Denison on Whom We Follow

I subscribe to Jim Denison’s Daily Denison Forum, which addresses current news from a Christian perspective. He is non-partisan, and gives insightful presentations on how we may view what happens through God’s Word.

Today, Dr Denison is on vacation, and his son is assuming responsibilities. Ryan discusses the topic of walking away from Christianity. He makes some powerful points. I recommend this read. If you follow the link, you may read the article (4 or 5 minutes), or listen to the podcast, right from that page.

Joshua Harris, author and former pastor, renounces Christianity: Should public falls affect your faith?

https://www.denisonforum.org/columns/daily-article/joshua-harris-author-and-former-pastor-renounces-christianity-should-public-falls-affect-your-faith/

Amy! Tosin! Rainbow!!!

I thought immediately of my sisters in the Lord, Amy and Tosin, when we had this gorgeous, HUGE double rainbow. We had three different rainshowers yesterday.  The last one was at 8:30pm, and was a whacker! 70mph winds, rain, thunder, lightning, the works. Then the sun peeked through from the west as the storm headed east, and we got maybe a half hour’s worth of staring at the most beautiful, gigantic double rainbow! It was too big to fit into our camera frames, so there are two; and, of course, a picture never does justice to the brilliance. I also took video of it (not able to post video on my blog 😕, but captured a lightning strike under the rainbow).

So, for all you rainbow-lovers out there, and especially for my beloved Amy and Tosin, enjoy the facsimile, and think on God, His brilliance, His promise(s), and His presence.

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Alzheimer’s Webinar

I have been attending an online, free webinar addressing Alzheimer’s, hosted by Dr. David Perlmutter. The series discusses the known causes of the disease, as well as practical steps we can take to avoid contracting it.

The topic of today’s session, Session 8, is the effects of stress on our brains and bodies. Several doctors are interviewed, and they give valid evidence of what our modern lifestyle is working in our bodies.

I was reminded, several times while I listened, of God’s admonitions throughout His Word – Old Testament and New Testament – not to worry, not to fear. God wants health for us, and part of that includes our responsibility to obey Him.

The webinar is free. You will need to sign up and give an e-mail address (I’ve had no issues of them selling or sharing or misusing my e-mail). It is a series of 1-a-day, half-hourish videos, but if you’re busy while listening, you won’t lose a lot by not watching, and only using it for the audio.

AlzheimerWebinar

Here is the link: https://scienceofprevention.com/alz/stress-alzheimers/

God’s Vineyard of People

We had a Sunday School lesson based on teacher and historian Ray Vander Laan’s series, ‘That the World May Know.’ I highly recommend looking into this series / these teachings. A YouTube search will offer up several videos to get you started.

This particular study was called, ‘A Well-Watered Garden.’ Mr. Vander Laan took the group in Israel to a portion of a hillside vineyard or garden (Hebrew, gan; plural, ganim).

Imagine, if you will, the land that God created for these farms. It was perfect. Did it look perfect? Not likely. The early Israelites’ ancestors had come from bondage in Egypt. They must have heard the stories of the rich farmland of the Nile River basin. They were promised a land flowing with milk and honey.

But they had spent 40 years wandering in the desert. Those desert years had taught them some things:

  • Dependence on God
  • Fortitude
  • Patience
  • How to listen to their leader (Moses, then Joshua)
  • The dangers of not listening to God / their leaders
  • A sense of community
    • In all that moving around, they had each other to depend upon: it was them against the world
  • Who their enemies were, and how to do battle

The desert was a wasteland. When they thought of a land flowing with milk and honey, what did they picture? Whatever met their eyes, it was better than the desert. God had promised that (Deut 6.10, 11) “it shall be, when the LORD thy God shall have brought thee into the land which he sware unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give thee great and goodly cities, which thou buildedst not, And houses full of all good things, which thou filledst not, and wells digged, which thou diggedst not, vineyards and olive trees, which thou plantedst not.”

God's Vineyard of People

When that rocky soil and those terraces met their eyes, did they have to shift their paradigms? Were they willing to put aside whatever they had imagined, and accept what God gave them? Did they see this new land as the amazing gift that it was?

The hillsides had been transformed into terraces so the crops of figs, olives, and grapes could be grown.

I found it interesting that each family’s portion was not a vertical strip of several layers, going up the hillside, but the land they took care of and farmed was one terraced layer.

You can imagine, as folks were tending their gardens, that they would often run into each other, looking up at cousin Ashan and waving, or down at Uncle Bozkath to ask about his new grandchild.

The farmers tending their gardens had much work to do in order to reap a good harvest. And most of the work was communal work: digging cisterns and irrigation, using rainfall to best advantage, grafting plants from each other, prevention of disease and rot, harvesting and using the fruit, and maintaining the walls.

