What’s in Your Package?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Doesn’t Christmas make you think of the beautifully wrapped packages we find under the tree. We anticipate something beautiful  on the inside. Sometimes what is inside exceeds our expectations; but we could also be sorely disappointed. People can be like that too.

 

Sometimes the ones that are “beautifully wrapped” are a disappointment once we know them better. On the other hand the “plainly wrapped” people sometimes contain the “jewels” we expected to find inside the “beautiful wrapping”.  So I ask you:

 

What’s in your package?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Most of us spend a lot of time working on our wrapping We eat in such a way as to stay thin and healthy.  We exercise to tone and strengthen our bodies.  We choose clothing to flatter the bodies we are working so hard to perfect.  And we spend a bundle on skin care, hair care products, and makeup.  Most of us are on a passionate quest to look the best that we can possibly look on the outside.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

But what about the inside?

 

What is on the inside of people?  It is character.  But what forms our characters?  Our life experiences; both good and bad, affect our character.  Our upbringing plays a part. People, particularly people close to us, help to form who we become.  Our status, particularly financial status, can be a factor. Faith in God can also change us for the better. There are many factors that contribute to forming our character.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Bible has this to say about character forming.

 

Romans 5:3 – 5:  (3) And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience;  (4)  And patience, experience; and experience, hope:  (5)  And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.

 

What are some characteristics of good character?

 

 

 

According to the Bible:

 

Galatians 5 – (22) But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, (23) Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

 

Colossians 3 – (12) Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; (13) Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. (14) And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness. (15) And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful. (16) Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. (17) And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Good Character should exhibit the “fruit of the Spirit”

 

  1.   Love

  2.   Joy

  3.   Peace

  4.   Longsuffering

  5.   Gentleness

  6.   Goodness

  7.   Faith

  8.   Meekness

  9.   Temperance

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Good character will show in these ways:

 

  1.   Loves and is loved in return

  2.   Shows mercy to others

  3.   Is kind, not cruel

  4.   Is humble, not proud

  5.   Is meek, not raucous or crude

  6.   Longsuffering and patient

  7.   Willing to forgive

  8.   Exudes peace of God

  9.   Is thankful, not entitled

  10.   Allows the word of God dwell in them

  11.   Shares the wisdom of God with others

  12.   Does all things in the name of Jesus

 

 

 

Ten Characteristics of good character

 

  1.  Caring

  2.  Truthful

  3.  Trustworthy and dependable

  4.  Kind

  5.  Thoughtful

  6.  Forgiving

  7.  Positive

  8.  Thankful

  9.  Helpful

  10.  Humble

 

We can all ask ourselves, is this what people would find inside our package?  As they begin to know us better, will they uncover more and more of these characteristics?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What are some characteristics of bad or flawed character?

 

Galations 5 – (19) Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, (20) Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, ( 21) e, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

 

Ten Character flaws

 

  1.  Think and act negatively

  2.  Cannot be trusted or depended upon

  3.  Will lie and steal

  4.  Use people for their own gain

  5.  Hatred, anger, and vindictiveness rules

  6.  Stirs up trouble

  7.  Substance and sexual abusers

  8.  Unkind and rude

  9.  Proud and arrogant

  10.  Feel they are untitled

 

Have any of these attributes crept inside your package? As people get closer to you, do they find any of these difficult traits as part of your character?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Can we improve our character?

 

The answer is a definite yes.  Character is formed by many different factors, as I stated above.  And because of all those factors, we form habits that become a way of life.  Habits are hard to break; but they can be broken. They can then be replaced by positive habits.

 

What will you need to activate change?

 

  •  A desire for change

  •  A belief that you can change

  •  The determination to change

  •  Action to implement the change

  •  Time and patience to accomplish the change.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Each day is a new day.  If we don’t like some attributes that are a part of our characters; we aren’t stuck with them. We can change.  Whatever formed those less desirable traits is a part of the past.  We can’t live in the past, or the future.  We have some choices to make.

 

Do we remain as we are; simply because it is all we have ever known?  Do we convince ourselves that we can’t change?  People will just have to put up with who we are. Circumstances made us who we are, and we can’t do anything about it now.

 

Do we “poor me” ourselves into a state of immobility?  Or try to convince ourselves, and others that we could have been better person if life had dealt us a better hand?  Do we rehearse our failures and hard knocks, and use them as proof that we can’t change?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Or…do we realize that circumstances, good or bad, affect us and try to mold us; but we can change!  We do not have to be defined by life’s circumstances.  We have a choice. We can choose to let the past in the past, and take the reins of our life in our own hands.  Change may not always be easy; but it is possible, and even desirable.

 

We can choose to stop “shooting ourselves in the foot” with all of our negative thinking and talking.  We can open our minds to the fact that as long as we have breath, we can change, grow, and evolve into the person we want to be.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So here we are, wrapped in the beautiful package that we have so carefully crafted for the world to see and admire. But what is inside?  Have we taken the same care to make our character a thing of beauty?  Or have we wrapped up a stagnant piece of garbage in beautiful paper tied with colorful ribbons and bows?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today is the day to start taking charge of our lives.  The day to let go of our negativity and self pity  This is the day that we can start to change.  Today is the only day we can live in.  Let the past in the past.  Live today!  

 

Believe that you can achieve.

 

God has promised that if we would believe on Him; He would make us a new person.  Feel like you’ve tried everything and can’t change?  Try God!

 

2 Corinthians 5:1 – Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.

 

 

 

Thank you for reading  I hope this post has given you food for thought. Please feel free to use the comment section to contribute your thoughts on this subject.

 

More like this?

 

Who Am I

 

From Heart of Stone to Heart of Flesh – The First Heart Transplant

 

 

Please come visit again soon.  I love company and my door is always open.

 

At your service,

Jeannie

Interested in making money online?  Start learning at Wealthy Affiliate.. for free!

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Homemade Harvest Soups – Delicious and Good for you.

Hi retirees and other cherished readers.

 

Harvest time is here! 

 

Homemade harvest soups are delicious and good for you.

 

 

 

If you are a gardener; you know that many of the fruits of your labor are ready for harvest during August and early September.  There are some that seem to get ripe all at once, like tomatoes, green beans, cucumbers, and corn.  Gardeners understand the ‘harvest time rush” to pick, can, freeze or give away what can’t be used up in your regular meals.

 

Homemade harvest soups are one way to use and enjoy

your produce before it decays.

 

Homemade soups may take a little longer; but there is no comparison to canned soups.  The taste of the homemade soups is far superior as well as being better for your health.  The sodium content is much less in soup we make ourselves.  There are no unhealthy additives and fillers in our homemade soups. And we have complete control of what we do add to our vegetables.  Fresh vegetables are more nutrient rich than canned.  So let’s pick those vegetables and prepare to make some soups!

 

Homemade Vegetable Soup

 

Vegetable soup is a good choice; because we can use so many different vegetables in the same soup.  Many vegetables are coming ripe close to the same time.  While the sweet corn is sporting brown silk, the tomatoes and peppers are turning red, green and yellow.  The cauliflower and broccoli is forming heads and the green beans are ripening all at once.  You can use all these and more. You are the chef.  You can use whatever you have and in whatever quantity you desire.

 

Soup base or starter

Start with a soup base of onions, garlic, and bell peppers.  Add a little olive oil, coconut oil, or other healthy fat to the bottom of the stock pan and cook over medium low heat until the vegetables are glassy.

 

Add meat

Add cooked meat for flavoring.  Beef roast is the standard; but you can use other meats or even mushrooms, which have a rather meaty taste.  You may want to add some bouillon for more meaty flavor.  You choose the spices and experiment.

 

Below is a recipe for beef vegetable soup.  I have just guessed at the ingredients and amounts to give you a guide; but you can change it all around to suit yourself and your soup will still be delicious.

 

Beef Vegetable Soup

 

You will need to roast a beef roast or use the leftovers of last night’s roast.  Or you can buy beef soup chunks, brown them and cook in water until tender and falling apart.  I don’t like to bite into large half cooked chunks of beef in my vegetable soup.  I like the meat tender and easy to pull apart. I will leave the quantity of the beef up to you.  If you like a meaty soup; add a lot.  If you just like it for flavor, or you only have a certain amount of leftover meat; use less.

