A P U B L I C A T I O N O F O N M Y O W N N O W M I N I S T R I E S
Young Christian Woman
Heads or Tails:
my family thinks I’m unstable
9without looking ways to keep cool
God’s Will Revealed
On sleeping easy and sitting still w w w. o n m y o w n n o w. c o m
TABLE of CONTENTS single!
Contributors -----------------------Debra Collins Julie Ann Tamara Jane Jeffrey Bridgman Art Direction -----------------------Daniela Bermúdez www.twitter.com/donamexa
JOSHUA PAYNE ON SLEEPING EASY, SITTING STILL AND THE VALUE IN RUNNING Interview by Tamara Jane
www.onmyownnow.com Editor in chief -----------------------Donna Lee Schillinger www.twitter.com/D_L_Schillinger
IS THAT YOUR FINAL ANSWER? DISCERNING GOD’S WILL WHEN ALL THE CHOICES ARE PRIME. By Donna Lee Schillinger
young christian woman
A publication of On My Own Ministries
STRAIGHT TALK FROM THE PROVERBS
REBA RAY’S DOWN HOME HEALTHY COOKIN’ FOR ONE ON A BUDGET
COMPANY’S COMIN’ GREEN BEANS By Reba Ray
MY FAMILY THINKS I’M UNSTABLE By The Gabster
FIREWORKS + 7 OTHER WAYS TO WATCH YOUR $ GO UP IN SMOKE By Julie Ann
9 WAYS TO KEEP COOL WITHOUT LOOKING TOO HOT! By Tamara Jane
JUST WHAT YOU NEED
DIRTY DUCKS UNLIMITED AND OTHER ALTERNATIVES TO DISNEYLAND By Jeffrey Bridgman
We see high drama in the movies all the time, but in real life, big acting does not win awards.
Straight talk from the proverbs for young Christian women who want to remain pure, debt-free and regret-free. â€œIn this interesting and thought-provoking exploration of the book of Proverbs, Schillinger takes young women along a journey that will help them to make better, safer, and more sound decisions.â€? Cheryl C. Malandrinos The Book Connection blog Now Available at www.onmyownnow.com, at Amazon, B&N and a library and bookstore near you.
by Donna Lee Schillinger
The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the Lord. Proverbs 16:33
I co-teach Sunday school with a man who feels like God is calling him to become a youth pastor, but he doesn’t quite know how to go about answering that call. Should he go to a four-year college and get a degree in counseling or ministry? Should he take a shorter Bible course that offers a certification in about half the time as a bachelor’s degree? Maybe he should just apply for a youth pastorate. After all, he’s 30 years old and has had a couple of years of hands-on experience in teaching and working with youth. All of these choices have subchoices too! If he decides on college, where should he go to college? And what should he major in? If he decides to apply for a job, should he look locally to remain close to his family or should he open his search to other states? Maybe you can relate. Both a curse and blessing of youth is that the world is indeed your oyster (whatever that means!). The possibilities after high school and college are endless – that’s the blessing. The curse is that you actually have to narrow down those endless possibilities and choose one. A decision between a bunch of seemingly great options can be one of the hardest in which to discern God’s will. Maybe you have searched the Scriptures and prayed and still nothing is emerging as the clear, best option.
⎟⎟straight talk If I could tell you succinctly how to solve this conundrum, I’d be solving the conflict in the Middle East instead of writing this article. But I can offer you three possible courses of action to help you make a decision. Each of these has a Biblical basis. 1. Remember Gideon in the Old Testament? God told Gideon to go after the Midianite army. But Gideon wanted to make sure he was hearing God correctly. Maybe he wondered if it was actually God’s voice prompting him.
