Monday, March 29, 2010

The Nature of God

"Ever since the creation of the world, His invisible nature, namely His eternal power and deity, has been clearly perceived in the things that have been made." (Rom 1:20)

This is the week before Easter, the Holy week. I thought it to be appropriate to think about the nature of God. Springtime more than ever suggests us to admire creation. After the long winter everything wakes up again with new life. It is very predictable, first little snow flowers, then pretty green leaves and finally everything blooms all over sudden. Easter is time wise just in the middle of this reawakening. Let’s celebrate the resurrection with some deeper understanding about the God who sent Jesus.

“God has male and female aspects and he/she has something like a mind that determines the direction of its energy and force which is expressed in the physical creation.”

“The final conclusion is that God is a person – outside of time and space and that God has both male and female characteristics. In one word, according to the teaching, God is a parent.”

So, God’s nature is:
• Male – female attributes
• The creator – man is created in the image of God
• Internal and external expressions (like mind and body)
• Unchanging, absolute and eternal
• Love, mercy and grace
• Truth, beauty, and goodness
• Law, order and principle
• Omnipotent – all powerful, all-mighty
• Omnipresent – beyond space and time, universal present
• Omniscient – all knowing
• “I am who I am” – the beginning and the end.

The whole reason we want to know about the nature of God is so that we can emulate those characteristics. That was the main reason God sent Jesus so that we can learn from a man here on earth in the physical flesh. He showed us how to live.
Unfortunately, we didn’t understand why Jesus came, felt judged, and used excuses to crucify Jesus. With the execution of Jesus, God’s plan for the kingdom of peace went awry. If Israel had received Jesus as the Messiah, he could have brought about a world of peace, uniting cultures and religions of the East and the West. Jesus, however, died on the cross, and God’s work of complete salvation was delayed until the Second Coming. This is a new understanding of the cross and many established churches and Jewish communities have opposed this view.

Did you ever consider that there was another prophecy for Jesus to be the king of kings, the Messiah and the Son of God who will bring the Kingdom of Heaven on earth (Isaiah 9, 11, and 60, Luke 1:31-33)? If you think about it, why did God have to prepare the Jewish people for 2,000 years to welcome the Messiah, just to put him on a cross? That seemed like a lot of preparation and suffering on the account of the Jewish people.
Did Jesus really have to die to forgive our sins? In many passages of the bible, Jesus forgave sins and healed people while he was alive on earth (Luke 5:20; Luke 7:48; Matt. 9:2)
It is a very serious question: Did Jesus have to die on the cross to save us? It is very controversial with Christians, and they give you all the proofs from the bible, that the cross was predestined as the original plan of God.

Even in the short time Jesus had on earth, three years, Jesus demonstrated the nature of God like no other. In that he truly was the Son of God. He showed love like no other and introduced God as our Heavenly Father. This is the most precious relationship that we have a Heavenly Parent. In all of our earthly quarrels, if we could only take notice of that, than all differences among the people of this world could be smoothed and all the problems could be solved. Wouldn’t that be wonderful!!!

Here are some links:

Monday, March 22, 2010

How to Get out of a Slump?

I believe that at one time or another we all have felt the “slump.” Some may call it bad mood others may describe it as a funk or just plain boredom. It is important to recognize that all of life goes through cycles, there is day and night, there is summer and winter, hot and cold and so on.

Most of us don’t think about when we have a victory to tone it down and wait for the next setback. Nonetheless, we all encounter these slumps at some time in life, as an economic slump, a writer’s block, a diet plateau, an athletic standstill or whatever it may be. I belief that there are some general steps we can take to get out of the hole.

Here is my list when you get stuck:
1. Recognize you are in a slump – keep your perspective.
Even a slump may just be a moment of low energy. After every rain, the sun will come out again. Sometimes we just have to wait it out.

2. Life goes through cycles – prepare for your next up cycle.
Experience the down emotions, stay in the presence – they will go away or you will experience a sudden anger and energy to get out of it.

3. Do something, anything – action will change your mood.
Go on a walk, do some exercise, get some fresh air and sunshine.

