Friday, December 31, 2010

The close of 2010

As I reflect on 2010, I am reminded of all the wonderful things that the Lord has taught me. Some things were ever so painful, but molded my character in such an amazing way. Other parts of 2010 were just wonderful, like my brothers wedding in September. And I have been blessed with some amazing friends through facebook this year! I have been blessed with like minded Believers who have encouraged me to press on and keep YHVH at the center of my life. The Lord has been so good to my family this year and I am so grateful. Tonight we celebrated our first Shabbat meal together and it was a wonderful experience. I made my first loaf of Challah bread and my husband read from the book of Matthew about our Messiah's last supper with His apostles. Nathan was eager to partake in the communion we shared together as we remembered the body and blood that Yeshua gave for us! We turned off the lights and ate by candlelight. It was a wonderful meal shared and I believe YHVH was honored. As 2010 comes to a close and another year begins I am reminded that our Messiah will return again soon! We must eagerly await Him and run the race on earth with perseverance. When He returns may He find us all faithful servants!

To all my family and friends, "The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make His face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up His countenance upon you and give you peace." Numbers 6:24-26

Thursday, December 30, 2010

The Religion of My Messiah

It has been awhile since I have written a post once again. These past few weeks have been both shocking and amazing at the same time. As most of you know, I grew up in a "christian" home and was blessed to have had the Bible a part of my life. My parents were first generation Christians and so they did the best they could despite their lack of knowledge and lack of family support. I grew up quite conservative and never once questioned my faith. Throughout the years I met some wonderful "Christians" and also some terrible ones. At many times the "bad" ones seemed to outweigh the "good" ones. Sadly, many of these "bad" ones were closely related to the "church" and at times they were the pastors themselves. Though many men let me down, I know my eyes had to stay on the only perfect man -- Jesus. While I most certainly was a "Christian", I was not well educated in my faith. Sure I believed that God sent his only Son who died on a cross for my sins. I believed that He rose from the grave three days later and one day will return again. I remember that wonderful night when I knelt down in my bedroom and asked Jesus to come into my heart. As a teenager I followed the Messiah's example by also being water baptized. I even went to Bible college for two years! But after all that I still didn't know my heritage. I had always believed that I had been adopted into God's family. But what does that mean? My Messiah was a Jew. What did I know about my Messiah and His people? The very sad answer was, no! The more I saw how "Christians" acted, the more I was convinced this is not how my Messiah wanted His followers to act. I understand we are all humans and make mistakes and sin, but the sins and offenses that seem to be within the "Christian" circles and churches seem to be so frequent and so hateful at times. There is so much division, so much judgement passed, so much gossip and so much arguing. Surely these were not character traits that my Messiah wanted me to emulate. I must admit I was guilty of of being in that crowd to! God forgive me! As a follower of the Messiah I should have been different. I should have been the one to turn the other cheek. But pride got in my so many times and a desire to be right. As I began seeking God once again and reading His words to me, I began to realize their must be something missing. Where was the faith that the apostles taught? Where had the New Testament Believers gone? The very early "Christians"? The ones who were known by the Romans to live meagerly and to love everyone. The Believers who wouldn't even take their "brother" to court. Who met in homes weekly with other like minded Believers to study scripture, share a meal and remember the Lords death. Where did they go? So I began to earnestly study!

History about the groups that followed the apostolic traditions is very sketchy and comes almost exclusively from the church fathers (who were considered Catholic at that time). Under Theodosius and later on an emperor names Valentinan, all writings hostile to the Catholic church -- including "christian" works deemed heretical, were burned! Jewish Christians who maintained the apostolic legacy were accepted by neither Jew nor professing Christian. From the middle of the second century Catholic churchmen strongly condemned their beliefs as unworthy of Christ. Very likely the group known as the Nazarenes represented the Jewish Christianity taught by the apostles. The term "Nazarene" is first mentioned in Acts 24:5.

The conflict between Judaism and Catholic belief become sharper from the second century onward. Instead of accepting their common heritage, the church fathers sought ways to reinterpret the Scriptures and to show the superiority of their new religious movement.

In the 430's, the Christian Council of Laodicea ruled in detail against Christian observance of the Jewish Sabbath, their acceptance of the unleavened bread from the Jews, and their keeping of Jewish festivals. Later on, even Martin Luther who was considered a key person in the Protestant Reformation, began to show a hatred for the Jewish people when they did not accept his version of religion. He made many comments and even wrote about the Jewish people which was full of hatred. He wanted Jews to be done away with once and for all. Later on, Hitler (a professing Christian!) claimed to finish the work that Martin Luther had wanted. How sad and tragic! Martin Luther and many other church fathers had started to believe in what we call Replacement Theology. This theology leads to a dangerous path! They believe the promises and covenants made with Israel in the Scriptures are no longer valid. They believe that the Jews were the Messiah killers and that they are now they scum of the earth because of this and have forfeited their blessings. They believe the blessings and promises to come will be given to the "church" instead. The Bible is not to be taken literally when it comes to Israel, but rather metaphorically (they believe). I don't believe that God breaks His covenants or promises! It is this theology that has crept into many evangelical churches today. I am reminded of just how deceptive Satan can be. This theology was fuel to the Holocaust and was even fuel to the White Supremacy movement. What a tragic thing! Now so many people who believe in Replacement Theology might not even realize its anti-Jewish origin and agenda. I never had any idea either until I studied.

The more I studied, the more I realized just how far we have strayed from our Jewish roots. Our Messiah was a Jew and yet we dont often much about the Jewish people or their feasts and holy days. The Bible is so rich with information on the feasts. I know many will say that we are no longer under the law because Jesus destroyed the Law. But I believe that the Bible says that Jesus came to fulfill the Law and to give a New Covenant (which in the translation is a renewed covenant). Just as we have a new moon, yet it is not truly "new" but rather a renewed moon, so the Covenant has been renewed. I believe that God is unchanging and His word can be trusted. He would never break a covenant, He only added to it in the New Testament. Not only were we to not murder, but hatred was the same as murder. And He gave us a new commandment, to love one another (one we sadly do not follow much). The Messiah wrote these renewed and amended commandments on our hearts now. While I dont believe we are under the legalism of the old law, I do believe that a faith in the Messiah brings forth a desire to obey and honor His law. I have so much more to learn and perhaps shall write more when my journey is further. In the meantime, I desire to learn more about the life my Messiah lived. I desire to start celebrating the feasts as He did not out of a legalistic requirement, but as an act of love and out of a desire to walk more in His footsteps. I believe the feasts were rich with meaning. I look forward to celebrating Passover and remembering that Jesus was the Passover Lamb who was slain for us. I am eager to celebrate the feast of Trumpets which reminds me that one day the trumpet shall sound and my Messiah will return! I am compelled in my heart to remember Him as often as I can and to learn the significance of the things He did or participated in. I want to become more like the New Testament Believers of the very early "church". I want to shy away from the politics and apostasy that I see in so many church buildings. I dont believe that sharing the good news of my Messiah was ever intended to be a paid career, but rather an obligation of every Believer. I want to remember that the greatest of these is love! I dont want to get into the trap of pride by believing that I am any better of a person for believing any of these things or by celebrating the Biblical feasts. I want to be known by others as someone who loves people! I desire to unified with other Believers, not separated by different denominations. I desire to heed the admonition and warning of the apostle Jude when he urged Christians at the end of the first century.

"Beloved, although I was very eager to write to you about our common salvation, I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints. For certain people have crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ. Now I want to remind you, although you once fully knew it, that Jesus who saved a people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed those who did not believe. And the angels who did not stay within their own position of authority, but left their proper dwelling, he has kept in eternal chains under the gloomy darkness until the judgment of the great day -- just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities, which likewise indulged in sexual immorality and pursued unnatural desire, serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire." Jude 3-7

I write this with a humble heart and full of love. We are all equal in His sight and He desires us all to come to a saving knowledge of His son, Yeshua, our Messiah. May I be faithful until the end!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Cancer Prevention

Alright, I promise everyone that this is my last post for the day on my blog. I just have so much information I have gathered and feel the need to share it while I have a few moments of peace.

There have been hundreds of Egyptian bodies exhumed and their tissues examined for cancer cells and only one body contained cancer. There were arguments that maybe these people didn't live long enough to get cancer, but many bodies showed signs of other digeneritive diseases of aging. Dr Mercola is someone whose research and writings I trust and he has recently suggested that most of the cancers are brought on by diet, lifestyle and chemicals -- which are things we can change and/or limit and lessen our exposure to. He suggests three ways to help prevent and even fight cancer. I would like to share then with you here.

#1 - Optimize your levels of vitamin D year-round!

If people around the world did this, cancer deaths could be slashed by 30% - which amounts to 2 million people worldwide and 200,000 in the United States - each year! On a personal level you can decrease your risk of cancer by over half simply by optimizing your vitamin D levels with sun exposure. Vitamin D increases self destruction of of mutated cells, reduces the spread and reproduction of cancer cells, causes cells to become differentiated (cancer cells often lack this) and it reduces the growth of new blood vessels from pre-existing ones, which is a step in the transition of dormant tumors turning cancerous.

#2 - Optimize your Insulin levels!

