Thursday, October 22, 2020

Faith and Spirituality Among Us All

Posted By on Thu, Oct 22, 2020 at 2:24 PM

As we are now approaching the end of this calendar year, we reflect.. What have we ALL learned thus far in 2020? What choices have we decided to make in life according to the divine and our awareness of the known reality? 2020 has been challenging and it's important to reflect on the impacts of these unprecedented times.

Many of you reading this are currently living among each other within this great Nation we call America. This country was founded on Freedom and Liberty with the pursuit of happiness for ALL people. The land of the brave and free to create and bring ideas to life. The American dream is alive and well. The American farmer is a prime example explaining the faith for the divine to work with nature as a collaboration for new creation, foods for animals, and humans all across the earth. Having to put their trust by faith for the rains to bring water down to the crops. Then the products and services that come into play for society to function accordingly helping humanity to bond and thrive with the natural environment around the human-made habitat for communities to work together as a unit or family. 

One With Nature
Faith can be explained on several different levels for mankind within this era of humanity, an orphanage is one whole family living together. Despite not share the same biological mothers, a guardian is there to teach them about Life and how to work together with the other people around them. Now explaining the purpose of Faith in any situation combining with spirituality this can propel us as a collective into a free energy future for everybody on this planet. As we continue to trust each other by working in unity thus forming an unbreakable bond powered by all the forces of Nature. This is essential that we focus on Nature for the betterment of everybody as even yoga can be explained by using Faith in yourself... Your own heart, mind, and soul to trust in the divine guidance which can help you heal or strengthen your body to become healthier and ready for any type of battle this life might try to give you as a trial or tribulation to learn something in a new way.

I believe we are collectively shifting to a new realization of what true faith within ALL aspects of Life and the multiple different types of spirituality we can learn in order to pursue greater forms of experience. Whether one is hiking a mountain by their self alone or writing a book for others, faith truly does have multiple forms of trusting the true truth combined with being worthy of accepting the healing from above either to self or humanity. Expressions are released naturally for experiencing one’s own emotions relating to the environment where they are, whether on a fishing boat, in a car, a plane or casually walking, our faith can be displayed naturally by how we are portraying our true nature of the soul. Breathing is another reminder and example of us all as a collective must always trust in the divine Power to keep us alive when we go to sleep at night to wake up a few hours later, or the scuba divers that exercise an immense amount of faith with their occupation.

PHOTO BY ZAC DURANT
  • Photo by Zac Durant



Spirituality is an ongoing process with humanity and the evolution of the soul relating to most religions, martial arts, music, and lots of other forms expressing from the soul connection with Spirit. There are several types of spirits or forms of just as faith is so similar and plays its own role within spirituality. This reality is currently shaping our eminent future where we are going to experience an abundance of anything pertaining to creating health and sustainability for everybody. I believe we are striving for this together thus creating what is necessary just like the previous revolutions within society for new innovative and environmentally respectful according to nature and the natural process of life on earth. When we choose to "Live by Faith" combing nature and spirituality we can Help to create a better way of life for everybody.

We need to advocate for growing fruit trees within the city parks and have central gardens for the less fortunate people who need more organic crops to implement into their cities' food production for local restaurants to use in their ingredients! Natural food from nature has a charged form of spiritual energy produced from mother Nature and then harnessed into the plants to create the corps for foods or goods to provide services for others such as bamboo or hemp.

Food forests with investments on land for growing any type of plant to be used as a food source, good/service, medicines, and other products or natural resources can help us end famines and starvation. I believe by using the brand OWN we can establish a foundation in Charlotte to create a non-profit organization for sustainability with nature. "ONE- "humanity" With Nature" for all life forms on earth, we can co-create with creation in order to thrive together.

Please email me at onewithnature2020@yahoo.com so we can collaborate and give this vision some Life force energy by helping each other collaborate with ideas that can cause a collective benefit for everybody...

