Just Think Of The Sparrows

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Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

As I celebrate my birthday on the 20th of July, I had wanted a bird for a gift. But instead, God gave me thisimage “imaginary sparrow”, so that I could share it with everyone.

When I read my final draft of this article, I cried…because I soon realized that not only did God answer all the questions I’d been asking Him for sometime  but He also guided me to find out the answers, myself.

Yes, I am a self-confessed “sparrow”.

Please take time to read and maybe if you’ll think of the sparrows, you will say a li’l prayer for me as well..

Thank you and may God bless us all!

Sincerely,

Mayrose

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It amazes me that the sparrows are mentioned in the Bible numerous times.. And how the sparrows predominately find themselves in the language of the Bible, amazes me even more. What is so special about them? Just for kicks, I made a research about this particular kind of bird.

Here’s what I discovered, out of the more than 9,000 varieties of birds in the world, none is more common than the sparrow. The sparrows are simply small and pretty insignificant birds. This gave away the answer, it is their being insignificant that made them significant to the Lord.

It is no wonder then that Jesus use them as an object lesson that we may not soar like the eagles or strut like the peacocks but like the sparrows, we are just as important to our Heavenly Father.

From my perspective, I could see a bit of the “sparrow” in everyone of us. The “sparrow” within us  manifests in different forms. There are times when we feel so worthless and  feels like nobody loves us and no one even cares anymore if we are still alive. Also those times  when it’s like the world is against us. Those times when we ask, “Where are you God?” amidst our feelings of worthlessness and hopelessness.  Those are the times that we become a “sparrow-on-the-whole”.

Such is not always the case however, the “sparrow” within us may also manifests in bits and pieces in  our lives, like  when we are successful in our career but flops in our marriage or other similar cases.  In other words, there are some areas in our lives that may have drawn us to feel insignificant, or at least we had some experiences of “sparrow moments”- that time when we felt so small, unloved and unnoticed.

Have we not all gone through this at some point in our lives? Then, everyone of us is a sparrow. So, as followers of Christ, we are all “Christian-sparrows” and therefore no one is excluded from the love of God. In short, we are ALL important to the Lord.

From my research, I have also found that sparrows have different species- american tree sparrow, house sparrow, henslow’s sparrow, to name a few, each  have their own distinct color and characterstics. Similarly, as we have diversified traits, culture and total personality make-up, we deal with the “sparrow” within us differently. Like the bird sparrow,  there are also different types of  “Christian-sparrows”.

TYPES OF “CHRISTIAN-SPARROWS” :

1. THE DORMANT “CHRISTIAN-SPARROW”

This could happen because of chronic adverse circumstances that can be  due to disease, bad home or job situation or anything that may affect our life on a major scale. This could result to a feeling of worthlessness and despair. “Sparrow moments” huh?

Here’s what may have happened..We have all heard of the word “erosion”, right? When something erodes, it is either eaten away or worn out. Erosion is a process whereby something which was once a thing of beauty or a strong pillar of some type has deteriorated.

We have all seen or heard about a landslide  or mountain erosion that causes damage to its surroundings. Well, this is parallel to our Christian walk, all of a sudden, we just stop and become dormant. As we go in years, the same can occur in each of us.

WHAT TO DO:

We may have “eroded” in our Christian walk but unlike soil erosion which maybe irreparable we can always start a new walk with the Lord Jesus.

How? If we are going to understand the world and its circumstances, then we must be ceaseless students of the Bible. Keep in mind that the Bible comes from the mind of God and it is the ONLY source of the true perspective of God.

And so, if we are to regain our equilibrium and continue our walk with God, then it is necessary to return to the Word of God.

2. THE “CHRISTIAN-SPARROW’ WHO PATIENTLY WAITS

Sometimes, we go through circumstances that make us feel overlooked and brushed aside. We see the success of others and wonder when it’s our turn. Others receives accolades while we are quietly doing our own thing, and instead of being recognized we even get criticisms for it.

Sometimes, God places us in quiet seasons, seasons hidden and tucked away. In those times, it can be easy to feel cheated and gipped.

WHAT TO DO:

I think the most important thing we can do with our lives is quietly go with God’s purposes for us. But in the meantime, we can have  some “sparrow moments”, we feel small and insignificant. We wonder why she got that job, or he got those accolades. or why the family is living luxuriously when we could barely make both ends meet.

Here’s the truth of the matter. God sees us and He is just preparing us for the right time until we are ready to get that promotion that He intends just for us. YES…we, too will have that promotion…in HIS time.

We may want something and we may want it rightaway…BUT God says..”WAIT, just wait! I have bigger plans for you..this is just not  the right time.”

In these quiet waiting seasons, when we feel stuck and left behind, God does His great work of refining us. He is teaching us lessons, dealing out pearls of wisdom, but only if our hands are open to receiving them.

Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”

3. THE HOPELESS “CHRISTIAN-SPARROW”

Amidst the multiple problems that our world faces today- unemployment, food shortages, energy crisis, spiking cost of basic commodities, religious wars add to these the burgeoning global population,  it’s inevitable that many are gripped with a quiet despair, uncertain of their future, wondering even if they could survive till their next paycheck. They flit from one task to another, doing the best they can.

At other times, their life is smooth sailing but  only for a time, then they find themselves sinking once more…This is the reality of what a majority of the population is going through during this modern times..but God is so good that when we were born, He gifted us with “survival instincts” to help us cope and survive in difficult situations. And so, we don’t easily give up, we continue to fight and  we become resilient. Unfortunately however, there are times when we have given our best shot, have done everything we can and yet we fail.

WHAT TO DO:

At times like these, learn to put into God’s hands what you cannot change. Learning more about Him will give you confidence that He’s able to take care of your storms in life. Giving up and not being able to overcome your difficulties on your own  doesn’t always mean you’re weak, it means you have strong  faith that God will see you through like the sparrows.

