Emma Jack || Fall 2014 (Issue 2)

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n i E x g c n i e z i l llence a i c MSMOC e p S Mississippi Sports Medicine and Orthopaedic Center is the state’s leading full-service orthopaedic specialty practice. Our seventeen board certified, fellowship trained specialists perform shoulder, elbow, hand, hip, knee, ankle, foot, neck and back procedures, and guide these patients through rehabilitation to complete recovery. Your orthopaedic problem or athletic injury deserves the attention and care that only an experienced orthopaedic specialist can provide. MSMOC...because Life is a Sport.

Jeff D. Almand, M.D. Austin M. Barrett, M.D. William B. Bell, M.D. Jamey W. Burrow, M.D.

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Volume 1 • Issue 2 • Fall 2014 www.emmajackmagazine.com


Letter from the Editor

6 Merry Christmas! Doing the right thing everyday does not give you a pass on hardships. Raising a family is no easy business, but it is a labor of love. We all face challenges. Life is about how you handle the challenges. Not whether you have them to face. We find enormous strength through our children, and our children depend on us to develop theirs. As parents, it is our job to lead, as well as guide. Work hard and be the grownup you want your kids to become. Have wonderful holidays. Plan time. Bring happiness. Be generous. Find joy. Connect with everyone. Allow love. Live for what is important. – Bryan Carter Editor in Chief Publisher Bryan Carter Editor in Chief Bryan Carter Contributing Editors Matthew Jackson, Justin Griffing Visual Design Sweta Desai, Greg Pevey, Chance Shelton Photography Sweta Desai, Chance Shelton Advertising Director Fran Riddell Emma Jack Magazine is published by P2 Publishers. Reproduction of Emma Jack magazine, in whole or in part, is strictly prohibited without written permission. We do not accept responsibility for any unsolicited materials and may not return them. All information in this magazine is taken from sources considered authoritative, but P2 Publishers cannot guarantee their accuracy. Inclusion of editorials, images, advertisements, or other materials in this magazine does does not constitute an endorsement for products or services by the publisher. ©2014 P2 Publishers.

Christmas is Christmas no matter how far!

16 Don’t Sideline My Child Particularly as school begins, many children are judged and misdiagnosed as being lazy or having behavioral issues when there may be a root cause.


26 Which Witch, Gobble Gobble, Ho Ho Ho A pictorial preat

36 Cooking Up A Family Feast Making holiday memories with your children in the kitchen

46 The Season of Giving Remember gift giving with heart


52 Accountable Living Teaching behaviors to help children be better financial stewards

64 Organize the Holiday! A little preparation can reward you with more holiday downtime

70 Dave Says... Advice from America’s financial advisor


36 What you can expect in the Winter 2015 Issue A New Year, Pillars of Strength, and more! FALL 2014 - 3





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SUMMER 2014 - 7

Merry Christmas! Frohe Weihnachten! Buon Natale! Hyvää Joulua! Wesołych Świąt! счастливого Рождества! Christmas is Christmas no matter how far!


awn breaks on Christmas morning. Children huddle excitedly in the hall. Mom and Dad are getting up slowly, enjoying their children’s overwhelming anticipation while struggling to get coffee. The family moves into the main room, with a tall, live, green Christmas tree covered with bright colored lights. The tree is surrounded by presents. Some are wrapped in bright paper, while others are placed in several stacks, still unwrapped. The wrapped presents are those from Mom and Dad and the family; the unwrapped ones have been brought by Santa Claus in the deep of the night. The next hour or more is spent unwrapping presents. The air is filled with excitement and laughter – the joy of Christmas morning. This scene, or one similar, is the archetypical American vision of Christmas morning. We know it from stories, classic holiday movies, television, and our own Christmases. The family is gathered, the presents are opened, and later in the day everyone will feast on turkey and ham and myriads of side dishes. This is what most Americans envision when we hear “Christmas morning,” even if our own personal experiences might have differed somewhat. Though Christmas came with settlers to the Americas from Europe, we might be surprised to learn how different the actual traditions concerning the Christmas sea8 - EMMA JACK MAGAZINE

son have developed the world over.

Christmas Day

Christmas Day is pretty obvious – December 25th. Except that in some places, much of what we Americans associate with Christmas Day celebrations is done on other days! In Germany, for example, the big celebration day is December 24th. This is the day the children open their presents, carols are sung, and the traditional Christmas dinner is eaten. The celebrations then continue through the 25th and 26th as well, with extended family exchanging gifts, visiting, feasting, and children enjoying their new toys. Interestingly enough, quite a number of other countries have the main Christmas celebrations on the 24th, especially many places in Europe. Others vary the main celebration based on which cultural traditions a family prefers, such as Italians celebrating on either the 24th or 25th (though presents are still exchanged on the 25th). Christmas in Russia is celebrated on January 7th, which is December 25th according to the Julian calendar (The Julian calendar was reformed in the West in 1582 to the Gregorian calendar, which we use in the US). Russian children look forward to December 6th just as much as Christmas, because in Russia, that is the day of St. Nicholas, and he brings them gifts and chocolates, instead of on Christmas Day.

A Christmas Dinner

Christmas Day the world over features food as a central component. Traditional foods and large meals are common, though perhaps nowhere more so than in Poland. The traditional Christmas meal in Poland consists of 12 courses (in honor of the 12 Apostles), and includes such dishes as beet soup, carp (in multiple dishes), pierogi with sauerkraut, and cheesecake. The German Christmas dinner (served on the 24th) is typically simple, often potato salad and sausage. On the 25th, a more refined meal of goose, dumplings, and red cabbage is enjoyed, and everyone enjoys cookies and gingerbread throughout the holiday season. The Finnish enjoy mulled wine with their ham, lutefisk, reindeer, cheeses, and sweet bread. It’s fish (on the 24th) and chicken (on the 25th) for Italians, along with the world famous sweets, pandoro and panettone. Of course, as with most things, each family interprets and adapts their national dishes, regardless of where in the world they may live. FALL 2014 - 9

