Wednesday, December 24, 2008

God's Choice of Christmas

I was sitting in church last week, listening to our Pastor preach about Jesus' birth, and was thinking of how God looks beyond the things many of us hold high with value: money, fashions, gifts, success, comfort, popularity. I'll be the first one to admit that I desire these things and are thankful to have any of these sent my way. But, Pastor Dennis went on to explain how God surprises us with HIS choices of value. If you give it some thought, instead of choosing the most popular place for Jesus' birth, and the richest parents with a wealth of knowledge on parenting, and the most comfortable and accredited hospital for Mary to give birth in (with plenty of devices to ease the process); God chose some unexpected participants, located in a very remote area to be involved in the most meaningful event of history.

When God searched out the perfect earthly father for Jesus, it wasn't someone with the traits I first was a simple carpenter who did work with his hands, and had to have his pregnant partner travel by donkey, instead of by caravan.

God chose an earthly mother for Jesus that was not a queen, or someone who specialized in child bearing and raising, it was a virgin who wasn't even married yet.

The place for the birth wasn't the booming city of Jerusalem with lights and comotion on every corner, but instead a town off the beaten trail that had only a stable left for vacancy.

When God sent his angels to find greeters for Jesus, they went to look for some lonely shepherd far off from society who most likely smelt as the animals smelt.

Down to even the cradle...a manger! People nowdays would think it to be child abuse to put a child in something so "dirty" and full of "possible bacteria"!

Not at all what one would imagine for the birth of our Savior to be like. People tend to want attention drawn to things of importance, but God is the opposite. He let the event be simple and meaningful. No cameras, no video, no music, no lights, no Christmas tree....just God and a few earthly participants, enjoying the stillness of the night.

Many people think of Christmas nowdays as not being much if we don't have it full of family, friend, and work events loaded with entertainment and food. But really, whose BIRTH-day are we celebrating? If you happen to find yourself alone for any part of Christmas--don't think of yourself as being abandoned and lonely! Instead, look at it as some cherished time to spend with someone who was born into the world on a quiet night many, many years ago to live and die for you.

In Christ, Snack-N-Soul Sister

Friday, December 19, 2008

Feeling God Actively in Your Life

I've always enjoyed sitting outside on summer nights; listening to the orchestra of nature's noises, feeling the breeze on my skin, trying to connect with my Creator. Do you ever notice how some times you FEEL God as you live life, and other times you know He's there, but you don't involvingly detect his presence?

When we lived in our previous house within the city limits, you could catch my husband and I out many nights, sitting on our driveway to watch our children play and the neighbors out on walks. Most of the times when we sat, we could expect friendly faces to slowly trickle over to join us. We'd offer drinks, lawn chairs, toys for their kids, anything to make them more comfortable, as good hosts would. Our neighbors joked about our driveway being the "hot hangout" of the neighborhood...... it made us feel good in a way that only genuine "people companionship" can make you feel. And as much as I loved all the attention and connections we had in our other neighborhood, I never really had time to sit and think like I do when we sit outside our new house out in the country. Our nearest neighbor is yards away, and you don't have to strain to enjoy nature's noises.

Don't get me wrong, I absolutely loved our friends and the talk we made....but sometimes we need to take an extra step towards God, because He's left standing as a "watcher". Let me try to illustrate with an example. Each morning, after I let our chickens out of their coop, I can time it almost perfectly down to being about a minute off as to when our chickens walk past our front sun room window. Our 3 girls will leap up to the window seat, all the while shrieking and squealing "Look, Mama, the chickens! They're out and here they come", or else some other similar modified version of that. The chickens have absolutely no idea that they're being watched, much less "oohed" and "awed" over as if they're celebrities of some sort. They peck here and there, look around and lead pretty simple lives. But yet to our 3 girls, they are more entertaining than Sesame Street or Fisher Price toys. Why? I imagine it's because of their pride in knowing that the chickens are ours, that we named them, that we look out for them, and that they are living and breathing beings with feelings and preferences that they can relate to.

Now picture being the Maker of them, and waiting for them to acknowledge you and to be invited into their lives. I'm not saying that our chickens can do those things, but I am saying that God waits at a window, "oohing" and "awing" over every little move we make towards Him. The more we let Him in, the more involved He will be, and the more we will be blessed in His companionship.