Otto Warburn won the Nobel Prize in 1934 for discovering the physiology of cancer cells. This discovery clearly demonstrated that cancer cells require more sugar to thrive. All of our processed grains and refined grains and sugar are contributing to this growing cancer epidemic. More insulin is being required to be secreted by the pancreas to keep up with the loads of sugar we are putting into our bodies. This increased insulin level created a perfect breeding ground for cancer!

#3 - Opt for safer cancer screenings!

Routine mammography delivers an unrecognized high dose of radiation. If a woman follows the current guidelines for premenopausal screening, over a ten year period she would recieve a total dosage of about 5 rads. This approximates the level of exposure to radiation of a Japanese woman one mile from the epicenter of atom bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki! There is an alternative!

Thermographic breast screening! Thermography measures the radiation of infrared heat from your body and translates this information into anatomical images. Thermography uses no mechanical pressure or ionizing radiation, and can detect signs of breast cancer as much as ten years earlier than mammography or a physical exam - before a tumor has even formed! This is made possible because it can image the early stages of angiogenesis - the formation of a direct blood supply to cancer cells, which is a necessary step before they can grow into a tumors of size.

The American Cancer Society states that one-third of cancer deaths are linked to poor diet, physical inactivity, and carrying excess weight. And they are conservative in their numbers! I really believe that number is much higher!

In regards to all these things I have been discovering that are lurking in your daily personal products, your cleaning agents and so much more... I'd like to quote a German philosopher. Two hundred years ago Arthur Schopenhauer said this, "All truth goes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed, then it is violently opposed and finally it is widely accepted." How true is this statement? What about BPA? That is something that was laughable at one time, then totally opposed and now it has actually become widely accepted that BPA is dangerous for your body! Don't count on the government to know whats better for you before you do. Many things are labeled as "safe" by our government only to be recalled and discovered to have caused actual deaths! I believe we need to be wise and research things for ourselves. We must not let the government (or anyone for that matter) think for us!

Antibiotics in your soap! (and other horrible things I'm discovering)

Ok, so as you can tell I am really researching and studying the chemicals that are in our everyday products. I am quite convinced that our ancestors did not have 20 different shampoos to choose from with a list of ingredients that I can't even pronounce! The same goes for toothpaste, soaps, deoderant...etc. This whole subject about parabens, antibiotics, sodium lauryl sulfate and many other chemicals really has me searching for good, sound research.

Did you know that 72% of all the liquid soap in the U.S contains antibacterial ingredients? The active ingredient in most antibacterial soap is triclosan, an antibacterial agent that kills bacteria and inhibits bacterial growth. But not only does Triclosan kill bacteria, it also has been shown to kill human cells. Triclosan was introduced into consumer products in 1995, and its use has rapidly spread. Many scientists fear that the widespread use could lead to a strain of resistant bacteria, or "superbugs", and cause the ingredients to lose effectiveness for the times when they are really needed. Children who are not exposed to common bacteria, which are wiped out by antibacterial soap, may be more prone to allergies and asthma. Even the American Medical Association does not recommend these products!

Then there are the deoderants out there. Most offensive, the anti-perspirent ones. All of these contain aluminum which has been shown to cause alzheimer disease. That is not its only offense. Some chemicals in regular deoderant are also found in the breast tumors of cancer patients! There are lymph nodes that are located in the arm pit area and these lymph nodes drain right into the breast tissue. We all know that substances enter our bodies via the skin (examples include nicotine patches and birth control patches) so whatever we are putting on our skin is getting into our body. However when a women shaves it really opens up her pores, causing the substances applied to really go into the skin and into the body. And since we use deoderant every day (most of us) then just imagine in the course of a lifetime how much of our deoderant is in our body?

I could go on and on... but I will spare you :) This week I have made the switch to all natural, chemical free shampoo, soap and deoderant. We also use natural toothpaste and mouthwash. This might seem overwhelming to some of you, but make little changes. Its the little changes you make that add up to big difference in your health!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate/Sodium Laureth Sulfate

You are probably looking at this post saying "what the heck is she talking about?" I am crazy at times.. and yes I seem to have another recent obsession. I am quite perplexed at what I am hearing about these two ingredients (the subject of my post) that are found in almost all shampoo, conditioner, soap, bubble bath and the list goes on. These ingredients are chemically known as surfactants and they are chemicals that help things to foam up. For the sake of saving my fingers some typing we will refer to them as SLS (sodium lauryl sulfate) and SLES (sodium laureth sulfate). SLS and SLES are estes of sulphuric acid. SLS is known by over 150 different names. SLES is commonly contaminated with dioxane, a known carcinogen. Although SLES is somewhat less irritating than SLS, it cannot be metabolized by the liver and its effects therefore are much longer lasting.

SLS is also absorbed into the body from skin application. Once it has been absorbed, one of the main effects of SLS is to mimic the activity of the hormone Oestrogen. This has many health implications and may be responsible for a variety of health problems from PMS, to menopausal symptoms, dropping male fertility and increasing female cancers such as breast cancer, where Oestrogen levels are known to be involved.

Carcinogenic nitrates can form in the manufacturing of SLS or by its inter-reaction with other nitrogen bearing ingredients within a formulation utilizing this ingredient (many shampoos contain nitrate compounds). A single shampooing can produce more cancer-causing nitrates in the body than eating a pound of bacon! Yikes!

So I read all this, and thought to myself... Do I really want to use commercial shampoo that badly? Why are cancer rates soaring and in children to? I know our body completely absorbs what we soak or wash in. Ever have to go to the bathroom after taking a bath or shower? Of course, cause your body soaked all that water in. It is very important obviously what we put on our scalp, skin.. etc. I have always read up on and been interested in healthy foods for our internal body, but I haven't given much thought to what is used externally. Completely natural shampoos, conditioners, soaps and bubble bath can be purchased but not very frugally. So in order for me to combine my passion for healthy, natural living with my passion (and necessity for living frugally) I had to come up with an alternative. A dear friend of mine uses baking soda mixed with water (to form a paste) to wash her hair and said it works just fine. Of course her hair is much shorter and finer than mine so I decided to add the recommended vinegar rinse. Let me just say that the baking soda worked fine though it left my hair very dry, until I put the vinegar rinse on which solved the dry problem but the odor... yikes! It was then so gently pointed out to me by the same dear friend that I should NOT have used white vinegar but the apple cider vinegar which has a much milder odor. Lesson learned! I rinsed my hair with some water that had lavendar essential oil added to it and that helped the smell alot. Finally I put some coconut oil on the ends of my hair to tame the frizz and help with the dry ends. Honestly, I think my hair turned out just as good as it does with the luscious, wonderful smelling but expensive Pantene shampoo. I am going to experiment some.. but I think I am going to stay with this natural and frugal idea.

By now you all probably think I am nuts :) But for those of you who dont and have ideas to share on recipes for shampoo or even for soaps and deodarents (another topic I will try to write about soon) please comment! I would love some feedback and other ideas!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Advent For Us

I was born into a Christian family and was raised as a Christian, yet I had never really celebrated Advent. In a quest to study God's Word and to seek out what He would have me do for my family I really felt we needed to celebrate Advent. This would help keep Christ at the center of our Christmas. I didn't know alot about Advent so I researched and studied. I decided to share just a little of what I learned.

Advent means "coming" or "arrival". The focus of the entire season is a celebration of the birth of Jesus the Christ in His first advent. We are also anticipating His return in His second advent. Is that hope, however faint at times, and that God, however distant He sometimes seems, which brings the world the anticipation of a king who will rule with truth and justice and righteousnes over his people and in his creation.

Part of the expectation also anticipates a judgement on sin and a calling of the world to accountability before God. We long for God to come and set the world right! Yet, as the prophet Amos warned, the expectation of a coming judgement at the "day of the Lord" may not be the day of light that we might want, because the penetrating light of God's judgement on sin will shine just as brightly on God's people.

We anticipate the coming of the Messiah. We long for redemption, not of a personal nature but of the redemption of the world. Anticipating for the Messiah to come a second time to save us from the evil in this world! Romans 8:18-25 says this clearly how we are eager for Christ to come again and save us from this evil.

Tonight before bed we read from a special book for Advent. We lit the first candle on our advent wreath which symbolizes expectation, hope and the prophecies that were fulfilled over 2,000 years ago! We sang "Away In A Manager" together and reflected upon how we can keep Christ at the center of our Christmas this year.

"The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shined." (Isaiah 9:2)

"For unto us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon His shoulder, and His name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace." (Isaiah 9:6)

Let us all start this season off with personal reflection on how we represent our Christ child to a dying world. May we live each day with the great anticipation that He will come again! And may we be ever mindful of the Day of Judgement that is coming!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Devotional Thoughts for today...

I just wanted to share with you some passages of scripture that I read this morning. They really spoke to my heart. I am finding more and more that when I seek Him and seek to hear Him.. He does speak to me in that ever so still, small voice.

"Help Lord, for the godly are no more; the faithful have vanished from among men. Everyone lies to his neighbor; their flattering lips speak deception. May the Lord cut off all flattering lips and every boastful tongue that says, We will triumph with our tongues; we own our lips -- who is our master? Because of the oppression of the weak and the groaning of the need, I will now arise says the Lord, I will protect them from those who malign them. And the words of the Lord are flawless, like silver refined in the furnace of clay, purified seven times. O Lord, you will keep us safe and protect us from such people forever. The wicked freely strut about when what is vile is honored among men." Psalm 12

Proverbs 12:16, "A fool shows his annoyance at once, but a prudent man overlooks an insult."

