Friday, November 28, 2014

Grace Leads to Life

By Clint Byars

Grace is a way of life. Grace is more than just doctrine, it's the environment in which we live. Grace is constant and directly from the throne of God. Grace is divine favor. Grace is God's influence on our hearts. Because God favors His children He continually influences our hearts.

Why our hearts? Because we believe with our hearts and all things are possible for those who believe. Grace is God continually influencing you and empowering you to believe all things are possible. All things are possible because He's already given you all things that pertain to life and godliness. And because all of His promises are YES toward you.

Grace is a way of life, not just the legal explanation of the new covenant. Praise God for the new covenant, but grace is the benefit of being engrafted into God's family. We live in a kingdom of grace, a place where we stand accepted and approved. From that place God goes before us and guards us from behind. It's like a favor sandwich and acceptance in God is the meat.

From this place of grace we're free in Christ. We're free from so many things. Freedom is best understood not by what we're free from but what we're free to be. Many come to understand their new covenant identity and choose to stop going to church, stop giving and stop doing other things which were previously done seeking God's approval.

You are free from sin/bondage - Romans 6:22
You are free from death - Romans 8:2
You are free from the curse of the law - Galatians 3:13
You are free from accusation - Colossians 1:23
You are free from a carnal mindset - Colossians 3:1
You are free from the Law for righteousness - Romans 7:6
You are free because God’s spirit is in you - 2 Corinthians 3:17
You are free for the sake of freedom - Galatians 5:1
You can approach God freely - Ephesians 3:12

Freedom is best understood through the lens of righteousness. Yes, you're free from performance but until that freedom yields to the power of righteousness unto holiness, freedom can promote laziness.

True freedom shapes a heart to glorify God in every way, in every aspect of life. True freedom walks in holiness and represents God well. Not as an effort but as a fruit. True freedom takes responsibility for believing God. True freedom not only walks away from works righteousness but it walks toward continual transformation, until our mind and outer lives match what God has done in our spirit through Christ.

Romans 6:22 - "But now having been set free from sin, and having become slaves of God, you have your fruit to holiness, and the end, everlasting life."

If your understanding of grace is limited to what you don't have to do, I encourage you to yield to righteousness and let grace become your teacher.

Titus 2:11-14 - "For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works."

I expound on these ideas in two audio messages. I pray they encourage you and inspire you to take responsibility for the freedom you have in Christ.  Click link to listen (at the bottom of the page).

Copyright and Reprint Information - All photos remain the property of Donna L. Watkins, but may be used with proper credit and link back to the website, Articles written by Donna L. Watkins may also be reprinted with proper credit and link back to the website,

Breathe Your Way to Better Physical and Emotional Health

by Steven Horne
The School of Modern Herbal Medicine

Over the years, I have observed that nearly all chronically ill people are shallow breathers. This is sometimes due to a hiatal hernia, but it can also be a sign of high levels of chronic stress. Breathing is vital to healing because without proper oxygenation, we can’t maintain or even rebuild good health.

Low oxygen levels in the body contribute to depression, fatigue, pain, and increased risk of infection. Cancer cells also thrive in a low oxygen environment. This is why I teach breathing exercises to chronically-ill people as part of their healing process. After practicing deep breathing exercises, people usually feel more relaxed, energized and alert.

Shallow breathing disconnects a person from life and feeling. Each basic emotional pattern—fear, joy, excitement, anger, sorrow, pleasure, etc.—has a breathing pattern associated with it. When we block, stuff or otherwise suppress our emotions, we also stifle our breath. By freeing our breath, we learn to let go of these old emotional issues.

The diaphragm is a large muscle that divides the trunk of the body into two halves. It is a unique muscle because it is under both conscious and unconscious control. Every other muscle is either controlled voluntarily (through the central nervous system) or involuntarily (through the autonomic nervous system). With the diaphragm we have a choice.

