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The Recap:


Young Christian Woman

Things that

Come Softly

Y outh Programs: From the pit of Hell? Practical


www.onmyow nnow.com

You Havent Come that Far, Baby

4. 6.
Donna Lee Schillinger

Young Christian Woman


Put a Cork in It! (for Gods sake)

By Donna Lee Schillinger


Things that Come Softly

By Kimberly Schluterman

Daniela Bermdez



Practical Couponing
By Julie Ann

A publication of

www.onmyownnow. com



You Havent Come that Far, Baby

By Donna Lee Schillinger

By Reba Ray


Bean Soup 16


Youth Programs: From the Pit of Hell?

By Rob Beames

by Donna Lee Schillinger



cork IN IT

Let another praise you, and not your own mouth; someone else, and not your own lips.

As they were coming down the mountain, Jesus instructed them, Dont tell anyone what you have seen, until the Son of Man has been raised from the dead.

ave you ever met someone who, in that first conversation, told you every significant thing she has ever done in her life? A few years ago, I was flying to Salt Lake City and I sat next to a Danish man. He was an older man, overweight, jolly could have passed for Santa. The flight was about an hour and a half long, and in that time, I learned a lot about him. He was a representative for a large hearing aid manufacturer. He went all over the world to sell hearing aids. He even fit Fidel Castro with a hearing aid! But keep that on the down-low because apparently Fidel thinks it would hurt his image if people knew he needs a hearing aid. This was one of the many tales of the exotic and brushes with rich and famous hard-of-hearing people this man shared with me. He also told me about his family. He was quite enamored of his grandkids and he told me of how he had recently discovered his talent for telling bedtime stories, and was now working on a childrens book. I didnt mind listening to all this. At the time, it was better than reading the in-flight magazine. But was this really a conversation? I wonder now at how needy a person must be to bend a total strangers ear for 90 minutes with straight self-promotion. What is it about some people that they just have to spout about every tiny thing of significance that has ever happened to them to the complete neglect of true conversation? It may seem innocent enough, but it is not Gods way. Jesus said well be held accountable for every idle word on judgment day (Matt. 12:36). Eek! Now theres a gag order! Sometimes even when we have something really newsworthy to share, like the disciples did after witnessing the transfiguration of Christ, our instructions from God remain, Dont tell anyone what youve seen One strategy for self-restraint in conversation is to wait to be asked. This really works ask me how I know! (OK, Im assuming your silence is an invitation here.) I recently came back from nine months in South America, followed soon after by two more weeks in Peru. You would think (that is, I would think) that after having been gone that long, people might be the slightest bit interested in hearing about my trip. Im not a travel rookie, so it re-

ally did not take me by surprise when no one asked to see my pictures or the most anyone wanted was a brief answer to How was your trip? I was, nonetheless, a little bemused when on the first meeting with my family after returning, there was not one inquiry about my trip. I had my computer with me, in case anyone wanted to see picture of things like Iguacu Falls, the Amazon rainforest, Brazilian Carnaval and the like, but there was no invitation at all. Following my strategy of waiting to be asked, the evening ended with no mention of me ever having been gone. I didnt think anything unusual of my airplane conversation with Santa, and there is really nothing unusual about the disinterest of my family either. Its human nature sin nature to be self-absorbed in word and deed. But it is not Gods way. God says, Fools find no pleasure in understanding, but delight in airing their own opinions (Prov. 18:2), and Even a fool is thought wise if he keeps silent (Prov. 17:28). Pay attention to your words over the next few days and see if you find yourself tooting your own horn. It comes so naturally to us that we dont even realize were doing it. Honestly, its difficult not to self-praise. Keeping the lid on a great me story is about as close as humans come to knowing what it feels like to be soda pop in a can thats just been shaken. It takes a good deal of self-restraint to keep from exploding in self-report and praise. In The Peoples Bible, Joseph Parker said: Learn the lesson of self-suppression, learn the mystery of silence; the wild-talking man never comes to any rich maturity of life. We must always know more than we have ever told; Every author must be greater than his books, every singer greater than his song, every preacher more than his sermon. Do not babble; think. Keep all these things and ponder them in your heart the uses of all will be seen presently. Does Christ ever tune the instrument for the purpose of hanging it on the wall? People dont need to know everything about you. Keeping some stuff back for friends and acquaintances to find out as the years go by makes you like an onion as Shrek says with layers. It makes for the truly fascinating person that a self-praiser is trying to convince others she is.

