Hello, I'm Paula Mooney

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Monday, November 05, 2012

If you could write the next 5 years of your life, and they had to come true...

...what would you write?

That's the intriguing question I posed to both my husband and our cool waitress the other night at The Olive Garden, after seeing that thought-inducing Flight movie starring Denzel Washington.

And now, I pose it to you.

I guess the query rolled around in my mind after I realized how prophetic some writings from a year ago turned out to be.

Not all of them, but the fact that I watched a couple of things transpire in real life that I'd already written about tripped me out and has me focusing on the "prophetic writings" that the Bible speaks of, and the many times things took place in real life so that "Scripture might be fulfilled."

"Pink Mist" on Grey's Anatomy

There was an episode of Grey's Anatomy whereby a person had been impaled with an unexploded device, and the surgeons had to remove it gingerly.

That bomb ended up exploding, creating a "pink mist" of blood and other stuff in its wake.

In real life, after the episode was written, a brother was impaled with a rocket-propelled grenade, but he ended up going home to his family and recovering.

All this got me thinking:

If we have anything to do with how our lives turn out, why not write the positive things we want to see happen?

After all, we spend enough time rehearsing (and sometimes speaking of) negative scenarios, why not focus on the good?

Not that we're forcing God's hand -- He has control and can do what He wants -- but perhaps we can think of it like an outline, a blueprint of prayerful petitions for our lives.

Here are my next 5 years...

#1 - Salvation for everyone!

Of course, I have to try and appear deep and not so selfish and knock my vain wishes down a couple of notches. But seriously, from personal to household to worldwide, I want to see lots of people saved by Christ's blood.

#2 - "From Slut to Saint" is published and becomes a best-selling book...

I've been working on and off on this tome for years now. At least by 2017 (or a lot sooner), you'd think I'd have it done already.

At least I've made progress by scanning in some old pics (like the graduating theme ones you see in this post of me from nursery school on up) for inspiration.

So I declare that I will be a best-selling, New York Times listed, National Book Award-winning author with a Random House multi-book deal in the next five years.

And it won't be a boring, staid way to lead people to Calvary, but open and honest and real.

#3 - Create and write a hit TV show and feature film

I will be the next Shonda Rhimes within five years -- a bond-servant of Christ-following one.

The creator of shows like Grey's Anatomy and Scandal, Rhimes is really inspiring, and her work reminds me of some of the best times in my life, when I wrote as part of a team of writers.

I'd love to get back to that, but this time writing as part of another dynamic group of writers (plus actors) in a TV series that wins Emmys, souls, ratings and rave reviews.

I love the immediacy (more so than feature films) of television writing, and we could use more one-hour dramas that feature minorities in non-buffoonish roles.

But I won't limit it to just the small screen: it can do a big screen flip and back all it wants.

"The Writer's Room" is an interesting idea for a hit TV show or some other venue. I adore that movie-within-a-movie type of theme.

Maybe the movie and  TV deal -- I want ABC -- or HBO, so we won't have too many constraints -- will come about as a result of the success of From Slut to Saint, which I declare will sell more copies than Fifty Shades of Grey, and inspire readers to become their own "Christian" -- and I ain't talking about Mr. Grey.

My vision is a gig that still leaves enough room in the day to first and foremost take dictation from my Holy Ghost-writer in the morning -- and still be a wife and mom to my family.

#4 - A blessed business, brood and body...

My Plunder, LLC company will continue to prosper, and operate so far in the black it's amazing.

Home, family, marriage, children, health -- all blooming beautifully along.

I will continue to drop weight in a healthy manner from the 169 pounds or so my tall body now carries (when I weigh myself on a certain scale before I've eaten, wearing little) to the 139 pounds I think might look interesting on my frame, especially on TV.

Okay...  what else?

Oh yes...

#5 - Godly friends and connections...

That's another thing I've been praying for, and as usual, God is a prayer-answering God in the way He has prompted folks to text me lately just because He put me on their minds.

"Your face just popped up in my mind," one wrote.

"You've been on my mind the past few days," texted another.

All I want around me are the people who are meant to be around me.

During the next five years and beyond, divine connections will flow in my life -- and those that would do me evil can't even come near me or my family.

That's what I prophesy and pray for in Jesus' name.

Of course I write in more detail in my journals -- some stuff that never makes it online -- but those are the broad strokes.

What do you want to see happen in the next 5 years of your life?

Write it out!

Monday, September 17, 2012

An essay a day...

...makes for a nice 365-page (or so) book in one year.

It helps to think of it that way.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Google Inc. EDI PYMNTS CCD US00000LA1 in your checking account? It's GOOGLE ADSENSE REVENUE...

This morning when I began my workday and checked my checking accounts, I noticed an interesting new "Google Inc. EDI PYMNTS CCD US00000LA1" in my business account for more than $200 and wondered what it was.

After all, I thought for a second it might be a nice little unexpected bonus or something from the Big G -- because that was an unfamiliar term to me.

It's not like the deposits I get from Amazon, whereby I have to figure out if they are the blessed monies from my product sales on Amazon that blessedly pay off my American Express and other credit card bills, or the trickle of Kindle book income that Amazon pays me (till I get on my duff and fricking write that "From Slut to Saint" best-seller already!) or the regular Amazon Associates referral income that surprisingly and wonderfully pulls in close to $500 for the month off of mostly one-off articles like this about Kindle coupon codes and stuff:

My Amazon Associates Income from August 1 - 21, 2012
No, this was something from Google -- and it wasn't due to any Target.com affiliate sales made through the Google Affiliate Network, because I haven't made any sales through Target since that Jason Wu designer clothing line madness earlier this year, around Super Bowl Sunday 2012 time.

