Friday, August 31, 2012

Trust

      What a good word from Marsha Burns yesterday!  How often do we do this?  We seem to think we are in control and can actually change the world.  Why is it so difficult to trust the Lord Jesus to take care of the things of our lives like He promised He would?

Faith Tabernacle
August 30, 2012
SMALL STRAWS IN A SOFT WIND by MARSHA BURNS:

You have spent too much time fussing and fuming over issues that you have no control over.  You have expended unnecessary time and energy with no results.  Only when you truly let go and trust Me will these issues be resolved.  Come into My rest and let Me bring comfort to your soul and resolution to your concerns, says the Lord.

Matthew 11:28-30   "Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For My yoke is easy and My burden is light."

Thursday, August 30, 2012

How to separate an egg

  Someone sent me a video that was done in Chinese using this technique.  I thought it was amazing, so I looked on YouTube to see if it was posted there.  I found this one instead which is in English.  A helpful tip.

Francis Schaeffer

From Francis Schaeffer's fine book, True Spirituality, some thirty years ago:

A quiet disposition and a heart giving thanks is the real test of the extent to which we love and trust God at that moment.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

What A Wonderful World With David Attenborough -- BBC One [FULL HD]

      Absolutely stunning photography!  If you click on the "YouTube" button at the bottom of the picture you can watch it there.  It seems the "full screen" button only works if you are on the website.  The pictures are so beautiful you'll want the full effect.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The Patriot Post (Burt Prelutsky's quote)

   This following quote was included in an email letter from The Patriot Post that came yesterday.  I very much enjoy reading the Patriot Post newsletters because they include news and commentary that mainstream media omits or relegates to an insignificant section of the news.  (If you're not familiar with this great resource I have included some info at the bottom.)
     I am extremely baffled at the support our president still has when he has been so dishonest and secretive with the American people.  Where is his birth certificate?  How about his college and law school transcripts?  His passport records?  How can he flagrantly disobey the Constitution and no one says anything about it?  I can only hope and pray America wakes up and votes him out this election!  Otherwise I have little hope for this country.
    If you're interested, you can read yesterday's entire newsletter here.  Mr. Prelutsky's quote can be found under the section, "The Last Word" near the bottom.

"[I] find it annoying that even after three years of this administration's lies and incompetence, Obama remains personally popular with so many people. I mean, even if you support his policies, as apparently many people do, why is it that more people aren't turned off by his obvious arrogance, narcissism and hypocrisy? ... In spite of all that, according to the polls, Obama is running neck-to-neck with a genuinely decent guy like Romney. I'm afraid that says less about Obama than it does about the typical American voter. On top of everything else, Obama wants to condemn Romney for being wealthy, although he is not as wealthy as such Obama supporters as Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, David Letterman, Oprah Winfrey, Barbra Streisand or George Soros. Obama condemns Romney for outsourcing American jobs, even though the liberal Washington Post points out that's an outright lie, while Obama has personally overseen the out-sourcing of billions of American tax dollars to such places as China, Finland and Brazil. Whether it's because of his traumatic upbringing or his later political influences, which, by his own admission, included racists, radicals and communists, I sincerely believe that Obama has several screws loose." --columnist Burt Prelutsky

If you're interested in receiving this informative newsletter by email you can subscribe at www.patriotpost.us/.  It is free.

Here is some information about The Patriot Post from their website:

About The Patriot Post

The Patriot Post is a highly acclaimed advocate of Essential Liberty, the restoration of constitutional limits on government and the judiciary, and the promotion of free enterprise, national defense and traditional American values. We believe, as did our Founders, that Essential Liberty, and Rule of Law as enshrined in our Constitution, must be defended at any cost. "They that can give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." (Ben Franklin) · "A Constitution of Government once changed from Freedom, can never be restored. Liberty, once lost, is lost forever." (John Adams) · "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." (Thomas Jefferson) · "If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my child may have peace." (Thomas Paine) · "It does not take a majority to prevail...but rather an irate, tireless minority, keen on setting brushfires of freedom in the minds of men. ... If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude than the animating contest of freedom, go from us in peace. May your chains sit lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen!" (Samuel Adams) · "Give me liberty or give me death!" (Patrick Henry) · "Our cause is noble; it is the cause of mankind!" (George Washington)
The Patriot Post — inspired by our National Advisory Committee and crafted by a national editorial team headed by Mark Alexander — serves as a hard-hitting rebuttal to contemporary political, social and mainstream media protagonists on the Left. We offer a brief, informative and entertaining analysis of the week's most significant news, policy and opinion. Our comprehensive synopsis of reliable information is drawn from reputable media, research and advocacy organizations, published in four parts each week: Monday's Brief, Wednesday's Chronicle, Thursday's essay by Mark Alexander and Friday's Digest.