Hold this thought: People dont need to know everything about me especially not after one conversation!



by Kimberly Schluterman


Kitties, linens, fresh bread, babies potting soil Wanna guess what all these have in common? Heres a hint: they share this trait with love, maturity, and a woman on a good day.

In the title book of the Love Comes Softly series by Janette Oak, Martys friend Sarah is telling how she came to love the man that she had married out of necessity. They were each widowed with two kids and in need of one another. Marty was surprised to learn that her friends marriage had not been founded on love, but Sarah explains how they came to love each other in time. Sometimes love isnt fireworks, she says. Sometimes love just comes softly. Recently, I reflected on how softly my own marriage love came to me, as compared to the love or something like it that I had felt for other friends and boyfriends along the way. As I was re-reading some poems that I wrote many years ago, about a boyfriend long ago, one line stood in stark contrast to the relationship that I now enjoy. I had written about the emotions that we both were feeling hard. Too often, we try to make it work, thinking that if we just try harder, the relationship will work. I wish I had then recognized the descriptor hard as a red flag, but my navet had blinded me. By the time my marriage love came around, I was nearly blinded to its goodness by the cynicism that had developed during all the wrong relationships. My marriage love did not hit me in the face or make me fall over myself overnight. It happened slowly, quietly, softly. I turned 26 this month, and Id be lying if I said I was comfortable with being on this side of 25. They say that with age comes wisdom, but with it also come wrinkles and arthritis, and Im not ok with that. Not that Im quite there yet, but this birthday marks the first about which Im really not excited. The next time

someone asks me my age, I fully expect an uncomfortable pause before I make up an excuse not to tell. And yet Im thankful that somewhere along the way, perhaps with the assistance of a softly-come marriage love, Ive matured into a more stable, more loving and happier person. When I look back at the person I was when writing those poems that are now old, I feel like I dont even know her. During that time, I was so prone to wonder prone to leave the God I love, as the hymn says. Psalm 46:10 tells us to Be still, and know that I am God. Instead of heeding this wisdom, I was hurtling through life, making too much noise to listen to the quiet of my inner heart or Gods voice. I learned a lot of hard lessons the hard way, but I guess God-love, like marriage love, comes softly as well. With time and stillness, my God removed many of the rough edges from my life, leaving meand my journeya little softer. Yes, I would say that maturity which comes softly is better than learning things the hard way. You might easily imagine that a woman who avoids hard relationships, giving romance the time to come softly; who stays near to God with a still, quiet spirit; who learns lifes lessons by the teaching of the Holy Spirit rather than by running into lifes brick walls; will in general be a soft woman. And I think women should be soft inside and out. I wish walking and speaking softly were as easy as moisturizing and using a good conditioner. These come with softness of the heart, and they yield an unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in Gods sight (I Peter 3:4).