For those of you who have been following my blog you will probably understand why these verses mean so much to me. I feel like I have really gone through a refining process these past few months. And while I know I have much more refining to be done, I find comfort in these verses in Psalms which seem to offer me the hope that God will protect me now. I felt lonely to like the beginning of this passage. I wondered where are the godly men/women are. This scripture passage just spoke volumes to me. And Proverbs 12:16 is something I am praying over myself daily.

"Lord, please help me to be a prudent person. Help me to overlook insults. Help me to be a light in a very dark world. And help me never to forget that I have not arrived but am a work in progress. Amen!"

Thursday, November 11, 2010

The Locusts

So, I have been doing lots of thinking and lots of praying and God brought a verse to mind that I just had to share. It reminded me of what I have been going through, those things recently and even all the things in my past. It was an encouragement to me and I wanted to share it with others.

Joel 2:25, "Then I will make up to you for the years that the swarming locust has eaten, the creeping locust, the stripping locust and the gnawing locust, My great army which I sent among you." (New American Standard Bible)

Wow, so I have felt like there have been alot of "locusts" in my life. I have certainly had my share of the creeping locust (the type that doesn't say much but is criticizing you from a distance), the stripping locust (the ones who have literally stripped my heart at times of all the forgiveness I can muster) and the gnawing locust (those who you repeatedly try to embrace but instead they just attempt to gnaw holes in your heart and your character).. I dont know.. call me crazy.. but I really felt like this verse spoke to me in my season that I am in. I feel now like God is restoring those years little by little. I am being surrounded by wonderful, authentic, Christian friends and I couldn't be more thankful. I am digging deeper in study of His word and I am on my knees more than ever. God is truly restoring those years for me. He is showing me His grace, His faithfulness and His forgiveness more every day and He is empowering me to share that same grace and forgiveness with others. Thank you Lord!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Loneliness of The Christian

I am amazed at how God brings people, circumstances or "words" into our lives at just the right moment. I was reading a fellow bloggers page this morning and came across a passage from a book by A.W. Tozer that really spoke to my heart in light of all the troubling relationship issues I have had recently. Here it is:


The loneliness of the Christian results from his walk with God in an
ungodly world, a walk that must often take him away from the fellowship of good Christians as well as from that of the unregenerate world. His God-given instincts cry out for companionship with others of his kind, others who can understand his longings, his aspirations, his absorption in the love of Christ; and because within his circle of friends there are so few who share his inner experiences he is forced to walk alone.

The unsatisfied longings of the prophets for human understanding caused them to cry out in their complaint, and even our Lord Himself suffered in the same way. The man [or woman] who has passed on into the divine Presence in actual inner experience will not find many who understand him. He finds few who care to talk about that which is the supreme object of his interest, so he is often silent and preoccupied in the midst of noisy religious shoptalk. For this he earns the reputation of being dull and over-serious, so he is avoided and the gulf between him and society widens.

He searches for friends upon whose garments he can detect the smell of myrrh and aloes and cassia out of the ivory palaces, and finding few or none he, like Mary of old, keeps these things in his heart. It is this very loneliness that throws him back upon God. His inability to find human companionship drives him to seek in God what he can find nowhere else.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


So it has been a terribly rough week already and its just Tuesday. I dont know what God is trying to do but whatever it is.. it sure is painful. I lost two very dear friends back in August.. lost as in the cyber dumped me after literally years of friendship. I was so hurt, so devastated by this that I was sure there could be no good in it. Yet I was pleasantly surprised to see how God showed me I needed to rely on Him more and that He was all I needed. I started changing in a positive way and God blessed me with new, godly Christian ladies whom I might have never met if things had not happened between those two friends and I.

So I thought for sure I had learned my lesson good and well. I totally depended on God now as my only true friend (I thought). However, yesterday I received the most hateful, accusatory email from a "friend" that anyone could receive. We are in the process of foreclosure and had to file bankruptcy in September (for those of you who dont know). My husband a day a week of work for over a year due to the economy and we literally sunk financially. We are very careful with our money and have no cable TV, no Internet (I use someone elses)... but still we could no longer keep up. Anyway this "friend" who just came back from a missions trip with his church said that he could no longer be our friend cause he wanted to surround himself with True Christian friends which we were obviously not because of filing bankruptcy and being in foreclosure. He then proceeded to accuse us of maxing out our cards (which we did not!) on "wants" and not "needs". He said my posts on my facebook about being thankful for God's blessings made him sick cause I was trying to show everyone how I had so much more than everyone else. I was so devastated when I read this email that there were tears streaming down my face. I couldn't believe what I was reading! He then blocked me from communication with him as well as his wife and told us never to contact them again. I just couldnt understand what God was possibly trying to teach me this time around. I will tell you one thing.. I am seriously contemplating no longer calling myself a Christian but a Christ-Follower. These people who are claiming to be Christians are certainly the furthest thing from Christ I have ever encountered. I am by no means perfect and I make mistakes daily, but God severely discipline me if I should ever say such hateful things to someone. I wonder what God would do if he came back to earth and saw people who represented Him acting this way. It makes me wonder about church and organized religion. I mean this guy just came back from a missions trip! How much more "in tune" with God could he have been and then to spew such filth from his mouth? Are we not all part of Gods family? Why do we treat each other this way? I certainly dont know that answers to these questions. There are so many things spinning through my head right now. I am trying to walk in forgiveness, which is so much easier said than done. One thing I have discovered positive out of this whole situation. I was concerned that my son was being influenced in a negative way by this couple's older children. No child is perfect and certainly not mine.. but I didn't like the deviant behavior and the disrespect that I saw from these childrens and I was wondering how to protect my children without offending them. Well this truly solved my problems. So maybe this was God's way of protecting my family. I surely dont know His plan, but I believe that all things work together for good. I am just praying these "lessons" are soon over with and that God will bring Christ honoring people into my life and into my childrens life that will encourage us and not tear us down.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


As Thanksgiving approaches I am reminded daily of just how much I have to be grateful for. For those of you who follow my blog, I have reached my 30 faces in 30 days for which I am very grateful. I am going tonight to my meeting where I will receive all of my awards, recognition and prizes. These material things are not what inspired me to perservere.. it was saying that I was going to do something and seeing it through until completion. I wanted to be diligent and my diligence was rewarded.

I am so very grateful for two wonderful little boys that God has blessed me with, a husband who loves and cherishes me and loves the Lord, a healthy family, a roof over my head, food on my table, warm clothing, toys for the children,indoor plumbing, running hot water, a bed to sleep in, phones to be able to communiate with others, parents, inlaws, sisters, brother, a good church, caring friends and most importantly my salvation. There is so much I have to be grateful for. The operational definition of gratefulness is this -- Making known to God and others in what ways they have benefited my life. 1 Corinthians 4:7 says, "For who makes you different from anyone else? What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as though you did not?" 1 Timothy 6:6-8 says, "But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing we will be content with that." Hebrews 13:5 says, "Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you." 1 Thessalonians 5:18 says, "Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." These are just a few verses on thankfulness/gratefulness in the Bible. Just living in a country where we are free to worship the Lord is something to be grateful for. It is so easy to get caught up in the spirit of materialism in this country. We have come to confuse our wants with our needs.

Lets remember all the things we are thankful for this holiday season.. and not just during this season, but all year round. An attitude of gratitde creates blessings!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Living Life....

Well it has been awhile since I have written anything on my blog. So much for the write something a few times a week plan I initially had. This month in particular has been busy for me trying to meet my challenge for my Mary Kay buisness which is facialing 30 faces in 30 days. I am so close to meeting my challenge but only time will tell.. and by Oct 31st I will let you know that outcome. In the past few weeks I have started really being dilligent about my prayer life -- something that was few and far between for a long time. I have even started to pray over my buisness. It is my desire to honor God in all that I do and I want His blessing over my endeavors. I have also been tweaking my home educating style recently... mixing some unschooling methods in with my Charlotte Mason methods. Nathan is doing very well with blending sounds and has started reading some of his more basic phonics books with three letter words. I am amazed at the stress that is lifted off me just knowing that I am capable of teaching my child to read. My little Devin is already two now and I can't believe how quickly time has flown by. I reflect at the end of my day on all the blessings that God has given to me and I am truly blessed. With Thanksgiving around the corner I am really reflecting on what it means to be content, to be thankful, grateful and to have real joy. Life can become too busy... taking our focus away from what is the most important parts of life- our relationship with Him and our family. I feel like God is teaching me so many things right now and I couldnt' even begin to put into words everything I am learning day by day.

