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Young Christian Woman

Engaged and Confused Three Free Sins! In This Economy RENT ANYTHING

Do You Desire What Really Satisfies?

w w w. o n m y o w n n o w. c o m

Single! Young Christian Woman July 2012, Vol. 4 On My Own Now Ministries, Inc., Publisher Donna Lee Schillinger, Editor Donna Lee Schillinger with Chandler Hunter, Page Design Kimberly M. Schluterman Editorial Support Contributors Julie Ann , Erik Guzman, Russell D. Moore, Donna Lee Schillinger, Shellie R. Warren Except where noted, content is copyright 2012 On My Own Now Ministries. Articles may be reprinted with credit to author, Single! and www.OnMyOwnNow.com. On My Own Now Ministries, Inc. is a nonprofit organization with a 501 (c) (3) determination. Your donations aid in our mission to encourage faith, wise life choices and Christ-likeness in young adults during their transition to living on their own. We welcome submissions of original or repurposed articles that are contributed without expectation of compensation. May God repay you. Visit us at www.OnMyOwnNow.com.

in this

Center Ring Do you Desire what will Satisfy You? by Shellie R. Warren Straight Talk from the Proverbs Good for the Soul by Donna Lee Schillinger The Recap Three Free Sins: A Review of Sorts by Erik Guzman Spare Change In this Economy Rent Anything and Rent Everything by Julie Ann Dear Gabby Engaged and Confused Guest Columnist: Russell D. Moore Just What You Need A Burn and Bug-free Summer Naturally

.3 .8 .10 .14 .16


Center ring

Do you Desire what will Satisfy You?
By Shellie R. Warren

“Lord, all my desire is before You; and my sighing is not hidden from You.” -Psalm 38:9(NKJV)
he more time that I am afforded to spend on this earth, the more I understand why the Lord allows (not causes, but allows) certain things to happen in our lives. Indeed, if you “truly allow yourself time to heal from your own past hurts and wounds” (Psalm 147:3, Hebrews 12:12-17), the greater chance there is to not just extend compassion to another in their suffering (just as Adonai does, Psalm 111:4), but to also be provided with a clearer understanding of what they may be going through...and why they continue to send themselves through it. Take some of the children that I mentor, for instance. Being that I am a survivor of various kinds of abuse, I get it when a child would seemingly prefer a kick to a hug; a cuss out to a compliment. If you haven’t been in a place where you don’t trust adults very much, such scenarios may be hard to comprehend. Oh, but if you have, then you can fathom why other victims of abuse have taught themselves to tolerate actions that are “destructive” if for no other reason than the fact that they are “familiar” with that way of life. If you’ve never done a study on arrested development, this is actually why a lot of people remain in unhealthy cycles when it comes to their relationships and personal habits. It’s not so much that they “like” what they’re subjecting themselves to; it’s that they remember what it was like to put their trust in someone (or thing) and have their faith in that person (or


thing) blown to smithereens. The pain of being betrayed, to them, far exceeds the pain of being vulnerable again and so... they remain in a state of abuse. More times than not, it’s a state of self-abuse. I thought about that during a recent conversation that I had with a not-so-young woman about a relationship that she’s in—one that she’s convincing herself to remain in even though she’s not completely happy—no, “satisfied” (we’ll get to that word in a minute) —in it. I’ve known her for many years; long enough to notice that this is a part of her cycle: settling. I believe that I’ve shared my all-time favorite quote on settling before. It’s by a writer by the name of Maureen Dowd: “The minute you settle for less than you deserve, you get even less than you settled for.” And yet, I know what it’s like to have such low self-esteem, to be in so much fear of being alone (2 Timothy 1:7, I John 4:18), that I will get into and remain in relationships, both platonically and romantically, that are less than, rather than equal to or greater than, I am deserving of. And let me just say this right here: Since we all are made in the image of Love (Genesis 1:26-28, I John 4:8, 16), this means that it should be our purposeful mission in life to surround ourselves with love—real, true, lasting, healthy love (actually love is automatically all of these things; what we often settle for does not qualify to have the word “love” to define it).


