Wednesday, January 27, 2016

The Holy Spirit Is a Better Teacher Than the Law

by Clint Byars, Forward Ministries

I get confused when I talk to some Christians about the Old Covenant Law and works. It's as if as soon as you bring up the Law the conversation drifts toward works. It's almost like some Christians don't know that the Law was for a 1500 year period of time before the Holy Spirit was given.

It's almost as if some Christians think that God still relates to us based on our works rather than based on the indwelling of His spirit. It's almost as if some Christians think that saying we're no longer under the Law means our actions are of no consequence. Hmmm, go figure ;-)

Of course our actions matter now but they don't affect our right standing with God. Righteousness is a spiritual condition that doesn't come through keeping laws. The OC Law was never meant for righteousness because again, keeping laws doesn't give you spiritual life. works matter now? Of course, but why bring up the Law when we start talking about works? Do you see where I'm going? The Law is fulfilled and had its place. If you'd like to discuss Christian behavior, that's another subject all together.

I believe the Holy Spirit is a much better teacher than external laws. Believers are under the influence of God's inner presence that is ever present and leads us according to His truth and life. By the way, the Holy Spirit will never violate any of His previously revealed morality and justice.

Our deeds and works will be tried at the final judgment but that's not for righteousness, that's for reward. Even unbeliever's works are not judged for righteousness. The righteousness issue is settled. One must understand that it's settled when taking the conversation to how we're to live as believers. The Holy Spirit has the power, whereas the Law did not, to empower us to live worthy of the holiness and righteousness we've been given in Christ. But the Holy Spirit doesn't empower you to keep the Law, He empowers you to have life and that more abundantly.

Now that the Spirit of God has been given, let's teach people to look to Him for guidance rather than rules than only reveal sin. Let's inspire people to trust God because when they do their hearts will be open to Him and they will be infused with a power that is not their own.

I pray that when you mess up, you don't wonder if you've lost position with God. I pray that the next time you mess up you rest easy knowing you're forgiven and God still loves you. And I pray the next time you mess up you make the decision that you don't want that behavior in your life anymore and you turn to God for grace to overcome those destructive behaviors.

Take a few moments [5 minutes] to watch this video and listen to this audio message.  Then Like and Share.

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It Turns Out Cancer Can Be Killed After All

By Jeff Witzeman

“Your lives are going to change forever,” the Urologist told us after removing a golf ball sized tumor from my wife’s bladder. “The cancer has spread into the muscle wall and the only course of action is to remove the bladder. We will have to attach a tube to the kidneys that comes out the side of her body and drains into a bag that she will wear for the rest of her life, much like a colostomy bag ...”

As we spoke with family, we were reminded that Kerry’s (my wife) sister and nephew had traveled to Germany to treat their cancer naturopathically, both successfully without surgery or chemotherapy; one stage 4 Melanoma and the other stage 3 squamous cell throat cancer. They had been cancer free for 4 and 3 years respectively.

Why on earth would chemotherapy and drugs be the go to option when chemotherapy destroys everything around it, not just the cancer? Why destroy the immune system with chemotherapy thus leaving the body WEAKER and less able to fight off the second wave of cancer cells?

What we found was that the FDA bans everything in the States that conflicts with chemotherapy and chemo drugs because that’s where the money is . . . well over $125 Billion a year.

But we have learned something that did change our lives forever: Cancer can be killed!

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Could Clocks Be Harming Your Health, Happiness & Productivity

From Huffington Post

The speed of life, it seems, is always increasing. Our to-do lists get longer, our deadlines loom closer, and constant access to digital devices means few idle moments. In the workplace, this time pressure can be particularly acute: a survey conducted last year found that more than 8 in 10 Americans are stressed about their jobs, with an unreasonable workload being the top stressor.

But one researcher is arguing that workplace stress brought on by deadlines and time crunches is exacerbated by an unlikely element: clocks.

