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Home management tips

Renee Ellison's tools for effectively managing your home--including finance and domestic skills..

Turn off the movies!

Wednesday, 19. March 2014 by Renee Ellison

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Modern movies are killing the spirits of our children. Make no mistake, modern script writers are re-writing fundamentals, in direct defiance of God.  They are presenting altered realities to the minds of our children.  These are not stories of a boy and his dog, anymore.  These are something else, entirely.

Who is a man?  Who is a woman?  What is a marriage?  (Homosexuality)  What is an animal and what is man?  (Beauty and the Beast—are we supposed to fall in love with beasts?...is sex with a beast next?  The Bible calls this bestiality and forbids it.  We must face squarely that this is where all of this is headed.  It has already arrived in the lyrics of rock music.  This concept is evolutionary at its root—that we are no different from the animals—that we are not made in the image of God.)  Who is the hero?—the one who prays to God, or the one who consults the force and all its minions (wizards, psychic powers, his secret “friend” or aliens of all shapes and sizes)?  Such movies are a deliberate mincing invasion straight into the minds and souls of our children.

In the media, deviance is cleverly always introduced onto the scene or theater first through laughter, but eventually and finally it all becomes normative and wholly acceptable.  Eventually the small excursions in deviance are moved from the edge of theater and from the edge of the plot (used first as sub-plots) to the center.  Swearing, violence, sex and idolatry take over.  These are the ways our children are taught to cope, and the major reality that they now know.  And we desire this?  Foster this?  Enable this?  Do we have three hours of devotions to the living God, in Bible reading and prayer, to offset this?

For 5,900 years parents did not have movies to pacify, calm, or babysit their children, and as a result they produced a different kind of human being.  None of the Israelites allowed someone else to raise their children, either in a pagan school or from a pagan screen.  They did not put them in Pharaoh’s schools, nor in front of the world’s entertainment.  Yes, that meant that Abraham had to figure out what to do with his child all day long.  So he trained him in righteousness, and grew his son’s life skills.  Daniel’s mother, the Messiah’s mother, Moses’ mother all had to do something productive and wholesome the whole life-long day.  This was the norm.

Sadly, today, what is the parent’s convenience will become the child’s addiction. The devil has discovered a way to mainline altered realities into our children, just like a heroin addict mainlines heroin right into his veins.  If a person came into your home espousing these world-views, whispering them into our children’s ears, we would throw him out.  But, instead, because it comes into the home in containment, packaged in living color upon a screen, we march our children to the screen and sit them down in front of these false preachers.  And we leave the room.  These lies about reality are not mainlining into our heads, as parents, for as many hours as they are into our children’s heads.  Not even close, if you add gaming.  We are not experiencing what our children are experiencing, not at all, and we certainly did not experience this degree of unreality in our own formative years.  We are sacrificing our children upon the altar of these deviant realities—the flames engulf their very fragile, emerging souls and spirits, and dive-bomb their entire concept of spiritual truth.

There is another, larger, reality surrounding this one, but we are to go there only through prayer and with God.  He forbids us to enter other realms through mediums, spiritists, wizards, aliens, monsters, supermen and “creatures” found nowhere in this reality.  His warnings are serious.  We can’t handle what is there, and may never be able to get back from there.  Yet we think our children can handle it?! We allow it for hours and hours everyday, while we are freed up to go and do something else?

Our children are not handling it. and spiritual confusion is running rampant in their spirits.  Children now think angels are fairies and that it took magic to raise Lazarus from the dead.  Wake up and determine whether something is devouring the soul of your child.  Realize that if this is so, you will pay for it dearly, both in this life and in the life to come.  Christianity will be a faint memory in the midst of their deliriums, and godly seed will dwindle to hair-raising obscurity—it will hang by a thread.  The scriptures ask: “When the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?”  Where is your child spiritually and mentally these days?  When someone dies in your family, which song do you want your child singing at the funeral:  “When you wish upon a star”, or “Guide Me, Oh Thou Great Jehovah”?  The choice is made by you, hour by hour.

Filed Under: Home management tips

Financial failure due to ignored fundamentals

Wednesday, 21. August 2013 by Renee Ellison

Image "Fundamentals" are a force to be reckoned with at the base of all economics—and they affect homeschooling families along with everyone else.

The policymakers at the head of the Federal Reserve Board (which has been changing recently at a greater pace than ever before, as they grapple with reducing their stimulus efforts) are looking like a deer in the headlights at this hour, because they vainly supposed that printing money would solve the nation's financial issues. What they hadn't calculated on (via drinking too long at the well of idolizing Keynesian economic idolatry, "as long as you can pay the interest on the debt, you're fine") were the fundamentals of economics.