Monday, August 27, 2012

The Romney's at Home

      I happened to come across this video when I was looking for some other information.  I do not know much about Mitt Romney so I decided to watch it.  Thought you might be interested, too.

http://video.foxnews.com/v/1804962414001/

Francis Frangipane: A People of Mercy

       Francis Frangipane if one of my favorite authors.  He speaks the truth in love.  When I read His articles I think of the phrase Tommy Tyson often used, "He makes me want to be a Christian."  What better testimony could there be than that!
     Throughout His life, Jesus reached to those rejected by others. He loved the outcasts, those who were despised, scorned, and excluded. Yet His practice of dining with known evildoers offended the Pharisees, and they confronted Jesus' disciples with this question: "Why is your Teacher eating with the tax-gatherers and sinners?" (Matthew 9:11).
     When Jesus heard their question, He answered, "It is not those who are healthy who need a physician, but those who are sick. But go and learn what this means, 'I desire compassion, and not sacrifice,' for I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners"(Matthew 9:12-13).
     Jesus told the religious Pharisees to go and learn what our heavenly Father meant when He said, "I desire compassion [mercy], and not sacrifice." So many today are religious without being compassionate. Compassion in the Greek language means a "yearning in the bowels." It is something that cannot be easily ignored.
     You see, a religion without love is an abomination to God. The Church needs to learn that God desires love and compassion, not merely an adherence to ritual and sacrifice.
      It is right that we should be troubled by the sins of our nation. But we must remember, all nations sin. All cultures have seasons of moral decline and spiritual malaise. Yet these periods can become turning points if, in times of distress, leaders and intercessors cry to the Lord for mercy. Thus, Christlike prayer brings redemption out of disaster.
      The Church was created not to fulfill God's wrath, but to complete His mercy. True prayer is born of love and comes in the midst of sin and need. It comes not to condemn, but to cover.
       Jesus said His Father's house would be a "house of prayer for all the nations" (Mark 11:17). Consider passionately this phrase: "prayer for." Jesus taught His disciples to "pray for" those who would persecute or mistreat them (Matthew 5:44). When Job "prayed for" his friends (Job 42:10), God fully restored him. We are to "pray for the peace of Jerusalem" (Psalm 122:6), and "pray for" each other so that we may be healed (James 5:16). Paul wrote that God "desires all men to be saved" (1 Timothy 2:4). Therefore, he urged "that entreaties and prayers...be made on behalf of all men, for kings and all who are in authority" (verses 1-2).
The nature of our calling is to pray for people in difficulty, in sin, in sickness, and in need of God.
     Consider this: the only being in all the universe worthy to "open the book" and release God's wrath on sin is the very One in all the universe least likely to do so. His commitment to man's redemption was a total sacrifice, an offering that abides eternally at God's throne. Yes, He is the lion of the tribe of Judah, but He is also the Lamb slain for men's sins. He is the only One to whom authority is given to open the book of divine wrath (see Revelation 5).
      Because Christ paid the highest price for redemption, we can be confident that He will not release divine fury until He fully exhausts divine mercy. Even then, when His judgments finally come, they will continue to be guided by His motive of mercy, giving time for sinners to repent.
God's Word tells us plainly: "As He is, so also are we in this world" (1 John 4:17). Our pattern is the Lamb. Our goal is not merely the exposure of sin, but also the unveiling of the sacrifice for sin. Our great commission is to bring healing and the message of God's mercy to the nations. Until Christ breaks the seals that ultimately will lead to wrath, we must stand in intercession before God as ambassadors of the Lamb.
        May the Lord give us a clear vision of this truth: intercession is the essence of Christ's life. Not only is He now at the right hand of the Father interceding for us (Romans 8:34), but His coming to earth and dying for sins was one extended act of intercession. Jesus beheld the depravity of mankind's sin. He examined it carefully in all of its offensiveness, perversity, and repulsiveness. Yes, He rebuked it when necessary, but the wonder of the Gospel is that, in spite of mankind's sin, God so deeply loved the world that He sent His Son to die for us (John 3:16-17).
      We are called to follow this same amazing pattern of mercy.
      We are not minimizing sin when we maximize Christ's mercy. There is a difference between whitewashing sin and Bloodwashing it. The reality that compels God's heart – that is an underlying principle of life – is "mercy triumphs over judgment" (James 2:13). To live a life of mercy corresponds perfectly with God's heart. Mercy precisely fulfills the divine purpose: to transform man into the Redeemer's image.

The preceding message is adapted from a chapter in Francis' book, The Power of One Christlike Life.
Francis Frangipane
Ministries of Francis Frangipane

Email: francis1@frangipane.org
Francis Frangipane is the founder of River of Life Ministries in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and has traveled throughout the world ministering to thousands of pastors and intercessors from many backgrounds. Francis' heartfelt prayer is to see established in every city Christlike pastors and intercessors, united before God, revealing the love of Christ to their communities. Since 1985, he has written fourteen books plus a number of study booklets. Over the past decades, Francis has served on a number of other ministry boards. However, in recent years he has gradually resigned from these various boards. As of June 2009, he has also retired from his position as senior pastor of River of Life Ministries. In this more simplified life, Frangipane is devoting himself to prayer and the ministry of God's Word.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Randy Alcorn

