Monday, July 30, 2012

Jesus Healed All and Has Healed Me

by Donna L. Watkins
The teaching that says that sickness is actually a blessing in disguise, because the Lord is working His plan in one's life, is not found in scripture.
Acts 10:38 says, Jesus "went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil," not "oppressed of God."
As I change my beliefs about God and healing, my body is still responding with more healing.  I am sometimes stunned and amazed beyond words.  I've had numerous health problems all my life and had learned to adapt and keep moving on.  Now I realize that I was only accommodating the work of the devil.
Jesus said in John 10:10, "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that you may have life, and have it to the full."
© Donna L. Watkins - Squirrel Eating Watermelon
According to the medical reports and doctors' reports I would probably be dead by now since I refused the open heart surgery to replace a diseased and destroyed heart valve.  I also refused medication to regulate my wild heart arrhythmia. 

My heart had already enlarged so much to accommodate the overflow of the blood from the valve that wasn't working which created a real concern for stroke, and my lungs were 1/3 full of fluid so that I was in the process of drowning.  We were told to call Hospice and have a living will in order.  [The beginning of the story can be read here: The Heart of the Matter.]

I didn't know how much fluid I was retaining until it began coming off, but I weighed 141 in the Emergency Room visit and 4 months later I was able to eat anything I wanted without thought of the sodium content. I continued to weigh for another month excited as I saw my weight remain low even with the extra sodium.  I knew I still had some stores of fluid in my right thigh and a bit in my abdomen, but I had the thought that I shouldn't be focusing so much on the scale, so I took it out of my bathroom on the 23rd of this month.

Was I ever surprised yesterday when I weighed in at 117.8 yesterday.  And I had eaten a huge bowl of popcorn for dinner with Real Salt and nutritional yeast the night before.  It was like laughing in the devil's face!  Even with the pounds I've added to regain some "meat" between bone and skin (as my Daddy called it), I'm continuing to lose every ounce of what does not belong in me.  That's more than 25 pounds of fluid I had stored up.  How great God is and what an awesome provision He has given us through Jesus.

At the end of February, I couldn't turn over in bed without extreme effort and breathing difficulties even with the oxygen on.  I so enjoyed taking back the oxygen machine on July 12th!

Now at the end of five (5) months I'm still adding tasks onto my long list of what I am able to accomplish around the house and garden.  There really isn't anything I can't do, but I don't have the muscle built back to have the endurance I need yet.  Praise GOD!  

So I've been applying the same Word to all of my health issues and have focused on allergies since I had them from the day I was born.  In my 20's I was diagnosed with Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS), had 54 food allergies, reaction to pollen anywhere in the world, and cat dander result of 10+ on a scale of 1 to 10.  [Exciting news on allergies below!]

I tried all kinds of restrictions and rotation diets during those early years and had to remove every chemical in the house and garage which included makeup and many personal care items.  It was quite a nightmare experience and I was pretty much confined to the house with signs on the door.  It didn't take away all symptoms so I was still being deceived by the devil.  He loves to play games with us.

Eventually I decided that God was bigger than all of that and I was going to beat this and eat what I wanted and not be ruled by a diet that didn't allow me to freely fellowship.  That's where I remained but anytime I would eat wheat and many other things, my nose and eyes would run.  It was like a scheduled event, but it just became part of life.

As each health problem was added, it was like the devil had put one more chain around my neck.  When I was on the oxygen with those tubes following me everywhere, I really got a picture of feeling yanked around by the devil and it got me into a position of having some righteous indignation against all that he had stolen from me.

© Donna L. Watkins - Silvery Checkerspot Butterfly
When Jesus died to set us free from sickness and disease because He took the curse on His own body, we were totally healed in the spiritual realm.  But we have not been taught that and some of us have even been taught that healing is not for today and that God uses it for good in our lives and to teach us things.

Deuteronomy 28 makes it clear that disease is a curse and if Jesus redeemed us from the curses of the law (Galations 3:13), then we are already healed, but we're just not receiving it. It's the same with salvation, Jesus has already died for everyone's sins but not everybody receives salvation, even though the Bible tells us that God wants all to be saved (I Timothy 2:3-4).

The Father has provided healing through His Son, Jesus, but we don't believe in our hearts that it is so.  We have a lot of head knowledge and we can read a Scripture and say, "Okay, I can change my mind on that - that makes sense."  But that doesn't change your belief system which has had so many years of disbelief and possibly wrong teaching on this subject.

It's so simple when you realize the Truth, but it isn't an easy road ahead for some folks, especially if you've been "churched" and saved for a long time. Belief systems run deep. It takes time to renew an unbelieving mind, but I am seeing the results of sowing the Word into my heart and believing the Word regardless of what my physical body tells me ... and after a period of time, my physical body responds.

If you look up the Greek word for salvation, the word used is "sozo" which means salvation, healing and deliverance all in one package. Sozo appears 120 times in the New Testament. So if we're saved, but not walking in deliverance and healing, we've left a lot on the table, but as for me, I'm in the process of eating it all up.

The most recent thing I have noticed in the healing department is that I can eat wheat and other foods without my nose running.  I'm not saying all my allergies are gone, but I am seeing things turn around.

I guess my faith is a slow one since I can hardly believe it any time another problem goes away.  My mind is still being renewed that God loves me, isn't mad at me for anything, and wants to be a part of my every thought and action all day long.  WOW!  The God that holds the universe in the span of His hand wants to spend time with me!  It's exciting to be on the path to wholeness and total health.

Yesterday we went letterboxing and on the first 1/4 mile walk there was a 40 foot rise in elevation.  My husband has a watch that tells you that.  Each step was exciting as I thought about God's goodness to us.  With each step I realized that I am strong by the power of His Spirit! (Ephesians 6:10 "brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might.").  I was a bit out of breath since I don't walk a lot of inclines ... but I'm going to work on that by adding some stair walking to my exercise routine.

