Issue 12
December 2012
In This Issue
Money Matters
Monthly Emphasis
GCT Career Corner

 
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Welcome! It seems like just yesterday that 2012 began; now the end of the year is here.

Once again we have the privilege to greet you in our monthly Inspirer newsletter. Take your time and peruse each article because there is a lot of good information for you and yours. We have tidbits from many areas of ministry we know you will enjoy. So don't just scroll down to the end and look at pictures; you'll miss some very valuable information.

Our theme this year is "Embracing Perfection Through Passion." To us, EMBRACE stands for Empowering Ministry, Building Relationships and Advancing Christians Everywhere! In Ephesians 4:11-13 Paul expresses that God gave passionate ministry gifts "...For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ..." I believe that the foundation of successful ministry begins with a true love for God and His people. Yes, where there is true Passion, there can also be Perfection!

Always remember, if ever you are in our area, we would love to have you and your family come by and visit with us.  

 

 

EMBRACE,

Bishop Brandon B. Porter
Senior Pastor www.bbporterministries.org

 

 

 

 
Money Matters

2012 Holiday Season Shopping Spending Plans Revealed by TransUnion Study ¹

TransUnion Provides Holiday Shoppers with Tips to Help Keep Their Identity Safe and Their Finances Out of the Red

CHICAGO, IL--(Marketwire - Nov 19, 2012) - With Halloween long gone and Black Friday and Cyber Monday just days away, holiday shoppers are making their list and checking it twice -- and getting ready to head to shopping malls and the Internet to find the best deals for 2012. TransUnion provides shoppers with tips to help them have a happy holiday shopping season while minimizing their exposure to identity theft and avoiding the holiday shopping hangover in January.

According to a recent Zogby Analytics survey commissioned by TransUnion, nearly a quarter (22.8 percent) of Americans surveyed plan to spend between $251-$500 on holiday gifts this holiday season. Nearly an additional fifth (18.7 percent) of Americans surveyed plan to spend $501-$1,000 this holiday season.

For many, the arrival of the holiday season seems to send a reflexive signal to start spending. TransUnion provides consumers with some strategies to control spending so that their debt doesn't spiral upwards and their credit score nosedives.

  

Be strategic about credit:

 

* Before you start shopping, know the interest rates on your credit cards, as well as what you already owe on your credit cards.

 

* Monitor your credit regularly. Make sure your credit accurately reflects your credit history. Watch for and correct anything you know is incorrect or unfamiliar as these items could potentially lower your credit score.
* If you're going to open new retail accounts to get a discount on shopping, be aware that this may cause your credit score to suffer a short-term dip.

If you're already carrying a balance on your credit cards:

* Pay off the ones with the highest interest rates first. Don't pay more in interest than you have to.
* If you can, pay more than the minimum each month, otherwise, interest will grow on the remainder of your credit card balance. Try to negotiate your interest rate. In this economic climate, card issuers are anxious to retain consumers who use credit responsibly.

"If you are concerned about your credit score, it might be a better idea to pay for holiday shopping with cash," says Heather Battison, TransUnion's senior director responsible for consumer education. "If lenders see a high credit utilization ratio, they might conclude that you're 'maxing out,' or doing more spending than you can pay for."

TransUnion also provides consumers with proactive steps they can take now that will help minimize their exposure to identity theft -- both while shopping online and in the malls.

"The holidays present a wealth of opportunity for identity thieves," says Battison. "The hectic holiday season can potentially expose our personal information to theft in both high-tech ways like phishing scams, and in traditional ones, such as a stolen wallet or mail theft."

While these identity theft prevention tips from TransUnion are useful year round, they're especially important during the holiday season:

* When holiday shopping, only carry essential documents with you. Only take your driver's license and the credit card or cards you intend to use that day. Do not carry your Social Security card, birth certificate or passport, and consider leaving at home other types of cards that may have identifying information on them, like wholesale club cards or library cards.
* The holidays mean plenty of extra trash. Shred everything that contains personal, identifying information before throwing it out.
* Keep a close eye on your credit card bills. This is especially important during the holidays. The additional attention to your bill can help you catch any charges you don't recognize on your statement. An added bonus -- you'll also be more aware of how much you're spending and be better prepared to stay within your holiday spending budget.
* Monitor your credit. Consider enrolling in a credit monitoring service that will alert you via email to changes in your credit report. This way you will know quickly if someone else has tried to open a new credit account in your name.
* When shopping online, only do business with websites that have security measures in place to protect you. Before you provide any personal or payment information, look for a URL that begins with "https" (not "http") and the emblem of a lock on the page, typically next to the address bar.
* Before and after you surf the web on Cyber Monday, consider changing your account passwords and keep a list of them in a secure place. Passwords and PIN numbers should be a random mix of letters, numbers and special characters, which makes it harder for identity thieves to guess.

To begin your holiday shopping season by checking your credit and debt situation, visit TransUnion to obtain your free credit score.

¹Note: This article was posted online by TransUnion @ http://newsroom.transunion.com/press-releases/2012-holiday-season-shopping-spending-plans-reveal-0956250

Sis. Ramona Coe,
Contributing Writer
 
Monthly Emphasis

Praise and Worship

The monthly emphasis for December is praise and worship. Praise and worship is when a believer expresses his love and appreciation to God for what He has done and who He is. It is not just singing and dancing to your favorite songs in a church service. We praise and worship the Lord each day because He saved us and we have eternal life with Him.

John 3:16-17 says, "For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved." Jesus gave us the gift of salvation and the thought of being in Heaven with Him is enough to worship Him.

When we praise and worship God, His presence works actively with us. Then, we are able to hear His voice and get answers to life's questions. Acts 13:1-2 says, "Now there were in the church that was at Antioch certain prophets and teachers; as Barnabas, and Simeon that was called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen, which had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. As they ministered to the Lord and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them." These verses are an example that the Holy Ghost is speaking in our ministerial and personal lives.

False prophets have formulas and tricks to tempt and mislead us. Praying in Jesus name, praise and worship go hand in hand for God to move in our lives. Philippians 4:6-7 says, "Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." Praise and worship to God gives us peace and assurance that God's answer will come no matter how long we wait. The suggestion is to focus and seek God to keep our relationship with Him strong. If a believer doesn't regularly show thankfulness to God, he misses out on a relationship with a loving God.

In closing, God desires to work on us in our circumstances and most of all to be with us.

Contributing Writer: Minister Sylvester Person
 

GREATER COMMUNITY TEMPLE'S mission is to impact its community through evangelism, discipleship in order to change the world. We are committed to developing the believer in their faith of the Lord Jesus Christ through the consistent and systematic study of God's word. We exist to celebrate God's presence, to demonstrate God's love, to communicate God's word, and to educate God's people.

Bishop Brandon B. Porter
Senior Pastor