The walls had to be kept strong and firm. If the garden walls above your own crumbled, that soil and water would come pouring down to make a mess of your own garden. And a fellow couldn’t necessarily see his own wall: he would have to walk in his neighbor’s garden, below, to inspect his own walls. Most often, each gardener would keep an eye on his neighbor’s wall, and shore it up when needed. They depended on each other to maintain their walls: Uncle Bozkath kept an eye on Zanoah’s wall; Zanoah kept an eye on Ashan’s wall.

The ground these farmers used for their crops was not the rich loam we are used to seeing in modern gardens. No, these olive and fig trees, and grape vines, grow in rocky soil. When building their terraces, they were able to access a rich store of supplies in the rocky ground.

Once in a while, the soil would shift, a rock in the wall would loosen, a hole would work its way there. Accordingly, as each farmer worked his plot, he might find a rock in his soil. Those of you who garden or farm might look upon those rocks in your soil and groan. Not those Israelites. They knew they were a gift, and they knew just what to do with them: Look at your neighbor’s wall, and see where that rock fits in to shore it up and make it stronger.

I love how God is Lord of Relationships. He created us to have relationship with Him, and with each other. He creates opportunity for relationships. Make Him Lord of your relationships.

I love how God gives us gifts. He gives us work to do, and the resources to use.

Some people see a rock, an obstacle, a nuisance.

Other people see a useful gift.

Who are your neighbors? What are the rocks in your life? Ask God what He would have you do.

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Issue Commenting

I want to, really I do. And I try. And try again.

But WordPress isn’t allowing me to post comments on your posts. 😥

I don’t know what the issue is, or how many bloggers it affects. I can post comments on Stuart’s blog, for instance (Yay, Stu! 😊), but so far, for the past two days, he’s the one and only.

I’m sorry about that. WordPress allows me to “like” your posts, and I do.

I’ll keep trying; but I wanted to let you know I’m not as silent as I appear to be.

The Psalms Project

Just saw this on our local news, and had to share. This guy is putting all 150 psalms to music, ten at a time. He has music / lyrics available on different tabs on his page. It’s pretty cool.

Home

If the name of the link doesn’t show up (above)  in your browser, go to thepsalmsprojectband and add a .com.

Marvelous Magnesium

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I’ve been able to stay healthy enough to limit my doctor visits to a yearly checkup for the past few years. I take one prescription. Much of my strategy involves natural foods and remedies, exercise, sleep, plenty of clean water, and several supplements.

One of my health-building-blocks is magnesium. I take magnesium supplements totaling anywhere from 1500 – 2100 mg throughout the day. The amount varies, depending on what I eat and my activities that day.

How do I know how much to take? The answer to that goes back to the reason I started taking it in the first place: my bowels. To speak plainly, my bowels don’t move unless I kick ‘em with magnesium. I started with low doses, and increased until I reached tolerance (that means that, when my stools got loose, I knew that was a bit too much, and I backed off just a little).

The nice thing about magnesium is, an overdose isn’t dangerous (unless you act foolishly). You might need to stay pretty close to a toilet, but it’s not going to harm you.

Another reason I latched onto magnesium was my restless leg syndrome. I get “jimmy-legs,” as my husband calls them, every night. Often it would prevent me from falling asleep. After starting magnesium, they don’t keep me awake.

Magnesium is great for muscles. That’s why an Epsom salt bath is so good for your muscles – because of the magnesium seeping into you. And I thought of this: your heart is a muscle. I think magnesium must be good for heart health. ❤

Magnesium helps lessen the muscle cramps / twitches / spasms I get every so often, but lately I’ve been getting them anyway. To me, that means I need more magnesium. But I can’t take any more, orally, unless I want to spend my life in the bathroom.

Enter magnesium spray.

(Actually, I put it in a roller bottle; it’s less messy.)

I can use my topical magnesium to help with my muscles, without affecting my bowels.

You can find lots of info about magnesium, and varying recipes for magnesium spray, on the Internet. Here are two I like:

Dr. Eric Zelinski has an informative article and a recipe on his site: https://naturallivingfamily.com/how-to-make-magnesium-oil/

Dr. Carolyn Dean is kind of the magnesium guru. She has developed a formula, which she sells, to increase dosages of magnesium and other minerals without affecting the bowels. She has several websites, but this is a good one to start with: https://drcarolyndean.com/start-here/

I do recommend reading up on magnesium, as this mineral is essential for so many body functions.

I apply it a couple of hours before bed, and I no longer suffer from leg cramps. I also thought to apply it along my neck and shoulders and, oh, my! That’s where I carry my stress, and my neck and shoulder muscles are strung pretty tight. The magnesium roll-on eases that so much.

And one more benefit I’ve noticed: I thought maybe my knees were going bad until I mentioned it to my chiropractor. She gave me an adjustment, but recommended massaging the muscles at the top of my thighs. I’ve been rubbing in my magnesium remedy, and my knees are much better.

