Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Continual Peace

by Donna L. Watkins

How often I catch myself whining and grumbling ... sometimes it seems almost unconsciously ... but it's there.

© 2009 Donna L. Watkins - Squirrel Eating Black-eyed Susan Seed Heads

Leave an open window in your mind and the devil will slither in to tell you how awful things are and that God is mistreating you and from the looks of things, He's not interested in the entire world. On and on and on and on he will go if you allow him to.

But we are to take thoughts captive: "...For the weapons of our warfare are not physical [weapons of flesh and blood], but they are mighty before God for the overthrow and destruction of strongholds, [Inasmuch as we] refute arguments and theories and reasonings and every proud and lofty thing that sets itself up against the [true] knowledge of God; and we lead every thought and purpose away captive into the obedience of Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One)..." (2 Corinthians 10: 4-5).

Do we obey this command? Do we think we are strong enough to battle the devil with human reasoning and willpower? Oh how proud we can become. But the more proud we become the further away God seems because "God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble" (I Peter 5:5).

Our only effective weapon is The Word (which is a two-edged sword cutting the devil into ribbons). If you haven't memorized enough Word to do battle, carry some Scripture cards with you. When I was in grade school, my mother would always make sure I had a few tissues in my pocket because I had allergies and she knew I'd need them.

We know we need The Word to battle through our days, so make sure you have a few Scripture cards in your pocket before you leave your bedroom in the morning. I use index cards and write down things the Lord gives me during my time with Him. Over the years I've got a whole box full of them and I pick and choose according to the season of life I am in.

How do we practically keep our thoughts in line? It seems my brain is always thinking. Philippians 4:8 tells us to think, but it also tells us what to think: "whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent or praiseworthy - think about such things" (Philippians 4:8). We are told to think, so it's important to have such things continually on our minds. If we fill our mind with good things there is no room for the bad.

Philippians 4:7 says that "the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ jesus." Boy, do I need my mind guarded! I could use a whole troupe of guards on some of those really rough days.

If you read what comes before this promise of peace, you'll have the real victory in the battle. Philippians 4:6 tells us: "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God."

Our minds are going to think on something. We have the choice to worry (fear) or pray (faith) on every issue in our lives. We all know that fear blocks the blessings of God because we have given ourselves over to the enemy when we fear and our supernatural power to find joy and peace in all circumstances is non-accessible.

So, we have a way to stay out of worry, whining and wailing. We pray instead. We fill our minds with things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely and admirable. Refuse the negative junk. Stop watching and reading the bad news. You can't expect to have a peaceful mind if you are continually feeding on war, death, destruction and horror. You have to make the choice to focus on good news or bad news. If you need some kind of news fix, subscribe to Happy News.

If we are anxious for nothing, and in everything, pray with thanksgiving (knowing God's reply is always good - not just wanting our own way in the situation), then we are promised the Peace of God. How much more could we ask for? We will not be rid of the trials and tribulations in this world ... but being able to stand in the midst of them with peace and joy intact is a testimony that will guide others into the Light of God and into an eternity in Heaven, rather than Hell. You could be the influence that determines the destiny of many people.

When you allow the devil to take you down to his level, you're not only giving yourself away ... you are taking others with you. Stand strong in the Lord. We are sons and daughters of the King. Let's act like it.

This website is sponsored by The Herbs Place, distributor of Nature's Sunshine herbs, supplements, essential oils and more at wholesale prices.

The photo(s) and article are copyrighted. You may use either of 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 The link to use is:

Take The Clutter Challenge

Each week for eight (8) weeks, AARP will address specific clutter problems - paper overload, dead electronics, outdated pharmaceuticals, cranky spouses - whatever makes it hard for you to get rid of the stuff you don't need and organize the stuff you do.

Join the Clutter Challenge community for this short period of time. There's a forum for questions, sharing strategies, and you can upload before and after photos. You can even be eligible to win some terrific prizes. The Grand Prize is a one-hour consultation with Ciji Ware and a $1,000 gift certificate to spend on storage solutions and equipment. Find out more and join in!

This website is sponsored by The Herbs Place, distributor of Nature's Sunshine herbs, supplements, essential oils and more at wholesale prices.

Global Warming Not Simple

The whole global warming thing is certainly "real" but the data and assessments and solutions are not that simple. My perspective, from a Biblical standpoint, forces me to consider God's promise to us in Genesis that He would never flood the earth again. My position as a Christian is that God is still in control and we are not always going to understand everything we see with our finite minds.

