Friday, December 30, 2011

What Gifts Do You Bring To Your King?

Please read the below paragraphs, and think about what gifts you bring to your King.

"“And on going into the house, they saw the Child with Mary His mother, and they fell down and worshiped Him. Then opening their treasure bags, they presented to Him gifts — gold and frankincense and myrrh”
(Matthew 2:11 AMP)

Can you imagine what it must have been like for the Wise Men when they saw Jesus? He was just a child in a stable surrounded by animals, but these Wise Men recognized that He was the King of kings and the Lord of lords; the Savior of the world. Immediately, they fell on their faces to worship Him, but notice what they did next — they presented Him gifts as part of their worship. And they didn’t just give any old thing they had; they gave Him their absolute best — costly gold, frankincense and myrrh.

When we give Jesus our absolute best — our time, talent and resources, it is truly an act of worship. We are saying with our actions, “God, You mean more to me than anything. Because You are so awesome, I want to give You everything that I am.” It pleases Him when we come to Him with this attitude. When we draw near to Him with an open and humble heart, He draws near to us. Remember, when you give Him your best, He gives you His best in return.

Father in heaven, I humbly come to You, giving You all that I am. I honor You as King of kings and Lord of lords. I bless You today for You alone are worthy of my absolute best. I love You and thank You for sending Your Son Jesus, the perfect gift in Jesus’ name. Amen."

Thursday, December 29, 2011

The Effects of Sugar Consumption

We all know that during the holidays most people indulge with sweets or the delicious prepared main courses.  However, most people do not know how bad sugar is for you.  I did not even realize how many negative consequences there are to consuming sugar.

When I was a little girl, my mom was watching the news, and I overheard the news anchor talking about the negative effects of sugar on children--mainly how sugar can make a child hyper.  That segment of the news impacted me so much that I did not want much sugar at such a young age.  Do not get me wrong, though.  I did eat icecream and other sweets on occasion, but it was not a daily occurrence.  To this day, I do not eat much sugar, because I do not crave it, and I did not grow up eating it.

I will say that over the past year I have learned how detrimental sugar can be to your body, and have limited my family's sugar intake.  Being that I do not have a sweet tooth--I like salty foods--we have never really had many sugary foods in our household.  The only sweet treat I ever make are chocolate chip cookies.

An absolute no-no for our daughter is pop/soda.  The high fructose corn syrup in pop/soda is horrible for a child, let alone an adult.  Our daughter is about 3 1/2 years old, and I do not want to set her up for failure by giving her sweet treats and pop, not to mention the fact that diabetes is prominent on my husband's side of the family and mine, too.

So, please read the below article I copied and pasted regarding sugar, and take preventative measures in 2012.

Wishing everyone a healthy New Year!

