Lord, take my sadness and turn it into compassion…..

Lord, take my sadness and turn it into compassion. Lord take my heaviness and turn it into caring. Lord take my weariness in hearing of this world’s tragedies and turn it into Your love.

Lord, take my heart and transform it, renew it, and exchange it for Your Heart of pure love, embracive love, tender love, gentle love in order to glorify Your name!

Lord, take my desires and cause me to desire You deeper.

Lord, take my passions and cause them to burn for Your word, Your holiness and the warmth known in Your love.

Lord, take all of whom I am and cause me to stand in truth of who You are and to stand in the truth of who You say I am in You.

Lord, see my thoughts and You hold them.

Lord, see my heart that breaks for all souls, a heart that feels the pain and sorrow in the darkness of evil that exists in this world and You carry me and all who cry from anguish in death.

Lord, You are my Hope and You are the Hope of all who mourn as Your love abides still with us, Your love surrounds and fills us as You are goodness, mercy and grace.

Lord, You hold each one of us in Your embrace as You cry with us and You mourn with us as You enter into the suffering and sorrow in the hearts of the people in this world.

Lord, You know all, You see all, You hear all, and You abide in us still from sorrow to joy, from pain to relief, from life to death.

Lord, You are our only Hope for salvation from wicked and evil deeds being acted out.

Lord, Your love is our solace in times of darkness.

Lord, Your love is our solace in times of loss.

Lord, Your love is our solace in times when we are unable to continue, as You are in us, and it is Your love who causes us to know Hope is alive still.

Lord, be our solace now, in the death of those whose lives have been stolen.

Lord, be our solace and ignite the Hope of Your love in us, to remember, when we choose love over evil, change happens, one life at a time.

Lord, be our strength in this day, be our light in this hour and be in us, the love needed in a world that has turned colder than cold.

Lord, may Your love make a difference in us and may Your love be the change in hearts that are dying from the harsh winter cold that is blowing in this land.

Lord, may we, Your people, not give into evil and may we Lord, Your people, brave all that comes against us, to stand in Your courageous love that frees all from the bondage and evil that exists in this world.

Lord, may we become the Spirit of Hope, the Spirit of love, the Spirit of grace, the Spirit of mercy, the Spirit of Christ that walks in ally ways, that shines a light in the cold, that lives a love that is real, so others will know there is still Hope, as long as You are alive in us.

 

Living Intentionally

Lorraine

Ondamed – an alternative treatment modality for health and wellness.

I have been plagued with insomnia since having my last two surgical procedures and see it as a direct result from general anesthesia.  I had a fusion on my cervical neck region in January of 2016 which resulted in being awake two days a week with no sleep for a year and sleeping between 1-3 hours per night on average.

Then I had my left shoulder done in March of 2017 which resulted in another year bout with the same poor sleeping pattern.

I will tell you it gets very fatiguing and wearying to not have sufficient sleep and when I have to attend to tasks.  In 2016 I was involved on a part-time basis as National Training Director of a large political organization and part of my roles was to conduct presentations in the community, which I thoroughly enjoyed, but it was tough with so little sleep!

Sleep is a major need for everyone and when you don’t get adequate rest, it does affect your general overall energy levels. Well, after almost three years of this horrific sleeping pattern, I decided to try an alternative method.

Before trying this, I had 20 sessions of Accuuncture where I saw no improvement. I take several homeopathic remedies and some supplements where I have literally tried everything on the market and have some success in sleeping 4 and occasionally 5 hour nights, but the no sleep pattern continued with often going two days (48 hours) with no sleep.

I am not one who has been able to take naps either, so I am thinking this will be the death of me if I don’t find someway to sleep!

The only other issue I have besides the ongoing chronic pain from surgeries is high blood pressure and this can contribute to this interruption in sleep.  Once that was taken care of with medication, I sought to try something called the Ondamed device to see if it could possibly pick up anything in my body that needed to be restored in order to induce much needed sleep!

ONDAMED

ONDAMED – Alternative treatments that target the root of an issue. This medical device works on the principle of highly focused pulsed electromagnetic field that penetrates deep into a targeted region of the body to painlessly stimulate tissues and ‘jump start’ physiologic coherence and muscle relaxation.

The ONDAMED System complements other treatments, such as pharmaceuticals, homeopathic remedies, nutritional supplements and other therapeutic modalities; patients respond faster and the effects are longer lasting.

Almost anyone with any type of condition, mild or severe, can benefit from Ondamed. Ondamed is an excellent addition to any type of medical or naturopathic treatment plan.

Ondamed is used to assist the body in balancing hormones, fighting infections, improving mood, and reducing inflammation and pain. Ondamed is also more recently being recognized as an anti-aging tool.

Numerous types of mild to severe medical conditions can be supported and aided with the use of Ondamed as a supportive therapy. Patients on chemotherapy or radiation, for instance, who have Ondamed treatments, often experience a significant decrease in side-effects, thus finding their quality of life much improved.

Stroke patients tend to recover quicker when using Ondamed. Skin conditions, such as eczema and allergies can also improve.

Chronic back pain and joint pain, those suffering from headaches, mood disorders, hormonal and digestive conditions, as well as neurological and circulatory disorders can significantly benefit from Ondamed. Ondamed is most effective when prescribed appropriately by your physician.

Ondamed effectively results in the following.