When we breathe unconsciously, our emotional state is largely controlled by the circumstances of life. What is happening (or not happening) in the world around us unconsciously determines our breathing pattern, and thus, our emotional state. As we take control of our breathing and learn to breathe consciously, we also learn to consciously choose the emotional frequency at which we vibrate. This allows us to gain control of our lives as well as our health.  Read the entire article.

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Nandina Berries Kill Birds

By Jerry W. Davis, Certified Wildlife Biologist, Hot Springs, Arkansas
Nandina domestica is toxic to birds and other animals. 

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Nandina ~ Heavenly Bamboo
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Photo © - Donna L. Watkins
You know this shrub as Nandina, Sacred Bamboo or Heavenly Bamboo. Nandina domestica is found in most landscaping mixes in yards, parks, hospital grounds, and other locations in the lower 48 states.

Its bright red berries and contrasting dark green foliage add color and texture to landscapes. Some homeowners plant Nandina to specifically to provide food for birds, including the Cedar Waxwing, American Robin, Northern Mockingbird, Eastern Bluebird and other birds that depend on winter fruits to survive.

Nandina berries last for months attracting hungry birds when food is in short supply. However, studies show planting Nandina does not help birds, it harms them.

When dozens of Cedar Waxwings were found dead in Thomas County, Georgia, researchers at the College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Georgia, found the cause to be Nandina berries. Read their report. All the birds had intact Nandina berries in their crops. There was hemorrhaging in the heart, lungs, trachea, abdominal cavity and other organs.

Nandina berries contain cyanide and other alkaloids that produce highly toxic hydrogen cyanide (HCN) which is extremely poisonous to all animals. Sudden death may be the only sign of cyanide poisoning and death usually comes in minutes to an hour.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture and most states classify Nandina domestica as a noxious, non-native, invasive weed from China and Japan. It has naturalized and invaded our national parks, national widlife refuges, national forests, city parks and other habitats throughout the U.S. Yet homeowners and commercial landscapers are still planting this toxic species without constraint.

In addition to bird deaths in Georgia, bird deaths have been reported in Houston and other parts of the country. Hydroen cyanide is a painful, and unnecessary way for birds to die. Nandina is also toxic to dogs, cats, and many other animals.

You can help by choosing to remove Nandina and plant natives in your yard. If you don't want to rip out your Nandina, please prune the berry laden branches.

Posted with permission from Jerry W. Davis, Certified Wildlife Biologist, Hot Springs, Arkansas.

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Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Family And The Holidays

Grace Flavored Communication
By Clint Byars, Forward Church Ministries

Thanksgiving and Christmas are coming! Many of you will be around family and friends that you only see this time of year. What a wonderful opportunity to flavor your communication with grace.

For some of you it's a joyous reunion, for others...not so much. Most people are in the middle, we enjoy seeing friends and family but we find ourselves biting our tongues in conversations. Family has the capacity to bring out the best and worst in one another. I'd like to give you a little encouragement that just might make this season a time of love and healthy connection.

We've all been hurt. Jesus said it's impossible to never be offended. It's gonna happen. Our responsibility is our response. We can adopt the victim's mentality, we can harden our hearts and not let people in, we can rise above the offense and be an avenue of healing, we can judge people and wallow in pain ... the options are endless. I want to help you let go of pain and enjoy effective communication this season.

Colossians 4:6 - "Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone."

Our communication should be:

Full of grace
Seasoned with salt
So you'll know how to answer

GRACE is unmerited favor, it's a divine influence on our heart and it brings a capacity greater than our own. God says I favor you, I love you and I want what's best for you so I will influence you and lead you into the best that I have for you.

So if our conversation is to be full of grace, our conversation should always be empowering. Grace shows favor toward its receiver. Grace seeks the best for the object of its affection. Grace leaves one empowered.

Our communication can do all of these things. We can communicate in a way where the other person has a voice in the matter, where that person has power to speak. Grace filled communication doesn't condemn or condescend, it elevates and invites the other person to express their heart.

Grace brings the other person up to the same level of importance in the conversation and listens. Grace filled communication ultimately leaves the other person with a say-so in the conversation.