"76 Additional Ways Sugar Can Ruin Your Health
In addition to throwing off your body's homeostasis and wreaking havoc on your metabolic processes, excess sugar has a number of other significant consequences.
Nancy Appleton, PhD, author of the book Lick the Sugar Habit, contributed an extensive list of the many ways sugar can ruin your health from a vast number of medical journals and other scientific publications.
  1. Sugar can suppress your immune system and impair your defenses against infectious disease.
  2. Sugar upsets the mineral relationships in your body: causes chromium and copper deficiencies and interferes with absorption of calcium and magnesium.
  3. Sugar can cause a rapid rise of adrenaline, hyperactivity, anxiety, difficulty concentrating, and crankiness in children.
  4. Sugar can produce a significant rise in total cholesterol, triglycerides and bad cholesterol and a decrease in good cholesterol.
  5. Sugar causes a loss of tissue elasticity and function.
  6. Sugar feeds cancer cells and has been connected with the development of cancer of the breast, ovaries, prostate, rectum, pancreas, biliary tract, lung, gallbladder and stomach.
  7. Sugar can increase fasting levels of glucose and can cause reactive hypoglycemia.
  8. Sugar can weaken eyesight.
  9. Sugar can cause many problems with the gastrointestinal tract including: an acidic digestive tract, indigestion, malabsorption in patients with functional bowel disease, increased risk of Crohn's disease, and ulcerative colitis.
  10. Sugar can cause premature aging. In fact, the single most important factor that accelerates aging is insulin, which is triggered by sugar.
  11. Sugar can lead to alcoholism.
  12. Sugar can cause your saliva to become acidic, tooth decay, and periodontal disease.
  13. Sugar contributes to obesity.
  14. Sugar can cause autoimmune diseases such as: arthritis, asthma, and multiple sclerosis.
  15. Sugar greatly assists the uncontrolled growth of Candida Albicans (yeast infections).
  16. Sugar can cause gallstones.
  17. Sugar can cause appendicitis.
  18. Sugar can cause hemorrhoids.
  19. Sugar can cause varicose veins.
  20. Sugar can elevate glucose and insulin responses in oral contraceptive users.
  21. Sugar can contribute to osteoporosis.
  22. Sugar can cause a decrease in your insulin sensitivity thereby causing an abnormally high insulin levels and eventually diabetes.
  23. Sugar can lower your Vitamin E levels.
  24. Sugar can increase your systolic blood pressure.
  25. Sugar can cause drowsiness and decreased activity in children.
  26. High sugar intake increases advanced glycation end products (AGEs),which are sugar molecules that attach to and damage proteins in your body. AGEs speed up the aging of cells, which may contribute to a variety of chronic and fatal diseases.
  27. Sugar can interfere with your absorption of protein.
  28. Sugar causes food allergies.
  29. Sugar can cause toxemia during pregnancy.
  30. Sugar can contribute to eczema in children.
  31. Sugar can cause atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease.
  32. Sugar can impair the structure of your DNA.
  33. Sugar can change the structure of protein and cause a permanent alteration of the way the proteins act in your body.
  34. Sugar can make your skin age by changing the structure of collagen.
  35. Sugar can cause cataracts and nearsightedness.
  36. Sugar can cause emphysema.
  37. High sugar intake can impair the physiological homeostasis of many systems in your body.
  38. Sugar lowers the ability of enzymes to function.
  39. Sugar intake is higher in people with Parkinson's disease.
  40. Sugar can increase the size of your liver by making your liver cells divide, and it can increase the amount of fat in your liver, leading to fatty liver disease.
  41. Sugar can increase kidney size and produce pathological changes in the kidney such as the formation of kidney stones. Fructose is helping to drive up rates of kidney disease.
  42. Sugar can damage your pancreas.
  43. Sugar can increase your body's fluid retention.
  44. Sugar is enemy #1 of your bowel movement.
  45. Sugar can compromise the lining of your capillaries.
  46. Sugar can make your tendons more brittle.
  47. Sugar can cause headaches, including migraines.
  48. Sugar can reduce the learning capacity, adversely affect your children's grades and cause learning disorders.
  49. Sugar can cause an increase in delta, alpha, and theta brain waves, which can alter your ability to think clearly.
  50. Sugar can cause depression.
  51. Sugar can increase your risk of gout.
  52. Sugar can increase your risk of Alzheimer's disease. MRI studies show that adults 60 and older who have high uric acid are four to five times more likely to have vascular dementia, the second most common form of dementia after Alzheimer's.
  53. Sugar can cause hormonal imbalances such as: increasing estrogen in men, exacerbating PMS, and decreasing growth hormone.
  54. Sugar can lead to dizziness.
  55. Diets high in sugar will increase free radicals and oxidative stress.
  56. A high sucrose diet of subjects with peripheral vascular disease significantly increases platelet adhesion.
  57. High sugar consumption by pregnant adolescents can lead to a substantial decrease in gestation duration and is associated with a twofold-increased risk for delivering a small-for-gestational-age (SGA) infant.
  58. Sugar is an addictive substance.
  59. Sugar can be intoxicating, similar to alcohol.
  60. Sugar given to premature babies can affect the amount of carbon dioxide they produce.
  61. Decrease in sugar intake can increase emotional stability.
  62. Your body changes sugar into 2 to 5 times more fat in the bloodstream than it does starch.
  63. The rapid absorption of sugar promotes excessive food intake in obese subjects.
  64. Sugar can worsen the symptoms of children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
  65. Sugar adversely affects urinary electrolyte composition.
  66. Sugar can impair the function of your adrenal glands.
  67. Sugar has the potential of inducing abnormal metabolic processes in normal, healthy individuals, thereby promoting chronic degenerative diseases.
  68. Intravenous feedings (IVs) of sugar water can cut off oxygen to your brain.
  69. Sugar increases your risk of polio.
  70. High sugar intake can cause epileptic seizures.
  71. Sugar causes high blood pressure in obese people.
  72. In intensive care units, limiting sugar saves lives.
  73. Sugar may induce cell death.
  74. In juvenile rehabilitation centers, when children were put on low sugar diets, there was a 44 percent drop in antisocial behavior.
  75. Sugar dehydrates newborns.
  76. Sugar can cause gum disease.
It should now be crystal clear just how damaging sugar is. You simply cannot achieve your highest degree of health and vitality if you are consuming a significant amount of it.
Fortunately, your body has an amazing ability to heal itself when given the basic nutrition it needs, and your liver has an incredible ability to regenerate. If you start making changes today, your health WILL begin to improve, returning you to the state of vitality that nature intended."

Friday, December 23, 2011

O Holy Night!

Please take a few minutes to watch this video of David Phelps singing "O Holy Night."

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The World Was Impacted By One Baby...

Jesus Is The Reason For The Season!

May you and your family have a very Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

A Prayer

"My Prayer

And shall I pray Thee change Thy will my Father,
Until it be according unto mine?
But no, Lord, no, that shall never be, rather
I pray Thee blend my human will with Thine.

I pray Thee hush the hurrying eager longing
I pray Thee soothe the pangs of keen desire.
See in my quiet places wishes thronging,
Forbid them, Lord, purge, though it be with fire.

And work in me to will and do Thy pleasure.
Let all within me, peaceful, reconciled,
Tarry content my Wellbeloved's leisure,
At last, at last, even as a weaned child."

- Amy Carmichael

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Faith In God

"These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold; though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world." – 1 Peter 1:7

Do not let your trials get the best of you!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

How To Get The Most Nutritional Value Out of Your Vegetables

Have you ever wondered if you should cook or steam your vegetables, or eat them raw?  Well, I have.  So, in case you are wondering, or if I peaked your interest, please read the article below.

"Getting the most out of your vegetables

Vegetables are healthy foods bursting with vitamins, minerals and carbohydrates, and they should be on everyone's plate every day.

Each type of vegetable offers its own nutritive substances and people can cover their nutritional needs by eating a variety of them, said Silke Restemeyer of the German nutrition organization. Thus, an A (as in aubergine) to Z (as in zucchini) approach is best for getting the most out of the wide variety of vegetables.

Nutritionists warn, however, that vegetables can lose a lot of their nutritional value when they are cooked. They agree that steaming is the best way to prepare them, but they also note that of the recommended five portions of vegetables and fruits a person should eat, at least one should be raw or in a salad.

"Basically, uncooked vegetables are the richest in vital substances," said Restemeyer.

But of course, people can eat whatever tastes best to them. For some that means lightly steamed, while others would rather have them stewed, braised, grilled or roasted. And while one person likes them well-seasoned, another prefers them in a cream sauce.

Heat is what causes vegetables to lose their nutrients, but there is a big difference between the extent to which they are lost depending on the cooking method used.

"Among the most nutrient-preserving ways to cook vegetables are steaming, cooking them in their own juices or with just a little bit of water, wine or broth," said Margret Morlo of an association in Germany devoted to nutrition and diet.

