Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Bumblebees Extinct In UK

After being last seen in the south of England in 1998, and declared extinct in 2000, the short-haired bumblebee (Bombus subterraneus) is going to be reintroduced, from stocks reimported from New Zealand, after they were originally exported there in the late 1800s to pollinate red clover (also imported), which was used as cattle feed.

The first bees, crucial to the farming economy, may be released into the wild by 2010. (England has seen a loss of 98% of its wildflower meadows in the past 70 years.) Read the entire article.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Stumbling Blocks to Stepping Stones

From The Word For You Today

How would you describe somebody who was an accomplished pianist at ten, a professional organist at eleven, had compositions published at thirteen, and was a member of the royal court musical staff at fourteen? Privileged? Born with a silver spoon in his mouth? Hardly!

Ludwig van Beethoven was a black-haired, swarthy-complexioned, pockmarked boy who endured taunts and name calling in his hometown along the Rhine River, an area of mostly blond, fair-skinned children. His alcoholic father decided that Ludwig would support him so he made him a slave to the keyboard.

Looking back, Beethoven couldn't recall a single moment of childhood happiness. His life was comprised of work, tears, beatings and angry tirades. In his twenties he encountered another more insidious enemy - deafness. When he could no longer play publicly, he put all his energies into composing. His years of deafness were his most prolific. Although at the time his works weren't well received, he influenced many of the great composers like Brahms, Wagner and Schubert. Nearing death and recognizing that the world had never fully understood or appreciated him and his music, he said with a smile, "I shall hear in heaven."

When life knocks you down, don't stay down, bounce back! Everybody stumbles or gets knocked off their feet from time to time; the winners are just the ones who keep getting back up! That's what Paul meant when he said, "In all things we are more than conquerors." If you pray and look hard enough, you'll find the seed of good in every adversity (See Genesis 50:20). The difference between winners and losers, is their ability to turn stumbling blocks into stepping stones.

Pets: Proactive Skin and Coat Care

by Dr. Jane Bicks, Veterinarian

Everybody knows that the cleaner the hair, the shinier and better looking it is. Not only that, but bathing removes loose, dying skin cells in the first layer of the skin, allowing healthy, new layers to grow. If you notice any excessive flaking, that’s an indication that skin cells are dying prematurely and are in need of additional nourishment and support.

Personally, I recommend that cats be bathed two to four times each year. The life cycle of hair ends with shedding, and as the amount of hair shed increases, the more hairballs are likely to develop. And when a lot of hair is shed in a short period of time, it can become trapped in the healthy hair. This is exactly why a proactive hair and skin care routine can help to diminish the likelihood of hairballs.

Not only is it important to bathe cats in an effort to prevent hairballs, there is evidence to suggest that bathing cats can actually help to reduce the severity of allergies in your family, too. Research by the Cornell Feline Health Center showed that many people who suffer from cat allergies report fewer problems after their cats have been bathed.

Unless your dogs have problem skin, they should be bathed only about every two weeks. Even though we think of our little dogs like our babies, they definitely don’t need daily baths. If they are experiencing mild problems (dry skin, an excessively oily coat, noticeable odor, etc.), I recommend that they receive an effective combination of the Revitalizing Shampoo and Bath Fresh Mist, bathing every few days and using the mist on the in-between days. And these products are safe to use in combination with topical flea products, so you don’t have to worry about reapplying these treatments.

A good shampoo includes conditioners, which moisturize as the shampoo cleans. Inexpensive shampoos often have harsh chemicals which, while providing a rich lather, frequently do not contain conditioners that contribute to a healthy coat and better skin.

The formula for Revitalizing Shampoo was created specifically to help your pet’s coat be lustrous and healthy, all year long! I formulated our shampoo with fruit extracts, due to their antioxidant properties. The base itself is very mild, with a built-in conditioner.

This delightful formula includes organic herbs, to provide your sweet companion with the very finest in care products. As soon as you apply Revitalizing Shampoo, the rosemary and sage begin to penetrate the hair shaft and rejuvenate the hair at the root. Used for centuries to care for hair, rosemary is a natural antiseptic that leaves skin feeling tingly and invigorated. Additionally, these organic herbs also help to stimulate the growth of new skin cells, resulting in healthier hair and a more luxurious and shiny coat.

Some over-the-counter shampoos indicate that you use a large amount of the product. As a result, rinsing can take a very long time. Sometimes pet parents, even after several minutes of rinsing, still feel residual soapiness in the coat and on the skin. With a rich formula, Revitalizing Shampoo lathers quickly, generates loads of foamy bubbles, and takes only moments to rinse clean. The fragrance is vibrantly fresh, with a pleasingly tropical mango scent – no overpowering perfumes like those used in some shampoos. The aroma is just wonderful!

If you have a dog, you know that even when you bathe them, they can frequently have the same dirty smell the very next day. Yech! Our Revitalizing Shampoo has a special odor-control ingredient called Ordenone™, which effectively eliminates foul odors for four-to-five days. With a proven safety record in many personal care products, Ordenone™ is a unique compound that traps odor-causing molecules odors and permanently encapsulates them. When you rinse away the suds, you also rinse away the unpleasant odors. In addition to eliminating everyday odors, Ordenone™ has no effect on the normal microbial processes of the skin, helping to ensure the health of your pet’s skin.

Unfortunately, both dogs and cats can have problems with matting fur. And often, washing them will only aggravate the problem, making the mats tighter and harder to deal with. Using scissors to cut the mat can be dangerous, and therefore I don’t think they are a good way to get rid of mats. This is exactly why I created Bath Fresh Mist … simply spray this coat conditioner onto the mat and carefully comb it out. It takes a little bit of patience, but it’s better for your lovable companion.

Bath Fresh Mist is made with the same fruit extracts and has the same odor-fighting molecule as the Revitalizing Shampoo. This spray-on coat conditioner and skin nourisher is an excellent in-between bath solution, keeping your dog or cat smelling fresh. Additionally, it’s effective at removing kinks, which helps to prevent mats. This lovely scented product is an easy and effective way to keep coats lustrous and smelling great.

And remember, both of these products are safe to use in combination with topical flea products, so you don’t have to worry about reapplying those treatments.

Give your sweet companion a healthy helping of relief this spring, and all year long, with the skin and coat combination of Revitalizing Shampoo and Bath Fresh Mist!

Very best regards,
Dr. Jane

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Vital Nutrition!

by Curtis Walcker

Vital nutrients are absolutely needed by the body to function properly. An almost endless selection of nutrients can be obtained through eating foods and taking dietary supplements. But, interestingly, for the average person, only about 45 nutrients are considered vital for human growth, development and maintenance.

These vital nutrients can be classed into six different groups: fats, carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins, minerals and water. Ideally, our diets should supply us with all of the nutrients we require. But most diets fall short, and gaps in the diet can be filled with dietary supplementation when needed.

Fats and similar substances like cholesterol and phospholipids are referred to as lipids. They are important sources of energy, they provide structure in cell membranes, they transport fat-soluble vitamins, and they can be precursors for hormones.