Too often with our children or family members we just disseminate information and call that communication. When we're just voicing our opinions or forcing our will we are not empowering the other person. God never forces His will on us, we're always left with a choice. Does your communication leave people with an invitation to respond and a choice?

SALT preserves and adds flavor. Our motivation in communicating, especially when resolving conflict, should be preservation. We must lead with grace and seek to preserve the context of the relationship. If we throw out all our hurt and resentment we're not seeking to preserve the friendship or marriage. If we force our opinions and never express value or love toward a person, we're selfishly unloading our emotions with no motivation of leaving that person in a powerful position before us.

Salt adds flavor, salt ties the foods together, salt adds that factor that takes that dish over the edge. Too much salt can ruin a dish but just enough can be the element that is satisfying. If we add salt to our grace filled communication, we're engaging our hearts and emotions in the conversation. Salt conveys value in a conversation because it seeks to reach an understanding between all parties involved.

GIVING ANSWERS is the last component to effective communication.

What's wrong honey? Nothing
Are you sure? Yep
You seem upset. Well if I have to tell you then something is really wrong!!!!!!

Those aren't answers. A grace-filled answer seasoned with salt seeks to preserve and empower the other person. We may find ourselves in situations where we've judged the other person and decided they should know what we're thinking but that's not grace with salt.

Grace with salt gives honest, truthful answers that empower the listener to respond accordingly. Too often because we're hurting we limit our communication because we're upset. This person may have legitimately hurt us but if we desire to preserve the relationship it's our responsibility to communicate. I admit it can be very difficult to lay down anger or offense and open our heart to the person who hurt us but if we want any hope of resolution we must communicate.

Communication empowers, preserves and answers honestly. If we stick to these guidelines we will fulfill Jesus' commandment to love one another and display love to the world at large.

I go into much more detail on how to let go of pain in my recent messages.  Click to listen.

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Saturday, November 22, 2014

Sickness Is Not From God

by Andrew Wommack

Read John 9:1-4

John 9:2 "And his disciples asked him saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?"

The disciples asked a question that still puzzles many people today. Why is a child born with a physical defect? Is it a judgment of God upon the parents for some sin, or is it possibly God's judgment upon the child for sins that God knows he will commit?

Jesus Himself had previously linked sickness with sin. In this instance, however, Jesus said this blindness was not caused by this man's or his parents' sins.

This has led many people to interpret the rest of this verse as saying that God made this man blind just so that He could heal him and be glorified thereby. From this thinking, many doctrinal teachings have risen about how sickness and other problems in our lives are actually blessings from God, intended to bring glory to God and correction to us. This reasoning, however, does not line up with the other truths of God's Word.

It was not God who made this beggar blind. This man was not born blind because of any one person's sins but because sin in general had corrupted the perfect balance that God had created in nature. Therefore, some maladies happen, not as a direct result of an individual's sins but as an indirect result of sin in general.

Deuteronomy 28 settles forever the question of whether sickness, poverty, and oppression are really blessings in disguise. God says that sickness and poverty are curses - not blessings from God. Christ redeemed us from these curses of the law so that now the blessings may come upon us through Him (Galatians 3:13). God's curses have been placed on Jesus and removed from those who accept Jesus' sacrifice. You are blessed!

Visit Andrew's Website.

Who's The Judge?

'My Utmost for His Highest' from Oswald Chambers
Devotion Day: July 16

"Judge not, that ye be not judged."
Matthew 7:1

Jesus says regarding judging - Don't.

The average Christian is the most penetratingly critical individual. Criticism is a part of the ordinary faculty of man; but in the spiritual domain nothing is accomplished by criticism. The effect of criticism is a dividing up of the powers of the one criticized; the Holy Ghost is the only One in the true position to criticize, He alone is able to show what is wrong without hurting and wounding.

It is impossible to enter into communion with God when you are in a critical temper; it makes you hard and vindictive and cruel, and leaves you with the flattering unction that you are a superior person. Jesus says, as a disciple cultivate the uncritical temper. It is not done once and for all. Beware of anything that puts you in the superior person's place.

