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“If Not You… Then Who?”

Lou Coleman

Lou Coleman

By Lou Coleman

“I didn’t do it!”  “It’s not my fault!”… This is what you say when you blame other people for your problems. It’s a way of explaining why life hasn’t worked out the way you would like. You’ve been treated unfairly; you’ve ended up on the short end of the stick; you’ve been dealt a lousy hand of cards. You’re a victim. And that’s how you get through life—by blaming other people for the bad things that happen to you. If you lose your job, it’s because the boss was unreasonable; he didn’t understand you; he had it in for you; he hated you from the moment you walked into the office – “It’s not your fault!” Couldn’t be! Impossible! Unthinkable!

Sounds familiar?

These days it seem as if everyone has been exposed to the “Blame someone else Syndrome.” It’s your parents, brother, sister, pastor, deacons, preachers, church members, school teachers, classmates, boss, bus driver, friend, children, casino, and the co-workers fault that you have been contaminated with the “Blame someone else Syndrome.”

We are always “Passing the Buck.” In the beginning, Adam blamed Eve – and not only did he blame Eve, but he blamed God for giving her to him!  And he was not the only one playing the blame game. Eve blamed the serpent {Genesis 3: 1-14}. Neither accepted responsibility, both pointed the fault-finger away from them and somewhere else and entered into the victim-vortex where the swirl of “It’s not my fault,” kept them and will keep us locked out of truly living God’s unique call on our lives.

The truth is that whether it is physical, financial, or spiritual, whatever the issue, the response of some people will always be, “It’s not my fault!”  We live during a time when people are unwilling to take personal responsibility for their own lives, for their own welfare, for their own health, or for their own spiritual growth.  There is always a tendency to look for someone else to blame. But the fact is that when we stand before God and the judgment seat of Christ, we will answer for our own failures and the choices we have made.  “No Excuses will be Accepted!”

And what’s really sad, is that many in the church today have the “It’s not my fault,” mentality. They either make excuses or blame someone else for their own sins or shortcomings. It is time to take an honest look at ourselves by the standard of God’s Word, look at our sins for what they are, confess them, and ask God to forgive us. Then and only then, can we truly be fruitful in the Lord’s Kingdom.

So stop making excuses. Quit shifting the blame to others. Accept your circumstances and position, and instead of making excuses for your actions, change your behavior. We serve a great God.  Our limitations are God’s opportunities to show Himself mighty in our lives. Don’t play the blame game; own it by name and avoid the shame.

Financial Spring Cleaning

Vernell Taylor Assistant Vice President and Branch Manager Union Bank, N.A.

Vernell Taylor
Assistant Vice President and Branch Manager
Union Bank, N.A.

By Vernell Taylor

Spring is here and many of us are busy cleaning out closets and dusting the cobwebs that may have accumulated during the winter. While you are taking on spring cleaning projects, consider taking a fresh look at your finances.

Following are a few tips to help with your financial spring cleaning:

Revisit your budget

Review your household budget and look for areas where you might be spending more than you should, or budgeting more than you might need, and then adjust your budget accordingly. Use this time to revisit your short- and long-term goals for expenses, such as college, purchasing a home, or retirement, and make sure you are setting aside enough in savings. Look for ways to pay down debt and contribute more to savings and investments on a regular basis.

Talk to your banker about technology and services that your bank may offer to help simplify your finances. Take advantage of direct deposit, online banking, and automatic payments for recurring bills, and set up regular automatic transfers to savings, investment and retirement accounts.

Look for ways to cut expenses

If you carry a balance on your credit cards, call your credit card company and ask for a lower interest rate, or seek alternatives elsewhere. If you notice that mortgage rates have dropped two or more points than what you are paying, consider refinancing your home mortgage at a lower interest rate. Compare home and auto insurance plans and contact your insurance agent and ask if you can reduce your rate. Contact your utility company to inquire about possible ways to save on your bill.  Consider adjusting your withholding so you get as much money as possible in your paycheck versus a large refund when you file taxes.