Center ring
As I listened to her tell me about how much she “loved” this man, but she wasn’t getting all that she wanted out of the relationship, as I reminded her of the fact that as a single woman, she didn’t have to stay where she was so displeased (married people, please stop giving single people marital advice; we’re not equipped with the grace to follow through on the actions...besides it doesn’t even apply to us yet), the Comforter ( John 14:16 AMP) said something to my spirit that was very “soothing,” “consoling” and “reassuring.” Personally, it absolutely did “bring cheer to” my psyche. And, as divine coincidence (Proverbs 16:33 AMP) would have it, it was also conveyed in “7” (the biblical number for perfection) words:

The Problem with Lust I stand amazed at how often we think we can do battle with Satan on our own. If we really were that equipped, why do you think that we would be given divine by Donna like: “Therefore instructions Lee SchiLsubmit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you” ( James 4:7 NKJV), and “But avoid foolish and ignorant disputes, knowing that they generate strife. And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth, and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will” (2 Timothy 2:23-26 NKJV)? Why do you think we are told things like, “Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil” (Ephesians 6:11 NKJV)? Why do you think that the Word, which is Adonai ( John 10:10), tells us that, “You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world” (I John 4:4 NKJV), and then it gives us examples of this by how Christ himself handled the Enemy? “And Jesus answered and said to him, “Get behind Me, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve’” Luke 4:8(NKJV). I Corinthians 10:13 tells us that for every temptation, a way of escape is afforded to us, but in what I believe is oftentimes a

“What does not satisfy when we find it was not the thing we were desiring.” -C.S. Lewis

combination of both laziness (Proverbs 22:13) and arrogance (Proverbs 16:18), we don’t take the Most High (Genesis 14:19) up on his offer. We don’t resist our urges. We don’t avoid conversations that could snare us. We don’t put (and keep) on all of our armor. And we don’t do what Christ himself did when the Liar ( John 8:44) approaches us. We don’t tell him to get behind us while quoting GOD (God is the Word) back to him. We don’t remember (or is it that we ignore?) that it’s not us, but the Spirit of truth ( John 4:24) that is in us, that sends the devil to trembling (Acts 19:15). Again, if Christ knew not to hold extensive conversations with the thief ( John 10:10), why should we do it? And being that sin was introduced into the world, in part, due to a woman engaging the Enemy (Genesis 3), again, why should we do it? Luke 11:13 (NKJV) states, “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!” When parents tell their children not to do something and they do it anyway (Proverbs 22:6), what bothers them so much about it? Isn’t a part of it because the kids’ actions indicated that they thought that they knew better? by Donna Lee SchiLLinger Doesn’t disregarding instructions protect the message that they would rather put themselves in harm’s way rather than heed wise counsel (Proverbs 11:14)? IN DEALING WITH SATAN, GOD WOULD NOT TELL US TO SUBMIT TO HIM IF HE THOUGHT WE COULD STAND UP TO SATAN ON OUR OWN. BUT WE CAN’T. This doesn’t just apply to when we fall for temptation, but when we engage it as well. On X3Church.com, one of the conversations that many of us find ourselves getting into with the commenters is the issue of lust; what it really is and how it truly affects individuals. You see, a lot of people don’t think that lust is a real problem (these same people don’t believe illicit material is either, but that’s another message for another day). But you see, Scripture clearly tells us otherwise: “For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world” (I John 2:16 NKJV).


When it comes to lust, there are many different definitions. Most commonly, we tend to think of lust as an “intense sexual desire or appetite,” although, in the right context, I don’t think that’s a necessarily a bad thing (Hebrews 13:4). “More married people should desire their partners in an intense sexual way.” A lot of marriages would be all the better for it (I Corinthians 7:5)! It’s these other three that are the source of some real (and potentially lasting) problems.
Lust: uncontrolled or illicit sexual desire or appetite; lecherousness; a passionate or overmastering desire or craving (usually followed by for); ardent enthusiasm; zest; relish

Understanding Desire. Better. Desire. It’s a pretty commonplace word and not one that the Scriptures have a problem with. After all, perhaps one of the most popular verses in the Bible is, “Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart.” (Psalm 37:4 NKJV) But here’s the thing. Proverbs 11:23 (NKJV) tells us this: “The desire of the righteous is only good, but the expectation of the wicked is wrath” and James 3:16 (NKJV) states, “For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there.” A lot of us don’t want to look at ourselves as being wicked. That’s understandable. But James tells us what gets us on the path to wickedness: envy and self-seeking.

