Essential Oils for Beginners–a book review

This book is a compilation of material gleaned from at least three other books mentioned: The Complete Book of Essential Oils, by Valerie Worwood; Rosemary Gladstar’s Medicinal Herbs, by Rosemary Gladstone; and The Fragrant Mind: Aromatherapy for Personality, Mind, Mood, and Emotion, by Valerie Worwood. The book is published by Althea Press, Berkley, CA ©2013 248 pages in length.

Since my venture into the use of essential oils about a year ago, this book has been a handy guide. I have also borrowed books from the public library on similar subjects and the information agrees from one book to the other so I think I can use and recommend the book with confidence. Chapter four in the book breaks down most of the essential oils commonly used today and makes it simple to understand. (If you know my ways, you know that I like simple.) To make the book even more simple to use, the lists are all in alpha order.

With all of the parties and money making schemes using essential oils, I did not dive in blindly to the use of hocus pocus medicine. Although my friends call my pain mixture from essential oils a magic potion, I have found the simple mixtures to be the best remedies. One need not buy the expensive pre-mixed potions sold in little bitty bottles from the trendy essential oil retailers. Stay simple.

I also found valuable information in the pages of this book regarding essential oils and my own body’s DNA. Essential oil use is not a “one size fits all.” Knowing my body’s chemistry and reaction to some of these oils is very important. Some oils raise blood pressure, for instance. With each profile of the essential oils listed are precautions and I found that very useful to personalize my own usage.

I give this handy book a thumbs up for practicality. Affordability is also a plus as I recall it was a mere $3.99 for my Kindle®. Before you dash into believing everything your massage therapist or friend, or neighbor tells you, get this handy guide. It will advise you truthfully and carefully if you allow it to do so.

“He Giveth More Grace”

Annie Johnson Flint is an inspirational poet that wrote out of her own experiences. He poetry is rich. Unlike the “free verse” of our times, her poetry digs deeply into one’s soul because she was willing to expose her own soul in the writing. I’ve written of her earlier and put up her poem, “The Red Sea Place in Your Life.” Like most of her poetry, it is not set to music and very few clergymen quote poetry these days so you might want to look for it.

Flint was confined to a wheelchair when she was in her early twenties from the debility of arthritis. Yet, she did not complain. Instead, she forged on with a heart to inspire others. Yesterday I wanted to hear the song, “He Giveth More Grace” so I found it on YouTube but did not stop there. I wanted to see the lyrics and since my music has mostly been given away, I also hunted for the lyrics on the world wide web. What I found was an unexpected verse that is seldom sung. Our needs, indeed, will never exceed God’s grace! Let the words soak in, and follow the link to a nicely written biography of the author, Annie Johnson Flint.

Rather than say, “Lord, I can’t do this. . .” it would be better to say, “Lord Jesus, I can’t do this without You.”

“He Giveth More Grace”
by Annie Johnson Flint

He giveth more grace as our burdens grow greater,
He sendeth more strength as our labors increase;
To added afflictions He addeth His mercy,
To multiplied trials He multiplies peace.
(Refrain)
When we have exhausted our store of endurance,
When our strength has failed ere the day is half done,
When we reach the end of our hoarded resources
Our Father’s full giving is only begun.
(Refrain)
Fear not that thy need shall exceed His provision,
Our God ever yearns His resources to share;
Lean hard on the arm everlasting, availing;
The Father both thee and thy load will upbear.
(Refrain) His love has no limits, His grace has no measure,
His power no boundary known unto men;
For out of His infinite riches in Jesus
He giveth, and giveth, and giveth again.

Wonderful resource: http://www.homecomingmagazine.com/article/he-giveth-more-grace/

Jesus is in that Book

This is what I remember from an oral story recently told to me by a fellow citizen of Franklin, IN. It is a first hand, personal experience that dates back to the early 1940’s in Western Kentucky.

Jim and his brother grew up in the Western Coal Field part of Kentucky. The family recovered from the Depression years in the ‘30’s and earned a middle income. The income was enough to hire someone for household help and thus we are introduced to “Miss Lottie.” Miss Lottie lived in a one-room cabin which we might call a shanty or shack without electricity or indoor plumbing.

Jim and his brother loved her dearly.

“Miss Lottie makes the best corn bread in the county,” they boasted and she baked wonderful bread and biscuits too as part of her job. She lived within walking distance of the Ray family and saw the boys off to school in the mornings, and left shortly after they came back home from school. At her aging hands she kept them in ironed shirts and well-creased pants. Often on the walk up the path to the house they would hear Lottie singing songs about Jesus.

Jim knew that Lottie could not read and wondered how she knew about Jesus. One day he courteously asked her. “Jim, the preacher man told me about Jesus out of a nice black book. He said, “Jesus is in this book.” I believed the preacher, and I believed the words about Jesus and learned these here songs I sing.”

