Archive for August, 2008

Love Is…

August 27th, 2008

Reading Level: Gratifying

Everyone has lived through believing they were experiencing real love only to discover, in spite of all the feelings, that it was not genuine love at all.

Too often we base the all-important decision of choosing the relationship closest to us on something so completely deceptive as our emotions, or even more foolish, solely on appearance. We then put time, effort, and our very souls into building the desired lasting relationship when there is not a real foundation for it to be built upon. The relationship is like a sandcastle at high tide, doomed to disintegrate.

Fortunately, we can gain wisdom and discernment that will enable us to find and commit to genuine love.

Dr. Dorothy Neddermeyer, Phd, a professional therapist and counselor, has posted a fantastic article called, “Love is Not a Feeling.” In this article, she explains what is happening when we experience euphoric feelings for another individual, why these feelings are not proof of genuine love, how to give genuine love and how to recognize whether the other person has genuine love toward you, being committed to your emotional, spiritual, and physical well-being.

Here are some portions from Dr. Dorothy’s article, “Love is Not a Feeling.” It is one of the most effective discussions on this topic that I’ve seen. Be sure to follow the link to the full article at the bottom of the post.

Love is Not a Feeling. What? You exclaim, of course, love is a feeling. I feel it in my chest, stomach and my body tingles sometimes. Yes, those are the physiological manifestations when one has the sensation of ‘falling in love.’ Falling in love and love are two different phenomena. Falling in love can be either a flash of emotions-the giddiness or euphoric feelings-or a first step towards genuine love. Immerse Yourself in the Full Healing Contemplation Here »

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Antioxidants from Vitamin Foods or Food Supplements

August 26th, 2008

Reading Level: Leisurely
It is both more enjoyable as well as beneficial to improve your health through key foods as opposed to using synthetic vitamins or prescription drugs whenever possible.

It is obvious through the warnings on commercials or the fine print on labels that prescription drugs contain a wide variety of potential negative side effects. A large number of vitamins are made synthetically through a chemical process, rather than derived directly from plants. (1) [Links to research articles will be posted at the end of the post.] The more you can derive health benefits directly from the food you eat, the better off you will be.

Adding these key foods into your daily intake will help boost your immune system, lower cholesterol, as well as fight heart disease and various forms of cancer.

Tomatoes – Lycopene is a cancer-fighting antioxidant from tomatoes and other red fruits. Of all the carotenoids, lycopene is one of the most potent antioxidants; researchers have found a correlation between increasing the consumption of tomatoes and reducing the risk of cancer. (2) With most foods, the health benefits are lost through the heat of cooking. Lycopene is one of the few necessary substances that is more easily absorbed into the body after being cooked. Tomatoes can decrease your risk of bad cholesterol building up inside arteries (plaque formation) and help prevent future heart attacks. (3) Immerse Yourself in the Full Healing Contemplation Here »

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Forgiveness or Reconciliation – Understanding the Difference

August 21st, 2008

Reading Level: Very Impassioned

A misunderstanding of forgiveness can keep you from receiving the desired resolution to the hurts you have suffered.

Some people continue to allow others to harm them because they wrongly believe that, to be loving and forgiving, they must keep giving in to the other person’s demands or lifestyle. Other people avoid forgiveness due to the fear that it requires a lowering their boundaries and allowing the person to hurt them again.

Such misconceptions takes place due to not understanding the difference between forgiveness and reconciliation. God is clear that we always need to forgive, but He is also clear that you cannot always reconcile with the person who hurt you. You may recall my mentioning in another post God’s instructions in Matthew 18 on dealing with someone who harms you. In verse 15, He says that we are to confront those who harm us, clearly letting them know how they wronged us so that they will have a definite opportunity to change and make things right. However, in verse 17, God describes that, after a process of varying attempts to allow the harmful person to make a life change, it is spiritually and morally correct to distance yourself from a person who continues to harm you. When you have a clear understanding of this resolution process, and of the definitions of forgiveness and reconciliation, it (1) frees you from the past to move forward and (2) releases you from the guilt one usually feels from breaking off a relationship.

Learning to have a voice and speak of how you were wronged to those you trust as well as to the person who harmed you is an important part of personal growth and establishing boundaries.

Let’s take a slight detour and focus on why you need to be able to express your personal boundaries as well as violations to them. Immerse Yourself in the Full Healing Contemplation Here »

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Resentment in Your Significant Other

August 20th, 2008

Reading Level: Gratifying

As mentioned in a recent post, resentment or bitterness results from you not dealing with past hurts. But what can be done about resentment toward you in the person or persons closest to you?

First of all, remember you can only change yourself.

You cannot make the other person forgive you or reconcile; neither can you make him or her discuss the sources of the resentment, if they are not willing. By being wise and non-confrontational in your approach, hopefully you can create a non-threatening atmosphere that will allow your significant other to be willing to discuss the hurts which bred the resentment. If you are willing to listen to the criticism and accept it in a constructive way, even if the communication toward you is not necessarily in the most pleasant of form, you will have examples to work with to make needed changes on your end. If the person is absolutely unwilling to talk at this time, you have to begin with expressing your sorrow for causing him hurt, and make changes in any areas in which you are already aware that have caused resentment. In other words, begin by not adding to the resentment that already exists, making changes to your habits or personality which you already know are offensive to your loved one.

