A P U B L I C AT 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
Will the Real Fool Please Stand Up?
What Happens in Vegas ... Is Forever How Low Can You Go? (And Still be Modest) A Reality Check for When it Sounds “Too Good to be True”
Merry Christmas on
w w w. o n m y o w n n o w. c o m
issue... Straight Talk from the Proverbs: Will the Real Fool Please Stand Up?
by Donna Lee Schillinger
Moving Out ... Settling In: What Happens in Vegas is Forever
by Kimberly Miller
Down Home Healthy Cookin' for One ona Budget:
Three Square Meals + Some on $5 a day, The Fin-ally
by Reba Ray
Dear Gabby: Early life crisis
Merry Christmas on No Budget
by Paola Segnini
Fashion DIVinA A Modest Measure
by Tamara Jane and Donna Lee Schillinger
Just What You Need A Reality Check for When it Sounds “Too Good to be True”
by Donna Lee Schillinger
Young Christian Woman a publication of On My Own Now Ministries
donna lee schillinger contributors
paola segnini kimberly miller Tamara Jane Debra Collins art director
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.
fool please p u b stand
by Donna Lee Schillinger
“ Whoever corrects a mocker invites insult; whoever rebukes a wicked man incurs abuse. Do not rebuke a mocker or he will hate you; rebuke a wise man and he will love you. Instruct a wise man and he will be wiser still; teach a righteous man and he will add to his learning. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. ”
Proverbs 9: 7-9 Kimberly Miller’s business trip, and resulting opportunity to witness to her coworker (see “What Happens in Vegas…” on p. 6), is a good reminder that how we share the wisdom of the ages is as important – if not more important – than sharing it at all. If we leave a negative impression in our attempt to share Christ, we have done more damage than good. And I’m sad to say that many a zealous Christian has erred in this manner – myself included – read on. As we begin to hear wisdom’s voice and submit ourselves to it and we feel ourselves gaining wisdom, we want to share this with others. Our new insights are truly exciting and our soul wells to overflowing. We have a pure desire for others to understand what we understand. This is all good, but as we read in the above scripture, we must be selective about when and with whom we decide to share our newfound insights about life. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom – the beginning of wisdom – meaning we’ve just left start on the game board of life. To underscore this point God may put a fool or mocker in our path. If ever someone needed to know and understand what we know and understand, it is that poor fool, right? “What’s this? The fool and mocker is asking my opinion? An opening? An opportunity to share with her? Thank you, Lord.” Careful. This is not what you think. This is a learning opportunity, for sure, but it’s for you, not the fool. I hosted a foreign exchange student from South America who was raised in a very privileged lifestyle, devoutly Catholic and sheltered from the social ills that abound in her country. Despite all her good fortune, she rebelled against the good things in her life - clashing with her mother, the church and the norms of society in general. How I wished she would have turned that passion against the corruption, poverty and illegal drugs that
were destroying her country. Instead, she was raging against the very things that had provided the privileged life she took for granted. One day in Wal-Mart, she started testing me or perhaps she was teasing me. At the time, I thought she was sincere, but I realized with some reflection, she was simply doing what a rebellious teen does for fun. She picked up a magazine and announced that she wanted to die her hair red like the actress pictured on the cover. This was one of those unnatural reds for hair, like the color of blood. I told her I wouldn’t allow it while she was with me. My reason was simple – I didn’t want my nineyear-old daughter, who admired our exchange student, to tuck a memo away in her mind, “Die hair blood red at age 17.” I should have just said that and left it alone. But I couldn’t help myself. I saw an opportunity to try to enlighten this young rebel – to share some wisdom. A discussion about stereotypes and the importance of other people’s opinions ensued and crescendoed into a heated and loud exchange in Spanish in the checkout line at Wal-Mart. If indeed this exchange was between a wise woman and a fool, an onlooker would have had great difficulty figuring out who was which – we both looked like fools. Fools and mockers are very useful for humbling those who are wise in their own eyes. Resist the temptation to share your wisdom with just anyone. Someone truly eager to learn will be in an open, opinion-neutral zone, not staunchly held up in the tower of a particular viewpoint. When you sense in the listener a humble willingness to learn, your few, carefully chosen words will be welcomed and effective.