My neighbor, Ken Bushell, sent an article from the U.S. Weather Bureau of November 2, 1922 which read:

"The Arctic ocean is warming up, icebergs are growing scarcer and in some places the seals are finding the water too hot, according to a report to the Commerce Department yesterday from Consul Ifft, at Bergen , Norway . Reports from fishermen, seal hunters and explorers, he declared, all point to a radical change in climate conditions and hitherto unheard-of temperatures in the Arctic zone. Exploration expeditions report that scarcely any ice has been met with as far north as 81 degrees 29 minutes. Soundings to a depth of 3,100 meters showed the gulf stream still very warm. Great masses of ice have been replaced by moraines of earth and stones, the report continued, while at many points well known glaciers have entirely disappeared. Very few seals and no white fish are found in the eastern Arctic, while vast shoals of herring and smelts, which have never before ventured so far north, are being encountered in the old seal fishing grounds."

Ken offered some great thoughts and assessments from a non-Christian perspective that are certainly been worth pondering. With permission from Ken, I share them with you here:

My current book on global warming is called "The Discovery of Global Warming" by Spencer R. Weart. It is very readable and interesting, you can borrow it when I'm done if you wish, I am about 1/2 way through. He has a large website which he says is his main scientific work, the book being a short summary since the website has 5 times the amount of information, and the book is just over 200 pages. I have not read through the site yet, just checked that it is indeed there. You can take a look of course to see if it interests you.

My feelings on global warming are:

It is real - plenty of evidence such as disappearance of glaciers

Partly caused by the world coming out of the last ice age of 10,000 years ago

Probably influenced in the past 40 years by mankind.

China is now a larger contributor to greenhouse gases than the US (which was the worst) and it has only just got started on its development and energy use. Opens up a new coal fired power station every 2 weeks on average.

India is catching up China and could soon be a greater producer of greenhouse gases than the US. Has similar build of new coal fired power stations.

Global temperatures not likely to be reduced measurably the relatively minor things being currently proposed by all countries (so far).

If the US stopped producing ALL man-produced CO2, it would not make a measurable difference. Changing our light bulbs and driving Prius's is not going to hack it! Of course we can get much better, more efficient, less wasteful, have smaller homes etc. which is all good but it is nowhere near enough to offset China and India, or the additional power needs of the US for the future population growth. Also these changes are long term.

The main energy source in this country is electrical power and we use a lot of it and will need more in the future. More efficient sources are needed than coal, one of these is natural gas, ultimately we need a radical new source. Second source is home heating, again most efficiently supplied by gas.

Natural gas is cleaner and is now much more plentiful than oil (and getting close to coal) in the US due to new drilling and extraction methods and ought to be our main source of energy until some better solution is found such as solar or nuclear fusion - or ??????

The trillions of $$$ that will be spent on trying to offset global warming could be much better spent on things such as clean water resources and health for the underdeveloped areas in the world.

Of course new power supplies must and will be developed before the world gets really short of oil (it will not run out, just get too expensive) The gas (petrol) engine came along to rescue London from sinking in horse manure from the horse-drawn vehicles in the 1980s.

Wind energy is OK but only for small locations and is not the saviour for the whole country (or world). It is a tiny contributor and now the transient power it provides it hard to feed into the national grids. (Just read that only 30% of available wind energy can be used).

I feel in my bones that solar might be our saviour if the problem of storage can be overcome to provide power during the night. There is enough sun energy coming to the earth for everyone, if only it can be harnessed efficiently.

Interestingly, I read that the melting of the arctic and Antarctic ice could cool the oceans to the point where another ice age is triggered, so the ultimate problem could be an ice age, which I think would be worse than global warming!!

By the way, one large business jet tank of fuel would power my Lexus for 12,000 miles a year for 100 years. So if I buy a Prius, could you detect the difference in the world? I haven't worked out what amount of fuel is used for the typical race car/NASCAR meet, but I suspect it is much more than the example above. What a very weird world it is.

Another alternative view about global warming.

This website is sponsored by The Herbs Place, distributor of Nature's Sunshine herbs, supplements, essential oils and more at wholesale prices.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Living Simply For What Matters

Living simply is not a new idea. The Shakers, a celibate sect founded in the 18th century, believed that, “Tis a gift to be simple.” In the 19th century, Henry David Thoreau went back to basics on Walden Pond. “Less is more,” proclaimed Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, the renowned post-war minimalist architect, a century later.

The urge to simplify is timeless. What is new is recognizing the ripple effect when we choose a smaller life, explains Duane Elgin, in his new edition of Voluntary Simplicity: Toward a Way of Life That Is Outwardly Simple, Inwardly Rich.