The reason is not solely that many vitamins, including C and B1, as well as all minerals are water-soluble and because these methods use little water the vitamins and minerals remain in the food. Usually, they are steamed at a low temperature and only until the vegetables are al dente. Steaming them at a high heat for too long destroys their nutritional content.

Vegetables such as carrots retain a similar amount of their nutrients when they are cooked in water. This can be done in a steamer or in a regular pot with a vegetable sieve. Another way to preserve nutrients is to cook the vegetables in hot oil in a skillet or wok until the vegetables are al dente.

Yet another alternative is to marinate the vegetables and then grill them or roast them in the oven for 30 minutes, said Carsten Voigt of an association for cooks in Germany. "These methods are equally as protective of the nutrients and you obtain a delicious roasted flavour," he said.

The cooking methods that cause the greatest loss of nutrients are slow cooking in a lot of liquid at high temperatures - 75 to 95 degrees Celsius - and classic simmering. Shorter cooking times mean fewer vitamins are lost compared with longer cooking times, said Voigt. In addition, cooking experts recommend using as little liquid as possible because the more liquid in the pot, the greater amount of minerals lost.

For the same reason vegetables shouldn't be cut in small pieces or peeled before being prepared. "Removing the peel is a shame because it contains the highest vitamin content and the most flavour," said Voigt.

There are a few other tricks that can minimize the loss of nutrients. "The lid should be tightly closed and seldom opened when cooking vegetables so that as little of the nutrients as possible can evaporate," said Morlo. The water remaining in the pot, along with any nutrients that it has absorbed, can be used in a sauce or broth poured over the vegetables.

Cooks also should be aware that not every way to cook vegetables is appropriate for every type of vegetable. Firm vegetables such as beetroot are best suited for cooking, while soft vegetables such as broccoli should be steamed. The question of whether to cook a vegetable or eat it raw also depends on the type.

Some vegetables such as cabbage become more digestible when cooked. Raw green beans, for example, must be cooked for 10 minutes at 100 degrees Celsius to neutralise a protein that can be toxic if consumed by humans. In addition there are nutrients in plants that the body can make better use of when cooked. These include secondary nutrients such as lycopene in tomatoes.

Ripeness is another factor in ensuring that vegetables have as many nutrients as possible. They are at their peak in terms of nutrition when they are ripe and fresh. Finally, vegetables should be stored in a cool, dry and dark place."

Thursday, November 24, 2011

An Attitude of Gratitude

The message below goes hand-in-hand with what Thanksgiving is all about.  Please take a minute to thank your loved ones for being a special part of your life.

I hope you are having a wonderful Thanksgiving!

"“O give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; for His mercy and loving-kindness endure forever!” (1 Chronicles 16:34, AMP)

No matter what is going on in life, you can find a reason to thank God. What you dwell on is what you will draw into your life. You can either focus on your problems, or you can focus on your blessings. The question is: do you want more problems, or do you want more blessings?

One thing I’ve noticed is that when you live with an attitude of constant gratitude, not only do you thank God for what He’s done in your life, you start thanking Him for what He will do in your life. You thank Him for opening doors for you. You thank Him for increasing you. You thank Him for bringing the right people into your life. When you say “thank you” to God for the things that are coming, it’s really a declaration of your faith in Him. You are saying in essence, “God, I’m so sure of Your goodness, I’m so sure that You’re working in my life that I’m going to thank You right now for what You are going to do tomorrow!”

Friend, that’s the kind of faith that pleases God. When we trust in His goodness and believe that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him, that pleases His heart so much. So today, have an attitude of gratitude. Let your faith say thank you. Praise Him throughout the day with a humble heart and watch what He will do on your behalf!



Father in heaven, thank You for another day to praise You. Thank You for all You have done in my life. Help me see Your hand of blessing as I continually acknowledge and praise Your name in Jesus’ name. Amen."

Saturday, November 19, 2011


Something to always keep in mind...  "Remember, you may choose your sin, but you cannot choose the consequences."  That is short, sweet and to the point!

Confess and repent!  And most importantly, always live for God, not yourself!  Jesus lived for us when He died on the cross for our sins.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Are You Ready & Obedient?

I hope this speaks to you as much as it did to me.

I want to obedient and ready when He calls me into service!

"I'm not ready!

"Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me, and know my anxieties; And see if there is any wicked way in me. And lead me in the way everlasting" (Psalm 139:23). Please show me where I am wrong and give me the wisdom, courage, and conviction to repent and to always do what is right. This I pray, in the name of Jesus, dear God. Amen.

But he said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness'" (2 Cor 12:9).

If there is one thing that is consistent throughout scripture, it is this: God calls people when they are not ready. God will never call you into service when you think you are ready. This is intentional on God's part.

And, you can be sure when God calls you, you will have similar responses as Saul did when he was called to be the first king, or Gideon, when he was called to take down the idols in his nation, or Moses, when he was called to deliver his people from Egypt.

Saul answered, "But am I not a Benjamite, from the smallest tribe of Israel, and is not my clan the least of all the clans of the tribe of Benjamin? Why do you say such a thing to me?" (1 Sam 9:21).
"But Lord," Gideon asked, "how can I save Israel? My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my family" (Judg 6:15).

But Moses said to God, "Who am I, that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?" (Ex 3:11).

When God calls, you will most likely be in the most unlikely circumstances to receive that call. You will be in the midst of a crisis, you will lack resources, you will not have the skills you think you need. This too is the way of God. God does this because He wants you to know your call is only based on His ability, not yours. When you think it is based on you, this is a false humility. And, it is unbelief and disobedience on your part.

Has God called you to something you have failed to do because you felt you were not ready? Repent before the Lord and let God accomplish great things through you."