Hold this thought: It’s foolish to argue with a fool.
w moving out ...
Iâ€™m pleased to announce that I have reached a new level of grown-upedness! A couple weeks ago, my boss informed me that I was to travel out of state on a bona fide business trip. Iâ€™ll admit I was a little nervous, only because I had no idea what to expect. Any notion I had of what a business trip is supposed to be like comes from television.
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I was to travel with a co-worker, Laura, to the company headquarters and main business offices to find out what happens on the “other side” of the business. I was very excited about the trip in general and the opportunity to finally meet some people I have worked with for a year and a half without actually meeting in person. I would now get to see them in their element and have a face to put to our future interaction. Cool. There was a lot more in store than that though. I found myself in one after another ethical dilemma and having to make difficult “grown-up” decisions. My traveling companion, though a lovely person, is not a Christian. She does not share my values or beliefs, and thus does not always operate with the same integrity that I try to live by. Don’t get me wrong: I admire her very much and have a great respect for other aspects of her character; she just lives life more liberally than I am accustomed to. For example, one issue we came at differently was tracking our time. Where I would rather fudge the clock in favor of the company, she would rather fudge it in favor of getting paid more. I could enter my own time however I deem correct, but if someone were to compare our time cards, the obvious question would be, “Why don’t they match?” How could I answer that without throwing her under the bus? And is that even where she deserves to be? She was just doing what almost anyone would do, and it wasn’t really even wrong. It just wasn’t as right as it could have been. In the end, I negotiated a compromise with her, hopefully without making her feel like I was judging her – a tricky balance. We stayed in a very nice casino hotel on the company, of course, and ate all our meals on the company. Whereas I didn’t feel right eating the most expensive meals I could find just because the company was buying, I did wonder why I had to pay for the hotel fitness center and Internet access out of my pocket. So while
I negotiated more modest choices of meals with Laura, I simultaneously felt irritated about paying for amenities that I already pay for at home. Honestly, I wanted to stick it to the company at dinner, but I knew that wouldn’t be right. Little injustices – that’s how it works in real life. Oh well.
Business trips are fun, but stressful too. They mean getting to know coworkers better than I ever even wanted to. Fortunately, Laura and I were not so different in our nightlife choices. Drinking and gambling – all from the convenience of our hotel – were not a temptation for either of us. However, that is an eventuality I need to mentally prepare myself for in future trips – especially to casino hotels. Having a ready-made reason to stay in the room rather than waste my time and money on things that could lead to no good is advisable. I could have a book 2/3 of the way read – something I really want to get back to finish. Or I could schedule a phone call with a good friend I haven’t talked to in a long time. “Aw, sorry, guys. I told this friend that tonight we could catch up on the phone and I just can’t ditch that because it’s been four months since we last spoke.” It needs to be something that not only will work as an excuse to get back to the room after dinner, but also something that motivates me – because peer pressure to party will surely be more tempting than I anticipate. Finally, and surprisingly, the most difficult thing to manage on the business trip is basic personality differences – and we had them! Laura gets really stressed out while driving and yells at traffic for what seems to me to be pretty insignificant offenses. I get really stressed out when all the restaurants that the GPS finds for us are closed and there’s no place
to eat, and she thinks I should be more patient. I like to stick to the schedule in the book, and she likes to play it more flexible. She likes to stay up really late; I like to be in bed early. She likes to talk to everybody she meets, and I’m a little snobby and kind of shy around new people – and the list goes on. We were both relieved to learn that we at least like the same kind of music in the car! Business trips are fun, but stressful too. They mean getting to know coworkers better than I ever even wanted to. Traveling with Laura was a lot like working with her every day – times ten in intensity! Business travel is a chance to learn how to get along with people, appreciate differences and live our convictions. Laura didn’t have the same Christian values. So the question is: What’s the best way to expose her to mine? My goal should be to show her a Christlike lifestyle, not to shove it down her throat – witnessing, not Bible-thumping. I may have annoyed her a little with my prudent behavior (which she might have thought prudish instead), and yet I didn’t think it prudent to tell her that I wish she would choose more lady-like language. It’s about knowing which battles to fight, so that we can live with integrity, without judging or patronizing others – the kind of thing Jesus did as he dined with a tax collectors and defended the prostitute. Love as He loved, and be perfect as He is perfect. Even in Vegas.