Running on "clock time," as opposed to a less time-focused way of managing our lives, fundamentally alters our worldview. "When you rely on the clock, you put control of your schedule outside of yourself," Anne-Laure Sellier said in a 2013 TED talk, citing research she conducted with Tamar Avnet, associate professor of marketing at Yeshiva University’s Sy Syms School of Business.   Read the entire article.

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Feline Food Fun Video

by Dr. Sarah

There’s no doubt about it, cats are predatory creatures. If they don’t engage their capacity for problem-solving and a bit of adventure, they could develop any number of physical and psychological problems associated with sedentary living.

Fortunately, Dr. Sarah is here to show you just how easy and inexpensive it is to encourage mental stimulation and physical activity in cats.

Don’t miss this month’s episode of Pet Talk to keep you, and your kitty, entertained for countless hours. Watch the video now!

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Our Words Are Alive

by Andrew Wommack

Mark 11:14 "And Jesus answered and said unto it, No man eat fruit of thee hereafter for ever. And his disciples heard it."

Notice that this verse says that Jesus "answered" this fig tree. The tree had not spoken to Him verbally but it communicated that it had figs by the leaves on it. It is a fact that a fig tree should have figs by the time the leaves are evident.

A fig tree actually produces green figs before the leaves appear and if no figs are produced by that time, then the tree will not have any figs that year. This fig tree was professing something that it didn't have even though it was still too early for figs.

Not only plants, but other things can communicate with us too. Circumstances can tell you that you have failed. Your body can tell you that your prayer didn't work - the Lord didn't heal you, etc. You need to follow Jesus' example and answer these things with a positive statement of your faith.

What good could it do to talk to a tree or an inanimate object? God created the heavens, the earth, and everything that is in the earth, by His words (Heb. 11:3). The whole creation was made by and responds to words.

Our words, when spoken in faith, release either life or death (Prov. 18:21). They also affect people, things, and circumstances. We can release the power that is in faith by our words.

Speaking God's Word in faith brings the Holy Spirit into action. In Luke 4, when Jesus was tempted of the devil for forty days, it was the Word of God that Jesus used to defeat the enemy at His temptation.

We must take advantage of God's Word by placing it in our hearts so that the Holy Spirit may bring it forth at the appropriate time to accomplish a complete and total victory.

Speak to that mountain in your life.

Visit Andrew's Website.

Are You Pleasing God or People?

Please God, Not People
by Andrew Wommack

Read Mark 10:43-48

Mark 10:48 "And many charged him that he should hold his peace: but he cried the more a great deal, Thou son of David, have mercy on me."
The devil will always have someone available to tell us why we shouldn't expect to get results when petitioning God. Most people would rather stay with the crowd and not do anything to draw attention to themselves even if that means not getting their needs met. They will try to make you conform as well. If this man would have listened to the crowd, he would not have received his healing. "Ye have not, because ye ask not" (Jas. 4:2).

This blind man is a good example of an active kind of faith. He was not passive in his approach toward healing. He boldly cried out to Jesus for mercy. When the crowd ridiculed him and told him to be quiet, he cried out even louder for mercy.

Many people believe that God can perform the miracle they need but relatively few are willing to actively pursue it until they get results. They are afraid of what others will think of them. This man had his attention focused only on Jesus. Nothing else mattered and that is why he got healed.

An integral part of faith is seeking God only with your whole heart. If we are concerned about what people think so that we can gain their approval, we will never take a stand in faith for anything that we might be criticized for. 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).

Visit Andrew's Website.

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9 Signs You Might Be A People Pleaser

From Huffington Post

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People pleasers thrive off making other people happy. Is it admirable? Yes. Healthy? Not necessarily. It's one thing to value bringing joy to others, but those with the behavior type may end up taking it too far.

"Often, people pleasers are afraid of confrontation and will just agree and say yes to most anything to avoid an uncomfortable argument or disagreement," social psychologist Susan Newman, author of The Book of No: 250 Ways to Say It—and Mean It and Stop People-Pleasing Forever, told Yahoo! Health last year.   

