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POINT FOUR

Saturday, October 17, 2009



"Cheerfulness is the atmosphere in which all things thrive."
-Johann Paul Richter

Since November two years ago...it has been like this...point four pounds gone. Point five gone. Point six gone. Every point is a victory!!! The score is giving the result that I want.
I will keep on this journey called "HEALTHY LIFESTYLE CHANGE" and I will take every point loss that shows up on the scale. I will continue to cheer myself on and to encourage myself with psalms and singing...and the cheers of my Spark Friends.

In the process I will enjoy the journey. I will cheerfully accept every dress size that I go down, every point that my blood pressure registers lower, every time the Dr. looks in amazement and asks me 'what are you doing?' (as he did when my LDL cholesterol went down to normal), every time someone says 'those pants are baggy, what are you doing?', I will cheerfully accept every bit of encouragement from my Spark Friends. No matter how long the journey takes I will ask for patience, hope, guidance in my choices of what enters my mouth and where my feet take me on the path of excercise.

Yes, in the process I will be cheerful...I will praise God for His grace and goodness.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HOLLY_ROSE3 10/23/2009 11:05AM

    AWESOME!! emoticon

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NEECYANNE56 10/19/2009 6:23PM

    Hi Elaine:

I'm enjoying the journey too! And I am becoming healthier...I was just at the doctor and my blood pressure is normal (dropped since last visit) and my cholesterol is under 200. So, as the doctor so aptly put it, this stuff works and keep at it!

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JANETELIZABETH1 10/19/2009 11:38AM

    Good for you Elaine...this is a journey and we travel along the same route with it's ups & downs.
The Lord is there to assist you and your Spark friends to support & encourage you too.
Hugs
Janet

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LINDA25427 10/18/2009 9:56AM

    Congratulations you are doing great and putting God first is already a victory with him on your side you've got to win . Slowly losing it is what I have been doing too. Thank you for your blog . God Bless. emoticon

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GRANDMANANCY 10/18/2009 7:20AM

    Yahoo!! That is the way I feel too!!! Just traveling along....praising god for everything...and enjoying the journey! You are such a blessing Elaine!

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MOMMA_BEAR_69 10/18/2009 12:59AM

    AMEN on praising God!!! You are doing a great job...a loss is still a loss no matter how big or small. They all add up!! Every day is a new beginning and another day we get to spend with our Lord.
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Blessings and hugs,
Helen
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Comment edited on: 10/18/2009 12:59:32 AM

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EXTREME HEART & SOUL MAKEOVER

Tuesday, September 29, 2009



This blog is a small senopsis about our women's event this past weekend.
Notice the one picture of the girl with the buck teeth and the dentist with the wrench? This was a skit to show the extreme makeover. The girl with the teeth came in with purple hair, a pillow stuffed in her dress for a weight problem, and an attitude of not wanting to look like a 'hussy' like her neighbor. After the beautician created a hair style becoming with her own hair, the fitness person showed her excercises and walla she lost all that weight, the finished product was a beautiful women with an extreme makeover. It was hilarious.


We were at Silver Creek Falls in what is called Christian Renewal Center. We did walking, not strenuous though. Some went on a couple mile hike. I did not. Sleep won out after talking half the night with my roomie!! My choice was right for me. I can't wait to go back and make a day of hiking the falls!!

Our meetings were fantastic with 62 attending!! Our agenda was titled "Extreme Heart & Soul Makeover".

Phillippians 1:6 "Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until The Day of Christ Jesus."
(Praise God!! It is He that does the inner workings of our hearts.)

First, Becoming An Image Bearer speaks about being formed to the image of Christ, choosing a positive attitude, affirms others to build each other up, practices self control & discipline.

Second, Forgiveness, Putting the Past to Rest.
1)Tears have to flow (we each had a packet of kleenexes in our bag),
2)Talking about it to someone, Jesus with skin on.
3)Time, it is a process.
4)Forgiving self.
It is important to understand that restoration is an on-going process. To help others in this restoration process, it requires:
1)no need to sit in judgment (that is God's work)
2)but to be gentle, and
3)have the "eyes of Jesus".

Our third session was about Meaningful Communication & Building Relationships.

We need friends who have "earned the right"
1) To initiate meaningful conversation.
2) To call us on obvious sin or compromise.
3) To support us when we need them.
4) To know how to have excitement, adventure.
5) To accept us for whom we are now!
6)To improve our health..close pals boost brain power, stave off dementia.

