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Why Your Marriage Matters

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Pam Bass, When Marriage Matters bloggerpam-why-mattersI’ve entitled my blog When Marriage Matters for a couple of reasons:

  1. It sounds good
  2. 5 people agreed with me that it sounds good
  3. It really does matter.
  4. It is succinct
  5. I forgot this reason already 🙁   (and five is a much better number than four!)

What I’d like to share is why it matters and what purpose marriage provides society. Don’t worry, I won’t share a million links on studies or that. I think this comes from the “Common Sense” vault that we all share. What any great society has shown is that the family is the bedrock of a great society. The bedrock of a great family is, of course, a great marriage.

Marriage affects everyone. It is the foundation for one’s views on marriage, how we treat our future spouses, and how we raise our children, to name a few. We learn about life, how to deal with stress, anger, joy, sadness, shame, all while living under our parents’ roof. Their marriage affects us greatly and in many ways we don’t or didn’t realize until we left and started our own marriage and family. In short, we learn how to treat one another via our parents’ direct and indirect behavior we saw demonstrated in their marriage. We see the good, bad, and the ugly. Hopefully, we also see some joy, happiness and peace that they model for us.

I believe that marriage matters greatly even though its’ been knocked down and dragged through the media mud in the last several decades. Unfortunately, those attempting to follow God’s ways on marriage have also been adversely affected. A lot of people believe the lie, “Well, God wants me to be happy, s/he’s not making me happy anymore, so divorce is okay with God.”  Another popular (but so untrue) lie  is “the kids will adjust; it really won’t negatively affect them/they’ll bounce back—look, I did!

Our American culture has consistently and persistently chipped away at the following:

  • The basis of marriage
  • The value of marriage
  • The definition of marriage

I think it’s been very hard for Christ-followers not to be affected by all the clamoring and noise about marriage, just like it’s hard to go into a bar and not smell like smoke when you come out

Or to go to a rock concert and not have your ears still ringing. Or like getting near a swimming pool without getting splashed. We’re surrounded by negative statements and doubts about marriage wherever we turn. The media is quick to jump on our mistakes etc and loudly proclaim, “See, you guys can’t even do it right!  And indeed we cannot get it right, not without Jesus.  I cannot respect or love my husband without Jesus giving me the strength to. Because I don’t always feel like loving him or respecting him. I am very selfish.  I want to do what I want to do when I want to do it! That attitude is very destructive in marriage if left unchecked. A quick look at 1 Corinthians 13 should help motivate me back to square one: Am I being patient with my spouse? Am I being kind? Am I not getting my own way? Am I being selfless? Pleasant and not irritable or resentful? Read More→

Faith and religion play a large part in the lives of many Americans.  Many are focused on maintaining a positive home environment and do not wish to work outside of their homes.

It only seems right that we put together a comprehensive list of faith-based, work from home, opportunities.  Take a moment to check out a few of these real job opportunities that will not require a person to compromise their faith-based lifestyle.

Training From Home Opportunities

If a person is looking to expand their skill set to seek out better-paying work-from-home opportunities, there are plenty of options for online education.  One example is based out of Saint Louis, MO.  An education from Maryville online college will boost a person into the next level of employment.  There is no longer any reason why every stay-at-home mom or dad cannot build their portfolio.

Christian Job Boards

There are hundreds of reliable and reputable job boards available online, and a few of them are even faith-based.  They are not stellar, but they do provide some valuable leads.  Check it out.

  • Christian Job Fair – Extension of Christian Career Center.  They have a “work-from-home” filter option, but the job listings are hit or miss.  It behooves a person to do their due diligence in research before applying to a particular listing.
  • Christian Jobs – A job board that boasts their ability to “connect believers in the workplace.”  This platform not only allows a search option for stay-at-home employment, but they also provide the opportunity to post resumes for employers seeking out remote help.

If finding employment through a Christian job board is not a necessity, there are a couple of mainstream job boards that are known for their excellent employment success.  Indeed, Flexjobs and Up work offer all sorts of remote positions from a wide range of individuals.

Faith-Based Sales

Individuals interested in faith-based sales positions have quite a large range of options available online.  Here are a few of the most prevalent organizations offering remote sales positions. Read More→

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There’s a big difference between buying and selling a property and becoming a fully-fledged property developer. Maybe you’ve dabbled in the market in the past or maybe you’ve simply sold a previous house to move into a new one. Whatever the case, the thought of entering into the property investment game “properly” shouldn’t overwhelm you. Anybody can do it, as it’s much like starting any home business. You invest and work your way up from the bottom, building a portfolio of talents and becoming more recognised in the industry as you progress.