There is no getting away from the penetration of Jesus. If I see the mote in your eye, it means I have a beam in my own. Every wrong thing that I see in you, God locates in me. Every time I judge, I condemn myself (see Romans 2:17-20).

Stop having a measuring rod for other people. There is always one fact more in every man's case about which we know nothing. The first thing God does is to give us a spiritual spring-cleaning; there is no possibility of pride left in a man after that. I have never met the man I could despair of after discerning what lies in me apart from the grace of God.

Copyright Statement
Taken from 'My Utmost for His Highest', by Oswald Chambers. © l935 by Dodd Mead & Co., renewed © 1963 by the Oswald Chambers Publications Assn., Ltd., and is used by permission of Barbour Publishing, Uhrichsville, Ohio. All rights reserved.

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Do You Have To Be Right?

From Luminosity

What is a "Right-Fighter"?
A right-fighter is someone who struggles to win arguments, even if they doubt their own view. A right-fighter is someone who gets overly emotional or angry when people do not agree with them and their opinions or beliefs. A right-fighter is someone who insists on having the last word in an argument or refuses to back down no matter what.

Challenges of Being a "Right-Fighter"
 People who are right-fighters, (or those who are driven by the need to be right), have their value or worth literally attached to the outcome of being right. On a very deep level, a right-fighter believes that if she is not agreed with then she is not valuable, lovable and/or worthy.

The "right-fighter" desperately believes (unconsciously) that others must agree with her to feel ok about herself. Being a right-fighter causes you to depend upon others for your self-esteem and worth.  Read this article.

Copyright and Reprint Information - All photos remain the property of Donna L. Watkins, but may be used with proper credit and link back to the website, TheNature Articles written by Donna L. Watkins can be reprinted with proper credit and link back to the website,

The Health Benefits of Humor and Laughter

by Melinda Smith, M.A., and Jeanne Segal, Ph.D

Laughter is a powerful antidote to stress, pain, and conflict. Nothing works faster or more dependably to bring your mind and body back into balance than a good laugh. Humor lightens your burdens, inspires hopes, connects you to others, and keeps you grounded, focused, and alert.

With so much power to heal and renew, the ability to laugh easily and frequently is a tremendous resource for surmounting problems, enhancing your relationships, and supporting both physical and emotional health.  Read the entire article.

Copyright and Reprint Information - All photos remain the property of Donna L. Watkins, but may be used with proper credit and link back to the website, TheNature Articles written by Donna L. Watkins can be reprinted with proper credit and link back to the website,

Animal Hoarding - What To Do If You Suspect This?

What To Do If You Suspect Animal Hoarding
by Dr. Jane Bicks

We see the stories on TV or read them online, about people who hoard animals. Most recently, more than 70 Irish Wolfhounds suffering from severe neglect were found on a single property in Texas.

Perhaps someone in your very own neighborhood could be doing the same. But how do you know when it’s truly a case of hoarding? And what should you do if animals’ lives are at risk?

Dr. Jane takes an in-depth look at this issue, revealing the possible causes and what people just like you can do to help. Read this Dr. Jane post now

Saturday, November 15, 2014

The Nature In Us Newsletter - 11/15/14

"The mind is its own place, and in itself can make a
heaven of hell and a hell of heaven." -- John Milton

  The Nature In Us Newsletter - 11/15/14 
  by Donna L. Watkins  

Hello Dear Friends!

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Dark-eyed Junco in Tree
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Creation/Nature - The Juncos are back for the winter.  Saw my first one on Tuesday the 11th on the deck for the birdbath.  They're so cute with their pink beaks.  We have had one with a white spot on it for many years now and I'll be looking to see if that one returns.  More info on Dark-eyed Juncos.

As I write this I'm on the screened porch on a delightfully surprising day of 64 degrees and sunny.  Stillness with only a few leaves dropping here and there. 

Speaking of leaves, the squirrels have been having a grand time playing in the leaves chasing each other and digging to find the acorns that had fallen beneath the leaves.  The birdbath has been very busy with bathers on such a great day for cleaning feathers.  Titmouse, chickadee, finches with the squirrels getting a drink in between.  They usually drink from the pond, but there's a couple that seem to like the birdbath water better.

