Archive for Free

Wooster Jam: Be There or Be Square This Saturday

I am getting excited about Saturday, which is when the 2013 version of the Wooster Jam will be held at the Wayne County fairgrounds.

WoosterJam

This is the third annual Wooster Jam, and it marks the third time I will be performing magic at the event. It is a neat event because it brings together a variety of artists, from visual to performing to musical. Whether its dancing, singing, film, art or poetry, the Wooster Jam has always brought together a diverse group.

Speaking of diversity, for the second year, the Wooster Jam, which runs from noon to 11 p.m., will be held in conjunction with the Wooster Ethnic Fair, so come out to the fairgrounds this Saturday and experience a variety of cultures, foods and arts.

To learn more about the Wooster Jam, please click here. For directions to the fairgrounds, click here. Visit the WE Fair Facebook page here.

Free Gift for Everyone If You Accept It

Guest Post By Wendi Warren

When I wrote my fairy tale, Princess Grace: A Tale of Faith, Hope & Love, I did so because I wanted to write an allegorical tale of God’s love for us—for me.

Princess Grace

I wanted to show His love for us, even when we make choices that aren’t good for us. I wanted to show that He is coming to get us some day and take us back with us to His kingdom—heaven.

When I finished my story initially in 2007/2008, I shared it with a woman that I had come to respect. I didn’t know (and still don’t know) where she stands in her relationship with God. The feedback she gave me was that my story would have been better if I gave power to the princess to save herself and not have to rely on her father or brother to save her. Perhaps that is why I kept it on the shelf for so long.

The message of needing someone to save us, is not a popular one—especially in the United States. We are an independent lot. We believe we are more than capable of accomplishing anything if we just put our mind to it. Honestly, I feel this way a lot.

But when it comes to the salvation of my soul, there is nothing I can do to save myself. I must fully rely on and trust the message of the Bible.

Jesus Christ, the only son of God, came to earth as fully God and fully human to rescue me from the penalty of death, which is caused by my own willful disobedience to God’s law (i.e. sin). It is only through his death, burial and resurrection that I have hope of ever being rescued. I can’t earn it. I can’t buy it. I can’t do anything to get it, except receive it as it is, a free gift from God.

So because of the free gift that God gave me, that we celebrate on Easter, this coming Sunday, I want to give my fairy tale away as a free gift. It doesn’t have the power to save you, but maybe God will use it lead you to want to know about His free gift of grace.

Editor’s Note: Wendi’s book will be offered free through Amazon’s Kindle store on Saturday and Sunday. The Amazon link to Wendi’s book is on a special page about “Princess Grace,” you can click here. In addition to the Amazon link, the page contains other blog posts about the book and a podcast of an interview with Wendi about her book.

Don’t Live Paycheck to Paycheck; Turn Things Around Like We Did

Do you always run out of money before the next paycheck? Do you need credit cards to get by? Do you want to live a life of financial freedom?

Wendi Joy of Budgeting

You can turn your financial life around, but it is going to require work. It will take effort, and you will have to make some hard decisions. If you always do what you have always done, then you will always get what you have always got. Resolve to turn things around today.

What comes to your mind when you think of budgeting? I bet it is not joy, though it can be. My wife, Wendi, was recently asked speak at Parkview Christian Church’s Women’s Retreat, and the theme was “Choose Joy.”

Because of the success we have had with Dave Ramsey (mainly due to Wendi’s ability to create a spending allocation plan and budget that works for us), Wendi was asked to give a presentation on the “Joy in Budgeting.”

In her 45–minute talk, Wendi spoke about our struggles to make ends meet, even though we made good money. She talked about how we relied on credit cards when we moved from Hillsboro, Ohio, to Wooster, Ohio, and maintained two residences for a year. Both of us took much less money when we moved to Wooster because it was important we be near her father, who was dealing with a health issue at the time (he is doing much better today).

Our finances began to improve, but it wasn’t until we started Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University that things began to turn around. We had read “The Tightwad Gazette” (a great book of tips on how to live a frugal life, was printed in 1998, but still some good advice) and Mary Hunt’s books, but it was Ramsey’s 13–week Financial Peace University that helped us put it all together.

In her presentation, Wendi made it clear, financial freedom is a possibility, but things have to change, like making a budget and sticking to it. A budget is merely a spending plan that directs where the money you earn will be spent. As Ramsey says, it is spending every dollar you earn on paper before you receive it.

Normally, it is just the opposite: We spend our money on plastic (credit cards) before we ever earn it. In so doing, we are committing future dollars we might or might not earn.

Wendi was concerned about whether anyone would sign up for a “Joy in Budgeting” presentation. Well, they did. She had to get more seats for her presentation as the number who attended exceeded the number who registered.