PHOTO BY BILLY PASCO
  • Photo by Billy Pasco

Fruit for thought via Edgar Wise

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Wednesday, September 23, 2020

The Essential Decorating Aspects of A Catholic Home

Posted By on Wed, Sep 23, 2020 at 9:23 PM

The Essential Decorating Aspects of A Catholic Home

It is interesting to note that the Catholic Church has been able to permeate every aspect of our lives. There are secular ways of doing things, and then there is the Catholic church's way of doing something. This is due to the fact that the Catholic church has a long tradition that stretches back over 2000 years. Throughout history, the Catholic Church provided not only religious guidance but law and organization throughout the world.

Additionally, it provided guidance in cooking and decorating, which began to take on a distinctive Catholic feel. As times have changed, modern influences have affected the typical Catholic home, but this has given more choices as a decorator.

While there may be some differences, the vast majority of Catholic homes will have at least three things in common compared to other families. The first is a small font, which is filled with holy water, typically at the entrance of a home. These fonts are mounted by the front door and are much like those found in the doorway of your parish church. Upon entering and leaving home, this makes it possible for you and your guests to bless yourselves with holy water.

The blessing gesture which is performed by creating the sign of the cross is meant to serve as a reminder that the home is a sanctuary or holy place which has been consecrated to God. For those that ask to be blast are asking for the guidance of God in everything that they do. Your houseguests may not fully understand the purpose of a font. Still, it is one that can be explained quickly, and even those not of the Catholic faith can become excited about holy water and being able to bless themselves. This is a beautiful tradition to have in the home and one of the most common practices throughout Catholic homes around the world.

The second most common feature of Catholic homes is the presence of the crucifix throughout the house. In most homes, a cross or crucifix will be found in the living room as well as every bedroom. The living room cross is generally located above the door.

During Roman history, individuals did not have a home address, so they indicated the owner the home with the plaque above the door that was known as a "titulus". We no longer have this type of practice. Instead, we now have impersonal numbers to address where we live. However, the vast majority of Catholic homes will post a crucifix above the doorway, indicating the importance of Christ for the family. This means that the residence belongs to Christ first and that his sacrifice has been accepted by all who live within the home. This is also a reminder that Jesus is welcome within the home.

In the bedroom, the crucifix will generally be placed on any available wall and in the children's room, a tiny crucifix may be tied to the curtain. There is also a Catholic tradition that has been reserved for individuals who work in dangerous jobs. When the worker gets ready to depart the home, the crucifix would be removed from the wall and kissed the statue of Jesus, finally laying it on the pillow until his safe return.

The presence of the crucifix in any room is a powerful reminder of the faith the family feels and helps to provide a focal point during prayer.

While the use of the statuary is a common feature, it is typically reserved for the final feature of the Catholic home, which is the shrine or altar.

Throughout the world, the vast majority of Catholic homes will maintain a specific spot in their homes that remain as a focal point for religious activity. This area may be a decorated dresser or table, but regardless of what it is, it is primarily reserved for God and the saints.

These areas are generally decorated with an icon or statue. There'll be one candle available to signify prayers and help to serve as an offering. During special occasions when an individual or the family must make a special petition to God, this area is used for exceptional devotion.

Many of these house features are viewed oddly by non-Catholics, typically the American Protestant, who will not share the pertinent Catholic tradition. By having these focal points within your home, it serves as an opportunity to share your faith with other individuals, if they should show an interest.

Always understand that the space within your home is yours and fully represents you and your beliefs. There are some beautiful catholic art pieces, check the collection here. If the faith you hold is vital to you, it must be reflected in the space surrounding you. You should always be proud of your home, regardless of how humble it may be. Take the time to properly decorate your home and allow your faith to shine through in every single room.

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Monday, August 31, 2020

Fun and Helpful Ways to Get Your Kids Interested in Religion

Posted By on Mon, Aug 31, 2020 at 11:29 AM

Getting kids interested in anything can be quite a hassle. They are rambunctious, energetic, and hardly want to focus on one thing at a time. It's rather impressive how quickly children can be engulfed in an activity before finding a new thing to become immersed in. This makes teaching them a tall order, but it can be very hard when teaching them about the important things in life that they might not be entirely interested in. One such importantaspect of life is faith and religion.