Nor was it the Hanson vs. Google lawsuit settlement sneaking in any extra money that they didn't tell me about.

But I did have a dream last night that I had three checks in my big old phat purple purse -- wait a minute, it was purple, not red, right? (I love the color purple and that verse that speaks of Lydia, being a seller of purple cloth and a worshipper of God whose whole family got baptized and welcomed Paul into her home after the Lord opened her heart to do so. By the by, I'm totally wanting to go on that new show, The American Bible Challenge.)

And I love my dreams. Most of them.

I love waking up early with the Holy Spirit as He takes me off to different locales to see marvelous sights and helps me remember my dreams so I know what He's saying to me and warning me about. (My Maker is my husband...)

In last night's dream, my checks totaled more than $1,000 -- and I wanted to get them in my checking account ASAP and not trust them to the Chase Bank app that didn't work in real life when I tried it once. (I plan to try it again.)

Back to life, back to reality, back to the here and now, yeah..

Looking back through my expected income, I saw that the $218.47 deposited matched up to the exact amount expected for my forthcoming "GOOGLE ADSENSE REVENUE," which is how Google normally terms the deposit.

Don't know why they changed the name, but I'm grateful for the money all the same. I sectioned off the part of it that will go to tithes and offerings this Sunday, and then sent the rest off to American Express, which is how I plan to take care of lots of my future income: giving it to God and credit card bills!

Especially since He blessed me to get a nice, new brand-spanking American Express gold card that pays more in points -- worthwhile to me now since I spend more money on inventory.

And the cool thing about this Google Adsense revenue that lots of webmasters like me are waking up to see in their accounts this morning or in coming days is that it hit our accounts so early. I mean, today is only the 22nd of the month, and we sometimes don't see this money till the 26th or 27th or later.

What can I say to Jehovah Jireh but, "Thank You, thank You, thank You" once again...

Seriously, Amex should let me in their affiliate program already. I give them enough pub.

Monday, July 09, 2012

My Hanson v. Google Settlement Fund check arrived in the mail today...

I love getting money in the mail box, snail-mailed in the old fashioned way that some places who don't pay me via direct deposit or through my PayPal account still pay me.

Today I got an unfamiliar check in the mail, like a little postcard with a curious return address:

Hanson v. Google Settlement Fund
c/o Gilard & Co. LLC
P.O. Box 719088
San Diego, CA 92171-9088

With that "please open immediately -- important material inside" message on the front and my name following the "pay to the order of" line inside, I wondered if it was a scam.

So I Googled information about the lawsuit and vaguely perhaps remembering hearing about this Google Adwords settlement that those of us who've paid Google to advertise various things are now receiving checks for as recompense for overpayment.

I love it. My cut of the booty thus far? A whopping 17 cents...but I'll take it.

Plus, other folks are getting more than one check. Perhaps one check for each Adwords account or something else? Some are getting checks for $57 or $100, so I hope I have more coming.

Especially for the Adwords account that I spent more money through -- one that was suspended from ever creating ads through again, I believe.

We shall see.

Gotta love the money in the mailbox.

Now back to my Amazon money-making through the Fulfillment by Amazon that's actually making me enough real money to start paying off these credit cards, praise God...

Think I might actually download Amazing Amazon FBA Work From Home the Easy Way! and learn more, seeing as though I can't borrow that through Kindle Prime.

I already read Barcode Booty: How I found and sold $2 million of 'junk' on eBay and Amazon, And you can, too, using your phone and liked that -- but since I've been strictly focusing on selling products via Amazon through their FBA program and have found success with it, I want to read about other folks who've done that as well.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

A wife's affair, divorce and remarriage (video)

I remember my friend telling me the story of Jeff and Cheryl Scruggs -- about how they got divorced and remarried and how they help lots of other couples, but I never knew Cheryl admitted to having an affair until I watched their video testimony this morning.

I've been blogging about how much I love the "I Am Second" book and all the honest stories of people inside it, and how they eventually came to know Christ in the midst of their pain.

There was the pastor addicted to porn, and now there's the Scruggs' amazingly honest story of how their fairytale marriage turned horrible when their expectations of each other were revealed as false.

It took Jeff seven years to forgive his wife and remarry her...
...after Cheryl divorced him and found Christ and realized she'd made a huge mistake.

It's a good thing they were knit back together in holy matrimony to be able to stand strong together for what they would face when their daughter Lauren met with a horrible plane accident last year.

I've been following their story for some time now, even dreamed about it... and the common theme seems to be that God can really take tragic situations and turn them into triumphant situation that can help many others, along with the people who initially experienced the pain.

To appoint to them that mourn in Zion, to give to them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified. Isaiah 61:3

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Porn again pastor...

I flipping love being a writer.

And I love reading the work of other great writers -- especially those bold enough to interview folks who are bold enough to tell their real truths -- warts and all -- like Nate Larkin did in a section titled "Porn Again Pastor" in the book "I Am Second" that I'm devouring.

His honesty moved me so much that I knew it was the next thing I wanted to appear on the writing platforms I'm privy to possess.

It's not everyday that you meet a Christian willing to drop the church façade and admit that yes, we do have the victory in Christ Jesus -- but it's not via our own doing or because of any virtue of our flesh that we can brag about.

The Apostle Paul wrote that if he were going to brag about anything, he'd brag about his weaknesses so that Christ's power can rest upon him -- that is, when he wasn't going off on that New Testament church for being proud of some man having his father's wife.