Stimulation of the extra cellular matrix:

Enhances the release of toxins leading to improved detoxification
Enhances the absorption of nutrients into the cells
Reduces inflammation
Stimulates cellular repair and regeneration
Activates lymphatic drainage, thus improving the immune function
Improves circulation of blood
Reduces the harmful effects of geopathic and electromagnetic stress

Excitation with ONDAMED frequencies will:

Balance metabolism
Increase vitality
Produce more positive moods
Provide a clear mental thought process
Engender strong commitment to self-care

This device was invented in Schwanau, Germany by electronics engineer, Rolf Binder. The technology is the result of 25 years of research in biophysics medical testing and therapy that resulted in the development of several well-known and sophisticated therapeutic devices.

On the basis of experience, Rolf Binder discovered how to interrogate the body’s communication system and introduce signals that stimulate the natural healing process. Medical professionals worldwide have been using ONDAMED with remarkable success for over a decade.

I had my first session last Thursday afternoon and for the first time in almost 4 years, I slept 7 hours. The next night I slept more than usual too, although broken up in waking several times and woke to a horrific headache and sweating which was a detox effect.  Detoxing is a good thing and although we can take measures to eat healthy and manage our stress levels, we all are exposed to toxins throghout our days.

The neat thing about it, was they do an evaluation and assessment and in doing this, the machine picked up all the areas I had been injured so found it an accurate measure in identifying problematic issues.

I am looking forward to my next session this Tuesday to see what results it will bring.  The really cool thing is the practicioner puts the frequencies my body needs into water and in drinking this, I am helping to provide my body with much needed aide in restoring its equilibrium.

I will be doing articles on this alterative healing device and how it is impacting my own heatlh and wellness as I am a proponent of anything that increases our bodies own ability for restoration that is in the natural health field.

Hope you found this interesting and thank you for taking the time to stop by my site and read this useful informative article.  If you have any comments or responses, please feel free to share in the “Penny for your thoughts’ section at the bottom of this article!

 

Living Intentionally

Lorraine

Gratitude in the Hard Times

Practices of gratitude can be distorted when we imagine that Christians are always supposed to be smiling and cheerful, even in the face of suffering, tragedy, or grave injustice. To live gratefully is not the same as denying the misery or evil around us.

Misunderstandings of the importance of gratitude can turn it into a spiritual bludgeon used to smash the heartache or grief out of people.

Gratitude involves knowing that we are held secure by a loving God, and that the God we worship is trustworthy, despite the nearly unbearable sorrow we might encounter along the way. (Psalm 13).

A capacity to be thankful in the midst of hard times requires acknowledging that we do not know the whole story, that we are living before it is complete, and that we are thankful for the presence of God and faithful persons in our lives.

Gratitude is a crucial way in which death and destruction do not have the final word, and cannot finally define us.

Gratitude is most striking when it is lived out in difficult circumstances. For many centuries, people have observed that “Christians die well.” When this is the case, surely it has to do with a combination of confidence in eternal life and the fact that dying persons are surrounded by a loving and faithful community that accompanies them in their last days.

One pastor in the project told of a parishioner who was dying of cancer and described several woman in the congregation as spiritual midwives.

They were fully present and helpful as the woman moved toward death and birth into her new life. The congregation and she were knit together in prayer, gratitude, and fidelity.

Our capacity for gratitude is not connected with an abundance of resources but rather with a capacity to notice what it is that we do have. This is expressed powerfully in the traditional African-American prayer of gratitude that the Lord “woke me up in the morning clothed in my right mind.

Living into Community – Cultivating Practices That Sustain Us

Written by Christine D. Pohl  (Pages 26-27)

 

Living Intentionally

Lorraine

A tribute to our son who died too young

Lucas James Taylor 1981-1997

trees in park
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

 

Ron and I are panning a memory trip to RSD (Rochester School for the Deaf) to view the tree they planted when we were invited to the memorial service they did for our son Lucas after he had tragically been killed by a drunk driver, while riding his bike at 16.

We are hoping to reunite with his best friend who lives and works in Rochester and any teachers who are still working there.

We are coming up on another anniversary of the day we buried him, November 15th, and this time of year is always a bit tough due to him no longer being with us.

Memories do not replace loved ones, nor do they ease the pain of the missing and the longing to be with our son once again.

I am glad we have pictures, movies, cards, and all the memories that we can hold on to, but not being able to hold him, see him, watch him mature into a young man, or see his children, is indeed a loss that never goes away.

The losses when a child dies are way too many. The career he would have had, the contributions to society he would have made and the ongoing benefit of knowing a young boy who gave his support, encouragement and advise to all his friends, helping them in this path called life.

A young boy who after each church service, would stand behind the pulpit preaching in Sign Language. A young boy who always sought to teach his hearing friends Sign language and finger spelling.

A young boy who in the uphill battle he had in also having a muscle condition causing weakness, never let him stop in his achieving his American Red Cross Badge, playing basketball, lifting weights, playing in the neighborhood, and engaging with others in his youth group, or adventuring on his own for the long bus ride beginning at 8 years of age to Rochester, a 4 hour trip back then.

Lucas chose to go to RSD and it was one of the best choices we made for him as the school offered deaf role models, an all inclusive environment where everyone used ASL.

They offered an excellent education, theatre, sports, outside enrichments in the community, and a supportive collaborative team of wonderful educators, administrators, phycologists on staff.  What was most endearing, is they offered him a family away from home.  They offered him sanctity in a world where he was safe, loved, cherished and where he could grow and mature as a boy gifted with a heart that was larger than ever.

