Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Free! Live Life Without Being Sressed Out.

Right off, I want you to know, I put the word "Free" in the title because I was amazed that people really wanted to sell their answer to how to be less stressed. Not only that, but a bunch of people wanted to pay to get a program, training, book, seminar, DVD, etc. to learn stress-free techniques.

I am not selling anything in my post. So you may be able to relax, and just read.

"Are you too stressed out? I need your opinion on this" ... is how a twit read (that is a post on www.twitter.com). So I took a look at the blog post, and was totally amazed at how many people responded to such a simple question. Not only did I read the post but I skimmed the nearly 60+ comments.

Clearly, people responded because they respect the blog-author's (www.twitter.com/ebenpagan) opinion and want to hear what he had to say. Also, people wanted to feel connected to him in some way. They find it important if he considers what they are saying, and many offered to join him in his quest to help put together a program to help people eliminate negative stress. People also responded because they were living way too stressed out. They wanted an answer.

Coming from being a teen in the 70's, I remember when everything was diagnosed as being cause by stress. By the 90's no one wanted to hear that anymore, especially from doctors. I recalled, myself, telling doctors, "And don't say it is stress, you have got to have another answer?"

So as researching began uncovering the workings of cells and DNA (genetic coding) and brain activity could actually been seen in color pictures, doctors began identifying what in our DNA/cellular level caused physical, emotional, mental disorders. Medications were being made to deal with results of stress. Of course, most everyone agrees diet and exercise are still two major factors to health, and less stress.

Now I am seeing a big swing back to stress in the past few years. It seems like a new concept to many, but I have already lived through "stress" being the end all answer to every problem. What is interesting is that there is truly, "nothing new under the sun." (quoted by one of the wisest men and ruler ever to live- Solomon).

Why are we so stress? We are not living the way we were created to live. We are trying to find the answer within ourselves or maybe someone who we trust or consider wiser, with more knowledgeable and/or experience.

The answer to living stress-free is simple, and because of this it will not be followed, but tossed away as folly. There is no one, two, three (four, five, six, etc.) step for everyone to follow like we are a bunch of cookie-cut people...like one program or plan fits all.

Stress comes when we do not live in a right relationship with God and others. Jesus surprised many religious leaders of His time when He said that all rules/laws/ life plans could be summed up in two: 1) Love the Lord your God with all your mind, soul and might, 2) Love your neighbor as yourself. And this is not a two step program, it is a constant moment by moment way to live life!

(OK, if you survived my comment about Jesus and you haven't clicked off figuring I am just another church lady...stay tune to the FREE information, it could save you hundreds of dollars and lots of time following a man-made program.)

This advice is free to you, and it really doesn't need to be packaged as a program, and it is kinda old-fashion, so it doesn't need to be taught in a business/ social seminar.... because it is a relationship. Does someone need to teach you how to get to know other person? Well, if you do, you can start by saying, "Hello" and listening as much as you talk. Really try to get to know the person, and let them get to know you.

Everyone wants inner peace. Sure to disconnect emotionally you would free you from the stress, but you would also be not relating or living. Ignoring stress does not make it go away. If you want to strengthen your inner self, then strengthen your relationship with Jesus. He doesn't promise a stress-free life, but He will guide, protect, counsel, provide, unconditionally love, encourage, defend and anything else you may need while you live your life.

We will never be able to stop stressors in life, but we can learn how to live in and through them, and even allow them to help us to be better people within.

What do you think? Do you need a program to help you with your stress? Is it easier to listen to what a person has to say about how to deal with life/stress than God? If you had a choice of paying someone $50...$100 for a packaged CD program with lots of nice things to try or to have a growing relationship with God....what one would you want?

Friday, December 26, 2008

Twitter - Friends or Business? Can it be for both?


I have only been on twitter since August, 2008. Our local Newspaper ran an article about it so I looked into it on the web to see what it was. I must admit that I went at it with the twitter original purpose intent. Just a place to let people know what I was doing at that moment in my life. I loved it!

I told one of my girlfriends what one or two of my twitterfriends were saying or doing and she thought I fell off the deep end of being addicted to "blogging" (that is what she called it because she didn't speak twitter termonology yet. We laugh about it, because she now has her own twitter group of friends that she keeps up with. They are nutty, goof-balls, and I say that with all kindness. It is really funny that we twitter in different circles.

Over a few weeks I developed some relationships with people I would have never met in a lifetime because of distance around the globe. It was fun to see what other people where doing and the aspect of being able to reach out to others in need and to pray or help was most rewarding. I found that the smaller your circle of friends the closer/more intimate your relationship developed.

A defining moment in my twitter life was when someone was sharing that they were eating hot apple pie and I twitted back telling her that I love cheddar cheese on my apple pie. I was blown away with joy (it kind of surprised me - the feeling I had) to know that my little twit comment influence another person to experience something new and she commented back that she tried melting a cheddar cheese slice on her apple pie for the first time in her life and she liked it! That experience in twittering was just pure fun!

During the election months twitter turned a political corner. People, including me, started to voice our political concerns. Honestly, it was what we were doing and thinking about, but lines were being drawn between the presidential candidate you supported. I felt it was important for me to keep people in my twitter circle that were not for my candidate... I did not only want to hear one voice, from people with the same thoughts.

This was one of the true gems in twitter! I could co-exist with people who had very differing point of views and learn how people felt that were passionate about life in ways that were not interpreted through my worldview. I really enjoy people! And I find it is a great asset to understanding people if you can listen to others speak and try to see life through their eyes, or walk in life. I treasure my "different opinion" twitter friends as much as I do those which I have a kindred spirit.

Shortly after November, Twitter began to make another major shift. Really this shift had been growing along with the election months (year!), but I was more interested in the election comments. When the political comments ended, the "social media networking" rose to the top. Twitter was being invaded and almost taken over by people who were trying to sell, and meet people to build a "social network". This was all brand new to me. I have been in multilevel marketing type companies but deplored the "making friends with the object of sharing the business plan" concept.

I remember a few years ago being in my first real pushy multilevel marketing company. We were taught how to view every person to person contact as a potential client and business contact. I could no longer just sit at the Y with my children and interact with them playing. I was scoping out the crowd looking for potential clients and business contacts. When I drove down my neighborhood street I thought about which neighbor I should drop by to share "the business". One Sunday I sat in church and found myself scanning the people in the pews to see who could "benefit" from joining the bandwagon of selling the product.

When the message was over and the altar call came I went to the front on knelt at the steps. I was overcome with selfishness and guilt. How could I look at people and think about them as potential customers/ business partners and not know their condition of their soul? How did God look at these precious people? He isn't trying to find people to improve His business. He was caring deeply about the person's heart and soul condition.

So many new twitters join trying to sell something...here is an example of some real bios:

  • If you have been looking for someone to help you with your acne problem it's high time that you should get help from the real professionals, or
  • Promises Made Promises Kept ReMax Realtor in Victoria with 35 Years Experience to Help You With Your Real Estate Needs, or
  • Marketing furniture and an antique obsession mean I see in shades of brown, or
  • Free obituary, funeral planning help and grief support forums/chat rooms.
I do not like to follow people who are just into twitter to hook me as their fish. It is like a bait and switch tactic. These people dangle a few lines on twitter hoping for a bite, as they try to follow as many people as allowed. The goal is not building a relationship but instead it is building their influence in a social media network for personal gain.

Another more subtle community developing is people who twitter to drive blog traffic. When I began twittering, I learned some twittering ideas from a pro blogger. He suggested way to increase readership. I must admit that I still like a lot of what I learned from him, and I do post on twitter when I finish a blog. But to me, this is more of a way to inform people that follow me what I am up to. If my blog or book-writing was all I twitted about, I wouldn't consider myself to be a real twitter.

So, that is the BIG question, what is a real twitter? Officially this is how twitter began "Jack Dorsey had grown interested in the simple idea of being able to know what his friends were doing. Specifically, Jack wondered if there might be an opportunity to build something compelling around this simple status concept. When he brought the idea up to his colleagues, it was decided that a prototype should be built."
(quoted from about us on www.twitter.com)

Now even the twitter originators admit that the scope of twitter has changed from 'being able to know what friends are doing' to "In countries all around the world, people follow the sources most relevant to them and access information via Twitter as it happens—from breaking world news to updates from friends."
(quoted from www.twitter.com about us)

I know people will continue to use (and I do mean USE) twitters wonderful networking ability to grow their own businesses, egos, website/blogs, and support for a specific cause. But from my personal experience, and it may be because I am a people person, I still like to read as many twits as I can each day and comment back to people about what is going on in their life. This is what drew me to twitter to begin with and it is the only reason I stay. I enjoy my new community of friends around the world. It is so interesting to see what people do and to find out what is happening in their life.

