A Christmas State of Mind

Christmas is not a time or a season, but a state of mind. To cherish peace and goodwill, to be plenteous in mercy, is to have the real spirit of Christmas.” — Calvin Coolidge

Morning Moments:
1. The Grinch thought, “Maybe Christmas doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Christmas perhaps. . . means a little bit more.”

2. For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich. ~ 2 Corinthians 8:9

3. When we think of God, we think of the most powerful and richest being in the whole universe. Yet, our Lord Jesus was actually born into a poor family? We know this from the offering His mother Mary brought to the temple after Jesus was born, according to the Law for purification. (Luke 2:22–24) She brought a pair of turtledoves or young pigeons, which was the only type of offering the poor could afford. (Leviticus 12:2, 8)

But with Jesus in their lives, Mary and her husband Joseph didn’t remain poor. Wise men came to Jesus with treasures—“And when they had come into the house, they saw the young Child with Mary His mother, and fell down and worshiped Him. And when they had opened their treasures, they presented gifts to Him: gold, frankincense, and myrrh.” (Matthew 2:11)

Students Aid Competitor to Finish Race

“My name is Kim Jordan. My son, Kiam Jordan, was running in the State Cross Country race. Liam fell and pulled a muscle in his leg. He didn’t think he would be able to finish, but two boys from your school district helped my son. They cheered him on, grabbed his arm to help him continue, and made sure my son finished the race. I have nothing but gratitude for these athletes. I want to give them a shout out. So far, I have learned that one of the students’ names is Joshua Dixon from Forest Hill and the other is Bernard Duncan from Callaway. I would like to personally thank the school district for having such compassionate students and would like to thank the parents of these students. I have already emailed the principals at each school to let them know. Thanks so much!”

Texas Voted Best State for Business Again

In May, for the 15th year in a row, Texas was named the Best State for Business by CEO Magazine. Governor Abbott reminded us that our talented workforce and staunch commitment to free market principles have led to unprecedented economic growth.
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Encouragement, A Personal God, Santus Real Story, Artist Prayer, Creative Home Buying

Power Thoughts

  1. “Those who trust in the Lord will never lack for anything.” Psalm 34:10
  2. “The Lord hears His people when they call on Him for help.” Psalm 34:17
  3. “Don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.” Matthew 6:34

A Personal God: Do you see God as some kind of impersonal being who is more concerned with punishing people than showing them love? However, the idea of God is impersonal is just that—an idea. It’s an incorrect one idea. God loves you, and it is your knowledge of and belief in His love that will boost your confidence. I have found that this comes through meditating on God’s the Word and spending time talking and listening to Him. When you read the Bible, be curious as you search for revelation and read expecting God to speak a word to your spirit that is meant specifically for you.

The Scripture says that God is love, “And we know (understand, recognize, are conscious of, by observation and by experience) and believe (adhere to and put faith in and rely on) the love God cherishes for us. God is love, and he who dwells and continues in love dwells and continues in God, and God dwells and continues in him.” (1 John 4:16). AMP

Popular Song & Heart Tugging Story Behind It: Sanctus Real’s Matt Hammitt wrote “Lead Me” for his wife Sarah.  Matt and Sarah made the decision to share this song and their story in the hopes that others will be reminded that they are not alone in the “Lead Me” journey.  This commitment to lean in to one another and into relationship with God takes time and effort.  Above all else, this commitment takes prayer.

Lead Me Prayers: Click on the links below…
1. Lead Me Kids 2. Lead Me Husbands 3. Lead Me Wives

Artists Prayer Update: Yesterday we requested prayer for Matt and His family… here is the update… Bowen’s surgery is done and he’s off life support…he’s doing great! Next 24 hrs will tell us a lot, but we are soaking in the moment. Praise God! If you missed the prayer request yesterday here’s how it started please pray for Matt Hammitt of Sanctus Real and his family. Bowen arrived September 9th at 7:59 PM. He underwent a heart catheterization that night and will undergo his first surgery tomorrow (Monday 9/13) at 7:30 AM CDT.

In other artist news please pray for Aaron Shust’s son is also hospitalized with a feeding tube as they run tests.

If You Are Looking: 6 ways to come up with a down payment on a home (KTRE)

  • FHA has programs that benefit state employees who choose careers that fill a void. Teachers, law enforcement officers, firefighters and medical technicians are eligible for deep discounts on home ownership. The Department of Housing and Urban Development offers a Good Neighbor Next Door program that will allow state workers to buy a home for 50% off of the list price. All homeowners need to do is live in the house for three years to be eligible for the discount. The house must be their sole residence. That’s a pretty good perk for working in a respectable profession.
  • State have Programs to make home ownership more affordable to lower income and moderate income buyers. For example, the state of Georgia has a program which offers assistance to lower income borrowers. States like Ohio offer down payment assistance grants for new graduates. Many states have similar programs.
  • Retirement Plans You can use up to $10,000 in funds for your first home purchase from your IRA, penalty free. Taking the money out of your 401(k), on the other hand, is a bit trickier. You can take a hardship withdrawal, but you will pay taxes on the amount that you withdraw and pay a 10% penalty. You can take a loan out from your 401(k) but you will have to repay the loan with interest.
  • Extra Income Take a part-time job or, you could ask to work overtime at your job for a few months until you have enough saved. You could do odd jobs around your neighborhood, such as painting, pet sitting or landscaping.
  • Gifts Now is the time to hit up the Bank of Mom and Dad. If not, see if relatives and friends want to contribute to your home buying quest. You just may find that Uncle John and others are more than happy to kick in funds to see your real estate dreams come true.
  • Loans Did you fail to convince Mom and Dad to give you the down payment for free? Another option is to ask them for a loan. Write up a contract and agree to repay the amount of money that they lend you.