 

Starter:

 

1 cup onions, 1 cup bell peppers, and minced garlic to taste.  I like my onions and peppers chopped rather fine.  You may prefer larger pieces.  You will just need to cook it longer to make sure they are tender.  Put 1/2 cup olive, canola, or coconut oil in large stock pot and melt over medium low heat.  Add vegetables and cook until glassy.  Stir to keep from burning.

 

Blanch 8 to 10 medium sized tomatoes in hot water and put into cold for easy removal of skins. Chop the tomatoes and add to the soup starter.  Add your pre-cooked beef, salt, pepper, oregano and beef bouillon to taste.

 

Add 4 to 6 cups of water.  Or use part beef or vegetable stock.

 

Add the following vegetables:

2 cups celery (chopped)

2 cups carrots (chopped)

4 to 6 ears of corn, cut off of the cob

8 to 10 medium sized potatoes.  Peeled and diced, or chunks if you prefer.

2 cups cabbage (chopped)

1 cup of peas (hulled) or you can use frozen

1 cup of broccoli (chopped)

1 cup of cauliflower (chopped)

1 cup of green beans (chopped)

(Feel free to add or subtract vegetables according to what you may have on hand)

 

Cover and cook over medium low heat until all the vegetables are tender.  Taste and add more seasonings if desired.  This is best cooked for several hours for the vegetables to get tender and the flavors to combine.  Add more water if needed. Cook for a while with the lid off if you desire a thicker soup.

 

If you would like to use more of your vegetables; you can make a larger quantity and freeze or can this hardy soup for use during the long, cold winter months.  It will taste even better in the winter.

 

Homemade Tomato Soup

 

Tomato soup was my favorite soup when I was little.  But homemade tomato soup is wonderful.  I just love it.  It takes a while to prepare; but it is delicious.  I think you could probably can it if you wanted; but I always eat it all within a few days.  I love it so much.  Pare it with a toasted cheese sandwich and you will think you have died and gone to Heaven!

 

My Tomato Soup Recipe:

 

Prepare soup starter:

 

Heat 2 tablespoons of olive or coconut oil over medium low heat and add:

1 medium to large onion (chopped)

1 cup of bell peppers (chopped)

1 carrot (shredded)

1 or two stalks of celery (chopped)

Cook until vegetables become glassy.

 

Prepare tomatoes:

Fill a pot with water and heat until hot.  Put cold water in a bowl or pan for shocking hot tomatoes.  Place a few tomatoes in the hot water for a minute or two.  Take the batch of tomatoes out, one at a time, with tongs and place them in the cold water until skins peel off easily.  If skins don’t peel off easily, leave the next batch in a little longer.  If the tomatoes go to mush, shorten the time in the hot water.  If your cold water gets warm after a few batches, simply dump and fill with fresh cold water.

 

The next step is to remove seeds.  I find that the seeds do not always blend up well in the blender for a smooth soup, so I take them out.  Cut tomatoes in fourths and use your fingers to dislodge the seed pods. When all the seeds have been removed, your tomatoes are ready to add to the soup starter.

 

Season to taste with:

 

Salt

Pepper

Onion powder

Garlic

Oregano

Small amount of sugar

(basil is also good in tomato soup)

 

I haven’t put measurements here because it depends on the amount of tomatoes you use.  You will want to season it by adding a small amount, tasting and increasing if needed.  You can always add more; but you can’t take it out if you add too much.  You are in control.  Add other seasonings if you want; or subtract some.  Make it yours.  You will need some sugar; but the amount will need to be your choice.  Some people like a more sour soup, and others like it sweeter.

 

Cook over medium or medium low heat until the tomatoes go to mush and flavors meld together.  If you want a chunky soup; it can be served this way; but I recommend the smooth soup.  Turn off burner and let cool until it isn’t steaming.  Dump by portions into a blender and blend until smooth.  Return to the pan to reheat.  Taste your soup again and add more seasonings if needed.  If you prefer cream of tomato soup, add a little milk or sour cream before reheating.  Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 
 * All photos courtesy of Pixabay.com

 

I promised, a while back, (in another post) to give you some more soup recipes at harvest time.  I try to keep my promises.

 

Find out more about the health benefits of making your own fresh soup, and more soup recipes for using your harvest vegetables here:

 

LINK TO DIY SOUPS

DIY Homemade Soups Are Delicious and Healthy

 

Thanks for stopping by.  I hope you come again soon.  I love company, and my door is always open.  I post weekly, so there will be something new waiting for you when you return.

 

At your service,

Jeannie

 

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How Can I Improve My Immune System?

How is your immune system? Do you hardly ever get a cold or a virus? Or do you catch everything you come in contact with? Are you asking yourself, “How can I improve my immune system”?

 

Perhaps you get infections easily. Maybe every little scrape or cut or bite seems to get infected. This too can be a sign that your immune system is not working as efficiently as it could.

 

 

What is my immune system?

 

Medical definition of immune system from http://www.medicinenet.com

 

Immune system: A complex system that is responsible for
distinguishing a person from everything foreign to him or her and for protecting his or her body against infections and foreign substances.

 

How to improve your immune system.

 

Get sufficient rest

 

 

It is important to get enough sleep each night for overall health. Most people require 6 to 8 hours of sleep each night. It is also important to take rests from our labors periodically; especially as we get older.

 

Better Sleep – Better Life

 

Exercise regularly

 

Exercise comes easily to most healthy young people. Sometimes we tend to exercise less as we get older; because we have more aches and pains and less energy. But it is even more important to get regular exercise as we age. We may have to change how we do some exercises or substitute more age appropriate exercises for our routines; but exercise is so important.

 

 

Eat a balanced diet

 

It is important to eat healthy as we get older. We should be including lots of leafy green vegetables, and other colorful vegetables and fruits, nuts, seeds and beans (legumes).

 

As we add the healthy natural foods; we can limit our intake of sweet and salty snacks. If you have diabetes or heart problems, this is even more important. If you are prone to yeast infections, remember that yeast feeds on sugar.

 

Remember to drink plenty of water and other liquids. Water flushes out impurities and helps our kidneys function better. Infusing your water with lemon or other fruits makes your water intake even healthier.

 

Our Body Needs Water


 

Fresh air and sunshine

 

Getting plenty of fresh air and sunshine can also improve our mental and physical health. Taking a brisk walk outside can improve our mood as well as our physical health.

 

 

The vitamin D found in sunshine is very important to our immune systems. It has long been known for it’s role in healthy bones and teeth; but it has been found to also play a role in helping our immune system. A vitamin D deficiency can predispose you to a number of diseases and viruses.

 

Supplements

 

 

While the best way to get our vitamins and minerals is from our diet; as we get older, we may not absorb the nutrients as well as we did in our younger days. There are many supplements that can have a positive affect on your immune system.

 

Vitamin D3

 

Many of us don’t get enough sunshine; especially as we grow older.  While we can get vitamin D from food sources; taking a vitamin D supplement is also recommended.

 

The Vitamin D Council recommends that healthy adults take 2,000 IU of vitamin D daily — more if they get little or no sun exposure.

 

 

Vitamin C

 

Vitamin C has long been known to aid the immune system fight colds, flu and infections. It is crucial to the detoxification of the body.

 

The recommended daily dosage for vitamin C is at least 75 mg daily for women and 90 mg for men.

 

 

Magnesium

 

Magnesium helps control inflammation, regulate blood sugar, stabilize our nervous system, and regulates blood pressure, among other benefits.

 

What kind of magnesium should I take?

 

Magnesium comes in many forms. The most commonly sold in pharmacies is magnesium oxide. It has a poor absorption rate as compared to some of the others. Magnesium citrate is the most popular because it is inexpensive and easily absorbed.


Most places recommend a starting dose of 300 to 400mg daily. However, this may not be enough for maximum immune system repair. My advice would be to start out with this dosage. If you notice very loose bowels or diarrhea, stay at that dose. If you notice no side effects, you can gradually increase to 500mg.

 

 

Oregano oil

 

Oregano oil contains antibacterial properties because it contains thymol and carvacrol, which can defend us against bacteria. It may also stimulate the production of white blood cells and speed up the metabolism. Oregano oil also contains Omega 3  fatty acids which can improve heart health. It may also be used to combat sinus and respiratory infections.

 

Oregano oil can be used in several ways. Gel Caplets should be 400 to 500mg daily.

 

Oregano oil may also be used sublingually. Place 2 or 3 drops under tongue, up 3 times a day. May be mixed with olive oil or coconut oil to prevent burning.