 

Teaching children about faith, religion, and the Bible is difficult because you can hardly get them to sit still, let alone listen to passages and stories. It's important to educate children on religion and how it's useful in life because it helps children learn about new aspects of life they can use to grow their beliefs. Helping kids learn about the Bible is important, and here are some fun ways to teach them.

1. Puppets

Puppet shows have always been an easy and accessible way to help children learn about Bible stories and verses. These easy to make and easier to act out shows are fun for a wide range of ages, up until a certain point. They cost very little to make and only require some patience when cutting out the costumes and stitching them together to make a very accurate depiction of Bible figures. Puppets are easy because you can help entertain children, while also providing valuable information they will be able to remember when you start to progress toward a more in-depth discussion surrounding the importance of religion and Christianity. These are especially great for young children and for parties. 

2. Songs and Music

Music has been around since as long as humans have known about making noise. That's why it makes such a useful tool to help children about the Bible and religion. Learning through repetition can help associate complex verses or books of the Bible with rhymes and rhythm, so kids can catch on easier. For important questions regarding faith, when we ask, "What's the meaning of genesis?" we can sometimes go over children's heads, but helping them learn through a song is a much easier way for them to hold onto information and remember it better. Reciting songs is good for memory building, so it's useful beyond just using it to learn about the Bible. It can also be used to educate them on things like math. Kids learn from patterns well, and songs can be an enjoyable way to start learning about important figures and verses that they need to know.

3. Bible Camp

When children reach the age when they are comfortable being away from home, sleepaway Bible camps can be one of the most rewarding ways to help your child receive an educational, but fun crash course in religion. Bible camps help teach children about the rich history contained within the Bible, and learn how to recite verses and prayers, but it teaches much more than just the Bible. These camps allow children to learn about responsibility when they are away from home, take care of their sleep cabin, treat others with respect, and introduce them to new friends to make lifelong bonds. Bible camps offer a tremendous amount of fun for children and teaches them life skills along with knowledge on religion.

4. Building Dioramas or Models

Getting creative with the arts, like felt puppets, helps kids learn in a hands-on way. Dioramas or models of Bible scenes allow children to put a lot of effort into understanding and visualizing the good book's important moments. Moses parting the Red Sea, or Noah's flood and the Ark, or the birth of Jesus are all very recognizable events in the Bible that kids will remember well, but they might be harder to visualize. Turning them into clay models, dioramas in a box, or building them using toys like building bricks/blocks allows children to create the scenes they will be reading about in their Bible studies or at school. In a similar manner to songs, these events can be much better recognized when a child has a firmer grasp on the concept of it by associating it with a physical thing they made. Not to mention, children will enjoy the play aspect without realizing how much they are really learning!

5. Plays and Drama Acts

Performance arts have always been a big part of learning about the Bible. Sing-alongs, puppet shows, and creative arts have allowed people to teach each other about religion for hundreds and hundreds of years, and they are still easy to apply today when helping educate kids on the joys of the Christian faith. Dramatic reenactments of the Bible can be fun ways to keep kids interested in the material. Adding props like the apple from the Garden of Eden, or David and Goliath, and the Ten Plagues from Exodus are all really notable events that can be done well with some household items, or even store-bought props from a dollar store could work. Getting kids involved in the process by having them act out the events helps them review what they learn and showcase their knowledge.

 

Learning about the Bible and religion can be a tough task for parents because children are so energetic and want to play all the time. They barely have time to sit down and focus; they just need to go, which is why you need to come up with a way to keep them focused, have fun, and learn. It might seem like a difficult task, but these helpful ways to get your children educated on religion and the Bible can do the trick - whether you need a simple, cost-effective way like a prop-filled puppet or play, or a timeless way such as a Bible camp. There are many ways you can help your kids learn this foundational aspect of their life while showing them how enjoyable it can be at the same time.