Our friend, Ken Bushell, sent me a picture of an amazing looking moth that stayed a good part of the day on the screen of his porch.  Although research shows it's a common moth, we've never seen one here in our wildlife habitat.

Large Tolype Moth (Tolype-velleda)
At first glance I thought the brownish blob on its back may have been something parasitic, but it's all part of this Large Tolype Moth (Tolype-velleda).  It's really quite beautiful!  Since it's so widespread, I thought I'd share it with you in case you've had them in your habitat.

Leave a comment on the blog post if you have and let us all know.  Read more about this beautiful moth.

Charlene Buffum sent me a link to a squirrel video taken after the home/birdfeeder owners put Vaseline on the feeder pole.  It is so funny to see the various ways the squirrel tried to get up to the feeders.  Hilarious!  And the couple that did it were laughing also.  The feeder is in a dense garden area as you can see and there is some kind of plant with a thick stalk that is certainly stout enough for the squirrel to climb it and jump across to the feeder.  We don't know the end of the story, but I betcha the squirrel won this battle .... they seem to win them all in some way or another.  View Slippery Squirrel Video.

I had mentioned in the last newsletter about the Common Grackles that were flying through in large flocks.  One morning they were so loud I went outside to see many trees covered in them.  It was a perfect moment for a video.  The sound was almost deafening and yet above that you could hear the "swoosh" of the wing beats as they changed directions flying in formation.  Such an incredible display of wonder.  View Grackles Swarming Video.

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White-breasted Nuthatch on Feeder
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We have the White-breasted Nuthatch here in Virginia.  When we lived in Alabama we had the Brown-headed Nuthatch.  They are sweet little things to watch since they go down trees head first.  They are insect eaters and are always looking for bugs in our dead trees, but they also visit our sunflower feeders for a special quick treat. Recently I took a pretty pose of a picture of one on the feeder.

Spiritual - I've been really enjoying scheduling my day around several times with the Lord.  I begin the day with the Lord before I ever get out of bed.  What we think on at the first part of the day is very influential on the rest of the day.

What we think on when we go to bed is what will be magnified during the night, so that's another time to focus on God's Word.  Instead of telling your problems to God, why not tell your problems about God's Word.  The Word will change your circumstances if you put more of it in your mind than rehearsing the problem. Yes, you can get a lot of pity from telling others, but what does that do for you?

There are many mighty men of God in history that spent many hours with the Lord, saying that they couldn't get anything they needed to do done with more time, but with more fellowship with God, it all came together.  So that's what I set out to emulate.  Something I've done for a very long time is to designate shower and toilet time to meditation on the Word of His promises.  It produces much more peace and joy than worrying over all your troubles and actually makes them become a bit more faded as you do so throughout the day.

When the desire is there, you will find the time, and it's definitely better to do so before you reach a crisis in your life.  There's a difference between relationship and fellowship.  When we take Christ as Lord, we are now in relationship to God, a son or a daughter, but fellowship is what God created us for as can be evidenced by His daily walking and talking with Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden.  I like to go to sleep picturing myself dancing with Jesus on the beach until we're exhausted and then sit in the sand and draw pictures or build sand castles. 

What pictures does this verse create in your mind?  It's one of my favorites!

"The LORD your God in the midst of you is mighty; He will save, He will rejoice over you with joy; He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing" (Zephaniah 3:17).

We don't have any children at home and my job is at home so I can schedule my time.  But even with children we can find 10 minutes to focus on fellowshipping with God several times a day.  And those who work outside the home have a commute of some sort, which is a perfect time.  Certainly better than listening to the evil of the day (CNN - Continually Negative News) or talk shows of people puking their guts out about some issue that they have no control over, can do nothing about or will do nothing about, but feel better themselves after dumping the garbage on an audience.

There's also break time and lunch time.  Spending time with God will bring you more peace and joy than gossiping at a break table or listening to others who dump the worst news of the day on your lap just in case you missed it.  I've been missing it for over 30 years and have never actually missed anything. 