The Resident Dorm directors were all Deaf themselves so they were fluent in being able to communicate and offered a safe, enhanced, rich living environment for our son and the many children whose parents also made the choice to let go of them at such young ages were all part of our family.

Our son Lucas always sought to help those in wheelchairs, those who had issues with confidence and those who struggled for acceptance. Lucas was a voice of courage in the face of adversity for those who lived in a hearing world, but could not hear, nor speak.

Our son who won an award for Sportsmanship that RSD celebrates on an annual basis for Lucas’s character in giving of himself and the efforts to build bridges of peace between the members of his team and his ability to help others get along for the good of the team was admirable.

Lucas left a legacy behind him in the lives of those he invested in with his compassion, care and love and his willingness to reach outside himself to help others.

Not long ago, his friend Sarah (a hearing woman) ran into Ron and she said she has never met anyone who left such an impression on her life such as Lucas did. She said he influenced her in positive ways that have lasted into her 30’s and she holds fond memories of their times as teenagers.

It is always good to hear stories of how Lucas impacted and affected people in the short time he lived on this earth and for the better.

Lucas’ influence reached into the lives of both hearing and deaf persons, teachers, administrators and educators who saw him as an inspiration and a young boy who braved the forces of what was dealt to him with dignity and integrity.

His teachers said each time he would arrive at RSD, they could not stop him from going around to every classroom, greeting the teachers and students, making sure they were all well after the weekend away. This after getting on a bus at 3 AM Monday mornings and making the long trip to Rochester in the heat, in the freezing cold and in inclement weather.

The bus often broke down on his way home on Friday evenings (and with no phone call to us) where we sometimes did not see him until close to midnight were unacceptable, inhumane and indecent.

I gathered all the other parents together (their is power in numbers) and took on the transportation company, the Board at BOCES and the state to fight for safer more adequate, decent and humane transportation and won. What some take for granted, others have to battle and struggle to obtain.

The atrocities that happen to those who have vulnerabilities and conditions making it harder to make it in this world are many, but being his advocate and one for many deaf and hard of hearing children was done with enthusiasm, determination and joy in wanting them to have the same opportunities, the same advantages, and the same access to safety that all our children deserve.

The end results in achieving a safer, appropriate and more adequate transportation was worth battling all the forces that only sought to create obstacles instead of access to what makes common sense and is of decency to provide for any child.

So today I am remembering Lucas and all he contributed to society to others in the short 16 years he lived on this earth.  Today I am remembering that I no longer have my son to hold, to speak with, to love, and to cherish being alive.

Life is not a given nor is tomorrow promised. Cherish and hold close the ones you love, for we never know when they will be taken from us as we are not in control of life and death.

It is God who gives and it is God who takes away and it is He who holds us in His hands, sustaining the breathe we breath and our life is a precious gift.

There is no greater pain then the loss of a child, so I empathize and understand any parent who has had to endure such agony, as there are no words to express what it is like, just an unimaginable anguish.

There is a heartache that is hidden inside when others rejoice in birthdays, marriages, holidays and celebrations.

There are tears that silently flow in a crushed chest of the missing as I see others gather around the table with their children, talk of their joys, their happiness and the grandchildren arriving.

Their is a pain that eases, returns unexpectedly, dissipates, comes again with anguish, at the least known memory in desiring to hold Lucas once again.

It does not help to ‘know where he is’ as many want to say to comfort. Why would one think that would comfort? It is not having Lucas present where the pain and grief becomes real. It is no longer having him alive to spend time with where the agony becomes a reality.  It is knowing our son is dead where grief goes on and on, where ‘knowing where he is’ is of no comfort or solace.

I am thankful for the many years, the gatherings, the shared experiences we were able to have with Lucas, but I grieve for the loss, the missing and the not having him to know in his young adult years.

Living Intentionally

Lorraine

Pumpkin Bread

Made my own Maple flavored frosting to put on top this delicious Pumpkin bread!

 

Bread Recipe:

2 Cups Flour (I used Einkorn)

Salt 1/2 Tsp

Baking powder 1/2 Tsp

Baking soda 1 Tsp

Ground clove  1 Tsp

Ground cinnamon 1 Tsp

Ground nutmeg 1 Tsp

Sugar 2 Cups (I always use less)

Unsalted butter 1 1/2 sticks

Eggs 2

Pumpkin 1 (15) ounce can

I use all Organic, Non_GMO ingredients in all my recipes!

Instructions:

Mix all dry ingredients together. In a separate bowl mix the butter and sugar with an electric mixer until well creamed.  I then add in the eggs and then the pumpkin and mix together with the butter and sugar until well blended.  I then pour this into the dry ingredients and stir by hand until it is all thoroughly mixed together and well blended.

Grease two regular sized bread pans (9 x 5 inches) and divide this mixture equally between the two and cook at 325 degrees for 60-75 minutes.

For the topping I mixed Powdered Confectionary sugar with butter, milk and maple syrup until I had the right consistency then spread generously on top of each loaf.

This bread hit the spot for that sweetness I desire to have in my day and pairs well with the Squash Soup I made yesterday. I share that recipe below if you are interested in viewing it.

Squash Soup Recipe

 

I hope you enjoyed this recipe and thank you for taking the time to stop by and view this page.  Feel free to comment in the ‘Penny for your thoughts’ section below in sharing any recipes you have for Pumpkin bread!