   There is nothing I love better than a good book!   I'm in the middle of one right now!  It is called Deadline by Randy Alcorn.
     I recently read a couple of different book reviews of his books saying he is one of the best Christian fiction authors today.  Since I had not read anything by him, I went to Amazon.com to see what he had written and to read some of the book reviews.  All of his books were rated at least 4 1/2 stars so I looked on abebooks.com--a site where I often find used books at discounted prices--to see if any were available there.  There were lots, so I ordered this one (Deadline), Dominion, and Deception--all of which seemed to be related--and Safely Home.  I received the books last week and have eagerly awaited a time I could begin reading one.  Yesterday was the day.  I am over half way through Decision.  It is my favorite kind of fiction--a good page-turning story that is at the same time educational, thought-provoking, and inspirational!   I can hardly wait to get to the end to see what happens, but I'm already dreading finishing it because it is so good!
    I've often heard popular fiction books described as "a great beach read," which I assume means it is a great "escape" book that gives you a little vacation from daily life while you're reading it.  This book certainly does that, but in the process it also causes you to see things in a different light.  In my mind that is the perfect kind of book to take with me to the beach, or to read when I need a break.
     If you're looking for a good book that "hooks" you from page one and also gives you a new perspective on Heaven--one that makes you feel encouraged and hopeful while keeping your interest so that you don't want to put it down till you finish it--I highly recommend this book!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Tim Gilligan at Meadowbrook Church

    On Sunday mornings during part of "The Gathering" meetings we have been connecting via the internet with the Meadowbrook Church service in Ocala, FL.  Tim Gilligan is the senior pastor of the church.  We believe he is one of the best teachers on practical applications of the Bible in everyday life.
     Right now the Sunday series is entitled "Jesus Said" and is taken from chapters 5-7 of Matthew.  Because we have been so impressed with his Sunday teaching I have been listening to some of the messages in The Archives on Meadowbrook's website.
    Since I have learned something helpful and encouraging in every one I've listened to so far, I highly recommend that you check out this great resource.
     Here's the link: http://www.mbcocala.com/?page_id=503

Friday, August 24, 2012

2016: Obama's America

      Many people believe what they are told by the mainstream media, who have very biased opinions, because that is all they're exposed to.  Years ago we were better able to trust the News media because they attempted to cover the whole story.  Times have changed.  Now they only tell us the parts that support what they believe.  Why not see this movie for a different perspective and then make your decision?
     Here is a link to the theaters where it will be shown this weekend:  http://2016themovie.com/theaters/

Praying with Dale Gentry

      Dale Gentry is calling people to pray with him for a spiritual awakening in America.  His goal is 1000 points of light (churches) and 1,000,000 people praying together for revival.  If you would like to learn more about this important project and/or would like to sign up to be part of it, follow the link: http://www.letsprayamerica.com/Lets_Pray_America/Home.html
     Every day Dale sends a prayer by email that we're all praying in agreement.
    What a wonderful idea to connect people in powerful prayer for our nation!

Here is today's prayer:
It's time to pray America! It's time to pray for change! Good Friday morning everybody.  We're now a network of over 1814 people praying in agreement. Let's pray this prayer together.

"Our Father which art Heaven..........hallowed be your name...........we come into your presence this morning by the blood of Jesus...........pausing for just a few moments to remember our persecuted brothers and sisters around the world........many who are giving their lives at this moment for the sake of the gospel............we repent as a nation for our silence..........for not speaking the truth in love..............for not being the voice of righteousness that you intended the church to be..........for serving as managers instead of ministers..........for our prayerlessness..........for seeking your hand instead of your face..........we repent for not being involved in the political process of this nation...........we pray today that you will send a revival to every church, campus, community and city in America......another spiritual awakening in this land......... we need you now.......storm clouds are gathering across our nation.....we cry out this morning for your help......we pray this morning for our president and his family.......we ask that you protect them as well as this nation.........we ask these things in Jesus name.........amen."    

Thursday, August 23, 2012

10,000 Reasons (Bless the Lord) - Matt Redman (Worship with lyrics)

I've been singing this song all week!  Matt Redman writes such wonderful worship songs!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Joseph Prince's Devotional: From 'Deliverance' to 'No Evil Shall Touch You'

   In this encouraging word from Joseph Prince we are reminded that when we're in relationship with God He will not only deliver us from our troubles, but will draw us so close to Him that no evil will touch us.  Think about that.  How can evil touch us if we are dwelling in the "shelter of the most High?"  Does evil come near God?
    I believe so often our troubles stem from our unwillingness to draw near to Him.  How can He prevent evil from touching us if we insist on keeping our distance from Him?  We are so inclined to go our own selfish ways and get ourselves in trouble.  Then we call on Him to help us out.  What if, instead, our desire and intention is to always seek His counsel first?  What if we are consciously running to him all day long?  If we are living in the brilliant light of His Presence would darkness be able to come near us?  I don't think so, do you?  


From ‘Deliverance’ To ‘No Evil Shall Touch You’  by Joseph Prince

"He shall deliver you in six troubles, yes, in seven no evil shall touch you."  Job 5:19

God will deliver you from all your troubles. (Psalm 34:19, 2 Timothy 4:18) But deliverance is actually not the best that God has for you because it implies that you are in trouble. God’s best for you is the place where no trouble or evil can touch you. And with His help, you will come to that place because the Bible says, “He shall deliver you in six troubles, yes, in seven no evil shall touch you.”

This does not mean that God will only deliver you six times. It just means that as you keep believing God’s promises of protection, after some time, you will come to a place where no evil will touch you!

So when trouble comes, God does not want you to be discouraged. He wants you to know that it is only the devil trying to steal His Word from your heart. The devil is afraid of leaving God’s Word in your heart for even one second because he knows that it will lead you to a place where no evil will touch you. That is why he comes immediately to steal God’s Word from your heart.