To more easily identify problem areas, let’s take a look again at what causes resentment.

Not Confronting Boundary Violations – Due to childhood environment, some people have a very difficult time saying, “No,” for a variety of reasons:

-Especially in religious circles, people are often made to feel that they can never say “No;” they are told that a “No” response is always unloving and selfish instead of self-sacrificing. However, in Matthew 18:15 and following, God very specifically says that if someone wrongs you, you are to clearly let the person know so that he can change. Verse 17 also makes it clear that if the person is unwilling to stop the inappropriate behavior or abuse, you should distance yourself from that person. Immerse Yourself in the Full Healing Contemplation Here »

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Criticism – Turning it into a Tool

August 19th, 2008

Reading Level: Gratifying

Whether a criticism is intended to be harmful or helpful, you can still choose to be in control of how it affects you.

Criticism is similar to many other events in our lives in that we can choose both the extent to which it affects us, as well as the type of outcome it has upon us. Most of us remember the old saying, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me.” Yet, many people carry hurt their entire lives as a result of critical words spoken to them during childhood. While there is some truth to the old saying, the error in it is that words can “never” hurt; yes, they can hurt if we are unaware of the fact that we can choose not to allow them to harm us. This is especially the case during childhood when we are supposed to be in a loving, nurturing environment in which we shouldn’t need to protect ourselves and, hence, haven’t learned how to do so. Once we begin growing and stepping out of our protected environment, we must learn to evaluate critical statements as to whether they have any value and use the situation as an opportunity for personal growth.

A reader asked specifically about dealing with unfounded criticism, so we will also cover that in the process of this post.

First of all, consider the source of the criticism and what you perceive the person’s intent to be.

Did the criticism come from someone that is usually a harmful person by nature? If that is the case, it is most likely something that needs to be discarded. Also, if the person is harmful by nature, realize that the hostility of the words they spoke also needs to be discarded from your thought life. Their words only have power over you if you continue to think on them. Whatever you think on will alter your emotions and influence your decisions. Immerse Yourself in the Full Healing Contemplation Here »

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Alzheimer’s Disease Prevention

August 15th, 2008

Reading Level: Leisurely

As over 5 million Americans suffer from Alzheimer’s and over 500,000 of them are under the age of 65, it is well worth looking into preventative measures.

I’m highlighting 10 points from an AOL article by Vicki Salemi with a link below to the full article. The sentences in parentheses are my comments on some of the points. The doctor in Ms. Salemi’s article does recommend certain drugs as preventative measures; we, personally, prefer non-drug methods as much as possible, as all drugs have some negative side effects which can outweigh any benefits.

Vitamin B Work with your doctor to put together a plan to incorporate whatever vitamins you are deficient in, particularly Vitamin B. [Our doctor said that Vitamin B is the most difficult vitamin for the body to absorb, so he suggests a quality B complex even if it is the only vitamin you take.]

Heart Healthy Foods Implement a heart healthy diet that’s low in fat and high in fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Immerse Yourself in the Full Healing Contemplation Here »

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Healing Broken Hearts

August 14th, 2008

Reading Level: Leisurely

Time spent with God creates in you the healing qualities that exist in God Himself.

In my last post, I used a quote contrasting human love and Divine love, showing the differing effects on our relationships. The more time one spends seeking God, the more His character becomes evident in your relationships with others, just the same as spending time in the presence of evil people adversely affects your character. With life’s busyness, it is easy to miss otherwise clear opportunities to bring healing to people’s broken hearts via the aspects of God’s nature that He has poured into us through our time spent with Him. I wanted to share with you a personal experience for the purpose of encouraging you to be aware of those opportunities.

During a particular year, there was a great deal of additional stress due to my parents having been in a severe auto accident. A couple of weeks into that accident, while they were still hospitalized, God spoke this verse to me while in prayer one morning, “You will be called, ‘Repairer of Broken Walls.’ (Is.58:12)” I didn’t even remember where the quote was located at the time. It was only vaguely familiar, so I looked it up in a software search so I could meditate on the meaning. I didn’t even have much time to meditate as we were about to leave again for the hospital. Immerse Yourself in the Full Healing Contemplation Here »

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Human Love Contrasted with Divine Love

August 12th, 2008

Reading Level: Leisurely

Sometimes our lack of satisfaction with the love we are giving and receiving results from operating solely in the human level instead of the Divine.

I want to share with you a quote I had kept that aptly describes how operating solely in human love instead of Divine love affects the quality of our relationships. The quote is from the late Kenneth Hagin. It is in his book, Faith Food.

Natural love is selfish. Divine love is giving, unselfish. Natural love can turn to hatred when it doesn’t get its way. Divine love, when it is reviled [treated hatefully], reviles not again. God’s divine love is not interested in what it can get but in what it can give. After our new spiritual birth, it is natural for divine love to flow through us and dominate how we live our lives.