What's the best way to expose her to my Christian values? My goal should be to show her a Christlike lifestyle, not to shove it down her throat - witnessing, not Bible-thumping.
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o Reba Ray´s down home healthy cookin’ for one on a budget
by Reba Ray
SomE 5 a Day
Just like before, I’m gonna give you four day’s worth of menu and shopping list, as well as the shopping list for a starter kit of ingredients that’ll last you for at least three months, in most cases. Now I know $55 for a starter kit sounds a little outrageous, but it will average out to be less than a dollar a day because of how long the ingredients last. Add it to the $4-a-day menu and yur eatin’ for $5 a day. Some things on this menu are made with items leftover from previous four-day shopping lists. If you are seeing this for the first time, what ya really otta do is go back to the first four-day menu and start there. Then follow links to the second and third menus until you work yur way back to this one. But if yur hard-headed, go ahead and start with the last part (you wouldn’t read a book that way though, would ya?). Now, let’s review the ground rules.
In the September, October and November 09 issues of Single! Young Christian Woman, I gave you three of four parts of a 16-day program I’ve worked out so that you can eat healthy on $5 a day. This here is the last part.
1. Shop smart. No fancy schmancy markets – you need a Kroger or a Wal-mart or some other low-priced store and even then, you need to buy the store brand when you can to make this work. I don’t list a size on these products, so just get as large a container as you can without going over the allotted price. For the spices, if you have a Wal-Mart Superstore, look for their large spice bottles for $.50 each instead of paying for name brands. If not, go to the local
dollar store to buy yur spices. And a disclaimer: prices vary so much from store to store and then when you take into account different regions of the country, well, this iddn’t no exact science. I’m ballparkin’ figures here and I believe you can get mighty close to the total amount regardless of where you live, as long as you shop smart.
And if yur just feeding yurself, well, you've got to have a little repetition to use all the food that was in the package. Again, budget food does not usually come in single servings. 2. Surely you notice a little repetition in these menus and that there aren’t too many fancy foods on them. Newsflash: You can’t eat fancy foods on $5 a day. And if yur just feeding yurself, well, you’ve got to have a little repetition to use all the food that was in the package. Again, budget food does not usually come in single servings. 3. As always, I’m learnin’ ya how to cook healthy. Give it a try – I just know you can learn to love what’s good for ya.
$55 starter kit Salt Pepper Ginger Cinnamon Basil Oregano Cumin Brown sugar Molasses Baking powder Baking soda Whole wheat flour Vanilla Mayonnaise Pesto Bullion Cubes (chicken and beef) Lemon juice Jalapeno peppers Olive oil Balsamic vinegar Soy sauce Worcestershire sauce Apple cider vinegar Canola Oil Cooking spray BBQ sauce
$2 $1 $2 $1 $1 $1 $1 $2 $2 $2.50 $1 $3 $2 $2 $3 $2 each $2 $2 $5 $3 $3 $2 $1 $3 $3 $1
If there is any money left over, buy: Parmesan cheese $2.50 Box of crackers $2.50
o Reba Ray´s down home healthy cookin’ for one on a budget
Day 13 BREAKFAST: French Toast lunch: Fetuccini w/pesto and fresh tomato (4 oz. beef patty on bre snack: Raisins dinner: Chicken with potatoes and carrots desert: Peanut Butter Cookies (use a favorite recipe, subbin’ in brown for white sugar and whole
wheat for white flour to make it healthier)
Day 14 BREAKFAST: Cereal lunch: Left over Chicken sandwich with cheddar cheese snack: Seasonal Fruit dinner: Lentil stew (potatoes and carrots) desert: Peanut butter
Day 15 BREAKFAST: Oatmeal w/ raisins lunch: BBQ wings (or other chicken) and homemade French Fries snack: Seasonal Fruit dinner: Chicken Florentine fettuccini desert: Peanut Butter Cookies
BREAKFAST: Eggs and toast lunch: Lentil stew leftover snack: Cheddar Cheese dinner: Leftover chicken with potatoes (mashed or fried) desert: Seasonal Fruit crepe
Recipettes Chicken Florentine Fettuccini: Place ½ cup chopped, leftover chicken and one pressed clove of garlic in a teaspoon of olive oil and sauté in a small skillet over medium heat until chicken is heated through. Add thawed, dry spinach and sprinkle with salt, pepper, basil and oregano. Cook fettuccini according to package directions. Top fettuccini with chicken/spinach mixture and sprinkle with parmesan cheese.