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Natural Remedies For Colds & Flu

We all know that when winter is here colds, the flu, etc. are rampant.  I am all about taking preventative measures to keep my family and I healthy.  So, I thought I would share an email that I received regarding natural cold and flu remedies.  Please note that you should consult your doctor before using any remedies.

"Natural Cold and Flu Remedies: Do They Help?

With the increased attention on the cold-and-flu season this year has predictably come stronger claims on both ends of the treatment spectrum: from those who cling fervently to favorite remedies that may or may not be supported by research, to conservative practitioners who dismiss anything but flu shots and decongestants as a waste of time and money.

As might be expected, for many people the answer lies somewhere in between: There is simply too much research to completely dismiss some traditional remedies, but not enough to call any one treatment an actual “cure.” While it is common to have studies with differing results, it is important to look at both the study details and the entire body of research to really understand what they are telling us. Keep in mind too that sometimes “a lack of evidence” means that a treatment has simply not been studied, but traditional use may in some cases suggest benefit.

Though most of these much-talked-about remedies below have had their share of research demonstrating both sides of the issue, they ultimately remain well supported as steps to shorten the life of a cold or flu and may help you get back on your feet.

1. Boost immunity with supportive supplements

While evidence on the effectiveness for preventing infections is mixed, immune-boosting supplements may help strengthen your body’s defense system. A short list includes:
  • Vitamin C—Studies have shown a higher-than-normal dose of 1,000 to 2,000 mg per day may make your cold shorter and milder. (These amounts are tolerated by most people but may cause diarrhea in others, so pay attention to how your body reacts.)
  • Echinacea—At the onset of a cold or flu, 3 to 4 ml of echinacea in a liquid preparation or 300 mg of a powdered form in capsule or tablet can be taken every two hours for the first day of illness, then three times per day for a total of seven to ten days. Though not inconclusive, some studies have shown it may shorten the duration of a cold in adults. It has not been shown to be effective for children.
  • Zinc lozenges—Lozenges containing zinc gluconate, zinc gluconate-glycine, or zinc acetate, providing 13 to 25 mg every two hours, may help slow the cold virus and shorten the illness. (Avoid zinc sprays, however, as recent reports confirm that they may sometimes seriously damage sense of smell.)
  • Andrographis—Studies have supported using 48 to 60 mg of standardized andrographolides (the active constituent in this herb) in two to three divided doses daily to improve cold symptoms.
Remember, if you are managing other health conditions with medicine, ask your doctor or pharmacist to check for interactions. 

2. Get your Zs and your fluids 

In addition to the common courtesy of keeping your germs to yourself and thereby not infecting coworkers and schoolmates, Dr. Woodson Merrell of Beth Israel Medical Center in New York City advises staying home if you are ill. “You are more likely to rest and drink more fluids in an unstructured home environment,” she says. 
  • Stay hydrated—Noncaffeinated, nonalcoholic drinks, including water and low-sugar juices, may help loosen and clear out mucus, soothe a sore throat, and replace fluid loss due to a fever or runny nose. Warm liquids, like herbal teas or soups, not only hydrate but their heat may also help fight off the infection and relieve congestion. According to Jane Lininger, DC, hot ginger tea with lemon and honey may help decongest and just generally make you feel better. 
  • Take it easy—Lie down, stay warm, and sleep if you feel tired. This keeps all the body’s energy available for combating the virus. If you have trouble relaxing, dim the lights, watch your favorite movie, or take a bath.
3. Don’t dry out—humidity helps

Because the cold and flu thrive in cold, dry environments, you can help boot out the virus infection by staying warm and raising humidity levels. Also, at very low levels of humidity, the nose mucus dries up and isn’t able to defend as well against harmful viruses and bacteria.
  • Use a nasal mist to keep your nose mucus moist. A saline rinse with a “neti pot” has been shown in some studies to decrease sick time.
  • Use a humidifier at work and home.
  • Warm your hands and put your face over the rising steam as you sip your herbal tea."

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Be Careful of the False Lover

I heard something today that stuck with me, which was "Worship the Creator, not the created."  Do not let people and things become your idol!  Pray that He removes any idols from your life.

"God, please show me how you want me to use the skills, spiritual gifts, resources you have given me and the relationships you have allowed me to have to prepare for the great harvest You have planned. I pray that I will be a tool in your hands to draw people to you. With that in mind, I ask you to please forgive me of my sins, sins that stand in the way of a closer fellowship with you and that would be a hindrance to my living testimony. Please help me start fresh and new again right now. Thank you and bless you, Lord. In Jesus' name I pray, Amen.

Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning (Ps 30:5).

When a measured assault enters our life we often respond in two different ways. The pain caused by the assault drives us to a place of either embracing the pain or we embrace anything that will make us feel better. That becomes the entry door to a false lover. Men and women each seek to avoid pain in different ways. Larry Crabb has summarized these two unique strategies often used to avoid deep pain:

All of us are trapped by addiction to a desire for something less than God. For many women, that something less is relational control. "I will not be hurt again and I will not let people I love be hurt. I'll see to it that what I fear never happens again." They therefore live in terror of vulnerably presenting themselves to anyone and instead become determined managers of people. Their true femininity remains safely tucked away behind the walls of relational control.
More common in men is an addiction to non-relational control. "I will experience deep and consuming satisfaction without ever having to relate meaningfully with anyone." They keep things shallow and safe with family and friends and feel driven to experience a joy they never feel, a joy that only deep relating can provide. Their commitment is twofold: to never risk revealing inadequacy by drawing close to people and, without breaking that commitment, to feel powerful and alive. Power in business and illicit sex are favorite strategies for reaching that goal.1

Many times we seek to deal with our pain through various forms of addictions designed to resolve the inner pain we feel. All addictions represent a counterfeit desire for genuine love and intimacy. We conclude these lesser desires are legitimate needs instead of band-aids of our fleshly soul. These addiction lovers become isolation chambers created for ourselves designed to mask our pain.