Types of fats categorized as omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids are essential and must be obtained from the diet. They play significant roles in cardiovascular health, mood and behavior; healthy inflammation response, and more. Omega-6 fatty acids are usually abundant in the diet; omega-3 fatty acids often need to be supplemented for optimal health. Products such as Super Omega-3 EPA and DHA contain beneficial amounts of omega-3 fatty acids. Flax Seed Oil Liquid provides both omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.

Dietary carbohydrates come in the form of simple sugars, starches and fibers. They provide the major source of energy for the body. It is quite easy to obtain ample amounts of carbohydrates from the foods we eat, but choosing how much of each type to eat can significantly impact health and bodily function.

Simple sugars are made of one or two sugar molecules that are easily digested and absorbed, and increase sugar levels in the blood quickly for fast energy. Berry Healthy Drink Mix and Recovery Drink Mix both contain the simple sugar fructose and are ideal for active or stressed individuals. Starches are chains of three or more sugar molecules that take longer to digest and absorb. This makes them ideal for sustained energy.

Glyco Essentials contains essential sugars that may improve cellular communications. These essential sugars are supplied by many sources, including rice starch. Fibers are non-digestible carbohydrates that may help promote bowel regularity, maintain already normal cholesterol levels and much more. Psyllium Hulls Combination and Everybody's Fiber each provide significant amounts of dietary fiber.

The word protein is derived from the Greek word protos, which translates to, "of prime importance." Individual amino acids can affect the body on their own, but when proteins are eaten, the amino acids that they provide combine with others produced in the body to make other functional compounds.

Thousands of proteins in our bodies form structures, act as hormones and enzymes, provide energy, form antibodies, balance fluids and pH, provide nitrogen and sulfur, and transport substances. Nature's Sunshine Products that provide excellent sources of protein include Nutri-Burn Chocolate, Nutri-Burn Vanilla and SynerProTein. Free Amino Acids also provides a good source of protein in a convenient tablet.

Vitamins and minerals constitute a major portion of vital nutrients. They have a diverse range of functions in the body. These nutrients are needed in small amounts compared to fats, carbohydrates and proteins, and are referred to as micronutrients as opposed to macronutrients.

A varied diet consisting primarily of unprocessed foods is expected to provide sufficient quantities of essential vitamins and minerals. However, this ideal diet is not often practiced. Supplemental vitamins and minerals are a wise choice for those interested in maintaining good health. With a selection of Super Supplemental Vitamins & Minerals; Multiple Vitamins & Minerals, SynerPro®; Multiple Vitamins & Minerals, Time Release Tablets; VitaWave Liquid Vitamins & Minerals; Nature's Prenatal, Multiple Vitamins & Minerals; and Herbasaurs Multiple Vitamins & Minerals Chewable Tablets, it should be easy to find the right products to suit the needs of virtually anyone.

If you look at which nutrients you can do without for the shortest amounts of time, you might conclude that water is the most vital of all nutrients. Our bodies are made up of approximately 60 percent water. Transporting nutrients and wastes, controlling body temperature, lubricating joints and aiding in digestive processes are but a few functions water performs in the body.

Most guidelines recommend eight to 10 glasses of water per day, in addition to the water obtained from foods and other beverages. Nature's Sunshine Products offers many products such as Ultimate GreenZone, RG-Max, and Vita Lemon Drink Mix (Stock No. 2932-7) that are mixed with water, to add extra nutrition to daily water intake.

While it is essential to ensure that you consume adequate amounts of vital nutrients, it is also important not to stop there. Many other substances found in foods provide health benefits beyond those of basic nutrition. Numerous plant nutrients, or phytonutrients, have been identified as having possible actions in helping to maintain wellness. Many of these nutrients can be found in products offered by Nature's Sunshine and nicely complement a diet and supplementation program containing vital nutrients.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Green Jobs

Green Jobs -- we're hearing it over and over in the media. But how can you find these great green jobs? There are many excellent online resources you can use to find your new green dream job -- ranging from renewable energy, to green building, to energy efficiency and much more. Here's an article with links and resources to find great green jobs.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Leave It Behind

by Donna L. Watkins

None pass through life without causing pain somewhere and making many mistakes along the way.

© 2009 Donna L. Watkins - Canada Geese on Lake - Lebanon, PA
Parents are often burdened with guilt related to something to do with parenting, a job that one rarely gets any preparatory training for and one that cannot be done perfectly. Siblings carry guilt about things they've done as children to other brothers and sisters. Missed business opportunities haunt and life's common mistakes torment our minds.

Life hurts. It's a fact of life. We pass through with injuries and wounds and it requires forgiveness and mercy to weather the storms well. If we don't apply a healing balm, we'll have deep scars that threaten to mar our vision of today and the future.

What does God say about these things? We are told to leave the past behind us and run the race before us. We must learn from our mistakes. Consider the wrong Paul did to the Christians when he was Saul of Tarsus. I often wondered how he could put all that behind him. Burning and stoning Christians with an all-out vengeance for eliminating them. What an astounding vision of how we can accept God's forgiveness and grace. Paul's life is an example of how we can turn about and leave the past behind and make the future good.

Let go of what you've done to others. When the offended party has no desire to forgive or offer mercy, the load of guilt seems to be double the weight. If Paul can let go of the persecution he caused the church, you can let go of whatever you have marked up as wrong choices in your life. Learn from them. Mistakes are classrooms for learning. Take the lesson and move on. Carl Bard says, "Though no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending."

Ask for forgiveness where you can and it is appropriate. Make amends where you can in reasonable proportion. If the offended one is not willing to let go and move on with their own life, that is not your problem. That is not your fault! By asking for reconciliation and forgiveness, you open the doorway for them to remove this burden from their life also. God will heal all, but it is a choice, and they may not choose the freedom path that you do.

Guilt is the burden of the devil to keep our lives from amounting to anything for God. It can consume the mind and life like a fire consumes paper. All that is left at life's end is ashes. What will there be to be said about us if we waste our lives in guilt and sorrow over events of the past.

No one is exempt from trials and tribulations, mistakes and errors of life. It's how you finish the race that matters, not the pitfalls you've had in the process. John Maxwell says, "You can spend your life any way you want, but you can spend it only once."

No one can destroy you without your permission and cooperation. It's not what "they" do to you that determines your outcomes, it's what YOU do next.

Confession, not remorse, brings God's forgiveness and newness of life. God is the God of second chances. He can make up for "the years that the locust has eaten" (Joel 2:25). Believe in Him and His mercy and power. He can place you where you would've been had the opportunity never been lost. Ask God for a new dream, then "forget those things which are behind and move forward to those things which are ahead" (Philippians 3:13).

Have you considered that making the right choice may give them the only vision and example of how they can get out of their prison of the past also. Set your sights forward to the future and in doing so, you may be able to release healing into their lives too.

When the "there and then" gets into the "here and now" you've got to turn to the future. Isaiah 43:18 says, "Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing!" Your past will infect today and every day of your future if you allow it. Choose to let go and move forward with an eye on the possibilities and purpose God has for you.

