The Bargainomics Lady 

Judy Woodward Bates

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$5 SALE - only at Jeff Dennis Jewelers & Gardendale First Baptist's bookstore

See what Publishers Weekly says about my very first Bargainomics Lady mysteryA Bargain to Die For.

A Bargain to Die For is available now on Amazon in paperback and Kindle eBook formats. It's clean, fun, and has a message.

Where else can you buy A Bargain to Die For?

(1) You can phone, go by, or go online to Barnes & Noble or Books-A-Million & have them order it for you.
(2) You can stop by Jeff Dennis Jewelers or Gardendale First Baptist Church's bookstore in Gardendale, AL & pick up a copy. (Only places to buy it for $5.)

(3) You can order a signed copy directly from me by mailing $10 check or money order to: JUDY BATES, P.O. BOX 90, EMPIRE, AL 35063. (Sorry, but I don't have any copies to mail at this time.)

(4) For wholesale/bulk orders, contact Judy: 


Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience” (Colossians 3:12, NIV).

There’s so much we can learn from this one little verse. First of all, everyone who has accepted Jesus Christ’s free offer of salvation is one of “God’s chosen people.” Secondly, that status makes you “holy and dearly loved.” Which means, as a member of God’s family, you’re obligated to behave in a manner that honors your Father. And just how is that?

You have to wear the right clothing. You notice what people wear, don’t you? And we’re to be wearing that which identifies us as members of the body of Christ. We’re to wear “compassion,” caring about the needs of others through our presence, words, and deeds. And we’re to demonstrate “kindness,” which, like compassion, can only be shown by action.

We’re also to be humble (“humility”), not being puffed up about what we have or the good deeds we perform. Then there’s “gentleness,” a trait I need more of, and, I suspect some other folks do, too. And lastly, there’s that really tough one: “patience.” I don’t know about you, but that’s another hard one for me. Ask the Lord to help you develop the traits, or virtues (as the NIV labels them) you’re short on, because if we wear these like a garment, they’ll be the things people see when they see us. And that, in turn, will help them see and know the love of Jesus.

Copyright 2021
Judy Woodward Bates


“When all the Israelites had reached the other side, the Lord said to Moses, ‘Raise your hand over the sea again. Then the waters will rush back and cover the Egyptians and their chariots and charioteers.’ So as the sun began to rise, Moses raised his hand over the sea, and the water rushed back into its usual place. The Egyptians tried to escape, but the Lord swept them into the sea. Then the waters returned and covered all the chariots and charioteers – the entire army of Pharaoh. Of all the Egyptians who had chased the Israelites into the sea, not a single one survived. But the people of Israel had walked through the middle of the sea on dry ground, as the water stood up like a wall on both sides” (Exodus 14:26-29, NLT).

Never doubt that God is still in the miracle business. We may not see literal waters parted for our deliverance, but His hand still works to deliver His people. Does He always? No, not when it comes to earthly deliverance. His way of doing things doesn’t always jive with the way we think things should be done or should turn out – read Isaiah 55:8. But still today He sometimes chooses to intervene in miraculous ways.

But what exactly constitutes a miracle? It’s far more than just the parting of the Red Sea. If you’ve never seen this news report, please take a moment to look at this brief video about a 92-year-old woman’s deliverance from a would-be mugger:

God is faithful and He loves you.

Copyright 2021
Judy Woodward Bates


Mary and Elizabeth, the mothers of Jesus and John the Baptist, were related – see Luke 1:36. Jesus and John likely grew up spending time together. They were close. So when John the Baptist was imprisoned and subsequently beheaded, “John’s disciples … told Jesus what had happened” (Matthew 14:12, NLT).

Can you imagine the hurt Jesus felt? The very next verse gives us some idea: “As soon as Jesus heard the news, he left in a boat to a remote area to be alone” (Matthew 14:13a). Jesus was in pain. He was going through a terrible time. So what happened? “…the crowds heard where he was headed and followed on foot from many towns” (Matthew 14:13b).