Fundamentals are the roaring tide of trade that is dictated by a world of independent individuals. No single top-down entity can ever control it or rig it, because there are a host of these fundamentals at work. One of these is people's buying patterns / individuals' buying choices. Sales are sharply down at Wal-Mart because fewer people are buying. And no one can force anyone to buy things.

People buy based on their perceptions of the soundness of the economy (and, based on their decisions as to what they really must have, or really want to have). Printing money does nothing to increase that confidence. There's the rub. What the politicians apparently are short on understanding is that there is an emotional component to all money management that a top-down edict or mandate by a totalitarian state can never bank on. There is also a spiritual component to all money management, by the way. If you abort babies, it isn't going to go well with your finances. The emotions of money and the spiritual verities of money are not to be tangled with. They exist, and it can be like stepping on barbed wire with bare feet if you don't factor them in.

The fundamentals (what 7 billion individuals do, in spite of laws) that shape economies are active on the working end, as well as on the buying end of the economic arena. Nobody can ever force people to become entrepreneurial or productive—which is, of course, the engine that powers the Gross Domestic Product. That happens somewhere in a person's gizzard, in response to incentives. You can't light the entrepreneurial fire without incentives. Printing money (with no hard asset backing ) is no incentive. Moreover, even when there are incentives you don't know who or what kind of numbers of individuals will jump or not jump at the motivation (whether it be lower taxes, less red tape for small businesses, or fiscal rewards for so much productivity).

Economic systems have a will of their own, a powerful will that anything but a free market dares not touch, without horrific fiscal consequences. God's design for economics was two-fold:
***one: to never be in debt for anything. People used to even buy their houses totally without mortgages. That was to be the norm. It would keep an economy true and prices down, commensurate with current and actual work output, or else no house would sell. Houses "found" their sale price on their own.
***and two: to not tamper with a free market, but rather to let it balance itself through supply and demand. Don't touch it. Economies are made up of billions of intricate personal buying and working decisions that are far too complex for any one entity to think that they could ever direct them.

Nonetheless, the leaders of the central economic systems have spurned both principles. We will now, probably quite soon, witness a conversion to a one world currency, another attempt to politically "help" things. The conversion will be nasty, head-spinning, and global, and everyone in the middle will lose personal wealth in the conversion. "Give me your ten bucks and I'll give ten digits." The conversion will be seamless and painless for the powers that be. Only at the store will you scratch your head when you find that it buys far less. Enter the book of Revelation.

So, what should home schoolers do?
    1. Get out of all debt—including mortgage debt, if at all possible.
    2. Develop multiple income streams, and include in them family entrepreneurial enterprises.
    3. Consider whose philosophy you are funding when you make a purchase. For instance, if you don't agree with the values of what is broadcast, don't subscribe to cable tv. If someone you care about is producing a good or service you can use, pay them for it and support their business.
    4. Resolve ahead of time to not accept the mark on the hand or on the forehead that the angel warns us not to take (Rev. 14:9-10 and 16:2), even when it removes you from the world of normal commerce. Instead, barter and trade—and pray.
    5. Study the Greater Exodus (foretold for us in Jeremiah 16:14-15 and Exekiel 20:33-38) and prepare for it, spiritually and practically.


For more on this topic:
Filed Under: Home management tips

Birthdays under the magnifying glass of the Word

Monday, 28. January 2013 by Renee Ellison

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Are you feeling that birthday celebration expectations among your children’s friends could get out of hand?  Do you find that you are spending more and more of your life on birthday party pay-backs and reciprocities?  Does your schedule get eaten up by unexpected additional parties you hadn’t counted on; are you flattered but exhausted?  Are you bothered by the increasing over-the-top materialism, the plastic restaurants that will do it all for you?  You like it, but don’t like it?  Feel trapped?

Are the origins of birthday parties even biblical?  What were its specific pagan practices and for what reasons were they done?  Do we still do those today?  Why?  I remember the day when it struck me as a young mother that playing musical chairs was an AWFUL game.  What kind of values does wanting to hog a chair while pushing another child away, teach?  Wouldn’t I rather like to teach my child to give UP his chair out of deference for another?  There are many things like this that we grew up with in our culture that were simply handed down to us that have not been examined biblically.  Teaching the story of Little Red Riding Hood is another.  What kind of values are in that wretched story of fear and anxiety and unreality?  I can’t name a single person who has ever had to face having a wolf for a grandmother, so why put all that trash in a child’s head?  Whatever FOR?  To what end?!

If you love birthday parties, this blog won’t be for you. But if you have a nagging feeling that something might be off in relation to them, or that you feel more and more uneasy about them, or feel like you are on a roller coaster of expectation from all your friends that you can’t get off from, there might be some liberating thoughts for you from the Bible.  Scripture says to “Love one another”; it never mentions doing that more (or better) on one day over another!  If you were ever to take a fork in the road regarding birthdays, initially, your friends might be outraged that you won’t come to their exhausting parties, but you can be sure that they will cock their heads when you show them more love and thoughtful kindness on an ordinary day, more than they are used to from others.  All our messages about who we are, or who we are becoming, don’t have to get said on a single day!  So here is some food for thought.