Copyright and Reprint Information
The photo(s) and article are copyrighted. You may use them if you include the following credit and active link back to this website:
© 2009 Donna L. Watkins - This article was reprinted with permission from TheNatureInUs.com.
The link URL is: http://www.TheNatureInUs.com

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Guggul Has Gaggle of Benefits

Guggul has a long history of use in India as an aid for weight loss, as an anti-inflammatory in arthritis rheumatism, and as a remedy for skin disorders such as acne. It has also been used for neurological diseases, hemorrhoids and water retention.

Guggul is promoted in the West primarily as a remedy for helping to lower cholesterol and aid the circulatory system. Research done in India has suggested that the herb may be beneficial for reducing overall cholesterol, lowering LDL and raising HDL. It contains compounds called guggulsterones that inhibit the synthesis of cholesterol in the liver. These compounds also appear to inhibit cholesterol from oxidizing.

In spite of this promising research, tests done in the Western world have not confirmed guggul’s ability to lower cholesterol. In one study, guggul raised LDL levels. Guggul does benefit the circulatory system in other ways, however.

It appears to have antiplatelet and anticoagulant activity, so it would inhibit the formation of blood clots in the circulatory system. Because of this, caution should be used when taking guggul with aspirin, NSAIDs and blood thinners.

Guggul may also help to lower lipoprotein (a) and C-reactive protein, two blood factors known to have a link with inflammation and heart disease. Because of these benefits, it is clear that guggul can be a valuable aid in preventing heart disease.

One of the common uses for guggul in India is to aid in weight loss. Part of the reason why guggul may be helpful here is because it acts as a thyroid stimulant. It appears to increase the conversion of T4, the storage form of the thyroid hormone, into T3, the active form. This would increase metabolism and the burning of fat in the body, including helping to lower triglycerides.

Guggul extracts have a definite anti-inflammatory action. A triterpene called myrrhanol A was discovered in guggul that has potent anti-inflammatory effects. This would account for its use in arthritis and rheumatism. For this reason, guggul is an ingredient in the Ayurvedic Joint Support formula.

Read the entire article.
Guggul Lipid Concentrate (wholesale prices)
Ayurvedic Joint Formula (wholesale prices)

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Pet Shedding and Healthy Coats

by Dr. Jane Bicks, Veterinarian

The splendor of summer is right around the bend. We are approaching the season when children, freed from studies, populate the neighborhood, friends and families hold cook-outs, and we find ourselves preoccupied with the health our pet’s coats.

There’s a reason for our annual fixation. Dogs usually begin to lose their winter coats in early spring, when it is gradually replaced by a shorter, lighter coat suited to the summer months. The amount of shedding varies widely from breed to breed. For example, the pet parents of German Shepherds will groan about the amount of shedding all year long, while those of us with poodles rarely have to get out the broom or vacuum, even with the arrival of summer.

While we’ve seen that growth cycles can be affected by mood, hormones, and nutrition, changes primarily occur due to fluctuations in the amount of daylight and temperature.

The length of daylight hours is believed to have a greater impact on the shedding cycle than temperature, which is why all pets shed during particular times of the year. Even artificial indoor lighting can have an effect, especially on companion animals who stay primarily indoors.

And companion animals experience big differences in temperature when leaving and entering your home, which is most extreme in the summer and winter months. These differences induce a constant state of change, setting up conditions that lead to increased shedding throughout the year.

And an unhealthy coat can have negative impacts on pet parents, too, in the form of allergies. Contrary to popular belief, hair is not the culprit of allergies in humans, but rather dander and proteins in the oil produced by glands in the skin.

For all of the hair support systems to function properly, they require a variety of nutrients, including fatty acids, minerals and vitamins. Additionally, a healthy coat requires a great deal of protein. Almost 95% of the protein that’s ingested is used by the body to support hair production and maintenance. Fortunately, nutritious foods like Life’s Abundance and Instinctive Choice provide the protein content necessary to supply your pet’s body with the protein necessary to help maintain a healthy coat.

Just as it is important to feed a high-quality, nutrient-dense food, it is also advisable to give your companion animals a balanced supplement that provides the additional nutritional support necessary to achieve the utmost in a healthy coat and skin.

HealthyPetNet’s Skin & Coat Formula is a unique formula that provides a perfect balance of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. These oils are certified-free of contaminants and are microencapsulated to increase absorption, so your pet receives the full nutritional benefit. Additionally, Skin & Coat Formula contains vitamins A, D, and E, all of which are necessary for the maintenance of healthy skin and a glossy coat. To ensure the highest product quality, Skin & Coat is manufactured in a human pharmaceutical plant. And, it has a delicious roast beef flavor that both cats and dogs love.

No matter the season, Life’s Abundance Skin & Coat Formula can help to make your pet’s coat healthy, glossy and beautiful – and keep it that way, all year long.

Rats Give Engineers Technology

From Creation Moments.

A new revolutionary design in metal-cutting blades has been added to the metal-working industry. In use, the new blade is fixed in one position while the metal to be shaped spins on a lathe. This new blade stays sharp six times longer than the old blade design. When cutting titanium, the old-style cutting blades become dull almost the second they are used, but the new blades last up to 30 minutes. This wonderful new blade was developed by two engineers who got the original idea from a rat.

You see, rats' teeth always have a sharp edge. Engineers learned that this is because the teeth are hard on one side and soft on the other. So as they wear, they always keep a sharp edge. Applied to metal-cutting technology, this principle has lowered costs and increased productivity because cutting blades don't have to be changed as often.

Visit Creation Moments.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Big Sale At The Herbs Place

ON SALE - 06/21 to 06/30/09
Expires Tuesday, June 30, 2009 at 6PM EST


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The vitamins in Nature's Sunshine's B-complex are found in a unique base of acerola, inositol, lemon bioflavonoids, PABA, rose hips, rutin and wheat germ. This provides additional nutritive support for nervous, circulatory and immune systems plus vital nutrition.


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Clearing the blood of impurities is a safe way to prevent tissue degeneration. By strengthening body-wide cleansing mechanisms already in place, you allow your purified blood to deliver more nutrients and carry away more cellular toxins. The result? You feel better and body tissues heal more quickly. Chinese Blood Build is called "Bu Xue" in Chinese, meaning “to nurture the blood.”


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Vitamin E and selenium are antioxidants. They work together to help quench free radicals that form as byproducts of metabolic activity and as a result of exposure to damaging environmental chemicals. Both nutrients play key roles in the production of certain enzymes that are needed to maintain overall health, prevent premature aging and keep tissue supple.

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Drought-Resistant Gardening

Nearly 2 billion people already live in water-stressed regions, where subtle shifts in average annual temperatures could mean inadequate water supplies for people and the environment, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

When water is scarce in sub-Saharan Africa, people spend hours searching for and collecting drinking water. When drought hits Nevada, people have to change the way they wash their cars and tend to their yards.

In urban areas of arid Texas, about 25 percent of treated water goes toward landscaping, according to experts at the Texas A&M Department of Horticultural Sciences.

Even small steps can make a difference, so when planting this spring and summer, consider using native species already adapted to the environment you live in. They will require little more than natural rainfall. You can also make soil improvements that help absorb and hold water, and use mulch to prevent water loss through evaporation. “Mulch is your greatest ally in drought conditions,” according to Organic Gardening magazine editor Ethne Clarke.

