Categories
Reflections

Overcome With Conviction and Love from Facebook Memories

Facebook memories can hit us right in the feels. Do you know what I mean? In case you’re not familiar with Facebook, the Memories feature is one which allows you to see what you posted on today’s date in past years. They give us glimpses of what our lives were like, who we were with, and what we were doing. We can be overcome with emotion and nostalgia.

Often, though, my Facebook memories bring conviction. My posts about what God was teaching me then can sound a lot like what He is still teaching me now. Apparently, some things take a long time to get through my thick head and into my heart. Praise God for His patience with me!

11 years ago, I wrote this on Facebook:

“Ever feel it’s unfair that even though you make right choices your life can be so impacted by the poor decisions of others?
Fact: everything that touches me is filtered first by the fingers of God. Knowing He is orchestrating things around me should change my perspective and my response.”

Whose choices affect your life? World and community leaders, family members, bosses, teachers, neighbors…? Have you dealt with the effects of their decisions and felt it was unjust? Boy, I have! Just this week, I have. And I’ve stewed in it.

But then Facebook comes in to remind me that God calmed my heart, mind, and soul about this very thing more than a decade ago. I feel convicted, a bit foolish, and also genuinely loved.

Someone opening facebook on a computer: Overcome With Conviction and Love from Facebook Memories
Photo by Luca Sammarco on Pexels.com
God may not be on social media, but He used Facebook to impress a message on me.

Everything that touches me is filtered first through the faithful fingers of God, even my Facebook memories. Who says God isn’t on social media! I joke, but He speaks in many ways and today He gently reminded me, through Facebook, that He has been, is, and always will be in charge.

People around me make choices which affect me. And God allows it. He has a plan. I’m at His mercy, not theirs. That should dictate my attitude about all of it. Today I have been overcome with conviction and love from Facebook memories.

How about you? Do you have a Facebook account? What were you up to, on this date, in years past?

Categories
Devotions

Forgiven and Free – Fooled by Feelings or In the Know?

The following quote made me stop and think. Do I bank my future on what I feel or what I know? How about you? Are you fooled by what you feel? Do you need to know whether you’re forgiven and free?

David Hocking quote about feeling forgiven: Forgiven and free - fooled by feelings or in the know?
Feelings can fool us. We need to know we’re forgiven!

To be sure, we need to go to the Source. The Bible helps us know whether we’re forgiven and how to fix it if we’re not. Feelings change but the Word of the Lord abides forever.

“For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.  But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.”

Matthew 6:14, 15

“And so I tell you, every kind of sin and slander can be forgiven, but blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven.”

Matthew 12:31

“Peter replied, ‘Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”

Acts 2:38

“All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.”

Acts 10:43

“In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace”

Ephesians 1:7

“For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.”

Colossians 1:13. 14

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”

1 John 1:9
Categories
Reflections

Buy Buttons: How Understanding Them Will Make and Save You Money!

Have you ever left the mall with spontaneous purchases? Do you wonder why you bought those items? Or maybe the opposite is true for you. Do you work in sales and struggle to meet your quotas? These things may seem out of your control, but don’t get down on yourself just yet!

Please keep reading, my friend. Understanding buy buttons will make and save you money! This information can give you an edge over other shoppers and retailers this holiday season and forever!

I recently had a conversation with Elizabeth Wickham on her bleuwater blog post about the depth of character, both fictional and real life, that is created when wants and needs are defined and understood. She writes about thought-provoking subjects. If you don’t already follow her, you really need to check out her site! This post about buy buttons was prompted by the discussion she and I had in relation to her article.

Understanding buy buttons will make and save you money

What are buy buttons?

I am using the term “buy buttons” for this post. The phrase for the idea might be coined by me, but the concept is certainly not. I learned these principles in a sales class I took decades ago. It has been so long that I don’t remember the exact terminology used, but I have banked (pun intended) on this information for many years and utilized it repeatedly to both make and save me money.

Buttons to press: Understanding Buy Buttons Will Make or Save You Money!
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com
When your buy buttons are pressed, you are more likely to spend money.

Buy buttons are the triggers which prompt you to open your wallet. They are wired to the needs and wants you have, both physical and emotional. Let’s back up and differentiate between needs and wants.