Have bad circumstances going on?  Get into the Word and find promises relating to them and focus on the promises, not the problem.  Whatever we focus on will be magnified in our lives.  What do you think on most of the day?  How's that working for you?  Does meditating on the problems produce any peace or change in your circumstances?

Source: The Living Way Blog
I often think about Daniel's fellowship with God.  He  prospered in a foreign land and was elevated to high offices.  Daniel was honored by King Nebuchadnezzar and placed in authority over all the wise men of Babylon.  Later King Belshazzar reigned and he promoted Daniel to the third highest position in the Babylonian kingdom.  King Darius then took over and those who envied Daniel's prosperity and favor wished to kill him so they had King Darius issue a decree forbidding his subjects from praying to any of their gods for the next thirty days. The penalty for disobeying was to be thrown into a den of lions.  

Three times a day Daniel would pray and this could be seen from his bedroom window.  So Darius was forced to submit Daniel to the lions' den and we all know the outcome of that.  Daniel's honesty and loyalty to his masters never led him to compromise his faith in the one true God.  I've often wondered if he felt the need to pray three times a day due to all of the evil around him.  The world he lived in under foreign rule with false gods was surely as tough as ours is today with all the evil going on around us. 

Did he find his peace and other Godly qualities in fellowship with the Lord at these times.  Is it how he kept his head above water?  I believe it was.  How much more do we need an escape from the overwhelming stress of the world today?
Don't miss this article by Dr. Caroline Leaf:

Health - Don't miss the post on toenail fungus.  There are only a few anti-fungal drugs and all are very toxic, but there are some natural alternatives that work well.  Check out this post: 11 Home Remedies For Toenail Fungus.

For those of you who enjoy electrolyte drinks, you might want to check out this article to make your own healthy mineral-restoring beverages.  Most of the drinks available have a list of very unhealthy ingredients in them.  Making your own you can use honey instead of refined sugars and high-fructose corn syrup:  Make Your Own Electrolyte Energy Drink.

Travel - Thank you again to my friend, Charlene, in N. California, for the introduction to Socotra, an island situated in the Indian Ocean 155 miles (250 km) from Somalia and 211 miles (340 km) from Yemen.  Like the Galapagos Islands, this island is teeming with 700 extremely rare species of flora and fauna, a full 1/3 of which are found nowhere else on Earth.

The unusual flora in the photograph has been described as blooming elephant legs.  To me they look like upside down elephant legs, but this plant is called the Desert Rose.  Some of the plants require no soil and sink their roots into rock.  This place is a birder's paradise with 140 different species of birds with 10 not found anywhere else in the world.

It looks like an absolutely fascinating place to rediscover who you are amongst so much of what you've never seen.  Although taking advantage of the eco-tourism trade, you will hardly run into tourists when you visit this island of 40,000 inhabitants.  The Yemeni government began putting roads in after negotiations with UNESCO, which declared this island a World Natural Heritage Site in 2008. I would prefer a camel ride myself, a slower pace at which to see things and as large as these plants are, you'd get a better view from a camel than a Jeep.  View more photos and information hereLearn more about Socotra at Wiki.  Ready to schedule a vacation? Here's a link for tourism info.

Reuse/Recycle/Frugal -  I love to recycle, but more than that, I like to reuse rather than just recycle it back into the environment.  I saw this photo which mentions using the packaging as a pot to plant flowers in.  I thought it was a cool idea.  What a nice way to present a garden gift to neighbors, friends, co-workers, etc. when you are thinning out your own garden beds.

Source:  Unknown
You could make the day for somebody with such a simple gift.  And they will have that beauty in their midst for quite some time. No garden to dig from? All you need is to buy a 6-pack of bedding plants for $2.00 or less.  Add a bit of dirt to this kind of container or something similar and one of the plants.  How many could you bless from a $2.00 investment!