Decorating for Celebration

We are used to an array of Christmas decorations in the US – the Christmas tree, blinking lights, nativity scenes, candles, holly leaves, and poinsettias. Whereas decorations go up as early as November in America, that is not the case around the world. In Germany, some children will not see their tree until it’s time to go and see the presents on the 24th. The Christkind (Christ-child) sets up the tree, decorates, and brings gifts, all behind closed doors on the days before December 24th. Finnish families bring in the tree together on the 24th, decorating it together with wooden ornaments, candles, and homemade decorations. Italian children are also familiar with the Christmas tree, but the central

In addition to those things we might consider ‘usual’ for Christmas, there are many traditions that various cultures hold dear. Almost universal is the singing of Christmas carols during the season’s celebrations. The Germans set up Christmas markets in every town during December, where people mingle and shop for both food and unique gifts. Eve and Christmas Day. A great deal of energy (and money) goes into present buying and food, but in the end, time with loved ones garners the greatest attention and devotion from most. decoration in Italy is the presepe, which is a nativity scene often made simply of wood or fired clay. Though dates and specifics vary, it seems most everyone likes festive decorations while celebrating the holidays.

A Day In Focus

In America there is a yearly conversation on the true focus of the holiday – family, religious, personal, material. There is a saying in Italy: “Natale coni tuoi, Pasqua conchi vuio” (Christmas with your family, Easter with whom you 10 - EMMA JACK MAGAZINE

want). This seems to encapsulate the attitude of many toward the Christmas holiday celebrations. It is a special time of year to be spent in the company of one’s family. The most typical cycle worldwide is for the main Christmas feasting and present opening to take place with members of the immediate family, and for the days following to be spent visiting the extended family (and lots more eating). Most Western countries also have a large religious focus around Christmas, with services primarily being held on Christmas


Our children’s favorite part of Christmas (and honestly, many adults as well) is the opening of gifts. American children are largely used to presents from both family and Santa Claus on the morning of the 25th. Not only are presents opened on other days in some places, they do not necessarily come from “Santa Claus.” In many European countries, like Germany and Poland, the presents are delivered to the children by the Christkind (Christchild). Italian children will be visited by Babbo Natale (Father Christmas) or

Gesù Bambino (Baby Jesus). The Finnish have a wonderful tradition where families actually bring in a Santa Claus to deliver presents. Usually played by a member of the family or a close friend, Santa enters through the front door on the 24th and asks “Are there kind children here?” After the children respond, the presents are passed out and Santa leaves. In older times the bringer of gifts was not even Santa, but rather the joulupukki (Christmas goat).

Other Christmas Traditions

In addition to those things we might consider ‘usual’ for Christmas, there are many traditions that various cultures hold dear. Almost universal is the singing of Christmas carols during the season’s celebrations. The Germans set up Christmas markets in every town during December, where people mingle and shop for both food and unique gifts. Christmas morning in Finland sometimes begins with a sauna, and the celebrations officially begin once the “Christmas Peace” is broadcast from the former capital of Turku. In Poland, there is a very specific celestial event that marks the beginning of the celebrations – the appearance of the first star in the night sky. There are many, many other commemorations of the Christmas season around the world. Learning about some of the traditions practiced by other cultures can help us understand others better and also appreciate our own unique celebrations. We share a common bond as people celebrating Christmas, yet each doing it our own way, wherever we happen to live. Merry Christmas to all, wherever your home may be! - EJ The author expresses his great thanks and gratitude to those who agreed to be interviewed about their national and family Christmas traditions for this article: Kristina Koehler (Germany), Aino Kelle (Finland), Laura Castelli (Italy), and Emilie Mansfeld (Poland). Matthew E. Jackson is the father of five, a writer, an adjunct professor of religion, philosophy, and humanities at Strayer University, and Director of Client Services at Think Webstore. FALL 2014 - 11


A SOUTHERN AFFAIR – Preview Gala & Auction Presented by the Junior League of Jackson

Wednesday, November 5, 2014 • 7 p.m. – 11 p.m.

SCHEDULE OF GALA EVENTS 7 p.m. – 9 p.m. Walk the Red Carpet Presented by C Spire

7 p.m. – 10 p.m. Silent and Premier Auctions 9 p.m. Live Auction Presented by Roundtree Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram

10 p.m. Rolex & Fine Jewelry Raffle Presented by Lee Michaels Fine Jewelry


Presented by The University of Mississippi Medical Center

Friday, November 7, 2014 • 3:30 p.m. – 5 p.m.

SOLID GOLD FEATURING SUPER T Sponsored by Southern Beverage

Friday, November 7, 2014 • 7:30 p.m. – 11 p.m.

RUDOLPH RACE Presented by Central Mississippi Chevy Dealers

Saturday, November 8, 2014 • 7:30 a.m.


Saturday, November 8, 2014 9 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. – MAGIC OF CHRISTMAS


Presented by Heritage Properties – Christie and George Walker

Thursday, November 6, 2014 • 8 a.m. – 11 a.m.

12 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. – MORE MAGIC OF CHRISTMAS

ALL THAT GLITTERS Girls’ Night Out Event

Presented by Nucor Steel

Presented by Trustmark

Presented by Junior League of Jackson


Presented by Belk

Saturday, November 8, 2014 • 9:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.



Thursday, November 6, 2014 • 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. Presented by Regions Bank

Friday, November 7, 2014 • 8 a.m. – 11 a.m.

A FASHION SHOW LUNCHEON Presented by Baptist Health Systems Fashions presented by CoatTails

Friday, November 7, 2014 • 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.

Presented by Fowler Buick GMC

Saturday, November 8, 2014 • 3:30 p.m.


Presented by Lee Michaels Fine Jewelry

Wednesday, November 5, 2014 • 10 p.m.

Tickets on Sale Now – Orders received after October 15th will be held at the door. All ticket sales are final with no exchanges or refunds. No strollers or rolling carts will be permitted.