To me, this will always be what real twitters are about. Real twitters are interested in building and maintaining relationships, by sharing with people what they really are doing.

How has twitter impacted you? What is your purpose for twittering? What do you feel about social marketing/networking for business?

Friday, December 19, 2008

Drummer for Jesus

Come, they told me, pa, rampa, pom pom,
A new born King to see, pa, rampa, pom pom
Our finest gifts we bring, pa, rampa pom pom
To lay before our King, pa rampa pom pom rampa pom pom rampa pom pom
So to honor Him, pa rampa pom pom
Me and my drum......


My sweet husband has been a drummer since he was a teen. He played in smokey lounges, lodges, parties and a few bars with all kinds of bands - top 40, Jazz, and rock. He was not a serious musicians that spent hours of disciplined practice. He just loved it and had fun.

After our first year of marriage, my dear husband decided to move to Los Angeles to try to "make it in the "Music Industry". He wanted to be an A&R person for a record label. So being young, in our early twenties and so 'footloose and fancy-free", we sold all of our possessions except for what we could fit in our Sunbird (we bought a carrier for the top!) and headed west to Californ-i-a!

Probably one of the biggest mistakes of this move, we sold his white Slingerland set (collectors items now), with all the cymbals and cases to a Penacostal church (of all places)! At least the set would be drums for Jesus!

We lived there for about 4 months and came back to the South knowing we two Southerners were living like a duck without water in such a "godless" city. I still love that we went! It was an experience of a lifetime. We saw the Grand Canyon twice - once when it was snowing.

We ended back in Tuscaloosa, AL and lived in an apartment without furniture...well, we had that futon mattress we picked up in LA and our trusty alarm clock and microwave! Another move to TN and an accounting degree later, my dear husband became a tax accountant.

Now back to the drums.....

We have a 13 yo son, and guess what? Of course, He is a drummer like his dad! Not that he grew up watching his dad drum.... it is just in him, that talent to drum...natural like walking to him. So of course last year I convinced my dear husband that a drum set would be our son's "school equipment" needed for our middle school homeschool family.

I am sure there was a little hint of joy in my husband's heart to purchase a used Pearl Black kit, and take it home to our son's room. Yes, he has played on it a time or two. But the greatest outcome is that they have something in common to share. Parents need a place to bond, to connect, to see heart to heart with their children.

My dear husband took our son to Drummer's for Jesus. They simply loved it! Some of the best drummers in town showed up and my husband even got to play.

Our son is taking lessons, and just yesterday my sweet husband said his jaw dropped when he heard how fast our son could do a drum roll. It is exciting to see him blossom in the talents He has been given by God.

Most mom's would rather have their head blown up before listening to a drummer practice... but to me it is always such sweet music. I love hearing him play. I know he is happy, in a safe environment, developing a skill, and burning energy (so needed in a young teen)!

Just this morning I could hear him quietly strum his chimes and tap ever so lightly on the heads eagerly awaiting everyone to wake up, so he could let it roll!

So here is our gift to you God, here is your son you gave us to take care of for you, here is your drummer for Jesus.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

iPod - to be or not to be - That is the Question.



December 12th, Friday night, my dear husband (dh) and I are just loving having the night out to be together and think about gifts to give to our precious tween/teen children.

And of course, we end up in electronic mecca of our city, the New Best Buys! (Didn't they get the largest chunk of last years Christmas budget? - just a disjointed thought breezing by- thought I'd throw it in)

DS lite games, Wii games, Music DVDs, mini refrigerators, CD Stero systems, video cameras.... you name it, they have it, and best of all (or is it worst of all) they have it in stock!!! Well, our middle son, 13, affectionately called Teddy Bear on this site, only listed two items that he wanted... a crash cymbal for his drum kit and a memory card. This is now fun. We get to think about our son. His likes and dislikes, his personality. What would he just love to be surprised with on Christmas? Isn't great to have a child that doesn't ask for so much?!?! It makes me feel great inside.

He loves music, and listens a lot to his radio. He also keeps it running all night and plays music while he does his school work. He loves to play when drums, especially if mom has just aggravated him (say this smiling). TeddyBear did you fold and put up your laundry....up the stairs, drum concert.... clothes get put up. Fortunately, I love to hear him play drums!

"What about an iPod?", says my dh. Hmm. I am in thought. "He would love one," I nod my head, "let's go see. where are they?" Looking up to the sky to see all the dangling signs hanging from the Best Buys ceiling.

We get to the iPod island. All colors, all sizes, all prices stare back at us. "Do we really want to do this?" my dh poses this question. He continues, "You really have to think about the gift. What we get will impact his life, his personality." "Oh, forgot about that you are so right," I reply, "No, definitely not! We made that mistake with ds 15 (SilverKnight) last year for Christmas. He is now much more unsocial, isolated, always has those freaking headphones on." "Yeah, we don't want to loose TeddyBear. He is still so connected with us and people."


Walking away we think about the MP3 player we got SilverKnight last
year. We were total MP3 player virgins, clueless. If I had the chance again I
would never, NEVER, have given this gift to my oldest son. He is so not involved
with so much conversation time because he has those crazy headphones in his ear.

It probably bothers me the most in short car trips. "Oh, look at the
goat with the llama." (Now don't laugh... animals are still fun to look at, stop
rolling your eyes.) Silence. "Would you like to stop and look for shirts
at Plato's Closet?" Silence. "Can you get my purse, it slipped into the back
seat and my phone is ringing?" Silence. "HELLO! TAKE THOSE THINGS OUT OF YOUR EARS!" I scream.

Now the mommy lecture of great wisdom and facts of life, "You are so
missing out on togetherness and family time. What if there was an emergency and
I had to yell, everyone, out of the car? You would never hear me. You are so
disconnected from us. Can you turn the volume down I can hear it and I don't
even have the headphones on?"


My sweet husband I and walk away from iPod heaven at Best Buys. "Do
you remember the day SilverKnight said he lost his MP3 player?," recalls dh. "Yeah, I was
hoping he'd never find it," I replied. "In a day or two he found it. You know I
wish it would break. I would never get him another one," considered my dh.

My mind drifted to ways I could just accidentally step on it... maybe clean his room and it falls into the trash...oops. Well, I am just being honest. I did go there in my thoughts but would not dare do it because I would have to confess my evil act to my son... and God, who'd be watching.

It is great to know your children. To be able to determine what "toys" are healthy for them physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually and socially. Some, let's be honest, alot of electronic products aren't good for our children. All you need to do is walk down the aisle for games. It is hard to find one that is about beating up, killing, invading, crushing, shooting, or controlling someone else.

At least my 11 yo dd, Cupcake, is still putting Kirby and Harvest Moon on her Christmas list. Hey, my oldest 15yo SilverKnight did ask for a mini-fridge for his room. I like that! We are looking for gifts that are quality, that have long playability, that are positive, healthy, creative...worth our money.

So, iPod, to be or not to be? In our home, it is not to be. He can always get one when he is on his own. We want to have as much interaction with him as possible during these last few years we get to have before he goes college.

So, maybe you can glean from our experience, put a little thought into what you give your child this year. Consider how it will affect their mind, spirit, body and behavior. And learn from you mistakes. In this case, we did. Happy Christmas Shopping!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Are Labor Unions Necessary in 21st Century America?

Where have all our factories gone, long time passing, where have all our factories gone, long time ago, where have all our factories gone, gone to un-unionized countries, everyone, when will we ever learn, when will we ever learn....

Being frustrated by a recent letter to the editor in our Nashville Tennessean Newspaper, I wrote the following letter back. Since I rarely get published by the Tennessean (I suppose the editor does not like my thoughts or comments), I figured I would publish it on my blog. Thank God will still have one uncensored place to write our opinions!

Is it not a little irresponsible to put a letter to the editor that quotes "working-class people worked for 10 cents a day" as a reason for Unions to be promoted in the workplace without identifying the year this occurred in American History. According the NY Times Archives (source:http://query.nytimes.com/mem/archive-free/pdf?_r=1&res=9A00E6D6123CE633A2575AC1A96F9C946396D6CF) it was occurring almost 100 years ago in 1910.