Every human being has a desire to be loved. When we do not feel loved because of some event in our lives we seek to reconcile this emotional pain. So, if you are fighting any kind of addiction--over control of people, sex, drugs, alcohol, workaholism, shopping, overeating--you are seeking to fill a void only God can fill.

Pain has a useful purpose in our lives. Facing it, rather than medicating it, allows us to move to a place of discovering a capacity for a different kind of joy. That is the purpose of pain. We must let inner pain do its work by experiencing it fully. It feels like a contradiction to actually embrace the pain, but it is the only remedy for moving past it so it can yield its purpose in our lives. Otherwise we will remain unaware of our deeper desire for God and be driven toward a false lover."

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Stroke Triggering Foods

As the saying goes, "You are what you eat!"  If we eat well, we can ultimately prevent life-threatening diseases.

The article below is very informative, so please take a few minutes to read it.

"According to the National Stroke Association, stroke is the third leading cause of death in the United States, and is a rapidly growing health threat for middle-aged women in particular. The most common type of stroke is called "ischemic stroke," which results from an obstruction in a blood vessel supplying blood to your brain.

A number of factors are likely behind the surprising rise in strokes in women, including:
  • Increasing rates of obesity (women's waists have grown by nearly two inches in the last 10 years)
  • Vitamin D deficiency due to lack of sun exposure. Sun avoidance also increases your risk of vitamin D sulfate deficiency, which may be an underlying cause of arterial plaque buildup (a risk factor for stroke)
  • Rising prevalence of high blood sugar levels


Strokes Typically Occur Without ANY Warning

This is why prevention is so important. You simply will not have any warning signs indicating that you're heading for a stroke in the future... And once you suffer a stroke, the damage, should you survive it, can be absolutely devastating.  
I like to refer to most strokes as a brain attack, which is similar to a heart attack; the only difference is that the blood clot blocks blood flow to your brain instead of your heart. As a result, brain cells begin to die. Naturally, the longer your brain goes without oxygen, the greater your risk of lasting brain damage. This is one area where conventional emergency medicine excels, as there are emergency medications that can actually dissolve a blood clot that is blocking blood flow to your brain, and if done quickly enough can virtually reverse any permanent neurological damage.   
In order to be effective, you typically need to get treated within one hour. This is clearly one of the miracles of modern science, however it all goes to waste if one does not address the underlying conditions after the stroke. However, if you notice any of these signs of stroke, you should get help right away:
  • Sudden trouble walking (dizziness, loss of balance, etc.)
  • Sudden confusion
  • Sudden numbness or weakness (especially on one side of your body only)
  • Sudden trouble seeing
  • Sudden severe headache

To Prevent a Stroke, First Address Your Diet

Clearly, in the case of strokes (and most disease), prevention is your best option, and your diet plays a CRUCIAL role. (Later, I'll also discuss other lifestyle choices that can have a very significant impact, such as vitamin D.)  
A recent article featured by Yahoo Health lists five different foods that have been linked to an increased risk of stroke. I agree with three of the five mentioned, and will review those below. The other two, namely red meat and salt, need some clarification as not all meats and salts are created equal. The devil is in the details, as they say, and that's definitely something to keep in mind before you banish all red meat and salt from your diet.
  • Red meat—I believe it is a serious mistake to lump ALL red meats together, because the differences between meat raised in Confined Animal Feeding Operations (CAFO) and organically-raised, grass-fed meats are so vast, it's like talking about two completely different foods.

    Organic grass-fed beef is typically NOT associated with any of the ill health effects you see from CAFO beef, but very few researchers, let alone journalists, ever make this distinction. For more information about why grass-fed beef is actually good for you and will NOT promote disease the way CAFO beef does, please
    see this previous article.
  • Salt—As for salt, you cannot compare the processed salt used in processed foods with natural, unrefined salt. So while I agree that steering clear of processed foods will help you reduce your stroke risk and improve your health in general, it's important to understand that you don't have to avoid ALL salt, just the processed kind (think regular table salt).

    Unrefined natural salt on the other hand, such as Himalayan salt, is actually very important for a variety of biological processes, including helping the lining of your blood vessels to regulate blood pressure—clearly a beneficial effect, as opposed to a disease-promoting one. To learn more about the differences between processed and the natural unrefined salt essential for life, please
    review this previous article.

Trans-Fats: Known to Increase Stroke Risk

Any food containing trans fats should be avoided if you care about your health. This includes numerous processed foods, such as crackers, chips, most store-bought baked goods, and any fried foods, just to name a few examples. Trans fats are known to promote inflammation, which is a hallmark of most chronic and/or serious diseases; not just strokes and heart disease.  
Women in particular would be well served to heed this advice as stroke rates are on the rise in middle-aged women, and poor dietary choices is likely a significant culprit. In one study, released last year, post-menopausal women who consumed the most daily dietary trans fat had a 30 percent higher incidence of ischemic strokes.  
Please also understand that nearly all health journalists and "experts" will also lump saturated fats into this category and that would be a major mistake, as saturated fats in appropriate quantities and not damaged by heat are actually health promoting.