 

Oregano oil may be used for sinuses. 2 or 3 drops in water brought to a boil. Take off burner and inhale steam. You can use a towel draped over your head to keep steam in.

 

 

Take Probiotics for gut health

 

 

There are good bacteria and bad bacteria in our gut. When this balance is disturbed by some health condition, or an overgrowth of yeast; it predisposes us to many health problems. Taking a good probiotic can help your body keep these bacteria in a proper balance. Accidopholis is the one most taken; but you may benefit from taking one with a broader base of live bacteria.

 

 

Take cold showers

 

The website www:/Lifehackers.org/ states 5 health benefits of taking cold showers.

 

1. Burn belly fat

2. Boost recovery after exercise

3. Increase mood and alertness

4. Strengthen immunity and circulation

5. Gives you attractive hair and skin

 

 

Cold showers speed up our metabolic rate, which activates our immune system. Then virus-fighting white blood cells are released that will help you to not get sick as often. Cold showers also increase blood circulation; which may help to avoid hypertension and hardening of the arteries.

 

Starting out with warm water and switching to cold may help lessen the impact of starting with cold. This method may take some getting used to; but the benefits may be worth giving it a try.

 

I hope this post has shown you some ways to improve your immune system. If you take the ones you think you will be able to implement and try them; I would love to hear your results.

 

If any of you are already doing some of these things; please use the comment section below to tell us if you have noticed health benefits from what you are doing.

 

Please use the comment section below to give your thoughts or questions relevant to this post. Thank you. I love comments and will answer them all as time permits.

 

Come again soon. I post weekly, so there will something new here for you to read. I love company, and my door is always open.

 

*Disclaimer:  I am not a medical professional.  Please check with your doctor before taking any of the supplements mentioned in this post.  The opinions contained in this post are my own and what I found by researching the web. Consult a medical professional before implementing any changes in your health care based on this post.

 

*This is an affiliate web site.  If you purchase anything from this website, thesuccessfulretiree.com receives a small commission.  Your purchases help with the cost of operating costs.  You will not be charged extra.  Thank you.

 

At your service,

Jeannie

 

 

 

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Why Should I Have the Heart of a Servant?

Do you have the heart of a servant?

 

 

 

 

 

At this point, you might be asking why anyone would want to be a servant. We all want to be free, right?  We often confuse the term servant with the term slave.  When we hear the word servant; we connect it with a loss of freedom and being a slave to others.  But a servant is simply someone who serves others. 

 

Galatians 5:13 – For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only (use) not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.

 

We become servants to our children because we love them.  We care for them and nurture them because of the love we have for them in our hearts.  Having the heart of a servant means that you willingly serve others, nuture and care for their needs; because of the love that is in your heart for them. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There are many reasons why we should have the heart of a servant. We should need no other reason than the first one listed; but since there are other reasons, I will state some of them.

 

The Lord requires us to have a servant’s heart

 

 

 

 

Philippians 2:3-5 – (Let) nothing (be done) through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than themselves.

 

If the motive behind our service to others is to receive honor or praise for ourselves; we are not serving with the attitude the Lord desires.  Instead we are serving to receive whatever is in it for us.  The world would teach us to serve self first; but not the Bible.  Even Jesus himself came to serve and to give his life as payment for our sins.  He humbled himself to a servant position and called himself the Son of Man when he could have called himself the Son of God.

 

Mark 10:45 – For even the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many.

 

Jesus set the example for us to follow in John 13

 

 

 

 

 

At the Last Supper, Jesus surprised the disciples; by taking the place of a servant to wash the dust and dirt from the road off of their feet.  He was setting an example for his disciples.  To be good leaders and teachers, they must first be servants to each other.  He was putting forth an example of humility that he expected his disciples to emulate.

 

I find what Jesus says in verse 17 interesting.  If we never learn to serve others out of love, then we will learn to be self serving and to be a taker.  I’ve found that people who are takers are not usually happy.  They can never take enough; and no one can ever give enough, to satisfy a self seeking person.

 

12.  So after he had washed their feet, and had taken his garments, and was set down again, he said unto them, Know ye what I have done to you?

13.  Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for (so) I am. 

14.  If I then, (your) Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another’s feet.

 

 

 

15.  For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you.

16.  Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him.

17.  If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them.

 

 

 

Serving others is serving the Lord

 

Our Lord tells us in Hebrews 13:2 that while we are serving others; we may be entertaining angels without knowing it.  He also say that when we do good to others; it is as though we are doing the good to Him.

 

 

 

 

Hebrews 13:2 – Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.

 

Ephesians 6:7 – With good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men:

 

Esteeming others above ourselves teaches humility

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Serving others means esteeming them above ourselves.  It means being humble and submitting to one another as unto the Lord.  It sometimes means putting our needs on hold for the good of another.  God resisteth (is against) the proud; but He gives grace to the humble.  Remember pride is the sin that brought satan down.

 

1 Peter 5:5 – Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all (of you) be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.

 

Serving others makes us better leaders

 

The world strives to teach us to be self sufficient, self motivated, and self confident.  These are not necessarily bad traits; but sometimes they lead to being self absorbed, self seeking and unconcerned about others and their needs.  In contrast, Christ teaches us to die to self and serve others in love.

 

Mark 10:43-45 – But so shall it not be among you: but whosoever will be great among you, shall be your minister:

 

2 Corinthians 4:5 – For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves (are) your servants for Jesus’ sake.

 

The Lord defines greatness by our service

 

 

 

 

The world we live in doesn’t glory in servants.  We tend to esteem people in power or people with money.  In contrast, Christ says that whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.  When people reach a certain “position” in life; they wouldn’t think of doing menial tasks that a servant would do.  They think they are above others, and need not do what people with less status do.  They believe that they are here to be served by others; not to serve others.  But Jesus said that the greatest among you will be your servant.

 

Matthew 23

11.   The greatest among you will be your servant.

12.  And whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.

 

To show our love for one another

1 Corinthians 13:1-13 – Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity (love), I am become (as) sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.

 

Love is a verb.  It means little without action.  The action that love should spur is service.  Love causes us to want to fill the need of another, and put their needs above our own.  Love is not self seeking; but concerned with the needs of others.

 

Our Lord set aside his deity and came to earth to live as a man; as an example of the self sacrificial love he wants us to have for one another.  He humbled himself to come to earth with the purpose of living as a man (yet without sin), suffering and dying as a sacrificial lamb for those who will confess their sins, believe in Him, and serve God and mankind.  This free gift of salvation was bought with Christ’s blood.  He willingly became the sacrifice to end all sacrifices.  That is the picture of sacrificial love and service.

 

 

 

 

 

Not serving is to deny the faith

 

 

 

1 Timothy 5:8 – But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.

 

It takes love to be a true servant. Jesus put great emphasis on love throughout the Bible. He has told us to love one another as he has loved us. If we truly love someone, we will serve them regardless of what we receive in return. So many times people love and serve others, with a hope to get something in return. Our reward is in Heaven. If we serve out of the love Jesus placed in our hearts; we won’t expect to get rewarded for our actions.

 

 

I hope this post has given my readers (and myself) a renewed interest in serving others as our Lord has taught us.

 

In what ways are you being a servant?  Are you active in your church?  Do you teach a Sunday school class or participate in worship?  Do you help others when they need help?  Do you take care of an elderly parent; or visit the elderly in nursing homes?  Do you participate in a prison ministry?  Do you share knowledge that you have accumulated to help others?  Do you give financially to the ministry of your church or other charities?  Are you using the talents that God has given you to be of service to others?

 

If you would like to leave a comment that is relevant to this post; please do so in the comment section below.  Your thoughts, comments and questions are important to me and I will answer them all as soon as possible.

 

At your service,

Jeannie

 

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Can You Eat Radish Leaves?

Today I picked several radishes out of my garden.  As I was carrying them down to the house, I wondered if I could eat the radish leaves.  I thought I remembered that my sister ate them in salads; but I was wondering if I could cook them.  I put a little coconut oil in a frying pan and cut up the washed leaves and threw them in.  After they wilted, I added some minced garlic, pepper and salt.  I liked them better than kale made the same way.  They weren’t as bitter.  I made a meal of something that would usually be thrown away.

 

*  Radish leaves may be added to soups, salads, smoothies or use in your pesto recipe.