Growing any home-based business is about preparing for any eventuality. That’s the key to becoming a successful property developer. You need to plan before you get stuck into this hectic but exciting world. If you have enough money set aside for your first investment, you need to also be ready for failure. That being said, if you’re smart about the way you approach things, you won’t fail. Here are some tips to help you get started with investing in property the smart way.

Plan out your objectives.

As with any business model, it all begins with a solid plan. You may not know whether this is the right calling for you yet, and the thought of getting stuck too deeply into the property investment might deter you from getting involved at all, but even a part-time developer needs to have some sort of plan. You might only want to dip your toes in the water of property investment, but you should create a list of goals and objectives for the first property you plan to buy.

You should also be thinking about what kind of development plan you have for any property you buy; are you buying to let or buying to sell? The exit strategy is everything in the property investment game, as anybody can buy-to-sell. Selling is a good short-term strategy, especially if you’re unsure about the property game, but you want to test it out. If you’re in this for the long haul, however, then buy-to-let might be a more permanent, feasible option for you to start building your property empire and carve a career out of this venture.

Cut costs before you buy.

This seems like an obvious piece of advice, but most people simply think “cutting costs” means reducing the upfront price that you’d ordinarily be paying for a property. Haggling over price could save you money, of course, but there are far more substantial ways for you to invest far less money into a property than you would if you leaped at it straight off the bat. You could check out this beautiful illustrated explanation of the 1031 exchange in order to understand a way in which you could legally defer capital gains on a future investment, for example. This is only one of many ways that you can get around costs and taxes which are entirely unnecessary.

You should also be comparing the costs of properties within a certain area. Think about the factors which go into determining the value on a property. If something seems to be a “steal” or the seller seems happy to accept a lower offer, you need to ask yourself what might be wrong with the property. If it simply needs structural or interior work, perhaps that’s a challenge worth taking on for a determined developer in the right neighbourhood. Of course, if the neighbourhood itself is what has driven the price of the property down, then perhaps it’s not worth the risk. Be realistic about factors such as how much the property will cost you in terms of upfront price and any renovation needed. You don’t want to be coughing up a lot of money and time for marginal profit.

Remain a calm seller.

The downfall of so many property developers is greed. It’s an exciting business, as the potential for massive returns on your investments is undeniable. However, if you find yourself getting too carried away, your ego might blind you to the actual value of a property you’re selling or planning to let. If you put up a property for far too much money, don’t be surprised when it garners absolutely no interest from the market.

Buyers are smart, and they know how to shop around. If you’re disillusioned about how much better your property is than others, you’ll fail to see than other homes in the area, offering a great location and contemporary style, much like yours, are flying off the shelves because they’re up for a much lower price than the house you’re selling.

Keep the property neutral.

The key to a good developer is a minimal developer. I say this not because minimalism is a popular stylistic option for houses in the modern age, but because minimalism prevents your personal tastes from seeping into the property. Buyers want to see potential when they look around a house, and they’ll fail to see that if it’s cluttered with art or aesthetic features which have clearly been personalised to a specific taste.

It’s hard for the imagination to look past this if it’s too overwhelming, so keeping the decor simple and understated is the key to making that sale. Whitewashed walls which invite bright, natural light into rooms will create a refreshed, “new” look around your property. Simplistic furnishings and a sparse kitchen will not disappoint; people will see the potential to do something with these rooms.

Risk means profit.

This is perhaps a piece of advice for later down the line, but it’s no secret that the bigger risks in the property game equal the biggest profit. If you’re determined to really make it big as a property investor and developer, then opting for the unique and unusual properties, such as converted lofts, could lead to a substantial return on your investment. This is where the big money is in the property industry, but this is perhaps a piece of advice for those of you who have had experience in property before. It wouldn’t be a wise decision for a first time developer, as things can go wrong with the more “unique” investments.

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Dana Susan Beasley, Branding for Success bloggershadow crossAs Christian work at home parents, we have a unique opportunity to bring Christ into our businesses. For me, it’s the ultimate reason why I am in business in the first place. I look at my company, AngelArts, as a Business As Mission.

Think about this: we have an opportunity to share more about Christ than most pastors! You and I will rub shoulders with people that will never talk to a church professional.

None of us is exempted from the Great Commission, to make disciples of all nations. And He ends this commandment with a promise: He will be with us!

But how can we practically bring Christ into our businesses?

