So the Sequester is here. But what does it mean to us personally, state by state? ProPublica has done what I think is a good job outlining the state by state breakdown in an easy to use graphical format. Here’s a brief summary for MA and a link:
- Massachusetts will lose approximately $13.9 million in funding for primary and secondary education, putting around 190 teacher and aide jobs at risk. In addition about 20,000 fewer students would be served and approximately 60 fewer schools would receive funding. In addition, Massachusetts will lose approximately $13.4 million in funds for about 160 teachers, aides, and staff who help children with disabilities.
- Massachusetts would lose about $4 million in environmental funding to ensure clean water and air quality, as well as prevent pollution from pesticides and hazardous waste.
- Massachusetts could lose up to $140,000 in funds that provide services to victims of domestic violence, resulting in up to 500 fewer victims being served.
- In Massachusetts, approximately 7,000 civilian Department of Defense employees would be furloughed, reducing gross pay by around $43.4 million in total
Click the link and find Massachusetts or your state for more…. http://www.propublica.org/article/a-graphic-guide-to-the-sequester
I love reading the bible, studying the bible, and trying to live by it. By far, I am not nearly as successful at it as I’d like to be, but I take solice in the fact that I believe the Bible really is alive and full of power and relevant for today. So what have I got to lose? I figure eventually something will impact me for the good.
I read a couple of ways. One is just straight through a particular book or books, I’m sauntering through Luke right now in fact. The other way is with a Bible study guide, if you will. I’m using Joyce Myers, Promises for Your Everyday Life, right now. It is great. She’s a wonderful teacher for men or women but for us gals, she’s especially on topic. She covers topics like our baggage (“drop it”), our pettiness at times (“stop it”) and more. Good advice woman to woman. I’ll share more about my bible study methods in future posts in case it helps anyone but today I want to cover “Do It Afrad”.
I don’t have a sermon for this, that’s Joyce’s department, but today she shared from 1 John 4:18 “Do It Afraid”.
New International Version (NIV)
18 There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.
The basic thought she shared is this:
- Even when we screw up, don’t be afraid of Him. His love is perfect, ours is not. He loves us period, so, don’t be afraid to come back
- When we feel afraid of doing something that we are convicted God is telling us to do, keep your focus on Him. Sure take a breath, “gird your loins” an so on but keep your eyes on God
- Do it afraid
Do it afraid means do it anyway even though you are scared out of your Victoria Secrets. Do it afraid even when the tunnel looks dark and scarrey. Do it afraid means you swallow, and move forward; sometimes slow, sometimes fast. But always moving forward to the goal He’s called you too. To the mission He’s called you too.
I used to thing fear was really God telling me to stop and take a different path. And you know, you do have to listen to your gut, your intuition. Don’t slough off those “hunches” those “small straws in soft winds”. But those are different from fear I think. In my case fear kept me from fufilling God’s purpose for me, and from me doing some cool things for Him. The cool thing about doing cool things for God is that it blesses the other person and it blesses you. It’s a great combination.
I’ll leave everyone with this picture, it is related. It is something that randomly popped up today in my boyfriend’s Facebook feed and he was nice enough to share it with me:
When my friend Traci posted on her Facebook timeline that she was starting a “Thankful Jar” for 2013, I thought, “what a great idea! It turns out it is not just a great idea, it is good for you in many ways too! But first, what about the jar then what about the good for you-ed-ness of it?
The Thankful Jar
While the thankful jar is a great idea, you could also keep a thankful journal too, either on paper or in your favorite text editor or word processor. You could even set up a WordPress blog for it! For the verbal, how about a thankful mp3 journal? You can record MP3′s on your PC and upload them to Google Drive, Microsoft Skydrive, Dropbox or Evernote.
The Science of Being Thankful
Being thankful or grateful about your wonderful relationship with your partner is not trying to butter them up but it literally helps with how the two of you interact and feel close. As reported in the University of California, Berkley, newsletter, “Greater Good”:
When we cultivate feelings of gratitude towards our sweethearts…we feel more satisfied with our relationship, and—amazingly—our partners feel more connected to us and more satisfied with the relationship, too.
This doesn’t mean we should skip telling our partner how much we appreciate him or her: Research also suggests that expressing gratitude to a romantic partner (or close friend) can make us feel more satisfied with the relationship and increase our sense of responsibility for our partner’s well being.
Being thankful and grateful is such a simple act. So many times it is the simple things in life that have the most impact.
It turns out that an attitude of gratitude can help us physically as well. Here is a quick run down of where it does this, as seen in Women’s WebMD:
- Stress: “Gratitude research is beginning to suggest that feelings of thankfulness have tremendous positive value in helping people cope with daily problems, especially stress,”
- Immune Booster: “researchers comparing the immune systems of healthy, first-year law students under stress found that, by midterm, students characterized as optimistic (based on survey responses) maintained higher numbers of blood cells that protect the immune system, compared with their more pessimistic classmates.”
- Those with Compromised Health: “Optimism also has a positive health impact on people with compromised health. In separate studies, patients confronting AIDS, as well as those preparing to undergo surgery, had better health outcomes when they maintained attitudes of optimism.”