The following verse really struck me this morning in a forceful new way:

“They imitated the nations around them, although the Lord had ordered them, `Do not do as they do’ and they did the things the Lord had forbidden them to do” (2 Kings 17:15, NIV).  Apparently it is not enough that we obey the decrees and statutes of Scriptures.  Do we see that we also must NOT do what the heathen do—actions that are typical of heathen behavior?  Should we be putting heathen parts of Christmas and birthdays away, etc., under the ban?  Many of us are still attempting to accommodate both—and this is syncretism.  Are we obeying one and still doing the other?

We, as a family, have grappled with this caving into syncretism in several areas.  Although the pagan practices found in holidays were fairly easy to jettison and replace with Biblical ones, we’ve had a whale of a time jettisoning birthdays completely.  We, personally, as a family still struggle with birthdays.  Although we ended the external parties and invitations long ago, making others focus upon us, which after all IS what happens (and many young mothers have come under the tyranny of ever more lavish birthday parties from ever more friends—coming under a subtle tyranny of giving far more time and money to it than they would really RATHER give), we still privately give gifts to each other, or do dinner, i.e. there is SOME attention drawn to it.  But I’m newly alarmed via this verse about what we perhaps lose of His presence, of His favor, of spiritual heart rest, when we engage in this apparently mild idolatry for a few hours.  Does a mincing degree of it have some death in it for our spirits?  I wonder.

There is nowhere in Scripture where we are told to do birthdays. Accounts of ancient birthdays give us some light on the topic, perhaps.  Pharaoh’s birthday celebration led to the restoration of his cupbearer and the death of his baker, as recorded in Genesis 40:20-22; good for one but not so good for the other?  These ancient birthdays were often occasions of rash behaviors.  John got his head chopped off at Herod’s birthday party (Matthew 14:8).  Job’s sons were apparently doing birthdays, having parties on “their days” and it was apparently not a blessing; their father went out and sacrificed to cover any sins they may have committed, cursing God in their hearts (Job 1:5).

Many birthday practices have heathen origins, not godly ones.  Heathens initiated the custom of making round cakes (in worship of the sun god) on that day; spanking the birthday person to expel wicked spirits; gathering friends, family and loved ones around so as to fend off the attacks of the demons on that day.  Candles were for the sun god.  Wishes were wishes made to demons.

The Messiah Himself never instructed us to celebrate birthdays—not even His own.  He shifted the focus elsewhere to remembering his DEATH, instead: “Do THIS in remembrance of me” (1 Corinthians 11:24), drinking the cup at Passover.  There is no Biblical mention of giving gifts to each other as a means of celebrating His birth.  The few examples of birthdays that are in Scripture are devastating.

Perhaps the root of birthdays may be a bit of self-worship?  It may be what makes us so uncomfortable when everyone at a restaurant sings happy birthday to us.  It might be that a mere mortal was never designed to be able to deal with “worship”—only God was made to be able to stand it without making Him squirm or having it go to His head.  It may be that the only reason He requires any worship for Himself is that it looks good on us—that it was designed for our benefit—much like we as parents, insist that our children say thank you.  We don’t need the thank you, the child needs to say it to put his own spirit in a grateful posture for his own well-being—to take his spirit out of agitation and death over little issues and big.  It may be that worship of the Almighty is the survival adrenalin from heaven that keeps the mortal life “centered” in the most life-giving place.

If you find yourself wondering about all of this, carefully observe the emotional dynamics among people at birthdays, and see what you conclude.  Consecration could be not only about doing but also about not doing.  Just like with healthy diets; it is not only what one puts into one’s mouth, but what one doesn’t eat, that brings about optimal health.  Thinking biblically about every single detail of our lives may take us in some surprising directions with some surprising benefits.  The important thing is to THINK—and to pay attention to our misgivings.

For further reading on this topic, see our booklets/eBooks:
+ Party Themes and Activities
+ How to Keep Your Kids from Slipping into Materialism
+ No Stress Holidays for Moms

Restoring your sanity in conquering domestic chores

Wednesday, 12. December 2012 by Renee Ellison

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Ever get in one of those loops where you start out to do one thing but when you get there, some other task looms large in front of you, so you momentarily forget the first thing and tackle that second thing and then in the middle of that second thing a third thing presses its way into your path, demanding attention?  How do you navigate it without ending up buried in deep occupation with the TENTH thing, now on the trivial level, instead of the first?

Here’s how: you write down the second, third and fourth things, and continue DOING the first!  Yup, that’s it.  Domestic insanity replaced with “measured-tread”.

