Friday, May 29, 2009

Encouragement Cafe launch

Hey peeps. My sweet friend and P31 teammate LuAnn Prater is launching a new radio show this Saturday. Through out the year she will feature P31 gals, and you can call in and ask questions - how fun is that? Here is a link to see if it will be on the air Saturday afternoons in your area.

I will not be on the air tomorrow - if I was, I'd sound like I'm talking into a tin can. Woke up with a cold the other day. Summer colds are the worst. The right side of my head feels as if it is 3x larger than the left. In fact, I sometimes walk in circles looking for the tissue box - circling to the right. I pray I feel better soon. I started a pot of homemade chicken soup tonight, which I hope does the trick tomorrow.

Y'all take care, stay well, tune in to LuAnn, and say a little prayer for me!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Financial Fridays - indentity theft

A couple years ago I taught a student whose father's life had been wrecked by identity theft. It was a story I'll never forget. Here a few things we can do to protect ourselves from identity theft:

1) Remove your social security number (SSN) from your checks if it is on there. Use your driver licence number instead if you need an identifying number. I did this immediately after hearing the student's story!

2) Never send your complete SSN or credit card number over email. If you are shopping online, look for the padlock symbol indicating you are on a secure site, and log off as soon as you have completed your purchase.

Create an account at and use it to pay when online. Else, MasterCard Securecode and Verified by Visa offer special credit card services for secure shopping online. These require the user to input a password before they can use the card online. I chose one of these options for my online purchases.

3) Buy a paper shredder and shred any financial statements or records before throwing them in the trash. This is the one I've yet to do, so I'm putting this on my to-do list today!

4) Once a year get a free credit report. See Make sure you recognize all the accounts and balances listed there.

In 2006, The Federal Trade Commission received nearly 250,000 complaints of credit-damaging identity theft. (More cases will go unrealized or unreported for years.) In this down turned economy, people grow desperate. So let's take a few simple but wise steps to protect our identity.

The Bible says a good name is worth more than silver and gold!

Thursday, May 21, 2009


Like millions of Americans, I watched the American Idol final last night where Kris Allen won. I must say, besides his musical and vocal talent, and his sweet boyish charm, I'm most impressed with Kris Allen's character. He is a believer (church musician, gone on missions, etc.) who shows what it means to conduct yourself humbly, even as you are lifted up. It makes me smile.

So does his response upon being reunited with his wife on the stage after winning:

Pop over here to read Lysa's thoughts on it - it moved her heart too. I pray his faith, character and marriage stay just as strong through the years to come.

Speaking of years to come, I'm signing off now ... today is my 16th wedding anniversary. Sweet!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Eggs and Quirks

Hey. Not much to report today. Had eggs for breakfast, so that's exciting, right?

When I was a kid I used to get creeped out thinking I was eating something that would turn into a chick if I didn't cook it and eat it.

Never mind that even when a carton of eggs sat in our fridge a long time, chicks never appeared. (Clearly, I'm no rocket scientist ... or egg expert.)

But I get creeped out easily by food, especially meats. I can not eat it if it's still in the shape of the animal - think fish that still looks like one, or a whole hen uncut. Am I the only one with this issue?

Even though I'm from the south, I can't bring myself to eat BBQ. I know - that's southern sacrilege. I just have too many memories of sitting lakeside, turning a steering wheel, attached to a pole, on which a whole hog was speared and being roasted over a fire for a fourth of July picnic. UHHHHG. It gives me the heebie-jeebies even now. Plus, how redneck does that sound?! Anyway, it ruined me on BBQ forevah, yall.

On the upside, at least I can watch Charlotte's Webb without remorse.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Happiness is ...

The family and I had a terrific time in Myrtle Beach. Much happiness all around. In our short time there we crammed in quite a lot. We did put-put amidst pirate ships, firing water cannons, Caribbean music and blue-dyed water. I think Myrtle Beach must be the put-put capital of the world.

While I was speaking, Rick took the kids on some sort of medieval adventure quest. I don't know what all that entailed but the kids sure had a blast. Meanwhile, I very much enjoyed my time with Faith Wesleyan Church were we had a mother-daughter luncheon catered by Carrabas (yum). I shared my On the Catwalk message, and they followed it with a fun fashion show. Great gals.

That evening we went to see Under the Sea in the IMAX theater. I adore the whole IMAX experience. And this movie was not only all underwater, it was in 3-D. I'm telling you, it was so fun. At one point I was swatting the thin air in front of me as sea snakes swam towards me.

We felt like cute baby seals swam right up and kissed us. I'm convinced you cannot look a white baby seal in the face and not smile - they're just so cute and playful.

Speaking of smiling and happiness, look at these recent research findings I read this morning:

"Americans grow happier as they age, surveys find. And a new Pew Research Center survey shows the tendency is holding up as the economy tanks. Happiness is a complex thing. Past studies have found that happiness is partly inherited, that Republicans are happier than Democrats, and that old men tend to be happier than old women."
(To read the article click here.)

So, here's wishing you an older-Republican-male, baby-seal kind of day!

Bet you've never been wished that before.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

My Brilliant Plan

OK, yall cracked me up with the title ideas based on my name! I couldn't even come up with that much. I especially liked "Neslo Lehcar." (My name backwards.) While I don't think it will work as as my title, I think it would be an AWESOME pen name!!

My friend Marybeth is enchanted with the notion of crossing over from writing non-fiction to writing fiction. I haven't read the fiction book she is working on yet (it's probably good) but I just can't imagine myself writing fiction. If ever I decide to try it though, I will use the pen name Neslo Lehcar.