And Jesus told them he couldn’t deal with their problems right then because he was having too much of a struggle with his own, right? Wrong. “Jesus saw the huge crowd as he stepped from the boat, and he had compassion on them …” (Matthew 14:14a). Jesus set aside his own hurt in order to help others with theirs.

We all have our down times. We all have times when we simply want to be by ourselves. But sometimes, God places needs in front of us that take precedent over that need for alone time. And ministering to that need puts our focus on something besides our own problems. It eases our own hurt as we help to alleviate the pain someone else is experiencing.

Pray for a more compassionate spirit. This ol’ world needs a ton of it.

Copyright 2021
Judy Woodward Bates


In Matthew 20 we read about two blind men sitting beside the road to Jericho. When they heard Jesus passing by, they began to call to him. And the other people swarming around Jesus really showed their compassion, didn’t they? Turning toward the blind men, The crowd rebuked them and told them to be quiet” (Matthew 20:31a, NIV).

But how did Jesus respond? “Jesus had compassion on them” (Matthew 20:34a). And just as he had done with the leper we read about yesterday, Jesus did the unthinkable: he “touched their eyes” (Matthew 20:34b).

And then what happened? “Immediately they received their sight” (Matthew 20:34c). And they “followed him” (Matthew 20:34d).

Compassion is contagious. These men, realizing the great compassion Jesus had shown them, immediately became his followers. When I think of my pre-Jesus, sin-sick self, I am astounded at the compassion shown me by my loving Savior. How can I not, in turn, show compassion to others? And if Jesus has shown you compassion, you, too, are obligated to be compassionate toward others.

Copyright 2021
Judy Woodward Bates


A person with leprosy was shunned by all society. Matter of fact, it was against the law for a leper to mingle with non-lepers. But on this occasion, one leper had so much faith in Jesus’ willingness to help him that he … came and knelt in front of Jesus, begging to be healed” (Mark 1:40a, NLT). And how did Jesus respond?

“Moved with compassion, Jesus reached out and touched him” and “Instantly the leprosy disappeared, and the man was healed” (Mark 1:41a, 42). Did Jesus need to touch that man in order to heal him? Certainly not. He healed the centurion’s servant without ever going near him – see Luke 7. So why did Jesus touch him? To show compassion. To show that he was a man whom Jesus loved. To the Savior, that man wasn’t a leper. He was simply a man who suffered from leprosy.

So what’s our takeaway from all this? We also aren’t to define people by their problems. He’s not a drunk. No, he’s a man with a drinking problem. She’s not a junkie. No, she’s a woman with a drug problem. When we consciously separate the person from the problem, it’s much easier to see them as Jesus sees them. And that makes them much easier to love as Jesus loves them.

Christian, compassion isn’t optional. It is evidence of your membership in the body of Christ.

Copyright 2021
Judy Woodward Bates


What is compassion? It’s being aware of another person’s distress or problem and wanting to do something about it. You can feel sorry for someone all day long, but until you do or say something to help that hurting person, you haven’t shown one ounce of compassion.

Jesus Christ’s compassion, his love for mankind, led him to the cross. He cared so much for sinful man that he was willing to pay the sin-debt we couldn’t pay for ourselves.

In just a quick scan of the Scriptures, I found 30 verses speaking of God’s compassion. One of those passages is when Jesus and his disciples arrived in the village of Nain and met a funeral procession for a widow’s son. Luke 7:13a tells us, “When the Lord saw her, his heart overflowed with compassion” (NLT).

Did you get that? “… overflowed …” He didn’t merely pass by and say, “Oh, bless her heart.” His heart hurt because hers did. So he took action. He raised her son to life and “… gave him back to his mother” (Luke 7:15b).

If we’re following in the footsteps of Jesus, we’re going to have compassion. We’re going to grow in compassion. And, like Jesus, we’re going to perform acts of compassion. Who do you know who’s hurting? Who do you know who’s going through a rough patch? Go to them and show them compassion.