Me in L.A. in 2010

He thought his ministry was over... and that's when it really began

There are so many things that Larkin admits in the book and in his video that resonated with this Christian writer... so many truthful admissions that inspired me.

I loved that he didn't pretend that he was above temptation -- and confessed that his wasn't a miracle deliverance from porn and prostitution visits that some people experience, but that God provides him with more of a daily deliverance type of thing.

I'm attracted to the truth -- and I'm learning a lot from these people who are taking the edict to be strong and very courageous seriously, and the charge to "don't be afraid of men and their faces" to heart.

They step forward boldly and tell the world (as God leads) about how they've screwed up.

I'm not there fully yet -- but I can feel myself getting closer and closer and more free.

I've screwed up.

I've been jealous.

I've hurt people.

I've done worse.

Yes -- and yet and still, God reminds me that I am still the apple of his eye.

And of that oh-so-powerful plea that shows me I'm not alone, perhaps just more forthcoming in some ways:

Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.

So this book is helping to do something for me, along with all the other powerful self-reflection and healing the Lord of hosts is bringing into my life right now.

Not too much self-blame or pointing the finger at others' failings.

Nor will I accept the lies that I am anything but a child of God.

Fix me, Jesus, inside and out.

He is answering.

And strengthening.

And healing hearts once again. All over again.

And bringing smiles and that true contentment and peace that really does pass all understanding.

His Word really is true and won't return void.

I love it.

"I wonder how many people would get saved if you told your real testimony?"

 I Am Second...indeed
I can't forget that question that Bishop T.D. Jakes asked during a sermon years ago that I listened to on a bootlegged copy of Mega Fest that somebody gave me.

This was years after I'd walked into a church sanctuary where Bishop Jakes was preaching, and was saying something about not everybody being able to handle your real testimony. I remember he talked about if his life were a movie, there would be a few scenes he wouldn't want anyone to see.

I hear ya.

Yet like I told another Christian friend who shared her compelling testimony with me, and then we went into the safe banter about sharing things in public only "in due season" and such -- I think many times us Christians are more concerned with our own outward reputations more than God calling us to speak out the truth about our lives.

We don't want people to look at us sideways. We don't want to lose friends and loved ones.

But are they really our friends anyway if they won't forgive us -- or us forgive them? Perhaps they were, the "divine connection" peeps sent for divine seasons in our lives.

We must gaze at Yeshua and let Him write the ending of our stories...

...after all, He is the ultimate author and finisher and perfecter of our faith. We leave room for his vengeance, inhale each day with patience and not act out in odd ways. Neither should we fall back when he tells us to push forward and confess our sins to one another so that we may truly be healed.

I know I've done that -- shirked back a time or two or many more -- worried more about what people would think about me than perhaps what God might want me to say.

I've played the "nice" role so that folks would like me. But I'm done with the dangling carrots of friendship.

And let's hope and pray I'm done with writing the things that are misunderstood or anything my Maker doesn't want me to write -- and experiencing the boldness, like Larkin does -- to tell his own truth.

Come what may.

As long as it's not seeking to harm anyone, or invading their privacy. When I get the green light from heaven, I'm good to go. And if I make any more mistakes -- because (gasp!) I am human, wretched dust -- I know that God forgives the instant I repent. Lord help me to do the same so that my prayers are continually heard, and nothing comes between You and me.

As long as it's my truth -- the part of my life that God owns -- then I want to walk down that lighted path and have no more regrets.

His grace is amazing. Love shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit of God.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Do you want me to send you some free beauty products? #EclosBeauty

This post brought to you by éclos Skin Care. All opinions are 100% mine.

Eclos_StarterKit.jpgIt was time for a new face.

I turned 43 years old last month, and I always love it when people say I look younger than my years, like the guy on the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad wine tour who said “You look good for 43!” as the whole train car sang “Happy Birthday” to me – or the babysitter who told me I looked like I was in my early 30s, like her mom.

I pointed a “God bless you…” and an “I love you” to them, respectively.

So when éclos Skin Care sent me their Anti-Aging Skin Care Starter Kit with sample sizes of their complete product line, I ripped that puppy open and dove into the following products:

• Facial Cleanser Skin Prep
• Cellular Activator Face Serum
• Moisture Therapy Regenerative Cream
• Restorative Eye Cream
• Instant Radiance Facial Scrub
• Skin Renewal Clay Mask
• éclos Terry Cloth Head Band

The first thing I noticed was the yummy smell and because éclos contains Apple Stem Cells extracted from a rare Swiss apple, so it makes sense. I liked the headband that kept my weave out of my face as well. ;-)

I’d never used a cleanser skin prep before cleaning my face, so that was a new experience.

I loved the face scrub the most – exfoliation junky that I am – because it’s the perfect combination of good grittiness (I don’t like other scrubs that are too soft) and great fineness.

YesI noticed that the great-smelling products left my face with a healthy glow – so much so that I went without foundation a time or two when I would have normally worn it.

And even when I did plop on light foundation, I noticed how much I appreciated my skin in the sunlight in my minivan when I snapped this “after” pic with my cell phone -- check out my "before" pic from below -- I really do think my skin is getting better and clearer.

The ingredients stimulate skin stem cells, and make our skin act like younger skin – something I’m all for, especially reducing wrinkles, staving off my need of Botox. I’m not ready to go under that needle just yet, if ever…

Usually products like these are a lot pricier, but these products are being brought to us at less expensive prices. The kit I received is valued at $19.99 – and you can get one for free, if you follow the rules below.

Do you want to try these products?