Beware of Smoked and Processed Meats

Certain preservatives, such as sodium nitrate and nitrite found in smoked and processed meats have been shown to damage your blood vessels, which could increase your risk of stroke. Furthermore, nitrates are frequently converted into nitrosamines, which are also clearly associated with an increased risk of certain cancers. In the most recent review of more than 7,000 studies on diet and cancer, executed by The World Cancer Research Fund, the researchers concluded that no one should eat processed meats for this reason. Hot dogs, bacon, salami and other processed meats may also:
  • Increase your risk of diabetes by 50 percent
  • Lower your lung function
  • Increase your risk of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
I recommend keeping these foods to a minimum in your diet, if you choose to eat them at all. And, if you are going to eat bacon, sausage, ham or any other processed meat product once in awhile, following these guidelines will at least help minimize any risk to your health:
  • Choose organic meats that are grass-fed or free-range
  • Look for "uncured" varieties that contain NO nitrates
  • Choose varieties that say 100% beef, 100% chicken, etc. This is the only way to know that the meat is from a single species and does not include byproducts (like chicken skin or chicken fat)
  • Avoid any meat that contains MSG, high-fructose corn syrup, preservatives, artificial flavor or artificial color
  • Ideally, purchase sausages and other processed meats from a small, local farmer who you can ask about the ingredients

Diet Soda May Dramatically Increase Your Stroke Risk

Earlier this year, research presented at the American Stroke Association's International Stroke Conference showed that people who drink just one diet soda a day may increase their risk of stroke by 48 percent 
According to the authors:
"This study suggests that diet soda is not an optimal substitute for sugar-sweetened beverages, and may be associated with a greater risk of stroke, myocardial infarction, or vascular death than regular soda."
While more research will likely be needed to confirm this potential link, there's plenty of evidence showing that artificial sweeteners such as aspartame and sucralose (Splenda) can be dangerous to your health. I believe aspartame is, by far, the most dangerous artificial sweetener on the market. Reports of adverse reactions to the US FDA also support this, as aspartame accounts for over 75 percent of the adverse reactions to food additives reported to the FDA.

How Vitamin D Deficiency Increases Your Stroke Risk

According to research presented at the American Heart Association's (AHA) Annual Scientific Sessions in Chicago, IL in November last year, low levels of vitamin D—the essential nutrient obtained from exposure to sunlight—doubles the risk of stroke in Caucasians. 
Vitamin D is the only known substrate for a potent pleiotropic (meaning it produces multiple effects) repair and maintenance seco-steroid hormone that serves multiple gene-regulatory functions in your body. This is why the health benefits of vitamin D run the gamut from improved immune function to significantly reduced cancer risk, to improved mercury detoxification...   
It essentially works as a "master key" to activate the DNA "library" within each cell in your body. This cellular DNA library contains information needed to address virtually every kind of stimulus the cell may encounter; hence the reason why vitamin D works in so many different tissues, and affects such a large number of different diseases and health conditions. So far, scientists have found about 3,000 genes that are upregulated by vitamin D. 
Not only is vitamin D deficiency known to increase your risk of arterial stiffness, a major risk factor for stroke, but it can also:

Other Stroke-Prevention Guidelines

It's important to realize that the vast majority—up to 80 percent, according to the National Stroke Association—of strokes are preventable, so you have a lot of "say" in whether or not you're going to become a statistic here.  
So, besides avoiding processed foods (especially smoked and processed meats) and diet sodas, and making sure your vitamin D levels are within the therapeutic range, what else can help lower your stroke risk? Conventionally speaking, many of the same risk factors that increase your risk of heart disease also increase your risk of stroke, and these include factors like:
So, as with your heart, eating unprocessed, preferably organic, foods, exercising and maintaining a healthy weight will help to reduce your risk of stroke. Two additional risk factors that can have a direct impact on your stroke risk are:
  • Psychological distress. According to a 2008 study published in the journal Neurology, the more stressed you are, the greater your risk. The researchers actually found that for every notch lower a person scored on their well-being scale, their risk of stroke increased by 11 percent. Not surprisingly, the relationship between psychological distress and stroke was most pronounced when the stroke was fatal.
  • Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) and birth control pills. If you're on one of the hormonal birth control methods (whether it's the pill, patch, vaginal ring or implant), it is important to understand that you are taking synthetic progesterone and synthetic estrogen -- something that is clearly not advantageous if you want to maintain optimal health. These contraceptives contain the same synthetic hormones as those used in hormone replacement therapy (HRT), which has well-documented risks, including an increased risk of blood clots, stroke, heart attack, and breast cancer.
Lastly, it may be worth mentioning that vitamin B3, or niacin, may help improve neurological function directly AFTER a stroke. When rats with ischemic stroke were given niacin, their brains showed growth of new blood vessels, and sprouting of nerve cells which greatly improved neurological outcome. While this likely needs to be studied further, it serves as yet another potent example of how nutrition is at the heart of all healing mechanisms in your body, even when it comes to something as serious as a stroke.

But the unquestionable treatment of chioce for acute stroke rehabilitation would be hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT). Research has shown that HBOT helps your body produce and mobilize mesenchymal stem cells, which play a critical role in your body's attempt to repair any injured tissues or cells. For more information, please review"
- Dr. Mercola 

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

No Strings Attached

This young man does the unimaginable in this video!  I am utterly amazed and get nervous just watching the video!  It shows where determination and motivation can get you!

After watching that video, you can see that God blessed this young man with a talent, and his talent might be his purpose on earth--to show the world where you can go with your passion and drive.

Doesn't that make you wonder if you are fulfilling God's purpose for your life?  I know that I do not want to waste my days on earth not fulfilling His purpose for my life.  That is why I pray every night that He reveals to me what my purpose is.

Use your talents to further God's kingdom!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Godly T.V. Time For Children

If you are looking for great, Christian DVD's for your child or children to watch, check out Adventures in Odyssey by Focus on the Family.

Even though we keep T.V. time to a minimum, I still let our 3 year-old daughter watch some shows that I find suitable.  And I am excited for our 3 year-old daughter to watch any Christian DVD--especially by Focus on the Family--because I can be assured that the content will be biblical.  Thankfully, there are wonderful Christian DVD's out there, because I cannot trust that all shows on the children's T.V. channels are child appropriate by my standards.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Keys To Deliverance From The Black Hole

Follow the below instructions, and God could deliver you from a black hole experience that you might be going through.

