This is the first post on my new blog. I’m just getting this new blog going, so stay tuned for more. I hope you will enjoy my crazy journeys and adventures, photography, and my new experiences through the creativity process as I try new ideas and techniques in my photography, artwork even recipes.
I am embarking on a journey to live a healthy lifestyle focused on feeding my mind and my body in a way that makes it function like a well oiled machine. Organic foods, fresh foods, with limited gluten and lactose free. Grass feed beef and free range chicken and eggs without all of the hormones and artificial preservatives. I hope that my blog will be educational and humorous at times as well.
Spreading positivity and kindness, I hope that my words will impact your life and lead you on your own path to discovery and a creativity happy healthy life. Try something new you might enjoy it! You never know what fun you can have if you have doubts and never try it. Don’t live a life full of regret thinking I always wish I had. Just Do It! And have fun making memories while you are at it.
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Looking ahead to the start of Kwanzaa… December 26 marks the start of Kwanzaa, also spelled Kwanzaa, holiday observed in the US, meant to honor African Americans’ ancestral roots. The celebration lasts until January 1
Kwanzaa comes from the Swahili phrase “matunday ya kwanza,” which means “first fruits,”
The holiday is defined by the seven principals and each day of the festival is dedicated to a specific one, marked by lighting a candle on the kinara, a seven-branched candelabra.
These are the seven principles of Kwanzaa:
Umoja means unity in Swahili.
Karenga defines this on his Kwanzaa website as: “To strive for and maintain unity in the family, community, nation and race.”
Or self-determination. This principle refers to defining, naming, creating and speaking for oneself.
Translated as “collective work and responsibility,” ujima refers to uplifting your community.
“To build and maintain our community together and make our brother’s and sister’s problems our problems and to solve them together,” Karenga writes.
Cooperative economics. Similar to ujima, this principle refers to uplifting your community economically. “To build and maintain our own stores, shops and other businesses and to profit from them together,” he writes.
Nia means purpose.
Karenga expands on this principle with, “To make our collective vocation the building and developing of our community in order to restore our people to their traditional greatness.”
Meaning “creativity,” Karenga defines this principle as “To do always as much as we can, in the way we can, in order to leave our community more beautiful and beneficial than we inherited it.”
The final principle translates to “faith.”
Karenga defines this as faith in community, writing, “To believe with all our heart in our people, our parents, our teachers, our leaders and the righteousness and victory of our struggle.”
I believe that these principles can be applied to any community, it doesn’t matter what race, religion or political party you belong to, it just makes sense for people to uplift each other in our communities and work together no mater where you live you must co exist and work togethe, built each other up not tear each other apart. For if we tear each other apart and do not educate and embrace each other, each other cultures and respect each other , people will never live in peace ☮️ and work together in unity and our children and grandkids will not have a beautiful world to life in and that would totally defeat my purpose, Gods purpose.
The season of Advent is a period of both repentance and celebration. Christians spend time in spiritual preparation for the coming of Jesus Christ at Christmas. Believers remember not only the Lord’s first coming to earth as a human baby but also celebrate his continued presence with us today through the Holy Spirit. Advent is also a time for worshipers to anticipate his return at the Second Coming of Christ.
The word “advent” comes from the Latin term “adventus” which means “arrival” or “coming,” particularly the arrival of something or someone of great significance. null
The Candles of the Advent Wreath
The lighting of an Advent Wreath is a traditional custom that originated in Germany in the 16th-century. On the branches of the wreath are four candles: three purple and one pink candle. In the center of the wreath sits a white candle.
On the first Sunday of Advent, the first purple (or violet) candle is lit. This is called the “Prophecy Candle” and recalls the prophets, particularly Isaiah, who foretold the birth of Jesus Christ. It represents hope or expectation of the coming Messiah.
Each Sunday following, an additional candle is lit. On the second Sunday of Advent, the second purple candle called the “Bethlehem Candle,” is lit. This candle represents love and symbolizes Christ’s manger.
On the third Sunday of Advent, the pink (or rose) candle is lit. This Sunday is called Gaudete Sunday. Gaudete is a Latin word meaning “rejoice.” The change from purple to pink signifies the transition in season from repentance to celebration. The pink candle is called the “Shepherds Candle” and represents joy.
The last purple candle is called the “Angels Candle,” It is lit on the fourth Sunday of Advent and represents peace.
Traditionally, on Christmas Eve, the white center candle is lit. This “Christ Candle” represents the life of Jesus Christ that has come to light the world. It represents purity.
Isaiah 40:1-11 40:1 Comfort, O comfort my people, says your God.