But most importantly, avoid these thirsty varieties: Plants That Will Suck Your Yard Dry.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Battling Bedbugs

Bed bugs are increasingly becoming a problem within residences of all kinds, including homes, apartments, hotels, cruise ships, dormitories and shelters. The Harvard School of Public Health has drafted a document to provide basic information about the biology and health significance of these pests, and to offer guidance on how to safely and effectively manage an infested residence.

View an ABC News video.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Bird-Friendly Building Certification

Buildings are a leading cause for bird-fatalities in the United States every year. Few green buildings exist where bird-safety is included. Architects and designers just don’t understand the connection between birds and the architecture. They don’t see glass. Viviana Ruiz-Gutierrez has a big idea. She wants to create the first-ever nationally recognized Bird-Friendly Building Certification.

LEED, a popular green building standard, awards only one point for bird-safe design, but it’s not a requirement. Other industries have already gone to the birds, for example, you can easily find bird-friendly coffee.

In 2007, the New York City Audubon Society published guidelines to bird-safe buildings, but the techniques are still often absent from most green projects. Places such as Chicago and Toronto have bird-safe guidelines, yet there’s not a nationally recognized certification for ornithological design-excellence. If Ruiz-Gutierrez has her way, that’ll all change.

Ruiz-Gutierrez is bird crazy. She’s spent her share of time in the field researching and monitoring birds. Her research focuses on the effects of agricultural land uses on forest bird populations, as well as testing monitoring techniques to determine how land use patterns around protected areas influences their capability to maintain current levels of biodiversity.

Her research has shown her that with less natural areas, birds are spending their time in urban environments. Impact of urbanization on bird populations is evident from mortalities in cities. At least 100,000,000 birds are killed every year across North America by collisions with buildings. Even more are injured. Read the entire article.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Travel With Your Pet

© Photo: 2009 Christina Bethke - Fancy

It's that time of year when families travel and every year traveling with pets becomes easier and less expensive than boarding or pet sitting.

Here's a few resources to consider taking the 4-legged member of your family along for the trip.

Bring Your Pet
Pet Travel Resource
HSUS - Tips For Safe Travel
Dog and Pet-Friendly Hotels
HSUS - Packing Pets For Travel

God's Design For You

From Creation Moments.

Genesis 1:21
So God created great sea creatures and every living thing that moves, with which the waters abounded, according to their kind, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.

Beautiful feathers worn by birds are a gift of the Creator, but it takes a lot of work on the part of the birds to keep their feathers beautiful. Nevertheless, the Lord has provided birds with ways to keep their feathers healthy and beautiful.

We have all seen birds preening and, while this may look a bit vain, they are really going about a very serious business. For example, birds of the heron family accumulate a coating of pond-slime on their feathers. To clean this, they have three patches of special feathers that break down into a kind of powder. These birds apply the powder to their feathers and, after the slime has been absorbed, they comb it out, using a special toe shaped like a comb. Many birds have an oil gland near their tail and oil their feathers after cleaning to waterproof them.

Most birds pick up parasites, and they work at getting rid of them. For example, some will sit near an ant nest to let the ants release their formic acid that drives off mites and other pests.

God has not only provided birds with beautiful feathers, He has also given them everything they require to keep their feathers beautiful and healthy. Doesn't it seem reasonable that He will also provide for us when we sincerely lay our concerns before Him?

Prayer: Dear Father in heaven, help me to know that You have provided for all my needs. Help me to trust You more completely for everything. In Jesus' Name. Amen. Visit Creation Moments.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

FDA Takes Power Over Tobacco

Times have changed now that even tobacco states have smoking bans. Today, after two weeks of wrangling and a decade of considering the change, the U.S. Senate endorsed increased regulation of tobacco.

Senators voted 79-17 to regulate tobacco in the same way the government regulates everything else you put in your body -- from Froot Loops to aspirin.

At Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, organization president Matthew L. Myers called the vote "a truly historic victory" and "the strongest action Congress has ever taken to reduce tobacco use."

"Forty-five years after the first U.S. Surgeon General's report linking cigarette smoking to lung cancer, the most deadly product sold in America will no longer be the least-regulated product sold in America," Myers said in a statement.

The bill would give the federal government the power to regulate cigarette ingredients, to ban the marketing of "light cigarettes" and to require graphic warning labels.

Newfound authority over tobacco would mean the FDA could hold cigarette manufacturers to the same standards for quality control and marketing as makers of breakfast cereals and pharmaceuticals. It could also move to reduce nicotine levels and harmful chemicals in cigarettes.

And it could mean cigarette makers would be required to include new, larger warning graphics with more health information on their products and would be prohibited from using words like "light" and "low tar" in their marketing. Read the entire article.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Eco-Friendly Lawn Care

We're rolling out the mowers, throwing fertilizer around, and using thousands of gallons of water. And all of these actions can have major negative environmental consequences. Did you know that over 50 million Americans mow their lawns each weekend, and that mowing contributes as much as 5% of the country's air pollution? Ouch. Check out 12 steps to an eco-friendly lawn for this summer.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Who's Afraid Swine Flu?

by Sharon Grimes

You can't turn on the news without hearing about the possible swine flu epidemic. I am getting phone calls and e-mails from people asking what they should do to protect their family. So, I wrote this article to tell you what we are doing at our home. We are simply taking the same steps we would to avoid any type of an illness or outbreak.

I recommend a three-prong approach to protect yourself against the swine flu, or any other type of contagious illness that is passed by human contact from one person to another. Read the entire article.

More information on the products mentioned.
Research and information on Silver Shield.

Great American Backyard Campout

Join thousands of American on June 28th for the 5th annual Great American Backyard Campout. This event is co-sponsored by National Wildlife Federation and provides an opportunity for families and individuals to spend the night sleeping under the stars. For details, camping tips, activities and downloadable campfire songs visit NWF's website.

Giving Love Better Than Getting It

by Donna L. Watkins

I've believed and written that we need to love ourselves to be able to love our "neighbor." I recently read some research from the book, "The Heart's Code," that certainly negates those beliefs for me. And thinking of the content of the research was one of those "duh" moments when it just makes sense.

God commands us to love others - it's part of the greatest commandment. Romans 13:8 tell us that "he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law." Paul says that if we don't have love in what we do, all else is worthless, no matter how much we give or sacrifice.

©2005 Donna L. Watkins - Skipper Living and Loving the Good Life
Pets have such an ability to give unconditional love. Our kitty, Skipper, was a great example of that. Today is the 4th anniversary of his death. He died on the birthday of a dear friend (mentioned below) that passed into the heavenly home last year also. They both loved well.

The aforementioned book is about cardio-energetics and healing and the role that the heart has to play in this. For some reason God's has me in scientific books this year. I've never had much interest in science so it's been puzzling the amount of great information I've learned as I see on a cellular and genetic basis the why and how of these incredible human bodies. Physiology has always interested me since we made a turn towards the natural health movement back in the late 70's when modern medicine had no answers for our health issues.

So ... in this book it is mentioned that our capacity and willingness to give love is at least, if not more, important than how much we are loved. It is not so much "feeling loved" as "loving others" that is the way of the healing heart. It makes sense since so many people have overcome their own loss, pain and empty lives by giving love to others. You can remember such stories.