Maybe your relationsthip with God is not what it should be, and he is trying to open your eyes and draw you closer to him. Or maybe there are unconfessed sins, and he is disciplining you. Whatever the case may be, pray and ask Him to reveal to you what the source of your black hole is. I know that I do not want anything to hinder my relationship with Him!

"Deliverance from the Black Hole

"As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you" (Joshua 1:5b).

A black hole is a place of total nothingness. It's a time in our life when God removes the resources and supports that we normally rely on to feel secure - our careers, finances, friends, family, health and so forth. It is a preparation time.

When you find yourself in a black hole experience, don't just sit and brood. Take stock of your life. Take a look at your relationship with God.

First, ask God if there are any sins, habits, or attitudes that He might be judging in your life. It's important to discern whether the trial we face is the result of God's discipline for our sin, or if it is preparing us for a future leadership role.

Second, when you enter a black hole, don't trust your feelings. Trust God. Your feelings will tell you, "God has rejected you. Abandon hope. He has left you utterly alone." Feelings change; God never changes. Feelings come and go; God is always with us.

Third, remember that your black hole experience is not only intended to refine and define you; it's also intended to influence and change the lives of hundreds or even thousands of other people. Our adversity is not just for us, but others in our sphere of influence.

Fourth, don't try to hurry the black hole process along. Remember, when Joseph was in the depths of the pit, there was nothing he could do about it. He couldn't climb out, jump out, levitate out, or talk his way out. All he could do was pray and wait upon the Lord.

Fifth, lean on God. Even when you don't feel like praying, pray. Even when you don't feel like reading His Word, read. Even when you don't feel like singing songs of faith, sing. When you pray, don't just talk; listen. Be silent before Him and listen for His still, quiet voice.

Sixth, be alert to new truths and new perspectives. During a black hole experience, God often leads us to amazing new discoveries. A black hole can be a storehouse of unexpected riches for the soul."

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Relax With A Great Book

If you want to read a good book, pick up One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp.  The book is powerful and life-changing, and written eloquently!  It really makes me think of everything that I need to be thankful for.  I have even started a journal where I write a few things down every once and a while of everything that I am grateful for.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Effective Prayers

I read the below yesterday, and it really made me think about why some people's--including my own--prayers may not be answered.  If we are not treating others with the respect, love and kindness that we are supposed to, our prayers will be hindered.

But do not get me wrong...  Even though we may be treating others with respect, love and kindness does not always mean that every single prayer we pray will be answered--this is because our prayers might not always be in alignment with God's will for our lives.  However, if we are treating others as we should, we can expect that our prayers will be unhindered.

"Unhindered Prayers

“...Treat her as you should so your prayers will not be hindered”(1 Peter 3:7, NLT)

Did you know that the way you treat people has an impact on the effectiveness of your prayers? The Bible says that the prayer of the righteous person is powerful, but if we aren’t treating others with honor, kindness and respect, then we aren’t allowing His righteousness to operate in us. When we don’t treat others the way we should, it closes the door to God’s power and hinders our prayers.

This is especially true in a marriage relationship. Marriage isn’t just an agreement between two people to live life together. Marriage is a God-ordained institution that helps us understand love and unity. When two people are married, they become one physically, spiritually and emotionally. This particular passage is directed toward husbands, but it applies to all believers as well. We should always treat others “with understanding,” which means considering their needs above our own. We should always aim to treat others with kindness, dignity, and respect and quickly choose forgiveness.

Today, choose love. Choose to treat others with respect. Let righteousness flow through you and open the door for His power in every area of your life!

Father, thank You for another day to worship You and become more like You. I submit my heart, mind, will and emotions to You. I choose to treat others with love and respect which shows that I honor You. Have Your way in me and teach me to prayer effectively for Your glory, in Jesus’ name. Amen."

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

What Parents Need To Know About Texting Lingo

Please take a few minutes to click on the below link and read the article by Jim Daly at Focus on the Family.  It is extremely important information on what to know about the texting lingo that teenagers and older children use!  Even though I do not have any teenagers, it is still good to know what is going on, and to remember for years to come.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Powerful Motivational Message

This is a powerful message that this woman says in almost 2 minutes!

Need I say more?  She summed it up in a nutshell!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

BPA Exposure

I receive some interesting emails everyday, and the ones I deem important are the ones I post about.

Before our daughter was born a few years ago, I knew nothing about BPA, and the health issues it can cause.  I did not even know what BPA was.  I inquired on what it meant to be BPA-free when I heard on television how the number "7" on the bottom of plastic containers is unsafe, and a friend of mine told me how she wanted to buy BPA-free bottles and such for their daughter.

So, if you have no idea what BPA is all about, please take a few minutes to read the article I copied and pasted below. 

"Do Your Part: Reduce Exposure to BPA

Terri Bennett
Mclatchy-Tribune News Service.

What are the chances that you are buying and bringing BPA right into your own home? Probably pretty good, and there is reason to be concerned.

BPA - or bisphenol-A - shows up in a lot of the products we use each and every day and it is linked to developmental problems, cancers, heart disease, diabetes, and infertility. For those want to reduce their exposure to this controversial chemical, here are my top five ways to do just that.

1) Be Particular About Your Plastic

BPA can be found in plastic food containers and water bottles. It's best to drink water from a stainless steel or a "BPA-free" labeled bottle. If you are using plastic food containers or buy food in a plastic container, check the bottom. BPA is used in polycarbonate (PC) containers that are often marked No. 7. Plastics with the recycling numbers No. 1, No. 2, and No. 4 are safer choices.

2) Make Better Choices for Your Baby

BPA can actually leach into liquid formula sold in metal cans. Powdered baby formula has been shown to be BPA-free so it's the best choice. Most manufacturers now offer baby bottles made without BPA but as a general rule, hard, clear plastic often contains BPA while soft, cloudy plastic usually does not. Avoid baby bottles marked "PC" or No. 7 on the bottom.