For more information or to order tickets, please visit MistletoeMarketplace.com or call 1-888-324-0027



8/28/14 8:35 AM



Providence Hill Farm is pleased to announce Mississippi’s first Interscholastic Equestrian Association (IEA) Team. Riders of all levels are invited to join. No previous riding experience required. Join the team and compete in IEA shows in Hunt Seat Equitation (English) flat and over-fences classes, against out-of-state teams. No need to own your own horse. Open to riders in middle and high school (grades 6-12). The IEA show season runs from September to April, and team members must take 6 lessons per month during the season. Registration and lessons begin August 23, and registration is open to new team members until November 1, 2014. To register, or for more information, contact team coach, Leah Mitchell: email lmitchell@providencehillfarm.com stable (601) 925-0557

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8:35 AM

ON VIEW SEPTEMBER 27, 2014 – JANUARY 4, 2015

Spanish Sojourns: Robert Henri and the Spirit of Spain is organized by Telfair Museums, Savannah, Georgia. This exhibition is made possible through the generous support of the Mr. and Mrs. Raymond J. Horowitz Foundation for the Arts, Terra Foundation for American Art, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Robert Henri and Spain, Face to Face. An Exhibition about Connoisseurship, Conservation, and Context is organized by the Mississippi Museum of Art, Jackson, Mississippi. Local presentation of these exhibitions is made possible through the generous support of the Robert M. Hearin Support Foundation. The Mississippi Museum of Art and its programs are sponsored in part by the city of Jackson. Support is also provided by:

380 SOUTH LAMAR STREET / JACKSON, MISSISSIPPI 39201 601.960.1515 / 1.866.VIEWART / MSMUSEUMART.ORG Robert Henri (1865-1929), Portrait of El Matador Felix Asiego, 1906. oil on canvas, Robert Henri Estate, LeClair Family Collection. (Detail)


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he first semester of the school year can begin roughly for some families. Undiscovered, but not necessarily new, issues are brought to light as our children resume academic and social activities. Common ailments such as hearing problems, visual issues, mental processing challenges, and even social issues are misdiagnosed or just missed, causing children and families heartache, pain, and academic setbacks. Unrecognized sensory and mental processing challenges almost always affect academic performance and result in building frustration for the child and parents. Challenges are compounded as misdiagnosed or unrecognized problems almost always lead to secondary issues. External factors like


bullying can result in similar symptoms. Even though children are without blame for God-given circumstances, they still face tremendous consequence. That these issues are out of our control only furthers our frustration. Unresolved frustration is a fast track to acting out. Labeling can follow behavioral problems when a child acts out using anger, clowning, or violence. A butterfly effect of one event affecting another can happen as stigmas develop and become hard to shake. If your child is experiencing uncharacteristic or new behavioral patterns, it is critical that you ascertain if there are any root causes that have gone undetected before accepting a diagnosis of behavioral issues. Oftentimes children will not know to recognize these issues on their own and they may also be hesitant to discuss problems with their parents. This is especially true if they have been acting out in any way or feel like they have already been in trouble (and do not want to be in more trouble). In this article we explore the most common affront on FALL 2014 - 17

reading abilities – dyslexia. Because it is often undetected and diagnosed late, your child may be experiencing dyslexia and you won’t even know it. Just knowing the symptoms can be the key to helping your child.


The most common learning disorder and reading disability is dyslexia. The International Dyslexia Association defines dyslexia as a “language-based disability in which a person has trouble understanding words, sentences or paragraphs; both oral and written language are affected.” Estimates vary, but it is often estimated that dyslexia affects between five and ten percent of the population. Dyslexia can be inherited, developed, or the result of damage to the brain. While there are many categories in the dyslexia spectrum, there are three proposed primary subtypes. The subtypes are auditory, visual, and attentional. 18 - EMMA JACK MAGAZINE

Auditory Dyslexia

Auditory dyslexia makes it difficult for the individual to process sounds of individual letters as well as groups of letters (and sounds). It can be difficult to distinguish auditory dyslexia from other auditory processing disorders. Auditory dyslexia can manifest in the symptom of listening problems for children.

Visual Dyslexia

Visual dyslexia is the most publicly recognized and commonly associated with dyslexia as a category. With visual dyslexia, it can be difficult to tell a “d” from a “b” as the brain mirrors the visual and becomes confused. Words, letters, and parts of letters can move, blur, merge, flow, displace, or disappear. There have been studies that indicate that the font (typically sans serif fonts), or style of lettering, can improve the chances of an individual to correctly perceive letters and words. Knowing left from right can also be a problem. The visual stress

is not just about a slower and more arduous process for reading. It can also cause headaches, clenching of teeth, and mental fatigue and exhaustion.

Attentional Dyslexia

Many symptoms of attentional dyslexia are in common with attention deficit disorder (ADD) or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Individuals with attentional dyslexia are able to identify letters correctly, but are challenged to be able to focus on more than a word or a letter at a time. Letters may even migrate between words, changing the words themselves and the meaning of what is being read. Individuals who are dealing with only partial subtypes of dyslexia are sometimes able to mask the condition. The mind is sometimes able to compensate for dyslexic issues in such a way that no one knows they exist, including the person dealing with them. Says Dr. Kenneth Cleveland, a sur-

geon in Jackson, Mississippi, whose daughter averted diagnosis for some time, “Our daughter was making good grades in school, but we knew it was difficult for her. We had her tested and although she tested positive in multiple areas for dyslexia, in the end she overcame it. This is known as compensated dyslexia. Since her diagnosis, the school has worked with us and now she is doing even better.” When mapped using MRI technology, the differences in a dyslexic brain can be observed. Specialized therapy can bring about beneficial modifications in brain functions, which are observable using the same technology. Dyslexia is not an indicator of intelligence. It does present challenges with reading fluidity and comprehension. When undiagnosed and untreated, those students challenged with dyslexia have to work much harder than their classmates and may still fall behind, regardless of their actual intelligence. There are also ample opportunities to

feel frustrated or inadequate as they compare their effort and performance to that of their peers’.

Seeing Signs

Signs of dyslexia that appear in early childhood include trouble remembering left and right, letter mirroring/reversal, delays in speech, and even being easily distracted by noises and sounds. Many children with dyslexia also suffer from attention deficit disorder (ADD) or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), with the two conditions sharing symptoms. As children mature to school age, other symptoms can be observed, including difficulty with rhyming words, recognizing syllables, and blending words.

Detecting Dyslexia

Dyslexia is primarily detected through screening programs in schools, and by parents who are aware of symptoms and proactively test their children.