Living Intentionally

Lorraine

 

 

This faith life is about being God’s Heart of love

heart shape sea shells on brown beach sand
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

 

“And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” 1 Corinthians 13:13

When tough times come, and they will, our first response needs to be to turn to God.  God’s love holds us, carries us and embraces us during our struggles and difficulties.

If we learn to everyday develop habits in practicing our spiritual disciplines of our faith in turning our thoughts and attentions towards God, abiding in His fullness, desiring Him, He grants to us a continual filling with a supernatural empowerment in the Spirit to walk this road called faith.

Learning to be sensitive to His Holy Spirit, listening and soaking in the rich spiritual truths He leads us in, this will aid us in being a discerning people who use Godly wisdom in our relationships, in our service and in our everyday activities.

Our most holy calling is to be in near fellowship and union with our God, spending time in Him, communing, being with Him, soaking in His fullness each day. It is out of this relationship His Spirit flows in and through us, touching others with the sincere genuine love from our Father’s heart.

It is not a matter of what we do, but it becomes a matter of importance that what we do is being motivated and directed through God’s vision of love. If we are about our Father’s business, who we are becoming will more nearly represent His authentic care, compassion, tenderness, gentleness and abiding love flowing through in and us as surrendered beings.

It is the love of our Father’s Spirit who becomes compassion, caring, merciful, forgiving and always willing to extend a hand of love towards others in our world, those we meet along life’s path, when we step back from fleshly ways and step into God’s grace provided in responding in a loving manner with those we encounter in this journey.

When we continue abiding in this near intertwining union of God’s Spirit in ours, we are growing and maturing as the true Son’s and Daughters of our Father, whose hearts align in this most holy mission of being His heart of love upon this earth.

Love is the greatest gift given to us by our Father and love is the greatest gift we can offer to others as a fragrance of God’s heart moving through ours to reach others so that they will know He lives!

And in knowing He lives, they will be touched by the pure unadulterated love from our Father who flows through us, that heals all wounds, sets the captives free, ushers us into a new found liberty and brings to an expected end the joining of humans to the divine nature of His son, Jesus Christ.

 

Living Intentionally

Lorraine

Squash Soup Recipe

It is Monday and it is that time of year again, when the weather cools and the unpredictability of this change becomes the reality of every day life.

I woke this morning to rain steadily coming down and going out I certainly did not dress quite warm enough for the chill that greeted me as I walked to my car with my umbrella on my way to an appointment.

Living in the Northeastern region of the US during this time of year, the question of the day is, will it be; cold/ warm/chilly/rainy/sleet/snow during this Fall season?

The weather is unpredictable as we enter into this early Winter season where a cold freeze will eventually blanket our cities and towns in frigid temperatures, sub-zero at times, along with the possibility of snow.

Yesterday I made up a large batch of Squash Soup.  I pulled out a few quarts of frozen Butternut Squash from last years produce from our work in getting Organic vegetables into our freezer to make soups and breads in the colder months of the year.

This weekend I made up a batch of delicious tasty healthy Squash Soup and am enjoying it for breakfast on this rainy chilled Monday.

Soup Recipe:

6 Quarts thawed Squash

1 Quart Organic Broth (I used chicken as that is what I had on hand)

Coconut Milk

Cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg

Several cloves of minced garlic

Grated ginger root sauteed in butter and added to soup

After pouring my soup into a bowl, I added a generous amount of Pumpkin Seeds for my protein along with 2 TBS of Chia Seeds.  I allow these to set a bit in my soup until softened and they are quite pleasurable to eat.  You can also add a scoop of Sour Cream along with some heavy cream if you like.

 

Cook for 15 minutes on simmer until well heated and all the spices have been thoroughly assimilated into the Squash soup.  

The seasoning can be used to flavor according to your own tastes and desires.  

 

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You might be interested in reading my article on Chia seeds and the many benefits they offer. One is that when you eat them in the morning, they will help keep you satisfied longer as they take on fluids and when in your stomach they expand, making you less likely to snack on unhealthy sweet things because you feel full longer.

Chia Seeds

You might also enjoy viewing the following articles for ideas on trying some new recipes or reading some helpful suggestions on making changes to your nutritional needs in your daily diet.

Morning Smoothie Recipe

It makes a difference what you feed your body!

Coffee Kombucha Recipe

God helps us with our eating habits too

 

Thank you for taking the time to stop by and read this article. If you have any interesting recipes to share in regards to soups, please do so in the “Penny for your thoughts’ section below. 

 

Living Intentionally

Lorraine

Trouble Sleeping?

 

two person holding hands while sitting on grey cushion
Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

 

The most common sleep disorder is sleeplessness, which is when you’re unable to fall asleep or remain asleep, and it’s usually the main reason people look for sleep support supplements.

Unfortunately, this sleep disorder is extremely common, many American adults experience it at some point in their lives.*

There are a variety of causes, but some of the most common are:

Stress, Anxiety, and Depression: These can be two of the most common causes of chronic sleeplessness. Stress, anger, worry, anxiousness, and negative thoughts can have a dramatic effect on sleep quality.*

Stimulants: Excessive use of caffeine, such as energy drinks and coffee, can be one of the most common causes of intermittent and transient sleeplessness. This is sleeplessness that occurs periodically or only for a few nights at a time.*

Medications: Some medications can interfere with sleep, such as antidepressants, ADHD medication, corticosteroids, thyroid hormone, high blood pressure medication, some contraceptives, pain relievers that contain caffeine, diuretics, and diet pills.*

Allergies and Respiratory Problems: Colds, sinus infections, and upper respiratory problems can make it hard to breathe at night which can cause sleeping difficulties.*

Nocturia: Frequent urination and constantly getting up in the middle of the night to use the restroom can cause sleep disturbances.*

Chronic Pain: A variety of conditions that cause chronic pain can also disrupt sleep, such as: arthritis, chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, inflammatory bowel disease, headaches, lower back pain.*

Aging: sleep patterns tend to change. Most people find that aging causes them to have a harder time falling asleep. They awaken more often during the night and earlier in the morning. Total sleep time stays the same or is slightly decreased (6.5 to 7 hours per night).