Research shows that if a person, no matter whether it’s a corporation president or the humble janitor, or the pulled-in-every-direction housewife, continues with the highest thing on their priority list and KEEPS it the highest thing, such a person makes remarkable SIGNIFICANT progress in life.  A struggling company told all of its employees to write down their highest three goals EACH DAY, keeping them VISIBLE and prominent, and it turned the company into a business dynamo.  Their bottom line profits broke all their previous records.  For the homemaker?  It turns chaos into cheerful calm!

Wanta know even more secrets that deliver domestic progress for you?!  Order our ebooks, Goal Setting and Time Management and Home Management Strategies.

Filed Under: Home management tips

Secrets to surviving company

Tuesday, 04. December 2012 by Renee Ellison

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Expecting company?  Here are seven tips.

One:  Think ENDURANCE strategies.  Tone down your OWN responsiveness.  Wear a warm, tender smile on your face, and that is ALL.  SAY very little from either your own input, or in response to theirs.  Wait until the END of their visit to add your stories, or to become very responsive to them, so that if you collapse it will be at the end of your time together.  Conserve your OWN energy.

Two:  Examine yourself frequently for stress.  Do tummy checks: “Is my tummy tight?”  And breathing checks: “Is my breathing shallow?”  Consciously do bio-feedback.  Loosen your tummy muscles, deepen your breathing, slow your actions, and lower your voice.  As Shakespeare wrote in King Lear: “Her voice was ever soft and low—an excellent thing in a woman.”  This will all have a calming effect upon you.

Three:  Keep a running private conversation going with the Lord.  Pray over everything—even over what to have for dinner.  This sweet internal fellowship will renew you ongoingly.  Praise Him a great deal in your insides.  Praise refreshes, and restores perspective about the big picture.  Relatives often take us down into the minutiae of the little picture.

Four:  If you feel any criticisms or challenges, play dodge ball.  Don’t answer; don’t take it to heart.  Change the conversation onto something wholesome and out there.  Diverting conversations is one of the most excellent strategies to use with relatives; they never figure out that you are doing it.  Put yourself mentally, at those times, into a God-bubble; remind yourself that your “being” and “actions” bring Him great delight, and that He knows your good MOTIVES for the choices of your own lifestyle.  You will stand before Him alone at the great bar.

Five:  If someone is mean-spirited toward you, operate in the OPPOSITE spirit.
  Unhook from the last remark and serve them tea. smile

Six:  Get away, out of the room, for one-minute vacations.

Seven:  Look for shortcuts for everything: only changing pillowcases during your guests’ stay, instead of the sheets, preparing faster foods, etc., and DELEGATE as much as possible TO your company.  This OCCUPIES them productively, gets their attention off from you, makes them feel useful, and lightens your own load.  It is enough to THINK up the order of the day; you don’t have to DO the day, too.  Administration takes mental energy—don’t forget that.  You are the ONLY one in the group who can DO the administration.  That is a job, in and of itself.

For further thoughts, order our ebooks, No Stress Holidays for Moms and Coping with Personally Induced Stress.  Also, Why We Got Off the Christmas Bandwagon.

Filed Under: Home management tips

Strategies for getting homeschooling on track

Wednesday, 31. October 2012 by Renee Ellison

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The very first place to start is to get those to-do charts up and running for your entire family.  We suggest reading our booklet on How to Make Optimal Homeschooling To-Do Charts, cover to cover, and underline anything that you especially want to remember.

Go get some graph paper with half-inch squares (it must be large enough that you/Mom can read it ten feet away, at a glance) or make some graph papers and fill them out for each child, as explained in our booklet.  Make one for yourself, too.  And post them all on the outside of a hallway door or wall and hang a pencil on a string right next to it.  I’ve put scores of women on this program and it has revolutionized their homes and reduced their stress levels because each child carries his own load, both for chores and academic work.  This motivates your children to become high-octane producers, because there is no more dawdling, wondering what to do.  Using the 15-minute chart method, they can race past their peers in every area.

Now go read the rest of the to-do charts booklet to acquire easier days than you ever imagined.

Amusing ourselves to death

Sunday, 16. September 2012 by Renee Ellison

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Our culture is addicted to media.  If you don’t believe it, have your family go for one weekend without it.  Is this REALLY the good life?  What are we trading for it?  Is there any hope of controlling it?

Just because we are getting an abundance of information doesn’t mean we are THINKING.  And just because we are being entertained doesn’t mean we are LIVING.  And social technology may actually be dwarfing relational growth with people right in our own living rooms.  Preference for “cyberspace life” over “real life” could be moving us further and further into territory we hadn’t counted on.

