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Love Houston

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It was only a few years ago that torrential rains flooded our streets in Columbia.  We can tell names of friends, family, and neighbors who lost homes and faced true danger.  We lived the #scflood, and we realize how much more devastating and widespread the floods in South Texas have been.  Over the weekend, Hurricane Harvey smothered South Texas.  It has been so bad that the National Weather Service tweeted, “This event is unprecedented & all impacts are unknown & beyond anything  experienced.”   

Because of the grace God has given to us, Shandon Baptist Church will respond to this need in the love of God, just like we did here in Columbia a few years ago.  There are 3 ways you can show the love of God with us:

  1. Pray.  Psalm 46 reminds us to “Be still and know that I am God.”  Please pray for God to make his strength and love known in South Texas in the aftermath of this storm.  Pray for those who are displaced, lost, and hurt.  Pray for His church, our brothers and sisters in Christ, to be witnesses of His grace.  Pray for a stronger Houston, stronger because of the loving arms of God.  Pray every day, and ask God how He would use you.
  2. Give.  Our church set up a “Disaster Relief” fund during our own flood.  If you give to this fund, we will forward 100% of your donation Samaritan’s Purse and Send Relief, the disaster relief arm of the North American Mission Board.  You can give here  and choose the “Disaster Relief” option.  You can also give by check or cash this Sunday by writing “Disaster Relief” on your offering envelope.  
  3. Go.  We are gathering names and contact information of those who want to go help.  Although we do not have dates and costs currently set, we are building an army of men and women who will be the hands and feet of Jesus in this time of need.  We know how to do mudouts.  We know how to dry photos.  We know how to bring light to darkness.  You can show interest in upcoming trips to South Texas by filling out the form below. 

Please consider how God is calling you to respond.  Pray Shandon will be faithful in the way we respond.  We love South Texas, and we want to show it by praying, giving, and going.

Posted by David Taylor with

Spring Cleaning

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Ahhhh, the beauty of the season.  Warming temperatures, greening lawns, flowering trees…and pollen.  Pollen everywhere – on our cars, in the roads, and somehow, despite all the wonders of modern science, in our houses.  Time for spring cleaning!

Let me be honest.  I don’t like to clean, but I love it when the house looks good, so Angie and I “grit our teeth and get it done” to enjoy the results.

Maybe you are the same way with your personal finances.  Most people don’t naturally love managing money.  We want the RESULTS without the work it may require.  But like spring cleaning, you have apply a little elbow grease if you want your finances to sparkle!

Here are a few “financial spring cleaning” tips for you to consider:

 

Clean Up Your Accounts

I have found that the more I can simplify, the easier it is to manage.  How many checking or savings accounts do you have?  Could you consolidate them so you have fewer accounts to manage?  The same applies to credit cards.   Canceling all but one or two cards reduces the number of statements you receive, bills you pay, and annual fees.  And it improves your mental health as well!

 

Remove the Spots from Your Credit Report

It’s a great idea to run a credit report on yourself annually.  You can get a free report at www.creditkarma.com.  Print your report and look for any incorrect information.  For example, when a loan is paid off, there can be a delay in reporting this to the credit agencies, which lowers your credit rating.  Contact the company to have this information updated. 

 

Scrub Your Debt

The average American family has $16,000 in consumer debt (not including the mortgage).  While certain kinds of debt are understandable, it can severely limit our ability to save for future needs like kids’ college or retirement.  It also keeps us from giving financially to the Lord’s work or to those in need.

How do you “scrub your debt?”  List your obligations on a piece of paper from largest to smallest.  Let’s say there are 10 items.  Find creative ways to eliminate the small debts at the bottom of the list.  Have a yard sale.  eBay those Franklin Mint commemorative dinner plates!  Pack a lunch instead of eating out.  If you are focused, you can easily cut the list from 10 to five items.  There, isn’t that more manageable?  Now formulate a plan to accelerate payment of the remaining debts.  By “scrubbing” our debts, we free up funds for other priorities.

If you’d like more practical tips, sign up for Shandon’s RIGHT ON THE MONEY class here.  It’s free, only 4 weeks, and we start the Sunday morning after Easter.  Let’s do some “financial spring cleaning” together!

Posted by Buster Whitlock with

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