Fast Wednesdays, February 15, 2012 — 1) Love Checkup 2) Purpose & Meaning of LENT and 3) Tips to Organize Your Tax Records

Reminder & for those of you just joining us:

The purpose of Fast Wednesdays is to draw near to God on this specific day fasting and praying in whatever manner the Holy Spirit is leading you as sisters in Christ…some have fasted from social media, coffee, or observed a traditional fast with no eating from sunrise to sunset with only liquids for the day, no deserts, etc. I know many of us for various reasons participate every week but in different manners. This has still been beneficial and the sisterhood continues to grew!

The key ingredient is that we are doing this together as sisters, of all ages, in the Lord both chronologically and spiritually in accordance to: Titus 2 — A God-Filled Life 3-5Guide older women into lives of reverence so they end up as neither gossips nor drunks, but models of goodness. By looking at them, the younger women will know how to love their husbands and children, be virtuous and pure, keep a good house, be good wives. We don’t want anyone looking down on God’s Message because of their behavior.

Since I was able to SLOW DOWN from the week of February 1, 2012 and STOP COMPLAINING from the week of February 8, 2012, I now have several items to share.

Note: Several of you asked about how to obtain the bracelets based on the STOP COMPLAINING blog last week and I will get further information. One of my girlfriends was successful in ordering 10 of them for her and her family! Another friend told me she and her husband are going to start throwing quarters into a can every time one of them complains…ummm…also, please share Fast Wednesdays with your friends and/or send me names to add to the distribution list. For now, I will post in three places: email, Blog and Facebook.

1) Love Checkup 2) Purpose & Meaning of LENT and 3) Tips to Organize Your Tax Records

Yesterday was Valentine’s Day…so, are you ready for a “Love Checkup? Want to start a “love revolution” with me? We would start this by loving others so radically with the love of Christ that the lost world would notice…How about one deed a day?…Remember, you reap what you sow, SO, sow seeds of love everywhere you go. What would happen if you tried to out love those around you?

List of some ways to love:

1) Be gracious, kind & generous (tip well) to your waiter/waitress when eating out a a restaurant.

2) Ask the waiter/waitress if you can pray for them before saying the blessing.

3) Help someone unload groceries into their car and then return the cart.

4) Pay for the food of the person behind you in the fast food line/lane and ask the cashier to tell them to have a blessed day.

5) Tip the person in the fast food lane!

6) Bake cookies for the sanitation workers or postal delivery person.

7) have the cashier add extra money to the pum for someone struggling to pay with change or just a few dollars.

8) Buy an extra bag of groceries and deliver it to a single mom.

9) Giver another driver your parking spot.

10 ) Ask the cashier at the grocery store what is his/her favorite candy or gum and buy it form them.

11) Send an anonymous note of encouragement with a cash monetary gift to someone who has lost their job.

12) Volunteer in a local school, mission or ministry.

13) Volunteer to work for an entire Sunday in your church’s nursery.

14) Smile a lot.

15) Etc, etc., etc.

Now:

1) Read 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 below, slowly. How would you rate yourself on a scale of 1-10? How would your family rate you? What about friends and coworkers? What about the Lord?

2) Commit to at least one act of love each day for the next two weeks. Look back over the list of acts of love. Which ones will you commit to?

“There are three things that will endure – faith, hope and love – and the greatest of these is love. 1 Corinthians 13:13

1 Corinthians 13:4-7 Amplified Bible (AMP)4Love endures long and is patient and kind; love never is envious nor boils over with jealousy, is not boastful or vainglorious, does not display itself haughtily. 5It is not conceited (arrogant and inflated with pride); it is not rude (unmannerly) and does not act unbecomingly. Love (God’s love in us) does not insist on its own rights or its own way, for it is not self-seeking; it is not touchy or fretful or resentful; it takes no account of the evil done to it [it pays no attention to a suffered wrong]. 6It does not rejoice at injustice and unrighteousness, but rejoices when right and truth prevail. 7Love bears up under anything and everything that comes, is ever ready to believe the best of every person, its hopes are fadeless under all circumstances, and it endures everything [without weakening].

The above comes from Donna Gaines (a MIGHTY WOMAN of GOD) / Girl’s Get-A-Way Cruise Devotional … 2012

2) Next Wednesday begins Ash Wednesday which starts the season of Lent…read below on the purpose of lent, in case you’re not familiar.

Lent also known as Cuaresma or Quadragesima (Latin: Forty[1]) is the Christian observance of the liturgical year from Ash Wednesday to Easter Sunday.

The traditional purpose of Lent is the penitential preparation of the believer – through prayer, penance, repentance, almsgiving and self-denial. Its institutional purpose is heightened in the annual commemoration of Holy Week, marking the Death and Resurrection of Jesus, which recalls the events of the Passion of Christ on Good Friday which then culminates in Easter Sunday, marking the celebration of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.

During Lenten season, some faithful observants generally commit to a form of fasting or (temporarily) give up certain types of luxury. Many Roman Catholic and some Protestant parishes often bare their altars of candles, flowers and other devotional offerings while Crucifixes, religious statues and other elaborate religious paraphernalia are often veiled in violet fabrics in pious observance of this event. Among certain pious Catholic countries, grand processions and cultural customs are observed, while the faithful attempt to visit seven churches during Holy Week in honor of Jesus Christ heading to Mount Calvary by observing the Fourteen Stations of the Cross.