Review important financial documents and policies

Pull copies of your will and/or living trust, and other important documents and review them to make sure they are up to date. Obtain a copy of your credit report and correct any errors. To get a free credit report from each of the three major credit-reporting bureaus, go to annualcreditreport.com. Review insurance policies to make sure you have adequate coverage and a designated beneficiary of your choosing.

Consolidate accounts

If you have multiple 401k accounts, consider rolling them into a single IRA account to allow for streamlined control of your investments and to help reduce the paperwork of multiple accounts. Reduce your monthly bills by consolidating debts or loans into as few accounts as possible, and simplify even more by bundling services such as cable, internet and phone.

Control the clutter

Set up a simple filing system, and use it consistently.  Assign folders, binders, or other receptacles to gather pending bills, statements, receipts and important financial documents, and store them in a safe place. Shred unnecessary paper, such as old sales receipts that have no tax purpose, or utility bills that can be accessed online. Consider creating digital files by scanning documents and filing them on your computer, but be sure to have that information backed up on a CD, flash drive or back up service. Inquire about paperless billing options to reduce the amount of paper waste and clutter.

Update your calendar 
Set up a calendar to remind you when bills are due, policies are up for renewal, tax deadlines and other important financial dates to avoid late fees and penalties. Don’t forget to include reminders for things like year-end charitable contributions, and regular meetings with your banker or investment advisor to review your holdings and take into consideration any changing goals or circumstances.

The foregoing article is intended to provide general information about financial spring cleaning and is not considered financial or tax advice. Please consult your financial or tax advisor.


Assistance League installs new officers for 2014-2015

2014-2015 board

SAN BERNARDINO, CAThe Assistance League of San Bernardino thanked their out-going executive board and welcomed the incoming 2014-2015 executive board Monday night at the Assistance League chapter house in San Bernardino.

Yearly the chapter installs their new board at their annual meeting. This year their incoming President Deborah Karalun wanted to bring a bit of the islands to their final meeting of the year.

“Being the last meeting of the 2013-2014 year and my first as the 2014-2015 President I wanted to celebrate the hard work of all the members that make this organization great. We all are working for the same cause of making our community better place,” shared Karalun.

The Assistance League is a non-profit organization that serves children in need in our community. Since 1948 they have been helping students with dental needs in the Dr. Earl R. Crane Children’s Dental Center that began a dental hygiene program in 1970 and has been providing clothing since 1983 with Operation School Bell.

Members of Assistance League are required to volunteer a minimum of fifty hours a year, including time at meetings, dental screenings, shopping with students for Operation School Bell and the annual fundraiser Headdress Ball.

Member’s that were installed for the new year’s executive board are: Deborah Karalun, President; Teresa Craig, President Nominee, Marsha Scott Vice President Membership; Carol Dixon-Cahill, Vice President Fundraising; Mindy Erickson, Recording Secretary; Jennifer Hobbs, Corresponding Secretary; Amy Johnson, Treasurer; Sherry Lopez, Assistant Treasurer; Elsa Carlton, Education Chair; Ruth Sandlin, Liaison to Les Confreres; Mary Masasso and Cathy Bechtel, Dental Center co-chairs; Margaret Ortiz and Linda Gordon, Operation School Bell; Bobbi Simenton, Orientation Chair.

“Assistance League has become a passion of mine since I became a member and I am honored to be leading our chapter and working with these phenomenal women to support our philanthropies. I hope my passion is contagious. We welcome anyone interested in joining this incredible sisterhood,” said Karalun.

Assistance League of San Bernardino meets on the second Monday of the month at the League House located at 580 West 6th Street, San Bernardino, CA 92410 at 6:00 p.m. Their next meeting will be held September 8, 2014 guests are welcome.

For more information about Assistance League and their philanthropies visit their website at http://sanbernardino.assistanceleague.org or email them at sanbernardinoassistanceleague@gmail.com