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Prayer for Mental Health

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Lord today, 

Many of us are worried and overwhelmed by the obsession with presents and gifts this holiday season. Even when we have more than enough, we still complain. We choose to do something different today Lord.

We pray for our brothers and sisters with Mental Health illnesses. Some of them are homeless and sleeping in the cold and on wet streets in this horrible weather. Their feet  are swollen, cracking and bleeding from frostbite.

Many of them have been pushed out by their families who see them as burdens, others are there due to our social sins, our terrible attitudes, our self righteousness, our evil policies, our insensitivity and greed. Forgive us Lord, and cause us to be more generous with the gifts you have given us.

Cause us to see that our humanity is linked to every other person’s humanity. Convict us of our sin whenever we deliberately close our eyes to such a one. For all of us have no control over our own minds, yet we delude ourselves. Lord “let Your Kingdom Come” – Amen.


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Praying With Expectancy

The Atmosphere of Expectancy

 

In our great evangelistic meetings in Africa, the people come with a high level of spiritual hunger and expectancy of the miraculous power of God. They have heard the testimonies of all that God has done for others, and they believe that God will do the same for them. They know that God is going to show His power and glory in these great meetings, and they come in full expectation that they are going to be the recipients of those blessings.
It is this attitude that actually takes hold of the miraculous and causes the lightning of God’s glory to strike. They do not come hoping it is the will of God to reveal Himself… they already know it is! Because they already expect this, they pray from a position of bold confidence and expectancy. When God hears that kind of prayer and sees that kind of action being demonstrated by desperately hungry people, He does reveal His awesome power in some of the most phenomenal ways.
Praying with faith and expectancy will always attract the presence and power of God just as the absence of these key elements will repel the presence and power of God. There is a direct correlation between the level of belief and expectancy in the hearts of people and the measure of the revelation of the glory of the Lord. When God’s
people pray in the firm conviction that it is God’s will to answer their prayers and reveal His glory, their expectation of His glory will bring its manifestation in their lives.
 
 
Bring Your Umbrella
Many years ago, a region of the American Midwest had been stricken by drought. There was a small town there that was totally dependent upon farming, and the crops were dying in the fields because of the lack of rain. A day of prayer and fasting was declared in which all the townspeople would come in from their surrounding farms and spend the day in prayer, asking God to send rain.
That morning a five-year-old girl came along with her parents to their church to pray. Some people were amused as this little girl was carrying an umbrella. They asked her why. She replied that she thought they had come there that day to pray for rain, and she didn’t want to get wet going home.
Suddenly conviction gripped their hearts. The people realized that they had come to pray, but no one but this little girl actually believed anything was going to change! In tears, they repented of their unbelief; and these same townspeople began to pray that day as though they really believed their prayers were going to change things.
About four o’clock that afternoon, clouds began to form on the western sky. By evening, a slow, soaking rain had begun to fall across the region. The heavens had literally opened for these people. This slow rain lasted for three days and nights. Their crops were saved, and they eventually had one of the biggest harvests that they had ever seen! Everyone remembered that it was the little girl with her umbrella who had come to pray and had changed their hearts from a place of religious duty bound with unbelief to a place of expectancy that God would in fact hear and act.
We MUST believe and expect God’s best blessings whenever we pray!


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Pursuing God’s Presence

Every Christian Must Pursue God’s Presence!Image

God’s presence is not mystical, as we like to portray or think of it. It is tangible. You can sense it, experience it and see it.

God’s presence always ends up in a physical manifestation. Sick people receive their healing. Those bound by addictions are set free. Wandering minds are restored to their peaceful state. Depression is gone. All of these have a physical manifestation. It is highly unlikely that you can be in God’s presence and not feel anything. You cannot connect with God and not know if you are connected.

I strongly believe that for many of us, our physical awareness is much stronger than our spiritual awareness. God knows us, and is constantly reaching out to us.  For Him to communicate with us, He is likely to use something with which we are very familiar – our physical realm – Our bodies, feelings and thoughts.

Access to God is not like a pay phone, sometimes unreachable.  Even though sometimes, we all feel like our prayers are hitting the ceiling and bouncing back, never reaching God. The idea that we have to do certain tricks or rituals to access God is what keeps us from appropriating all the blessings that come with being in God’s presence.