Here's a list of resource links I've used to remain in the Word on this topic:

God Wants You Well - I began with the book and then watched the conference on the same topic.

Healing Testimonies on the ministry website of Andrew Wommack Ministries are really exciting and encouraging and I learned from what others had done for healing.

School of Healing - every Thursday at 3 PM EST there is a broadcast live on the website, but they are also archived so I've gone through many months of programs.

© Donna L. Watkins - Young Male Deer
As I Have Loved You - It was one of the sessions in this video that ended with the healing time being recorded and Andrew spoke that there was somebody that had a problem with heart rhythm.  I was in the third month of the critical arrhythmia, getting little sleep and feeling washed out without doing anything, so my heart leaped at the words.

I broke into tears knowing that God had led me to this one video out of hundreds on the site. I received it and didn't think much more about it since I had been prayed for many times and you don't want to "set yourself up for disappointment" - oh! me of little faith.

It wasn't until the next day that I realized it was gone!  Wow, did that help me to be able to sleep and continue on this healing journey with more rest that I certainly needed.

Understanding God's love is a key to our faith and trust in Him.  The God of the Old Testament covenant is not the Father of the New Testament that Jesus portrayed.
In John 14:9b-11 Jesus says, "He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on My own authority; but the Father who dwells in Me does the works."
Jesus did nothing but good and He tells us it was all the Father's doing it. This is not the God that many of us have known for many years. It's time to rediscover what our Father is really like: The True Nature of God.

All of these conference videos are also on audio so I downloaded oodles of them and purchased a Walkman to put them on so I could listen during the night and all day long.

Previous Related Posts On This Topic:

The Heart of the Matter (The Beginning)
A Heart Set On Healing  (Update Earlier This Month)

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Friday, July 27, 2012

I Found a New Adventure: Letterboxing

by Donna L. Watkins

We've discovered a new thing for outdoor adventure. It's called "letterboxing" and is actually thought of as a hobby. I feel it's yet another reason to spend time outdoors and have a new adventure to include when we're going to be "in the area" anyway.  Besides, I simply love simple things to do.  It slows down the pace of life and allows you to see into other realms of beauty.

The way I discovered this was after Randal discovered geocaching as he was looking for some fun things to do with our son while he visited Oklahoma for Father's Day. He decided this year he wanted memories rather than a new tool, so began looking for some adventuresome thing to do. Geocaching requires being outdoors and having a GPS, a perfect fit for father and son since they're both nature lovers and gadget guys.

Letterboxing is quite different from geocaching since it requires no technology or gadget which is definitely more my type of fun. I heard of it when I mentioned to a friend of mine that Randal was studying up on geocaching and asked if she'd heard of it. She responded she had, and that they had done it along with letterboxing also. I had never heard of letterboxing so I checked it out the next day I was going to be on the computer.

Donna's Letterboxing Rubber Stamp
First of all what you need is a rubber stamp and an ink pad, plus a small journal or sketch book of some type. What you do is follow a list of clues to find the location of the "letterbox" which is hidden. Some of the clues are very creative and even written as poetry.

We did one recently that used the sign of the historic location and you had to decipher the code by following instructions to use the first letter of the third sentence, etc. You filled in the blanks with the letters, then there were 5 multiple questions about how many windows on the building, was there handicap access, etc. When you had all your blanks filled in, you could see where the "letterbox" was hidden.

The letterbox is actually a sealed container (generally a plastic food container with a good sealing lid). In it is a small journal where you place your rubber stamp and then you use their rubber stamp to add to your journal. I leave space to write a few notes about that actual letterbox. Our evaluation whether it was challenging, fun or ruined, as was the first one we did. There was an inch of water in the first letterbox expedition we did, so everything was ruined and a bit muddy.

We're obviously still newbies at this hobby but I like to stretch my brain and it makes for a fun reason to traverse woodlands, trails, and even small family cemeteries. I'm always on an adventure when I'm outdoors since I like to look for anything with life to take photos, but this adds to the fun. Besides, who doesn't like a good opportunity to play detective?

Randal Opening Gate of Small Family
Cemetery - Here In Virginia There Are Many
Let me share some history on letterboxing with you from the website:

The year was 1854, and a Victorian guide named James Perrott placed a bottle in the wildest, most inaccessible area on Dartmoor, England, along the banks of Cranmere Pool. In it, he included his calling card so future visitors could contact him and leave their own calling cards. Little did anyone know, this small act would be become the hobby we now know as letterboxing. Those who made it to Cranmere Pool were justifiably proud of their accomplishment and recorded their accomplishment by including their own calling cards in the bottle. Needless to say, not many people picked up James Perrott's calling cards in those early years.

In 1888, a small tin box replaced the original bottle. Visitors left self-addressed postcards and the next person to visit the letterbox would retrieve the postcards and mail them back from their hometown.

By April 1905, another upgrade was in order—particularly a means by which the increasing number of visitors could record their attendance. For the first time, it included a logbook, and a zinc box replaced the tin box.

The first suggestion for a rubber stamp appeared in the logbook on July 22, 1907 by John H. Strother who wrote, ".... would suggest that a rubber stamp, something like the post office stamps for postmarking letters or rubber stamp for putting the address at the top of a piece of notepaper be provided and kept here. If this were done it would be proof that cards posted had really come from Cranmere." The letterbox finally reached the point as we largely know it today as a box containing a logbook and a rubber stamp, although perhaps the slowest growing hobby of all time. After 122 years, fifteen letterboxes dotted Dartmoor.

In 1976, Tom Gant created a guide map pinpointing the fifteen letterboxes in existence, at which point letterboxing began to boom in a big way. The number of letterboxes tripled the next year and in the 1980s grew into the thousands. Letterboxing became a full-fledged hobby in its own right, and letterboxers who wanted to distinguish themselves started to create descriptive names for themselves and personal stamps to mark the letterboxes they found.

