Thursday, August 30, 2012

let us be thankful: the gift of essential oils

Today I wanted to take a moment to point out how thankful I am for the gift of essential oils. Whether enjoying the calming, relaxing, and refreshing scent of Lavender to help me sleep more soundly or experiencing the subtle, sweet, balsamic aroma of Frankincense to fill my home with a pleasant and familiar comfort, I love the essential oils of plants (both aromatic and non-aromatic), herbs and spices, balms, seeds, etc. Furthermore, I love studying about them.  The Lord has shown me that dozens of essential oils and aromatic plants were referenced in Biblical times.  In fact, their use is documented back to the Roman, Green, Egyptian, Arabic, Persian, Babylonian and Sumerian empires.  It is clear that God imbued molecules into plants for our benefit. He placed Adam and Eve in the garden for a very good and specific reason.

This is the account of the heavens and the earth when they were created. When the Lord God made the earth and the heavens - and no shrub of the field had yet appeared on the earth and no plant of the field had yet sprung up, for the Lord God had not sent rain on the earth and there was no man to work the ground, but streams came up from the earth and watered the whole surface of the ground - the Lord God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being. Now the Lord God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden; and there he put the man he had formed. And the Lord God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground - trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food. The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. (Genesis 2:4b-9a, 15)

God knew that both man and woman would be surrounded by all the sights and smells of these plants and He instructed them to tend and care for them in Eden's garden.  Man and woman were not placed in an enclosed shelter in the beginning... no, before sin entered into the world, Adam and Eve were placed in a garden to grow and flourish - with purpose to oversee all plants and animals around them. This is important to understand as God had a deliberate design in mind for the well-being of mankind and how his role on earth was meant to healthily be lived.

It is important to note that God made essential oils less than 500 atomic mass units (amu) in molecular weight., and because of their infinitesimal size, they can easily pass through all forms of human tissue. This means that essential oils placed on skin are transdermal and can reach every part of someones body within minutes. So, not only are they pleasing to enjoy with our sense of smell, they can also be used to support and balance our endocrine, circulatory, digestive, nervous and reproductive systems in a very direct way. They can aid us in clearing our sinuses and help us to better metabolize our nutrients, minerals and vitamins. Most important, they are able to boost our immune systems so we can fight off disease.  What a gift from our Creator!  Blessed be His Name for offering such care to us.

If you never thought about essential oils, I encourage you to do some research and learn about their specific benefits. I love them and am so thankful to enjoy them in my home and life every day.   God is so good all the time.



Tuesday, August 28, 2012

let us be grateful: electricity

Today, as you turn on lights, run your hair dryer, use the microwave, work on your computer... remember that 1.6 million people around the globe live without electricity. These people rely on burning wood and waste for light and heat (most of which adds to air pollution, one of the world's leading causes of premature death.)

So today, let's remember to be thankful for the electricity God has made available for us to use and enjoy.  It is indeed a luxury.

Let's pause to see the blessings around us every day so that we may realize just how much we have to be grateful for.  Praise His Name!  God is good.



Monday, August 27, 2012

let us be thankful: plumbing and clean water

This may seem a bit unrefined to discuss, but did you know that most of the world's population doesn't have access to a toilet? The lack of sanitary plumbing is one of the major causes of early childhood death and disease.

Furthermore, for a quarter of the world's population, a glass of clean water is NEVER an option.

Think about that. Now think about how many faucets you have in your home. (I have seven!) More than two million people die every year from diseases contracted simply by drinking unclean water.

So today, let's remember to be thankful for every plumbing privilege we have been blessed with. Also, let us praise His name with every sip of water we enjoy. There is never cause to grumble or forget where such prosperity comes from. We are indeed given so many blessings. So, let us be thankful! God continues to provide. We often forget that these luxuries are from His generous hand. We often fail to share all that He has given with those who have less.

Friends, let's pause to see the blessings around us and live in realization as to just how much we have to be grateful for.  Thank you, Lord Jesus.

God is good. Let us worship His Name!



Friday, August 17, 2012

ding. ding. ding. ding.

"Ding.  Ding.  Ding.  Ding."

That's the sound my car has been chiming for about a year now.  Off and on, it's a sound I have come to predict... anticipate... expect.  An annoyance I'm well aware of.  An irritant that I have actually had to listen to while driving hundreds of miles between Chicago and Houston as we moved to our new home this past year.... the WHOLE way... the WHOLE time!

"Ding.  Ding.  Ding.  Ding."

Our mechanic in Chicago told me several times that the dinging didn't exist.  Clearly it was a problem he couldn't simulate... a matter he couldn't or wouldn't resolve.  Dude!.... ARGH!

"Ding.  Ding.  Ding.  Ding."

"Oh come on!... My seat belt is fastened, Black Betty!"  (Yeah, I named my car, Black Betty.  What's it to ya?  LOL.)  "Really, I'm locked and loaded!  So why, ohhhhh why, do you still ding at me and flash your dashboard warning lights indicating that I am not secure?  I'm secure!!!  I'm in!  I'm ready to drive without further commentary.  So, whhhhyyyyyy the dinging??? WHY?????"

"Ding. Ding. Ding. Ding.  Ding.  Ding."  (And so it goes.)