For now I just wanted to update those who even bother to read my blog (probably not many) and just encourage other mothers out there. In my quiet time today I read Psalm 19 and found it to be a blessing to me and a reminder of just how awesome Our God is.... "The heavens declare the glory of God, the skies proclaim the work of His hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard. Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world. In the heavens He has pitched a tent for the sun, which is like a bridegroom coming forth from his pavilion, like a champion rejoicing to run his course. It rises at one end of the Heavens and makes its circuit to the other; nothing is hidden from its heat. The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul. The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple. The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the Lord are radiant, giving light to the eyes. The fear of the Lord is pure, enduring foreve. The ordinances of the Lord are sure and altogether righteous. They are more precious than gold, than much pure gold; they are sweeter than honey, than honey from the comb. By them is your servant warned; in keeping them there is great reward. Who can discern his errors? Forgive my hidden faults. Keep your servant also from willful sins; may they not rule over me. Then will I be blameless, innocent of great transgression. May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer."
In reading this passage of scripture today I was reminded of just how awesome our God is! He is the only One on whom we can truly depend on! This relationship we have with Christ makes our comforts sweet, our crosses easy, life truly valuable, and death itself truly desirable. What an awesome feeling to have Jesus Christ, God Almighty, The Redeemer, The Savior.. as my very best friend!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Sacred Parenting

So its been awhile since I posted something and I knew I was long over due. I have been so busy with homeschooling, studying my doula stuff, keeping house, trying to get my Mary Kay buisness going and so many other things I haven't had a chance to sit down and share some of what God has been teaching me these past few weeks. I have been learning many valuable lessons but that one I wanted to share today is from a Bible study I am attending called, "Sacred Parenting".

I dont know how many mothers are like me, but when it comes to my children praying for their safety and protection has always been a top priority. I have never really and truly prayed for their spiritual maturity and character. Sure I have said, "Lord I pray they grow to love and serve you", but that was the extent of my prayers for their spiritual condition. I was too busy focusing on their protection and their comfort in this life. The book, Sacred Parenting, has been an a real eye opener for me and I have only read the first two chapters. One passage that really stuck out to me was this. "If our kids never hurt; if they never sin but are only "sick"; if they never fail but just get "cheated" by an unfair coach, teacher, principal, and so on - they will never sense their need for a savior. They will always take Adam's lame approach, blaming someone else for their own spiritual failing. Yes, it hurts us when our kid's hurt, but it devastates our kids' eternal perspective far more when we hide their need for a savior. Our hardest hurt may actually be their most important hurt. What a tragic loss if the hurt we spare ourselves is bought at the price of our childrens salvation". This passage really spoke volumes to me. I was reminded what the heavenly Father went through when He allowed His son to go through intense suffering and to ultimately die on the cross for the salvation of mankind. How hard as a parent to watch your child suffer, but yet knowing the greater future good choosing not to spare him from the pain and suffering.

Here is the sobering truth that I learned. If God allowed his own Son to suffer - and He is our model as a parent -- we can expect times when we will have to watch our children suffer for a greater good. Its spritiual cowardice to shield our children from difficulty and suffering, the very things that temper us. Romans 5:3 says, "We also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perserverance; perserverance, character; and character, hope". If we never let our kids face difficult times, they'll never become strong enough to make a difference in a very cruel world.

"We cannot feel unmoved watching our children suffer, yet living in a fallen world ensures that they will. So whats the alternative? We parents can be so conscientious, so concerned, and so seemingly caring that we inadvertantly raise overly soft boys and spoiled girls. Spared from any real pain, kept hidden from real sacrifice, removed from any real sense of loss, they grow up without any sense of the agony Jesus experienced on the cross. And if you remove the cross from Christianity, all that remains is some wise moral teaching not terribly different from any other religion. In the name of sparing our children these difflclties, in reality we are trying to spare ourselves the hurt of seeing them hurt".

I am learning so much and God is revealing so many things to me. I am realizing that sacred parenting calls me to accept the hardest hurt of all -- for the sake of God's kingdom and for the sake of my chilren's own development. I need to allow my kids to face challenges, failure, rejection, and pain, and then teach them how to use these seemingly negative events to fuel their sense of mission and to foster their dependence on God.

Monday, September 13, 2010

The Power Of Forgiveness

Wow, so these past few weeks of my life and have been a challenge to say the least. Its easier to tell someone else to forgive then to actually have to practice forgiving someone. A dear friend of mine shared an article with me on forgiveness and it really impacted me in a positive way. I wanted to share just a small facet of what spoke to me the most.

I never realized the King David had felt the pain of a friend's betrayal. In Psalm 55he pours his heart out to God about this. In our stuggle to forgive we are not alone! Our Father is with us. We can actually come to a place of experiencing personal peace over a once-overwhelming heartache. And we can forgive. When we forgive someone who has truly wronged us, we take part in a miracle! Forgiving is a miracle; it is love's greatest work. When you forgive a person who hurt you deeply and unfairly, you are performing a miracle that has no equal! In the act of forgiving, our character is changed. We become more like Christ, and we bestow the blessing of mercy to others. Forgiveness is essential if we want to be forgiven of God. We pray the Lords prayer say, "forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us". We are asking God to forgive us to the same degree that we forgive others. Matthew 6:14-15 says, "If you forgive men when they sin against you, your Heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins." This is very serious.. we must forgive others!

Why is this act of forgiving so difficult? Because it conflicts with both our fallen nature and our fallen sense of "justice". Our fallen nature wants to hold onto hurts, keeping them tightly sealed so they can fester and grow and create bitterness. Our fallen sense of "justice" wants to put down the offender as evil, sick, or depraved and to reap vengeance on him in "righteous" anger. These two fallen senses battle with our need to forgive, and make the act of forgiving very hard.

Forgiveness is essential for four reasons. First, it is the commandment of Christ for His followers. If we call ourselves Christians, we must forgive. Second, it is a necesarry component for lasting and honest relationships. If we are the body of Christ, and members of one another, our relationships have to take top priority! Right relationships are forgiving relationships. Third, it is in the character of God which is love. If we are to grow in godliness, we need to impart Christlike forgiveness. Lastly, we ourselves need to be healed of the hurt inside us. Holding on to hurts, creating bitterness, putting the offender down and being angry destroys us. To withhold forgiveness harms no one but ourselves!

Putting the offense in proper Godly perspective can help. No one has been more wronged than Jesus Christ. No one has been more personally hurt, more betrayed by a friend, or more denied by those closest to Him. Remembering the forgiveness Jesus freely gave can strengthen us to forgive. Forgiving is something we do regardless of the offender does. Reconcilliation is possible only when both parties come together to resolve an offense, but forgiveness is a solitary act. It is done by us alone. Reconcilliation involves brothers; forgiveness involves one person. Reconcilliation is a work of unity; forgiveness is an individual decision. Forgiveness must take place in our hearts, even if we never acheive reconcilliation with our brother. The truth is, we must forgive the person that offended us, whether he apologizes or not. True forgiveness is not dependent on anything.

A helpful mental process is to seperate the person from the hurt he caused, and let it go. In doing so begin to see the person differently: not so much as evil, but as under the influence of Evil; Not so much as wicked, but as weak and fallible. Remember we are weak and fallible to!

And so we forgive, as God in Christ forgave us. Freely, sincerely and completely. No matter how hard it may be. No matter how long it takes. Whether the person apologizes or not. Regardless of the person's willingness to be reconcilled with us. Without excusing the sin, but bodly facing it and releasing it as "against" our brother or sister. We forgive. When we have truly forgiven, we have performed a miracle.

This is my prayer today and every day.. "Lord help me to walk in this kind of true forgiveness, not matter how hard it may be. Build my character, help me to share in your sufferings so I may be more like You! Amen"

Monday, August 30, 2010

An Appointed Time For Everything

So I haven't written in awhile on my blog. So much has happened and I had so much to think through and reflect upon. I can now see more clearly. A friend of mine mentioned the book of Ecclesiates to me and I read some of chapter 3 and was reminded that there truly is a season for everything. I would like to quote the verses that have meant something to me.

"There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven. A time to give birth, and a time to die; a time to plant and a time to uproot what was planted. A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to tear down, and a time to build up. A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance. A time to throw stones, and a time to gather stones; a time to embrace, and a time to shun embracing. A time to search, and a time to give up as lost; a time to keep, and a time to throw away. A time to tear apart, and a time to sew together; a time to be silent. and a time to speak. A time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace". Ecclesiates 3:1-8

These verses really spoke to me these past two weeks. I realized that there truly is a time for everything and that everything can't go as I plan or would like it to go. I lost two very dear childhood friends... lost in the sense that they cut me out of their lives... I dealt with anger and bitterness for the years I had "wasted" on their friendships. I felt resentful for allowing them to walk into my life and heart and then let them rip me to pieces. I thought these were God fearing women.. who loved the Lord with all their heart.. who would do the right thing. But we are all human.. who am I to judge. My season to weep, mourn, be torn down and have stones thown at was upon me. I longed for the days of dancing, laughing, being built up and picking up the stones with them... but recently I have embraced my season. Now is my season for peace and not war, for healing not killing, for giving up as lost and for love, not hate. This journey has not been an easy one.. but it has taught me so much and caused me to grow even deeper in my relationship with the Lord. I have realized that I dont "need" anyone to complete my life, make it more fun, more fulfilling.. I just need Him! Its been an awesome lesson and one I just wanted to share with others.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Psalm 20

Each day I am in awe how God provides just the right "word" that I need to get through the day. Once again He has proved Himself faithful and when I read Psalm 20 (since it was the 20th of the month) I was encouraged and wanted to share it.