Letterboxing stayed a mostly Dartmoor-only tradition until April of 1998 when the Smithsonian magazine published a small article in the United States about this oddly British hobby found on the moors of southwest England. Many people read the article and loved this treasure hunt concept wishing it was a bit closer to home. A few readers, however, found each other through means of the relatively new Internet and decided to take matters into their own hands by hiding letterboxes for each other in the United States.

Through this effort, Letterboxing North America (LbNA) was born. By 2001, over a thousand letterboxes spotted the United States covering all 50 states. Letterboxers traveling to international locations started to plant letterboxes around the globe from Aruba to Zimbabwe.

Read entire article at

The first letterboxing website I found was, so I'm a member there but I've noticed that AtlasQuest has some local letterboxes that are not on the other website, so I guess it's like anything else online ... more interest, more websites.

We look forward to doing this when we travel since it's very easy to look for locations near where you're planning to be. Most of the people I've mentioned it to have no idea what it is, so I hope it might give you an idea for some outdoor activity for yourself, or when you're looking for something fun to do with your children or grandchildren. You can also plant a letterbox yourself. Check out the information on the letterboxing websites.

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Imagination Is Important

by Andrew Wommack

Imagination is much more important than most people realize. The Hebrew word that was translated “imagination” in the Old Testament literally means “conception.” Imagination is how new ideas are conceived. Without it, people become spiritually and creatively sterile.

A few years ago, I took a trip to Israel. I remember stopping in the valley of Elah. I got out of the bus and walked down to that little stream. I picked up five smooth stones just the way David once did. I began to imagine what it must have been like for David when he faced Goliath. The story came alive.

The Word of God comes alive when you can picture what it’s talking about. Let the Word of God control your imagination as you think about scriptures, and you will see things in Scripture that you can’t see with your physical eyes. You see it on the inside…in your imagination.

When the Bible says you’re healed, you’ve got to meditate on that truth until you see yourself healed. Most people allow their imaginations to become vain, and they agree with the image the doctors have painted rather than with the Word of God. They’re told what is going to happen, and they imagine it as truth.

When we fail to be thankful and glorify God, our imaginations automatically become vain. That doesn’t mean they aren’t working; it just means they begin to work against us. Those of us with vain imaginations are pessimists, imagining failure instead of success. We need to use our imaginations to agree with God’s Word and see ourselves the way God sees us: happy, healthy, and prosperous.

This is a portion of an article entitled, Staying Full of God.

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Cancer in Pets

Video by Dr. Sarah

This is the first installment of a Successful Aging Series from Dr. Sarah. This episode deals with one of the most frightening illnesses around – cancer. As our dear companions are living longer lives, they’re also confronting this ailment in ever greater numbers. In fact, millions of dogs and cats are diagnosed with cancer every year.

Dr. Sarah is here to impart her wisdom on this topic, including common pet cancers, available treatments and groundbreaking research. You’ll also learn of one of science’s most ambitious goals regarding the eradication of this awful disease. Watch this informative video now.

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Why Do Goldfinches Wait Until July To Nest?

Notoriously late nesters, goldfinches have been waiting for the thistles to bloom. When this happens in July, it signals the goldfinches that they can start building their nests which are made primarily of the silver fibers and down of thistle blooms.

Generally, the nest is built in the fork of a horizontal tree limb, 4 to 14 feet above the ground. The female builds a durable, neat cup of thistle and cattail fibers, so dense that it will hold water.

In it she lays 4 to 6 pale blue to white eggs and then she incubates them for 12 to 14 days, until they hatch. The attentive male often feeds his mate while she sits on the nest. Read the entire article.

Editor's Note:

Since goldfinches need thistle plants as a source for their nest building, it's great if you can include an area of your wildlife habitat that allows some of these tenacious plants to bloom.

They grow upright with only one flower head per stem. They are great for supporting other local wildlife like butterflies (it's a host plant for the larvae/caterpillar stage and also a nectar source for adults), bees, and hummingbirds.  It's a perfect wildflower to include in naturalized areas or prairie gardens.

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Saturday, July 21, 2012

Healing Is Part of Salvation

by Andrew Wommack

LUKE 13:10-17

Luke 13:16 "And ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan hath bound, lo, these eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the Sabbath day?"

This sickness was the work of Satan - not the work of God. Jesus said it had bound her - not blessed her - for eighteen years.

The teaching that says that sickness is actually a blessing in disguise, because the Lord is working His plan in one's life, is not found in scripture.

As Acts 10:38 says, Jesus "went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil," not "oppressed of God."

There are 17 times in the Gospels when Jesus healed all of the sick that were present. There are 47 other times when He healed one or two people at a time.

Nowhere do we find Jesus refusing to heal anyone. Jesus said that He could do nothing of Himself, but only what He saw the Father do. His actions are proof enough that it is always God's will to heal!

Jesus provided for physical healing as well as forgiveness of sins. The very word "save" (Gk.-"sozo") is translated "made whole" in reference to physical healing in Matthew 9:22, Mark 5:34, and Luke 8:48.

James 5:15 says "the prayer of faith shall save (Gk.-"sozo") the sick." Many scriptures mention the healing of our bodies in conjunction with the forgiveness of our sins.

Healing is a part of our salvation, just as much as the forgiveness of our sins. It is God's will that no one should perish, but many do because of their unbelief.

Likewise, it is God's will that we all be healed, but not all are healed because of failure to believe. It is a mistake to assume that whatever God wills will automatically come to pass. We play a part in receiving from God. Believe His Word today.

Visit Andrew's Website.

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Choosing The Right Words

I saw this article in a magazine and thought about the benefits I've had from journaling with God.  I like to sit with pen in hand and quiet myself and ask a question.  Not a why question, but something that I need wisdom on.  I find that if I tune my own thoughts out and write what comes to my heart, I get a lot of wisdom that way.

Regardless of whether it's all information from God or not, it does set my mind at ease and I suppose after reading this article, it has helped my health also.

We all need a way to share our lives and sadly communication has become so automated that many people don't sit with friends to discuss the "meaning of life."  So ... now there's research that proves you can still get the benefits if you journal! 

