• Paying for College

    By Sherri McGaffin

    Next to a house, a college education is probably the biggest investment you will make. The average cost of a four-year degree at a public university is around $40,000. Depending on the major selected, that is more than some recent graduates will even earn their first year out of college. If you think that is a big chunk of change, the average cost of a four-year degree from a private school is $134,000. That’s more money than most people will ever earn in a year. With this kind of price tag, how is it possible to attain a higher education without taking out a massive student loan? When I went to college, I knew nothing about scholarships, grants, student loans, or the myriad of other options available to pay for a college education. So how did I pay for my …

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  • Help! I’m Bored During National Anti-Boredom Month!

    By Sherri McGaffin

    Did you know that July is National Anti-Boredom Month? I love looking up unique holidays and celebrations. (See, only a couple sentences into this post and I have already given you one idea of what to do when you’re bored.) By definition, ‘bored’ simply means that you have nothing to do or have no interest in the activity you are doing. Boredom can strike at anytime, anywhere, and with anybody. I think it’s pretty safe to say that everyone has experienced boredom at some time throughout their life. Even people with busy schedules can find themselves bored with their routine. A few weeks ago Annie wrote a blogpost (“Don’t Waste Your Summer”) that was filled with great suggestions about how to keep your kids occupied during summer break. My post is different in that it targets adults (with or without …

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  • Life Isn’t Always An Amusement Park

    By Sherri McGaffin

    “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9 NIV) My post this month is taking me on a ride to a new dimension. When our blog team met in March, we were going over the calendar for the upcoming months and the the amusement park theme for VBS was revealed to us that night. Upon hearing this I thought of the saying, “Life isn’t always an amusement park.” I proposed the topic and claimed it for my June post. I had several months to work on it, but here I am less than two weeks away from the publishing date and I have yet to decide which angle I want to take. After mulling over different possibilities, …

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  • Vacationing on a Budget

    By Sherri McGaffin

    “Then Jesus said, “Let’s go off by ourselves to a quiet place and rest awhile.” He said this because there were so many people coming and going that Jesus and his apostles didn’t even have time to eat.” – Mark 6:31 NLT I LOVE going on vacation. I love exploring new places, learning about other cultures, trying new foods and just experiencing what the world has to offer. Americans don’t vacation as much as people in other countries. After doing a little research, I was shocked to learn that the average American employee takes a vacation of only four days. This is hardly enough to scratch the surface of all of the beautiful places there are to see around the globe, and it’s not nearly enough time to come back refreshed. My husband and I take multiple vacations each year. …

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  • Financial Literacy Month

    By Sherri McGaffin

    Some say money makes the world go round while others say money is the root of all evil. However you look at money, there’s one thing everyone can agree on. It’s important to have and even more important to have enough in order to live a comfortable life. April is Financial Literacy Month. There’s a very good reason why there is an entire month devoted to the topic. There’s a lot to learn. When I was trying to figure out what to write about financial literacy, I had a hard time narrowing it down. I could teach an entire course on the topic — in fact, I do teach an entire course on the topic. Money is mentioned 800 times in the Bible. Financial topics in general are referenced 2,000 times in the Bible! Topics range from spending wisely and …

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  • Enjoy God’s Creation This Spring

    By Sherri McGaffin

    “Look, the winter is past, and the rains are over and gone. The flowers are springing up, the season of singing birds has come, and the cooing of turtledoves fills the air.” (Song of Solomon 2:11-12 NLT) Spring is my absolute favorite season. Perhaps it’s because I was born in spring (May 25th in case you want to send a gift), but I absolutely love the feel, smells, and sights of spring. When the days get warmer and the nights get longer, I am always looking for ways to enjoy the season. Another way to look at spring is a time of rebirth. Flowers are blooming, animals we haven’t seen in awhile are romping around the neighborhood, baseball season is underway, and of course it’s when we celebrate Easter. Whatever you like most about spring, there’s one thing that everyone …

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  • Tax Season is in Full Swing

    By Sherri McGaffin

    Have you completed your 2016 taxes yet? I know I haven’t. My goal, however, is to have them completed by the time you are reading this. Once January 31st, rolls around and you finally get that coveted W-2 Form, the tax season has officially begun. Will I get a refund? Will I owe money? Will I get audited? For many people, completing the annual tax return can be a very daunting process. Even Albert Einstein was quoted as saying, “The hardest thing in the world to understand is the income tax.” I learned how to do taxes when I was about 19 years old. When I moved away from home, and had to pay someone to do them for me, I vowed to learn how to do them myself so that I could save money on something I knew I would …

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  • Treating Your Body Like A Temple

    By Sherri McGaffin

      When I compare myself to where I was last year at this time, I’ve gained some weight. When I compare myself to where I was 10 years ago, I’ve gained A LOT of weight. I have a wider range of sizes in my closet than most stores do. I have read countless books and magazines, attended various support groups and weekly weigh-ins, looked to success stories, and the list goes on and on. I know a lot about losing weight and have actually lost weight in the past. One time I even lost 60 pounds! Unfortunately; however, I gained it all back and then some. It is so frustrating. As my weight has increased, I have noticed that I have developed new health problems and health problems I already had have gotten worse. I have plantar fasciitis that has …

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  • When it’s Not the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

    By Sherri McGaffin

    Some people simply cannot wait for the Christmas season to begin. These people seem to count down the days until Halloween is over so they can start to play Christmas music, put up the lights, trim a tree, and set up those inflatable (or “deflatable”) lawn displays. While these people are celebrating their “most wonderful time of the year,” there is another group of people who are bracing for their longest, loneliest, and most painful season of the year. How could this be? How can a season that is supposed to be filled with so much hope, joy, and peace bring such sorrow? Television, advertising agencies, and social media seem to dictate what a Christmas celebration should look like: lots of presents (that you may or may not be able to afford), going to parties, surrounded by a large and …

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