Now, we didn't need to move to the country to "feel God", but sometimes it's nice to just sit without telephones ringing, TV watching, friends over, computer chatting, and other "people companionship" that makes us feel good. Go away from it all and be the one to initate time with God before He has to ask for it. He will do whatever it takes to draw you closer, so why not be the first to make a step towards Him!
Be a God-Chaser this approaching Christmas season,
Snack-N-Soul sister

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Stripping Down to the Core of Things.....

Well, our home now has the hardwood floor on the main level stripped, sanded, stained and varnished....definitely a whole new image to start fresh with. I am just amazed at how many fresh starts we're allowed in life. The beginning of each school transition (elementary, middle, high school and college), the choice of churches to start over in if so desired, jobs from working age up to retirement, places to live, pets, clothes styles, I could go on and on. The two most important ones I will touch on today have to do with my two favorite topics: faith and health. As I was watching my husband chisel through the sludge on our floor to reveal the gorgeous bare wood beneath, I had two thoughts go through my head: How Jesus cleanses our lives to create a fresh start, and how natural health allows us a fresh start from diseases. Weird, I know, but please allow me to go into a little detail:

Now, most Christians know of Jesus' offer of eternal life-a choice we can make to have a fresh start with a Christian lifestyle and a promise of eternal life in heaven. But there are people out there who haven't quite grasped the simplicity of forgiveness that our Father has given to us. I hate to relate our offer of salvation to stripping a floor, but the two do have some similarities. Here goes: over the years our hearts can become polluted with "sludge" or misguided thoughts and actions. From lying, stealing, getting wasted, gossiping, having sex outside marriage to hating, being jealous and using the Lord's name in vain. No one can take the claim to being perfect, except Jesus. So we all start out on the same sinners. Now, the difference with us is that we won't all go to that next step of being stripped down to the core--the very simple but meaningful act of asking for forgiveness. We need to do this in order to be saved from the selfish desires of our hearts. After the stripping process, Jesus can help give our lives a colorful "stain" and will even give us a coat of varnish to protect us from the sludge that can build up again in our hearts. All we need to do is remember to ask him to help us start over to do things his way. If my husband and I had decided to move into our house and leave it the way all the previous owners had over the past 100 years, we'd never enjoy the beauty of what lies beneath. By grace, God has given our family the means to strip down our floor to start over, and through God's grace, He has given all of us the means to start over in our daily lives. I have some links and books listed down in the margin that can help get you going on the right track (if you're not already)!

Now, let's flip the coin over to view the Health Side. Let's say that you have a sinus infection. What are your choices? Be miserable or go to the doctor to get an antibiotic to have a "clean start". Right? Well, let's see what an antibiotic does. When I was younger, I thought it was a pill that my stomach sent to my nose and broke up all the congestion and sent it out. Well, that's an idea, but probably not the most widely accepted one. When you take an antibiotic, we know that it "strips the body of good flora" in the intestine along with all the "invader" that caused the main problem. So how did the sinuses get involved then?
Here's the natural approach to understanding: When your body has an invader go through the digestive tract (virus, bacteria, chemical, etc) it builds up mucus as a protectant, which leads to congestion in the stomach (flu with mucus vomit), congestion in the lungs and throat, or congestion in the sinuses. The antibiotic will strip out everything and then the mucus gets flushed out the proper way, hence the reason for it being a stripper. But, when using the "stripper" it takes out everything, including good flora, so you have to replace it with beneficial bacteria from yogurt or acidolphus capsules. You also take the chance of your body building an immunity for the antibiotic's effectiveness for when you really might need it! If you want to avoid using an antibiotic, here are some options:

If your problem was VIRAL, you would typically get sent home from the doctor with over the counter medications to lessen the symptoms. If our family finds out we have a viral infection, we get on Nature's Sunshine VIRAL RECOVERY, along with using the old methods of magnesium (Epsom salt) baths for bodyaches, fennel capsules for congestion, PEPPERMINT OIL for digestive issues, TEI FU ESSENTIAL OIL for respiratory issues, and TEA TREE OIL as an antiseptic. Specific essential oils can help with evey health problem out there, here is a helpful ESSENTIAL OILS GUIDE, that you can purchase from Nature's Sunshine.