As husbands and wives, God’s divine love must dominate us, not natural love, for it is too shallow. Not only can we love our spouse with natural affection, but with divine love that seeks other’s welfare, and never seeks its own. Reciprocate in always putting each other first and outdoing one another in love.

Love is patient and kind; sometimes we endure a situation but we are not kind about it. It is the flesh that is haughty, rude, boastful, arrogant, conceited or unmannerly.

When temptation comes [to respond in a natural love that turns to hatred when you don’t get what you want], speak this confession: I am born of the love of God. I will allow the love of God within me to dominate this situation. God loves those who are undeserving and unlovely. Because of the nature of God in me, I now love those who are undeserving and unlovely and do not respond out of my natural affinities [natural likes and dislikes]. Faith Food, February 13th post.

For a related article with a description of God’s type of love, read my post “Recognizing Real Love.”

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Balance pH with Alkaline Foods

August 7th, 2008

Reading Level: Gratifying

Various health concerns can be addressed through a shift to eating more alkaline, rather than acidic, foods.

Your body is intended to function with an internal alkaline environment. Many body processes only function at peak performance with a proper body pH. Poor eating and health practices turn the body’s internal environment into an acidic one. Ailments such as weight gain, diabetes, heart disease, cancer, eczema, ulcers, chronic fatigue, arthritis, osteoporosis, and depression are only a partial list of results from an acidic body. Unless your eating practices are extremely tragic in nature, it is easy to move to an intake of a majority of alkaline foods, rather than acidic, without making the harsh changes normally associated with the word “diet.”

Here is a quote to help you understand the pH’s effect in the body from the Price-Pottenger Foundation for Nutrition:

First, let us define the terms acidity and alkalinity and get familiar with some basic chemistry. In terms of chemistry, when one talks about acidity or alkalinity, one is talking about hydrogen. An acid is a substance that releases hydrogen into a solution and an alkali or base is one that removes hydrogen from a solution. Inside the human body, the acid-alkaline balance is important since many functions in the body occur only at a certain level of acidity or alkalinity. Many enzymes and chemical reactions in the body work best at a particular pH. A small change in pH can have a profound effect on body function. For example, muscle contractibility declines and hormones like adrenaline and aldosterone increase as the body becomes slightly more acid. In addition, different parts of the body have different levels of acidity and alkalinity.

You can easily and inexpensively test your body’s pH level on a daily basis. Immerse Yourself in the Full Healing Contemplation Here »

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The Law of Attraction in Scripture

August 6th, 2008

Reading Level: Leisurely

I have mentioned the Law of Attraction several times, as it is a secular philosophy built on scriptural principles, that has become very popular again in recent years. It involves speaking out the good that you need to see take place in your life, visualizing it, believing that it will come in to existence, and, through this focus, changing your thought patterns so that you (1) develop good, creative decisions which make you successful and (2) become aware of helpful connections and opportunities that you would have missed if you had not changed the focus of your thinking.

I came across a brief, but thorough article by Rhonda Jones which clearly describes how the Law of Attraction is scripturally based and how to effectively implement it. A link to the full article is below and is well worth reading.

Here are excerpts of her 6 steps to attract restoration and success:

Ask – The first step is deciding what it is you want from God. You need to create specific goals for your life. Be specific about what you desire by creating a vision chart or writing down your specific request…

Believe – You must believe that you have already received what you asked for. I’m talking about faith. Faith is the substance of things hoped for that evidence of things not seen. Your faith is not in yourself or your own abilities. The scriptures tell us to have faith in God. That is where the power lies… Immerse Yourself in the Full Healing Contemplation Here »

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Resentment & Anger Management

August 1st, 2008

Reading Level: Gratifying

Resentment not dealt with is a roadblock to emotional and physical healing.

Resentment usually results from a lack of dealing with conflicts. This doesn’t necessarily mean you must resolve the conflict with the other person; sometimes, that isn’t possible, especially if the person is volatile or hostile. However, you must deal with your feelings toward the past conflict in your own mind. As will be mentioned later in this post, emotional and physical ailments result from not coming to terms with past events and dealing with your resentment.

The first step in ridding yourself of resentment is to own up to your own choices.

As the old saying goes, “It takes two to tangle.” By admitting to the mistakes you made in the situation, it enables you to stop the blame game-to stop your focus of solely blaming the other person for your problems. This does not condone the other person’s harmful behavior toward you. This does not mean that you pretend that such behavior is wrong. However, instead of being focused on solely blaming the other person, you take responsibility for your own poor choices. For example, maybe you chose to get into an abusive relationship by ignoring the warning signs. Or, maybe the conflict arose because you insisted on discussing a difficult topic when you knew the other person was too tired or ill. Or, if you are a compliant dealing with a controlling person, you need to admit that you “allowed” the other person to control you and did something that you later resented when, instead, you should have set boundaries by refusing to do what you knew was not in your best interest. If your resentment stems from being over-giving to loved ones or over-involved in a good cause, again you need to Immerse Yourself in the Full Healing Contemplation Here »

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