Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Great Deal for Nature's Sunshine Products

Our son is a distributor of Nature's Sunshine Products and we would like to bless him by diverting our sales to his website for this promotion. If you use Nature's Sunshine's 600+ great quality herbs and supplements, or want to give them a try, this is a great time to do it. Choose free membership at checkout to buy at direct cost prices and don't forget to enter the code shown below for the additional 5% off and $1 shipping.  

There is no auto-shipping, auto-billing or required orders.  No gimmicks!  Members shop at 30-45% off retail prices every day.  

Here's the deal ... and thank you for being a blessing to our son.
Nature's Sunshine Products

Spread the word so that family and friends can take advantage of this very limited time offer.  Two Days Only:  Today and Tomorrow (9/24/13 - 9/25/13).  Products already on sale are not eligible for this order.

Simply visit this website and place at least $100 of products in your cart. Then type the offer code TRANSFORM in the box during checkout. 

Shop Now

Bottle SizeMaximum quantity per order
32 fl. oz.12
16 fl. oz.24
Thai-Go and Noni Juice3 two-packs

*Some exclusions will apply. Offer valid September 24-25. A minimum order of $100 is required. Offer limited to one redemption per account. Applicable QV is discounted 5%. The 5% discount only applies to regularly priced products and may not be combined with any other special offer, certificate or discount. Offer not valid on Sunshine Rewards orders.

**UPS Ground or Parcel Post for lower 48 states; US Priority Mail for Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Alaska and Hawaii.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

The Syro-Phoenician Woman

Jesus Tried Her Faith
by Andrew Wommack

Matthew 15:27, "But Jesus said unto her, Let the children first be filled:
for it is not meet to take the children's bread and cast it unto the dogs."

Read:  Matthew 15:21-39; Mark 7:24-37; 8:1-10

It is very clear in scripture that Jesus was sent to fulfill God's covenant to the Jews. However, it was equally clear that Jesus would open up faith unto the Gentiles. Jesus certainly knew this, and had already ministered to numerous Gentiles without the apparent disdain that we see here with the Syro-Phoenician woman.

Jesus could not have been forced into ministering to this woman's daughter if it was not His will to do so. Therefore, His silence and rough answer to this woman must have been designed to accomplish a positive result.

Humility is an important ingredient of faith. This woman was a stranger to the covenants of promise and had no right to demand anything. Jesus' silence and then comparison of her to a dog would certainly have offended an arrogant person, and it is possible that for this very reason, Jesus tried her faith. Jesus didn't need to do this with the centurion in Luke 7:6-7 because the centurion had already humbled himself.

An integral part of faith is seeking God alone with your whole heart. If we are concerned about what people think and gaining their approval (or honor), we will never take a stand in faith for anything. After all we might be criticized for it. This one thing has probably stopped as many people from receiving from God as anything else.

You cannot be a "man-pleaser" and please God at the same time. Satan uses persecutions to steal away God's Word and, thereby, stop our faith. To see faith work, we must say with Paul, "let God be true, but every man a liar" (Rom. 3:4).

Turning Screen Time Into Green Time

From NWF.org

Powell Franklin, Jr, and his wife, Jennifer, were looking for a way to pry their young daughter Emma away from computers and televisions and get her outdoors more often.  “My generation was probably the last one to grow up playing outside all the time,” says Powell.

Indeed, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation, U.S. children between the ages of 8 and 18 now spend an average of 7.5 hours a day indoors in front of an electronic screen.

Two years ago, when the Franklins discovered geocaching—a type of high-tech treasure hunt—they found the ideal solution. “It’s a great way to enjoy the outdoors while spending time together as a family,” says Powell. Participants use a smartphone or handheld Global Positioning System (GPS) device to navigate to a hidden container called a geocache. Once they find it, they sign a logbook in the container and later go online to share their experiences. “ Read the entire article.

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Machine Converts Plastics to Oil

Plastics are recycled back into oil in large plants, but a Japanese inventor has built a machine that can sit on a table and be transported by car or plane to accomplish the same task.

It's called the Blest Machine and was invented by Akinori Ito, after he began to see the places he played as a child disappearing. He wanted to make the process of plastic recycling more accessible, so less landfill would be required and less garbage piles in urban areas.