I think the fact that there are laws in place that cover minimum wage and many other workplace safety such as EOE, the time area of needing the Union is in the past. Hard working employees can earn a fair wage, and if they are skilled and keep educating themselves and learning their trade to improve abilities, the employees become more valuable and very less likely to be unemployed or treated terrible by an evil employer. I am over 40, and I have never once gone without employment when I needed or wanted it. I have worked in many different areas, such as nursing, education, administrative, banking and retail sales.

I have interviewed many times and never worked for an employer that mistreated me because I was as selective about my employer as my employer was about me. Being a Christian I trust God to be my intercessor (labor union) between me and my employer. I trust Him to take care of me and to provide for my needs. I never have signed up to be a union member, even when given the chance or when being excluded/shunned by fellow employees because 'I was not a union member'.

Even worse, was the stereo-typical quote by Mr. Ralph Kimro of "majority of the red votes in TN either come from rich Republican or or from uninformed working-class Americans"! What an ignorant, arrogant derogatory statement.

Anyone can look to the auto-industry or any other employee management that hands their hands overloaded with one grievance upon another pushing unqualified, complaining people into higher positions over highly qualified people competing for the same position, just to get the Union off their back. Much of the work of manager in union settings is not management but babysitting to whiners. Yes, that is my final answer.

You can log onto www.Tennessean.com to read the entire letter to the editor on Union promoted workplace rights published on December 10, 2008.

Please feel free to share your experience and or opinion in comments.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Preparing your heart for Christmas!


The glitter, the tinsel, the decorations, trees, candles, stockings... the money we spend to bring Christmas into our homes... the time we spend getting ready for the holidays. Shopping, making gift lists, digging in attics, cooking, writing and mailing Christmas Cards, singing carols, standing in lines, looking for deals, wrapping packages, planning menus, mailing gift boxes, taking Santa pictures, going on candlelight tours, celebrating at parties, having 'dirty santa' gift times, hosting dessert or a festive open house or ladies Christmas tea. These are all the things that come to mind when we are preparing for Christmas.
I have an important question: Are you preparing your heart for Christmas? Are you taking time to be still in God's presence, contemplate the history of the coming of Christ and the future return of Christ? How much of what you are doing is about Christ? Is He the focus of your season... or just part of it?
Have you ever tried to prepare your heart with a family advent candle wreath? This Advent Guide, on the following listed website) is used to "reminded about the meaning of Christ's birth and become more excited about his coming in the past, in the future, and in our own lives."
This is an excellent guide to use for the next four weeks. Why not try a new tradition that puts Jesus in the center? Aren't we hopefully awaiting His second coming? Advent is Latin for coming. Maybe this year you can not only look back at history to the coming of Christ in flesh and blood (a man-God), but you can look toward His coming in all of His Kingly Glory! What a special meaning for Christmas.... rejoicing in His historical coming and anticipating His second coming!
We teach our children to anticipate the arrival of Santa (a make-believe story to make their childhood magical).... what greater joy is in teaching our children to anticipate the arrival of Jesus Christ (a true story to make their childhood and life miraculous)!
Share your Advent experiences to encourage others to try. Also come back anytime in the next foru weeks and share any current, real life events that happen in your family when you prepare your heart for Christmas with this advent plan. Also share any new ideas that you use in your advent candle time.
As with anything in life, be flexible and creative! It is not about the procedure or program but it is about your heart.
Tip: Hallmark sells Advent candles for $5. I bought mine yesterday! You don't need a wreath... just set up the candles and enjoy the time with God.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Twitter - Why Join, Why Bother, Why Follow


Twitter! What is everyone on the internet all a twitterabout?


http://www.twitter.com/ is one of the coolest sites on the internet. It is a healthy exchange of people's chat about what they are doing and what is currently going on in their life. The best part is that you are limited to 140 characters. For someone who is extremely long winded, this has been a sharp learning curve. You have to learn to make every word count.

Twitter can be very good for your emotional, spiritual, social health. When you are impressed by something in life, you have a deep longing to express it to someone. Twitter gives you that place. By expressing what has impacted you, depression is much less likely, because you are connected to others and sharing. Not only do you share outward, but people express input and you are able to receive affirmation, accountability, assistance, prayer, love, empathy, and so much more. God made us to be relational. Twitter is helping fill that need/ void.


Twitter has made a real difference in my life. That sounds important but it is true.


I really like to talk to people....anyone that follows me on twitter know this. OK, I do tend to reply to all different people when they twit something of interest to me. I love to see people who think deeply about life - even if their worldview is very different than mine. Matter of fact, this is one of the best reasons to twitter...you can expand the type of people that you normally see or hang with and get to find out what they think about and do.


People Twitter for all kinds of reasons. Sure you have your people that are social networking, trying to build up a base for business, marketing/sales twitters. You also have crude, vile twitters. The great thing about twitter is that you can follow whom ever you want and you can let other people freely follow you. Twitter also gives you the option to stop following people and to even block a person from following you. If you want more privacy, you can select to only allow people you approve to follow you. This is how my daughter's account is set up. I get to see who is following her and who she follows, and I get to approve who she will twitter with.


A lot of people use twitter to find people with common interest. The search engine for finding people who like things you are interested in is pretty powerful and easy to use. You can also check out the fellow-twitters of people you enjoy. This is a wonderful way to find more people that you would find interesting.


I have made some really great relationships, and I genuinely care about the people I have gotten to know through twitter. I look forward to the first twitter convention! I just know it is going to happen. Before we know it, there will be twitter clothes, bags, and all kinds of other "in the club" goodies.


Another great plus to twitter is letting people know about your blogging. Many people have greatly improved their blog visits from twitter. You can quickly tell hundreds of people when you have posted a new blog. Also I have found some great bloggers through my twitter contacts and I also find out about all kinds of events and websites that I would never have known about without twitter.


If I had to pick one characteristic that I liked best about twitter it would have to be the loving care found in this community. When I need prayer, encouragement, advice, ideas, or a place to vent.... I can always turn to twitter. I get to be there for other twitters also. It is wonderful to be able to let someone know that you are praying for them or understand what the person has written about. It makes our big, impersonal, fast-paced world just a little more intimate and friendly.


You can twit once a day, once a week or once a month. You can use it for any purpose that fits your personality, lifestyle, and needs. It is a resource, it is an outreach, it is a way to be connected. If you haven't yet give twitter a try. My name on twitter is healingsoul... look me up if you start to twitter. If you are already twittering, feel free to add your thoughts and reasons about why you twitter...and what twitter means to you.


Sunday, November 23, 2008

Is Repentence Needed for Salvation?

Many of us pretend to have it all together...we don't want to be needy...we don't want people to know that inside of us it may feel like our wall is crumbling down and overgrown with weeds.

The truth is every single person is needy, whether they admit it or not. Every person has a need to be loved, accepted and to know that he/she matters (that they have purpose to living).

God is the only true, complete solution/ answer to meet every single one of our needs, and to make us know we are fully loved, and accepted. He is the only healer, restorer, able to tear down our old broken walls and make it to be new! He isn't in the fire protection, get out of hell business...what good would this broken down wall be with just protection against fire? It needs to be restored, redeemed. You also need redemption....and redemption begins with repentence.

I knew before I type one word...there were already readers lining up their point of view along strongly and dearly held doctrinal teachings/ beliefs. Want to start a quick argument in a "Christian" group? Ask a question like this one..."Is Repentence Needed for Salvation?" Now I am not into arguing - it does absolutely no good. It tears apart relationships. A discussion is quite different...sharing facts and information...expressing beliefs and point of views. A discussion requires people to have an openness to hearing what someone else has to say, and what God says is of utmost importance.

People firmly hold to their view often because the salvation of loved ones hang in the balance. If a person's relative has died and didn't repent, the person can not bear that this relative might not be in heaven. This dreaded fact or paralysing fear will not even allow many people to even be objective and take an honest look at what God has to say.



And even using the Bible to back up doctrinal beliefs can get sticky. I have known pastors to work a passage of Scripture into a sermon that was totally out of context to the verses meaning but it sounded like it made THEIR point THEY were trying to teach. This way of preaching unnerves me, when a pastor clearly had a message or point to say, so they find verses to back up their point. Yuk!

The Bible is living, and exciting, and constantly teaching. Any passage in Scripture can be taught... a whole sermon could be made from any verse in the Bible...if the preacher is seeking God to know HIS message in the Words God selected for the passage.