Sunday, June 7, 2020

Keeping The Faith, A Christian Take

Posted By on Sun, Jun 7, 2020 at 7:30 PM

KEEPING THE FAITH IN THESE DIFFICULT TIMES

It is very important to maintain your faith in times of troubles, tribulations, persecutions, or trials because that is the true proof that Jesus Christ is the Lord of your life; that you are a Christian. Christianity is accurately practiced outside the four walls of your local church building. That is where you prove your love for the Master. The Apostle Paul asked, “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?” Romans 8: 35. There is no denying the fact that these are difficult times. The things we read about or probably watched on television or saw on the internet is right in from of us.

Many are afraid of contracting the novel virus plaguing the world right now. There are some who have lost their loved ones, jobs, and businesses to COVID 19. The different restrictions and lockdowns have pushed so many into depression and other related sicknesses. However, if you are a Christian and you have been studying your Bible, none of what is happening now would have caught you off guard. Reason being that these are signs of the end times. The rapture of the Church of Jesus Christ and the reveling of the anti-Christ is imminent.

Instead of vacillating and getting overwhelmed by what is happening around you, stay your faith on the Word of God. It is only the Word of God that can stabilize you and drive away fear from attacking your heart. The Lord Jesus Christ said, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world, you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” John 16: 33. These are the words of Jesus Christ. He lets us know that there will be tribulations in this world. However, He admonishes us to take heart because He has overcome the world for you.


Again the things that are happening in our world presently are signs of end-time the Bible talks about. The devil is trying to gain grounds before his time. Through his wicked activities, the economies of many countries are being crippled and many jobs and businesses are either lost or in distresses. He is the one influencing individuals and governments around the world to take measures and regulations to cause panic and increase fear. He wants to establish ‘Luciferian’ societies where God’s people cannot congregate to worship God corporately.

When the Apostles Paul and Barnabas visited the Christians in Antioch the second time, and by implication us, “They strengthened the believers and encouraged them to remain true to the faith "We must pass through many troubles to enter the Kingdom of God," they taught” Acts 14: 22. With this understanding, glue yourself to the Word of God. Study it day and night and continue fervently in prayers so your faith can be strengthened. Without meaning to scare you, understand that bad things will still happen but be encouraged because the plagues are not for you.

Remember that, “A thousand may fall dead beside you, ten thousand all around you, but you will not be harmed” Psalm 91: 7.

“Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?” John 11:25-26 

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Saturday, April 11, 2020

Finding HOPE during this time of uncertainty

Posted By on Sat, Apr 11, 2020 at 11:22 PM


First days, now weeks into the COVID-19 pandemic there is a global understanding –– this is not the twilight zone, this is our new reality. Surreal emotions. Unchartered waters. The common denominator for each of us – we are all in this together.

As we strive to remain positive, as we try to understand and offer support to others, we find the genuine DNA of humanity. This consists of patience, kindness, a serving spirit, and love that has difficult boundaries. Our human spirit is tested in ways we have never before experienced.

The plethora of information we have been inundated with and continue to receive from the medical professionals, CDC, researchers, our nation’s leaders and others who are actively involved in the effort to keep us informed can be overwhelming. How do we effectively evaluate the daily coverage and expectations without becoming stressed, anxious, bewildered? There are many ways to combat our emotions during this unprecedented time. First and certainly most importantly, we must have faith. We must have perspective. Remaining positive and consciously recognizing the need to uplift others is essential.

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These efforts are not only healthy for our psychological and emotional well-being but also serve to highlight the American spirit in our nation’s time of great need. It can be documented that the heart of humanity surrounds our country during this immeasurable time in our history.

While our health care system is compromised, our economic system fractured, our education system completely disrupted, our relationships with families and friends force us to communicate from afar and much more that is immersed in this pandemic - the need to find resolve is a constant priority. Although we have mandated lockdowns across our great country, with our kind-hearts and creativity we see the countless ways we contribute to bringing healing in many areas where there are needs. The fortitude we share will unite our communities, our cities, our states, and our country.