Read the rest of the article.

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Video: Kitty Play Time

by Dr. Sarah
Cats become bored easily, especially if left to their own devices. This is exactly why it’s so vital that they enjoy structured play times with their pet parents. Not only do they get to spend fun time with you, their primary caregiver, they get to exercise their bodies and minds.

Lucky for us, Dr. Sarah is here to show us how simple it is to encourage mental stimulation and physical activity in cats.

Don’t miss this month’s episode of Pet Talk to keep you, and your kitty, entertained for countless hours. Watch the video now!

Friday, January 15, 2016

The Nature In Us Newsletter - 1/15/16

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The Nature In Us Newsletter
January 15, 2016
By Donna L. Watkins

"More and more as we come closer and closer in touch with nature and its teachings are we able to see the Divine and are therefore fitted to interpret correctly the various languages spoken by all forms of nature about us." -- George Washington Carver, African-American inventor

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Hello Dear Friends!

Spiritual - How's the beginning of the year 2016 been?  Did you make New Year Resolutions?  Have you already let yourself down on those goals?  Don't let slip-ups make you think you've failed.  Remember the old adage "Try, Try, and Try Again!"  It's never too late to be what you might have been.

One thing about writing down goals is that you acknowledge in your own strength you can do little or nothing, but with God Who resides within us, nothing is impossible.  So talk to the Mighty One about your goals and plans and then write them down and proceed.  Expect to fail.  If you don't you've chosen too easy a goal - stretch yourself out of your safe zone.

Butterflies - Monarch Watch put together a brief memo last month describing a concept for configuring I-35 as a Monarch Highway.  This memo is intended to be a starting point for discussion.

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Monarch Butterfly on Stonecrop Sedum
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Although the memo describes how we might proceed with habitat restoration for monarchs and pollinators along our highways, modifications of this plan could be applied to other right of ways (ROWs), as well as public and private lands.  You can read the complete memo and supporting articles at their blog.

Butterflies & Turtles - Why do butterflies drink the tears of a turtle?  Check out the story here.

Tidbit - Honesty - Thumper, an amazingly honest busboy immediately turns in $3,000 found on floor and gets $28,000+ in return .... so far!  Isn't it great to know there are honest people that even when they're in tough times themselves they don't comprise their character.  Thumper is sleeping at friends' homes, has no car, bicycles to work in the cold and snow, and his paycheck is garnished for medical bills.  That takes a lot of honesty in a person to not even consider it.  Read more.

Birds - I love our American Crows!  They are so large and glossy and they walk tall.  It's a picture that I think we should emulate because of who we are in Christ.  Not in pride or self-assurance ...  not from what we have made of ourselves, but what He has made of us by placing us in Christ.  We need to portray the extravagance of God's love for us and how tall we walk being a co-heir with Christ of so many blessings. 

Friday, January 8, 2016

Why Does Healing Sometimes Take Time?

Why Does Healing Sometimes Take Time?
by Donna L. Watkins

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Mama Deer with Fawn Nursing in Front of Porch
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A couple of months ago Randal and I watched the videos of a conference on the Balance of Faith and Grace. It got into the timing of things and how sometimes we don't see instant provision of God's promises.

First of all many times the situation warrants people bringing things to pass. God doesn't counterfeit money, so He's not going to change your checkbook balance with a deposit from Heaven. He will bring the money in through human resources and our prayers have a lot to do in bringing it to pass as we speak the solution, rather than continuing to complain or speak about the problem. God has provided even if we don't see it yet, so we pray thanking Him.

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God." (Philippians 4:6)

Whatever we focus on will be magnified in our lives.  You've also got the issue of freewill with the people He may speak to for the monetary provision.