Each of them were given a booklet because Wendi did not want them to miss anything. She later expanded on the booklet and has offered it for sale on Amazon. It is available only in the Kindle format right now. (You can check out the “Joy in Budgeting” when you click here.)

In her book, Wendi lays out a plan to turn your financial life around. Here are many of the steps:

  1. Make a monthly spending plan (aka your budget!)
  2. Make it a commitment, and get an accountability partner
  3. Make a decision to give a portion of your income to a church or charity
  4. Set up an emergency fund of $1,000 to avoid a financial crisis
  5. Follow a plan to get out of debt, whether it is Hunt’s Rapid Debt Reduction or Ramsey’s Debt Snowball (they are basically the same thing)
  6. Put money aside in a freedom account each pay period to help with ongoing bills or expenses you have (like Christmas gifts, property taxes, license plate fees, school clothes, etc.)
  7. Use cash where you can (because you will spend less)

If you have Dave Ramsey’s or Mary Hunt’s materials, then it is likely you will not need Wendi’s book about the “Joy in Budgeting.” If you don’t, then it might be worth your while to check it out.

However, the primary goal is to help you get out of debt, stop living paycheck to paycheck and turn your life around, which is why I created a page to help you get out of debt. You can visit it here, and check out the free resources at the bottom of the page. Best wishes. Let me know how you do.

Free Inspirational Gift for the New Year

Bungy_CoverI have told more than a few people that if 2013 is going to be better than 2012, then I cannot wait to see what unfolds because 2012 was a wonderful year for me, and my wife, Wendi, made it so special with a surprise party that marked a milestone in my life.

Anyway, as a way of being a blessing to others, my inspirational story about how a lost dog taught me about God is being offered for free today on Amazon.com. It is only available as a Kindle document.

If you don’t know about Bungy, then you should get caught up by clicking here.

If you would love to read this story, but do not own any Kindle devices by Amazon, then you can read the story in other ways. Find out here.

OK, if you have made it this far, then you are ready for your free gift. Claim it here. Please be advised, based on Amazon.com’s policy, the book will become available for free around midnight Jan. 1, 2013 Pacific Standard Time, and the deal will end about 24 hours later.

Celebrate Financial Freedom This New Year, Here’s How

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It was a year ago that Wendi and I were ringing in the new year at the wedding of Sean Kilbane and the former Laura Siedlecki (the photo above is from their wedding). Wendi and I have been happily married since March 4, 1995, and with every wedding we attend, we sort of renew our vows. When the couple exchange vows, we remember when we made the same ones and what a blessing our marriage has been.

The reality is that marriages, and lives, are strained for financial reasons. Mishandling of money leads to a lot of broken homes and broken families, which results in many children having to live in poverty.

A wise man once told me, “Bobby, it’s not how much money you make, it’s how much you spend.” This truth is so simple it is profound and why so many will never follow it.

We are a culture that wants instant gratification. We don’t want to save our money until we have enough to buy; we want to put it on credit or take out a loan. If you can get beyond the instant gratification, then you are on your way to being successful. Don’t believe me? Check out this TED Talk (this post resumes below the video).

I understand impulses and wanting things now, but if you spend less than you earn, then you are setting yourself up for success. I know, because it happened for me.

Wendi and I made pretty good money, but we always lived paycheck to paycheck until … wait for it … we started taking Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University class at a church in town. It seems as if in no time, we paid off credit cards, paid off our vehicles years early and had money on hand for true emergencies.

The reality is this: If you want to improve your financial standing in 2013, then get yourself in a nearby Dave Ramsey class. It will change your life. How would you like to no longer have to worry about money? How would you like to have extra money the day before payday? All of this can happen if you are willing to make changes.

Do yourself a favor and spend some time watching these Financial Peace University preview videos. Because Ramsey’s company does not allow embedding the videos, you will have to click on the following links: Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3.

After you have finished watching the FPU preview, then you will want to see if there is a class in your area. Go to Dave Ramsey’s website and click on the link to search for a class here.

I have my issues with Ramsey and his organization, but it is undeniable how his program turned my family’s finances around. For that, I am ever grateful.

Ramsey’s program might seem a little steep for some, but it is probably cheaper than some of the things you have put on a credit card. If you do not want to pay for the class, then check out some of his books and other offerings here: Dave Ramsey resources.

Another person who is helpful, but does not market herself like Ramsey, is Mary Hunt. I saw her share her story on television many moons ago about how she racked up so much credit card debt and how she paid off the debt. You will find her materials very easy to read, to understand and to implement. You will also want to check out: Mary Hunt resources.