Each verse must be taken in context, not only in the paragraph, Chapter or Book, but it also needs to be in context of the entire Bible. A doctrine can not be based off of one verse, anymore than a verse on a point being ignored. The easiest passages help the Bible student understand the more obscure, more difficult concepts. A subject must be studied out in the whole context of Scripture before a definite answer or doctrine be determined.



So What Does the Bible Say about repentance? In Matthew 4:17 Jesus called for repentance..."From that time Jesus began to preach and to say, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand."

I don't know anything in this verse that is complicated. From that time...what time? Jesus just finished His 40 days in the wilderness and was beginning His ministry. He had not even called his first disciple.

What was Jesus doing? He was beginning to preach.

What did Jesus say as He preached? He said, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand."

What did he mean in the word Repent?....is a Greek word - metanoeo, meaning to think differently, to reconsider, turning away from sin and to dependence on God's way. (From Strong's and Vines)



Why or for what reason did Jesus have to ask people to repent? the kingdom of heaven is at hand



The kingdom of heaven....Ask any person where they want to go when the die and most often people will say heaven....attend most any funeral and the person doing the service will often talk about heaven in even vague terms and somehow indicate that the dead person is in a better place.... Could this often be false assurance, giving hope to the mourning that their relative, friends, acquaintance is not suffering anymore?



Clearly, in Scripture the kingdom of heaven is being with God. Jesus literally ushered in the kingdom of heaven with His very presence. This is why He was able to say...'the kingdom of heaven is at hand'....it was literally in present tense as He spoke at hand - in plain view of all whole saw and heard Him. The kingdom of heaven is not a building....a grand mansion in the sky without God....a place to rest without any trouble. Heaven is only an eternal place of peace, joy, and liberation because God is there. And we can walk in His presence even here on earth, experiencing a foretaste of heaven here on earth...not complete, but still sweet intimate presence with God.

Mk 1:4 ...preach the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins.

Lu 13: 3,5 ... unless you repent, you shall all likewise perish.



Act 3:19-21 Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that He may send Jesus Christ, who was preached to you before, whom heaven must receive until the times of restoration of all things, which God has spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began.



Acts 26:20 - ...that they should repent, turn to God and do works befitting repentance.



Rev 2:21-22 And I gave her time to repent of her sexual immorality, and she did not repent. Indeed I will cast her into a sickbed and those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation, unless they repent of their deeds.



Scripture, God in His Holy Word, is so clear. Repentance is needed for a person to enter into salvation and receive the Holy Spirit as their guarantee of the fact that he/she indeed is saved and going to heaven in life after death.



It gets so hard, when Pastors and/or churches try to drum up a high number of salvations by raking in any warm body that will mumble a prayer or say the words..."I accept Jesus".

When I tell a person about Jesus and the fact that He alone is the way to God, I make it clear that salvation comes through conviction of the Holy Spirit, the calling of God and the conversion of God making all their old dead spirit, fully new and alive in God....never to be dead again.

I ask careful questions....not wanting a person to rush into a prayer not understanding the cost of discipleship in Christ Jesus. Salvation is not in the mind, not a mental assent. Salvation certainly includes a person using their mind, but it is the heart...the will of a person crying out for forgiveness and a willful decision to turn from independence, their way of life, to dependence on the Lordship of God, a willful choice to live by God's standards...to learn, seek and transform.



Too many people are given reassurance of salvation and rushed on to baptism in a pick and choose banquet style doctrine of selecting the Bible verses that are deemed acceptable and good to the 'believer'.... a place to confirm their morals and values... a community of acceptance, love and connection.



If salvation is not all about God, His holiness, His righteous, His ability to change a person and give their life purpose, meaning and direction.... it is not true salvation that God explains in the Bible.

Many will balk and say...oh, it just says that a person has to confess Jesus.... confess what about Jesus...



Ask a person, "Do you want to go to hell?" Either they will tell you there is no hell (like their denial of its existence makes it not real) or of course, they don't want to go to hell.....they hope they will get to heaven...somehow have their good enough deeds out way the bad stuff they do or they will be able to say with assurance they know they are going to heaven or will ask how they can keep from not going to hell. Few people that are truly mentally stable will look you in the face and say, "I want to go to hell." I have yet to meet one in my life.

Ask a person, "Do you want Jesus to save you from going to hell?".....50/50 chance they will say yes.

But take the next step, ask a person if "they are willing for Jesus to be Lord of their life"....are they ready to repent (change their mind and ways of living), to accept Jesus' salvation and be able to go to Heaven (be in God's presence...having a relationship with Him). Now most will take a long hard thought at this question. This is the counting the cost part of salvation. It is the willingness to daily carry your cross and follow Jesus. God never promises a rose garden of no suffering, feasting at the world's wealth, living the easy life....if you come to a relationship with Him.

God does promise to take away your sins, to place Holy Spirit inside of you to teach/guide/ and comfort you, and to never leave you or forsake you....and He also promises heaven...presence with Him...beginning at the point of "yes, Lord."



So take a sober time before God, have you repented? Have you made sure that the people you have lead in a sinner's prayer were first ready....convicted by God of their need...understood the cost...willingly accepting to be an obedient follower of Jesus? Do you have to check this salvation thing out? Do you have a family member or friend that comes to mind that needs to have their 'salvation' assured as genuine? Don't wait before it is to late. Jesus himself said, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." What are you waiting for, there is no time like the present?

Friday, November 21, 2008

Fun Ideas for Playing in Snow with Children (All Ages)

So you want to entertain your children playing in the snow...here are some great ideas that I have used over the past 15 years.

  1. Put food color and water in spray bottle and play as you would with sidewalk chalk.
  2. Use a black piece of paper like construction paper and catch the flakes to see how each are different -use to teach how creative our God is.
  3. Make small or miniature snowmen on desk or patio close to windows so children can watch from inside. Use twigs for decorating.
  4. Use pails, shovels, shapes as you would on the beach with sand to make designs.
  5. Have a snow ball fight (lots of snow lands on cars).
  6. Take the first crunchy walks onto the snow making a path (this is so fun! early in morning after night snowfall)
  7. SnowAngels are fun to make and easy! (try to do last, because back side can get wet and cold.
  8. Collect some to put in freezer and look at another day. (don't eat...can have dirt/pollution/ etc in it...unless you live in country/rural area and you know area is clean)
  9. Mom's favorite - when everyone comes in have homemade hot chocolate (or instant with marshmallows) use milk, not water. I make while every is taking wet clothes off in bathroom and putting dry clothes on.


(playful snowmen picture by juanarreo at www.morguefile.com)

Secret to Moist Turkey



Turkey gets a bad rap on Thanksgiving because most people over cook it! Making a moist turkey is so easy.





First buy a good bird. Spending the extra dollars to get a free-range can be worth it in taste, but I have often used butterball tender young birds.

  1. Buy a turkey no more than 12-14 lbs. If you need more meat cook 2.

  2. Put in roaster upside down...yep, you read it right! Breast side down.

  3. Put meat thermometer in meat part (each poke lets out juice)

  4. No need to spice, but doesn't hurt it if you do.

  5. Bake on 325 degrees until temperture reaches 170. Final temp 180!

  6. To brown breast, turn turkey over about 20-30 minutes (170) before done and butter (with real butter). Put back in over for final baking. (I use strings under turkey or have used meat forks or tongs)

This will be the juiciest, most delicous turkey you have ever had on Thanksgiving day!


(beautiful turkey picture by George M. Bosela at http://www.morguefile.com)

Easy, Moist Dressing


This recipe is so easy and delicious. It is from my sister in Boston, that not only cooks for about 40 people every year on thanksgiving but she teaches girls at Harvard how to cook thanksgiving meal the weekend prior to every thanksgiving.


Terry's Dressing


1 diced bell pepper, onion, 2 sticks of celery and 2 crushed cloves of garlic

1 bag of Pepperidge Farm yellow cornbread

1 stick of BUTTER

2 Campbell chicken broth cans

1/2 tsp ground sage

Pepper to taste.


Sautee diced/crushed veges in butter. When soft (onions clear), add chicken broth, and sage. Warm.
Put cornbread in mixing bowl and add warm broth mixture. Stir until cornbread is moist. Pepper to taste.
Put into greased 9X13, Bake uncovered 350 degrees for about 30 minutes until warm through and through.

Can be made early and refrigerated, and warmed.


Hope you enjoy.