Read on about the article .... 

You stop worrying about structure, spelling or how others might interpret your words. You just get out your favorite diary or put fingers to keyboard and begin. Chasing every thought and mental image that swims through your head, you let your words carry you away.

 Intuitively, we’ve known for centuries that this loose kind of writing is good for our creativity. But what we didn’t know until recently is that 15 minutes of free writing a day can help us fight cancer, high blood pressure, heart attacks and loneliness—and that autobiographical writers who use a variety of pronouns (I and me but also we and you and they) laugh more and take fewer aspirins than those who stick to the first person singular.

These are just a few examples of the dazzling range of relationships between word use, writing methods and health effects discovered by psychologist James Pennebaker, author of The Secret Life of Pronouns

In 30 years of groundbreaking research at the University of Texas at Austin, he’s found that the words we choose can tell us a lot about our physical and mental health that we don’t know. What’s more, changing our word choices can alter our moods. Read the entire article.

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Why Do Cowbirds Lay Eggs In Other Birds’ Nests?


If a vote were taken tomorrow to find the most popular bird in the country, it’s doubtful that the cowbird would win. That’s because the cowbird has the nasty habit of laying its eggs in other birds’ nests.

Many folks know that cowbirds lay their eggs in the nests of other birds. But few folks know why. Turns out there’s good evolutionary reason for cowbirds to abandon their young to others. Read the entire article.

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Mobility Wellness

by Dr. Jane Bicks

Immobility and pain, often due to arthritis, are all too commonplace in dogs and cats reaching their “Golden Years”. In this post, Dr. Jane shares exactly how these problems develop and how they go from acute episodes to chronic disease. Fortunately, there are proactive measures pet parents can take to help diminish the likelihood of these problems becoming big-time concerns for their pet kids later in life. Read this illuminating post now.

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Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden - Belmont, NC

by Donna L. Watkins

© Donna L. Watkins - Daniel Stowe Botanical
Gardens - Belmont, NC
I had wanted to visit this place for several years. It was on my list of places to see, so this year for Mother's Day I thought it would be a good choice. We were going to be in North Carolina anyway so it wasn't much out of the way to spend a day here.

We were surprised at how much there was to see at Daniel Stowe Gardens. They not only had a large variety of gardens, but had meadow areas and forested areas with many educational signs to keep you informed of important things to preserve plants and natural communities. The trails go all the way down to the river.

© Donna L. Watkins - Daniel Stowe Botanical
Gardens - Belmont, NC
The information helps you with landscaping to attract birds, butterflies and the many wonderful critters that come "if you will build it."

It's amazing what one man's dream can build. In 1991, Daniel J. Stowe, a retired textile executive from Belmont, NC, reserved 380 acres of prime rolling meadows, woodlands, and lakefront property and established a foundation on which to develop a world-class botanical garden.  He definitely accomplished that and hasn't stopped improving upon it.

© Donna L. Watkins - Daniel Stowe Botanical
Gardens - Belmont, NC
There are water features and artistic creations and sculptures all over the place with some of them in hidden areas where you can take a bench and leave all your cares behind.

It's an amazing place to visit!  If you're not near enough to do so, check out the photo album, enlarge the photos to screen size and make a virtual visit.

View my Daniel Stowe Photo Album for more photos.

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Sunday, July 15, 2012

Newsletter - 7/15/12

Hello Dear Friends!

© Donna L. Watkins
Male Great Blue Skimmer Dragonfly

Click for larger view.
“I love to think of nature as an unlimited broadcasting station, through which God speaks to us every hour if we will only tune in.“ -- George Washington Carver

I forgot to mention in the last newsletter that I enjoyed watching two dragonflies dancing around the deck and pond area one day. It was beautiful to watch them!

The female took several opportunities to deposit her eggs in the pond as she dipped her tail in for each one. I got a bit of a video of the experience while she was depositing the eggs. The dancing was much too fast and "flighty" for me to get on video. View the short video of Female Dragonfly Laying Eggs In Pond.

Squeek celebrated her 16th birthday on July 14th. Squeek is our cat, also known as Kitty Girl, which was her first name while she was feral in Alabama. My husband wouldn't let me give her a "real name" because I had agreed to not get any more cats after our last cat would die. That agreement was made while our last cat was 6 years old, so I thought I had many years left for this deal, however, he suddenly died at the age of 7.

Squeek, aka Kitty Girl,
Awaiting Her 16th Birthday Celebration
Randal loves animals, but I had a cat allergy that is over the top on a scale of 1-10, so he was only concerned about my health. Obviously that agreement was broken since Kitty Girl (Squeek) is a part of our household here in Virginia. She got her name because when she meowed, it was simply a little squeak. Not wanting to use traditional spelling, I changed it to Squeek. You can read about how Kitty Girl came into our lives at this previous post: Jairus' Daughter and Kitty Girl.

I've been eating a lot of watermelon. I love it! So do the wildlife, so when you get finished with what you eat from it, cut the rest in 3" square chunks and put it out for the wildlife. They all like it, even the squirrels. I took a video of one of the deer eating it. View video of deer eating watermelon.

Our Paper Wasps are adding to the "nest" as summer progresses. Colonies contain three types of wasps: queens, males and workers. Fertilized queens will overwinter in cracks and crevices of structures or under tree bark. In the spring they select a nesting site and begin to build a nest. Our front porch has been a regular location for them. Single eggs are laid in each cell that hatch into legless grub-like larvae that develop through several stages before pupating. Cells remain open until developing larvae pupate and then as you can see there's a white covering on some of the cells. I guess the mystery of such things remains undercover.