7 9


by Julie Ann



arlier this year, the cable television network TLC premiered a new show called Extreme Couponing. I didnt have a TV when it premiered and havent caught a rerun yet, but I did read plenty of reaction to the show on Facebook and Twitter. The consensus seemed to be that the extreme coupon participants actually belonged on the TV show Hoarders or that using coupons to end up with 500 bottles of mustard wasnt really a savings. The phenomenon has also received plenty of press beyond the opinions of social network users. I have seen articles on how many stores are implementing rules to curb the excessive and abusive use of coupons and more recently how newspaper thefts have risen since the shows debut. The fact of the matter is dumpster diving or stealing newspapers to get enough coupons to score 900 rolls of paper towel s so that you have to rent a storage unit to store them or spending all night clipping coupons for products you really dont need isnt at all economical, smart or practical. So if extreme couponing might not be a good idea, then whats the alternative? Its practical couponing. Heres how it works out in my life, some tips and things to look out for when couponing. My best source for coupons is the Sunday newspaper. Every Sunday on my way home from church I swing by a store or newsstand and pick up The Oregonian. The cool thing about it is that it always lists how much coupon savings that weeks paper contains. The paper costs me $2 so its always my goal to find at least $2 worth of savings to recoup the cost of the paper (However, I do consider that I get a benefit out of the paper besides coupons.) Once I get home I comb through the coupon booklets and pull out the ones I can use. I then look through the department store circulars and note the items on sale. Its a huge double score to find an item on sale and find a coupon for it too! The newspaper isnt my only source. I am constantly getting coupons in the mail and there are tons of Web sites out there that will help you find deals and printable coupons. My local grocery store even has a coupon exchange basket in the front of the store where you can take and leave coupons. Keep your eyes peeled because coupons are everywhere! After I clip my coupons, I keep them in a centralized location (pinned to my refrigerator.) Before I head off to the store I go over my coupons and pull out the ones I can use on that trip. Im a planner and rarely make impulse buys so I only take what I need. However, if you are an impulsive shopper, you should consider a coupon wallet so that you can have all the coupons with you in case you run into something you need.

Because coupons are typically for name brand products, you may need to do some comparison shopping to make sure you are actually saving money. For example, if Name Brand Soap costs $3.65 but Store Band Soap costs $2.99 you wont be saving anything by using your 50 cent coupon (assuming the store brands quality is equal to the name brand and it often is.) Read the labels carefully and use good judgment before you buy. However, if Name Brand Soap goes on weekly sale for $3.35 you will come out ahead if you buy Name Brand Soap and use your 50 cent coupon.

Another thing to watch out for is coupons that require you to buy multiple products to receive the savings.
For example, last week I had to buy 10 yogurt cups to save 70 cents. Since I eat yogurt pretty much every day, this was reasonable. However, if you cant consume multiple products before they expire then buying two or more for a few cents savings isnt practical. You can combat this by going in with a friend and spitting the savings. Another helpful thing to know when using coupons is how and when stores are willing to accept coupons. Are there times when they will double value your coupons? Will they allow you to use a manufacturer and store coupon together? Dont be afraid to ask the cashier the stores couponing policy, especially now that some stores are cracking down. Be respectful of the policy and cut the clerk some slack if they must comply by the stores rule. Some stores will post their policies on their Web sites, so you can check that out and perhaps choose the best store (for your financial advantage) accordingly. For store loyalists and those who think clipping is just too time-consuming, check out Hassle-free Coupons, and learn more about Cellfire.coms system that works for even the busiest or most forgetful shoppers. If you follow these tips, you may not see savings of thousands of dollars like the people on the show, but you can very easily find a minimum three to five dollars in coupon savings a week which may add up to at least a hundred dollars a year in savings. And practical couponing doesnt require scrounging for dirty newspapers or wasting your entire life clipping and organizing. And remember if you look like a crazy person, then maybe its not really saving at all.


by Donna Lee Schillinger



n May of this year, my kids and I had the awesome opportunity of living in an apartment in Buenos Aires for one month, half a block off of the Argentine equivalent of Manhattans Broadway and 34th. Our daily strolls took us past the best of Argentine theaters, countless tango venues and Buenos Aires famous pedestrian streets, Florida and LaValle. This would be a small thrill even for a New Yorker, but for us country folk from rural Arkansas, well, boy howdy, what a treat!