He will do so by telling you, “Look, your child is sick. Where is God now?” You must not respond by saying, “Well, I guess it does not work. Maybe God’s promises of deliverance are not for my family.”

No, you must continue to stand on God’s promises. Say, “The previous flu my child had did not stay. God promises me deliverance and He did deliver my child then. So I will live life believing His promises of deliverance because His Word is true. And I will come to a place where no evil can touch me and my family!”

Beloved, even if in the next moment you happen to stub your toe against something hard, don’t be discouraged and wonder why God did not protect your toe. The devil had meant to cause greater harm to you, but thank God that he could not because God is watching over you. And keep standing on His promises until you come to the place where no evil will touch you!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

The Truth

    Yesterday I heard this truth expressed so well.

 "People don't go to hell because of sin, they go to hell because of unbelief."

     Isn't this so true?  Through His sacrifice on the cross Jesus paid the price for every sin that has been, or could be, committed.  Romans 6:23 "For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord."
    As we accept this sacrifice and ask Him to be Lord of our lives all our sins are forgiven.  Colossians 2:13 says, "You were dead because of your sins and because your sinful nature was not yet cut away. Then God made you alive with Christ, for he forgave all our sins."
     We are then a new creation.  2 Corinthians 5:17  "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new." 
      We become inheritors of the kingdom of God.  James 2:5 "Listen, my dear brothers and sisters: Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom he promised those who love him?"
       We are justified (just-as-if-I'd never sinned) by faith.  Romans 3:28 says, "Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith apart from the deeds of the law."

     It is only because we don't believe this and therefore don't surrender our life to Him, that we don't receive all these blessings.  Because we are separated from God, we not only go to hell--we live in hell in our daily lives.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Simple Trick Removes Pesticides from Your Vegetables & Fruits


      I found this article on the effects and uses of vinegar by Dr. Mercola informative and educational.  Since I wanted to be able to refer to it periodically it seemed the best place to keep it so I could find it again was here on my blog.  Hopefully, some of you will also find it useful.
By Dr. Mercola
Howard Garrett, also known as The Dirt Doctor, has compiled a number of uses for vinegar, including recipes for both internal use and use in your organic garden, which I will share with you here.
"Vinegar is a wonderful organic tool that was discovered by accident 10,000 years ago when wine was accidentally allowed to ferment too long and turned sour," he writes.
"It can be made from many products, including beer, apples, berries, beets, corn, fruits, grains, honey, malt, maple syrup, melons, molasses, potatoes, rice, sorghum, and other foods containing sugar.
Natural sugars from these food products are fermented into alcohol, which is then fermented into vinegar."
... The product label will identify the starting ingredients, such as "apple cider vinegar" or "wine vinegar."  Malt vinegar is made from the fermentation of barley malt or other cereal grains.  Sugar vinegar is made from sugar, syrup, or molasses.
White, spirit, or distilled vinegar is made by fermenting distilled alcohol. Distilled white vinegar is made from 190 proof alcohol that is fermented by adding sugar and living bacteria.
... Vinegar that is made from the petroleum derivative, 99 percent acetic acid, is not acceptable in an organic program."
The name "vinegar" comes from the French words for "sour wine." But it's important to realize that not all vinegars are created equally. Some can benefit your health when taken internally, while others should only be used for tasks such as cleaning, or horticultural purposes, while others are best avoided altogether.

White Vinegar—A Great Non-Toxic Cleaner and Herbicide Ingredient

Distilled white vinegar is the type of vinegar you'll want to use for cleaning and laundry. Toward the end of this article I'll also share Garrett's recipe for a non-toxic weed killer formula, which calls for white vinegar. Vinegar and water makes an excellent window cleaner, for example, and vinegar combined with hydrogen peroxide works exceptionally well as both a disinfectant and sanitizer. According to Garrett:
"Sprinkling white vinegar atop a dusting of baking soda is terrific for cleaning sinks, tubs, tile floors and other surfaces. For cleaning, it can be diluted with water as much as 50-50. For the herbicide, it should be used full strength.  In all cases, the products to buy in this category are true vinegars made by distilling grain alcohol. For the purists, there is organic white vinegar made from corn."

Avoid 20% Vinegar

Garrett warns against using 20 percent vinegar, which is made from 99 percent glacial ascetic acid, stating it's far stronger than you'd ever really need, in addition to being overly expensive. Perhaps more importantly, this type of vinegar is actually a petroleum derivative, which is dangerous to breathe and can be damaging to your eyes and skin.
"One final warning is that some of the 10 percent vinegars being sold to na├»ve organic gardeners are the fake 20 percent product that has been cut with water. Proper vinegars should have on the label that they are made from distilled grain alcohol or other similar language indicating natural products from distilling," Garrett warns.

