Thursday, November 15, 2012

Home Groups

I've been attending The Village Church and really liking it!  The sermons are very biblically based with the right amount of conviction and motivation and encouragement.  The music is worshipful and God-centered.  I leave each service blessed and encouraged.

They are "aggresively searching" for a campus in my city.  I love the phrase "aggresively searching".  It gives such a visual.  Don't you think? 

While they're aggresively searching for a campus, they are creating home groups specific to my city's location.  Love!  I went to Group Connect last night.  There were maybe 100 people there and about 10 or so Home Groups.  Some of these Home Groups were new, some were existing.  All meet in homes and most follow the Sunday sermon series.  I was blessed to see gray hair, newborns, young marrieds and singles.  I LOVED that two single men sat RIGHT BY ME for the brief introduction before we moved around the room.  There really ARE single men, in my city, who love Jesus.  They also both had steady jobs.  (I'm totally thinking of Mark Driscoll's illustration about women needing to look for a man who 1. Loves Jesus and 2. Has a job) 

I have signed up for a Home Group that meets ten minutes from my house with a range of young twenties to late thirties, married, single.  LOVE it!  I've been praying for a multi-generational, mixed gender, all life stages group to develop community with.

I'm so excited!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Money Lessons

I know I've been posting a lot about finances lately.

But, the Lord is teaching me a lot about finances lately.

It occurred to me earlier this week, one reason why I have been feeling the $ crunch.

When I arrived in Plano in July, everything was new.  When I received my first paycheck in September, I immediately set up tithing to Haiti Bible Mission.  I didn't have a church home and knew that a little bit of consistent income would be huge for them.  It wasn't even a consideration.  I don't even remember thinking about it as a maybe/maybe not option.  I just did it.

It occurred to me this week that I had not been tithing consistently for the last year in Houston, thus had become used to living on that money.  It's not okay.  I'm not okay with it.  But it happened.

It helped me to realize that.  I know my rent went up.  I know my electricity went up.  I know I need to fill up my tank more often because of a longer commute.  But the numbers still weren't adding up as to why things were so tight.  Until I realized the tithing money.

I'm continuing to tithe to Haiti Bible Mission.  The Bible is clear on tithing and I regret my decision to not tithe for the last year.

I have three tutoring kiddos and 4 tutoring sessions.  I sat down last night and realized if I plan to save for car maintenance, Christmas gifts, baby gifts, wedding showers, etc  You know, all the things that come up that you may or may not be expecting.  (There is never a normal month.  I learned that in Moneywise.  Don't think "This won't happen next month."  You're right.  THAT particular thing probably won't.  But there WILL be something else.  Plan for it!)  If I plan for those things, then my inflow is just a little under my outflow.  Not much, but enough to be uncomfortable.  And THAT is only the case if all my tutoring kids are consistent and never have to cancel.  (Which, duh?)

I have the possibility of one more tutoring kiddo that would meet 3x a week, but I'm not sure it's going to work.  It would be a one hour commute each way for me, on a toll road.  I'm not sure the time and money spent in gas/tolls will be worth it.  I'm hoping they'll come to my house.  We'll see.

I'm praying about how to cut back spending and how to earn more income.  I'm open to a holiday season job.  Discouraged about it a little, because I know they will require day after Thanksgiving/day after Christmas hours...and my family has traditions I don't want to miss...but I think it might be time to bite the bullet.