Ways to foster relationships:
1)Accept and value others. Eph 5:1-2
2)Fully listen before speaking.Prov 21:23 & James 1:9
3)Be an encourager. I Thess. 5:11
4)Learn to defuse an argument. Ehp 4:29, Prov 17:14, Prov 20:3
5)Be honest & open with people. Prov 3:3 Guard the tongue. James 3:5-6
6)Avoid gossip like the plague. Prov 13:3
7)Promise to keep everything confidential.Prov 19:22
8)Learn to share your inner self. James 5:16
9)Never be a pest or possessive. Prov 25:17
10)Pray with and for your friends. Eph 6:18

The last day we were encouraged that God Uses Ordinary People!
Who Am I Lord??
1)Discover your gifts & walk in your calling.
2)Accept yourself without any limitations.
3)Forgive your past and LET IT GO!Jn 15:5,Acts 3-4, Acts 4:8

Here we closed with this prayer:
"Lord I ask you to reprogram me, with the truth that I am worthwhile and valuable, until it is deep within my innermost feelings."

Eph 1:3-13, Eph 2:10, Psalm 139:13-17

We did not study gifts but were encouraged to pray this year about what God would have us to either use or develop.

We had a five person worship team plus violin, keyboard, bongo drums and tamborine. The music was pleasing to the Lord I hope...with mostly worship songs.

One of the favorite scriptures was Psalm 139.
"For You created my inmost being;
You knit me together in my mother's womb.
I praise You because I am fearfully
And wonderfully made;
Your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from You
When I was made in the secret place.
When I was woven together in the
Depths of the earth,
Your eyes saw my unformed body.
All the days ordained for me
Were written in your book
Before one of them came to be.
How precious to me are
Your Thoughts of God!!
How vast is the sum of them!"
(The Bible NIV)

Opps! Forgot the BODY so will continue with NUTRITION...
our meals were quite healthy.

We had delicious soup with homemade bread one day for our dinner (noon) and the usual larger meal was the evening meal (supper) with spinach lasagna one evening and baked pork & apples with rice, salad & veggie Saturday. Of course we had oatmeal with their homestyle granola, raisins, brown sugar, yogurt or milk for breakfast. The last day we had only breakfast of french toast with bacon and slightly sweetened maple butter. I actually, to my surprise did not go over my allowed calories.delicious soup with homemade bread one day for our dinner (noon) and the usual larger meal was the evening meal (supper) with spinach lasagna one evening and baked pork & apples with rice, salad & veggie Saturday. Of course we had oatmeal with their homestyle granola, raisins, brown sugar, yogurt or milk for breakfast. The last day we had only breakfast of french toast with bacon and slightly sweetened maple butter. I actually, to my surprise did not go over my allowed calories.
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DJSNELLING 9/30/2009 5:39AM

    Isn't it wonderful to get together w/like minded females to laugh and cry and encourage one another!! Thank you so much for sharing!!

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LINDA25427 9/29/2009 11:55PM

    How wonderful for you .God bless. emoticon

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LIGHTHEART09 9/29/2009 10:19PM

    Oh what a time with the LORD and to be with your sisters in Christ...how wonderful

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I RECEIVED A DIAMOND!!!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

I received a Spark Goodie and it is you guessed it....a DIAMOND!!! What a surprise. It is from my dd Sharma. She wanted to send me a bead of sorts as we are doing beading Saturday. All that was available was this hugh diamond!! It cost her plenty.

I marvel at how God has worked in our lives...having a beautiful daughter like you is the real treasure...you are my best jewel of all.

So, I want to say formally on this blog "Thank You, Sharma!!!" You are too geneous. It is soooooo beautiful!!! Love, Oni

(Whoever reads this check out my Spark Page.)

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

EBLOOMING 10/17/2009 9:57PM

    Thank you all for your comments...so positive!! Mostly, I thank you dear daughter, what Linda said is true, you are a diamond of a daughter! What would I do without you Sharma, Debra & Spark Friends?!? emoticonElaine

Comment edited on: 10/17/2009 9:59:11 PM

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HOLLY_ROSE3 9/29/2009 4:13PM

    Too cool!

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LADYPIPPIE 9/21/2009 6:57PM

    That is awesome!

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KATEMCPHEE 9/20/2009 11:05PM

    Your daughter sparkles! And you deserve the rock!
Kate
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JANETELIZABETH1 9/20/2009 10:37AM

    Well good for you Elaine....you deserved a diamond and what a generous daughter you have!