Sunday, November 16, 2008

Welcome to the Simple Life


Simple is good. In living a simple life, our needs are met, and we are content. Our life is full, and we are able to focus on two very essential foundations of building a family - love and respect.
Simply put - Homeschooling builds families! Homeschooling is not essential to building a simple family life - love and respect is! Homeschooling, though, is a great advantage to having the time necessary to love your children and to respect them individually.

Don't casually read over those two essential foundations of your center life:

1) Love God, yourself, your spouse and your children


2) Respect God, yourself, your spouse and your children individually.


Jesus tells us that His yoke is easy and light. So many people have come up with complicated programs, techniques, steps to follow for building families. God's plan is easy and light.... it flows out of His grace and provided strength you receive in your personal walk with Him. At the core of every family is the need to love and respect.


A long list of rules, techniques, consequences, curriculums, programs, etc. are not at all needed. Moreover, these tend to complicate and confuse, to condemn and conform, to be cold and uncaring. We do not need behavior modification techniques in our marriage or parenting. We are raising human children created in the image of God, not Pavlov's dog. The attitudes of the soul precede all behavior.

We so try to complicate the littlest of things, instead of living a simple life. Am I loving and respectful? What a simple life question to live by in all circumstances! Not is it fair, is it enough, is it equal, is it acceptable, is it the current trend, is it popular! Am I acting and speaking and thinking with love and respect toward God, myself, my spouse, my children? This should be the first question of every Simple Life Family.

A simple life is a life that brings glory to God, period. Not a small period, that assumes since your life is simple, so it will not be able to in Christ have purpose or impact.

Just the opposite is true. Most often the simplest things in life have the most impact...a first kiss, "yes, Lord", a spring crocus in a snow, "I'm sorry", an apple, banana or blueberries, a cup of morning coffee, reading the Bible...just a verse at a time, a prayer for protection/guidance, listening for God to speak (be still), a bear hug of love, sharing laughter, witnessing a child's first steps or words, holding the hand of one your love, a clean shower or bath, "thank you", a walk in the woods, the first melting cookie from the oven (with glass of milk - of course), a smile of acceptance.... I think you understand.


It is all the beautiful simple things in life that add up over time to living a fulfilling, satisfying, joyful, meaningful life.


Simple isn't always the easiest, but it is the purest. A fresh loaf of bread - just milled, kneaded and baked - is the basic core of any diet, simplest of ingredients, full of vital nourishment for our body, and comforting to our soul. But baking home milled bread takes a few extra steps then opening a bag brought home from the store. Home baked bread is simple in ingredients, in meeting many dietary needs, in being a daily basis for any meal.... but it takes discipline and order in the home to have time and energy to make it.


It is not easy at all the say, "I forgive you" but it is a simple few words that releases two souls to move forward out of past hurt. This key part of a simple life is so important to showing love and respect. It is not easy in our effort to come to a point of forgiveness, but in Christ, He can say it so freely through us, helping us to see the positive ripple effect on so many lives.


My ability to live a simple life depends on my ability to rejoice in my weakness and receive God's sufficient grace, moment by moment. In my weakness, He is strong. This is easy but it is also so good, so God!
I have so many weaknesses, I need to rejoice, I have so many places for God to live out strongly through me. Where I am short, He fills in the need. When I have no more to give, nothing left, GLORY, God can come in and fill me up.


2 Corinthians 12:8-9 Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times
that it might depart from me. And He said to me, "My grace is sufficient
for My strength is made perfect in weakness." Therefore most gladly I will
rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in
persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake. For when I am weak, then I
am strong."
God uses our very weaknesses to be our strengths, because weakness makes us rely on God for our strength. My greatest areas of weakness given over to God can be His strengths in me. It is a simple thing to say "When I am weak, He is strong." It takes no mustering up of strength, great effort on my part, figuring out how to perform, making it work.... simple life depends on my ability to surrender my weaknesses to be filled with His Strength!
Welcome to the Simple Life! Welcome to a life filled with love and respect. Take a deep cleansing breath and move forward.... the simple life, your simple life is waiting for you.








Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Four Most Important Communication Words


So many books have been written on the topic of communication. Poor communication can be a relationship killer. I don't know about you but I am a slow learner! It has taken me about a year to not only hear four healing words, but to learn to put them in practice.

"What Do You Need?" It is such an easy question, but so necessary if we want to genuinely restore trust in hurting and broken relationships. The same four word can bring comfort, love and significance to those that we really care about to ensure that communication doesn't need to be repaired.
Teen years can be very difficult. Children are learning to think for themselves and make decisions about who they want to be and how they want to live. Parents often find themselves scrambling to learn how to adjust to a child that is changing right before their eyes.

A few weeks ago I was walking down the street with my 13 yo ds, Teddy Bear. I could tell something was wrong ... he had a teen attitude... any parent of a teen knows what I am talking about. I didn't want to just let it go... I want to know what he was thinking, what was wrong, was he hurt, did he need help.

So I asked him to walk with me. By walking we began to talk. At a point down the road, I asked him, "What do you need?" This simple question opened up a world of conversation. As I listened, I was able to see his heart.

In amazement he finally turned to me and said, "I need you. Mom, I need you!" Wow! My thoughts began to think "sure. you need food, clean clothes, a bed.... all the things I do for you.... Is that what you are trying to say?" I blundered. "No, Mom, I NEED you. I need you to be my mom." Shocked to hear my teen son say he needed me.... Honestly, I don't know if anyone has ever said that to me in my life. Trying to absorb them meaning and the words, I reached over for a hug and said, "Thank you, I love you."

We walked back home a little closer, and definitely more understanding of each other.

Don't miss these blessing! Take the time to talk to your loved ones. Ask, "What do you need?" even in an intense conversation. These are healing words, helping words, giving words, caring words. The may be the four most important communication words.

"What do you need?" asked with a listening heart.



Sunday, November 2, 2008

Do We Still Have Free Press?

I want as many people as possible to read this post before Tuesday, November 4th.

Please feel free to write about it yourself, put it in emails, send it to editorials or anything else you can think of to get this truth and any other truth that you have become aware of out into the light. America is in a spiritual war!

I may be one little lady in TN, but as long as I still have a voice and my hands still can type, I am going to keep seeking for truth and telling as many people that will listen or read.

I have watched this year unfold, reading newspapers, posts, blogs, listening to radio shows, all TV stations... in an attempt to find Truth. So many sources that we have been relying on in the past, are questionable. I just received information last week that Snoops.com which I faithfully have used to test any e-mail before I forward it, had fallen to Obama workers and was not reporting Truth on questions or comment about Obama. I was warned to not use them as a truth checking source anymore. I guess a new site a independent truth seekers will have to start up... maybe it can be called truthcheck. Let me know when you find one.

Last weekend, when I was in AL visiting friends I was told that there were 57 states in Islam.

How did I make it all the way to October 23 before I learned that there are 57 member states of the Islamic Organization (OIC)? Today I googled "57 states Islam" and read to my surprise that "The Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC) is an international organisation with a permanent delegation to the United Nations. It groups 57 member states, from the Middle East, Africa, Central Asia, Caucasus, Balkans, Southeast Asia, South Asia and South America. The official languages of the organisation are Arabic, English and French." (per Wiki online)

Why was this information never told to Americans by our news channels and newspapers when Barak Obama supposedly mis-stated the number of states he visited in America? I am well-read, and keep up-to-date with current events. I am shocked that this was covered up. I am not a conspiracy-theorist person. I stay away from fringe groups on all sides of the spectrum, but there is a certain amount of trust that our citizens put in the fact that we live in a country with free media.

The media outlets (TV and print) are suppose to investigatively report on important news. How could this not have been examined? I thought it was odd that a person running for President would misstate the number of American states. I would think any America citizen over the age of 7 or 8 would certainly know the number of states in America.

When I first heard, Obama say 57 states I just figured he was weary and tired after endless campaigning. I gave him the benefit of doubt, that everyone makes mistakes and thought no more about it.

Now, I am upset, I feel I have been lied to because I read nowhere and heard nowhere until this weekend that there are 57 states in the Islamic Organization. If other citizens were told this, I think they would feel ashamed of American media. If I was a journalist, I would rather leave my place of employment rather than sit on truth that could cause the citizens of America to be deceived!

Now I wonder how many other lies have we been told, because our newspapers and news organizations have not researched and reported on facts about Obama. To me, learning about the 57 states is the smoking gun. Where there is smoke, there is fire!

Will any journalist be brave enough to stake their personal reputation and career on speaking out truth and reporting honest facts about Obama?