This is the time  to remind yourself too that self-reliance maybe an admirable trait in our society, but when you have given it all and still you haven’t or never succeeded, then you have to accept the simple truth that there are things that only God can do.

The psalmist says, “For in the day of trouble, He will keep me safe in His dwelling, He will hide me in the shelter of His tabernacle and set me high upon a rock.”

4. THE ‘CHRISTIAN-SPARROW’ WITH A BIG HEART

This is my favorite type.

In the homily during a mass I attended, the priest related a touching story about an old woman who never fails to attend the early morning mass. “And everyday”, said the priest, “the woman would get the broom and sweep the floor after the mass”. Then one day, the priest could no longer resist asking the woman, “how much are you paid for it?” “Nothing Father”, the woman replied. “Since I do not have money for the alms, I serve the Lord in my own little way. This is my humble love-offering to Him”.

Such an admirable tiny sparrow with a BIG heart for Jesus. Can we be like this woman? Like her, every Christian can serve the Lord even in little things coupled with love.

imageSo, to which type do you belong?

How wonderful it is when Jesus spoke of sparrows to let us understand that He notices even them and that we are of far greater value.

Simply put, the next time you feel shunned by the outside world, neglected, small and unimportant…My friend, have faith! Just think of the sparrows.

 

 

 

 

 

Rewrite Your Song

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A singer/composer was interviewed on TV and was asked where he gets his inspiration. He replied, “from my own life story and the lives of others that spark my interest.” Before the show ended, he obliged to render a song that goes….”According to you, I’m stupid.. I’m useless… I can’t do anything right…..According to you….”

While I listened, I was wondering whose life story that was. What I am sure of is that, NOBODY would ever want to be labelled as stupid or useless. I am even more certain that whoever owns that story or something similar to it would want a BETTER life. A life that deserves a BIT of respect, dignity and honor.

I believe everyone’s life makes a good SONG. And if you want your song to be even BETTER, it is NOT too late to rewrite the lyrics and bring the melody attuned to GOD’s teachings of righteousness.

As Bill Graham said, “Our days are numbered. One of the primary goals in our lives should be to prepare for our last day. The legacy we leave is not just in our possessions, but in the quality of our lives. What preparations should we be making now? The greatest waste in all of our Earth, which cannot be recycled or reclaimed, is our waste of the time that God has given us each day”.

So, COMPOSE the SONG of your LIFE to be so beautiful, that even when you are long gone…when the music is played, you will always be remembered.

MAKE YOUR SONG, YOUR LEGACY!

 

Gleamy Stairways

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Trials and tribulations come in different forms, sizes, kinds and descriptions. They form part of human existence. Unfortunately, most often than not, they sneak at the backdoor as unexpected and unwelcome surprises that usually take us off guard. How we handle these difficult situations is what psychologists call as “coping with crisis”. I view them as “Gleamy Stairways”.

Metaphoric and literal, stairways make us stop and ponder. In life, we spend a lot of mounting and alighting in steps both figuratively and literally. We go up, we go down. Sometimes we trip, falter or fall. Also on some occasions, our life spiral in every which way. But as believers, we never stop climbing. We NEVER give up because the LORD is with us.

NONE are too good to be spared from trials, and none are too bad to be excluded from GOD’s help when trials come.

WHEN DEPRESSION SETS IN

When our trials and tribulations come one after the other, we become overwhelmed. This leads us to a whirlpool of mistakes and our coping mechanisms fail. Such may bring us to a state of depression.

Loneliness creeps in from time to time but when it lingers on (we call it chronic in medical terms) and it interferes with all areas of our life including work and social relationships, it can be a serious problem.

As a registered nurse, I have learned that depression is more than just sadness. People with depression experience a lack of interest or pleasure in daily activities, significant weight loss or gain, insomnia or excessive sleeping, lack of energy, inability to concentrate and WORST- recurrent thoughts of death or suicide. Doctors also found that there is a chemical imbalance in the brain due to the lack of the “feel-good hormone” known as dopamine.

Incidentally, according to Global Statistics conducted by WHO, there are 350 million people worldwide who are suffering from depression. In the U.S., 1 out of 10 Americans suffer from depression and more than 3.4% of people with major depression commits suicide.

And there is this New Global Report from WHO: “Depression predominant cause of illness and disability among adolescents”. It says further, “many serious diseases in adulthood have their roots in adolescence”.

Everyone is vulnerable to depression including the rich and the famous like the celebrities and other prominent people. How many have turned to drugs and have committed suicide because of extreme loneliness?

Would you believe? Even in good times, an average of 16 million new cases of depression occur in the US each year. Apparently, depression has taken a serious toll around the world leading me to ask, “What is really going on here?”  So, allow me to share my thoughts on this. First, let me start with the causes of depression.

CAUSES OF DEPRESSION

  • DEPRESSION may be attributed to familial disposition. Yes, it is not only acquired but may be inherited. A person whose family member suffered from depression will have a greater chance of acquiring it than someone who has none.
  • It can also be traced back to an unresolved conflict/s or crisis as in persons who were abused during chiildhood.
  • A result of refusing to accept failures as when one cannot come up to his/her lofty ambitions or the high expectations of parents or loved ones.
  • loss of a loved one, a job, failed relationships or  unsuccessful businesses resulting to financial disaster.
  • It may be physiologic- deficiency of some chemicals in the brain as mentioned earlier.

Just as happiness is subjective and so is loneliness. In short, there are as many causes of depression as you can think of that may make one extremely unhappy.

DEPRESSION IS TREATABLE

In the medical field, depression is considered as a “mental illness” Hence, sufferers bear the stigma of being told they are “mentally ill”.

As a “soul-centered” nurse, however, I believe depression is NOT primarily another word for unhappiness, nor is it “mental illness”. It is rather in many instances a response to a “lack of spiritual life”.

I strongly believe that my advocacy in nurturing and healing the spirit as an integral part in the holistic healing of the body IS what makes me  a “soul-centered” nurse.