Seasonal Fruit Crepe: Chop ½ cup of seasonal fruit into small cubes, removing seeds and peels as needed. In a small saucepan, bring to boil with one tablespoon brown sugar and 2 tablespoons water. Simmer over low heat for five minutes or until it forms a compote. In a medium bowl, mix together 1/2 cup allpurpose flour, 1 egg, ¼ cup milk, 1 tablespoon canola oil, ¼ cup water and a dash of salt. Over medium heat, pour a ¼-cup scoop of batter into a lightly oiled nonstick skillet in good condition, tilting the skillet like the Alpine ride at the carnival so the batter goes all over the pan. Cook for about two minutes and ever-so-carefully flip it over and cook a minute more on the other side. Slide off on to a plate, spoon in a few tablespoons of fruit filling and roll it up, seam side down. Repeat until the batter’s all gone. Drizzle a little syrup or molasses over the crepes.
Left overs from list # 1, 2 & 3 Peanut butter Cereal Raisins Eggs Bread
8oz. Cheddar Cheese Block Syrup Fresh Garlic
Shopping List #4 Milk $2 Whole chicken $4 Potatoes $3 Carrots $1 Seasonal fruit (strawberries, grapes, tangerines, pears, peaches) $2 Lentils $.75 Apple sauce $1 Fettuccini $1.50 Tomato $.50 Spinach $.50
dear gabby: I think I might be having an early life crisis. I’m in grad school
but wondering if I’m just here to avoid doing something better with my life. I had some choices to do hard things after
college and I chose grad school instead—which isn’t easy by any means, but I fear may have been the safe choice. I have
a propensity toward laziness and I’m afraid of it taking over
my life. There are mornings I really don’t even want to get
out of bed—literally. Before you say “prayer is the answer,” you should know I’ve tried that and it has helped. Basically, it´s led me to a realization of some of my character flaws. But now what?
- Languid in Lancaster
Living a conundrum? Trying to make two wrongs a right? Threw the baby out with the bath water?
Dear Gabby can help! Send your questions now to
“After the death of Moses, the servant of the Lord, the Lord said to Joshua, son of Nun, Moses’ aide: Moses is dead. Now then, you and all these people, get ready to cross the Jordan River into the land I am about to give to them—the Israelites. No one will be able to stand up against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you or forsake you.”
Dear Languid, If you’re reading this, it means you’re awake – which is a great start! Gabby suspects that unless you’re paying your way through school with a rush- hour rickshaw business, your exhaustive need to rest probably comes from a lack of joy and enthusiasm for what you are doing. End result: depression. Now Gabby isn’t saying you’re walking around with a black cloud over your head, but it is known that excessive fatigue and sleep can be good indicators of some level of depression. So then… why so blue? Well, Gabby suspects that all those qualifiers you use to describe your status like “may have been a safe choice,” or “wondering if I’m here to avoid something else,” sound pretty much like you know the answers already. The real problem isn’t the “did I sell out?” in your scenario, but the “now what?” of your epiphany. Gabby would love to know what the hard things were that you turned down for grad school. We are such a purpose-driven species. And a life without a purpose to challenge us can look pretty dull – a stay-in-bed-and-pull-the-covers-overmy-head kind of dull. Gabby is pretty sure that your biggest problem is that you are a creature that needs and wants to make a difference and you’re fearful that the path you’re on may be too self-serving. If that’s the case, then don’t let it be! Are you familiar with the context of the scripture above? Moses, all-time biggest hero of Israel dies, leaving his sidekick Joshua in charge. Joshua has been proved himself on the battlefield, but it seems to me that he must actually be a real fraidy-cat. Why else would God have to say to him as many times as He did in the first chapter of Joshua: “Don’t be afraid!” It was no small task he had before him though. Moses left some gargantuan shoes to fill – and not only that – Joshua’s job was to lead the nation of Israel to the Promised Land, which meant war. So, yea, I guess even a really brave person would have reason to fear in that circumstance.