40:2 Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and cry to her that she has served her term, that her penalty is paid, that she has received from the Lord’s hand double for all her sins.
40:3 A voice cries out: “In the wilderness prepare the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
40:4 Every valley shall be lifted up, and every mountain and hill be made low; the uneven ground shall become level, and the rough places a plain.
40:5 Then the glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and all people shall see it together, for the mouth of the LORD has spoken.”
40:6 A voice says, “Cry out!” And I said, “What shall I cry?” All people are grass, their constancy is like the flower of the field.
40:7 The grass withers, the flower fades, when the breath of the LORD blows upon it; surely the people are grass.
40:8 The grass withers, the flower fades; but the word of our God will stand forever.
40:9 Get you up to a high mountain, O Zion, herald of good tidings; lift up your voice with strength, O Jerusalem, herald of good tidings, lift it up, do not fear; say to the cities of Judah, “Here is your God!”
40:10 See, the Lord GOD comes with might, and his arm rules for him; his reward is with him, and his recompense before him.
40:11 He will feed his flock like a shepherd; he will gather the lambs in his arms, and carry them in his bosom, and gently lead the mother sheep.
Psalm 85:1-2, 8-13 85:1 LORD, you were favorable to your land; you restored the fortunes of Jacob.
85:2 You forgave the iniquity of your people; you pardoned all their sin. Selah
85:8 Let me hear what God the LORD will speak, for he will speak peace to his people, to his faithful, to those who turn to him in their hearts.
85:9 Surely his salvation is at hand for those who fear him, that his glory may dwell in our land.
85:10 Steadfast love and faithfulness will meet; righteousness and peace will kiss each other.
85:11 Faithfulness will spring up from the ground, and righteousness will look down from the sky.
85:12 The LORD will give what is good, and our land will yield its increase.
85:13 Righteousness will go before him, and will make a path for his steps.
2 Peter 3:8-15a 3:8 But do not ignore this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like one day.
3:9 The Lord is not slow about his promise, as some think of slowness, but is patient with you, not wanting any to perish, but all to come to repentance.
3:10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a loud noise, and the elements will be dissolved with fire, and the earth and everything that is done on it will be disclosed.
3:11 Since all these things are to be dissolved in this way, what sort of persons ought you to be in leading lives of holiness and godliness,
3:12 waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set ablaze and dissolved, and the elements will melt with fire?
3:13 But, in accordance with his promise, we wait for new heavens and a new earth, where righteousness is at home.
3:14 Therefore, beloved, while you are waiting for these things, strive to be found by him at peace, without spot or blemish;
3:15a and regard the patience of our Lord as salvation. So also our beloved brother Paul wrote to you according to the wisdom given him.
Mark 1:1-8 1:1 The beginning of the good news of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
1:2 As it is written in the prophet Isaiah, “See, I am sending my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way;
1:3 the voice of one crying out in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight,'”
1:4 John the baptizer appeared in the wilderness, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.
1:5 And people from the whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem were going out to him, and were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins.
1:6 Now John was clothed with camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey.
1:7 He proclaimed, “The one who is more powerful than I is coming after me; I am not worthy to stoop down and untie the thong of his sandals.
1:8 I have baptized you with water; but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”
Nature’s organic forms often serve as inspiration for Li’s works, and in Peony, a small Buddhist figure emerges from the unfurling petals of a blazing red peony flower. This is the first time the sculptor introduces the colour red to his Spiritual Journey Through the Great Ether series, the most successful and popular series of the artist, establishing a warm vibrant life force that engulfs his celestial being. Here, Li celebrates the beauty and purity of maternal love, using the peony as a metaphor for the experience of birth. Li captures the exact moment an innocent child leaves the womb and is born into the world. Indeed, the figure has yet to open its eyes, and thus exists as a pure, untainted entity. There is an extravagance in the undulating vermillion form, almost a throne cradling the newly born child, signifying the grand importance of this natural phenomenon.
Installation view, Being: In/Voluntary Drift – Li Chen Solo Exhibition, Museum of Contemporary Art, Taipei, 2017 (another example exhibited)
Both the peony, and the peony as a metaphor for woman, are creations of Mother Nature, ‘the purity of beginning of all things’ i. Dimitri Bruyas has also suggested that the peony implies the relationship between Gautama Buddha and the Lotus flower, ‘in which the Buddha was born in the world yet lived unsoiled by the world’ i. In this way, the sculpture ‘hints at the highest level of “Spirituality” in Li Chen’s dichotomy’ i.