We must continue to be mindful of the velocity of COVID-19, the far-reaching effects that have resulted and that will continue to at some level for some time.

Let’s again define the spirit of humanity, our American way of resiliency, through this the determination we oftentimes gravitate and rely on our faith.


I encourage that we collectively be prayerful and cheer for the greater good of our society.

In the words of Reverend Dr. Billy Graham ­––

"Humanity wants comfort in its sorrow, light in its darkness, peace in its turmoil, rest in its weariness, and healing in its sickness and diseases: The Gospel gives all of this to us.”(from The Secret of Happiness)

https://billygrahamlibrary.org/in-his-own-words-billy-graham-on-encouragement/



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Sunday, February 16, 2020

Finding Daily Inspiration In Difficult Times

Posted By on Sun, Feb 16, 2020 at 11:42 PM

Daily inspiration helps us to stay focused on God's love, no matter what else is going on in our daily lives. In today's world there is such a high level of challenge and rapid change happening for most of us, that it has become even more important to find a way to stay connected with our hearts, and with our inner connection with spirit.

There are many ways we can tap into our inner connection with God and spirit; however it is not always simple to do so. The demands of daily life can be compelling, and can cause us to forget our connection to spirit. A regular spiritual practice of meditation or prayer can be very helpful in focusing thought, energy and intention towards God. Even five or ten minutes a day can have a significant beneficial impact on the entire day.

Why Daily Inspiration is so Important Now

The process of spiritual transformation involves the release of everything within us that has been out of balance and out of harmony with God's love. This process is happening individually and for humanity as a whole at this time. The problems manifesting in our world are an expression of this imbalance, and are being manifest now in order to be transformed.

At this time on the Earth there is a great deal of negative energy surfacing and releasing into the atmosphere of the planet. This is related to the process of global purification that is happening as humanity's consciousness evolves towards greater connection with spirit, and as the presence of God's light strengthens on the Earth. The spiritual awakening that is beginning to happen for humanity is illuminating within all of us everything that has been kept separated from God's love.

These energies that are releasing through the process of purification affect all of us, especially sensitive souls who are attuned to the spiritual levels of reality. Staying connected to a source of spiritual nourishment and inspiration each day helps us to avoid getting immersed in the negative energies that are present, and helps us to feel nourished and sustained during difficult times.

Some people feel these negative energies physically or in their consciousness, some people feel this energy at night in their dreams. Many people now are feeling these energies emotionally, and are not aware that what they are feeling is related to much a larger process than their own individual emotional challenges.

Our individual spiritual healing journey is connected with the larger journey of transformation that is happening for all of humanity. It is not always possible to discern what energy is our own personal healing, and what is related to the larger collective healing process of humanity.

When you become aware of difficult emotions or energies, there are three things that can help to move these out of your body and consciousness.

1. Be aware of what you are feeling at any given moment.
2. Release any judgment or fear associated with the emotions or energies you are experiencing
3. Ask God to transform and transmute the energies and emotions.

During the process of purification it is essential to stay connected with God, with daily inspiration, and with others of like mind and like heart who can share the journey with us and help to strengthen our love and faith. It is not easy to overcome old habits that created unconsciousness and a disconnection from our hearts. Support is needed, and daily spiritual practice and inspiration are the nourishment which sustains us.

Your willingness and commitment to stay connected with God's love brings many rewards such as greater inner peace, more equanimity during times of challenge, and growing sense of confidence in your ability to feel God's love. You are also helping the Earth and other people around you, because we are all connected. When you are radiating love and light, and focusing your attention on God's love, then your presence has a beneficial impact on those around you.

In reaching out to God each day, focusing our hearts on receiving more of God's love, we are able find a pathway through the challenges of life today. Even during times of difficulty, a new doorway begins to open, towards a new possibility for ourselves and for humanity.