Every month, my husband and I attend a meeting at Glen Eyrie Conference Center (owned by The Navigators) to discuss this very question over breakfast. Business owners give their testimonies to share their stories of how they brought Christ into the workplace, or how they discovered Christ in the workplace.

It can be as simple as taking an interest in someone; in developing a friendship and guiding them to the path that leads to eternal life.

That was the particular story of a gentleman, Rob, who was involved in the banking industry, that I recently heard. A colleague invited Rob to a Christian networking meeting and demonstrated he cared. When times got tough, this man was there for Rob. Today, Rob is a successful mortgage banker and Christian business leader actively engaged in bringing Christ into his workplace.

Integrity matters. It demonstrates Christ in the workplace most of all.

A story by a man named Charles was especially encouraging. Throughout his life, he acted with integrity. He would make very tough decisions with the desire to please Jesus. Sometimes he had to say no to opportunities. While this hurt at the time, he found that God used him in unexpected areas, even sharing the gospel at the World Cup in Brazil! Read More→

Asian Businesswoman Working From Home Using Mobile Phone

On the face of things, starting any kind of business at home is a simple process. You have an idea for selling a product or service, and you get started right away. However, like everything in life, nothing is that simple. There are a few things you need to tick off on the legal checklist, and if you fail to do so, you could end up in some hot water. Let’s take a look at the legal nuts and bolts behind starting a home business.

Trading responsibilities

As a rule, if you are planning to start a consultancy or freelance writing business, nothing should stand in your way. However, it’s important to check out your industry’s trading regulations before you even start making a plan of activities. For example, let’s say you launch a cupcake business at home, selling from a  market stall at a local farmer’s market. As a catering business, you’ll need to contact your local authority and ensure you are complying with the main General Food Law Requirements.

Company name

The next big decision is how you set up your business. Many freelancers set up as sole traders, for example, but as point out, you might be better off in tax terms establishing as a limited company. Either way, you need to choose a name that is not in use by any other company to ensure your business isn’t treading on someone else’s toes.

Trademarks, patents, and intellectual property

It’s vital to set up protections for your business ideas, as well as your physical property. Your trademark will ensure that you, your products and company names are protected by law, and no one else can use them. Filing for a patent protects the workings of your product and ensures no other business can steal them. Make sure you see a lawyer and ensure you have the right protections in place, as, sadly, intellectual property theft and industrial espionage is a genuine threat to more businesses than you might think.


In particular cases, it is a legal requirement to have insurance when starting a business. However, regardless of the law, insurance is there to make sure you don’t end up in serious financial trouble if you, your employees or your clients ends up having an accident, for example. As a bare minimum, we would recommend taking out insurance for employer’s liability, vehicles, and contracts, as well as any policies that cover you for working with specialist equipment.


Last – but by no means least – we have taxes. Do not underestimate how important this will be for the long-term health of your business. If you don’t track all your expenses and keep accurate records, you can expect action from HMRC. VAT is another big issue, and many small business owners will worry about a VAT inspection happening – which is more common than you might think. The trick is to keep your financial accounts in great order if you want to avoid any issues – hiring an accountant or bookkeeper will help.

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hearing GodAs big as my ears are, you would think I would be able to hear everything I am listening to.

I like to think I am hearing what I am listening to but I have so many illustrations that prove otherwise. I’m not sure what it is, but I am working on it with the help of the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage.

It was on a Friday and I was very busy trying to get things done for the weekend. Some in our domicile can multitask and then the other can hardly do one thing at a time.

I’m not quite sure how my wife does it, but she can do half a dozen things at the same time and get them all done perfectly. It is like one of those jugglers at the circus who can keep half a dozen balls in the air at the same time.

Not me. I can’t even keep one ball in the air at the same time, let alone half a dozen.

I was busy trying to get ready for the weekend when the wife came in and said, “Can we borrow your truck on Monday?”

I grunted and nodded my head in the affirmative.

“We need to move some furniture to a storage unit.”

Now, in those two sentences she used the word “we” but I heard the word “I.”

I am okay with her borrowing my truck and doing whatever kind of business she needs to do. A marriage works that way. One has a truck and the other borrows said truck.

I should have thought something was up, but you know how it is with us men. We do not think unless backed into a corner and we cannot do anything else. All through the weekend when I saw my wife, she would look at me and smile and nod her head. I smiled and nodded my head back at her. After all, isn’t that what a good relationship is all about? Smiling and nodding your head at each other.

As I recall, it was a rather pleasant weekend and then it was over.

Early on Monday morning my wife came into the living room where I was watching TV and drinking my morning cup of coffee. I can’t start any day without my coffee. Whoever invented coffee should actually get a Nobel Peace prize.