 

Then I started to wonder what other vegetables had leaves that are edible that we would normally throw away. There are many vegetables that we eat the roots or other parts of; but are in the habit of throwing away the leaves.  Green leafy vegetables are good for us; and as it turns out, many of the beautiful green leaves we throw away are not only edible; but loaded with vitamins and minerals.

 

I found this on the USDA site:

 

Dark Green Leafy Vegetables

“Dark green leafy vegetables are great sources of nutrition. Salad greens, kale and spinach are rich in vitamins A, C, E and K, and broccoli, bok choy and mustard are also rich in many of the B-vitamins. These vegetables also contain an abundance of carotenoids-antioxidants that protect cells and play roles in blocking the early stages of cancer. They also contain high levels of fiber, iron, magnesium, potassium and calcium. Furthermore, greens have very little carbohydrates, sodium and cholesterol.

 

The dark greens supply a significant amount of folate, a B vitamin that promotes heart health and helps prevent certain birth defects. Folate is also necessary for DNA duplication and repair which protects against the development of cancer. Several large studies have shown that high intakes of folate may lower the risk of colon polyps by 30 to 40 percent compared to low intakes of this vitamin. Other research suggests that diets low in folate may increase the risk of cancers of the breast, cervix and lung.

 

The vitamin K contents of dark green leafy vegetables provide a number of health benefits including: protecting bones from osteoporosis and helping to prevent against inflammatory diseases.

 

Because of their high content of antioxidants, green leafy vegetables may be one of the best cancer-preventing foods. Studies have shown that eating 2 to 3 servings of green leafy vegetables per week may lower the risk of stomach, breast and skin cancer. These same antioxidants have also been proven to decrease the risk of heart disease.

 

Perhaps one of the most appealing benefits of dark green leafy vegetables is their low calorie and carbohydrate contents and their low glycemic index. These features make them an ideal food to facilitate achieving and maintaining a healthy body weight. Adding more green vegetables to a balanced diet increases the intake of dietary fiber which, in turn, regulates the digestive system and aids in bowel health and weight management. These properties are particularly advantageous for those with type-2 diabetes.”

 

 

So why are we throwing out the free greens from our gardens that we could be eating for better health?  Habit?  Because our parents did?

 

They can be used raw in salads and smoothies.

 

They can be cooked with other vegetables or garlic and onion.  They can be used in soups or as garnishes or made into pesto sauce.  They can be added to omelettes or scrambled eggs and quiche.  Some may be used as a wrap or stuffed like a cabbage leaf.

 

 

Celery Leaves

 

I don’t throw my celery leaves away; unless they yellow.  I use them in salads and soups.  Many people do just cut them off and throw them away; but they have the same taste as the celery, and they look pretty as a garnish too.

 

Onion tops

 

The tops on the onions from your garden have flavor like the onion.  Cut them up to use on salads, soups and stir fries. They also make a great garnish.

 

Carrot leaves

 

There is a rumor going around that carrot leaves are poisonous because of the alkoloids they contain.  Alkoloids are substances that plants contain which are believed to be for the purpose of keeping pests away.  They are also contained in most of the healthy greens we regularly consume, in varying degrees.  There is no proof that carrot leaves are poisonous; in fact there is evidence to the contrary.  Many people eat these fringy green leaves and live to tell the story. 

 

Carrot leaves can be used in salads and soups, or as garnishes.  Or chop fine and combine with olive oil, garlic or garlic powder, parmesan cheese and salt and pepper for a carrot leaf pesto.

 

Broccoli Leaves

 

The other day I (absentmindedly) picked the bottom leaves off of what I thought was my swiss chard.  When I really looked at them; I thought they didn’t look right.  That was when I realized I had plucked the bottom leaves off of my broccoli plants.  (you can laugh if you want; I did)  They looked so green and leafy and healthy that I brought them down and washed them.  I researched on the internet that broccoli leaves are edible.  The bigger part of the stem should be removed because it may be woody.  Cut up smaller parts and leaves to use in soups and stir fries.  Use a whole leaves for stuffing and rolling like stuffed cabbage.

 

Beet Leaves

 

I don’t plant beets; but I was curious about eating the leaves.  I found that they are good for eating; and good for you.  They have more iron than spinach.  They boost bone strength, strengthen your immune system and fight Alzheimer’s disease.  They are tender and good for eating raw on salads or cooking with other vegetables, in any way you might use spinach or swiss chard.

 

Tomato Leaves

 

Tomato leaves are thought to be poisonous because of belonging to the night shades family; but there is little proof of this.  There is a natural substance that the leaves stems and unripe fruit make to ward off pests.  They contain the alkaloids tomatine and solanine.   The highest concentration is  in the stems, then the leaves, then the unripe green fruit.  We often eat green tomatoes with no ill effects, unless we are allergic to tomatoes themselves.  Chefs have been known to make use of the leaves in their tomato sauces, too.  While one might not want to consume large quantities, the leaves should be as edible as the green fried tomatoes we all love.

 

You can use tomato leaves as garnishes, in soups and tomato sauces. Or you can chop them fine, add garlic powder, onion powder, oregano and other spices, olive oil, red wine vinegar and a little lemon juice for a tomato leaf salsa.

 

Are there any dark leafy greens that you usually throw away that you could eat instead.  The next time you see that green color on the leaves of one of your root vegetables; research to see if you can eat them.  The old adage goes, Waste not; want not.  Our pocketbooks and our bodies will benefit from expanding our knowledge of this subject.

 

If you would like to leave a comment relevant to this post; please feel free to use the comment section below.  I answer all comments as soon as possible.

 

Thanks for stopping by.  Come again soon.  I love company and my door is always open.

 

At your service,

Jeannie

 

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Do I Have a Guardian Angel?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Do I have a guardian angel?  Have you heard some of the stories of supernatural intervention by some unknown force?  These stories are hard to discount; though they are beyond our human understanding.  We like to think that these stories are “proof” that we have a guardian angel that watches over us; ever ready to protect and serve us.

 

The Bible doesn’t say we have our very own personal “Guardian Angel”. A celestial servant who is there to supply our every need, and push us gently out of the way, or block any harm that may come to us.

 

However, there are many Bible references about angels protecting people in the Word of God. And the Bible says that He (God) would give the angels charge over (to care for and protect) us.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Psalms 91:11

 

“For He shall give his angels charge over thee,

to keep thee in all thy ways.”

 

This verse seems to suggest that there is not just one angel who watches over us. He will give his angels (denoting plural) charge over us. It does say that they will keep (protect) us in all our ways.

 

We’ve all seen the caricatures of a someone with an angel on one shoulder and a devil on the other. Sometimes it seems like there might be a grain of truth in that analogy.

 

There is a definite battle going on between the forces of good and evil in this world, and in our lives. Paul calls those forces “laws” in Roman’s 7; and explains the struggle of a new Christian. When we become Christians; we get a new nature; but the old nature doesn’t give up easily.

 

Roman’s 7 verses 21 through 25.

 

21.   I find then a law, that, when I would do good,

evil is present with me.

 

22.   For I delight in the law of God after the inward man:

 

23.   But I see another law in my members, warring

against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity

to the law of sin which is in my members.

 

24.   O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me

from the body of this death?

 

25.   I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord.

So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God;

but with the flesh the law of sin.

 

 

It stands to reason, that if there are angels sent to protect us; there are also “rulers of darkness” that are here tempt and harm us. So, on the battle rages for our soul.

 

Ephesians 6:12

 

“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood,

but against principalities, against powers,

against the rulers of the darkness of this world,

against spiritual wickedness in high places.”

 

 

There are verses that tell us that God sends angels to the earth to do His bidding. This verse says that they excel in strength.

 

Psalm 103:20

 

“Bless the Lord, ye his angels, that excel in strength, that do his

commandments, hearkening unto the voice of his word.”

 

 

When the King of Syria sought to harm Elisha, the prophet; God sent chariots of fire to protect him. Were they being driven by angels? I have never actually seen an angel. Have you? Elisha’s servant couldn’t see the chariots of fire until Elisha prayed for his eyes to be opened.

 

 

2 Kings 6, verses 13 through 18

 

13.   And he said, Go and spy where he is, that I may send and

fetch him. And it was told him, saying, Behold, he is in Dothan.

 

14.   Therefore sent he thither horses, and chariots, and a great host:

and they came by night, and compassed the city about.

 

15.   And when the servant of the man of God was risen early,

and gone forth, behold, an host compassed the city

both with horses and chariots. And his servant said unto him,

Alas, my master! how shall we do?