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MOMMA_BEAR_69 9/20/2009 8:30AM

    AREN'T DAUGHTERS JUST THE GREATEST!!! MAY THE REST OF SEPTEMBER BE JUST AS BRILLANT AS YOUR NEW DIAMOND!!
BLESSINGS AND HUGS,
HELEN

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NANRIG 9/20/2009 8:09AM

    Just had a look for the diamond, I dont have that amount of points yet, you are truly blessed

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GRANDMANANCY 9/20/2009 7:16AM

    There is nothing more percious than a daughter-----unless perhaps it is her Mother.

(((((HUGS)))) to you Elaine.

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LINDA25427 9/19/2009 11:00PM

    Great . You have a diamond of a daughter . God bless. emoticon

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PARAEAST 9/19/2009 10:36PM

    That is so neat! Sounds like you had a diamond of a day!

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PEPPERLEAH 9/19/2009 6:57PM

    That is so nice!

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CAROL_ 9/19/2009 5:31PM

    What a beautiful story.

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HOW HAVE I CHANGED SINCE JOINING SPARK IN NOV 2007?

Tuesday, September 08, 2009




Less pain in my knees and hips (none in fact),

Walking strong,

Weight loss,

General health better, lower BP, good cholesteral readings, Dr is pleased!!!

New friends on SPARK!!!

Sleep better..... zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
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Smaller Size Pants!!! emoticon

Drinking my water...

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Excercise increasing every day!!!

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Healthy Eating!!!
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Getting a grip on my life ....physically...spiritually...financially
...mentally...

Praise God!!! emoticon

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HOLLY_ROSE3 9/18/2009 10:21AM

    emoticon emoticon

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LIGHTHEART09 9/11/2009 11:59PM

    yeah great spark power!!!

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MARLIN515 9/11/2009 4:17PM

    YAY!! That is great! I have gone thru some positive changes myself thanks to SP! It is true, you can change your life with a good plan, support and encouragement. A healthy lifestyle is the goal! emoticon

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MARLIN515 9/11/2009 4:17PM

    YAY!! That is great! I have gone thru some positive changes myself thanks to SP! It is true, you can change your life with a good plan, support and encouragement. A healthy lifestyle is the goal! emoticon

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ALMMOM 9/9/2009 9:57AM

    Your involvement in SP spreads to all areas of you life. You are a real success story!!!

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LINDA25427 9/9/2009 9:17AM

    You are doing so fantasic, and I'm so glad your pain is going away .Thank you for sharing and being an inspiration to others. God bless. emoticon

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GRANDMANANCY 9/9/2009 8:17AM

    What a wonder..that a simple computer program can do so much for us! Praise the Lord... Thanks Elaine!

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MOMMA_BEAR_69 9/8/2009 10:42PM

    Great blog. Keep up the great work and writing these great blogs.
Blessings and hugs,
Helen

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PARAEAST 9/8/2009 10:29PM

    This was great. I have changed too. Reached my goal, drinking water 64 oz or more each day, exercising, making better choices in what I eat. The fun was being able to buy smaller clothes!
Thank you. I loved you pics/emotions and would add some but it's getting late, and work tomorrow.
Thank you. Your blog was GREAT!

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FINANCIAL PEACE UNIVERSITY (FPU)

Saturday, September 05, 2009

What has FPU done for me? A LOT!!!

I now realize what percentage of my dollars can and should be allowed for giving, saving, housing, utilities, food, transportation, clothing, medical personal, recreation.

I was consistently added to the accumulating debt on my charge cards...sometimes quite accidently. LOL... I am talking about the times I went to COSTCO where the American Express was so kind to make available their services. To get in the store use the AM EXP than standing in line to check out, show the card AM EXP and go ahead and slide it for the total balance due. Than to fill up the car, AM EXP. Walla a hugh bill at the end of the month. Of course my plan to pay it in one lump sum accumulated so that it was higher than I could pay thus the 18% (which has grown to 21% or 27% now). Of course I had another card that I used for Chico's, only sale items you know. Than there were the trips to other clothing stores in our delightful outlet mall. My other basic debt came from gifts for my eight grandchildren and family "giving". (Not a bad thing)

What has changed?

I learned about the type of spender I was. Nerds and Free Spenders united in my class that was taught at a church with a very helpful support group and a great FPU graduate who shared her story (not perfected yet but she has knocked out a large chunk of $50,000 debt and still chipping in chunks). I have to say her story was so effective and encouraging for my financial story.

I have learned cash flow planning. I take my check each month to pay bills and than give myself a set dollar amount cash for groceries and gas. I made copies of MONTHLY CASH FLOW PLAN (Form 5) for the whole year. It has become my monthly budgeting plan. The Debt Snowball taught at the FPU seminar brought my credit card debt to a halt! FPU has taught me to do the basic quickie budget, from there set some goals. I have paid off two cards, cut up cards...I am not yet done with the scissors. I have learned about dumping debt. My car is totally mine!! My debt was around $13,000 and I began chipping away at it...cutting up cards in the process.