That happens to me a lot. I get wonderful ideas but I don’t know where they come from. I know from experience that not every good idea I have is from God. Some “good” ideas take me away from the direction in which God is trying to lead me. They are tangents and diversions that boil down to be big wastes of time and resources. Maybe Gideon had had a few of these “left-field” ideas before too and that’s why he was so cautious. Gideon asked God for a sign – he laid out a sheepskin and said, “OK, God, if you really want me to do this, when I come out tomorrow morning make the sheepskin wet and the ground all around it dry.” Next morning he came out and there they were, just as he had indicated: wet sheepskin, dry ground. That really should have been enough, but Gideon tried it once more just to be absolutely sure that he was on the right track. “OK, God, now make the ground all around wet and the sheepskin dry.” And the next morning it was just as he had indicated. I can’t fault Gideon for asking for a sign; it was a huge thing he was instructed to do – take on the Midianite army. And it was a good thing he was as certain as he was when he headed off to battle – with double confirmation from the signs – because just shy of the Midianite camp, God told Gideon to dismiss all but 300 of his troops. It seemed like suicide. The remaining 300 positioned themselves around the enemy camp and blew trumpets loudly, causing confusion in the enemy camp. The Midianite soldiers began fighting each other and eventually fled. Gideon and his small group defeated an entire army without even drawing their swords. When you’re faced with uncertainty, try setting out a fleece. Don’t make it something ridiculous, but rather something you know God would have to be controlling. For instance, I recently thought about forming a mission trip to Peru. So I have asked God to give me a sign of five people who would commit to go by a certain date. If God mobilizes five of His children to act, that will be a good enough indication for me that He wants me to form this mission trip. Careful though – God does not wet fleeces at our whim. If He is going to agree to our terms to reveal His will, we can be sure He has good reason. Perhaps as in the case of Gideon, something in the road ahead will challenge our faith and cause us to doubt our course. In those moments, we can hold to the surety of the sign God gave us.
Careful though - God does not wet fleeces at our whim.
2 Yes, sometimes you have to act and then God will chime in “Now, this way.”
2. So you set out a fleece and nada! God didn’t bite. OK, now what? Ecclesiastes 11:6 says, “Sow your seed in the morning, and at evening let not your hands be idle, for you do not know which will succeed, whether this or that, or whether both will do equally well.” In other words – go for all of it. In the case of the impending youth pastor, based on this scripture, I advised my co-teacher to apply for jobs and for college and to look into certificate programs too! Begin to act on all your options to the extent that you can and then, perhaps, a clear best option will emerge. Isaiah 30:21 says, “Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you saying, ‘This is the way; walk in it.’” Which comes first in this verse: The turn or the voice? Yes, sometimes you have to act and then God will chime in “Now, this way.” 3. Finally, in several places throughout the Bible, we see instances where lots were cast for important decisions – the last one being in the book of Acts when the disciples were choosing who would replace Judas as the 12th disciple. They had two good candidates, Matthias and Joseph, both of whom had been followers of Jesus since early on in His ministry. It was a tough choice. So they prayed, “Lord, you know everyone’s heart. Show us which of these two you have chosen to take over this apostolic ministry…Then they cast lots, and the lot fell to Matthias; so he was added to the eleven apostles” (Acts 1:24-26). Two thousand years later, you don’t hear much about Christians using the flip of a coin to make decisions. It seems that somewhere along the way, people starting attributing the result of the flip, the draw of the straws, rock/scissors/paper and other “decision-making tools” to forces of evil. They’ve been all lumped in there together with things like fortune telling and tarot cards.
God is in control of the coin flip – every time.
Our opening proverb reminds us however, that God is in control of the coin flip – every time. Note that the proverb says, “…every decision is from the Lord.” I say let’s bring back lot-casting as a decision-making tool! We should not be hasty to grab a coin to solve our problems. To reiterate, our first course of action should be to seek God’s will in prayer and reading the Scriptures – and that is not a process that can be rushed. Each situation has a prudent window of time for waiting on God to answer our prayers and speak through His word. In some cases, that time is less than an hour before action is needed; in other cases, we could wait for years. When that prudent time has passed, we need to act. Don’t let a multitude of options paralyze you. Don’t let the length of the journey scare you away from the first step. Act. If you’re desperate for answer, do as the apostles did: call on God, who knows the hearts of people and all of our futures, to lead us in the right direction. In our prayer, acknowledge His control over the seemingly random act of flipping a coin, promise to accept the outcome, then do it: flip the coin or draw the straw or pick from the hat, etc., and settle the matter once and for all. I have learned that flipping a coin can often give me clarity about what I truly want. When the coin lands on heads, I may then feel certain I would have rather it landed on tails. However, I did not ask God to give me His
⎟⎟straight talk decision in the coin toss so that I could reject it and do what I now know I want to do. I acknowledged God’s control and told Him in advance that I would abide by His decision. I think God would not be pleased if even I asked for best two out of three. This is a hard thing: know before you flip that it will be at your peril to reject God’s outcome. Romans 12:2 says, “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will able to test and approve what God’s will is – His good, pleasing and perfect will.” Reading backwards (and paraphrasing), this scripture assures us that there is one perfect divine will for our lives, but we’re going to have to do some probing and testing to figure it out. And foundational to coming up with the right answer is a mind centered on Christ.
“Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will able to test and approve what God’s will is – His good, pleasing and perfect will.”
The Verve Music Group says, “Joshua Payne is one of the most abundantly gifted of a new breed of singer and songwriter, blessed with a big, classically-trained voice and a soul to match.”
As his number-one fan (and cousin), I cannot disagree. Further, his success has been both a blessing from God and a technological miracle. Joshua was born with a profound hearing loss, but following surgery, was able to hear. His parents, both very musical, trained his ear with musical tastes ranging from James Taylor to Prokofiev. Joshua used his talents early on in church and school, but during his youth, his interest in singing was upstaged by swimming, soccer and football.
himself while launching his singing and songwriting career. The fruit of this labor was Your Love, My Home, his debut CD on the Verve Forecast label. On this project he collaborated with legendary pianist-arrangerproducer Michael Omartian, who has produced 25 number-one hit songs with artists including Christopher Cross, Peter Cetera, Amy Grant, Donna Summer and Rod Stewart and has co-written countless other top songs for an astonishing array of today’s top recording artists.
After sustaining a football injury, Joshua changed his major in college and began formal operatic training. Joshua excelled and earned a number of accolades including eight-time regional and state winner with the National Association of Teachers of Singing. Joshua continued his studies in music, earning a Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of Memphis. Simultaneously he was an artistin-residence with Opera Memphis, performing such title baritone roles as Don Giovanni and Sweeny Todd.
“Payne’s experience performing live on opera stages made him something of a one-take wonder – he turned in such compelling vocals on the first takes that a couple of the tracks were orchestrated around his performances on the original demos and on several others he delivered impeccable vocals live in the studio with the band on the first take, a rare phenomenon in any recording process,” reports Verve.
After graduating, he moved to Nashville and did odd jobs to support
Having recently finished a “gig” in Italy, I caught up with Joshua to get his thoughts on forward motion and Mussolini.
Single!: Joshua, what was the first S!: What encouragement do you give song you ever performed? yourself to keep going when you get discouraged when things move slowJoshua Payne: Rhinestone Cowboy by Glen ly? Campbell for my great-grandmother, my grandmother, my aunt and my mom and cousin. I was two and I loved Glen Campbell. I remember my grandmother laughing so hard. I think I liked making her laugh.
JP: I step away from it all when I get frustrated. I just put it down and act like I’m never coming back to it. I get busy in the yard or with a building a project or painting or drawing or… Invariably, I do come back to the writing. It is my life blood, but to survive when I hit a wall, I disguise frustration and compartmentalize. I draw S!: When was it, and what was it that my the curtains. though I know there will be made you realize you wanted to be a a better day, IEven know too that standing in front of singer/songwriter? the wall or the closed door does not make the JP: I was 22 and I couldn’t put down the guitar. present frustration any better. So, I re-imagine I couldn’t stop writing words. I couldn’t stop and create a new now - the new task, whatever is the melodies in my head. The melodies had to standing open and right in front of me. The other be sung; the words had to be songs. It was like day I imagined a garden. So, I planted a garden. breathing. Now, I write or I die. It’s not just part of That put things into perspective. Seeds do flower, but they take a while. me, it’s defining and involuntary.
S!: Who inspires you?
“People, especially the
JP: People, especially the ugly and the strange, inspire me. Abnormal feels the most comfortable to me. Pain is also incredibly inspiring or, should I say, motivating. I want to help folks who are hurting. Writing is medicine for me and my S!: What were you doing in Italy? hope is that it could be salve for the masses. And though I can’t force them to take the pills it JP: I have a friend who is a pop opera singer doesn’t keep me from manufacturing the meds. there. She’s getting to be a big deal. She and I did a gig together in Tuscany and the rest of the time was about seeing the countryside. Though S!: Of all of the songs you’ve written, I’ve been all throughout Europe, this was my first time in Italy. I’m already planning my return. which ones do you feel the most? JP: The songs I feel most are being written right now. Tunes from the past are getting harder to sing. I remember being so excited about them in their moments, but even those amazing moments subside. Still I try not to cheat an audience who may want to hear something from way back when. They may still be having their moment with that tune. So I do my best to keep the old songs performance-worthy.
