Prayer is opening the heart to God as to a friend. Not that He doesn’t know all about us. But the humility of bowing before Him enables us to hear Him. Repeatedly we are admonished to pray; repeatedly we are told that God “hears” us. Psalm. 34:4 says: “I sought the Lord, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.” Verse 6: “This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles.” Verse 15: “The eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous, and his ears are open unto their cry.” Verse 17: The righteous cry, and the Lord heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles.”
Notice two of the verses say it is the “righteous” who are crying. There are conditions that must be met if our prayers are to be answered. We cannot have sin in our hearts. We must be 100% surrendered to the will of God in our lives. And we must be in earnest.
At the prayer of the prophet Elijah, there was no rain in Israel for three years! Then, when he prayed again earnestly, the rain came. The Bible tells us that the prophet fell on his face, and prayed for rain, and nothing happened. He prayed again, and yet there was no sign of rain. Seven times he prayed. And then the rain came.
The great 19th century evangelist, Charles Finney said: “On one occasion, when I was in one of the prayer-meetings, I was asked if I did not desire that they should pray for me. I told them, ‘No!’ because I did not see that God answered their prayers…’You have prayed enough to have prayed the devil out of (this town) if there (were) any virtue in your prayers.’ On further reading of my Bible it struck me that the reason their prayers were not answered was because they did not comply with the reveled conditions upon which God had promised to answer prayer; that they did not pray in faith, in the sense of expecting God to give them the things they asked for.”
In Genesis 25:21 we are told that “Isaac intreated the Lord for his wife, because she was barren…” Intreat means to beg, to plead, to implore. “The Lord was intreated of him, and Rebekah his wife conceived.” How much “intreating” are we doing? How much are we believing? How much sinning are we willing to denounce and flee from? If we ask anything according to his will, He hears us. 1 John 5:14.
What is His will? We are told it is not His will that anyone should perish. Have we forgiven those who have hurt us? Have we loved our enemy? “And when ye spread forth your hands, I will hide mine eyes from you: yea, when ye make many prayers, I will not hear: your hands are full of blood. Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil; learn to do well… Isaiah 1:15,16. The blood on our hands is mostly blood that only God sees: covetousness, anger, jealousy, pride, adultery, gluttony, unbelief, idolatry.
I have spent much time pondering why I should try to “reach the lost,” when we are told in the book of Romans that people will be held accountable only for the light they have had. Well, if I don’t tell them, then they won’t be responsible and they won’t be lost, right?
WRONG! God says that He has revealed Himself so plainly in nature that all men will be without excuse if they are lost. If we were only honest with ourselves, we would see our sinful condition, and our need of a Saviour. God hungers for our loving response to His sacrifice for us. God answers prayer.
Training in various disciplines such as yoga, dance and martial arts teaches valuable lessons that help prevent falls and injuries. I will attempt to outline some basic rules that if practiced, will make a big difference in the ease of going about the activities of daily life.
Repeat these simple posture instructions several times while performing them, then practice them daily to obtain muscle memory and experience the benefits of proper body mechanics. Keep your head over your shoulders. Shoulders over hips. Hips between the knees. Flex the knees slightly. Keep your feet at least shoulder width apart. Push your weight slightly to the outside edges of the soles of the feet. Roll your hips forward.
Test yourself through several common tasks while attempting to follow all of these instructions. You will have to move your feet to widen your stance and flex the knees more if attempting to reach outside of your base. If you feel tension in the low back from twisting to reach behind or to the side, turn your foot out towards the direction you are reaching and take a step in that direction while rotating your hips until they are square with your shoulders. Repeat the rules again. These rules were developed over hundreds of years by people doing combat training on ice. They did not fall and injuries were kept to a minimum.
In dance and yoga practice, these rules may be stretched or broken, but only if counter balancing a body part that reaches outside of the feet with another body part stretched in the opposite direction. If standing on one foot, that leg and foot becomes the center of gravity instead of the spot half way between the two feet. As you can see, things get more complicated if you break the simple rules and more practice is necessary to prevent falls and injury.