So to continue, one thing that makes our life difficult sometimes is that we’re out of God’s physical presence. God didn’t say it would be easy but He promised, He would be there when we needed Him. Even though it feels like it sometimes, we must always remember that we are not alone in our journey.

While there is no substitute for seeking medical help and taking medications, it is MOST important to make our own personal spiritual assessment to determine the level of our spirituality for the ULTIMATE HEALING FORCE in depression or in any other forms of afflictions for that matter  is a GOD-centered life.

To attain  a GOD-CENTERED LIFE you must:

FIND YOUR LIFE’S PURPOSE

Every person is driven by something. It could be the desire for money, fame, pleasure or success. Whatever it is, something drives a person’s life. Do you know what drives your life?

It is hard to move forward when you don’t know where you’re headed and why. GOD’s plan gives us the basic answers to life’s basic questions like “What’s your purpose in this life?”, and “What happens when I die?”. You can find all the answers in the Scriptures. Until you bring God into the picture you will never fully understand what life is all about.

Knowing our purpose in life give us hope and help us find peace and joy.

BE OPTIMISTIC

VIEW life in a positive way.

The power of positive thinking for the believer is rooted in what we believe about God and His word. In addition, meditating on God’s word on a regular basis equips a believer to live righteously because the Bible clearly leads us in the direction of positive thinking in our Christian walk.

As believers, we have the power of God to control our thinking: choose only those that are positive and eliminate all  the negative ones  as they do not come from God.

Thereafter, the fruit of godliness springs up within our soul.

LIVE EACH DAY AT A TIME

“One day at a time-this is enough. Do not look back and grieve over the past., for it is gone. Live in the present, and make it so beautiful that it will be worth remembering”.-Ida Scott Taylor

One cause of depression is that you feel overloaded and you try so hard to deal with so much at once. Things are much more manageable when you do it one at a time. When you try to handle everything at once, you often don’t know what to do first and you end up doing nothing at all. And this can even aggravate your depression.

Embrace today! It is a gift, live one day at a time and live it to the fullest.

BE REALISTIC

Set goals that are attainable and realistic.

Ambitions that are too high demand equal amounts of stress and pressure such that when you fail  it can be so unbearable. In fact, according to new research, while  lofty ambition can help you achieve a very prestigious education and corporate success, these may not make you happier in the long run. It says, “Ambition could make you rich but not happy”.

Here is the result of a study led by Timothy Judge, professor of Management at the University of Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business:

The results of “On the value of aiming high”: The causes and consequences of ambition surprised him, he said,  There was a stronger than expected correlation of ambition, educational and career success. But those who led successful life in this regard were not, despite what you might expect, marked happier or longer lived. And those whose achievements failed to match their ambitions lived less happily and died earlier”

The takeaway? For one thing, “if you have high aspirations, you better make good on them”, said Judge.

EXPRESS YOUR LOVE, GRATEFULNESS and APPRECIATION

Live each day as if it was the last day of your life. Express your love to those dear to you. Show appreciation even in little things. Sometimes, a mere “thank you” brings joy to one’s heart. It opens up the giver’s spirit to share more to people who are grateful.

FORGIVE

This is the most crucial of all. When our physical bodies are injured, it may heal by itself because of our natural defense system called antibodies but when we are deeply hurt by someone’s words or actions, it may take a very long time for us to heal or we may NEVER heal at all. Consequently, the hurts are pent-up deep within that may lead to depression.

Forgiveness is an antidote for bitterness, wrath, anger and depression. When we forgive someone, we do not exonerate their behavior, we give ourselves the permission to let go and put down a great weight we have been carrying.

The sacred act of forgiveness  free us from the bondage  of undesirable thoughts and feelings and gives us inner peace, joy and happiness.

TAKE TIME TO LAUGH AND BE HAPPY

To laugh makes us fully human.

When my hubby and I were down with flu for several days, I did a little browsing for some funny anecdotes. Indeed, it made our spirits high. The spontaneity of humor reflects the way God created man,. Truly, it is both physically and emotionally beneficial to us.

Life as hard as it is can  even be harder if do not take time to laugh and be happy. Laughter brings family together and can also keep a tense situation from ending in bitter words and hard feelings.

Every believer can and should rejoice, because our best days are always ahead of us. Moreover, everyone has the right to laugh and be happy.

PRAY, PRAY and PRAY

Prayer is for anyone and everyone.

NOTHING is more powerful than PRAYER. It is so powerful that it can do many things, even the IMPOSSIBLE. Fervent and sincere prayers come from the heart and not from the lips. It is very simple and it can be done anywhere at anytime.

My mind speaks of worship and prayer ALL THE TIME,  in everything that I do even when I am doing the dishes or taking a shower. It helps me put my mind back on track when it wanders and it also wards off unnecessary and undesirable thoughts.

Bouts of unhappiness can be alleviated, prayer can lift you into a new lightness of heart, joy, peace, happiness and serenity.

If you are plagued with resentment and bitterness regarding a person or situation, prayer can bring a new understanding that will fill you with a new and amazing love.

Moreover, when you are fearful, prayer can transform you into a person of great courage.

PRAYER IS THE ANSWER for depression or  any other kind of sufferings because prayer is power, It can change all things that need changing in your life, yourself, or  condition of any kind. When you pray, you have placed yourself in the stream of blessings that is available to you and to everyone for you have  fervently asked in FAITH.

BE A BETTER PERSON

Trials can either make or break us. We can turn to be  better or bitter after our storms of life. As children of God, we view tests as   another step to the stairways of spiritual maturity that gives us life’s treasured lessons.

Finally, for depression and other afflictions-GOD is the ULTIMATE HEALER and amidst trials, HE is the LIGHT to our STAIRWAYS making our way up easier to negotiate. Thus, with the LORD, our life’s STAIRWAYS are always GLEAMY.

1 Corinthians 10:13

1No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. wGod is faithful, and xhe will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.