Last week, Chuck finally asked me, "Honey, why aren't you driving your convertible here in Texas?  It's the perfect place for it!"  (Mind you, my lil' Volkswagen EOS was a very sweet gift he gave me for my 40th birthday....  I sooo married UP!)  I hesitated to answer, but finally freaked out at him, "Babe, that stupid car's dinging is driving me CRAZY!"  (No pun intended.)  "I simply can't listen to it anymore!  I'm not making this up!  It dings and dings and dings!  I won't drive it until it is fixed.  I won't!  I can't!  Nope... it ain't happening!  AINT, I say!!!!"

Understanding that I had reached, shall we say, a delicate moment... a breaking point, it you will... my hubby did what all good hubbies do... he rescued me from the burden.  He calmed me down, reassured me of his advocacy toward all things "Vicki", and scheduled an appointment at our new local VW mechanic here in Houston to discuss our options.  Hurray for hubby!  Soon, my hair would once again be blowing in the wind... without the dinging!  WOOT!

But alas.  Hubby could not get the car to ding for Volkswagen.  Nor could James, the Service Dude, get the car to ding.  Even Mr. New Mechanic Guy, Marshall, could not get the car to ding.  Nothing.  Nada.  Zip.  Zero.  Null.  Did I say, NOTHING!  "What up, Black Betty?  Don't make me look completely insane here!  Start dinging!  I mean stop dinging!  I mean.... oh, argh!!!!"

In a last effort to save face and fix my car, Momba drove me out to the VW dealership yesterday so that I could take Service Dude James out as my passenger to try and simulate the issue.  Surely, Black Betty would ding for me again.  She likes to ding for me.  Of course, before getting in the car, James said as non-threatening as possible to me, "Victoria, I'm not calling you a liar, but I don't think there is anything wrong here."


I responded, "James, I don't even want the car if you can't fix this incessant dinging!  Going. Crazy. Crazy. Crazy. CRAZY!!!...."

While strapping in our seat belts, I whispered a quiet prayer in my mind.  "Lord, help!  Please show everyone here that I'm not completely nuts.  Show the problem.  Fix the problem." No sooner were we pulling out onto the street and my dash started lighting up like Christmas day.  "LOOK!"  I exclaimed.  "See that blinking light?  It's only a matter of time and she'll soon start to...."

"Ding.  Ding.  Ding.  Ding.  Ding.  Ding.  Ding.  Ding."


(Thank you, Lord Jesus.)

In disbelief, James looked at me stunned.  Two minutes of non-stop dinging down the road, he finally moaned, "This is awful!"  (Um, YEAH!)  Then, he instructed me to turn around and drive immediately to Marshall the Mechanic... do not pass go... do not collect $200.00. Just get our patootie's over to Marshall as fast as I could drive so they could hook up my car to the computer and determine what the heck was going on.

"Ding.  Ding.  Ding.  Ding."

The earth continued to rotate around the sun.
Momba comfortably read magazines in the waiting room.
And I... yes I, was about to get my car fixed... and fixed properly!!!  WOO HOO!

In the end, it turned out my seat belt was malfunctioning in it's computerized connection to my seat.  A short in the wiring, if you will.  It obviously wasn't registering that I had secured myself in.  Marshall showed me on his computer that the belt connection was actually flickering on and off.  When I asked him if he could just disconnect the whole connection from the car, he declined and informed me of this very interesting fact.  You see, today's cars are much more advanced than we realize.  Our seat belts are specially programmed to the car to faithfully determine how fast our bodies might be thrust forward (or even to the side) at any given moment, in any given driving emergency.  Black Betty's connection problem could have caused me a much greater danger had I been in an accident.  For if her belt didn't register properly, my air bags might never deploy when, and how, they should in an accident.  Not cool, Betty.  She needed a new part and a little TLC to function as her German engineers originally intended.   So now, Marshall and James were on board to fix the matter... ordering Betty's new part... believing I'm not a crazy-woman... satisfying my husbands hopes to please me... fixing the problem.  (YES, Lord!  Thank you!!!)

In all this, I believe there is a lesson in parallel.  For how often do we think we are secure, yet the Holy Spirit chimes into our hearts, repetitively... blatantly... reminding us there is something wrong in how we are or aren't connecting with our King.  Are we really seeking the potential and fullness He has promised?  Are we solid in our quest to know His holy Word - His holy Way?  Or are we flickering in and out of spiritual intimacy... not really working properly... not actually equipping ourselves with His full set of promises and safety precautions in order to be protected from all possible danger?

"Ding.  Ding.  Ding.  Ding."

Is your King trying to tell you something today?  Are you willing to attend to the matter with Him and make every effort to fix the problem?  Or will you just give up and live another day with the compounding knowledge and maddening disappointment that you are shorting yourself?

O Ladies, don't short yourself!  Don't live like a crazy, defeated woman who can't move forward in full gear.  Rather, assess the "dinging" with your loving Husband.  Ask your Savior to service every unresolved matter.  Entrust your whole life to the Great Mechanic of all Creation so that you can reconnect rather than disconnect yourself from His love and wisdom.

This is the day to get back on track!  This is the hope we can know: joyful functioning in daily obedience with our Beloved King... driving as He originally intended us to... all the way home!

I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe.  (Ephesians 1:17-19a)



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