“With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Matthew 19:26

Monday, August 25, 2014

Building Our Debt Free Off Grid Log Home

 For those who haven't been following our homestead progress we will give you a quick update! We broke ground two months ago and we are building it ourselves on the weekends without debt and as the Lord provides.. Its been an amazing process and we look forward to each weekend we can spend on our homestead!!
We will keep our page on the top of our blog updated with progress pictures! Each little step forward brings us one step closer to water tight (our goal before snowfall!)
Bless you all for your continued prayers and hope you enjoy these pics!!!!

We broke ground June 21, 2014

Leveling ground for footings


Boxes and braces

  Footings poured

Taking down forms

Floor system framing

Floor system sheathed and painted

Floor system blocked in, second coat of paint and corner posts

Door bucks are up

One month from when we broke ground we and we are ready for logs!! God is so very good and we are thankful, humbled and Blessed!!

Logs stacked four high all around! 7/27/14

 Window bucks!! 8/2/2014
Almost at the halfway mark with the logs!!! 8/10/2014
Halfway up with the logs!! 8/16/2014
 The front wall of logs finished!! 8/24/2014

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Our Experience With the Purpose Driven Church

~Originally posted 2012 and reposted 2014~ 

 Recently my husband started hearing things about Rick Warren and The Purpose Driven Church. We were attending a church that was Purpose Driven but we really we didn't know what that meant.. Goose was having conversations with men that he was close to. They gave him links to look at and let him come to his own conclusion. He was not happy with what he was seeing. We quickly learned that the Purpose Driven Church isn't just about contemporary music and trying to grow a church. After reading The Dark Side of the Purpose Driven Church we learned the Purpose Driven Church is a marketing plan that includes how to handle the "pillars" of the church that may resist changes as well as how to handle those who disagree. Rick Warren is quoted in the book as saying, "The pillars of the church just hold things up." Heartbreaking..  
 We read The Dark Side of the Purpose Driven Church we recognized many of the behaviors because, sadly, we had seen some of the Purpose Driven behaviors carried out on friends who had disagreed with the church prior to us.   We prayed and  felt led to be vocal about our concerns anyway. Our concerns being the church going into debt on a new building and the Purpose Driven Church plan itself.   
The Lord has led each decision we have made in this process. We prayed wanting His will and trusting in Him. We  felt led to be honest and shine the light on why we were leaving.   Matthew 18:15-17 clearly states how we are to act when a Brother trespasses not how to deal with church leadership. There are many examples in scripture of how Jesus handled the church leaders and it was always by calling out sin and shining the Light. Still we went to leadership with questions. We invited them to our home to sit down and discuss our concerns about the debt and about the Biblical view on surety cards. Sadly the information given to us by leadership didn't line up with the facts about the amount of debt that would be used and our concerns about the Bibles warnings on surety cards were not considered.  

We shared on our blog and on facebook that we would be leaving the church because we didn't agree with debt (which should be no surprise to anyone who knows us) and that we didn't agree with the Purpose Driven Church model. We also stated that we loved all the leadership and members and we did not want anyone to follow us out, we only wanted to share our reasoning openly.  The backlash was instant but we were prepared for it. Shining a light and speaking truth should never be met with anger from those who claim Christ so for us it was confirmation that we made the right choice.  The church was going into debt and was/is Purpose Driven.  We have the right and ability to disagree with both while still loving all involved.

 We heard so many rumors from members and leadership about others when they left (part of the Purpose Driven plan to villanize those who leave so no one will follow them) that we wanted to be proactive by speaking the truth behind our decision where all could see it in our own words. Leadership still chose to try to villanize us to their members (even referencing us (without names) during sermons)  and to villanize us  to leaders from other churches (making it difficult for us to find another church). Gossip amongst  the different churches by their leaders during their gatherings is so disappointing and damaging but it explains why we see so much gossip within those churches among the members..

We released ourselves from anything others choose to believe beyond what we have said. Instead we would love to sit down with anyone who has concerns about what they are hearing about our opinions and decisions. We can pray, open our Bibles and discuss what the Lord says about what we are seeing.
We pray no one else has to experience what we have but if you attend a Purpose Driven Church we strongly suggest that you read The Dark Side of the Purpose Driven Church, along with the many other resources available regarding the Purpose Driven Church.  See if what you read matches up with what you are seeing in your church. If it does, and it you have concerns, pray and find a support system prior to voicing your concerns and/or leaving that church.  

  We are blessed by the support we have received and thankful for all your prayers..

Monday, July 28, 2014

Passing the Information Along..