In order to enter the contest for me to send you the one kit for free – be the first to do these two things:

#1 – Leave a comment below on this blog post stating which product in the kit you are most excited to try.

(Don’t worry if your comment is not published right away – I like to moderate my comments before they are posted – but I will check the date/time stamp to know who posted first and correctly – as well as who sent me their address.)

#2 – Send me your correct name and mailing address to paulanealmooney@gmail.com

My before picThe first person who successfully completes the above two actions will receive the one new free kit I have to give away. Once I’ve chosen a winner, I will leave a comment below so that you know the contest has ended.


Look forward to your new face…

Visit Sponsor's Site

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Are we cool?

That's what I asked this morning.

I wanted to make sure.

He was kind of dogged and dissed and dismissed by me last year, in 2011, at times.

And 2012 is so much different -- we feel so much closer, so I needed to verify.

He answered, "Just keep running the race, and don't worry about whether you're in the race or not."

I am his.

He paid for me, putting down a seriously healthy and worthy down payment.

The best dowry any man could ever pay for a woman, or anybody...

"I already told you 'It is yours...'"

He told me, and doesn't lie.

It was nearly 10 years ago when that promise was spoken resolutely in the space of my tummy, and it's almost our anniversary.

At least, the 10th anniversary of that powerful spring day when the Holy Ghost showed me without a doubt that Christ is real -- and He is closer than we sometimes think.

Or act like.

But I am moving on.

Moving forward.

Despite mistakes.

Keep on trucking, baby.

Uh oh, I feel some Anthony Hamilton coming on: "No matter what the people say..."

He is still blessing.

He is still protecting.

He is still prospering.

"Yeah, the tide is turning nowshifting gears..."

You know I couldn't go a whole post without dropping a Da T.R.U.T.H. lyric in there somewhere.

"Save me from myself," I also asked this morning, like Brian 'Head' Welch also pleaded.

It's already happening.

And so...

The consistent time with Him every morning helps me hear Him better... and I'm addicted to it.

The marital therapy is helping...

The ideas are flowing...

We are on the precipice of something great.

Jesus said to them, "Did you never read in the Scriptures, 'The stone which the builders rejected, the same was made the head of the corner. This was from the Lord. It is marvelous in our eyes?' Matthew 21:42

Monday, March 05, 2012

Or do you not think so far ahead? 'Cause I been thinking 'bout forever...

Playing around with Essence makeover tool - love the Emmy
Listening to Frank Ocean's "Thinking About You" song below is quite addictive -- just like my Facebook friend and others claimed -- and his status update sent me back to that song again.

I first heard it on an episode of Awkward Black Girl, after I soaked up all available videos of the runaway Youtube series -- and I tracked down the song and listened to it again and again.

Is it the 24-year-old's amazing Prince and D'Angelo-styled falsetto and songwriting skills that are attracting millions?

Or that F-U bravado that gave him the boldness to change his last name via Legal Zoom and say such outlandish things in the press that we know he must not have a publicist yet?

I've been thinking about forever, too...

It's not just the cadence of his play on words -- that "though I'm lying...down thinking 'bout you" lyric is so boss -- but the sensitivity and real-ness displayed by a man not often seen in this world of machismo and bravado that has driven his views into the millions on YouTube and won him an opening-for-Coldplay gig.

Or do you not think so far ahead?

That's what Ocean asks his "first time, a new feel" in the song -- but that question can translate to so many other worlds beyond the romantic.

Good movie but no Jesus talk
Like when my husband and I watched the movie 50/50 last night over glasses of wine and plenty of tears (from me) when the 27-year-old lead character found out he had spinal cancer and could very well die.

I knew it was loosely based on the story of screenwriter Will Resier, whose title I totally coveted when I watched all the Blu-ray disc's extras and interviews and deleted scenes and such.

He knew, like I've been taught, that writers "write what they know" -- and those make some of the best stories, because people can feel the realness. That's part of my "thinking 'bout forever" career-wise, and the pic above with an Emmy behind my head is like a vision board coming true.

More on that project in due time -- that's why I've been away from some of my main blogs for a good minute. It's that "butt in the chair time" that gets the long projects done where I've put my focus -- only after my Jesus time each morning that I crave and have grown more addicted to than the song or my writing.

Not one thought of Christ?

And that's another "thinking 'bout forever" thought I had when watching the 50/50 movie.

I didn't expect much talk of heaven or hell in the movie, which was really good, by the way. Love that hearty and scratchy Seth Rogen laugh.

But it still amazes me that some people -- even when staring death in the face -- still don't think that far ahead as to where they may end up seconds after they die.

Before the movie I'd watched Bishop T.D. Jakes streaming live online, and how during his altar call he took his time. He said he hadn't even planned to be there, because Jakes had planned to be in California promoting his Let it Go book, but he was on divine assignment as wave after wave of people finally made their way to the altar to join the church or get saved.

"I can tell we're getting closer because it's getting harder," he said about evangelizing the people that were last to come down. "These kind come out only by prayer and fasting."

Those words stuck with me, rattling around with other powerful words on my 3.5 mile walk in the gorgeous cold today.

But after watching Jakes I went down to my own church, and watched God answer a prayer about calming down a melee that threatened to arise. I was seriously ready for Jesus to come back, however I didn't need to go out in a violent way.

So that's where I am today -- disappearing into that blessed place of semi-solitude of cool creation.

Me likes, me likes.

Monday, February 20, 2012

I'm glad he's dead...

It sounds cold when you read it -- but those were the words I actually spoke in my mind's mouth, when I kept flashing back to today's date.

February 20th.

My dad's birthday.