 

16.   And he answered, Fear not: for they that be with us

are more than they that be with them.

 

17.   And Elisha prayed, and said, Lord, I pray thee,

open his eyes, that he may see. And the Lord opened the eyes

of the young man; and he saw: and, behold, the mountain

was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha.

 

18.   And when they came down to him, Elisha prayed

unto the Lord, and said, Smite this people,

I pray thee, with blindness. And he smote them

with blindness according to the word of Elisha.

 

 

Psalm 104:4

 

“Who maketh his angels spirits; his ministers a flaming fire:”

 

When Hezekiah; King of Judah heard that the Sennacherib king of Assyria was coming to war against him; he put on sackcloth and ashes, and prayed to the Lord.

 

 

Isaiah had this to say to him:

 

Isaiah 37, verses 33 through 36

 

33.   Therefore thus saith the Lord concerning the king of Assyria,

He shall not come into this city, nor shoot an arrow there,

nor come before it with shields, nor cast a bank against it.

 

34.   By the way that he came, by the same shall he return,

and shall not come into this city, saith the Lord.

 

35.   For I will defend this city to save it for mine own sake,

and for my servant David’s sake.

 

36.   Then the angel of the Lord went forth, and smote in the camp

of the Assyrians a hundred and fourscore and five thousand:

and when they arose early in the morning,

behold, they were all dead corpses.

 

The Lord promised to defend the city of Judah, and to save it for his own sake; and for His servant David’s sake.  He sent an angel (this time singular) and the angel smote 185,000 men from the Assyrian army.  God is the giver of life, and He can take it away.

 

 

 

God considers those who believe in Him as His children. He is concerned about all of His children; but especially the little ones.

 

Matthew 18:10

 

“Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones;

for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always

behold the face of my Father which is in Heaven.”

 

 

Angels behold the face of the Father; and the angels, authorities and powers are subject (or in subjection) to Him. Angels live to do the will of God. They don’t act, or react, out of selfish motives. Obeying and carrying out God’s commandments is their purpose, and reason for being.

 

1 Peter 3:22

 

“Who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God;

angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto him.”

 

 

So what have we learned about angels from the Word of God?

 

  • There are angels (Psalms 91:11)

  • God has given them charge over us (Psalms 91:11)

  • They are spirits (Psalms 104:4)

  • They are as a flame of fire (Psalms 104:4)

  • They excel in strength (Psalms 103:20)

  • They do His commandments and follow His word (Psalms 103:20)

  • They don’t act with selfish motives (Psalms 103:20)

  • They come to earth to carry out the will of God (Isaiah 37:36)

  • They are in subjection to God (1 Peter 3:22)

 

 

 

Do we have a guardian angel? Perhaps we have a whole host of guardian angels? But they will only act on our behalf by the command of God. We do not want to make the mistake of thinking that angels are the ones who protect and watch over us; and let God out of the picture.  Or give them more reverence than is due them.

 

God has said that He would be our protector. He said that He would hide us in the shelter of His wings, that He is our strong tower, and that He is the tower the righteous run into and are safe. He said He would hide us in the cleft of the rock; and that He would be our shelter in the time of storm.

 

God is worthy of all praise.  He is the only God.  We are to have no other God’s before Him. Make no mistake. The angels obey the voice of God. Worshiping angels, or giving them honor that is not due them is a form of idolatry.

 

Angel means “messenger”. They are the messengers of God. They have come to do His bidding. They are spirits, perhaps beings of light. Our fleshly minds can lead us astray if we delve into this subject too deeply. We must not let anyone tell us we should give angels undue honor or worship. God warns us not to worship angels.

 

 

Colossians 2:18

 

“Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility

and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things

which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind,”

 

It’s not a good idea, in my opinion, to try to get in contact with our guardian angel or seek to know his name or other things about him. Some people are using seances as a means to get in touch with your guardian angel. Other people are saying they can provide you with the name of your guardian angel for a price. Just remember that satan can disguise himself as an angel of light.

 

 

2 Corinthians 11:14

 

“And no marvel; for Satan himself

is transformed into an angel of light.”

 

 

Do we have I guardian angel? I believe God has angels that He sends out on our behalf. Is it the same angel always. I don’t know. But it is God’s angel; not mine. The angels do the will of God; not my will.

 

God is our refuge and strength and ever present help in time of trouble. Whether He chooses to use angels, or some other means to accomplish His will, is entirely up to Him. I will seek to trust in God and to obey and worship Him, and Him alone.

 

 

 

If you have any questions or comments about this subject; feel free to use the comment section below.  Your comments and questions are important to me.  I will answer them all as soon as possible.

 

Thanks for stopping by.  I hope you come again soon.  I love company; and my door is always open.  I will be posting every week; so there will be something new for you to read when you return.

 

At your service,

Jeannie

 

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How do I Conquer Loneliness and Loss?

It’s a fact, that as we grow older many of us must deal with the death, or departure of a spouse or another loved one. We are often faced with a life altering void we call loneliness.  After the numbness wears off; we find ourselves asking the question:  How do I conquer this loneliness and loss I am feeling?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There is a grieving process that everyone who has suffered this kind of loss must go through.  And we all will travel through it in our own unique way, and at our own unique pace.

 

Here is a piece of poetry/prose that I wrote the subject.

 

Without You

 

I sit alone with four walls closing in;

And silence so loud I can almost hear it.

The absence of voices and laughter;

Of discussions, disagreements and reconciliation.

 

Now there’s only me, talking to myself;

Trying to make sense of senselessness.

Wondering what went wrong

How can it be, that you’re gone?

 

Gone. What a lonely word!

Full of emptiness, regret and solitude.

And an aching longing that won’t subside

But winds itself, like a vine, through each minute of my life.

 

Why did you take you take my joy with you;

And let your memory here to torment me?

Stirring up a longing for things that are past,

And never will be again as they were?

 

Today has become something to endure.

Tomorrow looms over me like a shadow.

Yesterday is gone; yet remains in my mind;

Like an ink stain that won’t wash away.

 

Still I stand; I am still here.

You didn’t take all of me with you.

And something in me won’t let go of hope,

For a better day, some tomorrow, without you.

 

 

By Jean Brickley      June 16, 2017

 

 

There are stages we all go through in the grieving process. We may go through them in a different order or with different timing; but the stages are experienced by all.

 

In the book On Grief and Grieving, author, Elizabeth Kubler Ross, MD and David Kessler, describes five stages of grief as follows.

 

  1.  Denial

  2.  Anger

  3.  Bargaining

  4.  Depression

  5.  Acceptance

 

To read in more depth, you may purchase this book at Amazon. Just click on the link below.

 

It may help us to realize we aren’t the only ones dealing with loneliness and grief. Grief is experienced differently; but there are things that all grieving people have in common.

 

The lonely, or grieving person may get stuck for a while in one stage or another.  Or the order may be switched around in some people.  Or we may move in and out of the different phases.  Don’t be disappointed if you seem to go backward sometimes.

 

 

 

Let me recall my steps through my grief after the death of my father.  Perhaps reviewing this journey will help someone who is going through their own through death or divorce. His death came as a shock to me; because he was doing so well, even the day before he got sick and died.

 

I experienced the death of my mother first; but it was somewhat different, because she had gone so far down physically and mentally; that it seemed almost like a blessing to not have her suffer any more.  In spite of that fact; I still have had to walk through the different stages of grief, and in some ways I am still on a healing journey from the loss of both parents.

 

 

What I felt after my dad’s death.

 

I remember feeling numb, but yet so much pain; and I was in disbelief. I had to take care of things like the coroner, funeral arrangements, etc.  I went through all that in a daze. The numb feeling only lasted only a few days for me.  As I began to accept reality, it was replaced by an empty ache.

 

I suppose I felt some anger; but it was mostly a lot of “What if” questions. What if I would have taken him to the hospital sooner. What if the doctors would have handled it differently?  Did I make the right decisions for his care on that fateful day?

 

 

Perhaps I went from the denial or numb stage, through a stage of struggling to accept this as God’s will and straight to the questioning phase.

 

I think I would go in an out of the different phases according to how I was feeling that day.  I would think I was done crying, until something would remind me of him, and bring me back to tears.

 

 

My attention was drawn away from my grief, somewhat, while going through their belongings to get prepare for an auction.  This was both difficult and therapeutic.  I went through the gamut of emotions during this time.  And the day of the auction was heart wrenching.  It felt like strangers were coming in, buying and carrying off pieces of my parent’s life.