My wife came in and looked at me and said, “Are we ready to go?” Then she smiled and nodded her head in my direction. Read More→


Helping Your Troubled Teen

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Because adolescence is a time of transition and turbulence, it can be very hard to tell when your teenager needs help from you. Every teenager is likely to be irritable and moody at times, and may reach points where they question their own identity, and try to take on new ones. This can lead to inconsistent and troubling behavior. While no amount of words can make caring for a troubled teenager a breeze, here are a few pieces of advice that will make it a little easier…

Voice your Concerns, but Keep a Cool Head

One of the worst things you can do for a troubled teen is simply ignore the changes you’re seeing, and brush it all off as a part of growing up. Be sure to let your child know that you’ve noticed something is different, and that you’re there for them if they ever need help. Don’t turn it into an interrogation and start throwing accusations around. Just mention that you’ve noticed some changes in their behavior, and let them know that you’re there if they want to talk about anything. You’re probably not going to get them to open up straight away, but this is an important first step to make.

Teach them Healthy Habits

It’s pretty rare for teenagers to develop healthy lifestyle habits on their own steam, so you may need to encourage it yourself. It’s generally much easier to put positive activities on the table than it is to challenge or reverse negative behavior. At the very least, you should make sure they have some kind of healthy outlet for relieving tension, like a sport that gets them doing some form of cardiovascular exercise. You should also try to make sure they have things in their life that will contribute to their self-esteem. If you’re in a good place for it, it may be worth giving them a job to do at your business. Obviously, if their wayward behavior gets too worrying, you’ll need to take more direct action. I’m sure you’d rather take their driving privileges away and have them resent you for a while, than to stay complacent and have to look for a free case review for DWI charges! However the situation seems, a lot of troubled teenagers just need a few healthier outlets to get back on track.

Open Up About your Adolescent Struggles

I know it seems like you were a totally different person back then, but thinking about your own adolescent problems and then opening up about them can be extremely beneficial when you’re raising a troubled teenager. This will not only give you some common ground for discussion and encourage them to open up, but will also normalize the things they’re feeling. Just try to avoid falling into the trap of comparing or trivializing their experience. Don’t say “you have it easy” and talk about how much harsher your parents or education was. Instead, keep it relatable. Talk about remembering how hard it was to negotiate with your parents, but that you look back and feel grateful for it.


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Permission to Grieve

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This past January my grandfather passed away. He was older and I knew over the past few years he had been showing his age, though he still seemed spry for 87.  The day before Christmas Eve we received the phone call that he was very ill and in the hospital. Something about the gravity of my aunt’s voice made me realize it was probably the beginning of the end. I went to bed that evening unable to sleep.

The following day my husband’s family was coming for Christmas Eve dinner and I was doing the cooking. Three kids underfoot, the in-laws for a holiday gathering and my heart screaming, “How can my grandfather be dying?”

The following weekend I made the 6 hour trip with my five year old daughter for company. With each passing highway mile I found the lump in my throat getting bigger. Only two months earlier I had seen Grampa at a family gathering. He had still been active, living at home, though walking with a little assistance from a walker. Was I prepared to see him feebly lying in a nursing home bed?

Two things made my grief over his illness run deep. My dad passed away when I was only seven and this was his father who now lay gravely ill. Growing up Grampa had paid special attention to my brother and I, taking us on yearly trips to places like Disney, Washington DC, New York City, Philadelphia, and Quebec City. He wanted to keep the family connection, doing for us what my father couldn’t do. It was like Grampa was my connection to my late father – the bond I had with him helped me feel I knew my Dad. I felt this slipping through my fingers, as if I was losing all I had left of my father.

Secondly Grampa and I never saw eye to eye on issues of faith. I wrestled with not knowing his eternal destiny. This also weighed heavily on me.

I spent that New Year’s Eve day visiting with Grampa, while my daughter enjoyed the day with her aunts. We spoke of faith and God, for which I am thankful. As I left I hugged him, told him we loved him, and felt him tightly grip my hand. I didn’t want to go. I knew deep down it was the last time I would see him alive.

As I hit the highway again I couldn’t contain the tears. Pulling into a rest stop I called my husband bawling. I was losing Grampa and I knew it.

Less than two weeks later the phone call came. It was expected. But still the finality of death was hard to bare.