Ito is taking the machine to developing countries, where it can be used as a way to lessen the landfill problems and provide a useful fuel with the product produced. But the real value is in the machine's size -- small enough to sit in a family home, meaning that micro-production of oil becomes a real possibility.

Watch the 5-minute video.

If you're wondering about the price as I was ... the only price I see by Googling is $9500.  That means it would take a while to recoup the initial investment, but maybe the price will decrease over time.
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Dung Bettles Use Milky Way to Navigate

While I was in Costa Rica a few years back rambling through the rainforest at La Selva Biological Station, I came across a trio of students from Chapel Hill that were studying Dung Beetles.  I had never heard of the bug before and was rather fascinated by the dedication to know more about such a bug.

Now I find something even more interesting about Dung Beetles.  They use the Milky Way Galaxy as a map.  View this video that's just over a minute.

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Sunday, September 15, 2013

Newsletter - 9/15/13

The Nature In Us Newsletter
The Nature In Us Website

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"Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find that going to the mountains is going home; that wilderness is necessity; and that mountain parks and reservations are useful not only as fountains of timber and irrigating rivers, but as fountains of life." -- John Muir, conservationist and promoter of national parks, 1914
Hello Dear Friends,

Shenandoah National Park - Big Meadows
Thistle with Bees on Flowers
View Enlarged Image
We made a trip over to the Blue Ridge Mountains to visit Shenandoah National Park. We hadn't been in years. When we go to the mountains (which is only 40 minutes away), we tend to take the southern route (the Blue Ridge Parkway) instead of Skyline Drive in the National Park. There's several places we love on the Parkway within a short distance from I-64 and it's free.

One of those places is the Frontier Homestead (milepost 5.8) which truly takes you back to the hard life of families living in those mountains. They have music at times and you can go inside the cabin and also see many of the outbuildings. They have even plowed a field to plant food staples.

Then at milepost 9, there is Greenstone Overlook and Trail. Awesome views from the parking area, but the real treat is hiking a short roundabout trail that is filled with native plants and beautiful glimpses between the trees of the Shenandoah Valley below.

Next is Ravens Roost where I have many memories of friends that visit since it's an absolute must to take them on this incredible journey so nearby. Ravens Roost offers incredible views of the Shenandoah Valley and many rocks to enjoy, along with a picnic table. There's a lot of repelling done there so at times we get to see folks jump off the rock edges backwards. It always flips my heart a bit.

My 60th birthday event included all three of these places while our son was visiting to celebrate with me. [View the Blue Ridge Birthday Album]

But I began talking about our visit to the Shenandoah Park. We visited the Big Meadows and the Byrd Visitor Center for a Ranger Walk through the meadow, a presentation on bears, and several films in the Visitor Center (milepost 51). Then we had a picnic by the car. Of course Skyline Drive with overlooks was beautiful on the way to Big Meadows.

That's Me Getting My Senior Lifetime Pass to Parks
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At age 62, you can purchase a National Parks Senior Pass for $10. The pass is your ticket to more than 2,000 federal recreation sites. Each pass covers entrance fees and standard amenity fees for a driver and all passengers in a personal vehicle at per vehicle fee areas (or up to four adults at sites that charge per person). It can be used at national parks, national wildlife refuges, national forests and grasslands, and at lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management and Bureau of Reclamation. Pretty cool!

I was still 62 at the time I purchased it, but about a week later I turned 63 and had a quiet and relaxing birthday at home.  Talked for hours with our son and a few friends called.  My mantel is covered with birthday cards.  The night before neighbors had us for dinner (veggie lasagna for main course  and a blueberry cake for dessert).  I am one blessed woman with wonderful friends and neighbors.  But I must tell you I cried on my birthday because my sweet husband sent me this email:

Randal Playing in Tennis Tournament
I'm GLAD Bob and Jean Had you. They didn't know the joy you would bring mankind and Me.  I'm GLAD we Met. Such diverse backgrounds coming together all because of 3 initials (IBM).  I'm GLAD you said Yes, that started a life's adventure with the most wonderful partner I could choose.  I'm GLAD you are Having Another Birthday. Each one with you makes me smile and appreciate you even more.  I'm GLAD you are my Best Friend. Being with you in life has brought me many fond and wonderful memories.  I'm GLAD you love God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. Having them guide us provides truths we could never imagine, joy unspeakable and a sense of peace that can't be explained.  I'm GLAD to see you giggle, love wildlife, pet the bees, meditate on the Word, hangout with Jesus and change for the better every day.  You are MY BIRTHDAY GIRL and you always will be!  Happy Birthday to the love of my life. The one who can captivate me with a look, bring joy to my heart and make my life full!  Love, Randal

Alert Facebook Fans! If you're reading this on Facebook, it will be the last post you will see since I have finally taken the plunge and totally dumped my Facebook account. It has been deactivated until tomorrow since they won't delete it immediately, hoping you will change your mind.  On the 16th it should all be gone!

So, if you want to continue to see The Nature In Us posts, you will need to sign up for another method (email, RSS feed, or Twitter). You can do that with the links included in this newsletter or go to the website and choose an option from the left side of the page.

Although I haven't used my personal Facebook page for years, the posts were automatically feeding into Facebook so I didn't need to go there. However, every time Facebook has an upgrade you have to dig all over the place to be sure they didn't revert back to non-security settings. It seemed no matter how small a task I had it would take me an hour to get back off of it since I couldn't seem to find what I needed to change ... or I would change it and save it and it didn't keep it.

Life is too short for Facebook! Maybe it's getting older and appreciating the reality of how few days we have on earth, and making choices that really stick to what you consider priorities and true desires for your life.

Rescued Box Turtle
We volunteered at the local shelter and on the way there we passed a turtle near the edge of the country road. I hoped it was going in the direction of the grass which was less than a foot away, but it stayed on my mind the whole time we were at the shelter.

When we passed by again to return home, 90 minutes later, it was at the same spot. So we stopped, picked it up and put it in the trunk to release in our habitat. I thought it might have been stunned or something.  It was a miracle it hadn't been hit in that amount of time.  I didn't want to leave it there any longer and miss sleep over it.

Rescued Box Turtle Released Into Garden
Relocating turtles is not a good habit but I truly felt this one was in danger and wanted to monitor it. Since it was a young Box Turtle it would have time to adjust at our place before hibernating for winter. 

We have one other Box Turtle here (that we know of) which we've not seen this year. We watched this one for a few hours in the house and he never moved. I placed him in the front garden area with plenty of leaves and bugs to eat and enough cover to hide. The next morning he was gone. We have plenty of good habitat for turtles so I hope he's happy.

We've had busier years for dragonflies, but we've been seeing some around the pond. Since the pond is only about 12 feet from the deck they also enjoy sitting on the white rails. Maybe it's a great way to be noticed in the dragonfly world. 

Dragonfly on Edge of Oak Leaf
View Enlarged Image
Like the butterflies they have a Dragonfly Dance to perform when they mate and such things are so lovely to watch. Realizing that these creatures have such a short lifespan makes it so critical that they mate before dying. 

The shortest life cycle of a dragonfly from egg to the death of the adult is about six months. There are dragonflies that live for several years as aquatic larvae before they emerge and live for a few months as adults. Most dragonflies don't die of old age but are caught by predators. Even if they do survive, they still don't live much longer than a few months.

Speaking of life and death ... here's some words of wisdom I've been meditating on today:

"Man hasn’t created anything new; he’s just discovered the laws that the Lord established from the beginning. 

Although mankind has made huge discoveries that have totally changed the way we live, it seems like we know less about ourselves than previous generations. While our ancestors didn’t have all the modern conveniences, they had a peace and strength that eludes most today. 

As our knowledge of our natural world has increased, our knowledge of spiritual things has decreased. In man’s arrogance, he blindly believes all of life’s problems can be solved by himself. But there can be no peace without, if there isn’t peace within." -- Andrew Wommack from Spirit, Soul and Body

A highlight of last month was being asked to review a DVD on birds.  It was the most awesome bird video I've ever watched ... especially since it's based on the basis of "intelligent design" rather than evolution.  I love it when science begins to catch up with God. Did you see the post (The Intelligent Design of Birdsin my last issue of the newsletter? 

