“An open mind with unwavering values – expressing ideas through written word with brevity, beauty and clarity.”

Katrina Flick is a freelance writer who offers ghostwriting, copywriting and blogging services. She believes in bringing fresh perspectives to relevant topics and providing digital marketing content with a personalized touch to connect with readers. 

3 Common Ways the Enemy Attacks

*This blog is a Guest Writer feature on Faith by Promises.

Published 05/14/2020.

Predators don’t always play fair. When out for a hunt, they often go after prey that are sick, young, or injured – a cheap and easy catch. The enemy hunts in a similar way by attacking areas where we are most vulnerable and insecure. It takes humility to identify where we are weak, but recognizing these areas helps us understand how the enemy hunts us down. It enables us to predict where they will strike – making us wiser and more difficult to catch. Here are some common soft spots to be aware of:

Social situations: The enemy likes to tamper with our emotional responses to social interactions. Today there is minimal face-to-face interaction with texting available. Reading words on a screen allows us to interpret a message however we want – sometimes causing a downward spiral of analyzing the sender’s intention. Social anxiety is an easy tool for the enemy to knock us down. It can pull us away from friends and family, leaving us alone and vulnerable. If you feel this is a soft spot for you, try talking on the phone more instead of texting and pray for peace in your social interactions. 

Comparison: Social media inflates the comparison game. We spend hours of free time scrolling through other people’s highlight reels – hundreds of edited photos capturing the positive moments people want us to see. There always seems to be someone who has their life completely together while yours is falling apart. If we accept social media as real life, we feel inadequate compared to others’. It creates a soft spot within us that makes us question if we are on the right path. Keeping our eyes fixed on God reminds us that we are designed to lead a completely unique storyline. The enemy will try to break you down and shame your unique beauty and abilities – we are called to be our own. 

Qualifications: When it comes to careers or new opportunities, we often shy away from positions that seem too grand for us. We have a limited perspective of our abilities and assume we aren’t qualified – but God doesn’t call the qualified, He qualifies the called. He loves to make the impossible happen. No matter what the job description says, if God says the role is for you, He will equip you. Do you think a 14 year old girl felt qualified to bring the son of God to this Earth? Doubtful – but she had complete faith in how God would equip her. The enemy will try to weaken you by telling you you’re inadequate – because if you step up you will strengthen others with your faith. Be fearless in stepping towards your calling.

The enemy will try to pull you away from what God is calling you to by adding stress into your heart and mind. Anxiety never comes from God. If you feel stressed, you are allowing the enemy to steal your peace. Do not be shaken – you are unstoppable when you keep your eyes fixed on the Lord. Fight back when the predator tries to bring you down. The battle is already won, you just have to tell the enemy to back up. People of faith are not easy prey. 

3D Printing Gets Personal With New Expert Advice

*This article was written for the founder of Andaconna LLC, Alexander Diehm, and his new company helpme3dprint.com.

Published by 3D Adept Media 12/20/2020.

This holiday season will lead to a multitude of people purchasing their first 3D printer – of these 3D printing beginners, many will contribute to the advancement of additive manufacturing.

Additive manufacturing is the 4th industrial revolution and there is a long way to go before it plateaus. 3D printing used to be primarily used for prototyping products, but is increasingly being used to create finished projects. The best way to celebrate being a part of a major industrial revolution is by educating those less experienced, and making 3D printing accessible to as many people as possible. That’s where HELP ME 3D PRINT comes in. 

HELP ME 3D PRINT aims to introduce and educate interested personnel to the world of 3D printing, while helping to expand the work of those who already own low-cost machines. The 3D printing experts offer technical advice directly to customers through video chat.

There are many ways to learn about 3D printing or how to troubleshoot a generic problem with a machine using online resources. What sets this service is apart is our mission to provide a more personal experience to accommodate the uniqueness of each person’s situation“, says Alexander Diehm, founder of Andaconna LLC, which operates HELP ME 3D PRINT“I remember some of the questions I had when getting started, and I would have appreciated having that level of personal mentorship.” 

Helpme3dprint.com exists to serve customers who are looking to find out more about what machine is right for them, necessary softwares, and printing on a budget; as well as individuals who already have a 3D printer, but are having trouble with print quality or machine failure. 

Diehm reflects further: 

I purchased a 3D printer while studying Engineering in college. During that time I encountered a major issue with my machine, and set it aside for several months. Unfortunately, as common with most inexpensive machines, the customer service provided by the manufacturer was non existent or not very effective. How many people give up on 3D printing or set their machines aside for an extended period of time? This is easily preventable, we just need someone to talk to, someone with answers.

That’s when Diehm created the idea for helpme3Dprint.com – experts in 3D printing act as a contractor and use pockets of free time to provide personalized troubleshooting and education for beginners. Customers pay a small amount for half an hour to talk with an expert technician. 

Customers select an available time that works for them and automatically match with an expert. This allows customers to have their broken machine, failed print, or questions ready, and allows the experts to plan ahead for their day. This also allows each technician to treat the customer with personalized attention and detail, driven with clear communication and understanding. Technicians offer troubleshooting options to attempt during or after your call, and may suggest parts to purchase and install if one is broken. 