"May the Lord answer you when you are in distress; may the God of Jacob protect you. May he send you help from the sanctuary and grant you support from Zion. May he remember all your sacrifices and accept your burnt offerings. May he give you the desires of your heart and make all your plans succeed. We will shout for joy when you are victorious and will lift up our banners in the name of our God. May the Lord grant all your requests. Now I know that the Lord saves his annointed; he answers them from his holy heaven with the saving power of his right hand. Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God. They are brought to their knees and fall, but we rise up and stand firm. O Lord, save the king! Answer us when we call!"

I know this passage spoke to my heart today and I thought I would share it to encourage others who might be facing discouraging moments.

I Know Who Holds Tomorrow

I dont about tomorrow, I just live from day to day.
I dont borrow from lifes sunshine for its skies may turn to gray.
I dont worry o'er the future, for I know what Jesus said.
And today I'll walk beside him, for He knows what is ahead.

Many things about tomorrow I dont seem to understand,
But I know who holds tomorrow and I know who holds my hand.

Every step is getting brighter, as the golden stairs I climb.
Ev'ry burden's getting lighter, Ev'ry cloud is silver lined.
There the sun is always shining, there no tear will dim the eyes.
At the ending of the rainbow, where the mountains touch the sky.

Many things about tomorrow I dont seem to understand.
But I know who holds tomorrow and I know who holds my hand.

I dont know about tomorrow, it may bring me poverty.
But the One who feeds the sparrow, is the One who stands by me.
And the path that be my portion, may be through the flame or flood.
But His presence goes before me, and I'm covered in His blood.

Many things about tomorrow, I dont seem to understand.
But I know who holds tomorrow and I know who holds my hand.

-- Composed by: Ira Forest Stanphill

Thursday, August 19, 2010


We all have at some point and time in our lives participated in gossip in some form or another. We are human and so therefore we make mistakes. However, I am saddened by just how often Christian's participate in gossip. I was taught that the definition of gossip is this, "Sharing information with someone (no matter who it is- family member or friend) who is not part of the problem or the solution." I believe there are many times we need someone to bounce our frustrations off of, to hear us out.. etc and although they may not be part of the problem.. they can be a part of the solution by pointing you in the right direction with your frustration or anger. We all need someone who we can talk to and share our burdens, hurts and concerns.. but we dont need a crowd! Proverbs 16:28 says, "A perverse man stirs up dissension, and a gossip seperates close friends." Proverbs 18:8 says, "The words of a gossip are like choice morsels; they go down to a man's inmost parts." Proverbs 26:20 says, "Without wood a fire goes out; without gossip a quarrel dies down." These verses are very clear about God's opinion on gossip. I have seen these verses come to life this week. I must admit it is very hurtful to be on the end of one being gossipped about.. but there is nothing we suffer that God himself has not endured. Even He was riduculed and despised by those who He loved and called "friends". If nothing else this week I have learned how important it is to have friends who are not gossips. I do not want to associate myself with someone who just chatters bad about someone just to feel good or to find others who will make him/her feel good. I want to share my burdens, concerns, frustrations with someone who knows how to point me to Christ. Someone who doesn't just yes me because I am their friend, agree with me because they feel they have no freedom to do anything else.. I want a friend to tell me when there is truth in something and point me to the cross. I also want to be that friend to someone else. I was reminded of the verse in the New Testament which says, "For I am afraid when I come I may not find you as I want you to be, and you may not find me as you want me to be. I fear that there may be quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, factions, slander, gossip, arrogance and disorder", 2 Corinthians 12:20. Even Paul was afraid that is what the church would look like when he came back to it. I pray that we as God's children can walk more closely in His ways and avoid the snares of gossip.

Monday, August 16, 2010

How To Have That Difficult Conversation (Part 2)

Here is the continuation of my previous post.....

6. Be specific. Using specific examples can help a person become aware she has a problem. If it is a significant problem, you will in all likelihood be able to come up with many examples that can illustrate both that the person does have the problem and that it negatively affects her life and relationships. When you use specific examples, approach the person anticipating that at first she is likely to be open to what you have to show her. Give her the benefit of the doubt. Often a goodhearted person will be suprised at seeing evidence of a problem. Sometimes she will even be remorseful, feeling bad about the effects of her actions. These types of responses are good indicators that the person is taking the specifics to heart and will do something to resolve the issue. Even if the person proves to be more resistant, however, dont avoid giving specifics. Specifics can break through the defenses. But if he is invested in not realizing or admitting his problem, you will need to not only use specifics, but also address the underlying resistance.

7. Make the person aware of the effects. Part of helping someone know what he is doing is making him aware of the effects of his behavior. This approach helps change your confrontation from an abstraction to something more personal and real; the problem does not exsist in a vacuum. Often, when a person finds out he is hurting himeself and others, it touches him at a heart level. You are showing him what he is doing in the context of his life and relationships. This might include your concerns about both the present effects and also what could happen in the future if things do not change. There are three areas of effects you can bring up: the effect on him, the effect on you and the effect on others.

8. Request change. When helping a person become aware, make sure you make a request for change. Since she has not realized until now that her behavior or attitude is a problem, she may also not know what to do about it or even if she should do anything. Requesting change helps clarify what is expected and gives her a structure for reestablishing any connection between you and her. A request for change is specific. It also preserves freedom. In other words, it is not a demand; you are aware that the person has a choice. Also, a request should originate from your heart; it needs to be based on your care for and about the other person.

Finally in closing, if the person is aware but sees no need to change this can be discouraging, however you can do some things to help. Make sure you are unambiguous about your concern. You do not want him to be confused or uninformed. Address her lack of concern as a problem in and of itself. Bring up how her lack of interest in changing makes you feel and how it affects the relationship. If she persists in doing nothing, establish limits and boundaries to protect yourself and your family from her problem and to make her responsible for the problem. These elements give you the best possible chance for helping the person. These are hard lines to draw, but they are often the most effective approach. Ask the God who calls us all to help you with the person you are confronting. Remember to act justly, love mercy and walk humbly with your God (Micah 6:8). A quote from this book, "In fact, there is no such thing as a good relationship without confrontation". Remember that confrontation doesn't always go smoothly, and it may not even end "well" - if you define "well" as everyone singing "Kumbayah" and in a love feast. But even when it does not, confrontation can have great value as a start, or even as one of many in a series of conversations a person may receive over time. One day she may experience a breakthrough. And you will have been a part of that "chain of truth".

How To Have That Difficult Conversation (Part I)

Maybe its just me, but I often feel like I am faced with having to have a difficult conversation with someone. Something on a topic I would rather not discuss, or an area I would rather ignore. Some way or another this topic or area begins to affect me or my family and I find it necessary to have that difficult conversation. The one the everyone dreads. For no matter how nice and kind you are about it, the subject itself brings out the worst reaction in someone. I am not confrontational by nature but the more healthy I become about setting personal boundaries, the more I realize how necessary these conversations are to a healthy relationship. The outcome is not always predictable, but if you do things in the right spirit and with the right heart you can be sure that you have done your best. You cannot be responsible for someones reactions. I decided to write about this topic because it is often easier said than done for me and writing these things out and sharing them helps remind me to practice what I preach!

I have an excellent book called "Boundaries Face To Face", and its a wonderful book about having those difficult conversations. I wanted to share with you some of the information and advice I learned in this book that I found helpful.

1. Take a presumed innocent approach. Do not assume this person is doing this particular thing on purpose at all. The other person may simply be unable to comprehend the problem. Perhaps he is afraid to see it or does not possess the tools to look at himself. In other cases he may simply not know the full extent of the severity of the issue- how it may be ruining his life as well as your relationship with him. Or he may not want to know something about himself because it would interfere with his concept of his own goodness and perfection. You may find that, knowing the truth, he still doesn't care enough to change. Even so, until you know this about him, love requires that you begin with this approach: "Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres" I Cor 13:6-7.

2. Be humble. Approach the person and the situation humbly. Humility is not about perceiving yourself as lower than you are. It has to do with perceiving yourself as you really are, with both weaknesses and strengths. (Rom 12:3) All us of have blind spots. This is why the Bible often teaches about our responsibility to speak truth to each other. We need the feedback of others to bring light to a situation. (Eph 4:25) So come to the person not as someone who has it all together, but as someone who has also failed and also needs grace and support.

3. Empathize. When you make someone aware of a problem, empathize with him. Empathy is the ability to identify with the feelings of another person. When you become aware of your own need for empathy and kindness, the dynamic between you and the other person changes: "I want you to be aware of ..... , because if I were in your position, I would want someone to tell me.I would hope someone would care enough about my situation to take a chance and approach me on that. That is how I feel about you. I'm on your side, and I know that hearing about this is not easy for you. Hang in there with me."

4. Find out how unaware is unaware. Understand how aware a person is about herself and her effect on others. Some people, for various reasons, have little self-awareness; they possess little ability to look at themselves and perceive what they are doing or why they are doing it. They often have not had many relational experiences in which they had to look at themselves. This type of person has usually suffered from her lack of awareness. She may have lost relational opportunities due to her inability to check and correct herself. You may need to sheperd a person like this into the world of awareness. She may not fully understand what you are telling her. Dont be impatient with her. Another type of person, however, may be acutely aware of himself and his faults and mistakes and may also be quite self-critical. At the same time, he may possess a blind spot. With an otherwise aware person, you probably do not need to say much for him to understand. Another type of person has an investment in not being aware of her behavior. She may be afraid to look at herself out of a concern that she is a very bad person; she may carry a sense of entitlement leading her to think she should not have to be aware of herself; or she may attribute what she does to people and other things, for example, blaming her tardiness on traffic instead of not leaving early enough to get to the destination on time. With this person you may need to not only attempt to make her aware of the problem, but also make her aware that she has difficulty being aware. If this is not brought into the open, you run the risk of finding yourself never able to get into the heart of that person.