______________________________

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Sunday, February 2, 2020

Christian Relationship Advice For Young Adults

Posted By on Sun, Feb 2, 2020 at 2:29 AM

Let’s face it, these days navigating the dating minefield is hard – even for those who let Hollywood movies and popular culture dictate their opinion. But when you plan to stick to Christian moral values that often go against today’s social norms, dating becomes even more complicated.

To make matters worse, Christian relationship advice isn’t easy to find. After all, the Scriptures are fairly quiet on the subject of dating. If you’re starting to feel lost, here are some things to keep in mind.

Don’t feel pressured.

You and only you are responsible for your behavior. Modern society can be pretty casual about things like club hopping and having “friends with benefits” and it’s easy to feel like there’s something wrong with you if you don’t want those things.

Don’t worry, there’s nothing wrong about maintaining Christian values, so don’t let anyone make you feel like “uncool” for doing so. Compromise your morals and not only will you be angry with yourself for it, you’ll end up with a relationship you’re not happy with. There really isn’t anything to gain from it.

Get a Christian perspective.

If you’re getting your relationship advice from a hodgepodge of self-help books and daytime talk shows, well, you’re bound to get confused. If you want solid Christian relationship advice, seek out material by and for Christians.

Advice on things like breaking up, dating someone of a different denomination or a non-Christian, and how far to take physical intimacy are all going to be a little different coming from a Christian than from anyone else. After all, that’s the whole point of Christian relationship advice. That’s not to say you should only read material written by Christians, of course. Getting a different perspective is useful, too. Just make sure you consider the source before you actually take the advice.

Hang out with other Christians.


Sounds obvious, doesn’t it? But do you actually do it? If you want to date Christians, you’ve got to go where the Christians are. When you’re busy with school, work, and other responsibilities, though, it’s easy to forget to set aside time for that. You need to make a point of looking for Christian volunteer activities and fellowship groups where you can meet some new people.

Date for marriage.

If you’re dating because you want to find a life partner, dating specifically for marriage will save you both time and a whole lot of heartache. Keep in mind, too, that just because a Christian isn’t dating just for the chance to sleep around, that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re dating for marriage.

They may just be dating to have some fun on the weekends. Don’t be shy about asking your date if they’re currently looking for “the one.” If they’re not and you are, you may want to stop seeing them and look for someone more marriage minded.

If you’re hoping to find a fulfilling, loving relationship with another devout Christian, have faith that there’s someone out there looking for someone like you, too. With a little determination and some trustworthy Christian relationship advice, you stand a pretty good chance of finding them.

________________


1 Corinthians 16:14: “Do everything in love."

1 John 4:16: “And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them."

Ephesians 4:2: “Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love."

Hebrews 10:24-25: “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching."

1 John 4:12: “No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us."

1 Corinthians 13:13: “And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love."

John 15:12: “My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you."

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Tuesday, January 21, 2020

How Gratitude Can Change Your Life

Posted By on Tue, Jan 21, 2020 at 1:18 PM


Recent scientific studies point to a direct link between gratitude and a deep satisfaction with life. Not only is it good to give thanks, it is good for you to do so!


In a study at the University of California at Davis, Professor Robert Emmons came up with some very interesting and illuminating results from his research project on gratitude and thankfulness. Professor Emmons found that people who kept gratitude journals on a weekly basis exercised more regularly, reported fewer physical symptoms, felt better about their lives as a whole, and were more optimistic about the upcoming week compared to those who recorded hassles or neutral life events. In addition, participants who kept the journals were more likely to make progress towards their personal goals in life.

The study also notes that people with a strong disposition toward gratitude have the capacity to be empathic and to take the perspective of others. Grateful individuals place less importance on material goods; they are less likely to judge their own and others success in terms of possessions accumulated; they are less envious of wealthy persons; and are more likely to share their possessions with others relative to less grateful persons.