Apple Cider Vinegar—Good for Your Health

The cider vinegars, made from fermenting fruits such as apples, have little value as cleaners or herbicides. Instead, these are the types of vinegar associated with a number of different health benefits when taken internally. There are two basic categories of cider vinegars:
  • Regular apple cider vinegar
  • Organic apple cider vinegar with the "mother" included
When purchasing an apple cider vinegar, you'll want to avoid the perfectly clear, "sparkling clean" varieties you commonly see on grocery store shelves. Instead, you want organic, unfiltered, unprocessed apple cider vinegar, which is murky and brown. When you try to look through it, you will notice a cobweb-like substance floating in it. This is known as "mother," and it indicates your vinegar is of good quality. While it may look suspicious at first, in this case, it's the murky looking stuff you want. As with everything else, the more processed a food is, the less nutritious it is, and this holds true for apple cider vinegar.
Surprisingly enough, while apple cider vinegar has historically been prized for its health benefits, little research has been done to evaluate its therapeutic actions. However, lack of scientific studies is a common problem for many natural and alternative therapies.
Perhaps the most researched and the most promising of apple cider vinegar's benefits are in the area of type 2 diabetes. Several studies have found that vinegar may help lower blood glucose levels. In 2004, a study cited in the American Diabetes Foundation's publication Diabetes Care1 found that taking vinegar before meals significantly increased insulin sensitivity and dramatically reduced the insulin and glucose spikes that occur after meals. The study involved 29 people, divided into three groups:
  1. One third had been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.
  2. One third had prediabetic signs.
  3. One third were healthy.
The results were quite significant:
  • All three groups had better blood glucose readings with the vinegar than with the placebo.
  • People with prediabetic symptoms benefitted the most from the vinegar, cutting their blood glucose concentrations by nearly half.
  • People with diabetes improved their blood glucose levels by 25 percent with vinegar.
  • People with prediabetic symptoms had lower blood glucose than the healthy participants after both drank vinegar.
follow-up study geared at testing vinegar's long-term effects yielded an unexpected but pleasant side effect: moderate weight loss. In this study, participants taking two tablespoons of vinegar prior to two meals per day lost an average of two pounds over the four-week period, and some lost up to four pounds.  In 2007, another study cited by WebMD2 involving 11 people with type 2 diabetes found taking two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar before bed lowered glucose levels in the morning by 4 to 6 percent. Although the research to date looks favorable, more studies are needed to confirm the extent of vinegar's insulin stabilization benefits.

Other Apple Cider Vinegar "Cures"

Although this article and many others advocate the benefits of using vinegar therapeutically, I really think that this is an inferior approach. From my perspective it would be far better to use large quantities of fermented foods to get these types of acids because you will then also help to recolonize your gut with beneficial bacteria.  However, vinegar is easier and certainly safe to use, so you can put your toe in the water by trying it first.  Garrett, however, has been a long-time proponent of vinegar, recommending it for a number of uses.
"Apple cider vinegar might cure more ailments than any other folk remedy," he writes. Vinegar apparently provides at least some cures for allergies (including pet, food and environmental), sinus infections, acne, high cholesterol, flu, chronic fatigue, Candida, acid reflux, sore throats, contact dermatitis, arthritis, gout and the list goes on... It also brings a healthy, rosy glow to the complexion and can cure rough scaly skin. Apple cider vinegar is also wonderful for animals, including dogs, cats and horses. It helps with arthritic conditions, controls fleas, repels flies, and gives a beautiful shine to their coats."
As an example, Garrett has shared the following recipe with me, which can help soothe a sore throat:
"Use 3 tbsp. of apple cider vinegar, 3 tbsp. lemon juice, 2 tbsp. of honey and 16 oz. water, and warm to sipping temperature and sip. Adding juice from chopped ginger can be used for more power."

What Can Account for Apple Cider Vinegar's Health Benefits?

Many who tout apple cider vinegar's wide-ranging benefits claim its healing power comes from the abundance of nutrients that remain after the apples are fermented. However, standard nutritional analyses of apple cider vinegar have found it to be a surprisingly poor source of most nutrients. For example, the one milligram of calcium found in a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar does not come close to the 1,000 milligrams a typical adult needs each day.
It has also been claimed that soluble fiber in the vinegar, in the form of pectin, binds to cholesterol and helps carry it out of your body, thereby improving your lipid profile. However, apple cider vinegar contains no measurable pectin or any other fiber, for that matter.
Its magic can also not be traced to vitamin content. According to the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), apple cider vinegar has no measurable vitamin A, vitamin B6, vitamin C, vitamin E, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, beta-carotene, or folate -- and it's equally lacking in amino acids, lycopene, or any other nutritional elements.
Still, despite the fact that it's devoid of many of the traditionally valued nutrients, evidence of apple cider vinegar's health benefits has been witnessed for hundreds -- maybe thousands -- of years. So, what can explain this mysteriously beneficial elixir?
It may be partially related to the fact that vinegar is a diluted acid, specifically acetic acid, which help to normalize your body's pH. This likely improves nutrition, by optimizing your gut flora and helping eradicate pathogenic or disease-causing bacteria, and by serving as growth accelerators for beneficial bacteria that typically thrive in more acid environments. This is also one of the reasons why eating fermented foods is so important.  

