Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Newsletter - 1/1/14

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""The tendency today is to put the emphasis on service.  Beware of the people who make usefulness their ground of appeal.  If you make usefulness the test, then Jesus Christ was the greatest failure that ever lived.  The lodestar of the saint is God Himself, not estimated usefulness.  It is the work that God does through us that counts, not what we do for Him.  All that Our Lord heeds in a man’s life is the relationship of worth to His Father.  Jesus is bringing many sons to glory."
 -- Oswald Chambers

New Year Blessings to You!

Donna and Benjamin - 8/10/87
I'm always excited when a new year begins since it's a great starting place for changing your life.  It's like putting off the old and taking on the new, even if it's just attitudes.  Seems to me to be a great time to reinvent or recreate yourself. 

Before Christmas, I took a whole week off the computer to focus on a super spiritual feast, looking ahead to the new year and all the possibilities we have in Christ.

Several of my friends asked if I was having withdrawal symptoms or seizures being away from the computer that long.  I guess I'm not as fascinated with machines as some.  I appreciate the benefits of my computer, but the week with it in the closet was amazingly incredible and seemed to fly by much too quickly. 

I just stayed plugged into my "temple within" to know more and more of who God is and His love for me.  You know when the Temple veil was split in two as Christ died, it was symbolic that there was no more separation between God and man.  He would now dwell within us, so our bodies are actually the Temple that holds the very Presence of God within it.  A God who loved us so much He came to earth to die for us so He would have fellowship and relationship with man.  How can anybody get depressed or bored when you can commune with the Living God at any time!

After that week I began scanning print photos again.  It's a good winter project till I'm back to where my childhood photos are Brownie style/quality pictures.  I'm working on 1986 now.  It's quite a nostalgic trip looking back 27 years.  Your mind tends to ponder whether life has been good or bad and each of us have a tendency to see it one way or the other.  You tend to remember some of the ways you thought back then, how immature you were in various areas of life, and realizing that how you handled problems then has affected your life for today.  The best thing to do is to focus on all the blessings that God's giving us along the way, besides all the mercy and grace He pours upon us.

It's wonderful that God made our minds so that we can renew them, because I've been working on a lot of renewing since I began Dr. Leaf's 21-Day Brain Detox Program.  I'm currently on my 10th detox.  Toxic thought patterns affect our mental, spiritual and physical lives, so it's been grand to have some of those knocked out of brain storage and replaced with healthy ones.

Deer Eating Banana - View Enlarged Image
We continue to be amazed at all the antics of the wildlife.  We've been reading a book called, "The Private Lives of Garden Birds."  It gives so much insight into the lives of our backyard birds and in winter you seem to be able to really make sense of it all since you can get a much closer look at them without the leaves on the trees and their need to feed more, making them visible for most of the day. 

Besides all the birds that visit us, we had a surprise view of a deer eating a banana one day.  One of the bananas on a bunch we bought had a deep gash (maybe from the machete when harvesting).  It didn't look pretty inside, so we decided to just toss the entire banana outside for the critters.

We always put banana peels out with our fruit and veggies scraps.  They're not fond of them in good weather, but in the winter some night visitors eat them up.  Little did we know that deer eat bananas until we tossed this one out in the morning and later saw a deer trying to grab the entire banana and keep it in her mouth.  It was a funny sight to see and I couldn't get a good picture of it as you can see.

Squeek, our kitty also known as Kitty Girl, had cystitis again.  I'm not quite sure what it's from, but something I do now and then turns her urine pH alkaline enough to form crystals.  I had been giving her nutritional yeast so that may be the culprit.  This is the 3rd time this year, but fortunately we pay attention to what's in the litter box and the reduced output, so I began Cranberry right away and added a Slippery Elm to soothe the irritation so she can rest and not run to the litter box ever 15 minutes.  This has worked all three times, so I'm grateful to her response to it.  Since we catch it early, there's a difference noticed in a couple of hours and it only takes a couple of days to get her back to normal. 

Squeek (aka Kitty Girl) in Cuddly Cozy
View Enlarged Image
She's one sweet cooperative kitty.  We say she is the "best kitty we've ever had" because she really has been the easiest to train (we don't want cats on the furniture) and she's low maintenance.  No whining and crying.  She's one pretty content cat!  She's 17-1/2 years old now.  Since extensive dental surgery over two years ago (necessary due to FIV-induced gum disease), I've noticed indications of kidney disease from the anesthesia, so we count all of our time with her precious and continue to speak healing over her body.

A subscriber sent me information on a better way to defend yourself from intruders.  The information shared is that a can of wasp spray is the best defense according to some police departments. [Side Note: When I was single I dated a Deputy Sheriff who informed me that people who have a gun in the house that they don't use on a weekly basis, will often get themselves shot or killed by the intruders using the gun ... or there have been many situations where people have killed a family member from severe fright.]

You may have seen this wasp spray email passing through.  There are a few things to consider since many jurisdictions specifically prohibit the use of any self-defense sprays other than pepper spray. Also, most spray insecticide containers include warnings stating that "It is a violation of federal law to use this product in a manner inconsistent with its labeling."  So there could be legal ramifications since the toxic effects of pyrethrin could potentially be much more harmful or less effective than expected.