Using healing as an example, sometimes there is a period between when it actually happened and when you actually see it. Jesus used many ways to heal.  The Bible says He healed them ALL but when you begin reading accounts of healings, there is great diversity, so the "way" wasn't one way.  Consider the ten lepers that He healed:

"Now on His way to Jerusalem, Jesus traveled along the border between Samaria and Galilee. As He was going into a village, ten men who had leprosy met Him. They stood at a distance and called out in a loud voice, “Jesus, Master, have pity on us!” When He saw them, He said, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went, they were cleansed. One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked Him—and he was a Samaritan" (Luke 17:11-15).

Consider the fig tree that Jesus cursed. In one Gospel it says the tree died immediately ... then the other says in the morning the disciples saw that it was dead and of course they were shocked and said, "LOOK!" meaning it didn't look that way as soon as He spoke to it. Mark says it dried up from the roots.

"The next day as they were leaving Bethany, Jesus was hungry. Seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, he went to find out if it had any fruit. When he reached it, he found nothing but leaves, because it was not the season for figs. Then he said to the tree, 'May no one ever eat fruit from you again.' And his disciples heard him say it." (Mark 11:12-14)

They had passed the tree on the way to the temple courts where Jesus drove out those who were buying and selling there.  They left the city that evening ... obviously passing by the fig tree again with no conversation.  But the next day ....

"In the morning, as they went along, they saw the fig tree withered from the roots. Peter remembered and said to Jesus, 'Rabbi, look! The fig tree you cursed has withered!'" (Mark 11:20)

So it was dead (roots killed) instantly but you couldn't see it. It withered up as the roots died. Like things being done in the spiritual realm that we can't see. But they are REAL and in process till we see the manifestation of healing in our bodies. We're used to operating in our 5 senses, so if nothing happens right way, we add doubt and unbelief as soon as we don't see it. By faith through grace is how we connect to His promises.  It's that ONE IN CHRIST concept that we have to go through considering our "old man" dead in Christ and alive in Him.

He gave another example with Daniel when he was praying and Gabriel appeared in Daniel 9. He said from the moment he started his prayer God responded and he was there to give him the answer. WHILE HE WAS PRAYING! The prayer if you read slow takes 3 minutes at most. I could handle having my prayers answered that quickly. Why did it take 3 minutes if God heard and gave the answer right away. We don't understand or know everything about the spiritual realm. That's another area where trust and faith comes in. We need to choose to believe the Word, and not our own mental reasoning, which is worthless when it comes to spiritual things.

Then there was another time it says God heard when he first asked and yet Daniel took 21 days to get there. He explained that to Daniel in Daniel 10:12-13 "Do not be afraid, Daniel. Since the first day that you set your mind to gain understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to them." Daniel's faith would've been stronger if anything after getting the response as he did the first time. So why did it take 3 weeks instead of 3 minutes?

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Male Pileated Woodpecker
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It says that the spiritual realm resisted Gabriel. Back then Daniel had no power over the demonic realm. Now, in Christ, we have power AND authority to come against him since Jesus got that victory with the Cross. But that won't keep the enemy from continuing to deceive us. And when we choose to believe the Word for healing, finances, job offers, etc. and use that authority it can make a huge difference in how you pray about things. We had a lot we wanted to sell in Greenville, SC. for 7 years. We'd prayed and asked God to sell it many many times and had it with 5 different realtors.

When going with the 6th realtor, we had listened to Andrew Wommack's teaching on "A Better Way to Pray" and decided to give it a try. We changed our prayer from "God please bring a buyer to our lot to buy it" ... to ... "We take authority over any strongholds or blockages that the devil has organized against us and we break those powers in the name of Jesus. We ask that you bring forth the buyers for our lot. Amen."

We prayed every lunch and dinner to continue the standing process with the devil.  Nothing loud or aggressive since Christ has already won the victory over the devil and has given us authority over him.

It sold in less than 2 months. Amazing, but exciting to be able to see a different way to pray.

"Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you." (James 4:7)

Relating to healing, we sometimes allow the devil access to us because we don't understand.  Just as with Daniel, there are times when things don't happen instantly.  More times than not for sure when it comes to healing.  We don't know all the reasons and that's not what we should be focusing on.  It's about standing in authority, not screaming, but calmly.  The devil knows he's lost the battle, but if he can convince you that he's stronger than God, then he'll keep trying.  I know he hasn't given up on me.  And whatever unbelief and doubt I linger in is certainly not helping the situation.  It's that spirit to spirit connection that changes life in a split minute.

Sometimes we leave open doorways of unforgiveness or anger.  I asked if there was any sin in my life that allowed the devil an open doorway that he can continue to attack. Before I could even finish the question I heard, "Attitudes of the heart!" He enlightened me instantly with some attitudes I had with my husband. Guilty, Lord! I sat in my porch chaise and asked for the download and repented of quite a number of things. You know how good it feels when you finish a shower or bath and feel squeaky clean? That's kinda how I felt after the Lord had washed me of my attitudes.

Of course now is the period of time where I get to stay out of those attitudes or be drug back in by the devil's deceitfulness. Let's see, do I want a healed body or do I want the satisfaction of being self-righteous in comparing myself with my husband?

 Hmm ... split second answer and I'm sure you know what it is. Not that those attitudes caused the diseases, although any thoughts other than love towards others will definitely affect us in a negative way.

 It shows that when we sometimes feel we're under attack, we actually are. Ever have those days where everything goes wrong. It could just be circumstances around us from living in a fallen world, but it could also be that we have said something or acted in such a way that allowed the devil to enter into our lives with mischief.

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Gray Fox
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Jesus said in Luke 10:19 - "I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you."

You can't make that any clearer. We'd just like to be lazy. Because we are God's child, we tend to think our Daddy is going to fix everything for us. There is a balance of what God has already done for us (grace) and our part in connecting to it (faith). If we've been walking around with a disease for a number of years, it has become part of who we are, especially if we rehearse the details of it in conversations which tells your brain that you are the disease.

Faith is the bridge that brings the already supplied provision, that is within us in the spiritual realm, into the physical realm. It's like a bucket needed to dip into the well to withdraw what you already have. The last thing we need in the middle of all of that is the devil working against us. He can only try to get in ... we have the power to stop him if we believe it and use it ... and keep our hearts clean as we renew our minds with the power of the Word.

"And be not conformed to this world: but be you transformed by the renewing of your mind, that YOU may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God" (Romans 12:2).

We have to have patience so the Holy Spirit can work in our lives.  If we have doubts and unbelief we will have to be patient to the process of renewing our minds.

"The same spirit that raised Christ from the dead dwells in me and it does quicken, make alive, and HEALS my mortal body" (Romans 8:11).

It is God's will for us to be well [Read "God Wants You Well."].  But we're not all well. 

3 John 1:2 tells us that:  "Beloved, I wish above all things that thou may prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospers."

1 Timothy 2:4 tell us that:  "Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth."

Here we find God wishing health for us and wanting salvation for all.  Why would He have to wish? Are we all healed?  No. Are all men saved? No, we know they're not. Our souls are what get us into trouble.  It's the freewill that God gave us and He won't violate.  Isn't God in control of all things? He is Sovereign but that word has been redefined within the church. The definition of 'sovereign' isn't the way we look at it. If you'll study deeper in your Bible, you'll find that God gives us responsibility over our souls.  Quantum physics is now discovering the amazing power of thoughts to change our lives and even our DNA. 

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Crabapple With Buds About To Bloom
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If we're prayed over for healing and we don't see any change with our eyes, we have already sent a message of unbelief and doubt into our minds and you may as well have canceled the prayer.  I had that experience with healing at an Andrew Wommack meeting. He prayed over me for my heart and I grabbed hold of it, and then he prayed for the rheumatoid arthritis. The heart issues were so severe I didn't even pay attention to the arthritis issues at the time, but later noticed that all inflammation and pain were gone after 25 years.