5. Be direct. When you need to make someone aware of a problem, the best appraoch is always to be loving but direct. Remember that he is blind to this behavior, so he has no context for understanding it. The clearer you are, the better his chances of seeing what you are saying about him. That is how God is with us. It is certainly possible that you will cause the person you are confronting discomfort or pain. This is one of the effects of the truth: it makes us uncomfortable as it points out a problem. However, your directness can also give life to someone who needs it.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Family Devotions (The Wifes Part)

I dont know about many of you, but I often find myself desiring to start routines, disciplines, good habits and find my husband completely lacking these ideas. He is a wonderful man, dont get me wrong, but he doesn't seem to think deeply about many things. However he is very complient about almost anything. If I suggest an idea to him it usually goes over very well. For many years though I have thought that it was his job as the man of the house to think of these things on his own. One matter in particular was that of family devotions. I thought he should come up with the idea to do them and he should be consistent with them without my help. Recently my ideas have shifts when I received a wonderful magazine in the mail which talked about this very subject. Here are some insights I learned that I wanted to share with other wives/moms out there to encourage them.

Family devotions does not happen easily. You have to make it happen. There are ten points for consideration as we contemplate how to make this blessing happen in our home. First we need to ask our husband. Are you waiting for your husband to get the idea? I am sorry to inform you that you may until the Lord comes. He may never think about it! We, as wives, can share our vision with our husbands. In Proverbs 31:27 it says in regards to mothers/wives, "She watches over the affaird of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness." Second, we can set the stage for family devotions. Have dinner ready when your husband comes home so the mood is set right. Third, clean up before dinner. Its hard to enjoy a meal in the midst of shambles. Clean up all the mess and junk. This makes your husband want to come home! Fourth, make it a priority. Dont allow other things, even legitimate and good ones to cheat you of this most important duty of all. Many families miss out on eating together , and having family devotions because they are not even home! Fifth, turn off the TV! Make sure the TV is turned off before your husband comes home. Turn on some peaceful music. Good music changes the atmosphere as you prepare the meal and it gives an ambience of peace and joy when your husband walks in. Sixth, pass the Bible. Here is another secret role for you as a wife. After enjoying the meal and fellowshipping together, place the Bible or the devotional you have chosen to use, beside your husbands plate. You dont have to say a word and this will give him the cue to pick it up and begin reading. You, as his helpmeet, can jog his memory without even nagging! Seven, include the young children. When do you start devotions with your children at the table? I suggest you start in the womb. It is important to hear the Word from the earliest age. It also is good practice for young children to learn to sit still and quietly when requested (this help in church later). Eight, wait to clear the table. Dont clear the table before you have devotions. The atmosphere seems completely changed when people are getting up and down putting dishes in the sink and such. Nine, in your husbands absence you can lead the family in devotions. Tenth and final, morning devotions. To have devotions in the morning as a family you also have to make it happen. You have different seasons in your life and breakfast and devotions will be at different times according to your season, your childrens ages and your husbands work pattern. Having morning devotions together as a family helps train your family to be organized and ready for the day.

I found this article and many more helpful articles from the Above Rubies magazine. Please visit their website at and check out what other great things they have to share.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Pity or Purpose?

Today was rough I must admit. I was sure God had somehow forgotten me. I was sure I couldn't take one more day. I decided to ask God for an encouraging word - something I rarely do. I am shamed to say I hardly ever ask God for something, I mostly expect it. Thinking He knows all I need or want anyway so I neglect to ask Him. In His word He tells us to ask and we shall receive, why don't I ask? I am sure there are many reasons that go thru my mind - I am not worthy, I dont deserve it, He should know anyway, if He really wanted to me to have it He would give it without me having to ask. None of that is true! A dear friend reminded me today that we have a relationship with God and just as we ask for things in an earthly relationship, we need to ask things in our heavenly relationship. So today I asked and I received!! God worked through someone to bring encouragement to me today and to remind me that my value is in Him! She reminded me that I am loved by God and that is all that matters. That is doesn't matter what other people think. He is ALL I need! I have this head knowledge, but today it reached my heart! I was also reading My Utmost For His Highest devotional today and I felt it speak to my heart once again. The title was "The Holy Suffering of the Saint" and the verse was 1 Peter 4:19, "Let those who suffer according to the will of God commit their souls to Him in doing good..." Here are some excerpts from my devotional. "No normal, healthy saint ever chooses suffering; he simply chooses Gods will, just as Jesus did, whether it means suffering or not. And no saint should ever dare to interfere with the lesson of suffering being taught in another saint's life. The saint who satisfies the heart of Jesus will make other saints strong and mature for God. But the people used to strengthen us are never those who sympathize with us; in fact, we are hindered by those who give us their sympathy, because sympathy only serves to weaken us. No one better understands a saint than the saint who is as close and as intimate with Jesus as possible". I was reminded in reading this passage that I must be careful who I share my thoughts, feelings, hurts, ups and downs with. I need to be built up, encouraged and sometimes rebuked.. but sympathy will do nothing for me except bring about self-pity. God places His saints where they will bring the most glory to Him, and we are totally incapable of judging where that may be. I was reminded today that I am exactly where He wants me to be. He cares about every little detail of my life and He will see me through. I can either sit here and pity my situation, my circumstances, my life.. or I can discover Gods purpose for putting me in this circumstance, this life and this situation.

"Lord help me fulfill your purpose for my life instead of having a pity party. And thank you for answering me when I call on you! Amen!"

Thursday, August 5, 2010

A Poem To Share

My Reflection

A home filled with things,
A heart with a hole,
A childhood of burdens,
One crushed, searching soul.

A heart drenched with sadness,
A mind full of fears.
A feeling of loneliness,
Eyes drowned in tears.

A prayer for survival,
Dreaming for change.
The hope of a miracle,
Tho hope seemed so strange.

A whisper of Heaven,
One touch of His grace.
A life of forgiveness,
The glimpse of His face.

I wrote this poem today while thinking of so many things. Sometimes things or people get the best of me and I find writing theraputic. Im not the best poet but I hope this meant something to someone out there!


For those of you who dont understand what the title to my blog entry is I will explain. VBA2C is - Vaginal Birth After 2 Ceseareans. Why am I writing about this? Because I wanted to share my thoughts and feelings out loud in hopes of encouragement and support! Those of you who know me know that I have had two unplanned c-sections! My first birth was anything but natural, filled with one intervention after another. Induction was scheduled because of being seven days past my due date (some supposedly magic number that all women are suppose to birth by!) and I spent the next forty-four hours laboring with no baby! In the end the Dr said, "Fetal distress we need to do a csection!" And of couse as a mother who wouldn't want to save the life of her child? So I agreed to a csection. The whole process was horrible from being strapped down on a cold, hard table - to being naueated and unable to sit up to even vomit - two having my baby seperated from me for two hours after my surgery while I was in the recovery room! I hated every thought of that birth.. except for seeing my precious, little baby boy! It took me several years to get over my fear of having another child so in 2008 I found myself pregnant again. This time I determined that I was NOT going to succumb to interventions and I couldnt seem to find the support at the OBGYN's office and I couldnt have a Birth Center birth (due to PA laws for previous csections) so I decided a home birth was the way to go. I found an awesome labor doula who has become one of my dearest friends! She was the best support I could have asked for in a labor. Then I found a homebirth midwife (should have researched her better) and surrounded myself with supportive friends and family and of course a wonderfully, supportive husband! I was due October 8, 2008 but this midwife was not concerned about my due date.. she was sure the baby would come when it was ready and I was so grateful for that perspective. I was treated like a normal person all through my prenatal care and it was wonderful! Then came Oct 11 and early labor begin.. first thing in the AM and continued all day and all evening. Around midnight my water broke and my doula, midwife and friends gathered to participate in my labor and birth. I had a birthing tub there and that was a wonderful comfort at times. It was so wonderful to labor in the comfort of my own home.. dim lights, soft music, supportive friends... then my midwife told me to start pushing (a decision in hindsight that I think was bad) and so began several hours of intense labor and pressure. Finally after supposedly being 10cm and then back to 7cm (dont think I ever was 10cm) and a swollen cervical lip.. I asked (actually begged) to be transferred to the hospital to have a csection. I was in so much pain at that point the thought of being sliced open appealed to me! My husband drove the car and my midwife sat quietly in the car not uttering a word. I could sense her disappoval of my request for transfer. Once at the hospital my midwife and her assistant dissappeared. Thankfully I had my husband, my sister, my mother, a friend and a wonderful doula who stayed in my labor room. Once they gave me the epidural I could finally breathe and of course I was faced with, "this probably isn't going to go anywhere and so you either have a csection now or later". I decided just to go ahead with the csection as I was exhausted and hopeless for a vaginal delivery at this point. The csection went much better this time. They didn't strap my hands down to the table and they let my husband hold my baby in the recovery room with me. It was so much better. I am grateful for that. However while on the operating room table the doctor looked over at me and said, "Honey, you know baby #3, #4 and #5 will be scheduled csections!" I barely could even think at that moment and I said, "yeah I know." Well, its almost two years now since my last delivery and I am more convinced by the day that malpositioning played a major role in the surgical outcomes I had with both children. I am determined that I need to try for a vaginal birth again! I want to birth my baby (if it is the Lords will). I am researching hours on end, meeting birth professionals, talking to previous VBAC moms all over the USA and I am determined to get the best support possible this time around. There are so many things I could have done prenatally to help change my babies posterior position (anterior is the optimal birth position) but I didn't know my babies were posterior and I didn't know there were techniques out there to help that. This time I do know and I fully intend on utilizing all the services that I can in. I am searching for good, quality midwives who can allow me to labor and deliver in a hospital.. that way I am there if something should happen (though the risk is so low) and I can get some pain meds if I really need them. I plan on having the same, amazing doula by my side and my wonderful husband! We really would love to have more children in the future and so if I can avoid another abdominal surgery (scheduled or not its major surgery and involves great risks to) I would rather that. I am praying that God will give me another child in the near future and that I will have a healthy pregnancy, an anterior positioned baby and a natural, vaginal birth! I know He can if it His will. If it is not His will I resign myself to knowing that I will have done the best that I could do. Though I am not pregnant yet this weighs heavily on my mind and heart. Please pray for me and with me for a my future birth to be a natural one! Thanks for listening to my story and my heart!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Homeschooling: My Conviction or My Obligation?

