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Want to be free? Be the Shepherd of your thoughts

2lucyMandela-600Dear Lucy: It's the 4th of July already and when I think about freedom, all I want is to be debt free. I know I'm not the only one who wants this. Sure, I live in America, home of the brave, land of the free. But I'm not feeling it.

– Looking for my freedom

Dear Freedom Hunter: Happy Fourth of July. I feel you. Debt can be overwhelming and it is relative. Owing anything at all to anybody can be devastating for some people, even if they have money. Owing more than you earn can also be tough. Or just living on the financial edge all the time can make for a scary life. When this happens, feelings of bravery and freedom are hard to get to.

Readings on tap for new entry into Christian fiction market

Author-Alisa-Lynn-400"In The Shadows of Bliss" – a new entry in the Christian fiction market – begins in the land of Bliss, a heavenly construct where souls grow to fruition. They stay there until being born brings them to earth, where the "foibles and twists of life challenge us to fight human temptation and earn our rightful return to a state of Bliss."

First-time author Alisa Lynn tells the story of Wesley, a pure soul soon to embark on a surprising journey of discovery and adventure. Her intro tour kicks off in Memphis with advance public readings arranged by custom publishing imprint marketer Heritage Publishing, a Nashville-based firm.

Learn from steppingstone job before leaving

LucyShaw-160LIVING THE LIFE I LOVE: Dear Lucy: The title of your column is "Living the Life You Love." Well, I'm not exactly loving my life right now. I feel like I am struggling every day just to go to a job I don't like, working with people I don't like, doing work I don't like. I have been searching for a new job for months with no success. I want to just go home and get on welfare or something!


5 steps to cure ‘comparison fever’

LucyShaw-160Dear Lucy: I went to an event recently and ran into a person who used to work with me. She has now become an executive in a company in a great city; she showed me pictures of her new home, cars and was just bubbling with excitement about her success. She wasn't bragging, she was sharing because I was her mentor in the past. She talked about her next goal of finding a husband and starting a family. I was correctly cordial and conversational with her, but on my way home I realized that I was downright jealous of her success compared to mine. I have a job that I actually enjoy but something about her story just made me feel so bad. I am so sick over how I really feel about this. I don't want to feel like this.

– Jealous One

Dear Jealous One: Lighten up on yourself. You are just suffering from "comparison fever." It makes you all hot, sweaty, nervous, sometimes angry, sad, defeated and pitiful and emotionally distraught. I guess that's why Paul admonished us to be careful "not to compare ourselves among ourselves!"

Drama Queen by default? Here’s help

LucyShaw-160Dear Lucy: I feel as if my life is one of constant conflict. I must be a magnet for drama. I run into it at work, at home, at the beauty shop, on the road and with my family. There must be something that I am doing wrong! Please help. Just give me some practical ways to stop the drama! – Drama Queen by Default

Dear Queen: This message is for Kings too! Notice that I just called you a Queen. I didn't say what kind and I didn't limit you. So, Step 1: Be a Queen. Remember that you are the one who gets to define the kind of Queen you are. You can be the Queen of mean, failure, ugly, sad or any other negative adjective you choose.

‘Spiritual Bank Accounts’ rock in times like these

LucyShaw-160Dear Lucy: Lately, it just seems that everyone and everything is against me. No matter what I do, I run into roadblocks of criticism or failure. I know that there has to be a way out of this awful place that I am stuck in. Please help! – Stuck

Dear Stuck: It just sounds to me like you have depleted your Spiritual Bank Account!

St. Patrick’s ready to roll with mobile produce market

TheGreenMachine-600The Green Machine is Memphis' first mobile produce market and it's ready roll.

And on May 5 at 12:30 p.m., the public is invited to a ready-to-roll celebration at St. Patrick's Catholic Church downtown at 277 S. 4th St.

The retrofitted bus is operated by St. Patrick Community Outreach, Inc., a ministry of St. Patrick's Catholic Church and will bring fresh produce to 15 underserved neighborhoods with limited access to fresh fruits and vegetables. The Green Machine will make three stops a day, five days a week. The targeted locations are community centers, public schools, housing complexes, senior citizen facilities, recreational centers and health clinics.

Home look like a tornado struck? How about some help?

LucyShaw-160Dear Lucy: My husband works evenings and I work days. We have 3 very busy school age children. I pick them up from school, help with homework, take them to events, cook and clean. Our house always looks like a tornado struck it. My husband helps out by cooking and washing. But we are both exhausted. I have a friend who wants to clean house for me but my husband says we can't spend money on that. It wouldn't be much and I am tempted to just pay for it and do it anyway! I am so tired all the time. What do you think?

– Living in Chaos