Galatians 5:22-23 tells us that self-control is a Fruit of the Spirit. Matter of fact, it’s the ninth one listed and in biblical symbolism, “9” represents “finality.” One could interpret that to mean, “Whatever you do or say or want or pursue, do it with some self-control.” And so, we can see how lust totally contradicts the character of the Spirit of truth. It has an uncontrollable appetite. It has an overmastering desire. And honestly, if you’re enthusiastic about the wrong things (Proverbs 3:5-8), that’s a bit counterproductive as well. Therefore, when you look at lust from this holistic perspective, do you see how so many people get deceived by it? Lust isn’t just about wanting someone sexually. There’s a whole lot of people out here that are lusting after success, lusting after fame, lusting after money, lusting after relationships, lusting after power and promotions... lusting after approval, lusting after acceptance, lusting after people, places, things and ideas, and the reality check (Ecclesiastes 7:18-Message) is that if you can’t control your emotions, if striving to achieve a certain thing is overmastering you, if you’re not sleeping, eating, maintaining healthy levels of relationships with God, self and others, don’t let Satan (continue to) lie to you. That is not about drive, ambition or passion. That is pure lust. ANYTHING THAT BRINGS A PERSON’S LIFE OUT OF BALANCE IS NOT ROOTED IN LOVE, BUT IS BASED IN LUST. Most of us are familiar with this Elie Wiesel quote: “The opposite of love is not hate, but indifference,” and on many levels, I would certainly agree. And the more that I am processing this message, I am becoming enlightened (Psalm 18:28) to the fact that, The enemy of lust is not so much love, but satisfaction. You’ll see what I mean in just a second (give or take a few paragraphs).

And where do a lot of our desires come from? Exactly. Indeed, when we don’t have lust put into its proper place, when we don’t have an enlightened understanding of what it really is and the damage that it can really do, desire can become a very cryptic kind of emotion. The Word tells us that the soul of the lazy desires and has nothing (Proverbs 13:4). It also tells us that the soul of the wicked desires evil (Proverbs 21:10). Ecclesiastes 6:2 speaks of some men to whom Adonai gives riches, wealth and honor, and although that man gets all that he desires, a foreigner gets to consume it. Mark 4:19 warns about people who desire other things above the Word and so therefore it becomes unfruitful in their life. Mark 10:44 speaks to the fact that those who desire to be first will be the slave of all. John 8:44 talks about how those caught up in the lifestyle of untruth desire the things that the father of lies does. Oh, and then there’s this: “But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed” ( James 1:17 NKJV). YOUR OWN DESIRES CAN DRAW YOU AWAY FROM YOUR OWN SATISFACTION. How do we know? Well, three Scriptures give us a really good clue: “Then Jesus said to His disciples, ‘If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his [execution stake], and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it’” (Matthew 16:24-25 NKJV). “And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires” (Galatians 5:24 NKJV). “You open Your hand and satisfy the desire of every living thing” (Psalm 145:16 NKJV).


Center ring
More and more, I see why Maya Angelou questions how people can so casually (and sometimes boldly, presumptuously and inaccurately) call themselves a Christian. Christ made it very clear that if we don’t make a daily concerted effort to deny ourselves (i.e., our flesh), we’re not following him at all and although the Liar may tell us otherwise, we have to stop being complacent (or is it stagnant?) in the belief that simply saying we’re a Christian automatically makes it so ( John 15:10, I John 3:18). A PART OF BEING A CHRISTIAN IS ACCEPTING THAT GOD KNOWS WHAT’S BEST FOR US; WHAT WILL FULLY AND ULTIMATELY SATISFY US. As I look back over my own journey, I can tell the times when my faith (Hebrews 11) has been stronger than others; times when I’ve had the “spirit of Adam” (in Genesis 1-2) and times when I’ve been just like the Woman at the tree. You know, something that I think is absolutely awe-inspiring about how Adam received the Woman, his helpmate (Genesis 2:1825), in the Garden is that as soon as she arrived, he praised her. Adam didn’t question if the Woman was the right thing for him because God gave her to him. He didn’t chase her, she didn’t by Donna She wasSchiLLinger was in a healthy enough seduce him. Lee a gift and Adam relationship with Adonai to totally trust that “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning” ( James 1:17 NKJV). You know, sometimes, I will look at that verse and “good and perfect gift” catches my attention. Today, “no variation or shadow of turning” did. WHAT GOD GIVES, WHAT GOD DOES IS BUILT TO LAST. ONLY WHEN GOD DOES IT. Then there are times when I know that I have been like the Woman. God tells me something that I need to avoid, I don’t listen and it plays out just like the fruit did for Eve: “So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings” (Genesis 3:6-7 NKJV). “It’s” good, for a season. It’s pleasant, for a season. It’s desirable, but then my eyes become opened to the fact that lust lured me in and that while it may have amused me for a moment, pacified me for a while, appeased me temporarily, it didn’t “satisfy” me:
Satisfy: to fulfill the desires, expectations, needs, or demands of (a person, the mind, etc.); give full contentment to; to put an end to (a desire, want, need, etc.) by sufficient or ample provision; to give assurance to; convince; to answer sufficiently, as an objection; to make reparation to or for; to discharge or pay off (a debt) to (a creditor) Synonyms: befriend, captivate, cheer, delight, do the trick, enliven, entertain, fascinate, fill the bill, gratify, hit the spot, indulge, quench, satiate, suit