A practitioner will find that moving in this way gets easier as the muscles of the thighs develop and are able to support more of the body weight with the knees flexed. Core muscle strength should also improve.
When moving down hill, turn your toes in slightly. This mimics a basic skiing method used for slowing down or stopping. When climbing up hill, turn your toes outward as a cross country skier would do. These methods produce better traction and help prevent falls on grades. Remember the basic rules, head over shoulders, shoulders over hips and so on, but apply the rules parallel to the force of gravity and not perpendicular to the unleveled ground.
A few simple rules, if followed while sitting will also prevent neck and back problems. Sit with equal weight on both sitting bones (ishial tuberosities). This can not be done with crossed legs. If you find yourself crossing your legs, give the other leg equal time on top to balance out the stretch you have just put on your spine. Stretch the distance between your sternum (breast bone) and your navel (belly button), This will put a slight arch in your lower back. Pull your head back over your shoulders and slightly tuck your chin. This will help keep a healthy arch in your neck (called the lordotic curve).
Again, these techniques must be practiced daily until they become second nature and a part of your muscle memory. With a little effort and mental focus you can create healthy postural habits that will serve you well for the rest of your life.
Comments and questions should be sent directly to Dr. Magly at 304-286-2905.
“You’re full of love and harmony.” After Pap told this to us girls thousands of times we believed it. 40 some years later I still have a strange affection for bell-bottoms and daisies. My braids and barefoot attitude do a dance however with my motherly worries. Harmony isn’t the absence of stress, it’s a balance.
When I was a kid in the mid 1970′s every night from Thanksgiving to December 25th I prayed, “Dear Lord, please don’t let the world end before Christmas.” (Even then I was a hope-filled realist.) My petitions have changed through the years…requests for locker combination retention in high school, college schedules, and boyfriends.
As an adult I realize that sometimes the molehills are indeed mountains. The phone call about a loved one being taken in a fatal car crash produced a desperate “Lord, please be the strength my family needs. Please protect my unborn baby from the sorrow that threatens to choke me.” And my voice has joined many of yours in similar heavenly dialogue from hospital waiting rooms. Pain has to heal but worry is its unwelcome companion. Worry preoccupies our thoughts and causes anxiety. It robs our peace and our harmony.
As a flowerchild wanna-be, I stick a flower in my hair and try to restore peace by considering these unauthorized points of farmgirl philosophy.
1. It’s OK to be worried initially, bur just don’t camp out there… Words from a wise friend giving me permission to recognize my concerns, own them, and move on. My dad recently reiterated this when he sang The Worried Man Blues, “I’m worried now, but I won’t be worried long.”
2. My grandmother used to say “The waiting and worrying is usually worse that what actually happens.” She was of a like mind with Mark Twain who stated, “I am an old man and have known a great many troubles, but most of them have never happened.”
3. “We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it. Mom always taught us this but psychologists who study anxiety also say postponing worry is a good strategy. Some suggest it helps reduce stress to write down your concerns, and then don’t think about them until a later time when you can deal with them more effectively.
4.Although it might sound counter intuitive in a power-of-positive-thinking world, another trick in the back pocket of my bell-bottoms is: Expect the worst and you won’t be disappointed. I don’t see this as being pessimistic, just a brief mental preparation for the worst case scenario and then enjoying everything better than the catastrophe imagined.
5. And the best weapon in my arsenal to fight worry is: Share your concerns. Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7)
My twelve year old son observed that women worry out loud and so it is that I find a great relief from the burden of worry when I discuss issues with trusted friends. Here’s a funny story about sharing your worries by Max Lucado: “One fellow worried so much that he decided to hire someone to do his worrying for him. He found a man who agreed to be his hired worrier for a salary of $200,000 per year. After the man accepted the job, his first question to his boss was, “Where are you going to get $200,000 per year?” To which the man responded, “That’s your worry.”
Last month as a nation we highlighted our country’s freedoms, and so it is at July’s after party celebration that I shed some August light on a somewhat subtle freedom–freedom from unnecessary or chronic worry. May it also be said you are full of love and harmony, Daisy.
Janet Fliegel is a WV farmgirl currently surviving in a suburb of Cincinnati.