Dyslexia as defined by the 10th revision of the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (ICD 10) The disorders included in this block have in common: (a) onset invariably during infancy or childhood; (b) impairment or delay in development of functions that are strongly related to biological maturation of the central nervous system; and (c) a steady course without remissions and relapses. In most cases, the functions affected include language, visuo-spatial skills, and motor coordination. Usually, the delay or impairment has been present from as early as it could be detected reliably and will diminish progressively as the child grows older, although milder deficits often remain in adult life.

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Mandated testing in schools is one of the best strategies we have to catch the condition early in the greatest number of kids. Many children are able to mask their dyslexia when their minds are able to compensate for the condition, and the child, parents, and teachers will likely not be aware that the condition exists.

Treating Dyslexia

The good news is that dyslexia is a condition that can be treated. The brain can be “reprogrammed� so that the individual can read and overcome the challenges of dyslexia. Early intervention is especially effective. It is important to recognize that dyslexia cannot be practiced away through reading. It requires specific therapy. Treatment for dyslexic children requires consistent training by a certified therapist. There are therapies that can be accomplished individually or in groups.

Dyslexia in Mississippi

Mississippi State Senator Will Longwitz is a proponent of legislation to help save children from the effects of dyslexia. Using early intervention and 20 - EMMA JACK MAGAZINE

qualified therapists, Senator Longwitz believes we can have a significant impact on the lives of children, families, and ultimately our communities. In Mississippi we have begun taking steps to detect dyslexia through screening in schools; however, it is not standardized. Madison County is one such county in Mississippi that screens in

their schools. Unfortunately, screening for dyslexia does not guarantee treatment. Parents are not necessarily notified of the results of the screens and also are not necessarily informed of next steps toward treatment. Longwitz is in the process of developing and proposing legislation that will mandate intervention for dyslexic

ers become frustrated. This condition can be impacted and often overcome. In his research, Longwitz reports that within two academic years with therapy built into the curriculum, young children can be reading well. It is easy to see how early intervention can have a tremendous impact on the lives of children. Legislated action in Mississippi can ensure students are screened and kept on track early. This will lead to higher academic performance and is expected to lower dropout rates.

Awareness and Action

Know the symptoms of dyslexia. Check your child’s hearing and vision. If there is any question at all, test your child. Your child may be struggling and not telling you. Early intervention can make all the difference in your child’s life.


children by certified therapists in Mississippi. It is being determined whether the role of certified therapists can be performed by existing teachers who are properly trained, or by certified individuals in dedicated roles. Mississippi College, William Carey University, and the University of Southern Mississippi offer M.Ed. programs in dyslexia therapy. Says Longwitz, “We estimate a need of one certified therapist for every 60 children diagnosed with dyslexia to provide 3-5 hours per week of multisen-

sory therapy per child within our existing curriculum.”

A Message of Hope

Dyslexia can birth a dangerous set of circumstances that are avoidable. Parents become desperate in the second half of kindergarten as their child struggles with reading and does not know why. The child feels dumb, embarrassed, and discouraged. The child may stop trying or act out to compensate. Parents become exhausted. Teach-

Never accept acting out or laziness as a diagnosis without digging deeper. Your child may actually be a victim of something greater. Behavioral issues may be symptoms of a root cause, such as dyslexia, a physical impairment, another mental processing condition, or a social issue that calls for immediate attention. If so, you have a child who is desperately in need of your help and support. - EJ Bryan Carter is an author, business owner, father, and husband. He lives in Ridgeland, Mississippi with his wife Shelley and two beloved children, Jack and Emma.

Voice Your Opinion on the Issue of Dyslexia

You can actively help in the fight against dyslexia and minimize its impact on our children in Mississippi. There are children in our state whose dyslexia goes undetected, or even when diagnosed, untreated. Says Senator Longwitz, “Dyslexia is a solvable problem that also solves many other problems.” You can help support certified treatment in our schools through upcoming legislation being proposed. Contact the office of Senator Will Longwitz if you would like to voice your concern or support for this important issue: Senator Will Longwitz • P.O. Box 1018 • Jackson, MS 39215 • 601-359-3232 • will@willlongwitz.com FALL 2014 - 21


JACKSON PSYCHIATRY “A comprehensive behavioral health clinic dedicated to serving the needs of individuals and families”

Call for an appointment. Located in The Quarter 1855 Lakeland Drive, Suite P121 • Jackson, MS 601-366-4696 • info@jacksonpsychiatry.com www.jacksonpsychiatry.com


Doug Byrd, MD

Mark Rester, MD

David Elkin, PhD

Tom Elkin, PhD Hart Wylie, PMHNP

Danny Daniel, LPC,LMFT

Denease Bishop, LPC,LMFT

Steven Stafford, LPC

Elizabeth Taylor, Sandra Gobbel, M.Ed Psychometrist LPC

Medication and therapy for these and other issues: ADHD OCD


Depression Bipolar

Testing available for: Dyslexia

Anxiety Anger

Learning Disorders





Dyslexia Symposium Provided by the Mississippi Dyslexia Center

Topics Covered Testing and Screening Accommodations Dyslexia Therapy

We would love to invite you to the First Annual Dyslexia Symposium!

Dyslexia Legislation in Mississippi Parent Support- Decoding Dyslexia Mississippi

n 7:30-8:30- Registration and Welcome Breakfast

Living with Dyslexia

n 8:30-10:00- Keynote Speakers and General Information

Bullying and Character Development

n 10:15-11:45- Dyslexia and Related Information Expo provided by regional schools, professional organizations, and educational resource centers. n 1:00-4:00- Breakout small group sessions for interactive discussion. n 4:00-4:30- Closing remarks and Q & A.