The sad thing is that I turned that focus on being healed into a wrong way to praise God.  All I could say when I was able to walk to the car far away and the long list of other things I was able to do as days went by.  The fluid retention left and I could eat what I wanted.  We are to keep our minds on what God says about us.  We have to choose to believe the Bible and if you're one that's been taught that the Bible isn't always right, you'll need to begin there.

"Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things" (Colossians 3:2)

Grab a truth that you do believe in the word related to what you're dealing with and hang on it.  Choose to believe God. I kept saying, "Thank you, Lord, for healing. I can't believe it."  I said more "can't believe it" than I praised. The more you focus on what Jesus did on the Cross for you and the more relationship you build between you and the Lord, the more you will be able to stand on the Truth and not be swayed.  Consider James 1:7:

"But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavers is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.  For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord."

We inherit the promises of God by faith and patience.  We have to believe God's given them to us and be diligent to not be lazy.  Hope is the confident expectation of God's reality becoming our reality.  It's all about dipping in and pulling the spiritual stuff (Living Water) out of the well so it manifests in the physical realm.

"And we desire that every one of you do shew the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end: That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises."  (Hebrews 6:11-12).

This isn't about US DOING.  God's already done it all by His grace.  We just add faith to access it, not works, the faith that is in us through Jesus. 

"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" (Acts 3:12).

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Probiotics May Shorten Sick Time in Kids

The median severity of the illness was also significantly smaller in the probiotic group (240 score-days) than in the placebo group (525 score days).  WOW!  What will it do for adults!?

From Whole Foods Magazine

Parents may not be able to keep their kids from catching colds, but with the aid of probiotics, they may be able to reduce the number of days children stay sick. In a recent study, UAS LifeSciences’ Up4 Junior probiotic supplement was found to shorten the acute respiratory infection period in children.

“This was one of the few studies to look at the benefits of acute, short-term use of probiotics for upper respiratory heath,” said Greg Leyer, Ph.D., chief science officer for UAS Labs.

In a randomized, double-blind, controlled study by researchers at Lviv National Medical University and Lviv City Children’s Hospital in Ukraine, 225 healthy children ages 3-12 were given either a placebo (rice maltodextrin) or Up4 Junior, a probiotic blend containing 5 billion colony forming units (CFU) of Lactobacillus acidophilus DDS-1 and Bifidobacterium lactis UABla-12. The placebo and Up4 Junior supplement were administered to the participants on the first day that a member of their household showed signs of upper respiratory illness.

The median sickness period was shorter for children in the probiotic group, at five days, than for children in the placebo group, at seven days. These results were statistically significant. The median severity of the illness was also significantly smaller in the probiotic group (240 score-days) than in the placebo group (525 score days).

Since the study used the already formulated probiotic blend of Up4 Junior, which is available on the market, rather than individual strains, there is an additional benefit. As Leyer noted, “that means that parents who choose to give this probiotic blend to their children can get the exact formula used in the clinical trial.”

These data were published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Published in WholeFoods Magazine, January 2016

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6 Steps to a Warmer Basement

From Central Virginia Electric Cooperative Energy Sense Newsletter

Does your basement leave you cold in the winter? If you're like many homeowners, your lower level doesn't get much use until the weather gets warm. Heat loss in your basement may be adding to your energy bills as well. Fortunately, things may be looking up. Here are six ways to make your basement a more inviting place to spend time and reduce heating costs.

Add insulation. A well-insulated basement reduces heating costs and makes for a comfortable living space. A variety of insulation types are available. Fiberglass batt insulation is a good choice for unfinished basements, while blow-in products can be used to add insulation to a finished space. See Residential Prescriptive Requirements for energy-saving insulation level recommendations in your area.

