Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Life After Financial Death

Ever feel shackled by debts? Spouse and I do!
Be sure to scroll back through my previous post about the same subject before you proceed. 

Okay, here are some tried-and-true tools, gleaned from different people who've been there/done that, to help you grow trust in Papa God on your journey through the valley of the shadow of financial death:

  • Don’t give up hope. He will continue to be faithful to us no matter what. “If we are not faithful, he will still be faithful. Christ cannot deny who he is” (2 Tim. 2:13, CEV). 
  • Separate your needs from your wants. Sometimes we get confused and pray for a Mercedes when what we really need is a bicycle. But Yahweh, Master of all things great and small, knows the difference. “You can be sure that God will take care of everything you need” (Phil 4:19, MSG). 
  • Sweeten your bitter words. You might have to eat them one day. Don’t dwell on the unfairness of your poverty. Be careful what you say; be careful what you think. “Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right” (Phil. 4:8, NLT). 
  • Keep communication lines open. “Pray without ceasing” (1 Thes. 5:17, NASB). Talk to your heavenly Father – even cry out your frustrations. Then dry your tears and thank Him for the blessings you do have. If you need a little perspective on your blessings, visit a surgical ward. Or a homeless shelter. Or a battered woman’s center. 
  • Remember what God has done for you. He gave you the ultimate sacrifice: His Son on a cross. Salvation. Eternal life. Quote John 3:16 to refresh your recall. 
  • Keep serving others. Even if you feel that you’re the one needing service. “God is not unjust. He will not forget how hard you have worked for him and how you have shown you r love to him by caring for other believers, as you still do” (Heb 6:10, NLT). Give of yourself to the poor or needy even when you think you don’t have anything to give. The best blessing you can give someone is your time. Use your downtime to bless someone. 
  • Keep your eyes fixed on Jesus. Do the things you know you need to do to honor your Savior, even if you don’t feel like it. “Look straight ahead, and fix your eyes on what lies before you” (Prov. 4:25, NLT). Go to church, hang out with believers, study your Bible, listen to Christian music … because feeding our faith starves our fears.
 Hey, I know all too well that ominous dread that seizes your heart when official-looking men with clipboards appear at your door. Or when your electricity is turned off. Or when you run out of answers when your kids don’t understand why they can’t go places and do the same things their friends do. And you’re bone tired. And more discouraged than you’ve ever been in your life.

I really do know. I’ve been there. And I want to offer you hope. There is life after financial death. Cling to hope, dear one, because fear is devoid of hope and hope is devoid of fear. And as Lazarus discovered, hope is what Papa God does best.

More about defeating fear in my new book, Fear, Faith, and a Fistful of Chocolate (Barbour Books). Excerpts, reviews, and more at

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Passing Through the Valley

It's no secret that we live in volatile economic times. Many people have lost their jobs, their livelihoods, and their financial security. 

Deep financial scars create deep fears. Retirement, which once promised peace, now threatens distress.

Did you know that finances are important to Papa God? There are more than 2000 Bible verses about money and possessions.

When talking about money and what it buys, we must first recognize that what little – or much – we own isn’t really ours in the fist place. We’re just caretakers. “The earth and everything in it belong to the Lord” (Psalm 24:1, CEV).

So although the bank account, trust fund, or mortgage might display our name, we’re not the real owner. Papa God is.

Our perspective, then, will stay focused on honoring the Lord with His possessions, the resources that He give us the responsibility – and privilege – to manage. That means not looking at our belongings as mine, mine, mine. And not clutching our possessions to our chests in fear of parting with one single molecule.

Why are we so afraid of losing what we have? I believe it’s because deep down inside, we don’t believe the Lord is actually in control, and if we don’t defend what’s ours, no one will.

But we want to develop trust. We want to believe that Papa God is somehow still in control. We desire more than anything to be a Lazarus and experience life after financial death. 

Stay tuned for my next post on how to rise from the financial grave. 

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Do They Make Prune Smoothies?

I hope I'm a hot Mimi boogie maniac when I grow up
I have a theory. Well, I actually have many theories (I call them Coty Near-Facts of Science and sprinkle them throughout my books), but one in particular about aging. 

I call it the Increasing Gravity Phenomenon. The IGP postulates that the earth's magnetic pull is increasing every year. Yep - the magnetic core of the earth is sucking everything loose toward it more and more. 

Like one of those vacuum tubes at the dentist’s office that, when you close our lips around it, pops your eyeballs out of their sockets and would suck down your tongue if it wasn’t attached back there by your hangy-ball.

I’m a zealous believer in the Increasing Gravity Phenomenon. The evidence is right there on the back of my arms and dangling off my chin. 

Speaking of loose neck skin, if you ask me, the reason so many of us mature, sweetly ripened women develop kyphosis (hunchback) is because we’re subconsciously trying to hide the majority of our chins by rounding our shoulders and protruding our heads forward.

I call it the chicken-neck maneuver. Works pretty well for jowls and wattles too.

So if you’re one of us who are facing the IGP black hole, take heart! You’re in good company. You won’t be the only one concussed by the Dumbo flap on the backs of your arm as you reach for your prune smoothie.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Skin is a Funny Thing

Aging is a peculiar thing. Just when you begin to grow into your skin, it outgrows you. And the extra has nowhere to go except to hang there all crinkled up like a discarded Twinkie wrapper.

In a research poll for my book, Fear, Faith, and a Fistful of Chocolate, one-fifth of all women surveyed ranked fear of aging among their top three fears. Although this particular fear was most prevalent in the 60+ age category (the #2 greatest fear, in fact), gals from 18 -59 admitted that getting older worries them too.

And rightly so. As we near menopause, the evacuation of estrogen makes our upper faces respond with receding hair on our scalps and eyes, but our lower faces get even by sprouting dapper little Clark Gable mustaches and random six-inch chin hairs.

Those crazy hormones can also increase our appetite for chocolate, which may in turn cause our derriere rumpage to quadruple, making many of us feel that we are defined by our behinds. We find ourselves battling symptoms of CDD (Chocolate Deficit Disorder), which include stashing Tootsie Rolls in potted plants and hiding M&M’s in our ibuprofen bottles.

This newly-minted subterfuge may result is what I call the Obstinate Orca Propagation Site, or OOPS for short. This Coty near-fact of science involves those humpback whales that suddenly grow on the outside of your upper thighs right where they attach to your hips. 

One morning you wake up and OOPS, there they are. Beached orcas, refusing to return to the open sea.

My obstinate orcas are named Shamu and Shazam. It’s good to be on a first-name basis with your appendages if you’re going to do life together. 

I feed them Ferrero Rocher instead of plankton.

What do you feed yours?