Yes, I don't need to call him, nor drive to "The Chi" to visit him like I did one year ago today for his 90th birthday, and sneak away to Pastor Smokie Norful's church service and sob while my sister cooked a fabulous chicken and rice dinner for us all by the time I returned.

My Daddy, the photographer, gun at feet
I'm glad he's dead.

I caught myself in a nanosecond when an automatic reflex said, "Call your dad."

Just like I had to stop myself from picking up the phone and calling my mom's number after she died -- that 773-995-5543 phone number that was my parents' land line for years, back before cell phones, obtained after we gave up our "Waterfall 8" (WA8-8417 was it?) number, where I'm old enough to remember the 928-8417 number we had to release in order to get that newfangled "call waiting" option back in the day.

Back before Chicago even had a 773 area code, and everything was still 312.

But I'm glad he's dead.
Me on the left, holding Daddy's hand

Because that means he seriously is in a better place, not just the cliché.

I believe in a real heaven and a literal hell.

And since my dad gave his life to Jesus for real around 1981 and I watched the Lord change him from an alcoholic workaholic to an eventually sober man who stayed home a lot more after retiring from the post office -- one who took his wild daughter to church and prayed for her -- I know he's in a better place than I am right now writing this.

Saint Paula, Saint Daddy, Saint Sister, by the blood of Jesus
Whether it's the Revelation 21:1-8 heaven, I really don't know. But since it's not the hell described therein, I am deeply glad and satisfied in my soul that Daddy's not falling around as an old man stumbling on this earth hurting himself, with me worrying about him or trying to race to him.

I know everyone that grieves a lost loved one doesn't feel this same way, and I want to be sensitive to that. There are folks who didn't get the 90 years on this earth that my dad got.

Then again there are people -- like my maternal grandfather -- whom I don't feel as comfortable about in their afterlife. Back in 1993, I went in the bathroom where he died and looked at his dead body on the floor and said goodbye.

Afterward, when my "get down on my prayer bones" grandmother told me about his denial or not-so-sure belief in Christ as Savior, I had a nightmare during which I could hear his voice in the "TV snow" -- à la the Poltergeist movie -- trying to hug me, saying, "Welcome to hell."

But Daddy, no.
Drinking and smiling and praying away the pain. Sup with me, Jesus.

He's one of those people who've died whom I feel kind of jealous of, imagining them dancing around with no pain, no tears, enjoying the mansions and colors we've never seen and streets paved in gold and such, never again craving a substance to anesthetize the pain that can sometimes accompany living in these earthly bodies, with earthly reasoning.

"God never gave up on me...'
And while I don't believe people turn into angels, as is the cute common saying that some folks repeat when they hear others say it, I do believe that we are indeed created a little lower than the angels, and I am really praying that my Daddy is giving me even more pull in heaven along with that beautiful intercession Christ and the Holy Spirit already does for us.

I think of his multiple talents and how smart he was -- of his bravery in World War II.

I think of the way he introduced me to pay-per-click marketing years ago, when I was railing on him about not falling for online schemes, and urging him to spend his money to fix up his house.

I think of the way he called my nickname like a song, "Paaauuulie..."

Mommy and Daddy, gettin' it in...
I think of how God changed him and stood by him all his life, making him my dad at the ripe old-daddy baby-having "gettin' it in" age of 48 when I was born.

I think of how he grew so proud of my writing and online endeavors -- and the way I sneak in ways to sell strollers by giving myself some backlink love in a post about him, a man whose work ethic I really admire, workaholic days notwithstanding.

I think of the "Cat's in the Cradle" worm-turning way he sort of selfishly wanted me near him at the end of his older years -- straddling two cities -- but also wanted me to take care of my family and not neglect them for him.

So I know Daddy would be just fine with me ending this piece now to go have dinner with my hubby, and perhaps raise a glass heavenward in his honor.

I love you, Daddy. Thank God for giving him to me. Happy Birthday, and see you and Mommy in that unspeakably gorgeous place in a little while...

Friday, February 03, 2012

I am a kept woman...

Do tears freeze?

That's what I wondered this very morning, standing in 30-degree weather, warmed by the brilliant sun that melted the sheet of ice atop the pond before me.

"Make me your kept woman," I told him, staring skyward. "Let all the world see."

I know they don't call it "kept" that much these days -- in the era of the verified edu address sporting "sugar babies" online.

Kim Zolciak called her sugar daddy "Big Poppa" -- and Marlo Hampton brags about her 80-something-year-old "big baller" billionaire boyfriend that keeps her walk-in altar of oversized bags and red-soled demigods flush with Jimmy Choos and Christian Louboutins.

But that ain't the kind of man I'm talking about.

Mine is altogether lovely. Mine owns the cattle on a thousand hills.

Mine is real and relevant -- and unlike a common man, doesn't whisper sweet nothings in my ear then turn and speak badly about me with his mouth when he is trapped and exposed.

Mine is not duplicitous.

I'm in a great space right now -- I feel protected, like the time I left my first husband to hide out with my current husband in the quieter calm of Chicagoland suburbia.

But it's even better than that.

Even when it feels like he's punishing me, I know he's really protecting me.

"If I'm gonna be your woman, make me a kept woman!"

"I like to hide behind my glasses," sang Fishbone.
It's a line I stole from Joyce Meyer -- who told God that as long as she was going to be his anyway, that he may as well make her a kept woman.

And indeed, when he changed my mourning to sustenance once again this bright and sunny Friday, his word didn't fall void.

He was the one who proved his book true, and built me up "so that [I] will not be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow."

He keeps me inspired...urging me to come home and create.