Dr. Zelinski’s recipe notes to rinse it off after 5 minutes or so, to allow time to soak in. I don’t rinse it off at all. It does leave a residue, but not one that rubs off onto anything (no nasty white smudges on clothing). When I do rinse, it rinses off right away without soap.

And, even though it’s not made with any oils, it does feel oily.

Here’s the recipe I use:

  • 1 part filtered water
  • 1 part magnesium flakes
  • 2 drops essential oil per ounce of liquid (optional) (suggest something good for muscles, like lavender or peppermint; or something soothing / healing like Frankincense, vetiver, sandalwood)
  1. Boil the water.
  2. Stir in the magnesium flakes until dissolved.
  3. Pour into a glass spray or roll-on container.
  4. Add the essential oil.

I don’t know about the distribution of oils in the magnesium mixture, so you may or may not need to shake the container each time you apply.

No need for refrigeration.

I have also seen recipes that call for 2 parts water to 1 part magnesium flakes.

Magnesium flakes are available at some health food stores, at amazon.com, or vitacost.com.

Because magnesium has helped me so much, I wanted to share the good news with YOU!

God’s Way

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In the book of Ezra, the exiled Jews return to their homeland.

Interesting fact: not all Jews chose to return home, only those “whose spirit God had raised, to go up to build the house of the Lord which is in Jerusalem” (Ezra 1.5).

The Lord stirred up the spirit of Cyrus, king of Persia (Ezra 1.1) to proclaim and put into writing, that “The Lord God of heaven hath given me all the kingdoms of the earth; and He hath charged me to build Him a house at Jerusalem, which is in Judah” (Ezra 1.2). In addition, Cyrus gave them all the silver and gold and brass items that Nebuchadnezzar had taken away. The Jews traveled back to their homeland with all this, plus all the gifts the people of the land bestowed upon them.

Once home, the people set to work to build a new temple upon the foundation of the old temple.

The enemies of the Jews around Jerusalem at first came, offering to “help” the Jews rebuild, saying, “Let us build with you; for we seek your God, as ye do; and we do sacrifice unto Him…” But the Jews would have none of it (and rightly so), saying, “Ye have nothing to do with us to build a house unto our God; but we ourselves together will build into the Lord God of Israel, as king Cyrus the king of Persia hath commanded.” (Ezra 4.3)

So the enemies gave the Jews grief for 16 years, and eventually wrote a letter to Darius, the king who had replaced Cyrus, a letter filled with lies.

Darius ordered a halt to the building.

The Jews might well have been devastated. They obeyed the king’s order, however, and stopped. AND they sent their own letter to Darius, appealing to him to find in the records the decree Cyrus had issued.

Darius did, and he found the decree. Then he ordered the rebuilding to continue with additional orders: the enemies of the Jews were to provide all the money and resources the Jews needed for completing the building.

Our eyes can grow round with amazement, and we can shake our heads at the miraculous provisions of God.

The Jews were obedient. That counts big with God.

Maybe, after those first 16 years, the Jews were running out of resources: money, timber, building blocks, energy, ambition. Maybe they had been praying that God would provide for all these needs.

Maybe they didn’t see, in the order to stop construction, an answer to their prayer.

But they waited on God, and were obedient.

The temple was finished and dedicated; sacrifices were offered; the laws, written in the book of Moses, were read and followed.

God blessed. Prayers were answered.

A verse that jumped out at me this morning, was Ezra 6.21: “And the children of Israel, which were come again out of captivity, and all such as had separated themselves unto them from the filthiness of the heathen of the land, to seek the LORD God of Israel, did eat.

Filthiness was what caught my attention. When I studied it, the Hebrew definition indeed means filthy, unclean. There it was again in Ezra 9.11.

I thought, “I bet the people of the land around them might take umbrage at being called filthy. There are probably a lot of nice, well-meaning people they deal with, who are actually friends.”

I bet that’s true.

What is filthy, in the eyes of the Lord? Unclean. Of a foul or filthy mass. That which is apart from His Spirit. Really, anything that is not of God.

God is clean and pure. In our flesh, we are not.

As Christians, we can be washed as white as snow – CLEAN – with the blood of Jesus. Although this happens once-for-all at salvation, sometimes we have to do this, moment by moment in our daily lives. (1John 1.9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.)

What about the world around us? Our unsaved friends and neighbors, our relatives? All those nice, well-meaning people? Are they filthy? Yes. Just as we were. They have nothing to do with God (remember Ezra 4.3, the Jews did not allow the enemies to join with them in rebuilding.)

These things are God’s way.

This is why God warns us not to be intimate with the world. Be in the world but not of it. Love your neighbor – he’s just like you, and needs Jesus.