Seal air leaks. Warm air can leak out of gaps and cracks in the rim joists, where the wall meets the ceiling, as well as plumbing and wiring holes on outside walls. Caulk is best for sealing gaps or cracks that are 1/4 inch or smaller. Use spray foam insulation to fill gaps up to 3 inches. Fill larger gaps by cutting and stuffing pieces of insulation.

Check crawl space. If you have a crawl space, make sure it is properly sealed and insulated. See Crawl Space Insulation from the U.S. Department of Energy for more information.

Install carpet. Basements often have cement or tile-covered floors. If you do not have moisture problems, consider installing carpet in basement living areas. It will make the floor feel warmer and cozier beneath your feet. For work rooms and laundry rooms, consider putting a rug down with a pad underneath.

Replace windows. If you have older single pane windows in your basement, it's highly likely they are reducing comfort and increasing your energy bills. Install glass block or ENERGY STAR certified high-performance windows. If you choose not to replace your older windows, seal them from the outside with caulk and winterize them from the inside using a window insulation kit available at your local hardware or DIY retailer.

Stay warm with extra heat. While it won't reduce your energy bill, tapping into your existing ductwork and installing a vent can add central heating to your basement, making it more comfortable. A space heater or electric fireplace can provide supplemental heating to a small space, such as a laundry room or play room.

With a little extra effort, you can lower your energy costs and create a comfortable space for your family to find refuge on cold winter days.  Read the article here.

Copyright Info:
This article previously appeared in the Central Virginia Electric Cooperative Energy Sense newsletter, and is used with permission. 

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Six Steps to Fear-Free Vet Visits

by Dr. Sarah

No one enjoys going to the doctor, but for many companion animals these trips can cause moderate distress or even outright terror. No matter how we try to soothe them, nothing seems to take the edge off their anxiety.

Fortunately, Dr. Sarah knows some easy and effective ways to turn those frowns upside down! This episode of Pet Talk features six steps to dial down the fear level of your pet kid’s vet appointments.  Watch the video now!

Friday, January 1, 2016

The Nature In Us Newsletter - 1/1/16

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The Nature In Us Newsletter
January 1, 2016
By Donna L. Watkins

"I always prefer to believe the best of everybody, it saves so much trouble." ~~ Rudyard Kipling

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Happy New Year!

Donna At Monticello Estate
Holidays - Here we are in 2016.  I remember how strange it was when we entered into the year 2000.  Now we're a long ways down the road from that year.  I hope you had a wonderful, peaceful and joyful Christmas time ... but I also know that for many it's a time of sadness, bad circumstances or loneliness.

For the New Year, my prayer for you is:

May you celebrate your uniqueness, enjoy God's goodness, and look forward to the plans, purposes, and blessings He holds for you as He fulfills the desires of your heart.

Much love, many hugs and a basketful of blessings!

Tidbit - Preserving Wildlife - The Chinese billionaire, Jack Ma, China's richest man and noted conservationist, plans to turn Brandon Reserve in the Adirondack Mountains into a wildlife sanctuary.  This will protect its timber and water from logging and mining operations.  The $28 million dollar bid for 28,000 acres of pristine, American wilderness is an exciting purchase for Mr. Ma and the natural wilderness and all it contains.  View the video about this tract of land.

Trees - The Return of the American Chestnut - The nuts of the American Chestnut tree were large, sweet, and highly desired by people, deer, squirrels, and chipmunks.  The nuts of the American Chestnut were large, sweet, and highly desired by people, deer, squirrels, and chipmunks.  For the people of the southern Appalachians, the American Chestnut was economically important. The reddish-brown wood was lightweight, soft, easy to split, very resistant to decay; and it did not warp or shrink. (Source:

Because of its resistance to decay, industries sprang up throughout the region to use wood from the American Chestnut for posts, poles, piling, railroad ties, and split-rail fences. Its straight-grained wood was ideal for building log cabins, furniture, and caskets. Split-rail fences made from the American Chestnut can still be found along country roads throughout the northeast United States and the southern Appalachians.  (Source:

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