward it; the process is not yet finished but it is going on; this is not the end but it is the road. All does not yet gleam in glory but all is being purified.-Martin Luther

“For God’s covenant family to have a vital presence in culture, there must be community and compassion in the Christian home and in the church…women are essential for community and compassion to flourish. Women are essential to create the family atmosphere where truth can be heard, absorbed, and then reflected within and without the walls of the church. This does not constrain women. It unleashes us to do what we have been designed to do.” pgs. 127-128

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Happy Birthday Karis!

May 4, 2008

On the Event of your 1st Birthday

Dear Karis Ruth,

As we look back on this precious first year of life with you, we desire to dedicate you to the Lord once again. We want to remind you of the meaning of your name and the special gift of grace you have been to us.

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Hope in a Slowing Economy

At least we have each other and a Sovereign God who provides all our needs!

“For we do not want you to be unaware, brethren….that we were burdened excessively, beyond our strength, so that we despaired even of life; indeed, we had the sentence of death within ourselves so that we would not trust in ourselves but in God who raises the dead; who delivered us from so great a peril of death, and will deliver us…” (2 Cor. 1:8-10)

Our Great God is in control, even when fear is elevated during a challenging season in our nation’s economy. In our community alone, there are 4-5 condo units for sale that are not going any where. The value of our homes are decreasing substantially. Gas prices just keep going up! It has been overwhelming me as of late. You may likewise be burdened or overwhelmed by the challenges of budget-keeping, but may I assure you that it all has a greater purpose! In order that we might not rely upon ourselves but on God! How should we as Christians respond?

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A Great Task

“I long to accomplish a great and noble task, but it is my chief duty to accomplish humble tasks as though they were great and noble. The world is moved along not by the mighty shoves of its heroes, but by the aggregate of the tiny pushes of each honest worker…”

~Helen Keller

This quote has brought great encouragement to me when I have been overwhelmed by feeling like cleaning, cooking, taking care of my little one are insignificant. Each humble task is so important if done with a heart that views it as a great and noble task!

While at a gathering at our church last time discussing the topic of parenting, this thought was shared:

The greatest thing you may ever do is to raise your children and to include them in your lives!

How full of truth that is! Of all the important things we may accomplish in this life, raising our children to love the Lord and include them in serving the Lord together with us, is a high calling, and one not to be taken lightly or passed off to the “professionals”!

Blessings upon you as you view the humble tasks as glorious whatever season of your life!

Image from allposters.com
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Kitchen Tip: Vary the way you cut

As variety is the spice of life, why not incorporate it into the way you prepare your vegetables? I have found a fun way to add variety to my salads especially is to vary how I cut up the toppings. Why not try dicing, and then next time try julienned, and the next time grated! This is especially helpful when you are getting tired of the same vegi’s…but they have to be used up! (As is the case with our CSA produce bin…been a lot of the same stuff the last two months). So I chop my carrots, then I julienned them, then I grated them for three different salads!

This concept could apply in all food preparation…why not try a variety of preparation methods: saute, steam bake, roast, etc. Simple concept, but makes cooking a whole lot more fun!

Aaron appreciates the variety too! Funny how you only have to change the style of preparation and get a whole new dish!

Visit Tammy’s Recipes for further kitchen tips!
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The True Woman: Chapter 5 – Community

Welcome to the recap of chapter 5 of our book study on The True Woman by Susan Hunt, brought to us by Sono Harris, a godly older woman that I greatly admire. Please participate with us in this inspiring read! This post will remain at the top of my blog for the duration of the week and is open for discussion.

Chapter 5: A Cultivator of Community

In her book, The True Woman, Susan Hunt displays, through the clear instruction of Scriptural truth, empirical historical and varied contemporary examples, how a Christian woman, passionate to be all that God has designed her to be, can move closer to the ideals of godly beauty and strength. Once again, in Chapter 5, she achieves these objectives on the subject of community.

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