 We are noticing that the people that have asked to talk to us wanting to learn more about how to get out of debt all have similar questions and the information we pass along is also really similar. We have talked to people that make a lot of money and we have talked to people who make close to minimum wage.. still the concerns and questions are the same (even if the amount of income and debt may be a bit different). So we thought wed share some of the information that was passed along to us through Dave Ramseys program and other families who had done this process before us.
Next the written budget is key. There is usually one spouse more focused on getting out of debt. That spouse can write the budget out and ask the other spouse to review it and give input. 
Down the let side of the paper list all expenses starting with necessities (food, gas, mortgage, utilities, taxes) and then moving onto insurances (car, home, liability) and then debt or other payments. Be realistic. If you spend $200 week on groceries don't write $150 unless you have a plan to cut back or you will be discouraged and not on budget. Across the top write the date of the paychecks you have coming (weekly/biweekly). Then fill in the lines next to each expense under the column of the check that will be used to pay it. For example if you are paid weekly across the food expense line you would write $200 under each payday column. For the mortgage expense line you would write your mortgage amount under the column of the payday that the mortgage will be paid from that check etc.. Any amount left at the end after all the priorities are paid is the amount you have to work with...
Then on a separate paper list all your debts from smallest to largest. All debts. Credit cards, student loans, vehicles, equity lines of credit etc.. The only debt that you will not include is the mortgage (you can work on that later).
Determine to stop using credit cards. Cut them up. Close them out. Use the money that you have left at the end of your budget to save for an emergency fund so you can cover whatever comes up without going to the cards. $500 to $1000 in the emergency fund will cover most typical emergencies.
Once you have the emergency fund in place take all you have extra and put it on your smallest debt until its paid off. Then take the payment you were making on the smallest debt plus what you can squeeze out of their budget and apply it all to your next biggest debt. Keep going and by the time you get to your biggest non mortgage debt you will knock it out of the park because all your previous payments plus what you can squeeze out of you budget will go on that big debt and it will be gone before you know it!!
Remember you are living on as  little as possible to get this done.. No eating out. If you need clothes hit your local consignment shop or Salvation Army. Get rid of cable and even (gasp!) internet! You can go to the local library to get internet access and even replace TV time with a good book. Cut every place you can. Christmas can be homemade cards for friends and family and the Salvation army has some great toys (Yes we had a Salvation Army Christmas! and its the one Christmas the big kids ALWAYS  talk about! Great and fun memories!!) Say NO a to anyone who expects you to spend money on non necessities.
The biggest key, besides prayer, to winning with getting out of debt is Boundaries. They are necessary and Biblical. It doesn't matter what your mother, father, brother, sister, second cousin on your fathers side three times removed, nor your friends, and not ever fellow Believers think about your decision. Its ok to say, "We don't all unsolicited opinions."  Goose and I would have accomplished nothing if we listened to others.  Remember Jesus comes with a sword. We cant follow Him and allow others opinions to matter more.
This  information is not our own its what we have gathered from Dave Ramsey (who learned it from others) and from other families who have gone on this journey before us, who have wanted to follow biblical principles with their money We are just thankful to pass it all along to others who may want to take this journey too!

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Our Debt Free Off the Grid Green Homestead

We are hoping to close on our land next week!! SO excited to take those the first steps onto our land after we close knowing that the Lord provided it all for us without debt!!
We have really enjoyed the planning phase of the process  but very soon we will be breaking ground and starting to build.  We also want the home we built to be as green and non toxic as possible, positioned for passive solar and to be completely off grid.
Our plan it to use our 6.5 acres to homestead and live as self sufficiently as possible.  We've done what we could at our current home in town  but on our homestead we plan to have chickens and beef critters in addition to growing gardens and nurturing the 12+ apples trees on the property. We plan to plant a raspberry patch and keep bees too. Lots of wonderful plans for our land and we cant wait to get started!!

Bless you all for your prayers as we wait to close on our property and break ground on our debt free homestead!!! God is so good and we are thankful, humbled and Blessed!!

In His Light and Love~ Goose and Gillian

Friday, April 18, 2014

$11,000 in 6 Weeks!! Praising God For His Provision!!!

When we first signed the purchase and sale on our lot for $11,000 we thought it would take at least 16 weeks to have the funds.. but after just 6 weeks we have $11,000!! Only with God is this possible for us..
We are still waiting for the snow to go up here so we can get the soil test done but we hope to close on our land the first week of May. We are very excited to sign those papers and use the funds the Lord has provided to purchase the land the Lord has provided.
We've owned many houses and even built a log home for ourselves but each time it has been with the bank's money. Ramsey says the grass feels different under your feet when you own your property and not the bank.. Can't wait to find out if that's true!!

We started Ramseys plan in 2008. He says it takes most people 5-7 years to get through the steps. Even with stopping to build the addition and to adopt we are still looking good to be debt free and own our home within 7 years. It hasn't been an easy road but its definitely been worth it.
Bless you all for your continued prayers as we work on our version of Baby Step 6!!
In His Light and Love~ Goose and Gillian

The Baby Steps

The Baby Steps

Our Debt Free Land

Our Debt Free Land
The Fitzpatrick Homestead