How to create a budget!

Three of the most common new year’s resolutions are losing weight/being healthier, quitting smoking (don’t worry, we will tackle this one a bit later!) and achieving financial goals. These financial goals may vary from paying off debt, saving for that dream vacation or just being more in control of your finances. If achieving financial goals is your 2017 new year’s resolution, then it is time to put your money where your mouth is. It is nearing the end of the month and your first paycheque for 2017 is in your near future. This means that there is no more hiding – it is time to act! So today we are going to talk about how to create a budget.

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10 Signs that you have too much debt

It is a new year and the perfect opportunity to get your finances in order. Research has found that up to 70% of individuals stress about money on a regular basis. Furthermore, these studies have shown that 20% of people think about their financial status from time to time and only 10% never think about their finances. However, debt is a huge stress factor in our social functioning and when left unaddressed, it can lead to some serious health problems, such as anxiety and depressive disorders, as well as cardiovascular disease, diabetes and high blood pressure. But before we can just jump in and start saving (I know it is probably one of your New Year’s resolutions) we first need to identify where we stand and what the indicators of debt are.

So here are the 10 signs that you have too much debt:

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Passion that touches lives.

The other day I visited one of my colleagues in hospital. It was so strange sitting in a visitor’s chair and not being the one in the hospital bed.  While I was there the nurses and doctors did their rounds and I noticed the difference between the nurses who were just doing their job and those who have a passion for their job. Over the years, I had noticed this with some of the doctors as well.

Two years ago my legs went numb and I needed to see a doctor as soon as possible, but my general practitioner was booked two weeks in advance, so I searched for a doctor that could help me.  I found a doctor in Vaalpark. He was really worried and thought I had Guillain-Barré syndrome.  At that time the hospitals in VanderbijlPark were all full, but he told his personal assistant, ‘I don’t care where you get a bed for this man! Whether it’s in the children’s ward or maternity ward, he needs to be admitted today!’ Luckily, she found a bed in the surgical ward.

Doctor Talking To Senior Female Patient In Hospital Bed

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New Year, New Me – How to do it right.

It is a New Year and you have all probably already made (and broken!) your New Year’s resolutions. Don’t worry though – keeping to New Year’s resolutions is easier said than done! Some even stop making them all together, in an effort to avoid the heartbreaking experience of not keeping them.

However, the real reason we make New Year’s resolutions is because we have this thing in us called “hope” that makes us aspire to be more than what we are, or were. We want to be better, we want to have and be more – and what better time to start something new, than a new year, which is filled with hope and the promise of something new?

So today we will be talking about how people keep their New Year’s resolutions (at least until June)…

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What or Who am I angry at?

When life turn left where we wanted it to continue straight, when things go wrong, when we lose a loved one, when our Christmas bonus has to spent on debt instead of niceties, we find something or someone to blame. We blame everyone around us or the government or many times we blame God.

We are angry because we wanted it to be different, we wanted God to intervene. When that does not happen, we get angry.

We know that God promises us that He will never leave us and will always be there for us and we take that to mean that no nastiness will befall us. What it actually means, and the Bible tells us this very clearly, is that He will help us. God is not our personal rose petal bearer, He is our savior. He promises us eternal life, not life eternally. This means that we will one day be without pain and suffering in heaven. While we are on earth we have free will. When we choose right, usually the consequences are good or at least bearable, when we choose bad there are consequences, many a time, they are of the undesirable variety. We make that choice though.angry Continue “What or Who am I angry at?”

is faster better for our mental health?

Is a bigger, better and faster world really good for our brains and mental health?

On a regular basis I am confronted with people facing burnout and anxiety, all attributing it to the same cause: the inability to ‘switch off’. This is no surprise, as in today’s day and age our brains are busier than ever. We are bombarded with what is presented as information, but are sometimes no more than rumors and sensations. The task of trying to figure out what are useful, true facts and what is pure trash becomes a daunting and exhausting endeavor.

Our world is developing at 300km an hour and we need to keep up. Three decades ago we had travel agents booking our flights, library assistants helping us find information in books, and professional typists or secretaries helping corporate moguls with their workload. Now we do most of these things ourselves. We are doing the jobs of 10 different people while still trying to keep up with our busy lives.

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Re-frame Failure

As the end of the year slowly approaches, many take the time to evaluate the year that was. In the evaluation of this process, I have found that people form two basic camps: either the year is seen as a raging success, or as an epic failure. These views then become very apparent to those around them, as this information is shared on all social media sites. After some time viewing this process, I came to a disturbing realization – that people tend to think like this in most aspects of life, and not just when it comes to evaluating the past year.

The fact that people only evaluate their life experiences in these two broad terms, either a success or failure, made me realize that people may have a misconception with regards to what these two terms may mean.

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The world exists of stories. Every nation, every tribe, every group of friends, every family, every couple, and every individual has their story. So too does the Bible have a story, the story of God’s relationship with His people. His story has always been about relationships. He wants to be in relationship with His people, and He wants His people to be in relationships with each other. A good example of this is how God created man, but didn’t stop there. He created another person.

In the very olden days God’s people talked about the Holy Trinity as the Perichoresis, which translated into “Circle Dance”. It was a dance between Father, Son, and Spirit. With the day of creation God opened the floor to us humans to become a part of this dance. He invites us to become a part of his dance and to become a part of each other’s dance.

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Scares of love

“The marks humans leave are most often scars” – Some people are very proud of their scares as it gives them an indication of how far they have come, for others their scares are unsightly and must be hidden. Scares can be a great reminder of endured suffering, but they may just as well be a reminder of survival. I would like to share with you this wonderful story written by De Dorman from Helping Hands Ministry.

Some years ago on a hot summer day a little boy decided to go for a swim in the old swimming hole behind his house.

In a hurry to dive into the cool water, he ran out the back door, leaving behind shoes, socks, and shirt as he went. He flew into the water, not realizing that as he swam toward the middle of the lake, an alligator was swimming toward the shore. His mother – in the house was looking out the window – saw the two as they got closer and closer together.  In utter fear, she ran toward the water, yelling to her son as loudly as she could.

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