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What Delights the Lord

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GOD created men to please Him and not the other way around. This being so, it is man’s goal to discover what delights the Lord. Fortunately, the Bible gives us a clear example of a life that pleases God in the person of NOAH.

During the time of Noah, the entire world was full of all kinds of pleasure. Evil and wickedness were everywhere that God couldn’t find anyone on earth that delights Him. God became so disgusted with the human race that He considered wiping it out. But there was this one man who was pleasing to God’s eyes and his name was Noah. It was because of Noah that You and I are alive today.

From his life we learn the acts of worship that delights the Lord. Subsequently,  God will also be delighted if we follow the love, faith and wisdom  that Noah’s life had exemplified.

Let us then delight the Lord by following these NOAH’s ACTS OF WORSHIP:

LOVE HIM SUPREMELY

Noah loved God more than anything else in the world even when no one else did.

The Bible tells us, “for his entire life, Noah consistently followed God’s will and enjoyed close relationship with Him’. Nothing is more important than loving God above all things. Jesus called it the greatest commandment, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul and with all your mind.” This is the first and greatest commandment.

Can we think of anything else more important than God’s love for us? He loves us so much that He is longing for us to love Him back. He says, “I don’t want your sacrifices–I want your love, I don’t want your offerings–I want you to know me”.

In His words, it is clear that He wants us to have fellowship with Him so that we may know Him and be intimate with Him.  His arms are forever outstretched waiting for us to embrace  and pour out our love for Him just as He longs to embrace us.

In today’s chaotic world, it is easy to forget to love God. Ironically, it is even easier to do things that displeases God because nowadays, more and more people are becoming attached to worldly things and this have now channeled our love to a different direction.

REFLECT: How can I love God supremely?

TRUST HIM COMPLETELY

Noah trusted God completely even when it didn’t make sense.

Consider this scenario: One day, God comes to Noah and say’ “I’m disappointed in human beings. In the entire world, no one but you thinks about me. But Noah when I look at you, I start smiling. I’m pleased with your life. So, I’m going to flood the world and start over with you and your family.. I want you to build a giant ship that will save you and your animals.”

Of course, there were problems that may have caused Noah to doubt. First, the land was totally dry and Noah had never seen rain. Second, Noah lived hundreds of miles from the nearest ocean. So, even if he could learn to build a ship, how could water get into it? Third, the problem with catching and caring the animals was just a tall order.. But Noah did NOT complain or made excuses. He trusted God completely and that delighted God.

Trusting God completely means surrendering everything to the Lord, it means having FAITH that He knows what is best for our life.

In reality, in the dark hours of the night, it is easy to begin to lose faith especially when we are faced with difficult situations. It is during these times that we need to pray the hardest. As Harold J. Sala once said, “When it is hardest to pray, that’s when you need to pray the hardest, it does not always change the circumstances but it changes the hearts of those who pray”. Moreover, fight doubt by taking a Bible and marking the many promises of God.

It took Noah 120 years to build the ark. Imagine how he faced many discouraging days, when there were no sign of rain year after year. Imagine how he was ruthlessly criticized as “a crazy man who thinks God speaks to Him”. Yet Noah kept on trusting God.

Just as parents are pleased when children trust their love and wisdom, our Faith delights God. the Bible says, “Without Faith, it is impossible to please God’.

REFLECT: In what areas of your life do you need to trust God completely?

OBEY HIM WHOLEHEARTEDLY

Noah obeyed  and built the giant ship just as God prescribed it giving full attention to logistics and details. Noah did everything that God instructed. him to do. For God didn’t say, “build any boat you’d like, Noah”.

He gave very detailed instructions as to size, shape, materials of the ark as well as the different number of animals to be brought on board. Noah obeyed God  completely and wholeheartedly and he followed exactly in the way  and time God wanted it be done. Obeying God wholeheartedly means obeying Him without any reservation or hesitation. We do not procrastinate and say, “we’ll think about it”. Parents understand that partial obedience is disobedience. Sometimes, we do not understand the will of God until we have followed what He has directed us to do. Understanding can wait but obedience can’t.

Often, we offer God partial obedience. We want to choose only those that are easy, inexpensive, reasonable and common. I will attend mass but won’t forgive the one who hurt me. I am going to read the Bible but can’t go out to help my neighbor.  Partial obedience is disobedience.  Wholehearted obedience is done joyfully and gladly. The Bible says, “obey Him gladly”. This is the attitude of David: “just tell me what to do and I’ll do it Lord. As long as I live I will wholeheartedly obey”.

There are areas in our life  where we feel we may have failed like career, relationships, finances that sometimes we even feel that God does not care about us. We may not be aware then that God is directing us to a better path. It will only be after we have followed Him that we realize His plan was far better than what we have planned for our life. So then, trust the will of the Father and obey him wholeheartedly. In addition, it is very important that we obey Him because it shows that we love Him. As Jesus said, “if you love me, you will obey my commandments’. 

REFLECT: Had you been offering God partial or wholehearted obedience?

PRAISE AND THANK HIM CONTINUALLY

GOD is delighted when we express our adoration and gratitude to Him.

Noah’s first act after surviving the Flood was to express his THANKS to God by offering a sacrifice. The Bible says, “Then Noah built an altar to the Lord…and sacrificed burnt offerings in it”.

Because of Jesus’ sacrifice, we don’t offer animal sacrifices as Noah did. Instead, we are told to offer God the “sacrifice of PRAISE” and “the sacrifice of THANKSGIVING”.

When we offer praise and thanksgiving to God, we delight the Lord and our hearts are filled with JOY.

The Book of Psalms says, “The righteous are glad and rejoice in His presence, they are happy and they shout for joy”.

REFLECT: Do you continually thank and praise the Lord for what He is doing for you?

USE YOUR GIFTS

AFTER the Flood, God told Noah, “Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the earth…Everything that lives and moves will be food for you…Just as I gave you the green plants, I now give you everything”.