Life is hard at times and even a smile makes a difference in people's lives these days.  You don't see many people smiling when you're out and about.  The least I can do is share smiles with everybody I see while I'm out.  A smile is a powerful seed to sow into the Kingdom and when you give it with one of these gifts it would be even more lasting.

"Now thanks be unto God, who always causes us to triumph in Christ and Who makes manifest through us the savor of His knowledge in every place" (2 Cor. 2:14).

Love, Hugs, and Many Blessings,


P.S. Anything in here that might help somebody you know?
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written by Donna

Posts Since Last Newsletter

Are You a Victim of Your Thoughts?

Important Reasons to Drink More Water

Make Your Own Electrolyte Energy Drink

Getting Loved Ones Saved

God’s Abounding Love

11 Home Remedies For Toenail Fungus

How to Stop Pawing Behavior (Video)

Great Tree For Wildlife - Black Gum (DLW)

The Nature In Us Newsletter - 11/1/14 (DLW)

Previous Posts You May Have Missed

The Soil of Our Hearts

Native Shrubs for Small Wildlife Gardens

What Traveling Brings to Our Lives

Common Pet Dangers

Begin Your Wildlife Habitat This Fall

The Nature In Us Newsletter - 10/15/14 (DLW)

The Battle of Belief and Unbelief (DLW)

Pets: What Is That Foul Smell?

Leaf Litter Is a Beneficial Windfall

The Nature In Us Newsletter - 10/1/14  (DLW)

What It Means To Believe

Children's Cereals: Sugar by the Pound

Step Away From The Leaf Blower

Cynophobia – The Fear of Dogs

Renovate Your Mind

The Nature In Us Newsletter - 9/15/14  (DLW)

Our Life in Him
Bad Choices Lead to Toxic Thinking
Duckweed - There Are Some Benefits

Do You Really Trust God? (DLW)

Jogging With Your Dog (Video)

Overcoming Trouble

Can We Control Emotions and Feelings?

Seeing The Word Alive In Me  (DLW)

Living Near Trees Reduces Stress

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© All photos unless otherwise noted are the property of Donna L. Watkins and can be displayed elsewhere with approval. Contact me through the blog website.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Are You a Victim of Your Thoughts?

By Dr. Caroline Leaf

You are not a victim of your biology/genes and bloodline curses .... learn about the science of epigenetics.

The Genome has been prominent in general scientific thinking, however, because of the recent discoveries in the growing field of Epigenetics, the perceived pre-eminence of the gene is waning.

The science of Epigenetics describes how gene expression is controlled by mechanisms other than changes in DNA sequence. The Mind thinks and produces thoughts. Thinking epigenetically affects DNA and gene expression.

Thinking therefore lies within the sphere of Epigenetics. Thinking affects gene expression in somatic cells of the Brain and the rest of the Body. This in turn affects the anatomy (structure) and physiology (function) and subsequently the health of the Body.

Therefore aberrant (toxic) thinking can adversely affect the normal functioning of the Body, leading to particular psychological and somatic disorders and diseases. Epigenetic mechanisms have been demonstrated in germ cells (eggs and sperm) and can affect our progeny.

Therefore thinking can affect our children. There is even epidemiological evidence of epigenetic effects in multiple generations.

Watch Dr Caroline Leaf discuss this Science on the Leon Show.

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Important Reasons to Drink More Water

The main reason we often do not drink enough water is simple: we just do not pay attention and forget about it during the day. We drink coffee, tea, soda, milk, fruit juice, not to mention alcohol, and many other beverages.

Alternatively, we do not drink at all, and our body becomes dehydrated, which is not good for our health. Nevertheless, there are five important reasons to drink water.

Awareness of these reasons will help you realize the need to change your habits.  Read this article.

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Make Your Own Electrolyte Energy Drink

By Claire at

Gatorade, PowerAde, electrolyte pumped-up sports drinks…they’re good for you, right?

You see athletes chugging down bottles of the neon-colored liquid in every ad and real life, surely they do something, and they do. They help you maintain your body’s balance of electrolytes during or after periods of heavier exercise.