4. Ask for help – your family, friends or sometimes a professional can turn things around.
Talking about it with someone often makes you feel better.

5. Don’t focus on your problems or obstacles.
Think of others whose lives are in worse shape, be grateful. Do something worthwhile like serving someone or giving a compliment or if nobody is around, sing to yourself

6. Remember the good times when your life was great.
Picture yourself in the situation of success and make new goals for victory.

7. Talk to yourself in a positive way – repeat some affirmations over and over.
Create some phrases or a simple mantra like “Life is good,” or “Tomorrow is another day,” or “Inch by inch life is a cinch.”

8. Make sure that your slump is not related to a physical imbalance, it is easier to get a physical pick-me-up than an emotional or spiritual.
Take some extra vitamins, eat better foods and get off the stimulants like sugary foods.

9. Remember, happiness, is a choice, so is your attitude.
Decide to get out of the slump, give yourself time, relax, take a vacation and gather yourself for your next “attack.”

10. Have faith and confidence in yourself – sometimes it is darkest before the dawn.

I hope that these steps can help you get out of a slump. Just like the long winter finally finished, so a slump may just go away. Tune into yourself - you may discover that in the stillness of your heart a small voice wants to talk to you.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Find Your Own Power

Unless we assume that we are physical beings only, we will contemplate our spiritual nature and start questioning: Who Am I? Why Am I here? Just by digging into these age-old questions, we find ourselves on a journey.
The spiritual quest will reveal to us our own power in ways we never expected. That’s why it is such a magical and exciting task. You don’t just stop with the basic question of Who Am I or Why Am I here. You want to know where you came from and where you are going after you leave this physical world. You will discover that faith has nothing to do with any particular religion but rather your relationship with the creator, your heavenly parent. Once you discover that relationship with your father in heaven, you will feel more powerful and inspired.

Now we are experiencing springtime. Even though the snow just melted and everything seams grey and dead, the birds are singing and declaring spring. If you look closely underneath some dead brown leaves, you will find green sprouts coming up and maybe some spring flowers. Nature is so faithful, you can depend on it, even after the longest and hardest winter, spring will come. Once the sun comes out all darkness and barrenness will disappear, and life is restored.

I belief mankind has been in a barrenness for a long time. Many people have given up on their beliefs, and either left the churches, or are just plain disillusioned. I think this maybe the greatest benefit in the turmoil in our economy. It is time for us to discover the deeper meaning in life. It is time for us to start asking questions like: Where did I come from (I don’t just mean from my mother’s womb) and Where Am I going? Questions, which will take us away from the materialism and consumerism.

Simply ... Empowered by Crystal Andrus

I hope you enjoyed this video. When you discover the infinite power within you, you are not depending on outside forces for your happiness, health, and resources. You will know that your thoughts are power, they are the beginning of your new actions. You will discern that your mind is based on principles as true and unchangeable as the laws of nature (law of gravity, law of thermodynamics, etc.).

You will realize that the true power is the Power of Belief. Your thoughts, feelings, and experiences are the seeds that you plant in your Subconscious mind which is directly connected to infinite intelligence. That means they are planted on fertile ground, and with your faith you can count on results. You have to make sure that you plant positive thoughts, passionate feelings and heartfelt experiences which can support you in the future and create a happy and successful life.

It is a matter of decision on your part. Let's plant thoughts of peace, happiness, good will, and prosperity, and you will reap the equivalent. If you want any different circumstance, change your mind first and plant better seeds.
If you want to learn more about the power of the mind, you can read "The Power of Your Subconscious Mind," or visit:

Monday, March 8, 2010

What's so special about Gin-Soaked Raisins?

Since I have arthritis pains in my wrists and hands, I have been trying out many different "home remedies." When I came across the gin-soaked raisin recipe, I was wondering what it could do for me?
I soaked my first batch:

2 cups of golden raisins
Enough gin to cover the raisins, about 1-2 cups.

I put it all in a glass bowl and covered with a saucer. It is good to stir it up every day until the liquid gets absorbed by the raisin. When they are nice and plump (usually about 3-4 days), you can start eating them. The idea is to eat 9 raisins every day. I am snacking on them several times throughout the day, without counting.