Remember what Psalm 145:16 states? That Adonai has the ability to satisfy the desire of every living thing? With Satan, lust and desire are connected. With God, desire and satisfaction are. And this is something that’s not told to us nearly as much as it should be: Family, we have to put enough faith in God to believe (Mark 9:23) that... GOD IS ABOUT DOING WHAT WILL FULFILL US, WHAT WILL PROVIDE US WITH CONTENTMENT, WHAT WILL PUT AN END TO A WANT OR NEED (LOVE THAT!), WHAT WILL ASSURE US, CONVINCE US, PROVIDE US WITH SUFFICIENT ANSWERS, AND by Donna Lee SchiLLinger MAKE REPARATIONS FOR OUR PAST PAINS AND LOSS. OK, but here’s where it gets really tricky and sometimes very sad. When Adam and the Woman were in the Garden, Adonai had given them everything that they could ever want or need. He gave them “perfect gifts” and still, they chose otherwise (Lucifer has a similar testimony and we all know how that turned out!). Remember how this message was introduced, with how some abused children will deny affection? There are so many of us being abused by lust (go, go, go...get, get, get...more, more, more) that we end up acting very much like Adam and the Woman. We’re out thinking that we’re getting our desires met, when in all reality, due to our lack of intimacy with God, faith in His ways and trust in His ability to do what’s best for us, we’re not headed towards things that will satisfy us. We’re chasing after things that, on a good day will disappoint us, and on a bad one will utterly destroy us; if not our body, it will break our spirit


SATAN SAW ALL OF THE GOOD THAT THE GARDEN WAS DOING AND HE WANTED ADAM AND EVE TO LOSE IT. SATAN CAN OFTENTIMES SEE THE GOOD OF WHAT GOD HAS GIVEN TO US AND SO HE TRIES TO GET US TO DENY GOD’S GIFTS AND GO OUT AND PURSUE WHAT WE THINK WILL BE BETTER FOR US. THAT’S WHAT LUST DOES. Satan wants to lure us away from anything that will quench our spirits and starve our flesh. He does this because he knows that if we are satisfied, we are in a continual state of Psalm 46:10. And when we are still, when we know that God is into satisfying us, we usually find ourselves in the position to get to know God all the more because getting to know God becomes the priority over getting more things. Again, it was the intimacy that Adam had with God to be able to fully trust (2 Samuel 22:3) that He knew what was best. When God gave Adam the Woman, Adam didn’t looked at God and say, “OK, I’d like to make some quick revisions,” or “OK, this isn’t the best time for me,” or “OK, can we talk about this later?” He had seen God’s handiwork, consistently, enough to know that the following promises are unequivocally true: “Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen” (Ephesians 3:20-21 NKJV). “But as it is written: ‘Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man The things which God has prepared for those who love Him’” (I Corinthians 2:9 NKJV). You know something that just hit me about Ephesians 3:20? I used to think that meant that God could top what I thought I wanted. That’s true, but now I see that it also reads this way: Shellie, I know you may doubt my methods sometimes, I know you might think that you should offer up your insights on what will satisfy you, but I know what

I’m doing. Stop thinking so hard. I’m out to satisfy you. You don’t need to concern yourself with the kinds of gifts that I offer. You just need to prepare your heart so that you will be open to receiving them. Many of my children have missed out on some of my greatest of blessings because they didn’t choose to receive the satisfaction that I had to offer. They’re so consumed with the thrill of the chase, that chasing is all they’re going to end up doing for seasons to come. And that’s the sho ‘nuf truth, because if you keep going after things only to drop them to go after more things, not only is satisfaction not your destination, but lust is your vehicle. “I have seen all the works that are done under the sun; and indeed, all is vanity and grasping for the wind.” (Ecclesiastes 1:14 NKJV) My prayer for us all is that we will keep Adam and Eve’s examples in mind. That we will trust enough in God to allow Him to give us what will satisfy us and that we will humble ourselves (Luke 14:11) to not think we can top Him; that we will develop a desire for what He feels is best and not allow the lies of lust to tell us that what He brings will be lacking rather than total and utter fulfillment. After all, “Desires are central to the soul’s unfolding and should not be dismissed before giving them careful attention.” Thomas Moore In the wanting and in the getting. Ahavah Shalom.