According to the Synoptic gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke, Jesus spent forty days fasting in the desert before the beginning of his public ministry, where he endured temptation by Satan.[2][3] Thus, Lent is described as being forty days long, though different denominations calculate the forty days differently. In many of the Christian churches, Lent is regarded as being forty days long, but the Sundays between Shrove Tuesday and Easter Sunday are not typically regarded as being part of Lent; thus, the date of Shrove Tuesday will typically be slightly more than forty days before Easter Sunday.

This event, along with its pious customs are observed by Roman Catholics, Lutherans, Methodists, Presbyterians, Anglicans and some Baptists.[4][4][5][5] Lent is increasingly being observed by other denominations as well, even such groups that have historically ignored Lent, such as some Baptists and Mennonites[6]

Following are some tax tips I’m sharing with you coming from my “tax lady, Linda Archie” … food for thought for us as we work to be more organized…thanks Linda, for agreeing to allow me to share…

3) Tips to Organize Your Tax Records

Creating order out of chaos

As important tax records start filling mailboxes, how can you make sure your tax preparation goes smoothly and efficiently this year?  Here are some tips.

1.  Keep it all in one place.  It seems obvious, but how often have you found yourself going through piles of paper looking for that elusive missing 1099 tax form or charitable deduction receipt?  If you only do one thing, this is it.  Granted if all you do is this, you end up with a massive jumble of paper, but it is better than missing something.

2.  Time to sort.  The best idea here is to sort your information into the same buckets as your tax return.  At minimum sort the information into the basic categories.  If you have a lot of something, then sort into sub-detail categories.  A basic list of the more common items is here for your use.

A

Income

Wages
Interest Income (1099 INT)
Social Security
Alimony
Dividends (1099 DIV)
Investments (1099 B)
Business income (K-1s)
Winnings (W-2G, 1099 G)
Other Income Items

B

Income Adjustments

Student loan interest
Educator expenses
IRA contributions
Tuition & fees deduction
Moving expenses
HSA/MSA contributions
Alimony paid
Other education expenses

C

Itemized Deductions

Taxes Paid
Medical/Dental expenses
Casualty/Theft losses
Charitable contributions
Investor/other expenses
Unreimbursed employee expense
Interest expense (mortgage/home equity)

D

Credit information

Child & dependent care expense
Adoption expenses
Education expenses
Other credit related expense

E

Business/Rental

Sort income and expenses for each business activity or hobby activity or rental unit.
Note: Remember this list is not all-inclusive, it is here to help you sort your information into a usable form to make tax filing easier. 

3. Not sure bucket.  There may be things you receive that you are not certain about needing for tax filing purposes.  These items should be gathered in one place for review.

4. Time to sum.   Once the information has been categorized, create a summary of the information.  This summary can be a printed copy of an organizer or it could be a simple recap you create.

5. Is something missing?  Pull out last year’s tax return and create a list of things you needed last year.  Use this as checklist against this year’s information.  While this process will not identify new items, it will help identify missing items that qualified in prior years.

6. Finalize required documentation.  Certain deductions require substantiation and/or logs to qualify your expense.  Common areas that require this are:  business mileage, charitable mileage, medical mileage, moving mileage, non-cash charitable contributions, and certain business expenses.  These logs should be maintained throughout the year, but now is a good time to make sure they are complete and ready to go for tax filing.

With the amazing mix of taxable income items, various deductions, and credits it is very easy to overlook something.  Hopefully, by following these tips that risk is greatly reduced.

In closing, my prayer is that in all of this information, something blesses you, refreshes you, and encourages you … GOD sees your struggles and he’s GOT YOUR BACK!2012 is and will continue to be a year of Execution of Plans, Answered Prayers and Promises, IN JESUS NAME…!

P.S. We mourn the loss of Whitney Houston. Please lets keep her daughter, mother, Bobby and family in prayer. One of my top favorite songs of hers was NOTHIN’ BUT LOVE for you…its a song of FORGIVENESS and ownership of one’s problems and personal situation which many people these days don’t take responsibility for and…RIP…I am mindful that “all things work together for the good for those who love the Lord and are called according to HIS PURPOSE.” Romans 8:25

 

Nothin’ But Love Lyrics

Here I sit by my window thinking about all the things that I´ve been through
There were times where I never thought I get to where I got to
Had some angels to guide me, someone to ? lay on all my love
Now this is my chance to say ain´t go nothin but love

For my family that raised me (shout out, shout out)
And my teacher that done praised me (shout out, shout out)
To anyone who tried to hate on me (shout out, shout out)
Even the one´s who tried to break me, even the one´s who tried to take me down

There´ve been haters since this world been going ´round
(nothin but love, nothin but love)
Why they take a thing and trying to crush them down
(nothin but love, nothin but love)
I ain´t even trying to hold on to that now
(nothin but love, nothin but love)
Ain´t got nothin but love for you
(nothin but love, nothin but love)

I could hold on to pain but that ain´t what my life´s about
I ain´t blaming nobody if I ain´t got my stuff worked out
I got love for my self, ain´t gonna regret anything I´ve done
I just wanna sing my song, ain´t got nothin but love

For all the players on the street (shout out, shout out)
To all my ? doing their own thing (keep on, keep strong)
To all my exes that done wrong me, stepped on me, can´t hold me down

To all the givers and the takers
To my crew from way back when
To the cold wars and the stares
And the ones that I ain´t met
For my self for sticking with me
For the one´s I miss from up above
Anyone who´s ever been a part of me
Ain´t got nothin but love

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