© Donna L. Watkins
Paper Wasp Nest at Front Door
Look at those cute little faces on the larvae.
Once the adults emerge, the worker types assist in building the nest, feeding the young and defending the nest. For the food supply, paper wasps prey on caterpillars, flies and beetle larvae, so they are considered beneficial insects. They actively forage during the day and all colony members rest on the nest at night. A mature paper wasp nest may have 20 to 30 adults. In late summer, queens stop laying eggs and the colony declines. After the males and young queens mate in the fall, the old queen, workers, and males die. The newly fertilized young queens overwinter and emerge in the spring to begin new colonies. At that time I will be able to finish painting that sidelight to our front door which is where the nest is.

Unlike yellowjackets and hornets, which can be very aggressive, paper wasps will generally only attack if they themselves or their nest are threatened. As you can see I take photos of them so I believe they can sense who is a threat and who isn't. Most likely the queens born here must come back to raise their broods in familiar surroundings. This particular location beside the door has been chosen a few times.

On the topic of familiar surroundings, one day I went outside to get the mail and put on a bright blue hat with a large overhang. I don't normally wear hats in the garden since it's now nicely shaded, but I simply had a hankering to wear a sloppy hat. As I walked through the front door and turned to say "hello" to them as was my usual pattern (only a few inches from them), they suddenly left the nest and began swarming around the porch and me. I verbally questioned what was going on and thought about my hat, so I removed it and they all settled back onto the nest. Research says that honeybees recognize people's faces, so why not paper wasps?

© Donna L. Watkins
Meems Covered Bridge, Mt. Jackson, VA
Click for photo album.
On the Fourth of July, we decided to visit a few new-to-us places over in the Shenandoah Valley. It was going to be a hot day, so we started out at 6:05 AM to be able to enjoy the cool Virginia mornings by the Blue Ridge Mountains.

We visited the longest covered bridge in Virginia. It was built in 1894 after many bridges had been destroyed during the Civil War. This bridge spans the gorgeous North Fork of the Shenandoah River and was named after the Meem Family that owned the beautiful Strathmore estate at the time.

The Meems Covered Bridge photo album has more historical information about the bridge. You will also find out several reasons why they built covered bridges during this time. Being from Pennsylvania I saw a lot of them and also remember as a child riding through many of them since our entertainment on weekends was usually a country drive with a stop at a farm stand or local market for a special Amish treat.

By the time the heat was beginning to get uncomfortable, we were at Shenandoah Caverns to enjoy an amazing journey beneath the earth at 56 degrees. We were quite impressed with these caverns. 

© Donna L. Watkins - Shenandoah Caverns
Quicksburg, VA
Click for photo album.
Having been to Mammoth Cave in Kentucky, we didn't know to expect anything better, but the formations were incredible. To think little drips of water creates such artistic expressions. Take a look at the detail of these works of art beneath the earth in the Shenandoah Caverns photo album.

It's been wonderful not worrying over sodium any more or needing to take a diuretic now and then. (Read A Heart Set on Healing for health update.) We had hoped to be able to tour the Route 11 potato chip factory which was near the caverns, but being July 4th, they weren't open, so we bought a bag of them at the caverns' gift shop.

Potato chips aren't something we ever buy, but this brand is a local craze and after being here for 12 years I figured it was a great time to give them a try. I finished off half the bag that day. Randal's not as fond of potato chips, but I grew up with them. Anybody remember Charles' Chips from childhood? We had them delivered in a metal tin, along with pretzels.

I don't know if I ever lived life normal since I was always adapting to whatever disease or sickness the devil threw into my life. That's what has made me so determined to work on believing God's Word. I always said I did ... but when it came down to healing, there wasn't evidence that I actually did.

So am I the one who is not believing, or is God's Word not true? That's a difficult question when you force yourself to make a decision on it. Jesus said, "The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life" (John 6:63). Do I believe Jesus or not?

© Donna L. Watkins - This Fawn Says, "I'm All Ears!"
Two Fawns Have Been Visiting With a Mama
Proverbs 4:20-22 is an awesome verse with a guarantee for healing! I have spent a lot of time thinking on this Truth: "give attention to my words; Incline your ear to my sayings. Do not let them depart from your eyes; Keep them in the midst of your heart; For they are life to those who find them, And health to all their flesh." This is a promise from the God who created the Universe. Our God who has measured the waters of the earth in the hollow of His hand and measured out heaven with the span of His hand (distance between the thumb and pinkie finger) - Isaiah 40:12.

What an incredible God! His Words mean more to me than what anything man can say, any medical test results, and visible evidence of disease. I seek wisdom and revelation to KNOW Him and the power of His resurrection. Jesus is in us which means we have the resurrection power of Christ within us. Now that brings healing if we can get our eyes off the physical and allow the Spirit to control our body instead of our five senses. It's not an easy switch-over at 61 with all those years of a "seeing is believing" mentality.

You really need a lot of focus to stay on what the Word says when things you look at your body, or think about how you feel. We can't afford to make decisions or beliefs on how we feel. Emotions are so fickle and we know that our bodies can heal because Jesus healed everybody and even today people are healed. You don't even need to be a Christian to be healed. There have been many examples of belief working whether you are believing God's Word or just "harnessing the forces of the universe" for healing. Jesus said, "Only believe" so the law works, Christian or not. Just as it rains on the just and the unjust (Mt. 5:45).

Now that I don't need to think about sodium and water weight and moving it off, I'm focusing on putting a few more pounds back on. I used to weigh 125-130, so I have at least 5 pounds to move on. Now that I have so much energy I'm working off quite a few calories in a day, so I'm relying on protein smoothies to fill the gap. They have been helping me build muscle back, along with using canned beans as weights while I rebound on the mini-trampoline.

Well, that's all the news from Bluebird Cove here in Virginia. We've had a nice cool week of summer giving us opportunity to be outside more. I sure do love it. My dream is to live in a screened house with temperatures in the 70's. That's possible in Costa Rica! San Jose is the city with an Eternal Springtime.

You'll notice with the post links below that I'm doing a lot more writing.  That's been fun also.  The posts with 'DLW' on them are written by me.  Those are my initials :-)

Enjoy life!  Every moment is precious and full of many blessings!