ADHD and Related Disorders Behavioral Modifications Orton-Gillingham Based Methodology The Twice-Exceptional Child

Cost: $15/person October 29, 2014 Location


Cost Includes:

New Summit School- Gym

Contact Kate Sistrunk at:

n Breakfast

1417 Lelia Dr, Jackson, MS 39216

NSS: 601-982-7827

n Handout and Information Notebook

n Refreshments

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Project15:Layout 1 6/21/13 1:34 PM Page 1


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SHE’S HALFWAY TO COLLEGE. ARE YOU HALFWAY TO PAYING FOR COLLEGE? YOUR THIRD GRADER IS HALFWAY TO COLLEGE. Even if you haven’t started saving yet, it’s not too late. College Savings Mississippi makes it easy to save for college and offers special tax advantages. The MACS plan helps you save for tuition, books, room and board, and other qualified educational expenses. The MPACT plan allows you to lock in college tuition at today’s prices. With plans from College Savings Mississippi, there’s still time to make it to class. | www.TreasurerLynnFitch.com FALL 2014 - 25


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MCM’S 2014 FALL TRAVELING EXHIBIT Funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation

A Worthy Name


An Exceptional Education The Jernberg Scholarship

NEW SCHOLARSHIP NAMED IN HONOR OF LONGTIME EDUCATOR Jackson Academy is accepting applications for the James Peter Jernberg, Jr. Scholarship from students entering fifth through eleventh grades in 2015–16. Jernberg Scholars will receive full tuition and fees to attend JA. Applicants must demonstrate some financial need, and scholars will be selected based on academic excellence, enthusiasm for success, and determination to excel in a challenging, innovative environment. Apply now at jacksonacademy.org/jernbergscholars.


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s there anything on the planet that brings people together more than food? We gather around the table as families and friends to celebrate everything from birthdays and anniversaries to major holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas. Even enemies sit down and share a meal together as a sign of peace between them. Eating together somehow bonds people to one another.

Into the Holiday Bustle

Behind the sharing of food is the actual preparation of our meals. Often, as the holiday seasons roll around, particularly Thanksgiving and Christmas, there is an enormous amount of work to be done in the family kitchen. Mothers (and sometimes fathers) find themselves spending more and more time preparing, and less time sharing time with their families. The holidays are primarily about family, spending time together, enjoying one another, and making memories that last a lifetime. But, in the middle of our constant activity, one of the greatest mem38 - EMMA JACK MAGAZINE

ory-making opportunities is missed in many homes – kitchen memories!

Proceed Without Fear, Mom and Dad

Many parents immediately cringe with fear when we hear the phrase “kids helping out in the kitchen.” Images of knives, boiling water, hot pans, children underfoot, and injuries fill our heads. It is hard for us to do, but we can deal with those fears, and instead think of the positive. We want our children to be comfortable in the kitchen. With any luck, they may also learn to cook (and not only macaroni and cheese)! We also do not want to reach the end of the holidays and have the feeling that we did not spend as much time with our kids as we would have liked. As a family, we need quality time with them, to have fun, create lasting memories, prepare and eat great food, and teach them something about working in the kitchen. These are lessons for later in life!

Make a Plan

True, it takes a tiny bit of planning to

get the kids involved in food preparation, but holiday meals take a good bit of planning anyway. To prep for a kitchen day with the kids, choose a few dishes, or a few specific cooking activities that you think your kids will enjoy (and be able to accomplish). Since you already have a plan for preparing the meal, just spending a few extra minutes thinking it through can help us see what opportunities are there for the children to be involved. The very youngest can help out with opening packages. They also love to sit in a tall chair or stand on a small stool and watch you work in the kitchen, especially if you talk with them about what you are doing. As kids get a little older they can also help out by watching timers, stirring, mixing, and even throwing things into the trash can. It’s amazing what will keep them entertained and help them feel involved. Older children can do virtually anything in the kitchen (with a little supervision), from cutting to assembling to putting things into the oven. And about those fears of having kids in the kitchen mentioned earlier? Again, a little planning helps take care of those

concerns. For instance, if you worry about a little one getting burned, just be sure to set them up in a part of the kitchen where they will not be near the stove or oven. If it is knives that concern you, then just be careful of where you lay them down, and you can be double careful by choosing a certain place in the kitchen to cut that is “out of bounds” for your smaller children. Some thinking ahead and extra attention will keep your kids out of harms way. That way, you can focus on the kitchen fun with your kids and build memories and traditions that may be passed on.

An Easy Beginner Recipe

Cooking with our kids is not only possible, it can be wonderful fun. A great place to start is making cookies! It is relatively easy and provides quick gratification. Nearly everyone likes them and there are also plenty to share or even give as gifts to friends and neighbors. Here is a recipe to get you started.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

You will need: electric mixer, spoon, baking sheet (greased, lined, or nonstick), great holiday music, and a camera! 2.25 cups flour 2 cups chocolate chips 2 eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla extract 1 cup unsalted butter (room temperature) 1 cup brown sugar 1 teaspoon salt 0.5 cup white sugar 0.5 teaspoon baking soda

Let’s make cookies!

This is such an easy recipe to do with kids, since there’s nothing sharp to work with – just measuring and mixing and cooking! 1 - Help your child set the oven to preheat to 350 (bake). 2 - Help your child put the butter and the white and brown sugars into the bowl of the electric mixer. Mix those on medium until well mixed and smooth. (If the kids can reach, turning on the electric kitchen tools is always a lot of fun!) 3 - Now put the mixer on slow, and have your child carefully add salt, vanilla, and eggs (kids love to crack open eggs...so have a few extras on hand!). Allow this to mix until well combined. 4 - Finally, add the flour and mix no longer than it takes to combine. 5 - Now, a part the kids love, stir in the

chocolate chips by hand (not with the mixer). If a few morsels disappear, well, that is always okay...and a great photo opportunity! 6 - Kids enjoy helping put the prepared cookies onto the baking sheet before the parents slide them into the hot oven. Cook for 8-10 minutes and you have a wonderful treat for sharing with the kids, and with your holiday guests.

Wonderful Benefits

Even if things turn out differently than planned on your first foray into the kitchen with your little ones, enjoy this time. Cooking together is all about the memories, not necessarily the perfect cookbook meal. Being part of something as important as preparing the big holiday meal (or even something simple like cookies) is an exciting opportunity for you and for them.

Smile, Laugh, Talk – This is the Whole Point!

When our children (especially older ones) are comfortable and enjoying themselves, then they seem to be

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more willing to open up and talk about things that they might otherwise keep to themselves. And we, as parents, have an opportunity to share as well, talking about our own childhood memories as we make new ones with our kids. We not only guide and teach our children, we also relate to them as human beings on every level, and that includes building meaningful and lasting relationships with those so dear to us. What better reason could there be for cooking in the kitchen than building those memories and relationships with ones we love so dearly – our children. - EJ Matthew E. Jackson is the father of five, a writer, an adjunct professor of religion, philosophy, and humanities at Strayer University, and Director of Client Services at Think Webstore.