Apple Cider Vinegar for Dogs

Pet care is another area where vinegar can be a useful, non-toxic, all-natural tool. According to Garrett:
Vinegar is a remedy with multiple uses for dogs including alleviating allergies and arthritis, and helping to provide the correct pH balance. You can give apple cider vinegar to any animal by simply adding it to the water.
If your dog has itchy skin, the beginnings of a hot spot, incessantly washes its feet, has smelly ears, or is picky about his food, an application of apple cider vinegar can help. For poor appetite, use it in the food at 1 tablespoon, two times a day for a 50 lb. dog. For itchy skin or the beginning hot spots, put apple cider vinegar into a spray bottle, part the hair and spray on. Any skin eruption will dry up in as soon as 24 hours and shaving the dog won't be necessary – which is good because I never recommend that. If the skin is already broken, dilute apple cider vinegar with an equal amount of water and spray on.
Taken internally, apple cider vinegar is credited with maintaining the acid/alkaline balance of the digestive tract. I take a large spoonful straight or in my "witches brew" in the morning that I drink at least once a day.
Another tip is if you have a dog that has clear, watery discharge from the eyes, a runny nose, or coughs with a liquid sound, use apple cider vinegar in his or her food. One teaspoon twice a day for a 50 lb. dog will do the job.
After grooming sessions, use a few drops in dogs' ears after cleaning them to avoid ear infections. Fleas, flies, ticks and bacteria, external parasites, ring worm, fungus, staphylococcus, streptococcus, pneumococcus, mange, etc. are unlikely to inhabit a dog whose system is acidic inside and out.
Should you ever experience any of these with your dog, bathe with a nice gentle herbal shampoo - one that you would use on your own hair - rinse thoroughly with vinegar, and then sponge on apple cider vinegar diluted with equal amounts of warm water. Allow your dog to drip dry. It is not necessary to use harsh chemicals for minor flea infestations. All fleas drown in soapy water and the apple cider vinegar rinse makes the skin too acidic for a re-infestation. If you are worried about picking up fleas when you take your dog away from home, keep some apple cider vinegar in a spray bottle, and spray your dog before you leave home and when you get back. For raw spots caused by excessive licking, use a few drops in water, and sponge the affected areas with apple cider vinegar.

Horticultural Uses for Vinegar

Vinegar can also be used to control weeds in your garden. According to Garrett:
To keep the weeds out of a decorative or utility gravel area, the best approach is to design them out from the beginning or use organic products later to kill the weeds. Salt, toxic herbicides and bleach should never be used because they contaminate the soil long term. They also leach into the water stream. To head off the problem, install the gravel in a thick layer – 6 to 8 inches after scraping away all grasses and weeds.
Any weeds that grow through the gravel can be sprayed and killed with a mix of 10 percent pickling vinegar mixed with 2 ounces orange oil and 1 teaspoon liquid soap or you can use commercial organic herbicides. Vinegar sprays can also be used to kill weeds in the cracks in sidewalks and driveways. The best choice for herbicide use is 10 percent white vinegar made from grain alcohol. It should be used full strength. Avoid products that are made from 99 percent glacial acetic acid. This material is a petroleum derivative. Natural vinegars such those made from fermenting apples have little herbicidal value.
Herbicide Formula:
1 gallon of 10 percent (100 grain) vinegar
Add 1 ounce orange oil or d-limonene
Add 1 tablespoon molasses (optional - some say it doesn't help)
1 teaspoon liquid soap or other surfactant (I use Bio Wash)
Do not add water
Shake well before each spraying and spot spray weeds. Keep the spray off desirable plants. This spray will injure any plant it touches. This natural spray works best on warm to hot days. Vinegar sprayed on the bases of trees and other woody plants will not hurt the plant at all. This technique was first learned about by spraying the suckers and weeds growing around the bases of grapevines.
If your water is alkaline, add 1 tablespoon of 50-grain (5 percent) natural apple cider vinegar to each gallon of water to improve the quality of the water for potted plants and bedding. This doesn't have to be done with every watering, though it wouldn't hurt. This technique is especially helpful when trying to grow acid-loving plants such as gardenias, azaleas, and dogwoods. A tablespoon of vinegar per gallon added to the sprayer when foliar feeding lawns, shrubs, flowers, and trees is also highly beneficial, especially where soil or water is alkaline. The other horticultural use for vinegar is in the watering can.

Other Uses for Vinegar

Last but not least, vinegar can be used to remove certain pesticides and bacteria from your fresh produce. Of course, you don't need apple cider vinegar for this—any basic white vinegar will do. Gayle Povis Alleman, MS, RD recommends a solution of 10 percent vinegar to 90 percent water as a bath to briefly soak produce3. Just place your veggeis or fruit in the solution, swish it around, and rinse thoroughly. Just don't use this process on fragile fruits (like berries), since they could be damaged in the process or soak up too much vinegar through their porous skins.
Apple cider vinegar has also long been used as a natural hair care product. Its acidity is close to that of human hair; it's a good conditioner and cleaning agent, as well as an effective germ killer. You can visit www.apple-cider-vinegar-benefits.comfor information on how to make a vinegar hair rinse.
While we need a great deal more research to investigate vinegar's full healing potential, it can certainly be useful in a variety of ways, for a variety of conditions. It's definitely a great multi-purpose tool to have in your pantry.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

It rained!