Dr. David McClelland at Boston University defines love as a body/mind state that occurs on all levels of the human system, including the immune system and the heart. His research involved tapping into the hearts instead of the heads of his subjects by asking them to tell stories and fantasize about past or future life experiences as a means of uncovering the code of the heart instead of the mental malarkey of the brain.

McClelland's work showed that a love for power negated the power of love. He studied men who had a high need for control accompanied by the brain's inevitable disappointment with the reality that none of us has all that much control over anyone or anything. By their early fifties, these frustrated lovers of power were 2.5 times more likely to develop heart disease.

He also showed that the immune system of lovers of power were weaker than those who knew the power of love. To show the coherent and caring heart's effect on the immune system, he showed students documentary films. Those who watched Mother Theresa experienced a profound increase in their immuno-efficiency. Watching a person with a coherent, open heart, seemed to make the students' hearts more coherent, open, and more able to tap into their own heart's trust code, and these changes were accompanied by a lasting enhancement of their immunity.

Cardio-energetics proposes that healing is a matter of the heart, not the head. It's a choice to tune into another realm beyond that with which the brain is more comfortable. A "picture" of this would be what the mother told the author as a child when his grandfather died and he asked her if everybody had to get old.

She said, "The body gets old, but never your mind. Even if the brain seems to fail and the body gets weak, the heart stays strong and its energy is forever. In the central place of every heart, there is a recording and sending chamber; so long as you see to it that your heart keeps sending loving signals to other hearts even when you are sad, your heart will get loving signals back. If what you sent was beautiful, cheerful, hopeful, and caring, that is what your heart will eventually receive, and no matter what happens to your brain or your body, who you are and have been to others will make you forever young at heart."

It will also make us immortal in one way because we will live on in other people's hearts. And that's the case with me and my special friend, Louise Allred. She gave so much love that nothing else she had to do was more important. I have known many that have died and I have wonderful memories of them, but with Louise, it's like she remains because she directed so much love within me that I still feel her presence and am inspired by it to love others as a picture of Christ ... which is what she was to me.

Reference: The Heart's Code

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Pets: Sarcoptic Mange

We love to hear success stories about pets getting health benefits from natural remedies. Here's a recent one somebody emailed me:

Sarcoptic Mange
I used Tea Tree Oil on my dog's sarcoptic mange because the vet couldn't fit him in for an appointment for a week. I canceled the vet appointment because the Tea Tree Oil cleared it beautifully! I cleaned the area and applied the oil with a dropper twice a day. This stuff is great! My dog thanks you! J.K.

Read more great Pet Success Stories here.

Re:  Essential Oils such as Tea Tree Oil - There is a lot of information and current research instructing NOT to use essential oils on pets since they are so potent and people can easily overdose if they have 100% pure oils. Be sure to read the warnings about essential oil use in pets at these resources:

Pet Poison Help Line
Ask the Expert - Poison Control

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Animals Sensitive to Inequality

Researchers at the University of Vienna have uncovered evidence that might startle non-dog folks, but it will probably come as no surprise to the dog-owning readers.

In several previous studies, non-human primates have demonstrated an unwillingness to commit to problem-solving tasks that yield unfair rewards for themselves compared to others in their group, even going so far as to “stage strikes” rather than support a program perceived as unjust. And now, with this newest piece of research, canines are now recognized as the first non-primate species to display sensitivity and awareness to inequality.

Investigators devised a simple experiment. Multiple sets of two dogs sat side-by-side (with their pet parents standing behind them), and were prompted to complete a known task (in this case, “shaking hands”). One dog was rewarded, the other was not. In nearly every case, after just a few instances of the unfair reward system, the dog not receiving the treat refused to complete the task.

Additionally, scientists tried the same task-no-reward test when no other dog was nearby, and these dogs continued to do the requested task much longer than when in the presence of another dog. The observers noted that the outcomes were not altered when the food rewards were changed.

Pet parents already have some sense of their own dog’s intelligence and personality. And now we can add resentment to a host of canine emotions.

The study was predicated on the claim that evolutionary progress has in part been fueled by cooperation and an ability to recognize the efforts of others in a given community and analyze the resultant payoffs and costs of said actions.

Source: “The Absence of Reward Induces Inequity Aversion in Dogs” by Friederike Range, Lisa Horn, Zsofia Viranyi and Ludwig Huber, published in a December issue of the Proceedings of the National Acadmey of Sciences.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Residential Wind Turbines

Residential wind turbines are an appealing option for renewable energy at home. They seem to be cost-effective, only somewhat less than solar PV panels. Each new product is more attractive than its predecessors, with many as suitable for a sculpture garden as for your rooftop. And, there's something primal and satisfying about the thought of a spinning turbine in the yard, perhaps harkening back to the pinwheels of our youth. But there's more to this story than meets the eye. Read the entire article.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Trusting God In The Storms

by Donna L. Watkins

Life's challenges and losses leave us hurting and wondering where God is in the midst of it all. A child lost to cancer, a mother dying with young children, divorce, job loss, health issues and loss of what you once knew to be life itself. How do we keep plodding on in this world full of trouble and sorrow?

© 2005 Donna L. Watkins - Blue Jay With Acorn
In earthly and human terms we cannot fathom and understand. We can only trust in a loving God that promises peace in the midst of all storms. We can speculate and search for clues that might make some sense and make it easier for us to bear, but all the maybes produce nothing more than more pain and a weary brain.

Consider Deuteronomy 29:29: "The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but those things which are revealed belong to us." God does not reveal all the details of the hows and whys of His plan for our lives. We are to "Trust in the Lord with all of our heart, and lean not to our own understanding" (Proverbs 3:5).

His timing, His plan for each of us and our loved ones. Death is not the ultimate sorrow for the individual passing on when they are bound for a heavenly home. We have to hang on to Romans 8:28 which tells us that "all things work together for good to those who love God." One day you will be able to look back and say, like Joseph, "God meant it for good."

At 58 I have had many sorrows and can still choose to dwell in sorrow due to various chronic health issues, but the more time that passes behind me, the more I can look back and say, "Thank you, Lord, for the hard and awful times, because I see your good work in it for me."

We "give thanks in all things" (I Thes. 5:8) even when we're not thankful for having to go through them. Hang in there and look up. Stay in The Word because it's all that will carry you through and the harder life gets, the harder it is to pick up The Bible, so determine in your heart and mind that you will meet with God every day for comfort.

Stay in the Psalms if you need comforting. David knew how to pour his soul out to the Lord in the Psalms he wrote and then receive God's wonder and power back to fill his cup for another period of time. Some days you may need to reach for "The Lamp" several times a day, but "God's Word is a lamp to your feet and a light to your path" (Psalm 119:105) ... God's Lamp will guide us safely through the storms.

Copyright and Reprint Information
The photo(s) and article are copyrighted. You may use them if you include the following credit and active link back to this website:
© 2009 Donna L. Watkins - This article was reprinted with permission from TheNatureInUs.com.
The link URL is: http://www.TheNatureInUs.com

Quality Essential Oils For Effectiveness

Comprehensive Testing Reveals Discrepancy In Quality

Nature’s Sunshine (NSP) 100-percent-pure lavender oil was compared with a popular brand using several different testing methods. These tests included sensory evaluation, checking color and clarity, verification of plant species and country of origin, and laboratory analysis using both Gas Chromatography and Mass Spectrometry (GC/ MS).