My hope is that this service will strengthen the betterment of additive manufacturing and contribute to a void that exists in the robust 3D printing community“, says Diehm. 

Personal About Page

Dancing year round with a professional travel team was just the start – Tessa Spark discovered her deepest passion by stepping off the stage. 

Carnegie Melon was calling her name and Tessa answered with a resounding yes. After 4 years of studying dance professionally and obtaining her B.F.A. she moved to New York City. Digging into the audition grind landed her in Radio City Music Hall as a Rocket just two months after graduating. Tessa spent 4 years kicking face at Radio City. 

A deep desire for growth pushed Tessa to expand her education landing her in a 3 year Feldenkrais training program. Little did Tessa know that training would lay the foundation of the her passion for Awareness Through Movement (ATM). 

Feldenkrais certification in hand, Tessa left her full time work as a dancer to open her own studio. For the past 9 years she has brought ATM classes to dancers all over the globe. Her deep passion for finding ease in how a human body functions continues to drive her work with primas to break dancers. See Tessa in action on her video page. 

Business About Page

Serving our community for over 30 years, The Hardware Store is a cornerstone to Polson, Montana. Compassionate employees, trusted brands, unmatchable quality of service. Our steadfast mission is to provide quality products and services that foster a lifelong partnership with families in the greater Polson area. 

Founder and CEO, Greg Towers, began single handedly operating The Hardware Store in 1990 – working from his very own garage. The demand for his great service and work ethic grew drastically throughout the next 2 years. In 1993 he opened the doors to The Hardware Store we know and love today. 

Our service and work ethic strengthens with each mindfully trained team member. The Hardware Store is proud to serve the community of Polson, Montana. We look forward to 30 more years of partnership with our clients. 

Book Review

*This review was written for author, Stephanie Arcadia’s book: A Renewed Spirit Within Me.

Chastity and purity are not easy topics to cover, but Stephanie Arcadia has managed to discuss her personal journey in these areas with incredible grace in: A Renewed Spirit Within Me.

Stephanie’s vulnerability is the driving force of this page turner; she lays her personal experiences out in a tasteful way that reach through to the reality so many young people are up against today.

This quick read is broken down into lessons; each lesson offering review and reflection on personal experiences from Stephanie’s viewpoint as a young woman living in the midst of a hookup driven society.

I have the privilege of knowing Stephanie personally and am so grateful for her courage and willingness to lay out her journey on paper.

Hookup culture is real. The desires we have as humans are real. The choices we make are real, and the emotional responses we have to those choices are even more real.

For many Christians and churches I think it’s easy to shy away from the topics of sex and hookup culture, but it is surrounding us. If your kids are teens/young adults – this is their reality, this is what they are facing every day.

Being Christian does not exempt you from having sexual desires, especially as a young adult. But what can be changed is the response to it.

I encourage parents, aunts, uncles, teens, young adults, college and high school students to read this book. Take a look at chastity through the eyes of a young woman who had to work towards making the commitment to it.

I believe Stephanie’s story has the power to prompt a larger conversation. Thanks to her strength and vulnerability, a new dialogue can begin.

Why don’t you be the first to start it? #RenewedSpiritBook

5 Things You Should Never Hoard (Blog)

Traumatic encounters often lead to selfish perspectives – we project the notion that no one has it worse that us. We panic and fall into a manic state of hiding away anything that could benefit us in the near future. We look out for ourselves. Pouring out to others becomes an ignorant notion. But don’t forget: you reap what you sow. If you plant selfishly, you will yield a stingy growth. If you work for a greater purpose, your fields will be bountiful. There are a plethora of ways to release hoarding habits during times of strife. 

Don’t hoard finances: Money is tight. And unfortunately the little bit you are gripping with a vengeance isn’t yours – it’s God’s. You don’t get to take it with you. So start treating it with a kingdom outlook. Think about the people who can’t keep a roof over their heads tonight. There are charities, organizations and churches that benefit thousands of people beyond your household. Live within your means and use wisdom to discern how to bless others. 

Don’t hoard resources: Your needs are not greater than your neighbors, so treat your resources with the same attitude. Grown adults are throwing fits of rage when exiting grocery stores because they are being limited on what they can purchase. Everyone is in need of the resources available. Take what you need and nothing more. 

Don’t hoard energy: People hoard energy to focus on the negative issues in their own life. Who does that benefit? No one. It’s healthy to acknowledge frustrations, but then step back and see the bigger picture. Think of your neighbor who has three kids to feed and just lost their job. Consider pouring time and energy into helping them with meals or verbal encouragement instead of wasting it on your own personal wallowing. 

Don’t hoard wisdom: We are learning as we go – this new experience leaves us thirsty for tips on how to use time well. If you find success with a lifestyle shift or new hobby, share it with people. Call loved ones and have intentional conversation – share ideas and exchange value by offering positive perspectives to one another. Build love with wisdom as we learn more each day. 