But when you look closer, you’re really just paying an outrageous price for glorified, brightly colored, sugar water. An overload of processed and refined sweetener (in the case of sports drinks, high-fructose corn syrup) is never a good thing. And while artificial flavors and colors don’t technically do much to your health, a part of me just shies away from the idea of ingesting things that are “fake.”  Read the entire article.

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Getting Loved Ones Saved

The Gospel Is The Power of God
by Andrew Wommack

Matthew 9:38, "Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest,
that he will send forth laborers into his harvest."

Read:  Matthew 9:35-38, 13:53-58, Mark 6:1-6

People are born again through the power of the Word of God, not through prayer. Prayer is very important, but it is not a substitute for the Gospel.

Many people petition God for someone to be saved and can't understand why it hasn't happened yet. We don't have to ask the Lord to save anyone. He isn't willing that anyone should perish. He has already made provision for everyone's salvation.

So what do we pray concerning someone coming to the Lord? Jesus said to pray that the Lord send laborers across their path. They need to hear the Word. Also, we should bind the influence of the god of this world (Satan) who tries to blind them to spiritual truth (II Cor. 4:4).

God is more motivated to save our loved ones than we are. We don't need to plead with Him, but rather we need to become a channel for Him to flow through to reach that person. We do that by sharing the good news (Gospel) with them and/or praying that others will come across their path who will do the same.

The Gospel is the power of God that releases the effects of salvation in our lives (Rom. 1:16). If a person needs healing, it's in the Gospel. If deliverance is needed, it's in the Gospel. Prosperity, answered prayer, joy, peace, love - they are all found through understanding and believing the Gospel.

The Gospel is the good news that although we are sinners and worthy of God's wrath, God, in love, sent His Son to be our substitute, bearing our punishment, so that we could be made completely righteous in His sight. It's based only on our faith in this completed work of Christ and not our own performance. Now that's GOOD NEWS!

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Friday, November 7, 2014

God’s Abounding Love

by Cecil Paxton

In Genesis 1:1 it says “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” and in Revelation 4:11 it is written that "thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power for thou hast created all things and for thy pleasure they are and were created.” God created the heavens and the earth for us and created all the birds of the air, the fish of the seas, the animals, trees and plants for us because He desired to have fellowship with us.

He placed Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden and there they had God’s full provision and the honor of walking with God in the cool of the day and had fellowship with Him. In the garden they enjoyed all the pleasures God had provided for them for the word “Eden” means pleasure. Everything was there for their pleasure. After they fell God came looking for them in the garden in the cool of the day. Adam said to God, “I hid because I was afraid.” For the first time in their existence they experienced fear.

For us it is written in 2 Timothy 1:7, “God has not given us a spirit of fear but of love, power, and a sound mind.” Praise God! God loves us and in His love He clothed Adam and Eve and sent them out from the garden because He knew if they ate from the tree of life in that state they would be bound forever.

God had a plan and He brought Jesus into the world and Jesus laid down His life for us so we could be restored back into relationship with our heavenly Father. How great is God’s love for us! We are precious in His sight. We are of great value to Him. His love is everlasting, consistent, and never fails! God is love.

1 Corinthians 13:4-8 says, “Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up, does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil, does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth, bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things. Love never fails.”

God thinks no evil towards us. He will not deceive us, lie to us or rob us. Jesus said in John 10:10, “Satan comes in to steal, kill, and destroy but I have come to give you life and to give it abundantly.” God’s love is abounding. That means it is over-flowing with great quantity. It flows like a river never ending.

Psalms 36:7-8 says, "How precious is your loving kindness oh God! Therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of your wings. They are abundantly satisfied with the fullness of your house, and you give them drink from the river of your pleasures.”

God wants us to enjoy His presence and partake of His pleasures for He takes pleasure in us and we were created for His good pleasure.We are greatly loved. God is steadfast and faithful. Nothing can separate us from His love. We are in the palm of His hand and no man can pluck us out of His hand. We can trust under the shadow of His wings. “O’ taste and see that the Lord is good. Blessed is the man who trusts in Him." (Psalms 34:8)

Visit Cecil's Website.

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