He keeps me pure and protected from the nonsense and sexual sin that the devil would so easily beset us with -- since it's so devastating.

He keeps me close.

He is the one helping me walk forward a step at a time out of the pits I've jumped in wholeheartedly.

And as the title "I am a kept woman" bounced around in my brain on the beautiful drive home, he made me smile as I looked up at the cross in my foyer upon arrival, on which is engraved:

"May the LORD bless you and keep you..." Numbers 6:24

He's cool like that.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Lies, lies, lies... yeah

"Stop pointing your finger at others as if they had done something wrong," he tells me. "Stop saying harmful things about them."

Even if they lie about me, God will rescue me.

Even if they cast me in the role of lying witch, and call around and try to make others believe I was the antagonist in a scene akin to fine-ass Joseph fleeing from Potiphar's horny and lonely wife.

Even if the truth was more like Satan trying to create another drama involving King David and Bathsheba -- a storyline that King Jesus swooped in and rewrote like a rescuing Savior in the second act, in order that we'd never taste third act tragedies nor the sexual immorality that has consumed other folks.

Like a sheep led to the slaughter, I should continue to sit back and not open my mouth.

"I was on the humble, you on every station..."

That's what Lauryn "L Boogie" Hill sang about her former band mates, as she waited through the "Ghetto Superstar" hubbub to hit back so much harder and more real than the tepid and temporary flash-in-the-pan fame they offered.

"Jesus Christ was a superstar, you stupid star," she said to Pras or Wyclef Jean -- or anyone trying to raise themselves up with false pride and charm and smiles and lying spirits.

I know. I've been there. I've manipulated certain facts for my own benefit. Human beings are only human beings. And these consequences are perhaps part of the punishment. But there comes a time when the sentence is served, or one gets let out early for good behavior.

So we wait...

...and I let God build me up with his lovely words and affirmations, that whisper so softly to not let anyone take my internal beauty, fortitude and belief that he gave me away.

He makes me better -- Dr. Jesus helps me admit my part of where I went wrong and face my own ugly wrongdoings. And for those who refuse to do the same, the ones who keep knocking people over with the telephone poles in their own eyes as they strain to remove the speck in their professed-to-be friend's eye, well, their day of reckoning is coming -- if they refuse to lay down their selfish pride.

Tragic climaxes can be averted, if we just humble ourselves and admit more truths and stop pitting ourselves against each other in the body of Christ. His grace is so good that he gives us chance after chance and time after time to do so.

Like watching a suspenseful unfolding dramatic movie, the truth has already begun to triumph over the lies. Yeshua is my defense attorney, my complete and sweet recompense. He never lets me down by the time the credits roll. I'm a rocket woman...

Sunday, January 22, 2012

My swollen jaw, forgiving haters...

This pic of my swollen jaw doesn't do it justice.

The left side of my cheek reminds me of Eddie Murphy as a Klump, wearing a fat suit.

Thank our Most High God that it's better than it was turning out to be, as the swelling crawled under my neck Friday night.

A return visit to the dentist who sawed my wisdom tooth in four parts in order to get the thing out of my skull showed lots of concern -- you know it's serious when he gives you his cell phone number and tells you to come back Monday, informing his assistant I could come back anytime I want.

Ah well, I know it's not just the strong painkillers and antibiotics that's causing this peace in the pit of my belly.

Forgiving the folks who don't even say they're sorry... and letting the past go

That's one of the main things I took away from watching Bishop T.D. Jakes' message this morning streaming online as I played "Bedroom Baptist" today, not wanting to risk driving 33 minutes each way down to Cleveland and back in my state of being.

It was a 3-hour long service, and packed with power.

Bishop Jakes brought a man up to the stage who'd just gotten out of jail after being wrongly imprisoned for 30 years for an aggravated rape that he didn't commit.

Basically, it came down to the fact that after the guy exhausted all his own resources in trying to right the wrong -- when he finally gave up and gave in to God and realized that the Lord allowed him to go to jail and that He'd change it when he wanted to -- that's when stuff started happening and he got released 18 days ago.

The man, Ricky, said something powerful about God sending him to prison in order to release him from his personal prison. Yeah, I got that. The crowd liked that too.

It tied in perfectly with Bishop Jakes' message about his new book, Let it Go, and his message about Joseph and all he endured when his brothers dogged him out for being the favored one. But Joseph still practiced his gifts in prison, and in Potiphar's house, and he didn't let any bitterness stop him from his destiny.

"Then..." was the all important turning-point word that showed trouble don't last always.

So the part where we say with all evil contempt...

"What you meant for evil, God intended for good" should really be looked at in the context of Joseph trying to comfort his brothers when they really found out who he was. Not trying to dog them out and lord his position over them.

Be careful how you treat people when you're over them, Jakes said, because one day, they just may be over you and you may need to come to them for help.

This really lined up with what I've been reading about forgiveness, and trying to make amends with people we've harmed.

(Seriously, my Seeking Him study challenged me on this point.  What, am I supposed to track down the guy I dogged out in college and seek his forgiveness? Not necessarily, but the author suggests praying that if God wants you to apologize to specific people, that He'll make a way to put them in your path. And you're not responsible for their reaction. If they choose to hold onto hate, that's their loss.)

Anyway, I like the whole premise that Bishop Jakes talked about as I struggled to stay awake through my medicated "fog" (favor of God!) watching the service on my iPad 2.

He said that even if people who've wronged us don't apologize, just let it go. Just like Jesus prayed, "Father forgive them, for they know not what they do" -- some people only represent instruments of Satan -- darts that the enemy tried to use against us.