Shellie R. Warren is author of the book Inside of Me: Lessons of Lust, Love and Redemption and the blog On Fire Fast Movement, as well as other writings related to marriage and preparing for it. Subscribe to Shellie’s Word Seed devotional.
©Shellie R. Warren/2012. This article is reprinted with permission.


straight talk

Good for the Soul

By Donna Lee Schillinger

She who conceals her sins does not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy. Proverbs 28:13


o you have a dirty little secret? Maybe you’ve already repented and been forgiven of it and you wonder what is the point of confessing it? Well, here’s your answer. Concealing evil deeds will keep us from prospering. And all the things we imagine might happen if we confess the evil? That’s just fear, brought to us by Satan himself, to hold us back from prosperity. In this verse, we see the promise of confession; it’s mercy.


from the proverbs
Confession is an integral part of the Catholic and Episcopalian doctrines. Most Protestants reject the idea of confession to a person in order to obtain God’s forgiveness. True, God is the one who forgives, but scripture does support confession to another person – not just by prayers in our head (James 5:16). However, that’s rarely practiced in Protestant denominations. Even a few decades ago, it was common for Protestants to at least walk to the front of the congregation or the altar to accept Christ, making a symbolic gesture of confession. Now it seems that confession by mouth is a thing of the past. Wherever we are standing or sitting, we can “just repeat this simple prayer” to receive Christ into our hearts. Yes, that works and there’s no disputing it. Christ can be anywhere and bring us into the fold even if we’re incapable of uttering a word. However, in that process, there is no confession by mouth. And in more cases than not, I fear people are just going about their business afterward without ever actually telling someone, “I realized I was a sinner and that I needed forgiveness.” Why is that so hard to say? We’re ashamed of it, that’s why. And perhaps we’re ashamed of what we’ve done to remedy it – of our decision to accept Christ. Consequently, those around us don’t know where we stand. Friends and family may note some difference in our behavior and attitudes as we begin to grow spiritually, but they can’t say for sure what the cause of the change is. “Maybe she’s just maturing.” We keep everyone guessing about the status of our soul. That’s not a very auspicious start to a life-time of service to God. We’ve just slipped into the ranks without being noticed, our eyes cast downward, hoping no one will point us out as being new to the Lord’s army. Shame on us. Really, shame is on us when we do this. We are ashamed and shame on us for being ashamed. Worse than shame though is how we cheat ourselves out of the blessing of prosperity. If I’ve described your situation and you have also happened to notice that this Christianity thing doesn’t seem to be making a huge difference in your life, try this: Write a mass e-mail announcing that you are a Christian. Better yet, post it on your Facebook homepage or MySpace page. Who cares if it happened three years ago or when you were a kid. If you’re an incognito Christian, come out of the closet now. Something simple will do: “God recently revealed to me the importance of confession. So I wanted to let everyone know that a few years ago, I realized I was a sinner in need of a Savior and I gave my life to Christ. I’m writing this because I think there may be some people who don’t know this about me, and it’s something you should really know about me.” I don’t believe we need to confess the specific sin that made us realize we’re sinners. The truth is there are a lot of different sins that make us sinners. Many of them we’re unaware of until we come to know Christ and over time, God reveals them to us. However, I think there can be value in confessing specific sins, particularly if doing so will serve as a motivation for others to avoid making the same mistakes. This was my motivation in publishing online the journal I wrote to my deceased son. I always knew that sex outside of marriage was a sin, but reasoning it out, I figured the only one I was hurting was me. That was a trade off I was willing to make, especially since I lived in denial that my sin would ever catch up with me anyway. Well, it did. And that’s what the journal is about. It’s something young women are not being made aware of enough. I encourage you to read the journal; it’s available online only as a free e-book download at www.OnMyOwnNow.com.

If you're an incognito Christian, come out of the closet now.