In my research I ran across an interesting fact that in older persons we often lack magnesium and calcium that is sufficient enough in our system. A lack in these two vital minerals can cause insomnia.

Two products I use to help when I have issues sleeping are; Calm plus calcium and magnesium and Golden Milk. 

Try Calcium Calm: Here is another great product to help ease this lack. It is called Calm and some people use this during the day to decrease anxiety or nervousness. I buy the unflavored type and add a bit of dark maple syrup for sweetener as it has a sour taste.

I use 2tsp in a glass of water and drink at nighttime when having issues falling asleep. It usually works very well for me. If you are using this product for the first time I would recommend gradually building up to this amount, as magnesium has a laxative effect too.

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Golden Milk:

I bought this blend of Golden Milk from Whole Foods store when visiting NC this past summer. It is a brand of Sunfood Superfoods and is all organic, Non-GMO, Vegan, Gluten-Free and Kosher.

Turmeric is a South Asian spice that has an enticing flavor with aromatic scents of ginger, and orange, and is known for its curcumin content.
What makes this blend even more super is the inclusion of six other superfoods. No other Golden Milk blend has the nourishing and revitalizing power of maca, goji berry, boswellia, ginger, cardamom, and cinnamon. There is also black pepper added into this blend. All working in a delicious harmony.

While I usually make up my own blend, it is sometimes nice to have it all blended and all I have to do is scoop 1 tsp into some heated almond or coconut or some other nut milk and stir.

I enjoy something warm at night time and this blend is supposed to help induce sleep, which is why I take it.

 

 

Thanks for stopping by and visiting my site for another helpful tips for our health and wellness. Happy slumbering y’all!

Living Intentionally

Lorraine

Addressing difficulties in marriage relationships

black and white blank challenge connect
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Some couples will be more open in addressing difficulties in their relationships, while other couples will deny or pretend everything is pie in the sky and they never have any issues.

Marriage can be likened to a jigsaw puzzle having many components, many diverse issues and many complicated problems happening.  When we find our place in this puzzle, then the marriage comes together as it was meant to be and the two become tightly knitted as one couple, working together towards the best of each other.

I can tell you from 41 years of personal experience in being married and from having conversations with others and from counseling/coaching/mentoring many persons, that we all will have issues and difficulties in marriages.

No one is exempt from this as we are all human and as humans, our greatest conflicts lie in relationship difficulties; whether marriage, dating, friendship, spiritual, vocation, or volunteering.

The thing about living  pretense that things are fine, this is living in denial. Denial stunts and stagnates any possible growth. When a person fails to admit where they are in life and look at the situations or circumstances in regards to the relationships they are in truthfully, bravely and courageously, there can be no forward movement.

The worst denial is when two people pretend they are in a relationship when in fact it is nothing other than twisted, controlling, manipulating and violent means in relating.

Relationships that are having issues have some common core difficulties going on such as: hidden agendas on the part of one or both parties, lies, secrets, dysfunctional patterns have developed in relating and ill intentions not motivated towards sincere and genuine friendship.

This is not a partnership, nor will it ever be one unless BOTH couples come to terms with the facts of what is really happening and both parties are committed in being willing to look at their own roles in accepting responsibility and accountability for what they have done to contribute to the problems making it difficult to get along.

The hardest part of seeing truth in the issues happening in relationships is to acknowledge it.

Acknowledge when things are not working, acknowledge there are issues, and acknowledgement by each person becomes necessary in order to even have any meaningful communication or discussions in regards to the problems.

Realistically viewing and assessing what is going on when relationships are not working means both parties agree to have open and honest communication.

If one or the other are unwilling, then any chance of working out differences will be hindered by the resistance and obstacles that become created by this.

When one or both couples fail to be truthful, honest and open, there can be no intimacy, bonding or partnership. There can be no real relationship and whatever is going on will not be adequately addressed and the coupled will continue to live in a false pretense that everything is ‘fine’.

Acknowledging is only the first step in working out issues when couples are having problems.

Acceptance is the next level of progression when having to see the relationship for what it is, asking yourself, what is the truth, what are the facts and what is the reality?  Then accepting this in order to discover what needs to change and what sort of efforts this will involve.

Each couple must be willing to ask themselves; What is my role in contributing to the problems? What have I been doing or not doing in my attitudes and behaviors that are aiding in causing the friction? What do I need to change in order to make my relationship deeper, more intimate and more of a partnership.

Then each couple must sit down and decide what changes need to be made if they are to remain a couple that desires a closer and more intimate relationship.

Not all relationships are able to succeed in going through this process as either one of both couples will remain closed to any process of change in acknowledging they were at fault.

Marriage relationships are two-way, mutual agreement by two parties to enter into union where they become as one.  Any successful marriage must have at its core foundation an understanding of what friendship, caring, compassion, and what real love is.