To look away, and pretend you did not see, or to coward down to bosses or editors, does not remove the guilt from that fact that you participated in deceiving America Citizens. Is there anyone still in journalism that is part of the "free and brave" in America?

If you still are committed to journalistic integrity and want to keep American having a free press, please write, speak and stand up to be heard will you still can, while we still have free press in our country. Serve your country, restore citizens trust in media, before it is too late.

America Citizens are being lied to everyday. The deception is so thick and dark. If I could pinch myself and wake up, I would rather believe that I was having a dream confused by a Hitler-ese storyline.

I remember being a young girl in school learning about German Nazi's, Hitler, and the horrendous stories of the holocaust. As clear as today, I remember raising my hand in class and asking how could this happen? Why didn't someone do something? Why didn't someone stop this from happening? I just couldn't believe what I was hearing... that people could be so deceived to believe such a lie, that so many people had to die, because people chose to turn away, to protect themselves, to pretend the horror was not happening.

Now I stand on the edge of such a day in History. What will my grandchildren or great-grandchildren say about me and the American citizens of 2008? What kind of country will they be born into? We have a responsibility to every single person that has ever shed their blood for this country or that has lost a love one in the defense of the freedom and Constitution in America. These brave people knew that America was blessed and favored because we were one nation under God! They were willing to fight and give their life, to sacrifice their comfort and possessions to preserve our liberties that God had given us. We live in a country that was founded on religious freedom, so that its citizens could worship the God of the Bible! This is Truth!

While I totally understand believers will only win this war on our knees in prayer and fasting, God does ask us to stand, to not give up the ground He has already given us. One of the most important ways we can ever stand is to speak Truth. Lies can never stand when they are exposes to the light.

Stay strong in God. Pray, fast, read His Word, sing songs of Worship and Praise. And speak for Truth. Question everything you read, hear and see... only Truth can withstand scrutiny. Truth will always outshine and rise to the top.

I am sorry that I am so passionate, I love my God and have always been thankful for being born in this country, America.

I do not want to give it away to a wicked deceptive liar, satan. As God be my witness, I do not wish a hair on Obama's head or anyone in his family hurt - he, himself, may be under the influence of the Deceiver and not even realize that what he is saying or doing is lies. Pray, if he is deceived, that God would open heart to see the truth.

In everything, to God be the glory!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

EASY FIRST STEPS TO IMPROVING YOUR HEALTH


1. Begin eating full-fat dairy products and butter.

This is very important. Whole milk, full-fat sour cream, whole milk yogurt, cheese and real butter have life-giving trace minerals, and the saturated fat found in them help the body to assimilate the nutrients such as vitamin D. If you are blessed to have a local dairy, or a source for raw milk or cheese, this is even better because they have more enzymes. There is also an important nutrient called lecithin contained in these foods that works to keep plaque from forming in arteries. This is all contrary to what we have been taught for the last 30-40 years. But this is the truth. If you are worried about gaining weight, remember that it is the saturated fat that burns off first, and usually it is too many carbohydrates that don't get burned off and subsequently turn into fat in the body. The other thing to remember is that generally full-fat foods satisfy you with less. Eat freely of these foods, but don't be a glutton!


2. Eat whole-grain and unrefined foods as much as possible.
Try eating brown rice instead of white rice. If making rice intimidates you, get a rice cooker. (http://www.urbanhomemaker.com/ has one with a stainless steel bowl). It is easy to mix white with brown if you or your family just isn't used to eating brown rice. You can also cook it on the stove top in a sauce pan (preferably with a vented lid, but not necessary). The measurement is generally 2 cups of water to 1 cup of rice. Mix the water and rice, bring to a boil, put lid on and lower temp to low, and let the rice simmer until done. It takes brown rice a bit longer than white to cook (30-40 minutes). Once I put the lid on and turn down the stove, I do not take the lid off until it is done. A glass lid helps with this.

When we eat pasta, I like to buy organic when possible. Whole wheat pasta, unless I make it myself, has never gone over well in our household. So we still eat white pasta, but I buy organic so that there is no genetically modified wheat used, or chemicals. If you want to add nutrition to your pasta, cook some frozen vegetables with the noodles, and add only enough water so that you don't have to drain it off of the pasta, but rather it soaks up the nutrients from the veggies. Adding butter and some sea salt or garlic salt makes the pasta delicious! By the way, sea salt (such as REAL SALT ( get from http://www.breadbeckers.com/) , contains vital trace minerals and natural iodine that is not found in ordinary refined iodized salt.

Finally, if at all possible, try some freshly ground wheat to use for all of your baked goods. Wheat germ, which is in freshly ground wheat kernals, contains many nutrients such as vitamin E, the B vitamins, lecithin, and of course, fiber. It may seem overwhelming trying to even imagine making your own bread, but it is not so hard once you have done it once or twice. Refer to my article on beginning to grind your own wheat. Don't forget to slap a little butter on that slice of fresh bread or rolls!

3. Take cod liver oil.

You have probably heard of the health benefits of fish oil for the omega 3 essential fatty acids it contains. But taking a good cod liver oil such as Carlson's Cod Liver Oil with lemon in the green bottle (buy from http://www.vitacost.com/) has the added benefits of vitamin A and vitamin D. It is considered a superfood. Vitamins A and D are lacking in the American diet, as so much has been processed out of the foods, and low-fat dairy has robbed people of needed assimilation of these nutrients. The absence of these nutrients in people's diets are at the root of some of the worse diseases in our land. Generally, children can take 1 teaspoon of cod liver oil a day with a meal, adults can take 2 teaspoons a day with a meal, and pregnant or nursing moms should take 3 teaspoons a day with meals. We put our doses in a little no-sugar-added fruit juice and you can hardly even taste it. We take one or two days off every week, just to allow our bodies a break from superfoods and vitamins. My children generally take their vitamins and cod liver oil 5 days a week, or Monday through Friday, and take off Saturday and Sunday. This is fine for adults, too. It should be noted that one of the benefits of taking cod liver oil is that it keeps your blood fluid and not sticky so that if one has a tendency to get blood clots or strokes, a good alternative to aspirin or blood thinner is to take cod liver oil. If you are taking a blood thinner or vitamin D supplement, talk to your doctor when you start adding cod liver oil to your diet. He can monitor your clotting levels and vit. D levels so that perhaps eventually you can get off the medicine.

4. Try adding freshly ground flaxseed to bread dough or other baked goods, or sprinkle in yogurt.

Flaxseed is very nourishing and contains alpha-linoleic acid, an essential fatty acid, and adds fiber. I add a cup of freshly ground flaxseed (which I grind in a coffee grinder) to my dough when I am making bread. Another thing you can do to lower cholesterol levels (though there is much evidence that high cholesterol is not a culprit in heart disease) is to take 1/4 cup of freshly ground flaxseed, stir in a glass of juice such as no-sugar-added cranberry or grape juice, and drink an hour or so before the evening meal. My husband did this for less than 3 weeks and he brought his cholesterol level down from 280 to 220. This is true! Many people have tried this with good results. The key is to do it every day. You might want to try this before the doctor puts you on medication.

5. Eat fresh fruit and veggies every day.

If you are not a big fruit and veggie person, figure out atleast one or two that you can or will eat, and eat those. I did not grow up eating many blueberries, for example. But I love to put frozen blueberries in yogurt with maple syrup (Grade B preferably, and organic). You can easily get a good serving or two of one of the most potent anti-oxidant foods there is!
Apples and bananas are good and contain fiber especially nourishing to the colon. Adding to either some organic peanut butter can be a great way to add protein and make a satisfying snack. Raw carrots and salad are wonderful, but some things such as spinach are actually better cooked, because cooking neutralizes enzymes which inhibit calcium absorption! In fact, cooking vegetables is fine and leaves many nutrients perfectly intact, and even more absorbable. Just don't cook in too much water and then drain it off, because that drains off some of the good stuff! Do add butter and some seasoned sea salt, too. All of my children eat their veggies, because they taste so good this way!

6. Filter your water.

There is much in municipal water these days that really shouldn't be consumed continuously. Filtering your water, whether you use a filtering system or a pitcher or the filter in the refrigerator, will make the water taste better and cuts down on at least the chlorine content, and other impurities. One day I would like a whole-house water filter, but until then, we use our filtered water from the refrigerator to cook any food needing water, as well as coffee and tea.