Having a giving heart sometimes you have to remember to sit down 🪑 and remind yourself to take care of yourself. Don’t forget to eat healthy, your children and grandkids need you to be there to share your traditions, to teach them how to carry on, if you over do it you will not be able to enjoy the festivities of the seasons.
“A healthy self-love means we have no compulsion to justify to ourselves or others why we take vacations, why we sleep late, why we buy new shoes, why we spoil ourselves from time to time. We feel comfortable doing things which add quality and beauty to life.” Andrew Matthews
“Beauty is how you feel inside, and it reflects in your eyes. It is not something physical.” Sophia Loren
“Accept yourself, love yourself, and keep moving forward. If you want to fly, you have to give up what weighs you down.” Roy T. Bennett
“Self-discipline is self-caring.” M. Scott Peck
“If people concentrated on the really important things in life, there’d be a shortage of fishing poles.”
“Be patient with yourself. Self-growth is tender; it’s holy ground. There’s no greater investment.” Stephen Covey
“There are days I drop words of comfort on myself like falling leaves and remember that it is enough to be taken care of by myself.” Brian Andreas
“How much good inside a day? Depends how good you live ’em.” Shel Silverstein
“When I loved myself enough, I began leaving whatever wasn’t healthy. This meant people, jobs, my own beliefs and habits – anything that kept me small. My judgement called it disloyal. Now I see it as self-loving.” Kim McMillen
“The challenge is not to be perfect — it is to be whole.” Jane Fonda
“You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.” Buddha
“One of the greatest regrets in life is being what others would want you to be, rather than being yourself.” Shannon L. Alder
“Self-compassion is simply giving the same kindness to ourselves that we would give to others.” Christopher Germer
“Invent your world. Surround yourself with people, color, sounds, and work that nourish you.” Susan Ariel Rainbow Kennedy
“Allow yourself to enjoy each happy moment in your life.” Steve Maraboli
“The best day of your life is the one on which you decide your life is your own. No apologies or excuses. No one to lean on, rely on, or blame. The gift is yours – it is an amazing journey – and you alone are responsible for the quality of it. This is the day your life really begins.” Bob Moawadnull
“When you recover or discover something that nourishes your soul and brings joy, care enough about yourself to make room for it in your life.” Jean Shinoda
“Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under the trees on a summer’s day, listening to the murmur of water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is by no means a waste of time.” John Lubbock
“Love yourself enough to set boundaries. Your time and energy are precious. You get to choose how you use it. You teach people how to treat you by deciding what you will and won’t accept.” Ann Taylor
“If you do not respect your own wishes, no one else will. You will simply attract people who disrespect you as much as you do.” Vironika Tugaleva
“Self-care is not a waste of time; self-care makes your use of time more sustainable.” Jackie Viramontez
“To experience peace does not mean that your life is always blissful. It means that you are capable of tapping into a blissful state of mind amidst the normal chaos of a hectic life.” Jill Bolte Taylor
“Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
“Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you.” Anne Lamott
Frankincense, also known as olibanum, is made from the resin of the Boswellia tree. It typically grows in the dry, mountainous regions of India, Africa and the Middle East.
Frankincense has a woody, spicy smell and can be inhaled, absorbed through the skin, steeped into a tea or taken as a supplement.
Used in Ayurvedic medicine for hundreds of years, frankincense appears to offer certain health benefits, from improved arthritis and digestion to reduced asthma and better oral health. It may even help fight certain types of cancer.
In one recent review, frankincense was consistently more effective than a placebo at reducing pain and improving mobility (7).
In one study, participants given 1 gram per day of frankincense extract for eight weeks reported less joint swelling and pain than those given a placebo. They also had a better range of movement and were able to walk further than those in the placebo group (8Trusted Source).
In another study, boswellia helped reduce morning stiffness and the amount of NSAID medication needed in people with rheumatoid arthritis (9Trusted Source).
Frankincense’s anti-inflammatory properties may also help your gut function properly.
This resin appears particularly effective at reducing symptoms of Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, two inflammatory gut diseases.
In one small study in people with Crohn’s disease, frankincense extract was as effective as the pharmaceutical drug mesalazine at reducing symptoms (11Trusted Source).
Another study gave people with chronic diarrhea 1,200 mg of boswellia — the tree resin frankincense is made from — or a placebo each day. After six weeks, more participants in the boswellia group had cured their diarrhea compared to those given the placebo (12Trusted Source).
What’s more, 900–1,050 mg of frankincense daily for six weeks proved as effective as a pharmaceutical in treating chronic ulcerative colitis — and with very few side effects (13Trusted Source, 14Trusted Source).
However, most studies were small or poorly designed. Therefore, more research is needed before strong conclusions can be made.