Many persons come into a marriage from diverse backgrounds and must learn to live together in all sorts of situations and circumstances and it is not always easy.

Love is not always mushy, romantic, nor is it always filled with a feeling or emotion of happiness. Many couples do not have the foggiest idea or concept of what real love is or what it means to love another person.
Many couples come into a marriage self-centered, carrying baggage from childhood trauma, or having been traumatized and need healing themselves.  I know I came into my own marriage with numerous issues and it was very intense at times until I found my own path to healing which resulted in an understanding of what real love is and how I needed to become this loving person for my husband; his friend, his confident, his trusted source.

Anyhow, step one in confronting any difficulty, issues, or problems going on in marriage relationships has to start with acknowledging there are problems.

Then being realistic about whatever your part has been in creating or contributing to the problem. Then comes to hard part in being willing to change those things; attitudes, habits, behaviors.  Then comes the ‘how’ do I change these?

Sometimes you need a third-party who is neutral to help you work through this process. Whether a trusted friend, relative, minister or professional counselor, there is no shame in reaching out for help when it is needed.

This is part one in a series of addressing difficulties in relationships. Although I am using marriage, the principles can be applied to any sort of relationships as these are basic principles required that help build up, encourage, support and foster mutuality between two persons.

I am putting this under the faith for now as it was through my own spiritual encounter with God who gave me the compassion, caring, and love in myself, necessary for me to truly love my husband.

 

Living Intentionally

Lorraine

Beat the Winter ills with these homemade immune enhancers!

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I have been mixing up this remedy over the past month ever since I came down with an early respiratory illness that was going around.  After getting home from a week in the Adirondack Mountains, I caught a chill and of course came down with a cold.

So, here I am again, mixing up my concoction so as not to run out.  I use ingredients I know are grown organically along with not containing any GMO’s. I buy from our local Regional Farmers Market, which I will be going tomorrow to stock up on this wonderful Elephant Garlic and Raw Honey.

I did manage to plant my own beds of Garlic this year as I finally went out one day and dug up some ground, mixing the dirt with some horse manure and planted as directed by instructions I googled.

What I do first is to get my glass jar out that I will be using to store this delicious immune enhancer in.  I then peel the garlic and using a garlic press, mince it into the jar. Next I scoop out both the light and dark honey with a wooden spoon so as not to contaminate the beneficial good bacteria in these products. I also use a plastic spoon in which to eat the finished product throughout the day.

Next, I mix it all together, then add in the cayenne peppers I have chopped into very small dustings and add these to the mixture, and stir well.  I then add the lemon juice last, about 1 TBS, making sure I mix it all together well.

Now it will be ready for the next few days for me to consume!  I am already feeling the lessening of my cold in just taking this product over the last two days.

I always think prevention is the best route to take, but if and when you become stricken with some illness, these remedies can help shorten your sickness and restore your health quicker than doing nothing at all!

Here is the amount of cayenne peppers I use.  What I do is cut them in tiny pieces, put in my mixture and taste to make sure I don’t put in too strong of a batch.

 

 

Beets are usually plentiful this time of year and I have quite a few quart bags of frozen blueberries we picked last year to use for smoothies.

Here are some articles I have written in the past you might be interested in checking out for this Winter season in trying to prevent the flu and other viruses that are prevalent in this season.

 

Benefits of Lemon, Ginger, Garlic and Tumeric to ward off colds and coughs

Smoothie – Beets & Blueberries

Kimchi – My homemade version

Homemade Immunity Tea

Raw Honey and Lemon Immune Enhancer

Tai Chi – 20 Benefits of developing this form of movement exercise as a regular practice……

 

Hope you enjoy viewing the above recipes and experimenting with your own batches of health and wellness remedies this season!  Just takes a little planning and time and you have your own supply and resources handy. 

 

Living Intentionally

Lorraine

Would we crucify Jesus if He came today?

 

grayscale photo of the crucifix
Photo by Alem Sánchez on Pexels.com

There is a worldly influence in our faith circles. When we puff up or give inordinate attention to other Christians, leaders, pastors, lay persons, to the point of idolizing as if they are some superior spiritual person, we are doing just that, idolizing.

Christian celebrities are thought of as being more spiritual, better than, superior even then normal everyday ordinary persons simply going about their days living out their faith as they are led by the same Spirit of God.

We all have the same access to God’s power, to God’s wisdom, to God’s ability as anyone else. Those who are more public or more televised, or more videotaped are not more than or better than in God’s eyes as in His kingdom, we all have he same value and we are all loved in the same way, as His love is not like human love at all.

There are some who think there is a hierarchy in mainstream churches. Have you ever read the Bible?

The Bible says we are all One body, having different gifts, but gifts that have been given to benefit the entire body. The Bible says that as the body of Christ, we are likened to the human body, where arms, legs, hands and fingers all have different functions, but they are all necessary pieces of the body in order for it to work properly.  No one part is more or less important than another. They all are necessary in order for the body to carry out varying functions.

So it is in the body of Christ. We are ALL valued. Those with tiles are no more or no less important or valued in God’s eyes.

They may be deemed so in people’s perspective, but then they are viewing them through human ways, not God’s ways.

Titles are to distinguish roles not to impart being of more significance or being superior or better than anyone else. This is not how God loves, for God’s love values everyone, not for what they can or cannot do, but simply because they are.

The Bible says the greatest gift is love and the highest fruit to be desired is love. Over and over we are told we can have many gifts but if we are lacking love, then we are as clanging symbols and we clash instead of unite.