GOD simply means, “Go on with your life as human, Noah”

We may think that the only time that God is pleased with us is when we do spiritual activities like reading the Bible, attending church, praying or sharing our faith. But God is just as concerned about the minute details of our life. He is always watching us in everything that we do—typing on the computer, doing the laundry, shopping at the mall, walking the dog or whatever work we do. God enjoys watching us and is delighted to see us perform those human tasks that He designed us for.

The Bible tells us, “The steps of the godly are directed by the Lord, He delights in every detail of their lives’.

God has gifted us with different skills and talents that we may use them for His enjoyment and pleasure. Some are blessed with music and science while others excel in athletics and sports. Whatever gifts we have, God is delighted when we use them to the best of our abilities and if we dedicate these talents to glorify His name.

EVEN AS we live in the 21st century, God is looking for Noah amongst us. Let us THEN  follow Noah’s ACTS OF WORSHIP. And God  will surely be delighted if he finds NOT JUST ONE but several NOAHs in our time.

 

Laughternicillin-The BEST Antibiotic EVER!

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Those tiny influenza viruses may have been jumping with joy to have found a potential new haven. that just as when we brought my brother home after 2 days of hospital confinement, my hubby and I were their next habitat.

(COUGH! COUGH!…there goes our duet)

And so, while getting enough bedrest and medication, I did a little browsing for some funny stories that may somehow lift our spirits up. After all they say, “laughternicillin is the best antibiotic” or… was I who said that???

(HACHOOOO!)

HA HA HA! THIS ONE MADE ME COUGH! COUGH! COUGH!

                    BEST SENIOR CITIZEN JOKE EVER

A little silver-haired lady calls her neighbor and says, “Please come over here and help me. I have a killer jigsaw puzzle, and I can’t figure out how to get started.”

Her neighbor asks, “What is it supposed to be when it’s finished?”

The little silver haired lady says, “According to the picture on the box, it’s a rooster.”

Her neighbor decides to go over and help with the puzzle. She lets him in and shows him where she has the puzzle spread all over the table.

He studies the pieces for a moment, then looks at the box, then turns to her and says, “First of all, no matter what we do, we’re not going to be able to assemble these pieces into anything resembling a rooster.”

He takes her hand and says, “Secondly, I want you to relax. Let’s have a nice cup of tea, and then,” he said with a deep sigh …………

 

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“Let’s put all the Corn Flakes back in the box!”

 

ANECDOTE 2.

I’m sure EVEN Adam’s rib is tickled with this one ha ha ha!

                    ADAM’S RIB

In Sunday School,they were teaching how God created everything,including human beings. Little Johnny seemed especially intent when they told him how Eve was created out of one of Adam’s ribs. Later in the week,his mother noticed him lying down as though he were ill,and said,’Johnny what is the matter?’Little Johnny responded,’I have a pain in my side. I think I’m going to have a wife.’

 

ANECDOTE 3.

                    TWO LITTLE BOYS

A couple had two little boys, ages 8 and 10, who were excessively mischievous. The two were always getting into trouble and their parents could be assured that if any mischief occurred in their town their two young sons were in some way involved.

The parents were at their wits end as to what to do about their sons’ behavior. The mother had heard that a clergyman in town had been successful in disciplining children in the past, so she asked her husband if he thought they should send the boys to speak with the clergyman.

The husband said, ‘We might as well. We need to do something before I really lose my temper!’ The clergyman agreed to speak with the boys, but asked to see them individually. The 8 year old went to meet with him first. The clergyman sat the boy down and asked him sternly,’Where is God?’

The boy made no response, so the clergyman repeated the question in an even sterner tone, ‘Where is God?’ Again the boy made no attempt to answer. So the clergyman raised his voice even more and shook his finger in the boy’s face, ‘WHERE IS GOD?’

At that the boy bolted from the room and ran directly home, slamming himself in the closet. His older brother followed him into the closet and asked what had happened. The younger brother replied, ‘We are in BIG trouble this time. God is missing and they think we did it.’

 

HA HA HA HACHOOOO…

SURE, MY hubby and I felt much, much better AFTER alternate COUGHS and LAUGHS and SNEEZES..that we almost did not realize it was getting late …OUR 2 dogs were also busy barking (just as we are) …that I thought..”who would dare intrude into our premises with 4 barking dogs and humans?’ …LOL!

I WILL CONTINUE to post a series of tasteful and wholesome funny anecdotes because I believe we all need to find time and reasons to laugh….

TILL THEN my friends…

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The BIG “C”

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This may sound scary and dreadful  as to most, the BIG “C” means such life-threatening disease as cancer. But this BIG “C” is the “BIG CHANGE” and unlike cancer it is the door to hope and life.

Most people are silently longing to transform their life in one way or another but they don’t seem to know where and how to start. Interestingly, a traveler once asked a man in China, “Have you ever heard the Gospel?” “No”, he replied “But I have seen it. There is a man in our village who was the terror in our neighborhood. He had a violent temper. He was an opium smoker, a criminal and a dangerous man. But the Gospel has made him gentle and good. He no longer smokes opium. No, I have never heard the Gospel but I have seen it and it is very good”.

Indeed, the Gospel is so powerful that it can dramatically change the lives of those who follow it. Since the Scriptures provide us to all the good works,  they give all the guidance we need. Therefore, God’s word is the BEST START  as it is the ultimate source of guidance for self-help and motivation for self-improvement.

Timothy 3:16-17

“All Scripture is “God-breathed” and is useful for teaching, rebuking, connecting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God maybe thoroughly equipped for every good work”.

THE GIFT OF FREE WILL

God is all-good and all-knowing that He gave us choices in this world  as vast as the Universe, and it is entirely up to us  which decisions or choices we make. The Bible tells us that God created man in His “image and likeness”. And so, when He created men, He gave them the same wonderful faculty-the gift of free will.