So, if the problem was BACTERIAL, most people think an antibiotic is necessary, otherwise more serious problems can result. Our family uses homeopathic drops called BAC HP (Bacteria Homeopathic) or INFECTASTAT...just to get your mind thinking that there isn't always a necessity to use antibiotics, even when everyone else says so.
Now, if the problem is CHEMICALLY derived and you are unaware of any chemicals that may have bothered you, your doctor will tell you you probably have a virus (there's no office visit that can tell you that it's from chemicals) or allergies. When our family was using chemicals to strip our floors, and chemicals to stain and varnish, our little ones and I began getting congestion (coughing, gunky noses, etc) as our bodies were building mucus up as a protectant against its' invaders (the chemicals). What did we do? Well, an antibiotic for the sinus infections would've cleaned out all the chemicals we had ingested through breathing over the days we worked, but since we knew it was a result of chemicals, we took CHARCOAL (ACTIVATED) capsules (a natural "sponge" that soaks up chemicals in the intestine to leave the good flora safely behind) and ALOE VERA JUICE from Nature's Sunshine to help sooth the intestinal lining. Sure, it took a few days, but we are feeling good again, and are not susceptible to any viruses since our intestinal lining was left safe and sound after being only partially "stripped" the natural way.

Those individuals who get into doing things naturally with their health, find over a few years' time, their health problems lessen and they feel better than they have ever felt. God intended for us to read the warning signs our bodies give to us and pray about recovery to receive it. He did not intend for us to always go to the Doctor looking for answers, when all the while we have the answers right in herbs, remedies, and prayer. If you feel blinded at going naturally, I have some good books listed in the margins along with some links that got me started. Be sure to also seek out a professional natural health practicioner who can help guide you in your new adventure!

In God's Love, Snack-N-Soul Sister

******The information in this BLOG is strictly for educational purposes. It should not be used to treat, diagnose, or prescribe for a condition you feel you may have. If you have any health concerns, you should see a competent medical practitioner. ******

Monday, December 8, 2008

God Gave Us Clues on Caring for our Bodies!!!

A Friend sent me this e-mail:

God gave us so many resouces on how to care for our bodies, it's amazing how intricate he designed us and the world. It's been said that "God first separated the salt water from the fresh, made dry land, planted a garden, made animals and fish… all before making a human. He made and provided what we'd need before we were born."

These are best & more powerful when eaten raw. God left us a great clue as to what foods help what part of our body! God's Pharmacy! Amazing!

A sliced Carrot looks like the human eye. The pupil, iris and radiating lines look just like the human eye… and YES, science now shows carrots greatly enhance blood flow to and function of the eyes.
A Tomato has four chambers and is red. The heart has four chambers and is red. All of the research shows tomatoes are loaded with lycopine and are indeed pure heart and blood food.

Grapes hang in a cluster that has the shape of the heart. Each grape looks like a blood cell and all of the research today sh ow s grape s are also profound heart and blood vitalizing food.

A Walnut looks like a little brain, a left and right hemisphere, upper cerebrums and lower cerebellums.Even the wrinkles or folds on the nut are just like the neo-cortex. We now know walnuts help develop more than three (3) dozen neuron-transmitters for brain function.

Kidney Beans actually heal and help maintain kidney function and yes, they look exactly like the human kidneys.

Celery, Bok Choy, Rhubarb and many more look just like bones. These foods specifically target bone strength. Bones are 23% sodium and these foods are 23% sodium. If you don't have enough sodium in your diet, the body pulls it from the bones, thus making them weak. These foods replenish the skeletal needs of the body.
Figs are full of seeds and hang in twos when they grow. Figs increase the mobility of male sperm and increase the numbers of Sperm as well to overcome male sterility.

Avocadoes, Eggplant and Pears target the health and function of the womb and cervix of the female - they look just like these organs. Today's research shows that when a woman eats one avocado a week, it balances hormones, sheds unwanted birth weight, and prevents cervical cancers. And how profound is this? It takes exactly nine (9) months to grow an avocado from blossom to ripened fruit. There are over 14,000 photolytic chemical constituents of nutrition in each one of these foods (mo dern science has only studied and named about 141 of them)

Sweet Potatoes look like the pancreas and actually balance the glycemicindex of diabetics.

Olives assist the health and function of the ovaries.

Oranges, Grapefruits, and other Citrus fruits look just like the mammary glands of the female and actually assist the health of the breasts and the movement of lymph in and out of the breasts.

Onions look like the body's cells. Today's research shows onions help clear waste materials from all of the body cells. They even produce tears which wash the epithelial layers of the eyes. A working companion, Garlic, also helps eliminate waste materials and dangerous free radicals from the body."
Enjoy those Good-for-you foods, they'll have you living a longer, happier life!!!
Ms. Salubrious