Love is not some mushy, super feeling or emotion. Love sustains. Love has boundaries. Love has accountability. Love has responsibility. Love is action. Love is shown, not spoken. Love is who we are becoming, not what we do.  Love requires surrending to my way. Love calls me to give up self and fleshly ways of being. Love is a lifestyle of other-centered living.

Being love is who God desires us to beome and when we separate and divide and value based on who someone is, or what their title is, or what they do, then we are not loving as God loves.

We are separating into an ‘us’ and ‘them’ category and not abiding in the principles God set as a standard of conduct in how we are to treat all with the same love He has given to us.

That is how the world loves and values people, based on what they do, what title they have, what status they have and where they fall on the socioeconomic level.

In the world economy, If you have, then you are important. If you have a more responsible job, then you are viewed as more important, more necessary.

In the world’s standard, if you are white, then you are in the higher class who has more opportunity. If you are white you are listened to more, more respected and given access and entry into having a higher advantage to thrive.

In the world if you have money, if you have a nice house, if you have a newer car, if you have material possessions, if you have expensive clothes, you are viewed as more worthy and are catered to and are invited to more events and seen as better than.

So, if we are using worldly standards of this type of loving, accepting, and appreciating of others inside our faith circles, then are we not following the ways of the world?

Does not the Bible say, DO NOT BE CONFORMED TO THE WORLDLY WAYS???

Does not the Bible call us out to be separate? Are we not told to be distinctive? Does not Jesus say to follow Him?

In fact, Jesus was seen as that man who came from Nazareth and does anything good come from Nazareth?

He did not own a home, did not have fancy clothes, did not belong to the system of religious institutions of His days. Nor would He join in the ways church is being formulated and implemented today.

In fact, God never said to build a church building, He said to BE THE CHURCH.

This is distinctive from what the majority of Christians are doing in belonging to a system of religion, buying into a form of religion and having to become a member of a denomination, which I see as only dividing people and not uniting due to doctrine, beliefs and ways churches form their own culture.

What happened to conforming to God’s Kingdom culture?

I wonder what Jesus would say about how denominations are dividing instead of uniting. I wonder what Jesus would say about how denominations are infighting amongst themselves due to arguing over different beliefs and whether they are scriptural or not?

I wonder what Jesus would say about all the fighting and arguing about doctrine, about church rules, about what is being done with church funds, about how people are having to conform to a certain way to dress, about how people have to conform to the way a church prays, or worships and how people are often plied to give to support all the functions of the church, and I wonder what Jesus would say about the commercialism of mainstream churches?

Are churches designed by God? Are church members pursuing God’s design at all?

We each have a calling to pursue God and so do bodies of believers have a mission and I wonder if they are adhering to the Father’s vision of what they should be about?

I wonder how many faith fellowships/churches are adhering to God’s intentions for them vs. their own goals and pursuits of their fellowship?

Where does God’s desires come into the picture when so many are thinking their church is doing it right and others are doing it wrong.

When did we become judge and jury over others?

I am just wondering if Jesus came back today, would we recognize Him?

Jesus certainly would not be driving the latest vehicle or dressed in the latest fashion, nor would He associate with just pastors or leaders or look for approval from them as if they are more important than anyone else.

I am wondering if we would crucify Jesus all over again today, if He came against what we call church and what our response would be?

I wonder what His response would be in how we are treating one another?

I wonder what He would teach us today in regards to splits, divisive teachings, segregating according to title?

Do we recognize Jesus in one another? Are we recognizing Jesus in our religious systems today?

What are we doing when gathering together, the Father’s will, or our own?

What is our purposes for gathering, to pursue our own wants, desires and ways, or are we truly seeking the way of the Love from the One whose Spirit dwells in us and who has said that we are to Love as a priority as a motivating factor in all our relationships, in all we say and in all we are becoming.

I wonder if we would see Jesus today, if He was to walk down our streets, sit in our congregations and gather among us, what would He say as to how we are being and who we are becoming?

Are we seeking to give Him glory for all we are?  Are we seeking Him in our vocation, in our volunteer activities, in the habits we carry out, in the way we clothe our bodies, in the stewarding of our health, in our time, in our activities, in our relationships, in our endeavors, 

Are we truly entering into an intimate relationship with Jesus day-by-day being His Heart of love upon this earth?  Are we coming to Him and allowing His to be who forms, molds and conforms us to His ways, which is the way of being Love?

What happened to Jesus in our churches and how did we stray so far from gospel centered lifestyles and being God’s Heart in serving the poor, caring for widows, and loving our neighbor as ourself?

Would we crucify Jesus all over again if He came today?

 

Living Intentionally

Lorraine

Thoughts that empower

“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service, And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” Romans 12:1-2

In this passage we are being instructed to give over our bodies; (mind, soul, spirit) to God as our service to Him. This would include every thought, attitude, and behavior being surrendered and turned over to the reign of God to take over, to flood me with His holy spirit in those places that were once blinded by His truths.

The second part of this message is that in doing this first part, the surrender, I am to take hold of that grace given to me by God and allow His Spirit to renew my mind, which is often where our biggest battles lie, in our own heads.

This is a lifelong process where we will never arrive in any state of perfection while on this earth, but we are lending ourselves to the most holy so His perfect work can be the change agent in our very thoughts.

This process is neither easy, quick nor done without this struggle in our surrendering to Him, those thoughts of everything we had learned and knew prior to receiving Christ and His Spirit.