What has happened to our spiritual lives with the invasion of these chronic external stimuli?  Have we lost our spirits beside the road somewhere, while we traffic in the ever-insistent immediate?  Are we praying as much as we are WATCHING?  Are we praying at ALL?  “May the eyes of their hearts be enlightened,” said the Apostle Paul.  This was a blessing prayed over us by a mature brother even where there was NO MEDIA on earth.  He wanted us to put on THESE glasses and SEE these things.  This saint’s coveted wish for us was generated only DURING his prayer (if he hadn’t been praying, he wouldn’t have thought of it) and would only ever be experienced by us during OUR prayer.  Daniel received huge revelations from God only because he was ALREADY praying three times a day.  Those insights were not given to the bum down the street who watched chariot races all day.  Via our intoxication with media, are we closer or further from these blessings of the heart?

Also: because of our ever engulfing submersion in media what has happened to our reach to real need down the street? What have we really gained by chronically riveting our focus onto a 15-inch screen and a 15-second sound bite?  Is information the same as reason?  Is watching the same as doing?  What have we gained by so frequently dropping into altered realities via the visual fantasy life of movies beyond number, as well?  What happens to us when we traffic in moral rot?  What happens if we do even MORE of this?  Where does this LEAD?

Let’s get up and out of our “media caves” for a moment and evaluate what is happening to us.  In his book Amusing Ourselves to Death (1985; republished 2006), Neil Postman showed us incisively how we are replacing READING with watching, and how this is doing devastating things to both our cognition, brain function and our spirits.  This means that information is coming to us outside of a context, outside of a developing and cohesive logic, and outside of reflection time.  Hmm.  Do we become bigger people or smaller people if our brain and spirit are no longer exercised in these disciplines?

If we are at all worried about these trends, how do we gain control?  A good starting place is to give ourselves a moment to evaluate good uses and destructive uses of media.  Then work at remembering our findings tomorrow in the middle of renewed media bombardment.  Let’s purposefully clutch a bit of sanity in regard to our mental diet; insist on its importance in our families.

The bottom line? Give your children a “doing and becoming” childhood, not a “sitting and soaking” childhood.  Passivity was never the starch of heroes.  Applause is simply never given to people who do nothing but watch.

Good uses of media:

Watching conservative evening news (especially for the elderly) can be a good thing if used as a spur to PRAY over these world events, while one’s emotions run hot over these issues.  Commercials would be an excellent time to do a little praying.  But too much news for the midlifers can diminish time to be productive.  Headlines can be snatched quickly on the run.

Any DVD or YouTube video that teaches a SKILL is a wonderful use of media.  Skill development in electronics, construction, cooking, sewing, car mechanics, plumbing, health and nutrition, alternative medicine, etc.  Free education on hundreds of topics is available via the Internet; even excellent job training is available there.  This use of media is not fantasy; it extends our REAL lives.

Bad uses of media:
Using media as chronic white noise in doctor’s offices, restaurants, elevators, hotels, and your own home, is destroying our head space.  What’s the solution for your home?  TURN IT OFF.  Allow your family quiet reflection time as the main ingredient to their days.  Contrary to popular opinion, quiet is not bad.  Quiet has a silver lining.  True progressive UNINTERRUPTED thinking will begin to take place.  Genuine relating will happen more often without the background competition for attention.  A constantly splintered attention span will not produce what you are hoping for in your family.  It is no gift.

What’s the solution for public life?  Take earplugs and a book everywhere whenever you head out (include ones for every child).  Incrementally and progressively become well-read.  Many used bookstores hang the slogan:  “So many books; so little time.”  Tis true.  Habitually reading the rich content of good books will sour you on the shallowness of nearly all media.  Media is swamp and marsh, compared to the mining for gold possible when living in and around excellent books.  And make your reading choices devoid of trash.  Many magazines are insanely dumb; leafing through them is a sheer waste of minutes.  Take your OWN book everywhere.  Reading history frees us from arrogance over the present.  It is a deliverance from popular insistences.

Probably the poorest use of media is to use it as a babysitter for your child.  Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and their wives didn’t HAVE this option and somehow they all survived.  Neither was this option available for about 5,900 years.  We CAN get our children through the day without it, as staggeringly novel as that seems.  Turn it off and, instead, include your children in your adult dinners and your adult conversations, and your own projects with a little attendant companion project for them, right next to you.  Keeping your children near you and not near media will profoundly alter the development of the child for the better.  Knowing that there are little ears all around you will help you craft your own speech for purity and richness and will grow a mature child before his time.  Teach children the art of waiting for a space before interjecting a comment, and how to be brief with their comments, always aware of the time needed for OTHERS to have a say of equal length.  Time so used will teach them the almost lost art of ebb and flow to all invigorating and life-giving conversation.  “Conversation makes a ready man” (Francis Bacon).  Conversation is a skill which is progressively learned in the actual act—not by passivity in front of a screen.  Most youth today can’t even look you in the eye, they are so doped up by habitually living in a stupor of dull stares upon a frantic screen.