Hold this thought: I confess that I was lost in sin but am no more.

the Recap

Three Free Sins
A Review of Sorts
by erik guzman
Now, you may say, “Hold on a second: That question presupposes that there is such a thing as sin and that we are accountable to pay someone for them.” Okay, so let’s suppose these two things are true. Then, what would we do if three of these were free? Before you answer, let’s make sure the rules to this game are clear. Although we would still have the possibility of suffering consequences for the three nasty things on our lists, no matter what we do, we won’t owe God jack. Regarding these three sins, the slate would be clean. They wouldn’t count against us at all. They wouldn’t even show up on Santa’s list. So now, do you want to play? I’ll go first. I’m a pretty simple guy with common vices. I think I’d get drunk, enjoy some porn and smoke a joint… not necessarily in that order. Now, you may say, “Hold on a second! That’s just not right! If you’re really going to ‘enjoy’ pornography, it’ll mostly likely lead to two sins. That makes four sins total!” I understand where you’re coming from, but I don’t buy it. One without the other just isn’t worth it. Press me on this and I’ll use my second free sin on another joint or maybe give you a purple nurple. (I’m sorry, that was harsh, but I’m trying to get to a book review here and you keep interrupting.) Actually, let’s forget about the game with three free sins. What if, instead, Jesus gave us unlimited free sins?! We would still have to deal with cause and effect on this side of the veil, but God would never be angry at us for what we did or didn’t do with our lives. Essentially, that’s the heart of the message in Steve Brown’s new book, Three Free Sins: God’s Not Mad at You.


hat would we do with three free sins?

At this point I need to insert a disclaimer. I’ve worked for Steve Brown for almost 15 years, but I was still asked to write a review of Three Free Sins. To me, that’s like asking Robin to review Batman’s work. What do you expect? Robin’s going to tell you his boss is the coolest and he wishes he could trade in his lame uniform for one just like Batman’s. Batman wrote the book on vigilante justice and that book gets five stars from the boy in green underwear… all day long. Even if Three Free Sins sucked, I’d use one of my free sins to lie about it because Brown signs my paycheck. However, I don’t have to lie. This book is Steve Brown at his finest. As Steve admits, he couldn’t have written this book only a few years ago. He had too much to lose then, but not today. Steve’s old. He’s done everything he set out to do, and more. He’s a successful author, broadcaster and seminary professor. Nobody is pulling Steve’s strings and nobody has any leverage on him, so he can tell it like it is. Three Free Sins is the gospel of grace with no punches pulled, but it’s more than that.


It charts a course-correction for the church. It’s a call to abandon the fruitless efforts of sin management in exchange for, as Steve puts it, “a life of radical freedom, infectious joy and surprising faithfulness to God”. In fact, Steve argues that the reason Christians are so bad is that we’re trying so hard to be good and that the only people who get any better are those who know that if they don’t get any better, Jesus will still love them anyway. Without this focus on God’s grace and unconditional love, the church has become filthy with the grotesque sins of self-righteousness and pride while frantically scrubbing at a few select sins with the narcissistic zeal of someone with OCD—Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, in case you were wondering. Three Free Sins is pure, cleansing water of gospel sanity. Not only that, it’s funny. Steve’s illustrations and crotchety attitude are sprinkled throughout making it a delightful combination of revelry and revelation. (By the way, Steve is secretly a multi-millionaire playboy who has a jet car and a utility belt with all kinds of great gear, including shark repellant.) So, if you think God is mad at you, or you’ve been trying really hard to make God happy and you’re tired and want to give up, you must read Three Free

Sins. The infectious joy of finding out that God is already quite pleased with you will give you strength in your weakness. If you think you’ve got it all together, this book will probably just tick you off, but please read it anyway. If that’s you, hopefully there will come a day when you find out the truth about yourself and you’ll remember reading a book by that old, white heretic, Steve Brown. Maybe then you’ll be able to hear the message that all your sins are free because Jesus has already picked up the tab. Well, that’s my book review. I’ve got to go finish this spliff and wash the Batmobile. Buy a copy of Three Free Sins. Steve has a staff to pay! Erik Guzman is Executive Producer at Key Life Network and can be heard on the nationally syndicated talk show Steve Brown Etc. and as announcer for Key Life. He has a wife, three children, a BA in Mass Communication and an MBA. He’s also a drummer, 4th degree black belt in Aikido and Master of Theology student at Reformed Theological Seminary.


Spare Change

In this Economy Rent Anything and Rent Everything
by Julie Ann

few weeks ago I was walking downtown with a friend. As we passed several people with their dogs, we began having a discussion about how we would like to occasionally have a dog to walk for fun, even


though we don’t want to actually own one. A rent-a-dog, if you will. A few days later I stumbled upon an article and found out that this is actually a real thing. And as it turns out, you can rent just about anything.