7. Try eating cultured or fermented foods.

Yogurt is a good addition to your diet to add good bacteria to help with digestion. Fermented foods such as kimchi, saurkraut, or pickles made with a lactic acid fermentation can really add needed digestive aids. Many people suffer from yeast problems due to antibiotic use, and eating these types of foods help replenish the system with good bacteria. You can also take a good probiotic instead, but that is not as fun as eating the food!

8. Eat real sugar, or better yet, unrefined sugar or natural sweeteners instead of artificial sweeteners.

Diet drinks and artificial sweeteners can have some real adverse effects on your body and your mind. I saw recently that they actually cause weight gain. High Fructose Corn Syrup, which is in so many foods from soft drinks to hot dogs to baked goods, has been a real culprit in the widespread epidemic of diabetes. Try to find things that contain only real sugar or honey or maple syrup. If you really love soft drinks, try developing a taste for sweet iced tea or fruit juices made with fresh juice or with only concentrated fruit juice. There is real anti-oxidant value in tea and coffee, and these things are natural foods. I buy only organic tea and coffee, and they really taste better, too. Then you can sweeten these with whatever you want. We use either organic sugar (sparingly) or a product known as dehydrated sugar cane refinery syrup (also known as "Sucanat.") This is available at http://www.breadbeckers.com/.

9. If you can, buy local and get grass-fed or pasture-raised meats.

It is a real blessing to be able to get locally raised produce and meats. If you can find a farmer who lets his animals graze on good pasture, such as beef cows or pastured poultry, try his products. Meat, eggs and milk from animals allowed to graze and roam in the fresh air and sunshine have more nutrients, higher levels of vitamin A and D, higher levels of conjugated linolenic acid or CLA, higher levels of Omega-3 fatty acids and just plain taste better. Cows that are just grass or hay fed never have E.Coli problems because E. Coli happens when grain is fermented in the cow's intestines, and creates an atmosphere for bacteria like E. Coli to thrive. No grain, no pain! The same sort of thing is true with chickens and salmonella. Eggs from pastured, free-ranging chickens that can eat greens and run around in the sunshine, while eating insects and some organic grain, will almost never have salmonella like the eggs which come from confined hens that never see the light of day. Animals that are well-cared for and allowed to live the way they were created to live, make much healthier foods.

10. Get some fresh air, sunshine and exercise.

One of the ways to get vitamin D is by getting out in the sun! I have to remember to do this, even with living in the country, because I get so busy inside the house that sometimes the sun is going down before I can get outside for any length of time. If you can get out for 20 or 30 minutes, don't use sunscreen so the vit. D is not blocked. Fresh air is good for the lungs and taking in oxygen for our cells. Getting some exercise, even just walking for 30 minutes 4 or 5 days a week, can make a drastic difference in your appearance and the way you feel, especially if you are not used to getting much exercise at all. I used to think only jogging would keep my weight off, but after my 5th baby, I made walking a routine in my life. Even when I take a few days off, I try to get back in my routine, because it helps me physically, mentally and spiritually. When we lived in a little town a few years ago, I would walk around our house and yard at night after the children were down for the night. It was the only time and the only way I could get that exercise in consistently!

Some vitamins we use are:

Organic Life Vitamins (a liquid food-based vitamin) (from http://www.vitacost.com/)
Dr. Ron's UltraPure Next Generation multi-vitamin (http://www.drrons.com/)
Dr. Ron's Cal-Hydroxyapetite - a calcium supplement made from beef bone that is proven to increase bone mass.
EmergenC fizzing powders - (from http://www.vitacost.com/)


This post was written by my dear friend, Christine Reed, of http://www.fairhillsfarm.com/


Post comments if you feel these steps will help you.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Finding Freedom in Homeschooling 4-step Plan





I am a slow learner. God always has to take me on the long, bumpy route to lessons. It seems I try to embrace the new, interesting, up-and-coming, latest, greatest, award-winning answer/ solution than to look to the simple answers.


We visited friends this weekend on their AL homestead where they school their 8 children, from 3-18 on God's worldview of living life.


What a blessing God is doing in the lives of many homeschool families that have been trying to live up to the traditional past 100 year school model of education! He is releasing us to a freedom to educate our children at home the natural way.


The natural way of education does not mean we toss out all the books, curriculum, binders, paper, president charts, maps, dictionaries and timetables. It also doesn't mean there are no study spots or desks in the house. And it certainly doesn't mean there are no academic lessons to be taught. Let's face it my high schooler is not going to learn algebra by making muffins in the kitchen or building himself a wooden shield.


I don't run around speaking Latin, naturally, or another "foreign" language. There is order to learning how a sentence is structured and a essay well-written. Some common knowledge just must be learned and taught from informative books, website or other sources. So, I am not saying I am throwing any curriculum out of the window yet. The fact is I like the order of some curriculum, to make sure I don't drift endlessly in wide circles.


The sign pointing the way into our guesthouse this weekend at our freinds' home read - "Welcome to the Simple Life". That is what I think will be my slogan for the rest of this school year, Welcome to the Simple Life of Homeschooling! I like the sound of it, and it certainly takes a load of pressure to conform and imitate off my mind and shoulders.


So this is my plan



  1. Set the Basic/ Must, Core Courses

  2. Make available websites, books, activities, dvds, tv programming, magazines

  3. Listen to My children and let them learn deeply about their passions, natural bent

  4. Live life with and around my children at home and in the community, State, Country, World.

So what do each of these look like and mean in a practical sense -


Set Basic Core Courses


Math-


Every child at every stage has some core knowledge courses. Math is probably the most basic. Math curriculum and frequent lessons are a must. Sure math application happens throughout life but the core elements of multiplication tables, division, fractions and simplifying a mathematical sentence just doesn't 'happen'. It is a subject that builds daily increasing or adding information and skills as the child grows.


English Language Arts-


Reading and Writing is also core at every age. While formal reading is taught in as many varieties as their are children. The basics of phonetic sounds, spelling rules, parts of speech, and writing structure must be taught. Some children just learn to read by being read to or hearing another child learning while they are hanging around "playing". Other children struggle at how to even see the words (letters) instead of the spaces and patterns on the page.


I am certain that different children have different ways of thinking, seeing, hearing and learning. I have seen it in my own children's life, as well as thousands of others. In my 'simple life' homeschooling model, grammar beyond 5th/6th grade is meaningless unless a child is going to be an English/Journalism major. Being able to read, hear, think and organize information into an intelligent way to communicate it to others is the core lesson of all Language Arts (K-12).


History and Science-


History begins and ends with God and the Bible. The core historical and science Book for any family is the Bible. If a child knows the history and science given by God, they will be well-educated through elementary/middle grades. Truth is essential to any history and science taught. Every parent must be careful in to use the Bible as the standard bearer (of absolute truth) to every other book, website, class, TV program that they allow their children for reading and learning history and science.


These are the two subject most re-created in the past 50 years to align with humanistic (man can accomplish it) worldview. The two basic worldviews are the Biblical Worldview and the Secular/ Humanistic Worldview. One has God as the source, center and authoritative voice on all truth. The other has man's thoughts, assumptions, conclusions, and accomplishments as the authoritative voice on truth.


This is a critical turning point in any learning environment. What is the worldview that underlines all information given by the author? You must discern this quickly and choose carefully to fill your children's life with truthful sources of science and history. A basic test - If it contradicts the Word of God, it is not truth. Also, if it contradicts original letters, documents, sources, it is not truth. For example, you can not teach American History and deny the facts of the letters, documents, books of the men who founded America. History and Science are based on facts. Be careful of these fields of study that are full of revisionist, humanistic lessons and books.


Another basic understanding in teaching these subjects is to begin at the beginning. History has a beginning and so does science - they both begin with the God and His Bible. Use the Bible and spring out in direction from it. There are wonderful science and history programs that follow the timeline of the Bible to present day. These are hands-down the very purest, truthful and best to use.


Make Available -


Your home should be a treasure grove of learning. Make books, puzzles, art supplies, DVD, videos, board games, music as available as you can. Allow your children access to websites (with supervision) for learning and exploring. Let your children spend hours outdoors... God's outdoor nature education is one of the finest available to all children at any age. And wisely select activities to go to or lessons to be taken out of the home.


I say wisely, because you want to be at home as much as possible. Busy-ness is the number one stressor and destroyer of natural learning. Falling quickly behind are numbing computer gaming systems and mindless TV. Computer, gaming and TV are not evil.... but the excess of and love of them are. So let God dictate to you and your family what the appropriate level is to be set for lessons, gaming, and TV. Give this a try.... take one week and turn off all electronic entertainment in the home... you will be happily amazed at what results from this simple experiment in home life. Every time we do this challenge, the results are so statisfying and eye-opening.