P.S.  If you enjoy this newsletter and The Nature In Us website ... share it with somebody else!  Maybe you know of somebody who needs something in this issue.  Thanks!

View Posts By Topic

being 60
going green
travel-costa rica
written by Donna

Posts Since Last Newsletter

A Heart Set on Healing  (DLW)

Meems Covered Bridge - Mt. Jackson, VA  (DLW)

American Celebration on Parade - Quicksburg, VA  (DLW)

Shenandoah Caverns - Quicksburg, VA  (DLW)

You're Not a Bad Child Any More  (DLW)

Find Your Nearest Rail Trail

Another Heartworm Success Story with Herbs  (DLW)

Newsletter - 7/1/12  (DLW)

Previous Posts You May Have Missed

Our Words - Life or Death

Watching Wildlife - God Is All Around Us

Medical Proof of Healing Power of Prayer

How To Stay Positive In A Negative World

Healing Is God's Will

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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: © 2012 Donna L. Watkins - This article was reprinted with permission from The link to use is:

Saturday, July 14, 2012

What Bird Is Singing After Dark?

Is something (or someone) keeping you awake these spring nights? Waking you up before sunrise?

Many questions come to eNature about night birds calling and other weird and incessant noises in the dark. It seems that there’s a lot of activity taking place when most of us expect our birds to be resting.

What’s going on? And who’s making all that noise in the dark?

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How to Avoid Pet Junk Foods

by Dr. Sarah

Sharing the occasional treat with your companion animal is just one of the many tangible ways we express our love for our fur kids. Unfortunately, some treats can do more harm than good.

As caring pet parents, it's important to provide good nutrition, always … even at snack time. Fortunately, Dr. Sarah’s on-hand to measure out a dose of wisdom about the best way to reward our pets, in this brand new episode of Pet Talk.

Learn how to avoid “junk foods” and what to look for in a suitable, nutritious alternative.  Watch this informative video now ….

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Friday, July 13, 2012

A Heart Set on Healing

by Donna L. Watkins

I don't know where to begin to give an update on my healing journey. My words feel so inadequate to the emotions and things going on in my body. Since this crisis began (see post: The Heart of the Matter from January this year) my world has changed so much.

A Heart Set On Healing!
Donna at The Yellow Barn
Shenandoah Caverns, Quicksburg, VA
I see life differently after having a death sentence pressed on me by my refusal to have the surgery, but mostly life has changed because of the love of my friends, the faithfulness of God's Word, and learning the truth about God's intense and passionate love for me.  If we don't deeply know His love we won't believe all the blessings he's provided for us.

I've been giving update reports in my twice-monthly newsletters along the way, but there's so much going on in the past month I felt another individual post would be a better way to do this today.

News Item #1 - Oxygen Gone From Our Home

One piece of big news is that yesterday we returned the oxygen compressor. That machine sure made life comfortable many days and gave me the ability to sleep, but I had no fondness for it. From the day it entered the home I was ready for it to be gone. I felt like the devil had me on a leash (the 50' tubing from machine to me) any time I used it. I looked forward to the day when I could take it back. Yesterday was the big day!

The folks at the place were stumbling all over with paperwork I had to sign since I was "refusing treatment" prescribed by the doctor. The girl at the desk asked for the name and I said, "Watkins" and then she said "first name?" and I said Donna. She stopped dead and said, "Donna Watkins, my goodness, you've lost a lot of weight haven't you!?"

I was puzzled thinking she must think I'm somebody else and told her that I actually had gained some of my weight back (I had lost almost 15 pounds from lack of eating those months I was filled with abdominal fluid). Then it hit me that when she saw me I was 141 pounds with all the fluid, so being at 120 now, those 21 pounds was what she was talking about. The fact she remembered me was really odd and she was already shocked when I said we were returning the machine since God had healed me. They did "amen" my words, but you could tell they were not used to a machine being returned by a patient and commented on that. That was really fun! Glory to God alone!

News Item #2 - Instant Healing vs. Progressive Healing

Throughout this ordeal I've struggled with wanting God to instantly heal me ... and the process of being healed progressively. Who wants the slow route when there's a fast option, right? I locked on to Acts 3:16 desiring from my heart for it to be my life verse: "By faith in the name of Jesus, this man whom you see and know was made strong. It is Jesus’ name and the faith that comes through him that has completely healed him, as you can all see."

Since before all of this began I was listening to Andrew Wommack's teachings and absorbing as much of the Word as I could daily. Lately I've been watching videos of others who have had healing journeys to increase my belief for my own.

There was one that really made me think because Mike Hoesch who had a huge tumor on his chest that continued to grow for 8 years had to come to a place where he drew a line in the sand to be healed. We are healed in the spirit by Christ's work on the Cross. Read what the Greek word for 'salvation' means in the New Testament.  It includes healing!!

Being healed already in the spiritual realm is a nice fact for head knowledge, but it does nothing for the body unless our spirit is ruling our body. That's where the challenge comes in because we have been mentally ruling our body for a long time. Our soul (mind, will and emotions) is what tells our body what to do and most of it is subconscious.

Research says 90% of our decisions are made by our subconscious. Tying shoelaces, driving a car, brushing our teeth .. we've learned many things in tiny little steps, but then at some point it all comes together and we don't have to think about it any more.  Many of the negative childhood responses we've had from people around us, parents, teachers, etc. have formed not so positive an environment for living a blessed life.

We rely on our physical senses to tell us what is true when the physical realm is NOT always true. When it doesn't agree with the Word of God we have to make a choice. Will we believe God's Word or will we believe what we see.

That's where Mike Hoesch realized his challenge was. He would study and meditate on the Word and then waver back to seeing what was in the mirror and what he carried around on his chest every minute of the day. He was continually wavering between what was spirit and what was flesh. We've been trained that "seeing is believing" and it's hard to get away from it, yet Christians do know that things are happening in the spirit realm all the time that we do not see.

