Posts Tagged ‘health’

What if We Really Believe Jesus? part 3

January 17, 2016

“So don’t worry at all about having enough food and clothing.  Why be like the heathen?  For they take pride in all these things and are deeply concerned about them.  But your heavenly Father already knows perfectly well that you need them and he will give them to you if you give him first place in your life and live as he wants you to.”  Matthew 6:31-33

The heathen took pride in their food and clothing.  Their self esteem depended obviously on their attire and on their ability to entertain.  There was the ancient equivalent of “keeping up with the Joneses.”   Today it would be a concern with being in fashion, and a concern about having the nicest home, nicest car, nicest landscaping, and again, the ability to entertain.  No longer is concern merely for food and clothing.  Look at what occupies modern humans–the cooking channel, home and garden television, and the travel channel.  No one is satisfied to have a healthy diet, a comfortable home, warm, loving relationships and a thankful heart towards God.  We are more obsessed with what we want than what God wants.  Talking with a neighbor about settling into a new home, they said “of course we’ll never be settled–there will always be things we want to improve.”  I wondered “why?”

Instead we are to put God first.  The promise is God will take care of our needs if we put Him first, and live as He wants us to live.  And how does He want us to live?  “Love God with your whole heart, your whole soul, your whole mind and your whole strength, and love your neighbor as yourself.”  If we do the first, we will love to spend time getting to know God better through study of the scriptures and prayer, and we can never thank Him enough or appreciate Him enough.  If we do the second, our life will be about loving concern for our neighbor.  We will help others as God directs, working through prayer and watching for opportunities.  We can’t do it all, and we won’t stress over that, but will obey those urges to help others that God presents to us.  If we live with this attitude of love for God and care for the needs of others, God will do the same for us.  We’re doing what He wants, after all, and He will always enable us to do what He planned.

Yoga, Prayer and the difference.

January 6, 2012

“Yoga is about clearing away whatever is in us that prevents our living in the most full and whole way.  With Yoga we become aware of how and where we are restricted—in body, mind and heart—and how gradually to open and release these blockages.  As these blockages are cleared, our energy is freed.  We start to feel more harmonious, more at one with ourselves.  Our lives begin to flow—or we begin to flow more in our lives.”    quote by Cybele Tomlinson.

 I read this quote today on the facebook page of a friend who has been going through a lot of soul searching.  It sounds good, but its really so very, very limited.  Its ultimately all about self, and no one else.  The human condition is such that we are limited and we are lonely.  We can’t solve our problems all alone.   Our problems with our loneliness and limitedness can’t be solved by a limited, lonely self.  Someone once quipped they couldn’t run from their problems because “wherever I go, there I am.”  The self is so constant it becomes a pain.  “Otherness” is as necessary to us as the air we breathe.  Its not so much whats in us that prevents us living a full and whole life, its the need for more than what is in us.  We have to open up.

Rather than Yoga, prayer opens the heart, mind and emotion to the great Other.  The best part of that is this  Other is the only One who has the power and wisdom to truly help us.  No one understands us like God, for He knows us better than we know ourselves.  As we pour out our hearts in prayer, we not only see ourselves more clearly, but we see answers to what we are seeking.  By opening up to Him, we learn to appreciate and love Him back.  This gives us the energy to love others and to have compassion for them.   “We love because He first loved us.”  I John 4:19

How to Do Something You Never Thought Possible

May 5, 2008

I just ran another 5K yesterday.  This is my second, in my whole life.  To prepare, I have trained over time to run 4 or 5 miles at a time.  I’m not fast, but as someone on the track said, “You sure have endurance, for your age.”  I wasn’t a runner my whole adult life, but three years ago I learned of a marathon runner who began at age 70.  Now, I don’t anticipate being a marathon runner.  That is really too hard on the knees, hips and ankles.  I want to die with all my original joints, thank you!  But I figured 5K runs, and maybe even an occasional 10K run might be in the cards for me. 

Because I had never run in adulthood, running even half a mile wasn’t possible for me in the beginning.  My first time out, I just wanted to see how far I could run, and I was surprised that I actually ran somewhere between 1/16 and 1/8 of a mile.  (Thats between 1/4 and 1/2 a loop on a standard track).  And I wasn’t even fast at that!  I figured my first guess was probably right–I wasn’t made for running.  But I persisted–probably because of the 70+ year old marathon runner.  Within a month, I was running a mile.  By the end of 6 months, I was running 2 miles, and by the end of a year, I could run 2 1/2 miles.  Finally in my second year of running, I ran my first 5K.  I did well just to finish, but considering I was the oldest female to enter it and actually run, I was pretty pleased.  Then yesterday I ran another 5K and won in my age category.  Yes, they did have to start a new category, but I was pleased because I came in ahead of all the ladies who were ten years younger, and most of the ladies who were 20 years younger than me.

What is the moral of the story?  Don’t give up too soon.  What you are able to do today may not be representative of what you can do in the future if you train for it.  That can apply to anything!  You may have the ability to do something you never imagined you could do, if you could just train for it or study for it.  You may be lacking the building blocks right now, but step by step, you can build your foundation, and then build on your foundation and surprise yourself and everyone else at what you can eventually achieve.

How to Make a Difference

April 30, 2008

With “Make a Difference” day just around the corner, I thought it would be appropriate to tell how to make a difference across the world without leaving your own home.

Mercy Ships is an international health charity which provides first world life changing surgeries free of charge to third world patients.  It has performed thousands of facial plastic surgeries ranging from cleft lip and palate repair to removal of life threatening facial and neck tumors.  It has performed eye surgeries initiating sight for people with congenital cataracts.  Imagine seeing your parent or spouse for the first time.  The joy on videos of these encounters is contagious.