“Contrary to media myths,” observes Elgin, “consumerism offers lives of sacrifice, while simplicity offers lives of opportunity. Simplicity creates the opportunity for greater fulfillment in work, meaningful connection with others, feelings of kinship with all life and awe of a living universe."

In 1977, Elgin was part of a think tank group at Stanford Research Institute that studied the voluntary simplicity movement. Each of the movement’s values identified by Elgin’s group—human scale, material simplicity, environmental awareness, self-determination and personal growth—build on each other. When an individual first chooses to live on a smaller, more human scale, the other values seem to fall in line. Read the entire article.

This website is sponsored by

Pet Rescues by Tough Guys

In New York’s war on animal abuse, some of the worst offenders are pursued by a group of tattooed motorcycle-riding tough guys on a mission to save animals in danger. They call themselves Rescue Ink.

A few years ago, eight tough guys from the mean streets, who frequented hot rod shows and tattoo parlors, discovered their strongest bond was actually a passion for animals — and they formed a rescue organization like no other.

Some have violent and turbulent pasts, complete with run-ins with the law, but all are seeking redemption and solace in their mission to save animals from human abuse .... these are their stories.

West Africa Giraffes Escape Extinction

A hundred years ago, West Africa's last giraffes numbered in the thousands and their habitat stretched from Senegal's Atlantic Ocean coast to Chad, in the heart of the continent. By the dawn of the 21st century, their world had shrunk to a tiny zone southeast of the capital, Niamey, stretching barely 150 miles long. The numbers of the Western subspecies dwindled so low that in 1996, they numbered a mere 50.

Instead of disappearing as many feared, though, the giraffes have bounced miraculously back from the brink of extinction, swelling to more than 200 today. It's an unlikely boon experts credit to a combination of concerned conservationists, a government keen for revenue, and a rare harmony with villagers who have accepted their presence — for now. Read the entire article.

This website is sponsored by The Herbs Place, distributor of Nature's Sunshine herbs, supplements, essential oils and more at wholesale prices.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Hope your celebration is joyous and peaceful. We're keeping it lively and fun as you can see :-)

Try JibJab Sendables® eCards today!

This website is sponsored by The Herbs Place, distributor of Nature's Sunshine herbs, supplements, essential oils and more at wholesale prices.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Saliva Replacing Blood Tests

From Creation Moments

"But to you who fear My name the Sun of Righteousness shall arise with healing in His wings; and you shall go out and grow fat like stall fed calves." Malachi 4:2

Someday, instead of having to give a blood sample during your physical exam, the doctor might just ask you for a saliva sample. Saliva is an amazing fluid. Besides helping us moisten and digest food, saliva is able to speed healing and fight bacteria, fungi and viruses. Saliva is chemically almost identical to the clear part of your blood. It even has, in lesser concentrations, the infectious organisms found in your blood.

Let's say, for example that you suddenly find yourself in a stressful situation. The level of the hormone cortisol will increase in your blood in response to the stress. Within 20 minutes, that increase will be evident in your saliva. This means that someday saliva tests may replace blood samples.

In the United States, saliva tests have been approved to diagnose AIDS, illegal drugs, periodontal disease, alcohol and premature labor.

If the hormone estriol rises in a woman's blood before 36 weeks of gestation, doctors know that the woman may go into labor prematurely. Saliva testing is also used to check hormone levels in women who are having a difficult time conceiving a child. Other countries have approved a saliva test for hepatitis B.

Saliva's remarkable abilities are a witness to a loving Creator. He knew that we would sin and thus bring disease into the world. So He gave us saliva that not only defends us against infection but also helps us heal. But the greatest love He has shown us is in sending His Son to give us spiritual healing.

Prayer: I thank You, Lord, for all Your good gifts, especially salvation. Amen.

References: Judy Foreman, The spitting image gains credibility, Star Tribune, September 12, 1999, p.E3.

Visit Creation Moments.
Saliva Test Kits
Saliva testing in Canada

Good News About Environmental Abuse

by Paul Yanosy

The title of this post borrows from Gary Haugen's path-breaking book, Good News About Injustice (one of 3 or 4 books that set the course of my life). At bottom, the good news about injustice is that God is against it - and calls us to join him in His efforts.

I am coming to believe there is something similar going on with our care for creation as well. The good news about environmental abuse and poor stewardship of the creation is that God is against it, and we should be too. Read the entire article backed with numerous Scripture references.