The GC/MS is widely known as the most important tool for identifying and analyzing volatile oils. We found that the NSP product outperformed the competitor’s product in every test. Our GC/MS tests showed that NSP lavender oil contains greater amounts of many key constituents than the competitor’s product.

Higher peaks on the NSP graph show that our lavender oil is a much more powerful product. Using Mass Spectrometry, we can identify individual peaks (constituents) represented on the chromatograph and verify that each is a pure substance. Many competitors do not use Mass Spectrometry in analyzing essential oils. Consequently they can neither detect impurities nor positively identify constituents (components).

The label of a well-known competitor also indicated the use of two different species of lavender, something you’ll never find in NSP’s pure, AOC-certified* lavender oil. When two different species are mixed, you never know exactly what you’re getting.

NSP only uses true lavender, Lavendula angustifolia (no hybrids), in its product. The quality of essential oil products differs greatly. Count on Nature’s Sunshine for the premium quality you expect and deserve.

*AOC stands for Appelation d’Origine Contrôlée (Controlled Designation of Origin). AOC certification means that NSP lavender is pure Lavendula angustifolia and that it is harvested from specific, quality-controlled lavender fields in France.

Purchase Nature's Sunshine Lavender Oil and other 100% pure essential oils at The Herbs Place.com.

Japanese Beetle-Proof Your Roses

From Birds and Blooms Garden eNewsletter

Try planting geraniums, especially white ones, in and around roses. This helps repel Japanese beetles. In the last 3 years, I’ve found less than a dozen beetles on my roses. — Kathi Richards, Dundee, Ohio

Maybe this will work for other plants as well. We get them on our Rose of Sharon bushes. If anybody gives this a try, please add a comment to this post to let us know how it works! We can't plant geraniums since the deer eat them in our community.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Bees Outsmart Scientists

From Creation Moments

© 2007 Donna L. Watkins - Early Morning Sleeping Bee on Foxglove Flower
Scientists have long recognized that bees are intelligent creatures. At the same time, they believe that this intelligence is the product of millions of years of natural selection. The extremely fast learning ability of the bee either puts in doubt the millions of years or shows the hand of the Creator.

Researchers at Princeton University decided to find out whether bees were smart enough to find their food source if it was moved. The researchers moved the prime food source 50 meters farther away from the hive. They found that it took the bees less than one minute to locate the moved source. Being precise scientists, they then moved the food source another fifty meters away. The bees still took less than a minute to find the food source. Two more moves, each a precise 50 meters, produced the same results.

However, the bees had also been studying the researchers. Before the researchers could finish moving the food source yet another fifty meters, they found that the bees had discovered the pattern and were already waiting at the new location!

God is our Creator, and He has cleverly left the evidence of His handiwork – His fingerprints – in the creation itself. For those who have eyes to see, this fills us with wonder and, yes, with love for the Creator God who first loved us.

Visit Creation Moments.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

God's Image In Wildlife

by Donna L. Watkins

What a delight to see Creation reproducing itself as God commanded. We have so many new babies in our bird world here at Bluebird Cove.

View Enlarged Image
Carolina Wren Fledglings
One rainy day I sat at the kitchen table at the window and watched the baby wrens wait for their parents to return with food. They had fledged the nest but still weren't accepting the fact that they were soon going to feed themselves. So they huddled there, jumping around a bit, testing the newly discovered delight in what wings were for. Being used to staying in bed all day, they would close their eyes now and then for a few winks of sleep.

What a picture of rest and trust. When they would hear the call of their parents they would get excited and flutter those wings a bit with open mouths. It reminded me of us resting and trusting that God will feed us and take care of us. Sometimes we operate strictly from sheer will power and I've been wondering if that's really the best plan. Jesus told us we need to be as children .... so my recent visual of these baby birds is continually crossing my mind.

View Enlarged Image
House Finch Fledgling
Besides wrens, we have baby house finches. Oh my! Talk about chattering children! Finches are known for their singing but it seems you can't get the babies to be quiet when they're waiting for food. Much contrast to the wrens, eh? They stood on the branch and chattered away running after the Papa. You could just hear the begging urgency of their tone trying to convince him that they only had moments to live if they weren't fed quickly. Doesn't that remind you a bit of you and me? Chattering and begging away for God to do something for us and more importantly, to do it now!

There's a few babies in progress also. A cardinal's nest in the area of our habitat called Cardinal Corner had 4 eggs in it when I took photos. We had almost a week of rain and that Mama sat on the nest faithfully. What a testimony to motherhood, an honorable treasured role of life for many women. We see much devotion to offspring in the animal world. Mrs. Cardinal comes to the covered front porch where we have a feeder full of millet and safflower seeds (so the squirrels will leave it alone).

During the rain she was drenched. The spot she picked is a nice sunny one with an opening towards the morning sun, but the rain blew from that direction so she endured, as mothers are known to do. The Papa would join her at the feeder with treats of worms or a sunflower seed from another feeder out in the rain. How sweet! Would that all husbands be so attentive during the challenging years of being a mom.

View Enlarged Image
Gray Catbird Eggs in Holly Bush
There are four (4) bright blue eggs of the Gray Catbird couple in the front of the house in a dense holly bush jungle by the garage. I enjoy their long lilting songs. They are members of the same family as mockingbirds and thrashers. All have the ability to ramble on with various calls copied from other species and some of their own melodies. A couple of years ago, I was Romanced by a Brown Thrasher.

Then there's the Tufted Titmouse family nesting in one of the bluebird boxes. We offer equal opportunity housing, so anybody can use the bluebird boxes. We have 7 of them and actually we knew from the locations we chose that some would not attract bluebirds because they were not in an open area. Sometimes I feel like I've taken up residence in some other species abode. There are times when we just don't feel like earth is "home."

The female Mourning Doves are waddling about with the males fast behind them cooing and begging for attention. Males begin to sing in the spring as the levels of their male hormone, testosterone, rises. Their sound is a delightful one and doves always remind me of peace regardless of the color. Seeing the males chasing makes me think of how Jesus pursues us even when we think we don't need Him.

View Enlarged Image
Female Red-bellied Woodpecker at Feeder
Oh, the woodpeckers! Red-bellied, Pileated, Red-headed, Downy and Hairy are common to our backyard which is forested for acres behind us. Although I don't like to see trees die, I smile because I know they bring life to many birds including all species of woodpeckers that need them for nesting and food. And we need woodpeckers to save our healthy trees from which they glean bugs that could kill the trees if they were not gathered for a meal.

We have baby bunnies also and they are so furry and cute. During the winter we had an adult that wintered over behind our front bushes against the garage. We eat a lot of veggies and fruit, so we have a lot of food that is scraps to us, but dinner to wildlife, so we put out apple cores, ends of carrots and other veggies. Since the bunny bushes are at the end of the front porch, it's easy to dump them there. Of course, it's not just bunnies that eat them. We enjoy the opossums, skunks and raccoons too, so they all share in our habitat.