SUMMARYFrankincense may help reduce symptoms of Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis by reducing inflammation in your gut. However, more research is needed.
Traditional medicine has used frankincense to treat bronchitis and asthma for centuries.
Research suggests that its compounds may prevent the production of leukotrienes, which cause your bronchial muscles to constrict in asthma (5Trusted Source).
In one small study in people with asthma, 70% of participants reported improvements in symptoms, such as shortness of breath and wheezing, after receiving 300 mg of frankincense three times daily for six weeks (15Trusted Source).
Similarly, a daily frankincense dose of 1.4 mg per pound of body weight (3 mg per kg) improved lung capacity and helped reduce asthma attacks in people with chronic asthma (16).
Lastly, when researchers gave people 200 mg of a supplement made from frankincense and the South Asian fruit bael (Aegle marmelos), they found that the supplement was more effective than a placebo at reducing asthma symptoms (17Trusted Source).
SUMMARYFrankincense may help reduce the likelihood of asthma attacks in susceptible people. It may also relieve asthma symptoms, such as shortness of breath and wheezing.
Frankincense may help prevent bad breath, toothaches, cavities and mouth sores.
The boswellic acids it provides appear to have strong antibacterial properties, which may help prevent and treat oral infections (18Trusted Source).
In one test-tube study, frankincense extract was effective against Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans, a bacteria which causes aggressive gum disease (19Trusted Source).
In another study, high school students with gingivitis chewed a gum containing either 100 mg of frankincense extract or 200 mg of frankincense powder for two weeks. Both gums were more effective than a placebo at reducing gingivitis (20Trusted Source).
However, more human studies are needed to confirm these results.
SUMMARYFrankincense extract or powder may help fight gum disease and maintain oral health. However, more studies are needed.
One small study indicates that it may also help reduce side effects of cancer.
When people getting treated for brain tumors took 4.2 grams of frankincense or a placebo each day, 60% of the frankincense group experienced reduced brain edema — an accumulation of fluid in the brain — compared to 26% of those given the placebo (28Trusted Source).
However, more research in humans is needed.
SUMMARYCompounds in frankincense may help kill cancer cells and prevent tumors from spreading. However, more human research is needed.
Reduces stress, anxiety and depression: Frankincense may reduce depressive behavior in mice, but no studies in humans have been done. Studies on stress or anxiety are also lacking (31Trusted Source).
Prevents heart disease: Frankincense has anti-inflammatory effects which may help reduce the type of inflammation common in heart disease. However, no direct studies in humans exist (32Trusted Source).
Promotes smooth skin: Frankincense oil is touted as an effective natural anti-acne and anti-wrinkle remedy. However, no studies exist to support these claims.
As frankincense can be consumed in a variety of ways, its optimal dosage is not understood. The current dosage recommendations are based on doses used in scientific studies.
Most studies use frankincense supplements in tablet form. The following dosages were reported as most effective (5Trusted Source):
Asthma: 300–400 mg, three times per day
Crohn’s disease: 1,200 mg, three times per day
Osteoarthritis: 200 mg, three times per day
Rheumatoid arthritis: 200–400 mg, three times per day
Ulcerative colitis: 350–400 mg, three times per day
Gingivitis: 100–200 mg, three times per day
Aside from tablets, studies have also used frankincense in gum — for gingivitis — and creams — for arthritis. That said, no dosage information for creams is available (20Trusted Source, 36Trusted Source).
If you’re considering supplementing with frankincense, talk to your doctor about a recommended dosage.
SUMMARYFrankincense dosage depends on the condition you’re trying to treat. The most effective dosages range from 300–400 mg taken three times per day.
When you come across a person who has wronged you or not been the most polite or happy person towards you…how do you react?
This kind of view was suggested by C.S. Lewis in his famous book, The Weight of Glory.
Lewis wrote, “There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilizations – these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub and exploit – immortal horrors or everlasting splendors. This does not mean that we are to be perpetually solemn. We must play. But our merriment must be of that kind (and it is, in fact, the merriest kind) which exists between people who have, from the outset, taken each other seriously – no flippancy, no superiority, no presumption.”
Every person you have ever met will one day be an everlasting splendor in the presence of God or an immortal horror separated from God’s presence. Yet, few of us see people through that kind of view. Fewer still love people in light of that potential future.
But if we did love people that way, how might Jesus leverage our love to shape their eternal future?
Before you react or respond stop & think will this help them get closer to Jesus? Could my response make a difference in their eternal life? Is God using me as a crossroad?
What if He is?
Someone loved you and me to Jesus, and we owe everyone we meet the same gift.