Little Kentucky boys know their manners and always addressed her as “Miss Lottie” and treated her with utmost respect. Lottie’s love for the boys was obvious.

One day on a trip into town the boy’s conversation went something like this:

“Miss Lottie needs shoes.

“Well, yes, she does but she seems to be happy without shoes. Winter is coming on though, and she should have something warm for her feet.”

“Yes, something soft and warm, and colored!”

“Mom, can we buy Lottie some shoes today?”

“Boys, we pay Lottie enough that she could buy shoes if she wanted them.”

“But Mom, we just want her to have nice warm feet.”

“Well, when we go into the Mercantile, we can look.”

Miss Lottie often wore a kerchief on her head covering her graying hair that was pulled back into a neat bun. The kerchief was often blue or red, and recently, she found some pink material and stitched herself a cheerful looking head cover. When the boys saw some soft looking, pink house shoes, they begged to buy them for Lottie.

“Boys,” declared Mother, “You just don’t give up.”

Happily the boys brought home those warm looking house shoes and were so excited to give them to Lottie. Indeed, the gift brought tears to Lottie’s eyes. Such love, she felt, must come from Jesus and that Book too. She treasured the house shoes, but continued to come to work barefoot, even as the ground became cold.

Then near Christmas time, Lottie did not come to work. Two days passed and she did not come down the path from her house to the edge of town where the Rays lived. Lottie must be sick. Jim and his brother worried about her.

Two worried boys trudged up that steep incline to Lottie’s humble home. She didn’t answer the door, but it was not locked and cautiously they walked inside. There in her one-room dwelling Lottie lay on her bed, motionless. On her feet were the pink slippers. Under her folded hands lay an open Bible. She died holding the book that told her of Jesus. “Jesus lives in that book” she once told Jim. She died holding Jesus, with those pink slippers on her feet. Feet that Jim feels are now walking on streets of gold.

©2015 theshpeherdspresence.wordpress.com

Who is on the Lord’s Side?

Moses, although he had flaws, as we all do, is an outstanding Old Testament example of leadership. If I were writing this for mother’s day, I would be asking for applause for Jochabed. She is one mother of courage who implanted values into her very small child; those values lasted Moses a lifetime.

Today, however, lies heavily on my heart the now hundreds of Christian martyrs who have refused to deny Christ. The swords, fires, and hatchets do not cause them to flinch in the face of denying their faith in Christ. They are on the Lord’s side. Recently we marked a date one hundred years ago when Armenian Christians were methodically slain by the Turks of the Ottoman Empire. The slaughter is senseless now as much as it was one hundred years ago. Evil is so burned into the Islamic heart that the conscience is dead.

Moses spent forty days on Mt. Sinai. God beckoned Moses to spend that special time with him and during that time he received the directions for the assembly and handling of the Tabernacle. Exodus 20-32 may seem dry and boring to those who do not understand the whole story that unfolds in the Bible’s entirety. Every detail and assembly of the Tabernacle holds significance in the worship that would hold God’s people to follow His heart and ways. During the time, the very finger of God etched into a piece of stone what we hold sacred still: the Ten Commandments.

When Moses heard the noise of the camp, he recognized the noise as one of wickedness rather than worship. Aaron, his own brother, allowed the wilderness followers to fashion a golden calf to worship. After dealing with the disobedience, I see Moses stand before that unruly, insensitive crowd and call out “Who is on the Lord’s side?”

With unspeakable wickedness that surrounds us, who among us is willing to stand up to the CINO’s among us and make that declaration? America is full of religiousity but has far too many Christians in Name Only. When the issues of Biblical stand come before them, they cave. They build a gold calf of economics.

Will you raise your hand and say, “Me! I am on the Lord’s side!”

An Oil change, Flashing lights, and Choices

Do you have one of those coffee K-Cup machines? They can be quite wonderful if you want your coffee fresh every cup. I guess. My frugal ways think that the fresh cup of coffee every time is not worth the price. That aside, I do have one of the simple machines that makes one cup at a time. If you have read my weblog for very long you know—I like things simple.

Maybe simple people, like me, are lazy in mind. We don’t like to be confused by having to make multiple decisions when one or two steps are all that is needed to get the job done. Anyhow, today I drove to my favorite garage to get an oil change in my car. I was in luck. The lot was full of cars, but they took in my simple oil change job on the spot. While I waited, I took a seat in the waiting area and pulled out my e reader to pass the time. Usually they have a Mr. Coffee type pot of old coffee but oh, they have updated the coffee service to a super duper big daddy single cup coffee maker. I thought, to myself, “I know how to do this.” and stepped up to the big daddy coffee maker. Expertly I found a K-cup and inserted it. The water tank must self fill because it looked ready to go. I pulled the handle down to start the brew when all of a sudden three lights came on! Not one—no—three!

