Last fall, most people who had been buying their own health insurance received notification that the insurance plan that helped to cover their medical expenses would no longer be available effective January 1, 2014. I am one of those persons.
For the past ten years I have been purchasing my own health insurance because I was not covered by any employee health insurance benefits. With all of the speculation about the impact that Obamacare would have on the health insurance industry, it was no surprise to me to learn that my insurance plan was to be discontinued.
No health insurance? Oh no! What would I do?
I did what most people would have done in this situation. I researched the cost of different health insurance plans. I even visited the government’s insurance marketplace but stopped short of entering my personal information. And I prayed for wisdom.
We’ve been trained to believe that a loss of health insurance is cause for great panic. I often hear people say, “You can’t afford to be without health insurance these days.” And I totally agreed with that sentiment. What I found out in my search for affordable health insurance was that there are alternatives to health insurance. It is possible to have a plan to help with medical bills without putting myself and my health care into the hands of our federal government–which was the very thing that I did NOT want to do.
Through a couple who attends our church and our Life Group, I heard of Samaritan Ministries, “a biblical, non-insurance approach to health care needs”. This particular couple have been members of Samaritan Ministries for a number of years. Both the husband and the wife have been through some serious medical problems, and all of their medical bills have been met through other members of Samaritan Ministries.
With that information, I did some research of my own, and I was impressed with all that I read about this ministry.
The ministry operates on the philosophy that Christians sharing each other’s healthcare expenses is as effective, and perhaps even more effective than Christians depending on insurance companies to meet our healthcare expenses. Each month, I receive a newsletter from Samaritan Ministries with the name of a fellow member whose medical need has been approved for sharing. Rather than sending my check to an insurance company or an organization, I send my check directly to another person or family. I like that.
Samaritan Ministries is not the answer to every Christian’s healthcare needs. Policies exist concerning pre-existing conditions, chronic illnesses, and health maintenance expenses. If, however, you’re a Christian, and you think that you can’t survive without health insurance, you might want to check out some other alternatives like Samaritan Ministries.
So far I have not had to submit any medical expenses to Samaritan Ministries, but I feel at peace with trusting God and His people to help me with medical bills if I should have a need in the future. I love sending my money to a person each month rather than to an insurance company or the federal government. My only regret is that I didn’t join with this group of fellow Christians sooner. My monthly share is considerably lower than the cost of the health insurance that I’d been buying for the past ten years.
I’m looking forward to a long, happy relationship with Samaritan Ministries, and I’m grateful to our friends who pointed me in this direction.
Photo image source: www.freedigitalphotos.net
“Dost thou love life? Then do not squander time, for that’s the stuff that life is made of.” – Benjamin Franklin
I’m a sucker for books about time management. With each new book comes the hope that I will find the key to managing my time efficiently making it possible for me to accomplish everything on my to-do list with time to spare for all the other things I want to do.
While I realize that there is no book in existence that is going to answer all of my time management issues, I do recommend an E-book that I recently read on this topic. The book I’m talking about is Tell Your Time: How to Manage Your Schedule so You Can Live Free (affiliate link) by Amy Lynn Andrews.
I read this book in November, and I’m still implementing some of its suggestions. That’s always a good sign if I’m still using advice from a time management book several months after reading it.
Why this time management book?
The book is a quick read and includes various activities to work through while reading. I did all the activities as I read, which helped me to implement the author’s suggestions.
The most helpful activity for me was using a grid to determine which of my activities are negotiable and which are non-negotiable. The next step was to determine whether those activities had a fixed time or a flexible time. For example, church attendance is a non-negotiable activity for me, and it occurs at a fixed time. Cleaning my house is also a non-negotiable activity (at least in theory), but the time frame for cleaning is flexible.
The thing that I learned (and this is the part that was worth the $2.99 purchase price for me) is that most of my activities that I consider to be non-negotiable–things like cleaning, sewing for my business, Bible reading, grocery shopping, menu planning–do not have a fixed time in which they must be done. Because they can be done anytime, I was in the habit of putting them off until a more convenient time. That convenient time often never presented itself, and lots of the things that are important to me were slipping through the cracks and not getting done.
In order to fix this, I followed the instructions in the book for setting up a schedule. It seems like a simple solution, that idea of assigning times to some of those non-negotiable activities, but it’s a solution I hadn’t thought of on my own.
After reading the book, I spent some time working and re-working my schedule, setting up times for me to work on my sewing business and times for me to keep up with house cleaning chores. I’d like to say I follow it religiously, but I don’t. My life, like most everyone else’s, will never be totally predictable. We all have to be flexible. But having a schedule has been extremely helpful for me, especially in the area of my sewing business.
In my next blog post, I’ll share some of my new schedule with you. In the meantime, if you’re looking for a good little book about time management, you might want to check this one out.
Image by Stuart Miles and artur84 at www.freedigitalphotos.net
When Aaliyah comes to visit, Violet almost always comes along.
My Pal Violet is a cuddly purple puppy from Leap Frog, and Aaliyah loves her!
What’s so special about Violet? Violet is a soft stuffed dog who does all kinds of amazing things. The very best thing about Violet is that she can be customized to call a child by name.
Justine hooked Violet up to her computer, followed the instructions, and now Violet calls Aaliyah by name and “knows” all of Aaliyah’s favorite things. It’s so precious to hear Violet in her sweet voice say, “I love you, Aaliyah.”
By pressing Violet’s paws, you can play bedtime music, familiar children’s songs, various phrases and requests. This is hands down the cutest baby toy I’ve ever seen. Violet came into Aaliyah’s life when Aaliyah was two months old, and now at eighteen months, Aaliyah is still in love with Violet.
If you’re looking for a gift for a special little person, I’d highly recommend My Pal Violet by Leap Frog.
I’m including this review of My Pal Violet on my blog just because I want to. I have not been compensated in any way for this review.
What toys could you recommend as a great gift for a child?
I love a good mystery. One thing I love more than a good mystery is a good mystery series. In February, I happened upon the Flavia de Luce mystery series by Alan Bradley when I was searching for audio books.
The first book in the series is entitled The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie. As I began listening, I was introduced to the main character, Flavia de Luce, who is an eleven year old girl. Flavia’s passion is chemistry, and she delights in poisons.
The series is set in England in 1950 in a rambling country estate owned and occupied by the de Luce family. The family which includes a widowed father and three daughters is dysfunctional with a capital “D” which adds to their charm.
Cozy mysteries are among my favorite reads, and these books are some of the coziest I’ve ever read. I’ve listened to the first four books in the series which were read by Jane Entwistle, and I’m eagerly waiting for the library to get the fifth book so that I can read or listen to it, too.
Listening to the audio books rather than reading the series for myself certainly added to my enjoyment. I love listening to audio books recorded with a British accent. In fact, if I have to actually read the fifth installment in the series, I will have to translate it in my head to the King’s English using my best British accent.
If you’ve been looking for that next good book, I’d highly recommend this series by Alan Bradley. This series was a break from my usual book choice since I rarely (for reasons I don’t even know) choose books by male authors, and I rarely read books in which the protagonist is a child. Yet, in this series, it is Alan Bradley’s fine crafting of his child-detective Flavia with her youthful innocence, precociousness, and extraordinary deductive skills that makes this series so utterly delightful.
What good books have you read or listened to lately?
Image courtesy of Simon Howden / FreeDigitalPhotos.net