Friday, December 18, 2009

USB Drive Pet ID Tag

Top Tag Pet ID protects your pet more than any other pet tag by providing complete care information to friends, vets, kennels, pet sitters and rescuers who may be responsible for your pet's welfare and special needs.

You can easily write, organize, store and retrieve ALL of your pet’s important care information. And it only takes seconds to access the information on a computer. What a great idea! More info on how it works.

Lessons From Shadowland

I love my dog. His name is Shadow, and he's a beautiful Golden Retriever/Collie mix. My kids named him after the gentle Golden Retriever from the Homeward Bound movies from a few years back -- and for good reason. He is just like him. He has the perfect temperament for children. He's playful when they're playful, and he becomes totally mellow when it's time to settle down.

I always let Shadow out first thing in the morning into a section of our yard that I built just for him. We lovingly refer to this area as "Shadowland." He usually runs right out the door and into the yard. But on one particular morning, just as he was about to dart out into the yard, he stiffened like and board and for a split second the hair on his back raised straight up. I was puzzled by his actions and I looked out to see what was going on, just in time to observe a family of ducks waddling through the yard.

Shadow is a Retriever, so his nature is to pursue these hapless creatures and bring them home for dinner. I looked down at Shadow and noticed that he had relaxed slightly. He looked back at me with those sad Golden Retriever eyes, as if to say, "Everything in me wants to go after those ducks, Dad. But I know that would displease you, so I'm not going to do it."

I was filled with so much love for Shadow at that moment. I got down on one knee, hugged his neck and said, "Shadow, you are the best dog in the world."

Once the ducks were safely out of the yard I let Shadow out into the yard and began getting ready for my day. But throughout the next hours that moment kept playing again and again in my mind.

You see, Shadow wasn't always so obedient. We live on a busy street and I won't allow the dog to go out in front of the house. When I work on the front yard, I often leave the garage door open and Shadow wanders out to watch. He knows he is not allowed in the front yard and so he sits at the edge of the garage with his paws right on the line where the concrete driveway meets the house. He knows what his boundaries are, and he usually obeys ... Read the entire article.

Update on Bee Colony Collapse

Colony collapse disorder has wreaked havoc on U.S. beekeeping businesses (and the agriculture industry) since its devastating arrival in 2006. The veiled killer entered hives across Japan for the first time earlier this year, affecting 25 percent of the national beekeeping association members.

Now the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is being sued by the nonprofit Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) for withholding details about the impact of neonicotinoids — a class of widely used pesticides — on honeybees and other pollinators.

The EPA identifies two specific neonicotinoids, imidacloprid and clothianidin, as highly toxic to bees. Both chemicals cause symptoms in bees such as memory loss, navigation disruption, paralysis and death.

Both chemicals have been linked in dramatic honeybee deaths and subsequent suspensions of their use in France and Germany. Several European countries have already suspended them. Last year Slovenia and Italy also suspended their use for what they consider a significant risk to honeybee populations.

While Bayer CropScience, the primary producer of both pesticides, maintains honeybee deaths reported in Europe were caused by unusual application errors, they don’t dispute the proven toxicity of their products. Read the entire article.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Taking Time To Play

by Donna L. Watkins

We all need to add more play to our lives. We are told this in Matthew 18:3-4 and in Luke 18:17: "Truly I say to you, unless you are converted and become like children, you shall not enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever then humbles himself as this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven."

Jesus is giving us a command here ... a spiritual truth. We are given orders to humble ourselves like a child. Have you ever noticed children have no pride? They can pick their nose, toddle around without clothes on, pass gas with a smile, or vomit all over you with a crowd of people looking on.

Jesus is telling us to do something that is against adult human nature. “Converted” is a Greek word (Strong’s 4762) which is translated "turn." We have to make a radical departure from what is normal to us. This command requires us to submit to Him, rather than obeying our natural wants and desires.

Jesus never defines what He means when He says He wants us to become like children. James at has this list of traits that kids have that are typically lost when they transition to adults.

1. are trusting
2. are teachable
3. look to their parents when they hurt
4. are submissive to authority
5. desire to grow up
6. are brutally honest
7. know the importance of playing
8. love to rest on their parents' shoulders

Humility is certainly a large part of being able to exhibit any of these traits. The one I like to focus on is knowing the importance of playing. We are a nation obsessed with doing. Lists and goals and tasks are required, but so is rest and relaxation. We have to know when to shut down and simply play.

Have you scheduled some time for play lately? What have you been wanting to do and just don't get around to taking the time for it?

