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Friday, February 19, 2010

More tips on credit rebuilding.

Repairing your credit – getting rid of the negative credit report information and caught up on past due bills – will raise your credit score some. To raise your score to a level high enough to get loan approval and better interest rates, you’ll have to rebuild your bad credit – prove that you can handle credit responsibly. Getting started might be difficult, but once you begin to build momentum, you’ll be coasting your way to a good credit score.

Get New Credit

If bad credit has left you without any credit cards to use, the first step is getting one. If you’re credit score is low, you’ll have a hard time getting approval from a major bank. Fortunately, you still have some options.

Be careful when you apply for new credit. Make sure you don’t put in too many credit applications. It will affect your credit score, making it harder to get approved for new credit.

Watch out for bad credit cards that prey on people with bad credit. These credit cards often have high interest rates and extremely high fees that make credit unaffordable. A lot of people find themselves right back in debt with damaged credit after trying to rebuild with one of these types of credit cards targeting people with bad credit.

You should also avoid prepaid credit cards. While you can get a prepaid credit card regardless of your credit history, they don't report to credit bureaus so using one won't help your credit.

Build New Credit Habits

As the saying goes, “If you do what you always did, you’ll get what you always got.” To build new credit, you must replace your credit-damaging spending habits with some new ones. Otherwise, you’ll end up back where you’ve worked so hard to get away from.

Gone are the days of charging things you can’t afford, making minimum-only payments, and skipping credit card payments. Improving your credit score means staying well below your credit limit and paying your credit card bills on time.

Remember, what you used to do with credit cards led to bad credit. Get some better habits and watch your credit improve.

Replace Bad Credit With Good Credit

If practice really does make you perfect, the next step is to put your good credit habits into practice. Your bad credit won’t improve until you show your creditors that you have what it takes to build a good score. That means charging only what you can afford and paying your bill on time each month. During this rebuilding period, don’t take on too many credit cards as it can get hard to manage your balances and payments.

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Thursday, February 11, 2010

What does the Bible say about consuming alcohol?

Question: "What does the Bible say about drinking alcohol / wine? Is it a sin for a Christian to drink alcohol / wine?"

Answer: Scripture has much to say regarding the drinking of alcohol (Leviticus 10:9; Numbers 6:3; Deuteronomy 29:6; Judges 13:4, 7, 14; Proverbs 20:1; 31:4; Isaiah 5:11, 22; 24:9; 28:7; 29:9; 56:12). However, Scripture does not necessarily forbid a Christian from drinking beer, wine, or any other drink containing alcohol. In fact, some Scriptures discuss alcohol in positive terms. Ecclesiastes 9:7 instructs, “Drink your wine with a merry heart.” Psalm 104:14-15 states that God gives wine “that makes glad the heart of men.” Amos 9:14 discusses drinking wine from your own vineyard as a sign of God’s blessing. Isaiah 55:1 encourages, “Yes, come buy wine and milk…”

What God commands Christians regarding alcohol is to avoid drunkenness (Ephesians 5:18). The Bible condemns drunkenness and its effects (Proverbs 23:29-35). Christians are also commanded to not allow their bodies to be “mastered” by anything (1 Corinthians 6:12; 2 Peter 2:19). Drinking alcohol in excess is undeniably addictive. Scripture also forbids a Christian from doing anything that might offend other Christians or encourage them to sin against their conscience (1 Corinthians 8:9-13). In light of these principles, it would be extremely difficult for any Christian to say he is drinking alcohol in excess to the glory of God (1 Corinthians 10:31).

Jesus changed water into wine. It even seems that Jesus drank wine on occasion (John 2:1-11; Matthew 26:29). In New Testament times, the water was not very clean. Without modern sanitation, the water was often filled with bacteria, viruses, and all kinds of contaminants. The same is true in many third-world countries today. As a result, people often drank wine (or grape juice) because it was far less likely to be contaminated. In 1 Timothy 5:23, Paul was instructing Timothy to stop drinking the water (which was probably causing his stomach problems) and instead drink wine. In that day, wine was fermented (containing alcohol), but not necessarily to the degree it is today. It is incorrect to say that it was grape juice, but it is also incorrect to say that it was the same thing as the wine commonly used today. Again, Scripture does not forbid Christians from drinking beer, wine, or any other drink containing alcohol. Alcohol is not, in and of itself, tainted by sin. It is drunkenness and addiction to alcohol that a Christian must absolutely refrain from (Ephesians 5:18; 1 Corinthians 6:12).

Alcohol, consumed in small quantities, is neither harmful nor addictive. In fact, some doctors advocate drinking small amounts of red wine for its health benefits, especially for the heart. Consumption of small quantities of alcohol is a matter of Christian freedom. Drunkenness and addiction are sin. However, due to the biblical concerns regarding alcohol and its effects, due to the easy temptation to consume alcohol in excess, and due to the possibility of causing offense and/or stumbling of others, it is usually best for a Christian to abstain entirely from drinking alcohol.