Good quality nourishing food is the first step to good health – but what happens to our food once swallowed? We are a walking ecosystem; in fact, we are home to trillions of bacteria. Some are pathogenic (harmful) but the majority are beneficial or probiotic (for life). Probiotic bacteria in the intestines helps digest food, create vitamins, and inhibit the growth of disease. Traditional cultures have eaten a diet rich in fermented or cultured foods, such as yogurt, miso, tempeh, sauerkraut, and buttermilk, which provide the body with beneficial bacteria. Due to the highly refined American diet, most no longer get these bacteria.
What are some of the benefits of these microorganisms?
* Boosting the immune system and fighting disease causing bacteria
* Inhibit the growth of pathogenic organisms by producing antibiotic chemicals
* Prevent diarrhea from various causes
* Reducing the risk of inflammatory bowel illnesses, such as colitis and Chrohn’s disease
* Improving digestion of proteins and fats
* Intestinal bacteria can synthesize vitamins B1, B2, B6, B12, Folic Acid and Biotin and others
* Detoxify and protect us from toxins
* Maintain proper mucus levels in the intestines
The microflora of the intestines is very delicate. Numerous substances and medications destroy them. Antibiotics are lifesaving and have a place for short-term use, but with long-term use, digestive problems prevail. It is important when you take an antibiotic to follow up with an acidophilus supplement or eating live culture yogurt.
Other enemies of our microflora include chlorination and other bactericidal chemicals used in drinking water; pesticide and herbicide residue on fruits and vegetables; excessive consumption of sugar, fat, red meat, and refined foods; excessive consumption of raw vegetables; and alcoholic beverages, which can inhibit implantation of probiotics.
Conditions for which probiotics can be beneficial:
* During antibiotic treatment
* To relieve diarrhea
* During and after episodes of digestive distress and irregularity
* To relieve occasional gas, bloating, constipation
* Counteracting illness and infection
* For irritable bowel disease
* Fortifying the intestinal tract while traveling
* As part of a cleansing/detox program
The ph of the intestines is important for the life of these probiotics. Many are destroyed in the stomach before they reach the lower intestines. Whether you are taking a supplement or eating plain live culture yogurt, it is best to have it early in the day with some fruit or by itself before meals.
Look for supplements that have been refrigerated from the time of manufacture, shipment, and storage. It should list the activity level of the organisms, saying, for example, that one gram (1000mg) will provide between 6-10 billion bacteria, which is considered a therapeutic level. The date of manufacture, the base used (lactose or non-dairy), the species present, and potency are all factors to consider.
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Summer living is easy – but not much fun – when beset with biting bugs and exposure to dreaded poisonous plants. Here are a few first aid tips from Mother Nature.
When wildflowers and clover are in bloom, pollinators are busy at work. If you fall victim to a bee sting, look around for some plantain. It grows plentifully in most yards as a weed. You’ll recognize its broad, oval, almost heart-shaped leaves that form a rosette close to the ground and its cattail-like spikes when it goes to seed. Simply chew or crush the leaves, then apply directly to the sting. Plantain is a natural antidote for formic acid, the irritant in insect venom that causes swelling. It works on ant and mosquito bites too, but it is not helpful for spider bites. This humble weed was considered one of nine sacred herbs by ancient Saxons. Indians and settlers also used it, and it is still good medicine today.
It’s always good to have a few over-the-counter remedies on hand. Sting Stop is a homeopathic ointment containing active natural ingredients for temporary relief from pain, itching, redness and swelling of minor bites and stings. Many topical treatments are available in a number of forms – lotions, sprays and salves. Keep bugs away with natural repellents made with a combination of essential oils including citronella, thyme and eucalyptus.
If you spend any time outdoors in the woods, no doubt you can identify poison ivy, sumac and oak. These plants transfer their natural oils to human skin and can be very irritating to people with sensitivity to it. I recommend taking Ivy Gone before the summer season gets started. This is a small capsule containing part of the poison ivy plant harvested before spring. We have sold this at Mother Earth Foods for more than 20 years with great success.