Don’t hoard love: Do not keep your love from others during this time. We are in desperate need of human connection. This is no time to keep your love for only yourself – smile at people when you pass them, get groceries for your elderly neighbor, send encouraging messages to friends, remind people they are valuable. So many people have lost their sense of purpose, be a light to them. Share your love and it will come back around. 

All that we have is from God – we do not have the right to hoard and keep it for selfish motives. Don’t mistake this statement for foolishness – there is a wise way to handle our finances, energy and love. But within that we cannot become greedy. We are one body under Christ and should treat it as such. Don’t be a hoarder, share with love. 

Ready To Be Debt Free? (Blog)

We are debt free – this is what peace feels like amidst a tanking economy. 

Let’s get on the same page: 69% of Americans have less than $1,000 saved in their bank account & just 18% of Americans say they could live off their savings for at least six months (GOBankingRates Study 2019 & Bankrate Study 2019). 

Our prayer moving forward is every person has enough emergency savings to take care of themselves and loved ones in difficult times such as these (ie COVID19). It’s time to reestablish a relationship with money.

My husband and I are both 26 years old. Between the two of us we have two bachelor degrees, one masters, an apartment, and two cars. We have been debt free for almost one year

Not only are we debt free, we have 6 months worth of living expenses saved in our bank account. This means if we both lost our jobs tomorrow we wouldn’t have to panic. 

Neither of us have high paying positions – we have simply been diligent in saving, paying off our debt, & wise about our financial decisions. 

When we got engaged, we had a fairly substantial amount of student loan debt to pay off. We spent several weeks taking Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University. This course is where we attained the tools we use every day to handle our finances.

Dave has a 7 step plan to becoming debt free and building wealth: 

  • Step 1: $1,000 in an emergency fund.
  • Step 2: Pay off all debt except the house, utilizing the debt snowball.
  • Step 3: Three to six months of savings in a fully-funded emergency fund.
  • Step 4: Invest 15% of your household income into Roth IRAs and pre-tax retirement plans.
  • Step 5: College funding (i.e. 529 plan)
  • Step 6: Pay off your home early.
  • Step 7: Build wealth and give.

If you want to look further into Financial Peace University or Dave Ramsey’s work click here

These steps have founded a positive relationship with money in our marriage. We do not argue about where it’s is coming from, what we can afford, or who pays for what.

We may both lose our jobs in the coming weeks, in fact, one of us already has. But we don’t have to worry – we have saved for this emergency.

While we feel incredibly sorry for the families hurting financially in this time – and our prayers are with them every single day – we hope our nation now realizes that money needs to be managed well & cared for wisely. 

If you are in debt, you cannot afford to follow your “wanderlust” on expensive trips or purchase designer clothes to keep with the latest trends.

Debt cannot be an option moving forward. 

It’s time to make the change. We hope everyone can understand that now. 

If you have any questions, please feel free to send me a message through my contact page. Read Jeremy’s financial reflections here.

We continue to pray for everyone to experience healing and a new financial perspective through COVID-19. 

For further information about handling your finances and preparing for retirement please be sure to check out the FIRE movement. 

3 Bad Habits of Hopeless Romantics (Blog)

There is nothing romantic about romanticizing. Our society promotes daydreaming about leveling up. By following suit, we miss every opportunity to pursue our calling because we are too busy romanticizing about it instead of joyfully preparing for it. Preparing for the future requires learning from the present. 

Nothing is promised to us. When we assume we are deserving of the daydreams we have designed in our minds, we skip over the path God has carved out for us. We feel our human way is best – keeping our eyes on the prize and ignoring all surroundings till we get there.

Reaching our prize will leave us empty and dazed if we have missed being present. There are a few signs of romanticizing to be mindful of in order to avoid this: 

The Threshold of Entitlement: Romanticizing an idea means we have crossed the threshold of healthy preparedness into presumption. Researching ideas you believe are a part of your calling is so important – but when research turns into an unhealthy romanticized idea we begin making assumptions about what we are promised. Becoming a parent, buying a house, starting your own business – if your research turns into a presumed idea for your own life, you’ve crossed the threshold of entitlement. You, hopeless romantic, are in for a rude awakening when your daydreaming catches up to you. 

The Job Snob: Opportunity is not a lengthy visitor. If you are preoccupied with a chapter that’s three steps ahead of where you actually are, you will undoubtedly breeze by opportunities that are designed to launch you closer to your calling. Opportunities that don’t fit your personalized plan for success will be overlooked. You might dismiss the very job designed to open the window for your dream position, simply because it doesn’t look the way you have romanticized it to be. 

The Dismissive Diva: Romanticizing can rub people the wrong way. You bulldoze past relationships when you become too presuming – investing in professional and personal connections becomes a task rather than an opportunity. You can snub the people who would give you a glowing review or offer guidance to spur you forward on your journey. If your only concern is earning future benefits from a connection, it will show. Be present and engaged. Find ways to offer value in exchange for someone’s time and energy. 

If you take away nothing else, understand that people are clocking when you aren’t presently engaged with them. Opportunities will pass you by if you don’t pause on your romanticizing games and listen to where you are being called today. You don’t get this moment back. You cannot replay this chapter in your life. Leave the romanticizing for the movies. 

Let me find the right words for you.