S!: What did you like best and least about being in Italy?
JP: What I liked the least: 1. I didn’t get to take the love of my life. 2. Rome. Mussolini monolith. Over and over I kept hearing “Mussolini was a good man.” If I were president that would be the first thing I’d blow up. it would be like Germany erecting a monolith to Hitler. Wouldn’t fly. 3. Monuments of martyrs enmeshed in catholic S!: Have you gotten comfortable with pomp and circumstance, when it was the church being on stage, or do you still get ner- that killed those saints. Very weird to me. vous? What I liked the most: 1. The pub across from St. JP: Always nervous. I’m uncomfortable when I’m Peters, darts, good beer and great friends. I felt very Italian but very not Roman. 2. See number not a little nervy before a show. one. 3. The return trip with my girlfriend. 4. See number three.
S!:What kinds of challenges or obstacles abandoned – a bad move. But I always thought I does your career pose when it comes to might wind up in Nashville. It’s tough and likely tougher than I thought it would be but, I’m here, romantic relationships? JP: Ha! Name one it doesn’t. Initially, you have to be willing to be alone to do this gig. Girls don’t usually go for poets with guitars who are broke. Then, on the other side of it, there is the whole fan fantasy thing – women throwing themselves at you. You gotta be vigilant about what you know to be true ‘cause this can get best of you early on if you get caught up. I’ve come up slow. I’m grateful for it. Lasting love at home is way better than fleeting love on the road. Backstage is for the band. No compromises here. We protect each other. After a while the circus becomes what it is, and you get used to all the screaming in the hall.You laugh, call home, say I love you and go to the next show wishing you were home.
e ugly and the strange, inspire me.” . . .
and I’ve got gigs on the calendar. It’s a good day.
S!: If you could go back in time, would you have done the same things? Chosen the same career? JP: I used to go back in time all the time, and I’d kick myself for taking the wrong roads here and there and… bad move. Shoulda, coulda woulda! What a horrible, troubling place to be. Sure, I would have done some things differently. I do believe in right and wrong paths, but I’m where I am, and it’s not my job to redeem it. So I sleep easy, I wake up, I hit my knees, I pray for grace and understanding, and I walk or sit. Both are forward progress and sometimes sitting is the faster road.
S!: What lessons have you learned through this process? JP: Follow the steps that are ordered. Forget your own way. Do not self promote. Despise that route even if the silent approach takes longer. Be still, hone your craft and wait. Timing is everything.“For such a time as this...” God knows your address.
S!: Does your career track come with certain occupational hazards spiritually? What are some of the specific temp- S!: What advice would you give to sometations you have to fight? one who is considering taking a shot at JP: Again, yes! All of them. This is the road less trav- the music industry? eled for a reason. But I’m becoming. Every day I see myself growing outside of what is comfortable. There is nothing about the music world that is normal. It’s like tripping through life on purpose and to the outsider, it looks very accidental.
JP: Do it and do it all the way! Learn it and learn it all the way! Go to school until you can’t go anymore and go for music. Do not give yourself a safety net. Do not take accounting or business or... Ok, so let me back up. First, go ask someone who is really really really good if you are any good. If you aren’t, ask someone else, then ask someone else. Ask S!: Where do you see yourself 10 years a poet if he likes your lyric. Ask a preacher if he from now in your career? likes your heart. Look for clues that there might be something special about your approach – someJP: I see myself on stage performing most days. thing unique. We can learn anything but we can’t I see myself writing with the best writers in the learn to be great. That’s something you are born world. I see myself in good company, happy, be- with. nevolent, trusted, loved, caring and cared for... Creating. As frustrating as this business is, the only reason I’m still doing what I do is because there are a handful of people out there that tell me how great S!: Ten years ago, did you ever think you they think I am and they are some of the most respected people in the business. I decided with would be where you are now? much convincing to actually believe them. Things JP: Ten years ago I was on a path that I eventually seem to be sorting themselves out. I’m grateful.
Get to know Joshua Payne better at his personal blog. Here’s the editor’s pick from his recent posts.