When we were given the Holy Spirit and became new creations, we began a journey to unlearn and to deconstruct all that we were in exchanging one way of life with another, God’s ways.

This involves action on our part, in submitting to God and this process of renewal will take place as we enter into regularly practicing the disciplines of our faith.

In developing daily habits in prayer, reading and reflection on God’s Word, worship, and mediation on God’s acts as the Holy Spirit works in us. In this way we are participating with this holy transformation and work being done by God’s Spirit.

When we submit we are dedicating, devoting, consecrating our very lives to God each moment, each hour, each day we are gifted this precious life so that His holiness is who molds, forms, and changes our very thoughts and a byproduct of having our thoughts changed is that our attitudes and behaviors will automatically be motivated in this new way of thinking towards the kingdom realm.

Submitting is an active and intentional choice we learn that becomes a necessary component in allowing the Spirit to change our very thoughts, the way we think, what we think on, and where we focus and make a matter of our thought attentions.

This submitting is a continual process on my part and this performing of the work needed to be carried out is the power of God’s holiness who I am allowing entrance into the deepest core of my thought life.

This involves me being intentional in choosing what I am thinking on, about and dwelling on. When I dwell on the content in scriptures as a regular routine and develop regular pattern of meditatively reading scriptures, the life of the Son of God in me, knits the truths of the Word into my thoughts, that ripple into Godly attitudes and behaviors.

As God has created us to have free will, we are given the choice to choose how we will live and a vital ingredient in professing Christ is to choose His ways as a matter of obedience.

When we continue this choosing obedience as a way of life, it is the Holiness of God’s Spirit whom we have chosen to be in and it is His role to actively carry out His promise to do this work, this perfecting of our thoughts according to His glory.

I bring this up today as I encounter many persons who are entangled in unhealthy and destructive thought patterns even as a Christian and they are being held in bondage by their own thoughts, failing to step into the spirit-empowerment and grace God provides for us.

Once we choose and decide to abide in the Spirit-directed, Spirit-filled, Spirit-anointed Spirit-empowered way of being, it is God whose activity in us is the One who does this miraculous change in our thoughts and hearts.

It is God’s who begins and completes this work in us as this is His promise to us.

“And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.”  Philippians 1:6

Part of this presenting of our bodies is to glorify God in our thought life. We are able to choose in participating in the work God desires to do in our thoughts, or we can ignore this choosing .

To begin this process is to rise each day and partake in feeding your thoughts with God’s word, regardless of what your thoughts and emotions are telling you and regardless of any circumstance and situation you are in.

The enemy steals, robs and destroys the power of God in our lives when we focus and dwell on circumstances, emotions and situations rather than making it a habit to turn our attentions to the truths in the Word, the truths of who God says He is and the truths of His promises written in scriptures.

Why is this necessary? So when difficulties come and they will come, we will stand in those times on the truths of who God is, the truths of His character and the truths of His promises wherein His Spirit of grace will be our grounding and strength in those times.

Uncertainties, unfamiliarity and the unknown are what comes at us when walking in trials and storms, for there will be situations we have never walked in before and we will only be able to weather them when we know these truths.

In difficulties we often do not feel the presence of God and we feel He has gone AWOL from us. This occurs so we learn to Trust in His grace as our sole source of strength. This happens so that we learn to walk by faith and not sight in the valley of hardships.

This will be a fact in our faith walk, but the Truth we know is God has promised HE will never leave or forsake us and this most holy truth is what we can depend and rely on troubled times.

To conclude I want to give you a few steps you can take to incorporate into your daily routine, so that whatever you face in life, you will do so, Trusting, Believing and Knowing God is with you in it, regardless of what your thoughts, emotions and other people tell you.

Response for Action:

1.) Meditatively read scriptures, memorizing versus that can be of great help and strength in dark times.
2) Daily enter into a regular prayer time, not asking anything of God, but seeking to know Him deeper. If you don’t know what to pray, start with the Lord’s prayer and ask the Holy Spirit for help.
3) Create space daily for worship and praise. Put on some worship music and lift your heart, soul and mind to God as this lifts us from self and turns our souls towards Holiness.
4) Develop relationships with neighbors; have coffee with them, take them a treat, ask how they are, find out about their families, ask if they have anything you can pray with or for them about, then follow-up on these concerns.

Discovering what needs those in our neighborhoods have and nurturing those relationships helps us to serve outside us and helps us to turn our thoughts to other-centered living which is the desire of God.

We can either allow the Spirit of Christ to empower us in our thought patterns or we can continue flailing in struggling with faulty patterns in our own strength which only fatigues and wears us down, robbing us of the power to take hold of God’s grace.

Jesus grants us a supernatural power as His Spirit resides in us, in being able to be changed in our thought habits when we surrender, submit and place Him as Lord of our thinking.

 

Thank you friends for reading this and my prayer for you today is that God’s holiness will draw you ever nearer to His bosom of love, mercy and grace.

My prayer for you:

I pray God draws you will into a deeper and more intimate relationship with Him as this is our holy service in presenting our bodies as an offering to His Spirit.

I ask God to take you deeper into the width, depth and length of His love for you.

I ask God to pour His love in your body, soul and spirit, where you become One in this sacred dwelling place of the Holy Godhead where love is preeminent and may this love be who motivates and drives your inner being each moment in each day you walk with Jesus.

 

Living Intentionally

Lorraine

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