Accessing God’s presence is not at all complicated. God shows up when you truly and genuinely show up. He is omnipresent. That means you can access Him from any place at anytime. You can be on the road, on a train, in school, in a library, in a restaurant, at work, in a barbershop or salon, in a gym, anywhere. There is only one requirement.

  • A Genuine Need For God

God is more interested in your heart than in anything else you do. If your heart can reach God, the rest of your body and your life will follow.

Here are a few strategies:

  1. Open your heart and mind to receive God’s response. You cannot predict or demand how God should show up. Just be open to Him and His ways.
  2. Seek Him. The only way you seek God is by drawing near to Him – Through His Word, Prayer and Fellowship with others that follow Him.  You must have a genuine desire to be in His presence.
  3. Wait on Him. Often, we are too much in a hurry. We give God a timeout. “If He doesn’t show up between these times, I am out.”  Guess what? You are out indeed.
  4. Learn to be quiet and listen. It is strange how many Christians today are afraid of quietness. We are more comfortable with motion, confusion, noise (which sometime we mistake for music), and over-praying. There is a time to pray and a time to listen. Remember that prayer is communication – which means a two-way flow of information.  Meditation is the art of listening to what God is saying. I define over-praying as praying without listening.  By doing this, we miss the essence of prayer.

So next time you plan your prayer time, add to it your listening time. 

James 4:8 Draw near to God and He will draw near to you…

Acts 17:24-28… so that they should seek the Lordin the hope that they might grasp for Him and find Himthough He is not far from each one of us


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Originally posted on World Adventurers:

Update 4/3/12:  Many thanks to WordPress for promoting this post to Freshly Pressed! And thanks to everyone stopping by to visit World Adventurers and say hello. You’re most welcome. There are more than 825 posts on travel and other topics for your reading enjoyment listed in the Category Cloud below. Enjoy!

Here’s a list of the top ten things you should do if you visit Zambia, a country in Southern Africa. Zambia lies southwest of Tanzania, which is featured in my book Kilimanjaro: One Man’s Quest to Go Over the Hill. The two countries are similar in many ways, with plenty of opportunities to see amazing natural beauty, go on thrilling wildlife safaris, and experience Africa’s unique culture.

This list is based on my own experiences when I lived in Lusaka, Zambia’s capital and largest city. These activities and destinations will give you a taste of what this interesting country has…

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Prepare For Success

SUCCESS (magazine)

SUCCESS (magazine) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 
Prepare for Success!

It is happening now, whether you believe it or not. Today was yesterday’s future and today will be tomorrow’s past.  Every minute you are breathing makes up the future. It is hard to imagine that life moves so fast, we barely catch up. Life is what you make of it every single day. Right now, you are writing your own history. Right now life is happening. And, it will happen with or without your help.

Benjamin Franklin wrote, “Do you value life? Then waste no time, for that is the stuff of which life is made.” So if you don’t like what you see, change it. You and you alone can make the change. Your life is happening, and it will continue to happen, whether you are actively or passively involved in guiding its direction. So you might as well take charge.

The best way to start changing your life is to change your thinking. Start to believe that a better fuller-life is very possible and within reach. Start by understanding exactly what it is you want. A lot of us flounder through life in trial and error. But, until you know exactly what you want, you will never be happy and fulfilled in life.

Take time to study people who you admire. Those you consider to have succeeded or at least have some semblance on success. There is no point in you trying to do a totally new thing, if you can do what others are doing and get the results they are getting or even more results if you improve on what they are doing.

To guide you, here are a few resources to start with:

No Excuse! The power of Self-discipline

Power of Personal Achievement

The Science of Self-Confidence

How you can start, manage, build or turn around any business


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How To Choose The Best Sunscreen

Are you really protected?

Whether you are on vacation, going to work, taking your kids out, walking your dog or running errands, you can’t avoid the sun completely. There is going to be a part of you that is exposed. Be it your beautiful face or your lovely manicured hands. Every little exposure unfortunately adds up to the sun damage over time. With the coming summer time, you therefore, need to know more about the dangers of sun damage than you know about bikini styles.