       It rained 2 inches Thursday night!  What a relief!  We had almost given up hope of ever seeing a nice rain again!  Amazing, isn't it?  Last year it wouldn't stop raining so we were longing to see a stretch of sunny days, and now we are begging for several hours--or days--of rain!
       There was some major wind with the rain, though, as indicated in the picture below.  We hated to lose another tree--especially one that looked healthy.  We have lost several since we moved into our house 10 years ago and several look as if they are dying--some of which can be attributed to the drought.  Unfortunately, this tree wasn't one of them.
       The tornado sirens went off so we were in the basement when the tree fell.  It was twisted off, not just toppled over, so obviously the winds were swirling around.  Our yard is a mess!  There must be 10,000 (100,000?  10,000,000??) branches, trees and limbs down on our property so we have much work to do!
      Even so, we are extremely grateful for the rain and the cooler temperatures!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Convictions

     I heard a sermon recently which got me to thinking about convictions.  What am I convinced of?  What do I believe is the absolute truth?   Would I support it with my life?  I'm not just talking here of my faith in Jesus.  I'm talking about daily living.  What are my convictions on honesty?  What about my work ethic?  Gossip?  Sexual purity?  Alcohol?  Marriage?  Abortion?  Drugs?  TV?  Movies?  Public schools?  Politicians?  Lying?  Stealing?  Plagiarism?  Modesty?  Responsibility?  Leadership?  Greed?  Laws?  The Constitution?  Dishonest gain?  And the list goes on and on.  Have I formed my own convictions about these, or do I allow others to dictate how I think?  Are my convictions eroding because of the constant bombardment of ideas I don't agree with but hear so often that it begins to seem normal?
    Obviously this is one of the reasons for the decline of this country.  We are a people who no longer have definite convictions based on a moral foundation.  We listen to a convincing argument and because we have formed no definite opinion about the subject we believe what we are being told.  We are easily swayed to follow anyone who looks and sounds better than the average.  That's how Barack Obama was elected.  If our country's values were still based on Biblical principles people would not have voted for a president who believes in abortion, in same sex marriage, in forcing churches to pay for contraceptives or hire homosexuals which is contrary to their beliefs.  They certainly would not have voted for a president who does not uphold the Constitution, or the laws of this land, but makes his own laws, or overrides those that are hindering his will.
   We must realize how important it is to have convictions and begin to develop ours so that we can withstand the arguments and oppression formed against us.  But how do we do that?
    God knew we would follow others, resort to our own ways, or take the path of least resistance if He didn't give us guidelines of right and wrong, so He wrote these laws on our hearts.
     Rom. 2:14-15 says, " (Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law. 15 They show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts sometimes accusing them and at other times even defending them.)"     
     But because He also knew we would become calloused of heart and ignore our consciences, He had them written for us in the Bible.  As we genuinely search and study His Word there is no doubt we will develop convictions.  In addition to His Word, God has also given us the Holy Spirit to teach us and guide us into His Will and His Way if we ask Him.
     I believe it is imperative that our convictions come from a strong Biblical foundation.  That seems to be what is lacking in most of the world today.  The Bible is being ridiculed as a standard of living--mainly because those of us who believe it have not been willing to stand for what we believe and know to be true.  This must stop!  It is time to take a stand for righteousness so that others will know what God thinks about the circumstances of their lives.  We may be "the only Bible others will read." But let us be certain we are speaking the truth in love.  That is a great responsibility, isn't it?
      How often, Lord, I have been consumed with the things that concern me and not even given a thought to the things that concern you.  Please help me to be more conscious of the responsibility you have given each of your children--to live the life as you lived it.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Victoria Boyson: "Charlie"


     How important it is to demonstrate God's love!  So many broken, lonely people have been turned away from Jesus because of the example many of us have been to them.

