Espirational Faith

"Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." –The Apostle Paul


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Are You Caring for Our Garden?

“The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden

to work it and take care of it.”

Genesis 2:15-NIV

Ahh! The Earth. Our beautiful planet which, if observed with pure eyes, is truly a remarkably diversified beautiful garden which we, its attendants, have only begun to conceive of the remarkable ways in which it war created. The rolling hills, the luscious forests and jungles, the majestic mountains and the bottomless oceans are the home of the remarkable creatures we all know and love of the mammals, birds and reptiles, including ourselves. Why then, with all this beauty surrounding us on a daily basis must we be reminded that it is our responsibility, our duty to take care of this planet? Yet, until recently with the advent of a few people starting what we call Earth Day, we seemed to think that what this scripture meant was that we could do with this planet whatever we wanted which has lead us to causing the extinction of many species of both plants and animals and, if not gotten under control, could lead to our own extinction as well. So what do we do?

Well, first we must recognize the fact that we are to find our place as part of this creation, and not masters of it, as many of the American Indians have believed and taught. While we are ultimately responsible to feed the billions of people on this planet, we must not place that responsibility above the care of the planet itself. To do so would simply mean to fast run out of or destroy the very source which we need to care for the humans we want to care for.

We must use a different type of logic than that which has been prevalent in the past where if something exists and the human governments gives me the right to claim it, or I am strong enough to take that right, then I can do whatever I want with it.  To do so may be the very human way of existence as it has been for thousands of years, but it ignores the rights of other creatures, including other people, on being able to have access to those same elements. It further ignores the fact that we were placed on this planet to “work it and take care of it,” not to take all that is valuable from it and then leave it as useless and ugly.

I am not going to belabor the negative, uh, stupidity of mankind’s activity of creating oil wells in areas which have undermined the land to the point that it is now causing major earthquakes under vast territories like in Oklahoma. Yet, as intelligent as man thinks we are, we are still debating rather to do the same thing in land set aside as a national park in Alaska. Where is the logic in that? While there is much research and evidence concerning the fact that there is more than enough energy available through wind, solar and thermal resources it remains essentially untapped because the ones who have become rich with oil and other more potentially dangerous and destructive sources of energy refuse to invest in these alternative energy systems.

The same is true with numerous other topics which concern the Earth’s health. Things like air pollution, over-farming with chemical substitution of fertilizers and never allowing the ground to rest, and rampant deforestation in areas like Brazil where once lush jungles which had numerous medicinal plants are being replaced by deforested fields for farmers to produce “human needs” crops. A wealth of possible biochemical cures lost to mankind and a much needed source of clean oxygen lost to the planet.

Sadly enough, we have in the past, as a species given the assignment to tend this beautiful garden we call Earth, failed; but it is not yet too late to change the error of our ways and to try to heal the wounds we have caused our “Mother Earth.” The one person in the United States political past which I think did more  toward bringing the issue of American disrespect for the planet was not actually a politician at all. She was the wife of President Lyndon B. Johnson. Lady Bird Johnson took on as her cause to get Americans to stop using this country’s landscape as a trash can, and to quite hiding the view of our beautiful country with billboards. Her ideas caught on and from that time on we have started to understand better, and to try to do something about  our personal and our planet’s environment.

There is much that needs to be done, there is much which can be done, to turn the tide of planetary destruction which has been so prevalent for the past several centuries. Take action against those who disrespect the land by joining environmental groups. Use environmentally friendly products and services whenever possible, like solar or wind energy. And speak up for the Earth whenever possible. That way, by tending the Earth as we were asked to do, she will be able to take care of us.

Happy Earth Day.

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Why Be Positive?

Hi, everyone. I just thought that perhaps some of you may be wondering why Rogene and I have created our positive lifestyle blogs and insist on the importance of a positive attitude. I mean, many of you who may know us well realize that this type of thinking does not come easily or naturally for us, and sometimes we flat out fail. But we insist that we retain this attitude as a central theme for our lives not only because it creates a more pleasant atmosphere for us and others to live, it also causes us to feel better.

The Christian/Hebraic scriptures gives us our basic teaching on this subject where Solomon recorded being told:  “A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.” (Proverbs 17:22) But now scientists are catching up to the wisdom of old.

I just read an article from the National Institute of Health (NIH) which, for some, may be an astonishing announcement from a governmentally sponsored research institute, but it simply shows that the sages of old most certainly had more than just hunches when they gave their advice. One of the researchers that was interviewed by the NIH, Dr. Fredrickson, reportedly said,

“The results suggest that taking time to learn the skills to self-generate positive emotions can help us become healthier, more social, more resilient versions of ourselves.”

The report goes on to say that the results of positive thinking affected not only one’s spiritual and psychological health, but also our physical health and recommends positive lifestyle training through meditation, affirmations and thought control methods to help one learn how to feel better by thinking differently.

Below I have quoted the first few sentences of the NIH article to get you started reading this article about this exciting research, but don’t stop here. Please follow the link and read the whole article. It takes a few minutes, but the information is invaluable. . . .

Positive Emotions and Your Health Developing a Brighter Outlook
Illustration of a woman watching a sunset from atop a mountain.
Do you tend to look on the sunny side, or do you see a future filled with dark, stormy skies? A growing body of research suggests that having a positive outlook can benefit your physical health. NIH-funded scientists are working to better understand the links between your attitude and your body. They’re finding some evidence that emotional wellness can be improved by developing certain skills.
Having a positive outlook doesn’t mean you never feel negative emotions, such as sadness or anger, says Dr. Barbara L. Fredrickson, a psychologist and expert on emotional wellness at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. “All emotions—whether positive or negative—are adaptive in the right circumstances. The key seems to be finding a balance between the two,” she says.
“Positive emotions expand our awareness and open us up to new ideas, so we can grow and add to our toolkit for survival,” Fredrickson explains. “But people need negative emotions to move through difficult situations and respond to them appropriately in the short term. Negative emotions can get us into trouble, though, if they’re based on too much rumination about the past or excessive worry about the future, and they’re not really related to what’s happening in the here and now.”
People who are emotionally well, experts say, have fewer negative emotions and are able to bounce back from difficulties faster. This quality is called resilience. Another sign of emotional wellness is being able to hold onto positive emotions longer and appreciate the good times. Developing a sense of meaning and purpose in life—and focusing on what’s important to you—also contributes to emotional wellness.
Research has found a link between an upbeat mental state and improved health, including lower blood pressure, reduced risk for heart disease, healthier weight, better blood sugar levels, and longer life. But many studies can’t determine whether positive emotions lead to better health, if being healthy causes positive emotions, or if other factors are involved. . . . (complete article here)