If you have already come into contact with poison, you’ll likely find jewelweed, a natural antidote, growing nearby. The leaves and juice from the succulent stems have been used for centuries as a topical treatment for plant poisons and other plant induced rashes. Jewelweed counter-reacts with the chemicals in the poisonous plants. Slice the stem and rub it on the affected area. It is also a handy folk remedy for insect bites. Jewelweed grows in moist, cool places and is from 3-5 feet high. Its pale yellow or orange flowers are trumpet-shaped. It is also commonly known as “Touch-Me-Nots” because the seeds will pop and fly when touched.
If you are suffering with blisters and skin eruptions from poison ivy, there are washes and sprays available for relief. We carry Oak & Ivy spray under our Earthworks label. It contains the essence of fresh jewelweed and grindelia flower to relieve the nagging itch and mildly astringent witch hazel to help dry it up.
Mother Nature has been wise in providing us with remedies for stings, bites and poison oak and ivy in the very same habitat where you’ll run into stinging insects and offending plants. There’s no need to suffer this summer if you are armed with this knowledge and a little common sense!
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Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a popular diagnosis for kids these days. Between 2003 and 2007, the diagnosis for this “disease¨ climbed at an amazing rate of 5.5% per year. By 2011, the percentage of children between 3 and 17 who had ever been diagnosed with ADHD was 12% for boys and 4.7% for girls.
ADHD is treated with drugs such as Ritalin (methylphenidate) and Adderall (amphetamine, dextroamphetamine mixed salts); two powerful psychostimulants that drive handsome profits for the pharmaceutical industry. In the United States every tenth boy among ten year-olds swallows an ADHD medication daily.
Taber’s medical dictionary describes ADHD as “increased or excessive activity” and states “this condition is not easily defined because the claim that a child is hyperactive may be based on a low tolerance level of the person caring for the child.” Leon Eisenberg, American psychiatrist, autism pioneer, and the scientific father of ADHD stated, in the last interview before his death, “ADHD is a prime example of a fictitious disease” and admitted ADHD was merely a theory, not a verified condition.
Dr. Mary Ann Block, author of No More Ritalin, has spent many years researching and treating ADHD with natural therapies. Based on her observations, the most common underlying cause of behavioral disorders is hypoglycemia, which means low-blood sugar. The second most common cause is food allergies, and third is nutrient deficiency. A possible fourth cause is heavy metal toxicity.
Low blood sugar causes the adrenal glands to release adrenaline in an attempt to normalize the blood sugar, causing many of the symptoms normally diagnosed as ADHD, as well as headaches, insomnia, rapid heartbeat, and sugar cravings. This can happen when children simply do not eat enough food. Three meals a day are recommended with wholesome snacks between meals. Eliminate soft drinks and concentrated fruit juices. Foods high in protein will help to normalize blood sugar. Complex carbohydrates are preferred; whole grain cereals and breads, fresh fruits and vegetables.
Many children with ADHD struggle with allergies to gluten. Fortunately, gluten-free foods are available now, as well as cookbooks and support groups. Food allergens can also include artificial colorings, especially red, flavorings and chemical additives in over-processed foods. Many kids are also sensitive to dairy products. Try eliminating milk and switch to soymilk or rice milk and see what happens.
Nutrition plays a big role in correcting some of the metabolic imbalances that can cause ADHD:
* B Complex Vitamins – Needed for proper metabolism of carbohydrates and proteins and to assist with nerve function
* Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Beta Carotene – Work as antioxidants
* Calcium/Magnesium – Calms the nervous system
* Acidophilus – Aids digestion and absorption of nutrients
* Fish Oil/Evening Primrose Oil/ Flax Oil – Essential fatty acid deficiency is present in a large percentage of those diagnosed.
The fourth concern is heavy metal toxicity. Lead, copper, cadmium and mercury can interfere with neurological functions of the nervous system and inhibit proper mineral balance. Identify if there is a problem with hair analysis, which tests for thirty-six minerals and six toxic minerals and their relationship to each other.
Far too many psychiatrists believe medication is the answer to childhood behavioral problems. While it is understandable that children in school need focus and control, the diagnosis of ADHD is a serious one that follows a child, and loving parents, throughout school years and even adulthood.
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