Listen to your Children about their Passions and Bent


Every person is created by God with passions/a certain bent. Listen to your child's dreams, questions, and interests. My daughter yesterday was asking to learn how to draw people. My son was amazed by the electronic telescope pictures on http://www.slooth.com/ and wanted to join so he could explore the skies. Another son plays a drum rhythm on anything and everything. My daughter sits for hours in her room listening to music and making up melodies and lyrics for her own songs, and she teaches her dolls/stuffed toys all kinds of "school lessons" from years past workbooks. My son, also, loves deep-level strategy game, like civilization, along the line of chess, but chess to the 10 degree! He can play this board game by himself/ against himself (few people have the mental depth or patience to even try to learn it) for days.


Interest and passion come and go - try to let your children butterfly-learn in this area. By butterfly-learn, I mean allow them to flitter, and visit as many different interest as possible and to come and go between them as they grow/mature.


Live Life


One of my most basic phrases regarding homeschooling and life in general is that 'life happens'. I think it comes from the God-viewpoint that He is in control and I am not. I must be able to go with the flow He sends my way. Life is to be lived! That seems like an oxymoronic statement, but many of us try to live by a set schedule, plan or formula... and don't embrace interruptions however big or little. The events that happen in life from a skinned knee to a death in the family needs to be embraced as the life God has given us. We can learn great character and God-size lessons everyday if we are open to times when situations collide with our plans.



I want to end by saying....if you haven't yet, lighten up. Converse with God moment by moment and be obedient to Him. He will keep you on the 'light-and-easy-yoke' homeschool program. Enjoy your children, your spouse, your time and your home... cherish your blessings. And in the beginning and the end, trust God to educate your children to be who He created them to be and for the purpose He created them. God will get it right!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Are We Ready to Hear, Speak, See? God is Moving!

Listen! Be still and know that He is God. The time is here.... are you ready to hear His words and the truth? Are you ready to move, speak, stand, go, see? God is speaking, God is calling, God is moving among is church of believers, He is seeking those who will come, and is looking to and fro to find those who hearts (emotions, mind and will) is obedient to HIM.


Listen! Pray, cry, fast, and wait on the Lord... He is talking, leading, moving... be totally quiet... stop..be still and praise Him... know for certain that He is God and He is not sleeping.


The church has slept but not God, He has felt the pain, He has seen the blood, He has heard the cries, He is ready. The time is NOW....


Are you ready? Are you willing? Are you serious about God - Our King, Our Judge, Our Lawmaker? He is moving swiftly, coming down from the North, the cold wind is blowing. The prayers and fasting of His people, the repenting, the call for mercy has been heard.


Stand. Armor. Watch. Pray. Wait for His favor and command. Move, speak, go, stop, obey HIS voice.


Thus sayeth the Lord. Ask and He will speak to you.

This is the prayer His Spirit is praying out through my spirit: "God, Father, Christ, Spirit show me what you see in America, let me feel what You feel, let me know what You know. I am ready. I want to do Your will. I am willing, I want to serve You. All, so that You may be lifted up, and that your healing and mercy can fall upon our Nation."

Then We (America) will be still and Know Him. Be blessed, be one of the believers of 2008 that heard God, that prayed and cried for mercy, that allowed God to hear from heaven and heal America.

If My people who are called by My by My Name, will humble themselves and pray, and seek My face, then I will hear from heaven and heal the land.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Locked in Love - Help for the Weak!


I enjoyed the freedom that I had in writing the post for my other blog on Abuse and Trauma Hope. This post is not only for people who have been abused or suffered trauma.
It is for any person that has ever suffered, or been hurt. I hope you will read to be encouraged and forward to others, so they can be helped. http://abuseandtrauma-hope.blogspot.com/2008/10/locked-in-love-help-for-weak.html

It encourages me if you leave comments. Thank you for reading.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Discover How to Recover from Personal Defeat!

Broken, in pieces, cracked, damaged, shattered....does this ever describe how you feel inside? Do you try as you might to get organized, schedule, tackle to-do's, accomplish goals, but find you just can't complete the task before you?

I am seeing how God can use the little broken pieces of my life to create a beautiful stain-glass artwork for His beautiful glory and light to shine through.
One big sheet of glass isn't so pretty and frankly kind of hard to see light shine through. I dropped by a stained-glass artist store this week in our little main street downtown. The work in this shop was unbelievably beautiful!
The lady who ran the shop said her husband told her that she didn't leave to go to work she left to go play... and she agreed, saying, "I love what I do!" I could truly see how happy she was being able to create beautiful pieces of art for people's needs.
Well, I can also imagine how happy it must make God feel to be able to take the broken pieces of our life and to create them into an incredible design so perfectly unique to the needs of each person. How wonderful it is to be in the master designer's hand where nothing is wasted or tossed out as garbage, but each and every shattered part of our life is knowingly placed exactly where it can most precisely be redeemed, for God, for good, for glory.

This week has not been a victory week. The Kitchen, my step 1 in homemaking recovery, fell by the way side. It's not that I didn't want to continue the plan of last week. I was totally overwhelm with weakness, both physical and emotional. But in this place, God had a plan for me.
1 Corn 7:17 says: Where you are right now is God's place for you. Live and obey and love and believe right there (The Message translation)
How does one stick to a plan when she can't even think clearly and struggles get out of bed .... when getting dressed is a labor, arms are heavy (weighty) and thoughts are not always connected and clear?
What is key to all of this life inconsistency is that my core is the one and only eternal God! He never changes. He is consistent. He is just and fulfills His obligations and promises. He promises to never leave me or forsake me. So no matter how I am functioning, he is picking up the pieces to be used in my life masterpiece for good.
So in due time, when I do recover, I step up, take a deep breath and pick up where I left off. As soon as I regain a healthful consistency, I will set up the kitchen again and take the steps I explain last week on how to reign order and control in this zone of my home. It is all I know to do. I don't have to start all over again, I don't have to feel defeated, I just need to return to the ground gained and set it back up again.

I have been a zig-zagger in life. Start, unfinished, start up again, incomplete, start up a new area, give out, make it simpler, start a simpler plan, fall down, wipe the dust off and stand up again....
Why do I keep getting up? Because life is not over yet, and I still am victorious as long as I keep getting back up and trying to focus on what is important, to get back on right track. God is what is important. Life is all about Him, not me. The right track is His track. He doesn't need me. I need Him. He can carry on without me, I can't carry on without Him.
You see God did not promise me an easy life, a smooth road, no adversary.... in fact quite the opposite... I was promised a narrow, challenging, path full of trials and suffering.
But I am also reassured that He is still Sovereign, King, Lord of all and that no matter how impossible the odds, or the way things appeared to me by sight, I am to persevere and walk by faith -not by sight.
Faith not in myself, my ability, my strengthen, my success. The object of my faith is and always will be God! In Christ all things are possible, without Him nothing is possible.
So I aim my thoughts to be renewed by His, and surrender to His will to be once again, and to continually be transformed.
You know what is truly amazing - God never gives up! He never counts me out, drops me from the team. He never benches me to a life of idleness and defeat. He takes the raggedy, the broken, the torn, the wounded, the mangled and selects these souls to be His shining stars.
It is through my weakness that He is made strong, that His beacon of light can shine through calling others to come to Him. Others will see the beauty He is creating in the stain-glass window of my life.
I know of no other place you can receive this kind of acceptance or love than in the presence of the one true God.
In the light of eternity, having a functioning clean kitchen is very, very minor. An easy task to be taken on by the God who created the Universe in 6 days and rested.
Now let me just lean on Him, rest in Him, be restored and when He is ready. We (together) will snap the order back into the kitchen zone and move on to the rest of the household.
If my children never learn household organization from me, so be it, but they will learn that We have an enormous Father-God, that can see us through any trial, that is the answer to all life's questions and needs. They will also see that He carries those who are weak, for as long as it takes, until we can support our own weight and walk again.
My God be glorified through my life, through the victories and the defeats, may He use it all for His precious name to be lifted up in ways that I could never begin to understand or imagine.

God is looking for people who will come to simple dependence upon Him...At this very moment, He is looking at you!
The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and His understanding no one can fathom. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not faint. This is the Word of God - truth - spoken by Isaiah (Is 40:28-31) As it is written, let it be so in my life.