 

 

Next came the depressed stage.  The stage where I had to admit to myself that he really was gone.  Both of my parents were dead.  This fact was compounded by the fact that I was the main caretaker, and had been devoting a large part of my life to that purpose.

 

 

 

Their death left me with a void, where that purpose had been.  I am not one to get knocked down and just lay there.  I realized pretty quickly that I would have to find a new purpose to fill that void. 

 

 

I thought of taking a part time job; but I didn’t really like the thought of fighting traffic and joining the rat race again.  That’s when I stumbled across an internet affiliate marketing training program that you could start for free.  It was called, Wealthy Affiliate.

 

Wealthy Affiliate

 

If I joined with a free starter membership, I would also get seven days of free lessons; and two free websites.  I was impressed that they didn’t ask for money upfront.

 

Still, I didn’t join on a whim.  I researched to see if it was a scam.  To my amazement; the majority of reviews were overwhelmingly positive. They didn’t promise a “get rich quick” formula.  Right up front they said internet affiliate marketing would take hard work and time.  I needed something to fill my “loss of purpose” void and give me a new purpose; so I joined.

 

 

It was just what I needed.  I was kept busy, learning new things, and using my creativity.  I enjoyed making new friends in the community.  The amazing part was, my new friends were from many different countries and ethnic backgrounds.  It was interesting and fun to read the blogs other members wrote, and comment on them.  I loved writing blogs on the WA site, and getting positive feedback from other members.

 

 

If you have an interest in affiliate marketing; you can find out if it is something you would like without paying any money upfront.  Just click on the link below to check it out.

 

 

 

Joining WA helped me get through the depressive phase.  Time has helped with the acceptance phase. I think I am now in a healing phase.

 

If I were to add any phase to the wonderful list found in the book, On Grief and Grieving by Elizabeth Kubler Ross, MD and David Kessler; it would be the “healing phase”.  When acceptance takes place, we are then able to start healing.

 

 

Below are a few points of my own that may help you move through the different stages of grief smoothly.

 

  • Give yourself some adjustment time at the beginning.  If you need extra sleep, take it.

 

  • Be kind to yourself.  “What ifs” will plague you; but realize that you did the best you could.

 

 

  • Be forgiving toward others.  Friends don’t always know what to say.  They say the wrong things and can hurt us.  But being angry and unforgiving will not help.  Usually the offenders meant well.

 

 

  • Don’t allow yourself to remain isolated and alone for extended periods.

 

  • It may take every ounce of energy you have to remain in contact with friends, or go out to any event, or even to attend church.  But it is important not to isolate yourself.

 

 

  • Reach out to other people with a helping hand.  If you are helping others; your own pain will be relieved while you are caring for someone else.  There is no better remedy for loneliness.  And you will receive God’s blessings for helping others.

 

  • If you seem to be “stuck” in some phase (for instance, depression), check to see if there is a grief support group in your area that you could join; or talk to your pastor, or a trusted friend.

 

  • Don’t be afraid to ask for prayer, or pray for yourself.  God is always listening and He understands our tears.

 

 

 

  • Don’t let anyone to tell you how you are supposed to feel.  You feel the way you feel.  And it is important to allow yourself to feel, and begin to work through your feelings, so you can heal.

 

  • When you have worked through some of the phases; you will find it comforting to remember the good things about your loved one; even if it makes you cry.

 

 

 

  • Don’t be afraid to talk about the person you lost, especially to people who knew them well and loved them too.

 

  • Don’t hold your feelings in and act strong.  Not allowing yourself to cry, can prolong the grief process.  Just allow yourself to feel what you feel, when you feel it.

 

  • Find an interest.  Unwrap your creative self.  This is a good time to try a new craft, write a poem, learn to play a musical instrument, or take up painting, etc.

 

 

 

  • Allow God to comfort and heal you.  God sent the Holy Spirit to live inside us to comfort, guide and teach.

 

  • Count your blessings and cultivate positive thinking.

 

  • I have found it helpful to believe that my parents have gone on to Heaven, and are in a better place, and not suffering anymore.  I also find comfort in the fact that I will see them again one day.  We will be reunited in a land where there will be no more tears.

 

 

If you are grieving the loss of a loved one right now, please know that you have my sympathy.  If you need prayer, I will be glad to pray for you, or others in your family.

 

I hope that you have found something of comfort in this post.  Please use what you can and disregard the rest.  Everyone grieves differently. You must find your own path and walk in it.

 

Please feel free to leave a comment in the comment section below.  Your thoughts are important to me and I will answer all comments as soon as possible.

 

Thank you for stopping by.  Come back again soon.  I love company!

 

 

At your service,

Jeannie

 

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Who Am I

Hi retirees and other cherished friends.

It seems that each one of us, at one time or another, has asked the question, “Who am I?”.  It seems like a simple enough question; but many of us don’t really know who we are, what our talents are, what we enjoy and what we want from ourselves, and from life in general.

When we retire we have more time to ponder this question.  But how do we go about finding out who we really are?  Sometimes we are so caught up in trying to be what others want us to be; it is hard to separate our own desires for our lives from the desires of those who would like to tell us who to be.

Just remember, it is your life.  No one else can live it for you.  We only get one chance here on earth to live the life we want.  If we let others dictate to us who we are or should be; there won’t be time to be the person God meant us to be.

I am not an expert in the art of self discovery, and remaining true to ourselves; but I do have some ideas that might spark your inner desire to find out who you are and what you want.  Use my ideas to craft your own plan of self knowledge and self endowments.

 

What are endowments?

Every human has four endowments – self awareness, conscience, independent will and creative imagination. These give us the ultimate human freedom… The power to choose, to respond, to change. Stephen Covey

Read more at: https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/s/stephencov138246.html

 

Endowment (in philosophy) refers to the innate capacities of an individual, group, or institution. An individual’s “natural endowment” can be abilities, such as intelligence or strength, given at birth. An individual’s “social endowment” can be abilities attributed to the individual’s position within a social hierarchy.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Endowment_(philosophy)

 

According to Stephen R. Covey, author of The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, there are seven human endowments.

 

 

I haven’t read the aforementioned book; but I’m putting it on my “must read” list.  Please don’t confuse my humble writings with the book written by Stephen R Covey, The Seven Habits of Successful People.  I recommend you read it to find out what he has to say.

I am borrowing Mr. Covey’s primary and secondary endowments as a place to start our investigation of self awareness and self actualization.  Other than the borrowed headings; the following are my own ideas and writings and not to be confused with his book.

 

Primary endowments

 

Self awareness or self knowledge

Many people seem to fear cultivating self awareness and self knowledge; because they think it is being self-centered or conceited.  In reality, we must know ourselves and love ourselves before we can truly know and love others.  Asking the question “Who am I” is a start in the right direction.

Imagination and conscience

Imagination is a wonderful God given gift.  We can imagine our future in great detail if we put our minds to it.  Imagination is neither good nor bad; but we can use it for either.

That is where conscience comes in.  God also gives us a conscience and when it is in proper working order; it will tell us the difference between right or wrong.  However, if it is ignored over and over; like an engine that hasn’t been greased, it is not reliable.

Learn to use your imagination for good.  Imagine what you want and how you will go about getting obtaining it.  Imagine a better YOU.  Then believe that you can achieve what you imagined.

 

Volition or willpower

There is not much good in imagining if we do not have the volition or the willpower to carry it through to reality.  Volition and willpower are also God given traits.

Babies learn as they grow.  They find out if they can do something by trying it.  As they grow, restraints are put on that spontaneity, mostly for safety sake.  But sometimes so many restraints have been put on us in the past; that we begin to think we can’t do anything.  Or we have been taught that failure is a bad thing; so the more we fail, the less desire we have to try new things.

Failure is neither good nor bad in itself.  It is what we make of it.  We can take it as a defeat, and a reason to stop trying; or we can use it as a stepping stone or a learning experience, and a catalyst to go on to something bigger and better.

 

Secondary endowments

 

An abundance mentality

I’m not sure how Mr. Covey meant this; but here is my take.  Some think that having more is better.  The newest car, the best house, many possessions will make the person.  But possessions are empty of life and will not satisfy for long.

The quest for more and more material possessions is empty and meaningless in the larger scheme of things.  Greed has been the downfall of many people; and can take any of us to places we never meant to go.