One of the benefits was that the wasp spray shoots up to 20 feet away so you don't have to be close to the intruder. There are pepper sprays that will produce a stream of 8-25 feet in distance. Other sprayers produce a cone spray pattern and others models produce a fog that covers a larger area.  Be sure to consider all options if you use this method for self-defense.

My wildlife neighbor friend, Ken Bushell, who moved to Tennessee a few years ago sent me a link to a video of a fox in North Dakota that hunts mice three feet under the snow.  It's an amazing thing to watch.  The fox listens carefully and then jumps as high as he can and dives into the snow head-first to catch the mouse.  The narrative mentions that he almost always comes up empty unless he's facing north which scientists feel is his homing in on the magnetic field of the planet.  Wow!  We will have a lot to learn about God's creatures when we get to Heaven.  View The Fox Video.

Pileated Woodpecker - View Enlarged Image
Do any of you have New Year's resolutions to share?  I've been working on my resolution since November.  It's my mouth!  I can be sarcastic and critical at times and I've not liked that about myself.  So, one of the 21-day brain detox things I did was directed to this.  My husband mentioned the other day that he's amazed at what I don't say any more.  That made me smile and I could see Jesus smiling also.  I've tried for many years in my own strength to tame my tongue, but the renewing of the mind is a better way to go.

There is a lot being said of what the words we speak do to our lives.  Science has now advanced enough to determine that our thoughts and what we say determine our health.  [Read: How Thoughts Create Our Lives]

I heard of somebody who quit smoking by speaking words.  He had tried everything and asked his pastor for prayer and what to do to be free of this addiction.  Since there wasn't anything he hadn't tried, the pastor said, "Every time you light up a cigarette, speak out loud, I HATE SMOKING!"  The guy said, "But I don't hate smoking!"  The pastor said, "Doesn't matter ... just speak it."  In a couple of months, he went to light up a cigarette, said it as was his ritual, and then thought, "I do hate smoking!"  He threw the cigarette and the whole pack away and never had another craving! 

Our words matter and speaking things out loud over ourselves will change our minds.  A pastor in the Charlotte, NC area lost over 100 pounds and got down to a normal weight by doing something similar.  He knew his downfall was sweets, so he decided to speak to his body saying, "I hate sugar and love vegetables."  After awhile his cravings began to diminish and he actually began loving vegetables.  As I mentioned, he lost 100 pounds doing this. 

What a simple way to beat an addiction!  It takes time because our minds have loved the wrong things for a long time, but how much simpler can you get?  Nobody can say they can't do this method!  There's no will power to overcome needed, only a commitment to speak a few words to our brain.  We wired something negative in and we can wire it out.  Not an instant fix, but consider how many years and decades we tolerate it as we travel through life condemning ourselves for what we know to be a bad habit.  Let me know your success story on this method and I'll share your victory (anonymously) in this newsletter.  God's ways are always simple when we finally "get it."

Spider on Obedient Plant
View Enlarged Image
I've basically been doing the same thing with the 21-day detox program by Dr. Leaf.  For $29 I have a whole year of access to the detox program and can process through 17 brain detoxes.  I have been simply amazed at the results on one specific issue at a time.  It's a process of rejecting a negative thought that does not line up with the Word/Jesus, and instead, speaking the Truth that relates to it.  It does seem too simple for our complicated minds to absorb or believe.  And your mind will go to talking to you when you begin, about how silly it is, and who do you think you are to try to control your flesh with a few spoken words.

If your flesh has been used to having its own way for a long time, you will have an initial battle and many failures, but if you keep going back to this simple method, it will change your life, one issue at a time.

Consider that we are created in the image of God and He spoke the world into existence.  He even spoke light into existence four days before He created a source for that light to come from.  Hebrews 11:1 says, "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."  If we put faith into what we are speaking, we will see the evidence of it.  Keep in mind you can't take away another person's free will, so this is about speaking over yourself.  You can bless people with various character qualities so they are more likely to turn from their destructive lifestyles, but you can't change their minds.

Who We Are In Christ

• Even before the creation of the world, I was planned.  Ephesians 1:4
• I am a daughter of the King, adopted into his family. Ephesians 1:5,
• An heir in Christ, Romans 8:17,
• Accepted in the Beloved.  Ephesians 1:6.

Do We Believe It?

If you've not visited our habitat Critters and Garden albums lately, here's the links to take a look at what we've been seeing this year:
Bluebird Cove Critters 2013
Bluebird Cove Garden 2013
Bluebird Cove Videos 2013

There are many possibilities for a new year of life.  We have to keep hope alive and faith renewed daily.  If you're one of those who can't seem to find anything good in a day, maybe you need to use your words to speak, "I see good in today" and look for it.  Whatever we focus on will become our obsession and outlook on life.

I'm praying for the new year of 2014 to be filled with blessings of provision, health, relationships and more depth of understanding of the love of God for you.


P.S.  Anything in here that might help somebody you know?  
Here's a link to the online version of this newsletter: 
Newsletter - 1/1/14

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