Sparked by the downturn in the economy, people have come up with some pretty creative ideas to both save and make money. Renting just about anything instead of buying is how you save, renting just about anything you already own is how you make money. So how do you take advantage of this new trend and jump on the rental bandwagon? Obviously the quickest way to find things for rent (or post your rentable items) is the Internet. CraigsList is the most well-known, but sites such as Rentalic, Snapgoods, Rentabilities and Zilok will connect you with people who have items to loan or people who want to rent what you own. Let’s say your friend invites you on a bike ride next weekend but you don’t own a bicycle. You know this is a one-time deal, so you don’t want to shell out a couple hundred bucks for a new bike and you don’t know anyone with an extra bike you can borrow. So you log onto one of these sites and sign up as a borrower. Once you are signed-up and approved, you can search for a bicycle within your area. Meanwhile another user has a bike that she rarely uses, so she lists it as available to rent for $5 a day. This looks like a great bike for you to use for the weekend, so you put in a request to rent her bike from Friday night to Sunday afternoon. You will either use the site’s transaction service (i.e. PayPal) to pay the bike’s owner or arrange to pay her the money at the designated meeting time. You may also be required to pay a site transaction fee and also put down a security deposit (in case you crash and mangle the bike). Once the details have been arranged, you meet the owner, take the bike for the weekend and meet again to return it at the end of the rental period. As always, if you choose to engage in this kind of Internet transactions, use excellent judgment and exercise caution when meeting with strangers. Carefully read reviews and check out the product thoroughly to ensure you are getting the best rental price. Some rental sites will allow you to only see products

listed by an approved network of users, for example your Facebook friends, so you know that you are dealing with a trusted source. So what if you live in a small town or are just too leery of renting to/from strangers? Consider starting your own mini-network. For example, my church has a Web site where people can list items they would like to borrow. A private Facebook group would be the perfect place to start a rental network among your friends, co-workers or neighborhood associations. Of course, a less formal way to rent is to simply ask a friend or neighbor or let someone you know rent from you. Now that you know how to rent, you may be wondering what you can rent. The answer is pretty much anything. Power, lawn and garden tools, party and event decorations (bouncy houses, popcorn poppers, chairs, dishes,) electronics (digital cameras, GPS units, musical instruments,) and leisure items (boats, camping, fishing and sporting equipment) seem to be among the most popular. Maybe you have company coming that needs some special equipment: baby gates or swings, or a bedside toilet for Great Grandma. If you need something, there is probably someone out there willing to let you use it for a price. A few other caveats about renting items: if you rent an item be respectful and return the item in as good as (or better) condition than which you received it (especially if you put down a security deposit that you don’t wish to lose.) If you are renting out an item (such as a power tool) make sure that you are covered against any liability that could result should the borrower be injured or otherwise harmed using your item. And as with anything, always read the fine print and be sure you know exactly what you are doing before signing up with any site or making any sort of agreement. So the next time I get the urge to take a dog for a nice walk, I just might see if one is available to rent in my neighborhood. I always wanted to own a mastiff for a day.

Dear Gabby


Dear Russell, Should I marry a man who struggles with pornography? I am recently engaged and this issue just came to light in premarital counseling. -Engaged and Confused