Jeremiah 29:11 However, whether it’s taking possession of the Promised Land or taking the bull by the horns in the 21st century, we fear great possibilities when we leave God out of our decisions. Permit me one more parallel with the Promised Land thing: Remember when the Israelites had the chance to possess the Promised Land but they were too chicken to do it? Moses had sent in 12 men to spy the lay of the land. All but two came back with their tails between their legs, whining about how big the people were. God’s response to their cowardice was to send them wandering in the desert for 40 years before He would give them another chance to possess the land. Hard question: Is it possible that grad school is your “time in the desert”? Don’t despair, even if you conclude it is. God provides manna from heaven for people in the desert. Perhaps this time is meant to better prepare you to do those “hard things” later, once you’ve finished grad school. Maybe it’s a time to do some emotional growing? Your praying has brought you some priceless insights. Most people never slow down long enough to even consider they have character flaws, let alone ponder how to surmount them! I know, you don’t think I need to say “pray!” But how about “keep praying.” It’s essential in your quest to know how to move forward. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, “Faith is taking the first step, even when you don’t see the whole staircase.” So Languid, throw back those covers, swing your feet out and, yes… pray! And continue praying with every step. God will not forsake you! Work hard on that degree and finish what you started. Even time in the desert has a purpose. Just stay plugged in to the source of manna with every shuffling step…
christmas (on no budget)
by Paola Segnini
K I’ve always been a fan of giving
gifts. I remember when I was a little girl and had zero cash, I used to come up with gifts for my family all the time, and of course, they didn’t cost a dime. Anything was a potential gift: I’d pick flowers from my grandma’s garden or a nearby park, I’d collect shells when I was at the beach and save them for special occasions, I’d draw pictures, write stories, cut nice images from magazines… I even saved a piece of candy or two so I could give to my friends at school. Fast forward to 2009 and those childhood ideas aren’t looking as childish in this economy! This year has been tough on everyone, reflected by the number of petitions I’ve received to write a column about how to have a Merry Christmas when you’re strapped for cash.
I realize pictures from old magazines and leftover Halloween candy is probably not what you have in mind for a Christmas gift, but if you think about it, it actually applies perfectly. As a kid, I was using what I had on hand in tandem with my abilities to make someone I loved smile. The concept for us today is the same. How can we make someone smile with what we have on hand, or by just using our abilities? If your mom absolutely hates doing dishes, how about giving her a “Get out of the Kitchen Free” card and do them for her after Christmas dinner? If your boyfriend can’t stand ironing, give him a “fresh-pressed load of laundry” for a gift. If you put your mind to it, you can think of something you are perfectly capable of doing that your friends and family hate, and offer to do it for them.
I’m not a huge fan of cooking. I don’t hate it; I just don’t do it… like ever! I always say my Mr. Right will have to know how to cook to win me over. This is no secret about me. So, imagine how my friends and family would feel if I actually decided to cook for them. If a friend of mine came over and I surprised her with a home-cooked meal, I bet she’d be both surprised and excited. I wouldn’t even need to cook something fancy – just anything from my pantry. Exploit that kind of thing. For me, it’s cooking, for you it may be sewing or gardening. We all have things we know how to do pretty well but we just choose not to, or avoid doing them. Surprise someone with your hidden ability!