This elk calf is such a picture of knowing how to play. He was probably walking through the forest with his mom and siblings and saw this large puddle of water and just couldn't resist jumping around and playing in it. Notice he purposely stirs up the water to get splashed. He's taken time to abandon the search for food and favor and simply plays till his heart is content .... and then wanders back to the family and the order of the day. How delightful!

Death by Medicine

By Gary Null, PhD; Carolyn Dean MD, ND; Martin Feldman, MD; Debora Rasio, MD; and Dorothy Smith, PhD

Natural medicine is under siege, as pharmaceutical company lobbyists urge lawmakers to deprive Americans of the benefits of dietary supplements. Drug-company front groups have launched slanderous media campaigns to discredit the value of healthy lifestyles. The FDA continues to interfere with those who offer natural products that compete with prescription drugs.

These attacks against natural medicine obscure a lethal problem that until now was buried in thousands of pages of scientific text. In response to these baseless challenges to natural medicine, the Nutrition Institute of America commissioned an independent review of the quality of “government-approved” medicine. The startling findings from this meticulous study indicate that conventional medicine is “the leading cause of death” in the United States .

The Nutrition Institute of America is a nonprofit organization that has sponsored independent research for the past 30 years. To support its bold claim that conventional medicine is America 's number-one killer, the Nutritional Institute of America mandated that every “count” in this “indictment” of US medicine be validated by published, peer-reviewed scientific studies.

What you are about to read is a stunning compilation of facts that documents that those who seek to abolish consumer access to natural therapies are misleading the public. Over 700,000 Americans die each year at the hands of government-sanctioned medicine, while the FDA and other government agencies pretend to protect the public by harassing those who offer safe alternatives.

A definitive review of medical peer-reviewed journals and government health statistics shows that American medicine frequently causes more harm than good. Read the entire article.

Essential Oil Hair Care

Essential oils are great to add to shampoo for dry or oily hair .... or to massage into your scalp for some problems. This article tells you what the options and results are: visit now. Check out the free newsletter offered.

Tips for Essential Oil Use
All About Essential Oils
Essential Oil Quality and Purity

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Doctor Serves God With Green Ministry

A few years ago, Matthew Sleeth quit his job as an emergency room physician and moved with his wife and two kids to follow a calling from God.

“One day I picked up the Bible and read the gospel of Matthew and learned about Christ and was blown away,” he says. “We began a process of changing our lives to try to be more humble in the way that we lived.”

Sleeth wrote a book, “Serve God, Save The Planet,” in which he details how he and his family adopted a less materialistic lifestyle, and he describes the joy it has brought them.

Making that change wasn’t easy, Sleeth says. “For me, the hardest thing was to give up my identity – both in the way that I lived and in my lifestyle and with saying I’m the chief of staff at the hospital – and instead to say I’m following a path that Christ set before us to become meeker. And I’m hugging trees for Jesus to boot. Read the entire article.

Turkey Vulture

From Lee's Birdwatching Adventures Plus

We get to see lots of Turkey Vultures in this area. I have seen trees just loaded with them. They are ugly to look at, but are very useful.

The following is the October 6th’s “Evidence from Biology” article from A Closer Look at the Evidence, by Richard and Tina Kleis:

“The Turkey Vulture has incredible farsighted vision capable of seeing dead or dying objects several miles beyond what the human eye can detect. Yet it is designed with dull, weak, talons and a thin beak, forcing it to eek out an existence eating rotting flesh or decaying vegetables. Since the vulture eats the remains of animals that have died of disease, it has a digestive tract designed to destroy deadly bacteria (including anthrax!). The Turkey Vulture also has the ability to sanitize itself and its surroundings using a special disinfectant found in its own excrement. The same chemicals which kill the deadly bacteria in its stomach continue to kill the germs outside its body!

Because the vulture’s head is usually covered in blood, pieces of rotten flesh, and bacteria, it is especially vulnerable to disease. Therefore, this particular bird was created without feathers from the neck up. As the turkey vulture stands in the sun, the ultraviolet radiation kills any remaining bacteria.

By removing the carcasses of decaying animals, the turkey vulture serves an important purpose of limiting the spread of disease and preventing potential epidemics among both man and beast. One wonders how the turkey vulture could have evolved all of the specialized characteristics. The creation solution is that they were created with the original vulture-type bird. The survival characteristics needed for our fallen world were either given after the Fall or developed from originally created abilities.”

Character Sketches, Vol. III, p. 121-124

The LORD is righteous in all his ways, and holy in all his works. (Psalms 145:17 KJV)

Lee’s Extras:
We have mentioned the Vulture many times on the blog and especially in the places below. After all, they are one of the unclean birds that the Jewish people were not allowed to eat. After reading the above article, you can understand why they were off the “menu.”