Sharing .... hmm, that bring the crows to mind. They're not much for sharing, or maybe it's just their sheer size that intimidates the smaller birds causing them to flee. They are willing to share with other crows since they live and roost in great numbers. They're definitely into the social scene and love to alert others of a find of food.

One thing for sure is the squirrels don't enjoy sharing with anybody. One of them chased away a rabbit that was feeding beneath a bird feeder. I keep telling them it's not nice not to share, but they totally ignore me, as squirrels do.

I would say squirrels definitely portray the saying, "If it's to be, it's up to me." Surely they expend more energy keeping other squirrels away from food than the energy they get from eating it. Sadly the word "greed" comes to mind. There are those who hurry and worry over getting enough and it seems for those folks, there's no designated limit of what is enough, so the unfulfilling quest goes on for man and beast.

Wildlife watching is certainly food for the soul. I hope you take time in your life to enjoy it. There are many lessons to be learned within Creation because the fingerprint and character of the Creator is in it all.

Copyright and Reprint Information
The photo(s) and article are copyrighted. You may use them if you include the following credit and active link back to this website:
© 2009 Donna L. Watkins - This article was reprinted with permission from TheNatureInUs.com.
The link URL is: http://www.TheNatureInUs.com

Chanel, Oldest Dog on Earth

They say every dog has its day, but this one has had more than most: Chanel, a dachshund mix, is going to be celebrating her 21st birthday (that’s 120 in human years, according to Chanel’s veterinarian). And though she wears “doggles” for cataracts and gets cold easily, there’s life in the old dog yet.

The birthday girl, looking sporty in a pink sweater and the trademark red goggles she wears because of her cataracts, visited the TODAY show set in New York Wednesday with her owner, Denice Shaughnessy.

“She’s doing fine,” Shaughnessy said of Chanel. “The vet says he’s never seen a dog her age do so much.”

Actually, he’s probably never seen a dog her age period, at least not one whose age has been certified as the oldest living pooch on the planet by Guinness World Records. Read the entire article and view slideshow.

Monday, June 8, 2009

5 Spices With Health Benefits

These five hot spices can be good for everything from easing arthritis pain to keeping your heart healthy.

Recent studies suggest that when it comes to cuisine, kicking it up a notch can be as good for your health as it is tasty for your palate. Some spices, particularly hot ones, contain phytochemicals that may help ward off cell damage associated with chronic diseases.

Chili Powder

Potential health perk: Relieves achy joints. Research shows that capsaicin, found in chili peppers, has an anti-inflammatory effect, which may help ease arthritic swelling and pain. Hot way to dish it: Sprinkle a few shakes of chili powder and salt on baked French fries.


Potential health perk: Protects against Type 2 diabetes and heart disease. A 2003 study found that about half a teaspoon lowered blood glucose, cholesterol, and triglyceride levels. Hot way to dish it: Mix half a teaspoon of cinnamon into your coffee, or jazz up whipped cream with a couple of pinches.

Curry Powder

Potential health perk: Safeguards your brain. The yellow curry pigment curcumin may fight Alzheimer's by thwarting development of the disease's signature amyloid brain plaques, says a study. Hot way to dish it: Whisk 1 1/2 teaspoons mild curry powder into mayonnaise to dress up sandwiches.


Potential health perk: Improves your heart's health. Brigham Young University researchers found that garlic consumption can lower total cholesterol and triglyceride levels by an average of 10 percent. Hot way to dish it: Add minced garlic and chopped cucumber to plain yogurt for a light dip or salad dressing.


Potential health perk: Prevents ulcers. A 2004 South Korean study suggests Japanese horseradish can kill ulcer-causing Helicobacter pylori bacteria. Plant chemicals may also prevent tooth decay. Hot way to dish it: Mix a smidgen of wasabi paste with mashed avocado for a snappier guacamole.

Originally published in Ladies' Home Journal magazine, May 2005.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Cars Getting Greener Inside and Out

With the announcement of new fuel economy standards last week, the Obama administration made sure that the days of car company battles against fuel-efficient and alternative fuel vehicles are safely in our rear-view mirrors.

Numerous studies have shown that 75%+ of the energy used by a car over its lifetime is consumed in the operation of the vehicle, so this focus on efficiency is well-placed. But we shouldn’t forget about the other 25% of energy use or the environmental impacts that come with it - hazardous chemicals that off-gas when our cars sit in the sun, components that are difficult to recycle, and loads of plastics made from petrochemicals among them. Read the entire article.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Men's Health

May is Men's Health Awareness Month. In the current trend of personal interest in one's own health care, men are becoming more and more involved in their health choices. Women led this mindset for many years since they're known as the caregivers of the family.

With increased reasons to avoid the side effects of drugs, men are looking for simpler answers to health concerns. That's where herbs come in. Having been effectively used for thousands of years, our modern society has now returned once again to the earth for herbal remedies. Check out some natural health builders for men.

God The Provider

by Donna L. Watkins

Not long ago we were reveling in a terrific economy. Buying and selling and creating mountains of debt. Times have changed.

© 2009 Donna L. Watkins - Mantled Howler Monkey Rolling A Leaf In Its Mouth - La Selva, Costa Rica

Rising gas prices caused us to consider other options and the mortgage crisis woke us up to the reality that "the borrower being a servant to the lender" (Proverbs 22:7). Pensions and retirement funds that people lived most of their lives to enjoy have vaporized before their eyes. Jobs once considered mundane and boring are held in much higher esteem with appreciate for a regular paycheck when so many are jobless.

Earthquakes, tsunamis, floods, fires and hurricanes are hitting the world like birth pangs bringing much heartache and ruins to millions. It would seem our security blanket of materialism is being tossed and torn and ripped out of our hands. Do we like Job's wife suggested? To curse God and die? It's so easy to blame God as Israel did on their long journey in the wilderness. They rejoiced in His provision and miracles, in the moment at least, but when times required a bit of character, they cursed Him and rebelled with stiff necks.

Our God is a just God, with great love and mercy. But justice is a good character quality and as we exact justice on our children to teach them better character, God also has to display justice for our actions and attitudes. We can rail against God for the calamities of our day, or we can go to His wisdom and seek His face and repent for our ways and change the way we are living.

"If my people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land" (2 Chronicles 7:14).

Are you one of His people? We don't need a majority to turn things around, but if Christians would stop thinking like Job's wife, we could turn the tide on many of life's calamities. Throughout history there have been revivals. Being in the worst of times will either bring you prostate before the Throne ... or on the desert floor with fist raised. Which ground will you choose to be on?

God is our Provider and if we seek His face for where we have misused His provision and repent and turn from our selfish ways, He can put us on solid ground and the economy will not predict or dominate any part of your life. Stop complaining and become pro-active.

Isaiah 40:28-29:

"Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth does not become weary or tired. His understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak."

Grumbling will eventually swallow you up from the essence of life itself. Turn to hope and build your faith and your outlook. We serve an awesome God. Maybe you don't think of yourself as a servant and that could be a root of the problem. We are created beings, made in the image of God, for fellowship and communion with Him. It's easy to think we humans are the ultimate supreme beings of the world, but we are here to be of service to our Creator. A change of mindset and heart attitude may be the first step to the beginning of victory.