 

God wants to give us abundance of peace and joy and make our life fruitful and satisfying.  It has nothing to do with possessions or earthy status.

However, the other side of the coin is; that some think that there is no way out of the poverty they have always known.  They see nothing in their future that will take them beyond the valley to the mountaintop.  God can give hope, comfort and new life in this kind of circumstance.

 

Courage and consideration

Some people have lots of courage, and little consideration.  Others have an abundance of consideration and not much courage.  I think God meant for us to have a measured amount of each.

If we have courage; and little consideration, we will go after what we want; while running rough shod over others to get there.  We may find it is an empty victory in view of the loss of self respect, and the inability of the material to satisfy.

 

If we have consideration of others, and always put others needs above anything to do with self; we may find that we will begin to resent those to whom we offered our consideration.  This is not to say that we should not put others first.  The Bible says that we are to put others needs before our own.

What I am saying is; we are God’s people too.  If we don’t respect and love ourselves enough to do what we need to do; then we are not living up to our full God given potential.  We need a healthy balance of courage and consideration.

Creativity

God created us in His image.  He is the creator; but he meant for us to be creators too.  He gave each of us creativity in different areas.  He put within in us a desire to create.  If we haven’t allowed life and circumstances to stifle the creativity within us, we will be creative and create as God intended.  See my blog for more on this subject.

https://my.wealthyaffiliate.com/jeanbrickley/blog/we-were-made-to-be-creative

 

Self renewal

There are times that life throws us a curve ball.  Circumstances can occur that present us with a need to re-invent ourselves.  Some circumstances that are life changing are:  graduating from high school or college, marriage, divorce, job loss, health conditions, emotional breakdowns, etc.

We tend to think of some of these as endings; but they can also be new beginnings.  We have the God given capacity to rise above disagreeable circumstances and begin a renewal within ourselves.  God has said that He would give those who believe in Him a renewed mind; and that all things would become new.  Allow Him to begin that work in you, and He will make you into the person He created you to be.

 

 

Ten questions to ask yourself toward answering the question”Who am I?”

 

  1. What are my strengths?

  2. What are my weaknesses?

  3. What are my abilities?

  4. What are my hobbies?

  5. What makes me happy?

  6. What makes me sad?

  7. What angers or upsets me and why?

  8. Who do I admire and why?

  9. What are my passions?

  10. What are my convictions and spiritual connections?

I hope this post has sparked an interest within my readers to begin a search, within their own lives, for the answer to the question, Who am I?.  Self discovery and self actualization can be the beginning of a new and more fulfilling life.

Experiment by making up your own questions to ask of yourself.  Begin to know yourself on a deeper level.  Try to understand why you do some things and don’t do others.  What is behind some of the emotion you feel?  Look at the people you admire and decide what it is that attracts you to them.  Is this trait something you could cultivate within yourself?

Please feel free to leave a comment or question in the comment section below.  The thoughts and questions of my readers are important to me.  I will be sure to comment in return.

 

At your service,

Jeannie

 

 

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Too Tired to be Inspired

Are you feeling rather tired lately?  Has your “get up and go” just “got up and went”?  Do you feel like, if you ran on battery power, that your battery is badly in need of a charge?

 

 

Are you too tired to be inspired?

 

If so, then it might be time to pause and take a look at what is happening with you.  There are some questions you can ask yourself to get start “getting a handle” on what has you so wiped out.

 

Is this a recent development?

Sometimes it helps to come up with a time line of how long you have felt this way.  Then you can see if any new stress started near that time.  Or perhaps there was a change in medication?  Maybe there was a life event such as an operation, a birth, a death, a separation or divorce.  The time line is important for making sense of what is happening to you.

 

Are you currently experiencing an unusual amount of stress?

Stress can cause all sorts of symptoms.  Headaches, body aches, depression, anxiety, insomnia, heart palpitations, mood swings, and general tiredness and malaise are some symptoms that might be exhibited during times of increased stress.

 

Though stress can’t always be avoided; there are some things that may help; such as physical exercise (like walking or riding bike), relaxation techniques, deep breathing, meditation and prayer.

 

Are you feeling physically ill?

Physical illness can cause a general tiredness and malaise.  If you suffer from allergies or sinus problems; you may feel very tired and wiped out.  Chronic pain can also be a trigger for lack of energy and enthusiasm.  Depression can be a cause of chronic lack of energy; or a symptom of something else that is going on in your life.

 

Are you depressed?

Depression can be the cause of a variety of symptoms similar to the ones caused by stress.  Everyone has a sad day once in a while; but depression is different.  It goes beyond normal sadness and can last for months or years.  It interferes with every aspect of the depressed individual’s life.

 

Depression can destroy relationships, families, marriages, and it may even take a life through suicide or homicide.  If you suspect you are depressed, please see a doctor and talk about what you are feeling.  Perhaps counseling or medications could be helpful.

 

 

What are you eating?

There is a saying that goes “Garbage in, garbage out”.  If you desire to be healthy, it is important to eat healthy foods. 

If you filled the gas tank in your car with water instead of gasoline, you wouldn’t get very far, would you?  If you mixed water with the gas; your car engine would most likely start to miss, sputter or stop. 

You need pure gasoline for your car to run smoothly, and you need good, healthy foods like fresh fruits and vegetables for your body to run smoothly.

 

What are you drinking?

Everyone knows it is also important to pay attention to what we eat; but many don’t pay attention to what they drink. 

Too much alcohol can be a depressant, and make one tired and unmotivated.  Highly sugered drinks such as fruit juices and soda may cause a little energy spike; but it is usually quickly followed by a let down or crash. 

The best drink for your body is water.  You can infuse it with lemon or fresh fruit or mix with a small amount of baking soda or apple cider vinegar for better hydration.

 

Have you started taking a new medication?

There are side effects with many medications; and they often include tiredness or drowsiness.  They can sometimes cause us to be bloated or constipated.  Some medications cause a general unwell feeling that causes us to lose our energy. 

 

Read the labels and check for side effects and drug interactions.  Ask your doctor if any of the medications you are taking could be the cause of your lack of energy and motivation.

Are you getting enough sleep?

Getting enough sleep is crucial to our overall health and well being.  As we get older, we require more sleep; but our ability to get a good nights sleep may be changing for the worse. 

 

We may have trouble falling asleep; or trouble staying asleep.  Our sleep may be interrupted by frequent trips to the bathroom.  Chronic pain may interfere with our sleep patterns.  For some tips to a better nights sleep; please see my post:

Better Sleep – Better Life

 

Are you taking a new supplement?

Supplements may side effects, too.  They usually aren’t as severe as they are with prescription medications; but they could cause some symptoms.  Do research before taking a new supplement, and make sure your doctor knows.

 

 

However, B12 can be beneficial as far as feeling tired is concerned.  Taking a B complex with C can help with energy.  I notice the difference if I run out and don’t take mine for a few days.  Here is what I take.

 

 

Have you lost your motivation?

Feeling physically tired or emotionally distressed can deplete your motivation.  Sometimes we just feel immobilized and feel like we can’t do what needs done. 

The best thing to do in this situation is just find something small and DO IT.  If you do something, no matter how small or insignificant; it will help motivate you to do another small task; and eventually you will find yourself tackling the larger ones.

Make a list in order of importance.  Then select a quick or easy task to complete.  When it is done, cross it off the list.  This seemingly insignificant action will make you feel like you have accomplished something.  With each crossed off task; you will feel your motivation returning.  Try it and see.  You may find some tips in these posts:

 

Organize, Prioritize and Minimize

Ten Personality Traits That Hold You Back

 

When was your last physical?

It is important to get regular physical examinations; especially as we get older.  Your physician may be able to diagnose some problem you are having and treat it accordingly.  Underlying illnesses are sometimes found by routine blood tests, etc.  If found and treated early ; diseases such as diabetes, cancer and heart disease take less of a toll on our body.

I hope you have found something within this post that will give you understanding, and the motivation to conquer your tiredness.

It is my desire to inspire you to complete small steps, one at a time, leading ever upward toward the fulfillment of your goals.

 

Please feel free to leave a comment or a question in the comment section below.

 

At your service,

Jeannie

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Jump for the joy of the Lord

 

Remember when you were a child and something made you happy? You couldn’t contain yourself. You jumped for joy. As we grow older we learn how to control these impulses. And as we get even older, we may not be physically able to “jump for joy”.