Copyright 2021
Judy Woodward Bates


I don’t want you to forget, dear brothers and sisters, about our ancestors in the wilderness long ago…. don’t grumble as some of them did, and then were destroyed by the angel of death. These things happened to them as examples for us” (1 Corinthians 10:1, 10-11b, NLT).

Aren’t you glad we live in the age of grace! It’s not likely that any of us will be struck by the angel of death for complaining, but the fact remains that grumbling isn’t pleasing to God. It expresses dissatisfaction. It expresses a sour attitude. It expresses an unpleasant personality. And like yesterday’s worriers, grumblers are people most folks prefer to avoid.

Like worrying, grumbling can become a nasty habit. Listen to the words you speak. Are they critical? Are they ungrateful? If you’re a grumbler, ask the Lord to forgive you. Choose to speak words that bless others and transform you into a more pleasant person to spend time with.

Copyright 2021
Judy Woodward Bates


Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?” (Jesus speaking, Matthew 6:27, NIV).

Worrying is a nasty habit. Yes, we all have times when we worry, but some of us have become so accustomed to worrying that they’ve allowed it to become a part of their daily lifestyle. And guess what? Nobody likes being around someone who’s constantly worried.

More importantly, you can’t have your faith truly in Jesus Christ and then worry all the time. Worry comes from the enemy. How do I know this? Because it robs you of the joy that could be yours during the time you’re spending worrying.

If you’re a worrier, confess it to the Lord. Ask Him to take that nasty habit away from you. And every time that little worry bug starts nudging you, rebuke it in the name of Jesus. Life has enough difficulties without worrying about the what-ifs and the maybes.

“Worry never robs tomorrow of its sorrow, it only saps today of its joy” (Leo Buscaglia).

Copyright 2021
Judy Woodward Bates


Life has a way of throwing us some real curves. And some days it seems like those “surprises” are more than we can handle. Which is why you and I need a Lifeline, whose name is Jesus.

When the apostle Peter, in faith, stepped out of the boat, he walked on water! But when he took his eyes off the Savior and looked at the storm around him, he began to sink. And what happened? “Jesus immediately reached out and grabbed him” (Matthew 14:31a, NLT).

Our Lord can be depended on. Have faith. Trust Him to go with you and watch over you as you face life’s expected and unexpected challenges. He is faithful.

Copyright 2021

Judy Woodward Bates


We spend an awful lot of time trying to impress other people, don't we? But look what the word of God has to say: “Don’t worry about making a good impression” (Colossians 3:12b, Living Bible).

No matter whom we “catch up with” socially or financially, there will always be someone else ahead of us. And even if we achieved every success in these areas, this fulfillment would be a hollow victory at best.

As children of the Living God, we are to seek God above all else. We are to spend our time telling others about Him, living out a Christ-like lifestyle before them, and, like Jesus, “regard one another as more important than” ourselves (Philippians 2:3b, NASB).

Copyright 2021
Judy Woodward Bates


“... Mary has made the right choice ...” (Jesus speaking, Luke 10:42, HCSB). In Luke 10 we read about one of Jesus’ visits to the home of His friends Lazarus, Mary, and Martha.  While Mary bustled around polishing silverware, putting together floral arrangements, and laying out placemats and place cards, Mary chose to sit at Jesus’ feet and listen to His teaching.

Martha, upset because she had been left to do all the work alone, interrupted the lesson, saying, “Lord, don’t You care that my sister has left me to serve alone? So tell her to give me a hand” (verse 40). Stressed out over the little things, Martha failed to see the biggest thing of all: an opportunity to sit at the feet of the Master.

Most of the time, when we feel overwhelmed, we have options. I wish I knew who to credit with this wonderful quotation, but I believe these are great words to live by: “The reason most major goals are not achieved is that we spend our time doing second things first.” I have a feeling that, had Martha sat and listened, a Teacher radical enough to wash feet and allow women to learn from Him would have had no problem offering to help with the meal preparation.

Don’t miss out on what’s important by focusing on secondary issues.

Copyright 2021
Judy Woodward Bates