There is a value in running. You see the pop fly, it’s going to land behind you. you turn your back on it and run. you turn back to the ball, look up and your brain has done the math - its right in front of you. when the forest is thick and dark there’s nothing to do but climb out. when the map turns like z’s and w’s strung together in spaghetti salad you.. not sure. anyway, when conversations gain heat, announce that you are going to get away and then retreat. and in that place of respite let it be just that - respite. there are rules here; do’s and don’t do’s galore. don’t fret, don’t curse, don’t pout, don’t drink, don’t doubt, don’t panic, don’t hit things, don’t worry and especially don’t worry about the other party, just don’t. do sing, do work, do hope, do love, do yell but only once and only if no one can hear you, then get back to singing and working. if you think about the other person, think only beautiful thoughts. pray for their peace and understanding, then get back to you. this time is for discovery about YOU. discover if your foundation has been shaken. discover if you are as strong as you’d like to be and then repent. how good are you? how lovely are you? how peaceful, gentle are you? how ugly are you? discovering ones self, its an art form. it is the art form of man. eventually you will die yes but why not live a goodly lovely giving life till then. you are practicing your eternity. step away, grow and come back better. likely, when you turn around, your love is standing right in front of you. your brain has done the math. go to her. catch her with your gentleness. even if she isn’t with you yet, she will be, and your kindness does not depend on it. Love covers multitudes.
All photos courtesy of Joshua Payne
The Value in running
So you got company comin’. Maybe it’s Granny, or maybe you invited Mom and Dad over to cook for them for once. You want to impress, so you’ve gone whole-hog makin’ a fancy roast or some pork chops. You’ve got a home-baked pie for dessert and even some gourmet coffee. But if yur like me, you plum neglected the veggies, but yur tuckered out and you just feel like openin’ a can of green beans. Well, go right ahead. Just toss these few other ingredients in and you’ll have a veggie dish fit for company and Granny beggin’ for yur recipe. • • • • • • • • • •
1 ½ tablespoon olive oil 1 ½ tablespoon finely chopped red onion 6 baby bella mushrooms, sliced ¼ teaspoon nutmeg 2 cloves garlic, pressed 1 tablespoon butter ½ tablespoon apple cider vinegar 2 can green beans (drained) ¼ cup bacon bits Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
In a large nonstick skillet over medium heat, sauté yur baby bellas, red onions and nutmeg in olive oil for five to seven minutes, until the shrooms’re startin’ to soften up. Then add garlic and butter. When the butter has melted, add the beans and vinegar and cook until the beans are pipin’ hot. In a small skillet over medium-high heat, toast the fried onions, stirrin’ about every 30 seconds, for about four or five minutes. Finally, add the bacon bits and cook two minutes more. Salt and pepper to taste then toss some toasted, fried onions on top. “Ding-Dong.” That’d be yur company. Enjoy!
by Reba Ray 13
to o go t y t u n it go, oppor t to n o a n h r r o w it hethe ented w s e e r d e c id as p g to I w in , y o r g s a as t I w week s f A o . mem : hs y t e il u p le n o o m m c A e m x in g y fa ee r p le o r f iv ng m p f o one d t y m p e s a e k e k r o n u d s T in g w u a t io nd of th d. Ho e s it ns a e h le t s io p u in n u f p o s con n o a co v ie w very s ow g s e in t a n c o ns, o n f li nd w o p in io ere c r it y a la w s c r e er the lo s e 1 Th een o d to e o w t t r e a st ave n e b h c I d n . n e s fer ber 23 a uo n ly h e d if t m of st e a in e I id m . s it y ter out hat s t a b il io n ? io n s t in s a p a g o e. W li w f b s li o p d l y u o G c ia in g t in m f in a n ortan t com p o in t w p p e e is f k im h t at t is very that es el tha eme a b il it y , and e t h d f t s n r ie n c u e e ie r o p r n o x y f f O e y Do bo 2 eed se age? b ig n choo ts, no y a n u e m o e d y e t n a u ld n t s depe s t a b le r wo I do g o . in s e n lo a on b it io n dent t pos ughts n o e h t r ur our my c are y . in e on t il l d o e s d m n o h a for s d w it y? le it il u is g b g a u st tr t. Lo s S r e y ll v in o rea ie d Stym hat I t o e tw se ar o h t W e ll
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Do not be deceived: Bad company ruins good morals. ” 1 Corinthians 15:33
So Stymied, You’re wondering what you should do. But the real question is “What do you WANT to do?” By the sounds of it, Gabby knows your answer.You want to go. Now this isn’t to say that your family’s concerns about stability aren’t justified. But honestly, would you really choose instability as an option for your life? Ever?