Yes, you've heard it many times, but read it now and ingest the words into your very soul:

"If my people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land."

Copyright and Reprint Information
The photo(s) and article are copyrighted. You may use them if you include the following credit and active link back to this website:
© 2009 Donna L. Watkins - This article was reprinted with permission from TheNatureInUs.com.
The link URL is: http://www.TheNatureInUs.com

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Doctor Reviews Being Shut Down

From AARP Bulletin.

Doctors don’t like getting bad reviews, and now they’ve possibly found an antidote. So far, about 1,000 physicians have asked their patients to sign a legal form promising not to “publish or air” any unfavorable information about the doctor’s care, manner or office staff. The waivers mainly target online ratings sites such as RateMDs.com.

“We think bad information is harmful,” says Shane Stadler, marketing director for Medical Justice Services, the Greensboro, N.C., company that developed the waiver language and began licensing it for a fee to physicians about two years ago. He characterizes the document as a “mutual privacy agreement” good for both doctor and patient.

But patient advocacy groups disagree. “It’s critical that the doctor-patient relationship be open and trusting,” says Jennifer C. Jaff, executive director of Advocacy for Patients With Chronic Illness in Farmington, Conn. “These waivers set up adversarial boundaries from the start.”

But will the waiver stand up in court? “Courts will not enforce contracts that violate public policy,” says John Weistart, a contracts professor at Duke University School of Law, who has reviewed the document. “So attempts by physicians to suppress evaluations by patients are very doubtful.”

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Dog's Fear of Thunderstorms

From Cheryl Falkenburry, Animal Behavior Coach

Many dogs react to the far distant rumblings of a thunderstorm and hide long before people are even aware there is a storm approaching. The sound of thunder can send some dogs into a complete panic often causing them to jump fences or break down doors.

There is some debate as to whether or not this is a conditioned response or a sensitivity to the increased electrical impulses in the air during a storm. If a dog is responding with fear to the noises of a thunderstorm, the dog can be desensitized to the storm. The following are steps towards desensitization.

1. Teach the dog to sit and stay prior to working on desensitization.

2. Get a recording of a thunderstorm. Terry Ryan has several CDs available to use for desensitization with a variety of sounds (www.dogwise.com), or make one
the next time there is a storm.

3. Play the recording very quiet at first and repeat the sit and stay exercises using food as a reward and distraction. Watch the dog for any signs of stress and lower the volume if stress is apparent.

4. Gradually increase the loudness of the recording and reinforce the dog for any calm behavior. If the dog shows any signs of stress, do not reward the dog, but lower the volume and try again.

5. The goal is to be able to leave the recording on and leave the room.

6. Try to be around for the next real thunderstorm to assess if the desensitization process is working. Be sure to use the steps above during any actual storm to remind the dog of the behavior you want.

7. If the dog responds well to training with the CD but still gets upset during the real thing, the dog may be responding to the electrical activity in the atmosphere. Allow the dog to go to a comfortable place in the house and leave them alone. Talking softly, petting, or comfort of any type towards a dog who is acting fearful is only rewarding that behavior. Ignore any fearful behavior and reward any calm behavior.

Cheryl Falkenburry, Animal Behavior Coach, helps make sense of mind-boggling animal behavior. Visit her website for other behavior tips. Set up a private session to work directly on your pet's problem.

Fish Mated For Life

From Creation Moments

Genesis 2:24 - Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.

Did you know that some fish actually go fishing? Yes, the female anglerfish lives deep down where it is cold and dark, and it has a six-inch-long fishing pole fixed to its top lip with a little orange light on the end. When the angler is not fishing, the rod fits into a groove on the top of its head. The angler's victim swims along and sees the orange light – the bait – to him, it looks like a good lunch for a small fish. He moves in, but it jumps out of reach and the next thing he knows he becomes the angler fish's lunch!

The strangest part of the anglerfish's life is its mating practices. While the female is over three-feet long – and the mouth takes up almost half this length – the male anglerfish is only a half-inch long. He has no fishing pole and no light. Mating starts when the tiny male swims up to the female and sinks his teeth into her side. He never lets go for the rest of his life. In fact, soon his skin and circulatory system actually join the female's, and through this union they become, literally, one flesh. Eggs are eventually laid.

Our Creator has an infinite variety of ways to reproduce the species but this one demonstrates quite literally the one-flesh principle of human marriage.

Check out this photo of an anglerfish.
More info on anglerfish.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

The Bible and Environmental Responsibility

Does the Bible call for Environmental Responsibility?
By Pastor Mike Freeman

TRUE OWNERSHIP-- Genesis 1:1-2:25

The creation account in Genesis chapters 1 and 2 is foundational to the entire Bible – which is perhaps why so much controversy has attached itself to these chapters. What is clear from the Genesis creation account is that our world is:

…To be cherished and protected.
Creative power resides in God alone; He created “the heavens and the earth” i.e. everything. On days 1-3 he formed the formless, and on days 4-6 what is empty was filled. Humanity does not own the planet – we are only tenants on another’s property (see Psalm 24:1-2; Leviticus 25:23) From the beginning, humanity was entrusted with the task of caring, responsible stewardship.

While some have misconstrued the words “subdue” and “rule” in Genesis 1:28 to imply a free hand to pillage, rape and degrade creation for humanity’s pleasure and profit, we believe these words must be placed alongside the companion words of Genesis 2:15 “serve” and “protect.”

The Biblical mandate to “rule” over creation must be understood in conjunction with Jesus’ teaching about the true nature of leadership – that he who would “rule” must be the servant of all (see Matthew 20:20-28). This was a value Jesus demonstrated by washing His disciples’ feet in loving devotion and humility (see John 13:1-17). So we believe that as disciples of Jesus the call upon us is to humble ourselves and seek ways by which to “wash the feet” of His creation through loving stewardship over it.

…Created as a habitat for all living things, not just for humans.
Though humanity is unique in being made in the “image of God” and is called to rule as God rules, humans were created on the same day as animals and were initially told to eat the same food as animals (see Genesis 1:24-30). Humans are not the only creatures blessed by God; the blessing of God is pronounced upon all living creatures.

All living creatures are seen by God as having intrinsic worth irrespective of humanity’s needs – God sees them as “good” before humanity is even on the scene. We believe it is foundational for us as disciples of Jesus to know where we live – in a home shared with all other creatures, all loved and valued by our Creator (see also Psalm 104:1-35).

…Theocentric, not anthropocentric.
Man may be the measurer of all things, but he is not the measure of all things. Humanity’s needs, wants, and desires are not the pivotal focus of creation; God, the Creator is (observe the repeated phrases in Genesis chapter one – “God said…God saw…God called…God made…etc.). All creation, including humanity, is summoned to worship the Creator (see Psalm 148).

We believe that this biblical, theocentric worldview gives the human being, with his special position on earth as responsible steward, the only real chance to understand himself as a member of the creation community. We believe this theocentric perspective, rooted in Genesis and reflected throughout the Bible, is the only way to develop a sustained and effective ethic of environmental responsibility.

Source: Amadeo Church

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