Then when people eventually dig around on the Internet for information about Neslo (because it will be a best seller, of course), they'll find these blog posts. And my cover will be blown. But then I'll drop my name entirely in favor of an unpronounceable symbol. And everyone will simply call me "the writer formerly known as Neslo Lehcar."

And that will top David's "Don't Hassle the Hoff." Because who would dare approach, much less hassle, "the writer formerly known as Neslo Lehcar"?

It's a brilliant plan, so, thanks girls. :)

I'm busy preparing for a speaking engagement this weekend, that I'll combine with a little family get-a-way to Myrtle Beach. Maybe while there I'll practice introducing myself as "Neslo." Meanwhile, flip your name around backwards and tell me what your pen name would be.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Oh No He Didn't ...

So, I'm in the bookstore this weekend and I see that David Hasselhoff has published a book.

Depending on your age, you'll know David as the former star of the TV show Knightrider (1980s), or the lifeguard from Baywatch (1990s), or the sometimes intoxicated judge on America's Got Talent (2006). Oh, and apparently he was a pop star in Germany for a short while too - who knew?

So anyway, I spot his book on the shelf from across the aisle and it's titled ... wait a minute, I can't stop giggling ... it's titled: Don't Hassel the Hoff.

Oh yes. He did.

I'm in the process of finishing up my current book, which means it is time to start brainstorming topics and titles for my next one, which is already under contract - hence the lack of break between projects.

So when I saw David's book I said to my husband, "If only my name would lend itself to being the title for my next book ... and I could refer to myself in 3rd person with a nickname making me sound legendary ... and at the same time, I could communicate to the world my disdain for interruptions and inconveniences ... and warn everyone not to do that to me ..."

Then, life would be good. I'm sure of it. Only my name, won't comply. Why, oh why, couldn't I marry a man with the last name Makemecook? (Figure it out.)

... and so, I'm open for recommendations for my next book topic.

Hope you had a good Mother's Day!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

A Tale of Two Men

If you've come over from my devotion "Finding Our Place" published today, welcome. Have a look around and say hello.

In Genesis we encounter two men looking to find their place - Abram and Lot. Check it out from the Bible:

Lot, who was traveling with Abram, had also become very wealthy with flocks of sheep and goats, herds of cattle, and many tents. But the land could not support both Abram and Lot with all their flocks and herds living so close together. So disputes broke out between the herdsmen of Abram and Lot. (At that time Canaanites and Perizzites were also living in the land.)

Finally Abram said to Lot, “Let’s not allow this conflict to come between us or our herdsmen. After all, we are close relatives! The whole countryside is open to you. Take your choice of any section of the land you want, and we will separate. If you want the land to the left, then I’ll take the land on the right. If you prefer the land on the right, then I’ll go to the left.”

Lot took a long look at the fertile plains of the Jordan Valley in the direction of Zoar. The whole area was well watered everywhere, like the garden of the Lord or the beautiful land of Egypt. (This was before the Lord destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah.) Lot chose for himself the whole Jordan Valley to the east of them. He went there with his flocks and servants and parted company with his uncle Abram.

So Abram settled in the land of Canaan, and Lot moved his tents to a place near Sodom and settled among the cities of the plain. But the people of this area were extremely wicked and constantly sinned against the Lord. (Genesis 13:5-13)

Abram was the elder family member, and therefore carried the most authority. He could've claimed whichever track of land he wanted and left the rest to Lot. But he was more interested in promoting peace and putting others first. He offered Lot first dibs.

Lot looked around and chose all the best looking land for himself ... the fertile valley ... the preeminent position. He left Abram with the rough looking plain. Yet in the pages to come - look it up and keep reading if you don't know the story - we see that Lot wound up choosing destructively, while God prospered His people in the land of Canaan. We see a shade of the first-becomes-last-and-last-becomes-first play out.

Their story also reveals a shade of meaning in Jesus' famous statement that it is more blessed to give than receive!

So Jesus, Abram and Lot got me thinking. I'm going to see what I can give today ...
who I can bless ...
who I can serve ...
which person can I usher in front of me in line ...

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Another touchy topic

 Welcome if you've come from my P31 devotion "Soul Mates." 

*Before you leave here today, if you are married, be sure and click here to read my earlier post on "Why Men Cheat." You don't want to miss it!

On this blog we've talked several times in the past about lust, affairs, and why men cheat (according to reserach). Today we're tackling the sensitive topic of: emotional affairs.

Aren't I just a bundle of fun?!

Here's why I ask. A sweet friend contacted me to confess that she is teetering on the edge of one ... perhaps even crossing the line. She wants to resist it, but he is filling needs for her that have not been filled in a long time with his words and attention. She doesn't want to do anything wrong; she is a believer. Yet she is finding the feelings he evokes and satisfies so hard to walk away from.

Have you ever found yourself in this situation - or close to it - with someone that is not your husband? If so, how did you get to that place - and how did you get back out of it?

What advice or prayers can you offer my friend?

Friday, May 1, 2009

Financial Fridays - lower monthly bills

Ever wonder if you are paying more than you need to for things like your phone service or car insurance?

For most of us, these bills are fixed amounts we haven't questioned or comparison shopped in years ... unless something like a job-loss has forced us to seek out cheaper alternatives. It is time to find out.

Sometimes you can score a lower monthly cost just by contacting your current provider and asking if there is a less expensive plan available to you. I did that recently with my home phone carrier and saved money without making any noticeable sacrifices in my service. I will look at my cell phone plan next and see about reducing it or switching carriers.

Consider the Geico slogan,"A 5 minute phone call could save you hundreds." It saved me money when I switched my car insurance to them from Progressive. Try popping over to if you don't know where to start, and see if you could be saving some money on your cell, car, Internet service, etc.

And if you save some money this way - let us know! :)

Off to open this week's mail ...