Death and dying are all part of life.  I don’t want to lose the people I love. Growing up I never grieved my father’s death – I just buried the pain, saying I was ok. Over the last few years I’ve been healing. I’ve had to grieve the loss of my Dad that occurred more than two decades ago. What I found is that God’s healing doesn’t mean the pain hurts less. Healing means I can feel again. I can feel great joy and great sorrow. While my pain was buried I couldn’t feel either of these. Read More→

perfect childMaking the decision to educate your children at home is a big commitment and shows that creating an individual and tailored approach to your child’s education.  It requires a lot of work and life balance since it requires such an amount of attention and detail. Preparing your child for getting a college education is the main goal.

It can be extra challenging when you also work from home.  Even though the convenience is undeniable of not having to drive your child to a school every day or having to get yourself to an office, there are certainly challenges that come with working and teaching your children in the same place.

Here are some of the best tips for being able to balance work and your homeschooling without feeling overwhelmed.

Create A Schedule

Without a schedule, your day runs the risk of everything happening at once.  Studies show that people are more productive when they focus on one thing at a time rather than double tasking.  Try to sit down and create a schedule which separates each activity throughout the day in order to simulate a traditional school setting as much as possible.

It is crucial to set timeframes for each activity in your day in order to be as productive as possible.  Since flexibility is definitely required of you when you have kids, it is important to not stay too rigid in your scheduling, but still having a sense of structure in order to avoid chaos.

Extracurricular Activities

Kids can start to get bored and distracted if they are in the same setting for too long of a period of time.  They need a change of atmosphere and activities every now and then to keep them stimulated.  Not to mention you need time to be able to get your work done without having to entertain them constantly.

Consider signing them up for an extracurricular activity which is outside of the house.  This way you know that they are still getting something beneficial out of their time while you step away from your teaching role to get your work done. Read More→

Woman working from homeAre you thinking about starting a business or a new career from the comfort of your home? It’s a great idea for moms because it allows you to be there if your children need you. By working from home, you will also be freeing up more time in your life. Did you know that over ten percent of your life is spent in traffic? It’s true, and we’re guessing a lot of that time is due to the fact that people have to commute from home to the office. If you work from your house, you won’t need to. Of course, the question then becomes what kind of business can you set up from home? What job will you be able to complete without leaving your room?

You might have already guessed that most work from home jobs are online. So before we think about specific examples let’s quickly look at what you’ll need to work from home. You certainly need a computer that is easy to use and responds quickly. As well this a fast internet connection is vital and a work area. After that, you will have a variety of jobs that you can consider when working from home.


Log A Blog

You might think that blogs are just places where you can share your thoughts and feelings online. On the contrary, a blog can be a valuable and vital business enterprise to earn a living and give something back to the world. For instance, you can blog about a subject that really matters to you and help people deal with their own issues. Some people blog about parenting in the hope of helping others deal with problems that they have already faced. Find out what you should blog about on Others decide to blog about their holidays and vacations. It would be misguided to believe that it matters what you write about it doesn’t.

Many people agree that the subject of your blog can be absolutely anything. There will always be a readership as long as you know how to market them. When you reach the magical number of one thousand followers, your blog will start to make money. You will also gain the attention of people who want to use it to make a fortune. This is how you begin to earn a lot of money off your site. It doesn’t take much, and suddenly your blog is earning you a solid living.

To do this, you will need to learn how to attract an audience with SEO. You can learn about that on On top of that, you’ll need to understand what makes a blog interesting to users online.


A Survey or Two

Did you know you can make money online purely by delivering your opinion? It’s true, and there are plenty of companies that will pay you for the opinion of customers. You can either be one of those customers, or you can set up your own survey service. Have a look at a site such as to see what we mean by this. You can make quite a lot of money simply by answering some questions on your computer. If you are answering surveys, the key is making sure you are using a reputable site. You need to make sure that you are getting a fair amount of money for your service.

Once you have completed surveys companies that hired you might be interested in trying you out in larger positions. You could, for instance, be asked to test products and websites. When this happens, you’ll find that you are earning money in solid freelancing contract from home.



You can also think about looking into joining the ecommerce industry.  E-Commerce is essentially the name for the online shop industry. With an ecommerce website, you can sell your products and deliver them to customers. The trick to a great ecommerce store is finding a product that customers want to buy. One example would be wholesale goods. Wholesale products are cheaper than typical items because they have no recognized brand. As such, they can be bought in bulk and sold on to make a fair profit.

If you have a little creativity, you can also think about creating your own product to sell through your shop site. This could be anything that you have a skill in creating. For instance, you might love sewing. If you do, perhaps you’ve created your own style of shirt. Once you sell it online, you’re not an ecommerce business, you’re an entrepreneur.

Need a few more ideas? Have a look at to see if any of these jobs appeal to you.

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