is a gift that God makes available to all of us – just like free will. So Paul reminds us, disciples of Christ and children of God, not to fool ourselves. We ARE the company we keep. Choose safe neighborhoods to live in, keep sensible hours, rub elbows with upstanding people, keep your faith in the Lord and you are bound to find sure footing. That’s stability – not to be confused Gabby is wondering why instability is with unexciting or boring. even on the table. Instability is about as uncomfortable as an ill-fitting bra. Let’s You could stay home, avoid this adventure face it, the 18-hour bra may not be sexy, and still have an unstable life. More likely, but it’s not going to let you down. The truth what your family is labeling as instability is is stability is not in short supply; it’s a re- actually fear. Fear of the unknown, fear of newable resource.You can find it wherever having you far away. How lucky are you to you choose to hang your hat or make your have people who care about you and love home. It generally comes as a by-product you enough to worry about you! of common sense – something that can be You need to take an honest assessment of recycled and reused endlessly. yourself. If you have the emotional stabilDoes your family suspect that you lack ity to take this trip, then Gabby feels you common sense? Do you? If you’ve got a should dust off your suitcase and load it spotty track record, then Gabby would up with faith, love, common sense – and say to hold your horses and set your path your 18-hour bra. All of those together are straight before going off on what might in- bound to give you the support and stability deed promise to be an unstable adventure. you need, wherever your path leads. However, if at 23, common sense and you Happy travels, are well-acquainted, then Gabby would say you could take yourself just about anywhere and feel confident that you will make good life choices. Common sense - The Gabster
by Julie Ann The post 4th-of-July landscape across the U.S. features battened-down and boarded-up fireworks stands a plenty. Now, I love fireworks just as much as the next pyromaniac patriot, but I didnâ€™t go out and blow a few Benjamins on them. To me, it feels like setting my money on fire. However, itâ€™s not just frivolous things like fireworks that cause our cash to go up in smoke. Here are seven financial flames that can easily get out of control and some suggestions on how to put the fire out.
– Credit cards are a necessary evil in our society but they can be used wisely. The best policy is to pay your balance off in full each month when the bill arrives. New credit card rules require companies to include details on how long it will take you to pay off your bill by paying the minimum amount. This will make it easy to see how much extra you’ll pay in interest. Once you regain consciousness, you should be motivated to pay down your debt and then pay it off every month. And it’s not just credit card interest you should be concerned with either: if you have a little left over, pay extra on home, auto or student loans (if you can do so without penalty; check with your lender). It makes more sense to pay off a higher interest loan than to save money at a lower interest rate.
+ 2. Electronics and Appliances
– I’m so guilty of leaving my electronics plugged in when I’m not using them. Everything from your cell phone charger to your television to your toaster is sucking up electricity as long as it’s plugged in. According to the Department of Energy, 75 percent of the energy consumed by appliances and electronics occurs when the device is turned off. Just think about how much money you can save unplugging devices without it even affecting your life! Wow! To keep it convenient, get a power strip so you can “unplug” everything with one flip of a switch. (Check out http://www. energy.gov/applianceselectronics.htm for more tips on cutting appliance and electronic costs.)
+ 3. Entertainment – Let’s face it: girls
have got to have fun! Keep your head about it by making a limited budget for entertainment, find where you can cut corners and then stick to the plan. You could go to a Saturday afternoon movie matinee instead of a Friday evening show, watch 4-year-olds play T-Ball instead of the major league game or spend the day at the park instead of at the theme park.
+ 4. Food – There are two ways you are throw-
ing your money away with food: the food that you do eat and the food that you don’t eat. I tend to buy healthy food that I fully intend to eat, but then it often sits in my fridge until it spoils. Make sure you eat everything that you buy. If there is a chance you won’t eat it, then don’t buy it! Second, make sure that you buy food at the grocery store. It might be more convenient to stop by that gas station on your way home
to pick up a gallon of milk or package of toilet paper, but you’ll be paying much more. Plan your shopping in advance with a solid list that you stick to and your food budget will go much further.