After Dave Ramsey’s program helped get us out of debt, my wife and I still had subscribed to Mary Hunt’s website, Debt-Proof Living, to support her because of guidance her teachings provided for us.

If you have absolutely no money to spend at this time, then do not fear. Below you will find three embedded PDF files, two lessons and one PowerPoint presentation, regarding changing your financial outlook.

I taught these lessons at Parkview Christian Church (formerly Parkview Church of Christ) in Wooster, Ohio. If you follow the information below, then you have a chance to turn your financial picture around and live more abundantly.

I pray this will be the year you get those finances under control and turn things around. FPU did this for us in 2009, let it do it for you in 2013.

As you look at the information below, some things to keep in mind: The prices for FPU are probably different now than they were three years ago and the PCC Debt-Free blog is no longer updated since the class wrapped up. However, there is still some good information out there.



Update: This was my first attempt at trying to embed PDF documents in a blog. What I did not realize is that I needed to set up a Scribd.com account in order to have the actual PDFs display. I cannot tell you how many times I edited and changed this post since it was first published at midnight. It is now 12:46 a.m. Jan. 1, 2013, and I am signing off.

A Little Grace on Christmas

When I was a student at Cincinnati Christian University, I studied the doctrine of grace under Dr. Jack Cottrell. At its essence, grace is God treating us better than we deserve.

I remember a time I was in Dr. Cottrell’s Ethics classes, and I did not complete an assignment as I should have. I did not follow the instructions properly, and when I turned my work in, he let me know.

However, he taught me a lesson about grace, because he accepted my work as presented and gave me a good grade.

I originally was offering my devotional article free only on Dec. 24, Christmas Eve. However, I realized maybe someone overlooked it or did not see it in time, so I am extending the free offer another day. If you want to know what this free offer is (it deals with an article I wrote offered through Amazon’s Kindle Store), see my earlier post here.

If you don’t have a Kindle device and want to read the story, please read how you can do so here.

Have a merry Christmas, and if you are interested in Jack Cottrell’s book on grace, check this out: Set Free! What the Bible Says About Grace

Another Free Gift, This From Philip Yancey

Earlier today, I shared with you a link to a free Christmas gift (check it out here). In another previous post, I talked about how for those in leadership and teaching  positions, it is easier to deal with the unexpected, especially in how to respond to tragic events (see that post here). Now, there is news that today (not sure if the offer will extend beyond Dec. 24, 2012, or not), Philip Yancey is offering his book, “Where is God When it Hurts?” for free today.

I would encourage you to download the Kindle book immediately. You can do so here.

(h/t Jon Weatherly)

Free Last-Minute Christmas Gift from Bungy

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I would like to show my appreciation for the positive feedback to my first release through Amazon’s Kindle Store, “The Gospel According to Bungy,” by offering it as a free download today only. The details of how to receive the book for free appear below.

This is my way of saying Merry Christmas to you. If you have already purchased the inspirational article, let me offer my heartfelt thank you for doing so. I hope you are not offended that it is being offered free today. I have indeed been on that side of the ledger previously, buying an item at full price only to see it steeply discounted the next week. While I cannot refund your purchase price, what I can tell you is that you might not have need to download the article again, but you can give it as a last-minute Christmas gift to someone else free of charge.

So, how can you receive it or give it away for free? If you agree to download it, read it and write a review, then visit the Amazon page and order it. You can claim your free Christmas present here and follow the normal ordering process. I trust you will keep your end of the bargain. There is no special page to sign a pledge; it is all on the honor system.

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However, if you want to give it as a gift, then you will see this selection on the right-hand side of the web page. Instead of clicking the button to buy it (the button will reflect the book is free during the sale hours), select the button below indicating you want to give the book as a gift (see image to the right). When you select the button, it will open up another screen asking you to sign into your Amazon account. Once you sign into your account, it will open yet another page. It will look like this (this post will continue below the image):

CompleteGift

 

Add all of the pertinent information above, and then you will be able to download  the devotional article for free or send it to someone else at no charge.

While this publication is being offered for free on Christmas Eve, the actual hours of being offered free are dictated by Amazon’s policies and servers. The book should be offered free for 24 hours starting at midnight Pacific Standard Time on Dec. 24, 2012. On the East Coast, it should be begin at 3 a.m. Dec. 24, 2012. Here is Amazon’s policy:

The start and end times of your promotions will be approximately midnight Pacific Standard Time on the day it starts and midnight Pacific Standard Time on the day it ends. Note that due to system latencies, the exact start or end of a promotion can take from a few minutes to several hours, but in some cases this period may be longer.

So please act fast so you do not miss out on this special Christmas gift from me to you. Spread the word about this offer on your favorite social networks, like Facebook and Twitter. Thank you and have a blessed Christmas.