If you still want to go the traditional way and purchase a present, here are some really good ideas for gifts under $10 that maybe could supplement a hand-made coupon for a special act of kindness. 1. Gourmet coffees with a personal coffee cup 2. Journal with special inscription inside 3. Teacup with box of herbal tea 4. Homemade cocoa mix (layers of cocoa, sugar, marshmallows and maybe chocolate chips) in a pretty jar 5. Collage of special photos 6. Gel pens and pretty stationery 7. Home baked bread, and include the recipe on a colorful, laminated card 8. Basket filled with an assortment of small chunks of deli cheese and fruit 9. Craft supplies 10. Holiday serving bowl or platter
11. Decorative napkins w/ rings 12. Fancy chocolate bars tied with a ribbon 13. Gardening gloves with a plant or f lower seeds 14. Photo album, hand-decorated is even better 15. Makeup tote 16. Homemade cookie mix in a quart jar with instructions for baking 17. Special coffee cup filled with candy 18. Fancy magazines tied together with a pretty ribbon 19. Board games 20. Note cards and book of stamps 21. Picture frames, buy them on sale!
22. Specialty cookbook 23. Set of dish towels and cloths 24. Nail polish kit 25. A night shirt 26. Basket filled with kitchen gadgets 27. Handwritten copies of your favorite recipes 28. For the pets, gourmet dog biscuits or cat treats 29. Baking pans and supplies 30. Pretty box for keepsakes 31. Address book 32. Christmas ornaments 33. Favorite quote embroidered or pen-painted on a nice handkerchief 34. Makeup brush set 35. Special soaps and bath puff
Fashi on DIVinA
measur But why does this matter to God? After all, He made us without concern for modesty – Eve ran around buck naked in the Garden of Eden. Paradise lost… No use crying over it. Fast forward to our reality and the fact of the matter is that our clothes say a lot about us. They reflect how we were raised and the condition of our heart and thoughts, not to mention our fashion sense. And they reflect how important the value of modesty is to us. Here’s a quick test (in case you haven’t had your share of final exams) to help evaluate your personal position on modesty.
3 2 1
by Tamara Jane and Donna Lee Schillinger
Summer’s over and the pressure (both societal and barometric) to dress scantily are gone for a season. But our concern for modesty should be perennial. Modesty is a concept born out of a few key scriptures such as I Timothy 2:9, “I also want women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety.” If we value God’s word, we have to value modesty. It’s just that simple.
What do my clothes say about my heart? a) I’m modest on the inside and out. b) Not much – they are heartneutral. c) I just want somebody, anybody to pay attention to me.
2. When I dress I…
3. My clothes reflect
4. The way I dress, no one
5. When I think what I’m
a) want to be comfortable and look good, but not sexy. b) opt for something fashionable without regard to much else. c) secretly want to cause a traffic accident as I cross the street.
could ever guess… a) the location of my birthmark. b) that I don’t spend a lot of clothes. c) that I’m a Christian.
________ values. a) Biblical b) greater societal c) fringe
wearing might be too immodest, I… a) put the outfit on hold until I can ask the opinion of someone I respect. b) ask my boyfriend what he thinks. c) shrug my shoulders, make kissy-lips at myself in the mirror and head out the door anyway.