When you and your family have a choice between another VISUAL fantasy story and reading, you’ll get further in life if you pick the reading.  Hour for hour, minute for minute it culminates in a different kind of person at life’s end—and all the way through.  Start with Eric Metaxas’ 580-page two-inch biography of Bonhoeffer (whose family members, by the way, were avid readers, along with performing excellent music in their home for family and guests at the end of each week) and you’ll feel dwarfed in your human development.  Life can be lived on all sorts of levels, and those who live it deeply have much to teach us through BOOKS.  Most in our culture don’t know that such a life is POSSIBLE.  Do SOMETHING about this sabotage.

For further reading, download this eBook: TV Watching Out of Control: Hidden problems for adults and children. and this free eBook especially for godly young daughters: Melanie’s Favorite Books List.

Filed Under: Home management tips

LIGHTS OUT?  Are you ready?

Monday, 03. September 2012 by Renee Ellison

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For decades, the Boy Scout motto, “Be prepared”, sparked forethought in sterling young men who became an asset to any situation.  You always wanted a Boy Scout in your neighborhood, at your campsite, and most especially at the scene of your accident!  They were READY.  We are NOT ready, as a nation, for an EMP (electromagnetic pulse) fry-out.

An EMP fry-out is no fairy tale.  Parts of the nation have experienced massive power outages due to natural disasters in recent times.  But power outages could occur from a new type of electrical warfare, too.  All traditional warfare aside, an electrical fry-out would literally bring our nation to its knees, crippling it with malfunction.  Computers and all communications devices would be down, hospitals would be down, power plants would be off-line (no electricity or water or natural gas), fuel and transport would be down due to disabling of the computer chips in the vehicles and no electricity to work the gas pumps, commerce would be crippled, cash registers silenced, banks would close, and electronic money would vanish.  We would be plunged into the Dark Ages, with no skills or tools to enable us to cope with it.  It would be a long nightmare.  We as individuals, however, can be LESS traumatized by such an event in our future daily life if we will get prepared NOW.  As Proverbs 22:3 says, “The prudent FORSEETH the evil [alarming possibility] and hideth HIMSELF”—not his whole nation.  There is NO DOWNSIDE to PREPARATION, as an individual and as a family.  And no one is stopping you.

Is this imminent?  It could be.  There are three potential sources of trouble: weather and earthquake disasters, Iran’s hatred, and the sun. Anytime someone calls you the Big Satan and VOWS to neutralize you, because their eschatology demands it, you’d better get prepared for anything.  Iran’s ideas range from using suitcase bombs to launching a nuclear bomb from a ship near our coast (after they attack Israel, as soon as they are able to do that)—targeting the center of our nation—and from that radius a fry-out would be successful over the whole nation.  And such a fry-out could be accomplished withOUT a nuclear weapon, any host of OTHER ways, by Iran, Korea or China, as well.  There is no defense against such an attack.  Air and cyber warfare possibilities are infinite.  We’ve never faced them before.

The sun’s danger?  Radioactive sun flares.  The sun is fast reaching the peak of its solar activity cycle, belching larger and larger radioactive sun flares that have historically caused the Earth trouble and will do so in greater measure, this time, in the not-too-distant future.  We cannot stop the sun.  It will do what it will do.  And it currently doesn’t look good.  Scout it out for yourself on the Internet.  Scientists are VERY concerned with what this will do to electrical transformers world-wide.

The keys to preparation are forethought and practice.  Mental preparation—living through the event in your head, ahead of time, is first.  Next, realize that practical preparation involves STUFF.  Preparing your stuff has four key steps:

One: Build artificial heat.  Pretend that the fry-out will happen soon—even a week from now.  What is NOT ready?  What is most important to GET ready?

Two: Make a list, prioritize your list, and obtain things in that order.

Three: Think through ADDITIONAL parts to your stuff—fuel, batteries, light bulbs, matches, etc.  Missing just one piece can be as significant as not having the tool in the first place.

Four: Practice.  Improve.  Then practice again and again, until you get it down pat and you don’t lack any key thing that makes your survival “do-able”.


Basic preparation may FEEL overwhelming, but it need not be.  Given some serious focus and a good plan, you can get the bulk of vital preparations all done in a week, if you’ll stick at it.  Go for it and then practice living through a power-outage crisis over some weekend, soon.  Guaranteed, you’ll have a dismal go at it.  Get up, tweak it, and go after it again next weekend.  Your neighbors won’t be doing any of this, as they sit cocooned and captivated by evening television shows.  Imagine the power grid going down tomorrow.  HOW ready would you be?  No one else cares.  No one else will be preparing FOR you.  “Night cometh when no man can work”  The option is to prepare for the possibility that progress will be at a stand still for a long time,  shops will be closed, Amazon.com down, trucks stopped, shipping no more.