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At the AG Museum November 14 (Fri)

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y mother had a simple rule at Christmastime when I was young. We were allowed to open one present on Christmas Eve. We’ve all dealt with the desire to open a gift, even one simple gift, early on Christmas Eve. So she would let us. The catch was that she got to pick the gift. Without fail, it would be socks or underwear or some other piece of clothing. Even now, as I look back, I don’t remember the gifts that I got on most of those Christmases. I do smile as I remember the predictability of her answer every year as we asked the annual question, “Can I open a present early?” For me, that is a memory of the holidays.


The idea that the holidays have given into consumerism by focusing on gift buying and receiving is one that we, as a nation, explore annually. It seems as though Christmas decorations appear earlier each year, as does advertising for holiday shopping. While the “traditional” start of the holiday shopping season has been Black Friday, recent years have seen an increase of sales beginning on Thanksgiving night. That means, not only are stores open for Christmas shopping on Thanksgiving (and promoting it), people are shopping on the day(s) when we traditionally spent the time at home with our families. People question how to separate an increasingly consumerist spirit from the holidays. Some go as far as to suggest

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ceasing gift giving or giving gifts only to charity. Is this really the way to go?


From a religious perspective, gift giving activities associated with the Christmas season can be related back to the gifts of the Biblical magi given to the Christ child. From a nonreligious perspective, we can consider that the mutual giving of gifts in Indo-European society (from which our cultures are descended) cemented relationships. For all who celebrate Christmas, whether religious or not, the holiday includes the celebration of family and relationships. Whether our holiday celebrations are religious or not, we can find a reason for gift giving – be it in emulation of the magi or to further the bonds of love and friendship that exist between us and those around us.

it is easy to do. The magic of gifts is in the giving. Changing that spirit doesn’t begin with our community, but within ourselves. A culture of consumerism cannot be held responsible for what is in our hearts. A person’s Christmas spirit outshines any material gift.

Slipping into Consumerism

If we continue to give gifts, how do we keep from sliding into consumerism? We can begin by reminding ourselves that even though gift giving is a component of the holidays, it is not the focus. Gift giving needs to be recognized as a token of love or friendship between those with whom we celebrate the holidays, and should not be judged based on cost or amount. If we begin to look forward to festivities with the thought of “What will I get for Christmas?”, we need to recognize that our focus is skewed. There is messaging all around us that makes it easy to attribute the “magic” of Christmas to presents. It is when we make the choice to accept this for ourselves that we willingly participate in the spirit of consumerism. Consumerism is never a goal. It is a movement we get swept up in. And

Claus imparts to them an understanding of the joy of what it is to receive a gift. This joy will later lead them to want to give so that they can help others experience that joy. When we ask our children, “What do you want for Christmas?” or have them create Christmas lists, we should also spend time educating them in the meaning of Christmas, and the meaning of gifts. Gift giving is wonderful when done in the right spirit. It is the spirit of giving and thinking of others that matters more than the actual gift. As parents, we share the world of hope and magic through our children’s eyes. There are Christmas lists, being good for Santa, Christmas cookies and milk, the anticipation of presents under the tree, and learning about the birth of Jesus and his meaning to the world. Children’s innocence, joy, and pure anticipation of Christmas wonder ignites the Yuletide spirit in us all. Santa Claus is magical and is a part of Christmas. But the spirit of Christmas is something more. For Christians, Santa Claus should not distract us from the religious aspect of the holiday, but his giving can teach children about the gift of God given at Christmas.

The Goal is Connection

Sharing the Magic

Christmas is magical for kids. Undoubtedly, Santa Claus is one of the most magical aspects of Christmas for children. He embodies the holiday spirit of giving. Though it is difficult for children at early ages to understand giving, receiving from Santa

As adults, the rules change. “What do you want for Christmas?” seems like a sensible question. It provides some certainty that the gift we give is one that will be appreciated. At the same time, it does emphasize the “What will I get for Christmas?” aspect of consumerism. Using gift giving as a way to get to know people better and to celebrate your bond with them takes gift giving in a much more positive direction. We should remind ourselves that even though gift giving is an appropriate FALL 2014 - 49

part of the season, it is not the focus and it should be done with the right intention. Also, a reminder for the men: your wife may not be happy with you if you have to ask her what she wants!

Plan for the Celebration

One way to naturally emphasize the non-consumer aspects in our holiday spirit is to schedule and participate in holiday events, both with family and friends, where gift giving is not part of the celebration. It increases the amount of time we have to celebrate the holidays with those who matter to us without the thought or pressure of gifts.

Memories are the greatest gifts that we take from the holidays. The most cherished of them are built on the time that we spend with our families and friends in the merriment of the holiday season. Even as adults, we remember the excitement of “Santa came! Santa came!� but not necessarily what Santa brought. The deepest essence of the holiday is the experience of Christmas, its magic, and those with whom we share it. We each have our own reasons for the season. If we are going to be focused on one consuming behavior, let it be the consuming of favorite holiday dishes in the wonderful company of friends and family. Justin Griffing is a former parish treasurer at Dormition of the Mother of God Greek Orthodox Church in Burlington, VT, and has recently returned to Mississippi. 50 - EMMA JACK MAGAZINE

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hen my wife and I married, a good friend gave us a book titled Smart Couples Finish Rich. It was the sort of book that would catch one’s attention in the financial section of a bookstore. After all, who doesn’t want to finish rich? This wasn’t the first time I’d ever thought about financial management, surely. In Scouting, I had to earn a merit badge that required setting up a personal budget. My mother had taught me how to balance a checkbook. The real question arose, however – how much did I know about financial management? We are familiar with many of the basics of what one should teach their children – tying their shoes, not talking to strangers, calling 911 in an emergency, and a host of other obvious life skills. Do we ever really think about what to teach children when it comes to money? Quite often, our strategy is to teach our kids using allowances and encourage them to save up for what they want. What do we really teach, though?