My faithful readers also know I have a vision problem when it comes to small print. I had no idea which light I needed to tap. Hmmm. I stood thinking, “Do I do enny-meeny?” See? So many decisions for such a simple grandma! Well, if the lights meant the brew, the middle would be a good choice. On the other hand, the lights might mean the fullness of the cup; of course, my frugal self does not want to waste anything! I thought perhaps I should choose before the lady at the desk might question me soon. I hit the far right light. It gave me a full cup, and it tasted fine. Whew!

On the way home I was still wondering what those lights meant. I know one thing for sure, I don’t have that much trouble making a spiritual decision because the Word of God is so embedded in my heart, the right choice just pops into selection. Sure, I am tempted from time to time, but if I listen carefully to my inner voice from God, I make the right choice. When the Psalmist wrote, “Thy Word have I hid in my heart that I might not sin against Thee,” that’s what he was talking about.

As a side note: My oil change today came to $5.18 because I am a regular customer. That’s what they said. Now, that was a big bonus! Better than the cup of coffee that my simple mind perplexed over, that’s for sure.

After Easter

Six decades have come and gone on the calendar of my life. Yet, this morning I experienced a first Easter that truly moved my heart in a powerful way. Frankly, I went to church expecting good music and warm fellowship with other believers. I came away different than when I came and that’s how it should be on any given Sunday. Sometimes that does happen, but seldom on Easter. We go expecting more of the same as the year before and the years before that.

One of the songs that left words vibrating in my heart harbored the phrase, “they came to crucify a man, but they sacrificed a Lamb.” A simple, but profound truth. The song happened to be the title song of the program, “Behold the Lamb.” Even more moving to my heart were the words from the song, “Without His Cross” were the words: “without His tears, there is no comfort.”

Those words led me to reflect on the tears of Jesus over Jerusalem, and then also the tears in the Garden of Gethsemane. During the thirty-three years that Jesus walked this earth He undoubtedly shed tears no one saw. That would not be unlike my own tears, that sometimes spill unto the countertop as I cook, or into the dishwater as I wash dishes and all the time praying for someone dear. It also reminds me that Jesus knows how I feel when my heart is broken to the point of tears because He shed tears too. He is my comfort in those times when otherwise my heart would just break in grief.

The Holy Spirit brought to my heart the wonderful challenge of Philippians 3:10 “that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His suffering; being made conformable unto His death.” My memory floated back to my college days and hearing that verse set to song for a lovely teacher on campus. Mrs. Kettering could sing those words like no other. That chorus is embedded in my heart.

The crowning touch came in the final minutes, maybe no more than eight minutes, when my pastor gave closing remarks. He quoted Philippians 1:21 “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.” The day may come in our own United States where the refusal to deny Christ may bring death. Standing for Biblical truth sometimes costs a Christian his business. Certainly denying Christ is a temptation in our world of regulations and restrictions on free speech if it comes from a serious Christian.

Upon leaving church this morning, I made it plain to my crucified and then risen Savior that I am on His side. I will not deny Him. He did not deny me. I am His; He is mine.

Credits: the music for “Behold the Lamb” is published by Lorenz Publishing Company, 2010, The program is a compilation made by Mike and Christina Gradwell but is not published. It was compiled by a hometown girl who grew up at Victory Baptist Church, Whiteland, IN. Families like hers are what make serious Christianity thrive. If you wish for more information on the script and music compilations, please comment below. I will get back to you on it.

Pleasant Words

Proverbs 16:24 expresses the value of speaking pleasant words: “Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul and health to the bones.” There it is; this is a simple truth. It is not difficult to understand, yet it seems as if all around me I hear arguing, hassling, bitterness.

My dad, who did not finish 8th grade, knew the value of speaking the truth in simple love. Whenever I would mention bickering among the girls in our Chain O’ Lakes country school yard he would remind me that if I could not say anything nice not to say anything at all. That is advice still worthwhile.

This week I posted a remark on Facebook that was supportive to the link that had been posted in regard to education. Almost immediately a caustic comment followed in a reply to my comment. It was so sarcastic that it even lost relevancy to the original intent of the post. In the replier’s sarcasm he left a door open for a smart, quick reply. Puzzled, he made one more comment: “That was sarcasm, you do know that?” Of course I did know that but my quick, yet kind reply tossed ice on his fire.

Oh that we might pray regularly the prayer in Psalm 19:14: “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Thy sight, O Lord, my strength and my redeemer.” In this world of selfish, thoughtless words, it is our responsibility as Jesus’ followers to speak pleasantly, yet speak the truth. When we do that, our lives will match. It is really difficult for folks to dispute us when our words and actions are in harmony. We will bring sweetness to the souls and health to the bones of not only ourselves, but also to the lives of those around us.