Even after a few days I felt some improvements in the pain level of my wrists. Especially, as the day went on, my wrists and fingers became more flexible. That should be enough satisfaction, but I was curious why this could be such an effective remedy (I don't take any medications at all).

Here is what I learned:

Why are raisins effective for arthritis?
Grapes and raisins contain some natural pain relievers as well as anti-inflammatory properties. The natural compounds which work as pain relievers are ferulic acid, gentisic acid and salicylic acid which work similar to aspirin.
Anti-inflammatory properties like cinnamic acid, coumaric and ascorbic acid make grapes and raisins beneficial to soothe the heat of inflammation. Some experts claim that raisins are more effective than grapes since they don’t contain water.

Raisins are also a good source of antioxidants which protect from free radicals. Besides being rich in vitamins A and B complex, they also contain calcium, copper, boron, iron, phosphorus and potassium which are essential minerals.
All these elements contribute to the health benefits of raisins. They also contain a good amount of fiber which is important to stay regular in your elimination process.

Does Gin really contain juniper berries?
The word gin is derived from the Dutch word jenever which has its origin in Latin and means juniper. Gin is made by distilling rye or other grains, and flavoring it with juniper berries and some other botanicals. Juniper berries are harvested from the ever-green conifer plant and are rich in vitamin C and other antioxidants. They have their own medicinal benefits:

• Aides digestion
• Anti-inflammatory
• Antiseptic
• Appetite stimulant
• Blood purifier
• Diuretic
• Helps to dissolves kidney stones
• Prevents bacterial infections
• Prevents the crystallization of uric acid in the kidneys
• Promotes healthy joints
• Relieves gout
• Remedies for rheumatism and arthritis

Like with many medicinal formulations, originally the alcohol was used as a suspension medium for the beneficial juniper berries, but people developed a taste for this particular “tonic” and born was a popular alcoholic drink.

Here is an interesting fact from Rodale's Illustrated Encyclopedia of Herbs which may be the reason that the juniper has come to symbolize protection: "The plant's pungent aroma has long recommended it for driving away evil spirits and disease. Legend has it that juniper planted beside the front door will keep out witches; the only way for a witch to get past the plant was by correctly counting its needles."

* Gin soaked raisins can be eaten if you are not an alcoholic and if you are not suffering from gout.
* Pregnant women should also not partake of it.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Failing Forward ...

I just finished reading a book by John C. Maxwell , Failing Forward. The subtitle is what intrigued me: “Turning Mistakes into Stepping Stones for Success.”

Nobody likes failures in fact we all like to avoid failure. John Maxwell has a positive way to point out that misshapes and mistakes are necessary for us to learn. Today, there is so much emphasis on getting a good education and get that degree. But the most important lessons in life are the ones we experience ourselves. And the greatest lessons we learn from are our own mistakes.
Mr. Maxwell points out that we might be making mistakes, but we are not a failure. For most of us, that may be great awakening. With a negative mindset, any setback, any obstacle, any twist in the road, can just completely stop us in our most enthusiastic endeavors.

It takes a different kind of attitude to see beyond these hindrances to stay on course and be persistent. You have to have a great dream and a strong determination for your goal to continue when ships are down. To nurture that dream you need the support of some friends or family. You also need some motivation on a daily base like reading books and listening to positive materials.

Most of all when things go wrong you can’t stand still. You need to move forward, get into action, any kind of action. E.G. if you lose your job during this down economy, find a lower paying job, or go on unemployment, but volunteer your services. Mr. Maxwell gives many of accounts of real people who did not give up and thought of something else to do. You certainly don’t want to go on that downward spiral of falling into depression or feeling sorry for yourselves.

There are so many points I liked about this book but I mostly enjoyed reading about “famous people;” people from all walks of life who took their failures as stepping stones.

The other point I liked was how Mr. Maxwell explained about the “fear cycle.” Fear is an underlying factor for failure. To break the fear cycle we need to step out of the fear-inaction-inexperience-inability cycle. We need to do whatever it takes to get out of that rut. Being willing to make mistakes, getting moving, getting into action, will give you the experience to get what you set out to do.

So let’s fail forward… .