hat s on w d ic a t o r n . ” f o r in o lf M a nfused, il ig h t ” The W and Co or “Tw the atch “ ook” gaged w n eb w h ic h Dear E h e N o t o b a b ly s h o u ld o s e in ds, “T ow, th pr is f r ie n t c h in g You kn nd says to h re.” He d, you are wa ie s ? men Instea ent a lf m o v of the any wo marry. w e r e w o in t h e b a s e m t m e o u g h t r t o o m t h e y s h o u ld s e lf . Fa s e o ld s t h im s e lf t le tho of man g , d o n ’ v e r y o n e a g a in in s h im ny of u la a be k in d e eat, ch ts of v how I r seen v e p o in t in t h e protect ou eve w it h s w h a t I s a y o r a ll h a n to H a v e y a n , d r ip p in g afoo g a c t io t. We tter w b e in g s y and is a b o u if ie d m o u d o , n o m a n d h e ’ s t a k in li f e terr e r e a r e h o u r b io lo g is t ia n n. Th in g a er y ev com e Chr r u c t io e w it “What hat th aborat ll - m o o n lf - d e s t the fu t o c o ll h a t ’ s w t o s in a n d s e it t w sees y sense, r what now ho t io n f o o s e G o d r y r e a l f s u s c e p t ib il it s a n d w h o k decep h In a ve areas o g n iz in g d to t e p o in t e , r e c o t o C h r is t a n b il it y , h thes er us. nera watc ts ar e who a k p o in a in f id e li t y la u g h t eakt u n iv e r s o n m e n t t o s ose we as a w he e r e t h r d e r t o m a in e n v ir g wh band h our l hus s me k n o w in r s e lv e s in o a t t e ll o t e n t ia means y o u r p a b o u t it . T h h a s b e e n t o o in s t o u is d o m W aga that w a r r in g is n o t hat he in g o u t is , a n d u a t io n w f in d a t it is , o r t us. u r s it st no en h is r th ut yo a r e ju h a s g iv g horro me abo t that you and of o r r ie s u h is s in e n g u lf in in g b w r r ia g e are of What destroy e raphy, the ma pornog e p ly a w a b le h e is o f r as oug man de ap t it , g n e s s f o e s n ’ t s e e it n e e d a e ju s t h o w c sus pu o d as Je ame. . You e it h e r can se m to, ss man w it h s h a n w h o it h t h e w is d o a s in le a ly z e d li f e m t par w in h is need a d is n o a man n. w who he can’t o u n e e h e r s in . Y o u o kno u need s t r u c t io What y or furt w a n t t t o it t h a t A n d y o r t o s e lf - d e f hat e a m il y . e lf . I ’ d e n t ia l see t o it t und im s pot ur f v e r t h e w o r k in g t o to see a n d y o d r a g g in g h im la n s t o s u b im , a r h im s e lf e v e r is w he p s how h im h o what w it h h o know ave , h out m a n w n d h o w t h e y t o k n o w f r o m a r r ia g e . ld n ’ t h o s h o u f a ll h is a eans a porn ou tw d want , after the m T h is m t h a t y a n s c r ip t io n o ure. I’ ut the o in t means w s a b o it h o u t e x p o s io n f r o m y o u n kno . The p te tr m p t a t io a v e im m e d ia ptat ss w h is w a y h a t f ig h t e m h is t e h t in g in t r a n s g r h id e t h is t e ’ s p la c ure of t you art of can’t he nat a n t h a a c le s t h a t h e . 1 0 ) , a n d p he at t t me h n st ig h mean t . It m s of ob Eph. 5:25; J I t m a y in t h e h o u s e t b e a ll s o r t ht ( ig h er s t f ig c o m p u t a c t iv it y . I t m e y o u , h e m u v t I n t e r n e in o r d e r t o lo . that, h im s e lf is a g a in s t w il l b e

abby t Russel D. Moore ar G olumnis De est C
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R u s s e ll le s b y e a r t ic or Read m


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Tool Box
ummer = more sun and more bugs. Therefore summer = more goop on your skin to protect from both. Unfortunately, what you can easily buy at pharmacies and departments stores to protect you from bugs and sun actually exposes you to other toxins. Honestly, there is a lot of conflicting information about the efficacy of the most popular chemical sunscreens and repellents versus the risks of using them. But there is a way to protect yourself from sun and insect bites without having to worry about whether you’re inadvertently also priming cancer, which is to use natural products. It takes the slightest bit more effort, but when there are cost-comparable natural alternatives that humans have been using with good results since the dawn of man until about 50 years ago, you have to ask yourself, “Why would I put myself at unnecessary risk of chemical toxicity?” (Pausing now, so you can ask yourself that…) There are actually many more choices in natural or low toxicity sunscreens than there are in the riskier name-brand kind, because the big names are made by a few large corporations. The natural or low-toxic varieties are made by a plethora of medium and small businesses. Nonetheless, many are available at convenient online stores like Amazon, such as our pick in sunscreen, the 30 SPF Kiss My Face Sun Spray Lotion – 8 oz. for $11.40, with free super saver shipping. Stock up on bug spray at the same time, and you’ll have no trouble reaching Amazon’s $25 threshold for free shipping. Our pick for an all-natural and good-smelling bug spray – because it’s made with

A Burn and Bug-Free Summer - Naturally

lots of essential oils such as geranium, cedarwood, peppermint and lemongrass – is All Terrain’s Natural Herbal Armor, 4-oz for $6.59 on Amazon, but we have linked you to their page at Vitacost.com because there is more product information and consumer reviews posted there. Vitacost.com also offers this product for just $5.49, but to get free-shipping you need to spend $49. That wouldn’t be so hard to do – and would be good for you – if you also stock up on natural lip balms, deodorants and cosmetics, reducing your overall chemical toxicity (Read “What are we smearing on our faces? Urban Myth vs. Harsh Reality of Cosmetics”). If you’re the kind that likes to DIY, check out these recipes for making your own sunscreen and insect repellent.


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