Needs

Needs are things you must have to survive. These are basic but crucial. Examples of needs would be air, water, food, shelter, and a means by which to obtain them. New shoes can be a legitimate need, if you must wear them to work and your old ones have fallen apart.

Wants

Most of what people call needs are actually wants. Anything over and above what is needed to survive is a want. There is not necessarily anything wrong with desiring more, nicer, and newer things, but be honest about what they are. Needs and wants are too often confused. You might think you need a new pair of shoes to match a new belt, but that is a want if you have other shoes to wear.

Where are your buy buttons?

Your buy buttons lie in the areas where you are most likely to make spontaneous decisions with your money. They are where your wants feel most like needs. Below are 5 pressure points upon which buy buttons may be found. The order of their importance varies from person to person. You may favor one or a combination of them. As you read, try to identify where yours might be.

A button labled "Buy": Understanding Buy Buttons Will Make or Save You Money!
Know what presses your buttons!

Urgency

The buy button of urgency has a time sensitive component. Do phrases like ‘last-chance’, ‘limited-time-only’, and ‘1-left-in-stock’ quicken your pulse? When you decide to sleep on a purchase decision, do you lie awake all night wondering if you missed out? If so, you have a buy button which is triggered by the perception of urgency. And you’ll want to hurry because, today only, I’m waiving the membership fee on the Back Porch! (Just kidding, it is free to follow this blog, so please subscribe!)

Bargain

If you simply cannot pass up a bargain, then you probably favor this buy button. A great deal is prey of the bargain hunt. Do you get a rush from haggling at a garage sale or using double coupons? Are you giddy about clearance racks and bargain basements? Does it bring you joy to find out you paid less for something than your neighbor did? Then you have a bargain buy button.

Security

Do you pursue things that make you feel safe? You know you tend toward a buy button related to security, if you value things like solid construction, high safety ratings, and gadgets for emergency preparation. Your fences are sturdy and you have the best home alarm system you can [almost] afford. If you are consistently willing to go over budget on purchases to include the newest proven safety features, you have a buy button related to security.

Prestige

You might suspect this buy button is a main one for you if you like to have the best. Does it make you happy when people admire the things you flaunt? Are you motivated to purchase items more for the prestige of ownership than because you are excited to use them? Are you drawn to things that are advertised as ‘rare finds’ or ‘one-of-a-kind’? If terms like ‘unique’, ‘custom’, and ‘elite’ catch your attention, the buy button of prestige is one of yours.

Sentimentality

Are you sentimental? Do you hold on to the past and enjoy refurbishing old things? Will you invest in quality workmanship which should stand the test of time? An activated sentimentality buy button will compel you to pull out your money to remember the good ole days or to create something unforgettable for the future. If antiques and nostalgia are precious to you, and you can’t put a price on making memories which will last, you have a sentimentality buy button.

Dollar bills arranged in the shape of a brain: Understanding Buy Buttons Will Make or Save You Money!
Photo by Morgan Housel on Unsplash
Our buy buttons are triggered by the things we value

Knowing about buy buttons can make you money

When you sell, you can rely on buy buttons. Whether you are trying to resell a single item you have, or you own an entire store, knowing about buy buttons can make you money. Once you identify a customer’s buy button, you can tailor your pitch to steer them toward a product that will trigger it. You make the sale and they feel good about their purchase. It is a win-win!

Let’s take a gym membership for example. If you work the sales desk and a potential customer mentions living in the gated community across the street, you should find out more about that. Do they live there for prestige? For security? Those would be the most likely assumptions. But don’t assume!

I live in a gated community. And believe it or not, my input on that decision was driven by bargain. The house was the most affordable in the area which met the needs of my family. If you were trying to sell me a gym membership according to the prestigious club or the secure facilities, you would not likely get my money. I don’t quicken toward either of those buy buttons. But, if you could convince me that you have the best prices in town, you might hook me. And that brings me to my last point.

Knowing your buy buttons can save you money

I love a good bargain. I have a daughter who is hopelessly sentimental. I have a son who enjoys prestige and a husband who wants his family to be secure. We know this about ourselves, and it has saved us money!