How can we help from home?  One can donate money on a monthly basis, but if you want to be a little more personal, why not consider putting together a patient care kit?  It will be given to one of the patients aboard the Africa Mercy, and you can include a “get well” card you have made or bought, and it will bring huge encouragement to the individual.  You can make or buy a bag large enough to include: a hand held mirror, wash cloths, a travel package of wet wipes, a large bar of soap, a tube of toothpaste, a net shower puff, a comb and a toothbrush.  If you don’t want to do a package, but find a bargain on any of these items, please feel free to send them along.  You can mail them to:

Mercy ships

Attn:  Procurement

15862 Hwy 110 N

Lindale, TX 75771


You can also send craft items for patients to use during recovery.  Examples:

Yarn, crochet hooks, colored paper, art supplies, scissors, brightly colored fabric, thread, zippers and buttons.

Secondary Gains

April 15, 2008

Back in the dark ages when I worked in mental health, we didn’t have all the pharmaceuticals we have today, and relied a lot more on inpatient hospitalization and psychotherapy of various kinds.  One of the rather interesting concepts was the concept of “secondary gain”.  Some people, unconsciously, or perhaps consciously had something to gain by being “a mental patient”.  Sometimes the psychiatrists could weed out people who were “playing crazy”.  What were the secondary gains?  Oftentimes it was a release from some intolerable living situation.  It might be huge expectations on a person they felt they could never meet.  It might be a career they had spent many years preparing for and then found they hated.  It might be a wildly dysfunctional family.  It might just be that the expectations for the person’s success in life, (their own or their family’s) was more than they ever felt they could live up to.  It might be the marriage from hell.  In all these cases, being “mentally ill” released the person from the burden of the expectations.  They couldn’t be expected to continue what they were doing, and it wasn’t their fault—they were ill.  I think its still a useful concept in some situations.  When somebody you love is doing something “crazy” or dysfunctional, something that makes no sense, or seems to be self defeating, ask yourself whether there is a secondary gain.  It may help you understand the person better, and perhaps eventually help them find a more rewarding way to deal with life.



A joyful heart

March 1, 2008

I think the tenth most important thing in life is to cultivate a joyful heart–a joyful attitude toward life.  I look around at my contemporaries–old as anything, and also at my granddaughter and great granddaughter’s contemporaries and I see a whole country of people on anti-depressants.  I’m no doctor, and I’ll admit there are probably a lot of good medical reasons why people take these medications, but in my day, “depression” was called “the blues” and people were supposed to get a handle on it.  Most people did.  Thats not to say there weren’t plenty of people in mental hospitals with severe depression, but nowhere near the number of people who are now taking anti-depressants.

The bible says “a merry heart does good like medicine” and I believe that is true.  I used to struggle with my moods when I was a younger person, until I studied some of the non-medical indicators of depression.  People who are depressed have a number of these things in common.  Notice I don’t say “all” these things, but depressed people will have a number of these things in their life.

First of all, their care of their physical body will be sub-par.  They will eat junk, use either caffeine or sedating substances or both, and they won’t exercise.  They have a lot of unhelpful thought processes: they have unrealistic expectations about what other people should be doing, they have a persistent negative outlook on life, they have withdrawn from social contact, they have withdrawn from things that they used to enjoy, they have stopped or never did look for a power greater than themselves, they have stopped or never did look to be involved in something bigger than themselves, and last, but not least, they are almost totally self-absorbed.

I want to offer “Nonni’s recipe” for getting over this kind of depression.

1.  Get up early, no matter how you feel.

2.  Thank God that you can walk and talk, see and hear, take care of yourself, and that you had a bed to sleep in last night.  Thank Him for every good thing you can think of.  Take about 10 minutes.  Write these things down.

3.  Dress and take a brisk walk.  Walk about 30 to 60 minutes at a good pace.  Look at things around you.  Thank God for the birds, the green growing things, and smile and wave at the people you see.  Stop to say hello to whomever is outside.

4.  Have a good breakfast.  Keep it healthy.

5.  Drink enough water.  A lot of “droopiness” could be dehydration, especially in warm weather, but even in winter as some of our heating systems are very drying.

6.  Ask yourself what meaningful thing you could do today that would make the world a better place, or that would at least help some individual.

7.  Do something uplifting.  If you don’t feel the energy to do anything, then at least read something inspiring.

8.  Call someone, and try to lift THEIR spirits.

9. Add something beautiful to your surroundings.  Pick some wildflowers.  Bring in a blooming branch.  Play some music that makes you feel good.

10.  Think ten positive thoughts about your life, your future, the people in your world, and write them down.  Where possible turn them into goals for something good, happy, meaningful or beautiful that you will do.  Thank God again for these 10 things.

11.  Periodically do a mental housecleaning, and forgive everybody who has hurt you.  Everyone has their demons.  Forgive yourself.  Write down everything you are holding against others and everything you are holding against yourself.  Take the list and throw it in the fireplace or the paper shredder.  Now resolve to live in the future.

12.  Tell yourself that you will be a “worry procrastinator”.  If you can DO something to insure a more secure future, do it, but put off worrying.  Its a time waster, especially since 9 out of 10 things we worry about never happen.

13.  Do what Martin Luther did, and ask God to protect your mind as you sleep.  Ask Him to remove old negative thoughts and refill your mind with thoughts that are pleasing to Him.

14.  Go to bed early.  Fall asleep with a thankful heart.  In your mind, re-visit a favorite place.  Re-live the sights, sounds and smells of this beautiful place.  You will be asleep before you know it.

Give my recipe a try for a couple of weeks.  If you don’t feel better, feel free to comment me.