If the practice of gratitude is so beneficial to our overall well-being, how can we learn to cultivate it more? My gut feeling is that the type of gratitude we normally experience when we see others that are less fortunate than ourselves is not enough. If it were, we would all be much happier as we are surrounded by evidence of the suffering of so many people in the world today. It seems that we need to look directly at our own lives in order to be truly grateful and thereby reap the benefits of gratitude.

The concept of gratitude is directly related to the idea of the power of positive thinking.

Concentrating on what we do have versus what we donít have seems to be the key. Reminding ourselves on a daily basis of all the things that come our way keeps us grounded in gratitude instead of want. At any given moment during the day we can stop in the moment and be thankful. Keeping a record of these moments, journaling, is what Professor Emmons recommends. When life becomes overwhelming we can look back at our musings and see just how lucky we really are.

Indeed, further results of the University of California study show that a daily gratitude intervention (self-guided exercises) with young adults resulted in higher reported levels of the positive states of alertness, enthusiasm, determination, attentiveness and energy compared to a focus on hassles or a downward social comparison (ways in which participants thought they were better off than others). There was no difference in levels of unpleasant emotions reported in the three groups.

As we are told not to sweat the small things so too can we be very grateful for the little joys in our lives. I just got back from running to school to drop-off something for my daughter. Upon entering the house, which is warm and toasty compared to the rainy, cold day outside, I was greeted by my three dogs with tons of kisses and love. They now lie by my feet as I type away. The house is peaceful and quiet like my own personal sanctuary. I glance out my windows and see nothing but the foliage that envelops my home. These are the little moments that that we can become attuned to in gratitude. There are hundreds of such moments in any given week if we are mindful of them. They add up and build upon one another to create a more centered, content and positive perspective on life.

Furthermore, the research reports that grateful people do not deny or ignore the negative aspects of life. Again, my intuition tells me that given the perspective that gratitude gifts us, we are undoubtedly more equipped to handle lifeís challenges. Oneís attitude can determine how effective one is in coping with what life throws in our direction. Our perspective on life determines our reality. If we approach things with a perspective grounded in say the belief that life is unfair, everything that turns up will look unfair. But as we practice gratitude, we are endowed with its gifts of optimism and the necessary energy required to take on our lives.

How can you start to practice gratitude? Begin with the art of mindfulness, being totally present in the moment. Notice all the little things that surround you, things you might take for granted if you hadnít stopped to really look. Offer acknowledgement of these small gifts much like my moment in a warm and peaceful home with my dogs. Write them down in a gratitude journal. The little things make up the fabric of our days, our months, and our years. Oftentimes we hardly notice them because we are so caught up in the task of living. As they say, stop and smell the roses.

Stop and consider what you have been given in life. Are you blessed with financial security? Do you have loving children, a supportive family? A nice home? Are you in good health? Do you enjoy your work? Do you have wonderful friends? What does nature give to you? Do you have a supportive and loving mate? Concentrate on what you do have and not what you lack.

Research also tells us that the act of giving back to the world has much the same effect as gratitude. Interestingly enough, Emmons study also found that participants in the daily gratitude condition were more likely to report having helped someone with a personal problem or having offered emotional support to another. The act of gratitude and the act of giving back therefore reinforce each other and lead to the inevitable Ömore fulfilling, meaningful and happy lives.

These are things that we all know to be true in the abstract and yet we can take them from the abstract into the specifics of our own existence. Start practicing gratitude today. Pull out a notebook and write down just one thing. Commit to adding to this journal everyday. A good time might be before bedtime when you have time to reflect back on your day. Think of all the good things that occurred. Perhaps a brief but meaningful exchange with a child or a friend. Maybe a great cup of coffee. When you put down your pen and paper, you might just go to sleep easier. Thatís yet something else for which to be grateful.

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Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Best Bible Verses to Celebrate the Spirit of Christmas

Share these verses with your loved ones this holiday season.