There are typically two notorious sun rays that   everyone must be aware of. – The UVA and UVB, which code names for ultraviolet radiation or light waves.

What is Ultraviolet Radiation?

According to The Skin Cancer Foundation, “UV radiation is part of the electromagnetic (light) spectrum that reaches the earth from the sun. It has wavelengths shorter than visible light, making it invisible to the naked eye. These wavelengths are classified as UVA, UVB, or UVC, with UVA the longest of the three at 320–400 nanometers (nm, or billionth of a meter). UVA is further divided into two wave ranges, UVA I, which measures 340-400 nanometers (nm, or billionth of a meter), and UVA II which extends from 320–400 nanometers. UVB ranges from 290 to 320 nm. With even shorter rays, most UVC is absorbed by the ozone layer and does not reach the earth .”

The UVB rays are stronger and can cause nasty burns. The UVA rays on the other hand penetrate deeper into the skin and are responsible for wrinkles and premature aging of your skin. Both types of rays lead to DNA damage, which typically results in skin cancer according the Skin Cancer Foundation. They both play a vital role in premature skin aging and wrinkles, eye damage (including cataracts), and skin cancers. They also suppress the immune system, reducing your ability to fight off these and other maladies.

What must you look for?

Most sunscreens are marketed with the term SPF. If this sounds like poison or Greek to you, don’t worry, it simply stands for “Sun Protection Factor.” SPF is not an amount of protection per se. Instead, it indicates time taken for UVB rays to redden skin when using a sunscreen, compared to how long skin would take to redden without the product. For instance, someone using a sunscreen with an SPF of 15 will take 15 times longer to redden than without the sunscreen. An SPF 15 sunscreen screens 93 percent of the sun’s UVB rays; SPF 30 protects against 97 percent; and SPF 50, 98 percent. The Skin Cancer Foundation maintains that SPF of 15 or higher are necessary for adequate protection.

Steps To Take When Buying Sunscreens:

  1. By all means stay in the shade, but if you have to go out, use a sunscreen. Whenever you are buying a sunscreen, flip the bottle and don’t be in a hurry to check the ingredients. If the label just simply says UVA/UVB Protection, wide-range or broad-spectrum, put it back. There is no way you are going to know how effective it will be. Since both UVA and UVB are harmful, you need protection from both kinds of rays.
  2. So look for a sunscreen with:
  • An SPF of 15 or higher, plus some combination of the following UVA-screening ingredients:
  • Avobenzone, so far the best known UVA filter in the United States, but it needs to be combined with a stabilizer like octocrylene to maintain its strength.
  • Ecamsule (a.k.a. Mexoryl™) which is another good UVA filter that doesn’t need a stabilizer.
  • Oxybenzone (trade names Eusolex 4360, Escalol 567), absorbs UVB and short-wave UVA ultraviolet rays.
  • Titanium dioxide, and zinc oxide, which are both physical blockers. These reflect the UVA and UVB rays, resulting in a broad spectrum protection especially if combined with other ingredients, according to Ellen Marmur, M.D., chief of dermatology and cosmetic surgery at Mount Sinai Medical Center.

Common Sense Prevention Guidelines

  • Avoid tanning and UV tanning booths.
  • Seek the shade especially during the hottest periods of the day (10am to 4pm).
  • Do not allow yourself to burn.
  • Cover up with clothing and don’t laugh at people with wide hats, they are clever than you think.
  • Buy and wear UV blocking sunglasses.
  • Apply SPF 15 or higher sunscreen to every part of your body, not less than 30 minutes before venturing outside. Professionals advise that you should reapply every two hours or immediately after swimming or excessive sweating.
  • Don’t tan your newborn babies or take them to the beach. Only children above six months should use sunscreen, and make sure you cover their entire bodies.
  • Use as much sunscreen as you can – minimum two tablespoons per application.
  • Don’t taste your sunglasses by staring into the sun.
  • See your physician or skin specialist at least once every year if you have enough exposure outside.

Above all, enjoy nature’s beauty and don’t feel guilty for looking sexy hott!!

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