Pawns in a game.

Unfortunately, the same role we may have played knowingly or unknowingly when we've hurt others throughout our lifetimes.

And thusly, I'm sure some folks may say my swollen jaw is a bad result of bad seeds sowed lately -- heck, I questioned that myself, they wouldn't have to say it -- but deep in my gut, I know God's favor is all over me.

I've prayed for folks I've wronged to forgive me, and those I haven't correctly sought forgiveness from, I'm trusting that they'll be brought to my presence or words as needed. And as for the ones who've wronged me, I've let it go.

Maybe I should lay off those imprecatory prayers as of late...

"You're special," my husband said when I told him this kind of medical reaction only happens to 1 or 2 out of 100 people, echoing my sentiments.

Yes, that's it -- the prophecy from Bishop Jakes was that God is doing something so great for us in 2012, that He's throwing a high ball, and we need to release -- let go of -- all the hate and unforgiveness and stuff proverbially being clutched in our hands that happened at our old jobs or churches or relationships or wherever so we have enough room and free hands to catch that high ball He is tossing our way.

"You may have to move to catch it," he said. "You may have to run to catch it."

I'm ready.

Help me Jesus.

Monday, January 16, 2012

He cheated on his wife... and she saw the tapes first

He was brilliant and beautiful, endowed with the sort of je ne sais quoi factor that drew men and women to him.

The way he literally sang out "I'm not fearing any man...mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord" whilst he was sick with the flu and collapsed into the arms of his cohorts afterward once again touched my soul.

He cheated on his wife...and they sent her the tapes

Yes, MLK cheated on his wife -- a wife who loved him so much, it was reported by Maya Angelou that Coretta said his name so softly and sweetly...like Mah-tin...

It was said that when J. Edgar Hoover had Dr. King's hotel rooms bugged with not only audio but video equipment that caught him on tape with various women in sexually compromising positions -- and then sent those tapes to Coretta -- it crushed her.

And yet, I was just thinking to myself: God still used him mightily, despite his flaws.

There is hope for all of us.

Whether the sexual sin somehow contributed to the Lord allowing his life to be cut short, we'll only know on the other side of heaven.

But reading his good friend Ralph David Abernathy's view on MLK's cheating and relationship with women helped me understand him better.

Read what Martin Luther King's friend wrote about his sexual affairs

Much as been written in recent years about my friend’s weakness for women. Had others not dealt with the matter in such detail, I might have avoided any commentary.

Unfortunately, some of these commentators have told only the bare facts without suggesting the reasons why Martin might have indulged in such behavior. They have also left a false impression about the range of his activities. Martin and I were away more often than we were at home; and while this was no excuse for extramarital relations, it was a reason.

Some men are better able to bear such deprivations than others, though all of us in SCLC headquarters had our weak moments. We all understood and believed in the biblical prohibition against sex outside of marriage. It was just that he had a particularly difficult time with that temptation.

In addition to his personal vulnerability, he was also a man who attracted women, even when he didn’t intend to, and attracted them in droves. Part of his appeal was his predominant role in the black community and part of it was personal. During the last ten years of his life, Martin Luther King was the most important black man in America. That fact alone endowed him with an aura of power and greatness that women found very appealing. He was a hero – the greatest hero of his age – and women are always attracted to a hero.

But he also had a personal charm that ingratiated him with members of the opposite sex. He was always gracious and courteous to women, whether they were attractive to him or not. He had perfect manner. He was well educated. He was warm and friendly. He could make them laugh. He was good company, something that cannot always be said of heroes. These qualities made him even more attractive in close proximity than he was at a distance.

Then, too, Martin’s own love of women was apparent in ways that could not be easily pinpointed – but which women clearly sense, even from afar. I remember on more than one occasion sitting on a stage and having Martin turn to me to say, “Do you see that woman giving me the eye, the one in the red dress?”

I wouldn’t be able to pick her out at such a distance, but already she had somehow conveyed to him her attraction and he in turn had responded to it. Later I would see them talking together, as if they had known one another forever.

I was always a little bewildered at how strongly and unerringly this mutual attraction operated. A recent biography has suggested without quite saying so that Martin had affairs with white women as well as black. Such a suggestion is without foundation. I can say with the greatest confidence that he was never attracted to white women and had nothing to do with them, despite the opportunities that may have presented themselves.

Of course, J. Edgar Hoover became preoccupied with Martin’s private life early in the civil rights movement, and this preoccupation was a significant factor in Hoover’s pathological hatred of him and the movement he headed. Early in the game the FBI began to bug our various hotel rooms, hoping to discover our strategy but also gather evidence that could be used against Martin personally.

I remember in particular a stay at the Willard Hotel in Washington, where they not only put in audio receivers, but video equipment as well. Then, after collecting enough of this “evidence” to be useful, they began to distribute it to reporters, law officers, and other people in a position to hurt us. Finally, when no one would do Hoover’s dirty work for him, someone in the FBI put together a tape of highly intimate moments and sent them to Martin. Unfortunately – and perhaps this was deliberate – [his wife] Coretta received the tape and played it first. But such accusations never seemed to touch her. She rose above all the petty attempts to damage their marriage by refusing to even entertain such thoughts.

Friday, January 13, 2012

My emotional affair

Can you see him?
I've known him for a long time.

He's known me even longer.

But for the past 7 weeks, I've been sneaking away to meet him in various places after I drop off the kids at school in the morning.

Unlike singer Billy Paul, who met his married Mrs. Jones "every day at the same cafe," I meet my love all around town.