As I began my first day of homeschooling for the first grade level yesterday, my mind began to ponder.. "Why am I homeschooling?" A good friend of mine listened to me think through this out loud and then asked me a very thought provoking question, "Is this your conviction?" This one, simple question became the starting point for more reading, more studying and more soul searching. What is the definition of conviction? It is an unshakable belief in something without need for proof or evidence. What is obligation? Obligated means- caused by law or conscience to follow a certain course. So why do I homeschool? To sum it up simply, I homeschool because I feel that Gods Word has revealed to me that this is His will for our family at this time. That is not to say that God might not reveal another plan at another time, but for now I have an unshakable belief that this is Gods will for our family. On the other hand, I also feel obligated to fulfill my role as a parent as best I can, according to Gods Word. So I think I homeschool out of obligation (a good kind) and conviction. This is a conviction for me and will not be for everyone. God speaks to us all individually and calls us all to different things. I do not write this with any condemnation towards those who send their children to school. I am just writing this to share my thoughts aloud and to encourage other homeschool families to search their souls for why they homeschool.
Homeschooling holds up a mirror to my life like nothing else will. It doesn't take long before parents not only identify areas needing change and development in their children, but they begin to see their own personal weaknesses. Homeschooling is teaching me something that came as a suprise: the process of preparing my arrows begins with preparing my own heart and dealing with my own weaknesses. I have realized that my character is being developed in many more ways than I ever imagined it would be. I dont like coming face-to-face with my own character flaws, but if I really want to be effective in raising my children for the Lord, then I am going to have to go through the pain of seeing my own shortcomings and making the necessary changes. I am learning patience, diligence, resourcefulness, orderliness, availability, attentiveness, creativity, dependibility, determination, endurance, faith, flexibility, initiative, love, obedience, responsibility, thoroughness and so many other good things. The scripture that God has placed on my heart is this, "Fix these words of Mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, and when you lie down and when you get up." Deut 11:18-19
I thought homeschooling would be good training for my children (and it is) but it turns out that homeschooling is the best training for me!

A Poem of Encouragement

I found this poem while I was reading a book and I found it encouraging and thought I would share with others....

Fine china, crystal stemware, my tables never grace,
But Bibles, pens, and paper more often fill the place.

No art prints from the masters my kitchen walls will know;
Instead, a chalkboard showing where the commas ought to go.

My livingroom is far from new; its furniture shows wear,
But that can't hinder talk of God when oft we gather there.

Preparing dinner can teach math- my little ones are able;
To learn about the "sets" of things, while setting the kitchen table.

We weave our life and learning together day by day,
Avoiding fads of culture and every worldly way.

To homeschool isn't easy, But when our life is done,
We want to see our family there and hear God say, "Well done."

By- Laurie Rustick

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Reflections on my thoughts today....

It is our expectation that leads us to our depression. He said He would always be there, that He would never leave or forsake me, and that He would never give me more than I could handle. If everything were as smooth as ice cream, life would be boring. We would never grow and never appreciate life to its fullest. I was reminded of Phil 4:11-13 which says, "I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through Him who gives me strength."

So today I ponder what I am thankful for and why I am content and this why...

I have a wonderful, amazing husband and two beautiful blessings from heaven that are the joys of our lives. We pray God blesses us with more.

I have the pleasure of sweet cuddles from chubby little arms and little rasberry kisses from tiny, cupid lips.

I have the privilege of little voices asking me questions, hanging onto my every word, and calling me mother and I have the joy of watching them grow and knowing the satisfaction of having a part of their development.

I have the indescribable honor of feeling life from within my body. If I could describe the emotions when I first felt the little stir within my womb, I would have to make up another language, as I cannot find any word quite good enough in mine.

I have the awesome challenge of laboring to bring flesh of my flesh and bone of my bone into this world, and seeing a little wrinkled face for the first time. I have the beautiful quiet moments of cradling a babe at my breast and stroking the soft, chubby cheek as wide, searching eyes gaze into mine.

I have the responsibility from God to love, care and raise these human lives to serve their Creator and change the world for Him. I have a high calling from God. It may not always be easy, but He never said it would be!

Friday, July 30, 2010

When You Thought I Wasn't Looking

When you thought I wasn't looking, I saw you hang my first painting on the refrigerator, and I immediately wanted to paint another one.

When you thought I wasn't looking, I saw you feed a stray cat, and I learned that it was good to be kind to animals.

When you thought I wasn't looking, I heard you say a prayer, and I knew there is a God I could always talk to and I learned to trust in God.

When you thought I wasn't looking, I saw you make my favorite cake for me and I learned that little things can be the special things in life.

When you thought I wasn't looking, I saw you make a meal and take it to a friend who was sick, and I learned that we all have to help take care of eachother.

When you thought I wasn't looking, I saw you give of your time and money to help those who had nothing and I learned that those who have something should give to those who dont.

When you thought I wasn't looking, I felt you kiss me good night and I felt loved and safe.

When you thought I wasn't looking, I saw you take care of our house and everyone in it and I learned we have to take care of what we are given.

When you thought I wasn't looking, I saw how you handled your responsibilities, even when you didnt feel good and I learned that I would have to be responsible when I grow up.

When you thought I wasnt' looking, I saw tears come from your eyes and I learned that sometimes things hurt, but its all right to cry.

When you thought I wasn't looking, I saw that you cared and I wanted to be everything that I could be.

When you thought I wasn't looking, I learned most of lifes lessons that I needed to know to be a good and productive person when I grew up.

When you thought I wasn't looking, I looked at you and to say, Thanks for all the things I saw when you thought I wasn't looking.

Thursday, July 29, 2010


I have been doing lots of reseaching and studying on all different things these past few weeks but I have also been doing some researching of my own heart and soul. True thankfulness is not saying "thank yout" at the right moment or when something is given to you. True thankfulness is the type of gratitude that remains even when we are surrounded by misfortune and gratefulness seems almost comically out of place. As Christians we are called to be thankful IN all things, not FOR all things. Thankfulness is more of a process than a choice. Gratefulness for me is turning my worry into wonder and my anxiety into awe. I find myself having an ungrateful heart when finances are tight and I can't have everything I would like. However I am reminded that God has always provided for our needs and that is something to be eternally grateful about. I have seen miracles in relationships take place and that is something to be grateful about. If I sit down and make a list of everything I have to be grateful for I am sure my page would be overflowing. It is when I do not dwell on these blessings that I lose sight of true thankfulness. I plan on starting a Gratitude Journal so that I can be reminded daily of all the blessings I have to be thankful for. A scripture I would like to share with you comes from Psalm 145:13b-21 and it reads, "The Lord is faithful to all His promises and loving toward all He has made. The Lord upholds all those who fall and lifts up all those who are bowed down. The eyes of all look to You, and you give them their food at the proper time. You open your hand and satisfy the desires of every living thing. The Lord is righteous in all His ways and loving toward all He has made. The Lord is near to all who call on Him, to all who call on Him in truth. He fulfills the desires of those who fear Him; He hears their cry and saves them. The Lord watches over all who love Him, but all the wicked He will destroy. My mouth will speak in praise of the Lord. Let every creature praise His holy name for ever and ever." I Thessalonians 5:16-18 says, "Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is Gods will for you in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:4-7 says, "Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." These scriptures have really spoken to my heart during this time in our lives. Though the road right now is not easy, I know God holds my hand and I am so thankful for everything He has blessed us with. I am not only thankful for the blessings but I am thankful for this current circumstances because it allows me to empathize with others, gives me a greater apprecaition for the little things and reminds me of just how dependant on Him I am. Thank you Lord!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Teaching The Kids Obedience/Discipling Us To Be Consistent!