     I once met a man named "Charlie." Well, Charlie was not his real name, I only call him that because I never knew his real name. Yet, he has left an indelible imprint on my heart. Charlie was a piece of God's handiwork, made and fashioned in the image of God.
     Some men's names ring forever in the history of the world and the names of those men bring to mind pictures of their character. Some names like Shakespeare, Einstein or Rockefeller, of course, conjure up thoughts of good or successful men. On the other hand, some names like Ted Bundy or Al Capone remind us of unhappy events. But some lives are lived and lost leaving behind no legacy; they are lost in time with only a few records to remind us that they lived. They walk through this lonely world without a soul to care for them. No one cares whether they have lived or died.
     Charlie was a homeless man whose skin was like shoe leather, darkened by the sun. His life's belongings were held simply in an old tattered army bag.
     I was in my first summer of college and traveling with a music group, performing across the Midwest. The summer had been an eventful, but long one for me, living in a small custom van with the rest of our group.
The first time I saw Charlie was on a hot Colorado day in July. He was walking on the highway we were driving on. He was not even thumbing for a ride, just walking with his bag thrown over his shoulder hunched over by the weight of his load. The physical and emotional load he carried was evident to all who saw him that day.
       What were the cares he carried that day? What were the pains that kept him almost buried under the emotional load of failure or regret? What was it that made him lose hope in himself or humanity?
Had he ever married? Did he have any family? Was there a single person in the world who cared about this man?
       It did not appear to me that anyone cared for this small, insignificant, homeless man, except God of course. God had seen his struggles and wanted desperately to reach him. God cared about this man; God dearly loved him.
       We had been driving for hours on the seemingly endless highways of Colorado. It was a hot, dry day when we passed Charlie on the highway. My mother wisely told me never to pickup hitchhikers, but I was not driving the van. My friend Ted stopped before any of us could say a contrary word and picked him up.
       He climbed into the van looking tired and care-worn and sat right next to me. As he sat down I felt instantly that this was to be an assignment for me. God wanted me to reach out to him.
        I opened my Bible to John 3:16 and asked him if he'd ever heard about Jesus. I read just a few passages and his eyes got big as saucers. Big, bright blue eyes that were full of the wonder of a child. "God made those eyes, and oh, how He loved them," I thought to myself.
        As I sat there holding my Bible I remembered that I had hidden money in it. I always kept a little savings tucked away. It wasn't much - only two fives - the meager savings of my pinched pennies. Still, the thought sprung to my mind that he needed it more than I.
         I asked him if he needed any money. But before he could answer, my friend, Ted, screamed at me, "Don't you give him any money!"
He went on to give a wretched exhortation of what a low-life, worthless sinner this man was. The memory of it pains me even now. To think of that lonely man being vomited on by my self-righteous friend.
        Fortunately for Charlie, Ted and I didn't see eye to eye. I gave him half the money anyway. Charlie's big eyes got moist from my little gesture, but again he had to endure another onslaught of religious talk from Ted.
       After only a half-hour of this torment, he asked to be dropped off at a truck stop. As quickly as he appeared, he was now gone.
As we traveled on to the next town, I received a rather loud and long lecture from Ted. He was sure the man would waste the money I gave him to buy cigarettes or beer.
       I felt awful - awful for the man and awful for myself. I was only 19 then and was unsure of what the right thing was to do."Does mercy really triumph over judgment?" I wondered then.
        My mother had always taught me that God was love and He loved all His creation, especially the lonely and down-trodden. I had seen her live out her faith daily, giving her last dime to those in need who were blessed enough to cross her path.
       The next day, we met Charlie again on the highway. Ted stopped and jumped out to talk to the man. More self-righteous, religious venom, and indeed, he was smoking a cigarette and blowing the smoke right in Ted's face.
       For years the event pained me. I wondered what became of Charlie. I prayed for him as often as I thought of him. His loneliness impacted my life. I had known loneliness, but not like the loneliness he was experiencing.
       Ted convinced me that I had wasted my money, and I felt like a failure. But many years later, during a time of prayer, the Lord gave me a present that, in itself, was well worth the experience.The Lord opened up Heaven and showed me Himself with His arms securely wrapped around Charlie. Charlie was in Heaven!
        He was no longer care-worn, but radiant and full of joy - no longer nameless or lonely, but surrounded by the favor of God. As he stood next to Jesus, looking at me with his enormous God-loved eyes, he spoke only two words, "Thank you!"
        I asked the Lord how he could have found Him through my meager efforts at mercy and Ted's flamboyant attacks?
        "Well," the Lord replied, "shortly after you left him, he was picked up by another Christian, a man who was well seasoned by love. He told Charlie about Me. As the man spoke of God's love reaching out to him, Charlie remembered you and your five dollar bill. At that moment he was convinced of My love reaching out to him and he was able to accept Me. Then I was able to take him home with Me."
         Suddenly, my memories of the event changed from seeing Charlie's blowing smoke in Ted's face as my failure. I saw it now as my five-dollar gift of God's love, and that with every puff of smoke came the thought that there was a young lady who gave him her compassion to blow the smoke of human kindness in the face of harsh, religious prejudice.
          There is a religious mind set in the Church that often sees those who are broken by life's sorrows and sins as though they have brought on the harsh realities of their lives by the way they have chosen to live their lives. And in many respect that is true. We often bring on many of life's trials by the way we have lived our lives.
        However, none of us deserve God's grace and the Word of God says, "For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast" (Ephesians 2:8-9). God's forgiveness is a free gift that cost Him everything and He is waiting for us to receive it. And no matter what we have done, it is never too horrible to keep us from the love of God. For the Bible tells us that "neither height, nor depth...will be able to separate us from the love of God" (Romans 8:39).
         God is abounding in His love for you and He wants you to receive it from Him no matter how you may have been treated by those professing to know Him. If they had truly known Him, they would have loved you. Indeed, you are the very apple of His eye. You are the sole purpose of Christ's death and resurrection. It was for you He died.
         Please receive His gift of grace and allow Him to forgive you of your past and give you a fresh start for your future. This is what He wants to do for you. Don't deny Him the pleasure of touching your life today and making you brand new!

Love and Blessings
Victoria Boyson
Speaking Life Ministries

Email: victoria@boyson.org
Victoria Boyson met Jesus at the age of seven. At 13, she started ministering using music as a platform to tell others about Jesus and sang as often as anyone wanted to hear. After high school, she received a music scholarship to attend Trinity Bible College in Ellendale, North Dakota where she met her husband, Steve Boyson. Shortly after their marriage in 1988, they started ministering together at various churches and functions, again using the platform of music. In 1992, they became youth pastors, and through the following years ministered in various churches. In 1999, the Lord told them to move to Cedar Rapids, Iowa to work for Francis Frangipane, who was extremely influential in their development as Christians and as ministers. Francis recognized Victoria's gift in writing and encouraged her pursuing its development. Steve and Victoria Boyson have four children: Cassandra, Cody, Cole and CailieEllen.