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Judy Woodward Bates

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FIRST-PERSON: Called to take a stand

Now is not the time to "sit on our heavenly haunches while ungodly laws are passed, demon-honoring programs are aired and so many more things take place that dishonor and displease our Lord and Savior," Judy Bates writes, noting that Jesus "continually spoke out against wrong. He continues to right wrongs and teaches us to do likewise."

FIRST-PERSON: Welcome them home

Judy Woodward Bates, drawing from the story of the Prodigal Son, suggests that church members welcome back those who have been absent, akin to the father's reunion with his wayward son. Then, she writes, "Pray for wisdom in what else you say."

CALL TO PRAYER: Stale faith & what to do about it

Columnist Judy Bates examines reasons why Christians sometimes have "no energy or no excitement about our faith."

FIRST-PERSON: At Christmas, give what matters

Columnist Judy Woodward Bates urges people to forgo giving useless items to people whose needs already are met and instead give to those who could really use the help.

FIRST-PERSON: Giving by the pound

Columnist Judy Woodward Bates shares a story of successfully saving for a large item by breaking down the cost into manageable portions.

FIRST-PERSON: In debt or free indeed?

Most Christians are concerned over the personal debt that individual Christians carry and, indeed, for many it is a daily struggle, "Bargainomics" author Judy Woodward Bates writes.

FIRST-PERSON: Cutting expenses reaps big rewards

Columnist Judy Woodward Bates tells how one couple cut specific expenses and saved nearly $10,000 in 18 months to participate in a mission trip to Kenya.

FIRST-PERSON: It’s all about focus

No matter how bad a person's life has been, the past should not be an excuse for poor behavior in the present, columnist Judy Woodward Bates explains.

FIRST-PERSON: The proof is in the giving

The church Jesus Christ gave His life for is operating at 5 to 10 percent of its potential when so few Christians are tithing, columnist Judy Woodward Bates says.

FIRST-PERSON: Amid U.S. woes, change begins within

Despite its Christian roots, America falls short in following many biblical teachings. Judy Woodward Bates examines key statistics in economics, marriage, family and consumption in view of Scripture.