My Best Christmas Present Ever!

“And when they had opened their treasures, they presented gifts to Him: gold, frankincense, and myrrh.” Matthew 2:11 [NKJV]

Christmas is only a few weeks away so I’m getting wish lists from my children and grandchildren. I always know what my husband wants: cold hard cash or a gift certificate from his favorite train store. He has a model train hobby and needs endless cash to sustain it. But this year I might divert and surprise him with something romantic and sentimental.

I’m going way back in my memories today to a certain Christmas in my childhood. I was in grade three and a mere eight years old. I don’t remember which present lay under the tree for me or what I opened Christmas morning but I know I got what I was hoping for.

That was the Christmas I got my mom back.

My mother had been very, very sick. I was sure she was going to die. I heard whispers in church at prayer meeting. I saw the ladies’ pitying looks as they tried to smile at me. Men got up in church and prayed long prayers asking God to spare my mom and make her well.

I didn’t know why my mom was in the hospital. At first I thought she was having another baby but my older sisters assured me it wasn’t so. At home my older siblings and Dad talked quietly not wanting to worry us younger children.

So I prayed. I too asked God to heal my mom and bring her home for Christmas. My family was large. I had thirteen brothers and sisters.

A year or two ago another large family in our church had lost their mom. She died. Their father remarried so the children now had a new mom. I did not want a new mom. I loved my mom. I made all kind of promises to God – good Christian things I would do if only He would bring my mom back home to me from the hospital.

And God did bring my mom home for Christmas but only for a couple of days and then she had to go back for surgery.

But that was enough for me.

As I embraced her I was comforted and was able to let her go again. I believed that because she had been gone once and came back she would come back next time also. I was right. She became even sicker than before but she had her surgery. God healed her and many weeks later she came home to stay. God heard my prayer.

When I think of the wise men laying their treasure of gold and perfumes at Jesus feet that first Christmas season I join with them in adoration.

But that Christmas when I was eight all the wealthy material treasures that the richest kings could have laid at Jesus feet could not have compared to the treasure He gave me – my mother.

This Christmas, I encourage you to remember the special gifts Jesus has given you.

Can Bankruptcy Lawyers Help With Debt Negotiation?

Have you ever experienced not being able to sleep due to surmounting debts? Perhaps you have worked 2-3 shifts a day just to make ends meet since you have children to raise and debts to pay? When you believe that you can no longer make the payments in time, you might consider altering the payment scheme of your debt into a much lower one so that your earnings could satisfy them. The big question is how to do it.

If you are among the persons who have considered paying a lesser amount for your debt every month so that you may have a little amount to spend on your children, then it is the right time for you to go through debt negotiation. By the name itself, you will know that you will be negotiating for your debt. If you have doubts with regards to the legalities of the matter, then getting the advice of the right party in the person of a lawyer will be the best option that you can take.

A lot of lawyers assist individuals to make debt negotiations with their creditors, and most end up satisfied with the results. One thing that is most likely to happen when you negotiate is that the principal amount can be lowered. When this occurs, you would now have a lower amount to pay every month. If you are in doubt as whether your creditor would give you the slight reprieve and lower down your principal debt, then try to think about this. Your creditor would gladly accept a slight lower payment than not to receive any payment from you at all. This is why getting a lawyer to help you in the negotiation process with your creditor is a good thing to do.

If you are asking yourself if you can go for this option, then check and see whether your income would permit you to do so. If you have a fixed income, then debt negotiation is right for you since you can determine how much you will be allocating for debt payments and how much would be left for your sustenance. If you are self-employed, then you are also a good candidate for this process. If you are an independent contractor, debt negotiation is also right for you.

Perhaps, you have a relative whom you can easily run to for your financial needs, or you may know of somebody whom you can depend on during emergencies. Lawyers would always ask this so that they may be able to see whether you can meet your payments when the time comes. And if you don’t have the means for it, there would be people you know who can help you meet the scheduled payments.

Presenting Financial Figures

Numbers are essential tools used in the decision-making process in a company. Effective management entails the proper use of financial figures. But a lot of people have a fear of numbers stemming from unpleasant experiences with them during their school years. In order to understand and use numbers fear must be overcome first. Understanding will then follow; you will know what numbers can tell and what they can not tell. You will know when it is appropriate to use them and when it is not. You will come to know their limitations. Only at this time will figures become a useful tool for making decisions and enhancing the quality of decisions.

Decision-making in a company usually involves presenting financial figures to several managers, not all of whom have backgrounds in finance. The objectives of presenting financial figures to them are to educate and inform them of the financial performance of the company and convince them of future trends that must be considered in order to give direction to the company. This means that the presentation must be clear and comprehensible to the audience. It is not enough to print out financial statements, hand them out and discuss them line by line. This will not accomplish understanding and clarity. Doing away almost completely with figures and financial terms and steering away from technical discussions is tempting because it may seem easier and simpler, but neither will it achieve the goals of educating, informing and convincing the audience.

A better approach to presenting financial figures is to try to level the financial understanding of the attendees. He should put himself in their shoes and think of ways to incorporate financial terms and figures in his presentation in an easily understandable manner, explaining along the way the terms that can not be replaced with layman’s terms.

To prepare for the challenge of presenting financial figures, the presenter must first select the most critical numbers, making sure that all assumptions or basis for each are explained. Decide also which financial terms and concepts are needed for the presentation and how these terms can be explained in layman’s terms.

It is a good idea to develop an outline of your presentation showing the objectives, critical financial concepts or principles and critical figures. This will serve as a guide for the flow of your presentation.

The presentation should start with an explanation of the objectives. Tell the audience what you wish to accomplish and give them a summary of the discussion points. Establish clearly the importance of understanding the critical concepts that you are including in your presentation. Tell the audience why they need to understand the concepts. To explain the concepts, you can relate them to some familiar and ordinary situations. Analogies can be used as a tool to accomplish this. To maintain your audience’s attention throughout the presentation, keep referring back to your familiar and ordinary situations that you used as examples so that your audience can keep up with the story that you are trying to tell. Take short breaks to let the audience absorb the ideas and figures and encourage them to ask questions.