3) Cut Down on Canned Foods

BPA is also found in the lining of many canned food and juices. The chemical can actually leach from the liner into the food itself. Seek out cans labeled "BPA-free" and choose food items packaged in glass or tetrapak pouches to reduce BPA exposure. Experts also recommend rinsing canned fruit and vegetables with water before eating to reduce exposure.

4) Careful How You Handle Those Receipts

Several studies have found BPA in thermal paper including cash register receipts. If you don't need the receipt, leave it or ask the cashier not to print one. If you need it, be sure to wash your hands after handling.

Certainly, never let your children handle store receipts. You can tell if the receipt is printed on thermal paper if it makes a mark when you scratch it.

5) Glass Is Good

There is evidence that BPA can leach into food when it is heated in plastic containers in a microwave, even those that labeled as "microwave safe." To reduce potential exposure, heat your food in a glass or ceramic container.

The bottom line? Reducing BPA exposure is an important way to create a healthier home for you and your family. Do Your Part when buying and using products to make sure they won't contaminate your food, your body, or our planet."

One thing that I learned from this article that I did not know about BPA is that it is on thermal paper, including cash register receipts.  I will now watch how I handle cash register receipts.

In closing, always remember that the number "7" is unsafe when it comes to BPA!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

"How Great Thou Art" Song

Talk about a beautiful/angelic, touching song...  If you have not already heard Carrie Underwood and Vince Gill's version of the song, "How Great Thou Art," please take the time to listen to it.  It is tear-jerking, and gave me goosebumps!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Dealing With Adversities

We all experience different degrees of adversities in our lives.  How we deal with our adversities is the real test of our faith in God.

I used to go through life thinking everything should be like the pages in a storybook--typical mindset of a young child of God--until reality hit me.  If I remember correctly, I realized that life is not going to be struggle-free after I finished college and got married, which is when I came to the realization that trials draw us closer to God--ongoing health issues have been why I have a more intimate relationship with Him.  So, in an attempt to find out what He wanted me to do with my life, I started to study His Word more and more.  Through listening to our Pastor's sermons and reading His Word and Godly books, I gained a passion to be like Him, and learned that life is not going to be stress-free.

I read our devotional a couple of weeks ago, and am posting on it now.  I want to share it, because it brings light to how we need to deal with our adversities.

"The typical view of the Christian life is that it means being delivered from all adversity.  But it actually means being delivered in adversity, which is something very different.  "He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.  No evil shall befall you, nor shall any plague come near your dwelling . . ." (Psalm 91:1, 10)--the place where you are at one with God.

If you are a child of God, you will certainly encounter adversities, but Jesus says you should not be surprised when they come.  "In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world."  He is saying, "There is nothing for you to fear."  The same people who refused to talk about their adversities before they were saved often complain and worry after being born again because they have the wrong idea of what it means to live the life of a saint.

God does not give us overcoming life--He gives us life as we overcome.  The strain of life is what builds our strength.  If there is no strain, there will be no strength.  Are you asking God to give you life, liberty, and joy?  He cannot, unless you are willing to accept the strain.  And once you face the strain, you will immediately get the strength.  Overcome your own timidity and take the first step.  Then God will give you nourishment--"To him who overcomes I will give to eat from the tree of life . . ." (Revelation 2:7)."

The part of the whole reading that spoke to me was where it said, "God does not give us overcoming life--He gives us life as we overcome."  That sentence needs to resonate within us, and remind us how He loves us so much, and wants us to draw closer to Him when adversities come knocking at our door.  Why not hand everything over to God, because it is only then that you will find complete peace.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Are You Consuming Enough Water?

I drink many different fluids everyday (i.e., water (sometimes with lemon), juice, coffee, etc.), and always wondered if you actually need eight glasses of water or other fluids a day in order to be healthy.  Well, I probably drink more than eight glasses of fluids, including water, a day--I do not drink as many fluids if I am not at home--and feel that my body will obviously give me a sign if I am dehydrated.

After reading an article about water consumption, I now know how to tell if I need to drink more fluids.  Copied and pasted below is the article I read, which will help you determine if you are drinking enough fluids each day.

"Everywhere you look, there is a different “magic” number of glasses of water you should be drinking: Is it six glasses per day or is it eight? It can be very confusing and hard to decide if you are drinking the right amount.

Also confusing is the misconception that we must drink a certain amount of water, when in fact we only need to consume the right amount of fluid to stay hydrated. A fluid is any liquid, including coffee, tea, milk, juice, water and other drinks, but it also includes foods that are mainly water, such as some fruits, vegetables and soups.

It is very important to be well-hydrated for our bodies to carry out our daily tasks. A person’s fluid needs are affected by a number of different factors, so there is no “magic” amount that you should be taking in. There are, however, many ways to tell if you are properly hydrated:

  • Urine: Your urine should be clear or a very light yellow color. A dark yellow indicates dehydration, so you will need to drink more water. Also you should need to use the bathroom every couple of hours.

  • Stool: It should be easy to pass your stool. If you are straining a lot, this may be an indicator of dehydration. If you have consistently loose stools, this may be an indicator of overhydration. Your body may not be able to handle the amount of fluids you are taking in and it will not be absorbed.

  • Skin: Your skin is also a good indicator of hydration levels. If you pull up the skin on the back of your hand and let go, it should bounce back to its original position quickly. If not, you may be dehydrated. Also, dry skin or a dry mouth may be indicators of dehydration.

  • Thirst: If you are thirsty, you are in need of more fluids for sure. If you never have thirst, it is still important to take in fluids and use the other tools to help determine your hydration levels.

Use these tools to help you decide how much water is right for you."

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

God's Grace Is Amazing!

The below video is a great reminder of God's grace.  His grace is something we should all be thankful for!!!