There is a host of “preppers” info freely obtainable online.  But we found much of it overwhelming, and began to work very hard at synthesizing the most vital parts of voluminous information into a simple inexpensive DO-ABLE 40-page booklet, Emergency Preparedness for Families.  This is a booklet for believers because it includes vital information about mental and spiritual steps to take, and how to endure persecution.  The optimal PRACTICAL plans here presented will save you hours of reinventing the wheel and will give you the courage to face the MENTAL parts of increased tribulation, too.  Order it in hard copy ($5) or as an eBook ($4) on our website.  You won’t regret it.  Times are tough, and they will only be getting tougher.  Get prepared.

Marvelously MORE Money

Friday, 03. February 2012 by Renee Ellison

Image Forward this to anyone you know who is in personal economic tough times?.

The Simple SURE Road to More Money! 

Husbanding your money is MORE important than earning it.  If you do these four things, you will guarantee yourself that you will be WEALTHIER this time next year.  Teach these steps to your children, too. 

The four steps:
1. Stop Spending
2. Sell off Excess
3. Do Not Despise the Lowly Hour
4. Make EXTRA money around the edges

One: Stop spending
Ben Franklin said that a person could become wealthy through this one step alone.  Simply buy nothing.  At 24 he was financially independent.  Then, flip those numbers: at 42, he was independently wealthy.  “A penny saved is a penny earned.”  It is stored sweat equity.  You don’t have to get taxed on it again, nor have to EARN it again.  You don’t have to RE-acquire THAT penny.

Since we are not desire-less creatures, do THIS with your desires:  Pray for the object FIRST.  Ask God.  Wait. Buy nothing on impulse.  Noise around that you are in need of such and such, and wait some more.  Ask:  “Does anybody know of a free ______or the possibility of borrowing a ______”? 

And for all your intellectual needs/growth/stimulation/desires don’t forget inter-library loan, which can get nearly everything FOR you of a mental nature.  What’s more, libraries have acquisitions budgets, so you can ask them to PURCHASE something for you.  After all, you are the taxpayer they were designed to serve.  Just stop spending.  Don’t go near a store of any kind, don’t look at catalogs, and don’t shop online, and you’ll reduce your wants.  Consciously become a producer rather than a consumer.  Barter and trade for everything you possibly can.  Keep a little notebook, as Ben Franklin did, recording WHERE he spent his pennies.  Yes, husband even the pennies with pen and ink—corral them on a WRITTEN PAGE of some sort.  The keepers of the government would not be in the horrendous mess it is in, if they had shepherded its REAL pennies in an OPEN accounting book, rather than printing fake money behind closed doors.  But the two MOST important words for us are:  Stop Spending smile

Two: Sell off excess
This is your fastest money.  This is your easiest money.  You can be richer by nightfall.  Use Craigslist and EBay and local bulletin boards and word of mouth.  Create a list of things to sell to email to all your personal contacts, too.  Next to each object write a suggested price.  And make EVERY item an (or best offer).  Turn your stuff into cash.  Lists are not “garage sale” or weather dependent!  They can start working for you the very next hour.

Three:  Do not despise the lowly hour
Many people are busy, even VERY busy, while thousands of EARNING hours slip unnoticed through their hands and they make no headway in building a DIFFERENT future for their OWN life.  While in debt, evaluate every WORKING-hour for its FISCAL contribution to your life.  What was the fiscal bottom line of my last work-time hour?  How can I MAKE my NEXT hour put money into MY pocket?  Try to aim for working for hire during some part of every day.  If you currently don’t have a job, try asking of everyone, neighbors, even perfect strangers: “Do you have a one-time job you could pay me to do FOR you?  Do you have some project you’ve longed to get done but simply have been unable to find the time or energy to do?”  You have 7 billion potential employers that way.  Clean their car, their house, their garage, their storage shed; sort and organize stuff for them; run errands; list THEIR excess on E-bay for them.

Try putting things on E-bay for the elderly…they will give you a percentage of everything you sell for them, because the computer bewilders them.  Begin with grandparents, and then other people’s grandparents.  They have many things they no longer want in their houses.  While working for them, ask for referral names of THEIR friends…and those friends will have further friends…that way you will have continuous referrals.  Perhaps try baking bread or wholesome brownies to sell.  You can make $50 a day doing this.  (Stick with selling/trading with people who KNOW you, otherwise you have to register with a commercial kitchen, etc.).