There is a path which no fowl knoweth, and which the vulture’s eye hath not seen: (Job 28:7 KJV)

Birds of the Bible – Vulture
Vulture Photos
Vulture Videos

© 2009 Lee's Birdwatching Adventures Plus - This article was reprinted with permission from

Artificial Respiration and CPR in Cats


Everyone who loves a cat dreads those emergency visits that are almost inevitable. If not prepared for in advance, the medical emergency is so severe that immediate life-saving measures are necessary. The need to give artificial respiration or CPR is an example of these life-saving measures. I firmly believe that the more we know about handling cat medical emergencies, the better cat parents we can be. Read entire article

More About Vet Emergencies for Cats

Allergic Shock in Cats
Know When to call the Vet
How to Prepare Your Cats for Disaster

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Outrageous Grace

We attended a spiritual conference in Baltimore this month and one of the songs was really powerful to me. It's so easy to look on all that's going wrong ... but when we look with our Kingdom eyes, we see the Truth and have grace for all things. Carefully read through these lyrics.

Outrageous Grace

Verse 1
There’s a lot of pain but a lot more healing
There’s a lot of trouble but a lot more peace
There’s a lot of hate but a lot more loving
There’s a lot of sin but a lot more grace

Oh, outrageous grace oh outrageous grace
Love unfurled by heaven’s hand
Oh, outrageous grace oh outrageous grace
Through my Jesus I can stand

Verse 2
There’s a lot of fear but a lot more freedom
There’s a lot of darkness but a lot more light
There’s a lot of cloud but a lot more vision
There’s a lot of perishing but a lot more life

There’s an enemy
That seeks to kill what it can’t control
It twists and turns
Making mountains out of molehills
But I will call on my Lord
Who is worthy of praise
I run to Him and I am saved

Related Articles:
Grace To Begin Again
Overwhelmed, Fearful, Anxious, and Tired

Copyright © 2000 Thankyou Music/PRS (adm. worldwide by Songs excluding the UK and Europe which is adm. by Kingsway Music All rights reserved. Used by permission.

Shopping Resource for Non-Toxic Products

A nonprofit environmental research organization released results today on over 900 common products tested for toxic chemicals including lead, cadmium, mercury, bromine, chlorine (PVC) and arsenic. Using an XRF analyzer, researchers at the Ecology Center analyzed the ingredients of pet products, cars, women's handbags, children's car seats and more, creating the largest database yet of independent tests of toxic chemicals in consumer goods.

The results can be found on the user-friendly website: Visitors can look up products by manufacturer, brand, or product type and easily generate lists of highly rated and poorly rated products. tested for chemicals based on their toxicity, persistence and tendency to build up in people and the environment. Such chemicals have been linked to reproductive problems, developmental and learning disabilities, liver toxicity and cancer.

"The more we test, the more we find that the presence of toxic chemicals is widespread in everyday consumer products," said Jeff Gearhart, Research Director at the Ecology Center, who created the site. "It should not be the responsibility of public health advocates to test these products. Product manufacturers and legislators must take the lead and replace dangerous substances with safe alternatives."

For the past several years the Ecology Center has spearheaded groundbreaking research on toxic chemicals in toys, cars and children's car seats at and is a compilation of all of these findings and more.

New Key Findings From

  • Pet Products – tested over 400 pet products, including beds, chew toys, collars and leashes. Since there are no government standards for hazardous chemicals in pet products, it is not surprising that alarming levels of toxic chemicals were found. One quarter of all pet products had detectable levels of lead, including seven percent with levels higher than 300 ppm – the current Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) standard for lead in children's products.

  • Automobiles – tested nearly 700 new and used vehicles, from 1980 to 2010 model year vehicles. The US-made Pontiac G5 and Chevy Cobalt rated best overall 2009 vehicles. Levels of some chemicals found in vehicles are 5-10 times higher than in homes or offices. Since the average American spends more than 1.5 hours in their car every day, this can be a major source of toxic chemical exposure.

  • Children's Car Seats – Infant and child car seats contain chemical additives that can have adverse health effects on babies and young children. Over half (58%) of car seats contain one or more hazardous chemicals, including PVC, BFRs and heavy metals. Three examples of car seats that had none of the chemicals tested for are: Baby Trend Flex-Loc; the Graco Nautilus 3-in-1 Car Seat; and the Graco Turbo Booster. Despite the toxic chemicals, it is vital to use a car seat for your child because they do save lives.