Whereas I wouldnt have traded that month for anything, I also wasnt sad to see it end. There were some things I just could not get used to, and one in particular was the daily barrage of pornographic images. Walking along Corrientes, the street that never sleeps in Buenos Aires, light poles, walls and phone booths are plastered with mini-flyers that advertise prostitutes in various compromising poses and varying degrees of undress. Additionally, there is no standard in Buenos Aires that porn magazines should be in any way concealed, so there they are in prime shelf space on the corner newsstand, right next to the Toy Story and Mickey Mouse coloring books! My initial reaction to having my children exposed to these images (though my three-year-old really had no idea what he was looking at), was to get red in the face not out of anger, but embarrassment probably the same reaction my teenager was having. After a few days, however, my embarrassment soured to irritation and my new response was to rip those flyers down, as many as I could, as I walked by, occasionally pausing at a light pole here or a phone booth there to completely clean it off. Sometimes, on our return home, we would see the same spots covered again with new flyers, often the glue was still wet and we knew the pimps (glue) gunman had to be nearby. At times, my heart beat a little faster, contemplating the possibility that the (glue) gunman might have the chutzpah to confront us, or that he might follow us and see where we were living. A couple of times, I allowed my mind to wander too far into dark fantasy and I got downright scared. What were we doing anyway? Was this making a difference? It surely wasnt helping the prostitutes to get a better life if anything it was hurting their income! We might have been making life a little harder for the johns one evening I saw a horny man walking the streets, examining closely the remnants of the flyers in frustration as he was unable to get a complete phone number off of any of them. But a determined john just need to walk a block or two more to find a plethora of prostitute promos. If there was any impact, it was probably in causing more than one Argentine man or woman to consider what might possibly be offensive about these flyers. We got very many stares from all sorts of people. Surely a few of them wondered, Why is Mother Gringo teaching her young ones to throw away prostitute flyers? And maybe a few even concluded that we must find them offensive. Then perhaps one went on to reflect on why such a thing might be offensive. I allowed my mind to wander along that light fantasy as well.

Mostly, it just made me and my daughter feel better to tear these things down; and so we did every day on every walk. I presumed prostitution must be legal in Argentina, but I wanted to research the matter just to be sure. After all, its hard to believe, from our American perspective, that one of the most advanced countries in South America could still be so savage. So imagine my surprise to learn that legal prostitution has nothing to do with a countrys level of development or human rights record. Among those highly civilized places offering legal exchange of sex for money are: every country in North America except the United States, all of Western Europe and all but two of the poorest countries in South America (Guyana and Suriname). In fact, I was surprised to see that illegal prostitution to my American perspective, a more enlightened stance actually corresponds to some of the least developed countries in the world, including most of Africa, Asia and Eastern Europe (see Wikipedias color-coded continent maps). Isnt it paradoxical that legalized purchase of sex - a practice that actually degrades women correlates with greater womens rights? Why arent human and womens rights activists up in arms about prostitution to the same degree they are reproductive rights (among them, the right to abortion). In fact, at HumanRightsWatch.org, a leading Web site in the field, prostitution is mostly mentioned in the context of human and womens rights abuses as it relates to the illegal trafficking of women and girls for prostitution. It seems other countries dont share the American thinking on prostitution as a rather savage and degrading practice. In fact, in 2005, under intense pressure from an international coalition of organizations, the United States rescinded a position requiring countries that receive HIV/AIDS relief from the US to adopt policies opposing prostitution. Touted as a great victory, HumanRightsWatch.org said they have worked to combat discrimination and violence against sex workers, implying that the USs position would heighten hostilities against sex workers and make it harder for them to access HIV/AIDs treatment and prevention. How about, instead, working hard to combat one of the root problems of the HIV/AIDs pandemic in SubSaharan Africa prostitution? Human Rights Watchs position makes about as much sense to me as saying we should work hard to dress poor people in nice clothes so they wont be ashamed of being poor. The root problem here is not discrimination against sex workers, it is the fact that there are sex workers at all! They should be working hard to combat people mostly women making a living off of selling their