Financial Behavior

Selena Swartzfager of the Mississippi Council on Economic Education (MCEE) is quick to point out that “Financial management education isn’t just about knowledge, it’s also about behav54 - EMMA JACK MAGAZINE

ior.” Her words ring true. It is easy enough to sit down and do the math to balance a checkbook or to set up a budget. The reality, however, is that once we have done that, we have to have the discipline to follow through. When we see, for example, that our budget for a given month only allows $60 for entertainment, we can’t expect that we will be going to the movies and getting drinks and popcorn every week of that month.


The unfortunate reality is that Mississippi comes in lowest on the vast majority of positive economic indicators and highest on the vast majority of negative ones. It is easy to look at these and want to give up. But there is hope. We can improve our own accountable living and financial management and ensure that future generations do the same.

Educating Our Children

MCEE is working with schools across the state in order to bring financial management education to students. Currently, programs are in place that make financial education part of the high school curriculum. Financial programs are also being adopted by middle schools. These programs help fill in a common gap in a child or teenager’s financial education. School-based programs are not enough on their

own. They must be combined with lessons and best practices at home. According to Swartzfager, a combined front makes all the difference.

HERE ARE SOME PRACTICAL STEPS TO GET STARTED: First, Embrace an Economic Way of Thinking

Kids must embrace what Swartzfager refers to as “the economic way of thinking.” Everything we do comes at a cost, which must be weighed against other factors. These costs are not only monetary. They affect what we can do in the future. If I spend $10 on lunch today, that is $10 subtracted from the amount available for other expenditures.

Second, Understand Income

To manage one’s finances, one must have finances to manage. Kids need to develop income streams. For children, those income streams are often in the form of allowances, neighborhood chores (such as babysitting or cutting grass), and financial gifts on special occasions. Regardless of where the income originates, this is an opportunity to teach your children how to responsibly allocate income to spend, to invest, and to save. It is also worth noting that part of financial responsibility is learning that you are not compensated for everything you do. While allowances are typically set by parents with age in mind, there are some chores that are simply done as being part of a family and a community.

money and comparing the amounts. While you are teaching them this, let them see you balancing your accounts.

Fourth, Demonstrate Budgeting

As a child grows older, it becomes possible to teach them about budgeting. While it is not necessary to share with them the entirety of household finances, it is important that they see the budgeting process. Do not merely show the mathematics of it, but explain how decisions are made. Encourage your children to take their income and budget it according to categories that are important and necessary to them – spending, savings, tithing, etc. There are a number of budgeting models available to use. One of the most popular is the envelope system espoused by experts such as Dave Ramsey.

Fifth, Learn to Save

One of the greatest financial problems in modern American society is the tendency not to save. Once a child is old enough, teach them to set aside a portion of any money they receive for savings. This amount can be kept separately from the rest of their money. It too should be tracked in the notebook register and compared once a month between register and

It is important to model the behavior for your child. Quite often, children respond better to modeling than to instruction. the physical money kept. It is important to model the behavior for your child. Quite often, children respond better to modeling than to instruction. Observation leads to questions. Responding to childhood curiosity with age-appropriate answers is a great teaching tool in their journey to understanding financial management principles.

Emotional Buying

Understanding why we buy is fundamental to embodying an economic way of thinking. Often we buy based on

Third, Develop Checking Account Skills

From the time a child is able to perform basic addition and subtraction, it becomes possible to teach them about balancing a checkbook. It doesn’t take an actual checking account or a checkbook register. If the child receives an allowance or money from other sources, have them record this in a small notebook. Also, have them record the money they spend. With addition and subtraction, they are able to keep up with their balances and occasionally check them by counting their actual FALL 2014 - 55

emotional decisions. We “want.” While many of our purchases go toward basic needs, the ways in which we fill those needs are generally based on emotion. As an example, clothing is a basic need. The clothing we choose to buy, however, is based on emotional influences such as wanting to fit in with peers or developing a style that makes us feel good. Once we have made an emotional purchase, we find ways to justify that decision with practical features and benefits, such as “this goes with other items in my closet,” “my other needed replacing,” or “I really needed something this color.” Understanding emotional buying and justification allows us to begin separating and balancing purchasing needs and emotional wants. We can certainly make purchases for emotional reasons, but it is important that they are recognized for what they are: “want” purchases.

Avoiding Debt

In addition to understanding emotional purchasing, and essential to any lessons in financial management, is the importance of an understanding of debt. Easy access to credit proves tempting to practically everyone, even those without jobs. Often times, when a young person is first able to get a credit card in college, they jump at the chance, and this can be the beginning of long-term, high-interest debt. Debt represents an increased


While many of our purchases go toward basic needs, the ways in which we fill those needs are generally based on emotion. As an example, clothing is a basic need. The clothing we choose to buy, however, is based on emotional influences... cost for whatever it is we are buying. The money spent on interest does not add any value to the purchase; it just increases the price tag. Across the board, debt is an increasing problem in our country; however, it is becoming extremely prevalent with students. Due to rising tuition costs and the core importance of a college education for most people entering the workforce, college students are graduating with significant financial burdens from college loans. College loans combined with credit card debt can be crippling for an out-of-work new graduate seeking an entry-level job. As parents, we need to teach our children to avoid having debt to manage, where possible, and help them understand the ways in which debt crip-

ples income, limits economic freedom in the moment, and increases the cost without increasing value.

Lifelong Empowerment

As parents, we all want to empower our children and provide for them as best we can. Early financial management education can give a young person the tools to approach financial management with confidence and knowledge that will open doors and opportunities for the rest of their lives. As parents, mentors, and teachers, we may all learn something ourselves. - EJ Justin Griffing is a former parish treasurer at Dormition of the Mother of God Greek Orthodox Church in Burlington, VT, and has recently returned to Mississippi.

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Organize the Holiday! A little preparation can reward you with more holiday downtime.



hat are your goals for the holiday? Most people think about all of the activities – shopping, eating, visiting, traveling – but those are tasks. What are your GOALS? Some good ones to put on your list are relaxing, connecting, having dedicated time, de-stressing, and just plain having fun. Organizing your holiday plans ahead of time will help ensure that you will be able to relax and enjoy all of the special moments with your family. More times than not, the holiday season brings unexpected stress because we fail to plan appropriately. Here are some easy steps and questions to get you prepared. You can fit each step into your current schedule by taking on as much as one task a day or as little as one task a week.

