Monday, January 23, 2017

Monday Morning Motivation from the Psalms

"Because you are my help I sing in the shadow of your wings.  
My soul clings to you, your right hand upholds me".
Psalm 63:7-8

Thank you Lord for the shadow of your wings.  Thank you, because you uphold me in all things, that I have the strength to sing:-)

Happy Monday Everyone!

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Stress Relief from Huff Post. Chocolate Meditation

I came across an article on Huff Post called Karen Carnabucci’s GPS Guide On Relieving Stress.  In one portion of her writings she has a link to 100 ways to destress.  I will slowly go through all 100 and see what works for me.  We are all different and what works for one will not always work for another.  Lets see what happens....

#1. Chocolate Meditation as found on Psychology Today.  The goal is to meditate while eating a bar of chocolate.  I do not have a chocolate bar so I will eat a mini Hershey's Chocolate.  The directions will be underlined and in italics and my comments will be below each step.

Open the packet. Inhale the aroma. Let it sweep over you.

 I must admit I never really took the time to deliberately smell chocolate.  Very nice.  I closed my eyes and took slow deep breaths and it was a soothing scent.

Break off a piece and look at it. Really let your eyes drink in what it looks like, examining every nook and cranny.                                                                                                                                                                                
Light brown, dense yet smooth.

• Pop it in your mouth. See if it's possible to hold it on your tongue and let it melt, noticing any tendency to suck at it. Chocolate has over 300 different flavours. See if you can sense some of them.
I popped it in my mouth and yes I did notice the tendency to suck on it and I went for it.  It did not last long.  The flavor I came up with was chocolate:-)

• If you notice your mind wandering while you do this, simply notice where it went, then gently escort it back to the present moment.

Ok, lets see if my mind wanders.  I took another small piece.  The only time my mind wandered was when Brodie came up to see what was going on.

• After the chocolate has completely melted, swallow it very slowly and deliberately. Let it trickle down your throat.

Oh no!  I am going way too fast.  I have already melted, sucked and swallowed 2 bites.
I still have at least 2 more so let's try the slowly and deliberate trick.
So what happened? I went directly to the sucking not the melting. 
 I did try to swallow slowly but that did nothing for me.

• Repeat this with one other piece.

I have one more piece.  Popped it in my mouth, chewed and swallowed.  Yummy:-)

How do you feel? Is it different from normal? Did the chocolate taste better than if you'd just eaten it at a normal breakneck pace? Do you feel fuller that normal, more satisfied?
I feel fine.  I do think I had a true chocolate experience.  I don't feel fuller then normal or more satisfied.  I would say that if anything in this experiment was a stress reliever it would be the scent of the chocolate.  Taking the time to smell the chocolate was pleasant.
In conclusion.  I have found the scent of chocolate to be soothing.
Give it a try and let me know what you think.

God Bless,

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Summit Church Sermon of the week with "And Can It Be?"

I try to listen to an online sermon every week.  This week I listened to a sermon found on the Summit Church website.  JD spoke of God's great love and grace to us.  He spoke of his slowness to anger and our choice to follow or ignore him.  If we ignore his teachings how that is our choice not God's.

It's funny.  I visit many churches and tire of the teachings that more or less say there is no condemnation for anything we do.  Basically there are no consequences to our actions.  I would disagree.  So what are God's teachings for if they mean nothing?  I think they do mean something and that if I choose not to follow them I believe I will be separated from God at some point.  But,  I do believe we make mistakes and thankfully God is slow to anger and will draw near to us with compassion and give us time to repent.  Sadly many will continue in sin and never repent.  So, for now,  God waits because he loves us.

Some quotes from the sermon...

"Heaven can only be heaven if there is no sin there"

"How many times has my sin caused somebody else pain or caused them to cry?"

"God’s holiness can’t tolerate sin."

"If you cheat on your wife and you leave her for someone else will your kids suffer because of your actions?  
Of course they will!"

"A pardon is only a pardon if it is received.  It can be refused."

Thank you God for being slow to anger.  Thank you for such a strong love for us that you wait.  I know it is our choice to separate ourselves from you, please don't allow me to do that with my life.  Help me to always choose you and if I ever turn away lead me back quickly.  Direct my path Lord.  I love you!