My goal is to go card free except for one card for trips which I will pay from dollars saved for that purpose. I am planning a saving envelope for each of the precious persons I buy gifts for.

One of the most helpful things that is affecting my spending today is to be happy with what I have. Clothing can be found at good thrift stores. Selling things, giving away things, downsizing completely the amount of clutter in my house are goals that I am working on today. My garage is so full that I cannot put my paid for car in it. I want to rearrange that part of my life.

Now more than ever with the financial crisis in our country I do need Dave Ramsey's FPU in my life. I have signed up for and will attend a class this fall at my church to reinforce my experience last year and to continue to write my FPU story.

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Real Joy comes not from ease or riches or from the praise of men, but from doing something worthwhile.

FPU is worthwhile.

A quote from one JULESGL on Dave Ramsey Spark , "FPU is about taking personal responsibility, hard work, & CHANGE of direction." emoticon

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LIGHTHEART09 9/7/2009 4:30PM

    I took the FPU with DH last year..it was excellent...I hate to say...DH did not follow thru and it was awful...I felt like a failure...I guess I am the nerd in the family...he would not do the envelope system and never got on board..it has been hardest thing for me and him to deal with...I feel like I need to retake this again...I do have all the material...it is soooo worth the time to go to and learn...

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LINDA25427 9/7/2009 3:13PM

    Happiness is being able to live life the best you can and not just by existing --- rather it's on credit cards or any other way -- life is a journey that starts from within ones self .. . At one time I had so many credit cards that my co workers called me credit card Annie Oklay. It seemed I was able to get credit every where ,at any time , now I have two credit cards and mostly use just the one when I have too. They can get you in alot of trouble even when you know how to manage good .I decided to pay off all the little ones and close them out . You are doing so good .You can beat it. Keep them scissors handy . God Bless .
Thank You for your comment on my blog .I missed you and am glad to be back . emoticon

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MEYLOSE 9/6/2009 1:43PM

    Our Church will begin FPU in 2 weeks and I'm looking forward to seeing how God can use what I have for HIS glory.

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JULESGL 9/5/2009 7:43PM

    You ROCK Elaine. This kind of peace is priceless. Absolutely worth working for.

Keep on telling others what you've been able to do for yourself. You are going to inspire SO MANY!!!!

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ALMMOM 9/5/2009 6:53PM

    You are so right - and on the right track. This is what my husband and I follow. As soon as our house is paid off - we will be debt free - 4 to 5 years or so - We're making extra $500 toward principal each month.

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CHEPRBYTHEDOZN 9/5/2009 5:42PM

    Good for you! Isn't Dave Ramsey the cat's meow?? My hubby started listening to him about 8 yrs ago (right after we bought a huge chunk of property and a brand new van). We got both of those items paid for in less than 5 yrs! (that was $115,000)! We did nothing,went nowhere,and paid everything that wasn't tithed or necessary against those bills. We stillhave the property, but with this economy, there isn't extra money to build on it. We still have the van and it's still running great!(Thank you, Lord!) The house is our current debt and we're working as much as possible to put extra on that. Our income is lower than those years ago when we paid off so much and expenses are much higher(more kids,groceries are more). But, every time that I start whining or wishing that I could have a bigger nicer house, I thank God for blessing us to have a house and income and His abiding Love. We have a roof over our head and it's not being foreclosed. We have each other, we have our Faith and lots of food on the table. The future is uncertain for us b/c of hubby's business, but one day at a time.
Bless you on your journey to financial freedom! Anne

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JANETELIZABETH1 9/5/2009 4:47PM

    Elaine...I would say it takes courage to do all those things but what price 'peace of mind' and a good nights sleep??
We learnt the hard way too when suddenly both our incomes disappeared over night and we had to live on my incapacity benefit. We are a little better off now Joseph has a pension in his own right but we never spend money we do not have.
I Praise the Lord that He has shown you His Way.
Blessings
Janet

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JANETELIZABETH1 9/5/2009 4:46PM

    Elaine...I would say it takes courage to do all those things but what price 'peace of mind' and a good nights sleep??
We learnt the hard way too when suddenly both our incomes disappeared over night and we had to live on my incapacity benefit. We are a little better off now Joseph has a pension in his own right but we never spend money we do not have.
I Praise the Lord that He has shown you His Way.
Blessings
Janet

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