Free will is a universal gift from God. However, God did not create us with equal emotional strength to deal with it. One reason may be attributed to the fact that there is a growing amount of evidence  that traces a biological link between  our Emotional Quotient (EQ) and our parents. Emotional Quotient as defined by psychologists as a measurement of a person’s ability to monitor his or her emotions to cope with pressures and demands.

For this reason, some of us inherit a disposition from our parents that makes us more susceptible to destructive behavior while others are more discerning.

Subsequently, while many with seemingly  high EQ have successfully  transformed their lives, there are others who are still struggling to change. On the other hand, there are also some pessimists who think that they cannot help being themselves, that they cannot reform their ways at all. Their reason? Some say, “they were brought up in the slums”,  while others say “they haven’t felt the love of a parent”. and so, they are not to be blamed for their behavior and conduct.

Of course, this is not true. Our actions, be it right or wrong are our personal responsibility. As the Bible says:

2 Corinthians 5:10

“For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil”.

God is so caring that along with free will, He also gave us the ability to think, weigh matters, make decisions and know right from wrong. We were not made like mindless robots having no will of their own nor were we created to act on instinct as were the animals. Instead, our marvelous brain was designed to work in harmony with our freedom of choice.

GOD’S WORD says, “Behave like free men, and never use your freedom as an excuse for wickedness”- 1 Peter 2:16

TO CHANGE IS NEVER EASY

Life can be hard and some things in life which we want to change can seem difficult or even insurmountable. Moreover, change doesn’t happen overnight, it takes time and a lot of patience. A person also needs a strong will and determination coupled with deep faith in himself and in the Lord.

We will also encounter some problems along the way that sometimes may discourage us that we may even feel like giving up, but this isn’t unusual. These are the times when our strength is being tested and these are the times too, when God is purifying us and preparing us for the overhaul.

CHANGE IS A PROCESS

Sometimes we become impatient especially when we are not getting what we are expecting at ourimage specified time frame.  We should remember then that change is not an event with an exact start and stop point. Our “metamorphosis” like the butterfly is also a process.

What we sometimes fail to realize is this, “each step we make, even if it’s relatively small such as making the resolution to change, is still a step in the right direction, bringing us to our ultimate goal”. And when each one of us will make small changes in our lives, when added together will result in a BIG CHANGE in our life and into the world.

It is also important to recognize that even if we take a few steps back or stumble, it is not the end of the world and we can always  stand up and continue  what we have started.

In fact, research have found  that change rarely occurs in straight forward, linear sequence, and when people falter, they usually don’t fall all the way back to their starting point.

On the contrary, if viewed and used correctly, the missteps can even serve as learning opportunities and instead of stumbling blocks, they serve as stepping stones helping us become better prepared to take the next step.

To conclude, to change is a matter of choice. Anyone, even the most sinful can make a BIG “C”  for all our sins are equal in the eyes of God as He says, “for all   have sinned and  fall short of the glory of God” – Mark 3:23 Don’t ever let yourself think, “I can’t help the way I am” because you can with God’s help, let the Scriptures be your starting point. As Maria Robinson once said, “Nobody can go back to start a new beginning but anyone can start today and make a new ending”. And when one day, your life will flash before your eyes, wouldn’t you like it to be worth watching?

 

 

Give Us Today

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imageHave you ever prayed like this? “Dear God, Heavenly Father, please help me to get through this day!”

I always  ask the Lord to help me to cope just for the day. Forget tomorrow, next week or next month. While the Bible makes wonderful promises for tomorrow, I do believe that the greater focus is on God’s help, guidance and strength for today.

Remember Jesus taught us to pray, “Give us this day, our daily bread…”

He also told us, “Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself, each day has enough trouble of its own”-Matthew 6:34

The GOOD NEWS is God’s grace is overflowing and is always sufficient for today.

Matthew 6:25-34

Do Not Worry

25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life[a]?

28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

MY DEAR FRIENDS,

LIFE is a GIFT, life is SHORT. Live a GOOD life, and LIVE in the PRESENT moment. Do NOT dwell in the past or WORRY about the future. Instead, BE THANKFUL for each new day, for it gives us a new HOPE and a new BEGINNING.

So then, LET’S NOT forget to GIVE THANKS to the LORD for the blessing of each new day.

May we ALWAYS live our lives to the GLORY of GOD, the ALMIGHTY FATHER in union with the HOLY SPIRIT, one GOD forever and ever, so HELP us GOD….AMEN.

 

 

 

Understanding the Link between Conscience and Spirituality

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How can a father brutally kill his 10-year old son and even uploads the image of his bloodied body as his profile picture on facebook? And how can a pregnant woman be stoned to death for marrying the man she loves and not the man that her family wishes? And here’s another,  “a student, brought about by his twisted idea about women went on killing rampage leaving 6 innocent people dead”. These horrible news makes me wonder if some people are born without a conscience.

Aside from these terrible news, we also read about debates on moral issues such as same-sex marriages and death penalties. Who would have imagined 100, 50 or even 20 years ago that there could be a debate about the definition of marriage? These are just  some proofs that we now live in a time of ever-changing moral standards. The main reason for this is the “majority rules” or the dictates of society.

It would be safe to say then that the individual’s judgment, as to what contributes most to his wellbeing and the welfare of society  has now become   the basis of our moral standards. Needless to say,  these are now the moral standards that we  have “programmed” in our conscience  and thus has become our justification of what is right and wrong.

In short, our self-interest and the interest of the society, we may call the dictates of social conscience has now become our determinants of  right and wrong. This being the case, our conscience is only as good as to our knowledge of what is good and bad to us, and  may not be always aligned with what is good and evil in the eyes of God.

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When our conscience is not aligned with our Christian spirituality then there could be a missing link. Undoubtedly, the Christian conscience will continually face challenges but our social conscience  will never change. The reason being that, our human frailties sometimes dominates us that we fall  easily into  the prey of the devil.  However, no amount of temptation can pin us down if we have a Christian conscience, and we can only build a Christian conscience if we build a strong character.