May God give you an understanding of His love for you every moment of the day.

Until next issue .... get out there and have some fun!  It's okay to act like a child no matter what your age.  Jesus approves!  "Unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the Kingdom of Heaven" (Mt. 18:3)


P.S.  Know somebody who needs to see something in this newsletter? Forward it to them. Thanks!

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written by Donna

Posts Since Last Newsletter

How Thoughts Create Our Lives  (DLW)

Be Wary of Dr. Search Engine for Pets

The Amazing Transformation - Movie: Metamorphosis  (DLW)

Winged Sumac (Rhus copallina) for Wildlife  (DLW)

Allergies & Flu - I'm Not Participating  (DLW)

Why Is The Word So Effective?

Detecting Hidden Signs of Pet Illness

Easier From of CPR - No Mouth-to-Mouth

Newsletter - 9/1/13  (DLW)

Previous Posts You May Have Missed

Detoxing Your Thoughts to Renew Your Mind  (DLW)

The Intelligent Design of Birds  (DLW)

Free From The Law

Monarch Migration Questions

God's Word - Use It!

8 Foods We Eat In U.S. That Are Banned In Other Countries

Rid Mold Growth with Natural Materials

5 People Foods to Never Feed Your Cat

National Parks FREE on August 25

Healing: Why Does It Take So Long?  (DLW)

Emotions Can Change Your DNA

Bringing Home a New Puppy

Goldfinches & Thistle Down Connection

The Nature In Us Newsletter - 8/15/13  (DLW)

Spirit, Soul & Body

25 Ways to Reuse Junk Mail

Fish Cleans Coral, Makes Sand & More

WorldWide Telescope - Explore the Universe Online!

Newsletter - 8/1/13  (DLW)

What Were You Thinking?  (DLW)

Pets:  Max: A Hyper, Thunder Phobia Dog Uses Herbs to Relax

Blackberry Lily

Thought Life

Our Thinking Can Change Our DNA

Healing Shall Come to Pass  (DLW)

Pets:  Parvovirus Vaccination

How to Freshen Your House Naturally

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What's On Sale Now?  •  Women  •  Men  •  Children  •  Pets - Heartworms

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: "© Donna L. Watkins - This article was reprinted with permission from TheNatureInUs.com." The link is: www.TheNatureInUs.com.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

How Thoughts Create Our Lives

by Donna L. Watkins

Donna at Brookgreen Gardens
Murrells Inlet, SC
There has certainly been a lot of information out there on how our thinking affects our lives and even our mental and physical health. Dr. Caroline Leaf speaks of research that shows 75-98% of Mental & Physical Illnesses Come From Thought Life.

Dr. Leaf says, "When we make a poor quality thinking decision—i.e. a toxic thought such as unforgiveness, bitterness or irritation—we change the DNA and subsequent genetic expression affecting the shape of the wiring in our brain in a negative direction. This immediately puts the brain into protect mode and the brain translates these poor quality toxic thoughts as stress. This stress will then manifest itself in our bodies."

It's quite amazing that science is catching up with the fact that we can actually change our DNA. We are not trapped into the diseases or lifestyles of our family tree. When we become Christians and Jesus followers we become a whole new creation in the spirit realm. All we need to do is access the power of this to change our entire lives. When Romans 12:2 tells us to transform our lives with the renewing of our minds, it's not pie in the sky theology. God doesn't tell us to do things that are not humanly possible.

What we feed into our brains is so critical and when you consider all the negative media news on television, in newspapers, online and bantered back and forth in everyday conversations, we will realize that we're fighting a losing battle unless we make some choices to change things. We have to replace those toxic thoughts with healthy ones or our minds, bodies and spirit will respond in negative ways.
Maymont Estate - Richmond, Virginia
Red Tulips and Yellow Pansies
View Enlarged Image

Christians shouldn't have depression and despair. The Bible tells us how to conquer all things, but sadly, the Bible and its Truth is not a priority in many homes today. Negative television programming commands center stage and if you don't think that watching murder, adultery, and a long list of other negative behaviors doesn't affect you, you are being deceived.  At the end of the day, does this Scripture sum up what your thought life has been?

"Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things." -- Philippians 4:8

We may be wired with a lot of toxic thoughts, but God tells us we can renew our minds, even though the devil tells us we can't do it. I've been working through the 21-Day Brain Detox Program. This was created by Dr. Caroline Leaf, a Communication Pathologist, Audiologist and Cognitive Neuroscientist, who has researched the science of thought with a passion and has applied the findings of research and her experience in clinical practice for nearly 20 years into this program. She's a Christian and the program is God-centered. She's been all over the Christian broadcasting arena, so you may have seen a program with her as a guest speaker.  View a video about the 21-day program.

You take one toxic thought at a time and literally change the chemistry of the brain by following step-by-step instructions each day and then viewing a short video from Dr. Leaf explaining what physiologically took place in your brain the day before. It's like having a personal trainer for mind renewal!  I love it!

What could be more important than being able to get those awful thoughts out of the racetrack in our brains?  Dr. Leaf has books that give you a lot of scientific information, in layman's terms, about how our thoughts affect our bodies, and even our genes (epigenetics). View Dr. Leaf's books on Amazon.

We have enjoyed the one titled, "Who Switched Off Your Brain?: Solving the Mystery of He Said / She Said," which has been fun to read with my honey since we have always known we were total opposites, but this shows us why and also the wisdom of God in designing us that way.

Don't let your thoughts control your life in a direction that you don't want to travel in. There is hope and there is change. View Dr. Leaf's Facebook page for many comments and testimonials for the program. By the way, it's only $29 for a year's subscription. You go from one 21-day program into another one as you work through the most important toxic thoughts that you want to totally eradicate from your brain.

In a year you can do 17 of these detoxes.  She's got my vote since the program has done a lot for me.  My husband has been amazed and that really makes me excited. View Dr. Leaf's schedule of speaking engagements around the world.  I had a friend go to one of her presentations and she absolutely loved it!

I don't make anything from you signing up, but I would love to know if you did so I know that we're on the journey together!

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Be Wary of Dr. Search Engine for Pets

by Dr. Jane Bicks

Doing what’s right for your fur-kids. To make the best decisions, you have to know all of the facts. And the allure of the Internet is that it’s loaded with facts … or, is it?

In this post from Dr. Jane, our holistic veterinarian takes a look at the latest fad, diagnosing the problems of your companion animals using the unsanctioned medical advice of Dr. Search Engine.

The bottom line is, if you’re seeking out quality information online to help improve the lives of your beloved pet kids, you’re not alone. However, you should be warned about what counts as a reputable source. If you care enough to look it up, please care enough to verify.

To find out what to trust, read the latest Dr. Jane post now

The Amazing Transformation - Movie: Metamorphosis

by Donna L. Watkins

I was so excited to be able to write a review on the DVD, The Intelligent Design of Birds, last month, but I am even more thrilled with another one that was sent to me called, Metamorphosis.

I am not paid to do these reviews. I've simply been blessed to be chosen so that I would publish the review on this blog. I make nothing from you ordering the videos, but it gives me great pleasure to be a part of anybody that would have these in their library loaning them to as many people as possible. What a beautiful way to share the love of God for us by showing what He made for us to enjoy.

You can't put your emotions into words when you closely watch a butterfly, an insect that weighs less than an ounce. There are 20,000 species of butterflies each having different color patterns and different shaped wings, diversity so magnificent the greatest artist in the world couldn't come up with all of those patterns.

"All nature cries aloud that there is a supreme intelligence." -- Voltaire

© Donna L. Watkins
Monarch Egg on Common Milkweed Leaf
View Enlarged Image
The mere stages of the butterfly's life is astounding in terms of explanation. The miniscule egg laid under a leaf begins the process with each female laying hundreds of eggs and then dying. Each egg has species specific architecture. Monarch eggs look like a miniature dome or cathedral. The size can be as small as a pinhead and has to be laid on a host plant, a specific plant that the caterpillar will eat.

The female butterfly can perceive the host plant from miles away and then takes great care in finding the right leaf and making sure the the taste is right for the caterpillar whose life will depend on it. Those babies multiply their birth weight by 3000 times as they munch their way through the host plant leaves.