bodies and souls! Is this position not tenable in NGO circles while all of cool Europe gleefully engages in legal exchange of sex for money? It would be oversimplifying things to say that this is all a result of unchecked testosterone that women dont have the legal, political or social clout to change things. In fact, in some of these very countries where prostitution is legal, women head the governments! It would also be oversimplifying things to say that making prostitution illegal would put an end to it in the near future. In fact, it is rampant in our own country, despite the prohibition. But shouldnt it be illegal anyway? Isnt making something illegal often the first step to social change? The law to abolish slavery certainly preceded the end of slavery by a substantial margin, and it preceded the end to systemized discrimination by almost a century; but the fact of the matter is that it worked. I bet it was also controversial when the first pagan congress entertained putting an end to human sacrifice. I can just imagine the clamor it must have caused: Oh, that will never work! The gods will always have an appetite for human flesh! As Christians, we can hardly support anything but the total abolition of prostitution. (If you really need some scriptural references to support this statement please, message me, or just randomly open the New Testament.) Sure, there will be this awkward, if not extremely difficult economic transition for women as they find other vocations, but hey, there were a lot of slaves out of work too at the end of the Civil War, and I bet not one of their descendants looks back now in resentment that great-great-grandpa went without work for a while. Future generations have acknowledged their sacrifice and all their world is better off because of it.

I know that theres a lot wrong in the world today, but there has also been a lot of improvement in the general human mentality. We got rid of that nasty human sacrifice thing; we now acknowledge peoples humanity, for goodness sake, whereas there was a time when some thought others werent even the same species! Women and children have tons more rights than they used to and even animals have some! The light and salt of this world has made an impact, and we must continue to do so. And yet there are so many targets for change what can possibly be done? For starters, how about ripping down that offensive image of a woman right in front of your face?

Phone booth in Buenos Aires covered in prostitution advertisements. Photo by Gwen Anderson, Cracked Lense Photography


Down-Home Healthy Cookin




eaders, I must beg yur pardon. I promised yall back about two Web sites ago that we would be eatin a lot of beans. And then I promptly went on to fill these pages with all kinds of non-bean recipes. Well, Im gonna rectify that oversight right now with four delish and nutrish variations to try of 16-bean soup.


First youll be needin a bag of 16-bean soup mix; costs about a dollar in the dried bean section of yur local grocer and itll feed ya for at least six meals. (Disclaimer: If you eat more than one sixth of a package of 16-bean soup mix at any one setting, please dont sit next to me!) Prepare the bean soup accordin to package directions. Some of them come with a seasonin packet, some say add yur favorite seasonings. Now if you happed on the latter, add this to the pot: one tablespoon cumin, three bullion cubes (yur choice, chicken, beef, pork or mixed), 1/2 tsp. of garlic powder and a shot of yur favorite spiciness (black or cayenne pepper, Tabasco, etc.). Once the basic soup is ready to roll, store it in a big, air-tight container and stick in the fridge. Itll keep about eight days this way. If you dont think you can stomach bean soup six times in eight days, store half of it in the freezer, where itll keep a heck of a lot longer. Each time you dish yurself out a bowl to heat on the stove (or the microwave, if you dont mind havin babies with three ears), add one of these spicer-uppers to create a new tastin soup. Theres just a whole lot more you can do with bean soup I even drain some of the beans and use them in burritos and such so put yur imagination to work and create yur own set of variables for 16-bean soup!


Add to one bowl of prepared 16-bean soup: two tablespoons chopped banana peppers and two tablespoons crumbled feta cheese.


Add to one bowl of prepared 16-bean soup: one tablespoon chopped jalapeos and two tablespoons shredded Monterrey Jack or cheddar cheese.


Add to one bowl of prepared 16-bean soup: two tablespoons each of chopped black olives and sour cream.

Add to one bowl of prepared 16-bean soup: two slices of bacon, cooked well and crumbled, two tablespoons of grated sharp cheddar cheese and sour cream and chives to taste.

Well, Girls, He is Lord (of the beans) and God made this food so dern healthy, you ought not to worry about adding a little bacon and cheddar to it. Diets including beans may reduce the risk of heart disease

and certain cancers, my bean soup package says. Well, Ill be, beans, beans really are good for yur heart after all. Enjoy!


by Rob Beames




After watching the documentary film Divided, produced by the National Center for Family Integrated Churches (NCFIC), all Christians should appreciate one point: Parents should be intimately involved in the discipleship of their families. But really, have all youth programs resulted in a 50year failed experiment, as NCFIC Director Scott T. Brown proclaims? The biggest disappointment in this film was the divisive way in which Divided makes this claim. The premise is that age-segregated learning commonly used from childrens church to Sunday school to youth programs was developed by atheists for secular education and then adapted to church, and as such, is not Biblical. Supposedly, adopting this strategy has provided the excuse fathers need to relinquish their responsibility to disciple their families. The movie goes on to say that since there is no direct mandate in the Bible for the nurture of teenagers through youth programs, it is not Biblical to use such programs, even when they do work.