So like Scripture says, "If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do" (James 1:5-8).

I realized how much this was where I was at. I would soak in the Word and then think about all the health issues and their limitations. I had an herb and supplement program going on that took a lot of thought to be sure I was taking what I should be taking, getting the lids I used for each dose laid out on the counter each morning, using the timer to space out the formulas, keeping my mind on remembering to take the next dose, how much to take, etc.  I realized how much time my mind was being used "in the flesh" to keep up with it all.

© Donna L. Watkins - Blooms on Nandina Bush
Besides, I was so drawn to Acts 3:16, as I mentioned above, that the day I watched the Mike Hoesch video where he spoke at the School of Healing, I knew I had a decision to make. I had been asking the Lord for wisdom on the whole supplements issue. Surely He didn't create us to have to live on pills for our entire life, whether drugs or natural supplements.

Hey! We've sold supplements for over 30 years, so I'm not saying they don't provide relief and help and healing, but God meets us where our faith is. I've had a ton of faith in the herbal realm since we learned so much from education and experience over those years with thousands of clients, but I also realized that I've been battling many diseases during my 61 years of life that were not helped by them.  Autoimmune diseases seem to have a tenacious hold on our physical bodies since the body is attacking itself.

God is a good Daddy and loves us so much He can use a surgeon's hands, a doctor's prescription to give us relief, or a powerful plant that He created. After all it's mostly about what we BELIEVE will work that counts. There's a lot of research and information on that these days. Our thoughts control our emotions and actions.

As I reviewed how many pills I had swallowed over the years I thought much about the woman with the issue of blood (Mark 5:25). She had spent all she had on doctors for twelve years and still was not well. The revelation that what the doctors were using back then was obviously herbs really made me think about where my line in the sand was going to be.

On June 15th I stopped all herbs and supplements. Even calcium and multi-vitamins. I continued to ponder it all for about a week and had a peace about using Lily of the Valley and Hawthorn Berries because of the way God had directed me to find the Lily of the Valley formula.  I left everything else off so I could focus more on the Word ( feed my spirit) and not on the flesh (focusing on my physical body). "For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace" (Ro. 8:6).

News Item #3 - Rheumatoid Arthritis Inflammation Gone

For over two months I've noticed that the inflammation from the rheumatoid arthritis (RA) has not been active. For the past 25 years I've had cartilage continually being eaten out of joints until the joint fused and no longer bent in my fingers, and became deformed in other areas so that use was altered. RA attacks the organs of the body also and the doctor mentioned it had a role in what was happening with my heart.

Kitchen work was a nightmare I avoided since I only had one fat knife I could hold to cut anything (middle knuckles fused) and the fatigue that comes with RA didn't provide comfort for standing very long.

Although grace was sufficient to deal with the pain that the supplements didn't take away (I chose not to use medications), my brain wasn't up for inflicting more pain to do such detailed work with my hands. Although I'd always loved cooking and baking and spending most of my day in the kitchen, I had avoided it like the plague for many years. I'm so blessed with a wonderful husband who never complained, but just adapted and adjusted as he's done for so many things with my health since we've been married.

I noticed that I was doing more and more in the kitchen as my energy came up but it was also quite obvious that although I still made a mess and dropped things and couldn't do a lot of things due to the damaged joints, something was different and I kept thinking that the RA was gone. Every time I had the thought though I would hold my breath while thinking it. I certainly did not say anything to anybody.

This past week I decided to tell Randal and a friend about it just to begin to release it from its "my mind only" file so I could rejoice with others and give all glory and praise to Jesus! It worked. A few days after I did that I got the expected results of being able to share with somebody else and to now be able to write about it and share it with all of you! It showed me a lot about belief and faith though.

Having the RA healed and me hardly being able to believe it and instantly rejoice showed me that I can't even believe something that has already happened ... no wonder I don't get instant healing. I don't have the faith to fully absorb what God has already done. I guess some of us have a large sense of unworthiness in things like this. Baggage carried along from childhood in the conscious and subconscious mind controls how we react to events decades out from our childhood years.

Any time I would think about it or be in the kitchen without mental torment, I would feel like I had to hold my breath! Like it might come back if I pondered it too long. Now I'm at a point where I'm just shouting and praising God.  But goodness! Over two months to get there! I can see how what we THINK we believe is not what we actually DO believe subconsciously for sure. Our actions and listening to our thoughts are always a big key to seeing what we REALLY believe.

News Item #4 - Looking Forward

The next step in the RA healing journey is for all damaged joints, tissues, collagen, and organs to be made totally whole. Repaired, renewed, or recreated ... any way the Lord wants to do it is fine with me. I will continue to soak in the Word and Truths learned. This article will help to define how to Meditate the Word for renewal of the mind.

© Donna L. Watkins - Baby Carolina Wren on Deck Rail
The more I see God as a good Daddy and understand that we are not under the Old Covenant law (Old Testament) because Christ came to redeem us from it (study Galatians 3), I understand that we have a New Covenant with Him and we have great and precious promises included in our salvation package. Jesus has already paid for it. We simply have to receive it. You wouldn't think that would be hard thing to do, but for most it is since most of our church training has not been based on the Word of God.

We're so used to having to "work for what you get" that we have a challenge receiving. I now want it all! The more we SEE the physical, the less our minds can comprehend healing. I have improved much quicker with the extra meditating time rather than 'doctoring' time. I am learning to receive and more and more excited to feel close enough to reach out and get it.

News Item #5 - Living Life Daily

It's great to be able to live life! I never stopped planning on doing things since Randal is so flexible. I wanted to still plan even if I had to cancel, just so that mentally I didn't absorb that I could no longer live life. We would plan to go somewhere and there wasn't any way I could walk and breathe at the same time, so we'd have to cancel. But the more determined I got the more I challenged the devil's work in my life.

According to Deuteronomy 28:15-22, 27-29, 35, and 58-61, sickness is part of the curse of the Law. But Hallelujah! "Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us" (Gal 3:13), so we don't have to stay under the burden of disease. Realizing that all disease is from the devil makes it much easier to stand against it.