For those of you who follow my blog or read it on any regular basis you will find this new entry's subject matter to be quite new. I have discovered that "Holistic" living is more than just eating... it involves emotional healthiness, boundary setting, healthy communication, parenting.. and the list goes on and on. For me to live holistically means having a delicate balance of all of these elements. Healthy eating in the midst of screaming at your children is not truly holistic living. Recently as my oldest has become more able to understand spiritual concepts, I have been trying to find ways to get his heart attitude right and now just his actions. I was reading alot and just had some thoughts I could share with you that I found helpful and maybe you could also. And please if you have any feedback.. I welcome it as we all can learn from eachother. The more I read the more I realized the the number one thing I need my children to learn is obedience. If a child can learn obedience then you as the parent have an advantage. And along with teaching obedience I have realized my own need for consistency. The degree of sucess I achieve will be directly related to how consistent I am. Consistency really means that every time your child requires correction, you get up and do it, remaining there to supervise and outlast until the message gets across. Resolve to make consistency your top priority! Stop running unnessary errands, over indulding in hobbies, making excessive social phone calls - set your mind diligently and consistently on training your children. Parenting will be far less a frustration to you, if you learn how to do it well, and if its not competing with everything else for your time and attention. You cannot enjoy the pleasures of a close, loving relationship with godly, well-behaved children, if you are not willing to make parenting them your top priority! Deuteronomy 6:6-7 says, "These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up." Consistency is key to sucessfull parenting!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Waffle Recipes that are Delicious!

Whole Grain Waffles: 2 eggs, 1 3/4 c. of milk, 1/4 c oil, 1/4 c. of unsweetened applesauce, 1 tsp vanilla, 1 c. whole wheat flour, 1/2 c. of flaxseed meal, 1/4 c. of wheat germ, 1/4 c. of all purpose flour, 4 tsp of baking powder, 1 Tbls of sucanat (or some natural sugar) and 1/4 tsp of salt. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, oil, applesauce and vanilla. Beat in the ww flour, flaxseed, wheat germ, all purpose flour, baking powder, sugar and salt until batter is smooth. Cook in waffle iron per the instructions.

Pumpkin-Pecan Whole Grain Waffles: 1/2 c. butter, melted, 1 c. of pumpkin puree, 4 eggs, 1 1/2 c. of milk, 2 c. whole wheat flour, 1/2 c. wheat germ, 2 Tbls of baking powder, 2 tsp of cinnamon, 1/2 tsp of nutmeg, 1/2 tsp of ground ginger, 1 tsp salt and 1/2 c. of chopped pecans. Beat eggs and milk. Add pumpkin and butter. Add flour, wheat germ and baking powder. Mix. Add cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and salt. Mix well. Add chopped pecans. Bake in waffle iron according to instructions.

Drizzle with real maple syrup and serve with some turkey sausage links and you have yourself a delightful breakfast!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Whats the "Beef" with Beef? (or chicken for that matter)

So now that we know the story of pesticides on our produce what is the story about our beef and chicken. Well first of all in regards to poultry, there is a misconception that hormones are used to grow the chickens faster. While there are things used to grow the chickens bigger and faster, it isn't hormones. The use of hormones in U.S. poultry production has been illegal since 1952. However, hormones are used and found in over 75% of our cattle. That being said there is another problem that is found in both beef and chicken.. Antibiotics!
Nearly half the volume of antibiotics produced in the US each year - about 15,000,000 pounds, worth almost $250,000,000 - is fed to animals. Penicillin, tetracycline, and other such medications are routinely mixed into the feed of a majority of livestock in this country... not mainly to stave off disease but, instead, in efforts to increase growth rates.
In 1949, Dr. Thomas Jukes - who then worked for Lederle Laboratories, the company that discovered chlortetracycline (aureomycin) found that feeding the wastes from the production of chlortetracylcline to baby chickens increased their growth rate 10% to 20%. Continued research showed that the effect was at least as pronounced on piglets and calves. Companies claim that giving doses of antibiotic well below those that would be used to treat disease (a procedure called subtherapeutic administration) can return $3.00 in improved feed-conversion efficiency for every dollar invested. Dr. Jukes discovery did much to make a whole new sort of farming possible. Antibiotics have made it more practical to confine animals, where they can be fed controlled doses of commercial feeds, rather than allowing them to range. This permits animals to be kept in very crowded conditions without serious outbreaks of disease. According to an Office of Technology Assesment report in 1979, 99% of all poultry, 70% of all beef cattle and veal, and 90% of swine recieve routine subtherpaeutic doses of antibiotics. It's now nearly impossible to find livestock that don't have significant population of resistant bacteria, whether or not they have actually been fed antibiotics. The resistant strains quickly pass from one animal to another in confinement and have even been reported to mysteriously travel several hundred yards between pens.
North American countries stand practically alone among developed nations in allowing indiscriminate use of antibiotics in animals. Czechoslovakia, Denmark, England, the Netherland, Norway, Sweden, and the West Germany all require veterinary prescriptions for animal antibiotics. In the U.S., however, the director of FDA's center for Veterinary Medicine, Lester H. Crawford, has been unsucessfully pursuing a ban on subtherapuetic use of antibiotics since 1977!
As of today 25% of samonella strains in humans are resistant to antibiotics. The over prescribing of antibiotics by doctors to their patients has definitely contributed to these virulent and resistant strains of bacteria. However, I firmly believe that the massive over-use of antibiotics in animal feed is one of the greatest threats to us today!

15 Produce Selections You Dont Need To Buy Organic!

Of course we all know that organic is much better than non-organic. Not only does organic have way more nutritional value but it also doesnt contain pesticides nor genetically modified materials. However, like many of you, I am on a limited food budget and am always seeking to provide the highest quality of food to my family without breaking our budget. I have researched and found a list of the top 15 foods that are the least likely to contain pesticides.. or at least have the very lowest amounts. Whenever you come across these products you can purchase them non-organic and save those extra pennies for something else that should be purchased organic. Just remember that you should always wash the non-organic fruit before cutting into them so the pesticides so not creep into the fruit or veggie once cut open.

1- Onions (there isn't much a pest problem with them, so less pesticides)
2- Avacado (thick skin acts a protector from pesticides)
3- Corn (although they take alot of fertilizer, not many pesticides)
4- Pineapple (thick protective skin)
5- Mango
6- Asparagus (fewer pest problems with this veggies)
7- Sweet Peas
8- Kiwi (peel acts as a barrier, still wash this fruit before cutting!)
9- Cabbage (not alot of spraying required to grow this veggies)
10- Eggplant
11- Papaya
12- Watermelon (rind has a natural defense mechanism against pesticides)
13- Broccoli (fewer pest problems, so less spraying)
14- Tomato
15- Sweet Potato

So there you have it! A list of foods that you can feel a little better about eating non-organic!

2010 Dirty Dozen Produce List

The following is a list of produce that was goverment tested in 2010 and found to have some of the highest pesticide residues:
1- Celery (it has no skin to protect it and 64 pesticide residues were found)
2- Peaches (62 different pesticide residues were found on them)
3- Strawberries (59 different pesticides)
4- Apples
5- Blueberries (52 different pesticide residues)
6- Nectarines (33 different pesticides)
7- Bell Peppers (these have thin skins and 49 different pesticides were found)
8- Spinach (48 different ones, making it one of the most contaminated green, leafy
9- Kale (traditionally a hardier veggie, but found to have high amounts of pesticides
this year)
10- Cherries (42 different ones, one survery showed three times higher pesticide
levels in US cherries when compared to imported ones)
11- Potatoes (37 different pesticides)
12- Grapes (imported ones contained 34 different pesticides)

With that being said, leafy greens are frequently contaminated with what are considered to be the most potent pesticides used on food. Many leafy greens contain 55 different pesticide residues on them, yet they were dropped off the 2010 dirty dozen list. While this is the dirty dozen list for produce it does not discuss the peticides that are laced within non-organic meats, milk and coffee. Non-organic milk has been found to have up to twelve different types of pesticide residue. The fat of meat is known to carry the most pesticides as well as other toxins. Pork fat has been shown to have eight different pesticides and chicken thighs are the most pesticide filled part. There is no comparison to the nurtritional value of organic food versus non-organic and also the lack of pesticides.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Stevia - An Herb With Natural Sweetness!

Stevia is an herb from the species of herbs and shrubs in the sunflower family. It is native to the subtropical and tropical regions from western North America to South America. A natural scientist named Antonio Bertoni, first recorded its usage by native tribes in 1887. It has a record of centuries of safe use by indians in Paraguay. It is 300 times sweeter than sugar. Medical research has also shown possible benefits of stevia in treating obesity and high blood pressure. Because stevia has negligible effects on blood glucose, it is attractive as a natural sweetner to people on carbohydrate-controlled diets, like diabetes. The availability of stevia varies from country to country. In a few countries, it has been available for decades or centuries; for example, stevia is widely used as a sweetener in Japan where it has been available for decades. In some countries, health concerns and political controversies have limited its availability; for example, the Unites States banned stevia in the early 1990's unless labeled as a supplment, but in 2008 approved rebaudioside-A extract as a food additive. Stevia occurs naturally, requiring no patent to produce it, therefore the government can really seek to gain nothing by employing its use more often. It is a perfectly safe sweetener and has been proven so for many centuries. There is somewhat of an aftertaste which one can grow accustomed to and if used in larger quantities is can be bitter tasting. However in the right amount it can add a pleasant sweetness to drinks and desserts without affecting your health in a negative way.