5. Unused Memberships
– I go to my gym faithfully every day. However, I can’t tell you how many people I see join the gym, come for a few weeks and then suddenly disappear. Knowing I’m paying motivates me to work out, but clearly it doesn’t motivate everyone. If you aren’t sure you’ll stick to your workout plan, then put the money into basic equipment such as dumbbells, balance balls and resistance bands you can use for a killer workout at home. The same principle applies to memberships to warehouse stores, discount clubs and services such as Netflix. If you’re going to join it, be sure you’ll use it enough to make it worth the fee.
+ 6. Beauty Treatments – Like most
girls, I love a good mani-pedi – in the comfort of my own home and not shelling out my money at a salon. I spend plenty of money on makeup, hair products, anti-wrinkle cream (hey, I’m closing in on 30!), lotions and perfumes. However, if I can cut a corner by doing at-home spa treatments, I will. Also, I am usually able to find coupons for products I use and one pharmacy I frequent often has buy-one-get-one sales.
7. Failure to Give – How can giving
money away help you save money? In Haggai, the Lord tells Israel that they have planted much and harvested little, have food but not enough, have wine to drink, but not enough to quench their thirst, have clothing but not enough to keep warm, and their wages disappear as though they had holes in their pockets. He tells them this is because they are building their own houses while His temple lies in ruins. Could it be that maybe you are struggling financially because you’re not giving to the Lord what should first be His? This is no get-rich-quick scheme, but you will be blessed and I think you’ll be surprised at what God will do for you once you start giving with a happy heart. Over the next few months I’m going to dive deeper into some of these areas with even more practical and creative tips to keep more money in your pocket so stayed tuned.
This trend has nothing to do with comfort, unless you like the feeling of fabric up your behind all day – not to mention the bind of tight shorts. It’s as if they are only designed for standing and walking. Basketball shorts are truly a woman’s liberating alternative to the bondage of “fashion shorts.” They’re loose and comfy, as well as camp-approved at anything shy of an Amish camp!
4. Wider Strap Tank Tops. Tank tops are a summer essential, but consider opting for the wider straps, as opposed to the spaghetti straps or strapless. by Tamara Jane Snakes shed skin, dogs their downy coat, and us? Well, we shed too in the summer – we shed clothes. On these blazing hot days, we want on our bodies the least amount of clothing we can get by with and still be decent. Shorts get shorter, sleeves go bye-bye and if there’s a legitimate excuse to wear a bathing suit, we’ll take it! It’s 100 degrees outside – we’re hot! But careful, because we don’t want to be too hot. Ladies, this is NOT about our freedom to wear as little as we want. Taking care to cover our bodies sufficiently IS about living successfully in a naughty world full of naughty men who, whether we like it or not, are provoked sexually by what they see. It sucks for us, but there it is. Men operate differently (they’re from Mars, remember?) and they can’t help it anymore than we can: seeing skin turns them on. This doesn’t mean we need to cover up from head to toe like women in Iran. But in our own best interest (read: safety) and for the sake of our Christian brothers who are desperately fighting the temptation to lust, we should consider some ways to stay cool without looking (albeit unintentionally) provocative to the opposite sex. Here are nine tips.
1. Dress in white. Lighter colors that reflect (bounce back) the sunlight and its warmth. Darker colors attract and absorb the heat. Nothing says summer elegance better than white cotton or linen.
5. Wear Your Hair Up. Not only does an updo keep your neck cool, it keeps hair out of the way of summer fun – like playing Frisbee, beach volleyball and riding in a convertible! 6. Wear Flip Flops. 75 percent of our body heat emits from our hands, head and feet. So keeping these three areas well ventilated can go a long way toward keeping cool. Flip flops are as close to barefoot as you can get and I love being barefoot. There are two schools of thought on purchasing flip flops. Buy five pairs at $3 each, knowing full well they’ll all be trashed by the end of the year, or spend $40 for a pair that will last you a few summers. The cheaper version is a bit more costly on the environment, but the $40 pair is well, a bit more costly. 7. I Advise a Visor.
Do you think you look geeky in hats? But you see other girls wearing them and they don’t look geeky? If so, you’re suffering from a case of head-gear inhibition. One possible treatment of this is heat stroke, but I don’t recommend it. A better cure is just to get over your bad self and start wearing hats for their many benefits, including protection for eyes and skin, as well as keeping your head cool and scalp from burning. Surely, there is a hat that looks good on you. Take a trusted fashion adviser on a hatseeking expedition and try everything from floppies to baseball hats to visors.