When you know your buy buttons, you will realize when a salesperson is pressing them. Also, you will understand your compulsions and be able to anticipate and manage them. Exercising power over your buy buttons will save you money.

I have developed self-talk in relation to my primary buy button. When I pass bargain counters and clearance racks, I remind myself that if I didn’t need those items at full price, I don’t need them at their sale price either. If I purchase an unwanted item worth $100 at a sale price of $5, I didn’t save $95, I wasted $5. Knowing my buy button has saved me an inestimable amount of money!

What are your buy buttons?

Have you learned anything about yourself? What triggers your buy buttons? Do you understand some of the curious purchases you’ve made? Have you thought of new angles for selling products to others? How might an understanding of buy buttons make and save you money?

“The plans of the diligent lead to profit as surely as haste leads to poverty.”

Proverbs 21:5
Categories
Recommendations

3 Types of Blogs & 6 Bloggers I Really Enjoy, and Think You Might Too

You are amazing and oh, so appreciated! Yes, you! My loyal followers and precious readers, I adore you. I am humbled and honored by the gift of your time and friendship. You are what makes this Back Porch a hang-out spot worth visiting.

Today I want to treat you to something different. I am going to highlight a few blogs and bloggers who have given me joy this year. There are so many great sites out there, and I would love to shine a spotlight on all of them. But for my first attempt at an applause post, I decided to appreciate some which are very different from mine. I’ve narrowed it down to 3 types of blogs & 6 bloggers I really enjoy and think you might too.

Applause: 3 Types of Blogs & 6 Bloggers I Really Enjoy, and Think You Might Too
Photo by Guillermo Latorre on Unsplash

1) Fiction

Oh, how I admire good story tellers! And when a tale is told with a worth-while moral and a valid lesson to be learned, I just cannot get enough. On her blog, Deeper Waters, Sandi Meadows Carlson kept me impressed and intrigued as I followed her fictional cast, the Lancaster family, from week to week. “Blessed Assurance: A Story of Hope” has just come to ‘The End’. Lucky you! If this is also your cup of tea, you can binge read this delightful account at your leisure!

2) Short and Punchy

There was a time I was pretty active on Facebook. It was my go-to scroll for waiting in line, 2-minute mental breaks, and the like. But there is so much on there now that I just don’t want to read. I am sure you know what I mean.

Instead, I am loving short and punchy blogs. Two of my favorites are Beth’s blog, called I didn’t have my glasses on…, and Fred’s site titled Abba’s Art. Both combine pictures and words to make succinct and creative points. These bloggers provide brilliant, quick diversions.

3) Different Angles

My posts come out of my life circumstances. These next three bloggers write from different angles than I do. They each have unique perspectives born of experiences, locations, and values specific to them.

Arrows: 3 Types of Blogs & 6 Bloggers I Really Enjoy, and Think You Might Too
Photo by Javier Allegue Barros on Unsplash

I cannot recommend The Book of Joe highly enough. Visit her page, and you will see that Rhonda Price has a way with words that just sparks the soul. She is raw and honest and a natural born teacher. She has taken a step back from weekly writing, but everything is still up on her blog and you should definitely pay it a visit. It was a gift every time her new posts showed up in my feed.

Speaking of anticipating posts, Cheryl Loreglia’s genius, showcased on her blog Living in the Gap, is always fun to read. She is entertaining and makes a real connection with her readers. I feel as if I’m part of Cheryl’s family because she is incredibly adept at writing their portrayals and has completely drawn me in.

And that brings me to Winds of Change. Reading this blog just feels peaceful. The author’s posts about her quiet days of normal, blissful imperfection bring with them a steady calm, which I crave in my 100-mile-a-minute life. She also pens vivid imagery on occasion and just knocks it out of the park. I cherish the genuine, friendly comments we exchange and consider it a precious part of my day.

Thank you, God: 3 Types of Blogs & 6 Bloggers I Really Enjoy, and Think You Might Too
Photo by Ashkan Forouzani on Unsplash

The above are 3 types of blogs and 6 bloggers I really enjoy and think you might too. If these sites are not familiar to you, please go have a look! If you have some to suggest to me, let me know in the comments. Your time, your posts, your comments… YOU bring me joy and I sincerely thank you! You make the Back Porch the blessing that it is.