Divided can be viewed online for free at www.DividedtheMovie.com.


The movie also portrayed youth programs as generally failing to teach truth, while throwing a bunch of immature kids together with the hope that they will train each other. The call to fathers everywhere to disciple their children is a message which cannot be encouraged enough. But lets face it; fathers didnt need youth programs to justify bowing out of their divinely appointed leadership role. It started in the Garden of Eden when Adam allowed Eve to lead him astray. This failing is clearly not, as this movie suggests, caused by faithful youth pastors who have given a large portion of their lives to the redemption and spiritual development of teenagers. The propensity exists now as it has for centuries. If anything, a historical and cross-cultural review might show that fathers of this generation are more involved in parenting than they ever have been. The statistic that 88 percent of all teenagers in youth programs walk away from the Church never to return is alarming. But how accurate is that number? A bias estimate of 40 percent is also mentioned in the film. Regardless of which is more accurate, other studies have shown that many youth leave the Church, not necessarily because of their youth program, but because they found the Church boring and irrelevant to their lives. This can make the attractions of the world teens live in all the more alluring. And something the stats dont consider is the numbers that leave the Church but return, after having discovered the truths they grew up with some of which were learned in healthy youth programs to be reliable. Glance at the films website (http://www.dividedthemovie.com), and you cant miss the statement, Modern youth ministry is contrary to Scripture. The film asserts that since we are not specifically told to use these ministries, we must abolish them. In fact, we are in disobedience to God even if these programs do work because they cannot be Biblical if they have pagan origins. Following this line of reasoning as some do we should not celebrate birthdays, Christmas or even believe in the best model we have for God: the Trinity. As for the Biblical support of their position, Divided ironically points to passages where Jesus calls the children to Himself. These instances supposedly describe the Biblical way fathers are to disciple their children. Yet, the primary passages where this happened (Matt 19:13-15; Mark 10:13 and Luke 18:15, 16) describe Jews bringing babies and little children to Jesus for a type rabbinical blessing and prayer not for discipleship or teaching. While I wholeheartedly agree that these passages display the heart of Christ for young ones and that they should encourage fathers to love their own children with the same intensity, to say that they express Gods disapproval of modern youth ministries is tragic. Following the movies argument, Jesus should have pushed them away and instructed their fathers to disciple them, because He was obviously not their father, but He didnt. In fact, if we consider that He often had young people hanging around Him, wouldnt Jesus fit the mold of most youth pastors today? He did things differently than the parents and religious leaders of the day. He was a young man who was exciting to hang out with. NCFIC takes their stance too far regarding things which Scripture does not clearly address, such as the way we evangelize and disciple youth. Further, in Jewish culture, a 13-year-old was a young man, not a child. There is no primitive church equivalent for the man-child of todays culture: the 13 to 18-year-old male who is old enough to reason and work like a man but still lives like a child in society. Should we, as NCFIC suggests, eliminate youth ministries? Fathers are clearly called to disciple their families, but they need all the assistance they can get, including youth ministries which point young people to Christ. To discard all youth programs because some fathers have used them as a way out of their responsibilities would be like throwing the baby out with the bath water. Instead of embracing a new direction which destroys good methods with the bad, we need to answer the more difficult challenge of examining each youth program, every event, even individual lessons, if necessary, to ensure that every aspect of our youth ministries reflect Christ and His gospel.

Has God not commanded the Church to reach out and touch the youth of our world in a winsome way in order to draw them to Christ?
Paul became all things to all people so that by all possible means, he might save some (1 Corinthians 9:22). Isnt that the premise of most youth ministries? NCFIC sorely misses this parallel.