Loosen Up. Form-fitting, clingy shirts makes 2. Cover Up. Viewed through water, our bodies 8. you sweat even more, but baggy T-shirts give your
look a little funny – kind of like looking in the fun house mirror. But once we hit the shore, everything falls into place nicely, and the glisten of water on our skin is not going unnoticed. In a group of co-ed friends, swimsuit cover-ups are a good and fashionable way to stay modest. Even adding a sarong around the waist makes a huge impact on modesty. Check out this season’s styles here, but don’t get suckered into buying from this site because the prices are outrageous. Check your local bargain department store for a reasonably priced cover-up.
3. Sport Sport Shorts (not a typo). Have you noticed shorts are getting cheekier and cheekier? 18
body room to breathe (a process called perspiration) and allow airflow between clothes and skin, creating a ventilation system of sorts. This is the theory behind desert people wearing long, baggy clothes. Discover this age-old stay-cool secret for yourself.
9. One layer is best. As if to prove that fashion trends are completely inconsiderate of a woman’s comfort, layering tops seems to be in this summer. This would be funny if it weren’t so sad. When it’s 98+ degrees outside, the last thing you need is three shirts. One loose, light-colored cotton shirt is king.
“ Ventilate Strategically 75 percent of our body heat emits from our hands, head and feet. So keeping these three areas well ventilated can go a long way toward keeping cool.
and Other Alternatives to Disneyland
by Jeffrey Bridgman
The following is a random, fictional conversation which very well could take place anywhere in the country this month between two average girls. Jen: Here we are in the middle of summer, again! What have you been doing so far? Barb: Working again at (insert boring retail or fast food restaurant here). Jen: (After gasping with horror and dread, following a slight pause) I know! You should totally volunteer somewhere (giving a dorky thumbs-up)!
Dreading another boring summer? Consider a vacation with a purpose—volunteering. Rather than using your time off to go camping or to some lame theme park, you could be having the kind of adventures you watch on the Travel or Discovery channel, all for a good cause. Volunteering vacations can also be a wonderful way to do something related to your career interests. For instance, if you’re interested in helping third-world countries develop sustainable infrastructure, you could find a project that offers hands-on experience in this area, which, in turn, could help you decide if you really want to commit to this line of work.
How Far Do You Want to Take This? Volunteering vacations are available as close as your home state and as far away as Timbuktu. If you’re thinking about going abroad,
a great place to start in finding a volunteering vacation is VolunteerAbroad.com, a searchable database of projects in almost every country and type of work imaginable. Their sister site, goabroad.com, also has many useful bits of travel information, as well as search fields for other “going abroad” options, such as studying or teaching.
Wait, I have to pay? I said volunteering vacation, not free vacation. Yes, most programs have a cost associated with them, but in essence you are making a donation to a good cause. Most organizations that offer volunteering vacations are charities, and so the costs of your trip might even be taxdeductible. Many places also provide help with fund-raising. If the volunteer activity is religious in nature, consider it a mission trip and ask your church family to help out. Speaking of church families, how about contacting the local missionaries that your church supports to see if you can spend some time helping them? Think how exciting it would be to spend a month in Japan helping with missions, with your own personal tour guides. It’s a great way to learn about a foreign culture, do some sightseeing and help reach people for Christ.
JUST WHAT you
NEED Closer to Home Want some time in the great outdoors? Volunteer with a state or national park. The U.S. National Park Service uses volunteers to clear trails, guide tours, do historical reenactments dressed in period clothes and lots of other essential park functions. Search by state or park to learn more at www.nps.gov. The American Hiking Society offers opportunities to work on trails and facilities in national rivers, forests and wildernesses. And there are tons of other options that a thorough search on “volunteer vacations” will turn up.
Dirty Duck Call But if you want to go where you’re really needed right now, get yourself to the Gulf of Mexico! Check out How You Can Volunteer to Clean Up the Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill & Register for a Green Job Now where you’ll find direct links to coordinated efforts by Audubon, Sierra Club, National Wildlife Federation and others. Jobs range from food prep for all the other workers, to nitty-gritty stuff like cleaning oil off of birds. It’s work, no doubt, but wouldn’t it be cool to have a part in the clean up of the worst oil spill in history? Sounds more meaningful than breakfast with Mickey.