Make a Plan

Without a plan, how can we expect to accomplish all we need to get done? Here are some great starter questions: • WILL I send out holiday cards this year? • HOW much will I spend? (Food, gifts, entertainment, etc.)

• WHAT activities do I want to include in our holiday schedule? (Family events, sightseeing, church programs, sporting events, etc.) • WHAT will I cook or serve? • For WHOM am I buying? You will save yourself a lot of trouble by answering these questions and prioritizing each task based on the time that it takes to complete and when it needs to be completed. You may have more, but this can get you started.

Get Started on Your Card List

Can you honestly say you’ve never put off sending holiday cards until it was too late? Or, they didn’t get sent until sometime in January? It is not an uncommon story; however, preparing to send out greeting cards is a time sensitive process and should be at the top of your to do list! The earlier you start, the better.

Start Shopping Early

The same goes for buying gifts for family and friends. If you start at the beginning of the year, you not only catch sales, you can avoid over-spending in a small time period. Put grocery FALL 2014 - 65

shopping and food preparations at the bottom of your to-dos because they can wait until closer to each specific holiday. This type of planning alleviates the stress of last-minute tasks and overcrowded stores.

Prepare Your Home

Try organizing your plan around the following questions: • WHEN will I decorate? • WHO will be visiting and WHEN? • WHAT supplies and toiletries do I need to stock up on to prepare for visitors? • WHERE will I store and wrap gifts? • WHAT spaces can be decluttered to prepare for new gifts? When it comes to preparing your home for the holidays, people often focus all their attention on decorating. However, it is important that your house not only appear presentable but be functional and prepared for entertaining extra people, sometimes on a moment’s notice.

Give Away and Organize

Consider decluttering and donating clothes, toys, and other items you no longer find useful to those less fortunate than you. Not only will it clear out space for incoming gifts, it can potentially make someone else’s holiday extremely special. Organize everyday items in your home so that they are easy to access during the more chaotic times of the season. Remember, time saved is time earned.

Dedicate to Decorate

Once you feel your home begin to warm and relax from being cleaned and organized, set aside ONE or TWO days where the sole thing on your agenda is decorating your home. This will keep you from putting it off or spending too much time where it isn’t needed. Designate a place for gift storage and organized wrapping so that it is easy to access and out of plain sight. You can follow the same plan when you take down your holiday decor. Set aside one or two days to tackle the task and don’t worry about it until it is time to take care of it.

Less Stress. More Fun.

While poor planning (or no planning) creates stress, proper planning helps you to accomplish more, save money, and be better organized. With a little proper planning, you can reduce your stress and be able to spend more relaxing time enjoying your family during the season. Get started today and happy holidays! - EJ Diane Ryan is a professional organizer in the Jackson Metro area. 66 - EMMA JACK MAGAZINE

FALL 2014 - 67

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DAVE SAYS... Financial Advice From America’s Financial Advisor

Where are you in your financial plan? 25% Dear Dave, You recommend that no more than 25 percent of your monthly income go toward a house payment. Does this figure include taxes and insurance too? – Ryan Dear Ryan, Yes, it does. Your housing payment should not exceed 25 percent of your 70 - EMMA JACK MAGAZINE

monthly take-home pay on a 15-year, fixed-rate mortgage. When it comes to buying a house, the goal is not to live in the Taj Mahal or have something so expensive you end up being “house poor.” When buying a home, especially for first-time homebuyers, you should look for something nice — in a decent area — that you can get paid off as quickly as possible. It’s really not a big deal if you cheat a

couple of percentage points one way or the other. But 25 percent is a good rule of thumb to ensure you’ll still have money left over to live on, save and invest! – Dave Be very kind and very grateful Dear Dave, My mom and dad took out a whole life insurance policy for me when I was born. The cash value is $2,500, and my husband and I want to cash it out and put the money toward paying off debt. We already have larger term life insurance policies in place, but I’m worried that doing this will offend my parents. What should I do? – Laura Dear Laura, I think the real question is how many toxic things will you do because you’re afraid you might offend them. Whole life policies are financially toxic. They’re a bad product, and keeping it for no better reason than it might hurt their feelings a little bit isn’t much of a reason — especially when the alternative is paying down debt and getting your financial life

in order. I know this is mom and dad we’re talking about, so you’ll have to be nice about everything. But at the same time, your parents have to realize it’s your life and you make the decisions. Try sitting down with them and gently explaining that while you appreciate and love them for their generosity, you’re going to cash it out and use it to get out of debt. Let them know you’re not wasting their gift, and that you’re using it to make a positive impact on your lives. You’re not doing anything disrespectful, Laura. Just be very clear about the reason and loving with your explanation. Then, if they chose to become a little emotional or resentful, that’s on them. If they get really upset and want the money back, you can do that too. But getting your financial house in order is much more important than hanging on to a bad financial product

you don’t need in the first place.

– Dave

Tithing and giving while getting out of debt Dear Dave, Do you recommend that people continue tithing and giving while getting out of debt? – Sarah Dear Sarah, If you’re tithing, that would refer to you being a Christian or of the Jewish faith. To the best of my knowledge, those are the only two religions where tithing is taught as a part of the faith. The word literally means “a tenth,” as in a tenth of your income. If you are an evangelical Christian, what does Scripture say? It says to take the tithe off the top before you do anything else. You keep doing it

always, not from a legalistic perspective, but because it’s part of God’s instructions on the best way to live. It gives you a baseline for giving and generosity. Then, get yourself and your household cleaned up and in good financial shape before engaging in other acts of giving, which are called offerings. This is the normal process that Scripture outlines. But remember, God is crazy about you and loves you very much. When you give, it’s the act of being unselfish and putting others first. – Dave Dave Ramsey is America’s trusted voice on money and business. He has authored five New York Times best-selling books: Financial Peace, More Than Enough, The Total Money Makeover, EntreLeadership and Smart Money Smart Kids. His newest best-seller, Smart Money Smart Kids, was written with his daughter Rachel Cruze, and recently debuted at #1. The Dave Ramsey Show is heard by more than 8 million listeners each week on more than 500 radio stations. Follow Dave on Twitter at @DaveRamsey and on the web at daveramsey.com. FALL 2014 - 71

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