Posted By on Wed, Dec 18, 2019 at 3:51 AM



Christmas time is here
, let us celebrate the reason for the season! As we deck the halls, brave crowded shopping malls, attend company parties, host family gatherings, prepare delicious feasts, and so much more - it becomes challenging to slow down and ponder the miracle of Christmas.  As we celebrate the holiday season, may we turn to scripture and rejoice with gratitude for the greatest gift ever given.

Every birth is a miracle, and every child is a gift from God. But nearly 20 centuries ago, the miracle of miracles occurred. A baby was born, but He was the Son of God, Jesus Christ.

An Angel Appears to Joseph in a Dream

"Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: when His mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child by the Holy Spirit. And Joseph her husband, being a righteous man and not wanting to expose her to public disgrace, planned to send her away secretly. But when he had considered this, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife; for the Child who has been conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. “She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.” Now all this took place to fulfill what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet: “BEHOLD, THE VIRGIN SHALL BE WITH CHILD AND SHALL BEAR A SON, AND THEY SHALL CALL HIS NAME IMMANUEL,” which translated means, “GOD WITH US.” And Joseph awoke from his sleep and did as the angel of the Lord commanded Him, and took Mary as his wife, but kept her a virgin until she gave birth to a Son; and He called His name Jesus.


“Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the King, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, Saying, Where is He that is born King of the Jews? For we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship Him.”
– Matthew 2:1-2

“When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy.” – Matthew 2:10

“And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.” – Luke 2:10-11

The Love of The Father

The entire gospel comes to focus in these next few verses. Here, God sets the pattern of true love. God's love is not static or self-centered; God's love is self-sacrificing and freely given. When we submit to God, we recognize the insufficiency of our own efforts to find salvation and let God work through us by asking Him to do His will. 

"For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him. Whoever believes in Him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed." – John 3:16-20

Jesus said to them, "If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and I am here. I came not of my own accord, but He sent me." – John 8:42

“These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.” – John 16:33

“For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
– Romans 6:23

"But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy." – Titus 3:4-5


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A Season of Giving

"In all things, I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how He Himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive." – Acts 20:35

"A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed." –Proverbs 11:25

"Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows." – James 1:17





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Thursday, November 28, 2019

A Time of Thanksgiving

Grateful hearts today and everyday.

Posted By on Thu, Nov 28, 2019 at 3:33 PM

Today is Thanksgiving Day, the 331st day of 2019. It is the national holiday where individuals reflect and recognize the many blessings they've seen throughout the year. Families gather and enjoy prepared meals, give thanks, and spend treasured time together. There is good in all of our days. If we pause and take notice, we can immediately list so much good!

Let's begin with the gift of time we have with our families, with our friends. Our relationships are the treasures in life's journey. The experiences we have are priceless, and they will create the memories that tell our story for generations to come.

In society we have different ideals, we have a variety of values. However, I like to think that most individuals know instinctively what is important in life, what matters most. Our faith is monumental. It is our motivation, our inspiration, our strength, and where gratitude comes to life.

At this time of Thanksgiving, let us recognize and be thankful for the men and women in our Armed Forces, who leave the comfort of home and family to serve and protect our country. Let us be thankful for our men and women in Blue, yes Blue Lives do Matter. Our first responders, are selfless and sacrifice to serve and protect our towns, cities, and states.

Let each of us recognize the underserved populations. Individuals with disabilities, the homeless, the elderly, the mentally ill, the single parents who work tirelessly and still struggle to feed their children. Also, our elected officials and leaders of our communities, educators, our rescue personnel, doctors and nurses, and others who serve us in countless ways. It may be in the drive-thru window, the grocery or department store checkout, the list is long and the list is valuable.

Let us always remember, not just on Thanksgiving Day, but throughout the year to give and always promote thankfulness. Our lives will be fuller and stronger, and we will be kinder and happier. The good in our days will be shared with all we encounter.

Let us be encouraged with Scripture on why we should give thanks and how to express our gratitude.

Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good; His love endures forever. 1 Chronicles 16:34

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:6-7 

The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in Him, and He helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise Him.  Psalm 28:7

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