"Why would you meet at the same coffee shop every day?" I ask rhetorically. "Wouldn't that get boring and dangerous -- because people would begin to recognize you two?"

"We met every day at the same cafe..."

Let me show you where to go...

"Where should we meet today?" I ask him.

"Let me show you...let me show you where to go..." he sings back to me in his Michael Jackson falsetto, repeating the lyrics he gave the King of Pop.

Then he breaks into that "take me to church" style "a-uh-hun-a-uh-hun" riff that MJ did in the song that lets you know he had some kind of saved soul.

He makes me smile with that memory.

Thankfully, my emotional affair partner likes nature, just like me, so we usually end up in the scenic, picturesque woods of the Ohio Valley somewhere.

I leave my Droid 2 off or on silent and don't even look at it when we're together. Sometimes I get mad when others find our spot and park next to us. I want to be alone and secluded with him.

I read the letters he's written me. At times I get antsy just sitting there with him, so we get out the minivan and walk and hike to high points in the hills and stare at the sun or tree roots that serve as stairs, or hang back on a suspension bridge.

The more isolated, the better -- I'm not even afraid all the time when I really know he's with me.

He puts up with me crying and cussing...
Did someone smell a dog fart? Look at the colors in my weave!
...and railing about other men or my friends and what not.

We are in tune with a razor-sharp wit and particular inside jokes that no one else would understand.

He gives me the best writing ideas. Seriously.

He makes me dream of titles -- and inspires me to see things in me that I normally wouldn't.

I was shoved back to Him when I got in trouble -- again -- and he's been reminding me that it's the best place, most healthy place I could be.

He keeps me from swallowing all the Lorazepam I've got left in my medicine cabinet -- the exact same pills they found on MJ -- and pulls me through each valley onto better days.

When I kind of diss him in the morning or on weekends...
I'm always better for having spent the time with him
...and give him short shrift because I'm too antsy to get to this online world, back to my grind, I begin longing for him later.

Even when I haven't, I still feel that pull around 9 p.m. some nights to go lock myself in the bathroom and be alone to talk with him.

Away from the noise...

Away from the Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy and Braxton Family Values and Google Trends...

"Just me and you," he sings right now in my right ear. "Don't worry about a damn thing...we don't need nobody else...just me and you..."

He gives me business success...

...through night visions, day visions, and ideas that come out of somewhere that say:

Have you thought of trying it this way?

I don't always listen. Many times, I do.

And there's a flow...there's a hunger...there's a "real recognize real" factor -- like one of my Twitter followers told me -- that people pick up on.

So much so that some local peeps/friends invite me to lunch and get in my face and check up on me, after I've soaked in enough of my love and I turn the Droid back on and the MacBook Air comes open and I let the world back in.

By far, this emotional affair is the best I've ever experienced. And it's the only one I need.

Et tu, dear blog reader?

Monday, January 09, 2012

Another woman will have your saved husband...

I guess this post won't leave me alone, so let me write it out and get back to writing my exciting new Kindle book about real people actually making real money online.

One time I must've been moaning to a friend about my husband -- about him not coming to church with me as often as I'd like him to -- and perhaps I was playing out the scenarios of what it would be like to free myself "like a gazelle" and be married to one of those guys who drapes his arm around his wife in the pews.

"Another woman will have your saved husband..."

Then she said something -- one of those phrases that your friends can say to you -- those "unintentional lyricists" and unpublished writers that give you some of your best quotes unknowingly.

It stuck with me for years and years.

I think she may have talked about Warren Sapp or Warren Moon (probably the former whom I just saw Bishop T.D. Jakes talking to in the front row of The Potter's House New Year's service streaming online) and how he got saved after a while.

She told me about not giving up -- or else, he'll get saved and then "another woman will have your saved husband."

Hold on, Old Soldier!

The Chapel of the Holy Cross in Sedona, Arizona
Yeah, that was enough to give me plenty of food for thought, and reason enough to keep going and focus on his many many positive qualities.

He's smart...

He's good-looking...

He's witty and says the funniest things that may me laugh.

He's hard-working and dedicated...

He's an amazing father and husband...

Excellent provider. He knows how to make that money...

He's neat -- bordering on the metro-sexual with how well he keeps himself. Not one of those guys that you have to pick out clothes to wear. On the contrary, he's pretty impeccable with his dress code.

I just love him.

That's what Joyce Meyer taught us as well: to focus on a person's great qualities, and all the other nitpicking stuff diminishes.

Intellectual Faith vs. Saving Faith

Dr. Charles Stanley had the best sermon yesterday about people who mentally ascent to accepting Jesus as Savior, and ones who have a "Damascus Road" experience -- where they can point to an exact time in their lives when they came to the end of themselves, or hit rock bottom, or lost someone that hurt so much that they turned to Christ and really asked Him to be Lord of their lives.

Not just some 12-year-old confirmation paper-signing because this is the thing we do, but a real crying-Uncle-I-give-up time that we can point to that says, "Yes, Lord, I give in. Jesus take the wheel."

That was good stuff.

Perhaps that's part of the reason I was crying this morning in the car on this cool brilliant day before my workday began.

But then a version of "Hold On, Old Soldier" came on the radio...reminding me of the time Bishop Walter Hawkins flew that crack-addicted pastor out to his house and ministered to him for a whole week.

The Mighty One gave me renewed hope this brighter day that us "saved" folks can make mistakes and hurt people and be hurt by people and get kicked out of places and be lonely whilst others "kick against the goads and pricks" -- all for God to get our attention and offer us a much better place under his obedience and lovely, protective boundaries.

Just in time.

Paula Neal Mooney