A Wide Set of Other Personal Attributes
Gratitude is a topic of study these days and researchers McCollough and Emmons conducted a large-scale research program on the topic. The results should help us all take notice as to why being grateful is so important. From The Emmons Lab at the University of California at Davis
- A daily gratitude intervention (self-guided exercises) with young adults resulted in higher reported levels of the positive states of alertness, enthusiasm, determination, attentiveness and energy compared to a focus on hassles or a downward social comparison (ways in which participants thought they were better off than others).
- A related benefit was observed in the realm of personal goal attainment: Participants who kept gratitude lists were more likely to have made progress toward important personal goals (academic, interpersonal and health-based) over a two-month period compared to subjects in the other experimental conditions.
I’m so in the mood for Christmas right now! All that is missing is the snow! So, if you are not in the mood for Christmas, I give to you, Bing Crosby’s “White Christmas”……how can you not smile hearing this (and a hat tip to Raymond through FB for reminding all of his friends of this great piece of seasonal music!)
Breasts…so much to say about our wonderful twins, mounds of love, boobies, cupcakes, girls, puppies, love mellons, (on one list about 200 nicknames!). And with so many nice nicknames for our breasts, it would be nice to take care of them in some easy and equally fun way. And that’s just what researchers at the University of California in Berkeley, United States, have discovered.
Lead researcher, Gautham Venugopalan, found, in laboratory experiments that “squeezing” or applying physical pressure to malignant cells helped to get them back to a normal growth pattern. Women’s breasts grow and change over the course of her reproductive cycle. This growth occurs in a very organized and methodical way. But, cancer pushes that normal growth pattern off course. The application of pressure or squeezing the breasts appears to get those cells back on track in a normal, healthy, growth pattern. (see the excellent in depth article at preventdisease.com Stopping Cancer Cell Growth May Be As Simple As Squeezing Breasts and this equally helpful post on this topic at The Huffington Post)
But do you just go at and knead your girls like fresh bread dough? Well it appears you could do that (or your partner could do that with you; hence the fun!) Or you could Phluff your girls as Cheryl Chapman suggests! Cheryl is an RN and Massage Therapist in NJ. She’s published a paper entitled, “Ladies, Have You Phluffed Your Girls Today?”. In this pamphlet, she covers how to massage your breasts for good breast health. She lists a number of benefits of Phluffing including:
- Bringing blood and oxygen to your breast tissue
- Becoming familiar with your breasts
- Moving lymph and bringing killer T-Cells to protect your breasts
- And it feels good!
From the work being done at the University of California, it appears Phluffing could prevent breast cancer as well. You can download your copy of her brochure from Beck’s Cafe by clicking here, “Ladies, Have You Phluffed Your Girls Today?“
I’ve had the pleasure of seeing the On Stage Dance company once here in the Boson area and all I say is “GO SEE THEM”. Their executive director, Jennifer Kuhnberg, has, with her her team Kelly Dwyer, and Jackie Ruben, put together a high energy and meaningful troupe that will have you dancing in your seat and marveling at the excellent and unique choreography. One thing you’ll notice when you see a performance? The wide variety of people across ages, genders and races. It is a unique experience and a unique opportunity for dancers who might not have a company to dance with to be able to express themselves in this wonderful art.
Here’s just a sample from on of their shows (many thanks to my love, RH, for sharing this with me) more samples can be found on their YouTube Channel.
I was doing some reading in my Bible this morning and thought I’d share a few things with my readers from my study notebook. These aren’t scholarly points, but I wanted to share what I read and what “jumped out” at me. Just to give you the backdrop, this is the story in the NT where Jesus was going to a man’s house, Jairus, a synagogue leader. The reason he was going there? To heal the man’s daughter before she died. But along the way, he had an encounter with a woman who had continuous bleeding who could not be healed by the medical authorities of the day. Her desperation led her to press in to her only option.
Points to consider for Luke 8:40-48
- Jesus fame spread enough that this woman either knew or could rightly determine that Jesus was (1) someone with healing power, possible God or His prophet …. His name had to spread very far and wide for her to know about this. There was no Internet in that day, no cell phones.
- When you do good things, news travels, internet or no. And people seek you out
- Jesus being there is a miracle of space and time. That Woman could have been in another country but instead she was in this place and time that would be advantageous to her.
- People dispute that miracles happen but they do happen all the time. They often are not so obvious, they are the small straws in soft winds. They are often a function of time and place
- The woman knew he was there, knew he was likely someone with some “power”, and she knew she had to reach him. And, he was her last resort. There were no other options for her. And she had enough faith to know if she could reach Him she could be healed.
- If you have no other options this holiday, turn to God. You have no down side to this move. Only upside. Don’t choose to checkout of life or commit suicide; at a minimum choose to make a prayer.
- Did her faith or did God heal her? It is a divine paradox which is the way God always seems to work. She had to press forward, she had to trust. God had to be there but without the perfect timing of the Lord being at that spot at that time there would have been no pressing in by her. Bottom line? We do what we know to do, in faith. He takes care of the remainder.
- Jesus was actually on his way to heal Jairus’ daughter but he took the time for this women. Enough of a delay so that the little girl died apparently. But Jesus made time for this woman.
- God does give you the time of day. In this case, Jesus’ was on his way to a synagogue leader’s house, a very important man in that community. But he made time for this woman who had no other options. Your boyfriend or girlfriend might not. Your kids might not. Your boss might not. But God will give you the time of day to hear your plea. He may not answer immediately. He may say yes, he may say no, he may say wait. But He will always give you the time of day.