 

I’m sure, in most instances, it is good that we learn to curb this urge in a physical sense; but sometimes we learn to curb the emotion that causes us to want to jump. Then we are unable to experience the “joy of the Lord” in the fullest manner of wanting to “jump for joy”.

 

 

I have a friend at church who has the “joy of the Lord” as much as I do. I don’t know how it got started; but I think it was in response to a song. We took each other’s hands and jumped in a circle. Church was over, and just a few people remained to witness our spontaneous jumping spree. Some of them may have thought we “lost it”; but all of them couldn’t help but smile. It became something that we do every now and then. Sometimes others join us, or just smile or laugh. Is it silly? Yes. Is it good for us. Yes.  Is it an expression of the joy we have in our salvation?  Yes.

 

 

Why do we have this joy? Is it because we are free from problems? To the contrary; we both have had our share of problems and heartaches. We know each other well enough that we know some of what the other has been through. And yet, we have joy. A joy that makes us want to jump! Where does it come from?

 

It is the “joy of the Lord”. It is joy unspeakable and full of glory! It is joy in our salvation. It is being thankful for all our blessings and trusting the Lord with all our problems. Our Lord has told us to cast all our cares upon Him for He cares for us. (He will take care of us)

 

Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you. 1 Peter 5:7

 

One day as my friend and I were jumping, another woman from our church wished to join us. This woman had just survived a long hard battle with cancer and was just beginning to regain her strength but she had the joy of the Lord and wanted to jump with us. She was mostly just bending her knees and popping back up; but she was having fun (until she lost her balance).

 

It made a huge impact on me, that after everything she had been through (and was still going through), she still wanted to jump for the joy of the Lord! What a contrast to the stodgy grumpy faced Christians who inhabit the back pews of some churches, so they can rush out as soon as church is over. What a testimony to those who still possess their physical health; but have lost their joy! Our sister has since gone to be with Jesus; but her spirit lives on.

 

 

Our Lord in His infinite wisdom, knew that we would be overwhelmed with cares, worries, temptations and heartaches in this world. He knew that it would be too much for us to bear. That’s why He tells us that we don’t need to bear our own burdens; we can cast (or throw) them on Him.

 

Did you ever play the game “Hot Potato”? It may be played differently in some groups; but in my experience, this was the way it was played.

 

The group sits or stands in a circle. An object is chosen, such as a bean bag, a stuffed animal or a ball that is soft. Then the group is to treat that object as though it is a hot potato. Throwing it immediately to the next person in the circle as though it was hot and burning their hands. A designated person yells “Hot Potato”. The person holding the ball at that point is considered “out” and must leave the circle, and the game resumes.

 

It can also be played with music playing, similar to musical chairs. When the music stops, the person holding the hot potato is “out” and must leave the circle. If I remember correctly, a stuffed potato was also marketed for the purpose of playing this game.

 

 

The Lord knows that the burdens we carry will burn into our soul if we hold on to them. He asks us to cast them on Him as though they were a hot potato. The longer we hold on to our worries, our fears, our anger, our unforgiveness, and our heartaches; the more chance they have of forming permanent scars on our hearts and lives.

 

How many people continue to carry excess baggage around all their lives? Our Lord wants to carry that baggage for us. He says that His yoke is easy; and His burden is light. He didn’t create us to be beasts of burden, trudging through life bearing a heavy load of sin.

 

“For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:30

 

 

It sounds so simple.

 

Just cast (or throw) all your burdens to the Lord. Don’t hold on to them. Don’t clench them tight to our chest. Just open our hands and throw them to the Lord. Put all our cares in His capable hands. Believe that He will take care of the problem, heal our heart ache, deliver us from the temptation, teach us to forgive, and enable us to live within His will.

 

 

Why is it sometimes hard?

 

I am reminded of when my children were little. My son was mechanically minded and loved to take things apart to see how they worked. Sometimes that was okay. He took it apart, and put it back together. Sometimes though, he would succeed in the taking apart process; but the putting back together didn’t work out as well. Then he would bring the toy to me to be “fixed” “Fix it Mommy”. If it was a simple fix; I would take the toy and snap it back together and he would go happily on with his day.

 

But if it was a more time consuming fix, he would grow impatient and snatch it back; only to return later with the plea, “Fix it Mommy”. It was frustrating, when I would have it almost together, only to have it snatched from me before it could be completed. When he returned later, I would have to start all over again.

 

Sometimes we grow impatient with God. We think He is taking too long. We have “cast” our burden on Him; but now what? We want that quick fix, so that we can go happily on with our life. We begin to doubt that God is able to handle it alone. Maybe He needs a little help. How many times have we snatched back our problem; when (unknown to us) God was close to a solution? How many times has our action of snatching it back; caused grief and inaction on God’s part?

 

We are not only to cast our burden;

but also, leave it there.

 

I am reminded of an old hymn called “Leave it There”. The verses go through problems and difficulties that we may experience during our lives, and end with…”Take your burden to the Lord and leave it there”.  The chorus then chimes in with, “Leave it there, leave it there. Take your burden to the Lord and leave it there. If you trust and never doubt; He will surely bring you out. Take your burden to the Lord, and leave it there”.

 

The key to leaving our burdens in God’s hands is contained in the last two sentences of that chorus. “If you trust and never doubt; He will surely bring you out. Take your burden to the Lord, and leave it there”.

 

The taking it there, or casting our burden on Him is the easy part. It is the trusting and never doubting, that seems to make many of us stumble. Why is it so hard for us to trust? Why do we doubt that the one who created us, and knew us even before we were born, is capable of handling anything that life throws in our path? What makes us think that we, the created being, can handle things better than the Creator himself? Perhaps it is the temptation put before us by the lion that roams this earth seeking whom He may devour. He loves to devour our trust, and chew on our devotion to God; trying to replace it with discouragement and disillusionment.

 

 

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: 1 Peter 5:8

 

Why do we snatch our problems back

if they aren’t taken care of immediately?

 

One reason could be impatience. We are so used to instant gratification. It is an instant world. We don’t have a need to cultivate patience; because so much of the time, everything we need is at our fingertips. Technology has contributed to our quest for instant gratification. We can find out almost anything by typing our quest in a search engine and hitting “enter”.

 

But God holds patience or “longsuffering” in high regard. As evidenced by these verses:

 

2 Peter 1:5-7

5.  And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;

6.  And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness;

7.  And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.

 

 

Romans 15:5 – Now the God of patience and consolation grant you to be likeminded one toward another according to Christ Jesus:

 

James 1:3-4

3. Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.

4. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.

 

 

Colossians 1:11 – Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness;

 

Do you have the joy of the Lord? Are you thankful for your blessings? Have you given all your burdens into His care? Do you “Leave it There”, like the song says? Are you cultivating trust and patience? Do you look at your trials as a means of working patience in your life? Are you willing to “wait” for the Lord to work in your life; or do you continue to snatch it back and try handling it by yourself?

 

These are not questions I want an answer to. These are some questions for you to ask yourself and God. I ask myself these and other questions daily. Sometimes I am glad to answer them or hear God’s answer to my queries. Other times, I have fallen short of His righteousness. Sometimes my answer or God’s answer to my questions grieves me. Then I realize that I have taken something back and I am trying to handle it myself. I have not trusted fully; or I have not had the patience neccessary to wait for His timing. So I must go back to where I got off track; ask for forgiveness and hand the part of my life back to God that I have snatched from His hands.

 

 

When that happens, I am so thankful to know that my God is a God of mercy; and that He has the patience and longsuffering that I sometimes lack. And most of all, I am thankful that He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 

 

1 John 1:9 -If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

 

When we are cleansed from all unrighteousness, we are free to enjoy the joy of the Lord. We can jump (either inwardly or outwardly) for the joy of the Lord! We can celebrate the joy of our salvation with a jumping in our spirit; if we can’t physically jump anymore. If we open our hearts and receive; He wants to bestow us this blessing of a joyful buoyant spirit. He desires to give us joy unspeakable. Joy that is not governed by our circumstances. A joy so abundant that we want to jump with glee.

 

 

You are never too old

to experience

this kind of joy!

 

For more on this subject, please see these posts:

 

Why Do We Need Patience?

Rejoice in the Lord Always

Peace is a Blessing From God

 

I would like to hear your thoughts on this subject; so please feel free to leave a comment.

 

I hope you stop in again sometime. I love company, and my door is always open.

 

At your service,

Jeannie

Jeannie

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