  • Back-to-School Products – screened over 60 common back-to-school supplies, including backpacks, pencil cases, binders and lunchboxes. Far too many of these supplies are made of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and 22% contained detectable levels of lead. Overall nearly 90% of back-to-school supplies contained one or more chemicals of concern.

  • Women's Handbags – tested over 100 women's handbags and detected lead in over 75% of the bags analyzed. Sixty-four percent (64%) of the bags contained lead over 300 ppm – the CPSC limit for lead in children's products. Over half of the handbags contain more than 1,000 ppm lead.

Reforming the Toxic Substances Control Act

In response to increasing consumer demand for safer products, Senator Frank Lautenberg and Representative Bobby Rush are expected to introduce a new bill this Congressional session to reform the outdated Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) – the current federal law for regulating chemicals. These reforms would phase out the most dangerous chemicals from the manufacturing process; require industry to take responsibility for the safety of their products; and use the best science to protect vulnerable groups. To date the EPA has required testing on only about 200 of the more than 80,000 chemicals that have been on the market since the law was passed 33 years ago.

"A Made in the USA label should be a guarantee, not a warning," said Charlotte Brody, National Field Director for Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families, a coalition working toward toxic chemical policy reform. "This database of products is further proof that our system of testing and regulating toxic chemicals is broken. We have an opportunity to reform federal law this year and start putting common sense limits on harmful chemicals to protect the health of Americans."

" is an invaluable resource for busy parents who are concerned about toxic chemicals in children's products," said Mom's Rising President Joan Blades. "But it shouldn't be up to parents to look up every single item to find out if toxic chemicals are used. We need reform of the Toxic Substances Control Act now."

For a summary of key findings, click here (PDF download).

Gardening Resource Website

Oh My Bloom is a brand new social network website dedicated to gardening. Somehow it ties into Facebook, but I don't know how to figure all that stuff out. Now that your gardening hours aren't being spent outdoors, you can invest some time to share photos and information with other gardeners across the country.

What a great resource for gardening. There are a variety of options for participation:

My Page
Groups - all kinds of specific topics

Check it out: Oh My Bloom.

My First Christmas In Heaven

I know that many of you have lost special people this year and holidays are an emotional time that tends to make it harder without the loved ones that have gone on before us. My mom died on Christmas Eve and somebody gave me this. It's been a treasure to me every year. I hope it brings some peace to your heart.

Author Unknown

I am having my first Christmas in Heaven
A glorious, wonderful day!
I am standing with saints of all ages,
Who found Christ, the truth and the way.

I am singing with the heavenly choir
And, oh what celestial music
We bring to our Savior and King.

I am singing the glad song of redemption,
How Jesus to Bethlehem came,
And why they called His name Jesus,
That all may be saved through His Name!

Oh, loved one, I wish you could be here!
No Christmas on earth can compare,
With all of the rapture in glory,
I witness in Heaven so fair!

You know how I always loved Christmas,
It seemed such a wonderful day,
With all of my loved ones around me,
We were so happy in every way.

Yes, now I can see why I loved it,
And, oh what a joy it will be,
When all of my loved ones are with me,
To share all the glories I see!

So, dear ones on earth, I send greetings,
Look up! Til dawning appears,
And, oh what a Christmas awaits us,
Beyond all our partings and tears!.

This website is sponsored by The Herbs Place, distributor of Nature's Sunshine herbs, supplements, essential oils and more at wholesale prices everyday.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Screech Owls and Priority of Children

The screech-owl is probably one of America's favorite owls. You can even attract them with an owl house. A large birdhouse in which to roost and nest will work or wood duck houses work well too (10 inches square and 24 inches tall with an elipitical 4-by 3-inch entrance near the top.)

Screech owls may also use birdbaths at night. Learn how to attract the screech-owl to your yard, and listen to its song at Birds and Blooms. There is an Eastern Screech Owl and a Western Screech Owl.

More from Creation Moments:

The screech owl is one of the smaller and more inoffensive members of the owl family. While most owls have a large variety of calls and screeches, the screech owl is one that seldom screeches. Usually the screech owl is little bother to anyone except its lunch.

However, when it is time to raise a family, the personality of the screech owl changes and they can upset many lives. Screech owls don’t build nests, they simply look for a good sheltered place to lay their eggs and protect their young. This could be a natural hollow in a tree or an abandoned woodpecker nest. After about 28 days, the eggs hatch into hollering baby screech owls.