In other words, CHARACTER is the powerful LINK between conscience and spirituality.  Generally, character is shaped and formed by our parents, elders, teachers and friends who have influenced us as godly role-models. As the home is where our character is  first developed, parents  therefore, play a very important role as such.

Children when they are born, they come into the world as persons who are not yet the being that GOD wants them to be. They have not yet, obviously reached the level of development or maturity, that by nature, are capable of achieving. Hence, they  need love, nourishment, security and education. As parents, we are called by God to meet these needs. In so doing, we are guiding our children to a life based on Christian moral principles and shaping  their Christian conscience in the process.

Unfortunately, not all individuals were lucky to be born with parents to guide  and have their needs met. However, if our spirituality, i.e. relationship with the Lord is STRONG, and we have a deep understanding of how God wants us to live, then we can still build a Christian conscience.

Trust the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make straight your paths-Proverbs 3:5-6

Our character is strengthened every time we participate in spiritual enhancement :  reading the Bible, attending Sunday masses or worship, memorizing a verse or pray. The Holy Spirit uses all these input to renew our conscience so that it can evaluate every opportunity, thought, word, deed and action.

Moreover, if we program our conscience with God’s teachings, we will be more disposed to respond to remorse when we sin, as opposed to those who never puts spiritual value into their conscience.

So then, as our rapport with God deepens,  our conscience tunes in with the moral code of the Holy Spirit-a code reflecting  the moral and ethical standards of God and thereby, serves as our guidance  to do the will of God.

The bottom line is, the CONSCIENCE is a universal gift from God but it only works well if we have  a strong spiritual life, because it takes a STRONG SPIRITUALITY to build a GOOD CHARACTER, and a good character to build  a CHRISTIAN CONSCIENCE. 

Finally, for as long as we live, our spirituality will always be tested through our conscience and so, the challenge for every Christian therefore, is to MAINTAIN a Christian conscience and stay GOOD EVEN if others are not, can not and will not….for in the end, it is not what we think or what our culture allow but what GOD SAYS. HE has the final word in determining right and wrong.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE ASHITABA WONDERS-Don’t miss out the GREAT NEWS!

The Ashitaba Plant

The Ashitaba Plant

 

NO SICK PERSON, particularly those  with illnesses should not take ASHITABA….Let me correct that, NO PERSON (even those with good state of health) should NOT ever be without ASHITABA especially in the PHILIPPINES where it is commonly found.

It has been my “vision” to inspire and motivate others to  lead a HOLISTIC LIFE, a life that is balanced in all areas: physical, mental, spiritual, emotional, social and even financial… for I believe that it is only then that we can live life to the fullest.

Our physical body needs a lot of nurturing as it is the “Temple of the Holy Spirit”, the core of our being and it plays the biggest part in our holistic living. Hence, the GOOD NEWS that I’d want to share with you is this, “studies and researches have found  that ASHITABA, the herb with the most number of benefits, is the secret to  good health, staying young and long life. Thus, it is called the “longevity herb”. it is also called  “tomorrow’s leaves” because when the leaves are picked today, it would blossom again tomorrow. Ashitaba has been used in Japan (Edo Period of 15th century) and China (Ming Dynasty in early 15th century) as medicinal herbs due to its power of supplying vital nutrients.

A lot had been heard about this super food ASHITABA and its enormous health-benefits that I have done my   “own research” and have gathered the highlights to share them with you.

A beneficiary of its mighty benefits herself, my 85-year old Mom, introduced me to this super herb, ASHITABA. Her lab exams a month ago showed the following results:

Creatinine-       1.5 mg/dl          normal values- .6-1.1 mg/dl

FBS          –      150 mg/dl         normal values- 70-100 mg/dl

After just 2 weeks of taking 5 (raw)   ashitaba leaves daily, her Creatinine is down to 1.2 mg/dl and FBS to 120 mg/dl. Amazingly, her bp of 150/70  has also gone down to 120-130/60 isn’t that INCREDIBLE??? And so, I made a quick research and found out this GREAT NEWS!

More than 2,000 years ago, Hippocrates, The Father of Medicine uttered the phrase “Let Food Be Thy Medicine”. Today, his famous words hold more truth and credibility than ever before. This follows extensive research that is continually uncovering health-related benefits linked to a wide range of foods from around the globe.

One food in particular that has found to possess many medicinal properties, as I have mentioned, is Ashitaba (scientific name-Angelica Keidskei Koidzumi). The name Angelica  comes from the Latin name for Angel and was given to this herb because of its godly effects, namely its extraordinary ability to slow the aging process.

RESEARCH HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Research published Nutraceuticals World, Sept. 2002, astonishingly showed that Ashitaba, out-performed all other herbs including green tea, red wine and soy that were tested for their anti-oxidant potential based on the ORAC guide (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity).
  • Scientists discovered that it is the only known plant to contain chalcones, (see below).  This, they discovered when they began to analyze the diet and environment in order to determine the health and longevity of the people in the Japanese Island of Hachijo. Residents have ashitaba as part of their diet, and typically have some of the longest life spans on earth. The plant has been an integral part of their diet on this island for hundreds of years. and has since then a compulsary food for all Japanese.
  • Dr. Kevin Lance Jones, a licensed acupuncturist and Orthomolecular Medical Doctor (OMD) from California, in the US says, “There is a patient in Texas that has insulin-dependent (Type 1) diabetes who is currently taking the herb. He says he now has to use less insulin because his blood sugar no longer spikes with attacks of hyperglycaemia. Another patient in Japan took Ashitaba for 6 months  and his blood sugar level dropped from 400 mg/dl to 150 mg/dl.”
  • Many researchers believe that Ashitaba contains endless therapeutic compounds.

-CHLOROPHYLL: The green pigment present in plants is almost identical to the haemoglobin molecule in Blood Cells (RBCs), it is often referred to as “nature’s blood”. And one of its many attributes includes its ability to stimulate the production of RBCs, which carry oxygen to the body tissues. It is also an excellent agent for cleansing the blood and liver, and promotes the growth of “friendly” intestinal bacteria.