Give yourself 2 points for each “a,” 1 point for each “b” and zip/zilch/ nada for each “c.” A score of 7 or greater indicates that modesty is a max factor. Good for you. 4 to 6 points indicates modesty is on your radar, but takes a back seat to fashion. Below 4 points, you don’t see the connection between godly living and your wardrobe. When we lived at home, Mom and Dad may have had some tempering influence on our choice of clothes, but now that we’re on our own? Who will be our “Mirror, Mirror on the wall”? There are our friends – but don’t they need some help of their own? When you need an honest answer to “Does this make me look sleazy?” a godly adult can be invaluable. Seek out a godly woman whose fashion sense you admire and bounce your outfit options off her every once in a while to keep your modesty meter well-calibrated. Also, consult Web sites that specialize in modest clothing. Even if you don’t buy online, you can get some ideas of how today’s styles can be modestly sported. My picks are TailoredLilly.com and ModestlySassy.com. If your score on the modesty test was embarrassingly low, you might be feeling like your wardrobe is beyond salvaging – shirts cut too low, dresses and skirts cut too short, jeans look like they’re painted on... Don’t donate
it all to Goodwill just yet. Layering is a great technique to mitigate immodest clothes. Spend $10 on some generic tights and camisoles to wear underneath and invest in one superfly jacket to top tops. The jacket can turn half your summer wardrobe in to all-season wear too by being instant sleeves for anything sleeveless. Layer longer shirts under or over shorter shirts to keep that rear end from rearing it’s ugly… (ehem!). And add a big, bold scarf to low cut shirts – and enjoy a warm neck this winter. There are plenty of ways to be modest and fashionable at the same time. The first step to making it happen is daily asking yourself, “Is this an outfit that is pleasing to God? Will it glorify the body that He’s given me?” It’s a two-question test that I pray you’ll score well on every day.
Just What You
by Donna Lee Schillinger
A Reality Check for When It Sounds
Too Good to Be True
OK, you’re a smart girl and you don’t actually believe for one second that you’ve won the lottery in Nigeria. Good for you. But have you ever fallen for one of these? Laptop computers $249! Make $2,500 a week from home! Lose 10 pounds in 10 days! Turn Yellow Teeth to White for Under $5. All these “offers” have two things in common. 1. They sound too good to be true. 2. They are too good to be true. It’s not that we’re naïve or anything, it’s just that we want to believe so desperately that these offers might be true. And so we will waste our time on them. Despite that little voice in our heads that says “this is probably a scam,” we go the distance and attend that weekend electronics sale, send away for that information kit or even order some product. Hopefully, that’s as far as it goes. But something tells me there are some of us that go even further – spending even more of our two most precious commodities, time and money, to learn in the end that there’s no cheap laptop, easy way to get rich from home or fast way to lose weight. And then come the regret and self-berating for having been so naïve! Let’s not go there – don’t be someone who fell for a scam. You know about Snopes.com, don’t you? When we get an e-mail forwarded to us that we think is pretty incredible – that is, literally hard to believe – before we risk our credibility and forward it to all of our friends, we take a couple of minutes to log on to Snopes.com, search some key words, and find out if it’s legit. It’s the same concept, except a lot more is at stake than your e-mail forwarding credibility. Save yourself time and money before you fall for something that sounds too good to be true by checking it out – much the same way you do on Snopes, at the Ripoff Report.com. I’m linking you to the advanced search page where you can select the
subject you’re concerned about and then read recent reports filed. Almost 12,000 reports have been filed and so odds are good of finding info on the scam that’s tempting you. You can also search by name of company. If you just want to search by keyword, use the search bar in the top right corner of the page. Consumer Reports.org is another trusted source of information on product-related quandaries. Although their best info is for paid subscribers only, use the search bar to get the low-down on lip plumpers and verify whether or not Oprah and Dr. Oz really stand behind acai berry products. They have thousands of articles that address most of the too-good-to-betrue products on the market today. Fight Identity Theft.org has a good page with overviews of many popular scams, including those Nigerian lottery scams and some work from home scams. Also, look for the link on the left to remove yourself from the telemarketing call list. One specialty scam avoidance Web site worth mentioning: www.modelingscams.org details how to avoid becoming the victim of modeling scams.
Even a thorough perusal of the above-mentioned sites might still leave you with some questions, and if so, I recommend talking to a wise old owl – some savvy middleaged person who has been there/done that, versus, doing a Google search on “scams.” In researching this article, I learned that very many of the same-self Web sites that are supposed to be informing the consumer against scams have ads in their margins for scam products like teeth whiteners and distance learning – earn your degree while you’re in the shower – that sort of thing. So just stick to the sites I’ve listed, ask a savvy friend, or at very least, email Dear Gabby and she’ll set you straight.
Published on Dec 5, 2009
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