The parents know that their work is cut out for them now. If they don’t provide enough food for their youngsters, the hatchlings will eat each other right in the nest. So parents pay single-minded attention to their young’s needs. They will raid area bird houses and even attack people. In one instance, a screech owl came down a chimney and yanked a canary out of its cage to take back for its hungry youngsters.

It seems that the normally inoffensive screech owl will use all of its resources to provide for its young. Has the Lord provided us with a reminder in the screech owl about how we should place our own children on a little higher priority in our own busy lives?

Gift Baskets For Dogs and Cats

Our companion animals give us love all year long, and the holidays are a wonderful time for us to give back. Holiday Baskets are the perfect gifts for your pets and your pet friends.

This festive basket contains an entertaining plush toy and an assortment of our most popular treats, including: Wholesome Hearts (low-fat, heart-shaped sensations), Gourmet Dental Treats (honey peanut butter recipe), Antioxidant Health Bars (oatmeal and apple recipe), a bag of Tasty Rewards (savory chicken and venison jerky) and a Porky Puff (hickory-smoked chew) to top it all off.

All of these delicious treats are nestled in a lovely, reusable basket. This Holiday Gift Basket is beautifully presented with a colorful ribbon and a cute holiday gift card that you can personalize. Makes an absolutely wonderful gift for a canine friend. (Toy may vary.) ONLY $17.95 - RETAIL VALUE $30.00

This lovely basket contains a delightful assortment of playful toys that will keep any furry feline happily occupied during the holidays. For the proud cat parent, we included an adorable hand-painted cat photo frame so you can proudly display your cat's photo all year long. And last but not least, we’ve included a bag of Life’s Abundance Gourmet Cat Treats for Healthy Skin & Coat.

The toys and treats are nestled in a lovely, reusable basket. This Holiday Gift Basket is beautifully presented with a colorful ribbon and a cute holiday gift card that you can personalize. Makes an absolutely wonderful gift for a feline friend. (Toys and frame may vary.) ONLY $12.95 - RETAIL VALUE $21.00

This website is sponsored by The Herbs Place, distributor of Nature's Sunshine herbs, supplements, essential oils and more at wholesale prices.

Purpose: Building Reservation Homes

Robert Young once was a successful Seattle business owner who thought poverty was “someone else’s responsibility.” But a visit in 1994 to the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota changed his thinking—and the course of his life—dramatically.

“Pine Ridge looked like a Third World country,” recalls Young, 45, who was shocked at the widespread poverty he saw: homes with no heat, no electricity, no running water. He returned to Seattle vowing to do something about the problem.

A year later, he came back to Pine Ridge, along with a crew of volunteers, to build a new home for one of the residents, Lakota elder Katherine Red Feather, 75. “It was the hardest work I’ve ever done,” Young admits. But it also was the most meaningful, planting the seeds for the nonprofit organization that Young would start to assist American Indians in improving housing conditions on their reservations. Read the entire article.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Bats Use Cologne

From Creation Moments.

Psalm 141:2 - "Let my prayer be set before You as incense, the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice."

When a young man prepares himself to meet his young lady, he slaps on a little cologne, hoping to please her. It turns out that the males of at least some species of bats do the same thing.

Researchers have recently discovered how a small North American tropical bat prepares to attract and keep his harem of up to eight females. In late afternoon the bat begins a ritual that takes more than half an hour to complete. The bat starts by licking scent sacs in its wings. Then it gathers secretions, including urine, from various parts of its body, depositing each secretion on its wing sacs. Despite what you might imagine, the resulting odor is sweet and spicy.

Once he is finished primping, the bat goes to his harem and hovers above them like a hummingbird. The bat can hover for up to 15 seconds. As he hovers, he flaps his wings hard enough to disturb nearby leaves, and he chirps at each female. At the same time, his frantic flapping distributes his special scent.

The females respond to the scent by chirping back at him. Males will also spread their scent around, hoping to attract more females to their harems. Researchers think this behavior is more than just ritual. They point out that the complex mix of scents in urine can indicate whether a creature is in good health. For example, female mice will not respond to males whose urine indicates that they are ill.

Many creatures communicate through scent. Scripture even speaks of our prayers as rising to God as sweet-smelling incense. But only the cleansing blood of Christ can sweeten us before God.

Prayer: Thank You, Lord, for taking away the stench of my sin. Amen.

References: "Male bats primp daily for odor display," Science News, 1/1/00, p.7.

This website is sponsored by The Herbs Place, distributor of Nature's Sunshine herbs, supplements, essential oils and more at wholesale prices.

The photo(s) and article are copyrighted. You may use either of 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 The link to use is:

Share This Post