News Item #6 - No Sodium Worries and No Diuretic

I am most excited about not worrying over sodium any more and being able to eat what I want. We've been out with friends to a Mexican restaurant and have even picked up a pizza earlier today which we may do once a year and certainly haven't done this year. I ate three pieces which would total 2220 mg. of sodium.  Rejoice!  Rejoice!  Thank you, Jesus!

I really have not enjoyed eating out so we rarely did it, but now it's like throwing sand in the devil's face! No more water weight gain, no more Lasix (diuretic I took every 3-4 days to be able to keep breathing). I'm very excited to wake up and weigh in at 120.0 with no swelling.

Again, my mind has not quite absorbed the fact and I catch myself sometimes looking at the sodium content on a package and then have to say, "NO! No weapon formed against me shall prosper. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord. God created my body and created this food for me to eat. You shall not steal God's provision from me, devil."

News Item #7 - The Deceit of the Devil and Allergies

All he can do is deceive us. That's all he had to steal all that man lost in the Garden of Eden. But we have to make the choice to allow him to deceive us and knowing the Word is a big part of keeping him out of our head.

I realized a few weeks ago that the devil has been involved in my life before birth. When I was born they have told me that I couldn't keep any form of milk down. That came back to me one day when I realized that the devil wanted to steal my life even then and has never quit since in my 20's I was diagnosed with 54 food allergies, not to mention pollen and chemical allergies.

Imagine the audacity of the devil to take the food that God created for man whom He also created and use it against us! And when it comes to pollen allergies, it's robbery of all the glory we give God as we enjoy the beauty of what He has made for our enjoyment.

© Donna L. Watkins - Blackberry Lily Bloom
Notice the Twisted Expired Bloom Behind It
Sometimes we just take these attacks sitting down and yet Jesus gave us "power and authority over all the demons and to heal diseases" (Luke 9:1). How sad it is that the church as a whole has left so much on the table. We're not getting all that Jesus paid for. Jesus said, "Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing will injure you" (Luke 10:19).

I now bless my food and ask God to use it for nourishment and for the devil to take his hands off of it as a weapon. We have the power over the devil's deceit, but we have to believe in it and use it. For months I would rebuke the devil and feel like he was just laughing at me. That's because I didn't truly believe I could get him out of my life. We've been 'trained' to think that he's all powerful when he's just an imp. Christ took all power away from him when he died on the Cross and took all power of death from the devil (Heb. 2:14).

So as my healing progresses in various areas of my body, I am now meditating on being healed of all allergies. I now know that I was healed of it all and will renew my mind to it and be free of allergies. There is so much hope for the future! Here's an article on Spiritual Authority or an audio series on Spiritual Authority which I have listened to several times. It takes hearing these truths over and over for them to rebuild new belief in the mind.

News Item #8 - Rejoicing and Able to Live Life

I'm feeling great and so excited to be able to make plans without canceling 90% of them. We made plans for the 4th of July and spent the day over in the Shenandoah Valley. We visited Meems Covered Bridge. In the heat of the day we visited the Shenandoah Caverns and American Celebration on Parade.

It was lot of walking and it was wonderful to do it without a thought of each step. 1-1/8 mile cavern tour had various areas of inclines and that went well also. I realized my rebounding had built my thighs because that's what always hurt me first before my heart would slow me down ... and this was for years BEFORE the valve blew.

I always knew there was something wrong, but no reason to look for trouble. I guess you could call me Pollyanna or simply say I live in denial. But that's okay. It works for me! I'm very motivated to have it all heal back to the way God designed it to be. Sometimes I still marvel at how far I've come and how the body is willing to obey The Word when we implant it into our heart, not just hold it in our heads.

This week has been one of great rejoicing as I have more fully realized the victory over RA and the feeling that although I've been getting progressive healing, it seems to be speeding up. I am becoming more adept at meditating throughout the day. After all I used to worry over something all day long and could still do what I needed to do, so why not swap worry (fear) for God's Word (faith) and have a better and greater day.

It's a process and it's not easy, but it's worth it all. I'm not quitting here! I'm going to fight for even a fungus toenail! Nothing diseased will remain in this body! Thus far and no more, devil. You've already lost the battle and in reality are just a little whimpering wimp!

On Wednesday I vacuumed the house and dusted, swept the deck, front porch and the 40' walkway, made a few things in the kitchen, had two hours of garden work and washed my hair.

Donna and Randal at Crabtree Falls, Tyro, VA
On Thursday I began the day with about a mile long walk with a friend and her dog (more inclines that I'm now loving to see).  Then Randal and I went over to the Blue Ridge Mountains to get peaches from an orchard and then went up the mountain to visit a favorite place, Crabtree Falls, which is almost two hours away. More inclined walking to the first set of falls where we sat and watched the water and took a few pictures.

While we were walking at Crabtree Falls I thought Randal was going to jump up and down. He keeps recounting my not being able to go from the bathroom to the bedroom door without a sit-down break only 4 months ago. We are definitely rejoicing!

On the way back we picked up a food order, made dinner and then visited with friends in the evening for three hours.

News Item # 9 - ALL Of This Is Available to ALL

It's very hard to know how to say things since even my emotions on this are not settled in yet. One thing for sure is that I want anybody who reads this to realize that it's all God and that I'm not special. I'm as weak as anybody and can cave in on a heartbeat, but each right choice to believe the Word and not what you see or hear is one step further ahead.

God's love to you is faithful. He has no special children. The Word is there for all of us. Transforming our minds on who God really is becomes a huge part of the healing process because how we see God determines what we receive from Him.

Be sure to view these links:
God's Kind of Love to You - Audio Series
God's Kind of Love - Article

If you have any friends, coworkers or family that needs to hear about God's love and provision for healing, send them a link to this blog post so God can put hope back in their heart again.

Praise God! Praise God!

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