Egyptian art rendered butterflies as icons of beauty, symbolizing life and death. The Greeks used the word 'psyche' for butterfly which literally meant 'the soul.'

© Donna L. Watkins
Monarch Caterpillar Eating Host Plant
Common Milkweed Leaf
View Enlarged Image
Monarch Butterflies born in mid-summer will only live two to four weeks; however, the generation born in August are genetically programmed to live up to nine months to make the wintering-over journey to Mexico, none of them ever having been there before.

Those making the journey are two to four generations after the ones who had made the 2500 mile journey before. To imagine a tiny insect brain to accomplish all of this is definitely a challenge to the Darwinian view of life. Yet they end up on the same tree that their previous ancestors rested on for the winter.

The visuals on the molting of the caterpillar's shell as it grows and what happens during the chrysalis stage that will entomb it are all amazing! One of the most incredible miracles in nature which we call metamorphosis.

"The Lord is good to all; He has compassion on all He has made." -- Psalm 145:9

Since there are many things missing in the caterpillars structure that are needed by a butterfly, the process is astounding on the transition of caterpillar to butterfly. The genetic structure is not there to pass from caterpillar to butterfly, but is actually developed within the chrysalis. The filming and detail of this process surely shows a Creative Force behind it that cannot be explained away. There are many mysteries to be still learned.

An analogy that has been used to describe the possibility of natural selection being the foundation for this process is this: Consider a Model T Ford rolling along the highway and then it suddenly encases itself in a garage. Inside most of the car breaks down into fragments of metal and glass, etc. and these pieces reorganize themselves and in a few days the garage door opens and what emerges is a helicopter to fly away.

"The LORD is faithful to all His promises and loving toward all He has made." -- Psalm 145:13

© Donna L. Watkins
Monarch Butterfly Emerged From
The Chrysalis Beside Him

View Enlarged Image
If you ever wonder what you'll be doing in Heaven with a life that never ends ... viewing this video will give you a glimpse of the fact that we will never finish learning more and more about the Creation of our God. As we are continually fascinated with His artistry, we will worship our Father forever and ever, never running out of the wonders of His love for us and all He created.

The beauty of the things He has made points to a loving and caring God that loves us so much He made all this beauty for us to enjoy and to show us His love for us. There is none like Him.

"For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities--his eternal power and divine nature--have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse." -- Romans 1:20

This video will fill your soul and spirit with longing for the world we will have with Jesus our King reigning over it. Be sure to watch the trailer on the Metamorphosis film website.  Be sure to check out all the other films on that website that are available.

There's nothing more entertaining to me than to see how magnificent Creation is and to marvel at how awesome Heaven will be with our Father. This video, and the other one I reviewed, The Intelligent Design of Birds, are wonderful ways to share the love of our Father with others.

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Winged Sumac (Rhus copallina) for Wildlife

by Donna L. Watkins

When we lived in Alabama we had quite a bit of Staghorn Sumac which I truly enjoyed since the Fall colors are deep reds and the fruit provided was a nice plus for wildlife.  Here in Virginia we have had Winged Sumac (Rhus copallina) appear on the property many years back and we've been quite excited about it.

Winged Sumac is also known as Shining Sumac and Flame-Leaf Sumac depending on the area of the country you live in.  This is not Poison Sumac!

Sumacs will grow on just about any well-drained soil, no matter how bad, and are very drought tolerant. They become multi-trunked large shrubs or small trees that spread by suckers to form thickets. And what a beautiful sight that is when the entire thicket turns into Fall colors.  The flowers usually bloom during mid-summer for about 2-3 weeks.

Later in the year, they are replaced by dark red berry-like fruit covered with short acid hairs. These large "pods" persist through the Winter, gradually turning black if not eaten.

It is easy to identify this species in the wild because the central leaf stalks of the compound leaves are conspicuously winged. Another distinctive characteristic is the smooth margins of the leaves. The foliage turns red during the Fall and is quite attractive.

The nectar or pollen of the flowers attracts many kinds of insects, especially wasps, flies, and bees. The foliage is a food source for the caterpillars of several species of moths and other insects.  This is a plant that produces a lot of seeds in the Fall and is great for wildlife.