Made to Crave: Satisfying your Deepest Desires with God, not Food

By Lysa Terkeurst, Zondervan, 2010. 225 pages, Available on Amazon new, used, or Kindle editions.

Lysa Terkeurst is president of Proverbs 31 ministries and no stranger to book titles. While many of her books deal with subjects for younger women, I had not picked up any of the titles although I had several recommend Unglued to me. Out of curiosity I picked up Made to Crave and Terkeurst’s writing style was easy to read but also profound. She is transparent and oh so authentic!

The book has 19 chapters with titles such as “Friends Don’t Let Friends Eat without Thinking,” “I’m not defined by the Numbers,” “But Exercise Makes Me Want to Cry,” and “Why Diet’s don’t Work.” My favorite chapter in the book is “The Very Next Choice we Make.” Since this book is something I needed to meet my constant struggle with weight loss, I read the first twelve chapters rapidly. Then one thing after another seemed to stop me from coming back to that bookmarked place. Well, confession is, I had lots to think about in those first 12 chapters and felt a bit overwhelmed to go on! Slowly, I moved on but once I got to chapter 17 the last three chapters were a breeze.

My advice is: do not skip any of the chapters and read them in order or the book will not be the help you need. Terkeurst sometimes labors a point to death and I did skim here and there thinking, “Oh, I get it, let’s move on.” The book is written with reflective questions at the end of each chapter, and frankly, I skipped most of those too because they are written in for group study purposes.

Yes! I highly recommend this book. It has depth in the three most needy areas of anyone struggling with weight loss: physical, emotional, and spiritual needs. My only negative comment would be the use of so many different versions of the Bible. She does not always identify the version and my natural propensity is to know the Scripture content based on translation. Since she often uses the English Standard Version, and New King James, and the King James, I made it through and by the end of the book, it just did not bother me at all.

I have the Kindle version and found myself highlighting as I read so that I can go back and read my notes when (not if, when) I get tripped up or stalled. This is a book you will want to read, and reread, and never loan or give away to anyone else.

Little Green Bugs with Red Eyes

After a week of eventful stomach and intestinal virus “bugs” in the house, my daughter described the germs as “little green bugs with red eyes” jumping on the beds, flying into hair, splashing in the shower, and laughing with wicked peals.

While they were under siege with three out of four children coming down with this one at a time, I was laid up with the repiartory disorder commonly called the flu. I don’t know if my bugs were green, but one thing for certain, they were having a heyday at my house.

Debby and I both used the same method of attack: Lysol®, hand sanitizer, and fresh air. I hope they are gone. I don’t wish their party on anyone.

Now, if only we would look at sin the same way. Visualize that temptation to sin as little green bugs with bulging red eyes accompanied with shrill, taunting laughter. All too often sin is disguised as a pet; it is something to be coddled and caressed! The well-used illustration of identifying sin the same as a shirt still is a good illustration. If it is doubtful, it is dirty.

The Apostle Paul described it this way: “All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me but I will not be brought under the power of any.” (I Corinthians 6:12) Those things that are not expedient sometimes have a power of their own. Addictive things that drive a wedge of sin between me and my relationship with God are like those little green bugs with red eyes! Whether it be music, anger, appetite, or immodest dress—you identify it for yourself—it is sin and should be purged out.

Proverbs 14:34 tells us that “righteousness exalteth a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people. Beware of those little green bugs with red eyes!

Options

Customer service is a special commodity in 2015. With the electronic age closing all around us, our customer service is limited to selecting the correct number on an automated answering system. Last week I found a new high number selection on an automated dialing system. It went all the way to nine. Usually nine is reserved for those of us who now have written three possible choices for our problems and now must eliminate further by selecting “9” to repeat the menu options.

The sinker in all of the automation is that once we have entered a 15 digit number and reached another service line, they ask us to repeat the number, all 15 of them, and when an actual living person comes on the line, they ask for the number again! Why? I just gave it to you twice, I think. Since I now do not want this knowledgeable person to go away, I kindly give that long number once again.

A few days ago I stopped, pumped my own gas, and forgot to wash my windshield. I wondered as I drove away (not wanting to back up and annoy the person behind me in line) if any station in town is a “full-service” station? I would pay more for my gas if only someone would pump it for me, and wash my windshield. In fact, I might splurge and tell them to fill up the tank!

Wouldn’t it be a pleasure to exchange an item in a department store if we did not have to play a game of twenty questions in order to do so—and then be rejected because the exchange day expired yesterday.

It is times like this that I am thankful I am just passing through this world; my home is in Heaven where everything is perfect. When I do as Jeremiah 33:3 commands, no option list appears. Imagine this: “If you are calling for financial assistance, press 1; if you are calling about illness, press 2; if you are calling in emergency, hang up and call 911. Simply call. “Call unto me and I will answer three and shew thee great and mighty things which thou knowest not.”

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