Wash people’s dogs.  Sell stuff at the side of the road during community biking/hiking events.  Do stuff for the other guy that puts money in YOUR pocket.  Make arrangements ahead of time to be available for seasonal work, delivering flowers on Valentine’s Day, helping with postal and delivery trucks’ increased needs around Christmas, etc.  The key principle here is: when money is FLOWING, throw yourself into THAT river until it dries up.  Snowstorms mean money for shoveling walks.  Windstorms mean picking up yards.  Summer means endless yard work, etc.  Identify your OWN specific abilities and talents.  Hang out your shingle.  What do you do well?  What do you do easily that is a bear-cat for the next guy to even CONSIDER doing for himself?  What lessons can you teach?

You can never, never, never get back TODAY.  You only have today to build a foundation for a DIFFERENT tomorrow.  This time next year you WILL be WEALTHIER…if you MAKE today produce FOR you.  You are NEVER a victim.  YOU ALONE make your life.  Immigrants have passed by generations of ghetto people (even in just a year), because they refused to be a victim and knew the buck stopped with THEMSELVES alone.  They knew that no one ELSE would ever earn their money FOR them.  YOU are IT.  You determine your own future.  It begins with a healthy respect for the lowly work-day hour…EACH lowly hour.

Four:  Earn EXTRA around the edges.
Build SEVERAL home-based businesses.  This is the ONLY way to get ahead.  Wage earning won’t do it.  That just keeps you out of jail.  You have to earn EXTRA on TOP of wage earnings. You do THIS sort of work around the edges.  In twilight hours when other people won’t allow you to work for them…that is when you work for yourself.  You do this work between other jobs, even in daylight hours.  Eventually when you are out of debt and this self-business-earning real income now EXCEEDS your wage-earning real income for others, then jump ship into YOUR own generated work totally.  Wait until you’re ready for that step, however; because of the need for momentum in ANY business, 99% of people cannot live on their home-based businesses ALONE for a good year.


Then, follow with the A,B,C’s listed below.  Remember to tithe all along.  This reminds you constantly that the earth is the Lord’s and that it is HE alone that is bringing you increase (i.e., He is teaching you the wise principles of money management and is arranging your circumstances favorably).

A: Save enough cash for any unforeseen repair bills of any kind, or unforeseen curve balls.  $1,000 is enough.  Next, take a significant portion of all your earnings and aggressively pay off all debt, beginning with your smallest debt first.  Getting out of debt means getting out of slavery.  A debt-free life is a flexible life.  Any and all options in the entire world open up to you when you are debt-free.  It is “WHEE-time!”

B: Next, turn your earned cash into stored food.  Buying food today rather than tomorrow will ALWAYS save you money, because food prices continue to climb.  Stored food is INSURANCE and ASSURANCE.  Do this until you have a three-month supply of bare-boned basics.  (And make sure that they are things you like to eat!)

C:  And then sink something (after tithing) progressively and ongoingly into 100% silver coins.  Silver preserves your money from getting eaten up by inflation, and will get your money compounding FOR you, as it rises in value, while the economies of the world go in the opposite direction into free-falls.  This is money that works FOR you, even while you sleep.


WEALTH begins in your HEAD.  Apply these four golden principles and by this time next year, your fingers can be triumphantly fiddling with excess money in your OWN pockets.

P.S.  Do you live in Colorado?  Plan now to attend the convention of CHEC, the Christian Home Educators of Colorado, June 14-16, 2012, and hear Renee Ellison speak on this and other topics.

Want to read more?  Click on the Finances tab of the homeschoolhowtos.com website.

Filed Under: Home management tips

Time management means managing yourSELF

Wednesday, 21. September 2011 by Renee Ellison

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Time management has nothing to do with when the work day starts… or when an activity WITHIN that day starts.  A person’s day COULD begin at 6 a.m. or at 7:30 or at 8 or at 9 and the person would STILL be late who has not seen that life is a bunch of jigsaw pieces that must FIT TOGETHER in deference for the EXISTENCE of other jigsaw pieces in order for life to run smoothly.  The pieces have to lie down NEXT to each other.  Every time they overlap—even a smidgeon—or are stacked on TOP of each other, the direct result is various levels of chaos.

One must manage ONESELF in relation to time…choosing to fit IN one’s personal agenda time-piece into the world’s time-piece.  It is a perfectionistic refusal to let some things go (if they were INITIATED by oneself… one’s own plan/design…) in favor of a prior larger world’s design… in favor of other’s FIXED prior agendas or THEIR time commitments.

Two things cannot occupy the same space.  What you gain in making that last-minute food preparation when you really need to be out the door, you lose in toxic cortisol production.  Every time your body is in hurry/panic mode, you lose.  If you maintain a relentless perfectionism re: achieving your OWN GOALS no matter the cost, you can whip your body into trauma, day after day.  Such a person may not be aware of it, but he/she chooses the cortisol.

For further reading on this topic, order our quick booklets on Coping with Personally Induced Stress and Goal Setting and Time Management.

Filed Under: Home management tips