The chlorophyll inside the  stem /stalk of Ashitaba

The chlorophyll inside the stem/stalk of Ashitaba

-GERMANIUM-This trace mineral has been found to promote the production of interferon, a substance produced by the body that works to prevent viruses and bacteria from penetrating the body cells.

-COUMARINS-  These are potent antioxidants, which have been found to contain anti-carcinogenic properties.

-CHALCONES- This is unique to Ashitaba as it is the only known plant to have this substance. It is  potent antioxidants, protecting cells from free radical damage and with many degenerative diseases including cancer. They also suppress the secretion of gastric juice in the stomach which is often caused by stress and can lead to stomach ulcers.

And a LOT MORE vital nutrients…

  • The Biomedical of Tahara Shuzo found that the powerful compounds found in Ashitaba can enhance production of Nerve Growth Factor (NGF), which is an incredible process. NGF is a biological substance which is essential in the development and survival of certain neurons in both the central and peripheral nervous systems.

In one study, using 1% ashitaba dry powders, a 20% increase of NGF concentration was noted after only 4 days.

ASHITABA MAY HELP TO:

  • promote blood cleansing and circulation
  • reduce blood pressure
  • regulate cholesterol level
  • regulate blood sugar level
  • reduce joint and muscular pain
  • enhance liver and kidney functions
  • support digestive and G.I. health
  • anti viral and bacterial actions
  • suppress cell growth abnormalities
  • inhibit general inflammation
  • relieve smooth muscle spasms in the arteries and bronchial tubes
  • improve visual acuity
  • peri-menopausal relief
  • smoother skin texture
  • aid natural sleep cycles

HOW ASHITABA IS TAKEN:

Ashitaba can be taken raw (just wash the leaves clean and eat it) or as a part of the diet.

I had been quite adventurous in my ashitaba dishes and juice recipes that I thought the options are just endless… Here are some of my “Ashitaba Kitchen Adventure”:

Blanched  Ashitaba tossed with ouster sauce and sprinkled with toasted garlic and sesame seeds

Blanched Ashitaba tossed with oyster sauce sprinkled with toasted garlic and sesame seeds

Fried rice with ashitaba leaves

Fried rice with ashitaba leaves

 

Cream dory fish salad with  ashitaba

Cream dory fish salad with diced carrots,chopped celery and Ashitaba

Ashitaba tempura

Ashitaba tempura

Chicken potato salad with Ashitaba

Chicken potato salad with Ashitaba

Ground pork, potatoes and Ashitaba omelette

Ground pork, potatoes and Ashitaba  leaves omelette

Raw Ashitaba leaves with mayo dip

Raw Ashitaba leaves with mayo dip

 

 

Sauteed tuna flakes with tomatoes, onions and Ashitaba

Sauteed tuna flakes with tomatoes, onions and Ashitaba leaves

Scrambled eggs with ashitaba leaves

Scrambled eggs with ashitaba leaves

For my JUICE RECIPES, I use any fruits that are available in the market and experiment with them. I also add powdered AGAR (gelatin seaweed extract) as it also known to have a lot of health benefits.

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AGAR HEALTH BENEFITS:

  • known for its ability to aid in digestion and weight loss as it suppresses the apetite.
  • good source of calcium and iron
  • very high in fiber, contains no sugar (unflavored), no fat, no carbs  and no calories.
  • reduces inflammation
  • considered mild laxative, good for those with chronic constipation but not recommended with those with weak digestion.
  • it absorbs glucose in the stomach, passes through the digestive system quickly and inhibits the body from retaining and storing excess fat.
  • its water absorbing properties also aids in waste elimination.
  • also used in some parts of the world to treat hemorrhoids.
  • it absorbs biles and by doing so causes the body to dissolve more cholesterol.

Now, you can just imagine how “POWER-PACKED” is my version of the ASHITABA JUICE with these two powerful ingredients, ASHITABA and AGAR.

“Take note that I use a blender   to have a finer and smoother  “puree shake-like” results. And before putting the Ashitaba leaves, I cut them finely with scissors. The Agar is also sprinkled little by little so as not to produce lumps.”

HERE ARE SOME OF MYASHITABA JUICE ADVENTURE”:

 

Watermelom, lychee, gelatin seaweed extract-pandan flavor and ashitaba

Watermelom, lychee, gelatin seaweed extract-pandan flavor and ashitaba leaves

Mango, pineapple, ashitaba juice

Mango, pineapple, ashitaba  leaves

Watermelon, banana, gelatin seaweed extract-strawberry flacor amd ashitaba juice

Watermelon, banana, gelatin seaweed extract-strawberry flavor and Ashitaba leaves

These are just a few of the juice experiments that I made. You can try mixing different fruits and you will be surprised with their extraordinary tastes. The thing is, JUST THINK ABOUT THEIR HEALTH BENEFITS.

YES, take in TOMORROW’s LEAVES for a BETTER TOMORROW…and try it with AGAR too for maximum health benefits. LET your better tomorrow START TODAY!!!

 

 

 

 

 

God Sees Through The Chaos

maycluis:

Such a very inspiring testimony…Thanks for sharing…

Originally posted on Inspirational Christian Blogs:

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I do so love the testimony of Corrie ten Boom and how her ministry of love and forgiveness continued on until her death. This story blessed me and I hope it blesses you as well.

During Corrie’s presentations to audiences, she would often hold the back side of a piece of embroidery (pictured), with hundreds of tangled threads hanging from it. Many wondered if she was holding up the wrong side by mistake. As she held up the messy side of the embroidery she would ask…
“Does God always grant us what we ask for in prayer? Not always. Sometimes He says, ‘No.’ That is because God knows what we do not know. God knows all. Look at this piece of embroidery. The wrong side is chaos. But look at the beautiful picture on the other side – the right side.”

Triumphantly she flipped the cloth over and revealed an elaborately…

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