Field birds and songbirds eat the fruits during the Fall or Winter. Both rabbits and deer browse on the foliage, stems, or bark. In general, the ecological value of sumacs to wildlife is quite high.

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Thursday, September 5, 2013

Allergies & Flu - I'm Not Participating

by Donna L. Watkins

Summer is a wonderful time. I'm not a sunbather or pool person, but I love everything fresh and so alive. It's been wonderful enjoying the flowers, butterflies, bees, birds and incredibly unique bugs with brilliant colors. The critters such as raccoons, deer, opossums, skunks, foxes and small rodents are all storing up fat for the winter season. All diligent about their business, as I go about my own.

Purple Coneflowers (Echinacea)
View More Garden Photos
I was thinking about all the pollen allergies that people continually talk about. I've had food allergies since the day I was born and remember sneezing in the Fall and my parents calling it hayfever. We lived in the city, so I wondered where the hay was and why I couldn't tell I had a fever. As I grew older sniffling and sneezing added in asthma which disappeared after I went through menopause.

Lately I've been pondering allergies. Our Father created an incredibly beautiful world for humans and placed the first two people in a garden setting. Surely He had no intention of our amazingly designed bodies reacting to the pollen of all the beautiful flowers that were enjoyed.

Definitely not! It all came with the interference of the Enemy. The Fall brought a lot of decay into God's world of beauty and perfection. I wonder when we began to believe that plants and trees brought allergies. I'm sure the drug advertisements has ingrained it even more. If things change according to how we believe, then I'm seriously working on changing my thoughts about allergies. I don't have to participate.

When the word "flu" began being thought of as a plague years ago, before they even developed the annual season for flu shots, we decided that our family was not going to participate in the flu. We took supplements that keep the immune system healthy and gave them to our son as a baby and as he was growing up and truly believed we did not have to get the flu. My husband and I never had the flu and neither did our son.

Sadly I had "MY allergies" from the time I was a few years old, so it had become part of me and my belief of who I am. I no longer call them "mine" but it is a long road back through 60 years of believing something till your heart grabs it and your body responds.

I'm planning on leaving this world totally healthy.  After periods in life of being on rotation diets, restrictive diets and wheat-free or gluten-free trials, I decided not to limit my foods.  It makes life so complicated and Jesus said, "My yoke is easy."  I do choose not to feed this temple with junk food and sugary sweets or beverages which obviously have no benefit for my body.

People close up their house when it's pollen season and I simply can't do that.  I can't let the pollen control my joy of flowers and trees. Most of all it's the smell of the fresh air of the forest behind us that simply makes my day.  I'm far beyond believing that allergies need to be lived with ... but I've not arrived at the end of that journey yet.  I will sneeze and blow rather than close up my home or move from working on the screened porch to being inside.  My love for the outdoors must have some kind of positive effect on my health.  It's simply a fact that being trapped inside would make me wilt like a flower picked and laid on a concrete path.

Learning that our thoughts are powerful enough to change our DNA is quite a mindful. And yet it's very exciting to think about God creating us physiologically to be able to overcome anything that comes our way.  Not in a pride sort of way since pride will only end in a fall, but instead, boldly like a King's child that runs to the throne in a time of need, just as any child would run to their mother for food, knowing that provision is there.

Quiet Spot Under The Black Locust Tree
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It's easy to think that our generation has more toxicity and poisons to deal with and we extend that knowledge to assume that we will be a lot sicker. I believe that our Heavenly Father planned for each son and daughter to have the opportunity to be healthy. That's where we have to consider how we think and believe on that.

How much bad health news have you read about and heard from friends and co-workers? Do the drug ads make you ponder all the symptoms mentioned to see if you have another health issue that you can add to your list? We're told there's a great possibility of death if we don't get our flu shot and yet people are dying from the flu shots.

We assume that we have to "get" certain problems depending on the age we are, but if you look around, not everybody is following the rules. There are old people that are healthy and young people that aren't. There has to be some kind of a common denominator. The way we think might just be it. There's a lot of current research on that (see related articles below). I just thought that you'd like to ponder this with me and seek His wisdom for our minds and hearts of belief.

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